Frozen lake in South Dakota. Solitude can be a wonderful thing. Peace of mind and all. Picture by T. Smith

How is it that in a room full of people one can feel so utterly alone but then when actually by themselves in the solitude of their mind, nature, and a good book one feels not alone and very much at peace?

This tends to be the case with me, especially when around my family. I am the black sheep there is no doubt about that. I have a rough past that most of my family can’t even begin to grasp or understand and so I have a different mind set then them and sit there and observe. I observe a family that acts like everything is okay, like nothing has ever happened and feelings aren’t hurt. I watch a family where a lot of the relationships are built on lies or half truths. Every family may have skeletons in their closets but mine seems to have more than most. Some of that is my fault because my mother felt like we couldn’t tell people about the two things she does know about in my life. That or that once it has been dealt with we can’t talk about it anymore.

I think that is the hardest part for me, I know it was when I was trying to heal over my abortion. I needed someone to be there for me. I needed someone to tell me it would be okay and I did find that, but in the wrong places, and that ended in an abusive engagement. When someone tells you to keep a part of you a secret, even if they think its for your safety or to keep you safe its hard. I felt like I was a horrible person because of what I had done. She wouldn’t let me even talk to her about it so I was closed up inside myself, beating myself up. Wondering and asking all of the what if’s to myself.

Being able to let it all out and realizing that yes I hate when people bash abortion and its uncomfortable for me is my fault. But talking about it is healthy. Talking about it can help others. When I found my mentor in college, a college professor over a paper on cognitive dissonance it was the best thing to have ever happened to me. She told me her story and I knew I wasn’t alone. When you go through something traumatic you always know that you aren’t alone, yet at the same time you can still feel utterly alone. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you heal, knowing someone is there for you where you can speak openly and get advice from someone who has dealt with it and coped helps.

When I write blogs like this or one of my very first ones over what happened to me I know there are people who read it and think the worst of me but if my situation taught me anything is that yes you can have beliefs over something and think a certain way about things and judge people but until you are put in a situation where you have to make some of those hard choices you honestly don’t know what you would ever do.

I wouldn’t change anything from my past. It has made me who I am, brought me to the path I am at in life of helping other. It has showed me what I want to do in life and what I deserve in life.

Sometimes I have learned the solitude a person experiences when being alone is for the best or when curled up with a good book, even just sitting looking out over a frozen lake. We need those times to compose and think and realize that who we are is okay.

Life will always be as okay as you let it be. If you let the bad control you then you could be miserable for a long time. Wounds heal and leave scars that are reminders but that is all they are. They don’t control who we are or who we can be unless we let them.


No Two Things Are Exactly The Same

ImageI have been wondering what my next post should be about; my last one was so serious that I didn’t want to post another one about my past quite yet. I was looking for inspiration for this one and as I was packing my things up to move to my new apartment here in three weeks I came across my favorite book from when I was a little girl, Elmer by David McKee.

How much time do we spend judging someone for how they look, what they are into, or by their actions? We can all say, “I don’t judge,” or “I try not to judge often”. But ask yourself is that really the truth? If it is then I applaud you, but I know for me that I am guilty of judging, sometimes even before anything is out of the persons mouth. I suppose this piggy backs off of the last quote from my last post and my challenge that I posed to you. The quote was from Sylvia Plath and was:

“So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.”

We in society or so quick to judge people because of their past or who they are now, but really you don’t know why they are who they are or even truly what they have gone through in their past if you don’t talk to someone. 

Think about high school. If your school was like mine you had the choice of where you sat at lunch and if it was also like mine it was very clicky..but there was always a table or someone you could tell when they came through that lunch line that they didn’t know where to sit because they didn’t feel like they belonged any where. I bet you didn’t offer for them to sit with you, maybe your group of friends even picked on and bullied that kid. 

Our pasts are what make us unique. If it weren’t for our pasts and our choices now then we would all be extremely boring and never really have anything to talk about and life would just be dull. 

A good example of people judging me involves when they do find out that I had an abortion, they think that I could have picked any of those other options but they don’t get to know me enough to hear the story or they are just so set in their ways that automatically I am a bad person, a killer, ect. 

That is their choice. But we were made unique and have been lead through the hardships that we have because we are all meant to be the person that we are. 

You are all wonderful exactly how you are. Your past is the past, you can’t let it control you in a negative way. That is hard sometimes, trust me I know but at some point you have to let it go so you can grow and be healthy.

My major is child, adult, family services so a lot of my jobs when I graduate will be social work type jobs or working with troubled youth and you can’t judge those people. I worked in a residential treatment center for children with severe behavioral issues. What do you think age wise i am talking about right now? Older I bet, but no, these kids were between 5 and 13 was the oldest I worked with; a lot of these kids were 8 to 11 though. They have been in and out of foster care, abusive homes, or they can’t find placement because of their behavior. 

Before I worked there I probably would have judged every single one of them. I probably even did a little bit when I first started working there, judging makes us human, and when people would hear me talk about work at all they would judge those kids. They are just kids. They are kids who come from broken families, abusive homes, have been sexually abused and when you are reading their intake file so you get to know them and their triggers and everything your heart breaks. For each one of those children it breaks and you get mad because how could someone put a child through that type of stuff! But you can’t show them sympathy, when they cry because they miss home or because of their past you are there for them, but at the same time you can’t grow fond because they need discipline and structure. You see them act out and try to attack each other and staff, even you and you can’t understand what goes through their mind or why they think its okay. You become shocked almost, but then when they see you come into work and run up and give you a giant hug because they are excited to see you, or they want to play tag outside its like a light bulb goes off in your head and you realize that they really deep down inside are not different than any one else, not your children, not you, not your siblings. They want what all of us want, they want a home, to feel loved, to be a kid. 

I am sure you are all wondering how Elmer plays into what probably seems like a rant but it does. For those of you who have never read Elmer he is an elephant with many different colors, he looks different than all his elephant friends and a lot of the time they pick on him. One day he realizes if he rolls around in berries that he becomes the same color as the rest of them and he feels better. Well then one day it rains and the juices from the berries start to wash off and all the other elephants tell him that they have missed him and everything else, that it was the best prank he has ever played and from that day on once a year they have a day where they paint themselves to look all crazy and weird like him.

He thought he was being judged, he thought he had to change to be just like the rest and in the end they loved him for who he was. Get to know someone! Love them for who they are! that friendship. You are no better than anyone else. I am no better or worse then all of you. We are just different and have been through different things. Be that person who can be themselves and have the confidence to not blend in with society. Who will make others, like Elmer, want to celebrate him one day out of the year. Be someone that when you die people can look back at pictures and stuff and go, “That was the guy/girl who befriended me, who helped show me people care”. Don’t be the person people don’t have good things to say, who thinks they are better than anyone else.

You are wonderful just the way you are!

Be you!

Be unique!!