Catastrophe

Catastrophe.

This is the first word I hear as I slowly awaken from my long, deep sleep.

What catastrophe?

Then …

“She’s awake!”

… and suddenly my quiet drifting world descends into a delirium of the fussing, fretting and fearful.

“Oh my god! She’s awake … look!”

The room floods with hysteria.

“Please stop!” I scream, but no words come out. My consciousness cloaked in a thick delirium. “Please stop!!!!! My head hurts …”

This is no happy reunion. I don’t want to see any of them. I want my life back, but not like this. Not with these mindless fools who put me here in the first place.

I’m awake now, but not just in the way they see.

Breathe, Amy, breathe away this claustrophobic panic and descent into hell.

“She’s not looking very good, is she?” Mother whines with the lilt of chronic disappointment I can recall all too well. “When can she come home then? I need her for …”

A kindly voice of authority intervenes.

“She’s not going anywhere for quite a while yet, Mrs. Boxwood. Why don’t you go get yourself a cup of coffee?”

Yes, mother, go! Go far away! Leave me alone!

I close my eyes. Perhaps if I can’t see her, and the swarm of bottom feeders hovering about her, they won’t be there.

“What’s happening? Why has she closed her eyes?” Every word out of my mother’s mouth a cloaked reprimand.

Go away already!

The kind voice, once again.

“Perhaps it’s best if you go home. Amy is still tired and needs her rest.”

“But she’s been sleeping for three months! Someone needs to tell her about Boo,” says my moronic best friend, Miranda. Somehow what I did not see before is so clear to me now. She’s a gossiping, energy-sucking vampire disguised as a goody two-shoes. And what of Boo, my beautiful horse who, I realize now, I so horribly abused? All I want to do is put my arms around his graceful neck and tell him how sorry I am for everything.

Is something wrong with my horse?

I’m feeling suffocated now. Panic setting in. I’d rather die than deal with these people now.

The voice of reason to my rescue as the oblivious still don’t get it.

“Look, everyone, I think it’s best if you all leave. Amy is still very weak and too much excitement will drain her of whatever precious energy she has. Now, go home, get some rest and come back tomorrow when you’re more relaxed. Amy needs quiet.”

“But it’s a miracle she’s alive. I want to be with her! I need her!”

My needy, idiot boyfriend, Danny. It’s an act, of course. I’ve known he’s been having an affair for a long time, even before this happened. I hung in because I thought I could change him, but it was killing me inside. Thankfully, I’m not dead. But I wish he was.

Go away!

I’m rescued once again.

“No, everyone must leave now. I insist. Any news must wait. Please … you can see her again tomorrow. But call first.”

The gentle voice trails off as the small gaggle of misfits finally makes its noisy exit. No one even whispers goodbye to me. Just … oh god … the needy needing the needy arguing where they’ll go for supper.

The kind voice speaks from above.

“You can open your eyes, love, they’re gone now.”

She’s an angel in uniform. Her aura radiates a softness with which I am so unfamiliar tears spring into my eyes.

“There, there, dear. We’ll sort it out. You’ll see.” With a soft cloth the angel dabs away the salty streams running into my ears.

“Why did I have to wake up?” Words thought, but unspoken. Still, the angelic one reads my mind.

“Because it’s time you woke up, dear.” She smiles reassurance. “Time to face your truth.”

I sigh a deep, quivering sigh.

My truth.

Talk about a catastrophe.

~*~

My response to this weeks free writing challenge from Kellie Elmore.

You have a story in you. Everyone does. And I challenge you to take the first step toward telling it. The prompt this week can only come from you. That idea you once had. Or maybe it’s that idea you just had. That story that hasn’t been told that you want to hear, it needs you to bring it to life. And it all begins with one step. That first opening line on that first page of that first chapter. What does it say? That is your prompt.

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nI actually started writing this story some years ago. This is a fresh start based on themes already imagined. I see it as a kind of prologue before the telling of the story that got Amy into the hospital in the first place. Perhaps this will launch me into a re-write of the 40,000 or so words already penned? Who knows.

Still, I have a murder mystery to finish first. 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

Emptiness ~ The Dark Unknown

Emptiness
Source: WordPress

Emptiness.

A void waiting to be filled.

Fill it wisely, and be well.

~*~

A path familiar walked for too long a time.

Riddled with old perceptions and prejudices;

Delusions, illusions and self-sabotage.

It was all I knew; all I understood of life

Until one day I finally

Asked:

“Is this all there is?”

*

A wall to the right guides me forward;

To the left, escape.

But to escape is to runaway;

To avoid a truth which

Looks, oh dear, so dark.

Yet, I must know the dark secrets

Of this truth. My truth.

Surely it is more than the emptiness

I feel that suffocates.

I must know. I must make

The uncertain live and die in me so

I might live again.

*

All is uncertain. Even escape drags us

Into uncertainty. An uncertainty

Often darker than our own.

*

At the threshold I stand. Smile.

What is more intrepid; more adventurous;

More exciting than to advance into our own

Mystery with open heart and mind, and a

Desire to plumb the depths of our truth?

To feel what is real. To negotiate the joy;

The terror; the fear; the relief;

The pain; the sorrow; the love; the hate;

The sadness; the history of the ages that

Makes us who and why we are?

In the process, discovering a new self-respect,

A new joy in our being because we have found

What lies beyond the lies that have

Shaped how we perceive our world?

Trade that powerful roller coaster

Of healing for an escape

On a delusional fairground ride into the

Utter depths of another’s darkness?

I think not.

So, with courage and a will to seek

My truth boldly I step into that immeasurable

Abyss. The place from which I would

Run screaming for lack

Of understanding.

Stop. Breathe deeply. Feel its clamp around

My chest. Feel it mess with my mind.

My eyes blinded search for light; for

Relief; for the familiar.

Panic. Fear. The light!

Where is the light? The walls have

Closed in. For a moment I

Suffocate in that

Dark unknown. It cannot

Be escaped. It must be faced; met;

Addressed; wrestled with; felt.

Feeling? What is that? I who have

Numbed my way through life must

Suddenly feel? It is too much; it is

Too much; it is too much; it is …

Light!

Blinding darkness in a twinkling to

Blinding light. With one hand I

Shield my eyes while the other is

Gently held.

“Be at peace, dear one, the truth

Is not so hard when faced together.”

I catch my breath. My body floods

With awareness, or at least the

Desire for it. I am not alone in this

Dark place when the Good Heart

Upon it shines.

“See.

Acknowledge.

Understand.

Accept.

Release!

Be free.”

To be free of my past I must

Face it. And not just

My past, but the lives of those

Who came before and coloured

My world with all their

Grief and prejudices and

Suffering and pain.

Together the Good Heart and I

Walk this straight

And narrow way.

The gentle hand my guide;

The gentle voice my comfort.

No judgment.

My truth revealed in a loving

Way, leaving me weeping for

Joy at my survival of the

Slings and arrows life has

Thrown my way. Somehow

I made it here. And somehow,

Henceforth, I shall thrive.

Fill the emptiness created by a

Self-imposed, protective vacuum that

Had almost sucked the life

Right out of me. Fill it with love;

With beauty; with peace.

I am more than the misery of that

Dark unknown. My truth buried

Behind the heavy shroud of

Others’ suffering; imposed upon my

Will and accepted as my own as

I knew no better.

My truth reveals my authenticity.

Yet, I would never have heard its voice

Without first stepping boldly into that

Dark unknown.

~*~

This is written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words. It started as a free writing exercise, calling upon the memory of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago, an experience in a restaurant where you eat in the dark and years of therapy.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

More Emptiness from the 1,000 Word Challenge

Memoirs of an Unremarkable Man

Louie Behogan

Lita Doolan

#FWF: Life Changers … My Sarajevo

Here is today’s prompt, courtesy of Kelley Rose, for Free Write Friday:

free-write-friday-kellie-elmore

” … what was that pivotal moment for you [in your life], and most importantly, how did it change you?”

~*~

Interestingly, I addressed this at great length in my last post ~ A Life Unravelled.

If I have to zero in on one life changing moment in my recent history, however, I guess it would be this.

Sarajevo

My Sarajevo

A war-torn urban landscape

Potholed and Bullet-ridden.

Skeletal remains

Of blasted buildings.

Ghosts.

I can’t look, yet

Cannot look

Away.

Derelict remains

Of panic and pain.

Haunted eyes

Reflecting lost

Ones lost

Forever.

Sadness.

Grief.

*

Anxiety; panic

Drafts me. Terrors

Arise from

Depths unplumbed,

Besieging;

Overwhelming.

My broken-ness

Revealed by another’s

Devastation.

Much like the great city,

Rebuild I must.

Take action.

Make

Peace with my

Self.

Heal my own

Sarajevo.

~*~

Sarajevo

The broken city that forced me to face my broken self. A catalyst for positive change in my life.

One week in February 2009, amongst the physical and emotional scars of the war torn. Evidence of the Siege of Sarajevo everywhere to be seen.

