1. Fran Stekoll says

    What has died within me is the desire to maintain organization. Each day I wake up at 5AM with the intention of getting rid of the clutter in my drawers and closest. Each day I seem to be other directed. There’s no excuse, I’m
    retired. As I look back on my life I see even when I worked full time, raised three kids, and attended college, I still put off being organized. It’s just not in my blood. My intentions are good, my body is willing; but my mind isn’t . I’m what you call scattered. In girl scouts I remember one of the oaths, “remember to finish what I begin”; but I have a hard time even beginning. My late husband Matt was the best thing that ever happened to me. He had a routine which he kept each day from Military school. Up at 5AM, Lunch at
    Noon, Dinner at 5PM, TV from 7-8 PM, bed at 9PM. I adhered to his schedule for 15 years. What’s is going to take to get back on track?

    • Mary says

      Maybe… you dont NEED to be as organized in retirement as you were when your husband was alive? If the HOARDERS police arent knocking down your door and you survive quite well doing what you do, why beat yourself up? I have some of the same “clutter” issues you do, and I find that when it NEEDS to get done (company coming or I reach my own tilt meter) it does get done. But if the choice is “declutter or golf” golf wins.

      • Fran Stekoll says

        Thanks for your feedback. I’m really not a Hoarder; but rather a collector. Somehow after writing that and looking at my replies, I’ve gotten very focused.

    • Ana says

      Perhaps you could ask for help – a decluttering buddy of sorts, to help you, if not get you started, support you through the whole process; perhaps you can find another soul who needs help and would like to coordinate, organize to organize…perhaps acceptance, love and compassion is all that’s required. Best of luck, Fran.

    • Beverly Boyd says

      I agree with Mary.  you are much too hard on yourself, Fran.  I see that you posted at 5:36 am.  That’s a great time to write…a much better use of time than cleaning out some old drawer!  If you know where your checkbook is and can find clean socks, your drawers can probably wait.
      I think a well-meaning scout leader must have added, “Finish what I begin” to the oath.  In all my years of scouting i don’t remember it.  
      Lastly my ex-husband was in the navy for twenty years, but his house is a mess if he doesn’t have someone to pick up for him!

    • Debbie says

      Fran – I can sense your frustration in not keeping a “regular” routine. And yet, it also seems you are “shoulding” on yourself. “Should” finish what is begun. Each of us brings unique gifts and perspectives to any situation. Perhaps that within you that resists “organization” is also the very thing that fuels your creativity.

    • Roxane Roberts says

      What died was my future. I did everything the right way and the white way; and when I was to ascend a creative and financial throne, I was lied to prison. I emerged 8 1/2 years later with one eye and 5 teeth; never to access the future I’d built; for one reason…I forgot I was Black. I thought it was about my genius, accomplishments, goodness and spirit…it is not!

      • Roxane Roberts says

        perhaps I should mention the lie that led to prison involved stealing a multi-million dollar inheritance I never wanted; because instead of his rape, I’d have preferred my father!

      • says

        Welcome to this online community and for sharing a disturbing, powerful part of your personal history. I hope you will feel moved to continue to share with us in the future.

  2. Ana says

    What has died: My dream of being a radio disc jockey. When I was a little girl it was the voice coming from my speakers that save me. He would tell me of songs and artists I had never seen or heard of. In the dark I would sit in front of the radio as if it were a tv and listen to music. Waves of music and lyrics would transport me to think and feel in ways I did not know existed. It also helped me survive in ways unbeknownst to me at the time…I longed, as early as 14 years old, to become one of those radio voice, and do the same for others, sitting in the dark, watching the radio, trying to survive another day.

    The dying I currently feel: My potential. I feel it’s slowly dying due to not knowing what my vocation is meant to be.

    • Bobbie Anne says

      Ana, I too listened to the radio. I think being a disc jockey would be wonderful. Why don’t you go to the local radio station and see if a disc jockey is needed. Maybe there isn’t a age limit.

