Depression, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

There are so many types of mental illnesses! Yet, they are rarely spoken (hence The Elephant in the Room) because it is construed as showing weakness when you can’t handle your crap. Here is a list of the main groups (or classifications) though there are probably a hundred more that can be added.

Some of the main groups of mental disorders are:

Breaking it Down

According to the DSM-V, each category of depression has specific “criteria” to meet. I am not here to argue with the authors of this book. Frequently, I have had to pull this book out to see things, and I use it as a solid guide. Yet, no two people who struggle with mental illness are the same.

That is where my thought process may not line up with the professionals. I guess that is just splitting hairs. If you or someone you love is struggling, PLEASE reach out. Reach out to a pastor, counselor, friend, family member, anyone!

My Story

I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I remember thinking I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t look like other kids or think like other kids. We didn’t have the money to buy things that others had. Don’t get me wrong, I was loved, and I was loved fiercely. So many people do not come from good home lives. I did, and I am thankful.

As I got older, things got harder. My grandpa died when I was 14. That was the first death of someone I loved, so I took it hard. So hard that I was physically ill. I remember having to stay at Susie and Frank’s house (my “other” parents) during most of the mourning time. It was just too much for me, and I didn’t know how to process it properly.

Ice Cream

I remember when my sister and I were in the car with my mom. That moment was so deep in my sadness that I couldn’t see out. I looked at Martha and said something eluding to suicide. That is the only time I remember her smacking me across the face.

The look in her eye was fear; now, as an adult, I can see that. I remember her asking me what Granny would think and how mom could go on if I chose that path. Her tears flowed freely. Again, I was fiercely loved. I couldn’t see it because of this haze that I lived in within my mind. Never have I spoken or thought that again. Her face is burned in my mind. We went for ice cream after that interaction. From that point on, we never spoke of it again.

Diagnosis, Sort of

When I was 19, I started having health problems. I was skinny because I didn’t eat (I wanted to fit in). This was my first year in college (stress), working full-time and catching the attention of inappropriate male humans.

At that time, I was diagnosed with chronic high blood pressure (which ran about 240/120), high cholesterol, Meniere’s Disease, and clinical depression. All had good times! I was shocked, as were my parents. The meds for the “medical” part started, but I was told to buck up and be quiet for the mental aspect. There wasn’t anything they could do for me. I would be fine.

Let’s Add to our Fun

When I was 20, I placed myself where I should have never been. Now, that does not mean that what happened was something I brought on! It was an active choice of another, and I have lived with that for a long time.

Depression, self-doubt, blame, shame, and all the other negative words you can think of piled on top of me. For YEARS I blamed myself. Like I could not function. I felt dirty, unworthy, and unlovable all because of an action of another. It was horrible. I genuinely do not know how Big Daddy fell in love with me. Honestly, it wasn’t very good.

Crisis Center

One day, after I had had V, I got up the nerve to call a crisis center. It was anonymous and before the land of caller id. I knew I could safely call, relive everything, and get a straight answer. My family knew nothing. My husband knew nothing. I kept this to myself for YEARS.

I used all my words. Then I used more words. I can recount every detail like I was reading a book. There is also no more emotion attached to it. I had completely detached myself from this memory.

What she told me stopped me in my tracks and began my healing. Did you know that 8/10 people are sexually abused by someone they know? At the time, I didn’t know that! I thought every case was this violent, horrific act you see on television. Nope. I was so wrong.

I will be forever thankful for the person on the other end of the line. Thankfully, I have been able to heal emotionally, talk openly, and get the needed help. If you EVER need to go through YOUR scenario, please call 1.800.656.4673 for 24/7 help!

Moving On

So many other things in my life. Death, loss of children, threats of losing children, difficult children, loss of jobs, and marriage difficulties. My depression has deepened to the point of frightening my husband and family. Thankfully, I can use my words and communicate my needs.

There is NO SHAME in medication! NO SHAME in therapy! There is NO SHAME in admitting you are not okay! There is NO SHAME depression! It is a disease just like cancer and diabetes! You medicate for those things, and you can medicate for a chemical imbalance in your brain or a circumstantial period of your life.

End the Stigma

Mamas with postpartum, people with PTSD, people with brain damage, trauma, sexual abuse survivors (we are NOT victims), soldiers, police officers, EMT workers, pastors, and people in general!

I see you! You are okay! God is bigger! Help is waiting for you! You are loved! Treasured! Accepted! A child of the King!

Do not be ashamed. Fear is a liar. You are a hero! I hear you and feel you. Medication is OKAY! There are days when I’m good. Like, I’m great! Then, there are days when I want to stay in bed and cry. That is okay as long as you don’t stay there by yourself.

Words of Wisdom

I will NEVER forget my sister saying this in the depths of one of my painful periods. “Brandi, you can let the bird fly around your head all you want…just don’t let it make a nest in there.”

I have learned self-care: I have great doctors and a med that works well with me when needed. Jesus and I are talking again. He is good all the time, and all the time, He is good. My husband has stopped trying to fix it; now, he listens to or hugs me.

You are okay, and if you are not okay, that is okay too! Soon, you will be okay! I hope this has helped someone somewhere. If not, it sure was helpful to me! Onward and upward!


Depression, Guest Blogger, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

The Reality of my Nightmare

The Reality of my Nightmare

In The Reality of my Nightmare, my guest blogger writes about her interpretation of the trials that surrounded her. She writes it as if she were me. I read it the morning of my friend’s funeral. She is pretty spot on in all that she said.

