1. Camilla Sørensen says

    It was the first day of school – I was far away from home – more specifically Bellevue High School, Seattle, Washington State 1993 – and the school was huge – more that a tousand students – three parkinglots – football stadium – tennis courts – baseball stadium – two gymnasiums – I could go on and on – I came from Denmark – from a school with 90 students – you could stand at the one end of the hallway and look to the other – thats how small the school in Denmark was – so to sit in the bus taking me to school the first day – I would say was overwelming – I was frigthend – and I kept asking myself the question – why had I made this terrorfing choice – seventeen years old – I was – sitting in the bus driving me to school – my heart in my throat – my body shaking – basically I was ready to turn around – to get on the first plane home – then the bus stopped and everybody rose to get off the bus – I thought to myself – I’ll just follow the rest – I had no idea where I was going – or how to registere for these classes I had choosen before hand – I was an exchange student – I knew nobody at school – I was all alone – just following the rest of the students to the main entrance – where the first challange presented itself – to find my student ID – I looked at the table – Sorensen, Sorensen – I couldn’t find it – I looked around – help sombody? – Oh Sorenson it said – the picture was me – but Sorenson that would have made med Swedish – but no harm no faul – I could be swedish for a year – there is just a bridge between us – and we are a brotherhood so – I’ll explain there difference – little did I know it would cause me more trouble during my senior year.
    The day went by – and it was time for me to registre for class – I came into the gymasium – all the teachers sad behind tabels with posters above them stating what classes they taught – so to finish up – I just needed the last class on my schdule – I had choosen a teacher whose name was Miss A Kunkel in health class seventh period – I couldn’t see anything other than the poster – which said health class above her table – so I walked slowly over to her desk – and as I did that the crowd just moved aside – and there she was – Miss Kunkel it said on her name tag – she smiled at me – I stopped – I guess I must have looked intensely at her – because her smil just became wider the more I stared at her – so I walked the last meters towards her – to ask her if I could be in her seventh period health class – she look down at her paper and said – “of cause you can” – I just looked straight into her soft friendly eyes – I said “thank you” – smiled – took a couple of steps back and turned around – I had this feeling of hmm – again hmm – turned around and looked at Miss Kunkel again – thus she continued to smile at me – so I thought – I am going to be here the whole year – she was really nice.
    The months went by – I settled in somewhat – I got to play soccer which I loved – and slowly I made some new friends – I loved my health class – I loved the way Miss Kunkel taught her class – it was my favorite class – then one day we were asked to write a journal – and as Miss Kunkel explained – we could talk about anything – it could be about sports – friends – family – school – what ever – and then she said the magic words – it could be about gay issues – now I was gay – but I hadn’t come out – and I had nobody to talk to about it – not at home i Denmark or at school at Bellevue – so when she said that – it was like a light was turned on inside of me – could I come out to Miss Kunkel?
    I made a choice that day – I was gona come out to her in that journal – I wanted to take that chance in my life – where I was left hanging in the air – in sort of a vaccum – but I made the dission – I wanted to tell Miss Kunkel that I was gay – so that afternoon I sat down in the Libray – my hands were shaking – but slowly I started writing – about my home – about my friends on the first page – and when I came to the second page – I felt safe enough to write – “you might have guessed by now that I am gay” – I stopped writing – I took a long breath in – what was I doing – I started doubting myself again – but deep in my heart I knew I was gay – I just wanted someone to talk to about it – something I didn’t have a home – Miss Kunkel – there was just something about her which calmed me down – so I started finishing up the journal – three pages – my whole life – my loneliness – being different than all the others – never had a girlfriend – alone at Bellevue High School – I read the paper again – made sure that most of the spelling was correct – and leaned back into the chair – the paper infront of me on the table – seventeen years of loneliness laid before me – now I just needed to hand it in.
    Miss Kunkel stood in the doorway – as I came around the corner – she smiled at all the students – I stopped – she hadn’t seen me yet – everything in me wanted me to turn around a bury myself – I knew she had read my journal – I felt lost – she must have seen that – I felt her eyes burning at me – so I looked up – she had this huge smile on her face – so I walked toward her and into the classroom – right by her – I didn’t know what to expect – so I sat down in my chair – everybody got settle in as the bell rang – and Miss Kunkel placed herself infront of the chalkboard – she started by saying – that she enjoyed all the journals – she was impress – as she expressed it – and started handing out the journals – and as she stood by me she said – “your paper is outstanding” – I looked up into her eyes – and they were smiling at me – took the journal she handed to me and put it on the table – I didn’t dare to read – what she had written to me – I finally worked up all my courage – and read what she had written to me – and I couldn’t believe my eyes – Miss Kunkel was GAY!
    That day changed my life completly – I learned that if we don’t dare to be in that transformative vaccum and tell somebody our most vaunable feelings about our lifes – then we might as well stay caugth and never grow or stay in that lonely place where our feelings are neglegted. I came out that year at Bellevue High School – and Miss Kunkel – know to me today as Angela – helped me grow and accept me as who I am – and proud lesbian woman.

