Author: katie

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile now, but I knew it would take me to a deeper level of vulnerability than I’ve ever known before. People often tell me that they see me as brave, strong, powerful, courageous… which I truly appreciate, however some of those terms have kept me from sharing this part of my life. For it’s a part that I’ve had lots of shame around, which has haunted me for the last 2 years. But I feel ready to let that go, to put down the shame I’ve been lugging around and to share openly with you. Your support for my stories truly amazes me and I appreciate all of you that take the time to read this.

So here it goes…

While traveling in India in late 2015, I found myself falling in love with a man that was charming, open, loving, and portrayed himself as someone that would always take care of me, that would provide financially and that would love me like no one else ever could. I was enamored, drawn in by his ability to connect quickly and deeply with me. The relationship quickly progressed into one that was emotionally and mentally abusive. And at first I didn’t see the signs. Well, let’s be honest, I chose to overlook the signs. I forgave him over and over. I forgave when he cheated on me, I forgave when he blamed all his problems on me, I forgave when he lied to me, I forgave when he made me feel worthless, I forgave when he borrowed money from me without repayment, and I forgave his emotional outbursts. I took responsibility for the relationship not working time and time again. I thought if I could just do a little more, be a little better partner, if I could truly help him, then things would get better and we could live our big dreams together.

Throughout the 7 months we were together, I found myself reaching out to friends less and less. I was isolating myself, one because of his strong jealousy when I talked to someone else but also because I was ashamed at finding myself in this situation. I had always thought of myself as strong, independent and capable, but I had started to feel worthless, needy and co-dependent. I doubted that I’d ever have the strength to stand up for myself, because I started to believe all the lies he told me – that I wasn’t attractive, that no one else would love me like he would, that I owed him so much, that I’d be lost without him, that I didn’t deserve a real partnership.

I started to accept this as my truth.

It’s taken me a year and a half to be able to clearly see how much his manipulations of my mind and emotions took a tool on my self-confidence and my feelings of worthiness. I can see they were issues that needed to come to the surface for healing, but I want to share this story now for my own healing. There’s a power in knowing that I can re-write my story. That I get to choose what I believe about myself.

And if this helps just one other person then I will know all of my experiences have been worth it. For I know when looking for support and being told to simply ‘just get out’ or ‘to get over it’ is not going to help someone that’s in the thick of it.

I can clearly remember when I ended things – I flew to Nepal to get away from him. I finally had the space to see how unhealthy everything had become for me. Once I ended the relationship, it felt like I had just come up from being submerged in a dark, murky pool of water for the previous 7 months. I could finally breathe and see the sunlight again, but I was freaking scared… Who was I really? How much was true of what he said about me? What would I do now?

Luckily the universe took great care of me during the month I spent in Nepal – bringing new friends into my life, leading me to the most peaceful homestay I could ever imagine, overlooking a lovely lake and the Himalayas and orchestrating soul-refreshing connections with a couple of local Nepalese families.

But it’s really these last couple months (more a year since my time in Nepal) that have brought the most clarity for me. I have gone deeper into my Akashic Record work, exploring reality, non-reality and universal truths. This has given me much insight into why I connected with him at that time in my life and what illusions I bought into about myself.

However, at times it still feels like I have psychological scars that will never fully heal – that I will always be untrusting in a relationship and that I will always doubt my worthiness. I’ve learned that hearing someone telling you ‘you are worthy’ will not make you believe it, it takes you going to the root of your beliefs about your worthiness to be able transform them. It truly has to start from within, no matter how many people around you want you to believe it.

For me, all of the insecurities that this challenging relationship brought forward were small, destructive beliefs that I already had about myself, that’s why he could use them to hook me. So he didn’t create those beliefs in me, he just figured out what they were and made them bigger and bigger beliefs until they started influencing my everyday decisions. So I will not blame him for those feelings, but coming to the realization that some people will use your greatest vulnerabilities to keep you in a state of needing them is a heartbreaking reality for me to accept. Especially when it’s someone you love dearly, be it a friend, relative, partner, co-worker or anyone else in your life.

The advice I have for anyone in an emotionally and/or mentally abusive relationship is to take even the smallest steps to reach out to those around you that you trust. Although you may feel ashamed, like you did something wrong to cause this, if you can start to talk to accepting, kind, loving friends, you can start to unravel the illusion of what has formed around you. It’s like a tornado of lies that swirl around you until you start to take an honest look at them and decide what’s true for you deep in your heart space. This is not an easy journey. I’ve lived it and I know it takes courage, commitment, and trust.

