Fifteen weeks from today I’ll be preparing to attend the official launch of Say It Out Loud. Sounds like a long time, fifteen weeks, but putting it in perspective, it took almost eight years to complete this book, making the launch right around the corner. Leading up to that much anticipated day I’d like to share with you some excerpts from the book, offering insight into what you should expect, and my hope for a lasting impression.
So, today I will begin at the beginning! The title. I’m inspired to do so because of a story my cousin shared with me yesterday. More about that in a bit.
Chapter 1 pg. 7
On January 3, 2001, I took the biggest step of my life: I walked into the office of Dellene, the woman who would be my therapist for the next six years. With my outfit freshly ironed, hair combed, and lips glossed, I projected an image of control as I extended my hand to greet her. Only my pounding heart told the true story. After a few preliminary questions she asked, “So, what brought you here tonight?”
Without hesitation, I replied, “I think my father was sexually inappropriate with me as a child.” I shared with her my one clear memory, the living room scene that had emerged a few years earlier. I exuded an air of nonchalance, making it clear that Rune had been an alcoholic–my effort to minimize what had happened. Although I wasn’t sure there was more to talk about, I felt safe enough to make a second appointment before leaving. The drive home from that first session is as vivid in my mind today as it was the day it occurred. All the way home, I laughed and I cried, saying over and over, “I did it. I told someone. I said it out loud!“
In the early stages of writing, when I was brainstorming possible chapters for the book, I remembered that very first visit with Dellene. I was so moved by the visual of my drive home, laughing and crying. The relief I felt from saying it out loud was powerful, so powerful it led me on my way to revealing a dark past and healing the scars left behind. It was then, with the book in its infancy, that I knew the title would be Say It Out Loud.
What lasting impression do I want you to have when you think about the title? My cousin’s story says it best. In summary: At a job related meeting, a comment was made that misrepresented her performance. Rather than let it fester inside she spoke up, clearly defining her actions. Later she was commended for speaking out. Her response was, “It was one of those times when I had to say it out loud.”
It doesn’t have to be something big, like my story. Anything that will fester within when left unsaid, is worth saying. When we hold something in it can deplete our energy; be distracting; damage our self-esteem; create greater problems at a later time – all negative consequences of holding back. There is one big positive when you say it out loud; you are set free! Free from burden, anguish, regret, emotional stress – you know the effects.
Don’t be afraid of the times when you need to say it out loud. Set yourself free!
Will this be your lasting impression of the title, Say It Out Loud? I would love to hear your thoughts.
More to come soon on Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse.