It’s Just Me, Jennel

Most of you know my writings from my blog “The Vanessa Chronicles.” I had started the blog seven years ago as a means to express myself, as an outlet during a time when my world was turned upside down. In a way I went a little mad. I felt as if I were going crazy, losing my mind, having little pieces of my soul ripped from me like a monster tearing at it’s victim, yet the whole time I was struggling to keep myself from being torn apart. There were moments when a piece of my soul had just been ripped from me and my instincts would want to lash out and attack at whatever it was that was threatening me at the time. Sometimes I gave into this internal battle as most have done -most often when it involved my children or my sense of worth. In an attempt to exhibit self control, I would retreat to what most have known me to call my “thinking spot.”

Many lives were saved there, including mine, except unlike me, they just didn’t know it…. Echoes of an ironic laugh linger here.

I’d often explain the journey much like my soul being made of glass and with each episode was as if I were being beaten with a baseball bat. There I would be, lying there, shattered in pieces, mentally broken – physically ok and spiritually, righteously, angered. Day-by-day, step-by-step, I would gather the pieces of myself lying on the floor and put myself back together – most times with the help of another, usually my mother, my closest friends, eventually a mentor, and of course my church.

It was here that I began taking on a personal mentor. Not so much a counsellor, as I’ll be honest, “counselling” as per one-on-one, lay-on-the-couch and bear-my-soul type thing, has not been an effective experience for myself…..and I’ve had A LOT of it over the years. I’m not writing it off completely as I can say I learned some information and experienced the value of being heard which was the best part. The most effective counsellors/pastors/mentors have been the ones who ascribe to a “catch and release” program, deal with the issues at hand, strike fast, get ugly and rip-off-the-bandaid type. However, the programs or persons who ascribe to a much longer process or rather who were more about the value of a repeat costumer for the sake of business, I find highly unethical and quite frankly, a waste of my time. Don’t even bother suggesting it. I simply have better things to do then to dwell on victimhood.

Don’t get me wrong, I also realize that I am not everyone. I am simply just Jennel and this is how Jennel alone thinks. Another, might find it worthy. So please, as a reader I ask for understanding that I am speaking only for myself.

I do recognized that there is a repeat cycle to healing in which each time the self-imposed, survival-bandaid placed, gets ripped off, there’s another layer of healing accomplished. It sucks. Like, it F@%^&*&^% sucks, but once on the other side of it, there’s no going back. You begin to lay down HARD boundaries and life becomes not just bearable but rather enjoyable again.

Here’s the thing though, at some point a person has to ask when those boundaries became walls? When did the line-in-the-sand start forming bricks? I think a person doesn’t really know this answer until yet another scenerio arises that challenges it. What once was put in place for survival now becomes harmful to the self or rather prevents our ultimate goal of intimacy which requires us to become vulnerable once again.

And so we cycle again.

Also I’d like to clarify, I think there is a fine line between self-induced perpetual victimhood and never being given the opportunity to be heard. I believe one to be the result of the other and there can be many variables at play.

Back to my temporary madness…..

But that was seven years ago. The things I struggle with today are not the things I struggled with seven years ago. Well, actually the few that remain, God has this way of working it out (insert joyous smirk here).

I’m a totally different person today then I was then. I don’t even really see me as the same person. I’ve changed. My world grew. THE world grew….well, my understanding of it did anyways. Life was so haphazard before. We, being my ex and I, were careless and reckless with our lives, together and apart, thereby we were reckless with our children’s lives.

Again, hard boundaries now being put in place the hard way. Sometimes this is a necessary step. Sometimes and probably most times, it, being divorce, really wasn’t the best decision. MOST women I’ve spoken to have said the divorce wasn’t worth the pain. I don’t care what some social-media feminists/chauvinist person says, it’s is not the norm. There are exceptions but it is not the norm.

The first two years were hell on earth. I can say that with confidence.


