2142, 306, 70, 5 (hut, hut, HIKE)


My teeny tiny sweet little puffin bear turned 12 y’all.

Stats:  5’8″ and 1/2 (growing every single day), 145 lbs, braces on the upper teeth (green), shaggy light brown COVID19 hair, sparkly light brown golden eyes, and super adorbs handsome

He is healthy.  He is safe.  He is a good person.  We are both blessed (and freaking lucky!).

This upcoming week is going to be another tough one in building resilience for my little man-boy.

We are expected at SonHerisme’s therapist’s office on Thursday afternoon for him to accept a phone call from MrexH.  (backstory link)

This has been looming for some time.  At this point, SonHerisme just wants it over.  I am in agreement.

5 years, 10 months, 1 week, 5 days


70 months, 1 week, 5 days


306 weeks


2142 days

… have passed since SonHerisme and MrexH have had direct contact, other than a few birthday cards.

I try to absolve myself of any responsibility for the lack of contact.  While it is true that I advocated for what I thought was best for SonHerisme’s safety and well-being, ultimately I have followed every advice and guidance from lawyers, the court and therapists, regardless of my own instincts (self preservation, y’all).  It is difficult for me to parse out truth sometimes (thanks abuse and ptsd), so I do heavily rely upon trusted experts to figure out what I should be doing.  I am slow even with clear instructions, but I get there eventually (insert anxiety, insomnia, crying, vomiting, paralyzing disassociation) (also, don’t be jealous).

Then guilt sets in.

Maybe I didn’t do enough.

Maybe I did too much.

Maybe I should have more forgiveness and grace in my heart.

Maybe I am the ill one.  Maybe I am a narcissist.

Maybe I misread situations.

Maybe, maybe, maybe

Then I have to cycle myself through the copious paperwork outlining the actual events which lead to the separation and my fierce protection of SonHerisme.

This process is a painful redundant meticulous fact recall to fill my conscious brain with reality instead of my perfected projection spin.  (note:  I also anthropomorphize everything, so this is alas, a known super ingrained powerful pattern of mine. Imagination and creativity = YAY! Except when it isn’t).  This is in addition to current facts which include that MrexH’s entire family shut SonHerisme out of their lives as well when he was 6 years old.  They have the same amount of hours in their day to reach out, and they all choose not to.

Thus runs my cycle (again, don’t be jealous).

Maybe this cycling stops at some point and I will be free.  There is not any evidence of that just yet.  Although I suspect the cycle runs through a bit quicker now that I have been doing this as a practice for years plus months plus days plus hours plus minutes plus seconds, now.

This will be a hard week.  SonHerimse has been asking when he can say, “no,” for himself about contact with MrexH because it is all a painful wound reopening every time we visit the topic.

Please send some peace to SonHerisme.  Please send bubbles of protection and courage for his sweet sensitive heart.

Thanks y’all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps.  I’ve sent MrexH 235 court ordered weekly progress reports on SonHerisme to date



F’ing Wineberries


7 years ago today, Facebook (who cares so very much about me natch), allowed me to post this picture of wineberries growing wild (albeit invasive, apt) on the rocky hillside of the land which I currently occupy.

7 years ago today, the day after celebrating sweet puffin bear SonHerisme’s 5th birthday, I struggled to make sense of and piece together my quickly unraveling life having no idea how truly awful, terrifying and excruciating things were about to become.  None of the puzzle pieces would fit – it was as if I was desperately carefully jamming together paper, wood, plastic, cardboard and invisible cut pieces from multiple puzzle kits with zero instructions, support or guidance.

I planned SonHerisme’s party to be at a large local park with fields and play equipment aplenty.  Potluck so that everyone could be invited and gather together on a hot summer afternoon to socialize while children could happily run free and wild, full of birthday party sugar.  MrexH (then still MrH) was alarmingly overtly not interested in the birthday party (he left about halfway through) and actively aggressively angry about  discussion or preparation of the birthday party, taking his anger out in frightening tantrum outbursts primarily directed at SonHerisme.  It was heartbreaking madness.

MrexH justified his behavior because I was not a good mother, I was not a good wife, I was a bad friend, I served rice and potatoes at the same meal which was not hot enough to justify being a proper meal (throwing the full plate tantrum on more than one occasion), I wasn’t controlling SonHerisme well enough, I was overly controlling of SonHerisme, I bought too much fruit, I didn’t buy enough fruit, I didn’t empty the trash often enough, I emptied the trash too often and was wasting trash bags, SonHerisme didn’t eat quickly enough at meals, SonHerisme ate too quickly at meals, SonHerisme cried too often, SonHerisme needed too much of my attention, I woke up too late, I got up too early and awakened MrexH up, I read to SonHerisme too much, I needed to do more academic work with SonHerisme, I didn’t exercise enough, my taking time to exercise was selfish (while he hired a personal trainer and went for weekly massages), I didn’t make my hair attractive, I spent too much money on haircuts, I didn’t buy attractive enough clothes, my clothes were too revealing and on and on and on, day after day after day.

