Tag Archives: obama

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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becoming bad-asses as the country fell apart (2008-2016)

I talked to a friend who does not live in America today. We talked about her country’s politics where there have been peaceful protests and then about America and how scary the rise of Trump has been. The peaceful protests in her country signals progress and hope. I couldn’t help but look at our protests which lately have turned violent and led to bloodshed and wondered what they mean for America.
We also reminisced about watching Obama win the election in 2008 while we sat together in our dorm room. It was such a special moment to share. I remember we both cried a bit as we watched the first African American in history step up to the podium to officially claim victory in the election. I think we both knew we were watching history in the making. And we both felt proud to witness it.
Now eight years later so much has changed. Verna is back in her home country. I’m back in my home town. We’ve both become bad-asses as Verna says. Our lives have handed us challenges and we’ve fought them and won. And our world is a different place than it was when we sat in Reed 308 and watched a young Obama and family celebrate in Chicago in November. I don’t mourn for loosing who young Kate and Verna were in 2008. We had a lot of growing up to do. But I do mourn for who America has become. It hasn’t done the same growing we have.
While Verna and I have matured and grown and become strong women (#badasses), the US has become a place of conflict, racial tensions and hate. For the first time I’m scared of my country’s future. As my life came back together the country fell apart. And now I’m living in a place that I don’t recognize.
What a strange thing to realize that a place as strong as America can fall to pieces while I glued myself back together again.
Reed 308

Reed 308 – Sophomore year of College 2008

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monday mood lifters March 4th Edition

Ben woke me up at 1:30AM this morning to get and drink and to got “potty”. It was nice he woke me up to do these things but the window for my drugged coma was gone so I’ve been awake since then. I’m running on fumes so I thought I at least could do with some Monday Mood Lifters.

Monday Mood Lifters

1) Canine Freestyle – this is actually a dog sport. According, to the Canine Freestyle Federation it is a choreographed performance with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team. Basically, it’s a dog and human dancing together. It’s awesome but really, really funny. If you need a laugh watch at least a little bit of this video. Also, I so want to do this with Ben.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-EZY1JDR2g

2) The fact that President Obama said this and believes it. I’m not sure when it was said I just came across the Gif recently.

3. Tom Tom Magazine  – this is a magazine just for female drummers/percussionist. You might not know this but I played percussion throughout middle school and high school. Being one of the only female drummers was hard and isolating. It makes me happy to know there is an online magazine teaching girls they too can be percussionists and publishing some really cool stuff.

4. “Where’s your Benny? I get him for you.” – O. my two year old niece. The fact that this little girl realizes that Benny is supposed to be with me all the time and he is “my Benny” is so special to me. Also, having A proclaim after hugging Benny “Daddy I feel better now” and stop her crying is pretty special. I love these two girls.

5. Dog Days of Spring – Good Dog Autism is hosting this photo challenge where you take a different themed photo everyday of your dog. Of course Benny and I are participating. Here is the link to all of our pictures. I will update this album daily with the daily picture.

6. Totally random but this:

7. This video although it brought me to tears. The man in the video is Sir Nicholas Winton who saved 600 Jewish children during the Holocaust. In this video he does not know it but every single person in the audience is a now adult child he saved. Watch it and it will bring happy tears to your eyes and also a reminder that humanity truly is good.

8. I’M BUYING ROLLER SKATES!

9. Purple Friday was a success. I’m so grateful to all who participated including many member of my own family.

10. And of coure my Benny….

This is also an example of one of our dog day photos!

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monday mood lifters February 18

I’ll admit it. I’m doing these Monday Mood Lifters for me. I need some mood lifting in my life. Here we go…

Monday Mood Lifters1. Giving Back – I’m finally in a position I can give back to people. And I can do this with Ben. My neighbor has special needs. Once a week we get together so he can have “Ben time”.  I also take him to the grocery store and various other places. I love knowing that  I am helping someone. I have been so wrapped up in my own world for so very long that it feels wonderful to step outside of it and into someone else’s.

2. The Violence Against Women Act was renewed – last year the act did not pass because of objections that it protected gay, illegal immigrants and American Indian’s. This year the House got their head on straight and passed the bill so all women who are victims of abuse can receive help and protection.

3. Ben’s Valentine  – Ben gave me a Valentine for Valentine’s day

4. My new baby ‘niece’ – normally I don’t hold babies. But Kinley was cuddly and sturdy enough I broke my rule and I’m glad I did.

5. Take a Seat. Make a Friend? – strangers meet in a ball pit and ask each other’s questions. It brought tears to my eyes.

6. This Picture – In the top picture the man has hair. In the bottom he doesn’t.

7. Agility – I have always loved this dog sport and am excited to get back into it.

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8. The fact that Finn and Rachel and Kurt and Blaine might be getting back together  – yes I’m too invested in a t.v. show.

9. This quote: 

“What if God doesn’t just love you because He’s God and that’s His job? What if the truth is that God actually likes you? Yes, you – right there, looking at this screen – you with the zits and the past and the lust and the blazing self-doubt – you with that weird laugh and the deep hurts and questions – you. What if God just really likes you for exactly who you are? Can you bear it?” – Lee Younger

10. And of course Benny 

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