The subject matter explored through my writing, isn’t for the faint of heart, nor the sensitive kind. Amnesty’s Ashes is my soap box, my miniscule place on the world-wide web, where I exercise my right to turn up the volume of a voice once muzzled by feelings of unworthiness, fear and shame.

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Shushed by a mother’s disdain, “Who do you think you are? Stop living in a dream world Carlette!” Held quiet by choke holds of fear, inflicted by the influence of alcohol fueled tirades. Silenced, most perplexingly of all, by apprehension of standing naked publicly.

Conditioned for failure, accustomed to settling, I believed good and prosperous things only happen to or for other people and behaved accordingly. Cowering in corners, or under the covers, I’ve flown under the radar, managing to evade attraction of wrath upon myself. Eluding the label of my biological father’s mental illness (which my brother possibly inherited and I may be vulnerable to as well), or worse, the conviction of murder, I have lay hidden, swept under the rug.

Waltzing to the melody of sadness and despair that has been my life song, I have mourned, and I have grieved, surrendering to fears of failure, rejection, disapproval and disappointment. In a self-induced fog, I have wrapped myself in the comforting arms of drinking my wine in the crystal goblets inherited from my mother.

Countless times, I’ve planted myself into a chair, spewing words onto paper, attempting feebly to quiet this yearning to write, only to find myself wading in a sea of crumpled pages scattered about me on the floor, with the prevailing thought, “I can’t swim” echoing in my head. Now, in the grips of reprieve from the “Not yet” standing guard at the doorway of my lips, the agony of a bridled tongue has succumbed to this flood of knowing, this “Now”.

It is time….sink or swim…, of this I am certain.

The muzzle is loose.

However scarred by land mines of illness and death, abuse and neglect, I am a battle survivor, and I’m here to tell about it, refusing to die with desires left wanting.

Many events, depicted throughout these writings, affected others, and I’m certain were perceived differently. Merely a footprint left on my existence, this is my filtered account, for which there are no right or wrong verdicts to establish.   There is no disgrace shed on the dead, of whom I write, we all did the best we knew how to do with what we had at the time; acceptance trumps blame every time.

From the battlefield, to the dance floor, to the place of peace I am striving to find, welcome to my journey.

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