Time Heals


It is time for a long overdue update. This update is filled with rejections, realizations, and reservations. Let us begin with the rejections. Several short stories I’ve written have been rejected for publication. I’m sure some of you were concerned as to what kind of rejections I referred to, so I hope I have calmed your worries. I continue submitting stories for publications, but it is difficult as some publishers have strict dates when they accept submissions so there is still a lot of waiting. My time will come. Other rejections have included job applications with which I never received a call or interview. Some I have made it to the first interview but never any further. Once again, my time will come.

The realizations I have had recently are not pleasant. I believe they might be considered repressed memories, but with my sister’s help, some things I have remembered and my path to healing will be much longer than I expected. Childhood trauma has resurfaced and not to sound cliché but its turned my world askew. In a way, I feel I don’t know who I am anymore. I supposed I’m on a path to rediscover myself. One thing I recall, when I was in grade school I had a counselor who helped me make a kind of survival kit. When my parents would argue or fight (sometimes it was a physical fight), I would bring out this kit and live in my own little world ignoring what was happening. Perhaps this is why I don’t remember most of it.

This survival kit was just a coffee can wrapped in construction paper with my name and other things written all over it. Inside the can were some choice items; toys mostly. I recently discovered that, as an adult, if something is really troubling me I’ll write. Either poetry or fiction; maybe a screenplay. This is my survival kit as an adult. I create my own little world ignoring what is happening in my life. It’s just a brief escape but just as helpful. I take a little break from me and then return to deal with my problems and overcome the obstacles. I guess I haven’t changed much since childhood. I’m still that 4-year-old boy watching his drunken father beat his mother.

The reservations I’m having are how I should deal with everything. How should I handle this new (but not new) information? What is the first step in healing? Do I share these things with the world or keep them bottled up inside? Well I’m writing this blog post, so I’m sharing a little. Technically I’m writing and that’s how I cope with everything. That’s how I express myself because I don’t express myself in the normal ways like everyone else. I need to see a professional to deal with my past trauma and begin to heal but that requires money I don’t have. I’ll get that kind of help one day but for now all I can do is try to remain positive. That’s what cognitive behavioral therapy does. Stay positive and keep the negative thoughts away.

Until I receive a professional diagnosis, I can say I definitely have anxiety, but I think that is just a symptom of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). I look at the symptoms and I feel like it describes me perfectly. I look at the symptoms of anxiety and it fits mostly but not completely. This is a whole new journey for me. I’ll need a lot of support that I’ve never had before and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with everything. Right now, though, I need a descent paying job with health benefits. My time will come!

Humans Have Super Powers


This world has become so complex and abundant with noise and nonsense.  The only way people can survive is with distractions.  These distractions; binge watching television or movies, listening to hours of music, reading, going out to bars, pub quizzes, doing anything and everything to forget about everything.  Forgetting is the human super power.  It is when you cannot forget something that it eats away at you; it destroys you.  Forgetting is necessary for survival.  Humans live long, happy lives by forgetting all the pain and misery.  By forgetting; however, we are doomed to repeat that pain and misery.

People have said there are some experiences you never forget.  This is true, but over time these memories are not at the front of your mind.  One can recall almost anything they have experienced.  It is like a kind of time travel.  You go back in time and relive something from the past.  You remember a lesson you forgot you learned.  You remember an emotion you felt but have not felt for a long time.  Emotions are fluid. They come and go, and if you know how, you can control how long they stay.  You have the power to forget them or remember them as you see fit.

Artists have the most difficult job.  It is their duty to remember.  Some of them make the choice not to forget.  Others have the inability to forget.  They relive the pain and misery and happiness and pleasure to help others remember what has been forgotten.  The job of the artist is to make people feel something; anything.  It is the emotions we have to remember.  Emotions are what makes us human.  But we have a super power.  Sometimes we forget what it means to be human.  We forget our emotions.  We forget so we can survive.

I have never understood how everyone else could survive and look happy with their repetitive, mundane life experience.  It looks like people only do anything to continue distracting themselves.  Someone may not actually care about their support group or volunteering at the animal shelter, but it helps distract them and avoid thinking about their life.  It helps them forget.  It helps them survive.  I have never been able to survive this way.  It always feels like these distractions prevent me from doing what I am supposed to be doing.  These distractions prevent me from expressing myself because they make me forget myself.

I have tried expressing myself in many different ways.  I have tried drawing, photography, music, film; but the only thing that ever lasted was writing.  I am a writer.  It is how I remember who I am.  It is how I survive.  When I do not write, I feel lost and broken.  My purpose in this world is to make people remember; to make people feel.  I am an artist.  Maybe I can help distract others while still making them remember and feel something.  I do not fit in or blend with the crowd.  I never have.  Maybe that is my super power.

Hear No Evil: Auditory Hallucinations

My grandfather had paranoid schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.  Because of this, I felt a need at an early age to study and learn about these mental conditions.  I feared, my father and I both, had the same conditions because we described what I perceived to be auditory hallucinations.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that we were aware these sounds were not real.  Schizophrenics have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality.  I was completely unaware of anxiety as a disorder and was even less aware of my own anxiety.  The full scope of symptoms caused by anxiety feels never-ending.

Hallucinations are only talked about under severe situations where people hear voices and lose their grip on reality.  With anxiety, hallucinations are labeled simple because they’re often not of a specific thing.  Common types of sounds heard by those experiencing simple auditory hallucinations include; beeping, high-pitched noises, random noises, pops, and other unclear noises.

My own experiences include some of the previously mentioned sounds, but also single words that have no meaning.  If feels more like echoes of past things I’ve heard.  Imagine a ringing in your ears, but instead you hear a high-pitched noise or something like a train whistle.

You can’t imagine the relief I felt when I learned this was a symptom of anxiety.  That feeling; however, was bittersweet as I realized so many things in my life that I had no explanation for, or thought was normal for everyone, was actually caused by my anxiety.  So much of my life was influenced by anxiety.  It makes me wonder how things might have been different.  While I am not sure exactly when it started, I’ve had anxiety for a least twenty years.  At the time I’m writing this, I am 31-years-old.

Auditory Hallucinations are a cognitive symptom of anxiety.  Other cognitive symptoms include confusion, delusions, dementia, detachment, disorientation, forgetfulness, memory problems, and nightmares.  If you experience any cognitive symptoms, consult with a doctor as it may be related to something more serious.  Never self-diagnose yourself, even if you are a medical or psychiatric physician.

If you believe you’re experiencing auditory hallucinations, remain calm and consult with a doctor before you assume the worst.  If you’re aware they are hallucinations, that means you haven’t lost touch with reality.  You might ignore it like a ringing in your ears or you’ll assume you need rest.  Always consult with a doctor and tell your family, friends, or whomever you have for a support system.  There is no shame in revealing that you’re struggling.