Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's wrong with you, anyway?

Lately, I've had more and more emotional outbursts, which I think they are like mini-tremors, leading up to the inevitable violent earthquake. Some seismologists think that these little shake-ups relieve pressure, others feel that it's just a matter of time before the whole place shakes itself to pieces.

I think it's time to relieve the pressure valve, and see if it makes the situation better or not. At the very worst, I will have indulged in a fatal and humiliating case of Over-Sharing. Oh well. get ready for The Big One.

* * *

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my sister and I had a difficult childhood. Our parents settled on a custody arrangement when they divorced, wherein my sister and I were obliged to pack all our belongings and move between houses every single month. We never felt a sense of home or "belonging." We knew that as soon as we got comfortable, we'd have to start all over again. I don't think my our feelings were taken into consideration when this plan was made. This scheme, no doubt, sprung from my mother's refusal to ever compromise or "lose."

My mother is a singularly combative person. If my sister and I didn't keep the house as tidy as she wanted, she would beat the crap out of us. If we cooked any food for ourselves that left any discern able odor, she would beat the crap out of us. She beat us with metal spatulas and pots and pans. When she broke a saucepan on my neck, it only made her angrier, and when that beating left permanent welts on my body she bullied me into lying to the pediatrician about the source of my scars. When she realized that I *wasn't* sexually active in high school she beat me for being a "freak." My sister and I used to dread Thursday evenings, which was the day she saw her therapists. I have no idea what went on at these sessions, but she always came home horribly riled up, and usually found reasons to beat the crap out of us.

My mother made it painfully clear that she blamed my sister and me for all the unhappiness in her life. She told me, on numerous occasions, that she wished she had aborted us, because her life would have been so much better had we never been born. This is a heavy, heavy burden to lay upon a young person.

I believe that my mother is a sadist. I really believe that she got a sense of power by terrorizing those less powerful than herself. She seemed to relish any opportunity to point out our failings, or to humiliate us. We were kids, and we had no way of fighting back. The really strange this is that both my sister and I remember our earliest childhood very fondly. My mother was amazing, and then one day, a switch was thrown. She lost interest in being a mother, and we became a hated burden

My mother is also amazingly skilled in shielding that part of herself away from view. I doubt anyone every suspected that the Teacher of the Year had inflicted so much damage on her own children. I'm sure nobody suspected the source of our lack of self-confidence.

I look back on my childhood with awe. Back in those days, domestic violence was considered nobody's business. I ran away from home, repeatedly. Of course, there was nowhere for me to go to escape my situation. In fact, my mother had me dragged down the the police station and "arrested." I now suspect that this was a charade that she orchestrated, to scare me into behaving.

At times, my sister and I did not stay at the same home. Some time, my sister would be with my father, while I would be at my mother's house. Sometimes my father would take my sister on vacation, and I would stay with my mother. Often, my mother would not come home for days on end. She would spend the night at a boyfriend's house, and I would have no idea how to contact her. One time, I came down with a very serious fever. I was so sick that I literally crawled from my bedroom to the kitchen, and then passed out inside the open refrigerator. I was sick for five days, and I never heard from my mother during this time. It was the policy in my school to penalize a student one letter grade for every unexcused absence from class. When I asked my mother for the standard note, explaining my absence from school, she got horribly angry and refused to help me out. Without a note, I would automatically fail every single one of my classes. I cringe when I recall the humiliation of having to tell all of my teachers that my mother, who I hadn't seen for over a week, refused to believe that I had been sick. I had to beg my teachers to accept my story. All these years later, I still get sweaty and shaky when I think of that afternoon.

What amazes me in retrospect is how my my sister and I remained in my mother's custody. I hope that if this had happened today, some child welfare system would have intervened. I hope that teachers would take some action in situations of this kind.

My mother used to send me to a psychiatrist, in an attempt to "cure" me of my obstinacy. After many confusing and humiliating sessions, the doctor told me something that totally changed my life. She said that the time would come, when I would move out on my own, and that I would be free from all of this.

That turned out to be true, and it didn't.

I grew up. I formed my own little family. I moved three thousand miles away from where I spent my childhood.

A few years back, my sister bravely got the idea that there should be some kind of reconciliation. She wanted to make peace with the past. And, amazingly, my mother denied that any of it ever happened. She denied this to both me and my sister. She remembers being being a perfect parent and refuses to acknowledge or discuss any of the rest of it.

