Bk1-Intro Part1: Covert Abuse, and Making the Journey Your Own wtss1-001

First book in the Where There’s Smoke Series on Covert Abuse — “Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment”,  is an introduction to the manipulation of covert abuse and the importance of developing the art of discernment, which is the key to empowerment.

I’m Demian Yumei, author, activist and narrator of this book podcast series.  This project is my positive stand against the  growing malevolence of manipulation and negativity in our society of which gaslighting, rumor mongering and usury are a few. I summarize the books in the series and talk about making this journey your own, walking it in your own cadence and in a way that is right for you.

I would love feedback – this is my first podcast, so share your thoughts or suggestions under this post or leave a review in iTunes so I can improve. Thank you for listening!

~ Keeping the Dream

Show Notes:

Opening and closing song is an original piece by Demian and her friend and music partner, Stacey Young, the title song of their first CD together, “DreamSinger – For the Sake of Love”

Demian’s Patreon Site: www.patreon.com/keepingthedream
Demian’s Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/demianyumei
Covert Abuse Facebook: www.facebook.com/covertabuse.bookseries

National Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233


[0:0] Episode 1, Introduction to Book 1, “Where There’s Smoke: Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment”
from the Where There’s Smoke Series on Covert Abuse

[0:26] Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so the saying goes.

Well, sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. This series is about discernment and how covert abuse not only wants you to think there’s no fire, but that the smoke you choke on is in your imagination.

Fire and smoke are deadly. Erupting flames and smoldering embers can kill, immediately or eventually.

Covert abuse can be confrontationally destructive or behind-your-back sabotaging. Like a sudden lava-filled explosion that can decimate whole towns in an instant or far-reaching ashes that can literally change the face of the earth across continents, covert abuse is wide in its impact as it is lazar sharp in its focus.

Covert abuse is the art of manipulation. Your defense against it is the art of discernment.

Where There’s Smoke Series on Covert Abuse are lessons designed to help you develop that discernment.

You can stare down hatred in the face. You can call blatant dishonesty and usury on the carpet. You can engage with those flames, but covert abuse is elusive.

Even as you’re choking on the smoke, it moves and drifts. You can swat at it, attempt to fan it away, but it still fills your lungs, depriving you of the air you need to breath. If you’re in it long enough, you may even get used to it.

For some it’s a slow death — wisps of smoke taking your life away one day, one put-down, one denial at a time. Before you know it you can no longer run with the creative passion you used to or take a stand without wheezing or grabbing for your inhaler.

It’s important to know what covert abuse is. You need to know what’s happening, so you can protect yourself and the ones you love — your children especially, if you have any — or your country.


[2:51] Hi, I’m Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter, artist activist and narrator of the Where There’s Smoke Series on Covert Abuse, and I want to help you in your desire to understand what covert abuse is and how to handle it.

“Well, is it really necessary to write a whole series on just covert abuse?” you may ask.

Well, yes. Covert abuse is that convoluted. It wears many masks and there are many aspects to it that need to be addressed to fully understand what you’re dealing with.

Each book in the series focuses on a particular set of dynamics. When put together, this collection of books provides a wide, comprehensive picture of the phenomenon of covert abuse. Having said that, each book that I’m in the process of writing is designed to stand on its own. They’re interrelated, but not dependent on each other. Every book, also, offers specific antidotes or practical responses to the dynamics studied in that book.

[3:59] In Book 1, Where There’s Smoke: Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment, I introduce myself by sharing a bit of my past as it relates to covert abuse and why it had such a big impact on me. I talk about the idea of transforming the venom of abuse into an elixir of healing, through meaning you choose to assign to that experience. I, also, address specific challenges you’ll face on your healing journey and share the perspective from which I approach the study of covert abuse.

I highly recommend that you read or listen to this foundational book no matter how many or few of the other books you read or listen to in this series.

[4:36] Book 2, Where There’s Smoke: Smoke Alarms, begins with self-knowledge, providing insights into how to recognize the presence of covert abuse where it leaves the most clues — in you. Covert abuse can have a huge impact on you — mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and creatively — that you may not initially associate with covert abuse. In fact, it will be a covert abuser’s mission to convince you it’s all in your head or your fault or something else, anything but them.

Recognizing these clues and knowing they are normal effects of covert abuse can help you in discerning whether or not covert abuse is present.

[5:26] Book 3, Where There’s Smoke: Smokescreens, now shifts focus to the abuser, addressing passive forms of covert abuse. We look at how an abuser may utilize concepts and ideals such as forgiveness, love and integrity, and emotional states of being such as anger, fear and sorrow, to manipulate you. This form of covert abuse is especially persuasive, because it relies on two things: your sense of guilt and your desire to do the right thing.

