Sharon Wright started writing poetry as a teenager and dreamed of being a best-selling author.
A Southeast resident and graduate of Anacostia High School and the University of the District of Columbia, she taught for a decade in city schools and has maintained a love for photography, animals, pizza and music.
But Wright’s story has been far more complex than a sentimental poem, the beauty of nature or the tantalizing aroma and taste of a pepperoni pie. More accurately, her tale encompasses unspeakable trauma which followed her from her childhood until her teens. Ugly words and invasive phrases splatter across her life like a painter’s brush over a canvas.
A victim of child molestation, kidnapping and attempted murder, Wright faced the unfair challenge of surviving, coping and thriving. Her victimization — never acknowledged, never attended to and mostly overlooked — led to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Then she realized she had at least one champion – one fan.
“God is my biggest fan,” Wright determined – a revelation that would become the title of a book which she recently published that details her experiences.
“God is My Biggest Fan: How Grace and Mercy Blessed My Life” is available at most outlets, including amazon.com.
“I just wanted to share my testimonies in this book,” Wright stated. “It is never easy for people to talk about their true feelings. Expressing emotions was not one of those things that we’re encouraged to do as a child. I believe that all too often, children grow up to be adults who have not dealt with traumas from their childhood. I am one of those people.”
Wright grew up in a family of seven – her mother took in a cousin in addition to her six biological children.
“I was the fifth child and things were kind of rocky from the beginning,” Wright recalled. “I believe my parents were in the middle of breaking up when they found out that my mom was pregnant with me.”
Even early in her childhood, Wright found herself forced to deal with rumors that the man she thought was her father was not.
“I took that quite personally,” she remarked. “I did not like it when people would say he wasn’t my father because it made me feel like I did not belong.”
Because the issue remained unresolved, she said there were times when she thought she was adopted.
“I didn’t fit in with [my] family, although I was definitely my mother’s child,” she said, noting that she still hears from others about how much she looks like her mother.
She was eight when she was molested but said nothing, believing that she had to keep quiet.
“I didn’t speak up for myself. I was quite shy,” Wright said. “I just remember it was happening, not lasting that long because, although I didn’t use my voice, I used my body to kind of shield myself away from that person and not allow them to continue.”
“That person” is someone she doesn’t speak about often except in conversations with her therapist and in her book. She also discusses how an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her one evening and tried to murder her.
“We weren’t together at the time and he had just come back into town and asked me to go to the movies with him,” said Wright, who was 19 years old at the time.
She now recalls seeing red flags including his car having her name inscribed on the doors.
“Being naïve and letting him tell me he loved me and all of that, I was like ‘OK,’” Wright insisted. But in short order, the movie plans took an awful turn.
“He stopped at his grandmother’s house and said he had to go inside and get something,” Wright said. “We got inside the house and he started kissing and hugging me. I kept saying, ‘let’s go.’ Ice and snow were on the ground and I tried to run away.”
The man held her against her will, brandished a weapon and threatened her life, she recalled.
Teaching, indulging in her hobbies and therapy have aided Wright with her recovery.
“Writing this book was cathartic,” she said. “It helped me face the demons of my past that have interfered in every aspect of my life. If you are ready to release your emotional baggage, then this is the book for you. Let this be your guide to freedom and a path to helping others.”
The District of Columbia has a hotline for individuals contemplating suicide or harming themselves. For assistance, call 800-784-2433, or 800-273-8255. For additional help or information, go to www.namidc.org.