Rise From The Ashes

A Beacon of Hope for Survivors with Anissa Hudak

April 01, 2024 Baz Porter® Season 4 Episode 1
Rise From The Ashes
A Beacon of Hope for Survivors with Anissa Hudak
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When Anissa Hudak walked into a yoga training session, she encountered a moment of awakening that reshaped her life. As your host, Baz Porter, I'm honored to share our profound discussion with Anissa, a Reiki master and yoga therapist who emerged from the depths of personal trauma to become a beacon of strength for women with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Our conversation navigates the fragile intricacies of healing from sexual assault and the significance of a supportive community in this tender journey.

The path to reclaiming one's life after trauma is seldom walked alone, and this episode underscores the transformative power of solidarity. I open up about my own battle with trauma and the subsequent discovery that therapy, while crucial, is just one piece of the recovery puzzle. Together with Anissa, we explore the importance of creating non-judgmental spaces for survivors and the pivotal question of "What do you want to do next?" This simple yet powerful inquiry can shift the paradigm from victimhood to agency, lighting the way to resilience and empowerment.

Our conversation culminates with an impassioned endorsement of "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker, a guide that has left an indelible mark on my understanding of navigating fear. Anissa and I delve into the profound lessons this book offers, particularly for women's safety and empowerment. As survivors of violence, we both recognize the challenge such material presents, yet advocate for its invaluable insights and the sense of control it can restore. Join us for a journey through darkness towards light, enriched by wisdom that could redefine your own path to empowerment.

Support the show

Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.

If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.

My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.ramsbybaz.com and schedule a coaching session.

This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!

Baz Porter:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Rice and the Ashes podcast. I'm your host, Baz Porter, and I have a remarkable guest on today. I'm going to let her introduce herself. As always, remarkable story of resilience and many other things intertwined with it, and I want to thank everybody for tuning in. Please share the message and inspire somebody else with this authentic story. Ladies and gentlemen, to my guest, anisha how do you spell, how do you say your name? Because I'm terrible with names. Please introduce yourself to the world.

Anissa Hudak:

So my name is Anissa Hudak and I am Reiki master, a yoga therapist, a master hypnotherapist, a timeline therapist and NLP results coach. I'm also a two time rape survivor. Now yeah, I'm trained to work with folks who have PTSD and TBI traumatic brain injuries and I specifically work with women who are like me, who are survivors.

Baz Porter:

Would you class yourself as a nail rather than a survivor?

Anissa Hudak:

I would say so yes, and always a work in progress, though.

Baz Porter:

Of course, everything. I believe everything is what's been your in the last few years. What's been your main focus with your life or career.

Anissa Hudak:

When I realized that I really wanted to work with women who were like me, so really honing in on that. For many years I worked with veteran active duty and retired military utilizing yoga therapy for their PTSD, and it really was when I started working with women who were like me that it really filled my Please understand. I loved working with the veterans. They were a wonderful group of people, loved them. However, working with women who were like me really filled my well when watching a woman make a shift was just so brilliant, it was just priceless, and that's really where I really honed myself and focused myself, because that's it just fills my well.

Baz Porter:

We all have stories of adversity and I know you've probably got many stories that you've overcome, but is there a one in particular that stands out for you? You've turned instead of a significant challenge you've turned into a huge opportunity for yourself within your experience.

Anissa Hudak:

When I started teaching yoga, I had never any intentions of actually teaching yoga. I started taking teacher training so I could keep myself safe on the mat and do my own thing. Yeah, never wanted to teach. However, I got the bug to teach and I started taking more and more teacher training classes and I realized it wasn't teaching yoga, it was sharing this amazing gift. To me, yoga is a gift and all I was doing was sharing this gift, and the school that I was going through, yoga Fit, they offered classes called warrior classes and they were for PTSD, for military, and my husband was active duty.

Anissa Hudak:

We lived in a military community. We lived right outside of Fort Riley, kansas. They have a huge warrior transition battalion there, which is where a lot of the sick, injured soldiers can go to rehabilitate and then go back into the army or be meted out. And so I was like I'm going to take these warrior classes so I could bring this back to my community, and that was my entire intent. And I was about halfway through the first day and I was like, oh shit, the first person I need to work on is like right here.

Anissa Hudak:

I thought I had a really good handle on my PTSD from my first rate and I realized sitting in these classes that my PTSD had crawled into the nooks and crannies in my life. It was holding me back and I didn't even know it. I didn't even see it. The things that I did that I thought were quirky were because of my PTSD and I shouldn't have to be doing these things. And so it really started this journey of recovery and learning so much more about myself and then being able to say to other folks yeah, I've been there, but this help and that's how my recovery started and I'm grateful, so incredibly grateful, for it.

