This month’s edition of the blog carnival marks the two year anniversary of Tracie taking it over. To mark the occasion she asks:
Blogging is a courageous thing. We all take pieces of our stories, our hearts, the darkness we fight against and the light we strive towards, and we put it out there for the world to read. Has sharing your story changed you, or taught you something? Do you blog as a way to give yourself a voice, or to connect to the community of survivors, or for another reason entirely? I want to learn why you blog about your survivor story and healing.
I spent some time looking through the archives of this site, and while I found many, many short references that answered the question for me about why I started doing this, and why I continue to do it, none seemed like the definitive post. So I’m writing a new one!
The beginning of this story does date back a bit. In the late 90’s to be precise. It was the point in my life where I had, literally, hit rock bottom. I was unemployed, had tried suicide and found myself being released from a hospital into my parents care while recovering from some really nasty illnesses, contracted in no small part due to the utter lack of self care on my part. The only thing I could really do to busy myself, outside of going to therapy, was use a dial up connection to the internet to chat, or just browse early websites. At the time, I can honestly say that I had never felt so alone in all my life.
However, it was when I started getting online that I was able to find a handful of other survivors, and even a chat room for people dealing with mental health issues. Suddenly, despite everything that was going on, I realized that I wasn’t alone. There were others out there dealing with similar issues, overcoming them, and that I could do that too. I wanted to reach out to every other person out there and tell them exactly that, you are not alone! So I started a website. A cheesy, hand-coded site on Geocities and began to talk about being a survivor, and where you could go get more information about other survivors, etc. Eventually, in 2001, I discovered blogging, starting a tech blog because I was working as the only IT person for a small organization, and using it to connect and share information with other IT people. After doing that for a few months, it was only natural to take that same technology, and apply it to survivors. Blogging became not just a way to share information, but to actually have conversations with survivors, in the comments and back and forth on our own blogs. Still, that basic idea was in my head, share so that any survivor browsing the web will know they are not alone.
Years later, when the Blog Carnival came about, I was all in. I was a contributor to the very first edition. Once again, here was a group of folks just trying to get the word out, that survivors are not alone, that we can, and should share our stories. How could I not be a part of that when I heard about it? It epitomized exactly what I wanted this site to do, and to this day it continues to epitomize my one, basic, goal for this website. Whatever else this has become over the years, and however much it’s grown into different parts, or had some parts die off, I’ve always kept this site because I knew that every once in a while, someone, somehow, would find it and know that they are not alone in trying to overcome child abuse, and that if I could somehow manage to built a happy and joyful life, they could too.
Honestly, the very best, and most rewarding messages I have ever gotten from readers of this site are the ones who simply tell me they found the site, and were so glad to see someone talking about what they are dealing with. That was such a huge step for me in my healing, to know that it could be done, and that I was not alone in doing it. It’s the one thing I want anyone reading any survivor site to come away with as well. Here’s hoping we can continue to do that!