So, I've just had to shove the past into a box, and push it as far out of view as I possibly can. I don't live with this on a daily basis, really.

Except that I'm painfully shy, and totally lacking in self confidence. And the curse of the introvert is that extroverts see you as either aloof or totally invisible. I wish that I had had a nurturing life, where I was able to develop a strong sense of self. Instead, I was taught that I was a useless person, and that the world would be a better place without me.

No matter how many success I have, or how well I do things, I know that the demons of negativity are strongest. Doubt and sadness are always able to overshadow happiness and joy. I'm a freak, and I always will be.


Anonymous said...

Ah, time to air the laundry. We grow up to be the persons we are today, whether because of our upbringing, or dispite it. Glad you shared WAY too much information, but the more I thnk of it, this sounds like a really good movie. About terrible behaviors, but still, a really good movie.

By the way- I'm not going to share my own family trama, but are among those readers who can relate to you. We just can't speak about it yet.

I'm actually quite suprised about my ability to NOT burn down every church I see, which, by the way, would feel really cathartic!


Beth said...

Lisa, your story really touched me. I am an attorney and I work with children who are in situations like you were. I represent children in divorce cases and in child protection cases. In today's world your therapist and your teachers would be mandated reporters and would have reported your situation to child welfare. I do wonder why you did not tell your father or why he never suspected but that often happens, fathers feel powerless--it is remarkable enough that he had you half the time. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing, I know it is hard but the best way to get the cobwebs out of the closet is to open the door and sweep them out.

Anonymous said...

Life happens to us all... it's what we do as adults or rather Don't do that gives us the greatest peace...

Ryan said...

Where the hug button?!

-- Ryan

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I am so proud of you! You did it; you broke through your fear of rejection and anger and humiliation, and you spit it all out of your hidden self. Your Mother's AND your Father's behaviors did help to shape you, but somehow you have found a way to compensate/overcome some of those scars. Keep letting it go, as long as you feel the need. We are out here accepting and affirming the you that we know and love.

Anonymous said...

Whoah. I really do not know what to say, but be assured that the special love that you share with Robb gives you the strength that you need.



Anonymous said...

Lisa... our contact has been a social one. I have met you as a wonderful, loving and fun person. Your childhood has not been what shaped this great must mean that you have transcended you childhood to become the wonderful person you are today. Stay focused on the future and keep the past in the past! YOU ARE GREAT!


Anonymous said...

So many people who have lived through such experiences are emotionally and socially crippled. But you, Dear Lisa, are talented, creative, and empathetic. More importantly, you have the capacity to love and to be loved. All-in-all, I'd say that is pretty terrific.

Grumpy (Frank)

Anonymous said...

check out borderline personality disorder. Many people(mostly women) with traumatic childhood's can suffer from this. It can really mess with your emotions and trigger outbursts of anger.

Debbie said...

I've only met you twice but I can say that I've been impressed both times at how creative and self assured you seem to be. It's very hard to grow up in a sitution like that. My own mother probably had borderline personality disorder and I remember the beatings from her too. I also was molested by my stepfather and when I told my mother about it, she did nothing. Years later she denied that it ever happened. She's passed on now and I can truly say that I've forgiven her and even miss the mother I wish she had been. Hopefully, you will find that peace too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa,
There is nothing wrong with you. You were terribly, terribly traumatized, and I'm so sorry that your mother was unable to give you and your sister the nurturing you (and all children) so desperately needed. I experienced trauma in my own life, and a world of difference came about as a result of regular counseling for myself- particularly a kind of therapy specifically used to treat trauma, called EMDR. I spent 34 years unable to get past the huge boulders of trauma blocking the middle of my road- and after one year of this therapy, I can honestly say I've moved beyond it- where I NEVER thought I would be. It does feel sometimes like you're a puzzle, one where all the pieces are shoved together, willy nilly, barely holding together- and though you do fall apart at first, with the EMDR I feel like I was able to put the pieces back together the RIGHT way, the way I was always meant to be...but that's my story. Take care of yourself, in any way you can. You NEVER deserved what you got, and thank goodness you are no longer a child, powerless and helpless- you now have the right to decide your own fate!

Kurious Jo said...

