Tag Archives: SoCs

So far, I’m okay

So far, I’m okay. It’s been over a year and a half since I told them about all the things that happened to me when I was a kid, and subsequently, an adult. Most difficult words I ever had to say. I knew the risk I was taking when I made that decision. But really, it wasn’t a decision. God lays out a plan for you and you can fight it or follow it. I spent most of my life ignoring it, and then I started fighting it for a bit, and finally I woke up, and eventually started following it. His plan was for me to tell my story, no matter what the outcome. I knew this in my soul to be true. I was warned by others that the outcome could be horrible… that I could potentially lose them. I was afraid of that scenario for sure. I love my family intensely. Losing them was not something I wanted to face. Still, I told.

Turns out, that outcome is exactly what happened. I’ll save the details of why for another day…you’re your typical dynamics of a co-dependent family combined with common responses to people reporting abuse. It’s funny, because at first, they were all so shocked at what I had to say, that I actually received genuine caring responses from them. For a week or so, I thought my decision to tell was actually bringing us all closer…what a great surprise! But, as all families like mine do, they quickly realized they did not have the capability to deal with it, and went back to easier ways of denial, avoidance, gas lighting, lying, shaming…you name it. Whatever it took to make the family function again, in it’s narcissistic/co-dependant dysfunctional way. I became the family scapegoat. Let me tell you, that is the worst role in this type of family. Trust me. When this happened, I had a hard time. Hell, I still do. But it’s getting easier each day. The more I learn about how textbook we are, the less I cry. Knowledge is power. I actually feel sorry for them, most of the time. I’m not angry any more. I do still wish for things, though I know they are useless wishes. The fairy tale I’ve been dreaming of my entire life, I know in my head, and mostly in my heart, that it’s not reality. I’m actually finding that I’m starting to outgrow my family a bit. I miss them, but when I imagine seeing them, with them still stuck in this dynamic, it feels dark, and it doesn’t feel good. Still, I wish…and so far, I’m still okay.


This free-flowing, organic post was in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 10/18



I’m fine.

“I’m fine”. Wow. Crazy how those two words can mean such different things, depending on where you’re at in life. “Hey, your mom and I are getting divorced, and she’s moving across the country…OK?” “I’m fine”, replied the little 9-year-old girl. Except she wasn’t fine. She wasn’t sure what she was, but it definitely was not “fine”. She just said that because she knew it was the expected answer. She knew better than to say otherwise. She knew her role, without even being instructed, or handed a script. Her role was to be “fine”, and I’ll be damned if she didn’t play that role with perfection. She rarely even had to say the words…as long as she acted fine, that was all that counted. Acting fine kind of comes easy, after a while. Even when things couldn’t be more opposite of “fine”. She acted just fine during that period of time when her hormone-fueled step-brother effectively ended her childhood. No one had a clue. Well, she knew one adult in the family had a clue, but that adult didn’t ask her about it, so she played her role and kept quiet.  She acted just fine when she was treated like Cinderella by that same adult…that is, Cinderella before the ball. You know, when she was the despised step-child and made to do all the work and was unloved, while the golden children lived a life of adoration? Yeah, that Cinderella. She acted just fine when no one blinked an eye at her being that Cinderella step-child. Just fine. Not one person blinked a damn eye. Not even her dad. I suppose she acted that way because it’s all she knew. If it’s just fine to everyone else, even your dad, then it must be just fine, right?

She played that role right through high school and into adulthood. Boys and men doing things to her she did not want…it’s just fine, right? I mean, it was just fine when she was a kid with her step-brother, so…

She played it to Golden Globe status when she got married. She was sleep walking by this time. Just sleep walking through life, through that script written out for her. No improv. All script. At this point, it wasn’t even her anymore. Just some typecast actress, playing the same old role, over and over and over, until one day…she woke up. When you wake up while sleep walking, it can be pretty jarring. You most definitely are NOT fine. Everything you thought was real turns out to not be real, and you realize there’s some real shit in your life you pretended didn’t exist. Or you didn’t understand, because you were never taught to think otherwise. She absolutely became not fine. She started to speak about how not fine she really was, and all the people who expected her to play that fine role became nervous. They were playing roles, too…and now they didn’t know how to act. God, NO ONE ever steps out  of character! Who did she think she was??? They tried to force her to say the lines that narcissistic director demanded, but she just didn’t have it in her anymore. She realized she just might love her new role a bit more than she needed that conditional love from her co-stars. She asked if she could just play her new role, and let them continue to play their roles, and still be in the same movie…because she did love them, regardless of the conditions. But those character actors are sticklers for routine, you know? So, they kicked her out of the movie. Just like that. No getting together for coffee, no catching up. No “it’s not you, it’s me”. Just out. She found herself alone, sad… and not fine. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, I swear…

