• The Twisted Kingdom

    The Twisted Kingdom

    Trigger Warning: Mental illness, self-harm and suicide

    I’ve been thinking about our societies seeming perception of mental health and the road to healing our minds when we suffer trauma or other issues that impact our mental health. It seems like everyone has a different opinion on what that looks like in western society. The most common opinions seem to either center around avoidance and repression, or using various forms of therapy and psychology to work through issues, or treat disorders.

    So, how do we envision good or poor mental health? If you ask most people, they will answer with a definition. I want you to imagine or visualize what those concepts look like inside your head. Now, I can’t actually visualize anything in my head, at least not the way some people can. I’m on the spectrum and the way I imagine seems to work off a different brain mechanism then the traditional mind’s eye. I would tell you that when I imagine what good or poor mental looks like, that it resembles the presence or absence of certain levels of chaos and confusion.

    I honestly don’t believe that anyone within our society, or maybe any society has lived their entire life without some form of issue with their mental health. There is just too much about the world that can unintentionally cause people trauma and degrade one’s state of mind. Some science and opinion even argues that the presence of trauma is a completely natural occurrence that should not be avoided. I wouldn’t personally go that far, but I do believe that mental health issues are something that people are going to have to, or should learn to deal with at various points of their life.

    For the unfortunate few that experience higher levels of mental health issues , or have less capacity to heal from trauma quickly, mental health is more of a constant struggle. As one of those individuals, the perception of mental health is something I think about. It genuinely worries me that I believe that many people’s perception of mental health is either nonexistent, or centers around the idea that those suffering from mental health issues are sick, or degenerate. Granted these interpretations are highly cultural and situational. I guess from a certain point of view, some people can be sick from mental health issues, but I prefer not to think of it that way. I actually think that is really harmful, because in essence, you are telling someone who may have to deal with these things indefinitely, that they will be sick all of their life.

    Awhile back I was reading through one of my favorite fantasy series by author Anne Bishop, and I became enthralled at her description of how mental illness is suffered by the characters of the story. In the story the world is a harsh and brutal place. Survival is not guaranteed, and people are traumatized more often than not. In certain instances of extreme trauma, people are known to lose their minds to a place described as, “The Twisted Kingdom.” In this not physical place, characters struggle with the ability to remember accurately, or recognize people they have known. Their own mind turns against them and they are trapped within a misty, confusing sort of forest/swamp landscape that can be different levels. They forget to eat or take care of themselves, and they disappear for months, or even years on end. One comes away with the perception that this not a place anyone should ever want to be, but yet there are characters in the series that voluntarily choose to walk among this place in order to retain agency and power lost from trauma.

    I must confess that I love Bishop’s seeming take on mental illness. My own experiences of dissociation and struggles with my mental illness over the course of my life feel very much like I walk through my own version of this Twisted Kingdom. I often find myself confused about what is real, have felt lost, and I’ve neglected myself more times than I can count. Sometimes people are completely lost to the Twisted Kingdom and never seen again. I equated this with people having taken their own lives. At this point you might be thinking this Twisted Kingdom idea is pretty awful, but let me pause you. I actually think it is a very balanced place.

    In a few places in Bishop’s stories she details characters helping other people find their way out of the Twisted Kingdom. Now no one is able to lift another person from this place because trust and memory are not guaranteed, but it is possible to leave markers that act as a form of guide. This allows the person trapped within to follow a trail that ultimately can lead out if they are patient and determined. Now to me, this is a damn good analogy for managing mental illness. You cannot just cure mental illness. There is no pill, or treatment that just makes it go away. Even if you recover and go into remission, it’s really better to not consider yourself cured. You will need a mindfulness routine, self-care, and continued maintenance for the rest of your life. This is also what I think Bishop meant when she describes people as having inner chalices. These chalices can be shattered to devastating effect on the mind. While it is possible to heal a shattered chalice, the breaks will forever be a part of someone’s reconstructed chalice. Their chalice will always be fragile to certain forces. This is also true of those of us who have suffered trauma and mental illness and fought our way back.

    The thing that strikes me the most about Bishop’s analogies is how rare it is to actually see someone try and describe mental illness from this sort of perspective. Even in fantasy, I just haven’t read many works that delve into the mind this way. More specifically, ideas that incorporate a balanced view of mental health and recovery. I find it refreshing and useful as a starting point to begin my journey of perspective. I might revisit this at some point, but for now I’m just going to appreciate the concept. I do think western society needs to evolve its metaphorical perceptions of mental health, but I don’t know if it will anytime soon.

