Tuesday, April 6, 2010

until it's safer for you

"It's safer now," says Wayne Leman on Facebook, as he shares his book of poetry Writing the Wrongs to commemorate Child Abuse Awareness Month.  In the book, which he wrote pseudonymously, he begins his own story:  "From early childhood I was abused by my father, physically, emotionally, and verbally."

This is very personal to me in several ways.  First, some years ago, when I just started blogging, Wayne emailed me to tell me his story and to share his poetry, as the blogger Al Johnson.  Second, Wayne emailed me because he was reaching out, having his own inkling of that sense that his story was also my own story, which he invited me to share.  Third, what he's written is what (in my own experience) is written in my life (and how rhetorics and poetics and the like are so useful).  Fourth, if you wonder why I so often link feminisms and recovery work, then you can wonder a little less.  Here's what one poem sounds like:
Sticks or Verbal Bricks 
Sticks and stones
may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me.


Sticks and stones
can break my bones
and leave long lasting bruises

And cruel words
are heard and mentally recorded.
The tape can play forever:



We might more wisely choose our words
if we knew cruel ones wreck like rape.
It's lifelong work in either case
to repair our memory’s tape.
While you're writing the wrongs, if you are, and until it's safer for you, which it may not be yet, then you might want to read Wayne's book.  He's offered it to us for free as an e-book at http://www.lulu.com/aljohnson Or you can pick up your own paper copy from amazon.com for yourself or someone else who might appreciate it (and give Wayne a few pennies in due royalties):

PS:  Wayne is one of the current bloggers at Better Bibles Blog and one of its founders.   He also is the coiner of the phrase Complegalitarian, which happens to be the name of another blog he started for the sole purpose of "Building bridges between complementarians and egalitarians." 


Bob MacDonald said...

Thanks Kurk (and Al aka WL) - That is real. I know abuse first hand also and 50 years later, who knows if it is safe. But all those horsemen and chariots and cavalry that followed the Israelites into the Red Sea got clogged in the mud and destroyed. So it ought to be safe.

J. K. Gayle said...

Thanks for sharing so personally, Bob! My own experience is that secrets kept in the dark keep me in the dark. Recovery in meetings and groups is most helpful, generally speaking. Safety first.

Wayne Leman said...

Actually, I (or Al, or, hmm, am I beside myself?!) don't even get a few pennies in royalties. I don't think there is necessarily virtue in it, but I price my books so there is no profit for me. I grew up hearing too many critical remarks about making money off other people. Hmm, how does that fit with capitalism in the U.S.?

J. K. Gayle said...

Thank for being beside yourself :). Our sincere thanks to you for giving us your humor, your poetry, your pain, your story, yourself so freely! It's an honor to me to be one of your friends. Don't know the answer to your good question but imagine somehow even the capitalists of America might benefit from you generosity in unexpected, most helpful ways.