Friday, December 10, 2010

what's healthy?

I can't help myself when I get a new idea. Actually... this is an old one that keeps coming up over and over again. I was brutally made fun of in junior high. To the point, actually, where I thought of suicide multiple times. I don't know if I ever would have done it and to what extent it really was but I remember thinking of it. I also remember starving myself for a while. I completely understand how incidents like Columbine happened. I thought about that kind of thing too. Not killing everybody--just the people who picked on me. And I don't think I ever would have done it of course! but I would picture it in my head.

SO... over and over again I have thought about how I could do a teen book about this. A novel? A graphic novel? My latest idea today because I was organizing and trying to go through papers and found some poetry I'd done was to do a poetry type thing with art.

Here's my question: my memory of this is fading by the year. It was a long time ago now! And believe me, it took a LONG time to get over this. A LONG, LONG time. Now that I'm healed, is it healthy to try to remember details to write a book about it? I mean, the healing process obviously was to forget about stuff. So should I TRY to bring it back? The crazy thing is that for a year after some of it happened I actually DID FORGET. Isn't that weird? I really forgot whole parts of things that happened directly after I got out of jr. high. I'm sure there is some medical reason for this if I did some research.

Please know that I'm not totally screwed up or damaged because I'm not! I'm healed from all of it but it was a painful experience. but I want kids to know that if they're picked on they're not alone and it's NOT their fault! I think that some people make them feel like it is because they don't stand up for themselves and that sort of thing and that's not it at all. I mean, schools need to take responsibility for what goes on. My mom is a social worker and I got into a debate w/her about this yesterday. she thinks I don't stand up for myself. Yeah, I don't always. but what came first, the chicken or the egg? I wasn't always like this! She thinks kids need to stand up for themselves and bullies won't pick on them. Not so simple. The bullies shouldn't be in school and walking the hallways period.

Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent here. My original question is: Is it too much to dredge up the past? Yes or no?



tiffany ann laufer said...

Meghan, this is a powerful question thanks for sharing your question with us all. I think yes you should tap the past and the experiences you had and felt back then. Life is a balance in all ways and as long as you keep your balance, in which ever way you can monitor that, then go for it. All I can think about it all the kids out there who need that book or poem or film that might help them in some way to either stand up for themselves or to talk to an adult about their situation is a story that we have to tell and if it tests our strength then that what we will withstand to get the story out there and try and reach someone.

Good luck, we're there with you!

alvinaling said...

I agree--I would try to write about it. Since you say you keep having the thought about writing this over and over again, I think something in you really WANTS to write about. If you start and it's too painful to remember, then you can always stop. Part of the healing process was about the forgetting, but shouldn't it mostly be about not letting something have power over you anymore? Perhaps writing about it will confirm that.

Libby Koponen said...

I agree....and feel VERY strongly that kids would love a novel about this from you in your voice (the Meghan voice we hear in person: honest, funny, smart, straightforward).

Sheila said...

I think you should write the book. When writing fiction, an author can create characters with strong emotions such as he or she has experienced yet keep a bit of distance. Otherwise, no "real" characters would be in all those books we love -- or there'd be a lot of one-book, messed up authors.

alvinaling said...

Meghan, I just read this post that's very apropos: Digging Hurts: The Trauma of Writing Fiction Truthfully