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Amy Watson 0:05
Hey everybody, and welcome back to the Wednesdays with Watson podcast, you are listening to a donor funded podcast, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that. For those of you new to the podcast, our mission here is to help people via story. People that will talk about their their journeys on the road of hope and healing where trauma is present. That is our mission is to educate you and to share stories of hope and healing with you. Secondary to that mission is providing pro bono counseling for people that cannot afford it. And we are so honored to be able to do that, with the donations that are coming into the podcast. If you would like to be part of that, all you have to do is click that contact me button, there will be several ways for you to do that. We would love your support. Another way you can support the podcast is right there. When you’re in your app, go ahead and rate and review us even if you don’t like what you hear, we want to hear from you. And the way that algorithms work is the more rates the more reviews, the higher it will come up and the search engines the people who are looking for hope and healing. today. I’m so excited to bring the second episode and the second half of season three. It is a season that we are calling trauma spaces, places and aces and so on the podcast before this and you can go back and listen to that if you want it is in the show notes. But I spent a fair amount of time really educating on some trauma terms and introducing the place that we are going to be talking about that and that is trauma in the home. And the space is childhood trauma. Today. This guest is Sherrie Pilkington, host of the finding God in our pain podcast. Sherrie is a podcasting friend of mine. And if we’re ever in the same city together, we might need some bail money but but she has a story of continued redemption and healing to share with you guys. And I can’t wait for you to hear it. So let’s dive into this conversation with my friend Sherrie Pilkington. And first of all, Sherrie, hope I said your name properly. Did I do that?
Sherrie Pilkington 2:10
You did really well actually because I get a lot of different variations of that. But you nailed it.
Amy Watson 2:14
Well, welcome to the podcast. I have here with me speaking of humdinger of last names my co host Crissy Lougridge, Crissy, this has just become normal for us say
Crissy Loughridge 2:30
hey to the people.
Amy Watson 2:33
Sherrie, I would love to formally introduce you to the podcast. As I mentioned, you and I met at a podcasting event PodMov in Nashville. I think that we all agree that there’s podcasting events are more for the social aspect of it than for the learning aspect of it. And I said, I sat down on a bus beside you after a party that iHeart Radio shout out I iheart had for PodMov 2021 in Nashville. And before you even opened your mouth, I knew there was something special about you. There’s just there’s just something very special that suffering does to us.
And, and so I knew that I wanted this day to come when I would have you on my podcast. And so to formally introduce you, you are the host of your own podcast called Finding God in your pain. And unlike me, people know what your podcast is about by the title. So that is why you’re here today because you have and continue to find God in your pain. You are the mom of two and probably would have chosen this first but the grandmother of two as well.
Sherrie Pilkington 3:40
Grandmother to five,
grandmother five. How did I forget that? Okay, grandmother of five. Wow. So youngest and his wife are talking about having more. So how excited?
Amy Watson 3:49
Oh, yeah, I bet you are. Yeah, most parents say that they would have them first. Well, thank you for being here. But let’s just jump right in. So this is a season that we spent the first half of the season speaking about an ace that it talks about trauma. And so you are my first guest in the second half of it. And we’ve asked the same question. This is one of Chris’s questions to everybody. And so I’m not going to steal it from you, Crris, you get the first question to our to our esteemed guests here today.
Crissy Loughridge 4:16
All right. I’d love asking this question. What is your favorite thing about how God made you?
Sherrie Pilkington 4:24
funny when you guys gave me a heads up on that question, I thought that was you got a lot of wisdom with that because people who come from a background of trauma I have sometimes have a hard time answering questions that give a personal identity to them. So it did stumped me and I did have to give some thought to it and process it with the Lord and ultimately what it came down to is that I I am very grateful for the fact that God has made me what’s the word unoffended. I am not easily offended and I believe that is such a gift to have because I can let people be people and I’m not keeping score or worried about
what somebody else is doing or trying to be ever in somebody else’s yard judging them. And so I feel like that’s just a sliver of gold for me that I’m extremely grateful for.
Amy Watson 5:09
And true. Just the little bit that I know about you. True is so true and that and I Crissy, what a great point when she said that people who have trauma are going to struggle to answer this question, Did that ever occur to you? As we’ve been asking it?
Crissy Loughridge 5:23
It hasn’t occurred to me, but it makes a lot of sense. And I’m really glad we’re asking it. Because I’ve had to answer it. I know, it’s, it’s hard. And it forces you to look at the good of what God has done instead of Oh, I wish I had I wish I did. I wish. And so I like it for that reason.
Amy Watson 5:41
Yeah. And it really pushes us into this bigger question. Do we believe in a God or a Creator? Right. And so we could talk about that forever? I love that answer. And by the way, that’s one of my favorite things about you too. Well, as I mentioned, we took some time on the podcast episode before this one. So talk about some terms that we hear when we discuss trauma, because most people Sherrie, think when they hear trauma, that you have to be a Vietnam vet or something. And, and it comes with the stigma, right. And so that episode, while you don’t have to listen to it to understand this one, that one before this does talk about that, and it does accomplish my goal of educating you guys about trauma, and what it means. And doing that I provide, I decided to add a term that’s fancy in the psychological world called adverse childhood experiences, since we are focusing on childhood trauma. And it’s a thing so listeners out there, if you just Google adverse childhood experiences, you’re going to get way more information than you ever want. And you’re also going to get a quiz. Because this is a widely accepted measurement of how much a child’s developing brain is affected by different types of trauma. And they’re in its 10 categories. And so Sherrie, you and I process this, and I really loved doing this, we process this episode on Voxer, which for those of you that don’t know what that is just an audio app, Sherrie and I are talking back and forth, and we’re growing in the Lord together, and we’re coming to aha moments and all the things. And I thought for sure, when I asked you this question, you were gonna say, No, I’m not doing that at all. You’re, you’re not allowed to do that. But I asked you if I could rapid fire these 10 questions at you. And so listeners these 10 questions help the experts know, what level if you will have trauma that a child has experienced, because they then can clinically with all the studies and all the things kind of kind of within a range understand how a child is going to be affected. So these are rapid fire questions. You are so brave, probably the bravest, a guest I’ve ever had on this one. So I’m going to so these are the 10 General adverse childhood experiences recognized in the psychological world as going to affect you as an adult, which is our point here. Here we go. Rapid fire, so no, yes or no answers. yes or no answer, my friend because we’re gonna have plenty of time to talk, I promise. All right. Did you experience physical abuse in your home as a child?
