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Writing and Healing

Writing and Healing

I am an author of fiction. On the surface it seems like just another career, but there’s an intriguing twist to reinventing reality. In a strange way I have been writing tidbits of the truth under the guise of pretense. When I sit in front of my computer each day and invent stories I am forced to face my own demons. The more I protest that the fiction I’m writing has little to do with my life, the more I recognize some similarities.

Before my mother’s death a number of years ago, I fled from confrontations with her. Sadly, there was much that needed to be aired. Her declining years created an artificial truce between us. I used everyday routines and a tenuous peace to pretend we had closure. When she died, I began writing a couple of mother-daughter stories, still somewhat oblivious to what was encoded in the text. I soon realized what was happening and desperately sought the healing and closure I never had while she lived. Her death freed me to write mother/daughter stories. Using carefully disguised characters, I faced the tribulations dead-on that I’d carefully avoided for years.

My stories are fictional, but the love and warmth I wanted in my youth comes to me through the redemption of my fictional characters. I reinvent situations that allow me to go back in time so that I may finally find a way to heal emotionally. Whenever I attempt to put order into my life I get a false impression that I have succeeded. I might sometimes achieve some goals I set out for myself, but, in a blink of an eye, the flimsy house of cards has occasionally tumbled down. But when I write fiction the house falls only if I say so.

A fictional world gives me the opportunity to make my desires and dreams come true simply by rewriting history and reordering events. When I personally enter into my stories I interrogate the characters, discover their hopes and desires and design outcomes. This new alignment allows me to examine myself as though under a microscope and come away with a new understanding each time.

How easily I can give an ending a good spin, one with promise and insight because that’s how I want my life to proceed. Resolution comes in many forms. Though none of the stories are taken from real life events, I am often able to gain greater understanding than I might have gleaned in real life.

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