Fresh from my current read, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D…
I’ve always had an obsession with stories. Movies and books… even people. What’s the story?
In some part, I think it was a coping mechanism or survival skill. I looked forward to laying in my bed at night because that’s when I would create or “edit” stories in my head. They were always hard stories. Stories of people going through hard things, but coming out on the other side. They always made it to the other side.
It wasn’t until recently that I put some pieces together to understand why this was such an important thing to me. Last month I went to see a movie with some friends: The Fablemans. Early in the movie, the younger character sees a film depicting a tragic train wreck and is in shock. He soon becomes obsessed with reenacting and recording this scene and his parents are baffled, trying to understand. Finally his mother gets it. I can’t remember nor can I find the exact quote, but she comments on how he needs to do what he’s doing to control the chaos and make sense of it. When I heard that I literally teared up in the theater. Yes. Finally someone understood. Finally I understood. Manipulating the stories in my head gave me some way of control and a way to make sense of the world.
Adam Young is a beautiful resource for this. He is a therapist with a podcast and speaks of the importance of telling your story. And I’ve got to say, I agree. Your story is a part of your healing. Write it out. Nitty-gritty details. The five senses. Remember all of it. Beginning, middle, and end. Put it to paper. Make it concrete. Get it out of the abstract of your head and bring it into your current reality. Then look at it. Read it. Remember your own story. And then you are able to recognize that it’s over. It happened but it is not still happening.
You are healing. Your heart is being made whole. It’s why you’re here, seeking out community and trying to understand. Even if it doesn’t feel that way.
And I say it again. Know your story. Own your story. And share your story.
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