Monday, February 11, 2013

Memoir and Accepting The Past

The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.  ~ Oprah Winfrey

Our About the Authors series continues with Diane Yannick who recalls the pain she felt for years after finding out her husband had cheated with her best friend.

There are certain scenes from my life that haunt me in the late hours of the night and try their best to define me. These stories work incredibly hard to hold onto their "real estate" in my brain. They refuse to allow me to release them and move forward with acceptance and forgiveness. They hold on decade after decade. They make me feel fragile and a little bit broken.
One of these life stories is the way my divorce played out. I had no idea that my husband was cheating on me with my best friend. The hints dropped by him and my teaching colleagues didn’t work. I had to be directly told what was going on before I understood; this revelation came, no less, at my 28th birthday party over a lopsided birthday cake and Thunderbird wine. Only then after being confronted by friends and colleagues with the truth could I put the pieces together that had long been staring me in the face.
My humiliation and anger battled in an attempt to destroy me. How could he? I asked this over and over until I had pushed myself into a place of self-pitying despair. Only my young daughter had the power to help me move forward with the tiny bit of grace that I could muster.
So I wrote "Last To Know" for our anthology Slants of Light.  Finally, I could begin to accept my past and learn to embrace the present and future. It took me almost forty years to get to this point but get there I did.
The publication of my story allows me to take back my power. It allows me to stand tall and say, “Here’s a story. It happened just like this. But it doesn’t define who I’ve become.”
For me,  writing this has not been a solitary venture. I have had the support of a group of wonderful women writers in a circle of sharing. Together we mine our lives to discover what makes each of us unique. We laugh and cry. Most of all we hold hands and find our courage. One little story at a time. Believe me, there’s more to come.
Diane is a graduate of the University of Delaware and received her master’s degree in reading education from Salisbury State University in Salisbury, MD. A former language arts teacher and elementary reading specialist for the West Chester Area School District in West Chester, PA, Diane is retired and lives in Chester County with her husband John, their rescued Yorkiepoo, and two cats. She enjoys spending time with her three young grandchildren, working out at the ‘Y’ and writing memoir.

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