Friday, December 29, 2017

The stuff of legends

Rage was my stock in trade
my default response to life
and one never knew what might
make me blow
during the first forty years of
my life

But...that anger was nothing
compared to the towering fury
that developed after the family
did an intervention on me for
my alcoholism

It's a miracle
(and I am a miracle and so is my sobriety)
that my head didn't
explode during that first year
I was that mad and
everyone knew it and
everyone stayed the fuck away from me

family of origin or recovering family
tiptoed around or flat-out avoided me
after a few encounters with the
newly sober, newly 'feeling' me

fangs and fingernails and feelings hyper-extended
daring anyone to give me a reason (to rage or drink)


it is fourteen years later
and I rarely lose my temper now
or even feel that simmering emotional violence

recovery has taught me to control, channel, and release
those emotions in more productive, positive ways
and to not even respond in those old, dangerous ways
in the first place

but both sets of family are still talking
(and now laughing about, though they weren't then)
about the terrifying, menacing (even to me) animosity
of my early days of alcoholic abstinence

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Blue frosting

phone calls and paperwork

travelling and snowy roads

laughter and jokes

coffee and mongolian grill

quiet moments of great solemnity

cupcakes and commitment

kisses and cameras

silver and gold

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


The Kid,

joy of my life

sometime exquisite pain in the keester,

tells me over her post-nuptial dinner

with their friends and her dad and I,

"it is so weird, being an adult!"

how did she do that,

become grown up at 23?

Dare I hope I had something

to do with that?


either way,

I am glad

we are both now


I have only been grown up

about three years or so.

Still hoping for her dad.



So many possibilities

Endless options

Multiple challenges

but which best serves me?

striving to select the opportunities

that will support my sobriety and sanity

and goals and dreams and needs and wants

involving a minimum of output or

commitment on my part

so much to protect and preserve

but I will

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I don't want to be single


due to repeated investigation
I am well aware
that there is nothing out there
worth dating or
a long term relationship


I don't want to be single

though I have been lied to and
abused and poorly treated repeatedly
as I keep hoping that it will be
this time


I don't want to be single

somehow, inexplicably,
there is still a tiny sputtering flame of hope
though I know better
it never is any better
same creepy men, different year


"Begin Again" by Taylor Swift

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Photographs and memories

(I could not say or sing this better than Jim Croce.)

Photographs and memories
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
To remember you

Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Summer skies and lullabies
Nights we couldn't say good-bye
And of all of the things that we knew
Not a dream survived

Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can't be true
That's all I've left of you

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Time after time

if he was not able or willing to
work things out the first time around
whether that was thirty years ago
or three
what assurance would one have
that the situation would be different

how would it be possible to know
for certain

that he has changed
that he is truly willing
that he is sincerely committed

and that

I am not merely an available option
that he is taking another 'run' at
that he is, to put it bluntly,
desperate enough
to 'give' me another try

(some gift)


am I the partner of last resort
because no one new or acceptable
has presented herself or stuck around

I am no longer 18, 21, 25, 38, or 44
nor that naive, desperate, or foolish

it's amazing how the exes start
sniffing around
the moment I become


do they really believe I have forgotten?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sweet freedom

Pain is receding

joy is burgeoning

life is beckoning

like a deserted, dusty country road

an adventure awaits

independence is delicious and welcome

on my tongue

I tie on sturdy shoes

dancing on my toes

in anticipation

of what is next

and what is next



Friday, November 17, 2017


My folks didn't always get it right
but there were a lot of things they did
do very well

when I was in critical need
they always stepped up
whether that was paying my bills for
a  couple months at the end of my undergrad years
so that I could focus on school instead of work

or moving me, several times, thousands of miles
when my job or relationship prospects dramatically changed

I try to do the same for my daughter, without enabling
her own manipulative behavior and needs

She's about to graduate
I want her to be a success and become truly self-supporting
so I co-sign a loan for her to have start-up funds to
get a place to live and pay bills while she waits for
that all-important first paycheck to arrive

and I will also help her move and get settled into
her first post-college home with her husband

I consider all that a good investment in my precious child
as she crosses the threshold into true adulthood

Meanwhile, her other parent is busy being as selfish and
myopic as s/he has always been

Disinheriting her youngest because she is mad at her dad
for making her adolescence crazy with her transgendered bullshit,
s/he is refusing to help the kid make this 'good' start out of college
and is still pursuing her transitioning to the exclusion of all else

S/he would rather pay tens of thousands of dollars for electrolysis
and assorted surgeries and hormones and other medications
and then complain about the Kid's alleged rudeness to her

(those are called 'boundaries', fucker)

(and all you need to do to make it right is make AMENDS to her)

and then active punitively towards this resilient young woman

well, well,...just like HER own father

than attempt to be a loving, functional parent
to the ONE child she has who is making something of herself
despite her parents' respective problems
especially as compared to the other two, who are still
lying addicted using obnoxious individuals well into their forties

I have taken the good my parents did and striven to change the bad
and I think my kid has turned out pretty well
despite me
despite her self-absorbed father

Parenting requires both boundaries and personal sacrifice
even sacrifice of one's own needs and dreams

you only get one chance to participate in those growing up years
if you blow it, there is no do-over
what could be more important than raising one's child??

I have done the best I could.
I know I am doing the right thing
by my daughter
right now

But I do not think the other party has even tried
but I guess s/he could only transmit/use
the dysfunctional tools s/he was given
rather than accepting the challenge and the privilege
of striving to be a better parent than
the ones s/he was given

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New day, new me

The divorce is final
now to begin changing my name
which means having to finally
tell many, many people about
what he did to me and
what I did about
what he did to me.

