Saturday, 7 April 2012

G is for Guilt Trip

My plan for the A - Z Challenge is to write every post as if it were a diary entry by a character from my WIP. Today's post comes from Leah Walker.



**


There is a very good reason I only phone home once every two weeks, and it's nothing to do with the price of the calls to my Skype-allergic parents.

Every conversation starts out with grand declarations about how much we miss each other, and it's true - I miss my family like crazy. But by the time the call is almost over, I remember every reason I moved so far away.

The problem with my mother is that she thinks everyone should be oh-so-grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world. I am. I was. But I was never the girl who wanted to stay in a dead-end town with no opportunities just to please my parents.

So, I have to deal with the guilt trips. Among my mother's favourite lines are:

"I suppose England is too boring for you to visit now you live in big ol' Los Angeles."

"The children really miss you, Jamie talks about you all the time." (Jamie is my nephew, and just about the sweetest child ever. This line cripples me every time I hear it, because it rips my heart out when I think about how much I miss him.)

"We can barely remember what you look like, it's been so long since we've seen you."

"Your father had another doctor's appointment this week." (I should point out, there is nothing wrong with my dad aside from high blood pressure and he takes tablets to  keep it under control.)

and my personal favourite:

"It's so selfish of you to be so far away. We need you here."

Ha. They don't need me! They can get along with their lives just fine without me. They managed while I was away at Uni, and when I lived in London.

I get it. I am their youngest child, their only daughter. They think that because I live so far away - even though I make every effort to stay in touch - that somehow I don't care anymore and it makes me crazy.

Am I not supposed to enjoy my new life, just so my parents think I still love them? Is me being miserable the only way I can prove that I miss them? Geez, I tell them every chance I get, but it still isn't enough.

And I get to go through it all over again in two weeks. Yay.




35 comments:

  1. This is interesting to see Leah's life away from the team/ her new friends in LA.

    It's gotta be tough having a mother like that, I can certainly see why Leah moved away.

    Another great post, with your writing voice shining through. Excellent stuff! :D

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  2. What I like the most about this post is that from line one, I know exactly what this girl is all about. The details that come later only add to the picture this formed from the beginning. Great job.

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  3. This is great - these posts are such a clever way of getting to know your characters better! (And I know that mother!)

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  4. LOL.. oh the guilt trips. another great post. I really love your idea of journal entries from your characters.. for next year, I might steal your idea ;)

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  5. This has the ring of truth about it. Guilt is dreadful . . .

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  6. Hmm, sounds like a conversation I have with my family. It could be why I don't ring them often either. Great entry and have a wonderful weekend.

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  7. Love how your characters are so fully realized. :)And that's so true... it doesnt take long to remember why you moved away. lol

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  8. You got this one completely right! I live abroad (outside UK) and I get ALL those comments and more. My guilty heart goes out to her. You're doing sooooo well.

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  9. No one does guilt trips better than a mum! I loved the line "my Skype Allergic Parents".

    You have a gift when it comes to nailing down voice Kyra- it appears quite clearly in all of the characters you've put out here so far. Nice job!

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  10. Again, really great character voice. This was a fantastic theme for the A to Z Challenge.

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  11. I can relate to this so well. I went to college far away from home (though not quite as far as England to LA), and while my parents were more supportive than Leah's seem to be, there was still some guilt associated with it. I think you really nailed the emotions in this one.

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  12. There always seems to be a lot of emotional baggage in families. Guilt trips being one of them!

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  13. Another terrific character diary entry, Kyra. This is a great idea to do for getting to know my own characters better!

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  14. Your diaries are a hit---I always look forward to your posts!

    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  15. My husband's family is like that and it's not fun. The guilt trip always makes me glad we live so far away - just like your Leah! :)

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  16. I know a couple of mums like this. Not mine... but I do live opposite her, so she doesn't really have much to guilt me over.

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  17. This was another really fun entry to read. Really like the diary idea.

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  18. This is awesome! You definitely have a knack for writing this genre. You're amazing!

    Also - I just wanted to thank you for the kind words on my blog when my friend passed away. You've been an awesome blogging buddy and I appreciate your thoughts and kindness. :)

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    1. You're very welcome. I know how horrible it is to deal with the passing of a friend. It will eventually get easier, but at the beginning, it's so hard. :(

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  19. Interesting G, its nice to know.
    Do check out my G at GAC a-z.

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  20. I love Leah's voice. She seems warm, innocent, and strong. I can relate to how calling home can remind a person why she left in the first place! L.A. and England are so far apart though.

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  21. My parents definitely use the guilt trip too, but I don't always fall for it. Sometimes I really do just need some space for myself.

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  22. This was really well-written. I especially like the sarcastic last line. :)

    My great-grandparents do the exact same thing to me whenever I call them.

    - Lauren @Word Art

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  23. Great writing. It was very believable and I totally connected with your character. My family did the same thing. The guilt trips are terrible.

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  24. I don't suffer from these guilt trips, but only because it was my parents who left the country whilst I stayed here :-)
    I'm really enjoying these journal entries.

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  25. Haha! Love the 'Skype allergic' parents. I can certainly relate.

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  26. Love it! I can feel her frustration...because I've been there. Big time!

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  27. I'm a new reader, here from A to Z. Nice theme for the challenge!

    A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

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  28. What a great idea for your theme! I'm intrigued about your WIP. Can identify with the character too - my parents don't say it but I think they feel like this a bit, although we're all still within the UK. And I have their only grandchild! Thanks for following my blog.

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  29. Ooooh, I hate the guilt trip words people use. There is a time when all of us have to break away from the nest and fly to where it is we desire. Good for you for making the break.

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  30. ha, very relatable! Nicely written.

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  31. I can completely relate to Leah. My dad does this with me and I SEE him at least once a week! The opening question, for the rest of my life, will be "so, when are you moving back home?" haha :)

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  32. I'm so very glad I don't have parents like that! ;)

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