WRITING FROM CATHARSIS TO RECLAIMING AGENCY

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Submitted Date 01/22/2019
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Even though I have been writing for most of my life, I only recently started to put it out there for the world to see. Why? I was worried about the repercussions.

Catharsis

Writing has always been my chosen method of catharsis, a way to purge myself from all the negativity and repressed emotions. It started all because I was not allowed to talk to anyone else about what was going on at home. I learned at a young age to put my words on paper when there is no one who will listen close by.

As an adult, I have wanted to share my life experiences because I wanted to help someone just as other writers have helped me navigate the many chapters of my life. There is comfort in someone’s else’s words especially when you can relate to their experience.

Repercussions

Writing about one’s life does not come without its consequences. I remember years ago my mother disclosing to a male family member that I wrote. I am not sure exactly what my mother told him. All he knew was that I wrote about my life, which I admit involved writing about how some things he did negatively impact my own life. There was a fight. There was silence. There was damage to our relationship, even before I published a word.

It did not matter that I never intended to publish it. It was merely a way to purge myself of all the drama. Instead, I was a threat.

Female Agency

It has been about ten years since that happened. I waited a long time to publish anything. While I have yet to publish any writing on that relationship, I have realized how much power female writers have when the male relatives in their lives trying to take away their agency.

My Advice ...

While writing may upset some of the relatives or friends in your life, writing can also be a way for you to gain back your agency. There are times when we went through situations where we had to decide whether to fight. If we fought, we may have lost our lives or made our circumstances worse. If we did not fight, we could live to tell the story or to change the circumstances later.

There is courage is not fighting. There is courage in having patience. There is courage in writing. There is courage in waiting to publish.

 

Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

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