1 Km Repeats and What Made Me Choose Life

content warning: suicidal ideation First I don't want to get out of bed at all--again, and I lay there for a long while, willing my breath to slow.  Eventually I get my running clothes on, make it to the track and struggle through my workout; 8 1 km repeats at threshold pace.  Long speedwork takes … Continue reading 1 Km Repeats and What Made Me Choose Life

A Changing Mien, Conflicting Emotions and Flashbacks

I'm near the end of a six mile easy run.  The sun has set and I'm trusting the ground I can't see as I run through Durham. I wondered days ago with a friend if my abuser had left town.  It would be a big relief to know I was unlikely to encounter that person … Continue reading A Changing Mien, Conflicting Emotions and Flashbacks

Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

During another shit day I'm barely surviving I remember how if I'm running Boston I'd better figure out how to get myself there.  It's been months of slow, disappointing training runs after I seemed to be doing so well.  I remember squealing jubilantly in the morning as I got my confirmation from BAA that my … Continue reading Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

Attachment Trauma Redux Versus Rupture and Repair

content warning: emotional abuse It is October 2016 and I am sitting in the sanctuary at Sixth & I in Washington DC with a few hundred other people listening to Tara Brach speak.  My spouse sits next to me.  I wonder why he came at all; as I do the work of the offered meditative … Continue reading Attachment Trauma Redux Versus Rupture and Repair

Grief and Longing, Loneliness and Depression

We were supposed to have a holiday party together. Though it’s been off my calendar for weeks, I haven’t forgotten. There’s a snowstorm coming in.  We'd talked about how much fun we'd have sequestered at his place during the first snowstorm, so I am sick with grief and dread and missing him.  All day long … Continue reading Grief and Longing, Loneliness and Depression

Compassion, Trust and My Work In The World

I'm tired and unhappy when I arrive but one of my students is waiting for me; I feel better when I see her.  While I'm checking in my class, another student I haven't seen in months appears at the doorway.  Delighted, I come out from behind the desk to hug her.  While I check her … Continue reading Compassion, Trust and My Work In The World

A Bad Day, Kindness and Grace

I sit huddled into the corner of the couch at home, surrounded by pillows, wearing my oldest ugliest yoga pants and a mismatched flannel.  My eyes are twitching so hard I can hear it, my head throbs and every so often I break into great, gasping sobs. I try working; I have to fix my … Continue reading A Bad Day, Kindness and Grace

Morning Struggle, Afternoon Loneliness and Night Terror

I go to morning service at ERUUF.  Arriving late, I don't see my friends so I sit alone and it is brutal.  Afterward my friends hold me while I cry and they try to reassure me.  One of them tells me she knows I love him and that she's sorry, but that shutting me out … Continue reading Morning Struggle, Afternoon Loneliness and Night Terror

Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (3/3)

(...continued) content warning: suicidal ideation, self harm My burst of motive power is short-lived; it disintegrates when I go back outside to falling rain, just like during my car accident.  Kevin* helped me with some of that fear.  He won't be helping me any more.  Devastated, I sit in my car and let my eyes … Continue reading Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (3/3)

Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (1/3)

It's Friday afternoon.  I have one more class to teach and Kevin* said he'd call me.  My head hurts, both eyes are twitching.  I'm exhausted, anxious and nauseous, unable to think about anything else.  I tried to look at some emails; I didn't care and my eyes twitched harder.  I barely kept it together to … Continue reading Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (1/3)

Getting To Yes/Hold Me Tight

It's Tuesday.  I'm finally going to talk with Kevin* an entire week after this started.  I can think of nothing else all day.  Though I do work at the computer, I stop and cry several times.  I keep getting confused mid-task, and I'm terrified I'm going to make a mistake.  Finally I finish the time-sensitive … Continue reading Getting To Yes/Hold Me Tight

Birthday Gifts and the Simple Power of Human Connection

It's pitch dark again when I wake in the middle of the night.  After a good day full of support and love from friends, I'm disappointed to find my thoughts racing and breathing shallow--again.  But I'm not surprised.  I place my hand over my heart and try to breathe more deeply, which takes a great … Continue reading Birthday Gifts and the Simple Power of Human Connection

Sanctuary; Where Is My Safe Place to Fall?

It is Sunday morning, the day I was supposed to attend an event with Kevin*.  We've been talking about it for over a month.  We haven’t spoken in almost a week--a week of panic and grief, confusion and anger.  A week of troubled sleep and half-eaten food that tastes like dirt. Christian is meeting me … Continue reading Sanctuary; Where Is My Safe Place to Fall?

Deflated Determination and the Edge of a Panic Attack

I wake up in the middle of the night, anxious again.  Remnants of nightmares swirl through my head--something about my abuser and something about my boyfriend.  Sleeping on a park bench. I don’t remember. My brain starts in on pointless one-sided conversations.  I turn onto my side and try to calm down--I'm not breathing right … Continue reading Deflated Determination and the Edge of a Panic Attack

Attachment Trauma, Misattunement, and a Sleepless Night

I'm ready to fall asleep and he is not, so I lie down with an eye mask and close my eyes.  I drift off for a while and then I hear the running shower.  I drift off again, and this time he's coming to check on me.  I'm tired and I groan.  He teases me … Continue reading Attachment Trauma, Misattunement, and a Sleepless Night

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

Safari: A Quest for Love and Connection

I've been invited to audit a workshop on boundary setting for entrepreneurs that involves equine assisted therapy.  It sounds fascinating.  Working with animals often helps trauma survivors like me--those of us with massive attachment trauma often feel safer with animals.  Also I haven't seen a horse up close in a long time, so I drive … Continue reading Safari: A Quest for Love and Connection

Being Loved

Oh my god.  That's really bad.  I've just broken up with him.  I can't engage with him over his choices.  I stand in the kitchen, my chest tight, swimming in grief and agony.  It's Valentines' Day.  There is nobody I can call, nobody I can talk to, nothing...

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...