WRITING THROUGH PAINFUL MEMORIES WITHOUT BECOMING TOO DISTRESSED
Antonina Mareglia wrote: "A blog post about how to write through painful memories without becoming too distressed would be very useful for me. People who meet me say I should write about my life, my childhood, but I struggle...I get too upset and then always worry I'm not remembering anything honestly or clearly. Your insight would be appreciated."
Dear Antonina, here is how I have dealt with this need to be absolutely correct, absolutely exact, and so on (still dealing with it, in fact): FUCK IT. The truth is, you won't ever remember everything with a 100-percent accuracy. Memory is fluid. It changes as we change, and it distorts original events to the point of disputes at family gatherings when people who were present during some particularly memorable incident argue till they're blue in face about who remembers it right. The answer is: nobody.
I came to this conclusion first during my therapy sessions, then during writing fiction. Since then we're at peace—me and my memory (on most days). I learned to trust my feelings instead of my brain. Does my body flinch when someone raises an arm at me? That means I was beaten. And I was, I remember the feeling of it: the shame, the stinging pain, the anger...but the actual incidents? I remember very few, and even those are hazy. It gets worse with memories that are more violent than a simple beating, so I devised a few tactics to write down what I felt without reinventing the events I couldn't remember correctly (or as correctly as you'd see them if they were filmed):
- WRITING METAPHORICALLY
- WRITING PRIVATELY
- WRITING A LITTLE EVERY DAY
- WRITING LETTERS
- WRITING WITH SUPPORT
Read full post here...