I wrote a book once. I had found my voice and I would no longer be an unheard voice of trauma. Then, during the publishing process I discovered that due to legal reasons, I couldn’t put my name on the cover.
Once again, I felt unheard.
The thought of shredding the unpublished, yet completed manuscript, went through my mind more than once. The process of writing had taken the chaos of the traumatic event and turned it into order, bringing peace. I had a beginning and an end that I could finally accept allowing me to let go of the trauma that kept me imprisoned for many years.
It was suggested by my publisher that I use a pen name. At first, completely against the idea, my identity felt questioned. After all, my story was about finding my true identity. How could I use a different name? “There is no way!” I exclaimed. Then, I realized that I could make a positive out of the situation while still protecting myself. After grappling with the confusion of ‘re-naming’ myself it hit me that the pen name could be bigger and more meaningful if it represented the unheard voices of trauma as a whole.
My friend Abbey, at 16, committed suicide. She was a writer and in taking her life, her words and her voice died with her. In her suicide letter to me, she commissioned me to ‘help others understand’. I’ve never felt equipped because I was her fellow traveler and knew her kind of pain. I knew what it was like to not want to live anymore, so how could I help others understand when I didn’t understand myself. I continued writing here and there and eventually, I started a blog and kept a private journal. It was the best I could do to honor her memory. Over the years, I’d share the blog but, I hated sharing my blog because I was fearful. I was scared to have a voice. Scared to be judged. Scared to be wrong. Scared to be heard. But, I grew stronger and braver in the process of writing that blog.
Back to my pen name.
My dear friend had written me this poem shortly before we lost her. What better name than Abbey Blue, right? All of a sudden this thing I was so against and so fearful of, became a mission for me. It became bigger and greater than any one name. Abbey Blue represents us as a whole.
Anyone who has been silenced by trauma and wants to share their story is welcome here. Anyone who has a ‘book in them’ is welcome here. Anyone who wants to find their story in another’s story via reading the stories, is welcome here. Anyone who simply wants to understand more is welcome here. We are a community and you are welcome here.
My name is Michele Goane. I am an author and I welcome you here.
InJustice, the book, can be purchased here!