Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Carol.  The movie opened on November 20th and it finally opened where I live this week. After all that cruel and unusual waiting, and all that suspense, I didn’t really like the movie. I didn't think it did a very good job of conveying the depth of the relationship (I didn't believe they were in love) until the very end and so the story didn’t feel believable to me. Or, as Martha suggested, perhaps it was just too hard to watch my pretend wife making love to another woman.  It was however, a very pretty movie to watch and I loved seeing the finely detailed New York City in the 50s.  And, of course Cate doing anything.  And now I have a new crush on Rooney Mara.  So I suppose I liked the movie but not the way the story was told.  (I would love to hear what other people thought)
  • Survived the chaos that is Christmas Eve with Martha’s family, complete with four 2-3 year olds, one of whom ran his dinosaur through a Dicken’s Village destroying quite a few buildings, a rottweiler who grabbed the whole turkey and ran, and a remote control drone gift that hit a couple of open liquor bottles which smashed on the floor, all happening with a decibel level comparable to a jet engine.  I love these people but wow, I am always happy to come home and decompress.  
  • Enjoying our Christmas day traditions like eating way too much sugar, taking an afternoon nap, and sharing a roast beef and yorkshire pudding meal.   
  • Winning a marathon game of Go to the Head of the Class.  We have this old (1965) version of the game and some of the categories are Army Insignia, battleships and sports (but the sports figures are all pre-1965).  It takes us a long time to advance classes.    
  • Snow!  We finally have snow!  I will be sick of it by the end of February but right now I am as giddy as a little kid.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Full of Grace

  • That it was warm enough to open the windows wide after everyone in our household was sick with colds and a stomach bug. Fresh air does wonders.

  • Getting major “super cool mom” points for getting tickets to see Adele in concert. I was one of those who waited in the 45 minute queue and got lucky.  My daughters now think I'm amazing.  It won’t last long, but I’ll bask in it for a little while.

  • The most strenuous thing I did on Sunday was to pick up a phone to order pizza.

  • Celebrating another Beaner birthday together.  It was a little difficult as it was her first birthday in many years without a boyfriend but there’s nothing like a fine Italian dinner and a bottle of wine to soothe the rough edges.

  • Working a Make A Wish booth for a couple of hours and having a parent of a former wish receiver stop to say thank you. Her son got his wish and died a year later at 9 years old.  It made me remember that there is nothing I am more thankful for than the health of my children.

Monday, December 14, 2015


I have watched the video of Daniel Holtzclaw being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and sexual battery many, many times now.  I watch the man rocking himself  like a little boy and sobbing as each count is read. Each time I watch it I pity him.  I believe he truly expected to get off and now, going to prison, he knows what to expect there too.

Everything I’ve read about this case points to Holtzclaw specifically targeting black women because he knew that they would not be believed.  That was his expectation.  The word of a white police office would always trump the accusations of a black woman.

And I’ve read the stories of some of these women.  Not surprisingly, they too expected not to be believed.  Until one brave woman said, “He picked the wrong lady” and someone believed her.

I have browsed black social media looking for reactions.  On one site I read that this is the first time a white man was convicted of the rape of a black woman.  While I know that is not accurate, I understand the sentiment.  That is the expectation, based on years and years and years of practiced injustice.
I remember sharing with a straight blogging friend a picture of Daphne and I in Europe.  Her response was “I love to think about you two galavanting around Europe.”  And I thought “how naive she is, we were scared to death.” as we were whenever we were out in public - an interracial lesbian couple, in the 80s, and now far from home.  We made ourselves as small as possible and expected to have problems. But privileged, straight, white women get to have different expectations.  

When Daphne and I were sexually assaulted the police interviewed me and wrote their report.  I was afraid and in shock and fighting to be able to see Daphne.  I am told I was taken to a hospital so my body could be examined and photographed, my clothing taken for evidence, my broken bones cast.   I have very little memory of this.  But I do remember speaking with the police who said to me, on more than one occasion -  “well, what did you expect?”  

What did I expect?  I’m not sure I had any expectations, but it I’m sure it wasn’t that.

I do not know what it is like to live as a black woman in our culture. But I do know what it was like to love a black woman.  I know what it is like to have no power to fight an aggressor. I know what it was like to have my life and love so devalued that a police officer would just assume we deserved to be attacked.  I can only imagine how frightening and dehumanizing it must be for black women when faced with that kind of white power.   All. The. Time.

