Wednesday, October 31, 2007


10. The whole thing.
9. Everything about it.
8. Pretty much the whole month of October.
7. The day before.
6. The actual day.
5. The day after
4. The premise.
3. The threat of "Trick-or-Treat!"
2. The leftover candy.
1. My attitude about it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yea, see, I haven't blogged for awhile because I've just been super busy behaving like a caged animal. I'm going to blame it on the memoir. I'm still writing the damn thing. I can't tell you what draft I'm on now, I keep mixing old with new - let's call this draft a hybrid. Let's also call it what it is, pure torture. It's double the torture right now because I'm working with my writing teacher and she's "making" me go "three layers deeper" in the extra hard to write about parts.

She tells me once I finish this process I'll be able to permanently move past it - there will be great healing. And I believe her. I've seen the healing take place in some of our students that have allowed us to push, push and push some more until there is breakthrough. Otherwise, it's just a state of perpetual transitional labor with no baby to hold in your arms at the end.

So, I'm in the transitional fire. Pretty much feeling all aspects of that ring of fire, too, as I approach the final push. My skin is breaking out, my stomach is a mess, I can't sleep, I am not my usual delightful self. I'm on my own last nerve. When I do nod off for my little night naps, I dream of death, fire and suicide - all symbols of transformation and re-birth (or psychosis).

So I light candles, incense, play pretty, soothing background music and make myself my own midwife. I build a fire and wrap in down comforters, sitting at the hearth with a cup of ambition. I drink lots of water. I take breaks and watch "Seinfeld" on DVD for a laugh. I am going to birth this baby if it's the last thing I do. It's feeling like twins in the breach position right now, but that's OK. I've been through worse, as the memoir will attest. I've also seen the other side of suffering, and know the peace that is possible, as the memoir will also attest, when I am done. For that's the whole point, isn't it? Wisdom born of pain? Profound compassion and peace? Love, love and more love?

Saturday, October 27, 2007


10. Blogger found my last posting "objectionable" - seems they don't like the term, "sexual trauma."
9. I'm really sorry they don't like the term, "sexual trauma," good thing they are OK with PORN!
8. I'm not really OK with ACTUAL SEXUAL TRAUMA!
7. My last photo that had the help sign with a question mark? That linked people to the military when they tried to post a comment.
6. I find the link between "help" and "military" to be objectionable.
5. When I looked for a new "help" photo, I found a picture of coffee beans.
4. I do not find the link between "help" and "coffee" to be objectionable.
3. I followed the link between help and coffee and found scientific EVIDENCE, people, that caffeine consumption boosts executive brain function!
2. I have not had enough executive brain function enhancing beverage this morning to get right with Blogger's line of thinking.
1. I can't wait to see how many ways I've pissed them off now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's EVERYWHERE and affects EVERYONE - we are all either survivors of sexual abuse ourselves, or know someone that is. We all know several, actually, it's the most under-reported crime there is, and victims sometimes never tell anyone, ever. Never. We have to make it safe for them to do so, but that's a whole other blog.

If you are looking for help, these are a few sites that are good - I know my readers know of many others, so I ask you to list them with your comments, please.

Sidran Institute

The Wounded Healer Journal

Survivors of Incest Anonymous

The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington

Post Traumatic Stress Center

A Survivor's True Perspective of Sexual Trauma/Abuse

Prolifically Raw - Jennifer Lauck's Blog

Identity Crisis

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I had the chance to spend Monday night with three other writers/women/mothers. We've had every level of "success" with our writing, starting with me (zero) to a NYT bestselling author, and two inbetween. The conversation started there, the pros and cons of "success" and the many ways society defines "success" and what's the big deal with it, anyway? My head was left spinning. What do I want for my writing? Publication? Any publication? Giant publication? Will I be happy with anything "less" than a spot on Oprah's overrated (I hear) couch? If I knew right now that not a word I type will ever make it past the wonderful audience of this blog, would that stop me? Do I write for myself or for others? Do I write to sort my own thoughts, process my own story, and inevitably, better myself as a person? I say I do! Then, why isn't that "enough?" Why do I burn with desire to be published - mainstream America, see myself on a poster at Barnes & Noble, the whole nine-yards? Is that just ego? Don't I think that being driven by the ego is TFBS? I'm so confused.

