The Psychology of being “Unloved”

 

When I create a character, I take what I know from personal experience, what I’ve observed in other people (I am an avid people watcher), and what I’ve learned from my continued studies.

With the unnamed narrator/character in West End , it is important to understand the primary relationships and their effects.

In West End, the children are nearly parentless. Mom is an alcoholic who dies from the disease and Dad seems to be a workaholic, seemingly unconcerned about his children.

The article, “Unloved Daughters,” written by Peg Streep, lists some of the attributes the character in West End experiences.

Streep’s list is of 7 attributes. These are a few which I believe my character displays:

  1. Lack of Confidence

“The unloved daughter doesn’t know that she is lovable or worthy of attention; she may have grown up feeling ignored or unheard or criticized at every turn” (Streep).

    3.   Difficulty setting boundaries

“Many daughters, caught between their need for their mother’s attention and its absence, report that they become “pleasers” in adult relationships. Or they are unable to set other boundaries which make for healthy and emotionally sustaining relationships” (Streep).

   5. Making avoidance the default position

“Lacking confidence or feeling fearful sometimes puts the unloved daughter in a defensive crouch so that she’s avoiding being hurt by a bad connection rather than being motivated to possibly find a stable and loving one” (Streep).

 

It seems the reason the narrator in West End avoids life is an overall lack of confidence. She does not set boundaries; she knows what is happening at the trains and with her sister is not leading anywhere productive or good, but she is unable to set the boundaries for herself, let alone for a sister. And avoidance is her default position in everything.

However, it is my wish the reader can see the hope within the novel, the things that change within the character that can create something positive.

trains2

 

Apro-Poe

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe!

To one of the first, authentically American literary voices. Inspiration, then and now, for artists, writers, creators.

Maybe I should have dedicated my book to him – posthumously – that is.

But I think it is some sort of fancy coincidence, fate, luck, whatever you want to call it – that my book, West End, has been released on this, his 207th Birthday.

poebday2

West End has been “officially” released. I’m told it won’t be in bookstores – online or in person – for 3-5 days.  OH THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART (yes, I think Tom Petty liked Poe too!)

A Sneak Peek from _West End_

baby face

 

As a child, I watched a squirrel crawl along an electrical line, elegant, delicate, like some high wire act, yet gone terribly wrong when it slipped and fell before my eyes.

A motorist passed, hit it. The squirrel screeched human sounds, jumped up on back feet, front paws stretched out, stumbled left, then right.

“It’s a dead end.” Mother’s whispered words lifted with a breeze.

“It’s the West End.” My father leaned away from her.

I held my breath, rooted for the squirrel until the very end, hoped that the car missed and, somehow, the creature might’ve a chance to limp home to recover.

But the squirrel was, life was, inextricably lost.

“Same thing,” mother’s quiet voice floated off with her gaze.

I think of that eye bulging from the squirrel’s body, trying to escape its own death, watching me through the back window of an old Chevy wagon.

 

Copyright 2016 – Noreen Lace/West End