Tag Archives: Journey

A Journey Begins…

It has been over 2 months since I’ve posted anything. After my last post in April, I started cutting back on my therapy. I have been going twice a week for about 3yrs; on difficult weeks, even more. The idea, of course, was mine; my therapist was hesitant at first. However, we spent a great deal of time talking through how it would work, feel, and explaining to everyone on the inside. I plan to share that at a later time…

I decided to only tell my husband because I wanted to wait and see how the changes would affect me or if I was ready. The perfectionistic part of me didn’t want to feel like a failure, which was another reason. And really, it was between me, my husband and my therapist.

By the end of May, lots of unfortunate events were taking place in my life. It was like déjà vu: “already seen”; when it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we’ve already done. It is a signal to pay special attention to what is taking place, perhaps to receive a specific lesson in a certain area or complete what is not yet finished.  There is no way of predicting where each might lead or what it will teach you.  

I asked God to show me why this was happening again and to give me the strength and courage to walk with integrity and faith. Trusting Him was the only thing that made sense, so I did! Walking away from toxic people is what I’ve been learning to do for the last 6 years in therapy.

By this time, I had stopped going to therapy all together. I was excited about the chance to use all the things God had shown me and what I’ve learned in therapy. I knew how to take care of each part of me; we had all worked extremely hard, but it was strange for everyone. There were days when I questioned the decision to stop going, other days I was thrilled to know I would be okay and I could nurture all the parts of me. It was encouraging to know that I had the ability to walk in this new found freedom and do the things I’ve been learning.

It wasn’t always easy, especially during this particular event. Some days it felt like a test, too difficult to figure out and other days, it was very sad.

The most important thing I learned for myself and my community is: What God knows about me is more important than what anyone says or thinks about me. I’ve spent too long allowing abusive people to hurt me; I’ve spent hundreds of hours in therapy learning, growing and healing; I’ve allowed God to transform and bring healing to my life; I’ve learned about His unconditional love and watched Him bless my husband and sons in amazing ways; He showed us how to love, care and support one another.

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I wanted this to be an encouragement to anyone who would read this. We all have been wounded and hurt; some more than others, but we share a common bond on this site. We support and encourage each other. We are strangers, but we feel like friends. We would never consider saying or doing anything that would harm another person on here, right?? I cannot even imagine it happening. It’s a safe place with others who are finding healing and transformation!

I believe people hurt other people because they are, in fact, unhealthy. I am NOT perfect by any means, but I certainly cannot imagine saying and doing things to intentionally hurt people I care about. I know, all too well, what that is like…and just because I have a mental illness, does NOT mean I am an easy target. None of us should ever allow another  person the power to harm us or take on their shame, guilt and blame. Be the person God created you to be, not what others say about you!

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. God always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.            Hebrews 10:24-25

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

“Extreme and undesirable circumstances or situations can only be resolved by resorting to equally extreme actions; actions that might seem extreme under normal circumstances are appropriate during adversity.” 

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As I shared in my last post, I was completely undone by a blindsided experience. It was the proverbial ‘last straw’ in a series of events that have been going for the past 4 weeks. During therapy Friday, my 3 hour session was jam packed with my teenage part doing some incredibly hard work. Kat had walked out of therapy on Tuesday with every intention to end her life, which in turn means mine as well. When parts engage in active suicidal ideation, they need to understand that they aren’t the only ones affected by the action. We all will be victim to whatever is done.

Kat is my part that has several addictive behaviors and they have been extremely evident during these past 4 wks. It has been wearisome and heartbreaking for me to deal with the ways she harms herself. We had made some excellent progress and it was breaking my heart to see her suffer. Tuesday she was the lowest she’s ever been; she stood up to walk out of therapy, as she reached for the doorknob, she turned back, faced my therapist and said, “You have to let me go.” My T took her by the hands and said, “Absolutely not! Never, not going to happen; no!” They hugged and Kat walked out! My T was very worried but had another client waiting.

