An update on the book

The past few weeks I have been sticking to my schedule and working on the book a couple of hours each day. Things have finally taken shape in my mind and I feel I have come up with what I want things to look like. It might be a weird format but it’s what feels right to me so I will continue with it. I have been blogging three times a week which was what I had planned. It feels good that I can visualize what I want for my book before it was confusing and overwhelming. I am also proud that I am sticking to my blogging and writing schedule! Thank you all for being patient with visits to blogs and with support!!!

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A recent picture of me and my dear mom, my mentor and my rock!

This is just a little free write and not connected to the book. Set on the Western compound where we lived for 7 years. Riyadh, 2000

Their annual visits lasted only 3 weeks and were shared with my sister in Al-Khobar. Weekends and traveling days were counted and parceled out making a schedule on the calendar. Boxes were stacked near the storage room wall after arriving to his office on the Western compound. Nothing was to be opened and not even a peek was allowed until they arrived.  Mom would sit in the extra room sorting items of clothing, toys and little necessities that he had not provided for members of our household. Brightly colored gift bags reflected each child’s personality and stood waiting along the closet mirror. It was a time of comfort and support but also one that meant a glaring view of our reality.

A pool of blood formed on the floor where tissues had seeped through. I grabbed more napkins adding them to the crumpled mess that had been placed around my thumb. Bits of onion lay across the plastic cutting board left to dry, leaving their usual sting. At first a strange sensation flashed over me and I felt faint, grasping the plastic table to steady myself.  I mopped the floor and picked up any remnants of this little accident not wanting the children to be panicked. The messy gob of sticky napkins was replaced and quickly an assessment of the situation was made.  I was grateful that dinner was already prepared and onions to top a meal were optional!

The rest of the day mom and dad coddled me, replacing bandages and insisting that I sit and rest. School trips and clean up were all attended to and created a stark contrast to my overwhelming daily routine. Mom served the meal, dad did the evening dishes and the children assisted them. The evening progressed in its usual fashion; he watched the news, took a nap and then left for the night to sit with friends.

The next morning he grabbed his brief case and asked the usual questions, would I be leaving the compound with my parents and did I need anything from him. I stood gripping my thumb hoping that he would somehow show a sign of interest in my well- being. I told myself that he had not noticed and would have offered his help and inquiries if he had. I boldly stuck my hand out showing him a hole where part of my thumb was missing, explaining what had happened the day before. Disgust and irritation welled up and his words were sharp and deliberate “Why would you be so careless!” He walked away but first reminded me to rest and be ready for the usual time that night.

 

119 thoughts on “An update on the book

  1. Lyn, I didn’t realize your sister lived in Al-Khobar. Is she also in the States now?

    Good for you, blogging and working on the book. I’m glad it’s taking a definite shape, becoming an entity! This poignant memory with its emphasis on onions makes me think the process must be like peeling an onion for you–memories emerging as layers reveal what’s underneath. It can’t be the easiest thing to do!

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        • No! My mom was a busy lady at that time. She was a VP in charge of 2,000 people and she and dad came for a couple weeks during winter break. He was a teacher for 40 years. I was following a different religion and yes they were highly irritated with him but he did nice things for them and typical abuser he was good to them!!! He also was fairly nice to me in front of them. In the end she did know and had an idea I might come and stay! He would call me from the camp and scream then hang up numerous times and I finally told my dad one time. He was mad at them and yet smiled but then called me ranting and insisting I correct their behavior. So I broke down and told my dad please please do not say anything! He was furious! But he told me recenlty he was afraid to do anything and then leave me and 9 kids there!! He knew it would be taken out on me!

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          • I can see how it could happen. In fact, someone I know quite well was in the exact same situation and she agonized about it but felt that until her daughter decided to leave, there was virtually nothing she could do except go visit and help out with the children as much as possible. It’s a tangled web we weave sometimes, isn’t it Lynn? 😦

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  2. Great job, Lynn, in keeping to your schedule for writing and blogging. As you write, you are exposing the wounds to the light and they are healing. It is so good that your parents were able to visit and support you. Such a blessing to now live near your mom and dad! The book will be finished and published. xoxox

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  3. Lynn
    So happy for you. I cringed when I read about the missing thumb and hope it is healed now just like your heart.
    As they write above, it is healing to get everything on paper and then put it out in the world. Then let the story speak for itself- perhaps it will become a movie.
    Your writing plan seems doable and you are happy. That is the most important thing.
    Susie

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  4. Good to see, that you are able to keep your wished schedule, dear sister 🙂
    As usual, I feel like kicking the monster very hard.
    So great for you to live close to your parents again.
    Day by day you become stronger and more free and released.

