In the preface to ‘The Demons of Plainville’, I state that perhaps the most difficult story to tell is the story of oneself. Especially, when you’d rather forget that story, or at least give it a decent revision or two. However, we can’t change the previous chapters in our lives, we can only try and influence the upcoming chapters. This is an endeavor I’ve been trying to master for years, and perhaps like many people on this Earth, I can’t quite seem to get it right.
One of the major themes that run through my memoir is the concept of Demons. As humans, we are all plagued with Demons, especially those of us who suffered abuse or some tragedy during our childhoods. We are left battling the Demons of anger, regret, fear, guilt, shame and sorrow. I had written the memoir about five years ago and was initially pleased with how it turned out. I hired a developmental editor to ensure I was bringing my absolute best effort to the market. Despite how encouraging the editor and my friends were about the project, I allowed those inner Demons to rip into me. I was overcome with intense shame and regret.
Why did I feel shame at that time, and why do I struggle with it even now? I feel as though in many ways that I should have somehow thwarted the events that occurred. If I had only been stronger, smarter, more masculine and assertive. I can’t shake the feeling that the events that occurred were somehow my fault, that I brought things upon myself. The ugly truth is that this notion is not my own; many survivors of abuse and kids right now are suffering the embrace of this insidious Demon. This is the one thing that keeps us from seeking help, even though we know it’s needed.
Regret is the other emotion that I struggled with at the time, and I still wrestle with today. It isn’t just regret over various events that occurred, but over the people and friends I had left behind. I think it hurts especially because I still love them every bit as much now, as I did back then. And yet, I’m sometimes left wondering if I really ever understood the nature of love and whether I’m capable of experiencing it. Sadly, I know I’m not alone in that troubling thought. I can only tell you that my heart and body ache when I recall those I’ve left behind and that alone brought this project to a skittering halt several times.
Anyways, that’s the reason for the multi-year delay on this book, in a couple weeks we’ll take a look at what I hope to accomplish by publishing this and other related thoughts.