Student Spotlight- Linda’s Story
Over the last couple of months I’ve had the joy of working closely with a group of writers on my 7 Writing Archetypes and their corresponding templates. It’s a system I developed that helps people clarify their writing voice for each article, blog post, or book chapter, and then use a template to ensure all the key elements of that voice are incorporated within the writing.
It was the first time I taught the material and students far exceeded my expectations. They wrote great stuff! I am so proud of each of them.
Here’s an example from Linda Gourdine-Hunt, one of the class participants. She wrote this article based on the Wounded Healer Archetype and created a moving and triumphant article.
Linda graciously agreed to share her writing to help inspire all of you.
The Wounded Healer
by Linda Gourdine-Hunt
October 7, 2013
I remember as a child we had a rhyme that went something like this:
“Rich man, Poor Man, Beggar man, Thief,
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief”
As we sang that rhyme while jumping double dutch, we never wanted the rope to collapse on “poor man,” “beggar man” or “thief.” If it did, we would shout “Do Over! Do Over! Somehow we instinctively knew enough to resist such a low stance in life.
I would sometimes wonder what I was going to be when I grew up. I often had dreams of being a nun – yes, me, a nun, because I liked helping people. I was always the teacher when we played school and the mother when we played house.
My parents were southerners and well acquainted with the limitations placed on people of color during that time. They strove to give us – their children- a part of the American Dream. We lived in Farragut Housing Projects in Brooklyn, New York during my elementary school years. In the 5th grade they decided to “bus” me and one of my brothers to a school in the predominately white, upper class, Prospect Park section of Brooklyn. During the fifth grade, I was in class with the kids who rode with me on the bus – the kids from other housing projects. We pretty much stayed to ourselves.
However, promotion to the sixth grade proved to be a painful experience as I was one of three “Negroes” in my sixth grade class and was often subjected to teasing, rejection, and misunderstanding. It was culture shock for me. The way my classmates dressed, the jewelry they wore, and the money they had for lunch was so different from my world. I think the worst part of all was feeling like an “outcast” especially when no one wanted to hold my hand as we lined up two by two for the walk to our classroom from the schoolyard. I was almost always the last one to be picked for team play and contests.
My saving grace at that school was Mr. “D” my 5th grade teacher, a white, and I believe Italian man. He was very sensitive and supportive to what I was going through. Sometimes he would find me crying in the hallway and would say “Linda you’re smart and you’re just as good as they are.” His pep talks helped me through that difficult 6th grade year. I took and passed an advanced academic test and as a result was seldom the last one to be chosen for the team spelling bees. However, at the end of the 6th grade, I vowed never to return to that school in my life. And I went on to enjoy a reasonable measure of success, believing I had overcome the experience.
Upon receiving The Wounded Healer Archetype assignment, I decided to write about my “busing challenge”, believing I had overcome. The very memories of those days were raw, painfully uncomfortable and moved me to tears. I realized that I was not healed. So, I determined it was time to face this giant – it was time to forgive – now is the time to take action and heal. And so on September 26, 2013, I got on the “F” train to the Prospect Park station and took Bus 68 to 11th Avenue. Walking toward the school gave me an adrenalin rush. Looking around, it seemed like time stood still, everything looked exactly the same.
Boldly approaching, and with anxious anticipation of my freedom from the sludge of 50 years of unforgiveness, I walked around the school. Focusing on the playground, I noticed there were minority staff and grinned as I looked at the flagpole reminiscing about the Maypole ceremony we performed those two years. I then went into the school to inquire about the teachers and principal who used to be there.
And then the time came. Looking upward, I placed my hands on the fence in front of the school and as the faces of those who hurt me appeared, I genuinely forgave each and every one of them. I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God, blew three kisses of goodwill toward my school of hard knocks and walked away smiling.
I am relieved – I am free – I am a Wounded Healer
To the reader: Be an Agent of Love! Hasten to Forgive Those Who Hurt You! Be Healed!