Vulnerability, Boundaries and My Totally Rational Fear of Men

There was a little nagging feeling when I first met him.  I wasn't sure quite what it meant, except yes I was.  It was the sense of a man who wants something I don't want to give him.  It was the feeling given off by the man who raped me in New York.  It was … Continue reading Vulnerability, Boundaries and My Totally Rational Fear of Men

Holiday Flashbacks and Panic Attacks

I come home from class in Raleigh.  I'm tired, and when I walk in the door there is my spouse holding my bathrobe. "Put this on."  It isn't a request.  I ask what's happening. Apparently I am being recruited into one of his childhood Christmas memories, no matter that we haven't discussed it or that … Continue reading Holiday Flashbacks and Panic Attacks

1000m Repeats and Accepting Responsibility

I'm at the track again after another night of crap sleep; for the last month or so I wake myself repeatedly choking in my sleep.  As I warm up, I worry.  I'm gonna have to keep it together for 1000m repeats and I'm not feeling confident at all.  I'm exhausted.  I'm sad.  My grief over … Continue reading 1000m Repeats and Accepting Responsibility

The Searing Pain Of Failure; Interpersonal Dysfunction and Burpees

When I ran Spartan Race World Championships in 2017, it was vicious.  The altitude, the double ascent course and the sheer insanity of the amply amped-up obstacles for the occasion all contributed to the very worst performance of any race I've ever run.  Lately I keep thinking of this one moment during the race. The … Continue reading The Searing Pain Of Failure; Interpersonal Dysfunction and Burpees

First Snowfall Flashbacks and the Warmth of Belonging

I wake in the early morning and see it right away; a heavy dusting of snow outside through the small window where I didn't draw the shade.  I shrink as though seeing a ghost, my heart pounds.  My breath catches and I am afraid.  I cover my head with a pillow and pull my weighted … Continue reading First Snowfall Flashbacks and the Warmth of Belonging

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

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

A Healing Relationship: Music and Community (3/3)

Reverend Brett greets the congregation and we do it all again.  This time the order of service changes slightly and the last thing that happens is LeLaina singing. "Courage is not being hard. It's time to peel back all of the layers You put between who you're meant to be And who you are And … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: Music and Community (3/3)

A Healing Relationship: Music and Community (1/3)

content warning: suicidal ideation I arrive at ERUUF early for my final pre-membership classes.  The sky is dull and gray like my mood.  Inside the door is a stand of name tags; my eyes immediately find Kevin's name.  My lips press tightly together and I stop breathing.  Holy shit, I miss him.  I stand there … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: Music and Community (1/3)

A Healing Relationship: An Apology From My Therapist

content warning: suicidal ideation, self-harm I hear the voice of my therapist saying, "Can you honor your anger?  You've described a man who gave every indication of skillfulness and emotional maturity.  You've also described some really hurtful behavior.  Have you seen that skillfulness and emotional maturity from him when it really counts?" Get angry, I … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: An Apology From My Therapist

A Healing Relationship: Bodywork as Resuscitation

content warning: suicidal ideation I am getting a massage.  My bank account balance is so low I've transferred money out of savings for this because my body feels horribly dysregulated and I can't fix it myself.  All the post-concussive symptoms are back in full force--the nausea and dizziness, the light sensitivity, the eye strain and … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: Bodywork as Resuscitation

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

The Comfort of Home and the Fundamental Truth Of Love

Before he stopped responding to me, I had one last good phone conversation with Kevin*.  We talked about my housing situation.  I have been without a permanent home ever since leaving my abuser--it's coming up on two years.  My mailing address is with one friend, most of my things are in storage, and what I … Continue reading The Comfort of Home and the Fundamental Truth Of Love

Training Failure and Small Comforts

I'd be pissed that it's Thanksgiving morning, but I'm too tired and and defeated to be pissed.  I'm foregoing one of my most beloved and gratifying personal traditions this year because I'm simply too depressed and exhausted; I can't.  I'm really sad about it and I've gotten another night of terrible, fragmented sleep so basically … Continue reading Training Failure and Small Comforts

The Decidedly-Not-A-Miracle Power Of Therapy

content warning: suicidal ideation I sit with my therapist and tell her how I came to end what felt like the healthiest relationship of my life in a way that was so out of character.  I tell her about the paralyzing grief and anxiety, the confusion, my inability to focus on anything else.  She digs … Continue reading The Decidedly-Not-A-Miracle Power Of Therapy

Reverence For the Innate Perfection of All People

I prepare to teach class the day before Thanksgiving after more nightmares and very little sleep.  I'm so tired and anguished I can barely think straight, the drive to the studio is brutal, and I go to the door full with dread and precariously low on self-confidence.  There are out of town guests and students … Continue reading Reverence For the Innate Perfection of All People

Disappointing Pharmaceuticals, Nightmares and Another Missed Run

I send a volley of emails back and forth with the concussion specialist that amounts to; "I can't do this anymore.  Please prescribe all the drugs, I am desperate."  He doubles the Prozosin that's supposed to help with the nightmares.  I take my new dose--and Advil for the headache I have most of the time … Continue reading Disappointing Pharmaceuticals, Nightmares and Another Missed Run

Psych Meds, Sleeplessness and Existential Dread

It's Saturday night and I am alone.  All I can think of is how much I miss him.  I don't feel well.  I do the only thing that will keep my attention; I write for hours.  Finally I've filled some ten plus pages of paper and it's just late enough for sleep and I want … Continue reading Psych Meds, Sleeplessness and Existential Dread

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)

Accidental Exposure Therapy and Breakthrough Moments

A few days after I rediscover my handstand, Kevin* sits working with his morning coffee at the kitchen table while I meet the morning sunshine with Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations).  I feel safe and confident. Later I drive to a meeting with other healers.  These women are kindred spirits.  Nobody in this room talks credentials … Continue reading Accidental Exposure Therapy and Breakthrough Moments