Nov 5, 2012

Old Topic..Review

A reader asked what recently happened to my posts of the letters, the 365 letters I had posted.

Where was I on the grief?  I have refrained from my 365 letters because in fact, the letters have been turned into a book. I am sure no one wants to hear about someone dealing with grief on a daily basis for 365 days, what is the point of that? It's depressing. I decided this would make better, a book, on grief counsel. The book  is based on a women going through loss and grief, with humor and a little crazy.  I am thankful I have had some amazing support on the book from a friend who is a psychologist and am excited about the release sometime in the future.

We have a choice to be sad or happy, to move forward or not too. I am still dealing with the sadness and am in a assortment of small therapy. I have chosen to move forward, find something in each day that brings me happiness. I am thankful for the support I have from my friends who force themselves into my life and my mother and most importantly my co-workers and health professionals. I still cry at inappropriate times, I just say I have something in my eyes now. It works.

"If you or someone you know has lost a family member, experienced family loss during the process-
Please advise on some sort of grief counsel, A person who does not deal with the loss and family turmoil will feel emotions of anger, depression, outbursts, loss of focus  stomach pain, sickness and stress, alcohol intake and other suppressants-which effect health later."
Brought to you by your friendly GP.

I have a few life coaches that are truly angels , who force me to talk about what I am feeling and I also found a support group, finally!  a support group that is not crazy religious and may help me try to talk about what I am feeling. Funny I found a old workbook I was given when plarring my diploma in child and youth justice- I never read the book, but aced the exam.

 I found the book and the first chapter was a eye opener. If you have family origin issues , I highly encourage you to try the workbook- There may be some of you out there that need this book. I am only on chapter one, and its very very hard for me to do- Because you have to take accountability and face fears. I don't want to live in the emotions that will cause daily emotional turmoil, so I have decided to set a time and place and to do one chapter every two weeks. This is the free download below.

Download for free


One of my  friends, who has been a coach in past and who I value very much, had asked me a few times of what I had been through.  I was not ready to share-NOOO...bring up shit that makes you cry for hours, not likely.

However I really missed the man, and he had been on tour for quite some time, and from another world, late at night, he asked me again."Are you ready to share? " Sharing with a life coach requires that you, yourself has to deal with the work with it-because what ever they say in response to you, will leave you with internal work to do within yourself. 

I basically fired off a bunch of point form events- with not real much emotion. "he probably hid his shock.
I did feel his words were very valuable, and I see writing for him in the future , possibly in another country.

So I decided to share his words with you today, because really his words can apply to anyone and any situation..

Laura, thanks for sharing. Sorry I disappeared there.
I hear you though
living with memory is all you have, when you lose someone
it sounds really complex in terms of dealing with it
but in the end of the day, if you can be okay with the memories, and accept who your father was - especially who he was to you, then you can move on knowing that whatever he was to you was for the purpose you have the outlooks you have now.
By their actions, parents teach us...either to emulate them in the good things they stood for, or choose to change your life to avoid facing the problems they encountered
it seems that in your family there is a driving force making these really wild and dramatic scenarios happen. I'll ask you a question - where do you think that stems from, and why does it continue to happen?

one other thought for now...if you want to be free of this craziness, it's a choice on your part. Sometimes very difficult because it requires a calm honesty towards those closest to you (your family) about the situation- meaning a declaration to them that you don't want contact with them under the circumstances that your relationships exist, and be prepared to live by your word.