The Reality of my Nightmare

Writing this seems like a nightmare

I am waiting to wake up from this nightmare because of how real it feels. But when I open my eyes, it will all go away. No. This nightmare is real. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why? Why me? What did I do wrong to cause these people to knock on my door? Who has been watching me and observing my every movement? 

I am afraid

Afraid to raise my voice even the slightest bit because someone might be watching. Also, I am scared to take my child to the other room for fear that someone might think I will punish them. Afraid to go out in public with my child for fear that someone will judge me the wrong way and call them again. Why me? 

Raising Kids

Raising kids is hard, especially 7 of them. They are all so different in so many ways. Yet, I would not change a single hair on their head because I love them so much. I love my kids with every fiber of my being. I would gladly take any strife or burdens off their shoulders. I will put them on my own if it helps them and their future. 

My kids are special.

Some have mentally challenging issues. Then, others have some physical problems that need my constant attention. Being a mom is hard. It is tiring even. Yet, I am glad God chose these beautiful children to be mine. 

I love fiercely and will do anything in my power to protect them from the world and its temptations. Sometimes, I help others before I think about myself and my needs. I have run ragged, going in different directions to help those in need as God calls me to do. Honestly, I try to open myself up to other moms in various clubs and organizations my kids participate. I try to help them and converse with them when they need a friend or a shoulder to cry on. 

But You

You took care of my child when he played sports on your team. He became best friends with your kids. I thought you loved him like one of your own. He stayed at your house and slept over so many nights. Every time, he had a blast when he came home beaming from ear to ear. He would tell me all about how fun it is at your house. 

Invitation then Betrayal

I invited you into my home, which we manage to keep clean amongst the chaos of having multiple children and animals in the house. And yet, you betrayed my trust by calling them. Why? Why me? 

You know my child is well-fed. We give him clothes and things to toys. Furthermore, we keep him involved in sports. Importantly, we teach him the love of Jesus in everything we do. We fight for him daily because he is different. And that’s okay because I love him so much.

How Would You Feel

You are a mother with kids of your own. How would you feel if someone called them? They showed up at your doorstep asking to be invited in. Then ask you probing questions about your home and relationships with your kids? And what if you found out that it was a supposed “friend” who called them on you. 

How would you feel? 



I should hope so. 

That is how I felt. 

Terrifying Agony

The terrifying agony that my kids could be ripped away from me with no warning. Sadly, the wailing and uncontrollable sobbing happened in my car when I got the call. My heart can’t take it anymore. I am so tired of having to justify myself to these people. Justify every action that I do and every word that comes out of my mouth. 

How would you feel? 

Would you demand an explanation from your “friend” and say some nasty things to them in retaliation? Would you constantly look over your shoulder to make sure no one was watching you if you ever had to punish your child in public? Or are you one of those parents letting their children run amuck and do whatever they want? 

Either way, I want you to know that it is understandable if you did not know the family or had never been in their home and seen how the family operates. It would be understandable if you didn’t know my son or me. 

But you did know us. 

I was at every game. I talked to you all the time. And yet, you still called. I could trust you. You have betrayed my trust. But I choose to let God be in control of my situation. I prefer to let God judge your actions when you get to Heaven instead of judging you, which I am not called to do. 

Honestly, I choose to love like Jesus with skin on and be the city on a hill for you. I prefer to let God listen to my sorrowful prayers and collect my tears in a jar. Furthermore, I choose to let God pick me up and comfort me because he knows I am the mom He called me to be. I am not perfect. But God does not call us to be perfect. He calls us to be his disciples and to love our neighbor in his word. 

My house may be messy sometimes, and my kids may drive me crazy most days, but in what reality is home always tidy and the kids always clean and well-behaved? I would love to meet those people and that family. 

Haven’t you ever made a mistake as a parent? 

Because if you say no, that is a bold-faced lie. We fail daily at things. The key is learning from those mistakes, moving on, and leaving the past behind us. Those failures are also successes. I have put several of my kids through a full education (and I have homeschooled them for many years as well). Two of them graduated with honors, which is a huge accomplishment.

Mama Pride

One of my kids is married with a baby on the way. I could not be happier for my sweet child. My smallest child is excelling at what doctors told us would be impossible. Yet, with me by his side, he has survived those odds. 

The moments of pride I feel for the children I raised surpass the moments of sadness I think when things like this happen. I choose to find the beauty in the ashes. I will stand tall and not be shaken by people’s opinions of my family and me.

My Choices

So I will also choose to continue to stand by my children and attend every activity, club, and sporting event they are in. And if you other moms judge me or whisper tall tales about me that are not even true, I will smile and turn the other cheek as God has called me to, even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Cruelty of Others

People can be so cruel nowadays, and they always look at the plank in someone else’s eye rather than focusing on the speck of dirt in their eye. Words can slice through a person and bring them down when we should be standing together as moms and supporting one another rather than bringing them down and jumping to conclusions by calling the organization before they have the facts straight. 

No, we moms are not perfect. But we are doing the best we can with the circumstances we are currently in and the children with whom the Lord has blessed us. I will continue to be the city on a hill and shine my light bright for my kids and you. 

And I know deep down in my heart that God will be pleased with my strength and integrity, and when I get to Heaven, He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I can not wait for that day to come. 

In the meantime

I will continue to be the most fantastic mom to my kids and a faithful spouse to my husband. I am showing them the light of God. Continuing to shield them from the world will be a lifelong journey, but I would not change one thing about it, not for you or any other mom who says a spiteful word towards me. 

I will pray for you even though it is painful. Because in my darkest moments, I cling to Jesus the most, and when my faith is tested, I come out stronger than ever because my Redeemer is with me. No more hiding. No more fear. I will not be afraid. 


Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Choices that I Made

Choices that I Made

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7  The Lord chose me and His choices are for me to live!

Life-Changing Events

Being a young parent is hard. Tremendously hard. It changes you when you have complicated pregnancies and one delivery that almost loses your child. The lack of communication, dealing with undiagnosed (and untreated) mental illness (depression and anxiety), and money were some of the problems. Well, that can wreak havoc on a marriage. Other things that happened were utterly life-changing. My children and I almost died. That was the moment when I lost myself.

Choices that I Made

Because of the events that changed three beautiful kids and me forever, I left a good husband. He did nothing but try to be the best husband. Honestly, I think he believed that if he just loved me enough, all my past anxiety and depression would go away. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Just Keeping Swimming

A failed marriage, a dead-end relationship, and then an abusive marriage is what happened in the blink of an eye. That relationship and abusive marriage are things I should never have been in in the first place. The abusive marriage caused me to be in a very dark place.

I tried to keep on, but I was treading water, barely keeping my eyes above the waves. Sadly, I went through the motions of life, but I wasn’t there anymore. A terrible accident occurred, and I have not recovered from that. Medical issues and so much more that I cannot even list. It was just hit after hit. Day after day. Minute after minute.

What I Didn’t See

Nothing I did that was good enough for him. He cheated all the time. Lied. He abused me mentally, emotionally, and so much more. He tried to separate me from the people I loved most. So I tried to take my own life. I didn’t feel worthy. I thought that everyone would be better off without me. My kids and family were isolated from me because of my abusive husband. I didn’t want to live anymore.

But God

By the grace of God, I lived. My family never left me. They gave me the strength to leave him and move forward. I learned how to live independently, seeking no one’s approval. This time, as an adult, I sought help and continued to stay in therapy. Sadly, I have had a couple of relapses. However, my family rallied around me this time, and I was not alone.


I am happy to say that I am alive, happily married again, and I have a great support system. I feel I am a much stronger person now. The man I am married to is good for me and loves me. Now, I have a bonus daughter to add to my crew. I am loved.

My Advice to You

There have been choices that I have made that were very bad. Honestly, I regret it to this day. If I could take it all back and have a do-over, I would in a heartbeat. Sadly, I can’t. So all I can do is learn from them. I have done that and moved on. I’ve also known that it’s okay to have bad days. There are days when you want to curl up in a bed and cry all day. Maybe eat a gallon of ice cream.

Just don’t stay there.

You are not that person anymore.


If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Struggling with Depression and Anxiety at a Young Age

Struggling with Depression and Anxiety at a Young Age

Struggling with Depression and Anxiety at a Young Age

I have struggled with Depression and Anxiety a Young Age since I was young. My parents divorced when I was two and a half years old. Then both parents remarried. My mom had two other daughters with my stepfather. He was mentally and physically abusive to my mother, sisters, and me. I never knew my birth father. He had remarried and lived somewhere else. I didn’t have any contact with him. Never did I know the truth until later.

The Truth Comes Out

I didn’t know he was my stepfather until I was 8. When I found out, I cried because I was confused. I remember seeing my real dad on visitation right after he and my stepmom married. That was when I was four, and that was the last time I saw him until I was 14. No one ever talked about my real dad. Then, one day, I asked my stepdad about the man who kidnapped me. That was the story my mom always told me. My stepfather, however, wanted to tell me the truth that he was not my real dad. He tried to tell me that the man I was told kidnapped me was my biological father.

Seeking Approval

At such an early age, I was always seeking my mother’s approval. I guess I did this because she never was around. Since she was never around, I was taking care of my sisters. Someone had to be the mother after her second divorce. Sadly, I was molested by one of my mother’s boyfriends when I was 12. When I was 13, my mother left my sisters and me. There was no reason, no goodbye, nothing.

Life After She Left

I lived with family members until they didn’t want me. Then I ended up living with my best friend and her mom. Finally, at age 15, my birth father contacted me, and I went to live with him and his family. The transition was tough because I had never really had a family before. That transition took a lot of getting used to for me. Having a stepmother, not knowing how to deal with her or what to expect from her. My birth mother was not a mother at all.

I Missed My Sisters

My sisters were living with other family members. I had to get used to having a father who didn’t physically abuse me. He was trying to be a father to me, which I was not used to having. Furthermore, I was learning how to cope with my anxiety and depression by myself. Sure my stepmother got me into therapy as soon as I moved here. Sadly, I didn’t know how to apply it to myself to help me. I was 15 years old and still hurt by my mother abandoning my sisters and me. She didn’t feel like being a mother anymore. I didn’t see my sisters again until I was 19 years old.

Still Seeking Approval

I tried too hard to have a relationship with my stepmother. It was next to impossible to have one with her. She was challenging to get along with, but I still tried. I married my high school sweetheart right out of high school. We started dating when I was 16, and he was 15, soon to be 16. He was my best friend. Still, I struggled so badly with my anxiety and depression. Our marriage had some pretty rough patches that changed me forever.


If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

My Life is Hard

My Life is Hard

As you can see, mental illness can affect every ounce of your life. Thoughts come and go like the ocean’s tides, yet she remains steadfast. She is trying and reaching out. Though some days, all appears well with her, in her mind, they are not. Please show grace and kindness to all you meet. You do not know the battles they face.

My Life is Hard

It is a struggle for me on most days to get out of bed. To remember to make myself take my pills that are supposed to help the chemical imbalance in my brain. Aka makes me happier and more “normal.” Sometimes I feel like they work; other times, I feel like my old self. I let the thoughts I thought were gone back in. Once they are in, I can’t get them out. I think about things I’ve done and how I liked the feeling. But then I think about the people I know who would be disappointed in me if I chose that path again.

