Speaking and Writing Truth

by Elouise

It’s summer, 2012.
I’m speaking in public
about things I’ve never described
to a live audience.

My thoughts are clear.
I’ve written them down.
I hear my voice and
want to retreat immediately
into my ‘safe’ cave.

But my voice is already out there;
I can’t turn back.

My heart is pounding.
I know my face is flushed.
My throat is dry.
Something is trying to shut me down.
I keep reading, speaking, breathing.

There’s a mic in front of me.
It’s a good thing because
I don’t have enough oomph to project
anything right now except
the words themselves,
one at a time.
No feeling of authority
or confidence, even though
I’m not making this up.

It’s the truth about me and
what happened to me
as a child and adult.
I’m reliving my fear,
walking into it as I speak—
Fear of being discredited,
disbelieved and humiliated.

Even though I’m an experienced speaker, I’ve always had this response when telling parts of my story for the first time.  Or to a new audience.  Yes, it happened this week when I wrote about my first Boss, and how I felt after I’d published it.  I wasn’t standing before a live audience, yet I had the same feelings.  No fun.  Today I’m feeling strong and more centered about myself as well as why I’m blogging.

So, Elouise, what exactly are you doing?  I’m exercising my moral fiber muscles!  Not to win a contest, but to stand up for the truth about my life.  Not because it’s unique, but because I’m breaking the silence of decades.  If that moves a reader to look at his or her life, or tell his or her story, that’s good, too.

I’m grateful for women and men who have shown me how to do this.  Not according to a set of rules, but from the heart, from the inside out.  Some are bloggers.  Others are friends old and new.  A growing company of persons who care enough to do their homework and share some of the lessons they, too, have learned the hard way.  We need each other!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 December 2014