The Weight of Sadness

The weight of sadness on my soul lately has worn me through. I know a large part of it is my body trying to fail. I am on this precipice, it is raining, My hands ache and I cannot hold on and yet I am afraid of letting go. I am terrified to write, I am terrified to love, and yet I cannot stop. Writing is at the moment a sort of affliction. I wonder at times if my intellect is a curse, as there are no real outlets. Traditional education leaves me wanting greatly as I cannot do it. Reading the works of others is the same as writing, it is pouring boiling water on a blistered soul.

I am not certain why I start to cry when I think of writing. I have so many stories in my head, I have so many things that I should write and I have this dream that has haunted me for the longest time. I fear this dream. It was pleasant, but it was more a waking vision brought on by starvation that has left me quaking each and every time. I have mentioned it before but I do find it stalking me once more, the whispers, the pushing.

I know this is a pressure of my own making and I have all those excuses again. I am afraid to trust my computer, and I don’t trust the internet to save my literary work. I doubt myself too. There is a part of me that was hammered at so hard that my creativity has always been stunted. Delusions of Grandeur. This is the term that my mother and various psychologists applied to my idea that I could do anything more than be average. I am a genius so why can’t I do anything?

My usual methods of slowing the thoughts and words are failing, I think my body is the main reason. I am exhausted, and every symptom that I have is very much an indicator that something is wrong. My doctor is coming tomorrow of course, I was about to call her when she called me. It was one of those moments that makes me feel relief as if anything is worse than feeling this pressure in my skull from the words stacking themselves up, shouting louder and louder, wanting out but letting them out isn’t enough, I have to show them to people. I must let them see that I figured out the truths of the world but I dare not because those truths are the same ones that had me sent away to the mental hospitals where i was drugged and left unable to let the words out… and I can barely breathe but the phone is that bad.

My jaw. My hands. My legs. My feet. My fucking uterus. Take them all but leave my mind a way out. My eyes fail. My ears fail. I am in some sort of torment. I also am having a lot more need for stimulation. I cannot stop touching things, even when I know it will make the other broken shards of my humanity rear up and stab me. I cannot stop. I try. I spent the entire day in bed and read six novels, and not a one satiated that hunger in me.

I have remembered things, since my nap. THey are still shadows and I know the reality is I am depressed. I spent most of my life in torture. I escaped. Then married torture again. Is it any wonder that I am shaking in my soul? I am in love with someone and told them. That’s enough to leave me screaming on this cliffs edge. I start to wonder if it is really so high? I know too that my lover will catch me when I let go. He always does. Even when he doesn’t know I am about to squash him from great heights.

He knows I hate being rescued but constantly he picks me up when I fall, and asks nothing in return. It is constant. There are so many people now that are around me and I cannot give them enough. I am worried that my face doesn’t show what I feel. I am worried I am too quiet about it. I cannot speak as much lately, the words are too loud and I just want to dream. My dreams are words, music, pictures. All folded together and they can overwhelm reality. I didn’t write at all between the ages of 15-17 except for a few months when I had to for english and I found poetry bleeding out of me. I was encouraged but it was too late. I had stopped singing then too. No music. No creation. All so my mother would love me.

So these universal truths I know? Heaven is hell. That’s the secret in the bible. If angels can reside in heaven before they fall, and they can it is right there in the texts about Lucifer, then who is to say that all the angels aren’t the very demons people fear so much? This is hypothetical since I am not sure angels are even real except when I look at Sprite and she says she loves me so plainly that the deaf man across the street hears her and decrys me a witch.

The descriptions of demons are also the descriptions of angels. The layers of heaven in the scant descriptions are those of hell. I see it, and I cannot let it go. It is like the Joss Whedon is a plagiarist thing. It has sparked an explosion in me. All this comes from a work of fiction I never will share as I did not write it alone. Yet I cannot stop seeing it. It’s there. From my dreams of demons as far as I can remember which were escapes on to each story I have ever told, the duality is a singularity.