      I wanted to be a reporter on the news on the tv or radio too.
      There was a comic strip about a red-haired reporter named Brenda Starr, who had the most fasinating life. I took communications in college. I also wrote for my college newspaper. I still love to write. I’m going to do it more often.

    • says

      Ana, I was a talk show host in Ketchikan, Alaska when I was in my mid twenties. It was the best job I ever had and I was a fantastic interviewer. I loved it and I was gifted. Interviewing people on the air made the best use of all my skills. But I knew to continue in that career, I’d have to spend two years in Iowa and then two in Kansas and then two in Tallahassee and two in Baton Rouge, and so on, moving from smaller market to larger market every two years. I just couldn’t do that. I’d moved so much and I wanted and needed to come back to California. So I gave up that career and the passionate love I had for it. I moved on. But I had to leave radio behind.

    • Fran Stekoll says

      First thing that came to me was if you lived in my Mobile Home Park I’d hand you our PA system Microphone and let you be in charge of our many social functions. Next idea was find a Karaoke
      Machine and have a party, or go where there is one and enjoy that.
      I always wanted to continue singing with a band and the Karaoke
      places helped relieve that yearning.

    • Debbie says

      Ana – Isn’t is amazing how music can transport us to a different plane – transform the mundane into the mystical? I am still in awe of how a single song can shift the mood of my day in just seconds – up or down. It doesn’t feel to me like your potential is what is dying – it may just be in a transformation of its own. I am glad you shared this ambition with us. Who knows how you may yet find a way to offer insight and strength to others through your appreciation of music?!

  3. Bobbie Anne says

    What has died within me? My dream of becoming a mother. I was pregnant when I was a teenager, but the baby died. I cried a lot.
    I am an aunt and I have four nieces and a nephew, but that isn’t the same as having a child of my own. I am caring and nuturing. I have 3 companion cats, but they aren’t children. I taught children, but I had to give them back by 3:00 p.m. Yes, I know I could adopt a child, but it just isn’t the same. I wish I could become pregnant and have a child, but at this time, I don’t think that is going to happen. I pray that a miracle will occur, and I want to keep hope alive.

    • Ana says

      I too am not a mother. When I’m around friends’ kids a surge to want to mother rises, but I mostly stifle this desire in fear it will be looked upon as inappropriate or with territorial yes. I’ve experienced both. I can almost hear the words through their mother’s glaring eyes, “get your own kids!” So I smile and ache at the same time. And it’s not just about being a mother, but leaving some piece of me behind in the world: 1) because I am the last of my family line and more importantly 2) because I always hoped my child would participate in making the world a better place. Of course many mothers feel the same way…

      Thank you for sharing Bobbie Anne.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Bobbie Anne,

      Thanks for sharing this with us. I understand how you feel; I struggle with the same feelings. I lost a baby in my one and only pregnancy at 25 years old. So, trust me, I would not minimize this. But, if I may, I need to tell you something. You and I–and all women out there in the same predicament–are enough. I hope you get to be a mother. But, if that isn’t in the cards (like for me), you are no less a woman or person; you don’t deserve less love, compassion, encouragement, inspiration, satisfaction or peace. We can still use and share our nurturing skills with others. Finally, if there is anything here that speaks to you, please take it; if not, just let it go. Just know that I care.

  4. StickMan says

    The childhood in which I had not been raped died very long ago. I miss it dearly. I’m grateful now that I can mourn it and take action to hold the monster accountable as best I can. However, that betrayal of trust is something that I will for the rest of my days carry with me. I wish this were not true sometimes, but the cost of maintaining a perfect childhood within me was self-destruction, psychosis, and suicide. I wasn’t in control then, but I can be now in respectfully laying to rest the past I never had, and embracing the truth and reality of my life as uncomfortable as it feels right now.

    • says

      StickMan, Thanks for joining us and for sharing such a traumatic, difficult part of your life. As much as it may seem impossible right now, new experiences of trust will gradually come to override the last trust of the past.

