Fits of Wit

Chapter One: Guilt

I’m feeling conflicted. A few days ago I began writing the first chapter of a book. Something that I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a child. I should be ecstatic that I finally kicked my insecurities in the cunt, right? Well, I feel guilty.

Today is the two-year anniversary of my mother’s death. She passed away at age 49 from alcoholism. Everyone knew that she was an alcoholic but she’d force my brother and I to keep it secret. My family would ask how she was doing and I’d have to lie and say she was well. She tried keeping her addiction under wraps. Her life was a vast abyss of shrouded secrets.

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So what am I to do when I want to write a memoir about growing up in a fucked-up household? I want to show others that through any and all obstacles, they can find humor in the little things to carry on. I want other young women to know that having less-than-perfect parents and living through verbal and physical abuse will always be a part of who they are, but that they will be stronger and wiser in the end.

I feel guilty because I’ll be writing about all the things my mother never wanted me to talk about. Call me crazy, but I feel like a terrible daughter. 20-plus years of covering up lies becomes habit. But I want to do this. I want my readers to be sad, surprised, amused, mad, and laugh out loud. I want to show that everyone has good in them no matter how many demons they harbor. It will be a mix of stories sprinkled with heartwarming moments, tragic realities, and wit.

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Should I feel guilty that I’m revealing so much about someone who wanted to share so little?

Maybe I’m overthinking things. Maybe I’ll end up scrapping the entire idea and write about chocolate covered dicks. Time will tell.

 

PS – Related post being featured this Thursday, October 23rd on an AMAZING website. Stay tuned.

43 Comments

  1. Mike G.

    I truly look forward to your irreverent and spasmodically hilarious posts. You’re the ginger daughter (or wayyyy too young sister) I never had. I have two daughters bit neither is a ginger nor would I smile if they used “cunt” in a sentence. Twat, maybe. But probably never, cunt.

    I can’t advise you on this. Only person capable is living in Maryland and dreaming of glazed schlongs. Whatever you decide to do I will be happy to read it. Even if it is only dicks dipped in chocolate.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Oh, Mike G.,
      You don’t want your daughters to use the word cunt? It’s empowering!
      The book would still be filled with sarcasm and inappropriate themes… just a few more serious stories mixed in.

      Reply
      1. Mike G.

        Hard to explain. I’ve actually overheard women who get nearly violent when discussing their hates of the c-you-next-Tuesday word. I am more of the camp that espouses using words and taking away their mystifyingly derogatory powers.

        But I am a hypocrite I guess. Hard to hear a daughter use it. I’m glad I’m not Sarah Silverman’s dad. I would be seriously conflicted. But I probably would be laughing my bony white ass off.

        Reply
  2. Satin Sheet Diva

    Write the book, then decide. You can change names, fudge on some of the more telling details…I get around all of that by making the situations fictional. Folks who really know me know what’s going on as they read, but most? Not so much. And that includes family members.

    Reply
  3. FitsofWit

    I figure if I just dive right in then I can decide later on if I want to do anything with it.
    I’m sick of procrastinating. The moment is NOW.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    I recognize your struggle! So, I’ll just offer up that you have to do what deep down you feel is the right thing to do, and if you have to open some locked doors in order to spread hope and joy and comfort… then so be it.
    But, there will always be chocolate covered penises to fall back upon!

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      “There will always be chocolate covered penises to fall back upon.”
      Words to live by.

      Reply
  5. katmphotography

    cunt is a great word. one of my favourites. use wisely though. over use it and it becomes just another definitive article.
    i enjoyed your post. i am sorry to read, however, that you lost your mother at such a young age. it couldn’t have been easy. two years in and it probably isn’t any easier.
    writing helps. i enjoyed your piece, and hope to read more from you soon.
    stay strong, girl… ps. i’ve been to Maryland. that is where you’re from yeah?
    well… greetings from Scotland.

    love n light x

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Hi! Thanks for reading.
      I’m from the state of Maryland in the good ol U.S. of A.
      Writing does help. And awesome readers help, too. 🙂

      Reply
      1. katmphotography

        keep writing, sweetheart. you’re good at it.

        i find it cathartic, healing and cheaper than therapy! haha

        Reply
  6. Jess R.