My world broke down again, and it hurts. I know the real wrench is my grief over so much loss. Each loss is culmulative. I never will stop grieving. This is my way. I don’t stop living, and I keep going but each day I spent a little time being sad. I have just been interrupted by a yowling cat, which overlaps my thoughts. Scared me. It sounds like William Shakespurr. It is not Sprite. I had to open the door and find out what it was. It was sorrow. Literal and figuratively. Sprite’s little hutch that was for her and Ny, that was too nice to give away withstood the rain alright and attracted cats from all over. I felt a spike of terror as I saw them, and I pray we cleaned it well enough. I feel guilt now too.

Yes I spend every day with at least an hour of grief. I grieve over everything I dreamed over, everything I lost, I grieve over each animal my mother let my grandmother or her husbands murder. I grieve over grandparents she swears I shouldn’t recall but I do. I recall kindness and love. I grieve for my sensei. I grieve for Snowball the cat that was drowned, I grieve for my rage at my brother and my grief goes so far as to grieve not realizing that as a toddler alone with a swimming pool he could have drowned. I grieve for my mother, I wonder who she would be if her mother had died not her father, I grieve for the multiverse of what ifs really. Yet most of all I grieve for Rose, whose children turned traitor the moment she died out of greed. I grieve for Nymph too. That fresh wound bleeds regularly and more than my allotted “time to be sad”. I grieve for the fact that I allot time to be sad.

I am letting go, and I find I don’t need to be caught this time. I knew I wouldn’t be really but I was afraid of being wrong. Sometimes the fear builds up in me and the ideas I have scrape the bedrock of what I live by, and that is painful as that bedrock is not stone but nerves and brain matter. I know my body needs tending, and so I shall tend it. I am pushing for a few things, getting my jaw fixed so that talking doesn’t end with me crying at night because it hurts. I can’t stop talking any further than I have, and I won’t give up voice acting. Then, there’s the dynamite in my uterus. I am not sure how it got there, but my ovaries have matches and keep setting it off. I think I am really bleeding, and I really do think that I need to just cut it out. It being my uterus and really I won’t use dull scissors I swear.

I am afraid of dying. Each year on my birthday there’s that “Well this is the last one” and though I buck against it a part of me fears death. This is a rare thing and will pass, it’s an annual tradition.

The dream that goads me scared me even then. It was a weight set upon me and I wonder if it is secretly desire or if it was one of those dreams that was really not a dream. I have them often enough, where things turn into reality but I did dream them. They bother me most. Usually those are scarier than nightmares. At least nightmares are fictitious.

I went to the land of death, and entered an english tea garden. I was not dressed for the ocassion and yet I found I was greeted by several women. Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters (Emily and Charlotte) and Virginia Woolf sat at a table, and there was a spot for myself. I walked over the soft grass and seated myself. It was a bit odd for me as at this point I wasn’t familiar with their personalities but I did research after the dream. Either I extrapolated from their books or I guessed correctly. These literary greats, whose shadows I could only hope to fall into someday greeted me, there was pleasing conversation about small things for a moment while I situated myself with the best tea I have ever tasted, Picasso’s Suaree. Not sure how that last word is really spelt I have only heard it. It’s a tea like caramel, you add brown sugar and a hint of cream and it is like drinking the stars.

Virginia Woolf looked at me and said, “We have a problem with you.” I wondered immediately what I had done wrong, because really, they were dead before my time. Emily nodded, and she smiled, “You aren’t writing dear, why ever not?” I said nothing. I felt ashamed. This angered me of course because how can I feel ashamed for not writing when… my list of excuses falls short even for me so I just listened as each of them explained to me that I am far from alone in my torment of having to create, and having that creativity be something forbidden. To write as a woman now is almost passe, yes we still fight for publication and there is still this ridiculous idea that children prefer books written by men as do adults yet, facts don’t hold up for a bias for either gender but a quality of work. They each explained that they would get fevers if they didn’t write. I do, I can register it with a thermometer. I get so caught up in thinking I fall ill.

