I have been considering and reconsidering and considering again how I want to go about this and whether or not I want to go about it at all. But the reality is that I I need it. My mental health requires that I blog. That is to say that my mental and emotional health, which I know is a bit tenuous, would benefit from making public the musings and such that I am wont to do privately. And I don’t know how to justify or explain this. What I do know is that somewhere in my distant past, maybe 15 years ago, I did have a blog, now deleted, where I did process some of my personal experiences, and it did do me some good.
The reality is that I am now in a position where, for reasons I may discuss at another time, I have been cut off from my mental health support, my professional providers, that is, and I need another outlet. I am foundering (not floundering–I dislike when people misuse or mix up those terms). But my mental health and advocating for my mental health is my responsibility. And since I am in the position that my therapist will no longer see me, thanks to my trifling sister-in-law, I am setting up structures to care for my own mental and emotional health in the ways that I know how as best as I am able. This blog, then, is part of that scaffolding that I am putting in place to provide mental health support for myself. I don’t know how to explain to you exactly HOW this works, only that it has been my experience that it does work.
Here’s the rub: blogging is, of course, public and it requires the naming of names, the telling of my own story. In short, you can expect that I will, among other things, be using this as a space to “speak my own truth,” as some might call it. Others may term it “naming and shaming” others. The stark reality is that I have spent a shit ton of energy in my 46 years covering for others and not telling my own story. I think that this has merely served to compound my trauma. I’d like to be able to “speak my truth” to a therapist, but she recently abandoned me. Because of my various issues, Complex/ Complicated-PTSD being one of them, I admittedly have difficulty with opening up to others. But writing is one way that I am comfortable with being open and vulnerable, and it certainly is a useful tool for processing. And making it public is honestly very, very liberating.
I do realize that there is something potentially problematic about making my issues public and putting it all on the internet. Maybe I am violating boundaries by naming names, although I’ll point out that I’ve not done so. Yet. But I have the right to tell my own story and to seek healing for my emotional and even physical trauma. And believe me, the emotional trauma does manifest physically. I live with the physical pain every day. But the writer Anne Lamott has famously said that we all own our lives and the events of our lives, we are entitled to tell our own stories: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your own stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
So starting today, right now, I am standing up and taking responsibility for my own mental health and wellbeing by telling my own story. And this means that to everyone who has abused me and walked all over me, I may be putting you on blast. Live with it. But it’s a new day for me. Also, my identity is in Christ now. There’s nothing worse you can say about me than the reality that I am a sinner, but there’s nothing more beautiful about me than the reality that I am saved by grace.