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  1.  (10686.1)
    Stoto -- the green Crest is the best one I have found for it. (That being said, I didn't try too many and I don't remember the ones I tried before finding Crest. The blue one wasn't as effective for me.)
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012 edited

    @Typewriter Steven - Thanks for the advice mate. I only have one pro publishing credit, the reason I'm accelerating my search for an agent before publishing more short stories is that I've written a crime novel, and it's been nominated for a newcomers award by the CWA... so I'm hoping to capitalise on that. I do have a few short stories in the process of being submitted to pro markets, and have basically been honing short stories for the best part of ten years, but until about November 2011 I was too under-confident to submit them anywhere professional. Cheers though, nice to hear that my cobbled-together strategy isn't too far wide of the mark, in terms of what others are doing.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012

    Sorry to bring you guys down. BUT. I witnessed a car accident yesterday, and it was pretty gruesome. I came home and had a few drinks, but it's been 24 hours and I still see, well, the gruesome stuff, basically whenever I get a chance to let my mind wander. And also walking / biking / being on the street is kinda freaking me out. I'm keeping my cool, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experiences to share. Should I be seeking some sort of closure? Talking to anyone? How long does it take to stop yelling at motorists to give me my fucking space?
  2.  (10686.4)

    24 hours is still very fresh in your memory... it'll definitely fade much more with more time.

    The main thing I would recommend is to keep yourself as distracted as possible: do things that require your attention, keep music playing, have the fucking television on even if you're not watching... maybe even tuned to something you hate, so you can yell at that instead of passing motorists. Go see Prometheus and talk about what a { creative genius / disappointing has-been } Ridley Scott is, or see Avengers and craft an argument for how it's the most { perfect superhero film ever made / overrated overrendered idiocy since Transformers 2 }. Go to that awesome nightclub you went to a couple years ago but haven't gotten around to going back. Drinking a bit too much is perfectly justified and appropriate. Whatever it takes to avoid being alone with your own thoughts, just for a while.

    The thing that fixes unpleasant events in our memory is the way we tend to replay them for days afterward, so the less you can do of that now, the less you'll have to deal with those memories later. I don't recommend going cold-turkey on returning to the streets, because that'd just make it more awkward and noticeable when you did return. But avoiding it a bit and saying "would you mind coming here this time?" when you ask a friend to hang out for the evening should be OK.

    There are things I've experienced that at the time I didn't think I'd ever get over. But eventually I have, to the point that last weekend's camping trip looms much larger in my wandering memory than the trick-gone-bad of 15 years ago, or the 3-am-phone-call-from-the-ER of 10 years ago. Talking to a counselor or whatever about it might help at some point, but I wouldn't do that right away. See if just putting some temporal distance between you and the incident helps first. Take care, OK?
  3.  (10686.5)
    How long does it take to stop yelling at motorists to give me my fucking space?

    25 years and counting.

    I've had the bad luck to be a witness at a large number of gruesome accidents or their aftermath. Car, train, bike, height fall, death by choking, industrial machinery accidents and a kid getting his toes mangled by an escalator; also dog attack, death by gunshot, and suicide by various means – no plane accidents yet, knock wood, although living under the flight path makes me think it's only a matter of time. I seem to be a magnet for this shit. I quit drinking 4 months ago because in the end it didn't help at all and was creating its own problems. My kids wonder why I do things like suddenly yelling NO! or swearing for no reason, especially when driving, and woe betide anyone who runs through a pedestrian crossing when I or my kids are on it.

    One time a speeding taxi nearly ran me down on my own quiet street and I blew up at him. He made the mistake of reversing up to take me on. Even so, I was still content to just roar obscenities at him, until he pulled a pistol. I guess you don't really know what you're going to do when facing down a gun until it happens to you. Apparently I go completely werewolf. Everything went red and I tried to jump through the window of the cab to get to him. I think I might have been screaming something like "I will eat you". I was definitely going for his throat. He fumbled the gun and it went down between his legs. He glanced after it for a second then just floored the accelerator. I fell back out the window. Self preservation has never been my strong suit. Luckily I bounced. Tore my pants but nothing else.

    You can't stop the imagery. What you can work on is the anxiety/panic/rage it provokes. I'm on an SSRI which helps a lot, keeps the wolf in his cage and stops me hearing my dead friends through the walls. Vipassana meditation and tai chi help as well. Booze does NOT help AT FUCKING ALL. Neither do cigarettes. They feel like they're helping in the short term but they actually put a wobble in your orbit that you can ill afford. One thing I found that helps is a book I made with blank coloured pages, starting at black and working up through red, orange, yellow, white, pale blue, dark blue and green - I have a place I imagine for each of these, starting with the bad thing I am already remembering and working up to the most comforting memory I can recall. It's an illuminated floor strip to lead me out of the smoke and flames. I need it less and less often now.

    This is the basis of neuroplastic change: you practice mindfulness (hence the meditation) because mindfulness - the state of broad focus - is an ideal precursor to loosening existing neuronal bonds and making new ones. You follow this with massed practice and induced constraint: you find a trick to force yourself to keep doing something the way it ought to be done and you use it over and over and over until it sticks. Useful reading to understand how all this works on a neurological level might include The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge and How To Rewire Your Brain by John B. Arden.

    Be well. The main thing is to keep turning the page when it hits you. It hits you, you roll with the punch, you turn the page: go on to think about something that makes you feel good, and do it right away. You are not being weak by doing this or betraying anyone's memory, you're training yourself to recover. The more times you do it the faster it gets.