So they assured me it was my duty to write. Not a destiny. Not a choice. I am beholden to my mind to use it, and as I am a modern outsider for acceptability with literature I should. I can be satirical such as Austen, or I can be something else. I should merely put the pen to paper every day. In my dream they each handed me a writing instrument, and we enjoyed conversing. I asked about being dead and it was something that made them laugh. “Who says we’re dead?”

The afternoon shifted to evening and I was sent on my way with a reminder from Austen, though she did look at the others first before saying it. “Your words hold the lives of people in them. You can change the world with a single sentence.”

I started this blog after that, I did start a book. My exhusband destroyed that. So my great burden really boils down to one thing. Fear. I am afraid to lose more work. It is as painful as losing my friends or realizing that my mother is everything she taught me to fear and hate. It is as bad as remembering more death and destruction. I cannot stop thinking on this dream vision. I want it to be true, and in ways it has proven to be so. I write and mention periodically that people read my work and email me via my little form and they say they were going to die before they met my words. This has become a daily and often more than once daily trend. Then there are the people who have changed my world. Each person is a world in my mind after all. A universe to explore. so the words were true. What else can I do?

I am afraid. I cannot stop thinking, and I don’t think trying is the right method that leads to nosebleeds and cutting myself. I don’t do self harm. I also haven’t been this healthy in a long time despite the failings of my body. Those failings are regularly schedulable to a degree. I am afraid of succeeding. I am afraid of moving away from the horrors I know into the hope of tomorrow. I am afraid of this damned new cat idea. What if it dies? What if I just killed kittens by having that stupid cat furniture outside? What if Sprite dies? I think that would end my world really. I don’t know that I could handle that and I am so afraid of her dying. I don’t want to be afraid of that but I can’t stop it. I cannot imagine my life without her warmth or the way she says little barberous things about people that I wish I could say, and they understand her and get that “I have to poop” look. I am afraid of losing her. I know cats don’t live forever but I am terrified.

This is the weight of my sadness. I don’t know why I cannot stop carrying it around with me, except that my mother shut down all avenues of help via abuse chemically and sadness or rage are all I have known. I have wounds that bleed words, and words that bleed words. I am a font of thought and ideas and it is peculiar to this world. I cannot type fast enough either. Nor do I have the energy to stay up writing as much as my brain wants.

Is this PTSD? Is this brilliance? Is this a delusion of grandeur? I have the papers that say I am a genius, and I also prefer that term to weird, insane, crazy, but I think it covers them all. Genius is smart without normality right? Sure I have the IQ numbers but that has meant little to me. If you add the numbers together you get different things it’s like a puzzle. No I admit to genius because my conception of genius is someone who doesn’t stop thinking sometimes paralytically so.

Something Cheery (Book Thing)

I woke up with a brain explosion of words, and then found after writing that piece, which is not published because I dun wanna, I felt up to laying out some potential book chapters. I also touched on some initial writing for the book and even some very bad titles. I don’t think I can title this book like I would others so I will likely never be as happy with PTSD the Book (hmm I kind of like that one) as some of my fantasy work titles. Ah well.

I also realized, because a lot of you my friends/readers/ awesome people I benefit from knowing kept suggesting I do this, you may want to see some of the ideas or may catch something I am missing since I literally am losing sleep here. I want to set up my outline by tomorrow and get started officially. Also, if you want to remain anonymous there are several ways to contact me, you may already have my email, you can comment below under a new account or anonymously and ask for non publishing on this blog, there is a contact form (that is a link, cliiiick it) that sends things straight to my email, and or you may be on my facebook account. That account only lets existing friends message me so you would know who you are.

Finally before I copy and paste some of this brain goop into my blog, there is overlap on the chapters, not a one of these is the formal title, and if you can’t think of more that’s probably a good thing.
These are the proposed chapters/segments of my book on PTSD:

