Thyme

(Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Hello out there!

We had a few power outages over this past week. One of which lasted a little over 7 hours. All of the people and the pets are fine. The refrigerated food was not fine. After a huge grocery shop and cooking extravaganza, including a vat of potato salad, having to toss much of everything, except medications and fresh fruits/veg, my brain and my arms were sad. I actually thought I was getting ahead last week after the week-prior’s turmoils.

Oh? What happened the week prior? SonHerisme’s therapist facilitated phone call with his father. It really threw SonHerisme off this time. His sleep was disturbed, his schoolwork was disturbed, his usual patterns of relaxation and play were disturbed.

SonHerisme constantly amazes me with his strong soul and kind heart. He was generous and gentle with his father. He was articulate and patient with the therapist. But it did take a toll on my tiny sweet puffin giant newborn almost teenager bear man boy. He is fine. We are fine. Just a tiny derailment. He is the most and best and favorite person in the world to me with his super resilient super gentle soul.

I am the luckiest momma, because he just came that way. Like a super special order! In a way he was a special order. He is an IVF baby because I was aging and not getting pregnant.

At the time I did not know, or could not comprehend, MrexH was tracking my cycle for years, specifically so that I would not get pregnant. It’s so wacky to even know this truth today especially considering that I was very upfront that my reasons for formally partnering had everything to do with making a family. I wanted 3, 4, 5, 6 kids in a partnership with one parent primarily at home until everyone was in school. My openness about this topic has been well known since… at least high school, maybe longer (?). Not everyone I encountered was into talking about family planning at 16 lol. Some people want to be doctors, or get into an ivy league school. I have never really cared about what job I’ve had or what degree I earned, as long as it could get me a decent income in order to afford having a family. Note to self – this approach did not work out, so pivot next lifetime. For those irl who have said, “oh, but you have time, you never know!” Trust me, I am, not being an outlier Frenchwoman, well out of time (despite having my period atm), and I am not partnered in any sense of partnering.

I have been asked multiple times by different professionals about my marital sex life, and how I didn’t catch on to what what happening. I didn’t even know part of what was happening was marital rape, much less tracking of my cycles. bonus note: when you’re going through an intense divorce involving domestic violence and custody issues, all of your everything will be considered topical open discussions for everyone in every detail. This is of the awkwards y’all, even if you are a disassociator of the highest powers. Trust me, avoid it by not getting into an abusive relationship, ever never ever ever ever.

My job now is to get SonHerisme onto the most solid footing I can for his adulting times. I am trying y’all, I am. It seems like I need to break the passing on of generational traumas. I do not know how to do that, but I am working on it. I am running out of time, of course, but still trying. I do not have any plans after that. Throw something my way and I’ll see if it sticks.

Another thing to share (and far from tmi – no worries!), is my time issue. For my entire adulting time I have set my clocks to different times in different rooms, including the car. Not hipster cool different time zones, like it’s always Paris time in the shower and Japan time on the sofa. More like, exactly like – same time zone that I live in plus usually fast by 7 minutes, 13 minutes, 17 minutes or some other number requiring extra brain maths to get to the actual time.

Somehow I got sick of all of the time warping between rooms after multiple power outages and resets, that all of my clocks, including the car, are now set to real actual time. Good job, me. Time Warp (not) again! Poor SonHerisme has been asking me to do this ever since he could read a clock. He finally got his wish but made himself late to the soccering practice because he thought he still had 13 minutes to get to the car. Sweet silly bear.

Have you ever tried to rush to put on those sportsing compression soccer socks when your feet have been running and sweating in other socks all day and you’re in a super rush because your mom changed the clocks so you don’t even know what time it is and how late you’re going to be? That was an almost massive meltdown. I tried Eckhart Tolle-ing him up with, “let’s take a deep breath and act AS IF we have chosen to be late and accept the present as it is.” “MOM YOU CHANGED THE CLOCKS!” “I am living in this present moment as if I have chosen it with you.” “MOM, UGH-A!” Teenage time is upon us fuh reals.

I am keeping the clocks on real time. I need it now. One more step to something. The goat king still rules down the street, though. But I am hearing rumors of the excommunicated pig court planning on staging a coup to eliminate the goat king and goat court to insert their own king. The flock remains neutral as it is taking all of their energies to survive Mr. Fox’s advances and supply both courts with food and nutrient rich soil. Maybe they grow thyme down there and could spare some for me. I am already living on a large borrowed amount…

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

The Theater, The Theater!

My empty theater… #carryonhealthwarriors so these people can get back to work please and thank you
(or listen here OR skip to the end and follow the link to listen to Brené Brown bc she delivers much more eloquently for sure!)

The theater, the theater! What’s happened to the theater? Especially where dancing’s concerned?

