Fun Fact #17 – “Your gonna let them beat the strength out of you or they’re going beat it into you.” – Robin Hood
This is something I’ve thought about my entire life. I can let what happened to me disable me, or I can take what happened to me and let it make me. I’m struggling with where I stand on this lately though so, I’m going to try this thing where I blog more, it seems to help organize my thoughts and lately I could really use a bit of organization. I tend to live my life on a whim, waking up and doing whatever comes to mind. Some days it’s wandering the isles of Michaels with my daughter at my side, as she begs me to leave because we’ve been there a hundred times already.
Others times, its wandering around aimlessly online with no real direction, no purpose. Just browsing the random garbage that sparks my interest for the moment. Sometimes I get lost, REALLY lost, stuck on cliche celebrity romances or outrageous news that completely throws my emotions out of balance. Some days I craft. Other days, I just sleep. But most days, I find myself dwelling. On life. On Love. On old friends. Lost love. Family and everything in between. It’s not healthy to dwell on life, on what we don’t have. What we could of had, but I do. I get lost in my thoughts mostly and try to distract myself with these random things to avoid having to feel.. well, like shit. But today I feel like shit, so much that I’m drowning in thoughts, thus here I am again, blogging to everyone and no one in particular because it makes me feel better.
Speaking of feeling better, I came across that “strength” quote earlier (which inspired my current mood) about 48 minutes into the newish Robin Hood movie. It was so impactful that I had to pause the television and rewatch it a few times just to hear the words out loud.
“Your gonna let them beat the strength out of you or they’re going beat it into you.”
Before that, I had a pretty good day. I mean REALLY good day (I’ll explain why later) and even after this amazing, fantastical, wonderfully productive day… Is fantastical a word? I don’t know. EVEN after this amazing day, something as simple as a string of words pieced together by a character in a movie struck a chord with me, and then it was all downhill from there. One glass of wine later, and WELL. Here I am.
My sister said I was unstable and quote, “fucking crazy.” I guess I am. I have this savior complex, where I feel like I need to do everything in my power to make this world a better place, strive to make a difference and leave my footprint behind in this world because I feel like so many injustices have been done to me, I need to make up for it so other kids or people never have to feel that same way.
- Call me crazy for wanting to make a difference, change lives and help youth who were once in my position.
- Call me crazy for making stupid decisions when I should know better.
- Call me crazy for trying so hard to please everyone that I lose myself in the process.
I’m fine with that.
But don’t call me crazy because I’m hurt.
Because so many people In my life, that I’ve known have hurt me and I see the world a little differently. I trust less, I feel emotions stronger than others, I’m scared more often, cautious of everything and everyone around, push people away, curious to a fault and angry most of the time. That’s not crazy. That a fucking side effect of childhood trauma.
That’s something I live with everyday as an adult. This inability to live a “normal” life-What’s normal anyways? I check every door in the house, sometimes twice before bed and constantly throughout the day. I look the door when I sleep and sometimes push a dresser in front of it, just in case. I never let my daughter sleepover anywhere or visit friends alone. I jump at every noise and I wake up with nightmares almost every night, so much that most nights I avoid sleeping all together.
I’m not crazy, I’m hurt.
But how do you tell people that without sounding crazy? I don’t know.
I’m trying everyday to change some of the ridiculous ways I feel, but despite my best efforts I’ve had a difficult time lately. It sometimes feels like crawling out of a hole. It’s beyond uncomfortable. This comfy, warm, safe hole that I’ve buried myself in, I don’t want to let go of it. It’s terrifying leaving my bedroom door unlocked at night, even when I know perfectly well that I’m safe and nothing will happen. It’s hard because I also know it HAS happened and what if it will again? Just what if. I feel like I should always be prepared but there is nothing to prepare for! I should be, by “normal” standards, in the best place mentally and physically that I possibly can be, but I’m not. Life is so different for me now that it ever has been but I’m living through a wild depression that has ups and downs, and well, let’s be honest… It’s mostly downs. As much as I TRY to be positive and do exciting fun things, or craft and have a purpose, most days its … just a distraction from everything else.
I’ve got this person inside me, this creative, fun, outgoing, innovative, fun, passionate person just wanting to thrive in this chaos of a world, but most days I don’t feel like I see myself anymore. I feel like I’m protecting myself, hiding away, processing everything slowly. The only time I really feel alive is when I’m doing something for someone else, other than myself. Like my most recent project lately, “Creative Connections.” That really drives me!
It’s something I’m very passionate about, very excited about, so much that I force myself to do things that I haven’t done in a long time. Things like volunteering at my favorite foster care agency! I’ve been a long time volunteer there for a while now, but this past year they kind of fell off my radar for various personal reasons. But lately, I’ve been in the office once or twice a week and it’s been amazing! Things have especially started to pick up these past two months and I’ve kind of just dove in head first. Every time I go in, I’m giving every bit of energy I have left to my work. I try and be the best version of myself on those days. That happy go lucky girl I used to be is-truth be told, easy to do when I’m there. People are always giving out hugs for no reason, or brining you snacks, food and coffee when you need it. Everyone is always truly invested in your thoughts and opinions. Conversations are easy. They drop everything they are doing just to sit and chat, and not the casual “hey how are you conversation.” It’s the, “Let’s talk about life and the meaning of everything. It’s the My existence, your life, our world” kind of conversation and I learn so much.
