A Series On Abuse: a Brother, a Sister, a Song Without End

It seems always that the stories make the meaning for me.  Facts, numbers, logic, statistics  they all matter. They all make sense. I value them. But it’s the story that gets me, hooks me, stays and gives the numbers flavor, effects.


Since I was abused as a child, and since I have always been fiercely protective of others, I had a really hard time lending dignity, grace, or love to persons who abused others (as though those qualities are mine to give). I did what many do, I relegated “abusers” to the “other” category. There were people, and monsters. There were sinners, and those people. And never the twain shall meet. I wasn’t ready to engage the idea that evil could be an attribute inside of a person, rather than the sole attribute they embodied.


Could I see the person inside an abuser? Could I value them?

No. Not as long as they were a they, dog-tagged like soliders known only by rank: ABUSERS.


As tragedy would have it, I got my story-to-change-my-mind when I was in high school.


There was once a boy born to young, drug-addicted parents. His parents had  themselves not been very well parented, and one may perhaps see where these things usually lead. The boy  has an artist’s eye and a sensitive heart, neither of which were nurtured. He had siblings and cousins and friends and family who loved him, but often from a place that was not enough for what a child needs. They boy had no stability and little control. He bounced around caregivers. He made poor decisions. He ran away. He expressed the accessible parts of himself because he was just a child, and what else was he to do? Whether because of his physical health issues,  his family of origin, or the chaos continually going on around him, the beautiful boy  in the broken world   lost his lustre for life,  and followed the pattern set before him.

At 17 years old, the boy did a horrific thing. He hurt someone else. A stranger. A life whose path had no connection with his own was forever altered when the boy used his strength and desire to abuse,  violate, penetrate the will of another.  He was given a prison sentence meant for an adult, but he was 17.

To me, he was still that beautiful boy.   A boy I grew up with. A boy I love. A boy who never stood a fucking chance.

The boy is now a man who has spent nearly half his life in prison. Though we were born in similar situations, in similar places, sharing blood and childhood moments, we have very different lives. But he is still mine, because though blood links may be shunned or ignored, they do not expire. In this case, I would never want them to.

Sometimes I pause and consider: What if I met her? The one whose life was forever changed by his night of selfishness, lust, aggression? Could I look her in the eyes? Could I love her and love the one who caused her such pain? Because him I cannot, and would not ever choose to, abandon.

It is his story that first and constantly reminds me that no amount of beauty in a heart keeps it from being capable of great evil. It is his story that causes my desire to intervene early and often for children in at-risk situations. It is his story that I think of when I encounter stories like hers.

There  was once a  girl with a  attitude like caustic fire.  The younger sister of the beautiful boy, her style of adaptation was every fight he did not have. With little sense and no fear, she stormed through life, as gentleness is  trait reserved for those given far more resources than those afforded to her. Her story is far less familiar, her heart far more upsetting to mine. But when she grew up and found herself held captive by her partner, it was only me close enough to come get her from he police  to whom she was eventually able to flee. It was only me, the heart-distant cousin, with a desire to love but little affection to give, who took her to a SANE exam.   And it was her, in those moments -turned-days-turned-excruciating-weeks of clarity that our “justice” system would give her no heed, it was her that reminded me of the desire to hurt those who hurt the ones I love.

In music, there are these markers called “repeats.” They signify that at the end of a piece of music, the musician is to return to the beginning of section and replay. It looks like this:

But there are all these signifies to tell the musician how, when, and why to repeat. Things that (always in latin) say “do it the first time, but not again” or “do this only at then end” or, in a move that I find very efficient “repeat this part, but at the end, change to this one.” Because without that signifies  the song would be on loop around just this section of music. Like musical pong. Back and forth. Back and forth. Again, again, always again. The musician needs those markers or the song will have no end.

Patterns of abuse, neglect, and violence are like this. They have built-in repeats. Survivors do not just get better. Children do not just learn their own way. Abusers do not turn over new leaves. At least not without the symbols, signs, or interventions to get them off the pattern of repeat.  The song of our lives is a song without end. Our children see, and grow into,  the spaces provided them. The exceptions of those who rise above of their own accord (which, i believe, may always be attributed in part to some intervention) are just that: EXCEPTIONS.

