You Don’t Have Lived Experience Being a Serial Killer–So You Shouldn’t Write About One | Creativity Discussion

I’m feeling pretty agitated. Focused. Annoyed. Distraught. Forgiveless. Oh, I mean, of course: unforgiving. I just single-handedly obliterated my own therapy session from some BS online and so I’m just feeling at a loss. But I have a platform, like Agatha does as well, and I’m going to use that platform now because this comment has been bothering me for months (and it’s SUCH a good comeback, I think) that I’ll never get to properly utilize and all that jazz. So, I’m angry and I want to talk about this key point:

“If you haven’t lived through X, you cannot write creatively about it.”

So, Agatha isn’t their real name of course. And who they are will remain anonymous because it’s not even about them necessarily. I can have my own thoughts and some things don’t need to populate as they already do on the Internet.

Here’s what’s relevant:

Empathy exists but at the same time does not. At all.

And this notion that unless you’ve BEEN THROUGH something (let’s say, mental health struggles (as broad of a term as that is): substance use disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality, homicidality, on and on–) you CANNOT or worse, SHOULD NOT (NEVER EVER) write about it because… well, I don’t know why you can’t.

But this really has been bothering me. Essentially we’re saying:

“You can’t write fictitiously about a serial killer unless you’ve BEEN a serial killer.”

“You can’t write about time travelers because TRUE time travelers would be offended and irked that you wrote about them so incorrectly.”

“You can’t write about completed suicides because you’ve NEVER BEEN a completed suicider (because how could you if you’re writing about it?)”

“You don’t KNOW because you haven’t LIVED through it!”

Do we see–can we ALL agree–that this notion, this concept, makes very, very little sense?

Can I not write about vampires and unicorns (hopefully separately, nudge nudge) because genuine vampires and unicorns may not agree with the way I convey them? Is this so inherently wrong–that writing about something you have not lived through, you don’t have actual experience in, things you could never (mermaids, fantasy, dragons, queens, kings, war, magic, creatures) and things you just haven’t (sickness, cancer, suicide, homicide, being an actual detective, being a medical doctor, historical fiction, being a prisoner of war, being a veteran, living through depression, and on and on) that that somehow means you could NEVER, SHOULD NEVER write about it?

That not educating yourself on the topic, to researching it, to finding that you could convey something so HUMAN, so natural, so beautiful and meaningful and hell, maybe even some form of relatable, is something you should not do, never do, because… because… because some people, and there will clearly be people, who can’t relate or don’t feel reflected in the categorization of your characters and your plot and your ideas?

That because one person, or five hundred, can’t relate and don’t feel adequately seen or heard, you should, as the writer, just never try to write about things that you may have never or just have not experienced firsthand?

What happened to empathy? What HAS happened to empathy? And why is that not enough?


I just don’t understand. I mean, yes, I understand that not everyone will feel represented so fully and wholly and completely based on just one person’s experiences. That’s true. That’s valid. I just… I can’t believe that because my experiences are my own (and not of those I write about) and no one will ever fully know what my experiences are (they are mine for a reason), that that is somehow an indication or warning sign that everyone else out in the world with imagination, empathy, understanding, willingness to be educated and bring forth more creativity and knowledge than I could even see in my situation because it is mine and I’m blinded to it–to even think of proposing to them “No, you can’t write about THIS because you have no experience with it.” Or, “because you haven’t experienced like THIS you can’t write about it. Because you’re THAT not THIS.” As if it were ever truly your choice.


No one on this earth will exactly experience the same event in the same exact way. That’s what makes us human. Our perception is everything but not everything. It shapes us and how we see things–and how WE CHOOSE to react back to it, that’s up to us. And some people are more aware of this than others. And some people will never get it. It’s true. But for those who are curious, who are willing, who are feeling–maybe we should do less judging of them and how they go about their research and their feelings to not cut them out from a full experience of life and the lives they can write about so flawlessly, so believably that we don’t have to question it, whether it’s true or not, whether it’s been lived through or not, maybe we can let those writers feel and experience and engage with the world in a form of art that other people, that maybe some people may not feel heard or seen, but others, maybe they will.


