I have nightmares that I'm with my abuser again. I know that I'm not safe. I want out. I can't find my wedding ring. I wail over my sick cat, begging her not to die. I hold her to me, her fur soft against my face. I feel the familiar contour of her little head … Continue reading My Abuser’s Birthday; Accepting That I Am Changed Forever
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
It is Saturday night and I'm attending to my new-old treasure; my wooden dresser stands at the foot of the bed. I kneel in the hallway with a stack of dresser drawers. The friend I am living with now took me to retrieve it and I am unreasonably excited to have a piece of my … Continue reading Sunshine and Self-Worth; Am I Welcome Any Time?
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
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 up Christmas morning with new snow on the ground. Disgusted, I immediately gather my running things to head off the PTSD. When I walk out the door there's more snow fluttering down, so I start my Garmin and get to work. It is the first day of my plan for Boston and … Continue reading Outrunning Memories and the Color of New Beginnings
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
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
The week of the Kavanaugh hearings I have flashbacks. I'm lying on my yoga mat in my boyfriend's bedroom while he works downstairs. I'm driving as I catch sight of my abuser strolling toward me near the courthouse. Bile rises in my throat, my knuckles turn white, and my heart is pounding so loudly it … Continue reading Bad Memories and The Power Of Secure Attachment
It’s my abuser’s birthday and I am pissed. I’m pissed that I married a manipulative, lying shitbag who ruined my life. I’m pissed that I’m still struggling with the many, varied and terrible repercussions of living with and loving a person who figured my worth lay in propping up his fragile self-esteem. I’m pissed at … Continue reading My Abuser’s Birthday: Camping and Existential Dread
Ray hands me my computer, some papers. I take my pillow from the bed and we try to move to the next room. He's too close as I try to pass. "You need to step away from me," I bark out in a strained voice. I shouldn't have told him...
I told my husband our marriage was over last night. I lope back toward the house, and daffodils line the roadside. It is the first time I've seen them. The daffodils mean...