Today in tx, I talked to my therapist about my book. Er, the book I haven't finished. The book that is more than halfway completed, gathering dust in my "Brie's Writing" folder on my laptop. The book I haven't touched in years. That one.
My T was rather intrigued that I was actually talking about it, as in the past she remarked that I was really evasive when talking about my book. And I am. Because when people ask me what the book is about (which they INEVITABLY will, and usually sooner rather than later) how do I say that it's a book that is fiction, but the main character is very much similar to me, and how do I tell them that it's about pain and embarrassment and frustration and humiliation? How do I tell them that the main character of the book isn't much of a heroine at all, but maybe a villain, but that that person is ME? No one wants to hate the main character in a book. And yes, all good characters are flawed, but what if they're fatally flawed? What if you put the book down and think, I hate that girl? I don't understand her. Why did she do what she did? Because in hating the main character, you hate me.
I stopped writing my book because it got too painful. I still remember those nights that I'd stay up in the middle of the night, tapping away at my laptop, while my man and my man-child slept next to me. And I remember the tears coursing down my cheeks as I felt so many emotions and painful memories come back to me. And then I thought to myself, How can I publish this book if the act of even writing it is so incredibly painful? How will I be able to tolerate the entire world reading it when I can hardly tolerate reading it myself, because of all the emotion it brings up for me? Writing that book was like stripping myself naked and offering myself to the world. It was laying out every pain and humiliation and desire and flaw and vulnerability and then saying, Okay World, have at me. Judge me. Make fun of me. Hate me. Pick me apart.
It was just too much. It got to the point where writing it hurt too much.
I'm wondering if not writing it is what really hurts.
This may sound corny and cliche; maybe something only that writers fancy themselves saying, but I feel like that story is doing everything it can to claw it's way out of me. I may not be writing it, but I am thinking about it all the time. I can't get away from it. And so that's why, when some say that I should write a different book, maybe one that isn't so emotionally raw and painful for me, I can't. I just can't. Because this story needs to be told. It's waiting for me.
So what do I do? How do I get past the pain it brings up? How do I reconcile myself to the idea that perhaps the entire world could read something so transparently vulnerable and raw and painful for me? Do I continue to push it away, or do I let my story free?
They say you write what you know, so when all you know is yourself, and your pain, what do you do?