We’re a team of abuse survivors who use our professional skills to empower you; teaching you practical skills that improve the relationship you have with yourself and others. We cheer you on as you transform your life and become your own greatest cheerleader. Drawing from research and personal experience, we’ve put together a variety of healing modalities to support you in ways that best suit your personality and learning style. And we aim to bring light and levity into your life as you navigate your way through the often painful waters of recovering from abuse.
Abuse and trauma affect people in so many different ways; their mental and physical health, happiness, and ability to reach their full potential. If you’ve experienced a toxic relationship, you know what if feels like to feel lost, lonely, and stuck. But we have the solution you need: we connect you with other people who are both at the beginning of their healing journey, and a little farther along. And as survivors you offer a network of support for each other—while the SwanWaters team provide resources to help you move beyond trauma, improve your health, and empower you to contribute to society; breaking the ongoing cycle of trauma and abuse.
Everyone has the potential to overcome trauma and build a life they truly love. Let us help you reframe your experiences, and show you how to add positive, compassionate inner-dialogue to your life. As survivors ourselves, it’s our most genuine pleasure to hold space for others to grow and live well in a world that doesn’t always give people space to take care of themselves.
Our focus is on
Compassion, Self Awareness, and Inspiration
We’re not here to sell you on one path, method, or technique for healing. We share what worked for us, and help you to create a healing path that works for you
Healing doesn’t have to be so heavy-handed. We like to laugh as much as the next person. So we embrace our humor and try to make healing fun
The abuser has claimed your life long enough, it’s time to change that! That’s why at SwanWaters—while there is space to vent and share in order to heal—80% of what we talk about is healing and skills more than abuse and the abusers.
Why SwanWaters Exists
Let me tell you a story I once heard, because storytelling’s my jam:
A man is walking down the street and falls into a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
A doctor walks by and the man shouts up, “Hey, Doc, I’m stuck down here! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and walks on.
A priest comes along. The man shouts up, “Hey, Father, I’m stuck down here! Can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down into the hole, and walks on.
Then a friend comes by. The man shouts up, “Hey, Joe! It’s me! I’m stuck down here, can you help me out?” The friend jumps down into the hole with him.
Our guy says, “Are you crazy? Now we’re BOTH down here!”
The friend replies, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
This is exactly what we’re about at SwanWaters. We’re not doctors, spiritual leaders, lawyers, or counselors. We’re people like you: survivors of abuse. We’ve walked the path you’re on and have made some sense of the terrain. We don’t fit a cookie-cutter definition as a support organization: we’ve all got different spiritual beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, and life experiences. Maybe this is WHY we get it! Our collective input makes for some interesting and helpful insights into the healing journey.
Some of our experiences include abusive childhoods, toxic relationships, workplace bullies, and religious abuse. We each committed to breaking that cycle with our children, partners, and communities. We learned how our experiences shaped us, then we got better. We created an online platform where you can learn skills to help you overcome your trauma and then build a thriving life.
We’re not here to preach or sell you on one specific path to healing. In fact, we do exactly the opposite. We share the various techniques and methods that have helped us so you can find the tools that work best for you.
Are you ready to join us on your healing journey? We look forward to meeting you!
Why You Need Normal People To Teach You
While pottering around the house; emptying the dishwasher, feeding the fur babies, straightening the living room, Mags was listening to The Chasing Joy Podcast. One of the points that Georgie Morley made in this morning’s episode (#77 if you want to give it a listen), is that we need teachers in our lives, but we also need ‘normal people’. We need peers to stand up and say, “Hey, that thing you’re dealing with? I’ve dealt with that, too. Here’s what I did.” She reckons that it’s sometimes easier to receive guidance from our peers than our teachers because it’s more validating. The great thing about supportive relationships with everyday people is that we can identify with their struggles, and don’t feel intimidated by their progress.
This idea of peer learning is the heart of SwanWaters. The whole team has been where you are! We’re survivors of abuse. We struggled, we learned, we got better, and we still trip up sometimes. All we want to do is share what we learned so we can make your healing journey easier. We want to give you all the handholds, encouragement, and validation you need to make substantial, lasting changes to your life.
In the words of SwanWaters team member Aubrey Cole: “There’s nothing so special about me that you can’t do this, too.”
And as a team, there’s nothing so extraordinary about any of us that you can’t heal and rebuild your life as well!
Why The Ugly Duckling
We all know the story of the Ugly Duckling by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The story tells about the Ugly Duckling that is attacked and abused for being different from the other ducklings. When he leaves the duck pond he feels horrible and thinks that something is wrong with him. But after the winter is past, he finds that he has grown into a beautiful gracious swan. For the founding members who created this website, this fairy tale speaks volumes. Feeling worthless, outcast, and wrong? Yeah, we’ve all been there. We believe, though, that everyone who’s been made to feel like an Ugly Duckling has the potential to become a Swan!
Most people know the story was written by Hans Christian Andersen, but what not everybody knows is that it is an autobiographic piece. Born into poverty in the Danish city of Odense, he was very tall (almost a foot taller than average in those days) and had a big nose. His odd looks caused the people in his hometown regard him as odd—even hideous. Hans Christian Andersen left Odense for Copenhagen, to become a very successful author, and mingled with the highest of society, but he never quite forgave his hometown for the difficult start he’d received there.
Our Hero: The Ugly Duckling
Of course there are plenty of lessons to take from the story. The focus is usually on the need to like who you are and what you look like—even if you don’t fit the mold that others made for you. This fairy tale, however, differs from other fairy tales in one very critical point: the hero of the story, the Ugly Duckling, doesn’t have to do anything to become heroic. By simply being himself he grows into his own. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with the Ugly Duckling at all. He always was a Swan, he always carried his grace and beauty within him. He was just surrounded by characters that couldn’t see his true nature, and had no desire to nurture his what he had to offer. And this is what made him feel like a worthless failure—even if he wasn’t in reality.
Find out More
Want to find out a bit more about this story and its author? Here are the resources we used: