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Time Travel

I started blogging for the family on 11/1/2007. Before that I used another platform that existed before Facebook and the like but I can't remember what it was, I'm sure I printed it all off at one point but that is a challenge for another day. Over the course of the years, I've had over 21,000 readers and over 600 posts. Sometimes I write for myself and they don't get published, sometimes I lose interest in being online, and sometimes talking to the ether would get to me. I've had feedback that it is too raw, too emotional, too pointed and I agree. Writing is my processing, words my balm. I want others to read my words because I believe that is where connection happens, in the deep spaces. So, I have created a community where that is the priority. It is here where my stories will now live. It feels magical and like it was always supposed to happen.

I go back in time and read some of the posts from when Tim aka #thecutehusband deployed and it is like I'm back there. I notice on one particular post about leaving him and driving home to Wenatchee, I don't mention the hysterical crying that overtook me and was the reason I had to stop at Lake Easton. I just mention, we took a break. But my body remembers and I am back there remembering that we were doing okay, we had stopped crying (the three of us) and we were okay until an army caravan drove past us, and I couldn't breathe, I couldn't do it again, I couldn't raise them by myself. I couldn't. I wouldn't. I had no desire. No more than 398 days was cruel, but it was better than the first time of 547 days. It was an awful no good cry and the boys joined in. I read posts now by people who don't show emotion in front of their children, who cry in private. I wonder what they would have changed for our family but I couldn't. It was so visceral and overwhelming that I felt it in real time and stuffing it would have caused damage. I wish I would have known that about all the other emotions that I concealed for years. Somehow the shared loss of deployment was something that I could share with the boys if not with the blog audience.

I know that I changed. I learned to keep stuff in and I learned that not everyone is a good audience. I learned the feedback I wanted and the input I desired. I learned that my emotions were too much and I internalized the judgement. Until I couldn't go on. My throat literally started to close up because I was silencing myself. I couldn't get through a day without crying. I saw the enemy in most people I encountered. I was at a breaking point or a tipping point. I either needed to get help, start writing again, sleep, anything or the emotions that I had bottled away were going to take over and I would lose myself.

So, I embarked on a journey to find myself again. Medication and two day a week therapy. I worried that my creativity would dip, it did. I worried that I wouldn't be able to feel so deeply or connect in the same way, that did not happen. Where I find myself today is being able to go back and re-read what I wrote during the hardest times and feel it again without losing myself in the emotions. I can narrate the scene and work through the pain. I can write honestly and passionately without it shutting me down for the rest of the day. I still have days when I can barely get up because the weight of the world feels so heavy, but now I have a skillset where I push just a bit to walk or talk or write and it feels just enough lighter that I can be in relationships without disappearing for weeks on end.

I'm still grieving all that was lost while I'm celebrating the life that has come after the hardship, after the tears, after the pain and through looking backwards through the haze of it all I can see the girl that survived and even thrived and tell her she is remarkable.

Writing is creation. Storytelling is essential. Storylistening is a gift. You can't go back in time but you can go through it again and find yourself there so the future can be better. Writing is creation but without an audience, without someone listening and sharing with you in the emotions and experiences, I think it is somehow less. I know that for our family putting our stories together is essential. What I remember is different from what the boys remember and even more different for Tim. But together they create our reality and our launching off space.

I want more people to share their stories and to respond to the stories in their community because I believe that is how we all get to take up the space that we so richly have earned.

Join me @themotherheard to create, to listen, to share, to connect.

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