The Importance of Connection


Just a few short months ago I was living in my own world, working from a home office, getting out to see clients for my job occasionally, being at home with my husband and 3 dogs. Living comfortably but feeling out of place and lonely. Kids are grown and out of the house, I no longer have many of the connections I had with fellow mothers. While I have several close friends, many have moved out of state. I decided to stretch myself and go beyond my comfort zone and seek out connection. I’m not one for groups of people and can be rather shy and intimidated meeting new people, and especially hate doing it by myself. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, but I knew I had to do it.

I signed up to do an at-home jewelry business in hopes of connecting with some Facebook friends and one of my long-time acquaintances fastly became a good customer. We started talking more and connecting more. I was feeling great. We connected through Facebook mostly. One day we were presented the opportunity to go to a networking lunch and we both decided to go, both of us getting out of our comfort zone, and going together to comfort each other so neither of us had to go alone.

We went to our first networking lunch in April and it was fabulous. It really filled my cup. The ladies were incredible, friendly, and outgoing. Being there gave me an energy I had not felt in a long time.

Since that first meeting, I became a member and have gone monthly. I love the friendships that have come out of this so much. Genuine friendships and connection. I have had more fun going out a few times a week to meet up for coffee and sit and talk and connect with many of these ladies. It has become so important for me to continue to do this. I prioritize my second Monday of each month for this group.

The feeling of connectedness is so vital. Being in my own world I was feeling lonely and unsupported. Don’t get me wrong, I am married, and my husband supports what I do, but it’s different. Finding these connections and building true friendships, feeling connected and supported has helped me overcome my anxiety of going places where I don’t know anyone. It’s important to get out of our own shell and share our real selves with others.

I have recently said that me coming out of my shell and talking about my life is freeing. It is also freeing knowing people accept me with all of this. It does not change who I am just how I connect now. I’m open to receiving love, caring, and support from others. Things that I would not have asked for or accepted in the past as I was ‘strong’ and could handle anything ‘myself’. Connections give me a boost of energy when I’m low or need my cup filled. When my cup is full I can be there to fill another cup, and support others too, which is another good feeling of connecting.

Getting Answers, Asking the Tough Questions


It’s August 4th and I’ve invited my mom to coffee at our local Starbucks, a neutral place to have a serious discussion about my past, my bio-dad Orval, and search for answers. My mom and I only live a half-mile from each other. We don’t talk every day or even once a week, but maybe once a month or so, not for any other reason except that life gets busy.

I called my mom the week prior to schedule this appointment and told her I’m writing a book about my life. She said she’s supportive of it and thinks that it will be very healing for me and will help others. I let her know it was not my intent to make her feel uncomfortable, but I had some questions to ask of her since she knew Orval more intimately, as well as about my grandparents.

Two coffees each, and four and a half emotional hours later, my mom and I were hugging. I thanked her for answering my questions and allowing me to share a couple of stories with her she didn’t know.  Again, it was not my intent to upset her, but for the recollection of my own memories and asking questions to gain a better understanding of the circumstances at the time.

I was very appreciative of my mom coming to meet me for this appointment, she could have said no. I knew it wasn’t easy for her. I can totally relate to her as a mother of what her feelings must have been as we talked about the subject matter of sexual abuse, leaving her kids to go find herself, and her guilt of not protecting us (her words). As I shared one specific memory with my mom, she could not recall it happening. I look at it this way, it was a traumatic experience, it happened 45-46 years ago, and I can only imagine that no one would want to have that memory, as I have blocked out memories as well. I am not in a place to judge. I am at a point in life where I have forgiven her and accept her answers and truth as she believes it to be. We all have our own demons. I would like to say this as well… What purpose would it serve for me to blame, or be angry about any of this, or to hold ill feelings? It would not! It would only hurt me to feel that way. I choose to move past and create whatever joy I can find for my life.

I share this with you because in this life we have to communicate, especially about the ‘difficult’ topics that make us feel uncomfortable. In an age of technology (too much of it if you ask me), we have easy ‘outs’ to communication. You hear of people breaking up via text message, or ghosting friends when friendships get too difficult. When my mom and I left each other after our talk, we were spent but I feel it was healing and bonding for the both of us.

I talked with my mom the week after our appointment, and she mentioned that she felt spent and emotional. I let her know that I did a Facebook Live the Sunday after our talk, and how a friend of mine reached out to me to let me know that it opened the door for her and her son to talk about her son’s abuse. My mom said she didn’t watch it, that it was too emotional for her, but I let her know that in this crazy process, her and I are helping someone and setting an example of what the healing process can look like. It gave her a new positive perspective about what we did, and she was able to say, “Wow, you mean I helped?” I told her of course she helped!

This is why I’m writing my story. It is not about me telling my story for a pity party, or for people to feel sorry for me, or to whine about how difficult life has been or how unfair it’s been to me…NO!!! I am writing my story in the hopes of being a catalyst in starting the discussion about sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, and familial kidnapping. It is time to use my voice (or my writing) as a superpower, a weapon against these forces. The more we can openly talk about these difficult issues, the more awareness can be created, and the more healing can happen.

If you, too, have experienced any trauma or abuse in your life, YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM, YOU ARE A SURVIVOR! Yes, I am yelling from a metaphorical mountaintop to you, from a place of love, hope, and faith.

I am not a victim, I am a survivor.



Domestic Violence Awareness

***TRIGGER WARNING. Depicts an example of Domestic Abuse. Please watch with caution***

I’ll post more about this topic later, but I wanted to share with you a great lipsync video by Pickens County Georgia Sheriff’s Office. So on point with a great message, creating awareness and a helpline. The National Helpline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you or someone you know is in need of help. 

Please watch and share this video: