All of my scribbling and tears turned into a book. I am still somewhere in between shock and pride at the thing that I created. How something awful, like an abusive childhood can turn into something positive still baffles me. At first writing was like journaling meets remembering- I have learned so much about how trauma and grief can alter your ability to recall the things that hurt and even the good stuff too. Slowly and sometimes vigorously typing out each memory as it came to me, a sort of emptying out process began. As each significant event of my life left the depths of my mind and spewed out my fingertips I knew that I was not writing just for me. I was writing for anyone who lived through something and would benefit from letting it free from its residence inside them.
Many of the memories I shared I know most people wouldn’t dare out into the light and I am finding it easier every day to accept that I not only let them out, but I am saying ” Here! Take this.” The shame that we feel when we are victimized is as much the problem as the damage done to us in the first place. The human experience is often met with pleas to stay silent and expectations to not show the ugly things that happen every second of every single day. Our society is one of beauty and elegance and we throw up a hand to anything that might reveal the truth, the pain, or the horror that would suggest that we are not perfect, not beautiful, and not elegant. What a joke it is to assign one format for such things. Is survival not beautiful? Is pain and the ability to thrive after it leaves us not elegant? Is truth not the whole truth, and not the parts that others can stomach to pick out and view?
I wrote for me and then I wrote for you. I know that my book is heavy and raw, and I hope that the sharing of these harsh bits gives someone permission to do the same. We are living in a time where being who you truly are is attempting to be celebrated while others still try to find the wrong in said truth. But we are trying. We are trying to find a place of truth and acceptance in all our many forms- all human. We forgot while we were labeling each other that only we the individual can place ourselves in boxes, never others. We can be anything we want to be and the world thinks that the goal isn’t to be more authentically ourselves, it’s to teach others to allow us to be such a thing. We are forced to take steps in the wrong direction to find our way forward. Our tires are buried in the mud barely moving, but the engine is roaring strong. Our hearts pound with desperation to obtain one inch of decency back from the masses. The belief that we must be accepted by others to love ourselves needs to be extinguished forever. We must instead accept and love ourselves so that we can accept and love others.
I hope that you read my story and it helps you come to terms with yours. I hope you live everyday with purpose and find joy. I hope that someday we stop hiding the ugly things and are able to recognize each other as real people, not societal expectations. I hope that you take the time to come to grips with your past and can take charge of your future. Don’t let anyone or anything drive for you- remain awake and aware. Time is not unlimited and neither are you.