If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I have deep-seated trauma involving the holidays. If you haven’t read my blog before or don’t know about the abuse in my past and/or why it intensifies during the holidays, here’s the holiday specific post and here’s the index to the past.
Thanksgiving, New Year’s, birthdays, anniversaries… those were all special days and thus subject to the intenser brand of insanity in the household.
But Christmas was by far, by leagues, the worst. Even after I escaped from my parents, we’re talking years with nightmares and what I call walking nightmares. Often the bipolar-comorbid-PTSD-driven unstoppable, immersive memories would be so intense that I would cry and shudder in terror, and sometimes I would block out entire days or even weeks of such torment. I try hard not to remember this kind of hell.
This year, there were not even nightmares. Oh, there were definitely times when primeval terror started to take over, which the bipolar apparently is fond of doing, but it didn’t manage to wag the PTSD very much. I attribute this to three things:
My friends standing by me
It was like this with Thanksgiving too, except substitute in the driving need for NaNoWriMo words in place of the story. For Thanksgiving, I guessed that the need to balance three lead characters and multiple twisting plots kept me from thinking too much about the past—though if it weren’t for the little green pills, I wouldn’t have been able to get that far.
But for Christmas, after I’d written the story, every time I started to tank I would think about that setting, those characters, those moments. Without little green pills, this would have been as effective as fuck, but with the green pills keeping the horrific cutscenes at bay I’ve been able to use various coping techniques.
I have my friends to thank most of all for their encouragement and support. And DF/GF cookbooks. ^.^
Of course, now I’m staring at the prospect of writing an entire book or even series called Seal Tales. Seal Tales. And liking the idea. Shouldn’t I be writing more serious stuff? Whatever happened to King Lear As You Like It In Space?
But… what I want to write (and read) is Seal Tales. (Man, I need to watch Mur Lafferty’s video about permission again.)
<WRITERWOES> I actually have 10,000 words of what’s probably about a 25,000 to 30,000 word novelette, unless the plot blooms on me again, in which case it’s a full-fledged book…. you know this started out with a 5k word target? And then even after it’s done, it needs to be rewritten, revised, beta’d, revised again. </WRITERWOES>
So far… so good. Christmas is over, save for the returns. I have to keep watching out, though, I’ve been known to have bad reactions up to a week after the holiday. It’s not like abuse came out of a spigot that was conveniently turned off after the 25th.
We can but hope.
6 thoughts on “Amazingly My PTSD Mostly Left Me Alone for Christmas”
i’m so glad your holiday hasn’t been awful so far.
That is wonderful news! Let’s hear it for the muse and her little green pills!
Little green pills, I need to make that into a tagline somehow. :D
Yay for holiday peacefulness!
And don’t worry one bit about what you ‘should’ write. ‘Should’ is a path to writers’ block. Write what you want to write; it’ll come out better. Besides, plenty of people have found more depth and meaning in fluffy entertainment than in Srs Litrachoor. (Because in fluffy entertainment, the writers didn’t sweat the meaning, you see. Attempts at Srs Litrachoor tend to be overworked and heavy.)
Good advice, that.
I’ll write what I want to read! And no one can tell me different. Well, they can, I just won’t listen. ^.^
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