Once upon a time, a baby was born. She was born as perfect as any baby is born, her hope and humanity and purpose still untouched by jealousy, by undue pain, by disappointment or despair. And so, despite some hardship, she was a happy child. She loved telling stories, and acting them out for her friends. She loved animals, and kept many near her. She loved her mother and her father. She loved sunlight, and singing, and a great many things, as children do.
But this child was born with a disease, latent deep within her. It was a disease capable of robbing her senses, her sense of self, even her great many loves. But it was also a disease that could be treated. It was a bad disease, but with the love of her friends, family, and countrymen, she could be lifted from the worst of it, and continue to live in that happy way. So you understand, then, that it was a terrible tragedy that many years before this girl was born, before she was even a spark of lust in her parents’ eyes, before they were even spark of lust in their parents’ eyes, the society into which the girl was born deemed it illegal to show symptoms of her disease.
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.