Fighting The Silence

When I was 11 I was kicked square in the face by a horse. As fate would have it, that horse probably knocked some sense into me but that's neither here nor there.

The important part of this story is what happened after I flew twenty feet through the air and landed in a hay pile, stood up dizzily and noted the ground by my feet was slowly turning red from the blood pouring out my face and then found myself stuffed into a vehicle to be raced to a small town hospital's emergency room all the while being told they may have to amputate my face by my also 11-year-old best friend while I couldn't even remember what had happened to me.

Luckily for me, modern medicine saved my face and no amputations were needed. Also luckily for me, 11-year-old children aren't doctors for a reason.

It is what happened to me after this horse decided to almost kill me and rearrange my facial features with her hoof that has stuck with my all my life. I called my daddy after the accident, to let him know I survived the brutal attack of a vicious she-beast from Hell and my dad (irritatingly) asked me why I walked behind the horse in the first place, especially since I knew better.

My reply to him was less than stellar and I mumbled something through my swollen face about not remembering, all the while trying to swallow my irritation with his less than sympathetic response.

He stayed silent for a moment and then said, "Well, I guess you'll remember from now on, won't you. You'd better be sure to hop back up on that horse," and I muttered an indignant, "fine," while silently vowing to never go near a four-legged animal bigger and smarter than me ever again.

Except I did. I got back on the horse. Not that horse, because she was a vicious she-beast sent from Satan himself to destroy me, but a horse nonetheless.  I've also never walked behind a large, unknown animal again. She-beast or not, I learned very quickly that horses are a lot like humans: they tend to be skittish around strangers.

At the time, I was less than thrilled with my father's seeming lack of compassion for my predicament. In my melodramatic mind (that had recently been rattled around my skull quite nicely) I had assumed my father would take great pity on my pain, offer to slay the she-beast and whisk me off to recuperate while holding my hand tenderly and vowing to never let another creature harm me again.


(Sorry. My 11-year-old brain suddenly reemerged. I'm left with an odd affection for Skittles and a yen to listen to Justin Bieber. Dammit.)

As an adult, twenty odd years later, I understand what my father was trying to teach me. Actions have consequences and to never give up. Blah, blah, blah.  My life, it's just waiting to be made into an after school special.

Blogging lately has been my horse. It's the she-beast sent from Satan to torment me on a regular basis. There has been a giant monkey on my back for the better part of a year and I cannot shake it, nor am I allowed to write about it. And this invisible monkey has chained up my creativity and sucked the life out of me like one of Sookie's vampire boyfriends.

I can't tell you how many times I have looked at my blank computer screen and been tempted to shut the laptop and walk away from this part of my life permanently.

But then the words of my father start ringing in my ears once again, "You'd better be sure to hop back up on that horse," and I remember, I'm not a quitter.

So I'm climbing back into this saddle again, a little bruised from this past year, my words swollen and tattered, but I'm hanging on, vowing to find a way to let the joy back into my writing while ignoring the demons screaming in my ear.

It may be a rough ride for a bit but my daddy taught me how to hang on tight and embrace the bumps.

Thank you to everyone who has held on tight alongside me.