In my recent post, Pilot, Pandemic and Perseverance I shared how I’d experienced
a couple of very hard years during/coming out of the pandemic. As someone fighting to heal and reclaim my life from C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) I was terrified to have been so vulnerable and open in public. I was literally shaking when I hit the “send” button on my computer and continued to shake and feel dizzy off and on throughout the days following the post.
What would people think, like REALLY think?! Would I come across as attention-seeking and simply making up excuses for why I hadn’t performed better as the Founder of The
Wild Hope? Would therapists and counselors read it and think, "Gosh, she’s not healthy enough to be developing a nonprofit for other trauma survivors!" ?Would donors stop giving because I wasn’t meeting expectations for them to have faith and trust in supporting TWH? Would others who’ve also experienced complex trauma accept me into the fold or would they expose me as a fraud (because in my mind everyone has been through so much more than I have). I was terrified and torn. Would my words and my fragile heart resonate? Offend? Matter at all?
Regardless of my fears, you, our donors and supporters, deserved to hear an update as to how you were and still are making a difference. I wanted to be clear around my intent behind The Wild Hope, not because of anything specific that happened, but because my own compass was calling out to my integrity. How could we grow an organization from the bottom up if I didn’t adhere to the values and beliefs the organization was founded on? Would I continue to hide and agonize over being “found out” for the mess I was/am/will be? Or would I share my truth? Was I even in a place to be vulnerable and share my heart without a setback in my own recovery?
“The greater the risk, the greater the reward”, they say. And while I take that with a grain of salt I’m humbled and grateful to say “they” were right! The outpouring of your support and care has deeply touched my heart! We see our own worlds through the lens of our relationships, experiences, and beliefs. When we place our feelings and beliefs about ourselves onto someone else that's called projecting and that’s what I was doing with each of you. I underestimated you and for that I am sorry. Your kindness has released a spring shower on my still-fragile, tiny, budding plants of truth that are slowly replacing the jungle of weeds, pesticides, and tainted soil of my heart and mind.
Almost always, facing and working to heal our deepest wounds is met full force by fear, confusion, suffocation, discomfort, and uncertainty. I’m not trying to scare those of you who are also making your way through your healing journey. Honestly, I’m scared pretty much all the time!
It’s just that we have seasons of bravery, of courage, of surrender. Seasons when the desperation for, and the fear of not changing - of missing out on our God-given birthright -breaks ever-so-slightly through the terror, the unknown, the weight of unworthiness and shame. You know all the metaphors; the bud breaking through the soil, pressure that turns rock into gold, finding a drop of water in the desert, making it up another rung on the ladder or waking up from a long coma, etc., etc., etc.
The work, persistence, falling, getting-back-up-again-ness and frankly, just not giving up even if that means spending weeks or months in bed, in treatment, homeless, binging/purging, self-harming, mourning, praying, screaming, fighting, falling again.... there's an odd momentum that suffering builds if its acknowledged. These, ironically are the very building blocks to breakthroughs. (I'm not condoning nor encouraging any behaviors that are harmful to self or others. The reality is that these behaviors are the result of an underlying need not being met and are some of the ways trauma speaks to us.)
I had experienced a deeply painful and scary season in a major depressive episode. ALL of it brought me to a place today where I’m able to dive into some potentially life-changing waters. I couldn’t even stand up two years ago! Now I’ve crawled my way to the edge of a cliff and am jumping (with a lot of help and support!) to fight for the life I’m meant to live and to be the person God created me to be. I wouldn’t have found this particular cliff without the recent depressive episode. There would have been little motivation or need for me to even look for it. And while I'm scared, uncertain and don't feel ready for whatever is on the other side , I have been on enough cliffs to know that if I'm willing to jump, a breakthrough is coming. We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
So, all that to say THANK YOU! Thank you for seeing beyond my layers. Thank you for joining me in planting seeds of wild hope for others who’ve experienced complex trauma. Thank you for being a part of the very foundation TWH will stand on in truth, compassion, perseverance, and hope. Thank you for holding on to hope for others until they are able to grab ahold of it for themselves (including me). With gratitude,
P.S. For those of you who are in a season of hopelessness and despair right now and are ready to fall and just stay down – WAIT, please! Another minute, another hour, another day. Hope can feel complicated and heavy. Allow this small but mighty community behind TWH to carry your unique spark of hope until you are ready to take it back for yourself. You are NOT alone!
If you feel like you've lost your hope and are experiencing thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please reach out for support. Call or text the National Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 800-273-TALK (8255). Because despite what your brain is telling you, you DO matter and you are a piece of the puzzle we call life. Without you, the puzzle will never be complete.