This song was very hard to record but, I chose to do so because being an incredibly vulnerable subject that not only causes me significant pain to reflect upon but it’s also somewhat difficult to reveal this level of personal emotional honesty so publicly because as you may have noticed, I have been less active in posting on behalf of End the Silent Epidemic and Friends for Life recently. For me, this is one of the signs that I am struggling significantly, because like many of you, while many of my days can be challenging, unless the situation is unprecedented, I persist and partake in as many of my normal responsibilities and passions as possible. When it comes to the honor, responsibility and privilege that is being the director of End the Silent Epidemic and Co-Founder of Friends For Life LLC, when I have to pare down my activity because of struggles, this is always the absolute last thing to go. So therefore, my infrequent posting is indicative of just how poorly I have been doing. But I have found that whenever I am in my darkest moments, turning to this community and sharing with you all something authentic and from the heart helps me feel like, even if I cannot meet my usual level, I can at least walk my talk by showing that IT IS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY, and that there is TRUE & RARE STRENGTH IN PERSISTING & SHOWING YOUR AUTHENTIC EMOTIONS DURING TIMES OF ADVERSITY (rather than what society would have us believe and what stigma insists that we do, which is hide away when we are struggling and make sure to only come out and fix our instagram feed when we can showcase the most enviable and most often unrealistic moments in our live.
By choosing to share this vulnerable moment rather than pretend things are better than they are or only post when life is going my way, I BELIEVE THIS IS A WAY TO ACTIVELY and TANGIBLY CHIP AWAY AT THE MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA. I often specifically choose to express myself through song because it is a very CONCRETE WAY OF ENDING THE SILENCE AND REPLACING IT WITH MEANINGFUL TRUTH! I choose this song, "Father Daughter Dance" by Kesha, because the past two years of my life have been perhaps the two hardest years I've ever known besides my very early childhood. My "father," although he in no way deserves that title, has played a devastating role in why I suffered then and why I am suffering now. Though my logical mind knows I am better off without him in my life, with it being well over two decades since he "disowned" me at the age of nine, for cutting my hair, a grave sin that had me officially cast out of the religious cult in which I was raised: Despite all the pain he caused me by "disowning" me, and far before that when he enabled the abuse in my very early childhood I sometimes find myself mourning the oddest things, like how I will never have a "FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE." I often wonder what it means that I think about these things and if I am the only one? Does anyone else have a parent who has gravely misstated them and they logically know that they are better off without them in their life but still sometimes regret the big life moments that will never occur because you don't have your mom or dad?
Thank you listening to my video and reading my post. I hope it inspires a conversation in the comments below about anything related to this: such as others who've lived without a parent, those who've suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment or experienced the singular loss of a parent to death, (including of course death by suicide). It needn't be a parent, it could also be an important parental figure, adult or any loved one in general whose absence or presence in your life has either negatively or positively impacted you and you could discuss what you mourn regarding opportunities you will miss out on or memories you hold dear and treasure for getting to share with them. These are just some ideas to get the conversation started, feel free to take it wherever it needs to go to be the most supportive to you and the others within the conversation. Also, as a member, you can start your own thread (an article or multi-media post just like this that tells a story, posses a question, and ideally aims to start a meaningful peer-based support conversation: just press create new thread on the forum page)!
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