So, I’m thinking about what it means to love abusers. I’m thinking I want this song to end. I want a new song, a better one. I want a endless cannon of new songs sung on voices of delight and innocence and forgiveness. Because, how can I love my cousin, an aggressor, a convict,

and hold only aggression and anger toward the nameless, faceless perpetrators of violence I’ve never met?


I can’t. It’s incongruent. My heart won’t let me anymore.

Maybe they each grew up beautiful l boys and storm-hearted girls with no chance. Maybe loving them, (the specifics of which I hope to write about soon) is the only chance for the next round of boys and girls in the world.


Hyperboles and Superlatives and Love

I don’t have any delusion that decades from now some unknowing interwebber will come upon my words, but should one do such a thing, I know that he/she/ze would likely have a difficult time understanding my meaning. Because we all seem to talk in the lurves and memes and srcsms of #allthethings, don’t we?



So it is that when David does something wonderful, I want to share it. And I think about posting how ERMARGERD, he’s THE best.boyfriend.ever.

Because if it’s not said in hyperbole and superlative and posted on facebook, the howpossiblyCAN it be real? Right?


no. not right.


So I am taking a slight break in the series to talk about something completely different, cause

it’s my blogg-(y)

and I’ll post what I want to

post what i want to

poooooo-oooost what i want to

and you would to

if the blog be-longed to-o you.

(you can read that to the tune of “it’s my party” or you can just take the moment to solidify that I will not make sense to you. whichev. up to you, really).


I want to talk about how David’s love is a sweet, beautiful thing, and not say

“my boyfriend is better than yours,” (even if, as a person who spends a lot of time with people, i objectively think he might be) or

“David’s perfect,” (cause….he’s just not)


But instead to say: I really, more than I knew I could, love David. And he is so good at loving me that it consistently causes me, and other’s who hear/see it to pause, and say, simply, “Wow.”

Yeah. Wow indeed.


My relationship with this man teaches me about and points me to Jesus every day. That’s the neatly-wrapped thing you’re supposed to say when you love someone and you love Jesus, but it’s also true. It’s true that in this particular human being, I have a best friend (womp womp, so cheesy I can’t stand it) who just-so-happens to tell me I’m beautiful, and mean it, every time he talks to me. Not just when he sees me, because as he says, “You’re beauty isn’t about what you look like.”

Through David, I get reminders of how God sees me, delights in me, loves me, pursues me, forgives me, and desires my presence near his. Through dating David, I get to see just how crazy I can be, and start to change some of those mal-adaptive qualities. Through dating David, I get to have a person. MY person. The one I never dared dream exists, even though Brad Self TOLD me.


Which…i hesitate to say sometimes.


Years ago, when I was dating someone else, a trusted friend advised me to keep a tighter lid on blogging about it. “Just, don’t write anything you wouldn’t want his wife reading, someday, if that’s not you.” That man’s wife will NOT be me and I’ve thought about that for years. About things I posted, said, did, about how I gave anyone with access to the internet access to a LOT of our relationship. And how, if I had it to do over again, I think I’d do it differently.


But here’s the thing, if David’s wife someday is NOT me, she’ll know the same thing I know: that he loves from a pure and beautiful heart. From the heart of a servant. As though the man was made with the very purpose of being a lover in the most literal sense. For now, his love is mine to know and cherish and, clearly, exploit for the purpose of amazing pictures.  looky here:


all images are by the amazing and talented Caryn Werner at http://carynnoel.com/wordpress/

IMG_0891 IMG_0912 IMG_0914 IMG_0967 IMG_0990 IMG_1040 IMG_1075


all images from the amazing and talented caryn at http://carynnoel.com/wordpress/



And the greatness of loving and being loved by him is not in comparison to others or based in a feigned or over-stated perfection, it is wrapped up in what we all have but do not always see: the perfection of God’s plan for us.


