Reading My Story Out Loud

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Wharf_Rat

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Last summer, I wrote a testimonial of the boyhood sexual, emotional and physical abuse I experienced. I posted an abbreviated form of the story here some time later. A woman who facilitates one of the group meetings I attend suggested that I read the story out loud at one of my group meetings, so I went to work on editing it again to come up with a read-aloud version. With the help of my therapist, I wrote a new draft each week for about four months. Around the beginning of the year, my therapist asked me if I would be willing to read my story out loud to a group of therapists where she works. She made suggestions as to what should be included - she wanted more information concerning my emotions - what emotions did I have while I was being abused, and what emotions do I have now when I think about the abuse. She also gave me a worksheet that asked questions about the effects of the abuse. I finally came up with a draft we felt was good.

On Monday (two days ago), I read my abuse story out loud to a group of six therapists, including my therapist, two other experienced therapists, and three new, inexperienced therapists. They were all women. My therapist had told me she thought it was important for them to hear my story because only one of the other five, beside herself, had experience with males who had been sexually abused. She said that hearing my story would help them understand other men and boys better and they would be better able to help those other men and boys.

It was a nerve-wracking experience to read it out loud, and my hands shook some. My throat got very dry by the end of it (it was three pages long). I think I read some parts too fast, not pausing between paragraphs when I should have. It could have been much worse, though. My fears about it were because I expected the worst to happen. I didn't get anywhere near as nervous as I expected, though, again, I was nervous. I was afraid I'd get so worked up it would take forever to calm down again, but that didn't happen, either. I was back to normal within the hour, I think.

The therapists were going to meet again yesterday, and one of the things they would talk about would be my story. My therapist would ask the others for feedback and questions for me. I will hear all of those next Monday. I wish I could hear them today. Though I already posted my story on this website last year, I'd like to post this new version, too. It has that other information in it - emotions, effects, etc.
 
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