Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writing A Wrong... Or, Soul Fright

Ever since I was a kid, I have always found solace in one thing - writing.  I have always loved writing poetry, but I also dabble in short stories and, for the last year, blogging.  When I first began this blog, I intended just to write anecdotes of my dating life - the funny things that happened to me and the process of my Strike.  I wrote about colorful men such as Beer Can in the Shower, or the blind date who was four inches shorter than me.   As time passed and my confidence grew, I began to dig a little deeper and I began writing about some pretty heavy relationships that I had been in and the lessons I learned from them.  The stories just seemed to flow out of me.

Then, A. came along. 

I was apprehensive about writing about my relationship with A., but being that this blog follows my life, I began writing about him - and us.  I wrote about my reservations and the fact that I was looking for his "bag of hair."  I wrote about letting my guard down, our honeymoon phase and my struggles with going from a single woman to a girlfriend.  I didn't expect things to turn out the way they did and when he broke up with me, I had no choice but to write about that as well.

Relationships have always had an interesting affect on my writing.  Years ago, when I was in the biggest relationship of my life (so far), I censored my writing for various reasons and oftentimes, didn't pick up the pen for months at a time.  Now that I'm in my 30's, anytime I'm in a relationship, my writing is still affected - either I don't make time to write, or I write poems about love and lust, or I write heartbreak poems.  When things went badly with Freddy, I began writing this blog and while the drama is fun to write about (and read - my readership is highest when I'm writing about heartbreak and bad dates), I am having trouble going back to the stories because, well, there really aren't any.

I haven't gotten back on that horse and started dating again.  No, I'm not on strike - there is no need to go back to drastic measures - but I'm not very interested in giving someone as much energy as I gave to A.  I let my guard down completely and got hit by a freight train as a result.  I'm not really up for doing that again any time soon.  Don't get me wrong - I have thoughts about certain someones and I value who they are in my life right now, but rather than jump and force something that I have no energy for, I'm just sitting and letting things be what they have to be.
Detail from The Women's Building, San Francisco, CA

While this is all well and good for my healing process, it isn't so great for my writing.  I've written a few heart-break poems (and one love poem after a very confusing seven days, but I'm not blogging about that - yet) but I am having a hard time writing this blog.  I have funny stories to share and thoughts and musings about Peter Baca and having high expectations and the desire to be impressed.  I have other stories to share about relationships but every time I sit down to write, I am blocked and everything feels forced.

I think I have susto.

Susto (soos-toh) is Spanish for fright, but it is also thought of as a soul wound.  When a person has susto, she or he is shaken and different areas of a person's life are affected.  A therapist would probably call this "trauma," but susto explains it on deeper level - my soul is wounded.  I am very guarded when I date - being hurt has a way of doing that.  When A. came into my life, I was enjoying my single status for the first time ever.  I was content - no, I was happy on my own and I was ready for whatever the summer had in store.  Not only did I let him into my life, but over time, I dropped my guard completely.  How do I bounce back from that?  How do I ever trust again?

This isn't my first break-up, but it is my first one post-strike.  I am acutely aware of my feelings and what I need to do to heal in a good way.  I know that this feeling won't last forever but I also have a fear that I don't remember having before, and I'm not sure how to articulate it.  I just know I have a feeling of numbness that I have never experienced.  Maybe it's because I am taking the time to feel it or maybe, just maybe, this one hurt me much deeper because I completely let my guard down, and that's something I haven't done in a very long time.  I trusted A. and I trusted myself, and while he's the one who is in the wrong, I'm the one cleaning up the mess. 

Susto can be healed - but it takes time.  As I heal, I will continue to write, regardless of how hard the process is.

Next time: Great Expectations

Dear Reader - 
I entered a writing contest and it is now open to public voting.  You can click here and read more about the contest, then you can vote by clicking on the blue "vote now" button!  Look for the story entitled "I Am Albuquerque" by Andrea Serrano and vote!  You can vote daily until September 23.  Thanks!   


  1. I hear you, Andrea! And, I'd like to believe that susto is something we can recover from. Just remember, you know who you are!

    Sending you love,

  2. I believe we can - if we let ourselves. Therein lies the rub... ;) Thank you for your comment!

  3. Last year at this time, I was in the dark depths of susto that still haunt me today, but I have faced my battles with severe depression issues and I am fixing it, but I have to work on it everyday. Light a candle, hermana.

  4. I will, thank you for sharing. I think that susto (in its many forms) is powerful and deep, but we can heal it with light...