The Secret…Friday Fictioneers.


“I hate you!” Alice screeched at her parents. She might’ve been difficult, but she wasn’t stupid. She knew this was another attempt to force her to “self-calm”, as the therapist put it. They’d tried everything…mediation, relaxation, mindfulness, yoga. Yet, instead of bringing inner peace, they’d only fueled an endless, inner rage. She had to scream. Smash something. Carve a stream into her arm to let the tension out.

This time, they let her run.  After all, there was nothing more to say. Yet, they still clung onto a completely irrational hope, that somehow their only beloved daughter would find her way back out of the darkness and into the light.


My humble apologies for going over the word limit. I don’t know why Dale’s beautiful photo prompted such despair in my piece this week. However, I’ve never been good at meditation or sitting still.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson.

Best wishes,


32 thoughts on “The Secret…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. jillyfunnell

    I can’t think of anything worse than feeling angry and then people telling me to “self-calm”. She needs to deal with things her way. I hope she’s going to be okay.

  2. Rowena Post author

    I’m with you, Jilly. I feel there’s a lot of pressure to get over even really severe trauma and grief very quickly and very little acknowledgement of the need for time to grieve. That there isn’t an instant fix when things go wrong or we hurt. At the same time, I also find it hard to follow up with that long term grief and know quite what to say. It’s definitely awkward.
    I’m not sure if Alice is going to be okay or if it’s going to be any time soon. He issues are very complex but at least she’s much loved and her parents aren’t part of the secret.

  3. Rowena Post author

    Quite a few people I’ve spoken to more have ways of venting the anger safely than using these calming strategies. A friend told me recently that smashing something helps and over time they’ve learned to smash something inconsequential. He did say he’s never smashed one of his guitars, which are very important to him.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Susan. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin, now though not at that intensity. I guess that’s one of the benefits of maturity.
    Best wishes,

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, CE. It’s interesting because I’m not an angry person but I do get stressed easily and have been encouraged to meditation and all of the above. They weren’t really me but photography and walking are great for me.
    Best wishes,

  6. Pingback: The Secret…Friday Fictioneers. — Beyond the Flow – Hypnotherapist_sophia

  7. rochellewisoff

    Dear Rowena,

    I can relate to this girl, Both from her POV and her parents’. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. You didn’t go that far over the word limit. I do see where you could tighten this by cutting a few here and there. But that’s your call, of course. Stirring story.



  8. Magaly Guerrero

    This is heartbreaking, poor girl… and poor parents, too. No one can truly learn to relax (or live) though the experiences of another, best to help her find ways to use her own weapons… in hope that whatever tools she might find don’t drain the life out of her.

    A chilling tale.

  9. JoHawkTheWriter

    Some feeling demand to be expressed. Suppressing or denying them is seldom a long-term solution. Doing so in a constructive manner is the challenge. I hope she finds her way.

  10. Clare Hempstead

    I love the line ‘Carve a stream into her arm to let the tension out.’ I’ve never understood how anyone could do that to themselves, but this describes her feelings perfectly. I hope finds a way to deal with her troubles and is reconciled with her parents one day.

  11. Gary A Wilson

    I’s always drawn to the hardest questions to answer. Somehow it nudges at my faith that only by engaging some of the brightest among us will answers ever be found. Thanks for moving us closer. . .

  12. Rowena Post author

    Thank you so much, Gary. I’m very touched by your confidence in me.
    I am currently being stretched well being my capabilities as my close school friend is fighting Motor Neurone Disease. She was diagnosed 6-7 years ago and life expectancy is generally 2-5 years from diagnosis. Two weeks ago, she almost died when she ended up with critical levels of CO2 in her blood and was taken to intensive care and revived. She has a 12 year old daughter and has a resus order in placer and it was a miracle they brought her back. This week, she’s had major surgery which has now robbed her of speech, but it was strained before and this operation gives her and the family better peace of mind and hopefully an extension. She is an incredibly courageous and inspirational person. However, that shouldn’t discount her suffering or that heartbreak her family lives with day in day out. Somehow, these conflicting forces intertwine in a way that can confuse people into thinking someone is okay when they choose not to focus on the bad stuff that’s going on and trying to live life to the full. My friend is also surrounded by people who love her and multiple layers of that onion. So while she has deep struggle, she also has so much to be grateful for and she is. however, that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to run MND over this week. Indeed, I wouldn’t just run it over once. I’d be reversing up and driving backwards and forwards until it was deader than dead. My husband’s aunt once did that with a snake and it seems like a plan.
    It’s been enlightening for me to be a bystander in this situation as I have been through much myself and it is different as the person than the bystander. I know I have often felt uplifted by overcoming my struggles, while my friends and family get none of the positive stuff and just feel completely wasted.
    There you go. I’ll pass the baton over to you now, Gary. Any thoughts?
    I’m certainly not sure how to factor God into any of this. I see him as accompanying us through our trials but I do get a bit stuck at times. Why doesn’t he stop our suffering? Yet, at the same time, I know that we need to grow and suffering seems to be a big part of that. We’re also meant to extend ourselves and that bring pluses and minuses.
    Anyway, our dinner is long overdue so I’d better go and do the hunter gatherer thing and look in the freezer.
    Best wishes & God Bless,

