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From different families and from different childhoods, three women remember and speak out about the secrecy, silence, and shame of having an alcoholic parent.
Through spontaneous writing with “loaded words” and person-to-person sharing, three women embarked on a transformative journey in which secretive and painful images and interpretations were exposed to the light, were accepted, and became less painful.
Transforming Memories is a collection of their writings and an invitation to others, whatever their past burdens, to use the technique of spontaneous writing to address their own memories. Readers are encouraged to use the power of spontaneous writing to reveal difficult memories more clearly.
Transforming Memories is not just for children of alcoholics, but for anyone who has experienced challenges or trauma in their lives. Alcohol abuse in a family is not the only experience that sets up feelings of abandonment, fear, emptiness, or constant guardedness. The healing effects of spontaneous writing are not trivial. In addition to offering emotional relief and a sense of burdens being lifted, there is growing evidence that translating stressful events into written language improves both brain and immune system functions.
Readers can simply read and share the authors’ journey, or they can explore the possibilities of using words to spark their own memories, or find a friend and share something they’ve not discussed before. No rules! All that is needed is curiosity about potential discoveries and the desire to heal.
"This book is an excellent resource and guidebook. Learn the process of pouring out your heart and finding the path to a peaceful life."
— Jane Anderson, BizCatalyst 360
"As its three authors show, healing is a journey that can be started at any time. This book is a perfect road map."
— Patricia Gale, Blogcritics
“What a great gift this book will be for readers. Transforming Memories is like a comforting walk with an understanding friend—three friends in fact. The three authors are so brave, so candid, so experienced, and so encouraging in how they work through issues from their own pasts. Their example is a beacon of encouragement for anyone who has experienced challenge or trauma and wants to hunker down to work through their own memories.”
— Gillian Deacon, author of Naked Imperfection and There’s Lead in Your Lipstick
"We each have moments from our past that jolted us from the innocence of childhood into a sometimes unforgiving realty. This is a book of such moments. Through guided writing exercises, the authors do an exceptional job of aiding their readers to write about their moments and, through such writing, find meaning and bring healing to old wounds."
— Donna Morrissey, award-winning author of five adult novels, including her recent bestseller, The Fortunate Brother
"It''s miraculous that deep in the human psyche and spirit is a force of healing - waiting, ready to push us towards surprising insights and transformation. With guidance, with intention, we can release this amazing potential. These three wise women - through their honesty, open hearts and wisdom – can be your guides. Let the alchemy begin when the first words appear at the tip of your pen."
— Rob Rutledge, MD, author of The Healing Circle, Chair and CEO of HealingandCancer.org
"What is exciting about this book is that it doesn''t just tell us what to do; it shows us with examples coupled with suggestions and prompts. This is memoir in action where the reader will experience intimate stories from the authors’ lives as they make their own discoveries. Perhaps because so much has been shared by the writers, it feels as if a safe space has been created and anyone attempting a similar journey into their past will be held and supported within the suggested structure.
Transforming Memories also points the way to a new way of working. Writing is so often a solitary occupation often enlivened by the environment of a workshop or writing group. In this book is the template for a more collaborative way of working where the therapeutic benefit of writing is immediately shared with fellow writers.
This is a wonderful book that combines the power of personal narrative with a new way to unlock our own stories."
— Paul Dodgson, UK playwright, musician and creative writing tutor
"Transforming Memories is a powerful testimony to the personal transformation that can begin when one finds the courage to take a flying leap across the chasm of isolation and silent self-judgment to a place where curiosity about the self one might become has a chance to flourish. Compassion, for ourselves and for and from others, helps us find that courage. Some embark on this journey of self-realization alone, others, like the authors, find strength in a trusted community. There is no map for this uniquely personal journey, but the authors offer some tools and resources one can use along the way. These are tools that just might enable one, in the words of the poet John O’Donohue, ''To live the life that I would love.''
— Beth A Lown, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Mount Auburn Hospital; and Medical Director, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
|Author||Liz Crocker with Polly Bennell and Holly Book|
|Published On||Mar 31, 2017|
|Table of Contents||
We explain the choice of the title and subtitle, highlight discoveries we made as we wrote and shared memories of our alcoholic parents and childhoods, reflect on who this book is for, and offer thoughts about how to approach both the examples of writing and the prompts for readers to try spontaneous writing and sharing themselves.
Chapter 1 – Good for Your Health – Writing, Gathering, and Sharing
Chapter 2 – Our Process – Sparks from a Common Bond
Chapter 3 – Childhood Snapshots – Original Writings
Chapter 4 – The List – Our Loaded Words
Chapter 5 – Your Turn
Chapter 6 – Living Our Legacies – Who We’ve Become
Chapter 7 – Reflecting . . .
Appendix A – The Benefits of Expressive Writing – Selected Research Studies
Appendix B – A Selected Bibliography