Thursday, September 30, 2010

shades of gray

According to the Wall Street Journal:

People who see the world in shades of gray tend to:
Procrastinate or avoid making decisions if possible
Feel more regret after making decisions
Be thoughtful about making the right choice
Stay longer in unhappy relationships
Appreciate multiple points of view

People who see the world as black and white tend to:
Speak their mind or make quick decisions
Be more predictable in making decisions (e.g. who they vote for)
Be less anxious about making wrong choices
Have relationship conflicts that are less drawn out
Be less like to consider others’ points of views

The world is definitely shades of gray for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

she called me a TYPIST

and I have to tell you, I was hurt. Is that really all she thinks I do for her? Type? She was talking with her sister and fortunately (for her) while she continued her conversation, I was able to regroup and not rip her head off. I drive to her non-profit organization and help her after my work day ends. We work on grants and yes, I do type but I also write and brainstorm and exhibit extreme patience in dealing with her ADD.

She called me a typist. She pays me well for being a typist - I guess I shouldn't complain. But I've spend my entire adult life feeling ashamed of being a secretary and in one simple sentence, she demoted me to a typist. She was having a bad day. Her brain wasn't working properly (according to her) and I have to agree.

Well, I'm going to chalk that up as a slip of the tongue.

losing my mind

or seeking a distraction? Last night I awoke at 2:22. I told myself I wasn't going to look over at the clock when I wake up and I didn't for one night but last night I noticed - 2:22. When I fell back to sleep I had a dream or many dreams and warnings and repetitions of this date - April 16, 2005. I googled that date to see if there was any significant world event - only a minor earthquake in California and the G7 conference in DC. I don't think either of those events affected me.  Then I wrote out the date - 04162005 and totalled them up to 18, divisible by 3 six times. I know I'm grasping at straws; what straws exactly I don't know.  Maybe I should look up 222 (because I have nothing better to do!).

Okay, a quick look up of 222 revealed the following:

The number 222 carries much significance in the world of numerology . Many positive characters are attached to it like Duality, Division, Polarity, Choice, Gestation, Cooperation, Service, Harmony, Support, Waiting, Diplomacy, Patience, Psychic, Intuition, Adaptable, Empathic, Partnership, Mediator, Comparison, Receptive, Helper, Collecting, Reproduction, Balancer of Opposites, Subconscious Memory, Positive and Negative.

The number 222 signifies that the person is on the right path and he/she will face fewer obstacles. This number shows that the person is doing the right work and the person is going in the right direction as well.

In Numerology 2+2+2= 6. 6 is also a very lucky number. In Numerology 2+2+2= 6. 6 is also a very lucky number. The number six's are very compassionate individuals and tend to be very sensitive to the needs and concerns of others. They are very balanced and truthful people. The number six's are very compassionate individuals and tend to be very sensitive to the needs and concerns of others. They are very balanced and truthful people.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When is it time to let go?

Flashback to a conversation a few months back when my daughter asked me, "when you love someone, don't you stick by them through the good and the bad times? I thought that was what love is." Yes, I told her, that is what you do when you love someone.

Now I am faced with a similar dilemma. I love someone who is going through a really difficult period and has shut me out of his life for months. I cry. I get angry. I plead for understanding and an explanation. He just doesn't feel good inside and rather than lean on me or let me care for him or help him, he shuts me out. I have seen him down and haven't given up on him or withdrawn my love. He's ashamed? embarrassed? sad? feeling like a failure? I still love him because I know the person he is beneath all the struggle and unhappiness.

What do I do? I don't want to care anymore. It doesn't help him and it only causes me distress and I swore off distress. But how do I stop caring about someone I love. Maybe I just live my life as though he doesn't exist and let life with or without him unfold. Funny thing about me, I have a hard time letting go, especially when I love that person. I never gave up on my children. I don't want to give up on my love.

I need a break.

I never thought it would happen to us

A decade ago I would have never envisioned my love and me in a sexless relationship but that is what has unfolded for us. Is it my fault? I believed that one of the positives of my therapy and trauma healing work would be the growth and healing of our relationship. And perhaps it was that in the beginning but no more.

Perhaps the bigger question is, "why do I stay in a relationship with a man who ignores me, won't spend any time with me or talk with me; who I would never be able to reach in an emergency, and who makes promise after promise which he never keeps?"  Am I so desperate for love that being treated with such little respect or visibility is acceptable? He used to love me and I felt it, every minute of every day but no more. He relinquishes a trickle of love every now and then.

