So, as per my usual habit, I have stayed away from writing here largely because I am afraid. Afraid of what? You might be wondering.
Afraid of not saying the right things?
Afraid I will say too much? Too little?
Afraid of being mocked, heckled or shamed like no one has ever been shamed in the history of all mankind?
Or maybe I'm afraid that - once I type it and hit 'publish' - it will all be out there in black and white, permanently etched upon the slippery insides of the elusive, darting cloud we call the Internet, from whence it can never be fully retrieved.
...Perhaps I'm afraid of all of the above, but actually, mostly none.
What I'm really afraid of more than anything else, is the intensity of what I feel when I write. It is an emotion - no, a pile of emotions - that are altogether too close to what you feel in your most dramatic of real-life moments; the kind you wish you could remember forever...
...As well as the ones you wish you could just forget.
All through my early twenties I was SO proud because I had this ridiculous running tally of how long I had gone without crying. As if that were some sort of super-human accomplishment. I would raise my chin just a little too high and say, "I haven't cried in (x amount of) years..." and look around peripherally to see whether I'd stricken my intended chord of awe and inspiration.
What's funny is, I don't remember ever noticing that anyone was impressed. Rather, to the eye of my recollection they all appear bored and a little annoyed maybe. Hm.
The fact is, in my mid-twenties I turned my entire life around and with it, I discovered that it was a good thing to cry. At first I released it all in a torrential flood and thought I would never, ever stop. I cried over my soon-to-be ex-husband, what I thought we could have, would have, should have had... I cried over how devastated my daughter was destined to be her entire life because of the changes I was making (while realizing that if I didn't make those changes she would be just as traumatized if not all the more.)
I cried because I hadn't cried for so long, I had half a lifetime of tumultuous, riotous, and ultimately horrifying memories that NEEDED to be cried over. Those memories are too bad to forget, though. They have to be written about.
And I know this and that is why I have to tackle this fear thing that rears up each time I near a keyboard.
Today, my life is wonderful in all its day-to-day glory. I have an amazing husband and all my children - including said daughter - have turned out more beautifully than I could ever imagine or even come close to taking credit for (I give the credit all to them and God.)
And I get on my knees every morning and every night and I thank Him that I get to have this life; the kind where you get to be annoyed because your husband leaves hair all over the bathroom sink when he shaves, where you get to yell at your kids because they just walked on your newly cleaned floors after traipsing all over the newly fertilized front lawn.
But in all its normalcy and regular-ness, today's life of mine is not complete. No, not at all. Because I've become a procrastinator in the worst way.
Tell me something. If you had experienced the equivalent of 300 years in your short 30-something life, wouldn't you think it fair that you share what you'd learned with those out there who are born into similar circumstances? So that they might make it out of the pain earlier than you did?
So that they'd be armed with the knowledge that "someone else in the world gets me; she's been there."
Maybe I'm just being cocky and thinking I've got so much to offer and people will read my stories and say, "Pfft. That didn't happen/can't happen/couldn't have happened to someone like her, at least." And so they will walk away without hitting 'share' and sending it to their friends so that some girl, somewhere out there, who is going through abuse, torture, being held against her will, whatever atrocity has got her... So she won't ever get to learn that she's not alone and she can save herself.
Well it's not being cocky. At least, I don't see it that way. The Lord was the One who was there with me through it all and I give all the credit to Him. Maybe a teensy bit to myself. But I'm not doing Him or my experience, my stories any justice, not doing anyone any good in return, if I don't tell them out loud.
My stories cry to be heard. They beg and plead with me each night as I toss and turn, shock me awake in cold sweats of panic. If I don't tell them, I stand responsible if someone out there feels like she should just give her situation one more chance. One more try.
And what if it's her last?
If she could have stumbled across a story on Pinterest or Twitter, about a girl in a similar situation who GOT STRONG and TOOK CHARGE of her life? But she didn't stumble across it and now she's just another statistic?
Uh-uh. I don't give a shizzle what ANYBODY thinks. I'm doing it.
I WILL write my stories and publish them and get them out there, far and wide, the best I can. And there it is.