Some of my friends call me a whirling dervish or the Energizer Bunny. When I am not busy planning something new, my friends and family have commented that the hamster on the wheel in my head must only be running on three legs. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and I jump at any opportunity to travel and find that knowledge. I have a passion to make the world a better place. My mind is like fireworks—each idea a different colour.
That’s who I was and who I am today, but in-between it all fell apart. August 9, 2002 my husband and I were on our way to work when a vehicle trying to cross a four lane highway broadsided the car I was a passenger in. The force of the impact sent us into the ditch and my husband and I for an ambulance ride to the hospital. My body had serious injuries—although not life threatening. But what I didn’t realize was that my mind had also been traumatized, and sometimes that can be just as devastating.
It took a team of professionals and friends to put me back together again. I have learned much on this journey, and I am here to help you become the person you were meant to be.
I created FamilyConnekt to bring people and resources together, especially in those times when you think you are alone. I have trained with Jack Canfield, the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and author of The Success Principles. I am also a certified Dream Coach®. I am here to serve; so, how may serve you?
TRAUMA: Post Traumatic Stress happens to Emergency Service Workers or can it happen to anyone? As a police dispatcher it never crossed my mind that what I did in my career would result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Taking emergency calls from people where I felt helpless–unable to help them other than to send a police officer or ambulance. A child calling 911 in the middle of the night because her mother was being beaten up by a boyfriend. A young girl coming home to find her parent had committed suicide and emergency services were a half hour away (she lived in a rural area). I stayed on the phone with her until they arrived, one of the hardest things I have had to do. Or, a young police officer taking his own life because he could not rationalize in his head why a father would kill his child then take his own life because over a custody dispute. Will that child I took the call from suffer from P.T.S.D. ; will the young female who came home to find her father had committed suicide suffer from P.T.S.D.? A trauma may not result in P.T.S.D. but the impact can be influential in us moving forward for the rest of our life.
AWARE: It wasn’t until a motor vehicle accident, where I was forced to spend hours by myself because I could not do any physical activity, that I became aware there was something else wrong with me. About 5 months after the accident I found myself wishing I had died in the accident. Thankfully there was still a light deep inside that flickered and indicated I needed help (See article The Night The Mask Cracked https://familyconnekt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/THENIGHTTHEMASKCRACKED1.pdf). It was then that I knew if I was going to become mentally as well as physically better I needed to get help.
CONNEKT: I knew that I could not overcome what was going on emotionally without help. I sought advice and was connekted with a psychologist to help me on my recovery path. Unfortunately, it was not a good match. She seemed to want to fix me without understanding what was really broken, who I really was inside, no inner connection. So I went in search for someone who might be a better fit. Someone who could relate to my beliefs, the core of who I was, to help me get that part of me back.
RECOVERY: Thankfully I found someone who was a good match. She really understood me and what I was going through. It was she who uncovered my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; not specifically from the car accident, but from years of repressing my emotions to certain emergencies I had dealt with. (Note: Not all emergency calls create PTSD, only the ones I was emotionally attached to and felt helpless while on the call with them). I spent hours of appointments where we talked and dug deep. The part of the sessions that helped me heal were the tools she gave me to release what I was hanging onto and replacing it with something better; helping me see that I was not responsible for what was happening to the people I had taken calls from. That there was nothing I could have done to prevent that young officer from committing suicide. Like me, you are not responsible for the trauma that occurred to put you where you are (THE PAST). You are responsible for how you deal with where you are now (THE PRESENT).
CELEBRATION: Once we recover and start to move forward, we do not have a tendency to celebrate our accomplishment. Our society celebrates big events like graduation, marriage and the birth of a child but fail to celebrate a recovery of self. After my I emerged from the dark place I had been I asked my daughter to throw me a large birthday party. You see I turned 50 that year and wanted to celebrate that I was alive and grateful to all the people who had been there for me on my journey. Especially, my family and friends. Celebrate your accomplishments, even the small ones, it will bring smiles to your face and others. I choose to live every day as if it were my last and grateful for every moment of it.