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.

What We’ve Been Up To


Normal life is starting to come around for David and I again. This past year has been…crazy. But this past month we’ve had our first sense of normalcy in a very long time. David and I have been sleeping in, binge watching Deep Space Nine, and playing video games together, because that’s just the kind of nerdy couple David and I are. We’re still working on getting David’s mom settled and the house is still a wreck…from last Christmas, but we’re making progress, and I’m finally getting to rest and begin the grieving process.

My garden, that I began work on this past winter, is doing well. I’ve not been caring for it like I should, but it is still producing well. Giant zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and herbs coming out the wazoo; our summer meals have been fantastic. It’s amazing how different home grown food tastes. Overall, it’s been an enjoyable evening chore for David and I (and the doggies). We talk about our day, prune and water the plants, and then play a “water game” with Rosie and Emmy, they have the greatest time getting sprayed in the face and attacking the water. Funny thing? They hate water, unless it’s a game.

I’m behind on blogging and keeping up with real life. I needed/need some me time and some down time. But we did have a great time on the Disney Cruise and I’ll be posting about that (we’ve already booked another!). We had a six month celebration for Brielle on the cruise and I’ll post about that later.

I also still need to post about Brielle’s funeral (that’s just been a hard post to get to). As well as my medical update and just everyday stuff. I’ve been a little MIA.

I am struggling with some new stuff and I feel like it is something I will talk about in the future, but I’m not ready to yet. David and his mom always say to me, “You’ve had a hard life.” And I guess I’ve been trying to survive for so long that I didn’t realize how much I’ve been suffering.

One of the reasons I think it’s important to talk about our hard times and our good times is because we all suffer, we all hurt, and we all go through highs and lows in our lives. And I have to wonder if God could turn my suffering into something better for others. When I was alone, when I didn’t know how to go on, I needed help, I needed hope, but no one ever saw me. I may not be able to see you or others, but maybe I can give you hope. Maybe my life, my heartache, and my suffering can show you that you can survive and you can go on.

I guess, that’s all that I really have left. My heart and my home is with Brielle and the spark that I once felt for life just isn’t here anymore. I think your focus shifts after you lose a child, and mine certainly has. So what is left? I guess I’m still figuring that one out, but all I’ve ever wanted was to love and be loved. And maybe that’s enough. Maybe it’s enough to just be kind to others and move forward one day at a time.

Mother’s Day


It’s kind of silly. Mother’s Day, I mean. It’s just another greeting card holiday. Not to say it’s not important, but it’s not something we should be reminded to remember. So it’s silly, right? It’s silly that it hurts. It’s silly, that I get through most days as a numb grieving mother, but Mother’s Day makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. There’s no logic to it, but of course, that’s silly too, because when has love or grief ever been logical?

I feel ridiculous most days. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. Not sure how to deal with everything that’s falling apart. Not ever sure of what the respectable and appropriate thing to do is. I live in a constant state of embarrassment and I have no idea why.

I have nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing to be ashamed of. But I feel so wrong. It shouldn’t matter. Mother’s Day shouldn’t matter. It’s just a day. Just another day. But I don’t like this. Everything feels wrong.

Just the thought of that day turns me into a mess. How am I going to make it through? Nothing is ever fair. Nothing ever goes as planned. Nothing is as it should be. And I am frustrated. I am bitter.

I resent Mother’s Day. I resent my loss and the cruelty of this day for bereaved mothers. I resent my own Mother for being the woman she is, a woman I’ll never allow back in my life. And I resent my situation. I want to know what it feels like to be loved by a Mother, but I also want to love my baby girl. I want to be the mother I never had, but Brielle is gone. And I am alone. Motherless and childless.

And so the twisted, bitter, broken pieces of me are disgusted with the picture perfect smiles of happy mother’s. And the grieving mother and daughter that I am, is happy for those that have children to love. That have mothers who love them.

I am shattered and I reflect my own love and hope, as well as my own brokenness. And I don’t know how to reconcile the two. I don’t know how to do this part of my life, how to get through this day or this season. I crave comfort, but how could I ever accept it? I don’t know how. I am disappointed in myself, and I should be stronger. I am better than this.

Wrestling With Doubt

2 Corinthians 13-4

I was so sure God was going to spare Brielle. Miracle after miracle happened during my pregnancy. I experienced things and felt things that I had only heard about, and that I had previously dismissed as fanaticism. But then I lived a miracle. I wrestled with my doubt and skepticism. I knew what should be and what should happen. And at times I felt foolish for even trying. I felt foolish for sharing my faith, because what if He doesn’t heal her? What if she doesn’t survive?

Our walk with Brielle forced us to ask questions that no one really had answers for. David and I spent a great deal of time in prayer and scripture. I’d spend days fasting and meditating, solely devoted on Brielle and her survival. And I wrestled with myself. A voice in my head always told me to doubt, that I was being ridiculous. I wanted to believe that voice, because that little voice was easier to believe. We all doubt, I know that I am not alone in that. And during my pregnancy, I wondered if I would be punished for doubting, that maybe my faith wasn’t strong enough and that I would pay a price for that.

I knew better. Throughout my life I have experienced God’s hand in my life, time and time again. He has loved me and carried me through multiple tragedies in my life. And I didn’t deserve all that He did for me. He didn’t penalize me for my infantile faith then, so why would He now? And yet, I doubted. What David and I asked for, it was everything. To us, Brielle’s life was the biggest request we would ever ask for.

