Writing in the Midst of a Flashback

6 A.M. A nurse disturbs my nightmares, and temporarily prevents me from my ritual of staring at the wall upon sweating myself awake, to take my vitals. She wants to make sure I’m still alive, even though, by virtue of this place, I am considered one of the walking dead. …

Crisis in Church

I woke up this morning to the sound of my mother playing Gospel music, the kind I hadn’t heard since I was a little girl, and I immediately felt the disconnect, the vague sense of nothingness that enveloped my soul and left me feeling numb, like nothing mattered. I almost …

Diagnosis 2005

When your neurologist tells you, at 14, that you have cerebral palsy, thank her for giving you the long-awaited answer to the problem you couldn’t name. When you later realize that the diagnosis came 13 years too late, do not spend all of your sixth period advanced algebra math class …

A Letter to My Abuser

Dear Voldemort, I am not a social butterfly, but you took me under your wings and, for a time, made me feel like I could soar. I know that’s cliché, especially considering all the future pain you would cause, but for a little while, it was true. By watching you, …

When Forgiveness Doesn’t Eradicate PTSD

As a Christian, I’m supposed to forgive everyone so that God can forgive me of my sins. I was once an enemy of the Most High, so who am I not to forgive someone who wrongs me when God forgave me of all my junk? Easy, right? No, not really. …

The Truth about Novel Writing (Part 2)

I knew this would happen. I anticipated moments like this even before I had a single word written down; I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. The first chapter’s not even done yet! Nonetheless, it happened, is happening, and I must accept it. I am currently taking a …

On Discussing Trauma

I think the hardest aspect of trauma, especially in the context of recovery, is talking about it repeatedly. In my experience, I’ve only discussed it in detail with a counselor and my former pastor, as he has training as a licensed psychologist. I thought that talking about it to strangers …

The Truth about Novel Writing

Like many people, I’ve always wanted to write a book, but until recently, I’ve been enamored by the idea of writing a book. Tell people you’re writing a book, that’s sexy, romanticized even, but actually writing one is hard work that requires frantic writing as a new idea hits you at …

Nerd!: A Childhood Trauma or The Weight of Loneliness

“You’re such a teacher’s pet! What’s with your hands? Are you retarded or something?” It’s taken me a long time to realize just how traumatizing it all was. That I was ridiculed both for being different and intelligent. One of these things I couldn’t control. I wanted so badly to …

There’s More to Life than Trauma

Trauma has a way of disrupting and contorting everything so that all one sees is pain, paranoia, danger, and withered hope in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, intrusive memories, and a flight/fight/freeze brain system in need of major repair. But that’s not all there is. There are hope and …