(Online) Dating as a Trauma Survivor

When you start to get paralyzed, I need you to write about it, my therapist told me during our session on Friday. I need you to write about it because that’s how you process what’s happening, and for too long, you haven’t processed. He’s right. I know he’s right, but writing scares me. Writing scares me because there’s this layer of uncomfortability that comes with each post. Each...

To the Graduates on the Eve of Graduation

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash Dear friends, you made it. And I wish I had words of advice for you, but I don't. Not really; there's a bunch of things I'm still trying to figure out for myself, about myself, about life and adulthood. But this I know: you made it. You made it, with friends by your side, family cheering you on, and laughter in your heart. With tears in your eyes,...

It’s not yours to carry

As I write this, I’m sitting in front of the altar in the sanctuary of my church—the church I attend and the church where I work. Twenty-four hours ago, I told a pastor and close friend that there are some days when I walk into this building I call home and feel like I can’t be here—shouldn’t be here. I’m too broken, too bruised, too shattered. But this is a sanctuary—a literal...

The girl in the brown pajamas

They take your phone away, lock it up with the rest of your belongings. You can't have them in the Psych ward. But they do have ginger ale and water; graham crackers and ice cream; visiting hours and showers. They also have a tv. But there's only so many times you can watch Chopped before you go crazy. The boredom is enough to make anybody go crazy. "...suicidal" it read on my admission form,...

living life palms up

finding the will to live amidst the trauma Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels The first thing I learned in therapy was to validate myself--validate the past versions of me that were hurt, validate the parts of myself that are hurting now; another thing I learned while completing the 'Emotional Regulation' section of DBT theory, designed to help manage the effects of Borderline...

Maybe home is more than just a place

Six months ago, I never thought I'd find myself here--in a room with white colored walls and a stippled ceiling, a place to call my own. "There's no place like home." Dorothy once said, as she tapped her ruby slippers Together one by one. "Home is where the heart is," They all say as if a heart can fill a place, take up Residence in a building full of feelings. Maybe home is more than just a...

How to survive a panic attack in three acts

Prologue:  On the bulletin board next to my desk is a handwritten checklist from my therapist: is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If no, let it go. .  .  . Act 1:  Hold an ice cube in your hand, squeeze it until all you can focus on is the pain shooting up your arm. Nobody found me there, sitting in the workroom, rocking back and forth. I was paralyzed by some unidentifiable fear, a...

I challenged her to write a post in which she doesn’t mention her past (stolen from my old blog)

I forgave myself today, kneeling at the altar. You can't move forward if you're angry at the past-- angry at yourself for things that are not your fault, for relapses you could've controlled if you had just. . . just . . . re  a   c  h  e   d   out, for relationships you purposefully sabotaged because you don't feel worth anything. Maybe forgiveness can't change the past, but maybe it...

Letter to a suicide note

I found you tonight, tucked away amongst books I haven't read in years but love too much to throw away. I'm getting ready to move, packing books in suitcases and clothes in boxes because I can't stay here forever. I can't stay here forever: trapped in the past--but I can't move forward until I move out, can't live until I leave the place where I tried to die. I found you tonight, and I'm not sure...

Part 2- I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

"Honey, you ain't been to a funeral until you've been to one with 3 ex-wives," is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd here in my life. But, here I was, in the trailer home of an 84-year-old woman who spoke "her damn mind." She was, of course, referring to her ex-husband number 2, who left her for one of her girlfriends they met in a Camping Club. "The girl didn't even like camping," she retorted,...