Is your life a Horror Movie?

I remember sitting in a room with a bunch of other rape and incest survivors. I didn’t want to be there, but you are told that by talking to other people with similar experiences that you can begin to heal or at least you don’t feel quite so alone in what happened to you.

I spent most of those meetings staring at the large clock on the wall hoping I could leave soon. These people didn’t know what I had been through. What I felt was true suffering compared to these dumb little stories was a mismatch of souls put together by some pitifully-run charitable organization and I didn’t think it was working. I basically left every meeting feeling like these people tripped and scraped their knee and I was beaten in a dark alley.

I’ve had similar experiences throughout my life where I felt very condescending towards others thinking their version of a bad life was whiny and pathetic. This was before the internet.

I have since heard stories from people younger, my age and older that make my alley-style life look like a knee scrape. The stories from some people who have come here from other countries make my jaw drop. What’s the lesson in it all? There is always someone who has it worse off than you.

This shouldn’t lessen our own pain, though. Just yesterday I spoke with someone who I think came the closest to having it exactly like me. Their story pretty much mirrored mine. I wouldn’t say really any worse or any better (even though if looked at under a magnifying glass, there would be a difference I’m sure) and it dawned on me that since we all get to talk on a network with millions of people in a world with billions of people we can now find people who we relate to. We see it in music, in films and in the arts. If you like any genre of music, you will find others who like it too. If you like horror films, you will find others who enjoy them. There seems to be a huge selection of like-minded people out there to pick the brains of and find comfort in their numbers.

When I do find the people with parallel lives, I am both thrilled and saddened. Those of us who seem to be healing from our bad past have done the same thing; made lemonade out of lemons (ya, I stretched my tired lil brain this morning for an alternate cliché, but that’s what we are going with) The thing about the music we love and the films we watch is that although they are mostly fictional, the best artists and filmmakers all understand the experience. It’s awful to think a person running away from a screaming chainsaw on the big screen is based off someone, somewhere in real life being chased, but it reaches into the heart of victims everywhere. Yes, you could leave the film feeling worse than when you came, but you could also walk away feeling pretty good about your history …and present life…not having it so bad.

So, if your life has felt like a horror movie, have you ever thought of writing one? Maybe your life hasn’t been quite that colorful, but you know others would benefit from reading about it.

For me personally, I initially do music to get things off my chest with not a lot of consideration for what others will think, but it’s been a tremendous blessing in my life to hear that what I am doing is positively affecting those who have also had a personal hell to deal with. I never imagined that any good could ever have come from those experiences. It turns out no matter how crazy our story is or how seemingly bland our existence is, there are others who are in our same boat. If I could go thousands of miles above earth and rearrange everyone into groups that were better matched, I would. If it was as simple as placing everyone like pins on a map, we’d all find more comfort.

For all its flaws, the internet is not only exposing sadness that needs attention, but its giving those who are hurting the opportunity to find groups who are like them.

And for those of you who write, paint, make music or films; your story can transform into a beautiful butterfly with potential to heal others. May I humbly encourage you to look for the good in your scenario…the hope in your world and the art in your sadness. As ugly as it is now, roses can grow from the ashes.

Now, if that isn’t the cheesiest thing you’ve ever heard; go grab your day!

ROCK ON my friends,
Karen :)

"Happiness is a direction, not a place." ~Sydney J. Harris

1 comment:

  1. A brief thought passed my mind regarding the ease of finding likeminded people with "comparable stories" is that perhaps the people on group meetings are holding things back.

    On the internet you're much better off to tell the whole story. Face to face, at least without a long warmup, people have a lot harder time really detailing a story. That might be why one gets condescending ideas regarding others "lesser suffering".

    In either case, this was yet another interesting usage of the internet. Would you say that anonymity, or perhaps just that participation is voluntary (one can lurk forums silently), is important for people looking to soothe their wounds?