Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Life on the Sister-front and more writing!


Sister #1 is still not talking to me. And I'm pretty okay with that. I know I need to work on forgiveness though. Whether or not she deserves it. Sister #2 was smart-allecky and rude last night when my brother brought her over here to get her stuff. He could only get about 1/3 of it in his truck though, so he said he'd come back for more next week. And he said he'd get my other desk from Sister #1. He's a good brother.

And on the writing front: I think I've finished chapter 16 of Faith. I've got just about everyone ready to get on the ship and thus begin the last chapter! I'll have to remind my brother that he said he'd help me with the fight scene.

I'm not sure that Chapter 16 is good though. Parts of it are, I think, but other parts.... I'm concerned that the scenes are so short, but I've gone back through them and can't find much to expand. And there's the Bashir problem. See, in the story, he's giving up on everything. And with the Dominion treating him the way they are, he's a bit too busy to be participating too much in my plot. So he spends a lot of time doing the same things. Which aren't too exciting. He'll have a big part in the final chapter, but right now, he's got a few moments and a bunch of the same old, same old (if you can call his state of mind same-old, same-old). And then there's that: his state of mind. I hope I've protrayed him well losing his mind. Because I spent so much time not in his POV, it feels splotchy to me. I've got to remember to run this by my beta readers.

Well, anyway, let's get on with the...

    Status of Stories
  • Faith, Part III: Peace Chapter 16 is finished, leaving only one chapter and the ep to go!
  • The Honored Right where I left it, 1 1/2 chapters, one scene near the end.



The Explanation of the MegaStress


I went reading through some of my old posts here and realized I'd said I would explain the Megastress, but I never did.

So I'm going to try and explain it now.

I was living in the DC area, which, by default, is a stressful place to live. It's very busy. Even when you're not busy, you feel busy. There are great things about it (the cultural sites you have within your reach, for example) but it's a very fast-paced life.

In October, I think it was, 2000, I was working for a small office of a pretty large company. I found a guy on a Christian dating website. We hit it off well, but to make a long story short, I was on a date him. He was a very nice guy, I didn't feel well so we didn't go out. We stayed in to watch TV. He laid beside me. (Clothes on, on top of the blankets.) He touched me (nowhere particularly naughty). I watched TV like it was a lifeline. But I thought to myself. "I'm 28. 14 year olds do this (make out). Maybe if I try it, I'll like it." I tried it. I turned my head to kiss him back. And I felt something.

Fear.

Absolute fear. I started going to counseling. I reallized I had an emotional block that was keeping me from falling in love. Trust was the thing. I had major trust issues when it came to men. The counseling blossomed into a self-searching time when I learned what it meant to be an adult child of an alcoholic and to grow up in a dysfunctional, emotionally-abusive family. And I came to the realization that my father molested me.

In 2001, I was working for another company. It was a great job but with an evil boss. Really evil. I was depressed. I quit the job an was unemployed for six weeks with not one day's work. My rent alone was $875 a month. Somehow I did manage to pay it. I got another job, at $15000 less pay a year, but with nice people. But I only had three weeks until my lease was up. I couldn't find a place to live. I couldn't stay where I was because of the money. Oh, and I hadn't been writing. I hadn't been imagining for about 5 months.

Also, somewhere in the middle of all that, I got a kitten. My previous boss drove me to get him. And then, after I'd left my purse at the lady's house (who I got the kitten from), he took me to the drive-in at McDonald's and kissed me. And he knew about the trust issues and stuff!

That, in a nutshell, is what I call my "Megastress." More than a handful of major stressors happening all at the same time or one right after the other for more than a year. More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure, but I want to paint this picture. Just in case you lost track:

    The MegaStress Stressors
  1. The date/the realization of the block
  2. Counseling/realization that I was molested and an ACOA
  3. Evil boss
  4. Unemployment
  5. Losing my imagination/no writing (Since writing is my drug, that is serious!)
  6. Trying to find a new place to live
  7. Lease running out


I swear there used to be ten. But I can't remember them now. See below about the costs of MegaStress

The result is that I've learned stress is dangerous. Very. Most people don't realize it. It has hurt me mentally. I don't have the level of concentration I used to have, I don't write like I used to, I don't remember things like I used to.

And now I've got the problems with words. I actually didn't want to write "one right after the other" up there. I tried to write "consequitively" but I wasn't (and still am not) sure how to spelll it anymore.

All that said, I think the counseling (which is stressful in its own right but still good for you) helped, as did Al-Anon and finally Focus. I don't think I've got that emotional block anymore, for instance. But also, the Megastress has taught me some good things. Self-forgiveness, for one. I shouldn't kick myself for my faults, like the things I forget. I don't have any control over that really. And I've lightened up on myself in other ways. In February 2002, after I'd gotten hooked on the Lord of the Rings, I got a new slogan: "Embrace your obsessions! You'll be happier that way!". It was true! I'd fought my obsessions before, not wanting people to think me too obsessive. But you know what, that's unnecessary stress. There is so much stress in this world that we can't control, why stress over things we can. So, I fully admit that I'm head-over-heels obsessed with the Lord of the Rings. Heck, I've got LGO LAS on my license plates!

And there was another thing. I used to say "I want my old brain back. This one is just a loaner." But one day God revealed something to me. An epiphany. He'd given me two other poems during the MegaStress and just after. Poems that didn't rhyme, which wasn't like me at all. One day I was trying to pray in a Bible Study about prayer and He started giving me a new poem. I'd been feeling very stressed. I could feel it kind of swirling around in my head. While we prayed, it stilled. I could almost feel his hand on my shoulder. He gave me the poem and some words I had to write around the margins. "Epiphany" was one of them. Another was this: "You are keeping me weak, that I might see You better!"

So much had happened that I couldn't attribute to myself (like my car) but to His providence. I can see Him so much better now that I can't do as much myself.



Two years later, I'm healing. I'm recovering. I've seen that road and I don't want to go down it anymore.

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