Response to: Why I stopped writing

Response to: Why I stopped writing 

The therapist looked at Brooke and asked, “Did you love her?”

“Yes, I mean no. I hated her, but of course I loved her. She was my mom. She was sick. She was always sick.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean she was mentally ill.  She always told me how much she never wanted me. She pimped out my sister at a truck stop. She hit us. She beat us. She hated us. However, no matter how sick she was I loved her, because I knew she was sick.”

“hmm…” The therapist wrote in the file. The he looked up and said, “ You know why you feel the way you do?”

Brooke shook her head no.

“Because you are not ready to give up that storyline. That story was written. It is over. For your whole life you were the unwanted, neglected and beaten child. Now the main character is dead and you don’t want to let go. You only know that storyline. That’s the story you are comfortable with, but the main character is dead so the only way to continue to live that storyline is for you recall those bad times. The more you recall the bad times the more you suffer as you always had before your mother died. The good news for you is that she is gone. The story is over. Time to move on. Stop focusing on that story. Start focusing on another storyline. Write a new one.”

Brooke wiped her tears and looked up. “You make it sound so simple.”

“It is. The book is closed. The story is over. Now, you can be anything you want to be. What do you want to be?”

“I don’t know. I never thought of it that way.”

“Do you want to be a villain, hero, victim or leader?”

“I want to be.”

“Then find yourself.”

“Why? What do you mean?”

“The person you were for the past 40 years, the one who sat here crying is not the person you are. It was the person you once were. Now is time to re-identify with yourself. Once you find the new you, you will never feel like you did as you did when you came in here.”

“Ok, but where do I start.”

“That’s not for me to answer. I’m just your therapist and your time is over for today.”

“Ok, but then how do I find out where to start. Who do I talk to?”

“A friend, go talk to a friend.”

“But I don’t have any. That is why I come here.”

“Then go find one.”

Why did you stop writing?

“Why did you stop writing?”

Brooke sat slouched over with her elbows on her knees and face in the palm of her hands. She said nothing, but shrugged her shoulders.

“I can’t help you if you are not willing to talk. What happened?”

“Stuff, lots of stuff, my world seemed to just fold one storyline after another until I had no story left.”

“Your writing just stopped?”

“No, my world. I was someone. I used to write. I used to have an opinion, and people used to read my writing. It was like I was on a roll at a blackjack table and then it just stopped. I used to feel like something big was going to happen, something really great, but then I realized it wasn’t. That is when my life started falling to shit.”

“So, your writing stopped and your life fell to shit.  Is that what you are saying?”

“No, my life fell to shit and my writing stopped.”

“Ok, then why do you think this happened?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do.”

“Ok, maybe but I don’t want to say it. If I say it you will think I am nuts.” She inhales a big breath and slowly exhales like she was practicing yoga or Lamaze.  “The suicide…” She inhales another big breath and exhales. “  When she took her life, it was like she stole mine too or at least my happiness.”

“Who? Who is she? Who took who’s life?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Tears rolled down her eyes.

“Brooke, we have been meeting once a week for over a year, and I don’t know what you are talking about. I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.”

“I know. I know, but this is real and it hurts. It still hurts just like it did the day it happened. I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to live a happy life and I have done pretty ok. I mean people think I am happy. I do feel happy at times, but deep down she is always there. The sad part is I can only remember her dead body, the bad times, the sad times and very few good times. I just want it all to go away.”

“This is why you should write. You need to write about this. This story is real and people like you can get comfort knowing about what you are going through.”

“Yeah, that is what I thought too. Then literary agent after agent rejected me. I got to the point where I was numb. All The literary agents want from me is to write humor, but it takes every ounce of strength to find the energy to be happy. I am too tired trying to be happy that I can’t. You know what I am?”

The therapist shook his head.

“I am sad. I am fucking sad. I cry myself to sleep almost every night and that has been for ten years, 3,650 day and I don’t want to be sad anymore. The worst part is that being sad in today’s society is just not ok. It is no longer accepted. No one wants to see the tears, hear the cries or talk about the bad in life. I just can’t be fake. I am me and right now that is a sad person. I just want to

Giving Purpose to Life

I have found myself at a crossroads in life, again. I can tell you that is feels good for once to have choices. I have been writing, parenting, working and spousing for years. If feels good to know I have a purpose in life.

