In this episode, I chat with my friend Amy about the loss of her father when she was just barely 13 years old. Amy tells all about how she felt at the time, after and how she feels to this day. She shares about her anxiety and depression, as well as the struggles being home-schooled has also made her face.*
Amy comes from a family of seven children. When Amy was just six years old, her dad started to get really sick. Because of all this, she feels like she didn’t have a “normal” childhood and didn’t get to experience the father-daughter relationship, like most others do. At one family meeting, the kids were told that their dad was really sick and was going to need a liver transplant.
On May 7, 2006, her dad got the call from the hospital saying they had a liver for him. The next morning when Amy woke up, her parents were gone. At one point, they had all went to visit their dad. Amy asked him if she could go to Junior High (they had previously been home-schooled). Her dad said he would talk to her mom about it. She said this was the last conversation they ever had. Amy’s dad was back and forth between a regular recovery room and an ICU room. His body was rejecting the new liver. Unfortunately, on August 13, Amy’s dad passed away.
Amy really struggles with her dad’s death, even to this day, because she doesn’t feel like anyone really talked about it after it happened. After Amy’s dad’s passing, her mom put herself through school full-time.
About a year later, when Amy was 14, she was finally able to go to Junior High. She met an 18 year old boy. Once she got into High School, she was still “seeing” him, but apparently so were several other girls. Amy was heartbroken. Then the rumors started to fly and she didn’t know how to handle them. Finally, she and her mom went to the boy’s house and confronted him and there, Amy was finally able to break up with him for good. However, things didn’t get better right away. That same night, Amy felt like she couldn’t take it anymore. The whole boy situation and the situation at home with no one talking about what had happened with their dad, Amy felt like she didn’t belong and she actually ran away. She was gone for three days and within that time, her mom had called the police and had began to put out missing person fliers. When she came back, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd. She switched schools and that helped her to get back on track.
In October of 2011, Amy met another guy. By January 2012, she was pregnant. She tried super hard to make their relationship work, but it just never did. She knew she needed to do something with her life to make her daughter’s life better. She began to drift away from her daughter’s dad and started hanging around more supportive people. Amy joined a dating site and there she met her current husband.
Once married, she quickly became pregnant again. She was very sad about it because she had just got done nursing her first child, newly married, it was an accident, etc. Amy went down the depression hole and realized it, luckily. She told her husband she needed help and was able to see a therapist. There, Amy was able to realize that because she didn’t get the help she needed as a child when her dad passed and then how her mom emotionally abandoned them, she was experiencing all of the anxiety and depression that had taken such a huge toll on her. It was finally coming out of her. Amy struggled making friends because she didn’t know how to associate with people outside of her own home – that stemmed from being home-schooled.
Amy makes a lot of good points about how being home-schooled didn’t really set her up for the real world. I don’t mean to sound harsh when I say that because I know there are pros and cons to every situation, but I’ve seen this one over and over. She feels like she didn’t know how to be friends with or even talk to anyone outside of her home because she never learned that. All she knew was her parents and siblings. “We could say we hate each other and 10 minutes later it would be fine. But if you tell someone that at school, they’re going to take it personally and you’re going to hate each other.” Paraphrasing there, but she’s not lying.
Towards the end of the episode, we talk about how she went through a scary experience with her own husband being very sick and they didn’t know what was going on. Luckily, they were able to somewhat figure it out and get him treated, but she explained how she was so scared that she was going to go through the same thing her mom did.
Listen to the full episode to hear all the details.
*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:
-Talking is very necessary and therapeutic for people, especially after something as hard as the death of a loved one – a father in this case.
-If you are not feeling like yourself, seek help.
LINKS TO THINGS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
-This wasn’t actually mentioned, but two great episodes on grief – Shailee Garnier and Katie Taylor
-Here are some hotlines you can call if you feel depressed or suicidal.
-Amy’s favorite product: retinal cream
-Amy’s song recommendation: Lights by Ellie Goulding (listen on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify)
-My song recommendation: Sunny and 75 by Joe Nichols (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)
“It doesn’t matter what’s been written in your story so far, it’s how you feel up the rest of your pages that counts.”
If you have your own story to tell, please email me or click the “Share Your Story” tab at the top of the page.