Write

 

Writing saved my life.

When I was young I had no one to talk to, because no one spoke my language.  One parent always worked, and another decided I was too inconvenient to remain in the state with.  I didn’t make friends easily, if at all.  I had too much to talk about that no one my age could relate to.

I was obsessed with reading, and had a higher verbal I.Q. than most of my peers and some of my instructors.  That’s not bragging, I was tested and measured at 132.

I had a habit of telling tall tales, and embellishing on reality until it became something more.  When students were given assignments to write stories, mine stood out for clarity and scope.

I’ve just found out I’ve had PTSD for most of my life, as a child and adult.  It had gone undocumented, untreated, and ignored for twenty years.  It’s no wonder I couldn’t make friends.  I couldn’t trust or relate.  I would extend too much of myself or none at all.  Little things could make me shut the door on friendships quickly and permanently.

I’ve had one lifelong friend: the English language.  I couldn’t call my mind a friend, despite all the stories it gave me.  I became a writer because I spent most of my life disassociating.  I was as far away from my life and body as a human being could get, which explains why real people could rarely reach me.

Writing was my healthiest method of disassociation, and I highly recommend it.  I found other ways that weren’t so healthy, but we’re not going to go into that.

Writing gave me a goal.

I loved seeing my work published for the first time when I was seventeen.  Throughout my early twenties, even when in the midst of making my worst decisions, experiencing publication and receiving reviews for the only work I took real pride in gave me something to look forward to when I was otherwise mentally absent.  I disassociated from my work and relationships, but when I was alone, I lived.  I lived on paper.  I lived online…

…even when living felt impossible.

For the last few years I’ve experienced suicidal ideation.  I reached a point where I could no longer function without help.  My illness became apparent to those around me, especially as I tried to engage in full time school and full time work.  I was weighted with exhaustion, my moods swung, and I forgot everything.  I could no longer take care of myself.  My mind drifted repeatedly to the idea of what it would be like to truly rest – to not worry, not rush, not endure.

In those times, writing classes helped.  It gave me gaps in time to focus on and explore my thoughts, feelings, imaginings, and connections.  For a few years I had lost the habit of writing every day because of all my work.  I had to squeeze it back in spaces I could fit it.  Part of what held me together this semester was a Writing for Media class, where I learned script format.  I could only write horror and tragedy at first, but my professor pushed me by assigning me a comedy.  It was a dark comedy, because that’s all I could do at the time, but it kept me engaged in my studies through the agonizingly slow process of the psychological evaluation my school’s Student Disability Service arranged.

I now have my official diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and people at my school and work suddenly treat me better than I remember.  It makes me wonder why kindness and consideration aren’t used as preventative measures.  Why is it only present as policy when someone is already ill?

I have accommodations from the school and a mediator for meetings to help reduce my stress and anxiety.  That doesn’t make me magically optimistic.  I’m not particularly trusting of sudden kindness.  I also don’t know if I can pay my rent, if I’ll graduate, or if I’ll find employment that offers a living wage.

I just know that even if I live under a bridge, I’ll write.  I write because it reminds me there’s something that fills the shell I live in.  It makes me grateful for my appendages and mind.  It taught me courage when I felt robbed of it, and redefines me daily when the world tries to write me into unfit roles.

If you ever feel alone, or feel like you have no one in the world to talk to, try writing.  I highly recommend it.

It’s Noon-Thirty

…or something.

Biology class is imminent, though so is the fact that I’ll be a few minutes late.  I’ve attended my classes responsibly, for the most part.  I’m a bit cocky because I’ve been cutting class since the 2nd grade and still passing…

…not just passing, but excelling beyond my peers in every standardized test.

Maybe it does make me cocky…too cocky.  I haven’t exactly passed every college class.

I did OK on the lab practical…fairly sure I passed, but I don’t like it when it’s a mystery, a surprise I’m waiting for.  I’ve done much better on every other exam so far.

I don’t know why I’m telling this to the internet as if it cares.

Is it sad that I would love time to write fanfiction again?  Then again, I love the job that has eaten every available hour outside of classes between noon and 10pm.  I love assembling the dead, putting their pieces back in place and learning their stories.

I’ve finished a baby deer skull and two human craniums just yesterday…

Dear online diary, forgive me for being late to class to tell you everything.

Life After Loss

 

Paul Robert Faulkner

Last March 5th my mom and dad got married after 22 years together.  Five days later he died of brain and lung cancer.  My disabled mom, who had taken care of him full time by that point, became homeless shortly after.

Mom’s now living with me, and their first anniversary is coming up.  We all miss my dad.  We’ve gone through our firsts…our first birthdays and holidays without him, and now one year is approaching since my mom lost him and everything they owned.

I’m trying to raise funds to buy my mom a modest home and running vehicle in the town she was uprooted from, the town where dad’s ashes are scattered.  The goal amount would also cover job training in a field my mom  has been talking about entering for half her life.

I want to give mom a new start.  I can’t offer her happiness, I can’t give her dad, so I want to instead see her independent, mobile, and ready for a new beginning.

Every dollar is a step closer, every share an act of love.

 

http://gofundme.com/AngelaFaulkner

 

 

 

Life Ever After…

Life after…

life after…

After what?

 

I could do nothing,

but doing nothing today would be the same as a melt down.

If I could melt down into my bed…

 

melt down its wooden leg and hide somewhere in the carpet, solidifying like a wax-monster.

 

I could hide in the shadows from what’s inside and out.  Why is everything more visible in the dark?

 

Melt down…

 

All red, orange, throbbing inside.  All screeching sirens and dreaded whispers.

 

I didn’t see the sirens…

 

That’s right.  He died in a hospital bed.  There were no sirens.

 

I wasn’t there to hold his hand..

 

I wiped his dust from my hands by a river bed I don’t know if I’ll ever see again.

 

I keep a bit of him in a necklace I rarely take off.  I wonder what bone fragments I’ve gotten.

 

I wonder what of him I can keep.

 

I’ve stolen his hand gestures, and his guarded smile.

“You are Not Alone” has been Published and is Available on Amazon!

Several of my pieces have just been published in an anthology called You are Not Alone: Stories from the Frontlines of Womanhood. The anthology was inspired by the hashtag #Yesallwomen and was a collaborative effort between editor Leah Carey and ten active participants she chose from the hashtag. The book is all about the experiences of discrimination, harassment, and dehumanization that women experience just for being women. Below is the cover of the book, a video sample of one of my pieces within it, and the book’s first endorsement.

Book Cover

endorsement

You are Not Alone – an Anthology inspired by #YesallWomen

Good news, readers and followers! At least 6 of my poems will be published in an upcoming anthology called You are Not Alone: Stories from the Frontlines of Womanhood. This anthology was inspired by #Yesallwomen. If you don’t know about #YesallWomen, it was a phenomenon that swept across the globe for a month, one of the longest-trending hashtags in Twitter history, and was all about women’s experiences of violence, harassment, objectification, and discrimination simply for being women.

None of the participants featured in the anthology, including the editor Leah Carey, are the originators of the hashtag. The hashtag began with a tweet by @gildedspine (Kaye). The work in this anthology are by writers who began participating in #YesallWomen about a month after its creation. We aren’t the source, we were simply inspired.

The following are small samples of two of the poems I wrote that will be published in the book:

The following are video samples of two other authors featured in the anthology: