Updated: Mar 27
by Danielle Loewen Daring to Share Your Voice. February 27, 2020 Edition
Welcome to the Perceptions of our Community Guest, Danielle Loewen!!
Blog Editor: Diana Reyers
I was born with a gentle, nurturing, and kind nature. I had a magical childhood at times, but I had to survive sexual abuse, severe bullying, and rape. I kept many things secret from my parents because of my fear of punishment and lack of trust in the world around me. On the outside, I was a star…. I got perfect grades, was captain of sports teams, excelled in leadership and academic music, and I was a kind and fierce friend to all. But on the inside within every moment, I was fearful and so anxious that by the age of sixteen when my parents divorced, I was dulled to everything good or bad.
This was when I began writing comedy. I spent hours creating characters I loved!! They were funny and flawed. I imagined funny plots and, out loud, I spoke weird and inappropriate dialogues. Writing and my imagination took me away to places I was able to control where imperfection and tragedy were funny. My secret ideas were free of the persecution, judgment, and control of others I perceived I faced in daily life. I intuitively knew I needed to create an outlet.
My adult life has been a roller coaster.
I fell in love at the age of eighteen. Kevin was shiny, handsome, and kind. He made sure I knew he loved me more than he had loved anyone ever before just because I was me. I never felt that feeling before; it was one of unconditional acceptance and love. A few years later and a surprise pregnancy, we were on our way to happily getting married and starting a family. Just twenty-eight days after our baby was born, Kevin was killed and I was suddenly a widowed single mother. Neither before or since then, have I ever felt so much physical or emotional pain knowing he would no longer be here. I traded creativity for pure survival. It was just a few months later that I survived financial betrayal and a defamatory lawsuit against me built on lies. But, I was determined to live my own life and chose to walk away from all of it. I worked, went to college, and raised my son on my own.
Three years later, I made the best decision of my life and, joyfully, married my best friend, Matt. Shortly after birth our first baby together, our little child almost died of a heart condition. I spent the next year alone in and out of hospitals, juggling two kids while Matt worked away. At every turn, it seemed like I had to hold on tightly or I would be swept away by the tsunamis that constantly hit. This was a dark time for me. I thought it was better to be numb than to be anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop.
After the storm passed, my inner voice said, Who am I when I’m not in survival mode? I unconsciously sought out things that would take me back to trauma because I didn’t know that I needed to heal. It felt familiar to feel unsafe because I didn’t trust the world around me. I made a habit of hiding my true self and my true voice in fear of being rejected.
Years of experiencing heartbreak in many ways ensued while I cloaked myself in the pursuit of perfection and continued to NUMB. Feeling comfortable living in fear allowed for little joy or wonderment in my life. I had no capacity to be creative because I chose to overwork, drink alcohol, and allow my health to fail with my anxiety escalating out of control.
I fell into such a pit of low self-worth that I blindly allowed the ultimate predator disguised as a ride or die friend in to fill my gap of loneliness. I chose to ignore and enable this friend’s toxicity and I did not have the courage to speak up for myself in my own home. The devastation that was created within beloved friendships and my marriage, and the secrets my own child had to keep from me due to my lack of awareness is truly heart-breaking. I thought my loved ones would not believe my truth and wouldn’t forgive me for allowing everything to spin out of control, so I stayed in my pattern of survival, keeping secrets and not asking for help. I had so much relationship loss due to living in fear, all to the determent of truth and safety. I always believed in my heart of hearts that my children would NEVER have to hold the secrets I held as a child, and now the universe was proving me wrong.
My body decided to take over and say, fuck this shit I’m out - check it out on YouTube, it’s a little song that won’t ever leave your mind. Hospitalized by panic attacks that took my senses away as I could not see or hear, my health forced me to be honest about my life. While in the hospital my resilience found a way to gift me when my humor came back. I imagined hilarious dark scenarios of my situation which are too provocative to post on this blog; word fuck is enough for today. I learned how to release trauma and it brought my keen and creative mind back to me.
Day by day with baby steps, I worked so hard with therapists, took a holistic approach to diet and exercise, and started BEING what I so craved from this world, LOVE. I discovered that to have love, I have to BE love. I began to BE who I was truly born to be, kind, gentle, compassionate, and sensitive. But, it all had to start with me first treating myself this way – before anyone else. I began to find worthiness in my authentic self, WARTS AND ALL. It’s not easy. Not everyone likes it when someone goes from being a people-pleasing enabler to a self-empowered authentic truth-teller.
But being in my authentic truth does not give me the right to spew aggressive words masked as the truth as I see itwithout being responsible for someone’s birthright to feel safe and loved. No, I’m talking about standing for who I truly am, unapologetically and with LOVE. Because I no longer hold the belief that I am less than; I have no space for anyone or anything that makes me feel less in any capacity. This was a hard and dark journey that tested every ounce of my self-love, but it took me to forgiveness.
I am writing comedy again. Humor is what grounds me and brings me joy. All the beautiful love, experiences, and wonderment I experienced during my life are finally shining brighter than the pain, and my unique gifts inspire healing and light.
Now that I have the skills and support to release past trauma and I can sit and process present pain, I am no longer numb and in denial. I discovered the courage to find my voice and speak my truths because I chose to clean up my back yard. I matured and began healing myself. As a result, my whole family has been healed. Going forward, my mandate in life is to be a haven for others and to empower them with love so they too can be inspired to find their worth within joy. Even in the hard times, I know I have the tools to be resilient in LOVE instead of resilient in FEAR. I will absolutely still fail at times!! But, these are MY life moments and I will live them on my terms. I feel joy again because I am no longer numb.
Sending you love,
Connect with Danielle on Facebook @danielleloewen
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