I think it’s naive and silly (and silly doesn’t have to be bad, inherently) to police what people can and cannot create and for not having lived it to be a huge indication of what can or cannot be written about. Will it reflect everyone’s experiences? No. There will be differences. Maybe accepting those flaws, those inherent cracks, those demented dimensions, maybe the fact that some people, maybe even a lot of people if you’re lucky, will understand, and will feel seen and heard and uplifted, maybe it’s for those and mainly only those that we write for. Because we have stories to tell. And stories to heal. And stories to begin.

Maybe that’s what it’s all for.


What are your thoughts? Where do you fall on this line? What determines something to have art and value and purpose? Or is it all just a waste of time to twiddle our thumbs and feel absurd connections to others that exist until we all become dust again and the world is obliterated into oblivion? Or is there something here? Something worth exploring? No matter how much time we have left?


As for Agatha: Please don’t make puppet accounts to come after me. Your identity is safe with me. And if we can agree to go our separate ways and do our separate things, that will be all I ask for. I hope you feel better one day. I hope that Life gives you more than it has.


As always, be safe, my friends. And be kind. And wonder and ponder and question. Question it all. Because maybe we’re bound to find some very interesting answers….


Until next time. xxx


PS Do you like that I made this thumb on Canva JUST for this post? Ahaha. First time I have in months. Next posts will be book reviews, once I can finally get them done!! XX

When the Shit Storm Comes for You. . .

It comes and it comes massively. It has no regulation and no miscommunication. It comes for you since you have poked the bear, and dared to wait behind a birch to see the creature come to life, snarling and growling at you, teeth bared.

When the shit storm comes for you, you better be prepared. Grab your shot gun and your rifle, your courage and your self-doubt. Pick up your rain boots and carry your sketchbook beneath your arm.

When the shit storm comes for you, review your mistakes and your inclinations. What intentions did you have to provoke the bear? What could you have said differently or more concisely? Is this a problem that began with you, the onlooker, or one created purely by the shit storm itself?

When the shit storm comes for you, you better prepare your strength. You will have to use wit here, not emotion, otherwise you’ll wind up with more regrets than you had going in. The storm will test your spirit, it may be one hell of a long journey, and it’s okay for you to recognize that you have an out–if you step to the side by three footfalls, the storm will be over and it won’t be pouring down on you out there. The shit storm is limited to one zone of space.

It’s up to you what you choose to do with it from there.


This is a slight follow-up post to the one I made nearly 12 hours ago this morning (actually a little longer). I’m still shaken up by the mixed response I got, understandably so! I spent this holiday weekend a little bit with my nose turned up because I didn’t get to see the most excited doggie every, Angelo, at the doggy daycare today 😛 Poo!

There were still some nice doggies there, they were just more into playing than getting patted, and the person I’ve gotten to know who works there wasn’t on shift (curse you long weekend!!) So it was just okay for today. ❤ At least next Sunday will come by sooner.

Later on, I came back home and took a couple naps during the afternoon, spending some time just milling around on Youtube then some more time reading my book.

Then my parents and I went out for the early evening, I got to read in the car more in my book which is awesome because normally I get car sick and can’t, annnnd it’s also when the shit storm hit.

I was in Michael’s the Arts & Crafts store (a beautiful place, along the lines of Joann’s Fabrics and Hobby Lobby) browsing around, fully in the moment, looking at fancy baskets and tote bags and knowing I only had $10 with me so I’d have to keep within that budget (my parents were in the Target next door, so I was on my own) and I was looking at jars and bird cages (I love bird cages) and then found the sketchbook aisle and was going for a second sketchbook area when I checked my phone for the email notification.

Annnnnd found the shit storm, waiting with the thunder booming and the shit about to hit the fucking fan. The shit storm itself is irrelevant (I mean what the metaphor of the shit storm actually means in reality), just so you know.

