Being Seen, Being Heard, Finding Home

I am so honored to publish this guest post by the @GDRPempress: Alexandra of Good Day Regular People. 
You know, I thought I knew why I was doing the whole Mama’s Comfort Camp thing, and then Alexandra’s post helped me understand what I do, what we Campers do, on an even deeper level. Thank you for that, dear friend.

Alexandra blogs at Good Day Regular People about life as an overanalyzing mother of three boys trying to go unnoticed in her small town. The most important things you need to know about her are that the internet saves her daily and that she believes the most you can ask for in life is to arrive at the end of it all with your hair messed up, out of breath, and not throwing up. Alexandra is a contributing writer for Aiming Low,  TikiTikiblog and FunnynotSlutty. She is one of my favorite writers ever, and I am proud to call her my friend.

Passing the mic to Alexandra:

I want to thank Yael for humbling me with her invitation to celebrate here with her today, for Mama’s Comfort Camp’s one year anniversary. MCC now has almost 700 members and eight dedicated Den Mothers. It’s been one year of Yael creating a community of healing and safety. And love.

Thank you, Yael, from so many of us struggling and from so many of us who have found strength through helping others.

You have so much to be proud of, Yael, and we have so much to appreciate.

Being Seen, Being Heard, Finding Home

It’s hard to know what to ask for, when you’re drowning and desperate, and your only wish is for someone to throw you a lifesaver. But you don’t know what that lifesaver would be. If someone were to say “Tell me, please, what can I do for you,” we couldn’t answer. We have no idea, all we know is that we want it to stop. And that “it” is something different to anyone you ask. “It” could be feeling overwhelmed with children, or with the duties of daily life, maybe changes in marriage, domestic challenges, needing a friend, feeling alone, not finding acceptance, unable to self forgive.

If you look in our eyes, you can read it, “Help me.”

Help me in some way that I don’t know but I need. Help me by being a place where you get me. And if you don’t, then please don’t judge me. Don’t give me answers to my problems, just be somewhere where it’s okay to be who I am — be a place where I don’t have to pretend that everything is all right, or be something I’m not.

We seek to be understood, no solution needed, just loved on. If we could put into words what we are dying without, we’d say, “Let me talk to you, while you nod ‘yes, yes, yes’ and let that be all there is to it. Please lighten my load with shared laughter in recognition of it all. Please tear up as you listen to me tell you, just what I’m surviving today. Let my words rest in your soul, and keep me there, inside, where I feel safe and warm.”

You can’t describe or put a formula to how you find your “tribe,” your group of safe that make your daily life possible. But little by little, one by one, you meet people that bring a feeling back into your life and give you moments when you smile again. It catches you by surprise at first, the curving up of your lips in a smile that happens in a snap; but as time goes on, you start to smile more often. It feels like joy again. These people you’ve found make you smile and one day the sharp edges of your life soften their grip on you.

We all want to belong to a part of something that is more than what we have just physically around us. We want acceptance and to belong to the larger collective of what we are like. Finding our values and sharing what is dear to us is what tethers us to our existence and binds us to a sisterhood. There is magic when this happens; we’re no longer alone in our darkness, our lives are not what they were — a place of no light.

There are indeed times, yes, when we truly want answers and solutions, resources, help, ideas, suggestions… but there are, much more often, just those times when all we want said to us are the words, “I’ll listen. Tell me.” What sweeter thing could there be to hear, when our chests ache from all we hold inside, secretly praying to disappear from the crushing weight of it all.

Hope. Hope is what a community gives. Hope, of seeing and hearing someone who once was where we are now, and to see that they survived.

Hope. The sweet balm of imagining that maybe someday, that could be us too. After days and nights of pleading prayers, the presence of another that promises “I am here. You will be someday, too” feels like a battered ship finally spotting a lighthouse in the distance and knowing shelter from the storm will soon be at hand. Seeing that lifesaving light, that leads like a lamp to a path for us up ahead, at a time when we have no idea where to place our next steps.

Being heard, being seen. Finding home.

Thank you, Yael, for you are the one with the lamp held high for all of us, shining the way back to ourselves.

Thank you, Alexandra, for this post. And for the beauty you bring into my life with your writing online every day. 

Good Day, Regular People

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26 Responses to Being Seen, Being Heard, Finding Home

  1. I am proud to be part of your community, Yael, and I join many others in thanking you for what you’ve created. You’ve made a difference in people’s lives, and you will keep on making a difference. Through helping others, and reaching out, we make ourselves strong.

    Thank you, Yael, and Happy One Year Anniversary to Mama’s Comfort Camp.

  2. Oh, my gosh. I can’t say enough how glad I am to have found you! You had me within four lines of the Mommy-Festo. I’ve had such a tough morning with a irritable toddler with an ear infection, and I was so tired and down this morning. So thank you! Even though I technically am alone in my dining room right now, I feel less alone!
    Oh, and I subscribed, and I stated that I was in the Ithaca area, but I technically live in Buffalo. Is that close enough? I’m not from western NY originally so it all seems like the same to me.

    • So happy to see you here. YOU are going to come to look forward to your time on the FB page. All we want is a community, a larger collective, a few moments with some one who can laugh, or hug, or just say “I know.” WELCOME.

    • Jessica, I would love to see you in our Ithaca Events every time you are willing to make the drive.
      So glad the MommyFesto touched you.
      hope to hug you in person someday soon.

  3. This is perfect, as usual, Alexandra. Knowing that there is a light, a beacon almost, beckoning those in need or just in want, to come to a safe place of non-judgment, smiles, hugs, and understanding? It’s awesome and I am grateful for it.

    • This is exactly it, Arnebya. We logged on because we needed more in our lives. I’ve been so very fortunate to find exactly what I was looking for. People like you, are the reasons I count my blessings for the internet.

  4. I am in this place right now, where I want to reach out, want so badly for someone to throw me the life saver. But I also know that even if I don’t hear it often, that I have people who care and love me.

    this was the best way to celebrate this amazing place. Yael you have done such a marvelous thing for us, giving us this space.

    I am so blessed, so honored, so humbled to know all of you..

    and you Alexandra, well I hope you always know what you mean to me.

  5. Oh my goodness Alexandra this may be one of my favorite things you have ever written because you have said what I couldn’t. I feel a frustration so often when people don’t get it even though I don’t quite know what “it” is but when they do? There is nothing better.

    • THank you, Jess. What a compliment. Yael has created a wonderful space, and gives of her time tirelessly, with only the thought in mind of providing a village.

      Incredible how and what she’s done, isn’t it? She’s left a mark on this planet. What a proud moment for her.

      • you two are making me cry with gratitude.
        And today I’m having one of the hardest days of this year because of a personal drama unfolding, and this, this post, this community, and the responses I get from you mamas, is truly helping me through the day.
        THank you Jessica, thank you Alexandra.

  6. Alexandra, this post moved me to tears. So so grateful to have you & Yael as part of my tribe. I’m so blessed to be a part of this community. We all need to be heard and seen and known.

  7. Alexandra, I know we do not really know one another but I thank you for your beautiful words and the wisdom you share with them here. You have truly pinpointed so much of what this group is, and for that, I thank you. Yael truly is holding the light – leaving it on for always – for the rest of us to find our way to one another. Much love to all our MCC mamas. And the new ones to come!

    • Hasn’t Yael created something wonderful? A place of hope. We just need to see someone, who knows we’re alive, and exist, and have them reach out a hand only because they love us.

      Yael is doing something that will affect generations to come, as children have happier, saner, more loved, mothers.

      Thank you.

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