Lisa, I lived 50 yrs of torment and found freedom and deep peace after thoroughly forgiving my abuser and those around that enabled the ongoing abuse. It was instant peace. I also had to forgive myself for thinking less of myself than I should. Along with that is acceptance that I was never going to get acknowledgment from anyone about what happened. Unforgiveness will eat you alive and you're abuser doesn't deserve that much power. Once you truly forgive there will not be any emotion associated with those memories. It's an incredible sense of freedom! You have a lot to look forward to, my dear. You'll be surprised how light you'll feel once you jetison that bag of rocks.

Anonymous said...


Your account of your childhood made me cry...I am crying as I write this because, yes, there is nothing wrong with you...You are an amazingly creative, gifted, hard-working person... Beautiful woman (!) who not only sees, but makes beauty...Things that make me go "WOW!"or "Holy Shit how the hell did she do that???". I have admired you since we first worked together so many years ago and you continue to inspire me...And at this juncture you remind me, in a very pointed way, of the power I possess to shape the life of my very precious and challenging two year old.This is so important and easily overlooked in the throws of parental anger or frustration, even. Deep breathing and *kindness* are the only way...
That your mother did these things is criminally sad- and just plain criminal- and that she denies these things deeply frustrating--I imagine. And anger producing. Infuriating.
Perhaps the things she did to you were done to her, which is not meant to excuse her cruelty but may perhaps be the source of and reason she denies it?
My dad was abused and neglected and has suffered far too long because of it. He had/has anger and feelings of worthlessness and extreme perfectionism. He is shy, as well. His father is long gone and his mother never really admitted her guilt...She's now dead, too and I see how this has been a source of pain for him. There were no apologies...Not that those scars would ever be banished by feeble words.
I'm very glad that you were brave enough to share this. It's important to bring our troubles to light of day. It's the first step to letting go of the power these things hold over us and to approaching the freedom we all deserve.
You are such a beautiful person, Lisa. I can only offer you the hope that you make peace with all this...You have my love and support and admiration.
Candace~hugging you in my brain. many hugs. tight ones.

Pockafwye said...


People who come out of a hell like yours and still have their humanity in tact, as those of us who read your blog know you do, awe me.

I'm a freak and an introvert, and I don't have a good excuse for it. Always have been.

And seriously. I am in awe of the strength that you probably don't even realize you have because you're just doing what you have to do.

rnfrog3 said...

I too was traumatized as a child and stil suffer low self esteem,despite the fact that I obtained a college degree and am very succesful as a nurse. A few years ago I think I started the premenopausal stage and my emotional swings when crazy. I had fought a quick temper about 1 week a month when I became a horrible person that some how my spouse still loved. But I hated the way I acted and yet couldn't control my rages. It all came to a head with a faitly severe depression that I even had thoughts of suicide. This probably was the final straw and I took myself to a doctor. She prescribed a serotonin uptake inhibitor and it had amazing results. I'm not a big fan of meds to fix problems but I am the person I always wanted to be and knew was there in my heart. It could be all the added stress with the new house, childhood and other things have made you more volatile right now. I know we haven't met- I hope to at a letterboxing event eventually but know you are not alone and from what I've read you are truly and exceptional woman. You are definetly not worthless as I'm sure Robb will testify too. My father always said I'd never amount to anything. He was wrong and so was your Mom. Believe in what you are, what you have worked for and what yu have built. YOU are the creator of a unique,and quintissentel being--Her name is Lisa You are the carpenter and can use or discard any materials or tools that aren't beneficial for building LISA. Keep venting and we are here for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. If the outpourings of affection and compassion exhibited on this comment page are any indicator, I think you've not only reached a pack of sincere friends, but a multi-faceted collection of like minds and like experiences. It is baffling in 'these enlightened days' that parents, guardians, and mere adults could and can get away with heinous abuses against children--from birth until those children grow into morally gnarled sociopaths, control-obsessed middle managers, depressed megalomaniacs, and, occasionally, dedicated and inspired artists.

