It takes courage to be a truth teller. It takes a person unwilling to settle for less than the truth. It takes a person who is willing, perhaps unknowingly at first, to stand alone. A truth teller is a story teller, and true story tellers can’t and don’t lie or speak in what I consider “shades of gray.” They speak with honesty and courage. Courage that at times has to be “grown into.” This courage sets a truth teller apart from others in a very distinct way. An aloneness that only another truth teller feels and experiences and can relate too. A threat to others? Perhaps. Truth tellers expose what is not true. Much like the light of a lamp exposes dust. Some people don’t want dust exposed, it reminds them that some house cleaning needs to be done. And house cleaning can be hard work. Most don’t want to do it.

The catch with being a truth teller is this: You can’t go backwards or pretend that nothing but the truth is all right. “Shades of gray” do not exist because they are no better than a blatant lie. Lies are not even in the psychological make-up of a truth teller, thus the loneliness. Many people live in the world of “gray” or the world of a “little white lie” as they call it and are all right with that. Thus the isolation for a truth teller. A truth teller exposes this. A truth teller speaks truth only. Unfortunately, people, or at least a lot of people I think, do not want to be around this level of honesty. At least not for an extended period of time.

If the world had more truth tellers we would live in a better world. An honest world. A world where nothing is placated or hidden or kept secret, and illusions of truth do not exist. That is a fantasy I know, but it is true. I have walked the path of a truth teller for quite sometime now. I have had to make peace with the aloneness that at times it can cause. And I have had to grow into my courage not to back down from truth telling. The road is not an easy one all the time, but when I look around, to other human beings and to nature in a compare and contrast kind of way, I can’t help but think nature has it more right than the human specie. Nature, and all that nature entails, does not lie. Perhaps that is why I am most comfortable in nature. There is no falsity or reading between the lines of nature. You do not have to guess with nature. It acts and does in honest truth, whether we, as humans like it or not. To the truth teller I say this: keep telling and speaking the truth regardless of the outcome because when our 60 seconds comes around, we won’t have any regrets.

The title speaks for itself, really.  But the experience is one to write on.  I was invited to an Ugly Sweater Party, of course assuming it was an Ugly Sweater Party.  In preparation for said party I realized I did not have in my wardrobe an Ugly Sweater.  Being that it is the Christmas season, my assumption was that the theme was based on the Holidays.  A reasonable deduction I thought as i found myself in a consignment store looking for just the right thing to wear.  As I walked into the store I immediately located the “ugly sweater” racks.  Hard to miss as they were located strategically at the front of the store.  I scrolled through the racks until I found just the right horrible one.  A tunic.  A busy one at that.  If you looked at it long enough, I am fairly certain it would have given you a headache.   Small little Santa’s dancing around  peppermint candies and candy canes on a green velvet background.  It was horrible and also three times my size.  As I walked to the register to pay the $10 it cost,  the clerk looked at me with eyes of wonderment, and I said I was going to an “Ugly sweater” party.  With that, her eyes relaxed acknowledging this hideous purchase.

The day of the party came.  As I  entered the house with my food preparations I  Immediately made contact with the hostess busying herself with last minute preparations.   Upon seeing her I immediately realized that this was not, in actuality, an  “ugly sweater” party, but a beautiful people “ugly sweater” party.   The differences you may wonder, are plentiful.   Her sweet little tunic was just that, sweet.   A simple sweater that looked like a Santa suit.  Sweet and  simple.  Although I knew SHE would not wear that in pubic, someone would.  Stylish and beautiful I thought of her as I stood there with my oversized tunic that was beyond an eye sore, when her husband walks in  with his reindeer sweater and says to me “that is scary ugly, like one of those girls on the tricycles in the movie The Shining.”   OH MY GOD I thought to myself, solidifying this was not an Ugly Sweater Party after all,  but a Beautiful People Ugly Sweater Party with sweaters bought from Nordstrom Rack!    I stood in the kitchen as others arrived  in their socially appropriate “ugly sweaters,”  while others decided not dress the part at all.    Cute and sweet outfits while I was there with an outfit that reminded people of a scene out of a Stephen King horror flick.  I could not help but feel like Bridget, in the first Bridget Jones Dairy movie where Bridget, played by Renee Zellwegar,  shows up to a party with a playboy bunny suit on because she has been told it was a costume party themed “Priests and Prostitutes,” until they changed the theme, but did not tell her.

“As usual,”  I socialized and maintained an evening of conversation with various people without them knowing that a feeling of foolishness persisted deep inside of me.  Later, at home, in another “as usual” moment I pondered why any of it would have mattered.  Why did it matter that I actually wore an “ugly sweater” to an “ugly sweater party?

