Friday Fictioneers: End of the Road

It’s been a long time, looking at photo prompts each week and feeling stuck. This one just spoke to me, and the story wrote itself in ten minutes–– a sweet spot, after a long dry spell. Great shot, Russell! If you’d like to read more stories, or join in, check out Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s blog, Addicted to Purple. As always, honest constructive feedback is appreciated; please leave a comment.

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©RussellGayer

 

End of the Road

Maggie lifted the last box and headed for the door. Her back ached from loading the meager but heavy belongings from the crumbling house.

“John, can you take this one to the truck; I need a minute.”

“Take your time.” Her husband ran is hand down her back, glanced around, and left her alone.

Years of financial struggles, no health insurance, and job worries had lead to a steady disregard for home repairs, in the house they bought when they married.

Now there was no hope.

“It’s all in the toilet,” she murmured as she walked out into the cold.

(exactly 100 words)

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GIPYPlease share your thoughts in the comments. I want to hear what you have to say.

KAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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One Year Later, On His Birthday, A Very Different Letter To My Father… (Not The Man Who Killed Him)

This post means as much each year… but my perspective on my father, keeps growing and getting richer. Thanks to all the wonderful readers who have supported this piece!

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

29337_420030823000_607453000_4537396_5567814_n-11 My father loved us very much… and he lost us.

One year ago, I published a letter on my blog: On My Father’s Birthday, A Letter to The Man Who Killed Him. It was Freshly Pressed and had nearly one thousand hits, in a few days. It was published in Huffington Post and was huge there too. People sent the most amazing responses from all over the world. They shared their own stories of loss, grief, and forgiveness. Many told me I was incredible, for forgiving. Others understood my true intentions. Still, others thought the title of the post was misleading: the man I was writing to wasn’t really a killer, per se; they felt duped. Publishers in Australia and Europe asked to repost it; many other bloggers shared it. I was named a “Voices of the Year 2015” by BlogHer and SheKnows Media, based on the piece, an…

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Giving Thanks

This has been a hard year; I can’t spin it any other way. I’ve been nursing a sudden, frustrating injury since February. After working up to daily workouts and feeling fitter than I ever have, the plunge into bed rest, limited activity, ongoing physical therapy, and now gradually building back up, has been daunting and deflating on so many levels. It sucks. That all nudged me into a depression that spun me sideways and left me feeling suicidal, depleted, and digging out of a blue hole.

While many people think we’ve been living in an empty nest (read this first post ever) for ages, this year was really the start of it–– having seen all the fledglings off, in the past year, and working through issues from the past, has left me feeling haunted and troubled, as I come to terms with reality and things I thought I knew… but didn’t. I could blame all of it on Trump and it might not be that far off the mark; God know I’m not alone. Working on change, aging, and trying to navigate relationship changes that have been painful, frustrating and challenging has added to a general state of blues that has lingered far longer than I might have imagined. Yeah, it’s been a hard year.

All of that has made it daunting for me to write–– when I probably most need to write. Every night I struggle with sleep, my brain spinning and words lining up to be written. I lie there and think: tomorrow I’ll write this down, or this the next day… But, I don’t. Writing has been my thing for as long as I can remember. For the past six years, writing this blog, it has been something I share with others as well; I was putting out 3 posts a week, and it was easy. Now, I struggle to write one every month or two. The words tug at me and point alphabet fingers, and I don’t sleep.

Here I am, it’s 1am and I’m writing. The words pushed me out of bed, as I thought about the things I’ve just mentioned, and… gratitude. Yes, despite a long list of challenges, there is so much to be thankful for. Never mind that a holiday forces us all to think about thanks every November. It would be easy to call it what it is: Hallmark blackmail: be grateful, be thankful, or you’re not American. There’s something wrong with you, if you can’t give thanks.

But really, there’s something so meaningful about stopping and being thankful, individually and collectively. We should all be thankful daily for so many things we often take for granted. There are countless articles about taking a moment each day to record words of gratitude. No doubt, when I was doing that, it was humbling. It’s hard to stay down, when you stop to think about all the up in your life, and there is in fact always something to be thankful for. Always. Life can certainly be hard. We all struggle, and while it may seem like others have it easier, or pain free, no one goes unscathed. We all bleed.