There was a huge--couple-thousand paged, 12-year long, government-funded and run--inquiry done into abuses perpetrated by the Irish Catholic Church and schools against their pupils and other children in their care from 1940 through 1980, and their recently published findings are alarming. I sat down a couple weeks back and read a decent chunk of it, and can't help but draw some unfortunate similarities between your and these students' plights in my mind. The fear, the pain, the powerlessness, the hopelessness, the indelible conviction of worthlessness--and always the same zealous denial from the adults when confronted with it decades later. Sister Mary Cartwright was always a perfect angel. The Reverend Mother would never have laid a finger on her precious babies. I didn't. I wouldn't. I couldn't. But any shrink who made it past Psych 102 can spot the adult child of an alcoholic from across a crowded room and can sniff out residual effects of abuse in four out of five fifty-year-old patients. The patterns are remarkable, and the traits are hard to falsify. So either there was a reasonable explanation for why they had thousands of browbeaten, skittish, bruised-looking lying heathens on their hands, or perhaps they were looking for liars in the wrong places.

I don't blame adults for not wanting to face prosecution at the time, but I cannot comprehend denial decades later when confronted with the empowered adults who matured into considerate human beings in spite of them. Do they fear retribution? Have they genuinely forgotten, or clouded their own memories with lies of a happy upbringing that incomprehensibly generated the sad and struggling forty-year-old who stands in front of them? Do they wish to take credit for their children's successes and distance themselves from their failures? Or on some level, do they wish to continue to hold sway over their impudent offspring--though the threats and the bullying may no longer achieve their aims, do they still wish to save their own faces behind lies?

I'm so tired of parents' lies and the abuses they maintain to uphold them. I'm so tired of seeing these cycles of abuse and the devastating effects they have, and have had, on the people I care about. Their middle aged apologies wrenched out as desperate pleas for pity from the very people they harmed the most, and most deliberately. My great grandparents' legacy of pain ends with me.

I'm sorry. Your story cuts deep, deeper perhaps than even my own, but it nevertheless elicits the pain, frustration, and sense of solidarity that I wish to convey here. You are not alone, and I applaud your ability to release your mind with a level of decorum and restraint that perhaps one day I might muster. I value you, and always have. You are an invaluable asset to the BRT workforce--the carps give the show structure, but you give it life.

Anonymous said...

Just as your mother's abuse was invisible to the rest of the world, you are good at hiding your shyness and lack of self-confidence to us. John and I talk to our friends about you and Robb all the time and tell them what strong, interesting, brilliant and creative people you are--more than anyone we know or have ever known--truly. What made you those amazing people hinges partly on your life experiences (I believe we come to this life pretty much 'set' in our ways). Granted, this was not a cakewalk for you but we who know you benefit greatly.

Your epiphany with your psychologist about eventually having a life of your own choosing was much the same as my psychologist telling me that I didn't have to mourn the death of my mother (something I felt very guilty about--I felt liberated when she died) because of the mental and verbal abuse with which she filled my childhood.

If it hadn't been for the wonderful person I met when I was 16 who began to tell me what I'd never in my life heard, that I was smart ("you dummy") and indeed capable of achieving anything I wanted to do ("you're not college material and will never amount to anything"), I can't imagine where I'd be right now. (I married him at 19 and he still thinks I'm wonderful 35 years later!)

While memories of past horrors are impossible to ignore sometimes, try to dwell on your varied and unusual interests, the friends who love you as you are and the future you'll continue to build in your new home!!

Much love,

sarcasmo said...

I recently came to terms with my childhood, on my own. It's painful to relive it daily and feel guilty and resentful. You are not a freak or loser. You have, in fact, shown a remarkable ability to heal yourself through your creativity. You're doing what alot of people wish they had the energy to do. You just need to share it with more folks and enjoy being the bright, creative individual you are. Surround yourself with people who have similar interests and try to sell some of your photos cuz they really are amazing. You seem to us to be doing fine depsite a horrible upbrining. Perhaps the stability your father offered was helpful. But you are amazing. My favorite college professor once told me I have many gifts but I have to believe it for myself first. Aren't we always hardest on ourselves. I hope you can allow yourself some craziness (love the knit patterns) and accept how powerful and great you are! HUGS! Too bad I live in TN I would love to see some of those tidepools.

Martha said...

Wow Lisa. What brought this on? Just in case anyone reads this comment, I can vouch for the authenticity of Lisa's story. If anything, you left many things out. Such as our mother's need to compete with or best us. Or be jealous of our achievements.

Being a mom myself now, I know there isn't anything I wouldn't do for my daughter. What a contrast! Makes me despise her even more. Not very forgiving, but true.

But more importantly and I say this over and over again and so do all your are an amazing person. Talented, smart, funny, compassionate, etc. etc. The sad thing is that no matter how many times people tell you this, you don't believe them. Mom did a number on us, but I think you bore the brunt.