Anatomy of a Flashback, PTSD
Who Has PTSD?
Coping skills, adaptations, facing the world (writing, drawing, screaming at the sky)
I don’t have PTSD, how do I understand?
Someone around you is having a flashback, what do you do?
when do you tell someone?
Triggers
Glossary of Definitions
Potential treatments- Special section on EMDR
Disability and PTSD
PTSD and Autism
What is PTSD
Can I hurt someone I love during a flashback?
Am I responsible for my actions during a flashback?
Will it ever go away/ Will the pain ever stop?
Why isn’t there a one size fits all treatment?
Preface – who I am and why I am writing this book as well as it’s intended use (of being awesomely educational)
Support Groups, Therapy, and Healing- connect with potential treatments
How do you know if you have PTSD? (symptoms, etc)
Why I Can’t Just “Get Over it”, Move beyond the past, or “drop it”
What causes PTSD
Such and Such Trauma isn’t bad enough for PTSD
My trauma is bigger than yours
There is No compare and contrasting trauma
How do I avoid getting PTSD
Only Soldiers get PTSD Right? (No)
Who are the “faces” of PTSD
Can a service animal help?
Dealing with Other People who also have PTSD
Suicide
Resources beyond this book
Grief and Mourning with PTSD

These are the Titles, I like a working title and that’s why I did this. Otherwise I end up with ten million untitled documents on my hands.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
An Owner’s Manual for PTSD
Mapping Trauma: A Map For Surviving Life With someone who has ptsd
When There Is No Moving On:
PTSD Sucks
Hey Look, It’s Another Self Help Book!

So have at it!

A Moment in Meow.

I usually start my writing by setting out the images of what I want to write in the title. Sometimes I go back and change it but not really. I can’t put a title on what just happened. A friend of mine hereto after known as the Shoe Goddess and I have been talking. If she wants her name associated with this that’s cool with me but I always want to offer that respect. She and I talked about PTSD recently, and I explained it to her because she asked. She thinks I should write a book and I have been naysaying in my head, I agreed but I haven’t set out to do it but have shied away. I know why. Before I go into the why I will say, I am going to write the book. During the week I am going to outline what I think needs to be covered, and then I will break it into chapters, the same way that I write for my blog. I am also writing a letter to survivors of rape so between the hospital, my body failing to fail the way I am used to, and the usual crap I come pre triggered.

I watched the Temple Grandin Biopic. At first I was angry at Temple, at least that’s what my brain took the feelings as. I even posted on facebook about finding the movie annoying. After about a half an hour I started to understand what had me so upset, at least another layer of it. The Nuerotypicals making the film made it so noisy that I was in pain. It wasn’t the person or the story that had me upset it was the constant noise over noises that they couldn’t hear. It was painful, and I reacted to that pain with anger. I find I have a lot in common with Miss Grandin, which startled me. It shouldn’t should it? The things in common are all autistic things. I also found myself suddenly burning with anger. I spent a good half an hour having a melt down after the credits rolled. It went like this. Credits roll, pills, go to bed stand beside it and start to scream because I can’t take it anymore and a car just went by with loud music which made Sprite run under the bed.

I tried to just go to bed but then my jaw snapped wrong and I got spit on my pillow. Which lead to more screaming. I hate spit on my pillow, partly because even my own saliva burns me. My tears burn me. My face is very red and sore because I cried. Sprite came to see what was wrong, as she always does when I am not okay and I realized what it is that calms me about her. I had a moment. I also just titled this post. The panic was still there, the pain, the sounds but I could think the instant I buried my hands in her fur and hugged her against me. She wriggled a bit because I was not wearing any clothing and missed the blanket. She dislikes the feeling of flesh. I try to respect that.

I petted her, she purred though because she was not comfortable it wasn’t a lot of purr. Then I clicked, I am stimming when I pet my cat. That’s why when I hurt I want her. When I feel the pain of being, because of all the things I think see and hear? I want her fur. Nymphs fur isn’t the right texture. Sprite is like petting a silken being, her fur is something I have never found a match for. So soft and yet it isn’t so soft it hurts. Sprite is in a word perfect, except for where she is not. She let me cry into her, her fur took the wet away so the burning hurt less.

