Coming Home to Myself

Beach Ice

I braved the cold and went for a walk on the beach this morning. Every time I test myself against the harshest elements of winter, I feel strong. Like I’ve come home to myself.

It was absolutely frigid; my thighs went numb right away despite my long coat.

There were chunks of ice littering the beach that had been thrown out by the waves. It was like walking on broken glass.

I had the beach to myself. I turned my face to the sun, and let my heart crack open a little. The shore of Lake Michigan in the winter felt like the safest place to do so. I was deeply in touch with myself, and strong enough to handle what came up.

I am afraid to be quiet and alone in my new home. I am afraid that I’m not strong enough to face the challenges ahead in the next year.

I am afraid that ending my marriage was the wrong choice. He was one of my best friends- he still is, in fact. I was so tired of struggling to get him to be kind to me. Of swallowing my voice to avoid conflict, of feeling like I wasn’t accepted as fully human by him; being his project to “fix”. Yet, I am still afraid of losing that connection.

I am falling for Hurricane. In my head, I know that it’s a bad idea. I know that I am not even close to the life I want to build for myself. I know that neither of us is in a place to truly commit to another person. My heart won’t listen though. With the next look, or word, or touch, I fear that I’m a goner.

Standing on that beach, I knew, deep in my being, that I can let all of these feelings wash over me. These fears can buffet me like waves on the shore, they can and will change the shape of me. But I will endure. I will emerge from this eternal winter of the soul. I will go on.

Beach Ice 2

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Reap the Whirlwind

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. –Hosea 8:7

Over the last 6 months or so I’ve been distancing myself from my dysfunctional parents; visiting less, calling less, and generally letting them take up less space in my life. Continue reading

How to raise a secure and happy child

6 useful phrases for every parent:

“Don’t walk around barefoot in the yard! You’ll get ringworm and die.”

“You fell off the jungle gym and landed on your head, and now your head is bleeding? I guess we’ll go to the ER. Don’t sit on the couch!”

“It’s nice to see you too, Maggie, but right now I need a drink. You can fix your own dinner.”*

“Yes, I know she’s drawing on her walls with blood. She just wants attention.”

“After consulting Dr. Internet about your sleep meds, it turns out they might have caused your hallucinations. Your father flushed them down the toilet.”**

“You haven’t felt well enough to eat breakfast all week. Are you fucking pregnant?”***

Bonus phrase for when your child is small and lonely:

“That older man who hangs out alone with you on the playground has started telling you dirty jokes and wants you to come to his house? Seems legit.”****



*Sure can! But because I’m 7 it’s going to be a cold hotdog and carrot sticks. Mmm, well-balanced diet.

**This might have been the right call, but I dunno, maybe talk to a real medical professional first?

***No. But thanks for the compassion.

****Luckily, my Uncle wasn’t a fucking moron and told me that this dude’s behavior was shady and that I should stay away from him and definitely never go to his house. I keep meaning to thank him for that, but how do you even have that conversation?