Nearing Completion of My Memoir
It's been nearly six years since I was approached by family and friends to begin writing my story. In between that time, I've written my first children's story, and turned the corner on my journey from parenthood to an ending of one marriage and onto a path of redefining myself. I've remarried a wonderful, supportive man, and I've returned to diving into art and writing. Though I still have a long way to go from rough draft to publication, I thought it might be fun to share a few excerpts from my story, which will be unnamed just yet...(I have a working title, but that won't be revealed until book launch time).
Hoping this piques your interest, and you will ask for more...
*I’ve got to get away.
I was breathing hard in the pitch black of night. An evil thing was chasing me, but I ran in slo- mo, and the beast was gaining on me. This dark force was just inches away. I could feel its sinister presence, its hot breath—and it was not man-sized, but colossal. I was trapped in its shadow. I knew if it seized me, that was the end. I never quite saw the face of the monster—in this recurring dream—but the terrifying feeling was the same. If I didn’t get away, I was dead.
As I was fleeing this devil, I realized I had the power to fly, if only I could get off the ground. It seemed as though I was running and running and running, but as I watched my feet moving beneath me, I didn't get anywhere. The sidewalk was gliding under me, like a conveyor belt in reverse. I remained stationary. Then, just when I thought the beast would swipe me with his death claws, I finally rose off the ground, and flew higher and higher until I was well above the giant, murderous fiend. I soared above the trees, over or under the telephone lines and I actually felt the sensation of flying in my dream. My arms were out to my sides like Superman, the wind blowing my hair like his cape. The trees below me were vibrant green, and I could see miniature people playing in yards, dogs running, and the farmers’ fields below, with smoke coming from the tractors. The sky was the most magnificent shade of blue. This was so astounding! I could fly. And I was safe.
“Always remember, its simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
She pressed her head against the barrel of my brother’s rifle and pulled the trigger. It was a .12 gauge shotgun he used for hunting. I don’t remember why it was lying there on the couch. But I do remember her crying and yelling in the kitchen just before she entered the living room, where my sister and I were. Nancy was babysitting for two little kids. She immediately ushered them outside to play.
“Well then, I may as well not even be alive!” Mom had shouted through her tears. She'd come storming into the room and saw the gun and grabbed it. She was drunk, fumbling to get it in position.
Then? What did the then come after? Why was she so hopeless that she’d want to kill herself? Always so much drama—marching into the living room, propping the gun in such a way that she could point the long barrel at her head and find the trigger to pull it. It clicked three times. The gun was empty.
She knows there aren’t any bullets in it, I thought. Yet I was afraid that the gun might fire and perhaps she would actually kill herself. I stood by watching her, feeling numb. I was only 12 years old. I loved my mom. That emotion birthed my fear of losing her. I also hated her at times. Overshadowing the fear was a survival method to get through this episode of her emotional manipulation. I numbed myself to the behavior, learning to survive the hurricanes that had devastated our home. I believed she was vying, in some sick way, for attention. And actually, she was. I had witnessed many outbursts of her anger, and crying, but was too naive and young to enter into or even understand her pain. She was an alcoholic. I was experiencing a sense of abandonment, and I was angry. She was thinking only of herself. What about us? She wanted an easy exit from her troubles, leaving us kids to figure out life for ourselves. Or maybe it was her depraved cry for help—a very outward display to reveal to us, her children, that she was hurting beyond hope. What should I do? I wanted to blink and have it all better. But I couldn’t fix it.
That's all for now. There's a lot more to chapter one, which sets the stage for the rest...Maybe next time, I'll add an excerpt from another chapter. I've been on some formidable adventures...gale force winds (hurricane) on the North Sea, floodwaters on a six month Mississippi River adventure, bicycle trips, mountain climbing, and a decades-long test of endurance with the man I called my husband. But who thought he was my master, my judge, my punisher—even the Holy Spirit himself. This is the story, not of self-discovery, but one of re-discovery, when I finally had the courage to face lies, defy the man, and also stand up against the tyranny of spiritual forces.