Meet TREMG Writer Charlene: Vulnerable Without Question

Selfie Taken by Charlene Frett on a Wednesday afternoon; messy bun, cute outfit, going nowhere.

I’m going to be vulnerable.

It’s no longer a question this time, but a clear, definite statement.

When you begin to lack inspiration, you can’t help but become vulnerable within your own writing, even when you don’t want to be. It becomes inevitable almost, your fingertips itching and seething to write what needs to be written.

I’ll touch on a bit of parallelism in this piece, a sort of update from my last post that detailed my mental state at that time, an elongated, cathartic venting session of my personal struggles as a 23-year-old woman who dabbles in the pools of mental health; anxiety and depression, therapy/therapists, exes, and the enemy of a writer’s block.

Lately, if my readers haven’t noticed already, I haven’t been posting as much. But when I do, I’m writing about self love in the form of prose poetry, giving me some type of satisfactory based on my current journey of self, the end of any romantic emotions, and also resisting the development of any said emotions with regards to my mental/emotional health. I continue to find writing to be erotic, but I still miss becoming obsessed with the short stories I create, with all the elements in the seductive plot, ultimately leading to a character’s demise.

I still have that passion; I can sense it. And the truth is, I have been writing, in the process of developing a seductive plot of my own. But somehow, it’s not the same. I’ve been working on this particular prose for some time, almost two months, each time rewriting its structure and details of the story to become more amusing, arousing, at least to my own senses. But there is still a lack there. I’m usually entranced in my work; lose all ounce of time in the process. What do I need? What’s causing the emptiness within the narrative? Is it the constant distractions of the room; the still air, the lavender oil, the solemn music? Is it because no new man or foe has disrupted my peace, my newfound bliss? Is it the lack of dissonance? Or do I just lack more victims, ignorant male bodies to bury? (Was that too much? I can be dramatic. Call it dark humor haha).

I reject the notion to resist the temptation this time, to be cathartic, knowing it could lead to be a much needed release, satisfy a certain gray abyss in my soul.

So, I’m going to be vulnerable.

From the past few posts this year, especially my initial post “Meet TREMG Writer Charlene: ‘Can I Be Vulnerable to You?’” if not clearly stated enough, it’s known that your girl struggles with anxiety — and if I didn’t mention it before — depression. I never really discussed my solution to the whole situation and frustration with finding a female Black therapist and/or female therapist of color. So here’s the rundown: I ended up going back to BetterHelp, which hundreds of people can’t afford to do, and communicating with the BetterHelp team (shout out to Hannah!) to seek out a female Black therapist which she was able to  personally do for me.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and brag about how much I love my therapist, but also, I absolutely love my therapist. What is beautiful about her is her evident passions to help, giving me the tools and guide to confront, heal, live — to love. My journey with her has been a great one — a rough one — but a damn well healing one. And I’m doing the work.

With that, sadly, I don’t believe I give myself enough credit for all the work, for all the boiling blood, tenacious sweat, and hysterical tears and wails I’ve put into loving myself; through the journaling, assignments, goals, meditation, consistently recognizing my thought patterns through CBT with a corkboard and color-coated sticky notes. I’m consistently establishing boundaries with myself, with others in my life (and those that were once in my life). I’m continuously changing my narrative; rejecting the labels and insults, criticisms and judgments, understanding facts from feelings.

No, I don’t give myself enough credit. I don’t hype myself up enough. My therapist thinks I should.

Currently, I’m on what’s called a “forgiveness journey,” a flight quite turbulent than I thought, at least than I thought it was initially going to be. I didn’t particularly think it was going to be a breeze, but I also wasn’t expecting it to take such an emotional toll on not only my mental state, but on my physical well being as well. She says we are opening myself up much more than usual, which makes me quite vulnerable than most, quite susceptible to extreme empathy and compassion. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but as someone who’s quite empathic and compassionate already, it’s not necessarily a good thing either. 

