Word Prompt: Plan | Story Prompt: from the book “Run Towards The Danger” by Sarah Polley

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“Why do we write things about ourselves? To absolve ourselves of guilt? To confess? To right a wrong? To be heard? To apologize? To clarify things for ourselves or others? I’ve wondered all these things as I sit down to write this.

I’ve been writing and unwriting this essay for years now. It’s difficult, when you’ve resisted telling a story for so long, to know where to start. Especially when it has haunted you to not tell it. When it has knocked around inside your brain, loudly in the middle of the night, asking why it didn’t deserve to be told, asking you who you might have hurt by not telling it, who you might truly be, deep down, because of your decision not to.

This story starts somewhere. But I don’t know if it begins twenty-nine years ago, when I was around fourteen years old, and a man in his twenties tenderly brushed a strand of hair away from my face. Or if it began as a young teenager, when, lost and scared, something happened to me that I couldn’t understand, and so a part of my brain hid it from me until years later. Or when I was thirty-three and, though I had found my adult voice with almost everyone else, I still behaved in a way that was deferential and ingratiating towards a man who had hurt me even though I wanted nothing from him.

I’ll start at thirty-five.”

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