As we seem to do so well on social media, a problem was written out and friends offered wise words of wisdom, hope, and… this house.
I know what you’re thinking. “A house?” And your inquisitive response would be legitimate.
Who would ever think a photostock house could offer help to a Facebook lament? But it did. And it does.
The problem was from my dear friend, Dr. Sarah Morice Brubaker, who talked about letting go of the words a man said during a conference to body shame her. The phrases were harsh and taking up too much head space for her today.
It occurred to me that I too have voices taking up residence in my head… And it hit me, an idea.
What if we created a house (a residence) for us to move these voices into? It’s like a humane way to ‘put them in a box.’
We would be a group of women, together, releasing the hold these men’s words have in our heads.
I went first. I sent the old man who told me “you’re like a daughter to me and I love you- but you can’t do this as good as a man” to the house.
In you go- & out of my head space, I declared. I sent him to the house, gave him a nice room, and shut the door.
Next Sarah nominated her 8th grade math teacher who told her girls can’t do math. He was long gone from this world, but there was a nice room for his ghost anyway.
Then another woman sent in a clergy member who informed her smart girls were dangerous. (And not in a good way).
Then I got braver. I gave the house the tape that plays in my head from the past. That tape says: “You’re a failure. And I don’t want to be a part of your failing career.”
This was something said to me in April of 2009 that never seems to truly leave me. It always hangs out in the back yard, waiting to pounce when I seem the least bit vulnerable.
I informed the others that the whole house could play the tape on repeat. I need my head space back. It was the house’s now.
Our residence keeps getting fuller- it may need to be a hotel soon. Or a block of hotels.
All of those who gave us patriarchy-laced messages that were meant to degrade and belittle us were moved into the house.
All those who took up head space for too long were relocated here with other women’s stories.
It’s been healing. And freeing.
So we open the invitation to you.
Who would you add? What hangs out in the backyard of your head and needs a new home?
Tell Sarah & I in the comments! We can’t wait to see your head space open up.