Doing Something With My Heartbreak

I’ve been away for awhile, but it’s not because I’m sittin’ around, feet up, with a nice cold one in my hand.

I have never been one to do nothing with my heartbreak.

I believe in doing something with what I say. The people closest to me will tell you that my biggest pet peeve is that when someone says something, and then doesn’t follow through on what they say. I refuse to be one of those people.

Remember how I wrote at the end of last year on how to support victims after a mass shooting? And how I also wrote at the end of last year about creating dialogue around gun violence?

Well, I’ve been working very, very hard on things to follow up on both of those. I’ve been a busy little bee, community organizing and meeting amazing people throughout the community.

One of the things that I am helping to head up around creating dialogue is happening this month. On April 17th at 2pm, in my neighborhood, we will be having a silent walk to commemorate victims of gun violence.

Why my neighborhood? Because I live in the Shooks Run Neighborhood, where on October 31, 2015, a man open carried an AR-15, opened fire, and killed 3 people before being killed by police.

It struck close to my heart, in some ways literally and in some ways figuratively. I had to take a month to feel it all.

Needless to say, it’s definitely a part of why I haven’t written. Heartbreak comes in waves. I had to wait out the tide. And the timing was really hard, too, because only weeks before, I’d written my letter to Congress.

Then 27 days later, impossibly, there was another shooting, this time at Planned Parenthood about 2 miles away from me. For the 2nd time in 27 days, my city was on national news. My heart broke.

But with my heartbreak, I did something. I started a GoFundMe and was amazed as the community stepped forward. We raised $1000 in 4 hours over social media to take catered Panera Bread to staff at both hospitals where victims were taken.

I needed my time to grieve… but I have never been one to do nothing with heart break.

Then an opportunity came in early December for me to join a group of artists and community organizers in Colorado Springs. They were all interested in reclaiming safe space, and I jumped at it. The overall heartfelt response from the group was an interest creating de-politicized, safe space around the common heartache that everyone shares around gun violence.

This, honestly, was the only reason I even joined the group. Since the Planned Parenthood shooting, I’ve been very careful not to have much of any political conversation around gun violence. There was so much infighting after that shooting. I wasn’t ready to speak until I had a safe place to speak in. I wanted to be part of a group that brought a safe place to explore the heartache beneath the positions.

The amazing organizers at Common Space Collective that I’m working with are creating that safe space.

And we want to reclaim our common space, so we’re going to have a silent walk.

April 17, 2pm. Corner of Kiowa and El Paso. Walking through the neighborhood taking the same route that the shooter took. Ending at First Congregational Church for a short workshop on how to listen.

This is my town. These are my people. My neighborhood. And I’m doing something like this because I believe in it. I have never been a person to just believe in something without putting action to my beliefs. This is my way to say, to myself and my community – “You are safe here. We’re here with you.”

Join me?


 

RSVP to the Facebook Event here: Silent Walk Honoring Victims of Gun Violence
For more information on Common Space Collective, go here: Common Space Collective

And stay tuned here at my site, more announcements to come!

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it’s not about having it together, you know.

Last Sunday, I went to church.

Yes, really. It was monumental for me, because church isn’t a place I’ve had a strong desire for in the past couple of years. But Saturday night, a strong desire came over me to go to church. So I texted a friend and asked if I could attend their church with them in the morning. I chose carefully; the church they attend is part of the United Church of Christ and as such, openly accepts homosexual couples. I couldn’t go to a church willingly that was less tolerant. But this wasn’t the only reason I chose to go.

It turns out that my Higher Power/God seems to have a brilliant mind. Flashes of Sunday’s sermon have been replaying in my head all week. It was Sunday’s sermon, too, that began my session with my therapist yesterday. It had thrown me for such a loop that I had to tell my therapist about it. Furthermore, it directly related with just what I’ve been processing. Disaster. Ha.

Most of my session yesterday revolved around a few themes. My inherent worth. My anger at God whom I don’t know how to define and seems so terrifyingly unsafe and somewhat capricious. That obvious connection to my anger at my dad. And interlaced with all that, the idea that I can’t fall apart, everything falls on me, and sometimes even my recovery just feels like another reason I have to be spiritual and not rage at “some people” like I want to. This is kind of a big deal because one huge reason I have addiction problems in the first place is because I am so damn resentful that “the rules” prevent me from falling apart. My addiction was a big way to say “fuck you ALL” and just fall apart anyway. To prove to everyone that I am not as strong as they, and I, would like to believe.

I slowly started unraveling sitting in the office. Slowly. This is still a new therapist to me and it takes a long time for me to be that emotionally open with anyone. But I unraveled, and unraveled, and unraveled… until I got back to Colorado Springs and sat down on the porch of the same friend whom I went to church with on Sunday. They weren’t home, but their porch was so safe that I just stopped holding it together. Finally.

I sat in the silence, the sheer silence that the pastor talked about on Sunday, with what I can only assume was God. And I was angry at It. And life. And so deeply sad about the life that I have led. This sadness, that often rests on me, that I’ve been pushing away for such a long while.

The pastor said too that maybe the Bible is more about dialogue with God. In those moments I took that to heart, because it helped me understand somehow. And I told God, whoever That is, that I was angry at It because I wanted so badly for It to be safe, but it never was. And I hated that about It. That’s all I’ve ever wanted and I still don’t want it.

And my friends got home and I just let them know – I’m falling apart. I need to fall apart. Because if I keep holding it together like I have all my life, I’m gonna get stuck in this same rut. I’m going to go back to my addictions because I will be so angry.

So. I went to church on Sunday and heard that after the earthquake, the wind, and the fire, there was a sheer silence. And I thought that maybe God was silent along with the rest of creation because no words can cover that amount of pain.

Right now in my life, there’s a sheer silence. Maybe because no words can possibly cover that amount of pain. And as much as I hate God/The Divine for being so unsafe… It is sitting in sheer silence too. That silence, somehow, is letting me fall apart.

It’s not about having it together, anyway.