Stream of Consciousness

How Genre Fiction Changes Lives For Real

Sometimes fantasy isn’t very far from the truth.

I’m a storyteller.
It’s what I do.
I’m a writer.

And, not get to get dramatic but stories change lives.
Because stories ARE lives.
Stories are how we as humans relate to other humans and human values, struggles, ideologies, victories, etc.

Anywho, this is a post I wrote a while ago but then forgot about. Nice to know it still 100% applies.

 


A blood prophet is a gal who is born with the ability to tell the future…. If her skin is cut and blood flows from the wound.
This brings great pain until she speaks the prophecy out loud, which she then cannot remember, as her brains switches off and she feels euphoria to compensate for the terrible things she sees.

But what really pinged for me is how she experienced life.
And how OVER STIMULATED she got, so easily.
And yet she still SAVED LIVES.
She matters, has purpose.
Even though she can’t handle more than a few more “images” a day.
When Meg, the main character who is a blood prophet that escaped slavery, began to live in the real world, (that is, outside of a white-walled room with nothing in it, literally), she became way too easily overstimulated by all the new stimuli and her brain sort of “turned off” and she was a zombie for a few minutes. Without even realizing it, she’d zone out, turn off, numb.
You see, Meg, like all blood prophets, was kept in a teeny little room and shown photos of things from the outside world. The only experience with the outside world she ever had.
When Meg has new images or places, situations, photos in a magazine, facial expressions, personal feelings, etc…. and she get’s too many new ones in one day… she’s done.

I realized, this is exactly what I do.
My brain turns off.
Without me realizing it.
I was abused as a child and as such, learned to “detach” or clinically put, “dissociate”.
Meaning, mentally, Daphne wasn’t home.
As I grew older I continued coping with unhealthy situations and relationships this way.
Without knowing it.
Once into therapy, we figured it out.

But I didn’t know it was so pervasive in my everyday life.
I thought it was one size fits all.
Instead, there’s versions of it. Levels.

To spare any lengthy dissertation of my life and experiences in the past four years, I’ll stick with the most jarring and recent realization.
Which came about ONLY once I’d read this book and realized it was an actual thing that happens to human beings.

I started college.
One class.
First semester.
A subject I LOVE.
I approach class every day with enthusiasm, interest, excitement, ready to learn more about what I love and apply it to my life.
And I HATE college.
Let me repeat…
HATE!
LOATH WITH A PASSION!!!

I couldn’t figure out why.
When it finally hit me, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to figure it out. It was once I’d read three books in this series that I added the knowledge to my life and behaviors in the past months and the light bulb BURST into life above my head.
I am a slow learner.
No, really.
I need to soak in, absorb, directly apply information to my life, and repeatedly read stuff, take notes, dissect, etc. when it comes to learning.
When it comes to doing things in a job, I learn really fast.
When I have to read and learn something new in a book environment, I’m slower than molasses in midsummer.
And it threw me. I’d always considered myself a quick learner. When I had things to do – I excelled. Give me a pattern of activities to do and BOOM I have it down.
Not to mention I got through schooling with ‘A’s in every subject.
So HOW am I a slow learner?
I focused on getting good grades. Not on learning. School doesn’t reward learning; it rewards good grades, doing the work, being disciplined, etc.
I’m a hard worker, I’m disciplined.
I’m a slow learner.
I need to learn at a much slower pace than 3 chapters of twenty-five pages each and 3 assignments with their own set of research and information – in one week. Which is the definition of college.
NOT for me.
Lucky for a gal like me, life has options.

Reading Anne Bishop’s novels on Meg taught me something about life, about myself, about how I learn, and about how often I get overstimulated and zone out, without realizing it.
REAL LIFE wasn’t teaching me this.
NOTHING was teaching me this.
A work of fiction. A story. An urban fantasy. This is how I learned vital information about myself and how I operate within the world.
A work of fiction genre taught me truth no one else and nothing else ever had.
THAT is the power of genre fiction.
It is a lie with more truth in it than we can imagine.
Because no story, no matter how bizarre or unusual, is ever truly made up.


The series I am talking about in the post is Anne Bishop’s “The Others” Series. You can check her books out here. I have only read books #2, 3, and 4. I’m excited to read more.

What have works of fiction taught you?

Stream of Consciousness

During Therapy

“I know of people who are bedridden. I’m not saying I’m not grateful.” I smirk at her. “You know I’m a lot more grateful now, than I ever was. I see the greatness in my life, the potential, options, beauty, goodness.”

I look down, play with the black tassel of the zipper on my bag. “I fight it. I don’t think I’ve accepted it, how it affects me, controls me, every day.”

My therapist smiles softly. “How do you fight against it?”

“Struggle to be awake, to focus, to get rid of a chronic illness, one of many. It’s like I’m filled with lead in a world of people filled with helium. And I’m sitting here berating myself as if I’m only being lazy.”

“And how would you be if it didn’t affect you?”

I shrug. “Without ME? I’d have energy. Suddenly not be affected by it at all. Be able to focus and be part of my life. I actually like life now. I want to be here for it. Instead I’m sleeping it away.”

“What do you think you’d have to do in order to stop allowing ME to affect you?”, my therapist asks.

My laugh is short and without humor. “Be God.”

 

She laughs and smiles. “You’ve got it.”

“There are only two things you need to know about God.” She holds up a finger. “One, there is a God.” A second finger. “Two, you aren’t God.”

 

“You’re experiencing a lull, yes. But it’s normal.” She responds to my concern. “Life does this. Humans do this. It’s like going to college. At first, you’re excited, you’ve got your eye on the prize – your degree, your desired job. Freshman year is a breeze. But then it gets hard. The homework. The papers get harder. The professors, the lack of sleep.” She looks at me, kind, clever, and all-knowing as ever. “You’re somewhere in your sophomore/junior year. Keeping going.”

“Right,” I agree, nodding my head as I think it through, “life is always going to be hard.”

I brighten a bit, a troubling issue illuminated. “You’re right. I’m doing everything I need to be. I’m taking care of my responsibilities and striving to do better at being kind to myself, accepting myself for who I am. I’m finding ways to enjoy my life. I eat some froyo and deal with the minor migraine later that night. Then the next day I go back to eating the way my SIBO having self can deal with, without regretting or getting down on myself for indulging. I’m still trying and in many ways succeeding.”

I smile to myself. Take a deep breath in, let it out.

“My depression and anxiety are just taking me through a detour. I’m still on the right path.”

 

Stream of Consciousness

IDENTITY: Briefly Endure Daphne’s Contemplative Side…

There is no defining moment. You must break free of your own accord.

More often times than not, when someone asks a writer – “When did you decide/ know you wanted to be a writer?” – they have a pretty good answer. A specific one. A certain day or an event that caused it within them to want to write or realize that’s what they always wanted to do.

I have no freaking clue as to what caused me to want to write! I don’t remember much of my childhood but one thing’s cemented into every memory; I always wanted to write. In fact, I’ve never even had to give it thought before. Never doubted it.

But that brings me to something less concrete. Who am I?

I’m a writer, yes, but what else? Are people so caught up in daily life that they forget to figure this out? Or give it any attention at all? I did.

Continue reading “IDENTITY: Briefly Endure Daphne’s Contemplative Side…”