For the longest time, I didn’t think I had a story. No major traumas, no near death experiences, no escaping from a cult or whatever else makes an “amazing” story. I thought I was too ordinary to have a story that anyone would want to know about. Ordinary compared to what?
That was the problem, I was comparing myself and my story to others. Trauma is relative, and because I had grown up under a veil of shame I don’t even think I realized I had traumas for the longest time. Living with that much shame is a trauma in itself I think, but I’ll get into that in another post.
Another aspect of my hesitancy is that I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t want to be seen or labeled as a victim by anyone else because I don’t feel like one, at least not anymore. Sometimes, when I think about telling my story, I imagine other moms reading it thinking “oh that poor girl, if only…” focusing on how tragically pathetic I was and how I needed to be saved. I don’t want anyone’s pity. I just want to be seen. I want others to be able to read my story and realize that the kid, teenage girl, or the young woman, they are secretly or not so secretly judging––assuming she knows she’s wasting her potential, or assuming she’s making stupid choices on purpose––is maybe just floundering around in life, feeling invisible and in need of some love and guidance. She doesn’t need your pity, she needs your authenticity.
I just believed that all the stuff that happened to me or the things I experienced in my life were a result of my own clueless naivete and that if I hadn’t been so stupid none of it would have happened. And maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t disqualify me from having a story and needing to tell it. After all, I’ve learned from it, maybe someone else can too.