Diary Reveals

Women sharing their stories through written diary entries.

I am in here.

‘I am in here.’ Cami has always know deep down that Josh was in there. But the mom to the severely autistic child had struggled for 16 years to see it. In the last year though, Cami has watched her son’s life, and all those around her, transform.Cami shares her touching journey complete with hurdles, victories and setbacks of how Josh found ‘his voice.’   I always knew Josh was different; but when I received an official diagnosis of severe autism before age 3- I was scared, angry and determined. I’d made up my mind then that we would figure out a way to help him, no matter what. But my biggest fear was the unknown — I had no idea what autism meant for Josh, me or our family. But you know what, years after that diagnosis, after tireless efforts to find something, anything to help; I got my first glimmer of hope. We found Casey DePriest and the blessing that was music therapy. The words he typed to her, “I am sad,” made me so happy, so hopeful. Not only had Josh expressed an opinion, but he’d also expressed an emotion. Words will never be able to show how I felt that day. Progress, setbacks, challenges and victories continued. Years later, Josh confessed his faith to his entire church declaring, “I am in here.” But let me share some of the bumps we’ve faced along the way, how we’ve battled through them and where we are going tomorrow. Joshua Michael made his appearance on Dec. 9, 1996. From the beginning we struggled with medical issues and hospitalization... read more

Mother of an Angel: Logan Christopher

Amanda wears a necklace around her neck proudly proclaiming she’s the mother of triplets, but only two of those babies are here with her today. She’s the Mother of an Angel. Her journey has been gut-wrenching, but Amanda said she’s continuing to heal and wants to give other women who have experienced loss hope and strength. I have always known I wanted to be a mother but after struggling with infertility for more than a year, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen. But for some reason at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 3,  2013, I woke up and wondered if our latest treatment had worked. I just couldn’t wait for our appointment Monday morning. I told myself, “What the heck, go ahead and take the test. It’s going to be negative just like the tens of tests before it.” I was absolutely shocked and amazed when it immediately turned positive. I could not contain my excitement, but it was 2:30 in the morning and my poor husband had to be up in a few hours to work a 12 hour shift. I snuck into my closet and put on the “bump ahead” shirt that I had made to tell him we were pregnant and reluctantly crawled back into bed. There was no way I was going back to sleep. My husband stirred a little, and I whispered loudly “Are you awake?” He replied, “Well I am now! What’s up?” I whispered, “I’m pregnant.” “Are you serious?!” he said as he jumped out of bed and flipped on the light. We were both so excited we couldn’t sleep. That first week I had some complications from... read more

Mending Mind and Heart- PTSD from Pregnancy

A story about my struggle with PTSD from the traumas of pregnancy with the triplets. “I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I know now that God numbs us during those times. If I had felt all the true emotional and spiritual pain of that moment I think my heart would have burst.” ~ At times, I’ve been feeling emotional and crazy, like level 10 on the crazy scale.  About three months ago I felt it coming on, and I knew exactly why. It was the first time since the triplets had been home that I was able to take a breath. I wasn’t in emergent survival mode instead just regular survival mode. And my mind and heart finally had time to slow down. With that pause, all of a sudden – BAM! My mind  started running through the traumas of my pregnancy like scenes of a movie, over and over. I would have flashbacks; I just cried and cried all the time. I was feeling things that I hadn’t had a chance to feel before. It wasn’t baby blues; it felt a little bit like anxiety but different. I had finally started feeling and dealing with the emotions of my pregnancy traumas. I couldn’t shake the thoughts or feelings, they were haunting me.  I knew what I needed to do –I started talking about it and reaching out to people who have been through this but the pain wasn’t great enough yet to take action. I mean, why would I do something right away? (insert sarcasm) I have to wait until I am really uncomfortable to do... read more

