HONESTY MONTH: DAY 3: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” ― Anne Lamott
I remember the first time I heard someone tell a story that really rocked me in the early days. It was a woman who had experienced profound physical and sexual abuse as a child. Her story was not the same as mine, but I was deeply moved by her.
What I wanted so badly that evening, (I think I had about 45 days) was the freedom she had to tell that story to a crowd of over 300 people! That impressed me. I wanted THAT. I did not believe I needed to stop drinking and drugging, but I knew I wanted her freedom to tell her story and not worry about how people perceived it. I was sitting in the front row and cried the entire time she spoke. It was awesome! I later had that woman as a sponsor for a few years. She played an important part in my life and my recovery.
Interesting how these things unfold. As time went on, I was able to tell my story in various ways. It was a pivotal point in my life a few years ago that I became so free and easy with that. It is not the same story I first told. In those days I was more of a victim than I am today.
Now I see the gifts I receive from this story. There have been SO many! The freedom is tremendous, but more than that, the gifts are even greater. I have been allowed to work with people whose trauma and stories are similar, some far greater than my own. We have been able to identify with each other as only those who have these stories can do.
I have written a lot about my family and shared some of that with others. I do not publish stories about my family, because I don’t need to. But I would be perfectly comfortable with it if needed. They know, and I know, what happened. None of them have healed in any way, but I have. It is a beautiful gift when I get to see how truly seldom it is given. I love that most of all. And today I truly own and share my stories, no matter how uncomfortable it may make some folks. They don’t need to hear it, I suppose. But I know how it heals when that person who DOES need to hear it can. I am grateful for my stories today and the freedom to tell them, but more than that; the tools that allowed me to heal them.