The Trauma

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Liz is over it now. The breakup of her relationship with the man who meant so much to her. She goes on with her life and is happy most days. She doesn’t even think of him. She thinks of the life she has ahead of her and all she has to look forward to. He flashes through her mind occasionally, but that doesn’t bother her much. He’s a stranger. A stranger in a tragedy that seems like it never happened. Often, she feels that must have just happened in her imagination. Until night time comes.

Liz has had other traumas in her life. She doesn’t remember them. She has no idea what they were except for one incident, but her doctor thinks there was more than the one incident. That something happened way back, maybe in her childhood that she has buried deeply. She hasn’t been able to sleep for a long time, not without medication. If she falls asleep without medication, the night terrors arrive.

After the breakup with this man, the night terrors got worse. A man became front and center in them. She isn’t sure if it is the man who hurt her so badly. She thinks it is.  Their breakup is not what hurt her. It was the way he let her go that was so painful. This trauma on top of the other traumas has caused the sleep medication not to work. She supposes she is going to have to revisit the doctor as she is once again going without sleep and remembering the terrible night terrors.

Sleep deprivation, along with the PTSD that Liza suffers from due to repeated trauma, can cause all kinds of problems. Even though Liz feels like she is over her breakup and over the other trauma in her life, she probably isn’t. She realizes that. Liz always laughs and says she is the queen of repression. That she can repress almost any memory and it does seem to be true. She tells her friends she has taken these painful memories and locked them in a little box she stores in her heart and head. Once they are put away, she goes on with her life. Don’t we all do that? Liz isn’t sure.

Recently, Liz has started to feel strain in other areas of her life and she isn’t coping with stress very well. She has found herself wondering if the memories she is repressing, and can’t remember if she tries, could be bothering her. The details of her most recent trauma, the relationship and breakup with the man, are even leaving her. How could she possibly forget that? But she is. But, the night terrors remain. Sleep is elusive. During the day, her coping mechanisms are failing.

What now?

 

 

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Posted in Challenges

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday, sponsored by NerdintheBrain , is a little challenge where we post three things that are making us smile this week. So here goes:

ONE

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This is a picture of Dolphins in Pine Island Sound, where we will be living six months out of the year. We’re preparing to move there and it is really hard work, but it will be so worth it! I can’t wait to live there, at least part-time! It makes me happy to think about it!

TWO

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Friends. Good friends make me happy! I feel so fortunate to have good friends! I have good friends that I can rely on and they can rely on me. I’m a lucky girl!

Three

Novel Reading Pages Table Book Wood

I’m writing a novel and it’s really going very well! I’m about 25,000 words in and almost ready to write a big scene to end the first third of the novel. It’s getting complicated and exciting. My novel is a psychological thriller. It makes me happy that it’s going so well!

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Posted in Challenges

The Great Escape

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“What is it, Mama?” the boy asked as they walked down the sidewalk with the great wheel looming in front of them.

“We don’t know, son. Some say it’s our Great Escape to another world since we can’t drink our water here anymore. More people are sick from poisoning from pollution.”

The citizens were gathering around the wheel, which seemed to be slightly vibrating. Some were afraid. Most seemed relieved. They had received leaflets dropped from the sky.

“But where are we going?” the boy asked.

His mother told him she didn’t know. She hoped to a safe, clean place.

 

Photo credit to Jennifer Pendergast

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Posted in Flash Fiction

The Moonshiners

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“Barney, be quiet, for God’s sake. Don’t alert the whole county that we’re out here,” Lester whispered.

“I’m trying, Lester, but the leaves and limbs on this forest floor make noise when you walk on them.”

“The moonshine still is right over here, Barney. Behind the old car. Just stand right there.”

Lester grabs the something that turns out to be a camouflage tarp and pulls it loose. A moonshine still was under it. Barney got the supplies for the mash to make the ‘shine out of the truck and they went to work. A combination of water, cracked corn, sugar, and yeast. Lester told Barney to go on home.

Lester was serving as the guard of the still that night. Before Barney left, he got Lester’s guns out of the truck. A pistol and an automatic rifle, an AR-15. That should take care of snoops and lawmen.

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Posted in Flash Fiction

Song Lyric Sunday: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In

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Time

The theme for today’s Song Lyric Sunday is time. I immediately thought of this song, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” an old song from 1969, sung by The Fifth Dimension. It is about a the Age of Aquarius, a time of peace and love, the theme of the upcoming decade of peace and love. I thought of it for two reasons. I think we need to think of peace in this time of upheaval in the U.S. I also thought of it because it was part of the music of a time in my own life when I was trying to get past a painful event. This is one of my favorite all-time songs. Down deep, I’m still that hippie girl that loved everything about this time in America.

To Helen: I wish peace and love to you in this time in your life.

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In
The 5th Dimension
Lyrics
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius
Aquarius
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in
Let the… Full lyrics on Google Play Music

Posted in Uncategorized

#SoCS -3/11/2017

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A lot on my mind today, though I won’t write about all of it. Too much. Still getting ready for our move to the Southwest Gulf Coast of Florida. We’ll live there six months of the year and at our home in Kentucky the other six months. I’d rather be in Florida! It’s hard to live in two places and harder still to pack up about one-third of my house to make this move in late March. Time is short. I only have about two weeks until it’s time to leave.