    • says

      So glad your courage found such a great ally! Especially since I’ve been thinking so much about that movie, “bully” that’s out now. I’m so glad you had someone to help you and be a role model.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Camilla, This was a great story. You had me captivated and my biggest fear was that someone would grab your paper off the table or a fan’s breeze blew it into some awful person’s hands. I dreaded the outcome and what would happen to your giving and pure heart. I am so happy you had that incredible outcome. There is no dispute that you deserved it. So happy for you!

    • Ilana says

      Camilla- What a captivating and awe inspiring story. I can’t decide what was more beautiful, your courage or the reward it lead to. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I really needed the positive energy tonight. IM

    • Linda Goode says

      Very neat story and very well stated. I could picture it all happening…the courage and the transformation that honest human acceptance can create. Thanks for sharing

    • Debbie says

      Camilla – you were certainly one brave seventeen year old! First to leave your native Denmark and come all the way to Seattle. Then to make another, even more daring journey, in that same time frame. Just Amazing! I was a scared little “church mouse” at seventeen afraid of my own shadow. I especially enjoyed the learnings you shared with us in the last paragraph about taking the risk to share or remaining caught. Thank you!

  2. Rachel Staples says

    My life lesson came from the most unlikely of sources, as when I had met her she was nothing or nobody that I wanted to know. I had found myself in court ordered meetings from an offense that I still can’t believe happened to me. I walked in that first day and just stared at the tiny room filled with tan vinyl chairs that I was glad to see didn’t have the ability to fold. I can now say that I was scared, but did not want to show it. Not with this lot. I took a seat in the back row with a young tattooed man and all his indelible glory to my left and an older man that looked as though he had seen better days to my right. The door opened and she walked in the room with a flurry of movement and a bit of chaos.

    Her white hair was short and styled with spikes that made me stare. She threw her oversized purse haphazardly under the second shelf of the nearby mobile stand that probably had once been a projector stand when I was in high school now held a VCR and an older model television. She sat in her chair as she pulled the excess jean overall material up between her legs so she could maneuver. The Starbucks plastic cup with the big green straw was placed uncaringly on the corner of the old wooden desk. She grabbed the sign in sheet then began to speak in some kind of English tainted with a German accent that was almost comical.

    “Evcryone sign in?” She said in a barely understandable version of English. “Don’t forget to putz your mobile devices on vibrrration.” She said matter of factly as she grabbed the file folders that had been sitting on the edge of the old worn desk and pulled them closer to her as she looked over the sign in sheet then she looked up. The ice blue eyes bore into me and she asked if I was new. Yes was in my mind and trying to make it’s way to my lips but all I could do was nod.

    “I’m Helga and you need to sign in for me.” She said as she laid her pen on the clipboard and slid it to the end of the desk.