My heart weeps for those 13 women.  The jury felt they did not have enough evidence to convict Holtzclaw on all 36 counts. But I believe every single one of them.  I believe every word of their agonizing stories.  I hope that they will be able to find some peace and pride and healing.

I have watched the video of Daniel Holtzclaw being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and sexual battery many, many times now.  I watch the man rocking himself like a little boy and sobbing as each count is read. Each time I watch it I feel pity for him.  

I did not expect that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Full of Grace

  • That although the larger world seems to be filled with hate and violence, my everyday world is filled with love and support and incredibly kind people.  It’s good to focus on that.

  • All reservations made for a warm January vacation.  

  • A vivid dream of my father, on what would have been his birthday, that made me feel like I just had a very sweet visit with him.

  • My sister sent me a batch of my mother’s handwritten recipes. They will be cherished.

  • A weekend spent baking cookies, decorating and getting the xmas tree which helped get me in the holiday spirit even though we are having Spring-like weather.  I think I may be only dreaming of a white Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Thanksgiving with Martha’s family is always a loud, blustery affair.  Traditionally arguments center around why the Cowboys always get to play on Thanksgiving instead of the Jets, Bills, Bears or Giants depending on who’s doing the arguing.  But the biggest argument is about whether stuffing should have cranberries, or not.  Even though the hosts make both kinds to please everyone, the argument still dominates the table.  But this year the adult kids of the hosts decided to make a drinking game out of it.  Every time someone said craisins or cranberries, everyone had to take a drink.  Needless to say, everyone was pretty mellow (or asleep) by the time dessert rolled around.
  • My experiment of growing salad in the basement is going well.  These two flower boxes are providing me with a fresh personal salad everyday.

  • Martha asked me to get an old oak desk out of the basement.  It was too big to get up the stairs so after stripping the salvageable wood and drawers, I took a sledgehammer to it and just wailed away.   What a great anxiety/stress reliever!    I highly recommend it.
  • Recreating Friday movie night when the girls were little.  I know you can’t go back in time but all of us cuddling on the couch, sharing popcorn and watching Frozen came pretty darned close.

  • Beautiful weather for a Black Friday hike in the woods which reminded me of this poem:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Going to a new cafe called Puzzles where their mission is to “improve the livelihood of individuals, families, and communities affected by autism spectrum disorders”.  Special needs folks cook and wait tables and make incredible tasting puzzle cookies like this. 

I am very grateful that there are people who create employment opportunities for folks who often have very few other chances.

  • Adele. Her music is helping Beaner get through her break up. And I much prefer Adele blasting through the house to the crass, hip hoppy, rap music Beaner usually listens to.

  • These are back in the stores!  They only make these special edition white cheddar cheese balls at Christmas (snow balls) and Easter (rabbit tails).  I have a very unhealthy relationship with them.

  • Stores that are closing on Black Friday and asking folks to go outside.  And many places are waiving all park fees to encourage just that. I, myself, will be out hiking off the annual overindulgence of mashed potatoes and rolls.
Leftovers suitable for taking backpacking

  • And a very special note of gratitude to all those who work on holidays, not in the interest of consumerism, but in the interest of humanity.  Public safety and health workers, here’s to you and all you do and all you give up, to help and protect the rest of us.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Last week I went for my routine gynecological appointment.  Because I have a high probability of cancer recurrence, I have to get ultrasounds twice a year to check my uterus and ovaries.  Unfortunately this is what life is like after cancer.  Lots and lots of doctor appointments. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for medical technology and its ability to detect problems when they are still treatable.   Early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment allowed me to see my daughters graduate college and hopefully beyond.   I’m a fan, especially when the news is good.

But this time I got a red flag that my uterine lining is thickening.  It could be a result of the estrogen inhibitors I take, or it could be signaling something more nefarious.  So the PA said she wanted to do a biopsy.  Okay, back in the stirrups I went.  But she had a problem being able to get through my cervix and finally gave up.  Which is when I remembered that as a result of sexual assault, my cervix is scarred over.  I was told this long ago when I was going to be the partner to get pregnant - the scars would prevent that from ever happening.  At the time I was devastated but honestly, it's something I don’t have much cause to think about anymore.

Anyway, now I have to return to see a doctor who will do the procedure.  They gave me a prescription for some meds that will help open the cervix and some for pain.  I’m not at all sure they will help because of the scars.  I hope I will be able to talk to the doctor about it when the time comes although I have not been very successful ever being able to talk about it openly.