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  5. Thank you for the update on the book – I’m so glad your schedule is working out for you!

    As for the story, well, it just makes me angry to read about everything he put you through.

    (Also, I really like that picture of you and your mom – you look so happy and content.)

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  6. Cheering you on for your book! Keep at it! It takes awhile to write a book, especially a emotional one like yours, but I think you will touch so many lives with your heart spoken words.
    (((HUGS))) to you and once again as I read your story about your thumb, I am so very glad you are out of that situation! Also so wonderful to have your Mom be your ROCK! Moms are GREAT! What a blessing!

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  7. Can’t wait to read your book. Your story is one that should be told and I am so pleased you have the strength to do so. You mum really is a superstar. And I admire your bravery, you escaped him before he could stamp you out as though you no longer existed. Awful person that he is.

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  8. I didn’t start writing my memoir until thirty years after the events it covers. I thought I had dealt with everything by then (mine includes surrendering a child to adoption). Yet when I reached the years when domestic violence became really, really, serious, I found I just didn’t want to revisit any of it. Good on you for facing up to your years of abuse, and writing your way out of the muddle. It’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to understand just how demoralised you become, and how you blame yourself.
    The odd thing is, that now I have written my book and it has been published, I find I don’t think about those years very much at all now. So perhaps there was residual angst to be discharged in the telling of the tale.
    I’ve read all your posts now and it is an incredible story.
    Good luck – and that is a wonderful photo by the way. So glad your family have been able to stay supportive despite the years of being pushed away by him.

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      • It’s available on Amazon and Book Depository. The price goes up and down 🙂 . . . There is one paragraph I suspect you will relate to, “Nothing of my former life remained: no family, no friends, no education, no books, no letters. I was being swallowed up, consumed. Everything I tried seemed inadequate, and I concluded I was not worthy as wife or mother, and I deserved Colin’s wrath . . . ”
        If this is how you are, or were, feeling, please take comfort in knowing that I managed to push through that, and now people who meet me for the first time could never imagine my being that woman. Hope this helps.

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  9. Love is how you made it through this, love for your parents, love for your children and love yourself. 💕 Take care of yourself!
    I’m proud of what appears to be a very nice, happy person who must be relieved to not have to worry anymore.
    Congratulations on slowing down in blogging but still moving ahead in your writing the book and story. 🌟❤🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So good to hear about your progress writing your book. You sound more confident of your ability to organize the stories you are telling about your life experience. You have come a long way, Lynn. Congratulations. ❤

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  11. Lovely picture, the joy the two of you have in each other shines out brightly. What a treasure family is; without mine I know my life would be a much poorer place. I like to grab of my good and productive days and make the most out of them, and then I record them here on WordPress, so I am able to take them out and gaze upon them when my anxiety comes for its regular visit, and by looking at them, I am reminded that the good days will come again. All that to say, I so enjoy your posts, pictures, and poems. ❤️Belinda

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  12. Part of being a mother is often to have to bite your tongue and bide your time. The hardest part, actually. I am delighted that you feel you have the form the book should take in your head. Whatever it is, if it is right for you it will work beautifully and you know that people will be delighted with what you produce. I believe in you xxx

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  13. Good to know you are keeping to your schedule Lynz and you and your Mom look amazing in this photo.. 🙂
    Reading the script you have given above, I can never say it enough, so pleased you are now where you are, and that book in what ever format you choose needs to be read by others who are held prisoner within their circumstances..

    Sending Love my friend…<3

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  14. Sounds like you’re doing great with your book – the schedule seems ideal. When writing my book I worked 2-3 hours every morning five days a week. It’s amazing how much gets written in those precious hours. I read your free-writing piece with anger and disgust…there is never an excuse or reason for such behaviour. You have come a long long way!

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  15. Take all that suffering and turn it into something wonderful that will reach out to everyone. Your writing is amazing. You have inspired me to really focus on my memoir which is utterly different but I had a challenging childhood.

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  16. Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together, I couldn’t be happier for you. you rook the time you needed to put it all in order that made sense to you…life is good my friend and your doing great. I enjoyed the story, loved that your parents came and loved and cared for you, I can only imagine how hard it was for them to leave you and the kids there. An really he is an ass isn’t he!! love you sister….XX

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  17. I cringe as I read this. I know the feeling not as you but living with an abuser. You go about your duties and dare not to let anyone know for fear of retribution. your parents knew but to say anything would cause you more grief. My heart is singing that your are “safe”. You write you book and as you do you move away from him. I am sorry I am clogging up your likes etc but your story I can not let it go xx

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