Making it Through the Storm

It shouldn’t be so difficult to raise awareness on everyday issues. As people we struggle to realirita-ora-ice-bucket-challenge-2014-billboard-650x430ze the problems that are happening in our society. Without celebrity endorsement some of the fundraisers that we have out there wouldn’t be as successful. Things like the ALS ice bucket challenge, where everyday people do something ridiculous to raise awareness. Celebrities are participating in this event and are making it a competition to see “who has the better ice bucket challenge?” People shouldn’t have to compete or do something ridiculous to raise awareness to the problems that we have in our society. Ideally when there is an issue in our society, people should alert others of this problem and as a society we should listen to these people and help them solve the problem. In my book “Why Ruin Another Life” this dysfunctional Mississippi family suffers through three generations of rape. They sweep this tragedy under the rug, swearing to tell no one about the horrible events that took place. People need to be aware of something  traumatic like rape, because it’s an everyday problem that can be dealt with if it’s brought to attention. When a storm is raging, running and hiding is not always the smart thing to do.

Inspiration for Writing “Why Ruin Another Life”

When my mother died, my sister packed away all her belongings. All of her things were either donated to charity or given to friends and relatives. My sister had a hard time dealing with my mother’s death, so it was easier to pretend as though she’d never existed.

Weeks before my mother’s death, my sister and mother argued about my sister’s choice in men. In all fairness to my sister, my mother was extremely overprotective when it came to her children. In her eyes, there was no one good enough for my sister. When my mother died, my sister felt an overwhelming sense of guilt; a lot was left unsaid between the two.

After my mother’s death, my sister suffered from deep bouts of depression. She stowed herself away from the world and disassociated herself from longtime friends and family, refusing to forge new relationships all because she was afraid of dealing with the twist and turns of life.

One Mother’s Day, out of nowhere, the tears came pouring down my sister’s face. Not allowing herself to grieve for my mother had affected her whole being. She was remorseful because she’d never gotten a chance to correct the situation between her and my mother.

Feelings left unexplored have a way of seeping through no matter how much we try to stop them; you can’t build a dam big enough to hold it back. Though we may not want to surrender to these feelings, they have a way of manifesting themselves in other ways. They need to be aired out or dealt with in the proper manner.

This baggage can become a hand-me-down from generation to generation, and this baggage I speak of is not Louis Vuitton.

Hence, the dysfunctional family created from a collection of baggage that no one wants to rummage through or sort out. For reasons unknown to me, my mother always had a strong presence in her children’s lives; overwhelmingly so concerning my sisters. Even as a son I felt my mother was overprotective, which has caused relationship and trust issues throughout my life. This is behavior I continue to struggle with.

A mother’s negative influence on a child can have a tremendous generational impact. In my book the character Hattie’s actions had a domino effect that affected the lives of her daughter and granddaughter.

My hope is that this book can shed some light on this problem and make people realize that they must be willing and able to face the demons of their past, no matter how painful, and say, “The buck stops here!