As a writer, I’ve been told that I need to find my voice. According to numerous online resources, our writing voice is not something that is easily defined. It is something you find, that you learn with practice, or that you develop in time. Voice is the unique writing style of the author. It is what makes you different from everyone else out there. A fingerprint of sorts. This has been my assignment as my book gets closer to print.
Will I ever know if I have my voice, as it is defined by the editor that reads my memoir? Perhaps not. What I know is that I found my true voice not that long ago. I found the strength and healing I needed to put my words to paper and speak my truth in the words that came to me. My story is my voice. My story is my reality. Not everyone will like my story or care to read it, just as not everyone reads my blog.
My story is not a popular one. It is framed is sadness and hopelessness. It tells the tale of too many women and men. So many can relate to my struggles although their pain was brought on by a parent, a loved one, or a rapist. Domestic violence is a vast umbrella that encompasses pain inflicted on one individual by another where you should feel the safest. It is a very uncomfortable topic for those who have lived it, those who inflict it, and those who wish to not know of it.
As I write, and as I work to build Forget Me Not Advocacy Group, I am caught off guard by the compliments as well as the criticisms. I am tickled by the number of supporters who reach out to me in quiet moments and share their kind words with me. They keep me going as they raise me up. They believe in the need for education and supported healing. However, just as I’m tickled by those who support, I’m alarmed at how many put down or undermine my objective.
“Not everyone will support a cause such as yours.” “I know you don’t intent to sell many books.” “Don’t create too high an expectation, this is not a cause everyone will rally behind.” “It will take years to get support.”
While I understand that these comments were made with the intent to help, I also understand the damage that they can inflict. With each similar comment made, I am hearing you say that my pain does not amount to the type of pain a cancer patient endures. I hear you telling me that my business will likely fail. You are projecting your fears, or your failures, on me. But, you are also giving me the strength I need to create an organization that will succeed in helping those in need.
You see, with every reason you find to tell me why domestic violence is not as important to the world as any number of causes, you remind me exactly what my purpose is. You give me a purpose for my voice to rise above all the noise in our society and to speak my truth as loud and as often as I can.
Thank you for making me stronger. Thank you for helping me understand how important it is to get the word out, to support those who feel the rejection and shame by society, and to help educate our young people so they can find their voice in this crazy world. Together we will stand up against domestic violence in all of its forms and yell NO MORE. And one day, the world will hear our cries and come stand by our side. They will no longer turn away from the injustices done by our fellow humans – one against another – but will look it straight in the face and acknowledge it for what it is; something that affects more individuals than any other cause there is.
Then, we will stand together and end the one thing we have control over…how we treat those we love.