The Experiment: Day 13 ~ Find A Way To Tell Your Story…

I have been coming to this very slowly. For anyone who has read this blog for the last 10 years you know that I have been honest and gone deep with things, I have written about long-term childhood sexual abuse, mental illness, coming out a lesbian at midlife, but I never quite told the whole story. I have finally realized, as I read the books and listen to the other women writing memoir today who are telling the truth, in brave and amazing ways, and seeing how much they help people all over the world that what the world needs now is truth. Too many people are hiding in the shadows, filled with shame, and their whole lives are affected by this. This might not seem like a “search for happiness” post but I can tell you right now that telling the truth, the whole truth, telling my story, could help a lot of people, I believe. And finally I can hide until I die or I can tell my story and just get on with it. Finally telling the whole truth will as if being able to take an albatross from around my neck, will perhaps allow me to put it down and walk lighter on this earth. I have written all around it for years but that’s not good enough. Parts of it may shock people, I may lose some readers, but I think I will be able to move forward in a way I never have. I am no biblical scholar but there is something that has been quoted to me in the past and I read it again just the other day. “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked…” And the way I took that line, in my own life now, is take up your pen and write. It’s now or never. If not, why not? If not now, when?”

And what if it’s a book that never gets published? Well, I believe I will be made whole, in many ways, by telling my story. If it gets published that will be wonderful if it can be a vehicle to help others. If it doesn’t it will have been important for me to write it in any case. One of the reasons I have never written the whole story is that my childhood memories, in large part, are gone. It is not unusual with long term abuse that the child dissociates and later the childhood is like a black hole, much of it forgotten, the good along with the bad. I was once at a week-long writing retreat with Natalie Goldberg, I was really enjoying it until the day that she asked us to write about 5th grade. After a few minutes I left the room crying. I couldn’t remember a single thing about 5th grade, or most of the years in gradeschool. I don’t remember who my teachers were, or what we did, or what I was doing in my life in general. Gone, it’s all gone. The good memories that I do have are precious and dear to me, and things like the post I wrote the other day about childhood memories, childhood toys, all of that, well it just lights me up. Because when I remember one thing I remember others. Many people shared wonderful memories of childhood, and toys that, oh gracious, I had completely forgotten about! And it sparked other sweet memories for me that made me so happy. By the same token my childhood memories are like a field filled with landmines, I have always been afraid that if I tried too hard to remember the good things the bad things would come along with them. But I’m 63 now, I’ve got a lifetime of therapy under my belt from 18 on. I’m on my way to therapy today. I have the help and support I need to get through it, I know that now, and those years, set the stage for everything that would come in my life thereafter. My childhood, though there were indeed wonderful things, cast long shadows into the rest of my life that would effect my marriage, the raising of my children, leaving the marriage, and, coupled with the mental illness that grew and grew as I got older, caused me to make choices that I deeply regret, that hurt me, and others, that led me to the very hard place I’m in today. If I don’t tell it all, how will I ever move past it?

Writing the true story of our lives doesn’t seem as though it would fit with this search for happiness, and I will not be writing it, except perhaps peripherally now and again, on this blog in this series. It needs to be held close as I write it, but it will be healing me, and only with a healed heart will I find happiness. And that’s the point of all of this anyway. I knew that when I started this 365 Day Search that it wouldn’t be all butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes we have to clearcut a field full of weeds before we can find our way to the yellow brick road. I can’t paste a smile on my face and keep writing lighthearted things for the next year if I am really serious about this search, and I am. And that will mean that there will be days like yesterday’s post, “Meerkat Days.” And there will be posts like this, when I am finding my way through the rubble so I can see the light. But it’s all part of the journey and I am learning what it is and how to do it along the way.

For those of you who have been here with me since the start and those who will find me somewhere along the way I thank you, you are so important to me, so very appreciated. I hope you will be present still, I hope you will feel safe to share your own hearts in the comments, we are in this together. Let’s do this, shall we? It’s time.

 

 

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: 
Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda

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Comments

  1. Claudine Denert says:

    Dear Maitri, I will be with you all the way. I know how hard it can be to get to the complete story… I am still searching for the words and images for mine. Sometimes we are fighting against ourselves to get to the black holes. I have found mine, with enough help along the way. Trying to be honest, true and authentic, and close to the real me is only a very recent thing. And sometimes it can feel like being near a crash, but I do believe in getting past that point. Putting of the masks and shame or whatever… I am sure you can do it… You will get there, step by step… ❤️❤️❤️

    • Thank you so much Claudine honey, I know you are here with me each and every day and I love you so much and I appreciate your friendship so much. And we have to just continue to be honest, true, and authentic as you say, the masks and the shame are soul-killers. It’s time to heal as best we can and move forward. We can hold hands along the way… 🙂

  2. Write your story. Many will be with you as you do.

  3. Do whatever feels best for you, while you’re looking for the light. You write so beautifully. Hugs and much love to you. x

    • Thank you so much darling Jenny, you are so kind and I appreciate you being here with me so much. Bless you honey and a hug and much love to you too… 🙂

  4. <3 <3 one day at a time it will be awesome

    • Thank you so much Suzy, and that’s the only way any of us can do it, one day at a time. Thank you so much for being here. May you be blessed… 🙂

  5. you know i believe wholeheartedly in the “wisdom of the pen.” writing is liberating, healing, and sharing that journey is a gift. we are all one humanity. we suffer and rejoice, we wallow in sadness, we lift up to the light. all our stories put together are simply a vast library of human literature. so, go to it, maitri. fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, poetry, quotes, you know how to mix and match. you’ve practiced for a long time. so yes, don’t hold back.

    xo
    ka

    • Thank you so much Katya, that means so much to me coming from you. I talked to my therapist about it today and she thinks it’s a good idea too. One step, one word at a time. I am on my way. I love you honey…

  6. Over the years that I’ve been reading your blog posts you have become part of my day. Write as you see fit. I’m not going anywhere 😊

    • Oh thank you so much Moira, that means so much to me. I’m so happy and grateful that you are here with me. I’m sending you a great big hug! <3

  7. Good for you Maitri for seeing this next brave step to take. My wish for you is that it serve whatever best purpose it can as you work your way through.

    • Thank you so much Joan honey, your good thoughts and wishes mean the world to me. Thank you for being here. It feels really lovely to have you here, and I appreciate it so much. Much love to you….

  8. Maitri, Do you have any counsel on interruptions and the writing life? Im not sure what to do. I would be asking my father this question but I lost him last October. How do you handle the normal interruptions in your professional life?

    • Shelly, I would like to be able to help but I’m not sure what you mean? What kind of interruptions? These days I struggle with mental illness and it can be hard for me to get the job done, but I persist until I do. It’s the reason I am doing this project, to make myself do it, I won’t go to bed at night without getting up a post even if it’s something small, short and simple. But I also wrote when I was raising and homeschooling my children. I would get up really early before they were up to write, and my husband would watch the kids so I could write. Life just IS a continuous series of interruptions if you see what I mean so I think perhaps I’m not understanding you honey. Are these particular kind of interruptions? Sorry not to be more helpful, I think perhaps I’m not really sure what you’re asking?

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