What If I Tell My Story?
By Claire Cappetta, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
There was a time when I didn't tell many people of my past, only those who I became close to. It was after I met my husband I started to open up about my past. For the first time I was told I wasn't insane or crazy. He told me bad things happen all the time to good people. Slowly, I started to think maybe he had a point, what if bad things do happen to good people? A bigger question still... What if... I'm actually 'good'? He suggested I write everything down, so very simply, I did, through tears, pain, heartache and grief. By doing this, I found out something about myself—I wasn't a 'bad' person after all. My feelings of isolation and loneliness lifted. Through healing, strength is found, to be able to open up and slowly share your story.
I was having dinner with my husband one evening, we were laughing at the pile of paper sitting in the corner of the room, 'my writings.' He suggested it should be a book, I laughed, “Sure!” He wasn't laughing. It suddenly struck me he was serious. I struggled with it for a while but the same thoughts kept coming back, what if it helped someone else? What if someone else didn't feel isolated and alone as I had? It became a book. It became 'My Story' and as I did more research I found other people just like me, they had stories too! We weren't alone. Each story was unique, different, showing victory over abuse and trauma. In every country around the world, we all have a story of victory over abuse and violence.
I had always believed my 'Story' had started when I was raped at 15, but I was wrong. When I was 22 years old, carrying my first child I fainted, 'blacked out' at least once a day. I fell down stairs, walking, doing simple everyday tasks. The doctors couldn't understand why, sending for all manner of tests, brain wave scans, diets, even a test to put me in a contraption and spin me around in all directions to see if I would pass out, I drew the line and said “No!,” and I had a CT scan.
This last CT Scan experiment on me showed my brain was different. They told me it wasn't a tumor like they thought it might be but there was an area which was 'lit up' by my pituitary gland. They didn't understand why, so they suggested it must be my slow blood circulation. This was 25 years ago, and these days they understand brain patterns much more. When I read an article on PTSD, it showed different brain patterns including one for someone with PTSD. It was lit up just like mine, so further tests now show I'm the proud owner of PTSD. It is mine, my medal, a badge of honor to show I survived trauma and I'm still alive!
When I decided to put my book, A Broken Ring, into print I was told I should start writing a blog. It was frightening at first. I wrote about holidays, happy events, that I was attempting my first book... None of it deep and meaningful, until I found the courage to confess to my readers why I was really writing. I wrote a post called “The Confessions of Me...” I suddenly hit a cord with people! They commented, liked and emailed me privately suddenly sharing their stories! I have made some wonderful new friends now through writing.
One lady came back to the US from living abroad, she was there to connect with her daughters from parental alienation. She had rescued one daughter, bringing her back with her, and now they are finding their new mother/daughter relationship again after too many years apart. She thanked me, saying I had given her the strength to do it, but I believe she found her own strength.
One friend, after reading my book called me on the phone crying, saying now she didn't feel alone anymore, she felt ‘understood.' That phone call made all the hard work and tears worth everything. Even if I never sold another book, I had managed what I had set out to do--help someone feel they are not and were not alone.
Lastly, I was sent an email just the other day, a new friend has just finished her first chapter of her book, and she posted on Facebook that I had given her the courage to do it. She has found a friend to help her with editing and the cover too! While it's always nice to be mentioned, it is her strength, her courage and her amazing journey that will be written and discovered.
I am truly grateful for this journey I am on, to be invited into a warm, loving circle of people understanding and sharing their own unique stories of survival and healing.
Claire is the author of A Broken Ring ~ A journey of Empowerment and Stalking Liberty ~ Are you safe?..., (Parts One and Two of the Ride to Liberty Trilogy). Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, she recently retired from the financial world to concentrate on writing her personal journey through relationships, child abuse, rape, domestic violence, through to healing and empowerment. Although at times heartbreaking it shows healing is possible. The story is heartwarming and inspiring. She now lives in New York with her husband and step-daughter, while her two grown children live in England.
8/7/2014 09:04:37 am
Oh what a story of triumph Claire! I'm struck by your desire to help others with similar histories...I think there is great comfort there. And I am super happy that you found a partner who offers you encouragement...you sure have earned that. Best of luck to you:)
8/7/2014 12:33:35 pm
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have watched a friend struggle with domestic violence through many relationships, and it's very hard for her to open up about it. I know she feels very alone, and your story gives me hope for her!
Claire, I've probably mentioned it before, but your story strikes a chord with me not because of domestic abuse, but because of how I grew up with a bipolar mother. Fear holds us back in so many ways, but sharing is one of the best and most profound ways to approach the healing process.
8/8/2014 12:37:19 am
It's heartwarming when good arises out of bad. What may have started as a cathartic exercise for one, has clearly evolved into a light of hope for many. Congratulations, Claire.
8/8/2014 07:28:27 am
Hi Clair; I think you left a comment on my blog or guest post recently but there wasn't a link to you there. I should have searched you out, so I'm happy to have found you through the bloggers helping bloggers group. you have a great story and it is wonderful when you hear your story is helping other people face their own situation better. best of luck with the book. keep sharing your story. take care my new friend, max
8/8/2014 09:40:35 am
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story Claire. I applaud you for your courage and your introspection. We are who we are because of our experiences, the good and the bad. Trauma forms us in a way that nothing else does. When we can dig deep and celebrate the inner strength we have cultivated to pull ourselves back up from the ashes... to stand tall and proud having cast away the shame... Having the strength to share brings about healing for you and all those who are touched by your story. Thank you!!!
8/16/2014 11:53:32 pm
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