Fiction as self-help: She’s Come Undone – Part I

This morning, as I stood in front of my bookshelf, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb jumped out at me.

“But I haven’t read it in twenty years,” I said to myself, as my hand reached out to grab it.

“Ah, yes,” said the voice inside my head (Oh! There is a person in there?) “but you need to read it again.”

“But I don’t wanna,” I said out loud.

Why? Well… lemme tell ya.

Once upon a time, there was the Oprah Book Club. Oh wait… you mean it’s still going on? Let me go check. Be right back.

Wow, it’s HERE!

Anyway… She’s Come Undone was the fourth choice, back in 1997, when the whole shebang began.

Why did I originally buy it? Well, let’s see… the protagonist reminded me of myself. She is described as “wise-mouthed but wounded” girl who enters womanhood at 257 pounds. The book is called “a coming-of-age odyssey”.

See, I’ve always been one of those annoying people in search of answers. What can I say? It spoke to me.

After reading it… I spoke to it, too. I said: I hate you.

Why? All I remember is that it was really good but pissed me off. I can’t even remember why.

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been leaning towards healing work about anger. The books I’ve chosen, the videos I’ve watched, the discussions I’ve had… have all had a plea to help me find the root of this anger.

The truth? I’m pissed. Why? That’s a longer story… and to be honest, one I do not yet fully understood. But I think I have some idea.

Yesterday, I watched a video on YouTube from my friend Tom. I know I’ve mentioned him a lot lately… it’s because sometimes a person is put in your life for a reason. It’s called synchronicity and I love it! In this particular case, his work was sent to me at a time I wasn’t even aware I needed it.

I first wrote about what’s going on on April 16th though at that time, I wasn’t aware that I was angry. I was hurt, frustrated, confused. Okay, irked. Maybe. But not angry. (Yeah, right.)

I next wrote about The Untethered Soul. It has nothing to do with anger. Except. To quote myself in that post:

  • He leads you to passages like this: “When you close your heart or your mind, you hide in the darkness within you.”

The darkness within. Been there. Am there.

I AM SO ANGRY!

I have an idea about (at least) a part of it… possibly even, the LARGEST part of it. And what I need to do is something Tom discusses in his video. I need to forgive. And I’m wondering who? Which I know makes no sense to you… let me try to explain.

I have allowed a looming presence into my life for years… and not just from one person… though sometimes I wonder if they all represent one person?

Over and over again, I have allowed women of power into my life. At first, all is well… wonderful, even. Then, my kindness, weakness or vulnerability annoys them. They expected more from me. I disappointed them. I am a bad friend. They run over me emotionally, publicly (or behind the scenes) humiliate me, then eventually, leave me by the side of Friendship Road and tell me to forget them. I never do.

It’s like I purposely pick women who I  know will hurt me! What the hell? I’ve tried to work through this a million times, with and without therapy. 

About forgiveness: I have asked for forgiveness in myriad ways. I have given it, too, even unasked. It’s not for them. It’s for me.

Then, as often happens in life, a reminder pops up… maybe it’s a similar situation or person… maybe it’s “just like” … maybe it’s with the actual person

… and it takes me *right back* … and the hurt and anger is there again, renewed and just as powerful as it’s ever been.

There is one person above all … one who has hurt me over and over again. Poisoned relationships. Let me down.

That person is me.

Is it me I need to forgive?

God, I thought I’d done that work years ago.

So, here I am… tipping the scale in every possible way. Scared, depressed, anxious, angry and profoundly confused about my place in the world. Could I sound more psycho-babbly?

Yep, I’ve come undone.

So, I’m going to read this book and come back to talk about it in a Part II. I may not write about it in my next post. It may take a while. But I’m getting off this computer and starting to read now! Wish me luck!

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