I have so much to be thankful for; I’ve written way too much lately about struggles, and not enough about all the good. Despite some pitfalls lately, my health is still something to truly be grateful for. I see friends grapple with true health issues, and I know I must give thanks. I spent hours and hours hiking the trails in the Pacific NW this fall. I learned that I love to hike solo, something that for a long time intimidated me. This fall I hiked mountain trails, my two dogs racing along with me, and I felt like a million dollars. I spent hours in solitude and scenery that takes my breath away, every time, and I felt strong and capable. Thank you health. Thank trails.

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My family is so important to me, and I’m grateful I get to see my children and loved ones more than some people do. Granted, having my daughter, son-in- law, and precious grandson––three people I adore–– living 7,000 miles away remains a challenge. Traveling there is long and hard; they come once a year. I’m so thankful we can afford to go when we want to, and have them come here each summer. I’m thankful my oldest son and his love live an hour away, and we’ve been able to see them, go to a concert, and share good times. I’m happy he’s found such a wonderful woman to love, and that we love her as well. I’m thankful my youngest son is doing well at college, is graduating in the spring, and likes us to visit. I’ve fallen in love with Denver, and it’s been fun getting to know his world. We were lucky to have two family bar mitzvahs this year, which allowed us to visit extended family and see so many people I love. I’m thankful that my father in law is in good health, and can see his grandkids and great-grandson living happy, successful lives. I am so grateful I have such amazing nieces and nephews; it brings me so much joy watching them become adults and cool people. Being an aunt is one of my favorite things! I am so lucky to have two aunts nearby who remind me where I come from, with patience and love, and who teach me how to be an aunt. There are cousins near and far who dance with me, do shots with me, laugh with me, and keep me linked and tied in, to so many special memories––new and old. I’m so happy to see my sister happy and smiling her brilliant smile. I’m grateful every day for 30+years of marriage. Thank you family.

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I have amazing friends. In a world where many people feel alone, I’m so grateful for friends who have sushi and laugh with me each week; friends who join me in Portland or wherever our adventures lead, and always answer the phone with a smile; friends who share dinner parties and Cards Against Humanity with me; friends who write with me; friends nearby and friends too far; friends who listen, hug trees, celebrate, play, and love, and hug and laugh. Thank you friends.

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I’m so fortunate to have traveled so much, to so many incredible places. I’ve met wonderful people, and seen magical things. The Grand Canyon calls to me; the salty  beauty of beaches has filled me up. Mountains have moved me, and deserts have given me peace. Seeing new places always challenges me to think about how I interact with others, and what I take away. Thank you for the privilege of destinations and wild places.

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I’m grateful for my work at hospice. What a strange twist of fate, that I found my way to work that fills me up so completely. I love every shift, every time. I love the patients who are thankful for my presence, and the staff and other volunteers who share time with me. Thank you awe, compassion and purpose.

I’m grateful that I’m free to write and say what I want, always with the intention to do no harm. I’m so thankful to an honest, generous, skilled writing community who never sugar coats or leaves anything out; their support and editing means the world to me. I’m grateful for each and every Word Press reader who takes the time to read my words, and so happy when those words make a connection. It’s a bonus when you leave a comment and share your thoughts; don’t sugar coat them. I’m still awed and amazed that I got to stand with millions of inspiring people, this past January for the Women’s March on Washington, DC (check out that post for lots of cool photos!) and speak out against a president who I cannot respect or support. It was humbling to hear so much wisdom, vulnerability, and power, crushed amongst so many others who were equally moved and humbled. It was empowering on so many levels, as I work on becoming the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I’m am deeply moved and grateful that so many women and men are (finally) feeling free to stand up and share their stories of sexual assault and abuse, and so many caring people are saying: I hear you; I believe you; you are not alone. It’s an incredible thing, at fifty-four years old, to say #metoo and not flinch. Thank you Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Thank you Freedom of Speech.

