I belong to a Facebook group for people who went to my old school. I’ve discovered old friends there, been to a reunion as a result, and exchanged reminiscences with many. Many of my school memories are painful – I avoided contact after leaving for many years – but contacts renewed through this group helped rebalance my feelings about school as it reminded me of the good times too.
Recently revelations have been shared far more traumatic than mine, with legal implications. I won’t go into details – sadly, you can probably guess the nature of them. Initially everyone was very supportive. But then an almighty online row exploded in the group after a request for help was turned down; misunderstandings, accusations, and a public meltdown have led to a full split. About half of us (so far) have left (or been removed) to join an alternative group.
As a result, many people have started sharing their own negative experiences of school, something that wasn’t part of the culture of the previous group. Some are shocking, heart breaking; others have had less long lasting effect, perhaps more typical of all teenage experience.
I can’t help thinking, as I read the responses of sorrow, support and openness to the idea that our school days weren’t some golden soft focus idyll after all, that there is some possibility of healing from such honesty and acceptance. When I read that others had tough times at school too, I don’t feel so alone or strange in my own experience.
Old familiar words echo in my mind:
“The Truth shall set you free.”
But I think it needs to be both truth told and truth heard. It needs to be shared truth.
Fear can keep us from hearing someone else speak a truth. Fear that reminds us of wounds we have not yet faced. Fear that our wounds may overwhelm us, consume the lives we have built up to conceal them.
Fear can keep us from admitting the truth. Fear that it will destroy us.
When really truth will clear the ground to make a space to rebuild from the wreckage. It’s not a quick and easy remedy for deep hurts. But speaking the truth and listening to the truth can be the first two steps on the path to healing and wholeness.
(This is written as part of the Five Minute Friday link up. More posts on the theme of REMEDY can be found here: Five Minute Friday Writing Prompt Link-up :: Remedy – Five Minute Friday)