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Home is Where the Tragedy is: A Writing Self-Analysis

Updated on January 8, 2011

"Home is Where the Tragedy is"... a bit of a dramatic title but I think you will understand the significance of the title once you've read this Hub. For the sake of this Hub, home = family. The two words will be used interchangeably.

Both my grandparents (on my mother's side) died when my mother was 17 years old.

November 2010, my grandmother (on my father's side) died. I never met her... The funeral was in Trinidad... I didn't go.

A few days later, my sister took my new nephew (who I've only seen once and love dearly) and headed to Trinidad... I have a feeling she's not coming back any time soon.

December 25, 2010, 11:00am, received a call from a cousin... my grandfather (on my father's side) died... I met him once... heard lots of stories... but I didn't know him... The funeral was in Trinidad... I didn't go.

My sister hasn't told me that she left America yet... I refuse to contact her.

So as you see, I've had an emotionally eventful holiday season in 2010 and it was all in the family.


My Main Characters: Girl Power

Near the end of 2010, I spent a lot of time talking to a fellow hubber and writing pal of mine. We were discussing our writing styles and it was a quite interesting discussion. I realised a lot of stuff about myself through that. For one, we both tend to write tragedies.

For me, my main character is almost always female and the 'supporting actor' is usually female. No, I don't have anything against men. I've just lived a matriarchal life. I was raised by my single mother and my aunt. Now this particular aunt of mine was very... independent for lack of a better word. She was one tough cookie.

Ok... picture this: a woman who has the ability to part a crowd like the red sea just by looking at them. She's a very attractive woman but she has the skill of giving "the eye." It's extremely intimidating but nevertheless THAT's what I was raised by.

So, it's no surprise that most of my main characters are women probably in their 30s.

Children and large families

There are almost always children playing a large role in my stories. I absolutely adore children. My friends call me the baby stalker. Sure, a lot of people like babies and will melt at the sight of their big, bright eyes but it's a bit more exaggerated with me. For example, if I'm walking in the mall and someone rolls their baby' stroller past me, I will take a detour or follow that person just to catch a glimpse of their baby and gush, "awwww!" Creepy, I know. I can't help it!

Babies are just so precious! I have had plenty of nightmarish experiences with children, yet I still love them to death. The sad part is, I've wanted a baby sister or brother since I was about 7 years old and I never got that wish. I begged, pleaded and cried for a baby brother or sister but mummy wouldn't give in. I even proposed adoption but that didn't work either.

My main characters usually have more than one child. Why? I hated being the only child so I live my large family dream out through my characters. The year I turned 16, I learnt that I had 2 older sisters. Knowing this detail, I still refer to myself as an only child. Mainly because, there is more than just being called a sister and that bond between my half-sisters and I is just not there. 

D I V E R S I T Y!!!

I love diversity! I told my mother not too long ago that soon there will be no whites or blacks in the world. I told her that I will personally run a campaign to "mix" the world. haha. I think biracial children are the cutest things ever and they are sort of a representation of peace. My main characters are usually of more than one ethnicity.

I was born and raised in Trinidad but my father's grandparents were immigrants from Mumbai, India and my mother's grandmother was from Venezuela. Enough said...

Courtesy of Google Images
Courtesy of Google Images

Pregnancies and Loss

Yes, I do write a lot about pregnancies. When I was in middle school I went through a phase of just being fascinated with pregnancy. I even wanted to be an obstetrician. I've done so much research on the matter, it's ridiculous. I guess it also goes along with my desire for my mother to have a baby so I wouldn't be an only child for the rest of my life. I wanted so much for her to have a baby!

I have done research countless times on pregnancy complications, labour, birth, Cesarean, you name it. When my God-mother was pregnant last year, she would text questions. I found it hilarious but at the same time I felt good to be so knowledgeable on the subject.

I have heard stories about miscarriages that has happened within my family and any miscarriage story is always devastating to me. It can be such a taboo at times but it is still a life lost and still very traumatic.

My mother told me the story of how her mother lost her first baby. My grandmother was only 15 when she was pregnant with her first child. To make a long story short, she slipped and fell near the end of her pregnancy and lost the unborn child.

Violence and Abuse

This is often an underlying theme in my stories. It's also an underlying theme in the history of my family. No, I wasn't abused, thank God. Unfortunately, however, my grandmother was a victim of domestic violence. When she became pregnant with her first child, her mother beat her (more than your "regular spanking"). Then, when she was later married, her husband abused her. 

