I have had severe writer’s block, for weeks, with this idea/post. I’m tired of it swimming around in my head. So, although it might be incomplete or disjointed, I’m publishing it now.

I had an epiphany last night. Oooo, I love those. I realized that if I would stop having expectations with other people, then they wouldn’t let me down. If I stopped expecting things from people or for them to act a certain way, then I wouldn’t be disappointed in them.

I realized that that must be what defines unconditional love. Then I realized that that is how I needed to start viewing myself. I judge myself quite severely.

For most of my life I’ve felt defined as a singer. Not as a person who loved to sing but as, just a singer. If I messed up in singing a song, I failed in who I was. It was a horrible place to put myself. If I wasn’t singing, I wasn’t fulfilling who I was meant to be. If I wasn’t at the top of my list of accomplishing “all things I want to do and places I want to go” with singing, then I wasn’t complete.

I feel closest to God when I’m singing on stage at church and most complete when I’m singing, anywhere. However, I was getting to the point, before and after singing, of being unnerved with how I did because it wasn’t the best.

Being ONLY a singer was killing the value that I should have placed within myself. Having unrealistic expectations was killing the unconditional love that I should have had for those around me.

Once I realized that my problem resided in the expectations I had on myself and others, I quickly learned how to dissolve the issue.

In this seemingly simple act of change, I’ve lifted another incredible burden off of my shoulders. The difference I feel, in singing (whether it’s at home for an hour or at church), is tremendous. I’m not held captive to the feeling of being a failure if I make a mistake because I’m not just a singer. I’m a person that loves to sing. I’m a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor… that just loves to sing. This change has also lifted a burden off of people around me, whether they knew they were carrying this burden or not. If my family and friends failed in my expectations for them, then they were failing me. Now that I’ve dissolved those expectations, I feel I’m now free to love unconditionally.

No expectations = Unconditional love.

Several months ago, I felt like my life existed as a foundation of concrete. Strong, heavy, sustainable concrete. Solid. A completely solid foundation on which I built a skyscraper.

Once I started realizing that betrayal, abuse and pain had never been dealt with from my adolescence, I recognized that the solid foundation of mine was more like a brick wall. Still strong but instead of being a firm foundation, it was more like a massive retaining wall, holding back a landslide. I’m sure there were some cracks in the mortar or cracking in the bricks themselves but nothing but an army tank could plow down the amazing, powerful strength that was built up inside of me.

In the last few weeks, I’m realizing the truth. My strength was actually not built with concrete or bricks. My strength, the bravery and hope I have, was built with champagne glasses.


This is what my strength really looked like and the tower has fallen. There is broken glass all around. Like a war torn wall, some of the glasses are still intact. Some are still complete and unblemished and some have completely shattered to bits.


I am trying not to be hasty in the clean up of this utter chaos but it’s a painstaking process. It’s a difficult journey to repair all that has been shattered and all that has collapsed. I’m battling the tears in my eyes making my vision too blurry to operate accurately or consistently. I’m battling shaky hands that are trying to rush through a process that requires precise care. I’m battling the fatigue of this process and the need to just walk away and rest for a while. I’m battling the hopelessness that sees this process as too overwhelming.

Through my past help with a counselor, a life-changing book (The Wounded Heart) and my church, I’m realizing that this brokenness is far beyond what I’m able to handle on my own. I can organize and clean up but the pieces that are shattered, beyond (what I consider) repair, need to be forwarded on to their Creator. Wouldn’t He know best how to put that, which He created, back together?

I can try all by myself. I could probably fix it all up, close to what it looked like originally. It will take much longer and I’ll deal with the cuts and damage done by handling these broken shards by myself but it is possible to repair this all by myself.

The question is: Why would I want to put the broken pieces back together, on my own, when I have willing, loving help?

Well, I’m not going to Afghanistan. This post wasn’t started as a focus on the Afghanistan trip but I forgot that I left the team-pick decision up in the air, since my last post.

On one hand, of course, I’m relieved. But the decision is somewhat of a let down. I was finally able to set aside my ultimate fear of going to the Middle East and, instead, I placed my love of people in that mental space. I can’t describe how enormously freeing that was/is for me. I took a giant step forward and I was at peace about every single fear I had when thinking about that trip. I know of several other people that applied and they aren’t going either. The size of the group will be small and medically focused. I was encouraged to try again on the next trip and I may just do that. 🙂 During this process I’ve fallen in love with the people of Barek Aub and I hope, one day, to share my life and my love with them.

