If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Anniversary and Thank You, Cheryl.

Edited 2-12-08 to replace Life is a Highway video.

In 1994, 10 years after my mother's death, I had what I call my functional nervous breakdown – I could still do my job, but that was about it. My marriage was in trouble. Twig was in the beginning of his drug addiction, but I had no idea what was so wrong with him that he would act the way he did. Bug had withdrawn into his world of books and RPGs. I was unable to handle even the smallest of tasks without melting down or blowing up.

The day I sat in the car for over an hour, screaming, crying and banging on the wheel I knew I needed to get some help… or end the pain once and for all. I chose to try getting help first… operative word here being “first”. I had no expectation that there was anything that could be done to help me. Lots of counselors had tried before with only temporary success.

Being the stubborn individual that I am, I continued to try and do it on my own for several weeks. When Hubby told me that he wanted to leave I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I begged him to stay and give me another chance. Because he is who he is, he didn't give up on me. I started looking for a new counselor by calling those on a list provided by the insurance company. Cheryl was the first who had an appointment available. I took it fully expecting to go there, hear the same things I’d heard a dozen times before, leave and then… I didn’t know what “then”. But God knew.

A few nights before my appointment I’d had a dream about a woman who seemed to be an angel, but I knew she wasn’t. I saw her face clearly and it lingered in my mind long after I awoke. When Cheryl opened the door, I was staring at the woman from my dream. I knew then that I’d finally found someone who could help me make my world work again.

Four years, one month, and fifteen days later, on December 9, 1998, I graduated from what was typically a 2-year trauma resolution therapy group. It was not easy work. It involved a lot of painful self examination and the re-evaluation of most of my beliefs. It involved the use of medications to help me cope with everything. It involved learning to give and accept forgiveness for myself as well as others.

There were many times when I wanted to just give up. But Cheryl and I had an agreement that if I truly wanted to quit I could – after coming to 2 more sessions. If I still wanted to quit then, we would close things up and part as friends. I wanted to quit at least a dozen times, but when I came back for my “final” session, things never seemed as bad as they were the week before, so I stayed. And stayed. And stayed. And, thank God, stayed.

Today is my 9th year of Cheryl-assisted sanity. The woman you see reflected in these pages is only here because of that kind, loving, caring, and very wonderful professional. All together I spent 6 years with Cheryl trying to overcome a horribly traumatic childhood. She, literally and figuratively saved my life. This post is my very public display of extreme gratitude and love.

Throughout our time together, Cheryl was often “treated” to my life analogies as portrayed in songs. For me, music speaks more than mere words can ever convey. When it comes to explaining my time with Cheryl, this first song says it all, telling the story of our journey together in a way that I could never hope to express so beautifully. She truly gave me wings and made me fly. I will be forever in her debt for standing by me until I could stand tall on my own.

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion

Cheryl, if you ever read this, know that this next song is where I am today. Because you loved me, I am now able to ride life’s highway with all its bumps, twists, and turns, and I know that I will reach my destination safe, sane, and secure. Your Littlest Angel is riding high on the highway of life and loving every minute of the life you helped save.

Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

For anyone else reading this, if you are hurting there IS help out there. Please don’t give up on yourself – keep looking and you, too, will find a Cheryl. From the bottom of my heart, I promise, it will be worth it because YOU are worth it. So please, just STAND!

Peace, Blessings, Gratitude and Much, Much Love.


  1. My love, you've been through hell - but you've come out stronger for the suffering. I'm so glad you found your Cheryl.

    I've an award for you on my blog. You deserve it.

  2. OHHH Dragonstar!! An award for me!!!?? I can't wait to go see it! And you are right about the strength thing. That's why I like that song, Stand, so much. It's what I do best. Now. xoxoxo

  3. I'm so sorry that you suffered so much. What an amazing and beautiful story about God bringing you right to the person He wanted to heal you. Therapy and grief recovery is not easy, but I'm glad you stuck with it. I'm awed by your courage.

  4. Thank you, Angela. I hope nobody gets the impression that I've never again had any troubles - recovery is a continual process, not a finished product. The most important thing is to keep trying and never give up. It certainly helps when people honor our struggle. Thank you for honoring mine.

  5. That was a really sweet post. I hope Cheryl manages to stumble onto it so that she knows how much of a difference she made for you.

    (BTW, your new poll cracks me up. I ask myself that every time I look at my stats.)

  6. Thanks, BBM (every time I type that I think Big Bad Mama remembering who the real boss is in your house! LOL!!!)

    I guess Cheryl will have to stumble onto it. I tried to email her and her account is closed. It was active in October when I started the blog, but now she's gone. I don't know how to contact her and so now it's weird but I'm fighting with old abandonment issues again. It's amazing what can rip old wounds open.

    I'm glad your baby girl has a mother who loves her and always will. She will never know what a true gift that is. xoxo

  7. Amazing story. Thank you for sharing. I've had dreams like that before too - it is a rare treat to be given something so special. See we are long lost twins!

    I'm proud of you for digging deep and not giving up. You are one of the good ones my friend.



  8. Thanks, Luc... Love ya, sis! ;o) (I always wanted a sister!)

  9. What a loving tribute to your counselor. As a counselor myself, I would be so touched and honored to find out that I had such a tremendous impact on somebody's life like your counselor had on yours. Thanks for all of your comments on my blog recently!

  10. Thank you, MKM. I hope that she sees it one day. Her email was still working when I sent everyone notice about my blog. Her professional ethics keeps her from getting too personal, but maybe she'll check in some day and leave me an anonymous message and my intuition will tell me it's from her. Who knows - it could happen!

  11. Thank you, Kelly. And it only half way conveys my feelings. As I always say, I'm blessed beyond my wildest imaginings!

  12. Oh, I, too am so glad you found Cheryl. I've never met you and probably never will but I do so much enjoy your blog. And if you weren't there, who would I send pictures of my grandbaby to. :):)

  13. Thank you for the comment. I do get tired of the it gets better, hang in there, and hold your head highs. It's nice to know someone really gets it.


  14. My Dear Dear "damama"

    As per our Trauma Resolution Group methodology, this evening I "heard" you read your letter to me. So now it is my turn to share my feelings with you in response to your letter.

    (It's so hard not to use your real name)....

    I feel stunned, humbled, gratitude, touched, moved, nostalgic, privileged, tremendous pride in you
    ~and yes, loved.



    Cheryl - can you tell I'm glad you made it here? Thank you so much for leaving the comment. I miss you every day. And I use the tools you gave me several times every day. Without them I'd have been toast by now! LOL!

    Please take care and drop by here any time you need a reminder of just how much you are loved.


WELL HOWDY!! Thanks so much for popping in to leave a note. PLEASE be sure to check the box by "E-mail follow-up comments to..." so that you'll get my response to your comment. I almost always respond personally And sorry for making you do the Word jumble mambo. I wish there weren't A***ole spammers running rampant in the blogverse!


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