Panic attacks the reverberations of my own inner battles rising to the surface; stating cases I could no longer ignore.

Buoyed by the spirit and quiet strength of the citizens of that ancient city, and with professional help, I rise to the challenge of reclaiming my life.

Thank you, Sarajevo.

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Do you fear the dark place?

It’s Free Write Friday (okay, I’m a couple of days late).

Time, once again, to let loose the imagination.

Here’s the prompt …

i-fear-the-night-tso-1

Here’s my response …

The Dark Place

What fun

To step into the dark

For just a

Moment.

To sense with open

Mind and heart

Another world unfamiliar.

Through the veil of my

Fear into the dark place

I am led.

Black as black can

Be, My hand before my

Face I cannot see.

My breath I

Cannot find as

Oppressive air a

Smothering cloak

Arrests me.

Disoriented eyes beg for

Light; for escape.

Fun becomes overwhelm

Becomes fear becomes

Panic becomes

“Let me out of here!”

I do not belong

In this dark place.

“Let me out … please!

Let me out!”

*

A voice. A guiding

Hand.

“Come, follow me.”

Trust I must.

And to the light

Once more am led.

Beyond the heavy

Shadow of my doubt …

And breathe.

~*~

Comment

What fun, I thought, to dine in the pitch dark.

The concept was intriguing.

Dans Le Noir is a novelty restaurant with locations in several major cities worldwide. When we were in Paris a few years ago we thought it would be fun to have a culinary experience where the enjoyment of the food is enhanced by the fact you cannot see it.

Check your phones and digital watches, cameras, etc. at the door, enjoy a glass of champagne, select your menu option and form a human chain to be lead through several layers of heavy drapes to absolute dark by a visually-impaired, i.e. blind, waiter.

Not a speck of light, anywhere.

I lasted less than a minute. Didn’t even make it to my seat. Claustrophobia swarmed me almost immediately and I had to be led out again.

I recovered my dignity, and ate alone, in a fully lit bar while my husband and his daughter enjoyed (endured) the experience without me.

Like all writers worth their salt I immediately wrote my experience and feelings down on a bar napkin, filling every scrap of space with imprints of my terror, panic, relief and a, yes, food review.

Do I fear the night? The dark?

Hmmm … I believe it would be more appropriate to say I embrace the light. 😉

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

~*~

free-write-friday-kellie-elmore

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Dear Me: A Collection of Letters Addressed to Various Aspects of My Self

Free Spirit

How often has your life with all its good intentions and dreams been hijacked by some aspect of your Self with whom you just haven’t been able to connect?

Mine has. Many times. So many, in fact, that four years ago I finally enlisted the help of a good therapist to lead me to a new level of self-awareness. I was tired of being middle-aged and feeling broken. Something had to change.

Recently, as part of my therapy, I started writing letters to my Self. This exercise is helping me to connect, through the written word, with the wounded parts of myself that are, subconsciously, getting in the way of my ability to lead a full and happy life.

At its most basic this is a free-writing exercise connecting me to my subconscious.

My issues are not unique.

Abandonment, rejection, isolation, neglect, loss, etc. are universal issues we all experience to a greater or lesser degree. How they manifest, how we act out and how we respond to them is what sets each of us apart.

Finding the strength to look in the proverbial mirror and make the changes necessary to help us heal and move from survivor to thriver is stressful in and of itself.

We build our individual worlds around the way we’ve been programmed. Changing that programming takes self-awareness and courage.

These letters are written with the intention of reprogramming aspects of my Self that are working under old protocols that no longer serve.

For some reason I feel prompted to publish them. Maybe they’ll inspire, in some way, other’s looking for answers. I don’t know. I’m just doing as the muse moves.

This project is entitled ~ “Dear Me: A Collection of Letters Addressed to Various Aspects of My Self.”

The first series of letters, “Dear Panic, is posted in the menu as a static page.

The series is complete as is unless Panic crashes my party again and I need to spend some time talking her down.

Two more series are in the works. Rather than wait until they’re “finished” I’m going to publish them on an ongoing basis. Together we can observe what happens as the series unfold.

When a new letter has been posted to its relevant static page I’ll send out a notice via a post to let you know.

Life is too short to allow emotional pain to be our driving force. Our wheels spin and become stuck in a rut of our own misery.

We either tune up, or tune out.

The choice is ours.

Please feel free to explore these letters. Maybe they’ll resonate with you … maybe not.

Regardless, there is no formula, just a sincere desire to become whole and live my life with my best Self forward.

From my heart to yours … please take care of your Self.

Be well and thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013