I feel calm again, I can think again and she is bathing to get rid of the icky tears. I say they are icky, she just says wet. So, the PTSD trigger related to Temple Grandin is love. Love for me, witnessing other people who have things that I want, such as love, can set me off. I haven’t let anyone see me go off for years. I go away instead. Her mother tried. Her aunt tried. She had teachers. She had opportunity. She had education. She was seen as different but equal. I have never had that. That is part of why I am afraid to start writing. There is this moment when I get ready to write even my blog when I see every instance where my writing was destroyed. Even a few moments when I did it to myself because I thought I was bad and undeserving of writing. For me writing is painting a picture but the picture has a thousand little pictures. Each letter and word is a part of the image. When I write I don’t look at my fingers to hunt and peck out the letters but I usually close my eyes and imagine the shapes I want, the sounds, and the sensations.

I look at Sprite, and I look at Nymph who was very frightened but also came and curled up with me. I feel a bit guilty for not noticing her until after the fact though this tends to happen a lot. In the mornings she ends up lost in my blanket because I throw it off and roll thinking she isn’t there but she was tucked up against me all along and was what made the warm spot. I swear, she is warmer than Sprite to the touch and the feel. She weighs at most a pound, and when that pound is not on me completely I don’t pick it up. Then again I have a lot less feeling in my legs since the cramping started.

Medically speaking I am better. The bleeding stopped and the clots are disappearing. I don’t have to wear underwear at least for now. I am not expecting this to last for more than a day but I have blisters from the latex that no one else ever seems to react to in underwear. My skin burns constantly and I am still cramping. There is also a new and constant pain, so I know something is very wrong. This displeases me because I know I am going to have to fight for anyone to take this seriously, well anyone at this facility. I am still waiting on the appointment for the CT scan on my jaw as well. If I cannot lose myself, which does happen without my control, and do so without injury then there is a problem. I spent years mastering how to handle my freak outs. No one had guided me.

So I am jealous of Temple Grandin. It’s a white hot jealousy that is about things we were both born with. Family. I also want education but I cannot get there right now. I don’t learn things in classrooms and the set up for correspondence schooling is all wrong for me. I am going to self educate but suddenly I want a piece of paper. I want to see my name. I want to not have people react with shock when they find out I am not educated. I never liked that, some of these folks immediately presume I failed my way through the educational school brilliantly because I wanted to stun people with my mind. I think those people are a bit stupid and if any read my blog, well I think you are stupid for presuming anyone would want less opportunity just to impress people.

I don’t know if the piece of paper would let me write this book. I only think it is the excuse I am using now because my first thought each time I think on it is, how am I qualified to write about disability and PTSD? How am I qualified? I want to make it clear I know I am qualified and Dr.Not Autistic isn’t. Dr.PTSD is false but I write about it to make life harder isn’t. I know I am probably the most qualified person I know of to sit down and write about these issues, especially because I do so every single day. There are things I don’t publish but if I can write I do. I have given up many things but I will always find a way to get the fluid images into word.

I am still angry that people presume autistics don’t have imagination and that this is a symptom. This was the other thing that overwhelmed me, I connect thoughts in a way that is so similar to the visuals used that I am breathless but I imagine. I imagine constantly. I just don’t imagine like other people. It took imagination for Grandin to see what the cows see. It wasn’t a formulaic thought at all but something special. It takes imagination for me to do anything. I use my different mind to navigate the world. My memory of everything I have ever read, that comes into play when I am advocating.

So no more excuses. I am probably going to have to make Sprite wear a rain coat but even as I am dealing with this latest medical drama, I am going to start this book. A chapter a day, excluding days when I have appointments. Doctor’s appointments screw with my energy and writing does burn it off in the best of ways. There will be another post in a few minutes, I have been procrastinating about a topic as well.

A call for writers and some moments of Cats and Awesome

I feel like a character in a musical this morning, my mood is so good. I was actually cranky for the last few days and couldn’t figure out why. I finally had alone time (something I miss with caregivers, alone time to me means days of solitude) but I just hurt and hurt. Sprite and her magic paws of awesomeness found the source of the epic pain. That isn’t the source of my good mood however.