So I sit and contemplate, should I or not? I liked the pain and the feeling of getting it out in a way only I could feel. I mean, I wasn’t hurting anyone else, was I? But no, I made a promise, so I chose to sit in silence. I decide to do nothing but sit and stare into the emptiness inside me. Most days, I try to fill the hole with anything it holds. I try to keep my mind occupied to keep away the thoughts of suicide.

Some Days

But then there are days when everything seems alright, the pain is still there, but it’s not so debilitating. These days life is not so bad I have the energy I can talk and reciprocate the feeling and put effort into conversating. I can express the things on my mind and try to tell them I’m not okay and need some help and not just for the day. These days I’m motivated, by my commitments, to my job, or to do anything involving another person. These are the days that I see my people the most. I try to explain where I’ve been and why I’ve been so distant, but they know they’ve been there with me. The days that I am okay are the days that I feel loved, and those are the days I return the love.

Few and Far Between

The good days used to be far and in between, the bad days now that’s where I lived. But now, my days are starting to turn around. I’m not going to lie; they’re about 50% good and 50% bad. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m farther than I thought I’d be. I know ill never be 100% good no one ever is. But I would like the good to be more than the bad for one day.

My Goal

I know the only way to achieve my goal is to work on myself and be honest with myself. I need to be more aware of my feelings and keep myself on the right path. I’ve got to decide to make an effort to get better. And I have; I take my medication when I’m supposed to, and I tell the doctor when I feel like I need something new. I’m trying to go to counseling for the first time. I am honest, and I try to get my feeling across. I am trying.

For me, the thing that’s helped me is the bond between the people I consider to be my support system. They aren’t afraid to tell me how it is and push me to do what I know I should do but am too scared to do. My support people love me because they can, not because they feel obligated to love me. They choose to care about my life, listen to me without making me feel guilty, and help and advise when they feel like they can.

Reaching Out

The one thing that’s helped me the most is finding people that share the same thoughts. It’s easier for me to open up to someone that I know has been in a similar situation or the same mental disorder. We can share our feelings and know that we aren’t alone. We can talk about the bad days and not worry about the looks we will get. Because we both share the same struggles, we can help each other through them. We can talk to each other without getting offended.

Thoughts on Mental Disorder

When you have a mental disorder, taking responsibility for your actions is hard, so having that support group, friends, and sometimes family makes it easier when they can help remind you. You may have a more challenging time making the right decision because of the disorder, but you are the one that makes that decision. Because for the longest time, I blamed everything on everyone, and then I blamed everything on my mental disorder. But now that I’m stable, I can see everything is up to me. I chose what to do and when to do it, so I’m trying to make a better effort.

I am a Work in Progress

My life is hard, but at least I try. I’m no longer sitting in the dark contemplating my life. I may not be all sunshine and rainbows, but at least I now can smile. I now hate myself a little less, and I admit I am a work in progress. I’ll always struggle with this depression and my mental disorder. It will always be harder for me than most, but now I am fighting for my life. I want to live and love. To grow into the person, I was meant to be. I want to use my struggles to help others, but most importantly, I want to be free. Free of shame, free of guilt, and free of hate for myself.


If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

You are Not Your Trauma

You are Not Your Trauma

Highlighting Stories of Survivors

In this story, you will read about a “boyfriend” who abuses his girlfriend. The phrase “You Are Not Your Trauma” has affected my heart so profoundly. As my heart was breaking for what this young girl had gone through, in the end, she knows Truth. What man used for evil, He will use for His glory. Somehow, someway, her story will give the strength to someone else to SPEAK UP and GET OUT. Her strength and courage leave me in awe. I’m so proud of this young lady.

A TRUE story of this young lady being controlled, manipulated, abused, and her suicidal ideations. She is NOT a victim. This girl is a survivor and a child of the King. Please be mindful that I will not tolerate judgment or hateful things if I leave comments.

The Beginning

I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I will start at the beginning. I had a very happy childhood; it was normal until it wasn’t. When I was about 14, almost 15, I was in a courtship with a person older than me. It seemed so innocent at the time. We were almost always supervised by my parents or his.

His Capabilities

When you are 14, you start being interested in boys and all that fun stuff. So it was nice to be noticed by someone of the opposite sex. I had no idea what he was capable of, and I am still finding out what he was capable of to this day. I honestly don’t know when it happened, but he emotionally and psychologically abused me. 

He also molested me. There, I said it. It’s not something I like to talk about at all. Some people in this world are super manipulators. They can play you and get inside your head; you have no idea what hit you. That’s what this person was like, a master manipulator. A snake. That’s a good word to use, the other ones I want to use involve curse words, and I do not think that is appropriate in this context. 


I was afraid. All the time. Fearful of making my abuser angry. Afraid of him hurting me. Afraid that one misstep would be the end. That fear came to a boiling point when he attempted to force me to kiss him by holding my face with a blanket over my head and pulling me towards him. I fought like hell, and he backed off. But that wasn’t the end. I knew that he would hurt me if I said anything. 

He didn’t even have to threaten me. He had such control over my mind that I knew without him saying anything. Then the molestation happened. I do not want to disclose that and don’t have to. I still didn’t say anything. I remember he came to my bedroom window after everyone was asleep and told me it was best if I didn’t tell anyone. That scared me. He scared me. 

Speaking Out

But I did eventually say something. And it didn’t end; I wanted it to end. I tried to forget everything that happened and never remembered it. Maybe if I ignored it, it would go away. No, that is not how life works. Then the police were involved, which was also terrifying. Me, a 15-year-old child, being interviewed by a detective (who, by the way, is a wonderful person. I am forever grateful for how he helped me. Yet it is hard for me to talk to him now. He reminds me of what happened.) The person went away. I only saw him a few times after that.

