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When It All Becomes Too Much

Phil’s Story

From the Onsite Journal

Life had been stacking up for a while and keeping me out of balance. As it all piled up over the last few years, it left me feeling not quite like myself. There was a lot of change happening in my life—sudden loss of a parent, stressful job and career shifts, the pandemic, other medical issues—the list of seemingly normal life stuff was increasing, and it was hard to figure out what I needed to do about that or how to find help. The tipping point was a recent fatal school shooting in my community, at my daughters’ school, that my family experienced personally and intimately. It rocked our world.

When your kids have been part of a school shooting, it’s a publicly facing trauma, and it’s all over the news. But that’s just one piece of the story. It was possibly the heaviest weight that eventually flattened me, but all the other things in life were still there. My kids’ experience and the aftermath for us and our community were some of the hardest things I’ve ever faced. But it was magnified by all the stuff I was working through that didn’t just go away.

I now carried an overwhelming level of anxiety, fear, and a deep sadness that was coming out sideways. I’m grateful there was a program like Healing Trauma when I needed it. My whole family was hurting and in need of healing, but I realized that in order to show up for them the way I wanted, I needed to do my own work.

The Healing Trauma workshop helped me see that my pain matters. Your pain matters. I can be a part of your healing and you can be a part of mine.

While I’d been in and out of therapy over the last few years, I had never done a deep dive like Onsite offers, especially in a group setting. Therapy has always been a one-on-one thing for me. It was a new experience, and I entered it with my hands open. I had a few different trusted people in my life who spoke highly of Onsite, so I had a strong sense of hope about what I might experience.

I didn’t realize going to my program what a gift it would be to step into the healing process with others. You travel so far in your healing journey with the people in your group. Finding a way to support their healing is such a gift and a sacred thing to step into. Their stories are a part of me now.

I know that as a human born into this world, we’ve all experienced trauma at some level. It was wild to hear people who had survived so much say that they weren’t sure if they were worthy of being at the Healing Trauma workshop. Others didn’t know if they had experienced enough trauma to qualify them for this program. It is such a common lie that we tell ourselves that we don’t need, we don’t deserve, help.

The Healing Trauma workshop helped me see that my pain matters. Your pain matters. I can be a part of your healing and you can be a part of mine. I simply had to show up, and I was met with kindness. I was met with people who had some of the same fears and sadness I had. Together, we found hope and healing.