Today’s incredibly powerful true story is from Rachel Wilson, the screenwriter of Be Heard – a short film written, acted in, directed by and produced by survivors of abuse, under the mentorship of industry professionals. She is also an English teacher, writing coach and personal development mentor. Her new blog Write Well Do your Thing is set to be launched June 2015, until then you can find her at Rachel Teaches English.
What if the part of me I believe I must hide – the raw wretched core I hold onto for all I’m worth – is what someone else is crying out for?
That life-changing thought occurred to me on a day when all else was normal; after thirty-five years scribbling into journals, wrecking my neck with the force of my pen: journals tumbling out of boxes in the attic; journals spilling out from under my bed; journals full of words for no one to read.
You see I’d spotted an opportunity: one which launched my heart into my ribcage: two fears in one: terrifying exposure if I took it; brutal disappointment – in myself – if I didn’t:
I fought my urge to flee and used the adrenaline to stay and fight: for my truth and for others who believe the shame they wrongly carry should forever remain their own private burden. I set aside my journals and dug deep, channelling all preparation for this moment into four pages of screenplay: I attached them to an email and on the dot of the midnight deadline for a script contest called Be Heard, in a half-crazed state, I pressed send.
I had no expectation: I only did it because I had to: I needed to know what would happen if, for once, I didn’t silently swallow this small voice asking: “what if I let myself do this?”
I received an answer to that question some days later: “Your script has been selected to be produced”: it turned out that the hardest part of my story was exactly what was wanted… imagine that.