any feedback would be nice!!
Written By: blairtheadventuregirl
July 14, 2015
Liberty Street in downtown Charleston is where the heart of last summer was for me. Adventure Girlz was centered in about five of the dorms there right off of King Street, aka the lifeline of Charleston. I distinctly remember one day at the camp when the idea of "Story of Self," was introduced to the group. Basically our life stories were to be written in our journals. I thought for sure me and my sister's would be the same story of our father as the group started working hard.
That night we split into two groups to give each other feedback on our stories. One group went to a dorm room and my group stayed in the lounge area. The lounge had a color scheme of mostly blue with accents of green. There were two couches facing each other and chairs in front of them making an open square. There was also a tv stand in the corner but none of us used it. Being there was fun because you could look down on the lower lounge area and the kitchen past a set of stairs and a half wall. We were all friends, so walking in the room had a light mood.
The light mood didn't last long though, as the question of who was sharing first popped up. I volunteered to go first, sharing the stories of my father in my childhood. In short, he was an abusive drug addict that left our family when I was in the third grade and when my sister was in the seventh grade. I always felt mixed emotions about him because because I hold a few good memories but I know he is toxic. It also didn't help when holidays or birthdays came around and he'd promise he loved me, and wanted to see me. I focussed my story of self on my past with him. I thought my sister would too, but she focussed her story of self on her days of being tormented in elementary school and how she overcame it. Me and my sister are pretty close, so I was a little shocked. Not as shocked though as hearing of how one twin struggled with an illness as a youth, and her sister's story of coping with it. Or hearing about the fan girl singer with the most postive exterior that looked suicide right in the face sitting on a bed, watching the cock tick, clutching a knife. Even the cool girl had struggled wihth her parent's long standing divorce and turned to toxic substances. Not even the giggly and tiny girl had a clear past. She struggled through so much, and never let it get to her. There was an undeniable feeling of power and understanding in the room as words of our stories floated about. I felt accepted and understood in a way I had never felt before. I could look at these girls I had known for years and say that I actually knew them! I realized the severity of the situations I already knew they had gone through. Just because they never showed it, it didn't mean that it didn't effect them. Nobody knew about my father, it wasn't a thing my sister or I ever talked about. Nobody knew how many emotions I had about it. I felt free now free now that people did know about it. Nobody judged me for it, instead they all understood what it was like based on their own experiences. It was like a whole tangle of shackles was released from me, and there was no going back. After all our stories were shared, some of us were in tears. We all felt the need to hug it out in the middle of the room and went back to our dorms for the night.
After our group went back to the dorms that night, and even to today, there's a feeling and unity resonated in my soul. I know it sounds super cliche, but it was a very eye opening experience for me. I learned that nobody has a pristine past, and even the most bubbly person you know can have deep emotions tied to a dark past. I also feel so much more confidence in my own story, and I have made peace with it. It took me a long time of serious thinking, but I know I am at peace with my past because I have no problems telling somebody about it or even cracking jokes about it. Nobody can say anything about my past that will effect me. I love where my life is now, and I for sure wouldn't be here without my past. Adventure Girlz has not only been a life saver but a life guider and has helped me pave the path for my future.