nice to meet you
Hello! I'm Kristina Bentle
I am a researcher, teacher, and a life-long learner, who has spent the last 15 years studying psychology and trauma.
My story is one of finding purpose in the midst of deep pain, tragedy, and grief—a story of the impact of complex trauma and finding the right tools to heal.
My life has felt challenging from the start. I didn’t have the privilege of being born into wealth and had to learn early on to be grateful for the food on our table. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the guidance or emotional support that many children have, which left me feeling uncertain and lost. As a result, I made some decisions that caused me additional hardship. Looking back, I realize that I did the best I could with the knowledge and resources I had at the time.
As a child, I couldn’t have imagined the twists and turns my life would take. I endured years of hardship, battling depression, anxiety, and more. But through it all, I clung to one thing: determination. That determination kept me going when nothing else could, and it eventually led me to discover my own truth.
However, I must admit that my determination sometimes held me back. I didn’t realize that I was determined to stay stuck in a victim mentality, holding onto the very things that caused me pain.
Now, I want to share my story with you, in the hope that it will resonate with you and help you find your own strength. Though our experiences may differ, we all share a fundamental desire for love, affection, and attention.
This is the story of my journey, and I hope that it inspires you to recognize your own potential and the opportunities before you.
In 2008, during a warm summer night, there came a knock at my front door…
When I opened it, a police officer delivered the devastating news that my fiancé, Jason, had been in a serious accident while driving my jeep—the top was open, he didn’t have a seat belt on and had been drinking.
He was airlifted to the hospital.
After two days on life support he passed away on the 4th of July.
He became an organ donor—an honor that only 1% of deaths meet the requirements for.
The days and years that followed were a blur, and I found myself questioning everything—my life, my beliefs, my self-worth. It was a feeling I knew all too well, having lost my best friend in a car accident just two years earlier.
At times, I wondered if life was even worth living….
Yet, that wasn’t where it all started…
When I was just 5 years old, I remember sitting in the woods behind our trailer, yearning to disappear into the depths of the forest, never to return.
As a child, I hid in the closet of my tiny bedroom to hide from the chaos and yelling.
From middle school to high school, I spent hours in the guidance counselor’s office, tears streaming down my face—begging for help. They didn’t help.
For most of my life, I couldn’t even fathom the end of the deep emotional pain I was experiencing.
Years of emotional neglect, manipulation, gaslighting, bullying, and physical abuse, took its toll very early.
Then years of devastating events made it like life weren’t worth living.
As my life spiraled out of control, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after a failed suicide attempt.
There, I first saw a glimpse of hope—A different way to live my life.
I began exploring self-help books, professional training, attending personal growth seminars, and doing years more of therapy.
I spent years digging into every single angle of my personal growth. I was determined to find the answers to help me get better.
I was even able to climb the corporate ladder and experience success as a marketing professional. I got married and had a daughter, bought a house, and a nice car…
I began to see some hope that life could get better…. Yet I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling of being a fraud.
While my life began to improve…. deep down, I felt irreparably broken, sad, and lost. At the time, I couldn’t exactly put that into words. I just felt “off” and couldn’t figure it out…
I felt alone and misunderstood. It was like I couldn’t find my place anywhere.
I craved more but felt I was supposed to be happy with what I had. I had survived incredible pain and tragedy. I had a beautiful family and career…
Yet I was still unhappy.
Deep down, I was yearning to connect with my purpose and contribute to the world in a bigger way… Finally, it all began to click.
I realized that I would never truly find my way until I faced my truth – the person I was meant to be, buried beneath the scars of childhood trauma and the falsehoods I had constructed to protect myself.
Feeling whole and happy could only happen by embracing my authentic self.
I had dedicated years to therapy, and as time went on, each therapist I saw would commend me on my insightfulness.
Despite the praise, I came to the realization that I was trapped in a perpetual cycle. I felt like I wasn’t making any significant progress, leaving me stagnant and frustrated.
No one could seem to help. Even therapists didn’t know what else to do for me. It was disheartening to realize that they, too, saw me as someone with all the right tools and potential, yet I still carried a heavy burden of pain.
I had hit a roadblock on my journey to healing.
Then, another heavy blow struck. I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.
It all started with numbness in my toes, then it spread to my feet, legs, hands…
I slowly began losing my independence until I was in a wheelchair.
