by Rayne Wolfe
How many times...
2009, I was a reporter working for a New York Times regional newspaper
in Northern California’s Wine Country. With ten years of daily
newsgathering under my belt, I had survived multiple rounds of brutal
lay-offs and the stress was getting to me.
I thought it might be time to take a break before I broke.
my husband’s support, I left my job to write my memoir about growing up
with three mothers: two very toxic, and one wonderful stepmother. I had
a notion that I knew a lot about resilience and I could help others. I
had also been collecting women’s stories for years, focusing on how they
survived their own very toxic mothers.
I was aware that I should build a platform to support my book writing and research led me to 8 Women Dream and Lord-have-mercy they
were coincidentally looking for a new blogger to join their slate of
online dreamers. I slaved over my presentation; agonized over my story
and plans -- and dreams!
And after a considered vetting process I was turned down with apologies and encouragement to try again.
The Universe Gives You What You Need When You Need It
was the most important turn down of my life. I believed what they said:
That they loved my project. That they wished me well. That they wanted
me to apply again.
That “rejection” fueled my early work. Not in an I’ll-show-them sort of way, but more in a Wait-till-they-see-this! way. I created a Toxic Mom Toolkit Facebook page, which I grew from 35 friends to currently over 250,000 visitors per month.
the time it was possible to apply to be on 8 Women Dream again, I had
much more to talk about and was deep into the creative process. Finally
accepted as a member of 8 Women Dream, I wrote about my dream of
publishing my first book.
the platform of 8 Women Dream I found and interviewed hundreds of women
from all over the world. I curated extensive Toxic Mom Toolkit
questionnaires developing them into a wide range of mini-memoirs. Every
person I spoke to increased and informed my work and made it richer. I
realized that writing my own memoir was nice, but what would be epic would
be to marry my story with a rainbow of stories, each illustrating a
different type of toxic mom. And, after my year at 8 Women Dream was up,
I was fueled to tackle the hard work of editing, polishing and
publishing my manuscript.
had trusted me with their stories and told me amazing things; things
they had never told another living soul. They laughed and cried with me.
They also encouraged me. I remember one lady in particular saying that
each morning while she was driving she prayed for my book. For three
years of writing, which included many challenges, the idea of a lady on
the freeway praying for my book, kept me focused.
from a broken place, with lots of help, I am now healed and an author.
Along the way I’ve learned that it is in sharing our stories that we
In a few weeks, Toxic Mom Toolkit will be published on Amazon.com
thanks in large part to the energy and encouragement I received from
everyone at 8 Women Dream and all the people I met during my online
I find very poignant is that my book owes so much to 8 Women Dream –
literally. It seemed that as each obstacle arose – one of my friends
from 8 Women Dream popped up with offers of help and encouragement. I
have blogging colleagues Iman Woods to thank for creating a killer book
cover and Remi Gervais to thank for taking my “sane and approachable”
would have been great to write my memoir. But I’m so glad I opened
myself up to the energy and creativity of the 8 Women Dream community.
When readers hold a copy of Toxic Mom Toolkit in their hands, they may
not know the story behind it. But we will. We will.
Labels: coping, daughter of narcissistic mother, daughters of toxic mothers, narcissistic mother, narcissistic parent, toxic guilt, toxic mom toolkit, toxic mother