Tag Archives: Liscia Lawrence

Wadadli Pen “gave me a voice”

Wadadli Pen has been alive and kicking for 10 years. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the time and energy to put into it, and to know if the impact is worth the effort. The enthusiasm of past finalists – Lia Nicholson, Latisha Walker-Jacobs, and Angelica O’Donoghue – in taking on the role of media ambassadors, volunteering to assist with launching the Wadadli Pen 2014 Challenge at the start of January with  appearances on various TV and radio programmes, was reassuring in this regard. And then there’s this note from past finalist Liscia Lawrence. It gives not only reassurance …it made me smile, and tear up. I want to thank Liscia for sharing. Have a read and if you know any boy or girl with a story in their heart, perhaps locked so deep they might not even know it’s there or are perhaps too reticent to let it out, encourage them to write and submit. The deadline is January 31st 2014. Joanne C. Hillhouse, founder and coordinator of Wadadli Pen

By Liscia Lawrence, special to Wadadli Pen

Before the Wadadli pen, I would have never thought that anyone would be interested in anything I had to say, I mean who would want to listen to the ramblings of a little child. In growing up I was always reserved, a shy kid I’d say who preferred to be on the sidelines looking in. I always felt as if I didn’t fit into this world like no one understood me, the world was such a confusing place back then. I’ve always had a very active imagination but was too afraid to express myself meaning I kept everything bottled up inside to a point where I felt as if my head would explode. At one point my reality and fantasy worlds became intertwined, I was overwhelmed by something I did not understand – my own brain. For years my mind never came to a comma let alone a full stop. When I first heard of the competition I got really excited and I remember thinking “wow that sounds great I should enter” but then I thought what would I write about?, Out of the thousands of students who would enter the competition what made me or my story so special that anyone would want to read it? Through the encouragements of my past English teacher I entered my first piece anyway. With my expectations very low, imagine my surprise when I found out I had gotten honorable mention and there I was thinking that I didn’t have anything to share that was worth sharing. By the next year I had more confidence and I entered again with my short story entitled “Misinterpreted” where I placed third.  Wadadli pen opened the door to my creativity, it inspired me to let go of my fears and speak out, and most of all it helped me to channel all the energy I had by simply putting pen to paper giving something a narrative shape and in so doing I began to believe in the shape of my life again, in beginnings, and middles, and endings. Thing is I was on a fast track to self-destruction, and when your mind crumbles to dust everything you thought you knew suddenly becomes something to question.  You have to build reality up again. And the bricks we use to shape our realities are called words.  The Wadadli pen competition gave me the opportunity to use my words and in so doing build my confidence, eliminated my fears, it gave me a voice and a whole new meaning to life. The world is a confusing place. Books are our maps. Without the ability to write, I’d quickly find myself very lost indeed.

Liscia’s story Misinterpreted won her third place in 2005; read it here 

Liscia’s story The Day I saw Evil won her honourable mention in 2004; read it here 

This is the photo call in 2004, the first year of Wadadli Pen - that's Liscia, standing, second from left.

This is the photo call in 2004, the first year of Wadadli Pen – that’s Liscia, standing, second from left.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Wadadli Pen 2014, Wadadli Pen News

Misinterpreted by Liscia Lawrence

[2005 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Third Placed Writer]


“Come to daddy; who’s daddy’s little girl?

Who’s daddy’s little girl? Open your eyes, sweetheart.”

It was the second time for the week that mom was working late and dad was once again drunk. As I squeezed my eyes and held my breath, my clock beeped, which signaled to me that it was 11 o’clock. I kept telling myself that it was only four hours before mom came home from work. As I lay there, trying very hard not to move a muscle, I felt my dad’s hand on the inner part of my thighs. As he climbed on me, I smelt the strong alcohol on his breath.

“Sarah, Sarah, wake up, goddamnit. Do you think I’ve got time for games? Get up!”

“Daddy, what’s the matter? What are you doing?”

“Do you think I’ve got time for games? What do you take me for, a fool?”

“No, Dad, no fool, but, please, not tonight.”

“You’ve gotten a boy, right? Is that it? You little bitch! I’ll show you! Come here.”

