Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Yesterday my oldest daughter accepted the job of her dreams as a full time social worker working with kids and families.

Today she found out she was selected to be a member of our Pride Center's Leadership Development Council.  They told her she was selected because they loved her answers to what "3 things about her make her suited to this role, besides her resume?"

Her answers:

I love my two moms;

I wouldn't set foot in North Carolina; and

I would go gay for Ruby Rose.

I do love that girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Trigger Warning: discussion of violence and sexual assault.

I was already down, violated and incapacitated when I felt it. The searing pain to my left jaw. My mouth filling with blood. Gagging. Dislodged teeth sliding down my throat, suffocating me to death while being pinned to the ground. It was at this moment that my psyche split and my I left my body behind to suffer the rest of it while I checked out.

I never could remember the details of the assault and rape. That moment when I thought I was going to literally choke to death was the line between being there fighting and then detaching, giving up, and seeing the onslaught as if I were floating above it.  An observer. My mind would never even let me question that I had a bridge of fake teeth or why my left foot was always so painful or why my cervix was so scarred that I could never have children.  Then years of therapy brought it all back.  

Long time readers of this blog have followed my therapy journey and my struggle to regain my mental health. But still I stumble.

A few weeks ago I was at the dentist for a new crown that required substantial work. I knew I was in trouble when I began to taste blood, I began to flail at the dentist and then he dropped the crown in my mouth. Panic.  Flashback.  I don’t remember much after that.

Triggers are strange and powerful  things. And while I now understand them much better, I still have to work myself back through stages of recovery.

- Shock. Triggers wipe me out physically and emotionally. I am able to put one foot in front of the other, but I am not at all present. I go through the motions of life but I’m so detached I have little memory of this stage which can last only minutes for mild triggers or, in this case, weeks.

- Awareness. Therapy has helped me be able to distinguish that the flashback memories happened in the past and are not happening again. It takes a lot of effort to calm the anxiety that triggers cause but I know I have many tools to help me through it once I am ready to use them.

- Self loathing.  It really bothers me that after all this time, and especially after so much therapy, that some triggers can still knock me on my ass.  It makes me feel very weak and powerless. I often beat myself up for still being a victim.

- Anger. Self loathing turns outward and I go through a short period of anger that this still has so much power over me.  It is an stage I have long ignored and am now exploring in therapy.

- Healing. After a period of isolation, I slowly force myself to reconnect - to nature, to people, to life. This is very difficult for me at first, but I also recognize it as so important to healing.

- Strength. I get very indignant and vow that I will get stronger and do better next time.

This last episode put a serious dent in my confidence to handle triggers as they inevitably come along. I am extremely fortunate to have Martha in my life as she allows me space to go through those early stages and then knows how to kick my butt when the time for healing comes.  And a best friend who gently sits with me in the calm and healing energy of nature.

I didn’t realize how long I have been absent from this space which is an important component of my journey. I am trying to reconnect and catch up on emails and blogs. I am back in therapy, full time. I am tending my gardens. And myself.

I am getting myself stronger.