From publishing our conversation turned to motherhood. We all have two children, a boy and a girl. We came into motherhood for different reasons, just like we came into writing. We've had varying degrees of "success" with our motherhood. We've "enjoyed" motherhood very differently, yet love our kids beyond words, beyond anything. And the question of why do we become mothers came up for me. Do we do it for ourselves of for our kids? Do we want to mother because of all we have to give, or all we hope to get from the experience?

When I was young and motherhood bound, people tried to warn me, "It's the hardest thing you'll ever do!" "You'll lose your life to your kids, you won't get it back until they leave the nest." Nothing deterred me. I wanted motherhood despite all warnings of its impending peril.

That's just how I feel about publication, too. I'm sure it has impending peril. I'm sure I'll become owned by my writing, lose my life to it, wish for things to be as "easy" as they were before. But that won't stop me. Like motherhood, I would not be even close to the person I am today without having gone on that journey.

Save me a seat, Oprah, I'm coming to see you soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Michelle O'Neil got me hooked on my damn StatCounter, and now I have a whole new way to piss the day away! OMG! Just today people in Portugal, Tel Aviv, Liverpool, Budapest,Tokyo, and British Columbia read me! Wow - my head is so big, it's just a really good thing my visor is adjustable! I am beside myself wondering what people from "over there" find interesting about my musings/rantings/brags/soapbox! Please, tell me! Leave a comment! Put me out of my misery.

Just to thank you for your trouble, I've got a special Top 10 List for you:

10. It gives me something to check other than my horoscope and the weather.
9. It reassures me that I'm not just writing this shit for my own amusement.
8. It shows me what I always suspected, we are all more alike than different.
7. The Internet truly is an international net!
6. Coffee makes the world go round.
5. I'm not the only one that spends way too much time at her computer.
4. When I go on book tour for my as-of-yet-unpublished-but-all-written-in-my-head-memoir, I'll get to meet my "fans."
3. It's fine that I've spent the day ignoring my husband and children because I've got an international audience that needs me!
2. I can make a much bigger deal than is necessary about anything and everything!
1. love. is universal.

Just finished reading Michelle's posting about shopping with her darling seven-year-old. If you've been following Riley's journey, you'll know what a big deal the shopping experience was, and I am THRILLED for Michelle. I'm also human, however, and need to compare her shopping trip yesterday with mine. I took my 13-year-old and her friend shopping. Here's a Top 10 List just about that:


10. Whether or not her cell phone was on or off.
9. Whether or not her i-Pod was actually broken, or just had not been charged.
8. If the parking space had a limit of 4 hours, why did I consider that "ample" and she felt "rushed."
7. If ANOTHER jacket was more important than the jeans we were there to shop for.
6. If "not leaving your friend's side for a minute" really meant "not leaving your friend's side for a minute."
5. Which stairs we came down from the parking garage.
4. Which way American Eagle was when we got in the mall.
3. Why I said yes to buying one drink, but no to buying two (at the exact same time).
2. Why I agreed to rent them a movie for the night, but didn't agree to rent four.
1. Why it was time to leave the mall, even though we hadn't been there four hours, and our parking space still had more time.

Friday, October 19, 2007


We moved to this "village", technically a neighborhood, 14 days before my son, Rojo, was born. When he began crying and didn't stop for a year and a half, I couldn't take him anywhere except "The Little Store" that was around the corner from my house. I was there daily. Postage stamps, cash, beer, wine, coffee, snacks, they had everything I could possibly need, and I didn't have to load the kids in the car to get there.

Rojo's first trip there was in the back of my brand new double stroller. His 2-year-old sister was buckled in the front, he lay sprawled (and screaming) in the back. He was so new he still had his umbilical cord stump.

Tomorrow is "The Little Store's" last day under the original owners. I can't help thinking an era is over. There will be new owners, villagers, actually, and I'm sure it will be wonderful, but it won't be the same. These owners haven't watched Rojo grow since the day he came in with his "stump" over eleven years ago.

As we moved through our journey with Rojo, they moved with us. His progress, lack of progress, the owners, Carol and Gary, have watched and listened. They have literally, seen him grow up right before their eyes.

Tomorrow I take the kids to say good-bye. I was hoping they'd continue to watch and listen as Rojo reaches milestones along the way. I even had illusions that he'd bring his own little boy in the store twenty years from now, the umbilical stump still attached to his newborn, and show Carol and Gary what a great man/father he'd become. Full circle, you know, that kind of thing.

