JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Answers Question

In late May, 2012, I was giving a Jonestown Survivor Book Talk at the College-Rolando Branch Library. After my presentation, I had a thoughtful conversation with a young man at my event. He was in middle school. First, he asked me, “Can I ask you a question?” I always laugh at that beginning. I, of course, said yes. He asked, “What is it like being an author?” I told him that it is wonderful. I explained why. Now that I have written my autobiography, I have allowed myself to NOT feel like I have failed by not explaining each detail about my life. I used to have an interview or discussion, or even conversation. Then, in the evening when I’d review my day, I’d re-think the whole conversation. I would often lose sleep over my incomplete explanation. Now I have written my own story, in great detail. I had that weight lifted off of me to speak to each issue. I can refer people to my book. My life has really become so much less toxic. I was doing it to myself. I allow myself to be at peace more of the time. The student told me that he could totally understand. He said that often, after a conversation, he berates himself for things he said or didn’t say. I think he was asking because he felt he might have to write a book to get past that, too.

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