But it Didn’t End

Even though he was gone, it didn’t end. I remember not even knowing what I liked to do. I didn’t even know who I was anymore without him. I tried to put this whole situation behind me. I “forgave” this person, but I didn’t because I did not understand the scope of the damage he did to me. 

Abuse, no matter the type, changes a person. It eats away at your brain. You get paranoid. Jumpy. Nowhere is safe. No one is safe. Trust is a prized commodity. If I bestowed my trust upon you, you better treat it respectfully. Because the moment you give me a reason not to trust you, you are gone. And there is no going back.

Returning to “Normal”

Growing up after that incident, my childhood returned to “normal.” But I didn’t feel normal. I felt out of place. My innocence was gone. I became very hyperactive. I could not sit still and chatter nonsensically, but the nights were the worst. I felt I needed to be doing something to avoid being still constantly. The nights were so bad. Alone at night with my thoughts, that’s when the dark would try to creep in. 

Moving On

When I got to college, I worked three jobs and took a huge class load. I was so depressed. I would fake being happy. Just put a smile on my face, and everything would be ok. But those dark memories I had repressed for so long kept creeping up on me. I began to have panic attacks and pain in places I had not experienced. These panic attacks stemmed from my trauma, but I didn’t know it. 

I got a big girl job right before I graduated college. I was over the moon. I was good at my job. I met someone, he was sweet, and I gave him some of my precious trust. I thought I was “happy .”But I wasn’t. Those master manipulator traits the person that hurt me had, this person had too. He would make jokes at my expense, gaslight me, and only care about the physical side of our relationship.

Another “Charmer”

Now this person was a real charmer; he decided to break up with me a few months before we were going to get married. I remember being so distraught. That beloved trust I had given him was disintegrating. It tore me to my core. It took so long to be able to “get over” him. I should also mention that I don’t trust. Shocker. I know. I am very distrustful of people that I do not know, especially men. I make it a point not to be alone with men if I can help. I do it almost subconsciously. I don’t even really think about it anymore. 

Spiraling Downward

Then I lost my job. I was so sad, so hopeless. I don’t even know why I lost that job. I had to move out of my apartment to another one. I didn’t have hardly any money after that move because it took almost all the money I had saved. My depression was at its height. 

My parents had to give me money to get by. I didn’t want their money. I didn’t want to ask, but they gave it anyway. I ended up searching for jobs and couldn’t find one. I interviewed for several, and nothing. I returned to a part-time position so I could have some money for my rent. And that was a comfort to me, going back to something familiar. 

But my panic attacks, anxiety, and depression were almost insurmountable. At this point, I thought there was something wrong with me. I had everything when I was a child. There was no reason for me to be this way. What is wrong with me? 

The Unexpected

I ended up finding a different job. I had to go away to training for weeks, only coming home for the weekends. At the time, I was dating other people. I dated some peculiar people. But at that training, I met the forever love of my life. Not expected. 

He is unlike any other man I have ever dated. He had no idea of the mental anguish that I suffered daily. I ended up marrying that man, still with this awful job that caused me to be physically ill because I did not want to be there. I still have flashbacks to that job and the horrible things I saw there. It was a dangerous job, unexpected. 

Because I felt like I had to walk on eggshells around everyone, I was constantly on my guard (typical for me, but this was a dangerous situation) for anything to happen. And that is just not the way that anyone should live. I got another job now, and I am so thankful for that one. 

Getting Help

At this time, my now husband encouraged me to go to counseling. And I did. But I didn’t go for the right reasons. I was fresh married, so we had a lot of getting used to each other. I was learning to trust again. And that was hard. I told this counselor what happened to me, but it was never the focus of what we discussed in sessions. It was helpful for the time. 

I was medicated from my first big girl job, which seemed to help a lot. However, I was on a lot of meds. A lot. Too much, and it affected me big time. I felt like a zombie, numb, and it was not an easy feeling. I quit going to that counselor because I thought I was all better now. 

Panic Attacks, Flashbacks, Intrusive Thoughts

Fast forward a few months, at home. Panic attacks run rampant. It got so much worse. I would lash out at my husband, and I didn’t mean to do that. He knew what happened to me, and one day I asked him if he thought it affected me, and he said it did. That struck me. 

My panic attacks were so severe that I would feel like I couldn’t move. I would scream and cry in fear. For some reason, my brain would revert to those fearful times and make it seem like they were happening again, even though I knew I was safe. I would just see his face. The one that hurt me. He never left. He was always there. 

I had the most intense flashbacks that I have ever had. And I realized. I wasn’t like this before this happened to me. I wasn’t hyperactive, I wasn’t depressed, I wasn’t anxious, and I didn’t deal with intrusive thoughts or compulsions. I didn’t obsess over every little thing. I didn’t have panic attacks. I realized that he caused all of this. But what was I to do? I constantly felt like I was not enough. 

Suicidal Ideations

Eventually, I went off my meds because I thought I was bett, which was a big mistake. I was fine for a while, but then I became numb. I didn’t care for the things I liked to do. I didn’t want to do anything but lay in bed all day long. My pain and anguish were so overwhelming that I didn’t think there was a way out. 

Some days I would feel everything. Then other days, I felt nothing. I was suicidal. I didn’t want to do it, but the thoughts were there. It would sit on my brain for hours. And hours. And hours. I was in so much pain. In such a deep, dark tunnel, I thought no one could reach me. I was ashamed of what I felt. When I told my mom and my husband, I feared they would be angry with me. But they weren’t. They worked out a safety plan with me. 

