K. S. Bowers

Just Let Me Be Myself

Recently, someone told me they have no idea how to act around me. They said I’m out of their grasp. They said they didn’t know how to live in my world.¬†Another told me that I should tone back what they perceive as aggression. Yet another told me to think silently. I’ve been told that I don’t play. I’ve been told that there’s nothing quite so cutting as my honesty. I’ve hurt people with my words though not intentionally. I am first and foremost a writer and perhaps there have been none so hard to love as those of us who wield a pen. We are by trade, burdened with the task to always be objective, to always be honest, and to never bow to a lie no matter how soothing. We cut deep. We expose. We wound. But for me, these words aren’t rooted in malice but a need to be completely free and unbound by any chain. We bear our souls so that you may find yours.

I’ve been called funny and fierce. I’ve been told that I will cut a person down only to build them up again. I don’t get much in the way of reviews, but readers message and email often, their stories and pain freed by my writings, thanking me for what I do and what I say. I’ve been told that my writing is powerful and gripping. I’m honored that you’ve chosen to share your stories with me and hope that you’ve found some measure of healing, of joy or of entertainment in my work.

Not long ago, I was involved in a situation that seemed somewhat sketchy and posed some risk to my personal safety. I can’t say for certain that I was in danger, though the situation was deeply disturbing and left me shaking. This past week, my safety is once again a question of concern for friends and family and those closest to me have warned that my work may be to blame. I’ve been urged to consider the effect my writings have on those around me. And I have. It’s never been my intention to cause anyone pain. Change for a better world has always been my inspiration. I took time recently to consider dialing back my activism. I considered writing romance. I thought, perhaps I have been careless.

I spoke with my grandma yesterday. She said it may be best to tone things down a bit. My grandma’s Irish of the Adair clan. Neither my grandma or the Irish are known for remaining silent so that others may be placated by the sweet and soothing lie that comes with denying who you truly are for the sake of peace. I respectively call bullshit, aye?

I cannot keep silent about certain issues. I have written in the past, fluffy pieces, cute stories, and yes, some romance, but have not felt that this work had any value. I’ve lived most of my life, muting myself, adapting to the needs of those closest to me so that they may be comfortable, but I have evolved and so has my writing. I am no longer content to placate others. My voice and tone do not lend themselves to works that don’t force the reader to examine their beliefs or to works that don’t demand the reader to look at the darkest parts of life and the human psyche. Feel good works are not my thing and you don’t read my work to be soothed. Deep down, you love the cheeky bitch that I am. I’m told it’s my most endearing quality.

I’ll keep moving forward with my activism, though I will take a break for now so that those close to me can catch their breath, given certain recent events. I realize this post is a deeply personal departure from what I normally write and not for all of my readers. If I’ve offended you or upset you then understand that that is ultimately no reflection of who I am nor does it have anything to do with me. Your offense is nothing more than a translation of your own fear, denial or the defense of your personal belief system you feel I’ve attacked. Whichever the case, the offense you feel is a scope that must be pointed inward to you, the reader, as I’ve merely touched on something you’ve suppressed.

To the person who feels out of my grasp, I exist in the words and therein you’ll find me. I’m bound only to my thoughts, beliefs, and principles and will only ever answer to them. May they always find me loyal. Would that everyone had the freedom that only an artist can know.