My friend Carol Waid, co-founder of the nonprofit Truth Be Told: Helping Women Behind and Beyond Bars, tells her story and the story of her work. Very, very moving. Click to read A Co-Founder’s Journey: Carol Waid’s Story.
I served as a board member for Truth Be Told for a couple of years when it was a new nonprofit. I used my writing and technology skills to start a newsletter and help them get organized to track supporters and receive donations so TBT could become stable — which they have!
I have attended several incredibly moving graduations and have gone into the prisons myself to teach writing and the three points of view to the women. I’ve also brought in dear friends who became facilitators. Maybe at some point, I will get to do that too.
Working with Truth Be Told is something I am so honored to have been able to do in this life. It is part of my heart.
Here’s an excerpt from Carol’s story:
I went to treatment some 13 years ago and in treatment I pretty much did the same kind of work that the facilitators guide the women to do, telling the TRUTH about our lives, through a process of using a lifeline to see your life. I did not even know my own story, much less know how to talk about. When I did a lifeline I was able to see the reasons I would try to take my own life at 15 and why I would choose the vehicle that I chose. I began to see why I would choose a violent teenager to fall in love with and obsess over, even beyond his death. I began to see how depression was in my fabric, and the fabric of my family. I was shocked to discover that I had moved 32 times in my short 17 years of life and it began to make sense to me why I didn’t know what a friend was, or how to be a friend.
I also began to understand why I was scared to say my name and be seen. What I didn’t know, for a very long time, and still struggle to accept, is that I am courageous and strong and compassionate and loving and smart and gentle and authentic, but I have to fight off what rules, which is fear and timidity and anger and depression and insecurity and the curse of believing I am nothing and not special.
In treatment I saw my life’s path before me, which gave me a map to work with all these years. This is the work we do with the women who reside in prison, for many of them they are creating a map of their lives and they are discovering what has been the thread that was sewn into their fabric. They are then given the tools to pull out threads that do not belong in their tapestry and to appreciate and respect the threads that remain and so beautifully they get to continue creating a new rows…. This work is crucial to healing. Healing is what opens the door for living a blooming life. A blooming life includes living in the “free” world and becoming a citizen that can help the world change for better.