We have a very small place in Florida. Really it is just a base camp until we find a house to live in. It’s enough for now. It has virtually no storage and very little closet space so I’m going crazy figuring out what to take with us. Anything we take, we leave as we will go back in the winter for our first six month stay. We won’t start looking for a house immediately. We want to spend several six month time periods there to see how we like it on a long term basis and through several seasons.

I’ve been under so much strain that I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep and have developed TMJ! M;y dentist is making me a mouth guard that I have to wear when I’m sleeping. Isn’t that crazy!? If we can ever get moved and get settled, it will be wonderful to live on our island on Florida’s Creative Coast.

I am managing to get in some writing. I probably shouldn’t be writing as much as I am. Writing soothes me and I do some of my best writing when under stress. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I’m thinking of how I should be packing boxes. I should write something about packing boxes! As I’m sure most of you know, moving is a huge job.

I guess we will sell our RV. We won’t need it now that we have a place to live in Southwest Florida. I am glad we’re going to sell it. I am not much of an RVer!

Something great has happened recently. I’ve been able to hook up with a good friend that I had lost touch with over the past couple of years. Wendy and I have been good friends for years now. We drifted apart for awhile, but she is back in my life and I couldn’t be happier. She is smart and funny and she makes me laugh. I’m so happy that she is back in my life and I hope she will now always be in my life!

Have a wonderful week!

#SoCS

 

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Posted in Challenges

#weekendcoffeeshare 3/11/2017

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Good morning, everyone! Come right in and let’s drink a hot beverage together! In honor of Mardi Gras which is happening right now in New Orleans, I have a special ground pecan praline coffee for you this morning. Also a french roast. The very special people of New Orleans would love both! I also have a couple of specialty teas. I am a tea drinker, of course. There are often Mardi Gras Tea Parties held in New Orleans and a favorite tea there is Mango Sunny Passion. It’s here for you to enjoy this morning! Grab a cup of whatever you want and let’s go to my writing studio and chat!

I’m so glad to see and talk to all of you this morning. It seems we’re having a Mardi Gras coffee and tea party! I hope everyone has been well this week and successful at whatever you have attempted. I ended the week very tired. As you know, we are trying to accomplish a move to Florida for six months a year. We leave for what is called the Florida Creative Coast in just a couple of weeks with a UHaul and it’s a lot of hard work to get everything boxed up.

I also have things to do for my house in Kentucky – to get it ready to leave. I am working on these things way too hard and, last night, I hit the wall and crashed. Got some good sleep and I feel a bit better this morning. I think it inspires me that the part of Florida to which we are moving is called the Creative Coast!

Writers have to read as we all know. I got a book this week on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. It is fascinating to read about the flora and fauna – so unfamiliar to me. I hope to write a lot about it. I’m going to have a couple of cameras with me at all times and do a lot of exploring. I’m excited!

The reason that this part of Florida is called the Creative Coast is because our area is partly an artist’s colony which will be to my liking. Many writers and other creative types live where I’m going to live.

How is your writing going this week? I’ve been fairly prolific and the good news is that I’ve gotten several thousand words written on my novel. Some of the chapters weren’t making sense to me and I did some rewrites as well. Moved some stuff around. Now, I think it’s in good shape. I know most say that you shouldn’t edit as you write but I can’t NOT edit. I don’t edit for grammar, but I do edit for content. I’m using two voices in the novel and that tends to be hard for a first-time novelist like me. I am using the voice of both the protagonist and the antagonist. I have to constantly re-read and work on that.

It’s been such a warm winter in Kentucky, but Mother Nature decided to drop some real winter weather on us here in mid-March. It’s 29 degrees here this morning.

On top of everything else, I’ve had a sick puppy to nurse back to health this week. My little dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They tend to be a bit fragile. She rolled off the couch (they are a little silly!) and hurt her back. So, off we went to my very good vet. Several hundred dollars later, Betsy is doing just fine. I think her back is healing as last night, for the first time, she started to play again. Cavaliers are such wonderful, docile companion dogs! I’ve had many breeds of dogs in my life, including pound puppies, and Betsy has the best temperament of any dog I’ve ever had.

I hope the writing muse is with you. Tell me how you’re doing in the comments. I’d love to hear about YOU.

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Posted in #weekendcoffeeshare

Hazardous Waste

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He walked when he needed to think. He walked wherever his feet took him. He had to decide what to do about her. He found himself outside the military depot. Inside they kept hazardous waste. Maybe their relationship was just that. Hazardous waste.

 

 

 

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#1: Musings of a Baby Boomer

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The Stranger in the Mirror

I got up this morning, and after having my requisite two cups of tea, I took a shower and went to my vanity to put on my makeup. I looked into the mirror and my first thought was, “Who the hell is standing behind me looking in my mirror!?”

That was me! That stranger in the mirror! There was no one standing behind me! How could I look like that? That couldn’t possibly be me! I wasn’t OLD! That person in the mirror is OLD! I put down my makeup and walked away, trying to get a grip on the fact that there was an old person in the mirror who MUST be me.

