Stories Are Magic
They take us to a different time and place
Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash
Stories give us a break from reality
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
Stories can help us heal ourselves and others
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Telling Our Stories—
Helps us to feel less alone
Allows us to connect with others
Can bring wounds into the light
Take away the power of our abusers
Brings closure to the past
Can help us heal ourselves and each other
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Do you have a story you’re eager to launch into the world?
An unmade bed has no negative measurable impact in eternity. An unfinished book probably does.
But what if you're afraid to tell your story?
Barriers to telling your story might include:
Fear of what others might think
Fear of retaliation from an abuser
Questions about how to pull the events of your life together into a cohesive story
Wondering if people will want to read your story
These are just a few of the issues I struggled with when I wrote my memoir, Chasing Eden.
My family gave me no encouragement. We’d been shoveling dirt over the skeletons in our basement for decades and the thought of me unearthing them freaked everyone out.
One relative called me a monster and a liar, posting on their social media wall that my book was 95% lies and 5% truth. I still laugh because this person never read my memoir—they wrote these words two years before I published the book.
Seriously, who is the liar?
The Narcissist and flying monkeys threatened me, but I feared something worse. I had to tell my story because I wanted to be authentic.
When it comes to shame, we have two options: we either walk into the stories of our lives and we own them, or we stand outside our stories and we hustle for our worthiness. Because what happens is, our worthiness lives inside of our story.
My inspiration to write my memoir came from reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The gift of Walls’ amazing story was that it removed the shame and stigma of constantly moving and growing up in poverty.
When Walls held an online meeting to answer questions, I wrote in asking her where to start and she gave her mother’s advice—“Just tell the truth.”
Those words were the opposite of what my mother taught me. Throughout the process, whenever I heard my mother’s worried voice about what others would think creeping in, I clung to the voice of Rosemary Walls. Through the pain and beauty of Jeannette’s amazing story, I found the freedom to tell the truth about my own childhood.
After that, I clung to the phrase—
Write the truth, even when your hands shake.
This became my mantra.
As soon as I published, I knew I’d done the right thing. People wrote to me from all over the world telling me of similar things they have gone through. Others told me how my book had changed the way they parent their children.
And still, others want to write their own memoir. And why not? Every one of us has a unique story. My story is no more important than yours.
I’m still getting letters from people who want to write their stories, so I’ve decided to answer them by giving out tips on both surviving narcissistic abuse and writing. Those of us who have been through hell, require extra reassurance to tell our stories.
I’m choosing to share tips because others have helped me.
So go ahead, grab your pen. Write your memoir. You’ll be sharing your heart, but you don’t have to do this alone. I’ll be sending you encouragement.
Little Red Survivor Tips is about Surviving Abuse and Writing Your Stories
If you had a tough childhood, you might find your memories of past abuse throwing you for a loop from time to time. Trust me, I’ve been there.
As Maya Angelou said, we can find ways to “survive and thrive, with passion, compassion, humor, and style.”
I’ll be sharing tips not only on how to organize and plan your book but also on how to negotiate the emotional and practical aspects of writing a memoir.
I want to help you write a successful memoir that will resonate with readers.
Your book might never make it to the New York Times bestseller list, but if you craft it in such a way that others can enjoy reading it, you’ll heal your wounds and change the lives of others in the process.
There’s no charge for Little Red Survivor Tips it’s my way of paying it forward.
(Just make sure you add this email address to your "trusted" list—otherwise, this email might end up in your spam folder.)
This FREE Memo will land in your inbox on Fridays to help you go into the weekend armed with positive thoughts on how to enjoy your freedom and stand up for yourself.
CHERILYN’S WIP EDITION
A PAID Subscription sharing chapters from my current WIP
This is where the writing tips and survivor tips come together in art form. No matter what the Narcissist and Flying Monkeys think, we weren’t put in this earth to please them—we’re here to tell our stories. To deny that gift is to give in to evil. I won’t do that and I hope you won’t either.
As an author, I am always working on a book, but I’m not ready to share it with just anyone. I’m still working on my second memoir which I hope to publish next year.
But I’m currently taking some time off from writing about my own life to focus on a historical fiction novel based on a true-life love story about some Oregon pioneers. This is not procrastination—it’s doing self-care. No one can talk or write about themselves for long and remain healthy. Writing a novel has been fun and is giving me balance in my life.
It might surprise you how much organizing a novel and finding the story beats in your life have in common.
I’m excited about this story and I think you’ll find it interesting.
As a subscriber to Little Red Survivor WIP you’ll enjoy:
Weekly chapters from my current WIP
Access to ask questions and discuss my books
Free autographed copy of the book when I publish
This paid subscription is $40.00 a year or $5 a month.
This includes a free autographed copy when I publish.
The book giveaway is only available to yearly subscriptions due to the cost of printing and mailing an autographed copy (U. S. addresses only).
I hope you enjoy these stories get inspired to write your own.
Peace and freedom,
About the Author
My name is Cherilyn Christen Clough. I grew up isolated, on the move, and without any friends or high school education, because my parents thought the world would end before I grew up. As a survivor of narcissistic and religious abuse, I wholeheartedly believe no matter what has happened to us in the past, we can find our healing through telling our messy stories.
If you’d like to read the story of my childhood, you can find my book here.