Sunday, June 29, 2014

Into the light (again)

I screwed up my courage and put on my big girl panties and did something scary today.

I took this space public again.

There were a bunch of reasons behind this:

I'm tired of hiding from the bullies. (You assholes know who you are. I now openly welcome you to my little home on the Internet. Feel free to read and mock and laugh. If you get your jollies off my personal life, then I feel damn sorry for you because you should be spending your time with your own families, making your own memories. Oh, and fuck off.)

With Mom's diagnosis, my sister and I are casting about trying to find answers. We realize there aren't very many, but today Bean* found another St. Louis woman who is struggling through her mother's PCA diagnosis. It helps to know we are not alone. Since the very thought of this is helping us so much, I realized that I might be able to use this space to some day help someone else. (*Bean is my sister. I have called her this since she was a wee baby. Neither of us knows why. Despite the fact that I'm quite sure she hates the nickname, I will continue to call her this. It's Big Sister Privilege. Sorry, Bean. And I love you.)

Writing is therapeutic to me. It helps me sort my brain out, quiet the raging thoughts. Although M claims I "barf all over the page," my writing is actually an exercise in logic for me. I find tremendous comfort in finding the right words to express my feelings. After I write, I feel like everything is put to rights.

I am embarrassed that I let a few nasty men quiet my voice. I am stronger than this. I am stronger than them. I let them make me feel that what I have to say isn't worthy of sharing, that maybe I am not really a writer, and perhaps there is something to mock. Finally, I realized that I can only be who I am, online and off. And that the people who support me far, far outnumber those who laugh at me. They're also much better people. I have learned from this whole experience, just like I learned from the first time I had my heart broken. Hopefully, like that first heartbreak, I come out of this stronger.

I've been contemplating going public again for a few weeks now. I waffled. I flip-flopped. I hemmed and hawed.

Today, we attended 9 a.m. Mass with our new pastor. It's the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Father talked about how different these two saints were from each other, and yet, they are both pillars of the Catholic Church. He said that it doesn't matter if we're liberal Catholics or conservative Catholics, that we're all Catholic. The message that came through loud and clear? Stop judging. I think in addition to that, I should stop caring about those who judge me despite knowing very little about me.

Later, as Zoe got ready for her piano recital, I thought about how much I admire her. She has nerves of steel. Cool as a cucumber. I was more nervous for her recital than she was. I looked at my eight year old daughter (soon to be nine!) and realized that she is more courageous than I. Today, she was my role model. This is a pretty startling realization, and I decided that I need to live up to her expectations. I need to be more fearless, more daring. I need to her to continue to believe that she is worth being heard, that her voice matters. And the only way I can guarantee that is if I show her how to stand in the face of those who judge and mock, and say, "I am enough." I refuse the judgment or condemnation of those who belittle others to make themselves feel better. I hope that they, too, some day find the peace they need to feel "enough" on their own.

So, deep breath. Here we go. I can't promise I'll write every day, mainly because when I write I want to be sure it's something worth reading. No one needs to know that I went grocery shopping again, or purchased yet another decaf grande non-fat no-whip extra-hot mocha at Starbucks, or that my cats continue to puke with alarming regularity at the most inconvenient times. I promise to hit the high points, and, to be honest, the low points. There will be more than a few on the road ahead, but with the unbelievable kick-ass people in my life I know I'll make it through. (Those of you who liked my Facebook post and/or wrote a message and/or PMd me: I thank you. The outpouring of support reaffirmed my decision to step out from the shadows, to proudly be who I am, who I want to be. I love you!)


Blogger Chilly said...

Thank you, Amy! I dont know you in IRL, but have been following your blog on and off for a few years. I admire the way you write and I always find sth encouring, from your words or your pictures. Remember,there is not enough dark to put out a single flame of light.

4:41 AM  

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