  • Metamorphosis

    Metamorphosis

    I find myself in a different frame of mind now that I have reflected on the events of my life over the past five years. I have this flawed capacity to see the worst in myself, and to listen to other people’s denunciations of my character and actions at certain moments of extreme loss. These things are very deeply tied to my fears of abandonment.

    I’ve recently done these things again. I admitted to faults that may be greater and more injurious then the reality. I’ve learned some of the psychology of abusive and toxic relationships, and I’ve truly begun to believe that all abusive relationships have a power-seeker, and a victim. Under this model a victim can be toxic, but not abusive, because the negative behavior stems from defense against that abuse.

    Looking back on this relationship that I’m referencing, I’m realizing that not only was used for someone else’s agenda, but that the aspects of my personality and social networks that this other person found threatening were systemically attacked and destroyed by them. If I had to find a metaphor to describe how it feels to me to remember what happened, it is akin to someone pulling the legs and wings off of a dragonfly, because they want it in a cage and are afraid it will fly or crawl away. I can still feel the pain of being emotionally and socially maimed. I’m not sure a conscious desire was at work in these circumstances, but you know what? I don’t really care anymore. This is about what was done to me.

    I’m now remembering the person I was five years ago. I was someone who still a lot of work to do, but I was committed to doing that work and I also understood the road would be hard. That person was ready to engage in massive growth. She was learning more and more about herself every day, and had a plan for the future. She was a good partner to the person she lived with, even though perhaps not the right partner. She did her best and it was enough for that moment. Then she met you.

    My purpose is not to denigrate you. This is my voice for my experience. My voice for what I’ve suffered, what I’ve lost, the tears I’ve shed, and the pain I’ve felt. You have your own voice, and I am not trying to stamp that out. You get to interpret and experience what happened through your own perspective. That’s valid and real. I know I hurt you. I’ve hurt many people. I’m not sure how anyone thinks they can get through life without causing someone some pain.

    When you left, I was just a shell. I had no hope and no way out. I don’t know how long you hung in there for feelings of guilt alone, but I know now that it wasn’t love that you stayed for. You used me up and then looked for an exit strategy. I don’t even know if you understand my perspective. I’m certainly not going to seek you out and tell you. We talked about being friends again one day, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t want to be your friend, and honestly, I don’t think you want to be mine. I don’t think you want to look at me and see the person I was when our relationship began. Because I’m not just like that person, I’m a stronger, more grown version of that person. It would just remind you of who I was at the end of our relationship and make you question your own motives.

    Since we’ve broken up I’ve plunged into my own darkness. I’ve broken myself down as far I can go and still live. I’ve danced those black thoughts and morbid actions that you don’t come back from over and over. My mental illness has been like a crushing glove, squeezing tighter and tighter. I daresay, that if I had not burst into the light one moment sooner, I never would emerged, but my will is strong and I was not to be defeated in this fashion. I exploded upwards towards the cocoon I had already begun to build for myself. Therapy, long-term plans, healthy coping mechanisms, the right meds, successful transition, continued education. These were the cocoon of my choice.

    I had slowly been building this cocoon since before we broke up. I had no idea if it would work, and to be honest, I still don’t know exactly what will happen. Here is what I do know. I am the person I would have been. This has not been stopped. I will be my true self more and more with every passing day, and the strength I now wield shocks even me. I’m so much more beautiful, intelligent, capable, creative and worthwhile then I could ever have imagined, and I keep growing. I could not be this person while we were together. It was necessary for us to split from each other for this metamorphosis to occur.

    Here’s the thing. I do still love this person, and I probably always will. I will never know what was real, and what was fake. I shared my soul with them, and I suspect at times they returned the gesture. I came to deeply love those little flashes of their truth, although on some level I think I always knew I was being played, and I just didn’t care to investigate to deeply. I don’t wish them ill, so I have no intention of trying alter their perspective. I hope they find the life that fulfills them and gives them happiness, because you better damn well believe that I will.

    I feel angry and used. Those emotions burn cleanly. I feel no need for retribution, or revenge. I just want to truly feel emotions that come from having lived my experience.

  • 3 a.m. Kinship

    It is night on a late autumn day in Maryland. In the hospital a baby girl is born to a loving mother and an alert watchful father. She has all the requisite toes and fingers, and she is wanted. Inconsistencies are not important on this day and the child is nourished and protected. The child’s parents soon take her home from Maryland back to West Virginia. Her life begins.

