Grief Group Mtg. 2

DISCLAIMER: Please exercise caution when reading this text. There are references to character deaths related to potentially triggering content. Your mental health is more important that this story update. Care about yourself first!

GRIEF GROUP TRANSCRIPT

SESSION 2

 

DATE:     09/15/2014

TIME:     06:33 P.M.

TOTAL IN ATTENDANCE:

10 ATTENDEES, 16 REGISTERED FOR ATTENDANCE

DURATION OF MEETING:

52 MINUTES OUT OF THE MINIMUM 60 MINUTES REQUIRED

 


 

 

*BEGIN*

 

 

DR KUVAAR:

SHOW OF HANDS, HOW MANY PEOPLE WENT OUT FOR DINNER WITH THEIR PARTNERS SINCE OUR LAST MEETING?

 

4 PAIRS RAISE THEIR HANDS

 

DR KUVAAR:

THAT’S GREAT. I AM GLAD THAT YOU CHOSE TO MEET YOUR PARTNER FOR DINNER. SANTIAGO, CAROLINE, WHY DIDN’T YOU MEET UP THIS WEEK?

 

PATIENT 621:

WE TECHNICALLY HAD A LATE LUNCH.

 

PATIENTS 621 AND 911 BEGIN LAUGHING

 

 PATIENT 621:

SORRY. WE HAD A LATE LUNCH FOR CAROLINE’S BIRTHDAY.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

YEAH. MY GRAN USUALLY TOOK ME TO THIS DINER AND I STILL WANTED TO GO SO I INVITED SANTIAGO TO COME WITH ME.

 

DR KUVAAR:

THAT’S REALLY POWERFUL. WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT HER INVITATION?

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I DIDN’T KNOW UNTIL AFTER WE HAD DINNER.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

I DIDN’T WANT HIM TO FEEL PRESSURED TO MAKE IT A SPECIAL NIGHT OR SCARE HIM AWAY WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF ME BEING EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I WAS ALREADY NERVOUS SO IT WORKED OUT FOR THE BEST THAT I DIDN’T KNOW.

 

DR KUVAAR:

IT IS VERY ENCOURAGING TO SEE YOUR DYNAMIC.

 

PATIENT 1002:

THEY KIND OF REMIND ME OF US ACTUALLY.

 

PATIENT 506:

I DON’T KNOW IF I WOULD GO THAT FAR, BUT THEY ARE DEFINITELY A GOOD PAIR. I THINK THEY WILL BE GOOD FRIENDS BY THE END OF THIS WHOLE DINNER PROJECT.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

SPEAKING OF GOOD FRIENDS AND ALL, I NOTICED THAT HANNAH AND BRIGHTON AREN’T HERE TONIGHT. IS EVERYTHING OKAY?

 

DR KUVAAR:

BRIGHTON CONTACTED ME AN HOUR OR SO AGO LETTING ME KNOW THAT SHE AND HANNAH WOULD NOT BE IN ATTENDANCE TONIGHT. FOR THE TIME BEING, THAT IS ALL I AM AT LIBERTY TO SHARE WITH YOU.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

THE WAY YOU SAID THAT IS VERY CONCERNING, DOC.

 

PATIENT 506:

I WOULDN’T BE WORRIED. BRIGHTON IS GOING TO BE VERY GOOD FOR HANNAH. THEY’RE PROBABLY NOT HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE HANNAH OPENED UP TO HER.

 

DR KUVAAR:

I AM THANKFUL THAT HANNAH HAS BRIGHTON. DESPITE HER ATTITUDE LAST WEEK, I THINK WE ALL KNOW THAT SHE NEEDS SOMEONE THAT SHE CAN TRUST IN HER LIFE. WE ALL NEED THAT TO FEEL COMPLETE, THOUGH, WHICH IS WHY I SET UP THE DINNER INITIATIVE.

 

PATIENT 1231:

MY PARTNER SKIPPED DINNER AND FAILED TO SHOW UP AGAIN TODAY, SO I DON’T THINK THE INITIATIVE IS WORKING.

 

DR KUVAAR:

I WILL BE CONTACTING KELLER ABOUT HIS ATTENDANCE. DID YOU TRY TEXTING HIM ABOUT DINNER?

 

PATIENT 1231:

I DID AND WE SET SOMETHING UP. KELLER DIDN’T COME AND THEN TEXTED ME BACK LATE SATURDAY NIGHT ASKING IF I WANTED TO GO OUT FOR SOME DRINKS. IT HAD BEEN A TOUGH WEEK SO I FIGURED IT WOULDN’T HURT TO GET OUT AND TRY TO CONNECT WITH HIM SOMEHOW.

