Bearing the mark

Lately a new marking has emerged with domestic violence victims whereby the victim, if still actively being abused and in danger, discreetly draws a black dot in their palm.   black dot campaignThe Black Dot Campaign has given victims hope without uttering a word, and has received mixed opinions because even something as small as a black speck could place a victim at risk if the abuser knows what it means.

I was thinking heavily about this campaign today, weighing its risks, and about the devastation of human trafficking victims being tattooed as property.

One of my close friends has a deep personal investment in spreading word about this inhumane treatment.  I truly applaud her.

Sexual abuse and mistreatment, as common as it seems to be portrayed anymore, is nonetheless difficult to talk about.  Yet she’s out there, boldly spreading the word to anyone and everyone within cyber earshot.  I wrote a book about it, she’s campaigning awareness.  We make a good survivor team and I’m glad she’s in my corner.

If you see someone bearing the mark, do the right thing.  Help.




Champ Dog Philosophy

Even though I haven’t been posting here lately, I’ve been busy elsewhere because it really helps reinforce my own recovery process.  So many changes have transpired naturally which would not have been possible without recovery writing.

Magic Man and I married on one of the worst days of my old life, in late spring of this year.   My life has become our life, and that day which used to fill me with dread has become our day to look forward to.  A free-spirited tie-dye wedding, complete with cherry blossoms chucked at us from my sweet baby, whose face nearly cracked grinning so much.  She is blossoming from his gentle nature and love for us.

I’m slowly returning to my art and enjoying simple pleasures that we take for granted, like sunsets and evening walks.  I never enjoyed either until this year because with the evening, came the fears.  Now I have my husband on one side and our energetic pup on the other.  Dogs are amazing at helping quell a PTSD trigger, and she’s taught me so much in such a short time.  What a little champ she is.

My philosophy lately has been this:

I’ve learned much about what I will endure when I’m confronted.  The line is boldly etched in boundary setting blueprints but I couldn’t see it at first.  My boundaries were so badly skewed, that just rolling over into a ball of disconnect and letting bad things happen was the safest option.  But I’ve changed.  I surprised myself the other day.  I didn’t run.

Later I had to analyze it. “…boy, that was stupid, I could’ve really gotten hurt…”  but at the same time, I felt more whole than I’d felt in a long time.  That was a glimmer of the old me, right there, in a temporary moment of champ dogness.

A Fairy Tale Year

One year ago today, Magic Man entered my little world – causing me to question my life and fear of taking risks to live.  Not just exist.. but really, truly live, and risk love in my heart.  For an abuse survivor, it’s a difficult choice sometimes between living life and safety.

I cannot say this past year has been easy.  Living a perfect fairytale life is fictitious, to say the least.  Real fairy tales have death, true love and dark magic.  We are living a Grimm’s Fairy Tale life, the deluxe edition.  It’s pushed my health and PTSD to nearly unbearable moments, for the world outside is such a scary place and the monsters lurk in the shadows.

Every day, we battle the monsters, the sadness and tragedies.   At night, we curl around each other until the sweetness of sleep slips through our veins.  We are battle-weary warriors in love.  He is my armor, I am his strength, and together, our voices the sword of truth.

Our fairy tale story might not close in the usual fictitious way.. for no one truly lives happily ever after.  It might read instead, “And they truly lived from this day forward.”

Running away, with love

Running away means survival so you don’t get hit or pushed around or subdued.  It has nothing to do with love.  It’s about fear, nursing wounds, living to fight another day.  Self-preservation.

But this year has opened my mind further than I ever thought possible.  I’ve nearly crossed the threshold from survivor to thriver.  I’m starting to fight back wisely, more clear-headed, and the happiest I’ve ever been.

As our first anniversary was approaching, Magic Man took us on a long journey across the miles, over the river and through the woods to meet our parents.  The further we drove the lighter our emotional suitcases became, until we were lighthearted with the relief.  Escaping with a purposeful goal was just what the doctor ordered.

We did not care what anyone thought.  We were all giddy children in a Caddy having the time of our lives.  Being in love is magic in itself.  Running away, with love, blew my mind.   It was such a new concept to me and took some getting used to.  But I did it, and I loved every second of it.

The Quiet Adventure

destiny wayEmbarking on a new adventure in life comes with its own risks, pitfalls and exhilaration.  Sometimes the adventure is front-page news..  other times, done quietly.