And boy-howdy, am I grateful that God’s best for me includes this man.


also here’s an amazing version of a catchy song by a very talented couple of musicians. (that’s neither hyperbole nor superlative.) it has NOTHING to do with this post. it’s the antithesis of this post. but i thought it was pretty so, as gamma would say, “der-ya-dough”


A Series on Abuse:To Love “Our” Own Abusers? Only Maybe.

Yesterday one of my “get-me” girls shared a thought that I’d like to start with today. For backstory, this all started with the following that I shared before writing yesterday’s post:

“I’m loving reading all the posts y’all are writing, about the hurt, the redemption, being at the table…

the fire in my bones wants to tell another side of the story. the side i can contribute to right now. But i’m afraid. 

i want to write about how abuse needs to be labeled. normalized. how we need to be able to say “abuse!” when something happens because if you treat cancer like a cold, you don’t get you don’t get the necessary intervention for the malady you have, you treat a symptom that is far from the problem. 

and i want to write about how, in that, we are called to love abusers. 

which holy hell and God almighty, that means a lot of things. 

what i want ot write here is that i am NOT NOT NOT calling anyone to a blind forgetting that others would label as forgiveness. I am NOT diminishing anyone’s story. 

i want to talk about my struggle in this, in fighting  what i want to do, which is take a bat and kick the shit out of abusers and get survivors out of there. I want to talk about how violence breeds violence and i want to fight to stand in the gap. to somehow use Christ’s call as an instrument of change. 

what i’m saying here is: I want your thoughts and reactions. the real ones. and if what i write hurts or stings or offends, i want to know. because it’s all so sickeningly complex. 

so… now i’m going to go try and write about labeling and loving abusers. im sure it will be a series.”

dear triteness, you are sometimes true and good. not now, though.

dear triteness, you are sometimes true and good. not now, though.

to which I got a lot of amazing, encouraging replies. The one that I’m chewing on right now is this:

 “I love your heart. I love your honesty and your gift. Like E said, I trust that The Spirit is working this out in you. And you’re right- it’s a complicated issue. Have you read Wounded Heart? My honest first reaction is I’m glad it’s you and not me being called to this (how is that for honesty). If I’m not mistaken, the biblical definition of abuse is to treat or use someone for a purpose other than their created purpose; aren’t we all then, abusers? I believe we need to find ways to love the very worst offenders. But, I don’t believe it’s a general call on all Christians to love their OWN abusers (not to say God won’t call one of us specifically to do that ). Of course, we now need to define ‘love’ and on and on it goes. I think it doesn’t really matter what I think. Go write.”

So for today’s post, I want to just say that as I chronicle some more musings on this, I am not suggesting that anyone feel or act out of the burden of facing his or her abuser with open arms. Like my friend said, God may call us to do that. But if he calls you to that, he will also equip you for the task.

The specific message I am trying to send in this series is that as people, as groups, as a society, I think “we” would all benefit each other by taking the time and effort to look at people who abuse as just that: PEOPLE. A person who abuses is a person. A human, made in God’s image, with unique traits to bame, I need the time to step away, put down the bat, and remember who my enemy really is,

and who it isn’t.

boundaries are one of the keys to my ability to act out of love for this person

boundaries are one of the keys to my ability to act out of love for this person

To be practical and transparent, I’ll use myself as an example again. In my life, I have found that some of the abuse I survived was committed by persons who I have learned to love well and freely(ish. boundaries are actually the key to my ability to act out of love toward this person). But some of it was different.

When I was 4, 5, and 6, a tiny, innocent little thing not much for sticking up for myself or making a fuss about…anything, really, I spent the summers with my daddy in Tennessee. We were neighbors with my Pawpaw, whose mere memory brings me so much joy that it’s quite difficult to put him in the same sentence with the following the other people living with him: his wife and stepson, the latter who was just 10 years older than me. During this time, I spent a not-unusual portion of my days at and around Pawpaw’s house. Around his stepson. Where he lived. Where he has access to me. Where he would hurt me. The sexual molestation I faced in that time was just the beginning of the pain in my life as a result. The years and years of aftermath, or lack thereof, created a deep and ugly place in me. And God gift of healing has touched it. That place is, by his mercy and through counseling and the love of others, mostly rebuilt into something strong, something beautiful.

