PUBLISHED! TUSSILA’S BOOK I is now out at Smashwords!

FRONT PAGE, 1.4 MB

I can’t explain how great this is to me. After nearly fifteen years or even more precisely after nearly fifty years of struggling, I am finally publishing my book. I now know that I never again can be as poorly as I was up until the point when I was admitted to the hospital.

In the aftermath, I know that the day I needed to realize that I was not fit for work, whatsoever, was the worse day in my life. From that day, it all slowly fell apart around me, as well as inside of me.

Because of this, it feels even more fantastic to finally be able to contribute with something, to be part of the society, and through this, to be a fellow human being.

WARNING

Dear fellow survivor, I must advise you not to read this book unless it is under close supervision by your therapist. When I myself was at my worse, I was not capable to read any book at all and definitely not a book like this. Actually, my only need for a very long period would be to sit on a sturdy and reassuring granny’s lap. In addition, I must admit that still today, I’m reluctant to learn about other patients’ stories. I’m afraid I’ll get even more confused because I still have some large gaps in my memory. Please also bear in mind this book contains paintings, which also can activate unexpected and unwanted stress reactions. If you choose to open this book, please promise me that you’ll close it and put it away if you feel the slightest distress viewing my paintings or reading my text. I do not want to cause you any more pain!

PLEASE NOTE: 

I am not a doctor, therapist, or a member of healthcare.  This is my own story and as the reader, you choose to read this and to make your own opinion about whether this might help you.

TUSSILA’S BOOK I is available for free at Smashwords until January 10, 2016. Please klick the link below, and get your free copy!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/602244

What now, Tussila? Now that it is done, and the book finally is published? You want to paint, you say. Yes, we will paint; we will prepare for you to make collages, for real collages and not only digital, perhaps. It can be difficult to work online for a while; I know that. It is maybe better to set up a worktable for your new acrylic paint, your tissues, wallpapers, and found objects. This book project, it is a bit too exciting, don’t you think? It is all right to step back for a while now, at least over the Christmas Holidays. We’ll just log out of this computer as soon as this final post is published, as we planned for. Tomorrow, we’ll pack up the car, with the puppy and a nice mixture of toys and nice outfits. Of course, we’ll bring outdoor clothing as well, before we hurry to Morgan for the Holidays. It will be interesting to see how soon we dare to start the computer again…

 

Until then, dear friends and followers, I wish you the best Christmas possible!!!

Big hug from Tussila (and me)… ;-)

FOR WHOM IS TUSSILA’S BOOK SUITED?

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During my many years as a psychiatric patient, I have experienced, repeatedly, some substantial challenges.
It has been just about impossible to express the whole picture to any therapist. One of the obvious reasons is that I was convinced I had to cover all my symptoms up in order to survive. A second reason is that it would be impossible, due to the time limits in the therapy sessions. A third reason is that many people, including some of the health care workers, have a tendency to jump to conclusions, meaning that if I started with a carefully chosen sentence, meaning to reveal something important, I could risk immediately being met with generalizations or even worse, with belittling.
I do however understand that it is somewhat of a challenge, to uncover the whole picture, when the patient is verbally strong and seems to be in good control of herself.
This fact contributes to another major issue, the diagnostic system. I, for instance, have had a whole range of different diagnoses before I finally ended up with the correct one. In addition, of course, all the different opinions from different experts make it even more problematic to get the right sort of help. The result is that normally the process of getting properly diagnosed takes years, and unfortunately even decades, to obtain.
The last years though, there have been huge developments in the understanding of complex posttraumatic stress disorder.
I hope my book can contribute to even more openness and that it can help to shed more light to the often obscure and complex aftereffects of childhood traumas.
This book is therefore probably most suited for mental health care staff and for support persons and volunteers, especially interested in these topics. It might also be of interest for other professionals who are dealing with people in crisis, like medical staff and police officers.
Thank you so much for your time!

About the language in TUSSILA’S BOOK

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Firstly, let me inform you that English is not my native tongue. If you find my writing a bit puzzling and out of the ordinary, please bear with me.

You may ask why I’m taking the effort to translate all this text into a foreign language. It’s no wonder if you ask, and of course, that was not at all my original plan. The explaining is as follows:

I’m depending on disability benefits, which means I have a restricted economy. Therefore, I can’t make this text into an ordinary print book as planned without financial assistance. I have considered contacting the old fashion public houses in my home country to ask if they would be interested. After some research, however, I realize I’m not robust enough to cooperate with professional publishers. They would most certainly have many ideas of all aspects of my book and they would probably put me under pressure in many respects. Then this new idea emerged in my head; what if I first publish an e-book? Maybe I could sell enough e-book copies to finance a printed version later on.

Some further research led me to the conclusion that my own small country’s market for e-books is not yet very active. Besides, I am afraid somebody will recognize me, if I would publish the book in my own country.

These facts made it easier to reach a conclusion. My book project has become so important to me that I really need to see it through. First I will publish my story as an e-book, in English, and due to my previous mentioned financial issues, I’ll have to translate it myself. Then, maybe later I can manage to publish a paper copy as well, which was my original goal.