The last of the secret 'telling'

at last

Delighted to leave behind
a now reviled moniker
and arise from the
bitterly cold ashes of
dashed hopes
crushed dreams
betrayed love
destroyed trust

It feels like being reborn
to take back my maiden name
to reclaim
my heritage
my identity
my peace
my serenity
my family
my sanity
my financial security

my heart is warm

I won't just rise
I will survive
I will thrive
I will fly

like never before

"You've been remade" by Tenth Avenue North

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oh happy day

One letter in the mailbox yesterday

from the court

the divorce was finally final a couple days ago

after a brief happy dance on the front porch,
I started emailing and texting friends and family
the good news of my freedom from insanity
despite his 'best' efforts to delay me
not to mention him paying a lawyer for
absolutely nothing

I celebrated by hanging out with my bestie
nibbling/sipping on cheese and chicken and Dr. Pepper
watching movies and laughing and planning
the rest of my gloriously single life...

never again
will I remarry


my life is amazing, just the way it is

"We are never ever getting back together" by Taylor Swift

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


This is so you
you can keep denying it
but this was the exact, precise history of
our relationship

especially the line about
not stopping until
I hated you more than
I ever loved you.

at least I can heal
from this and move on.

You are still sick.

"Lips are Movin' " by Meghan Trainor

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Unexpected tears

Every time an event evoking loss occurs

even if it is merely someone or something peripheral to my life

I find myself once again mourning old hurts,

though I am unsure if this is

actual grief or an empathetic response to

the sorrow of others.

Today, an acquaintance is being taken off life support

I feel sad for his family but

surprised by the urge to weep on his behalf

though I know he is, as he believed, joyfully in his Savior's arms


I still feel an affinity for his passing and

my own anguish over recent and ancient losses

rises up and briefly enfolds me again


Monday, October 30, 2017

The last time we made love

Do you remember

the last time we made love?




I was tired and had driven and

socialized all day and

just wanted to go to sleep

but had to

you had to so badly that

you made me

you hurt me

you humiliated me

then went to sleep

blissfully sated

(and stoned...I now know the truth)

while I wept and wondered

what the fuck I was doing

being with you and

how I could have let this happen to me


 "Do You Remember?" by Michael Jackson

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The broken bond of the band

You could have had it all

I offered my entire self to you

when you asked me and

offered me a circle of gold and hope.

You have now chosen to

chase broken and desperate women

prostitutes of the FL kind

pot, pot, drugs, drugs, drama, drama

fraud, dishonesty, cheap thrills,

poor taste, classless encounters

lying about everything

attempting to undermine or woo others

away from my core group

abandoning even your loyal, sweet dog as

you thrash around, contacting every person you

ever knew from your past,

looking for rescue or relief, who knows?

are any of them stupid or foolish enough to

believe your shit and take you back?

those two rings you gave me

once so brilliant, shimmering with love and promise

now put away, dull, pathetic, cheap

a mockery and a fulfillment of

those shallow and insincere promises

tarnished and faded

like your commitment

"You Lie" by The Band Perry

Thursday, October 26, 2017

You are so vain...and mentally ill

It is all about you

You play out your drama (lies) for anyone who will listen

especially new audiences, like a lawyer

or the new woman...

who don't know any better...yet

you think you have control

you think you are hurting me

you think you are slowing me down

you have overthought

and thus failed

you think you are normal


so understanding

willing and able

fixed, cured, okay


you are the

sickest, meanest fucker

I have ever met

so...grateful you showed me who you really are

so I could quickly get away from you

so...grateful I spotted and survived your machinations and your CRAZINESS

so...sorry for the next one

but glad, glad, glad for me

to be out, free, healing

"Done" by The Band Perry

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stand by me

The last month has humbled me

showing me who my real friends are

who really gives a damn about me


who those are that are willing to put their words to work


who those are that are only running their mouths


who had no intention of keeping their word or  promises or offers.

The work on both houses

the financial solutions

the mental and emotional and spiritual support

the promises kept

the hugs given

the tears dabbed

the meals fed, cooked, or bought

the perceptions validated

I am blessed and

reaffirmed that I am absolutely doing

the right course for me as

my friends and family

stand by me

"Who Knew?" by Pink

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Feng shui

The evil corroding thread

of his ego, possessions, dishonesty

is gone at last

purification has taken place and

will be ongoing

The house glows with health and cleanliness

I can feel and see the now unblocked chi

flowing through

me and my home

peaceful, content, hopeful

at last

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Oh yes
keep telling those lies
telling people how I
used you
mistreated you
took you for granted
was so unreasonable

That's fine

If you need me to be a bitch to
justify to yourself
why I kicked you out
then so be it

Just stay the fuck away from me

Keep your whiny ass, negative vibes
and your whiny ass
to yourself

As I packed the pathetic remnants of
your life this past weekend

(marveling at how a 62 year old
man's room can look and smell like
a three year old boy's)

it became readily and nauseatingly apparent to me
how LITTLE you had done around
the house in a very long time as
I hauled out bag after bag of garbage and
swept up gallons of dirt and crap

And then...after the cheating accusations
I hear that you are the one who is cheating

Really? Really? Really?

You better run fast.



Your own shit is about to bite you in the ass.

"Look what you made me do" by Taylor Swift

Saturday, October 14, 2017


What a joke

The insistence on a mutual understanding of a sacramental Union

What a come on and a con, unique in my romantic experience

The wooing with God and Sacrament and Covenant as the goal

The elaborate courtship agreement, so carefully researched and constructed

The exchange of rings, the witnesses, the signing of Purity agreements

Covenant: the word was used over and over

The insistence on understanding and committing to the deep and true and Universal nature of this

The exhaustive discussion and preparation with parents and accountability partners

What a betrayal.

He discarded it the moment he was challenged to actually uphold it

God does not betray His covenant with those who make one with Him

But humans evidently do...