    This image represents a chapter that has been torn from this story.

    A girl lives in Placitas, New Mexico. She is still beautiful, like she was when she was a baby. She is also smart and tenacious. Things have happened to her that cannot be recounted now. She is strong enough to carry that weight and still love the world. She bounces from place to place, exploring, learning, loving. She feels and expresses emotions with a fierceness that is either frightening, or enveloping to those who experience it. All the people she meets, the creatures she encounters. She does not understand why people do not treat like she sees others being treated, why she is not included. She is beginning to notice that her body does not fit her correctly, but it serves adequately at this time. It is enough. The world is beautiful and the girl revels in it.

    A adolescent girl sits in a principle’s office in a school in Albuquerque. She awaits his stern lecture that will be delivered from under a bristling 80s style mustache. The girl has acted out again in class, and fought with classmates. The girl will later hear about how she has no future, and will be imprisoned when she an adult. The world is no longer new and bright and she is no longer able to ignore her oddness, her differentness amidst a sea of people who connect and play social games with each other. She has no friends, other than the books she borrows from her mother’s bookshelf. She loves to read, and has devoured many fantasy and fiction novels. They are her doorway to a world that accepts her. It nourishes her mind. The girl has been told she has a problem with her brain and is required to take medicine to correct the problem. She feels nothing being corrected on the medicine, only a feeling of disconnected wrongness when she has to take it. Her body feels wrong, and grows in ways that make her uncomfortable and confused. No one talks to her about it, even when her behavior is a cry for help. The girl does not understand why she feels so much pain and loneliness all the time. It feels crippling and so overwhelming. Sometime she sits alone in the dark and rocks herself back and forth and wonders. Her brain never stops. She begins to find solace in computer games and an abstract world that cannot judge based on physicality and social awkwardness.

    A young woman sits next to another woman in the green grass, enjoying the feel of a hand in hers and the sun on her face. Both women are beautiful and clearly in love, although one carries the expectations of a different gender. The young woman has finally found people to accept her, to include her and nourish her. She has had to fight, and fight hard for her place, but she has one. She has abandoned the systemic structure that exists to create functional adults within our western society. She has left behind the educational systems, the programs, and the drugs they required the young woman to take. She has found different drugs and different paths. Adults continue to warn her, call her lazy and worthless, but they don’t bother to hide a sense of relief that she has broken off to her own path, that they no longer need to pretend they care about keeping her set to the path they believe she should be on. The young woman is all to aware that she is not addressing things within herself, important things relating to identity. She takes mental note, but chooses to embrace the human connection that feels like drinking water after wandering lost in the desert for ages. She knows that she does not feel the same way other people do, or experience the world in the same way, but now she has seen other people struggle with things of a similar nature. She begins to find ways to overcome her body and mind’s limitations. She learns to cope. The world feels brighter.

    A young woman holds her beautiful daughter close to her. For the first time in her life, she experiences true love. The kind of love that exists in its most purely unconditional form. She feels purpose, that had previously withered. She is not sure about the connection she has to the child’s other mother, but she can commit to this, to this unblemished love that seems to wipe away every hurt the world has done. She feels a mother’s instinct rise within her, dormant since she used to raise baby birds who fell from their nest. She puts aside her own search for the truth, because this child needs her now. She commits to American systems of work, child-rearing, and gender expectations. She is beginning to forget who she is, that she is. She accepts the role that expected of her. She doesn’t realize that she transcending to another part of life that will lead her away from the connections that have nourished her from darkness to light. It wouldn’t matter if she did know. Her daughter is everything.

    A woman sits at a computer and loses herself inside of a game. Her daughter no longer needs her in the same way, although the bond is strong and loving. It no suppresses the issues the woman has existing and functioning within society and her marriage. The woman’s coping mechanisms are in the process of being tweaked. She now has need of them again. She still doesn’t understand why she cannot thrive in the world. She finds no loyalty in industry of employment that she throws herself into, only an all consuming machine that threatens to devour her soul and leave nothing left. Her close friends are more distant now, many have gone off to begin their own families, some have even left the earth. This sometimes seems to make sense to the woman, but she feels a keen loss, as if she being left alone. She no longer feels things in the same way, but she can function. She has not yet begun to realize the cost this bears in the relationships she has with other people and her connection with her self. She does note that she seems to disappoint everyone eventually. Her family connection is weaker now, especially since she has begun to learn about boundaries in the most detached possible sense. Her family does not like boundaries and distance themselves from her. Every so often she cries when no one can see her, but it is an empty cry, restrained from true output. She now understands that most people simple want from her. She buries her truth deeper into her connection with her daughter and endures.

