When I first started to talk about the trauma I experienced, I learned who my friends were. They were the people who listened without judging. Who held my hand when I was panicking or so depressed that I saw very little light. They were the ones who called to check on me and sat with me. There were very few of them.
I would talk about what happened. And in the beginning there felt like there was no filter. I would just say things about what happened. Whatever was most pressing. It was as though I was a kettle under pressure and steam, or stories, kept bubbling out. I could not hold things inside. And that scared people. It would have scared me.
But after a while that intensity passed. I had told parts of my story. Everyone has a story. Everyone is a story. Our lives are stories. Fiction is lives and stories that have been made up. When we talk to people about what we are doing we are telling a story. When you have had trauma you hold on to the story. And sometimes for me the story was so much a part of my life that it felt like it was always there. That passed after awhile.
Some of the hardest stories. The ones that contained the most secrets were the ones that stayed there the longest. Stayed in the darkness the longest. And preyed on the bits of light that came near it. These are some of the stories that I let out when I created the quilt. While I was working on them and designing the different petals I struggled. Struggled to bring them into the light and out of the dark part of my mind. And when I had finished one of the drawings I was so overcome by the amount of hidden secrets that I had just brought into the light that I vomited. I felt the darkness of the secrets that I had held for so long purge themselves from my body.
And then there was a lightness.
The story was out. The tales were told. There are still some things that pop up and gaps that are filled in. But generally the story came through and found the light.
We are all stories. We all tell stories. And some of our stories are very hard. But there are people who listen and people who do not. And there are people who help us feel whole again.