Today I’ve been thinking about how writing has been instrumental in my life. Like many people (I’d venture to say, mostly women) I kept a diary during high school. –That diary went missing as I moved into adulthood, married a combat vet, had my children, and worked as a hairdresser.
Fortunately, while cleaning out my mother’s home as her health was deteriorating and we were doing some remodeling, my son found my diary. He’d been working on a sun-porch when he came across it.
He then came to me, looking like a Cheshire cat. He grinned as he said, “Mom, I found something of yours, and I think you’re going to like it.” Luckily, it was found before we started pitching things into the trash.
It’s kind of funny where he found it. It had been taped to the bottom of a small stool. While I had no recollection of having put it there, it did make sense in a strange way. I certainly didn’t want my parents to “invade my privacy” and find out my “teenage” secrets.
It has been fun to re-read those thoughts so common during your formative years, when you’re “trying to figure out what life’s all about.” Many pages induce laughter as I am reminded of how the theme that stands out throughout the diary is how “enamored” I was with boys. Classic!
That diary means so much to me today. And on a more serious note, while my writing fell off during my marriage, there were times when I simply had to “vent” my feelings on what was happening in my life.
Those writings became of the utmost importance after my divorce.—It gave me a look back, where I could re-read what I’d written, and it confirmed how serious the mental abuse had been. For when living with someone with PTSD, you often begin to feel as if you’re “going crazy.” Revisiting some of the traumatic events, made me realize that anyone living in such a situation is bound to often feel as if “they are losing their mind.”
Yet in reality, the most normal of human beings will be adversely affected mentally by being in proximity to bizarre and unpredictable behavior. (Secondary PTSD, anyone?)
It can be very valuable to have something concrete, papers to hold in your hand, that validate your experiences. It has been vital in serving as an outlet for me, a way to vent my feelings and clarify thoughts. I credit writing for helping me regain my sanity.
I hope all of you will consider journaling as a way to work through your traumatic experiences. –I just came across a site today that can be helpful in starting to “journal for your own therapy.”
There are some excellent articles on how to start journaling for your mental health. Try it, you might like it.
Check out http://www.GoodTherapy.org.