Recently, when vending my teas and books at the Underground Market in Dallas, TX, I met a friendly and encouraging gentleman by the name of Chris. We discussed travel and life abroad and delved deeper and deeper into each subject until we scratched the surface of our souls. We exchanged Instagram handles and he noticed in my bio it read, "Gabie the Author" and he asked me if I was indeed an author. I explained that I've written my first book but I am yet to publish it out of fear and trauma related to my writing. He suggested that I write about the traumas to release the energy keeping me stagnant. I winched but somehow I knew this stranger was right. Well, here goes nothing...
I've always loved storytelling. When I was a young child in elementary school, my favorite class was writing and when my teacher revealed the writing prompt I felt like I already had the story locked in from beginning to end before I could finish sharpening my pencil at the black board. I would finish my first draft, second draft, and final draft with pride and watch my teacher sort through the papers to find my work as she was always so excited to read my papers. She wanted to see what my imagination came up with and I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm on her face as she read ever line. I enjoyed watching her make corrections as I felt it would help me to become better with creating a writing style similar to all the authors that I had grown to admire.
I decided then that I would be an author. I wanted to write the same sort of stories and books that I loved reading. So, just like the ambitious 9 year old that I was, I set out to begin practicing and I wrote my own books. At least 2 books a month for 2 years. My work ranged from mystery to romance (what little I knew about love and relationships). Before long, I had a body of work that I was extremely proud of; I felt like an accomplished author! My little 11 year old self believed that my books were representations of my true ability to write and my potential to actually become an author. Every now and then I would take the books out and organize them and reminisce on what inspired me to create each one. The books were proof that I was a good author and that for a certainty, that is exactly what I would become.
The next few line are really difficult for me to write. I don't even know where to begin and I feel tears welling up. I guess I will begin with saying that even though I was a very ambitious and creative child, I also was an abused child. Abused in ways that my brain still wants to try to deny me as I write these words. I'm not sure just how ready I am to tell the entire story but perhaps I should start with my abuser. I will address them as 'they'.
My abuser was someone close to me, someone that I would see often. They were mentally ill and unstable. I have come to realize now as an adult that they dealt with multiple personalities and sometimes would not remember the things that they did. I know this to be true now but the 11 year old little girl understood nothing. They were able to hurt me in so many ways but I didn't think it was possible to take my writing, to take my books. How could they take something that seemed so natural and innate?
One day, my parents decided to move. We were moving into a house across the street; larger and nicer, I guess. I didn't really see the difference, but apparently my parents saw something that only adults could see, and it was supposedly a better house for our family of five. They were there helping us move. At some point, they entered my sister and I's room and helped us pack. Everything moved so fast, I didn't get to see all of my things packed away but at the end of the day everything looked squared away and ready to go. We moved in and got more and more settled. Eventually, I became so settled that I wanted to get back to my normal routine. I wanted to write. I looked for my books for inspiration, as usual. I couldn't find them.
I looked everywhere. I never found them. But this wasn't the first time that they had thrown one of my valuables away. In fact, this was just one way that they were abusive. I was so angry that I confronted them with tears. They didn't remember. As an 11 year old, I could see the sincerity in their face. I remember them panning their memory trying to think of when or where they could have placed my books. I remember them looking to the left as if accessing a part of their memory that remembered see my books but then the memory faded behind their eyes. They really didn't remember. It hurt me more to think that someone who was supposed to love me didn't even remember that they had done something so loveless. All my work. Gone. Everything that proved that I was a good writer and that I was going to be an author. Gone. I was devastated.
All my work. Gone. Everything that proved that I was a good writer and that I was going to be an author. Gone. I was devastated.
After yelling and screaming with tears running down my face, I ran to my room, grabbed my paper and pencil, and plopped on my bed. I could just start over and write more books. With a broken heart and tears soaking the paper, I tried to think of a plot. I wrote the first line and erased it. The second, and erased it. I felt so disconnected to my mind and creativity. I couldn't stop thinking about my favorite books and all the work that I put into them. I stared out the window thinking, "It was true. My work made me a good writer. Now, I no longer have the gift." I thought, "I don't have to be a writer. I can do anything I set my mind to..." I put my paper, pencil, and heart away in my safekeeps box, wiped away my tears, and set out to play.