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.
Announcing The Official Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes website for my novel, Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes.
I hope you find clarity, compassion, sustenance, and understanding as you voyage through the TOUGH website.
My mission is to heal, empower and rip the damn shutters off the windows we house our secrets in, so we can let the sun pour its powerful light on the darkness. Once we start soaking up the light, we can absorb the nourishment and heal.
Always remember, you are a beautiful treasure!
I believed the best was yet to come
I believed there wasn’t anything we couldn’t get through
I believed in you and me
Until you put your hands on me
I understood the abuse from your past
I came from one too
I understood how your parents succumbed to addiction
Poppin’ pills, liquorin’ up…and shootin’ up
As did you
I came from a household of boozin’ up
I wanted better
Thought you did too
I didn’t give in to the insidiousness of my DNA
But you did
And that was okay
‘cause I loved you unconditionally
And I reached out my hand for you to hold onto
And I believed you were more than the savages you came from
Until you choked me
I gave you my heart
I believed you when you said
You did too
And I believed you when you said
I was the love of your life
I believed you when you said
You wanted to make me your wife
Until you almost killed me
I believed you when you said
You didn’t mean to do it
When you said it was a “blackout”
I wasn’t sure just what I believed
‘cause all I remember was shutting down
Praying this wasn’t really happening
I wanted so desperately for you to get well
All the while your drug addiction, violent outbursts and alcohol dependence took center stage
And made my world a livin’ hell
And I slipped further into the abyss
I lashed out
To a world I escaped to when I was a kid
Alone with my pets
Getting lost in the pages of a book
As the tears froze
As my soul withered
And as my spirit started to perish
I stood by you when the vultures known as your DNA
Circled and swooped in
They didn’t like the way I responded to you putting your hands on me
They didn’t like how I called the cops and had you arrested
You didn’t like it either
You blamed me for your outbursts
You said I was the reason for it
The little girl inside was too shattered to cry
‘cause the man she loved was strangling the little boy she loved inside
The damaged little boy…you
I loved you unconditionally
Despite the fact I didn’t understand the world you came from
A mother, a father sticking needles in their arms
A sister not worthy enough to raise her kids
A little sister taking her clothes off for dollars
And a man so broken
He let the best thing to ever enter his life go
‘cause there was a sick, twisted comfort in the familiar
And he answered the call of the savages who share the same DNA
Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Good gravy, cookie cakes, this week writing ‘Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes’ has put me through the paces. For a minute, I thought I was training for the Olympics or something. This particular chapter put me through the grinder and if that wasn’t enough, it decided to mince me. Why? Just because. I found myself procrastinating for the first time since I started writing TOUGH due to the events taking place during this chapter. I knew why I was acting up; however, I owned my procrastination misbehavin’ tantrum, and tackled the chapter like a BOSS! A NEW YORK / JERSEY BOSS!
I would not have been able to make it through the other side without the angels I have been blessed with to travel with me on this journey. As always, Diana Layne and Tanya R. Taylor. I am forever grateful for your presence in my life. You TOUGH women have allowed me to be me, as is, and that is a delicious liberty I haven’t been able to fully experience before. You have been at my side, as tears fall, as laughter erupts, as exhaustion sets in, as fear moves in, as sadness takes hold, as silliness bubbles up, as #SPOILEDBRATPROBLEMS creep in. And, that is enough right there, isn’t it Cookie Cake and Truth Slayer? Hahaha!
I know the subsequent chapters will come at me like Laila Ali. Guess what? I’m ready! I am prepared for it, after all, these final emotional chapters are going to bring me to ‘The End’ and I can finally BREATHE!!! And let the edits begin. Oh, wait, Truth Slayer is going to come at me with her editing sword. Guess, I will be waiting to exhale after the edits are finished. Oye!
Thank goodness, I have some books by Tanya R. Taylor to read as I wade through the molasses. Hurry up, Diana, finish Nia, Be Mine, so I have even more books in my sanctuary to nest in while in the grips of TOUGH.
Thank goodness for my new favorite storyteller, Carolyn Q, Hunter’s cozy series. Now, Hunter has to hop to it and churn out more uber (not the car service, cookie cakes. Hahaha!) fabulous books to keep me from having even more #SPOILEDBRATPROBLEMS. In the meantime, I will have to re-read Hunter’s The Diner of the Dead Cozy Mystery Series published under Summer Prescott Books, which is cool with me.
I also want to take a moment to thank two angels who crossed my path yesterday, Jasmin and Kiersten, for the fun time…and for reminding me that beneath the TOUGH exterior is a young girl who was never able to be just that. Thank you, ladies.
And to my trio of blessings, you mean the world to me.
Note to self: COOKIE CAKE, YOU ARE APPROACHING THE FINISH LINE.
Reply to self: DON’T BREAK INTO A HAPPY SHIMMEY, COOKIE CAKE, ‘CAUSE THE EDITS ARE COMING. GRRR!!!
Getting ready to write a chapter that is going to once again kick my rear. I am crying so friggin’ hard. This chapter is going to bring me to my knees, have rivulets coming down like a monsoon to the point my sinuses will be asking me to ease up and peel even more layers. Good gravy! I am a human being not an onion!
“Diane, you have to get it out.” “Diane, this is going to be so therapeutic.” “It will be so cathartic, Diane.” Cathartic? What is so cathartic about every fiber of your being snapping like a live wire on the asphalt? Cathartic? I want to SMASH every effing thing in here to bits. I want to SCREAM!!! EFFING SCREAM! This effing pain is so effing EXCRUCIATING. WHY CAN’T I CRAWL INTO A DITCH? Oh, I know, why I can’t – because I am a TOUGH WOMAN. Who decided to infuse me with TOUGH genes? Oh, I know – God. He created me; I guess He believes I can handle it. I am not so sure this time. This anguish is grinding me to bits. GRINDING ME UNTIL I AM NOTHING BUT ASH. I guess this is where my ashes turn to beauty, huh? Is it possible this wretched angst could take me out? Yep, anything is possible. Yet, God would not have brought me to this place if He didn’t think I could handle it. I pray He is right. I hope there wasn’t any mix-up. Just my luck some satellites caused miscommunication between heaven and earth. Good gravy! I just have to endure all this friggin’ grief first so I can grow in the sunlight.
What in blazes was I thinking? Why didn’t I just write the cozy first? The Old Sea Harbor Series? Stranded? Oh, I know why I couldn’t – I had to get this out first. Pfft!
Note to self: GET IT ALL OUT NOW, COOKIE CAKE, SO YOU DON’T REVISIT THE VILLAGE OF AGONY AGAIN!
Reply to self: WORD!
And the good thing about all of this angst? I am almost finished.
8/6/16 UPDATE: DIANE MORASCO’S NOVEL DEBUT ‘TOUGH’ HAS A NEW TITLE TO FIT THE WOMAN SHE IS – ‘EVEN TOUGH WOMEN CRACK LIKE EGGS SOMETIMES’.
‘EVEN TOUGH WOMEN CRACK LIKE EGGS SOMETIMES’
ON SALE FALL 2016!