14-Day Body Reset

Former Foster Youth I am Here for You

For years I kept my “story” to myself…..only a select few know my truth.  

So to those who are reading this blog post and know me personally, don’t know my story, this is the real me. The cold hard truth about why I am strong, take the world by the horns, and can take whatever life throws at me. Don’t be shocked or offer me pity. This is for them, not for me, or for you for that matter.

I haven’t written full page of anything other than blog posts in years, and I don’t know why.  I guess the reason I kept my story to myself for all of these years was the fear of what people may think of me. Maybe they would pity me or think there was something wrong with me or judge me for whatever reason. But not today. Not now. “Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business” as my hero Rachel Hollis was told by her therapist, whose name, ironically, is Denise.

Writing has always my passion. I have spent the last 10 years trying to write a book about my life in hopes that it would help others, but every time it got too real, I stopped.  

The memories just stirred up old trauma, and then the nightmares would come fast and furious.  

But for some reason today, I have found my spark.  My creative streak and my strength.  This book will be written and it will be filled with purpose, hope, inspiration and love. God will guide me through its entirety and those who need to read it will find it.

I have a story that needs to be told, and today is just the start.  My mission is to help those with a similar past to mine…..eventually I will get the courage to tell it….but for now I will put this much out into the universe in hopes that my brothers and sisters who went through “the system” will find it and know that they are not alone.

I have spent and wasted years of my life mistrusting people, whether male or female.  I have had a resentful and distrusting heart for most of my life.  I was always on the defense….a mechanism that I thought was helping protect myself from potential dangers. A hazard and the by-product of childhood trauma.  Little did I know that I was only hurting myself, and sometimes those around me.

I have only recently, over the last couple of years, come to terms with the fact that what happened to me, actually, happened for me.  It is not comprehendible how these things can happen to an innocent child.  I still really cannot wrap my brain around it, and I probably never will, but what I do know is that I survived for a reason.

I was meant to live this life so that I could help others just like me. 

In 2017, I was working as a Registered Cardiology Technologist (and still am today), when I battled a serious bout of anxiety and depression.  I fought through it for a year and a half, and to this day no one other than my husband, my son and my best friend knew about it…until now.  

Everyone who knows me, knows that I can handle almost anything, and most would say that I am the strongest woman they know.  I am usually happy, friendly and outgoing despite the battles raging in my mind.  I always was able to put a brave face forward no matter what was going on inside my head. But during that dark time, I was at my lowest.  I even contemplated taking my own life.  I knew I couldn’t do it in reality…but the fact that these thoughts had entered my mind was scary. I kept my darkness very well hidden from everyone around me.

I went to see a psychologist and she asked me if I was having “suicidal thoughts”.  Do you know what I did?  I lied.  I couldn’t even admit to a mental health professional what I was thinking and feeling.  So, I worked through it…I took medication for anxiety/depression for that year and a half and did everything I could to fight it through exercise, self-care, meditation and counselling.

Then I had a breakthrough.  I knew I needed a higher purpose.  I needed to be able to help other people struggling with the same issues that I was dealing with.  

I decided that I wanted to be a Health and Life Coach, so I signed up for a program at Health Coach Institute.  

I completed both of my certifications in April of 2019.

So far, I have been focused on health coaching.  I empower women who are struggling with their weight, energy, self confidence, body image, etc.  I enjoy the feelings I get when I see how habit change can change a person’s lifestyle and how it can shift someone’s mindset about how they see themselves.

But even though I feel great satisfaction with the results my clients get, I still feel that there is something calling me to do more.  As a former foster youth, I feel that I need to focus my niche on just that….former foster youth.  Not only am I a Certified Health and Life Coach, but I also have life experiences that put me on a different scale of empathy, compassion, and understanding for those who have lived a similar life to mine.

I am not a Social Worker, psychologist, counsellor or anything like it. While all of these mental health professionals are well equipped to handle different types of trauma through their years of study, there is a difference in receiving additional support from someone who has actually experienced these traumatic events in their own lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to the wonderful people who help people in these professions. I am by no means devaluing these professions who I have sought help from over the years.  I am just explaining the difference in how much easier it is to open up to those who have walked a similar path in their lives.

I am a survivor of childhood trauma (in many forms), a former foster youth who has become a successful allied health professional and entrepreneur.  

I know that God has led me down this path to tell my story, to help inspire those who are struggling, to let former foster youth know that no matter what happened to them, that they too can find the strength to fight…fight to be better, not bitter.  Fight to be the best version of themselves and to take all the resentment and turmoil they have in their hearts to tell their stories too.  To make sure that the stones that were thrown at them by the people who were supposed to love, support and protect them are used to break the cycle.  

The trauma stops here! To build a better life for themselves and their children. To let the world know that we cannot be broken.  We are RESILIENT!

I was meant to live this life so that I could help others just like me. 

 

One day I will put my whole story out into the universe, it will reach those who need me, agencies will know the value of what a Health and Life Coach can do for those who need someone like me and I will find an abundance of funding to do just that.  

I am here.  You will find me.  I will help you skip over all the steppingstones of life that I was not fortunate enough to get assistance with when I was “aging out of the system”.  

It doesn’t matter where you are, we can connect by phone or internet and I will be your guiding light through your darkness.  

You will be the greatest version of you.  That is my wish for you.

So, for now I will leave you with this…. A poem I wrote for my brothers and sisters of foster care around the world:

 a-poem-for-former-foster-youth.pdf

 

3 thoughts on “Former Foster Youth I am Here for You”

  1. Beautifully written, Denise! I love the vulnerability that you’ve put out in this wonderful blog post. Your story will impact so many people. We all go through difficult times to make us stronger people. You are one of the strongest women I know!

    1. Thank you so much Kathleen! Sometimes we have to be open and honest about our experiences. This vulnerability often times helps others more than we realize. Strong women find each other and support each other! xo

  2. Pingback: Life Coach Denise Blake - Citizen of The World

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