Saturday, September 19, 2009

slavery and wealthcare

It used to be that I was scornful of those who clung to their jobs for the health insurance. I was sure that my good fortune would continue forever. Of course, it didn't. Even when I had enough money to buy individual, private insurance, I had what is known as catastrophic health insurance with a $5000, then later a $10,000 deductible.

I paid for all of my medical bills in cash. Is it any wonder that I chose to have two home births, totaling a mere $6000? I have no doubt that the docs at any hospital in America would have insisted that I have a C-Section for my first child, after 36 hours of labor, which would have driven up the cost of her birth quite a lot. Even under the company health insurance my ex-husband got later while he was gainfully employed, having my second child at home seemed a logical cost structure. $3K, cash from the insurance company that time, and they even sprang for a Douala, but I digress.

After I had my daughter I was diagnosed with my now "pre-existing" illness -- Hashimoto's Thyroiditus. It's an auto-immune disease that basically pits my immune system against all the thyroid, my little glad can produce. To correct this heinous disease I take synthetic thyroid to replace all of the thyroid my immune system kills off. It costs about $10 a month without insurance. Because of this life-long medical need, I cannot qualify for private health insurance.

I have not had health insurance since 2001. Nada. Zip. When my son landed in the emergency room from dehydration from a flu, we had to arrange a payment plan to pay them off. When I landed in the emergency room with pneumonia and a fever of 103, I paid for it through an "Indigent Patient" plan that's available in Colorado.

Being a freelance writer and teacher necessarily means that private health insurance is my only option...until new husband, a project engineer, seems on the precipice of being offered a company job, and with that health insurance. It's just shimmering out there on the horizon like the light of the rising sun on the ocean. I have to say that I'm excited about it.

What concerns me is though, that scornful shrug of my inner patriot, who says, "I should have the freedom to pursue happiness," and for me that is writing, and creating and teaching. I feel guilty and concerned that my husband now will take a job solely to get the health insurance. He is excellent at what he does, but will he be trapped by the company who hires him because if he leaves he risks not only his own health care, but mine as well?

It seems to me that this current system of wealthcare, serving only those wealthy enough to afford it independently, or those foolish enough to become indentured servants for its most meager benefits is very dangerous to the "pursuit of happiness."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

political discourse

I love a good political discussion. I've had friends of differing political views since junior high school. We've always been able to have heated conversations, then put them aside and go have a coke together laughing about all we have in common.

Lately, the level of political discourse has devolved to such a level of name-calling and hysterical, stupefying ignorant remarks that I'm finding myself thinking about the wisdom of keeping conversations limited to the weather and fashions of the day -- neither of which I care one iota about. That's the point. I truly care about politics and how discussion is being spewed all over the social media. My blood pressure, which is normally low, is palpably higher when I see how people are talking about these things.

I think it is time for Emily Post to visit Facebook, My Space and Twitter. We cannot survive as a society without rules of engagement, rules of etiquette. I'm troubled that people call our President by his first name, and use language not fitting to a respected office on his Facebook page! I believe his transparency may be the root of his problems. We are too familiar. Familiarity breeds contempt. President Obama may be reaping what he sewed with his Blackberry, but folks we need to step up and recognize the errors of our own ways...

As we've learned how to make television coverage of the Presidency graceful and official, we now need to learn a way to make the casual atmosphere of social networking a place where we respect each other and our elected officials. Self-control and a little bit of filtering wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Surreal Discernment

By all accounts Jaycee Dugard is as much a miracle as Elisabeth Fritzl and the young women who have escaped from the FLDS. Survivors all, they managed to manage their experiences in such a way that they could compartmentalize them. One might begin to think that they are women who are exceedingly present in the moment, and perhaps it is because the moment is all that they could ever count on.

Somehow, with a fifth grade education Jaycee managed to teach her daughters to read and write. She's used the internet and she had enough sense to put her childhood photo on the back of business cards even if no one was bright enough to figure out who she was in reality.

This is a woman who has been leading a double life. She was always Jaycee at some level, but at another she became Alyssa. Stockholm Syndrome suggests that she bonded with the Garridos and was able to see the good in them at some level. It is even possible that she factors into Phillip Garrido's "miracle healing." The reports from family indicate that she's adjusted to her reality, but can we even begin to guess what "reality" means to Jaycee/Alyssa? It's completely unfathomable.

