inspiring

‘I’m too scared to go back,’ I told my mom. His voice paralyzed me. I lived in fear he’d kill my mother.’: 23-year-old adopted by stepfather who ‘never ceased to fight’ for her during childhood trauma with biological dad

“I lived in 2 different worlds. Five days a week I was in a picture-perfect home with a beautiful stay-at-home mom. But the remaining 2 days, I was in survival mode. I remember watching the clock tick by, counting down the time I had left in my safe haven before I’d have to get in the car and enter my second world. My biological dad had trained me well, so I kept his secrets. I’d stare at the window in my bedroom, hands on the frame, trying to build enough courage to slip out of it and run.”

‘She may never walk again,’ my doctor said. ‘Like hell,’ I thought. I was 17. I’d been in a car accident.’: Single mom overcomes crippling car accident, alcoholism, daughter’s autism diagnosis, says ‘don’t count yourself out’

“I was about to move out, but I found out I was pregnant. I was running on fumes. I felt like I’d made a huge mistake becoming a mom. I wasn’t good at this. I drank to cope. My marriage ended explosively. I finally decided enough was enough when my daughter started copying everything I do. She reached for my beer, and I remember deciding, it was time to be done. For good. That was 8 months ago.”

‘Here we go again!’ My son’s principal called me. He’d been written up.’: Adoptive mom ‘cried and cried’ after learning her ‘trauma-ravaged’ son was rewarded for being ‘courageous’

“‘Ms. Pollard, we’re having another bad day. Can you come?’ My boy is silent. Something seems different. I pull him in close, ask what’s going on. It’s mid-September and he’s asking if he can have a race car for Christmas. But it’s not about the gift to him. It’s about his need to feel safe. If I can reassure him he’ll get that race car for Christmas, he knows he’s safe until then. No one will come pick him up. At least for 3 more months.”

‘Is it cancer?’ I had to tell my son, ‘I don’t know.’ There’s no treatment. We were told go home and live life.’: Twin brother suffers 2 brainstem strokes caused by a cavernous angioma, mom says it’s made her children ‘kinder, better’

“I had 3 happy, healthy, perfect kids. Until I didn’t. Zach called home from the school nurse with a headache. I followed our standard rule, ‘You aren’t throwing up, you don’t have a fever. Go back to class.’ For 2 days, he told me his eyes and ears felt weird. I told a friend, a nurse, that my son was holding his head funny. Within a minute she said, ‘You need to get him checked.’ I said, ‘Oh ok.’ Then she said, ‘I mean now.’”

‘I was a teen at a nightclub. I lied. I got scouted, but there was a catch. He needed $3,000 for the ‘lessons.’: Daughter reconciles with addict mom after being signed over to the government as a child, living in 11 foster homes

“I saw my mom inject heroin. When the social workers came, I would hide all her needles. I didn’t want to be labeled ‘the foster child’ at school. When I turned 12, only 2 couples came forward wanting to adopt me. I felt like I was betraying my mom. I no longer wanted to be here, and inhaled poisonous fumes. But now I know why I’ve had this life.”

‘Ma’am there’s been reports of gunshots.’ The cops open the closet, we all stop. I see his legs.’: Woman finds true love after abuse, miscarries, welcomes rainbow baby with man who ‘rocked her world’

“I come home terrified, not knowing what to expect. I walk into each room looking for him, nowhere to be found. There are cops at the door. My heart sinks in panic. The cops pull him out, still alive. He stated he was ‘cleaning his gun,’ and he wanted to ‘hide in the closet.’ WHAT?! ‘Ma’am, you need to get away from him. This is not safe.’ Then I met Michael. I forgot what laughter felt like until that moment.”

‘I took LSD and had a ‘bad trip.’ My whole life shattered. When I began to ‘come down,’ the panic didn’t leave.’: Woman finally ‘free of the prison’ she made for herself after treating alcoholism

“I was living life on the edge; it felt glamorous and sophisticated. Then at 17, everything went horribly wrong. I went into drug-induced psychosis, but at the time I had no idea what was happening. I almost got married to a man I didn’t love because I thought that marriage would ‘save me.’ I eventually went to the doctor and told him everything.”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

‘Remember how I was last night? Tonight is going to be worse.’ His eyes were pure evil. My husband held me prisoner in our own bedroom.’: 16-year-old bride survives abusive marriage, is no longer a ‘victim’ living in ‘shame’ of her traumatic past

“There was a chill in his voice. ‘Nobody will even miss you. No one cares about you. No one loves you.’ The torture went on all night into daylight. I ran out the front door looking for help. The only person that would help me was a young mom.”

‘I never thought I’d be calling my husband to inform him ‘it’s cancer.’ I sat on the phone in utter shock.’: 28-year-old woman diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing ‘blood stains in bra’

“I was too young to get cancer. There was no way. I was fit and healthy, currently in the best shape of my life training for a trip to Everest basecamp. I prepared my chemo bag. I was ready for this. But when I walked into the hospital and saw all the elderly ladies around me wearing head scarves, I instantly felt a fear I could not describe.”

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