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One of the best tools I have found to begin my journey of recovery from sexual abuse  is the use of journalling.Journalling on notepad

When I first started to deal with sexual abuse, it was suggested to me to write in a journal.

Not having done so in a very long time, I did not know where to start. 

I went down to the local newsagent and saw there a small hard covered notepad, A5 in size, with an assortment of pictures on the cover.  The pictures were orange in colour, and looked like someone had just stuck images all over the front. The pages were ruled with blue lines for writing. The cover was hard, and it was not easy to bend.  The book had probably about 100 pages, all blank.

I got a pen, and just started writing.  Writing about daily events,  people in my lives, pictures and scribbly drawings or what ever came to mind.  I kept it in a draw beside my bed.  I also included some images from magazines and newspapers, glued into the journal itself.

I included dates on the top of each entry, some entries taking just a few lines, or just one ie "sad" and others taking many many pages. Some are nicely written, some are scrawled and unreadable.

Why keep a journal. Well basically, it is better out than in.  The more you can get your feelings, desires, hate, anger, love, daily life out of your head and onto the page the better. You can hide the journal if you like, or burn it in the end, but the process of just getting it all onto paper is a great one.

I found I just wrote my thoughts.  Whatever I thought, I put down on the page. If I was upset, I wrote I was upset, and if I knew why - why I was upset.

If I wanted to write a poem, I did.  If I wanted to not write, I did not write for that day or week until I felt I could again.

I filled the first journal, and then bought another - this time blue and covered in dolphins and fish. This one I slowly filled, same as the first with my thoughts and feelings on issues that I was going through.  On one of the pages is where I wrote a angry letter to my father, on another is where I was writing with my left hand rather than the right - just to see how that was.  On others there is just scrawl, now many years later - unreadable.

The final journal I am using is black and white like a zebra and was brought on special.  It as spiral bound and opens from the top via big spirals. In here I have nearly finished the book.

From this writing, and also my reading, I have continued on writing a short novel, in a similar sort of fashion, but with a fictional story attached to it. I have also used word processors as a form of journal.

The thing with a journal, is that it is a record, I can refer to it on special times if I wanted to know a particular time something occurred or a date of a special event.  You do not have to date it, you do  not have to keep it and you do not have to read it - just write in it.

If you do not know where to start, perhaps just find a piece of paper and a pen and write what ever comes to mind.

If you are thinking - I do not know what to write - then write "I do not know what to write in this journal" and go from there - or perhaps talk about what happened that day.

As a quick typist, I can type my journal keeping up with my thoughts, perhaps this may be a way to go if you are this way inclined.  If you cannot start with words, what about trying a picture or a scribble on the page to get you started.

The purpose is to write about your thoughts and feelings onto the page.  Or perhaps why not try a writing course or art course should you feel you need the inspiration.

Also see the articles and short stories sections of this site for further information on journalling, inspiration on what to journal and other relevant information. The links section also contains sites with further information on journaling.

Good luck - and happy journalling.

Written by Whitedove © 2005

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