My mind is troubled today. I called my sister last night. I hadn’t spoken to her for a while and I was missing her. A couple of weeks ago I sent her a copy of the book that I have written, Potty Mouth. I was anxious to get her reaction about it and really expected her to be proud of me and to have a really good feeling about what I had been able to do.
I was really surprised and taken aback when she stated that she didn’t know how I could write about things that happened 50 years ago and that she and our others siblings had all grown up with the same parents and basically the same circumstances and that they had all gotten over it and moved on.
And so now I actually had to explain to her why I had written the book and how I had been affected by things that it happened to me in my life. She said that she didn’t think that anyone with MS would be inspired by the book and why I had used so much profanity in my writing. We spoke for a while and even though I fought against it, I started to cry. She was genuinely disturbed and felt that I had been very unfair to Mom and Dad and I tried to explain to her that because the writings were done during therapy sessions that I had just poured out my feelings and that truly by the end of the book I had forgotten and forgiven everything and I was truly thankful and loving towards both of them.
But she did not get that part. By about the middle of the conversation Jocelyn stated that what she was really concerned about is that I had not accepted the Lord and she was very concerned that I was not going to Heaven. This concerned me on two counts; firstly, because I had no idea that she was so religious and that she reads the Bible every day. (And she thought I was on the road to Hell)
Secondly, because I thought it was clear in the book that I am actually a spiritual person although I am not religious, I do believe in a higher power and that is the reason why I was able to get through all of the trauma and abuse that I did. Jocelyn said that she didn’t think it was clear because I had not used the word God very often.
By now I was in such a tizzy! As everyone with MS knows, when you get upset in any kind of way, the brain can often times freeze up. I was trying to remember exactly what I had written, trying to figure out what she actually meant and trying to explain myself in religious and philosophical terms. I wanted her to know that of course I respect anyone’s religious beliefs and still tried to compose myself enough under her scrutiny to explain with dignity what my convictions are. In Jocelyn’s mind I needed a good spanking because I apparently am not leading a good life.
When I told her that I do believe in God and in Jesus my sister seemed very relieved and told me she was glad for that. What I wanted to say at that point was that it seemed very unchristian like to be so judgmental. What I did tell her is that I try not to judge other peoples religious beliefs, I try not to hurt anybody else and that I feel that my purpose in life is to help other people in whatever way I can.
I’ve been thinking about this all day long now. Reliving the telephone conversation over and over in my mind and thinking of things that he should have said or how I should have handled it differently. I wish I would’ve been stronger. I wish you wouldn’t have started to cry. I wish I would’ve had a better handle on my emotions and spoken more smoothly and with more conviction.
I’m trying to work out in my mind how I can move forward and not have this mind blowing conversation affect my state of mind in any negative sense. I have had a stomach ache all day long and I just feel sick.
The book is a deeply personal account of experiences I have had. It is an intimate look at how I dealt with problems and how I got through the most devastating times of my life. I certainly did not write the book to hurt anyone and my hope is that people will see by the end of the book that my mother who had MS for 50 years is my hero and my father, although we have had a difficult and sometimes estranged relationship, he stayed with my mother through all of her illness and that he is also my hero for being a true man.
My book, Potty Mouth. is for sale now as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble Author House and other booksellers. I am very proud of this book and if you read it I would love to hear back from you and I would love for you to leave a review at whichever bookseller you choose. Thank you so much!