Finding the Volume of my Voice

I was invited to and attended a luncheon this past Saturday for trauma survivors. There were ten amazing women aged 20-69 who sat together and shared (as much as we were comfortable) our experiences, talked about our healing and learned about trauma-informed leadership. Most of us didn’t know each other, and the facilitator made it a safe, respectful and comfortable environment.  We each had up to three minutes at the beginning to stand up, introduce ourselves, share what we wanted about our story and talk about what we would like to bring to the survivor community in any form of advocacy.

Some of the brave women shared in some detail their traumatic story. My elevator speech is,  “I’m was a victim of unimaginable abuse for the first 20 years of my life, followed by 17 years of threats to stay silent. I live with complex PTSD, and my goal is to be a voice that begins the conversation about PTSD and help end the stigma of living with an invisible illness.” I don’t ever go into detail about the abuse that happened to me. It triggers me and it may trigger others or worse they may compare their trauma to mine.

This Wednesday I’m going to talk to a book club about my book Untangled. I’m very excited to be invited and meet and talk with the women in this book club. It’s going to be an interactive evening and I’m thrilled to answer their questions. I’m also aware that I may have to gently explain that I’m not comfortable answering a question if it gets to personal. I have no problem doing that, but sometimes, I have to make sure I check myself so I’m not declining to answer a question from a place of defensiveness.

The third event I have this month is, I’m co-teaching a class on using creativity as a tool for personal growth and healing. Again, I’m thrilled to teach this class. It’s in my wheelhouse of things I love to present and I love to see participants create and explore.

As I find myself getting involved in more opportunities where I’m in a position of speaking my truth, writing honestly and openly on this blog, preparing to write another book, and trying to live a more authentic life I’m struck by the notion that I need to control the volume that I want for my voice. I literally went from hiding in the shadows 12 months ago, to sometimes being front and center.

I have learned a lot the past year. I know what I will and won’t do as far as speaking engagements, book signings, writing opportunities and advocacy work. I let myself use this past year as a learning experience and rarely turned anything or anyone down. I’ve been very fortunate in the opportunities that come my way, and I’m grateful for the enormous support I’ve received.

I’m comfortable with the volume of my voice right now. I don’t have aspirations to be the biggest voice in the world of mental health support/advocacy. I do, however, feel that my low, steady volume is what suits me the best. I’m a believer that a ripple is what affects the change. I want to continue to be the ripple. I want to continue to be accessible to those who contact me through email, my blog, my facebook page, and through reading Untangled.

The facilitator at the luncheon last Saturday, asked us to write on a sticky note what we wanted to do for other survivors after what we had learned today. My answer was, the title of this post, I want to find the volume of my voice. I don’t know if the volume will change, maybe it will increase slightly, maybe not. But I know for sure, my voice will never be silenced again.

filling up

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

 

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28 thoughts on “Finding the Volume of my Voice

  1. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for that wonderful review!!! Im in your corner cheering you on. When your book is released I will be ordering it as soon as you let me know its ready. 💕💕💕 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow thank you so much for your
    supportive words Linda. They really do touch me in ways that I needed this morning. Yes, its definitely hard to put ourselves out there. For me I came to a place where I was clear about why I wanted to release the book. It sounds like you have come to a place in your life where you are comfortable (as comfortable as ee can be) and are ready to write and release your book. Thank you for reading my book. I really appreciate it. Im thrilled that you are considering a review on Amazon. I think I need one more 5 star review and it hits the magic number where its easier to find for people who are looking for a book on PTSD, etc. which, for me will be both a humbling and celebratory time. So glad we have connected through our blogs. 😀 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am inspired by you, Alexis. My own memoir of surviving extreme trauma and abuse has been a work in progress for many, many years. I was in my twenties when I first tried to put my story in writing, but I really wasn’t ready. Today I am in my sixties and the urgency I feel to speak my truth while I still can is very strong. But writing about these things, even after all these years, is HARD.

    Since reading Untangled, I have been telling myself “If Alexis can do it, I can do it.”

    I read your book about a month ago and I’ve yet to leave a review, because I could not find the words. I believe I just found them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank You Ruth-Anne your comment means the world to me. I love connecting with people who are also trying to figure when, who and what to talk about. To me its a fine line to learn to walk. To be relateable, interesting, teach something AND not get triggered is quite a dance. I will be interested to hear how it goes when you get to do another speaking engagement. Take good care! 💕 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m inspired by your survival, process of sharing and strength. This piece is especially meaningful and helpful as I’m at the very start of finding my voice. I was invited to speak at a conference this Fall and spent almost two months preparing, noticing the old familiar ‘voiceless terror’ coming up, then slowly fading. Yesterday I got un-invited as the workshop was cancelled. I live by faith and am trusting there’s a good reason and when the time is right I’ll get to share. I loved reading this piece…solid self reflection. I also use humor to cope and thought of Austin Powers…imagine if we shouted our survival stories? Maybe god feared I’d get up there and be too loud and awkward so he saved me the embarrassment 😉 All the best in your continued process.

    Liked by 2 people

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