Will my honest words stop the bad guys?
I don’t think so.
I’ve been on a journey to uncover the truest parts of myself. I hid too much for too long and when it was time to unveil, when I was in a situation where I was safe and surrounded by love, I pulled the sheet away and nothing was there. I was just a version of myself that I didn’t recognize.
So I set to work.
What is true? What do I believe? What do I value? What brings me to life?
What can I handle and what am I willing to handle? What are my boundaries and who are the types of people I need to set them with?
I sat watching the news that night. Bridges. Cars. Men. Knives. We all know the story. It’s becoming a normal one.
What I felt through hot tears was this: tell the truth. Say all your honest words. Get it all out.
I don’t just mean to tell your loved ones how you feel just in case, although that is always a good idea.
No, what I heard from my soul was, tell your stories.
Tell the truth about the guy who forced himself on you in college. Speak loudly about the magic of falling in love and the absolute guilt of falling out of it. Be honest about the fear that maybe your parents were right and you really don’t deserve all the things you want. Get the true words out about the bad stuff in your life that no one bothered to ask you about, so you just stayed quiet. Watching a friend’s mom get beaten up by her own husband. A work colleague being murdered. The attempted suicides of people in your own family.
Say all the happy things, yes, always, but shout from the rooftops about the bad things too, because that’s where the shame hides and the shame will take root and move right in, guiding your steps for the rest of your life.
I’ve started this process already, you see. October was hard. November was harder. December was impossible.
So my way to survive that, all that I could do, was to tell my stories. I could do that from my bed, writing in my notebook.
I could do that from the bathroom floor, where the cold tiles made my head feel lighter. I could pick up my phone and type my story out.
I could tell the truth in the middle of a panic attack, when someone would ask, “Why are you so sensitive?”
Moment by moment, things from my life got stripped away and all I had were my stories and my words. All I could do was speak. Or type. Or write.
So when that Saturday came around, Bridges. Cars. Men. Knives. all I could think through tears was, keep doing it. Keep going. Keep saying things out loud. Use your words. Say them loud and then write them down. This is your purpose.
Are my words going to stop the bad guys?
No, I don’t think so.
But that’s exactly why it doesn’t matter.
Life is short, yes, so there isn’t room to hide. When you are face to face with a man filled with bad ideas, your words are what gets left in the world. The stories of your life. Tell them.