Even though she loved her co-stars more than anything, she really hated the endless movie they were all acting in. Seriously, it was a movie with NO ending. Who would sit through a movie like that? No one. It’s exhausting. Her sadness eased as she realized that them kicking her out of the movie was not a reflection of her, but a reflection of them. It was actually textbook behavior of a co-dependent family. Textbook. She began to feel sad for that 9-year-old girl, and the teenager she became, and learned how to nurture that inner child. She learned how to nurture herself, as an adult. I mean, God…SOMEONE had to do it, right? She learned how to nurture others, in a healthy way. She learned so much, and continues the learning process to this day. Definitely not perfect at any of it, but at least she’s wide awake now, and is following her own script. And though she misses her old co-stars more than anything, she can sleep at night with her decision. She’ll always be waiting, with open arms, for them to wake up and join her. She can do this because she’s been touched with grace for traveling the path of the awakened. She experiences everyday miracles. Who do you know that you can say that about? Not too many, I think. It really is quite magnificent. Healing is quite magnificent. Now, for the first time in her life, she means it when she says, “I’m fine”.


This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday. Check out her page at the link below. Anyone can join…





The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 3/18





Closure with her

Last night, I dreamed of her. It was another one of those dreams… the kind of dream that you wake up from knowing it meant something. Heck, you even kind of know it’s a message while you’re dreaming it, it’s that meaningful. Rarely have I dreamed of her, so that in itself is something.

Let me preface this with a quick summary of my family. I was raised in a co-dependent family, which revolved around a narcissist. No, none of us had a clue that this is what was going on. Only I do, now, after a few years of therapy. Once this revelation came to me, I decided to no longer participate in the co-dependent behavior, which, unfortunately for me, is a condition of membership in this family. I am now the family scapegoat…cast aside, shunned, ignored…unloved. That’s how co-dependent/narcissistic families operate. Love is conditional.

OK, so that’s the summary. Don’t feel too badly for me. I’m grateful I woke up. Yes, it’s sad. And yes, I cry…from time to time. But no, I will not go back to those conditions, in order to be “loved”. That’s not real love, anyway. Even you can see this, right?

So, back to the dream. In real life, I have not seen her in at least two years. In the dream, I am at her home. It’s a surprise to both of us, yet we do not clash. We both seem cautious, yet calm. Like one waiting for the other to react, yet we don’t. We look at each other, without saying a word. Her eyes are soft, something I’ve never seen before. Both our eyes speak for us. They say, “I hope we can pull this off”. By “this“, we mean being in the same home without conflict, as I’m there to see him, and he is ill. Something I’ve been dreaming of in real life…as he really is ill…knowing it will never be allowed. In the dream, we pull it off. Sincerely. No conflict at all. I am there to love him, and she lets me. It was quite perfect.

God, I miss him.

My time with him in the dream is too brief. Next thing you know, I’m out of his room, never to see him again.  I passed by a sibling who is no longer talking to me, not since I broke the co-dependency requirement. She stood up to hug me, saying, “You know I love you, Jami…more than you probably know. You know why I had to do it”. I guess I do know why she felt that way, even though I knew it wasn’t right. I forgave her. She disappeared from the dream.

I move on, and find myself in another bedroom in the home, leaning on my side on a bed. She comes in. In real life, I suppose this is when the conflict would take place. But this is my dream, and we are calm. She looks at me, eyes still soft. So very soft. I really just can’t get over how soft her expression is. It’s surreal. I find myself patting the bed next to me, gesturing for her to lie down. She does, cautiously nestling her head in the crook of my elbow, like a child to her mother. She is curled on her side,  with me around her, like I’m protecting her. I stroke her hair. It’s stiff and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway. She looks up, as if she’s partially nervous, yet aching for this connection. I stroke her hair, comforting her…nurturing her. Yes, I was nurturing her. She was like a homeless, injured dog you see videos of people trying to rescue from an alleyway. Scared of everything, running from everyone, fighting with whoever crossed her path…yet desperately wanting to be loved. Her guard was down for the first time in her life. She was vulnerable as she lied there in my arms. So vulnerable. You just don’t see vulnerability in someone like her, I think because she’s just been so hurt in the past. That’s why all we see is her armor…her anger… in real life. In real life, we will never see her vulnerable side, as I think she’s just too fragile to take off that armor. All that would be left is fear, and no one wants to just be fear. I will never connect to her in real life, so it had to happen in the dream. It felt like a gift. Even while the dream was occurring, I knew something was happening. I think God gave me this dream to resolve a bit of the pain in my real life. He gave me a gift of closure I’ll never get in reality. All my futile hopes and dreams in the real world will never come to fruition, but they did last night. I don’t yearn for reconciliation or closure with her in real life, but I do yearn for it with him. I think God knows how these two go hand in hand, and because of that, it’s just not meant to bein the real world.  It almost feels like it really happened. I suppose that will have to do.



