Facing the Block

S.J. Elliott
3 min readNov 14, 2022

Stop letting ghosts of the past make decisions in the present

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Way back in 2020, when I started writing here on Medium, I had every intention of doing so in an authentic way.

For the most part, I have tried my best to do so.

But I’ve always had a little bit of a love/hate relationship with writing. Words, once they are out there, can’t be taken back. Stories and secrets, once shared, can never be stuffed back into the dark corners of your private memory — they take on a life of their own. Passed down, passed around, whispered, or shouted about long after they are first pressed to page or spoken aloud.

When I was 11, my mother read my diary.

It was filled with love notes about the boys and girls I thought were cute, re-tellings of the not-so-exciting shenanigans my friends and I got into, and my most personal thoughts and opinions about the things that went on at home - especially with her.

In the recent work I’ve been doing around healing my childhood trauma, there is a lot of “re-parenting” the inner child. This is most often done by having conversations or doing visualization exercises with your younger self and offering up the support, advice, or love that the actual parent failed to give during those vulnerable moments in childhood & adolecence.

I still have a lot of work to do with this particular incident, because when I re-play it in my mind, instead of feeling loving and supportive of 11 year old me, I feel angry. Instead of telling her that she wasn’t wrong to express herself and keep a diary, all I can think is how stupid I was. How utterly, irresponsibly, stupid.

Of course I know this the wrong approach, a distortion of facts, but the berrating and beating that came after she found and read my most private words left the kind of bruises that never heal. Forever tender, purple-black memories that continue to bloom with pain when someone gets to close.

Writing anything down, from grocery lists to homework assignments, from directions to notes for work became forbidden.

I memorized everything. I started taking Ginko Bilobia at 15. I studied the Loci Method and created my own mnemonics. Stories came in the form of daydreams, scribbled sentences were quickly…



S.J. Elliott

Aspiring story-teller. Ordained coffee connoisseur. I write about processing personal trauma, & my quest to be a better version of myself as a human/woman/wife.