One guess I have, based upon my own experience, is that she will find her own discernment more and more surreal as her freedom increases. Because she was able to hook into happy moments within captivity, the happy moments she experiences in freedom will be jarring, almost too much. It causes a lot of grief because only when one experiences the peace and contentment of freedom does one realize that one has been living without it for a very long time. The lack of fear, anger, and sadness feels unfamiliar and actually bizarre, like an emptiness one wants to fill up with doing and business creating a sort of echo of fear that repeats and repeats until one can finally be still.

There are likely to even be moments when she'll wish to go back to the familiar sheds and tents that were her home. Think about the fact that her daughters will now have access to a larger family, and world and they are her primary relationships. I hear she's beautiful and that will bring attention that she's perhaps longed for and also that will be strange and out of context.

Nothing will be so clean and clear for her new found family as it was when she was gone. Now they will constantly feel that they should have done more, that there were stones left unturned even if they turned over every stone they saw. They will have to let go and realize that Jaycee's progress and evolution somehow were served, and that is a very difficult task. It will take their lifetime I would think.

I think Jaycee's wiley-ness is amazing. I know she used every bit of herself to survive, and somehow kept her core tucked away. She must never feel guilty for her docility. She's simply done what women have had to do for millennium after millennium in circumstances not so different. The child brides of the Middle East, the slaves of the American south, the concubines of China, and so on, have all had to be beautiful and accommodating to the heinous desires of men and the power structure of her-rums.

I keep seeing these headlines that indicate that Jaycee and her girls are "normal." Maybe we're redefining normal more and more every day. That might not be a bad thing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Demons, Fires & Jaycee

A while ago a friend of mine was on a silent meditation retreat and nearly starved herself to death. When they came to take her away they had to physically drag her out of her little hell hole because she could not believe that she was sick. Someone had to rip the visor of their car off to show her a mirrored reflection of her gaunt features before she would leave. They put her in the hospital. They told her she had been possessed by a demon. They fed her and they put her back into the stream of life. She found out a Buddhist nun had died in the same cabin she was stationed in, and other women had had similar experiences there. The Order who owned the land destroyed the cabin so that it will never be used again.

I hadn't seen my friend in 8 years, and my memory of a very feminine woman who exalted in peacefulness and effortlessness, was profoundly shaken when she spent the past weekend with me. She came to me crushed and struggling to stay awake on herself. It's been a while since she was in hell, but hell seems to have followed her out. Some would call it depression, just plain and simple clinical depression, but had you known this woman prior to this event you would not have thought it possible. My feeling was that a residue of grayness hangs on her hips and keeps her from walking.

The struggle is not just about finding a job or a boyfriend, for God's sake. It is a struggle, a life struggle, to find herself at peace with the world. Her faith has been shaken to the core. The practice which garnered such insight and depth betrayed her, made her vulnerable somehow (or of course, it may have indeed saved her life).

It made me think once again of Elisabeth Fritzl, the girls of FLDS and dear, dear Jaycee Dugard. For, of course, these feminine souls were possessed by demons, and in some cases have been returned to the stream of life. We cannot even begin to have a normal conversation about these women without acknowledging that they may have been damaged beyond our understanding and may never be the same. It doesn't mean their story is over. In fact, their healing is of dire importance to all of us.

As anyone who has read my posts may know, I am particularly obsessed with these stories and I believe it is because after 20 years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the man I loved, and who said he loved me, I feel akin to them though I walked "freely" through the world all of that time. There are things that happen to us in life that change us profoundly. Healing is not straightforward. It's a meandering course that leads nowhere sometimes, and sometimes leads to most unexpected gates that we stand before wondering if we have the right to begin again.

The fires raging in LA will also be thus for those who have lost their homes. Here in Colorado we are breathing the smoke from fires all over the west. The sky is orange and gray with it. What does it really mean?

Can we say a fire, a man, a situation is evil? Things happen to remove the foundation of a life. In different gradations change occurs. Perspectives fail. What do we do? What can we do?