My T always hates when she doesn’t get to talk to ‘me’ during a session, especially in times like these. However, what we weren’t aware of, is that God had a plan for Kat. She walked to my car with every intention to take a bottle of pills followed by a bottle of vodka, but something within her shifted. She walked back into office, sat down in the waiting area, (since my T was in a session) and waited. While she sat there, she picked up a book, a devotional called, Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence.  

She turned to that days devotional and read this: “Nothing can separate you from God’s love. When you are facing tough times, I will help you and strengthen you with My Love.  Even though you live in a world where trouble is inescapable, you can be of good cheer because I have overcome the world!”

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In that moment, God reached down and met Kat in her hopelessness. He saved her, all of us, from harm. God says in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you. I will never desert you.” Grateful, thankful, blessed, are all I can say about what took place in that moment! God loves each and every part of me, period! He created a way for me to survive horrible abuse. Dissociation is a gift from God that allows people to cope when they would otherwise turn to suicide or mentally locked up because of the trauma. It is a lifesaving technique for survival.

When Kat returned to therapy on Friday, she apologized to my T and they were able to address the issues that surrounded her behaviors. I can’t put into words just how amazing my T was that day, actually she is amazing most days! It was a major step forward in Kat’s healing and us as a whole. And then I was blindside, once again, 2 hours later…

I went home, completely shut down, cried until I couldn’t breathe, told my husband I couldn’t do this again, wanted to die and asked him to call and admit me somewhere. I sent an email to my therapist, who unfortunately was involved in this blindside, and told her I wouldn’t be back. I was emotionally broken and exhausted. I thanked her for her incredible work with us all. Of course she was confused and wanted to get to the bottom of whatever the issue was. I didn’t respond and went to bed emotional, numb and extremely worn down. In the morning, she sent another email saying she didn’t agree with me- shocker!  I had said it was my job to protect us all from enduring another blindside and from continuing on with therapy…she didn’t agree!

She said, “I don’t know why we can’t handle this like everything else: by me showing up, talking to parts affected, finding out what was done to me, so that we can dismantle it.” She had a few revelations and suggested we meet to discuss them in person- if I felt it was a good idea. It was Saturday; she was willing to meet me because allowing anything to get in the way of my progress wasn’t going to happen. I have no words for her kindness, care, generosity, grace and a willingness to fight for my freedom!

We started at 12:30PM and ended at 5:00PM…desperate times call for desperate measures! Together, we dug in, worked incredibly hard and didn’t quit until we unraveled every piece to this puzzle. All I can say is, thank you Jesus! I feel completely different today, like whatever was squeezing the life out of me, is gone! I’m hoping this chapter of my life is over and we can move forward in the healing process. Grateful, Thankful, Blessed!

Honesty Goes a Long Way

My Friday session went well. I was able to bring the things I’d been journaling, learning from the past, and memories that were surfacing. I cried a lot, was able to share about my abandonment issues I had toward my T, and be honest about all of it. None of it was easy, but very necessary.  One thing I realized, while discussing my past was always feeling as if people would walk out of my life, but actually it’s from my own pushing away. If I push other’s out, then they can’t leave me. This isn’t a new revelation, but it was new in regards to a therapist I used to see.

I had seen this T in 1989-90 for my eating disorder. My bulimia had been the worst it ever been, and my friend begged me to get help. This was the second T I’d ever seen, and she seem to understand eating disorders and what I was going through. Actually, she was the last therapist I’d seen since I met my current T.  There was some major abandonment there, and it’s probably why I never looked for another therapist in 22 years!  I couldn’t bear having another person “see me, know me and care about me” and then leave. My thinking about how all that happened was distorted and we were able to talk through that, it detail, on Friday.

My T reminded me that she is NOT leaving and she is walking this journey, along side me, until the end! It brought an instant tightening of my chest and a pool of tears in my eyes. Seriously, you WANT to do this??? You really do CARE about me?? You are not going to leave ME??  Why not?? No one wants to hear all this crap! Those were huge pieces to let settle within my mind in that moment. Honesty is a funny thing, once you start….it just keeps going!  And then you’re like, “Did I just say all that?” LOL

giphy“I can always find someone
To say they sympathize.
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve.
But I don’t want some pretty face
To tell me pretty lies.
All I want is someone to believe.

Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.”

Wow! Sorry, I got a bit lost in Billy Joel. 🙂

Anyway, I felt good.  A bit nervous about my honesty, as it felt a bit exposing, but overall we had a great discussion.  I had some things that the little ones inside wanted to share with her, and I have wondered how the newer parts were doing, since we really haven’t revisited them. But we didn’t have time to get to all of that.

Then about 3AM I woke up with the onset of a migraine-WTF! Really? Can’t I have one day of reprieve? Now what? I started by taking allergy medication, hoping once again it was an allergy….as you can guess, it was a no go.  By 7AM I was beginning the migraine regimen and preparing for a day laying in bed. And that is exactly what happened….out for the day! I hate the feeling, but almost hate the day after even more. I feel hungover, have zero energy, and go from the couch to the chair because I feel so lethargic.

Of course there was this added piece I haven’t had before, and that was this horrible hip and upper leg pain.  I thought at first it was because I laid in bed all day, but I’ve done that several times and never had this feeling afterwards.  So now I’m curious as to what caused this pain, if it is medication, parts of me, laying in bed…very perplexing.  I sent a text to my T, telling her I had another migraine. Since she reminded me of my lack of communication the week before, I knew it was important to let her know.

She wanted to know if I felt up to talking on the phone Saturday, but I was “out” and not able to talk, then Sunday she asked if I wanted to come in on Monday, but she doesn’t see clients that day…so why should she have to come in for me??  I’ve been told, by “those damn therapist” friends of mine, that it’s not up to me to worry about my T schedule. But it is hard for me to think she would care enough to the make time. As she puts it, “No need less suffering allowed.” I’m learning….and trying!

New Day

Today I woke up refreshed and ready for my morning run.  My 4 hrs of sleep yesterday after the session and 4 more last night, made me feel energetic and rejuvenated. I easily forget what it is actually like to get sleep.  Running is easier too; it clears my head, and the conversation is always good and entertaining.giphy1

I’m excited about having some breathing room, so to speak. I don’t have a migraine, chest pains from anxiety, or body memory pain and it feels so exhilarating.  I’m learning to celebrate all the progress along the way…even sleep! It doesn’t take much, huh!

I have a better understanding of what I need to work on, even though it may not be pleasant, it will be healing for me. Steps forward, even small steps, are progress, healing, and healthy. Feeling blessed by how God never leaves me in those places of wilderness.  Somedays it feels like I’m never going to make it out, but it is in those times, I believe, He is the closest and most present.  Imagine wondering around in the wilderness, having no idea where you are going, but at the same time, trusting the One who will lead the way to freedom!

I don’t know what tomorrow will be like, and God doesn’t want me to worry about it anyway.  He has my back!

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I Don’t Know How….or Not

My assignment, for this week off of therapy, is to write about how it makes ME feel to know/own the abuse from my dad.  I don’t know where to start or even how to begin writing out my feelings.  I have shared many times that, for me, anger is BAD and having emotions is NOT allowed. It’s a long standing, etched into my brain, default mode message I’ve always believed. Every time I attempt to get the journal out, instantaneously, the twinge of a migraine reminds me to put it all away. I don’t know how to do this or maybe…I really don’t want to do this!

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Even as I type this post, I feel the tears beginning to take shape from behind my eyes, my chest tightening as if someone presently took a seat there, and my throat feeling like it is being squeezed shut.  I despise the the way this makes me feel inside.  My parts have done this same type of work, they are brave, courageous, trusting, and incredibly strong; what is wrong with ME??

Logically, it makes me mad that it happened and it is normal to cry about such horrible things.  I would tell anyone going through similar events, these are necessary steps for healing.  The more you speak about it, out loud, the more freedom and healing you receive.  I know all those things, and yet, I simply cannot move forward. AHHHHHHH

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Obviously, I can still find a bit of humor along the way.  God is faithful and I know His mighty hand is on me, my family and our journey. He provides for us in every area of my life, so I cannot doubt that, especially right now.

