Saturday, March 29, 2014. Above my head. Blue sky this morning. And an eagle circling. So high above me. One solace taking me away, for a few moments, from this ugly, foreign city. I was comforted. The eagle has long since left this place where I could watch it. I won’t forget its visit.


Stricken with a surprise – of course unexpected – unanticipated in any way. My new computer arrived at a friend of mine’s office, delivered there to avoid any possibility of loss as I am not sure what happens in this apartment complex when something arrives here that does not fit in a small mailbox. I was grateful for this help and looking forward, finally, to this new computer’s arrival in my life.

A “not really but yes really” kind of dreaded hopefulness. I am not technosavvy. I hate change. My current slow laptop runs Windows XP which will not be supported by Microsoft after April 8th. I really didn’t have a choice. I needed a new one.

Intimidating. At my son’s recommendation I bought a Dell 17 with a processor upgrade running Windows 8.1. Everyone I know runs Windows 7, but I figured that I would try to get a little bit ahead of the curve knowing in the future 7 will drop off of Microsoft’s radar before 8 will.

I ordered David Pogue’s, “The Missing Manual” for 8.1. In my own way I have been mentally and emotionally preparing for my “new baby” knowing I know next to NOTHING about all-this-jazz. But I’ve been PLANNING for this (unwanted but necessary) change, creating the most positive attitude I could manage. Last night my friend called, had the computer up, running, online – NOT at my house!?!?!

I could not explain my reaction. My friend was instantly enraged that I could possibly object to their assistance in “setting the computer up.” That rage shut me down so completely I have been leaking emotion out the soles of my feet ever since.


I had internally arranged to meet-n-greet this intimidating new technopartner-of-mind right out of the virgin box. MY hands taking the computer out. Nobody else’s.

I find now that I WANTED to “do this” my way. I WANT very little as I have written about on this blog before. WANTING anything during the 18 years of my childhood was TOXIC to me because psychotic abusive Mother USED any wanting/wishing/hoping I managed to touch inside of myself against me in VICIOUS ways.

Over and over again she set me up to want/wish/hope KNOWING somewhere in her deranged mind EXACTLY what she was going to do to crush me next. It always worked, too. In my innocence I never saw her evil attacks coming. NEVER. (Dissociation was handy that way.)


Nobody’s perfect. “Everyone has glitches,” as someone said to me last week.

It’s not my business what contributed to my friend’s explosion last night over the phone as I “dared” to have FEELINGS about – especially – not being ASKED if I wanted “help.”

Blah blah blah – fast forward through my emotional mined-quicksand to this moment nearly 24 hours later. Yes. The computer is here, delivered sweetly by a third party. I took it out of its box (but not FIRST and without the joy I had “planned for”) and it sits on my kitchen table like a lump of dead, broken toy.

Am I overreacting? From an outsider’s view, I suppose so. But not from mine.

I KNOW my history. And I know that this is the first new computer I have ever scraped the money together to buy for myself. I know how hard this move has been for me. How hard living in this cramped dark gardenless cage of an apartment through the horror of a frigid North Dakota winter has been for me. More fast-forwarding through blah blah blah.

How fragile any state of well-being — real and hoped for — is for severe infant-child abuse survivors.

I have been blessed with two long calls with a friend who lives far away from me but is very close in my heart that have helped me process the crushedness that arose for me over this teensy miscommunication and the explosion that followed. He is a survivor like I am. His kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding and wisdom helped me stop the inward craters from opening within me any further.

I don’t believe humans evolved to process information at the pace required in today’s frenetic world. My friend, meaning good, not harm, is evidently moving far too fast through life to be able to slow down far enough to HEAR ME. Truly hear me.

That is OK. It has to be.

But I am reminded yet again about how hard it is for me to make peace inside of myself and when I find any way to do that, how terribly delicate that peace really is.

