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 daydream 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 realized 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 a 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.