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I’m thankful for my puppies, who have cuddled me, hiked with me, loved me when I’m down or up, and constantly whispered: It’s ok, we see you, we love you. I’m grateful for great food, good times, gray days to be quiet, and blue days to explore. I’m grateful for fabulous art; dancing with people I love; dancing, dancing, dancing each day in my kitchen, and not caring if I embarrass the pups. Thank you Gracie and Luna, and Luke who still hikes beside me. Thank you creativity and art.

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I’m grateful for personal growth and the hope that I will one day be a wise old woman, who feels good in my skin. I’m so very grateful for my grandson, who’s in my  thoughts every day. I’m grateful for his sloppy kisses, his inquisitive mind, and perceptive heart. I’m grateful for hours spent watching the big machines at the junkyard and recycling center, and exploring tide pools on a gorgeous beach. He lights up my world. I’m grateful for hot showers and a cool pillow each night. I’m grateful for hummingbirds at my window, and owls that make the night come alive. I’m grateful to my great great-grandfather Ferguson, who planted a Christmas Cactus and never imagined its blooms would make his great great-granddaughter feel connected and happy, more than 100 years later!  Thank you moon and stars and sun, rain, wind, and snow. Thank you flowers and natural beauty that fills me up. Thank you Life; it is good and wondrous.

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What are you thankful for? What brings you joy or contentment? Leave a comment and share some gratitude. And a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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GIPYPlease share your thoughts in the comments. I want to hear what you have to say.

KAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Truth Roars Like A Lion

(Baby steps, friends. Exactly 2 months ago today, I wrote my first new blog post in ages. Then I recoiled. This started as a draft… nine months ago. Baby steps.)

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Huntington’s has robbed me of so much, but the hardest thing it’s stolen is truth. Losing my grandmother (70), my mother (68), and my aunt Pam (at only 49) were visceral losses–– concrete in their finality. Now, watching my younger sister struggle with it, keeps that loss perpetually in front of me. But before these three powerful women in my life died–– before they disappeared in bits and pieces, we lost clarity and truth. We lost the potential for healing through honesty. Huntington’s Disease cheated me of the chance to heal that, by robbing me of the chance later for honest exploration and putting some pieces back in place.

As children we speak honestly, with truth, unless we are scared or silenced. As a very young child, I knew truth. I knew sweetness, and the security of people who held me close and loved me deeply. For a short time, when I was young I felt cherished. I trusted the adults in my life; I felt safe and loved. And then so much changed, and I lost all of that–– lost to lies and trauma. I grew up with people who loved me, in a place that became my home. But, there was another family, and another home, that has followed me all my life.

Several months ago we saw the movie Lion, a 2017 Oscar nomination for Best Film. (I will not give anything away here, as this is a film really worth seeing.) I went into the theater thinking I was prepared; I thought I knew the story. As a huge movie fan, I go for many reasons, but often it is about escape. This looked like a great movie to get lost in. Lion was just stunning! Stunning. Everything about this film moved me. It was visually gorgeous. The story is heartbreakingly beautiful, and I was swept away on so many levels, for two hours. But I also left the theater completely shaken, and thrust into many nights of hard dreams.

In Lion, Saroo Brierley (the main character) faces memories he’s pushed down, through recurring flashbacks, which eventually lead him to the truth. For all of my life, I have experienced nearly daily pieces of memories–– flashes to moments, scenes, images, experiences–– many of which didn’t fit with the stories my mother told me. The math never added up, and I’ve struggled to make sense of it all. Like Saroo, it took a triggering event to send me on a similar journey to find the missing pieces. Saroo then goes on a journey to find the truth. I’ve been seeking the same thing for most of my life, but the journey changed directions two years ago. The movie Lion crystalized so many details that I’ve been grappling with since spring 2015.

Before Huntington’s robbed my mother of the chance to live out her days and find honesty, or let me unbury truth, she was already a broken woman. She was broken as a girl, and she never healed. Instead, Huntington’s dealt her one final blow, and robbed her of the chance to ever really heal. When she was diagnosed, in her fifties (as I am now) she was already deeply lost in dysfunction and lies. She deserved better, and I wish she could have learned that in her life. No child deserves to have their childhood stolen, for that I have enormous compassion for my mother.

