After 45 years, it was time to Break Free.
It’s finally here! After nearly a full year of helping Joelle put this book together, it is available to the public. This has been such a labor of love. I had to learn how to lead a project by working with a client who had never written anything before. Joelle has some syntax challenges as a speaker of two languages. Writing in English sometimes trips her up but her thought process was clear.
The stories came to my email box in random order. She began by sending me random memories. I began to place these into a word document with no clear beginning or ending. I worked on the grammar and creating painted pictures with words. I taught her as I went along. Joelle learned as the year progressed. Her writing grew into a new, stronger voice and with much prompting, she also became more adept at delving into her feelings.
Writing a book of memories, some that are painful, is taxing. This was a tremendously difficult story for her to tell. Joelle is much like me, in that she shuns the limelight and prefers to enjoy her private solitude in her twilight years. I understand this deeply. When life has been particularly challenging, it can be nice to simply enjoy peace as we age. In fact, it can seem as though all of the rocky roads in our lives have led us to this place of peace, if we are lucky. Perhaps it is a by-product of having been through so much? When humbled to such degree, peace is all that is left at the bottom of the jar.
This book tells the story of a young child who is slowly coming to terms with being different from their peers. As a teenager, this child is singled-out, beaten up, and becoming more withdrawn. Life drove our young character to a place within, where the imagination and art were the joyous refuge. As a young artist, the youngster grew into an adult, swept into adult situations that were painful for someone living two lives – one person on the inside and another person on the outside. The person looking back in the mirror was a stranger.
This book brings you through the challenges of self-realization, losing hope in the constant daily torment of existing without being seen, and ultimately embarking upon a journey to reconcile the interior with the exterior and finally become Joelle. If I have done my job, and I pray that I have, then you will find yourselves moved to tears at times. I hope that you will feel the pain of a child who has done nothing wrong but feels the weight of the world upon their shoulders.
I also hope that you will feel the sense of joy and relief when Joelle made the personal decision to risk everything in order to pursue surgery to align her mind with her body and become the woman that she had always felt she was meant to be. Witness the birth of a feminist who came to her feminism by a far different path, but suffered some of the same horrific things that other women also suffer, including the brutality of rape.
This book is a must-read for anyone thinking that they might be living in the wrong body. This book is for anyone who thinks they may be the parent of a transgender child who has not yet come out to them. This book is for any human being that believes we all have a right to exist, be treated as equals, and be loved for who we are. If you need to read a tale of triumph over misery, then you need to read BREAKING FREE. Order your copy at the link right now, available as ebook or paperback.