Memoir, Week 3
Whom did you form major relationships with in this period? Briefly describe the dynamic of the most important ones. When I was a kid at these ages, I really didn’t have strong relationships with anyone. I was pretty much a loner. I went to school, stayed out of trouble, and did my homework. Pretty much stayed to myself. I would come home and listen to my records.
Where did you live? Oxnard, California in an apartment.
What was your community in this period? Did you have one? Was it satisfying, complicated, dramatic, supportive? I didn’t have any kind of community. A few kids at school, I was friendly with, but not like best friends.
Describe one sound from this period. Was there a song you listened to over and over? Try listening to it now. What does the experience bring up?
Some of my favorite singers were Barry Manilow, Helen Ready (I am Woman), Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond. I actually wrote out all the lyrics to the songs from my records. Talk about tedious work back then. I still enjoy listening to the music from the early 1970s.
Describe one taste from this period. Nothing really comes to mind, except maybe mushy overcooked vegetables. Yuck.
Describe one smell from this period. I liked the smell of bread baking.
Describe a time you felt lonely during this period. It’s hard to find a time I didn’t feel lonely in this period of my life.
Describe a time you felt supported during this period. My parents definitely were not any support.
What was the source of stress during this time? My home life and way too many secrets.
What other memories feel significant to you from this time? I lived for school and babysitting. Anything to get away from my parents and my house. My sister was usually out of the house with her friends, so I could pretty much stay in my bedroom where no one bothered me
Task – Loneliness
Take 20 minutes and allow yourself to write about a time in your life when you were most lonely? What were the circumstances? Were you surrounded by others or isolated? Working or not working?
This will be a summary of what was going on in my life. My father sexually abused me. He worked nights and I happened to be the first one home, and it was my job to wake him up. I think you can fill in the pieces. One day when I was 12 or 13, I told him “no more”. I told my mom what he had done. He admitted it, but made me feel like I was the one to blame. After that my mother made me appear in public with him all the time. If he went to the store, I was stuck going with him. My mother did not support me and most definitely didn’t want the world to know there was trouble in our house. We had to look loving and normal in public. My life was hell after that.
Now take the time to write about a time when you felt connected to others, Who did you connect to? Over what? Can you reach out to the person now? Is there someone else who comes to mind who might fill a similar role?
I really didn’t have any kind of support during this time period. That would change in a year or two, but …. I did have a teacher, my geometry teacher, who worked with me and who I really liked. She took short stories I wrote home to her husband, who was an English teacher. He would give me suggestions on how to improve my writing.
Task – Volunteer, Just a little
Where can you volunteer, even just a little, right now? Perhaps it is the gift of time in a local soup kitchen. Perhaps it is the gift of advice to one who is building a career in your area of expertise. Perhaps it is the gift of listening. We all have something to share. What could you “give away, for fun and for free,” today?
I used to volunteer a lot when I was younger. Since I’ve had physical issues for years now. My volunteering is through my photography blog.
Task – Strength in Numbers
List five people who have been supportive of you at different times in your life?
- Ruthie Jones
- Chris Donner
- Betty & Charles Passmore
- Susie Taylor
- Stephanie Zeller