There’s pride for some of us this Pride Season. For others, such terrible, corrosive shame remains. Worse, prejudice and, yes, punishment remains for countless millions, simply on account of their being lesbian, bi, trans or gay.
Reset and take a new direction
In our family’s story we find the roots for our own story – good and bad. We can take strength from our ancestral history, but we might want to deconstruct that story, and consciously move beyond anything that no longer serves us in the present day.
When I was in the Royal Free hospital, recovering from my kidney operation, I needed to search for my story. I was releasing painkillers into my body every five minutes: the pain stabbed at my sides. Sleepy, I thought to myself, ‘why am I here, why have I chosen to donate my kidney, and what comes next?’
Memoir can and must be written because each of us has our own created version of the past. We own it, no one else does, no matter how incoherent our history is.
What a life of thoughtful reflecting and resetting can do is help us feel more in tune with ourselves. We can reconcile ourselves to our family histories. We can realise not everyone or everything else around us is to blame for how our lives have gone to date. Instead, we can look within and ask ourselves what we’re going to be accountable for in our own futures. We can commit to change.