Hey kind friend I don’t know when I’ll see you again

It’s okay friend
It’s okay friend (Indigo Girls, ‘Hey Kind Friend’)

I had been in Hawaii for over a year before it came to me, as something of an epiphany, that I had left my previous life without actually saying goodbye to almost all of the people whose support and friendship had made those decades range from tolerable to joyous. The times that were only tolerable, I certainly needed them more.

As my marriage rapidly unraveled, my spouse developed the idea that there was a conspiracy to undermine our relationship and that others were trying to demonize him. As part of the discussions that he swore were designed to save our marriage, he extracted promises that I would not mention his name to anyone, including my closest friends, children and sister.

I did not keep the promise not to speak to my children, sister or closest friend but it set the stage for me to feel unable to reach out to anyone outside of that small circle. I did not post to social media that I was leaving; I did not call or contact any of the people whose friendship helped me through many a crisis large or small. I was perhaps too broken to think of a way to say I was leaving the state without mentioning who was being left behind.

In the discussions he initiated, he berated me, sometimes for being duped by people who were trying to harm him and other times for being an evil soulless creature who had somehow duped him into thinking otherwise for 37 years. He pointedly told me that I was neither kind nor a pacifist but was purposely destroying him. He repeatedly told me that, since he was disabled, he had every right to have me arrested for criminal abandonment should I leave, but of course he would not do so because he was better than that.

During the months this went on, he was unwilling to discuss anything that I might see as a source of damage to our relationship because he had done nothing wrong; I had simply changed when his health took a downturn 2 years earlier. If I mentioned anything about the life we had led prior to 2014, he saw it as an attempt to attack his memories. Sadly there were many places where our memories diverged.

So in a mixture of pride and shame I simply walked away, without attempting an explanation to people I had known and loved for decades. I had hoped to take the high road and not to ask anyone outside of my sister and oldest friend to “take sides.” I had no reason to want a painful situation to be worse for anyone involved.

If I’d had any delusions that he would also try to take the high road and not ask friends to take sides, it would have been laughable. I did not. I was fully aware that he would tell everyone we’d ever met that I had abused and abandoned him.

I expected him to extract their sympathy because he had been through a very rough time after having heart surgery and suffering repeated side affects from medications. I did not expect him to tell them the full extent that he had lashed out at me, the times he threatened to have me involuntarily committed because I had lost my soul, his accusations that I had turned against him or that I had wanted him to die when he had heart surgery; I did not think he would mention the hospital nurse who took me aside to ask if I was safe.

Even knowing that, I simply let it go. I did not feel the need to detail how my counselor had worked with me trying to find alternatives to leaving, and how she felt strongly for more than a year that leaving was the only means I had to save my own life.

I had faith that many friends who’d known me for decades would trust there was more to the situation than my spouse was outlining. Others I suspected would take his words at face value and “take his side.” I was okay with that as I knew anyone who suffered from PTSD to the extent he did would need to feel people were on his side.

So it came as a surprise to me when I realized over a year later….as epiphanies appeared to abound… that I was not okay with that after all. I left a spouse who had been disabled with PTSD for decades. But I did not leave when he was unable to support himself. I worked for most of our marriage while he was unable to sustain a job outside the home for most of the decades we were married. It was just a little over 5 years ago that he was approved for 100% VA disability and for the first time in my life, I thought I was off the “work ’til you die” plan. When I left, I did not ask for support though his disability income was 4 times what my social security income was. I did not make him homeless. Rather I left him the house we’d been living in for 17 years with no strings attached. The only thing I removed from our marriage was me.

In an age where even states recognize no fault divorce, I was stunned to realize that people I had long considered progressive, social justice oriented and feminist would appear to fall in line with the thought that there was any side that believed it was not ok for a woman to stop being a wife. No matter how painful the dissolution of marriage might be, no matter how many mistakes either spouse may make, there are simply no sides.  We are not chattel. We have the right to walk away from a situation that is neither healthy nor sustainable. It was a failure not to elucidate that.

So this is my time to apologize for not taking the time or having the trust to engage with, to provide my truth and my thanks to people for all the times their friendship had lifted me up. I did not owe my spouse silence, I owed my friends light.

