+WHAT TITLE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR 1st BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

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Perhaps at no other time in my life have I needed to focus so hard on saying exactly what I mean.  Fortunately my upcoming book is not held in the grip of a butchering big publisher who I know would not only kill my title but would kill my book, as well.  Yet while my book is not in the hands of strangers, it is under the critical editing eye of my very knowledgeable and skilled daughter, Ramona.  And she asks questions, tough questions, for which I have to dig deep to find answers.

A main question at this point has to do with my book’s title.  There are many versions flying back and forth via email right now.  I am awaiting Ramona’s response regarding these.  At the moment this is my latest version:

Story Without Words – A forensic study of my family’s unresolved trauma

(Oops?  Subtitle may be morphing again to – A forensic study of family trauma)

Is this even close to the title we will publish this book under?  I am adamant about the main title, Story Without Words.  This IS the book I have written.  I can defend my choice even to myself in many, many ways.  I know I could write an entire new blog under that title and would not run out of things to say.

If any direct reference to ‘abuse’ is dropped from the subtitle I have to ask, “Is the intention of my book being diluted?”  I don’t think so.  At this moment I think what I most MEAN to say is that it has always been exactly the unresolved trauma coming down through my family that has fed, fostered and fueled all that has gone wrong. 

Some of what went wrong turned into abuse.  Some of it turned into patterns that allowed the abuse (of me) to continue unchecked.  Some of it turned into patterns that allowed people to turn the other way (my grandmother, my father), to believe as reality the delusional madness of a psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder woman (my severely abusive mother).

Some of what went wrong turned into a frozen kind of perpetual despair that paralyzed joy in members of my ancestry.  I would be willing to bet that not one of my most immediate ancestors was able to get through their lifetime without unresolved family trauma eventually overtaking them and beating them into the ground.

I see some kind of pattern of people in my family being able to turn all the way around to look the other way while the real truth, the actual truth about what had hurt and continued to hurt people flew right on by and disappeared.  Why?  What purpose does it serve for people to IGNORE the truth about trauma in families?  Do we think ourselves weak if we name the truth when what is true doesn’t quite please us?  Even when what actually happens is that these unspoken silent invisible truths end up destroying us?

I don’t know right now what I think of the implications of my title.  I don’t need to know right now.  I know the book itself has been written and now is being turned into a book — well, whatever a book actually IS in today’s epublishing market.

Today I am honing in on my title in such a way that my wording feels right.  In spite of the 18 years of horrendous and bizarre abuse I experienced, it is not the abuse itself that matters to me at this point.  I want to understand the trauma that bit my mother in the first place, that infected her so that she became the brutal raging crazy monster she turned into.  I know she was not born that way.  Something in the conditions of her own childhood MADE her that way.

And whatever that something was, my best guess is that it had to do with unresolved trauma that had been in her family — just as had been in my father’s family — long before either one of my parents were born.

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10 thoughts on “+WHAT TITLE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR 1st BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

  1. Hi Alchemynow,
    My comment seemed to have disappeared so here it is again.
    What a great title! It is a story without words that you have
    Somehow managed to describe in amazing word-pictures. I think
    That this post would be useful for your preface..

    I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how this process is going.
    Just saw a few of your last posts and wanted to send you great
    Support and hugs from sa. You aren’t alone as you write! There
    Are others who understand what abuse is. You are contributing
    Something very important. I hope that all the fiddly bits will be worked
    Through to your satisfaction as much as possible. As a friend of mine says
    (Currently doing a degree), a written piece of work is never finished
    But I hope you will be able to see how this hard work of yours will make
    People think and want to investigate more.

    Your insights about the terms psychotic abuse – are significant. I often think
    Deeper insights reveal themselves in good timing and when we are willing
    Or ready to go deeper.. You are so incredibly brave, I’ve been reading some of your
    Recent posts and some of the comments from other brave people. I’m so sorry to
    Hear about your friend – what times you are experiencing right now.

