Are you interested in going into the mental health field or becoming a licensed mental health professional? Perhaps, you are just curious about my personal story because you may find some aspects of it that are relatable to your own life. From drug abuse, neglect, and schizophrenia to the foster care system and adoption I share my journey of becoming a wounded healer with you […]
MY PERSONAL STORY:
WHY I BECAME A LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Disclaimer: I still get a small lump in my throat and my heart races as I write/talk about my journey of becoming wounded healer. Time does heal wounds but the memories can be ever-lasting. Please be sure to share with someone you think would find value in my content.
It is rather difficult to sum up 33 years of my life but I will do my best and remain succinct. I was born in La Crosse WI in 1985. My biological parents were 21 years old and both diagnosed with schizophrenia and struggled with substance abuse. I believe that my biological father also had conduct disorder. I guess you could say that life was pretty chaotic and unpredictable given those variables. Some examples include: incarceration, neglect, physical and verbal abuse, and the list continues. At one point we relocated from Holmen, WI to Barstow, CA. From what I understand it was in an attempt to avoid imprisonment. I learned from a very young age how to take care of myself. Thankfully the Lord placed a wonderful grandfather in my life. I would spend as much time I was allowed with him. I remember frequently praying at night “please don’t let my grandpa die, please don’t let my grandpa die” and he didn’t until the time was right. My best childhood memories are with him.
Besides the gift of life my biological mom gave me the gift of knowing God. She was a Christian woman and sent me to a private school under scholarship. Neither parent worked so we lived off their disability and the random selling of prescription drugs. I remember being given food stamps and told to buy the cheapest candy in the store just so we could get the cash back. I was in small school and had maybe 12 kids in my class. It was in the 6th grade and I got called to the principal’s office. I guess they could tell that home life was not good. There was a social worker there to interview me. I had always been told to lie to social workers or they would put me in a foster home. Other times I was told to clean the filthy house so that I wouldn’t get taken away. At this point in time I thought anything would be better than the current situation so I told the truth to questions asked. That night I went home and another case of verbal abuse began. I remember sitting on the floor of the kitchen trembling in fear as I was getting screamed at. I got up the courage and ran out the back door of our trailer to the neighbor’s house and called the police. I was taken to my grandmother’s house that evening and ended up staying there for about 1 year.
I prayed almost nightly for a healthy family. I just wanted to be normal and worry about normal 12 year old things. I was eventually placed in foster care with “The Rudes”. They took me in like their own. At that time they had a 4 year old son of their own, Adam. They were everything and more that I had asked for in prayer. It was like a fairy tale. God really had answered my prayers again. From then on I did everything in my power to move on with my life. I never had contact with my birth parents again after that. It was a gift that they cooperated with the courts and what I wanted for myself. When I was 21 years old The Rudes legally adopted me.
I went onto college and again I prayed a very specific prayer regarding my future husband. My prayers were answered better than requested. My husband, Justin, and I have been together for over 14 years now and have three wonderful children together. I went onto graduate school. Today, I am a licensed mental health professional in MN. I believe the hardships that I endured during my childhood prepared me for the work I do today as “A Wounded Healer”.
Because of my experiences I have so much empathy for others and want to see you succeed and live happy, meaningful lives. I get so much joy from helping and being a positive force. That’s why I created the FitFam Community “Empowering Women in Finance & Fitness” and my blog andreajean.org. I love my career as a licensed therapist and will continue that work until retirement; however, there is still a social stigma around seeking help and I want to reach as many people as possible. I want to share the things that have helped me in my journey which include taking care of your physical and financial health to promote peace of mind and well-being.
With Gratitude, Andrea Jean