Writing from the Core Day 12

I disappeared off here for a couple of days, but I’m not going to apologise, which is my first instinct. Instead, I’m going to open up to you more than I have before.

I have been pretty seriously stressing out about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. My PTSD was pretty heavily triggered by a series of events last week—encountering a White supremacist in a local diner, hearing about a stabbing on the train I usually take to school, and following the ongoing police riots in Ferguson. I haven’t been able to get much writing on this challenge done. Instead, I wrote and shared a poem for Mike Brown; I’m having trouble focusing on myself with everything else going on.

Day 10‘s prompt was: Write a memory of beauty and/or love associated with your topic.

I didn’t get any writing done on this one. I’m honestly so upset and anxious that I couldn’t think of a beautiful moment related to touch—still can’t, actually. I might go back to it later, but I’m not in a place to write about it now.

Yesterday‘s prompts was: frailty.

This one was easier to work with. I can be honest, because I know that what I write for this won’t be seen. I wrote about how much I struggle with showing weakness.

I had a panic attack last night and the night before. On Tuesday, I called a friend to pick me up and give me a ride home, and I used a motorised wheelchair to go grocery shopping, because my legs were weak and unsteady in the aftermath of my attack. Last night, I made a Facebook post for some of my friends about support I was hoping to receive around my mental health.

I hate to admit when I can’t do everything, or I need help. I tend to downplay how serious my needs are, or act as though I can meet them all myself. I don’t necessarily invite help; I just share my struggles, or vent about a small portion of my frustrations. I’ve gotten into heated debates on social justice issues on social media, and when I later expressed that I wished for someone to step in and support me, more than one person has said they felt I was very capable and they didn’t think they could do as good a job, since I seemed to be doing so well.

I continuously bear up under pressure, and it’s come back to bite me: everyone assumes I don’t need help, even when I do. I need to work on this one, have needed to for years. We’ll see how well I do, now that I’ve articulated some things.

Today‘s prompt is: What have you never said?

Oof. I’m gonna let that alone until I’m in a better frame of mind. I’m honestly just too fragile for this prompt.

Lisa writes that she understands if folks are having trouble with the prompts and our topics, and encourages us to write, no matter what we are writing about. I have a paper due today, but my personal writing will probably be more poetry.

 

Is there something you’re struggling with right now that seems to be eclipsing the rest of your life? I hereby give you permission to take care of yourself. You can ignore the big thing, or you can take time to decompress. You can tell the folks you care about that you’re having trouble, or you can withdraw to a private space and stop taking care of everyone else for an hour or an afternoon, or even the rest of the week. Take care of yourself.

Previous posts here.

Writing from the Core Day 9

Saturday was hard, y’all. There was a stabbing on the train near my house, a murder-suicide in a nearby town, and an extra-judicial murder of a teenage boy by police officers in Missouri. I took Sunday off to decompress from my anxiety and sorrow, but I did get some writing done last night.

Yesterday’s prompts was: What are you hiding from? What are you protecting?

I wrote about my fear of being trapped. Here’s an excerpt:

I feel most uncomfortable with touch when I have the perception that I am trapped, or I might be unable to stop someone from hurting me. I mostly need to be in complete control of how others engage with my body, and will disengage if I start feeling the itchy, prickling sensation on the back of my neck that arises when I am unsure I can get away.

Avoiding touch is a way for me to make sure I am always able to move away from someone who might hurt me as soon as possible. I have been in situations where I felt like I couldn’t move away from someone without provoking violence, and ones where I was packed in among others during rush hour on the train, and ones where someone was over or on top of me. I have been trapped, and I fear being trapped again; controlling how and when I am touched is one way to minimise the chances of it happening again.

I might go back and add more, but I am going to continue on and work on the writing for today. (It’s supposed to get really hot today, so I’m going to spend as much time inside as possible, which means more time for writing.)

Today’s prompt is: If you could change one thing, what would it be? If you could change everything, would you?

How’s that for loaded? My first instinct is to say yes, but I think the real answer depends on what comes out in the writing…

 

Think of your biggest regret. If you could go back and change it, would you? If you did, would you be who you are today? Are you okay with the possibility you’d be a totally different person?

Previous posts here.