Hey everyone. It’s here! Unheard Whispers my poetry chapbook about growing up in an alcoholic home. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most other sites that sell books. I meet again with a Massachusetts-based organization that helps children & families who are affected by addiction to use my work to help. I can’t wait to announce more soon.
It’s funny because I have written about much that has interested me. Like many of us, I have a good amount of curiosity about various things. There is a lot I have experienced and so much that I want to. I listened to a podcast a while back about finding your life’s calling and understanding your passion and what it may be. Pretty much helping you find what you may be good at. The host was interviewing an author and motivational speaker, and he said if you want to know what you’re passionate about or what may drive you, go back to your childhood as most of the answers are there. Well, I went back to my childhood, and at first, I wouldn’t say I liked the answer that came.
Like so many who grow up in any type of dysfunction, my life revolved around the dysfunction, and another’s disease became the rest of our sole purpose. In some ways, this unified us as we made our way through. In dysfunction, usually, everyone has a role. There are the introverted, quiet ones, the deniers, the fixers, etc. I was the loud one who yelled and pointed at the elephant in the room and demanded it all needed to stop—the wavemaker. I still am, and as much as it has caused me pain and sometimes still does, I don’t regret it. I don’t live in “let’s pretend” and never have. Sometimes I wish that I could because life seems like it may be easier, but pretending something isn’t there doesn’t make it not there, and a day will come where you’ll have to look at the beast, square in the eye, and by then it might be much uglier and stronger.
When I realized all of this, my initial reaction was one of frustration. “Growing up in alcoholism—that might be what I’m good at?” I couldn’t deny I know a ton about it, having lived it, attended children of alcoholics meetings, Alateen and Al-anon. Terrified but inspired by my high school psychologist Dr. Charles Diamond I went from classroom to classroom in high school in front of my peers and told my story, hoping it may help. We went on to start a meeting in school, the first for kids affected by parents’ addiction, and my father, then sober, was one of the first attendees. While I shuttered to think this was something I was “good at,” I started thinking about it differently. I realized I could make a difference by being good at writing about it. I was a loudmouth kid, and there are so many who aren’t and so many who can’t be for the repercussions they may face, or it’s not who they are. Children can’t walk away. They have to live with their parents and the adults in their lives, problems and choices, even if it damages them. What if they knew they weren’t alone? What if they knew what’s happening isn’t normal and that living this way is not okay and it’s not their fault?
So here I am, the loudmouth kid writing. In these poems, I gathered strength from all of the voiceless and screamed, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And to the adults who felt unheard in their whispers all of those years ago, be kind to yourself. Gather your strength for your children and others. Listen to them and show them they have a voice.