I See You

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“I see you.”

The text came through from my friend as I was driving to see him. “I feel you because I see you.” Like some of my wonderful empathic friends can do, he had managed to somehow divine what I was doing at that exact moment.

It made me feel amazing and wonderful and loved. And then it made me want to turn around and drive back home. As I was driving home, after my visit, I started to want some time “away.” I stopped to hike, to disappear into the woods.

I wanted to be seen. I’ve wanted that for years, but I then I wanted to disappear. Why?

We do all want to be seen, but there’s something else that pulls us back into hiding.

What if I’m not good enough? What if I show my rawest, most emotional side and I wind up being rejected? What if I bare my heart and it winds up being torn out and trampled on?

What then?

I think many of us long to be seen, but our instinct for hiding comes in strong. We are worried that we aren’t wonderful enough, attractive enough, strong enough. We’re not “enough” of something. This creates all kinds of problems as we attempt to compensate in one way or another: we become a workaholic so we can have enough money; we have eating disorders so we can be thin enough; we spend too much on clothes so we can be fashionable enough … and on and on and on.

But what if we were seen for the person that, deep down, we know ourselves to be? What if all the wonderful parts of us came together in one story, that we could return to every day.

This all came to me as I’m putting together The Portrait Event. It’s a campaign of sorts and while of course I have to market it, it isn’t a marketing campaign. It’s a campaign of seeing, of acknowledging the wonder in the individual.

What if we were seen? What is we got the chance to be who we really are, for a few moments: our best selves, and kept getting to return to that over and over?

Would the fear leave us? As more and more people saw that photo on our walls, as we shared it with more and more people, wouldn’t we become more of that wondrous person?

This is a human campaign, a campaign to do my little part in pushing you forward towards your good. Want to join? Here’s the form:


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Anniversaries and Beginnings

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Today is new.

Today is the beginning.

Your beginning. Mine too.

Today is also an anniversary, for me.

Today is a beginning because I’m restructuring the blog. It’s something I’ve been saying I was going to do for a very long time, but now I’m doing it. Stories need to be shared, and lots of people have asked about mine. I tend to get shy about sharing things, but there are just things that need to be out there. I’m going to go ahead with it, not worrying about what other people think. I know there are those (my ex) who don’t want me to talk about certain experiences. But this is MY experience too, and someone might benefit from me sharing it. I’ve weighed the potential benefits against the negatives and concluded that I’ve been silent for too long.

In fact silence got me in a mess. The mess I was in two years ago.

Sitting in a hotel room. Wishing a person could really die from grief and pain and despair. Because I would have died, that night.

I was hopeless. I was being emotionally abused, systematically, and with a giant case of “frog in a pot” syndrome I had come to accept it. Except for days like that day, two years ago, when the little bit of FIGHT still left in me reared its head.

There were always consequences to this, understand. And the consequence on the previous day had been that I was viciously attacked, until I was really ready to jump out of the car.

Which was a moving car. 60 miles an hour. On the Interstate.

The horrified look on the faces of my kids brought me back to sanity. But I knew I would pay for this, too. That, though he had driven me to this move with his attacking, he would still say I was crazy, that I was mentally unstable. That he would hold the threat of that over me, the possibility that I might be separated from my kids, to keep me stuck in the marriage.

Why tell such a personal thing? Because someone else is there, right now. Someone else has this same kind of situation going on. Someone else doesn’t acknowledge it as abuse, because there’s no hitting, no name-calling, no locking you out of the house or threats. Just a relentless verbal attack, implied threats, maybe a bit of economic power thrown in.

So now I’m going to tell you where I got to, so you know there’s a happy ending. The scope of my story in the coming days and weeks will cover the journey, from that day to this and onward. And while some of it will be honest and raw, like this, I promise some of it will be funny and light. Hopefully most of all it will be inspirational.

Today I’m happily single, enjoying my life, in better shape than I’ve ever been (even as a teenager). Things have fallen into place, at this point seemingly effortlessly. I don’t fear life any more. I’m not anxious. I’m free. I have shared custody of my amazing kids. They have a better relationship with me, and with their dad.


I lived. I had a friend two years ago who was also in despair. We connected in that space. She did not survive. I’m doing this for her, and all of those like us who get to that hopeless place. I’m doing this to say that there is one real guarantee: life will change. There is always the possibility of something better, something created between you and the Universe that will take you in the direction of your dreams.

So let’s go.

Love you, C.