This Place Is Yours

by Lori Dwyer on August 27, 2012 · 9 comments

There’s a lot to be said for writing. Or blogging, or journalling, or keeping your thoughts locked tight in a diary. There are all forms of self therapy, are they not, even if we don’t intend them to be?

The best treatment– the only treatment, really, besides medication– for trauma and PTSD is repeated exposure to the event. Being triggered feel alike biting down on a sore tooth, nerves screaming in protest at the pain. Bite down often enough, and the nerve dies off.

Welcome to my blog. The place where I bite, just as hard as I can, on a daily basis.

Trauma almost always effects a person’s retention of memories… I do not remember the last Christmas day I spent with my husband. My memories for three months on either side of his death are a black void of fuzzy impressions, knowledge that I attempt to fill with colour. Even when I do manage to add some shade or tone to a confusing image made up of static, I can never hold onto it very long.

This is my memory book, the archive of my Purple Life, where I keep all the good things stored high on a shelf out of reach of this life After.

Since people have been able to write at all, they’ve made prose of pain and sadness,anger and frustration, longing and want and hurt. No one is ever as inclined to write the joyous emotions down– why would we, when the happy things are so easy to keep inside and close, a balm rather an acid?

But pain is better out, than in.

Count on your fingers the artsitic outlets available– music, visual art, dance and drama– writing is far by the most accessible. It needs nothing but a pen and a paper and a story that wants to be told. You don’t have to be talented to do it, it requires only basic skills that most of us have known since we were six or seven years old.

If you wish, writing requires no audience but your own. But while writing out the emotions and stories you hold within can be a balm, sharing them can be a blessing. Isolation is so debilitating. There is no greater solace than happening across words that may have have well of been your own, left for that very purpose, in the middle of an endless night or the greyest afternoon of your life.

I’ve learnt, over and over again, a lesson from blogging, from being so raw and honest that sometimes it hurts. I’ve learnt that no matter what it is, no matter how supposedly shameful or unique or incredulous whatever I’ve said or felt or philophised; there are always other people who feel or think or are willing to say out loud that I am not alone. That they know just how I’m feeling. That they not only sympathise but empathise, that they’ve been there themselves and come through OK.

There’s an incredible power in that. That’s why we tell stories of our lives– not just us, as bloggers, but the entire human race throughout civilization.

We want to connect. We want to know that we are akin to those around us, in more ways than are apparent on the surface. We seek to leave our mark, what we have learned from life, from any others who may pass this way.

If you’ve never read Wanderlust, please do. As a domestic violence survivor with a vested interest in the lives of children scarred by pedophilia, I won’t promise you her blog is always pleasant. (But if you’re reading RRSAHM already, then you should be fine, really.) But it’s heartfelt and real and beautifully written, and I can personally vouch for Kirstin, it’s author– she is one of my soul sisters, my closest online friends.

Wanderlust has begun a page that will, hopefully, act as a resource for people searching for solace on all those topics that are sometimes taboo. Suicide. Domestic violence. Child abuse. If you have a blog that you think would be appropriate, you can submit it for inclusion. Its grown from the simple heartbreak Kirstin felt whenever she checked her blog statistics and saw multiple hits for terms relating to surviving childhood sexual abuse.

I understand that disconcerting, heart wrenching pang. I feel it every time I see a search query in my own stats for ‘my family would be better off without me‘. And I do hope they always land on the post they need to read.


As I said last week– everyone needs a voice to speak. And everyone needs a place to be heard.

It’s some thing I believe right down in the soul of me. One of the most overlooked and indispensable tools for healing is the validation of whatever it is you’ve been through– the right to feel as though you and the thoughts and emotions you’re having are genuine, important and that you have a right to them. Having a community to act as a sounding board and bear witness to your pain in invaluable.

I take the knowledge and I think to myself, I am so blessed to have this place, this blog to call mine. A place where I can speak as freely as I wish. A community of (jellybeans) people who are my safety net, who have, once even before the day I asked them to, caught me every time I’ve fallen.

Not everyone has what I have. And, let’s face it, a blog is a big investment in time if you want a readership– I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

All that naturally leads to the question of… what do you do, when you have a story to tell, and nowhere to tell it? When you can’t tell it for reasons of confidentiality? Or when you have told it so many times already that the people around you are sick of hearing it but the poison still hasn’t been quite leeched out?

Or when you just have something to say, a mark you would like to leave somewhere, your written word as testimony to a tiny slice of your life?

There has been a space created for this very purpose. It’s called ‘This Place Is Yours’… because it is.

I’m very honored to let y’all know I’ve been asked to be a ambassador for this charity. It will involve a website where people can submit– anonymously of they wish– whatever pieces they may have created that tell the story of them; be that a story spanning second or decades, one that is insignificant or life changing. Twice yearly the best submissions from the website will be published (that’s right– onto actual paper) on the form of a mook. That’s kind of a magazine, kind of a book. This Place Is Yours will also run creative workshops and classes and hopefully, eventually, develop into a support, artistic community all of its own. Somewhere where people can find other who are like minded. Where people can find solace and heart
strength in the stories of others, and through sharing their own.

This place is yours is still in its fundraising stage as of right now, and any money you can donate through the Pozible page is so greatly appreciated. Stay tuned. I will keep you updated as this place– your place– evolves and grows.

Because everyone needs a voice with which to speak. And a space for it to be heard.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Toni August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm

This is exactly why I started my blog (finding myself young) – to be heard, to leave my mark, to feel connected and to look back on what I have learnt. I am trying to keep it relatively positive at the moment (mainly because I dont want to scare everyone off from reading it) but I have lots of emotions from dark places – suicide, abuse, domestic violence, divorce, infertility all the wonderfully crap things Ive experienced in life. I will get around to posting about them soon im sure. You are right, a blog is a huge time investment. I dont blog as often as I would like because of full time work, but I do love it. Its a tremendous release and my own free therapy. I love your blog and check daily :) Thanks for sharing your story.


Claire August 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

That sounds like a wonderful idea. As humans, being heard is so important.


marketingtomilk August 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Strangely I never seek out "pleasant" blogs, though i often gravitate towards books for pleasure. Frivilous, easy to read, paperbacks. I think I'm on the net to learn, to connect, to share. And I feel that most often with stories of struggle, sadness, strength, fortitude, triumph. I think it's how i learn and progress the most. And that's why i return to your story and to Krinstins story time and time again.




Spagsy August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I loved the video. The best part was hearing you say you have come a long way. We all know it but hearing you warned my heart and I felt that my prayers for you were being answered.


Sarah – That Space In Between August 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thanks so much for sending my article to Seema, Lori. We are catching up for a coffee and a thinking session this week! Take care of you and yes, I agree, writing is a fabulous way to heal x


Holly August 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Lori, this is such a wonderful idea, I'm sure lots of people will find it to be a great help when they need to speak their truth and be heard. Good on you!


Sapphyre August 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love this idea. My blog is completely anonymous because it's not just about me and I don't have my husband's permission to put all our life problems out there for anyone to see. And I haven't written in for ages.


Jen D August 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

I found you, Kristin and Eden all around the same time and have followed each of you awesome women since. I identify with so many different bits of you all. I don't comment so much since most others say it for me, but a big thanks to you for speaking parts of my truth on a regular basis. Much love.


Wanderlust August 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

Awesome, Lori, thanks so much for spreading the word about the directory. I plan on launching it in the next couple of days. So appreciate your support.

And the 'This place is yours' venture sounds interesting. I'll have to go check it out.

Much love to you, cyber-sister! x


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