This pattern increased in frequency.  It did not matter what I did to change myself or help SonHerisme, MrexH found something multiple times each day to justify his anger towards us.  He threatened to leave us, to take away my access to finances, to move us to another state where we wouldn’t constantly be trying to leave the house to spend time with friends and family.  These are usual abusive patterns which I did not recognize, even though I knew that something did not feel right (then the murder threats – well, you know the story).

Also for sure in our physical relationship, things were not right at all – but, that’s for another discussion.  Or not.  It’s a difficult and uncomfortable topic for sure.  I understand what marital rape is now, and I did not know before.  Enough said.


You think you are clever and on top of things, until the universe pops in with a great big HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING – then the universe might show you how much you are not paying attention, until you do.


So, thank you Facebook algorithm, for reminding me how the universe can work.


It occurs to me that we are all getting a HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING from the universe at the moment.  Not dissimilar from my own personal experience (this is true, the opposite is true, the other thing is really true, but that is really really true, you’re the one with the problem, no you are, I know you are but what am I, I’m in charge, it’s their/your fault, etc).

This is why those of us who have experienced and survived abusive relationships are super sensitive at the moment, recognizing once again the familiar patterns of bullshittery shitstorm shit being flung about.

We are desperate to communicate to you how much we all need to be paying attention.  Even in isolation while thousands are dying, many of us are still not listening.  Instead we passively disassociate trying to mentally jam mismatched mixed media puzzle pieces until we can cobble together some skewed version of how all of this will make sense as reflected by the memory of our comfort alleged safety zone of January 2020.  All the while, in real life, being fucked over, again but worse.


We need help.  Vetted professional help.  STAT ASAP and all of that.


Why aren’t we listening to the helpers?


The teachers, principals, school staff who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy education for our children.


The nurses, doctors, mental health, healthcare workers who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy people.


The scientists, virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy community behaviors.


THEN, after we hear from these learned experienced folks, who already have massive amounts of experiential real life and professionally validated data from years of collecting it – THEN turn to the economists, big business, multibajillionaires to fund what the experts tell us need to be done to keep us healthy and functional as family, neighborhood, community, county, state, country, global citizens.


In the meantime, we are playing a dangerous game of roulette with human lives which cannot ever be replaced. Through the virus, through racism, through bigotry, through discrimination, through misogyny, through accessibility, through general basic inhumane behaviors we are emboldening the dangerous mindset pushing roulette to egregious heights of engagement.


We can no longer afford to pretend otherwise.


We could never afford it.


We were pretending we could because the largest block of voting and economic power in this country has remained stagnantly in charge for at least 55 years, and told us that pretending we could afford it was the only way to gain and maintain a position of privilege and power, which is the ultimate measure of our morality and justification for our behaviors (no matter how inhumane).


I suggest they were and are wrong.

I suggest we can do better.

We must pay attention and act in decisive, humane, trickle-up ways, or we will continue to be unwillingly painfully fucked.


The good news is that every single community in our country, in the world, has helpers!  Look for the helpers.  Once you find them, listen to and support them so that they can listen to and support us as well.

It took me some time to recognize I needed help – I almost got us killed – and then to listen to the help (feeling the actual present threat of death helps to open your listening ears, but I do not recommend it).  Somehow I listened to the helpers.  I believe that you can do it too.


Go Humans!

Courage Humans!

I believe in you!!!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarriors #carryonpeacewarriors #ilikeyou



I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo

Levity (w/a side of soaking, please)

You may listen here:


It is too much y’all.

COVID19, Dam Breaks, Hurricanes, Cyclones…  Also, FatherHerisme’s kidney function is a stitch away from dialysis, SisterHerisme is going in for non-cancerous (as far as we know today) colon surgery, MotherHerisme’s wounds are not healing and she will need surgery and hospitalization in the next month, SonHerisme has a jump-out-of-his-second-story-window-and-onto-a-tree-branch and other daredevil plans brewing.  Past traumas resurfacing.


I wish I could wash it all away for all of us in a lovely outdoor shower space (with spa bench, natch) in my woods.  Alas, it is only 55F today.  Even if my outdoor shower dream were real, it wouldn’t be happening today anyway.  A friend has been encouraging me to get a home sauna – which I would very much like to do. The potential financial fallout from COVID19 has me quite hesitant, however.  So, a shower in my own plain builder grade shower might help (?).  Please don’t suggest a bath.  I know my ridiculously gargantuan tub appears lovely and inviting, and it was tons of fun to sit in and splash about with my tiny baby boy and my tiny baby nieces – but, germinating in a tepid pool of my own filth to relax?  I don’t understand that at all. Hard pass, and also, no.

