Into the light

I have always loved words, language and the incredible things it can do. They can build you tall or break you. They can and do change the world. In fact they can take you away to brand new worlds or draw the one we live in into sharp focus.

My love began with my Great Grandmother, Nana; most of my earliest memories are of being read to by her.. She made words come alive for me, filling my imagination with so many stories. What a stack of books we grew! I am sure it could have reached the sky if we added all the library books too! I will always remember listening in wonder about a child in china making a beautiful fish kite and then flying it with many others filling the sky with a colourful shoal: A tree which grew through a house after a seed was dropped through a crack in the floorboards, the family living around and in it; a faraway tree and a winged flying rocking chair and a “naughty” brownie who kept a piece of cloth the Fairy Queen dropped as she passed him by. He needed it  to keep him warm but feeling guilty he returned it only to die from the cold that night. Then to awake in heaven, greeted by a lamb, to be warm forever more all because he had done the right thing! How I cried after that and how outraged I felt. Why the Fairy Queen didn’t let him keep the cloth when she didn’t need it and he obviously needed it so much.  It felt so unfair, as an adult I can see the religious message it was poorly attempting to teach but as a child it passed over my head and simply left me distraught for days! I think that is when I began to grasp that life is not always (or even often) fair even when you do your best!

Then there was the time I spent with my Grandfather.. This was playtime! He would happily turn his home upside down repurposing the furniture as forts or castles, grabbing ornaments to play parts in our little dramas! Had he still been married I know my granny would not have approved! Day tips, holidays, hanging out at his work and weekend mornings of pure blissful innocence lying in bed together with our arms in the air shadow puppeting grand tales onto the walls and ceiling or we would pretend our hands were spiders and play out spidery stories. This was his way of helping me deal with my fear of spiders; it did not work! No matter how hairy his hands were they didn’t help me deal with the presence of a real one! Saturday night TV dinners were best of all, Oh Yes, Skinny Chips while watching Chips or maybe Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rodgers: maybe Ted Rogers with his Dusty Bin or the fun of The Generation Game: but always The Muppet Show and a Lucky Bag.. sometimes a bowl of Trifle! He always had time for me and what times they were! The photo I have chosen to use on my blog are the shadow me and my shadow granddad: one of the few happy shadows in my life and ones I cling to dearly.. Happier times and all that!

Sound idyllic? It was a lot of the time during my early childhood. The good outweighed the bad back then. The dark crept in slowly at first but gathered speed until a time I found myself in the pitch black. I plan to write about those hard times here; talk about the little things I did to cope without even realising that was what I was doing. I am a survivor: I have strength and love but I struggle with self worth at times. Healing yourself is possible but there are always scars and shadows that will rear up from time to time.

I always planned on making words my life, I wrote all the time from as soon as I was able. I still have a hand written copy my Nana made of a Halloween story I wrote at school when I was seven..

The night I went to see my new house I heard a fire burning. I followed the noise. It led me to a door but the door was locked. Suddenly it got cold and the door flew opened. I saw someone with a black cape then I saw the witch queen’s face. I rushed down the stairs. The door was shut and locked. There was a cat door but I was too big for the cat door. Suddenly I heard foot steps coming down the stairs. I had to try going out the cat door. I only just made it and I rushed home. That night I could not sleep so I went to my mummys room but she was not there. I went looking and soon found I was in a cave. There were four cats and twelve bats and I rushed home and jumped into bed. The next day I found I was in the wrong house. I was in an evil witches house. It had seventeen spiders. I pressed a button and a body and blood fell all over the floor. It was a little girl. I ran and at last I found my mummy looking for me. I was safe now the witch had got the girl. Before we got out it went cold and we heard a noise oooooueee oue oueouoo ooo and we both ran away together.