Baz Porter:

What was the poignant moment of that heart? When you were going through that half a day and then, all of a sudden, you were like, oh my God, this is me and I have to work on myself. What was the feel? Can you remember that feeling in that moment? Oh, yes.

Anissa Hudak:

Deer in the headlight, cold sweat, a little bit of a tremor, absolute fear and, oh my goodness, what am I going to do? Like, this is me. And then learning class after class. Okay, this is what I need to do to manage this, this is what I need to do to help with this. And it was an onion many layers, and every class I would encounter something new, a new challenge, something else that I had to overcome, something that I had to work on. It brought up another awareness and, yeah, it wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Baz Porter:

The reason I ask that is because the listeners now, if they're going through something similar, sometimes that people have a challenge identifying that feeling because they're immersed with others and overwhelmed with all the other feelings. So thank you for describing that particular emotion, because you haven't been through it, you don't know how to describe it or even what it is that you're feeling. So, then, that for somebody who is going through this right now, who is in that position of rediscovery or self discovery and self reflection, that's that could be the key to unlock something else that's buried deep within the nooks and crannies, as you just said, of the trauma and the events they've been through. So I'd like to thank you for sharing that. Is there any from your experience going through the horrific situations that you faced with, the rapes? Is there any habits that you've adapted within your life, whether it be rituals that you do for you to feel safe or for you to make a safe environment for yourself when you're going through in your daily day routines?

Anissa Hudak:

Interesting question. Yes, I do. When I take a shower I make sure that the doors lock. I make sure the doors are locked in my home when I'm home. If I have to go out at night, I always try to park under a streetlight, and these are just safety things any woman might want to consider. I read the book the Gift of Fear and if you haven't read that, I recommend every woman read this book the Gift of Fear, because it really made me realize how I have to listen to my gut and if my spidey senses is telling me that something's not right, then something's not right and I need to just make sure I'm out of the situation and, whether it is or not, if I feel uncomfortable, my spidey senses are telling me something's not right. I just trust that feeling and I remove myself from the situation.

Baz Porter:

That's a valuable lesson to learn in any situation, especially with something that you have gone through, where you learned and remembered how to trust who you are as an individual. Many people struggle with that challenge of, oh, it's just, it's something else, it's fine. And then they find out later on it's not. Some people call it women's intuition, some people call it just intuition, or they're conscious, they just know it's something that is in a quantum field within them, but it's telling them remove, pay attention to me, and I like that. You've actually remembered that and you've incorporated it into your daily life, which many people don't, because we are programmed to ignore these things. Is there anything in your life that you've, or anybody in your life, because you do a variety of things with yoga, mindfulness, nlp, etc. Is there anything that anybody that was a role model for you in the development of all these skills other than, obviously, the yoga practice that you went to?

Anissa Hudak:

I'd have to say the women who are like me. What I realized was that after my first rape, I did what everybody else does I went to talk therapy and for years I felt like I had to continue to go back and revisit it and talk about it more, and there was never any closure. It was only about when is the next time I'm going to need to go back to revisit it?

Anissa Hudak:

There was no community, there was no place. It's very isolating. Not everyone around you has had this experience, and a lot of people don't even know how to comfort, support, be there for people who have experienced this. A lot of folks say just get over it and so there was no place to go. When you're looking at self-help groups like AA or NA or what have you, the basis of their recovery is based in community. How could we possibly recover when we're all alone?

Anissa Hudak:

It's so isolating, and about eight years ago, I was raped again and I put on my clinician hat and I said, okay, what would I tell my client? And then I took off my hat and I said, okay, now I need to get to work. However, I'm still in the same place. I don't have a community. I don't have a group of women who are like me. To bounce things off of One of the girls that I did meet in my yoga therapy classes, teacher training classes. She was a guy like me and I had her, and we're still thick as thieves now. However, without her, I don't know if I would have survived, and so it really made me sit down and say, okay, what needs to happen here? I know I need this.

Anissa Hudak:

I can't be the only woman who needs it, and that really motivated me to create the business that I've created, so that way there is a community for women to come to, they're not alone, they don't have to be alone and get the healing that they need and start the recovery process, because one out of every two women have had some sort of sexual assault. That's a lot of people in the world, and for those who haven't done anything as far as recovery, there's a lot of people walking around wounded. It doesn't have to be that way, and so I guess that's the role model that was the motivation was to really help women who were like me.

