In the fall of 2013 I began to hear voices. These voices were due not to psychosis but rather from trauma. I did the only two things I could of think of: I listened and I wrote down everything they were saying.
The Sandbox is a recording, a documentary in words of these voices. It is my story. And it is now a book. It is also a container and process for discovery, for the voices inside me screaming out to have my story told first and foremost to my own self, a story hidden beneath a blanket of darkness for my entire life.
I suffer from amnesia. I use the word suffer because, once conscious of amnesia, suffering is what you do.
Most of my childhood memory was lost due to chronic domestic abuse and neglect.
The voices I was hearing were begging with me to step into the darkness, to feel around, to listen and to finally begin to claim what is mine.
My writing started out as diary entries. Encouraging and intrigued, my therapist Elaine (not her real name) enjoyed receiving my writing in email. One evening, however, in late November of 2013, I was told that my writing had become too voluminous and intense. My therapist said I was scaring her. And she feared losing my emails or deleting them by accident.
Desperate, I created a shared document in the cloud and called it Sandbox.doc. I felt it would be a safe place for the children's voices I had begun to hear. It would also act as a safe and convenient access point for my therapist.
The first four thousand pages of the Sandbox (you read that right) were written in seventeen months. It would take an additional thirteen months to make sense, to edit, and to bring what was four thousand pages down to two hundred.
Trauma creates chaos. Misguided, directionless treatment also causes chaos.
And new trauma.
However, every cell in my body has fought and still fights to be right here in this moment, gaining clarity and strength.
I was spared. Spared to tell you to come out of the darkness and to not remain silent. Don't let anyone minimize you or tell you your life doesn't matter.
Or that your therapy, if you are in it, doesn't matter.
At one point, lost and crying out in confusion and desperation, my own therapist said to me,
"Hey, it's only therapy."
Find your light, find your truth, find your peace.
And don't stop until you do.