Monday 12 June 2023

Still Trying To Get Out Of That Hole

Wish I could say that I am back to my highly-motivated, driven and productive self again--writing up a storm each morning after making sure my beautifully-blooming flowers and promising vegetable garden have enough water, and not even minding that I got so little sleep because the ideas for characters, plots and settings were coming so fast. But I'm not there yet. While my heart is starting to heal from being so unapologetically crushed as I reported in my last entry, my head still has a way to go. 

However, the last seven years of being a published author have shown me that childhood dreams can come true and I have the inner determination, along with God-given, cultivatable talents, to accomplish whatever goals I set. I think most of us feel that rush of adrenaline and excitement when the creative juices are flowing and we're doing something that lifts our spirit, makes us smile from our heart and brings a feeling of calm and peace. We need that to offset all the commotion that often makes the world feel like a lonely, overwhelming and scary place we're not sure we want to be part of.

I've wanted to be a writer since penning my first novel at the age of fifteen. And I do mean writing it with a pen on sheets of notebook paper when I should have been studying, especially math since I have never understood more than the basics. It was far from being an upbeat, lighthearted story like most of the ones being produced for juvenile readers in those days, but it was my first real attempt at trying to put into words  the thought and feelings of a confused, introverted and hurting teenager who had already seen far more of the underside of life than she was capable of understanding. 

Those of you who have read past posts know about my being blamed for the accident that nearly cost my little brother his life and forever changed the dynamics of our home life when I was five. Some might even recall my sharing the poem I wrote about being molested by my violin teacher and not having my mother believe me. And there was nothing fun about spending six months in bed with Rheumatic fever when I was in the third grade or losing my father so unexpectedly when I was thirteen.

Silently suffering through so many traumatic ordeals when I was a born introvert caused me to withdraw further than I might have into a world of my own making. I was far more comfortable confining myself to the windowless basement bedroom I shared with three sisters where I could read books underneath the covers at night and play with my dolls and paper dolls instead instead of having to interact with even members of my own family, unless I was doing my assigned chores in a prompt and efficient manner. I was terrified of causing someone else pain or becoming more damaged than I already was.

That's why not being able to write these past two months has been so difficult. I like being lost in my head. It keeps me from having to deal with unpleasantness like being dumped by the only guy where there's been a mutual attraction the past ten years--and all because I wouldn't fall into bed with him like every other woman he meets. The sensuality he exudes on stage is hard to miss. But like so many other love-starved females, I wanted to believe he possessed more important qualities than the obvious. Unfortunately, the mystique created to bring the women in an audience back for a repeat performance disappears almost as quickly as the bright lights overhead.

Despite the number of days that have flitted into oblivion since my last contact with him, I still feel stripped of every inner hope that made writing fiction so much fun. Not that I've lost my belief in love and the sheer joy it can bring, but I do feel like I'm stuck in some giant hole of my own making whose edges are so high and crumbly that there is little chance for escape. Taking something that was, in realty, little more than a beginning friendship and allowing it to take away my sanity is childish at best. But I can't deny that our texts and conversations brought a brighter ray of sunshine even on a cloudless day. And I can't seem to stop the mental image of a scene from the movie "The Thorn Birds" where Barbara Stanwick's character, a seventy-year old woman who has just been rebuffed by the young priest she has a crush on, ends up telling him that her outer appearance does not match how she feels inside. She's still that young, vibrant girl who wants to be in love.

Maybe that's simply a fact of life that must be accepted by those of us who have never found the kind of love we desire while in this sphere called mortality. But I won't deny that it felt heavenly to have an attractive man hold my hand, kiss my lips, smile at me with a certain light in his eyes and sneak his arm around my waist while we were talking to other people. I'd never had that before, even when I was married. My husband was a cold and offish man. He never took me on a date, remembered a special holiday or even acted like he cared. If I had surgery or lost a baby, I was expected to be up the next day taking care of household duties. And sex was nothing more than an act to get me pregnant because he wanted a child of his own, not the two we had adopted. And he had the very unmanly habit of letting me know that everything not up to par in our lives was my fault alone.

I have been starved for physical contact my entire life, and feeling some of it during what can only be called my twilight years was a heady experience I didn't want to lose. But perhaps those unexpected feelings need to be mourned like so many other losses I have endured over the years. God made me with a tender heart for a reason, and I love helping people whenever I can. However, there is a flip side to that gift and one that Satan is certainly capitalizing on right now. It's being jealous and judgmental of women who have what I most desire and beating myself up for every possible flaw I see in myself. 

Since the evil one couldn't get me to go against a promise I had made to God, he chose a more effective tactic--using lifetime weaknesses against me. The last two months I've basically lost interest in doing things that once brought great joy, have stopped putting my health before my food indulgences and spend every night watching TV reruns instead of reading and doing handwork for people who might one day appreciate the effort. If it wasn't for yard work, gardening and two days of committed service to others, I would be a basket case of disproportional size.

I know I'm not the only one who has ever felt that way, and maybe it's okay to indulge in sorrow and pain until that stage of the grieving process is over. But I'm to the point that I either start swimming against the current or sink. I've always told myself that it's better the be alone than with the wrong person, and I still believe that. And my being able to write what I have in this post, and the last one, has been an enormous undertaking and help. You see, I am writing again. It might not be a novel, but it is exploring human feelings and tendencies that translate into better understanding my next character. 

We are no longer living in an "Ozzie and Harriet" or even a "Brady Bunch"world where the worst thing we have to contemplate is burning the Sunday roast or one of our children getting a bad grade at school. Most every headline is designed to cause an intense emotional reaction regardless of which side of the political fence we're on. Instead of trying to live together in harmony, the powers that be seem determined to pull us apart by focusing on our differences instead of our commonalities. 

I find myself wishing we could go back to simpler times when neighbors talked to each other about things that really matter and schools were a place where children learned to read and write without undo social pressures. But I fear those days are gone, and I need to make peace with where I stand right now. Not that I know how to get over another broken heart--even if it was mostly based in a non-reality--but I know I have to try. So I hope you'll be hearing from me more often and that the next time I write I may have even opened a file where I have a story-starter ready to be developed. 

Now, I'm going to get my allergy shots and pick up a few things at the store. I'm finally able to sleep laying down after weeks sitting up in a chair so I could breathe. That's a blessing in itself, and I need to pay more attention to God's tender mercies because they're happening every day, even if I'm unable to see them.

Books by JS Ririe:

The Truth About Strangers - Book 3
The Trouble with Strangers - Book 2
The Hearts of Strangers - Book 1

Rivers of Rage

Beyond the Glass Doors

Kismet Finds a Way

Crossfire at Bentley

Final Allegiance - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 1

Resilience - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 2

Safe Haven - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 3

Unsheltered - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 4

Welcome Redemption - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 5

Indecision’s Flame - Book 1

Lost - Indecision’s Flame - Book 2

Exposed - Indecision’s Flame - Book 3

Betrayal - Indecision’s Flame - Book 4

Reawakening - Indecision’s Flame - Book 5

Unraveling - Indecision’s Flame - Book 6
Destiny - Indecision’s Flame - Book 7

So Long, Bishop - by Viola Ririe

All books available in print or eBook format a:

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