Friday, June 27, 2008


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."