Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies the treasure.” ~Joseph Campbell
Now that I am in the marketing phase after the publication of my memoir, I can stand back and ask:
Was writing my story worth it?
One of my biggest concerns when I was writing my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse was how the truth-telling would impact the people in my story; the ones who had to be included in graphic detail so I could show my readers what I meant by “emotionally-abusive”.
Otherwise, why bother telling the story?
But, the last thing I wanted was to portray myself as a victim who fell prey to two “evil” men. While I had to show how I did fall prey to men who were not right for me, I also wanted and needed to show, without intentionally disparaging anyone, how I began to take responsibility for my own happiness. I had to have time and distance from the story in order to see the valuable lessons learned.
Crystal clear in hindsight was the revelation that these men were not “evil”. They were human beings with flaws and different needs. One was a good person with a bad problem; the other a person who needed mental health treatment and stubbornly resisted. That doesn’t condone their behaviors but it does shed a new light on the circumstances.
In the end, this is the story of my journey…
No one hurts you or abuses you unless you allow it.
The journey was fraught with potholes and detours as I began to face the truths before me, truths I didn’t want to look at—a life that started out with so much promise, yet got tangled in a web of missed opportunities and self-defeating choices…all within my power to control.
No, I didn’t want to admit that, despite the red flags, I still forged ahead with decisions that would have a lifelong impact on not only myself but on the children I would bear.
Regrets, guilt, shame hovered around me like a swarm of bees who were determined to get me.
But, I did get on the other side of this story through the writing process—a grueling, exhilarating and enlightening five-year journey that led to self-discovery, self-forgiveness and healing.
I believe my memoir tells my truth without intentionally disparaging anyone else. Therefore, I feel I am standing on solid ground as I go out to tell my story and market my memoir.
October in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, sponsored by The National Coalition of Domestic Violence. All my activities for this month are dedicated to their worthy cause of honoring the strength of battered women and their children.
Here are some ways I will be spreading the message of domestic violence awareness during the month of October:
* Wow! Women on Writing Blog Tour for Ever Faithful to His Lead : My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.(see below)
* Donation to local Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Community Education Program:
28 Church Street, Amsterdam , New York 12010
* Speaking on Emotional Abuse to Fulton-Montogmery Community College students on Thursday October 23, 2014 at 12:00 and to the community at 6:30pm on the campus.
2805 State Highway 67, Johnstown, New York 12095
Please join me in spreading the message of domestic abuse awareness to others:
*Donate a copy of my memoir to your local library;
* Share it with a friend or the parent of a friend who may need to hear a message of hope about freedom from abuse,
* Write a review on Goodreads and Amazon to help it get into the hands of more readers.
No one deserves to be abused and prevention starts with awareness.
In answer to my question posed at the beginning of this post,
Yes, writing my memoir has been worth the agony of facing the pain.
If my memoir helps even one person see themself in my story and leave an abusive relationship, I will have accomplished my goal.
How about you? Has writing your memoir been worth it? Do you want to write your a story but fear repercussions?
Two copies of my memoir will be given to a commenter whose name will be selected in a random drawing; one for the commenter and the other for donation to a local library or nonprofit organization working with abuse victims.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
Announcement: Congratulations to Paula for winning Janet Given’s Peace Corps memoir, At Home on the Kazakh Steppe.
Wow Women on Writing Blog Tour for 10/13-1/19:
Monday, October 13: Susan Weidener interviews me on her blog The Women’s Writing Circle about using Pubslush to crowd fund my memoir.
Thursday, October 16: Lisa Haselton interviews me about my memoir on her blog Lisa Haselton’s Review and Interviews.
Friday, October 17: Jerry Waxler offers his review of my memoir on his blog, Memory Writers Network.
Sunday, October 19: Linda Austin interviews me about ” Dealing with Families While Writing a Memoir” on her blog, MoonbridgeBooks
Monday, October 2o: “Keeping Family Memories Alive: An Interview with Memoir Author Philip McQuillan” Philip is the author of My Grandfather’s Uncle