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Monday, September 6, 2010

It's a book writing day

Brought over from 8-30-10

Good morning … this is us. We’re up YAY!!! We stayed home this morning to work on our project, but I should have taken our medicine because we ended up falling asleep. That was pretty silly. It is now 8:30 am. I don’t want another day like yesterday when I couldn’t get focused on what I needed to be doing. There were other things yesterday that made it a good day.

The first was that Maury had called in the morning and then we ended up going out to lunch. We went to the Mexican place on 55th. It was good company. We talked about things in general, but we still seem to be going over in the background if I was a good parent. Maury seems to think that there was no discipline or structure with me. I have a hard time with this, because he continues the conversation that thank goodness for the stepmother who added discipline.

My argument is that they had self discipline. They spent a lot of time though on their own because of my work schedule. I trusted them and they seemed trustworthy in taking care of themselves and then there were times where they would come down to Chicago on the train to where we worked. I would meet them at the train station 2 blocks from work, but eventually they handled on their own getting to our place.

I was extremely proud of them and I was happy that at least once or twice a week they would get together and clean the house. I thought that was a lot of internal discipline. I can’t remember disciplining them though as to giving them punishments.

I’ve mentioned several times before that I’d gotten upset with Maury and Thom when Maury was four years old. I caught myself shaking Maury angrily and from that point I went downstairs and found a psychologist to talk to and I’ve not stopped seeing psychological help since. There was a lot of anger due to my past, but I didn’t want to put that on the kids. Seeing someone has given me opportunities to be taking care of me and so that I could take care of the boys to the best of my abilities. I’m not saying I was perfect. I’m pretty sure I challenged everyone in our household, but I had always done my best and thought that the boys were doing well.

I’ve heard of them talking since of depression and anger and such. I’m going to have to be patient to hear these things as time goes on to find what parts of myself were affecting them negatively. I feel encouraged that Maury could talk about things and I know that I have to not be so defensive I can’t hear him out. I know though that it’s aggravating to be told I was the bad mom and the stepmother was the good mom. It’s just an entire bad precedent. I thought that my boys were intelligent and I tried to work with that. I always appreciated that if they were upset about something or that if something were going wrong, we would talk openly about it. Most often they would present themselves together in going over things that were important to them.

So anyway … that’s sort of my take on what had happened yesterday. A lot of this comes up as Maury explores his new relationship with his significant other. I understand that within a month or so they will be moving in together so there’s all that, but we’ll let him write his own book if he ever wants to explain that publicly. I would say that I hope things work out for the best. I could see this move coming and I’m happy for him because he seems to appreciate the relationship a lot. It makes him feel good, so we’re all for that.

The other part now of our visiting yesterday was that Rich and us got together with Bob and Marcia. It was very very nice. We had a fish fry. Rich had brought home fish from Canada and Bob fixed it and then Rich made the potatoes and beans. It was an excellent meal, and then afterward we listened to the guys talking fish stories, but after a while of being overwhelmed with that we stated something about not being frustrated of being cut out of the conversation. They were talking about stories of their past fishing experiences and it was just a two-way conversation.

So then Bob suggested that we play cards and I was much happier with that, because it would involve being in the present with all four of us.

It was a very good time. We played Rummy 500 AND, I won! Woohoo! Bob was trying to say that because I won it had been luck of the cards, but that if he won it would be because he was strategically smarter at the game. Yeah … like that was going over well. I thought I’d worked as hard as anyone else to be playing the good game. I am not able to see into what the others might be holding in their hands, but we did focus and work hard to be playing a good game. It was very close at the end. I had a small lead, but everyone was in the 400’s (game ended at 500 naturally). I won the last hand and I had some significant high card counts, so that it didn’t have to be counted … we just knew I’d won as agreed the others.

I really had a good time and there was a nice play between us. A lot of the conversation stems from Bob and his working out strategies out loud. Rich was showing us the quiet poker face part of him and Marcia worked hard to focus, but she was having troubles seeing the cards. To everyone’s honor … everyone had taken the lead somewhere during the game. It really was a nice friendly though competitive game. Again, it was a lot of fun. I would still like to be playing 500 or spades. Bob knows the game, but the other two do not. I like the aspect of playing with partners. Bob knows the games. We were suggesting that we teach people because they are good games, but Bob seems to want just to play the games everyone already knows. I think he and Marcia play some games that we don’t know, but I’d be willing to learn. I do like playing cards. It’s something of our past we aren’t too much in touch with.