But if I ever saw this man, at this point in my life, I would have to fight to keep vomit down. It would take all my strength, and no small amount of the strength of my support system, not to let rage boil in my heart. Because I am finite and weak, in the grand scheme of things. And it is too close a thing to my heart, the deep and treasured parts of me, for me to handle with a necessarily-detached grace.

And there is freedom in that. In knowing my heart is not yet strong enough for a call I have graciously not been given. So if you are here, and you are hurt, please know: that is not what this is about. Maybe you cannot love your abuser, no matter what that means. May you are not ready to receive love for the abuse you committed. Okay. It’s okay. We’ll get there, loves. God is not through with us yet.

More tomorrow on what I do actually mean. :)

A Series on Abuse: Introducing an Abuser

I think this will be a series. I pray my heart has the strength to write the things pounding against my head and heart, demanding to be let out. But as I even consider it, my tears well up, threatening to take me out. These are not freeing tears, they are crippling.

Jesus, I give them to you. The tears and the people. The fight for control and against your people.

I am part of a group of writers who I love and who, by God’s good grace and miracles abounding, get me. When something is wrong, I can tell them. When something is right, they can tell. And there is a certain magic of people whose hearts understand your words and whose words speak to your heart.


Currently, we seem to all be telling the same story. And even with all our voices and all our hearts, we are just scratching at the surface. We are not creating a masterpiece, releasing the angel from his stone imprisonment. Our movements are not so fine, so calculated. We are not even fashioning arrowhead weapons of flint, as our renditions have not the effect being able to take to war. Instead, we are battering ourselves against a boulder, coming away bloody and battered  and making the barest of impressions. We are walking away, knowing that this time, the pain was productive. The mountain we face is changing it’s face. The changes we make on it can make a change in the world. So we continue.

our tiny impressions are important. photo by Christopher Ernest

our tiny impressions are important.
photo by Christopher Ernest


Today I want to talk about abuse. The word, the action, the seemingly impenetrable walls that go up when the issue is broached.


I want to broach it, y’all.


I want to talk about what no one wants to talk about because I think that talking about it is one of the very best ways to prevent the perpetuation.


So to start this conversation, I’m not going to talk about abuse I’ve survived. I’m going to talk about abuse I committed.



what does the face of an abuser look like?

what does the face of an abuser look like?


I’ve thought a lot about this lately. About how to tackle issues much, much bigger than me. About how to tell stories that honor the inherent human dignity of all involved, that allows survivors* to speak and abusers* to walk into the light. My God, my God, I want us all to live in the light.


Wikipedia, which we all know cannot tell a lie, defines abuse as follows

Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.[1]

dicitonary.com’s definition is here 

and there are lots of other resources to read up on. 

Abuse is mis-use. Using something out of it’s intended purpose. And there is a great chasm of ways to misuse a thing, an animal, a person. But have you ever wondered how people get to the far end of that road? It is most often because no one stopped them on the close end. Abuse, of it’s own accord, only grows, multiplies, travels. Without intervention, abuse is a hearty, abundant, freely-moving thing.


And I know, I KNOW, friends, that we don’t our yelling frustration to lumped in with things that make us shiver and shake down to the soul. But I believe, BELIEVE, that when we talk about something, we understand it more. When we understand it more, we can better handle it, better handle life in it’s wake.



I have been an abuser. A person who abused. I have yelled hurtful, awful things. I have physically hurt (or at least attmepted to hurt – my physical smallness/impotence of my efforts to hurt does not diminish the intent) others out of malice, not defense. I have used a person’s emotions against them. I have manipulated words, feelings, and situations to benefit myself at someone else’s expense. Hell, in my twistedness I’ve done it at the expense of us both.


In those times, I WAS ABUSING. I was a person, with inherent human dignity, saved by grace (because certainly these actions occurred both before and after I came to know Jesus and his love for me), acting in a way that ABUSED others. Or myself.


My God, my God, i want us all to live in the light.

My God, my God, i want us all to live in the light.

