Five years ago I found myself typing into my search engine, 'Please help me. I'm married to a sex addict'. It felt pathetic, but I was desperate for someone who understood what I was going through. A blog called 'Eat my Scabs' popped up, and for the next few days I devoured post upon post expressing the raw reality associated with being married to an addict.
I saw a post about a camp that Scabs was putting together. I emailed her and probably blubbered out my story while sounding a little too desperate for a friend. I had a vulnerability hangover the minute I pressed 'send'. But, her response was validating, and empathetic. I was a little shocked that she would take me in as a friend without question.
I drove up North for several hours on my way to Camp Scabs and wondered what in the world I was thinking driving to a camp, with people I had never met. I was terrified I would be pushed to tell my story. I wanted to be there to watch. I wanted to be invisible.
My first glimpse of Jeni was when I was pulling up to a pizza joint, and seeing her bare feet propped up on the dashboard next to a big box of peaches set up there to ripen. I remember wondering how she could be so relaxed when I was so completely terrified of being there. But I was met with a gigantic hug and it was everything in me not to fall apart at that moment. She felt like such a safe place. So steady and solid in who she was, and so calm . . . .and it created a place for me to be ok. I was so relieved to feel a flood of safety.
The following few days were truly life changing. We were taught to start nourishing our bodies with beautiful whole food. We breathed fresh cool air, slept on the couch from late night conversations, cried and hugged and listened and held hands. It was the first time in years that I felt room to just BE. There was no expectation of how I should feel, or what I should be doing. She held me in my space and accepted me as I was, and made me feel gloriously flawed and imperfect and beautiful and whole.
When you are in trauma, your heart pounds, your mind races, and your body gets the shakes. She has given me tools to empower me in my own healing. She taught me to just breathe. Because of her, my healing became less about fixing my marriage, and more about taking steps I needed to take care of myself and heal. Trauma has slowly lost its grasp.
I contacted Jeni as a coach. After years of therapy, I was having a difficult time dealing with my anxiety and fear. She has taught me to pause and be aware of what my body is telling me, and approach myself compassionately as I work through deep wounds and false beliefs that have prevented me from living a full life. She is a coach who is not afraid to get involved in the messy stuff. She accepts my unraveling and opens me to new ways of healing. She was a soft place for me to land as I fell apart. She helped me to not be afraid of my own voice.
Jeni is a coach and a friend. She is steady in herself and that brings a sense of empowerment and also allows an environment of growth. I am becoming a different person because of the things she has taught me about loving myself and honoring my healing. I would recommend her to anyone who needs support and tools in their journey.