I am a storyteller.
My story of motherhood started in 2012 when I became pregnant with my first child. Making the identity transition from woman to mother was challenging for me. I questioned if I was making the right decision in becoming a mom, having grown up never really wanting children until I met my right person, Nick, who became my husband. Then, in the days before my first daughter’s birth, wide with her inside me, I had come to terms with my new role as a mother, fully embracing it the night before my daughter’s due date only to have my motherhood taken away, when they placed my sweet baby girl, Nora, stillborn into my arms four days past her due date.
This is when I became a storyteller.
To heal my hurts after Nora’s death I turned to writing to heal my heart. I wrote daily, and everywhere I went. I wrote at work when I should have been working. I wrote a night next to Nick in bed in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep and I wrote first thing when I would wake up. Sharing my words on sad baby loss blogs and eventually national publications. Sharing my story as a way to share my daughter’s short one.
But, I was and am also a story listener.
I was a story listener before I was a storyteller. After college I was lost, depressed, anxious and hopeless. Floundering in not knowing what to do with my life and so low at 23 years-old that I ended up in a therapist’s office and like other therapist’s that’s where I learned I wanted to be a therapist. So I went back to graduate school to be a story listener.
And over my ten years of practice focused on supporting women through everything from addiction recovery, the trauma of domestic violence, and the struggles of living with a severe and persistent mental illness I found that storytelling, mine and my own was part of being a story listener.
We learn through story. Ours and others.
For the past six years, I have specialized in being a story listener to mother’s embarking on their motherhood journey or struggling to make their way through. As a psychotherapist who is specially trained and certified in Perinatal Mental Health, I have helped hundreds of mothers rewrite their motherhood stories, come to terms with them, learn how to thrive in their story of motherhood after their own heartaches and hard times on the journey of motherhood, all by being their story listener.
I share my story with you today, and with clients of mine, to give you and others permission to share your story. And, if I am lucky, I hope that you will grant me the privilege of being your story listener.