Anyhow, I think I'll knit a voodoo doll and tie some chicken feathers on it. You can paint mommy dearest's likeness on it and decide the rest. Just take some photos! Because you are also an excellent photographer.


Eclipse said...

Much of Life is less about the hand we're dealt and more about how we handle it. You have been dealt a shitty hand, more than once, but you strength, your grace, your intelligence and your beauty shine through. You never fail to inspire me both creatively and emotionally, to make the best of what I've got. You and Robb are never far from my thoughts. Keep on shining.

mamakin said...

Oh, Lisa, you are so brave to put your vulnerability out here to share with all of us. Having never met you there must be something special about you that drew me to your blogging & kept me here. You seem so passionate about everything you care about & it seems to me that you have a long 'caring list'. It amazed me that my life was so eerily similar to yours. I decided not to give my mother (who actually wanted me to call her Mother dear) the importance in my life she didn't deserve. I forgave her, but I'll never forget the things she did. I decided to break the chain of abuse. I've always been here for my children for the smallest to the greatest things. I've never hit them, beat them, threatened them, emotionally abused them, never used words like hate,stupid, idiot, bad, told them they belong in a mental institution, or took a sharp knife to their chests. I'm a good mother because I didn't do any of the things my mother did to me. As for my sister, she says she didn't feel abused because she had me to protect her. She just made her own statement of abuse & never saw it;never thought that it shouldn't have been my job to keep her safe. She copes by closing down & instead of hiding in our bedroom closet while I took the hit, she's living in a closet inside herself. There is something called a Resilient Child. It's the one who fights back knowing that what's happening is wrong & moves to make a different life, a better life. You are a resilient child, as am I. We are the lucky ones. We sometimes feel apart from the 'normal' people we see because we were raised to feel as if we didn't deserve the happiness & security that others take for granted. But Lisa, we are normal, & aware & protective of those we love & causes that matter.
Upon reading all the previous posts it's obvious you have touched many, many people with your wit, generosity of spirit,kindness, humor,talent and love. You're a survivor feeling pain today. You'll be a survivor tomorrow. You'll get stronger & more secure in your own life. You have a loving partner to share the trip & the rewards, and you're not that child who hides in a closet for safety - you're brave Lisa, and stronger than you know. I wish you happy days, good friends, new memories, & the gift of forgiveness, even if you never forget.

gollygee said...

You're not a freak. Situations like yours (or similar to yours) are all too common. And I suspect, without having read the comments here yet, that others have already shared that they've had similar things happen to them. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father and only in the past ten or so years have I really been able to recognize that that's what he was. I always thought his screaming tirades until my brother and I would cry happened in every family, and that since he didn't abuse us physically that nothing was wrong. Any sort of abuse is hard to get over but what you went through I'm sure is extremely difficult to begin to cope with. I've been lucky in that my mother started me seeing a psychologist when I was in second grade, which helped me a lot, she and I became very close and cried together when she retired, which she timed to happen when I graduated from high school and went away to college. Therapy is a really good thing, I see a different psychologist now and I honestly don't know how people can live WITHOUT seeing one! :D It's horrible that your mother denied that any of it ever happened, but unfortunately the culture of denial in abusive families is extremely prevalent. Just know that because you can and are talking about it, you are breaking the cycle, and it's a huge step toward recovery. :) I think family situations are so difficult to recover from, because usually they never completely end, as you've found with your mother's denial. I still stop and my parents' house sometimes only to find my dad screaming at and belittling my mom. And I'm about 80% sure my brother is now an alcoholic because of our childhood, which just opens up a whole new bag of worms. I think the best thing you can do is talk about it and remind yourself that it wasn't your fault, and find something to get lost in to take your mind off of it. Carving stamps and drawing works wonders for me, and reading, and music. :)

Also, if you haven't, you must read "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs. He is an amazing writer, and the book describes his own hellish childhood, but in a humorous way that will make you feel very normal. :)

And if you ever want to talk, I know we've never met in person but feel free to send me an email!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Freak,
I want you to know that you are not alone. My mother and her retired police officer boyfriend recently went to prison for their abuse of my much younger brother (sexual, 10+ yrs). No one believed the emotional abuse I'd suffered for years. Only when people realized what she was capable of did they even start to believe me and many are still in denial about both cases (esp mine).