Sherrie Pilkington 8:15
Amy Watson 8:17
I’m going to get through this without crying. Did you experience sexual abuse? In your home?
Sherrie Pilkington 8:24
No, I did not. You did not. Did you experience verbal abuse?
Amy Watson 8:30
Sherrie Pilkington 8:32
Yes. emotional neglect. Yes.
Amy Watson 8:36
Sherrie Pilkington 8:38
Amy Watson 8:39
Okay. Incarcerated relative.
Sherrie Pilkington 8:42
Amy Watson 8:43
Sherrie Pilkington 8:44
Amy Watson 8:45
Sherrie Pilkington 8:47
Amy Watson 8:47
Okay. So I was doing the math in my head, I think it’s a six or seven, your scores of six or seven.
Okay, and so let’s talk about what that means. Okay. So that so that so the pine tree Institute, which is one of many people who deal with these adverse childhood experiences. Before we get there, though, Crissy, you had something you wanted to ask here that you think is going to be advantageous to other listeners? Can you can you pop that question in here for me? Yeah. So when I’m looking at those, they’re very specific. And so I wondered if underlying things like if if a parent has
Crissy Loughridge 9:27
cancer, and there’s the threat of them dying or someone outside of the nuclear family threatens a family member so so that type of thing that maybe isn’t quite in here. I don’t even know where you’d put any of those in there but they would be real and
large and affecting the childhood experience.
Amy Watson 9:51
Yeah, so I’m so glad that you you added that in here because I don’t want I don’t want is for people to hear Sherrie’s episode today and go Well, I only have one of those
And so that, you know, I’m, I’m fine. I’m fine. I don’t need any help. And so Crissy, your question speaks to something very, very interesting, especially coming from you is the way you just phrase that question is do other things that threaten the security of the child, whether it be a sick parent, a suicidal parent, they are whatever that threatens that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs food, shelter, water, sleep, rest? Yes, is the answer to your question. And so, so the experts say if you’re saying if you have a score between one through three without a physical adverse childhood experience, and so a physical abuse is one of them, then you already get pushed into the next category. one through three, you’re moderately likely to have some toxic stress moving into adulthood, and we’re going somewhere with this, I promise, guys. So you blew that out of the water? Sherrie My so did I. Okay, so anything above a three, so from three to 10, you are 100% likely to experience toxic stress through your life. Your body, your brain, your the child’s developing brain is also experiencing that toxic stress. And so there are damages that happen as a result of it with a score higher than four.
Crissy Loughridge 11:26
Can you explain what toxic stress me? Yeah, so toxic stress. We talked about a little bit on the on the episode before this. That’s a really good question. Crissy. Toxic stress is stress that affects us at the cellular level the most. And this is where epigenetics comes in. We talked about that in the episode before this too. But yes, Crissy when we experience toxic stress at the cellular level at the DNA level, that DNA is actually altered and and the way it works or doesn’t work. This is why we get defense, we get diseases as an autoimmune issues and all the stuff when we see childhood trauma, because it affects us on a, on a basic, basic level. It’s not just your normal stressed out and traffic stress, it’s toxic stress, it’s exactly the word you think think about toxic dump in your brain, and then what it does to a child’s brain. And so that is and so you know, stress is not always a bad thing. But so Sherrieat a score six or seven there.
Amy Watson 12:32
I wonder something? What would have happened, you think
if you would have known this information 30 years ago,
Sherrie Pilkington 12:40
It would have empowered me to find peace faster, to walk in freedom.
And to pursue the calling on my life. I feel like that’s three areas that I could have definitely right off the top of my head, I definitely could have benefited from had I known the impact of cellular level damage.
Amy Watson 13:05
Right? And we’re going to get to parenting later. But Crrissy, how do you think you would be different? If you think I would,
Crissy Loughridge 13:12
I would have more grace for myself and for my responses to things because, you know, I’m typically going to beat myself up for for what why is that affected me? Why don’t I feel good today in any number of things. But understanding that this is traumatic, and you have a reason and and it would it would give me the freedom to give myself some grace.
Sherrie Pilkington 13:38
And you know, Amy, something that you just said, it reminds me of an incident that I’m watching today with someone that I know and there is a lot of there’s physical abuse and domestic violence, there are fits of rage from a parent. And I’m watching the smallest one who is a toddler. And but he has endured this since he was an infant and now he has fits of rage and his identity is in question and he’s gravitating to the parent that he wants the most attention from. And so I’m looking at all of this, because I don’t think trauma has to be a car accident or even get to that physical, you know, all of those things to that level. When you’re an infant and a toddler. I think in the environment, it would appear to me that in the environment, they are absorbing these things, they have no ability to process they have no point of reference to understand, but yet they are taking on all of this that they’re seeing and hearing and experiencing in front of them.
Amy Watson 14:33
100% And I’m so I’m different because if somebody like a quiz gives me a reason to feel like I feel to her point just now with freedom. It’s like oh, okay, well, I you know, there’s a reason for me to feel some of these things. But to your point, though, Sherrie, the more we understand this, and this is the point we could stop trauma begetting trauma and stop the generational curse.
Exodus four tells us that the second, third and fourth generation. And so just understanding adverse childhood experiences, and I’m using that term interchangeably with trauma, because there’s people out there that says, I don’t have trauma, but I have some of those adverse childhood experiences. And so it had I known this information.
A long time ago, I would have not ended up in a lot of places, I ended up doing a lot of things I did, because I just didn’t understand what I didn’t understand. And so for those of you listening out there, and the other thing I want to do here is I don’t want to freak parents out thinking you’ve screwed up your kids, because we’re all going to make mistakes. But the the the trauma, or the adverse childhood experience at the cellular level, like Sherrie just gave an example of this child is not only watching it, but is absorbing it. And we know this because kids, babies don’t even get hunger pains. They they feel uncomfortable, they cry, the need is met, we’re good. But when we talk about trauma at the most basic level, and we’re talking about the baby, throw in the bottle on the floor,
babies uncomfortable cries, parent ignores cries a little bit more parent ignores more finally, and crying doesn’t do me anything. So I’m just going to be uncomfortable. And their brains to your point Sherrie are absorbing that. And so as we move into your story, though, I would love to know more about some of your questions, per se for for Sherrie, too.
