131. Taking Someone’s Place

     I write to heal; to understand the past and be all I can be. I started writing journals in 1992 to come to terms with being an adult, remembering the sexual abuse of my childhood. After forty-three journals in three years, I condensed them into a book in 1995.  It had twelve chapters; with the last chapter being about thirty poems that came out in eighteen days or something like that.

     I self-published that book in 1998 calling it “Wanted: Someone to Understand.” I sold 700 copies and was too poor and too emotionally raw to promote it or get more copies made. The writing continued; and I wrote a second book calling it “As Long as I Understand”. Because of my partner’s support, I printed off my own edited version and had it bound with a leather cover.

     Inside me, is still a part of me wanting to be heard. I know it is a fragile, vulnerable aspect of myself that is still hurting; writing and sharing has been a way to let it out. My poetry indicates I still have something I want to tell the world.  Poetry turned to song and song lines like ‘I want the truth, the truth to be told”, “In telling I am set free,”  or “ I am just a poor girl and I want my story told, I am wandering in the desert, in the desert of the old shit, shit from my past, it hurts so much I want to outlast the pain of the past.”

     I wrote a third book and many of you know how last year, my focus in Viewpoint was not on writing so much as singing.  When I went home to Saskatchewan in April, focus turned to writing and I feverishly edited the third book. Each book used real names of myself, my family, the abusers, which were my brothers and a priest. I sold all those books with real names, real dates and I also with the help of others; put the books on a blog. Maybe it’s really a website as I have not been a computer techy person, and I know people can access what they want to read whether it be my books, my travelogues, my poetry or song lyrics.

     In August an advertisement popped up as I was finishing editing my book and it talked about self-publishing. I followed up on it and sent book one and two and one thousand dollars to a US company who would content evaluate it and provide a paperback book and an e-book for that amount of money if it passed content evaluation. It came back with evaluation saying to guard against libel; invasion of privacy, etc.; names, dates, and locations had to changed or removed.

      I decided I was okay with that and told them I want the book to be called ENDING ABUSE and my pen name will be SHARON SPEAKS.  It will have Part I -Wanted: Someone to Understand and Part II – As Long as I Understand. These three months I have been down south, I redid the editing having Sharon Speaks taking the place of Ellen Sagh.

        I have no idea how this will turn out. I don’t understand how a pen name works or the ramifications of a pen name.  I know I have to figure out a way to get into my blog or website to change the content. I have lost the password access and most days it is like I am computer illiterate. I overheard people suggesting the name of a woman in the park who might assist with my computer skills so will follow up on that.

         I found it interesting that someone sat beside me last week that has used a pen name.

        This is a work in progress. I know emotionally it has not been easy, and I am starting to reach out to get more support for what I am attempting to do, as the whole process has showed me the amount of fear I still have.  I still believe I am doing what I need to do.

                                                        February 1, 2016


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