Orphans from Gun Violence and Healing with Angela True
Allow me to introduce Angela True. She is a Mom of twin boys, a Non-Profit Executive Director, a Writing Coach, and world traveler. She has been a teacher, owned businesses and works with orphans helping them through loss and trauma.
Her Second Chance Story
Her darkest day felt like an atomic bomb was dropped in her living room as Angela found out her Father had been murdered. She was watching the evening news and noticed her fathers’ car in the background of the scene. A few hours later a sheriff came to tell them Father was murdered and shot several times, the killer was on the loose.
Her Mom had recently gone through a mental breakdown while suffering from Encephalitis and Meningitis and wasn’t in a place to care for her children. Angela and her brother went into state care and as well as the care of family members.
Angela was 16 and the responsibility of caring for her brother, caring for her Mom and raising herself was thrust upon her shoulders. Her Mom died 6 years later and by the time she was 22 she was parentless and felt like she had lost her way in the world.
Different types of Grief
Angela had the chance to say goodbye to her Mom and knew it was her time to go. When her father was taken from her, she didn’t have that opportunity to say goodbye or have closure and she tells us it is a different kind of grief.
When her Mother passed away, she experienced compound grief and it came at her in waves. She was laying in her college room and was so grief struck she felt like she was going to die. She couldn’t get up and physically couldn’t do it.
She pulled herself out by getting a psychodynamic therapist at her University. She tells us she found out that she had a chemical depression and her brain was not making enough serotonin. The things that some people try such as a bath with candles was not enough to pull her out.
Angela saw her doctor and was put on medication for six months to a year. She told us that it is incredibly difficult to do it alone when you are in such a deep dark place and without that help, she would not be here today.
The Turn Around Point
Let’s explore the steps Angela took along her healing journey.
- She told herself the story that she was a victim for a very long time. She had tried counseling and other things yet still thought about her opportunity for revenge against the killer of her father.
- Her defining moment was when she faced Gary, the man who murdered her father and confronted him. She told him he stole her parents’ lives and that she didn’t forgive him. She tells us that she was tired of holding on to the story and she took her power back. She decided that she was no longer going to be that girl who had a murdered parent, and she let go of that identity.
- A few months later she became pregnant with twins. She realized that she gained a lot of skills and that she was a survivor. Angela discovered the things that she loved and started to ask, how do I take all these things that happened to me and move forward? There are still moments she feels grief and cries yet she recognizes they are just feelings and can move past them.
What about you changed the most?
She had to be brave enough, to tell the truth from the tip of her toes and that is not easy when you have walked the walk-through trauma. She found radical self-love even though she didn’t have anyone to give that to her growing up.
“You have to love and parent yourself if you lost your parents young.”
There can be two truths, it can suck and it can be ok at the same time. She believes we never get over grief.
Imagine you are holding two stones, one in each hand. One sucks and the other is great. You can carry both stones and still move forward. You can have 10 rocks as you are walking and still be ok, you can feel two things at the same time and still move forward.
What is one personal habit that contributed to your overcoming this?
- Writing and reframing things plus therapy
- She advised psychodynamic therapy and coaching if you experienced trauma. “If we don’t deal with our stuff it deals with us.” In ways that numb our pain such as drinking, addictions or other self-destructive habits.
One Resources That Helped You Out
What is one thing you are most passionate about today?
She is a part of Survivors for Power and helps survivors of gun violence.
If you found this interview helpful please let her know by sending her a quick message or sharing this on social media or with someone who you care about. She would love to connect with you if you are working through mother or father loss and you can find her at angelatruewriter.com