 

DR KUVAAR:

HOW DID THAT GO FOR YOU?

 

PATIENT 1231:

WHEN I MET UP WITH KELLER AT THE NIGHTCLUB HE TOLD ME TO COME TO, HE WAS ALREADY PRETTY DRUNK AND TOLD ME THAT HE KIND OF WANTED ME TO THE BE HIS D.D. I WAS REALLY MAD ABOUT IT AND TOLD HIM THAT HE SHOULDN’T HAVE LIED TO GET ME THERE. IF HE HAD JUST SAID HE NEEDED A RIDE BACK HOME THEN I WOULD HAVE DONE IT ANYWAY.

 

DR KUVAAR:

DID YOU TAKE KELLER HOME THEN?

 

PATIENT 1231:

I WAS TOO PISSED OFF AT HIM TO PUT HIM IN A CAR WITH ME SO I TOLD HIM I WAS GOING TO STICK AROUND FOR A LITTLE BIT LONGER. I ENDED UP TAKING A FEW SHOTS AND THAT’S THE LAST THING I REMEMBER. I WOKE UP IN MY CAR THE NEXT MORNING WITH KELLER IN THE BACKSEAT.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE COMPELLED TO DRINK SO MUCH?

 

PATIENT 1231:

EVERY SINGLE TIME I TRY TO TALK TO KELLER ABOUT GRIEF GROUP HE JUST GETS ON MY CASE ABOUT BEING SUCH A STICKLER FOR THE RULES. WHEN I CONFRONTED HIM ABOUT HIS LACK OF EFFORT ON THE DRIVE HOME YESTERDAY HE CALLED ME A ‘FOUR SQUARE RULE FOLLOWER’ AND TOLD ME THAT THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED ANY MORE PEOPLE LIKE THAT AND THEN PROMPTLY TOLD ME TO SHUT MY FUCKING MOUTH.

 

DR KUVAAR:

DO YOU AGREE WITH WHAT HE SAID?

 

PATIENT 1231:

YES AND NO.

 

DR KUVAAR:

YOU SEEM CONFLICTED.

 

PATIENT 1231:

ON ONE HAND, I KNOW THAT SELF-SABOTAGING LIKE KELLER IS NOT PRODUCTIVE AND ONLY MAKES THINGS WORSE FOR MY SITUATION. I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE KELLER BECAUSE HE’S JUST TEARING HIS LIFE APART AT THE SEAMS. ON THE OTHER HAND, I DON’T SEE HOW TRYING TO FOLLOW THE RULES IS HELPING ME. I ACTUALLY FEEL WORSE ABOUT MYSELF NOW THAT I’M IN GRIEF GROUP THAN I DID BEFORE. I HAVE A PARTNER THAT WANTS NEXT TO NOTHING TO DO WITH ME AND A MONDAY NIGHT OBLIGATION THAT MAKES EACH WEEK FEEL TWICE AS LONG. I’M NOT GAINING ANYTHING AND I FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT BECAUSE OF IT.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF THE GRIEF GROUP EXPERIENCE? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY BEING HERE?

 

PATIENT 1231:

WELL, I THINK MY R.A. WANTS ME TO STOP MOPING AROUND. I THINK MY PARENTS WANT ME TO BE HERE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT SAD PEOPLE DO WHEN THEIR LOVED ONES DIE. I THINK MY TEACHERS EXPECT ME TO BE HERE BECAUSE I FOUND MY ROOMMATE DEAD IN THE BATHTUB IN A PUDDLE OF HIS OWN SICK. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WANT FROM GRIEF GROUP BECAUSE ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WANTS FROM IT FOR ME.

 

DR KUVAAR:

YOU ARE SPEAKING AS THOUGH YOU DIDN’T CHOOSE TO COME.

 

PATIENT 1231:

EVERYONE AROUND ME KEPT SAYING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO WRITE A REFERRAL OR MAKE A REQUEST FOR ME, SO FORGIVE ME FOR FEELING LIKE I WAS BULLIED INTO PUTTING IN THE REQUEST FOR MYSELF. I CAN’T CONTROL MUCH OF ANYTHING ELSE. THE LEAST I COULD DO WAS FILL OUT A GODDAMN PAPER ON MY OWN.

 

DR KUVAAR:

HOW DID YOU ROOMMATE DIE?

