Thoughts for Friday – 13th June 2014

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Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who read or commented on last week’s Thoughts for Friday post. I’ll admit that I was unsure of the response it would receive but I’ve been overwhelmed at how positive and encouraging you all were towards me. Please know that your support has been a major factor in being able to turn my life around, so I thank you all – sincerely.

I guess choosing the above quote for this week’s post seems rather ironic considering that I’ve spent the last few weeks extolling the virtues of not being a prisoner to one’s own past, and yet here I am choosing a quote that speaks of returning to such things. I guess what I can say is that, whereas before I had been firmly stuck in my prison, I’ve now found the courage and confidence to at least get to the doorway of the damn thing that’s held me hostage for most of my life.

For me, this quote rings true because I tend to use writing as a way of working through some of the things that have held me back in the past. Though I am often socially awkward and uncomfortable in the presence of people my own age, when writing I feel myself come alive. Like a butterfly unfurling its wings for the first time, I find a sense of freedom and liberation in creating a fictional world of my own.

Writing also helps me to lay a few ghosts to rest as far as my past is concerned. Though I may be writing a character who has nothing to do with me, I find myself creating these people based on my own thoughts, emotions and experiences. I like to make my characters complex, to discover their motivations and desires, to find out exactly what it is that makes them tick. I do this as a way of trying to make sense of the motivations of some of the people around me, trying to figure out why they behave in the way they did/do.

In order to do that I have to return to some of the less pleasant times in my life, times when I now realise that I was treated in a way that no child should ever have to suffer. I’ve been left with a number of scars that will likely never heal, but through the process of storytelling, perhaps I can go back and attempt to ascertain the motivations of people that I now view as monsters.

I guess the ironic thing about being a victim of abuse is that you never realise you are a victim until it’s too late. Knowing no different, you believe that the way you were treated by the person or people who were meant to love is normal. If I could go back and tell my childhood self what I know now as an adult, maybe I could have imbued myself with the confidence to face my demons before now. Maybe if I’d had just one person looking out for me, protecting me, maybe things would have turned out differently.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that I can’t, but I can keep returning to the threshold of that prison, reminding myself from where I started to where I stand now. When my faith and courage falters, I can stand on the precipice and look down on the darkened tunnel of my past, reminding myself that there is light above and beyond – all I have to do is lift my head to see it.

I have a story to tell, my only hope is that another person who perhaps is in the position that I once was will read it and know that there is always a glimmer of hope ahead and often when you least expect it. No matter how hard the road we travel is, we have to remember that there is always hope for a better day, a better way, a better world, that there are better people out there that you’re yet to meet.

More than that, we need to be better – to be kinder – to ourselves. We deserve that much at least.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 13th June 2014

  1. “When my faith and courage falters, I can stand on the precipice and look down on the darkened tunnel of my past, reminding myself that there is light above and beyond – all I have to do is lift my head to see it.”

    Beautifully put. It’s a terrible tragedy that you had to live through so much, but I’m glad you’re able to recognize your strengths and use your writing as a means of addressing your past. Go you!

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting, it is very much appreciated! 🙂

      These past few months have seen me take some big strides forward but the real test will be when something unexpected comes along to upset the apple cart. Hopefully I can maintain my courage and faith when that happens and all I’ll need to do is look back on the words I’ve written and the support I’ve received from all of the wonderful people around me. ❤

  2. You are sounding very strong, Heather. Indeed, facing that past is allowing you to help others.

    • Thanks Mark ❤

      I know that these kinds of thoughts are easy to convey when one is feeling buoyed by recent positive steps forward, the real test will be when things don't go quite according to plan. This is something that I've been working on with my therapist, to find new ways of dealing with the negatives that life will invariably throw at you at one point or another.

      I'm a work in progress and one that may never be finished, but I promise you that I will do my best to keep marching forward, always striving for to be a better person and live a life that's honest and true.

  3. I can’t add anything more to what you’ve said, Heather. I’ve had experiences in my life that were difficult, but I never doubted that I was loved on some level. It’s hard to feel that no one has ever been in your corner…

    In the end, it’s onward and upward. It’s the only way one gets past it. Not easy, though. But necessary.

