traumatic

‘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.'”

‘She’s been promising her baby to 4 other families.’ We’d been scammed by our birth mother. Tears streaming, I hoped it was a bad dream. All I wanted was to be a mother.’

“At that same ultrasound, while holding the hand of another adoptive mother, she was texting me details of the visit and sex of the baby. She’d ‘panic’ and ask for more money so she wouldn’t change her mind and take him away from us. She knew all about me and my infertility. She knew exactly what she was doing.”

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