trauma

Mary Jane & Tim "Dear Sam"

Mary Jane & Tim "Dear Sam"

“Suicide has taken our son, Sam. He was nineteen. It was his way of escaping the pain that he was in. He didn’t see any way out other than taking his own life. He viewed his issues as something that would only get worse over time and he was just tired of living in the pain. It’s truly changed everything about me. Every day I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night thinking about him. It’s extremely difficult to sleep, to think clearly, to get through a day.

Now I know that he was in a lot more pain than he let us in on, and that’s one of the big issues that we would like to let people know about; you have to talk about the things that are bothering you or it will only get worse. Letting people in your life know what you’re dealing with is the first step to getting better and getting past those suicidal thoughts. I have to let people know that suicide affects everybody.” - Tim

READ TIM’S STORY HERE

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

“Finally, I got to the fork in the road, my choices were to take the destructive path that would eventually ruin my life or take the path of healing and moving forward. Something that had not clicked in me in a year clicked, and I decided it was time to heal and fight for myself. There is no shame in our stories, there is only truth and healing that comes from the stepping up and stepping out and sharing our stories.”

READ BAILEY’S STORY HERE

Don "Known, Needed, Loved"

Don "Known, Needed, Loved"

“As my problems mounted, I desperately sought relief from the weight of the pain and sense of failure piling up. Eventually, I just wanted to stop waking up and living in pain, hurt and sinking further into a life of failure. I was at the point where I knew that I needed to stop ruining the lives of those who loved me and if I really loved them, I would do them justice by ending my life. Yes, the enemy had some really good rational lies that helped me rationalize my actions when I pulled the trigger that fateful day…”

READ DON’S STORY HERE

Oliver "The Road To Self Love"

Oliver "The Road To Self Love"

“In seventh grade I realized I was queer and went under the title of pansexual. Later, I kept discovering more and more about myself and finally understood that I am transgender. From there, I gave myself a new name: Oliver. It fits me incredibly well, and when I wear it I feel confident and happy. As time went by, hearing my given name and seeing my biological anatomy became more and more agitating. I grew helpless, hopeless, and utterly restless with myself. In this period of my life, I was growing, but I was also struggling with depression, self-depreciation, and extreme suicidal tendencies to the point where I almost took my life.”

READ OLIVER’S STORY HERE

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

“I was probably about thirteen when I decided that I probably wasn’t going to live until twenty. I didn’t fit in the world anywhere. At nineteen I got pregnant with my son. I decided that, “I guess I’m not gonna die, so I’m gonna have to try to figure out my way in this world, as scary as it is. Life’s an adventure. Life isn’t fair, and bad things happen, but because of the things I’ve experienced and seen, I have a very deep empathy for a multitude of situations that children and adults face. I guess that’s a good quality? I can see past all the bad things and just see how beautiful people are in the rawness of life. People are just beautiful, just the way they are. A behavior is a behavior, but it has nothing to do with how beautiful they are inside.”

READ DAWN’S STORY HERE

Cindy "Find Peace"

Cindy "Find Peace"

I just remember life starting not much before my mom died. And I remember that night. And, being woken up with a gunshot sound and going downstairs and finding her in the basement… and things being a mess. Then my dad came home and I ran back up and got in my bed. I didn’t know what to do. Then I remember the neighbors coming and covering up my head and taking me next door. I saw the ambulance and my mom being taken away. I knew my mom was dead when I saw her downstairs after I heard the gunshot, because part of her head was gone. My brother and I were just told to not to talk about it, and it was never spoken of again. It’s been forty years now and my dad, my brother and I still haven’t discussed the suicide.”

READ CINDY’S STORY HERE

Angela "It's Never Hopeless"

Angela "It's Never Hopeless"

“I remembered saying no. After having that realization, feelings and flashbacks started coming back to me. There was nothing I could do to get what I had back. Those men had taken something from me. I am supposed to have the right to say no. I didn’t even know what happened until two weeks afterwards. Not only did they take something from me that I couldn’t get back, they left horrible disturbing feelings in its place. I felt like there was nothing I could do and they got away with it.

Not only do I still have my life but I have brought a new one into this world; a beautiful baby girl. I am so in love with her and she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She inspires me to show her how awesome life can be. I know that even if it is really, really bad and nothing makes sense and it just seems hopeless, it is never hopeless. Don’t ever think it’s hopeless.”

READ ANGELA’S STORY HERE

Stephanie "Just Live"

Stephanie "Just Live"

“I was confined to my home for 14 years with agoraphobia. My entire world had shrunk. I did not leave. At all. I literally felt like if I backed out of the driveway, I was going to die. It was extremely isolating. One day I told my husband not to worry about it, that I could do it, I’d be fine. But I knew that was the day I was going to die. I felt like I had no one and that it would be easier on my kids to visit me at the cemetery than to see me slowly dying at home.

Eventually I started getting better, and knew I only had one shot and I was wasting away. So that’s why I came out, guns blazing…”

STEPHANIE’S STORY HERE

Shannon "Beauty from Ashes"

Shannon "Beauty from Ashes"

“I was bullied starting in middle school through high school, but the biggest bully was myself. I would tell myself things like, “you're so stupid, everyone hates you, you'd be better off dead”. The biggest voice you listen to is the one inside your head and hearing myself say these things, I started to believe them.

