Originally published in Six Word Memoirs
When your childhood foundation is built on quicksand, there’s an emotional deficit that’s hard to measure. Even as adults, after we somehow climb our way out from the murky depths of feeling less than, there’s residual damage – a poisonous venom coursing through our insides, sloshing around our psyche – whispering “don’t even try”, “you’re not good enough”, and “you don’t matter.”
The amount of therapy one needs to overcome childhood abuse (in any form) varies, but for me, ever since I got clean from a fifteen-year drug habit, it’s on-going. Weekly visits to my mental-health guru are what save me from the darkest parts of myself; when re-wiring my brain seems impossible and those venomous words seep in.
Recognizing achievements, forgiving my failures – allowing the ebb and flow of life without judgment or pity isn’t natural for me, but I’m learning.
So when a life-changing moment I wrote for SMITH Magazine was selected as one of the chapters in Larry Smith’s book, THE MOMENT: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure, I took this as a lesson. My “don’t even try” was slowly fading, and in its wake was a crystallized voice telling me to keep going – keep following my dream of writing a memoir.
It’s been over a year since that chapter was published, and as hard as it’s been reliving some of the darkest parts of my story (without the help of drugs to numb my pain); I’m still writing – still wrestling with “not good enough.”
The Universe must have known I needed a little push, because when Larry told me about a recent Six Word Memoir event here on the west coast, I immediately signed up to attend. It was at this event where I met author and literary rock star, Joyce Maynard. In less than an hour, I was invited to submit a sample of my writing and apply to her exclusive writer’s workshop in Guatemala.
The part of me that thought I had a shot was immediately struck down in the form of nervous laughter when sharing this news with a friend. “How crazy is that? Me, at Joyce Maynard’s writer’s workshop in Guatemala?”
“Well, why not?” Kimmy’s voice was so calm and matter-of-fact; it was exactly what I needed.
A few days later I submitted a sample. Not long after that, I learned I was accepted.
Like most everyone on the planet, I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck so scraping up the money for this journey seems impossible. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned these past couple of years, it’s that there is an energy to our dreams. They propel us beyond what we thought possible, and carry us to where we need to be.
Deep in my heart, through the murkiest of those poisonous words, I feel it. I know embarking on this journey is what I need to help me finish my book. And as I’m trying to find a way to make it happen, I’ll keep repeating my Six Words: “Never underestimate the power of dreams” – because I am trying, I am good enough, and I do matter. And really – what’s more powerful than that?
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A campaign has been started to help fund my dream. I even made a little video. Please visit The Dream Big Fund.