I had a hard time finishing this book, but I am glad that I did.
The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness by Karen Armstrong is a very detailed memoir of a former nun who struggled with symptoms of epilepsy for years before being properly diagnosed.
This book starts with her nun years ending in a breakdown and her academic years ending with a failed doctoral project. Both these events seemed unfortunate at the time but were instrumental in her development as a person and writer.
The book plodded through her years as a stifled teacher. This is when I wanted to quit. (Former teacher; too close to home)
Karen was finally diagnosed with epilepsy after years of therapy with a man who was determined that her symptoms were caused by childhood trauma. I was relieved when she finally got her diagnosis and treatment.
If you are struggling with epilepsy, this may not be the book for you. If you are struggling with religion, look up Karen Armstrong. She went on to write many books on various religions which I hope to read.
I found the book enlightening at a time when I have been struggling with my own faith.
I appreciate the author’s efforts to understand all types of religions and bring clarity to readers trying to understand the bases for their faith and the faith of others.
I have been reading books about publishing books.
Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and run back to my garden.
More time and effort is needed than I want to invest.
But this is not a vanity memoir.
This is not just Rose’s story.
It is the story of our family navigating the epilepsy journey together
and coming out the other side whole.
I know folks that need our stories which mirror their own.
I will keep struggling to maintain a balance between our present and our past.
We know there is someone out there that needs us.
We will hold fast for the long haul
and stay the course.
So our stories will keep coming.
Slowly but surely.
Seizure Mama/Flower Roberts
A pregnant woman eats for two.
That is important, but not as complicated as remembering for three.
I spent the last four days with my family.
This included my daughter, Rose, and my mother.
We can be called forgetting, forgetful and forgotten.
My mother is 87. She is forgetting the present. Her past is perfect.
I am 52 again. I am very distracted by life. I am forgetful.
Rose has spent most of her life on anti-seizure medications.
Most of those drugs did not stop her seizures, but did stop her memory.
Much of her childhood is forgotten..or remembered incorrectly.
It is hard to be me…remembering for three.
But we have each other right now. We have now.
That is worth remembering.
I just finished reading another epilepsy memoir.
I am amazed my PTSD did not stop me from finishing it.
It was well done and had many funny parts, but it was not useful to me.
This is my fifth memoir of this type. Only one has helped me.
The others have left me depressed and fearful for Rose’s future.
I will not be loaning these books to her.
I do not want our book to do this to our all-ready-traumatized target audience.
Our book is far from a pleasure read.
There is no way to sugar-coat seizures and stay true.
This where you come in.
WE NEED ADVICE.
I want Rose’s book to be helpful, not harmful.
I plan on asking her to add a section to stories below the
“Seizure Mama speaks to parents” called “Rose speaks to patients”
Do you think that hearing Rose’s voice after some later stories will take some of the sting out?
We want this book to help people. First Do No Harm!