Break the Silence; Break the Stigma

I don’t know most of the people who follow my Facebook page at this point. It’s an incredible and humbling thing, to be allowed to speak on topics so personal to total strangers. I confess, I pretend that you are *all* strangers, that no one I know reads this. I pretend, while I write, that I am doing so anonymously. It is the only thing that helps me to stay honest and transparent no matter what I am feeling or experiencing that day.

And so when someone who reads my Facebook page or my blog approaches me in real life it can feel a bit unsettling. I always have a moment of awkwardness, like I am staring a person in the face who knows all of my secrets. But then that person hugs me, or squeezes my hand, or thanks me, or shares their own story, or tells me they love me despite mine. It is an amazing moment. Every time. It is an incredible feeling to move from the awkwardness of realizing you are an open book to the serenity of hearing that you are appreciated and accepted despite it all.

I talk about the vital importance of transparency in our lives. I believe wholeheartedly that when we stop hiding our truths we will stop being stigmatized for them. The more people know, the less they can make up. I say it all the time.

But I’m still surprised when it works. This page has allowed me to recognize a once-silent community that surrounds me; a group of women who have done their best to hide parts of themselves, thinking they were to blame, ashamed, convinced they were the only one. And I am strengthened by them, by these people who approach me and share, quietly at first and then with more boldness, their reality. I remember that they aren’t just words, that I really am not the only one.

It is an incredible feeling.

For those of you who I don’t personally know, who haven’t yet recognized their community around them, I hope you are able to discover the serenity of acceptance. It comes in moments and bursts. Sometimes lasting for days, sometimes only minutes. But it is worth the work and fear of it. It is worthwhile to embolden yourself to transparency when you feel the love that lives in the afterward.

Today, I wish you all courage. Be brave. Be well.

2 thoughts on “Break the Silence; Break the Stigma

    1. Like with my brother, I never really know when to take you at face value and when to look for the other, more sarcastic, meaning. However, at the risk of selecting wrong (and being embarrassed!), I’ll pick face value.

      Yeah, sometimes it is embarrassing… all of it at once. My goal (ultimate, not accomplished) is to take it all in as a part of the human experience and not shame myself unnecessarily for any of it. 🙂

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