“Daddy, stop that! Please stop, Daddy! Stop! Stoooooppppppp…”

“Sarah? Sarah.”

“What!”

“You can’t keep falling asleep in class. You’ve got to stay focused.”

“I’m focused. I heard every word you said.”

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me what I said.”

“Welllll…”

“Just as I expected. I can’t have you falling asleep in my class. I am going to have to send you to the office.”

“Laughter and screams are all I hear. I see him; I see his face.”

“The times that you have seen or heard him, what is it that you hear him telling you?”

“Wake up, goddamnit.”

“Have you ever told anyone about this?”

“Why, what’s the point? It’s not like anyone would care or want to hear about my unfortunate mishappening.”

“Did you ever tell your mother?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“She just wouldn’t………”

“Believe you? Why would I want to believe you when you are constantly at my office?”

“But, Mr. Billings, I did nothing out of the way. Mr. John just assumed that…”

“You were not paying attention, right?”

“Right.”

“I am really getting sick and tired of your attitude, young lady. Come here to me, you little b….”

“In the times that your dad attacked you, did he leave any physical mark on your skin as evidence of his abuse? In other words, did he hit you?”

“Of course, he did. What do you think I did, just lay there and let him have his way with me?”

“Didn’t your mother see the bruises? Why didn’t you tell her then?”

“You’re kidding, right? I don’t think I heard you correctly.”

“Let me rephrase it for you. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and if there is any more misconduct from you, I’m going to have to call in your mother and your father.”

“No, please…not my father.”

“Why? Why would you want to cover up for your father?”

“I don’t know why I did it; I guess I just felt sorry for him or something.”

“I think we’re getting somewhere. You felt as if you were…”

“…Ungrateful little b…Who is it that put clothes on your back, who feeds you, who looks after you, who gives you everything that you need? Now you want to act as if you are the boss of your body. Well, here’s some news for you: You’re not the boss, I am! And no boy is going to get what is mine.”

“No!”

“Then tell me why would you not tell anyone?”

“Why would I tell anyone when it wasn’t his fault?”

“Then whose fault was it?”

“Mine, all mine, and no boy is going to taste it before me.”

“Daddy, please stop; you’re hurting me. Daddy, Daddy, stop. Ahhhhh.”

“You have carried this baggage with you for so long that it has become a part of you. It is choking you and you are suffocating within yourself. You have allowed pain to become your best friend and joy your enemy. But it is time for you to let go and let God. Why not turn that frown into a smile? Just let it go. You cannot fight this battle anymore. It is killing you. It is slowly eating away your heart and it’s killing your joy. You should be able to go out and have fun with your friends and family. Don’t let the devil steal your joy girl.”

“How do I do that; how do I let go? It is not as if I do it intentionally, but every time I see him with our daughter, I see my dad, and I, I  am so afraid that he will do to my baby girl what my father did to me. I am unable to trust him around our daughter.”

“Are you listening to yourself? This is your husband you are speaking about. Your husband has never done anything which would make you become suspicious.”

“No. That’s why I am afraid. He’s too perfect.”

“Sarah, it has been 25 years. You are now 30. Your father cannot hurt you anymore. Take control of your life. Your body is the temple of God; let God deal with him. God is not asleep. He has seen your tears and he knows the pain you’ve been through; he feels your pain. Just let God take over your life. Start fresh with God. When all have forsaken you, God will uphold you. He loves you and he isn’t asleep. Give God a chance in your life.”

“How can you tell me to just let go? What do you know? You have never felt this pain! You don’t know the shame! You don’t and you never will. It is easy for you to sit in your office and tell me to let go. You were trained to tell me that, but what do you know?”

“I do know what you are going through and what you went through.”

“How do you know? How…”

“I know because I too was abused by my father, and my uncle, and by any man who got a hold of me. So, I do know the pain. I know the shame; the feeling that you could have stopped it. But you don’t see me holding on to it. That was the past. I found Jesus and I accepted him into my life and I was able to find peace. I found peace and you can, too. I too was a victim.”

“Oh, I never knew.”

THE END.

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