I have been using writing as an outlet since I was seven years old. I got my first poem about spring published in our school writer’s booklet. I felt so proud to see my words written under the title and best of all, my name. I felt proud! And it was OK.
As I got older and closer to puberty, I started writing for comfort; things that only I would see. I felt like I had been dropped off by aliens to a house that I did not fit into. Writing was my ally and comfort for many years, until I allowed someone to take it away from me about thirty years ago. They violated my privacy and in an effort to regain control, I tore up all my old diaries, ones with some precious memories of time spent in Brazil, that I wish I had today.
After that I started writing again when my son was born. But I was guarded. I wrote all about him and the delights of what he would accomplish or learn every day. I wrote because I wanted to sear this happy time with him into my brain, and also edit out the ugly sick parts that involved his father. So it was a tool for me in a different way.
Once the internet emerged, a new outlet for me, I started writing again, for newsletters and such, but nothing real. I never felt safe again until after my ex-husband was dead. Once he was, I started a blog, but still being a bit paranoid, it was hidden with all sorts of passwords. I wanted it to be read, but not by people I knew. I wanted to be connected with kindred spirits. And again, I was violated. The details are irrelevant, but a quote I found said it all. “A jealous woman does better research than the FBI.”
So basically, I allowed others to take away my greatest joy and purpose. Over the years I have become a very good researcher and really enjoy writing about self help topics and natural health, which are safe in my mind and won’t elicit a lot of judgement. I HATE being judged. When I got diagnosed with adult ADHD, and saw how many people struggle with this stigmatizing diagnosis, I created this blog and started writing again in earnest. I somehow found the nerve to go public. For a new blog it did very well, but then I became ill and could barely move let alone think or write. So sadly, the blog went to the waysides.
Trying to find help for my illnesses that were growing exponentially, I flew to Chicago to see a functional medicine doctor who had put her own Hashimoto’s disease into remission. I had three visits with her. I did not talk extensively about my life, yet on the third visit she told me, “you do not have ADHD, you have complex -PTSD, and sometimes there is an overlap of symptoms. The ADHD meds are burning out your adrenal glands and that is why you are getting worse.” Well wasn’t that a kick in the head. Not only did I painfully “come out” about this affliction – turns out I didn’t even have it! Symptoms of it that needed to be managed, but that was not my root issue. SO embarrassing, I couldn’t even talk about it for a while.
So NOW I had the shame of having to recant all that. What a hypocrite! I had been trying to transition this blog into something else, when suddenly, my life totally fell apart and I realized I needed to write; that the greatest writings of my life all came out of suffering. These are very sad days for me – but I come to the keyboard every day with ideas bursting forth quicker than I can type them. Suffering is something I never wanted to share, but I don’t care anymore. If my suffering can help YOU, then so be it. Let the judging and shaming begin!! But honestly, it doesn’t matter, cause the judgers and the shame find me in the end anyway so I might as well write.
The Myth of the Tortured Artist – and Why It’s Not a Myth Huffington Post Article