So much thanks to Chuck and Brady of The Life After podcast for the opportunity to do this interview. We talked about sex from every angle, laughed a lot, and discussed elements of my memoir, The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid, that I don’t often have the chance to delve into. Click the link below to listen.
Amethyst Joy is one of my favorite Instagram follows. She has a way of revealing how wound sources show up in parenting. Her words are deep and soft and true; a reminder that we can do better. And she does it without twisting the knife.
Even though my kids are grown, her poetry resonates. I think she writes poetry, anyway. Sounds like poetry to me.
This is my current favorite:
Cami Ostman is my hero, plain and simple. I signed up for Cami’s writing program, The Narrative Project, when I realized I was never going to finish my memoir without some help. A lot of help. She was my writing coach (English teacher, professional nudger, unofficial therapist, friend) for a year and a half and I am still realizing how much I learned from her and the process TNP offers.
We got together the other day on a Zoom call with some of her current clients to chat about my book, publishing process, and what’s next. My audio gave out toward the end but we got most of the call.
Here it is: Interview
Memoirists often write for understanding, as I did. There is something about seeing your own words on the page that offers tangibility and perspective to experiences. When Dr. Thomas Fudge wrote Heretics and Politics, a book about the history of the United Pentecostal Church and a story that heavily involved my father, I was thrilled to be interviewed. Being asked questions about how I experienced life as his daughter was a first. No one had ever asked before. Why would they? I was long gone from the scene. A footnote.
I read Heretics and Politics avidly when it was released only to discover I was still little more than a footnote and felt unreasonably crushed. What was I expecting? To have my life explained to me or perhaps to have my father explained to me? How could anyone, even the estimable Dr. Fudge, do such a thing?
And then I remembered Toni Morrison’s words:
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
And so I did. Thank you, Ms. Morrison, for your words of truth and beauty, and the sharp nudge. Rest in peace.
Do you have a story to tell?
Of the six men who were murdered during the Salem Witch Trials, five were known to be excessively violent. Bear in mind, domestic abuse was legal in those days (ahem*marital rape is still legal in Ohio). Wives, children, servants and slaves, livestock, all were the property of white male landowners and could be beaten at will. Severe violence and murder were frowned upon, but the day-to-day slapping around necessary to keep everyone in line was perfectly fine. One of the accused landowners had murdered a hired hand in a fit of rage. The hired hand’s mother was in the crowd gathered to watch the landowner hang.
There were no reports of sexual abuse. It wasn’t a thing.
Who would report it? To whom? What would happen to the abuser? No one, to nobody, and nothing.
Interesting, though, isn’t it?
Highly recommended source:
Rumor has it I have been slacking with the blog posting situation. It is true. I have taken a giant step away from social media lately in order to enjoy my school break and to relish the completion of my book launch. I have been hanging out with the hubby, the dog, my daughter, reading, going to yoga, and breathing. Whew.
Here are some things I have learned during my first year in Ohio:
Midwesterners are kind.
Gentle landscapes are just as beautiful as dramatic scenery.
Wildlife is completely different-giant groundhog things and muskrats, cardinals and yellow finches. No whales.
It takes time to relax into love.
The sharp pointy edges of emotional armor require conscious effort to dismantle and set aside. Taking them off is merely the first freeing, weightless step. Then comes inching away from the weapon pile. Letting them gather dust and rust. Wandering so far away you can’t remember where they are or how you ever got them on.
The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid:
“This book was not an easy read. I grew up in a UPC church as well and at times it all hits too close to home. The author is so brave in her telling of her story! This is a wonderful read for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Christian denominations that exist on the fringe. The author’s vulnerability allows us into a world that many people never see filled with rapture anxiety, purity culture, and the pressure to be good enough. Beyond the church and the damage, it caused is a story of hope, self-acceptance, and self-love. She touches on religion, family, love, lost love, and finding and accepting oneself. I’m grateful she shared her happy ending because it gives hope to all of us raised in that atmosphere. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!”
Check out: Surviving Church and Childhood Blog