Starting from when our middle son was able to talk, he was not fond of bugs. No, I should rephrase that. He was terrified of anything that was alive that resembled a bug or flew that was not a bird. The kid would become so scared and upset, he would be drooling crying and trying to get away, or often times, what I called “levitate.” They say that the fear of bugs, or entomophobia, occurs after a traumatic experience with a bug. While I am not aware of any traumatic experience, the child definitely was entomophobic to the Nth degree. That is not to say there was not a bug situation that could have occurred when he was a toddler. I was just never aware of such. I assumed he was just that way his whole little life.
As he got older, it did cause problems as he was not able to be understood in certain situations. People would see him as overreacting, being dramatic, or that it was funny. I found out years later, when I became 42 years old (The answer to life!) that my ultimately taking up for him was empathy I was not consciously aware I had.
To put some context behind what I mean when it seemed unreasonable that our son felt this way, I have a couple of examples. The first one happened when he was in a day care. He was about 2 or 2.5 years old and would go to day care 3 days a week while I went to school down the street. One day, I received a call from the day care center director advising that I needed to come and pick up our son as he may have to go to the doctor or something. I asked what happened? The director told me that they have those wood boring bumble bees near the playground and one had flown too close to our son. That he had seen it and became so upset and inconsolable that he began projectile vomiting and with a terrible runny nose. I instantly knew it was just that he was afraid of the bumble bee and it was not a thing to worry about. I did go and pick him up. While I explained to the director over the phone, I did tell them in person that he has a terrible aversion to bugs and it was not anything to worry about. Nothing that a little patience and a hug won’t fix. I took him out to McDonald’s and spent the afternoon with him. He sure needed it.
Years later, when he was around 8 years old, we had dropped our high school daughter off at the local YMCA for high school swim team practice. It is a bit far from home, so instead of going home to turn around and come back, we decided to walk the trails behind the Y for some exercise and family time with the boys who were 8 and 4. We were having a good time. However, because it was late August and in the south, there were bugs everywhere. Also, it was near a river and the grasshoppers were rather large and plentiful. We were kind of picking on the then 8 year old about the bugs and he was doing an excellent job trying to be ‘a man’ about the whole situation and taking the joking in stride. But then, something happened.
A rather large grasshopper decided at that moment to take off and it landed on our son’s arm. The thing had to be about 2.5 to 3 inches long. I have never in my life or since have seen someone try to pick up both legs off of the ground at the same time in real life. This was not a jump or the willies or anything. I could see in his entire being and voice that he was thoroughly afraid and did not want his feet on the ground or to be there at all, anymore. The only way to describe it was that he wanted to levitate. I empathized with him and got him to calm down until we were done, but I did not realize how he truly felt until earlier this year.
I have always felt uncomfortable seeing things on TV or in magazines or even reading about maggots. I know what they do. I know where they come from, and I know they can serve a purpose. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I cannot handle seeing them very well. This comes from someone, who as a little girl collected slugs after a good Seattle rain, played with worms, and did not find any bother by bugs or things of that nature growing up. (Palmetto bugs are an entirely different thing. That is another story for another day. I can still handle them a lot better than maggots, I assure you.)
About three weeks ago, I had killed a fly in the bathroom. After hitting it with the flyswatter, on the edge of the counter, it slid across the floor and I got it up with a napkin and went about my business. With said fly taken care of and forgotten about, I went to sweep and mop the bathroom floor the next day and found maggots all over the floor. Until this point in my life, I had no idea that if a fly had babies not yet born, they could still grow. This affected me in the worst possible way and totally grossed me out. I literally would stop and check the floor every time I went into that room! I just couldn’t handle seeing those things wiggle their way across the floor.
Well, today it happened again. I even seen one after I bleached the floor and put boiling water on it! After both times, I reflected on how my son, as a little boy, must have felt about just seeing a bug. I now totally understand the thinking behind not wanting to have both feet on the ground when seeing something that literally is hard to handle seeing. Our son is now driving age and has since outgrown his fear. He stepped on an ant one day and didn’t die. The things we experience to change our perception, huh? Maybe this is something telling me that I need to get over the craziness. Maybe…
What do YOU think?
