Learning New Ways

I need to write about my codependency. My addiction to people, the drug of love. The hunger and the desperation of the attachment issues, the overbearing and over-caring. The deleterious cords. The lassos and ropes and handcuffs of love. The total eclipse relationships used to be. You were the sun or hidden by it. Diving in to drown in the ocean of other people’s feelings.

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Valley Haggard Comment
Wounded Healer

I had my astrological chart read this week by a spiritual guide I met in Mexico. He said that one of the major archetypes in my chart is that of the Wounded Healer. This rang true. The experiences I’ve had with addiction, chronic pain, miscarriage, and loss are some of the most precious gifts I have to bring to the table.

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Valley HaggardComment
North Star

When I was in college I met a girl I would come to call my North Star. Jenne was beautiful, practical, and adventurous. She was not busy becoming an active alcoholic or desperately trying to win the affection and approval of a boy who did not love her. She shopped for her own groceries, designed her own courses, and had internships in the city. She hitchhiked across South America, wrangled horses, and made costumes for plays. I felt like the night to her day, the sobbing dark sister to her independent sunny self. I didn’t understand what she saw in me, why she believed in me so fiercely. My WWJD bracelet would have stood for What Would Jenne Do ? I asked myself that often.

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Valley HaggardComment
Back in the Kayak

In the midst of a busy year and the aftermath of a move, my Mother-in-Law gifted us with the luxury of vacation…a week in a beautiful rental home on Lake Gaston straddling the line between North Carolina and Virginia. Given the choice, I probably would've stayed home and continued to set up our new house with all the grace of a rabid dog. Luckily, however, we’d committed to vacation before I lost my mind.

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Valley HaggardComment
44

43 was one hell of a year. My mother’s cancer returned, my stepmother died, and I put my dad in memory care. We cleaned out and said goodbye to three houses: Meadow Farm Road, Roslyn Hills Drive, and Hillside Avenue. I celebrated 20 years of sobriety, left the country for the first time in two decades, and moved out of my childhood home. I have grieved and loved ferociously. I have been held up, fed, and supported by a network of friends, family, and community I am unreasonably lucky to be a part of.

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Valley HaggardComment
Easy

It's easy to be spiritual when you're in the middle of a three day Shamanic Reiki workshop eating deliciously prepared gourmet organic sweet potato kale souffle. Try being spiritual on the third hour of a customer service call to maintenance your HP printer.

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Valley HaggardComment
Give and Take

Two weeks ago today we moved into our new home. Since then I have taught a week of Richmond Young Writers’ summer camp, facilitated three days of Fire and Water adult summer camp and attended a three day intensive that culminated in one beautiful Shamanic Reiki Healing Master Practitioner certificate. I've gotten a cold, a charlie horse, a glass splinter, and a membership to Costco. I've interacted with the hunks from College Hunks Moving and Junk, brilliant teenagers, brave and intrepid writers, beloved friends, family members, shamans, ancestors, and spirit guides.

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Valley HaggardComment
The Privilege of Growing Up

This morning my only child left for his last day of middle school. We’re moving out of my childhood home in exactly one week. In the past few days I’ve gathered paperwork from every corner of the earth to probate my stepmother’s will. I've spoken at length with Henrico County court clerks, wrested the IRS website, scheduled a date with a mover, made an appointment at the Dodge dealership, changed my primary care physician at my insurance company, gotten an ankle brace and an anti-inflammatory. I’ve made my dad a fake copy of his own wallet, fielded calls about his recent falls, and consulted with his therapist.

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Valley HaggardComment
Death of the Fantasy

Early this morning my husband thanked me for loving him. I can't even help it, I said and then wondered if that was true. I have loved him in so many different ways over so many different phases, Our marriage turned 18 years old on Sunday. We truly have grown up together. We were babies marrying babies: 25 and 29.

Do you think it will last? my stepmother asked my mother on our wedding day, who rightly said, we'll see.

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SOLD

I’m happy we’re moving because moving will make me a new and improved person. Moving will change everything. I know they say wherever you go, there you are, it's an inside job, you take your problems with you blah blah blah but that is THEM.

* I * will be different.

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