It's so true, it takes a village to raise a child, and we thank all of you for being in our village, both literally and electronically.


Thursday, October 18, 2007


THIS is my latest obsession, all things Ingrid Michaelson! She is so my second favorite singer (Tracy Grammer will always be my first. You're the best, Tracy!)

Good news, bad news, Ingrid has a voice you want to join right in with. Nobody wants to listen to Ingrid and me sing, but too bad, because if you come anywhere near my house these days that's what you're going to hear! You might have heard one of her songs on a new Old Navy commercial, and yes, that song is cute, but the rest of her songs are not cute, they are gorgeous. I'm particularly hooked on "Keep Breathing."

Keep Breathing

The storm is coming but I don't mind.
People are dying, I close my blinds.

All that I know is I'm breathing now.

I want to change the world...instead I sleep.
I want to believe in more than you and me.

But all that I know is I'm breathing.
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

All that I know is I'm breathing.
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

I particularly love/hate the line about "I want to change the world... instead I sleep." That is so me. I get overwhelmed with all that needs changing and take refuge in my bed, head under the covers, deep in sleep, far away from all responsibilities. I suppose there are worse coping mechanisms, but still...

Fortunately it's not all up to me to change the world. There is hope:

Check this out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I'm still obsessed with PostSecret. Here are a few more of my best kept secrets:

I feel bad for the clothes in my closet that I don't wear. I think I'm hurting their feelings.

I feel guilty about the books in "the pile," especially when I read one out of order, giving it "cuts" to the books that have been standing in line longer.

I have t-shirts in my drawer older than my children, older than my marriage, and sometimes I love them most of all.

I don't trust anyone that says, "Trust me!"

I usually know what someone is going to say before they say it, and it's all I can do to answer the question before they ask it.

I have more mugs than Carter has pills, but everytime I'm somewhere that sells mugs, I take a look.

If you knew how much I think about coffee, you'd be alarmed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

To find out WTF a meme is, click here.

To find out what it's like to be single and date during the second half of life, click here.

To find out all the other really valuable bits of knowledge I have, check this site every day!


Friday, October 12, 2007


1) If the house were on fire I would take my computer and e-mail and blog while it burned to the ground.

2) I only know what I'm thinking after I read it on the screen.

3) I am way funnier in person than I am in my writing, and I'm pretty hilarious in my writing.

4) I spend all my good writing energy on my blog then find excuses all day why I can't possibly write my "real" stuff.

5) I don't know WTF a MEME is, but Michelle O'Neil tagged me, and I'm afraid of Michelle O'Neil, not to mention HT, that's one scary ass dude!

OK, I tag Deb, La La, Ziji, Kim, and Lee.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

OK, my mom's birthday is today, she's 77. Today is the 11th. I'm in my power year, 44. I woke up last night at 11:11, 12:21, 2:22 and 4:44. My son is 11, I had him in my last power year, 33. He's a numbers guy. I didn't think I was. I'm freaking myself out.

Just found this on the Web: "Number Eleven possesses the qualities of intuition, patience, honesty, sensitivity, and spirituality, and is idealistic. Others turn to people who are 'Eleven' for teaching and inspiration, and are usually uplifted by the experience.

In systems such as Astrology and basic Numerology, eleven is considered to be a Master Number. Eleven can also represent sin; transgression and peril. Ten being the perfect number, eleven represents the exceeding of both. It is interesting to note that eleven when broken down ( 1+1=2) comprises the Two of duality. Number eleven is a master vibration and as such should not be reduced to a single number.People with this number could be both idealistic and visionary, and they are attracted to the unknown.They can be both unusual, interesting and magnetic personalities.

