• Rachel Saunders

What's Mine to Tell

Recently I’ve been thinking about my story, as in, what parts of my life are mine to tell. It can feel a bit overwhelming as everyone has so many other people in their life whose experiences blend and overlap with their own. It’s been especially weird for me coming from the background of feeling so out of touch and unable to direct my own life.


So much of myself, sometimes, it feels has been overlaid by the people that are and have been in my life that I’m not always sure where my story starts and theirs begins. How do I tell my story without telling something that is someone else’s to share? I definitely do not want to paint someone in a bad light because my experience of the events were not positive. We are all trying our best (I hope) to be the best we can be, but we are all also individuals and prone to mistakes and judgements.


I especially struggle with my childhood. It was most assuredly not anywhere near the worst, yet I have a lot to say about the things I feel were lacking in my upbringing and the religious undertones that slipped in to wreak havoc on my sense of self. I honestly do not blame the people that brought these into my life; they were likely doing only what they thought was best.


And yet, I want to speak to all that was/is lacking, the things that I’ve been seeking as an adult to feel whole and loved by self. But how do I do that without pointing the finger and seemingly saying that this situation, that environment, or this person really messed me up? Because isn’t it more nuanced than that?


This has been a huge part of my trouble writing about myself, at times, because I do not want to talk of something that I think is part of mine to tell but, in the end, isn’t. I don’t want to do it “wrong.” I know, I know, I’m trying to move away from the binary of right or wrong; there is plenty of grey area in many decisions. And, you won’t ever make everyone happy, so why not make sure that you are happy? There is no magical path that gets your through expressing an opinion where absolutely no one is unhappy or angry with you or your opinion.


This is what I keep trying to tell myself, at least. Is it working? Time will tell.


I want to feel more confident in what is mine to tell, to feel that I know my story. Not just the outside details that maybe aren’t mine to share. Or the bare facts. I want to know (and eventually share) the story. My story.

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