The Transformative Power of Telling Your Story

“Writing is an essential step in telling one’s story, because writing enables us to create order out of memory’s chaos.”

~ Leila Levinson, author of Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma

“Stories” is a new page on this website, a place for you to tell your story about your experience with a psychopath or to read the stories of others. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the beginning of your story, in the middle, or at the end.  Every story matters.

There is therapeutic value in telling our stories to people who understand, and in reading the stories of others and finding out we’re not alone. It can even be transformational.

You can tell your story through journaling, verbal or written narratives, or through creative writing, song, poetry, film, or painting or other artwork. To read a story told through poetry, see “Soul Songs” for a collection of poems written by Linda, one of this blog’s readers.

“Creativity in art, music, writing, and drama draws upon many parts of our brain and in so doing offers a means of expressing aspects of trauma that were never encoded in words but find expression, release and realization in personal and powerful ways. Creative outlets are so often the conduits to the healing narrative.” ~ Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

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Over time, your story may become quite different than it was at the outset. The facts don’t change, but your interpretation of them — and the meaning you give to your experience — can change, going from a story of defeat to a story of victory. You can reclaim your power by re-framing your experience in a way that gives it a new and empowering meaning. One way that can happen is by replacing unnecessary self-blame with healing self-compassion.

Journaling is a valuable way to work through your story privately, over time. I kept a journal for over a year, and I believe it helped me a great deal. It enabled me to express my emotions, get clear on what happened, gain insight, realize what I learned from it, recognize my strengths, and give meaning to my experience. It was liberating to have a place to express myself without censoring my thoughts, feelings or words.

“Those writing about their trauma are often driven by a powerful voice that can speak of things that can’t be said aloud, that unfold from a horrified, confused, isolated self. The power is in this vehicle of translation.”

~ Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

Experts consider sharing the story of loss and finding someone to attentively and empathetically listen to be integral in the recovery process. Listening requires maintaining an active presence, empathy and openness to hear the person telling the story. Having a good friend or therapist listen to your story in this way can be invaluable. Often, we rely on others who’ve been through a similar experience to fill this role for us.

If you choose to tell your story here, I won’t publish any responses to it that are negative in any way. It’s about having your story heard by others who will listen without judgement and with acceptance.

 Visit the Stories page to read a collection of stories by this website’s readers. Head over to the blog post about female psychopaths to read more stories from male readers.

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“Our personal narrative offers us a chance for not just understanding, but for reorganization our sense of self. A self that was wounded, broken, frightened or lost—but can now be reclaimed. The power of telling your story allows you to transform the foreign into the familiar—making the unspeakable speakable. Your narrative and yours alone, can bring you awareness and closure.”

Deborah Serani Psy.D., Why Your Story Matters

 

LOTUS DIVIDER

♥ Your story matters.

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14 thoughts on “The Transformative Power of Telling Your Story”

  1. Pamela

    It was a 30 year horror story, all I wanted was a Love Story. Who would want to read this, not my kids, they don’t want to hear anything negative about their Dad.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      If you feel a need to tell your story, the key is finding the right person or people to listen. Maybe that’s not your kids, but your story matters. If you don’t have a need to tell it that’s OK, but if you do please don’t invalidate yourself because you’re assuming others will. A lot of us dealt with invalidation, and it can cause us to start invalidating ourselves if we internalize that what we do, say or are isn’t important or worth listening to.

    2. lisa

      Pamela, you deserved a love story. We all do. It is not your fault. You survived it. That is a triumph and a gift, so yes, much of it was horror, but where you are now is a movement to tranquility and peace.

      Your children did not experience what you did in the way that you did. Set them aside for now because they cannot understand. One day they may get it. Those of us who have experienced it will understand. It is healing for the rest of us, and you, to know we’re not alone. It can happen to any of us in an assortment of horrible ways. But we will all heal from this and I hope for me, be a light for anyone else who gets lost in it.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Well said, Lisa. Thank you.