“Splendidly Horrific” my teacher wrote! Quite macabre for one so young but I was always trying to catch glimpses of the late night horror shows through the seam of light at the edge of the living room door as I’d go for a night time tinkle! The old black and white monster movies enthralled me! Hey I would sing a long with Disney like all the other little girls but strange was exciting; Tales of the Unexpected, The Twilight Zone, Sapphire and Steele and Hammer House of Horror always fired my imagination!

I was always writing stories and reading them to my imaginary friends, a troupe of white mice! Disney’s Cinderella had a lot to do with their existence! As I grew a little older I would watch the news hoping to see the journalist Kate Adie. Oh how I wanted to be her! My friends who mostly wanted to be princesses thought I was very odd. My High School attendance was low, I had health problems and my Mother always had one reason or another to keep me at home. I often felt I was her Nanny and cleaner more than a daughter. These are bitter years for me: The darkest of times. My mother grew increasingly physically and mentally abusive, her mood snapping at the slightest provocation and always far worse when she was drunk. My new step-father used this to his advantage and I was stuck in an awful situation there too. All the people I trusted and relied upon had been pushed out of my life and so I felt all alone.  As my sixteenth birthday approached I made plans for escape. I felt like a traitor to my siblings but I knew I would end up dead if I stayed. I had attempted suicide twice, the second time almost succeeding, not cries for help but the only exit I could see. I found myself a place to work as an apprentice journalist on a local newspaper in a town nearby and I found myself a place to live. A few months after my birthday I left home believing everything would work out now. I could not have been more green if I had been Kermit the frog! Things got so much worse.

It’s a long story! It’s not a nice story and it’s going to take time for me to be able to share all of it.

For now I will say that moving into a place of my own without my mother and siblings around me only made it so much easier for my step-father to get at me. After being surrounded by siblings I was crippled by loneliness. I became a wreck of a person as my world fell apart.  The newspaper ended up closing down and that was the last time I was ever paid to write. The blows kept falling even as I tried to make things better. I was very far down the rabbit hole and had given up on seeing the light again when my sunbeam shone into my life and everything changed.


I have allowed the voices from my past whisper in my ear for all these years! They threatened my sanity, my self worth and planted fears in my head that took my own words from me. Economics took away writing for profit and I did nothing to chase it but they took away writing for myself.  It feels hard to explain, the will to write was gone. Slowly the idea that I might try again has crept up on me but my imagination is still frozen. I think it may be time for truth. I think that perhaps writing my truth might cut the last ties binding me to the shadows.  Today I am taking a bold step out into the light, for myself and for those I love, so they can finally see me doing something just for myself that makes me happy. I do hope my grammar isn’t too awful.. I’m a bit rusty you know!

64 thoughts on “Into the light

  1. I love words too! Thanks for coming to visit my little bloggy, This Crazy Little Farm. I’m new here too 🙂 I look forward to seeing more of your writing! It’s always so inspirational when we can share our experiences with shadows to help others come into light. God bless!

    {{Whoops! I think I may have commented in the wrong place the first time. Sorry if this came to you twice. See, I AM really new at this}} 🙂

  2. You and I are similar, indeed. I hope you will come visit my blog and see just how much. I will likewise be checking in on you here. I think we have a lot to teach each other, and if not, at the very least support each other in our blogging journeys. You are not alone my friend!

    • Thank you for your comments, it is a reflection of the world we live in that i am not alone in my experiences. it breaks my heart, it certainly made bringing up a girl challenging! i will be following every post you add! you are an amzing writer, you have a way of unleashing raw emotions from your words. i intended to post something new today but my hands are too sore for extended typing tonight, cold packs on my knuckles this evening and back to the keyboard in the morning. thank you again

  3. Thanks for the follow, I love your enthusiasm for words and writing, I look forward to reading everything you post. I am always in awe of those whose can write from the heart. I am a strong legal and technical writer but sadly my creative writing skills are non existent 🙂 maybe I might learn a bit from your work over the coming weeks.