On the surface it did not.  The party that is.  But the experience inside the party did matter.  The feeling of foolishness mattered.  Why?  It mattered because it made me feel vulnerable at a time of year when I feel vulnerable already.  A time of year where I feel exposed.  Much like a stray dog is exposed.  The Holiday Season.  The happiest time of the year thus says the Christmas carols.  Well, I am not sure who some of those Christmas songs are written for, but they are not written for my experience, and I am guessing many other people’s experience.

It is this time of year that exposes a lack of family for me.  Not that there are not physical people still alive, there are,  but the dynamics are so toxic for me that it makes it impossible for me to have relationships with some of them.  The hard lines I have had to draw for my own mental health have been hard ones to draw.   To some I am the mean one.  The one who won’t just “let it go.”  (a topic I have written on previously).   Choosing to be the person who refuses to place band-aids over the very evident, and  gaping problems in my family of origin has in some ways left me “alone.”  At least in the context of “them.”   But somewhere along the way I realized I had to choose “me.”   I had to consider my own mental and emotional health first, finally.  I had to detoxify from the toxicity.  Although I have no regrets in my decision for my own mental health, to choose otherwise would have been my demise, for whatever reason that night the party exposed some deeper set feelings.  I, the single one, the one with no kids, the one that wore “the ugly sweater” to the Ugly Sweater Party.   The “outsider” because of those choices that I had made both consciously and unconsciously throughout my life.  As I stood there socializing, the old, unsettled wound echoed throughout the cavities of my soul.  The voice that tells me I am not good enough, that I am not pretty enough, that I am “outside.”      I can not tell you why the voices paid a visit that night.  My hypothesis is that I generally feel vulnerable at this time of year and so I am susceptible to these most familiar old voices.  The season represents them in many ways.

There is much more to say on this subject and my feelings and why they surfaced that night and the hardship of this season in general for me and many others.  But for now I say that as hard as growth is, I would not go backwards.  And in moving forward I hope I can take my pain and make art out of it instead of it swallowing me up.  And in the words of Bridget Jones learn to like myself, just as I am.

I have often pondered the concept of “letting go.”  The words “you just need to let it go and move on” somehow fall on me as both shallow and hollow.  A judgement statement made from someone who’s definition of “letting go” is completely different than mine and stated in a manor with assumed and presumed knowledge of me and where I am at in my journey of  “letting go.”

My definition of “letting go” is vastly different than most.  For me, it is not a flippant statement that is made to give me the illusion that I have, indeed, “let go.”  And it is not a statement that is uttered out of my mouth to make me feel comfortable because I am uncomfortable with someone else’s struggle in “letting go.”

“Letting go” is a journey in my opinion.  It is a process that involves grief.  Without grief there is no freedom inside my soul of harm that has been done to me, resulting in harm I incurred myself.   My  journey  of  “letting go” has taken me into the deepest recesses of my soul where those wounds exist.   A place where a surrogate or substitutes have stood as doorkeepers of that most precious, and wounded place inside my soul until I was ready to journey further into my wounds and healing process.  They no longer aided me in my journey of essence.  Of wholeness.  Of understanding who I am.  Each step in relinquishing these substitutes that I had placed in my life was a part in the process of “letting go.”  It did not happen overnight, rather, it was a long, slow journey met with what seemed like endless days and nights of grief and sadness and a temptation to go back to my illusion of safety I had found in the counterfeit of the substitute.  However, to choose to stop the journey and the emotions, to put the band-aid back on to ease the pain that is met in true “letting go,” would have left me in the same place that I had always been.  Hallow.  Empty.  A place where my abusers still had the power therefore subconsciously and consciously dictating my life, and my decisions, and my idea of who I was.  The deeper the wounds the longer the process of “letting go.”  As hard as that maybe to hear, that is the truth of the matter.

I can care no longer what people think of me or where I am in my journey of “letting go.”  I have come to realize that when people tell me that flippant statement of needing to “let go” and “move on” it is more about them, than me.  I make them uncomfortable.  Somehow my honesty of not being done in my journey of “letting go”  touches something undone in them.  The truth of myself exposes an untruth in them.  I’ll tell you a little secret, I will always be in the process of “letting go” of something because I want to live an authentic life and from the place of my truest essence.  A place where I am truly free.  The band-aid free kind of life.  I also realize that if I want to live that kind of life I have to be open to the entire spectrum of  feeling.  The hard ones too.    That kind of life does not happen without introspection and a deep commitment to growth and honesty about myself.  To be done “letting go” is to stop growing I think.

Sometimes you have to unlearn to learn.  And change to change.