It is relatively impossible once the damage is revealed to move back into a burnt out hull of a life, and yet somehow we expect to do just that. Beginning at the beginning when you feel you're supposed to be at the middle is a real challenge. Life is often, often a page one re-write. The structures we built turn out to be fragile and combustible. We are left with very little beyond what matters most - people who remember our joys, who can offer nothing but a hug, a home-cooked meal, a pat on the back. In the heat of life, this is what it all boils down to - human connection and acceptance. I hope Jaycee gets a lot of acceptance. She lived a life without a good foundation, but it was a life, and now it is gone. I hope the folks back in LA can build again at some point down the line, but in the meantime receive home cooked meals and pats on the back. I hope my friend can sit at the hearth of her burned out body and rebuild the flame that keeps us warm on cold nights.

I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by folks who patted me on the back, let me sleep in their spare room, and by the unconditional love of a man who can see the burned out hull of my life and wait for me to figure out how to build the foundation of my next life with him. He says luck has nothing to do with it, but I have to say I feel very lucky.

Monday, August 17, 2009


At the dog park in Louisville, which has the most incredible view of the Front Range I have ever seen to be honest, I met a woman from Rhodes Island madly snapping photos. Standing on the concrete parking log she seemed to want some way to consume the horizon. I can understand. Living in Portland, Oregon, I remember feeling so relieved when I visited the Rose Garden and could finally get up above the canopy of endless trees and see as far as Mt. St. Helens. When you grow up in the west, as I did, the horizon is a given just as trees are a given in other places.

I didn't really appreciate the horizon until I couldn't see it every day, and since I returned to comfortable horizons I've given a lot of thought to what they mean to me. For me the sky and the jutting edge of the Rocky Mountains is not only about being pretty. For me, being able to see out beyond the immediate gives me a sense of the grandness of life, and of untold possibilities. The bigness of the West has to do a lot with horizons, and is often misunderstood by outsiders. The sense of distance between towns and all of the things that can happen to one on the way between here and there is just an everyday occurrence.

Where in New England one can cross several state lines in just a few hours, it can take days and days to cross the Western states. Sure it is getting more dense than it was even when I was growing up. There is more homogeneity from town-to-town than there used to be. Still a place in Wyoming is different from a place in Utah, is different from Nevada, is different from New Mexico, is different from Montana. The relationship places share out here is the sky and water concerns. Honest to pete, it is the sky that links all of the West together and otherwise we're all worried there isn't enough water.

Personally, I've always striven to keep my eyes out on the horizon in order to keep my dreams big. Sometimes this has been to the detriment of the immediate details of my life. Today I am trying to strike a balance, to attend to the necessary whilst also reaching beyond to something not quite in focus.

Every hero starts with big desires that are out of focus, like a traveler sees the horizon. There's no way to know exactly what lays between here and there until I get closer. Still in the West, as you get closer, the horizon retreats farther away sometimes, and sometimes the horizon looms over you a mountain of destiny that cannot be driven through, but rather must be mounted and ridden until it becomes the horizon behind you and before you a new expanse has opened. Just as the cycle of a story, the cycle of my life seeks that new horizon, the challenge of the mountain, the more specific details and desires to be dealt with in sequential experiences until I know that the horizon I looked at so long ago has become a newly familiar landscape that is already dropping behind me as I look forward to something out there that needs my feet on it.

The woman from Rhodes Island has a day left before she hits the airport. I wonder what horizon will draw her nearer? I wonder if she'll sense the pull of the West's horizons as something she wants, or if she'll retreat back to the trees and buildings and low gray skies of New England?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

dead ends, patience and armegeddon

Today I had three dreams. In the first dream I lived on a hill overlooking a valley town, and the world was on fire. Finding safety was the primary concern of the dream. The fire was literally racing through the streets, and somehow I'd made it up the hill to some kind of concrete building with a window looking down over the black smoke and blazes. In the building there were few people, but all who were there were wandering around sort of dazed and disoriented. There was an older Oriental woman carrying her pocket book and looking out of the window matter-of-factly. She was going on about buying shoes, and whether the sale would continue.

I set out today to write something. I don't really know what I was thinking in allowing myself such an open-ended approach. Of course, that's not going to work. Duh. The thing is I've started several outlines for screenplays this summer but have found they're not moving my soul. I'm waiting for that illusive "inspiration." So, I puttered. I made marinade for my chicken breasts for dinner tonight...olive oil, lime, salt, garlic, chile powder. I decided to cut up a jicama and marinate it as well. I did a load of laundry. I took a shower. I waited for something to pop into my mind...a blank. I finally took a nap.

