I began writing poetry as a psychological release. I did not plan to write poetry, or to write at all, but as I was going through therapy to cope with suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, it was affecting my adult life. Writing became the outlet through which I could best express my raw, often angry, emotions, and it turns out that poetry was the form that best fit my thoughts.
Poems just came to me. I would be thinking about my situation, about all that was welling up in me in between therapy sessions, and a poem would form. A random thought would suggest a title, and I would sit down and write.
Since dealing with my past pain, I become more spiritual. St. Michael helped me through stress and protected me in many ways as I endured the horrors of child abuse. I also became attuned to Native American culture and named one collection of poems, “Beautiful Warrior,” a term I use to refer to myself.
Most of all, I have become a student of world religions and am working to receive credentials so I can be a spiritual minister to people experiencing ordeals similar to mine or as intense. I want to be ready to help others who need guidance and compassion, and to listen to their expressions of distress.
As a child, I saved my life by repressing horrific experiences until I was ready to deal with them as an adult. It took the strength of a warrior. I saved my life by always pushing through, even though there were times I thought it would be easier to die. If I can heal from everything that caused me such anguish when the memory of child abuse occurred, others can heal. From my heart, I want to give hope to others.
Everyone has his or her own way of getting through a situation. First, you have to find the truth and to confront it no matter how difficult it is. Then you have to deal with anger and other emotions that arise. These are real, and they have to be dealt with and moved from a negative force that limits you to a positive force that puts matters into perspective and sets you on the road to healing.
For me, the process took almost 20 years. I no longer need therapy sessions because I have come to grips with what I faced. I am a survivor. I don’t dwell on what happened. I take pride in what I’ve come through and focus on that. That is what healing is about. If, through my understanding, my compassion, and my belief in the strength of the spirit, I can help another human being get through the hell I experienced, I feel a calling to do that.
Writing was my catalyst. Poetry allowed me to name and express what I was thinking and feeling. Other people will heal in a different way.
I have taken an activist’s stand, as both an advocate and a donor, spreading awareness about child abuse and petitioning legislatures for laws that protect children and severely punish offenders. I am now the author of two books, “Beautiful Warrior” and “Rising Above: The Beauty of Life,” and proceeds from my books are donated to a support center for child advocates.
When I was in my 30s, I started having nightmares and visions of sexual abuse. I realized these came from my childhood. My parents adopted me. They raised me. They rescued me. It took me years to realize from what they had rescued me.
Truth is the only way to get free of the pain and fear being encountered. My poem “Quiet Desperation” ends by offering silent prayers of mercy. “Quiet Desperation” reveals several themes that appear throughout my written work: the quest for truth; the concept of boundaries – the limits of which need to be tested; the suffering people live with because it’s so difficult to face it; the idea of helping others; and a spiritual message that involves prayer.
Truth is where I aim. My poems are a means for me to get to the truth about my experience and what it took to heal from it. I’ve learned the truth of a situation may be negative, but not all has to be expressed negatively. It is better when you reach a plateau of understanding and can use the truth in a positive way.