 

PATIENT 1231:

ALCOHOL POISONING. HE’D BEEN DRINKING AT A PARTY THAT NIGHT, BUT IT GOT BUSTED BY THE PERSON’S PARENTS OR SOMETHING, AND SO HE CAME BACK TO THE DORM WITH A FEW OTHER PEOPLE. THEY MANAGED TO SNEAK IN A BUNCH OF ALCOHOL. CORY MUST HAVE BEEN HAVING A TOUGH TIME BECAUSE HE WAS LOCKED IN THE BATHTUB WITH A COUPLE OF EMPTY BOTTLES.

 

DR KUVAAR:

DID IT SCARE YOU THAT YOU DRANK SO MUCH ON SATURDAY?

 

PATIENT 1231:

IT SHOULD HAVE. IF I FELT THE WAY EVERYONE ELSE WANTS ME TO FEEL.

 

DR KUVAAR:

IT IS CONCERNING THAT YOU WEREN’T SCARED.

 

PATIENT 1231:

YEAH, PROBABLY.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

JUST A LITTLE, YEAH.

 

PATIENT 1231:

I DON’T HEAR YOU OPENING UP ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.

 

PATIENT 1002:

YOU CHOSE TO OPEN UP. DON’T HARASS CAROLINE FOR MOVING AT HER OWN PACE.

 

DR KUVAAR:

GRIEF GROUP IS NOT A COMPETITION. WE ARE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS OUR RESPECTIVE LOSSES WHEN WE ARE READY. I AM GLAD THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO HAVE AN OPEN CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES RIGHT NOW, AND I WILL BE GLAD WHEN CAROLINE FEELS READY ENOUGH TO TELL US ABOUT HER LOVED ONE.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

IF YOU MUST KNOW, MY GRANDMOTHER DIED.

 

DR KUVAAR:

DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING RIGHT NOW, CAROLINE?

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

I’VE NEVER NOT BEEN COMFORTABLE, IT’S JUST NOT SOMETHING I’VE FELT THE NEED TO EXPLAIN TO ANYONE. BUT MY GRANDMOTHER DIED, AND IT SUCKED BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ANYONE ELSE IN MY LIFE. MY SHITTY ROOMMATE THAT I MENTIONED LAST WEEK IS MY EX-BOYFRIEND BECAUSE HE’S THE ONLY PERSON THAT I KNEW WELL ENOUGH TO SHARE A PLACE WITH AFTER THE LANDLORD HAD TO EVICT ME.

 

PATIENT 1231:

SOUNDS MADE UP.

 

PATIENT 621: (SANTIAGO):

YOU NEED TO CHILL OUT.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WHY DON’T WE TAKE OUR REFRESHMENT BREAK EARLY TODAY TO COOL OFF? TENSION IS BUILDING AND IF WE’RE NOT CAREFUL, WE MAY GET ANGRY AND SAY THINGS THAT WE DON’T MEAN. LET’S MEET BACK UP IN THE CIRCLE AT 6:55.

 

** BRIEF UNSTRUCTURED INTERMISSION FROM 6:50 TO 6:55 PM **

 

 DR KUVAAR:

WHAT’S THE FIRST STAGE OF THE GRIEVING PROCESS? CAN ANYONE TELL ME?

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

DENIAL.

 

DR KUVAAR:

CORRECT. WHEN OUR LOVED ONES DIE, THE FIRST THING WE FEEL ONCE THE SHOCK OF THEIR PASSING SETTLES IN IS DENIAL. THIS PRESENTS ITSELF IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, AND EVEN THOUGH MANY PROFESSIONALS BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE SHORTEST STAGE IN THE GRIEVING PROCESS, IT IS ONE THAT WE COME BACK TO MOST FREQUENTLY IN OUR SUBCONSCIOUSES.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

IN LITTLE WAYS, RIGHT? LIKE CHECKING YOUR PHONE FOR TEXT MESSAGES FROM THEM.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

OR CONVINCING YOURSELF THAT THEY FAKED THEIR DEATH.

 

PATIENT 506:

OR WAITING BY THE WINDOW FOR THEM TO SHOW UP FOR DINNERS WITH THE FAMILY.

 

PATIENT 1002:

AND TALKING ABOUT THEM LIKE THEY’RE STILL HERE.

 

DR KUVAAR:

EXACTLY. WE AREN’T NECESSARILY IN DENIAL ANYMORE, BUT OUR BRAIN FORGETS THAT THEY’VE DIED, AND THINGS THAT WE USUALLY DID WITH OUR DECEASED LOVED ONES BRING UP MEMORIES SO STRONG THAT THEY FEEL PRESENT. AS I WAS SAYING, DENIAL PRESENTS ITSELF IN MANY WAYS. I’M CURIOUS IF ANYONE HAS RECOGNIZED THEMSELVES DENYING THE DEATH OF THEIR LOVED ONES, OR IF THEY FEEL THAT THEY ARE STILL IN THE DENIAL PHASE.