When Most People Think of Suicidality

They think well that person is selfish. That person is crazy. That person needs to be in an institution somewhere. I hate all of that. It is not ok. This stigma surrounds people who have suicidal ideations. The people that are suicidal are not crazy. They are hurting. They are in a mental anguish that you will never understand. 

They need love and support, not to be told they are selfish or crazy. Not to be brushed off as, oh well, you can’t be that depressed. I was told by some people well; you don’t look depressed. You don’t have anxiety. You can’t. Look at all you have; you can’t be depressed when you have all of this. Just exercise. That will fix it. LET GO AND LET GOD. Ughhh, how I hate that phrase. 

Just Listen

Letting it go is not easy. It doesn’t work. If it worked, I would have been “cured” long ago. My trauma would have just disappeared if letting goes worked. But it doesn’t, so do everyone around you a favor and stop saying that. Just. Stop. Take it out of your vocabulary. Also, while you are at it, take out this one: “God won’t give you anything that you can’t handle.” 

God gives us stuff we can’t handle so He can be the one to handle it. I have had to let myself be weak so God can be stronger. And that is not an easy thing to do. So stop saying all these fluffy phrases because you have no idea what people around you are walking through in their lives. 

Unless you are willing to walk through the fire in their place, just be there as a support. But don’t tell them everything will be fine, don’t try to fluff things up. Just be there. Just listen without judgment. I repeat: JUST LISTEN. 

Fast Forward

Now that my soapbox is over, fast forward to the beginning of this year. I had the realization, the aha moment, that my trauma caused all of my pain. All of my mental illnesses. All of it. So I made the courageous step to seek out a trauma counselor. She is wonderful. I bonded with her immediately. She understood and didn’t judge me like so many people have. She listens and lets me cry. She makes observations that make so much sense. She tells me I need to re-parent that 14 years old because she is still there. Desperate for help. She helped me with my safety plan. 

I had the support of her, my mom, and my husband. I got closer to Jesus. He helped me realize that even though I was going through a dark tunnel, he was there. He would pull me out. He was right there the whole time. And it was Jesus who pushed me to get into trauma therapy. While it is hard to revisit those awful things that happened to me, I feel more at peace than ever. I got back on my meds. 

Good and Bad Days

I have good days and bad days. But more good than bad. Trauma processing is something that needs to happen. Because when trauma occurs, our brains do not file those memories away as they are supposed to. So I have to revisit every memory and refile it correctly so I won’t be as affected. It will always be there, it is a part of my story, but I no longer have to fear it. God wants all of me, even the parts I don’t want him to have. He has brought all those fears and memories into the light, so I don’t have to hide them anymore. 

Seek Help

So, for those reading this that are in pain and suffering. Seek help. You will find it. You don’t have to go through life alone. If you are suffering, talk to me. Or find someone you trust and talk to them. If you need medication to get by, then do it. Ignore the stigma behind being medicated. 

Many intelligent people in this world have figured out that mental illness is caused by brain chemicals not being balanced. So meds are there to help you balance your chemicals. Do not beat yourself up for taking meds. Just don’t do it. I did, and it isn’t worth it. It is there for a reason. There is no need to feel ashamed about taking medication. 

If you need to go to therapy, then do it. It is not easy, but don’t feel you have to give your whole life story the first time you meet your therapist. If you don’t like them, find someone else. Get to know them, and make sure they are a good fit. 

You Are Not Your Trauma

Do not lose hope. Even when you think there is no hope, there is always a sliver. Know that you are not your trauma. Know that you are not your past. No matter what you have done, know that you are loved. If you think no one else loves you, talk to me. If I am the only one, then so be it. You have someone that loves you. Your life is too precious to be taken so soon. You have a purpose in this world. You just may not have found it yet. Don’t lose hope. 

Listen Without Judgement

And for those reading this who are fortunate enough not to have any trauma or mental illness. This is for you. Listen without judgment. If someone trusts you enough to talk to you about tough shit, do not take that for granted. These people are reaching out to you; take their hand and walk with them. 

Don’t fluff up the situation. For Pete’s sake, quit saying let go, let God. Just listen and try to put yourself in their shoes. If someone is acting strange, not like themselves, don’t ignore that. Strike up a conversation. Ask them if they are alright. They may lie, but don’t ignore the warning signs. Keep talking to them, and let them know they are loved and appreciated. Tell them that you are there for them if they need someone. Just listen and love. Get rid of your stigma against suicide, mental health, therapy, and medication. Educate yourselves. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. 


If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

My Story Will Empower Me

My Story Will Empower Me

Highlighting Stories of Survivors

In this story, you will read about abuse by a stepfather to his stepdaughter. The phrase “My Story Will Empower Me” has stuck in my throat. As my heart was breaking for what this young girl had gone through, in the end, she knows Truth. What man used for evil, He will use for His glory. Somehow, someway, her story will give the strength to someone else to SPEAK UP and GET OUT. Her strength and courage leave me in awe. I’m so proud of this young lady.

A TRUE story of several years of abuse and the suicidal ideations this young lady had at a very young age. She is NOT a victim. This girl is a survivor and a child of the King. Please be mindful that I will not tolerate judgment or hateful things if I leave comments. All names have been changed to protect her.

Her Story


Sometimes, I like to lay in bed and daydream about what my life would be like had you not abused me for many years. I want to think that I would be able to look at myself in the mirror and not be utterly disgusted with myself. Maybe I could undress in front of a mirror without cringing every time I see myself. Perhaps I would feel more comfortable around older men.

