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Healing Hollybeth's Fears

Hollybeth was 3 months old when the phone rang one night. I answered to a nurse on the other end. She wanted to know if we were related to a Wojcik that was taken to the hospital. I knew my husband’s brother was dead. The words she would not speak said it all.

It was 11:00 that night. Hollybeth was sound asleep in her crib. I asked my best friend to stay with her. She wanted to accompany us to the hospital and leave her husband in charge. In my heart I knew it was not the right decision; yet in my traumatized state, I could not make a different choice. I left my baby sleeping.

Three hours later I returned to a screaming, traumatized infant and a babysitter sound asleep on my couch. Twenty four years ago I had no idea of the effects of this type of trauma. It followed her through life… until recently.

Sleeping alone in her room was frightful. For five years she crawled into our bed in the middle of the night without fail. She slept; I lay awake.

As a young child she was attached to my hip (literally). She refused to leave me. She wanted to participate in pajama parties yet her fear of being left would not allow it. I learned to expect the midnight phone call. “Holly needs to go home.” Without a thought, I jumped in the car and brought her home.

Night terrors and sleepwalking were common. Her brother and sister thought them entertaining; I found them traumatizing.

And then it was time to leave for college. I felt she had grown more confident and secure. For 10 days the phone rang day and night with Holly’s tears and frustration. She just wanted to come home. I finally recognized my Aspen daughter.

If only I had learned about flower essences when she was younger! Hollybeth had become an Aspen personality. She had a huge fear of the unknown, of being left alone, a fear of the dark.

It’s funny how our past traumas haunt us. As I watched her moments of fear weave through her life experiences, I was given clues as to the memory cell she had yet to heal. I recognized my little petrified baby in her crib. I could not go back and fix our past, and my constant pleas for forgiveness did not help her move this energy.

And then recently, in yet another moment of her patterned trauma, I had a thought: “Hollybeth, I promise I will never leave you when you need me to be with you.” And in that moment of expressing my truth to her, I felt a weight between us move. I knew I would keep that promise; Hollybeth knew it too. She no longer had to be afraid of being left alone. Mom would never do that to her again.

The words we speak from our heart are powerful healing tools. All we have to do is muster the courage to speak them.

As I left her room that day, I had to ask, “I’m leaving now Hollybeth. You’re not crying, are you?” She laughed. I left for work.

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