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UWRT 1101

Situational becomes Rhetorical

There are many situations in life where writing has to be versatile or flexible. I
truly believe your reason for writing or the situation presented at the moment influences
this need for it to be flexible and our subconscious ability to change the way we write.
There are many situations where I have had to change the way I wrote, the format, or
even the grammar, but I am going to explain how a more personal situation shaped a
group of works I composed.
My mom and I have always had a rocky relationship. She is a great mother, and I
try to be a good daughter, but growing up it wasnt uncommon for us not to see eye to
eye. We had many days full of arguments that escalated over the slightest and most
unnecessary things. As I got older, it got worse and the arguments became more
frequent, so at a desperate attempt to redeem our relationship we decided that counseling
was the best solution. We were both on board and open to the idea of mother/ daughter
therapy. My therapist had many exercises and ideas for me to try to better understand the
root of me and my mothers disagreements. One of the practices included writing in a
journal every time of one of the heated arguments occurred. I was simply to write
whatever it was that I felt, and whatever it was that I might have needed to say, and they
would all be entries that just my therapist and I would see unless I decided otherwise.
One day my mom and I had another one of our arguments, and it was the first
time I would be able to practice writing the whole episode down on paper. I do not
remember exactly what it was that the argument was over, but just like any disagreement
that we had I felt that it was petty, and made a big deal for no reason. My mom and I
ended up yelling again despite my effort to keep the conversation at a calm tone. I

Briana Hatchett
UWRT 1101

always resulted to raising my voice on accident when I felt that my mom was not making
an effort to listen to what I had to say. She would cut me off and I would get even more
upset, and the volume of the whole situation would escalate. After agreeing to disagree,
which had became a normal practice for us, I immediately grabbed the notebook my
therapist had given me and I began to write.
I wrote about the entire event in valid detail, and I described from my point of
view the reason why the conversation escalated into an argument. Considering that at the
moment I was still heated from the argument with my mom, that detail alone was very
evident to my therapist when she read it and this is why I am glad that it was confidential.
I had become very comfortable with my therapist in the little bit of time that I had known
her, so I was very comfortable expressing how I felt about the situations when I wrote
about them. I knew the only way the notebook entries would be effective was if I was
completely honest about how I felt about each situation. For this reason I was also very
comfortable with her being the primary audience of whatever it was that I wrote. With
that said, I could also say that because she was my only audience it shaped the way each
entry was written.
I most definitely wouldnt have written the same way if I knew that each entry
would have been shared with my mom. With the exception of a cuss word or two, I
never said anything too inappropriate in my entries but I would not have been
comfortable with either one of my parents reading them simply because the entries were
composed from my point of view of each argument which automatically went against
whatever my mom felt. My parents probably would have disagreed with or disliked
everything I had written down. Sentences like How the hell did we get here?! are

Briana Hatchett
UWRT 1101

things I remember expressing in my entries confused as to why simple conversations

always ended in heated arguments. It was truly the thought that raced through my mind
majority of the time we had one of our episodes. I wanted my therapist to understand that
I truly never understood what the root or cause of the arguments were, and therefore I had
absolutely no power or control in trying to prevent them from happening. Each writing
entry I composed was very informal and were an expression of every emotion, every
question, and every though I had after an episode of one our arguments.
The entries were never in paragraphs form, and many of the sentences in the text
were not complete, and the writing was very loose. It was literally a collection of my
thoughts and it was not meant to be read the way you would read an article. The
exigence was simply because we would have constant arguments as I mentioned earlier.
I was desperate to get to the root of each argument in hopes that it would cause them to
cease and my moms relationship with me to improve, and this was the reason I knew this
I had to write.
The purpose of each entry was simply to articulate my thoughts of each encounter
to my therapist, and this way my therapist could interpret her own perception of each of
the arguments as precise as possible. The use of the notebook wouldnt have been
effective at all unless the entries were as honest as I could have possibly make them, and
this was another reason I was glad they were confidential. The tone of my writing was
slightly aggressive, and angry. I think this type of tone was probably anticipated by my
therapist considering that each entry was written right after an argument occurred. If my
tone wasnt aggressive and angry, it was normally discouraged, sad, or upset. These
entries to my therapist are truly the only kind of works I have ever created when I was

Briana Hatchett
UWRT 1101

upset, mad or discouraged in which my emotions were actually translated through the
tone and mood of my writing.
Ultimately, the notebook entries were actually very effective in helping my
therapist to understand my stand point on each argument we had, and in turn help my
mom and I to understand the root of each disagreement. Just as I had felt, and
communicated in almost every entry, our therapist told us that each of our arguments
could have been avoided if we learned better communication and if we actually put effort
into listening to each others opinion. My mom and I have continued to practice doing
this, and our relationship continues to get better.