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I was raised by eighty year-old relatives, my great-great uncle and several great aunts, all full of life's wisdom gained from years of living challenging lives. I learned storytelling from the best: my Uncle Robert told stories every night while sitting on the porch swing during breezy summer nights, as my Aunt Mollie, Aunt Bessie and Aunt Fannie chimed in. The days were full of hard work keeping up the farm, and the nights were like magic, as the lone call of the Whippoorwill provided staccato breaks during the brief silences.
Even when I was a small child no more than five or six, I loved those story nights, full of life lessons and the combined history of our family. I loved to listen, and to learn, and had ambitions to become many things in life, eager to claim my own future. My unconventional life lacked the stability that I needed to reach my goals at that time. My elders had limited life left in them, as age took them all away, one by one. Like a drowning person, I desperately grabbed onto the nearest branch of salvation offered to me, and married a Vietnam Veteran seven years my senior, when I was only sixteen years old. At first glance, I thought I had found a prince charming, but as the years passed rapidly by, I discovered the true nature of the violent man I had married.
“In the process of my evolution, I became a victim of domestic war, an emotional casualty for a major portion of my life, entwined, entrapped and emotionally involved, until I learned how to become free. Freedom has never been easily gained and has often come at high cost throughout history, but one thing I will always know is freedom is worth every fight, and all pain.”
Torn From the Inside Out
A good memoir will take the reader on an insightful journey that informs, raises awareness, and heightens social consciousness.
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