    Then she looked around to other potentially new victims and relayed the same information as though it had been lost on everyone. I got up from my place of obscurity and made my way with the small crowd of newbies to the desk and signed in. The meeting started with the paperwork of the first file folder that had been opened and written in while she quizzed each person about the week they had at work, their plan of life and small family details. When she was down to the end of the pile, the ice blue eyes landed on me. I was to say my name and tell everyone why I was there and while I spoke she contributed questions that I didn’t want to answer. So much so, that I could feel an anger rising in me that I knew to be inappropriate but never the less it was there.

    When that first meeting was over I could not believe that it had only been an hour and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to complete the number of meetings had been scheduled for me. But I did. I returned each week and as they came and went, I began to feel more comfortable in the new environment that initially was dreaded, now accepted. Helga was even growing on me, I still wonder if I was a challenge for her or not because as time progressed she would just stare at me or call on me from my back row seat to speak or give my opinion. Then it happened, we were discussing relationships, emotions and the social unit. I brought up some stories of my life intending to help the person that started the discussion. Then Whammo!

    Helga looked at me and plainly said, “You are in charge of your own emotions, no one can tell you how you should react to something nor judge you.” I stopped cold. She went on to say, “If I jumped on this desk and screamed, shouted and pointed to a mouse in the corner. Would you yell at me to calm down and not react that way to the mouse? Or have your own emotion about the mouse?” Of course I told her that I would probably jump up on the table with her and yell louder than her while instructing the remaining souls on how to catch the mouse.

    After I left the class, this new phenom had resonated so loudly with me that I felt as if I had been freed!! Links of my many chains were breaking and falling away. To this day, I no longer allow my actions to be defined by others and am free of some of the past that once ruled my life. Why hadn’t anyone told me that before? It was so simple yet so out of reach for me in concept. Unfortunately, Helga moved on to a new job just weeks after that encounter, and when she left the icy blues looked at me softened and finally smiled.

    “You vill be Occ Kayy” she said to me and I am!

    • Ilana says

      Rachel- What a beautiful story. Isn’t it amazing how one single moment can mean so much? I loved the way your story ended. She said you would “Be Occ Kayy” and you are!

      • Rachel Staples says

        Ilana~ Thank you so much for your comment and it IS amazing how a moment in time does change us. I truly beleive that everything happens for a reason and she was in my life for that lesson and like an angel, she has moved on to help others.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Rachel, I love this story too. I can see her, hear her, and even like her. I’ve had good advice dispensed to me via everywhere short of a tampon machine. Thanks for this.

    • Debbie says

      Rachel – I enjoyed your story but it did leave me with lots of questions. I hope someday it will be appropriate and you will want to share some more of the details. You painted such a strong picture of Helga that I could absolutely hear her saying “You vill be OccKayy”. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Ilana says

    There are certain things I know about myself, things that are just the way I am and I accept them. I know I love to write, to sing and to dance. I know I have no interest in riding a bicycle, speed swimming, horseback riding or cross country skiing. And I know that if a person hurts me badly enough, once, they gain the power decimate me over and over again for the rest of my life, without even trying.

    Here’s how it works. I trust someone. I get hurt by them and then the relationship ends. Later, through sheer coincidence, small world situations, I see them again. Long before they even realize I’m there I am completely leveled. My stomach clenches. I get nauseous and dizzy. My hands start to shake and my heart starts pounding. It’s an instant full blown panic attack. One guy did it to me when he was 100 yards in front of me and he had no idea I was there. Another drew this response from me even though I’d never met him because at first glance he looked like a guy who had hurt me. This is not specific to men. Many friendships with women have left me feeling bereft and hurt. That was all it took to give people this power over me.

