So, what’s your story?

I replied, ‘I don’t have one.’

He prompted me again, ‘everyone has a story.’

I know, but I don’t want to tell you. My annoyance must have shown in my non-responsive expression (thank goodness) because his line of questioning stopped. I have only ever been asked this once, and it happened a couple of years ago when I was seventeen-ish and having the worst time of my life (to date). 

We lingered in silence for a few heavy moments before my mother resolved the situation by asking the man about himself, which he was happy to oblige too. 

All our experiences, turn into stories; an overall narrative, multiple character arcs along the way. They influence ourselves and others around us. Of those stories, some have definite begins, middles and ends, but, we can experience other arcs and influences where their beginnings may not be noticed – Their presence not known until that chapter ends. 

When the present resolves into past, moments are stored in memories. Events are never remembered the way they happened, the only version of this event is the one remembered in how it made you feel, how you reacted, how others reacted to you and vice versa. You won’t remember all the details, the physical sensations or internal narratives unless their impacts on your actions were significant. 

In many of my own memories, there are blurred spaces, this occurs predominately in the bedrooms I had growing up. I can’t remember the contents or set up of the rooms I woke up and fell asleep in. Why would I want to remember these vulnerable places?

Of the parts we do remember, they turn into stories, some which stay as close to the truth as possible, others straying far from it. 

Some people are selective of which stories they tell to which people. Others simply wish to share with anyone. There is something to learn from those who eagerly share their stories, and from those who wish to share nothing; the obligation to ourselves to make sure our needs are met. 

And a stranger, who I met no less than 15 minutes ago asked me about my ‘story’ during the worst (to date) period of my life. Although it is over, it is still not something I feel comfortable talking about. No one knows 100% of what happened during this time, not even me because my memories are so warped and closed off in my own head. There are periods I can’t remember, and I do not wish too.

But, sometimes our bodies remember more stories than our minds do. 

Sometimes, our bodies remember more than our minds do. 
An action or reaction can put our bodies on edge, a raised voice, hand stroking your back, particular phrases, or even noticing your loved ones backing away. Anything, even seemingly random, can trigger “overreacting” responses, and if it’s something which has not been explored, we may not know why. It’s cause we have chapters experienced that we would rather no remember. 

Of all the things my body wildly (and now, somewhat, irrationally) reacts too, I think I know their reasons, or at least pretend too. In ways it becomes harder to deal with, knowing your own self-destructive behaviours can start giving you bully contradictive thoughts, ‘why are you doing this? you know doing this will get you “x” attention, you don’t want attention in “x” ways. Get your self together.” Which the self-destructiveness reacts with, ‘”X” attention is all your ever going to get, live with it.” 

This truly is a whole narrative in itself, one that usually expresses itself in “x” emotion without much thought. This is the story many don’t want to share, can you blame them? Being judged in their own harshest moments, it can’t be desirable. 

These are moments I experience more conciously than I used too, and though it helps knowing this, they can still pass by just as hard if I don’t give the ambassador for “x” a long time out in the corner. 

“X” is filling in the blank, for the part of this story, I don’t want to share. The “x” which made me shut down to the intrusive question, ‘what’s your story.’

Perhaps I judged this man too harshly, asking one question should not damn him for life, but all I thought of at the time was “x” and that internal narrative is what I associate strongest with the memory. Who know’s what his interal narrative was of me. 

Since then, I’ve shared my own mulitple character acrs once or twice, that’s all I feel comfortable with but it’s enough to make me want to do better than “x”.

At the end of the day, whether you lay next to someone or sleep alone, make sure someone important to you knows your story, it could really change your world. In saying that, make sure you’re listening out, if they want to share theirs in return. 


This blog is part of the NMIT Blog Network. The articles and comments in this blog are the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of NMIT.