Have you ever felt like a second person narrator in your own life? What is a second person narrator? Here you go:
This point of view is the least common of all three persons, mostly because it’s the hardest to pull off …. You’ll recognize this point of view by the use of you, your, yourself with the absolute exclusion of any personal pronouns (I, me, myself). The narrator is the reader. It’s tricky, but it can be done.
This sounds like the parenting life!
The past four years of my life have felt like they happened to me. Multiple situations completely out of my control but demanding every bit of strength I had.
Severe mental illness, physical assault, death, grief, angry and grieving teenagers, a traveling husband, a third teenager who slipped through the cracks, sexual assault, PTSD/anxiety/depression, police interviews, suicidal ideation, therapy appointments, psychiatrist appointments, loss of a hobby, loss of a passion, being used, disrespect, entitlement, addiction, lost dreams, lost friends, a new school, brighter days on the horizon…
How are you feeling? What do you need? How was your school day? Your orthodontist appointment is tomorrow. The school called about the assault on you. You have therapy tomorrow. Did you take your meds? Are those boys leaving you alone? You can’t drink as much as you are. You can’t do drugs in our house. It’s time for you to be an adult. You love high school?! You have overcome so much. You are fierce.
You get the point.
The definition of the second person says that it can be tricky but it can be done; it’s exclusively you, they, them. That is 100% accurate and correct; it is tricky.
The exclusion of I, me, myself is a dangerous way to live. It happens but it’s not without consequences. You miss what’s happening in your actual life while trying to stay on top of everything else that is moving so fast.
It took four years but it caught up with me. Don’t worry because I’m ok. I have a great therapist. And a fantastic husband.
I’m writing again. And in my research, along with my favorite “Ferris Bueller” quote, I found the antidote to living in the second person: change the point of view. Tell my story and flip the script to the first person POV where I can ask for help, I can say how I feel, I can put boundaries in place, and I can tell my story.
Please don’t take this as me making it all about me. Because every good story has a balance; multiple perspectives and plot lines. And if the book is good, they converge and tell a cohesive and relatable story. But it takes everyone, even the antagonist(s) to create a rich plot. Because without adversity, there’s really no story arc and it results in something flat and boring.
Our life has been anything but boring. Would I change anything about the past 4 years? Probably not. I certainly have learned from these years and for that I’m thankful.
But I’m also really, really thankful that what our family wrote doesn’t resemble a horror novel and something closer to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.
And yes, I unapologetically admit to being Jeanie.
Isn’t writing amazing? What surprising thing has it taught you about your own life?