Cold

Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to the talented author Victoria Dougherty. The following is a piece written by Victoria called Herein Lies the Truth.  You can find more stories in her book linked at the bottom of this blog called  COLD, Essays on Love, Faith, Family and Other Dangerous Pursuits

 

Herein Lies the Truth

By Victoria Dougherty

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I have a close family member who tells a lot of big, whopping lies. Lies about the past, about emotions and their impact on her and others, lies about what she had for breakfast, for heaven’s sake.

When I was a kid, this family member – let’s just call her Marta – told me a heartbreaking story about her very painful, difficult childhood.

She had been abandoned by her family, you see. Then tossed out of her grandmother’s house because the woman simply didn’t want another mouth to feed. Somehow, Marta had found her way to a convent and was raised by a group of wonderful nuns. They adored Marta, teaching her the ways of prayer and selflessness. Marta almost became a nun herself – she’d wanted to very much – but her grandmother reappeared in her life and forced her to marry a man she wanted nothing to do with. A man her grandmother thought would position their family for future prosperity.

But a portrait of Marta remains at the convent where she spent so many happy years. An artist who did occasional work for the church had been struck by Marta’s beauty and used her face as the inspiration for his painting of Mary, the Virgin Mother. Marta promised to take me to that convent one day and show me that portrait.

And I believed her.

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(c) Hackney Museum, Chalmers Bequest; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

It wasn’t until my teens that I discovered through various sources that almost everything Marta had told me was either twisted or completely fabricated. There was no convent and no artist. Her grandmother had never tossed her out on her ear.

At first, I was shocked and devastated. I couldn’t believe that Marta – who I loved and trusted and who was so good to me – was just a big, fat liar. I went back through everything she’d ever told me about herself, about others, and pondered the little inconsistencies in her accounts of things as simple as an exchange with a store clerk. In the end, I concluded that there was not a single thing that Marta had ever said that could actually be trusted.

I wandered around in a daze after this revelation. My whole world had been turned upside down, and I was really angry about it, wanting nothing more to do with Marta and her perverted versions of events. I even told her so.

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“Don’t be so hard on Marta,” my aunt told me. “She loves you and that is the truth.”

My aunt also went on to tell me the real story of Marta’s life, one that has since been corroborated by other family members. It’s a story of devastating loss, betrayal, of rape by an uncle and a prison guard, of an abusive marriage. By any standard, it is a far more heart-wrenching tale than the one Marta put forth to me.

Slowly, I began to realize that the true story was one Marta simply couldn’t bear to tell.

“But why did she have to lie?” I asked my aunt. “Couldn’t she have just said nothing?”

Truth is, I knew the answer to that question. Marta needed to tell me something. She needed my sympathy and needed me to understand why she was the way she was. Every lie she told – from how much a bag of apples had cost her at the grocery store to the year she was born – was a deflection, a protective measure meant to soothe the pain from the unmentionable. With her lies, she was able to create a mosaic that showed truth from a distance and enabled her in some way to right the wrongs that had been visited upon her.

The unlovable was taken in and loved.
The rape victim was to become a nun.
The ugliness Marta felt inside was transformed by an artist’s portrait.
And in the end, Marta became the Virgin Mary.

That was the truth Marta needed to tell and she was sticking to it. I imagine she felt she had to because to contemplate the facts was too much for her.

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Marta’s distorted worldview and the havoc the eventual exposure of her lies wreaked upon our family was my first experience with having to learn to love someone who was tragically flawed. With having to forgive so many things which – at least on paper – appeared unforgivable.

It was also my first experience in discovering the true power of fiction. How a story can tell a greater truth, even when it warps and obliterates fact.

It’s why when I started writing memoir COLD: Essay on Love, Faith, Family and Other Dangerous Pursuits, I did it with the aim of chronicling some of my family stories. And I did it with the full intention of leaving the stories just as they were – told sometimes from multiple viewpoints. Letting the inaccuracies bubble up all on their own and the more significant truths prevail. These are the unfiltered and sometimes unverified tales that make up family lore.

And they are powerful.

The truth of the matter is that sooner or later, the truth does tend to come out and that organic process of verity, as opposed to truth, is far more beautiful and frightening and enduring than the products of mere research. A fact is just a fact, after all. It comes and goes as new facts are unearthed. But verity is bigger than that. It is, as defined, a true principle or belief of fundamental importance. Verity is what myths are based on, and myths, while often fantastically unreliable – even downright ridiculous, are much mightier than a mere account.