So, then I dreamt that I was driving a new car and falling asleep at the wheel. I decided that I should probably park the car before I had a wreck. I pulled into what I thought was a bank parking garage ramp, but it turned out to be a pedestrian ramp leading from the garage, and as I drove up the ramp not realizing what it was, I saw the same older Oriental woman standing at the elevator, tsk-tsking me. At that point I ended the dream, woke for a moment, and then fell back asleep.

Then I was a frantic mother in a dream looking for her lost son in a darkened building. There was an industrial feel about the place. Pools of water here and there, and a giant freezer in the middle of the floor. The man I was with (the father?) insisted that we had to look in the freezer, but I said, "No! No! NO!" I refused to look into the freezer though the dream itself was compelling me to do so. In my resistance I managed to come up with many different possibilities of where my son could be and when I was sure that he was not in the freezer but just around the corner I allowed the man to open the freezer. My son was not in the freezer, and there were even blankets in the freezer to keep him warm if he had been in there! My relief was enormous, and I knew that I would find him soon.

I am at a dead end to some extent professionally. I know it has to do with the economy and not the merit of my work. However, it is disheartening and I wonder about it greatly. My thought about the three of these dreams is that I have to find out what the older Oriental woman represents. Secondly, I am consumed with fear and exhaustion. Thirdly, I can dream my way out of it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Racism, Sexism & Leadership

I cannot fathom why President Obama should not have commented on the atrocious behavior of the Cambridge police officer in the racial profiling of a black man. Racial profiling is a backwards perception of the world that needs to be eliminated from law enforcement across the country. At its root are racial assumptions that are heinous and ignorant. As a policy it is simply a mistake. Period.

I also cannot fathom why, in a free society, we allow the imposition of sexism upon our sisters. Women should be allowed to choose their own clothing. Their clothing choices cannot be blamed for the failure of men to grow up and control themselves. I don't care how low-cut, or short a form of dress is. The invitation for engagement is mutual consent made verbally.

I also cannot fathom how a child's family can blame her for her own rape. Claiming it is an embarrassment to their pride for their child to have been a victim of a terrible, traumatic experience. Boy! That is really unfathomable. In America children should be able to expect support, compassion and love from community and family alike.

What is going on? Are we entering the dark ages again?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

longer ago

She lay on her back with the prickly spines of grass poking through the thin summer t-shirt. Looking up at the edge of the 20-story apartment building against the moving clouds gave her the sensation of the earth moving. It seemed to her that if she could see the earth moving on its axis then she must be special or powerful in some way.

The shade of the building was giving way to the noonday sun, but for those moments time was connected only to the movement of the earth and not to how the day might unfold. She felt ageless, and imagined that this is how she would always feel from now on even as she defied the itch on the tip of her nose. Her breath slowed. Her fingers found a clover blossom, and she plucked it up and stuck it in her mouth to savor. The smell of it was a beginning of summer kind of smell. Her toes grabbed the cool grass even as her knees were the first part of her body to experience the heat of the sun.

Watching the sun creep up her thighs, to the hem of her shorts took a while. She found the progress almost irritating, and she felt the urge of time creeping with it. The awareness of light progressing over her body filled her with the demand to get up, but she resisted for a while longer. Then she saw it. She saw the sun’s rays as if pouring or even leaping from the rooftop’s edge so far away, and wondered if anyone ever noticed these things anymore.

The high-pitched whistle startled her even though she knew it was coming. Because she had closed her eyes to let the sunlight bathe her fair face with an onslaught of freckles. She covered her eyes and looked up to the tenth floor balcony where her grandfather was waving. He put his fingers up to his lips again, and whistled, and shouted, “Lunch!”


Miranda rolled over onto her stomach feeling the coolness still lingering in the lawn. Her eyes looked into the dark shadows still lurking there to the black earth for a moment before she pushed herself up onto her knees. Reaching over she grabbed her tennis racket and the over-sized ring with keys on it that belonged to her grandmother. Using the tennis racket to push up to standing, she swung the ring over her wrist and waved up to her grandfather, who quickly disappeared. She leaned over and picked up the tennis ball, and crammed it into the pocket of her shorts.

The smell of air-conditioning and old people was familiar and comforting as Miranda crossed the lobby. She stood in front of the bank of two elevators for a moment before deciding to take the stairs.