Eleven bring the gift of spiritual inheritance, is gifted as the "Light-Bearer". It is the number of the Light within all. Strengthened by the love of Peace, gentleness, sensitivity and insight. Greatest facility is the awareness of Universal relationship. Is related to the energy of Oppositions and the Balancing needed in order to achieve synthesis. Eleven is The PeaceMaker... Colours : Gold, Salmon, Prune, White and Black"

Can someone please tell me what color "prune" is?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SECRETS part 2

Key-rist, I'm more convinced than ever that our secrets are toxic to us, and those around us. The new book, A Lifetime of Secrets, is becoming a bestseller already, and it just went on the market yesterday. That tells me that we all relate. We relate to the burden of keeping our own secrets. We relate to the burden of keeping the secrets of others'. We relate, and resent, the secrets we keep from our childhoods. Those, especially, are killing us. Killing us. The Dalai Lama says, (you can go ahead and call him "H.H." like I do) "Peace of mind is crucial for good health. Of course, good facilities, the right medicine, and food also make a difference. But happiness is the most important factor for good health." We can do yoga, we can take vitamins and eat organically, but if we're not happy, we're not healthy. Period.

I'm taking all my churning thoughts on secrets and applying them to the writing life workshop we just wrapped in Sisters. Without exception the students "suffer" from secrets. Some judge their own secrets as being "less" than others, more benign, but there isn't a whole lot of room for judgment when it comes to secrets. Our bodies don't distringuish between "big" secrets and "small" secrets, "worthy" secrets and "petty" secrets. Our bodies react to secrets fair and square, and I'm thinking, on a first come, first serve basis. The older the secret, the more toxic.

So the question becomes what to do with all these secrets. I think we HAVE to get them out of our bodies. Writing an anonymous postcard to PostSecret might be hugely helpful, or it might be the first bit of toxic gas that we let out, which makes may for the big load.

I believe writing our secrets out is therapeutic and healing. Whether or not our secrets are shared with others isn't always the point, but by moving them from thought/feeling to articulated words, moves them. The movement alone creates more movement, there's a domino effect. Like with dominoes, we may feel all this movement of story that's been trapped inside of us for so long, fells us. We may feel worse before we feel better, but I can say from first hand experience and from observing our students over time, they do feel better eventually. Not a little better, either, WAY better. Life-changingly better.

I'm hearing comments now that startle and upset me, "I can't believe you still like me after I told you all that." I think that epitomizes what we fear, that if others truly knew us, REALLY knew us, they wouldn't like us anymore. I can't speak for everyone (although I'd dearly love to), but I am not really interested in fake-knowing anyone. I REALLY want to know the people I know, and the more I know of them, the more compassion I can have for them, the universal truths I see in our stories, and the more I am able to turn that knowledge both inward and outward, seeing myself and all of humanity more clearly. How is that a problem?

“That which is most personal is most universal.”
--Henri Nouwen, priest and author

I stole that quote from Jenny Rough's Blog. I'm pretty much claiming it as my own, as I've said this at least 100 times in the last week. It's so true, don't you think?

I've also been hearing a lot of people tell me they want to come to a workshop, but they don't want to write a memoir. I'm thinking of organizing a "I'll be damned if I'm ever going to write a memoir" workshop. Who's in?


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Note to reader: I have posts started on our amazing writing workshop, secrets, and at least 3 other things, but for today, I must stop and say:


I HATE football. I don't understand the game and have no interest in trying to. That being said, yesterday was Monday, and at our house that only means one thing for the season, "It's a Monday night party!" Our lives screech to a halt so Rojo can run to the nearest TV and hear those words that commence each game. The day is carefully constructed so he can be where he needs to be when those precious words are spoken.

Long about 8:00 he got hip to the fact that the game wasn't going to be over in time to cooperate with his bedtime. His bedtime being accurate is important to him (can you say perseveration?). He bellowed from down the hall, "Mom! Will you Google who wins the Dallas/Buffalo game?"

"I can't Google that, Sweet Love, it's not over."

"But MOM! I am going to bed at 8:30 and I need to know who wins before I go to bed!"

At age 11 we still are struggling with the concept of before and after.

"I promise to Google the score for you before you wake up tomorrow!"

We seemed to have an understanding but then the damn game got interesting.

"Mom, I cannot go to bed at 8:30 today. The Cowboys are going to win and there's only 2 more minutes in the game."

"But Rojo, sometimes 2 minutes takes an hour in football."

"But MOM! The Cowbows are going to win and the 2 minutes will not take an hour. Please let me watch the Cowboys win. Please let me stay up until 8:49."

He begged me to come watch the last 2 minutes with him, and I was so tired I accepted the oppotunity to stretch out next to him and pretend to watch through closed eyes.

"Mom! You cannot see the Cowboys win with your eyes closed!"

"They can't win, Rojo, they are too far behind."