Melissa Hunt



I jotted this thought down awhile ago to remind myself that to be open to change requires of me a willingness to unlearn.  It requires of me a liquidness of my mind, body, and soul to be open to a process that may not be comfortable.  It may ask of me to dispose of patterns and styles of relating that may no longer be serving me. We get comfortable, I think, in patterns.  In systems.  In structures.  They give us a sense of security and safety, albeit a false sense, but a sense none the less that we are safe.  That we are secure.  Although systems and structures in and of themselves are not bad things.  If we use them to create for ourselves an inner security and an inner safety, we are placing a whole lot weight on something that could be taken out from under us in any given minute.  Leaving us susceptible.

Change is hard.  Particularly the internal kind.  The kind that requires of us an internal look at ourselves.  A journey most won’t, or refuse to take.  A journey that often requires of us a process of unlearning.  A stripping down of the old to make room for the new.  A journey that grounds us in the only way ground can be found, internally.  A journey that strips us down to the raw essence of understanding who we are.  When a person can do that kind of work, the true and hard work of essence, then, and only then, will a person have wings to fly.  Our wings are no longer clipped, or dependent upon things or people to define us, or create a false illusion of safety.  Like the hawk that soars above, we too shall soar.

A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, gradually reveals our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth.

Marion Woodman


The risk to stand in our own naked truth is a great one indeed.  But what choice is there if authenticity is your goal?  And if truth is the foundation from which you structure your life?

To stand in our full essence is a work in process I think.  And a hard one at that.  For some, the naked truth is too much.  They simply do not want to do the hard work of burning away the veils of illusion they have created for themselves, confusing illusion, with truth.  Confusing illusion with safety.  Perhaps thinking that if they stripped down their illusions they would no longer be on safe ground.  Perhaps not aware enough, or honest enough with themselves to know they have used counterfeits to be and feel safe.

For some, it is the journey to stand in our naked truth that is our life’s journey.  Counterfeits are not acceptable.  The risk of staying safe inside a self-created illusion more of a  deadening to the soul, not an awakening to life and a life that is “truly lived.”



Be grateful on Mother’s Day when it rolls around and you can celebrate without complications or confusions.  Be grateful on Mother’s Day if you can celebrate without a single trace of needing to do so out of duty or guilt, or because society and Hallmark have decided this is the day to celebrate mothers.   For those of you, stop reading.  This blog is not for you.  However, if one, or more than one of those emotions plus many more that I have not said apply to your story with your mother,  join me as I write a brief blog on Mother’s Day.

There are many wonderful mother’s in the world.  Mine, was not and is not one of them.  Long ago I stopped the celebration of Mother’s Day.  The reason:  Hallmark, ironically.  I remember the long ago day when I was somewhere in my mid-twenties and I went to the store to get my mother a card, not because I wanted too, but because I felt i had too. I scoured those shelves of Mother’s Day cards for what must have been well over an hour when it dawned on me that there was not a card on that shelf, or any shelf for that matter that remotely talked about what my mother and I’s sorted relationship was.  That was the moment that I stopped celebrating Mother’s Day.  That was one of my first, conscious and subconscious steps toward my emancipation from the clutches of my mother.

My journey with my mother is a sorted one.  So sorted I am writing an entire book about her, and my entire family conflict.  As usual I will not be celebrating my mother in any fashion.  In that moment a few decades back when I walked out of the store without a card I realized that to celebrate an institution that did not exist for me was incongruent to who I was a human being even though my mother’s emotional state still dictated me at the time.  I wish I could say that their hasn’t been guilt laced throughout my decision with the celebration of Mother’s Day and many other decisions she has forced me to make, because there has been.  Sometimes that feeling can still linger around, like an itch that won’t go away,  but that does not have anything to do with Mother’s Day per say, it has more to do with an overall feeling my mother wreaks of, and that is for someone to take care of her, not leave her or abandon her.   Feelings that I unknowingly took responsibility for at ages too young to remember.   The whole dynamic leaving me without any understanding of how it was I felt, only understanding what she felt.  In my journey to excavate my soul from my mother, which has been a lengthy one I must add,  I’ve come to understand a few things.  She forces those states of being on others taking zero responsibility for any of them, leaving me with no choice.  It is her, or it is me.    My emotional well-being can not and will no longer be dependent upon what she wants and what works for her.   It can’t be or there is no excavation of my soul.  There is no healing for me from having parented and not been parented.  I could write so much more here but I will not today.   As I stated earlier, I have an entire book on the subject of excavation of my soul with small sections being put out here on my blog.   What you need to know for  today and for tomorrow is that  I don’t celebrate an institution that did not exist for me.  I freed myself up from the celebration of a Hallmark Holiday decades ago and it has lead to bigger and deeper freedoms in my life because of that one small act of leaving a store without a card.

