Tag Archives: psychosis

Poisoned: The Short Story and the Memoir is FREE on Amazon through Wednesday!

Based on an episode from my mother’s mental illness, Poisoned tells twin tales: my own personal recollection of my mother’s paranoid accusations that I was poisoning her, and a fictionalized short story of a husband and wife that was inspired by it. Both versions are also featured in my memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened.

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On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened is FREE on Amazon – Today Only!

The Kindle version of my award-winning mental illness memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness is FREE on Amazon US and Amazon UK, today only. As always, the book is also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

 

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On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened is FREE on Amazon – Today Only!

The Kindle version of my award-winning mental illness memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness is FREE on Amazon US and Amazon UK, today only. As always, the book is also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

 

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On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened on sale for $0.99 through 12/12

The Kindle version of my award-winning mental illness memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness is now on sale for just $0.99 through Tuesday, December 12th. As always, the book is FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

 

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On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened on sale for $0.99 through 1/3

The Kindle version of my award-winning mental illness memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness is now on sale for just $0.99 through Tuesday, January 3rd. As always, the book is FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

 

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In Which She Talks About Herself in the Third Person

So here it is – two firsts. My very first radio interview, which I’ve announced in my very first press release:

Award-winning memoirist Lori Schafer to appear on BlogTalkRadio show “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th

Author Lori Schafer will give her first live interview concerning her award-winning memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened on “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th at 11 am EDT. Schafer, whose memoir recounts her terrifying adolescent experience of her mother’s psychosis, won a spot on Dorit Sasson’s BlogTalkRadio program through a contest on the popular writer’s blog “The Write Life” earlier this year.

“I’m excited, but also a bit nervous,” Schafer admitted. “Dorit and I only met through the contest, so we don’t know each other at all. I have no idea what she’s going to ask me. It’s like a job interview – I’ll mostly be winging it and hoping to make a good impression on listeners.”

Schafer has high hopes for the interview, however. In fact, it was Sasson’s program that inspired her to begin a BlogTalkRadio show of her own.

“I’m currently looking at a fall start date,” she affirmed. “I had hoped to begin sooner, but my schedule has been so full this year that I had to postpone it.”

Schafer is planning an eclectic program featuring readings from her own work, discussion panels on topics of interest to readers and writers, and interviews like the one Sasson will be conducting with the author.

“I’m truly appreciative of this opportunity to interview with Dorit. Radio is a very different way of interacting with an audience, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that. But the format feels strange to me – it isn’t like writing, where you get the chance to edit and re-edit your words if they come out wrong the first or second or twentieth time. Live is live – you only get one shot at getting it right.”

Schafer’s memoir has recently been the subject of critical acclaim. It was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2015 eLit Book Awards and was a finalist in both the National Indie Excellence and International Book Awards competitions.

“It’s a fascinating book, not only because of its subject matter, but because of its non-linear narrative structure. It will be interesting to discuss from both a literary and a psychological perspective.”

Listeners can tune in to the thirty-minute program live or listen to the podcast, which will be archived after the show airs at the following link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory/2015/06/04/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-lori-schafer

Listeners are also encouraged to call in with questions and comments.

“I’ve really enjoyed discussing my book with readers on social media,” Schafer says. “But it can be hard to have a real conversation in 140 characters or less!”

Schafer, who originally intended to shy away from requests for live interviews, now welcomes them.

“Reader response to my memoir has been simply amazing. People have been incredibly supportive, but what’s really moved me have been the number of folks who have come forward to share their stories with me. It’s as if they, too, have been keeping this dark family secret and are glad to have someone finally reveal it.”

Schafer’s memoir is available in paperback at retailers worldwide and in eBook exclusively on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N0WYHDQ/). Interested parties may visit her website at https://lorilschafer.com/ for further information.

Dorit Sasson Interview

I am Subject: On Writing My Memoir

I am participating in Diane DeBella’s #iamsubject project http://www.iamsubject.com/the-iamsubject-project/. Here is my #iamsubject story.

ON WRITING MY MEMOIR

I forgot her.

I hadn’t intended it. I didn’t mean to forget, or to set her aside. I didn’t plan to consign her to the fog of some distant past, or to the blur of some hazy future. I had no plans for her at all. I didn’t even realize that she was missing. I did not know that she had been forgotten.

About a year ago, this young woman I had banished from my memory returned without warning. I know what prompted it. I found my mother’s obituary online. She had died, without my knowing it, six years before.

