Why am I writing this book, ‘Breaking Radio Silence’?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself since I first conceived of this project. My first answer was that I wanted to share my story to reach out to people who had been through things like I had, or who were going through things like I had to show them they could get through it and heal from the pain and damage. But another reason has come to me just recently, and that is I want to put my story out there in my own words for the record.
I’ve said before my writing is not an act of revenge, or about winning an argument, proving a point, or anything like that. It’s not about ‘setting the record straight’ either. It’s about telling my story in the hope of connecting with other people like other stories have connected with me. And it’s not about ‘controlling the narrative’ either because no one has any real control of a person’s narrative, including their own. Also, it’s not about just speaking the truth because there are shit-heads out there who will never believe you, or who will do their best to twist your words to suit their sick shit, or just spew shit at you so they don’t have to face their own truth because they live a lie.
I’m not really seeing a lot of discussion about what I call ‘silence’, which is encasing your true thoughts and feelings behind huge walls of silence. There is talk of ‘freezing’ or ‘fawning’, which is either shutting down or going into extreme people-pleasing mode. There is also talk of ‘disassociation’, which is being present but mentally and emotionally shut down. I’ve done all three but for me, it was being silent about how I truly thought and felt, and yes, holding back from telling people off when they truly deserved it. But that ‘telling off’ is not the end-goal with this book.
I will freely admit when I first conceived this project I really didn’t think there was a lot in it for me. I figured I’d write it all out, find some answers and learn some new and better ways to deal with things. I didn’t realize I would need to learn how to heal my own wounds. Yet here’s the thing: I’m not a degreed expert. So, my writing won’t be neat and pretty but what I’m hoping is that my much-less than formal writing will connect in ways that other more-formal writing might not connect as well for people.
I’m not knocking people who are a heck of a lot smarter than I am and have done a lot more work on this than I have. Just the opposite- I have the upmost respect and admiration for all their work and I’ve learned a ton of things from them. But my way of explaining things is more blunt because I tried to dance around it and dear readers, I can’t dance for shit.
I don’t see a lot of discussion from writers (or maybe I just haven’t found a lot of it) about why they’re compelled to write like they do, especially memoire-type of writing like ‘Breaking..’ will be. But this question as to why I’m doing this has been going through my mind a lot lately and I’m trying to figure out why.
Now one reason I know why it’s going through is an old way of dealing with people asking me questions. Most of the time, I think a lot of the questions were of genuine curiosity but I know a lot of them were trying to nail me down for some transgression that I wasn’t guilty of (and sometimes never even knew what it was). I know that talking about my experiences, especially since they differ greatly from a lot of peoples won’t be easy and may not be received well. But I believe these are conversations that need to be had because we sure as hell weren’t having conversations in the past like we are now.
For me, there has been a huge release of shame and guilt when I write things out because writing is my main way of talking out loud. And I’ll say this yet again: putting words onto thoughts and feelings, and memories makes them easier to deal with. I feel like putting those things into words breaks their hold on me and gives me a way to work through them. I know I’ll always have questions but I also know I can find the answers, too.
Being powerfully compelled to do something is not very common in my observations of the world and life I’ve lived. Beyond creative people or highly-determined people, being powerfully compelled to do something isn’t something a lot of people will ever really know. I think that’s why a lot of people are genuinely puzzled by people who are powerfully compelled to do something and yes, react to that in a way that’s not good. Personally, I think these people are lucky not go through this because this powerful compulsion is a major pain in the ass, and it can also be a at times a tremendous emotional drain.
As I take the first steps to writing this book, I know I’ll re-open some wounds and find others I didn’t know were there. But I’m not backing away from it like I have in the past because I know I’m the only one who can write my story.