Note:  I am grateful to even have a shower and hot water considering what many of us are experiencing atm around our tender world.

Thinking about washing, soaking things off for healing, reminded me of a sort-of recent experience I had at my local co-op.  My community, my tribe, is comprised of many bougie crunchy adjacent (some full on crunchy) mommas.  Not GOOP bougie, more like advanced degree educated, world traveling, new wave community collective supportive bougie.  We sew our own masks, but also already had N95’s in our garages…  we shop at the co-op, but also order recurring grocery items from Amazon.

Anywho…  for a while some of us were gathering about once each month at a coffee shop (locally owned and roasts their own bean blends – see what I mean?  Bougie but still grounded) to talk out and support each other with work/home/kids/relationships.

At one of our gatherings, our facilitator mommy shared her affinity for drinking celery juice in the mornings (again bougie, I KNOW IT).  I too drink celery juice in the morning, but I have not been able to convince myself to use any special, or especially expensive, appliance (this might be a pattern – see internal struggle over sauna purchase).  At the time, I was blending my celery stalks with about 4 ounces of water in a regular old blender.  Then I would strain it through an old tight mesh utensil someone gifted to me years ago, which I believe is originally intended to remove items from a wok when frying.

As we were swapping stories of best celery juice practice, facilitator mommy suggested I try using a nut milk bag.  In case you are unfamiliar, a nut milk bag is a reusable cotton bag used to filter out almond/hazelnut/soy bits from soaked/cooked nuts in order to extract a milky substance to use as a cow milk substitute for consumption. Crunchy – right? Some of us wear full on make-up, hairspray, and actual tucked-in belted knee boot outfits, so-crunchy adjacent.  But we drink celery juice that we are blending at home.  Gah!  Whatevs – we are the mommy people doing the things.

That mommy person sent this mommy person to our co-op to get a nut milk bag to alleviate my messy celery juice burden.

Because I am highly suggestible to personal indulgences falling under the $10 mark, I did indeed go to the co-op to purchase a nut milk bag for straining my celery juice.

You guys…  I went and asked the co-op worker man where he keeps the nut sacks.

Because my brain does not work, and my mouth does not either, I guess.

He did not respond, as you can imagine.  It did not immediately click-in to my brain that I had misplaced my words, so I REPEATED MYSELF.

It was then that I had the terrible awful watching-the-train-wreck moment of realization as the final “nut sack” escaped my mouth, and I scrambled like a babbling idiot for correction as if I am a non-native English speaker making an innocent mistake because clearly English is not my first language or I would have never ever ever said “nut sack” even though you know me because I am in this store multiple times (pre-COVID19) every week for at least a decade interacting with you all and WTF is wrong with me – Could you please show me where you keep your reusable bags for making nut milk.

That happened.

Apparently I am an 11-year-old-boy because I still giggle about this.

The first one to suggest that I now use the famous disguise of jean pants and a toothpick in my mouth when I shop, will indeed be my bestie for the day. (WWDITS is the best worst show ever and perfect escapism, better than any soak – most any soak – so go there now. Season2 Episode6 Jackie Daytona rules)

Of course we are all wearing masks so for the time being I am granted a temporary reprieve from crippling embarrassment at the co-op.

For now.

Funny things still happen in grave times.  I hope you find a giggle or two in your day.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Once Upon A Time

Listen Here:

(to the boy/man I never knew/will never know)


Once upon a time you were the magical silent whisper of a universal dream.

Once upon a time you were found in a moment of intense released wishes.

Once upon a time you embodied a story of blissful optimism and hope for the future.

Once upon a time you blamelessly symbolized a fear for which you were entirely unequivocally innocent.

Once upon a time those fears swirled into a nasty germinating unforgiving bitter cocktail of deceit.

Once upon a time you were forced into a tight web of rejection woven beyond your control and without your participation or agreement.

Once upon a time you remained strong, pure and good despite these intolerable unacceptable trials.

Once upon a time you courageously reached out from that thick painful heavy web which bound you, to lightly recognize and touch my soul.

Once upon a time I was ignorant and guarded in my reception of your bravery.

Once upon a time I was subsequently remorseful and repentant.

Once upon a time I was very much too late in recognizing my unintended painful strike.

Once upon a time you disappeared, regaining your strength, courage and control, into the secret woven web of your beautiful life to heal your heart and soul with your own happily ever after’s.

Once upon a time you never ever again felt any need to reach through the original unbearably painful web built of someone else’s shockingly misplaced unpalatable fear.


Far too little and much much too late, I deeply apologize for the part I played in your pain.  I wish you a million zillion happily every afters from my soul to yours.

Life unfolds in strange and mysterious ways.  Please keep yourselves safe and healthy – remind those you love that you do love them them.