In the last week, a tremendous, heart-wrenching change has occurred within my family. The family members that I have achingly and sleeplessly spent the last several years reaching out to and helping heal in the midst of one family disaster after another, have turned on me. I called them out on some things and, unknowingly, fusing my call-out with their pride, turned into the most chaotic situation I’ve ever been a part of. With anyone. This situation forced me to change my cell number and the people that are on the safe list at my children’s school. I’ve never been more shocked, upset, sad, and confused with anyone. Ever. This event is tragic to me because I’m being blamed for every single problem they’ve ever had. My character, my honesty, my loyalty and my love are not only being questioned, they’re being utterly trampled on and thrown out, as waste. This situation is extremely hard on me because I’ve spent so many hours, days, weeks, YEARS, agonizing over this family and the pain they’re going through. I’ve spent countless hours watching the children of this family, so the adults could work on their issues. I once drove to Texas to meet the mom, halfway, so I could take her four kids for several days while she sorted through a trauma in her marriage. I have laid down my life for this family and now the adults are forbidding me to ever communicate with them or their children. I am heartbroken. I’ve seen these two adults use their own children as weapons and tools against the other spouse before, but I was never the target. I was never the enemy. Now, I’m not only the enemy, I’m the supposed cause of their years of problems and pain. I’ve never questioned myself and who I am more than in this last week. My character, of which I have spent years building up after self-destructing it as a teenager, is being called out as a fabrication. Everything about myself, that I was so sure I was not, is being thrown in my face as an accusation of who they say I am. I’m doubting myself and everything I believed to be true about who I am as a lover and forgiver and empathizer and healer. In this and through this, I see that the years I’ve spent, being dragged down into the painful depths of insanity of these tragic adults and the restlessness I’ve endured and mental and physical time I’ve spent away from my own sanity and family, to help heal them… has been in vain. I’ve tried to help these two adults that have no desire to be helped. I’ve tried to help their precious children by helping them and I’m finally understanding how fruitless my efforts have been. Because of selfishness, self-indulgence and pride, my labor has been in vain. Adding insult to injury, I’ve now been outcast from their family.

I’m learning to turn to those that surround me, those that know me and love me. I’m learning, remembering, to listen to their voices. For these are the people speaking truth about who I am. The people that love me and appreciate me are the people with hope, faith and love shining in their eyes. These are the people resonating, reverberating, what I know in my head and my heart about who I am as a lover, a life-giver, a forgiven forgiver and one who loves and appreciates all that I have been given and all that has been taken away. I trust that even in this horribly painful pruning process, I am in tender, powerful Hands.

For the first twenty-six years of my life, I grew to love my westward view of the Pacific Ocean as, not only something I respected, but, something I feared. The ocean is peaceful, serene and melodic but is also a very powerful force, not to be reckoned with. The waves that seemed so kind and beautiful from the sandy beach would knock me off of my feet and send me tumbling through the salty turbulence as I fought to find the way that would bring me to the surface. The abuse was relentless as wave after wave would cause me to crumble or grow stronger in fighting back. It was powerful and overwhelming. My dad brought me scuba diving once and I thought I would love it. It was beautiful underwater, a completely different world, but the atmosphere was suffocating. The claustrophobia I felt, terrified me. The world underwater seems like it would be a freeing place but I felt imprisoned, in bondage.

The last few times I’ve traveled through the Rocky Mountains I’ve realized something about myself. I love the ocean but have fallen in a deeper love with these mountains. The ocean is beautiful but it seems like an endless sea of fluid sameness. In this time of my life, the strong, stable beauty of these majestic formations is a necessity to me in feeling safe and loved. These mountains are bigger than my problems. They are more beautiful than any material possession. Even when venturing into them, the comfort of my surroundings is amplified. The trees seem to envelope me in a reassuring embrace. The wind in the trees is a calming song. The gorgeous life and wide openness of the sky is vast and never ending. The most important fact about these mountains is that they won’t attack me. They won’t pummel me, causing me to fight for my life. They are just a strong presence. My safe place.

After three and a half years of living here, the view to the west still takes my breath away. Like hands reaching toward their Creator and longing for me to join in praise, adoration and welcoming me to peace and protection.

