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(a reasonable or justifiable self-respect)

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Yes, I am proud of myself.

As if I'm planning to put down some roots, almost two years into living in this house, I've begun the looming task of cleaning the garage and barn. of the items and treasures left by the previous owners,. Making it feel more like our home.

I've been in fight or flight mode for many years. Running from, Running towards.

Fearing abandonment, fearing connection. The fire burns hottest with the thrill of danger. Like a moth to the light, my wings become the tools carrying me towards what I crave. Constantly banging myself against false suns.

This is the addiction. Compulsion to do what is killing me slowly. Like the alcoholics and addicts who cannot see what others know to be true.

There is an escape that happens when we feed the craving. Yes, It's temporary, We repeat and hope it will be as good as the first time. The momentary sweetness of delicious drunken desires. Always, it gets worse.. The stakes get higher with each gamble. Raising the ante each time, keeping a straight face and hiding your eyes.

It doesn't actually feel worse at the time, because I have become numb, desensitized, to the pain I brought upon myself.

This behavior is developed due to life's dealings and my own choices. A look back will reveal the road some may have been lucky enough to avoid traveling.

Commitment. . What is that?

As far back as I can remember, that word has just been vocabulary and spelling bee material. The early understanding of commitments by way of a broken family define the concept. Wandering in this harsh environment, lost and alone. Arrested development when a child becomes adult by age not maturity. Searching for belonging. The family tree severed at the very roots.

What is my life worth? Why am I here? A question some might ask themselves at some point in life. The promise of committing to heal myself and strive for my dreams requires feelings of worthiness. I search for meaning and purpose.

In my early 20's I met a 'nice' guy, I'll refer to him as DW. I was living in DC at the time with roommates. The household was breaking up, I moved in with DW.

We lived in a dreary brown paneled apartment with sparse furnishings. It was so incredibly depressing and lacked any warmth, color, charm. or LOVE.

We never had any company and no one ever called or tried to visit. I didn't even notice, nor did I want visitors. Bending, compromising and justifying to make myself fit some unobtainable expectation like playing Blindfold Twister with Hungry Godzilla.

His appetite and fury so great nothing will satisfy the desires. Not even the total consumption. To argue that rape doesn't happen in relationship is denial that there exists predator and prey in the natural world. I become the relentless, righteous predator to prove you wrong..

The abuse and threats escalated to a point that my death was a very likely possibility, and I was not waiting around...I don;t need a 9mm. Glock in my face more than once to test my beliefs that this or any man will try to own my life. I ran away. I ran for my life. What is my life worth? I knew it was worth more than the value he placed on it. He tried to lure me back with sweet talk and wine. The tricks didn't work anymore.

I spent 6 months drawing and writing about anything and everything. I cried. Curled in the fetal position, I crawled back into the womb of the great mother. Warm, dark, moist. Fertile with possibility and rebirth. I emerged stitched back together with sinew and bone. Raw, vulnerable and hungry for something I couldn't name for a long time to come.

Little did I know, but a fury was bubbling inside of me. Ingredients being added to the witch's cauldron with every imbalanced, controlling relationship I continued to get into.. And there are plenty. At some point, if you continue to add ingredients, the pot always overflows.

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