Sunday, November 22, 2020

Pandemic 2020: If We Have to Say "We Told You So"

Do you know what it's like to lose a loved one?

I do.

My dad is gone.

None of my grandparents are living.

Six of my uncles
and two of my aunts have died.

And those are just the people I'm related to. I've been to countless other funerals. Too many for my still-young age.

I feel big and deep over most things, but especially loss of life. I cry at funerals, sometimes I ugly sob, and sometimes I snot all over the place. It's embarrassing and gut-wrenching and awfully human and nobody should have to do that again and again.

I don't like it.

I'm telling you this because too many people aren't taking the pandemic seriously. Too many are letting politics and religion get in the way of science. Too many are shrugging off the data and the deaths and the daily records of cases across all of America and the simple ways we can all fix this with and for each other.

I'm telling you because I don't want to see an upcropping of funerals for people I know and care about in the near future and into 2021. My kids and I have lives to get back to. There are people I want around for years to come, as I'm sure you'll agree is also true for you.

If you or your loved one faces the ultimate consequence of all this careless behavior, I will mourn. I will ugly sob for you or them. But I have to be frank and say that somewhere deep down, because I am awfully human, my soul will also whisper, "We told you so."

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Reason: A Narcissist's Narrative

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know what it’s like to listen to a song like The Reason and feel its lyrics in your bones. You know what it’s like to manifest the hope that your own partner could be as self-aware as the singer conveys. That he could be as emotionally mature, and vulnerable enough to claim liability. That he might realize you’re worth changing for and treating right---not just because you deserve it, but also because he’s capable of selflessness.
And you probably also know the heartbreak of realizing he’ll never change for you.
I’m a big fan of Hoobastank’s The Reason. The song came up on my playlist yesterday, and as I listened my thoughts dove down a rabbit hole, finding us here with my rewrite. The Reason: A Narcissist's Narrative. It’s not meant to degrade or take away from the original lyrics or the songwriter’s creative intent or interpretation. 
The original video can be found here:
I’m a man who is perfect
There’s nothing I could do that’s ever wrong
You’re the one who is to blame
I never should have had to punish you
And so it’s clear you should apologize
It won’t be me who pays
I've found a supply in you
You’re perfect for all my needs
It’s power that I must have
And the reason is me
It’s not my fault I hurt you
That’s something you must live with every day
And all the pain you’ve put me through
I wish that you would see it’s all your fault
And you know that I am the victim here
I’ll make sure everyone knows
I've found a supply in you
You’re perfect for all my needs
It’s power that I must have
And the reason is me
And the reason is me
And the reason is me
And the reason is me
I’m a man who is perfect…
by Janna Leadbetter -- that's me! 
owner of Woman, Determined and founder of Breaking the Silence for Women on Facebook

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

All I Want for Christmas - a DV poem

Dedicated to Domestic Abuse Survivors 

I do want a lot for Christmas
But it’s not too much to ask
Because I’m learning what I’m worth
And that I have innate value (at last)

First on my list is the freedom to be me
Without criticism or argument
Able to be and do and think on my own
Since I’m not someone else’s puppet

Second is room to grow, Santa
Because I’ve been held back for too long
It’s time for me to thrive
Without feeling like it’s wrong

It won’t be easy and will take some practice 
Not to be selfless the way I’ve been conditioned
But they say self-care is a must
So next comes my own prioritization

Also on my list is peace
No more anxiety - peace in my heart
No more eggshells - peace in environment
It’s time for calm, a fresh start

Related to peace is clarity, I mean of boundaries
Which are my rules for do and don’t
And the strength for me to abide by them
Especially when other people won’t

I want to breathe freely, and deep
And know that from here forward I get to decide
Who has permission to hurt me
I’m ready to test my voice: “go ahead, I dare you. try”

I want to laugh when something is funny
From way down, a real place
Not because I have to pretend I’m okay
With jokes at my expense

I want to trust myself
That I’m capable, smart, whole
That there is life beyond my trauma
And that there is good, better in store

I’ll need the bruises to fade,
Santa, and for the wounds to heal
But I’m okay with scars, since they remind me
That what I went through was real

I’m learning the abuse was not my fault
That I am enough without apology
I’m learning I can be loved
And I will be, just for being me

So I don’t want actual presents
Health and healing are my concern
All I want for Christmas is a lot (see above) 
Because it’s everything I deserve.

by Janna Leadbetter, advocate and coach
Founder of Breaking the Silence for Women/Facebook
All I Want for Christmas | copyright December 2019