I visited doctor after doctor. No one had answers. Test after test came back “normal.” But I knew what was happening in my body was far from normal.
On more than one occasion, doctors would ask about my anxiety—implying that my condition was “in my head.”
After years of personal growth and healing, I knew my body and mind well. I had been practicing mindfulness and self-awareness for years. I knew that this was not my anxiety. I was steadfast in finding an answer.
Finally, a local neurologist referred me to Cleveland Clinic, one of the top hospitals in the US.
After a year of suffering, I finally got a diagnosis. Functional neurological disorder (FND). A diagnosis that I struggle with.
Years of trauma have left me disabled...
It turns out FND occurs when the brain struggles to send and receive signals properly, resulting in a disconnection in the function of various brain areas, including emotional processing.
Memory, concentration, cognition, and bodily sensation processing can also be affected.
Despite ongoing research, doctors have yet to pinpoint the exact reasons for its onset, but they do have several theories….
One of the fundamental causes being explored is trauma, including both biological and sociological factors.
This trauma may include early childhood trauma, stress experienced during early life, emotional factors, a tendency toward anxiety, exposure to violence, maltreatment, or childhood sexual abuse—cumulatively, these factors can contribute to the development of FND.
In my case, it became clear that years and years of trauma had led to intense pressure on both my brain and body for over three decades.
This prolonged stress and anxiety took a toll on me, ultimately leading to FND.
Finding a new way to heal hidden scars of trauma...
I began exploring neuroscience and energy healing. Odd combination? Not at all.
The human body is truly remarkable, and there are still many gaps in our understanding of it within the realm of science.
Once I understood how emotions impacted my body, I realized that energy played a significant role in every aspect of my life. Trapped energy was keeping me stuck—it was making me mentally, emotionally, and physically sick.
The body truly keeps the score.
My body was holding onto years of pain and trauma that my conscious mind couldn’t confront.
That’s when true healing began.
At a core level, I’ve been healing my body, mind, and spirit.
Through shadow work and science, I found the answers to those deep nagging questions—Who am I? How do I heal? How do I experience happiness? What’s my purpose?
I'm following my purpose & passion to help others while I also continue to heal.
I have spent 15 years focused on personal growth, psychology, and trauma. I decided I want to take it another step forward, so I enrolled in a MS program for Neuroscience and trauma to learn more about the impact of trauma on the brain and health.
My passion and purpose are to share these lessons with other women. So we can break the patterns of trauma and heal complex trauma.
I want to help the world heal from generational trauma wounds so we can help heal generations to come.
For the past 15 years, I’ve dedicated myself to personal growth, psychology, and trauma. Recently, I took a significant step forward in my journey by enrolling in an MS program focused on Neuroscience and trauma. My aim is to deepen my understanding of how trauma affects the brain and overall health.
I am determined to find a path to healing my own brain and body from the effects of trauma.
My passion and purpose revolve around sharing these lessons with other women. Together, we can break free from the patterns of trauma and embark on a journey of healing from complex trauma.
Ultimately, my vision is to help heal the world from the wounds of generational trauma, hoping to create a brighter, more resilient future for the generations that will follow.
That’s why I created Awakened Mom Life and the Mindful Evolution Community.
Together, we can heal and grow.
I’ve been studying self-help, personal growth, psychology, neuroscience and trauma. Currently, I am pursuing a Masters degree in Neuroscience and Trauma.
I travelled the US full-time for 2 years and even live in Hawai’i for 6 months. We trekked over 4,000 miles.
I started my career as in intern for the Cincinnati Reds MLB team and worked my way up the corporate ladder as a Marketing leader in the edTech industry.
A Year of Adventure Around the World
For two years, I travelled the US full-time with my husband and daughter—living in our 35 foot RV.
A little more about me...
Chronic Pain Warrior
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 26, Fibromyalgia at 32, Chronic fatigue syndrome at 33, Hashimoto’s Disease at 36, Functional Neurological Disease at 37. I’ve spent most of my life learning to cope with pain. I am an ambulatory wheel-chair user.
Toxic Free Living
After a life-long struggle with my health and being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I’ve turned to a holistic lifestyle which has made a radical impact. While I’m far from perfect, I’m always looking for ways to live toxic free.
I love learning about archetypes. They are incredibly helpful in understanding how we react to the world around us. I am an INFJ, the rarest of the Myers Briggs, MBTI personalities.