Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Violence and Writing

Over the weekend I began work on a semi-autobiographical story. I initially thought it would take the form of a narrative primarily about the character that would be based on myself. However, as I've started, it's become all about my mother's life. As I've come to realize, the person I've become has more to do with her and how she was raised, in fact probably more so, than on anecdotes of things that happened to me that are just part and parcel of growing up. The story has taken a much darker turn than I anticipated given the skeletons in my mother's past. As much as people would like to think that events which happen to one person only effect them, some things span generations. My mother's family is the type that grew up very religious, and is more concerned with saving face than ostracizing someone who should be strung up and stoned to death. It's a family that is more interested in pandering to a demented individual than making a stand. I guess it's easier to beat the snot out of a child and shove them in a corner than cut a grown individual out of the family. I am of the conclusion that this person robbed her of a better life, and in so doing, robbed myself of a stable parent.

The story was originally supposed to be light hearted, with a little bite to it, but it was supposed to be more along the lines of a Poppy Z. Brite novel, with odd names and strange occurrences. Drumming up the past is more difficult than one can imagine. What's even more odd about this is that, the root of all this, the event itself (or events - I think it occurred more than once) didn't happen to me - but it feels like they did, second hand. They didn't happen to me, so who am I to complain and feel distressed? There aren't any accounts I've been able to find about children being raised by adults who were abused and how it effects them, particularly if the parent was able to end the cycle of violence. I'm sure this is somewhat prevalent though. It seems to me that violence doesn't really end just because a parent doesn't physically hurt you, or perpetuate the same things that happened to them. It leaks out in other ways - weaves itself into your life. I expect this is typically because a parent has chosen not to deal with the gore of the past and would rather just try and move on. The unfortunate thing about this however is that they usually can't. It's almost like they've become a void, this emptiness they're trying to ignore, just sucks everyone in around them into that emptiness.