Warrior. Survivor. Overcomer – Melanoma Cancer

      My name is Sarah, I am a 38 year old mother to two boys.  I have been married to the love of my life and best friend for 16 years. I have a wonderful job that allows me to travel worldwide and work from home. I have always considered myself extremely blessed. I also never thought I would get cancer. May 6 is melanoma awareness day. I am sharing my story and some information about melanoma I have gathered in hopes to make a difference. This message is near and dear to my heart. Please share it with as many people as early detection is the only cure for melanoma, and it is deadly.  On Nov. 6, 2013, my life changed forever.   Monday, November 4,  I saw a dermatologist about a small brown mole just about my right ear that had grown to the size of a quarter in just four months.  Two days later,  I received the call from my dermatologist who informed me that the large lesion is a melanoma. My response was calm, “Ok, when can we take it off?” Like most people, I just assumed skin cancer won’t kill me. My melanoma was 7.73 mm thick — anything thicker than 4 mm is considered highrisk.My lesion was almost twice as thick, and it was on my head. My dermatologist referred me to a melanoma surgeon in Indianapolis, and after two surgeries I was told the melanoma was in stage 3c. Statistics indicate my survival chances are 20 to 30 percent. This all started from a little brown mole on my scalp. The next 4 1/2 months were hell on earth.  I started a... read more

Love from a Distance

Nirit and Justin took vows nearly four years ago during a quick ceremony at the Civic Center. It may as well have been, “Marry me, so I can date you.” While their love story and her transition into a new country hasn’t been an easy or short one,  it is one that has proven that nothing, absolutely nothing, is stronger than love. The vows we took nearly four years ago during that whirlwind ceremony at the Civic Center may as well have been, “Marry me, so I can date you.” But we both knew, even before we knew each other all that well, that this was it, for ever and ever. And looking back thinking about all that Justin and I have been through, I’m empowered with a sense of strength. Our story began in June 2008. I am from Israel but had been traveling in the U.S. for eight months when I arrived in Evansville. The very day I arrived is when I met Justin, the day my life changed. I went with some girlfriends to Woody’s downtown; I still remember the day – Saturday, June 28. I was in the upstairs bar area when our eyes first met. Eventually a few guys approached our group and started to flirt. Normally I would have been a little shy about my English, but after a few drinks in the loud bar, I wasn’t worried at all about talking to Justin. The conversation went great, and he even told me he liked my accent. I’d met a lot of Americans during my travels but none like him. He was smart and funny but also a little shy. He... read more

Adoption- “Some days, the pain was more intolerable than others. My secret, this shame that I carried, was getting incredibly heavy.”

A story about the creation of a boy, the absence of the boy, and now, what happened after 22 years will shift their lives forever.  My family moved to a new town and then my mother died – that’s the summary of my story pre-boy. In this new town, I met a handsome guy and began dating him. Along our journey, we created the boy. I was just a young teenager. I was afraid, motherless and alone. I kept this secret as long as I could telling no one for nearly eight months. Everyone around me was so busy with their own nonsense they didn’t even notice. The fortunate thing about waiting this long was that the place my dad wanted to send me off to, you know, a place for “girls like me,” wouldn’t take me because I so far along in my pregnancy. I’ll never forget the drive out to my boyfriend’s house to tell his parents. After we arrived, my dad and I sat on one couch; he and his parents sat on a parallel couch. My dad and his mom did most of the talking and sometimes shouting. I hung my head with the shame I was told I should feel. My boyfriend sat there in stunned silence; he had no idea. My dad and his mom were arguing about how he was not going to be forced to marry me, and in a break in the bickering, his dad spoke up. He was a man of few words, but he said my name so I looked up at him. He said, “You mean you’ve... read more

