Moving right along to the next book. I love this book, but the first few chapters are painful.
Warning for anyone who has dealt with PTSD. The first few chapters deal a lot with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My mother suffered from PTSD because of what she endured as a teenager during WWII in Germany. She lost her home, most of her family: some kidnapped to Russia and killed there (one a teenage cousin), then others interred in work camps in Poland and starving before they were rescued (another young teenaged cousin). Then she was a refugee and starving when she was 18, and was never able to go home to her family again. Naturally, her mental health suffered for the rest of her life. She didn’t trust therapy and also refused to believe she needed it. Denial and paranoia were her constant companions.
I studied PTSD as an adult, trying to understand some of what she was going through (and what I went through as a child because of her distress).
I was startled to discover this suddenly affecting Perrin, but I shouldn’t have been. Writing these chapters was surprisingly painful, then cathartic, and ultimately healing. I only wish my mom could have experienced this before she passed away.
But I believe God has a way of healing all wounds. Time isn’t a hindrance to Him.
(Hurricane Ian was gentle with us. Let us keep power but took away our internet for a time. Now I’m able to process and upload what I recorded during the long weekend.)
Chapter 26, “Snakes, cats–I know you hate them all,” is another one of my favorite chapters because it’s one I didn’t “write” as much as I “transcribed”.
This part of the story appeared in my head, as quickly as I could type it. About 85% of the chapter was a surprise to me, and why I realized early on I couldn’t really make a full outline of the books because I didn’t know what was coming until suddenly I was tapping out the words. This chapter helped me realize there was a LOT more story that would take place later, which I hadn’t even begun to imagine.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to. When it came to those chapters, they, too, were downloaded straight into my mind for me to copy. I’m just not this smart or insightful.
Here are two more chapters! Not having school today let me get a little work done. However, since we’re in the path of a little storm called Ian, due to come over us tonight, it might be a little while until I get another chapter uploaded. Maybe we’ll lose power and internet, or maybe we’ll just get tons of rain and it will be a big nothing burger, and I can get another chapter done tomorrow.
We are well prepared, so no worries there. (Plenty of flashlights, water, chocolate, Crumbl cookies, and Dr. Pepper.) I just don’t enjoy the suspense of waiting to see what’s next . . . (So I record chapters in my closet which contain suspense of what happens next.)
“Had she looked to the sky, just once, she would’ve noticed the signs. But she was like everyone else in Idumea, rushing around here and there, constantly inspecting this and that, but never looking up. It was as if there was a drum in the heart of the city, pounding the same rhythm over and over again in a quietly hypnotic way: diSTRACTion, diSTRACTion, diSTRACTion. And she had fallen under its effect in record time.”
I readily confess the biggest problem in my life is distraction–not paying attention to the issues and people and needs I’m supposed to.
But whenever I look up, I’m suddenly grounded again.
This chapter took a long time to record, and coincidentally on the same weekend as one session I chaperoned our high school’s homecoming dance.
Not the same. At all.
But sadly, still lots of believers of cleavage. (And the way teenage girls dance? I was worried about parts of anatomy escaping their flimsy coverings. Fortunately there were no disasters, but I have seen a couple in the past. I didn’t want to.)
Here’s the truth about life: nothing will ever change except we, as individuals, decide to change it.
Waiting for the government to make things right will never happen. (Governments are notorious for making things wrong in the first place.)
Waiting for someone else to step up and lead usually means we sit wasting time.
Waiting for someone to order you to do fix something only leaves us feeling resentful at being told what to do.
The ONLY thing that changes the world are individuals who decide, on their own (and inspired by Above, I believe) to do something for someone else.
Help that person who is suffering. Quietly donate more cash to that family or victim or grieving person than is comfortable for you, because they are in greater discomfort than you. Take the time to listen, to fix, to make, to love.
Stop thinking about yourself, and lose yourself in the service of others.
(Does anyone really believe any government can do any of that?)