"Part of Me" by Katy Perry

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Proverbs 31 woman

A year ago
gifted with rubies and sapphires
at our wedding
and told in the presence of our guests
that I was more precious than those gems
assured that I demonstrated
wisdom strength nobility dignity

like no woman he had ever known

Now, he shouts at me that
I am a cold rigid tormenting disturbed woman

like my mother

Wow, that was a gut punch
He knew exactly which big button to push
when he said those words

and those words weren't true.

What changed?

I feel I am the same person
I know I am the same person
a little older, a little wiser, a little sadder

What changed?

It wasn't me

It was him.
That pretty speech
was another part of the pose
the mask
the lies
the con
the fuckery

He mocked and degraded
his own faith, his God, his Bible
with that stunt and was not true to the
words he professed with
alleged love and trust

He proved himself to be like many other
Christians I have met, all talk and judgment

It wasn't me that changed

But...I am a Proverbs 31 woman

I am true to myself

I serve the Lord
the only Man I need
who truly values me for who I am

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Muddled musings

Enjoying the peace
in my head
in my home
in my life

The decisions made and executed
   despite shrieking and squiriming
   from the other party
are intoxicatingly freeing

I am grateful to be single
I am delighted to be safe and sane

No desire to go there again
that is, into a romantic relationship,
for a very long time, if ever

Usually the one accusing others
of cheating
is the one cheating

He can't grasp that
it is his behavior
his choices
his nastiness
that is precipitating the steady movement
forward towards permanent dissolution

Nothing else

He will say anything
especially anything ultra logical
emotionless and cruel
to try to 'win'
(and perhaps to 'win' me back?)

(as if)

Free of the compulsion to take the bait
(or, at least, working hard at being free)

The world is open and bright and beckoning
after a year of tears, his craziness, and doubt

I am running at it with arms wide open

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Not playing

The chance was given
to be part of the negotiation
to be fair, compassionate, 'responsible'

supposedly, the delay and the silence
are not attempts
to be difficult or slow the process down.

Why should the word of a self-admitted liar
be sought or admissible anyway ?

Progress will be made today
moving forward
not playing
the stupid dishonest games that have been in effect
for the last two and a half years

The chance was given
it is now withdrawn

The Big Book tells me:

   "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. 
     For by this time sanity will have returned"

Sanity has returned
no more fighting

I will be honest, even when it hurts

Monday, October 2, 2017

Looking in the mirror

Through the grief and tears
the rolled shoulders and crushing, frequent fatigue
the vitality, sparkle is re-emerging
eyes are greener, skin is clearer

the reflected image has the surreal clarity
of the unexpected, the welcome, the necessary
the empathic glow is becoming brighter

it shows away from the glass
as people are drawn to the mien of
listening, intuitive, caring, nonjudgment
glow of the Spirit indwelling

I used to wonder what people saw when
they commented on the glow-in-the-dark aura
larger than life presence

I see it too now

How dare anyone attempt to dim that Light?

There is once again a light in every window
inviting, illuminating the corners of my soul and mind
and of those of those who are willing to be willing

"Objects in the Rear View Mirror" by Meatloaf

Friday, September 29, 2017


I don't usually do this - but this song expresses beautifully how I feel today.

Watch the video Rise by Katy Perry as you read the words:


I won't just survive

Oh, you will see me thrive

Can't write my story

I'm beyond the archetype

I won't just conform

No matter how you shake my core

'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

Oh, ye of so little faith

Don't doubt it, don't doubt it

Victory is in my veins

I know it, I know it

And I will not negotiate

I'll fight it, I'll fight it

I will transform

When, when the fire's at my feet again

And the vultures all start circling

They're whispering, "You're out of time,"

But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident

When you think the final nail is in

Think again

Don't be surprised

I will still rise

I must stay conscious

Through the madness and chaos

So I call on my angels

They say

Oh, ye of so little faith

Don't doubt it, don't doubt it

Victory is in your veins

You know it, you know it

And you will not negotiate

Just fight it, just fight it

And be transformed

'Cause when, when the fire's at my feet again

And the vultures all start circling

They're whispering, "You're out of time,"

But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident

When you think the final nail is in

Think again

Don't be surprised

I will still rise

Don't doubt it, don't doubt it

Oh, oh, oh, oh

You know it, you know it

Still rise

Just fight it, just fight it

Don't be surprised

I will still rise

Thursday, September 28, 2017


It is not my fault

I was honest

I am and was who I really am

I did not seek to deceive

I gave my whole heart

I was fully committed

I did not have an agenda

I did not mask a mental illness

I did not cheat

It is not my fault

I gave it my all

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

...and the healing begins...

Today, a phone call from
an old dear friend who moved away
five years ago, but who was such
a critical part of my healing from
an abusive relationship that ended
in 2001.
I would not be where I am at today
without her.

She is moving back this week and
she asked to come over this evening.
I said yes.

As I wait for her to come over tonight,
I suddenly realize that
I am at a similar juncture
to the one in the early 2000s
hurting and in need of healing.
God put this fabulous woman
in my life
once again
at exactly
the right time.

I am so blessed.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mixed metaphors ahead

It's tempting
to sit in the ashes
of the immolation of my marriage
within the perfect egg of survival
and never emerge.
Despite the warmth of the encouraging embers
and the certain mythical legend of rebirth,
the shell protects me.
Yet, my destiny is to be reborn,
to survive and grow and fly
What might emerge from the phoenix egg?
I suspect it is my truest self
a winged whole person
finally free of the baggage
and the pain and the damage and the betrayal,
shining whole, unmarred, a beacon
to self and others and God


Friday, September 22, 2017

Wind beneath my wings


More proof is in.

