The problem with not allowing myself to cry for most of my life is that now, when I do allow it, I can’t stop. I purposely didn’t let myself feel. I did deny myself those feelings. Who wants to cry over vulnerability, pain, abandonment, loss, abuse? I’d rather, and I did, push it way down so that I didn’t have to feel emotionally what my body was denying physically.

I had a dream last night. But it was more than a dream. I was listening to myself as a child calling the ski team asking them to please come pick me up for practice. Then I walked down and sat on the dock and waited for them to get me. I would dangle my legs off the dock and watch as they took skier and skier and skier past me. I didn’t wonder until much older why they always made me wait. But they did. I’d sometimes sit there for an hour waiting for them to just pull the boat up and let me jump in.

In the dream though, it was my voice. My child voice that I had forgotten until I heard her speak. So full of hope and joy and anticipation of a good day on the water. I loved the water. I loved skiing and I loved the water. I loved it so much that I ignored the abuse that went on around me every week. Yes, as an adult I understand I was groomed and knew no better and blah blah blah. But I was in as much denial as my family stayed in. Even after I left that house I would take my daughter back to swim in those waters. Something about that lake I loved. I loved it so much I could shove the abuse down and take my daughter and choose to just remember the good. I so much with every fiber of my being wanted JUST TO REMEMBER THE GOOD.

Until I was attacked as an adult and sexually assaulted. I could not stuff it down anymore. It all flooded back full force for years. I remember the first time I really allowed myself to cry over it all. I was on my kitchen floor in my late 30’s. It took 30 years to really cry.

No one wants to believe or hear or understand what I went through growing up. They want to stay in denial which is incredibly invalidating and cruel to me. I’d like to have stayed in denial too but then that would have made me as weak and cowardly as they are.

I knew one day these dreams would come and I have dreaded that day. The repressed memory dreams. The ones that I left during dissociation so that I could cope. THOSE dreams. I dreamed a few nights ago of my mother and my therapist talking about something I’d told my therapist in confidence. When I woke up I felt as betrayed as I’ve always felt but more. I had forgotten what I had told the therapist until that dream. As if what I remember is not enough? I have to see myself as a child, I have to see that hope, I have to see my mother talking to my therapist about things I totally blocked out. It’s so difficult. Do we ever outgrow the need to be comforted and told it will all be ok even though everyone knows it won’t?

There will be no pictures today. There will be no searching for the good. The memories of abuse, lack of protection, and sadness have enveloped me.

I’m crying. And I can’t stop crying. And I will keep crying. My heart is broken. My body is broken. So I am crying. It only makes me feel worse but I am unable to suppress it any longer. That poor little girl that was me. That poor poor little girl. It’s just so unbearably sad.

The cow

I pulled onto the prairie and immediately heard this cow. There were tons of cows and I didn’t know which one it was that sounded so completely forlorn. I do not speak cow but I can tell you that this cow was so sad. I searched for him. Pulled forward and back. There were just sooooo many cows in the field. So I stopped and one walked to the fence. He made the lowest saddest noise. I spoke to him for awhile. I took a short video then I just talked to him. I couldn’t walk up to him because the edge was too steep and my legs could not do that. So I listened. I sat there and listened for a long time. I started to tear up at him and this sad sound he was making. I thought maybe he was hungry. Right then he bent down and ate some grass. Nope. Not hungry. He then walked over to other cows making this noise. They didn’t acknowledge. They did nothing. Then he made the most awful noise I have ever heard. It was as if he had just broken down in sorrow and started sobbing in this gut wrenching noise. No one listened. He walked off away from the herd. He was small. Not a nursing baby because I saw those frolicking about. Maybe he missed his mother and he was too old to nurse. I wasn’t sure. I felt such pain for him. What would it have taken to stop his crying? A mother? Someone to stand next to him? He seemed to be telling me exactly what he needed but sadly, again, I don’t speak cow!

What does it takes to notice someone in pain. What does it take to notice someone in need. What does it take to offer help and mean it. I believe so many people walk around those in need. They mull about, like these cows, acting like nothing is happening. The person can be screaming out in agony and others will just cover their ears. It is no surprise so many feel alone. There is a lack of simple presence out there. I know it. I feel it. I connected to that cow because…well, I am that cow. 


Photograph by me
The tree.

It watches.

It knows.

It feels. 

Each raindrop.

Each sun ray.

The dust that blows.

The bird’s wings.

The butterflies.

The bees.

I watch the tree 


With all of these beings.

Am I at it’s back?

Does it watch the sunset 

While feeling the presence of me?

Its branch bows to the wind.

The cows bellow in the distance.

And I stand alone

But not really

Because there 





Photograph taken by me
Darkness falls.

The heaviness of its burdens


The orange light

My oxygen


Darkness falls.

The air thick with its shadows


I lower my head

Until the bird’s song

When I can breathe