Bk1-Intro Part2: Serpent and the Dove and Keeping the Dream wtss1-002

NOTE: This is a revised version of ep002. Demian’s background and qualifications, the Serpent and the Dove as symbols for transforming the venom of abuse into an elixir of healing, and coming to terms with your healing process. Part 2 of Introduction.

The opening of episode serves as a brief disclaimer, but the rest covers why I’ve decided to have both a series on covert abuse and keeping your dream on one website. Part of keeping your dream is naming what holds you back, and for many of us, it’s a wound or injury inflicted upon us. For that reason, I feel it’s appropriate to have both dynamics on one website about the healing journey.

I, also, share my initial expectations about the healing journey and the peace I’ve made with it, and once doing that, the freedom it has afforded me. A reoccurring theme throughout the series and major component of healing is giving meaning to your experiences. The symbol of the serpent and the dove works beautifully for this.

Next episode we dive into Chapter 1.

Please subscribe and share. And if you feel so led, support this work by becoming my patron.

Thank you!

~ 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 Website: www.keepingthedream.com
Demian’s Patreon Site: www.patreon.com/keepingthedream
Demian’s Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/demianyumei
Keeping the Dream Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/keepingthedream.6.4


[0:0]  Episode 2: Part 2 of the Introduction to “Where There’s Smoke: Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment”, the first book from the Where There’s Smoke Series, written and narrated by Demian Yumei of KeepingtheDream.com

Music to the intro and closing by Demian Yumei and Stacey Young


[0:27] Disclaimer & Qualifications

Welcome! I’d like to share a little bit about my background and qualifications to write this series on covert abuse. I am a lay author and activist. I am not a licensed therapist, certified counselor or legal advisor. I’m not a clinical researcher.

My credentials are my experiences, and this series is a sharing of my personal healing journey.

Much of what I know comes from witnessing, firsthand, the impact of covert abuse, living it and surviving. I am analytical in nature. I carry a standard for logic and reason with a healthy respect for common sense and intuitive wisdom.

My experiences with covert abuse are recorded in this series as anecdotal recollections and personal conclusions. If you like my anecdotal approach, I am thrilled! But don’t take my word without question or challenge. Do your research. Read, listen and learn from more than one resource with an open and critical mind.

And most important, you know you and your situation best. Discern what is right for you. Be responsible for your path and whatever decisions you make.


[1:49] Privacy & Speaking One’s Truth

All opinions expressed in the Where There’s Smoke Series are my own. They’re based on my personal journey of surviving and overcoming abuse. I’ve changed names and identifying details, as much as possible, sometimes combining events and people, out of respect for privacy, but all the stories are true.

My intent in writing and recording this series is to inform and educate and to validate others who may be going through similar experiences. Not to justify myself or to hurt others. I will be mindful of the impact my words may have on other people; however, I still have my story to tell and I will not censor myself. As someone who worked hard to find my voice and break through the silence imposed upon me from childhood, it’s important for me to do this work, to use my voice and speak my truth.

In these writings and recordings, I draw heavily on my past and family of origin. I talk about my mother and my father. If what I share offends or hurts anyone, I apologize. That’s not my intent.

I accept that those who became a part of my father’s life after he left my family may know or experience him in a totally different way. I’m not here to challenge that. Neither will I silence myself in deference to that possibility.

Whether or not it’s true, does not change what he was to me or to my siblings or mother. That is my truth. And it is for me to learn from it and harvest what knowledge and wisdom there may be for me to find, and through this choice I make, to share with others.


[4:00] Where There’s Smoke Series and Keeping the Dream

My website is keepingthedream.com. Why, you may wonder, is a series on covert abuse on a website about keeping your dream?

The healing journey consists of two dynamics that work together. Like the ebb and flow of the earth’s waters and the waxing and waning of the moon, the healing process is about embracing and letting go.

Letting go involves first naming what is holding you back. Where There’s Smoke is that step for those who are held back by covert abuse. From a grand sense of entitlement, covert abuse inflicts pain and injury through the careful use of manipulation and deception. I believe it is the fire, the energy that fuels virtually every form of abuse. For that reason, I have made the study of covert abuse my focus.

For me, Keeping the Dream and Where There’s Smoke are representations of the two aspects of the healing journey. Keeping the Dream is the vision and inspiration of the healing journey. Where There’s Smoke is naming the wound, and thereby, the growing of empowerment on the healing journey.

Even as they appear different — one positive and the other negative — Keeping the Dream and Where There’s Smoke are one within the other, two parts of a much greater whole.

To that end, I want you to know you are not defined by your past or what hurts you.

I want you to know you can define what those experiences will mean to you.