My writing is my life and I truly believe to my core that without it, I’d still be grasping to make sense of myself.  This blog has run for two years now, quietly and happily.  I grew tremendously with every post I published.  It enabled me to have the first healthy love relationship.  I’m happy, sexually and emotionally.  The PTSD is always there, waiting, but at least it is not killing the moments.

Lately I’ve been silent and introspective.  I’ve been standing at the crossroad, wondering which way to go.  Between the health issues and matters I will discuss in my own good time, there were times I nearly shut the book on myself.

Some people write only one genre.  I love all of it, especially writing erotica.  It is a part of my recovery from domestic violence and rape.  It’s my quiet adventure.   But not everyone’s into it and I must respect that.

So the crossroads… Do I quit or press on… fight or flight..  and the biggest question of all,

How much do I want the quiet adventure?

The answer is, very much.  I want it.  I may not be the best writer, but I have the guts to do it, and I can.

Right now I’m working on my quiet adventure in a private blog by invitation only.  It’s a manuscript blog.  All of my followers can  join if they choose.   For those of you that just visit but don’t follow, post a comment requesting an invitation.


Cosmic Wedgies

When I was a young girl, my mother’s favorite method of discipline in public was to very slyly slip her hand around our waist and whisper in our ear quite gently that we’d better knock it off… as her index finger just as slyly caught the waistband of our undies, giving it a not-as-gentle tug upward.

Forget spankings, or yelling, or threatening.  A public wedgie was the most effective way to shut us up when we were harassing her for a bucket of ice cream or the latest big-label attire she couldn’t afford- and it was her way of diffusing her frustration too.

She’d start to chuckle as she watched us try to continue whining for what we wanted, with our delicates practically pulled up to our ears.  My mother was a domestic violence survivor, but she was gentle and lived to laugh.   She found humor in the smallest things when life was at its worst.   Sarcasm was her middle name, homemade parody ditties her hallmark.

Not surprisingly, being clever kids, one of us refused to wear underpants from thereon out.   I still laugh with the memory of seeing my mother’s jaw drop as my young sister sailed by us in a cartwheel – bare legs, wearing nothing under her short skirt, and nothing to be disciplined with.

I do believe my mother is my guardian angel, so when she hauls a big tug deeply inside of me (usually publicly, because that’s when wedgies have their best effect) I know there is something wrong in my life I need to address.

Today I visited an ill friend in one of the hospitals my mother was admitted into before her final ascent.  I held his hand and listened as I remembered being here for what felt like such a long time ago.

Honestly, I didn’t want to be here.  Memories were distracting.  The hall’s faint whiff of disinfected death was overwhelming.  And my heart hurt, missing her.  But I’ve been stronger lately and I held out for several hours, thinking to myself, “This is such a wedgie moment.”

I don’t know if guardian angels can be loaned out but I asked for it.  Hopefully my voice was heard, and my friend will be saved with her cosmic wedgie – and my underpants can take a break.

Magic Man

My Soulmate on Aisle 7  laughs, plays, and smiles, and loves.  We talk and talk and talk.  I never tire of the softness of his words.  Lately I’ve nicknamed him the Magic Man.  We are nearing the ninth month of a relationship.  That in itself is magic at work.

He believes in Heaven, loves rainbows, sees triple digits, and gives generous amounts of care to the intricacy of growth flowering in his garden.  He is a gatherer, a gardener, and a lover of unparalleled comparisons.  He is absent of triggers.  That has blown my mind.

I’ve seen my little anxious child transform into a somewhat less fearful soul.  She takes small risks now, and does not mind if she gets a little dirty having fun.  He taught her to climb a tree and ride her bike.  A year ago, she would have an anxiety attack on her training wheels.   Magic Man waved his wand, and suddenly she is not afraid as much.  She is not as afraid to sleep on her own now.  Her counselor is so pleased.

My doctor chuckles when Magic Man accompanies me, for his funny bone pokes out into others ribs until they can’t help laughing a little.   I go to the doctor often now, much more than I used to have to do.  Stress is a killer.  I wrote recently about the mind-body connection  of PTSD and how it harms a person.  I’ll be in a nephrologist’s care in two weeks.

Magic Man wears his heart on his sleeve, even when it means it might get torn to shreds by those hurting.  He offers all he has, open-handed.  It’s the trait of one who’s done the Work and the Steps, being sober for nine years.  Empathy is a natural evolving process in sobriety.

Well, I just read what I wrote, and I’m shaking my head.  Clearly, I’m under a spell, a love potion, and in love with Magic.