    • thank you very much. I found your photographs shone with outstanding beauty! they are incredible.. they speak from the heart! i am rusty on the technical side of things, i missed a lot of time in high school and i haven’t allowed myself to write for nigh on 25 years so i am really flattered by your comment. i hope to carry on my story in an upbeat way, it’s going to get dark at times but i got through it and found my happiness and that is what i hope to convey as most important. thank you again.

  4. Thank you for coming to find me and following me… IAM sure we are going to enjoy each others journey into the unknown, creating as we go… Maybe you would like to join my january challenge and write a short piece about your own awakening experience…. I have 2 slots left in february… I wrote the first one to give you a little idea… but we all write our unique way… from the heart… take care, Barbara

    • Thank you Barbara what a wonderful offer. i’m not sure i would be able to come up with something worthy but if you would really like me to try i would be delighted to be part of your january challenge. you would also have to explain to me how to actually take part, no idea what to do lol!

  5. Welcome to the blogging world. You’re going to love it here. And you’re going to discover that we are all suffering in some way and using writing as a means to learn more about ourselves and where we’re headed next. I loved your post and look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you for the warm welcome, i am really enjoying myself here and it’s very healing to be able to blog about my life. I am in a good place to work though things that would have been too painful a few years ago.

  6. Dear Shelley, we are equally all worthy… you know that now… My whole challenge started after I had written a post about awakening… mentioning stages that we all go through… yet at the time don’t realise it… until now… and also explaining the challenge… hope it helps… if you have any questions let me know… Thanks Shelley, I’ll put you down for 5th Feb… Barbara

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have enjoyed the posts you have done and learning more about you. I will be following you, raw emotion is a powerful tool, in my opinion, if you can get through the pain it brings. I am an avid fantasy fan and often will fall into the fantasy in poems to relieve an ache inside. I wish you the best with your writing, There are some wonderful Fibro writers here.
    Blessings, Susan x

    • Thank you Susan, I find lately i can allow myself to examine that raw emotion without it being too painful. it is coming to this point that made me feel i was ready to go public and i am so glad i did. so much positive feedback and support. very much enjoying your blog and other health writers, there is always something to learn here.

  8. Thank you for visiting my blog, Shelley! I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now, and finally decided to just ‘jumped in’ with minimal edits and self censorship. You have an engaging and elegant writing style. I’m inspired by your steps to do things that make you happy, even with what you perceive as a steep learning curve. I am trying to do the same. I look forward to reading more!

    • Thank you for coming to visit me and thank you for the compliments, very much appreciated. I am glad you decided to start your blog, i really am on a steep learning curve and i love that so many people are making their knowledge available to others, helping to improve their lives. I look forward to reading more from you as well.

    • Thank you Catherine, Your blog was fantastic! it will take a while to get through your body of work! knowing how much you have enjoyed it raises my hopes for my own “work”. Thank you for your compliments, i certainly feel like i am the most determined i have ever been.

  9. Congratulations on deciding to let your words shine again through your blog. Writing again helped bring me back into the land of the living and I know it has the power to help us heal and grow.
    My best wishes.

    • Thank you Cynthia, i read about your accident and how that led to you being a published author.. silver linings. i am so glad that writing was able to help you so much. it would be lovely to think it will give me purpose and heal the last of the wounds i carry. Thank you again, i really appreciate your comment.

  10. Thank you for following my blog, I see you just started yours. I love your shadow picture, and your ease with words. I will be following you with great interest. Sending many blessings and healing your way.

    • Linda really appreciate you stopping by and i’m so flattered by your compliments! the shadow picture is such an old snap, scratched and i was worried it would be unusable when i scanned it. my grandad gave me a whole bunch of photos and negatives of photos from my childhood but due to trying to maintain a level of anonimity i can’t use most, almost all of them. it’s a shame i feel like saying to hell with it and using them all but i knew i could use that one and with it came the inspiration for the blog name. thank you for your interest.