[6:04] In Book 4, Where There’s Smoke: Arson, we continue our focus on the abuser with a look at active forms of covert abuse, such as gaslighting, projecting – which almost always involves blaming and scapegoating, feigning friendship, verbal insults, gossip and the like. This form of covert abuse can run the gamut from subtle to overtly aggressive.

[6:32] Book 5, Where There’s Smoke: Fanning the Flames is an in-depth look at relational aggression, which is group covert abuse. This entails manipulating others, using their relationship with you or in regards to you to hurt you. The covert abuser is able to inflict more harm, in this way, than he or she could do on their own, while keeping their hands clean at the same time. At least, if caught or obvious, they can justify their abuse because they’re “not the only ones doing it”.

And no, it’s not a “girl thing”. It’s a societal thing. Take a look at politics. It’s how we do business.

The focus of this book is on multi-abusers.

[7:21] Book 6, Reigniting Your Fire comes full circle, back to you — which is where the seat of power lies. This book goes beyond the antidotes and responses to specific dynamics of covert abuse covered in the previous books. It entails a broader perspective, looking at the bigger picture of reclaiming your self, a self you may have thought was gone forever. It’s not.

The healing journey is a journey that takes you to the wholeness of you. You can reclaim the part of you that loves, has hope and believes in the good in people, and bring that into who you are becoming with the wisdom and insight you accrued from your experiences. You can create a life you may have thought you’d never have the strength to dream about again, never mind have.

The focus of this book is the target-turn-survivor now living, defining and creating your life.

And it’s a beautiful thing to see.


[8:31] Making This Journey Your Own

I envision the podcasts for each book and the episodes therein as series of steps along a path you can take on your healing journey. Like any path, you don’t have to walk on all the stones. You don’t even have to stay on the path. But if you want, they are there for you.

I will write honestly and authentically, and I always write to move the heart — that’s the whole point. But if you allow me to touch yours, I may inadvertently bump against some painful stuff.

Please, be kind. Make sure you have someone you can turn to and resources you can utilize to help you process your feelings and/or memories.

This isn’t being weak. This is being strong. Only strong people can tell themselves the truth. You’re not here to impress anyone or prove anything to anyone or follow someone else’s definition of what your healing journey should look like or feel like or how long it should last. It’s your healing journey. You walk it in your own cadence and style.

But don’t do it alone. I know I’m a fine one to talk. My job since I was a child was to be the one helping and it’s very difficult for me to ask for help. Maybe it is for you, too, but this is your turn to take care of yourself.

Let yourself reach out and set things in place if you should fall. That’s being responsible.

Family, if appropriate, trusted friends, support groups, people who’ve been there, counselors and therapists — you can avail yourself of any or all. But I recommend having at least one professional in your support network.

[10:25] And of course, if you feel you or a loved one are in immediate or eminent danger either from another person or yourself, call 911, crisis intervention or a shelter in your area. Covert abuse, by definition is non-physical, but it can be a precursor to physical violence and it can make that transformation in a heartbeat. And don’t underestimate the despair covert abuse can throw you into without lifting a finger.

Don’t suffer in silence. Get help.

The National Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 are two strong shoulders to lean on and empowered choices for you to make.

[11:20] As you read or listen to these words, I invite you to see your self standing in a kitchen among friends sitting around the kitchen table, telling their stories, drinking tea and eating chocolate — lots of chocolate.

We pull up a chair. Are you ready? We’ll pass the chocolates and I’ll put the kettle on.
Meet you in Episode 2.

Ending Song: “For the Sake of Love” from Demian’s CD

[11:47] This was a reading from the Introduction Part 1 of Book 1, “Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment” from the “Where There’s Smoke Series on Covert Abuse”, narrated by the author, Demian Yumei of Keepingthedream.com.

I hope you found this episode meaningful and that you’ll accept my invitation to walk this healing journey with me. Please subscribe to this podcast, so that you don’t miss a single episode. And if you know just one person who might benefit from this series, please, share it with them.

Thank you so much for listening.

Until next time, this is Demian Yumei, Keeping the Dream.

Support Demian Yumei on Patreon

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About the Author

About the Author: Greetings, fellow dreamer, and welcome! I’m Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist. Some of my creative projects are a CD of healing music, “For the Sake of Love” and a children’s book on the interconnectedness of life, “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” published by Illumination Arts. Currently, I’m in the process of creating podcasts for my book series on covert abuse. My commitment is to the creative process especially as it relates to the healing journey. Whether I’m singing at a vigil for asylum seekers, memorial for political activists or sitting around a table sharing tea and conversation with friends who just want to talk heart to heart, I am always deeply moved by the human spirit to love and live with authentic beauty. Thank you for being here, for reading my posts and/or listening to my podcast. There’s much to share, much to create and the journey has just begun! Meet you on the path. .


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