    • Ana says

      I agree whole heartedly with Laura, StickMan, as I have experienced the very same. The trust of my today has slowly overidden the old. Thank you for your courage to share.

    • Ilana says

      StickMan- Thank you so much for sharing. You have given me that gift of ‘I am not alone.’ I was five years old the first time my brother hurt me and it soon became clear that the family dynamic was going to support that. I have often looked at baby pictures with a sense of loss. That child was protected. That baby was loved the way I never was again. I hope I can give you that same feeling of not being alone. So many people here have. Welcome to our community. IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      Thanks so much StickMan for your words. Welcome to a great community of mindful supporters and encouragers. People here really care.

    • Debbie says

      Stickman – thanks for posting on this blog – and for your courageous journey from illusion to acceptance of reality. I am impressed by your frankness and strength to persevere. I wish for you continued steps on your healing journey!

  5. Camilla Sørensen says

    I thought I was dead inside – this illusion of happiness – being the best all the time – best in school – best in sports – best friend – I had to be the best to be something – otherwise I was nothing. I was a straight A student in High School – finished second in the whole school – top 10% in Denmark – I was proud – maybe now I could get something from my parents – but no – it wasn’t good enough. What would it take to just get something from them other than abuse – so I thought if I could just get into the finest University in Denmark – which I did – where Søren Kirkegaard, Ludvig Holberg and all the great Danes had attendet – then I could be the best – to be something – but no – I became strikingly aware that no matter what I did it wouldn’t be good enough – and so it came down one winter night – my whole past came crashing in – and I hit rock bottom – I screamed for help – someone had to see my pain – but no – all the doctors and nurses – all they saw was them selves and suddenly my parents became this great resource in my life – I had no where to go but inside myself – I thought my heart and soul had died – thirteen years passed by – and I was dead inside – until I, at the age of 33, had enough of my parents and all of the doctors ignorance – getting pushed around – not listend to – constantly been told to not talk about the past – that I was sick – and I would never get better – I just had enough – that’s when I found Angela my therapist – the first one who ever saw me – who liked me for who I am – who didn’t jugde me for my past – and suddenly a spark of life came back into my heart – slowly life came back through all the layers of pain – the sun rose in the darkness – the colors turned from black and white into a small rainbow – and I realized that I wasn’t dead inside – but that the illusion of my “happy” childhood was – that part of me had died – but my heart, soul, body and mind came slowly to life in the hands of Angela – the angle in my life – and now I can finally feel the warmth of the sun on my body – knowing I don’t have to be the best to be me – I still have a lot to learn – althrough the sun is up there are clouds too – but I am finally alive…

    • Debbie says

      Camilla – I can identify with much of what you said – having to be “the best”, working harder and harder for the sought after acknowledgement from my parents. Bravo for you for finding the courage to redefine success! How wonderful to discover someone who finally “saw” you. I am glad you now feel the sun and are coming back to life!!! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Terry Gibson says

    The energy to deal with, and the ability to trust my ‘sister’ or her boyfriend in any way at all. As punishment, I was always trashed to the kids, and now that continues with my little nephews (the next generation). I’ve been saving bits of money for their university and I don’t even warrant some respect, a hello even. No. Just more ridicule and treatment like I am a psycho who made everything up. I’m not blaming the little ones, of course. They’re learning what they are taught. As it is now, we haven’t seen each other in almost seven years. We haven’t spoken for about three years. I’m not full of loathing or anything; I don’t feel much at all. Do I need to forgive when the repeated attacks on me have created such a callous over my wounds, I am almost unhurt? I don’t really care any more.

    Something else that has died, obviously, is how I felt with Steve. When the person already mentioned above wasn’t telling stories about me fighting with her, in an effort to break up the solid connection Steve and I had together, complaining that I was being mean to her, and that I hated her, he and I had a mutually beneficial friendship. He was good for me and I was good for him, or so he said. I still need that spark he added to my life and it feels like it’s killing me to let it go.