Chaps, who did taps, aren’t tapping anymore. They’re doing choreography.

Chicks, who did kicks, aren’t kicking anymore. They’re doing choreography.

Heps, who did steps, they would stop the show in days that used to be.

Through the air they keep flying, like a duck that is dying.

Instead of dance, it’s choreography.

By the late great Irving Berlin from his lovely movie, White Christmas, and performed by the lanky limber-limbed lively laughing Danny Kaye with seriously pony-tailed and eyelinered dancers (he too has a strong eyeliner game!).

Civil discourse, civil discourse! What happened to civil discourse? Especially where politics are concerned? (This is a great companion to the other song running through my head this past week plus… Sedition! Sedition! sung to the Tradition! song from Fiddler on the Roof. Anyone else tune-altering to get through the day? Anyone? Okay. It’s okay. I know… it’s just me *sigh*)

My perspective – civil discourse is a productive and necessary process for our democracy. We need to have varied opinions and perspectives with solid facts, figures, projections, philosophies and passions present and accounted for in a respectful and productive manner. My optimism leads me to believe that most of us are in agreement on this.

We are massively off track at the moment. Too many of us seem to have an unwavering expectation that when we reach out to engage in civil discourse it will be reciprocated. Sometimes it is not, it cannot be returned. When we lose holding people accountable, we lose our credibility and grounding. This is where we lose our democracy. We are arriving at the theater expecting the productive dance of civil discourse. There are many emboldened folks arriving at the theater to execute choreography, obliterating the dance altogether.

It is all theater, of course. But one with a lethal component (which I am, as you know, familiar with).

There is no reasoning or possibility of civil discourse with delusion, sociopathy, or sociopathy by association or programming. As long as we try to pretend that there are two sides to a conversation when one side is clearly showing up in a sociopathic way (check your trusted experts), we will suffer shock, disorientation and grief at the inhumane concessions we are expected or forced to make at their insistence. There are not two sides in this scenario. Promoting inhumanity is what it is – no both-sides-isms.

If you are entering civil discourse with others of different philosophies, opinions, passions etc, there are many many sides of the conversation because you are all entering the political theater with intentions of civil discourse with each other.

There is no civil discourse with sociopaths, with narcissists, with abusers. Only very firm and clearly defined healthy boundaries with very firm and clearly defined healthy consequences.

It’s hard, I know, unless you have had the unfortunate experience to have been in a relationship with someone or even an institution built on abuse. Even in the situation you feel as if you are crazy (which is the point of being abusive btw so that you will fearfully concede and be abused).

There are signs. There are always signs.

(blah blah blah every single town has an, “oh wow! I had NO idea there was abuse happening in that home!” story. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.)

Abusers systematically break down healthy boundaries until you have difficulty reconciling that what they do is hurtful and wrong. They cannot be reasoned with. Unless you are a very skilled and intensive professional with a willing-to-reform abuser, you cannot change them with any of your words, skills, compromise.

Engaging with abusive sociopaths (and those succumbing to their inhumane base as a result of association with a sociopath) to try and reach a compromise is futile and damaging.

There must be consequences, there must be accountability, even if they are the consequences of redefining and expanding our own personal boundaries as we define what accountability means for us (in a healthy and respectful manner).

My heart and soul aches for those who are experiencing the absolute devastation of just now knowing how much is out of your control and how precarious real protection is. Co-workers, family, friends, neighbors cannot protect you and sometimes, even without the ability to recognize it, they will put you directly in harm’s way. The police, the court, security, etc have rules and personal biases which guide them and sometimes put you directly in harm’s way too.

It is hard. It is disorienting. It is not funny, I know. But it is supremely ridiculous.

Apologies from an abuser are hollow at best unless they make great efforts at correction (which rarely if ever happens, also this link is an excellent article from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg). This is why boundaries, accountability and consequences are so very important – your boundaries, your defined consequences without any expectation from the abuser. Engaging in dehumanizing the abuser is also counterproductive. Lack of consequences for dehumanizing people enough to abuse them is what led us here – avoid it yourself. Zero engagement other than boundaries and accountability.

Entering into some choreographed theater with people who, in any capacity, helped foment the circumstances which led to last week’s scenes at our Capitol building, is futile and harmful to building unity. These fomentors at all levels of society, bear total responsibility for the fear gripping us now. They failed when their country, when we, needed them most. Their failures will never be forgotten. We will persevere and move on with the doing of the things and living of the lives, once we have established our firm boundaries and accountability for all, but this… this knowledge of experience, will never leave us. (paraphrased from Cincinnatian, former politician, and writer, David Pepper)

It is time to let those people go from our feeble futile attempts at reaching out across the schism of humane vs inhumane approach to life as though some reasonable discourse can occur. Treat them with humane regard, everyone deserves that consideration. Then, let them be accountable in whatever way our boundaries allow, so that the rest of us can unite, adult up, get the shit cleaned out, and run forward with engaged civil discourse and a functioning democracy.

Thank you for coming to my TEDious talk today 😉 You’re the best!

*free form tap dances off the stage* *also, not wearing a top hat but yes to the patterned tights*

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

“As in theater, the eyes of men, after a well-graced actor leaves the stage, are idly bent on him who enters next.” William Shakespeare Richard III (1595) act 5, sc. 2, 1.23

also, I wrote this yesterday and today listened to Brené Brown, so I am adding this link bc HOLY CRAPtastic y’all she is a consummate professional and says all this much better than I do and with receipts instead of links to White Christmas and a voicebox that works! She’s the package, people. She is THE package. *bows down*

Long Black Branches

the Potomac
(or listen here)

Here is what I need and perhaps you need it as well:

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives —
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened

in the night

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,

and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what’s coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.

I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

Poem by Mary Oliver From West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems

A poem, Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches, by Mary Oliver read by me for you which is my way of reaching out and giving you all a post-COVID hug with maskless wild abandon! (except for K who wishes to receive this as a cup of hot tea *wink* which will be shared with M who brings all of the Emma Bridgewater à la table!)

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps. Well

If our government officials who can make a difference today, choose to not make a swift decisive hard boundary difference today, I’m afraid that we are in for even worse over the next 10 days. The time of separation is the most lethal when leaving an abuser. If this is too obtuse for you – our president is a narcissistic abusive criminal and voting him out of office has made us vulnerable on a lethality scale used to measure the likelihood lethal harm will come to spouses/partners/children in abusive situations. I don’t want to know this, but I do and now you do too. You’re welcome!

Also, the COVID variants which are anti-body resistant have a faster spread including through children. *sigh* Wear a damn mask fuck all please. Assume you have COVID and everyone you are breathing the same air space with is going to die when you breathe masklessly with them. Get your damned shit together and stop being a virus spewer. (not intended for you bc I know that you are wearing a mask – I am yelling into the ether of lost people devoted to inhumane thoughts and actions then couching it in dramatically swishing righteous cloaks of Jesus and conspiracy wack-a-do as moral superiority).

I digress because my emotions and brainiac are what they are… koyc (kiss on your cheek, post covid natch)

Letter to Government Representatives

(or listen here and catch my mother & niece yell conversationing
with each other through facetime on the OTHER SIDE of my house with doors shut wth)

Feel free to copy/edit my letter for your use.

Go to The United States House of Representatives to easily search and contact your representatives.

I modified it a bit and also sent it to my state Governor whom I frequently disagree with but have much respect for. He might think that I think that we are besties now because I have been frequently writing to him over this past year. Maybe we are secret bff’s and will enjoy a post-COVID post-sedition scotch on the porch whilst watching dusk settle over the Potomac… I mean, anything is fucking possible at this point, right? Maybe Greg Davies will join us (for you, Liz!).

Also, just say, “NO!” to treason and murder please and thank you.

Letter:

Dear (person who represents me at the Federal Government level),

            I am writing to request that you do your duty as an elected public official for our country by officially and publicly denouncing the actions, words and role by current President Trump by impeaching him, immediately removing him from office, and once out of office, formally charging him with the applicable criminal laws immediately.

            In addition, I am requesting that you continue with your duties as an elected public official by impeaching and criminally charging all members of Congress and support staff who aided and abetted President Trump’s treasonous actions, through their actions, words, or supportive roles.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” 14th Amendment, US Constitution

With President Trump and his entire staff leading the charge, these Representatives have

  1. Incited deadly insurrection at our Capitol
  2. Exhibited erratic terrifying behaviors
  3. Caused multiple deaths and harm to people and property
  4. Have lied repeatedly about the election, inciting violence

This is clearly and plainly seditious and treasonous behavior.

I do not envy your position and I applaud your courage in standing for truth and appropriate justice for the essence of our democracy.  This is not a short-term problem.  However, the initial steps to ensuring that we come together as a country is that we speak and honor the truth with very clear boundaries which have full and immediate consequences (divorce from abusers 101). 

I know that you can do hard things.  I know that you can do this.  We are all counting on you.  I believe in you and so does my 12 year-old and all of his classmates who are watching and waiting to see who the helpers really are and how they step up to these unprecedented challenges.

Sincerely, Ms. Herisme and SonHerisme who is 12

*******There are run-ons, grammatical errors and such- I am aware. Take it and make it better and send it to your representative too******* (two, three, four, who can knock it out the door? YOU can!)

