I have had more people than I expected ask me what it was like to share my story at the TRC. I have to say it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It was scarier than anything I have experienced and at the same time it was very liberating.
I had considered, how much do you share when you tell the story of your experience. It is not just my experience but also the experience of my siblings, my parents, my aunts and uncles and cousins. It directly impacts them. It exposes things that you learn not to talk about. It is a fearful thing to break the rules of silence because it is not just our family rules but it is also societies rules of silence.
It is about shining a light on truth that people would rather not see and then giving them a reason to say they knew I was screwed up and now here is the proof because I just told everyone what happened in my family.
FEAR, it is so powerful. It can rob you of independence and steal your dream. It is the great silencer. Fear is one of the most difficult things to overcome. It is surrounded by what ifs and anxiety. It is why I had nightmares for years. The only way to overcome fear is to open yourself up to love and truth. Even miserable rotten truths are better than living in constant fear.
So my truth was spoken in a deeply painful and personal way. I cried a lot at the TRC. I cried because I felt alone, even though I wasn’t. I cried because my family wasn’t there. I cried and grieved my losses. I cried because of the shame I grew up with and I cried because in all those things I experienced were teachings. Some of these were not healthy and others well honestly gave me strength to endure. So as scary as it was, as painful and as difficult as that experience was, I am glad that I did it. I wish that more people would have been able to do it but to those who did, I am so grateful, they were able to share their stories. In telling the story we all gained a little more freedom. And if you really need to know more well, I’m open to telling you about it as long as you are open to listening without judgement.