Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Lifewriting seems to be all about me.

I'm finding that no matter how much I'm trying to describe my mother in law, so much of me creeps in. My anger and frustration at her, for a start. But also our shared history. We loved the same people, and shared the same losses. This was my first description of her.

I had to take the quote out while it's marked by my tutor!

I just don't know what to do with it. I'm so emotional right now it's hard to write without it becoming a rant or maudlin. She's refusing all help, sitting in her dirty clothes and saying 'I don't want help' but then complaining that no-one is there for her. I don't very often feel completely helpless, like I can't think of something that will help. But she's sometimes confused and sometimes not, and isn't quite at the point when she needs to be taken down the vet and put down, or at the very least rehomed. And no, I've never been in favour of euthanasia...until now.


  1. That is frighteningly passionate and vivid - I wouldn't dare write like that - can you step back a bit? Not be so involved emotionally? OK, that's so easy to say, or ask. I may hate... curse life even that someone should intrude on my thoughts constantly and misinterpret me... but I feel (know)I should have compassion because that's the way age or chemistry has made them - to protect my sanity I may simply (except it's not simple) decide not to be involved any more. That's not illegal - not unnatural - it's natural to protect yourself... and will not harm others - in fact those that know you will be glad you've found a solution, coming to terms with events. ///As to writing, tell me the divide between a novel and a diary! A thought prompted perhaps by that blog I've started (see my ad on CoP). Novel or therapy or even, dare I say, asking someone, somewhere to understand and offer a solution... but it will not be something which you don't know already. But understanding, that's available, from a distance, and sincerely.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Tony, I'm wrestling with it as you can tell! I do want to keep the raw, cruelty of old age because it has completely ravaged her, but it's difficult to get enough distance while I'm in the middle of trying to arrange care etc. (she's sacked everyone she needs to stay in her own home. She's also lied to all of them, so it's my fault now!)

    Incidentally, I have been completely charmed by your diary/blog, I suppose the difference between diary and novel is how much you make up! To some extent (this is where I'm a bit uncomfortable) lifewriting is about emphasising, dramatising, building a 'story' out of true events or recollections. You are putting the diary entries alongside what was going on historically, what you choose to report and the connections you make are very personal, someone else blogging the diary in the same way might dramatise the entries or choose different context. I like yours, especially the link to historical 'truth' even if that, too, was an interpretation of events. My course is asking me to 'reconstruct' (make up) more than I'm comfortable with, so I stayed with the present.