Pam’s Story: #4

These stories are to help others, not to be criticized, judged, or looked down on. If I see any comments that look even a bit judgmental I will remove them and block you. This is your only warning.

Describe yourself:
I am a strong 53 year old woman who has been married for 31 years and has raised two amazing daughters age 20 and 23.  I went back to work 3 years ago as a psychotherapist after taking almost 20 years off to be the primary director of our family life.  I have extraordinary relationships with my daughters and husband and am grateful for our time together.  

What are your biggest insecurities? 
My biggest insecurities are around my abilities…am I good enough to do what I do…I have imposter syndrome. 

What are your biggest fears?  
My biggest fears are something bad will happen to my family.  I also fear financial insecurities…

How do you get through your fears?  
I get through the fears by trying not to focus on it…just having faith that everything will be ok.

If married, what are the biggest struggles you have in your marriage? 
My biggest struggles happened after we were married around 10 years.  We had 2 young children and were in the start up years of our first business.  I felt like my husband was always focused on work, even when home he was only half here.  I felt neglected and became more distant as a result.  Our relationship suffered and we began to disconnect from each other. 

How do you get through those struggles in your marriage?  
We learned to really talk to each other.  We went to counseling and really started talking about expectations and how we could meet each others expectations.  For instance, he didn’t have to come home every night for dinner and bedtime rituals, but I needed to know when he was going to come home so I can learn what to expect from him.  I became very open and honest about what I needed and what I was willing to do if he was not able to meet my needs.  

What is a trial that you feel alone in?  
I’m not sure that I really feel alone anymore.  When I was having struggles in my relationship, I definitely felt alone.  I think that from the outside we put on the image we want to portray to others – but it is not real. 

How do you get through that trial?
I have learned to be more congruent with the people in my own circle.  If I am afraid, or stressed, I learned to talk about it – to trust other people.  Letting other people in was the biggest adjustment for me – and the biggest gift.  When you let other people in you learn the true meaning of friendship.  

Have you ever had something traumatizing happen to you? If comfortable sharing, what is it?  It’s traumatizing in a different way…my dad became sick when I was 10 but my parents didn’t talk about it.  I came home from a visit with my grandparents and my dad was picking me up from the airport.  I had a fantasy of running into his arms and him picking me up.  However, instead of that fantasy, my dad was standing slumped to the left, he looked disheveled, and he didn’t hug me.  For months I was told he was just tired.  I discovered my dad had MS by reading papers on the kitchen table.  The next 6 years were filled with medical trials and tribulations that ended with my father dying in a nursing home when I was 16. 

What advice would you give someone going through similar trials?  
I think the most important thing is to talk about what you are going through.  Everyone has a story – there isn’t one person who is walking around that doesn’t have a scar from something – no one goes through life “unscathed”.  

What are your biggest blessings? 
 My biggest blessings are my family.  I have a partner who is always pushing me to be a better version of myself and showing me each day how much he appreciates me.  He has become an “all in”  father and partner and even my children know this.  I have learned that we cannot control other people, we only control ourselves.  When we make changes then everything shifts – and we always have choices.  

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