When someone tells you they are sad, often it is not that they need sympathy, empathy, or your pity. They are fighting some real emotion that can often be stronger than that of say… love. It is not an easy thing to deal with and can have dire consequences if the person is not able to handle it or seek the help they may need. That help can come in many forms. Be it just a shoulder to cry on, company, all the way through to psychiatric help. Even close friends and relatives cannot determine what kind of demons are flying around inside of someones heart. Be aware, that metaphor has nothing to do with anyone doing any harm or fowl to another. It is the sadness demons to which I am referring. It is not something that some one can just go and “suck it up buttercup.” The valleys of the lows run far more deeper than that.
From people like Robin Williams and Chester Bennington, to just the regular Joe who has suddenly found themselves unable to cope. I find sadness in the fact that human beings, who are normally compassionate and call themselves Christians will take to social media and say that this is the Cowards Way. As a Christian, who are you to judge and judge a person based upon their decision to just end it all when you have no idea what they are up against or how they are feeling. For many, it is not as easy as getting up to go get help. For others, it is a financial burden they are unable to undertake. Yet others, are not wanting to put anyone else through what they are going through or burden their friends and families with their troubles. Even more have a lifetime of torment that they are just unable to bear any longer. They say you never know until you walk a mile in that person’s shoes, eh?
Depression and sadness is hard and it makes the day drag on. It makes you feel less than worthy and like you are nothing. It has nothing to do with being a coward or something that is easily forgotten or to move on from. So, when someone tells you they are sad, bring them something nice, a blanket, a doughnut, and just sit there. Be with them and that should be enough to let them know you care. No amount of badgering or nagging is going to change things, because it is something they have to work through.
Two AM comes mighty fast no matter what time you drift off to sleep. It’s not that Jake wanted to wake up at around this time every day, he just did. The dream was always the same. He woke in a puddle of his own sweat, in his dingy little room just north of the Financial District near China Town. Always the same city sounds outside and that damned flashing sign just outside his window. On nights like this, he often wished he could just fight back in his dreams but he couldn’t.
He heard from friends about them being able to control their dreams; however this was not something he yet knew how to do. The dreams started when he was 14. He watched a man come in and slaughter his mother in front of him. From his hidey hole in the stereo cabinet. He watched the intruder laugh maniacally as he strung his mother up by her feet and placed the turkey pan underneath her. As she tried to scream through her gagged mouth, he slit her a new smile. Literally ear to ear, and just as careful. The man left after taking some money she apparently had stowed away in the kitchen.
Watching that intruder walk away with that fist full of ten light purple banded stacks of cash as he cackled his path out the door enraged him. Further, afraid the man would come back, he had no option but to watch his mother bleed out into the pan on the floor. Only after it was nearly full did Jake dare to venture out of his secluded safety spot.
In reality, he packed a book bag with a few changes of clothes, a few comic books, and made a couple sandwiches. He paused by his mother long enough to regard her condition, forever burning it into his memory, and told her he loved her, that he was sorry. He left the apartment door open and walked away. Upon reaching the ground floor, he went out into the street and became part of the city.
All these years, he could clearly see that mans face and it haunted his dreams every day since. In his dreams, the man always came back and did the same to Jake. Jake often wished he did. That man took away the only somebody that ever loved him and the only somebody who could understand the nightly terrors he had to go through. As usual, Jake could not go back to sleep. He decided to head out and find something open to have a coffee or a beer. Depending on what he happened upon first. In a city like this, it was like a game of chance.
Finding a bar open, and luckily with only a few patrons, Jake meandered up to the bar and took up real estate on the bar stool. After a few moments, the barkeep asked what was Jakes poison. Asking for a beer, the barkeep popped one open. As he magically produced a paper coaster and firmly set the bottle down upon it, he said. “Whoa, you look like you have had a lifetime of rough nights.” Jake simply replied, “Yeah, must be a curse.” At that the barkeep laughed. Jake looked up and his blood ran cold.
