Skipping the Backstory

Did you ever notice how The Wizard of Oz  jumps right into the story. After the opening music fades, we immediately see Dorothy and Toto anxiously running home after an altercation with Almira Gulch.

In other words, the movie skips the backstory.

We don’t know what happened to Dorothy’s parents or why she’s living with her aunt and uncle. We don’t know why Dorothy seems closer to her aunt than her uncle. We don’t know what makes Almira Gulch so mean, or how long she’s been that way.

It’s as if the past has been lopped off and all that seems to matter is the present moment and the present crisis.

This is often true for survivors of sexual abuse. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse, you want to fix the current problem or crisis and not delve into the painful backstory. You would rather stay away from those memories and feelings and not open that can of worms.

Some survivors have ignored their backstory for so long it’s hard for them to even remember their backstory.

But the backstory is important. It holds the keys to why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and doing what you’re doing. Your present trajectory is impacted by your past experiences. That’s why a counselor will ask you to review what has happened to you, rather than just helping you “fix” your current problems.

Don’t skip the backstory. If you’re serious about healing, you must be willing to look at the reality of your past. It’s a part of your journey on the road out of Oz.

1 thought on “Skipping the Backstory”

  1. I agree with you. Reaching into the backstory is one of the, if not the, most painful aspect. The secrets hiding are scary and very uncomfortable. The connections of the backstory to the present are also sometimes uncomfortable. I was content to deal with symptoms and not the back story for a very long time and made very little progress. Treating only the symptoms without dealing with the backstory is the equivalent of giving a patient with lung cancer medicine for the cough and not treating the underlying cancer.

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