  13. Rowena Post author

    Michael, in a sense we are so incredibly helpless and yet there’s so much we can do in a range of situations, yet no guarantee that it will stop someone from taking their life. I guess the solace then is that we did all we could. That’s not an easy place by any means but some situations are beyond us.

  14. 4963andypop

    That line about carving a stream into her arm makes my skin crawl. I was thinking along the lines of “cutting” but I can see how you may be referring to a suicide attempt.

    Im sorry to hear, Rowena, about your friends health concerns. Im glad you have found a way to “self-calm,” (such a demeaning, judgmental term) through your writing walking and photography.

    I empathized with the parents, the onlookers, so to speak, who feel helpless after seeking every expert they can think of, with little change in their daughter’s condition and no appreciation for the efforts, but instead blame.

    Mental health, or even just high spitedness can be a tough landscape to maneuver for child and family. It sounds as if at this point the parents share their daughters despair. So sad.

  15. Rowena Post author

    Yes, I’d imagine that story would Linda. I have found that I need a more active form of calming and photography has been great. I also play the violin and you get onto those higher notes and the violin certainly releases the anguished cry of the soul. Spent tonight listening to violin music after doing my practice. A wonderful release.
    Best wishes,

  16. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Clare. That thought dates back to when I was about 19 and heartbroken and I remember seeing some white carnations with a red vein rippling through the petals and it inspired a rather dark poem at the time and this reference. My kids are in their early teens and this really concerns me both for them, their friends and wider circle. However, we’re actively involved in our local community and that’s more than a good start.
    Best wishes,

  17. Rowena Post author

    Well put, Jo. Many of us, myself included, could benefit from expressing things somehow. A friend of mine is very ill and I took it out on my violin tonight and have been listening to all sorts of violin music on my computer. It’s been very therapeutic.
    Best wishes,

  18. granonine

    I play the violin, too 🙂 Not very well, because of arthritic problems, but still. Also find great release in my piano or organ. Music is a great calming agent.

  19. Rowena Post author

    That’s so true, Linda. What do you play on your violin? I am working my way through the Suzuki books and am just finishing off Book 3 and moving onto book four where I’ll be starting concertos, which is exciting.
    My fine motor isn’t great either but practice does help. I go through phases with my violin of really feeling quite defeated and wondering if I should stop my lessons but hen something comes along which fires up my motivation again and I’m back on board.
    You might’ve noticed that I attended a concert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music recently Well, I met a young up and coming pianist and cellist there. I was telling him how I grapple with my violin and he said: “Every musician’s frustrated with their instrument”…or something along those lines. That helped me enormously. The violin is such a moody instrument and it can sound so sweet but then there might be a change in the weather or even no reason whatsoever, and it’s difficult and cantankerous. Everything sounds terrible and it completely destroys your confidence. Time to snap your bow and ride off into the sunset.
    Indeed, that sounds the making of a good story.
    Best wishes,

  20. Rowena Post author

    I think this is where the distinction between struggling with life and events etc transitions over to mental illness, which for some people is a very difficult can of worms to wrestle with. Humph…make that rattle snakes.
    Best wishes,

  21. granonine

    Rowena, I actually gave my violin to one of my sons who showed a lot more talent than I have. He plays in his community symphony orchestra. So now, I’m enjoying a nine-year-old grandson’s development on his cello. He’s doing very well 🙂

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