    This is one of the many things I just know and accept about myself. Every time it happens, though, I am devastated. I remember seeing them for days, weeks even, and have the same response to the memory that I had at the time. I hate myself for it. Once, after it happened, I told a friend, who had been hurt by the same person, how awful I had felt. Her response was judgmental confusion, “I don’t know why that happens to you. I hate her too but I wouldn’t get sick just from seeing her.” This made me feel weak, diseased and pathetic. I still shiver when I remember that conversation.
    Then one day it happened, or didn’t happen to be more exact. I remember the day so well. I had driven twenty minutes out of my way to get my money back because I felt that the cashier had made a mistake and overcharged me. It turned out I was the one who had made the mistake and very annoyed with myself I started to make my way back to the parking lot. A precious hour of quiet time, while my children were in school had been wasted. There in front of me was Marline Jacobson. I hadn’t seen her in seven years, not since I left the Jewish community we had both been a part of.

    It was a horrible community, in my opinion at least. There are over a hundred families perfectly happy there but to me it was like being back in junior high. There was an inner circle and cliques and if you didn’t keep kosher in just the right way then you were doing it wrong. We all had our first pregnancies together. That put me in the in group, very briefly. But then I couldn’t manage to make milk for my baby and she had made it a point to give me all of her free formula in front of our entire Jewish Lamaze class at the reunion. She didn’t need it. She was breast feeding. “How do you get your daughter to drink from a bottle? I can’t get my son to take pumped breast milk. He’s got to be attached to me all the time.” I wasn’t Jewish enough. I wasn’t cool enough. Now I wasn’t mommy enough because my breasts would not make milk no matter how much I pumped and tortured myself. I was pumping nearly as much blood as milk. Ten times a day earned me one precious little ounce; while she complained loudly about the pain of being over engorged.
    So here we were, seven years later. She was ten feet in front of me putting her two year old daughter into her car. She was thin. She looked fantastic. I knew this was her third because six years ago, not yet far enough away from that community, I had been unable to escape the news of her second pregnancy. At the time, I was recovering from a miscarriage after having spent six long months trying to get pregnant. Let’s add a little insult to injury, shall we?

    All of that history flashed before my eyes. She didn’t see me. I could just go to my car and be on my way. But something made me stop. “Marline, how are you?” I called. She turned and smiled.

    “Ilana, it’s so good to see you. How’s Zander?” (Big fake hug.)
    You can imagine the conversation that ensued. Are you still in the same house? (It’s not very big and there are no other Jews in the area) Yes, we love it so much we can’t bring ourselves to leave. What schools are your children in? They are in public school and loving it. They go to religious school at our temple. (What? Not some fancy, private, Jewish day school?) On and on it went; everything but asking how much money my husband was making. I smiled graciously, told her again how fabulous she looked and excused myself to get back to my errands.

    It was a full half hour before I realized what had happened. I had just had a conversation with Marline Jacobson and I was nothing more than annoyed. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t panicked. I wasn’t trembling. I was just glad we were no longer friends.

    What was the difference? I credit my healing 100% . Since the last time someone, anyone, made me sick and trembley I had acknowledged that I was a survivor of incest. I had joined a support group and put in an immense amount of time and effort toward making myself whole again. Watch out world! This chick is healing and she’s never going to let anyone hurt her again!

    Oh, and one more thing. Thank you, Marline, for being the unlikely teacher who showed me how far I’ve come. Enjoy your perfect Jewish life. Enjoy doing everything right and winning the approval of your community. Sorry I won’t be around to applaud you. I’m just so busy learning to love my life and living it on my own terms.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Ilana, I’m happy I read this. I understand the feeling of extreme vulnerability with certain kinds of people, which can lead to full-on panic attacks. When I’m sick or just having a bad day emotionally, I’m as fragile as a feather in the wind. Those people who bother me seem to have all the power and I’m dust. I feel unworthy, awful, and pathetic. Like you, with much hard work, I take back my power as quickly as I recognize the old pattern. Or, by chance, I discover that I have changed. They aren’t the almighty any more. What do you say we all celebrate together the reclaiming of our lives and healing of our inner selves? All through writing. I’m in.