For the last year and a half, I have been recovering from four long and painful surgeries. I found myself weak. The worst part of it all was I felt worthless in a world that was still moving as I laid idle in bed. Many have asked and wondered why I was just laying around. Well, I also suffer IBS, a really bad case. My stomach bleeds when I eat the wrong foods, dehydrate, or take medications. Due to my IBS, I took very few pain pills; instead, I had to lay in bed with my foot elevated on ice. As days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into a year I began to feel as though my life had no purpose. The world around me continued to move even though I was not a part of it.

Then when my baby went off to college this fall I hit bottom, not rock bottom, but almost. I just could not find my purpose in life. My son told me, “this is your time to get healthy and get known for the writing you have been doing your whole life.”

I started my healing journey at a small gym with a trainer. I started with baby steps. Since September, I have gotten a lot of strength back. It all began with a set of 5 pound weights. As my foot and body got stronger, my voice did too. This fall, I received my first notification from Barnes and Noble to accept my children’s books, Best Friend For Christmas, Promise and Snow-po and Tour The Mount Molly. It was the golden key to my future.

Currently, I am working on new stories for my Promise and Snow-po series. I have started my social media campaign. Most important, I have found my new purposes in life. This has given me new and wonderful opportunities to choose from.

Lately, the media has focused so much attention on the great divide in our nation. I sit and watch the media with sadness. Thousands and thousands are protesting, angry, sad and confused. Now, as a person that has just found new purposes life.  I have decided to give back to our nation. The only way we can bridge the gap is with knowledge. Knowledge is more powerful than anything in our world. I have volunteered to help inner city children with homework help. It will give me another new purpose, and hopefully the knowledge to create a new purpose for another person in our nation.

If you are reading this, I would like to encourage you too to give purpose to life by adding value to some else’s.

 

Thanks

Jennifer

What is love?

Love has many meanings. It can the pride a mother has for a child. It the strong physical and emotional bond between baby and mother. It is the beauty in a flower, sunset, mountain tops or dress. Love can also be the euphoria of tingle when a puppy nestles up under your neck.

Love is the desire to want to know more about someone. To stay up and talk all night. To read the books they love, listen to the music they enjoy. Watch the movies they like. It is looking forward to celebrating their birthday with them. It can be wanting that person to succeed so much that you are willing to sacrifice all for them.

Love can be the tenderness of the familiar. The sight of home. The comfort in your favorite chair after a long day. It can be the excitement after receiving a long desired gift.

Love can be touch. It is the bond of a child nursing on a mother. Love can be a hug from a teacher, pastor, friend, father, mother, sibling, or spouse. Love is the tenderness of ones lips touching your own. Love is physical. It is soft. Love is gentle never aggressive.

Love is respect, care, kindness, sadness, curiosity, happiness, tears of loneliness, tears of happiness, touch and desire to want to know all about the one you love.

When you no longer care to understand the other person. You no longer want to touch, kiss, or hug love is missing. Love that hurts is love that is gone. Love can only be taken away by betrayal.

There are many types of betrayal. The most popular sexual cheating, emotional cheating, drugs, alcohol abuse, lying, physical abuse, gambling, shopaholics, sabotage, and deceit. Betrayal can come from your lover, mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, teacher, doctor, friend, pastor, enemy, or more.

What if your lover is smart, has a great job, goes to church, comes home every night, and takes care of you, but constantly betrays you? Maybe your love for that person is so strong that you stay with that person no matter how often they betray you, even if they do it every single day.

Betrayal is the only thing that can poison your love for another. When one betrays you so much that your own self-worth is destroyed it is time to find a new love, a love for yourself.

Love for yourself is the greatest love of all. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Learn about yourself. Care for yourself. Celebrate yourself. Most of all, no matter how many people betray you, never betray yourself. You are one of a kind. Your love should be one of kind too.

Whisper

Whisper lived in the countryside of Oklahoma with her mother. On Sunday afternoon she was helping her mother on the farm. Then her mother called out to her. “Whisper, clean the spider webs off the house.”

