TW – miscarriage, childhood trauma and divorce
I’ve wanted to write this for a while. But this is so vulnerable. It’s the story of our trauma. What has shaped me into who I am today. This isn’t necessarily for strangers. But if you are, I can’t stop you. It’s a way to share what’s on my heart and who I am for those who care. And maybe it will offer you a perspective of light if you’re experiencing trauma too.
People hear the word trauma and they automatically assume the worst. But trauma is specific to you. It’s about how it makes YOU feel. No one can invalidate your feelings. They are yours and they are real.
The last two years have admittedly been the worst years of our life. We’ve gone through countless trauma and heartbreaking experiences. But they’re also some of the most beautiful years of my life. And I think that comes with how my outlook has shifted because of what I’ve been through.
I share often about my husband and my relationship. I honestly never imagined finding a person like I have. He’s sensitive, he’s kind, and he LOVES me. So much. But our story did not come easily. And it started off incredibly toxic. I don’t speak on it as it’s not only my story to tell. It’s his too. And it was complicated.
We moved into our new house after only a few months of officially dating and soon found out we were expecting. We didn’t get a chance for the honeymoon phase. Or to learn how to be with just us. There was a baby thrown into the mix so suddenly. And we were in massive debt. We had just taken on a new house, a new vehicle and now a baby.
We lived this way for years. Credit cards at their max. Stress levels through the roof. And still not knowing how to do marriage or how to even communicate. My husband working two jobs and not seeing our first baby except weekends for an entire year so we could stay afloat.
I don’t think we figured it out until we welcomed our second baby (unexpectedly) 6 years later. She was the answer we needed. And it seems so cliche. But she brought life back into our household. She made me realize motherhood was exactly where I needed to be. And how much I had lost the last 6 years stumbling through it as a young mother. And she gave my husband a second chance at being there for the early years. She gave him confidence that he is a good father. And I’ve watched his relationship blossom with BOTH our girls the last two years.
We really thought we were coming out of the rut we had been stuck in. Our communication was stronger than ever. We had hard conversations every single day and they became the norm. Any hurdle one of us faced, the other faced too. And we learned just how important this was.
I was pregnant with our second baby and we got a call. Nathan’s parents needed to talk with us. They were getting a divorce after 34 years. We were shocked but we decided it wasn’t our business. His mother was completely disabled and had lost her voice. I was concerned about who would care for her? Where would she go? We had to help.
Anyone who knows us knows his mother and I didn’t have a good relationship. It was awful. Things had happened early on when I was pregnant with my first that I just wasn’t able to forgive. But I knew in my heart this is what I was supposed to do.
I started to help her with the divorce process and the things we uncovered turned our world on its head. Not only did we find out there had been a 6-10 year affair going on, but every asset and dollar they ever had was gone. No money trace. Just poof. Not to mention all the disability money had been spent. Every last dime. How did she not know everyone asked? She was disabled. This person was supposed to love and protect her. He took care of her every need. Why should she ever question him? She couldn’t drive. She didn’t have a phone. There was no reason to ever question anything if she was being fed and clothed, right?
The tip of the iceberg just kept rising. Evidence was piling up, the family was being torn apart, and everyone was picking sides.
I watched my husbands entire family dissolve in a matter of months. A divorce that should have taken months took over a year because no one wanted to just admit the truth. It was so simple. All we asked for was the truth. A simple I fucked up would have sufficed. And we couldn’t even be given that.
I’ve taken on POA and caregiver. My husband and I have spent countless hours doing doctor visits, driving across the state, and moving his mom to be closer to us. It wasn’t as simple as two people divorcing. Someone had to care for his mother. And all we wanted was an apology.
You grow up thinking you had a normal childhood. And it evaporates in an instant. My husband has no family left. It’s his first time in his life he’s experienced grief. The thing is it’s not just a death. The person is still living. It’s so much worse than just someone not existing anymore. We watched the masks drop. Someone he thought he knew and loved was suddenly someone he couldn’t bear to look at. Someone he trusted and looked up to just couldn’t give his son the truth. As a parent, I can’t imagine letting my children walk away because I couldn’t face them for my actions. But it’s what we knew we had to do. To move on.
It’s been years now of harassment. We’ve had to file police reports. Lock our doors. And make sure our kids are always in a safe place. For fear that we will be retaliated against.
But my husbands grief, that’s something that doesn’t go away. I am all he has now. We are all he has. And that’s a hole so deep, I just can’t imagine feeling that way.
We recently found out we were expecting. The answer to all our bad years behind us. We were so excited. We really felt like we were ready to grow our family. It was the first time we actually TRIED for a baby. And my husband was so excited to love on another newborn and get to be there again for all their firsts. I think that’s what hurts my heart the most.
At about 9 weeks pregnant I started spotting. I thought nothing of it as it quickly went away. Two days later it came back but it never stopped. The doctors wouldn’t see me. I was too early they said. The best thing I could do was go get my HCG drawn twice in 48 hours and then we’d know.
I didn’t have to wait. I got my first HCG draw and came home. I was anxiously refreshing the lab website. But before my results couldn’t even come in, it started. I delivered our baby at home with my girls surrounding me. At 9 weeks pregnant. It was a shock. I didn’t expect this. And it came on so fast.
I sat on the kitchen floor bawling as my 7 year old asked me how a baby could just get sick like that and no longer be in mommy’s tummy. I think that was the most heartbreaking part for me. Watching her cry tears of sadness with me. She’s years ahead of her age and I’m so freaking proud of her. She was nervous about adding a new baby. But to see her tears of sadness reassured me she wanted this too. She asked when we could wish for another baby. And I told her soon. But I know I can’t keep that promise as it’s up to my body.
I’m walking through grief right now and I haven’t been here since 2014. I tragically lost my boyfriend and grandma on the same day that year. And I let grief bury me. I turned to drugs and alcohol. I was taking ecstasy almost every single day and binge drinking. I racked up my credit limit to $5000. Stopped going to classes. And laid in bed all day until it was time to go the bar and do more drugs. It took finding my husband and conceiving with our first baby to get me out of that hole. I truly believe he saved me. My children saved me. You see, I’ve always been the black sheep of my family. And I’ve always felt unworthy. But I realize I have my own childhood trauma I need to work through. And I’m doing so privately because I never want to hurt people I love.
I’m determined this time to fight like hell. I can feel the walls closing in on me. Grief is burying me. But this time I will turn ashes into a phoenix.
If there’s anything the last two years has taught me, it’s that I am so strong. I received a message shortly after I miscarried and it said this..
“I was thinking about you on my ride to drop the boys off today and how Izzy has changed your life so much. Your account and your values and your lifestyle has blossomed into something so beautiful and your story of motherhood and change is not over, it’s set back and likely will look different than you planned, but look at the beauty you have created out of things you didn’t originally plan on.”
It stuck with me. So much. She’ll never know what this meant to me. But she’s right. Everything we’ve been through. We’ve turned it into a beautiful journey. And we’ve became who we are because of it. This is a set back. That I know. But I also know one day there will be a bigger purpose. Joy doesn’t come without sadness. Right now I may not feel joy but I’ve been here. I’ve sat in this place I am now. I never thought I’d feel love or happiness again. And you guys have watched as I’ve found it. And you’ll watch as I find it again.