I am sorry for those of you in similar positions as I have been.  Positions where you have had to make hard choices and draw not only lines in the sand, but dig drenches so deep in relations with parents that that they can not get to you anymore.  That your health and well being are finally more important to you than theirs.  Our stories may differ,  but the end result might not be.  A severing of a relationship that no longer serves YOU!  One person’s truth might be another person’s mean.  Be mean if that is your truth.  To deny your truth denies your health and well-being.  I was a parent without being parented.  That was my truth.  Maybe it was yours.  If it was your truth celebrate you for having been a parent without being parented.  If you are a now a parent, celebrate you for being a parent to your children when you yourself did not have that experience! Honor what serves you this day and tomorrow as one more Mother’s Day rolls on by……


The route to truth and beauty is a toll road- trickery and un-pretty in and of itself.

Lorrie Moore


I would rather be paying the tolls on the road of truth for the truth of my life, and in life, than search for a free route that in actuality is not free at all!  There is no beauty without truth!




are spelled with the same letters……..

I sit on the edge of outside.  A place where I question the concept of belonging.  A quiet contemplation within my own soul  that leads me to believe that everyone  on earth wants to belong.  To feel and experience belonging.  My contemplation takes me further:  What is it to belong?  I ask myself from the perch of the edge of it.  To feel like you belong?  Does belonging require one to be in certain institutional roles such as being married, or having children, or having a committed partnership?   Institutions set up by society and deemed traditional and therefore right?  Certainly those things cause one to look like they belong?  But are they a requirement?  And is there a requirement that is necessary to obtain that seemingly illusive place.  Do people who have chosen those institutions feel like they belong because they are in them?  Certainly not I should think.

I have spent a good portion, if not all of my life feeling like I am on the edge of outside.  Feeling like life is moving forward for everyone else and I seem to be stuck, like a rat on a wheel inside a cage.  Stuck times two.  For multiple reasons in my life I have not been married nor chosen to have children which automatically places me in a category of different according to the rules of society.  Leaving me at times with an illusion that belonging requires those things.

A friend turned 50 this weekend.  A friend I’ve had through all the decades of my life of not belonging.  Or at least feeling like I don’t belong.  A beautiful celebration of an amazing person.  I bring this up because I had a 60 second moment at her party.  I sat on the edge of  outside.  I questioned for a moment if I belonged.  Most of the people were in couples or had family  accompanying them, all of whom had a long history of a relationship with my friend in a different way than I did.  It is not an unusual position for me to be a single person at a gathering, and so I questioned my 60 second surreal moment of why I was feeling like I was in that particular moment.  Do I have regrets?  Perhaps.  If so what were they? Deep and profound thoughts at a birthday party I thought to myself.   There was a great loss that swept over me mixed with sadness.   A natural combination of emotions I think.    I was on the edge of outside without a clear idea of how or why I got to that particular place, I only had a few hypothetical guesses with no time in the immediate to put logic to them.  When my 60 seconds was up I engaged back in the party but the feelings lingered.  And linger still.

Of course no one knew about my 60 second moment.  A private pain that I am accustomed to both hiding and keeping to myself.   I learned my “game face” as a young child.   To do anything different yielded results of grand consequences.  Growing up with mentally ill parents I have felt on the edge of outside my entire life.  Always feeling different because my family was different, and my family was different by the mere fact of having adopted black siblings, and yet that is not what caused me to feel different growing up, it was my parents constant and always present absurdity.     I have always felt that something was wrong with me because something was wrong with them.  Sometimes that feeling of “something is wrong with me” comes hauntingly back to me like it did at my friend’s party.  A surging of emotions that clamor for my attention and understanding.  The  voice of my wounded little girl that still requires time, and attention, and healing.

This morning as I write, I understand that to sit on the edge of outside is, perhaps,  not a bad place to be.  That belonging can not come from  external environments or institution, or rites of passage.  Belonging is about me belonging to myself.  Liking and loving myself with all my flaws.   And all my talent.   I think to myself that maybe the journey of loving oneself with all ones flaws, and all ones talents is the essence of being on the edge of outside?  One in which a deep dive of emotional healing is not only required but sought after, and explored.   A journey to learn to love myself where I have otherwise not done so.  A journey most don’t take, inevitably leaving  me on the edge of outside.  I wonder?

To be loved is foundational. It is the essense of the human existence. To be provided for is nice, but secondary to love. To be loved and provided for is lucky. To have neither, well, that is simply unlucky. The unlucky often end up in a search for safety and security because of the lack of emotional nourishment to sustain them in lifes endeavors, often finding it in the wrong places.