    • Ilana says

      Terry- I am so sorry. That is a huge loss, especially after all you have survived. That’s what you are, a true survivor. I hope it can ease your pain some, to know that there are so many of us out here who are lucky enough to appreciate your gifts. Take care of yourself. You are a treasure. IM

      • Terry Gibson says

        Thank you, Ilana. You’re always so good to me and supportive … I don’t know what to say. No. I do: I appreciate you–your willingness to share such your pain, your amazing gift for writing, and your constant encouragement of other people here. I am proud to include you among my friends.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Thank you Laura. As always, your kindness and compassion mean so much. Please don’t feel sad for me. I’m hanging out at the gym now so I’m working through these issues. Endorphins rock!

    • Debbie says

      Terry – thank you for the courage and honesty to share such strong feelings with us. This seems like such a difficult situation and one that still brings you pain. I am so sorry.

  7. beverly Boyd says

    What has died in me?

    The desire to end it all, to take my own life, to commit suicide! There I said it!

    I hadn’t even realized it was gone until this morning. I was thinking about Bobbie Anne’s beautiful poem about her sister’s suicide and wishing for words of comfort for her.

    It was almost forty years ago. After many difficult emotional years, my husband and I were finally in therapy together. Things had gone from bad to worse as they often do when therapy starts and he had announced that he wasn’t going anymore. The problem was mine and I should bet myself fixed!

    I felt so trapped, tethered in an Ozzie and Harriet existence with small children to take care of. My college Degree in English wasn’t likely to be worth much without job skills and experience. I’m sure our family looked good on the outside and I was very functional outside my home. I could go on for pages about how it was but that is not what this is about.

    One night when my husband was gone for a week, I really began to more seriously think about ending it all. I knew I needed to have a plan. Instead, I called Pat, a friend I had not known very long. I asked her to come. ” I’m finding being alone is awfully lonely.” She saw beneath my cryptic statement and told me to not do anything. She would get there as soon as she could. To my surprise that night Pat shared with me the pain she still carried from her own sister’s suicide years before. She urged me not to do anything drastic. That got me through the night.

    The next day as my children napped I lay thinking about a plan, I looked at the three tiny heads napping on the other side of the bed and realized how much I loved them. I wanted them to have a mother and even at my lowest I could still be a good mother. I thought about my parents, my siblings and friends who cared about me. I remembered Pat’s story and I realized that, in order to send a message to the one person who was causing me grief, I would hurt so many people I loved. Maybe cause them pain that would last a lifetime. I decided I would rather live the rest of my life with the pain I had than to sentence them to a life of trying to figure out why I had to take it.

    It took seven more years of trying different things to help my marriage before I had the strength and courage to divorce him. Friends were shocked because he seemed like such a good man…and in many ways he was.

    For years I had suicidal thoughts but I never told anyone. I was afraid the would start a suicide watch! I had made a decision to put my family first. I knew I would stick to it. Finally I began telling trusted friends about it and learned that I was not alone. There are a lot of us who have had suicidal thoughts and won’t act on them for a variety of reasons.

    This morning, as I thought about Bonnie Anne, I realized that I no longer wish to end it all. Instead, I am grateful that I have another day of reasonably good heath and vitality to spend writing, gardening, taking care of business, or just smelling the rosemary. Now, though I still want to have words of comfort for you, Bobbie Anne, I want to thank you for sharing your story as my friend, Pat, shared hers with me. If expressing your pain can help one other person as Pat’s pain helped me many people will be blessed by it.

    • says

      Beverly, thanks for sharing this amazing and inspiring journey you’ve been on. Your honesty will help so many others. I really appreciate your courage and posting this story here. And congratulations. I’m so glad you are choosing to live.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Thanks for the inspiration, Beverly. I am so happy for you. No doubt, your story is a blessing to all of us.

    • Debbie says

      Beverly – I so appreciate you speaking out about something that is still taboo! Many of us have, or have had, suicidal thoughts. The reasons for not acting on them are varied. But knowing that others have stood in the darkness and found a way out – it helps! It helps! Thank you for this special post!