Kind friend
Help me forget where I been
Kind friend
Remember who I am

hands_holding-broken-world

Hey Kind Friend (Indigo Girls)

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Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say

Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today? (P. F. Sloan, ‘Eve of Destruction’)

I’ve long been of the belief that few of us make it through life without experiences that could be the source of PTSD. Some of us handle them with more finesse than others. Some of us appear to go back to those experiences when we must. Some of us seem to wallow in such experiences. Some seem to repeat them anew.

Thoughts such as these passed through my waking mind as the dogs and birds rent the early morning hours with their reaction to whatever Madam Pele is serving up in the not too far distance. And it was against the backdrop of what we once called a protest song playing in my memory, one of the finest 1965 had to offer. Some of the historical references are dated, sadly many are not.

And I realized that my entire life I seemed to have prepared to be called to witness the pain of Pele’s grand changes.

I have been wading through and witnessing trauma for decades.

First with the actions taught to so many of my cohort as we were told to hide under desks as we awaited the falling bombs, then when we furtively smoked joints in parks and were wary of black shiny shoes at peace marches.

Soon came the breaking of the sex lines in physical plants, construction sites and fields, when there was no terminology for a hostile workplace, where no one even thought to hide or apologize for the calendars with photos of naked women and when sexual banter was the cost of entering a male workplace. Conditions changed in those environments but long after those lines had been broken.

Later, in 1980, I was in the small town of Packwood Washington when a gray mushroom cloud rushed towards us and left us ankle deep in ash as we awaited the orders to go fight wildfires on a live volcano. We chose to get out of town when the roads opened, before that order actually came.

Less than a year later, I experienced that which can never be gotten over, only through, that which you cannot imagine it possible to survive. Still when I came up for air a few months later I still breathed and bled though I could not explain why. I knew this was the worst I could go through and knew that in spite of myself I had survived. And then 10 years later, I went through it again. And less than a decade after learned there are yet worse experiences, places more unsafe to lose a child to than even death.

Through all of this, rent needed to be paid, kids needed to be fed, so I worked in the real world as well. And eventually I moved into the world of cybersecurity. I lived and breathed locking down networks, worrying about offsite backups, redundancy and cyber attacks.

I remember telling one caller that this was not rocket science, that was what they did were he worked. I remember spending two hours walking a customer through setting up the security software as he restored his network. This was of course way out of the usual timeframe and he truly didn’t need my technical expertise. He needed me to be on the phone with him because he was restoring his network after his office was destroyed when the World Trade Center buildings fell to the ground. I never held the best technical expertise among my team, but I was particularly good at perspective.

I watched as the online world and the actions taken by the miscreants of the underground morphed from destructive graffiti actors to cutthroat profiteers and finally saw the growth of organizations that served mobs, gangs and rogue nation states. I witnessed social media used to organize resistance and manipulated to tear people apart. There we regularly see the resurrection of images and ideas that the passing generation united and sacrificed to squash. We feel the trauma for all those who sacrificed for that struggle and we feel the greater trauma for those who survived and lost loved ones to the Holocaust.

Against the backdrop of what may be the destruction of democracy and amidst the outrage that passes for political policy and the corresponding political inaction of those who should lead, it seems a small thing that my own life unraveled and brought me here to Hawaii.

There are discussions of go-bags and gas masks and I spent yesterday with my 13 year old grandson working out the logistics of evacuating with my 2 grandsons and our 3 dogs in a mini-cooper. It wouldn’t be a comfortable ride.

At this writing, we are only obliquely affected, though much of what I have grown to love here is inaccessible. We have witnessed near neighbors lose their homes, organic farms decades in the making, a sustainable lifestyle built through years of effort and a place of peace.

And we acknowledge that this episode is nowhere near its end. Pele will do what Pele will do.

So please….

…tell me
Over and over and over and over again my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction

hilo

Eve of Destruction

 

 

 

Now I don’t know, I don’t know

A I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
When the volcano blow (Jimmy Buffett, ‘Volcano’)

File this one under ‘What was I thinking?!?’

Not too many days ago, I started seeing alerts about fissures opening, magma flowing and lava showing itself not far from my new home on the eastern side of the Big Island.

This is not my first exposure to volcanic activity, not my first rodeo….

It was an early morning in March of 1980 that we listened to radio reports of Mt St Helens releasing its first wisps of smoke since white folks started paying attention in that region. We were then in Northwest Portland. A good friend later took some acid and hiked into the red zone to take pictures of the gentle snowy mound releasing puffs of smoke in an only slightly unsettling manner.