Baz Porter:

When you embarked on the journey and I want to talk about your business briefly of recovery and self-acceptance. That plays a major role in what you do now and the building of the community is the support of other like-minded women who have been through many, probably many, different events. I don't know and I can't comment to it because I don't know, but in your experience and you're the expert on this what commonalities are people going through right now in this field and can you share how you show up for them to help them understand and navigate through this time in their life?

Anissa Hudak:

I see a lot of commonalities lack of boundaries. Our boundaries were just completely blown through and so we don't even know how to create new boundaries for ourselves or hold them. A lot of weight issues, whether it's overweight or underweight. A lot of unfortunately hurtful coping mechanisms drugs, alcohol, weight shopping, food. Women generally don't have too much with technology or gambling. It's usually substance or food abuse or shopping, and one of the things that I like to do is to have women understand that there's no judgment, that you did what you did to cope good, bad or indifferent but there's other ways and you have a choice. You're at a pinnacle point in your life. You have a choice you can either leave those behind and recover or not, and so it's the non-judgment, being in a place that there's no judgment. Gosh, we all deserve to be in a place like that, don't we Also, too? A lot of women come to me and they say I don't know if I was right, and immediately I already know that they were. However, I'll say to them all right, do you want to talk about it? Do you want to tell me what happened? And nine and a half times out of 10, they do and they explain the situation, and I look at them and I said did this happen? And you said no, did this happen against your will? Yes, OK, then you were right, and sometimes they need that verification. I know I did at one point after my second rape, because I was left saying, did this really just happen? Is this really rape? And just even having that verification for these women, and then OK, so you had this really uncomfortable situation occur.

Anissa Hudak:

Now, what do we do Now? Where do we go from here? What do you want to do? A lot of it is asking them what do you want? They've already been told They've had their control taken away. They've had their power taken away. Now it's about giving them back power over themselves and that control over themselves. Where do you want to go from here? What do you want to do next? And sometimes that takes a while what? They don't even know how to take that power back. So I don't know if I answered your question. No, you did.

Baz Porter:

No, that's perfect. My follow-up question for that is how would somebody know that they had their confidence back, their power back, and they were? If they were lost, I would have snagged at this because it's easier. Someone came to you and you've had that conversation with them and they're going through the mental aspect of this happened to me. What do I do with this? Is it true? And they're digesting all of these thoughts From that transition into I'm going to have my power back, I'm going to get through this, I am a survivor, I am going to thrive through this.

Baz Porter:

How would you advise somebody going through this right now that is lost, very scared that this didn't happen, but they're trying to make sense of it, because that's a real reality for a lot of people. As an interventional, it didn't happen, it must have been something else. They're trying to logically analyze it and go oh, it wasn't me. But then I love what you do because you create a safe space for these people, for these women who have been misstread, and that's a very light word for this. But the reality is they were fucked over, they were abused, they had their trust betrayed and they're in a position now where they have to make something of it like you have done, which is so commendable and, truthfully, I think there needs to be more people like you out there who are doing something to empower themselves and other people. So how would you transition from that into I'm a powerhouse? I've got this. Welcome to my new life.

Baz Porter:

And that's a very shallow definition of what the question is, because of time and where this platform is going, obviously, but this will be explicit content. This isn't going out to just everybody, and I want people to know that it's a safe environment for people to connect with yourself or even with me, and I'll put them in contact with you. I'm not the expert in this, certainly, and I would never try and help somebody who has trauma like this that I'm not equipped to do. That's not my field. So I love people having you, people like yourself, in my network. So I go, I know someone can help you. How would you help somebody go through that, get them into the empowerment stage Not necessarily connecting with a community just yet, because they may not be ready for that, but how would you go into? You've got this, you're not alone, that sort of thing.

Anissa Hudak:

The very first thing I usually recommend to my clients is you get a notebook. Actually, you get two. You get two notebooks. The first one is for journaling. The second one is to write down what you've done. You write down the date, what you did, whether it was I went to talk therapy, I talked to this person, I tried lavender oil. I tried this.

Anissa Hudak:

Now, healing is not a formula. Okay, you can't put every person into the same formula and expect the same outcome. Healing is as individual as your, as your thumb, and so what is healing for me may not be healing for someone else, and so you have to try. You have to try different things, and with this notebook, you're gonna write down everything you're gonna try and then six months, eight months, 12, 18 months, you're gonna come back and you're gonna look at these things and you're gonna say, okay, yeah, I tried this on this date and it didn't really do much.