My mother was gone. Her insanity and the cruelty to which it drove her would lie forever buried, vanquished by the final failure of her physical being; she would never return. But that young woman would.

She came to me first in the guise of a story. Not a memory, but a story, a short piece of fiction that bore a striking resemblance to a vague recollection I had of her life. It wasn’t true. It wasn’t real. How could it have been?

A short time later, she came again, with another story to tell. To quiet her, once more I put her in fiction. But I didn’t examine her character closely. She couldn’t bear examination, and neither could I. Still, she kept coming. She appeared before me month after month, in story after story, until suddenly I realized that the stories were no longer fiction. They had diverged unexpectedly into other forms, into nonfiction and narratives, essays and vignettes. Short bursts of truth expunged onto paper.

They meant little at first. A memory here, an incident there. Never very personal, and never very real, at least not to me. Events that had indeed transpired, but in another woman’s life. Not in hers, and certainly not in mine.

I continued to write them down nonetheless. They were compelling, these bits and pieces of someone else’s past. Some of them sad. Some of them frightening. But after a time it hurt, telling her stories. It was no longer merely an exercise; I began to feel it, someplace inside. Someplace I had forgotten I still kept inside.

They were horrible stories. A mother’s psychosis. A daughter’s terror. Stories of pain and isolation, of threats and violence. Stories of a woman who needed help and never knew it; stories of a girl who cried for help and never received it. Stories of hunger and homelessness, of the ever-present fear of capture and the deathly slow torture of starvation. Stories of a runaway shivering through cold autumn nights filled with loneliness and desolation. It pained me to tell them so I stopped. I had forgotten that girl and her stories two decades before. What sense was there in bringing them back now?

I put them away. But I could not put her away. She would not go quietly, as she had twenty years before, when, more than anything, I had needed to leave her behind. This time she stayed; this time she waited. Until I was ready to tell the rest of her story.

It happened unexpectedly one spring afternoon, just a few weeks ago, when the sun was shining brightly and a stiff breeze was blowing across the rooftop where I like to do my writing. The last six thousand words, the ones I had been holding back, the ones that told the rest of her story. Not of what had happened to her. That I had told already, the factual version, a clinical history of severe mental illness. No, these words finally revealed how I felt about it, of what it meant to me, deep down in places I don’t care to explore. How sorry I am for her pain. How deeply I feel for her, that young woman whose life took such dreadful and devastating turns. How deeply I feel for me, for having to remember. For how much it hurts me to remember.

I found myself weeping as I typed, weeping over a long-distant past, the words blurring before my eyes as, for the first time in twenty-some years, she came sharply into focus, that girl that used to be me. How hard it is to hurt for someone else. How much harder still, to hurt for yourself.

I had tucked her away into the deepest recesses of my mind, into the darkest corners of my heart, that unfortunate young woman I once knew so well, so intimately, that I could not have distinguished between her and me. I thought I could leave her behind, as I had left my family behind; thought I could forget, get by without her.

But that day on the rooftop with the sun warming my face and the wind whipping away my tears, I knew this could not be. I had lost a vital piece of myself, of who I am and who I was. I had to reclaim her, to re-forge the connection between her and me, to integrate us, the former she and the current me.

The following day I added the final segment to my memoir. It depicts perhaps the most important part of our journey together because it’s the story of our transition, from her into me. The story of how a dauntless young woman somehow managed to dig her way out of a hole of despair, to hold onto hope in a sea of hopelessness, to fight a battle she had little to no chance of winning. Because what I discovered, when I opened the door to let her back into my life, was that much of my strength lies not with me, but with her. And as I find myself facing a new set of trials I finally understand how much I need her, how firmly I must grasp hold of the young woman I used to be, for she, more than I, has the power to persevere, to overcome, to survive.

Perhaps I do not like the memories she brings. Perhaps I would prefer to allow her to settle quietly into the dust of my personal history, to let her remain forever buried, as my mother is now. But with her inside me I need not shy away from fear, from pain. She copes with fear. She handles pain. She is, and always has been, subject.

I cannot be subject without her. But together, we can be.

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Update: I am thrilled to announce that my essay “On Writing My Memoir” has been selected for inclusion in Diane DeBella’s I Am Subject anthology! Please click the image below or visit iamsubject.com to learn more.

For more information about my memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness – available November 7th in paperback and audiobook, and available now for Kindle pre-order – please click the image below or visit the book’s webpage.