Welcome. Breathe in. Let it go. This is not a place to hold your breath. This is an exhale sort of a place. I spent most of my life holding my breath. Living in fear. Keeping secrets. Hiding in plain sight.
Living authentically felt dangerous, so I did everything in my power to avoid it. I was battling a fear I think many of us have. I was both terrified and in desperate need of being seen for who I truly was.
It’s why I am so profoundly grateful for my rock bottoms. I’ve had more than one. I’m an over-achiever. Maybe it’s my high tolerance for pain, but for most of my life things had to be shattered before I could admit they were broken. Historically, I’ve needed to come completely undone before I could rebuild.
I’m a recovering alcoholic, anorexic, bulimic, and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Those stories, those chapters of my life which were drenched in shame and which I’d decided were unspeakable, have become powerful forces for good in my life. In telling my secrets, I redeemed them. I exchanged a life of hiding and lying and hustling for one of vulnerability and honesty.
You can, too. You can survive telling the truth about your life. This is a place where you can do that. No need to be, “fine.” Just show up and tell the truth. That is all you have to do.
Laura Parrott Perry is the author of this eponymously named blog (formerly known as In Others’ Words) and The Golden Repair on DivorcedMoms.com. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, in Boston Magazine, on Trigger Points Anthology, and No Make-Up Required. Laura is a frequent public speaker on the topics of shame, trauma, addiction, and story. She has twice been a contributor at The Wild Goose Festival and a guest on numerous podcasts, including Poema, Spiritual Charlotte, The Practical Minimalists and A Wish Come Clear’s ‘You Need to Read’ series.
Her first book, She Wrote it Down; How a Secret-keeper Became a Storyteller will be available on Amazon.com on January 23, 2018.
She is co-founder and CEO of Say It, Survivor; a non-profit committed to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse reclaim their stories as part of the path to healing.