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 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 been a contributor at The Wild Goose Festival four years running, and a guest on numerous podcasts, including This Good Word, Poema, Spiritual Charlotte, The Practical Minimalists and A Wish Come Clear’s ‘You Need to Read’ series.
Her first two books, She Wrote it Down; How a Secret-keeper Became a Storyteller, and Homeward; How one woman embraced being lost to find her way home are available on Amazon.
Laura formerly served as 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. She also works in the field of substance use disorder treatment, educating and supporting families of those newly in recovery.
Laura lives in Connecticut with her handsome partner and their spectacular and internet-famous dog, Scout.