Getting my memoir client, H, to talk about March, 1945 is not easy. She lived through the firebombing of Tokyo in 1945.
“Those three hours went very quickly,” she says, in our initial interviews. “We lost the whole house. It worked out fine, really. Nobody was really hurt or burned in our family.”
It is months before I decide to take her back to the terror of that time. I believe in waiting for the right time to delve in to past traumas. The right time always emerges.
Most people do not anticipate the possibility of difficult emotions resurfacing when we work on their memoir. As the memoir writer, I know it can happen. I know that the process of telling your story to an impartial witness (i.e. the memoir writer) is a healing act. The healing happens all on its own, given time.
Sometimes there is no emotion…sometimes there is alot. It is my job to guide them through.