More people stepping forward to confirm

my intuition and the evidence about

certain people and circumstances.

Not going to get away with anything

professionals and friends alike

standing behind and beside me

leading me in

validation, love, support

I am blessed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Recovery is the light to my path
the glow in my soul
the design to my days

I will not tolerate it being disregarded and insulted
by those who really know NOTHING about it

It works. It really works. It's a shame it didn't work for you. never really gave it an honest try
(there's that word again...honest)

I can't believe you and her thought that would fly,
telling me recovery doesn't work in relationships

Millions of ACTUAL RECOVERING folks
would respectfully disagree based on their actual experience.

Including me.

Done, done, done

I can't stop people from reading my writing
on this blog and others
but I will continue to tell my truth

My truth right now is that it is time
to prune the dead wood in my life
friends lists need to be tightened up
some folks need to be blocked completely

No more nostalgic clinging to past relationships
or tenuous connections, especially with folks
I have never and will never meet
or never want to see again

There will no more pretending that 'things' are ok
I will not be bullied into accepting another's reality
perceptions or opinions
so that they can be okay with themselves while
I am fucked up by their self-righteous harassment

If you can't handle what's going on
then please block me
lose my phone number and email
stop surf stalking my blogs and sites

Just stop. Go away. You know who you are.

Enough. Life is too short to not have peace.

And I will have it, as I continue to clean spiritual and virtual house

Truth is powerful. And healing. And it is the truth.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Firing on all cylinders

After weeks...nay, months
feeling like I am walking through concrete
no sunshine of the spirit
no hope
no positive input

dragging, debilitating despair

I finally woke up the last couple days

Not sure what has changed

supplements have been tweaked slightly
conversations have taken place
decisions have been made
exercise patterns have begun/changed
bullshit is no longer tolerated
significant dates have passed or expired

the world is suddenly shockingly brighter
the brain is clicking away, churning out
ideas, plans, plots, hopes, dreams, trips, future
energy is rising and tasks long neglected are
being examined, evaluated, executed
sleep is longer, better, more restful

it's good to be back

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Two D/daddies


He just told me
why I had to go through this
this pain and sadness and betrayal

He wanted to give me my earthly father
and allowed another to make that happen

He is sorry that it had to be so painful
but it was necessary to slowly open that door
in my soul, so long barred

He holds me tenderly, dabbing my tears and
cooling my raging heart with His love

reminding me gently that He always intends
the best for me
even if it doesn't feel like it
at the time

Yesterday was completion, healing


thank you last

Grateful for the renewed relationship with my dad
not really sure if we ever had one until after
his bride left us but
slowly, slowly, over the last seven years
glimmers of the dad of my childhood
and something, someone more than that
has emerged until those traces melded together
and became him, who he is now
without her
a him who is kinder, gentler,
yet more assertive
with his daughters and any other interfering individual
who might assume they had the right or duty to tell him
how to live his life.
I saw that renewed father
fully, sweetly present.
I finally told him about the changes in my life,
his face brimmed with compassion and love
as he listened and affirmed and validated
my words, my decisions, my tears, my sadness
gently sharing his thoughts and perceptions
how gratified I am
for his tender acceptance of me
with all my flaws, struggles, stumbling,
differences of faith
loving me despite and maybe because of
imperfections and differences

the face of my Heavenly father in my earthly one

it is easier to arise from the ashes of my life to
live and hope and believe again
with him in my heart, right alongside Him.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Grief over this loss, this ending, this betrayal
has brought me to my knees with sickness, sadness
overwhelming abandonment
I have no regrets for this choice, for taking care of self
but it still hurts, still devastatingly painful
mentally staggering through each day,
with a pleasant mask on my face, because I have no desire
to re-hash my personal challenges with people who don't know me
stunned that so many people care about me,
except the one I wish would
emotionally desolate, melancholic
but firm

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I feel
I feel the freedom
from crazy

I am loving
I am loving the peace in my head
at last. It wasn't me.

I am humbled
I am humbled by the validation
that followed from many sharing their truth

Why was I keeping his secrets?

Why was I enduring the unendurable?

Why was I taking on blame for something that was not mine?

I loved. I tried. I am done.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

No matter what

I don't eat off my food plan

I don't drink alcohol

I don't take the bait

I don't go more than a day or two without attending a recovery meeting

I don't refuse to offer recovery service to those who ask for it

I don't let others and situations endanger my sobriety and my abstinence, both hard won

I don't forget I am an alcoholic and a compulsive overeater and I am not cured of those conditions

No matter what, I don't

Saturday, September 9, 2017


fooled again
embarrassed to admit it
shame that this was not perceived
believing only the best
revealing one's true self
thinking other is doing the same

narcissism is not fixable

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Con, Part Two

You lie to my face, bald-faced lying, where you tell me I am crazy for even thinking you are lying

You lie in the face of proof of your lies and behavior and choices

You lie about what you are doing or not doing

You lie to your mother every single time I hear you talking to her

You lie to your jobs, your therapists, your workers, your doctors

You lie about your recovery (there isn't any) and especially about your clean/sober time

You lied to and abused the hell out of recovery people who were only trying to help you

You have lied about your supposed disability, your exes, your behavior, your past

You spin and twist and manipulate everything you do and

   everything I do and and everything I say, trying to make me the bad one, the liar

   when really, the bad stuff is in your head and you are the twisted one

You lie by omission, by silence, by shouting, by name-calling, by bullying

You think that stating something loudly and repeatedly makes it true

Well, it doesn't.

Who the fuck are you?

You lie

And you know I am telling the truth.

Because I can't lie. I never could.

And I won't.

