I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this blog. I shared parts of my story and found my voice, but I don’t feel like my job is done here. I don’t want to just stop there.
From spending so much time in fear and hiding, I never imagined that I would receive so much love, encouragement, and support from those who took the time to read my words (and quite a LOT of words, might I add). I imagined judgement, condemnation, and affirmation of those lies that I’ve been believing about my worth and my value. But instead I’ve had friends, family, and even strangers reach out to remind me of truths – I am brave, I am loved, and I am enough. I cannot put into words the impact that sharing my story and receiving this reaction has had on me. It is incredible.
I received many comments, countless text messages, and direct messages on Facebook. Every single message provided love and truth. And many messages contained even more than that.
Majority of the private messages I received reminded me that aspects of my story are not rare, but actually heartbreakingly common. Women shared their own truths with me, their own stories. Women of different generations, different backgrounds. Stories that they have never shared with anyone else, that they didn’t feel brave enough to report. I was told that my story helped them process, helped them heal, and helped them to not feel as alone in what they experienced. That is truly why I posted my writings. And because of these women, I do not feel regret or shame in sharing.
In fact, I feel inspired.
Like I mentioned, I have been pondering what I will do with my blog, now that it’s out in the universe. An interaction with a close friend really opened my eyes. She’s absolutely beautiful. Blonde, fit, beautiful family, the whole package. She’s always so put together and kind and bright and in the many years I’ve known her, I never suspected her life was anything but perfect. I love to talk to her and to be around her. She reached out to me and told me that she’s been going to therapy for 12 years, all for similar things that I wrote about in my blog. I was blown away. She continued to tell me that I write so beautifully and she can connect to my words. She said she could never imagine writing her story like that. And many people have told me that I write it all out so well and they could never share their story like that.
So… I began to sit with this. I text Lauren, “I just had kind of a crazy thought. Will you tell me if it’s too crazy?”
I love to write. And according to others, I am relatively good at it. Writing out my story has helped me find my voice. I am passionate about helping other people find their voice. I have a blog. So what if I make my blog a place that people can find their voice and connect? I have found my voice. Now I want you to find yours.
So I am going to ask you to send me your story. Write it out, process it, and share your voice. I will post your story on my blog and I can even make it anonymous if that’s where you are with it. Talk to a friend to help you write it out, or talk to me. I will help you write it out for you. Whether your story is similar to mine or completely different. If it is about sexual abuse, losing your voice, or any form of oppression, the world needs to hear it. Women, men, thousands upon thousands of individuals need to hear it. They need you to own it, to share it, and to take control of it.
I want this blog to be a place to find a voice in experiences where you felt like you didn’t have one. I want it to form a community of people from every background, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic level to find a story just like theirs, to know they are not alone, and to encourage one another.
However, I don’t want this blog to be a place to just sit and read stories of abuse, oppression and heartbreak. I don’t want it to be a place to wallow, to sit in grief.
I want my blog to be one of empowerment, of change, and of hope. Look at your story with this perspective. When you’re writing your story, ask yourself these questions:
“How did you overcome?”
“How did you become stronger?”
“Where did you find light?”
“How did you heal, process, let go?”
“Who helped you? How?”
“What gives you hope?”
“How do you hope to help others?”
I want this blog to give others hope. Someone may be trapped in a rut of darkness and I want this blog to bring them a piece of light.
Feel free to Facebook message, text, or email me your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice is important and deserves to be heard.