Writing one’s life story takes courage. The honesty and authenticity required to examine experiences can be excruciating because the nasty inner critic seems to operate on all levels. Well, at least, it does with me. I have to banish the nagging beast more than I care to admit. Overcoming self -doubt is one of my themes. Immersion into poetry, the arts, writing, and creative expression is a proven healing modality. It works. The spark for writing memoir is about lessons learned, sometimes called the takeaway.
My Book: I’m in the muddy middle of my first draft of my book. The working title is: The Approval Code, How a Spirited Young Girl Learns Over Time to Believe in Herself. It’s a coming of age/spiritual memoir about being brave after my mother suffered a near fatal stroke at 46. She survived, but the trauma of the event, her long hospitalization, and the subsequent changes in her behavior affected me. I came home from high school once to find her passed out on the floor. I coped by retreating into journaling, reading, doing art, and taking long walks in nature. There were also some wild and crazy times during the ‘60’s when I became a teenager. I longed for approval in a family of achievers. And, as in many families, you were expected to keep quiet. Achievers weren’t supposed to have problems.
At age 19 I left the Midwest and moved to California. The year was 1973. My goal was to become an elementary school teacher and build a cabin in the woods. Things didn’t quite go as planned. I became involved with an abusive man twelve years my senior and had two children. We struggled just to survive. Throughout that part of my life, I wrote in my journal. By being courageous, I was able to leave the bad situation even though I was working minimum wage jobs. I learned independence, self-reliance, and later pursued an education. One of the reasons I’m writing my book is to encourage people in dysfunctional or abusive relationships to get help. Nobody has to be a victim.
Some of my adventures include living way out in the country without electricity or hot running water, home births, and close encounters with rattlesnakes. The paranormal also plays into the picture along with corruption, coercion, and dealing with the complexities of family dynamics.
BIO: I’m an artist, journal writer, and spiritual intuitive. After thirty plus years in customer service and social services, I earned my BA in psychology in my early fifties. My woodcarver husband, Jesse, and I live in the Sonoran desert. We enjoy being grandparents and work with community agencies serving children and the elderly. Our house is solar powered. We’re avid environmentalists and love angels and spirit guides! I no longer worry too much about outer approval. If I empower just one person on the planet, I’ll feel successful.
Please feel free to correspond with me anytime.
Meanwhile, please visit me at: http://www.journalwithsue.wordpress.com
(That’s hawk like the bird, not the politics)