Survivors of Incest Anonymous 

We Define Incest Very Broadly


for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

November SIA WSC Literature Committee Gold Book Roundtable Discussion: “Creating Safety & Support for Healing, Remembering & Working with the Emotional Content of Memories”

  • 18 Nov 2012
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EST)
  • To Participate: Dial 1-218-936-4700; then press 673296

November SIA WSC Literature Committee

Gold Book Roundtable Discussion:

“Creating Safety & Support for Healing, Remembering & Working with the Emotional Content of Memories”


To create text for the SIA Big Book, Hope Heals


The SIA WSC Literature Committee & Big Book Subcommittee is seeking your assistance in making our dream of an SIA Big Book come to life. To help with the creation of this text, we are conducting a series of discussions by experienced SIA members about various chapters in the book. You may listen in and participate in these discussions. Each discussion will be two hours in length and non-speaker panel members are encouraged to participate during the last portion of the meeting. Additionally, all SIA members are encouraged to share their experience, strength and hope in written form with the committee.*


Roundtable Particulars:


Sunday, 11/18/12


4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. Eastern Time

1:00- 3:00 P.M. Pacific Time


To Participate:

Dial 1-218-936-4700; then press 673296

* If you’d like to participate in a future WSC SIA Roundtable Discussion as a Speaker Panel Member, feel free to contact Becky ( John+ (

To read the in depth topic description and questions that panelists will be answering and that you can send in SIA Big Book submissions about, please see below.

“Creating Safety & Support for Healing, Remembering & Working with the Emotional Content of Memories”

Chapter 6 in Hope Heals (the SIA Gold Book or Big Book)

            Perhaps the most important act that any healing survivor must take is to build a safety or support network. Without support, it is virtually impossible to enter into painful memories, or even make it safe for such memories to emerge. Why? Healing from the pain of childhood sexual abuse and the interwoven family chaos of physical and emotional abuse and neglect is fraught with challenges at every turn. PTSD triggers, isolating and minimizing behaviors,  act-out responses and profound experiences of shame, anger, grief, fear are but a few of the intersections one passes across while healing from the wounds of abuse and neglect. Growing up, we were denied comfort and support when we were traumatized by our abusers. Thus we pushed our true selves aside in order to survive. Healing requires that we release the many traumas that we buried and this cannot be done without support.

            Being a 12-step survivor and living within one’s dreams and possibilities means finding both an external and internal loving Higher Power that one can draw strength from. Put another way, finding comfort, compassion, and unconditional acceptance is what makes personal transformation possible.

When there is safety and support, memories needn’t be fought with. When there is safety and support, terror, self-loathing, grief and anger can be released. When there is safety and support we are finally able to win free of the toxic inner prisons of smallness and shame so many of us felt confined in. This Roundtable will discuss these concerns and three long time SIA members will share why creating safety has been essential for their recoveries. The panel will also share how they created both external and internal support systems that have helped them walk through painful memories in order to reclaim their true self’s possibilities.


Below you will find the a list of topics that the Gold Book Subcommittee is hoping to address in this chapter along with a series of questions that we will appreciate your verbal feedback on at our first Roundtable Discussion. It is doubtful that we will have time to hear everyone’s responses to all the questions.

Therefore, we also ask that you be kind enough to put your thoughts and feelings down on paper and share them with us because the more survivor stories we have in our big book, the better it will be.



  1. The differences between safety and hiding versus safety and living fully empowered
  2. The qualities of internal and external safety
  3. The role of internal parts dialogue/active reparenting in creating internal safety
  4. How safety/support systems are built
  5. How and why true safety can feel dangerous to survivors
  6. Why safety/support is an essential aspect of making it safe for memories and their contents to emerge
  7. How safety reorients the one’s  responses to challenging emotions and situations
  8. The relationship between safety and a loving Higher Power in one’s life
  9. The importance of fellowship, step-work and service work for creating a strong support network


Questions for Consideration

  1. Why do survivors need to create safety and support systems in order to heal?
  2. How does safety look different in recovery than it did prior to recovery/What internal and external safety qualities are necessary for recovery from the wounds of incest and abuse?
  3. How are safety/support systems built?
  4. What role does internal parts dialogue and active reparenting play in the creation of safety?
  5. Why does true safety feel dangerous to survivors at times?
  6. What is the relationship between safety, remembering and working with the emotional content of memories/how does safety help one stop running from memories?
  7. How does the creation of safety reorient one’s relationship with challenging emotions and life situations?
  8. What’s the connection between safety and a loving Higher Power?
  9. In terms of survivor healing, what’s the connection between fellowship, step-work and service work in building a strong support network? 


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