What man texts the 'love of his life' a message, after many attempts on her part to contact him over the last two days, that basically reads -- I'm fine but emotional. I just needed to be alone for a while. Sorry to cause you distress. Geez. I guess I have no choice. This has been going on since the beginning of June...little or no friendship, support, love, sex, companionship, or conversation.

Am I being a fool or what?

No, please don't answer me; I will feel even more asinine.

Yes, I have plenty more healing work to do.  First, however, I must acknowledge that something is terribly wrong and I've been working on that. I just so much wanted my love to understand the turmoil and work with me to improve our situation. But alas, that's not quite happening.

Hope is dangling by a thread.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I still get depressed...

but maybe it's the times we live in and not my elusive and abusive history. I am in that phase again where I want to sleep all the time. It's not that my nights are as troubled as they had been in the past but by 8:30 I'm ready to crawl into bed and escape the day. In the earliest stages of sleep, panic still creeps in and awakens me with a racing heart and gasps for breath but I am able to quiet that fear (whatever it is), curl back up and close my eyes. And I've been dreaming like a mad woman and having mantra-like thoughts racing around in my mind. Last night it was the lyrics of Paul Simon's "50 ways to leave your lover" which disturbed me because I don't want to leave my lover. I was hurt though and I'm sure that helped conjure up my musical selection. But I would consciously stop the lyrical chanting in my head and say aloud, "But I don't want to leave my lover." It went on and on for the entire night although I never opened my eyes or sat up in bed.

Oh, but I did wake up and go to the bathroom at exactly 3:33 last night and the night before and two nights before that. That would be three of the last four nights that I arose from my bed at exactly 3:33. Is there a reason for this - are the heavenly flocks trying to reach out to me?  Heck, I don't know - maybe my internal clock is synched to something otherworldy - perhaps angels.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a funny thing about fear...

You must not go in fear. You must not walk in the [spirit] world in fear. The time has come to be brave. If you are fearful, you are leaking your power.


It's a funny thing about fear...it grows like a mushroom in the dark.


Taken from "The Edge of Dreaming" - PBS Video

Am I fixed yet?

My healing has branched out in several directions (dealing with my career, my poverty, my relationships...). I no longer focus on the physical abuse of my first husband or the emotional abuse of my second. Oh, they still may come into my mind when triggered by a song or story but for the most part I have acknowledged the abuse, gotten angry, wept, and raged.

My teeth are almost complete and I am hoping that at that time I can put that abusive bastard to rest (and not in peace). There was a flare-up a few weeks ago when my son contacted his father but as predicted, his father let him down. For maybe the first time in my 29 year old son's life, I expressed my anger toward his father. No more coddling; afterall, he isn't a child anymore. My son was shocked at my anger and quite relieved, I think.

My youngest son is making things work with his father, for now. And that's been good for the two of us. We talk civily, even with caring and he is realizing that I wasn't so horrible of a mom nor was I that "fucking idiot" he was so fond of calling me.

My daughter is doing her work in therapy and it shows. We still get on each other's nerves but I think the cause of that tension is that she's still living with me at 27. Time to move on for us all.

That just leaves the sexual abuse. Who did it? When? I have pretty good ideas backed by many dreams and flashbacks. Have I really dealt with it? I don't really know. I have acknolwedged the abuse on some levels. I've certainly shed enough tears over it but I'm not sure about the anger part. Is there a specific amount of rage that needs to be expressed and if so, how do you measure it? And maybe I have raged enough but just can't remember. It's been a rough couple of years.

Maybe I wouldn't be able to alter my life's course the way I am if I hadn't adequately mourned all that I lost because of the abuse (physical and sexual) and abandonment issues. I'm worried, however, that I still exist in a place of partial denial.

But I'm not fixed yet. That's the bottom line and I'm steadfastly working to heal my wounds and move on in my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

this ain't freedom

Living my life is being hampered by the huge amounts of credit card and school loan debt I have incurred. I'm shackled to my poverty. I've worked so hard to remove the emotional chains that bound me and now I'm toiling to free myself from financial burdens. I move the debt around and around but it doesn't go away. The rub is that I accumulated all this debt because I wasn't okay. I didn't believe in my abilities to earn a decent living. I never finished school so my educational loans are not paying for themselves with a higher wage earning. I guess I still have work to do.

