trigger

‘Please don’t cry,’ I mumbled. ‘It’s a tree. It’s just a tree.’ And then it happened, full blown tears.’: Mom realizes teenage daughter’s meltdown was triggered by loss of father, ‘No matter how many presents I buy, nothing can heal her pain’

“My teenage daughter was standing in the tree lot, her face scrunched up, drawing in a deep breath. Oh for the love of all that’s Holy, she’s going to cry again. ‘It’s a Charlie Brown tree!,’ she shrieked. I rolled my eyes, wishing I’d indulged in a second glass of vino. I thought the worst had passed. Then she blurted out the words I didn’t expect. ‘My dad would’ve NEVER bought this tree!’ There it was. Her dad, who always made everything perfect, died. In front of her. While she held his hand.”

‘Where did you get these?’ I knew. ‘Ren’s nursery.’ He didn’t realize how serious I was. ‘Put them back.’: Wife unexpectedly triggered by husband’s attempt at act of kindness, ‘It was all downhill from there’

“We ran out of toilet paper and Tommy was supposed to go to the store. Irritated, I asked him to get me something to use. Maybe a paper towel? He finally walks in holding a pack of wipes. They were a very specific kind, Huggies all-natural wipes. I started tearing up. ‘Put them back, please.’ He laughed and insisted I used them. He didn’t realize how serious I was until I started bawling. Something in his room was now out of place.”

‘I had to wear a wig on my wedding day. ‘What’s going on?!’ my mom asked. ‘I don’t know,’ I lied. It was my dirty little secret. I was a prisoner of my own body, and I put myself there.’

“I had anxiety about what people would say to my son about my hair. Would he be teased because of me? I just couldn’t do that to him. I bought a wig and started an 18-year game of hide-my-hair. I couldn’t believe what I was doing to myself. Each day, I hoped no one caught me.”

‘I held this dark secret. I remember thinking, ‘What the heck? Are people weird like me, too?’ Cruel kids would ask, ‘What are you doing? Why are you pulling out your hair?’ I’m done hiding.’

“When I was 8 years old, I vividly remember pulling out an eyelash as I sat in my mom’s car in the drive-thru. And you know what? I LIKED the feeling from it. It was oddly satisfying. I kept pulling them out until my eyelashes were bald. Then, my parents began to notice. They couldn’t accept I was doing this to myself.”

‘Yes darling, what is it?,’ she said. ‘If I told you something, will you promise me nothing would to happen to my mom, sister or dad?’: Woman overcomes PTSD to find her ‘happy ending’

“I told my grandmother everything I could remember of that night, every detail of what he told me. My whole life changed in an instant; one day I had a family, then my family became smaller. I blamed myself for what had happened. I always thought I was dirty and an awful person because of what happened.”

‘WHAT ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME?!’ We held her in our arms as she drowned in her own lungs. All I could do was love her.’: Mom mourns loss of daughter to Spinal Muscular Atrophy 

“One phone call doubled her life. As I stood there with my husband, holding our 21-month-old baby girl, I felt helpless. I helped bring her into this world, and if she had to die before me, I wanted to be there as she left it. The moment her heart stopped beating, I wasn’t sure mine would keep going. It did. I questioned why. I’d just spent 2 years of my life being a full-time mom and caregiver, and in a moment, everything changed.”

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