2023, was the year I decided enough was enough and I was taking back control over my mental health. I was tired of being so dependent on meds to keep me going. I was tired, worn down and constantly sick. I was doing this not only for my mental and physical health but also for my family.
I started seeing a counselor and quickly realized how much catastrophizing I was doing because of a good 5-6 year time span of what felt like constant tragedy after tragedy happening to our family. I never felt like I had “childhood trauma” because it wasn’t the “average” or “common” type of childhood trauma that so many others have dealt with, but it was my trauma. It was and still is my trauma to continue to work through.
My very first childhood memory, that I can vividly remember, is our house being struck by lightning and losing the house. I have watched my grandmother fight brain cancer and eventually loose that battle. I watched my mom loose her very best friend and biggest fan. I lost a sibling and watched my parents feel the excruciating pain of losing a child. I watched them be surrounded by love and family and friends to get them through the darkest of times. We have traveled the world and lived in the Middle East during 9/11 and the declaration of war. I’ve watched my dad fall through the ceiling of our livingroom and having all of our lives change in an instant. Even as a mother myself, things haven’t been as easy as I always dreamed they would be. I’ve dealt with preeclampsia, long labors, tongue ties, speech delays, RSV and jaundice in a newborn, sleep apnea, anxiety, behavioral issues, and so much more. I’ve been pregnant and or breastfeeding constantly the last seven years. As if that wasn’t all enough, I decided owning my own business was as great idea 😜
I have always said that God has a plan for everything. Even when bad things happen, He’s got a plan. I just don’t know it yet.
The biggest hurdle I have had to work through has been my dad’s accident. This is something I have a really hard time wrapping my head around. I can see all the “good” that has come from his accident, but continue to struggle with the fact that he is still in constant pain. Why did it have to be something that would change all of our lives and cause so much pain for so much good to happen? Why did it have to be my dad? Had we not suffered enough in the last five years? Why does my dad have to live in constant pain for me to have met my husband? God heals people every. Single. Day. Why won’t he heal my dad? Why won’t He answer my prayers? Can He not hear me? Am I not screaming and begging loud enough?
It’s been eighteen years, and if we are being honest, my dad is probably in more pain today than he was the night he fell through the ceiling.
These last eighteen years have taught me so much. How to love your family and friends deeply because tomorrow is not promised, how to live life to the fullest, how to forgive, how to care for someone with chronic pain, how to be compassionate of others because you do not know what they may be walking through in life.
Some of you know, but many may not. My dad is getting ready for his 5th major back surgery. This has brought up so much past trauma that I didn’t realize was there when it came to my dad’s accident and the years that followed. I have had to work through a lot of feelings and anxiety surrounding my dad going under the knife, yet again.
As if that wasn’t enough- my daughter and husband both recently did sleep studies and they BOTH have sleep apnea. Kyndall’s is considered mild, but she does not sleep. At all. So mama does not sleep. You would never know it because she is a completely different child in public, but she is HARD at home. She has a lot of behavior issues that stem from just simply being tired. She will be having her tonsils removed soon and we pray gives her some relief so she can get the sleep we all need.
The doctor looked at Jon’s results and simply said “I don’t know how he’s alive”. Now Jon is getting ready to also have a pretty major surgery to make some repairs in his mouth to hopefully get rid of his sleep apnea all together.
To say that three of my most important people in my life are going to be having surgery within just a few months of each other feels heavy, is an understatement.
I recently heard Stephen Colbert say, “Love the thing you most wish had not happened” and “What punishments of God are not gifts- It’s a gift to exist and with existence comes suffering”
These words have been playing in my head over and over. To be grateful for the thing I most wish hadn’t happened. I wish my sister was still here, I wish my dad didn’t have an accident that disabled him, I wish my grandmother hadn’t died from cancer while I was so young, I wish that motherhood wasn’t so damn hard all the time, but I’m GRATEFUL for the lessons all of these things have taught me. I’m grateful for who they have shaped me into being.
These hardships and experiences have allowed me to connect with people. They have made me more compassionate towards others and have given me a gift that I try to use in my business every single day.
Now the hard part. The hard part is accepting these things as they have happened. Accepting that they did happen and there is nothing anyone could have done differently to change the outcome. These things were all written by God as part of my future and it’s my job to use them to help others they way God wants me to. To not allow my trauma to define how I raise my kids. I am constantly fearful of the next bad thing that’s going to happen. I work so hard to not let my kids see that constant fear on my face. I want them to watch me try new and challenging things and know that sometimes it’s ok to be scared but we are going to get back out there and give it our best shot!
I’m not sure how this all ends, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of getting my thoughts down on paper is. I am still learning every single day. I am still a work in progress.
There is one thing I know, I will not let all the bad things that have happened in my life stop me from going out there and making the best of every day. I will be grateful for the things I most wish had not happened, because they have taught me a lot about life.