I spoke to Dr. B about my weight in therapy last night. Little did I know that she is also a certified personal trainer. Certified? I don't know what exactly that means - who certified her but she explained to me the proper way to do cardio and resistance. I was doing it all wrong. So now I will do 5-6 minutes of cardio warmup, resistance work on alternating muscle groups, followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I'll see if this actually makes a difference - all I know is that for the last year, I've been working out and nothing has really happened.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

my weight is probably killing me

Slowly it is stealing my life from me - every extra one pound on an arthritic joint is equivalent to 7 pounds so I am dumping some serious poundage on my poor aching joints. I looked at video from a summer event - they aren't many captures of me (thank goodness) but where there are show a very overweight middle aged woman. Shameful, seriously bad for my health...an extra 20 pounds on already voluptuous woman takes it over the top. I need to stop eating. I don't know how to stop eating.


I eat for comfort and ironically it does anything but comfort me. It makes me feel sick and disgusted with myself. I go to the gym three times a week but my workouts are slow because I lack energy. My healthy cells are being consumed by fat cells.

I just ate lunch and I'm full but already thinking about what's next to eat. Ugh!

I cleaned out my closet on Sunday and moved all my slacks into my new dresser.  I had, no exaggeration, 20 pairs of jeans in all sizes, and probably 12 or more pairs of regular slacks (in all sizes).  As my body weight fluctuates, I buy new. This is bad news - I spend money I don't have and chronic weight shifts are very unhealthy.

Time to be true to myself. Time to lose the weight and get healthy again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

333

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned this but for at least the past year (maybe more) I have been noticing the numbers 333. Maybe I wake up in the morning at 3:33 or happen to glance at my odometer at 333 -- it's always somewhere, something.  I decided to google 333 and see what the numerical or spiritual implications are of having 333 so predominantl in your life.  Here's what I found at Riding the Beast:

Good and Evil both exist. If there is evil around you please feel comfort. 333 is a blessed number (The holy trinity). God must sense your discomfort or evil around you. He is trying to reasure you that he is by your side and watching you. Have faith and believe.
Mark, Luke and John - is "The Way", "The Truth" and "The Life).
The last two nights in particular were very trying - I couldn't sleep and when I did I had wild dreams about my childhood and people whose paths I have crossed at some point in my life...random people that I have never given thought to.  And both nights I happened to glance at the clock at exactly 3:33. This is not the first time either.

Do I need to become a Christian? I hope not. The website has some rather crazy sounding people posting their stories about 333...a little creepy.

the world is a reflection

I'm not sure what it is about reflections that fascinates me. Now that I no longer deny the suffering and joy of living, I look into life as reflected back to me through shadow and light. It lends intricacy and beauty to the simplest of images. 

I have noticed of late that I walk around noticing reflections everywhere - in windows, doors, puddles, eyes, glasses, car mirrors, hubcabs. Life is reflected back to us everywhere we look.

Not a great fan of mirrors, however. They reflect back to me the hardship of my life - in the wrinkled skin, and the scars and the bloodshot swollen eyes.They never let me forget the years of binge eating and starving. I try to be very introspective about the whole aging process and accept it gracefully. Some days I peer into the mirror and I see beautiful me, wrinkles and all.  Other days I have to turn out the light and leave.  Too much for me to see the effects of a traumatic life. But it is my life and I need to embrace it. I am who I am because of all that I lived. No place for regrets anymore.

When I look deeply into the eyes of my lover, I see my sadness. He's a witness and his eyes reflect my hurt as if he experienced them himself. It's haunting and disturbing. Some days his eyes makes me angry; other days they make me cry. Oh, he carries his own but that sorrow is reflected in downcast eyes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

me and my shadow

Some days the aloneness that is my life gets the better of me and I fall into this mood of overbearing loneliness. I reconnected briefly with my love yesterday afternoon and of course, today I miss him terribly. It's the downside of the occasional visit.

But I survived the day and now evening is approaching. I just took a bath to unwind from a nothing sort of day and I'm going to put my pajamas on. Sometimes I just feel so pathetic. I should be heading out to party and dance the night away. Tomorrow, however, I will socialize at my neighbor's party.

Today it was just me and my shadow (and my dog, of course).

Phew.

