Lisa Zarcone is the author of, The Unspoken Truth A Memoir. A story is about her childhood growing up in a dysfunctional household filled with abuse. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Presently, she is working on a sequel which focuses more on the mental illness factor of parents, and the consequences to their children.
Lisa is also looking to publish her children’s series, which is based on her granddaughter Phoebe and her stuffed bear. They go on many grand adventures together and she is being raised by her grandparents. These stories are fun and teaches children that every family unit is unique and special, sending a great message that it is OK to be raised by grandparents, aunts/uncles, or someone special in your world. If your home is safe and loving that is what truly matters.
- Lisa, did you always know that you wanted to serve others and help today’s youth?
Yes!! From a very young age I had wisdom beyond my years. I always had this need to help other children as I never wanted another child to have to endure the pain that I went through. I always felt that if I helped the children then they would have a chance at a better life.
- Can you walk us through how you first got started in your career path?
When I was 14 years old I got the opportunity to work for the community center in my home town in West Haven, CT. I started out by cleaning the rec center, but I had a deep interest in the children. It seems as if the kids were always drawn to me, and I embraced it. My boss (my mentor) saw something in me and offered me an opportunity to work at the summer camp for disabled children. I jumped at the chance and I excelled. I loved every moment of it. I was helping and inspiring others. It felt great. I also did the swimming program and winter bowling program. I worked with the community center until I was 17. As I moved forward in life my jobs always consisted of helping others. I worked with disabled adults, and in a youth locked down program. I worked with young girls mentoring them through poetry and journal writing, art therapy and group workshops. I was always writing and drawing/painting from a very young age, and to be able to incorporate it with my daily job was a wonderful opportunity.
- How did you handle the bumps in the road? Were there any moments when you wondered if all your hard work was worth it?
Life is filled with bumps in the road. My person struggles to over come my past, and raising a family at the same time was quite challenging. There were many “unspoken truths” in my life that I had to finally share with my husband and face it once and for all. This was a very hard time in our lives together as I had to find balance with all of this. There were many times when I just want to give up on everything and run away, but when I looked at my husband and children I knew in my heart that I had to fight for myself and I did. I was not going to let my past define me, or rob me of happiness. It was hard and painstaking at times, but I did it. I learned how to deal with my past, and how to let go. My fear of being crazy like my mother (I use that word crazy because my mom always used that word)! That was a big one for me, as that was my deepest fear in life that I would end up like her. I was scared. I felt alone in my silence. I learned that what I was suffering from was PTSD. I worked hard to understand it all, and to deal with it once and for all! It has been quite a ride!
- I’m wondering if you can help us understand what you attribute your success to.
Determination and Mindset. I remember back as a young teen looking in the mirror and asking myself where are you Lisa, where did you go? I studied myself for a long time poking and pinching myself. I was numb from all the abuse. I felt done. I was young, and I thought my life could possibly be over, but there was this flicker inside my soul that kept on pushing me forward. I wrote down in my journal. I DESERVE BETTER! I AM WORH IT! I wrote these words over and over to remind myself to stay strong. I feel this moment in my life was when I realized that I needed to fight, and fight hard to save myself, to succeed. That Mindset from that moment has continued to push me forward, along with inner faith. I always say hard work and determination opens doors, but true passion opens the mind. You start with believing in yourself.
- What do teens need today more than anything else?
They need love and understanding. I feel it must start in the home. We need to build our children up and support them every step of the way. The teen years are hard for everyone, but for the kids who do not have the support it is painstaking with blurred lines of what is right and wrong. Who can they trust? Teens need strong role models and leaders who can guide them through the hardest part of their lives. Surviving the teen years!! Being accepted or understood is huge in the eyes of a teenager, or someone to say, “it is OK” – “you are OK”.
I wrote a deep poem about this subjected its called “Accepted”. I write about the kid who is the outcast and how society projects upon them isolation. How does this teen survive? Does he/her lash out in violence or find themselves in the madness? It makes one think!
- What would you tell a teen who was struggling?
I would say take a step back for a moment and take a breath. Think about what your future can look like and what excites you. Then focus on you. You are worth the battle!! It is ok to feel down at times, but do not stay there. Seek positive support when you are struggling and giving up is not option. You are beautiful! You are a work in progress, and mistakes are necessary to learn and grow.
- Lisa, what else do you want to tell us about what you do and what you want to eventually be doing?
I am a jack of all trades. Being a wife and mom/grandmother, I wear many hats during the day, and then I must find time for my love and passion which is writing. I see myself continuing my writing career but also speaking about my life experiences. I am committed to raising awareness and helping others.
I am the Massachusetts National Ambassador for NAASCA (National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse). I am proud of this title, and I plan to continue to use it in a positive light to help others along the way. We need to be that VOICE! There are so many people who still sit in silence suffering alone that need to be brought into the light. That is a big goal for myself, being that beacon of light. My heart is filled with love, and I want others to feel that love.
I also want to see my book in colleges as a must read for future therapist, social workers, nurses and doctors. My story is so compelling that many can learn from my life path. Education is key to seeing the signs, to helping those in need, to promote healing.
I would love for a college class to read my book, and then I could come in and do a presentation followed by questions from the classroom. Talk about coming full circle. I would be teaching and educating our future health care workers how to see the signs, and how to engage on a new level of awareness.
- Can you please share with all of us something else that I should have asked you?
How did you find the courage to share your story and what about your family how did they feel about you opening Pandora’s Box?
The answer – It was terrifying, but I knew in my heart that my story needed to be told. My own mother told me, “Lisa you need to write our story, tell people what happened to us. It is a story that needed to be told.” I listened to my mother, because through all her madness she had a vision, and that was to help! My mother was mentally ill, but she had a true heart of gold. I was lucky enough to be able to see through that cloud of darkness and see her for her true self and in some ways, I am like her strong, confident and committed. To the dislike of my family, I stepped forward and told the truth of my life and all the short-comings that came with it, and I am not afraid anymore. If I must stand alone, it is OK because I am finally free.
* How can people get in touch with you if they have additional questions?
I am everywhere! Social Media is a beautiful thing that is for sure!
My email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – Lisa Zarcone author
Twitter – @lzarcone11
Linkedin – Lisa Zarcone
Amazon – Amazon Author Central
I hope people do contact me. I love to hear from people!! I am always amazed about the people who contact me privately and share their personal stories. I hear from people young and old. 18- 80, some sharing for the first time their unspoken truth. We are all connected.
My facebook page in full of daily inspiration!!! I post poetry, information about my book, and life happenings. We all have a story, lets help one another along the way.
Thanks for your time Lisa and keep up the good work! Our youth needs more people like you!
Thank you, Daniel, for this great opportunity to share a piece of myself with all of you!
You ae an inspiration to all!! Keep Pushing forward to new and great adventures.
Author and Speaker of the Granddaddy’s Secrets teen leadership book series.
* PURCHASE “THE STORM” http://tinyurl.com/glxzjaf