This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday”. Linda is a master of badassery, in all aspects of her life. Check out her author page, and read her amazing books. You can find her by clicking the link below.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 17/18



Shock and Awe

I’m nearing the two-year anniversary of what I affectionately call the “Shock and Awe” part of my journey.  Back when the shit hit the fan in my life and I basically cracked open and let the pieces fall where they may. “Traumatic” is one of many words that easily comes to mind when I think of those times. Wow. Two years. So weird how it seems like the blink of an eye, while at the same time, an eternity. A lifetime. Can a lifetime really fit into just two short years? I think so. I feel like a completely different person compared to two years ago. Except I didn’t change into someone different. I just became more myself.

Settling into myself feels good. I wish I knew this version of me a long time ago, but that just wasn’t the plan. I don’t think it would feel the same, if I had always been this version of me. I don’t think I would appreciate it nearly as much. No, I think one has to go through the shock and awe of it all in order to appreciate the value in finding one’s “self”.  Funny, I never even realized I had no sense of self, until I found it. Until I found her. And damn, she’s amazing. I love her…



The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 20th, 2018



Bubbles, caves and ecosystems

Relationship dynamics are so complex. It doesn’t matter which type of relationship you look at…romantic, friends, coworkers, family…there’s fragile framework in a lot of them. Sure, some are pretty rock solid, but as far as I can tell, many are like a house of cards. It can look nice, and be fun to participate in…but you’re always mindful and know that one misstep can make the roof collapse.

It’s funny how you can live in a house of cards your entire life, and not even realize it. Maybe you think everyone’s house is made of cards. Or maybe you know your house is made of cards, but you don’t want to let anyone else know about that shoddy construction. Or even more likely, you don’t want to admit to yourself that there’s just no real support around you.  So, you tell yourself everything’s just fine. “This is SO normal”, you say,  as you walk on eggshells, trying to keep everything in place.

OK, this analogy is getting away from me, sorry. It sounded so good in my head when I started. Let me switch gears here… some people create these little ecosystems of lives. Like Sandy Cheeks on Sponge Bob. She’s a squirrel living in the ocean. As a land animal, she needs to put her entire home in a bubble in order to survive…her own little ecosystem. Except Sandy is living there because she wants to enjoy life with her friends. The people I’m talking about, well…they create these ecosystems because they are hiding. Not so much from people, but from the truth.  I’ll let you interpret the truth in any way you choose…the truth of a painful past, the truth about their insecurities, the truth about their guilt, the truth about toxic behavior, the truth about shame… pick whichever one suits your fancy. Or maybe they’re hiding from a toxic person. An abusive person. Or addiction, or abandonment, or neglect.  Or past failures. For this conversation, let’s call the truth and/or the toxic person/environment “The volcano”.  So, if you spend enough time in their ecosystem, you don’t even realize what’s going on isn’t normal, because everyone living in the bubble is acting just like you are…walking on eggshells to keep the volcano from erupting. Acting like it’s perfectly normal to live in this giant, explosive shadow. Or like it’s normal to live with shame and guilt. Or like it’s normal to live with abuse. Keeping the lid on the volcano becomes automatic. It’s a survival technique. No, it doesn’t always work…that sucker still blows it’s top from time to time, but if everyone tiptoes around enough, it settles down. Till the next time….

