The year is 1949. Jeannette sits on the edge of her hospital bed dressed and ready to go home with her newborn baby. She collapses onto the floor. Her brain is bleeding. Jeannette's husband, Nathan, is in the army, a brand new ophthalmologist. Their eight-year-old daughter lies in the hospital with a burst appendix.
The year is 1905. Nathan is born into a shtetl in Bershad, Russia. He doesn't know he will come into life during the worst Jewish pogroms in Russia's history, a bleak world filled with fear of starvation and death from hatred.
The time is the Great Depression. Jeannette and Nathan meet and marry in Philadelphia. He is from poverty and she is from wealth. He is a struggling student and she has graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at the top of her class in mathematics. The marriage takes place without her family's approval.
I am the baby born in 1949. I will come into this world of past and present, of horses hooves and bleeding brains and burst appendix. How do love and laughter flourish and grow in this endangered garden? How is intergenerational fear transmitted and survived? What does trauma do to blur our vision? This is Myopia, a memoir, a few of the tales I can tell from my life.
Phyllis M Skoy has been writing throughout her life. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that she submitted her work for publication. Phyllis was named Discovery of the Year for “bosque, the magazine” for her short story, “Life After.” Her first novel, What Survives, was short-listed for the Santa Fe Writers Project.
A one-time song lyricist, Phyllis practiced the short form as she studied and pursued a career as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. While living in New York City, she studied American Sign Language and Seido Karate and established a karate program for the deaf in collaboration with her karate grandmaster, Kaicho Nakamura. Although she retired as a second degree black belt, her program continues.
Phyllis has a master’s degree in counseling from Fordham University, a master’s degree in social work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work (Yeshiva University) and a certification in the child and adolescent from Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
In 2000, Phyllis and her husband relocated to Placitas, New Mexico, but Phyllis returned to NYC in 2001 to work as a volunteer for the Red Cross after Sept. 11.
In addition to “What Survives,” Phyllis is making the final revisions on a family memoir and is writing a prequel to “What Survives” (“Fatma, Daughter of the Prophet”).
Phyllis maintains a small private psychoanalytic practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.