There was a period of time in getting to know John my mother’s husband that we’d partner with him and my mother and our ex would be partners and we’d play 500 and it was very good in gaining some comfort ability with John and my mother that we hadn’t otherwise had. I had looked forward to the games. It was like last night there was a very comfortable conversation – light going on between us and it was fun. I enjoy bantering with Bob.

So, that’s almost it for the day. We did bring up that we were publishing, but after mentioning it once and referring back to it a second time, no one picked it up as conversational. There wasn’t any comment or question or compliment or anything. That kind of hurt, but we decided to let it go. It was frustrating at the time that something so major in our life would be so little importance to the group that there weren’t even any follow-up questions. But, I decided that since no one was interested I would just drop it. Fortunately, the card game distracted me and we didn’t stay frustrated for long. I’m not sure what to do with those thoughts now, but I guess that’s just the way it is. This isn’t a group about me.

It’s mostly the relationship with Bob and Rich and Marcia and I are just along for the ride. I can be ok with that.

After we got back Rich and I were tired, but yet a little wound up. So, we both decided to read a bit. I’m about 2/3rds the way through with the book on the multiple that I’d downloaded from kindle. I’m glad to be reading it, but it’s nothing like we are writing. She is writing from the point of view as if comprehending things going on from pre-natal on. It’s an interesting take on things. I think that’s something very unique to multiplicity is that other than the severe and consistent abuse, the story and the way each multiple’s manifestation of the disorder is very different.

After a bit, we fell asleep and then at some point Rich was saying that we needed to go to bed. We’d already taken our medicine so was ready for it. We crawled in and asked him to cover us and then that’s all we remember.

It’s now about 9:15 am and I know that soon I’m going to have to stop writing so that I can be editing. I think I’d mentioned falling asleep just a while ago while Rich was still here. He said that he read the contract for us. He had a few things to say, but the main part was just that he read it and understood what was happening. I was really happy that he had. I had read something in the editing about Rich saying if we ever wrote a book he would be our manager, so while he was making omelets yesterday we reminded him of this. We also reminded him we were going to need help handling the money and that we wanted it all saved on buying a house if we ever sold to that degree. There are the doubts in that we might not ever sell more than 50 books, but then there is the hope of doing much better.

Rich said that he would have to see the money come in first, but that’s when we mentioned him being the manager and reading the contract. Pswhoo! This is all new and exciting!

I would like to say a little on where we are with the thoughts on having read the first 2/3rds of the book. I am a little dismayed on how much isn’t written about the multiplicity especially after the first part. When the stories get longer because of extra characters there is a lot more on work than I’d expected - so much that as a reader I almost forget that we have multiple personalities. I think that’s actually a good affect, but I think the reader will be disappointed. But, we’re not sure what’s going to happen from one section to another. I think it is a common thread in our treatment that while we recognize that younger parts had been seeing Dr. Marvin – so that blocked our memory on what was happening in the sessions, that the older parts are trying to figure things out.

I think it was natural too to have so much writing on work because we’d been going through and planning and working toward the CARF survey. Afterward we were dealing with being gun-shy with Sr. Theresa. We were worried about her anger. I will be curious now today to see how things are going to turn out. We have been eliminating a good about of conversation as to things going on with DSPs and individual stories of things happening with the clients. We do leave in the parts of what is going on in Thinking Group and what is happening as to our planning around the work we are getting accomplished. I know at some point the interest in work wanes as we get fewer and fewer of what we wanted to be doing done.

If there was no chance of doing some of the things that would make things more interesting or that would require more from the staff then it wasn’t accomplished.

It was sort of like beating your head against the wall. At the time of this story, we’d already been having dreams of becoming more involved and given the title of Program Director. I think it had really started in that when we had gotten the invitation from the CARF surveyor to become part of CARF as to surveying programs, I had thought that they were really looking for someone with the qualifications of program director. Somewhere we’d figured out though that we couldn’t have any of our own thoughts on something we would like to do or plan toward without a lot of intervention from Sr. It was at the point that we couldn’t – even though we were the staff trainer – hand the DSPs anything through the internal mail boxes without going through Sr. Theresa.