    My account name here is my real name. You can look me up on FaceBook if you feel that talking about it in real time will help. It never did much for me, but your mileage may vary.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012 edited

    I've seen some pretty horrible shit in my time as well - found a friend's body after he'd shot himself in his apartment weeks before; worked as a first aid officer in a metal fabrication business (mostly dealt with nasty lacerations and severed fingers); present at a couple of fatal and very ugly car accidents. Just last year a bloke jumped off the 25th floor of the apartment block next to mine, and Cat and I walked past just as the Wellesley firefighters were cleaning up the splattery corpse.

    The memories don't disappear, but with time they should lose most of their edge. If you find you're still haunted by this after a few months, you might consider talking to a professional counselor.

    There're usually a few Toronto Whitechaplains free for a pub night if you feel like going for a few drinks and a chat, too.
  4.  (10686.7)

    I'd agree with pretty much everything listed above, but also don't forget the positive and healing effects a sickeningly dark and twisted sense of humor can have. I've witnessed some fairly terible things in my life like the folks above me have, and if I couldn't at some point laugh it off, I'd be crazy (crazier?) by now.

    I needed a couple of drinks back then to unwind, and a good night to laugh and/or cry about whatever it was that I has witnessed. Maybe in some ways I compartmentalize and bury stuff; I can't speak to whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Someone told me recently that when I retell stories in which horrible things happened, I state what happened, sometimes almost clinically, but not how I felt. Perhaps that's a survival tactic? If so, it's been working for me so far.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2012
    Right on, guys. I'm basically following Jason's advice, keeping busy, watching cartoons, drinking with friends. Starting a second job is helping. I'll keep everything else in mind as time goes on.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2012 edited

    In my experience, avoiding substances that aren't booze helps too. Booze helps dull things (oh god that sounds horrid) but other substances just make my mind go OH MAN LET'S THINK OF THE FREAKIEST, MOST DISTURBING SHIT WE CAN. AND THEN LET'S PICTURE IT IN VIVID DETAIL.

    Seconding the music/movies/out of the house/friends tips.


    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2012 edited

    This mysterious note was taped to the sun visor of my car when I bought it.
    I've grown quite fond of it, but I don't know what it says. Any of you lovely people know?



    I've been told it's a good luck chant about Guan Yu.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2012
    I'm told, although I haven't tried it, that physical exercise is also good for dealing with trauma.
  5.  (10686.12)

    Good advice there from Govspy. True that. True indeed.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012

    When it comes to computer games I'm an old fart - I go for old school turn-based strategy and managerial games.

    So Civilization, Warloards, Populous, SimEarth, Simbuilding, Simcity2000, 1830.

    I have no depth perception and I only have limited fine muscle control (which helps explain all the typoes) so most recent wargames are useless to me - I can't see what's going on half the time and when I can I can't respond fast enough.

    I'm bored to death with most of my old games.

    Are their still games out there (preferably for windoes and Android) that focus on strategy and planning and not on how fast you can hit the "fire" buttom
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
    I've only.played the tabletop version, but if the PC version ofSettlers of Catan is anywhere near as good then I'd recommend it. Wholly turn based, I would assume.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
    @Kosmopolit - Many MANY games.

    You might like Frozen Synapse.

    The most modern Civ, Civ5, is pretty sweet and about to get a new expansion.

    Jagged Alliance has had a modern remake recently.

    If you've iDevice access there's Hunters 2.

    Coming soon there's a fantastic looking reboot of the XCom series.

    There should be plenty to interest you on Good Old Games as well.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
    Flabto, that looks great.


    i've treid downloading stuff from abandonia but most of the time I can't get it to run or it still has the copy-protection installed.
  6.  (10686.17)

    I don't know how well (or even if) they work on modern Windows, but the Myst series (the last video games I found interesting) were high on thinking and low on twitching.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012

    My partner has been playing a lot of Crusader Kings 2 recently, which is a pretty slow game. Also they just came out with a Game of Thrones mod, if you're into that.
  7.  (10686.19)

    It might be worth posting in the dedicated video game thread (some more/different people might see it there and provide their own opinions), but yeah, Frozen Synapse is fantastic. Singleplayer campaign that's got an interesting enough storyline to keep you playing, but multiplayer is where it shines - asymmetrical, turn-based perfection.

    Fray is another one that I'm keeping an eye on - you can get early access to a beta by preordering but as I'm stuck on an underpowered netbook until Sep/Oct I'm holding off on it.

    As well as the new Xcom (which looks amazing), there's Xenonauts, which is an unofficial, but apparently rather loyal remake of the original Xcom.

    Jagged Alliance 2 is amazing, and available on GOG cheap, DRM-free and they've done work to get it running on new systems.

    Those are more in the vein of tactical combat, rather than building and/or management sims. I've heard good things about the Tropico series, but I've never tried them personally, so I'm not sure how they play compared to the Civs and such.

    If you don't mind me asking, in what way does a lack of depth perception affect gaming? I would have assumed that because you're watching it on a flat-screen just in front of your face that it wouldn't be an issue, but admittedly the only person I know who has depth perception issues is my 80-odd year old great aunt who is blind in one eye and doesn't play computer games.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
    Games liek theo riginal warcraft use a sort of forced-perspective isometric view which really messes with my eyes.