I attempted to do a live video this morning, and I feel that I mostly succeeded, but maybe not in the sense of actually sharing with you what it took for me to write my book. Now that you're starting to see my face and hear my voice, I hope you're getting a pretty good idea of my tone as I write. Maybe you'll be able to hear my voice as you read my book? And maybe here on the blog too.
I totally love this image of the type writer.
I need some tea... and a manicure... hmmm...
Alright, so I was able to share some of what I went through. Most of it being grief, which is an all encompassing emotion. I have been grieving long and hard for many years. What that includes are the following emotions:
Resentment Pity Regret
Fear Guilt Shame
Embarrassment Joy (one of my good friends mentioned this in the video, and I'm still pondering it deeply, but it's true, so it's included)
Love Hope Resentment (wait... did I already mention this one? There was a lot of this one.)
And I'm sure there's more, this is me winging it.
Writing through all of that was one of the only things that made sense in my life. It's how I dealt with the emotions, it's how I expressed them. Writing the book felt like the right answer in showing everyone the pain I was feeling. I needed someone to see what I was going through. Like I mentioned in the video, my message and tone have changed a lot. It took me just as many years to figure out why it was so important to write my story, and even more important: why I wanted to share it?
The family drama was real and very damaging in my family. So damaging many of us don't speak to each other anymore. They're right. I'm right. Everyone is wrong.
I can't justify all of my actions, but I can say that I was an abused girl going through hell, with no understanding of what was going on around me. I made decisions, I said some shit that hurt people. And vice versa. I was also hurt by them. Instead of facing your problems, people often run away. I did this too, and I took to writing because absolutely nothing in my life made sense. Writing it down, sorting it out, looking back and wondering... was I really such an asshole? Should I feel as much pain as I do? Should I apologize? Should I attempt to raise my family from the dead like Frankensteins? Just so I can say "Look guys, I was young, naive, and stupid... also I'm sorry." Or punch them in the face because there was also that angry emotion coursing through me.
Writing became as necessary for me as eating or breathing. Just to survive the grief and pain I felt daily. Everyone copes differently, but one universal truth for people grieving is to stay busy. We need to stay busy, and focused. I was super focused on many things. This was my crazy.
When I started to find my message and the tone I wanted to convey, I had to remove a lot of my own anger. I had to work through it. I had to go to therapy. I had to learn why I felt the way I did, and why all I wanted to do was lash out at people because I felt so victimized! And all I wanted to do was share my story so people would finally, excuse my language, fucking get it! I felt like I was being judged by everyone around me for my weird nature, and I knew why I was like that, but no one else did! Everyone just assumed I was kind of a flighty, asshole. I'm not an asshole, I'm incredibly sweet and caring, but I was hurting and upset because I felt so alone in it all. This was a way for me to describe a pain I carried around that no one could see. This was a way to make myself more visible in the eyes of everyone around me.
To an extent, that still rings true. You'll still see it in my writing. I don't think it will go away completely, but it comes from a place of pain. When we are in pain we do, and say crazy things.
While editing the book I had to look inward and really ask myself, is what I'm writing relevant? Is it the message I want to send to my family and friends? Because very likely my first readers of this book will be my family and my friends. What do I want to say to them as they read my story... How much do I want you to know. Do I want to push you away? Or pull you in? Do I want to help the world? Or do I want to give-up now and just live my life? I did give up a few times. I put it down, I stopped writing, I tried to be a different person. It kept creeping back in. I couldn't let this, too, die.
That's when I finally pushed through it.
I believe my final outline was in July 2017. I'm thinking back to how this evolved. We had just downsized and moved from our big house to our new little house, and my mind was in the zone of doing something for Nanowrimo (national novel writing month). If I outlined, and created a small... almost first draft, then I would have something to go off of and write throughout November. That's not at all how it happened though. Once I had that outline I just picked a place to start, and I did. I had many nights where I shut the door to our bedroom, grabbed my Chromebook and just got into that beautiful zone and went with it. It suddenly just poured out of me. I had been building building building this pile of memories, and it all just finally clicked.
That's when I printed it out, that was a lot of paper and ink, and said "Ok, I did this thing, I can sit and read it and maybe make changes to it if I feel so inclined, and there it is. The thing I can pass down to my kids." but it wasn't enough. Come the new year, time to find an editor. This is all the boring bits, but it was with her that I started understanding what I ultimately wanted to accomplish with my book and trying to publish it.
Many starts and stops as I sorted out my grief and anger.
I'm a much calmer person these days. I can sit and enjoy a persons company and not feel like I'm screaming inside for them to see me and my pain! Things that bothered me before, don't now. I look at the people in my life and realize, they're just people, just like me, rich, poor, young, old... we are all essentially the same. I have less experience then some, and more experience then others. It is what it be.
I give no bothers.
It took me more then half of my life, nearly twenty years, and writing writing writing until I felt dead inside to finally give no bothers.
I am a new woman, with a new purpose, and a book I truly hope you'll read and share with the people in your life because you never know who you know that might be just like me and hiding all of this internal pain. A lot more are then you might realize, and it might even be you. Thank you for watching my live videos. I am enjoying them a great deal more then I thought I would. In fact, I am looking forward to doing more of them! And thanks for coming here and seeing all that I have to say. Thank you for supporting me, but again, I hope you don't read my book just to support me. I hope that if you pick up my book you're looking for something to gain from it. It's not a fluffy good-feelings book. It's a change your life, and give you a new perspective book. Read it because... because you feel it. Because you get it. Because you understand what it's like to be a person in pain.
Then come back here, and share your own pain or help make someone's day brighter by being their light. We all need some light shining on us.