Blog, Depression, Fear, hope, southern fried asian, Strength, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Writing

Don’t Leave Us Weakened

Advocates, nonprofits, those in the helping fields, WE have to do better for those who break themselves open with us. WE have to take better care of their vulnerability.
Recently a friend of mine went to see about volunteering. She went in with anxiety, because she has been holding some parts of herself back for awhile now. The parts that people have taken advantage of and put her down for, the parts that told others she has been human before as if we aren’t human all the time. The irony is that none of these parts of her life make her less or were even her willing choice, because they were the parts that were done against her will by someone who was too broken to understand the pain they were inflicting. And because he was broken, he had this need to break her as well. Anything but luckily, she pulled herself together, aggrandizing her shattered soul with gold and growing immensely.
I’ve been fortunate to be deemed safe by her and she has told me the struggles she’s had. I find a lot of people opening up to me these days, in all honesty, they always have. She’s wanted to get involved for sometime now, but fear of judgement kept her held back. Until last week, when she finally found the courage to go to a nonprofit and look for the opportunity to volunteer. I can only imagine how her heart pounded as she walked through the doors. I know her mind had to have been racing with thoughts and fears. She was probably struggling at the thought of what she would say. But she did it, she walked in and she spoke to the volunteer coordinator and offered her time and energy with the hopes of learning, and helping others who may be now where she once was.
And while she stood there, it came out. Probably unintentionally, probably against her will in many ways, but in a brief sentence, she admitted one of the most traumatizing experiences of her life to a complete stranger, because she felt this person, this helper, should be safe. If not this person, than who? Within a stark sentence stood her pain, fears, perceived weaknesses, memories, horrors, and most of all the deepest part of her that needed comfort. The part of her that deserved appreciation and reassurance.
The problem arises in that this volunteer coordinator didn’t really know her. They didn’t know that this was one of a handful of times that she has opened up to anyone. They didn’t realize the struggle that came before saying those words. They probably wouldn’t have understood most of that because if you see this woman, you see a strong, confident, put together woman. You don’t see the societal assumption of how a “survivor” should appear. So little to nothing was said in that moment, when even the smallest acknowledgement would have done so much.
The days following have brought her a great deal of pain. These days have been wracked with thoughts like, “I really think it may be because I told her my past. It’s fucking with my head. And this has just made me depressed, I think. I literally started questioning my worth and if I was good enough to volunteer. That’s what went through my head. Like she views me as broken now.” Because as hard as it was to open up, it’s been even harder to not get a response. It’s been even more trying to offer to help, and not know whether or not she will be given that chance. Her heart is aching, and it hurts me deeply.
And many of you know me by now, sometimes I just have to say something because it needs saying.
To the Volunteer Coordinator, I know you encounter a lot of people who have been through things and maybe you didn’t even think about it when she told you. Maybe you were just hearing another story. I doubt this, at least I need to doubt this because if it was just another story to you, you should look within yourself at why you are where you are right now in life. For yourself. More likely, you were swamped and had a horrible day. Maybe the world is swarming around you and you can’t see outside of the stress you most likely endure on a daily basis. I get that, I do. This isn’t at all about blame. This is about trying to better us all, because people are scared to trust. We have to earn it everyday with them or nothing in this world will improve and fewer people will find healing.
My friend told me she wanted you to know one thing and that was, “I wish she could understand the thoughts that would go through someone’s head when they put themselves in a vulnerable position by being honest.”
To My Friend, I’m proud of what you’ve done. You’re feeling vulnerable and it’s igniting traumatic emotions because of it and because you opened up. But remember this, you stood up, you walked into that door and you broke yourself open not knowing how it would be received. You did this because you wanted to help others. You wanted to do something for someone who might be where you once were. Wow. If only more of this world functioned like that. If only more of us risked our security in order to give to others, even in some small way.
Now, listen don’t get in your head and screw your progress up because one person didn’t realize that in that moment you needed them to look you in the eyes and humbly and graciously step into the space you opened for them. Don’t allow this one instance to keep you from fucking kicking ass, because that is exactly what you are doing. You are not limited by any experiences you have endured. You are not less than. You are not broken or weak or unworthy. You are strong and capable and immensely valuable BECAUSE you have not only endured, but you have overcome.
Don’t stop opening up to people. It helps with healing and building trust. I know she’s messed with you without even realizing it. But don’t let this affect you, because it isn’t you. I promise it isn’t you. I know you don’t 100% believe that, but I do. And it bears repeating, IT ISN’T YOU.
On behalf of the Volunteer Coordinator to you, Thank you for telling her that, I know how difficult it was and I’m honored that you felt comfortable enough to tell her something so hellish and painful. It wasn’t your fault that you lived through it, but remember you did live through it.
And finally remember this moment, Always, because someone one day will tell you something and need that validation and I sure hope you take the minute to give it to them.
Depression, Fear, Love, public speaker, southern fried asian, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Understanding, Writing

