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 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...