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Trust Exercise

(I grabbed these meme from a retweet source unknown)
(or listen here – my voice is waverly todayverly)

Remember in that awesome cinematic wonderment sensation Frozen (copyright Disney trademark Disney forever Disney pretty pink perfect plastic Disneyverse etched permanently into my brainaic Disney) movie where Ana or Anna or braid girl with dirndle says, “that was like a crazy trust exercise!” ?

*sigh*

This post is not about that at all.

In real life I have been telling the people that not only does that man pictured above, use phrases and odd speech similarly to MrexH, but his bodily movements and gestures are similar as well.

I see that it is hard to accept when you have been programmed with targeted gaslighting and abuse.

I know that it is so very disorienting to grasp that someone could be so abhorrent, inhumane and charismatic.

Know this: trusted experts are telling the truth.

How do you know that you are listening to a trusted expert?

  1. They are a recognized expert in their field by a group of their peers
  2. They are making humane decisions
  3. They are honest and appropriate when sharing uncomfortable unpopular information
  4. They conduct themselves in an ethical manner especially in regards to their expertise
  5. Someone you personally know with these characteristics is telling you that this is a trusted expert

Like many of you, I have lived through this kind of relationship in my personal life. As a nation, we are living it now. And while we appear to have enough people rallying to disengage from this particular elected abusive public servant by electing non-abusive public servants, we still have a massive problem. There are still too many of us that are so deep into being abused, gaslit, disoriented, abusive ourselves believing we benefit from aligning with other abusers, that rallying against the abuse is a tiny step – an important and critical one, but still teeny tiny compared to the work which needs to be done for our country, state, city, community.

Who is responsible for this work? I am.

(personal anecdote below or skip to very brief *comments regarding yesterday’s news below)

At first, I could not comprehend why a police officer was asking me if I would be willing to speak with someone at our local domestic violence shelter if he phoned them and handed me his phone. I was in my garage with my 5 year old son locked in our car, per 911 operator instruction, until the officers arrived to give me further instruction. At the advice of my credit card company, I had phoned 911. The credit card company representative said it was a standard question to ask if 911 had been called when a customer phones in the middle of the night to ask if their spouse had cut them off from using the credit card they desperately needed in order to leave the house to a safe space because their spouse was behaving increasingly aggressive with them and their son and they were afraid of him. If the credit card representative had not suggested I phone 911, I would have never known that officers were already on their way because MrexH had already phoned them saying I had kidnapped our son and was mentally unstable. btw – You cannot kidnap your own child (unless there is some court order you are violating in which case you are violating court orders, still not kidnapping) which was clue #1 to the police that something was very not right. And then the story of what happens next, happens…

Fast forward to a conversation with my attorney. I could not comprehend what she was saying about filing for divorce, about domestic violence, about the state law regarding children, marital assets, witnesses, discovery documents etc. I found this attorney through a friend whom I trusted my child to be with in a safe place while I tried to figure out my next scary steps after the 911 calls. When I phoned her from the parking lot of the secretly located domestic violence shelter to beg her to help me find help for MrexH who was obviously in crisis, her response was, “I hear what you are saying about (MrexH) and I see where you are in your thinking. Here is what you need to do right now and then come to my house to pick up (SonHerisme) after you make an appointment.” She then proceeded to give me the name and telephone number of the woman who became my family law attorney from April 2014 until May 2020 (my last billing cycle from her). That’s right, it took me six years with a professional expert highly experienced and very well regarded family law attorney to feel legally safe enough to say, “thank you, I’ve got this unless we’re back in court.” That is a HUGE amount of money. She took her family to Paris a few summers ago. You’re welcome, international economic support.

During one of our conversations at the beginning of this whole process, I was continuing to question everything happening because I could not discern reality (hells to the bells, I still have occasional difficulties with that today), or truly understand that MrexH was not the person I essentially fabricated based on his gaslighting abuse, somewhat influenced by his pervasive mental illnesses. Many of my questions to my attorney elicited the responses, “Are you still seeing a therapist? Remind me who you’re seeing. Oh yes, she is wonderful. When is your next appointment? When was the last time you checked in with (domestic violence shelter)?” She knew that I had no ability to understand my situation, requiring professional support on a far different scale than hers in order to get through the very real, very legal, very potentially lethal processes I was facing. My family had no experience with this, I could not rely on them for guidance. Oftentimes potentially well meaning friends and family would offer up completely harmful misinformation and I took it as truth not quite understanding that they did not have solid trusted expert information themselves.