The Con, Part One

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Let the pain become the inspiration

I can only imagine
what my life could be
if I continue to mold
pain and joy
God's will
God's tools
God's power

Friday, August 11, 2017

Echos of reality

I can live without you just fine

     (just wish I didn't feel like I need to)

I am not threatened by you or your alleged 'recovery'

     (I got over that sort of thing a decade ago)

I am a survivor

      (much to the disgust of many)

I am free from codependency

      (Nor sorry if calling you on what I perceive as b.s. offends you)

I will tell the truth


I have done this before and I can do it again

      (see note above about being a survivor, in case you missed it the first time)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


mentally stable
relieved of compulsions
safe and secure
making and owning choices
restraint of pen and tongue
serenity overcomes calamity
always surviving

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Self care

It feels like prayer

this nurturing of my body
after all these years
of self abuse and
self neglect

I reverently lift the upgraded coffee
to my lips and visualize my cells
on their knees to gratefully receive
the life-giving blend of healing,
not just of food but of mindfulness

a communion of sorts, me and God and my body

Each bite a tiny Eucharist
sanctified by Him, His Guidance
a sort of pill or tincture
that nourishes my soul as well as my limbs

internal organs gratefully absorbing the
oxygen as well as intention
mindful action

I am restored
with every sip, every invocation, every step


Sunday, July 2, 2017


Not a caseworker
or a medical professional
nor a counselor

A human
a woman
a survivor of equal trauma

I didn't ask anyone to endure
my crazy nor did they stay to
help or support
once they witnessed it

As a mostly single person, 
I determinedly, doggedly, persistently
got 'better'
   (calmer, rational, fair, compromise, balance)
with the help of
professional and twelve step support
became saner, developed
the muscles of responsibility, 
consideration of others, and then

gratefully accepted a place in society
as an allegedly normal person

I don't understand why I don't
have more compassion and patience
for what you are going through
since I have been through it myself
and walked the path with others who
have struggled with the same

Why is it/isn't it different?
Why is it/isn't it the same?

I can't let go of this need for
self-care and self-preservation
I can't seem to sacrifice my recovery and sanity

for yours

Where to find that balance?

When did my 'give-a-shit' get so broken?

I feel like a jerk while simultaneously
feeling my boundaries go up and stay up

high, high...and solid

while you shriek and claw at the stone

I sit quietly on the other side,

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Collar

not submissive
not compliant
not service
not listening

self absorbed
ultra logical

this would not be
a symbol of true submission

why would I commit to something
that is a status thing for you

you talk the good talk

but it is hollow

every time we argue

not happening

Friday, June 2, 2017


how can one person
have so much bad luck
make so many mistakes
break so many items
kill so many computers

it's all accidental

you say

it's all carelessness, hurry, and
lack of focus/attention

I say

how to figure this out
sharpen the focus
slow the approach
dial up the care
enhance the attention

I can't do anything right

you say

I just want you to slow down and
be more vigilant

I say

We don't see things the same way

will we ever?

hurling rocks from our respective
hideouts, determined to win
rather than

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


why again
the friendships fade
against my will
against my hope
against my care

I understand and accept

devastation and abandonment

The silence and superficiality
I want to talk

she is closed and armored
with her husband guarding

I finally went home
can't push or force or beg

what did I do?

I didn't
I really do know that

but it still hurts

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Great Wall (of?) (grief?) (relief?)

the day
the anniversary of
her passing

Memories posted
pictures recycled
dreams recounted
'sightings' alleged

I wonder
why this doesn't
happen more to me

the 'presence' of


And then I realize

I still maintain a barrier
now a spiritual/mental one
rather than the geographical one
carefully guarded when
she was on this plane
to protect

She rarely gets through
but usually
it is when I am

she always catches me off guard

how many times has she tried?

I would guess, plenty
just based on the reports of the
sisters' maternal encounters

perhaps it is just
wishful thinking
all of us

Sunday, May 7, 2017

It had to be, with love to me/her

then, I was twenty seven
living in the Pacific Northwest
divorce impending, passion exploding
misty mornings, cloudy emotional evenings
bright professional days with a fake face
hiding the turmoil, the forbidden, the duality
Wilson Phillips warbling about life, along with Bonnie Raitt
on my very first CD player of my very own

his eyes gazed into mine and my knees weakened at the
power of his love and his codependence
so messed up, we both were, he still is
he strode through my life like a god
clay feet not visible until much, much later

foggy dawns staring at the jungle of vines just off the
apartment patio, morning stretches and coffee
wondering, thinking, unsure, young, damaged
by the long ago and not even knowing that the
damage wasn't normal because I was told that
the pain was normal and life wasn't fair and just
pull yourself up by your boot straps and it'll be fine

just then beginning the lifelong journey into self introspection
healing, memory, truth, painful, painful reality

still trying to drink and fuck that reality and pain
away with all the wrong people in all the wrong ways
but it wasn't working and I was seeking, seeking

but I love myself as I look back on being twenty seven
I was ready, I was tired of hurting, I was willing to try
anything even if I had to try a hundred times

young me finally got it later but at least she was finally
looking up at the horizon and ready ready
for me, the true me, the sober, sane, peaceful me

she didn't even know what was possible but she knew
something better was possible than what was happening then
we had to speak our truth, had to, then and now

it took what it took for her to be really, really ready
to meet in the middle of the time between then and now to
create ourself, love ourself, be ourself

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Another day, another year

Mother's day is impending
as is the seventh anniversary of her passing

still so ambivalent about this person
who birthed me, cried over me,
feared for me, adored me,


judged me, abused me, criticized me,
and ultimately, abandoned me.