Still, there are two things that I want to note about this.  First, is that even with this reminder and obvious trigger, I handled it calmly.  Yes, a few choice curse words went through my mind., along with some “when will that one event stop controlling so much of my life?”  kind of thoughts.  I really hate that this stuff pops up in the weirdest of ways, randomly, and with no hope that it will ever be gone entirely. Haunted for life.  But the good news was that I experienced no flashbacks, no out of control anxiety, no PTSD symptoms at all.  I always like to emphasize these times as evidence to myself of healing.

Besides the possible return of cancer, the other thing that is occupying my thoughts is the impact of the world violence that has been is the news.  Most people are mourning the dead.  But my prayers always go to the injured of which there are always many, many more. I suppose my sympathies go there because I empathize with the physical and emotional burden that these people will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.  Like me there will be the horrific first impacts.  But even decades later, injuries will nag and limit.  The most random of sounds or smells or sights will body slam them back to relive their horrors again and again.   Or perhaps like Daphne, their memories and injuries will be too much to overcome.  These are the stories the news never tells. These are the stories that continue to haunt me.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Full of Grace

This time of year I am especially grateful for the change of seasons as it signals a change into snuggly clothes and comfort food.  

- But our weather has been abnormally mild (although I expect we will pay for this later) and I am still wearing shorts in mid-November!  

- Still, the nights cool down quickly and we are making the transition from fruit and salads to cold weather food - Sunday football pizza and wings, mashed potatoes, crock pot anything and Martha’s homemade apple pie, a'la mode, of course.

- That the monster cat we acquired due to the breakup, is slowly but surely acclimating to his new home and furry housemates.  They are not all exactly friendly yet but they are not killing each other either.  It is making our home life much more pleasant that he is not confined to the basement.

- That my sister has returned safely from her travels abroad.

- That this brochure was prominently displayed at my OBGYN.  

When Martha and I wanted children, we had very limited options, we could only find one doctor willing to help us, we had to jump through a kazillion hoops to satisfy his protocol as his first lesbian patients, and totally emptied our savings accounts to pay for it.   I am both amazed and extremely grateful at how fast the world has changed and accepted all kinds of families.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Wide World of Sports

Field hockey season is finally over. Peachie, in her first year as a varsity coach, led her team to the best record in the school’s history.  Of course, that doesn’t really say much as the team has always been historically weak.  Many great players have come through the program, but there were never enough good players to gel as a great team.  In fact, one year they were almost to the end of the season, playing an away game, when our team scored a goal.  Our parents and fans went berserk with cheering.  The other team’s fans looked over, a bit disgusted with our ‘over the top’ enthusiasm until we explained that it was the very first goal our team had scored all season.  Then even the opposition started cheering.  Yep, our team got pity applause.

This year their final record was 7 - 5 which far exceeded the former best record of 4 wins.  They went to sectionals where they unfortunately lost on a bad call which took away a goal that was later verified by film footage.  That was okay by me though as it starts to get pretty darn cold sitting outside for a couple of hours in November.  But I did attend every game except for one night game that conflicted with a work meeting.  It was actually relaxing to watch a game where I didn’t have to worry about my daughter getting injured.   Over the years I have watched my girls break numerous fingers, a quad muscle tear, rolled ankles (too many to count ), broken noses (3 times!)  a dislocated knee cap and a fractured eye socket.   

This year Peachie made us particularly proud when a male referee gave one of her players a green card and then told Peachie the player was carded for being a bitch.  Peachie, in no uncertain terms and in front of a bleacher full of parents, told the ref that that was an inappropriate term to use for a young female athlete and that she would make sure he never worked another game in our division. She did, and he didn’t.  That’s my girl!

After field hockey I thought I was done for a bit until Martha talked Beaner into coaching a 5th grade girls’ basketball team. Oy!  Of course, after spending years going to high school and college games, it is kind of fun to watch little girls who are just learning the game.  Their jerseys are longer than their shorts.  They carry the ball down the court forgetting to dribble, pass directly to the other team, have no idea that there is a difference between offence and defense, and often shoot at the wrong hoop scoring for the opposing team.  What makes it even more entertaining is that one girl speaks no English so her mother sits on the bench as a translator. The mother played ball in China and Beaner strongly suspects that the mother is giving different instructions than the plays she is calling in order to make her daughter the star of the team.  I particularly like that their plays are called things like “cupcake” and “unicorn". Yeah, that puts fear into the other team. And I do enjoy Beaner complaining that kids "just don't listen to her". "Really? What a surprise". But unlike the parents who seem to think that their daughter is one step away from a full ride to UConn and continually shout out instructions and criticisms, I can just sit and smile and enjoy the girls having fun.  Not a bad way to spend an hour.