It’s how a monster like the Minotaur – half bull, half human – illuminates us about courage and cleverness in a way that still resonates thousands of years later. Even if the story is just a load of bull.

And it’s why as we sit down at the dinner table during the coming Holidays, as Cousin Betsy waxes nostalgic about her dear, late husband, who she couldn’t stand the sight of while he lived; as dad goes on one of his crazy-assed political diatribes – pissed off about immigration, although he’s an immigrant himself; while your sister-in-law recounts her Facebooky life – sounding off in nauseating detail about her selfless acts, fabulous vacations and twenty-year honeymoon with a man who makes loves to her five times a day without the aid of pharmaceuticals, we might want to try not chewing our sweet potato casserole with quite so much contempt. Like Marta’s, these stories are often brimming with hidden meanings. Ones of longing, shame, hope, desperation, love lost and found.

If we’re going to be honest about it, that’s all that really matters.

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About the Author:

Biography

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Victoria Dougherty is the author of The Bone Church, Welcome to the Hotel Yalta and Cold. She writes fiction, drama, and essays that revolve around lovers, killers, curses, and destinies.
Her work has been published or profiled in the New York Times, USA Today, The International Herald Tribune, and elsewhere.

Earlier in her career, while living in Prague, she co-founded Black Box Theater, translating, producing, and acting in several Czech plays.

Her blog – COLD – features her short essays on faith, family, love, and writing.
WordPress, the blogging platform that hosts some 70 million blogs worldwide, has singled out COLD as one of the Top 50 Recommended Blogs by writers or about writing.

Twitter: @vicdougherty
Instagram: victoria_dougherty
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Massive Action

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excerpt:

Now, let me be clear about this. I made the final decision to move on with my life over the period of a week, but I made a checklist of everything I wanted, concerning my change of career, in a parking lot while sitting in my car, just before heading inside for the interview for an international sales position.

Fifteen minutes later, in the middle of this interview, my phone rang. I was completely surprised by the person calling me from Whistler, though I politely suggested my caller should call me back in half an hour. I loved the idea of the international sales job with the Miami company but wasn’t completely sure I would be comfortable spending so much time on the road. So I politely declined the offer.

When I received the call back from Whistler, I was offered the position that checked off every single box on my “must-have” list. Just as I had envisioned.

It was November 2007, and as soon as I accepted the position, I set the same intention in my mind to bring a man into my life. I began searching an online dating service in the Seattle area for a guy that might check off all the boxes on my checklist for the kind of relationship I wanted. And he appeared. There was only one thing that would stand in our way, although we didn’t know it at the time, and wouldn’t until a few months later.

I packed up everything that was important to me, filled the back of my new red Jeep Liberty, and set off on the road trip of my dreams.

Was I crazy to drive all by myself through Mexico and up the Pacific Coast of North America? Yes, probably. But I’ve always been fearless and impulsive, and maybe on occasion, you should be too!

It was the middle of November and I had no set schedule — just a destination and two weeks to get there. The longest road trip I’d ever taken by myself, before this trip, was four hours, so I was pushing my own personal limits. As Tony Robbins would say, “I was taking massive action, determined to take back control of my life.”

 

© excerpt from LOVE The Beat Goes On

“Powerful and unforgettable” JackMagnus, 5 Star Readers’ Favorite

This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.”J. Sikes

The Big “O”

 

 

girl-woman-portrait-young-115015We tend to think that only men are willing to pay for sex but in the past decade more and more women have been looking for sexual experiences and have been willing to pay for them.

It is easier and more convenient than going to clubs or bars. Often the women do not want to be found out; they want it to be private and kept a secret.

Some career women with high disposable incomes are just too busy for relationships. Others who have had a break-up or painful divorce find it easier to have sex without strings attached.

The thought of trying to date again and meet somebody new is just too difficult for many – but they miss sex. They may want a sexual massage or just to be touched and be intimate with somebody.

One of my clients told me she answered an advertisement in the paper from “James” who offered erotic massages.

She was very lonely after a relationship break-up; she was tired, had gained weight and lost all her confidence.

