Sexual Assault Recovery

The Power of Finding Your Voice After Sexual Violence

[Content Trigger Warning] Last week I had a panic attack while riding in the car with my husband. That’s never happened to me before. The seatbelt was bothering me first, and then I felt a rising tension in my chest, had trouble breathing and eventually felt this intense feeling of being trapped. We only had 25 minutes to go on the car trip, and I thought: Well, I can handle it for 25 more minutes. And then I realized and told myself, “NO, I don’t need to “just handle it,” and asked him to pull over so I could get

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East Troublesome Wildfire, Trauma

An Ode to Growth After Fire

It is astonishingly beautiful, this new landscape emerging from the trauma of fire. No longer is it just a desert-scape dark cemetery of loss and despair. Now: It is a square-miles-wide plant nursery exploding with tender and bold new life and color. A changed world rising up among the skeletons of the Before. My heart bursts! I feel a level of joy I didn’t think possible after fearing the emotions, avoiding the core of East Troublesome’s heat for so long — skating along its edges, dipping my toes in. But driving into the 2020 speedway of the fire’s fury, I

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Everyday Stuff, Telling My Story

On Finishing: Making a Whole from the Fragments of a Story

I woke up early this morning, too early, with my brain already “writing” as I lay under the covers. I kept trying to go back to sleep, but because I was already composing sentences and phrases in my head, I knew it would be pretty useless for me to relax back into the realms of sleep. Yet I still tried, valiantly, fighting against “what is.” Get up, Dianne. Time to get things down. To download. Composing in my head is usually how I begin my writing process. Every day I’ll think of ideas for things I want to write about

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House Therapy, Justice

House Therapy: Chapter Six

Accountability. That word has been ricocheting around in my head the past week during the lead up to the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. That little amorphous, golden cloud of a word represents for me memories of anticipation and dread and fear. As well as satisfaction and the beginnings of closure. *** During the winter of 2019, John and I traveled to our new mountain house every weekend to work on remodeling projects, and during the weekdays I scoured thrift stores and estate sales, as well as Craig’s List, eBay and Etsy listings to find furniture, art and

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2021: Duality Presents Its Case

I write in my head On my way to pick up the dog,overshoot by a mile, lost in thought: I compose four years 2017TRUMP Stress & Fear Surreal2018Sex ASSAULT Stress & Fear Surreal2019Justice Pursuit COURT Stress Fear Surreal2020Covid-19 PANDEMIC Stress & Fear Surreal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, pretty shittyPoor Me In the shower use all the hot water,lost in thought: I compose four years 2017Rocked 50 Marched Most Fit STRENGTH2018Adopted Wiggling-Wagging Love  JOY2019Created mountain HAVEn     PEACE2020Found my Voice     POWEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Yeah, I see.I’m LuckyI AM OK New Year’s coming2021will bewhat it will bewhat it will beandWHAT I DO.That, too … Dare to Conquer 2021 Grandson

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East Troublesome Wildfire, House Therapy, Sexual Assault Recovery, Trauma

House Therapy: Chapter Five

Two years ago this week, we closed on our mountain house and became the new owners. It honestly felt so surreal as we signed the final papers from the typical very tall stack, and left the meeting. Was it ours? Was it really ours? It was really ours! We lived here now. In Grand County, a county we had spent so much time visiting for 20 years. We could now call it home. John and I felt like kids let loose in a candy story of possibility. There was something new and good in our lives. We needed this good

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House Therapy, Sexual Assault Recovery

House Therapy: Chapter Four

Ironically, we only went to look at “our” mountain house as an afterthought — as a back-up viewing with the real-estate agent. Our primary target that early-November day was a cute little log cabin in our favorite neighborhood, down on the flats near the lake. There’s nothing more “Colorado” to me than a log cabin among pine trees. And the square, high-peaked little structure with its classic ribbed exterior was picturesque-perfect and inviting when we arrived, hosting a blanket of snow on the roof and entrance railings, and a backdrop of flocked pine trees up and down the street and

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House Therapy

House Therapy: Chapter Three

The day before John and I took a day trip to Grand Lake and finally found our mountain house in early November 2018, I had spent hours e-mailing back and forth with the deputy district attorney who was the lead prosecutor assigned to my assault case, and doing a lot of heavy deliberation. Houses weren’t really on my mind. I was in the early stages of dealing with the court case, which included 10 charges against my attacker for both my assault and for the kidnapping and sexual assault of another woman in Denver the day prior. The preliminary hearing,

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House Therapy, Telling My Story

House Therapy: Chapter Two

John and I grew up in Minnesota, surrounded by lots and lots of water. Our birth place is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and that’s not just a trite motto, though it is a misnomer: There actually are 11,842 lakes more than 10 acres in size, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and thousands of smaller bodies of water, plus wetlands, creeks and rivers. When you drive around the state, it’s nearly impossible to travel very far without seeing water of some sort. “There are five lakes within one mile of where I’m sitting right now,”

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House Therapy, Telling My Story

House Therapy: Chapter One

This afternoon I’m sitting, feet up and tucked under a white, down blanket, in one of my most-favorite spots in the whole world. I’ve settled in at one end of a Mid-Century style couch that’s dressed in a mellow Scandinavian-blue fabric and pushed up next to a picture window. Through the glass, I can peek through pine trees to see my beloved high-country lake ringed by mountains. It is full-on cozy with a view. I, in fact, specifically designed this spot to be exactly that: a place that allows our guests (and me) to be able to curl up against

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