I have always been a writer. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. It was the way I expressed myself when I was young. Words that didn’t come easily out of my mouth somehow made more sense on paper. I could spend time with the words, cross them out, choose a better word, and rearrange the sequence. Before computers—yes there was a time before computers—my page of crossed out words, words above other words, words squeezed into the margins and trailing down the page was a jumble that I could somehow refine and make better. I loved doing that. It was so much easier than opening my mouth and speaking—especially when I lived in a family of five other siblings including an extroverted older sister who talked for me.
But writing has never been my profession. I taught Special Education for thirty-three years, all ages, all disabilities, and thirteen years in regular education with first and second graders. I loved it.
Still, in my retirement I decided to write more. I decided to write about the trip to Australia my son gave me as a retirement gift that coincided with a breast cancer diagnosis. But halfway through that process, I realized I had a bigger story. It overshadowed everything. It was the verbally and emotionally abusive marriage I was in for thirty-three years. It took a long time to write this more authentic book about my life. It also took lots of crying and healing.
I could have stopped there, but then I looked around and realized that Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse and all forms of abuse affect every aspect of our society in a debilitating way. And I have a voice in this discussion with the words in my book called Leaving: One Women’s Story Of Verbal Abuse. I am in the process of publishing this book about my own experience with Domestic Abuse and putting it on Amazon in a print and kindle format. I would love for you to follow me in this process. My purpose is to reach those for whom my story might help them know that they are not alone. They can LEAVE a toxic place and take a journey towards healing and in the end discover the beautiful self they always were.
My story is not a sad one. It’s not about victimhood. I wasn’t beaten, but yes I was beaten down with words, words that didn’t leave a mark outside but deep inside my psyche. Until I no longer let that happen. I tell my story as if I’m sitting next to the reader on a comfy couch. I also tell it with humor. A first reader told me that my book isn’t one that he’d ever imagined reading but he loved my honesty and the humor in it. And its message is: You can find your beautiful self, and once you do, life becomes joyful.
I am now a self-proclaimed spokesperson for victims of Domestic Abuse.
I also want to promote Compassionate Conversation for all. As a society I believe that we need to converse with each other and listen to each other and try to understand the other person’s view even if we disagree. Verbal abusers talk “at” the other person to have power over the other. Nothing is ever accomplished in a discussion when the only goal is to “win with words” or to put down the other person in any way.
And last but not least, I want to promote the power of the written word. Books are an amazing way to learn more about the world in a way that sitting in a classroom cannot replicate. And being a lifetime reader makes you more informed, more intelligent, more compassionate and happy. And I am a happy girl.