I know I haven’t written for a few months, and for anyone who feels that it is because now that my book, Fear of Our Father, has been published I don’t think I need to — they are so incorrect. It is because I have been trying to concentrate on my healing and finding somewhat of a normal life. I have changed jobs so many times this year; it is hard to keep a job once they find you have been arrested. They all say it doesn’t matter, but then as time goes on they make it an issue day to day. I won’t go into detail, but trust me to say that this part of moving on has been the hardest. I now have yet another job, and since still on probation ( 90 days) I am just hoping it all works out.
The book has done well. I am pleased that we have reached people who need to know they can make it. We have also reached people who didn’t realize these types of abuse stories are real. So all in all I have accomplished what I wanted to even if only on a smaller scale.
This year was the 10th anniversary of my mom’s death. I am still healing from that event as well as the events of my childhood. I know many of you feel I should be done, and the past should be the past; as I have often felt that way in my therapy. However, I never realized how many layers of emotions there were to heal. As I travel a new road I learn to deal with new issues and feelings. Some day I will be done with my healing, but I am learning that it is going to take time and hard work.
This Christmas was another one without my sister and her family near me. They are all I have left and I have now realized and accepted that we will always be apart. This New Year is going to find me branching out and looking for ways that I can use my life experiences to help others. A way to volunteer and try to help those who have been in abusive relationships, child or adult. I am ready to start that voyage to help and learn how to be of more help to others.
I am going to keep working on healing myself and moving forward, but I need to help others so I don’t feel so stagnant and useless. For anyone who is struggling with abuse, please reach out for help. There are many people and places willing to be there for you. It is not like it was when I was growing up–times have changed and abuse is not ignored anymore. I am grateful that this has changed and the abused have the opportunity for help. It does, however, make me sad that it wasn’t that way for my family. Someday I hope that domestic violence and child abuse are eradicated in this country; and even though sometimes I take a timeout, I will not give up being a part of the fight to end it.
I keep up this fight to honor my mom–abuse is what killed her. I do this to honor my brother–the abuse damaged him and took away his life. I fight this fight in hopes that my sister and her family see the true side of this. My family will always be my first priority–to honor them and remember them–as I move forward.
If anyone had told me, back then, that I would someday write a book, become an advocate or be interviewed twice by the BBC, I would have told them they were crazy. But just this morning I participated in my second interview (the first was with Natalia Antelava, for her documentary, America’s Child Death Shame). This morning, I was interviewed for the BBC radio’s show, Outlook, which airs on the World Service. It should air next week. I’ll let you know when and where you can listen.
It saddens me that these are the circumstances under which my mother’s voice will finally be heard, but I am determined to make that happen. I will not allow her death to be in vain.