 

VARIOUS PATIENTS RAISE THEIR HANDS

 

PATIENT 1002:

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, BUT AT MAJOR HOLIDAYS I CATCH MYSELF ASKING WHEN MY UNCLE IS COMING OVER, EVEN THOUGH I KNOW HE’S GONE. THERE’S THIS CONSTANT EXPECTATION FOR THEM TO WALK THROUGH THE DOOR NO MATTER HOW LONG THAT PERSON HAS BEEN GONE.

 

PATIENT 506:

EVEN EVERYDAY THINGS TRIGGER THAT RESPONSE FOR ME. MY AUNT PERRY WAS OUR NANNY, BASICALLY, AND SO SOMETIMES JUST DOING THE DISHES HAS ME TELLING MY PARENTS THAT SHE’LL PROBABLY REWASH THEM IN THE MORNING. I KNOW SHE PASSED AWAY IN JANUARY BUT IT’S HARD TO STOP MYSELF FROM DOING IT.

 

DR KUVAAR:

GRIEF IS A NEVER ENDING PROCESS. ONCE WE HAVE LOST SOMEONE, WE ARE ALWAYS MOVING THROUGH THE FIVE MAJOR STAGES OF GRIEF. EACH TIME WE GO THROUGH THE CYCLE, THE TIME WE SPEND IN EACH STAGE CHANGES. SOMETIMES THE CYCLE STAGES DON’T EVEN PRESENT IN ORDER, ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-FIVE. MANY PEOPLE GO THROUGH DENIAL, ANGER, AND BARGAINING ONLY TO CYCLE BACK TO DENIAL OR ANGER. AS WITH ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, GRIEVING IS A UNIQUE PROCESS TO YOU. WHILE PEOPLE WE KNOW, LIKE YOUR DINNER PARTNERS, MAY HAVE THE SAME HEALING PACE AS YOU THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEIR EXPERIENCE IS THE SAME.

 

PATIENT 506:

I’VE BEEN BATTLING THE DEPRESSION STAGE MORE THAN I DID BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED. IN FACT, I HAD ACCEPTED MY AUNT’S PASSING AND WAS FEELING ALMOST COMPLETELY BACK TO NORMAL. WHEN I MOVED BACK ON CAMPUS, THOUGH, I STARTED TO FEEL EMPTY AGAIN. HER ABSENCE STARTED TO TAKE UP SPACE IN MY MIND AND IN MY HEART.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WAS THERE A TRIGGER? DO YOU KNOW WHAT MIGHT’VE PUT YOU BACK IN THIS STAGE?

 

PATIENT 506:

I’M NOT SURE, BUT IT COULD BE ANYTHING. MUCH OF MY DORM DECORATIONS CAME FROM HER AS GIFTS. MAYBE, PROBABLY, BEING AROUND THAT STUFF IS BRINGING BACK THE ACHE OF HER ABSENCE.

 

DR KUVAAR:

THAT’S THE DIFFICULT THING ABOUT GRIEF. EVERYTHING IS A TRIGGER, BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS A TRIGGER EVERY TIME WE COME ACROSS IT – THE THING, THE PLACE, THE FEELING. I STILL LIVE WHERE I LIVED WITH MY HUSBAND. MOST DAYS I CAN WALK THROUGH THE HOUSE WITHOUT HAVING ANY EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS, BUT THERE ARE SOME DAYS WHERE SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS HANGING UP MY KEYS BRINGS ME BACK TO A PLACE OF HEAVY SORROW BECAUSE HIS KEYS AREN’T THERE LIKE I’M EXPECTING THEM TO BE.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

THE ONLY CURE TO SORROW SEEMS TO BE DEATH.

 

DR KUVAAR:

DO YOU THINK DEATH IS THE CURE TO YOUR SUFFERING?

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE? I DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT THE GRIEVING PROCESS. I TAKE EVERYTHING ONE TASK AT A TIME THESE DAYS.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

HE REALLY DOES. HE HAS A CHECKLIST FOR HIS ENTIRE DAY FROM THE TIME HE WAKES UP TO THE TIME HE GOES TO BED.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

WHEN DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THAT?

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

YOU DIDN’T. I WENT THROUGH YOUR BAG EARLIER.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I’LL ADD BEING PISSED OFF AT YOU FOR VIOLATING MY PERSONAL BOUNDARIES TO MY LIST FOR LATER, THEN.

