There are times where a person can almost burst with the weight of their own story.
As women, we are told how to feel, how to look and how to act every day by a variety of sources, and when we don’t feel the ‘right’ way we place blame on ourselves rather than on the outside world. Every woman is taught to be self-critical – to wonder why she’s herself and not someone better, thinner, taller, brighter, sportier, healthier, more generous, more driven. This behaviour pattern can form a cycle where we look further and further inside of ourselves for the source of the problem, the reason that we can’t quite ‘make it’ and so we end up with our hearts and heads in crisis.
One of the most valuable things that we can do to get ourselves out of this deep hole of market-supported self-loathing is to spend time with a girl friend that has been there, can empathise and would do anything to make you feel better. Women, more than men, are given the space to truly let rip with their friends. We can reveal our darkest, dirtiest secrets, discuss our hopes, fears and dreams and share experiences that build us up in a way that the best diet or the most money can never do.
This project began for this very reason. Sometimes we feel really good or really bad and our friends can be far away. Sometimes we are between good friends and don’t feel like we have that confidante to share our good or bad story with. Sometimes we have a story bursting inside of us, and nobody around to tell. Sometimes we wish we could just learn from someone else’s story, so we can process our own. I felt like there was a need for a space where women could know that they were not alone, and that there was someone out there going through just what they were.
The project started as a blog back in 2010 and in 2012 the first book of stories that you could give to your sister, your mother or your girl friend was published. A book means that you can share these stories offline with a woman in your life. She can read them and feel a bit better either by reading something she identifies with and gaining support from that or by reading a really positive story that inspires her to get through whatever she needs to. You can also keep it by your bedside to read on those tough days.
The blog you’re reading now has hundreds of stories waiting to be read and learned from. These stories are on themes like love, sex, rape and abuse, bodies and body weight, race,sexuality, families, beauty, marriage and divorce, motherhood, experimentation, power, friendship, freedom, relationships and sexual health and health.
It began with a simple email project. This writing blew me away.
So I present this to you the reader. The women who wrote these amazing stories will remain nameless to protect them. We all know that sometimes we write a story, not for the story to be told but because we need to get it out. It needs to exist outside of us so that we can encounter it and deal with its source. So I cannot thank the writers enough for sharing stories with me and now with you.
I would love you join the project too. Watch this video for some reasons why.
You have two options, you can read these, and join us by commenting and sharing your words of support and feedback with the authors. It can be a way to start shaping your ideas about stories you would like to share, or thank the writers for their stories.
Your second option is to join by writing your own story. You may find that something you read here sparks something in you, or rekindles a desire to share one of your first times. If you do have this feeling then I encourage you to write what you feel, write what you need to write, and write honestly.
If you would like to write a story for this blog, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that this blog can stay true to the original aims of this project. I want women to feel like they have a safe and powerful space to be themselves, to share their stories of joy and enjoy those stories, and importantly to know that on the worst day they’ve had so far, someone else knows how they feel and would love to comfort them.