Thoughts on a Memoir

How does someone write the story of their lives? Some seem to do it easily with very little help, while others are rendered silent with no way to form the words needed to convey their experience to others.

And then there’s me. Firmly stuck in between. I have the words, and moments I have written down, but my thoughts are not linear and without some sort of help I would never be able to make sense of the jumble in my brain.

Logically I can follow the memories. This time last year we were recovering from hurricane Irma and I was getting ready for decompression surgery. Two before that I was still coming to grips with my grandfather’s death and dealing with his estate. But when you put the years together and the big picture starts to build, my brain begins to wander. And I have no idea where to start.

And to be honest I don’t even know if I should start. The drama it would cause. Half the problems in my life are literally dead. Their cremated ashes are in an urn on my mantel waiting for me to move my lazy ass and take them to their final resting place. But the other half are still alive and kicking. And they know where to kick to make it hurt extra bad.

So you start thinking a fictional novel based on your life, right? Change names. Cities, dates. Use a pen name. But then it starts feeling like a lie. And you’ve spent most of your life being accused of being a liar. From that moment you were five and your mom called you a liar because a man was more important than her baby’s body. So you have a complex about lying. So you tell the truth. And you get anxiety if you even think someone thinks you lied about something when they really have no reason to.

So there goes that idea.

So then you think about getting an editor. But they’re so expensive. And the first one you speak to wants you to sign over rights to your story. No. The second one wants an up front payment with too many zeros at the end. EXTREME NO. Self publishing is great for self motivated people that aren’t delving into their traumatic experiences and exposing the bitter and broken parts of themselves for catharsis.

So the years pass and you grow older. Maybe your reasons for wanting to tell your story change. Maybe it’s like a pit of angry lava burning in your heart and you have so many words and so many tears rushing to burst out of you. But with no one to listen, how will it soothe itself? How can I get someone to listen, someone who needs to hear what I have to say?

I don’t know.

My life is full of beautiful things. I am happy. Because I carved that happiness out of the cancer that bore me up from childhood. As an adult, I have found the goodness I had always sought as a child. But that child is still a part of me, and she screams in the empty chasm she’s been locked into so the adult can survive.

I hope that one day I can find a way to properly convey the story I have locked in my heart.

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