Boudler, Colorado, June 2009

To say the movie, Taken, was heart-wrenching would be an understatement. Jase and I just finished watching it and my head hurts so bad from sobbing, I can barely see straight. I was prepared for the emotional charge of a child getting kidnapped. Even though it is my greatest fear with my own children. I was prepared to hug my children tighter after watching this movie. I was prepared for the movie’s focus on the horrible crime of sex slavery and the pigs running it all, or, at least, as much as I could be prepared. However, I wasn’t prepared for the self-pity. I wasn’t prepared to finish that movie and sit still, baffled, as to why I wasn’t rescued as a teenager. I wasn’t prepared to finally be in a position where I feel I can turn to God and say, “Where were you? Why weren’t you fighting to save me like this father? Why did you let all of those horrible things happen to me?” I didn’t think I would wonder, yet again, why my parents seemed so quick to give up on me as a teenager.

To me, this movie is very similar to the Prodigal Son story in the bible. I have always loved that bible story because of the reminder of a father that loves so unconditionally. It always hits right home for me since I was a teenage runaway. I ran away twice when I was fifteen. The second time, I was on the streets for ten days and I witnessed, took part in and fell victim to horrible things. I was scared and alone and addicted to drugs and to the mentality that my life at home was worse than the hell I was putting myself through on the streets. I came home after enduring way too much. I walked through the front door of my house and dropped to my knees, in painful and heaving sobs. Begging my parents, as I had the first time I ran away, to bring me to a counselor. I went into my room and was shocked to see everything I owned, packed in boxes. Even the sheets on my daybed. My dad said that if I had been gone one more day, my stuff would have been sent to the Salvation Army. To this day, I don’t know if he was trying a Tough Love approach on me or if he had meant it. Either way, I long SO MUCH to believe that, like the Prodigal Son story and like this movie, Taken, I had a Father in heaven just rejoicing that I was home. I get teary-eyed every time this bible story is shared because I wish I would have been welcomed home like that. I wish I had a parent run to greet me with open arms. I wish I would have been fought for and tracked down and risks would have been taken. Just to show me that I was loved and forgiven.

I don’t dwell in self-pity too often or for very long but I’m thankful for it tonight. I’m thankful for the reminder of how my children should be shown love… unconditional love… no matter how bad they’ve messed up.

We all got back from our amazing whirlwind of a vacation, one week ago. Last Sunday, at 1130am, we pulled into the garage after Jase drove twenty+ hours straight through (minus time spent at dinner with Jase’s dad in Vegas). Needless to say, we all came inside and crashed. Until today, I haven’t ventured out with the kids since we decided to all take turns getting the flu for the last seven days.

Malakai got sick first. Initiating the family sickness by vomiting between our van and the gas pump at some gas station in Richfield, Utah at 3am. We drove away, impressed at the way the macaroni held it’s form and before anyone could write down our license plate number. We thought it was food poisoning from eating bad food at some bad casino in some bad city. A place Zoe mistakenly (although aptly) named “Lost” Vegas. However, after I got the fever, body aches, sinus and cough issues a few days later and then Cali got it after that and then Zoe… well, then we realized it was the flu. We all have lingering coughs and are still a little weak but the hard part is definitely over.

I’m very grateful that each of us (Jase must have been immune to what we were serving) got sick on different days. I never would have even thought to wish or pray for this but none of our fevers, chills or severe body aches overlapped onto anyone else’s days. Kai was sick for a couple of days, I was next, then Cali and then Zoe. I knew I was on the verge of shutting down and needing a nap on Wednesday afternoon and, thankfully, Jase was able to leave work early (and take off on Thursday) and take care of the kids (and me!) so I could allow my body to shut down, get sick and heal faster than if I tried to trudge through motherhood and sickness on my own. This past week was hard and frustrating, however, I’ve never felt more loved and appreciated as a mom than I did these last seven days.

That’s why I’m writing this.

It’s hard to be a mom. Children don’t really grasp showing gratitude and they’re great at wanting bigger and better things. They don’t understand that this job is looked down on by so many people and that moms lose so much of what they feel their identity is in quitting the jobs they got salaries and benefits (and respect!) with and trading that for harder work with no pay. The dishes never stay clean, the dirty laundry is never gone for more than a day and those dang toilets always get that nasty orange ring RIGHT after you feel you were just on your hands and knees (contorting your body in ways you never thought possible and trying to keep hair out of your face while keeping chemical-covered hands away from everything). On top of the housework, taking chef courses would be extremely beneficial as would taking any and every class/course available that would help aid in creativity with games, crafts, errands and tantrums with three cranky children that don’t think you have one intelligent piece of advice to give. This is a thankless and disparaging job. Or… that’s how it feels sometimes.

