The whirlwind and constant focus on the Ted Talk meant I had to ditch working on the book for a bit. And I honestly wonder if I subconsciously had to get through the talk first in order to write the next few chapters of the memoir.
I’m about 17,000 words into the tale of the journey I’ve been on and I’m feeling stronger than ever. Prior to baring my soul on stage, I’d been dreading drudging up the past to write the next chapter. You know, THAT chapter of my life. It’s still not easy to think back to the days of walking on egg shells, intoxicating highs and desperately low lows, financial devastation, and being called a “thick fucking brick” but I knew in order to keep moving forward in the memoir, I’d have to face it. Just like I faced being vulnerable on the Ted stage. I didn’t feel ready to relive those three years until this very moment. I can’t really explain it, but something has changed in me. Maybe it’s called healing? Whatever it is, I’m grateful for the feeling.
Ironically, one of the folks who organized Tedx Sedona said to me, in tears, “I can’t believe how much you’ve been through yet there’s such a lightness about you.” I feel lighter. Prior to the Ted Talk, the thought of looking back at that period of my life and having to recount it—one abusive episode after the next—paralyzed me. Now, for some reason, I feel like I can take it on and not absorb it.
It’s been a year and a half since I received the first email from a brave woman telling me her story (and screenshots) about being used and abused by him while he was still trying to keep me on the hook, and here I am, finally ready to take on the memory of it all head on.
Turns out, I’ve got this. I can write this. And that chapter I’m about to write—tentatively called “TNF”—will lead to the next one which is undoubtedly the best chapter of my life.
Maybe we all have chapters we have to get through to get where we’re supposed to be.
I know one thing: it’s time to fire up the keyboard, again.
This past weekend, I completed what is the equivalent of running a marathon for me—a Ted Talk. And I lived!
Not only did I meet the most amazing people from all over the world, I got the chance to talk about healing from childhood and adulthood abuse on a big stage with a big red dot. (I’ll tell you later how I “fell off the red dot” at one point because you know, it’s hard to stay on a rug while you’re speaking. Ha!)
I’m constantly amazed by how much we are guided and helped to be where we need to be at the right time.
And I was even more thrilled to look out into the crowd and see my husband and kids proudly smiling back at me, and sometimes with tears in their eyes. None of this road I’ve traveled has been easy on them and it affected all three of them deeply in many ways.
After the talk was over and Noah was heading home, I got a message from him saying that I was a kick-ass woman who is going to change the world. Of course, I teared up reading that. I’m just overwhelmed with love and admiration for Scott, Noah, and Grace, and I’m so eternally grateful they are mine. And I hope with all my heart, our children and their children will never have to experience anything I did in their lifetime.
If my Ted Talk opens up channels of communication with just two people about the bigger picture of life, stuff that can’t be explained by science, patterns of abuse, repression, and rebuilding life after all of it, I am a happy woman.
For now, I’m going to kick back and relax and NOT MEMORIZE ANYTHING for a long time.
Now what was I doing? Oh right…NOT MEMORIZING ANYTHING and enjoying being exactly where I am at this very moment.
More on the topic of memory loss related to abuse:
Here's a snippet of the Ted Talk that was filmed by our son, Noah. The official Ted Talk video will be uploaded to TED in a couple months, I believe. They produce a beautiful video for each presenter. So grateful! You can find more info on Tedx Sedona at www.tedxsedona.com.