Love, Ms Herisme xoxo



(including me)

Listen Here: 

Things that go awry, misbehaviors, quick tempers (what? me? NEVER *weirdo sugar sweet smile*), wild long hair snagged on bra clasps, mud stomped into carpets, puppy and giant boy prints on the glass door every.single.g-damned.day (breathe, breathe, breathe), my mother’s perpetually multiplying piles of mess, cleaning up dishes a zillion times each day, somehow miscalculating the entry to my mouth and ending up hot tea burn staining my comfy long shirt & thighs (pantsless of course bc blip reasons)…  these are a few of our blip-orite things.

Anything not meeting our standard of “liking it,” is summarily dismissed as being a “blip” thing during this COVID19 situation.  Like Happy’s blip beard.  You know, Iron Man’s bestie and number 2 work wife?  Yeah, we Marveled up all over the place these past months. Don’t judge me.  Blip you.  Blip off.

(no clean segue)

Part of my serpentine path keeps pulling me towards things I do not like about myself.  Much of which I wish I could blip away or blame on a blip instead of facing it and letting it go.  At the onset of our physical distancing here, another woman was brutally murdered by her husband. Thankfully her son was spared. She was not someone I knew well other than seeing her through the community of mommies and she lived nearby.

This hit me hard, as it did many of you, especially those of you, my sweet supportive irl friends, who knew this family personally. I am trying not to succumb to the bizarre seductive comfort of depression or addiction to suffering.  I hope that isn’t what this is.  I hope it’s recognition and processing.  I have no idea honestly.  It is next to impossible for me to distinguish between my imagination/disassociation and leaning in to move forward. And so I write…

Domestic Violence is terrifying.  Truly.  For many of us, we do not even know we are in a bad situation until it is too late.  We see ourselves as strong loving women (or men) who are resilient and up to the task of loving a man (or woman) who is troubled and merely needing proper support or care.  We are pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps to rise to the challenge of this work to help them, because we are unparalleled problem solvers and are convinced that we are motivated by our deep love for them.  Our identity and worthiness is completely tied into this narrative because we are smart/clever and we would know if we were in over our heads – right?  We typically do not know.  We cannot  begin to comprehend the danger we are in even when it is pointed out to us directly from a place of healthy love or plain solid facts.

I spent the first few weeks of COVID19 physical distancing with my throat so tight I could only force my voice out in whispers.  My sweet SonHerisme was left to ferally rewild for the most part as I could only handle the very bare basics of interaction and chores (thank you woods surrounding us for keeping him occupied, curious and safe).  There were many blip behaviors during this time.  I had to work my way back out of the muck the only way provided to me – through my child’s crisis and need for me.  He is a miracle.  I am on better footing today. #carryonsingleparentwarriors

Since the initial writing of “When you run my 5K,” I have wanted to speak it out loud.  I gifted myself a microphone in either 2017 or 2018 to do this (my memory is spotty about many things, including microphone purchases – see ptsd brain).  I finally opened the microphone this past week and recorded my story.  I was also prompted by Glennon Doyle’s call for sharing stories through her new book Untamed.  Full disclosure: I have not finished her book.  While I am able to read nonfiction (NOT fiction, for reasons), her words are so raw and powerful regarding her journey, I can only digest her stories in small increments.  She, like some of you, is a very live-out-loud person. My sensitive brain only allows that in small doses (live-out-louders who know me irl, you know who you are and you know that I love you).  I am not a g-damned cheetah (see Untamed).  I am something else wild, but not that. Also, my heart broke for that cheetah, the cheetah’s they brought to the outdoor symphony concert by the river one year, and all caged/performance animals not in their natural habitat.

Note:  please do not ask me to go to the zoo with you or to take your sweet small people to the zoo.  I will do it because your kid(s) is (are) adorable, you asked me to (you too have an adorable face), and I do not want sad faces on any babies. But, I will be miserable and will subsequently physically and mentally grieve for those animals for days.  I blame this partly on my anthropomorphic projection tendencies combined with brain sensitivity and vivid imagination plus developing boundaries.  Fair warning: paybacks will manifest in the form of limitless ice cream plus your sweet small person’s choice of tacky souvenir. You’re welcome.  Yes, I have taken my child to the zoo because he too is super adorable and asks to go.  Yes, it is ALWAYS painful.  Also, yes, he has a future therapy fund.  Again, you’re welcome.

Now comes the prompt (if you are so inclined) for you to revisit, or visit, my initial post for this blog through this link.  Please be patient with my voice.  My throat tightened up the more I read.  It continues to be difficult for me to confront that reality.  Necessary to face the truth of course, but nonetheless difficult.

