We all have an inner-child who just wants to be heard, loved, and healed. Healed from all the shame, all the trauma, that years of feeling invisible and voiceless- silenced– leaves one with. Writing offers us this chance- to heal. Especially poetry, the ‘language of human emotion’ whereby, through poetry, even the quietest of voices can be heard… Writing gives a voice to us all.
I love reading poetry that makes me feel connected to people. I think that this is what poetry is all about. A selfless act, the poet is simply the ‘messenger’, giving voice to the voiceless through their words.
‘Poetry is the might of one person, and the echo of billions.’
Through reading words that I can relate to, poetry makes me feel less alone, it makes me feel better understood, it makes me feel more hope filled… And, the same is also true of writing poetry, too. In the past, I’ve been asked how I can write so openly about things like mental health and sexuality- things which, most of us are brought up being told are things that we should not publicly discuss…
‘Don’t air your dirty laundry in public. What will the neighbours think?’
The reason why I write so openly, though, is because I find great strength in it, the thought that my words have the potential to help other people being incredibly empowering to me- it’s why I do what I do (well, for that reason, and because writing helps me immeasurably, too…
How Writing Helps Me…
When you grow up in the house of an addict, insecurity becomes your default.
Walking home from school, ‘what mood will she be in?’
‘Will she be drunk?’
‘Will she even be at home?’
Even when she wasn’t (drunk), I’d just be waiting for it- the inevitable.
Glazed eyes, slurred speech, always one misinterpreted comment away from an argument, a punch in the face, a police car. I felt constantly on edge, a feeling that never left. Even in my sleep it was there- in the recurring nightmares that saw my Dad finally snapping and hurting her.
‘You fondle my trigger, then you blame my gun.’
I went to school, kept my head down, kept quiet, learnt to master a painted on smile, got really good at playing the part of the quiet, introverted type. But, that’s exactly what it was, a part. The truth is that I kept quiet, I kept my head down, because I feared that, if I started talking, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Talking and screaming and crying and… hurting…
And so, I started writing instead. Writing gave me an escape from all those feelings of fear, and guilt, and shame…
My way of making sense of it all, (life), when I write, everything that I have historically felt unable to say out loud, because, as she used to tell me, all the time… ‘If social services find out, they’ll take you away. You’ll be put into care’- can be released…
No longer silenced, between notebook pages, pen in hand, is where I have always felt safest. Because, there I can say whatever I want to say/there I can write whatever I want to write, without feeling the need to ‘sugar-coat’ things…
The point is that, writing has always allowed me to seek the sense of escape and relief that I have been so desperate for, for so long, without worrying that speaking my ‘truth’ will hurt anyone. Why? Because, my words are just that, MINE. And, the same is still the case now. Even though I don’t just write for myself now- I share my writing through my blog and through poetry, the same sense of safety that writing offered me in my childhood, it persists.
This is why I will never not write. To define myself as a writer is everything. It’s what I live for. Writing is, quite literally, my life. Ironic when, writing, quite literally, saved my life (and, it does so every single day), giving me that which my childhood self so desperately yearned for; an opportunity to be heard, loved, and healed.
And so, this is precisely why I write, for my younger self, to make her feel heard, loved and healed, and to help other people to feel the same.
‘Writing gave me a voice when mine had been silenced, and, now that I have a voice, I use it, through my writing to, hopefully, help other people to find theirs…’
To go full circle, a community effort,
to give a ‘voice to the voiceless’,
an ‘escape to the trapped’
like an uncaged bird
this is why I write…
❤ to feel free.