Negative Feelings

I wish everyone I came into contact with loved me without reservation. Unfortunately, I was forced into contact with someone for many years who didn’t love me at all. This person would pick fights with me, harass me, bully me, and cause much unnecessary conflict. Though this person called themselves a “Christ follower,” this person rejected all the rudimentary doctrines of the faith. When this person died several years ago, my stress level lessened considerably.

This is not normal. I regret and repent of my emotions. Though not everyone is my fan, I don’t feel this way about anyone today. No one else delivers that much stress nor generates such negative emotions in me.

But I learned a lot from this person about how not to exist and behave. The Lord needed me to see and experience this terrible example. Also, since I was victimized, I have a special heart for Christians who suffer under other Christians acting like anything but. I also realize that as intense as my feelings were, I “got nothin’” in comparison to those suffering true persecution.

Your turn:

Have you written about an intensely negative experience or person?

What did your character learn?

What did you learn?

What would you want your readers to learn from such negativity?

65 Responses to Negative Feelings

  1. Avatar
    Theresa Lynn Hall February 21, 2019 at 5:39 am #

    Tamela, I can relate. I’ve dealt with it in my personal life and at work. I haven’t written specific incidents into my books for a couple reasons: it opens old wounds up, and I would be worried some who know me well would recognize where that inspiration came from. But my experiences do make writing the villain a lot easier!

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:35 am #

      Very good points, Theresa! I will have to say that years ago I read in a Dear Abby column that people seldom recognize themselves in her column. However, I think you are wise to use caution!

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    Janine Rosche February 21, 2019 at 5:51 am #

    Very few people show their nastiness 100% of the time. It’s very controlled. Villains in our books should be the same way, I think. Yet even when they are acting normal/nice, our character is inwardly seething. He or she probably has some kind of self-protective trick they fall into.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:36 am #

      Excellent observation, Janine! I think only cartoon characters who are evil act that way all the time. That would take way too much energy for a real person.

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    Louisa February 21, 2019 at 6:13 am #

    When a person consistently acts negative, I always wonder why. What negative childhood experiences did they have that made them this way? I don’t believe that anyone is born a bully, although some people have considerably stronger personalities than others. For villains in books there should also be an underlying reason why they are less than desirable.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:37 am #

      Yes, and I have noticed that some people acknowledge their troubled pasts and others don’t. Perhaps they don’t realize it themselves. The saddest people are those who know their pasts were troubled, yet refuse to learn from their experiences as to how to treat other people well.

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      claire o'sullivan February 21, 2019 at 3:07 pm #

      I agree. I have seen this in life, and instead of dwelling on the negative (well at first I do), I look at the child. I imagine what it was like. I knew a woman from Viet Nam who had a severe hatred toward ‘lessers’ since she came to the US and graduated from Harvard. She was mean, spiteful, you name it. However, I reasoned about it. Her age may have meant her father was American, that he abandoned the family in VN. That she suffered being poor and who knows what else. While she was as toxic as all get out, she in my mind had been traumatized. Easier to forgive and pray.

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    Damon J. Gray February 21, 2019 at 6:45 am #

    Oh, my, yes…

    How timely. I am about 2/3 draft complete on a memoir about this very thing. Tentatively I’m titling it “God-Faced Forgiveness – The Christ-follower’s response to a history of toxicity and abuse.”

    A history of childhood and adolescent toxicity and abuse does not mandate an emotional core of bitterness as an adult. So, what is the mature believer’s response to those who doused us with bile for years on end?

    I’m convinced it is God-Faced forgiveness. Easy? No. Not at all, but it is our only response with a happy ending.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:37 am #

      Yours sounds like a wonderful and worthwhile book, Damon.

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      Shirlee Abbott February 21, 2019 at 11:03 am #

      God-Faced Forgiveness. I like it, Damon. It makes for a good prayer image, for both the one needing forgiveness and the one needing to forgive.

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      Peggy Booher February 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm #

      Damon,

      We really need that book!

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    Deb Gardner Allard February 21, 2019 at 6:59 am #

    Thanks for sharing, Tamela. I never thought of using a situation like that with my characters and yet, that is the real world. If we’re truly walking our Christianity our responses should be different from those without Christ in their lives. This is nitty gritty reality. Our characters will grow deeper as they show who they are made of.