I missed so much during this heightened terrifying time, it feels like I blipped to another universe outside of general living while surrounding life kept going.  I have finally caught up on Marvel movies, yet I have missed so many other important things and I am sorry if you are a part of what I missed.  I am trying to reconnect personally and with general life.

There was another domestic violence murder on the other side of town about a week after physical distancing began.  A smattering of other local domestic violence incidents have also been steadily reported.  A dear friend of mine is gearing up for a nasty court battle, once the courts are reopened, due to domestic violence with child protective services involved.  There are many, too many, more that we will not hear about until it is too late or at all while the violence continues.  Domestic violence is rarely a blip.  It usually comes in waves and cycles through repeatedly until the victims are able to accept and receive intense help and support, or death.

If you are called to do so, please consider donating your time to your local domestic violence shelter.  They usually have a list of needed donation items or finances for legal services etc.

Please check on your neighbors.

Please keep yourself safe and healthy – you are needed here.

As always, thank you for giving a piece of your time to my musings. You are beyond bliptastic 🙂

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo


The Tree Outside my Window

Listen Instead: 

I do not know who planted that tree just outside my window.

It is not a native tree, so some human person had to specifically decide to plant that particular tree in that particular place.  Bred in captivity and forced into the rocky hillside soil of my front yard.  Sweet tree with a sadness she cannot ever quite place, I suppose.

I have been told that this tree species is not hardy, yet here she remains standing after the 13 ½ years I have been in this house looking outside of this window, while plenty of other trees have not withstood the trials of those same years.  Ice, snow, wind, tornadoes, hurricane winds, little girls, little boys, bears, deer etc.  She is still trying to be herself and continues to grow.

There have been two occasions when I thought she was lost to us.  After hurricane winds came through one year, she lost a few branches, one of which was an offshoot twin trunk at her base.  When neighbors came to help with yard clean up (many other trees were completely felled and needed chainsaws for removal), they offered to remove her as well.

She was in bad shape, they said.  She was going to rot from the inside out and fall over anyway, they said.  She was not even a native tree and was misplaced in the yard, they said.

Without hesitation I declined their offer feeling sure that she would be okay and should be given the chance to prove them wrong.  Or maybe it was my own vanity at wanting to prove their chainsaw wielding asses wrong. Some might say I occasionally present with unpredictable stubbornness – allegedly.

I liked her and I did not appreciate the way they were so cavalier about cutting her down when she obviously still had life left in her.  If she rotted and fell, then so be it, but I wanted her to have a chance.

Fast forward a few years later, add a significantly terrible ice storm followed by hurricane force winds, and my lady tree was truly devastated.  All of her thick sturdy long limbs below about 20 feet of her height, had been forcibly ripped from her trunk, leaving nasty splintered painful gashes all around her.  Other trees in my yard were completely felled by the storm and lost.

There was too much damage to rely on the generosity of neighbors this time, driveways were blocked, the public road was blocked.  Thankfully the county came and removed the giant 30 foot pines that fell onto the road (I am on an essential emergency route – phew).  Professionals had to come in and handle the other significant tree damage in my yard on my little hill in the woods. When I recovered from the heart attack inducing cost estimate, resigning myself to that expensive reality, I saw my damaged sorrowful non-native lady was included.

I agreed to all of the work the professionals proposed – including complete removal of my lady.  She had retained a smattering of her original beautiful old limbs at the tippiest top of her.  The rest of her looked like a slightly oddly bent-curved bare telephone pole.  After signing the contract, I went back inside the house to take one final look out of the window at my lady.  The top of her held so much promise – she really was reaching and stretching for her bit of sky and sunshine.  I lost my resolve and immediately went back outside to tell the contractors to please not remove her.  Please leave her there.  Just clean up her broken limbs and leave her bare trunk with the shaggy top.  I felt that there was some life remaining in her.

If she truly was not hardy, as they were telling me, then her top heavy trunk would fall in its own anyway and I could have her naturally felled remains cut to manageable pieces and pulled into the woods then.  But, not today when she still had some life.  For a few years she looked very odd with no lower branches plus a shock of green on top.  But this year, as I look out my window, I see so many swirling baby twiglet branches finally coming out of her trunk.  She is more than alive, she is resilient and thriving!

Even through this unusual mild winter, my old grand lady willow was unable to stay alive due to another wicked ice storm, yet this non native broken stripped bare tree is still standing and providing a home for birds, flowers for bees, and a bit of shade for the moss and worms.  I like her and I am glad that she is a lovely brilliant fighter.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Serpentine (not a pivot)

Well, y’all, I tried.

I am trying still.

But, however, anywho, etc

I do believe that this COVID19 physical distancing has me serpentining, not pivoting.

This is a s-l-o-w motion re-examination of everything for all of us – unless you are a frontline worker, in which case we seriously owe you all this time for you as well.  I feel that I owe it to you to take my serpentine work seriously while you are doing the difficult work of keeping us alive.  You are working so very hard and I am cheering you from my privileged sequestering selfdom.  I need to do more.  Not more.  I need to do better work.

