Greetings, dear readers. Today it is my pleasure to introduce, not one, but two amazing guests to my blog. In connection with the Waves To Light blog tour, first up I give you Queen of Spades.
The Waves of Write
I cannot recall the exact date and time
But all I knew back then
Was that a series of discovered lies
Caused my entire world to spin.
In the beginning, it appeared as if I blended in with what was considered normal. I learned to read early—utilizing the local paper mostly because it was more accessible than books. I liked being outdoors and didn’t mind talking. I didn’t talk a lot but I was willing to engage, open to taking steps to secure friendships.
While seeking outside relationships, a veil was pushed back. Yet, it was done slowly, almost like throwing small hints—where you have to wait until the next episode of a show to get closer to the answer.
Even in my younger years, when things did not make sense to me, I asked questions. There were cracks in the narrative a loved one was telling me, and someone finally revealed that person had been deceptive since day one.
It is important to demonstrate honesty because if you don’t, it leaves an impression—particularly when you are raising a child. One cannot expect that child to treat you with respect if you behave in a way that is distrustful, and on top of that, try to justify the lying. A person can miss me with the whole, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Instead, I’m of the mind, “How can I believe what you say when what you do is the exact opposite?”
What could have been an “all right” relationship downgraded into countless layers of dysfunction. My decisions no longer were simple things, like what colors to wear or what I wanted to eat for dinner.
They were more complex—choosing between honoring an absentee parent revealed as a pathological liar and honoring that parent’s parents who had been honest and provided for me from the very beginning. I had to divide my time between playing with my toys, doing homework, and bracing to do emotional clean up after that absentee parent would generate a tsunami of tears. I didn’t understand back then but now I know that the many tears my grandparents shed were two fold—the lack of respect they weren’t given for taken on a responsibility that did not belong to them.
They do not prepare you in school how a child should cope in adult situations. Since I did not know, I did not deal. I believed that if I could have more friends, it could be a buffer to the other things going on. Perhaps I’d have someone to talk to, even if it wasn’t about my sadness. Instead, the rejections if interaction—with the added caveat of bullying due to my outside appearance—only exacerbated my internal angst.
It wasn’t long before the veil was slashed. First, I stopped smiling as much. Then, I couldn’t remember if I still had the ability to smile. Soon thereafter, I stopped talking, unless it had a purpose. Examples of purpose are when the teacher called on me to ask a question or when my grandparents asked me about certain things.
It was around that time my fingers became active. I did not have a computer, but I did have a typewriter, pen and paper. That was when I began writing. After I wrote things down, there was serenity, a release that made me feel more capable. Soon I was journaling daily. Once I got introduced to poetry, I was hooked. The early assignments based on Edgar Allan Poe enticed me the most. The emotions that he painted on paper with the brushstrokes of rhythm and stanzas, eclipsed into high definition Technicolor in the core of my being. There were moments where my journals entries took on a poetic style and one could not determine where one style began and the other ended.
The majority of my teachers marveled at my creativity while a select few were rattled. My earlier writes were of a morbid nature, teetering between grasping for the sky and plunging into oblivion.
It was said by one of my therapists that I was demonstrating classic signs of clinical depression: decrease in a once enjoyable activity (talking), not having a lot of friends (anti-social, end result of the bullying), not having my biological parents around (separation/abandonment issues), and instability of emotional processes (in ways of dealing).
I laugh at this because in many ways, if it wasn’t for writing, there’d be a lot more excess carnage. How many stories do you read about individuals acting out and other lives being lost as a result? To me, writing has saved lives, not just my own.
I asked this person, “So, my coping mechanism isn’t the proper coping mechanism? Therefore, what should I do if writing isn’t it?”
This therapist then wanted to pump me full of medication and have me talk about my past and how it might feed into my issues—taking me and putting me into a tiny little box that correlates with a chart of “classic”, “diagnosis”, and “treatment according to Section A, Paragraph B, with a clause from Footnote C”.
Needless to say, that therapist didn’t last long.
I’ve had quite a few therapists. I mean no disrespect. They may do wonders for others but they weren’t hitting the mark for me. I’ve been on quite a few medications—one in particular was an absolute disaster.
Yet for me, the only thing that has ever given me peace and power is when I write.
Writing started as my catharsis. I still journal, although not as much because I’m busy writing short stories and poetry. The thing I want to convey is just because something emerges from a tragedy doesn’t make it a bad thing, or an improper thing.
Would I have been able to write with such irrepressible coherence if disaster didn’t strike? I dare not speculate in one way or another. All I know is that I had a choice: to let my challenges consume me or utilize them in ways which would strengthen me. I chose the latter, and in doing so, have testimonies to share with others for solidarity, encouragement and hope.
My emotions in the discovery and the treatment process for my clinical depression are captured in the poetry and prose via “Nuances of Color” in Waves to Light. The best way to combat the stigma is not stewing in silence but by bubbling with outspokenness.