Too Much Information
Last week, I woke up to a message on Facebook from a former student, saying I had helped her start her healing process from an abusive relationship when I mentioned, in class, that I am a survivor of domestic violence. She thanked me for being honest and open and helping her save herself. I had no idea, but I do know that, statistically, someone in class needed to hear it.
Every semester, in course evaluations, I got complaints that I shared too much "personal" information. Also, every semester, I know of at least one student who was helped, moved, reinforced, and supported by something "personal" I shared. THIS, by the way, is why I share. This is why I talk openly about my learning disabilities. This is why I am transparent about surviving abuse. This is why I am open and honest about being a parent of a child with a disability.
For those who felt like I shared too many personal details, I don’t do it for you. I do it for the
student who is too scared to ask for help.
I talk openly about surviving domestic violence for the student who is in an abusive relationship, and doesn't think there will ever be a way out.
I share simply the fact that I am a survivor of sexual assault for the survivors of sexual assault in my class who feel like they will never be anything other than broken, who feel like what’s been done to them is too horrible to speak of.
I share my experiences with learning disabilities for the students who have an invisible disability and cannot see themselves ever being anything but an “IEP kid.”
I share about my struggles with mental illness so that others who struggle will know that how you feel right now doesn't have to be how you feel forever.
I share about my life because nothing good grows in the dark except mushrooms, and humans are not mushrooms.
Humanity exists in our shared moments of weakness and vulnerability, in our stories of surprising strength and courage, in knowing that what is right now doesn't always have to be.
You are braver than you know, stronger than you imagine, and worth more than you realize, and I believe in you.
You are strong enough.
You will make it through.
There is light on the other side.
And so much love.
YOU are worthy of so much love.