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    Loretta Eidson February 21, 2019 at 7:15 am #

    I, too, am a victim. Going back and rereading my manuscripts I realized I’d made my antagonists mean, hateful, and aggressive. So, I’ve had to revisit my work and reevaluate their character. Though I’ve forgiven this person and we cross paths often, I must remain in a state of forgiveness, thanking God for His mercy and grace. The memory of certain behaviors have a way of sneaking into my characters actions, and for that I must be cautious. In my attempt to make my writing realistic, I’ve drawn from the pit of experience. Now that I’ve seen the undesirable actions of my characters I’ll be more aware of how I develop them.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:39 am #

      Thank you for sharing, Loretta. I am so sorry you have been a victim. I pray that your bully’s heart will change and I know that the Lord will be with you as you continue to be a witness for Him.

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    Linnea February 21, 2019 at 7:20 am #

    I’m so sorry you had to suffer like that, Tamela. I think many of us have a person like that in our lives. Mine, unfortunately, was my own father. And I hated him until I was in my 30s. Then the Lord came to me, not him, and gently reminded me that my hatred did not please Him, and to look at what He’d done for the world while it yet hated Him. That broke me and I repented, bringing me much peace. I was completely surprised and overjoyed when a few months later my father took me aside and confessed his failings as a father. Our relationship changed drastically. But it had to start with me and my attitude.

    Until you brought it up, I didn’t realize that this experience has seeped into my current WIP, so thank you. I hope it will make my characters ring truer and perhaps give someone cause to rethink their attitude about any tormentors in their own lives.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:41 am #

      Linnea, I am so glad the Lord used my post to help you. I really do appreciate you for sharing your experience, too. What a great story! I recommend that you might want to write it as a devotional and publish it. You inspired me greatly.

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    Nan Snipes February 21, 2019 at 7:30 am #

    I wrote an article about an incident that happened more than thirty years ago when my former husband took a gun from our walk-in closet and threatened to shoot me. While these things seem to be commonplace now, back then, it was unusual. I recall his loading each bullet into the gun and talking about killing me. I held my breath and prayed to God that I would be able to see my two boys grow up. He answered my prayer.
    At first, I was terrified of my former husband, but over the years, I grew to feel sorry for him because he didn’t know the Lord. I prayed for him to accept the Lord, but he never did. The years after he died were filled with guilt that I hadn’t done enough to bring him to the Lord. But God soothed me and reassured me that I had done what I could earlier in the marriage.
    As a result of that experience, and many others, God revealed to me 2 Corinthians 1:3, NIV, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” I learned, through every tough experience, that God wanted me to comfort others as he comforted me.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:44 am #

      Wow, that is a terrible experience. God is good! I am grateful that He released you from responsibility here, too. All any of us can do as Christians is to try to stay in the Lord’s will, pray for others, and hope that we can inspire others to the path of salvation. We must reconcile ourselves to the fact that our witness will not inspire others 100% of the time. That is not our fault. It is up to the individual to decide how to respond to the Lord.

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    Jennifer Mugrage February 21, 2019 at 7:57 am #

    Wow. There are some amazing and heartbreaking stories here. “Sin nature” and “fallen world” are not just abstract concepts. They bring actual hell into our daily lives.

    I would like to write stories where everybody loves everybody, but then not only would there be no story, there’d be realism or realistic tragic sense of the human condition.

    I have two novels completed. In the first one, the MC starts out as an arrogant jerk. He changes, but there is one other character who doesn’t see that and never learns to stand him. He ends up killing him, actually. So the hero and the villain switch places.

    In the sequel, the main driver of conflict is an abusive husband. It’s another case where i gave my characters a real-world problem but no good path to solve it. It’s a small, isolated tribe, so there’s nowhere the wife can go. Others in the tribe want to help her, and they try, but there’s a limit to what you can do with a really hard heart unless you’re willing to kill or exile the offender … Which they’re not.

    There is a real vein of tragedy in the world.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:46 am #

      Indeed, we live in a fallen world. I’m so grateful the Lord allows us to write stories to life up our fellow travelers.