I Don’t Save Lives

I don’t save lives.
What a bold statement, right? In this world, my world, of suicide prevention, people say that to me, that I save lives. They say it and they may feel it to be true. They say I save lives and mean it as an honor, as a thanks, as the pinnacle of respect for the type of work I find myself doing. But I have to disagree with that audacious statement. I have to disagree for myself, for the people I have encountered in the world, and for the simple sake that I must for my own mental wellbeing.
A few years back, I found myself asking what gives me the right to believe I have command over another persons life?
And if I can save a life, does that mean I’ve lost some, too?
To me, it must mean just that. I don’t feel I deserve to bear the glory and not the tragedies. And what weight, what pressure, what stress should I own if I counted the lives who were lost, the ones who we’re all losing, the ones we have yet to reach? Because, I have lost loved ones, even after I started doing this work, and if I own the triumphs should I also bear the losses?
What I do is I offer options. I offer a voice. I offer limited experience. I work in a field that I enjoy, that I am passionate for, one that I have worked tirelessly to understand for a multitude of reasons. I want to help. I want to see changes. I want to do something meaningful for myself, my children, and this world we all share. And honestly, this work is hard, it is draining, it is devastatingly impactful on me in so many ways, but it is also a blessing. It has saved me. It has allowed me the invaluable opportunity to meet breathtakingly powerful people who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, to hear awe inspiring stories of struggle and success in my everyday, to learn about life and yes, death, and to offer something more than myself to this universe. So, truly, I may be selfish in the scope of things. Truly, I may hope and strive to find that hope met.
I don’t save lives. They save their own lives. It is up to the individuals to take what little I can offer and use it, or ignore it. I don’t force life on anyone, they choose it, for themselves. They work for themselves, for their wellbeing. They push through their own struggles to find themselves stronger on the other end. Don’t give me their success. Don’t take their hard earned work and put it on me. It’s their right to save their own lives. And it’s their right to own that accomplishment.
Those who have struggled deserve the honor of knowing what they have fought to have. They deserve that compliment. They deserve to be proud of themselves. I am proud of them, too.
I don’t save lives. It isn’t fair to the people who have saved their own lives to take their empowerment and offer it to me. I do what little I can because I can, but I must ask you now, could we all do a little more, together?
Blog, hope, Strength, Thoughts, Writing

What is the End?

We are all in a state of wonder about the “end” of our lives. We can all claim we know but we are all still seeking the truth. What is eternity after death? What is hell? What is Heaven? What if we are all seeking something that is nothing more than a version of what we are currently in? I know that I will not know until my time arrives, but wondering will never stop.

I had a thought the other day. It was a fleeting thought but it left me with a funny impression afterward. What if our afterlife is simply our lives repeating over? Perhaps the end is merely the beginning and our lives repeat in varying forms. If you die and you have been a moral person you are given options to have an easier life filled with happiness. Perhaps our versions of heaven are our lives lived with the ones we love. Maybe those relationships that we once missed out on are fully achieved and realized. Maybe the life-long dream of being able to do what makes you happy is something you can find in your Heaven.

Perhaps the trials of our lives are trials to test us and determine what our next version of our life will be. I know this is a testy subject. People have their religious beliefs and those are one of the FIRE topics that we are supposed to steer clear of, but what if? Just consider it for one second. What if YOU are who determines events in your own life? Can you imagine it? You know those times that you have wanted someone to blame for the troubles in your life? The times you have been at odds with your own suffering. What if it was you who had set you on your own path?

Is it then feasible to consider that perhaps you can also undo future pains for yourself? Can you use morality and goodness to find a happier you somewhere down your own timeline? Can you learn and provide yourself with a brighter timeline? Can you also choose poorly and design a life of loss?

Life is full of possibilities. You hear this all the time. It can be hard to hear when you are down, when you are struggling, when you are questioning your position. This is a thinking post. This is a post to put your own power in perspective.

You have power over your life. You can control certain aspects of your own life. Perhaps our deaths are not us starting over. God may be waiting to walk hand in hand with us at the end. We all have our beliefs. The point is that we also have power over ourselves. Our outlooks are only limited by what we allow our eyes to see. We can open our eyes to the real problems and we can use our hearts to achieve solutions.

Good night everyone.