Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tip O'Day #318 - Therapeutic or Just Too Painful?

Guest blogger Rebecca Scarberry on whether to revisit a painful past.

A few months ago, I was encouraged to write a novel fictionalizing a very painful time in my life. In preparation for the story, I wrote three different synopses. With each summary, I changed the story in an attempt to make it less painful to write. With each one, I wanted to show my vulnerability, get a message across to others who have been through such an experience, show my strength in overcoming the incidents, and hopefully show what I learned from my experiences.

I chose the synopsis that began with my recovery, the end of it all. I made an outline, with the middle having a spectacular climax, and began to type. Six hundred words later, I decided it was just too painful. Some things in our past should remain there and not be dwelt upon, not be given strength through our thinking or writing about them. I realize it is therapeutic for some people to write about painful experiences, but I don’t think it would be for me.

It took fifteen years before I could tell anybody the story. Still today only two people know the entire story, how I feel about it, and why I chose not to seek prosecution of those involved. You’re probably thinking I was raped, but I wasn’t. I have gotten over my ordeal and others have written about this subject matter. I can only hope victims who read those stories will find them beneficial in their healing.

My story will remain untold. This way is better for some of my family members, who were not at fault but might be hurt by the publication of my novel.

Dixon says: Becky has appeared on this blog previously - just a reminder that 'repeat business is appreciated.'

1 comment:

  1. Wow, but this makes a person curious! However, you may be right. For some, writing about the past is cathartic. For others, brings past hurts into focus and gives them a second chance to cause pain all over again. Each person has to make that decision for himself or herself. Sometimes letting the past stay in the past is the very best course to take.