Who Is The Fairy, Really?

My name is Anna Runkle. I’m not a doctor or therapist; I’m someone who grew up in a rough family that was deeply affected by addiction, and all the problems that tend to go with that – poverty, violence, neglect and shame.

There were good things about my family too, and I was a resilient kid, but by the time I was in my 20s, the trauma of childhood was getting the better of me.

Back then, I struggled with anxiety, depression and chronic pain that seemed to have no cause. I yearned to be loved but kept finding myself in destructive relationships. My intense anger was pushing away friends and work opportunities, and causing me to be increasingly lonely.

I gobbled up self-help books and groups and went to 11 different therapists, but nothing seemed to help. No one seemed to understand what was wrong with me. There was no name for it.

But now we know: It’s called Complex PTSD (or CPTSD) – that’s the kind of that comes from chronic exposure to intense stress, most commonly during childhood (that’s why I call it Childhood PTSD). You can learn more about definitions on my page “Do You Have Childhood PTSD?

Everything changed for me in 1994 when I stumbled upon two techniques that unexpectedly made me feel better – dramatically better.

Only in the past few years has the research around early trauma caught up to explain why – why these techniques worked, why therapy didn’t, and why my healing journey was so unnecessarily long.

With that little bit of healing, I was able to at last begin changing the self-destructive patterns I’d learned (and that are common for trauma survivors) and to change the course of my life.

It wasn’t long before I was teaching others – at first informally and one-on-one – the methods I used to heal. By 2016 I had so many people seeking instruction that I made my first online video, and then an online course, and this is how Crappy Childhood Fairy was born. Today, almost half a million people follow my work and participate in my trainings. My mission is to change the paradigm of what’s possible for people like us, and to help all I can to heal and lead lives of joy and purpose.

I have a Master of Public Policy degree from The Goldman School at University of California, Berkeley. I have worked in the past as a professional comedian, a customer experience consultant and a video director; today I work full-time as “The Fairy,” leading the company and the team of great people who work here. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and two college-age sons.