My name is Brandalynn Armstrong, and I have a lot to say.
I find it interesting that after months of having this empty blog, my first post is on International Woman’s Day. You might be asking yourself why I find that funny, well, I think I am asking myself about that too. You see, I am usually not at a loss for words, but this blog project has been daunting for some reason that until today I didn’t fully understand.
For so long, I have felt silenced. Silenced by my fear, anxiety, depression, dependence, and, as of late, some pretty sassy non-disclosure agreements. The truth is, with the exception of the last item, all of these barriers mentioned above were constructs of my own doing. I silenced myself because I did not have the confidence to speak up, at least in regards to advocating for myself. I kept quiet because I did not have the courage to reach out for help, because to me, asking for help meant weakness. Weakness opened me up to ridicule, which really punched me RIGHT SQUARE in the shame and embarrassment.
I am thirty-four years old. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, childhood bullying, sexual assault, physical assault, as well as domestic abuse and violence. I have lived in the dark, and I have found the light, only to repeat the cycle. I have been a strong friend and ally, but I have also been weak and petty. All I ever knew through the most of my teens, and the entirety of my twenties was how to put myself down, harbor hurt, anger, and resentment while drowning my sorrows in bad relationships, sex, booze, and spending.
My name is Brandalynn Armstrong, and I have made many mistakes.
I could spend eight million years explaining why I have made myself feel so guilty and shameful. I could daydream about sharing every juicy tidbit or sordid detail just to be free of my secret burdens. But you see, after what feels like eons processing all of these situations and emotions, I finally came to a realization: stooping to a low level isn’t worth it. Pointing the finger of blame towards others does nothing to calm me. Frankly, it only perpetuates the problem. Pointing the finger at myself only leads to constant flashbacks of traumatic events that cause the same amount of pain fresh as the day they occurred. No thanks, BYE, FELICIA!
My name is Brandalynn Armstrong, and I am letting go.
I am saying goodbye to pain and disappointment. I am singing too-da-loo to guilt and shame. I’m dropping a big sayonara to resentment, and a whopping FUCK YOU to the opinions of others. You see, at 30, I started on the most difficult journey of my life: finding (and saving) myself. So, even though this blog started out as a way to share what I am currently drinking, It’s morphed into something entirely more personal. It’s scary and exciting, and as I continue on this journey, I have no idea what I will be inspired to write. If you are reading this right now, bear with me while I navigate my way through this crazy thing we call life. Maybe we can learn together.
I am Brandalynn Armstrong, and I am proud of myself.