Not a lasting peace. I have to come up with an entirely different plan about how I am going to cross the chasm that exists between my comfort and dexterity with this old computer and the entirely new, intimidating, downright scary transition I will have to do to make peace with a new computer which will, eventually, give me so much more of what I need than this old one does.

Peace again with my well-intentioned friend? I trust our relationship. We will of course “get past this.” At the same time – having been built through trauma the way that I was – I have yet another strange wound ricocheting down the corridors of time within which I have more wounds than I can barely bear as it is. So – something has now CHANGED inside of me regarding my relationship with this person. I learned something the hard way. I don’t forget these things.

Not even if I want to.


While all the sweetness I had worked to put in to the computer change in my life has gone away, I did manage to hold onto the precious sweetness of happiness about my decision to invest in professional drumming lessons for myself.

A friend took me to my first lesson today and I could not be more tickled. Gently, sweetly tickled. Brett spent this first 30 minutes carefully – and I mean CARE-FULL-ly arranging my shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers into precise shape as he dictated precise motion. I felt like an awkward mannequin assemblage, clumsy and lost – but also feeling delighted in being on that little stool in that tiny (I have claustrophobia) room with that amazingly gifted musician-teacher.


I was not scared. I was not crushed. Nothing big like a mammoth trampled my joy or my hopes that I can ACTUALLY learn to play DRUMS!

Not a note. Not a tap of sound today. Hey! This is the RIGHT way to learn an instrument! I am SO Happy!

And happy has such precious value to me. I was formed to be nearly constitutionally incapable of feeling safe enough in the world to feel joy – or to play! All three are intimately connected — safety, joy and play are inextricably intertwined.

So while any possibility of playfulness has at least currently been removed from my interactions with this new computer in my kitchen, I DO have hope at least I can plow forward, trudge along forward, live through whatever it takes next to get my computer-plan back online in some sort of fashion.

And I most certainly have drumming hopes! Next weekend is the all-day percussion event at a local college I mentioned here recently, so no lesson again for two weeks. By then I hope to be a much-skilled mannequin moving my elbows this way while my wrists don’t swivel as my drumsticks go that way – and then reverse. I will PRACTICE as if my life depends on it, you can bet!!!

I am STARVED for the experience of inner personal joy (is there some other kind?) that I imagine non-abused people can at least some of the time simply take for granted.


PS. Personally, I don’t think anything about being alive is simple for early severe abuse and neglect survivors. EVERYTHING has a cost – good or bad. Trauma survivorship requires HUGE outputs of resources that we have ALWAYS had great difficulty in providing for ourselves. We simply pay our entire life for the shortages of goodness we did not receive and the abundance of harm we did receive.

Yet sometimes I just marvel at the SWEETNESS inside of me. It was there in me as a child. It has always been there, always been a part of who I am. I am extremely tender – and yes, that does mean I am extremely sensitive.

I am done apologizing for that fact.


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It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site


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5 thoughts on “+SWEET DESIRES

  1. Love Sara Lee! Oddly enough they have had a factory in my town for years! Praying you don’t get the blizzard…we’re having a heat wave of 50 degrees here today!

    • OOO-LA-LA! My secret psychic powers playing around yet again? HAHAHAHA!!!!!! Gotta love communication in the true sense of community! NOW, I will not only name this slick, chic new toy of mine Sara Lee but after my check comes in tomorrow I will have to find something sinfully yummy to christen it with!!!!

      enjoy the THAW!!