The fact that any DSP could feel I was asking them to do anything extra and that their one or more complaints would go to Sr. and then I would be scolded for upsetting the staff … it just disqualified any progressive thoughts I could be having. It had gotten to the point that Sr. would even sit in on our staff training meetings and interject freely. There was no thought that I could ever truly take on a management position or one of authority. Taking that into account, eventually as the story unfolds I talk very little of having hopes and dreams and I end up talking more on quilting and such. There was a point of taking the Master’s classes that I’d help out hope, but somewhere in there I also thought I would never be able to use the information I was learning at the center, nor would finishing the degree ever mean I’d be anything more than a QSP.

I think too there was a ceiling as to my position earnings. For the last several years my paycheck has actually gone down because there were no pay raises and the cost of insurance was more. I don’t know what to do with this. My point at this point I guess is just to play the cards and see what happens next. I do the work I have to, but don’t feel really invested into it.

Then too there was always the writing. I would like to think that this helped us because we could write out our frustration and see something coming out of it, rather than the constant day to day frustration of not getting anywhere in our position in any manner of moving forward. I would have never guessed I could spend 11 years of my life and felt so little appreciation or advancement. But, again there is the writing. I like the parts very much where we’ve captured part of our experience and now even if the books were not to make it big, we could be in touch with so many aspects of our life. It itself does not wither away. I feel very interested in still writing and that my fingers touch the keyboard and somehow magically my thoughts appear on the page and I feel like I’ve been somewhere.

I should say that Rich commented yesterday after we’d brought up the part of us being managed that we would have to pay down our debt before we could consider buying a house. That seems fine I guess though not nearly as fun. I think between the hospitals and school loans there is about $80-100,000 in debt … so now we’re going to have to figure that the first 40,000 books pay that off. Man-o-man does that seem like a lot of books. Chances are that people like me don’t sell more than 50-100 books, but wouldn’t that be something. For the time being I can still dream of having become a success and gaining the things that I have not had like much of an income or being able to live in a house. I’d like to hold on to that dream a bit longer. At least we’re taking another forward step toward that. I will never know how much interest in my books could be generated until we try.

I am thinking now that it would be interesting to switch the books up so that they aren’t reading through evenly one year to the next. Like maybe switch in the 5th book next to the first and then have people go back to the second book and then the 6th and have the books come out every 7-9 months so that they don’t lose interest.

I think it would be a fun thing to do to get some advanced knowledge of where things go so that when you read an older book you could see what had happened to get us there.

I am very interested though in getting all the books printed. As long as we have enough income coming in to publish then I will feel good about doing so. I believe there are readers that like series enough to buy the whole set and that they would be sold eventually as sets.

I don’t know how long its going to take though before sister thinks that it is too much on the agency and that we should be let go or sued. I did tell her this morning that we were making arrangements to publish and that we should talk about what’s happening. It’s Rich’s thought that we don’t tell her, but I think it would be too much a shock later down the line to find that you are such an integrated part of the story without some advanced knowledge. I don’t want to become successful through trickery. I am doing what the publisher suggests in taking away that this story happened in the town/city it does and in changing characters names. I think there could be said something too in that some parts are true, but some parts are fictional. When writing happens through just the thoughts of one part, she never knows the full story of how things are or what brings her characters to life and story. So in that sense it is all really fictional. It’s just an interpretation. So, anyway … we’re not going to worry much about that for the instant.

We do have to get through the editing which means starting up now in a few moments. I think Rich said that the mailman comes in toward the afternoon, so we will check later and arrange to get to the bank. I’m not sure, but if the money is available right away – might not be because it’s an out of state check, but if it is available we will use our credit card to make the payment. We suggested depositing the check with Rich so we could use one of his faster credit cards, but for whatever reason he didn’t think that was a good idea. So, we’re going to have to progress as we do.

Natalie is saying there’s really a August 30 deadline to be getting things published in time for Christmas because it takes 3-4 months to get things completed. We’re hoping things go smooth. Ok, girls … that’s enough then … let’s get working, hmm?I

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