TELLING DIFFICULT STORIES

Passage Four (self portrait)Do you have stories about yourself that you don’t tell because…

you think people won’t believe you

you find it hard to speak about certain things

you just never told anyone before

if you say it aloud you might have to do something about it

or any other reason that stops you from sharing, healing and learning from your experiences?

 

In 2014, I thought up a way of sharing my stories that felt safe.  I was able to tell them publicly, and let them go. Safely done, because of a simple experiment that worked well for me.  So how does it work? I created this website and posted some of MY STORIES for people to read, BUT with a catch. After reading the story, you have to click a button to judge the story as True or False, before you can read the next one.

That’s it. Very simple.

It was just an experiment, but I made an interesting discovery. There was no real judgement, because the reader could never actually know which stories were true and which were false. Some said true and some said false, and in the end it didn’t matter. And so to my surprise, I felt safe, and most importantly, I healed from the process of doing it.

The people I had invited to read the stories were also fascinated and said they learned a lot about how they tell the stories of their own lives and how we all listen to each others stories every day. Some of them asked me if I could set up a website so that they could try the experience, by telling their own difficult stories.

So here it is. My original story experiment is on the page called MY STORIES.

You can submit a story of your own. It will be moderated just to check it is not porn or spam etc and then it is added to the page called YOUR STORIES’ for other people to read and vote on whether they think it is True or False, which is how it stays emotionally safe.

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Previously in 201o I had begun using a name for artworks that involved a therapeutic aspect but without involving professional therapy: Therapeutic Interpretive Biographies (TIBS). If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on that, please visit the TIBs page for MORE INFO  Otherwise, please take it for what it is… human beings talking to each other… safely, through art, about things we need to share. Please respect each other and yourselves. I am not advocating telling lies. It is up to each of us to decide what we say out loud to others. This online project is just one artists exploration of truth-telling difficult stories and of being judged.

Thanks, for reading. Jamie

 

Photo Credits: Banner portrait by Susan Bondor, Home page self portrait by Jamie Griffiths