  2. Ann

    What a wonderful initiative Adelyn. I think that many times the reason the psychopath was successful in manipulating us was because we just did not believe that people could be so callous and without remorse. It is only when i started reading up that i learnt that trust is earned, not given, i learnt about boundaries andlistening to my instincts and observing. And i got so much comfort from the fact that i was not alone in all of this, that there were many women out there who had the same story, albeit with different details. I think its important to tell the story for the person telling it as well as for others reading it and gaining support and validation. The stories are proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel! I hope you’ll reach it soon, Ann.
      You’re right, it is incomprehensible to us that anyone could be so callous and heartless, and it makes their manipulation and betrayal possible.

  3. Jan

    Pamela, I want to read your story. Reading what others have experienced continues to be a help to me. This blog is a wonderful, safe, supportive place that has been a life-line in my struggle to understand what happened to me. EVERY time I’ve shared something, a reply has come. I’ve felt heard and supported and completely respected.
    Your children will be able to understand your story when they are older. Your writing now will be like a gift to them in the future; to make sense of what they observed but didn’t understand when they were kids.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you, Jan, for sharing your kind words and for supporting Pamela.
      I’m very glad to know you feel supported and respected here.

  4. Naazima

    I subscribe to psychopathsandlove because the every single post inspires with confirmation that I am not alone in my experience. The writings remind me that I am NOT crazy and that “love relationships” with psychopaths/sociopaths cause inevitable harm.

    Recently, over the past few months I had been contemplating whether any good could come from me sharing my story, either for myself or for others. Fear, humiliation, feeling foolish, used and discarded, being made to feel at fault for the relationship ending by friends that knew us as a couple are all reasons why I have avoided sharing such a deeply wounded experience.

    Seeing this post over the weekend has planted a seed of healing in my heart and mind.
    I feel I am now leaning towards working up the courage to get my story down on paper and come back here to share as soon as I am brave enough.

    My heart is filled with gratitude for your continuous, nonjudgmental support, your inspiration images, poems, recommended readings and advice.

    Thank you for being a beacon of light on the dark and painful memories of surviving after having loved a psychopath/sociopath.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I’m very happy to hear that seeds of healing have been planted in your mind and heart. Those seeds will start growing now, and there will be no stopping them! And I’m glad you feel inspired to write your story! I’m looking forward to hearing it if you decide to share it here. No one will judge you. Writing it could be a big step in overcoming the humiliation you feel. We all felt it at one time, but then one day we learn there was no reason for it. We were victimized because we have the ability to love, and it was taken advantage of.

      Thank you with all my heart for your kind words, Naazima! It really means a lot to me ♥

      All the best to you.

      You might want to read this too:
      Want To Reclaim Your Power? Re-Write Your Story!

  5. Justine

    Sharing one’s story can be so empowering. I have a personal journal about the abusive relationship, which reminds me of the truth of what happened. I’ve also shared with a couple people I trust. All these tools, along with this informative and educational site, keep me moving in the right direction. If your on this site Pamela, your in a good place to be supported and get some help.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Sharing is empowering (as long as it’s done with someone who understands, otherwise it can have the opposite effect; I know that all too well!). I’m so glad the site has helped you, Justine! I kept a journal, too, and it was a great help. I highly recommend it.

  6. janes

    thank u for the penetrating( through heart, mind, soul) content of your post
    your post made me so aware of how beneficial , healthy, HEALING to say my story to “RIGHT PEOPLE”.
    often its unbearable to face/write our reality of our horrendous experiences.
    we must always document , write , record what ever the abuse that we are going through(with times, dates , names, SECRET recordings) . They will become handy in most needed times. if we dont we will forget HOW WE LET THE P ABUSE/DESTROY/DISMANTLE OUR LIVES, for sure , if we dont & Ps will use it against us in ever turn.
    i m going to write mine too in “Stories” Section , i ve been buried under a lot of other mental diggings. i promise i will write in the “Stories” Section, yet i m a little afraid mine is on going, after my Master P.
    xoxo

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you, Janes. I hope you’ll share your story, when you’re ready!
      Did you keep a journal? I did. I documented it, 300 pages worth, with a play-by-play analysis.

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