For years after trauma hit my life....I struggled with restless life syndrome. I couldn’t feel content. I longed to feel normal again when I really felt like an alien that no one understood. I looked for my healing inside of self-help books and thought if I wished hard enough for the universe to have my back that I could manifest all of my dreams. I wanted to feel enjoyment for the things I once was so passionate about like cooking and entertaining, decorating and vintage, rusty finds. I felt disconnected from everything for years. I looked in all the wrong places for the answers but this was God’s plan for me and I accept that. I was always to be the little girl who secretly loved Jesus and rode her bike through cemeteries looking for stories to write and hearts to mend. I was meant to lose my way, my faith in God, and my sense of direction so I could come home to myself. We don’t heal trauma by simply saying, “Get through it”, or, “Choose a positive attitude.” We don’t heal quickly and we never heal fully. We transform. So, dear ones....hold on. Trust God. That restless feeling won’t last forever. One day...you’ll find yourself back doing the things you once loved and it will feel wonderfully normal. You will never find me in the self-help section or at big booming parties. You will find me: cooking, hanging with my husband, spending time with my parents, mothering my children, hunting down cool junk, hiking, studying God’s word, writing, and taking up my cross to guide others. It’s so normal and ordinary and I’m so grateful. I don’t want to make everyone believe that I know it all or have all of the answers. I keep a lot of my life private because it’s sacred to me but my heart? It’s all yours, dear ones. I’m still here writing, supporting others in their grief, yelling from the hills that Jesus loves you, and showing you that life is out there waiting for you. You’ll get your groove back. You’ll find your new normal. Be patient. Never stop praying. Give yourself some grace.
A little update about me and my family because many of you asked.
We are doing amazing. This year my husband and I will celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and we have built a beautiful, safe, calm, and loving home for our children. I trust him with my life (because he helped to save it) and our children's lives because I have known him since 1998. His heart is pure and true. The kids are happy, thriving, healthy, intelligent, and growing like weeds! I no longer share photos or personal stories about them here or anywhere else for my writing and work. I've removed all of it. They have a beautiful new life and we are protecting that with all we've got.
My husband and I are doing fantastic. He's my rock. My BIG LOVE story, my soul mate. My biggest supporter. He's simply amazing. He is the very best Dad and husband I could ever, ever ask for.
I'm still here, dear ones. Writing, answering your messages every day, and guiding others through their lives. Teaching you about healing and God, moving forward and boundaries. I turn 42 this Fall and you couldn't pay me to go back and do my 20's or 30's over again. I'm finally living unappolgetically as the real ME. I'm finally surrounded by people who don't push me to be someone I am not.
Whatever you have been through?
You can get through it. If you're sitting in the dark right now feeling all alone and wishing for your life to be over? Friend? I've been there. I wanted to end my life. Everything was hard. Everything was painful. I made it through and out and over and so you can and will too. Believe it.
My trauma? It didn't make me stronger. It made my nervous system constantly act up and feel afraid of things I don't want to be afraid of. It made me weak and God and myself made me strong. Safe and loving relationships made me strong: My husband, my parents, my siblings, my best women friends, my beloved Grandpa....these are the people who lifted me up and loved me forward. They let me say the truth about the past and what truly happened without judgement.
Your trauma? You'll get through it. It will be brutal. You will have to do things that are really hard to get to a new life but you'll get there. Protect your privacy. Protect your peace. Everyone doesn't need to know everything about you or your kids or your life. Don't let others bully you into doing things you aren't comfortable doing on your healing journey. Don't push your kids into doing things they don't want to do. Love yourself...fiercely. Allow yourself to move on.
If you are still here following my writing....thank you. I love you, dear ones. Always. Remember, privacy is healing and it's powerful. I will never be on TikTok. I went off SnapChat and Twitter in 2018. I don't need everyone seeing every moment of my life or my children's lives. And trust me, you can't focus on your own healing when you're constantly watching other people's lives. Go offline. Pick up a book. Go for a hike. Talk to God.
Life goes forward, dear ones. I'm here for you always. Reach out anytime. Light's always on....coffee's brewing. I'm here to listen and hold your hand....no judgement...only love. My extra prayers reach out to you silently on the wind every....single...day...across borders and oceans and all over the world. My heart is still yours even though I have become more private about sharing my family's photos and my children's lives. They deserve their privacy because they are just children. Me? My heart is yours....my help is for you...ALWAYS. I regret nothing I've ever shared or ever written because it helped at least one person out there. Is a book still on my heart? Absolutely. It's being written every single day, dear ones. God will let me know when the right time is to hit publish. It might be in a year or in 20 years. I'm in no rush. I'm just living my life and a beautiful life it is. I fought hard to get to where I am and I'm here to guide you on your journey. God's got you, friend. No matter others judgments or gossip or cruel words. Keep your boundaries. Live your life. Protect your heart. You are loved!!!
Love always, Nik
Leave me a tip to say 'thank you' for my writing if it helps your heart. God bless you! Your loving support helps me keep my writing 100% online so it is free and accessible to everyone. www.paypal.me/niktebbe https://venmo.com/nikki-bonkoski Beautiful messages from people who follow my writing: "Beautiful testimony. It took me over 15 years to stop and listen to God after we lost my brother. I was on a rollercoaster of angry, upset, confused, hurt... for a LONG time. Your words have far reaching consequences Nik that you will probably not ever learn about in this lifetime and I’m so grateful for your ministry." "Nik, I want you to know your page has been the biggest eye opener to my life. I look forward to seeing your page and reading your uplifting posts. It's reminds me to keep on keeping on. I truly respect you and your ability to be vulnerable with strangers. It's inspiring to see you use your pain and suffering, to reach out to others. I aspire to be half the person you are one day." "Nik, You help me to fight the demons inside... Thank you! Your strength is inspirational and courageous!"