Thursday, June 16, 2011


YVIMH flashback

For those who have read the book, here's a little photo from the Istanbul section. Appropriately enough, I was locked out of a suite called 'War and Lovers'. If you're going to Istanbul, you must stay at the Hotel Poem. It's cheap, cheerful and, as I note in the chapter, has the names of Turkish love poems instead of room numbers.
Now, I've been meaning to tell you something I wish my Dad had said in time to make it into the book. But he only said it last month, when my parents were in L.A. We were reading at a certain hotel swimming pool when Annie Lennox walked out and took the lounger next to us. My Dad immediately texted my Mum, who was too engrossed in her book to notice (and never cares about such things anyway): "ANNIE LENNOX ON LOUNGER NEXT TO YOU". When we got home I asked why he'd felt compelled to alert her. He answered, his eyes still a little wide with concern: "So she didn't make fun of Scottish warblers".

Hi Emma, Just wanted to let you know my psychologist and I spent half my session today talking about your book, she loved it. She thinks words will help me cope, and so I showed her a poem that I wrote. She told me I should share it with others, so since you have inspired me to write and use my own words, I am sharing it with you.

My own life has not always been mine
When you invaded me
You took a memento of me
And left a memory of you

...I don’t want it as a keepsake,
So I keep trying to bury it
In the dark side of my soul
But like a sinister buried treasure
My mind keeps finding it and digging it up

I want to be authentic,
But everyone knows when you are hiding something.
And you did that, not me
You took more from me than anyone
You cost me more than pain

Well now I am being authentic
I can stop using all those things that help
Me keep myself away from myself
Stop trying to kill pain with hurt
Intoxicated greed only making a dreadful distraction
From the agony already alive and travelling along my nerves
The more I tried to stop it, the numb-er I got
And more oblivious I wanted to be.

Thankyou, R.
Your parents sound wonderful.

I'm still in awe at myself at how much I loved your book. I've been recommending it to everyone, including a beautiful, sad, broken friend who hovers on the verge of too-much sadness frequently...
Thank you Ruth. That so good to hear (the passing on, not the sadness)
Dear Emma, Thanks for working so hard - as I know writing is hard work - to share your story with the public. It's so difficult to explain cutting. It provides more than relief from pain or dissociation or a craving for death; it's also a way of marking, permanently, the self or the pain of the self-- on the body. You described this beautifully when you wrote that it forces people to look, to see, to not ignore your pain. I think when I used to cut, I felt like I was making external/visible something internal, wordless, horrifying - and this is why i did it. I had to. It was like a speech act. and then i didn't have to anymore. I found my current therapist about ten years ago and I feel really, really lucky to have developed a healing relationship that has helped me develop self awareness. Writing (with language as opposed to broken glasses or razors) makes this (self awareness, change) possible, too. practicing yoga & meditating has also made it possible for me to be present with my pain, to see it as an opening to something else, something more spacious, beyond the self-- and that wider perspective is the source of joy for me. I loved your book, Emma. It helped me remember how lucky I am. Thanks so much for writing it.
Anon, what a beautiful comment. Bless you for writing it. And bless you for working so hard to try and find your way back to yourself. yes, we both got very lucky indeed.
Hey Emma, hope you don't mind me just butting in like this. But wanted to add to Anon, thankyou also. For describing how words, that is language as opposed to razors, helps recovery. I wish I could join a writing group with all of you. Thanks Emma.

how jeurgen teller! or however you spell it... also, working the pants!
I'm near the end of the book, can't stop crying. You have so beautifully and precisely embodied lost love. Thank you for sharing your personal story. I found it at the most trying time in my life, when I needed to hear it, and I'm so very grateful.
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