Friday, September 17, 2010

updates

I'm in the final stretches of getting my new front teeth installed.  Yesterday I went for a metal rim fitting (or whatever they call it). It rocked just a tad so my dentist pulled it apart, refit it, glued it back together and sent it with me to John (the tooth maker) for resoldering.  I also had a photo taken so he could match the color gradations in my real teeth.  It's been 9 1/2 months since I began this procedure. It's been at least two years since my front tooth fell out and cracked decades after its initial installment.  All this recent tooth trauma reignited this nightmare called my life and the ensuing healing. It's been a battle.

The good news - I haven't gotten sick in almost a month. Not that I feel terrific because I don't. I'm tired most every day; again, it's an exhaustion that goes down to the marrow, and my stomach has been a little troubling lately. But I haven't had to miss work or not been able to get out of bed and function. It's a low grade, "I just don't feel as good as I want to."  I think much has to do with my weight gain. It's too much for me. So, why don't I lose the weight? I'm trying sort of. It's how can I calm my anxiety? Eating is not a perfect solution at all.

I realized at John's that I can't just smile. He tried to coax me into smiling a relaxed smile and I couldn't. It felt awkward and made my cheeks ache. And I'm not writing about smiling for 15 minutes -- this was 30 seconds of smiling. I learned decades ago to smile with my mouth shut.  Maybe I'm afraid someone will knock my teeth out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

sexual insights

I laid in bed last night thinking about sex, not my lack of any sexual encounters, but a deeper insight into the darkness of my sexual history. Much of it is a grim and ugly picture. I thought sex equaled love. But that's a common misconception, especially among young girls who have been sexually abused. At least I think it would be. When your daddy, who is supposed to love you and cherish you, has sex with you, it is confusing.  How do you rationalized such an act but to equate that uncomfortable and dirty little secret with an act of love? A parent's love is sacred... not perverse and hurtful. It just messes up every concept of what love should be and it affects the way you love and make love.

My love (if I can still call him that) has concluded that our lovemaking for all these years was an anxiety reliever. I don't know if that's all he thinks it was. He never dealt with his anxiety and our ambitious and physical sex life allowed him to ignore it for many years. He pounded out his anxiety on me. He thinks it was the same for me and I think it probably was to some extent but for me it was more likely a desperate craving for love and a releasing of anger at the same time. It all made for some extremely intense lovemaking. But I have to admit that my sexual appetite was also fiercely driven by a need to release anxiety. I had way too much in my life. Oh, I don't know -- it's all so complicated.

Now I don't have sex anymore and I miss it.  But what do I miss?  The feelings of love? The intimacy? The physical release? It's not a needed salve for anxiousness anymore. I'm lonely for the touch of my man. My body aches for the physical pleasures we shared. And yes, I do miss the kind of intimacy we just recently learned to share. I discovered love in our lovemaking and I want that back.

But maybe it's not meant to be. I'm patient but I'm also very sad.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday night

I indulged in a couple of glasses of champagne tonight with my neighbor. We commiserated over the anger and abuse we both tolerate from our teenage sons. My relationship with my son is improving while hers with her son is deteriorating. I have come to believe that sons need fathers and decent fathers at that. I'm not sure that's so easy to come by.

I also received an email from my friend on the west coast. She's having a very difficult time with her husband of many years. Her therapist told her to lower her expectations of her husband. She doesn't want to leave her home and uproot her life so she needed a plan to make staying possible. Lowering expectations became the answer ... I thought maybe a lover would be a better answer. But then it becomes too complicated. I have lived with low expectations - of myself, of my children, of most everyone around me. I am feeling just the opposite - I need to raise expectations, especially of myself.

No one ever had high expectations (or any for that matter) for me as a child or even once I was officially grown up with children. Oh, my poor darling, she's just had it tough; she's just surviving; she's the fucked-up one. We have no expectations of greatness or even mediocrity for her. Just let her be and we'll hope for the best for her and her children. It's a crushing and deadly attitude to have. Hey, we can send her a check. Yeah, that will solve all her issues.

Nope, didn't work.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

then and now

Compare and contrast - that is what I did in therapy with Dr. B the other night.  I was relating my dream about moving and the teenage girl, etc. and how I feel like I've returned to that exact same place 40 years later. Only this time the way I am handling the situation is completely different.  And although it is a much better feeling to be more in control of my destiny than I was at 14, it still fills me with anxiety.

Where do you feel it when you think about then and now? Oh, sometimes I hate that question but it helps me stay grounded and get clarity on what's happening inside. I wasn't able to pinpoint it at first. I felt proud of myself and puffed up a little about my strength and will to survive. But at the same time I had this very familiar ache in my solar plexus. It wasn't as intense as in the past but it was definitely present. It IS the link to my past.