My grandfather apparently chased my grandmother at some point with a cutlass (a machete). Now, I've seen photos of my grandmother and she was a very petite woman. She was shorter than 5 feet and had a small frame. She looks like a little girl in most of the pictures I've seen; so cute and innocent. Yet, she went through so much abuse.

One of my mother's sisters was also the victim of domestic violence and there's also child abuse (and other details I don't want to go into) involved in that situation. 

I've sensed domestic violence in more than one home of my family members. It's very distressing and uncomfortable. But enough about that... 

Divorce, Separation and Estrangement

Not only is my mother a single parent but so are all her sisters. Two of my aunts have been married about 3 times (like my main character in my last Serial Fiction here on HubPages). One of my aunts have 6 children and 3 different fathers. My other aunt was unable to have a child after battling with leukemia. 

I hope when my time comes, I can break the cycle of divorce, separation and estrangement. Surely, I have witnessed enough to learn from my family's mistakes.  

My Final Point

Though there has been a lot of tragedy in my life, I thank God for it all. That sounds strange but it's really the way I feel. I'm a pretty optimistic person to this day and I consider myself emotionally sound and stable. I've survived through estrangement, people going in and out of my life and throwing away relationships like the weekly trash. I've felt used and taken advantage of by people who were also hurt and realised that their actions are only to mask their own hurt.

I've felt the tension of broken marriage in my own home - as I have lived with 2 of my aunts before. I've felt the distress of violence in the home and the fear of the children. I've heard many stories of the loss of an unborn child within my family and even of abortion.

Through all of this I've gained a somewhat mature outlook on life from a very young age. I was exposed to this sadness from very young and taught how to deal with it. I turned to writing in the first place to write down what was in my heart. Whenever I hear about something tragic that's happened in my family's past, I can actually feel the pain. I have learnt to transfer that into my writing, my catharsis.

I can't wish away all the tragedy in my home but I can make the best of it. I can learn from all the mistakes and be prepared to step into the world as an independent woman.

Home is where the tragedy is... home is where the hope is...


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    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I love babies too! Have always loved them and can't resist them. They seem to have the same feelings for me as well. Biracial babies are beautiful in so many ways. If we could all just learn to accept and appreciate our differences the world would be so wonderful.

      I hope you find what you are looking for and make it happen.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I love babies! :) Oh, you already know that from my hub. haha. Thank you for your lovely comment, mechesier!

    • mecheshier profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub!!!! Yes, babies are precious.

      My, you have seen a lot of tragedy. But it is what made "You" today. :-) And you are wonderful.

      Sometimes tragedies prepare one for a future role in life. It is these tragedies that make on strong enough for what lies ahead. keep up your independence and Faith!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi, Ms. Audrey!

      So, you can relate to me too, huh? Growing up in a mainly woman atmosphere can definitely make a person strong willed. :D You're so right about the strengths of women that men don't have (they just won't admit it, haha). Women seem to just have a higher tolerance for painful (physical and emotional) situations at times. I wonder why... Anyway, thanks for commenting and for the virtual hug! ^_^

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Gosh Kim - that was absolutely beautiful! Hard subjects too and I hear you on so many levels!

      I grew up in a mainly woman atmosphere as well and Bob always says that's what makes me so strong willed. He truly means it as a compliment but sometimes I feel badly like I'm not 'like other women'. I'm probably not since I've seen my share of troubles and violence, etc.

      But the main thing I get out of your truthfulness is that one thing I believe too....sometimes bad things happen in families and even though maybe they 'shouldn't' have happened, they did and the people who did some of this stuff were basically good people or at least they meant well. They just got a wee bit sidetracked and ran off the rails of 'decent behavior' most times.

      I'm all for women because I do think we have a lot of strengths that men don't have - whether good or bad it doesn't matter - but we just keep on trucking no matter what!

      Great piece and sending you a virtual hug!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello, parrster, one of my most admired writers... oh, did I publically declare that? :D

      Writing from the heart can be painful at first but it really helps. If I didn't write, I don't know how else I would deal with the difficulties in my life. You're right. If there's one thing I've learnt in life (faith-wise) God has a reason for everything and there's a specific season for everything. Thank you for the great reminder. :D

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      psychicdog, you put a huge smile on my face! THANK YOU! :D

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hiya AC!

      I agree. Personal experiences make writing more realistic. It's always my goal to make my fiction as real as possible. It's my biggest concern, I believe. I've tried writing about things I didn't know before and it just didn't work out.

