By Kristalen Babb
Some people use writing as a hobby, while others use it as a career. I, on the other hand, use writing as a therapeutic stress reliever. Although writing isn't my only stress reliever, it's one I use often in addition to gospel music. Just to clarify things, I don't say I'm a writer, but a person who expresses her emotions through words. I mostly write to re-read what was written. I went from writing in my journal (as early as first grade) to writing my first book, my autobiography titled Behind Every Smile. So, yes, my emotions led me into writing.
It's not what I went through that inspired me to write, but how I went through those experiences that drove me into writing. Discovering, only through my storms, were there blessings in disguise. In every circumstance I faced, I focused on what I learned from rather than an understanding/knowledge of a situation. Sometimes, the lesson was a simple answer to my many questions, including understanding why I'm disabled.
Despite my disability, I was raised by a neglectful mother. Yet, I paid attention to how my mother ran her house. My life consisted of daily physical abuse, starvation, and endless cleaning, just like the typical Cinderella story. I found not a prince, but a social security check. My mom’s ways play a big part in how I live today, minus the starvation and beatings. I watched things: from Mom budgeting expenses to how she stocked up on household items. Beatings made me angry enough to defend myself when I had to fight other students who assumed I could be bullied. The pain from the poles and extension cords made me strong enough to take a typical punch, since those are less painful compared to my mom’s way of discipline.
On top of the emotional and physical pain, I became mentally disturbed when wrongly convicted for things I never did. Jail opened my eyes to the field of justice field and inspired me to seek justice for me and others like me. Jail only does two things for you mentally, and you either use it for the good or the worst. I chose to use the experience for the good, determined to make a better future for myself. Needless to say, my trials led me into becoming an inexperienced, self-published author.
Not really knowing the do’s and don’ts, mistakes were made as I published my book. Learning from my mistakes and solving my problems, I ended up publishing my book three times with three different publishing companies. My goal for my readers is to discover their blessings within their storms. This unplanned journey of writing led me to different connections and opportunities, such as this essay. Now that I'm a self-published author, only God knows what I'll learn/experience, for my path has just begun.