The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (1/2)

content warning: drug abuse, suicidal ideation I miss him and haven't heard from him so I send tender, vulnerable text messages.  His responses are terse and defeated.  In the language of marriage research, we've played out the demand/withdraw dynamic--except that I've set aside my defenses in hopes of helping my partner feel safe, and when … Continue reading The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (1/2)

Women Get Raped, Men Get Presumed Innocent

content warning: abuse, assault, rape Between Cosby and Kavanaugh, it's been a shit week for women.  I've attempted to personally minimize the effect on me--after all, I've been feeling better lately.  I don't want to go back.  I don't like feeling all the ugly feelings that fester, unresolved and unwanted, somewhere in my subconscious.  I've … Continue reading Women Get Raped, Men Get Presumed Innocent

Sexual Abuse/Assault/Violence; Does The Label Matter?

content warning: domestic violence, sexual assault I wake in my friend Erin's beautiful Lakewood house before morning's first light.  Her dog doesn't even stir from his spot next to me in bed.  I brush my hair and teeth, put some clothes on and meditate, and we walk around the neighborhood with the first flickering of … Continue reading Sexual Abuse/Assault/Violence; Does The Label Matter?

The Truth About Anxiety: I’m Afraid of Everything

I remember how I felt as a child after I was lucky enough to have a friend over to play.  I would say goodbye at the door.  Invariably, the moment I was alone would feel like all the air had left the room.  Though I was a bright, articulate little girl I'm quite sure I … Continue reading The Truth About Anxiety: I’m Afraid of Everything

I Honor the Light Within Me; I Am Unstoppable

I’m driving home from a long day. The road is busy and my body is stiff with fear. Still, there’s something different in my countenance. I’m afraid, but full of determination. I turn over some of the words that have been spoken to me this week—the validation, the affirmation, the support and the love. I … Continue reading I Honor the Light Within Me; I Am Unstoppable

A Brutal Catharsis, and the Victory of Whipping Cream

I take a deep breath and direct myself onto highway 40 going West.  I carefully manage the space cushion around me the whole drive, except for once when a big Jeep speeds up too close behind me.  I begin to hyperventilate, my heart racing, and as it pulls into the next lane I see spots. … Continue reading A Brutal Catharsis, and the Victory of Whipping Cream

My Abuser’s Birthday: Camping and Existential Dread

It’s my abuser’s birthday and I am pissed. I’m pissed that I married a manipulative, lying shitbag who ruined my life. I’m pissed that I’m still struggling with the many, varied and terrible repercussions of living with and loving a person who figured my worth lay in propping up his fragile self-esteem. I’m pissed at … Continue reading My Abuser’s Birthday: Camping and Existential Dread

On Suicide, Shame, and Small Acts of Courage

I am staying at a friend's house while she's away.  It is a beautiful, spacious place.  It is quiet.  I love it here.  But after I drop off another friend who can't keep me company all day, I am indescribably miserable. It hits me the moment he's out of the car and I wail all … Continue reading On Suicide, Shame, and Small Acts of Courage

Do you want an order of protection?

content warning: domestic violence "Do you want an order of protection?" asks my advocate at the Compass Center after I spend some time ranting about how a year should be enough time for my abuser to calm down and leave me alone.  Of course I want an order of protection.  Of course, after everything I've … Continue reading Do you want an order of protection?

Moving On: Part 1

Not long ago, I held that white box again.  Almost everything I own has been in storage these 11 months since I left.  I held that box and cried again at that relic of once great hope now lost forever.  What on earth could I do with it?  I couldn't stand the idea of...

Here Comes The Sun

That's not an unusual morning--some ugly dream and then I wake up feeling awful.  Naturally, I want to go back to sleep and try again--maybe I won't feel so tired and desperate.  I understand that each choice I make will either take me deeper into that black pit of despair--or out of it.  The coming out won't be fast, it won't be painless...

Letting Love Carry Me

I ran my marathon in November--and my community helped me exceed my fundraising goal well ahead of schedule.  It was really moving for me.  The thing is, I wanted that to be the end of my lesson in asking for help and trusting the universe.  Asking for that money was uncomfortable, and vulnerable--but initially, I couldn't even admit...

A Wounded Healer

I struggle with deep shame over my mental illness.  Though I'm very clear it is not my fault, though I know that this is a response common to trauma survivors--the shame is very real, very persistent, and very convincing.  It tells me that I am too powerless, too broken, that I will never recover or experience healthy love.  I am so afraid that these things are true, I'm tempted to stay silent in...