Financial Insecurities / Debt

“We have to stay focused on our goals if we ever want to truly live debt free.” Like many people these days, my husband and I struggled with debt and handling our money wisely. We bought into the lie that we are all fed these days that you have to have a credit card to survive. You know the slogan, “life takes Visa.”   We took out loans for cars that we couldn’t afford to repay; we used credit cards any time we wanted something and couldn’t afford it.  We even went so far as to buy our bed on credit, and we would use credit cards for entertainment (movies, restaurants, etc.).  We finally maxed out our credit cards to pay for our wedding. By January of 2013, we were tens of thousands of dollars in debt and hadn’t been able to make payments to any of them for several months, our bank account was frequently overdrawn so we started almost every pay period in the hole, we didn’t tithe because we “just didn’t have the money,” I had changed my phone number a few months prior because I couldn’t handle the harassing collection calls anymore, and we had a toddler and a newborn at home to provide for.  I felt like God had called me to stay home with our children, but we just couldn’t afford for me not to work.  However, we also were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to afford quality daycare for our kids if I did go back to work.  We were sunk.  We weren’t able to make debt payments, but didn’t have enough... read more

God-sized Hole

“I had a hole in my heart and was trying to fill it with EVERYTHING but God.” As a young girl, I filled it with running and food obsession. In my late teens and early twenties, I filled it with men, alcohol and the lights and sounds of the clubs. In my late twenties, I spent most of my time trying to fill that hole with the things other people had. I knew what you had would be just the thing to make me feel better, make me happier, make me whole. I wanted your car, your job, your clothes … You get the idea.Let me tell you a little story about what this looked like in my life. I had a friend that got engaged and her diamond ring was big. I also wanted to get engaged so badly and with a big diamond. It was all I could think about. I literally couldn’t stand it and therefore couldn’t stand her. My jealously and envy were out of control. But I only wanted that big diamond because I thought it would make me feel important, confident and attractive. I became so cold and distant from her that I couldn’t see straight. And I couldn’t see that this resentment was only hurting me. Someone told me once that resentments are like ME drinking poison and waiting for YOU to die. I could relate to that; that’s exactly where I was. During this time I didn’t like women; I didn’t feel comfortable around them. I was jealous and felt inferior to most of them. I know now that was my own insecurities roaring through me. I truly enjoyed life... read more

Teen Pregnancy

“I was passionate about the future I wanted for my life and determined to achieve the goals I had set for myself, even with a baby by my side.” I vividly remember the first time someone said “Congratulations.”  After that moment, I felt like I could breathe again. Everyone else had looked at me with a sense of shame. My self-esteem had definitely been rocked.  To most of the outside world, I had gone from a top student and captain of the cheer team to a statistic, one of those “teen pregnancies.” Each day was a different challenge. Each day was difficult.  There were many decisions to make during that time in my life.  One of the most important was my decision to stay strong and continue to believe in myself, to not let the negativity being cast upon me by the outside world erode my strength. I could have chosen to drop out of college due to the expense, but instead I transferred from a private to a public university.  I could have taken time off, but instead I took finals two weeks after having my healthy baby boy.  I could have chosen to stop being involved, but instead I joined the dance team. I could have chosen to give up on my dream of being the first person in my family to get a college degree, but instead I graduated Summa Cum Laude in 3 ½ years. I was passionate about the future I wanted for my life and determined to achieve the goals I had set for myself, even with a baby by my side.  I chose to surround... read more

Finding My Identity

“The conversations that evolved that evening in my home are conversations that started to shape the next few years of my life.” Everyone has a story; I have several. Like a cat, I have had my fair share of lives. I’m quite sure I have exceeded the 9 limit. Currently, my struggle is with my identity. I fought for it, hard. Coming from an extremely religious family, coming out was not a great experience. I was 16. I was in love, real true, wickedly intense love and had no idea what I was doing. I remember coming home and my parents had gotten a phone call from school that I had been seen with someone who was notoriously known, for several things, but most of all, for being a lesbian. The principal of my school had seen me with her and took it upon himself to notify my parents. The conversations that evolved that evening in my home are conversations that started to shape the next few years of my life. I ran away a total of three times. The first two times were unsuccessful to the tune of being arrested. The third time, I was picked up and taken to a harbor house, which I ran away from. I wasn’t aware that I was going down a road that took me to a crossroads, especially not at that age. I didn’t know I was entering into a relationship that would become abusive in so many terrifying ways. Same-sex relationships are different from heterosexual relationships in more than the obvious ways. Abusive same-sex relationships don’t look the same from... read more

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