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)
content warning: domestic violence, assault I write for a while, but then I begin to read and become absorbed in it. Hours pass, the light changes, I shift positions at the hearth--but I remain captivated and focused on Peter Levine's words. I haven't been able to focus like this since the end of October, when … Continue reading The Power of Fire and Somatic Experiencing
Reverend Brett greets the congregation and we do it all again. This time the order of service changes slightly and the last thing that happens is LeLaina singing. "Courage is not being hard. It's time to peel back all of the layers You put between who you're meant to be And who you are And … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: Music and Community (3/3)
content warning: suicidal ideation I am getting a massage. My bank account balance is so low I've transferred money out of savings for this because my body feels horribly dysregulated and I can't fix it myself. All the post-concussive symptoms are back in full force--the nausea and dizziness, the light sensitivity, the eye strain and … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: Bodywork as Resuscitation
It's Saturday night and I am alone. All I can think of is how much I miss him. I don't feel well. I do the only thing that will keep my attention; I write for hours. Finally I've filled some ten plus pages of paper and it's just late enough for sleep and I want … Continue reading Psych Meds, Sleeplessness and Existential Dread
(...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)
(...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)
It's Friday afternoon. I have one more class to teach and Kevin* said he'd call me. My head hurts, both eyes are twitching. I'm exhausted, anxious and nauseous, unable to think about anything else. I tried to look at some emails; I didn't care and my eyes twitched harder. I barely kept it together to … Continue reading Attachment Avoidance, Love, Death and Dignity (1/3)
It is Sunday morning, the day I was supposed to attend an event with Kevin*. We've been talking about it for over a month. We haven’t spoken in almost a week--a week of panic and grief, confusion and anger. A week of troubled sleep and half-eaten food that tastes like dirt. Christian is meeting me … Continue reading Sanctuary; Where Is My Safe Place to Fall?
My abuser used to joke about me being a shitty kisser. He'd needle me about how he put up with it on our first date. We met for coffee, which turned into hours of talking and then dinner. He wore a leather jacket and gave me his arm when we walked. He made sure to … Continue reading Sticks, Stones and Perspective on First Date Kisses
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've been invited to audit a workshop on boundary setting for entrepreneurs that involves equine assisted therapy. It sounds fascinating. Working with animals often helps trauma survivors like me--those of us with massive attachment trauma often feel safer with animals. Also I haven't seen a horse up close in a long time, so I drive … Continue reading Safari: A Quest for Love and Connection
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...
I ran my marathon in November--and my community helped me exceed my fundraising goal well ahead of schedule. It was really moving for me. The thing is, I wanted that to be the end of my lesson in asking for help and trusting the universe. Asking for that money was uncomfortable, and vulnerable--but initially, I couldn't even admit...
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...