There is an ice breaker /getting to know you game called two truths and lie, you tell 2 truths about yourself and one lie. Participants need to guess what the truths are and what is the lie a person is telling is.
We started the session playing this game. The truths are deep dark and each one physically hurts to hear.
I can be crazy.
I chew Meth (as opposed to smoking it –who knew?).
My mother is dead.
I am a drug addict.
I need to smile more.
The lies are ridicules, silly, young and make let us laugh a big laugh, a laugh of release a little hysterical in attempt to ease the pain of the truths.
My girlfriend is fat.
I have a car that has no wheels.
I love the color blue.
My mom is anorexic.
I don’t like candy.
There is a voice in my head begging the lie to be true, and the truths to be some crazy lie. But I know better.
We use props to tell stories and then I talk about how each of us have a story and we will learn together how to move forward and hopefully change that story. God, how I want to help these girls change their story.
So I ask, tell me right now, who are you, what is your story? If the truths hurt, their stories and who they are hit so hard I hold my core tight .
I am 14 years old and 14 weeks pregnant.
I am a freak.
I am a crack baby.
I am random.
My god, my god random? What does that even mean?
I am a girl people think they can use.
I listen, and I hold my core tight, stand straight, as if not mortified by what I hear. And then, she agreed to read, big tough young woman, bent over like a small girl.
Quietly she started to read.
“Can you speak a little louder?” I ask in a whisper.
“NO” she doesn’t raise her face when she answers. “This is what I can do. Listen harder.” I do, we all do. “Fuck,” she says. “I’m going to cry.”
“That’s ok.” I can barely speak, my eyes filled with tears.
Her tears fall on the paper as she reads, puddles of pain forming on top of the words.
I am alone.
I am lonely.
I am homeless.
I am just a teen trying to survive.
I am someone no one cares about.
I trust no one.
I sit down on the floor at her feet. I put my hand on her arm. It’s very quiet; one of the girls comes over and stands behind her. Others are crying .
I have a bad temper, but I want to change.
Don’t judge a book by its cover!
I wipe her tears; I gently say to her, “Look at me. Please look in my eyes,” I say again, and wait.
She looks down in to my eyes. “Do you trust me?” I ask.
“Good” I smile. She looks a little confused. “I hope you will. But all in good time. I will earn your trust. OK?”
“Yes” she says.
I wipe her tears, I hold her close, and whisper in her ear, “I care, I do. I know you don’t believe me, but I will show you and I will bring others that care too. Just wait you will see!”
I stand up, find my core and hold it tight. “OK,” I smile like I just saw a baby born. "That was amazing, you guys did great."
My sweet assistant who is all of 24 amazes me again and again. She takes the room and tells the girls that if they (the girls) want to ask us about our story they can. She smiles her bright smile and tells them that she will write an I am, and read it to them next week. I am so proud of her, and so lucky to have her by my side. Yes I agree, I will too.
The layers are unfolding. I sigh, so young and so many layers; it shouldn’t be so complicated for them, not yet!
On my drive home I think of my … I am.
I am a mother, a daughter a sister and wife.
I am an activist.
I am so lucky to have had an abundance of joy opportunity and a supportive village in my life.
I try with all I have to see the light in the dark.
I am a woman who believes with everything I am that change is possible and that love, well love, love is the seed of that change.
I am a person who wants to believe and asks, hell, begs god and society to help me help these girls understand that they can be more.
But most of all deserve more, they deserve so much more.