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    Maco Stewart February 21, 2019 at 8:10 am #

    I, too, had a similar flesh-and-blood adversary, and my only relief was when he passed from this planet. The irony was that I had been this person’s main defender in the esoteric group that he later aggressively tried to take over. Because I was an officer in the group, I was named in a lawsuit that required a five-figure expenditure for legal defense of what was eventually found to be a baseless harassment suit. I learned from it that the evil do walk among us, that they share no values with us and have no gratitude, and that in this life, we are guaranteed tribulation. I have never been able to forgive him, which is on me, and is something to work on. As a result, my characters never are Pollyanna-ish.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:51 am #

      Wow, there are few heartbreaks worse than the betrayal of a friend, especially a friend you tried your best to defend. The unpleasantness and financial hardship you experienced at his hands are understandably difficult to forgive. I am not going to tell you that I could easily forgive this person if I were in your place. This person likely doesn’t care if you forgive him or not. Don’t forgive him for himself — forgive him for YOURself, when you can and are ready. I pray that the Lord will grant you new and rewarding friendships, and will replace your losses in triplicate.

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    Kimberly Rose Johnson February 21, 2019 at 8:17 am #

    I used something from my own childhood that was painful in one of my books. I was surprised at how many readers related to her situation. I guess I learned that most of us deal with bullies and that using painful experiences from my own life in my writing is healing for me.

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    Karen Sweet February 21, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    Tamela, I believe the feelings of relief are very normal, not sinful. Being Christian isn’t about rejecting the painful realities of emotional persecution from those far from Christ-like in their behaviors. I felt regret and relief after my persecutor died. Sorrow for what might have been. Relief for the end of the difficult life I’d been forced to live.

    One of my main characters is the obsession of the villain, who hates himself. She has to overcome her fears to fight back, to save those she loves, and claim her God-given strength. To find the righteousness in self-defense without the hatred. Only possible in Christ.
    God bless,
    Karen

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:54 am #

      Thank you for sharing, Karen. And you are right — if we as Christians deny our feelings then we’ll come across to others as crazy, unrealistic, loopy, or worse. Being authentic has its rewards, even though it’s lot’s more fun to say, “What a sunshiney day!”

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    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 21, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    I’m so sorry you had to live through something like that, Tamela.

    I don’t write negative emotion; it’s out there, but I can’t afford it now.

    Life’s too short for some things now
    and perhaps it always was.
    But in yonder days I did allow
    that which would now give pause.
    I welcomed anger as a friend
    and sought out hate and strife,
    planning more to burn than mend,
    but I was taking my own life.
    Now I’m ripped through and through
    and painful breath comes shallow;
    but it’s worth finding something true
    to taste unto the marrow.
    With the last release of rage,
    God could finally turn the page.

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      Linda Riggs Mayfield February 21, 2019 at 9:55 am #

      Oh, Andrew. Praise God that as awful as it is, your suffering is not in vain. Clearly He is still working in you to conform you to the image of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and in the process, blessing and challenging your friends on this web site, and many others, I’m sure. Thank you! Blessings and peace today!

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 9:56 am #

      I appreciate such an insightful poem, Andrew! I hope everyone reads it with thought and care. I also think anger can be exciting and the perpetually angry person uses that emotion to feel alive. Much better to use other emotions, words, and deeds to live and enjoy life!

      Please know that I continue to pray for you!

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        Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 21, 2019 at 10:19 am #

        Tamela, thank you so much for your kind words, and most especially for your prayers.

        You’re absoutely right that anger can be a thrill…it’s like cunningly preparing a cup of hemlock for our enemy, and then drinking it ourselves.

  14. Avatar
    Lee Carver February 21, 2019 at 9:40 am #

    I tried to vent my negative feelings against our ex-son-in-law as the MC of a novel, but I didn’t do it well enough. At some point, the fictional character became more dangerously aggressive, rather than the passive-aggressive real character. And our daughter never read the novel because, even with the poor characterization, she said it “came too close to home.” I have forgiven him, and sometimes pray for him. When I felt unable to forgive, I told God I was “willing to be willing to forgive,” and He was able to work with that.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 10:01 am #

      Lee, when we try to communicate to a certain person through a novel, that guarantees that the person we’re talking to will never read it. Probably because the person doesn’t want to spend time with our words, and by extension, us. I say this because I tried a couple of times to talk to my bully who had been lying to me about reading my books. The person had never read any but the first one. But I am confident that the Lord, in His goodness, used my words anyway. Just as the Lord used your words “willing to be willing to forgive” as an open door. Of course, we know that nothing is impossible with the Lord. I appreciate you for sharing. I think you have a good heart, and I know all will be well.

