momhood

‘Are you sick? Should I get tested?’ My first instinct was denial. ‘I’m not sick. If you want to get tested, do it. You don’t have it!’ I was confused. How could she even say that to me?! I was shocked!’

“My dad proceeded to tell me the illness could be passed down to me as well. I wanted to get tested right away. My dad urged me to take it slow. When I got married the next year and found out we were expecting our first child, I knew in my heart I needed to know. On a crisp spring morning, I took the test. That’s when I realized it.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘The self-talk has to stop. Motherhood is not sunshine and rainbows. It’s mundane many days. I lose my patience. I screw up. I have unwashed dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor.’

“There’s guilt. Pressure. Unrealistic expectations. How many times have you lain awake going through the to-do list of tomorrow while thinking about everything you didn’t accomplish today? All of the ‘should haves’ replaying in your mind. How are we ever going to get ahead when we are stuck in the guilt of yesterday?”

‘Life changed in a heartbeat. I dropped to my knees on the kitchen rug, a horrible sensation ripping through my nerves. My skin felt like it was trying to harness golf balls wildly in my veins.’

“I had never been a ‘sick’ person. I had only gone to the hospital for labor. I didn’t even have a cavity! Now, my kids were crying. My husband was on the phone with 911. I froze. ‘It’s happening again,’ I screamed. My arm moved wildly on its own. Everyone began to scramble.”

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