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

Healing In Community: I Am Safe Here

It's my last morning at Danielle's house.  I wake, meditate and go for one last run along the Eno River, slower than I'd like.  I do pull-ups in the master bedroom. I feel heavy and weak and irritable, but I am determined and I get them done.  Pixie the cat paces around me while I … Continue reading Healing In Community: I Am Safe Here

I Honor the Light Within Me; I Am Unstoppable

I’m driving home from a long day. The road is busy and my body is stiff with fear. Still, there’s something different in my countenance. I’m afraid, but full of determination. I turn over some of the words that have been spoken to me this week—the validation, the affirmation, the support and the love. I … Continue reading I Honor the Light Within Me; I Am Unstoppable

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

Friendship and Nature: A Beautiful Morning

Maddie arrives well after nightfall--after work and grocery shopping and the long drive to spend a night in the woods with me.  Maddie, my old favorite sparring partner from Muay Thai, is full of adventure and hope. She's stood by me, though I know she doesn't always understand and I'm afraid of asking too much … Continue reading Friendship and Nature: A Beautiful Morning

On Suicide, Shame, and Small Acts of Courage

I am staying at a friend's house while she's away.  It is a beautiful, spacious place.  It is quiet.  I love it here.  But after I drop off another friend who can't keep me company all day, I am indescribably miserable. It hits me the moment he's out of the car and I wail all … Continue reading On Suicide, Shame, and Small Acts of Courage

Five Minutes

I hit the trail as the sun is setting; with the entire wood seemingly to myself, I push my toes aggressively into the dirt as I walk.  I do not limp.  I pick up pace.  I feel the toes of my right foot a little tighter, a little weaker, but they comply.  The remaining sunlight...

A Wounded Healer

I struggle with deep shame over my mental illness.  Though I'm very clear it is not my fault, though I know that this is a response common to trauma survivors--the shame is very real, very persistent, and very convincing.  It tells me that I am too powerless, too broken, that I will never recover or experience healthy love.  I am so afraid that these things are true, I'm tempted to stay silent in...