 

DR KUVAAR:

CAROLINE, WHY DID YOU GO THROUGH HIS BAG?

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

I WANTED TO SEE IF HE HAD ANY SNACKS.

 

DR KUVAAR:

FORGIVE ME IF I SOUND CONFUSED, BUT WE DO HAVE SNACKS AT THE BACK TABLE THAT YOU’RE WELCOME TO BEFORE THE MEETING. WHY DIDN’T YOU GO GRAB SOME FROM THERE?

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

SANTIAGO KEEPS TAKIS IN HIS BAG. WELL, HE USUALLY KEEPS TAKIS IN HIS BAG, ANYWAY.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I FINISHED THEM ON THE WALK OVER.

 

DR KUVAAR:

OKAY, THAT’S FAIR ENOUGH. WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK HIM FIRST?

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

I DON’T KNOW.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

WE’RE GOING TO DISCUSS THAT LATER BUT LET’S MOVE ON FOR NOW.

 

DR KUVAAR:

LET’S BACKTRACK TO TRIGGERS AND DENIAL THEN.

 

PATIENT 417:

ANYTIME I SPEND MONEY IS A TRIGGER, REALLY.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WHY IS THAT?

 

PATIENT 417:

MY GRANDMOTHER HAD KIDNEY FAILURE AND IT’S BEEN GOING THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME. I MEAN, IT WAS GOING THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME. SHE LIVED FAR LONGER THAN ANY OF HER DOCTORS EXPECTED. BUT SHE WAS REALLY SMART ABOUT HER MONEY. SHE ONLY SPENT ON HERSELF WHAT SHE NEEDED, AND PUT THE REST INTO LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES, SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, AND TRUSTS.

 

DR KUVAAR:

AND YOU MUST HAVE INHERITED SOME MONEY FROM HER.

 

PATIENT 417:

I DID AND IT’S MORE THAN I FEEL THAT I DESERVE. FAR MORE. I BUY A LOT OF MY OWN STUFF NOW, BUT WHEN I PAY FOR MY GROCERIES OR GET SOMETHING FOR SCHOOL, IT FEELS LIKE I’M STEALING FROM HER.

 

DR KUVAAR:

I SEE.

 

PATIENT 506:

IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE SPENDING THE YEARS OF HER LIFE THAT YOU DIDN’T GET TO SHARE WITH HER, DOESN’T IT?

 

PATIENT 1002:

IT’S HARD NOT TO FEEL THAT WAY.

 

PATIENT 417:

EXACTLY.

 

DR KUVAAR:

NOW, EMERY, YOU SAID THAT THE DOCTORS WERE SURPRISED AT HER LONGEVITY. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY IT FEELS THAT WAY TO YOU?

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

IT’S JUST HER MONEY. COULDN’T SHE HAVE USED IT TO GET BETTER TREATMENT? COULDN’T SHE HAVE PAID FOR A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT?

 

DR KUVAAR:

THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION.

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE SHE ALLOWED HERSELF TO DIE SO THAT WE COULD HAVE HER MONEY.

 

DR KUVAAR:

AND YOU’RE WORRIED THAT YOU’RE BEING MATERIALISTIC WITH IT?

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

YES. I JUST DON’T WANT TO SPEND HER MONEY ON THINGS THAT WON’T MATTER IN THE END.

 

DR KUVAAR:

WHAT’S ONE WAY THAT YOU COULD SPEND THE MONEY TO AVOID FEELING THAT WAY?

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

I’M NOT REALLY SURE.

 

PATIENT 1002:

IS THERE A CHARITY THAT YOUR GRANDMOTHER LIKED A LOT OR ONE THAT SHE CARED ABOUT?

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

MY GRANDFATHER DIED FROM EARLY-ONSET ALZHEIMERS. IT IS VERY RARE FOR IT TO DEVELOP SO EARLY, BUT MY GRANDFATHER STARTED SHOWING SYMPTOMS AROUND FIFTY, AND BY THE TIME HE WAS FIFTY-FIVE, MY GRANDMOTHER HAD TO TAKE CARE OF HIM AROUND THE CLOCK. SHE DIDN’T PUT HIM IN A NURSING HOME TO SAVE MONEY. SHE HAD BEEN A NURSE FOR SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE SHE QUIT WORKING TO TAKE CARE OF MY DAD AND HIS BROTHER.

 

DR KUVAAR:

SO, MAYBE YOU COULD MAKE AN ANNUAL DONATION TO THE FISCHER CENTER OR THE ALZHEIMER’S FOUNDATION IN HER NAME?

