Good news in the writing world! In October Pat Conroy will publish a memoir about his father, who inspired "The Great Santini." Talk about Dads and demons. I can't wait to read the real story of Pat Conroy's abusive father as told by one of the most gifted writers on the planet.
In the same category of writing, Dads and demons, I would like to announce that I am back -- she's baaaacck -- after a patchy five months of blogging. What happened is that I encountered a person who yelled at me and called me a failure and told me to be quiet and quit bothering him with questions and then withdrew completely because I was seemingly not worth yelling at anymore.
So I got quiet like I was told. I didn't completely lose my voice, but it was a struggle to post anything about anything. It's surprising I tolerated this behavior. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Or so I thought. Early on, my sister said I think you are having such a hard time with this because of Dad. I kind of blew it off, because I forgave my father for his bad behavior years ago. I'm 57 years old and way past all that. OK, not really.
As it turns out, I had experienced something very much like this before -- as a child growing up. My father did all those things -- yelled at me, called me a failure, told me to quit bothering him and then withdrew. You know the expression? It's never too late to have a happy childhood? I've spent a lifetime building myself back up, and I couldn't believe ... I couldn't believe this was happening to me again.
This person was only in my life a few months, but damage was done. I kept telling myself I could quickly snap out of it, but time and grief have its own agenda. I simmered and stewed and reached out to trusted friends, who gave me great support and exceptional advice. My favorite was from Lynne.
You are a rock, but right now they're coming at you with dynamite.
All of the sudden, I thought, I'm fine. I'm fine. Maybe when you're a rock, everything looks like dynamite. So let's just blow this shit up and move on.
It would be easier to just start writing again and not offer up any sort of explanation, but I thought it was important to share this story. We're in mid-life, loving who we've become, and we think the demons of our past are gone and buried. What I didn't know is that sometimes they lie just below the surface scratching for air. Even if you're a rock, some people have dynamite.