    A woman is no longer young, yet she is still a child. She is growing closer to the revelations of a truth left behind years ago. She has left her marriage to find her own path, and her daughter is growing into a fine woman. She trusts her daughter’s strength and the foundational structure that has been built for her, and knows she will be ok. She also reserves a large amount of energy that her daughter can always call upon while the woman is walking her own path. The rest she commits wholly to finding a better life, finding love, and finding herself. She knows that something works differently in her brain, that there is some reason she struggles. Her search for truth has not yet yielded results, but she unfailingly flounders forward, making mistakes, overcoming obstacles, uncovering the truth bit by bit. It is a lonely search, with the love of some people occasionally doting the road like waystations. New friends, experiences, discoveries. She is finding that her disabilities are beginning to overwhelm her. She can no longer commit the same amount of energy to masking and overcoming them. Nor does the energy consumption ratio remain concurrent. She has lost the ability to work full-time, and works part-time while considering returning to the educational sphere. She wants a good life, and she is willing to work for it with the tools she has. She has honored her commitment to her daughter the best she was able to without sacrificing a small core amount that was held back for the journey afterwards. Now she will see if it was enough.

    A woman sits at a computer writing this blog. It is now 5:14 am, and she began at 3:40 am. Her inspiration was reading the nightly narrative of a friend whom she has never met in real life after one of her normal nightly wakeups. She wipes the tears away that flow freely down her face, shed for her story and that of her friend. The woman knows exactly who she is now. She knows she is a woman. She knows she is disabled. She know how she is disabled. She has the right medicine now, treatment plans, and the right support. It has taken her over 43 years to get here, but her life can finally begin in full. She has lived another person’s life, but now she lives her own. She feels kinship with her friend, who wrote about their own lonely, painful experience tonight. She wants her friend to know that they are not alone. That they are not unheard at 3 a.m. She hopes, she wishes, she loves for her friend.

  • That feeling in the pit of your stomach (fuck roller coasters)

    That feeling in the pit of your stomach (fuck roller coasters)

    I don’t really understand how other people grieve. When they lose something, or someone so important that it feels like a vital organ is just gone, and you are gasping for whatever that bodily need was. I’ve watched other people grieve, and I’ve suspected that some people I knew grieved in a similar fashion to myself. Even so, I still don’t understand how they pick themselves up, or do what they need to do, and find some way to just make it go away/pause. I’ve seen a million ways that people do that. That’s just not how I grieve.

    What I do understand is how people cope. I understand because coping is the only thing that allows me to distract myself from the pain that stems from intense loss of something/someone I intensely love, whether that is a person, or a state of consciousness that no longer exists because of a traumatic experience. I’m not really interested in being told how I should be grieving, or how I can change. Get off your high horse and understand that people work differently. I’m tired of watching self-righteous people dole out advice on how people can fix their shit. Yeah, I’ve also done it, and I can go fuck a duck for that crap too.

    Now I’ll explain how I grieve. I grieve collectively. When I am feeling my grief, I am feeling all of it. All at once. If something triggers it, I start feeling the emotional import of everyone who is gone and all of the traumatic moments in my life. Every awful situation, every relationship, every person that I, the other person, or both(all) of us collectively burned down, or screwed up(over), or I just found horrifying traumatizing. It is a terrifying merry-go-round of emotional agony. It is like a butcher’s cleaver just thunking right into the heart. I can’t possibly describe how incapacitating this can be. I mean like, if I was at work and this happened, yeah good luck continuing to work, do anything that requires continued adult responsibility. In fact, I really think that particular thing plays a big part in the severity of my lifelong depression.

    (Edit: I realized after writing this that I can’t separate this subject into the sub-component of grief alone as my trauma, depression and PTSD encompass larger issues that play major roles here. The coping and distraction cover PTSD and depressive effects as well.)

