Therapist Clearances And Happy Memories

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I am in the middle of filling out one of my three required clearances for work, and it happens to be the most grueling of them all. It’s the child abuse history clearance, and I have to fill out every address I’ve lived at in my entire life, including who I lived with and their present age. WHAT?! I have previously counted 16 homes before the age of 18, and then a move every year for the duration of my schooling. Total, I have lived in 27 different homes (not including co-parenting or summers)…. and I am only 28!! Thankfully, I’m keeping this document saved (it only took me like 4 renewals to do this!) so I can pull it up next time this clearance is due.

What a wave of memories!!!! Like taking my pregnancy tests for all three babies. When I was a live-in nanny to a beautiful family for the summer before grad school. Or when my roommate and I went to see a scary movie and were afraid so we watched Free Willy afterward and laughed about the bad acting. And when I spent a semester in London and went to the store one day; I bought tampons and was delighted to see an American chocolate bar (Hershey’s) so I bought the large, 1 LB bar…. the clerk said, “Wow, it must be a rough week for you!” I remember watching my body go through puberty. I remember drawing the skeleton in middle school and memorizing the names of the bones for a contest (I can still recite them for you too!), and deciding I wanted to be a doctor. Realizing I shouldn’t be a doctor several years later when I spent time in a cadaver lab and was nauseated for weeks afterward… and then nearly failing every pre-med class anyway. My roommate drilling me on simple biology like mitosis and meiosis so I would pass. Studying psychology and human development, and realizing my passion for mental health. And then I remember walking with my husband into our first apartment for the first time; and in the same place when we first brought my son home from the hospital. Making up dances with my friends during my elementary years. Learning to use tampons in high school because I had a cheerleading competition the next day and didn’t want anyone to see my pad (what a learning curve that I’m sure most women can later laugh about!). My mom tucking me into bed each night into my high school years. Or when I was about 12, I got bored and drew on my leg with nail polish… it took the pigment out of my skin and I had a smiley face on my leg for months!!! My very first kiss. And my first kiss with my (would-be) husband!!!!! 🙂

I think that when we have PTSD, we tend to focus on the bad memories (and why wouldn’t we, they are forced into the forefront of our minds with the slightest of triggers!) and forget or ignore that we probably have many happy memories in there somewhere.

Here’s a reminder to remember the good times too. What are some of your best memories??

Photo credit: http://www.stonerdays.com/memories-of-a-first-toke/

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Eight Hundred And Fifty Nine

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Adina at 7 weeks

859 days ago, on October 5, 2011, I said goodbye to my precious second-born son, Adina. In Hebrew, Adina is a male name meaning “delicate,” and what better way to describe a 10 week baby? I know in my heart of hearts he was a boy. I’ve known all of my children’s sexes. I do not have many eloquent words today, but I desperately miss him today. I keep a journal for each of my children. I’ll share a few of the entries I’ve written for him. Here is his first entry:

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Today, Daddy and I found out I was growing you inside my tummy! We are so very excited! Let me introduce you to your family. You have the best daddy you could ever want. He is strong, funny, loving, and he will adore you more than you can imagine. You also have a big brother. I found out 2 years ago yesterday that I was growing him in my tummy! That means he is going to be about 2 years older than you. He is silly, smart, and he loves giving hugs and kisses. Then, there is Mommy. I already love you so much I could cry. Daddy and I decided we are going to wait to find out until you are born, whether you are baby girl or a baby boy 🙂

And here is the entry when we first got home after we found that we had lost him. This was a few hours before I held him in my hand.

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We found out today that we lost you 😦 Daddy and I are so sad, and we miss you so much already. You looked so healthy on the first ultrasound. Seeing the ultrasound today broke my heart into a million pieces, when I saw that you weren’t going to be in our lives anymore. I love you, sweet baby.

Here is the entry from his due date.

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Tomorrow would have been your due date. I cannot stop thinking about the day I said goodbye to you. I held your tiny body in my hand. You were the perfect size, maybe about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Your arms and legs were only about a quarter of an inch long, but I could still see your beautiful fingers and toes. I hated so much saying goodbye to you, and I think about you every single day.

One of my first art journal drawings. I consciously chose not to take a photo of his tiny body because I knew I would never forget it. Almost a year later, I drew him to the best of my ability. Then I traced my hand, and then my husband let me trace his hand. Beautiful. My favorite art journal entry in the whole world.

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And here is today’s entry.

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My precious Adina. I miss you so much today. My heart has been aching for you as I watch your baby sister grow. I am missing out on holding you and nursing you. The other night, your sister was wide awake at 2am trying to play. I was doing my best to not respond to her as I fed her, and then I tried to burp her. She sat straight up and grabbed my face with both of her hands, and waited… and waited… If I made eye contact with her, I knew she would start cracking up. Instead, I closed my eyes and enjoyed her little hands on my cheeks. And I missed you. I miss you so much, my beautiful baby.