Prompt for first creative writing class: RAINSTORM
The torrential rain kept her awake. She couldn’t sleep. Wasn’t rain supposed to be relaxing? What was it that disturbed her? Why could she not sleep? The rain didn’t lull her, it irritated her. Reminded her that all was not well. The hills may slide. The mud carrying all away. But she was safe. Wasn’t she?
Was it anxiety? Was it caffeine? Was it simply the din amplified by hypomania? Yes, when in this state any noise irritated her. What the hell did she think she was doing this week? Starting to rewrite her book, take a creative writing class, and work out with a personal trainer on the same week her son began college.
He wasn’t away for college. Oh, no. He was attending the local community college and didn’t yet drive. So, on top of everything else, she remained his chauffeur. Fuck. He was getting better. He was more independent than before, but he still relied on her to drive him to classes and to doctors’ appointments. He still didn’t prepare his own breakfast and lunch. He’d just eat a protein bar and banana. At six feet tall and 125 pounds, he needed to eat more.
Caring for him, worrying about him, wore on her. She had hoped that he’d be eating more by now, that he’d make a sandwich or eat a bowl of cereal. She had hoped that he’d feel ready to take his DMV written test, so he could learn to drive.
Though, really, the time that they spent in the car was their special time. Often he wore his headset and cut her off from him. But, there were times when they talked, when they laughed, when he shared his thoughts with her
Back to the storm. Crap transition, but the rainstorm felt like her life. Stormy, but cleansing.
Long time in coming… below more emotionally substantive content are the results of the survey I took in mid-February. First of all, my first reaction to being asked to take a survey is a curt “No” then an abrupt disconnect. That said, I finally decided to figure out where and what the results were. Quite honestly, I’m not sure that I can give my readers what they want, nor that I want to anyway.
Actually, I’m not sure I can give anybody what they want or need right now. My brother-in-law is hanging on to life by a thread. Lung cancer has taken most of him. My husband LOVES his older brother. Thank God my husband visited him last week. He really needed to see his brother.
To top it off, today my son was supposed to do an oral presentation on “What Sally Said” – a vignette written by Sandra Cisneros in The House on Mango Street about horrendous physical child abuse. Unfortunately, my son identifies with Sally. He dreaded going to school and doing the assignment, especially because part of the assignment was to relate the chapter to your own life. Finally, this morning after I somehow got him to go to school in spite of his anxiety, I emailed his teacher and guidance counselor about my son’s anxiety, my mental illness, the fact that I have slapped my son (perhaps not “reportable” as abuse, but damaging all the same), our history of mental health treatment, and my son’s emotional sensitivity. My kid’s emotionally, if not physically, scarred. His teacher responded that he could do an alternative project rather than the classroom presentation and that if he did the presentation he would receive empathy from his classmates. Thank God for great teachers. Thank God, too, for his wonderful therapist who will see him this afternoon. I pray. Honestly, I cry, and then I pray.
The only thing that really matters is my family right now. As if I really care (and I do, somewhat)…
What blog posts do you find the most helpful or most enjoyable?
- I love it all….. (KO – Thank you.)
- Your personal stories (KO – Thank you. Now I have to learn how to write stories. Time to brain storm and do writer crap (I mean exercises) like those circle things with lines all over the place.)
- I really enjoyed your third person autobiographical creative writing. I’n not based in States but imagine your support contact info is very useful to those who are…I found the descriptions of bipolar disorder helpful ingaining better understanding of what this actually means and I enjoyed the spiritual side too (KO – Once again, time to become a writer, rather than a sharer.)
- I like that this blog is written by an activist. I may not be too interested in the action? What is important is doing something about … whatever. (KO – There’s the rub. How to be an activist without calling people to action?… And why write in my own words what someone else has already written?… I’ll have to think about this. Again, I have multiple social media presences where I can share other content.)
- Shortish posts that capture a feeling that I recognise. (KO – Well. Failed that request here. Longish post with multiple feelings and content topics. Oops.)
What do you find least helpful or least enjoyable?
- Nothing (KO – OK)
- Re-blogs. Stuff from NAMI. Though the “call to action” notices like the one to save SSDI was important to me. (KO – Need to rethink what I share. What my purpose is. I do see myself as more of a disseminator of information than a writer. Perhaps I can use my other social media presences to share others’ information and refine how I use my blog. Perhaps I can actually write more.)
- I’m not sure i found anything fitting that category (KO – OK)
- Posts that are egocentric. Obviously we are writing about our lives, interests etc. I’m not saying those posts about I, Me, Mine. Exist here especially. We are all a bit guilty of that anyway. Just trying to answer the question. (KO – Very egocentric post here – sorry.)
- Long unbroken chunks of text. (KO – Sorry for this post. At least I used bullet points, pictures, and color.)
What content do you want to see?
- Pretty pictures along with personal testimony, maybe some sense of humor. (KO – I think I wrote this one, which humors me, if not anyone else.)
- Of course I want more original content! 😉 And anything to do with support groups…. (KO – maybe I should actually attend a support group sometime soon. Aside from group therapy, and Peer-to-Peer psychoeducation, I haven’t attended a support group in about a decade.)
- I always get more out of folks’ personal struggles and Ah-Ha moments. I know they’re harder, scarier to write, but they mean more to me. (KO – Ah-Ha? My memory may be too fried to recall. Perhaps I’ll have some Ah-Ha moments in the near future. Who knows? I’ll try to be inspirational. Or, not.)
- I really most enjoyed your creative writing and so would like to see more of that type of writing although the informational writing seems very high quality – or what about what bipolar isn’t (you’ve mentioned schizophrenia but there must be others) Keep up the good work, blog works well and looks nice, thank you 🙂 (KO – Since when have I been a creative writer? Time to learn how to be a creative writer. Maybe.)
- More of the same. Good writing skills, interesting topics, unusual points of view. (KO – Thanks.)
- I suppose content that sparks lots if questions in my head. (KO – I’ll have to think about that one.)