Despite my multitude of shortcomings(some of which were affecting legal issues), my attorney was determined to do her job. Not very long into our professional relationship, she called me into her office and took me to the conference room. This is not a good sign, just in case you find yourself in a similar situation. Gird yourself if you’re summoned to the office conference room, or the little conference rooms at the courthouse. Actually, gird yourself for all of it if you are going through a difficult divorce, especially those with looming lethal components. After we sat down, she asked me, “do you trust me?” I must have looked utterly confused because she followed up with, “do you trust me to make the best legal decisions for you and to represent your best interests to the court?” I know that I still did not answer because she added, “It is okay for you to say that you do not trust me. I need to know where you stand on this in order for me to proceed. Do you trust me?” In that split moment of clarity I realized that I no understanding of the process of what was happening at all. This woman had years of experience and expertise so presumably did have clarity and understanding of my situation. She had seen dozens if not hundreds of me’s over her professional career. She had been the advising attorney and held a seat on the board for our local domestic violence nonprofit. She had been recommended to me by a dear friend whom I trusted with my child during a precariously dangerous time. I might not understand or agree with what she was saying, but did I trust her? Yes. Yes, I wholly and completely trusted her and told her just that.

At that time, I was unable to comprehend or acknowledge that I was in an abusive relationship – but I was frightened enough to instinctively seek help based on the guidance and support of people I did trust. The credit card person led to the police led to the domestic violence shelter led to my friend watching my child led to our phone call which led to the attorney that then eventually led to us all being divorced, healthy and alive today.

*Listen to the trusted professionals. Allow space for others who can reach that point to listen as well. Set firm boundaries and consequences to know your relationship with those who will test your commitment to healthy truth. I believe as a nation we need to do this as well. I am sorry that we all have to go through this, but in order to be healthy and alive as a country, each of us committing to going through the yuck is the only way.

Good luck us

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps. this post was written early on January 6th, before the attempted coup on our democracy by white supremacists emboldened by and under direct orders from our president. Disgustingly predictable. The most lethal time in an abusive relationship is when the victim draw boundaries. Fellow Americans, we have drawn our boundaries rightfully and appropriately with our votes and commitment to calling out truth. We must now wholly support our representatives to administer the consequences for those abusers violating those boundaries.

What I explained to my vulnerable Mr12, SonHerisme is to focus on his personal boundaries and understanding of humane based rights and wrongs. Support and listen to trusted expert helpers. Embrace civil discourse and philosophical discussions with those having a fundamental humane moral compass. The others, those who incite/commit atrocities, deserve only to know your absolute boundaries, the consequences of their inhumane actions, basic humane consideration, and nothing else from you. I then provided SonHerisme with concrete examples from our real life. Adulting is hard. Parenting is hard. Drawing boundaries with abusers is so very terrifying and hard. We can do hard things, and on days that we cannot, there are helpers who will pick up the slack and even pick us up as needed so that we can all #carryonpeacewarriors.

Lanterns

(Or Listen Here)

I cannot tell you how we moved. I had rather not remember. I believe my “effects” were brought in a bandbox, and the “deathless me,” on foot, not many moments after. I took at the time a memorandum of my several senses, and also of my hat and coat, and my best shoes – but it was lost in the mêlée, and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself. Emily Dickinson letters

As we move out of this Gregorian calendar year 2020 and into Gregorian calendar year 2021 (shout out Pope Gregory XIII matching the Easter celebrations with Spring equinox!), it seems as though we will all need our very best lanterns to find each other, to find ourselves and our paths wherever they may lead. Many of us have lost precious people, precious things, income, health insurance, our own world order where we defined ourselves, and more to 2020.

At this time last year, the meme was “How do I know what to expect next year, I don’t have 2020 vision.” Damn, that seems like a dark foreshadowing omen now. Not the wicked cool Gaiman/Tennant/Sheen Good Omens kind of omen, more the creepy fucked up serial killer psychotic orange clown kind of omen that nobody wants. Now we’re all going to be, “hindsight is 2020 yo!” (apparently we are all beast boy now)

The vaccine is coming of course, but it will be some time before it reaches most of us (myself included). This is right and proper, for me, since I am okay to stay at home for the time being. Vaccines should be going out to front line COVID medical workers, all other healthcare workers, grocery/gas station/essential living workers, teachers and school staff, vulnerable populations (including children), then finally people such as myself. Currently there is not a vaccine for children at all. There are recent medical reports that question what we have been thinking about children, schools, and covid. DUH seriously every single bacteria/virus spreads like wildfire through childcare/school institutions. 1 kid has lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc = everyone gets lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc in every family with even little to remote contact with that child. WTF were we thinking that somehow this particular virus was just going to skip that ripe environment. The ol’ HH (human hubris) strikes again!

In the meantime, we are all mentally exhausted. We have reached a space where the realness is hitting very hard and direct. Even those entrenched in the conspiracy world can no longer deny the effects of COVID-19 whether they “believe” in the existence of the virus or “believe” in mask wearing/social distancing or “believe” in a vaccine – the world has changed for everyone. Far too many of us have allowed too much space for persistent lack of empathy. We are literally killing ourselves for a truly fucked ideology which says it is a noble individual’s right to purposefully inflict defined potential lethal harm on others in the name of personal freedom!

