Once in the past …
Actually most days.
Ok. Every day.
To be entirely honest, it is every day since I acquired working retainable memory.
Every day, I awake only to find myself broken by day end. Then broken again. And again. Again. Again. Again.
Again. Infinitely, maddening, nightmarishly beautiful, yet again.
This has happened for years. This will continue for years.
This has happened over so many years, it is beyond all and my comprehension and my only consistent reality. My point of no return has been breached, repeatedly, yet I am still here: loving, creating, becoming, and typing it all up, keeping notes, filing it all away entirely haphazardly, for some reason which compels me to continue this e/motion.
All these emotions have led me to conclude it is time to throw the very last caution I have to the wind and do what I fear the most. Write my book.
Expose myself. By myself. Never again will anyone speak for me, but me. Whether it be good or bad, whether I solicited the exposure or had no choice in the matter, there will be no more of other people’s version of me.
With this book there will be no more defining of Charity by anyone other than Charity.
I have done a lot of thinking of late, of late being the last 40 or so years, about how many times I have told the story of my family. How many times have I recounted, in head, heart, and keynote address have I told our story over and over again?
How many times, have I tried to express, in words, in actions, in living life, in finding joy and in fucking holding on to it whatever it takes, no matter what, the story of what living this life has taught me, shown me, let me experience, tortured me with, and ultimately, given me peace in?
How many times have I succeeded? Have I failed?
1,000? 10,000? 100,000? More? I can no longer count. I am tired of counting it all up. So…
Get out of my face, world, because I am done.
I am done telling other people my story. I am done with seeing my words edited to sell more papers, to generate more likes, to change someone’s image of their own brand. I am done with letting other people speak for me, dictate to me, or try to manage me out their own warped sense of love.
I am reclaiming Charity. My Charity. I will tell my own story. Myself. In these pages.
I don’t know why, but something changed in me when I experienced the 11-year anniversary of the loss of Ella, Paris, all I knew, all I thought, was reality.
This year’s anniversary brought me to the point of return.
This year’s anniversary bestowed on me peace; which seems to have given me an entirely new lease and perspective on life. Which seems to have given me a strength I thought I had; which turned out to be only a peek at because held on to the last vestiges of anger, fear, and giving a fuck what anyone else, you, think.
I discovered, after years of searching for, the reason for this life of mine: to bring as much light into this world of mine as is humanly possible, in whatever way I am humanly able.
The only way to do so is to let go. Let go of all the fear. All the rage. Even all the love. The presumption it is my right to know, to have an explanation for, anything that happens in this life of mine. The assumption I must have permission to be Charity, to be me, my way.
The only thing that matters, to me, is to make sure everything (well most everything; I am human after all) I do will bring more light into the world; that I bring someone a moment they believe they will continue to endure to create and live the story of their own telling.
I reclaim my right to tell my story, my way, from now on.
This is no longer just the story of Charity, Paris, and Ella. This is no longer the story of how a brother murdered his sister. Or a story about what a possible diagnosis may be or how it may have come about. A story of who caused what. Who should be punished? Who really is sane, who is not?
That story is done. That story is played out. That story is one of the most treasured, tortured, and vital of my life. That story is not over, but it is on the nightstand. For now.
The story I live now, the story I choose to chronicle now, is this story: woman endures battle to create, to write, to live, to affirm, to fulfill, the legacy of stories before. Legacies of a love, many loves, whom endure the span of time, crime, and the sublime.
From now on, I am the only one telling MY story, which obviously overlaps many stories.
Maybe, quite possibly, yours too. Deal with it. Start your own non-profit foundation. Endure and thrive in your own fucking hell. Keep and fulfill your own promises.
But don’t try to fix what is broken. Just be broken. Just be you.
Horribly, wonderfully, beautifully broken you.
Welcome to MY world.
I hope you enjoy the book.