Sometimes the answers are in the questions
Who am I without all of this? That’s the question I asked myself today, concerning all of this trauma. I know that I’ve written my best work when or after I’ve been in the worst crises. My writing thrives on crisis but do I? I have hit rock bottom on more than one occasion. I’ve had to peel my exhausted body off the floor and pry my crying eyes away from the mirror. Once I was finished, I wrote stellar pieces that invoked an array of emotions. I can make my readers feel what I feel. I’d impress my damn self. It’s not that I thrive on crisis. I thrive on the work that comes from it. I crumble at the onset of crisis but when I get back up swinging, I create art effortlessly. Does it have to be that way? Can I create art without pain?
Some people don’t want to heal because being broken gets them attention¹
‘Motherhood Observation’ is largely centred around my pain because that’s what I’ve been experiencing for a long time. That pain had magnified since becoming a mother because it’s hard to deal with your own shit when you have children to raise. My ability to express pain has afforded me a visibility that I’ve never had in my life. Instead of being told to “stop crying before I give you something to cry about”, I’m encouraged to voice my truths. I’ve craved the freedom to do so for my whole life. Now that I have it, I ask myself, “Am I willing to release the pain? Will it be worth the risk of losing the attention it yields?”
Bad things happen to good people
I’ve spent the last five years picking myself apart, digging bone deep to pull the pain out. I paused only to attempt to create some type of normalcy for my children but I failed. I had no other choice but to pull them along with me, praying that they make it out on the other side unscathed. I finally, finally feel like I made it there. Though, I did not make it out unscathed. I have the scars to prove it, physically immortalized in a book, and there are more. There are things I still can’t speak of. Many memories are embedded in my mind that are not ready to be picked apart and maybe they never will be. The pain I have pulled out has been prolific, a prophecy even. Some of my experiences, though not my fault, were inevitable. For me, “sometimes bad things happen to good people” rings true. I was a good kid. My vulnerability led me into some dark places. It attracted some predatory and violent men. It made me the black sheep of a family warped by trauma. That same vulnerability allowed me to end a cycle that has been tormenting my bloodline for generations upon generations. But, I don’t have that same vulnerability anymore so, what do I have?
Who am I?
Vulnerability is pain. It is freedom. It’s also liberation. I’m free to be myself, not without consequence but, without constraint. Throughout my life, I’ve been the cry baby, an A+ student, a foster care child, rebellious teenager, victim, sex worker, and survivor. My next question is, “Now that I’m free, if I’m not just a survivor, who am I?” I feel like I’m finally able to breathe. I’m spreading my arms and my sternum is cracking open. But, what’s inside? I’ve chiseled away at the pain in my DNA and what did I find?
Fake it til you make it
I wish I could say I believe that I’m more than my experiences but I don’t. Today, I sat in meditation in a bath full of rose petals in attempts to conjure up enough self love to find the answers to my questions. I didn’t find what I was looking for. At least, not yet. What I did find is that there’s no shame in not knowing all of the answers. I thought that I would feel empty without them but I feel optimistic. If there’s room for the unknown, there’s room to fill that space with whatever I want. I’m not going to fake it til I make it. I’m going to write myself to life, however long it takes. Starting now…
1. Quote, source unknown, taken from Facebook¹