Year: 2022

Connection, Lynch Syndrome, Mental Health, Trauma

Finding My ‘Reason’ Again in the Midst of Depression

Trust the journey. Trust yourself, Dianne. Trust. I kept telling myself this. I needed to trust. And to draw from everything I’ve learned so far when I was in a funk this past fall. When I was depressed. Yes, I’ll say the word that people sometimes have a hard time saying: I was “depressed.” 2022 was a really hard year for me with initial Lynch Syndrome screenings and related surgeries; a long bout of Covid; continuing, successive and confusing joint issues and pain constantly interfering with my hopes of finding physical strength and fitness again; and a persnickety digestive system

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Healing, Poetry


Motivated for change and growth and possibility.Choosing THIS voice. Forging THIS path. Making. Crafting. Becoming. I am both fire and water. Storm AND peace. Ultimately. Hopefully. Mindfully.Seeking better ways to be. For me. For others. I hold up a mirror, and I am not alone. Not alone. Other-ing. Connecting. Finding. We ARE. Not alone. Just. Getting. Started.I sing with cracked voice.Whisper with clear intention.I SHOUT! Please subscribe to this blog to continue following my healing journey. You can also follow me on social media at: Instagram: @amiddleagedsurvivorFacebook: @amiddledagedsurvivorSubstack: @amiddleagedsurvivor Wishing you love, peace and sparks of joy wherever you are on your

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East Troublesome Wildfire, Healing, Trauma

Healing is Individual: It May Take Time Before You Can See All the Rainbows

My husband and I have a vacation rental in the mountains, which I’ve written about in my House Therapy posts. In these, I parallel what it was like and what it meant to me – especially retrospectively – to embark on an all-encompassing creative endeavor during the exact same time I was going through the exhausting justice process. (By the way, I still plan on completing my House Therapy project, possibly as a book. Meanwhile, you can find chapters one through six starting here: ) John and I hope someday we won’t have to rent out our mountain house, but

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Healing, Middle Age, Trauma & PTSD

Happy Birthday, Dad! … Let’s Chat, OK?

October 7, 2022 Happy Birthday, Dad! You would be 94 years old. That’s so astounding to me! You have never gone, fully. I understand how that works now. I carry you in my heart and in my drive and in my personality. And in my biology, my aging – I see myself in you more and more. In Mom, too. I’ve been thinking about you a lot the last couple of weeks, as I go through an initial batch of your videos and slides that I’ve finally started to get digitized. It’s interesting to see through your eyes what you

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Connection, Telling My Story

Grandma, “Why Did You Draw Yourself as a Superhero?”

I created this art back in February, and I made a print from it and keep it propped near the table where I write. Because I love it. I love how I made myself look like a superhero character ready to rock and fight and protect. My hair looks wild, like a lion’s mane. I am fierce, and I am giving a very firm boundary. I’m using my voice. My almost ten-year-old grandson noticed this art the other day, and asked me about it. He has always loved superheroes and action figures, and so – of course – this drew

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Healing, Telling My Story, Trauma

Healing Comes at Its Own Perfect Pace: Believing in My Own Power Took a Few Years

Content Warning: Assault Triggers It takes a long time for trauma survivors to process through the original event or events – as well as deal with what happened after, during the fallout period. I still discover at least monthly how I feel about “another something” related to the sexual assault I experienced in 2018. Healing is peeling back the layers of the trauma gradually and carefully, as we are able and ready, to deal with the next thing underneath. We can’t deal with the buried layers – or maybe even know those layers exist — until we’ve processed what’s above.

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Healing, Poetry

A Poem for Healing

I am filled with light and hopefulnessPatterns and colors of natureHealing energy, vibratingThe joy of safety mixed with possibility I am open to connectionAccept the love offerings of my peopleWithout fear or mistrust I am magic and creativitySee beauty and am beautiful I know the strength of my own beingI am peace. Art Credit: Dianne Hammer Please subscribe to this blog to continue following my healing journey. You can also follow me on social media at: Instagram: @amiddleagedsurvivorFacebook: @amiddledagedsurvivorSubstack: @amiddleagedsurvivor Wishing you love, peace and sparks of joy wherever you are on your healing journey. It is my wish with all that

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Lynch Syndrome, MSH6

I Will Take This Win and Savor It

I’ve been on such an emotional roller-coaster the last several months since discovering I have Lynch Syndrome, and these last several days have been no exception. After undergoing bladder surgery (TURBT, or transurethral resection of a bladder tumor) last week for a mass presumed to be cancer (because most bladder tumors are, apparently) and getting a round of chemo washed into my bladder at the same time to help prevent recurrence, I opened my pathology results a day later to read this: “Urothelial papilloma with no evidence of malignancy.” What? WHAT? I don’t have cancer? Am I reading that right?

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Middle Age, Trauma

All of a Sudden I Thought: Oh My Gosh, I’m So Glad for My Age

Last night I went to a large abortion-rights rally downtown, and I was surrounded predominantly by young through early middle-aged women and people from the LGBTQ community. There were also older women like me, and maybe about 5% to 10% men. In the middle of this huge crowd of passionate (and scared, frustrated, angry) people, I had a BIG realization. *** Since I was sexually assaulted 4 years ago, I’ve thought a lot about hypotheticals: What was his ultimate plan? What if he had completely overpowered me and kidnapped me? What if he had physically hurt me worse than he

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Telling My Story, The Ordinary & Extraordinary

Our Brains Are So Cool!

(A bit of my story. Trigger warning.) “In the arousal response … the brain will focus on the threat, tuning out any nonessential input from the body and the outside world.” This assault or threat response explanation by trauma expert Bruce Perry was spot on for me, and I thought I’d share a little bit of this experience — now that I’m more healed — because I’ve always found it really fascinating (though a bit disconcerting). Maybe you never knew exactly what your brain is capable of. It’s pretty cool! When the sexual predator grabbed me, I had only a

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