    Xxx

    • Hi dear friend, Gingercat – and a happy happy new year to you!! Your comment did come through yesterday but perhaps it and my reply disappeared! Shucks on that! So glad you returned to cheer me on again today!

      The subtitle is still being born forth, I guess. In response to a call I put out to dear blog friend, Sandy’s thoughtful words about this choice process today I just sent this one up to my daughter for her thoughts:

      Story Without Words – A compassionate search for what made my mother mean

      There is only so much a title can convey — and from the input my son made, we don’t want the title to read like a dry psychological document of some kind. The book is as heartfelt as it is specific. I hope this choice works – if not, I need to trust something even better will appear (soon).

      I was going to drive the tattered only surviving copy of the photograph I want on the cover up to our local office supply store to have it scanned and sent to Ramona and my son to work with — but woke to a thorough covering of the world with snow – very unusual here – and I have no desire to go out and drive in that. It is beautiful, even though I have chosen to leave such snowy white behind me as I moved down as south as I can go to right on the Mexican-American borderline.

      There is a razor edge of panic not quite definable that works to push my words into publication. That edge sits exactly where every attack of every kind Mother ever did to me left me speechless and alone. This work is to speak the words that were robbed from me during all those years. Nobody to listen then – somebody to listen now.

      An exercise in confidence, determination and assuredness now that putting the Story Without Words into print WILL HAPPEN – and soon. To this book all other words I will publish, with the assistance of my dear children and friends, will be connected. Too seldom can severe early abusers find a way to begin to comprehend what happened to our perpetrators to make them so mean they hardly seemed human.

      Thank you, Gingercat, for your continued compassionate understanding, encouragement and support of my work. I am also very blessed to have 4 of my 5 siblings completely beside me as I venture out into the wider world with this silent, invisible story I have to tell. Much love to YOU!! always, Linda – alchemynow

    • Watching the rare snow continue to fall here – but sooner or later for this time the last snowflake will fall and then we will know the snow has stopped.

      Words, following a similar pattern – when the last word falls we will know what the subtitle to this book is meant to be. It has already morphed again into:

      Story Without Words – A compassionate search for the orgins of my mother’s abuse of me

      xoxo 🙂

  2. Hi alchemynow
    What a great title! It is a story without words that you have
    Somehow managed to describe in amazing word-pictures. I think
    That this post would be useful for your preface..

    I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how this process is going.
    Just saw a few of your last posts and wanted to send you great
    Support and hugs from sa. You aren’t alone as you write! There
    Are others who understand what abuse is. You are contributing
    Something very important. I hope that all the fiddly bits will be worked
    Through to your satisfaction as much as possible. As a friend of mine says
    (Currently doing a degree), a written piece of work is never finished
    But I hope you will be able to see how this hard work of yours will make
    People think and want to investigate more.

    Your insights about the terms psychotic abuse – are significant. I often think
    Deeper insights reveal themselves in good timing and when we are willing
    Or ready to go deeper..

    Xxx
    Xxxxxxx

    • I am so happy to hear your voice today, Gingercat! Always so warm and loving, supportive and encouraging! I am feeling exhausted in this process – it’s coupled with a very real sense that we are working with limited resources – obstacles yet with possibilities.

      Perhaps it is the FIRST BOOK that makes the crucible feel so real, so intense – almost like the whole project would get ripped away into oblivion – not a fear but not going to happen. Probably comes from the inner place of silence where for so long I suffered so alone — and the thought that I can actually SPEAK to a larger audience (beyond the blog) mesmerizes and terrifies me — as a hidden person, fears of…….oh, heck. I don’t care what I am afraid of right now! This is GOING to happen!!

      I wish you a most blessed new year! Not sure which day of the week the first is on your side of the planet — but in this new year may you find peace and love and joy in many new ways!!!

