Tag Archives: memoir

It’s getting real. It’s really weird.

I was at a neighborhood party the other night, and a number of people congratulated me on signing with a publisher.

I had lunch with a friend from business school whom I hadn’t seen in decades, and he mentioned he was excited for me that the book was coming out. (And that he had no idea of my past, my background, when we were in school together. “You think you know someone,” he said. “You really don’t.”)

I’ve recently had a few friends who are mentioned in the book, whom I’ve recently re-found, read the book. And cry over some of what happened.

It’s getting real.

Now, obviously I wouldn’t have written a memoir if I wasn’t willing – and eager – to tell my story. I still see it as a “memoir of hope,” and my hope is that my story will give hope to others who suffer and struggle. There are so many kids who grew up in the Church who endured so much pain and trauma. So much confusion and challenge. There are so many people throughout the world who have endured so much – who have so many scars and need so much love.

My hope is that, somehow, the story of my journey will give other people hope for their journey. That the beauty and joy I’ve learned to search for – and I’ve found – can inspire others to search for what they need. And to find it.

I know I still have a long path until the book is a book. But it’s really getting real. And that’s really weird. Wonderful and weird.

The paradox of abuse – the desire to shout it from the mountain tops, while at the same time you long to hide it (and yourself) from everyone. The paradox of trauma – you somehow learn to not love yourself as if your very lacking is what caused the trauma to occur. Or perhaps, to somehow take responsibility for the trauma – and in my case to usually take responsibility for everything – so that you feel some semblance of control.

I want to share my story, and shout my joy, from the mountaintop. And I want to crawl inside myself in case someone thinks I’m “too full of myself” because I want to share my story. “It wasn’t that bad,” I hear myself chide myself. “Other people had it much worse.”

It’s like a jail I lock myself in, at times. “I’m messed up because of what happened to me, and I’m messed up because I think what happened to me was bad, when other people had it much worse.” It’s a mind game that trauma can inflict on you, as if to keep its hold on you.

“You’re only as sick as your secrets,” I learned years ago. Another saying that helped save my life. I offered that same thought to one of my re-found friends just the other day. “Tell your secret,” I said. “Let it out. Let it go. Don’t let it eat you up anymore.”

I’m telling my secrets (even though my brother says I remember them incorrectly). I’m telling my story. The book will come out next year, and people know that.

It’s getting real. It’s really weird.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Did you hear me scream? My book will be a book!

Did you hear me scream? I’m guessing you did.

I signed with an indie press last week. I couldn’t be more excited. The years – dare I say almost decades – of perseverance, persistence, and (sometimes) pain are over, and my book will be a book!

Thank you to everyone who supported me and believed in me. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me and cheered me on. Thank you to everyone who picked me up when I fell down and gave me a push (or a hug) to keep me going.

I kept going, and it paid off.

What publisher? Heliotrope Books. Where are they located? Get this – the East Village of New York City. They know my ‘hood; they get my past. When will it be out? I believe by next fall, 2018.

Now the fun stuff starts. The final copyediting. A final title. Designing a cover. Finding endorsements and reviews and local indie bookstores to host a book talk.

So those of you who have supported and believed in and encouraged and cheered me, the best work is next, and I’m sure I’ll be leaning on you again. Hope you don’t mind.

Let’s have fun with this. My book will be a book!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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This is why I do this

Every so often I hear myself question in my mind, “Why do I keep blogging? What do I have to say that’s worthwhile? Should I just quit?” And luckily, soon after my questioning, someone thanks me for what I wrote or my perspective, and I think, “That’s why I keep doing this. That’s what matters.”

That matters. A ton. But there’s something that matters even more.

Last week, I got another one of those really matters emails. An outreach from another former Moonie who is looking for connection, and even more importantly, at least to me, an outreach from someone who was born into the Church and who, specifically, lived at Jacob House as a child.

“What was it like?” she asked me. “What do you know about what my childhood was like?”

I gave her all the information I had. I told her what I remembered and about my experiences. I introduced her to others who would most likely remember more, and more things that mattered to her. And then we talked about growing up in the Church and leaving the Church. About how hard both of those were. About how they still could torment us at times.

I’m older than this person and therefore perhaps further along in integrating. Or not. We all have our own journey. But as we gasped at what we had in common and agreed about how much we relished finding someone who knew what we meant when we talked about Church practices, I connected once again with someone I’d never met before but someone with whom I had such a deep bond.

And that is why I do this. That is why I blog. I blog to hopefully touch the hearts, souls, and minds of people who have experienced what I have, as well as those who have experienced entirely different things. I blog to find anyone I can who grew up in the Church, or was in the Church, so that I can remember and reminisce and deepen my understanding and integration.

I blog for every email or comment I get that says, “Thank you.” I blog for every ex-Moonie who is looking for answers and soothing.

This is why I do this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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