And this week Martha started tryouts for her junior varsity high school team.  From now until mid February I will barely see her.  They practice almost every evening and have games on Tuesdays and Fridays. most of which I will attend.

Growing up I was always athletic, although I only enjoyed solo sports - surfing, skiing, hiking - rather than competitive sports which I never played.  I never imagined that sitting on fields and in gyms, would dominate my life.  But I am going to enjoy this phase when my family are all coaches and I don’t have to worry about them getting hurt.  All too soon I will be back on those fields, chewing my fingers off, worrying about some grandchild getting kicked in the head . . . unless I can convince them to play the piano instead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Full of Grace

- That the best candidate (IMO) was elected to run my Town after the present Supervisor decided to retire after 16 years.  I will miss working with him as he almost always saw things my way. There will be changes but at least I get to keep my job.  

- Finally sleeping better. Daylight Savings Time always screws me up.

- Cate’s new movie “Truth” finally came to town.  The movie was okay but, as usual, she was heart stopping.  I am going to need Martha to bring a defibrillator when “Carol” comes out.

- Both the girls away for the weekend.  I will miss them when they leave for good but I do love a quiet, cozy weekend with just Martha.

- Pre-winter chores -  leaves all raked and mulched, veggie garden rototilled, oil changed in lawnmower and snowblower, patio furniture cleaned and stored, hoses disconnected and faucets weather-proofed, perennial garden covered with mulch.  Everything is done.  I am ready.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Full of Grace

  • Getting up before dawn to drive up to the mountains.  Watching the sun create a kaleidoscope of colors in the sky before stopping for a scrumptious cranberry walnut pancake breakfast, in portions fit for a lumberjack.  And yes, I ate them all.

  • Starting our hike through the forest and immediately feeling the calming effect of the smell of damp earth and pine trees. The air was crisp and the sky a deep blue, with big white puffy clouds.  We couldn’t have ordered better weather.

  • I had been worried after we realized that we had picked a weekend that included Halloween, concerned that there might be some strange folks in the woods, but the only people we encountered all weekend were a family with two young kids early on Saturday.  I do love seeing kids outside hiking.

  • Watching an eagle dip and soar and ride the wind, for hours.  

  • Lying on a beach, awestruck by stars.

  • In September I was in a black hole that I finally climbed out of.  But still, feelings of anxiety and sadness and funk clung to me. Now, after a couple of days in the woods, I feel wholly re-energized and re-calibrated (and a very sore and stiff).  I once thought that a group of men took everything away from me but now I realize that there are so many things that can never be taken away. The awesome beauty of nature will always fill my soul.

I didn't take any of these pictures as I don't carry a camera or even cell phone (no service) when backpacking. But these were in the public domain (I hope) and show where we were.  However they don't come close to capturing how the wilderness impacts all five senses in such an amazing way.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trails & Tribulations

My best friend texted asking that we get together . . . immediately.  

We sat at our usual table in the back corner of our favorite cafe and she slid an article across the table to me.  The headline read:

The First Woman to Hike the Appalachian Trail Was 67 Years Old

It goes on to describe this grandmother of 23 who, in 1955, hiked the entire 2050 mile trail in 146 days.  

Crap. How long has it been since we were out backpacking?  We couldn’t even remember.  

Oh we've had our excuses.  She tore her ACL while skiing in Italy. Which was a lot sexier than me tearing a meniscus when slipping on some wet leaves in the driveway. But mostly our excuses have been lame.  Miscellaneous aches and pains.  Family issues. The desire for a soft warm bed over the hard packed ground.  We have aged.  It's not as easy as it used to be. But mostly we have gotten lazy. Yes, we still often hike our locals trails. For an hour or two. Followed by a nice meal in a restaurant where we complain about how sore we are.  


So feeling shamed by this article, we began planning our next trip into the wilderness.   At first we thought big.  A week long trek of 10 to 15 mile days, and challenging mountains like we used to do. But then reality set in.  Maybe we should take it slow at first and see how we do.  It’s getting cold at night so maybe we should only go out for a couple of days.   I love climbing the high, bald mountains so I can sleep under a full canopy of stars but, hmmm, will our knees hold up to that?  Will my back be screaming for mercy?

