Writing used to be a kind of therapy for me. I wrote to survive, almost. It was like a lifeline that connected me to reality amidst all the trauma and abuse and confusion that was my daily life…
I used to fill up a journal every 3 months. I needed to process each day’s events on paper in order to feel sane. Writing helped keep me connected to what was real and true. It helped give me strength to stay strong and to not give in to lies, temptation, and manipulation.
I’ve been journaling since I was 6, I believe, although I’ve since lost my earliest journals. When I was 10 I started journalling more seriously, and by the time I was 15 I was completing around 4 journals a year.
Writing was comforting. Helpful. Hopeful. Strengthening. Healing.
But somewhere along the way it became pain. Lots and lots of pain. And it wasn’t because of my words…it was because of the words of others. The written words of others.
It started 6 years ago. I received a 3-page letter from a woman who abused me my whole life, and in it she told me over and over that I deserved to die and be killed. She never would talk to me about it in person or explain what she believed I did that caused her to write such hateful words, but she did use the written word to flood me with verbal abuses of many different kinds…with words that cut me to the heart and nearly broke my spirit entirely. After that the letters became emails, Facebook messages, texts, and cards every now and then…all with messages filled of lies and hate.
In the beginning it was only this one particular woman who sent me hate in the form of writing, but over time her friends and family, who were Christians and non-Christians alike, began contacting me on her behalf, accusing me of terrible things I had never done but that they were convinced, by her words, that I had. I was called terrible names, betrayed, shunned, abandoned by old friends, and even disowned.
Finally, I was wounded to my core. And finally, the association that “writing” had to hate, hurt, lies, cruelty, and terrible things was complete. Finally, what used to be therapeutic and life-giving for me was now nothing but pain. And my life already had so much pain the way it was…how could I willingly let myself endure more?
So I started writing less. And less. And less.
I still made myself write, though. I thought if I forced myself to write and to push through my pain long enough, I’d overcome my desire to never write another word again. But the more I tried…the more I pushed myself…the more I tried to overcome the negative association that writing had become…the more writing hurt me, not less. It was just too associated with terrible things.
I almost gave up writing, and therefore blogging, a dozen times over the last 2 or 3 years. Almost. But God is a healing God and he didn’t give up on the broken state of my heart. He used his Word, years of prayers, Walker, my friend Annelise, my dear Miss Foskett, and a long visit from a sweet soul named Leah to heal my heart and spirit in big ways, and to begin to heal me from the fear I had of writing. Of making new friends. Of vulnerability and condemnation from others. Of verbal attacks and cruelty and lies.
And now I’m finally ready to start over again with writing. For the first time in a long, long time I’m ready to start blogging with new eyes…eyes without the taint of the pain of yesterday.
I know I have a long road of healing still ahead of me, but this is a start. A really, really good start. ❤