The following month I would accept a position working for the Forest Service in Packwood Washington. My mother asked repeatedly what I could be thinking, both then and in mid-May when Mt St Helens had transformed herself and the surrounding countryside.

On that early Sunday morning I was at a laundromat in Packwood Washington when I saw a billowing mushroom cloud headed my way. There were several Spanish speaking tree planters there that morning and I blanked on the word “sierra.” But I imagine they recognized what was happening.

I drove home to figure out the next step with my spouse and the friends from Portland who were camping in our yard. We coaxed the terrified puppy out from under the trailer, and loaded her and 1/2 dozen humans into a 1964 Falcon, then drove swiftly into town. We were pelted with small rocks and blinded by ash during the 3 mile drive. When we arrived, we joined other locals at the restaurant where a neighbor worked. They turned on the TV in the bar for news updates. Instead we found a bodybuilding contest on the air and realized the outside world did not yet know what had just occurred. So we turned off the TV and played Jimmy Buffett over and over on the juke box. I suspect they opened the bar earlier than intended, though not before my foreman had come to collect me and other Forest Service staff to retrieve cots from storage and try to set up shelter at the Ranger Station for those campers that would find their way in from the forest. It would be at least a week before we saw either the sun or the laundry I had left in the dryer.

A week or so later, when the ash had cleared a bit, we left the area. It takes a special brand of crazy to be willing to fight fires on an active volcano that has just killed dozens. I greatly admire my peers who stayed to do so. But I took this as a sign it might just be time to head back to New England where the mountains did not speak quite so loudly and no longer considered blowing their tops.

I had hoped to stay and build my life in the more civilized Northeast I had left in 1979. But it was not to be. After returning to the Northwest for most of the interceding years, I now find myself on a small island in the Pacific, minus the spouse but with a much terrified dog, listening to evacuation alerts for neighborhoods less than 10 miles away.

I am not expecting a mushroom cloud this time, in fact I am not expecting my neighborhood to be directly impacted. I scan social media for updates and videos of lava creeping across roads and threatening houses. My grandson’s school has been closed for 3 days and I don’t expect it to open anytime soon. All but one of the 3 roads that approach his campus have seen active vents open. It is far too great a risk to have a school full of children close to the lava zone. Thankfully I am no longer gainfully employed, so my daughter still can be. We’ve stayed close to home, kept the phone at hand to listen for alerts I don’t expect to get as we tried to reassure the dog that a 6.9 quake and whatever distant smells and rumbling she and the other neighborhood dogs and birds are sensing are truly no cause for alarm.

Still Pele will do what Pele will do, as Helens did before her. We watch and wait, worry and wonder if a friend of a friend will show up needing a place for a tent and fresh water. Or if the flow of the magma will change direction, not likely but not inconceivable, and we will become that friend of a friend needing shelter.

And ask again, what could I have been thinking….

Don’t want to land in San Diego
Don’t want to land on no big hot dam
Don’t want to land in old Cincinnati
Put me down where this all began

 

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Jimmy Buffett, ‘Volcano’

So I don’t know how to tell you It’s difficult to say

I never in my wildest dreams
Imagined it this way (John Denver, ‘Seasons of the Heart’)

I have not forgotten falling in love. We were young, more than a little foolish and, like many in our cohort, in the midst of our drinking days. Those would be over for me – or at least severely interrupted – a few years later when I swapped them out for the world of growing and raising babies. But in those early days, our bond was strong. There were issues of course. He promised to quit smoking before we moved in. But we moved in together with that promise unfulfilled. When we decided to marry a couple of months later, we did so in a friend’s backyard witnessed only by our parents and that couple. We intended to write our own vows, but somehow never put pen to paper. Still I remember. I merely said I trust you.  It was that trust that then formed the essence of the bond we built our life together on. It was that trust which over the course of the years simply unraveled.

Even now, when I see my ex-spouse posting photos of himself with his new wife visiting places so near to where we once lived, I grow nostalgic for both the place and the bond we once shared. The part of me that once loved selflessly is happy to see that he has picked up his life and found joy again. Like most humans I don’t spend all of my time on that high road. So I’m a little sad as well.