"Mom! How many times do I have to tell you? The Cowboys are going to win! They are going to get a touchdown and the extra points. It will be 22 to 24 and then they will win 25 to 24. Mom, why do you not believe me?"

Well, I'll be damned if he wasn't right about the entire thing, including the time the game was officially over. He's turned me into a football fan, not to mention the fact that I'm totally flying his ass to Vegas with me ASAP!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about secrets lately. At the Ruth King Celebrating Rage retreat we did an exercise with secrets. The exercise was meant to foster compassion and empathy for ourselves and others, and it was highly effective. What struck me with the secrets that were shared (anonymously) were how many were related to sex. Seems we, women at least, have lots of shame/guilt over sex. Lots and lots of our sexual selves is a big secret.

I've also been thinking how good we are at keeping secrets. It's almost like the more dysfunctional the family is, the better the children are at keeping the secrets of the family. We're also really good at keeping secrets from ourselves, and telling ourselves we don't know what we actually DO know. This is perpetuated when a child does risk telling a trusted person a secret, and then subsequently not being believed. It doesn't take a kid long to figure out there's no point in telling, they won't be believed anyway, then the kid starts doubting themselves, etc., etc., etc.

I still struggle when it comes to "telling" and even recently I've had the "I don't believe you" experience. I tell myself it doesn't matter what others think, I know I'm telling the truth, but it hurts like hell when you're not believed.

Thanks to my friend, Jerri, I learned of this fascinating website, Post Secret. Again, I'm mesmerized by the secrets, and the percent that is sexually related.

I have a theory, if we lived in a society where children were believed (and children lie to avoid consequences, not because they are natural born liars) we could stop the abuse that perpetuates and keeps sexual predators safe, and the victims held hostage by their secrets.

Just a theory.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


That plan to sleep with one-eye open last night? Not a good plan. I feel today like someone that hovered over sleep and never actually landed, yet I had a nightmare, so must have touched-down briefly enough for THIS!

I was at the neighbor's house helping her get ready for Thanksgiving. She opened the oven door and there were two animal heads in there. She had put them in the oven ALIVE and they were being cooked to death! The head on the left was CRYING. I will resist putting this "on the body" because you'll be sick to your stomach all day, and I'm just not that selfish.

So, here we go:

I (part of me) was at the neighbor's (part of me) house (part of me) getting (part of me) ready (part of me) for Thanksgiving (part of me). She (part of me) opened (POM) the oven (POM) door (POM) and there were two (POM) animal (POM) heads (POM) in there. She (POM) put (POM) them (POM) in the oven (POM) alive (POM) and they (POM) were being (POM) cooked (POM) to death (POM). The head (POM) on the left (POM) was crying (POM).

There is a neigboring part of me that is giving thanks that doors are being opened. The left side of my brain (analytic) is dying and is crying over that death.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Had the weirdest dream. I was helping a bride find a wedding dress. We went into a secret back room and were looking at all the short, form fitting, glittery cocktail dresses. They were all perfect for "her" even though I couldn't see her in the dream. Then she said, "but there aren't any so you can match!" I tried to explain that the maid-of-honor didn't match the bride, she matched the other bridesmaids, but the bride wanted us to match.

Doing what Ruth King taught us to do, apply precept language to the dream, it sounds like this:

Then she (part of me) said, "but there aren't any (part of me) so you can match (part of me).

What part of me wants to match up and can't?

Also dreamed I was being led by a man with a gun, he kept shooting the gun, but there weren't any bullets. I stopped being afraid after the first false attempt, but he kept trying to "shoot" me.

I was being led (part of me) by a man (part of me) with a gun (part of me) but there weren't any bullets (part of me). I stopped (part of me) being afraid (part of me) after (part of me) the first (part of me) false (part of me) attempt (part of me), but he (part of me) kept trying (part of me) to shoot (part of me).

So, now there's a part of me with a gun that shoots blanks and I'm not afraid? There's a false part of me that still tries to attack me?

OMG, this stuff really works. I'm sleeping with one eye open tonight, that's enough for awhile.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Woke up with a LONG "should list" in my head today, and before I could rightfully should all over myself, I put the list on paper. Then I turned the paper over and made a list of what I WANT to do today. Comparing the two lists there is only one overlap, "shower" - gotta go, I have very little I'm going to do today.