There were plenty of times I’ve stumbled and called him again with the hope that he had changed. But having the space to see things clearly and people that I could speak honestly with has helped me come back to my center every time I’ve felt off balance. The challenging part is that it’s your journey, you can be supported if you allow it, but it’s still a decision you have to make for you and not for anyone else. To decide that you are worth it is powerful and life-changing. I commend and honor any and all of you that have had to make this decision in the face of someone you love. Your bravery and courage does not go unnoticed here!

 

*And if any of you are looking to go to deeper into your own healing journey and would like to learn more about an Akashic Record Reading, let’s set up a time to talk! Here’s a link for a free 15-min call : https://katiegarber.satoriapp.com/offers/133870-free-intro-to-akashic-record-reading-session

After months of deliberation, intuitive work and healing, I am having surgery on Friday, March 24th at Bethesda North Hospital at 12:30pm. The surgical team will be making a vertical incision from my pelvic bone to at least my belly button to remove 2 separate ovarian fibroids, one in my pelvic bone and one in the right side of my abdomen. They are each about the size of a grapefruit. At this point there is not a clear game-plan of which fibroid they will remove first, but they know my desire is to keep as much ovarian tissue as possible.

The doctors expect I’ll be in the hospital until Sunday or Monday and then have a 6-week recovery at home. I feel as safe and peaceful as I could imagine feeling 2 days before a major surgery that’s full of a lot of if’s. And just sharing this has already helped me tremendously. Thank for anyone reading along and I will be sure to post as I’m feeling up to it and regaining my health.

I know a lot of you may ask what you can do to help. I’ll happily accept loving messages here or on facebook, flowers, visits while I’m in the hospital, but most importantly, I ask you to hold me in light, love or your thoughts/ prayers (to me it’s all the same, when based in love). I would appreciate this most a half hour before the surgery, during the procedure (please send any goodness to my surgical team that you’d like), and after to aid in quick healing. If you wouldn’t mind putting the intention out there that my ovaries remain healthy, intact and functioning I’d appreciate it greatly!

Thank you for your continued support on my journey. The last couple years have been very unexpected but I can see how they’ve lead to love, strength, courage and gratitude. And I’m honored to share snippets of this with you!

Want to read more about my prognosis? Start here:

The Levels of Healing, Part 1

The Levels of Healing, Part 2

The Levels of Healing, Part 3

 

At the end of November 2016, I had an appointment with my doctor at the Good Sam Free Health Center. I told him of my plans to try some natural alternatives. He agreed but wasn’t so hopeful. So we made a deal. I’d get another CT scan in January to see if anything had changed.

For the next 3 months I focused on healing my physical body as well as my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. I knew to have any chance of curing the endometriosis, I had to get to the root cause of why this was showing up in my life and at this time. I worked on bringing light to areas of my life that I had kept hidden, even from myself. My engrained reaction of feeling responsible for other people, my shame of being a woman, my anger of being on this spiritual path, my anger at those that have hurt me and let me down, my anger at myself for not always protecting myself, my resistance to releasing the past, my tight-grip on what I thought my life was supposed to look like now, my resistance to accepting what had happened and where I’m at currently.

This was a time of going deep into who I am, what I believe in, what supports my faith and what matters most to me in this lifetime. It was not easy and it continues to not be as easy as I would like, but the deeper I go, the more strength I find deep within my being. More strength to speak my truth, to stand up for what I believe in and to stand more courageously in who I really am.

I coupled this inner emotional, mental, and spiritual work with a mixture of acupuncture, reiki, shamanic healing, angel work, yin yoga, castor oil packs, painting, drawing, creating pottery and eating a mostly vegan diet. I began to notice a shift in the kind of people I was attracting into my life – an eclectic group of strong, loving, gorgeous women. They (you) have been unbelievably supportive during this time in helping me to learn more about what I’m capable of and how loved I am here on this planet. It’s been remarkably comforting and every time I think of these amazing friends, I am in awe of how quickly this powerful formed to support me.

So after months of hoping everything would shrink and wishing that I could avoid having surgery, I went in for a second CT scan in mid-January. My doctor called the next day. The fibroids had grown in size and he recommended surgery as soon as possible, before they turned into something worse. I agreed and went to meet a resident doctor at the Faculty Medical Center at Good Samaritan Hospital.