The trouble brews when you finally realize, “Hey, I’m thinking maybe this isn’t so normal, after all”. You take a step back, outside of the bubble, into the sun. At first, it’s too bright….so bright, it hurts. Because you’re used to living in the dark. Like living in a cave. It’s so much easier to hide in a cave. The dark corners can feel safe, although they are cold and lonely. You sort of end up picking your poison. So, you find some sunglasses and do some hard work…facing things no one else wants to face. You face the truth. You face the toxicity. You face the guilt, the shame, the insecurities, the pain…you even start to talk about it. And trust me, that’s a big deal. NO ONE talks about what goes on in the bubble. No one. But you do it, anyway. Because it’s freeing. And once that’s said and done, you realize walking on eggshells hurts like hell. You can’t believe you never noticed the pain those shells cause you. And then you look at everyone else in that bubble and wonder how the hell they can stand it in there, bleeding from walking on shells, just to keep a volcano from erupting. The sun doesn’t hurt anymore. You throw your sunglasses to the ground and yell to your loved ones “Just leave the volcano, for crying out loud! Save yourselves!” They look at you like you’re crazy.  They are wincing, from having to look at you in that bright light of the sun. “Leave the volcano? God no!” and just like that, you are the black sheep, because change is hard. They get mad at you. Maybe some of them gaslight you. Maybe some of them shame you for talking. Maybe some of them resent you for doing and facing what they are incapable of doing and facing themselves.  They might even allow you to come back in, IF you stop talking about “it”…whatever “it” is that makes them so uncomfortable. God, you even think about it for a while. I mean, these are the people you love, for God’s sake! You want to be with them, to be loved by them… accepted. Chosen. You really think about it, without even noticing that these conditions they are putting on you means they aren’t choosing you at all. So, you try, but soon discover, in order to survive in their bubble, you need to let go of your light. And you find you can’t do that, even if you wanted to…because you realize, you ARE the light.  They just don’t realize that the light will stop hurting once they face it, and there’s not a damn thing you can say to make them understand. Oh, you try alright. But it doesn’t work.  They just become more angry, more reactive, more withdrawn.  All because you cracked open their bubble, their fragile ecosystem, their house of cards. The light shined on them, and on all the things they are hiding from. It’s blinding. They are not ready to look at those things.  You really can’t blame them…you lived in the bubble your entire life, just like them. Coping. All you can do now is love them from afar, and pray for God to give them just a touch of grace, like he did to you…back when you found the light. A touch of grace to allow them to see the light. Just enough to find their path out of the cave.

P.S. I will always be waiting at the end of the path to share my light with you.

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 6th, 2018

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday. No edits allowed! (none needed…this flowed from my soul…)


All I know

You’ll probably be surprised to see I’m writing about love and shame and worthiness and acceptance tonight. Just kidding. We all know it’s pretty much all I know…

I spent a good chunk of this summer treading in the swamp of unworthiness, barely keeping my head above water, trying to force relationships into being what I need/want/expect them to be. It was a struggle. Sure, I’ve struggled with this many times before. Actually, it’s been an unconscious cycle throughout my entire life. Sure, I broke free from it somewhat last year, but to really break free from a lifetime of this shit takes a few tries, you know?  And life tends to throw you curve balls just when you’re least expecting it. That’s what makes it so interesting, right? So, yeah…I started to repeat my old cycles, the one’s I go back to with every relationship I have with emotionally unavailable people, because that’s all I knew. That is, until now.

I can’t say for sure which experience triggered this newfound acceptance. Maybe it’s a combination of the landslide of rejection and betrayal I thought I was experiencing. (Perception). Maybe it was the result of all the therapy and meditation and writing I’ve done over the past two years. (Most likely) .Maybe it was that I’ve just had enough of treading water for people who really don’t even want to swim. (Ah-HA!)

I can vividly remember the day it started to unfold. December 3rd. As I shamefully uttered persuasive words to someone who I had spent a great deal of time trying to turn into someone they just aren’t ready to be, I realized the words I was uttering weren’t really true anymore.  I was just so used to saying them, to feeling that way, that it’s all I knew to say. I heard them coming out of my mouth and a small voice in the back of my head said, “Why are you still saying that? It’s not true anymore”. I hung up the phone and felt a shift inside me. And I realized it wasn’t just about this particular person, but about multiple people in my life who I’ve become codependent with. No, that should read had been codependent with. Because at that point, I knew I was codependent no longer. To me, codependency is like setting yourself on fire just to keep others warm. That’s an awful thing to do to yourself, isn’t it? So, I’m not doing it anymore.  I miss them. I’d love to have them in my life in a healthy way, but I don’t need them.

I think I got to this point by finally learning how to not take it personally when someone can’t love me the way I need to be loved. God, that sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Intellectually, it is. Emotionally, not so much. But, somehow, I’ve finally figured out how to match my emotional self up with my intellectual self, and it’s pretty damn amazing.  I mean that. Amazing. The dark swamp in the bottom of my soul is gone now. Replaced with a glowing light that shines so brightly, so strong…no one can dim my sparkle now. I’m a rock star, dammit.

These people, they are on their own journeys. Just like me. Hell, I took 45 years to even realize I needed to start my journey. And it’s only by the grace of God that I figured it out. Who am I to demand someone start theirs RIGHT THIS MINUTE, just because I’ve started mine? Just because I tell them to? I mean, of course I know they should start their journeys, but we all know you can lead a horse to water… you just can’t make it drink. It is NOT a reflection of me that these people are incapable of loving me, or incapable of facing their own darkness, or incapable of meeting the expectations I place on them. It has absolutely nothing to do with my worth. So, I’m learning to let them be. Just be.

