Yesterday I began to write my reasons why I no longer want to hide my past, and how I should answer a writing colleague who wonders why. He deserves an answer; as well as asking me to my face, he wrote the question on his critique of my personal essay: “Why can’t the writer just MOVE ON and forget about all these injustices which are way gone?”
Interestingly, the same man also wrote, “I learned a lot about this social anxiety problem,” and he told us he’d looked up the term.
In the excellent post I mentioned yesterday, Joe Warnimont also wrote:
It’s when we forget to listen to stories of misfortune, the same events happen over and over again.
In writing, we need to consider what readers can gain. The rest of my reasons for writing about my past are for the readers:
- I want to help readers to understand me and the many others like me. I want to clear up the misconceptions: that we’re stuck up, don’t want to talk, etc.
- I hope, like my writing colleague, readers will learn about social anxiety, which is much more common than most people think.
- I hope readers will learn about bullying and what it can do to the one on the receiving end of it.
If my writing could also lead to help for those who are suffering now, that would be the best reason of all.
I didn’t gain anything through all the years I tried to forget what happened. As Angela Brown said in her comment on my post from yesterday:
Forgive, forget, move on. Easier said than done because, in more instances observed, moving on doesn’t come from forgetting, it comes from the growth learned and earned from experiences.
Remembering is much healthier, if done in the right way. I don’t write about the past to perpetuate some feeling of victimhood. I’m not stuck in the past. My essay ends on a positive note with my hopes for the future. Looking back has helped me to look forward to something better.