We push through, we have moments of extreme sadness, especially when thinking about what we lost out on and who we could have been in different circumstances, but we push through. We have moments of extreme happiness and long times of contentment, and hope for what's to come, I think, because we know how bad it can be.

We are the blooms that grow out of the desolate landscapes - the palms that grow out of cracks in the California freeways, the night blooming desert cactus, the parking lot rose; survivors. We are the surprise beauty where you least expect it. We feel alone and weak, but we are the strongest!


Anonymous said...

Lisa, you should know that you are not alone. My parents were both alchoholics and drug addicts. and my dad was totally emotionally abusive. I still have a fear of confrontation I think, because of the way he treated me when I was younger. Niether of them, today, remember, or will admit, what I feel like were the worst times of my life. And you know what? It doesnt matter to me anymore. Im actually happy that I had it rough because now I am sensitive to children who go through the same thing. That makes me feel like I have a purpose, that I can help someone else. So, maybe there was a reason why you had to go through what you did. Smile and know that those who have hurt you only have as much power as you give them.

-Jen of MLM

Anonymous said...

Dag. And I felt guilty because I thought I was just being a dyke-hating breeder when I met her.

Pica said...

Oh, hugs, Lisa. FWIW, I think of you as a strong, solid person, your strength coming from your quiet center.

I'm a great fan of the letter you don't send, though I suppose a blog post is even better...

Anonymous said...

I just had a chance to read this and I kept thinking about the fact that you were only a few years removed from this when I met you a Hechts. You put on such a strong and confident air that I never suspected the pain you were only recently released from. It's amazing that our own self evaluation is often so far off from other people's view of us.

- Karla

EKovar said...

I wrote a comment when I finally found you, just yesterday (it took this long to write it for various boring reasons) then discovered when I tried to post that it was much too long. I'll try to hit some of the highlights, pretty much in random order, but there is so very much behind them.

It's a total jumble of things. And reading it I discovered that I'm still too shocked, and this is too public and . . . this is tough to face but I'm still too caught up in my own reaction to write about you directly.

-It started with "Oh my god"
-There were the things we knew, and tried to be supportive about.
-There was that you faked cool and confident so well it seemed you'd brushed it off -- which, of course, was stupid.
-I would compare my prosaic life with your verve and creativity. And was sometimes amazed and always lucky that you brought me into it, for a lot of reasons.
-The main thing is that you were an amazing, wonderful friend. It's never occurred to me to analyze the many ways, one doesn't, but there are a lot.
-Which is still the main thing but it turns out that you also, then and later, helped me survive mental illness far better than I would have otherwise. I didn't go off the rails when manic, just saw it as having that verve.
-Your example, even though it was a mask, gave me an example to follow and a mask I needed very much.
-You made life dramatic, exciting, and different enough that I survived high school when I would otherwise been fully sucked into my failure at trying to be what I was supposed to be.
-You showed me a way out of the life I was supposed to live, then and now.
-Looking back I don't know how I'd have coped without those things. You're one of the people who helped me quite literally survive.

You, Lisa Lazar, did that. At the same time you were being beaten, told that the world would be better off without you, that you should never have been born, you were laying the groundwork for someone to get through times when she should have been in the hospital.

-(I've been on your end of that sort of irony, just not so dramatically.)
-I know that telling you these things, the externals of your life then, don't change what your life was, what you're coping with, or what you feel: all that stuff in the box. But I wanted to try to give you a word-picture from outside the box.
-The continuing "Oh my god." And the horror. Trying to express so many things, including wanting to have protected and supported you, and wishing I could buffer you now.
-That I fully understand why you felt you couldn't tell anyone.
-Including that if you tell or do something that gets adults attention you're facing emotional dissection.
-I am so proud of you that you've managed to do so now. Proud sounds possessive but I don't have any other word.
-I also have some practical ideas which may or may not be useful.
-That you have absolutely no responsibility to respond to this. I've done the feeling guilty for not responding to something. And sometime you'll hear from someone and well, there's just no connection. It happens. So no guilt, okay?
-At the same time don't take that as "I don't want to hear from you." I've tried to track you down for the simple reason that I think of you and wanted to know how your life was going.

I just noticed that I'm crying, and have been for a while.

Whew. As blasts from the past go writing it is nowhere near getting it but it took me by surprise too.




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