Goodbye Annie! Hello Ann!
Annie a 90’s baby girl raised by an abusive father. A young child who tried her best to keep everyone around her happy. The victim of physical abuse from her father and older sibling, mental and emotional abuse from many adults in her life. Verbal abuse from many family members. Sexually assaulted at the age of 11. Left alone and unprotected she went down a path that was leading her through deeply unhealthy things.
She became a childless mother at 14 when her son David died. Then a mother of a rainbow baby boy at 17 & had another son at 18. Lost in the world fighting her own mental illness struggles of Anxiety, Manic Depression and PTSD caused by the things she survived. Trying to stay afloat in the chaos that was her life. She hit rock bottom at 20.
She knew her children would need her but she wasn’t sure she was worthy of happiness, love or change. This was the cards she was dealt and no one was going to save her from it. Until one day she was reminded that there was good in the world. It gave her hope to get up and try again. She got engaged, put herself through college and tried for a baby girl.
Everything changed she went through college pregnant with a little girl, she started going to therapy to help her manage her mental illness. She began to change and the people in her life who were toxic began to struggle with her shifts and with her fiance. She held on to the toxic family she was born into because she didn’t want to be alone. Luck would have it that she was left by them at her darkest and toughest times.
She became homeless with her daughter and fiance after a housefire. Everything she knew, that she had was gone. Hitting rock bottom didn’t even cover what life was like for those 8 months. She did her best to go to therapy, to be a good mom to her daughter and be present for her son’s who lived with their other side of the family. She found an early learning program for her daughter, something to help teach her things that Annie knew she couldn’t provide for her child.
The world shifted after that, they got into a tiny two-bedroom where she got back on her feet and went to therapy weekly. She got married and that was the first time she was on her own without her bio family. Still fighting fear she managed to start working from home and earning some extra income. She started volunteering her time to the early learning program her daughter was in. Began having a solid and consistent presence with her sons too.
Annie began working with a life coach and doing personal development along with her therapy. She grew stronger than she had ever been before. Life was looking up and they moved into a 3 bedroom townhouse where they had enough space for all the kids and she started really pursuing her own home business. Suddenly everything started to get dark again, her health began to plummet.
Not knowing what was going on or why it was happening. She went to doctors saw specialists, many tests were done. Annie was diagnosed with Severe Anemia, she was at risk every month of bleeding out if she didn’t get her health under control. One of her doctors suggested surgery that would help reduce her risk and potentially save her life. Now at 26 years old, she had to make a choice.
She agreed to try surgery, her husband took her to the clinic he was by her side as she got ready for surgery and she laid in bed waiting to be taken back to the O.R. she sat there looking at him on his phone. Thinking about their daughter and their kids, how she didn’t want to die. She began to cry and fear that she wouldn’t wake up again.
Her family wasn’t there, they didn’t even call to check on her or see how things were going. She went into the O.R it was cold, she had stopped crying. They had her move herself the table from her bed and she laid down. Looking up at the lights the put a mask on her told her to count backward from 10. She began to panic and sit up, but they calmed her and she laid down again counting into the darkness…
Annie coded on the table.
The woman who woke up was not the same girl who had gone to sleep. Something had shifted and changed. She woke up her eyes were struggling to see, her throat sore and dry. She reached for her glasses and kept coughing, her body trembling, and in the blankets was a heating tube. She began to cry and wondering where her husband was. She asked a nurse who came in where he was because she was alone. She was told he could come in after she was awake.
The rest was a blurry memory of leaving the clinic and going home with three bandages on her lower abdomen. What came next was more than just physical healing it was an internal war that she was not prepared to fight. Her value was in question, her worthiness was in question, her husband’s wants or desires of her were in question. This experience broke her apart, old limiting beliefs became present wounds that consumed her mind.
For months she struggled, therapy didn’t seem to make sense and she gave up hope for her business as her clients one by one left. She gave it all up, shut everything down for her business and was going to just be a stay at home mom. She had no energy or time for anything else, she felt hopeless and empty.
She joined a Facebook group that would change her life forever. She started by just observing people's posts until one asked about a virtual assistant. That was the business she closed, they asked about seeing her work and she spent 24 hours putting her website together so that they could see her work. This simple interaction in a comment thread led her to open up to a potential new client. What she didn’t know what the transformations that were coming.
She began volunteering more for the early learning program
She went to a weekend retreat for the early learning program (alone)
She began working with a spiritual coach
She began diving into spirituality and self-care
She graduated therapy after 4 years of weekly visits
She grew her business beyond her wildest dreams
She became stronger!
Annie was gone and Ann was coming through. The more work she did, the more personal development and spiritual growth she did. The more she grew the more she gave back to the early learning community. She joined a state group for parents and began to travel to conferences for the state while still volunteering for her local community. She began to let go and release the burdens of the past.
At the age of 29, Ann fully emerged as a new person! A stronger person a successful business woman who is driven to share her story to help others know that they can thrive in their life. It’s not an easy path but it is one that can lead to many amazing things. Today is the 3 year anniversary of the day that Annie coded on that table and we say goodbye to the girl who survived in order for this woman to thrive!
Goodbye Annie! Hello Ann!
Songs that were my theme songs
Annie (my childhood nickname): Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
Ann: Rise - Katty Perry