She didn’t really know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. James was a massage therapist who found some women were desperate to have an erotic massage leading to an orgasm, and in a place where they could talk and feel comfortable. He also offers more if a client asks for that.

My client saw him for months and ended up having sex with him. He was wonderful, she said. He gave her back her confidence and she gained more knowledge about her body.

 

repost thanks, Matty Silver, AU.

 

Lie to Me: An Exposé on Sex for Money
“is insanely captivating, entertaining and exciting. It’s a spellbinding story that explores the psychology of sex in a way that defies Coelho’s Eleven Minutes.” R. Dzemo 5 STARS READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS
From a “powerful and unforgettable” author and winner of the Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC for Target in the Sun comes another powerful fictional story, Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money.

A woman of privilege and passion…

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 1.44.59 PMI drive people crazy!! My exes, my kids, and my staff—when I held down a corporate job! I believe people are innately good. I’m the eternal optimist! I want the best for my friends, my family and—if you can believe this—my ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands. Yes, of course, a woman with such a flaw would have a series of exes and unfulfilling relationships.

When I healed my physically broken heart (I was diagnosed in 2008 and given 6 months to live), I started to write my story. And then a coach/mentor said to me: “But what if you die?” So I stopped writing the story and waited to relapse. And then my “eternal optimist” flaw kicked in and I published LOVE The Beat Goes On this year. F**k her! And yes, I swear—I can’t seem to fix that either.

I’ve been called “A woman of privilege and passion” (by a jealous reviewer.) She said it like it’s a bad thing. If believing in love and life and healing, and doing everything I can in my emotional power to work towards a great life, is “leading a life of privilege” so be it.

Yes, I have haters. And they attack me through my books, and probably whisper about me behind my back, and for sure wish that I would change. But as much as the world would like me to be a pessimist, to follow the path of the average depressed man/woman, I can’t seem to do it. It’s not me!

One of my best friends calls me Kumbaya Lady! I know she loves me but she wishes I would change. I too am waiting for the myth of “old age depression” to kick it, but something tells me that it isn’t going to happen!

 

 

“Powerful and unforgettable” J. Magnus, Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars

“This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.” J. Sikes, 5 Stars

 

(Re)Use Me

 

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(Re)Use

 

I want to use you

to move

to grow

to flow

into a life

I’ve never lived

 

I want to hold you close

inside a heart

revived alive

no longer afraid

to take

a chance

on living/loving again

 

I want to remember

the good

the certainty

that life

and love

can come

from unexpected places

 

don’t worry my love

I will write this out

over and over again

 

and then

I will

let

you

go

 

© (RE) Use, I (Spy) Love

All I can say…

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Gratitude

I’m so grateful for all of you! I released Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money, a spicy novel slightly outside my comfort zone. And you loved it! My review from Readers’ Favorite validated the work. But more important, the emails I received and notes from fans made my heart sing. It’s always about the emotion for me. If I can evoke emotion or present entertainment mixed with thought-provoking content, I’ve delivered what I set out to do.

I love your constant support. YOU inspire me to continue on this amazing journey. So let me bring you up to date on what I’m working on. I’m writing the next in the series JET 5! No title yet but it will be exciting! When I write JET, I get lost in her process and her life. This is by far my most entertaining spy/action/suspense work to date and I have Russell Blake to thank for inviting me to write into his world!

I’m also working on something very close to my heart. But at the moment, I can’t share. Why? I’m uncertain how to present the life of my friend a Navy SEAL. Will I novelize it? Or will it be a memoir? Not sure yet. But I will keep you posted. There is no doubt in my mind that you will want to read it.

I also have Book 3 “in the Sun” series per/co/lat/ing… Mia’s alone as you know from VANISHED in the SUN. Carlos has been pulled back in… I can’t say more or I might spoil the series for you. And Mia finds herself on the run… Yes, exciting, thrilling and edgy because that’s how that girl rolls!

So I share with you today a wonderful visual. Take a need. I choose Courage and mix it up with Beauty and Passion while I plot my way through JET’s life. Her dedication to Hannah is the essence of all motherhood. And in her determination to keep her young daughter safe, she fights cartels, ISIS, greed, and terrorism. I believe she’s on her way to London, but shh, she doesn’t know it yet! She never disappoints.

Have an amazing holiday season! And thank you for being part of my journey.