I’m going to mention something I’ve grappled with my whole life and am not the least bit proud nor thrilled about sharing — share, I must, though.
Last week the ex took us to dinner before our son set off on another of his summer jaunts around the globe. This time Mexico, New Orleans, St. Louis, and finally Denver.
This was what I supposed and expected to be a calm affair with all talk geared toward the boy and his future. It wasn’t, though.
I became the butt of jokes, the punching bag of animosity, and ridiculed for who I am and what I’ve become. They want me to be working and not unemployed. They want me to stop writing trash novels and become the next Somerset Maugham. They hate and are embarrassed by what I do and wish I was someone they could be more proud of and whom they could maybe emulate.
Seriously. No lie or exaggeration. And, sure, they smiled, laughed, and shoved me around like it was all supposed to be taken with good spirit and in a lighthearted vein.
It wasn’t, though. I had to ask them three times to stop targeting me and concentrate on the boy, who was leaving the next day and wouldn’t be around for another three months.
The conversation switched each time, but always zeroed back in on me and how ridiculous I am, what a joke I’ve become, and how stupid my genre is to be wasting my efforts writing when I could be doing anything more productive and meaningful.
The ex, and I’m not saying this because he’s an ex, was the main instigator. So, I should blame myself for what occurred and vow to never again fall into another of his traps. It is my family, though, as broken, messed up, and dysfunctional as its become through no fault of my own.
I didn’t have the affair and walk away in the middle of life’s journey, he did. I guess a lot of people would say it IS my fault if that is the case, because I didn’t do something (or enough) to keep him where he belongs — thank you mother-in-law for those kind words.
The whole point is, for as long as I can remember and even now, I have no support system in my life. Not even old friends were supportive. I never met anyone who was encouraging, helpful, or even thoughtful enough to care what happens to me.
Yes, I cared about others, asked about their moods, listened to their woes, and offered a shoulder for them when they needed one. It was never reciprocated. I can’t even tell my immediate family what I write because I know what they’ll say, and I’ve heard their opinions about trash, smut, and pointless novels for years now.
Yes, my mother used to read them — but to this day she will lie and say she only ever read mysteries, crime stories, and the stand-by classics.
So, joining this Romance Writer’s Weekly group has been a tremendous help to me. They are perfect strangers, but they care. They write what I write and aren’t ashamed or afraid to let it be known that it is their preferred genre. And, yes, some stick to regency and others stick to YA while still more stick to erotica. None of this matters to me because they are supportive.
They are filled with encouraging words, helpful advice, and a go-get-em attitude. I don’t even need to ask for help or advice. I just browse the pages and comments and am uplifted right away. They take the time to look over my posts and say things in the comments that also work to make me feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.
I need these people right now. I never needed anyone more than I do at this time. Well, there was the affair, the miscarriage, the divorce, the loss of work, and then the loss of the house all within a year. I really could have used someone helpful and uplifting at that time, but whatever. It’s water under the bridge now.
Since joining this group and meeting these wonderful people, I think my writing has improved. The muse is back and better than ever at any rate. I’m going to reach the 50,000 mark before the end of this month, too.
THANK YOU, Romance Writer’s Weekly, for helping me when I need it, making me feel like I am worthwhile, and for saying the right things at the right times.
@JuNoWriMo: 46,411 words