No Normal After Trauma

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My date would arrive later. He would only be in my apartment for a few minutes before we were on our way. I had to prepare. So I got on my computer and began logging out of all of my accounts. After I had logged out of two –I stopped. I asked myself aloud, “What am I doing? Nicole, you need to back away from your crazy.” I logged back into my accounts and stepped away from my computer. But I did not put down my trauma. I carried it through the date, through the rest of my day and into the next.

You see, My Guy On A Buffalo was constantly going through all my texts and emails and Facebook. Looking, waiting to catch me in a lie, in some kind of betrayal. I had nothing to hide BUT BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE. BOUNDARIES. And this lives with me still.

My date that day has never given me any indications that he would do the same but the fear still lives in me. And it is alive.

A few years ago I took myself on a trip. I just needed to get away and really look deep into myself and reflect and make decisions. It was an amazing trip. A week after my return I met My Guy On A Buffalo. And the world was wonderful. And then my world was destroyed.

I am preparing to leave on another trip. For the same purpose. To do some intentional work on myself. To be in a new place, to make new choices. I have been really excited for this trip. Until this morning. Fear showed up. Last time I went on a trip I came back and was stolen. I am so afraid that I will return from this trip and the same thing will happen.

A part of me, the healthy side of my brain, tells me that is not true. It will not happen again. This is not a repeat. But the trauma in me…

I do not know how to be normal. I want to be. It is frustrating to think and deal in this way. But maybe it is not about acting, thinking, being normal… Maybe it is about accepting what is. That for right now, this is my new normal. And it is okay. It is okay in all its scary. In the hurting. In the healing.

I often feel crazy. And I know I cannot be the only one. So this is for you. You, who feels crazy and out of control. Who cannot seem to be normal after all you have gone through. I get it. I hear you. I see you.

Worthy is your name. Divine is your destiny. Healing is happening. Together, lets breathe through all of our un-normalness and walk into our fears. I just know something lovely is waiting on the other side

 

Taught my First Class Tonight!

I am on fire. I am a teacher now. Officially. And I taught my first class tonight! It was wonderful. I FEEL wonderful. Thank you Heavenly Father! Thank you for this opportunity! Thank you for my gifts and talents, for the opportunity to grow and refine them, for all of the experiences that led me here…well maybe not all. Lets be honest. I don’t feel that way yet! But thank you for MOST of them. I am happy to be where I am at now. It has taken hard work and the truth is– I am proud of myself. And I could not have done it without my Savior. He is making me whole. Slowly, but it is happening!

I am an institute teacher. Institute is a big part of the educational system within the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To be an institute teacher one must have certain qualifications because all classes can receive college credit. So its a big deal! I am teaching the Mission Preparation class to students who are preparing to serve full-time (18 to 24 months) missions for the church. My responsibility is real!!! And I feel the weight of it. But I also know this is what I am supposed to be doing right now. I teach once a week and my class is an hour and a half long. And I love it. I am in love with my students. I want them to have everything they need and feel prepared. I want them to have experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ that they can draw upon for strength and testimony. I want them to love the Savior and have a desire to serve Him. I want them to feel that they are needed and important. That God has a work for them to do.

I was feeling disconnected and nervous before I taught tonight so I drew a card before leaving the house. This is what is said: I release my need to be perfect, and I center into my commitment to serve the world more love.

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I loved that it said that. It was the perfect thing for me to channel. I took it with me to class tonight and it became my prayer.

Also, In case you are unaware, I am now in a relationship. My status on Facebook says so. I am in a relationship with MYSELF. That’s right. I am dating myself. 2016 is dedicated to being my own best lover. One of the ways I am loving myself is through fitness and nutrition. I am treating my body like I love it. Because I do. And I am thankful for all the ways my body serves me. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SERVE MY BODY. The program I will be following the next few months is Hammer and Chisel. I have been looking forward to this program since July. And it is here and I am ready-ish. So I am dating myself at the gym. And guess what? I am going to prepare for my dates with the gym like I would any other date. With excitement! And I am going to get ready for it like I would any other  date. Meaning, I am going to put in my contacts, do my hair, maybe even wear lipstick. I am purchasing a few new workout outfits so I feel cute when I meet my date, Hammer and Chisel, at the gym. And I am going to put my best foot forward. And I am going to be honest about my pain. And give all my troubles to my workout. And I am going to lift them. And put them down again. And I am going to rest. Recover. Repeat. Because I am worthy. I am loved. It is my responsibility to show myself this love. It is my commitment. I AM MY COMMITMENT.