      • Beverly Boyd says

        Thank you Debbie,
        Terry and Laura, too. Even though I am long past this period of my life, I don’t talk about it much. It feels like standing naked at a bus stop! You words of appreciation really help.

  8. kathy says

    As I have grown up and gone to many counselors, I was able to find a counselor that was honest enough with me to help me see when I was younger I was molested by my older brother.I had buried that so deep within myself it took over 30 years to come out. I had stuffed and stuffed it anytime the thoughts of what had happened attempted to come up; after all “we were a normal family that went to church, had a mom and dad,” and things like that did not happen and surely were not talked about.
    What died inside of me – my child within- the innocent little girl that loved life, riding her bike, playing outside at night with the neighborhood friends, that little girl that loved puppies and enjoyed every minute of everyday.
    She died that day, she was confused with what had happened, screamed for her mom to help and that was when he let me go, I don’t remember anything for several years and have re-lived my childhood only through family pictures and stories.
    At 38 yrs old I finally acknowledged the molestation and have been healing for 10+ years, this has torn my family apart but I am standing up for “my little girl” inside and some days she will peek out and try to trust me enough to come out and spend some time with me. I have a long journey ahead of me but allowing my inner child to heal and enjoy life is a priority for me now.I know she holds the secrets to me loving life, laughing and playing and I want to enjoy these things once again.

    • Ilana says

      Kathy- Thank you for sharing your story. Our stories have many things in common. I am 38 years old, my abuser was my older brother. We were a religious family and appeared to everyone else like a very close family. No two people have the same story or the same responses but I found what you shared very comforting. You also shared hope. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • Debbie says

      Kathy – I really liked this line you wrote “allowing my inner child to heal and enjoy life is a priority for me now.I know she holds the secrets to me loving life, laughing and playing and I want to enjoy these things once again”. You have the wisdom inside of you – and the courage to share your pain with others. Thank you for posting your story.

  9. Ilana says

    Remember Our First Love

    What died within me is best described by Jonie Mitchel in her song “Both Sides Now.” She calls it “The dizzy dancing way you feel.” She is talking about love. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t fallen out of love with my beautiful Zander. We just grew up, I guess.

    Before we became parents Zander and I were crazy. We stayed up until 7:00 in the morning our first New Years Eve together, just talking. He was in nursing school then. Because he is so tall, 6 foot 3, his hospital issue scrubs were made for a much larger man. He had to tie the draw string so tight to keep them up. “I’ll be you can fit two people into those scrub pants.” I giggled and decided to give it a try. I climbed into his scrub pants, facing him. We toppled over onto the bed and laughed until we couldn’t breathe. We chased down the ice cream truck in our pajamas and bare feet. We sang to each other at the top of our lungs and danced without any music. And how we danced. I used to climb right up him, wrap my legs around his waist and hook my feet behind him. Then I’d lean all the way back so that my long hair was sweeping the floor and he would shimmy and spin. That we did in public, at the dance bars! The day before our wedding, we were in the sanctuary where we were going to be married. It was Shabbat. We were being blessed by the Jewish community but that didn’t stop me. I hoisted this giant up on my hips and carried him around piggy back style. We had shaving cream fights, walked out of the dollar movie theater only to turn around for a double feature, painted and colored like children while studying for final exams and dressed up as each other for Halloween. On our second date we went to Dave & Buster’s, a grown up Chuck E Cheese with a bar. Zander wore a tuxedo I was in a backless, navy blue, evening gown. Everyone else was in jeans and when they asked where we were coming from, all dressed up like that, they got one of two answers, a funeral (Uncle Jeb wanted it this way) or our own wedding. We were originals all right. We were joyfully odd.

