I am still writing poetry for the next volume, but I confess that the medical school application process cuts into the novel writing time. Still, I published Sunbathing in Cemeteries and felt like I put a few of my PTSD demons to bed. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could transfer them all to ink?
But then comes October. If you’re new to my page, you’re missing a bit of backstory. I was an author who wrote at a decent clip before I got violently attacked three years ago by someone I dated. Since then, I’ve traveled on attack anniversaries, I’ve blogged my way through Domestic Violence Awareness months, and I still flail through October.
I hope my past posts help people who struggle with PTSD and surviving domestic violence. This year, I am trying to keep my head above water. My attacker has still not been brought to trial because of covid delays, and I try not to dwell on it. But three years of almost everything in my life changing and still no justice is tough.
I haven’t given up writing in my heart. I see this chapter of my life as building experiences and knowledge to be a better writer in the end. But I also had to travel this medical school path because I saw that there’s very little representation for people with PTSD and for domestic violence survivors in medicine. In the southeastern US, it’s a mental healthcare desert. I did everything completely right, and I recently had a therapist I really wanted to work with dump me as a client because my case against my attacker might eventually go to trial and someone might eventually subpoena her.
So, I can’t get help for trauma while waiting on justice that doesn’t seem to be coming. I don’t even know how that’s a thing that can happen to people who were almost killed in their homes. But it can.
It’s not all dark. I am slaying these classes. And I have the best family support anyone could hope for. My daughter even has an entire “Go Mama” dance dedicated for making an A on a test. 🙂 I also have a weird role as a non-traditional student. I really do think I am the biology department mom. The students are terrified of the professors, but I am a peer who is also a mom and older. So, I get asked for advice daily on everything from classes to medical schools to what outfit to wear. (These girls literally expect me to tell them to change. 😆) Mentoring the students around me has been one of the highlights of getting an English graduate degree, taking a life detour and nearly getting killed, and then deciding to apply to medical school. I thought there would be no place for me in the sea of young faces, but there’s actually an important, if unique, role.
I will post new poems soon. Until then, keep to the light, and if you can’t, swim through the dark. –Jessi
Photo chosen is mine from Great Sand Dunes National Park because October, to me, is a giant sand pit with sun on the horizon.