      • Ilana says

        Thank you Terry- I’ll take you up on that invitation and celebrate with you. I raise my glass/pen to you. “L’chaim!” (To life! Our version of “cheers!”) But I have one request. Is it okay if I’m not all the way there yet? Will it be forgivable if this turns out to be a two steps forward one step back kind of thing? Here’s to two steps forward and fewer steps back with each new day. Yours, IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      You’d better believe it! I am nowhere near over this. I accept that I’m socially awkward but I’m not immune to all of those reactions. I hope with time that it’ll change forever. We can choreograph all the forward, back and sidesteps we take and have a big party to celebrate our new dance. The greatest revenge. Love the writing.

    • Rachel Staples says

      Ilana~ Your first two paragraphs described a portion of my life and I couldn’t have written it better. Keep working on yourself because it will come. I no longer get the panic attacks or any emotion for that matter, but the brain still triggers on those people. Funny story, once I was able to conquer this? Suddenly I was accused of being emotionless or of never showing emotion. Remember, it is them that need it, not us. To that I say with the glass/pen… who cares? You will get there, good job!

      • Ilana says

        Thank you both. I am a work in progress and proud of it! To the ’emotionless’ comment, Rachel, I say. My emotions belong to me. I will experience them as they come and share them as I choose. If anyone has a problem with that it’s their problem, not mine. And as Terry says, I’ll choreograph my own dance as I find the best way to live my life. Wow I feel empowered. You guys are awesome!

    • Debbie says

      Ilana – starting with my favorite part of your post – “Sorry I won’t be around to applaud you. I’m just so busy learning to love my life and living it on my own terms.” Hooray for you!
      After I got divorced it took me about two years to actually get my ex-husband out of my life. Today we might call it stalking – back then it was positioned as caring follow-up to an ex-wife. I always felt like I had to eventually agree to see him even if I deferred the first few times he asked. Then one night I had a dream. We (ex-husband and I) were sitting at a table at an open air cafe on a bridge. He was being his usual smooth, manipulative self. I remember standing up, and saying to him “I don’t have to do this anymore.” – then turning and walking away. That was the last time I actually saw him face to face (well sorta since it was a dream). I woke up the next morning realizing I could decide what I wanted to do and not do in my life – and he was definitely not going to be a presence in it anymore.

      • Ilana says

        Thank you, Debbie- When I read your first line I felt like you gave me a high five. Then to hear your success story, I wanted to give you one. I think it’s amazing that your dream showed you your own power to leave him behind. I had a similar experience when my ex’s emotional abuse was haunting me. I had a dream in which I was trapped with him and escaped. When I woke up the memories of what he did to me no longer tormented me. Isn’t it amazing the power our dreams give us?

  4. Linda Goode says

    Writing Prompt 4/17/12
    Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can–there will always come a time when you are grateful you did.”
    –Sarah Caldwell
    Life, Love, and Learning, by Linda Goode

