It took me 12 months from the time I left my abusive relationship before I was able to transfer my internal conversation to paper and begin writing my story and subsequently transferring it to my blog. Some survivors take much, much longer. Some survivor’s start writing and sharing even before they escape. Some survivors never choose to write or share.

If you’ve been thinking about writing and sharing your story of abuse with others, be proud of yourself. Not only does speaking out take courage, it also speaks to your growing securities of who you are and who you desire to become.

Telling your story serves you in your healing and recovery, and it also has an impact on the healing and recovery of those reading it.

The following is a list of tips and considerations. These have come from my personal experience. There is nothing definitive about them.


1. Tell your therapist/doctor/counselor your plans to write.
I didn’t tell my doctor anything about my writing. I wish I had. In the first months of writing, I was often negatively triggered. I became angry as I wrote and relived the abuses against me and my son. I had strong feelings of wishing the boy and his family dead. Those feelings of anger were disabling but thankfully fleeting.  If I had mentioned writing to my doctor before I began, he would have warned me about the triggers and the anger. Once I finally did tell my doctor, he validated my anger, explained that it was normal and encouraged me to continue as long as it was not too painful or a hinderance to my progress.

2. Tell a friend or family member your plans to write.
When I started my story, I told one person. This person was my cheerleader and encouraged me to write as I felt. This person also let me know if what I wrote and shared was appropriate for others to read. Sometimes too much information really is TMI. 🙂

3. Consider practicing mindful activities to counter the effects of your writing.
Writing requires a lot of energy and attention. I practiced yoga, which replenished my energy and also kept my attention on me instead of what happened to me. I discovered new activities and returned to activities that I had long ignored or abandoned while in my toxic relationship. I began practicing meditative techniques, I read what I enjoyed, I walked when I felt like walking (not when dragged by a dog or pushy control freak), I cooked when the urge took over and I planned day trips to DC with my husband and son. Simply put, while purging myself of the nightmares I experienced, I started actively getting back to the me I lost.

4. Begin your story where it feels natural to begin.
I started my story with a fictional twist on the boy’s childhood. I started there because it was the biggest mystery to me, and I thought if I wrote about it, maybe some sort of explanation would present itself to me as to why he behaved as he behaved. Your story might start with your childhood. It might start in the middle of your relationship. It might start at the end. Wherever it starts, it’s exactly where it should start.

5. Don’t be afraid to erase and delete and add a little extra.
Editing is good. Reflect and return to each entry or post. Nothing is permanent. If you write something today that feels wrong tomorrow, delete it. You might add it back the next day. Who knows. What you write is yours to do with as you wish. You have complete control.

6. Stop when it hurts too much.
Always remember self-preservation. If it hurts you, it’s harming you. Go talk to your friend, loved one or your doctor.

7. There is no end to your story.
Writing your story is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life. (I know. It sounds cliché, but it’s so, so true!) When you start writing, you open new doors to more experiences to write about. I never dreamed I’d be where I am today when I first started writing a little over a year ago. I never imagined the places I’d go, the friends I would make, the projects I would help foster or the love I would find from those who have stuck by me for years and years. I thank myself everyday for having the guts to hit the “Publish” button that first time.


Your story is your story, and everything about your story matters. You felt something. You experienced something. You know in your heart that what you experienced was not joyful. You are permitted to share that pain and suffering. In so doing, you are releasing it and making room for the many joys to come.

Namaste!

Category:
abuse, Child abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Rape, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing, Yoga

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I have blogged several weeks about the longest chapter in my life, from the time I met my husband, till the time he and his new wife stalked me down on my blog site threatening me with and the owner of the site with slander charges. I have since had to go undercover with a pseudo name, fabricated ages and gender of the children if I refer to them, diverting any connection to me. I continue to not voice my story in fear I will be discovered. When the other parent has an endless bankroll compared to the modest wages of the other, every threat can turn into another court battle. I don’t fear court, I just dislike misusing my time and funds that I could be spending with my family and friends. I’m learning to discover my inner smile and endless joy we were all meant to have. I don’t want to stop that wonderful feeling, but I know I must muster up the strength to set the scales of justice right with their constant emotional abuse.

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    • I’m sorry you are faced with these challenges, anonymous, but it appears you discovered how to continue to share and heal while simultaneously protecting yourself and loved ones.

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  2. I started writing about my recent emotionally and verbally abusive relationship on my blog. It’s scary to see my earlier posts when I first met him. I still feel stupid that I didn’t get out sooner. But that’s something I’m working on. I really found your post helpful as I continue opening up about my pain and what happened with him. Thank you for this.

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  3. Writing my story has done more for me than anything else. Not only am I getting it out of my head, but I am getting tons of honest support. The added bonus is when I get a comment from someone who has found my blog and feels less alone. Double bonus is the woman who found me last weekend because she is in the same courtroom with the same judge facing the same possible outcome.

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  4. excellent advise!
    I know that having the ability to write, without sanctions, about my own experiences or to correct the slander or to express my outrage and REACH others is an amazing thing! thanks for the tips

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  5. It took me years to go public (online) I don’t regret a moment of it, in fact it’s been an incredible gift where I’ve found my voice.:)

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  6. Paula,
    Great post! I totally agree with you. Your writing has been helpful to me and I’m sure many others. My first blog post was written approximately a year after I left a sadistic narcissist. I see it as my souls journey to empowerment instead of taking my ego’s journey to victimization and self-bondage.
    Roberta

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  7. This is so great Paula. I know when I did that survey I didn’t expect all the crying to go along with it! And that was only a survey. And when I read your book awhile back I was furious and angry for days and sobbed. I thought I’ll never be able to write about it. Following your posts here helps so so much, to be able to read YOUR writing and answer back in little ways, like having an innoculation to prevent a worse and horrible sickness. I especially liike number 3. in your list. (I had the same dog experience, or that walking with someone who purposely slows down more than you just a little bit so you have to adjust, or goes just a little bit faster so you have to run to keep up!! – same person, as you know…) The yoga helps immensely, too, in alot of ways. Thank you Paula for the very useful information here. Oh, and, nice hands!

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