Three years of intense therapy later, I can say I have successfully been through the following: a sixteen-week course on domestic abuse (Breathe Colleen); an eight-week course on childhood sexual abuse (breathe) and incest (keep breathing); a sixteen-week course on self-defense (Stay present; how do you feel?); an eight-week course on first-aid (Have I eaten today? Have I slept this week? What do I need right now?); and I am enrolled in a lifelong course on the healing process (Take your time; take off the veils).
I write freely in the safety of a pen name. I can also say, with unveiled pride and a measure of job, that at the age of thirty, upon almost half a lifetime of leaving high school: I completed the correspondence courses, and I hold my Grade Twelve Diploma. Now, I am beginning to learn...
Reprinted from WEdf, Summer 1992, Volume 9, Number 4.
Colleen N. Race is a pseudonym; all names and places have been omitted to protect her identity. Colleen is a published free-lance writer and is the single mother of one child. She is presently continuing her education at the post- secondary level (by correspondence courses, of course) toward a third career in the library field. 1998 update: Colleen has now reclaimed her dream of becoming a song-writer. She is the lyricist of Safe Passage, a nine-song benefit recording for Tamara's House: Services for Sexual Abuse Survivors. Safe Passage is available through the internet at the following address: www.flatlandmusic.com