ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie. It was inspired by an earlier prompt from [personal profile] stardreamer. It also fills the "panic attack" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It comes before "The Natural State of Motherhood."

WARNING: This poem contains topics that may be upsetting to some readers. Highlight for the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Faramundo is having severe relationship problems, primarily due to internalized oppression. He can't cope with the fact that his daughter has superpowers, because he has one that he tries never to use. So when a tree almost falls on him, it kicks on reflexively, then he freaks out and has a panic attack. Faramundo is just slowly losing his shit. If these are touchy subjects for you, consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.


"Broken Boughs"


Faramundo stalked down the sidewalk,
trying and failing to clear his head.

It was a warm spring day, if blustery
in a way that made him think of the lullabye.
He hummed the melody, hoping to soothe himself.

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
.

He had attempted to explain to Amada
why the current situation bothered him so much --
they had a life to get back to, the boys' school
and his own job that wouldn't wait forever,
all of which was true but not complete.

His wife didn't sympathize with him.
All her attention went to their daughter.
They were supposed to visit her again tomorrow,
and Faramundo didn't really want to -- couldn't
want to, if he was honest with himself.

He had wanted a daughter so very badly,
had adored her when she arrived,
right up to the moment she poofed away
from them, revealing her true nature.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all
.

Faramundo didn't know how to love
someone who wasn't normal,
maybe even not quite ... human.

A chainsaw growled nearby,
interrupting his train of thought.
Workmen were trimming the trees
that lined the sides of the street.

A splintering crack echoed overhead, and
Faramundo had only an instant to see
the big tree cleave in two, its rotten heart
giving way as half of it rushed toward him.

The world skipped out --

skipped back --

and Faramundo was standing,
perfectly unharmed, just beyond
where the tree had crashed to the ground.

That hadn't happened to him in years.

He couldn't breathe.
He couldn't move.
He couldn't think.

Then his legs broke free
and carried him away.

Blocks later, Faramundo finally skidded
to a halt, chest heaving, eyes streaming,
pressing himself against a building
in futile attempt to regain control.

It had happened again.
He couldn't deny it now.

Desperate, he pushed down
the treacherous thoughts.
He was imagining things.
He had to be. That was all.

Nothing had really happened.
A tree broke. He got out of the way.
He had just ... jumped, that was it,
jumped back from the falling tree.
He had been lucky to survive.

He wasn't a freak. He wasn't.
There was nothing wrong with him.
Everything could go back to normal now.

Except it didn't.

* * *

Notes:

Coping techniques such as music can assist in self-soothing. Faramundo actually tries to use healthy coping skills; they just aren't enough to overcome all the stress in his life right now. Learn how to build better coping skills.

"Rock-a-Bye Baby" is a traditional lullaby.

Marital problems can come from many causes. Having a child with a disability can put major stress on a marriage, and when a parent views superpowers in a negative light, that has similar effects. However, that's just the proximate issue. The root of the matter is Faramundo's internalized oppression. Understand how to address relationship challenges.

A tree can look fine outside but be hollow inside, and sometimes they can shatter when cut. Look for warning signs.

Teleportation is among the more common superpowers in Terramagne. Traveling very short distances like this is sometimes called "skipping."

Anyone can have a panic attack, especially after a stressful experience. When they happen frequently and/or without a credible threat present, enough to disrupt everyday life, that becomes panic disorder. There are many ways to stop panic attacks and deal with panic disorder.

Denial is a defense mechanism which protects people from overwhelming facts. As a temporary means to buy breathing room, it can be beneficial; in the long run, it turns harmful. Know how to break through someone's denial or overcome your own.

Internalized oppression happens when someone believes terrible things about a group to which they belong. It leads to self-hatred and/or discrimination. As a trope, this is Boomerang Bigot. A soup who hates superpowers is called a spork. Faramundo has that and internalized racism. There are ways to heal from internalized oppression.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-20 01:08 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Awwwww, poor Faramundo.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2015-06-24 03:11 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
(All "you" are the generic you here.)

True, but if you don't know that you *can* have help, you won't consider asking for it. And if you've never had "getting help" modeled, you might not realize it's a thing.

And, as I've been reminded recently, you may not have effective or healthy ways of asking for help - or might have ways that aren't effective for one person. An indirect communicator might consider "you hurt me" to be a request for an apology, a direct communicator might see it as nothing but scolding.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2015-06-24 04:24 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Nod. I wasn't thinking of Faramundo in particular - just thinking of people in general.

Re: Yes...

From: [personal profile] johnpalmer - Date: 2015-06-24 09:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

Yeah, not so much

Date: 2015-06-20 01:28 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Why is he lying about such an important thing? He and Amada have been together for at least ten years, and he's NEVER told her the truth?

I pity his panic attack, but I have little sympathy for his situation.

Re: Yeah, not so much

Date: 2015-06-20 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
Maybe he hasn't told Amada because telling her would mean admitting it to himself.

