I have a list of things to do. Ok...that's a lie. I have five lists of things to do. I am excellent at making lists. I make a list and then divide those list items into their own sub-lists. When I finish something that wasn't on the original list, I add it and simultaneously put a check mark by it. I have a "master" to do list, then my daily to do list, which I make each morning organized into quadrants. I am a huge dork.
Two weeks ago, I was still spinning from the reaction to my letter. I went from being silent about my own issues as a promiscuous teen to vocalizing my experience to the world. The response was staggering. All of a sudden, I became a person that other women felt safe revealing their own secrets to. I was told of others' similar promiscuous behaviors and stories of horrifying sexual assaults. I needed a break.
Two weeks ago, I shared my biggest secret with the world, and a change has occurred within me. I feel different. I look in the mirror and I look different to myself. I'm not sure I can give this change a name, but I can give you a few examples of what's happening:
My blog post, I Was A Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past (see below) has gone viral, and the response has been intense. We need to keep talking, sharing our secrets and burdens. I truly feel as though I have reclaimed my heart and my power, and I no longer feel terrified of this part of my past.
From the time I was 13 on, I was a promiscuous teen.
I’d like to say that at some point I learned from my mistakes, but after listening to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony during the Kavanaugh hearings, my past came barreling back into the forefront of my brain and it is clear to me that the behaviors I learned in my teens never really ended. They went with me into my 20s, 30s, my marriage, how I parented my daughter. It’s all right there in front of me now. Like a glaring light that I just realized has been on and blinding me my whole life.
We should all be sharing our past, present and future with each other. We have more in common than we think.
Anxiety dreams have plagued my sleep all my life. I realize that no matter how I feel while awake, the dreams let me know what's really going on.
Thank you to Tiny Buddha for publishing yet another of my essays. I have really had to redefine my relationship with fear. Well...first of all, I had to figure out what it was that I was so scared of all the time. I lived my life terrified of disappointing those around me, that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't do enough... The negative self talk could continue for hours.