What Listen to Your Mother Meant to Me – Sheila Ware

by jenniferwilliams on May 23, 2016

Sheila Ware - What LTYM Meant to Me

As you know, Summer Lacy pushed me to do this along with my daughter, Andrea. When I auditioned, I did it for fun never thinking I’d be picked.

It is rare that I talk about the abuse from my childhood. Not very many people know about it. There is shame and guilt when you are a sexual abuse victim even though you are the victim. The way people react varies from disgust to sympathy, and it is directed at you. I have had people walk out of my life after learning about it because it was too much for them. Reading my story at the first rehearsal sent my emotions back in time and took me to a place I haven’t visited in a very long time. Also, it was out there among strangers now and I couldn’t take it back.

It surprised me was when one person told me my story was hard to hear. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Was this the same rejection I’d experienced before? Would these people now look at me funny and avoid conversation with me? My fear was laid to rest at the second rehearsal when each one acted no differently towards me than they had prior to hearing my story. I breathed a “thank you” to the Lord! These weren’t fellow recovering alcoholics, these were “normal” people who not only accepted me but loved me!

Still, the next two rehearsals didn’t make the story any easier to read, but I was becoming more comfortable telling it because each one of us had stories every bit as important to tell. Mine wasn’t the only story hard to tell.

My brother came to the show. I offered to let him read the story first and he declined, saying he wanted to hear it from me. I knew that he too was going to be emotionally sent back there and I was concerned about it. My story is his story, minus the sexual abuse. His emotions after the show reflected relief – his emotional dam had burst.

Throughout the process leading up to the show and at the show itself, Jennifer Williams was my rock. I will never forget her hands on my shoulders, her eyes locked with mine and her encouraging words that gave me the confidence to tell my story when I had none.

LTYM has shown me my story is important despite the shame. My story is very common and usually hidden. If one person heard their own story when I told mine and it sets them on the path of emotional healing, LTYM has accomplished what it set out to do: let us know our story is important, we are not alone, we have a support team, and we are loved!

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Thank you so much to Sheila for sharing her story during our show and for sharing what the experience of being in LTYM meant to her.

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The Curtain has Closed

by jenniferwilliams on May 3, 2016

The curtain has closed on the third annual Southeast Texas Listen to Your Mother show.

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Our cast took the stage. They opened their hearts to a room full of strangers. They healed broken pieces of themselves by sharing their stories.

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After the show, hands were held and hugs were given.

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I heard “me too” and “you aren’t alone” and “you are going to be okay.”

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The curtain has closed, but the show will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of all the people who experienced it.

Thank you to our 2016 cast for allowing us to be a part of your journey.

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Meet the Cast – Chambers Stevens

April 19, 2016

Chambers Stevens is a writer, actor and playwright. He has 10 books in print, including his His Hollywood 101 series. He has also acted in over 100 theatre productions, appeared in over 50 commercials, and starred in The Steve Spots, which received six Emmy’s and a George Peabody Award, Funnybones, which received an Emmy for “Outstanding Children’s Program,” and GeoScout for which he received a personal Emmy nomination as “Outstanding Actor in a Children’s Series.” He is the recipient of the Geoffrey Award for “Best Actor” for his portrayal of Drew in Eastern Standard. He also received the prestigious Backstage Garland Award for his first one-man show Desperate for Magic. As a playwright, he has won both The Ingram Fellowship and the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Award. Chambers has toured the country, doing workshops for over 100,000 actors in forty states. Actors he has coached have appeared on Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel, […]

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Meet the Cast – Haley Bruyn

April 18, 2016

Haley Bruyn is a graduate student at Lamar University. With her Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in writing, the Beaumont native has been writing creatively since childhood. Always the vivid storyteller, she turned her love of narrative into a degree. She is currently on staff at the University Press. Haley told us that she hopes she is considered a writer at this point. “I’ve been writing creatively since middle school,” she said, “but these days I’m mostly producing journalistic pieces and academic work.” Haley loves to write fiction and poetry but says it is hard to find a minute to write for herself because grad school takes up most of her time. Haley first learned about LTYM through Andy Coughlan, a cast member from 2015. She also says that Ramona is my fairy godmother. She decided to audition because she considers her mom to be her best friend and biggest role […]

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Meet the Cast – Kaye Moon Winters

April 14, 2016

Kaye Moon Winters is a mother of three, grandmother of four and inspiration to many who rally round her message “It’s never too late!” As a 61-year-old summa-cum-laude UH graduate, she gained national recognition as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2008 AARP “Your Next Chapter” Essay Contest and went on to found N2L, a support group for adult learners. After a rewarding 8 years as an adult learner specialist at San Jacinto College, she has turned retirement into rejuvenation as a “Poet /Writer/Raconteur” and the Chief Executive Oracle of KMOON Talks! Her eponymous website/blog currently under construction. Kaye says if you count diaries, she has been steadily writing for over 60 years. She started writing verse as a lovesick teenager, honing skills that would serve her well as a silver-winged messenger delivering helium balloon bouquets and a poem for her business, Balloon-A-Toon in the 70s. In the 90s, she started another business […]

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