    So, why am I this way? I don’t know exactly. Its been hard enough to get neurologists to take an honest look at my brain. I went 43 years before I got my memory disability diagnosed in the smallest possible sense. My guess is that it has something to do with the way my memory recall doesn’t function right. I just don’t remember things individually, or specifically. My emotions really seem linked to a bigger picture kind of thing. If someone knows more than me, I’d be interested in hearing the science, not opinions.

    This is where coping and distraction comes in. If I’m coping hard with something that makes me high, blunts my senses, or distracts me from reality even more efficiently than my own brain is capable of doing sometimes, the more the merrier. I’ve used nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, other major/minor drugs, food, oxytocin, dissociation, and many other things to achieve these states. Because I dissociate so strongly, sometimes I don’t even know when I’m doing this. It’s a real bitch overall and I can’t even imagine how tough its been for my loved ones to see or experience watching me do this.

    I’ve recently removed three of my biggest unhealthy coping mechanisms. I did this after much foot-dragging over the span of several years I’ve been gender transitioning. If there was any other way for me to successfully transition without ditching those coping mechanisms, I would have done it. There just isn’t. Now I’m back in that shitstick of a place where I deal with this practically everyday. I’m not a fool, I’m reaching out hard for help through multiple avenues. I’m not going to predetermine what is going to happen. My life isn’t exactly a fairytale, but It does seem I have more resources to survive then I thought. I’m gonna try to be hopeful as I look for a solution.

    The next thing I want to talk about is why you should care about reading this. That is if you haven’t already closed the blog. I wrote this for several reasons. One is because I was grieving when I wrote it, and a new form of coping is writing. If nobody ever reads this, it will still have served its function. The other reason is that I want to call out attention to our societies terrible approach to grief management. I am speaking of western societies approach specifically; other cultures have this down way better. People should be able to take a day off from work because they are coping with non-specific grief. I’m not talking about if a parent died and you are asking for the day off to go a funeral. Some people can’t even get that. Go read the texts at the reddit anti-work sub thread. More are real then you want to admit.

    I’m delving into greater societal problems here, but it doesn’t understate the importance of recognizing that people need time and space to deal with emotional grief. You are poisoning yourself when you stuff your grief deep inside and forget about it. However, to do that, we need our society to quit treating grief like a disposable emotion. Grief has tremendous power. I would say that it holds every bit as much power as love. Maybe it is just a part of love, something you can’t detach. Maybe we can’t even love without the grief component. Sounds like a interesting discussion starter!

    Draw your own conclusions. Catch ya later.

  • emotional pus

    emotional pus

    Hello my lovelies, my sporadic few darlings who will find their way to this entry blog post. Hello my friends who humor me enough to visit, or those that find some solidarity in my expressed experiences. Hello to the people I never expected to read this, or those that will never find their way here again. Hello to those who shaped my world new and old. Most especially, hello to my exceptional, amazing daughter. You fill me with pride and ecstasy just knowing that you exist.

    It’s never easy knowing where to set a start-point, especially when you are launching in the middle of the story. I imagine that most bloggers have to find a reasonable start-point. I can’t imagine most blogs starting at the furthest remembered events. That’s another complication when writing a story. How much detail should one add? Too much and you are Robert Jordan, and let’s be honest, Brandon Sanderson is not waiting to rescue “our” tedious undertakings. Too little and the narrative will not have sufficient hooks for the imagination or memory to latch on to the writing.

    To address this complex problem, I shall ignore it. What the hell, I already wasted an entire paragraph rambling on about basic writing structure as if I know what the hell I’m talking about. I was always good at writing in college, but that’s because I could be creative enough to impress my professors. Nine out of ten would relax their grammatical guard if you created something interesting. Hmmm, I did get a 3.9 GPA in college…

    So, today I went hiking. Nothing unusual, just returning to a loved spot at the base of Sandia Mountains. I don’t know the official name of the open space area, just that the hiking trail is at the base of the mountain between Candelaria and Menaul. I’ve been going for years. I love the quiet, the easy accessibility, and the layout of the hike. It’s not a slow and steady long hike. It’s a quick traipse to the slope and then a mildly tiring 20 minute hike up rocky incline. Nothing to an experienced hiker, but perfect for someone who needs to get out the city and enjoy some true quiet while getting exercise.

