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by literati 

Posted: 25 February 2004
Word Count: 343

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I am lucky. I have met some wonderful people in my life, particularly in the first fifty years. Happy people, kind people, intelligent people, energetic people. In fact, I am the product of all those people. The bits I have taken from them that I wanted to, and melded to my core personality. My persona is an abreaction of all those souls. Sometimes I wonder, what is the original me. Is it still in there. Where are the boundaries? Perhaps some of their characteristics, have blended with mine, and changed all mine, or some of mine. Therefore, there is nothing left of me. The original me, my genetic blueprint, is smudged and unclear. My psychological blueprint that is. I cannot tell anymore, which factors are inherited from my parents, which factors are truly mine, and which are inherited from societal exchanges. Is this what is meant by a collective unconscious? I wonder which bits my sons dislike about me? Is it me, my parents, or my lifelong exchanges. I'm not sure, but then are they? It is interesting though, that some people bring out wonderful qualities from within you, and some people bring out less than desirable qualities from you. It is best to stick to relationships that elicit stirling qualites, which after all make you feel good about yourself. Where are those relationships? I think I have only ever had one like that. A friend that is, who made me feel kind, good, and decent. I enjoyed the pleasure it gave me, and felt joyful. That was a long time ago. Perhaps those kind of people are a rare thing on this planet. Come to think of it, I do not like people who do not bring desirable qualities from me. Because it makes me feel shite about myself, and it is important to like yourself. Because if you do not, then nobody else will. Sometimes, I think I am wonderfully superior. Okay, yes, I admit it. And sometimes, not very often, I think I am shite. A failure, a big failure.

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Comments by other Members

Nell at 20:00 on 25 February 2004  Report this post
Hi Angela, there are some interesting ideas in this extract, which also has a slight stream-of-consciousness feel about it, a conversation with yourself. There's a resilience of spirit which comes across strongly too, an unrepentent take me as I am or do the other thing that is different and refreshing. We seem to have come to the same conclusion about people who bring out those negative qualities - I decided some time ago that life was too short to tolerate that sort of punishment unnecessarily, and have been happier ever since.

I hadn't come across the word abreation and tried to look it up, without success. I wondered if you meant amalgamation, or whether abreation was a specialist (medical, psychological?) term of some sort. I think that this piece might benefit from some careful attention to the placing of commas, full stops etc., unless you're continuing the stream-of-consciousness style of the prologue throughout the memoir, although that might make for rather intense reading. One example is:

In fact, I am the product of all those people. The bits I have taken from them that I wanted to, and melded to my core personality. A comma after people instead of a full stop would make this a whole sentence and easier to read.

Interesting, different, and you're coming through strongly - write on!

Best, Nell.

bluesky3d at 20:13 on 25 February 2004  Report this post
Yes, I enjoyed this too. I am not convinced about ending on a down note, but I liked the sentiments and ideas in this. Great stuff.

Interestingly 'abreation' could be

Abreaction - (psychoanalysis) purging of emotional tensions
Abrogation - cancellation

but I think it was meant to be a sort of accumulation is an 'aggregation'?

Andrew :o)

ps Welcome to Writewords


or even 'accretion' - an increase by natural growth or addition? It's interesting that there are so many words that are similar sounds all with slightly different meanings

Richard Brown at 09:59 on 26 February 2004  Report this post
Angela, Like you, I'm interested in the deep questions as to what creates and sustains our sense of identity, and the nature/nurture question, so I read the piece with great interest. I felt a kind of sadness coming through. You start by referring to all the wonderful people you have met but later say that there has been only one friend who brought the best out of you, made you feel good about yourself. I was also struck by the fact that you asked what it is your sons might dislike about you and not what they value. Andrew picked up on the downbeat ending and I agree with him that this might better be re-phrased. Ok, you say that it's 'not very often' that you feel 'shite' but the lingering feeling at the end for me was of negativity. Yet the piece begins with 'I am lucky'.
Thought-provoking though and worthy of development. I see from your profile that you have a fascination with words and that comes through. One suggestion on choice of words, though. The verbal tone is quite high, if I can put it that way, and for me the injection of 'shite' jarred a little. It's not the word itself I had difficulties with, it's the context. Just a very personal opinion - and maybe you intended to make that strong contrast with the elegant language which had gone before.
I hope that you will treat us to some more, though. I'm intrigued.

Poetic at 14:52 on 26 February 2004  Report this post
I was able to identify with this, and I should imagine so would many others. The issues raised and explored are part and parcel of being human and existing from day-to-day Ė self-image, parental influence, expectations by society and the difficulty of finding good friends. Although I still struggle to come to terms with these, deep down Iíve sort of accepted that that is the way things are. The bit about liking yourself is ever so true. Lately Iíve been mercilessly self-critical and find that I like myself less and less. Thanks for voicing what many of us are thinking and feeling, and putting them across with so much wisdom.

Fearless at 15:51 on 13 May 2004  Report this post

You really should write more.


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