As a full time single parent to a sweet 11 SonHerisme and caretaker for my live-in ill mother, I do have full days, and sometimes nights.  SonHerisme does need school support (he would like more than I currently offer).  MotherHerisme needs some physical support along with bandage changes and medication monitoring (she no longer does any self care outside of toileting and showering, and occasionally needs support there as well).

My divorce was final in April 2016 and by December 2016 my mother was unwell and decided to stay with me to get treatment.  MotherHerisme is very intense with her emotional and physical needs = my ability to unpack, process and move forward from my terrifying divorce ordeal, never had a chance to fully happen.  I am typically super disassociated anyway, making it very likely that I might not have processed regardless. Whatever.  Who knows?

Being at home now and forced to face my own self, this unpacking might be what is happening now.  I am not sure.  Continuing my therapy with my somatic therapist online was offered to me, but I just have not felt sure or comfortable with pursuing that for some reason which has yet to reveal itself to me.  It seems as if it might have something to do with fear – fear of what? I do not know.

Based on the suggestion from a dear Inveterate Optimist friend, I have revisited unpacking myself through re-examination of my immediate environment.  Purging some things.  Packing away other things.  Gifting away more things (ciao Collin Robinson-esque Fiction!).  This is happening in between the caregiving, cooking, cleaning, keeping-the-people-in-this-house-aliving, as well as making masks for a local nonprofit who then redistributes them to local agencies in need (hospital, police, Dr offices etc), and also making masks for friends and their sweet families.

I am not pivoting.

I am serpentining through the things that need acknowledged and around the things that I no longer need to acknowledge or carry.

I am trying.

This is hard.

This is a hard time for all of us.

I wish I could have done this a long time ago.  Being alone is hard. Lonely is one very difficult thing to experience.  Being alone is another heavy layer.

What I am trying to say is that work of fiction is not going to happen.  I’ll write something, but not that thing.  I am unpacking it, keeping the important bits, purging the remainder.  Please accept my apologies if you were interested in hearing that tale.  I can send a synopsis to you if you’d like, and then perhaps you could write that story.

I am aware that there is another story that I have to tell.

It is difficult.

I’ll get there (*fingers and pinky toes crossed*).

What are you doing over there?  Keep healthy and safe!


Love, Ms Herisme xoxo


O.N. – intro (fiction)


The first installment. I had the title Observing Normal, which seems odd now considering our COVID19 not normal.  Leaving it as is for the moment.  The story follows a man at the center of celebrity and obsession, dropping out of his life and creating his own obsessively observed narrative about what he believes is normal only to find himself blindsided, caught up in a far from normal world of assassination.  A few of you may have read some iteration of this a few years ago.  Also heartfelt apologies if it is crap, or still crap. Here it is:

Observing Normal – Intro

“Don’t try to comprehend with your mind.  Your minds are very limited.  Use your intuition.”  Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


If she thought about it, which she absolutely does when needed, she imagines with an ever-present burdened relief, that each of her days appears about the same.  Her hair style, clothing, skin coloring, weight, might differ day-to-day and season-to-season, but most of the movements and patterns repeat themselves almost identically every day.


5:30 a.m. wake up, glance at phone, go to the bathroom

5:35 a.m. turn electric kettle on, place favorite mug (solid sturdy white, old timey diner small) next to kettle, drink full glass of water

5:37 a.m. take off pj’s, put bra on from previous day, yoga pants, clean t-shirt and socks, walking shoes

5:40 a.m. walk the dog

6:15 a.m. return home, fill dog’s dish and water

6:17 a.m. turn stovetop on, add coconut oil to pan, grab eggs, bread, salsa, half and half and cold brew concentrate from refrigerator

6:18 a.m. cut hole in center of bread, place bread into pan, crack 1 egg onto bread (yolk intact), drink full glass of water

6:20 a.m. flip eggy toast, turn stovetop off, pour 1.5 oz of concentrate and dollop of half and half into coffee mug

6:22 a.m. slide eggy toast onto plate, stir coffee with fork, lick fork, use fork to add salsa to eggy toast, return unused items to refrigerator

6:24 a.m. place plate with eggy toast and fork on top of refilled glass of water and pick up with left hand.  Pick up coffee cup and vitamins in right hand, turn off kitchen light by striking the switch with the bottom of the coffee mug

6:25 a.m. sit down at dining room table for blissfully solitary breakfast, bring up BBC news app, and eat

7 a.m. awaken sleeping family



Moving in a deliberate dance with her environment; to the left, right, forwards, backwards, holding the pan with a hand-crocheted washcloth to protect herself from the heat, bending and reaching, concentrating and stealing glances at her surroundings to absorb the completeness of each moment.  She is deeply immersed and incredibly caught up in maintaining these patterns.  So much so, that any break in her concentration creates a startling crackley chasm throughout her whole self, felt almost painfully from her brain to her toes.  She has carefully taught herself and now learned to quickly repair these shattering cracks by taking discreet deep breaths and closing her eyes for the briefest of seconds.  If the shock of breaking reverie is felt too deeply that it seems as if the cracks might be physically revealed, she’ll even allow herself a cough, or gentle murmur mumble sound.  If others are present, this might be accompanied by the slightest breath of, “excuse me,” until the crack has been filled with her renewed dedication in pursuit of the next task.  Then she continues her delicate dance.