But, she in turn stole my childhood. She robbed me of safety; she took me from the arms of sweetness and love, and took it all away. She lied to us, and led my brother and me to believe our father didn’t love us… enough. She abandoned us, literally (for 18 months) and metaphorically, just as she’d been abandoned by her mother. She was not there for me when I needed protection, so buried in her own history that she missed the one unfolding for her children. She did to us, exactly what she herself had spent a childhood and lifetime trying to recover from. At 54, I still struggle with the cruel irony of it all.

I’ve spent most of my life trying to understand my mother. I wanted to heal her and protect her, when I was a young child and should have gotten those things from her. I tried to forgive her, as the years went on and I watched her slowly die, though she never really heard my pain. Without knowing any better, I emotionally buried truth to preserve a false reality that she pressed on us. As children, we deal with trauma in the only ways we know how to. We push it down; we hide it; we create stories to help us feel safe. As adults, we either stay stuck in those patterns, or seek to move beyond them.

I’ve spent most of my life trying to move on. I’ve looked for the truth, to fill in gaps that have haunted me. I struggle with the knowledge that my fractured past, and broken pieces, have in turn impacted my own three children. I went into marriage and parenting knowing that I wanted to be a very different mother than my mother was to me. I wanted to break cycles of abuse and neglect that have been a part of my family history. But I didn’t have the tools or knowledge needed. My kids are grown now, and I have discussed much of this with them. It’s not easy; I don’t want to burden them with old pain, but I want them to know their mother as a fully fleshed person. I want them to see that I keep moving forward; I keep trying to change, grow and heal. If we don’t heal from trauma, I know we are bound to pass it on.

Sadly, many of the people who might have answered questions for me are gone. I’ve asked myself over and over: does it matter? Does the truth matter anymore? It all happened so long ago, and I am where I am. I struggle with how to let go of all the lies and simply embrace the truths I’ve learned. The truth has allowed my brother and I to finally begin to heal. I now know that he’s spent an entire lifetime feeling lost to the same lies I buried. Now that we can talk about them, and untangle all the knots, we realize that we were simply children, doing the best we could… albeit very differently, and without realizing we could have helped each other.

As I watched the final scenes of Lion, my response was visceral. I was no longer watching a movie, where a young man unwinds his own knots, but reliving my own fears and loss. I found myself talking to myself, reliving painful times that happened forty-four years ago. I cried and cried, and cried some more. Later, my husband told me that watching this same movie scene was the first time he really felt like he could understand what I’ve described for our entire life together.

I wish I’d heard the truth when my mother was still alive; I would give anything to ask her some questions that follow me everywhere. I wish she could have seen this same movie, and maybe realized what her lies have done to my brother and I; we all might have found some healing sooner. I wish she and I could have explored those truths, and maybe both healed… if wishing made it so. Instead, she took her pain with her, and I am pulling apart knots, and seeking peace. A movie reminded me that healing is always possible. I am a…

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GIPYPlease share your thoughts in the comments. I want to hear what you have to say.

KAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Flat-Lined

In my last post–– the one that marked my first baby step out of the hole I’ve been in, I acknowledged that I’ve been depressed. I shared that writing and blogging has been hard. I wrote a post to restart my engine and move forward, even if I’m not sure how much gas I have in the tank.

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I generally share my posts on both my personal Facebook page and the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page. I was taken aback by the friends who left comments, many sharing love and support, and letting me know they can relate to the sense of depression and stagnation that’s held me back. You all responded with so much love and support. Honestly, it was a bit overwhelming. Humbling and touching.

I also found myself a little startled. I felt naked. I forget that my invisibility cloak doesn’t actually work. When I put myself out there, well… I’m out there. Exposed. Vulnerable. Raw.

I’m not good at accepting help, support or loving words. It’s part of the reason I’m in this hole in the first place. My mother left me with a non-stick, life-time guaranteed Teflon™ coating, that deflects compliments, reassurances, loving words of support–– the kind of incredibly supportive words that so many of you have shared with me, since I put myself out there.

But the reality is not as uplifting. I read your words, and they slide right off. They linger for a moment, and then dissipate.

Don’t take it personally. It’s my shit. I deflect instantly, because I don’t know how to absorb that good stuff. I learned a long time ago, not to count on good things, and despite all the enormous positive in my life, I get stuck in a hole.

