striving for authenticity vs hiding from labels like victim or survivor

1 August 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity over the past year. I’ve definitely felt like there’s been something holding me back. Over and over again we’re told, as bloggers, we should be open. That by sharing 100% of ourselves we can find community, and community leads to healing. But whenever I teeter on the edge of sharing, I hesitate and stop. Something always keeps me from telling my story.

The thing is, this thing, I don’t want it to be my story. If I share this, I have to then accept the labels associated with it. I don’t want to be a victim. Or a survivor. All I am is a woman trying her best to move forward with her life. I’m trying to come to terms with what happen while simultaneously move past it. It’s conflicting.

I don’t want it to define me. But this thing happened; this is now part of my story. But if it’s going to be part of my story I just want it to be a cliff note in my backstory, not a defining theme or anything close to being something on a cover. I know I will heal in my own time, that this thing is not who I am and that there are bigger and better things which will come to define me. I just need to spend more time on what it means to be true to myself.

I just wonder, that if by denying this, by not being completely open with myself, that I’m somehow not living authentically. Part of me does want to talk about it. But it carries so much weight. How can I talk about this issue one day, then the next talk about something banal like food, or life on tour, or whatever weird thing my cats have done now. Majorly conflicting. It’s not the time, not the place. But will it ever be?

Can I still be true to myself, but have secrets like these? Can there be a balance? Do you have to share yourself completely completely to be authentic? And what does authenticity even look like or mean? At what point can this thing be done and over?

  • There’s a popular blogger I like whom I’d been reading for awhile, and I was surprised when I found an older post where she briefly mentioned that she’d been sexually abused as a kid. I don’t think she ever mentioned it again. Whether or not you blog about this thing is 100% your choice, but I thought I’d mention that to show that blogging about something dark won’t necessarily cast a shadow over the whole blog.

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