    • it was most definately a more innocent time, something i think todays generation really miss out on. I am an animal lover and found your blog wonderful. i try to support my local animal shelter each month, trying to buy things from their amazon wishlist, sometimes it’s only a tiny donation and other times i can send them quite a few things. some months it’s nothing at all. We have 2 small dogs, both over 10 years old now. they are my wee therapy angels. i wish i could still foster and offer more animals homes, had quite the menagerie at one point but i do what i can and i know they are grateful for that.

    • Thank you, great to meet you too.. fellow whovian! and more importantly fellow hater of a stupid vampire tv show, oh mr whedon please please bring buffy or angel back! *sigh*
      Glad to be at the party.. i’m late as usual!
      Congrats on being published! now that must feel good!

  11. Congrats on starting your blog. Stepping out on faith is hard, but you did it! Thank you for following our blog. We sincerely appreciate it!!!!

  12. Love this line: “What a stack of books we grew!”…..I try to do that with my granddaughter and grandson, who are living with me for the moment…This is YOU, the WRITER: I have allowed that voice in my head to take my own words from me for all these years! Today I am taking a bold step out into the light, for myself and for those I love, so they can finally see me doing something just for myself that makes me happy. I do hope my grammar isn’t bad enough to chase any would be readers away!” YOU write with such honesty and from your heart! We are blessed to have YOU among us! May your words continue to flow freely and with strength! Your courage to write, gives me courage to do the same!

    • Thank you for your supportive words! I am most grateful. i hope you enjoy the time you hvae with your grandchildren, i know you are planting the best seeds by reading to them and giving them your time. My children didn’t stay at the stage of enjoying being read to for very long so i have hopes i get to try again with grandkids, if i ever get, any to grow that love of books. I enoy your poetry immensley so please do keep sharing. thanks again

    • My grandfather was and still is my hero. he has been a father to me and still is. blessed to still have him in my life and my childrens lives. I still remember writing that story, it was based on a dream i had after we visited what was to be our new home. it was a scary place! Lots of black but the bathroom was blood red.. the story that the old lady, miss swan, who lived there had been a witch didn’t help matters!

  13. I love that you share feeling and thoughts, I have on another site and I have thought about doing it on my blog…as We older Shelley there so much to say and think about ..I think you are wonderful I sure wish I had time to read more. I have to study for some tests and I am nervous because I haven’t even started. but someday I will start from your beginning..On top of wanting to write some of my stories..I am a terrible writer and lost english a hundred years ago..
    Blessings and I understand what you meant about loosing your religion but are still spiritual..I agree with that..byby

    • Oh Sherri, i wish you all the luck in the world with your study and tests. i could never settle to study! not until the last minute anyway! i do hope you find time to write some of your own stories one day, you know the spell and grammar check does an awful lot of my corrections! At the end of the day a story thats true and from the heart will be read and appreciated no matter if a few mistakes get through. i really appreciate your kind words and encouragement, i was so nervous when i started writing here and now i feel at home. thank you

      • Thank you..your nice person..I’m not sure how to start it..and your ending words about writing gave little more courage..thank you Dear..when catch up on things I will see you more..Not sure if I told about my onedaughter that has cancer..let me know and maybe I will start writing with you as the first…I have wrote alittle bit but maybe more..would you suggest something like what she is going thru?
        do you haven’t started my tests and today I promised myself I was going to start..and I will..for sure..
        have good day my friend!!

        • Oh sherri i am so sorry to hear that your daughter has cancer. what hell to go through. i think that would be something a lot of people would appreciate you sharing and you might find it would help to get through it too, both of you maybe. it is daunting to start, i know, i had no clue but i just let it happen as it went and i have notbooks i write ideas down in when i thik of them and i have pages in the book about specific things i want to write about soon and i’m just collecting notes on each page until i feel ready to start typing. hope that helps. i am sure you will find your way, just as you have with your beautiful art, talk soon and take care

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