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    Wendy L Macdonald February 21, 2019 at 11:27 am #

    Thank you, dear Tamela, for sharing your experience with abuse. I’ve recently acquired a “difficult” person in my sphere who frequently makes my stomach spin with adrenaline. I battle a lot of not-so-good thoughts with Bible verses so I don’t behave badly in return. The hardest thing for me to do is to pray for her. But God, but love. I do dust my flip-flops off and distance myself from hurtful people as graciously as I can.
    It just so happens, today on my blog, I wrote about an uncomfortable encounter with a stranger. Part of why it hurt me so much was because it brushed against old bruises.
    I need God’s grace as much today as I did on the day He first rescued me. 🙂 All these experiences help me have empathy for others, including my characters in memoir and fiction.
    Thanks again for being vulnerable; it makes us feel less alone.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 22, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

      Thank you so much for sharing, Wendy, and for your encouragement. Praying for you!

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    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 21, 2019 at 11:43 am #

    There’ another kind of negative emotion, that of anger or resentment against God. It’s insidious, and sometimes one is even encouraged to that path, in the form of ‘crying out to God’.

    On this, the most appallingly bad day yet (I’m catching my breath between typing parts of sentences, it hurts that much to breathe), I don’t feel anger or resentment or even a “Why ME?” I’m just here, in the place of honour, and I’m expected to do my very best with the hand I’ve been dealt.

    After all, as I walk the Via Dolorosa of cancer, I’m in good company.

    Hope no one minds yet another sonnet.

    Today I want the pain to end,
    no matter what the cost.
    I cannot move, nor bend
    without it, and I am so lost.
    I’m sick at heart at losing breath,
    and there is no reprieve,
    but on the way to dusty death,
    there’s something I believe.
    There are Footsteps that I follow;
    does someone follow mine?
    If so, then I cannot wallow
    and must draw a line.
    I don’t know how, but I’ll endure this day;
    the Road to Calvary shows the Way.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm #

      Thank you for being an inspiration in the midst of pain.

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      Christy February 24, 2019 at 12:26 pm #

      I’m praying for you.

      Lord Jesus, let Andrew feel Your presence more strongly each hour. Strengthen him, and let him know that You are his Rock and Fortress.

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        Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm #

        Christy, thank you so much. My own strength is failing, and I am carried forward by the love and prayers of my friends.

        Truly, God’s Mighty Arms.

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    Jennifer J Goble February 21, 2019 at 11:46 am #

    A great topic. Makes me think back too on people in my life who hang their identity on Christianity, but behave in ways to make Jesus cry. They are a big reason many people exit organized religion.

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      Marlene W Anderson February 21, 2019 at 12:49 pm #

      that is very true Jennifer – I know many people who behave better than “Christians” and who have left the church because of hypocrisy. Being a Christian is more than words – it is actively trying to live that. It’s not trying to be perfect; it’s acknowledging to self and others that we are all sinners and need the saving grace of Christ.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 1:29 pm #

      I think a lot of people don’t realize how they are behaving. Prayer is so important to help us stay the course.

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    Kathleen Denly February 21, 2019 at 11:57 am #

    It has been my experience that people are too complicated to be only bad or only good. Not only are their harmful actions usually justified and reasonable in their own minds, they often have other aspects of themselves that, when viewed separately, would make them appear good.

    For example: an abusive person who performs charity work that legitimately benefits other people. Those who only have contact with that person through their charity work might think them all that is good, while those who know them in a more private role will suffer the lash of their tongue, or even their hand. Another example may be someone who is a devoted mother but also an adulteress. I’m sure she thinks there are legitimate reasons for her sinful behavior of adultery, though of course, there is not.

    I have not written these specific examples into my stories, but I have taken what I consider to be the worst sides of the people I have encountered and paired them with some of the best sides to create complicated characters that not only reflect real people, but hopefully make the characters more relatable. I think the more relatable a character is, the easier God can use a story to touch a reader’s heart in the way only He knows they need.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 1:33 pm #

      Exactly, Kathleen. Those are great examples. My mother is a registered nurse who worked in a nursing home. At times she’d say, “Your mother/daddy is a wonderful person,” and sometimes their “children” would roll their eyes. (Not always, of course!)