I Wasn’t the Only One.

You took a genuine interest in my sister, but you preferred to take pictures of her. You saved the majority of touching for me. One of the primary examples of touching I remember is when we would walk next to each other. You would put your arm around me and grab my butt. Sometimes, you would switch it up and rest your hand on my butt.

When It Began

I remember the abuse started when I was about nine, but I’m sure it happened well before then. Never will I forget you making us change in front of you. I remember my sixth-grade year when you made me and my sister rotate, who would change directly in front of you, and how you wouldn’t let us wear anything to the bed besides our underwear. I also remember when you were in a particularly good mood, and you would make us sleep naked so you could come into our room and stare at our bodies.

Innocence Stolen

What traumatized me the most was when you made me and my sister go into the little garage with you. You made my sister lock the door and told us to get completely naked. I remember how shaky my hands were while taking off my clothes. I was so scared of what you were going to do next. You called it “checking us for ticks,” but I know that’s not why you were doing it because you didn’t make our brothers do it either. I also know that wasn’t the real reason because I remember you waited until our mom left to do it. We couldn’t have been in the garage for long, but it felt like a lifetime trapped in there with you.

I vividly remember what it felt like when your rough hands traced every single inch of my body. If I had the choice to forget one day in my life, that would be the day. That was the day that you took my innocence from me. I was ten years old. No ten-year-olds should ever have to feel how I felt on that day. Ten-year-olds should be playing dress-up, not getting abused by their stepfathers. I trusted you. I loved you, and I thought you loved me too. What you did was not love.

Wanting Out

At night, I would lay in bed and think of ways to kill you so the abuse would stop. If I wasn’t plotting to kill you, I was planning ways to kill myself. I didn’t care what it took. I wanted out of the situation. It’s crazy to think about how much I wanted to die at ten. How many ten-year-olds do you know that want to commit suicide?

Anger Flows Freely

I’m angry that you took my innocence from me. You took my childhood. I’m mad you didn’t feel guilty for what you did to me. Also, I’m angry that you didn’t spend the rest of your life in jail. Honestly, I’m mad that you are still alive and my mother still loves you. I’m angry you guys got married. She chose you over me. I’m mad you locked my brother in his room for a week because you thought he was faking it. I had to sneak him food and water. I am so angry about that. I’m mad you waited so long to take him to the hospital.

Even after he was diagnosed {with brain cancer}, you treated him like crap because you thought he was doing it for attention. I’m angry I didn’t get to be there with my brother as he was dying because of you. I don’t know how you live with yourself. How do you sleep at night? I hope you are miserable. I hope the guilt about my brother eats you up inside.

Wishes for My Future

If and when I have children, I will do everything I can to protect them from people like you. I promise that I won’t be like you or my mother. My children will never have to worry about men watching them change or shower. My children will never look in the mirror and hate themselves because of what happened. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to forgive you. I hope one day I will look in the mirror and be proud of who I am and what I have overcome. I wish I could say that this won’t happen to other little girls, but I know many people like you.

My Story Will Empower Me

I hope one day soon that I will be able to publicly tell my story so that other women can speak up about their stories. You will lose your grip on me one day, and I’ll love myself again. Soon, I will love my body. I will no longer be ashamed of you, and my story will empower me. One day soon, you’ll die, and I will sleep a tad bit better at night. You will get what is coming to you and deserve every bit of it.

You will have to answer for what you did to me one of these days. There is nothing you can ever say or do to make up for what you did to me. One of these days, I will be doing better than ever. Your abuse never has and will never define who I am or where I’m going. I hope you are happy with the choices you’ve made in life. I hope that it was all worth it in the end.

Yours Truly,



If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Depression, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Peace in the Midst of the Storm **TRIGGERING POST**

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

My friend, Leigh Ann, left this world before her allotted time almost two years ago. There is not a day that I do not think about her. Honestly, what I could have done differently. Last night, however, I finally received Peace amid the Storm.

Dream 1

I dreamt two big dreams when I went to bed this particular night. The first dream was horrific and had nothing to do with my friend. It was a trauma type of dream that came about because I am in the middle of trauma therapy. It’s how things work out in my mind and process things. Sadly, I don’t remember much about it. Just that it relates to issues I’m facing to this day on some past trauma that I’m walking through to find healing.

I woke up with a start at about 2:45 am. My back was tense, my jaw was tight, and my head hurt badly. I got up, got some Tylenol, drank water, and then cuddled with Big Daddy. I finally went back to sleep, still struggling and fearful of what I would find when I closed my eyes.

Dream 2

Once I fell back to sleep, a whole different narrative was spoken through my dream. Today, when I close my eyes, I see myself walking into some room. Some old-time hymns were playing in the background. Up ahead of me, I could see Leigh Ann walking toward me with this giant smile on her face. She was glowing. Her hair was shoulder length and bleach blonde, like when we first met. She had on a white shirt and some pants. What caught my eye was that she had this red cloak draped about her shoulders.

She walked toward me, and we embraced. There was not a word spoken. As I hugged her, we swayed to the hymns; I looked up and saw her mother standing behind her, smiling. Peace. The dream was Peace. It was also evident.

My Struggle

I have struggled with why I couldn’t save her. Why didn’t she call me? Go to her mom’s house? How did I not feel her hurting? I, however, never questioned her salvation. We sat at the park in the dirt when she was saved, and it was a beautiful moment of innocence and surrender.


After two years, she has come to me, and I can physically see she is draped with the blood of Christ. She is clean, glowing, and happy. Peace. It radiates throughout her smile. Today, I am okay because she is with her Creator. I pray that the image never leaves me. What beauty and Peace I feel in knowing she is at Peace. I saw the joy on her face.

