The Damage of Words

 from Katrina Collier

A memoir of healing self-hate and gaining self-mastery.

A picture of Katrina Collier age nearly 3 for The Damage of Words memoir

…but words can never hurt me.

What deceitful words to tell a child.

What nonsense to grow up under the pretence that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. I was told this so often I believed it. How could I not? I was a child. Surely the words would just flow off me, like water off a duck’s back. If only that were true because how those words wounded.

She used words as a weapon. She wielded them at me, and they stung long after the sting of her hitting had passed. The words stayed, deeply embedded in my psyche. Deep down in my subconscious, repeating back to me, like a broken record, for decades after they stopped.

Bringing up children believing that words will never hurt them is a lie. What pain they can inflict. What cruelty. What trauma. What damage. Who is anyone to ever tell us that words can never hurt?

She used them to harm. The words were deliberate. They were carefully selected. She maximised their impact with the words she chose. Later, I said them to myself repeatedly because I believed them. I was too young to know differently.

Those words created such self-loathing. Pure unbridled self-hatred.

I am baring my soul

In my memoir, The Damage of Words, I share my experiences overcoming narcissistic (emotional and physical) abuse and healing complex-PTSD. It contains all I have done to move from utter self-hatred to self-love, care and compassion, and finally to self-mastery.

Though well-known in the recruiting community, as a global speaker and as the author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter and Reboot Hiring, few know my personal story. So, to demystify the healing process and inspire others, I am opening up about the self-work I have experienced to heal this life, past lives and my DNA and to open spiritually.

I felt called to write, like something deep down inside was desperate to escape the confines of my body. Words that must be penned because of the great healing they will create. If I can inspire you to take one step, you will inspire others to take one step. If I can normalise some of the more unusual healing modalities, then more healers can step into the light and be visible. Then, even more people can be healed.

The Damage of Words is for those who have trauma to heal. My words are for those souls who aren’t believed and feel like they’re howling into the wind to be heard. These words are for the hurt, the insecure, the unloved, the lonely, the sad, the vulnerable, the scared, the down and out, the… insert whatever drew you to this book/page.

Your healing is your choice. It is your life. Self-mastery is a wise investment.

It all starts with one step.


Katrina Collier, aged nearly 6, holding a stuffed Tweetie bird toy; a final gift from her maternal grandparents.

Recent interview snippets:

Upcoming interviews about The Damage of Words:

A class of their own podcast
Man Up Man Down podcast

Out late October

Glenn Martin Never Mind The Job Spec

Out early June

Join the waiting list for The Damage of Words and receive a chapter today.

Listen to Beyond The Damage of Words podcast