Anissa Hudak:

But you're now a different person, you are in a different place in your healing and just because it didn't work six months ago, it might work now. And so we have to find your specific formula of healing and know that it's ever changing, because as you grow, your needs will change, and so it's not as easy as talk, therapy and med. There is so much more to it and we just need to dial in and see exactly what that is. However, when you get everything and you start to really feel more like yourself, you're never gonna be yourself Again. That person is gone. But when you start to feel more like yourself and you're feeling more comfortable in your own skin, that's when you start to really see them blossom and them heal and the shifts begin and the empowerment come back and it's just. It's such a beautiful, yummy experience to sit back and watch that happen for these women.

Baz Porter:

So amazing. Please carry on.

Anissa Hudak:

Oh no, you're fine, go on.

Baz Porter:

Your whole demeanor changed. For those people who are listening in audio now and they're listening to the sound of the voice, the voice pitch changes, but also someone's reaction changes when they're in that zone of passion. And it's something that you can't. It can't be replicated, it can't be produced without that passion and I love that you have the passion behind what you do. It's not about what happened, and you said something very key in that conversation. You took it and you turn the message Into something that is bigger than you and that is a key component to building communities. If you look at all communities in the world With this, take religion for a light one Christianity, muslim, whatever religion you are there's a group of people Drawn to a place with a bigger vision or bigger necessary, a bigger outcome themselves. What you have is very unique because you have passion, but you also have a message that is of a bigger context and you're creating it in such a way to deliver a message of hope, awareness, overcoming something.

Baz Porter:

And Also you said you're not the same person. You're never gonna be the same. That's honesty. You're not feeling people's heads with bullshit and fairy tales of some grandiose. Healing is gonna take place in two months, three months, because the timeline for everybody is different and Time for these situations don't exist. Because you're individuals. You said earlier You're like a thumbprint. That's the healing that takes place over time with acceptance and also awareness. Failure is often viewed as a negative. Is there anything that you can share with the audience that you first thought was a failure but turned out to be such a valuable lesson that still holds true in your life today?

Anissa Hudak:

Absolutely I. I did talk there and I did talk therapy for years and years. I saw many different Therapists, what and I always thought it was a failure because I'd leave and I feel like, okay, I think I've got a really good handle on this and then 18 months, two years, whatever it was I go back into therapy, like that one. That person didn't cure me, I need to go back. And so I realized, hey, it wasn't a failure, because as you heal Different things, your brain allows you access to different things, and so it is. It's a marathon, this is not a sprint. So that was number one. The second thing I realized was that I Was seeing therapists who. They were wonderful. However, they may not have had an expertise in sexual trauma. My last therapist was an actual sexual trauma Therapist and, funny enough, it was a gentleman and I had only ever spoken with women, and so I had this opportunity. I was like gosh, he's an expert, that's his niche, but it's a dude like how am I gonna go in and talk? No offense.

Baz Porter:

No, I'm privileged to be here and it is a privilege for you to be sharing with me. So I recognized that.

Anissa Hudak:

I was like, how am I gonna go in and talk about these things With a dude I? I think it was my second Appointment with him and I realized, okay, I can do this. It was not a problem talking with the gentleman about it. And I actually did more work and had more progress with this one man. Then I had done in all of the other therapy I had done before. So it wasn't a failure because I learned different things. One the brain Gives you more information when you're ready for it, and so I had to continue to go back To I had. I wasn't going to the right people.

Anissa Hudak:

It's funny when you get diagnosed with cancer, you get this whole team around you and they all just seem to like Come and you at once. This doctor context, this person shows that and all of a sudden you've got this team and you don't even have a say in half of it. But you need them and that's okay. However, when you have a mental health issue, there's nobody. Nobody shows up. No doctor calls this doctor to call that. No, you have to create your own therapy team, your own recovery team, and I I didn't realize that I should be talking with someone who, specifically, was dealing with my issue that. So, again, this is why you need that book. You need to be writing down what you're doing and Then, when you go back and you analyze it and say, okay, I did this, maybe I need to try this way. Or maybe I should try this again, because again, you're a different person. Yes, it was a failure in the moment. However, I think that I learned so much from it.

Baz Porter:

I love what you've done and you've turned this horrific event and it is into a powerful message For other people to not just understand, but you're also creating and I want to talk about your community and what your plans are in Going forward into January, february and onwards. The message in that is so powerful. But equally, you're one of the few that I've ever heard of that have come forward and started to really shine With that authenticity, with her purpose and that passion To support other people genuinely. For from a place where I know what shit you went through I know because I fucking walked it not once Twice, and you're still going many people would have thrown themselves the first time. The seriously they would have done it. I'm done that.