Crissy Loughridge 16:30
Well, one of the one of the questions you listed one of the aces you listed was mental illness in the home, can you share a little bit more about the mental illness in in the home where you grew up?
Sherrie Pilkington 16:41
Sure. My mother, We later discovered she was diagnosed with bipolar. But who was talking about, you know, bipolar situations or conditions back in the 60s 70s, and very early 80s, no one that I knew of I had never heard of that term. And the other thing is, we never got our clinically diagnosed. But my siblings, and I have a brother and a sister picked up on these personality, she had a second personality that was childlike. And while she did not get diagnosed, we were still subjected to those personalities. And again, we wouldn’t have termed it that way. When we were younger, we just couldn’t understand why you couldn’t get through to her. She would be acting like a child or laughing like a child or ridicule. And you try like, Mom, what are you doing? And then she would not acknowledge you. So it was just very strange. And so we just tried to get out of the room, because we didn’t understand what we were supposed to be doing. So she had that bipolar condition where you just did not know which end was up, you did not know what personality you were going to get. And you didn’t know weather today was going to be an okay day. Maybe I’m used the indoor broom on the outdoor porch. And so that was all wrong. And then, but yesterday I did it now was fine. Or the way I wash the dishes was okay today, but it’s not okay. Yesterday, I mean, the next day. So it was the way that I described my childhood is that I never had anywhere solid to rest my feet. And that’s contributed to issues that I grew you know how when you’re trying to make sense of something, I was just speaking about this child and so you’re trying to make sense of something that you have no point of reference for. So what do you do you conjure up your own lens of looking at life and trying to function in what you’ve experienced, but don’t know how to process it?
Amy Watson 18:29
Because Because like you said, you have no context for it. Right? You have zero context like as far as you knew everybody else’s houses were like that too. Sure. Yeah. You know, and Crissy often is one of the things why this works so much. And you said this Crissy in my episode, that you interviewed me, like our childhoods couldn’t be any different. And so
you don’t know what you what you don’t know. You know, and so I, I have a question that I didn’t prep you for, but it’s easy for you to answer because I’m just curious. What where are you in the birth order?
Sherrie Pilkington 19:05
I am the middle child, the one that’s overlooked and ignored. The one that’s really, it wasn’t me. I was kind of mouthy. So I didn’t hide but it was my sister who got looked over really, to really dig out like she stayed out of a lot of trouble, but was in trouble she was doing so she got in trouble. But but because she was just ignored,
Amy Watson 19:22
younger or older than you younger. Got Yes, she is younger. I have an older brother one. My brother is one year older my sister is two years younger. The reason I asked you that question is because I will talk about this through this episode, as we see a lot of children turning into caretakers in homes like yours. And and it’s interesting to me that you’re a middle child because normally you see that in the older child. But finally you you were like I am I’m going to leave this house I know at some point, but I don’t know when and you said something to me. I don’t think you know you said to me, is I needed
To make sure my mom was okay. And I needed to make sure my sister was okay. And it fired off all these things in my head, because that is so, so typical. And these and these traumatic homes were, where were that are not healthy where you became the adult. So, during our prep interview said something to me that I want to highlight here, I want to ask a question before that, how old were you when you left home, and then tell us why you finally left home.
Sherrie Pilkington 20:31
I left home at 18 because I had just graduated. Because on each last day of the year, school year, it would be my birthday. So I just turned 18. And I’ll say a couple of months later I had so when I turned 18, I was planning to get out of there. But I’d got kicked out before I could leave on my own. And you told me tell you what, I get kicked out. You know, I do not remember why. And it could have been that I use the wrong wash cloth for the dishes. I don’t know, it was just that random and that unpredictable. So it could have very well been but she had kicked my brother out. So now it was my turn to get kicked out. And then of course, my sister coming up behind me as soon as she graduated, and she graduated at 17. She got kicked out.
Amy Watson 21:10
Yeah, there’s a pause there for a reason, because that just even makes me shake my head. I’m so sorry.
Sherrie Pilkington 21:20
That Thank you. I appreciate that. And then my dad who’s never in the picture, he shows up to pick me up. I was like, wow.
Crissy Loughridge 21:25
One of the things you mentioned Amy in the prep, you left your house with survival skills, but no relationship skills, Can you expound on that a little bit,
Sherrie Pilkington 21:37
I would not have termed it that way. When I first left the house, all I could think of is I want to get out of here. I was already preparing to leave she just got to me before I could get out the door and I left the house feeling like finally I’m getting ready live my life I do not have her hanging over my head. But I did not realize that the lens with which I had created in order to survive in that
atmosphere that condition that environment was what was going to equip me for later because it did not equip me at all when I was outside of that environment. The skills that I had created did not serve me well at all in relationships with people who had no attachment to that type of abuse or understanding of who I was or what I’ve been through. So yeah, I ran headlong into a wall but not really realizing it first because the time that I went for counseling
I didn’t I wouldn’t have said it was my survival skills I would have said somebody else’s making my life difficult that’s what I would have responded to what I didn’t make the connection that I had to take responsibility for that which lens was kind of backtrack a little bit to your point I that was one thing that I could have been equipped with was taking responsibility for my life in a way that would have produced a much more mature and beneficial lifestyle with relationships and whatnot.
Amy Watson 23:05
Except you understand that there is no way you that could have happened right because you did not have it modeled for you and so for you to take responsibility for something would be like somebody asking me to send Crissy to the moon yeah.
So you so I want to I want you to give yourself grace that Crissy just talked about like if had we understood had you understood what you’ve been through 30 years ago, you would have walked out and and next time I see you and give you a big giant hug and give you a big pat on the back and say you made it it was those survival skills that made you make it and I did the same thing I aged out the system at 18 went to college and and we’re not here to talk about my story but I did the same thing. And here’s the issue listeners and Crissy can even speak to this a little bit the problem with those of us who have incredible survival skills is that those skills is a skill that the world denominates or pays us and the thing that matters right so survival skills aren’t going to run are going to run I’m not going to quit something knock me down finally get back in and and the world absolutely rewards that with the green folding stuff. And so why would we want any other skill but I want you want to speak into you there’s no way you could have learned or known to take responsibility for your actions. However, there is a point where and I tell Crissy this all the time. One of the reasons why I do the podcast is because my power company doesn’t care that I had trauma, they care that I write them a check. So we got to even though it’s not fair, those of us with these stories have got the do the thing. But most of us before we do the thing, do a bunch of other things in between. So you turned 18 You left your house tell us about what happened then.