      Lesson? We should treat our family even better than we treat strangers.

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    Joey Rudder February 21, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh my. Tamela, I’ve been discussing that very thing (“Christians who suffer under other Christians acting like anything but”) with some close friends for the past year. I think more of us have been there than we all may realize.

    Previously, I’ve written those negative thoughts and experiences as being in the past for my main character. But for this next step, I think it’s going to be in the present and dealing with the above topic.

    Painful to experience and probably very difficult to write. But I think something that can help those who’ve been hurt to see God’s hand in it, guiding and later healing.

    Blessings to you!

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 1:34 pm #

      Thank you, Joey! I have been heartened to see how many people were touched by this post.

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    Kay February 21, 2019 at 1:39 pm #

    Thank you for sharing such heartfelt words. I’m currently preparing a speech and I will, for the first time, make a similar situation known to a large group of ladies. Your courage has inspired me to push through angst, sadness, and pain in order to let them know they aren’t alone. Just as you did.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 21, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

      Kay, I am praying for strength and courage for you as you make your speech. I know you will bless and be blessed.

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    claire o'sullivan February 21, 2019 at 3:19 pm #

    Heartbreaks in 2014 came from every side–family, friends, work, co-workers. Christians friends shunned me, others laughed. Family wouldn’t visit or would ask me hurtful questions with a smile on their face. I still get some annoying talk/behavior thrown at me.

    I avoided my pain and anger at first by writing. My protagonist became a spiteful, hurt woman who no longer had an identity or friends. Gosh, how did that relate?? I didnt even know my writing reflected my anger. But she makes for a great flawed protagonist because eventually, she accepts Christ and lays the burden at the Cross.

    That changed my life. The MC was not in the same position but had the same anger, the same desire to hurt someone. You have no idea how I researched and planned (I was a very bad Christian with all that anger). But all that research made its way into the MS.

    After returning to the Word, prayer and asking for a LOT of forgiveness, I have seen that I was not walking with God as I needed to be, and He allowed the disaster to bring me closer. So, my anger dissipated but it took about a year plus.

    I think another interesting thing that occurred in my life, was that Christian friends left my side and the support I received was from non-Christians. What a sad lack of understanding of Ephesians 5.

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    Linda Riggs Mayfield February 21, 2019 at 4:21 pm #

    Tamela,
    I was a white student in a historically black university during the Civil Rights Era. I was part of a tiny racial minority in social and educational contexts and, for the first time in my life, experienced (a little) discrimination because of my race. It was a life-changing learning experience, although I didn’t realize it until much later.

    In addition to the racial tension my classmates knew so much better than I did, some young men in my speech class had just returned from active duty in Vietnam and made compelling presentations about their war experiences. I had never suffered due to racial discrimination, joined a protest march or a sit-in, been arrested, or fought in a war, and neither had anyone in my family. Many of my classmates and their family members had.

    I had, however, won local, state and national public speaking competitions in high school and was confident I could present well; but in that speech class, I couldn’t get higher than a B. I thought it might be because I had no interesting experiences to talk about, compared to my classmates. I made an appointment and kindly and without accusations told my professor that I was concerned that maybe the topic was being judged more than the speaking when my speeches were graded, and I would never have anything as exciting as civil rights marches and ambushes in rice paddies as subjects for my speeches. He agreed to consider that possibility. I worked hard preparing every remaining assignment, and the rest of my grades were A’s.

    When I write now, I still sometimes feel exactly like I did then–that I haven’t experienced anything “bad” enough to to empathetically portray my characters with sufficient depth to be compelling. But I can’t go to my readers and explain that, now, like I did to my professor, then. I just needed to give him good speeches, and my readers now don’t know or care whether or not I have actually experienced extreme physical, psychological, spiritual, or social challenges–I just have to write convincingly when my characters do. I find that to be uniquely challenging. Do you think it’s possible for an author to develop complex characters really well if his/her own experiences include very little that was negative? Or are writers who have suffered little, or not at all, wise to stick to positive topics and gentle genres and “write what you know”? Thanks!

