My first book, Spiral: A memoir of healing and unearthing the gifts within complex trauma was published in February of this year. I spent 8 months writing Spiral last year, so when it came time to publish and launch her to the world I went into rest. The incredible amount of energy it took to write the book was epic.
I am just now coming out of the newly published book fog.
And I’m ready to move into a more active phase of supporting her impact on the world.
In order the prepare for a more active launch of Spiral I am releasing 6 articles – or short pieces if you like that will make up one story – these are little snippets and scenes that didn’t go into Spiral and will set the tone for the next book I am beginning to create.
These short articles are based on real life events BUT are blended with fictional elements.
My first book was a memoir, but my next will be a blend of genres – memoir and fiction.
I hope you enjoy the first of the 6 articles…each will complement each other so make sure you read them in order.
P.S These articles have not been rigourously edited and are “first drafts”.
#1 ~DREAMING OF JUNO
“I have always loved you.”
I had waited my entire life to hear him say those words. I remember looking into his eyes and softly placing my hand on his jaw, watching, as he tipped his head slightly and brushed his lips to my fingers. My heart was beating wildly in my chest as I closed the space between us. The room dissolved and time stopped; all that mattered was being there, in his embrace, finally. And then I experienced a feeling that surprised me…something not unlike, grief.
To understand how you got to where you are, sometimes you need to go back. Way back. Before you were you, and they were, well, them. Before your time officially began. Sometimes you need to understand how love crossed oceans, deserts and evaded the death. Sometimes you need proof that there is hope, that it happens in real life, and that one day, you will have a experienced love that your granddaughter dreams about.
But before we get to one of the greatest true love stories I’ve been told, I’d like you to know a little about me. I am a hopeless romantic – always have been. I’m a dreamer. And I’ve been dreaming of him, of this great LOVE ever since I can remember.
Being in love was the thing that excited me the most about growing up. I used to blame it on Disney, on the Bronte sisters, on Austen. But you know I think it goes deeper than that. I’m a lover, I love love so much I’ve gone to extremes in acquiring it, experiencing it.
The sheer heart wrenching, intoxicating experience of loving so much you want to die, which begs the question. Was that love? Did I really experience love, or have I been equating love for pain all this time? And if we’re being honest, could any of these men have ever lived up to the idea I had been creating in my mind since childhood.
My first love was as close as you could get to the boy next door, there was hardly a time in my early childhood without him. He had a mass of curly blonde hair and dark brown eyes that shone like amber in the sunlight. His cheeks dimpled when he grinned, and my tummy flipped and spun whenever I was around him.
The realization of your “first love” is often preceded by a poignant moment. It was nothing spectacular, an evening spent like we had many times before. His parents were over at my house for a dinner party, and we were in my parents’ bedroom watching videos; this was the 90’s so the TV had been moved into my parents’ room and we were watching the rescuers down under.
We were huddled on my parents’ bed, having pulled the top blanket over our heads, and were happily talking as the afternoon sunlight softly streamed through the gaps in our fort. I looked over at his smiling face and knew that he was very special to me, and as that thought hit me, a giddy sensation washed over my body and suddenly I was very nervous; I didn’t want him to go home, I wanted him to stay, under the covers, smiling and laughing with me forever.
But of course, he did go home, and we grew up; 6,7,8 and my heart only grew bigger around him. I was never happier than when our families came together but then, to my horror, they moved away. The gaps between our meetings lengthened, the young boy and girl fading as we hurtled toward teen hood. And when I saw him next, he was 13 and I was 12.
I recall getting out of our car, so excited to see him and for him to see how I had grown up. Swiftly quelled by a lurching sensation as I watched him walk out of his house with his arm around a girl I didn’t recognize. He had a girlfriend.
Regret and anger filled me as I shrunk inside myself. Why hadn’t I told him how I felt sooner. Why hadn’t I spoken up when we were younger. When we were playing in our backyard, when he would hold out his hand as we climbed trees. Or when he looked back at me smiling as we ran through the bush until our sore feet and rumbling tummies called us home.
I was invisible to him now as he threaded his fingers in between hers. My face flushed red as I looked over at them. Waves of betrayal and jealousy washed over me. I wrapped my arms around my chest and wished that the earth would open up and swallow me whole.
Thank you for reading….I look forward to bringing you the next piece in a week.
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