Here is a science fiction writing contest with a theme on disability, the rules stipulate the disabled character cannot be disabled to mark their evil. This is the main reason that I have not read any sci fi in the last year, as I have grown tired of the same tropes, it wounds me. I’ve instead begun to write scripts and dramas that focus on this very thing. I am going to enter (will start that story once I finish my show pitch and between composing for the composition gig). If you are a writer, want to try your hand at it, or know someone who may be interested pass it along. This entire paragraph is a link that is screaming CLICK ME.

Ria, an ally and a friend on Facebook also shared this link with me today. It’s a call for papers about the same topic, disability and literature. I think addressing the treatment of those of us with disabilities in writing is a huge step towards being enabled by our communities. Not tolerated, not accepted, not just respected but enabled and embraced. So this paragraph is also a link that is screaming CLICK ME.

I know that on the competitive side of things some of you may be wondering why I would want competition but, I am the sort of person that likes it. I want to go against the best so that when I win there is no doubt in my mind that victory was deserving and if I lose then I can just try again and again. Sometimes of course I am disheartened but, I feel already a winner with this literary contest. Not because I will win, but because I feel my humanity is being embraced, my flag flown high, I feel enabled. I am enabled to find something to read that doesn’t have me rolling my eyes at the helplessness, evilness, or apparent horror that is NOT actually inherent with disability.

Now on to the crankiness. It’s another Sprite Tale. I have lived with her for five or six years now, can’t peg it today which is fine with me. Each day she amazes me with her intuitive nature. Florence Nightengale wishes she had my cat for her nursing aide. From the waist down for the last few days my pain level has been slowly increasing. I couldn’t peg it and was going to call the doctor this morning although I just saw her. This started the day after my last appointment.

The ache in my knees was bigger than anything the arthritis causes, and since it was rainy I was certain that was the culprit. I did my normal rub downs to check for dislocations and there wasn’t any sign of one. Everything felt normal if a bit squishy. I chalked it up to a few days of a flair up and tried to go with it. Yesterday the pain got worse, and worse, and worse. By the time it was 11 pm I had to throw in the towel and went to try and sleep. As I laid down Sprite did her evening body check.

She started with my head and worked her way down tucking my blanket in around me. This limits how much I can move without waking up, but since I have to wake up anyway and it’s very comforting I don’t mind. It’s one of the very human things Sprite does that amuses me and makes me wonder why people think that the cat has to be the baby. Nymph was helping and worked her way down after, which tickled considerably. I managed to not laugh too much and after Sprite was done she curled up to purr on my knees.

Sprite proved to me long ago that her purring can ease my pain. I am sure there is a psychological component but she usually warms and massages the muscles and there is some mention in a national geographic that I can’t find (or I’d give you the source) that the cats purr can increase bone density. It’s being studied. Cats do purr more when they are wounded and Sprite purrs more and closer to my body’s aches and pains.

I felt it then, I really had dislocated my knee. It wasn’t something I had felt because the bone had tried to go back into place and was pinching the tissues. I could feel the exact spot that was out, it wasn’t my knee cap which is the usual suspect but instead my stretchy tissues had let my knee snap down when I’d stumbled in the bathroom, the one place I have to walk.

With a different type of dislocation I had to figure out how to fix it, but with Sprite’s help that didn’t actually take much. I just dangled my leg over the end of the bed, she went on the floor and pushed up. It hurt, but I could feel gravity pull things apart and with her pushing up, not a lot of force needed, everything snapped into place. It made me feel like I am a giant Lego. The sound was similar.

She tucked me in again and resumed purring on my knees. I slept for four hours uninterrupted, which is twice as much as normal. Nymph and Sprite took turns being closest to my legs when I would shift or roll over. This morning my legs still ache but the pain is almost subtle, almost normal, and it is decreasing rapidly. My muscles are tired from over compensating so it will be a few days but once again Sprite has amazed me with her grasp of how to make her human better.

If I had a million cat dollars (mouse tails perhaps?) I’d give them to her just for her awesomeness.

I live!

I hope you all can forgive my silence. Here is a quick rundown of why my blogging may become a bit more sporadic. I will try to not be so lack luster in my posting, and I have stories to tell!

1. I am starting a public speaking business. I will try to travel and blog, though until I get a laptop that might not happen. I will try to use the scheduler on WordPress, if I can figure out how to make it actually post.

