My first journal --- diary, rather --- was when I was 6 years old. Yup, soo young now that I picture it! But whenever I wrote in my journal, I always felt I was a whole person no matter how young I was, and I took myself very seriously. (I love that!) As lots of times, young people can be disrespected simply because they're young.
My childhood is still something I don't enjoy getting into and feel there's no point to. But if anything, my experience with holding sacred spaces with Journaling Sisters has shown me that sharing our stories, and especially our struggles, is crucial in helping other women to feel less alone and actually can inspire other women who may also be going through difficult times.
I was two, my brother four, and my mom had been trying to leave our abusive dad multiple times. Who can blame her? However, when she ultimately left, she also left my brother and I there as well. Leaving an abusive relationship or marriage is always incredibly hard and terrifying. She did her absolute best in the situation she was in, with the limited resource and support that she had.
And... that also meant that the trauma of living in an abusive household, in addition to the resulting effect of being left (feelings of abandonment, etc) stayed with my brother and I.
I did manage to get out after a couple years. Unfortunately, my brother was not as lucky (being the only son, my dad insisted on keeping him).
In my little six year old head, I told myself that "My life starts now." And I've journaled ever since then.
**If you know of anyone presently in an abusive relationship or trying to leave one, please assist them in seeking professional help from a local woman's shelter. One of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship, and that includes mental, psychological, emotional, or physical abuse, is when a woman is trying to leave.