Friday, June 27, 2008

Thrills

I've had more than my share of thrills in my strange, long life. My horrid childhood sent me off, spinning like a wobbly top, into a big wide world, alone and penniless. I had one marketable asset, and I used it for all it was worth. If I had believed I could succeed and thrive, I might have done a lot of things differently. I might have married well. I might have chosen a man who was worth loving. I might have married a man with prospects, a man determined to give me a happy, secure life. I might have a grown child now. I might have been a kind and loving parent. I might have used the talents I possessed. I might have focused my drive and ambition. But I did survive. And the journey has been thrilling.

The part of my life that has been most difficult and painful has been my relationships with men. That aspect of my journey has caused me a great deal of pain. It is, I think, and what my therapists have told me, a result of the dreadful relationship with both my parents. I think I chose men who were more like my mother than my father, though I so feared choosing someone like my father, that I could not have a child for fear of being like my mother, a woman who didn't even like her child, and chose men who were abusive to them both. But the drama of having a monstrous childhood is almost certain to send you off on a quest to find a way to make it all come out right. So you choose a mate with whom you can reenact your early experiences, and get a different outcome. You do it over and over, and still keep getting the same terrible outcome. And then you stop trying.

But it is certainly fertile material from which to create something compelling and real. It might not be pleasant or easy, it might scare you with it's intensity, but it's true, it's your truth. Your truth should be told. We all have so much in common. We all have these wounds from our childhoods. Tell your story. Call it "fiction." Let it protect you. Maybe it will someday be read and someone will say, "God, that's great writing. Let's publish it." And then maybe someone will read the book and say, "My god, what a compelling story. Let's make a movie of it." And who knows, it might change the outcome after all. It might touch someone else in such a way that they can then look in the mirror and say, "I'm not alone. She did it, maybe I can, too."

26 comments:

Angry Ballerina said...

Well. This was a wonderful post. Loved it!!!

DivaJood said...

There are so many ways for people to speak their truth. For some it might be the written word. For some, they might need to pour their truth into making music. For others still, it means getting on a stage, or in front of a camera, and telling the truth through acting. For me, it comes in the form of making paintings and sculpture. But you are right, it is having the heart, and the faith in one's own voice, that allows any of us to move forward.

Utah Savage said...

angry ballerina, come back. Have you seen my proposal to you anywhere? If you are interested in pursuing a writing project? Email me. Please.

Utah Savage said...

Diva, hows the creative writing going? Just asking. Still in?

Anita said...

"So you choose a mate with whom you can reenact your early experiences, and get a different outcome. You do it over and over, and still keep getting the same terrible outcome. And then you stop trying."

Target. Hit.

Angry Ballerina said...

Wait, what?!

Utah Savage said...

Anita, if you recognize the problem early, you have a better chance of taking a different path, with a whole new set of thrills.

Angry Ballerina said...

Whats your e-mail dahlink?

Utah Savage said...

It's heddaspam@gmail.com

DivaJood said...

still in, but not finished. Sorry, I'm slow because I've had a really bad week with fibromyalgia.

Utah Savage said...

One of my best friends has fibromyalgia and really suffers. I'm very sympathetic. I hope the story writing is a diversion for you.

FranIAm said...

You are very inspiring to me - how you use all of this to propel not just your creativity, but...

Well you just live your life right out of it all. It is very remarkable and moving to me that you can do this... and with such grit and grace.

Utah Savage said...

Thanks Fran, I'm always so glad to see you. I'm hobbling around today. Broken toed and miserable. What a whiner I've become lately. But in my stories I'm one fierce fucking bitch. See what you can do with "fiction?" I turn things around and walk out with my head held high and whistling a happy song like Dance me to the End of Love.

enigma4ever said...

you can still be fierce even with a broken toe....you are a fierce thinker and writer....and you have inspired many of us.....

take care...keep writing...

BBC said...

My horrid childhood sent me off, spinning like a wobbly top, into a big wide world, alone and penniless.