This is taking a serious toll on our mental health. Those of us who have experienced relationship with narcissistic abusers have already gone through the excuses, denial, numbness, shock, grief cycles innumerable times. We have coping strategies, not all of them healthy of course, but we have them. Again, this ain’t our first yo-yo through the crazy rodeo.

As we see everyone else moving through these same emotions with us, we are in pain. We are all in pain. This is a deep collective grief.

Those unhealthy coping strategies are cropping up as the pain is too great. We may choose not to remember anything from this year or how we landed where we are in this lifetime. I can feel the mental distress rising and I am sure that you can too, if you are able to feel anything beyond grief at this moment. This is where the rest of us, despite having lost our navigation as well, grab our lanterns (as we can and when we can) and go out into this deep darkness to look not only for ourselves but for you as well. Even if only through prayers, ringing bells, texts, memes, delivering cookies and meals, fixing coffee for a peaceful moment, lighting candles, burning sage into a New Year’s Fire, opening doors letting the old ways pass and the new ways in – we are out there with each other trying our very best.

I am not sure that I can light your lantern for you – most likely that is an unhealthy fool’s errand and I cannot. But know that I am trying very hard to light my own and will gladly share it with you.

Healthier 2021 Wishes to you all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

#carryonpeacewarrior #carryonhealthwarrior but whatever you do, please do #carryon or let someone else carry you for a bit by phoning one of these Mental Health Hotlines:

Mental Health America and National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Noetic Noel

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Circular talking power philosophers know stuff that we mortals can only digest in bite sized banal platitudes.  This is my way of saying, “I am not a philosopher and only dabble in grabbing potentially resonating pithy wordsies, so STOP JUDGING ME when I make inevitable errors in interpretation of which you, of course, will know infinitely more than I.”

Am I jealous of super clever philosophers?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  shhhhh wraskely wrabbit

I am most definitely a dreamer with an overactive imagination which sounds like I could be drawn to understanding and engaging in adept philosophical convo… sadly, no.  Or perhaps, lucky for all of us, still nope.

Despite the above, I am drawn to this Noetic Noel season where it seems we are all brought together by knowledge we’d rather not have. 

We’d rather not know hundreds of thousands of people have/are dying from COVID-19, or know another hundreds of thousands of people infected, some with long-term consequences, due to our collective disregard for basic science and humanity.

We’d rather not know what it is like to be governed by abusive, misogynistic, gaslighting, treasonous, criminal narcissists.

We’d rather not know what it feels like to see friends lose income and worry about their mortgages, rent, food, electricity, water, schooling etc.

We’d rather not know that a significant number of our neighbors continue to be in the initial spiral of textbook victims of abuse: denying its very existence, lashing out at helpers despite vast evidence that their own suffering is brought on by the abusers. (The awful bit of autonoetic consciousness, I suppose – cue philosophers for correction on this)

We’d rather not know how awfully deeply painfully lonely and despondent this holiday season feels while we muster whatever cozy happy Christmas we can find for our sweet only child who is feeling the pangs of isolation from his buddies too – and at the same time immensely grateful that we are so far healthy, so far still able to get our mortgage and bills paid, so far still plugging away with the everyday to feel grateful for the things we are dumb lucky to experience in this life (oh, wait, that might be just me). 

thought break side note:  It JUST started snowing a beautifully magic lovely gentle lush snow outside which is predicted to transform into a full-on winter storm of inches and feet later!  I love weather – all weather.  I love that it changes and makes up something different as the seasons change, or the day, or even the hour.  Weather is pretty amazing when you have the stupid lucky privilege of enjoying it in a safe way. 

Sending warmth and safety wishes out to all and I’ll pack up donations again today to deliver tomorrow when I can safely leave my crazy steep mountainside driveway in humble acknowledgement. 

But, of course, now I cannot wax on about our collective painful Noetic Noel because the snow has enchanted me.  Tea break and then I’ll be back. Stash brand Licorice Tisane. FYI, I am American, therefore I soak the hell out of the bag before plopping the soppy thing out and into the trash.  You’re welcome for that visual!  Oh, but yummmmm soothing hot liquid (not of the G-ds, though – that distinction is only for smooth silky so dark I will take over your life coffee).  Unless I am out and order a chai, I take all of my tea straight up (no milk, no sugar), altering the bag soak depending on the tea with black tea soaking the least amount of time.  It is possible that on certain days I drink vats of tea.  My kettle is a trooper to put up with me knocking that “on” button over and over and over throughout the day. 

And now you know something about me irl other than my wandering brainiac and bumpy history. Huzzah!

aaaaand back to Noetic Noel…

We do have some peek into hope here with the upcoming presidential change.  Of course even that is tainted as the gaslighting abusers continue their rhetoric and intimidation tactics, stirring up those who are already prone to doing their dirty work. 

