Sometimes you can’t make it on your own

She’s a good writer but why does she have to write about that?

The words struck me hard. I wanted to cry on the spot. Instead, I told myself what nonfiction writers are supposed to tell themselves.

No one is making you do this, so suck it up princess. 

This first bit of criticism was delivered by one of my dearest and closest friends. She and her mother had been discussing my blog the night before. Confused, her mother questioned why I felt I needed to write a memoir. Why would I draw attention to what happened to me? Why make everyone so uncomfortable?

I know what this looks like. I think about it every day.

Girl exploits family in the name of art.

If there was a way for me to tell this story without having to involve others, I would. It just isn’t possible. I have no memory of the day I was taken or why. I need family members to help me fill in the gaps. 

Anyone who knows me knows I care deeply for others. I routinely put other people’s needs in front of my own. I’m a nurturing person who enjoys loving, appreciating and taking care of the people around me. Embarking on this journey of self-discovery has been hard for me because I know it may make the people I love uncomfortable. That’s not my role in life. My role is to make people happy. 

When I was little, my Nanny taught me to face my troubles. 

Terra-Lee. When you have an issue you should talk it out. That’s the only way to make things better. 

Dear friends: Please forgive me for this moment of self-indulgence. My life makes me uncomfortable and I need to talk it out. I need you to know that I’m sorry my mother lost her youth having a baby so young. I want to tell you I’m sorry my grandparents had to make so many sacrifices to make sure I was taken care of. I want to tell you I’m sorry I was taken from my father and even sorrier for being some weird little secret that crept back into his life 25 years later, making everyone uncomfortable with her fears and insecurities. There has always been something a little uncomfortable about me. I’m an exception people make. An obstacle to overcome. A mistake to come to terms with. A discomfort to adjust to.

I don’t want to be these things anymore. I want to be Terra and I can’t be Terra until everyone knows who Terra is. Writing this book is helping me find the people I love, and it’s helping me find myself. 



4 thoughts on “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own

  1. you are not and never were a dirty little secret.Ill help you find yourself so you can be comfortable in your own skin anyway I can.Ps I never lost my youth having you.You just made it last that much longer sweetie.I love you MOM xoxoxox

  2. Being Terra is a pretty wonderful thing to be and I hope you keep the faith that your journey will get you to a destination where you find the Terra you want to be. A Terra with answers and some peace because you are a special person and deserve some comfort and resolution. Xo

  3. Honey, what are you sorry about ? You have nothing to be sorry about. You are one of the most loving and caring people there is, You put other people ahead of yourself, you
    give to others with all your heart, and when you care about someone, you truly care, and you turn your back on no one. You are a true friend, and you are honest to that friend as well as to your family. You are a loving person and that love is true.So sweety, there is nothing to be sorry about. just be yourself, and in time you will be.Be the Terra we know you truly are.
    We love you very much, because you a truly honest person.
    Nanny & Grampy

  4. … I read “why do you need to write about this” and it is met by my thoughts of how can I ever know Terra if she doesn’t know herself. For me, a casual observer, someone whose absence and brief encounters with your life warrant no access to these ideas, place a high regard on your own self-discovery… so, why do you need to write about this? So you truly know who Terra is. The Casual Observer.

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