2022 WAS A DOOZY OF A YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!
Truly. That was a year that kicked the every loving sh** out of me and kept kicking just to make sure I heard the message loud and clear.
I’ve made no secret that I mistreated someone in November of 2021. I didn’t set out to mistreat them, but I was not kind to them. I’ve paid an incredibly steep price for that mistreatment too, some of which was deserved but frankly MOST of it was not. I’ve done everything in my power to apologize to the person I wronged, both publicly and privately, numerous times. In the absence of their forgiveness I learned to forgive myself. I then choose to lay the guilt down, learn from my mistake, and move on endeavoring to never repeat my mistake.
For the price I paid that was not deserved, I’ve let those people go. Now, mind you, most walked out with as much cruelty as they could throw my way, but while my heart was broken over the mistreatment, I could not let them go as easily, not in my heart. Time and soul searching brought me peace. Forgiving myself brought me peace.
And now, walking away from things, moments, and people, I believed in, put time in, invested emotionally in, and more…well, that turns out to be the only way to ultimately grant myself total peace.
I had to accept the lies being told to others about me, and knowing that those who judged me never asked me my side of things.
I also had to accept and move on from those who had to lash out at a friend through me, which by the way is wholly and completely pathetic. Be woman enough to face off with those you despise without being passive aggressive, or better yet, let it go and move on.
But, realizing the judgment thrown at me by so many people, most of whom really didn’t know me at all, without ever asking me my side of the story or getting to know the real me was entertaining. In a community where we are supposed to build each other up, watching as everyone is scratching each other’s eyes out while attempting to climb over those alleged dead bodies to be the one still standing at the top for everyone to worship as our community’s golden savior is…well, entertaining.
But what’s been amazing and awesome to witness over the last seven years of my own journey through advocacy is how the community has grown in an explosive manner. When so very little existed seven years ago you almost can’t turn around without seeing a new dyslexia based group being launched. People finding their voice and throwing themselves into the advocacy fray is to be celebrated! People standing up in such large numbers saying, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” has been awe inspiring.
Having my throat slit by “friends” while this explosion of dyslexia awareness and advocacy was happening felt like being told to take a back seat, and for a while I did. I spent a year trying to decide if I even still wanted to keep advocating for others, after all, I have still had my own child in the public education system who still needed me to be his voice. This child of mine has always been my first priority, and because of his age that job is long from being complete.
But, taking a step back and existing in silence is not just healing, it’s an amazing way to refocus.
My redefined form of advocacy means I’m not going to be everywhere and do everything. That’s a ridiculous expectation unless you truly have the bandwidth and energy for that reality. I don’t. I exited a ton of groups, I blocked a TON of people, and I keep cleaning them out of various social media feeds as I discover they aren’t all blocked everywhere. I also blocked several people in the opposing balanced literacy camp, because I am not going to waste energy arguing with fools who are determined to create “hot takes” with emotionally rousing posts and / or tweets just to get everyone arguing and keep themselves seemingly relevant when we all know the balanced literacy ship is sinking.
Additionally, I openly stand both for and against various dyslexia and literacy bills that in my opinion do and do not have value, and while some have openly shamed me for my positions, I choose to not engage and move on. My disagreement with some on what is and isn’t worthwhile from a legislative position doesn’t mean I’m evil and hate dyslexic children. Quite the contrary. From my position I don’t want legislative bills for the sake of a legislative bill. I want meaningful and life changing legislation. I want bills that will truly move the literacy cause for ALL OF OUR CHILDREN forward. That’s what I’m going to support.
But, I’m shifting off the point I set out to make.
I’ve been on a journey of healing. First, it was a journey of forgiveness, both for myself as well as others. I’ve discussed at length forgiveness with boundaries and the people I’ve forgiven are all out of my life and I’ve moved on. It took time, and some wanted to keep dragging me into that BS, but I refuse to go there anymore.
Second, I removed as much of the toxicity that existed in my life as humanly possible. Sadly, on the other side of that removal it has been a struggle to heal as I recognized the extensive trauma that occurred as a result of that toxicity. This is a stage in which I still exist, and will for some time too. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m seeking professional counseling to help me talk through these events and ultimately find that confident and brave person I lost throughout this process. I like her a lot, and she’s dying to come out of her shell too.
But, breaking through scar tissue is tough, however, I’ll get there soon enough.
Additionally, after seven years we as a family are on the brink of pulling our child out of the waters in which he was drowning. Our track promises fulfilled, our public school years end forever on May 25th. For the first time, fully understanding ALL of my child’s LBLD’s (Language Based Learning Disabilities), and the extent of which K-12 education has failed not just his learning challenges but his strengths as well through faulty curricula, we have a very solid plan forward with knowledgable and empowered educators and a no nonsense mom who are are done feeding him to the wolves of mis-education. In my head I have a vision for a piece of art I recently shared with a skilled artist who is making it a reality. I see my dyslexic and dysgraphic child engulfed by his anxiety, not understood by the K-12 system, sitting cocooned at a desk, shut down, looking inward, trying to not be seen. As that child is pulled free of that cocoon I see that child begin to stand up straight, unfurl his glorious wings, and take flight into endless possibility.
As for myself, I see a new me. My advocacy is taking on a different form and my platforms are going to reflect that new form as well. I’m no longer going to be reactive, but proactive, thoughtful, planned, and at a slower pace. Part of realizing I didn’t need to respond to literally everything, I came to understand that through my thoughtful advocacy, I could help others far better. I am looking forward to this next stage.
Despite what some say about me, I was never in this for fame, clicks, or shares. I just wanted to help people. No one ever helped me. People used me for sure, but no one ever helped. No one cared. No one ever asked me how my child was doing. No one ever asked me how I really was beyond the standard greeting to which we all reply, “fine.” No one ever asked me if they could help. They took instead, and that’s ok. I hoped that helped them. Truly I do. I don’t hold any ill will. I don’t wish anyone harm. I hope each of them is successful in what they seek to do and be. I hope they live meaningful lives. I just don’t need to be there to witness any of it, in all of its forms.
In this quieter version of me, which is true to who I am as a person, I will continue to be of service to this community in which I CHOOSE to remain. I pursue and maintain quality, tangible, and in-person relationships versus made-up ones on social media. I choose to keep my circle small. I choose to focus on my family and my career first, and my advocacy second. I choose to be centered on self, and protect my heart and soul from toxicity and drama. I choose to let go those that would create a path of destruction.
I choose to enjoy my redefined path.
One comment on “Redefining My Path”
It’s inspiring to see how you’ve taken control of your healing journey and are redefining your advocacy path. Wishing you and your family all the best in the future.
founder of balance thy life