I say this because in the coming days or weeks (however long it takes to post) I’d like to start a dialogue. One that opens up space for people to talk about abuse in a way that is not scary or shunned. Or even if it is scary, is worth it.  And I want to start by talking about how part of overcoming abuse is knowing that abusers are people too. And that to fight abuse is not always to fight the abuser. And that love does not always look like a blind forgetting that others call forgiving, just so they don’t have to deal with it anymore. And that fighting abuse, and loving an abuser, means loving them enough to introduce interventions that keep them from abusing, from assaulting their own inherent human dignity by committing acts they were never design to commit….


but there I go, getting ahead of myself. C’mon back later. Walk this road with me?


*for the sake of these posts, and the ease of readers/commenters engaging, I’ll be forgoing much person-centered language and using “abusers/surviviors” rather than “persons who abuse/ persons who survive abuse/ persons who have been abused.”

#7in7 day 7 : Personal Ad

Quirky, light-brown, nerdy-girl seeks roommate to share life, meals, and bills in her sweet little duplex in the hood. Applicants must not suck at life although having a lot of human moments is understood and expected. Repentant jackwads welcome. You get your own room, share 1 1/2 bathrooms plus the rest of the cutie-cute duplex which includes:

  • back yard with porch/deck and tireswing
  • COLORSCOLORSCOLORSallthecolors on the walls/whimsical decor
  • washer/dryer and fully furnished (but you gots some stuff? we can make room!)
  • plus what-the-heck ever else you could probably want (seriously, it’s fun here)

And if life in the “hood” isn’t adventurous enough, let’s sweeten the deal with ME! (that one was awkward. even for this girl.) Some perks of living with Maritza Amanda Valle include

  • free counseling just a bedroom door away
  • dance parties. always.
  • not always having to do even your share of the chores

but seriously, folks, in many ways I’m a very good roommate. I keep the place pretty tidy and I’m handy, fixing and hanging and mounting and building things for the ease and comfort of the home. I’m not home much, but when I am I’m good company. My boyfriend is over sometimes but he’s sweet and kind and helpful and funny, too (but not always in a way that he means to be).

i dont know what this is advertising but i'm mostly positive it's not the same thing i am. the google was slim pickins today

i dont know what this is advertising but i’m mostly positive it’s not the same thing i am. the google was slim pickins today


But seriously, seriously. I need a roommate in the next month or else I have to move which is an even worse fate because where on earth am I going to move in the middle of march? (and because i really love living here).



:::Immagoonheadan be honest here: I was going for a certain feel with this post, but I’ve never read a “personal ad.” I don’t think I’d find it remarkably entertaining because my personality is such that I’d think, “Oh, this person wants love and attention,” or “It sounds like this person is really searching,” or “Holy moly someone track this person down because FOR SURE they are having a psychotic break and are a danger to those around them.”

Yeah, I know. buzzkill. I promise I laugh a LOT, just not always at what others do.

but i DID just LOL when one of my little baby chickies (who are near to adolescence and looking every awkward bit of it) just hit her head on the post of a barstool, because my empathy only goes so far. :::

The Wall

When I was little, somewhere under the age of 6, my father co-ran (co-owned?) a bar. I just typed the details of his …”business partner” but they are at once so vast and twisty that I thought: No, now’s not the time. Plus, you might need a diagram. I hear that ain’t no one got time for that (but I only have a vague awareness of what that sound bite might even reference). And this  here post is about a total other thing:

a wall.

THE Wall.


I was thinking about it because about 5 minutes after i walked into church tonight, i “hit a wall” with my energy. Though i got some sleep last night, i definitely haven’t had an actual night’s sleep since Wednesday, and it all caught up with me at once. I thought “how will i ever get a post when I’ve hit the wall?” and voila. Not the post i wanted to talk about, but a bit of rambling and insight into my world.


So, like I said, Daddy worked at this bar. And every summer I would go stay with him. I don’t know for how long and I don’t know how my mother didn’t get ulcers sending me where and with what methods she did, because…mercy…just, I’m going to spare you the “i-have-to-go-snuggle-my-babies” details.