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Never apologize for who you truly are. I had an experience some years ago with a dear friend, who I’ve been through a lot with, that somehow reminded me of this post. I had paid half with her for a wood splitter from a co-worker of ours. As we both augment our heating sources in the winter with wood, this was a good investment for us. The deal was that it would stay out at her farm, but I could come get it and use it whenever I wanted to. So enter a third party in the form of a new husband for my friend (he ended up being a real weasel, but that’s a different story…). Hubby talks my friend into selling the wood splitter that was half mine and then using the money to buy a better, newer one. All this took place without them consulting me at all. When my friend called me and informed me that I was now a “one-third” owner in a different wood splitter, I was really mad. It’s so hard for me to tell if my feelings are legitimate. I’ve come to realize that my feelings always are, but the way I react to those feelings isn’t. In my younger days I would have blown up at my friend and probably really damaged a valuable friendship. As it was I managed to keep it together and convey that I was really hurt and angry about not asking me before they did this. She seemed genuinely surprised by my reactions as she thought she was really doing something that was benefitting me, so how could I be angry? Luckily, she is that good of a friend that I could break it down for her about my trust and control issues. I trusted her, but not the squirrelly new husband. Fast forward about two years…Squirrelly-man is cheating on her and not pulling his weight financially…so he moves out. As the divorce got nastier and nastier, I told my friend to be sure to not let him have that wood splitter as I had an interest in it. Having seen his true colors, she told me to come get it and store it in my garage, so that it didn’t disappear. It really is a much better one than the one she and I originally had. It has been seven or eight years since they have been divorced and we have successfully shared that splitter with no problems whatsoever. My point here is, yes my feelings were legitimate, but the way I instinctively wanted to react to them, by lashing out, would have been a huge mistake. I’m glad you have taken the time to think about your feelings over this computer incident. I’m sure your friend, if it truly is a valuable friendship, will make things right about not consulting you about setting up the computer first. Give your new computer a name, personalize it a little, maybe that will help get over the newness, as I get the feeling you view the old one as a friend.

    • Thank you!

      I do have great troubles currently negotiating with myself over the “irrationality” of my feelings. I am often stunned by their appearance. Stunned by their power, their unpredictable nature (seems to me), as if there is an entirely separate person living in my body that I do not know. And I probably don’t.

      Nontraumatized children raised in safe and secure attachment relationship environments begin to have their feelings recognized, mirrored, responded to, resonated with from the moment they are born. Their FEELING self becomes inseparably evolved as consciousness finally begins to dawn.

      Abused little ones, especially if the abuse begins at birth, are deprived on the opportunity to evolve a self that incorporates feelings. I can think of only one incident in my childhood as I have recently written (when Peter my rabbit died) in which I identified myself having a feeling: Irrevocably sad.

      I don’t believe my feelings ever lie. But how to ‘manage’ them?

      It’s an inside job. But often what a job!

      I realize that in this situation about my friend and the computer it seemed from my side of the incident it was the appearance of JUSTIFIED RAGE that so threw me. I was so abused for so long by a woman who brutalized me with her psychotic JUSTIFIED RAGE and justified hatred of me that this pathway in my inner circuitry is so big and wide in its familiarity – and in the defensive response to the terror of such a kind of rage — that my very survival seems to be at stake.

      In other words, plain and simple, I was faced with a massively significant trauma trigger by the ANGER my friend came back at me with at the instant I tried to express ‘my side of the story’.

      It doesn’t sound as if your friend responded to you with this kind of rage. I was NOT angry per se. I was surprised, disappointed, even shocked, dismayed — as this friend’s husband later described my response to his wife and then to me, “It’s like you have really wanted something very important to you. There that great big gift is all wrapped under the Christmas tree. Only you don’t have a chance to open it before someone else does.”

      My friend and I have come to a truce about this. The two sides of the story continue into the future unmatched with one another. I can accept that. It’s the way things are.

      That isn’t really where the problem was, anyway. We are separate people.

      Now. Naming the computer. I like that idea and thanks for it! Sara Lee comes to mind!! Something sweet and simultaneoulsy obnoxious!! Desirable and detestable! Can’t live with it, can’t live without it!?


      We are expecting a blizzard here. 🙂

    • AND — I very much appreciate your story. You are a terrific writer! I found something very calming and centering in your writing. Thoughts and perceptions I can TRUST, count on, learn from, accept. Thank you! I am also glad the story has a good ending!!!

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