Hello everyone! My name is Taylor Fulks. I am the author of My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal. I’m so happy to be a part of the NoteBook Blogairy's Week of Inspirational Writing. I want to thank you from my heart for inviting me to be a part of this lovely blog. With the “taboo” nature of my novel, I must say I’m both shocked and thrilled to have been invited. I only hope that I can accomplish being inspirational on some level.
It’s been said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well...I beg to differ. I purposely designed my cover to show/warn the reader about the contents of my novel. It is a very dark and very graphic novel based on a true story...my story. A story of child sexual abuse and the fall out that occurred in my life from the permanent damage that was inflicted.
I didn’t intend to write my book this way when I sat down to put pen to paper (yes, I write on paper and then type. I’m “old school”). I was going to write mystery/romance. I had read and listened to hundreds of books in this genre and thought, “How hard can it be?
Instead of seeing gorgeous, ultra-successful, ultra-rich, ultra-everything characters entwining themselves in mystery, drama, and ultimately romance on the pages before me, I found I couldn’t write. Instead, I heard the voice of a dirty-faced, green-eyed, auburn-haired little girl crying out. That voice was the little girl inside of me, begging to be heard.
After forty years of shame and silence, I finally listened.
Now before you ask yourself, “Where is this going and how is this author part of a blog on Inspirational Writing...” let me assure you I’m going nowhere near the graphic
subjects in my book. My book isn’t for everyone. It’s a very difficult read, even for the stoutest reader.To be honest, I don’t really feel all that ‘inspirational’ as an author.
But for some reason, NoteBook Blogairy does...God love her heart...and graciously offered me a slot on this ‘week of inspiration’ to impart my thoughts. So please hang in here with me.
I want to focus on a Mother’s Love for her children. To me, that is the greatest gift that God has bestowed on any of us, aside from the gift of His Son. A Mother’s Love encompasses many things...patience, discipline, kindness, listening, affection, allowing them to fall and get upon their own, holding your tongue as you see their friends mistreat them...knowing you must let them find their own way. But most of all, a Mother’s Love encompasses protection. I came to these conclusions after the births of my daughters. Looking into the eyes of innocence, I also lost a part of my soul that day. Because you see, my mother ‘knew’ what was happening to me...did nothing to stop it...nothing to protect me. So, as I held my first born child in my arms, I made a solemn vow to her and the daughter that would follow three years later. I would like to share that passage and one other from my book. I hope you will enjoy...
Excerpt from Chapter 33...Fruit of the Womb
Nine long, tormenting and tearful hours later, I was introduced to the love of my life. It was the single most reverent and holy experience of my existence. The endless hours of pain and suffering seemed to melt away. I couldn’t keep from touching her – everywhere. I counted fingers and toes, traced her eyebrows and ears, marveled at her perfect heart-shaped lips, melted when her tiny hands grasped my fingers, connecting me to her as she held on for dear life; this totally helpless, vulnerable gift from God, was mine to cherish.
As my eyes skated over this beautiful helpless creation, I realized I was looking at God. Not that my child was God, but that she was a small piece of him that he had given to me to love, raise, and protect. It was truly an overwhelming and daunting responsibility. An array of emotions as well as hormones, flooded through me like a tsunami. This was my baby, my flesh and blood, my number one priority in life. Nothing short of death would prevent me from protecting this precious little miracle.
As tears welled in my eyes, I bowed my head over my daughter’s body and made a silent, solemn vow before God. To the best of my ability during her life with me, she would come first. She would never know loneliness and solitude. She would never fear physical violence or mental and emotional abuse. She would never doubt my love or question my devotion to her. She would never question or value or her worth. She would never know guilt or shame, or be made to feel like a burden to me. She would be allowed to thrive and grow to be her own person and not be made to feel guilty for doing so. She would be allowed to flourish, to think for herself, and be praised for her efforts.
Most of all, I vowed she would never have to fear her father, or any other man – ever. If he or any man ever touched her inappropriately or abusively, I swore before God, I would cut his testicles off with a dull knife and force feed them to him while watching him bleed out. I promised her then and there as my tears fell lightly on her forehead and cheeks, as she blinked at me, “There will never be a monster in your closet, or under your bed, my love. I swear it, on my life.”
Here, I have had three days of breast engorgement, unable to breastfeed my child. Suddenly, my milk let's down and we are finally joined for life...
Excerpt from Chapter 34...I Knew
My mother placed her in my arms then stepped away, tentatively. I had donned a nursing bra so I could pad and staunch my actively flowing breasts. I nestled her in the crook of my arm, exposed my left breast and nuzzled her cheek with my nipple. Instinct and biology took over. With minimal help, her little mouth latched on to my breast and she began to suckle as I cried.
If you have never had a child at your breast, it is hard to describe the phenomenon. Words are grossly inadequate and fail to describe the miracle of God, nature, and survival. It is a holiness that is visceral. It is a melding of flesh and bone, blood and Manna; a heart and soul converging during such a small, yet immensely intimate act. I was bound by the ferocious need to protect– like a lioness protecting her cubs. At the same time I was awash in a fusion of innate softness and a boundless, tender love so intense that I was sure my body was aglow. I was so full of love for this tiny creature, my body couldn’t help but leak with it…mother’s milk and tears.
To feel the pull and tug of your breast as your helpless, vulnerable, and utterly dependent child suckles the life-giving, life-sustaining, substance unique to your body alone, is an overwhelming and heady thing to wrap your mind around. It not only validated, but strengthened my belief and faith in God; my belief and faith in our future as a family; my belief and faith in myself as a mother. It also awakened disturbing questions in my mind about my own mother.
Even though my novel is a tragic story all too familiar to many, and similar experiences (sometimes worse than mine, and sometimes not as bad) are shared by a growing group I affectionately call “The sister/brotherhood of my soul,” I also share the light and hope I so desperately clawed my way out of hell to find. If there is one bit of inspiration I can impart, it would be this...I’m no longer a victim. I’m no longer a survivor. I’M A WARRIOR! For good or ill, I bared by soul to the world on behalf of all the children who have no voice, no one to listen, and no one to protect them. I bared myself naked to the world on behalf of the little girl inside my book...inside of me. The “Telling” of my story has set me free. I no longer live in shame and darkness, afraid someone will find out about my dark and dirty secret, then tell. I’ve already done that. The little girl inside my book...inside of me is fine. I protect her now.
Children are the living footprints in a world we leave behind. So bask in the beauty and joy of Motherhood. Hug yourself and say "Job well done." There truly is no greater love, than the love from a mother...
My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal
TWITTER: FOLLOW @TaylorTfulks20
About this Guest Poster:
Taylor Evan Fulks is a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, specializing in open heart surgery to pay the bills. She's also a wife, a mother of two very challenging (in a good way) teenage daughters, and an ardent "nocturnal gardener" due to her fight with skin cancer. She resides in a quaint and picturesque town in Southern Ohio along the banks of the Ohio River.
Since the age of thirteen, she has been a prolific storyteller, never dreaming of one day becoming a writer and sharing her stories with the world. Now, with her children almost grown, her career mastered and steady, she feels compelled to tell her own story...My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal, before she can write what she truly loves...Mystery/Romance.
This is her debut novel. My Prison Without Bars is Taylor's own story written as a fictional novel, but her story nonetheless...her heart.
"This journey has been the beginning of a new life for me," says Fulks. "I wrote this novel with the intention of healing my wounds. That didn't happen. But I found something I wasn't expecting to find...Acceptance. I can leave my past behind. I don't live there anymore. Now the rest of my life will be the best of my life."