It was around 1985…
There I was sitting in a circle on my letter, listening to the kids around me screaming and crying in terror. But not me, I sat there frozen with fear, not a single sound came out of me. I looked around the room and saw every child clasping on to their parent or maybe grandparent for dear life. But not me, I didn’t have a single hand to hold. I sat there perfectly still, in a foreign place feeling completely alone.
A rosy-cheeked lady made her way over to me. She bent down trying to make herself smaller, to my size, and said to me, “It’s okay, not everyone has a parent with them.” As we both scanned the room again, she saw the same thing as me and realized that wasn’t true. She put her arm around me and gave me a little squeeze and a half-smile. She whispered in my ear “Well sweetie, you’re my only student not crying, so you must be my bravest kids in here!” I gave her a half-smile back and continue to stare at the letter that I was sitting on…W…I thought to myself…W is the worst letter ever. It sounds and feels so stupid coming out of my mouth.
This was the moment that everything changed for me…
I was born in 1980. I had another sister in 1983 and then in 1985 all our lives changed. My Mom gave birth to twins through an emergency C-section, 5 months early. In the 80’s this was beyond most doctors skill set. My Mom just about died, my sister Laura passed away within 24 hours, only weighing 1 pound and 4 ounces. It was all too much for her very small and fragile body to take. Jessica weighed 1 pound and 8 ounces and it was touch and go for a while. It was heart surgeries (PDA) and being in an incubator in the NICU for a good year. It was a Grade 4 brain hemorrhage, that God healed completely. One year later there wasn’t even a trace. I can’t imagine what this did to my parents mentally, emotionally or even financially for that matter. They went through more than any human should.
It was a very unsure time for our family. Thank God I had the stability of my Grandparents. They still are my everything. They were constant love and the only constancy that I knew. They were my safe place.
Who knows what our families dynamic would have been? Or what character or personality trait I would have had, or would have came out for all of us if this trauma would have never happened? None of us could have possibly known how to cope with something so earth-shaking. My middle sister and I were just little kids at the time that our world was being rocked. We didn’t understand why or what was happening to us or our parents. We never received counseling or anything like that…never. I am sure my Mom had a million things going on in her mind and her body! My Dad, talk about feeling helpless. Can you even imagine?
Well, this was the day I subconsciously took a very innocent little 5-year-old Sarah, who could be shy but loved to smile, belly laughed till she cried, was full of ideas and joy and I took her away and hid her to keep her safe. I’ve been on a very bumpy and down right lonely road looking to get her back.
Fast forward to March 2017…
My husband was hired with a new company and we got the news we were moving to North Dakota within 30 days. This was a bigger deal then I even knew, and to this very day I am still adjusting to my new surroundings and freedom.
(April 1,2017, first day as North Dakota Residents)
I had lived in Colorado for 36 long years. But I can say with 110% certainty that I never felt like I was at home there. I just didn’t know that until I left. See, sometimes we are so close and so consumed in our story that we can’t actually see what’s going on until some distance is made. It’s like trying to read a paper with it smashed to your face! When you pull the paper back, that’s when the picture starts to come into focus. That’s when the real work begins.
But let me back up… So we got the news that our family would be making the move to North Dakota. This was not even a little okay with my Mother, and I am going to call her Mother now because she was being a totally Mother! I have to be honest, I don’t know her whole reasoning for being so upset, other than she really…. really did not want me to take my son away from her. I also believe, that she liked having me close by for whatever she might need. I was handy and convenient. I know that sounds really crappy and trust me sometimes it felt really crappy too! But I think in her mind, I was just someone who would alway be there no matter what. A was a safe person for her maybe. I was reliable like a Golden Retriever but maybe not as cute.
I knew that I had to hold it together for everyone during this moving process. I could not be sad, panic or be worried. I could not show the slightest bit of fear at all. I needed to be on point for ALL my family! I did my very best to be positive and show how very faithful I was. Which wasn’t fake at all. I believed and still do that God was moving mountains for us and clearing a path. But still I knew, with how sensitive everyone was about this move, that I couldn’t be vulnerable with my feelings even for a moment. And there lays the story of my life…
Stop crying, stuff it in down, don’t feel that way, that didn’t happen…
I am an emotional person and I love that about me…
I was taught at an early age to shut my emotions down, be tough and quite but I wasn’t very good at that. I guess I was super good at being quite but my mind was incredibly loud. I had a lot to say! But over the years I stuffed it all down. I made myself crazy. I know that’s a derogatory term “crazy” but that’s what was happen or so I felt. I didn’t know how to laugh, be real. I couldn’t look people in the eyes. I would never stand up or stick up for myself unless I was pushed into a corner and I thought I had no other choice. I was mad, sad, lonely, scared, numb and nothing all at the same time. When I was happy I had to try really hard to be and stay in that moment and smile. Smiling just didn’t come natural to me. I can’t tell you how many times through my school years that I was told, “you need to smile more.” Being joyful was uncomfortable to me. It just felt weird.
As I drove down the highway from all that I had ever known, I would not let myself be upset. And that was my start to breaking my 5-year-old self free. I didn’t know that, of course at the time. But over the next few months I would go through some very painful realities that I never wanted to face. I realized who was really going to stay by me and be supportive without judgments, and who was giving me a whole lot of lip service. But possibly the most awesome thing that I learned in all this, is I am enough and I am able. I spent 30 years doubting myself and hiding from any and every possible opportunity that came my way. Fear is all I had lived.
As I have been tracking down my younger self to free her, to free me… to free us… I discover so much. I have forgiven, I’ve healed, I’ve let go and I have moved the hell on. I have made more time for love, joy, blessings and just pure excitement for being alive!
Setting the younger me free set my soul on fire! I started to find out things about myself I never knew. It was as if I was getting to know me… the real me. The me that always should have been.
I am a leader, a person who loves to laugh and loves even more to make other people laugh! I have a huge heart and feel pain very easily. I am an empath and I feel everything! When someone is feeling pain or if they are feeling joy… I deeply feel it too. I, not only enjoy expressing myself, I have to do it or I will burst! I am a writer, dancer, singer, lover of animals, music and mysteries. I also love coffee, a good book, history, God and the amazing Universe that we live in.
I have been walking this Earth differently since I moved away from Colorado. I had to see that I could do life without anyone telling me what it should look like. I need to find out what my why in this life is and what real joy felt like to me. I never really knew. Over the last year, I haven’t had anyone to tell me how things should be or what I should do. Not how to parent my child, spend my money or how my marriage should work. I’ve had the freedom in figuring it all out myself. Which has been scary but worth it.
I found out I am able to do so much more than I ever knew that I could. I am resilient and confident. I don’t need to freak out and get paranoid anymore. I know I will figure it out or I can get help without worry of judgment. I am able!
I have freed the 5-year-old me but we are still getting acquainted with each other. I love this journey. It’s better than any high you could ever have. I have a spirit of real true joy that is in me! I want to keep getting stronger and to shine so brightly that no one can escape my vibe without feeling that same joy too!
Life is all what we make it! Make it the best you can because it’s the only life we get!