My Truth not The Truth

My truth not The truth! A matter of semantics? Maybe?

I’m presenting at a trauma conference next Saturday and finishing up the final touches of my presentation. I’m going to be talking about healing with courage and resilience in the face of PTSD. I will speak about my path to accepting the truth, the effects of my trauma, how I’m learning to live with my symptoms and my healing process.  I hope to convey to others, to remember and notice those perfect moments in each day (especially the really trying days), celebrate each step towards health and to understand Its a long and never linear process.

As I have been writing and practicing my talk, I noticed something that I had never been able to verbalize before. Really, I’m not sure it was even in my consciousness until now. I speak about how my long repressed memories were rising quickly to the surface, and how I would forget them, remember them, forget them, until I learned to forget how to forget and I could begin processing my past. I talk about how whenever I would remember something, nothing inside of me would ring untrue about it. I knew the times when I was off in recalling something because I had that niggling, “I’m not sure if that’s quite right” feeling and would express it. But as a whole, the events of my past were the truth. I talk about how I wish, even though it would be uncomfortable and embarrassing, that my therapist would have told me I have some sort of fictitious disorder, but that wasn’t the case. What I was recalling was the truth.

Throughout my talk, I speak about accepting the truth of my past, and the many tools we used in therapy to help me cope with the distress. When I talk about using writing as one of my tools, and especially when I start to share the process of writing and publishing my memoir, I began to notice that I change the words to, I was writing My Truth, not The Truth. I share how I was compelled to publish Untangled and how it felt when it was published because, for me, I knew no one could take My Truth away from me again.

I realized what a huge difference for me distinguishing between those two ways of saying it meant. I think I was often able to dissociate a bit from the horror of my past by saying it’s the truth. I would use any method available to perform those mental gymnastics to give me a bit of denial space.  But when I turned the corner and owned my past, I no longer put a scrim between myself and my truth.

For some it may be a matter of semantics, for me, while preparing for my talk on Saturday, I discovered a kernel of healing that I had never acknowledged before. So just like I’m trying to convey to the audience by suggesting they celebrate each step towards health. I am stopping to write and post about this. My celebration towards health. My Truth!

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9 thoughts on “My Truth not The Truth

  1. atribeuntangled February 8, 2016 / 3:08 am

    Thank You so much for your feedback. Its a strange and surreal thing for me to share my story in public but it went well and I sold some books too.
    Im glad some of the words I wrote resonated with you too. Its such a slow process and I can be so impatient.
    It helps that we are all here to support each other.
    Have a great evening,
    Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Self.Truth.Beauty. February 8, 2016 / 1:49 am

    I love that you presented at the trauma conference. You have so much of importance to say. I love what you shared about what you were going to say in your presentation.

    In sharing your unique story, universal truths emerge. And you have a gift for expressing the details of your process. I am learning that in trauma recovery, as with many other things in life, “the importance is in the details”. Your details are helpful to me. Thank you.

    I need reminding that it’s a long and never linear process — I’m impatient (I suppose, just like my parents were with me, and like the production oriented mindset of much of our culture). I’m taking baby steps in accepting and integrating my truth into my being, and getting there, slowly. As a society, we are so dissociative to childhood trauma within families (and more so to ritualized abuse) that I find it sometimes seems easier to dissociate from the/my truth of my history. The problem with that is that I suffer as a result. It takes courage, patience, support and the right resources to be able to face the truth.

    Your words about your memories, “… I would forget them, remember them, forget them, until I learned to forget how to forget and I could begin processing my past” resonated. The learning to forget how to forget takes time, for sure, because of all of the conditioning to “group think.” I’m getting there.

    I also find that noticing the sacredness and beauty in the everyday, and celebrating each step towards healing are important resources for me.

    I enjoyed the other comments on this post 🙂

    I hope you enjoyed Florida, Alexis!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura Black February 5, 2016 / 9:56 am

    Just keep breathing. You’ll be great. Let us know how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. atribeuntangled February 5, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Thank You! Its amazing how we can have these Aha moments that bring us clarity as we find our way through the sludge. Thanks for the luck. The butterflies are fluttering!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura Black February 5, 2016 / 9:43 am

    I completely identify with this. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on our uniqueness of experience. Somehow there is a lot of comfort for me in knowing that every person’s experience is unique, their truth is their truth – not the truth. It helps me make sense of feelings of rejection around the abuse I suffered, knowing that nobody in the world will ever totally understand how those memories feel for me. Good luck with your talk, I’m sure you’ll be fab! Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  6. atribeuntangled February 4, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    Thank You do much! Its in Florida..a chance to see sun and NO snow!

    Like

  7. mandybee February 4, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    “until i learned to forget how to forget and i could start processing my past”
    i love this! exactly. it took me an entire 12 months after my traumatic five years to start remembering, minus the occasional flashback or flash of clarity. i had to spend time getting my distance- as far as i could- before it was ‘safe’ enough for me to delve into, process, and heal it.
    you’re awesome and commendable. i wish you strength and light at your convention!
    (where is it?)

    Like

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