“People are bad at seeing. They assume too much.” (Olivia Waters, age 15)
for Olivia & Jo
& for other nameless mothers
(Updated July 1, 2015)
The Notebooks of Mother X is an anonymous memoir about five years of my life, during which I tried to get help for my teenage daughter who was repeatedly at-risk and in crisis.
When I first started this blog in the fall of 2010, I wrote: “I’m finding it hard to write about this; sometimes I’m lucky to get anything down at all. My hope is that writing will help me get through this time and be a little healthier for having had a voice—at least on the page—and that sharing my story may be helpful to other parents who might see aspects of their lives in these notes and feel a little less alone.” After that, I posted only four blog entries. My failure to continue had much to do with the overwhelming challenge of what I’d been living. Once, twice, I tried to reboot this blog. But I did manage to fill many notebooks.
For now, this blog is on hold while I’m at work on another nonfiction book. Once it’s completed, I’ll return to this one. I think the distance of time will allow me to write a different book than the one I began.
Amazingly, about six months ago, my daughter came back into my life. She is doing very well, and our relationship brings me great joy.
To protect the privacy of others, especially my daughter, names and identifying details have been changed. As a work of literary nonfiction, some characters have been combined and events compressed. Since I cannot share many basic details a reader might typically want to know about primary characters in a memoir, including biographical information about the author, it seems reasonable to note at the outset that I live in the U.S., have a background in the arts, love my work, and am very happily married. Random facts: I enjoy hiking and kayaking, rarely watch TV, and adore my tiny collection of vinyl.
To follow The Notebooks of Mother X as it unfolds, enter your email address in the right margin’s subscription box.
Cast (will accumulate as characters are introduced)
- Mother X—I also go by Metta Simone
- Olivia Waters—my daughter, also called Liv
- Jo—my partner
- Bill Waters—Olivia’s father
Facebook: The Notebooks of Mother X
“I screamed, hoping my mother would hear me, but I am now afraid no one heard me, and the sound of my yell echoed into the distance. Then the black chariot, with me in it, plunged back into the earth and disappeared.” (excerpt from a school assignment titled “Persephone’s Diaries” by Olivia Waters, age 13)
“Your writing your way out of hell helps us all. Please keep writing.” (from a reader of The Notebooks of Mother X)