Read an excerpt
When I was a young girl, I realized I was different from my peers. I was quiet and reserved; yet I was very sensitive to other people’s feelings. I had a select few friends who would come into my life quickly and then leave when circumstances separated us. Like me, these friends were usually people who did not fit in well. Whether through divorce, adoption, foster childhood or race, they were all different in some way. I could feel their loneliness or low self-esteem. Naturally, I gravitated toward them because I understood. I was what we would now call an “empath” but did not know this at the time.
As I became a teenager, all of my classmates were busy figuring out what they wanted to major in at college. I knew I was going to attend college, but I really didn’t care what my major or possible career would be. All I ever really wanted in life was to be a mom. Family was comforting for me and represented security. To nurture and be compassionate came naturally to me. That’s all I really knew about myself.
How devastating it was for me then, to be told at age 23 that I could never have children due to excess scar tissue caused by endometriosis. I cried and cried for my lost dreams and grieved internally for years. Then at the age of 27, I was shocked to find out that I had become pregnant.
I was single with a mediocre, low-paying dead-end job. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but felt thrilled to see my life-long dream coming true. Of course, I was scared, but I had a deep conviction in my heart that this child was “a gift from God.” My silent prayer had been heard and answered!
Imagine how I felt when I gave birth to a peanut at 29 weeks. The neonatologist and staff were trying to prepare me to accept the likelihood of his death and/or severe disability. But I knew deep down inside that my son would survive, that he had been given to me for a reason. Of course, I had no idea at the time what that higher purpose might be besides for me to love him.
I remember making a pact with God then. I had no religious beliefs, but, when you are desperate, you begin to acknowledge a power greater than yourself. I told God that if He saved my son I would do whatever He wanted. I would serve Him and do His bidding. I had no clue what form that service might take, but I believed God would guide me or show me what to do along the way. I believed that as long as I remained open to all possibilities, the path would present itself to me.
Decades have passed and writing this memoir of raising my son Nick has helped me realize what my service has been: To discover, clarify, and guide the personal transformations and spiritual awakenings of others. Everyone has gifts and every soul, a purpose. I see it as my calling to help others find their purpose.
Sounds lofty and a bit heady, I know. But it’s true. Helping Nick discover who he is and why he is here has assisted him in seeing the bigger picture: his life purpose. In doing so, he has helped many others. And so have I. It started a domino effect which in turn has led to a “butterfly effect” that can transform anyone who chooses to travel this path to awakening.
It has been a continual journey of self-discovery for both of us. We have employed countless techniques from various cultures, centuries, and belief systems. The plan of action was to leave no stone unturned.
Nick has healed on many levels and to varying degrees. Many say it was a miracle. I believe he has tapped into his own inner beliefs and thought processes by moving beyond “normal” consciousness.
By helping Nick, I healed as well. To this day, my son has been and continues to be my greatest teacher. You might be saying, “Oh my child is too severely disabled,” or “My child’s behavior is too violent,” or “My child is too medically compromised.” You may find yourself thinking, “I am too burnt out to try something new,” or “I am too angry, too frustrated, too resentful, too lonely, and too sad.”
I understand completely, because my son and I have endured all of these roller coaster emotions as well.
I didn’t dwell too long in the dark pit, however, for I knew that this would neither serve me nor my son. Whenever I felt those emotions building inside me, I would retreat to the privacy of my room or to the car to be alone. I would ask God, Spirit, or a departed loved one to help me release the heavy load that I was carrying. A wave of emotion would swirl within me like a cyclone until it rose to my throat and screamed out a sob. Explosive sobbing would follow.
Funny how I would feel like I split into two bodies: the sufferer who was releasing the emotional burden and the quiet observer compassionately waiting for the “steam to escape from the pressure cooker.” This detached self-observation worked for me. Within a few minutes I would always regain my composure and carry on.
My intention in writing this book is to invite you to explore another way of coping, a different way of interpreting your experiences. I would like to open your mind to non-conventional options, including spiritual and metaphysical healing modalities. Opening and elevating your consciousness will ultimately result in personal transformation both for you and for all who follow you. You will gain new insights into the lessons of your own life and of your child’s as well. More importantly, you will discover your life purpose, which is inseparable from your experience with your special needs’ child.
Healing comes in all forms. There is no right way or wrong way to heal. I would like to show you an alternative way of viewing your child’s struggles by which both of you may benefit, grow, and expand your possibilities.
I am not saying this journey is a cure. I am saying that when you discover your innate gifts and when you consciously choose to change your inner thoughts, that is when a shift occurs and magic happens. Miracles transpire large and small, and each one of us is worthy and entitled to love, a sense of purpose and the experience of joy in its fullest expression.
I hope that after reading our story, you will explore and try some of the techniques and strategies that have worked for us. Perhaps you will also gain answers to the following questions that might stir in your mind:
⦁ How do I release frustration, anger, and grief in order to feel alive and experience a sense of freedom?
⦁ How do I heal the relationships that matter most?
⦁ How do I recapture joy?
⦁ Why me?
⦁ What is my life purpose?
Everyone is entitled to and worthy of “creating” their own transformation. This is a memoir of how my son Nick and I did it. Take what you can. If it makes sense to you, then try it.
If not, let it go and move on. Some of what you are about to read will hopefully ring true for you. All I ask is that you “pay it forward” by sharing what you learn with others.