I have nicknamed March “Sobbing Writers Month”, in which I am planning to do what I am calling an “Intensive”. It is my intent to immerse myself in my novel universe and reclaim it. It is hard to pinpoint when I stopped writing, but the halt was solidified after an assault, which I have addressed in my poem “Interruptions” (includes graphic description of my assault).
PTSD has been a difficult battle, and likely will never truly be over. The biggest fear stopping me was the thought of him reading my finished work when it’s published. I have backed down from this ambition in the sense that I am trying to focus on my own satisfaction I’ll get when I hold a finished product in my hands. I had a sort of vision-esc day dream of holding the pages in my hand, self bound at the local library.
In preparation for my Intensive during Sobbing Writers Month (like NaNoWriMo but for unfinished projects) I am trying to re-approach my work and get to know the world I have left in stagnation. Prior to this, I would most often face flashbacks and panic attacks while attempting to create. I have practised writing new things at different times during this “Hiatus” and located the problem area as the creative area of my brain, as talking about events and things I had already visualised was easy, but creating new things was where I experienced strain and possible damage, as these were the neurons active when I was straggled unconscious in my assault.
I had to accept and face the writing difficulty as a real thing to be able to overcome it. This required me to ask myself very seriously if it was real, and decided to act as if it is (self-gaslighting and self-doubt had me thinking I was imagining the limitation, but even if I was, I realised I needed to work with it to overcome the barrier it represented). I did research to try to learn about what I could do to support my brain’s health the basics of which included improved hydration, activity and just general health oriented stuff.
I had become afraid of using my own mind after my psychosis (which was prior to the assault), and the novel I was writing gave me a framework by which to understand the psychosis- so when the process of writing was halted, this fear resurfaced in full force and my self-concept quickly degraded until I felt like near nothingness, aside from my feminist rage as if it was all I was. Upon escaping the abusive situation and unable to write, I choose to try to explore my spirituality more and more, getting in tune with magik as a tool I could use for internal transformation when nothing else seemed to help. Of course there are limitations to magic, which I address and talk about in a video blog (which I will upload and link to later). However, magik can work as tool for affirmation when dealing with trauma or ptsd, provided you are willing to believe in yourself and do the work which is revealed to you in order to recover. I accepted myself as my own guide in this manner, given that I had no one else I trusted with my complexities.
In my re-approach I have discovered new emotions surfacing, such as a distaste for my work and a desire for it to be better. As well, I feel rage instead of panic or sadness. I also feel a sense of strength in knowing that I can capable of overcoming the limitations which have stopped me from writing. This will be the ultimate act of self healing, to create again.