2. As an ordained interfaith minister at times I perform weddings. I like to assist with the planning, networking resources, and it is another time consuming affair, also at times with travel involved. I am currently in the process of helping plan a huge wedding with in three months.

3. I might have cancer. This year I am getting a double cancer scare. I have posted before about the annual cancer scare. This time my doctors think I have both skin cancer and uterine cancer. I don’t think I have either but we are doing biopsies (which left me incapacitated for three days) and tests just to be safe.

4. I am trying to keep my commitments as well. I am helping to start a new Toastmasters Club at both the local University and one at the other end of town. I am also going to be active in my regular two clubs.

This is all between writing my novel, on the blog, working on my art and I will also be crafting things to sell at craft shows and as special commissions. A lot of this occurs around wedding time. (Feel free to book me as a minister, I can legally marry you in most states and as an interfaith minister am able to work with many faiths. I also perform commitment ceremonies for those who cannot legally marry their life partners in most of the US at this time.)

I will continue my activism as well. It never ends, and although I am tired when writing this, I still need to wash my face to remove the eyeliner Day of Silence writing from the protest, I am exhausted but content. I will try to write tomorrow, and due to the incliment weather might just have more time.

It is spring and SNOWING!

How To:Writing through Fear

I have been receiving emails about the blog lately, and a few comments commending me for being able to write the articles about my life and survival. At first I was confused about why, until I had a conversation with my mother about trauma and communication. I always thought she had written similar things, shared them with people. I knew she tried.

What I did not know is she stopped herself from writing and sharing. It hurt too much the first time, there was too much vulnerability involved and the fear of a personal attack based on the information that she shared? That over powered her and sent her running away. I feel that fear every time I start to write about anything.

J.A. Konrath a mystery author actually helped me. I decided to send him an email one night, I needed to write. My head felt as if it would explode if I did not create something. I couldn’t make myself push the words out. His advice was not meant to be taken literally, at least that is my interpretation. “Go get a drink.” I started to giggle, trying to figure it out. I decided to drink some soda and in my laughter, my terror faded long enough for the first word. I will finish my novel eventually, probably with in the year. I will start another, and another.

To write through the fear, you must find a way to start. Each time you write something, it gets easier and easier to form the words despite the fear. When you fear the contents of your vision or the idea itself, the method is the same. When I write about the horrible abuse, I do it for two reasons. Someone else needs to know that this sort of thing happens and that they are not alone, and those who are not victims/survivors need to know this happens so that they become aware and can protect and serve. That is what I focus on for my first three or four sentences, sometimes I have to chant it after every single word.

I am fairly certain that for most people, such a key exists. I have not shared every article that I have written. The fear remains too great for some of it, other bits are too personal, and some cause me a pain that I am not ready to bear. After I publish each post or send off a bit of writing to an editor, I face the fear of recrimination. I face the fear that someone will attack me.

This is true, there have been a few flames sent my way. If I cannot remove the curse words and keep their message clear, I delete it. I decided this blog is going to be a zone free of cussing. I rarely curse myself, and find that it removes clarify from the message. I will enforce this. Sometimes, you might read my replies to attackers or those who are angry at me for writing. I often do want to cuss. Instead I use the word power.

I finally received a flame that was able to pass my basic “Can I make this appropriate enough for all audiences” test, and therefore you can find one nasty comment on this blog. How am I handling these attacks? Surprisingly, despite the recurring fear of the attack, I am usually amused by them. I do not quite get it, but, I take the attack as a badge of honor in a way. If I am angering abusers, then I must be right. If I am worthy of that attention, then those who are either quiet or post positive are valued ten times as much.

Rejection is never easy for any author, but, I have had rejections for my writing offline. Online the response is just about the same. I hope this helps answer some of those questions, if not? Just keep asking and I will keep trying to make it clear.

