Points of departure
Following my previous post, I have also cause to reflect, again, that a memoir cannot cover every aspect of a life. Not only would our attempt to cover “everything” make of a memoir an encyclopaedia, but naturally, the scrutiny of a memoir covers certain periods, and stops at certain natural points. Beyond these points of departure, our lives can change, and flourish beyond recognition.
In my memoir, for example, I reflect on every young girl’s dreams of being included, being loved, part of a carefree community of those who enjoy life. I talk about certain on-going traumas that affect people with my abilities – the assumptions, for example, that we will do what we are asked, that we should never be a nuisance, that we should be inconspicuous and no trouble, and, above all, never embarrass anyone. (Can others embarrass us? Well, yes, that is fairly routine.)
“Trapped” also explores some myths of mainstreaming that we all face at some points in our lives. If only you will be good, if only you will work hard and make us proud of you, the myth whispers, you too, can have all that we have: friends, family, a wonderful job, meaningful occupation, a fantastic, fulfillingly amazing emotional life… And, as anyone will tell you, it ain’t necessarily so. We all fall down, at times. We fail exams, we break up relationships, we may even become homeless or destitute. But the common thread in all these low points is that – in more ways than we are usually aware – we are the same. We all have stories to tell, and lessons to learn. And in that, we are, and can always be, bigger than the sum of our parts.
Thanks for listening.