Thank you so much for your time!

 

ABOUT TUSSILA SPRING

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Actually, my real name is not Tussila. Tussila is my alter ego; she is my inner traumatized child. I’m yet not ready to go public with my real name because I’m afraid to be recognized. Besides, while working with this book project, it feels much more comfortable to pretend that we are two individuals rather than one, which is the fact.
Therefore, if you wonder, I am not schizophrenic. However, I do have diagnoses that equal schizophrenia or psychoses in severity. I am diagnosed with PTSD and dissociative disorder, also called complex PTSD. I suffer from trauma inflected upon me mainly during my childhood. I am a survivor of incest, bullying, and negligence.
To me, it is crucial to emphasize the fact that I have survived. In addition, not only have I survived, in spite of my diagnoses, I am today living a rich and fulfilling life too.

Thank you so much for your time!

ABOUT TUSSILA’S BOOK

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ABOUT TUSSILA’S BOOK

We are all individual human beings. This fact also counts whether we have a diagnosis or not. It would be a mistake to say that all patients involved in, for instance, a traffic accident, require exactly the same medical treatment. There probably will be a need for individual medical attention and treatment, depending on the injuries and the patient’s ability to cope with the trauma. However, some of the treatments sustained will probably also be similar for many of the patients. This is also true for us suffering from other traumas like incest or bullying. We also are all individual human beings.
Therefore, I am, by no means, trying to look at my story as a universal guide of what complex posttraumatic stress disorder concerns. I don’t even believe it is possible to write such a book because of the wide range in individual histories and personalities.
However, as in the traffic accident, there will also be some similarities concerning the victims involved in childhood traumas. As I have learned, during years in therapy, there will also be similarities concerning the symptoms and aftereffects in survivors suffering from such traumas.
Those similarities have made me conclude that it would be wrong of me to assume that my story and symptoms differ too much from others to be of any interest. In other words, what if my experiences actually can make a difference, wouldn’t it be egoistic of me not to share them?
When it comes to my own understanding of my psychiatric diagnoses, it’s not as if I suddenly saw the light and then it all came clear to me. My road to understanding, and thereby to get a better life, has been, and will be, as in life itself, long, and slow moving and with many curves and hills on the way. The understanding has not appeared in one single flash of light either; it has consisted of all sorts of lights or all sorts of enlightening moments. I have had small lights, large glints, hardly visible shimmers, flashing lights; I have sensed the whole range of lights, especially in the last twelve years. These lights, small or large, have appeared mostly due to therapy. Looking back, let’s say one decade, I really am baffled when I realize how little I understood of myself back then.
I’ve been told from many holds that my challenges in life are not that far from what the others face, except for the prevalence and extremity of some of the symptoms. Based on those assumptions, it might be fair to suggest that the following statement isn’t very wrong, at least I hope, because that implicates also, I’m not that apart from other human beings as I used to believe:
Though I’m quite sure that nobody will recognize everything I’m describing in this book, I’m equally quite sure that everybody, diagnosed or not diagnosed, will recognize some of it.
I hope that by publishing this book I can offer one or two of the previously mentioned lights, or enlightening, mentioned above, to help bring other survivors closer to their way to a better life.

Thank you for your time!

TUSSILA’S BOOK, CLOSE TO PUBLISHING, words of encouragement to the author

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All right, Tussila. I can see you are struggling these days, and I don’t blame you. Really, I don’t.

You have been working so intensely with the book for such a long time. Can I just say that I am very proud of you, because your big project is getting so close to being accomplished? Very close. This project, which actually has kept you going through so many year, is about to reach its destination. This project, has kept you alive, by pouring will and determination into you, in periods when you nearly have given up life again.

Coming so close to realizing your big dream, marks in itself a point of overwhelmingly change in your life. I do understand that.

However, this isn’t the main challenge these days. I know that too. The greatest struggles are caused by the paintings. The text, you have gone through several times over the last year. You have crossed the lines of reluctance, of shame, of embarrassment many times during the process of translating, re-reading and correcting. You have gone through the text so many times that it doesn’t rip you open anymore. You have even had it red by strangers, by test-readers out in the big world. They have given you surprisingly warm and supporting responses so far. They have even praised you for your work and for your braveness for sharing your story.

No, it’s not the text, Tussila. It’s the paintings. You have just been doing some research, and you have found that the original 97 paintings must be reduced to 35 for part one of Tussila’s Book. If not, it will be very complicated and expensive to publish the planned e-book edition.

Further, you have recently opened the image files, and you have started to prepare all the paintings to fit into the document. The paintings from chapter one aren’t so bad to go over, plus you have seen them many times during the work with chapter one. It’s the paintings from chapter two and three, which really tears you apart, isn’t it? The paintings you made when you had lost all your fences. When you were about to die, and in a last attempt to survive showed yourself naked, stripped for all dignity and self-respect, lying open like a stanching wound with nothing left to cover yourself with.

These are the paintings you are working with now. You haven’t seen them for years. No wonder, this is tough Tussila. You are allowed to hesitate, to resent for a while. You are allowed to be sad, even depressed for a while. Don’t you worry, you might get used to the paintings too, as you did with the text.