    Somewhere along the way, though, we lost it. Now we worry about money. Zander works like a dog and is asleep by 9:30 every night. Sometimes we’re too tired to laugh at each other’s jokes, or even to make them. Our minds are dominated by responsibilities and anxiety. How will we save for college and still pay for preschool tuition now? When will the four year old stop having accidents? Did the eight year old do her homework? When will the six year old stop sucking her fingers and how much will it cost us to fix her teeth? Did you call the plumber, like I asked you to? When was the last time you mowed the lawn? You’re HOW far behind on the laundry? Is it your turn to sleep in this weekend or mine? Sex? That requires we both be in bed at the same time and then who’s watching the children? It goes on and on and on.

    We learned how to make sacrifices. We learned how to love our children more than ourselves. We learned how to talk in code so the “bookends”, our 8 & 4 year old, wouldn’t know that “the book”, our 6 year old is going for a special sleepover without them. We learned how to deal with crisis of tears that ensues when she fails to keep the secret. We learned how to be in two places at once, the birthday party, the school play and the dance recital. We learned how to be parents but somewhere along the way we forgot how to be us. We forgot how to laugh at stupid, crazy things. We forgot how to do those stupid crazy things. But most importantly, we forgot how to stop planning to just relax and enjoy the moment.

    It makes me sad that we lost that spark, that love of life. But there seems to be no choice. There isn’t money, there isn’t time and there’s no one to watch the children so we can just be ourselves. I miss it. What really scares, though, is the day I find I don’t miss it. The day I am satisfied to just get everything done, climb into bed next to my beautiful hero and fall asleep without so much as holding his hand. When that happens, then I’ll know, something within me has truly died.

    Get out the old scrubs, my nurse practitioner, your very first stethoscope and the rubber gloves. This is an emergency. We’ve got to save our sillies, remember our first love.

    • says

      Ilana, you capture a universal dilemma with such poignancy and grace. Believe me, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Marriage has its seasons, as you described so vividly.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Ilana, Your story is so rich in detail and feeling! I could see and experience it all. The love story between you and Zander blows me away: it’s what I hunger for. You re-ignited my desire to forage through that fire and intensity; living in the moment and healing has been problematic in some ways. Feeling like I’m in love elsewhere, for example. Long before this week’s proposal. Tricks of the mind and emotions or real? Thanks for all the insight. I also know about the seasons of a relationship and sometimes watch, helplessly, uncertain of myself. Still wondering if there’s something to do or is this the way it’s supposed to be? Thanks for getting me thinking and attending to echoes of my heart.

    • Debbie says

      Ilana – I so enjoyed your post. You left me with a smile even though you so clearly outlined some of the challenges of parenthood and long term relationships.

      • Ilana says

        Debbie and Terry- Thank you both for your comments. It means so much to hear that my writing is enjoyed and helped someone else. This week I had a poem published in the newsletter from the organization that runs my support group. I wrote that poem in my private journal in 1992 with no intention of ever sharing it with anyone. I credit this community, in part, with helping me find the courage to share it after 20 long years. As Julia Child was quoted to have said, in ‘Julie and Julia’ “Look at me. I’m growing, right before your eyes.” :) I wish you both the best in everything you do. IM

        • Debbie says

          Congratulations!! Good for you – as you continue to venture “out” into the world sharing your writing and unique perspectives – you will find even more acceptance and encouragement!

          • Ilana says

            Thank you both so much! I’ve missed you, Debbie. Glad you’re back. I don’t know if I will ever meet either one of you but your support has given me so much. I may actually try to publish this novel some day. sIMz

    • Beverly Boyd says

      Seems you and Zander have the perfect combination to be wonderful parents: Silliness and responsibleness.

      Silliness is free and children love it when a parent can join into their fun or initiate on their own. I know. One of my mother’s most endearing qualities was her laugh and ability to be silly. My Dad rarely initiated but loved to join in the fun. They were also responsible parents and we had the security of that!

      We were fairly poor but had wonderful vacations: traveling and visiting relatives, sleeping in tents; eating food from our picnic basket by the side of the road.