The conversation gently shifted to my strength. Dr. B asked me, "What do you attribute the difference in your reactions and actions?" My strength, I said with no hesitation. I've always had this superhuman internal strength to keep going but it is a different kind of strength now.  I was a bull then. I lowered my head and charged, hoping for the best. I gave myself no choice. I made it through one trauma and into the next and next and next for years and years. I never considered the hows or whys. I just kept moving.

It's a more cognitive strength now. Physically I'm weaker - I can't lift and drag and move things like I used to. One of my greatest coping mechanisms was movings things -- shifting rooms, rearranging furniture, purging. And starting again.

I still shifted and rearranged and purged but it was done with presence of mind and consciousness. I wasn't a manic maniac rabidly attempting to shed layers of my life. I contemplated my desires and actions. I thought about consequences. And most importantly, I thought about what I wanted. Initially that maniac surfaced but I was able to quell her fears and react with rational thinking.  Oh geez, I sound so grownup.

It's my second chance and it's going to be different. I notice how I tell myself this with almost every post.  Positive reinforcement - I will make changes in my life. This is today; this is now and not then, never again.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

what if

What if I can't change my life? What if I am too weak or too afraid of failure to even try?

Driving home from work yesterday, suicidal thoughts infiltrated my mind. Exhaustion again took hold and I thought, oh god, what if this is all bullshit and I can't implement any changes in my life? What if I am doomed to a life with bad relationships, messed up childen, and enormous debt? I would not handle it well at all.

With those fears swirling around, I decided that I could always end life...no failures, no successes; just a lot of hard work that didn't come to fruition. As I write this remembering my mood earlier, I shake my head - NOT an option.

I am not imprisoned anymore and the power to change my life is in my hands.

I don't know where I'm heading but it's somewhere better.

I WON'T FAIL.
I AM DETERMINED.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

what's weighing on my mind

  • My love's insights about our sex life and the connection to his life-long anxiety and role as caretaker
  • Our future together?
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and my swollen, aching, stiff  fingers
  • The financial mess that is my life
  • 2009 income taxes that I never filed
  • The rather abrupt and somewhat disrespectful attitude of my daughter
  • Travelling and what I was told many years ago about a career choice - travel agent! I laughed but I didn't possess the insight to understand what opportunities that would present - traveling, writing, photography, blogging, experiencing the world. Oh, I was so narrow-minded and frightened - maybe it was the other way - frightened and thereby closed-minded!
  • MY WEIGHT - I almost forgot one of the most important issues. Now that's denial - my weight is affecting my health, my arthritis, my sleep ... and who knows what else.
It's more than a to-do list -- it's a "going to help me change my path" list and point me in a direction that's focused on me. Lately I have encountered many people in my age bracket who never had children...what different lives they led. I believe it is now my turn to live a little.

And I suppose the ever-popular "bucket list" will come later. First things first.

I suspect there is something exciting and creative buried inside me impatiently waiting and wanting to burst out and show the world who I really am.  One day I am going to leave an unforgetable impression on those that know me.

Hey, it's a gratifying thought.

what I did this morning

I found the memory stick for my camera yesterday while I was cleaning so early this morning I decided to take the camera with me on our dog walk around town. I took photos of residential doorways and windows, a few commercial establishments, and a church -- my village. 

I have lived here for nearly 20 years and for most of that time I prayed for the day when I might finally be able to leave this little god-forsaken town. And yet I stayed and stayed - for many reasons; my children, my divorce settlement, but more important than anything else, because of my lover.

 I'm still here; I'm still waiting, but at long last I don't despise the town or its residents. I'm not sure what altered my attitude; perhaps because now I may leave only I don't know where to go.

One more aspect of my life that I need to sort out.

Monday, September 06, 2010

transformation complete

Well,  almost complete and the transformation I mention is the conversion of my son's bedroom into my office. I didn't cry and I wasn't overcome with guilt. My son unexpectedly stopped by this evening - he asked if I could give him a ride to his AA meeting. He walked into what was his room and stopped. I waited, ready to defend my position to an 18 year old but he liked what I did and was pleased that it had become my office.  I breathed a sigh of relief. How absurd -- not that I would have changed anything because of his reaction. It was miraculous (almost) that our conversation did not escalate into a fight, which always leaves me emotionally drained.

