The stories we hide

      I have many stories,  I think that we all do.  Some of us,  the ones who have been through hard moments,  we hide the stories.  We have been taught to feel the shame of those stories.  To feel less because of them.  And I refuse.  

                My memory is still very fragmented. I blocked more of my story out to save my mental health than I remember. Yet,  I remember enough. I am a survivor.  I was abused. I was raped, multiple times. And when I asked for help I was told it never happened. I was told that I was crazy.  

            I might be crazy,  but it did happen. I have been brave before,  I told the man who abused me as a child that I would scream if he came near me again. I was eight or nine. I’m not entirely sure of the exact age.  He locked me in the trunk of his car and told me I would die there. I believed him.  He convinced me that no one would ever believe me. The sad part is he was right.  It took me until I was thirteen to gain the courage to tell anyone. To my shame,  I was told it was not true. 

                So much of my life I have been fighting for my sanity and my life.  I am in my fourties,  and for the first time in my life I am not crazy.  I know my truth.  I will always be the person who was made from the hell I walked through. But I will not hide my truths any longer.  I am not going to let those truths break my spirit anymore. 

Clowns,  nothing to see here. 

          OK… Lets be real for a second. I am terrible at remembering to do this blog.  I will do the topics,  just not a daily thing like I had planned. I apologize for the hiccups.  I am in a couple of writing workshops that are taking more of my energy than I planned. Add to that my novel is progressing nicely,  and the chaos that is my life… And I end up with a blog that does not get updates as often as I want it to. 

         So topic of today is clowns. Now I have been a clown.  In parades,  and store openings,  as my family did own a radio station.  My grandma did the grand openings in costumes and I went along as a clown.  It was incredibly hot,  and I grew to hate that costume. In general I think clowns are creepy,  and thanks to Tim Curry in It I have been quite afraid of them for years.  Still,  having just tonight I found myself wanting to see the remake in the theater.  

        What is the part about clowns that causes fear in so many?  I am not sure.  I think that it is the creepy forced smile that is painted on so many of them.  Are you afraid of clowns?  If so,  why? 

Nerves and reality 

So I decided that I need to step back for a day or so from my projects in progress.  I do this so I can get perspective on the story.  So I returned to another project,  a game world idea for D20 rpg.  I set up the pen name for the project a while back.  As it happens,  this project got sidelined due to life getting busy,  and the fact that I was writing on my phone.  This made the project in question so much harder.  The other stories were not as layout oriented in the writing.  So I am now able to use my laptop,  and I really have no reason why I should not put it into my current projects. 

So I transferred what was done and realized that I have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done with this.  So I started to do it and the networking to be seen… And now I am sitting here laughing at my impetuous nature.  The other projects will likely be ready for the editor in two months or less.  This one is not likely to be available for at least six.  I am being a wee bit optimistic about it.  So I will be busy writing if I want to release everything this year. 

Expectations and excitement 

     I have been busy this week on a emotional rollercoaster.  I will not burden everyone with the downs,  for more than one reason.  At least partially because it is not all my story,  and also because I really don’t want to do the whole complaining and ranting thing.  

       So I will share the good end of the spectrum that has been my life this week. A friend of mine decided to start a magazine.  She is doing it to raise awareness on mental health issues.  And she asked me to help with it!  So I am getting to be a part of this awesome magazine,  and in the beginning too. 

          The magazine is taking submissions. Here is a copy of the post she made about it :

       Escaping The Vault –  Magazine is now accepting art and written materials pertaining to mental health awareness. 
For our first issue we are looking for: 

-Written materials: poems, stories (fiction & non-fiction), articles, essays, letters etc. 
-Art work: paintings, photography, digital art, drawings, comics etc. 
Topic: PTSD

Word count: 300 to 1k

Max 5 Submissions

Accepting submissions from all ages. 18 and younger requires parental consent.
Deadline: June 30th

Email: lettersofmayanthology@gmail.com
BEST ART PIECE THAT TRANSLATES THE TOPIC PERFECTLY GETS CHOSEN FOR THE COVER
************************

Future Deadlines:

August 30th: Suicide 

October 30th: Domestic Violence

…. 

I am extremely excited about this!  I have already submitted my first article.  The magazine will be wonderful and paperback.  Please do check it out and spread the word! 

Music soothes the mad poet… 

*image found on Google and only used for inspiration. 

            Recently I read a blog done about music and the effect it had on the life of the blogs writer.  It got me thinking.  So often life for me has revolved around the music.  The sounds of life have always been a rich and full part of who I am. I remember my Dad’s deep baritone singing “Amazing Grace” to me as a child. I remember going to see my great grandfather at his radio station and being enamored by it all.  I loved the poetry in the songs,  how it felt like your soul was understood by the person singing. 

          Grandma Ethel,  my Mom’s mom,  used to sit and listen to stories from her youth and she would share those with me.  Radio shows from another era.  She taught me to enjoy classical music,  how to close my eyes and visualize the music. 

