As a daughter of an uneducated and mentally ill single mother, times were tough. Then my mother succumbed to meth addiction and then prostitution to feed that addiction, and I experienced harrowing sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect.
From a young age, school became my sanctuary. Stories became a buoy. Books were a treasure. Writing in my journal was a way to spill out the poison of abuse that I didn’t want to pass on to others, yet it was poison that was making me ill.
From memories, court documents, police records, and these journals, I compiled a narrative that is now How The Light Gets In.
I’ve been asked about my methods of writing, but I don’t have any.
My writing, for me, was a lifeline. It was therapy.
When I had finished draining all the horrid memories from my mind, it looked like emotional vomit, and it sure felt like it. I wrote over a space of five and a half years.
I love integrating my body into processing my emotions. I do yoga and meditation called "Kundalini Yoga" . When I started it gave me a structure to descend into my subconscious with all its memories of pain. As I was able to "sit with" all that horror, pain, and fear, even for small amounts of time, I then felt brave enough to write it.
Everyone has their own art they connect to. Mine was writing. Stories transformed unending or difficult moments into purposeful chapters. It taught me to seek meaning in my experiences--especially the suffering.
There’s a lovely stanza of a song by Leonard Cohen that reads:
“Ring your bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack--a crack in everything;
That’s how the light gets in.”
There are certainly a few cracks in me. Some days, I have felt utterly shattered by them. Yet my story still unfolds; I am still alive. And that is a miracle.
I am loved; that is a miracle, too.
It was in writing my own story that I ceased being a victim of the tale, and became a master of my fate. It was in publishing this story that I stopped the cycle of abuse, gaslighting, and secrecy in my family. I was empowered by the creation process.
No one tells you that in order to create your best art, you gather materials from the rubble of your own life. You are not beautiful or complete despite your brokenness; you are beautiful in your brokenness.
I wish you light in all your suffering.