The Cost of Living

This week I got a mammogram and wore the paper napkin of a gown they give you at the gynecologist. I spread my legs for rubber gloved hands and angled my breasts to be smashed in a machine. And this was a major highlight of my week. The doctors were compassionate and gentle and kind. I was proud of myself. This was self care. This was me doing the horrible responsible things adults are supposed to do. This is the cost of living.

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I have never been sexually assaulted.

I have never been sexually assaulted but I have decided to have sex with men I didn’t want to have sex with, men who disgusted me, men who were cruel. I have never been sexually assaulted but I have had sex with strangers, men whose names I’ve forgotten or never knew.

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HELP

In the last two weeks I have sobbed, hyperventilated and lost my fucking shit. I have felt like a toddler having a tantrum and a daughter transforming into a mother. I have cried everything out so I could go on again. I have asked for help and it has arrived like the cavalry.

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This Particular War

The first year we were married I had major surgery and Stan had to drain my “weep hole'“ when he changed my bandages. I helped him apply hemorrhoid ointment on our honeymoon. He wrecked his car the day we moved in together. His dad died the day before my birthday after we had been married three years. Our cat died on our second anniversary.

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HOME

In Reiki One, three weeks ago, I learned that the root chakra represents home. The root chakra is red and located between our legs at the base of our spines. It’s connected to our adrenals. I lost one of my adrenals 17 years ago, the year I got married and bought the house my parents divorced in, where my mother raised me.

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Soft Places

This has been one of those summers where so many things I thought could never possibly come together have come together. Where there have been swift reversals of fortune, sudden happy endings, beautiful new beginnings. Our falling apart house even got brand new siding. I think I saw a unicorn. At one point I found myself saying things are just so good I just don't know what to do. 

That's where I went wrong. I will never say something so dumb out loud again. Ever.

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Wilderness

I am at a writing retreat in the mountains.  I have notebooks- new and old. Pens- black and blue. Coffee and a spectacular view of the countryside overlooking a perfectly inviting wooden desk. There are three other writers here- dedicated, beautiful, serious writers providing the perfect backdrop and setting for creative explosion. Only there doesn't seem to be a single thing inside of me ready or willing to explode. 

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Suspended State of Disbelief

Those of us who've hit an emotional or physical bottom know the exact texture, smell and feel of  our faces, knees and tender bits scraping across the ground, sharp broken objects, course and scratchy sand. Those of us who have survived know the feeling of being lifted or dragged back through a surface where we could once again gasp for air. But who pulled us up? God? Physics? Ourselves? A lifeguard with a firm, strong hand?

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Worth

One of the reasons I love old photos so much is that they help me see me from outside of myself. Looking from the outside in instead of the inside out creates a natural distance between me and the insane voice in my head. For this same reason, I often ask my students to to try writing about themselves in the third person as a break from me, myself and I.

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Midlife Muscle Car

Last night I set out to buy a practical, dependable family car but came home with a red hot sexy muscle car instead. Whoops! As I sat signing a dead body's weight worth of paperwork I suddenly sat up straight in my chair. OH MY GOD WAIT A MINUTE AM I HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS?? 

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