Saved By My Own Story

Kela Holmes - U.S. Army Veteran

Kela Holmes – U.S. Army Veteran

It has been a painfully slow climb out of darkness. For a really long time, I allowed past traumas to run my life. Bad stuff happened. Years went by. I couldn’t get beyond it. That’s called stuck.  And being stuck sucks.

When things got really tough, and they did more often than I would like to admit, I’d breakdown and turn to a bottle of wine for liquid therapy. Eventually I came to know that numbing wasn’t healing and that medicating wasn’t helpful. I knew had to move beyond where I was and that meant working at the core of my emotions – face the stuff.

I am a human, I am fragile and vulnerable, and this is my strength. - Kela Holmes

I am a human, I am fragile and vulnerable,
and this is my strength.
– Kela Holmes

Yet, taking the time to honestly deal with my feelings and memories was something that I never given myself permission to do. It was foreign, scary and painful. But a deep inner voice spoke from a childhood and teenage heart full of dreams, promise and optimism. I had to re-awaken the hopes and dreams of my youth that had been suppressed, buried and forgotten.

After a time, a prayer, and a nudge from a friend, I gotta little brave and tiptoed out to find hope. And a Divine “somehow” placed wonderful people in my path that encouraged me and were willing to help. Even more, they wanted to listen.

I was asked to share my story. A simple question with powerful implications. The prospect terrified me, yet ultimately, I was compelled to say yes.

Kela and ES Team

Kela Holmes on set with Emotive Storytelling team: Lou Tatum, Sheri Headly, Dr. Gerard Gibbons and Rick Simonton during Military Sexual Trauma production

OMG, I did it ! The experience was amazing, it changed me!

What happened was transformational. That opportunity thrust me towards healing and setting me on much needed path to closure. It took courage and trust to step out to share my story. And that is the key. I trusted. I stepped out into the light. However, it did not come about without some deep internal resistance. Sure I was afraid, but I was more fearful of staying where I was. That I could no longer afford to do.

Since I have opened that can of worms (LOL) and let my stuff out, I have changed. I see things differently, I see myself differently. Not perfect, but a helluva lot better than I did. My chin is up. My smile works again. And I think my eyes are brighter. Not all time, but from where I came from I am thankful and getting stronger.

But cadence matters. Moderation matters. I now realize how gentle I have to be with myself when addressing issues that have “altered” certain life experiences. I am learning to live and cope with the affects of the trauma that had rooted into my life.  Weeding, pruning, and replanting is now growing a better me in the process.

Kela and Gerard green screen

Kela Holmes on green screen set with Dr. Gerard Gibbons during Military Sexual Trauma production

What I have learned is that by sharing my story, I was setting myself free. The negative power of my traumatic past has diminished considerably. And beautifully surprising, I have found that the impact and lessons of my story has actually benefitted others. It never occurred by sharing I could be of help to others. But that is for another story.

Just know that sharing my story affirmed my deep seated need to “evict” the madness from my life. The old ideas I have about myself needed to go.

All the while I have to constantly remind myself, “be gentle, yet be strong, and be resilient.”  I must admit, I’m not really good at it yet. I want to be, but was not a part of my training. But “stay the course” was, so I will hang on to that.

One last thought for now. Sharing my story is a work in progress.  One of the greatest insights and inspirations on this recent healing journey was made possible because of the hearts and minds behind And that was this…I came to understand that I was a victim in my old story. I had placed and kept myself in that role. Yet through the powerful sharing opportunity that I was given, I discovered I could literally re-write my own story the way I want it to be. I can actually be saved by my own story. It is up to me to create a better day, a better life and a better ending. I am on my way to doing it.

Emotive Storytelling™ encourages behavior change through the use of narrative communication, neuroscience, digital media, games and mobility.  Narrative Communication as a source of emotive persuasion and education has a long history and a sound scientific underpinning.  Emotive Storytelling™ integrates the emotional power of the storytelling, cinematic technique, neuroscience, health games, mhealth (mobile health), digital tools and internet technology to drive user engagement, adherence and behavior change in healthcare delivery, marketing, education, and business.
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