OK, so today in Canada is Bell’s #BellLetsTalk hashtag day where they donate .05¢ every time someone shares a certain picture (featuring Howie Mandel) or the hashtag above.
Ok, great, they do it a couple times each year and that isn’t sarcasm. It really is great. It’s a necessary conversation we all need to be having because at some point in your life, either you yourself or someone you love is gonna need to talk about something she is terrified to talk about. And you know why she is scared? Because you might stop loving her. You might stop accepting her for who she is because, it turns out, she’s not who you thought she was. And that is probably scarier than anything else in the world because we can’t face the world without each other.
So… along came a little video in my newsfeed about how Howie Mandel’s secret was spilled… unknowingly to the entire world (or that piece of it that listens to Howard Stern). It’s moving… go watch it, you’ll get it. The reason I am mentioning it is because… well it has pushed me to take this step.
I know me. This blog was supposed to be perfect when I hit the publish button. There are supposed to be graphics that are inspiring, banners, all kinds of great posts and material to browse through. There’s supposed to be beautiful art work, deep and insightful quotes.
And none of that is actually happening right now.
There are no pictures. Not one. I don’t think. If there is a picture it is one of those not great nor inspiring auto-generated wordpress pictures and it’s there because I either don’t know it is there or don’t know how to make it go away. There are no banners, there are no other posts (yet). There is no beautiful artwork.
There’s just me. And the fact is… that’s enough. Because I don’t need to hide myself behind all the blitz and the bling and the fancy pants. Even if I want to. Even if I am sitting here reading through this again thinking well maybe if I just dig around a little bit more on my computer I will find something that works and that should help me procrastinate – wait… focus…
The Naked Truth is enough.
I’m a survivor. I struggle with my mental health. I get depressed, I get withdrawn and when I am backed into a corner, or feel like things are not under my control, I get dysfunctional, like… border-line Hexadecimal from Reboot dysfunctional.
When I was a very very small child, I was raped and molested by my dad. The first three years of my life were an effort to survive that spiritual, physical and psychological betrayal and painstakingly learn how communication works so someone would know what was happening to me. When my mom finally understood what I was trying to say she did the right thing, which was the best she could do. My dad elected to leave us, which was the best he could do. My mom took me to group therapy for other kids like me and in fact, those therapy sessions make up some of my first clear memories…
Most people have no idea what that actually means for how you grow up, how you see the world and how you figure out your place in it. To be honest, I’m not really even sure what it means. For me, it has meant having this belief that I am wrong, misplaced, un-belonging to the world. It has meant being contained and careful. It has meant being hidden from people, especially people I might trust because trust and people are dangerous things. It has meant doing it all by myself because to lean on another is to be vulnerable. The cost of vulnerability just seemed to high. It has meant to be in control of things, even at the cost of the needs of those I care about. It has meant being dissociated from myself and my own emotional landscape – it took me almost 25 years to realize that I was even angry about it, and to this day I have not felt the full force of my anger because, frankly, its just too fucking much to feel in one go. It has meant that, in most of my friendships… I’ve been a shitty friend. I have failed people more times than I have shown up for them. I did not know how to be a friend to someone in crisis until 3 years ago when someone I love fell apart in my living room. It has meant being mostly friendless, assuming you don’t want to be my friend and that I don’t need you to be my friend. It has meant having to always be the strong one, always be the self assured one, the put together one, the Survivor One because to be anything else, a hopeless, miserable, lost, lonely confused fucking mess was to be the disappointment I always thought I was. It has meant being both afraid of men and in need of men. It has meant being a victim every moment that it has also meant being a survivor.
It has meant overcoming, undoing, rewiring and rewriting all of that programming because I am enough. I do belong. I am angry and that’s perfectly reasonable. I am a bit messy sometimes and that makes total sense too. Vulnerability is the birth place of courage, and this is 100% true. I do want to be your friend and need you to be mine. I am victim and survivor and sometimes neither; I am just me. Enough.
I am writing this blog because… Well writing helps me. I have written poetry, short stories, journals, essays, rambles and rants for most of my life. Writing was safe. Journals were safe places to put the hard, knife edge things I needed to say, things that would cut other people if they heard them but were ok to cut me. Poetry gave me a rhythm to work with, a creation that was mine, that I birthed and it hurt like hell and here it is and it is mine. Story gave me a method to express my feelings, thoughts and desires through the characters I made up, gave me a chance to speak through the mouth of another.
I’m writing this blog because for basically all of my youth I had no one to talk to. No one who could hear these things and brave the truth with me, no one who could accept it for what it was without the need to fix me. No one who could see that I am both broken and whole. Today, I am much more secure, I am much more comfortable with vulnerability, with trust, with being seen and with knowing myself. I work towards integration. And maybe you are sitting there on your side of the computer reading this and feeling a sense of relief because you see you in this. Maybe this blog will be a place you can go and see the messy fucked up path I walked to get where I am (much better than where I have been) and that whatever part of your path you are on is ok with me, as long as you show up tomorrow in whatever state you are in. And even if you decide not to show up… I’m glad you came here today. Or maybe you are reading this and thinking… golly Jen I had no idea… I wish I had and am glad that I do now… I am glad now, too, that you know. Maybe this will mean we can be real friends, the kind of friends who really talk to each other and show up in our dirty pyjamas and don’t give a shit because fuck it I showered yesterday. Maybe you’re reading this and are uncomfortable. Maybe you’re bored, I don’t know, this has gotten a bit long (word counter reads 1192 words). Whoever you are, whatever you are feeling, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you come back to see me again because even if this blog does nothing at all for you on your journey (I really hope it does something for you though…) it is helping me. Because I want to be seen.
Broken and Whole.
PS. If you’re reading this and you’re like, this is amazing and I want to help you make this fancy pants style… That would be great because WordPress is overwhelming kinda and I would like my blog to look … Nice. With pictures. And… style. If you wanna support me in this endeavour, be it graphic tweaking or wordpress teaching or “How To Make Your Blog Successful” tutoring, I’m in! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
PPS. If you want to just talk to me, maybe you’re going through some stuff and want someone with a bit of perspective, or just a safe person to unload on… you can also email me too at the above address. If you want… let me be for you the person I didn’t have. ❤