Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Setting of Emotional Turbulence in Remember Me

Anonymous Linda said...
In your book Remember Me, the character Mary Margaret goes through alot in her life, and I don't understand why she gives up in the end. It seems like she's smart, but she doesn't "get it." I just wanted to smack her and say, "wake up!"
Thanks for the great question, Linda.  During my own divorce in '95, I watched many families struggle with the family court system.  If people cannot agree, the cases go on and on, family resources are depleted, and when domestic violence is present, it is often exacerbated because the inept system is used as a weapon of abuse.  
In researching for the book, I spent a great deal of time interviewing family members in divorce and family court, and heard countless stories of suicide, hopelessness and despair.  I felt there was an important statement to be made, and that we can do better with our laws and in our courts for families in these situations. I also spent a great deal of time consulting with psychologists and therapists on the subject, and on how to develop a character that would eventually succumb to despair.  
While half way through my second novel, I was inspired to create a trilogy that would resurrect the Mary Margaret character from Remember Me, and redeem her.  I agree with you, she is smart and has many possibilities before her, but in Remember Me she also is trapped in a mindset of worthlessness that family violence reinforces for her.  It seems to me a slap would be just another slap to her, as it is to many men and women caught in the web of domestic abuse that our current societal norms and laws support by inadequate court action and looking the other way.
Your good question, Linda, leads me to one of my own.  At what point in our lives to we begin to examine and understand our emotions, what role they play in our lives, and how they enrich or limit us?


Anonymous said...

The point at which we begin to examine and understand our emotions is not a fixed point. Each emotional response is part of a life long struggle to balance the negative and positive emotions that are part of human behavior. Negative emotions can lead to severe depression and they must be analyzed and resolved. I think every small victory in the emotional battles we face each day strengthens us and enriches our lives.

Andrea M said...

The fluid nature of life leads to many opportunities for examining how our emotions affect the quality of our lives. Every joy, every hardship reignites a pattern of emotion. Is finding a balance where one is steady most of the time really possible? I would argue that we all too complex and dynamic to achieve a middle-of-the-road state of mind. But like Ronald has stated, each time we face our emotional challenges by taking a moment to examine them and then allow or disallow them to affect the course of our lives, that represents a point of maturity. Connecting those points, I would think, weaves one into a stronger and healthier emotional state.

A thought about Linda's comment, even though I haven't yet read the book, is that sometimes a person cannot get beyond themselves. Even though their situation may be surmountable, the habits, thought patterns, and ways of dealing with the world may be so ingrained that change is hardly achievable without an amazing and strong network of encouragement. I look forward to reading Mary's novel based on this blog.