But Who Am I?

My name is Danielle. But who am I?

I was born in Faribault, Mn and grew up in Delano, MN. But who am I?

My job title is Mfg Inspection Lead. But who am I?

I’m love women but keep my heart open to all. But who am I?

I’m Irish, German, Norwegian, and a plethora of other things. But who am I?

I have dark bluish eyes, brown hair, I’m 5’4.5″, I weigh…(I’m average weight, we’ll leave it at that), I’m 38 years old, my shoe size is 6.5-7 depending on the shoe. But who am I?

I’m not a religious person. I consider myself to be spiritual. But who am I?

I don’t consider myself to be part of any political party. I want what makes sense and what’s best for the people. But who am I?

All of the above tells you something about me, but none of it tells you who I am. Hell, most day’s I’m not entirely sure of who I am, but this is what I do know:

I am an open book. Ask me anything and I will answer the best I can.

I am open-minded and continue to practice open-mindedness.

I am a helper, a healer, a caretaker. I will do my best to do what I can to help others. Not out of obligation, but out of the kindness of my heart.

I am empathetic. If you hurt, I hurt. If you’re happy, I’m happy for you.

I have few convictions, but I’m very passionate about the ones I do have. I have no tolerance for bullying, discrimination, or abusive behavior of any kind. We don’t all have to like each other, but we do all have to live in this world together. Just be respectful of others. It really is not that hard.

I have a deep love for dogs and more recently horses, but I am a lover of all animals. I’m the person watching the movie who is more concerned about the animal’s welfare than  I am the human’s…DO NOT HURT THE ANIMALS!

I say I’m not really a people person, but I feel most alive when I am with people. I’m not a big fan of large crowds. I have some anxiety around meeting new people.

While I am no longer being actively victimized, I have been the victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and discrimination. Many of which have happened on separate occasions with separate abusers at various times throughout my childhood and into my young adult life. It has been many years since I’ve endured any of the listed types of abuse. What some may not realize though, is that not validating the victim and their story, is a continuation of victimizing the victim. Victims often feel even more victimized than they did during the initial act of abuse if there is no support, belief, and/or acknowledgement of the trauma they’ve endured; when no one will validate what victims have been through we are left to feel alone, insignificant, unworthy, not good enough, and unloved/unlovable. All victims, whether validated or not, are at a much higher risk to suffer with mental health issues. Which leads me to my next piece of who I am…

…I struggle with some mental health issues, which should not come as a surprise at this point (especially if you’ve read previous posts on my blog). Depression was the one I noticed first. I found myself in a very dark and ugly place that I could not get myself out of. I was seeing my wonderful therapist when depression hit like a ton of bricks. Through therapy it was discovered that I also suffer with developmental trauma (C-PTSD), anxiety, and adult ADHD. Thanks to my wonderful therapist and my amazing one-of-a-kind psychiatrist I am a helluva lot more balanced than I’ve ever been.

In spite of all of that, I have an incredible amount of love in my heart. Sometimes it feels like it could explode out of me at any second.

I feel every emotion, that I allow myself to feel, very deeply. Having said that, due to all of the trauma in my past, I have the ability to disconnect from just about every feeling I don’t want to feel. I also have the ability to disconnect from myself as well as others. When I’m in that place of disconnect there is a feeling of nothingness. I know it’s not healthy, but it’s been a great protector many times throughout my life.

I’ve learned to carry hurt, heartache, and pain very well. Because of this I wish that I could take all of those feelings away from people I care about and carry the weight of those feelings for them.

I often have very little regard for my own self-care, if I have any at all. I would much rather help others. I can wait.

I’m close to expert level when it comes to putting up a front. While I may appear like all is good and I’ve got my shit together, there is often a lot of chaos going on inside. I’ve just learned to manage it in such a way that it doesn’t reflect on others. My chaos is my chaos, I try not to invite too many people into it.

