Earth Day, And I Am Alive And Well

Earth Day  has always been a challenge for me.  Some of you may be old enough to remember the very first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.  It was a big deal: there had been an environmental consciousness movement rumbling beneath the earth’s crust, and suddenly it broke through in fire and smoke into a real above-ground popular movement with a “Day” all its own!

But that’s not what was happening for me.  I was a misfit 16-year-old, lonely and depressed, and somebody liked my legs, and I got dragged into a dark musty basement and violently raped.  The physical and psychological (not to mention sexual, oh no) consequences have followed me like an unwanted companion all of my life.

Hence, every April 22 since 1970, that would be 42 of them not counting this one, I have had a relapse of the off-the-charts PTSD symptoms that I got courtesy of the events of that day, plus a large dose of depression to go with them.

But.

This year I have been hard at work writing my novel, which is based on the events of that day and the seven months following it.  I have written that scene many times, minutely, going over and over it to make it perfect.  I have submitted it to a few contests as a short short fiction piece, and had it rejected because it was too graphic.  Victory!  I am not pulling punches.  I am not turning away in fear or disgust.  I am writing it like it is, like it was.

And today is once again April 22nd, “The Unhappiest Day of the Year,” as I used to dub it.

But guess what:  I’m not unhappy!  I’m not keyed up with the tension of waiting for the “big one,” the giant wave of PTSD to hit, pulling me under and keeping me inundated until it decides to leave me bedraggled and panting on the sands of release.

I just feel normal.

I grant you, I am a little suspicious of this, but I’m going with it, you betcha.  If this means that all of the agony of describing that day in living color time and time again has allowed it to flow out of my head via the miracle of touch-typing, then I thank all the gods and goddesses there are, even the ones I don’t know about.

Happy Earth Day, people.

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2 Comments

  1. How absolutely horrible. How absolutely wonderful that you can write about it. Catharsis in any form is a healing art. I hope you hold through and keep the peace today!

    Reply

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