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Today was just a good day. I needed one. Thank you Heavenly Father. Although it did start off rough. It is winter. Waking up is difficult for me. Leaving Huck is difficult to me. Yesterday I was talking with a cohort and she mentioned to me that I should go ahead and do what I need to do to have Huck become a service dog. This requires a lot of money. A lot. And training. And work. And I feel tired already -but my friend made some very valid points. I am going to think and pray about this. I am grateful my friend was bold enough to say what she said.

Today the boys and I made fresh pear and orange juice. They loved it and demanded that I bring my juicer every time. We also used the EZ bake oven again. It went better this time than last time but is still not my favorite thing to do. But they love it so why not?! I love those boys. They make me happy. We have fun together.

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Today I also talked through my goals with my Success Partner. If you do not have a success partner I recommend getting one. It can be anyone. A friend, spouse, mentor. Mine lives across the country from me. We call/skype regularly. We keep each other accountable and realistic to what we each are trying to achieve. Today she helped me to clarify and strengthen my goals for 2016. I am thankful for her. She is a prize.

I watched the following video again today. It always moves me to tears. I feel so much emotion over it. It make mes want to apologize to any and every one I have ever hurt in my life. Forgiveness is not the theme but it is what I feel from it. I hope you watch it and enjoy. And I would love to hear what you take away from it!

 

Master, the Tempest is Raging

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on June 5, 2014

I am sad.  For days now.  Just so very sad.  And so tired.  I could sleep for days.  I think I need to. I think it would help.  My emotions are in my throat at all times.  Most of the time they surface while driving in my car.  I weep as if someone has died.  You know that cry.  You know that sound.  Maybe you have made it yourself.  It is a cry that is different from the rest.  It is scary.  It is alarming.  It comes in waves.  It stays true to its course, this emotion.  But when it is over it gently rolls out to sea leaving… not happiness… not joy… but some kind of peace and always, always a measure of gratitude.  Because in the middle of my hidden sorrows I find Jesus.  During the storm there is nothing else to hang on to.  No one else there.

Elaine Marshall said, “secret healing is not a single event. It happens as a process of living. You cannot simply take off a day or start tomorrow like a new diet and returned healed.  IT HAPPENS QUIETLY WHILE YOU FACE THE PAIN. It happens over time as you live, work, study and give to others.”

As of now I cannot imagine a day when I am healed. What will that day look like? How will I feel? I feel like I have lived in this for so long now but I am ready to live without it,

“Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today. The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!” -Master the Tempest is Raging, Mary Ann Baker

There is No Death, Only Change

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on May 23, 2014

 Awhile ago I found our son.  I stumbled upon this blog and there were pictures of this sweet little boy named… wait for it….Ryan.  That’s right, Ryan.  Funny that.  He has a round face like mine and beautiful red hair like you and guess what?  Its curly like ours!  So so sweet!  I love him and want to hug him all day long and carry him around on my hip.

Looking at these beautiful pictures of this beautiful boy makes me long for you and a future that may never be.  In this little stranger I see a future that could be born of you and me.  Do I mourn this future or do I still hope in it?

Here is the saddest of the saddest of the saddest of all stories ever told: 3 weeks ago this little boy, little Ryan, little person You and I could make some day…. was hit by a car.  3 weeks ago this burst of life died.  He died.  I cannot even believe it.  I mean, I never knew him.  Only the hope of “him” through his pictures.  But I loved him.  Still do.  Because he reminds me of me.  He reminds me of you.

Dear Ryan (and Ryan), may you forever remain as pure joy and light.  That is what you are to me. Pure Joy.  Light.

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Your Birthday/My Ritual

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 7, 2014

 Tomorrow is your birthday.  You will be 27.  I know you hate your birthday.  Oh how I want to acknowledge it in some way.  I will probably give in and send you a text.  Already planning to.  I will most likely send something like “Wonderful day to you!”  But what I really want to say to you He-who-must-not-be-named is…

I am glad you were born.  

I was reading about grief today.  Just feeling the loss, you know?  This is what I came across “Create your own ritual. Most cultures have ceremonies to mark death. A ritual marking any loss helps us to acknowledge that the loss is real. It is a way to honor the loss, and to separate the past from the present. When faced with any kind of a loss, feel free to create any kind of ceremony that holds meaning for you.”