I’ll close with a quote I found on Jeff Brown’s Facebook page. It’s enlightening and beautiful and so appropriate for me right now. My light is shining.

“Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love’s leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don’t- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover”

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Dec. 23/17









Sad Season

We had another unseasonably warm day today in New England. At least, that’s what they say. I don’t really think we should be calling it that anymore, because I can remember being out on my boat the last two Octobers. I would have been  out on it today for sure, if the marina hadn’t closed last week.  Everyone’s been asking me if I’ve put the boat away yet. Each time they ask, my smile disappears and my shoulder a slump a little bit as I nod my head. It’s almost like I’m slightly in mourning. Then most of them end up feeling bad for bringing it up. I know, I know…it’s a first world problem.  I don’t really mind having first world problems. I mean, if the worst thing I have to worry about is boating season being over, I’m doing pretty well then. Of course, I always have bigger  things to worry about than that, but I’m making a conscious effort to try to not worry about those ones. This one’s easier because I know it’s temporary. Summer WILL return!

So, what’s a single woman to do on a sunny, warm Saturday in October? Well, seeing how I live on Cape Cod, the possibilities are ENDLESS! I’m sure your mind is racing with various exciting scenarios. Well, whatever it is you’re imagining, just stop. I went to the dump. I mowed the lawn. I did three loads of laundry INCLUDING all our sheets. I took my mom to two yard sales. I pulled weeds from the walkway. I helped the boys clean their rooms.  I’m sure I did some other things that are  apparently not even worth remembering.  However, I find all of this to be somewhat satisfying, as I neglect ALL these things during boating season.  With me working this new job and trying to squeeze in time on the water on my days off, there just isn’t time to keep up with the house and the yard.  There were many days over the past few months where our house looked like one of those houses on Cops…trash littered everywhere, hungry dirty children wandering around without adult supervision.

Not to mention, I’m still getting used to the yard being my responsibility. So, I’m sorry to my neighbors who had to watch things get kind of out of control over here the past few months, but a single working mom just has to prioritize things sometimes. Besides, my crappy yard just makes yours look nicer, so… you’re welcome.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 21/17




Well, finally

Well, I finally received the print copy of my article. I started this whole “getting something published” journey back in the spring, and it’s kind of like waiting for a baby to be born. No, not really. Bad example. It’s more like waiting for a vacation you planned well in advance. Yes, that’s a better comparison. You plan the trip, and once you book it, you’re PUMPED. You tell everyone you know about it, you are so freaking excited to go there, and then you kind of have a let down, as you realize you have to spend the next several months just living your ordinary life until the day rolls around. Kind of like the trip I just took to San Diego. I bought it LAST November on cyber Monday (BEST day to purchase online trips, FYI….$600 for round trip airfare and 4 nights in a hotel ON the ocean). We were so excited when we bought it, then had to face the reality of a New England winter and spring (basically just one long cold shitty season), go through the summer and then get excited again as the date finally neared. We just went last week, and it was amazing. And the day I returned home, the paper copy of the American Journal of Nursing was waiting for me. Perfect homecoming after a perfect vacation.

And, I read a book on attachment relationship types on the plane, and it allowed me to let go of the angst which had been building up inside me regarding yet another failed relationship. Sometimes, just having the answer to “why” is good enough.

Well, I am happy again…finally. Feeling at peace and ready to conquer the world again. Thank God….


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 14/17



Do you know about Someone’s Son?

Do you know what happened today? I became a published author! Granted, it’s just an essay in a nursing journal, but it’s kind of exciting to me. Not only because it’s validating, in regards to my writing, but because it’s a story that changed my life and I’m just full of joy it’s being shared.  Maybe, just maybe… it will change someone’s perception. That’s how we change the world…one person at a time, one story at a time, right?

I find I do my best writing when I’m being honest. Not necessarily honest about other things and other people, but about myself. When I strip down to the raw details, exposing my flaws, owning my deficits… being real… it doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it, or praises it, or praises me. All that matters is I’m being true. And I think everyone can relate to someone being honest and vulnerable, whether they agree with them or not.

My essay tells the story of a difficult nursing experience I had with an alcoholic.  Spoiler alert: I’m the asshole in the story.  If you want to check it out, you can read it in the American Journal of Nursing by clicking here.

This shameless plug of my newly published essay was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS September 30-17