I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

I Was Driven

"What drives you?" my editor asked.

I thought it was a strange question and I said, "That's just the way I am." That was as true as I knew how to answer then.

Today I would say, "I was driven by the pain of my abuse. I thought I was worthless. I worked extremely hard—constantly—to prove that I was as good as anyone else."

As of this writing, I have published 126 books in 36 years. That's the evidence of being driven. Was I conscious of that compulsion? Absolutely not. In retrospect I realize that I didn't allow myself to feel tired. For me, to be tired implied that I was lazy because only lazy people complained of being tired.

I still write a great deal, but there is now a difference. Now it's an ingrained habit and I still have a lot of ideas and energy. But I do it from a different place. In the past, it was lazima—a Swahili word. An obligation. Something I had to do.

These days, it's not as much what I do, but the part of me that does it. I love to write. I enjoy the hours in front of my computer. But I can also stop working at 4:00 in the afternoon or take off Saturday and Sunday without guilt—something I couldn't do a decade ago.

I was driven; 

today I do the driving and enjoy the scenery.

1 comment:

Debra L. Butterfield said...

Cec, I totally understand. Until recently, I was driven to prove myself too. Your book "Unleash the Writer Within" helped me see I was denying the real me. By being so honest about yourself, you've helped me be honest about myself. Thank you!