The To Write Love on Her Arms movie has been out almost a week now. It’s surreal for my husband and me to see our daughter and our lives in a movie. We’ve heard from friends all over the country who’ve watched it and even a few who saw it on international flights.
The comments have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s been a long time coming. The movie was filmed four years ago. One of the producers, a lead character in the story, David, died two years ago. The movie exists because of his strong belief that the story needed to be made into a motion picture to impact still more people with its message of hope.
We thank God for you and your ability to dream big, David!
I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the movie. You can rent or purchase it from RedBox, Netflix, itunes, Amazon, twloha.com, or Walmart online. It’s rated PG-13 for language and content. It deals with sensitive subjects: Addiction, mental illness, self-injury, and sexual trauma. For individuals who struggle with self-injury, counselors recommend they watch it with a supportive community and have opportunities to talk about it afterward so that it won’t trigger them.
I’m addressing a few questions today and then several more in my next post this coming Wednesday, March 11th.
When she cut herself for the first time at age 12. But I didn’t want to believe anything was really wrong until it resurfaced again when she was 17 and we lived in Moscow, Russia. I couldn’t understand why she would hurt herself. Overwhelmed with fear and shame I wanted to fix her and make it go away. I didn’t have a clue what to do. And yes, I tried to hide everything sharp in the house to keep her safe – later I realized how ridiculous that was. If a cutter wants to hurt themselves they’ll find a way. When we realized the severity her depression and that she was cutting again, we moved back to the states as fast as we could to get her professional help that wasn’t available in Moscow. Click here to read more post I’ve written about cutting.
Did I really sing songs to her when she had nightmares?
Yes. I would rub her back, sing, and make up stories to occupy her thoughts with something beautiful and soothing. I’d try to take her to another place where she felt safe and her imagination could replace the fear with something positive. I prayed the whole time, asking God to guide me and show me what to do. Click here for a few books to help you pray for your children.
No. She’s not an artist, but she did like to draw when she was young and today she still enjoys coloring to relax. She’s a musician all the way. Music and books were her passion.
She was the true essence of a bookworm from age seven to ten. Everywhere she went her nose was buried in a book. A few favorites were The Redwall series and The Chronicles of Narnia.
I was a musician and her grandpa was a retired band director so our home was full of a variety of music. As Renee grew older music became even more important to her as a source of both escape and enjoyment. Music is her main focus today as a singer and song writer under the stage name, Bearcat. You can purchase her music here, on itunes or watch a variety of videos (and interviews) on Youtube.
Our prayer is that this movie will encourage and give hope to those who struggle with the issues she did. If you watch it I’d love to hear your comments! And remember, God can use our greatest failures, our biggest messes, our darkest moments miraculously turning them into something good. So, never give up on your son or daughter. You never know what tomorrow may bring.