“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” -Graham Green
When we experience trauma today, one of our go to methods for coping are mental health professionals. The benefits of counseling after a tragedy are important, but unfortunately, access to those benefits can be tough. A report from the National Center for Children in Poverty showed that 75 to 80 percent of children and youth in need of mental health services do not receive them. Gaps in medical coverage and higher costs for caregivers mean that even where professionals are available, there are still barriers to getting services.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™offers youth that have already been identified as at-risk, an opportunity to work with caring licensed counselors, facilitators, and mentors to improve their ability to develop a positive attitude towards their future through writing and sharing. Exposure to our program is enough to start the healing process, and equip participants with tools and resources that can help them in many different ways.
Gary accessed our program and wrote about being sexually abused by his father. Listen as he shares how Writing for the Soul Workshop™ changed Gary’s life and then read his submission from Stories of Hope:
Out of The Ashes by Gary, Stories of Hope TEASER:
I know there are others like me that have been abused or who struggle with severe anger issues. That’s why I decided to share my story…. here it is. From the time of my birth to the age of six, I was abused. I suffered severe child abuse from someone I thought I could trust and love. That person was my father. I should call my father “Dad” but I refused to do so. My father is a monster …and this is what he did to my life.
My father was a manipulator and an alcoholic. When he drank, my father became very angry. When he got angry, he got violent. When he wasn’t being violent, he did other things to me.
Being in that house was like being in a fiery house of hell and no one knew. My father would act nice in public and then beat me at home …that two-faced loser. He got away with it until one day after beating me; my mother noticed the bruises on my arms and legs. I believe I was around 5 1/2 years old. She noticed them while drying me off after giving me a bath.
She confronted my father and he began hitting her. It was at night, and I was asleep. I heard a big boom and woke up. I heard the sound of my mother’s voice crying out for my neighbors to help. She cried out for help to protect a newborn, me and my other brothers. It all happened so fast.
Later that week, my mom filed for a divorce. I didn’t even know that it was called a divorce. Mom simply told me that her and my father weren’t going to live together anymore. About six months later, my father signed his parental rights away from my brother and me. END OF TEASER.
Gary’s testimony about how Writing for the Soul Workshop™ changed his life and his behavior, is just one of many from the youth and parents that have been impacted by our programs. Now we want to make an even bigger impact. That’s why TGIM has partnered with The Arc of Hope for Children to launch the #WriteForHope Project.
Ark of Hope for Children is empowering advocates and donors to bring care and awareness to those victimized as children by human trafficking, child abuse and bullying. Ark of Hope is a human rights umbrella organization using a trauma informed approach to serve survivors through our various programs. Together, we want to help you tell your story.
What’s your story?
We all have a story to tell. Let us help you tell yours. All ages are welcome to participate. Who knows …your story just may impact someone elses life. Submit your short story, poem, music, and art to be included in the release of ‘Removing Chains of Child Abuse’.
About Removing Chains of Child Abuse
The short stories collected in ‘Removing Chains of Child Abuse’ are from survivors of human trafficking, child abuse and bullying. This project was made possible through our Community Partnership with Ark of Hope for Children. Ark of Hope is a human rights umbrella organization using a trauma informed approach to serve survivors through our various programs, including sharing their stories through our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program.
A recent study found that almost 76% of adults reporting child physical abuse and neglect have at least one psychiatric disorder in their lifetime, and nearly 50% have three or more psychiatric disorders. Exposure to our program is enough to start the healing process, and equip participants with tools and resources that can help them in many different ways. These powerful stories help not only the writers, but will show other survivors that they are not alone and they too can recover.
Guidelines for Sharing Your Story
Please do not submit manuscripts that contain any of the following: obscene or explicit material, unnecessary profanity, vulgarity, or inappropriate or graphic love scenes. Any material considered for publication that is found to be graphic will require a mandatory edit of the material and may result in a rejection of the material.
Please note that we do not publish graphic material. Therefore, you may be asked to remove graphic material or language.
Submitting your story is easy! Simply use the Contact Form below, or send your story to us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone who submits their story will receive a complimentary Stories of Hope eBook which contains Gary’s story for participating.
About Stories of Hope:
Stories of Hope is a compilation of heart wrenching, and liberating short stories written by youth participating in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ around the world. Through a unique structure offering both engagement -and reward, this workshop brings education and passion together in a way that offers permanent life changing impact. As noted in the forward by educator Sarah Lankford, these unique and amazing individuals have received a rare opportunity to share a story they needed to share … and develop a love of writing as a result.
Page Count: 158 pages
Purchase a copy of the book, or download the eBook to read it from your favorite device today! Stay connected with updates from our workshops in the United States on Facebook at: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in North America, and Ark of Hope For Children.