As I prepare for this upcoming week of- “trying to journal”, having no therapy, pretending that “I’m good” without the therapy, experiencing panic/anxiety since Thursday, and wondering when the next migraine will arrive- I can’t loose sight that I’m going to be “okay” with it all. I know I’m not the only one who struggles like this, one day doing well, the next day feeling like my world is crashing around me, and white knuckling through, just to say, “I got this” or “I don’t need help”!!

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Finding Courage

My desire to be well has been the driving force behind my intense, long, and sometimes difficult weekly sessions in therapy.  I do not want to give space for satan to “steal, kill, and destroy, anything we have done to this point.  Even when I post the difficult feelings, I know the truth that God is always there, working, healing, and strengthening me to keep moving forward.  It is easy to forget, especially when the view is clouded with doubt, fear, and being bad.

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My T contacted me the other day because I attempted to cancel this Friday’s session.  I emailed her saying, I need to cancel my appt. on Friday.  Two minutes later my phone is ringing, and it’s her number. When I saw it was her name on my phone, it brought tears to my eyes, and I couldn’t answer.  I’m not sure about the tears or why I couldn’t answer. She emailed back, rather quickly, with her response, No. At first I thought, she can’t tell me, No. Then I remembered that we had decided long ago, that if she needed to be direct with me, it was okay.  I need that at times, especially if I get to the spiraling phase.

About 8:30pm that evening, she sent me a text asking why I hadn’t returned her call or responded to the email.  I sent a text back saying, Good question. Really, I didn’t know why I hadn’t responded.  I think it was the feeling of abandonment that has been pretty heavy for me lately. I have been pushing my husband and son’s away, along with isolating from my friends.  My dysfunctional thinking is, “If I push my inner circle away first, they can’t hurt me anymore.” Not my best thinking, for sure, but it feels so real.

Our back and forth texting led to the decision for me to go to my session tomorrow.  I am trying to prepare myself to share, honestly how I feel, and the issues from last Friday’s session.  I have made copies of my recent blog posts, and plan on reading them to her. It will help me stay focused, say what I need (in case I cry), and give me a little courage.  Finding the courage to say, “I’m angry at myself and you”, is going to be difficult.  I already feel badly about the whole thing, feeling responsible for the mess I’m in emotionally.

Make this Affirmation today: “I now affirm that my feelings are legitimate and I have a right to feel them.”

These are the on-going, internal battles that I fight along this journey.  They aren’t as frequent and they don’t seem to ‘take me out’ as long as they did before.  I know I have the strength to fight, along with my T, who hasn’t give up on me.

 

 

Canceled Therapy!

Well, I canceled my therapy for tomorrow…me, not a part of me, just me! I’ve been struggling since Friday’s therapy session, and it’s not getting better. What is “IT”, you say? Good question, I have no idea.  The roller coaster of extremes is driving me to this place of completely shutting down.  I vacillate between anger toward myself and then at my therapist.  The only problem is, she has no clue, and won’t until I actually have to share how I feel inside.  Which leads to the next problem; I am not sharing how I feel! Why? Because it feels out of control.  “Aibi, please don’t go!”

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For obvious reasons, me sharing how I really feel would come out all kinds of sideways! I am sure there are all sorts of “psychology jargon” for what I’m experiencing, feeling and thinking. And I’m sure, therapist’s alike, would all say that it is normal. Well guess what?  I don’t care because it feels f-up to me. The anger from Friday is my fault for not going back to ask why we aren’t discussing these new things. This is my therapy, my sessions, my journey, so how can it be her fault? I needed to say something! Even if it felt like I’ve just done something wrong by saying them to her, it’s still my responsibility.

My spiraling goes down hill from there…in case you were wondering. So up to this point, in my therapy, if my appointments were canceled, my therapist would find ways to contact me.  She would ask if I was aware that my appt. was canceled. Normally, it would be news to me, and we would find out that a particular part was canceling. By this evening, my mind was all sorts of messed up and I’m thinking, “She didn’t even question the cancellation. She really only cares about my parts, or she would have said something.  I guess I did something wrong and she really doesn’t want to see me? Maybe I don’t need to go back.”

