Post 11 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing and Healing – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler
Finding Healing through Writing
We invite you to send us your story of how writing has been a form of healing for you. Some find healing through journaling. Others find healing through writing their memoir. Perhaps there are other ways that writing has been healing for you. Just email between 200-600 words (or longer if you contact us first) to: Matilda (at) WomensMemoirs (dot) com. We are interested in publishing your thoughts on writing and healing on this website — either with your name or anonymously, your choice. Today’s touching story comes from Sharon Ostrow.
HEALING THROUGH JOURNALING
by Sharon Ostrow
Since the first penciled scribbling as a young girl growing up in a small town, keeping a journal has played a significant role in my life. I treasured my little diaries with the plastic covers and between those pages I could be “just me”. I was a faithful writer and after each session I locked the little lock and hid the books underneath my mattress or in the depths of a dresser drawer. I wonder sometimes where they are and if they got lost in the shuffle of moving when I left home or if they got thrown away.
I didn’t journal during my first marriage because I was consumed by trying to please my husband who was very controlling and possessive. I had little time to self reflect, let alone put pen to paper. As a young mother and wife I was trying to cope with my crazy lifestyle during the early 70’s where drugs, free love and rock & roll still reigned. I was like Alice in Wonderland and had fallen down the rabbit hole into a bizarre world in which I had no control.
By the 1980’s I had experienced divorce and the loss of the custody of two of my children. As a battered woman I was still traumatized by this. Not only that I had also found out that one of my daughters had been molested. I was at the breaking point of my sanity and I felt isolated, becoming deeply depressed. One day a friend sent me a book called Journey Notes about spiritual healing through journaling. This was a wonderful gift and a wonderful discovery. I resumed my journals and through this recognized my co dependency which was a huge step on the journey of my healing.
Another source that has helped me immensely in my journaling has been from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing down the Bones. The stream of consciousness approach has been wonderful therapy. I write nearly every day. Sometimes it is my online diary; sometimes it is in my pen to paper journal which is where I write in my deepest moments. Put simply the act of writing helps me to sort my thoughts and emotions but more than that it is my meditation, my prayer, and the nurturing of my spirit. I firmly believe that keeping a journal has saved my life.