Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lasagna, Paperclips, and Toilet Paper... a Survivor's Guide to Child Abuse

I had a flashback today. They don't happen as much anymore because I have replaced painful memories with happier moments. I fought hard for those happier moments just like I fought hard for my toilet paper people.

People laugh when they hear the name of my book, THINKING that publishing it is my attempt at putting a middle finger up to those who aided and abetted the woman who raped and emotionally robbed me for so many years. 

It is on days like this, that I remember the more literal reason for the name of my book...
my intention to pay homage to the little dolls that saved my life is what provides me
with hope every single day. 

Today, I am VERY fortunate to have a team of creative people who are empathetic to me and to my cause. These people really understand the damage that was done and work feverishly to keep my dream alive. I have wondered for many years if I would ever be able to trust anyone like I learned to trust myself in my formative years. 

The flashback consisted of a roll of toilet paper, a lasagna tray lid, and a pile of paperclips. My immediate reaction upon spotting the used tray on the kitchen counter was to fold the tray up as tightly as I could and smuggle it back to my room. 
As an adult, I was immediately transformed into the little girl who would DO ANYTHING to create, to live, to survive a reality no one would
want to remember.

In that moment I remembered the miracle that lived in a paperclip and how that single paperclip gave birth to sturdier spines and to the skeletons of my more sophisticated dolls. I remember tin foil like the tray in the kitchen today and felt that overwhelming sense of joy. "The Toilet Paper People could now wear shiny costumes!!!" 

Tying scraps of toilet paper onto the foil, I was able to lose myself and my sorrows in much the same way I do today. 

The dolls weren't pretty by today's standard (the manufacturers of Barbie and the Bratz dolls would laugh their heads off at my creations)... but they were pretty to me. 

The measures I took to collect the materials gave the dolls more value than the most expensive thing I have ever owned. 

No one can take away your resourcefulness -
your spirit - your WILL to create and to be uniquely you. 

I told my coworkers about the flashback and it was a really proud moment for me. I haven't really spoken about the physical aspects of my making the toilet paper people because that is the LAST thing people think to ask me about. I wrote the book so that it would be the FIRST. 

Here's to the Journey.


  1. Your creativity is simply amazing! It is an honor to get to know you.