“I thought you were going to spray them?”

“I should of, but I forgot.”

Whisper took the broom and swept under the window and door trims around the house. She noticed a very large daddy long leg spider. She didn’t scream, because she knew he would not hurt her. When she finished she went into the house. Her mother was now making dinner. “Whisper, I need you to sweep up the leaves on the porch. Every time the door opens the leaves come in. That Sooner wind.”

“I thought you were going to fix the screen door.”

“Well, I should of, but I forgot.”

“Fine, I got it.”

Whisper went back outside. A huge wind gust came. She turned her back against it. The wind was so forceful that rubber band on her braid came off. When the wind slowed down Whisper’s long red curly hair was in her face. She was so distracted by her hairs flying about she didn’t notice the small black spider that landed on her red locks. When she finished sweeping she went back inside to eat dinner.

“Thanks for doing that. Those leaves are such a mess.”

“It’s fall. They’re supposed to be everywhere. You should of just fixed the screen door.”

“I’ll get to it soon enough. You need to do your homework.”

“I wanted to shower first.”

“Well, you don’t want to be a procrastinator like me.”

Whisper didn’t say anything. She finished her dinner and then went to her bedroom to do her homework. She was sitting at her desk when her head started to itch. She scratched it. She finished her algebra. Her head was starting to hurt, so she rest in bed. Her mother came in the room to check on her. “I thought you were going to take a shower?”

“Yeah, my head hurts. Can you look at it?”

“Later, go shower.”

Whisper took a shower and then went to bed. By now the small black widow spider was safely resting under her pillow from when she had lay down before. Not knowing about the spider Whisper went to sleep for the night. In the morning her scalp warm to the touch. “Mom, look at my head. It really hurts.”

“Ok, ok” She looked closely at her scalp and sure enough she noticed the two small red humps. “I think you got bitten by a mosquito. You’ll be ok.”

“What if I’m not?”

“If it’s not better tomorrow, I’ll call the doctor.”

Whisper went to school. All day she had a throbbing pain on her head. When she came home she did not do her chores and went to sleep instead. Her mother came home. She was upset. “Whisper you need to do your chores.”

“I don’t feel good.”

“You said that this morning. I told you I’ll call the doctor tomorrow.”

Whisper did get up and finish her chores. Then she went to bed without eating. In the morning her head was warm to the touch. Now instead of two bumps she had three. “Mom, I’m really sick. I can’t go to school. Look at my head.”

“I told you I will call the doctor today. Go to school. I’ll get to it.”

Whisper went to school. Her teacher could tell she was ill so she sent her to lie down in the principal’s office. The secretary called her mother, but Whisper’s mother never called back. Whisper went home and lay down in bed. This time her head, neck and back was hurting. She fell asleep in aching pain. When her mother got home she saw her. “Whisper, you look terrible. Are you ok?”

“No” She was too weak to talk or open her eyes.

“I was so busy at work I forgot to call the doctor.” Her mother noticed the bumps on her neck and back, but thought it was more mosquito bites. “I promise tomorrow I’ll call the doctor.”

“Ok mom, love you.” Whisper went to sleep and never woke again.

The affair

“Danny…” The woman pauses to cry.

“Julie, what are you doing” You shouldn’t be calling me.”

“I needed to. I need to talk.”

“To me?”

“I trust you. I have no one else. There is only you.” She cries out loud. “Please, just listen to me. You’ve always been my best friend.”

“I know, but our friendship is secret and Keith is here. You know how he feels about you. It’s eight in morning.”

“Danny, put me on speaker phone. I don’t care if he can hear my problems. I just need your advice.”

“Go ahead,” Danny put the phone on speaker phone and places it on the kitchen counter.

“I caught him.”

“What? Nooo!”

“Danny, who’s that on speaker?”

“It’s Julie. She’s upset.”

“Go figure” Keith mumbles as he pours himself a cup of coffee.

“Jules, what happened? Are you sure he really did it?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Did you walk in on him?”

