My Trauma & Struggles For The Past Nine Months 

I want to apologize for being so quiet lately, it has not been my intention. I’ve still been writing, working on a long series of posts that I wanted to complete first. I want it to feel more like a series of short stories. But that’s a whole other topic.

Things for us have been hard since Brielle died. Not long after her death I began struggling with flashbacks of my childhood, recovering memories I had forgotten (dissociative amnesia), and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by two different therapists.

I did not have the home life my family would like everyone to believe I had. I suffered immensely at their hands and am beyond thankful that God has kept me safe. He has led me to a place in my life where I am safe and have been introduced to a trauma therapist that can help me and guide me through this process. I am even more thankful that I do not exhibit any other symptoms of disorders associated with child abuse. However, I do struggle with dissociation (thankfully within the limits of PTSD and not enough to qualify for dissociative identity disorder).

I’ve struggled with my memories. Struggled with my fears, my anxiety, and my flashbacks. I especially struggle with safety since I’ve never known what it is to feel safe. So I’m working on it. I’m extremely motivated to heal and to better myself. I do not want to be bound by my past and to forever relive my trauma. I want to build a good and loving future for my family.

Because of my trauma I’ve been unwilling to have anything to do with my parents. This has caused both family church friends and family to turn their backs on David and I when we desperately needed support. I have been spoken to cruelly and unjustly with false accusations being thrown my way. And not once have I been allowed to defend myself. I have suffered from many who claimed love for Brielle and I, but I can only assume that it was not genuine. David and I have felt the cruel sting of their betrayal and grieve the loss of the friendships we thought we had.

Even for this I am thankful. I would rather know the truth than to let liars into my heart and home. And so I happily move on from them and look forward to the future.

My grieving process for Brielle has also been a struggle. Pieces of me desperately try to hold onto her memory, but dissociation hides my pain and memories of her. In many ways I feel like I’m losing her all over again, but I knew this could happen. Which is why, during my pregnancy, I kept a diary of the majority of my days with her. I try to comfort myself with this and tell myself that I at least have my writing. And this is also why I work so hard to heal my mind, I know I can recover the memories I’ve lost, I just need to recover from trauma.

While I’ve been struggling with all of this, David and I have also been taking care of Bernice, moving her to assisted living, and then back in with us. It’s been difficult to know what is right for Bernice. Everyone has their opinions of how another should be managed, but it’s not that easy and David and I want her to be happy and respected. She’s a very kind and loving woman and we want to do our best to maintain her dignity.

Through all of this I’ve been unsure what to say. How do I talk about what’s important to me and not retraumatize myself in the process? It’s been a confusing, difficult, and painful time. And through it all I’ve felt the need to speak and have heard God call me to speak about my trauma, but I have remained silent, my fear and shame keeping me paralyzed. I’ve found myself feeling more like Jonah than a faithful follower and obedient servant. I remind myself that fear is not from God, but even still I struggle, and I know this comes from my trauma.

I am well aware that many hate me. Many refuse to believe me or listen to me and that many of these people claim to be Christians. Christian hypocrisy is not something I am unfamiliar with. But I do not report to friends or family, I report to God, and my silence defies him, and this leaves me ashamed and disappointed in myself. God has continually worked in my life and protected me. He has used even my mistakes and sins for good and he deserves recognition and glory for this.

And so I need your prayers. I need your support and encouragement. I’ve spent the majority of my life fighting for the good in me. I am weak and beat down. I need hope. I also need prayers for guidance, wisdom, and healing. My body has suffered greatly and fought hard to keep me alive and it is exhausted. My mind’s trauma and abuse limits me and keeps me from functioning as I should, I want to be healed from this. I want to do more than survive. I want to live. I want to thrive. And so I desperately ask for your prayers, love, and compassion during this season of my life.

Prayers & Support For My Uncle David

My Uncle David (my Dad’s youngest brother) has recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of lung cancer. This has been a huge surprise to family and friends and a shock for all of us.

Uncle David with his daughters.

That being said, he needs all of the prayer, support, encouragement, and help he can get. We all seem to know someone dear to us who has fought cancer, so I’m sure you can all imagine how difficult this is for Uncle David.

A very grainy picture of Uncle David and the cousins (as well as a few significant others).