Re: Yeah, not so much

Date: 2015-06-20 02:34 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
YE-eee-ah. Not so much.

Guess who sat me down and pointed out that I had a minor phobia? My husband. That was only about five years into our relationship, too. Amada knows SOMETHING is up, period. Unless he's set up a pattern of being entirely unreasonable, they should've talked about this years ago.

Unreasonable may be Faramundo's middle name.

Re: Yeah, not so much

Date: 2015-06-21 02:33 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Oh, intellectually I /know/ this is Faramundo's bad tape making MORE bad tape for others. I still very much want him to get his head unstuck from wherever it might be, certainly not on his shoulders.

Just watching the kids have to deal with stuff which could've been prevented... that's hard.

It sure cuts my sympathy for him quite a lot.

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-21 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] lone_cat - Date: 2015-06-21 12:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] lone_cat - Date: 2015-06-23 10:41 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-24 05:39 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-24 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-24 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-24 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-25 12:53 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-25 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-25 04:01 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-25 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-25 06:10 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] lone_cat - Date: 2015-06-24 10:42 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Yeah, not so much

From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer - Date: 2015-06-24 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-20 01:36 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Oh.

Makes sense.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-23 04:35 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Whoa. That's really strong. And your discussion in the comments gives me a good understanding of where Faramundo is coming from. It's easy to say, "well, he ought to just get over it because of his family," but in a way that's like telling someone who's struggling with depression to "just snap out of it". It's not just that he doesn't have the tools; he's more at the level of not having the tools to build the tools to build the tools, or even the awareness that such tools exist.

I'm not sure this family is salvageable. More to the point, I'm not sure it should be salvaged. It's kind of like a marriage-counseling article I read once, where the husband and wife were at odds because she wanted kids and he really, seriously didn't, and the issue hadn't been discussed before they married. That relationship couldn't be saved, and they were both better off for it. Faramundo's wife and children don't need a father who can't handle kids being who they are (because this is going to manifest relating to other things than super-powers as the children get older), and he... is probably better off not in a relationship unless/until he gets himself sorted out.

Ideas!

Date: 2015-06-23 06:48 pm (UTC)
librarygeek: cute cartoon fox with nose in book (Default)
From: [personal profile] librarygeek
One of the workmen SAW what happened. Worried about the short distance teleporter who went running off, he calls in a tip and description to SPOON. Dispatcher recognizes Faramundo. Granny Whammy SCREWS EVERYTHING UP looking for Faramundo. The fallout is nuclear, but at least Amada and the boys know where it's all coming from AND can look for things in themselves. :-D

I'm Jewish. One side of the family spoke Yiddish, the other side treated Yiddish much like Faramundo and Spanish. I STILL somehow absorbed enough to answer the local Amish, though we both recognize that different dialects are spoken. My preferred second language is French, then polyglots unite! ;-)

Re: Ideas!

Date: 2015-06-24 08:30 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Bother. Something ate my reply.

Try two:

Knowing WHY Faramundo freaked could buy him a little extra time from Amada, special effort to include him in the older boys' activities, etc., especially if she knows he's getting counseling.

The interesting thing is that the ideas we're batting around /aren't/ mutually exclusive.

Best of all, having Granny Whammy OUT Faramundo, and his really, really bad reaction, will be another clue brick for HER, too, another interesting sideline to explore in the world.

Re: Ideas!

Date: 2015-06-24 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
LibraryGeek here, in Pennsylvania's power outage from Bill.

I like Granny Whammy, especially dining with Dr. Infanta. But she and Faramundo both need cluebats, so I'm setting them up at each other. ;-). I would love to be making popcorn and watching the cluebsts set in. :-D

Re: Ideas!

Date: 2015-06-25 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
>> Best of all, having Granny Whammy OUT Faramundo, and his really, really bad reaction, <<

Oh, that's perfect. Most soups consider outing someone as a soup to be very bad manners at worst and dangerous at best. But Granny Whammy both predates that and thinks that everyone should be a superhero. She almost certainly does not realize that Faramundo hasn't told his own family about his superpower.


On the other hand, I'd think she might consider the possibility that he was previously unaware of it, if not that he had been actively denying and suppressing it. That might prompt her to reconsider calling Amada, but I doubt that it'd keep her from trying to tell him. Just knowing that someone who could give a good description of him had seen him teleport would probably be enough to set him off.
Edited Date: 2015-06-25 11:04 am (UTC)

Re: Ideas!

From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie - Date: 2015-06-27 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Ideas!

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2015-06-27 03:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Ideas!

From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie - Date: 2015-06-27 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-21 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
Ouch. Poor Faramundo, and also poor everyone else being affected by this.

Yes...

Date: 2015-06-21 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
He's pretty messed up right now. :( We have some potential ideas for getting him a clue eventually. It will just take a bigger hammer.

Other folks are more willing to ask for help when they need it. A bad breakup still sucks, but they'll get through it okay.

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