Fiction Fridays 8: “Balloon Wisdom”

Fiction Fridays on www.bettysbattleground.com

It’s Friday! I’ve got something special for you.

It’s been another sickly week for me. That’s another side effect of PTSD, by the way. Well parenting two toddlers who go to daycare also, but I have a pretty healthy diet and immune system and all that; my body should be more capable of healing itself BUT because of my actively triggered PTSD, it is under such constant stress that I am getting really, really sick. Doesn’t help that my PTSD nightmares have returned with a vengeance due to all this court BS. Sleep is imperative to healing.

See? PTSD has very real side-effects.

Anyway, I finally went into the doctor and got antibiotics so I’ll be doing better. As you’re reading this though, I am probably sitting in a Family Court Services interview growing cold while I talk about my abuse with a stranger.

So here’s your surprise: I am posting an unfinished story that I have written, which I really, really love. It doesn’t have it’s ending yet, so that aspect may be a little frustrating, but I’ll give it to you packaged in a way that seems at least somewhat conclusive.

I have been saving this story to finish, edit, and send to be published elsewhere, but now, today, I am giving it you..at least this much…free! All because I was too sick to write fiction this week. Really…I wrote a ton of blog posts; The Shade’s Children book review and the post about leaving my abuser that I posted here this week, plus a guest post for another blog that’s slated to go up next week, and another post as a test for a paid position. So, see, I can function while sick and triggered! But fiction is really hard for me.

Sadly, I did not get any responses to the Fiction Fridays 7 prompt. YOU GUYS NEED TO START SUBMITTING! I WANT to feature YOU! I want to help you get new viewers and grow your audience! But you have to submit your writing so I can showcase it. I’ve got a great prompt this week. Hopefully it will get your creativity flowing so I can share your work with the world!

It’s a Friday post so please, as always, comment on the fiction content, and not just the stuff I wrote in the intro. If you want to give me your well wishes about my sickness or interview that is very sweet and kind of you, but can you please also say a few words about my story? Even if it’s critical feedback..I love constructive-critical feedback as much as compliments because it helps me grow my writing. 

Anyway, that being said, the eighth original story on Betty’s Battleground. “Balloon Wisdom…”

Fiction Fridays 8: "Balloon Wisdom" on bettysbattleground.com

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The Other Question: Why Did You Leave?

The question you SHOULD be asking survivors of domestic violence: "Why did you leave?"-answered

Earlier this year I wrote a post answering the terrible question that everybody asks, or wants to ask, survivors of long-term domestic violence: why did you stay?

My hope for that post was that it would provide enough information, which was personal to me but could be extrapolated to other abuse dynamics, to deter people from further asking DV survivors that judgmental and offensive question.

Seriously. No matter how well-intentioned you may be, “why did you stay” sounds to a domestic abuse survivor like “it’s your fault.” Not good.

I am writing this post, on the other hand, to encourage you, dear readers, to ask this question more often: “Why did you leave?”

People rarely ask DV survivors why they left. To many, the answer seems obvious. Of course she left; she was being abused. But if the answer to “why did you stay” is as complex as I proved it to be, then the answer to “why did you leave” is not so straightforward either.

“Why did you leave” is a good question to ask, because it encourages DV survivors to vocalize and thus acknowledge their strengths, and it reveals what it is they most care about. If we can, as a society, better understand what matters most to people in abusive partnerships, and what drives them to leave, then we will be better equipped to help more victims leave sooner, and stay away.

So here it is. The story of why, after four years of unimaginable abuse, I finally decided to leave.

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Book of the Weeks: 4/24-5/7/2017: “Shade’s Children”

Book of the Weeks 4/24-5/7/2017: Shade's Children

This post contains affiliate links. You can view my full affiliate links disclosure at the bottom of any and every page, but, basically, if you purchase this excellent book through the links I put in this post, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

 

Why does nostalgia have such authority over us?

I was recently talking to a friend about nostalgia; about how we will gleefully cram junk food into our gullets or delight over terrible movies and toys that break apart in our oafish hands that are no longer sized for play. All because these things, often shoddy and undeserving of our deep affection, ignite our nostalgia.

It is a potent balm, nostalgia. It brings us back to those times when we were innocent of the vast heartbreak that life often offers; when the sun seemed always to shine, and when we could feel the boundlessness of love, as palpable as a hand on our forehead when we were sick or a hug on the playground.

A lot of things make me nostalgic. Nothing quite so much as books.  I still have my favorite books as a child, tucked away in boxes; a few still on display on a bookshelf at my mom’s house; even fewer on display in my own bookshelf. When I sometimes pick up these books to re-read them, I feel their brilliance before I even peel open their much-abused covers. I still love reading, and delight in it, but when I was a child, reading was a portal to another dimension. Reading the books I loved as a child now is more like a time machine; it takes me back to the place where reading was a form of transportation. And that is wonderful.

One common phenomenon of nostalgia that I typically bypass when it comes to books, however, is the shoddy-quality aspect. From the toys to the movies to the foods I loved as a child, most tokens that cause me to feel nostalgic are pretty much junk from a non-emotional standpoint (oh but how could Tamagotchies ever be called junk). The books I loved as a child, with few exceptions, however, tend to still be quite good reads.

This weeks’ feature book was one of my favorites as a child, and one which I still recommend now as (and to) an adult: Shade’s Children by Garth Nix.
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