I was asked in an interview recently, “Who is the Steel Town Girl?”
“This is an interesting question because we are just now finding out who we are. As a child, the Steel Town Girl is a vulnerable, confused, silly girl at heart, who just wants to be a kid, and longs to be loved and seen by her family. But, because of dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse, she doesn’t get to have a childhood. She’s a wounded child by night, and an extra, super, do-gooder by day. Many Steel Town Girls are just now, in midlife, waking up to what they really are without all the conditioning of “never good enough,” “who do you think you are?” and confronting the fear caused by being told, “You’d shut your mouth if you knew what was good for you.” Some of us have empty nests now, and others are years into retirement, wondering where our loves and lives have gone? And for as much compassion, time, and energy we’ve given to raise up others, we are left alone to pick up the pieces of our fragmented selves. We’ve given up our lives and our identities to our families who somehow have taken us for granted and look at us as if we are somewhat unhinged. So, we turn to stare at a face we no longer recognize and realize in the end, after all this, we are alone. We pull the capes we wear from under us and sit down at our computers to sew together the pieces of our lives that make us who we are. We read our stories and we can’t believe we are just now realizing that we’ve had empathy for everyone but ourselves. We’ve forgiven everyone but ourselves. And we’ve kept everyone’s secrets for far too long. We’ve stayed strong for so long and the magnitude of staying silent for one more second is crushing us. We’re learning to stand up for ourselves once and for all. And as we do, we weep for the little girls we realize we left, lost, without a voice for their pain. So, we do the work even when we don’t want to, and when we’re done, we show up with our stories in hand and say, “Of course, I look unhinged. This is what my life has been like, I hope you understand why I didn’t tell you this before.” We are the women trying to find the strength to love ourselves through the difficult chapters of our lives all while taking the risk of being judged and ridiculed for feeling anything about it at all.”
We’re girls who go on to break the chains of abuse. —Pow! 💥
Girls who Adult Hard because their kids are worth it! —Boom!💥
Girls who Smash Stereotypes! —(Take that!) 💥
Destroy diagnoses! —(Splat!) 💥
Extinguish excuses! —(Zoink!) 💥
And Let go of Labels! —(Pop!) 💥
We needed a hero, so we became one! — Boop! —We’re girls that muscle through and get shit done! And now, we are here to green-light ourselves because no one’s gonna do it for us! We make our own girl-hero figurines because we are just crazy enough to do it. —And, we NOW… have some things to say about our experiences here on planet Earth!
If you’d like to know more about Steel Town Girl as a child, you can buy my memoir in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.
If you’d like to know more about Steel Town Girl as a woman, stay tuned here on my blog.
#STG Stories Told for Good