Checking in — How is everybody? Don’t these times feel especially challenging?
Last year at about this time, the photo above was my view. For about 175 of 365 days, across two years, I drove from the coast of California all the way to Tennessee to see my son. A complicated, expensive set of events meant I had “lost” him. At least, that’s what it seemed like at the time. On the other side of those times I can see: in a very real way, I gained more of him than I’d ever had before. And I uncovered more of…
So elusive is the connection between domestic violence and child abuse, that I myself struggled to understand why I cared about it enough to write this story. My parents never fought physically, and never in front of us, but we heard them. Searching my memory for what I heard in their fights, I was stunned — of course.
Domestic violence starts in the eyes of a child witness. Unchecked, it self-perpetuates, creating a multi-generational Mobius Strip.
For years I heard my psychiatrist father express exaggerated contempt for my mother, listened to him belittle her. Little electric threats ran between them…
Artwork: “Om” by Jefferson Muncy
I was standing in the kitchen sorting through an aging tub of baby arugula for useable leaves, when I realized I’d been at it for almost twenty minutes — and I was feeling all the symptoms of a panic attack.
We’re talking a 4 oz. tub; how had twenty minutes passed without my noticing? Why was I shaking, sweating, compulsively sorting slimy leaves when the whole tub should probably have been tossed?
My mind, and as a result my body, were temporarily unable to tell the difference between “then” and “now”. …
Fostering holographic perspectives on sticky topics. Trauma researcher, author of The Strangler Fig: Essays on Growth After Trauma, for release Summer 2021