Picking up from my last post, once I’d made the decision to fully explain the concept of Water Signs and the significance of its main male character to his living, breathing human inspiration, there was no talking me out of it. While “Elyse” (my dear friend Theresa, who just like her character, regards me as her little sister) meant well and had only my best interests in mind in attempting to discourage me, I had very compelling reasons for proceeding as planned.
For one thing, as I mentioned, the guy had admitted to Googling me, and chances were pretty high he’d do so again since I did inform him during our conversation that I was writing a novel. For another, while pouring my heart and soul into a fictional tale was indeed, therapeutic, I also realized that I’d now had an opportunity to finally verbalize thoughts and feelings I’d held back in the past. Further, all those years of self-imposed, selective amnesia had contributed in large part to my bout with panic and anxiety disorder (which I’d thankfully overcome), teaching me the importance of working through feelings of hurt, anger and betrayal — rather than simply burying them.
I do find it rather odd that I’d been free of the emotional disorder for over 10 years by the time “Elyse” and I visited our intuitive friend in early 2008 — and that I’d been “cured” without having to relive even one memory of “Ken” or what had transpired between us (including my life-altering move to Florida). At that point, I was still in a state of blissful ignorance where he was concerned — accomplished by a powerful mind and will determined to do anything necessary to survive.
Yet, that significant day in early 2008, prompted by an intuitive woman’s use of the man’s proper name, a tidal wave of repressed memories overpowered me until I had no choice but to do something meaningful with the “new” revelations. But was its purpose simply to be a catalyst for me to write my first novel? Or was it also a chance to finally express the previously unexpressed thoughts and feelings I’d pent up inside all the years I’d been in “survival mode”?
I deduced that since “Ken” was still alive and kickin’ I therefore had the opportunity to clear out some misunderstandings from the past with him directly — even if none of it mattered to him at all (which was also a very real possibility, hence Theresa/Elyse’s sisterly concern for my emotional wellbeing).
When I think back to the day of that reading, I am still amazed. In all the years I’d known my friend Tre, and as close as the two of us had become (more like family, especially in the wake of her little nephew’s untimely illness and death — an event that’s mentioned in the novel) I’d never once confided in her about “Ken”, for the reasons stated above.
And when his proper first name initially came up in the reading, I honestly had no idea who it was; in fact, I assumed the woman was referring to a member of my extended family — until she clarified quite emphatically that no, it was not a family member, but a romantic interest from my past. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, although I didn’t pursue it further with her. I didn’t want to go down that path. Hadn’t I worked hard enough to “kill him off” in my mind? Why open up this Pandora’s Box now?
But it was too late.
On the ride home in the car with Tre, I finally gave in to pent-up emotion and apprised her of the entire, heart-breaking tale, memories of which immediately began to overpower me in the aftermath of my reading. She listened with empathy, rather stunned that in the course of a such a close, familial-like friendship wherein each of us had confided so many intensely personal secrets — including relationships with men — I’d never once mentioned “Kenneth”, the man indirectly responsible for the fact that I even knew her (or any of my good friends in South Florida).
That day marked the beginning of the evolution of Water Signs, a book I’d complete in just under four months.
More to come in my next post.