I am ecstatic to announce I am publishing my first book, The Things We Don’t Talk About, this October 2019. This book is over 42 years in the making: Most of that time was spent living the stories; two of those years were spent writing (and editing and rewriting) them. I feel like I am preparing to open up a huge window to my soul—and I’m nervous because once I do, there’s no closing it again.
My book is an honest, poignant, and witty take on some of the experiences that made me the woman I am today. From the heartbreaking moment in the hospital when I gave my son up for adoption, to the unexpected devastation of losing an ex-husband to cancer, to the sometimes-humorous and often-hard times of raising an autistic son, these stories will inspire readers to examine their own lives through a different lens.
But who am I, and why should you care about my story? I am a woman who went through a whole lot of bleeping bleep (I’m told I need to keep it PG-13, so I’ll let you decide which expletives work best for you). I hit rock bottom (don’t we all?) and decided I didn’t like that place and had to get out. But it was a long process and many life lessons (Hero’s Journey). And now I’ve got some wisdom to impart to hopefully help those who have been or currently are in the same muck.
I believe we are incredibly connected by the very stories we sometimes think separate us. As a survivor of childhood trauma, I was taught by patriarchal religious leaders to never talk about my past. I grew up under a heavy cloud of shame, worried what people would think of me if they knew that I was “broken.” Today, I proudly live my truth and encourage others to do the same. A fire ignited in me ten years ago when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. I try to help others find their own spark within. (And no, I don’t tell them to run a marathon. But I highly recommend it!)
From trailer-park trash to nonprofit director, from once-a-bartender to now-a-board-member, I believe we are all capable of so much greatness. My company, See Stacy Speak LLC, was born from a place of love—the love of self, love of family, love of community—to help others on their own journeys. I have had the privilege to speak to women’s and girl’s groups, corporate management teams, recovering drug addicts, and college students. One of my greatest achievements in life is knowing that I’m creating ripple effects of positive change in the lives of the people around me.
As a special-needs mom, I have become a voice and advocate not only for my son but for the special-needs community as a whole. In 2018, I hastily planned an autism-awareness walk in my community that resulted in about 20 people attending. The following year, I organized a three-hour event that hosted 14 vendors, premiered a documentary about autism, and saw almost 300 attendees. From there, the idea for our nonprofit, the Bernal Badassery Foundation, was born. We have plans to continue efforts in the autism community to bring more awareness, acceptance, and opportunity for our special-needs loved ones.
I am grateful for every hard day I’ve lived—they make me appreciate the good ones that much more. There’s so much negativity in the world, but there is so much beauty, too. We get to be a part of making the world a kinder, nicer, cooler place: one story, one movement, one voice, one idea at a time. Surround yourself with the people who lift you, and pay it forward to the people who could use some lifting along the way. You are helping to write the stories that will change other people’s lives.
I can’t wait to share more of my stories with you. Follow along with my social media shenanigans @seestacyspeak. For more about me, go to www.seestacyspeak.com. And keep your eyes open for The Things We Don’t Talk About.
About the Author | Stacy Bernal
Stacy Bernal is a doer and a disruptor who gets really comfortable with being uncomfortable. She believes people can achieve all sorts of greatness, and she feels passionate about helping them find it. Stacy is a speaker, author-in-the-making, ultra-marathoner, and nonprofit founder. Originally an East Coast girl, she now lives happily in Utah with her hubby, kids, and fur babies.