Thursday, August 20th, 2015
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Claire will be at the Nanaimo North Branch Vancouver Island Regional Library at 6250 Hammond Bay Rd, Nanaimo, BC from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. “Finding Heart Horse” and “The Wall of Secrets” are books of hope and a portion of the proceeds goes to Covenant House, Vancouver, where sanctuary is offered to more than 1,500 street-involved youth every year.
When Claire Hitchon began writing, she was simply trying to deal with the trauma and anguish of an adoption experience that had gone horribly wrong and which seemed to have marked her for life. Somehow the writing process took her much further. The writing was meant for personal transformative healing, Hitchon says. But now, having resulted in two published books, her words are helping others who share some of her experiences with an adoption system that does not look after a child’s needs. “There is always, always hope,” she says.
The first book, “Finding Heart Horse: A Memoir of Survival” won first prize in the Hay House non-fiction contest in 2013 and the sequel, “The Wall of Secrets: Memoir of the Almost Daughter” was recently published by Balboa Press.
In “The Wall of Secrets,” Hitchon reveals her years of abuse and neglect, the adoptive mother who treated her as an emotional punching bag and her self-destructive years on the streets of Toronto when drugs and broken relationships helped keep her painful past at bay . . . for a time.
By disassociating from all the evil in her past, she somehow carried on and this story also reveals Hitchon’s resilience and core strength as she gets herself free of drugs, earns an education, raises a daughter on her own and discovers fulfilment working as a registered nurse.
And through it all, she speaks of the yearning to belong, to fit somewhere, for the sense of family she has never known, a search that proves gut wrenching, complicated and painful. And as she writes through all of this, forcing herself to examine her most painful experiences, reliving all the shame, hurt and despair, she works toward wholeness, health and acceptance. And in the process, she offers hope and encouragement that if you have the courage to face the past and all its demons, work through the pain, a better future can lie ahead.
“With these books, I hope to challenge belief systems and give hope that lives can and do change,” Hitchon says. Writing “The Wall of Secrets” Hitchon says, in dealing with her own painful past, she allowed herself to move beyond her story, to rid herself of the feelings that were poisoning her. She was even able to nurse her abusive adoptive mother, caring for the dying woman who had treated her so badly for such a long time. To do so, Hitchon, at first, had to simply treat her as she would any other ill person needing a nurse’s care. But, ultimately, Hitchon says she has been able to find for her adoptive mother the forgiveness and compassion in keeping with her Buddhist faith.
Now living on Vancouver Island, Canada surrounded by the natural beauty of mountains, forests and ocean that she loves, fighting a daily battle with a rare mast cell disease, Hitchon continues to write and advocate for adoptees and youth.
Written by Kimberly Plumley for http://www.harbourliving.ca