We all want to give him the best treatment he can get and as much support as we can. If you are able, could you please donate to his medical GoFundMe fund. And I would also ask for prayers:

For Uncle David as he battles against this disease

For strength and will power to battle cancer head on

For healing and miraculous remission from cancer

For peace and hope for Uncle David

For my Grandmother

For my cousins, his daughters

For Uncle David’s friends and family, that we can all be a source of love and encouragement for him, and that he’ll be surrounded by more love than heartache


Encouragement In The Little Things


Found this written on a scrap piece of paper in Bernice’s things:

“Mercy withholds what we deserve. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve.”

I needed this little pick me up. Funny how God can use the little things to encourage us. I’m sure Bernice never could have imagined a quick note she wrote years ago, would be encouraging to me during one of the hardest seasons of my life.

Life may be pouring hard on David and I, but we can trust that God is continuously merciful. And He is incredibly gracious. And sometimes that’s all I can cling to, God is good.

Kind at Heart

David and Bernice during our wedding reception.

David is the youngest of four. There was Rick, Ayme, Nathan, and David. David’s father died February 1998. Within six months his mother’s brother and his mother’s mother both died. A few months later David’s sister developed bone cancer. She battled for over a year and then passed away. A few years later David’s brother Rick was faced with tragic circumstances, developed severe health problems, and passed away. Nathan, living in Bermuda, then moved to Germany, and has been there ever since. That left David to watch out for his mother and Nathan’s son, Matthew. As you can imagine, David has a very close relationship with his mother.

David was always clear that he would be the one to care for his mother and I respect that. She has been incredibly kind and loving towards everyone she meets. And extremely accepting of me. David and I knew this day would come, we knew that eventually we would need to begin caring for her. We just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. David’s grandmother suffered from dementia as well, but it didn’t begin until much later in her life. We expected the same for Bernice, we were wrong.

It’s been challenging at times. I never knew Bernice outside of dementia, and when I first met her she was just beginning to show the signs. I thought she was an odd duck, but she was nice enough so I didn’t complain. I wish I had known her before dementia. I wish I had the opportunity to see her the way David’s family does. I love Bernice for who she is now, but I wish I could know her and have loved her for who she really is. It makes me sad when I see hints of who she once was shine through. I’ll get excited and think, “Are some of the things we are doing helping?” But then she’ll slip back into her fog and I’m at a loss to help her.

And then there are days where she looks at me and speaks with shocking clarity and wisdom. I always sit down with Bernice and explain to her what is going on, what David and are thinking about things, and what we are doing for her. I want her to stay in the loop, she deserves that. Even though she doesn’t understand what we’re doing, she understands that we’re doing something and she appreciates us treating her with respect. So yesterday I talked with her about some things David and I are discussing. And I shared with her one of my concerns, it was about Brielle. I told her I didn’t want to leave my memories of Brielle, but I needed to do what was best for all of us too. Bernice looked right at me and said, “Brielle will always be with you. You’ll always have your memories and she’ll always be in your heart.”

It was just what I needed to hear and what was even more comforting, was that I knew Bernice’s words came from experience. She’s been in my shoes and she knows. She knows how I am feeling, she knows what I need to hear, and even though she’s lost the ability to do some things, she still knows Ayme. She still knows that grief and joy. She understands that I have bad days, that sometimes I need to talk about Brielle, and some days I just need to be left alone. I don’t have to explain myself to Bernice. At one point I did, and she said, “Oh, I know. It’s okay. Don’t worry about me, you just take care of yourself today.” And Bernice will go on and do her best to care for herself or help me around the house.

Dementia is a very tragic disease and those who suffer from it are certainly limited. But I am learning to not underestimate Bernice. She has so much wisdom and love to still offer. She may not always understand everything, but she still understands the spirit of things and she has been a very encouraging and loving presence in this house. I am very appreciative of her and her genuine kindness.

Thank You


David, Brielle, and I are overwhelmed with the amount of love and encouragement we have felt and been shown since we made our announcement. I especially want to thank my College Hill family, my Mother told me today all of the kind words that were given to our family and the prayer led for us and Brielle. We are so encouraged by everyone’s kindness and will never be able to thank any of you enough.