It’s refreshing, honest and true. In my experience of the best things I’ve been able to focus my attention on lately. But back to “Creative Connections” THAT is hands down my daily motivation. I’m partnering with the agency to bring this amazing writing workshop to over 40 current foster youth there. It will be a therapeutic creative writing course that will go into mid year, next year. Basically, I’m going to teach youth how to write their own novel and publish it (YES, Actually publish it) You can find it on Amazon next year.
I’ve been working on gathering donations, reaching out to the community and asking for support in a million different ways because I believe -so much- in the healing power of writing. As much as I dwell on my past, even now, there was a point in my life where I literally lost everything, including myself. And it took months of writing and self reflection and of course a little trip to the beach to figure out what I really wanted and needed out of this life to continue pushing forward. But for the longest time, I felt like I was (I’ve said this before) walking through life in a haze. Writing helped me find peace, gain clarity and change my overall my perspective and view on the world and everything in between. It was healing, and healthy and fun! and I made a book! If you haven’t read it, then go ahead and click HERE to find it on Amazon.
Writing saved me. Literacy, is so important. So when I was offered the opportunity to make a difference through launching this program and hosting these classes, I nearly choked on my own saliva! How amazing would it be to bring this passion of mine to our most vulnerable youth who need it the most. This positive outlet that allows for growth and healing and self exploration…
How AMAZING would it be to introduce this to children. I wish I would have had this opportunity when I was tossed around in the system.But I didn’t, and since I know from experience how impactful this would be, I know and understand the NEED for programs like this. So why not huh? Why freaking try everything in power to make this happen?!
When I told you earlier that I had this beautiful / wonderful day! before that stupid quote, I meant it. I woke up, with this burning desire to make this workshop a reality. I began writing a grant, and took a break to play on twitter, only to find inspiration in one of the most odd ways…
I follow this amazing author, Alane Adams on twitter. She is the founder of Rise Up Foundation and just does amazing things for youth and the community. Anyways, I saw that she had been #clearingthelisteveryday for teachers. If your not familiar with #clearthelist it’s basically a new trend on twitter where teachers create wishlists for their classroom as the new year starts, and strangers help wipe the list clean for the kids. It’s amazing. Well, earlier this month I created an Amazon wish list for our youth at the Agency, and I used it to spam emails to everyone. (Sorry if you got that email multiple times, ha!)
And today, I was playing around on twitter and somehow had the bright idea to stop everything I was doing to make a t-shirt and try and catch Alane Adams attention.
Well, it worked! Not only did she spread the word about my project & list, she FILLED UP her shopping cart with tons of items and offered to help me a little more. HOW AMAZING! It was just the most amazing feeling, knowing that sometimes, when you want something strongly enough. You can’t be afraid the toss your line out into the universe, because you never know who is going to be on the other end. In my case, it was her.
After my little success, as much as I had felt honored and blessed, I also felt the pressure and need for this writing program to be a success for our kids. When people believe in me, I tend to believe in myself more. Is that normal? Either way, it was good because literally right after that, I got in my car and drove to the printing press to work out a deal for publishing our youths novels. Turns out, the printing press is ran by another amazing human who, get this.. was a former foster dad for years with his wife. They fostered so many children! That guy was pretty awesome! So awesome in fact that he waived a few BIG costs for printing. Another amazing win for “Creative Connections.” Are you ready for the next thing that happened? Barnes & Noble wants to host our launch party for the youth so that they can sign their books and read them aloud to the public. The assistant store manager, Eric told me to email him the details and they would get back to me shortly. Now hows that for fate?
Eric aka AmERICa.
Is it just me? Or is the universe telling me that this is exactly what I need to crawl out of my hole? I dunno? Maybe I’m just putting together pieces that aren’t there.
Whatever the case, I know that I haven’t felt this inspired in months. After these workshops, and If I never see these kiddos again, one thing I hope they take with them on their journey IS hope.
- Hope for a bright future.
- Hope for healing.
- Hope for their dreams and wishes.
- Hope that inspires them to do great things and
- Hope that leaves a passionate imprint on everything they do and create in this world.
Growing up, lord knows I’ve seen so many kids just… never make it out okay. And I think to myself, had one person intervened in their life.. Would that have changed their outcome? Now we are all adults and the past is just history. But, I still wonder and believe.. YES. It may have changed their fate.
Sometimes, even though I don’t feel okay. At least I know that one day I will be, and it won’t hurt anymore. What’s that quote?
You can’t change the world for every child, but for one child, you can change their world… something like that. I want to change as many lives as I can before I run out of time in this life. If you’re still with me at this point, check out my Amazon wish list. I only have a few items left to buy for our kiddos. For now, I’m signing off.
© 2018 All Rights Reserved America DeFleur