Should You Write Publicly About Your Trauma?

Writing slayed my demons

Amy Punt

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A cat crouching in the grass to communicate neglect, forgotten, afraid.
Photo by Oliver Schwendener on Unsplash

In all chaos, there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order. -Carl Jung

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. -Carl Jung

Should you share your story publicly? What are the risks, aside from whether or not you’ll be believed? Because if it’s true, you’ll be believed. Just know that. What you really might be wondering is what the legal ramifications might be. Could you face them? Could your abuser sue you, that is, if you never reported and your abuser was never convicted, much less investigated? How does it work for private citizens, you, and them?

I’m no attorney. I can’t offer you legal advice, and only you know whether your family has a legal fight in them. But if this helps at all, know that, in this country, they’d have to prove that you don’t believe yourself, that you’re publicly accusing them to harm them, their reputation, and their businesses. If you believe yourself and there are others in your life who believe you, therapists, doctors, friends, spouses, then that becomes much harder to prove, possibly impossible.

I don’t think you ever have to wonder what lies a narcissist tells about you to make others fear or even hate you. Narcissists will make you out to be what they are.

It’s true; you might open yourself to legal trouble if you start accusing people who, by all outward appearances, look like law-abiding, upstanding members of society. But you and I know differently, don’t we? We know what they’re like behind closed doors when no one else is looking. No one but those of us who thought we could live with what they did to us forever without saying anything to anyone about it. After all, we survived it, didn’t we? We got out and got away, and that means we’re free, right? Why would we want to jeopardize what little bit of solitude and solace we’ve built outside their reach? Why would we want to tell the world what happened to us? We know it’s too much to handle. We understand just what it means to tell. It’s dangerous. Whether our abuser explicitly…

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Amy Punt

As a child, writing saved my sanity. As an adult, writing saved my life. Now, I write in hopes of helping someone else.