Chloe Jacout is a member of the extraordinary Jacout family; a mother and four daughters who have each individually done the Hoffman Process. Mother Rikki and Chloe’s three sisters were interviewed for Hoffman Magazine in 2015 about their experiences (you can read that interview here) After her Process, Chloe made the decision to join her sister Tiana in providing support to refugees as an aid worker in Calais, where she’s volunteered since 2016.
‘I watched as one by one my mother and sisters came back from the Process. What I noticed most was a positive sense of vulnerability, a ‘demasking’ and an ability to be more themselves. Our family’s rather barbed sense of humour softened and, whether or not that affected me, I don’t know, but I noticed that I began to soften too. I became kinder to myself. Over the next few years I made a radical shift from an unhappy and insular person who covered up their loneliness with humour and an extrovert façade, to somebody who is much more relaxed, comfortable and connected.
The Process wasn’t the only factor in that transformation, but once I finally went on the course myself, it certainly helped me take off my blinkers so I could see when something I was saying or doing simply wasn’t ‘me’. It was like putting on glasses when you hadn’t realised that you needed them. Once I was able to see that negative thoughts or behaviour came from a source within my family line, it was much easier to let go of it. For example, my boundaries are now very different after the Process because I’ve created my own, rather than copying what I saw around me.
The greatest gift the Process gave me was a greater sense of self-worth. Knowing my own value meant that I could begin to realise that I have something of worth to give, that I could change the world, even in the smallest way, for the better. Not only that, but facing my own pain and finding compassion for it means that I can now recognise pain within the world without feeling overwhlemed by it.
This helped my decision to go out and join the humanitarian cause within the Calais ‘jungle’ in 2016. To describe what happens here is a near impossible task. Each day will drag you through every emotion you know, and even some you didn’t. You experience joy, hatred, have your faith in humanity broken and then completely rebuilt in just a few hours. It’s a completely separate world, a desperate world of hope and despair and most importantly, one worth fighting for. What is happening right on our doorsteps is wrong, and it has called to the entire Jacout family. Currently, I’m a warehouse coordinator and a team lead, so I check the conditions of the stock and oversee the distribution of aid to the refugees we serve. Tiana has moved on to a new project since I arrived, but for now my place is here – on the right side of history.’