Category Archives: Election 2012

the end of an era

In fifteen minutes it will be January 20th. In approximately eleven hours Trump will take the oath of office and Obama will say goodbye to the post he’s held for the last 8 years.
 
The last 8 years have been revolutionary for our country. Even if you aren’t a fan of Obama’s you can’t argue that this man made history. As history was made and the future shaped so was my life. And in many ways Obama’s presidency represents my recovery journey.
 
You see 8 years ago the weekend before inauguration day I broke up with my abusive boyfriend with the help of some amazing friends. As Obama was sworn into office I stood in the office of the hall of my college hiding from the man who terrified me. I had no idea what was to come and I’m sure neither did the man who I was watching with his hand on the Lincoln Bible taking an oath that would change his life, his families and many others including my own.
 
In the next 8 years that Obama watched over our country I experienced more change than I thought possible. As Obama began forming his legacy I sat in treatment centers with women who would become life long friends and others who I would mourn their deaths just a few short months or years later. I learned how to eat again. I was taught that I was enough as I was. I experienced flashback after flashback but worked my way through them to see the light that was waiting for me. I received my first service dog and then just four short years later held him as he died in my arm. I trained my second and returned to the show ring for the first time in 10 years.
 
I got the word hope tattooed on my arm. A word that Obama embraced and the thing that saved me when I was in the depths of anorexia.I celebrated five years of recovery. I gained weight instead of loosing it. I ate ice cream whenever I wanted and enjoyed every flavor of Cadbury eggs. I watched Michelle kiss the queen and ate snacks everyday.
 
As Obama negotiated international and domestic conflicts I negotiated my own conflicts of who I was as a person and how I could live this life limited by the confines of my own brain. I began to talk about my trauma in college thanks in a large part to Biden’s work on campus assault. I learned to set boundaries and became a proud feminist who admired Michelle and watched with tears in my eyes when she spoke about Trump’s actions. I watched Obama treat his daughter’s and wife with respect and the belief that they were equal. And I unknowingly absorbed the message for the first time – that perhaps being a woman didn’t make me “less than”.
 
And today as I prepare to go to bed on the last day that Obama is president I realized that this last eight years was the first time that I have lived without abuse. No bulling. No harassment. No rape. No partner abuse. In the entire time Obama has been president I have known that I have not belonged to a man who would abuse and use me.
 
And so as the Obama’s leave and this chapter of history is closed so does a chapter of my own life. Both America’s last 8 years and mine can be explained as chapters of pain, conflict, confusion, unexplainable joy, hope, despair and most importantly freedom and safety.
I’m saying goodbye to the man who has traveled a road at the same time as me. A road that was unknown and unpredictable for both of us. I also say goodbye to two men and one incredible woman that fostered an environment that gave me the courage to begin to heal.
 
Life doesn’t end here for either Obama or I (or for America). It’s just beginning. It’s time to spread our wings and experience a new adventure; one of freedom but informed by experiences of the past 8 years. And so as Obama says goodbye to the White House and the presidency I say goodbye to the 8 years of healing and recovery. It’s time to truly live.
 
 
 
 

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Filed under abuse, abuser, anxiety, Ben, body image, bullying, culture, depression, dog training, dogs, eating disorder, eating disorders, Election 2012, election 2016, feminism, Hope, Identity, life events, Life Story, New Life, politics, PTSD, Recovery, service dog, social change, society, survivor, the past, trauma, writing/poetry

that big white house

I have posted political posts on this blog before and got a lot of feedback. Some unnecessary and unkind, some agreeing with me, others disagreeing with me in a respectful and kind manner. And I learned from all of it (except for the attacks – that doesn’t work). What I learned the most though was from a friend, Laura, who told me that her dad taught her to trust God that no matter who wins the election, that our future is still in his hands. What an amazing way to look at the results. I struggle with my faith. I struggle trusting God and knowing that he was not the one who hurt me. But for some reason this really hit home for me and so I sit here on the couch with the television turned off. I do have a candidate that I would like to win. And yes, I would like him to win quite a bit. But am I confident that I will survive if he does not? Yes. Yes, I am. I am going to keep moving forward in my recovery. Keep healing and keep working as hard as I can. I will struggle. I will fall. I will make leaps and bounds forward. I will hope and look forward to waking up.

And while I experience this someone far away from me will be sitting in a big white house. They will be making decisions that yes will affect me but at this point I cannot dwell on that. Someday I want to be a political activist. I want to campaign for women’s rights. I want to support the women’s movement and do all sorts of things. But one thing I learned in my short time in school is that I am not ready. I have to become a woman who is a survivor and who while might not be healed is actively on that journey. I want to speak for women. I want to be their voice but first I must find my own. And I must trust that while I am doing this our country is being taken care of. I might not trust whoever is sitting in that white house but I do trust God. And I trust that while I am learning how to live my life he will be taking care of the rest of it.

Someday, I will have my chance to speak my mind. I will have an opportunity to make social changes. I will have a voice that I can use to say I was a woman who was in the depths of hell but am no longer there and I want to speak for those women. But right now I rely on those woman who are at their stage of their journey where they can do this.

My job is simple. Keep healing. Keep moving forward. And keep trusting. No matter who moves into the big white house come January.

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Filed under coping skills, Election 2012, faith, Hope, life events, New Life, PTSD, Recovery

We are Bound Together – “Shed a Little Light”

Some comments on my previous posts have made me realize that no matter what the outcome of the election is in November there will be people who feel disappointed and betrayed. In addition, to that I think it is important to remember each other’s humanity as we face political issues and have to ask ourselves what we truly believe in. We may not agree with one another but that does not mean we should hate each other.

Thank you for sharing your opinions and letting me know what you think. I respect all of you who did so in such a kind and respectful manner. You are always welcome to disagree with me and tell me. I like knowing what other people think and although I didn’t mention it in my replies I have thought about what each of you has shared. One thing I really want to strive to do is to keep learning and that means at times being willing to face hard questions and perhaps accept new answers. You challenge me to do this and I thank you because it helps me grow as a person.

Now I couldn’t figure out a way to say everything I wanted but James Taylor has and said it more elegentaly than I ever could in the wonderful song “Shed a Little Light”. So please read the lyrics below and know that this is what I want to say. I’ve highlighted the lyrics that have especially resonated with me after the discussions I have had over the last couple of days. The video is at the bottom.

Let us turn our thoughts today
To martin luther king
And recognize that there are ties between us 
All men and women
Living on the earth
Ties of hope and love 
Sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become 
A place in which our children 
Can grow free and strong 
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead
We are bound and we are bound

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

(chorus)
Shed a little light, oh lord 
So that we can see 
Just a little light, oh lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh lord

Can’t get no light from the dollar bill
Don’t give me no light from a tv screen
When I open my eyes 
I wanna drink my fill 
From the well on the hill 

(do you know what I mean? )
– chorus –

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest 

Oh, let us turn our thoughts today
To martin luther king
And recognize that there are ties between us 
All men and women 
Living on the earth 
Ties of hope and love 
Sister and brotherhood

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Filed under Election 2012, family, friends, Hope, Identity, music, Sunday Songs