    Tall pine trees swaying together gently in the breeze mimicking the sound of the soft ocean waves, and the warm crackling of the evening campfire were two of my favorite sounds while camping with our family church group as a child. The soft popping of twigs and needles under the weight of rolling wheels was another familiar rhythm that brought comfort and reminded me our group was complete. This was nature’s music, and it was nothing short of wonderful as a child. We camped, dinned, and traveled collectively once a month my entire growing up years, with all my parents church group couples, regardless of time or circumstance. Age, diminishing health and mobility needs did not deter us.
    Perhaps it was my childhood curiosity, or simply my desire to grow and learn that has always been a part of me, but I paid attention to everything including the people in their wheelchairs. There were two in our group, one had suffered from Polio, and the other I witnessed grow paralyzed by MS. It was the natural progression of life. Some people were physically strong. Others had health problems yet were mentally robust, and all skills were integrated into activities seamlessly from my child-like perspective. I paid attention to this detail, and many of the small nuances that went along with it. What made the wheels go? What makes them lock? Why do you need a slider board? What is the reason for us always having the same campsites? How do you play piano that way? How do you drive with your hands? I took it all in like a sponge, believing it was simply life, but not realizing this information would be more valuable than riches someday.
    Then it happened at the most inopportune time. I was marrying the love of my life, after more than a year of wedding planning, and my husband was diagnosed with MS six weeks before our wedding. It was the happiest time of my life, and also one of the saddest all at once. My husband asked while processing the shock of it all, what we would do and what our life might be like from here on out. Suddenly I heard myself say…we will go camping, I know the perfect place. We will go to the ocean…I know the best lookout…we will have a long marriage like the people I had grown up with, and we will have a full life as best we can.
    Ten years later, we have traveled to the mountains and the ocean. We have been whale watching in the Northern San Juan Islands, drank tea at Butchart Gardens, driven the Canadian Sea to Sky highway to Whistler, been to the dessert to see my family, and flown to Texas to see Brian’s family. We have sat at the foot of the statue of liberty and drifted around Manhattan by boat at dusk. We have slept under the whispering pines, sat by the crackling fire, and my husband has learned to drive with his hands. We have a family, and our marriage is loving and strong. The lesson was simply set before me, from others that had traveled this road, and I am so glad I paid attention.

    • beverly Boyd says

      Linda, I loved this story. What a wonderfully rich experience you had as a child. On its own it is inspiring. Then the serendipity of having that same experience have the power to heal the sadness of your husband’s diagnosis of MS and enrich his life and your marriage.

    • Debbie says

      Linda – I was touched by the depth of love and caring you share with your husband and family. I was impressed by how you both have embraced life and not let physical “limitations” define your joy. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.

    • Ilana says

      Linda- I have now read your story several times and am still in awe. It is so beautiful. Your strength, optimism and support of your husband is truly an inspiration. When I was a newlywed I had emergency brain surgery. There was a 30% chance I would have a stroke. My parents told my new husband that he should not be saddled with that to take care of at the age of 24. If I had a stroke he was free to leave me. He was furious. He loved me and intended to stick by me no matter what. That was more than 11 years ago and I made a full recovery. I have often thought it was a romantic notion but not very realistic of him. Granted, these are very different situations. I have no idea what you and your husband have contended with. Still, your story forces me to realize that people can do what they have to do to support the ones they love. I’m going to go thank my husband (again) now. And thank you for sharing this beautifully written and beautifully lived story.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Linda, like everyone else, I find your story very awe-inspiring and beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  5. Debbie says

    The unexpected life lesson that most quickly comes to mind originated in the posting of another member of this online community. In her response to one of Laura’s prompts, she included within her writing a comment about a response to certain sounds that evoke in her strong feelings. The way I interpreted, stored and have remembered her words may not even match exactly what she intended to convey. Therefore, it is safe to assume that my recollection of this catalytic statement is absolutely paraphrased – any maybe even a little distorted.

    The thoughts she expressed that caught me off guard and yet resonated so deeply were along the line of waiting to be rescued. Certain sounds in her life had caused a hopeful reaction that the public defenders were racing to rescue her coupled with corresponding frustration and resentment when she realized they were headed elsewhere. In a flash, I could feel a younger part of my soul, the little girl within me nodding her head in agreement. Where were the rescuers who would beat back the monsters and set everything back in order? Who was coming to make everything all right?

    Until that moment I had never recognized this as a dimension of behavior within me. Until that moment I would have told you that years ago I had come to accept that I was responsible for taking care of me. But in a flash, new insight erupted that would not be denied. I had been deluding myself.

    Even though I had taken definitive steps toward changing the rest of my life, throwing a huge stone into the pond of my closest relationships, I now saw I had still been sitting on shoreline watching the ripples grow into waves of change. Waiting…. Waiting…. Suddenly frozen into inaction and feeling overwhelmed.

    Overwhelmed! The insights continued to grow. Overwhelmed was of my own making yet I felt powerless to control the sense of onslaught. Every new piece of information, every new request felt like another heavy length of chain wrapping around me, dragging me down, from which I would never be free. Any why not? I am an intelligent, organized and intuitive woman. What was the missing piece? Why was I stuck?

