The flag fluttering against the June sky unexpectedly takes my breath away, its stripes of white and pink and baby blue at once a promise of liberation and a trauma trigger. I feel brief shame that a symbol of hope for people who very much need and deserve hope has provoked me. I remind myself … Continue reading The Price of Other People’s Secrets; Trans Pride and Trauma
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 don't want to go to the first rehearsal after therapy; I'm exhausted. Still, I said I would sing with the small ensemble. I go to rehearsal. The 11 of us sit at the front of the sanctuary. He talks us through the section divisions in the music, which we flip through until the end. … Continue reading Music and Fear; When The Earth Stands Still
I’ve barely danced since my wedding. When my spouse came back from deployment I found this salsa night I really wanted to go to. I asked over and over again, couldn't we go salsa dancing? He never would--though he'd later leave while I was sleeping to dance at Legends. I don't care so much about … Continue reading The Allure and Danger of Following; Finally, I Danced
I fled from my home unplanned late one night because I was afraid, and in those early days I had to get used to a lot more driving than I'd been doing. I kept a bag of groceries in my car. I had lost my home in an instant, along with my sense of safety … Continue reading Oranges and Brief Tender Moments of Shared Humanity
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
I am on the phone with a local radio host for an interview about yoga and wellness for entrepreneurs. She tells me she always prays before the show to center herself, so I am silent as she thanks the almighty for the opportunity to help people, humbly asking that others be moved toward healing. Finally … Continue reading Emotional Triage and My Own Emerging Wisdom
(...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)
(...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)
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
I remember vividly how it felt after my car accident when I was finally cleared to drive. I got in my new car, turned the key in the ignition, and shook violently with fear. There was no choice but to drive on busy roadways. I was terrified, but drove myself to my friend's house. Since … Continue reading Fear and Attachment, Signaling a Lane Change
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?
What is it, then, that makes me hyper-vigilant with a hug from Scott or a smile from the guy in the grocery store? What makes me shudder when I get a stray...