This month, I am publishing a book of essays, each one reflective of a different man from my sexual past.
I haven’t really mentioned it to my family.
Of course, the book comes out in conversation with my parents, especially when I am anxious, every day, about proving that I actually work during the day.
I tell my mom, “I am editing by memoir because I am self-publishing it next month.”
Mom does not ask what the book is about. Instead she says Kol HaCavod, which is Hebrew for “All the power to you” and she tells me to make sure I send my whole family, both my brothers and their partners an email when the book comes out.
“We can all buy it!”
She is smiling.
In the past five years, ever since my grandfather died, my parents have become almost five times as religious as they were when we were growing up. If you can quantify a level of Jewish, I’d give them a 300. We grew up at about an 80. (This scale is hypothetical. Please do not bring it up in conversation with your Jewish friends.)
My parents are so obsessed with religion lately, they like strangers. The feeling is in constant conversation with my raging social anxiety.
Am I making them proud? Are they ashamed of me? Do they want me here? Am I good enough? I want to scream, I want to puke, I want to run. I do NOT want to send them a link to my sex memoir.
I do not have kids. I do not really understand the feeling of “having a kid”.
My mom doesn’t seem to care who I am as long as she can hug me.
What do mothers know?
When I was a kid, my mother was sick, manic, gone.
High level, my “sex memoir” is about her.
Eddie, I Hate You is a book about abandonment.
The first person to ever abandon me was my mother. Chasing after here: My father.
Sure, they came back. But, their return did not make up for the years I spent obsessing over their departure.
Cover-to-cover I hope that ∫Eddie, I Hate You tells the story of someone who grew-to-learn that they deserve either to be alone or abused.
The sex book isn’t really about sex, of course.
The sex book is about what a wreck I learned to be and how I learn to appreciate my wreckage so that I can move on. Or at least I learn that my goal is to move on, even if I am unsure how to accomplish that movement.
My family didn’t teach me that I should have standards. The book is about my family.
Surface level, sex. High level, family. Typical. That’s why it’s good.
I do not have to be ashamed of this book. I should send out thousands of e-mails. I should e-mail my family every day. This is my medallion. This is my first finish line. This is something I have done,
Yes, mom and dad, and also hi to my boyfriend’s parents who now have me on Facebook so maybe they have even clicked on this link (hi!), yes I have a history of humiliating instances wherein I let someone use me so that they could be sexually gratified for the evening. Oh and bonus points to me because, at the time, I value the tiny bit of attention these men give me. I fall asleep sparkling, every time. I wake up with a great story.
On and on to find another and another and of course they all left me.
These were the great loves of my life who never loved me.
Why shouldn’t my family know?
Would I read a book about my mother’s sexual history? Actually, yes.
And my brothers? Yeah, absolutely.
And it would all make me cry and appreciate that person more.
I am writing this to prove to both of us that when we write, we write for both of us.
Eddie, I Hate You is not self-gratifying. It is a collection of disasters that I learned from and let go of, bound in a book because when we publish our pain we offer someone else healing.
This month, I’m offering it all.
And, this week: posts about the oddity of writing a memoir about your worst moments, editing it, publishing it, and yes, giving it to your parents for Channukah.
Please share, for the women you know who deserve to feel like they are good enough. Send them a note. Let them know that they are enough.