I had never been to this area of the hospital before and as soon as I walked in, I noticed a striking difference. The waiting room was outdated, the few toys for children were worn and dirty. I went in the bathroom for a urine sample and there was a bloody bandage on the floor and the exam rooms had broken blinds, dingy lighting and grime on the walls. This was not the care I was used to, because I, gratefully, had health insurance for the majority of my life. This area, I found out, was where Medicaid participants could get care and people paying out of pocket could a discounted price by working with resident doctors.

I met with a resident surgeon who was thorough but kept coming back to the last CT scan showing a mass inside the fibroid. And again, the cancer word came back, as did the possibility of having an oncologist surgeon attend my procedure. I began to feel heavy again. I was frustrated that all of the work I’d been doing hadn’t been visible in this last scan and now we were talking about cancer again. I was angry that my work appeared to be counterproductive – growing masses and possibly cancer. At the end of the talk, I agreed to having surgery. The doctor said he’d present my case the next week and I should here from him with-in two weeks to schedule my surgery. I didn’t really connect with this doctor, but I liked that he explained as much as he could and even drew some diagrams for me.

After 2 weeks, I heard back from him. It was a Wednesday and he had just gone ahead and scheduled my surgery for the next Tuesday, Valentine’s Day without even telling me who’d be in the surgery or what the plan was.

“Uhhh… well, I’m going out of town that day. I’m going to California to visit my sister. You said that we’d schedule it after you called me back with the game plan, so I didn’t think this week-long trip would be a problem” I explained.

He seemed annoyed. “Well do you have any other trips planned?”

“No. You had said it’d be a month out, so I didn’t even think to tell you this would be an issue.” I said. I was trying not to cry while sitting in a little Indian restaurant, previously enjoying some paneer. He abruptly got off the phone with me and said he’d call back. I could feel the tears begin to slide down my cheeks. Maybe I don’t want this guy leading the surgery. He was kind of a jerk and not very communicative. Why is this so freaking frustrating?! Why is this happening?! 

At that point it became obvious I wasn’t ready to undergo surgery yet.

I flew out to San Francisco as planned and tried to leave all of my worries in Cincinnati. The next week, I received a call from the Good Sam Health Center. The social worker asked if I had the surgery which was scheduled for Valentine’s Day. I explained to her I was traveling so I couldn’t and I hadn’t heard back from the doctor yet. She called the residents’ nurse to check with them. While I was on the line with them, I asked who would be leading the surgery. I was told it’d be the gynecological team and not even the doctor I saw last. I asked her to set up an appointment with them, which she did.

As I hung up the phone, I was pissed that they would have had me go into surgery and not even consider that I’d like to meet the team that’d be cutting me open beforehand. It made me doubt with this whole process, but I tried to keep an open mind for my meeting with the next surgeon.

Luckily, my acupuncturist gave me a sheet about preparing for surgery with a list of vitamins, homeopathic medications and recommended books. I ordered one called, “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster” by Peggy Huddleston. It helped me to understand the whole process of surgery and where areas I could be more proactive about my health and wishes. It also included a CD with mediations to help you relax and visualize the outcomes you want after surgery.

I started to feel empowered again while reading this book and listening to the meditation. I brought my long list of questions to the next appointment. This doctor was youthful, attentive and kind. She listened to all of my questions and requests and had thoughtful responses to each one of them. I felt safe and respected with her. She said she was the 3rd year resident on the team and that the 5th year resident would be leading the surgery. Later that week, I heard from the 5th year resident surgeon. She was very honest and thoughtful on the phone, as well. I finally felt like I was in good hands. But then she mentioned me going to see a fertility specialist again, incase I still wanted to consider trying to freeze my eggs. She explained that during the surgery, they may have to remove both of my ovaries and that they wanted to make sure I had gone through all of my options beforehand.

For the next week, I debated this option. And I kept coming back to having children naturally or making the decision to adopt at some point. I find the possibility of women freezing their eggs to be implanted at a later date an incredibly remarkable miracle of our current medicine, however, I know that this is not for me.

While at meeting with the reproductive specialist, she explained that they couldn’t even freeze my eggs now anyway, because they weren’t able to locate my ovaries. After another vaginal ultrasound showing the big blob and maybe a speck of my uterus and I was feeling confident in my decision to have surgery with this team as soon as I could.

 

Read more here:

The Levels of Healing, Part 4