But feeling gutted like a fish, I straight up entered the good old “Crisis Mode”. You know when everything just FLIES out the window and you can’t think straight? Oh yeah, that one. That mode.

I couldn’t focus back into the present moment just happily and nonchalantly looking at sketchbooks I’d like to upgrade to once my current one is finished. This was the few and rare times I didn’t have much to cope with me either. I had a small purse with my cell phone, my Ipod (didn’t even think of using it, there was music in the store though and that helped a bit), my glasses cleaning wipe, a orange pen and the book I’m reading. That’s it. I considered calling a friend or a hotline but was still too out of it to make any actual decisions.

I knew I could contact my parents but I don’t want to get yelled at for what this community and blog site has happily brought into my life thus far. I thought briefly of people I could email but that too, wasn’t further explored. I tried just looking back at the sketchbooks and flipping through them, walking slightly up the aisles, looking for the cameras around and if there were any people because the first thing the shit storm stirred up was the notion of scratching myself.

Except, I couldn’t really de-pants myself right in the middle of the store. So I thought about going to find a bathroom and gouging the crap out of my thigh. Just to regain some traction, some present moment bullshit, some release… some pain. But I didn’t find or go looking for a bathroom.

I wound up just scratching a little on the back of my hip (I was wearing a short T shirt so…) and scratching from the outside of my pants. It didn’t do much either way, except break my safety contract I made with my T and possibly push me towards another hospitalization sooner rather than later.

Although I will say there is no way I could have anticipated this shit storm. It was never on my radar whatsoever. After I said my twenty cents, I walked away from the matter, lighter than before and just moving on about my day.

But when the shit storm comes for you….

I did wind up picking out some butterfly washi tape and a stamp set, but then set them back and got the big sketchbook I was looking for when my Mom came into the store and found me again (I kinda found her, too, so that was good). I also got a hummingbird canvas coloring thing which is fancy!!

Then we all went out to dinner at the 99 restaurant, mmmm sirloin tips!! And I had to just carry on from there. Which was tough because I am not one to pretend or lie about how I’m feeling or doing and straight up if you would have seen my face inside of Michael’s you would have been able to tell I was NOT okay. But I managed, especially with a LOT of love and help from Body Electric. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ Her message was something I could hold onto as the rain from the shit storm eased up as I thought and thought and planned out my response. My dance with the shit storm.

And, here I am now, a little scarred from the shit storm but holding on anyways. I’m writing up another post as an update and to continue sharing this journey of recovery. Part of me still wants to self-harm, but I’m definitely glad I wasn’t home or home alone when I got the shit storm warning call. Otherwise, the damage could have been MUCH worse.


I am also glad that my inclination from this storm was more self-harming than suicidal. I’ve had times when people didn’t understand the OCD I deal with and felt both “Here, let me explain it annnnd now I’ll just go hang myself, thanks!” But that wasn’t there this time, hooray!!

It also reminds me of this one time I got an angry (understandably) email from a Photo Club member (in which I hadn’t been good with integrity or management team) that jarred me severely where as I read it I could FEEL the OCD agreeing and pointing out how shitty I was and how I should just kill myself and I reached for my dinner’s knife and got to rolling up my sleeve before I stopped myself and thought “Whoa there, I am NOT about to self-harm because of what SOMEONE ELSE has said to me, am I?” And that zapped me out of it! HOORAY.


So yeah. Not the best of the best responses. But definitely not the worst either. Relapse or lapse, I’m not too concerned about it. I’d say it was more of a reactive response. A way to cling onto the moment and cope with a sudden dramatic shift in attention and mood. This does tell me that I am really beginning to struggle though. I gotta get my own shit together. Plan out my own shit storm. Rofl.

Welp, that’s it for me this time! At least this was more of something creative and life update-y than ….a shit storm 😉

I will not apologize for my content, as that would be to deny my own thoughts and feelings, which, I’m very tired of doing. Take THAT brain! *flicks a booger at my brain* IIIIII am sorry for that depiction though. It’s the first thing that popped up! T_T XD


Hope you ALL are doing well!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ If you ever need to chat, feel free to message me. Some of you peeps are becoming my own lifeline and I really, really appreciate that. ❤

I’m off to voyage through the weather now! *steers the ship like a BOSS grinning madly in the wind*

The Saga Continues . . .

