I considered myself lucky as a teenager, I had a Mother who was intelligent, loving, practical and down to earth, a woman who believed in freedom and encouraged me to do the same. I flourished in her company, the long walks we would take together, trying to figure out the world, the meaning of life, the many corridors of the mind and the potential of the human spirit – our interests were not the norm for the society in which we lived but we both adored them.
But with others I was not so lucky, with others I failed to fit into their boxed opinion of who I should be and what I was capable and incapable of becoming. All around me these influences were deciding that I was not good enough.
Until at 15 I started to try and please them, try to become who they wanted me to be but my heart was too strong, it wouldn’t let me surrender so instead I diffused my feelings of isolation and rejection by doing what my 12 year old self did, I grabbed a pen and paper and attempted to spit out the emotions that were ripping my heart apart.
One of my first poems at this time in my life, ‘Prison of the Soul,’ became an angry protest against these judgments, an angry roar of teenage frustration at the freedoms so readily denied to girls and so freely given to boys. See first verse below.
Prison of the Soul – Sample Verse
‘When Mind is Captured and Body Aimlessly Roams
Soul craves Recognition by Sounding Ferocious Moans
It Transforms into Anger that has been Suppressed
Tearing down my Person, Leaving me so Messed’
But despite feeling this anger, I managed to hold onto myself, hold onto the person I was despite the pressures of the outside world, despite the isolation and rejection of society as it was then, despite the church and their dismissal of female power and despite the gender stereotyping that tried it’s best to silence my soul.
And this blog is my way of sharing this journey with you, my way of reminding myself of who I am and who I want to be, my way of reaching out to you in the hope that in knowing my journey, you may better understand your own.