I deflect with sarcasm.

I deflect with thank yous and praise-back-at-you.

I deflect because my self-esteem is on life-support, and stats are low.

I deflect because I am taking baby steps, and figuring out how to process and absorb the positivity you all sent my way–– the positivity that surrounds me. But it’s just too much.

I’m grateful; don’t get me wrong.

I deflect because I’m hard wired to do that.

Pay no attention to that (woman) behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful Oz!

What you see, is not who limps along, digging out of the hole. Second guessing every compliment and kind word that comes my way.

I’m plagued by insecurity and dark thoughts. This isn’t something new, it’s me for as long as I’ve known me. Putting on a confident face, that hides the real stuff. Making jokes and filling up space, to hide.

Blogging has been my safety net for a long time now. But it also comes with lots of personal potholes, and I trip a lot. If you don’t read me; I feel like I’m not good enough. If you don’t hit like; I’m questioning why. If you used to follow me, and now you don’t; I take it personally. I second-guess it all. It’s a sticky, dark, internal game that messes with my head. And it isn’t about you; you can’t change it for me.

It’s my shit.

Please don’t reassure me, or tell me otherwise. Please don’t try to explain that I’ve got it all wrong. Please don’t try to assuage my internal shit-maker. This is my head and I know it’s a mess. I’m working on it. Just be patient with me.

I’m working on letting go of the Teflon™. When I hit bottom in May–– and it was a dark, self-destructive bottom which I’d assured myself I would never see again, I was really shaken. I was disappointed in myself for not pulling the parachute sooner. I was embarrassed by my own fragility. I felt shaken by the sense that I may never purge the dark stuff and really live in the light.

I shared it all with my kids, for the first time ever. Really shared. I told each one of them (and this is edited, because some things are still private): “I am wired differently. I’m acknowledging my childhood traumas make it hard for me to interact and connect in the ways I want to. I know I don’t respond and react the way others want. I have broken pieces (they) can’t understand, because we come from such very different places. I’m working on it. I keep working on it. But it’s exhausting, and I slip sometimes… into a dark space, where I feel infinitely hopeless. And climbing out is hard.” I told them I love them, and I am in it to win it.

I wanted my now (mostly) adult children (one with a child of her own) to know me not just as “Mom,” but as a person who sees her flaws and vulnerabilities and is asking for help. My kids responded with love and acceptance, and more shocking: they each thanked me for sharing all of this.

I was deeply moved. Inspired. Loved.

 

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And I felt a similar sense of hope and support in the responses to my last post. Watching all the comments come in the other day, and all kind words–– so many thoughtful, truly inspiring words, I also saw my stats jump for the first time in months. And the image of those colorful bars reminded me of a heart-rate monitor, blipping out my writing days. My emotional pulse, visually represented by my blog life.

Beep, beep         beep             Beep                    Beep                            Beep!

Flatlining, and then getting a jolt, when I took that step back in to the world of blogging and writing. The bright orange line, there on the right of the graph–– that’s you! And you nudged me forward.

I shared all of this with my kids, and now with many of you, because I’m acknowledging I can’t do it alone… but baby steps require patience all around. I’m owning my shit, and asking for grace. I don’t want pity. And kind reassurances only bounce off, because, well… Teflon™.

I know you all mean well, your words have really touched me these past few days. But for now, I’m really just grateful you’re here. I’ve always said this: I write to be read. I write to reach out. I write to connect. That my words connected with many of you this week, means a lot. It means everything, at a given moment.

My flat-line stats jumped this week, when I wrote something that connected with many of you. And while I’m not good at taking in the love and support you sent my way, I’m grateful for it.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for the support.  For now, just say:

Write on.

Beep        Beep       Beep      Beep

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And now for the marketing part of the show!

GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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I Used To Be A Blogger

Remember me? I used to be a blogger.

I used to post three times a week. Some of you read my work. Some of you read it all the time, and encouraged me to keep writing. Remember when I posted regularly, and you all cheered me on. I do. I remember.

