Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Why tell my story?

Today is exactly one year since I started writing down my story. And what a year it has been!

I started off very motivated. I wrote in blog-format, completing at least one post a day, some days more than one. I dissected all the horrors of my childhood in the minutest detail, recalling sights, sounds and smells, going back to old journals to verify dates, reliving everything as I sought to inject the appropriate emotions into my writing.

It all proved to be too much. By January of this year, I was sinking into a deep depression. Continuing to write through the pain, I eventually crashed back onto the bathroom floor with a paring knife, my tears mixing with the blood dripping from my arm.

The next day, frightened into action by my self-inflicted wound, I made two decisions:
1. I needed to stop the recall, to stop writing.
2. I needed to go back to therapy.

I walked away from my story and back into therapy.

My journey since February has been a roller-coaster ride. I have started processing parts of my childhood that I had never been able to process before. In the process, I have had to whether a renewed onslaught of nightmares and the occasional flashbacks. When, after a few months, my depression started to lift, I finished writing down my story. I have also been able to start building a new relationship, to create this blog and move my story here, and to reach out to fellow survivors on the Internet for the first time in my life.

I am no longer sure why I started to write down my story. Perhaps I wanted to help others understand that they are not alone. Perhaps I wanted to educate an ignorant society about the truth of sexual abuse, and sexual abuse of boys. Perhaps I was trying to finally vanquish my own daemon of loneliness, by throwing my life open and inviting a web full of strangers to look at my deepest secrets. Perhaps I simply needed to remember in order to understand.

I think, perhaps, all of these reasons have been true at some point.

Since creating this blog, however, I have discovered a new reason to keep writing. I have received feedback from multiple people that what I have written on here, both in my story and my blog, have given them hope or understanding, or even helped them whether a storm in their own lives.

As hard as it has been to remember and record everything, I believe it has been worthwhile. It has been the catalyst for renewed healing in my own life and it has also allowed me to reach out to others. To every single person who reads this blog, thank you - you give this blog a purpose. There certainly is no better reason to keep writing than the knowledge that in my own small way, I could make a difference to a handful of people's lives.

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