      “But I hope you will be able to see how this hard work of yours will make
      People think and want to investigate more.” – Yes, this would be a wonderful result of this writing work!!

      sending much love!! xoxoxox

      • Dear Linda,
        Its Tuesday evening as the end of New Year’s day approaches. I love the subtitles and know that the right one will
        Fall into place. This must be so intense for your son and daughter too – to read it and edit. It must be so scarey in
        Different ways for this to be actually happening! You are really putting yourself out there in so many ways. People
        Will respond differently I spose and yet whatever anyone says you’ve done it and as this blog has already helped so
        Many and certainly made a difference in my life hugely..the book will too.

        I hope the snow reminds you of a soft blanket. We are sweltering a bit over here! Thank you so so much for all your
        special, affectionate messages! You’ve made my year in many ways. I’m trying to come to terms with having feelings
        and experiences that I understand alone yet lately I’ve felt that although this is so we really aren’t alone. We have others
        with us even if not physically present just as we have God or Spirit. I’ve felt that since a small child – especially in nature 🙂
        Thank goodness for nature.

        How scarey to have words when you didn’t and couldn’t before. How amazing. I wondered if motherhood did something
        Special to you – quite different to what it did to your mother.

        Have a wonderful new year! Lots of love.

        • Hi dear one! I have often suspected – though I don’t know how to/haven’t ‘formally’ explored this — that the way estrogen operated in my body was as a great healing agent!!!

          am always so strengthened to hear from you! A peaceful and thriving new year to you!!!! xoxo 🙂

        • Very dumb night for sleeping on my part – up at 2 am, your words are circling in my mind – part of me not believing the actual publication of books will happen as no resource for time to get the next steps done – and when/if this does happen, yes – I will be afraid of people’s reactions…..

          I have a deal with myself that I will not read the comments people leave along with their ‘star ratings’ on amazon.com. At least not right away. I can be so crushed by criticism that scares me, too.

          I have three of my mother’s books to go through yet to add the photographs into – except I can’t do the scanning of the pictures and must also rely on my overwhelmingly busy daughter for that step. But 4 are done (my part of this) – and it’s been a week of pacing in circles since I worked on what I CAN do.

          So today I will just finish my part – and that will leave 8 manuscripts in line for my daughter! Nothing I see ahead lets me know this is possible. If she can get the first book out, Story Without Words, I can only hope that money will come in from the sale of that to at least be able to hire someone to scan, repair and size for publication those photographs for the other 7.

          I know my next step with this story will only become clear to me once I have done my work on these first 8 books – and there is NOTHING left for me to do on ‘Story’ until my daughter has the time to run through tweaks from what she has found in its edit.

          Gingercat, your support, love and encouragement means so much to me, and I thank you so much! Time goes by, and in time this will all iron itself out – I hope and pray!

          Have a fantastic day!!! love from your friend on the other side of the planet, Linda – alchemynow

          • Dear Linda,
            Sorry to hear about your bad night :(! I think you will be surprised and encouraged by the positive
            Feedback you will receive – you are a really good writer and an indefatageable researcher. There
            Will be people who won’t like parts of what you’ve written for their own reasons. I wonder if some of
            The authors you have investigated will read and comment?! That would be interesting. Its good you give
            Yourself time before reading any ratings. Criticism for any survivor is just not nice at all..
            I have been wondering about sales and finances.. You so deserve MONEY for this.
            I will be hoping and praying for your busy daughter and you too!
            Xxxxx

            • Some ‘bibbity-bobbity-boo’ would be nice! I’ve cleared the runway for Fairy Godmother’s arrival but see no sign of her yet!!! There always seems to be something important to be learned when times seem hopeless and difficult. Especially for someone like me whose every cell screams, “Do it alone! Do it by yourself! Never depend on ANYONE!”

              Hard to heal those wounds. Hard to know we are not as alone as we feel at our core.

              Important to feel the love of others in any way that we can. Important for me not to panic. Important for me to HEAR YOU!!! 🙂

              And financially I am trapped in poverty by the disabilities in my body that surviving 18 years of abuse in hell did to me. Anything I can think of that would help me right now involves money I do not have.

              xoxox

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