I understand all of those behaviors of hers
better than I ever have

as I struggle to be her but a better her
me, a better me, a healed me, a compassionate one

I can
I will
I am

Friday, April 21, 2017

Parenting initiative

My nephew is the most amazing parent ever
I watch him with his eight month old son
his patience and creativity is astonishing
considering he grew up in a fairly
chaotic dysfunctional home
And he is wicked funny
when the little guy yells or cries
his father studies him carefully
watching the wee one's expression and
body language
before making any moves
the new dad
generally narrates his actions with
sarcastic but insightful remarks like
   'here's your keys, kid. Now go'
is tossed out as he jingles his key ring
just in front of the child's eyes
the room of midget watchers cracks up
the baby stops hollering
wide eyed with delight at
his father's attention, though
oblivious to the humor of
being given the car keys when
one has not yet learned to walk

"Write a poem that incorporates overheard speech" Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 21

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Grind in two parts

Oh my God
the night's dream wrestling interrupted
urrrghhhhh bleahhhh tired
despising everything and everyone
why does waking up always involve
such hatred for the entire race and self?
bleary eyed stumble to the bathroom
thoughts of calling in 'sick'
glass of water and turn up the furnace
staggering around opening shades
clothing jewelry tooth brush dog petting perfume deodorant
collecting electronics and assorted detritus
for the day at work, leaving
auto pilot drive, through the gate
the door, lights, computer, unpacking purse and brain
greeting lone coworker who is equally dark visaged
weak, useless, pathetic light of dawn


Coffee. Coffeeeeee. Coffeeeeeee!!!
personality firing on a few cylinders now
answer the phone and door pleasantly
though the impulse is still there to
mutilate all comers, it is dampened
by dawn and hydration and mindless
facebook surfing
thoughts of breakfast, friends, husband
weekend, projects, absent boss are
definitely more pleasing than they were
four hours ago
true blue sky with wispy clouds
unburdening the fatigue of spirit
another day

still wondering about the nebulous homicidal self
that is briefly present for the first hour
every single morning

"take this poem in parts...write about the feeling of the morning...STOP...Take your time, relax, and write the second half of your poem"
Prompt from the FB NaPoWriMo page. Posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 20

The origins of blame

The Woman was practical and wise
in the ways that only women are
she walked right past that tree
and the serpent
and the fruit
and the temptation

Preparing to walk right out
of paradise, to make her own way and to
use her God-given brains and talent

as God had intended and hoped for them BOTH

the Man was weak and susceptible
and even then, driven by the
ever-annoying (to women) drive to
dick measure with other males

(I'm talking about him throwing down with
both the snake AND the Deity)

the Man ate that apple
(HE did, not her...keep reading)
to prove his was bigger and better
that he was smarter and more 'on the ball'
than any old God or reptile could be


they found themselves
outside the gate
the Woman mentioned
to the Man that
it wasn't necessary to defy Him
or to prove to Him how stupid he was
or to dick measure, for fuck's sake (!)

(yep, she coined the word 'fuck')

God already knew that about the Man

(though He had hoped)


the Man blamed her
told and recorded the First Story
and has been shifting the blame
to her
ever since
for eternity

Write a poem that recounts a creation myth. Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 19


Standing silhouetted against
a skyline of war and blood
one arm raised defiantly high
clenching a gory aggressive sword
the chin proudly lifted under
the crested helmet

the other arm

around a collapsed fellow female
who cannot stand or defend
yet this woman refuses to
stand down or let go of
her comrade or to
surrender or quit or
concede defeat

they are

Poem based on favorite piece of art
Prompt from FB NaNoWriMo page and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 18

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hot springs honeymoons

The first one
he told me about the reservations
I was unsure
my previous experience had
been with a broken down,
poorly maintained pool that
while fun
was a health hazard.
Chico turned out to be a dreamy resort
full of and surrounded by romantic touches
many of them his
a private, hillside cabin overlooking the property
unique food options, hiking trails, spa, and nearby meetings
refreshed and rested by the attention and the getaway

The second one
was visited after the romantic B&B and the
Glacier Park cabin
the second stop fraught with so many problems
my viewpoint had become rather jaded and reluctant
Fairmont was merely a hotel with several large pools
that we got into once, so tired from our other travels
nothing truly special, especially not the food
the bright spots were the buddhist gardens
and seeing another (now married) couple from our
marriage prep days
frazzled and irritated, I couldn't wait to get home
many doubtful months of healing followed

Write a poem about a place you visited,how you imagined it beforehand, and what it was actually like.
Prompt from the FB NaPoWriMo page and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 17


I am not as mad at you
as I once was
more like
bemused by
the messes you left behind
after a lifetime of OCD tidiness
Your husband lives in
a crumbling pile of
the remnants of your
hobbies and decorations
his only solace is his God
I sure hope wish ask
that he could get some
motivation and healing
to 'live' and get on with
his life without you
the rest of us are finally
getting there, especially
now that we are knee deep in babies
your favorite humans of all
I see glimmers of you in them
and in our loving of them
they would have been delighted
to be adored by you in the
here and now
We all wish you had chosen
to live stay enjoy
with us, even me
even with the old resentments
though those are almost gone

'take your inspiration ... from the act of letter-writing"  - Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 16

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Half way to forever

Changes in lifestyle
gazing back over two months (fifty seven days) 
achieving abstinent 
success and such a different
state of mind after ceasing
to emotionally medicate
writing every day to chronicle
both current metamorphosis and future hope
excited about the next sixty
knowing this can be done
eager to pass the dread and previously
insurmountable ninety day mark
joyfully running full tilt
toward better health and

Write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something.
Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 15

Haiku: hunger

faint tingle in tummy
lips tremble in fear of lack

the lizard speaks

craving famished yes munchie
but is it legit

old thinking cavorts
memories of good and bad
centered around food

whirl in the brain stem
how does it feel now thinking
what is real and what

today's habits formed by
media and medicine
how many truly

feel the pang the lack
empty or actually
just conditioning

It's Haiku Friday! Don't take it too easy today, see if you can knock out 5 haiku's on the same topic! 
Prompt from NaPo FB page and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 14

