Gardening was solace and joy, hope and inspiration, nourishment, connection and peace. Spring's bare beds were full of possibility. I grinned with delight putting seeds in the ground, chattered with excitement in the garden store selecting plants with Christian. I lit up as the first tiny seedlings emerged new from the earth each year--and each … Continue reading Growing From Cracked Cement: Zinnias and Resilience
I figured I'd struggle to hold it together when I had to say goodbye to Trow. My training partner, a fighter pilot, deployed to Saudi Arabia shortly after I returned from Boston. I was still recovering and we went for one last run on a weekday morning. We met really early at the Carolina North … Continue reading Hill Repeats, Friendship and the Pain of Parting
content warning: domestic violence, weapons I’m charging down the American Tobacco Trail when the apprehension hits. My mind is swirling with the stories of women I’ve seen posted to social media as a rash of abortion bans has inflamed the nation. A procession of small children approaches on the trail. I move around them into the … Continue reading A Barrage of Flashbacks–and Pendulation
When I drove east on Holloway Street from Durham, the once familiar path had a detour. The very route that used to lead home seemed to remind me that isn’t the way anymore. Still, I followed the detour through modest neighborhoods on the outskirts of Durham, my car full of camping gear and groceries. As … Continue reading Full Circle, Nothing Left For Me Here Now
It's a sunny Wednesday morning in Durham and I'm teaching in the studio. A few of my students are friends who've made. a particular point to come and see me before I leave for the race. I've known almost everyone for years now, except for the one new person. I'm walking between mats when there's … Continue reading Grace Inside Chaos When The Ground Shakes
It won't make a difference, I thought--why bother to change my name back? It won't undo anything that has happened. It will be a massive, expensive pain in my ass. I thought about it--repeatedly. Once in a while I'd see my old last name on something and wish I could undo everything. But I can't … Continue reading A New Name: Rising Up and Moving Forward
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
I wake when the alarm goes off at 6 am. This time I don't struggle to get out of bed. It is Saturday and I have a training partner meeting me in an hour; the promise of a long run with companionship lets my morning grief recede. I prepare quietly, pulling on warm clothes and … Continue reading Fifteen Miles and Being Reminded Of My Strength
It's an unusual training session that includes marathon pace work and then five 400m hill repeats. Where the hell am I going to find a 400m hill? I decide to run the marathon pace work on Duke track; my amped up anxiety and troubled sleep lately have made for some disappointing runs. I need a … Continue reading Hill Repeats and a Big Damned Bucket of Grief
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
(...continued) content warning: suicidal ideation, graphic imagery I don't want this life; a life that's difficult and lonely. I don't want to keep on with my impotent love, struggling for something I can't have. I was so stupid and naive with my hope for this relationship and my own healing. I want to die. I … Continue reading Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (2/3)
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?
I deliberated over the prescription question with a few trusted friends. When I sat down with Marty, who is a nurse, we brainstormed about alternatives to psych drugs over brunch. I reminded her that I already meditate daily, that my anxiety is beyond what I can slow down with mindfulness practices an alarming amount of … Continue reading Remarkable New Friends, A Sleepover, And Cannabinoids
In the morning, I startle out of a dead sleep and feel immediate dread. I arm myself before leaving with a pair of scissors. He has guns, I have scissors. Still, I hold them inverted, poised like a dagger, livid as I...
My vision blurs again. I shake my head and push my toes into the pool floor. I'm getting disoriented. My breathing is shallow. I can feel my eyes wide and my lips trembling. My chest feels tight. When I look up...