I’m sad that I lost the initial argument in 1979 that saw us head out to the Northwest in spite of my desire to live my life in New England. I’m sad that I spent decades watching that trust unravel without ever thinking it could be another way. I’m sorry I didn’t find a way to make it last or to leave when my children were younger and there was more life left to both of us.

When we were first together, he had promised to stop smoking. Not many years later he promised to stop drinking. Whenever I tried to bring up these promises, he said he knew he needed to stop but that my discussing it made it worse. I’ve yet to identify how. To this day, I don’t believe that he has acknowledged that his drinking was ever an issue that was any of my business. Even though he was unable to work regularly for much of the time from a combination of severe PTSD and unresolved  physical issues, he felt entitled to the resources he needed to fund his ongoing addictions. When I raised any objections, it was seen as a personal attack.

When the babies had first come, I had insisted that he could not smoke in the house. So he moved outside onto a porch or a stoop or a carport. And like toddlers at play, we gradually built parallel lives. I spent most of that life trying to find a way to make sure we had the resources we needed to survive, trying to keep everyone safe and trying to keep the family together. It took decades to bring clarity, but I was simply not successful.

As a child, I was trained in excellent New England schools. I dove into literature and identified themes with ease. But that was all on the cognitive level. On the emotional level, it seems I was always asking the wrong question. How can I keep this together, how can we move forward and survive, what actions can I take to ensure everyone gets what they need? And like an emergency responder performing triage, who has the most urgent and immediate needs? I never took the perspective that maybe it was not all my responsibility to take care of everyone’s needs, that anyone would be better off if we were apart. I never recognized that there might be some things I needed to walk away from, some parts of the ohana that we would eventually leave behind. I know now that had become the case far earlier than I admitted.

It was perhaps 18 months ago, perhaps closer to two years, that my then spouse insisted we needed to rebuild the bond we’d once had. In December of 2014 he’d experienced the precursor to some serious health issues (he had 2 TIAs, which are sometimes called mini-strokes but leave no discernible damage.) He immediately stopped both drinking and smoking and began a painful journey through the medical system. He had open heart surgery, and had painful side effects from both the surgery and assorted medications that seemed to cause a great deal more damage than should be acceptable. I tried to support him through this journey and maintain full time employment in a position that was itself enormously stressful and often 24×7. The end result was that I could do neither effectively. Almost a year later, I ended up on short term disability because I could not trust myself to do the job adequately and worried more and more that I would not have the judgment to make appropriate decisions in a high stress situation. My team members had been enormously supportive but it was time to  let that phase of my life go. When the insurance company balked at extending my disability leave, I chose to select early retirement though my Social Security would be limited by that decision.

It was against this backdrop that my spouse came to the realization that the bond we shared was no longer adequate. He wanted to recover what once was and initiated discussions, at times interrogations, about why I had become so distant after he developed heart issues, on how I had changed towards him since 2014. At one point, I suggested that if we were to identify the sources of the opening gap between us, we would need to address some of the things that happened between 1978 and 2014. In some of those issues, both of us were largely blameless. In most, we were trying our best even if there were bad choices and stubborn pride involved. We both lost or left jobs, we desperately needed. We buried two daughters. We sometimes wanted to move in one direction but found ourselves moving in another. If we were to close the gap or break down the wall between us, choose which metaphor you will, certainly we would need to look not just to the last two years but to parts of the previous 35 as well. He literally shouted “Bullshit” in my face. I should have known then that there was no way forward. But I continued. I should have recognized that even if he would not address the issues that had brought us to that point, I would be forced to process them repeatedly if there was any hope of healing.

So the pain, both great and small, was brought to the forefront of my life. As my spouse pressed for answers on how I had become so cold, as he reached out for support on social media on how someone he once thought of as kind and compassionate could be so soulless, as he pressed me repeatedly and successfully to cease taking the antidepressants which had made it possible to process the overwhelming stress that surrounded me, I faced replays of every bit of pain I had endured in life. Finally I recognized that I was suffering from rather severe PTSD myself and that he, though not necessarily the source, had become the trigger. When neither exercise nor an emotional support dog – which had been suggested by both my counselor and my sister but became yet another source of his criticism – could keep it at bay, I finally accepted that I could not go on in the life I had. It was not fixable and trying to make it so was doing immense damage to both of us.

