Fiction Fridays: Five Creative Writing Exercises That Helped Heal My Trauma

Five creative writing exercises that can help heal trauma, on bettysbattleground.com

The week before last, I posted the Fiction Fridays finale. For those new to this blog, Fiction Fridays was a series in which I posted original short stories that I had written. I closed the series, but that doesn’t mean fiction is not still an integral part of my trauma recovery. Fiction has been a bright point in my life as long as I can remember. When I was a child it was the light by which I viewed the world; since acquiring PTSD it has become the guiding beacon which I use to stumble out from this dark purgatory. Without fiction, this blog would not exist.

People have asked me how I am able to dive back into some of my most painful memories in order to write them out in these posts. Readers have commented on my courage, my bravery; the self-discipline it must take to engage with my trauma in such an honest and public manner. The answer to anything related to trauma is never something that can be summed up in a simple one word response…but ‘fiction’ has definitely been a major catalyst in my recovery. If I had not first explored my trauma through creative fiction, I would not be able to write about it in non-fiction narratives. Had I not first placed the lens of fiction between these events and myself, I would not be able to view them so thoroughly through the direct lens of truth. Fiction has allotted me a safe setting to explore feelings, events, and characters which would have been too triggering to visit in other contexts. It has reduced my symptoms. It has saved my life. Today, I want to share this tool with you.

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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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