Sherrie Pilkington 24:54
When I left my house I was determined to get well I had a job I just got a job. I’m so happy
had the job but I needed a car. And I needed an apartment somewhere else to stay, I wasn’t gonna stay in the area where my mom was at, I was gonna go back to an old neighborhood, or at least in that area, where I had gone to school with people prior to moving where we were. And so when I went back there, I just wanted an apartment, a car and a job. That was all I was worried about, wasn’t worried about dating, none of that stuff. And so I connected up with a friend of mine who she had gone to school,
and just started to hang out with her. And so one night we were out dancing and
her friends, she knew a friend, let me see if I can get this right. One of her friends showed up and she introduced me to him. And then the guy in tow with him. She he introduced us to all of us. So then we hung out for like 10 months because I was not into he kept asking me to date I saw him date and other people wasn’t interested, just fine. Have yourself a good time. We enjoy dance and him out usually ended up on the floor longer than anybody else. And then we’d all go to dinner or breakfast at Denny’s or whatever. And then we’d all go our separate ways. Well, I went my separate way. I can’t speak for everybody else. But But I but again, I just was finally he asked me out one more time and he’s just like, I just really wish you’d go out with me, we have a lot of fun. And I just think we would make a really great couple something along those lines, because but I don’t have as much fun with you as I have with other people. So I was like, okay, all right, whatever. So we go out and I you know, I’ve really the fun just continued and we connected on humor. Before we even started dating. Our relationship was built on humor, the marriage when we’d have tough times, we were together a little over 33 years, we laughed through some of the hard parts or just found some common ground of humor, dumb, stupid humor that you know, couples share and, you know, nicknames you call each other things like that. But and, and so that kept us going even to this day, what I missed the most about him is his humor.
Amy Watson 26:53
So let me ask you this. So we’ve not really talked about God yet at all. When you got when you got married, were you walking with the Lord? And was Larry a Christian.
Sherrie Pilkington 27:05
Funny thing, and I don’t know if funny is the right word is really not laughable. But I, I got saved at 13 and I an aunt, I credit, one of my aunts for modeling who God was in a realistic way, and continue continually drawing us into a relationship with God. She played the piano. And when you were at her house, she was extremely generous. And she, you know, fed you and sang hymns with you. I love the hymns. I grew up on the hymns because of her.
And so her modeling who God was was always in the back of my mind, because I was getting mixed signals and mixed messages at home. I mean, they would talk about God, but nobody really rely on God. And we’d only go to church when things were really bad like dad had left us or something, then we’d go to church. So it was a lot of mixed messages. But rainy, her name is Lorraine and we call her aunt Rainey was very consistent. So I came to the knowledge of Christ at 12 years old professed him as my Lord and Savior or his salvation. But then He later becomes the Lord of my life, because you know, you can have salvation, but not really make him the Lord of your life. And that was always a saving grace for me if you will, because once I was saved, I began to read the word I did not understand it, I probably read the word through three or four times the whole Bible through three or four times between 12 and leaving the house at 18. It’s not so much that I walked
with the Lord, I just felt his presence, I felt I had this underlying feeling that what was going on was not right and to hang on. And not that anybody told me that but except that, you know, I’m praying and I’m reading the Word. And when I was hanging out with my friends, I was desperate to go anywhere because mom wouldn’t let you go anywhere. Shouldn’t like you answered the phone. She didn’t want to go anywhere. And when I finally got a chance to go somewhere, you know, we’re probably doing stuff we shouldn’t be doing but so it’s not like I was walking with the Lord but I knew his presence. And so when I leave home strangely enough, I love the Lord. He had been so good, so kind, so faithful to me, but for some reason I walked out the door going, Okay, now I got to make this happen. I gotta do life. And so no, I was not walking to the Lord. I gave my husband a reason to believe I was a believer at all. And he was not a believer at the time that we got married.
Amy Watson 29:07
So tell us about the journey of when. So you got married? Actually, before before I asked that question. I do want to ask you something cuz I think this is more for the listeners out there. So you let you when you left home, you walked away from the Lord. I did something similar. I got in an air quoting When I say this church hurt, I stopped going to church and and I wasn’t a bad kid. But there are there’s a question I want to ask you. And this is really for those of you listening.
A lot of women especially who have been through what you and I have been through and what listeners have been through because their brain didn’t develop properly and attachment disorders and all the things. We find a lot of promiscuity. We find a lot of
partying, we find a lot of drug abuse, we find a lot of that. Was that ever part of your story before you met and married Larry?
Sherrie Pilkington 30:09
Not a lot. But I when I was in high school, I had a boyfriend who was not in school. As a matter of fact, he was like, I guess, please tell me that all of us have a bum magnet in our pocket during high school or something like that. Because I dated a guy who was not in school. He was on probation. Yes. You know, what was I think, and I do not know. But anyway, it gave me an excuse not to date the guys in school because I was scared to death, mom’s idea of abstinence, or at least teaching you about relationship was get pregnant. And you’ll need to find somewhere else to live because you’re not living here. So that was my introduction to sex Ed if you will, as far as being careful when you’re on a date. So all I can think of is oh, crap. I can No, how do you prevent all that? Okay, well, I’m just not gonna date. But I do end up having sex with the guy. But I was so guilt ridden like, and I didn’t know I. It’s not that I felt like I was raped. I don’t. But I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know I had a voice. I didn’t know that I had options that you could speak up and that somebody would actually listen to you. And so I ended up having sex with him, but it’s like three or four times and I’m like, I can’t he wasn’t using any sort of protection. So I’m like, I’m out of here. I can’t do this. I don’t not want to end up pregnant. Oh, my gosh, not to you.
Amy Watson 31:23
yeah, I mean, at least I had some sense. I guess I was thinking like the wrong guy. So I break up with him. And then I date a few other guys. In course, I don’t know what it is. Maybe this is not not the right thing to say. But it was my experience. My Country guys were more respectable than my city guys, my city has really pushed the limits so so I was able to maintain abstinence, all those My friend says oral sex and all the still sex.
There was some of those behaviors because I know when I when I went to aged out of the system, and walked away from the Lord really, is when I may, I wasn’t I wasn’t promiscuous, but I married somebody who was not a Christian, which I had been taught my whole life right along with, you know, hellfire and brimstone marry a Christian hellfire and brimstone marry a Christian. And John was not a Christian and I paid for that for a very, very long time. In our prep, he told me that Larry was not a Christian, I would love and I think Crissy would love to know this too, because I’m kind of asking your question.
Tell me about yours and Larry spiritual journey.
Okay, now I will, if I misunderstood your question, proud of that and put myself out on Front Street. Maybe not forgive me for that. But
okay, our journey, okay. Larry was tender hearted. He really was a tender hearted guy he liked to act like he was, you know, nothing. He was tough, and nothing really bothered him. But he was a very tender hearted guy. And so as I began to talk about the Lord, and of course, this I am flipping the script in his book, I am flipping the script on him, because he has no reason to believe I’m a Christian. But now I’m married. And now I want to live the Christian life. And he’s like, Wait, hold on a second. No, what are you doing? So that is when this lens of how I had created life really got under the heat, if you will, because he’s the one I’m doing life with every day. And now I’m discovering under this pressure, that wait, this, my skills aren’t, aren’t working here, I’m doing nothing but creating strife in this marriage. And he’s got his heels dug and he’s not given up because rightfully so. Right? Um, one way before we’re married, then I want to be another way
you baited and switched him. I did.
Sherrie Pilkington 33:37
I mean, I did. I really did. Not my intention and even thinking about back in highs back in when I was younger and swearing, I swear, I will never let her Let me I will never let her make me cry again. I will never cry a sweat. And I even had to repent for that later. Because I didn’t understand that when you’re swearing like that, and taking on these oaths, they cost you something. And so I had to later repent for that, and to release those types of things, and even those types of attitudes. So he, he does eventually come to the knowledge of Christ. We were at some play. It was like a hellfire and brimstone type production by one of the churches and he goes forward. Now did his walk immediately take ground? No, it did not. There was that whole struggle between soul and spirit, what the soul already knew what the Spirit is trying to redeem. And there’s that whole struggle. So it wasn’t a perfect walk. But then again, you know, who has the perfect role, right. But it did take him a while. And I would even venture to say that in the last four.
Last four years of his life, that was the strongest I had ever seen him walking with regard to the people that he he put his self in like on a constant basis, pastors and strong Christian men, and he was leading people to the Lord. He was so cute though. He would talk to them about why they needed Jesus and why he was such a good
Man a good God to know. And then he would bring like, hey, come over here they want to except you need to lead them to
wasn’t quite competent enough to say the prayer, you know, confession around them confession but the prayer of repentance that’s what I’m looking for.
Amy Watson 35:13
That’s so awesome because it means that you brought God into your home, right?
Sherrie Pilkington 35:19
Yeah, yeah. You know he was looking at me going girl, you’re a hot mess and you want to try this now but let’s go come on.
Crissy Loughridge 35:26
In your opinion, how was your adverse childhood experience colored the way you parent? Did that? Can you share with listeners? How if you had any struggles parenting since you didn’t have that model for you? To clear?
Sherrie Pilkington 35:44
Yeah, it did not even
breach my train of thought until I was pregnant I found out I was pregnant, then I was like, holy moly. I’m going to have a baby, I have no clue how to do this No clue. And that became even more afraid of repeating what because I did not understand right now I think about bipolar. We didn’t know anything about double, you know, dual dual or multi personalities. And so I’m like, This is terrifying me. But it is also the ground in which God showed me who he was as a parent to me. He and He, yeah, he showed me the difference between discipline for the purpose of correction, and abuse. So then I was like, okay, that’s abuse. That’s what I was experiencing. I also put things in place because I did not want to somehow
become her and not realize it. And one time I did, I broke my rule. So my roles were maximum because we did paddle. But it was a maximum of three like they could be fully clothed, because a lot of times we had to have bare legs or bare butt. So they could be fully clothed, maximum three could not do it when I was mad because she would just if she was mad, she would just get on you and not let up until she felt better. And what else did I have? It was a last resort. We had tried everything else we had like a strike three system, there were things that you lost or privileges you lost, or time that you spent without friends, that kind of thing. And so it was the last resort. One time I broke my rule, I paddled my son, when I was mad. And if God corrected me immediately, I go back into my room because I’ve been in his room, I go back to my room and my hand was hurt. And I looked down at my hand had blood on my hand, I absolutely panicked. I ran back into the room, I said, Son, let me see your legs because he had a long head when his dad’s T shirts on se, I thought that was enough, again, didn’t make sure his legs were covered. So when I lifted his shirt, there was nothing on his legs, not marks, not anything. So I had at least caught the shirt. But what I also caught was my hand when I did it, and it made me bleed and it made me hurt. And so the Lord corrected me, I went and got on my knees laid on the floor, I mean, laid on the bed across the bed with just repented to the Lord, because he had already shown me how to correct for the purpose, you know, discipline for the correct for the purpose of correction, and I did not do it. And so I never did that after made sure that, that those three things were in place. Wow. And it’s just being that father, him showing me how he cares for me as a father and understanding his heart for me, by the way that I felt about my children. That was super powerful for me that was transformed, forming for me.
Amy Watson 38:12
And that is something I’m just speaking for myself that I wish I could I could I could take to heart a little bit better is is God as my father because as my counselor so often says, Sherrie, what the way you parented your children, you shouldn’t be able to do that. And we go back again to Exodus 34, with the trauma and the sins of the father or cat, or the Bible says the second, the third, the fourth generation. And so you with only Jesus, and I say that really tongue in cheek, because on this podcast, Jesus is the star of the story. And for you to be able to answer that question like you did and that your your children were seemingly normal? I think it probably probably depends on whether you asked that question to them. But But you shouldn’t have been able to do that. And I’m grateful to the star of the story. we’ve alluded a couple times and listeners are probably hanging on by a thread. You move it along in life. You have two children, you’re married, you’re growing in your faith. Marriage not without its issues.
went to counseling, which is another thing that we really focus on in this podcast. Then life changed forever. Please tell us why and how.
Sherrie Pilkington 39:33
Had no indication whatsoever.
When he left that morning, February 21 2018 everything seemed fine. gave each other a kiss. Hug. Call me later. Love you. You know yes, I’ll call you later.
