It’s the only way I can describe it.
Seeing, hearing…feeling my own story can sometimes be jarring.
I had the opportunity to share my story in a documentary called Every Two Minutes. It was produced by a talented team of students at Michigan State University who invited survivors to share their experiences. The film looks at advocacy services in the Lansing, East Lansing area.
It also holds pieces and parts of many survivor stories.
Earlier this week, it was posted on their Facebook page and I watched my interview uncut for the first time.
I know my story. Obviously.
I lived it.
And still, sometimes when I hear it out loud, it is jarring.
The train goes off the track. The cheese slips off the cracker.
Es no bueno. #forrealz
On the night of the first test screening, I remember having this moment in the dark where I realized that it’s gone now. My story is out of my hands. It can be shared, ignored, judged, posted, reposted or honored.
I have very little control over it anymore.
I looked around the theater and thought to myself, ‘They all know. These strangers know.’
It just feels weird.
The things I share are personal to me. They are the things I have suffered, learned, tried, dreamed and sometimes hidden. There I am. Just there in a studio with bright lights cast on me as I unfold it and line it up for you in the best way I know how.
I feel vulnerable and exposed.
Somehow, even after sharing it a hundred times, hearing it told back to me in my own words is disconcerting. It’s an awful story.
I share it here again because even though it’s uncomfortable, I believe that if I stand firm in the conviction that my story belongs in this world, that other survivors will too.
They may never share the way I do but they may share in the moments that count the most: when all it takes to help someone begin to heal is to say, “I know. It happened to me too. Here’s what helped me.”
Soul to soul. Survivor to survivor.