“A con man betrayed me. A thief stole my childhood dreams. An alcoholic paved the road to addiction. Yet if all three were your father, wouldn’t you forgive him? If you were the father, could you ever expect or even accept forgiveness?” poses author Kathy Rem.
After a 33 year separation, an act of kindness and another of guilt gave her the information she sought her whole life; to know where her father was. In their fascinating dual memoir, Parallel Journeys, Ray Goodenough and his daughter, Kathy Rem, have intertwined their individual stories that show the different perspectives of their history together and apart. This heart rendering book is available here.
Following is an overview of their remarkable story.
Parallel Journeys: A memoir of a father and daughter’s life apart
by Kathy Rem and Ray Goodenough
After a thirty three year separation, through an unusual chain of events Kathy and her father, Ray, reunite, compare stories, and realize what an incredible parallel journey they have lived.
The story begins with generations of alcoholism, violence, and codependency modeling a way of life that was adopted quite unconsciously by the both of them. Ray emulated his parent’s fighting, lying, and drinking. Kathy imprinted the same roles witnessed while she grew up. Ray left the family when Kathy was seven years old and lived a life of crime, hard drinking, and ultimately, prison. Kathy missed her father growing up and felt abandoned and fearful, and yet never gave up the need or the love she had for him. Feeling unloved she turned her grief into hatred towards her mother and a longing for her brother’s love that she perceived as slipping away. Eventually she married a man that was very similar to her father.
In alternating stories of their separate experiences they let you see the damaged psyche being played out in their behaviors. Kathy began to relive the role of her parents with her own marriage before she eventually recognized that there was another way to break out of the patterns handed down throughout the generations, and with help, a way to learn how to make use of choice and apply it positively.
Follow Ray’s life down into the darkness of a prison cell and his recognition of the patterns repeating themselves in his life. Through tough inner work and the God given urge to be a decent human being Ray found himself and redefined the negative beliefs he had grown up with. Having unknowingly studied with some of the same esoteric teachers, each found sobriety, a spiritual way of life, and an appreciation for the path they both walked down.
The individual perceptions and memories of the events that are shared allow the readers to see that what one considers reality differs from whose mind is experiencing the same situations. It reveals through their experiences the emotional damage created out of the separation and how essential love and forgiveness are in the healing process. This healing fosters compassion for the unfolding of their lives and the lives of those they love.
Ray Goodenough has studied human behavior extensively and is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, a licensed Neurolinguistic Programmer, and an Adjunct Faculty in the California Community College System. After 27 years he has recently retired from a Social Worker and Therapist position at an adjudicated youth group home. Ray also facilitates workshops, conducts Enneagram classes, and teaches ZaZen meditation. Ray and his wife Carol reside in South Lake Tahoe.
Kathy Rem has written most of her life. She has participated in many writing critique groups, attended myriads of workshops, retreats, and conferences on writing. She facilitates workshops focusing on intention, conscious choices, and compassionate perception. Kathy and her family live in Santa Barbara.