I’ve just finished implementing more than 6,000 line edits on my memoir, so forgive me for being brief. I’m spent.
Before I leave to meet up with various friends I’ve made traveling, I thought I’d add my new prologue. I’ll be off the grid for a few weeks, pursuing one of my late-acquired passions, budget solo travel.
I’m traveling light, with a few books and a few clothes. I look forward to connecting with you from Australia at some point.
Here’s the beginning. Thank you for stopping by, and if you have any ideas for a new title based on the words below, I’m all ears.
Sometimes I’m asked if I feel lucky. Usually, it’s after I’ve given a presentation about domestic violence, and in the context of “Aren’t you glad all the bad stuff happened when your kids were little?”
As though prebirth and early childhood experiences are any less impactful.
The truth is, I do feel lucky, but not because my kids were little when their father tried to kill me. I feel lucky because I survived, and so did they. I feel lucky because when he stole them years later and took them to Greece, I was still a young adult, with all the energy and optimism I needed to risk bringing them home. I feel lucky because I knew from my living through my own kidnapping how important it was to right this wrong, and was adept at developing a support network that would make doing so possible. I feel lucky that I recognized how much support the girls needed when they returned, and I often did my best to get it for them. And I feel lucky that my daughters have forgiven me for the decisions, large and small, that I’ve made that were not in their best interest.
But there are times when I don’t feel so lucky. When I take one of my daughters to the hospital for a trauma-related illness. When I am the only parent to hear their joys and sorrows. When I must reassure them, now in their late twenties, that I’m all right and I’m still here for them after they become panicked when I’ve taken too long to return a text or call. When I’m on a date and I’m asked anything about my marriage or how involved my kids’ dad is in their lives.
I never wanted to be one of those crime victims whose identity revolves around victimization. Then last year, I filled out a grant application and listed my passions. Budget travel in foreign countries. Writing. Volunteering with literacy projects. All directly connected to surviving my victimization.
I have my daughters. I have my passions. And, all things considered, I guess that makes me better off than lucky.