Life Goes On: Trauma Revisited

TRIGGER WARNING So I don’t talk much about trauma on this blog anymore. And you know what? It’s a relief. I started to face the abuse and assaults I survived when I was 25. Last month I turned 39. I’ve been at this 14 years. And I don’t expect it’s a journey that’s ever reallyContinue reading “Life Goes On: Trauma Revisited”

This Word Chronic

I’ve been so angry at people who ask me, “How are the headaches?” and “Feeling better?” “It’s still chronic,” I say flatly. “I was diagnosed 27 years ago. Five years ago, it went from episodic to chronic, and there’s no cure. In the context of chronic migraines with vertigo and brain stem aura, most drugsContinue reading “This Word Chronic”

Another Staycation

I don’t know about you, but I like to start every vacation with a clear idea of what I’m going to get from my time off. Half the fun for me is in the planning. The other half is in making the plan happen. Except this time, no such luck. This time I spent theContinue reading “Another Staycation”

The Discovery of No

I was 25, and I had just learned it was possible to say no. And just like a giddy two-year-old, I began to slap down this word in the midst of conversations, relationships, workdays. One of my library managers planned all our Halloween costumes that fall. We would all dress up as characters from The WizardContinue reading “The Discovery of No”

Becoming an Abuser

I wince at the images of female strength and power in the media. Women in armor swinging automatic weapons over crowds. Women in bikinis shouting into microphones that respect means spending thousands on a ring you can’t afford. Women in Spandex punching other people into submission. These aren’t so much portraits of strength as theyContinue reading “Becoming an Abuser”

The Return

A sea-change had come over my parents’ house. The walls were still the same ice-blue. The kitchen where my father had assaulted me still had its polished parquet floor and the same Formica countertops. But once, there had been alliances. Once, my brother and I had commiserated in our rooms long into the night, plottingContinue reading “The Return”

Learning to Live with the Demon That’s Always There

Anger, like depression, is a stress response, and both can shorten our life expectancy. I’ve been facing some hard facts lately, and one of them is that I go around packing anger like a loaded gun. Still. Don’t get me wrong. Anger serves us well in many situations. It protects us from people who wouldContinue reading “Learning to Live with the Demon That’s Always There”

Workaholism: When You Just Can’t Quit

Quitters are losers, right? But maybe you find yourself still up at 1:30 in the morning, working on a project that’s not exactly urgent. Alert and hyper-attentive to everything but your night-owl family member. And that’s when it hits you–you might be addicted to work. That was my realization, anyway. Workaholism goes by many definitions, but most boilContinue reading “Workaholism: When You Just Can’t Quit”

How Rage Is Shutting Down American Politics

As a high school and college student, I aspired to change the world. I binge-watched The West Wing before binge-watching was a thing. I talked with friends about becoming a lobbyist and engaged in passionate debates about American and global politics. I idolized the Supreme Court and read its decisions with finger-tingling excitement. I evenContinue reading “How Rage Is Shutting Down American Politics”

Why You Can’t Fight Anger with Anger, or It’s Not about You

Or, more precisely, you can. But you won’t win. We all have that special someone in our lives. That someone who challenges and unsettles us in ways we’d rather not be challenged. My very own special someone exudes hostility and anger into the atmosphere. And hostility and generalized anger are my Achilles’ heel–socially. I don’tContinue reading “Why You Can’t Fight Anger with Anger, or It’s Not about You”