A poetic journey through the emotions we endure at the end of a toxic relationship, Through the Trees: The poetic end to a toxic relationship uses nature and metaphor to express each stage of grief.
I first met author Nina C.Palmer at a group signing run by the Idaho Authors Community. Immediately striking was her passion for poetry and a particular cohesiveness between her presence, our chat and her work.
Each chapter of her book is a stage, each poem a part of a the journey taking you through denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. *** Written from personal experiences, it truly captures the occurrence of verbal and emotional abuse experienced in a toxic relationship. Whether your loss is a friend, husband or wife, a brother or sister, mother or father, these writings will hit home with all. A truly inspired collection of work, it relates with the heartache of the loss but also uplifts and inspires. This poetry acts as an emotional guide leading you through each stage and leaves you at the end with the courage and strength to move on.
I sat down with Nina last week at a coffee shop in Boise, to learn more about this intriguing journey.
“Writing the book was part of the process, but publishing the book is the closure,” Nina said. “I needed it, because, being in a toxic relationship, there is a lot of shame and guilt … so by publishing, it really speaks out against it. So it’s a final way of being able to stand up and take that part of myself back.”
Nina’s childhood home was nestled in Matilija Canyon, a remote area outside of Ojai, CA. Her home was secluded which granted a unique and enchanting place to grow up. It is no wonder that her work is filled with its imagery. Her earliest writings of poetry began as early as elementary school. It is a realized talent that has remained throughout her life.
I asked Nina why she chose the art form of poetry as her outlet.
Growing up I had an undiagnosed, but definitely … either emotionally handicapped or mentally ill mother. I didn’t have a lot of privacy in my home, so I didn’t really have a way of expressing myself without any kind of persecution for it. So when I wrote poetry, it was like being able to talk about those feelings, almost like in code … because it didn’t pinpoint the exact circumstances that brought out that emotion, but it clearly represented the emotion. So it was a way of being able to speak about something without getting in trouble.
Nina is now currently working on her next collection of poetry, to be titled Reaching The Castle Wall a composition of heartache and love poems derived from the fairy tales we all grew up with. It is scheduled to be released for Valentine’s Day 2016. In the meantime, a series of children’s books are also underway.
“Palmer’s poems depict through natural imagery of rain, sunshine and forests what it is like to live within and then gradually to be able to leave a toxic love relationship. Palmer’s poems radiate wisdom that can guide others along similar routes out of suffering. The poems in Palmer’s [book] are at once immediately accessible and at the same time deeply enlightening. If you have been or are now involved with someone who has toxic impacts on you, and whether you think of yourself as someone who reads poetry or have never read a poem before, I highly recommend this book.” -Psychology Today
I asked Nina what she meant by the “persecution” in her home, and what would happen when she expressed herself.
I just wasn’t allowed to. would be the best way put it. Kids were supposed to be quiet, and in their rooms, and out of the way, and to do what their told. A lot of the things that happened to me when I was younger, wouldn’t make sense to even an adult, to treat a child that way.
Nina went on to talk about how her experiences were abusive, even though many things that happened could not fall onto the traditional chart when experts track and talk about abuse.
“I have been truly inspired to write this collection of poetry,” Nina said. “It is my hope that these works with inspire your heart to embrace every stage of grief and not only find peace, but the strength and courage to move on.”
So many of these poems hit home through the hurt and sorrow I’ve endured through my own relationships romantically and friendship wise. The empathetic passages really perked up my spirits knowing that this is normal to go through all these emotions. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone happy or going through a depressing time. One poem or many of them will pull you in and wanting to read more!
There is much of a hero’s journey sketched-out in these words. Nina’s electric collection massages the heart, and nourishes the mind and soul.