The stairway was even cooler. The unfinished concrete walls were like ice, and she leaned against them cooling her legs and arms before ascending the stairs. She leaned over the railing and looked up at the endless rails climbing into darkness, each floor a zig-zag of upside down flights of 11 stairs as far as she could see. It was quiet in the stairway, too. The only thing she could hear was when the elevator passed by her near the fourth floor. She stretched over the stairs two at a time, and stopped to catch her breath on the eighth floor, returning to her climb three steps at a time and straining her long legs.

The hallway leading past the elevators to her grandparents’ door had the smells of matzo ball soup and some cinnamon-flavored sweet. The wall paper mural of Venetian boats at sunset, and dark olive carpeting didn’t really go together and so she closed her eyes against them. There were torn seams in wall paper along the way that Miranda felt with her finger tips until she felt the edge of the door frame and opened her eyes a bit more. She removed the key ring from her wrist, put down the racket and opened the door with both hands.

the past

I’d like to think there was a purpose to all of it, the bad marriage, the abuse. I’d like to think that my experience led to some great epiphany that led to me changing the world. These are fantasies I have and hold onto, but as time passes I realize that it was simply something I went through until I couldn’t go through it anymore – like anything really. Eventually my endurance for the experience ran out. So why talk about it anymore? Well, I don’t want to now, and I’m forgetting more of it all the time. It feels like I’m holding onto the shreds of my previous existence so that I can imbue it with some meaning, but maybe there is no meaning, or maybe I still don't get it.

Friday, May 15, 2009


We can work something out. Whether it is making up classes through CFU or just having a meeting at some point to fill in the blanks. See you then!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where did April go???

I utterly changed my life in April but somehow it is all still the same. Grin. And, here we are in Mid-May and I am only returning to this blog by gentle reminder....

What would happen if you stopped doing everything that you have no will to do and endeavored only in your true desires?

That is my current mission to identify what I want to do and to do it. It seems like this would be easy. Laughing. All I want to do is to write, mother my kids, be with my lover, and do the spiritual work of Freemasonry. A four-pronged approach to life, an activity for each direction, and it seems so simple.

What have I done? I've set myself up to teach writing instead, and not realizing the complexity of actually teaching more than one class and several private students, I have completely over-scheduled myself. Do you see teaching in my four-pronged approach? It's not that I don't have a great deal to share, or that I dislike students. I do have a lot to share, and I am devoted to my students. However, now that I have so many teaching gigs going, I now realize that these endeavors do NOT support my four-pronged approach to life for the most part. Even financially, the pay off is not so hot.

Once again I am caught in the feeling of having to let people down in order to get back on track. It's all a learning curve thing. Until I have enough information, I find it difficult to simply quit something I once thought was a great idea. I thought that teaching writers would actually inspire me, and I am inspired, but more than that I am frustrated. I don't have time to address my own inspirations! A whole month went by and I didn't even blog...

Then I have to forgive myself, because in April I also did a few other things besides over-schedule myself professionally...

I got married to my sweet man. I took care of an entire family of sick people (mine) and I let go of my old job at the Boulder JCC, slowly, over the whole month.

Like most women, I am hard on myself, forgetting that most of my life is dedicated to the care of others. I accomplished a lot in that area. I pat myself on the back. I am learning.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I'm inclined to feel that we are not particularly capable of meting out true justice. This is based solely on observing my feelings upon the announcement that Herr Fritzl finally pled guilty to all of the atrocious allegations brought against him for the false imprisonment, rape and enslavement of his own daughter and the children she bore because of him, and the murder of the innocent Michael. Blech. So coy was he when he announced that he could not understand how cruel he had been to Elisabeth, and that now though he regretted everything he had perpetrated upon his family, there was nothing to be done to un-do his actions. Then the courts in Austria gave him a life sentence, and he was carted off to a clean, antiseptic psychiatric ward with a window and a fellow inmate to share his cell with for a few years until he kicks the bucket.

What would justice be in this hideous expression of human behavior? What is the point of justice? Is it to make society feel better? Is it a way that we can continue on our merry way as if nothing bad has happened? Is it to avenge the victim? So that a broken person can see another person broken further? Of course, a criminal begins broken, breaks and ends broken. It's just all about being broken.

If you've read my past blogs you know that I'm all about internal change. I finally concluded that I could not change the man I had loved for so many years (any more than Rhianna is going to change Chris). Change is an inside job. No amount of workshops, interventions or jail time is going to change a person who does not find the need or the motivation to change from within. To me the only justice is when the scales finally tip enough, and just enough for a person to find that desire for change screaming louder than the desire to stay comfortably the same.

