Area writer triumphs over ‘Mommie Dearest’

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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Kathryn Carrington of Germantown had two reasons for writing ‘‘Mama and Us: Why I Couldn’t Love My Mama,” her first self-published book: to heal herself and as a ‘‘vessel used to teach the world compassion.”

The 47-year-old Baltimore-born author, raised by an insensitive mother who ‘‘drank a lot” and an abusive, mean-spirited stepfather, says she grew up without love. And her biological father, married with several other children, was no better. He ‘‘brought me material things, [but] he was often cold and distant.”

Beyond the influence of an aunt and a grandmother, both teachers, and the support of four sisters, very close ‘‘because we were all we had,” Carrington was self-motivated.

‘‘My expectations for myself came from a strong desire within to succeed and to change my life from negative to positive,” she says.

Carrington was able to rise above her miserable childhood.

‘‘I had a strong ability to get outside of the mentality that brought me much sadness and pain in my youth, determined to make the world a much friendlier place as an adult,” she recalls.

Aspiring to be an English teacher and a writer, she attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Unfortunately, the multitude of family problems prevented her from completing her education. Instead, the 19-year-old dropped out and ‘‘quickly married” her high school sweetheart. They moved to Colorado Springs for three years where he was stationed in the U.S. Army. Although she managed to earn a certificate from the Colorado Springs College of Business during this time, the relationship didn’t last, ‘‘leaving me to raise two children, a son and a daughter, alone.” They returned to Baltimore, where Carrington took a job as a test administrator for C&P Telephone Company (now Verizon), the start of a career of 22 years, so far. Just three years ago, she moved to Montgomery County ‘‘with a friend who thought it was a good idea to experience a change of scenery.”

Writing ‘‘Mama and Us” was Carrington’s way of facing her fears, getting past the hardship and pain of her past. She believes that not doing this necessary work ‘‘can cause sickness in the body and in the mind.” And thus, when she developed breast cancer, she ‘‘realized I needed to go inside myself and heal my body from the inside out.”

In addition to self-healing, she says, ‘‘I wrote this autobiographical piece to let the world of children that are growing up in dysfunction, chaos, confusion and hell, know that there is hope and there is a way to find peace.”

‘‘I want them to know,” she adds, ‘‘that healing and self-love begin in the mind, in the body and with the soul. I want them to know that there is a higher power and that higher power will bring them through the storm.

‘‘I want them to know that life can be beautiful, rewarding and worth living.”

Carrington says she has five books ‘‘about real issues, from love and romance to spirit and soul to life and death” being published this year. ‘‘Suicide: The Explosion Within,” due out this month, is also ‘‘nonfiction, exposing an up close and personal experience with a lover’s suicide.” She also has written two poetry books and a series of short stories for children, and is at work on a novel ‘‘To Catch a Kitten,” to be published in December. Early next year, she intends to revise ‘‘Mama and Us,” including editing and pictures.

Carrington’s current plan is to retire from Verizon in 10 years, then devote herself to writing.

‘‘The experiences of life have taught me well and I indeed have much to write about,” she says.

‘‘Mama and Us” (Outskirts Press, Inc., Denver, Colo., $18.95) is available at