By the time we had talked ourselves down, we settled on one of my favorite places in the Adirondacks. The trail is only a little over 4 miles to a pristine, white sand beach surrounding a lovely lake. Since it is only a short distance it has become a very popular spot, often with groups carrying in alcohol and partying there.  Because of this I haven’t been there in decades.  But I am hopeful that by going after peak season, it will be quiet and secluded.  If not we have an option to continue along the trail for another couple of miles.  We will make camp and then do a couple of day hikes, without having to carry our packs.  

Over the years, packing has become somewhat of a science.  I have already wheedled down every ounce of extra weight.  My pack is 27 pounds for a 3 day, 2 night outing. But nighttime temps are going down into the low 30s so I will need some heavier clothes.  And then there’s all the extra Ibuprofen and BenGay I am going to need.  

I am beginning to feel a little anxious and a lot wimpy.  “Grandma Gatewood” completed her trek without a sleeping bag, tent or compass.  She was quoted as saying “ I would never have started this trip had I known how tough it was, but I couldn’t and I wouldn’t quit.” I have a tent, a high tech, whisper-lite cooking stove, space age dehydrated food, expensive hiking boots, and a sleeping bag rated for sub-zero temperatures.  It's not exactly "roughing it."

So I am about to strap that almost 30 pound pack on my also overweight body and hope for the best. The spiritual benefits of being out in nature far outweigh the physical side effects. (I hope) And if Gatewood could do 2050 miles in 146 days, I should be able to do 15 or so miles in 3 days.

If I don't post a Full of Grace story on Tuesday, come looking for me. I'll be the one moaning and groaning, limping down the mountainside with a thousand excuses about why I'm too old for this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Full of Grace

  • That I live in a place that looks like this in Autumn.

  • And we’ve had perfect, crisp clear weather that makes it delightful to be outside and marvel at it.

  • That our new step-cat (acquired because of the break-up) is starting to warm up to his new home, currently in the basement.   He is a very large, young, male, black cat who had been swiping and hissing at me.  Now he purrs and plays and cuddles.  Next step - trying to introduce him to the dog and cat upstairs without causing the 15 year old, tiny female fur ball to have a heart attack.

  • That Beaner’s college friends came from far and wide to boost her spirits this weekend.  It’s probably one of my greatest comforts to know that my daughters have great friends and a solid support system that will serve them well as they continue to find their own way.

  • That Beaner’s friends finally left.  I really love these young women as my own daughters, but a very small house, lots of liquor and commotion until the wee hours made me feel like I was living in a dorm.  And I am, very thankfully, so past that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Full of Grace

  • The first snow fall of the season.  I know a lot of people don’t like the snow and think of it as a nuisance, but there is something about seeing the first snow that still fills me with joy and wonder.

  • Fresh baked cookies.  Peachie’s team had a cookie dough fund raiser and now we can bake up just a few cookies at a time without making a mess.  My house smells like fresh baked cookies almost all the time and there is something so right with that.

  • The break up.  Still doing a happy dance that Beaner’s relationship is over.  And he screwed up so badly that there is no chance that she would ever consider going back to him.  

  • That Beaner was smart enough to get to her OBGYN and be tested for whatever the ex might have spread.  She also immediately made an appointment with a therapist who has given her some very good strategies to help heal and move on.

  • That her best friend since pre-school sent her an edible arrangement.  It came in a pink ribbon vase with this note:   "They didn’t have a “fuck you” vase so I went with the breast cancer awareness theme because now your boobs are back on the market."  It made everyone laugh at a time when we really all needed a laugh.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

They broke up!

First, thank you for all the advice on the last post.  It was some very useful advice and I will it use no matter what the future holds for my daughters.

Meanwhile, Beaner and the BF flew to Indianapolis Wednesday for a wedding in his family.  But she discovered he was texting another girl there about getting together and then worse, lying about it.  Much drama ensued at his family home shortly before the wedding and Beaner called to say she wanted to come home.  So we made arrangements for her,and BF’s mother, sobbing, said she would get her to the airport, and then we had to drive 3 hours to pick her up at the closest airport we could get her to on such short notice.   It’s been quite the weekend.

The story actually gets much more bizarre and she has gone from hurt to anger.  Four of her college roommates have called to say they are coming this weekend to be with her.  And we will sit her her until she heals a little.  

But Martha and I are secretly doing a happy dance.  And I think Beaner will be too.  Eventually.

