For many years, I blocked out all thoughts of my horrific childhood. I decided I’d “moved on” and wouldn’t let those things take up space in my head anymore.

I wiped my abusers out of my life and didn’t look back.

Residual trauma, unresolved rage, and my inability to know or set my own boundaries could not be as easily erased. Those toxic traits rose up to haunt me again and again but I wouldn’t truly realize that until I was in my forties.

I had to face my past.

It was imperative that I lay it to rest.

I did so by purging it through writing.

Some of my experiences eventually made it into Love & Live Fearlessly but most of them were so damn brutal that even the act of writing them as myself felt like being ripped apart from the inside out. Owning them as a breathing human being felt like living through them again.

Those moments…that pain…I poured into fiction.

Throughout my decade as a self-published author, I have repeatedly received messages from readers about my stories helping them purge their pain.

“It felt so real.”

“I lived an experience like that.”

“It’s like you’re inside my head.”

I’ve never received a message telling me I shouldn’t have written a scene about trauma the way I did or that it wasn’t realistic. No one has ever accused me of being remiss in not posting trigger warnings because sometimes we need to be shaken up to face what went before.

I know because I lived it, too.

There’s no doubt that you have to deal with your past…but you cannot live there. People and situations sucked the joy from you – stole actual time from you – and they shouldn’t be allowed another second of your attention. Face the pain and let it go.

The road behind you can never be retraveled.

The road ahead is what matters.

Your future deserves your time, attention, and focus. Don’t let emotional vampires continue to make your future feel like your past.

You don’t live there anymore.

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