On the night of November 1, I couldn’t sleep. So I grabbed
my cell phone from my nightstand, thinking I’d play a mindless game until I
eventually crashed. Before I could open the game app, though, an email
notification popped up. I had a new message from Patreon. Normally, I’m excited
to acquire a new patron, but on that night my mouth turned dry and my heartbeat
became irregular. My large intestine seized and the acid in my stomach sloshed in
“New $1 Patron! Meet [Rodney]” the subject line read.
Yup. My ex-husband had signed up to read my memoir. Only he used his real name and his real email address to do it, not the pseudonym I’ve given him. I know he still stalks me online and don’t usually give it a second thought, but that night I started to fill with rage. It began in my toes and had worked itself up to about my collarbone before I recognized it for the resurfacing trauma it was.
Writing the memoir can also trigger such a response, but I’m aware of what I’m doing to myself and can mentally prepare to deal with the feelings before they morph into physical malady. Being triggered unexpectedly by someone else—the asshole ex no less—well, that required time to gather my wits.
In the middle of defending myself to myself in my head (don’t
pretend you don’t do it too), I stopped abruptly, letting the amateur therapist
in my brain take over.
“It’s my story to tell. If he doesn’t like—” Me-Me was
“Didn’t you tell yourself he would probably pull a stunt
like this when you started the project?” Therapist-Me interjected.
“Huh? Oh. Yes.”
“And what was your conclusion at that time?” Therapist-Me
“Fuck him. Who cares?” Me-Me replied, somewhat unsure.
“Right. And what’s different now?”
“Nothing,” I said. “His existence literally doesn’t matter to
Therapist-Me paused, waiting to see if Me-Me had anything to
add. I did. “OMG! This is absolutely hilarious! Is he trying to intimidate me
by paying me $1? I have to tell Melanie. I have to blog about this. But first I
have to block him from commenting on Patreon. He doesn’t get to make MY story
about him. Do you remember when he hijacked the comment threads on my old blog?
My thoughts trailed off as I opened the Patreon app to block
my ex-husband’s account. The app notified me that the requested action couldn’t
be completed because the account had been deleted.
I don’t honestly know whether “Rodney” meant to pop in for a
minute to intimidate me and thought giving me a dollar was the best way to do
it, or if he just couldn’t help himself. Maybe his curiosity got the better of
him and he just had to have a look. Maybe he didn’t realize the name and email
he used to create his patron account would be sent to me. (In which case, what
a dipshit! Next time use an alias and a burner email, you twit.)
I don’t know if Rodney had enough time to read all the published
chapters of Who You Gonna Believe before he bailed, but there’s plenty of time
for YOU to catch up before a new chapter drops on November 30. Your patronage gets
you all the juicy details AND it helps me keep the lights on.
Think about it!
Become a Patron!
It’s the 30th again, and that means there’s a freshly released chapter of Who You Gonna Believe over on Patreon. Chapter 4 is titled “Liar, Liar”, and this month we reach the part in the story where Rodney, my first husband, confesses to being a compulsive liar. (Yes, of course, he picked after we were married to come clean about that.) I also spill the beans about the night I confronted him for cheating.
Anyway, thanks to my Patrons for supporting this project! Without it, I’d be a right mess. As it is, I already spend way too much time languishing somewhere between “this brain tumor is killing me too fast” and “this brain tumor isn’t killing me fast enough.” (What can I say? Cancer is depressing. Medical bankruptcy doesn’t really help.)
However, knowing that people out there are reading my words gives me a sense of purpose, and I really need that right now. So thank you.
If you’re not a Patron yet but you want to be, it’s pretty simple:
- Go to patreon.com/emilysuess.
- Make a $1 pledge.
- Read my memoir.
Every time a new chapter of my memoir is released, you’ll be notified. Plus, you’ll see your name in the spotlight with all those other wonderful people when I post next month.
Today I’m saying goodbye to June and hello to another chapter of my serial memoir, Who You Gonna Believe. Chapter 3 is titled “Suicide is Painless,” and though I don’t want to give away spoilers, I will tell you it deals with my mother-in-law’s suicide in 2006. The title may sound flippant, but I assure you it is entirely fitting.
If you’re already a patron, you can read it right away. If you’re not, you’ll need to sign up at patreon.com/EmilySuess.
Not familiar with Patreon? Patreon is a place where writers like me (and artist, musicians, podcasters, etc.) can run a subscription content service. We make things you enjoy; you support those efforts with a monetary pledge of as much or as little as you can afford.
For instance, with just a $1 pledge, you get access to Who You Gonna Believe Chapter 3 as well as all previously published content. (Also, a quick reminder: you can catch a sneak peek her on emilysuess.com if you’d like to try before you buy.)
