I haven’t published anything in 23 days. I have been very busy.
I interviewed Dave’s mom because she runs an Adventure Challenge course at the local high school. It’s so cool and I wanted to do a piece on it, so I observed one of her classes, interviewed her, and gave the kids a list of questions to answer about the class. I can’t wait to pick it apart and write the piece.
Dave sent me an email about a literary magazine’s fall writing contest. The deadline was a November 30th, but he sent me the email just a few days beforehand. I didn’t have enough time to submit something. At school, I picked up a copy of the literary magazine, which holds poems and create pieces by students. I read something so apologetically honest and real that I decided it was time to write about the night my marriage ended. When we separated, in June 2012, I knew that I wanted to write about the dramatic events of the night. Including but not limited to: my ex-husband holding me hostage in our home, calling 911 for my first emergency, two hours of hopeless fighting, and watching two county sheriffs escorting my then-husband to a cruiser.
Needless to say, it’s pretty fucking crazy.
It was traumatic and the writing will help understand what happened and process the trauma. In some ways it feels like it’s been forever since it happened, but in other ways it feels like it happened yesterday. For the most part, I don’t feel like the girl in that story. She’s long gone. Something like that would never happen to present-day Kyrston. But, the memories haunt me. And, although it feels like remembering a story someone else told me, I still feel the pain and scars from it happening to me.
I set out to write the narrative, and it’s finished. I’ve edited it three times (twice with the help of teachers from school) and it’s still not done. My most recent editor told me that it needed “a bigger about-ness” and a point. It needs a greater message besides just telling a story about one particular experience. The solution? Write more. Write about any significant event in those four years. Change from present-tense to past tense and play with the timeline. Insert relevant memories in the middle of the event.
He did tell me, however, that I have a natural gift for storytelling. He also told me how brave it was to pick something so intense and personal to write about. I didn’t really understand how that was brave, but then he told me that I had to write more, and I groaned. I told him it hurts to write about it and that I don’t want to. He sort of shrugged his shoulders like this is what we do as writers.
So, I have been writing for the past hour or so and decided to take a break to let you in on the secret. I just worked my way through the first few months of our relationship, which had already contained more than three reasons to not stay in a relationship with him. It’s helping me revisit some painful and embarrassing memories and look at it in a new way. I am gaining perspective. It’s helping – a lot. It’s helping me by giving me confidence. I do feel brave. Most people, upon getting hurt, just try to push the memory away and put the pain away. Who dissects it piece by piece and then chooses to share it with others? I guess I do. I’m the moron that decided to reopen partially-healed wounds and put salt in them. But, at the end, it could transform a young woman’s perception of what LOVE is. Maybe someone will read my stories, one day, and it will inspire them to help someone they know. If anything I do is going to be read, let alone go viral, it needs to be real. I need to be here with you, in this moment, and we need to be in it together.
On another note – the move in has been successful. My new job is wonderful. Our apartment is slowly but surely getting cleaned and rearranged and things put in storage that we don’t need right now. There’s a Christmas tree because Dave knows how excited I was and he dragged the thing up here to surprise me. There are lights and stockings and cute place mats. It’s warm and inviting and I feel safe here. Dave just finished student teaching which makes me very happy, because I have really missed him these past few weeks. I’ve been home alone a lot. It’s nice to spend time with the person you love. Soon we will resume the Seven Principles project, things are just getting settled.
So, that’s three projects I am working on right now, in addition to the many other things I have to manage. I am disappointed that I couldn’t publish the story of that night. Perhaps after one more edit I will post it, just so that it can be in the universe. Even if there is no apparent bigger “about-ness”, it still makes for a great story.
Hope all is well and that you have joy this upcoming holiday.