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Category Archives: stress

Prioritized Sounds

When I’m tired I can sleep through a herd of elephants but, let my child cough in their room down the hall and BAM – my eyes spring open. Let me hear that tale-tell sign of throwing up and I’m on my feet and down the hall like I had been waiting for that all night and not enjoying some wild, fanciful dream.

It’s crazy, when I think about it, how before I had my first son, nearly 7 years ago, I would have never thought it possible that I could be attended to something so small as a cough. Sure, I’ve heard about the ‘instinct’ that people talk about and I’ve even imagined what it would actually feel like, but there are some things in life that need to be experienced for a person to truly understand. That being said, I may have a character who’s psychotic, but this doesn’t mean that I’m going to throw myself off the deep end. I think all my voices would kill me if that happened.

Ahem, as I was saying.

Maybe I have acute selected hearing. There are time someone can be standing next to me and I won’t hear a word they are saying, but I will pick up on something across the room. It must be my ear operators. Leaning back in their chairs behind my eardrums, drinking coffee and watching the latest show, all the while listening out for key sounds – like children’s coughing. When one of those key sounds makes its way into the ear, these little workers decide whether or not to let it through. Perhaps they have a master list of key words and praises, given to the directly from the workers up at the brain, of prioritized sounds.

Alert! Alert! Prioritized sound coming through!

Then, one of the workers takes that sound and ships it off to the brain so the other systems can move into action. This may all seem like milliseconds to us, but time runs at a different pace inside my head.

So now I’ll try to go back to sleep, let the people in my head get back to watching the dream channel and keeping alert for those sounds. Good work, guys, good work.

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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in parenting, ramblings, stress, writing

 

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In the Shower

Have you ever just wanted to go into the bathroom, shut the door, turn on the shower, and sit in the tub, letting the water pour all over you? Never even bothered getting undressed, simply sat under the water however dressed you are. No? That is what I’ve been feeling like those past few weeks and everyday the want only grows. I believe this is all due to stress; the voices are not helping.

Some of them have wild and crazy ideas that I would never dream of doing in actuality, some are more tame. Ironically, its the tame ones that alarm me more than the others. The good thing about writing fiction -professional, hobby, or otherwise – is that none of it is real. It can be whatever the writer wants it to be and, because I get so emotionally drawn and attached to my characters, I could live vicariously through their lives. Could.

For example, the earlier statement about the shower, if I can’t do it in reality then surely I can have a character do it for me. Write out all that I have going on in my head and feed it to the character. Even if a new one – someone random – had to be created solely for that purpose. It’s okay to put real emotion into the character, it gives them substance, dimension, gives them a slice that the reader can relate to.

I think that many are afraid of putting their feelings into the character. They think it makes them vulnerable. I’m not saying that someone should make a character that is a carbon copy of them-self – that may be a bit strange – but, if the character is angry, you get angry. Sad, you get sad.. The same for happy, confused, and the whole well of emotions that are out there. How is a person going to write a feeling when they have no feeling to give?

I also think that, if you’re in a situation that you don’t know how to deal with, writing it down is a step to admitting that there is a problem. Nothing can be solved if you’re in denial.

So.

This character of mine, she’s sitting in the tub, fully dressed with her knees pulled to her chest and head bowed. She doesn’t say anything, nor does she move, as the water impacts the back of her head. The water begins to soak her hair, sending streams down her face, the clothes get wet and start clinging to her body. Arms around her knees she slowly rocks back and forth, taking slow breaths and being careful of not getting any water in her mouth.

The sound of the water beating off of her and around the tub mask the sound of her quiet sobbing. The streaks of water from her hair unto her face mingle in with the tears so there is no difference. She’s taking this small moment, this quiet time in the shower, to herself hoping that the water will wash away all the things that weighed heavily on her mind. So much to do once she left the confines of the bathroom. So much to hide under a guise of confidence she was amazed there was room for anything else. Out there she had to be strong, there were people that depended on her, that needed her; weakness wasn’t allowed.

I can do it, she says to herself. I have to do it.

A few moments later and a voice from outside the bathroom door calls to her and quick reply saying that she’ll be there soon. Reluctantly she turns off the water, wringing out her wet clothes and hair the best she could before engaging in a towel. It was time to quickly don fresh attire, cover up the wet hair, and step into the role that everyone expects to see.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in ramblings, stress, writing

 

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