Yesterday my daughter and I participated in StoryCorp. I signed up for it about a month ago at the encouragement of my coach. I am trying to put myself out there, show up!
So I signed up and would think about it periodically, mostly when I saw it on my calendar. I wasn’t familiar with StoryCorp, I had never heard of it. My daughter had actually done it with her paternal grandmother last year. She told me about the experience but I honestly hadn’t remembered. She didn’t use the term StoryCorp, so no bells ringing there!
Yesterday was the day. I felt nervous and a little anxious. I read about it, looked over questions and had a set printed out. I wondered why the heck I was doing this, why would anyone ever want to listen, I don’t even want to. While my daughter agreed I knew she wasn’t necessarily thrilled to go. She has some social anxiety also.
I made sure that I had a calming morning, low-key. I took Meeka for a walk and worked on being present during the walk. Noticing the sights and smells. I live in Northern Colorado and right now it is beautiful. The trees have leafed out, so many different types of flowers blooming. I ate a good breakfast, got ready. We ended up running a little behind waiting on Averi. Stressed in the travel, worrying about being late which then easily spirals into what the hell am I doing, what will I say…..
We get there and fill out a form, wait for just a bit and then go in. Madison is very nice, goes over everything with us, what to expect, timing and then lets me know she will point at me and it is time to go!! First thing, name, age, date and who is interviewing me–easy right?! She points, I am overwhelmed with emotion and I start to tear up saying my name!! Oh shit!
It ended up being ok, I teared up more than once, Averi teared up too. Both of my girls know that I have had 11 step-dads, they know that I witnessed domestic violence growing up but I haven’t really ever shared many details, not just of the incidences but how it felt to grow up that way.
I am currently 48, I can’t say how long I have felt a drive to share my story. If I look back I think maybe off and on for a while. Too afraid, too busy raising my girls alone just trying to pay bills and keep afloat. Sure I have several reasons.
But recently, last year or 2, the feeling has grown stronger. This year I hired a career coach and for the first time I told someone that I wanted to become a public speaker and share my story, I wanted to find my voice. I hope that by sharing my story I can empower others with similar backgrounds or struggles to find their voice. It has been a slow process.
StoryCorp was my first “public” share. I have a speaking engagement in June. I am working on my summary of what I want to talk about. My old habit of keeping me safe is in high gear!
This Blog was my very first step, to start writing and sharing. I worry that I don’t share enough, I share too much, nobody will like it. I can’t tell you how very exciting it is when one person likes it!! Oh, my heart! I haven’t shared it on my Facebook, told my friends. Funny how I would rather have strangers read than someone I am close to. On the list to work through.
My experience with StoryCorp was invaluable. It brought Averi and I closer. I didn’t share gory details about watching my mom be beat up, the black eyes and bloody noses. With the questions asked I was able to share how it felt growing up, the good and the bad. I have a lot of happy memories as a child too.
As a teen and through, I want to say, mid-adulthood, I really focused on the negative, didn’t recognize the good about my life. Honestly, was really good about feeling sorry for myself, wishing my childhood had been different. Being extremely angry with my mother. It has taken awhile to get where I am today and I still have a ways to go.
I know that sharing my story will help me process and work through my stuff hopeful while helping others with theirs. I have to daily fight my battle with feeling unworthy, lacking courage and self-confidence to convince myself that what I have to share has value. It is a process.