And God said, “No.” I talk more about some of the things He said yes to here, but the no He did give stung. It hurt, it hurt both David and I. And our faith was shaken. It sunk in more slowly for me, it took time for Brielle’s absence to really become something I could accept. Of course, I knew she was gone. I was keenly aware of that, but a part of me kept waiting to wake up. We’d be together again soon, right? And then the reality of how long it would be, until I’d hold her again, began to sink in. It’s still sinking in. That pain is unimaginable.

I knew God had a good reason for saying no, so I didn’t struggle with the why. Instead, I struggled with the pain of His answer. And I began to question myself, I began to question everything.

“Did I really experience everything I experienced?”

“Is He really listening to me?”

“Why did my daughter have to die?”

I was frustrated with him and I felt guilty. I questioned my love for Him. I questioned my faith.

“Did he penalize me for doubting?”

“Was my faith not strong enough?”

I wanted answers. I wanted this all to be a very, very bad dream.

My grief, physical pain, and spiritual pain left me exhausted. And the fervor which I used to pray and meditate with was gone. I struggled with day to day tasks. I wanted, and still do, to just slip away. To zone out and be alone. I didn’t have the strength for anything more and my prayers were half hearted cries for mercy. I had lost the spiritual connection I once had. I couldn’t seem to feel anything but my own numbing pain. I felt guilty, ashamed. I felt that it was wrong of me to have begged and begged for miracles and then to have grown silent when He didn’t answer the way I wanted. I felt childish.

Most of all, I felt ashamed. I felt foolish. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I had put my faith on the line for Him, that I had publicly declared what we were praying for and that He had publicly declined my request. My pride was hurt and I am humbled. And He was silent.

After Brielle died, I thought life couldn’t get much worse, it became far worse. Stressors in our lives became almost unbearable. We were abused. We lost family relationships. We lost friends. Our finances plummeted. I became a caregiver. A mass on my skull (that had shown up during pregnancy) became unbearably painful. David’s horrible job, somehow, became even more horrible. We cried out for God, we cried out for help. And He was silent. We knew God was listening. We knew our cries weren’t being ignored, but where was He?

I felt even more foolish and ashamed. Had I done something wrong? Were we being punished? Or were we being prepared for something in our future?

I sat on the floor in my bedroom and said, “This is what I want in my life God, now do what you want.” I finally had enough strength to talk, to speak to Him like an old friend. And I felt Him again. I felt the prompting to pray for specific things again. I felt the all consuming peace I feel when I speak to Him. I felt His love again. I felt warm and I felt hopeful. For the first time in months, I felt positive.

I missed Him. I know that I am still struggling to get into my new normal. I also know that God did not punish me for having doubt. He has not abandoned me, He’s just been waiting. Like a good friend should, He’s just been waiting for me to be ready.

I don’t know what is ahead for my family. I know I am going to have times in my future where things will be tough, where I doubt, where I struggle. I know that I am going to make mistakes and that I am far from perfect. But I do know that God will not abandon me. I do know that He loves me fully and completely.

I know that to some God can seem like an abstract concept, an oppressive being. To me, He has always been my best friend. The shoulder I lean on and the one I confide in. He has held my hand through every storm and I have felt His presence through all the highs and lows of my life. And I am content and pleased to go where He leads. Whatever He asks, I will do. In the process, I may mess up, but I can trust that I can always come back and make it right. I am at peace. And it feels so good to feel His presence again.

Happy Five Month’s Brielle


It’s been twenty weeks since Brielle died. It’s been forty weeks since Brielle was diagnosed with anencephaly. She’s on my mind constantly. Sometimes I’m numb. And all I can think of is her existence. Sometimes I want to curl in a ball and cry my eyes out. Sometimes I feel like this was all a dream. Her life was so short, our time together was so short, and I feel lost.

I’m a mom, but my daughter is missing and it feels so strange. So wrong. Empty. I can’t fully handle the weight of her loss. If I let myself think about her absence, my chest tightens and I have trouble breathing. I need to hold her. It’s not supposed to be like this. Babies aren’t supposed to die. They’re supposed to go home. They’re supposed to have loving families. They’re supposed to grow up. They’re supposed to do a lot of things, but supposed to rarely happens. I don’t know why I thought my baby would be exempt.

Brielle had such a positive impact. She changed my life. Life with her was beautiful and I treasured every moment. But in the midst of my grief I have trouble finding the light. Life feels like it’s swallowing me whole and how do I talk about that? I don’t want to drag others into my grief.

David and I have lost so much in the past twenty weeks. I’ve kept quiet about it, because I’m not sure what’s right to share anymore. I’ve lost my confidence. I feel off. Like I’ve been thrown into a hamster wheel and shoved down a hill. I feel battered, disoriented, and lost. I have always shared my true feelings and thoughts, but now I don’t know how to.

I’m extremely introspective and introverted. Because of this, I’m not skilled with verbal communication, at least in regards to my feelings. I write, because I want people to know the truth. I write because Brielle deserved to be loved and known (and she was, she was loved more than I could have ever hoped or imagined).

But now? I don’t know how to be honest and please others. I do not please others at the expense of myself, but I will endure suffering to spare others from pain or heartache. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of writing about the pain I’m feeling now. I’m afraid of sharing the grief David and I deal with. I don’t like being afraid. I want to work through my pain, but I don’t know how to. I don’t want to taint Brielle’s beautiful memory with my embittered grief. And all I can think is, “It shouldn’t be like this.”

Brielle would be five months today. I can’t even imagine how much brighter the world would be if she had survived. Life would be wildly different.