I wrote this yesterday for my personal Facebook page. I decided it was worthy of including in my business practice as well; so here is a glimpse into the reason why I became a Clinical Hypnotherapist. It really is very personal to me, and my dream is to help others lift out of hopeless despair in my work — because I, of all people, know that peace of mind is available for everyone, because it was possible for me. I hope you enjoy this part of my story:
It’s my son’s birthday tomorrow. He would have been 37.
May 26, 1978 …Was the last day of my life as I knew it. From that date forward I would never be the same again. I was 18 years old, 127 pounds, and about to give birth to a 6 pound, 13 ounce healthy baby boy. The difference this birth would make to my life was so incredible, it felt spiritual.
I had no husband beside me. My boyfriend turned out to be in the closet gay and wasn’t handling it well; so he was never in the picture by his own choice. My stepmother held my hand. My father tried to stop my pain by offering vodka. My mother was 10 hours away as I was long ago a run-away teen. My best friend, Cindy, couldn’t be there because she had to cover my job as a full time nanny.
I was in labour for 72 hours. My body was very tiny and I was giving birth naturally. The Lamaze method was a new way to breathe back in the 70s. Some folks, not ones giving birth, I’m sure, said drugs were bad in childbirth. Was Lamaze a man? I wondered. I begged for the Demoral and finally got it.
As I became a new mother, I held a grade 9 education (although I did attend grade 10 — epic fail). I left a bad scene in my family home that I just could not tolerate anymore. And, I wanted to be free. I was never free in my home. I had no self-esteem, my primary feelings were anxiety, fear, sadness, loneliness, shame and guilt. I shake my head a bit as I realize that my poor baby didn’t have much of a chance, did he?
What made this event so spectacular was that for the first time in my life I would experience the sensation of maternal love. As I write this I get goosebumps just remembering looking at the utterly beautiful specimen in my arms and thinking, “Oh my God! How I love YOU!” I had no idea mothers felt like that! The new emotions were literally breath-taking. The blue skies opened up, the happy angels were singing, and all was right with the world.
It was a struggle. But this little guy, whom I named Trevor Thomas, kept me going like nothing else ever could. He motivated me to go back to school. I wanted a good life for Trevor and knew I’d have to go out and get it, and I did! In 1982 I met and married a good man, and we built a good life for our small family. We had all of the nice careers, homes and cars. From 1981 through to the late 2000’s I was building my career in the social/business sciences by educational achievements, involvement in politics and community organizations, and being a stand up employee and business woman.
I knew Trevor was watching me as he grew up. I knew he would only learn by me and whomever I allowed into our world to model for this child of mine. I wasn’t the best parent, I over-indulged my child and he did have some struggles with impulsivity and need for instant gratification as a result. I own that. I also feel a great deal of pride of how Trevor picked up some traits I value, openness, honesty, and compassion for others. He was all of that and more.
Trevor is the reason I am so very, very different than those dark days of youth. I couldn’t muster up enough sense of self to make something of myself, but this birth changed everything for me. It goes beyond any other kind of love I have had since. Gary and I were unable to have more children. I was told I was lucky I had my son at such a young age, because I had a serious fertility problem that would prevent any further completed pregnancies. Not many people know this about me, but I have had four pregnancies, only one birth. And that one didn’t make it 26 years.
My son was killed in a car accident in 2003. I’ll leave that there for now…
Sadly, our marriage could not sustain the emotional roller coaster ride that followed such a trauma. After 25 years of marriage, we said goodbye, and I began my new life here, in the Okanagan.
Trevor made me get up and live before. Who was going to get me up now?
I am not going to lie, I went back to all of the ugly old emotions of my childhood days real quick. My coping skills were zero. Well, I think I had the tools (much of my career was in employment counselling and teaching lifeskills to income assistance recipients) but I just didn’t have the strength to bother using what my intellect knew I should do.
Standing up when you feel so utterly filled with grief and a sort of black fog is all around, with no light to be seen anywhere, is not easy when you don’t have much of a foundation to draw from. Trust me. Some of you may already know what I’m saying.
Most who know me know I went down the psychiatric label and drug route for about five years after Trevor died. That was a mess. It sure didn’t get me anywhere in life, and at the end of the day, Trevor’s still not here with me. I had to deal with my emotions. I said, “If I have to live, I insist I live well.” No other options in my mind.
So, I picked up my pills, had a heart to heart — told them they doing it for me anymore and they had to go. (Insert warning: never, ever suddenly stop taking any psychiatric drug, find a friendly pharmacist who will help you wean off properly, your doctor won’t be helpful, in my experience, it is their job to push them as the best coping method).
The following piece was inserted for my personal friends’ understanding
I hope the paragraph below doesn’t sound self-serving, as I review it…honestly, all I have is my own real story. My friends know I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist myself now, and I work with depression, anxiety and grief as specialties. My story is just not complete without me mentioning that at the risk of drawing attention away from the point of my sharing.
The beginning of my second new life after Trevor’s death began to form in late 2007. I went south to White Rock to see a Clinical Hypnotherapist to hopefully find peace of mind and resolve my anxieties, and black depression. I heard the process of hypnotherapy was like counselling on steroids, and you get to the root of feelings light-years faster than the traditional talk therapy process.
I engaged in fourteen hypnosis and hypnotherapy sessions in sixteen days, and have never looked back.
I found Cherylann again. I found her strength, I found her power, I found her sense of self. I am okay, you know. A little sensitive sometimes, but generally calm, and at peace with myself and who I am.
I had another serious trauma happen in my world again in 2011, which is another book; but it seems nothing will keep me down because here I am, feeling confident, in control, calm.
Today Trevor continues to live in me as I remember his spirit, his love, his sense of humour, his kindness. He had a heart of gold and anyone who knew him will confirm. Trevor died because he completed his mission. I had this treasure for 25 blessed years, and today I say thank God I can feel again. I don’t have to pack my bags and live in grief anymore, but I can cry, and that, to me, is a gift I will cherish forever.
I am quite removed from that skinny emotional mess back on May 26th, 1978. The next morning, on the 27th, at 3:31 a.m. the whole world would open up for me, forever. For eternity, I am sure. Happy Birthday Trevor! I miss you as much today as I did yesterday, and the same as I will miss you tomorrow.
UNCONSCIOUS MIND at work as I sleep, OR TREVOR?
I normally sleep very well at night. Something woke me in the wee hours of the morning, it was still very dark but I didn’t see the time. I felt wide awake and even restless, so I went to the kitchen to pour myself a drink of water (ice-tea). I sat around for a few moments, turned the t.v. on, then off. Decided it was probably way too early to think about staying up, so I went back to bed and fell on my back, eyes wide open. So, I grabbed my Kindle to read a bit, maybe that would lull me back to sleep. As soon as Kindle popped open the time flashed in front of me, 3:40 a.m. It is my son’s birthday, and he was born at 3:31 a.m. on this day…I had been up for about 8-9 minutes, what are the typical conscious odds of me waking up at the exact time of his birth? !