Sometimes my family members read this blog. And sometimes they think I go too far, complain about too much. I mean to do neither. I mean to chronicle, as truthfully AND gracefully as I can, my unique and valid perspective. Because I am my daddy’s only child. And my daddy is not incredibly like his siblings. He’s not incredibly like anyone I’ve ever met. So my life, at least in relation to him, is something I think only I really understand.


Anyway, some things were rough, some things were traumatic.


And then there was the bar. Which was neither.


Because, have I mentioned daddy was/is a biker? there are two things that represent stability in my life where it comes to that man: a guitar and a motorcycle. Rumor has it I was decked in leather and on a bike before my first birthday (yes. really. mom’s never let it go and daddy swears it wasn’t a big deal. Cause there are for sure safe ways to ride your motorcycle with your toddler. NT.). Bikers, if you didn’t know, travel in packs. So I was raised surrounded by them.


And I spent a lot of time in a bar.


And so it was that I developed my love for classic rock and jamz that far pre-date “my time.”


And so it was, that, at age 5, I first danced at a bar to the juke-box blaring my favorite song while daddy worked.

Head bopping,

curls swinging,

arms pumping,

“Heeeeeey, Teach-ewr, weeeave dem kids aahhh-woh-oohne!”



And so it was that I learned: you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding. For how could you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?

#7in7 Day 5: Why Day 4 Didn’t Happen

This week has punched me in the gut.

More has happened than I can even recall, much less chronicle. I’m typing this post on my phone as I sit at a wedding venue, listening to amazing music as we prepare for the ceremony.

But that’s the thing about #7in7. You don’t write ahead if time. You produce in the middle of the madness and you bear you soul, or heart, or mind, or whatever part from which you create. Then you give it away. You let the world have what you made. Without editing, sitting on it, without approval and, for many cases, WITH a lot of reservations. Cause thems the rules, yall.

I don’t want to write just now. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to think. Yesterday’s events, ranging from soul-nourishing peace to heart-pounding excitement, to, finally, the above-mentioned gut-wrenching emotional brutalilty, kept me from my 11th hour posting plans. It simply wasn’t possible to rally a post in all the life there was to live….

I wouldn’t say any if this, my current m.o. being to swallow-till-I’m-sure-i-want-to-say, bit that’s part of the #7in7 policy, also, the saying-what-you-possess rather than that which you desire to give.

Sometimes, I need to be forced into the place where I say it now. No matter how batty. No matter how ugly. I need the truth out in the light to be seen, understood. And sometimes I just need it out so I’m not holding it in any more.

I’m bot sure if this OS either, or both. So ill cast a sideways glance and sardonic smile, blaming the mood on the method of writing  challenges, and wonder more later.


#7in7 Day Three: The Defiant Purple Tree

We were walking to class and I looked up. And there, in front of me, was a tree.


Now, I go to school at a campus covered with trees. But this was not like all the others. * It’s bark was a stark, bright grey, and instead of leaves it was covered in delicate periwinkle blossoms.



“What a defiant purple tree.” I commented, not realizing my classmate might require explanation.
“Pardon?” (he’s British.)
“That pretty purple tree.”
“It, uh… what?”
“All the other trees are green, or brown, or bare. But this tree stands there so big and beautiful and purple, and it’s not asking permission or shirking but just being. It needs no affirmation from anyone.”
“Oh, uhm, yes, of course.” Richard may not have gotten it, but he’s used to my musings, and appreciates me still.


I saw God in that tree. Some people think I’m absurd for considering that God may be in all things, just waiting to be seen. And of course they are correct. For God does not just laze about like cat in a warm spot of sunshine radiating through a window, to be noticed at our will. Rather he is much more involved, surrounding us and calling, calling, calling to our hearts.

“I am here!” He says. “And I love you.”

and we are lovely, then, because He loves us, and calls us to be, no longer needing permission, no longer hiding, no longer afraid to be un-like all the others. And our defiance, then, like that of the purple tree, is only that we defy the lies that bind,


because it is for Freedom that Christ set us free.



*Not that I appreciate the green, brown, or bare trees any less. He is there, too. I think we must love all the trees. Have you ever heard Eve Ensler talk about Loving Your Tree?