Geesh, how crazy, stupid is that?  But that is what I have been battling with all weekend, and that on top of the triggers, irritability with my family, and my emotions. I am a HOT mess; seriously, I wouldn’t want to see me either.  Oh, and I fight myself in believing I’m defective if I’m angry!  Never was allowed. No crying. No feelings.  No emotions.

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It is time to stop this madness…..

“I Hope I Never ______ in Therapy”

We all have those fears of what you never want to happen in therapy, right?  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always had a short list of things I hope never happened while in a therapy session.  Keep in mind that I have DID, and parts of me have done things I am not aware of while dissociating. Sometimes it is unpleasant to know I have done something I am not aware of, but that’s how it happens.

Here are my top 3, “I hope I never______in therapy.”k15253103

  1. Vomit 
  2. Take my clothes off
  3. Am face down on the floor

I am going to finish the events that began Tuesday during therapy, and talk about my 3hr. session Thursday.  Starting Wednesday morning until Thursday morning, emails from my teenage part (who I’m calling B) and my T were lighting up my inbox.  I would always know when my T would respond, but not aware of when B would send one.  B was discussing with my T, what could be done about her split part, Scott. How she didn’t want him to suffer, hurt or feel embarrassed.  They are best buds, so it was hard for her to make him do something he didn’t want to do, even if it was necessary.

B took us to the session, and began to explain to my T she had a “revelation” while we were running that morning.  I couldn’t wait to hear what it was, and yet I had an idea.  She went on to say, her whole life she has tolerated pain, no matter how extreme, because what was the point? She realized that by me not saying what we needed, when we are sad, hurt, afraid, in pain, etc. that the consequence was to endure pain.  My parents never allowed for my siblings and me to say those things.  They weren’t nurturing, loved conditionally, punished severely if you did anything wrong, and were abusive.  It didn’t take me long to learn I needed no one but myself, I decided right and wrong, because no else cared….especially the people who were supposed to care.

My T took that information, sat down in front of B and said, “Then tell Scott what you and Kathy need, so he can stop the pain.” In an instant, I felt pain shoot through me and so did B.  She could hardly talk between trying to catch her breath from the pain. I began to hear faint whispers from her to Scott, saying please help me, I need your help, I need you. It was terribly sad, but my pain level, like hers, kept me from thinking of nothing other than how to stop the pain.

My T took B’s hand, maybe to somehow comfort her, I’m not sure.  B grabbed her hands and as fast as the pain arrived, Scott arrived that quickly. It was as if B connected them, to tell Scott that he as in good hands, and for my T to help him finish.  As the pain continued to increase, he kept saying he needed to get up (best idea ever).  I was hoping he would do something, but it appeared as though he was leaning over and lay on the couch….nope!

He slide right down, off the couch, and face down on the floor.  I began to feel my body shake, not like other times, but more like convulsing. He could barely get words out, as he was reliving the trauma he took from B.  My T was sitting in her chair above him, walking him through, reminding him he was no longer there, he can’t be hurt like that anymore, and that he was safe.  He struggled to say complete sentences, but basically he was a hero, and took some horrible abuse for his “best friend”.

I was caught off guard when everything came to a complete standstill, no pain, no shaking, no talking, nothing.  At first, I thought to myself, “I think I died down here,” but that immediately passed when the convulsing and pain started up again. He began to scare me a little, I wanted it to end for all of us.  My T, in her wisdom, took hold of his hand again and began to talk him through the infamous, “Search and Rescue”.  As she took his hand, she asked if he could feel it, then said it was time to get out- once and for all!  I don’t know why/how that all works, but it does, PRAISE the Lord, it does!

It was a slow transition coming back from him to B and then me.  I opened my eyes, my T asked if I was okay, and I responded by asking her to walk out so I could get up, take my things and leave.  She chuckled a bit, and said she didn’t think that was a good idea.  Then I asked her to close her eyes while I got up, and walked out.  Again, same response from her.  Honestly, how does a person transition from that place, those events, that information?? I thought it was a great idea!

