That story many survivors of abuse, trauma, and pain carry within at times seems like a turbulent current of water that wants to take over everything it encounters. The story is powerfully painful. It shows up at unexpected times. What to do about the story they themselves do not want to hear?
Should I write a book, a song, a poem? Should I then publish a piece of art that reflect my story, and as a result, humiliate the ones who caused me so much pain? Should I publish my story so that I become stronger and unafraid of talking about my past? Should I tell everyone so they understand why I might not seem normal? Should I just vent my story in a first therapy session so that I get rid of it?
What to do with my story? What to do with what happened?
What do we do with it? As it appears burdensome, heavy, crazy making and unapologetically cruel. What to do with the story of abuse?
My two cents is that it is not only about the story but the ways in which survivors tell the story to themselves. It is also about the ways others listened to their stories and responded to them.
Do they walk around telling their stories revictimizing themselves all over again?
Do they tell their stories as a way to purge their sinful guilt that there were times in which they seemed to collaborate with whoever hurt them? And that sometimes they love the ones who hurt them?
Do they tell their story because others blamed them so they want to find someone who would finally not blame them anymore?
Do they tell the story as a way to get rid of reality?
As a way to forget the unbearable?
As a way not to think and feel about it anymore?
I propose you DO tell the story but slowly. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit with me and I will listen. I can tolerate and bare with you as you talk. I suggest you do not live your story in isolation but with a trusted other who will be with you in the difficulty of expressing your pain. And sit comfortable because it will take a while.
It will take a while.
Merari E. Fernández Castro,