Writing in my blog every day is hard when nothing interesting is going on around here! I'm really trying hard to stick to my goal of blogging every day but today I'm kind of searching for something to write about. It was a pretty low key day around here.
So I've gone back to the blogher site and I guess I'll use their writing prompt for the day, which is this:
Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event.
When I think about traumatic moments in my life three events popped into my head. My dad's death, a difficult breakup and Matthew's birth. They were all traumatic for different reasons but when I think of life changing, difficult moments in my life, those three things probably top the list.
My dad died of cancer a few weeks before my 21st birthday. He was first diagnosed with gallbladder cancer the year before. I was living across the country from my family at the time, as a live in nanny in New Jersey when my mom called to tell me that they discovered cancer on my dads gallbladder during routine gallbladder surgery. Being so far away from home was difficult. I couldn't be there for my mom and I didn't feel like I had a lot of details about exactly what was happening.
I was only supposed to be in New Jersey for a year and my year was almost up when the cancer was discovered, so I finished out my last few weeks or so in New Jersey and was able to join my family again fairly quickly.
The cancer my dad had had spread and was not treatable. They removed what they could but they knew it would come back. We were lucky to have another good year with him where he was healthy and happy before the cancer reappeared and he passed away.
Losing a parent is really hard no matter how old you are. My family changed a lot after he died and I've struggled with the trauma of all of those changes for years. Therapy has helped. Talking through some of that old trauma has been really helpful to me.
Around the same time my dad died I was dealing with trauma #2-the end of a relationship that was really significant to me. It's a long story that I'm not going to go into, but the end of that relationship affected me deeply and it changed me in a lot of ways. I was young and naive and I guess you can say that I put all my eggs in that relationships basket. When someone you love decides they don't love you back...well, it's traumatic. It took me a while to heal from that.The fact that it happened at the same time my dad was dying didn't help. Life in general was traumatic for a while. Thankfully that's when Shawn showed up. All my lifes traumas are a little more tolerable when he's around. :)
Trauma #3 was Matthew's birth. I think I've shared that story here before so I won't share the long version. The short version is that the cord prolapsed during labor and I was rushed into emergency surgery and that was honestly the scariest moment of my life. It was a horrifying experience that obviously ended happily, but it does rank as the #1 scariest moment of my life. The short version of that story doesn't sound so bad. The long version is kind of awful. I'm grateful for a quick thinking doctor and a bit of divine intervention that saved that situation from being a lot more traumatic than it was.
I've had other traumas and challenges in my life, as we all have, but there are the three that came to mind when I thought about the blog topic tonight. Something I've learned as I've examined my life in my quest for a better me this year is that all experiences have value, even the crappy ones. I learned important life lessons from the traumas in my life, the big ones and the small ones. What I've learned from the self reflection this year is that you can either let your challenges get you down and make you weak or you can learn from them and let them make you stronger. These days I'm aiming for stronger.