By Erin Kelley, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
“Speaking out” has a different flavor when it comes to the stories of survivors of domestic violence. It takes on an urgency and potential for danger. Yet, we commonly think of speaking out as talking with someone or telling a story. But what about the written process of communicating our stories?
You might think: I’m not a writer, I don’t have anything to say, nobody would want to read this. All of these are common thoughts when it comes to writing. But storytelling doesn’t need to be a formal process. In fact, it’s often better if it’s not. It can be a completely private happening, or you can choose to share what you write.
You own your words, and only you can decide if you want to share them or not.
The format of your writing might influence how you decide. A journal is my number one way to record my thoughts and feelings. And it goes beyond mere recording. The ritual of opening my journal, selecting my favorite pen, and writing about my life is sacred to me, and it opens a channel to something greater than words.
What comes out ranges from mundane reports on what I had for dinner to tearful diatribes about pain and trauma. I let it be what it needs to be. I’m not always profound, and my journal reflects that. But when I need to vent, it’s a reliable outlet that is completely mine.
Your story might be one you want to share. In that case, maybe you already have an idea of what you have to say. You can get ideas about how to express your story from listening to how you speak, if poetry speaks to you, or maybe you could write a song. Ideas can come from anywhere and can turn into any form.
Maybe you want to share what you write on Facebook, in an email to a friend, or in a post to a web forum for survivors. Maybe you want to write a book about your experiences that you publish for a wider audience. The important thing is to stay open to the possibilities.
More often than not, my writing teaches me something new about my thoughts and feelings. The subconscious reveals itself more easily when I set pen to paper or let my fingers fly across the keyboard.
Remember this: You don’t need to be a writer to write. You just need a story to tell.
Erin received her Master of Education in Counselor Education from the University of Florida with specialized training in marriage and family and Gestalt therapies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, meditation, live music, and time with her dog Luna. You can read more at www.lifeisnowblog.blogspot.com.