So I got on a plane to put an ocean between us. I left him the house which he still shared with our youngest son. I tried to take only things that were clearly mine with the exception of a Paper Mache dove a friend had made for us when one of our daughters died and a mirror which had been a wedding present and was from the daughter of my mom’s best friend. Outside of those, nothing came except my clothes, books and memory items that were largely from my family. I asked him for no support though after I retired 80% of our income came from the 100% VA disability he had finally qualified for in 2012 and Social Security Disability payments he had received since 2001. I  retained the remainder of my retirement savings and my Social Security. I hoped he would continue to help support our youngest son which he has done thus far, though he sold the house they had lived in 2 months after the divorce was final and headed back to my home area to build a new life.

In the interim I have been gradually processing the memories which I could not banish simply because he refused to consider them. I am moving toward healing and toward letting go of the pain in my journey thus far. Part of doing so involves opening my heart through my words. I have put them here.

We have so much in common
So many things we share
That I can’t believe my heart
When it implies that you’re not there

beach_rock

Seasons of the Heart

Oh, misty eye of the mountain below. Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls…..

….And if we should die tonight, we will all die together. Raise a glass of wine for the last time.” (‘I See Fire’, Ed Sheeran)

It was just a year ago today, that my dog and I landed on the Big Island for the next big adventure. I will have more to think and to say about how this came to be as time goes by, but today’s thoughts can only be for Hawaii. Even if you haven’t purposefully and interminably disrupted all you had previously known, the transition upon arrival is enormous.

I had spent my child and young adulthood in a small college town in western Massachusetts. I had spent the most part of the past 30 plus years living in a medium sized college city in western Oregon. Both places were somewhat academically oriented, were sadly lacking in diversity and were surrounded by woodlands. These were not perfect places but they were the places I had grown from. My connection to them was comfortable. Though climate could be harsh or overwhelmingly dreary, it was something I expected and understood.

I once trod area paths in moccasins and had long recognized the energies that surrounded me. I could visualize the almost physical connections that bound my spirit to the world I’d known.

When I descended from the sky to stand on this volcanic land, the bonds that had held me to the earth had been disrupted beyond what I could have imagined. I did not step down into another woodland place but rather onto a fiery world that was both lush and barren.

The dreary rain systems of the Northwest seemed unrelated to the mighty storms that swirl around this Island and sound as if they will swallow us in their fury.

The earthen energies I had always used to connect to the spirit, have been replaced with fire. It is as if my energy connections to the world now enter through a previously unused chakra, as if I must find a foothold each time my foot touches the earth, as if I must re-forge ties between my sense of self and my sense of place.

It may be that this need to disconnect and reconnect differently makes this a perfect paradise for vacationers. The cellphone may follow visitors here – at least in areas were there is coverage – but it has to travel a great distance along spiritual lines to reach one in this place. I suspect it is also this need to disconnect and reconnect that makes it difficult for new residents to transition to this world. Some things that seem solid on the mainland seem rather transitory here. A certain magical thinking slips in from time to time. Pele is real. There is a fiery goddess who sometimes reclaims pieces of the land. Government officials and schoolteachers acknowledge her presence and her rights. No one points out the injustice of such a situation. No one doubts she has the right to take back what she chooses.

Certainly this difference in belief systems, in perspectives on reality, must have come into play on the morning in January when I eased out of bed shortly after 8 am to view an alert sent to my cellphone. It reported a ballistic missile was headed to Hawaii. It reported that this was not a drill. I read the message. Twice. I went across the house to my daughter’s room. Had she gotten an alert? Yes. But her 7 year old son was coloring on the floor. There seemed no need to discuss it in his presence. So without further conversation, we simply shook our heads and determined it was likely not true. In the words we used in the corporate world I had left, there were no action items here. I did call the dog inside; I’ll never know why. And I poured the coffee and posted to Facebook the song I had already identified as an emblem for this land, “I See Fire.” But I didn’t panic. I did check an online news source to find out there was no real threat long before the 2nd alert arrived 38 minutes later saying it had been a mistake. Someone I know from Oregon mentioned that in 38 minutes she  would expect some people to have overdosed intentionally. If that happened, I never heard of it. And though my circle of friends is somewhat limited as a new arrival, there was no one among my family, my children’s co-workers or the folks we’ve met from my grandsons’ schools that panicked or became distraught.  Perhaps because Pele feels more real here than inter-ballistic missiles; perhaps she will protect.

