This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series The story of HIP Lives

A year after my son’s Fragile X diagnosis, I lost my grandfather, who was as dear to me as my own father, and this had a huge emotional impact on me.

Then, a month after the death of my grandfather, I attended a local hockey game. At the hockey game, someone drugged and then raped me. The most traumatic part of the experience was the aftermath, because:

  • I woke up in the middle of Toronto’s largest outdoor media hub, Dundas Square
  • With no recollection of my whereabouts and how I got there.

In the short version of this story, the authorities confirmed that a sexual crime had taken place. Thank God for no consciousness? I don’t know what else to say about that …for now.

In July 2016, I got in a car accident in my neighbourhood, which didn’t just impact me physically. It also had a huge emotional impact on me.

It started when a driver ran a stop sign, T- boned my vehicle, and damaged me physically.

For the first time in my life, my body had to slow down. Cognitively I was holding strong, despite my year of reoccurring setbacks.

A month after the accident, I started working again and had a new employer. My new job had flexibility for both my health needs and my son. Because I could control my time and wage.

It also included a sales component, something I knew was in my bones. I had sidelined as a door knocker back in 2002 and cleared $2,000 a week when I was 22 years old. Why not if I still had my mind going for me!

Things stabilized for a year as I moved to a nicer area, closer to the office. It was also walking distance from my son’s public school, which had a hands-on approach to education. Although my pain wasn’t gone, I seemed to be coping with my new role in sales.

  • I took pride in company growth
  • Had my best financial year ever
  • And mitigated my pain by drinking daily as it was part of my job.

Fun Fact: networking means boozing in a corporate sales world.

In Sept 2017, I got in another car accident….

This time, I was with my son. Two vehicles hit us from the front and side. Seeing mommy taken away in stretchers was traumatizing for him. In fact, the emotional impact on him was so strong that he suffers from PTSD as a result. This time, my injuries were:

  • A concussion
  • And an extra aggravation to my already degenerative discs, shoulder, and neck.

I returned to work sooner than recommended, to support myself and my child. I balanced the role and its duties. Then, I realized that the company’s management structure and values no longer aligned with my own.

The good news though is that over the holidays, I got a new job at a different organization. This led to my January 2018 resignation.

But, the transition was not exactly smooth.

Because my former employer bullied and harassed me when I was about to switch to a new job. Then, the new, added stress of new life changes spiralled me mentally.

In March 2018, a medical professional diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety. Suddenly, my energy levels and motivation were no longer an option.  Since my brain never shut itself off, Sleep was impossible. Not to mention, the daily migraines and confusion made the pain intolerant.

Despite the emotional impact this was having on me, I couldn’t put everything on hold and focus on just taking care of myself. There were more than enough work and family obligations, which required my attention immediately.  One of my many obligations was my son’s struggles with making no progress at the new school.

As a result, I was unable to attend rehabilitation. It was a lot more pressing to keep food on the table and keep my mind busy.

A month later, I lost my grandmother…

Grandma and I. Her death had a huge emotional impact.

Grandma and I, before she passed away.

Although it definitely had an emotional impact, I didn’t mourn the same way as I did for my grandfather.  Because I was starting to feel numb to the losses I experienced.

I had 5 days of well- deserved time alone on a lake in the Muskoka District.

decompressing in Muskokas

Going to the Muskoka district was the perfect way to take care of my mental and physical health after grandma’s death, and everything else I’d been through.

This gave me some fresh air and clarity.

My alone time was also a great opportunity to eat clean and detox my body and mind.

Because it was a peaceful place where I meditated, had remote sessions with a therapist, and did a lot of reading and swimming.

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