The Story Behind the Story…Melanie Lee author & illustrator of A Girl In The World
As a child I experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect, subsequently I spent years feeling ashamed, worthless and un-loveable. I felt as though I had no voice to speak of it and nowhere to turn. I felt vulnerable and alone for the most part of my childhood, vast amounts of time and space where filled with imagining myself to be anything or anyone else other than who I was.
Feelings of shame, unworthiness and being un-loveable permeated every area of my life and were carried through my childhood into adulthood. My only means of defense was to shut down and avoid my reality wherever and however possible. I learned to escape into my imagination; in there I could create a totally different experience. I feel that it kept me alive at times and sustained me until I was able to get the help I needed to recover from the abuse and trauma.
The birth of my children was in many ways the rebirth of me. I fell utterly and completely in love with them and in learning how to love and nurture them I learned to love and care about myself. The innocence of children is the epitome of bliss itself and their trust one of life’s greatest gifts to be treasured and honored.
Becoming a mother opened me up to the life within more than any other experience. It brought to the surface all of the parts of my self that needed healing. It has turned me inside out, upside down and right way up again. My children put me and keep me in touch with my own emotional landscape. Parenting them, as they have grown through every age and stage of their development has tugged upon every vulnerability I held as child. It continues to bring me face to face and heart to heart with my own issues and challenges me to grow and heal in every area as I respond to their needs.
I cannot and have not been able to shield my children from experiencing pain and some of life’s harsh realities and that at times has been heartbreaking. What I have chosen to do is take all of my experiences and learn from them, and to share the wisdom that comes from that. To be honest and open in my life and with my children, to support and allow them to have a voice in every situation and encourage it in every experience they face in the world.
I believe that our children come to us and through and into the world as their very own once in a lifetime unique expression. I feel it’s our responsibility to protect them from anything that stands in the way of being and creating who they are here to be.
It is true that whilst my life has been full of many painful experiences it is also full of overcoming them. Creativity has played a significant part in that. I lose and find and lose myself in creative expression almost daily. Whether it’s writing, painting, illustrating or sharing stories, I seek creative ways to express and connect with myself and others. Through my creativity I have learned to tell my story, through that journey A Girl In The World came to life.
The freedoms, creativity, love and nurturing I aspire to and my want for my own children, I want for every child. I hope to inspire children to understand that they are the hero's of their own lives…
Melanie Lee agirlintheworld-org.blogspot.com