22 Comments
May 20, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Your story is very familiar to me. I also seem to have a history of friends ditching me and I've never quite worked out what it is about me that make me such an easy target.

At the age of 16, I was on a high school Geography trip away and a bunch of us headed into the town centre one night after the day's work to see if we could get served in a pub. I was sent in first to test the waters, as I have always been fairly young looking. The plan was that if I didn't come back out within a couple of minutes, they'd follow me in. I got served and sat there drinking my pint, thinking "They'll all be here shortly..." I got to the end of my drink and looked at my watch - fifteen minutes. What the hell? I went outside and the street was deserted. I spent the next hour going into all the pubs until I eventually found them all in a big, loud club. all sat on a table together. As they saw me coming, they were all like "Haha! Gotcha!" and I played along: "Oh, yeah. Very funny." and joined in with the fun, but in reality, that was probably the day that my confidence and self esteem died. Kids can be very cruel. I have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, which means that the pain of being turned down/rejected/humiliated etc can be almost unbearable. I had a physical reaction that night, like I'd been punched in the gut. At the time I thought that was just how it felt when this kind of thing happens - turns out it's not. That wasn't the only example of the same kind of thing happening to me - I'd say I'm used to it now, but it never hurts any less.

I chose a hell of a thing to take an interest in, when being turned down is commonplace!

I'm just a little older than you - that was 1991. It took me a good thirty plus years to get that back. There have been a few knocks and dents to the confidence along the way (like nobody turning up for my slot on the guest readers line-up at a convention - that one still stings a little) but my wife is my biggest defender and makes sure other people know it! She was a guest speaker at a construction industry 3D modelling convention in New Orleans last year and was trying to sell my book rights to a guy she met from Amazon's special effects department! I've also found a good group of writing friends online to share work and ideas with - and who I can trust to tell me if something doesn't work in a constructive manner.

BUT the thing that really keeps me going is the thought that back in 1984 there's a shy, creative 9-year-old kid who loves to read horror comics and nonfiction books about ghost sightings under the duvet at night who would absolutely adore everything I write. He's my biggest fan.

That's the person who I write for first and if it doesn't get his seal of approval, it gets shelved/deleted.

Thanks for your post. I've been having a tough week because of health problems (nothing serious, I found out yesterday, thank goodness) and was feeling terribly down. I've been struggling to finish the final bits of design work for the manuscript for my first novella, which I'm hoping to release next week, and reading this has given me the boost I needed to get the last of the text and illustrations signed off.

Sorry for the essay, but 1984 Paul is very appreciative of the effect your words had on me, so thank you for turning a terrible start to the week into a fantastic ending.

Also, your costume is amazing! Reminds me of Sundel Bolong and Suzzanna: Buried Alive.

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May 20, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Sadie -- I read appreciate this article. I’ve questioned myself all my life as to whether I wanted to be a writer and no one has ever really been in my corner. My friends in middle school took the “book” I was writing and gave it to the guidance counselor-- it was a lot of erotica and needless to say, I was given a stern talking to. It has taken most of my life to get to the point where I am now where I do write and want to learn more and more about writing. This is a great reminder that I need to be there for myself. ❤️

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May 19, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

When I was 10 I dressed up like Alice Cooper for Halloween. My house burned down when I was 13 so I don’t have any pictures of it - would kill for one even though I would probably cringe.

Great post! Of all the evils of social media, what it does to teens is the worst. Have had a helluva time helping my kids maneuver through it.

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May 20, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Thank you for this post Sadie. It is going to help so many people.

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May 19, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Ah I love that photo of you! Spooky through and through. Thanks for this pep talk ❤️

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Dec 8, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Jesus. I really like your posts.

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May 23, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

I have a photo (somewhere) of me and my best friend, 7th grade: she was dressed as Ace Frehley and I was Peter Criss. I just know in an alternate timeline we’re hanging together in those teen years! What a great essay, Sadie!

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May 21, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

This is fantastic. And what a great photo! I really needed to hear this as I finish edits and prepare to put my work out into the world. Thank you.

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May 20, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)

Started my fifth edit yesterday and the first two pages were full of fumbles. Needless to say, I was miffed at myself.

It got better, though, as I expected it would, and I got my bearings. It is nice to be reminded that I need to be my fan. Who else is going to?

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Look at all the people you’ve already helped. “Cool” has always come to mind reading your posts on Twitter and now here. This chunk of truth proves it. Thanks.

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Oh, wow! This post (and your other about judging books by covers, not people) have rippled through me. At first, I was shit-scared of leaving everyone behind on Facebook when I left last month. You have just reminded me of the solid choice I made. Thank you.

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This is so well said! Thank you for this.

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deletedMay 19, 2023Liked by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror)
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