I want you to know that healing is an on-going process, that while hard, can eventually become joyful as you progress.

And I want you to know there is that within you which is sacred, no matter how much you’ve been assaulted — by others or even yourself.

There are things that happen and dynamics that ensnare and entrap us into believing those things are not true. There is a level of pain and fear that blinds us from seeing this truth and keeps us imprisoned in lies.

There’s a way out.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have some insight into a specific kind of trap, a particularly insidious dynamic called covert abuse.

Oh, and one more thing… I want you to know that healing isn’t perfect. It just makes all the difference.


[6:44] Angel of Light

I will never be the angel of light. I’ve been referred to as an angel mostly in regard to the songs I’ve written.

And I appreciate the kindness behind that lovely title, but I don’t feel like an angel, far from it. I have pockets of moments, when time seems to be suspended. It might be when I’m deep in the process of creating or in the midst of delivering a song to its intended someone, but that’s a kind of lifting-out-of-myself experience. When I “come back” as it were, when I settle back into my skin, then I am once again that lantern with bent frame and broken glass, no matter how brightly the light may shine through me.

I once believed, desperately, at the start of my healing journey, that it was possible to experience a healing so great, so complete that I could somehow make a quantum leap and live as if I had never been abused. The as if I had never been abused was so important to me.

It wasn’t good enough for me to heal “a little bit” or “even a lot”, if I still had scars. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life walking with a limp, even as I was grateful I was no longer sitting in the dust.

But reality didn’t grab my outstretched hand and lift me out of myself. After years on this healing journey, I had to face the truth of the very negative impact my past still had on me and on my children — decisions I made, people I chose and brought into my life, priorities given to those who were not worth it. When the reality of that began to sink in, I fell into deep disillusionment.

Then one day, in the midst of depression, a thought came to me. It was simply this:

It doesn’t matter if you limp, when you fly.


[8:56] Serpent and the Dove

What happened will always be a part of me. I can’t change that. The choice I do have is to decide what that will mean. This is what the verse, “Be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves” means to me.

To me, it speaks of creating relationship with the things that once hurt or haunted me. It speaks of empowerment, of reclamation, of owning my experiences so they don’t own me.

The synergy of the wisdom of the Serpent and the innocence of the Dove is powerful, and I believe, the essence of how healing works. That’s why I use the Dove and the Serpent in my logo for this series.

Like the Serpent’s venom, your past can poison or save you. With the keen insight of the Dove’s perspective, you can transform the venom of abuse into an elixir of healing.

We do this through meaning.

Meaning is belief you hold, not just claim. You can tell what your belief means to you by what it leads you to do. This is true for any belief.

Say you’re a Christian. What do your beliefs mean you get to do? Judge and look down on others from your righteous faith? Persecute? Oppress? Or do your religious beliefs inspire you to love, to live the ideals of your faith the best you can?

You’re an atheist. What do your beliefs mean you get to do? Judge and look down on others from your superior rationality and reasoning? Ridicule? Censure? Or do you wed reasoning and logic with kindness and compassion?

Or in this case, you’re a victim. What do your beliefs about that mean you get to do? Judge and look down on yourself through the critical eyes of others? Treat others in the same way you were, because it’s your turn now?

Or does your wound open a space for empowerment to grow through empathy? What does what happened to you mean? How do your experiences shape the person you are now and your interactions with others?

The meaning that we give to our experiences grows us.

If we don’t take the time to give meaning to our experiences that empower us, the Serpent devours the Dove, consuming her innocence, restricting our lives and constricting our dreams.

I don’t want to live that way. I refuse.

Facing the Serpent, I decree, I have the last say in my life. Not you.

The Serpent and the Dove are then transformed — from enemy to ally, from prey to guiding light.

It’s a powerful experience. Not a perfect one, but it’s the one that makes all the difference. It can make you fly.

You know… it really doesn’t matter if I will never be the angel of light. I still have wings. And so do you.


[12:23] Outro — “For the Sake of Love” from Demian’s CD

Thank you for joining me in this second episode of Book 1, the conclusion of the introduction from Covert Abuse and the Art of Discernment. The next episode will cover Chapter 1. I’m going to share a little bit about my childhood, the wounds that I feel go deepest and their impact on future abuse. Please subscribe so you don’t miss it.

I love making this podcast, but it requires time. If you’d like to gift me with time, please consider becoming one of my patrons at Patreon.com/keepingthedream. It’s a platform designed to bring artists and those who love art together. The individual contributions can be small, but the impact is always big and very much appreciated.

Thank you so much for listening. Until next time, this is Demian Yumei, Keeping the Dream.

Ending Song: For the Sake of Love



Support Demian Yumei on Patreon

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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