Dear Dr. Archer,
First I'd like to say thank you for even caring. Whether you can help me or not, I thank you. I went through postpartum depression, I was spit on at my casino job and after 19 years of marriage I had my heart not broken, but shattered. I lost my grandfather and my son was shot 9 times.
When my son was shot I lost it completely. The only thing I've ever done right was to have my children. To watch him night after night fight for his life was like someone stabbing me in the heart, every night.
During the pain of watching my son, I never got to see a doctor, although I knew I needed to see one. I was a complete mental mess; I couldn't remember anything or keep up with anything. I didn't want to be around people, I was so messed up.
Now I'm a work in progress. I can feel my fingers now. I'm slowly coming back to life, slowly working my way back.
Life is full of surprises, joys, challenges and tragedies; we cannot escape them. How we deal with the many obstacles we face ultimately determines the success or failure of who we are.
The psychological survivor I speak about in "The Power Of Hope"
actually, embraces the uncertainty of life, and realizes it's how we act and react to circumstances that determines how we survive, and how we live our future. These folks have the wisdom to take each and every experience -- good and bad -- and learn the lesson and then move forward without dwelling on it.
Yes, it sounds like you have had your share of challenges, Yolanda, but you also show a resilience. What mother, seeing her son fighting for his life, would not want to trade places? That is the sign of a loving and dedicated parent.
Your son also has his own challenges, trials and joys as I assume he survived the shooting. Now is not the time to give up, and now is not the time to question "why me?"
The resilience you show will serve you well as you continue your journey. You are definitely a work in progress -- we all are. You must continue coming back to life, slowly but surely. Work your way back and continue on with this new wisdom.
Life, for all of it's challenges, should be viewed with respect and wisdom. We are not born wise, Yolanda. We learn as we grow, and those that listen also learn from their elders.
I'm sure you learned much from your beloved grandfather, who also learned from his parents and grandparents. In the same way, the way you face life will also teach your son and your other children. It's the circle of life, and you are an example for your children to follow.
Whether it's job related, a broken marriage, losing loved ones, parenting or simply interacting with your neighbors, seek the value that can be found in each and every problem you face.
You are and will continue to be a survivor, with all the strength and power that goes along with that knowledge. I think you should read "@UnwarnedLife Won't Give Up"
and also follow the links within.
One more thing, Yolanda. Life is, indeed, full of difficulties, but it's also full of joy and beauty. Be sure never to forget that. Life is to be enjoyed. The better you cope with life's problems, the more likely you will embrace the joys and laughter.
When life gets overwhelming, remember the words of Vivian Greene, "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning how to dance in the rain." All the best to you.