    The answer jumped off the computer screen that night. I had gone to the blog to read, enjoy and savor the prose from those within this talented and gentle community of writers. I had not expected to have my self-concept cracked open by a sentence or two innocently tucked in the middle of a paragraph.

    What I had been waiting for, the reason why I was drifting with the tide was the underlying belief that I should be rescued! Peering back into my biography, I saw the theme unfolding again and again in personal and professional settings. Being overwhelmed was the symptom not the cause. I was overwhelmed because, at some level, I didn’t believe I should have to deal with these issues. I shouldn’t have to deal with them – and why not? Because someone was supposed to be here to help me, someone was supposed to pick up the burdens I didn’t want to carry, someone was supposed to rescue me!

    OMG! (sorry, channeling Facebook for a moment there)

    As I continued to peel back the onion of this realization, it was pungent and uncomfortable. Yet honest and true. I started with “overwhelmed” and began to shift the lens of my perception. If no one is coming to rescue me, then I need to rescue me – usually from myself.

    And that is the weirdest part of all on this journey. All of the different voices in my head. So many dueling perspectives. How do I know which one is “Truth” and which ones are the imposter? For me, when I am lucky, I stumble across moments of insight which are so intense there is a physical reaction, a resonance to their meaningfulness felt deep into the core of my being.

    Attempting to stay in the “beginner’s mind”, I am crawling forward through the cacophony listening intently for the tinkling of “Truth”.

    • Ilana says

      Debbie- As always, you make me think. Your message reminds me of what I said in my response to the “Truth of My Life Post.” The truth is when I see an ambulance rush by I wish somebody would rush to rescue me. I don’t know if you were referring to my post. If you were I am quite honored however that is not what is important. What is important is that your words here challenge me head on. I feel forced to take a good hard look at my own needs. I feel cheated that no one rescued me when I was a child. I feel angry and hurt that no one can rescue me now but me. Yet you are absolutely, 100%, undeniably correct. If I am going to be rescued I am responsible to do the rescuing myself. I am an adult, strong and powerful. As wonderful it would feel to have some strong hero pick me up, tell me he was going to make everything okay and carry me away from my burdens, they are MY burdens. I must carry them. I must conquer them. I must rescue myself from them. It is a bittersweet lesson. I have the power but that means I have the responsibility as well. Thank you for forcing me to learn it again. Please never stop posting here. I look forward to your responses every week. Yours, IM

      • Debbie says

        Ilana – it was, in fact, your post that inspired this story. I am glad you named it – I felt that would be your choice to identify, not mine. Thank you for that evocative piece that shifted my perspective! It seems your sharing has helped many of us to grow.

  6. Terry Gibson says

    This is an unexpected lesson expressed in a poem.


    What do you want?
    What is it you want?
    As your amethyst eyes
    Slither over my face
    Paw my neckline
    Denting my nonchalance
    My demeanour so cool —
    You’d swear I drank milk.

    What do you want?
    What is it you want?
    Do you assume me
    Your answer, so easily
    Wet nurse, lost sister
    Your other half gone missing
    So vital but unnoticed
    Till you’re about forty-three.

    What do you want?
    I must know what you want!
    As you approach me with gall —
    Crossing unspeakable lines.
    At last the secret spills . . .
    From a sooo-kissable mouth
    What is it you want?
    Aw, just the time.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Thanks Debbie. I hoped I’d lighten things up a bit from my last post. Survivors/thrivers date, dance, dream, hope, pray, and entertain wishful thinking. :)))

  7. Debbie says

    Ah, Terry – you have given a list of goals to work for! I feel so far away from being able to do most of those activities you list except, perhaps, entertaining wishful thinking!

    • Terry Gibson says

      Psst. I’m not able to do all those things either. One or two at a time. Working on tripling my output.

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