I guess I looked at it differently than you did. I loved the poor times when I lived with my grand parents and hated the times I lived with my more well off parents.

As for becoming an adult and making it on my own I never did give that a lot of thought. I started out with little more than a few clothes and entered adulthood.

Over the years I've developed many skills and I've gotten through life in pretty good shape, I think.

Never got rich, never cared to, in my view money is just an energy that flows around.

I used good country common sense (most of the time) and now I'm retired unless I want to work a little for some extra cash.

My property is free and clear, everything else is paid for and I have very few monthly bills so I'm sitting okay.

It's just the larger world that drives me nuts, oh, and needy women, and it seems like most of them are.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Great post. Self-expression can be such an essential tool for healing and empowerment. I'm so glad for you that you have that. One's writing is something entirely one's own; that no one can mess with; ever.

As for me, I initially accepted your and DCup's kind invitation to contribute writing to Deadly Women Write. But there is no way I can produce anything quickly. Writing is a real trial for me. Part of it is laziness but it is also about perfection. If I'm going to write, it does nothing for me personally to do it for myself, as it is way too much work for me to get it right and I don't find it fun. (I'm talking about creative writing, now). So what I'm left with is to try to write something fictional that someone will actually want to read. And I'm really coming up short.

So at this time I must decline your invitation. I'm glad we met here in the blogosphere and I hope you will stop by my blog now and again. I will certainly be coming by here whenever I have the chance.

Peace, Ms. Utah

P.S. Were you a beauty queen? I saw that photo of you as a young woman. Wow. Sort of Audrey Hepburn-ish? Or it could have just been the hairstyle. Certainly as glamorous as Audrey. But it is the recent photo of you that I find most stunning. :-)

Utah Savage said...

Pagan, dear, I sadly accept your withdrawal. I used to feel the same way about writing. I think self-consciousness is the problem when we're young. As you get older you just give yourself to it, and forget about perfection. It's an illusion anyway. And, in truth, every writer needs an editor. I certainly do. and my readers comments are very helpful in that regard. If you look at the comments thread at The End of Love, my latest short story, you'll see how collegial we can be and how helpful it is. We never stop learning, there is no perfection.

Utah Savage said...

I forgot to address the picture thing. I started modeling at fifteen. So at seventeen I was Salt Lake's only print model. I did fashion shows, too. And it payed so much better than anything else I could do at that age. I was an early admissions student at the U of Utah. That picture is one of my favorites.

DCup said...

Utah - As always, you work in the word medium in beautiful ways. For me the fun thing about writing is that you get to explore the many mysteries of why. Why everything.

Distributorcap said...

i wish i could express myself half as well as you

BBC said...

I believe everything is political,

Political bullshit?

Randal Graves said...

Plus, if it gets turned into a movie, you have all that sweet royalty cash you can use to buy expensive wines, cars that get more than 13 mp and mail-order husbands programmed to not be wankers. They have a factory overseas.

I thought about truth-telling once, then I decided to write bad poems instead and hide all the crap.

Madam Z said...

I had a shitty childhood too. From age 4 to 10, it was abandonment, foster homes, molestation, poverty, and other yuckiness. After that, it was just poverty and yuckiness. I have tried to write about it, and actually have several short stories, but I get depressed when I travel back there. Any suggestions?

Dr. Zaius said...

Jeepers! For somebody that does so much writing, you sure do a lot of writing about writing! ;o)

Utah Savage said...

Dr. Ziaus, have you read any of the short stories, or any of the novel "Maggy?" I have several Savage Stories to choose from and there's a bit of Poetry as well, all here. I just use the blog Utah Savage to rant or complain about other stuff, like talking about writing, bitching about the heat and other important matters.

Je ne regrette rien said...

some things are also generational, I believe. one of my best friends is 18 years older than me and was raised to believe a successful partnership with a man was the primary measure of her success. Glad I dodged that bullet.