    And yes – you can use it in your writing to make a difference for others.

    You are a remarkable young woman. ❤

    • Thank you, Kate ❤

      You know, you should never underestimate how powerful an influence a good friend can be at times. I guess they're right when they say that you cannot choose your family but that you can ALWAYS choose your friends. Perhaps my difficult upbringing makes it very difficult to be trusting of others, but best friends are most definitely the siblings that you always wished you could have had. There have been so many times that a quiet word of support has done wonders for me. Friendship is a beautiful thing.

      What's important to me now is that I am building a network of people around me that ARE in my corner, who are supporting me even when the road gets rough. And you're right, there is only ever one way and that is up. We cannot spend our lives looking down at the past (no matter how dark it might be), the only thing we can do is look up and beyond.

      For whatever misguided reasons, there have been people in my life that have tried to break me and you know what? They can give it their best shot, but they will NEVER break my spirit – not when I know I have people in my corner, supporting me through thick and thin. To paraphrase John Donne, 'No one is an island', a single person can survive, but together we can be unbreakable.

      If just one person reads my story, then it is my hope that they find it within themselves to strive for a better day. I honestly thought that I couldn't feel any lower and then all of a sudden, a very special person walked into my life and changed everything. Whether they realise it or not, they are my guardian angel and I can never repay them the kindness that they showed me and they too are more remarkable than they realise…. ❤

      • What a lovely, inspiring reply – worthy on its own of a Friday Thoughts post.

        Sometimes in the dark moments of our lives, someone comes along who just listens and says, ‘Yes, I understand.’ Sometimes, that is all it takes.

        And sometimes, someone comes along whose example inspires and lights a pathway. A pathway that may have been there all the time, but one you couldn’t see in the darkness. I was lucky enough to have someone shine a light on a path for me, one I’d never thought of pursuing. ❤

        There can be a lot of darkness in human relationships, I think. But there can also be a lot of light. When life doesn't give us what we need from those closest to us, it will often give us what we need from the hearts of well-intentioned strangers. The beauty is that those strangers can then become as close to us as those who are our biological family. It's one of the mysteries of life, that we sometimes meet up with people who will profoundly affect our lives in a good, nurturing way.

        I think the people who will wander into your 'path' in the coming years, Heather, will have much to be thankful. You have the heart of a nurturer, and your past experiences have made you who you are. And that is someone very, very kind as well as wise.

      • Hi Kate,

        You’re right, sometimes all it takes is someone to listen to you and reassure you that they understand. Sometimes that can be the difference between keeping your head above water and drowning in the negativity of life.

        There have been so many relationships in my life that have been destructive and harmful to me and it is only now that I am beginning to realise that not all relationships are like that. It such a great thing to find a kindred spirit, someone who understands you and supports you through everything. I’d lost a lot of faith in that regard, until a very special person showed me differently.

        It was such a chance meeting and one that could have turned out differently on any given day, but I would like to think that having this person come into my life was karma finally working for me instead of against me. I think that when life flicks a lot of crap your way that you tend to be able to spot the good in life and grasp onto it quickly and never let it go.

        I hope that I will now be able to fill my life with other rich and fulfilling friendships to compliment the one that’s been cultivated these past few years. I try to treat others as I would have liked to have been treated myself and I hope that shows in the image that I give to the world.

  4. You are a rockstar, Heather. Keep moving forward and know that we are all here to cheer you on as you continue to prove that you are more than your past. Stay strong and continue on, as they say. Someone did…I know they did…let’s just go with it. 🙂 Hugs!! xxx

    • Thanks Audrey, you know that your cheering me on is a big factor in my positive journey these past few months. I refuse to let my past define me any more than it already has, I cannot hide behind the past as a reason to not move forward. There will be times when my courage and faith falters, but I know that I’ll have people around me to help shore up my defenses and put me back on the right path again.

      I shall keep on moving on, I promise you 🙂

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