He turns 19 on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

lyrical memories

Hello darkness my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

It often surprises me when I hear a song that resonated so strongly with me so many years ago as a teen and still today has the power to evoke strong emotional pangs and tears of sadness and depression. It's not a specific incident it triggers but an emotional memory that rattles my physical as well as my emotional wellbeing.

Friday, September 03, 2010

a day to forget

Yesterday is gone. Thank goodness. Started with a bombardment of annoyances, mostly from the boss. He can be such a pain in the... The weather was suffocating - no breeze, hot and humid. I was not in a favorable mood. When I returned home, the house was relatively quiet and I quickly retreated to my room and turned on the a/c. Only little dog was happy to see me.  My daugher, who I struggle mightily to stay supportive of, was shut up in her dark room, lying on her bed watching television. Mind you, it's 4:30 in the afternoon. She came out after a little bit and into my room. Oh, it's so hot she told me and flopped down on the chaise lounge to rest. I was preparing to do some laundry although I, too, felt like napping.

She brought up her old car that she wants to sell.  I suggested that when it sells she give me the money to cover her rent through December - that way she wouldn't have to worry about it. She flipped out, got angry and an argument ensued. I can't get into all the nitty gritty but we don't understand one another. And I am pissed at her for being lazy and unmotivated. It's an issue, a major issue for her and she's working on it in therapy. But, still, I do run out of patience. She said I didn't do this; I argued, well, you didn't tell me that. It went on and on and I ended up yelling that I was just so tired of her bullshit. Not nice a thing to say. She left my room and I heard her door slam. I was fuming.

I knocked on her door and attempted to start a civil conversation. It wasn't meant to be. She tells me I don't listen. She tells me I am putting too much pressure on her. She tells me all kinds of bad things that I supposedly do. I don't think so but then I get accused of doing these things all the time by my son as well. I think I am patient and understanding. I just think I get tired of being used by my children and rebel, and they get hurt and angry. My daughter is grown. She shouldn't be living with me.

I was unable to calm myself. I grabbed my ipod, my cellphone, and my car keys (all the necessities one needs to calm down) and headed to the river. I found a nice isolated spot right on the riverbank, took off my shoes, plugged myself into the ipod and closed my eyes. The river air smelled good and it was quiet. I stayed long enough to witness a gorgeous sunset.  Then I walked back to my car and headed up the road to meet my love at the train.  I missed him but caught up with him before he left for home.  We hugged. He felt good. He always looks so handsome. I miss him.

This morning my daughter came out of her room just as I was leaving. We had a quick exchange and I was off to the gym.

Again, I feel guilty but I also feel angry. My guilt is what allows my children to take advantage of me and walk all over me. The "new" me is not tolerating that anymore. I did the best I was capable of. I keep telling myself how hard I tried to make their lives okay. I wasn't neglectful - I was traumatized.

What an excuse!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I've come full circle

Or so it feels.  Thinking about my life at 14 -- a time when I was catapulted into a trajectory of self destruction that would last decades and now at 54 I'm again facing a major transition that radiates around moving.

So how did it start at 14? I'm not even sure if 14 is the correct age but I know that 14 is an age of change and growth and angst for most teenagers. It was an age of sexual awakening, hormonal changes, separation from the protective clutches of caring parents (didn't exactly apply to me), high school, boys, and the discovery and assertion of  'self' as an independent young woman. For me this also included withdrawal and dissocation through drug use - marijuana, hashish, LSD - an escape from whatever hurts life had already dealt me. I don't remember much but I do know I was miserable way beyond the normal anxiousness of  teenage years.

Fourteen was the year, I believe, that my father permanently broke any bonds he had with me and called me a slut and a whore for going to the movies with boys. It was the summer we all went to Europe as a family and I came to the realization of how much I actually hated my father. It was the same summer I laid on the bed in a hotel room in Sweden and wished for the courage to commit suicide. I wrote a suicide note of sorts and mailed it to my best friend in the US but couldn't carry it through. Fortunately my family reemerged from an excursion and I was saved.

It was the year that my parent's marriage was ending although I was not totally in touch with this happening. It changed everything - my father moved out, my mother followed shortly thereafter by finding a second home, and we were left to our own devices. Although I wasn't the one to change residences at 14 or 15, everything started to crumble when my parents divorced and relocated. There was, however, a shift in my physical residence - it wasn't home anymore.

Forty years later and another series of events are forcing a major shift in my trajectory.  I think that this time I have a better plan and it doesn't include any self-destructive behavior. Maybe this time I'll get it right.