I used to feel hopeless because my friends shut me down and didn’t let me tell the story inside me that was dying to get out. Our conversations were friendly enough but as soon as I got to the abuse story they ended the conversation. I noticed this many times and wondered why it was happening. What made them so uncomfortable? Did it spark something inside themselves? Or were they so scared of “Julie going on a rant again.” I used to ask myself where I could take these stories if my friends continuously rejected me. The more rejection I got, the angrier I got.
I had no desire to take these stories to a therapist’s office. I didn’t think being abused in a hospital was a disease, so why should I ghettoize myself?
I found the venue of public speaking and this is where I bring the stories. I find this deeply satisfying. I tell the story in a way that people in the audience can relate. Afterward, someone invariably comes up to me and says, “Me too.” Or says how much my story moved them. My hope is that by continuing to tell my story and living well I can prevent others from falling into the trap I fell into.