So everything seemed pretty normal. And then about I’m gonna guess around 1010 30 He calls me to say hey, I’m sick. I don’t feel good. I’m gonna go try to eat but if I can’t eat
I’m going to go home and I said, Okay, well, I have one more stop to make and then I will, you know, or no, at that point, I said, Call me, let me know. And so at about 11, he says, I feel worse, I want to throw up. So I’m going to go home. And that’s when I said, All right, I have one more stop, I will go to the grocery store. And I’ll pick up some ginger ale and crackers and soup in case you start feeling better. I’m still mad at myself to this day, because he’s never sick. And so why didn’t I pick up on anything? It’s not like it was flu season, or at least we had, again, it could have been flu season. He’s just never sick. Well, about 1130.
He, we get a call, my son gets a call from a friend.
And he’s told that your dad’s been in an accident.
You know, I’ve called the ambulance. let your mom know. So my son calls me and I didn’t pick up on it. But he’s in shock. I didn’t, I didn’t pick up on it. And he says, Mom, dad’s been an accident. Do you want me to go? If he had been this right, man, he’d gone. There was no way he would have asked me that. And I said, let me get checks with her. I know he didn’t feel good. Maybe He clipped somebody because our roads are very narrow out here. And my mind is not processing the fact that I don’t know. I don’t know where you’re maybe your mind goes into this place of protection. I guess at least that’s the only thing that makes sense to me. And I said No, honey, don’t worry about it. All right out there. Right now I’m getting ready to head home, I gotta go the grocery store, but I’ll just go check on him. As I’m going out there, I try to call him and he doesn’t answer. I’m thinking, oh, man, this is probably, I wonder if it’s a bad accident. So then I try to call again. And I’m like, Ah, I need you to call me. You know, when I left that ultimately, I thought, What if you got into a head on? Like, what if he would if he was throwing up and he got into a head on accident. So then I’m starting to panic? Well, about that time I sang the same son. The youngest one calls me says Mom, I told me, which is I don’t know if she was his fiancee? No, it would have been his wife at that point. I called Mary and asked her to go out there because she was close by. I said, Okay, so I call her I said, Mary, let me speak to Larry. And so she hesitates. And I said, You alright. And she goes, yeah. Now you gotta remember. She’s like, 22. And she’s having to process that she already knows it’s not good. And I am on the other end, saying, Let me speak to him. And what is she going to tell me? Right? She doesn’t even know never dealt with anything like this before. Her husband’s I mean, father is dead. And she’s having to wonder what she’s going to tell me. She was very close to him. He loved her. And so now she’s having to look at that. Watch all that go down. So she says, I can’t and I said, why not? And she goes, Well, because they’re the ambulance is with him. And I said, well ask the ambulance if I can talk to him. Again, I think your brain just goes off area where you’re like, not engaged in what’s going on. And I hear her say, can he? Can she speak to him? Now? He’s on a respirator at this point. I don’t know this. But he’s, I later learned that and they’re like, No, we’re trying to, and then I didn’t hear anything. And so she goes, Well, they’re trying to stabilize him. Okay, that’s when it kicks in. For me. I said state my voice raises stabilize, what do you mean stabilize? Tell them to define stabilized right now? And so that poor child as for state, what do you mean by stable? Now she’s watching them work on this man. You know, they’re that she loves dearly, and he loved her. And so she’s trying poor thing that I wonder if I’ve ever apologized to that baby, or haven’t done that to her in that moment. And she says, Well, they’re trying to stabilize him because they’re trying to make his heartbeat or something like that. Okay, that’s when I totally lose it in a sense, and I’m like, What hospital are they going to? And she’s like, well, we’re right on the line between Chesapeake Virginia Beach. So they’re arguing about what hospitals are taking us if you tell them to take him to Princess Ann and I will see you there now. And she goes, Okay, I will. And so I had started, I’m calling people. Look, you have got to pray. Larry has been in a car. I still think it’s a car accident. I don’t know that he’s had a heart attack. So I’m trying to process all that I get to the long story short, I guess I’ve gone on long enough is that I get to the hospital. They pull us my sons and I pull us into a room. I’m waiting for them to come tell me I can see him. My heart is still hanging on to that.
in walks this white coat, little petite doctor, and I’m like, she does not have it in her to tell me what I do not want to hear. But sure enough, she opens her mouth and outcomes. We’ve done everything we can. There’s nothing left. Well, I start arguing with her. You could still be in there trying to do something. Have you tried everything? How do you know you’ve tried everything? So I’m like poor woman. I’m bullying her? Because I will not take her answer. For the final answer. I got one son who’s collapsed. I got one son who’s beside me with his arm around me and I’m still arguing with this woman. So long story short, I did not get to see him like I thought I would or at least when I did see him. It was in the hospital. And it was on a steel gurney. But it was not the way I had hoped to see him.
Amy Watson 44:45
Yeah, I want to let that breathe for a second because
it’s the third or fourth time I’ve heard it. And
I just I’m so so sorry.
And I would be
Sorry, to anybody that that experiences that.
But uh, particularly today on this interview, it makes my heart sad because it’s sad. But you just got done talking to our listeners about how
God has been your father and, and he really is the reason why you raised your kids like you did and all the things.
here’s, here’s this reality that you’re living in. And I can’t help but wonder, did you ever feel abandoned by God?
And let me let me let me let me expand on that a little bit more. Because this is the desire of your heart, Sherrie for this podcast.
Because you said to me, I wonder if the way I responded to Larry’s passing, I responded as though he abandoned me, I was mad at him that he abandoned me. And I’m here to tell you with my not so psychology degree, but Google went a little bit of a brain, that that’s absolutely your childhood trauma, that abandonment, now your husband leaves you.
Crissy Loughridge 46:11
And not, not of his free will, he leaves you. But that logic leaves in those moments. And I can only imagine your childhood came home to roost.
