As I journey out onto this path of creating a performance piece that was inspired by my own experiences, it occurs to me that people might wonder if I’m still married to the man I write about. Some have hinted, in a round-about way, “That’s not Mike, is it?”
So I promised him, my wonderful husband of 24 years, that I would tell folks that he is not the man of these stories. This husband of mine is as kind, supportive and loving as they get. The only question he asked when I started down this path to produce “Skins I Have Worn,” was how could he help. I am beyond grateful at the life we have created together.
But this other man I write about is also a soul mate. Not in the fantasy, happy ending way of the movies. But in the way our lives were entwined, entangled and the effect we had on each other.
There is a belief system that we come into this world having made a ‘contract’ with certain souls – for lessons to be learned, paths to be travelled.
He has, in fact, been part of my life for over 30 years. Some of it was when we were physically together, attracted like moth to the flame. But much of it was later and the process of freeing myself from the addiction to his call. Interestingly enough, he is still walking by my side as I bring this production to life.
So what happened to this man? That night in hell, when he went cold turkey on the cocaine and carried me to the window, was his rock bottom as well. A few months later we broke up for good and he went on to become clean and sober. He is now the proud father of three, and I’ve heard him speak with fierce protectiveness about his children. It makes me happy to see that he has changed.
It makes me glad that I can be happy for him.
That experience changed me, inspired the art that is emerging from it. It also created a bond and a connection to others who have gone through their own version of this story. As I move forward in the production, my great message is that we grow from our challenges, from our dark nights of the soul. And it is important to hold out a candle of hope even in the darkest of places.
If this project speaks to you and you would like to donate to the Kickstarter – “Skins I Have Worn” campaign today, please click here.