Usually that happens when a person hits rock bottom. It may be that in the past a jail experience was bad enough, embarrassing enough to motivate some people to change. However, I doubt very much if the psychiatric hospital will even somewhat mimic the conditions that Herr Fritzl would need to be motivated to really have compassion for his children and even himself. I doubt the white collar prison that will house Bernie Madoff will begin to give him the desire to find a way to repair some of the incredible devastation his "because" caused to people and organizations around the world. And, don't even begin to think about the "President" of Sudan. It's hopeless to imagine his coming to the conclusion that change would be proper and right. These men and so many men and women around the world alibi themselves out of their own freewill by a simple rationale -- it was the victim's fault, it was someone else's pressure, it was the need to serve these constituents, it was because we had to please the investors, it is because of someone else somewhere needing me to have no moral center, no core values, no real trust or faith in justice...none.

Then what of the victims? What would be justice to the victims of these criminals? What would make the Holocaust all better? Israel? Is getting something for our pain justice? Why wouldn't it have been more appropriate to give Berlin, Munich and Warsaw to the Jews? Is seeing a perpetrator of injustice locked away real justice? It may give the illusion of safety, but how many broken people stand in line behind the perpetrator jailed to commit new crimes? Am I suggesting we let murderers,robbers, rapists and pedophiles roam free? Nah. Jail will have to suffice for now, because we haven't fathomed a better solution for them. But, what makes the victim whole again?

Change, of course. A victim has got to painfully, day-by-day use all of her or his energy to regain freewill, for it is freewill that was stolen, no matter what the crime was in the first place. The blaze I imagine in Elisabeth's eyes can be the only spark of hope for her, for that must be an intense desire to rebuild her life and to live anew. She's got to deal with the past without forgetting there is now and there is the future. She's got to find the desire to restore her freewill to live her life as she can with purpose and compassion and desire. She may do it for her children for a while, but in the end she'll have to find that burning ember within, and she'll have to breath a lot to make it catch on something that is worth living for from the inside out. Whether we are trapped in a cellar or in a pattern of thinking that enables a criminal, eventually the only justice is to decide to live, and that don't come from no court.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reconciliation, Reunion and Reflection

I had brunch today with five women who were once my dearest friends in Junior High School and beyond. I haven't seen some of them for fifteen years or even longer. To sit at the table and hear their voices and look into their eyes was deeply satisfying. It was hard to hear anyone at one time because we were all talking and telling our stories and they're all more complex than we could express in the allotted time. So, we laughed and we laughed, and it was so easy to fall into our way, the way we were together so many years ago.

What is interesting to me is that I was probably the farthest flung of the group. They've actually seen each other in pairs and threesomes often over the last 25 years. But, I went away in large part. I saw two of the last about five years ago, but the rest of the group was lost to me.

They were not lost to each other. They have had life-long friendships, and I feel a little jealous. My time and focus was poured into my marriage so much that I've left friendships all over the country trying to save it, trying to save that marriage. That is one of the saddest cost of living with abuse for so long. I now can see that I was running, from home to home (remember I moved 20 times in 18 years), from friendship to friendship, hiding and uncomfortable about revealing too much of my real experience of being battered. It was not conscious. I didn't think, "Oh, I must leave this friendship, they're getting too close."

It was more like a creeping discomfort in my own skin...I felt like I was lying all the time to everyone I knew. I was projecting an aura of peace and contentment when behind closed doors I was dealing with anger and bitterness, with being grabbed and hit, and chased around the house by a mad man. How can anyone ever understand?

He was nice when people met him, maybe a little prickly, but no one who hadn't received his wrath before could have imagined how he behaved. Sigh. I don't know how I'll ever reconcile with those years exactly. They were not all terrible, but they were terrible enough. I feel like an idiot for having had so much faith in myself that I thought I could make him love me enough to love me.

It's been three years and a day since I told him I wanted a divorce. It was the most awful, heart-wrenching, painful moment of my life. It happened only after years of trying everything I knew to keep it from happening.

And, now, here I am. I have a man who loves me so much that he willingly supports my every choice, and finds me sexy attractive and loves me without me trying to do anything at all. And, I have this chance to reconnect with friends, some near and some far flung and reconcile the person they thought I was with reality. I have to believe this second chance is a true reflection...