searching for my damsel in distress
On my twelfth birthday, my Auntie Val gave me a five-year journal, turquoise blue with a gold lock and key. For the first year I wrote sporadic summaries of my day’s events in the tiny space provided.
On New Year’s day of the next year, I wrote in big bubble letters on the red cover of a thick spiral bound notebook, “Dear Diary, 1986.” Thus began a conversation with myself that marked the beginning of my journey back home to myself.
Twenty-six years and dozens of journals later, I learned that my constant scribbling was a desperate attempt to hang on to the whisper of the voice I was born with – the one that cried when it needed love and burbled with contentment at her mother’s breast – the natural, non-language voice of Self.
Through my studies at graduate school I learned that I was not alone in my silencing. Young girls around the age of twelve begin to suppress their voices, their gnosis (knowledge through experience), burying it deep in the unconscious, where it causes psychological disconnect. A girl’s entrance into womanhood is marred by a debilitating lack of knowledge of what she knows.
My written words have been my mentor, my guide to the hidden treasure, to my own damsel in distress whom I must rescue. If at first I did not know she needed rescuing, I am now on a life-or-death mission to save her from the depths of my unconscious. She has been calling out to me all along.
And your own inner voice is calling to you. Can you hear it?
After awakening in the night knowing I must do what I love, I began teaching a self-designed journal workshop in 2005. And so, Wisdom Within, Ink was born.
Bio: Joanna Tebbs Young is a Writer and Transformative Writing Facilitator and Coach. She holds a Masters degree in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College and is a certified instructor through the Center for Journal Therapy. Joanna writes weekly columns for the Rutland Reader and Rutland Herald, and has an historical piece in the Spring 2015 of Rutland Magazine. Joanna offers expressive writing workshops and private coaching at her writing center in Rutland, Vermont.