Nothing mentioned here is difficult for some of us to understand (too many, really).  Many of us predicted all of this with uncanny accuracy since this is not our first time at the gaslighting abusive narcissistic mental illness yo-yo rodeo.  It is quite painful for us to watch you all experience this too.  We would not wish this mindfuck on our worst enemy. 

Unfortunately, recovery is painful as well.  I have not worn my wedding ring since June 2014 and still occasionally feel phantom weight from it and reach to twist it around.  It is like a gut punch when that happens.  Sometimes I think about taking it out of its storage box and putting it on just to try and distinguish the real weight of it from the phantom weight.  Like maybe that will break the spell of my own disturbing grief/recovery/whatever cycle.  I haven’t done that… yet.  I am not sure if I ever will.  But, I do think about it. As I also think about when my inevitable nervous breakdown is coming. Perhaps it is always bubbling out in bits and I cannot see it – I have no idea really. Tra-la

All of this has me thinking about how very connected we are in this space of abuse exposure compounded with isolation.  I do not subscribe to conspiracy that somehow places blame on our current leadership for the creation of COVID-19, but I wholeheartedly blame them for our current condition/isolation/economic and emotional strains.  Making it not unlike textbook abusers who use gaslighting and isolation to keep victims victim-y.

I am sorry that now we all have this personal experiential knowledge about abuse.

This is hard stuff.

New leadership will help but is not the answer to us moving forward.  If we look there, we will be disappointed and angry with them because they cannot be held responsible for anything other than a helper role. 

I feel that we are our own answer to moving forward. Embracing the knowledge of our situation, our roles with their privileges and limitations, and then using that knowledge as we move through our feelings, I think is the only way to reach our own versions of forward. 

I know it is hard. 

I know we will all feel that soul breaking whole body aching painful loneliness. 

We will all desperately want the comfort of the memory of how we thought our trusted neighbors had our backs with the most humane basics, not realizing that they too were being set up as victims of abuse who’s refusal to recognize it results in them lashing out at others in most inhumane ways. 

We will all feel the phantom weight of the ring and feel for it on our finger before we simultaneously feel it is missing like a hole punched in our hearts and remember what it really represented in our lives. 

We might feel the need to try that ring of abuse back on again and again until we can distinguish it from phantom comfort.

We might live the rest of our lives never knowing what healthy external comfort feels like.

It is a Noetic Noel fuh reals y’all and I am here with you in the thick of the emotions and hard knowledge of needing to recognize the abuses in order to set them down and move forward.

It is lonely out here. 

Hug those you can (even virtually).  Receive what you can.  Give what you can.  All things when and if you can.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Gentle reminder that I am not a mental health professional by anyone’s standards. I am a mommy, daughter, auntie, friend, cousin, neighbor, survivor, dreamer, writer, librarian, reader, shower-singer, giggler, nature enthusiast, cooker of foods, lead gillie, and (first time I am ever saying this) ex-wife. Please do reach out to a mental health professional for support, and linger here for simple-minded musings of a wild haired noetically challenged lady loon.

Behold(er)!

(ps already – this quote is not sent as a demand for you to find joy in service, it is sent as an idea that if you are called to find joy, you might find it in service)

Moving away from the politics of American elections and into the politics of everyday relationships.

I just cannot yet.

We all know that this 2020 general election in the USA was not about politics between conservative and liberal democratic parties.

Our election was about choosing to embrace or reject an ideology which bases all actions and decisions on the premise that many groups of people are unworthy of consideration or being treated humanely, in order that the select premium group of people can elevate themselves and thrive.

We continue to be mired in the blatant fascist hypocrisy which has risen in a terrifying way: whose putrid messages continue to be spewed and elevated by neighbors in our communities, cities, counties and at the highest levels of leadership across our country.

This is vile and should be called out at every opportunity.

If you have not taken a firm stand against the current president and his sycophants, then you are enabling the continued death of thousands of your neighbors and encouraging the blatant disregard of democracy and humanity (for yourself as well, btw).

You may leave now and do some serious self examination along with a total destructive gaslighting media detox.

I’ll be here for you when you find your mea culpa.

In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting for all of our rights as humans (yours too). #carryonpeacewarriors #carryondemocracywarriors

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Mea Culpa

For your Consideration: Idris Elba as Aaron from Titus Andronicus (by my historical pretend acquaintance, William Shakespeare):

“Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day…”

When you told me that I should be willing to take the fall because I always get forgiveness… I did it and you cursed at me for being manipulative.

When you told me that I laughed and smiled too much to ease hard things… I tried harder to charm you to smile and spend time with me.