Today’s Prompt: Saga

(**TW**: Self-harm and suicidality depicted in this post)

This may work out well for me, as I was just replying to a comment of a comment I had made on someone’s OCD story and I wanted to make a post about the topic the other day, but was too involved in it to get the chance to–which is good because I wouldn’t have been clear-headed about it, and because I had to leave to go out with a friend for a fun evening. So, overall, this works out.


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My trusty old pocket watch, which I have many, many photos of. I love putting it in different locations/seasons while it always says the same time, frozen, while the world changes. Taken January 22.2014

My recovery, as well as anyone else’s out in this large, beautiful world, is a work in progress. I believe that recovery is a journey, not a destination and that I can always grow and achieve more, yet also be satisfied alongside of that journey (rather than just running after something that never fills whole and is ultimately unattainable). One of the things I’ve recently discovered about recovery that makes it pretty tantalizing is the bragging rights that come out of doing and being well. Even when I’m struggling, because hey, I still made it this far. And that, always, is a victory (especially on difficult days where it seems like a mistake).

So for this reason, what I feel today may not be what I feel three years from now. Or, even, tomorrow, or in the next moment. Feelings are temporary, like that. There is always more for me to learn and as I continue living there will be added facets to my story. Which, ultimately, is pretty damn exciting.

But for right now, I’d like to discuss this internal … conflict I’ve noticed within myself when it comes to OTHER people’s OCD struggles. And how yesterday I came to a better understanding of where that vine connects to the roots. And how lovely that fits into today’s prompt. Especially since I’ve neglected a few other prompts this past week. Carrying on, though!

It’s not news to me that I react so adversely to other people’s OCD. I’ve been reacting in this manner for at least 6-8 months, if I had to stick a number to it. I thought before I’d go to the OCD-Institute that I’d be sooooo angry there. I thought I would feel the same in the OCD support groups in Belmont, MA. I definitely knew I’d feel that way with Youtube videos and other stories that I just came across, either accidentally or purposefully.

You see, when I read or hear or see other people struggling with their OCD, as it tears them apart and into smaller, indistinguishable pieces, I just get this internal rage. It simply just completely pisses me OFF.

I’m filled with: “What-what are you doing? No! Punch that OCD in the face! Don’t let it boss you around like that! It has no right! Fight back! Why are you listening to it? You don’t deserve this. How can’t you see that the compulsions you are doing is just contributing to the problem? Exposure, bro, exposure! Treatment! Recovery!”

That’s the best example I can come up with on the spot, at least. It’s this blindingly bright sense of utter RAGE and I’m so passionate about that rage, I just can’t understand how others can be pulled under their OCD and can STAND for it.

Yet, maybe they’re not standing for it. They’re just struggling and don’t know any other way but what they’ve done to handle it or, in terms of compulsions, “handle it” in the past.

I’ve met people who have suffered YEARS of the OCD torture. Where they suffered either unknowingly or knowingly with OCD and have had their life stripped away from them day by day as the compulsions, obsessions and distress became utterly crippling. It is still mind boggling to me, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to be empathetic in understanding that. I can’t imagine living like that. It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know if it ever WILL.

And I think this is due to the nature of my own OCD symptoms. We don’t choose what topic the OCD focuses on, as long as it can get a response or a reaction out of us, it will go after that topic. Something we deeply, truly care about.

For me, that’s my life. So I deal with self-harm and suicide obsessions.

And I’ll be honest, the line really blurs between suffering with OCD primarily and suffering with secondary depression. I believe that combination influences my vision in being empathetic to others struggles with their long-term OCD symptoms. Because I may not just be viewing it from the perspective of the OCD itself, but rather this confusing blob of OCD AND depression. Although, it’s not uncommon to find those who suffer with OCD also suffer with depression.