“No, it was nothing like that. I came home last night and found another woman’s shirt in the guest room. It was blue, ripped and smothered in perfume. It was laying flat on the spare bed.”

“Have you asked the maid?”

“Danny, I’m poor. I don’t have a maid.”

“Sorry, I forgot. That shirt could belong to anyone. Just because you found a shirt does not mean he’s cheating on you. Could it be a friend’s?”

“No, the shirt was a short sleeve blue cotton shirt with poloyster side panels. It was worn. The tag was faded and the front was ripped. That shirt was too cheap for any of my friends to wear.”

“Did you confront him?”

“Yes, he was already sleeping in bed. He blew me off. Then this morning he turned it all around on me. He said I had to keep my mouth shut or I would just humiliate myself, again.”

“Again? What does he mean by that?”

“He was referring to my ex. The infamous male slut I was married to.”

“Oh my…”

Julie begins to cry again. “Danny, will someone ever want to be with just me?”
“Of course you will, but give him some time to tell you the truth. You guys have been together for six years now, and you’ve been through a lot. This will pass. Just don’t jump without knowing the truth.”

“What if I don’t want to know the truth? M ex left me feeling ashamed and like I was less of a woman. Then there was that boyfriend I had in college that couldn’t keep his pants on. I was the laughing stock of the campus. Then you left me.”

“Julie, I’m gay. I was always gay. I loved you. I still do, but you can never give me what Keith can.”
“I know. I love you and respect your choice with Keith. At least you were always honest with me. We were never exclusive. That’s why I’m calling your instead on anyone else. I can trust you.”

“Julie, you are loved. You might feel dark and unloved right now, but you are not alone. You will find that one that only needs your love. You might have already had, but until you give him a chance to explain you are not going to feel better. Don’t walk away from him based on a cheap blue shirt. Your relationship deserves more than being torn apart from a ripped shirt.”

It all stopped…

I was in my comfort zone of blogging. I was creating and following other writers, photographers, cartoonist, artist and more. Then I got the call my grandmother, my biggest cheerleader, died.  I was upset with her passing, but I celebrated her life. Things were fine until I returned home after the funeral. My siblings, my father and I got into a huge fight. I was hurt. The problem was the pain of my father’s neglect and my siblings demands reminded me why I ever became a writer, a graduate, a military member and why I left my home and to only return in ten years, when my mother died.

Now, you probably thinking, “Why did you stop writing?” Truth is, I didn’t know how to say what I just wrote. I was writing, but not the words that were heavy on my heart. I wanted to write about my characters, but I did not have the joy to do so. Then, about three weeks ago, I went to bed and had this dream. I dreamed there was a bald naked middle-aged man holding his balls standing in my closet. He had not one piece of hair on his round body; the only thing he wore was the expression of shame. I was terrified at first. I could not sleep through the night. Then, I began to wonder what the meaning was behind the naked man in my dream. Was there a naked shameful man running around my neighborhood standing in closets?  Was this an odd creepy fantasy? Am I going to have a naked man ghost move into my closet? Was this a sign I need a fashion makeover?

The weeks following, I kept thinking about my naked hairless visitor and I began to write technical reports. I wanted to go back to the fundamentals.  As I plugged away writing and researching, I had time to reflect on my previous post. I wondered how I could improve on my creative writing. That’s when I decided to enroll in a script writing class. I am not abandoning my blog or characters; instead, I looking for new doors to open. I am searching for my next chapter in life.  That’s when I began to understand who that mysterious, shameful naked man in my closet is. He is the birth of my new literary balls. I am no longer going to suffer in silence or shame or write with reservation. Now, I am in a new chapter in my life. I am opening new doors and exposing my new literary balls. I hope you continue to enjoy my life’s journey.

Vern is busy

Vern sat at the kitchen table working on the computer and papers scattered about. Her father was busy watching football in the living room. Vern’s father was beginning to become concerned, because Vern was not her normal compulsive self.  Today she was completely focused on her project.  Most weekends she spent all of her time in the house cleaning, organizing and most of all attending to her father, but not today.

“Vern, can you get me a soda?”

“No Daddy, I’m busy.”