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm #

      Good anecdote and questions, Linda. I think a great writer can make mundane events sound riveting. There does have to be a point to the overall story and a reason for the event’s inclusion, though. Not every reader wants or needs a suspenseful story. The little things that make up a life can be amazing to read about in the right hands.

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        Linda Riggs Mayfield February 22, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

        Thanks, Tamela, for such timely advice! I’m going to take a fresh look at what I choose to write and do better at being those “right hands.” Putting a higher value on “the little things that make up life” may be the key I’ve needed to getting better at blogging.

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    Peggy Booher February 21, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    Tamela,

    I don’t comment here much anymore, but I still read and gain a lot from the posts. Thank you for opening up about your experience.

    In a blog post, “There Is Life After High School” I wrote about being teased in school. As sensitive as I was, going to school was like an endurance contest. I loved weekends and summer vacations and hated the school year.

    In my post I tried to give hope to students being teased/bullied, because when a person is in that situation, it seems as though it will never end.

    I don’t think I’m done writing about this; it will probably show up in some way in a short story or novel. Because the teasing affected my beliefs about God, (if God loves me, why didn’t He step in and end it?), I don’t think God is finished with it either.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 22, 2019 at 1:54 pm #

      Yes, isn’t it great that indeed there IS life after high school! Keep on writing; the topic won’t go away and there is always a need to talk and write about it.

      Feel free to comment here at will! We enjoy seeing you.

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    Robin Mason February 21, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

    The character who immediately came to mind was Fontaine, key in The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, the second book in my series, Seasons. He was introduced as a horrible person, who mistreated his own daughter horribly. But as her story (her being Scarlet, the MC) unfolds, his story is revealed also – tragedy had produced in him a deep depression, which turned crude and ugly and violent.
    In the end, through Scarlet’s healing, her father also was redeemed – but I can’t tell too much, can I? Lest I give away the ending.
    I grew up with a mother who, though not violent, was trapped in her past, and sadly never knew inner healing.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 22, 2019 at 1:55 pm #

      Sounds like a good book for me to add to my list!

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        Robin E. Mason February 24, 2019 at 12:09 pm #

        I’ll be interested to know what you think…
        #bitesnails #nervouslaughter

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    Mermaid Scribbler February 22, 2019 at 4:57 am #

    I had to go to a meeting recently with a difficult group of people. They were negative and resistant to to everything we needed them to do. It bothered my boss. She was furious by the time we left, and I was struck by how much it did not affect me.

    I kept thinking about the hidden needs behind their words. They said they would not work past their contract hours, but I heard the hidden note that they were tired of giving everything to their job. They said they could not use more difficult materials, but I heard the frustration that they did not know how to scaffold from easier tasks to more difficult ones.

    When I reflected on the experience later that night, I realized that I have spent many years around difficult people, and it has taught me to automatically see the frustrations behind their harsh words. I never thought I would thank God for letting me live years under and near some of these people, but I did and do. I would never have the patience and skills to deal with them if I had not had to deal with so many for so long. The kind of wisdom that God has given me is one that can only be reached through persevering through trials. I love the verse in James that encourages us to consider it joy when we face trials of many kinds, and to let the testing of our face produce perseverance, and to let perseverance finish its work so that we can be mature, complete, and lacking nothing. These are things that only God can give us through continuing to hold onto Him as we go through the difficult trials in life. What a miraculous God we serve, one who makes even hard times work in our favor.

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      Tamela Hancock Murray February 22, 2019 at 1:57 pm #

      What a great reminder to look beneath the surface of what people are saying. They are expressing their needs, even if not with great skill. They become difficult when their needs don’t work with our needs.

      Appreciate the insight!

  26. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D February 22, 2019 at 9:25 am #

    Hi Tamela:
    Well, I love you….there, that should help (or not).

    Yes, I have written about a very negative character- he wanted to kill his wife so he could have clear sailing with his mistress….He stole thousands of dollars from his joint banking accounts and engineered a way to kill his wife and make it look like it wasn’t his fault (this was among other dastardly deeds). What was interesting was how she came to terms with the whole experience….
    Best,
    Sheri

  27. Avatar
    Maggie McKenzie February 22, 2019 at 12:04 pm #

    Yes I have, and to be honest, I would like to respond as beautifully as my character did, but I’m not there yet.

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