This is her practiced and intentional personal art form and she revels comfortably in it.  She has spent years cultivating these patterns, introducing just enough deviations, planned sprinklings of organized thoughtful chaos, to keep herself in the observed normal range of behaviors and experiences.  She has had enough of not normal in her life.


As a young child, from as early as her memory would reach until just before she began menstruating at the precocious age of 9 1/2, she was regularly raped and sexually abused by a close family friend.  As far as she knew, her parents never had any idea.  As an adult, she and her one sibling, an older sister, discovered each other’s shared bond in this experience.  They clung to this bond to define themselves as belonging to each other, as it was a rarity that they shared any other interests or experiences.


The consistent dreams she had as a child seem as vivid today as they had then, although she hasn’t actually dreamed them for years.  One dream involved walking out of her back door into a variety of different magical lands – princess lands, dinosaur times, fairy islands etc.  In these dreams, she was always some welcome positive catalyst for justice, change, or helpfulness.  The other dream had her sitting naked and patiently on an open-bottomed toddler style potty stool while tiny workers in overalls climbed up ladders to the inside of her body and cleaned everything out for her.  Some of the workers walked up her outstretched arms and worked on the inside of her mouth too.  They had soft gentle mops and buckets, some of them even wore funny hats and gentle smiles to try and distract her from their necessary work.  It was like being at the Dr’s office, unpleasant, but she knew they were there to help.  She has used this cleansing dream throughout her life to absolve herself of many things done wrong both to and by her.


Now at 35 years old, she is exactly where she needs to be.  Her community knows her as married for almost ten years to a humble, devoted, catalog handsome, all-American sports enthusiast who has a moderately successful career as a government contractor actuary.  She ended her own career as an informatics specialist when she became pregnant for the first time.  Both of her full term pregnancies (with a few heartbreaking miscarriages in between) were the result of IVF interventions due to “unexplained infertility challenges.”  Those prolonged rigorous medical protocols proved just the right touch of struggle to develop much needed deeper support networks and connections with local friends.  They both feel blessed to have two beloved children; Eva, age eight, and Edgar, age five.


She and her family live in a sprawling ranch style home nestled into the top side of a hill, part of a uniquely sectioned area of town in between more mainstream postcard suburban areas.  Those neighborhood McMansion style manicured-lawn places were too demanding of her senses.  Their Stepford style had her feeling as though everything was screaming at her, hungrily, relentlessly, constantly demanding her attention, depleting any reservoirs of thought, self or strength. leaving her nowhere to look or listen or just to be, without incessant overwhelming noise.  She knows that she cannot survive in this life without someplace to rest her senses in order to concentrate on being normal.  Possibly the only input the realtor and her husband heard from her during the house hunting, was, “The plastic of these places doesn’t appeal to me.  I’d like to see some homes with more character and potential for things like backyard chickens without a neighborhood fuss.”  Here she used her bitchy grown-up sorority girl voice card, which was reserved for uniquely special occasions.  She determined that house hunting fit that criteria.


Their two acres seem like much more since they don’t have a clear view of any of their neighbors, due to the curve and slope of the hill.  Looking out her back windows, she can see acres of forest.  Looking out the front windows gives the feeling of living in a tree house with a direct view to the tippy tops of the immense tree line down the hill’s slope.  The children and she spend many hours using their binoculars to watch local wildlife across the hills as if they are in the clouds soaring with the eagles, and in the backyard, playing at being wilderness fairy explorers and wild turkey chasers through the forest.


Unlike their adjoining neighborhoods, they don’t have any housing association keeping tabs on their grass length, holiday decorations, or other general curb appeal issues.  Their area is somewhat of a no-man’s land for reticent residents and weekend bikers seeking the thrill of the pitches and curves around the hills.  There are no sidewalks or through convenient access roads connecting one of something to another side of something.  Their neighbors are mostly nameless faces with whom their only connection is the desire to not be bothered unless needed after weather disasters.  Everyone seems to implicitly know who has the snowblowers, gas chain saws, emergency generators and heavy trucks.  When a disaster had hit the area (lingering hurricane weather, thundersnow, thick ice), these people rallied together willingly and seamlessly to clear long winding steep driveways, felled two hundred-year-old oaks, thick sheets of ice etc.  Once the disaster’s destruction was dealt with, almost immediately everyone retreated to their private personal space.  All of the lots were at least two acres, and some were as big as 45 acres.  This situation was ideal for her.  Easy access to the center of town and community amenities, with very little chance of unwanted attention and forced neighborhood communication under the guise of friendliness (her definition of prying).


