by Kayla Myers, Family Peer Supporter
August 22, 2023
The day I became a mom to my son was the greatest day of my life. While I was pregnant and in those first months of being his mom, I don’t ever remember doubting my abilities. I knew I would try every day to be the mom my kids needed. It is interesting now looking back, I can point out where I let all my doubts, fears, and unhealed trauma, creep in and steal the precious moments I had with my boys. Being a mom is hard yes, but motherhood was the very thing that came into my life and pushed me to unpack the things I never processed, to heal, and to love myself. Nothing could ever compare to the love and grace my boys showered me with. They made me feel loved on the days I could barely look in the mirror because I was a sad, lonely, an empty vessel who was living in survival mode.
Throughout motherhood, the thing that stands out the most on my recovery journey, is how triggering my kids were to the unhealed parts of me. Selfish I know. How could I let my mind trick me into feeling unworthy of their love or that I would fail them? How could I let my doubts become so big, that I let them feel the very things I should have dealt with a long time ago? It’s something I am slowly trying to forgive myself for, but I know it takes time and I must lead by example. I didn’t know what I now know about unhealed trauma. Trauma is the undetected cancer living in every person we encounter daily. Who wants to be the person that is still talking about their past because it wasn’t that bad or knowing we had to keep moving along because that’s what was expected of us? If trauma isn’t “dealt” with, we see it come out of ourselves in many ways such as self-sabotaging behaviors, anxiety, or depression, just to name a few. I finally had enough of the way I was living my life and started to dive deep into the parts of my past that were buried so deep inside of me, and I was finally able to shine a light on them. While I was never neglectful to my boys, I was neglecting myself more than ever when I became a mom. I kept pouring from a cup that was already empty because I didn’t have the tools on how to pour back into myself. When you keep living your life this way, it can feel so overwhelming and defeating.
My journey in recovery is still and will continue to be a work in progress. But I know I have little ones who look to me for guidance and to be their example. The best thing I have learned is to ask for what I need when I feel like I am drowning, to offer myself grace when I don’t feel worthy of it, and how to be present with my children. While parenting, it is important for me to be vulnerable and honest with my children when I am not feeling my best. When I do this now, it shows them that even adults don’t have it all figured out and we struggle ourselves. This shift in communication helps with everyone’s internal needs in the family unit because more conversations are being had and heard. My hope is that my family can see I will never stop working on myself so I can always show up the best way I can, in the moments they depend on me. I am worthy of love and so are they.