Writing

Why I Stopped Writing Poetry

I’ve been getting a lot of questions asked of me lately related to my writing.  Most frequently are questions about the poetry I wrote; specifically why I let the poetry genre slip by into obscurity, publishing a book of it then abandoning it never to write poetry ever again.

When I began to write poetry, I was in a severe state of clinical depression.  It was a time in my life when I was living day-to-day suffering through physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in high school on through my first two years of college.  At the time I used my writing as an escape from the pain, mostly emotional but sometimes even physical.  Poetry was, at the time what ultimately helped me through it.  When I wrote poetry, it was out of guilt, pain, and sorrow.  Unfortunately today when I try to write in this genre, a lot of the unhappy feelings, emotions, and memories return.  Although I’ve learned after a decade or more to forgive and forget, the process of writing poetry still remains an active trigger in my subconscious.

Still the question has been asked and will probably continue to be asked: if I am so in touch with and aware of my feelings (I am, too!) can’t I just turn them off or just decide to be happy?

It is a good question, and perhaps in theory, given enough time, I could.  But in all actuality, my mistake was (or may have been) writing poetry as an escape from an abusive turned post-traumatic environment.  However, given the circumstances, if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had a way of relieving myself of all the pain and anguish, nor would I have been able to allow something good come out of the situation, like a published book for example.

I shredded and burned my old journals a week later.  I decided that the past should be let go and forgotten about.  It was the best thing for me to do and since they contained all of the details of the abuse I had endured for so many years, I felt like it was the right thing to do as well.  Although it’s been years, I didn’t think I could go on with the notion that all of it was still documented somewhere and take the risk of someone else reading it and burdening them with the details.

Today, I live a much happier life by comparison; I write in my journal about daily vents, my fears and ideas, etc.  The parts that are of little or no consequence get put on the website while everything else is only shared between the two of us.  Life is good, and I like it this way; even if I can’t express myself through poetry, I can still express myself in many other ways because my thoughts and words are powerful.

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