The Pain Disorder That Saved My Life

Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Pain and depression can go hand-in-hand because of the way brain chemicals like serotonin affect both of those conditions (more on depression here). But did you know anxiety can follow similar patterns? So much overlap. Neurotransmitters are kinda jerky like that. Some people even experience panic attacks related to food sensitivities

And sometimes we stumble upon these relationships by accident. Today I have a guest post from a lovely woman who found out just how closely linked pain and anxiety can be....  continue reading

Are Criminals Blameworthy Or Are They Victims? American Justice, Mental Illness and the Illusion of Free Will

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Justice. 

It is an uncomfortable topic, particularly once we begin to explore mental health issues within the context of American prisons. There are currently ten times the number of individuals with serious mental illness in jails and state prisons than there are in state mental hospitals1. Prisons are currently our way of housing the mentally ill, de facto institutions when we find ourselves without appropriate healthcare facilities for long-term commitments.

Most prisoners are worse off biologically and emotionally when they emerge, increasing rates for re-offense. Not that this bothers us much; we assume that one who has been put away is a menace to society anyway, an individual who will surely do more harm than good. After all, you have to do something to get locked up. It is that action that we judge in our courthouses. 

But neuroscientist David Eagleman has a slightly different take on the notion of justice in Incognito. Ealgeman argues that it is not simply the act committed that we should look at during sentencing. To judge an individual, we must identify how blameworthy they are. 

And that, my friends, is a more difficult subject than most realize....  continue reading

REPRESSED: An Ash Park Novel (#3)

Friday, December 09, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under Books

GET REPRESSED HERE 

What readers are saying about Repressed

“Chilling, suspenseful, and impossible to put down.”
~Kristen Mae, Beyond the Break

"WOW! What a book! (O'Flynn has) amazing ability to captivate an audience and spin a tale." ~Alyson Herzig, The Shitastrophy

"Darkest book yet. Twisted...realistic and haunting." ~Nicole Knepper, Moms Who Drink and Swear

Repressed is O'Flynn's latest and most chilling installment in the Ash Park series. You'd better glue your eyelids open before you start reading because you won't want to look away.” ~Mary Widdicks, A Mutual Addiction

From the back cover: 

No matter where you go, your past follows. 

For once in his life, Curtis Morrison has it good. 

A newly-married detective on the Ash Park police force, Morrison spends his days working to heal the ails of society to make up for his own checkered past. But though he’s come a long way from a life of deadly, bloody secrets he can’t fully recall, not even his wife and baby daughter can silence the old addiction still rattling around in his brain. 

And he’s about to learn that a history like his is not the kind you can escape from.

When his wife and child go missing, Morrison finds himself dragged into a nightmare game controlled by a sadistic monster hell-bent on making him pay for sins he’s repressed for nearly twenty years. Whoever took his wife isn’t after her—they want Morrison to suffer. And with each day that passes, his family’s situation grows more dire. 

Now Morrison must explore a past he’d hoped he’d left behind to save the people he loves, awakening the beast he’s tried so hard to forget. What he uncovers is far worse than he imagined, every clue dragging him away from the life he’s painstakingly built and back to a place he’d very nearly succumbed. 

The clock’s ticking. And this time, he might not make it out alive.

GET REPRESSED HERE 

...  continue reading

CONVICTION: An Ash Park Novel (#2)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under Books


GET CONVICTION HERE

What readers are saying about Conviction

"A white-knuckled thrill ride from first page to last." ~Andra Watkins, NYT bestselling author of Not Without My Father

“(Conviction) is an intense and suspenseful murder mystery. It captured me from the first chapter and held me enthralled until the final page.”~Susan Sewell, Reader’s Favorite

"Addictive and consuming, O'Flynn will have you chewing your nails off until the very end." ~Kristen Mae, Beyond the Break

"Conviction will have you jumping at shadows and leave you hungry for more." ~Mary Widdicks, The Mermaid Asylum

From the back cover:

Conviction means nothing when you’re dead wrong. 

Shannon Taylor takes no prisoners—save the ones she tosses into lockup. Between convicting criminals as an Ash Park district attorney, dealing with her jerk ex-husband (who also happens to be her boss), and caring for her dying brother, Shannon is already stretched thin. So she’s less than thrilled when new evidence from a closed case emerges—evidence suggesting she threw a young mother in jail for a murder she didn’t commit. 

Shannon knows the girl is hiding something. But whatever the secret, it is even more compelling than the hope of freedom—the girl won’t talk.

When Shannon becomes the target of a series of cryptic and bloody warnings, she must find a way to protect everyone she holds dear. Will her persistence free an innocent woman? Or will her pursuit of the truth turn her family into helpless targets in a madman’s game? 

Conviction runs deep. Courage runs deeper. And nothing in Ash Park is as it seems.

GET CONVICTION HERE 

...  continue reading

F*ck Brock Turner. Here's How I'm Giving Back.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

I was going to stay out of it, I really was. There are already so many beautiful and poignant writings about the Stanford rapist at this

juncture, including a moving letter from the victim herself.

But now that Brock Turner’s father has gotten involved, noting that a paltry six month sentence is “a steep price to pay for twenty minutes of action,” I’m too pissed to stay out of it. We all should be.

Daddy went on to shift fault to the university:

“In hindsight, it’s clear that Brock was desperately trying to fit in at Stanford and fell into the culture of alcohol consumption and partying. This culture was modeled by many of the upperclassmen on the swim team and played a role in the events of Jan 17th and 18th 2015.”

Dan, your son was not on trial for drinking, you rape-enabling fuck. He sexually abused an unconscious woman.

Now, it is true that the culture of hyper-masculinity encourages more aggressive behaviors in men and boys. It is true that most rapists have abuse in their own pasts (ahem). It is also true that alcohol clouds judgment.

But your son is a predator.

He is not a victim....  continue reading

Being Transgender Isn't the Problem. We Are.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Transgender identity, as a broad term, is the idea that some people do not conform consistently or unambiguously to the typical (or accepted) notions of “male” or “female”. When we hear the term, it is often used to describe someone like Caitlyn Jenner whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. However, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender atypical will identify as a transgendered. Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t necessarily transgender just because he loves women’s lingerie. He could just be a proud dude in panties.

But the issue is far beyond dressing a certain way or acting a certain way. The transgendered population is under attack at every turn due to forces they cannot control. I mean, why are we so worried about where people can pee for fuck’s sake?

Gender identity, like sexuality, exists on a spectrum. And as a society, we disregard anyone who doesn’t fit into these little tiny boxes of “normal.” We label them as mentally ill. We try to take away their inherent human rights. And that is a huge part of what triggers depression and anxiety and suicide in misunderstood and persecuted populations. 

In short, being transgender isn’t the problem. We are....  continue reading