Today I did something I haven’t done since writing my debut novel, Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes. I listened to the needs of DIANE. I not only listened to what Diane wanted. I actually followed through by RESPECTING those needs. There has been so much dust kicking up as I excavate the wreckage of my past in the pages of this manuscript. In fact, a few TOUGH women have mentioned for me to take it easy because of what I have written – and because of what is coming up.
As I reach “The End” of TOUGH, so many emotions I tamped down have decided to take a stand and say NO MORE – FEEL THEM! Really FEEL them and not in the way I perfected growing up on Long Island surrounded by the vultures who share my DNA. Not in the way DIANE MORASCO has perfected a Swiss cheese version of feeling them either. But in a way that the little girl born at Jacobi Hospital on Pelham Pkwy in the Bronx with the curly hair, dimples and caramel skin needed. The precious little girl who arrived in this world a result of rape, the innocent angel God not only saved, but beautifully designed, despite the heinous machinations of her maternal parent’s DNA.
I was waffling about attending a morning appointment or staying in to nurture myself. Which was/is foreign territory. The perfectionist I am was going to keep the appointment despite what I needed. I figured I could just do what I always do and place my needs to the side and “do the right thing” as usual; until I realized I would be contributing to the abuse I endured by not listening to what I was feeling. I debated for over thirty minutes. I finally said to myself, “Diane, if you aren’t going to protect little Diane who the heck is?” I told myself I would make a decision when the snooze alarms on my iPad and Galaxy S7 went off. They went off within seconds. Imagine that? There are NO coincidences. None. Nada. I called to cancel and still debated with myself as I was connected to the woman’s voicemail. I was telling myself it would only be a few hours…blah…blah…blah. I left the message. After I disconnected from the line, I cried. I cried because I have been conditioned to keep on going despite honoring my needs. I have been conditioned to “act as if” no matter what it cost. And, I have been conditioned to “never let anyone see your weakness” – NOT EVER! Who conditioned me to behave in such a manner? I did. It was a way for little Diane to protect herself from the chaos of her environment. It was what got us through. It served its purpose then. It no longer serves us in any way that is healthy, loving or nurturing.
Today, for the first time I listened to our needs. I cried myself to sleep. I released so many emotions without fear of scrutiny. When I woke up to absorb it all, I ended up succumbing to more tears. However, these were now tears of grief for that innocent little girl who was tortured by frightened adults who had no damn business raising any children – NONE – when they had yet to address their own messed up stuff.
What was it that caused these buried feelings to erupt today? Writing the Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes Excerpt: Our DNA, the last few chapters of TOUGH, addressing my childhood without a filtered lens, dealing with my abuse, shinning a spotlight on my body image issues that stemmed from my sexual abuse, reading June Stevens Westerfield’s powerful book, This is My Body, writing The Vicious Cycle of Eating Disorders and Body-Shaming, Part 2 and Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes Excerpt: When Words Slaughter a Soul! last night; and knowing the final chapters of TOUGH will bring me to my knees – so I can rise from the ashes and grow into the woman I was sculpted to be.
I want to express my gratitude to the TOUGH women who have inspired me along the way, Doreena, Louisa Winters, Parris Afton Bonds, Tanya R. Taylor, Diana Layne, Cinda, Sibel Hodge, June Stevens Westerfield, and all of the courageous women who shared their experience, strength and hope within the pages of This is My Body.
With all my heart, I want to thank Frederick Joseph Paris, my Prince, for standing by me when I disclosed the incest. And, my hero for setting all of this is in motion.
Welcome to September, cookie cakes…soon to be pumpkin cookie cakes!
P.S. Here is the link to The Vicious Cycle of Eating Disorders and Body-Shaming, Part 1 in case ya missed it.