The True North of Memoir

I didn’t realise revising my memoir would be this hard or take this long, but now I see what I’m here to learn. 

As I reread one of the though chapters I wondered, was it the abuse, or that fear we all feel when something unacceptable and wrong happens to us at an age before we have the words to describe and share our experience with anyone, that is the center of my story? I’m not taking away from the pain I felt at the time, I see that its real, nor do I dispute the fact that what happened to me was wrong on so many levels, it’s the core of what we have come to know as #metoo.

As children, we love our parents even when they fail us. As we grow into adulthood and recognise their shortcomings, even neglect, love can give way to anger, frustration and hurt over how they failed to protect and comfort us. How they scoffed at our pleads and told us to get on with it – when a comforting hug was all we needed – or when they laughed when we shared our tender teenage feelings. They did not see me for who I was and so started my journey of becoming someone I hoped they could accept. On that journey, I sailed further and further away from my true self. It’s choppy water full of pain as I failed, again and again, at getting the acceptance I craved. 

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Illness the New Normal

In 2013 a study by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) found that over 95% of the world’s population has health problems. Lower back pain and major depression ranked among the top ten greatest contributors to disability, causing more health loss than diabetes, chronic lung disease, and asthma combined.

This is a bleak picture, one where illness is more normal than wellness. I’m curious if statistics like these are part of the cause of what, to me, looks like a dis-ease pandemic.

My instinct tells me to focus on solutions and with the 69th World Health Day on April 7, what better time to raise the questions;

What’s the Pain and Where’s the Gain?

Since my teens, I’ve had aches and pains along the sciatica (lower back) nerve. I’ve never thought it serious enough to bring it up with my doctor. I tend to contribute it to either lack off, or to vigorous exercise. If the ache gets too much I pop a painkiller or rub on an ointment. Stretching relieves it for a while, but the fact remains, my aches and pains have become normal and I wonder, -am I part of the 95% GBD statistic?

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Why Don’t you like me?

I always thought there where two kinds of people – those with and those (like me) without confidence. Those WITH confidence seemed more genuine.

I never thought confident/genuine people liked me, maybe it was because I ‘felt’ fake. I was definitely not my self – I didn’t know how. I hadn’t even heard the word authentic.

Do you recognise the ‘feeling’ when you ‘think’ someone doesn’t like you?

Here are a few questions – to myself – I’ve been pondering.

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A Good Enough New Year Resolution

Whenever I struggle to keep up with my plans I ask myself; – have I broken down the steps into small enough chunks?’

I’ve been writing this book for more than a year and only now do I start to see all the pieces come together, – well, – sort off. Learning to dissect a big goal – like writing to publish a book, have thought me to break my plans into minute – sometimes 10 minute – sessions. It’s a journey that has taken much longer than I thought it would, and it’s been a lot tougher than I ever believed it could be.

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