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Topic subjectAnybody Else Respond This Way?
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=91394
91394, Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by Wandering Author, Sun Aug-19-12 10:07 PM
This really does get around to writing - I promise. But I have to explain the background.

This past week has been very stressful. My father, who had dementia and was on Hospice because he refused all treatment (this was not the dementia - he always disliked and distrusted doctors) had brain seizures for ten hours last Monday before they could get them to stop using quantities of Valium and morphine that according to them should have been enough to drop a herd of elephants.

He was in a very bad state ever since, and had a few more seizures; he spent the past few days in a total morphine haze, since there was nothing else that could be done for him. Almost three hours ago now, he died.

Now, it was a complex relationship. Sorry if I offend anyone, but although I miss him and find it sad and all the obvious things - he was also a deeply flawed man (perhaps some of those flaws weren't even his fault, but that doesn't change my experience of them) and I have some horrible memories of him as well as pleasant ones. There are many people who have worse memories of their parents, but just the mixture is hard to deal with. So, of course, I've had a tough time this week, and on top of it, I'm exhausted.

And one of the strongest responses I've had is to write. There were nights I couldn't sleep, no matter how tired I was, so I sat up writing. I wrote in the bathroom. I wrote every chance I could get. I think I've written more poems the past week than I did in the past five years combined. And worked on several other projects... So I'm just wondering how many writers respond to emotional stress by spilling those emotions all over the page?
91396, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by whilstwhile, Mon Aug-20-12 01:33 AM
First of all, your father's passing and the struggles you and he endured while he was living are rather blue experiences. I'm sorrowful for your loss and any pain you must be experiencing for it.

I find writing to be a great way to deal with emotional stress. Sometimes I write fiction, sometimes lyrics, sometimes I rant. Any sort of writing works. In fact, I find that I deal with emotional stress better when I write than when I don't.

I don't always share my struggles with people, so if I'm not talking to anyone, and I'm not writing it out, I'm basically just bottling all of those emotions up inside of me.
91397, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by Dreamerscove, Mon Aug-20-12 01:34 AM
Sounds like a bad way to go. Hugs, and I hope you can now start putting your life back together.

As for writing, for me yes. It's my refuge. Things get hard and tough? I usually resort to writing to take some semblance of control back. It's a small bit of control, but in my worlds I control everything. It makes dealing with 'real life' where I have little or no control easier to deal with.
91398, Hugs to you
Posted by CatrinP, Mon Aug-20-12 05:03 AM
for the past, the present and the future.

Let me tell you of my experience.

I'm a maths person, did a maths degree way back when, majoring in computer science (before the acronym IT was born) and have been a mathematical programmer for 30 years.

I avoided English in school as much as I could. I could write an essay, but even though I read as my escape, I hated writing fiction. No imagination, totaly inability to put words together nicely, failed to spell, hated grammar and all the rules and exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions. *shudder*

By comparison Maths and computing languages are so much nicer and easier to deal with (even with letters mixed in with the numbers *grin)

Years later my mother got alzehimers, at the young age of 67. Not always close to her emotionally - we were too much alike - my family and I lived 15 minutes from Mum and Dad, and I worked with Dad. My boys were in primary school (elementary school in US I think). I saw Mum almost daily, with Dad and with my boys. She had always been physically and mentally active.

Watching her her mind disintergrate on a daily basis was almost more than I could handle. But I did, for Dad and for my boys. Dad and I continued to run his business, as well as caring for Mum at home. We continued to have weekly family dinners and the boys continued to interact wth Mum.

And suddenly I have images in my head I couuldn't get rid of. Nonsensical images. Images that belonged in a TV series or something. And they kept repeating, in my dreams, in quiet moments, in inopportune moments.

I told a friend and she blithly said I should write it down.

I snorted. That would be like writing fiction.

Three days later I was sitting in front of my PC supposedly writing code and fixing a database for work but I was writing the story.

I didn't go to bed. Hubby rolled his eyes the next morning but understood (so he thought) - I would often do this when a deadline was looming. Told me to nap during the day when the boys were at school.

I didn't. I wrote. Deadline looming for work, but I wrote words. I wrote well into the next night, napping for a couple of hours, and into the next day.

That was June 14th 2005. I haven't stopped writing since, not for any great lenght of time.

Mum died in 2007, 10 days short of her 70th birthday. I grieved and I wrote.

Hubby now knows I write, and still rolls his eyes when I come to bed at 3am, though he's never sure if I'm programming or writing. My sons know too.

My recent real life stresses have halted the words and I'm getting back into it after a few months, but I totally understand the need to escape through words.

Hugs again, and don't think you are odd. You're as normal as a writer can be.

91402, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by Erin_M_H, Mon Aug-20-12 06:25 AM
My condolences for your loss. No matter how ambivalent your feelings were, you've lost your father, and you can never come to any better terms on things that might have lay between you.

When my own father died, almost seven years ago now (where has the time gone?), I don't remember burying myself in my writing -- in fact, I may have taken some time away from writing to process it. That tends to be my reaction to stress: curl in on myself and don't let it out. We all react in our own ways; it sounds like you and Catrin react similarly.

-- Hugs
91403, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by RavenCorbie, Mon Aug-20-12 07:08 AM
I'm deeply sorry for your loss.

Sometimes, I write lots of poetry when stressed. Other times, I bury myself in other things: reading, video games, etc. Usually, I do write at least one poem in there, but that might be all.
91404, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by Laevus, Mon Aug-20-12 08:23 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss, that's not a very nice way to go for anyone :(

Over the years I've had many problems to deal with, and these have not been helped, but instead added to, by me suffering from depression. I've tried to deal with the madness inside my head in many ways over the years, but it always ends up coming back to writing.

