Sunday, June 06, 2010

Thank You All

For most of my life, abuse has been at the core of who I am. First with the abuse itself, finding a way to get away from it, living with the effects, trying to sort out the past and let it go, being determined to make what happened matter, etc.

When I started this blog, I was at the stage of being determined to make what happened matter. I was going to post things that helped me in hopes that they would help others. There was a time when I was determined to get a book published about all of this, too. But....

Over the past few months I've felt less and less the need to post. I've felt as if, too, maybe my posts are not after all the profound wisdom I once hoped they would be. More important, I've felt less and less that the abuse is central to my life. I go days and weeks without thinking about it.

I am profoundly grateful for everyone who has ever read any of my posts. I am profoundly grateful for all the posts by others that I've read. I am profoundly grateful for everyone who has helped me along my healing journey. And I am profoundly sorry for harm or pain I've ever caused to anyone—through what I've ever said or done.

I've learned a great deal:

I've learned that I matter and that I like who I am.
I've learned to trust my own instincts.
I've learned that I really do know what's best for me.
I've learned how much connection to others matters.
I've learned to trust when I once would have thought that was impossible.
I've learned to live my life with joy and hope.
I've learned that it's okay to be happy.
I've learned to play—and how important that is.
I've learned to both value who I am and what I have to offer—and to humbly realize how wise others might be and to always expect they may have something to teach me.
I've learned to cherish the friendships I've made.
I've learned to honor boundaries.
I've learned how to set boundaries.
I've learned it's okay to make mistakes.
I've learned how to acknowledge my mistakes and the need to make things better if I can.
I've learned to see the best in others and to honor who they can be.
I've learned to have compassion for myself.
I've learned to count my blessings—often even when it's little things like a breeze or someone's smile.
I've learned to know who I am and to love that person just as I am as well as strive always to grow.

I couldn't have written all these things ten years ago or five or even a year ago. Not the way I write them now. I hope that gives hope to anyone struggling and wondering if things can ever get better.

I have been so blessed to have all of you part of my life—even if only through the internet. I am so blessed for the “real world” people who have been part of my life as well.

I won't be taking down my blog. I'll leave it here for anyone who might stumble across it and find comfort in anything I've ever posted. There's a part of me that says it's possible too that some day I'll change my mind and come back and post.

I didn't, however, want to just disappear. I owe all of you better that. So I came to write this final post. I hope you will celebrate with me this new stage of my life. I hope you can sense my joy that I am where I am. Know that you are all in my heart and prayers.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whoa! I hadn't realized how long it had been since I last posted. Chalk it up to my daughter coming to visit and working on details for a new online writing class.

My daughter's visit was wonderful. She glowed as she dressed up to go out with the girls in a way she never had when she would go out to try to meet guys. She was happy in a way I can't remember seeing her in years. She spent a lot of time with friends as well as with me and I'm glad because the more reasons she has to visit here the better. I'm filled with pride when I look at her and think of the wonderful, compassionate, intelligent person she has become and the work she is doing that may help change medicine.

I have also been feeling a sense of change in myself. Odd dreams of needing to escape people who I thought were already out of my life. Apparently I'm still giving them emotional--if not physical--space in my life and need to look at how to let go more completely. I need to find a way to both bless and release them and move forward in new directions. And I want to reclaim, I think, more of my genuine self--not the person I think I'm supposed to be but rather who I really am.

As part of that, rather than doing long term coaching of fellow writers, I'm discovering that I seem to have a talent for helping writers find--in one session--the process and/or qualities to the material that will work best for them.

I find myself thinking, too, how often people lay down dictums and say that to follow those dictums makes one superior and I'm realizing how often it's a way of staving off fear. The more people who do whatever it is, the easier it is to believe that it will convey some kind of protection and/or act as proof of the person's value or rightness. I'm choosing to let go of some of the dictums I grew up with or heard from others over the years.'s been a time of reflection and I realize one of my patterns is that in times of reflection I draw inward. Not because anything is wrong but because it gives me a chance to process and make choices without being influenced by others. Too much of my life, you see, I trusted everyone's opinions more than my own and I don't want that to be the case any more.

Hope that all of you have been having productive and/or happy weeks since I last posted and had a chance to visit blogs.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thought Patterns

For much of my life I expected things to go wrong. It seems like I was afraid of everything. These days, I feel much different. Well, you knew that from my "identity"--April Optimist. I had a reminder of how important it is that we learn to choose how we look at situations.

Right before I left for the east coast, I posted about frustration with my ex-husband and his relationship with my daughter. I refocused and asked myself what good could come out of it and spoke to both. Upshot? He made time for her and they talked about some very important things and she again has faith her father loves and accepts her. They have talked in ways they never did before.

While I was on my trip, my laptop screen went dead. My first reaction? How terrible! How unfair! I mean, the thing is only around 2 years old! Then I refocused. Realized how lucky I was. It happened while I was staying with friends who had an external monitor I could use. It turned out my laptop is still under warranty--for a couple more weeks. It turned out I'd gotten on site service so they came to my house--when I got back home--to fix the laptop. I wasn't, at the moment, teaching an online class. In other words, I am very, very lucky.

The thing is, I could have put my energy and emotions into anger and frustration in both cases. I could have seen myself as cursed. Instead, good things came out of both situations. Definitely a reminder to let myself believe things can go well for me, things can turn out okay, I can be lucky.

It isn't always easy to stop and ask myself that key question: What good is there or could there be about this situation? Sometimes that's the last thing I feel like asking. But these two things were a powerful reminder of why that IS what I want to do.