Sherrie Pilkington 46:23
Satan attaches himself to our traumas. And he uses every opportunity that he can to bring them back up to us. But the beauty of a relationship, a personal, intimate relationship with Christ is that when Satan brings those things up to us, like he did with abandonment, we have God who wants to heal them. I believe that when we’re under pressure, when we’re under that fire, and those things in us come up, then that’s God wanting to say, give me that child, give me that daughter, I want to work that out for you. I want to heal that place for you. I want to bring in my peace, my healing, and my save for that pain that this world has put on you, I have something different for you. I have a different value system for you. And that’s really what happened to me here. My husband would have picked divorce
to abandon me versus checking out at 52 years old because he was very much a family man. He loved his boys. The grandbabies were starting to come. He was the youngest of eight babies. He loved babies. So I know in when you put it look at it in a realistic way, then, yeah, he did not abandon me that is not the truth. Right. But did it come up in my spirit and my soul? Yes, it did. And then
pardon me, I even told the Lord, I don’t. I’m a little exhausted with this whole abandonment thing. I don’t really want to go back and process this again. But God heals in layers. And so he said to me, Sherrie, I don’t take you back to hurt you. I take you back to heal you. And so when he said that, to me, I was like, Alright, let’s go. What have you got? What? How do you want to rewrite this lie that I have embraced in my life to the point that it would come up under this in this way that it is not the truth, but yet I? It seems to be the truth. Yeah. And so God brings those things up, or at least he’s right there when they do come up.
Amy Watson 48:20
Right. Right. And I think that it because what one of my next question says and you just really answered it eloquently, is what would you say to people who are 18,28, 38,48, 58, who have childhood traumas, and then experience trauma later in life. And those are the they’re the same, right? But they’re different. I have a huge fear of abandonment. This one right here. And I told you this story on Voxer. But for listeners, Crissy and I were running errands one day, and she needed gas, and I needed something from the bank. And I needed to go into the lockbox make very long story short, I came out with the bank, she wasn’t there. And I was convinced that she had left me and was never coming back to get me. And I was 36 or 37 years old. So listeners I’m honing in on that because
that I want you to understand that if you’ve experienced childhood trauma, you’ve got real issues, physical issues with your brain. And so when you’ve it’s so important for parents, teachers, youth pastors, all anyone who has agency over a child to understand how important the developing brain as and how they will experience trauma later. I am so grateful that you just spoke life into people by just saying you know what, God heals our pain and layers that even took my breath away a little bit and it’s helping me understand why my pain has been healed and layers. So yeah, thank you for that so much.
Crissy Loughridge 49:58
Yeah, what really
came to mind for me is what Satan meant for evil God meant for good. And so that bringing up the abandonment, again is satan’s way of going haha. And God was like, oh, bring it. I got more healing to do. Yeah, go go for it. Yeah. And and so it’s it’s always encouraging to me when God turns the tables on Satan in his tricks.. And so
Amy Watson 50:23
God turns the table one Satan has tricks that’s a Louridgeism y’all that is fantastic.
Sherrie Pilkington 50:31
That’s not to say that’s a table to flip right, that is a table to flip?
Crissy Loughridge 50:36
Well, um, as we close out the podcast, what shouldn’t we do when we are doing live closely with someone who has experienced what you have? What what has not been helpful?
Sherrie Pilkington 50:49
my first initial response to that is that I don’t
I don’t know that I would put that on someone else. And what I mean by that is,
when I’m triggered when I go through things that pertain to my childhood experiences.
Would it be helpful if someone understood that, but how can they if they haven’t been through it? Or if they’re not even relating to the fact that this is it because a lot of times, that was my situation, I didn’t put the pieces together. When I think about this child that I’ve made reference to I think about the journey that this child is on, and the heartache and the possible identity issues as this child grows older, but what if this, this child knew what if this child knew what had happened and then could get help immediately. So my point is, I think the burden of responsibility falls on me
in order to get the help I need when I’m triggered, can kind hearted people make a difference? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Can patient people make a difference? Oh, yeah.
Amy Watson 52:09
But what about what do you say to the name it claim it you got a problem? I got a Bible verse. So you’re walking along life with people with trauma?
How do you experience the the name it claim it? misused even dare I say weaponizing the gospel had? That’s, that’s what I that’s how I would have answered that question is,
we can’t throw words that people may not even believe at them, and expect them to do something like overnight unless God tells that story.
Sherrie Pilkington 52:48
I can say Scripture all day long. And I do believe that the word will is powerful, and it will transform anything and everything. It also transcends this life into the next life. So I’m not trying to take anything away from the word. But if there is no intimate and personal relationship with the word and the word being Christ, then there is no change, unless you engage God over that word. And that’s going to be a process. And it makes me think about, there is a process to this. I would tell anyone, to not rush, the process of having this hard conversation with God and asking these tough questions like Where were you? Did you even care? Or whatever is a tough question for that individual person. So I would say get in there and get real with God, you ain’t fooling him about anything anyway. So just lay it on the lay all your cards on the table, because change starts. I don’t know if you remember when God asked Jacob, what’s your name? It’s not like he didn’t know Jacob’s name. He’s like, you want to be honest with me? Now, if you can be honest with me that we got somewhere to go? Avoiding?
Amy Watson 53:51
That is a fantastic take on that scripture.
Sherrie Pilkington 53:54
Yeah, you want to keep avoiding me and keep acting like we’re not gonna talk about the real thing, then I got nothing for you. I can’t work with you. So I think that’s what happens for us, we get real with the Lord. And I don’t care how painful it is meaning a lot of my grief came out as anger. But the Lord never shamed me for that he never turned me away. It was almost as if he absorbed all of my pain because he knew where it was coming from. And it wasn’t just the death of my husband, it was the death of childhood, it was the death of things that I had to
go through and process. So he understood I felt like he understood it.
And so what once I got to the point where this processing became obvious to me that I could not lift my hand there was nothing I could do or a resource I could have. That would change my situation, because the one who could have stopped my husband’s death did not. And so I had to face the fact that the Good God, I confess did not intervene and my husband’s death. And so what do you say to God what the good god profess? What do you say to him at that point? And so when that became a real
It, it collided with God’s sovereignty. And at that point I submitted to God’s sovereignty, I chose to just lay it down. But when I did, submission with God is got to be one of the most powerful things there is because that’s when healing begin to happen for me, is when I laid down the argument because I had rights. Right? I mean, I wasn’t making up my situation. I had rights.
Amy Watson 55:23
And where was he? That’s a great question. Right? He was right. There wasn’t?
