Why am I here while my brothers are not? Why did all that awful stuff happen to me if I did not deserve it? To us? Why does it happen to so many?
And then Oprah’s Life Class questions came up again. Am I stuck on my story? Do I expect people to feel sorry for me? What do I want to accomplish by sharing my stories? What do I know?
I want to harm no one.
I want to help girls and women whose lives may mirror mine in some ways. I also extend that to men who might relate to my writings too; my brother Steve encouraged me with this.
I want to listen with all my senses. I value confidentiality and never betray that trust. I am the keeper of many stories and will guard them always. I know those friends whom I trusted protect mine as fiercely.
I want to trigger no one in crisis. That is a huge concern for me.
I want to answer my incredible need to tell my full story. I need my perspective known so I can live out whatever is left of this life God gave me.
I want everyone to know that this is not about me at all. This is my vocation and, as a friend wrote to me several months back, it is an honourable one. There is no need for shame.
I want to further my understanding of what took me from a bright-eyed little girl with a love of words, reading, and Brownies, to a teenager who maimed and killed herself, but emergency doctors revived. “You’re okay,” the psychiatrist said. “You’re just trying to make sense out of the madness all around you.”
I told some of these stories many years ago and then re-told them. My memories pieced themselves together over time. Also, after multiple traumatic events, it took me a long time to develop the required social skills to talk at all, let alone keep myself safe. I continued my one-on-one relationship with a therapist; with this, and my continued education (eventually including university), my ability to express myself increased proportionately.
My purpose, then, is to continue doing exactly what I am as I write.