'I am not sure that the people who came up with the concept of "Tough Love" meant it to create the annihilation of family relations...it was supposed to be a temporary measure to put some space between the hurting and the hurtful...(as in hurting people, hurt people)...so distance yourself until they can be more healthy...it wasn't supposed to be a death sentence, of anyone...or of any family...there was still supposed to be Love..."
It hit me today...driving somewhere...who knows...the point is...it hit me why this novel is such a thorn of contention between me and my family...it isn't that I haven't forgiven them...the brutal truth is, they haven't forgiven me...for what? How about anything, ever...all of my failures, misgivings, my odd, spicy little personality...whatever...everything I have ever said or done grinds on their nerves like salt in a wound...and enough is enough.
In psychological circles, if you have dealt with something it should be able to be talked about in a healthy way...which may be why writing the book, and writing this blog doesn't bother me in the least...I know who I am...I know what I lived...and I still seek out counseling when I need it.
It was a revelation today when this truth hit me...I had forgiven them...they just hadn't forgiven me...for anything and everything...both real and perceived.
I have railed against their gossip, back-biting and bitterness for so long, that I have quite frankly gotten dirty with it myself...tragic...and a complete waste of time...and I have been in bondage that nearly 30 years. They wanted to gossip. They wanted to find fault. They wanted to self me down the river for a bit of glory, themselves. And I stood there...trying to right every wrong...undo every misunderstanding...bend and twist to every whim. And it led to nothing...and nothingness.
I can reach back and share because I do forgive them and me. I can reach out to them because I have forgiven them...unforgiveness is there...it just wasn't mine. And they would be able to reach back, or reach out until the grapple with their own pain and unforgiveness.
The reason I could make no headway, wasn't because I wasn't trying...yeah...and even though I may never make headway...I can live life with the love, care and exuberance that I had so many years ago...it didn't die...the rose may have been trampled, bruised even...but it had not died.
So, conclusion? Tough Love is not a weapon to beat people over the head with...is not a way of life, but rather a temporary measure to help break bad habits that put others in danger, only...as I see it.
The single greatest influence in her life was the remarkable time spent with her paternal grandmother; it was under this influence that she thrived. Her grandmother introduced her to not only fine Literature, but also the Arts and the Opera. And it was beloved grandmother who told her that if she wanted to be a great writer she must first learn to be an avid reader.
Early adult life would be peppered with indecision, failings, and the haunting of things not learned in childhood. But as is the case with most sincere artist, out of the angst of life came a great capacity for creativity.
Shelby considers her writing a gift...a joy, a tremendous responsibility, and something that helps to define her life.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.