I want people to know that finding healing and restoration will be hard and painful, you might stumble and fall, but in the end it will be worth it. I want other people to know that it is possible to thrive and not just survive”

READ SHANNON’S STORY HERE

Caitlin "Never alone, Never afraid"

Caitlin "Never alone, Never afraid"

Have you ever just wanted to give up in the face of fear, pain, loss and hopelessness? Caitlin has faced many battles in her life and is still fighting to get off the streets, to live a full life, to provide for her kids, to bring hope to others..even in the midst of the struggles she is facing and the pain she has endured, she refuses to let fear run her life.

READ CAITLIN’S STORY HERE

Lindsey "You Are Stonger Than You Think"

Lindsey "You Are Stonger Than You Think"

“I lived what most would describe as a normal life. Until I didn't. On August 10, 2013 my life changed forever. While on vacation, I was in a tragic accident where I was run over by a boat and “danced with the propeller.” These injuries left me with an amputated left leg, severely injured right leg, and lacerated right arm. In a matter of seconds, a freak accident changed my life forever.”

READ LINDSEY’S STORY HERE

Shaelyn "Warrior"

Shaelyn "Warrior"

“When I was driving through Pryor, Oklahoma I was in a horrific accident involving a semi truck. We came to a stop light, I was northbound, he was southbound, he made a left hand turn in front of me, I didn't have time to stop. I essentially t-boned the back of his trailer and drove up under it. The trailer ripped the roof off of my car and my car was stuck under the semi.The truck kept driving for a while, dragging my sideways car with him. When my car finally did come out from under the truck, it flipped several times, landed upside down, and slid about one-hundred yards. I was strapped into the driver's seat the whole time.”

READ SHAELYN’S STORY HERE

Beth "Perfectly Imperfect"

Beth "Perfectly Imperfect"

“I learned later that during trauma, the soul could leave the body so as not to experience the worst of what is happening. This is what I did all those years ago and would continue to do for a good part of my life when times were tough and I needed to keep a smile on my face. I became a lie and believed a lie: my family is perfect I would tell anyone who would listen.”

READ BETH’S STORY HERE

Tabitha and Yvonne "His Miracles...Our Miracle"

Tabitha and Yvonne "His Miracles...Our Miracle"

“Tabitha was coming home from bowling with her boyfriend and another friend, around 1:45 a.m. A drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned her car. Tabitha was in the passenger seat and took the full force of the impact. She never saw it coming. The impact was so forceful that it threw the car across the intersection and down into a drainage ditch, about a 12-foot drop landing on the driver’s side. The car was so mangled that all three of them had to be cut out with the jaws of life.” - Yvonne (Tabitha’s Story)

READ TABITHA & YVONNE’S STORY HERE

Anna "Just Less Orderly"

Anna "Just Less Orderly"

“Drew died on a Wednesday. I was driving when my Mom called and told me to pull over. Her voice was low and hard, and I just knew that something terrible had happened. She was confused, and she said that she thought Drew was dead. I made the longest drive of my life to her apartment, which was only a few miles away. When I got to her home, there were police everywhere, and at that point I knew that he was gone.”

READ ANNA’S STORY HERE

Katie "Make You Feel My Love"

Katie "Make You Feel My Love"

“It couldn’t be true. It must be wrong. She didn’t have confirmation. I tried to calm her, to tell her we didn’t know anything for sure. I walked into the kitchen, as far as I could get from my own children’s bedrooms. I will always remember the conversation. I will always remember my sister saying, “he’s here,” and I will always remember hearing the sound of the police officer at my mother’s door, saying, “Ma’am, I regret to inform you…” And I will always remember how I sank into the cold tile of my own kitchen floor and felt my heart bleed from my chest. The sounds I made were indistinguishable.”

READ KATIE’S STORY HERE

Erin "Broken Yet Gracious"

Erin "Broken Yet Gracious"

“I was in shock, knowing what was happening but not being able to process it. With tears in his eyes he said "I’m sorry but we have lost her." I desperately asked if they were sure there was no heartbeat, and the tech solemnly nodded yes.”

READ ERIN’S STORY HERE

Amber "Be Kind"

Amber "Be Kind"

"I couldn't feel my legs. The pain in my back was unbearable. I had panic attacks and cried a lot."

READ AMBER’S STORY HERE

Grace's Story

Grace's Story

"My spinal injury was caused not only by the head injury, but from years of compiled injuries. After three hours of surgery, my parents were told I would likely never walk again. At 14-years-old, over the course of a single evening, I changed from a tri-season athlete to a quadriplegic."

READ GRACE’S STORY HERE

Madi "A New Normal"

Madi "A New Normal"

"I remember sitting there trying to give Madi an injection for the first time and my hand was shaking-- I just couldn’t do it. I remember hearing Madi’s little voice just saying ‘It's okay, Mamma, It didn’t hurt very much...She has to check her blood sugar every couple of hours, and administer a minimum of four injections every day to avoid a comma or other serious complications."

READ MADI’S STORY HERE

Saylor "Haunting"

Saylor "Haunting"

"So finally, I did it. It was like a cold wave washed out my mind and my body and I was looking at myself from above when I swallowed the bottle of pills."

READ SAYLOR’S STORY HERE

Holly "Radiant"

Holly "Radiant"

“When I was six, the last thing I remember is waking up in the police station. My dad had driven us there and turned himself in after killing my mother."

READ HOLLY’S STORY HERE

Vailet "Refuge"

Vailet "Refuge"

"Two people came in and searched every inch of our house. I was left alone with my two children."

READ VAILET’S STORY HERE

Daniel "February"

Daniel "February"

This February was full of trials that their family would have to overcome together. Daniel was faced with his mother being diagnosed with ALS and his wife having complications with a pregnancy…

READ DANIEL’S STORY HERE