STORIES

from our community

This is a space for stories about writing. A space for us to be inspired and encouraged by each other, where we can take a first step and share a story.

How it works:

– Submit your story using the form below.
– We are deeply honoured for each and every story that we receive. We won’t be able to publish all of them, but every story is read by our team.
– If your submission is long we might need to shorten it a bit before publishing.

– All stories are by default published anonymously, using a ficticious name. If you are a professional working within the field of trauma we might contact you to ask for your permission to share about your work to our community.
– We do not publish or share email adresses.

Submit a story. Let writing open a new door for you. And please share this page with anyone you think it might be inspiring and helpful for.

With love,
Åsa, Anna, Åsa-Saga, Anna.

Submit Your Story

“I’ve been living in silence for so long. Too long. My daughter is getting ready to head off for university next year and I can’t protect her. I can’t even find the words to tell her what happened to me, because I’ve had to swallow my voice and my shame for decades. I need to tell her, but I’m afraid of taking away her freedom from fear.

And yet I look at the state of the world – at the crushing of women’s rights, women’s bodies, women’s voices, and I just feel such utter despair. I’m tired of despair. I’m tired of hiding in an attempt to feel safe, but I’m so scared to come out into the light. There has to be a better way to live than this, a way to talk about it without being crushed by the weight of it. Without feeling again like a terrified little girl whose rights, voice, and body don’t matter. Not even to other women.

I need help, and it kills me to admit it because it makes me vulnerable. But I know deep in my heart that what happened to me is what’s holding me back, stifling my confidence. How can I teach my children to be confident when I’m afraid to tell my story?”

– DIANA

“I’m tired of feeling ashamed. I’m tired of the fact that girls and women, and sometimes boys and men, feel an inner and outer pressure to hold these things inside. I want to be a voice for them and for me.”

– MOLLY

“I am on a journey to find my voice, to find the song in my heart, to find my worth as a valuable member of humanity who suffers from bipolar, has been physically and mentally abused and has subsequently abused myself.

I am in need of guidance. I have spent countless hours journaling but when it comes to writing anything declarative I freeze. All the words dancing in my head come to a halt and slip back into the dark abyss. I feel like I have so much to say and give to the world, but the words are just shirking in the dark corners.

Desperately I hope that there is a voice in me, creative and engaging, vibrant and strong, that is just waiting for a safe and encouraging space to come to the surface and put the voice of shame to rest. There is so much trauma and destruction to name and put into words. By naming, I believe I can begin to take away it’s power.”

– SIA

”My daddy was in the Army for 20 years. We moved around a lot; we moved every three years, packing and unpacking. I have not ever known normal. Society and families did not talk of or speak about sexual abuse of any sort in the 70s, so when this started, I thought we were playing a game. That’s what my brother started with, he made it a game of touching. It never dawned on me that this was inappropriate, even though it made me feel wrong. The older I got, the more my body matured, the more he passed me around to the neighborhood boys of different races, nationalities, origins, and cultures to pay for his drug habit. I thought the only thing I was good for was what was between my legs. I socially withdrew. I then contracted chronic UTI’s (urinary tract infections). I told the doctor, she didn’t believe me. She said I was angry and I should not tell lies.

One particular afternoon, one of my brother’s friends was headed back home from the river and I asked for a ride home. He obliged, and I knew I would probably have to pay him back with ‘what I had between my legs’. So, before we left the river, I crawled back into his truck and proceeded to remove my clothing. I saw the look of horror on his face and said it was what I was supposed to do. He made me put my clothes back on, we had a very long discussion about sex, families, right and wrong. At that moment, he jumped out of his truck and proceeded to beat the crap out of my brother. I’m pretty sure my brother got the message, because the abuse stopped immediately.

I kept others at distance. I was told I was unworthy of affection, ugly, no one would want me because I was to blame for this abuse, I brought it all on myself, etc. My brother wanted me to carry the blame for his dirty deeds as well as his baggage. My own family wanted me to be the scapegoat for everyone and everything. I married 3 times because of the abuse. He claims he never touched another person after me, well, he shouldn’t have touched me to begin with. That’s what he doesn’t get. I will never regain my virginity. I will never visit my mom and dad’s house. It is not a safe environment for me.

I have given it to God, it’s not worth my time or energy. I have better things to do. I have my own children and you can bet they have been educated on worthiness, love, affection, education, and right and wrong. My fourth husband is amazing. He supports me, advocates for me, stands beside me, and has cast a light on the dysfunction of the past that I no longer live in.”

– SUSANNA

”I have suffered from sexual abuse and from violence. I am still hurting. When I was young I wrote lots of poems, It really helped me, but now when I try to write my story it is too hard for me. I think that I need to write down my memories and my feelings to heal.”

– LAURA

“Writing has been my companion throughout my entire life, like a good friend or mentor. I wrote and wrote, until the day came when I no longer could find the words for the shame I felt about the relationship I was in. I was terrified that someone would read it and judge me for the situation I had wound up in. Or even worse, that my partner would read it and punish me for my words.

Not even after I had left the relationship was I able to write down what I’ve been subjected to. Hidden trauma, but not forgotten. The memories haunt me in nightmares, in panic attacks and a heighted sense of vigilance.

But now something has happened. I have finally been able to ask for help, and am currently in trauma treatment. My goal is to be able to put feelings, thoughts and memories into words. So that it finally can become my history – not my every-day or my future.”

– FRANSESCA

”I’m here to share my story of ending my stigma surrounding my bipolar disorder. I stand in the school cafeteria in front on the entire school staff. I had tried to return to teaching, but it caused me to start to relapse. I now know that my teaching career is over. I ask my principal if I can come to school and speak to the staff; I want to say goodbye in person.

I step into the building with a combination of anxiety and pride welling up inside me. I pick up my head and walk through the cafeteria doors knowing all eyes will be on me. The principal announces that I am there to speak to the staff. I stand up and say: ’Hi everyone. It’s nice to see all of you. I’m here to say goodbye. I will not be returning to work or teaching. I live with bipolar, and I’ve been managing it with medication and my doctor and therapist for years, but the disease has taken a turn for the worse, and I can no longer work. Out of all my 20 years of teaching, this school has been one of my favorite places to work. I have enjoyed working with you for 9 years; you are an exceptional group of people to teach with. Thanks everyone.’

As I start to gather my things everyone starts clapping and smiling. I feel so proud of myself for ending my stigma and telling my truth. With my head held high, I walk to my car and get inside and exhale. I did it. I’m not ashamed of my mental illness anymore. I ended my stigma.”

– FANNY

“Four years ago I packed my bag and stepped into the local social welfare office. I had just turned 18 and had been counting down to this day since I was 12. That same week I was given protected identity, had to change my name and move into a house for girls who had suffered ’honour’-based violence. Since then I’ve tried, I’ve tried writing, and I’ve raged a million times over because I haven’t been able to write my story. I want to write about what it’s like to leave – not because you’re going somewhere but because you’re running from something.

I need tools that will help me turn this writing into a healing process, and that will motivate me to see it through to the end, rather than just leave drafts and crumbled pieces of paper all over my apartment.”

– DALIA

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