OK, so I put on my makeup and then I had to get dressed. Which means taking off my robe and actually looking at the rest of me in the mirror. Can I do this? I just discovered the older me, at least my face. Can I discover my older body? Why is it I’m just now becoming aware that my 35 year old mind is attached to this older exterior? Sheesh. Well, here goes.

You see, by the time baby boomers get to be my age, we may – just MAY – have lost and gained weight a time or two (or three). Or not. So, we have some….uh….bulges here and there and I’m surely not immune. Not only is my face unfamiliar, but so is my body. This is really ridiculous. I still wear almost the same size in clothes I wore at 35 years old but they fit me a little teeny bit differently. CRAP.

I get dressed, pulling on my jeans over my only slightly larger belly (yeah right). At least I don’t have to lie down on the bed to get them on. One small victory! I recently lost some weight and where did I lose it? Did I lose it in my tummy where I needed to? OF COURSE NOT!!! I lost it in my arms and legs, which were already skinny. And my face, which just makes any wrinkles I have look worse. Let me tell you. After 50, there is no way to win.

Speaking of no way to win, by the time you are my age, you may be fighting or living with some kind of chronic condition. In my case, it’s insulin-dependent diabetes. It makes exercise difficult because exercise causes low blood sugar in my case. Why? Because I can’t eat many carbohydrates and keep my blood sugar under control. What I need is to work out with weights to improve muscle tone in my arms and legs. I also need cardio to protect my heart and reduce my belly. All this, and I am at or below an optimal weight for my height. Life is not fair for the aging baby boomer!

I can possibly manage the weight training without dropping dead from low blood sugar. 🙂 Cardio is a whole other matter. I would have to carb load big time to even consider that and my blood sugar would shoot up to 500 before cardio and down to 60 afterwards. That is not a good thing and my doctor has no solution. Perhaps I can start out slow. Like a turtle. A very slow turtle.

Baby boomers, in 2017, are between 53 and 71 years old. That puts me firmly in the baby boom generation. So, why do I usually feel 35? Why do my baby boomer friends (I’ve only asked my girlfriends) feel the same? We all look in the mirror. But, inside, we feel 35. I don’t feel a bit different than when I was 35, just graduated from graduate school, starting my first job teaching in college.

Maybe I feel a little wiser about some things but not about all things. Maybe I feel a little stiffer in the morning but not all mornings. In fact, many days, I can accomplish more in a day than I could at 35. I may feel more self-confident than I did at 35 even though I see a stranger in the mirror.

Why does our generation feel young? I think one reason is that we’ve had access to the best health care of any generation, certainly better than our parents did.  We may have access to better health care than generations after us as we were generally covered with good health care at our jobs. We grew up with research and development into new anti-aging products. The millennial generation gets to start using these products now. We didn’t until we were 50. Not fair, is it? But, they have still helped us. We have facials, serums, lotions, creams, treatments, masques, and many other products to help our faces. There are just as many lotions and potions to help our bodies.

Then there are the dermatologists that offer dermabrasion, sculpting, peels, lasering, gels, creams, and much more. They went to medical school to treat kids’ acne while the baby boomers had to treat their own. They treat our acne scars.

We’ve learned how to take care of ourselves, something our parents knew little about. We’ve had better health care. We’ve reaped the benefits, as we got older, of research and development. There are other factors that are topics for other blog posts – exercise, nutrition, and many more. The fact remains that, for some reason, one characteristic of baby boomers is that they feel and act younger than their age and the question is WHY?

Is it because we grew up in the sex, drugs, and rock and roll era? We, in fact, invented the sex, drugs, and rock and roll era. So, to those behind us, don’t feel superior. We’ve already been there and done that! 🙂 Is it because we’ve had the benefit of new technology? Maybe it’s because we just have been determined to squeeze all the life out of life and all the fun out of life despite life kicking us down.

I think that the music of the baby boomer’s has helped our attitude toward life and assisted in keeping us young. Everyone will have their own favorite song. We’ve had John Lennon’s “Imagine,” The Rolling Stones “Wild Horses,” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” to keep us going along with thousands more. A friend of mine and I used to walk in our college classes singing, “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” by Huey Lewis and the News, every single day. I have girlfriends that still love “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper. The music of the baby boomer’s is another topic that deserves its own blog post, or several blog posts!

In truth, it was the magical time in which our generation grew up. The world was changing and, folks, we changed the world.

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Posted in Blog Series

Morphed

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“My God, Nathan, let’s stay out of that old house,” Karen said.

Nathan and Karen were college students doing a field study on water pollution in the Everglades in South Florida. They had spent most of the morning taking water samples from the swamp. South of Everglades City, they had happened on an old, deserted house.

Nathan went into the house, wanting to explore. Karen followed.

Nathan reached to grab the banister and Karen screamed no. On the post, there was an otherworldly green lizard-like creature.

“Polluted water isn’t all there is here,” he thought, jumping away.

 

Photo credit by Shaktiki Sharma

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Posted in Flash Fiction
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