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tears in heaven

The decision made
once again and so soon again
to release the furry child
from her illness and suffering
slow huge tears rolled down
impossible to stop
slowly slowly falling
grieving the loss of
another dear sweet pet
crystal precious grief

Write a poem about the last time you brought to tears.
Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 13

Unbiological sisters

No matter what everyone else is doing
I hate that inner compulsion to do the right thing
Adulting is hard sometimes, you know?
   about her latest shenanigans with our offspring
The second, for the first time, I will keep my mouth shut
   on her terms, no matter what she may say or pull
For the first time, I will make an effort to interact with the first
The second I want to kick her ass every time we speak
The first I can't talk to without significant mental preparation
The other is a self-righteous, shameless narcissistic heathen
One is a supremely fundamentalist, stick-up-the-ass Christian
An ex is another unlooked-for 'sister'
The husband's youngest sister is one such
But not all sisters are biological
Sisters are such jerks at times

Prompt from FB NaPo page, "write a poem starting with the last line and ending with the first line"  
and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 12

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


A hurricane of texts
from two different people
about the same problem and
of course neither has the same story
I am the eye of that storm

Did you actually ever consider talking?

She said he said that such and such
would be done by this and that day
It didn't happen
She didn't ask
He didn't tell
She took action
He took counteraction
of course the problem became worse

Did you actually ever consider talking?

I asked them both, carefully and tactfully,
about communication strategies used
one claimed the other had made a promise
the other avowed that he told her it would 
be taken care of and that was all she needed to know
both obtained frustration rather than resolution

Did you ever consider actually talking?

Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 11

Sunday, April 9, 2017


The pain is always shockingly exquisite
after all these years, one would think
it would become ordinary blase normal
the neck is tight and cramping while the temples
throb and spike and swell and spread
nausea, light, motion all become excruciating
time stretches out inexorably as the wait
for the little white pill to take effect
drifts and stumbles and drags until finally...release

Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 9

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Thought think

It's not what I thought
being married again
nothing is a unilateral decision now
It's not what I thought
sharing a living space with another
who knew how profoundly the small stuff would bug me?
It's not what I thought
after five years of very welcome solitude
so many days I'd rather be lonely again
It's not what I thought
being encouraged to come out of this private known space
dang, it is is hard to open up - it's comfie in here
It's not what I thought
to share fiercely guarded Saturday mornings with an ambivert
missing those many solitary weekends when I never even spoke to anyone
It's not what I thought

It is what I thought
struggling with opening my inner world to him
he sees it but still has no idea the depth and breadth and privacy
It is what I thought
being irritated to be awoken on my one day to sleep in
really? must we slam doors, clump around, and not shush the dogs?
It is what I thought
navigating the shared waters of finances, housekeeping, planning
though I still want to be in absolute control, must strive for mutuality
It is what I thought
still longing for intimacy that is rarely available from the average male
I don't why I even thought it would possibly be different this time
It is what I thought

Inspired by and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 8

Friday afternoon fortuitousness

The hound cavorts joyfully through the mud
brushing noses with newfound canine pals
touch bark run touch bark run
he saunters back to me to press
his dripping nose against my bare arm
then off again like a streak
towards the dog park gate
where new possibilities enter
every few minutes
I tug my blanket tighter around
my shoulders as one fist grips
the Atkins '72 book brought with
finger bookmarking the spot
where I paused to think
about the ADD mystery of
my boss searching for his notes
on his own desk and why it is up
to me to find them right in front
of his face, every damn day
similar to the mystery of the missing
serrated bread knife that my husband
has absolutely no idea where it might be
I never lose stuff, ever, I'm way too
vigilant about not wasting my own time and money
everything has a place and I put it there
Sipping iced coffee from the local Starbucks kiosk
I brace myself ... and the cup ... as
the dog dashes up to sniff the book
gazing adoringly into my eyes for
a brief moment before tearing off
to find unexplored olfactory delights

Inspired by and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 7

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Job interview in seven acts


This guy has a great resume
lots of skills, mad skills
but a little on the coarse side


He's my friend, my friend
hope hope hope
*cringe* don't cuss, man!


Can he get along with everyone?
Can he pass tests?
Will he take direction?


My nephew is so obviously
the perfect candidate, young,
moldable, intelligent...can't you all see that?


Tell us why you want to work for us
what attracts you to this job?
what are you hoping to get by working here?


They are equally matched candidates
Each would do a great job for us
what is the determining factor?


Call the references
what is the candidate's desperation level?
who might be the most loyal?

Prompt from and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 6. Also posted (on a whim) to dVerse Poets Pub - open mic night 4/6/17.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Twilight corner

The rocker creaks
blanket whispering
gazing at the horseshoe
of trees, roses, raspberries,
flowers, chives, apples, chokecherries
Pomeranians dot the lawn, sniffing
for earthworms and each other
quiet quiet quiet
the world murmurs almost indistinguishably
condensation on the wine glass
gently slowly trickles down
steadily glowing light strings gently
illuminate the patio
mimicking the star spangled sky above them
crickets compete with the barn owl
who sporadically chimes in
the darkened glimmer of the Kindle
touches the eyes as they
switch between the glorious
nightfall glimpse of reality and the
dull glow of the virtual

Written and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 5: "it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Stream of consciousness

Longing, remembering, craving
confusion of personality in charge
grown often regressed inner child
adulting is hard and boring
monofocus on what is wanted
everyone else should obey
unthinking but adoring
feet and knees and hips hurt
memories waft of days spent
running jumping climbing riding
without a thought of anything
but the motion of being young and
alive not appreciating that some day
lithe or effortless or even vaguely cooperative
would not even be on the horizon
omnipresent bills and responsibility
feeling like the only one who works
or gives a fuck
while everyone else is retired disabled lazy
and getting away with everything that
she never did

