In the past few days, I have encountered people from the first two possibilities - ones who are onboard and ones who criticize.
I am not going to get into the details of the criticisms as I do not think it is beneficial to share - and I would never want to intentionally hurt someone's feelings. I will say that out of those criticisms, I was able to re-evaluate my purpose in writing as well as acknowledge that I am not sharing the whole story. I have been challenged to be more open and honest about my role in the domestic violence. This piggy-backed on a question that was presented to me last week - "What is my role in the breakdown of my marriage?" It is time I stop passing all the bucks and instead take what is mine by the horns and own it. It is not pretty and it is not easy to admit my faults, but it is also not the whole truth when I leave out the part I played in it all.
That is when I wanted to quit. I wanted to shut it all down, deactivate my Facebook account, and never share anything personal again. I thought it would be better to not write at all than to have people criticizing my purpose and telling me that I, too, am to blame for what happened in my marriage.
Then I remembered how very encouraged I was by those who opened up and shared their stories with me. They were able to share their burden and pain because I took a risk, opened up about my pain, and shared part of my story.
I spoke with one girl, and it turns out we were both violated by the same abuser. Neither of us had any idea what happened with the other person, and I could relate to her in a way I never have with anyone else. I haven't processed through all the emotions that surfaced from that knowledge, but there is a level of comfort I have not felt before knowing that I truly am not alone.
I had another girl open up and share her story of assault with me. I was able to validate her and she acknowledged that some of her current struggles are likely related to that event, especially since she has not yet received counselling for the trauma. I will continue journeying with her.
I also know that for each woman who shared part of their story with me, there are many, many women who do not share it with anyone. If women can read my journey through pain and not feel so alone, then it is totally worth my discomfort.
From my very first decision to share my story and journey with others, I told myself that even if I help only one person then it is worth it. I know that God made a purpose in my pain, and that is to share hope with others. I recognize that my story and vulnerability is not for everyone, and that is totally okay. I write for my own healing and to allow the journey of God's grace in my life to bring hope to others.
I am not quitting, no matter how difficult the road gets. I have an amazing support team, people who genuinely care about me and want to see me succeed, and a God who never fails. What more could I ask for?