I have been working on a new writing project lately. This one is personal…and not easy for many reasons.
I had felt driven to write my memoirs of growing up in Leggett, a tiny, itsy, bitsy town between Garberville and Willits that hardly anyone knows about. Just think rednecks and Deliverance. It is part of the Emerald Triangle and where my mother decided we would live as hillbillies after being transplanted from San Francisco. She had the same fantasy all foolish city folk have when they move up into the hills; a big garden, baking bread and reading all day, living with nature. Problem is that there are no jobs in these desolate towns and when she couldn’t get work as an attorney (people around there usually just called on some cousins to settle a dispute the old fashioned way) and she hated nursing…she turned to growing pot.
Everyone did. It was the 70’s and logging was over, the mills were closed and there was no way to make money. This was back in the day before all the craziness, the greed, the chemicals and defacing of the forest, the poisoning of wildlife and pit bulls to guard the fields. That is today’s farming in the area, along with shotgun fire throughout the valley right before harvest because of the pot plant thieves. Back then people did it naturally with fish emulsion or bone meal, we grew outside, we didn’t worry about the deer or chop down trees. People were just trying to make enough money to care for their families. There was no Mexican Cartel or madness that is typical of pot farming today…it was very different. There was CAMP back then though and around harvest time the helicopters and police vehicles would swarm town. People didn’t rip each other off, but if they didn’t like someone they would narc on them (that is what it was called when someone alerted the sheriff that you were a big grower). It was more hippy dippy pot farming.
It really wasn’t much of an adventure, more hard work than anything and then the paranoia and fear of the federals each year. So, the memoir was not so much about my life farming marijuana. It was more about life with my mother and her mental illness and my eventual addiction to the “non-habit forming” pot. Cheerful right?
Life up in the forest was isolated, lonely, sad, and hard. My mother was brilliant and mentally off in a big way and it wasn’t the fun eccentric way. It was the angry, ranting, and raving way. She and I were not very accepted in the town, being that we were from the city, different, and she was a single mother. It didn’t help our case when she decided to “borrow” someone else’s husband. I attended a tiny school that had a total of 64 students in all of the elementary and old textbooks from 1960…or earlier. I was bullied for the full 10 years in that school where everyone was an inbred cousin to someone (not really, but I am still irritated).
As you can surmise, it was not a good time. It was an interested life in some ways and there were some good times. It was a very different life that some have not had. I wanted to share it in hopes of inspiring someone. I am a survivor of some pretty hardcore mental and emotional abuse and I have overcome it. I suppose my objective was to show the reader that you can go on to live a great and wholesome life no matter what the first part of it may be.
However, I found that I was reopening old wounds and started to go through all these gyrations around who I was, what I was, was I any good, was I a good person, blah, blah, blah…I had opened Pandora’s box and brought back the misery. I thought that going back would help me to go in and heal the last of it, pull the last old roots of the poisonous trees left behind, but it just put me back in a state of emotional pain and confusion. My poor brain thought we were back in hell.
I have scraped the whole project and deleted the book and ALL the journals from my past as a cleansing ritual. I am now filling up on my latest book, Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda and I’m going back on my Mind Fast that I was trying a few weeks ago.
What I have realized through this fiasco is that it’s not always a good idea to “go back”. It’s done and it’s best to do rituals that cleanse the past, such as burning old journals, getting rid of old photos that are painful, anything that reminds you. When issues come up that you feel are tied to the past, deal with it at the time, but there is no need to go back and rehash the shit. Therapist love to do this and that is why people stay in therapy for decades with minimal healing and moving on to thrive.
And isn’t that what we want to do? Move on from our shitty past and thrive in our present and future? I love Tony Robbins for this. He gets to root, pulls it out and then teaches how to reprogram ourselves. I love Yogananda for having answers to deep, cosmic, spiritual questions and he is a firm believer in meditation. Meditation, I still haven’t gotten around to this, even though I know it would help in a huge way to let the poor, tired mind rest from all it’s exhausting and ineffectual workings.
So, the book won’t be happening…and I don’t know that it would have helped anyone. There are lots of stories of wounded people out there. I wanted to be the success story. And I am, but I have a long way to go still. I would have to say, through this experience, that my advice would be to move on and don’t look back. Fill up on all the feel good stuff and keep decorating your life until it is loaded with bright colors and sparkly things. And make playing and loving yourself the biggest priorities. Seek out a spiritual practice such as meditation and if you have addictions get sober. No healing will take place if you are still using crutches. Getting clean and wholesome is empowering and freeing in itself. There are plenty of ways to get high that are natural.