I miss her. Yet, I am thankful I have my answer. You are loved. Worthy. A child of the King. Seek help! People do love you!

Help is Available

Speak with a counselor today

1-800-273-8255 or text 9-8-8
Depression, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Mourning a Loss a Year Later

Warning:  This post may contain triggers.  Mourning a Loss a Year Later.  Please, if you are struggling with your thoughts, if you or someone you know suffers from mental illness…stop reading.  Jeni, that means you.  Please know that I say this because I love you.  I do not take suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, cutting, or anything else like that lightly.  It is not funny and it should not be ignored.

Available 24 hours every day

Mourning a Loss a Year LaterBacktracking

I had to get two wisdom teeth pulled out the other day. For some reason, I have a horrible fear of the dentist. Today was no different. Luckily, I went in praying and having people pray for me. I slathered on my “Joy” blend of essential oil. Frankly, I smelled the joint up.

As the dentist came in, he was sporting a tie-dyed scrub cap, and his eyes were smiling. I quickly informed him that I would rather get a pap smear or birthing a child without drugs than be in this chair.

He laughed. I didn’t. Honestly, I was dead serious. As he was numbing my mouth, I closed my eyes and began wringing my feet like some people wring their hands. I had already kicked my shoes off because barefoot is how I am 98% of the time.

Luckily, I felt NOTHING. I felt something, but as soon as I said, “I feel that,” the dentist stopped and numbed me more. It took 5 minutes, and I was done. I left that office on cloud nine and drooling.

Then the numbing medicine wore off, and it hurt. One tooth hurt, the other didn’t, but it was no fun. I came home, took my meds, and went home. My friend was watching the kids, and she gave me the go-ahead to go upstairs. I did just that.

The Next Day

Sadly, I wasn’t much better. My jaw ached so badly. I had a migraine, and life was not sweet to me. So thankful that my #2 kid was here to handle the kids, and they just let me sleep.

Big Daddy handled supper, and the kids did their chores. If something went wrong, no one told me. They all just took it like a boss. One thing I can say about pain meds is that I know I would be hard-pressed to be an addict.

Now, I do have an addictive personality, but pain meds make me:

  1. Meaner than a snake.
  2. They don’t help.
  3. They make my stomach hurt.
  4. I can’t sleep.
  5. I cry over anything and everything.

Those are not good combinations.

Doing My Thing

I was on edge, probably more than I should be, because I didn’t feel well. To take my mind off my face, I decided to serve another family. One thing I love to do is cook. I love to cook for others and be the hands and feet of Jesus when someone may not feel like cooking.

A young couple at church just welcomed their fourth blessing. I didn’t know this family, but they were new to the church and community. I wanted to serve them, so I did. There was a plan, and I executed it. However, I did have Big Daddy drive me because I wanted the company and someone to carry the food.

It was a blessed moment to see this sweet family.

On the Way Home

This family lived close to where Big Daddy and I lived for 12 years. We drove back roads and then decided to go and drive by our old house. We reveled at the changes in the area, yet the sameness that we remember. Many of our “neighbors” have moved on, but the core people were still there.

In getting back to our house, we had to travel a road I did not enjoy traveling. On the one hand, I had a friend that lived close by, but she had recently moved. On the other hand, I had lost a friend on that road due to the choice of suicide.


As we drew closer to these two homes, which are incredibly close together, I began having flashes. Flashlights, images, words, thoughts, and feelings all encompassed my brain and body. I could feel myself getting warm, knowing I was fixing to jump into the great abyss.


Going Down the Hole

For the next day and several days after that, I could not function. I did not get out of bed much. My husband found me sitting on my closet floor, having a breakdown. I could not get some things out of my mind. Then, the “What If” syndrome started. I know I scare him when I get like that, but I cannot stop the flood.

He would come to sit on the bed, hug me and ask me what he could do to help. I would say that I didn’t know. Nothing could erase those things, and I was not okay. It has been almost a year since that happened.

A Sweet Release

After days of struggling that following Sunday night, I finally made a phone call. I called my friend’s mom. She is struggling, and I cannot imagine the day in and day out of what all she goes through. Her mind, her heart, her emotions, yet I called. I could keep it together.

Then, she said, “hello.”

Once she said “hello,” I was done. I know I scared her because I could not form a word. My cry was so guttural and animalistic. She kept asking me what was wrong, and all I could say was I couldn’t get her eyes out of my head.

We cried together. Mainly, Donna just listened to me cry. She said that I had never mourned this loss. I went straight into “how can I help” mode. A year later, I am mourning, and I am mourning hard.

What Makes Me Smile

She asked me a question. “What memories do you have about LA that make you smile?” Through my tears, I said, “bats and boxed hair dye.” At that moment, my friend BURST out laughing through her tears. I started laughing, and I recounted the story of the night she tried to drown me while coloring my hair. How Big Daddy told her she could NEVER come over and color my hair again (this happened often). Then, as she left my house at midnight, the bats dive-bombed her hair.

We were chatting under the security light. LA had bleach blonde hair. The bats came swooping out of nowhere. It was the funniest scene in the history of ever. Her screaming, swatting bats, and I doubled over laughing with maroon hair.

The Next Day

I ordered a small stuffed bat. When it came in, I put it in my curio cabinet. Around its neck, I have the necklace that my friend had made for me. I have wrapped that necklace around the bat’s neck. This simple act creates calmness in me and peace. I will miss her every day, but I know that she knows Jesus because I was there when she asked Him into her heart. She is with Him, and one day I will see her again.