I was needed this week. I was reminded that this precious job I have been entrusted with is worth more than money could ever pay and is more valuable than all the accolades the world has to offer. This week, the flu caused my nine year old son to forget that he has a computer and cool transformers and lego sets and caused him to ask me (more than once!) to just sit near him or to lay by his side until he fell asleep. After Malakai got better, the flu caused me to rest and allow Jase to take care of me in ways that he’s been aching to help. Then two year old Cali got sick and was forced to be a *still* toddler and reach out for, and snuggle and relax with her mommy. Finally, Zoe got sick and the little girl that I need to remember to let be a fragile six year old instead of trying to toughen up, became fragile and weak and I relished that.

For the last seven days, meals were frequently eaten on a sheet on the living room floor and movies were a constant must. Malakai and Zoe were beyond ecstatic once they realized they each got their OWN bottles of gatorade AND their own popsicles! And the hugs, kisses and cuddles were passed around hundreds of times.

I felt loved this week. I felt appreciated. I felt taken care of and genuinely respected. I know the kids and Jase did too. Being in such a vulnerable state left all of us feeling so much more in love and grateful for what we have and what we’ve been blessed with. Each other.

Jase and I and the kids have been getting out and exploring nature a lot more lately. I think it’s really begun to sink in, for us, that we’re home. Since 2003, I think we’ve been living with held breath. Waiting for the next big move or change for our family. In August, we’ll have lived here for two years and we don’t see ourselves moving soon, nor do we want to. We love our lives here. This city is amazing and being so close to Denver, Boulder and the mountains is so fulfilling.

Because we’re taking part in more activities together, there has been an increase in laughter in our family and a load that seems to have been removed from me and Jase.

On June 22nd, the kids and I went trailing through Boulder Canyon after my second counseling session. It was hot but something about the fast moving river paralleling our walk seemed to cool us down. This was the first time I decided to venture out and explore an unknown area with the kids. It was a freeing experience for me and, obviously, the kids loved it. So many people were out on this day, sitting beside the river and reading, or riding bikes or walking as well. It was so good for me to have come out of a somewhat heavy counseling session and go right into this precious time with my children and to be enveloped in God’s creativity. My counseling sessions are at 8am on Mondays. I used to dread Mondays. Now, I can’t wait until they get here. We get out of the house so early and then spend the day at the library and in the company of each other, enjoying this beauty.

Here a some shots from this walk. Along with seeing a snake, the kids were also extremely mesmerized by a dead grasshopper and how the ants considered it their lunch. 🙂

The last picture is of the five of us, at the end of a hike in El Dorado Springs on June 13th. We stopped hiking because the lightning was basically right above us and the rain started coming down. By the time we got back to the van, thirty minutes after this picture was taken, we were drenched from the heavy, hard, quick-falling rain, as well as covered in mud and the hail had just started to fall.

Good memory-making moments. 🙂

Loving siblings

Lunch for ants: grasshopper.


Dandelion with the kids in the background.

Troopers. :)


Jase and I thought we were done having children after Zoe was born in 2003. We had our boy and we had our girl and were very content with the joy they brought us. It’s extremely difficult to just put a finalization on having children. We have a lot of friends that have endured miscarriages and infertility so it’s hard to permanently end our chances of having more kids when others are fighting for just one chance at that opportunity. Shutting that option down seems unfair on our end.

In the Spring of 2006, Jase and I both felt we would like to try for another child. In the Fall, we were expecting again. Having given every single baby item away after Zoe was born, I felt a lot more unprepared for this baby. But we were hopeful and felt that everything was right with our decision. Since we found out Malakai’s gender with a sonogram but kept Zoe’s gender a surprise until delivery, I talked Jase into letting me find out the sex of this baby. In December, I was 3-4 months along and all of us met with my family in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Christmas. Since my uncle is an OB-GYN, we took a late night trip to the hospital he worked at and, according to the sonogram, he said he believed we were having a girl. Another sono, given by my doctor back in the Springs several weeks later, confirmed that we were having a girl. I was really just excited to have another baby again so I didn’t have a gender preference. The strange thing was Zoe really, really wanted a little sister and Malakai said he didn’t care whether this baby was a girl or boy. He was just excited for a new baby. 🙂

