traumatic

‘I chose to wear headphones. I didn’t want to hear or see Lily, afraid she would die. I kept my eyes affixed on my husband.’: Parents who lost twin daughter navigate marriage through tragedy, ‘We weren’t remotely prepared for what lay ahead’

“My husband encouraged me to look at my 1-pound daughter. If Lily died, we agreed to sell all our belongings and move to a beach in Hawaii, disappearing until we felt strong enough to return – but Pat knew Lily was strong enough to survive. I had intense, terrifying thoughts. This is not what we anticipated when we took our vows, but we faced each day together. We’ve come so far from stupid teenagers breaking curfew for 5 more minutes together, but if they could look ahead, I know they’d be pretty damn proud of us, too.”

‘Is he saying he’s going to hurt himself or others? Our waitlist is over a year out.’ My jaw hit the floor. One YEAR?!’: Mom fed up with lacking healthcare coverage for son dealing with grief trauma, ‘The system is so flawed’

“I eagerly dialed the number. ‘My son lost both of his parents when he was 2. He’s grieving. I need guidance, and would appreciate an evaluation.’ I want to start helping him NOW instead of LATER. ‘Okay ma’am, our waitlist is over a year out.’ I was incredibly defeated. I had no idea this would be so hard to find help for my child. No clue at all. I have this inner voice that won’t quiet down. ‘Get help, Molly!’”

‘I broke things off with my husband. It was a shock to my family. I hid my unhappiness well. Then I met Sean.’: Teen bride finds ‘unconditional love’ after realizing she didn’t want to be ‘pastor’s wife,’ is ‘grateful for second chance at happiness’

“I was 18 when I married my high school sweetheart. I hesitantly resigned myself to becoming a youth pastor’s wife, and told myself I’d learn to bake casseroles and become the epitome of domesticity. I told myself this was who I was. I never anticipated the crash.”

‘When they flinch from the stapler dropping, it’s because they weren’t sure if you’re throwing it at them.’: Foster mom pens powerful note to teacher warning of her children’s trauma

“They come from a really, really hard place. The kind of abuse you think can’t be real. They duck for cover. You’ve heard of fight or flight? There is also freeze. One of my kids responds with ‘freeze.’ Her eyes grow wide and her voice silences. It’s how she’s trained herself to survive. My kids need to know you are safe.”

‘3 months after our son’s death, I was unexpectedly pregnant again. We couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t fathom having another child.’: Mom says she was ‘destroyed’ after SIDS loss, but newborn daughter ‘saved me’

“We stood in a field having our gender reveal photos taken. I was 17 weeks pregnant. We shared our announcement photos. A year later to the day, he was gone. We said that was it, we were done. But, 11 months after he left this earth, his sister was due to arrive.”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘I saw my kids dead, over and over. It was my constant fear.’: Mom suffers severe PTSD after losing daughter to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

“I lived in terror after my daughter died. I had to turn on the light every 5 minutes to check on my kids, because I knew for certain one of them had stopped breathing. I didn’t realize I had PTSD. I just felt like I was losing my mind. I was so stressed, the panic just kept coming. Many people think PTSD only happens to soldiers. It doesn’t.”

‘I BEGGED my mom to get my stepfather out of my bed. He would just ‘fall asleep’ there. How convenient for him. I started thinking my mother knew, and just didn’t care.’

“In third grade, we moved. I thought it was so fancy! Surely nothing bad can happen in the suburbs. I slept over at my friend’s house one night, and was woken by something startling. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. I started to silently cry. ‘Why isn’t my friend waking up? If she wakes up he will stop.'”

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