A little background on myself: I am a Licensed Clinical Therapist LPC for the State of Missouri. I have the following degrees: AA in Sociology/Child Development, BS double major in Psychology/Family Sociology, and a Masters in Counseling. I have been cerified with Theraplay for Attachement with training in Trauma based practices using NMT, TFCBT, and Attachment.
As many of you know, we get into therapy or a career because something in our childhood led us to it. Some of us get into drug counseling because we were addicts or had someone close to an addict. We work in shelters because one saved us, was abused, homeless, or in children’s division (ward of the state).
In my case, raised by an absent tee parent who was a Naval officer and a mother with significant emotional and past physical trauma, it caused a few challenges.
I had to overcome an abusive marriage, rape, and an eating disorder. Not in that order. I struggled to know who I was. Having a mother who had a mental breakdown when I was seven left me caring for my younger siblings was the beginning of my caretaking identity. I continued this with the attitude of “I can do this,” which helped in my lost identity leading to an eating disorder and identity crisis.
I never regretted having my children or the marriage. I loved my children and life. I found coping that lasted for a long time; however, I felt empty and continued to get tangled in unhealthy relationships.
I watched “Run Away Bride” and thought as she sat in front of all the eggs: ” that is so much like me!” I don’t know who I am, which led me to my journey of self-discovery.
My journey was difficult as I identified with co-dependency, toxic relationships, hidden trauma, and unspoken acts. I began to weave together my childhood and understand my parents’ childhood affected me; how they were raised influenced how I was raised. I also understood it did not have to involve how I raised my children (or did as I was going to do the opposite).
Facing the abusive husband while defending myself as normal was terrifying. Finding who I was outside of a caretaker, nurturer, and all that people expected of me was horrifying. Staying in that place of disappearing became non-negotiable.
I struggle to balance work, home, life, marriage. My ex-husband decided he liked drugs better than us (me and my children), and I could not put my children through the abuse any loner. We did leave, but sometimes I fear not soon enough. I want to be clear I am not for or against divorce; if you love your partner and want to work things out, I believe you should. I tried fo rover ten years. In my case, the drugs were the problem (police, money issues, moving every few months, and the fear of leaving my children with him alone)
Finding who I took time, work, and determination. I went to school a lot!… I have a few degrees, but I noticed they were all in the same thing: psychology, sociology, child development, and family. I began working in child care and realized I was good at it. I should have been it have done it all my childhood. I went on to social work and realized I was answer questions and helping people make positive choices. I began working with nonprofits because I loved the idea of helping others who struggled like I did and knew they could overcome. I was on the streets of Los Angeles, with the homeless, in Chinatown with new immigrants (my grandparents were new to America but from Canada), domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and residential care for children and mental health.
In my life, Jesus was my saving grace- however, raised Catholic, that was not a big shock to me or anyone. I found comfort, joy, peace, and love in my religion, my understanding of the bible, and my communication with the Holy Spirit. Again I am not saying this is for everyone. I am not here to tell you what religion, sexual preference, or lifestyle you need to live. I am letting you know I am here for you and only you!
I may have gone through some things, but I have not gone through your situation. I may have suffered abuse, trauma, and helplessness, but I am not you, so I was affected differently. I appreciate your difference and accept it is different.
Knowing you and having the privilege to help you in any way I can bring great joy to me. I want you to know this is a safe place.
Joline Morgan LPC
Therapist, Mental Health Counselor