Now I see fire, inside the mountain
I see fire, burning the trees
And I see fire, hollowing souls
And I see fire, blood in the breeze
And I hope that you’ll remember me

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I See Fire

 

 

 

I want to say that underneath it all, you are my friend

And the way that I fell for you, I’ll never fall that way again.” (I Believe in Love, Indigo Girls)

Our lives did not begin when we first came together, nor did they end when our time together unraveled. But this particular part of what would become separate journeys started at a distinct moment in time. It was a short discussion held not long after I had transitioned from short term disability into retirement. I don’t recall the date or time and the moment was evidently so unremarkable to my spouse that he afterwards swore he did not recall the discussion and berated me for acting as if it was significant.

He sat in a rocking chair in the living room and told me at some length that he needed our relationship to be something it no longer was. He needed greater physical and emotional closeness and if that was not something we could have together, he would have to look for it elsewhere.

To me, this discussion was not just significant, it was life changing. I viewed our life together as eternal if not ideal. The close loving bond we believed in when we first met had long since dissipated. The trust required as a basis for a real partnership had proven illusionary. But if we were not a bonded pair, we were nonetheless, ohana. I could not quite come to grips with anyone being left behind.

Perhaps even then, I knew instinctively that there was no path forward. We would spend months in painful discussions where we pretended we might find a way to continue. The discussions did our marriage no good and our psyches a great deal of harm. Still it was devastating to gradually come to the recognition that I would never recapture the feelings that my spouse had made clear he required to continue in a decades long relationship. It was excruciating to come to that conclusion alone.

“There are avenues and supplements and books stacked on the shelf
Labyrinths of recovery in search of our best self
But most of what will happen now is way out of our hands
So just let it go and see where it lands…”

bookshelf

I Believe In Love, Indigo Girls

 

 

Leave them laughing when you go

…and if you care, don’t let them know. Don’t give yourself away” (Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now’)

In hindsight, those might not have been the best choice for words to live by. But music has been the backdrop of human’s lives almost since that “first amphibian crawled out of the slime” (Tom Paxton, ‘Changing My Name to Chrysler’) and I don’t believe we choose that backdrop so much as we recognize it.

I come from a long line of storytellers and one of the anecdotes I would laughingly tell to friends occurred the summer I was taking three 4-week graduate classes while 8 months pregnant with two preschoolers at home. I asked one of the professors for a 1-week extension to complete a paper. He gladly gave it but was surprised and noted that “you front really well.”

And perhaps I do. There may have been more behind that anecdote, a deflection, a plea to myself and others not to look too closely. Because at times there were true horrors in my life. As there are in so many lives. I never felt safe or entitled enough to allow a glimpse of those horrors to anyone who was not already a witness.

Even after working close to a decade with a team member, I glossed over much of my history. I remarked once about having a half dozen kids or so. My co-worker pointed out kindly that I had 4 (mostly) grown children. I commented that it felt like more. But that wasn’t quite true. I’ve had 6 children. But decades later, it seemed an imposition to tell folks who were just trying to get through their work lives about the two stillborn daughters that I carried with me eternally.

So I default to silence. I refrain from bleeding in agony across social media. I have my roots in New England, identify as an introvert and have spent a lifetime hoping to minimize drama. Whenever possible, I’ve believed it best to fly below the radar.

At the end of a year of dissolution and rebuilding, I stepped out of my usual social media role of humor and political commentary to thank family and friends for the support they had provided to myself and other family members as we went through a transition that was “not always easy and not always kind” (Lovin Spoonful; ‘Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind’).

As I noted then, I don’t believe all stories need to be told out loud and I’ve purposely refrained from shouting mine out to the winds. But I’ve been rethinking that just a bit. Perhaps it stems from the “Me, too” movement. Perhaps we need to rebuild our society through speaking truth openly and unafraid. Perhaps we must disperse the darkness as we call forth the light.  I have no desire, and perhaps no right, to denigrate my ex-husband who I never believed to be purposely hurtful. Still I’m not sure I can successfully become who I must be without processing who and where I’ve been. Perhaps speaking one’s own story is needed. There is truth in this. There is also love.

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Both Sides Now