S1 E3
Janet Bentley: Parenting the Inner Child

Released May 10, 2022

In this episode of Recovery Replay, host Dominic Lawson shares the inspiring story of Janet Bentley, an award-winning author and survivor of childhood trauma. The episode delves into Janet’s experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional household, enduring sexual abuse, and navigating the long-lasting effects of trauma on her mental health and relationships.

Janet’s story begins with her tumultuous childhood in Southern California, where she faced frequent moves, parental neglect, and sexual abuse at the hands of her father and others. Despite the trauma, Janet excelled academically and learned to compartmentalize her experiences, presenting a façade of a well-adjusted child to the outside world.

As Janet entered adulthood, she sought escape through an early marriage, but continued to struggle with depression, perfectionism, and people-pleasing tendencies. The loss of her mother and the end of her first marriage led to an increased reliance on alcohol and pills to numb her pain.

A turning point in Janet’s life came when she met her current husband, Simon, who provided unconditional love and support as she gradually opened up about her past. With encouragement from therapists, Janet made the decision to seek treatment at The Meadows, where she began her journey of recovery and healing.

Throughout the episode, Havi Kang, Clinical Director of Willow House at Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, offers expert commentary on the treatment process, the importance of addressing shame, and the concept of re-parenting in recovery.

Janet’s story is one of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of love and dedicated healing work. By sharing her experiences through her award-winning book and advocacy efforts, Janet aims to inspire and support other survivors of childhood trauma on their own paths to recovery.

Key topics covered in this episode:

  1. Childhood trauma: Janet shares her experiences of sexual abuse, parental neglect, and the impact of growing up in a dysfunctional household.
  2. Coping mechanisms: Discover how Janet compartmentalized her trauma, excelled in school, and developed perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies as a means of survival.
  3. Relationships and escape: Learn about Janet’s journey through her first marriage, divorce, and the loss of her mother, which led to increased substance abuse and depression.
  4. Love and support: Hear how meeting her current husband, Simon, provided a turning point in Janet’s life as she gradually opened up about her past and found unconditional love.
  5. Treatment and recovery: Follow Janet’s decision to seek treatment at The Meadows and her experiences during the early stages of her recovery journey.
  6. Advocacy and healing: Discover how Janet turned her pain into purpose by writing a book about her story and becoming an advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

This episode is a valuable resource for anyone seeking insight into the long-term effects of childhood trauma, the importance of supportive relationships in recovery, and the role of professional treatment in overcoming addiction and mental health challenges.