Day 9

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    Leanne Matton


    A healed memory is not a deleted memory.
    Lewis B. Smedes

    As we start to work through our grief and deepen the healing process, old memories can surface as the legacy of a toxic situation tries to challenge your progress. Often people who caused us harm will have very different memories of the things we experienced as negative and painful. They will attempt to ‘rewrite history’.

    Facts will be changed or omitted altogether. You may feel like you’re in a fog of confusion, trying to make sense of the incongruence between what you experienced and what you’re being told about your experience.

    You pain is then doubled. There is the initial event and there is the denial of its occurrence. For example, many children who experience abuse will try to tell someone, only to be called a liar and a troublemaker by those they go to for help.

    It’s essential that we get clear on these situations and memories – re-examine them and challenge those things you’ve been told about yourself that don’t match with your experience of yourself.

    Write a story that significant people in your life would say is true but that you would call a lie.


    I return from being overseas for two years.

    My father tells me they’re coming to visit a historic landmark near where I’m going to live and study. He asks if they can visit, having not seen me since before I left. I say of course, but there are conditions.

    If they visit, we need to sit down and work out our problems. I cannot continue to go through the cycle of being brutally evicted from the family by my mother for crimes I don’t understand and then reconnected by my father months later, who insists I apologise each time.

    I have grown a little while living abroad. I need to know how to avoid this old cycle. It wounds me. I want to move forward.

    My father tells me to shove it up my arse and hangs up. We never speak again, and he dies 25 years later without ever having worked things out as requested.

    Shortly after this final call, I visit my cousin and she tells me:

    ‘Your father told me how you made it clear they weren’t welcome to visit you and that you never wanted to see them again’.

    This becomes the ‘truth’.

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