Why a graphic memoir?
When I was young, I waited for someone to ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up. But no one did.
I grew up with a father diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and a codependent mother. There was no room for me, there was no room for my siblings, but there was room for toxic stress.
Telling my story is a promise to me and to society. After retirement, I had the time to investigate the trauma of my childhood. I invited my wounded inner child to add to a growing movement working to alleviate adverse childhood experiences. I moved inward to self awareness and acceptance for me and my family through this telling. Beyond my personal reasons in writing and drawing my
graphic memoir is a promise to educate, to bring hope to shame-based families and bring us all toward the light. This is a call for help for children growing up with toxic stress, dysfunctional families, a call for help with mental illness, and a call for societal interference and responsibility. I am done looking away, pretending everything is fine. I am done with society looking away, pretending everything is fine.