Morning Light and Life With Imperfections

I wake with a start to the soft sound of trumpets; my phone plays training montage music from the Rocky soundtrack.  I smile a little in the darkness, groggily throw off the covers and cross the room to silence my alarm.  I pull the curtains from my window and blink at the early dawn light … Continue reading Morning Light and Life With Imperfections

The Price of Other People’s Secrets; Trans Pride and Trauma

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

A New Name: Rising Up and Moving Forward

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

Music and Fear; When The Earth Stands Still

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

The Allure and Danger of Following; Finally, I Danced

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

Oranges and Brief Tender Moments of Shared Humanity

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

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

Emotional Triage and My Own Emerging Wisdom

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

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 (2/3)

(...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)

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

Fear and Attachment, Signaling a Lane Change

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

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?