    I’m working on a memoir as well! I go to grad school for creative writing and this question pops up quite a bit in nonfiction workshops I’m in. I’m always told to not worry about it and write it anyway. My dad just died a year ago from a heart attack, but he too had a drug addiction so I understand where you’re coming from. However my mentor right now explained that many writers wait until their loved ones have died because of this reason, so I hate to be the person who says this, but you probably wouldn’t have had the courage to write it if she were still alive. I have trouble right now writing about my mother who is still alive because I know a lot of the things I have to say will hurt her feelings, but I know that I need to risk it. In the situation when it comes to writing the book you’ve always wanted to write, you have to think of yourself but keep in mind of what you’re writing and the consequences that could follow and if you’re willing to go there. Even though it could risk relationships, you never know how it will turn out for you and your family. If it will help you grow as a person, I say fuck the rest and do it. It’s the only way it will be successful. I’m still learning the idea of not holding back anything, regardless of who reads it. I hope this helps!

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Great advice.
      It’s not about hurting feelings for me. I’m very comfortable with who I am and the things I say. I just feel guilty even though she’s gone. So many people thought poorly of her so I feel like I have to preserve her secrets to keep the little dignity she had.
      I’ll figure it out.
      Thanks!

      Reply
  7. bensbitterblog

    Good luck with your book. It definitely sounds like an entertaining read. Let’s hope you complete it before Christmas, because my wife was asking what I wanted for Christmas.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      My goal is to finish it in a year. Next Christmas 🙂

      Reply
  8. The Hungry Dog's Lair (Martin Conterez)

    To be blunt, they’re dead now – they won’t care. I don’t want that to seem insensitive about your loss, losing a parent is a difficult thing, but at the same time the dead have no right to make us feel guilty. Especially when doing something would probably be quite cathartic and make us feel better. Which feeling better is something we would hope others, even the dead, would want.

    I say write it, write the hell out of it. You’ve earned that right.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      I like this.
      Thanks.

      Reply
      1. The Hungry Dog's Lair (Martin Conterez)

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        Reply
  9. Ash

    In my recovery I decided to write a book as well. I love to write and I have so many stories to tell. I never intend on it getting published, but a girl can dream, so I changed some names and I’ve been changing some locations as well. (In my drug induced blur I somehow avoided criminal charges and would like to keep it that way. I’m not sure what the stature of limitations is on stealing for sale signs and putting them in other peoples yards..) Anywhoo the point I’m trying to make is- it’s not her story. It’s yours. And I’m positive she would be proud that even though she didn’t make the best decisions in life, her daughter is an amazing, brazen, witty, talented, beautiful girl who has the balls to share some of her past that is not so perfect. Own it just like you own everything else you do. You rock!

    Reply
    1. Ash

      Statute*

      Reply
    2. FitsofWit

      I may or may not be teary eyed after reading this comment. Thank you a thousand times.
      Keep on moving those For Sale signs around… just don’t put one in my yard 😉

      Reply
  10. tofittoquit

    As someone who has an alcoholic mother, I never hold back. The things my mom put me through were not only her things, but mine also. So many people are hurt by addiction everyday and feel very alone, your story could open someone’s shell and let them heal.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thank you.
      I’m definitely going to write it.
      Good luck with your mother.

      Reply
  11. NotAPunkRocker

    You are revealing your side of the story, the truth you grew up with and how it effected you. I think as long as you are staying true to yourself and the situation, then it is OK. The fact that you cared and wanted her to get help will come through with your words, it won’t be disrespectful in that way.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thank you. I am floored by all of the support.

      Reply
  12. susielindau

    Go for it! She has passed and it is up to you to decide what to share. If it would upset your brother, then I would reconsider.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      I don’t think it will upset anyone except for me as I see all the memories transition into words.
      Thank you!

      Reply
      1. susielindau

        I think reliving it will be the hardest part. Maybe it will be good therapy!

        Reply
        1. FitsofWit

          I think so.