Once we found out we were having a girl, Jase and I tossed around the idea of Akira for her first name, which means intelligent, and Winter as her middle name. Jase and I considered the name Akira when I was pregnant with Zoe too but the name Zoe meant more to us. We have also always loved the name Aki and both Akira and Winter were different, mysterious and beautiful. But the more I thought about it, the more I really liked the name Spring as a middle name. I love what spring brings as a season. I love the dead coming to life. It’s my favorite season and I just love the beauty and color that spark when spring arrives. It’s also an uncommon name which we always have looked for with our children having Smith as a last name. For a few weeks, we contemplated our third child to be named Akira Spring Smith. Then, Jase realized the initials she would have for the rest of her life… Obviously those names wouldn’t work now so we decided which name we liked more and went with keeping Spring. Since she would be the only one in our family to be born outside of California, we had such a strong connection to California and I only knew one other little girl named Callie, I mentioned to Jase about naming her Cali. He liked it. He also REALLY liked that her initials would be CSS. 🙂

Since Malakai and Zoe were such big babies (Kai: 9lbs6oz at two days past due, Zoe: 8lbs5ozs at a week early) my doctor agreed to have me induced two and a half weeks early with Cali. Everything went well in my pregnancy with Cali and we even got all of the baby items we needed. My mom flew out from Alabama for the induction and to stay and help out after the delivery for a few days. A month and a couple of weeks later we moved up from Colorado Springs to the Denver area for a job that Jase got in Boulder. It was a chaotic time but a beautiful time for new beginnings for our family. We were so burnt out in the Springs and Cali’s birth has always been such a strong sign for us of a great new start with this little family of ours. She’s been an amazing child from day one and has joy and humor constantly overflowing from her.

For her birthday we went to church and then had a nice little family gathering with the five of us and my parents. Cali fell asleep on the way home from church and slept for about 45 minutes which worked out perfectly since I didn’t know where to squeeze in her nap on such a busy day. Pizza, cupcakes and presents on a rainy, stormy day made for a perfect party atmosphere. Then we left to hang out at the park with other youth leaders from church. Thankfully the rain left so we could play kickball, tug-of-war and water balloon toss while the kids had fun being in the middle of it all the playing on the playground. It was a great day to celebrate such a great little girl. Happy Birthday, Cali Spring, we love you! 🙂
Happy Cali sees lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting :)

We thought by wearing the hats, she'd also want one. We were wrong. :)

Happy Girl.

Testing the frosting before shoving the whole thing in her mouth :)

Amusing herself while ringing the bell on Kristen's bike.

Happy Cali thinking she's so funny when drinking then spitting out her juice. Well, it WAS funny AND cute! :)

A few years ago I saw an amazing dress at a thrift store and immediately knew I needed to buy it and wear it in a photo shoot. Jase takes great pictures of nature but I’m usually the one, behind the camera, in pajama pants and t-shirts, taking pictures of people. I knew we’d have a great time doing something like this and he jumped at the chance to share in this experience with me.

I’ve been scouting locations and ideas for this photo, ever since I bought the fifteen dollar dress. I thought an old rundown mine, barn or old factory would be a great location but I changed my mind once I realized those things would take the focus off of the image I had in my head. So… yesterday, after talking it out with Jase, I decided that nature would be the best location. I needed to narrow the list down to what type of nature shot: field, marsh, mountain landscape or forest? Looking at pictures online, I realized that “forest” seemed like the best fit. Now, all we had to do was find the perfect spot. I thought we’d have take a two-three hour drive into the mountains but after cross-referencing Colorado landscape images online with Google Map street views, I realized we had some prime location spots about thirty-forty minutes from us, in Boulder.

Since Malakai and Zoe were at a slumber party and we wouldn’t see them until noon at church the next day, Jase and I decided that we should do the photo shoot in the morning before church. We thought it would be fun to wake up before sunrise but we slept in and getting ready took longer than anticipated. We left the house at eight o’clock and headed into Boulder Canyon.

I didn’t know if my hair should be straight or wavy, up or down but Jase helped in that decision. Although I knew I wanted my eye makeup to be extremely dark and dramatic, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what it should look like. I was online last night for about an hour, just checking out eye makeup images. I started the application process on myself once we were on the road this morning but it ended up looking like Amy Winehouse did it. So Jase, being the artist he is, completed my eyes for me.

