It’s Almost Been a Year

Sometimes life destroys you.
Sometimes it burns you to the ground.

In March 2021 that’s what happened to me.

In just 4 weeks I went from happily-ever-after to widowed-mother-of-five after making a dark and twisted discovery about my husband.

Rather than be consumed by the fire, I choose to be transformed.

This is my story.
Watch me rise.

🔥

It’s almost been a year.

Around this time last year I sent my kids to my mom’s because I needed help and I knew I wasn’t going to get it at home.

That choice literally changed my life.

I knew things weren’t right, but I didn’t realize how wrong they were…

It’s almost been a year since life as I’d known it stopped. A year since my insides were twisted and ripped out through my heart.

I’ve been having a lot of flashbacks lately. With the year-mark approaching, I suppose that makes sense.

I flash back to that last month:
… to that moment when the discovery of the truth sucker-punched me in the gut;
… to the second that I knew what I was going to do to protect my children;
… to the instant I locked eyes with him before I sped away and he realized that I knew.

I flash back to the hours that followed.

Police stations. Detectives. Interviews. Restraining orders. Lawyers.

More discoveries… More wind knocked out of me.

Phone call after phone call…

Emotions! So many, many emotions.

Driving to safety.

Drinking.

More phone calls.
More discoveries.
More drinking.

Melting against the wall into a pool of misery on the floor.

Realizing I was living a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from, no matter how hard I tried.

🔥

This past year has been intense, to say the least.

We celebrated the baby’s 1st birthday the same week we held her father’s funeral.

We moved out of the home where I had given birth to my fourth child; the home where we were supposed to be building our dreams as a family.

The kids and I faced our first of what will be countless holidays and milestones without him.

We’ve struggled as a family and as individuals.

In fact, I struggled so bad that I began to scare myself.

I stopped eating.
I stopped sleeping.
I stopped doing all the things I needed to do to take care of me.

I started drinking more than I ever had before.
I started to get mean and resentful toward my kids.
I started not to care about them or about myself or about anything at all…

I knew my babies deserved better. I knew they needed me to be better. But I didn’t think that I was capable of better.

That’s when I asked for help.

🔥

It’s almost been a year since I taught my last class at the studio. Of course, at the time I didn’t realize that it would be my last… and it’s taken me quite a while to accept that it was.

It’s taken me a while to accept a lot of things.

I guess I thought that eventually things would get back to normal … that somehow all of this would be over and we’d go back to doing the things we always did.

I’ve since learned that feeling is actually part of the grieving process.

At first I was operating in survival mode, fueled by anger and denial. As the shock wore off and we settled into a new routine, I sank into a depression I couldn’t escape on my own. With the help of my team of professionals and the support of my family and friends, I’ve begun to accept my current reality and even feel hopeful for the future.

Yes, this past year has been the hardest year of my entire life.

Yes, it’s been ugly, painful, overwhelming and downright cruel.

Yes, it’s been filled with betrayal, heartache, and loss.

But despite the darkness, there have been flickers of light:

🔥 the baby taking her first steps
🔥 playing and laughing with the kids
🔥 road trips and adventures as a family
🔥 making new connections and strengthening old ones
🔥 the unexpected flood of support from my community

I may not yet be blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s only been a year. I’m grateful for the spark; that’s all I need to build a fire. 🔥

Abuse isn’t always black and blue. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to Flight of the Phoenix Collective. We’ve got your back.

Published by Krystal Casey

Founder and registered Yoga teacher Krystal Casey is a mom of five who discovered Yoga in 2014 as a way to help cope with her own postpartum depression and anxiety. As a woman with a history of trauma, motherhood had unlocked a portal of pain she didn't realized existed within her. Years of traditional therapy and medication had proved unsuccessful, so Krystal began searching for a more natural alternative of healing. This began the journey that led her to Yoga. Inspired by the positive changes she experienced, Krystal became an online health and fitness coach to support other women with similar struggles. She soon found herself training to teach various fitness classes and certified by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) as a group fitness instructor. In 2018, while opening what she designed to be a dance-fitness studio, Krystal discovered the beauty that is Aerial Yoga and instantly fell in love! She has since certified in Aerial Yoga, Yoga for Kids, and Yoga for Children with Special Needs. In 2021 Krystal and her family faced tragedy once again; her husband was charged with several felony counts of sexual abuse against a minor and he overdosed on methamphetamine and alcohol before justice was served. This devastated her. But with 5 sets of eyes watching and impressionable hearts learning, she refused to give up. Instead, she returned to her practice and her tribe, and let them carry her through it. Now, she uses her training and these experiences to help women overcome trauma and the challenges it brings.

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