Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Full of Grace - 25 years
Tomorrow will mark the 25th anniversary of the assault that took from me the woman I loved and changed my life forever. I am amazed to say that. Twenty five years. Sometimes the memories are so devastatingly raw it feels like I am still reliving it, and sometimes it feels so long ago that it must have been someone else’s life. It is a day I have traditionally marked by holing up and listening to Daphne’s Billie Holiday albums. Years ago this would send me into a deep depression. In more recent years, just a general melancholy. Then, after these last couple of years of therapy, I can now hold onto some good memories while listening to those songs. Kind of a hard, bittersweet day.
Looking back over these past 25 years I have so much to be grateful for:
- Lauren, my friend and therapist, who took my trembling, broken, defeated self and gave me the confidence and tools to stand back up and face the world again. I truly believe that without her I would have wound up some homeless woman, rocking myself in the fetal position, having lost my mind entirely. I miss her terribly.
- Martha, my partner, who for almost every day of our 22 years together has found a way to make me feel safe and to make me laugh. No small feat on many a bad day.
-My two daughters who have taught me the meaning of unconditional love and gave me a reason to care about the future.
-My closest friends who were with me then. At a time when I lost everything, they literally fed me and clothed me and found me a place to live. They formed a circle of love and protection around me until I was ready to live again. And they are doing it still.
-Every one of you who have shared the last stage of this journey with me in this space. Some for just a few steps. Some for quite a while. I was not convinced that opening up such a vulnerable part of me in such a public space would be a good thing. But it has proven to be one of the best things I’ve done. Not only because I’ve learned now important it is to speak about trauma, but mostly because you have made me feel so supported in doing so. Through the good days and bad days, the triumphs and the setbacks, you have been here with your kindness and encouragement.
25 years is a long time. A long time to heal. And a long time to feel so loved.