For a long time I’ve talked about sharing my story. Of writing a memoir about my childhood trauma, it’s impact on me, and my recovery and healing.
People who love me have told me, with the best of intentions, that I need to stop living in the past. That telling this story is a sign I still live in the past, the past still controls me, and I’m not being present in my reality now and not creating anything new. For a while, I believed this.
I can say this now. I don’t want to live in the past. I don’t want to let the past control me. I don’t wish my future to be dictated to by my past. I have chosen to be free and to create a new reality for myself. I choose that today again.
I can say categorically, that my past no longer has power over me. I no longer live there. I am free.
This is why my story needs to be told.
Today my dear friend Laura posted a blog partly explaining why she continues to tell her story, despite it no longer being part of her life, and despite being free of it.
As I read her beautiful words of freedom, I began to see that telling my story isn’t a sign I still live there, it isn’t a sign my story controls me.
Telling my story is a victory cry. It is me demonstrating I am free from my past. It is me shouting from the rooftops proclaiming that this happened, and I am here, and I am free, and I survived.
I already survived my story. I’m here today. I’m free and making choices about my future.
As my friend Laura said in her post: “You survived the thing. You can sure has hell survive talking about the thing. The work will not be worse than the wound”.
So why should I tell my story?
I tell it because there are others trapped in their stories. People who have suffered major traumas, seen abuse or alcoholism at first hand, people who have lost a parent, all of which I went through, who are still trying to come to terms with their trauma. People who’ve felt what I’ve felt even though their experiences are different.
When in the midst of healing, one thing which sustained me is reading stories of others who had been through something similar and survived. Laura’s story was one of those stories. Laura’s story helped me survive mine.
And maybe my story might give hope for someone else, might just be enough to sustain them in recovering from their own trauma. A sign of solidarity, a hope that whatever trauma we’ve been through, survival is possible.
I’ve survived my story. I’m here. I stand tall and say my past no longer controls me. It has no power over me.
My story can either keep telling itself in overeating, anger and laziness, or it can tell itself in words of hope for others.
I’m choosing the words. My story will be told. Because as of now, it no longer controls me.
I am free.
Picture Source: Josef Grunig via Creative Commons