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

I GUESS IF I WAS JUST AS SMART ABOUT THE MONEY I COULD MAKE A FUND FOR IT, OR OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS TO INDIVIDUALS GOING INTO THAT FIELD.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I THINK IT WOULD BE BEST AS A DONATION TO A CHARITABLE FOUNDATION. YOU NEED A SIZABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN ORDER TO OFFER IT AS A GRANT. A SCHOLARSHIP WOULD BE VIABLE, I SUPPOSE, BUT YOU WOULD NEED A VERY NARROW SCOPE FOR THE TYPES OF APPLICANTS THAT COULD APPLY. TONS OF MY CLASSMATES ARE GOING TO SCHOOL FOR NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE, BUT VERY FEW OF THEM ARE GOING INTO MY SPECIFIC FIELD.

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

OKAY. I’LL BITE. WHAT FIELD ARE YOU GOING INTO THEN?

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I WANT TO SPECIALIZE IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES. MY ASPIRATION IS TO STUDY THE BRAIN IN PATIENTS WHO HAVE GENETIC PREDISPOSITIONS TOWARDS DISEASES LIKE ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S, AND HUNTINGTON’S, TO NAME A FEW. MY ENTIRE THESIS IS CENTERED ON THE EXISTING RESEARCH AND HOW I PLAN TO IMPACT THE FIELD BY MONITORING THE BRAIN ACTIVITIES BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE ONSET OF THE DISEASE.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

WOW.

 

PATIENT 417 (EMERY):

I’LL HAVE TO GIVE YOU A CALL IF I DECIDE TO GO THAT ROUTE, I GUESS.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I JUST FEAR THAT IF YOU OPENED IT UP TO NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE, THE MONEY MIGHT NOT GO WHERE YOU WANT IT TO GO. EVEN WITH A FOUNDATION, YOU KNOW, THE MONEY YOU DONATE COULD GO TO SOME PROJECT THAT DOESN’T GET FINISHED BECAUSE THE FUNDING RUNS DRY. IT’S REALLY HARD TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DECISION LIKE THAT WHEN YOU WANT THE MONEY TO GO TOWARDS A GOOD CAUSE. YOU CAN’T TRACK IT ONCE IT’S GONE.

 

DR KUVAAR:

I THINK IT’S JUST AN IDEA RIGHT NOW, SANTIAGO. BUT ALSO I THINK YOU’VE GIVEN EMERY A LOT OF INFORMATION TO CONSIDER. I TRUST THAT SHE’LL DO WHAT SHE FEELS IS BEST FOR HER GRANDMOTHER’S MONEY AND HER MEMORY.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE), TO PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

I WISH MORE DOCTORS WERE AS EXCITED ABOUT THEIR WORK AS YOU SEEM TO BE. MAYBE IT’S MED SCHOOL THAT SQUASHES THAT OUT, THOUGH.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SCHOOL FOR EXACTLY? OH YEAH…

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO) & PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE) SIMULTANEOUSLY:

UNDECLARED.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT SOMETHING FOR A CHANGE.

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

I’M PASSIOANTE ABOUT TAKIS.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

ESTA MUJER ES AGOTADORA!

 

PATIENT 911 (CAROLINE):

AH MAN, LOOK AT THE TIME. I SHOULD REALLY GET GOING. I HAVE TO GO BUY MY OWN TAKIS.

 

PATIENT 621 (SANTIAGO):

THEY’RE ON SALE AT BILL’S.

 

DR KUVAAR:

I THINK THAT THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO STOP. WE’RE CALLING IT QUITS EARLY TONIGHT BUT WE WERE HERE LATE LAST WEEK. REMEMBER, I AM AVAILABLE AT ALL HOURS ANY DAY OF THE WEEK SHOULD YOU NEED ME. I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL NEXT WEEK, AND HOPEFULLY, SOME OF THE PARTNERS THAT HAVEN’T ATTENDED YET WILL BE PRESENT. UNTIL THEN, BE SAFE, AND REMEMBER THAT YOU MATTER VERY MUCH TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

 

CHAIRS SKID ACROSS FLOORS

 

PATIENTS BID FAREWELL PRIVATELY TO ONE ANOTHER

 

 

*END*

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What the heck is Project 52: Title Pending?

So – if you’re here, you’ve noticed the change in my blog’s appearance and the sudden disappearance of my sidebar pages. There’s no more separation amongst my past works because I’m working on a project that will take one year to complete (maybe 13 months, if I participate in 2019’s Nanowrimo Challenge). All of my works can now be read through the “All Writing” page, which will present my stories from the most recent to the oldest (I don’t recommend reading them in that order, however, because my writing has improved over the last three years significantly).

