Guest post: “Seeing…and Then Seeing Again," by Marilea C. Rabasa

Putting pen to paper is a journey that leads many of us to unexpected levels of self-discovery, full of delights, surprises, and sometimes, dismay. Often I feel confused or I want answers to a particular problem that is getting in my way. And when I write about it, the mud often sinks to the bottom and I can see things more clearly. Writing becomes a clarification process.

Sometimes I start a piece, and by the time I’ve finished it, I’ve answered some questions. And oftentimes I change my mind about some preconceived notions I had been unsure about. Writing down my thoughts is a way to shine a light on things that had been hidden—things that perhaps, upon writing about it, become ready to see the daylight.

In Lillian Hellman’s wonderful collection of remembrances she wrote in 1973, Pentimento, she points out how artists sometimes paint over what they had painted before. They changed their minds; they “repented.” It’s sort of like, as she said when she described the term “pentimento,” so too in literature, she adds, “my old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing, and then seeing again.

Many times I’ve written stories that ended up nowhere I had intended. I thought I wanted to write about one thing, but ended up writing about something else. Sometimes another story is unearthed in the process. It’s a real excavation process, as we mine our depths often coming out so much richer in self-knowledge than we were in the beginning.

About the Author

Marilea C. Rabasa is a retired high school teacher who moved west from Virginia eleven years ago. Before that, she traveled around the world with her former husband in the Foreign Service. She has been published in a variety of publications. Writing as Maggie C. Romero, Rabasa won the International Book Award, was named a finalist in both the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and the USA Best Book Awards, and earned an honorable mention in The Great Southwest Book Festival, for her 2014 release, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  She lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a number of years and now resides in Camano Island, Washington. Visit her online at: 

                                                   About the Book

Addiction is a stealth predator. Unrecognized, it will grow and flourish. Unchecked, it destroys.
Marilea grew up in post-WWII Massachusetts in a family that lived comfortably and offered her every advantage. But there were closely guarded family secrets. Alcoholism reached back through several generations, and it was not openly discussed. Shame and stigma perpetuated the silence. Marilea became part of this ongoing tragedy.

Her story opens with the death of her mother. Though not an alcoholic, it is her inability to cope with the dysfunction in her life that sets her daughter up for a multitude of problems.

We follow Marilea from an unhappy childhood, to her life overseas in the diplomatic service, to now, living on an island in Puget Sound. What happens in the intervening years is a compelling tale of travel, motherhood, addiction, and heartbreaking loss. The constant thread throughout this story is the many faces and forms of addiction, stalking her like an obsessed lover, and with similar rewards. What, if anything, will free her of the masks she has worn all her life?

Read Marilea’s inspiring recovery story and learn how she wrestles with the demons that have plagued her.

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