Courage for me, in that moment, was to be vulnerable, feel the emotions and say what I needed….because wasn’t that B’s “revelation” from the beginning.  I took her advice, stayed, cried, shared my honest /deepest emotions, and we processed together. I sat on the floor the whole time, my therapist asked me about my pain level, and realized I no longer felt any of that pain in my “backside”!! Unbelievable, really!  This is how God has worked this entire journey, I am constantly amazed by His love, care, protection and mighty hand at work in my life.  He is so good, and faithful.  He has orchestrated every step of my therapy and I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

Sorry for the length of this post.  I wanted to share even though it was painful, so, so exhausting and emotional; it was also beautiful that way it ended.  No more pain, parts doing hard work to heal, and seeing God work miracles.  I left there, took a 2 hr nap, shared the events with my wonderful husband, and that night slept 6 straight hours!!!! WooooHoooo!

****For the record, I have never done 1 or 2 on my list above! 🙂

 

 

 

Get Aways are Always Good!

This weekend I was able to get away with a really good friend of mine who shares my love for basketball.  Every March, we go watch NCAA Women’s Basketball.  This year, we went out of town, got a hotel room, left our hubby’s at home, and watched basketball for 2 straight days!  No worries, cooking, laundry, cleaning, or stress- just a little March Madness baby!

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It feels like, for that short amount of time, the difficult things of my life are put on hold. My friend is very aware of my DID, she actually was one of the first people who really saw my parts begin to present themselves, and has been a huge support for me.  Outside of my husband, boys, and therapist, I have trusted her with much of my journey with DID.  She recently become a therapist, and has an advantage that most “everyday” people don’t have.  We had a great time together, like similar things, and even enjoyed worshipping between games.  She has an incredible voice and plays guitar.

One thing that you can’t get away from, when you actually get away, is yourself. Because…6a0112792c2d9d28a401157122656e970c

That means for me, the dreams, memories, and body memories that I have been struggling with before I left, go with me, no matter where I go.  I’m glad my friend doesn’t get freaked out when I have nightmares or talk in my sleep.  She is pretty cool with all that at this point in our friendship.  Unfortunately, I have been experiencing some rather uncomfortable pain.  At times it feels unbearable, but mostly uncomfortable. I tried not to let it ruin my weekend, or consume my thoughts, but that wasn’t always possible.

For today,  I’m thankful for a time of relaxation and hanging out with my friend.  I’m thankful for a sweet husband who is good with me getting away and supporting my trip. Even though I had a some rough patches along the way, it was fun and much needed!

Whew, long sessions wear me out!

Friday therapy is my long one, and today I was literally “gone” for 2hrs and 45min.  My teenager, who has been gone, did all the talking.  There was 15min. left when I “came back” to present.  It is wearisome work. I was exhausted, had one of those emotional headaches, and wanted to sleep. I heard about half of what was said, I think.  The information I did get, I’m pretty sure was not over 2 hrs. worth, hmmm….”Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!”

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Anyway, all humor aside, it was good and very productive.  She is my part that engages in multiple addictive/harmful behaviors.  She has made me aware of her alcohol and cigs stash, showed me what she uses to cut, and we talked about the bulimia.  I can’t imagine trying to stop all that at once, so it will require patience and grace, lots of grace.  I believe in her 100%, she is a fighter, and we are going to do it together.

My therapist (D) spent a significant amount of time with her on the topic support. Learning to depend on others, letting her people know when she is struggling, communicating with me, journaling, and that she could always text D, if needed.  It isn’t different than any other ‘outside person’, we all need accountability and support.  We need love not judgment, care not criticism, encouragement not put-downs.

My husband has been a strong support for me and has been there for “his girls”, as he calls them.  He can hug and rock them when they need, where I can’t wrap my arms around myself, like I want to be held.  I am truly blessed by his unconditional love for all of us!

Looking forward to progress, even if it is slow, or stalled at times.  One day at a time; and we can always hit “Restart” at any moment.