Written and posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 4. Prompt source: my own head.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Elegiacally emotionless

She had the best poker face
She could hate a person's guts
yet smile and laugh with someone
they would never know
the rage, disappointment, or vengeance
purling beneath the calm

unless one knew what to look for

A helpful trait when growing with an alcoholic father
who sadistically sought other's emotional triggers
he mashed those buttons anyway, but
she learned to never let on that she was 
bleeding to death inside

Useful too when dealing with
her six daughters, only one of whom
inherited the poker face, the rest of
them having 'glass' faces
imagine the chaos and power-jockeying
in that household when every nuance of
every visage was fuel or tool

Now, don't be thinking she didn't ever
express anything with her face, though
if she was happy, her eyes would crinkle up
she would throw back
her head and laugh, infectious belly laughs
pulling the whole room in on the joke

And she could weep like nobody's business
whether grief or manipulation, tears were
seamlessly effective and expressive

And if one was in 'trouble', a mere flicker
of her eyes or the subtle set of her lips let the
victim know that 'just you wait' or 'frozen out'
would soon be a pain-filled part of
someone's future

Posted for and prompt from NaPoWriMo - Day 3: write a elegiac poem that centers on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Happy life

I adopt rescue dogs


There is joy in watching
them respond to love
and safety and spoiling

There is sadness in holding
them as they grow old and
frail and fail and leave me

But I keep doing it - the rescues

Nobody should be abandoned

Especially the innocent
the animals we domesticated
and befriended

Miss Maggie left a month ago
after three good years of finding her
and nursing her back to health

Miss Princess is leaving today
Now a pained, weak little girl also
pampered and loved into health
over two years
breaking my heart as I
make this decision to release her

So sad. But glad I was able to
provide them both with a little bit of
a happy life

Poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo - Day 2 -. Poem posted for the same!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Never ever ever

I know I will see you today
the same old tension will be present
and the same old hope, on your part
as you watch me and vigilantly monitor
my current relationship for
cracks and failure

You won't find any
no matter what happens with
me and him
you aren't invited back in

So paste that smile on
flirt and be friendly
I will do the same
though my smile will be
and very happy

I will enjoy the event
we are both attending
knowing what I know
knowing what you do not
   seem to know

Poem written/posted for NaPoWriMo - Day 1   Poem idea from Agodon

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dreams of my mother

Wedding preparation
in a combination location
part Irish pub, hockey game, crumbling mansion

couldn't find the veil, the bustier, the stockings
serenely finding solutions and missing items
though slowly

our guests patiently waiting in a
Mardi Gras swirl of preparation

Mom was there

Mom was there

Mom was there
laughing, serving, problem-solving
her joyful face
helping me dress for my big day

She escorted me to the ceremony site
one arm around me and the other hand gently holding my wrist
after twining her rosary through my fingers
no bouquet, just her prayers and good wishes

handing me off to my husband with
her trademark smile, eyes crinkled with merriment

Her face beamed at him, at me, at us
nodding, affirming, consecrating


waking this morning with a sense of well-being
having made some sort of peace
with her,
receiving her approval and blessing
in the chaos of a heavily symbolic dream
of one of the best days of my life

I'm sure I will figure all the meanings out

but she was there!
she was there...
and happy and approving and involved

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time stood still

Sauntering the aisles
of WalMart
during a speedy noon hour shop

loading the cart
with protein

Greeting acquaintances
and friends and
respectfully nodding to
the scurrying slaves of Sam.

Reaching for a box of
decaf k-cups

I suddenly see

the old friend.

Quickly, I cut my eyes away
so that she doesn't have to
acknowledge me

....but she does...

Ending her phone call rapidly,
a big smile and a hug

so unexpected

and so very welcome.

We talk and talk and talk
adjusting our carts so that
others can pass us
animatedly sharing about
our husbands
our kids
our jobs
our health.

What was only a few minutes
seemed like hours and hours and hours
of glorious intellectual intimacy
with someone who knows me
so very well

time stood still

the sunlight of the spirit
bathing our deprived souls

And we both remember
how good, so good, so fabulous
our friendship was

though I never forgot

As I hug her again
and turn away to
check out
before returning to work

I look back as I walk away she does...

we both have tears in our eyes

looking at each other longingly

oh, how I wish...and miss.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Honestly friends

After mourning the
apparent loss of a
friend of many years
and wondering
what I did
I just realized that
it never was about
me and I did not
do anything wrong
being honest
is being wrong
which I was (honest)
which I was not (wrong)

Communication is key
in any relationship
and that person was
not honest
not communicating
about what is really
going on
with her

I've heard some rumors
(which I take with a grain of salt)
(but one grain made me wonder)
that made me realize
that her choices and
her lack of
are the real reason that
that friendship is gone

Not me

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mourning...but not for long

All I want
is your attention
your courtship
of me
to resume

I don't know
who this is
I am living

The farther away
you stray
mentally and emotionally
the more restless
and angry
I become

I don't understand
what has happened
or how to fix it

It took a month longer
this time

three to four

I wish that were a good sign

but it's not

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Drinking from a fire hose


for now

with social media
   internet news sites

heartily sick of

anything to do with
    the elections and...
        ...the aftermath.

        are welcome
rather than this non-stop onslaught
  of negative and inflammatory
    information a.k.a. news
      most of which is relatively
          suspect as to

no more being overwhelmed

finished with the assault
  by the 'virtual' world
which, while it has been fun
  at times
is no longer a positive
     in my life


(though there will be more poetry in the future)