Thursday, April 26, 2018

My Black Moments by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Juliana 1971 a survivor

Dear Reader,

This is my fourth Thursday of the Month of April 2018 post. I've decided to tell you my story of how I became a writer. 

I love a good murder mystery. I love to look for clues into solving a good mystery. I also dig it when the writer throws in a red herring or two: a fact or idea that distracts, misleads your attention from the central clues. I asked Google for the precise meaning of the idiom, a red herring. The complete saying goes drawing a red herring across a path. The fish is cured and smoked turns a rusty red. A Herring is dragged across a hunting trail to throw the hounds off the scent. I learned the meaning and now when I throw in a red herring I think about a dead red fish being dragged down the path to throw the hunting hounds off the scent. 

I grew curious to another mystery description: the black moment. Bryant McGill said, "Life had dark moments and it is out of our darkness that we often find our greatest beauties and strengths. The synonyms: secrecy, mystery, grim gloom; and a definition: a dark period of time that is unpleasant or frightening, a serious secret, evil or threatening without hope. 

I've studied murder cases and the lessons I learned about the dark moments: you give up hope; however, I realized I've had several dark moments, black moments in my life.

I wrote poems about my black moments. I survived them, lived to write about those life threatening fears. Those moments enabled me to see the beauty in life. How fleeting our lives can be, in a heartbeat, a nano second. One moment our life feels hopeful, enter the black moment and wa la: terror, fear, pain, sorrow, anger, remorse, hopelessness; but the sun rises every day and life goes on and on and on until it doesn't.

When I was fourteen I saw the edge of the cliff. My friend and her boyfriend fiddled with the car radio. I saw from my passenger window the dark, deep canyon below us and screamed. It frightened me and I quit driving until I was eighteen, the trauma cased by fear of dying. 

I gave birth to my son in San Francisco. His father used heroin. My child came the year I finished my freshman year in high school. The doctor explained to me my baby's blood condition. He wasn't making enough platelet blood cells and needed a blood transfusion.

My parents, family, friends were in Colorado. I was alone, fifteen, scared to death and prayed for a miracle. My son turns forty-six this December and lives a healthy life. We survived and I grew stronger.

At eighteen, I almost bled to death in the restroom of the hospital Emergency Room. When I came to consciousness, I found myself in a hospital bed, an incision in my abdomen from my pelvis to my belly button.

I weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet. I had lost half my blood supply in that dark moment. My fallopian tube burst from an ectopic  pregnancy; the pain was so intense, I fainted and collapsed in a heap. The  nurse on duty found me in a pool of blood and saved me. I never even thanked her. I didn't die that day, but I felt so much pain I wished I were dead. I survived.

I married at twenty-one the man I met when I was sixteen and he was nineteen. It was a big mistake. When I told him I wanted a divorce, he threatened to shoot me and then himself. My black moment: I stared down the barrel of his gun.
Juliana, survivor, and sister, Lynette 1980's

He did not kill me; he did worse than kill me; he kidnapped my five year old son. I never gave up hope, but I knew my ex-husband was capable of murder/suicide. We both survived and forty years later we're still here.

I learned to cherish every day and remain calm in times of crisis. My common sense kept me alive, my fight or flee response saved me, listening to my body kept me from bleeding to death at home, alone. Now I write heinous murders, serial killing sprees, I write black moments and I know the hopelessness will not last. There's always hope . 

I write about murder, serial killing sprees, mercy killing and I love the dark moment. My characters enter the darkness hopeless, but on the other side there is salvation, unless they're the victim; if they're the victim, they get killed. 

Writing about murder comes naturally to me. I see the movie playing in my head and I write down the words to those pictures. If I had never experienced black moments, I might write fairy tales, but even those have their black moments. Tell me about some of your black moments and how you survived. 



Juliana 2018 a survivor


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