if you can let go of that - accept who they are no matter if you feel it's good or bad, and leave them be if you feel you can't do anything else, or that it is dragging you further into the ground.
eventually, at this rate, it will. How do you want your book to end? A massive explosion, or peace for yourself?
I just read a cool book called the 4 agreements, which talks about an ancient cultural way of living through 4 principles that help to avoid drama in life...not to avert it, but to stop it before it gets crazy.
I'll give you the concepts, and see what you think
1. Be impeccable to your word...ie..integrity...do what you say
2. Assume nothing
of any situation or anybody
if you don't know why someone would or wouldn't do something..ask as opposed to making up reasons why in your mind..this is the root of gossip/rumors, and creates massive havoc in the world
3. Take nothing personally
someone can rag on you, or even give a compliment - the key to this is recognizing how you feel inside about it, and compare that to where someone is coming from in saying what they're saying..even positive remarks can be misleading sometimes
4. Do the best you can
given your situation

meaning..we all know what our best is when we have time, energy, resources available...but when we don't, we still think we can achieve the same level, and kill ourselves trying to make it happen. In those situations, when you're exhausted physical/emotionally, recognize what you can put out, and be okay with that, and don't be afraid to be honest with others that you can't do something for them at the level they demand, even if it is just for a meeting. This is a deep honesty and respect for yourself and your health, which is essential to being able to deal with anything in your life clearly. See how these ideas sit with you in your situation, and if you have any questions, fire away.

You're awesome Laura, and a very strong soul. You apparently have a major duty/role in this world to communicate messages to the masses, and it takes a strong person to do this. Glad it's you - MA

I have also been working on a memoir of my life, this  has been advised for years and years..and its allot of work, mental work and memory work.  I received a very nice email today personally from Jane Friedman, yes the writer who gave me some tips, on writing a memoir, the article  Jane provided me reads:


Today’s guest post is from author and professor Tracy Seeley. Her memoir, My Ruby Slippers
When we write memoir, we pull back the curtain on our private lives and invite readers in. We willingly give up our privacy, or a chunk of it. But because we’re human, our stories also include other people: parents and siblings, teachers and neighbors, lovers and friends—and they haven’t exactly signed on to the deal.
What about their privacy?  
This question can shut a memoirist right up. What if Aunt Betsy never speaks to me again? Or what if the next door neighbor decides to sue? Exposing others in the course of telling our story can feel pretty risky. So let’s tease apart the issues and address the fears.
1. What Will [So-and-So] Think? Will They Ever Speak to Me Again?
Writing memoir is not for the faint-hearted. We do think about how others will react, or worry we’ll damage our relationships. But writing out of fear is the worst way to go about creating a memoir. Our first obligation is to the art and truth of our story. And that means not censoring ourselves. 
Of course, writing always means choosing: which details to include, which to leave out, which elements of a story to foreground, which to minimize, how to shape a chapter, what events mean.
But the writer chooses.  
The fear censor doesn’t get to choose, and neither do the other characters in our story, who may take up residence in our heads and try to commandeer the pencil. 
When I wrote my memoir, I learned to listen for two inner voices. One was the quiet, sure voice of artistic instinct. Yes, it would say, this part of the story has to be told, and should be told in this way.   
The riskier the moment felt, the louder a second voice would pop up and say “No!” Every time, I had to take a deep breath, and despite the fear, follow the voice of the artist. 
2. Ethical Obligations: Clean Motives and Transparency 
However, this doesn’t mean we should be callous in exposing others to the light. It’s essential to have clean motives in representing others. Memoir shouldn’t be an occasion for humiliating, shaming or punishing someone. It’s not an instrument of revenge, but of shaping meaning from our lives. 
In my book, a character does something that hurts me terribly at the time—and yet the story wasn’t really in what he did, but what I came to understand about myself afterward.  
So in writing about this episode, I had to make sure my motives were clean.  No revenge, no shaming.
To make sure I wasn’t exposing him for the wrong reasons, I decided early on not to use his real name, a choice I disclose to readers.
Once a manuscript is finished, many memoirists allow the other actors in their stories to read it, and then discuss anything they may find troubling.   This doesn’t mean you’re obligated to change things. But there may be room—now that the work is finished—for some negotiation.  
I let my sisters read my manuscript, and despite my having disclosed family stories, was surprised by their unqualified support. If they’d objected to something, I would have been open to negotiating a change if it wouldn’t have hampered the book. I also like to think that a conversation about why I thought something essential might have persuaded a reluctant sister to agree. 
I also sent the manuscript to a childhood friend who’s featured very positively in one chapter. I wasn’t asking for approval, but simply wanted her to know what was coming—public exposure. Simply letting our subjects in to the process goes a long way toward soothing any surprises down the road. 
3. The Legal Angle: Real and Unreal Fears
If you’re in doubt about the legality of your depiction of another person, there’s no substitute for trained legal advice. Still, with a basic understanding of the issues, it’s possible to guard against trouble. 
First, you should know that memoirists don’t often get sued. But when it happens, the claims are either for defamation or invasion of privacy. Here’s what you should know about both.
Defamation. If someone says you’ve defamed them, they’re claiming what you’ve written is untrue, and done so with malice. So besides having clean motives, your best protection is to write the truth. Check your facts and have evidence to back up your claims. Uncle Bert may be angry about your unflattering depiction of him, but if he really did hide his hooch in the hay loft, you’re on solid ground.
You also can’t be sued for your opinion. So if you depict Uncle Bert as an insensitive lout, he may withhold your birthday present, but he can’t sue.
Defamation claims can also arise when the writer and his or her subject remember things differently. Each claims his or her version is true, and that the other person is lying. This is what happened in the case of Augusten Burroughs, who was sued by the family featured in Running With Scissors
We all know memory is fickle, so it’s easy enough to acknowledge the fact and head off this kind of defamation problem. Perhaps in your preface, introduction or acknowledgments, write that you’ve been faithful to your memory, but your subjects may remember things differently. As part of the settlement in his case, this is what Burroughs wrote in subsequent editions of his book, as well as saying that he intended no harm. 
Invasion of Privacy. This legal claim might seem the scarier prospect. We are, after all, revealing things about others they may not have revealed on their own. Yet from a legal standpoint, this doesn’t  automatically mean you’ve invaded their privacy. A successful claim depends on proving that you have revealed facts “not related to public concern.”  
So what does this mean? Quite simply, a defense depends on arguing a legitimate “public concern.” This can take a number of forms. In some cases, the fact that a publisher chose to publish the book has been enough to show a legitimate public interest. 
Several strategies can help us avoid privacy lawsuits in the first place. Some memoirists get written permission from subjects before they start. Some disguise the identity of the person they’re depicting, giving them different physical characteristics, perhaps a different profession or different city of residence—whatever will prevent them from being recognized in their own community.  
Final Thoughts
As I wait for my book to come out this spring, I feel a bit of fear rise up.  My parents, central to my story, are no longer alive, so I rest easy on that score.  But people who knew and cared about them are still around, and I worry how they will react. But I also know that I’ve written the best book I can, with artistic aims foremost. I’ve been faithful to my own experience, acknowledging that others may remember things differently. I know that my motives have been clean, and as a sign of respect, I’ve shared the manuscript with those who have the most at stake.  
As you work on your own memoir, write with fidelity to your own experience while knowing that memory is fallible. Write with respect for your subjects, even if they come across as louts. And tell your story true.
Have honesty and courage.Ruby Slippers is available on Amazon.
*So there it is, The shits gonna hit the fan one day! Just kidding, this will, if anything be self discovery. However to write a memoir you almost require a team of people. I have started with a list of contents, and a person to review each chapter. I choose someone who I feel is neutral, and can say" its shit or its good" if need be. I also have a psychologist who will put reference in there, and several life coaches. I am hoping this will be a 5 year project, as I have decided to teach English in other country's by 2014. The Tisol  coarse for ESL, is only a month long, however the legal project is huge. The easy part is the Tisol, its 900 bucks and a month long, with job placement and help with the paperwork. Huge demand and great wage, the hard part is fixing your current life to actually go.
This will be my final chapter- The happy ending, the world tour.
siafucknoara...The travel that changes people. The over due journey-This will require fundraising and all that other jazz that goes with it, and thank god I know a few good eggs who have done it well. 
Well that's it for today,
Signing off GVix
xo