#7in7 Day 2

Today is paaaacked day. Which is making today’s post really rushed. Well, what else is new?



At least #7in7  makes me post SOMEthing, rather than the grasshoppers that usually inhabit this place while I’m busy.


wait, no, those are crickets. cicadas? whatever, the noisy things.


Since I only have a little time, I decided to write about something on which I have loooooots of little thoughts:


(Although no, i will not be explaining the nickname today. sorry folks. it’s not a juicy story, no need to feel concerned.)


David and I have been dating since July. I know I post pictures of him/us everywhere, but I try not to talk much in specifics about our relationship. That’s partly because I’m still smacking my head over posts I’ve written concerning past romances, partly because I hold him really close to my heart, and am not overly indulgent when it comes to people inserting their opinions into my life in this area. (It happened like twice when we first started dating and I hold grudges  because I’m a sinner. Get over it. That’s a holy tactic, right? OH YEAH HAPPY LENT!)


So what to say about le novio de homes?


He’s amazing.


Before we started dating, I didn’t even like him as a person. I didn’t dislike him, but i was thoroughly unimpressed. Bad intel, gets you every time. Did the Bush administration teach me nothing? Don’t answer that. Or think to much about it. I’m being funny, not political. Hopping right along….


I called him a chump. Then The Chump. Literally didn’t even refer to him by his name because there are too many David’s and if one of them is chumpy it’s easier to start assigning monikers sans second guessing your informants. Note: I said easier, not right. 

Then one day he came over for a massage. Now, slow your roll, it’s not like it sounds. (Also, what does “slow your roll” mean? Am I using it correctly? Am I saying something awful like that one time I said I was down with OPP and Tryphena, a girl in high school, had to VEHEMENTLY inform me that no, i was not?) I was in massage school and needed to get my homework done. Since there was a total of one man in my 18 person class, I also needed more experience massaging males before I had to handle the public (cause…awkward, y’all!).  Even though I thought he was a chump, I knew he was safe and had free time, so I asked if he could help me finish my homework. I was pretty surprised when he said yes, he’d be over soon, and he’d join me going swimming after. (I think he took this to mean i was interested. I was just being pretty par-for-the-course me and that’s a friendly gal. Even to chumps.) While Iwas massaging him I felt this strange affection I’d never experienced, and couldn’t place, and thought “Mercy, it’s so good I can practice on people I know. I’ve got to get it under control if I start just caring about all my male clients like this.” It wasn’t attraction, it was pure and beautiful and sweet, but still, I didn’t know the chump, so I didn’t understand what was going on. As it turns out, he’s the only one that’s ever happened with, and it’s because I was feeling the affection HE was feeling for me. Good ole empathy. Confusing girls the world over.


But then things got even stranger, because after his massage, David did the oddest thing: he looked me in the eyes.


Really looked at me. And let me see him. And in the 7 months I’d known him, I’d never not ever seen him really look a person in the eyes (turns out he was going through his own stuff).


And in that instant I knew I’d been horribly, terribly, no-good-very-bad wrong about this man. He was not a chump. I could see he was kind, and thoughtful, and even fun. And I thought, “Oh…well…Now I kinda want to know this giant creature in front of me.”


And then at the pool, he let me know him. He answered my questions (he’d always been a deflector before. Like I said, his own stuff going on.) and kept looking me in the eyes and text-ed funny, non-committal, just-so-happen-to-be-having a conversation things to me all that evening and the next day (as we’d not exactly finished the q&a’s of the previous). I don’t have conversations like that with anyone, much less guys I’m not dating (justcause i’m busy, yo. and cause i like boundaries. i’ve accidentally-dated TOO MANY DUDES. and maybe a female friend once.) but since I didn’t know him, I figured I wouldn’t being it up and the convo would fizzle out naturally.



