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

Continue Reading HERE
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

Continue Reading HERE
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.

Continue Reading HERE
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

Continue Reading HERE
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?

Continue Reading HERE
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

Continue Reading HERE
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

Continue Reading HERE
Everyday Stuff, Lynch Syndrome, Triathlon

Showing Up

We have a saying in our family: You gotta show up at the trailhead. Essentially that means “showing up” is half the battle. Before today, I hadn’t swum since December because I had an injury and was in PT. Then I got my Lynch Syndrome diagnosis (see previous post) and several weeks ago had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) with bilaterial salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes) to prevent cancer-development. I’ve been walking as part of my surgery recovery, but am just up to 2.5 miles, and overall I’m terribly out of shape and

Continue Reading HERE
Cancer Risk, Lynch Syndrome, MSH6

Genetics, Risk & Why I Chose to Step Off the Railroad Tracks

I’m currently living on railroad tracks, and I don’t know if a train is going to come and eventually crash into me. Are the tracks deserted or active? Heck if I know! If you were on these tracks, what would you do? Stay on the tracks and let that possible train come tomorrow or next month or next year or when you’re 60? 65? 70? (Or, not me, but 40?) Well, it’s been a little scary for me lately coming to the acceptance that my home was built over railroad tracks. I’ve worked really hard to take care of my

Continue Reading HERE
Sexual Assault Recovery

Letting Go & Honoring Our Old and New Selves

I’ve been working on cleaning out my Google Drive because Google has been warning me my storage is almost full, and I don’t want to pay for more storage because that’s ridiculous (in my mind). I’ve already been going through my old e-mails for months (I’ve been at 92% for a while), but hadn’t been aware of the space I was taking up in Drive. I had stuff in there from 10 years ago and files I have no idea why they were there in the first place. Recipes and photos. Old copyediting assignments. But also files I shared with

Continue Reading HERE