As Sick As My Secrets, Loving Kindness and Homecoming (1/2)

content warning: sex work, rape, weapons I wake to the soft sound of horns; the London Philharmonic plays the theme from Chariots of Fire from my phone.  It's 5:30 Saturday morning.  I'm tired, I'm alone, and I'm sad.  I lay still for a moment, a hand to my heart and a hand to my belly--trying … Continue reading As Sick As My Secrets, Loving Kindness and Homecoming (1/2)

Hill Repeats, Friendship and the Pain of Parting

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

Love Rushes In/A Victory Lap (1/2)

I toss and turn amid nightmares about the race, my abuser, my dead cat and Kevin.  I wake in an unfamiliar bed well before dawn knowing that I'm not falling back asleep and that today I run the 123rd Boston Marathon.  I smile in the darkness.  When I step outside it is pouring rain. An … Continue reading Love Rushes In/A Victory Lap (1/2)

Where Love Comes From and Who Will Be There At The Finish Line

Trow is out of town. It’s taken some time to get out of the house for my run; I had nightmares about Kevin and my abuser and being lost on the subway in New York, trying to get home with no home to go to. I woke up panicking and soaked in sweat and then … Continue reading Where Love Comes From and Who Will Be There At The Finish Line

A Changing Mien, Conflicting Emotions and Flashbacks

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

Fifteen Miles and Being Reminded Of My Strength

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

Hill Repeats and a Big Damned Bucket of Grief

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

Outrunning Memories and the Color of New Beginnings

  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

Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

During another shit day I'm barely surviving I remember how if I'm running Boston I'd better figure out how to get myself there.  It's been months of slow, disappointing training runs after I seemed to be doing so well.  I remember squealing jubilantly in the morning as I got my confirmation from BAA that my … Continue reading Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

A Remarkable Day; Long Run and Flip Turns

It's Saturday morning.  I've turned my alarm off because I'm sad and tired and don't care.  I lie in bed and note that it's raining--hard--and think how maybe I've slept enough to actually do sort of a long run.  I go open the shades and scowl at the rain pouring down.  I think about runners … Continue reading A Remarkable Day; Long Run and Flip Turns

Training Failure and Small Comforts

I'd be pissed that it's Thanksgiving morning, but I'm too tired and and defeated to be pissed.  I'm foregoing one of my most beloved and gratifying personal traditions this year because I'm simply too depressed and exhausted; I can't.  I'm really sad about it and I've gotten another night of terrible, fragmented sleep so basically … Continue reading Training Failure and Small Comforts

The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (2/2)

(...continued) content warning: suicidal ideation I love Kevin*.  I think he is a miracle, but he is treating me like I don't matter and our relationship isn't worth the effort--and I am letting him.  I kneel on the floor and re-read our text exchange from yesterday for maybe the thousandth time.  I begin to type … Continue reading The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (2/2)

Sprinting, Self-Care and the Myth of Mara

We talked on Friday and didn’t begin speaking for a long time. As he held me in his arms, as I took in his heartbeat and the scent of his skin and my own sense of homecoming, I let go of so many words I’d thought of to say. I finally offered simply, “I was … Continue reading Sprinting, Self-Care and the Myth of Mara

Deflated Determination and the Edge of a Panic Attack

I wake up in the middle of the night, anxious again.  Remnants of nightmares swirl through my head--something about my abuser and something about my boyfriend.  Sleeping on a park bench. I don’t remember. My brain starts in on pointless one-sided conversations.  I turn onto my side and try to calm down--I'm not breathing right … Continue reading Deflated Determination and the Edge of a Panic Attack

DUSA Progression Run as Emotional Support

Exhausted, frightened and overwhelmed, I walk up to Christian's door lugging a bag of groceries, a plant, and the suitcase I'm still living out of.  I open the door with my key and he looks surprised to see me; after not sleeping last night I guess I forgot to tell him.  I explain that we … Continue reading DUSA Progression Run as Emotional Support

Sunrise With Steadiness and the Promise of Flight

I sleep fitfully on the cot at my friend's house.  I dream that I am lying in bed with Kevin*, relaxed, my hand on his chest.  Except rather than his solid, muscular body I'm feeling the thin frame of my abuser.  Somehow I wake up annoyed--but unusually unruffled.  I roll my eyes.  Not today, motherfucker. … Continue reading Sunrise With Steadiness and the Promise of Flight

Healing and Unconditional Positive Regard

On Saturday morning I wake from disturbing dreams: of my abuser coming after me--and of my cat purring in my arms while I rub my face against her silky neck and say to my friend "I know she's died, but she feels real."  Of course, Kira did die and I'm awake only a few moments … Continue reading Healing and Unconditional Positive Regard

A Brutal Catharsis, and the Victory of Whipping Cream

I take a deep breath and direct myself onto highway 40 going West.  I carefully manage the space cushion around me the whole drive, except for once when a big Jeep speeds up too close behind me.  I begin to hyperventilate, my heart racing, and as it pulls into the next lane I see spots. … Continue reading A Brutal Catharsis, and the Victory of Whipping Cream