23 things I do NOT want you to know about me.
1. I am a progressive from Hahira, Georgia. I am proud and ashamed of being Southern, all at the same time. I love my southern roots and the culture that taught me the importance of family, to take care of my neighbors and how to prepare a proper mater sandwich, but I feel rejected by my southern roots for believing in rape culture, questioning Christianity, and calling out systemic and cultural racism and homophobia.
2. I am a runner. I runaway from potential, vulnerability, truth and disappointment of others. I am constantly on the run.
3. I lie. I paint whatever pretty picture I think you want to hear, no matter how much it stifles my truth. Right this moment, my best friend thinks I am the person that I think she wants me to be.
4. I am angry. I am angry at myself constantly and without reprieve. For being fake, for not knowing myself, for not loving myself, for not trying to get better.
5. I am someone in recovery from opioid addiction but fear I will never feel as whole and at peace as I did 9 years ago with daily doses of opioids.
6. I am good at first impressions, but not at following through. Every job, relationship, project, idea—I start off strong and usually impress those around me. Then, when the work starts, I run. (see #2)
7. I am person with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Sometimes my thoughts want to kill me and sometimes my anxiety steals my breath and vision. I can be paralyzed by mental illness.
8. I am a person that has seen death. My 45-year-old father took his last breath in my 18-year-old arms on the floor of my grandparents’ house. It was not pretty, therapeutic and I would never describe it as closure.
9. I survived rape.
10. I am someone who has cheated on partners I deeply cared about. If I feel any insecurity in a relationship I reach for validation outside my relationship. Considering myself a well-educated intersectional feminist has not made it past my intellectual analysis into my inner being and soul. I still need validation from men to feel whole.
11. I survived my parents’ divorce. Twice.
12. When I was 14, I was told I am impossible to love. That statement has haunted my whole life. I am constantly afraid that it is true. (see #3)
13. I do not boot-up well. Mornings are difficult. Upon waking, horrible thoughts enter my mind and flow throughout my body and I lie there begging to fall back asleep—escape.
14. I do not sleep well. I have to take medication to fall asleep. This has been the case since I was 15 years old.
15. I can’t cry. I have suffocated my truth and my feelings for so long that I no longer even experience the release of crying.
16. I do something I hate doing every day. This could be putting on makeup, wearing high heels, wearing a bra, shaving my legs, plucking my eyebrows, or my job.
17. I suck at finances.
18. I manipulate myself and others to create the storyline that creates comfortability. (see #s 3, 6, 9, and 11)
19. I do not cherish my body or even consider it to be mine. Throughout my life, I have given my body over to others for their pleasure while mentally and spiritually leaving my body in order to survive.
20. I take advantage of my privilege. While constantly speaking out as an ally for people of color, the gay community, immigrants, people experiencing homelessness…I am also constantly afraid of losing the privilege I know that I experience on daily basis.
21. I fake 90% of my orgasms. (see #18 and all the #s it references as well)
22. I feel an obligation to hold all of the world’s pain.
23. I was scared shitless the entire time I was making this list.