         Music for my mom was such a rigid thing.  If it was not country,  she would not listen to it. And as a child,  in her house I was not supposed to listen to anything else either.  But daddy had records of all manner of song.  Stray cats,  and soft rock like it.  She would eventually learn to bend,  she grew to enjoy some bubble gum rock along with the country.  

                      I still remember the first time I heard real rock. My soon to be step brother had a cassette tape of Dr Feelgood.  I was eleven.  It felt wild and I was hooked.  I still enjoy country,  but I am eclectic in my music tastes. 

                Mind you I am skipping over bits of music and memory. I am trying not to ramble here.  The next influence was my first day of high school.  I was six weeks late because I had a child at fourteen.  I was scared to death of what high school would be. My elder step brother was dating this chick,  and man I looked up to her.  She was confident and sexy and badass. All of the things I knew I would never be.  Well she met me at the cafeteria doors holding a boom box.  It was blasting so loudly that the windows in the building were rattling.  Pink Floyd;  Another Brick in the wall part 3…Aka We Don’t Need No Education.  I can’t tell you how much better I felt about high school.  It was not that school was actually any better.  In truth it was a nightmare.  I just suddenly felt braver,  more secure.  

       Looking back,  every person who was ever a intimate in my life has a song.  My playlist is often a minefield of memories.  Some of which I have not even explained to my boyfriend of over twenty one years. Not because of anything other than the fact that I am done with the one who was once attached to the memory. 

        I may have been a singer and put my love of music to use,  except for the fact that I am unfortunately tone deaf.  I was not gifted with the beautiful singing voice that I would have loved.  It has not stopped me, i sang to my daughter.  I refused to deny her that bond,  both with me and with music. She still will ask for her lullabies when she is feeling bad. 

I sang four main ones to her.  “Hush little baby “,”the greatest love of all “(slightly mangled as i forget one verse), “rockabye baby ” (altered so mama catches as the original bothered me)  and the last is called the puzzle song. 

Lyrics for the puzzle song: *note I learned this is a chorus class in school and have no freaking clue who wrote it. 

I gave my love a cherry that had no stone,  I gave my love a chicken that had no bone,   I gave my love a ring that had no end,   And I gave my love a baby with no cry-in. 

How can there be a cherry with no stone?  How can there be a chicken with no bone?   How can there be a ring with no end?  And how can there be a baby with no cry-in? 

A cherry when it is blooming,  it has no stone,  A chicken when it is peeping it has no bone,  a ring when it is rolling it has no end and a baby when it is sleeping has no cry-in. 

What songs have made a difference in your life?  I would love to hear about them. 

Struggles, Beginnings and the peace gained 

     
           This is the garage door that started the journey for me.  I took this picture yesterday.  Six days from now I will have been with my boyfriend for twenty one years.  Some days that feels like a century… But I digress.  When we first got together,  his “grandma” (who was actually his adopted mother)  let us live in her garage.  She had a bathroom put in on the back porch of her house (and had him pay her back for it to teach the twenty one year old us about bills) but she never charged us for the utilities. At the time I was to headstrong to see the gift that she was giving us… She was stern and slightly scary to me.  I have learned that she really was an amazing woman since. 

          I can say that it was a struggle to make the garage into a home.  We ran gas lines for a stove.  We acquired a refrigerator from a local mission.  He and I slept on a large sofa we were given. I failed to appreciate the struggle then,  because at twenty one I was ignorant of the way of the world.  I had seen the darkness in man,  but I had really never had to do the housing thing.  When my family didn’t have a home I lived with my grandma.  So I always had a roof over my head.  The garage wasn’t even the worst place I have ever lived. I have lived ten people in a two bedroom trailer with no running water.  That is another story though. 

      Now Joe is working on getting the house.  He inherited a fourth of it and his adopted sister is giving him her share.  So we have only two halves to buy before it is ours.  This is a convoluted and stressful time for me.  I want to keep the memories of this house.  I want the stability for my family that the house will provide. But the house also has baggage.  Baggage in the form from of people who are currently in the house.  People who we are trying to get settled.  There is a lot involved with this. Add the fact that we are not able to settle in and you have the chaos of my life. 

      Then I looked at the garage door and felt like it had come full circle. Which is why I took the picture.  The feeling of peace came through in the picture. 

Stress and the results 

We all go through moments of stress. How we deal with said stress is how we are as a person. Now don’t get me wrong,  I am not judging anyone for the way that they deal with the stress in their life.  All that I am saying is that we as a society tend to see dealing with stress as a character definition. 

           However sometimes it is beyond our capacity to deal with.  Then stress becomes mental illness and nervous breakdowns. There becomes physical symptoms.  And it varies by the person. Stress is not something that is wanted by anyone.  It does however,  on occasion sharpen the mind and make clarity easier to achieve. 

            I,  myself,  have found that for example the stress of a deadline can get the creative juices flowing in some.  I have also seen others who freeze when placed under such stress. How do you handle stress?  And what are some relaxation techniques you have for dealing with stress when it shows up?