Baz Porter:

This is bullshit. Why, why me? And gone into that victim mentality? I know people who do it in different situations. They throw the towel in entrepreneurs with all the time there's a stoner on his door all the time because they're not willing to go to that next level and dig deep. You are and you are doing this. You're walking that path. What's planning? What's you mentioned something to me earlier. What's the next level for you? What's the level up in this progress to support, heal and change the world?

Anissa Hudak:

I'm super, super excited. I am leveling up my website, I'm releasing an app. This will all be happening. Hopefully, if the app gods look down upon me favorably, in January my app will be up. I have a free Facebook group for women and it's growing by leaps and bounds, which is wonderful. However, not great, but wonderful that they have a place and it's funny.

Anissa Hudak:

I ask questions in order for you to get in. People, don't? People find it very offensive. Women find it offensive. Why do you want me to tell you whatever? And what they don't realize is that there is generally five on the average, five men a week who try to get into the group.

Anissa Hudak:

I for kicks, I go in, I look at their profile and I know that they're actually trying to look for grooming and profiling so they can go out and they're in rape culture. They actively like to rape women. Yes, and I look at everybody's profile. I go to other social media platforms. I look at, I really look at people before I let them into the group and that's why I ask these questions. It's for safety, it's for security and there are some women who really find it offensive that I ask questions and it comes down to my group. It's my rules and unfortunately, but I have to do that because I want a safe space. Why I wouldn't want to be there with some guy lurking in there. If I want to be able to talk openly and freely, I get it. And so there is the free Facebook group, and that will continue.

Anissa Hudak:

We are going to be releasing here a membership community where there's going to be yoga therapy and you're going to get on Zoom with me at least once a week live, and we're going to. We're going to be on the mat. There's also recorded sessions that'll be in there. And but 3 am, when your mind is racing and you want to get on a mat, you can't go down to your corner studio and get on a mat, and so this is a way for you to be able to get on to your mat if you want to. My mat is my confident. It is my lifeline. I actually I was having surgery and it went with me to the hospital and my husband said you're not going to be able to get on this for six weeks. Why are you bringing this with you? So you don't understand. I'm like Linus I need my mat. That mat teaches us so much and it's not even sometimes about being in a pose, and that's what this membership is going to be and that'll be also released early next year. So there's lots of things coming in the future.

Anissa Hudak:

I'm so excited. I'm so excited about what it means for women and healing and creating a community, because I'm tired of doing this alone. I'm tired of healing alone. I don't want to do this. You can't heal by yourself. You can't. Aa has shown us that. Na has shown us that we watchers how they even have a community. So I'm tired of being alone. So I'm creating what I want.

Baz Porter:

I love that and I'm glad you are showing up, not just for yourself in your own healing, but also for other people, because this is an issue that isn't widely spoken about for multiple reasons, and it is a pleasure to have you here today and having this conversation, and I'm truly privileged to be in with it, within you and trusting me with this information and to put it out in the right areas. So I'm really grateful for that annual message.

Anissa Hudak:

Thank you. I appreciate being here. It's been wonderful talking with you.

Baz Porter:

And likewise you, for those people who are listening to this. Thank you very much for tuning in, so it's a very impactful story. Please share this. You may change someone's life quite simply by doing something as simple as clicking the share button and impacting them. From myself, thank you very much for this episode and if anywhere you'd like, before we go to anywhere, you'd like to send people, there's a website you'd like to share with people or a book you would like to promote, Since my website's going to be coming out early next year and I think that's when this is going to be actually released.

Anissa Hudak:

How's about we put that in the show notes, If that's okay? I would just recommend that every woman out there reads the gift of fear, and I'm going to put that in the book and the link.

Baz Porter:

It's on Amazon. I'll take it.

Anissa Hudak:

Yeah, gavin DeBecca, I didn't write it. Can't take credit for it. That is first and foremost. Every woman should read this book. It's a tough book. It's not an easy book, especially if you are a survivor. Frankly, it took me six months, wow, it did, and that's okay, but I got through it and I can honestly say every woman needs to read it.

Baz Porter:

Thank you, I will put that in the description. It will also be in the blog post going out as well. So if you're not subscribed, please do. This will be airing in early January, mid-january, something like that For myself. Thank you very much. Please share the message and, like always, I will see you next week for another show with Rhys from the Ashes.

"Resilience and Recovery
Empowering Women's Healing Journey
Healing Trauma
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