In the coming weeks, I intend to share the pages of the first book in The Embracing Me Memoir Series, "Hell & Heaven at 8". Today I start by sharing the Dedication and Statement of Intent.
Additionally, I will provide a platform for questions and open discussion from the 20 chapters. "Hell & Heaven at 8" was published December 2011 and has traveled around the globe impacting lives of people near and far.
This book is dedicated to every young girl, woman and any male who experienced the discomforts and humiliation of watching family members, especially fathers and mothers, waste away, being consumed by drugs and alcohol. Equally, the book is dedicated to the neglected, abandoned, and anyone who has ever suffered from sexual, physical, mental or verbal abuse: thus lacking self-love, self-esteem, self-worth and/or self-respect. To those whose minds were or still are consumed with suicidal thoughts in hopes to rid yourself of the nightmares in reliving moments of pain over and over again. To those who still cry yourself to sleep at night wishing to turn back the hands of time. To the victorious ones who exceeded the expectations of the disasters you lived through and are living a life complete from guild and shame.
And certainly, this book is dedicated to those who struggle with your identity, unable to embrace the true you.
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
For almost twenty-five years I have held onto this story for fear of hurting those whom I love, respect, and honor. That however, is not my intention. This series is not to cast blame, point fingers or to cry out as a victim: nor is it an opportunity to "air the families dirty laundry". Neither is disgrace the objective.
"Hell & Heaven at 8" is one of four books in The Embracing Me Memoir Series which tells of my life's journey from girlhood to my current womanhood, having gone through abuse, disappointment, rape, molestation and many other experiences. The story is told in eight year increments, discussing the pivotal points in my life that have allowed me to heal, grow, and embrace myself for the woman I was created to be.
The fact of the matter is my story is a common one, often held inside without the gory details of each bitter experience that has left and leaves young women wounded for generations. Although the book discloses true accounts of my life, again, it is not to bash or tear down, but rather; to build.
My hope is that in sharing and exposing the deepest parts of me, other women and girls will have an opportunity to embrace every experience that makes them valuable, uniquely created, intricate members of society while going through their own process of healing. This series opens the doorway for each reader to reconcile with past hurts, abuses in any form, abandonment, neglect, disappointment, grief, divorce, rape, abortion, sexual assault, miscarriage and the list goes on.
It is my hope that you gain an understanding of your own significance to begin embracing who you are and without defining yourself according to failures, successes, generational curses or the like. Essentially, healing broken women leads to healing and restoration of broken boys, men and prayerfully, families.
Life is a journey with many roads. It's like a tree with many roots that lead to many branches. Each root with its own purpose and each branch having its purpose, yet, they are connected by the middle. They sustain one another and give purpose one to the other. This story and the story yet unwritten, embracing my life, holds just as much significance as the root to the tree. The tree which grows lives and will continue long after I am gone. I embrace the past, present, future, the known and the unknown. With time I have learned to accept each part of my life, each branch, every root and all the ties in this daily pursuit of Embracing Me.
"In order to know who you really are, In order to know the power which you possess, In order to grow, In order to live and be free, You must first be willing to embrace every moment...The days before your existence, The days when you came to be and the legacy that you will leave behind...Know thyself, Embrace who you are."
~ Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris
Thank you for going on this journey of embracing through self-discovery