After rage fizzled out a great sadness filled in, what was, and what could have been. Grief permeated every muscle, fiber and bone of my being, the authenticity of it flowed from every pore even as I went about other more pleasurable past-times.

“You seem sad,” a fellow writer commented at one our gatherings.

A small group of us met weekly after the writing class came to a close. We gathered at a coffee shop to share our work and hear critiques over cups of fresh brew. My book continued to erupt chapter by chapter, week after week. With the writing classes, the writing group, and finally an editor, the quality of the book’s contents grew into a finished product.

The sadness remained afterwards these past seven years, sadness that had been a searing rage. Then it lifted. A peace flows where sadness was. The bite from the apple of self-liking led to wanting more.

When the voices come each day that say ‘you’re bad, worthless, nothing,’ there is a pause then a soft voice interjecting the truth. You are worthy, a person to be proud of, a whole human being of worth and substance who has weathered a great storm with grace, dignity and kindness. Be proud of who you are and what you’ve overcome. 

The rage hid all these things from myself, yet there was no other way. This was my path. To go back no other path would be found to try again. Those boys did not mean to hurt me. They lusted after their needs and in those very human drives hurt me in ways life-long.

My path had to take this long, perilous, agonizing, and terrifying, it had to be so.


Camping in the Glen

photos by Patricia

As the campfire flickers sending a golden reflection upon the camper’s plastic window, I cuddle under the light blanket with the movie playing. Tonight sleep will hopefully come, as the other three excursions were without any device to lull my brain into slumber.

Some form of TV always turns off the alarm switches bringing sleep most nights. That is in opposition to the usual advice from experts. TV & movies played in excess has calmed me throughout my life. It has also given human interaction without the danger, closeness without risk, laughter, tears, and so much more. All safely.

The day was peaceful, brilliant, and fullness filled my belly- not with food, but with the day’s splendor in the gorgeous glen. Using the full spectrum lights the week before must have brought this new wellness of being I’d been so thirsty for. The panicky mood swings were replaced by calm.

“Look,” says Samuel, as a breeze sends a party of leaves swirling down like confetti.

Sitting on the bench by the waterfall, I turn my head in time to see the cascade as a scattering of more drift down wafting in the air before landing in the current floating downstream.

Two days stolen in time during an October heatwave. Two days kissing summer good-bye to hold onto when the snow flies and the winter grows long.  



Saturday’s Senate vote was expected. My prayers went unanswered; that we’d come together as a whole and do what is right. That women would be validated, and men punished. Must we as women swallow all that was done to us by men? We must be valiant, yet silent?

This liar committed horrendous crimes, attempted murder, and attempted rape. For his crimes he has been rewarded with a life seat on the judicial bench.

He put his hand over her mouth while grinding himself on top of her in almost black out drunkenness. He tried ripping her clothes off.

Dr. Ford stated, “I believed he was going to rape me.” I believe it too, every word. 

She also stated, “I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.” 

That would have been no accident. He covered her mouth purposely with the intent to keep her quiet at all costs, even death.

No Politics

My inclination is not political, but it is for what is safe. Voting another abuser of women onto the judicial bench makes me wonder how these senators view their daughters and grand-daughters. And how must Dr. Ford feel?

That the world is against her? That she doesn’t matter?



Low mood, sleeping issues, lack of pleasure in the usual activities, and the dwindling of that surge of hope that invigorates each day. Remember these? This is what occurs every winter, and the days approaching it. And it has occurred every year of my adult life.

Insisting it not be so will not make it so. Denial only makes it harder. The full spectrum lights started weeks ago was given up after a day or two. You need them. My brain runs amok without proper nutrition, sunlight or a facsimile of it.

“Why can’t I be normal,” I cry to Samuel. “I want to be someone else. I want to be you, or anybody else. Everyone else is normal!” I burst forth as tears fell. 

“Other people aren’t ‘normal,’ he responds with a huff in his voice because the thought is preposterous.

Of course it is, yet lying next to him at 1 AM while he snores makes me feel like a crazy weirdo.

The problem interfering with sleep isn’t the senate vote as I’d pondered, though another person will be on the judicial bench who also makes my stomach wretch. The problem is the same one every year, shorter days affecting the chemicals in my brain sucking up serotonin like an evil vacuum. 

Not wanting to take an antidepressant means caring for myself in other ways. Though I am a very good candidate for anti-depressants year-round, it feels like my brain is being controlled by an intruder and panic sets in. 

Depression is no joke and must be taken seriously. Using the lights every morning is necessary. Working hard every day to care for my body in other ways is also crucial, including proper nutrition, and exercise in the form of walking or the elliptical trainer. 

The times when movement feels like just too much are the times when it’s most needed. During the course of movement a lighter feeling replaces the low one, or at least brings my mood up. Happy chemicals are activated or increased.

Taking care of all aspects of my being takes work, focus, and sticking to goals which includes confronting the negative voices so loud sometimes it’s all I hear. The work of living continues…

front porch shrubbery 

A Simple Life

photo by Patricia

The fog hidden in that most call dissociation, surrounds with comfort. Tucked away from the world, my own life opens. Yet the outer workings of the world invade because tuning in to its happenings is ongoing, and crucial to feeling a part of it.

Peace can be easily interrupted, which makes the times when having it so gratifying. The tendency to invert inside myself like a turtle is what makes keeping relationships difficult. People like to interact.

That takes a significant amount of energy, energy that is stored for those who mean the most, a special few. And energy for things that need doing, or are high on the list of wanting to do.

Repressing trauma from decades ago takes energy. A life living with unprocessed trauma sapped adrenals, and the stores of it are depleted. Protecting what is left means a quiet life where tasks are paced.

Simple things bring pleasure; the colors in the leaf that gently dances down from the branch- wafting side to side on its way, the otter by the creek bank chewing on grass unperturbed by my presence, the gentle rain falling as thunder claps in the distance.

It’s OK to choose the life you lead, even a quiet one with simple pleasures.



The theme that no one seems to care what happens to women when they are teens or children is a theme in my life erupting as if yesterday. Night after night lying there awake.

His hand over her mouth, his hand over her mouth, his hand over her mouth.

The Senate’s republicans still wanted to vote.

She could have died.

The Senate republicans still wanted to vote.

One man stood up and said, “No.”