Thanks again for all your help.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Opinions requested

I am throwing this question out into my blogging world in hopes of getting some feedback on this dilemma.

Many, many years ago my sister happened to say to me “wow, two daughters. That’s two weddings you’ll have to pay for.”  Our girls were babies at the time but as the fiscally responsible parent I started savings accounts, earmarked for weddings.

My daughters are now in their early 20s and both have serious boyfriends.  I have been able to save a substantial amount for each of them and they have each been told that there will be a tidy sum they can use for their weddings, honeymoon, a down payment on a house, or a nice nest egg should they choose not to marry.


We do not like Beaner’s boyfriend. Well that is not entirely true.  We like him.  He
s gentle and treats her well. But he often forgets commitments and stands her up. And it is quite obvious to everyone, except Beaner, that this is not a healthy relationship.  It is very out of balance with him being a needy little boy in need of a mother rather than being a life partner.  My daughter, do-gooder that she is, may not mind taking constant care of him now, but we are quite sure that it will get old very fast.

And so here is the dilemma:

Should she choose to marry this man (and we sincerely hope she won’t but she is always talking about it) do I still give all this money, knowing (okay assuming) that it will not last long?  To me it seems like throwing 20 years of savings away, or blessing a marriage that is not healthy.  But on the other hand, I don’t think its right to say that such a gift has strings.  

What say you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Full of Grace

  • My niece sent me a link called “Cate Blanchett is A Fucking Flawless Queen”.  Great link and also nice to know that even my extended family recognizes my alternate universe relationship with Cate.

  • Everybody agreeing to adjust their schedules to be able to go apple picking.  It is something we have done as a family since we were carrying the girls in pouches and although I know there will come a time when we will no longer go all together, I am grateful to eke out another year.

  • Then Martha made her “best I’ve ever had” apple pie and batches of applesauce.  I wish my phone would record smells like it can record pictures, because I would love to keep that apple pie baking smell with me wherever I go.

  • Survived a 10 mile Habitat for Humanity bike ride with my daughter without too much damage to my body or my pride.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I could easily do a 50 mile ride.  I’m still not sure what happened to my body.

  • Celebrating 26 mostly wonderful years, together with Martha.   I really can’t imagine where I would be if she hadn’t stepped into my life.  She is always first on my list of gratitudes when I close my eyes at night and again when she is still there in the morning.  I am incredibly blessed.

Friday, October 9, 2015

After Thoughts

As I am prone to do, I analyze, and often over analyze, my PTSD reactions and relapses.  These are just some random thoughts I am putting to paper to help me sort out how I feel about this last trip down the rabbit hole.

  • First, thank you to everyone who commented so kindly on my last posts.  It never ceases to amaze me how therapeutic writing can be and to get such wonderful support and feedback is very humbling and very appreciated.

  • In response to those posts a friend sent me this:

  • But the reality is, life did break me.  I was broken for a very long time.  And sometimes it’s easier to go back to that place of brokenness than to keep trying to get up.  I think this was the case this time.  It was easier to withdraw than to do the work.
  • I am very aware of how easy it is to just withdraw and isolate myself, even when I know I need to do the opposite to get out the hole.  Like going to the gym - it always feels good to go and you know you are doing something good for yourself and maintaining your health, but then something temporarily keeps you from going.  And it becomes easier and easier just not to go. And then really hard to get back going.

  • When I fall down the hole and don’t bother to do the work, I always feel like a failure.  Mostly I feel that I’ve let Lauren (my former therapist) down.   She would never let me be that lazy.

  • The weird thing about my scars is that the one major scar I had from that assault was removed when I had a mastectomy. It used to be very triggering.  Now I miss it.  

  • For all my work, I know there is a place inside me that is still broken.  The screams still inhabit me. They remind me that I am still bruised and vulnerable. And I sometimes feel that I need to visit that place.

  • Somehow I need to reconcile my very strong desire to be healed and healthy with my equally strong desire not to forget, which I am often afraid I am doing . . . until something reminds me. Sometimes I wonder if my regressions aren’t self inflicted.

  • Even at my emotionally strongest, I continue to have issues with memory and control.  But they are a subject for a different post.

There is no neat and tidy way to wrap this train of thought up so I will end by asking a favor. A very dear friend of mine’s partner is having a double mastectomy today.  Any prayers, thoughts, healing energy or good mojo you could send up into the universe on her behalf would be greatly appreciated.