          Reply
  13. Mike G.

    It is quite heartening to see the support your post has garnered. It is super that so many people who, like me and only know you through your wickedly searing vignettes, are there for you.

    But before I get any more maudlin, I would like to share with you a rant I read a year or two ago from a young lady in Maryland. Her creative use of the English language and CAPITALIZATION as well as her sweet turn of the phrase was called to mind by our earlier discussion.

    Happy reading.

    http://gawker.com/5994974/the-most-deranged-sorority-girl-email-you-will-ever-read

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      I remember hearing about this on the radio (I presume about two years ago) and as soon as I got to work I had to go online and read the email.

      While this chick is quite the wordsmith, she needs a life. Hilarious but to talk to someone like that is crossing the line. If she channeled that anger into more progressive things, she’d go places…. maybe.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  14. hopemccain

    For what it’s worth, I had a similar problem when writing my memoir. My guilt was over the fact that I was writing things about myself I knew would hurt my dad, and I hesitated to include them for that reason. But in the end, my dad had a good cry and he knew that in order to tell my REAL story, I had to say some things that were not all butterflies and rainbows. He was proud of me for doing it, he wasn’t hurt like I thought he’d be, and I’m glad I went through with it.

    Long story short, don’t be afraid to write what you really feel. Don’t feel guilty for writing what you really feel. You’re human. We’re all human. And hopefully, if your mother were able to read your stories, she would understand.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thanks so much <3

      Reply
  15. R. G. Tamaki

    Guilt is good. It means you’re telling the truth… and that you care. I would love to read your book.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thank you.

      Reply
  16. Mark Petruska

    Maybe sharing this will help somebody else suffering from alcoholism – or enable them to deal with a loved one going through it. I say share. It’s your memoir and your life’s story to do with as you please.

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thanks for the advice.

      Reply
  17. Courtney

    I think it’s good you feel mixed emotions about writing your memoir. I think it would be worrisome if you felt no sense of doubt or hesitancy when writing about things that are so intimate and have been private for so long. It makes you human! At the same time, THAT is what makes such an excellent memoir. You are not alone, there have been thousands before you and there will be thousands after you who have dealt with similar situations, and your perspective might literally be a lifesaving tool for someone. Or thousands of someones 🙂 True, your mother did not want her dirty little secrets to be shared publicly…but I’m betting YOU also didn’t want an alcoholic mother who was abusive. You get to do what you want, and clearly you find healing in writing, so you get to do that. And not only is it okay, it’s GREAT.

    I can tell you that I am really excited at the thought of reading your memoir! No memoir is ever filled with “my family was great, my parents were perfect, I graduated with honors and then became a doctor.” Nope, it’s full of the difficult, heartfelt, ridiculous stories. If sharing it is important to you, and clearly it is, try to let go of the guilt. As my counselor always told me, “you get to be selfish. You get to do whatever is good for you, and nobody else’s opinion matters because they don’t have to live your life– you do.”

    Also, not sure if you’d be interested, but funny timing because my aunt’s most recent book was just published this month, it’s about writing your own memoir! It was even just featured on Oprah’s website, so we are stoked! Here it is if you wanna check it out! http://www.amazon.com/Your-Life-Book-Publish-Memoir/dp/1570619301

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      I’ll check out your aunt’s book. That IS exciting.

      Reply
  18. ~Lisa~

    True life sells and is always interesting, especially if people can relate on any level. I can’t wait to buy and read it……~

    Reply
  19. Alanna

    You should totally write it (only if it feels right, though). I think it’s really important and amazing when funny people write serious books because it shows that through all the bad stuff, you can always keep your sense of humor. If you write it, I’d definitely buy it. Also, I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Wishing you all good things and support <3

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thanks, doll.
      I’ll definitely still write it. The guilt will probably always be there but I’ll just have to push through.

      Reply
  20. The Laughing Duck

    I’ve always shared the same feeling regarding my family , but I just read your story featured on the sisterwives and it was amazing (:

    Reply
    1. FitsofWit

      Thanks for reading.
      Amazing? *blushes*

      Reply

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