Until the third day, when he was talking about monopoly, and I thought: Okay. now he’s clearly just talking to talk. And one of the only things I did know for sure about him was that he was intentional. So…he’s definitely thinking about the fact that he’s talking to me this much. Completely without consulting anyone, I bite the bullet and the conversation went like this:

d: its like monopoly.

me: i don’t play monopoly.

d: well yeah, me either.

me: (waht?) yeah. so. when are we going to see eachother again? (this was when i was like, poop or get off the pot)




exactly. Nothing. nothing for three hours. i really thought id set him up for success with that one. Want to be just friends, say “i’ll let you know the next time there’s a group thing” (he’d already invited me out the day-after-massage to play a game with friends). Want to date, or something down that road? Here’s an easy in. but no. i got radio silence. Until i was downtown that night.

d: that depends on if you only plan on seeing me when there is a full moon.

me: i don’t know what that means. are you a werewolf?

d: last week was a full moon.

me: oh. well. I was having fun chatting with you which i don’t normally do, and i thought you were having fun to and figured we’d end up spending more time together. I was expediting the process but it’s okay if that’s not what’s going on. (sista is forthright. bushes need hacking down, not beating around. #notanintentionalreferencetoanythingbutaplant, folks.)

d: oh. no. i’d like that.



He came and picked me up from downtown, we fell in love that night while dancing on a light installation, and have been together ever since.


So that’s my #7in7 part 2 about how 7 months after I met a man, i fell in love with him, on the 7th of July. Told 7 months and almost 7 days later. (that’s what tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, will be. Dawwwww).

Someone(thing) keeps stealing my dang words.

IT occurs to  me what a different statement that would be if  someone (thing) were  steeling them. hmm.

I have thoughts and develop them and want to write them out. There are a lot of very good things keeping me from being able to do thats .


Busyness is not stranger to me. Work and school are like home, both because I spend a lot of time there and because I feel comfortable, good, secure in those settings. But in the path I’ve been down lately, there hasn’t been a lot of time for ruminating on individual thoughts. For putting them down and crossing them out and highlighting and regurgitating and chewing on again, which maybe sounds gross but is also how a lot of creatures best process the things they take in. I am a human but sometimes I am like a cow in many ways. We all are. (yes. sometimes you are like a cow. it’s complex and complimentary and confusing and appalling and no synnonym for appalling starts with “c”. sorry.)

i wanted this cow to mean something...but all i can think of is tacos de lengua. mmmmm.

i wanted this cow to mean something…but all i can think of is tacos de lengua. mmmmm.

In my busyness of life right now, there are moments and miles and memory-making, but little of the wondering and pondering I quite love.

So it is that my words are not here. I don’t know where they are. I know I’ve had them, things to say and share and leave for you eyes to travel over, for your hearts to respond to. I’ve had words but not put them on paper or interweb or even said them to another human so that my iron edges may be sharpened. I am becoming dull.

Fabs  is a person with thoughts and feelings. I wanted to introduce her like “Fabs is amazing.” or “Fabs is the bee’s kness.” and I think both of those things are probably true (you know how i am with idioms) but they aren’t helpful in letting you why I’m participating in something she suggested. Fabs is a friend of mine. Depending on how you define friend. Sometimes I question if statuses change and do life stages in friendship, or if like family, your cousin stays your cousin no matter how long it’s been. (Trust me. I have cousins. There is no statue of limitations on this.)  So,  this person, named Fabs, has a blog. On said blog, she posted an opportunity for success. (That’s what i like to call these things. Reframe, ppl.)

Since she writes about  thoughts, feelings, her thoughts about her feelings, etc,  this all makes some semblance of sense in my head.

But not completely. Because, the one(thing) has been an unrepentant little thief. And with my words gone, I have little for this particular medium. I haven’t been taking many pictures, either. (it’s been maybe a month since I took a picture with David. #whereismymind)

In the absence of words, there is still ache. Ache that knows that these times are good while the days are still evil. Ache to run and jump and play, though i really need some sleep. Ache that accepts and welcomes my current life stage, and wonders what else to hope for.

Ache that wants to sit and talk about my First Love. Like last night, when I stayed up two extra hours, talking with good friends. Friends with whom you let your shield down, and then, disagree over what a shield is ;). Ache that reminds me that even when I have no words,

i am still alive.