There were times in my life I felt like I wanted to conquer the world, only now I found it was actually me just turning 32 – aka it was a hormonal thing and quite possibly a survival mechanism to break the sadness all added to the as per-usual-marriage-breakdown-recipe list. Often when I hear of a woman who has made what a “normal person” would deem as a rash decision, and from the outside looking in observing a wee bit of chaos, I think “OHHHHH YA….I get it, you go girl!!! She’s 32.” The problem is she doesn’t get it yet so there in lies the makings for potential war, a clash of the titans type thing and …. (heavy SIGH) eventual heartbreak.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not justifying anything. I’m simply identifying the condition of the female brain while going through our own hormonal “enlightening.” You men go through it at 18, well guess what, no one told me about turning 32!!!!


My diet might as well of consisted of red stake, with a chaser of peach snaps, slap my then boyfriend on the ass (he’d like that) and catcalls to all the 23 year old out there – because I tend to lean heavy on the side of ridiculousness.

Go hard or go home.



Most men that I dated, when the discussion of our perspective break ups was brought into play, I’d often hear the story and ask one question…

“Let me guess, was your wife between the age of 30-32?”

“Ya…… how did you know?”

So then I would explain, and ***POOF*** it was if a light bulb went off in their head.

Eventually though real life hits hard and what some call reality and I call God, tends to bring you back into the cycle of healing and onto the path of purpose, ultimately and probably saving your life.

That was Vanessa.

That was the girl that was tired of the mundane. Tired of the victimhood. Tired of the pain. She needed spiritual chest compressions and possibly a blast of fresh air pumped to her blood again. She needed someone who could step up to her plate, look her straight in the eye and take her on in the challenge.

Trust me, many tried ….and tried and keep trying. But I’m so exhausted over the subject that there’s no second chances.

It just was never right. Something was always off. We were on different paths in the healing process due to various reasons. Which I may touch on very slightly in a future post becauae I have some extremely funny stories, most of which are at my own cost. I’ll never be disrespectful to those I still consider friends.

It was during this period, I would write and confess certain enlightened “life lessons” as the events went on, hence the creation of this blog. With over one hundred entries made public and 300 hundred unpublicized, this blog has been in a way, therapeutic for me. I, of course wrote under an assumed name, Vanessa Spark, as I had a way too public life having worked in the medical, fitness and sports teams and oil & gas industries. Plus it allowed me to create what every person wants to create within them, their inner superhero.

Thus Vanessa was born. Try explain that one on a first date….

“Whose Vanessa Spark?”

“Well….(deep breath Jennel) …It’s ….huh…my superhero name.”

“I’m sorry…..your what?”

You can almost hear the residual awkward silence of confusion questioning “How crazy is this chick?”

Only thing was, it wasn’t Vanessa, it was just me.

I’m now at a place where I’d like to continue to write, I’m still attached for sentimental reasons to “Vanessa” but I feel like its time grow up. Time to let her go. Time to break up with myself.

It’s time to be JUST JENNEL.

So effective today, I’m changing the name of this blog and on the various linked social media accordingly. Apparently Facebook wont let me do it for a couple days on my page, I’m still trying to figure that out. But be prepared it will change…..AGAIN. lol.

I’m going to write about my life, my stories, my thoughts as they present themselves in the moment. My opinons may change over time…. in fact, I hope they do to an extent. It means i’m living life and not stuck back in to the boring and mundane. Most who know me actually would never describe me as boring nor mundane, more like…. bordering slightly on the ridiculous, which in my opinon is the perfect balance to life on earth. As much as I can be ridiculous, I do have many boundaries which makes for confusion to those who don’t get me.

It’s a gift.

It’s a curse.

It’s just me, Jennel.

4 thoughts on “It’s Just Me, Jennel

  1. I love this and I love you. I enjoy how you wrote and I’m a big fan. You may call yourself Just Jennel, like I’m just a receptionist or I’m just a mom. There is nothing “just” about you. You are real and you are amazing! You are the Real Amazing Jennel!!!


    1. I miss youuuuuuuu ❤️ we could drink wine together and tell mom war stories….I’ve been initiated now so it’s ok. There’s a fire blog in there…but I got wait time because it’s a little fresh and the kids gets a bit offensive…like whateves *eyeroll.
      No but seriously, I miss you. Thank you for these words you and Dave were a rock in my choas. ❤️


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