We all come with a story. We are born into an ongoing tale and the thread doesn’t leave us when we die. Events become woven into the fabric, and sometimes those events are big. Sometimes they are so big that they threaten to take over the whole narrative, for life.
I was recently invited to tell my story at TEDx Byron Bay. I don’t pretend that people are interested in me because of who I am, but because of what’s happened to me, and, hopefully, because of how I’ve dealt with it.
Long story short, I lost my family: my two children and my father, killed by my ex-husband who then suicided.
It is a part of my story, but it’s a part that I chose a long time ago not to dwell on. It’s my therapy, my gift to myself that I don’t have to ‘go there’ because it’s confusing and painful and still tender and because big events like this threaten to take away the ‘me’. I’m shy. I’m kind. I’m pretty damn average. But people have been afraid of me. Afraid of me? It's almost laughable.
Really, they are afraid because they don’t know what to say, because what happened to me makes them uncomfortable. I’ve had therapists admit they don’t feel ‘qualified’ to ‘help’ me. I’ve had friends disappear. I’ve had neighbours cross the street and pretend they haven’t seen me. I’ve even been uninvited to parties. Pretty interesting responses towards a pretty average person.
So when I was invited to talk at TEDx, I said ‘yes’ for a couple of reasons. I wanted to tell the story just one more time and that was it. Have it filmed and out there for people to check out and then react in their own time and space.
And I wanted to provide hope, perhaps just a glimmer of hope that we can get through the big stuff and be who we are, in control of our own story and writing it anew.
So, here it is- me talking about the ‘big stuff’. Even though I’d rehearsed, you can probably pick the part where my throat goes dry. My hope is that you will take in the message of hope and inspiration, not just one of loss… And that I won’t ever need to do this particular talk again.