“Ok, I’ll get it.” He sighed, but instead of getting up right away, he waited until the next commercial break. Then he crept into the kitchen to spy on Vern. She was busy looking at something on the internet and drawing a series of lines on paper with colored pencils. He didn’t want to interrupt her, so he went to the refrigerator to grab a 20-ounce bottle of soda.  Then he went back to the sofa to watch the game.

“Vern, I forgot to get a snack. Can you bring me some chips?”

“No Daddy, I’m still busy.”

“Busy doing what?”

“Just busy”

“Fine Vern, I’ll get it.” Vern’s father did not get up to get the chips; instead, he called and ordered a pizza with hot wings. Since the pizzeria was only three miles away the delivery man arrived within fifteen minutes. The doorbell rang.

“Vern, can you get the door.”

“Who is it?”

“The pizza man”

“No, I’m busy.”

“Fine, I’ll get it.” Vern’s father opened the door and signed for the pizza. He went and sat back down at his chair in the living room.

“Vern, I need my table. Can you get it?”

“No, no, no, no Daddy!  I’m busy.”

“What can you be so busy doing while I’m here suffering?”

“I’m mapping.”

“A trip?”

“No”

“Then what can you be busy mapping while I’m not being cared for?”

“Daddy, I’m mapping my veins.”

“Your what?”

“My varicose veins, I’m sick and tired of having these blue and purple lines going down my legs. It is time I plan a course of action.”

“I like your veins. They look cool, especially the one on the back of your knee. It looks like a tattoo of a spider. When you walk, it moves as if it is real. You should stop what you are doing. Come sit with me and watch the game.”

“No way, I’m going to be real busy now.”

“Why?”

“Because, I forgot to map the veins on the backs of my legs. I didn’t even know I had any there.”

“Mapping your veins is not going to help you. You’d benefit more watching the game with me. You can feel good,   making sure I’m comfortable.  Then I won’t have to get up to get everything.”

“No, today you’ ll have to take care of yourself. I have to map my vein,s because the doctor said he would laser treat as many veins he could in thirty minutes. I am creating a map, so the doctor can spend less time talking to me and just follow the map.”

“Good thinking Vern, but can you help me out a little. I’m struggling here.”

“Fine Daddy, I’ll get your table, but then I’m back to mapping.”

“You know what Vern?”

“What?”

“Every time you come in here to bring me soda or stuff I can help you out by pointing out your veins.”

“How thoughtful, you’d do that for me?” Vern asked sarcastically.

“I know. I just want you to know I support you.”

“Yes, you support me like another painful pair of compression hose.”

Daddy is nominated as a runner up Santa

Vern got home from a long day at work. Her father was standing in the living room. He was busy doing squats and bending exercises as he played his video game.

“You’re exercising?”

“Sure am”

“That’s nice to see you working out and heeding the advice of your doctors.”

“I have too”

“That’s the spirit, daddy.” Vern went upstairs to change into sweatpants and t-shirt. After changing, she went into the bathroom to wash the makeup off her face. She noticed darks spots on the floor, the bath rug and towel. She gathered up the items to wash them. She went back downstairs to the laundry room. “Daddy, what happened in the bathroom? Did you cut yourself shaving?”

“No” He said panting while trying to do abdominal crunches.

Vern decided that it was not worth fussing over. She began to cook pasta with chicken. The entire time she cooked her father did not stop exercising. He was breathing heavily. Vern caught a glimpse of him running in place.  “Daddy, should you really be working out like this?”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“Ok, dinner is going to be ready in just a few minutes.” Vern fixed the plates of dinner. She put her father’s plate on his TV table in the living room. Then she made a place for herself at the end of the dining table.

“What is this?”

“It’s pasta with baked chicken.”

“I can’t have all these carbs.”

“Daddy you eat carbs all day. Tonight you’re going to complain about eating pasta?”

Vern’s father sat down in his reclining chair. He wiped his face off with the napkin. Then he took off his hat.

“Daddy, what happened to your hair?”

“I colored it.”

“I can see that.”

“Does it look good?”

“No, no you look Goth. Why did you dye your salt and pepper curls black?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Daddy, are exercising and coloring your hair for a girl?”