      In the summer Mom and Dad often left us with trusted friends for a week while they went somewhere together. I’m not sure where they went but I know they had a good time and always returned refreshed. Those weeks with other families are among my favorite memories.

      • Ilana says

        Thank you Beverly for your encouragement and for sharing these beautiful memories with me. Your parents sound like wonderful people.

        • Beverly Boyd says

          They were wonderful (and imperfect) and they celebrated 55 years together. I think you and Zander have what it takes for that, too.
          Best Wishes

  10. Debbie says

    What has died within me is any magical thinking about my recently defunct long-term relationship. I can see it clearly for the deep friendship it has been – but nothing more. Something of beauty and value, to be sure, yet not the illusion I held it to be for all of these years.

    Two days ago, the moving company came and carted away the carefully packed boxes of belongings. The house we had shared stood awkward and empty, as if embarrassed by the newly exposed empty spaces and blank walls. But not for long.

    Furniture moved from previous places swiftly filled in the open spots, effectively erasing traces of our shared space and times. Part of me recognized this as a healthy step of moving forward into the future by my former life partner – yet part of me rebelled against being so easily replaced. Part of me wanted to resist the redesigned rooms without any of the belongings that had such meaning to me. Those were already loaded up and headed to a new home of their own.

    Today, I am flying across the country from my old life into the future. I leave behind the rolling, blue ridge mountains of the Appalachians that I love so much, familiar routines and faces. I am turning toward a new life, crafting a new identity while sifting through the past to retain that which is/was authentic.

    In the past month, there has been much loss. This always promotes deep reflection and added awareness of the preciousness of time; the only thing we can never get more of or replace. This is the moment, this is my time to step into my authentic self and evolve. As I stare out across the sky, clouds and setting sun, I hope and pray that I am ready for this next step.

    • says

      Debbie, Thanks for your beautiful post and your poignant story. Thanks for joining us here on the Roadmap blog and I hope you become a regular part of our community.

      • Debbie says

        Hi Laura – thanks for your comments. I am not new – just have a new email address – part of the new life! I am glad to be back, though, after a couple of weeks hiatus!

    • Ilana says

      How very bittersweet, Debbie. It is written with such dignity. I love how you waste no time blaming or judging the person you are leaving. That was something I never managed to do and I so admire you for it. I was reminded of when I broke off my engagement in 1997 and moved across the country to start a new life. There is loss. There is sadness. But there is the freedom to build something completely new and completely yours. I loved the line about retaining that which is/was authentic. If you are anything like me, it has to hurt for a while but the future holds endless possibility. I wish you strength and joy as you begin your new life. And I consider myself lucky that I will still be a part of it through this blog. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. IM

    • Ilana says

      Debbie- Back for a second read, as you sometimes say. This is so beautifully written that I am repeatedly drawn to it. Your descriptions are so clear and honest. They made me feel like I was right there watching it all happen. Every paragraph has hope as well as loss. I love how the house seems “Awkward and empty as if embarrassed but not for long.” It is the perfect touch of personification of the inanimate object that stood for so much.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Debbie, it’s nice to have you back. So many huge changes in your life. I empathize with the uncertainty, sadness, and feel excitement for your future. You’ve always got friends here in this special place. Btw, I also loved the line about the embarrassment of the house in its new nakedness. Take care.

  11. Frances Lesenski Talamantes says

    I died to me.
    Before I got ill I was me, Frances. Had been Frances for 66 years and
    I rather liked myself.After getting sick parts of me were lost. I no
    longer wanted to get up
    in the mornings, no desire to keep my surroundings as I had before,
    did not want to talk to
    people…just wanted to stay in bed and read plus listen to radio ( to
    hide), I just did not care about things
    and people.It was so sad loosing myself and I could not help myself. I
    just had no inner reserves to pick myself
    up and so go on in life. It was such a horrible place to me, I wish
    this on no one. I am finally feeling
    better and want to go on. I am trying to look for a reason why this
    happened to me. I know that there is good to
    receive from this experience. I am going to find the silver lining. Amen.

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