Not quite as "quippy" as my husband, but I figured "Hey, everybody else is doing it" and "Yes, mom, I would jump off a bridge. . . "
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Third time is a charm . . .
In March of 2012, I was given the privilege to go to the Early Trauma and Attachment Annual Meeting in Orlando. It was life changing. I found my people. I felt so at home with those who were raising children who came from hard places such as my son. Some had children from foster care, some had children from international adoption and some even had bio children or step children. The common thread was the effect of early trauma on our children. I learned so much from my fellow moms of trauma and I was changed. That year I soaked in all the information I heard. I became a better parent, a better wife and a better person. I began to research alternative methods and became involved in learning Reiki. I was irrevocably changed due to my time in Orlando.
In March of 2013, I was thrilled to return to Orlando. That year my focus was a bit different. I felt the need to speak to as many women as I possibly could. I searched out others for their techniques and their parenting styles. I felt like I could not possibly learn enough. I wanted to talk to others and learn from their experiences. It was a freeing year as I sought out new people and new information. I learned about EFT tapping and continue to use it daily. Our leader, Corey had made the decision to step down from her duties and a wonderful woman stepped up to the plate. Rachel asked me to help and I was thrilled. We began to really delve into the reasons people came to Orlando and what we could do to improve the wonderful legacy that we had been left with.
This last 12 months have been a whirlwind of planning and learning. Beyond Trauma and Attachment (BeTA) was born. A website was created. We drew together a Board of Directors and had lots of input on this year's retreat. We meshed well as a group and the 10 Board Members and the 10 Host Mothers for this year worked our tails off to provide a wonderful framework for this year's retreat. Rachel was our driving force and her HARD WORK and her desire to reach out to families who needed us inspirational. I am thankful for her guidance and friendship.
This past week I traveled to Orlando for my third time. Each time I have been involved with this retreat I have learned so much about myself and this year was no different. This year I think I grew more on a personal level. I learned so much about myself and I learned that I am loved and cherished by my friends. This year I happened to be going through a serious illness with my husband and I have never felt so very
I was blessed to be the host mom of 12 wonderful women. While we all came from different backgrounds and perspectives we respected and held one another up. I have never seen more bravery, more love, more kindness personified. I met women who are raising children who have been challenged with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, BiPolar, Schizophrenia and RAD. I met mommas who are caring for children with physical disabilities and children who appear to be completely typical. The one thing we have in common is that we have all been affected by trauma just as our children have. I cried and laughed more than I ever knew I could. I learned so very many things.
This year was MY year. It was more about me than my kids. I spent most of my time in my own villa, getting to know those around me. I shared things that I have learned and I listened. I listened to so many brave women share their stories. I reveled in the fact that we are all strong and we CAN do this.
I also spent time in the presence of those most precious to me. I strengthened relationships that were started the past few years. I worked on feeling their energy and surrounding myself with the positivity. I tried to attune myself to the energy of others and just plain sit with the "goodness". I needed to rest in the fact that I am loved. As mothers we sometimes forget that we are important too. That was the gift that Orlando gave me this year. This year I found out that I am important.
Tears were a big part of Orlando for me this year. I cried because of the pain I felt for others and their own trauma. I cried because I felt so special and loved. I cried because I don't want to leave those that I love so very much. I cried because we are all so damn strong and I am so proud of all of us. But I mostly cried because I am blessed to be a part of something bigger than myself. I am blessed to see others coming together to help, hold up and love others.
The next several months hold lots of trauma for our family. My husband will be receiving a new liver. Someone will give him the gift of life. I will need much support and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my BeTA ladies have my back. I have filled my cup with the goodness that is Orlando and I know I can revisit that fountain as I need to over the next year. The gift I have been given is priceless. I have been given the gift of acceptance, love and kinship.
The legacy that was started 4 years ago lives on and I am eternally grateful for that one brave woman who stepped out and reached out to others living a very similar life. Thank you Corey. You are loved and your vision lives on.