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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Oh, hey, that's interesting. 
4th-Aug-2009 11:08 am
Everyone here is a crazy person.
Iiii just kinda triggered myself. Hi. Will be fine. But.

I was writing a flashback in Cicatrix - a very vivid one, of my protagonist seeing Kai - who's just re-entered her life after ten years - going off in an adolescent psychiatric ward. Now, for those of you who are lucky enough to have never experienced this: going off is what they call it when you lose your shit, when things get violent. When they have to restrain you.

So I'm writing this, particularly the struggle between Kai, who is a delicate li'l girl, and one particular orderly (although others pile on near the end). And he takes her down, and he is straddling her, and someone else is yanking her pants down because they give you the sedative shot in the ass.

And my protagonist? Starts dissociating, and flashing back even further, to her childhood sexual abuse.

And so I spend like the next ten minutes with a hand clamped over my mouth all shit, that - I didn't know that was there. I knew the character's abuse was there; it's a major part of the plot. But I wasn't expecting to be channeling that flashback today, you know?

Am vague here, because I don't want to trigger anyone all unawares. But the scene itself is very detailed. In the ten-years-ago sense, not the seven-years-before-that sense; the protagonist keeps pulling herself back to the present. Still.

EDIT: Seriously, I'm going to be okay. But I think that I'm going to have to get this novel out, writing my ass off and letting it pour through til it's done and out out out, and I think I will have to make it clear to loved ones while I'm doing it that I'll need extra cuddling and, at every available opportunity, stuffed grape leaves.
4th-Aug-2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
Ouch. Internet hugs and virtual strong coffee to you.
4th-Aug-2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
And so I spend like the next ten minutes with a hand clamped over my mouth all shit, that - I didn't know that was there.

Do we ever really know all of what's in there? Especially those of us who have traveled more difficult paths?
4th-Aug-2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Heh. Nope. But writing tends to dredge stuff up from the subconscious....
4th-Aug-2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Amen. Virtual hugs, stuffed grape leaves and studly cabana boys fanning you with palm fronds with gentle exotic music in the background :-)
4th-Aug-2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
I want studly cabana boys! Just one! With a tape gun and willingness to finish my packing!
4th-Aug-2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Last night I said to my husband "Hi, I need cuddling." He asked what was wrong.

... I'd just spent the last couple hours researching serial killers (particularly from the early 20th century but wound up covering later than that). I probably skimmed a few dozen & read the details of four or five.

He looked at me and said "I don't understand why you write things that mean you'd have to do that."

Not the same as triggering myself (though I've done that too), but, certainly similar in the "need emotional recovery from my work" sense.
4th-Aug-2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thinking of you, hoping that the writing goes well and that you get the cuddling, grape leaves, and other caretaking that you need to go with it.

In semi-related news, on my way in to work today I ran into my friend CB who also knows you via BARCC. Small world.
4th-Aug-2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
This is gonna be brutal. And damn fine writing.
4th-Aug-2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know you, so I can't give you cuddles, and I don't know your address, or I would figure out how to send stuffed grape leaves. So all I can send are good thoughts your way. I respect the hell out of you. I want to be as amazing as you when I grow up.
4th-Aug-2009 05:21 pm (UTC) - But I wasn't expecting to be channeling that flashback today, you know?
I'm right there with you on that. Part of the reason why I'm finding it so difficult to go back to my novel is because I never intended for it to become my catharsis.

In the opening scene, one of the main characters was supposed to have gotten into an accident while leaving her boyfriend. I had implied that he'd hit her or scared her, and that was what brought her back to her hometown. However, things spiraled from there, and soon I found that I was basing things way too much upon my own experiences and triggering myself. I began sleepwalking again, and couldn't stand to have anyone touch me. My thoughts in general were a lot more morbid and dark. Admittedly, I thought I'd dealt with the trauma long ago, so it really sideswiped me to discover that I really did not have my shit together after all. Looking back over the partial draft that I did not delete, I felt that I couldn't share any of it with others. I wanted to put the entire thing behind me, and not let it bleed into everything that I had been writing at the time.

One positive thing about removing all references to it is that this has forced me to really be objective and work on continuity issues. If the story can stand on its own without sensationalism, then I'll consider putting the scenes back in.
What's more, I found that somewhere between edits, I'd changed it from Kit's third person perspective to her girlfriend's first person narrative... so some parts don't mesh well.

Anyway, this is not about me. But I just wanted to say that I get it.
4th-Aug-2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
4th-Aug-2009 06:13 pm (UTC) - Take care of you, Sweetie.
Virtual *hugs* and hopefully I will see you tonight at Diesel.

Good luck with the story.
4th-Aug-2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I swear, I need to make all my writer friends Story-Huntin' Sticks for Winter-Holiday this year. They can not only help one track and trap the wild plotbunnies that go galumphing through one's brainspace and need capturing, but also, if need be, subdue and smite the ones that get uppity or, worse, try to bite back. Such an item might prove handy when writing close to the edge like this.

*hugs* I'm proud of you, and proud of the work you do.
4th-Aug-2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
*sends fluffy kittens and playful puppies*
5th-Aug-2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Virtual hugs. *hugs*
5th-Aug-2009 01:51 am (UTC) - Thoughts
Stuffed grape leaves are excellent. For other ideas, well, I write a lot of ice cream recipes and a fair number of savory crockpot recipes.
5th-Aug-2009 04:38 am (UTC)
I always support stuffed grape leaves.
5th-Aug-2009 10:15 am (UTC)
What're you up to, the rest of this week?
6th-Aug-2009 04:23 am (UTC)
Working for the week. Am free after work.
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