A Healing Relationship: An Apology From My Therapist

content warning: suicidal ideation, self-harm I hear the voice of my therapist saying, "Can you honor your anger?  You've described a man who gave every indication of skillfulness and emotional maturity.  You've also described some really hurtful behavior.  Have you seen that skillfulness and emotional maturity from him when it really counts?" Get angry, I … Continue reading A Healing Relationship: An Apology From My Therapist

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

Repetition Compulsion and the Heart’s Quest for Home

Last year around this time I was at the tail end of a brief relationship with my old favorite training partner.  I wasn't even a year out from leaving my abuser, I hadn't been dating; I was terrified of male attention.  Scott and I had known each other for years.  We ran together all the … Continue reading Repetition Compulsion and the Heart’s Quest for Home

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)

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

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

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

Approaching peril, do I trust my feet?

As I prepare to leave in the semi-dark, my friend continues to sleep in the other room.  I strap on my running watch and consider whether to conceal my stun gun, just in case.  He doesn't even wake up this early, I remind myself.  He doesn't know where I'm staying now or which trail I'm … Continue reading Approaching peril, do I trust my feet?

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...

Face The Day

Running is like breathing to me--as natural, as simple, and as necessary.  Without it I often feel like I can't breathe--a great deal of my best coping happens as my feet beat a steady rhythm on the trails.  In the woods, I feel powerful and fast--that pushes back against the anxiety and fear. I've let out a lot of anguish in the shelter of the trees.  I've passed so much joyful time...