As with most adult women with children, her figure is not as perfect as it had been when she was in college, but is lovely and toned enough to turn a few heads other than her husband’s.  She does not acknowledge any of that attention.  She spends regular time with her family and friends swimming, at yoga classes, mild hiking, playing at local parks with her children, and walking the dog, to maintain a level of fitness comparable to her circle of friends.  At 5ft 5inches, she is taller than a few of her friends, and shorter than a few others.  Her American father’s height at 6ft3 balanced out with her Columbian mother’s petite 5ft frame and reflects in her, meeting somewhere in the middle of their opposites.  Most of her clothes have some give to them for versatility moving between regular daily activities.  In her closet, everything is color coordinated for ease of dressing, with few patterns, but allowing an obvious well thought out and put-together look. Her hair, described by her third grade daughter, is, “blondish, brownish, reddish – with tiny bits of sparkles.”  The sparkle hairs are the white ones.  She does not mind them, too much.  She also does not mind the little wrinkles beginning at the sides of her hazel eyes, but applies extra sunscreen and lotions just in case she might mind them in future years as they inevitably increase.  Looking at herself, she feels numbingly comforted and deeply relieved that she appears as what she needs to – normal.

Fiction Confession


Hey y’all

COVID19 check-in and fiction confession.

How are you holding yourself up?

What are you currently reading?

I have been having the worst time reading fiction. Anyone else?

Around the time when it was a real and present threat that MrexH might murder/suicide us(he didn’t obvs), reading fiction became unbearable for me.  I continue to struggle with fiction on occasion.  Children and Teen fiction do not seem to be a problem.  Not all adult fiction is either.  I am trying to figure out the triggers. In the meantime, I am finding it difficult to choose to read fiction at all because I dread the consequences.

When I hit that point in reading where some switch goes haywire in me, the story truly overwhelms and feels as if it is taking control of me.  I have a difficult time putting the book aside.  I read and re-read the entire book successive multiple times.  This is possibly to desensitize whatever I have reacted to (a habit I have honed over the years for other overwhelms -I do not absolutely know this to be true). I suspect this because at some point, after a few days or weeks (ugh, those are the worst!), as I am re-reading the book for the bazillionth time, I will physically feel an intense wash of relief come over me.  Not orgasmic or anything like that.  It truly feels like a washed relief from the top of my head to my toes.  I can feel the story normalize itself and leave me free.  Until then, I will read the book at the cost of sleeping, eating, drinking.  Regular chores and things surrounding me suffer from lack of attention (minimal required functioning – single parent also caretaking for elderly parent – non-functioning is not an option).  I am irritable when distracted away from the book.  However, reading the book leaves me with heavy feelings of self-loathing and despair.  The book becomes a compulsion.  It feels awful.  It is awful. I deeply wish that I could make this stop.

Sometimes I can force myself to let the book go when I recognize the familiar pattern of falling into the overwhelming-ness rabbit hole.  When I worked in the library world, I could take the book to work, drop it into the bookdrop and walk away.  Neat, tidy, convenient and accountability because I was at work.  At home, with downloadable books, this isn’t so easy to walk away from.

I wish I could identify that I have a problem with mysteries, historical fiction, realistic fiction, dystopian fiction, sci-fi, fantasy etc.  Then I could just avoid that genre. Or if I could identify protagonist/antagonist or situational triggers, that might help as well. Unfortunately it does not seem to be that obvious, at least to me.  I could probably use some fiction therapy.  Or regular therapy. Oiy, my broken brainiac.

Anywho…  I have a problem.  Which is why I have tended towards non-fiction reading for the past 5-7 years.  Currently appropriately enjoying Harari’s works, re-reading some Shakespeare with SonHerisme, mixed poetry, a Washington biography, and constellation myths.  I really want to read Circe by Madeline Miller, but I am, as you may have guessed, concerned and a little gun-shy, so to speak.

I am just coming out of a book spiral.  No title to share with you because I am not prepared for feedback.  I am trying to gently embrace my me-ness and let it be.

Does anyone else have this experience with books, art, movies?

It has also been on my mind that this might be a good time for me to re-open the book I began writing in 2013, just before the imminent dangerous situation in my own life reared its ugly head.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime.  How are you?  The entire world is shifting as we all struggle with our center and balance to stay upright.  I hope that you are safe and well.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo