Back in the mid 80’s I discovered country music. I was in college, had never listened to country, and dated a fellow who was not only a straight-A student on scholarship but played in a country-rock band on weekends. And one of the groups I loved was the Judds. I identified with Wynonna, who’s only a few months older than I am. And there’s nothing I love more than beautiful harmonies.
I was heartbroken to read Ashley Judd’s social media post about losing her mother to the disease of mental illness. Naomi had been dealing with treatment-resistant depression for years. And I couldn’t help remembering my mother’s demise. Although my mother’s mental illness was tempered by medication, after my father died her mental health went off the rails and never came back. Ten months after his passing she crossed herself over.
I remember the shock, knowing that yes, Mom’s mental health hadn’t been great. And she’d spent time in a mental hospital for her severe depression shortly before taking her life. Not only that, but she couldn’t come home unless she had in-home care, which she had. When she committed suicide, she had care with her 12 hours a day, seven days a week. She waited for them to leave for the night.
Depression can be a bitch. A deadly bitch. Every bit as deadly as a heart attack or cancer. But because science can’t physically measure something or see it under a microscope, at this point it’s still hard to treat. It’s a little bit of a guessing game, trying this or that, combined with what scientific knowledge we have (which is getting better and better all the time).
Just a few days ago I had a healing session, diving back into my inner world using hypnosis, addressing my inner child who just a month ago let me know she experienced trauma at age five. It was news to me at the time. As much as things came up and were healed a month ago, over the past few weeks when I’ve had quiet time to sit in contemplation I’ve heard my little one inside whisper that there was more. She wasn’t done speaking.
There was a lot to the session, but one of the big things that came up was the voice of my inner child.
“I’m done. I’m wiped out. I can’t do this anymore – it’s just too much.” It’s that feeling of, “I give up. I’m dead. I’m done.” And wanting to run away. “I’m out of here.” Complete and utter defeat. I’ve heard that particular voice in several healing sessions from various aspects of my inner child just before she checked out and became part of my shadow. And I remember wanting to run away as a young child, but never getting further than my yard.
After my son was born when I experienced years of post-partum depression, those voices were companions far too often. Voices I knew I’d never act on.
During hypnosis sessions, I’ve discovered parts of my inner child who voiced this same utter defeat about being here in life and she’d checked out, being replaced by a belief of less-than. Memories associated with her breaking point, her trauma, became repressed and forgotten. Forgetting is how I stayed here and went on with my life. Forgetting most of my childhood allowed me to grow up, get an education, get a life and be successful.
Until my coping mechanisms began to become dysfunctional.
Discovering healing work saved my life. It not only helped me heal from a dysfunctional childhood I really wasn’t aware of but has given me tools to walk through an intense spiritual awakening and heal literally lifetimes of inner disconnection.
During the recent session, I discovered I’ve had a number of lifetimes when life became too painful or too difficult and I fell victim to the messages and committed suicide. Or I didn’t want to experience much of a life and dipped in and out of a fetus that wouldn’t reach full-term. (My mother lost her first pregnancy at six months). Even though we each have a few potential exit points planned into our lives before we reach mission complete, I’ve passed mine and am here for the duration.
Today I’m convinced more than ever that as much as mental illness is indeed a disease that needs to be treated, it’s also spiritual disconnection that needs to be healed.
From an interview I watched, Naomi Judd was molested by her great-uncle when she was only 3 1/2. She refers to herself as a cute and obedient child. And later in life, her mental health deteriorated and she began to have flashbacks of the molestation. Her anxiety and depression increased to the point where she had no choice but to enter therapy. I wish to God she’d had access to a somatic healer or transpersonal hypnotherapist, or a trauma-informed therapist to help her heal. Trauma that is suppressed never goes away until it’s fully processed. When it comes to trauma, time doesn’t exist. And the bitch is, it’s hard to process something you’re not aware of.
After my Mom committed suicide, as much as it was shocking and painful, it was also a relief. She was 81, had been developing dementia, her mental health hadn’t been stable since my father’s death, and she’d spent a lifetime living with a bitch of a mental illness. She was finally free. And as the one who oversaw her care, I was relieved to no longer have to worry about her. I knew she was cocooned in love on the other side.
Since Mom’s passing almost a decade ago, I’ve done a lot of healing and am in a good place. But today, Wynonna and Ashley are just beginning to grieve their momma, while the world mourns a beautiful soul who graced us with decades of music. I’m sending Wynonna and Ashley all the love I can muster.
Rest in peace Naomi. You’re back home.
If you or someone you know is struggling and is contemplating suicide, please reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here in the US is 1-800-273-8255. Beginning on July 16, 2022, you can reach the lifeline by dialing only 3 digits: 988.