top of page

Standing over the San Andreas Fault

This is not who I am. Right?

How is this my life? Who am I? This is NOT going according to plan.

Oftentimes, my clients are grieving and their grief is overwhelming, all-consuming even. In my opinion it is the result of an identity crisis.

If you've lost a child, as I have, you question whether or not you're a good parent, particularly in the case of losing a child to suicide. And then if you're a mother that has children of varied genders, that's an identity shift.

I remember when someone first said to me. How are your sons? My brain was triggered and I thought to myself, why in the heck are they asking about the boys? What about my daughter? And then it brought the reality crushing down on me. I no longer had a living daughter. So it was the grief all over again and this new identity.

I am a mother of sons. I am no longer a mother of a daughter. I mean, I am but not a living daughter... identity shift.

Same thing applies if you were married and then divorced or you were in a relationship and then you're single or your mother dies and now you're a motherless child. We see ourselves in certain ways and that identity is solid and then when we have to change our identity there's friction.

The analogy I think of is a fault.

Growing up in the United States hearing about earthquakes in California and this big fault line, the San Andreas fault. So I think of friction on one side and friction on the other side. It's like the past and present. This is who I am. This is how I see myself.

Then change happens. There's a new reality and it doesn't exactly line up with how you’ve seen yourself. And just like the San Andreas fault, there's friction and there's an earthquake and that can be a mental breakdown. That can be grief. There's just so many things that help me make it make sense when it doesn't make sense.

I have often called myself the queen of acceptance. Being under 50, being over 50. Having children, losing a child. Being married, being divorced. Being in a relationship, being single. Life before menopause, life with menopause. When my reality changes, I build a relationship with the new identity and that sort of builds a bridge on the San Andreas fault.

It brings these misaligned identities into a new identity.

I even used to say that I was a murderer. I know. Horrible joke but hear me out. Because once a birthday came, I killed the old me. The 55-year-old me died when I became 56. I remember sending that as a text message to young adults like... You're a murderer now. What are you talking about? I'm like, you killed baby Jasmine now you're adult Jasmine. It's silly but it's real. In order to move into a new identity, you have to make peace that the old identity is gone.

So these changes can be happy ones. It could be going from single to married, from living alone to living with someone. Getting a promotion. You could achieve a long sought after goal and then not know what is next. There are just so many changes and the new you has to be at peace with releasing the old you.

That friction can sometimes cause a break, or a mental health crisis.

Let me know what you think about that.

I love hearing from you and if you can think of any sort of challenges that triggered depression or another mental health crisis in your life, share with me. What have been some of YOUR identity transitions?

With Juneteenth coming up, I even wonder about that shift. To go from being enslaved to being free. The whole notion of wanting something for so long and then getting it... How does one become this new identity... wife, husband, mother, graduate... free man.

So many thinks to think about! Why don't you join me in that conversation this week with my friend Dr. Karinn Glover. Not only do you get to hear me speak live, but you can be a part of this ground-breaking conversation.



Author, Coach & Chief Joy Connector

P.S. My latest podcast interview is worth listening to as well... here's the link.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Oops! Who thought spelling would be this hard?

Hey there! Me again… I made a big oops in my last email. You already know I'm speaking at The Story Collider on Monday July 24th at 8pm EDT. I gave you a code you can use to get $5 off tickets. But I


Dionne C.


bottom of page