I share the communication below with you for several reasons.
1) I have nothing to hide.
2) I share my life publicly while protecting the folks I work for because I know I am not alone with the experience that hiding, pathologizing, demonizing, victim blaming, concepts of deserving and undeserving in human struggle, suffering and experience, serve only to perpetuate those ills. The very ills that the so called normal people sit in fear and judgment of. It serves no-one, except for those individuals and systems interested only in winning their game, at any cost.
3) I believe in the power of truth, in the power of love, in social justice, in the human capacity to not only survive, but to thrive, and I believe in me, and my own (proven) capacity to do just that. The haters will continue to hate, the judgers will continue to judge, the naysayers will continue to say nay, and the detractors will continue to de-tract. Regardless of how (tactfully, or not) I say what I have to say, regardless of what I do, or how (well) I do it.
4) I must Abandon Hope (and Fear). I must abandon the hope that people will understand if only I explain it to them better. And in the abandonment of that hope, I have abandoned the fear that despite all of my efforts to help them understand, despite all of my efforts not to offend with my experience of my life experience, I will anyway. In the abandonment of these hopes (and fear), I abandon the pain of knowing that they are offended by human suffering. Mine, yours, ours, theirs. And in abandoning that pain, I am one step closer to the freedom of truly knowing and caring for, Marcela: Unfiltered. And for you. And for them.
5) I have nothing to hide.
Email from one professional to another (forwarded to me, not sent directly by the ‘concerned professional.’) regarding the potential hire of my services in a Custody and Access dispute:
“I have received ………… email which says that it is unfortunate that I do not specify what material on Marcela’s Facebook profile would affect her judgment in a professional setting.
I strongly advise you to read the whole of the Facebook, and I am reasonably certain that the language she uses, the history of drug use such as crack cocaine, to name just two things is something that would raise alarm bells with anyone.
I am very much certain that a person, who it appears has worked as a prostitute, has been a hard drug user and uses language such as is seen in her Facebook page, is someone that not many parents would not want their children exposed to.
My client is somewhat distressed that you would even suggest a person who appears from the Facebook page to be as unsuitable as she is.”
Dear ………. :
While I have been advised not to waste my energy on this, please, humour me will you? I will thank you, please, not to jump to conclusions and perhaps ask about how long I have been in recovery (I am joined in this community, in that illustrious group of people. by several attorneys, other social workers, and even a judge or two, doctors, counsellors…. you get my point). You could also ask how I was exploited into the sex trade as a teenager by an upstanding ……… business man, how I escaped, but clearly, context is not something that holds meaning here.
There is an entire blog post written about that, context, but I am certain that you will have already discovered it in the course of your investigation into my person. Would it be too much work, if you are so concerned about my character and history, to contact some of the people who have employed me in the past, or do so now, and inquire about the actual quality of my work? Or how about this far-fetched idea: ask me, clearly, my life, present and past are no secret.
Apparently it is not enough to have worked at not only fixing the damage others created in my life and past, and on my own culpability in parts of it, put myself through University as an adult while raising a family on my own, with no financial support from anywhere, worked my way from support worker at ……… cleaning up the vomit, blood, sweat, and tears, yes tears, of other struggling humans, to a very successful private practice and and and and… by the way, I did not need to turn tricks to graduate with distinction, to earn the awards I earned, and to get where I am, despite, or perhaps because of, small minds with only their limited view and judgment on anything outside of their own personal experience. I have a brain, and a heart.
And in the event you are interested, you must be, why else were you looking at these things, the sex trade and drug addiction, not directly connected in my life by the way, combine for a total of just under 5 years of my almost 53 on the planet. But clearly, they are more important than anything else I have achieved, undertaken, done in the way of community service (that list is much more extensive than anything you will find on facebook), raising a really well adjusted family, and so on… We are not all born, or raised, or subjected to, the same set of ‘choices,’ and I assure you, I have worked very hard, physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and intellectually, to get to the point where I can actually choose, and stand up to the kind of abuse in the email [quoted above, your email]. My references, former and current clients, speak to my professionalism, my credentials, and above all, the difference my work, and how I do it, and yes, I do it differently, very differently, makes in people’s lives. The thing that speaks to all of that most however, is how I live my life, honestly, and with integrity. Clean living goes so much further than abstaining from a substance, it has to do with being a good human, and while I am acutely human and by extension acutely imperfect, my biggest priority in life, in all areas of my life, is to ‘do no harm.’ Given the slanderous nature of various communications you have engaged in about me, my person, my life, it appears that our values differ in this regard.
While you are perusing my facebook page, you ought to note that the only people I have as friends are old enough, to choose and accept, or not, my language. Like the rest of the world, I am prone to using language in my personal life; and by extension in writing about my personal life, which is not the same as that which we all use in our professional dealings, and particularly not around children. I have had many a conversation with clients and their attorneys, judges for that matter, outside of office walls or a courtroom, that would require an R rating were they put on video, and I assure you, it was not me doing the swearing. If you had looked carefully during your forays into my world, you would have found that I walk my talk in my personal as well as my professional life, for example in a particular series of recent posts regarding a very important re-union in Europe, but it is much simpler to ‘find what you need,’ and leave the rest, no?
I should tell you that the reason I make my life and past (other and self-inflicted) relatively public, is a) I have nothing to hide, and b) it is an effort to highlight people’s humanity, their capacity to change and grow, to overcome pain, suffering (other and self-inflicted), to normalize what has been wrongfully pathologized as abnormal, and to navigate ridiculously complex and convoluted systems, often hurdles of seemingly insurmountable magnitude, and to illustrate what helps and what hinders in those processes. And, because I simply give a darn about people, and have a particular soft spot for those who continue to be marginalized and stigmatized by the narrow thinking that created the motivation, behind looking for what you and/or your client could find against me, actually the smallest part of my entire life, as opposed to what I excel at: Human services with heart and compassion. With a direct and intentional focus on the human, and with a real bent for finding the truth. For more information on how that does not amount to co-signing bad, criminal, self or other harming behaviour, please do check out my very public blog. Had you taken the time to read any part of that with more than the intent of finding dirt, you may have discovered more under the name Marcela than a former ‘prostitute,’ and ‘crack’ user.
Since you have taken it upon yourself to decide who I am based on little more than the results of a very poorly executed witch hunt, I have taken the liberty to provide you with a little context. I do not, feel the need to explain myself, please understand the difference. With the exception of potential legal action in which case you will hear from whomever is my representative, my communication with you and the parents involved in this matter will end with this email. I have informed ….. that I will not be able to assist with the case and I have suggested to them that they contact …., and have left ….. a voice mail regarding the referral. Thank you and best regards,
Courageously yours, MyLa: Unfettered.
August 02, 2014