Friday, July 27, 2018

There Is No Word For This

There is no word for this.

I have a recurring dream. Someone is chasing me. Sometimes I know who they are, and sometimes it's just a presence. I barricade myself in a room, I call 911, and cannot speak.

It is happening again.

I'm at war with my being, betrayed by my body.

Down for the count, with only the power of my mind to save me, and she's distraught and fatigued.

(there is no word for this).

There are Things that happen to those of us in bodies. Sometimes the plumbing gets stopped up, or the chi doesn't flow, or we do something to invoke shame.

If we're in man bodies, we have word for a broad range of dysfunction – emasculate. It could refer to any number of things, like the plumbing and chi, or the way we're treated by our partner or our boss or society. Castration on any level. Removing one's sexual force, one's gendered identity, one's power.

You get the idea, regardless of your gender. You feel the empathy or the victory. Pathos.

I think I feel this, in the way my body has betrayed me.

But I have no way to tell you.

There is no word for this.

I'm not fighting for a diagnosis – I don't need a pill or a listing in the DSM – but simply a way to convey to you the dream feeling of opening my mouth to report a very real terror, and having nothing to say.

I have so much to say.

For the partners of PTSD.

For the widow parents who have lost children.

For those who experience birth after death.

There is no word for this.

When the thing that is lost is not visible, unexplainable.


The First Step

The first step, as they say, is admitting that you are powerless, and that your life is unmanageable.

In my case, the powerlessness relates specifically to people, more specifically to men, and most specifically to romantic relationships (real or imagined) I have with men, and how I use them to PROVE the theory that I'm not good enough.

(to exist)

There's a thing they say, in the rooms of Al-anon, about how your role in not being treated like a rug, is perhaps not lying on the ground and allowing people to step on you?

In related news, I have removed the carpet from one stair. It took an hour, some prayer, and quite a bit of dexterity.

Bob Villa did not offer any support in this, nor did Jesus make an appearance.

Deep bows to The Man With The Staple Gun, circa 1981, whose diligence and dedication allowed me to burn three times the karma with all of the effort it took to remove each and every blessed one.

I have unending gratitude for Cynthia St. Aubin, who talked me through the simultaneous removal of the mental, emotional and spiritual carpet.

It's important, I think.

To get off the floor.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

There Goes the Neighborhood

I came to a realization today.

Or maybe it came to me?

That I love my home - my canyon - my view into the world. 

Sometimes I fantasize about living in a small home in Denver, near the yoga studio. Surrounded by young families and promise, and the occasional hideous outlier of new/modern construction.

(There goes the neighborhood)

I would like to be there - to be one of the young families, but none of the homes I’ve seen seems to include the husband and kids. Is it wrong to post in the online neighborhood community site that I’m ISO a kind, funny, wise-ish, handsome-ish widow?


(A vowel??)

Not wrong, but also not productive.

I also fantasize about housesitting for a year - bouncing from Bozeman to Newport with an occasional island trip to write books, just really enjoying my own company.

But the thing is, i know the sounds in my canyon. I know when the magpies and dogs get in on the game, that a bear is near. There are coyote pups here every year, howling their adorable baby yips to the moon. There were bobkittens before my life really hit the lows, and now there is a deer fawning underneath the neighbor’s deck.

The things I don’t love about my house are fixable. Expensive, maybe, complex and expansive in nature. Bob Villa remains unavailable, as he prefers the old charming homes with the new families, not the townhomes awkwardly leaping towards middle aged.

But next week the flooring people are coming, and the shaman, and A refinance is in order, and I’m going to try again with the roots and the owning it. Put effort into a place I’d like to love again.

This may not feel profound to you.

But remember: in your dreams, your house represents your life.



Friday, July 20, 2018


It was a year ago.

I was gratefully holed up in a friend's condo in Telluride, and awkwardly sharing a room with DJ. Two twin beds, and a chair "for Jesus" between us.

(Jesus did not make an appearance)

I was a pendulum swinging wildly between the terrors of my most recent dating adventures and the stalking, which felt mostly like a game of tag where the rules kept changing every six seconds and my body couldn't make sense of chasing or being chased.

And it happened in an instant, just like it happened today.

Someone else screamed for help, and we ran.


It isn't a question, or it shouldn't be. When someone screams for help, you run. You get help, or try to. You don't have to be the help, but perhaps you can summon help in some way. Tell an adult?

I ran towards, and DJ ran after me.

(maybe Jesus did, too?)

I listened to a podcast later today about the paralysis that falls over us when there are so many bystanders. We get all weird trying to decide who should get help and who should hold still. Who among us is a paramedic, and who has a working cell phone, and who else knows our precise location.

Zebras do not do this.

I'm thinking of this now as my twitter feed is becoming more and more ominous, more reminiscent of a hostage situation. Where do we go for help? Which adults do we tell? What kind of medic is trained to stop this kind of bleeding?

I've resorted to asking the abundance of empty chairs in my home what Jesus would do.

(no answers, so far)

Gaslighting isn't new to me. I survived that, and that was when it was mainly just me. Now it is the nation and the twitterverse who not only have no one to summon, but also don't know if it's actually this bad, or if they're crazy.

This is a hostage situation. Gaslighting disempowers and holds you hostage, and the way you fight against it is by remembering. By telling an adult. By not letting this become the new normal.