Also, let’s make a deal Tussila. I know it is very hard, not to say impossible, to choose only one third from this large pile of paintings, they were almost equally important when you painted them. Remember Tussila, in the first place, we planned to make a print version. The e-book is only an attempt to finance the print version. So, all your paintings will be published in the print version. Until then, they will be kept safe in you drawers and on the computer.

If we think about it, maybe it is enough to publish 35 paintings as a start? Maybe it’s more than enough for now. All right, Tussila? Let’s go then!

First, a cup of coffee. Well done Tussila, (and myself too for that matter…)

AWAITING, photo-manipulation/digital work

Starscape
Hello everybody! I hope that you are all ok this weekend. I really should be translating all the time, but I just had to make an image to get a break from the Words, literary that is!

Thank you so much for following me, and for viewing and liking my pictures, I can assure you it is much appreciated, especially in these days when I am working on my book :-)
Warmest regards from Tussila!

It is happening right now! I mean my book-project is happening, yes it is, right now it is!

This I really must share with you my dear followers! You may rightly have wondered why my blog name “Tussila’s book-publishing blog” differs so much from my recent content in it. And you sure are right to wonder too. The case is that I had some attempts last year to find somebody willing to test-read for me, however since none of these attempts led to actually finding someone, I needed to put the project on the shelve for a while. As you surely can imagine, it takes a lot of courage to share ones life story, and it takes even more courage to have to ask over and over again if somebody would test read it… Especially when you are experiencing that your emails aren’t even replied to.

This is the reason I have been posting all these images lately, I had to do something while building up some more book-publishing courage, didn’t I?! Looking back, this period have been important for me too, actually. Maybe the delay was for the best in the long run, I love to make images. And some day, when my book finally is out there on its own. This is what I will do, make images all the time, for the rest of my life.

Now, however, book-publishing things are happening again. A few weeks ago, there was a very sweet woman making contact with me, offering to test read, just like that! You can imagine how my heart started to speed up, and how I tried to remember where and how I had planned to transfer the first chapter, if only somebody would care to read it, not to mention where on earth I had saved it, and this fantastic woman, Shruti, is actually one of the bloggers here at WordPress: http://shrutiinsights.wordpress.com/ , and I really would like to share with you all, how excited I am these days. After thirteen years, my book finally is happening. I have already sent chapter two over to her, for test-reading, and have started to translate the third one. I cant explain how relieved I am feeling that she wish to help me through the process. She does much more than test-reading and suggests corrections. She gives me the courage to keep going, I just can’t believe how lucky I have been, meeting her!

Hmh, I had planned to create this post without attaching an image to it, but is seems almost impossible now, the text looks so colorless in a way. So, I need to add one after all, even if the content doesn’t match the text at all.

Or maybe it does? I made this image yesterday, when I was thinking about how lucky I am, and about what opportunities laying ahead of me. Most importantly, I was thinking about how fantastic it is too meet people like Shruti, along with many other nice people out there, or inside here, if you wish. I send you all my warmest regards, and I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead =)

Village
“Village”

Photo-manipulation/digital work, Tussila Spring 2015

Thank you for reading and viewing!

Now, Tussila, are you ready to give it another try?

Okay, back to my book project again. We have had a little proceeding delay, because we’ve had to do some serious rethinking. The case is, we are going to need some help in the next stage, and we are not sure how to ask for it, not to say whom to ask.

So far, we have tried in three different directions. So far, they’ve all failed.

Now, why don’t we spell it straight out there, Tussila, I know you don’t like it. I know you feel embarrassed, I know you think they will laugh at you or maybe get nasty with you.

I have an idea, Tussila. Care to listen? Okay, then listen:

We have translated the first chapter, meaning I have. We, meaning I, are ready to start translate the second chapter. However, so far, I have no idea of how I’m getting along, language wise. I mean, is my writing understandable, is it OK for me to continue translating, or should I leave it with the professionals? Tussila, she doesn’t care about these issues, she wants to play with colors and with some new drawing gadgets I have purchased.

To keep us both sane, at least not less sane than we are at the time being, this is what I suggest:

I don’t think it is wise to let just anybody test read the writing.

The main target for my book, excuse me Tussila, our book (now you’re interested!) are mental health care workers with a special interest of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress-Disorder. What if we ask one of them? Would that be OK? Remember, we already have shown smaller parts of it to a number of our helpers over the years. Not a single one of them laughed at us or got nasty with us, you do remember that, don’t you?

What did you say, Tussila? No men! OK, I agree with you on that one. At this stage of the process, we will have no men involved. I know there is many gorgeous men out there, I even have one myself, so I hope you understand, this is just to protect us during the most vulnerable stage of the publishing process.

Well then, now I think our plea starts to crystallize pretty clear. I think there is only one small detail to add; I’ve chosen american English in the Words correcting program. I probably will be very confused if my test readers are more familiar with one of the other English variations.

All right, tomorrow we’ll try to make this reflections into a proper request, now we can take a break Tussila, well done!