Category Archives: telling our stories

Ain’t Life Full of Surprises; The Power of our Stories

I hope my readers have noticed the various badges and links I’ve posted on my page. There aren’t a lot of them, I like to keep my page simple and uncluttered and I generally only recommend those with who I frequently interact and with who I think are especially relevant to my pages mission. One of the sites I regularly follow is Violence Unsilenced, a blog which allows survivors as safe, supportive space to share stories of abuse, healing and redemption. For many survivors telling our story is can be a pivotal point in our process of growth and healing. I frequently write about the impact of telling our stories in one way or another; writing, artwork, music etc. but frankly, I had forgotten just how much so, until my own story was featured this week.
I had taken a rather cavalier attitude about submitting my story, I’m old school, I’m used to doing this kind of thing, no biggie, just offering my contribution, you know “being there” for others, blah blah blah.
As so often happens when we adopt this Holly Go Lightly attitude, we end up skipping along right into a brick wall.
I had known my story was to be featured this week and was reminded yesterday when I received a message from Maggie, the sites Creator and Mother. Ok la la la here’s my story, let’s take a look….wait, what, holy shit! Let’s look at what people are saying, wait, what, holy shit. What I realized was that having my story taken out of the safe confines of my own computer or even my own blog, my “space’, was like seeing the world wearing a new pair of glasses. You know how you wait until you can barely see before renewing your prescription and suddenly the world is a very different place than you’ve been seeing (or not seeing) for the past several months.
Seeing my words “in public” was like having a CAT scan view, a 3 dimensional, multi layered look into my story.

I was moved by my own words, I was shocked by them; but most importantly I was deeply touched by the words of others who offered their support and feedback.
If a tough old Bird like me can be so touched, can feel so supported, respected and loved… it is a powerful reminder of the significance of telling our stories, our testaments to survival and of the Universal Love we are able to receive if we are courageous enough to reach out.
For all of this I want to express my deepest gratitude to Maggie for her dedication to Violence Unsilenced, to all those survivors, past, present and future, who share their stories, and to the readers who are so generous and nurturing with their support and encouragement.
Thank You and bless you all,
Peace,
Jenny

Visit Violence Unsilenced at
http://violenceunsilenced.com/
© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

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It’s not just emotional healing that hurts

A while back, in May, I blogged about my next step in Healing; treating my Hepatitis C. So far it’s been a bumpy ride, with plenty of ups and downs. How about I start with the good news. My viral load is now undetectable. This is a good sign and it means it’s worth it to continue treatment. My doctor seems to think that I can beat this for good if I do maintain the treatment for the rest of the year. For those of you who don’t know, undetectable doesn’t mean cured, yet. The trick is to remain undetectable after treatment ends. For some people it works, some people stay “clear” for a while then the virus reappears, and for some people it seems to come back immediately after treatment is stopped. There are of course, many variables affecting treatment success, but maybe some of it is just good old luck of the draw. Given the uncertainty of success any shred of good news from the doctor is a beacon of hope, an incentive to carry on even if you feel like crap.
Unfortunately one of the more common side effects of the treatment is depression. So for me it’s kind of like a day at the beach when I’ve already got second degree burns. Add to this the loss of income the loss of a social role as a community advocate and sometimes I just wonder what the hell happened. Good thing I’ve had lots and lots of therapy to cope with depression because my old Buddy, Deena Depression has been hanging out quite a bit lately. And that, my friends, is one reason I’m telling my story, all aspects of it. Some of it is simply Ego validation, I admit that; but there is also the desire to reach out to others who have or are having similar experiences. It can feel like a lonely road sometimes and knowing someone (many people actually) are having the same experience does lighten the load. If you yourself or someone you care about is going through treatment for hepatitis C, or considering treatment I recommend seeking out information from others who have had the experience. An excellent online support group I have found is HepC Nomads-http://hepcnomads.co.uk/ I have found everyone there to be both informative and supportive. Another good resource is The National Hep C Advocacy Council at www.hepcnetwork.org. As always if you have questions or feedback I’m happy to respond.
Peace and Blessings
© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard