Healing is like a knotted strand of pearls. Pearls are knotted to keep all of them from falling off the strand if it breaks and also to ensure the individual pearls aren’t damaged through rubbing and bumping each other.

Handling abusive memories, unpleasant thoughts and crafted healing looks much the same.

Through the years I have had dozens and dozens of awful memories float through my being. My body returns the pain, my heart embraces the betrayal, and my mind helps me walk through the horror.

There is no time period by which I could judge when I’d be done processing a new memory. I allowed it free reign in my being. I gave it time to show itself, breath deeply within me. Show its terror and move through to the end of the healing cycle.

When I was done — I was done.

Metaphorically, the memory was now ready to be tied up into my beautiful string of pearls — the story of my life. By placing a knot before and after each memory it gave the pain a place to rest with honor, respect and it couldn’t damage by the memory before it or the one that will come after it.

It was complete.

My Aunt used to tell me, “Dootsie, you can eat an elephant but you have to do it one bite at a time.”

She was right. Healing is a journey not a destination. Be kind to yourself. Honor each memory before you put it away. Take your time.

Then, make a stranded pearl necklace from them. They were meant to be shared, not hidden.

Originally published at on January 21, 2022.




Incest. Murder. Rape. Then, I turned four. This is my story.

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Jodie Tedder

Jodie Tedder

Incest. Murder. Rape. Then, I turned four. This is my story.

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