But my point is, and it’s horrible to think this but, when I find out people have spent YEARS struggling with this horrible condition known as OCD, I genuinely wonder to myself how they didn’t kill themselves.

Let that just sink in for a minute, okay?

It genuinely makes no sense to me. Because if I had to suffer from the OCD for say ten years like that? Nope, I’d be trying to kill myself every chance I got. I wouldn’t be able to do it. I couldn’t even stand four MONTHS like that. Once the depression set in, it took me only six DAYS to try and kill myself.

And this is not easy to admit. Because this is text, and the sentences flow one into the other, it may seem easy, but this is difficult shit.

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An unfortunate but very, very real and difficult to read drawing that depicts the pain I was going through identifying as the OCD and struggling deeply because of it.

I remember what it was like ‘living’ like that, living with constant compulsions and obsessions over self-harm and suicide, and it was NOT living. The hardest part was holding onto that piece of possibility that one day things would be better, that the storm wouldn’t crash so loudly, that the waves would part and that calm and peace would be found again…. That FREEDOM could be found again.

Because as bad as it is to say, it felt for me that living like that wasn’t worth living at all. (the catch here of course is that it’s not permanent and again, feelings change and I’m here today NOT having to deal with that to THAT degree anymore).

So, in part, I get very angry, and I also get jealous. Because I wish I could be someone who could live through that pain. Rather than heading the other direction.

I wish I had that strength, that perseverance and resiliency to still continue to live for a decade under the power of the OCD. Because if I had a decade to live under the OCD, I wouldn’t put up with it. I’d rather be dead, and that sucks, because after the ten years of living under it, you CAN still recover and you can get BETTER, but if I died in that span of ten years, well, I’d still be pretty dead after those ten years, wouldn’t I? Yeah, because death is permanent.

So although my perspective may not be a common perspective on the matter, it’s for the moment how I believe. Again, this will likely change in the future. I just remember a part of myself stepping down her foot and saying “No, OCD, I REFUSE to give up years of my life to you. I REFUSE.” I wouldn’t stand for it. Whether that’s the best most helpful approach or the most damaging, I’m not sure. But luckily for me, I didn’t have to deal with ten years of OCD plaguing me. That’s…some solace, I suppose.

Other reasons for my feelings of rage I believe stem from the dance I do trying to balance positivity with the notion that struggles and with that, lapses and relapses will occur. I want to deny that there will be bad days, yet, that’s not how recovery is defined. Recovery IS about relapses and lapses. It IS a bumpy road. But it’s how you bounce back from them and how you cope with them, that matters most. Not that there was a fault, but how you dealt with that fault.

So there are of course times where I come along a concept I’ve had to deal with in the OCD journey that I find someone else may or may not be dealing with (projection is a bitch). For instance, I always cringe at the notion of “my OCD” It leaves a pile of disgust in my belly. I get a knot in my throat and I just want to wipe the phrase away and go on a lecture about how one shouldn’t identify as a disorder.

Yet, I’ve also been able to recognize that just because I struggled with that issue, does NOT mean everybody else out there is. And that, if the phrase empowers THEM that’s all that matters. (And if it doesn’t, then I can raise my points/beliefs on the matter).


This is in no way a simple issue. Facing this intense reaction tends to spiral off my own OCD and then I have to go deal with THAT mess, *rolls eyes* greeeeaaaat. Sometimes I have to just avoid the issue. Because one minute I’ll be angry then the next I’ll wind up sobbing remembering the past and the things that happened with me, and being afraid and concerned that’s where this other person is headed. I don’t wonder how the other person didn’t kill themselves because I wish suicidality upon them– I wonder because that’s ALL I could ever think about. …there was nothing other than suicidality and self-harm. a whole pit of darkness.


But I think I’ve wrapped up my points on this. The story is unfinished and with time I can expose myself to these intense reactions, since that’s the best way I’m going to work through it, and more times to NOT engage in compulsions, the better in the long run. Makes the short run a pain in the ass, but the long run will be better. For now though, I’ll slink away to my hiding spot and wait out the storm. As the beginning says…


The saga continues…..