      Nope, we can't wish away the tragic things in our lives so we must make the best of it - even though that's often difficult to do.

      Thank you for you sweet compliments. I don't know what to say... except, if you want to write your own self-analysis now, go ahead! :D

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Excellent stuff Kim. Best to write about what we know before we attempt to write anything else, and writing from heart-experiences benefits us (and others) on so many levels. Like you, I too have come to see the trials of life as more than just a series of unfortunate events. They serve a purpose we cannot always see until hindsight gives us eyes to do so. God uses them to prove us and move us forward, and you have been wise in letting him do so. God bless.

    • profile image 

      7 years ago

      You do have a large family now - hubpages sister!

    • ACSutliff profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an awesome hub, Kimber!

      I especially enjoyed how you explain why you write about what you write about. All those personal experiences are what make your writing so strong, true to life, inspiring, and gripping. This is why I truly believe that the best writers are born, and not necessarily taught. Writers can only superficially write about things that we haven't experienced. And all your experiences have made you into a well versed writer that consistently delivers authentic enthralling stories. For this reason, I hope to make the best of the few tragedies from my life too. Since you are right, we can't wish away the tragic things that happen to us.

      You truly are an inspiration, Kim! I want to go write my own self analysis now!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Dr. BJ!

      Your comments on my Hubs are always so refreshing! haha. Thank you so much! :D

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello, Shil,

      I am sorry about your aunt and your grandparents. Someone asked me why I wrote this Hub and I had to think about it. Last year I poke to someone who thought that I couldn't understand anything he/she had been going through. It seems that a lot of people go through things and either keep it to themselves, or put it out there and still feel alone.

      I guess I just wanted to throw some things out there to say, "hey, you're not alone out there." Also, lately my mother has been saying a lot that I should write a non-fiction account of our family. I don't even know where to start so I decided to analyse my existing stories.

      Again, I'm sorry about your 3 loved ones. Loss can be so hard.Thank you so much for the comment and the lovely things you said.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      From your writing, Kim, I think you are very much like your strong, independent aunt - I don't know about the determined eye, of course. But the determined personality - yes!

      So I know 2011 will bring good luck and good times. I have spoken!

    • Shil1978 profile image


      7 years ago

      Kim, it is wonderful of you to share your story here on HubPages. I don't know what to say, other than the fact that I can identify with some of the things you've gone through. For one, I had someone I felt very close to pass away in December - my aunt!! She was the strongest woman I knew. She went through a lot in her life. She didn't get the loving kids or husband that she deserved - I wished I could be her child, for then I could have given her the love and time that she truly deserved. I'd never forget her, I miss her dearly!!

      I regret that I couldn't spend more time with her - she was a treasure trove of knowledge. I wished I could have imbibed some of it - I couldn't! Her passing away is a shock I still have to come to terms with - I couldn't attend her funeral as well!!

      I lost both my maternal grandparents too the last few years (I absolutely loved them and felt very close to them). I never really knew my paternal grandparents. I couldn't be at their funerals too and I still miss them dearly.

      That's 3 people I loved so dearly, who are no longer in this world. In all 3 cases, I wished so bad that I could be with them in their last days (if only I knew - who does?)

      Kim, I can only say I admire your outlook towards life and towards the experiences you've gone through. Thanks for sharing this hub - all the best in your life. I know you'd do very well. May all your dreams come true and may you find the happiness you so truly deserve!!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you, Sam! Everyone has their problems - it all depends on the way the handle the problems. Some people think that since they've gone through something that seems more traumatic, they were in a worse situation. BUT, someone else can go through something less traumatic and it can have a greater impact on them... if that makes any sense at all. :)

      Thanks for your comment!

    • sammyfiction profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Kim you really are amazing! When I think about the hard things I have gone through(if any at all), they are all superficial compared to this. I am glad you have come out of it a strong young woman! :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you Zannie! I'm still shocked by your fast response and the private message. So, forgive me if my response here sounds garbled. Thank you very much. I can say that your outlook on life is very inspiring as well. You seem also very optimistic and just a fun person to be around. Well, not that you just SEEM that way; you ARE.

      I'll send you a private message. lol. Thanks again!

    • Zannie10 profile image


      7 years ago

      I am so sorry to hear about what you have been through. I must say though that you are a very strong young woman who I admire. Every situation you had to deal with, you have made the best of. I really connected to what you wrote about. Your outlook on life is something we should all strive for. Keep inspiring!


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