Writing is therapeutic. Since day one of the journey to heal Post Traumatic Stress, writing has been recommended as a way to process thoughts. Throughout the years journals have been provided by the various organizations who help victims of sexual assault because it helps. At first it was suggested you write regardless of whether it makes sense. But you can also use writing to express your thoughts, feelings, and stances as a way to be heard, even if no one reads it.
As time has gone on and the memories become more vivid and less fragmented, the desire to put it all together becomes stronger. Finally the narrative has emerged as a whole instead of splintered, disjointed sections. Now the question is how does one help the reader understand and feel the narrative. The use of imagery helps the reader feel the characters in the scene and can be powerful ways to help put things in context.
I decided to join a creative writing group at my local Veteran Affairs hospital as a way to help me expand my writing potential. My first assignment is “Capturing Images”. We were asked to make a list of images you remember from childhood to youth and as those images arise, choose those that hold positive memories. Next, reflect further on your childhood images and write down your emotions associated with them. The above picture was taken in the fields I grew up in as a child. I was excited this was my first assignment.
This assignment is a perfect example of how creative writing can help you process your thoughts and emotions. In this particular case, this can be considered a form of resourcing, even if your childhood wasn’t perfect. Resourcing was a strategy recommended to me to help overcome the trauma. It helped me see beyond what happened to me and begin to think about the good things that also happened. It was easy for me to reflect on my childhood because I had many fond memories of growing up in a small town on hundreds of acres of land.
The challenge will be whether or not I can make you feel what I felt when I was running carefree as a child in those grassy fields. I am a bit intimidated with the assignment but that’s what makes it so good for me. I will be forced to learn something new that will help me become better at writing and I can use resourcing to focus on the positive aspects in my past that made me who I am today.