“Noooo, my looks are hot already for that. It’s something else.”

“What is it? Are you missing mom?”

“No Vern. I mean yes, I do still miss your mom, but this is all about Christmas.  I was nominated as runner-up for Santa Clause at the VFW.”

Vern chuckled. “Daddy, that’s a good thing. Think of all the children you will make happy.”

“No, think of me! I don’t want to be Santa Clause. I’m a war veteran. I can’t do it.”

“So, you thought exercising and dyeing your hair black would take you off the nomination.”

“Yeah, Pete is always Santa. It’s his thing, but if something was to happen to him, I would have to do it.”

“What should we do?”

“I still have a week to lose more weight, shave my head, get violently ill, or leave town.”

“I think you are going too far.”

“But I don’t want to be Santa!”

“Why? The children at the hospital love it when the VFW comes.”

“Yes, I like doing that. It’s just that I’ve always been a helper.  I want to be a helper, not Santa.”

“Daddy you are a warrior. You’re going to have to put that red uniform on, lace up them black boots and spread cheer. Santa is a warrior. Every day of the year, Santa is preparing for his battlefield to bring gifts to the children. Being Santa is an honor.”

“I guess you’re right. I’ve never thought of it that way.” Vern and her father finished eating dinner.  Vern put up the plates then she brought her father a scoop of frozen yogurt.

“Vern, I can’t eat this.”

“It’s good and good for you.”

“No, if I’m going to be a runner up for Santa, I need to eat like Santa. Bring me some cookies with milk!”

Daddy is a seismographer

It was black Friday, Vern and her father drove to the King of Prussia mall in Prussia, Pennsylvania. After making the way around the first floor of the mall, the two had lunch. Vern’s father was tired of shopping. “Vern, can we go home now?”

“Daddy, this is the best shopping day of the year.  I’m not finished.”

“What’s all this stuff you’re buying?”

“Things”

“What kind of things?”

“Just some things.”

“Sweetheart, who are you buying that stuff for?”

“Fine daddy, all this stuff is for me. I’m going around buying things for me. Do you have a problem with that?”

“Well, yeah, I kind of do. My feet feel like I’ve been in a twelve-mile road march with a ruck sack. I want to go home, take off my pants, drink a beer and watch television.”

“Daddy, I always take care of you. After everything happened, I stopped taking care of me. I am ready to start treating myself. This day is mine, so you can sit over here on this bench. It has a great view of the first floor and second floor.  I only need to go in one more store.”

“Ok, ok, I get it.” Vern’s father sat on the cross walk on the wooden bench. “Hurry up, I’ll wait right here.”

“Fine, don’t get adventurous, just stay there.”

“With feet like mine, I’m not going anywhere.”

Vern walked off in the direction of the nearest department store. Daddy sat on the bench playing a shooting game on his cell phone. He started getting agitated, because whenever someone walked in front of him the floor would shake. The shaking was strong enough to lose aim and cause him to lose the game. He kept attempting to play the game over and over again, but the vibrations were getting worse with the growing crowds. Frustrated he stopped playing the game.  Searching on his phone, he found an application called seismograph. He wondered for a moment if he could actually measure the vibrations of the floor of the people walking by.  He downloaded the application and began to use it.

Vern,toting two large shopping bags, walked towards her father. She could see her father was up to no good.  He was sitting on the same bench, but when large groups of people would walk by, he would start chuckling while looking at his phone.

“Daddy, what in good nations are you doing?”

“Nothing”

“Let me rephrase that; what are you doing with your phone?”

“I’m using my seismograph when people walking by. Watch, it’s funny.”

“Daddy, that’s so rude! Put that thing away. People are going to think you’re making fun of them.”

“I kind of am.”

“Daddy, you cannot go around measuring the vibrations created by people.”

“Who said?”

“I do. Seismographs are to measure seismic waves of earthquakes. You’re being rude.”

“But it’s not fair to me when people stomping, running and giggling by are messing up my video game. I lost a lot of points here.”

“Fine, old man let’s go home.”

“I’ll go home, but I’m not an old man. I’m a warrior.”

“Really, I think today you are more a seismographer than a warrior.”