Monday, August 8, 2011

When the Memoir Speaks

Memoir writing is a process with a rhythm of it own, without a time schedule, and with its own mind, like some living thing inside of me finding its way out. Well, that's because it is exactly that.

Removing the many layers that buried all those things that were insufferable, painful, shameful, embarrassingly mortifying and all based on untruths imposed by forfeiting my own power to others. I am discovering who I really am and find I'm not much like I thought I was. "Free to be me" is real. Can be dumbfounding. Revealing. Exhilarating. Sad, though, to recognize the theft of spirit, the robbery of soul.

In the writing of the events of my life, with intense recall, reeling them out without hesitation, even the worst of them, I see how it is possible to so throttle a child to protect the family secret that I am astounded that I never figured that out. So conditioned to being negated, erased and silenced as a general rule, I never once linked that to some kind of power I might have to do any damage at all to the grownups I lived with. I always thought these efforts were about rubbing me out for some terrible infraction no one would describe.

When at last I recognized someone else's explanation in an essay of her own, I had a real "duh" moment, like, "Of course!" How did I not know it? Can a child make those deductions? No. If I had written this memoir earlier, would I have discovered this answer earllier? No. I am totally influenced by the response of my parents to a particular event in my young life. Blinders on. Consumed by the one thing. Not linking everything else about my parents to that thing.  To discover there was absolutely nothing wrong with me that motivated their ostracism, and to recognize it was an effective way to keep me sillent was not just a revelation, but the wide open door to freedom, allowing me to walk through that door into light. I feel pounds lighter!

Into draft#2, and reviewing what I have already said and how I said it, with this revelation I will approach it differently, with a freedom that did not exist before this new knowledge. And writing Mother will now be so much easier. Now that I see her more clearly.....

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