Here's hoping you're able to see good--or the potential for good--in the challenges in your life, too. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),

PS I am soooo way behind on things between the trip and needing to get my laptop fixed. I'm going to try to visit blogs in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


As I pack to leave for the east coast, I am so frustrated I want to scream.

My daughter called. Her dad--my ex-husband--is going to be in her town, on campus at the university where she goes to graduate school, for close to a week and HE IS NOT SURE HE CAN FIND TIME TO SEE HER!!!

She is beyond hurt and I find myself wondering yet again if he has some form of autism that he just doesn't get it. Understand--he is not angry with her, does not disapprove of her in any way, he just doesn't see the need to get together with her.

I can urge her to tell him how she feels and hope this will start a dialogue. I did email him suggesting he spend time with her out there--that I think it would be good for both of them and that even though she's grown up she needs to know he loves her and that she's important to her. But....ultimately he will make the choices he makes and she will feel what she feels.

And I need to get back to packing....

Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs)))))),

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well, I'm heading back east again soon to see my son. And to stay with friends for the last time before they move to a whole new part of the country. (He lost his job, they have no savings, etc.) So it's going to be a bittersweet visit. No doubt I'll run into my ex-husband as well.

The first thing I want to say is a plea to everyone to find some way to save money. Savings give you options you wouldn't otherwise have. And I know it's hard! It's even harder to have to walk away from a home you've loved for over 20 years because you suddenly lose your job and can't pay the mortgage and have zero money in the bank as back up until can you find a new job. My friends made the choices with their money that they emotionally needed to make at the time, but now it leaves them with very few options and my heart hurts for them.

Oddly enough I'm more comfortable at the thought of seeing my ex again than I have been in previous visits—a direct result of setting those boundaries with him last month. I know that I can wish him well without being drawn back into chaos. I can speak from strength not fear.

Seeing my son is always bittersweet. I've made choices that were best for him—given the full sum of the situations. And yet there are always regrets that things worked out as they did. Still, I know he's safe, I know he's finally having boundaries set that will help him grow, I know he's learning to be more independent in his group home. And when I ask—because I always do, in various oblique ways—his main complaint is that he must follow rules and I know in my heart that's a good thing. So I encourage him to explore this new phase of his life and encourage him to find new ways to grow and know that I love him.

The unabashedly joyful news is that my daughter is choosing to come see me on her spring break and that we have a closeness now, a mutual respect, that was lacking for so long. It is wonderful to see the young woman she has become and to be able to share time with her. And that visit will be on the other side of my visit to see my son. March is going to be quite a month!

Here's hoping all of you have reasons to look forward to March as well. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),

Sunday, February 07, 2010


It is an interesting thing setting boundaries—especially with someone who doesn't like them.

I realized, after my last post, that I was getting flashbacks not only to the sense of helplessness and inadequacy I so often felt when I was married, but that those emotions were actually echoes of what I felt as a child. I realized that was the origin of the fear of setting boundaries with my ex. Interacting with him was taking me back to my married days and even worse, to my childhood sense of helplessness and inability to handle life but NONE OF THAT IS WHO I AM NOW.

Once I realized that, I could set aside the emotions, reminding myself that as a small child I WAS helpless and couldn't have managed on my own. Went through my list of reasons to believe in myself NOW. Asked myself what the disagreement with my ex was really about—and realized it was about boundaries. So that's how I handled the discussion with him.

I simply set the boundaries that mattered to me—knowing full well the consequences and accepting them because the alternative would be worse.

And so I took back part of myself. I moved from emotional flashback to the calm, competent adult I am. Without having to attack my ex to do so. I could be me, holding onto the values I have about how to treat others and at the same time not allow myself to get caught up in his plans

The victory isn't just in handling the situation as I did, it's in realizing how rarely I feel this way—so thrown by things—these days. It was another step forward in my life getting better and better. And for the future, I have another set of tools for handling anything that might come up.

Here's hoping you are moving forward and claiming your power, too.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why Quiet So Long

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. My ex has come up with a plan for our Wills. Never mind that we're divorced and have been for several years. What is interesting to me is how this has brought up old feelings, old hopes and dreams, old...griefs....and of course old fears for me to process.

I look at it as a blessing—a chance to recognize and let go of old beliefs and hopes that no longer apply or serve me well. It is a chance to see myself in a new way. It is a chance to let go of fears that are not valid—if they ever were. It is a chance to grow.

I have not only been looking back but looking forward as well. How do I respond in love and still set the boundaries I choose to set? How do I embrace who I am and what I want—even if it is not what someone else might choose? How do I look beyond what I hope for to see what is—and choose what is real over what my emotions want to believe?

As I said—it has been and is a chance to grow.

I wish my ex well. I hope he is happy. At the same time, I do not want to get sucked into chaos and convoluted schemes. I want to move forward in my own life and embrace the happiness that is my reality NOW.

I am taking my time processing all of this. I want to be sure I speak and act from my highest self—rather than the (sometimes) scared inner child. I want to be sure I am true to the person I want to be—all of who I want to be. That means someone who stands up for herself, sets boundaries, chooses wisely and speaks from a place of love even when saying things the other person does not want to hear. I choose to be someone who believes in herself. I choose to be someone who has faith in her ability to find solutions and evolve as life changes around me.

At any rate, that's why I've been so quiet the past couple of weeks. I've been sorting out emotions and thoughts and making choices.

I hope that you are finding ways to sidestep your fears and grow and make choices that support the person YOU choose to be.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),