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Nella Coiro 

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Sneak Peeks from Dancing in the Rain

Here or some sneak peaks from my upcoming memoir:
 

Preface 


I’ve dreamed about writing books my entire life, but I was a procrastinator, and lacked the self-discipline and motivation to do so for most of it. In 2019, my doctor told me my kidneys were failing and I needed to be put on dialysis. This life-changing moment was a wake-up call, and motivated me to fulfill this dream. Consequently, I wrote two self-help books which were well received, and they’ve helped a lot of people. However, this memoir is quite different. It’s tell-all, at times, gut-wrenching, and deeply personal. It’s also inspiring.

Since much of the adversity and pain inflicted upon me involved immediate family members, it hasn’t been easy to be objective. However, to the best of my ability, I’ve tried to write this memoir fairly, truthfully, unbiased, without malice, and to focus upon the facts. 

As I wrote this memoir, I had to re-live some of the most upsetting and heartbreaking moments in my life. There were times when I continued to write, even as I’ve actively cried, and other times, when I had to stop writing, and take a walk to compose myself,  and clear my head.

As I continued to write, and push beyond my comfort zone, I was able look beyond some of my painful past experiences, and recognize the resilience, courage, and hope that resonated throughout my story. Furthermore, I was able to identify the insights I had gained and the lessons I had learned, even in the worst of circumstances.

… I wrote this memoir because there I have a story that needs to be told. In the telling, I’m hoping that I can touch someone’s life – maybe your life. My goal is to help my reader to make sense of their own life, and to know that they’re not alone, and they too can rise above the adversity that they might find themselves in.

I have paraphrased some of the dialogue, because it was impossible to remember the exact words in each conversation. To protect the privacy of those mentioned in this book, I’ve used pseudonyms, and changed some of the identifying characteristics. However, I realize that there are still some people who might be disturbed that I revealed family secrets. This is a dilemma that many memoirists face, and, like them, I accept this possibility. 

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From the Chapter: Behind Lessons Learned

“I’ve faced and walked through various painful challenges. I’ve learned how live with disappointment, to expect the unexpected, accept the unacceptable, and to acknowledge that life is filled with loose ends and unanswered questions. If I didn’t have hope, I wouldn’t have survived.

There were so many times when I felt as if I were going to drown – and yet, I didn’t. Instead, I clung to the waves of each storm, afraid, yet with unyielding determination, and I survived. Although, not without scars. Still, often I’ve surprised myself.”

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From the Chapter: Meltdowns and Knives

“… My mother became enraged by something I said. I don’t recall what that was. However, I do remember that she was standing behind me, and suddenly grabbed a kitchen knife, pulled me close to her, pressed it against my throat, and said, “I dare you to say one more word. If you do, I swear to God, I’ll slit your throat.“ 

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From Chapter: Lessons Learned

“Then it was important to avoid defining myself solely in terms of the adversity that I was facing.”


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From Chapter: 25.    Angels, Spirituality and Religion

I know what it’s like to be immobilized by fear, or to feel alone, even in the presence of other people, including loved ones. I know what it feels like to think about the future, and see only darkness. On the other hand, I believe that God loves me, He’s with me, and He gives me courage, resilience, hope and strength. God didn’t take me this far to desert me. 

 

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From Chapter: Forgiveness Revisited

“In response to my sister’s meltdown, my niece Molly threatened me in a text message... This was the second time Molly used Facebook to be disrespectful and hurtful. The first time this happened, she posted a Facebook status telling everyone that I was adopted, so I wasn’t her real aunt, “You were never blood anyway. Now I don’t consider you family.” Although there wasn’t an apology for this first offense, I forgave her, because I was sure that her mother instigated the situation.”

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From the Chapter: Sisters

“In hindsight, it saddens me to realize that although my sister always ended a conversation with the words “love you“ it was merely rhetorical, and never a true sentiment. Besides, her version of love had too many conditions. These conditions caused me to slowly lose my self-respect and pieces of myself, as she continued to covertly abuse me. It took a long time to finally see that my relationship with her was stressful and toxic, especially since, in many ways, she was exactly like my mother. Sadly, the toxicity had transcended generations.”

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From the Chapter: To Be or Not to Be

“The problem was this: I’m a fighter. I’m a survivor. I don’t have the mental mindset that includes giving up as an option. The words: Fuck it, I give up, are not a part of my vocabulary. In my mind, giving up would be allowing the disease to win, and I have never conceded or walked away from a fight in my life.

So the answer was clear. Since giving up was not in my DNA, my only option, regardless of how I felt, was to “take arms against the sea of troubles.

Weary or not. Tired or not. Fed up or not. Pissed off or not. Terrified or not… my choice would inevitably be to fight. As I’ve said, I never walked away from a fight, and this was no different.”

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From the Chapter: Written in Stone

“It’s weird how some traumatic memories transcend time. The pain and the energy of these recollections have floated through the years, maintaining the same intensity now that they had decades ago. Perhaps it’s my fault, and I’m still giving them the power to hurt me. If so, I don’t know what I can tell my heart, that will allow it to heal and move beyond this trauma.”

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From the Chapter Lost in Darkness

“As I reflected upon her final hateful act towards me, I relived the assaults she inflicted upon me over the years: 
 
The black eye and swollen lip she gave me when I was in kindergarten. 
     The bar of soap she shoved into my mouth when I was about eight, because I uttered a profanity. 
     The knife she held to my throat a few weeks before I got married, threatening to kill me because I disagreed with her. 
     The rage she had toward me when I discovered that I was adopted, as though she was the offended party. 
     And the constant ongoing bullying, violence, and verbal abuse. 
 
And yet, despite all of this, she was my mother... There really isn’t any other explanation for why I couldn’t walk away from her. “

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From the Chapter: The Dialysis Journey 

“Being on dialysis is a rough journey. There are some days when the sadness grips me, and it’s difficult to shake off the sorrow that I feel. Sometimes I want to cry, because I feel completely powerless over my circumstances. Other times, I’m angry, because I feel that my body has betrayed me.”

 

Copyright 2022. Nella Coiro.