Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I can remember standing outside as a small child. When Venus first poked through the velvety blackness of the night sky, I couldn’t resist closing my eyes, crossing my fingers and silently saying, “Starlight, Star Bright, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, make this wish come true tonight.” My wishes were that my parents would stop fighting; that mommy would smile; that I knew what my teacher was talking about. I wished I belonged to another family. I don’t know when I first heard the term, “That’s wishful thinking,” but at some point, I learned that we don’t get what we wish for. So I stopped dreaming. It wasn’t until I was in my fifties that I understood it is okay to want things—but you must also understand that you might not get everything you want.
I was a pawn my parents’ used to fuel their arguments. Being an only child, I had no siblings to diffuse the negative energy directed towards me. One good thing about being the only child, however, was having my own room. It was a sanctuary of sorts in a child’s world filled with anxiety and fear. For hours I’d remain engrossed in music I played on my small victrola (a record player). My parents’ had Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Doris Day, and more, and I was singing “Witchcraft,” “Secret Love”, and “Cheek to Cheek” by the time I was seven. Patsy Cline crooning “Crazy” would drown out my parents’ loud voices in the living room. When I sang along with Patsy or the Everly Brothers, or even Elvis, I forgot everything else. At four, I began taking ballet and tap dancing lessons, one of the few bright spots in my life. But at seven, that joy went away, and all I knew was that I was a lonely little girl, hungry for love and comfort. And by the time I turned eight, I knew I’d never find that love and nurturing inside my own home.
The above is an excerpt from my memoir, "Following the Whispers." It appears in Chapter II, The Painter and it is the chapter that describes childhood sexual abuse. One of the major consequences of childhood sexual abuse is that trust is destroyed--trust in knowing your parents will protect you and keep you safe; trust in the universe; trust in adults; and most importantly, trust in self.
It's taken me 50+ years to finally begin to get a handle on trusting myself. I'm understanding that this is a lifelong issue for me. It comes in moments. It is the reason my new project is so damned difficult--because it is about trusting the process and trusting myself. Rather than beat myself up for what is not happening, I must acknowledge what is. The truth is, I may never end up with a completed manuscript. What I will end up with, however, is the knowledge that I've moved further along my path during the journey. That is all we can ask for, in the end, isn't it?