I feel the urge to write something, whether it's related to the current problem or not, every time I feel down. I have to admit that my best and most emotional writing has happened in these times. I've had fantastic ideas surface from nowhere when I've been moping and they've been a great help to keep me distracted from my problems. When I use my bad feelings to write and I write about those feelings, I find I get my most powerful work.

I really enjoy writing when I'm feeling stressed, it's a great outlet and really helps me to feel better. I've done it for years and I'll never change it.
91405, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by KatsInCommand, Mon Aug-20-12 11:27 AM
In light of your experiences, I think you're lucky that you are able to stream your emotions through writing. I am sorry for your loss - even with the negative issues (I'm much like that with my mother, so I do understand) - regardless, the loss of a parent is a serious life change. It sounds like you're well equipped to deal with this change.

Keep that door open, and maybe in time *all* the pain will fade...

91407, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by magic seeker, Mon Aug-20-12 03:03 PM
Hugs! My condolences for your loss, and my sympathies for the relationship.

My response to loss or great stress is to read. And read... And sometimes to write non-fiction. I'm not good at getting my emotions onto the page.
91411, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by dabrownofmn, Mon Aug-20-12 08:49 PM
Sorry for your loss, and I can understand the complex relationship with your father. My maternal grandmother was mentally ill and mean spirited. Before she died I had disowned her, and I didn't even make an effort to go the funeral. (A decision I still don't regret, and it's been over ten years.)

I do respond to emotional stress by writing, but usually in short bursts - such as poems and short stories. When stressed I'm likely to spend a lot of my time with my guitar or ukulele, playing video games, or reading.
91415, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by Chevaliersg, Wed Aug-22-12 02:32 AM
My father and I were at odds with one another when he died. He and I had not spoken for a year before he left us. I was barred from the funeral.

To say this affected me is to understate it.

Before my father died, I wrote about heroes and MC's that always won in the end.

After my father died, I wrote about heroes with father issues and had a lot of arguing going on with my MC's and their figurative fathers (commanding officers, Gods, creators).

Some of this stuff is so self-indulgent that I can't bring myself to share it.

Most of it is being edited for publication.

Not only will you do this, you will find yourself doing it a lot.

You are going to go through this healing process and part of it is to get these thoughts out of your head. To reconcile. To heal.

You know my email. If you don't, go to my profile.

You need to talk, you write and tell me.

Life without honor is life led in vain;

Rem tene; verba sequentur (Grasp the subject; the words will come)

91418, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by mskitty, Wed Aug-22-12 10:47 PM
I lost my mother this January. We had been working on her short stories, getting ready to publish a collection.

She was watching TV here at the house when she passed away.

I stopped writing. I stopped editing while I was in the middle of readying a paperback.

She was a complicated person. We had a very contentious relationship while I was growing up, (she and my sister had a much worse relationship) so I had a lot to forgive her for.

It was 4 months before I could finish the book. I still can't look at anything she wrote by hand...there are 18 volumes of her short stories on my computer.

Relationships in my family are complicated. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a Soap Opera/Sci Fi/Reality TV show. There are serious health issues that need dealt with.

I HOPE I can eventually start writing again. I HOPE I can finish publishing her work.

I can so relate to having mixed emotions about a parent!
91419, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by GlendaKP, Thu Aug-23-12 02:50 PM
First let me say I'm so sorry for your loss. Flawed or not, he was your dad. I do understand where you're coming from. Your brief description of the relationship between you and him mirrors the one I had with my mother.

Mom died in 2007 after a long hard fought battle with ovarian cancer. She died before I could get to her side and with a lot of things left unsaid and undone. I was much like you. I handled the emotions by pouring words out of my soul onto the computer screen - and not necessarily about my mother or death or any of that. I wrote one of my funniest short stories during that time period.

Personally, I think for writers this is a natural reaction. I have a friend who is an artist who seldom left her studio after her brother was killed in Iraq. And it's a much safer outlet than many others we could have chosen.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss and your family will be in my heart and meditations.

91422, RE: Anybody Else Respond This Way?
Posted by crimson_angel, Sun Aug-26-12 12:10 PM
Very sorry for your loss.

Yeah, I tend to write a lot when I'm going through stressful situations. When I divorced my first husband, I found myself writing poems. Lots of them. And novels. My most prolific year was the year we divorced, 2006.

My father is currently estranged from the family. Without getting into too much detail, he abandoned my mother after almost 40 years of marriage and subsequently divorced her in the worst way possible. I've forgiven him for that, but I cannot have a relationship with him anymore (and we were very close before this all went down). I wrote a lot but oddly enough, I haven't been able to write about what happened. Every time I try, I freeze up. It's been 3 years since it happened and I'd like to get past it. But the words won't come. It's a disconcerting feeling, as I've never had trouble writing about things before.

91427, Update - and Thanks
Posted by Wandering Author, Mon Aug-27-12 11:17 PM
I had hoped to respond individually by now and thank you all, but the day after my father died, I came down with what I have learned is viral bronchitis. (Which I apparently caught from my not quite two year old granddaughter. I'm happy to say she's doing better than I am.) So I don't have the energy to do that yet; even my writing has slowed down more than I want it to.

But thank you, all of you who responded. I will try to get back and reply when I'm up to it.
91429, RE: Update - and Thanks
Posted by Erin_M_H, Tue Aug-28-12 05:27 AM
Take your time and recover thoroughly. Bronchitis can linger, and it always makes me feel like I'm thinking slowly.

Glad your granddaughter is doing better.

-- Erin
91473, RE: Update - and Thanks
Posted by MarFisk, Sun Sep-02-12 11:07 AM
Take care of yourself first. Everything else can wait. HUGS on being sick. And glad your granddaughter is recovering well. Here's to you following that path soon.