Living in a Fantasy World (Part 2 of 3) (Continued from Day 4 Post)

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Writing 101: Day 13 Serially Found
(Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.)

octavia1

Sometimes living in a fantasy world is the only way for a young girl to cope with pain. In my instance I used this escape as a coping mechanism to keep my pain of loss at bay. The day my dad left was a very shocking and degrading experience. Some things went down on that day that I never imagined existed, yet alone were happening in my own home. I won’t go into details because, as my husband says, it will not help anyone, but the things I saw were frightening. This day was a point of no return for my mom; He had to go and I was in agreement.

Just because I agreed with my mom’s decision doesn’t mean I stopped loving him and since he was very close to me, I had to find a way to deal with my emotions. My trust in people was shaken because if the one person who I admired was totally different than who I thought he was, how could I trust myself to be a good judge of character. As a child I did not understand that some people are good at wearing disguises and that it does not reflect on my ability to have good judgment. All I knew was my dad lived an alternative life and my family had no idea. By this time my oldest of my sisters were adults and no longer lived at home. It was just my sister Karen, my brother James and me. Because they had their own things going on and because I was afraid to express myself I chose to retreat into a world of reading and fantasy.

When I read it gave me solace from the real world and I could imagine people and places the way I wanted them to be. My imagination began to grow and I daydreamed a lot. I never thought about it before, but I now realize being abandoned by my father caused my distrust in people. It takes me a very long time to trust people with my thoughts and feelings and as a result I come off as disinterested and cold. In truth I am not standoffish, I am analyzing people and trying to figure out if they are being genuine or fake. Reading has helped me in this aspect because it introduced me to several different types of personalities and the way different people’s minds work. Yes, I realize they are not real people, but they could be and that is the coolest thing about reading. That spy in the book could be my next door neighbor, or the boy sitting next to me at school could be a real super hero. OK maybe I took it too far, but you catch my drift.

My love for reading has endured over the years and one of my favorite ways to find new people, places and things. As an adult I realize that I am somewhat of an introvert and as I get older I see it more and more. In my early 20’s I was introduced to the writing of Octavia E. Butler and I lost my mind! I was fascinated because not only was she a black writer in the genre of fantasy/science fiction, she was in fact a female! Her mind was amazing and she remains at the top of my list of favorite writers. Her novel Kindred really spoke to me and I was thrilled to attend a lecture she did for the Charlotte, NC library system. Her words and experience touched me and when I met her at the meet and greet she was kind, but she seemed introverted as well. It made me realize it was possible to do things outside of the box. I could be something other than what was expected of me.

As wrong as it may sound, I now realize the absence of my dad allowed me to find a love for reading, writing and fantasy worlds. The universe noticed that a major love was taken from me so it provided a new type of love as a filler. I am grateful…

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