For those of you who vowed to tether onto the resentful, indignant rope (like I did, for instance), forgiveness, you see, is powerful, the most powerful action a person can take in the heat of the past, present, and future. But it’s also a constant process. It’s a choice of continually choosing to forgive, choosing to give grace to those who have hurt you, wronged you, damaged you, even if they don’t deserve your kindness. That, of course, doesn’t mean you are excusing their behaviors, and most definitely doesn’t mean you forget their deeds. Forgiveness is about you and only you. It’s creating and achieving the absolute peace within you, to rid all the weights, bricks, and stones, all the boulders, chains, and cable ties, and live in nirvana.

That’s what I’m on, working on forgiving those who have branded so much hurt and pain into my mind and body. I began to realize the affect, the trauma, becoming more prevalent in my behaviors, my mindset, my thought process, the fear and guard I hold to protect myself.  And I was reluctant to let go. I struggled with those questions, “How can they just walk around and go about life as if nothing happened? As if they didn’t hurt me when they knew they did. They must have known, couldn’t they?” Now, I’m choosing to forgive, setting myself free from all the rising questions I had when in rage, having had sought occasional vengeance in my own fictional stories for some type of release. I’m beginning to realize the power in forgiving, and trust me when I say, it is absolutely necessary.

Despite this transformative, emotional turmoil, my emotional and mental state has improved; always a work in progress, of course, but very much improved. I’ve fought out of my depressive state since the last time we spoke and entered into this new era, new feeling, new page; the comfortability of being alone.

From the last couple of posts, I noted that I am 24 and single, with no desire to mingle. And that remains true. I have no desire to date right now, and I’m shooting until 2022. So I’ve taken up some new hobbies, socialized with new and existing friends. And I’m not sure if I turned into an “old” woman, but if I could be frank, I’m helplessly in love with puzzles. While I can only handle 300 pieces as 500 stresses me the fuck out, I get so excited and entranced in the solving, listening to music on my very ancient but functional iPod, consumed by nostalgia.

I’ve gotten back into reading, finally finding a book/series worth fully and completely becoming obsessed with. I went back to my roots, explored YA dystopian, and found “The Arc of Scythe” series by Neal Shusterman which I found quite impeccable and brilliant. That’s, of course, just my personal opinion. And if anyone really wants to know, I give it five stars on Goodreads.

But no, I’m not dating. I’m gaining more exes than I actually like, more toxicity going in than coming out. I have one too many exes in my book, and if my journey of self eradicates meeting and falling for ill-equipped men within unstable relationships (continuous situationships), I’m good. No sir, no thank you. Do not interfere. I can sacrifice temptations and desires for my own well being and they can sniff out destruction elsewhere.

Besides, I still have exes slipping into my DMs as if I didn’t say “no sir, no thank you” the first time. You see, silence, I realized, is quite a powerful response. If you question whether I’m doing well without you, my silence should be your answer.

Now, whether I’ve been having recurring dreams based on knowing or not knowing your current status in life, even when I have eliminated your existence in my conscious mind, that’s a whole different conversation.

On that note, I again noticed this post is longer than I expected it to be. I’m constantly surprised with the amount of writing I have gotten done in only just a few hours, a very much needed cathartic release I seem to always successfully prove.

To close this very long post, an almost updated synopsis if you will, whether it brings you some type of relief or makes you think “Wow, even this bright, beautiful, intellectual Blasian woman got issues too,” or whether you are snooping around, checking up on me, or needing to get to know who this bitch is, I hope this does something for you.

To be clear, I’m not an expert in all things mental health. I’m sure not many people have the patience for puzzles or are essentially nerds at heart. But remember to take care of you, even when your life is shit, even when the Earth is dying and climate change is destroying our planet. Even when our loved ones are sick, our children are in pain, when humans are being stripped of their rights, when women’s bodies are being controlled by the government, when Florida has the caucacity to be unconstitutional, try to take care of you.

Do at least one thing that makes you happy today.

And remember, you got this, boo.

We got this.

If you are going through a mental health crisis, whether that’s depression or suicide, you are not alone. Please visit these websites and call these National Hotlines listed below:

SAMHSA National Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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