For a look-see at the first post in this series you may go here: I.M.M.E.R.S.E M.E. 9 Reasons Why I Write – Series Intro
I have always written in one form or another. I am exploring my writing, learning, healing, and sharing as I go. Here’s the I.
I write to Implore. My Master’s Thesis Project (CSU Sacramento 1998) was titled Gender-specific Substance Abuse Treatment for Women: A Women and Children’s Residential Program in Northern California. I researched the specific challenges – barriers to treatment – women face when seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse then surveyed client satisfaction with a Likert-type scale questionnaire at Progress House in El Dorado & Placer Counties, California. I was seeking to determine if the program was meeting the women’s specific needs.
The purpose of the research project I created was to educate myself and others, but on a deeper level to implore someone to pay attention – to change attitudes that I perceived as not adequately addressing the needs of those who were suffering. Not the agency itself from which I gathered the data, but on the larger grand scale of society – most folks are unaware of the specific challenges for women seeking help with substance abuse. I never published my research project “officially” in any journal but I wish I had done so, as was suggested by my mentor and clinical supervisor at the time. She thought it was that good and a valuable addition to a body of research already in motion. I did not believe that what I had to say was valuable or that anyone would want to “hear” it!! Even in the face of clear evidence from the professionals around me. The program director was very grateful for the work and used it to review their program.
Here’s my Healing Through Writing connection: At the time of completing my research project, I didn’t believe that anyone would care what I had to say. After all, the purpose was primarily to complete the necessary work in order to graduate with my Master’s of Social Work degree. My lack of belief in the value of my project came from an unhealed wound from childhood. It was not meant to hurt me but this is the message I heard repeatedly, “Bonnie, stop talking. You talk just to hear yourself talk.” A deep wound was created but it was not intentional. It was not meant to negatively impact my self-esteem. It was simply a mother’s fatigue with an inquisitive and chatty four year old. My chatter was just more than could be tolerated at the time. I suppose I’ve always had a lot to say. LOL!
The Healing Through Writing part is already happening. I have come to realize the real reason I never “officially” published that project – it wasn’t all of the business of life that I had used as an excuse at that time. Please do not interpret this to mean I blame my mother. I do not blame her in any way. We all experience childhood wounds. Some are completely innocent & unintentional (i.e. no abusive pattern involved) but still have a negative impact on our lives. All parents make mistakes and say things that have the potential to cause a wound. It’s because parents are perfectly human. They are dealing with their own complex childhood issues and daily life struggles as they parent us 😉
After writing about Implore and talking with a writer friend, the idea spawned to repeat the satisfaction survey at the same program, “20 Years Later: A Comparison of Client Satisfaction.” If the program accepts my request to repeat the survey then I will have a new opportunity to publish it “officially”. And here’s the icing on the cake: At the end of my project (which I finally found tonight after searching for it in my stuff for the last 2 weeks) I actually recommended a follow up survey to determine if the changes they made as a result of my project were effective!! How’s that for a Healing Through Writing idea? REDO. PUBLISH Officially. RESET my self-esteem.
More about Implore – Politics & Systems. I believe people are essentially born innocent. Sure, we are born with certain personality traits like “introversion or extroversion”, just like the color of our hair, but we are essentially born innocent of malevolence. Youngsters don’t walk around thinking, “Gee, I want to grow up to be a drug addict (substitute whatever you wish) and suffer as much as that human being over there!” Oh, yes, youngsters do know about suffering. Even without words to understand it. But they don’t wish for it.
I believe in the intrinsic value of all human beings. I also believe there are “exceptions to the rule of innocence” which could explain certain heinous characters in history who do not have a “lack of nurture” explanation for their unspeakable deeds.
Do you write to implore, beseech or otherwise hope that your readers will see things differently?
Thanks for stopping by!