It doesn’t matter as much what Maria’s family thinks, but the fact that despite what her uncle did to her when she was twelve, she found the guts to tell her story.
It wasn’t easy. She told me how her father accused her of being a liar and her mother called her trouble-maker. Her abuser flat out denied what he had done. Her sisters accused her of thinking she was special. “Why didn’t he do anything to us, why are you so special?”
Maria stuck with her story even though no one else wanted to listen. She felt very lonely as she grew older and distanced herself from her family as soon as she became an adult. The pain of not being supported and believed affected her marriage and even her ability to find a career. When she became pregnant, she even questioned her ability to love her child. This is what sometimes happens when someone grows up in a family lacking respect and honesty.
When her baby girl was three months old, Maria had an epiphany. She looked at her daughter sleeping peacefully, trusting her as the mother to care for her. Maria realized she was the one to lead the way and protect her daughter. That’s when she decided to tell her story to someone who might listen. She stared with her husband. Then she found a counselor. Next, she found a woman’s support group where she told her story.
That day, the first time Maria told her story to a group of women, was the day she knew she was finally healing. Other women came up to her and told her how brave she was and how they had suffered a similar situation. One woman even thanked her for telling her story so she could find the courage to tell hers. This is what happens when we tell our stories, we illuminate the path for someone else.
The narcissist will say you’re telling your story to get attention or revenge. This is because that’s how an abuser thinks. Most empaths don’t think like the narcissist and that’s how they were able to use us in the first place—because we care about people and have real hearts that can be broken.
I’ve even had to deal with this in my own life. Long before my memoir was published, family members accused me of lying and embellishing. One said all I wanted was attention. Someone else said, “She just wants to be popular.” The truth is I have always had a few true friends. I don’t need attention and I have no dreams of being popular. What I wanted was to stop hiding the truth of my life. I wanted to live free and stop feeling ashamed for my father’s choices.
So if you are like Maria and me, and someone made fun of you for telling the truth of what happened to you, take a moment and think about those crazy accusations. Listen hard! Each of these accusations is a form of gaslighting. They say it to make you feel you are somehow flawed for wanting to be whole. For wanting to share what happened to you. They want you to think you don’t deserve to use your voice.
When my book was finally published, the first thing I thought was no one can take away my voice now!
We tell our stories to let our voices be heard.
We tell our stories to refute the lies the narcissist used to silence us.
We tell our stories because we had good times as well as bad times and they all formed the person we are today.
We tell our stories to light the way for others who are struggling to give them hope.
We tell our stories because every time we tell it, every time we share a book, every time we sign our names, we are reminded that this is our story and we are free!
If you’re working on your memoir, keep in mind, that writing and publishing will change your life—it might not make you rich, it might never be read by the narcissist, it might never make you famous—but you don’t need all these things to be free. Freedom comes with living authentically.
This change I’m talking about is an internal change. Since I published my book Chasing Eden a Memoir, I not only sleep better but I lost 45 lbs! This was due to an internal change—I stopped eating my pain. I finally spoke my truth and became free! And it’s just as true for you!
Peace and freedom!
PS I’ve been signing copies of my book all week for readers. If you’d like an autographed copy, I still have a few left at $20 per book or 2 books for $30 with free shipping. This is a good time to order if you want it before Christmas. Just send me a message and we can work it out.
And you can always order online here.