A Traumatic Journey to Counselling, and why I want you to find wellness

Everyone has a story.

Sometimes that story is filled with abundance, love, fulfilment, and everything that persons heart desires.

Sometimes that story also includes trauma, loss, grief and fear.

What others might perceive as a person who has never had a down day in their life, confident and bubbly, might actually be someone who struggles at some point every single day and continuously makes choices to help herself.

I’m going to tell you my story. My reason is, I hope that by baring myself to you as a human being, with her own faults, you see how much I value wellness, and that I sincerely and genuinely have a need to help people achieve this wellness.

Bear with me if you can, as its not going to be an easy story to write, and may not have structure or correctness but it comes straight from the heart.

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I come from a large split family, and I am the eldest of 8 children combined. Some of that large family aren’t involved in my life and some are. Something that I have learned along the way (and some of those lessons were rather hard), was that its ok. Just because some people are labelled family it doesn’t mean you need to be close. Quite often we grow apart because we actually are quite different and sometimes the differing values and opinions just can’t be ignored and accepted. This is ok too. Don’t get me wrong, I have many people, family members who I love and who I would love to see all the time, but due to physical distance I don’t get to see them as much as I would like.

I once read ‘family doesn’t have to be blood’ and I firmly believe this. The people we surround ourselves with and fill our lives with,  they are our family. Some might be blood relatives and some might be very close friends. This is what is important. Let go of people in your life who make you feel less than, who make you feel unworthy, who makes you feel like you have to request their love. Instead, hold close the people who love you for being you, who you feel comfortable with and who make you laugh.

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In my 20’s I met an amazing man, after a few years we married and I became an instant step-mum to his 2 boys. Our wedding was one of the best days of my life. It was surreal and I felt like a princess. Everything was as it was in the movies, I was becoming the luckiest woman in the entire world. Everything was as it should be, life was perfect.

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When I was growing up and continuing through into high school, when I would be asked that question that seems to define us “what do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was always “a mum.” I had a picture in my mind of me, married to a wonderful husband and kiddies running around us. It wasn’t long after we were married before we started to work towards that dream.

After struggling with endometriosis throughout my teenage years and early 20’s and then having surgery to laser the affected areas (which was the majority of my womanly organs), I had a daunting fear that it would be hard to fall pregnant.

Sure enough, we had many visits to a specialist, many tests to check our fertility and I had another surgery to check that all was well physically. After a month on Clomid, we fell with twins! We were overwhelmed but most of all so excited to have our babies.

We told just about everyone we knew and had no fear of complications, how wonderful it was to be blissfully unaware. At our 13 week scan, we were thrown into the world of the aware. One of our babies had stopped growing and there was no heartbeat. I was told my body would “absorb the foetus” over time and we would simply keep monitoring the healthy baby as normal. Our world became a lot smaller and I felt we had been thrown into the deep end of a large pool with our feet tied together. We had the horrible task of explaining to people what had happened, and seeing their faces drop. Hearing “at least you’ve still got a baby in there” didn’t help. “At least you’re still pregnant” and “At least you know you can get pregnant” were also of no help. I smiled and tried to ignore the comments, part of me recognised that these comments were given from people who most likely just had no idea of what to say to me. I accepted that they were trying to be comforting to me.

Our beautiful girl was born and we were once again thrown into the deep pool, this time it was called “parenting.” Wow what a rollercoaster, and we definitely weren’t prepared. She is now 5 and I still feel at times I’m in that pool again, but the overwhelming love I have for her completely erases the tough moments. She is such a blessing to us.

3 years ago my husband and I decided to try to have another baby. I had always wanted 2 children and I wanted our daughter to be a big sister. The fear of loss did return, we were hesitant and worried. After a few assisted cycles, I was pregnant!

Oh the anxiety and worry. Leading up to our first scan I remember my husband doing is best to reassure me, to tell me everything would be fine this time. We had a dating scan and were told they couldn’t see anything much as yet and it must be too early. Needless to say, we were both freaked out. We had to wait another few weeks to finally be reassured, and we were. We were definitely pregnant and super excited. That worried, anxious feeling didn’t leave though, this time around we knew what could go wrong. We had read and heard many stories of exactly what can go wrong, and we were no longer blissful unaware.

We did keep the announcements to a bare minimum though, just in case, but started looking at bigger cars and going into baby shops. We were still so excited. We bought a large 7 seater to fit us all in, and that was enough to get us through to the next scan.

I had my blood tests and we went to the scan, scared out of our minds, nervous and super excited. I honestly didn’t know you could feel so many emotions at one time.

During the scan, we were shown our beautiful baby. We heard their heart beating and watched as they sucked their fingers and kicked their legs, even though they were too little for me to feel it yet. The sonographer did her measurements and showed us fingers and toes. She asked us to wait in the waiting room for the doctor so she could go through the results with us. As far as we were concerned, all was good in the world, our baby had a heartbeat. We talked about who we would tell first and what we would say on Facebook.

We were called into the doctors room and she showed us some numbers on her computer. My eyes ran over the screen and I waited for her to tell us the figures were all fine, just like she did for our daughter.

Into that deep pool we went again. This time arms AND legs were bound, and I couldn’t breathe. Our baby was “incompatible with life”, our “baby wouldn’t make it to 20 weeks gestation and if they did, and were born, they would have genetic deformities and wouldn’t survive to the age of 1”. I could no longer see, I couldn’t look at the doctor, I couldn’t look at my husband, I was numb and just wanted to be nowhere.

The days after that are a blur. We told family and close friends, we lost some of those friends through lack of support and understanding. We saw a genetic counsellor about the so called options that we had. All we knew was that we couldn’t bare for anyone to suffer. For our daughter to see my belly growing and to then have to grieve. For our baby to slowly grow and then be in pain.

A few days later, our baby was born at 13 weeks and 4 days old. My first reaction was fear, I didn’t know what they would look like, my mind was blurry and I didn’t feel like myself. Looking back, I know I wasn’t myself, not even close. I wasn’t thinking right, I was up and down, and I was numb.

My husband held our baby, I held our baby, he was a boy and we named him Levi. The social worker told me to take as much time as I needed, I knew I could never have as much time as I possibly needed, or I would never leave him. He was precious and looked just like any other baby, his only abnormality was a lump which ran from the back of his head down to the bottom of his spine. He was beautiful.

We took photos, we were given assistance to find a funeral director, and we began the horrific tasks to arrange for our child to be cremated. A task no parent should ever have to be faced with.

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It was through the grief that I realised I had a need to help people. I began to study and my world began to change. I began to learn how to search for the positives in tough situations, and realised I had an opportunity to help others do the same.

Sometimes you can feel like you’re fine and then out of nowhere you feel like you’re hit by a mack truck and you have no idea how to get up.

My focus is to help people in whatever areas they are struggling with. This could be family, relationships, work, self-confidence, parenting, and many other areas life throws at us.

Thank you for reading my story, I hope I have given you an insight into myself and why wellness and helping people is so important to me.

If you have any questions about how I can help you, please contact me either using the contact us tab or through Facebook messages http://www.facebook.com/leisamacnamaracounselling

I wish you peace, love and happiness

Leisa

xx

6 thoughts on “A Traumatic Journey to Counselling, and why I want you to find wellness

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