I'm The Author Now - Guest post by Kameron McKenzie

Monday, July 17, 2017

I am so excited to introduce you to Kameron from Mombie and the Munchkin Monster.com! I put out a request for Mother Stories and she responded with her powerful story. As a survivor of childhood trauma she shares her path of healing and her determination to write her own happiness on the story of her life. I am proud to share such an amazing, inspiring woman with you!

*Trigger warning: contains details of childhood trauma and sexual abuse.*

My Story – I’m The Author Now 

I was 6 years old. I can't even think back on how small I was. I know I was in Kindergarten and my parents weren't living together anymore. But I never remember a time they did live together, as is a common story with many children in our world.

I look at other children at that age now. I see their innocence, their exuberance for life. I see their energy and desire to play and explore their world. I particularly see the ways in which they look up to their parents.

Around this age, I think I wanted to be seen by my parents. I say 'I think' because I don't actually remember it that well.  I wanted to be seen by my father in particular, although I don't explicitly recall that desire. He was an emotionally distant person… so was my depressed and alcoholic mother actually, but at least she was kinda there. (My mother is a WHOLE other story).

No, at this age I look back and only see the bad. I remember the time I peed my pants on the playground and was so embarrassed. I remember the time my mom dragged me out of school for showing up in pajamas after staying the night with my father. But the memory that dims all other potentially good memories at this age is the intrusive one of my father sexually abusing me.

I'm currently 37 years old. I spent nearly a decade… maybe more, processing this trauma. Before that it shaped my life in ways that I didn't understand until much later. I spent many years in counseling. I experienced failed relationships and made a lot of decisions I very much regret when it came to men.  I dealt with PTSD symptoms such as intrusive memories,  hypervigilance, and extreme body memories to name a few. I spent many years depressed and full of anxiety. I hated my body and was disgusted with my reflection in the mirror.

I placed blame on myself, and still fight shame about what happened.  Couldn't I have stopped it?  Why did I want to be around him when this happened?  Why did I experience pleasure? 

Like I stated, it took years and years of therapy, and a self-driven desire to understand and heal, to realize it wasn't my fault. What I experienced was a normal reaction for something that is in no way normal. Children are not supposed to experience these things. Ever.

But now I'm a statistic. Statistics show that 1 in 5 female children are sexually abused. 1… in… 5!! 

If you consider your child's classroom of 15-30 or so children. 3-6 little girls have possibly experienced this kind of trauma. Yes, that's an extremely depressing fact.

Now that you're thoroughly bummed let me turn the page here.

I have come a long way in my healing. My resiliency in life has astounded me many times. I should have been a drug addict, suicidal or possibly dead by now. Through my darkest times, I managed to somehow gain a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and maintain a full-time job in the field of Police Dispatching. After a lifetime of being agnostic, I found Christ, learned to love myself through His eyes and married the incredible man God used to bring me to Him.  This is the healthiest I've ever been.  My life has been made anew.

And now I'm a mom.

At the age of 36, I became a mom to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. She has changed my life in the most extreme and beautiful ways.  She makes me want to be a better person. Because if I'm a better person, I can be a better mom, and through this, she gets the childhood she deserves… the kind of childhood every child deserves.

Since I'm a new mom, I pretty much have no clue what I'm doing!  I've found myself googling tons of things about the development of my now eight-month-old child. I've spent hours on the couch while my baby nursed to sleep researching developmental milestones, what's normal and what's not about a ton of topics.

Why does my little one flail and arch her back?  Why at three months is she eating like a linebacker?  My munchkin started acting clingy and fussy at the same time she learned a new skill… what's going on??  What are the reasons she cries?  How do I best soothe her?  Is it ok to nurse to sleep… because I totally do.

I've become quite obsessed with learning and learning… and learning. It's in my nature I suppose, to want to be as informed as possible about things I don't understand.  And I sure don't understand my child. I have instincts that I rely on to guide me. But researching facts helps me to understand her. This knowledge empowers me as a mom and helps me understand realistic expectations so I can better interact with my child.

But here's what I kinda expected but had no clue how it would manifest… how my trauma history shaped the way I parent.

I had no idea I'd be anxious about the way my child is cared for. Who knew I'd be uber protective over who watched her in my absence when I go to work or have the ever elusive date night.  I also had no idea how much I'm drawn to being a stay at home mom.  I want to be able to provide my daughter with as much of my time and love as I can give.

I want to be better than my parents were. I want her to know love, tenderness, and safety. I want her to know I'm present and can always be a safe space when she's scared or needs to talk... WHEN she can talk of course.  I trust in myself and my relationship with her father to know she will be daddy's little girl. I want to learn how to love her more and more and raise her in a way that gives her every opportunity to have a rich, wonderful childhood.

I've learned self-sacrifice and how to be attentive. I've learned to manage my frustrations, mixed emotions and found my voice to advocate for my daughter when I need to do so. 

I'm the mom I am because of my difficult journey.  And for that I'm grateful. 

I have found a passion for being a better mom for my little girl. But I've also found a passion for helping others to be better parents to their children as well.

 I've started a journey to do just that.  My blog www.mombieandthemunchkinmonster.com is a testimony to my love of researching child development and passing along what I've been learning.

I hope, soon, to be starting a new project that inspires, educates and encourages parents who have experienced childhood abuse because the cycle of abuse can be broken. But more so, we do not have to be defined by our past.  Nor do our children need to live in the shadows of this during their lifetime.

I'm excited to be able to start this new book in the story of my family.  I'm the author, and that knowledge empowers me!  The generational cycle of abuse and dysfunction does not need to continue.  My family's future and the story that is told, it starts today with me.  If you hear yourself in my story, know that your story can indeed change, and it all starts with you.

Thank you, Kameron, for sharing your heart with us! If you'd like to learn more and connect with Kameron, check out her blog at www.mombieandthemunchkinmonster.com and her Facebook page ! Also, remember that if you have a story you'd like to share please contact me!

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