As survivors, and people who try to exist in a culture that tells us to speak up and be quiet all at the same time, I often wonder if posting on facebook and writing blog posts really matters. Am I just writing into the din, with no real change in the ripple in the universe? Maybe I am. Jennifer and I decided when we started this joint project that we would not let the numbers of who looked at our posts, how many re-shares we got, how many likes or unlikes we got and all the other statistical information control our thoughts about what we do. We post because we feel it is necessary. We hope that what we write and share brings light and hope to someone in the world who is struggling.
We have been in that place of so alone. We have felt unheard. We have wondered if anyone else out there in the vast wide world was feeling the pain we were.
Let me remind you. You are not alone and it is not your fault.
As I have tried to state as strongly as I know how, it isn’t about the numbers. It’s about sharing our stories, our pain, and our triumphs because we want everyone to know they are not alone. We want to be a beacon of light in the darkness, and know that we will probably never know who reads our posts and if it offers hope.
Does Sharing Your Story Really Matter?
We recently posted Pam’s Story to our story wall. Whenever we post a story, I try to communicate with the person who shared it with us. It is scary to put your deepest hurts out in the world. I try to check in and see how the person is doing, but I also try to keep them apprised of the statistics we get back from wordpress about what countries have looked at the site in the last twenty-four hours. Through facebook, we are also able to boost a post and see how many people have viewed the post.
I am writing this all at Pam’s request. She took a tremendous risk to share her story, as does every survivor who shares their story here or any where.
People saw her story. There is no doubt in my mind that it brought and will continue to bring healing to people who read it.
So, since the numbers are not the driving force of this work, but they are interesting, and overwhelming, here’s a synopsis of the numbers on Pam’s story. We did pay to boost the post on facebook. That garnered 10 shares, one of which was in South Africa. At the present moment, 59,648 people saw her post through facebook. It was shared by at least two other sexual abuse survivor resource groups. This site has been seen in the last twenty-four hours by people in The United States, China, France, The European Union, Israel, Viet Nam, Thailand, India, and The Netherlands. Yes, I know. Some of those are spam hits, but some aren’t. There are real people behind those searches who found our little website.
I hope they were comforted by what they found here. I hope they found courage in the stories of people who have given us the honor of sharing their very personal pain and strength. Most of all, I hope they were reminded that they are not alone.
Just in case you’ve ever wondered if your story matters, let me assure you it does. Any time you share your story, you are helping other people. But perhaps the most important person you are helping is you. Sharing your story is important because it’s your story. You survived. And we hope, beyond anything, that you are healing, and that you know you are not alone.
Your story matters because you matter.