So hop on over to Patreon to catch the latest installment of my memoir. Don’t forget to share my Patreon page with your friends, because I publish bonus chapters when I hit new goals!
That’s it for now. I’ll have more for in the coming week on the latest developments with my fight against Lincoln Financial Group, for those of you watching to see how that saga is going to unfold.
Until then, have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy Who You Gonna Believe Chapter 3.
Become a Patron!
WHAT IS WHO YOU GONNA BELIEVE?
Who You Gonna Believe is my memoir. It’s covers my eventful life circa 2003 to present and explores the traumas and lessons that come with being married to a self-professed compulsive liar and narcissist. (For the record, I use the word “narcissist” colloquially, not clinically. But I think a case could be made.) Then it takes a look at how those events might have maybe saved my life.
Yeah, I know.
DO YOU NAME NAMES?
No. I’ve changed most of the names and obscured certain identifying details with the sole intent of avoiding being contacted by my ex. (I’m 99% sure he still Googles himself daily, if not hourly.) Of course, people who have known me for years will know who I’m writing about. But in that case, I can’t really further defame a person who’s already publicly defamed himself.
HOW CAN I READ WHO YOU GONNA BELIEVE?
WYGB is being published serially and exclusively for my Patreon Patrons. All chapters are available on Patreon and excerpts may be available on other platforms. Update: As of December 2019, I am working hard to make WYGB available on this website. If you encounter snags here, you can always access content through patreon.com/EmilySuess.
Become a Patron!
SERIALLY? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Chapters will be published on a monthly basis at the end of each month or as soon as I reach a new subscriber goal. For example, Chapter 1 is scheduled for release on April 30, 2019. However, if I reach 20 patrons before that date, Chapter 1 will drop early. (See the Goals section on my Patreon page for current release information.) I will make every effort to publish new content 24-48 hours after a goal is reached. However, I’m disabled and have brain cancer and hope you’ll all be understanding if I have to fudge that a little bit once or twice.
CAN I SHARE MY ACCOUNT WITH NON-PATRONS?
I think one subscriber per household is pretty fair considering you can choose what you pay, but if you want to share posts with your grandma in Tallahassee I’m not going to crap a brick. I also won’t be policing who’s paying to read and who’s found a way to read it for free. Hell, if you want to print and distribute copies for your own profit, all I ask is that you be willing to live with the guilt of stealing money from someone with brain cancer. Basically, just do what you think is fair and support me if you can, okay?
CAN I PAY TO READ THE WHOLE THING AT ONCE?
No, but not because I’m a jerk. You can’t read the whole thing at once because I’m not finished with it yet. In an ideal world this could have maybe been an option for readers, but as I mentioned previously, Lincoln Financial Group terminated my disability insurance policy unexpectedly and I had to start releasing the parts that were ready way ahead of schedule.
Then again, in an ideal world I wouldn’t have a diffuse astrocytoma on my brain stem. Just… it’s not an option. Alright? Gosh.
IS THERE A TABLE OF CONTENTS OR SOMETHING?
Yep! These regularly updated links take you to each of the original Patreon posts.
Who You Gonna Believe: Preface
Become a Patron!
Chapter 1: Triggered
Chapter 2: You’re Wearing That?
Chapter 3: Suicide is Painless
Chapter 4: Liar, Liar
Chapter 5: Back Home Again in Indiana
Chapter 6: Christian Counseling
Chapter 7: Fuck You, I Live Here
Chapter 8: Good Luck with That
Chapter 9: Corpse Pose
I packed up the memoir in a neat little Scrivener file and emailed it to Dan. It was much harder to do than I thought it would be. I know that in its current state it’s awful. It’s a first draft. I keep telling myself that. It’s a first draft. But I also know that without Dan to help me make sense of the chaos, I won’t get beyond first draft. I am well and truly stuck, incapable of even opening the file right now. (The last time I tried to take a look at it, I only got a few sentences into the first scene and cringed so hard I was practically paralyzed.)
So, yeah. Being 100 percent honest about the whole situation, I’m a little nervous Dan’s going to look over the existing manuscript and be like, “Em, this is not salvageable.” Even though my rational mind knows he wouldn’t say that even if he really did think it.
It’s weird, because I thought I was over getting apprehensive about my writing years ago. But this is different somehow. I mean, it’s not any more personal than a lot of my blog posts, and I seem to have no trouble hitting publish on these puppies! But it’s big, and it’s important, and I actually kind of need this thing to work because I’m relying on the income.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on a first attempt at a book, and I know it’s not really fair to the project or to me. But, well, here we are anyway.
I’m not sure when Dan will have a chance to look at the file. I kind of sent it at a time when I knew he’d be busy with getting-us-ready-for-winter projects. I’ll post an update after he’s had a chance to look at it though.