Because it is a sense of community that makes the good times sweeter for the sharing and the hard times more bearable for knowing that we’re not alone. ~ Diary’s About Page
I sent the rough draft of the post to a friend. Once it was written, I needed to share it. And I needed her feedback. She’s gentle, and God bless her, she loves me; but I trust her most because she holds nothing back.
The re line of the e-mail read ‘Tomorrow’s post. I’m scared.”
I needed to know if I was insane to do this. If there was an angle that I was missing. If I should rethink it.
She wrote back immediately.
Oh God … Jess…
Are you sure?
I’m going to be totally completely honest here. This post is extremely powerful, brave, and important. But are you sure?
And then she told me HER story. What SHE remembers. What SHE has carried all these years too.
These are the Stories you are going to get. You already get the painful stories from families. Are you sure you want to take this on emotionally too?
I love you for sharing this and I love you so much for your bravery and your need to get this out so others understand.
But just be sure.
Reading her words, hearing HER story, I knew. I just knew. Unqualified conviction is rare around these parts, but suddenly I was doing the backstroke in a pool of it. I KNEW it was time.
I wrote back.
Oh love. That’s exactly why. Yes, I’m sure.
The only fear I have is of having to tell my parents. And them having to process it.
That’s it. The rest, the pulling back the curtain so that this isn’t OUR shame? Yes. I couldn’t be more sure.
I’m so sorry.
Her story would be the first of many. Far, far too many. Once the post was out, stories like ours began to fill my inbox. The pain of years of guilt and shame hit the ground with thunderous BOOM after thunderous BOOM. The Me Too’s piled up in towers all around me.
This morning, Brooke came into my room and snuggled up with me – and her iPad – in my bed. It’s what we do on Sundays now. Daddy goes out for a run; Katie stays in bed to read; and Brooke and I cuddle. It’s become one of my favorite times of the week.
She curled into the crook of my arm and watched Blue’s Clue’s on the iPad while I attempted to catch up on e-mail, one-handed.
There was a comment waiting for approval on I Promise. It was yet another one. Another Me Too. Another ‘confession’. Another story from another woman who had walked through this particular brand of fire.
You are now the second person I have shared this with. Your message resonated with me. It has prompted me to contact a therapist with a plan to begin unraveling my feelings and address the negative effects the experience has had on my life. I have never felt so overwhelmed and lonely as I do at this moment but I am empowered by your strength inspired by the amazing woman you so clearly are.
With my free hand, I went digging. I had to find it.
I was sure that the letter would say it all. The one that I’d written to my friend when she was hurting last year. Really, really hurting.
I began to read it.
And there it was. All of it, in black and white. The demons. The baggage. The shame. It was all there.
We all have moments that flatten us, my friend. And sometimes those moments are days and sometimes those days are weeks. But when the weeks turn to months and the rocks are piling up so high that they are threatening to destroy us, it’s time to get some help. Some REAL help.
And I know that there’s no easy fix. I know what it means to ‘get help.’ It means sifting through the rubble. It means facing down the demons that you’ve worked so hard and for so long to stuff away. And it’s terrifying.
I get that. Far more than I’d like to admit. I get that.
But here’s the thing. You’re facing down those demons every day whether you acknowledge them or not. They’re riding shotgun, sister. Always. And they’re sucking the life out of you.
Saying their name doesn’t make them real. They’re already plenty real. So say their name. Stare them down. Take back the power that you’ve given them. Release yourself from their strangle hold. It’s time.
You can do this.
First thing – Step out of the shoes that are stuck to the ground. Walk away from the guilt and the shame. You don’t need them anymore. You never did.
Ask for help. REAL help.
Walk in and say, “I’m ready.” If you don’t feel it, LIE.
Because the rocks don’t stop falling. The business of life simply doesn’t cease. The boulder has to be rolled up the hill. Our kids demand that we be whole and healthy and present.
And we deserve a life. A life with joy. A life with manageable demons.
That letter had nothing to do with autism. It never did.
I sent off the e-mail and sat with my thoughts for a moment. Brooke sang along with Joe, “We sat on down, figured it out, what Blue’s Clue’s were all about. Wow. You know what? We’re really smart!”
Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes he’s pretty damn blunt.
I had to find the words. The message I’d just sent wasn’t meant for one person. It was meant for all of us.
I thought about what I’d say. I tried to put the words in order – to sew them into a quilt that would offer some kind of comfort to all of the Me Too’s.
And then it hit me. I already knew what to say. In fact, I’d already written every word.
I googled Diary of a Mom Me Too.
And there it was. Exactly what I wanted – no, needed – to tell you.
for when we dig the deepest
reach and reach to the farthest corners
to unearth the darkest treasures
give words to the whispers
lend them a loud, clear voice
and only then
do we take steps toward the light
and when we take that treasure, dark and cold as it may seem
so god damned heavy
how could anyone possibly understand this thing?
and plop it down
in the middle of the village square
here it is, damn it
this thing i’ve found
here it is
it drops with a thud
shakes the earth
kicks up the dust
yes, here it is
a voice in the distance says
i have one of those too
and with a thud
another drops to the ground
yes, and me!
and suddenly it’s not so precious anymore
no, it’s just one of hundreds
but not solitary
never to be alone again
To everyone who said Me too.
To everyone who dropped their treasure in the village square.
You – WE – are not alone.