But lately, I’ve been treading water. No sense calling it writer’s block, when depression is the actual culprit. I suppose I saw it coming, from a distance. I started writing less and less–– always a sign that I’m losing my mojo, since writing is one of the surest ways I identify myself. “I’m a writer;” it took a long time to say that comfortably. No sooner did I start to get easy with the phrase, and I fell into a deep hole.

It’s been months of struggling. It’s been two years of processing and trying to figure out some hard things.

It’s been days and days of looking out the window and hoping this will pass.

It’s been visits with family and friends, where I push through and force a smile, and pull out the extrovert others expect–– while my introvert self flinches and cringes.

It’s been some days that were scary and darker than I care to write about… now.

It’s been tough. Really tough.

                          But, I am tougher

I am tougher.

 I’m a writer. I’m a blogger. I will take my baby steps in words and phrases.

I am digging out. I’m writing a post to get back in the saddle. I’m looking at the dozens of drafts and partially written posts (because, well, I’m a writer. I may not have had the motivation or ability to put it out there, or even get out of my chair by the window, some days, but I have occasionally dipped my pen in the well), and I’m figuring out how to ride this horse again.

I’m challenging myself to really move forward. Baby steps, I just told someone dear, who is down further than I am now–– but not so far down that I don’t remember the view. It’s all about baby steps. It’s all about knowing that healing is always possible.

Always. Always. Always.

I don’t say that blithely. I am not out of the hole. The sides are slippery and high, but I know I can get out, baby step by baby step. I know I can keep putting pieces together and move toward a happier place. I believe in healing.

Always.

And while I haven’t been blogging, I have been slowly but steadily editing my novel (yes, again) and submitting chapters to my writing group. Because, I’m still a writer. Those have been important baby steps that my writing women have supported me through. Gratitude in heaps to their loving edits and nudges. Along the path of healing, there are so many people who hand you a lifeline, if you can look through the blue haze and see it. Some days, that little bit of writing has saved me. The sharp edge was scary close for a long while. And I admit: I stepped too close, more than once. But I  grabbed the lifelines.

I used to be a blogger. The stats and comments meant everything. The reassurance from each of you was a dose of sunshine every week. And maybe I have to start all over. A lot of people figured I’m gone for good, and moved on. I miss some faces that used to make me smile. But, I’m back, and I’ll start where I have to.

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I started the steps forward with a new hair cut. I’ve always thought that cutting my hair is a great way to reset my compass. It’s shaved very short all around, with a longer strip down the top/center. A wide mohawk, some might call it. I shaved my head as a reminder of the razor edge I don’t want to stand on anymore. Each time I look in the mirror, my hair reminds me that I’m stronger than the depression, anxiety and issues that yanked me off balance. I’ll step back and take the baby steps, until I’m on steady ground again. Some people don’t like my new look, while others see the determination it represents. For me, it’s a daily message: I look in the mirror and remind myself that I own the edge; the edge doesn’t own me.

So, I’m back. If you’re still here; I’m grateful. You have no idea–– or maybe you do, how much it means to me. If you’re new, welcome! My last post was in honor of my father and was much longer. I posted it exactly three months ago. It’s been a long three months. Check it out, get cozy and stay around. I’ll be posting again soon.

I used to be a blogger, and turns out: I still am. I’m taking baby steps in blogging, and this is step one. I hope you stick around; I could use the support.

Check out the Daily Post and add your own thoughts about Overcome.

Here’s what I’m listening to right now:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPzVZXrSlc

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GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

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Bringing My Father Back: A Father’s Day Love Story

Some of you JUST read this, but I’m sharing it again, for Father’s Day, in honor of my father Robert Melville Quyle. He wasn’t here long enough, but he left a wealth of love.

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

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A very wise therapist told me to write about my father… for Mother’s Day. The fact I’ve thought about it nearly every day for weeks, but have not been able to put words to page, until now… probably means she’s wiser than I already believe. She understood what the challenge would mean, and why I should do it. However, writing it in time for Mother’s Day, while meaningful and symbolic, proved harder than I thought it would be. And, I realized, it would not be the truth.

I have not written much in nearly two years now. I’ve been struck–– paralyzed, by information about my parents, which I’d buried so deep, it came as a total shock when I heard it again. Even though I knew every word was true, as those words landed on my shaken self, it was as if I left my body, and watched from above…

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