Making that commitment is a pretty big deal – and if you read my stuff – you probably want to know more than what I’ve shared on the main page of my blog. Project 52? Title Pending? Financial Backing? January 2019? That’s a lot of information that is really vague.

In response to those silent questions you’re not asking me, I’m going to give you three more bits of information about what this project is going to look like and what I’m hoping to accomplish with it.

1. 52 Weeks, 12/13 Months – Regular Posting!

With this new project, it is my plan to post every week. Weekly stories work best for the kind of life I am leading right now, and I felt the most fulfilled with my writing when it was cohesive, as I was doing when I abruptly stopped my “Writing the World” project. My plan with this project is for every post to belong to the same universe and the same characters. This project will follow the same two characters from the beginning to the end with a plot.

Right now, I’m looking at six posts per month. There will be a weekly story that you can read in the format that you would expect, however, there will be biweekly posts as well that are meant to read as transcripts. It will be similar to that of a script for a film or television show, or perhaps a hearing in court. I don’t want to explain much further because it could give away the specifics, and we’re not close enough to January 2019 for that level of hype yet.

I’m committed to this project and have already started planning the “introduction posts” that will premiere the main characters and hook readers into their stories. The excitement I feel is scary awesome and I simply cannot wait to share this story with you! It is going to be so much fun to create!

2. Love & Loss

Without giving too much away, this project is going to deal with grief, primarily, and the healing power of love when a loss has been suffered. Death is something that has always plagued my life, it seems, and with my father having passed away earlier this year, this is a topic that keeps popping up in everything I write – this struggle of loss.

Loss can be experienced in many different ways, of course, and it’s a feeling that everyone can relate to in some way. We as a people lose things that we love, lose things that we care about, and that makes my potential audience very large. I like that idea because I want to craft characters that people can read about and “see” in the mirror. Good storytelling always comes back to good characters, and good characters make readers keep reading.

As for the romantic aspect of the story, while it will be a secondary plot, I have always believed that love heals. Finding the love you have in the world, be it something you love doing, or someone loving you, or loving someone else, it gives you something to hold on to and enjoy. Finding love can be the difference between falling apart when grief is overwhelming or rising above and wielding that grief to achieve more in your life. It is my intention to showcase that in this project.

3. Financial Backing for Creators

I watch a lot of YouTube because I am broke. I don’t want cable, but I couldn’t afford it even if I wanted it. My television is cheap, cheap, cheap. Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll, YouTube, Prime TV – free or cheap. As such, I watch a good number of YouTuber’s content that is heavily paid for and sponsored through Patreon.

Many people in my life have done Kickstarters to fund a project or get a project started. Other people have utilized GoFundMe to raise money for families and organizations in need where I live and work. These platforms give people and companies with good intentions who have befallen hard times an opportunity to succeed.

And, despite my continuously saying that we’re fine, we can afford to just scoot by until I’m traditionally published, that’s – just – not – true. I’m going to breaking my back to keep this schedule, which is fine, but I’m ready for my writing to support me. For this reason – I’ve got a Patreon account set up and waiting for the launch day to arrive. I haven’t decided if I’ll launch the week before I roll my project out or a week after some of the content has come out, but it’ll be launched.

The idea is that if Project 52 grows and captures the hearts of readers, then maybe I’ll be able to go back to working one job – and then maybe I’ll be able to do this full time! Writing and working from home will allow me to more efficiently and effectively pursue traditional publishing for my Nanowrimo novels, and create a brand that includes ALL OF US, since, at the end of the day, I write so that we can feel connected. If I relate to this, and you relate to this, then we have found our common ground. It brings us together and puts us on a level playing field in this crazy arena we call ‘life.’

With any luck, the Patreon won’t scare anyone off, and will also, maybe, hopefully, work…

Thanks for reading this update, thanks for being here. I’ll share more sometime next week to talk more about what I want to accomplish with this project and why I think it matters enough to be read by others. Until then, please remember

You are loved.

Yours always,

 

–ab

3 Completed Days of Nanowrimo

I should’ve collaborated more with my buddy Ouranose, who is participating in Nanowrimo with me this year. We were going to do weekly updates with our progress through the month together in a similar format, but that’s kind of gone with the wind. She posted her first update, which can be found here, and so here I am, posting mine late.

Because I’m a true and proper mess.

So – here’s my week one update.


