Saturday, September 28, 2013


When I was a senior in College, something happened to me. Something I did happened to me. So then I did the most difficult thing I ever did; I asked for help.
Growing up, it was considered a sign of weakness to ask for help. Specifically, it was my father who would chastise my mother and I for asking for assistance. He couldn't be bothered with our problems, he had things of his own to worry about and they were more important because they were HIS problems. So my mother and I suffered in silence for years. The silence would be deafening at times and the silence surrounded our lives. We put on smiles and tried to make everything appear alright. In the town we lived in in New Jersey appearances mattered more than anything. So if we made things look alright, they were alright.
It wasn't until years later that I was asked in front of a courtroom why I never called the police for assistance when my father was abusive. They asked why I hadn't reached out to teachers or other peers for help. With tears in my eyes, I can still remember the answer that catches people by surprise. "I did ask for help and no one helped me." Teachers and administrators in my high-school didn't want to act against the person paying for my private education. The Silence grew.
I talk about difficult issues in fun and light ways because it can be easier. The world is big and beautiful, but sometimes rough things happen. By putting things into a context either in a simple or funny way, it lessens the blow. Whenever 5 million things in my life go wrong all at once, I look for the one thing going right.
"Well, at least I'm alive."
That one fact can sometimes be the only fact we hold onto as truth. When the world spins too fast and we think we will fall off this spinning rock, remember you are alive. Not everyone who ever existed can say that. I know if I was born in a different place in a different year, I may not be alive. Actually I probably would have been burned as a witch in quite a few time periods.
Silence steals our life. It takes our voices and our breath. If a room full of people is silent, no one wants to be the first to speak. People shy away from breaking the ice in the same way no one wanted to volunteer to read their book report first in the 2nd grade. Silence kills.
I've volunteered to raise awareness and spoken out about suicide, sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental health, LGBTAQ issues, animal rights, and a LOT of other important issues. I speak for those who don't know they are silent. For those who move their lips in confusion, wondering why no one is coming to help them. I speak because I cannot be Silent.
As Irony and I are star-crossed lovers; It is only recently I have remembered to speak for myself. Since July, my voice has come back stronger than ever. Those who have seen me in person or read my blog can tell. So I've made some big calls and email this past fortnight. (AN: That's two weeks!) I've asked people and professionals for help. I can't organize myself out of an Ikea store and I don't know where to begin.
Asking for help was always a sign of weakness, so I advocated for others. What can help one person, if that's an accommodation or a little more understanding or just patience, can help so many more. I stood up for others being bullied when I was being bullied at the same time. Now it is my turn to speak out for me and what I need.
I need people in my like who have patience and humor.
I need people to understand I don't know what I'm doing 100% of the time, but I do the best I can with what information I have.
I need time to be a clueless 24 year old before I become a clueless 25 year old.
Currently, I need some chocolate.

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