About T.R. Julien

Tonia Rapp Julien was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta in the town of Cleveland. Despite all of the hardships and struggles she faced growing up, Tonia obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications from Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss and a Master’s degree in Education from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn. Tonia worked as an art director for the North Mississippi Herald Newspaper before she started her career as an Art/Fine Arts Survey teacher in the Memphis City School System and later in Louisiana school districts.

It was during her career in teaching that Tonia noticed that a lot of her students were going through similar experiences that she had gone through in life. She realized that standing idly by, and watching others repeat patterns of depression and sorrow due to neglect, abandonment, abuse, and bullying, among other things, was not her destiny. There were people like her that needed help, but she had not yet healed from her own pain. It wasn’t until a few years after she stopped teaching to provide freelance graphic design services that she decided to be obedient to a sixteen-year-old calling to write a book about her own past experiences. That would in turn spark a healing journey of her own.

The book, Holey Drawers, uncovers the shame and embarrassment that impedes the much-needed healing of so many people. Each chapter features poetry that Tonia had created in the midst of her struggles. In addition to being beautifully, well-written verses, these poems provided therapy for her. As a result, she decided to share them with others so that they may find a sense of relief in their own struggles.

Write it Down!

I have found that writing my feelings about my experiences is a huge therapeutic step in healing. I recommend it to anyone who is going through hard times. Maybe you don’t think that you can tap into your creative side, but you don’t have to create elaborate poetry, or a lengthy soliloquy to benefit from therapeutic writing. Just write things down as they happen or as they come to mind.

Writing can help you sort out your thoughts. You may be able to write down your feelings better than you can verbally express them. I have problems expressing myself verbally, but I can write things down so that I am able to communicate them better to someone who can help me. Writing also allows others to visually analyze the things you are going through. As a result, they are able to understand your issues and better help you.

There are different types of writing that can be helpful to you on your healing journey. Some people write poems, short stories, scripts, etc. Others may write music and create lyrics to songs. You may just be able to write a letter or a note. I encourage you to write…just write. You may find that it can lighten your burden a little, or maybe a lot.