So tomorrow, February 8th, I will begin my new annual ritual to celebrate you and my love for you and my loss of you.  In the morning I will go to the temple and spend time with my Savior.  Then I will meet a friend to share all the wonderful beautiful memories of you with.  And all the hard heartbreaking ones too.  Then I will do something special for myself like get my hair done or maybe my toes.  Pamper myself.  I will close the night by watching “Good Will Hunting” because Matt Damon’s character reminds me so much of you in so many ways.  And it hurts too much to dream of you right now so maybe I will go to sleep dreaming of Matt Damon.  Haha.

And I will give myself permission to love you anyway.  To love you forever.  To pray for your healing and recovery.  To pray (without judgement) that somehow, someday we will end up together.  Sealed.  Grow old.  Babies.  Grand babies.  Permission to cry.  More than once.  Over and over.  To bury my heart.  Set it free.  Release it.  Whatever the day calls for.  I give myself permission…

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Stars

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 6, 2014

I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.
I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

Do you ever think of me?  I think of you every moment.  When you think of me do you think good things or bad things?  I am so afraid you think bad things.  I am scared that this is so easy for you – your life – without me.  I pray for you every day.  All throughout the day.  That you will experience healing.  That your heart will be soft towards me.  Do you ever think of me?

I love you.  And I can’t look at the stars.

Lay Low

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 3, 2014

This is my healing song right now.  And my plan: lay low.

I literally had a panic attack today knowing I might see He-who-must-not-be-named at church.  I even left during the closing song.  I went and checked the parking lot for his truck.  I just had to know so I could prepare myself.  He was not there. He never came.

Which actually makes me sad.  I hope he attended church some place else.

Lay low.  I am just gonna lay low.

 

Dear Journal, Why I love him

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 1, 2014

October 2013

I love this man!  I do!  And this is why (well some of the reasons, some feelings I just can’t describe):

1.  First off I am drawn to him.  I look into his eyes and see his soul.  I see a child.  A sweet, scared young boy.  Innocent, tender and pure.  I see a man. Strong, firm, diligent, brave and believing.  A leader.  A faithful friend and servant.  I see God’s son.

2. He-who-must-not-be-named is made for my kind of love.  And he is in need of it.  Whatever experiences in his life: good and bad, the ones that still haunt him…. have prepared him for the kind of love that is unique to me.

3.  He is smart, charming, funny.  He is Freedom.  He lets me be all sides of myself and still is my friend!  My ugly, my crazy, my needy, my mean, my brat, my wild, my dirty, my stupid, my annoying, my gentle, my pure, my passionate, unmovable self.

4.  He-who-must-not-be-named is gentle, sensitive, sweet, romantic, kind, thoughtful and thought-out.

5.  Being near him makes me calm.

6.  He really is my childhood dream!

7.  He pushes me.  Expects things of me.  Helps me to be good and better.  Believes in me, that I can do all things and accomplish anything and everything.

8.  He is going to be the best husband and father in the world!  He is so good to me and takes care of me.

9.  We have the same views on relationships and parenting.

10.  He-who-must-not-be-named is beautiful to me.  Really the most attractive man alive.  That beard!  Oh my!

11.  True North.  He feels like my true north.

February 1st 2014                4 months later:

What happened?  WHAT HAPPENED?  What happened to you? To this man?  I know he is in there.  You are just not this man to me any more.  Why?  WHY?  I miss you.  I miss you.  I miss your voice.  Your touch.  Your smell.  Your goodness.  I miss your heart.  Your caring.  I miss your brain, your mind, your presence.  Your spirit.  I miss talking with you for hours about everything and nothing.  I miss your eyes.  My true north.

October 4th 2013

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 1, 2014

Heavenly Father, I am scared to love a man with a love like this.  I am scared that he does not or may never love me in return.  But more than anything Heavenly Father, more than He-who-must-not-be-named loving me back – I want him to love You.  To be true and faithful to Thee, Thy Son and His gospel.  I will gladly and without hesitation sacrifice my heart for his and yours to be one.

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Present Day:

You answered my prayers.  Thank you Heavenly Father.  He is closer to you than he has ever been.

And it only cost me my heart.

But it was never my heart.  It was Yours.  I gave it to you a long time ago.  Now I am awaiting my new heart.  I know You will give me a new heart.  It it will be more loving, more willing to  love than the last.

Thank you Heavenly Father.