Sherrie Pilkington 55:26
Yeah, yeah. Right. They’re engaged. I think that’s another thing too, that people miss that even when we do not use our Gift of Choice in the way that we that God intended for us to do it. God’s still in there, he would never, ever let you endure those things by yourself. Yes, people are making the wrong choice. Yes, he is heartbroken over what they’re doing. But he ain’t gonna let you be there by him by yourself and go through it alone. And I think people miss that. Because it’s such a beautiful thing to know that we’re never alone. Because if I, if I could strip humanity down to one thing, you like, take all the little ways that we protect ourselves. And the way we make things, look in our our vices and whatnot, and we strip it down is the fear of being alone. Being left alone abandoned. I think that’s where, because we were created for a relationship, right. And so that’s why Satan takes that is such a powerful weapon. But God comes along and rewrites it, saying, I was right there. There was an incident I shared with you. And if I’m talking too much, just let me know. But there was an incident that I shared with you about that the reason I had abandoned issues with my mother, she would always threaten to leave you, she would always threaten that you do that I’m gonna leave you right here. Well, she did one day, she left me there for a couple hours with my brother. And so we’re walking along the side of the road trying to think I mean, I was trusting my brother, He’s a year older. So I’m thinking he knows where he’s going. I think he said him, when all of a sudden she pulls up, and we get in the car. So her threats became very real to me. And so I began to have a reoccurring dream of her leaving the various places. And that was just a fear of mine that I had for many years. And I asked the Lord through some Theophostic prayer counseling, and I said, Where were you? Like, where were you in that moment that the change my life, and he gave me a vision, I’m getting a little softer here. But he gave me a vision, and that he was walking beside me. And he had his hand on my back in the middle of my back. And he’s looking down to me, like he’s either talking to me or caring for me in some way. And that healed my abandonment issues. And I’m not saying I feel like it’s the last piece of abandonment. But if I get triggered again, then that just means I have some more healing to bring to him to talk to him about it. But that one, vision, healed years of abandonment issues.
Amy Watson 57:34
That’s so precious.
It was it really was so precious. And it’s just the faithfulness of our God who we don’t understand. I say so many times, probably one of the most
recited verses on my podcast, is Hebrews 4:15. Or the Bible says we do not serve a high priests who is unfamiliar with our sufferings. And so for me, when I got into the Where were you, you could have an even Sherrie thinking, you were there you watched, and the vision that the Lord gave me, and this has been many years ago is Jesus hanging on the cross and his father having to turn his back on him. And then then just that understanding of Hebrews 4:15, that we do not serve a high priest who doesn’t get to be an abandoned, you know what I’m saying? Jesus, as far as we know, had a decent childhood, so no childhood trauma going on there. But he absolutely understands our suffering. Well,
I feel like I’ve been to church today. It’s not very often on my own podcast that I walk away with my cup filled, but you are the host of a podcast called Finding God in our pain. And I think that you have absolutely found God in your pain. I had the great honor of being on your podcast. And we will put how to how to contact Sherrie into the show notes. And so as we close here, Sherrie, you will hear this when the podcast drops, but there is a song by Phil Baker called marked by you that he has allowed me to use and your life is marked by him. And so before I finish up here, Crissy, do you have any final parting words for for our guests here, Sherry and for my buddy,
Sherrie Pilkington 59:11
what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Amy Watson 59:16
Do you feel because Chrissy and I are kind of going through some stuff. Do you feel like God just Yeah, I’d love you through Sherrie Pilkington today. I really do. I really do. Thank you, ladies for allowing me to be part of my redemption story because I believe that being able to turn around and extend your hand out to someone else or give somebody a heart hug along the way after sharing what you’ve learned.
I believe that’s us taking part in our redemption story. Thank you and it is Joel 2:25 and other verse so often recited that the Lord will restore the years that the locusts have stolen and I’m just so grateful that you refuse to continue to not believe the lie. And so thank you so much for being here today. You are an incredible
An incredible steward of your pain. I want to thank you for your vulnerability here today. It really is my hope that listeners out there, no matter where you are in the world will find hope. Because there is hope. And Sherrie’s story, even though there’s plenty of pain, because she found God and her pain and found him to not to be the only analgesic that sticks for her pain. That doesn’t mean that life is easy. But in the body of pain of real life, she is proving the truth of Philippians one six where God promise, Paul writes, that he will finish that which he started in our life. Sherrie’s life also embodies one of my favorite verses that just mentioned it Joel 225, where we see God redeeming all of the years that the locusts have stolen, we’re behind microphones both of us all the time redeeming the years that the locusts is stolen. Finally, it is my hope that in this episode is highlighted the importance of community, paying attention to Sherrie, the Sherrie’s of the world, the Amy’s of the world, and the Susie’s of the world and the Johnny’s of the world, those experiencing trauma or adverse childhood experience and need your help. Guys, early intervention is so important in healing the negative effects of trauma on the developing brain, who knows how much less traumatic this this loss and Sherrie’s life would have been had she not had to work through a process with God on being abandoned. So as you had so so as we head out of here, we’ll be back in two weeks. It is my prayer, that if your story is like Sherrie’s, and you have not gotten help, that you would seek that help today, either through our efforts here to provide pro bono counseling, you can contact me with that contact me link, or through your own efforts. You don’t have to live in misery, and activated all the time. While childhood trauma can and often does leave lifetime effects, it is never too late to get better. Finally, it is my prayer that Sherrie’s story will help you pay attention
to children in your life. Step in as a community when you feel that you can help on talk on youth pastors, parents, teachers, friends, children are the most precious humans, they aren’t little adults, they need us protecting them. Can you imagine a Sherrie or an Amy with somebody that would come up and protect us? Can you imagine what we would have not had to walk through? When we do this, we equip it. Finally, for you parents out there, you’ve not screwed up your children, I promise. This is for those 10 adverse childhood experiences, not you just yelling at them because they throwing stuff at each other.
We want healthy people walking around. We know that the star of the story who is Jesus the only one to accomplish that for us. If you don’t know the star of story, I would love to share him with you. And I know Sherrie will want to both of our contact information is in the show notes. We are honored I am honored and having a voice to tell people about the God who heals you the God who sees the God who provides and Sherrie to speak over to you when I speak over everybody. When I speak over to Chris he would speak over to myself and when I speak to my listeners all around the world, seven continents. Guys, you are seen
you’re known. You are heard your loved and your valued. See we’ll see you back here, two weeks in the healing zone.
Sherrie Pilkington 1:03:20
Crissy Loughridge 1:03:21
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Tags: #PTSD. #Anxiety #Depression #Jesus #Hope #Faith #Healing #trauma #noexcuseforabuse #nomore #mentalhealthmatters #ptsdwarrior #death #spouse #heart #attack