I have a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature. Sunsets and sunrises; all of the beautiful colors nature provides for us; the serenity found in the woods; the music created for us by the wind, rain, thunder, the birds, squirrels, and other creatures bustling around and living there lives; the moon in all it’s many phases, the stars and all their wonder; the mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans; the stillness of a cold winter morning.

My dream is to open a wellness center where I will be a therapist/life coach. I would provide space for yoga, Reiki sessions, chiropractic care, acupuncture, guided meditation as well as silent meditation. The center would be focused on holistic methods of healing.

While I often feel like my world is in constant unraveling mode, I continue to fight for myself and that’s a fight I will never give up.

I am not just a name; I am not my job; I am not what has been done to me; I am not my sexuality; I am not a religion or political party; I am not the town I was born in nor am I the town I grew up in; I’m not just Irish, German, Norwegian, or stereotypes that go with them; I am not my appearance. These are part of what makes me, me; I’m proud of all of the many parts of me, but these don’t express the essence of who I am.

I am a beautiful complicated loving soul; I am a helper, a healer, a caretaker; I am connected to nature; I feel emotions very deeply; I’m a constant work in progress; I’m a survivor; I am passionate and compassionate; and while I don’t really hold much regard for myself, I refuse to give up on me.

This is a glimpse of what I know to be who I am. I will continue seeking out more of the who that is me.

Do you know who you are?







and so it is

I am 2 days down of a 3 day weekend and I haven’t left my apartment since I got home Friday. I have, on the other hand, done a lot of thinking over the last 2 days.

I’ve contemplated on whether or not we just blow sunshine up our own asses and the asses of others in an attempt to feel better about what we’ve gone through, what we’re going through, and what is yet to come. Mostly in regards to abuse, neglect, being victimized, and any same or similar life tragedies. Do we ever really heal from these things? Do we ever get to know what it means to be truly happy and healthy again, hell, for the first time? Do we ever get to live a life without fear, anxiety, depression, or that God awful ache of the numbness that lives deep inside?

We say things like, “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle” or “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. I call bullshit on these things. These words don’t change anything. God does give us things we can’t handle; how else do we explain suicide? The things that didn’t literally kill me, certainly killed something inside of me. Do these things really make us “stronger” or do we just learn to numb out the pain and suffering? Do we pretend we aren’t suffering as much as we are? Do we put on a strong front because it’s expected of us? Because it’s what we’ve been made to believe? Is it all just sunshine being blown up our asses?

These were my thoughts for the majority of the last 2 days.

But then…

I started questioning why does all of the abuse, neglect, and being victimized stick with us for so many years, for an eternity? Why can we never seem to shake any of it off? Why does it suck the life right out of us? And why do we feel so completely powerless to it?

Wouldn’t be great if I had answers to these questions? I wish I did but, sorry to say, I don’t.

What I do know though, is that I’m really tired of carrying all of this heavy ass baggage around with me all of the time. I am holding on to something and that something is holding on to me. I don’t know what that something is, exactly, but I need to figure out how to let it go because it is holding me down.

I can’t keep succumbing to the weight of what’s been done to me in the past. I have to let it go, I have to move forward. Everyday I am losing another day of my life to my past. What didn’t kill me allowed me to continue to breathe, but I have not been living.

I have a reality. Whether I like it or not, I do; we all do. My reality is this…

I’ve been physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally abused, and I’ve been raped. And that’s just part of my reality. I’ve seen shit no one should see, I’ve been in places no one should go, I’ve heard things I can’t unhear, I know things I can’t unknow, and I’ve experienced things no one should ever have to.

All of those things are my reality. There is not a damn thing I can do to change any of it. I don’t have the power to rewrite history. I can’t pretend I didn’t go through everything I went through. I can’t pretend my reality is different than it actually is. My life was my life. That’s it. Period.

So then what?

So now I need to come to terms with all of it. I need to let go of the anger. I need to let go of the resentment. I need to let go of all of the negative emotions that I hold so tightly. I need to let go and own my reality. Continuing to fight it hasn’t been working too well for me. Now I need to learn to embrace it with compassion rather than to grip it with anger. It is what it is and it just is.

…and so it is.