I was born and raised in southern Virginia. I had an awesome childhood filled with climbing trees, riding bikes, playing at the creek, and picking blackberries.
This was followed by a horrendous adolescence marked by trauma, sneaking out of the house and getting drunk, lots of Metallica, and severe depression.
While attending Ferrum College, I did a lot of partying, but managed to graduate with honors, earning a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English. I went on to work in a variety of jobs, from boardwalk train driver in Ocean City, Maryland, to a missionary in the Russian Far East, before becoming a teacher on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I am currently a stay-at-home mother living in Hampton Roads.
Although I have been through many changes in the various seasons of my life, one thing has been a constant: I’ve had close connections to many people who had no voice. From the foster children my family took in when I was a child, to the children in hospitals and orphanages I worked with as a missionary in the Russian Far East, I encountered so many seemingly lost souls who were powerless to speak for themselves and had been utterly failed by those adults who were supposed to be speak for them, from their own parents to orphanage workers to the administration. I’ve also witnessed others whose voices were distorted by alcohol, drugs, mental illness–or by society, who had preconceived notions about what those voices were saying.
In my own life, I’ve felt helpless and voiceless many times. From being the victim of rape who felt too ashamed and in shock to express what had happened to her, to the severely depressed teenager who didn’t want to speak for fear of being a burden to others, I’ve been silent far too many times. The one place where I’ve consistently found a voice has been through writing.
For many years, my poems, journals, stories, etc., gave me the means to speak, but not the means to be heard. Now that I have published my first book and am starting a blog, I feel I have the opportunity to make my voice heard. And along with that opportunity comes responsibility–not just to myself, but to others who don’t have a voice of their own.
That’s what I hope to do in my writing: to speak up for those who don’t have a voice–or who simply aren’t being heard. I’m listening for those voices, and passing them on to you. Please listen. We have a lot to say.