The Journey A Survivor Takes Is A Choice The Healing...Takes Courage!
My name is Maureen Joy, and this is my Healing Journey.
Mine is one story amongst many survivors who walk with the overwhelming pain of surviving a trauma. It is a journey of extreme despair to enlightened resilience; a journey if given the opportunity- I would never choose!
My emotional roller coaster was anything but a ride in an amusement park; The price in my mind was too high to pay…I wanted to say, “No Thanks! I’ll sit this one out”…
As if I had a choice…but no one asked me. I felt like a piece of shrapnel that was left behind from the destruction of my sister’s Jill’s murder.
I did not want to live in a world where I did not feel safe and there was no such thing as justice!
It took years of intense grief and anger management work to quiet the rage and sublimate the pain into purpose. My focus became, healing my heart, that was broken and shut down. As a natural songwriter, it is the gift I came here as a soul who chose to connect with others through my lyrics and intention to heal all pain in the world through a heart connection. I purged my pain, my songs were my catharsis that allowed me to reconnect in a loving way with others..to release the negative feelings along the way about feeling so abandoned by life. My songs flow through me…I do not sit down to write a song. I get a strong feeling that has to be birthed and released. I put my hands on the keyboard and through emotional energy a song evolves and I feel a sense of relief. I realized early on if I felt so validated , this could also be something that other people could resonate with and feel their pain is acknowledged through compassionate empathy that runs through every cell in my body.
Mom and I were emeshed from the moment Jill was killed; It was if no one really understood what it felt like to walk in our shoes..family and friends often fell by the way side- only the strong chose to fight their own discomfort and stay by our side. My friends were more supportive than moms’ and this extra support made a world of a difference to how we coped, now as Homicide Survivors. Mom turned to the only coping mechanism she knew- food.
This eventually turned into an addiction that with the combination of a broken heart, manifested several chronic illnesses with obesity as the onset, that stole my mom years too soon- she died in my arms one week before her 75th birthday. She struggled for 19 years to overcome her heartache as a mother whose child died before her. Mom was unable to do the intense grief work I did in order to acquire new skills to live in a world that seemed foreign from what we knew; Everything I knew was now gone and my core beliefs where shattered! As I watched mom get sicker, I got more resentful and angry at life; There was no such thing as fair or justice! As I continued to heal through many modalities including mind, body, energy work which now became integral in my life in order to survive and move forward.
I chose to stay and fight for mom’s life as the illnesses became more cumulative and she was less able to fight. I could not leave her side; we became emeshed in an unhealthy way that kept me from being able to open up to having an intimate relationship with a man. All my focus was on keeping mom alive- I was so scared of losing her- I could not imagine living without her and Jill!
Here I am, the one left behind from all this destruction of my family and cumulative losses. I’m only mentioning mom and Jill…but there were more.
I saw this coming years ago when the depression and rage would well up inside me; It was inevitable: Not only do I lose my best friend, my sister who I was inseparable from in my 20’s now I lose my mother to a food addiction and I get to start over now 20 years later! I always knew this would come to be; I take no solace in being right! I’d rather be happy than right!
But, once again, I did not get to chose the path my mother decided to take. I had to give up all notions of control over anything except my response in life situations. I know life is meant to be a learning experience and we are always learning lessons…but these really suck! Many times I wanted to opt out- but something inside me resisted my death wish. I now realize, I am here for this reason: To connect with others in pain and exude a loving energy of compassion and validation toward others who have survived a trauma.
My CD is raw It is GUTS- NO GLORY! Each song is a passage in my life telling the story of the time it represents. My hope and intention is to touch the hearts of survivors and give a voice to the pain; To raise awareness and increase empathy validating the process and lifelong healing journey we all must take.