Those old tapes…

Another week closer to the big day. I’m counting the days because I am white knuckling it. I can’t wait for this to be over, one way or the other. I’m sad to say, the old self blame and shame is rearing it’s ugly head this morning.

I was told years ago, whenever I’m feeling like any of this is my fault to look at pictures of myself as a small child. Getting outside my “current” self and seeing that little kid reminds me that I did nothing to deserve this.

As I get older, I notice fewer and fewer pictures show me without that sadness behind my eyes. I can’t bear to look at those ones when I’m feeling down, so I have to choose carefully.

The main reason for this exercise is to connect me to that sweet kid and let go of the blame. In addition, it connects me with that determination to see this through. For the younger me who couldn’t fight back. It works really well when I find a happy picture like this one:

I have to admit it feels crappy that I’m still struggling with these basic feelings of self loathing/ blame. I am thankful for the fact that the old tape runs through my head only occasionally. 

And I always remind myself. I did the best I could in any situation at any point in my life. I can’t judge while looking back… I didn’t have all the wisdom and life experience I do now. 

That last sentence is really key for me. I’ve worked hard trying to eliminate ALL forms of blame and shame from my life. There’s just no reason for it. And I feel so much lighter just loving❤

Those 12 folks

Jury selection for the trial begins in less than 9 weeks. I’ve been thinking about the prospective jurors a lot over the last few days. After all, these folks will decide the fate of  the monster who perpetrated these crimes.

The new prosecutor has said several times, regarding the trial, that the jury will make or break this case.  She also keeps telling me, even if they come back with a not guilty verdict that doesn’t mean they don’t believe me. 

Most days I feel good about having a jury weigh the evidence and make their decision based on that evidence. This morning it feels a lot more personal.

On days like this where I feel extra vulnerable, I try lots of different things to distract myself til the feeling passes. Today I just can’t shake it. The idea of sitting up there and telling the story of the most devastatingly painful violation of my life makes me sick. 

Many people know the gist of my story, but very few know details. For better or worse, come trial, a whole lot more folks will know things I’d rather they didn’t. Details have already been shared in the press that felt like a punch in the gut.

Right now though, I’m trying to focus on those 12 people. Hoping they will be the best selections. Even now, though, He is lurking in the back of my mind. Face to face after 32 years… But that’s the subject for a blog I’m not yet ready to write.

That’s all I’ve got for now, hoping something will brighten this dark and rainy morning…

Borrowed words…

Having a hard time this morning finding my own words. I thought I’d borrow from some of my favorite passages… These words sustain me.
” 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman contained a preface, which was left out of subsequent editions, and in it he wrote…”

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. -Walt Whitman

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.-Emerson

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem,  but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and fall apart. Then they come together and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for misery, for relief, for joy.- Pema Chodron

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.-Rumi

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.-Washington Irving

When there is a fresh wound in your heart, keep it open til it heals; understand it; air it out; become it. Be fierce enough to become it. If you ignore it, it will merely deepen, spread, and resurface later; wanting to release. And when later happens, it will hurt even more. Because when later happens you won’t know what you are bleeding for. Remain with it til it clears and watch the beauty fall into your openness. Remain open to feel lightness. Remain open to feel free.-Victoria Erickson

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudice and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose here on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love within ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning doesn’t lie in things, meaning lies in us. -Maryanne Williamson
There, I feel better already❤

Who to listen to? Myself, that’s who!

I think I’ve always been susceptible to outside influences, we all are to some extent. There are several “influences ” who have been very vocal about what I can and/ or should do about any number of things regarding trial. To expand; what I’m describing is someone who I trust to some extent, who has a set opinion or feels strongly about something that I’m struggling to figure out. Every time I just “follow” someone else’s suggestion, without doing the inner work myself, I’m giving my personal power away.

I’ve also noticed lately that even the smallest amount of pessimism really gets to me. My whole life folks have been trying to get me to do things “their way.” And in attempting to be the good Christian girl, I bent myself all up trying to be what others said I should be.

Funny how when I came out after college, those very same folks dropped my like a hot potato. I think they realized I was beyond saving at that point. With the pressure I felt to measure up lessened by the loss of those judgy folks, I was able to find my own moral compass.  I had been searching desperately for it my whole life.

Forward to present. I am feeling that strain again, the pressure of people wanting me to do things “their way.” Hearing folks talking at me about decisions I need to make had set me on a huge emotional roller coaster. I was so tired of trying to listen to all the chiming in, I finally hit a wall. I remember that I worked way too hard to find that still, small place inside where my answers come, to lose it now. I have to feel good about the decisions I make and I owe myself that much.