    Getting outside and walking at parks, hiking trails and nature spots is a big deal for me. Some quick background to give context is that I am a trauma and abuse survivor and suffer from severe C-PSTD. This is on top of being autistic, transgender and having a memory-related disability. Throughout my life I have used a number of coping strategies to deal with my trauma, both healthy and more often than not, unhealthy. Somewhere around three years ago I finally came to terms with the fact that despite the body I was born into, I was female and wanted to live that way. That is its own story for another day, but suffice to say, one of my transition goals required that I completely quit my unhealthy coping mechanisms. In comes music, mediation, healing safe spaces, self-study/personal growth and finally, outside walks and hikes.

    Now I am a pretty broke individual, so I try and use of the available parks and spaces near whatever place I’m sleeping in at the time. So, my hike today was a latte with whipped cream compared to the normal black coffee. I made my way up the trail going exactly the speed that felt right. Due the time I selected near evening, I completely alone, and this suited me perfectly. As I expected I made the summit without difficulty by using the correct pace and congratulated myself with a selfie at the top. I then plunked my butt down and enjoyed the quiet and vista of the city.

    Part of my process during my walks is to reflect on my world, my experience, my inner self, and the changes that occurred between the last time I reflected and my current state. So, as I engaged in my reflection while soaking in the surroundings through every sense, something was flagging my attention. Now I mentioned I have a disability, and the reality is that I have quite a few disabilities. The particular disability I consider to be the most impairing is a memory disability that prevents me from retrieving my memories both consciously and unconsciously at an unknown pattern. I literally will not be able to remember my own partners name sometimes. The more complex the memory type or operation the memory is required for, the worse the disability gets.

    Let me tell that you most likely do not know the hell of life living in a world where fucking everything is dependent on what you can remember. Not the way I do. Before you tell me off for daring to make assumptions, and some of you have every right to do so, I want to remind you that I am just providing context here. So, something flagging my though process, but I knew it wouldn’t come if I just rooted for it, so I just the moment and felt the healing experience of just being away from the noisy, insane vortex that a city is. I fucking hate my parents for making me live in a city. May they burn in a thousand hells for that shit. I’m sure millions of neurodivergent voices cried out in solidarity there. Waaaaay off track now.

    I still wanted to hit a park for a quick walk on the way back, so I started descending, which in this trail is actually rather fun. There is a really big boulder you have to pretty much climb vertically down to get back onto the main descent. As I was finding a spot for my foot to turn and climb down I noticed several little gray lizards scatter from my foot. I stopped and watched them. They watched me back. We watched each other. If you live in New Mexico, you know I’m talking about the local fence lizards you can find everywhere here. I find them absolutely adorable, and the way they give you murder glares when you face off with them is downright epic for a creature 100 times smaller than you.

    Memories slammed into me. I backed up and sat down against another large rock so I could process what was happening in my head. If you ask anyone who knows me well, anyone I have shared my soul with, they can tell you that I absolute love to catch fence lizards. I am very good at spotting their movements and hiding spots. Quite a few people have found that very endearing. Well let me tell you for those of you who thought this was darling and happen to be reading this, you might want to reexamine that thought process. Don’t get me wrong, I still found those little lizards adorable and I loved watching them. Here is the kicker. I had absolutely no desire to catch them. I very contentedly just sat there and watched them slowly creep backwards to safety.

    What the heck did this mean. I had loved catching lizards for my entire life. When had this stopped. Deep examination time. Ahhhhh shit, so that’s what is going on. I now knew that I had been locked in female adolescence for 30+ years. Only, I had embraced and discovered the self sufficiently to have grown up from that. I still don’t know where I am right now, but I’m not that little girl that never got a chance to grow up clean and healthy. This realization burned through me like hot pins and needles. I felt something resist and then get lanced. It felt like emotional rot being lanced from a wound. After awhile I stood up. I could feel some emptiness inside, but it didn’t feel bad. Definitely what had been there was gone, and thank whatever the fuck needed to be thanked for that fact. I felt cleaner then I can ever remember feeling. Then without undue delay, I turned and stared down the valley and cried my eyes out. I didn’t even sit down, I just cried as I stood there.

    That was just the first amazing part of my day that I wanted to share. There is another part. I know that some of you who suffered from trauma may identify deeply with this experience. I hope you read about it. I would want to read about it happening to one of you. The other part of this day that was amazing is the urge to write that I had once this happened. I was composing this blog before I ever made it home. What I wrote is nothing actually close to that composition, but it describes the experience just as well. I haven’t felt purpose like this in so long that it feels like a drug. I had forgotten I could feel this way. It’s amazing and I want to keep feeling it. I hope that there will be another blog, but for now, I hope that you all are well and safe.

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