Beyond the Search Words

I normally name my posts before I type them out, it helps me to retain focus. Instead, I am unable to hammer out a decent title, or one free of curse words anyway. I decided, in my insomnia fit, to peruse the offerings of the internet with a few search words. Disabled and handicapped being the top two. I wanted to see what came up. I am not linking any of the blogs I found, because beyond what is already in my blogroll or private reading list (waiting for me to put it in the blogroll) disgusts me.

Ignoring the posts about disabled porn, ignoring the jokes at the expense of handicapped people I came across what appeared to be a journal of a trip by a handicapped woman. A cold and a broken leg are difficult but not disabilities, are they? The cold isn’t a disability but reasonably the leg could be a temporary disability. Not only does it effect your daily function but even after the bone heals there can be lingering damage. I still had a visceral reaction to the writing, and not in a good way.

I understand disability, and the challenges inherent in trying to maneuver in spaces that are cramped, dealing with prejudice, but writing an entire blog about how you broke your leg and that instantly makes you the most disabled person in the world is really not something I can get behind. Yes, I admit that the writer’s pain is important. However, so is their dignity.

It took me a long time to find out how to blog, because of that very thing. I did not understand the point of blogging, I did not understand that it could be done with Dignity. It was the need for dignity that lead me to posting that very first time, and each time it is the basis for my editing, rejection of some of the writing and my attempts to be open minded.

I strive for personal dignity and I work hard to not strip away the dignity of others. Reading about how cruel the world is for those with an obviously broken leg, the desire for pity instead of dignity frustrated me. So I moved on, another person was complaining about handicapped parking, and how rude it is for people who are handicapped to use it. I read about this one a lot, it sneaks up in most blogs at some point. The concept that a safe spot, with enough room to move a ramp out, your chair, and easier access to a building is beyond some people.

Moving on again, I had to do some deep breathing, refusing to let myself post cutting words to try and make them see. Attacking people, no matter how much I disagree with them is not something I want to do. That would lack grace on my part and could remove their dignity. Then, I found another post laying out another problem people seem to have with handicapped parking.

Did you know that “all handicapped drivers park crookedly, blocking me out of my car when I park near those damned cripples”? Not only is this a blanket statement making it a stereotype but, I often have to have our van pulled out, because there is rarely handicapped parking, and the cars by able bodied people are often parked just as poorly. I am not a driver, so I am not aware of how hard it is to parallel park, but with the monster chair that does not turn I cannot do it in a conference room. I perceive this act as massively difficult.

I am often tempted by magnetic signs that say “Please do not block access to this door, a ramp is contained inside and access is needed for my wheelchair”. I do not because of the local culture. It might qualify as a subculture, and yet it is dominant in my daily life. The culture towards the disabled springs from a lot of superstition and the very poor education available.

I know that the education offered to the American Children fails more and more annually, yet if you are slightly different or have any challenges you are shoved into a room and no one wants to see you. No one teaches you. I am primarily self educated, except for the teachers who actually cared enough to break into my world.

Being aware of this, and what was taught about disability in school, I know that they fear me. the ubiquitous they, in this case means the average New Mexican. The little that was taught about disability in my schooling included first, that disabled people could never function in society unless they were Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though we were taught he contracted Polio after his presidency. This is a fallacy, as I know now. Then, we were taught too, that no disabled person ever did anything of historical value. Disabled people are just evil. The contradiction in FDR’s existence never seemed to make a difference.

The superstitions continue, one of the local superstitions states that if a pregnant woman sees a horror or a disabled person, her child will be disfigured in the womb. This means if you are pregnant and stare too long at a person in a chair or even a person with a broken leg, you kill your baby. A lot of the pregnant women out here are teenagers, and a lot of the pregnant women teens and adults drink and smoke. yet the blame falls to the disabled.

The more I read tonight the more frustrated I grow. I did stop, but only to protect myself from festering rage. A cold is not a disability. Illness does not mean disability. A broken leg is a physical injury but injury does not always mean disability. Depending on the rate you heal, you might need a placard, temporarily, but that does not mean you quantifiable understand what it is to be truly disabled. Your pain is valid, do not use it to invalidate mine.

  • Polls

  • Ye Olde Archives of Fury

  • Top Rated

  • Top Clicks

    • None