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You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.
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Wednesday, June 8

Five Best Mistakes

Holly Lisle has prompted bloggers to clean out their closets. What are your five best mistakes? That is truly hard to answer. But, I am one who willingly answers honest questions, so here goes.

1. Loving my parents. I love both my parents. Why? I dunno. In return for unconditional love, I got conditions. Dad used me in horrible ways. Mom was more interested in here career, as a social worker for sexually abused children. Broken bones, cigarette burns, and STDs were common after a six-hour visit with Dad. Mom's response? "I deal with this all day at work. I won't deal with it at home." She prefered to pay for me to live in foster care than have me at home. She didn't fight for visits, Dad did.

Family isn't who is genetically related to you. It's who supports you when you least resemble a human.

2. Coming out too soon. I told the foster parents I had at 15 that I was a dyke. In four hours flat, I was in a psychiatric ward. I didn't realize that my foster dad was a devout Southern Baptist preacher. Whoops. He did try to show me the proper orientation. A few months later, I found out that I was pregnant.

No matter what my values or views are, I must respect that you are entitled to your own values and views.

3. Choosing adoption. At 16, I had the choice to either put my daughter up for adoption, or get emancipated and go it alone. While DCFS did nothing about the cause of my pregnancy, they used it to try to get rid of me. I was classified as high risk because I ran away. A lot. I ran away because I had learned not to put up with abuse. Not mental, physical, sexual or otherwise. DCFS thought that I would rather be out on my own than see my daughter in the system.

The choice killed me. But, I hope that the worst of the system was attracted to me, not my daughter. To this day, I pray everyday that Murphy stays the hell away from her. Hope is so much harder than anything else.

4. Trying to commit suicide. After my daughter was born, I tried. Several times. I failed only because of a friend that loved me without requirements. He once told me the only thing that kept him from asking me to marry him was my sexual orientation. I believed him. Then, he died. I decided to try again. I knew noone would be there to stop me. I can still feel how the razor blade felt in the palm of my hand, ice and fire all at once. As I touched the blade to my wrist, I swear I heard him, "Are you so weak that you won't even try?"

Strength is always physical. Most of the time, it is those little moments when you could take the easy path, but you long haul it instead.

5. Walking away from my cushy job. I gave up a well paying desk job to wipe asses. It wasn't smart financially, but it made all the difference emotionally.

You must make yourself happy. Money, people, things won't do it. You must do what you love.


at 3:51 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Carter said...

It takes a lot of guts and strength to say those things in public. I'm proud to know you.

With #5, you hit it dead on. Not only is the love of money the root of all evil, it is soul-death by strangulation. I have discovered that few of us are really brave enough to follow our dreams and be ourselves no matter what the cost.

at 7:10 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Holly said...

I'm glad you hung on.

I did, too. I couldn't count heading for the tree at about a hundred miles an hour as a mistake, because I didn't go into the tree. From heading for it, though, I learned that I wanted to live, and that the asshole who was making me want to die was someone I could divorce.

Love, and the things we do for other people that let us forget ourselves for a while, are the things that count.

Hugs. I'm glad you're still with us.


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