I do need love and support, more than ever right now. But it needs to come in the form of affirmation and encouragement. No more “Well, you need to…” or “I would … if I was you”

One big decision came over the weekend. After I had a chance to go inward and listen to my moral compass, I knew exactly what to do. And as I’m reminded more and more frequently, no one else will make those decisions for me again.

Pea Soup

It’s been a rainy weekend here at home. Fog as thick as pea soup. That may put a damper on things for some folks, but not me. I love everything about it❤

Some of my favorite memories come from those pea soup times. Like the 4th of July when it was so foggy we couldn’t see the fireworks, but they sounded incredible 😂🤣😂!!! Or a blustery day spent curled up by the fire with a book and some hot chocolate.

I spent a great day yesterday with my peeps, and today I am having brunch with family. It’s been really nice to be home, where I can just BE. I’m especially thankful for that coastal fog. It’s a reminder that just because I can’t see what’s coming, doesn’t mean it will be bad or scary. It also tells me to focus on what’s right here, right now. I can’t focus on what I can’t see, and so there’s no need to waste energy on that.

There is a vast expanse out there beyond the fog. It’s that same for me. This whole ordeal will be over in 3 months and the heavy fog that clings to me right now will be burned off by that bright and shining sun! Just like always. For now I draw comfort from the notion that the fog always lifts, and I’m not the only one living in a “pea soup” kind of world.

I hate to head back to the city so soon. A weekend is never enough. On the bright side, it will be nice and foggy (in the best way) all the way back to Boston ❤

Goin’ Home 

Saturday Morning Coffee is going to be quick this morning cause we’re headed home to Maine. I need this R and R so badly. Something to keep me going through whatever comes next. Ten weeks from Monday the trial is set to start.

I was told yesterday that there is still a chance he could plead guilty, but not to get my hopes up. How can he possibly think anyone will be able to defend himself against all the other charges still pending? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am going home!

I can’t wait to smell that salt air, sit at the public landing and feed the seagulls French fries,

I want to walk the breakwater and feel that spray on my face, maybe get “a little” wet by a rogue wave or two.

I have to stop by Rockport Harbor to say hello to Andre of course.

Another one of the places I have to visit is what we call ” The House on the Hill,”  known as beech hill preserve. You can see it from almost anywhere and you can see almost everything from the top.


Mostly I’m just looking forward to see my “Maine Family” and getting a huge dose of fresh air!

Gotta run… I’m feeling better already!

WTF, Really!?!

It’s crazy to me how many times I have felt re-victimized in the past two years. It happens in lots of different ways. Sometimes it’s from the defense, sometimes the prosecution and sometimes from the press.

One of these “requests” came from the prosecutor yesterday.  I could tell something was off, so I pushed a little… I was right. They were not keeping me in the loop when it came to the release of personal information, AGAIN. I have been on the receiving end of half truths, or really vague responses from the county in the past, so I became anxious, very quickly. I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening on pins and needles, my therapist advocating one thing,  and the state victim’s advocate another.

I don’t like surprises. Lots of folks don’t enjoy them. For trauma survivors they can set off full blown PTSD symptoms, in seconds. I know there will always be surprises, things that are unknown and I do my best to let them roll of my back. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. I have been very clear with the folks at the county office that I need a heads up, when some new request/requirement, is made of me. I don’t need anything big, maybe a text from my advocate, an email letting me know something formal is coming in the mail. A simple explanation is all I need to stay centered.

When the allegations and indictments first came down, the news hit the press right away. The first article was fair, I thought. Then a few weeks later someone wrote a letter to the editor singing the perpetrator’s praises. I noticed in every news article after that, the writer used a quote from that opinion piece. I was horrified. Obviously, I stopped reading the news.

Why, though? Why is he given the benefit of the doubt in court and in the press. Why should a plea agreement which would amount to a slap on the wrist, be on table at all? Because he’s old and retired now? That bullshit. He’s a monster who will never stop until he’s forced to.

I know the end is in sight. Trial date set for the end of July (God help us if they postpone it again) and that’s not too far. I should be thankful I don’t have much longer to wait. It’s just that I’m feeling really worn down and so beyond tired… of all of it.

I have a phone conversation this afternoon where I have been promised I’ll be brought up to speed.  It’s barely seven am and I’m already anxious about what I’m going to hear. So today is going to be one of those “distraction days” I have written about. Just have to find the right one for me.

Wishin’ I was home again today. My favorite distractions are in Mid-Coast Maine. Most of my favorite people are there too…

Missing my old friends 💔