I was at a neighborhood party the other night, and a number of people congratulated me on signing with a publisher.
I had lunch with a friend from business school whom I hadn’t seen in decades, and he mentioned he was excited for me that the book was coming out. (And that he had no idea of my past, my background, when we were in school together. “You think you know someone,” he said. “You really don’t.”)
I’ve recently had a few friends who are mentioned in the book, whom I’ve recently re-found, read the book. And cry over some of what happened.
It’s getting real.
Now, obviously I wouldn’t have written a memoir if I wasn’t willing – and eager – to tell my story. I still see it as a “memoir of hope,” and my hope is that my story will give hope to others who suffer and struggle. There are so many kids who grew up in the Church who endured so much pain and trauma. So much confusion and challenge. There are so many people throughout the world who have endured so much – who have so many scars and need so much love.
My hope is that, somehow, the story of my journey will give other people hope for their journey. That the beauty and joy I’ve learned to search for – and I’ve found – can inspire others to search for what they need. And to find it.
I know I still have a long path until the book is a book. But it’s really getting real. And that’s really weird. Wonderful and weird.
The paradox of abuse – the desire to shout it from the mountain tops, while at the same time you long to hide it (and yourself) from everyone. The paradox of trauma – you somehow learn to not love yourself as if your very lacking is what caused the trauma to occur. Or perhaps, to somehow take responsibility for the trauma – and in my case to usually take responsibility for everything – so that you feel some semblance of control.
I want to share my story, and shout my joy, from the mountaintop. And I want to crawl inside myself in case someone thinks I’m “too full of myself” because I want to share my story. “It wasn’t that bad,” I hear myself chide myself. “Other people had it much worse.”
It’s like a jail I lock myself in, at times. “I’m messed up because of what happened to me, and I’m messed up because I think what happened to me was bad, when other people had it much worse.” It’s a mind game that trauma can inflict on you, as if to keep its hold on you.
“You’re only as sick as your secrets,” I learned years ago. Another saying that helped save my life. I offered that same thought to one of my re-found friends just the other day. “Tell your secret,” I said. “Let it out. Let it go. Don’t let it eat you up anymore.”
I’m telling my secrets (even though my brother says I remember them incorrectly). I’m telling my story. The book will come out next year, and people know that.
It’s getting real. It’s really weird.
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