There are times when I find it hard to write about the things that I want to. In these moments, I feel particularly emotionally raw and not ready to let people see me for fear that they won’t see the whole picture… or worse, that they will and still think less of me. In these moments, I feel frustrated because I know that I have something to say, but am terrified at the prospect of being too vocal about why my perception is what it is because of my experiences. In these moments, I start to doubt myself, and compare my story to the stories the people out there who may have had it harder (and so, SO many people have), or conversely, the people who haven’t and won’t be able to relate to what I have to say because my experience is so far removed from theirs.
Is this practice of picking at old wounds garnering future yields? What is it inside myself that I hate so deeply that it pains me to share? Am I actually this monstrous, and my words so shameful?
In these moments, I have to type all of this out to show myself how absolutely ridiculous this train of thought is. I have to remind myself that staying silent, and staying small is standing in direct opposition of my growth as a person and as a writer. In these moments, I force myself to say things that frighten me, and lay out my visceral inclinations, because anything else would be insincere. In these moments, I remember all the hard truths I needed to hear from others in order to make a change for myself, and remind myself that there is always going to be someone out there who needs to hear what I have to say.
In these moments, I need to remind myself that this voice isn’t my own, it’s the product of something far more complex and hideous. Depression often renders me incapable of functional thought; there are times when not only am I unable to leave my room, but I’m unable to move at all for fear of… frankly, I’m still unsure. All I know is that the fear is as heavy and as real as a compression blanket, forcing me to hug my mattress for hours on end. Trauma, too, twists the thought patterns of those who have experienced life altering events. Once a seed is planted, it germinates in the most malicious way, feeding into the narrative that the victim is unworthy of feeling anything but guilt and self-loathing.
I am not famous. I am not big and powerful, or vastly important to throes of people. I don’t command respect just by walking into a room, and some people don’t even smile back at me when I walk down the street. But I have a voice. I am able to relay what I have seen and done, how I was able to change my situation, and how I feel about it. I have a past that I am willing to share with others so that they may find a way to break away from similar circumstances.
I am working up the courage to talk more intimately about the things that I feel need to be talked about. I knew this was going to be a work in progress, and instead of kicking myself for not getting to the point quick enough, I’m taking the time to tell myself, while telling you, that it is okay to feel this scared, and ashamed, and sick when rehashing some really not great things about our pasts. It does not make any of us weak, or small, or unimportant. I don’t have a lot of readers right now; that’s probably a good thing. I’m not really ready for it. Maybe I never will be, and that will ultimately be fine, too. All I can do for now is keep practicing; keep inching out further, and letting on a bit more with each piece I write. At the end of the day, it doesn’t change the things that have happened – just the way I choose to deal with them.