He knew that laugh and he knew that face… the face of his nightmares…
What do YOU think?
The continuing saga of the appliance rebellion…
I know. It’s been a while since I have been at odds with the electronics and appliances in the home. However, this one happened a few months back and it just occurred to me that maybe the television and stove is in cahoots with other appliances and devices in my home. Gosh help me if the computers decide to get in on the revolution going on in my home. I am of the masses of human beings who love to play the game with the microwave where you snatch open the door with one second remaining to avoid hearing the beeps of the microwave. Yes, I admit it to the masses. I am a fan of opening the door at one second.
This one particular day, obviously after I had gotten good at it, I had snatched open the door, as per my custom. I had something else to heat up after my coffee on this day. Saturday mornings, I tend to eat breakfast when I have my coffee. You know how it is. there is not any work, work to be done and you can have your coffee when the sun is actually out, dancing around the kitchen with the birds, Snoopervisors in Tutus, all of that… ah, but I digress. I put my breakfast in the microwave to nuke it and watched the countdown begin. I was wrapped up in a television commercial, thus not hearing the beep. Or so I thought …
I turned around and it felt strange not to hear the three beeps that everyone is accustomed to when the microwave is done doing it’s nukeful magic. In wonder, I put an additional ten seconds on the microwave and watched it this time. There was no sound. The microwave not only had refused to tell me that it was complete, it was not beeping when I pushed the buttons.
Had someone been a fly on the wall, they would have noted me looking around guiltily as I pulled my breakfast out of the microwave, scooped up my mug of java, and quietly tiptoed to the living room where I set up camp on the couch to work on my #SOCS. It was still early for the other inhabitants of this domicile and no one seen me and the microwave have our non-discussion.
Later, the 11 year old sleepily comes meandering to the kitchen and proceeds to heat up a hot pocket or whatever it was that he was wanting in his still sleepy state of hunger. Normally, this kid will go back to his room. However, he lingered in the kitchen a bit longer than normal. I look up and begin watching his reflection in the television. For a moment, he stands there staring at the microwave, then he turns to look in my direction and then back to the microwave. In reply, the microwave just stops. Being the one kid who has inherited so many of my genetic thought processes, he puts an additional ten seconds on his hot pocket and I can see him tilt his head to the side just a tad. Of course, no beeping with the buttons and no beeping announcing the end of the microwave magic.
This lovely child, now obviously awake, prances into the living room and plops down on the couch next to me, as if he was interested in what I was doing. I can say, writing is not one of the past times he inherited from me. He is, however, a voracious reader. Anyway…. “Mom?” he says to me. “Yes?” I innocently reply. “The microwave is not beeping anymore.
What happened next made me stop writing and just close my laptop. Once I stop procrastinating and sit down to work on something, it takes nearly an act of God to make me get up or not finish. This was more so an act of Cal. From his spot, snoozing on the other couch, the love of my life, without even opening his eyes or moving announces that “Mommy broke the microwave.”
Uh…yeah. I just closed my laptop, sat back, and finished drinking my coffee. The gig was up. I was busted. The appliances are still out to get me, and I had Guilty tattooed in invisible ink on my forehead. Still, a year later, it reappears in neon letters across my forehead every time I or someone else uses the microwave. I have been marked.
They are still out to get me.
What do YOU think?
Interesting read and killer cover art! If not purchasing, feel free to leave a review! As we all know, getting our work in front of more faces always helps!
We try to make some sense out of this weird brutal world. The problem is that the sense we’re making has the power f*ck us up inside and that’s what really matters. WE are the ones seeing the world so WE are the ones deciding how it is and we can only do it for us. The life we’re living has an unique sense because we’re the ones living it. Two different people can see the same life differently; therefore, what’s inside our head makes the difference.
I believe that people need to be more aware of how important the inside universe really is so I wrote a book to bring some awareness in this area along with some tools that can help us re-gain the control over our thought process and over our emotions.
How satisfied are you with your life? If you believe there is…
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