 

Week One:  November 1st – 3rd

Nanowrimo Week One Projection:  5,001 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)

Word Goal:   5,750

Word Count Achieved:  7,016

One thing I learned:  I was reminded that having a plan is nice, but writing what feels organic with the actual content that’s coming out of my mind is much better for the piece. I always get discouraged when my outline gets derailed early, but I always find a way to bring it all back together in a far more cohesive way than I originally thought. The battle was much shorter than usual, too, which means my confidence is continuing to grow!

One thing I want to improve on for Week 2:  Stop getting discouraged by the word counts of other people. Firstly, I am a huge believer in “quality” over “quantity” when it comes to writing. I would rather write the best piece I can rather than try to compete with the numbers of my friends and competitors. At the end of the day, when I have a clear mind, I know what I’m writing is good. And that’s all I need to worry about.

One thing I did really well:  Recognizing when something doesn’t work. When the music I was listening to didn’t work, I changed it. When the story wasn’t working as I designed it, I changed it. If I wasn’t able to sit still or focus, I changed my environment in some way so that I could be comfortable. I usually have a pretty good grasp of when I can do something and when I need to change something, and that worked out very well for me the first “week” of Nanowrimo.

Week Two Hopes:  We’re already well into the second week of Nanwrimo, the first full week, and I know it’s been rough. My hopes at the beginning of the week were to write every day. My life is overwhelmingly busy and I struggle to prove that I’m worth as much as my fellow writing buddies. This was going to be a rough week because of the obligations I had prior to November 1st coming into play, so being able to write when I am too tired to even get off the couch would be hard. That’s my first hope, is that I can just get that writing every day. I missed the update badges last year due to four missed days at key times, so I want to redeem myself on that front as well.

My second hope is just to continue learning how to adapt and adjust. I had so many ideas and plans and “reels” for how this sequel was supposed to go, and I keep changing it and adjusting it, and it’s nothing like what I originally thought it would be. But I love where it is and where it’s going. I want to continue relying on that part of my brain so that I don’t get stuck. I haven’t been super stuck yet, so avoiding that would be absolutely darling.

Week Two Goal:  12,750

Nanowrimo Week One Projection:  11,669 (Based on the daily 1,667 to finish in 30 days)


 

Feel free to share about your Nanowrimo experiences, what’s working for you and what’s not. Share your advice or ask for advice! I won last year early after missing the target word counts the first three weeks. I might have a good thing or two to share with you, probably. Post quotes. Whatever you want – so long as it is helpful, engouraging, and kind!

Yours,

–ab

A Prisoner’s Home

To you I say, “I’m taking a job that will makes us move far away,”

And you said back, “I will come because my home is wherever you go,”

But I saw that look on your face,

I know that you wanted to say ‘no.’

 

But I’m addicted to how much you need me,

So I’d rather let you sacrifice your dream,

Than be alone when I leave.

~ I ~

I will not do, I will not be, and I will say,

I cannot do, I cannot be, and I cannot say,

I have never done, I have never been, and I have never said.

 

Three stages of reminders and assurance,

You have learned from your observance,

And you will never become what you saw,

And if you try to hard, then you will surely fall.

 

I will not do what he did, so I will do this this instead,

I will not be like her, so I will be like this instead,

I will not say what they said, so I will say this instead,

But your mistake is not realizing that the faster you run from one extreme,

The closer you are to the other.

 

I cannot do what he did because I am not like that,

I cannot be what she is because I am not like that,

I cannot say what she says because I am not like,

But when you say ‘cannot’ you do not claim the logic of freewill,

Instead you blame the limitations on your lack of mimicry.

 

I have never done, but in shadows you always did,

I have never been, but when nobody looked you always were,

I have never said, but in your mind you always thought,

And all those years you were sure you would never become that image of what you hate,

You just walked a different path that made you the same.

It’s Not Me.

It’s not me, it’s you.
It’s everything thing you don’t do.
It’s when you keep quiet and sit down.
It’s when you fake a smile when you’d rather frown.
It’s when you lie and pretend,
and it’s when you think of others as a means to an end.
But there’s more to life than dragging others through the mud.
There’s so much about this life that you can love.
So when you walk away blaming me,
I have to think that there’s something in the mirror you must not see.

Author’s Note

 

I do feel obligated to note that this poem is not about any one person or any group of people I know in particular. It’s just a thought that has crossed my mind in these busy writing days of Nanowrimo plus my life experiences. Sometimes when I write poems, the people in my life ask me if the writing is about them or about something in particular, and with a writer – that is not always the case. I would never write something about someone in particular without first asking their permission.

Thank you,

Yours,

–ab