When you told me that my breasts were too big and I wasn’t tall enough to be attractive… I bought shoes with heels and minimizing bras.

When you told me that I should know better than to hire, “those kinds of people who only belong in kitchens or on a janitorial staff,” and formally disciplined me for, “insubordination,” having conducted interviews for other positions with non-white people… I requested a transfer to another branch of the company for personal reasons.

When you told me that I needed to put your penis in my mouth and let you touch my body because I needed to get used to it and ready for what I would need to do when I was older… I did it without question and kept even more quiet.

When you told me that I was too homely to be seen with you or for you to continue dating me after you aggressively pursued me for months until I gave in… I silently carried that pain forward and remained friends with your friends to show what a good and forgiving person I am.

When you raped me the first time… I did not argue or fight back.

When you subsequently raped me on occasion… I became detached and unresponsive during the acts. Until you threatened my son.

When you told me all of the reasons that no one liked me… I believed you.

When you told me that I was selfish for wanting to get pregnant in my 30’s… I tried harder to include you in my pregnancy journey to win you over.

When you told me how glad you were that my baby arrived with light skin… I laughed and pretended like I did not understand what you were talking about.

When you mocked me for being quiet and avoiding eye contact at the dinner table surrounded by unhealthy people during the terror of my separation and divorce… I made more food for you and more space for you in my home.

When you bypassed my home alarm and locked doors to enter my home through the garage coded entry panel without my knowledge or permission after being expressly asked to be sensitive to our continued terror at lethal threats from MrexH who HAD been arrested trespassing on the property violating a court order… you blamed me for being jealous of you and alarmist.

When I insisted on taking my niece to the pediatrician after she was molested (with her parent’s permission as they were unwilling to take her, but wanted her to go when I pointed out this was a necessary responsibility) but was unwilling to be accompanied by another adult non-family member, entirely unrelated in any way to the incident or any profession related to the incident, to the appointment… you blamed me for be jealous and unreasonable for suggesting that her medical appointment was not a spectator event.

When I caught your decades of lying about your paternity… I held my tongue to protect your familial relationships.

When you screamed at me for returning your daughter to your home because I was experiencing a miscarriage and had to get to a hospital… I still tried to make our relationship work.

When you voted for racism, bigotry, criminal lies, bullying and narcissistic abuse… mea cupla.

Because I have let things slide for too long. Until I didn’t.

Once my son was threatened, I realized instantly that what was happening to me in my marriage was somehow wrong. It took me years to accept that what happened was rape, was abuse. Which sounds completely unbelievably ridiculous, I know. Even today I sometimes have to go back through the original documentation to truly understand exactly what was happening to my son and to me in my home.

And my own culpability, which was allowing it. Which was not being informed enough to understand and allowing that to continue.

I almost got us killed.

We are killing ourselves trying to make it okay that people we love, or people who show love in some areas of their lives, are actively welcoming racism, bigotry, misogyny, criminal narcissistic abuse in the leadership with our country.

Oh – that’s right. They have excuses:

  • the direction of the country (WTF?!?)
  • potential financial gains
  • abortion

As long as we remain racist, bigoted, fear-based, lying, criminal, narcissistic abusers – you’re good with that because someone somewhere in the tippy top 1% might have financial gains which you equate with morality. Then you can watch from your high moral horse as those less moral, less human, less worthy are kept in their places or eliminated altogether because what do they matter anyway? Also abortion? Remove penis shooting sperm threats = abortion solved. NO ONE wants viable pregnancies aborted, you dumb asses. But until we have control over men spewing sperm creating unwanted pregnancies, PLUS adequate basic care for women/parental people/children, there has to be a safe medical option for uterus wielding humans. Stop trying to control women’s health care and START taking care of basic human needs so that abortion becomes irrelevant.

I am fucking sick and tired of making excuses for accommodating you.

You are not a good person no matter how many lovely things you do, if you endorsed Trump or his sycophants. You are not. Even the mob, murderers, dynastic conquerors, Saddam Hussein, the executors of the Spanish Inquisition did lovely things for family and community on occasion.

Also, I am not perfect – none of us are. But the opposite of an openly criminal oppressive racist narcissistic abusive regime is NOT PERFECTION. It is basic human decency.

We can argue about politics and I welcome political discourse.

This is not political discourse.

This is absolutely a referendum on your humanity.

I calls it how I sees it. I see you and I will no longer remain silently fucked.

Mea culpa that we are in this position today because I have not held you responsible for your callous inhumanity before. It is my fault and I am working hard to correct my submissive permissiveness.

Amen

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps – In case you were wondering, the “you” ‘s listed above are not all the same person. Strange, isn’t it?

2142, 306, 70, 5 (hut, hut, HIKE)

IMG_1968

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

or

70 months, 1 week, 5 days

or

306 weeks

or

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