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Saturday, September 11, 2010


I suppose most things happen this way. I began my tiny personal crusade, expecting to find answers and peace within three weeks. I assumed I'd meet people along the way who would enter and exit, enriching my life and gratefully leaving it. I thought I might have to work a little bit. Gravely overestimating my superhuman abilities seems to come naturally to me.

I feel as though I have ridden a tidal wave, and not very well. The times when I've been immersed have far outnumbered the ones where I rode the crest and coasted neatly into shore.

I realized last week, though, that the bad days are fewer now than the good ones. It's been more than two years since I could honestly say that. And when the distress comes, it rarely taints an entire day, almost always comes in the afternoons and evenings when I'm tired and less able to manage it successfully--and often when I've spent lots of time alone.

The contrast, naturally, when I'm used to feeling happy most of the time, is a bit difficult to deal with, but then I notice even the emotionally trying times are now less overwhelming than they were even two months ago. And often there are moments of peace and well-being. It's been a very long time since I have felt that.

The past month hasn't been without it's bumps and bruises, but I think I've weathered them well.

Am I stronger?

No doubt, I am. I'm also wiser in ways I wish that I was not, and more realistic about who I am and who I may become. I can never again say I was not raped. I can never again excuse the abuse which triggers PTSD now. No matter how much I wish it was not so, I am the little girl I ran from for many, many years. But I'm not afraid of introducing her to people anymore--if they cannot accept and love all of me, that's okay. It's scary to open one's eyes and see what is real.

For a long time I insisted I needed no one. The truth was that I needed many people. I needed Darrin to stand beside me no matter what happened in our lives, and no matter what I had to go through. I needed friends to talk and laugh with me and hold me when I was afraid or sad or lonely. I needed stalwart sons and a daughter who still look up to me and treat me with respect and who look to me for guidance and advice. I needed Therapist.

And now...I will say I need people, but probably I need them less now than I ever have, because I know how to live, and work through problems, and comfort myself. I enjoy my own company, and have no more inner demons to run from. So perhaps, a more honest statement is that I want people. I don't believe I've said that before.

I have gracelessly floundered through experiences which tested my heart and hurt my soul--and I'm still here. Probably I won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Some things have changed drastically and some things never will. My children will continue to grow up and I'll continue to grow old. And every spring I'll be meeting the butterflies and gasping at the beauty of wildflowers as I run on the ridge behind my home. Each summer I'll dodge grasshoppers and listen to dry grass crunch beneath my feet in that same place. In the winter I'll put mile after mile on my steadfast treadmill. And in the moments in-between, I'll cherish each sunrise and sunset, laugh with joy at every thunderstorm, and get lost in the incredibly blue cloudless skies.

There are some things about me that were in place before harm ever came to me...that are with me still...some things no one can ever take away.

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