Jase and I talked about what we’d need to bring on location for a picture preview, without interrupting the camera, because I’ve had a “vision” of what I wanted it to look like for about three years. Last year, we had his camera hooked up to one of our mini televisions when Jase took pictures in our garage for a headshot I needed. However, lugging around a television while hiking to a forest location did not sound enjoyable to me or Jase. So, Jase decided to bring his laptop for viewing shots and/or dumping his card.

We drove around the Boulder Canyon area for about an hour, stopped off at three or four different areas and made about five different u-turns before finding a great spot with great vehicle access, secluded, away from the public, with a clearing, near the river and with an availability to cross the quick-moving river without getting swept away or completely submerged and while carrying a stool, tripod, laptop, camera, diaper bag, my dress, the under garments, Cali and her stroller. Since Jase only had one pair of shoes, he initially crossed the river and scoped out the location while barefoot. The moss-covered rocks quickly taught him that we’d both have to sacrifice and have soaked shoes if we were going to get this shot. So, Jase went to church barefoot and wearing heavy, wet jeans. The sun was shining once we arrived but the clouds rolled in for perfect lighting and rolled away once we were done.

Jase took over four hundred pictures this morning and we spent over an hour in our exotic location. Cali sat, perfect, in her stroller, the entire time. This experience was so amazing for me and Jase and both of us feel so much more in love after planning and accomplishing this together.

Here’s Mr. Genius (a.k.a. Jase), dumping his card, and Ms. Perfect (a.k.a. Cali), keeping herself occupied with her baby:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

I’m sure Jase will work on some of the pics and make them look awesome, but here are a couple unedited versions, click them to enlarge:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

And here are several unedited versions without links to enlarge:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Mother’s Day was amazing. Jase and the kids did a fabulous job in showing me love and appreciation. I woke up to “The Mother’s Day Cafe.” Complete with it’s own decorated whiteboard sign and helpful, eager servers, ready to prepare whatever I desired. I also got about two hours to myself while getting my yearly manicure/pedicure. Getting my nails done probably only took about an hour but they let me sit in that orgasmic relaxing massage chair all by myself for another hour. No talking. No diapers. No snacks or meals or fights or demands or injuries or… point made? That alone would have been worth it but to have my husband and children showering me with extra love and hugs and kisses and then taking me out to California Pizza Kitchen made the day perfect. Really. Mother’s Day, this year, was absolutely perfect.

What is it about perfect days, though? It’s almost as if the negative knows the spotlight has been confiscated and fights back with a force to send, even the strongest, to a crumbled heap on the floor.

Immediately following my glorious Mother’s Day, I had one of the worst nights, followed by one of the worst Mondays, ever. The flashbacks were so severe I thought I’d never recover. I felt broken and mismatched and unable to be repaired. It was a very helpless and hopeless feeling. The most depressing part was not knowing where to go to fix it. The advice I was raised on, “Just pray about it. Read your bible. Have more faith.” wasn’t working in this case. Without mental health insurance or finding money just laying around to use on mental health issues, I didn’t necessarily have people knocking on my door and asking to help me overcome my past sexual abuse. Besides, I thought I was healed of all that anyway. Turns out I’m not. Turns out I’m not ok. It turns out that I have been given the “ok” to not be ok. The rug that everything has been brushed under is being pulled away and there’s a ton of dust to go through.

For the most part, I find the best in things. For the majority of the minute/hour/day/week/year, I find life easiest when focusing on positive and good things. What happens though when the trauma that went on in life, the lost innocence and stolen confidence and murdered morality and trampled goodness, isn’t mourned? Well, I think it gathers. I think the trauma, in those feelings that continually get pushed down, builds throughout the years until it comes up, gasping for air. I think that’s where I am right now. Like a wound needs oxygen to heal, my trauma needs to breathe. I need to bring life/oxygen back to that pain.

For the first time since I was a fifteen year old in rehab, I am seeking a mental health professional to help me learn how to overcome these flashbacks. It is so sad to me that I cringe, even now, in writing that out. I feel shame to admit that my praying hasn’t been enough and that I might not have read my bible enough and my faith isn’t strong enough. The warped religious babble built into the foundation of my life did damage that will also need to be undone. But I know that this is right and it’s healthy and that talking to someone will finally shed light on things that I’ve kept in the dark for far too long.

The light shines in the darkness. Always.

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