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.
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.
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.