Acorn Twinning

(lunchtime pic by Herisme)
They quaff libations to the moon, 
From acorn goblets, amply fill'd
~ excerpt from "Ode to the Muse" by Mary Darby Robinson
(or listen here)

Have you heard someone describe going on a silent meditation retreat and they hated all of the not talking? It sounds divine to me. Soon enough. In the meantime, FatherHerisme is pleased to not have restrictions on his Long John Silvers feasts with cans of Coke or Root Beer and dessert of Red Hots/Tootsie Rolls/Pringles/M&M’s and all that. MotherHerisme has ordered makeup for herself after about a decade of not wearing anything. Prior to then she was an every day full face plus multiple lipstick reapplications. SonHerisme is adjusting to leaving Marching Band season plus anticipation of new activities and regular YMCA visits. I am. I am… I continue to be spinning about trying to find some bearings.

Spinach in a classic white porcelain pasta dish (no pasta), and tea from a rustic looking mug stamped with LOVE typewriter letters, plus finding acorn twins all over the place to add fullnesses where sadnesses lurk!

Anywho, letter to my outgoing Governor:

Dear Governor Blah Blah,

Thank you for serving our communities and state of Blahberg as our Governor for the past two terms. While the Republican party lost me years before you took office here, I have been proud to have you lead our state with integrity through some very trying times. You haven stood by your moral compass, ethics, and beliefs in your responsibilities to all of your constituents, even in painful moments. For this, I thank you.

The attention to restoring the Blahberg Bay, funding education (including provisions for school boards to work with communities on carefully monitored charter school options), and grants supporting the Violence Against Women Act, are just three of the issues you have addressed that I personally appreciate.

None of these show your leadership ability more than how you carefully and earnestly addressed our COVID-19 experience, and the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. Your refusal to bow to the dangerous inflammatory nonsense, and maintain a level head in guiding your team and Blahbergers through these tumultuous situations has been admirable.

I believe that under your leadership, Blahberg has built itself stronger as representation to the country of what can be accomplished within a working democratic body operating through honest dialogue, compromise, and transparency. I do not claim that we, or you, are perfect – but neither is democracy. By its very nature, it is meant to be imperfect to allow for conflict in approach, discussions, and compromise. Democracy does not want any one ideal philosophy, it wants many humane voices for civil discourse and civil resolution. I have many opinions which differ from yours (women’s access to abortion, for example) yet I still admire your teambuilding leadership.

Along with my heartfelt, “thank you!” I also write to encourage your decision to run for president. Admittedly, my conscious will not allow me to vote for anyone associated with the Republican party without seeing some radical national accountability, which is a ridiculous expectation given the current path our nation is on in that regard. However, I do admire you and believe you to be one of the best representations of leading civil discourse, humane leadership, and personal integrity, without expectations of perfection. Should you choose to leave the Republican party, you would have my vote.

Thank you again for all of your hard work on leading Blahberg with what I believe to be an overall earnest humane civil approach with integrity. Best of luck to you on your next adventure!

Kind Regards, Ms. Herisme

(she/her/indoors masker)

Feel free to copy/modify/cringe at this missive. It is how I feel today. For those of you living in Blahberg, I acknowledge that we may not be on the same page and that is a-okay and appropriate. I have been writing regularly to our Governor and want to close it out with thanks for the things they worked on doing right. I mean, I am not ever going to carry the weight of their office – very few of us would or do. Someone has to do it, and they did alright. Much like “agree to disagree” on things which can find balance and compromise, I agree to disagree with them on things and still appreciate they took the helm and ran with it despite the allure many have fallen into with the glittery false trappings of authoritarians and fascists.


I don’t know.

I’m really glad that the current Governor isn’t a complete magafascist asshat.

I am even more glad that we have voted in a Democrat.

Stay strong Blahbergers and *fingers crossed* for democracy to work in general with or without that Gov’ner

Acorn twinning wishes to your house 😉

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

No, I do not know what the acorn twinning euphemism means. I suspect it has something to do with sunshine on jewel colored crunchy fallen leaves, chilly breath revealing air, and a mug of something special to you, as I do the same. Acorn Twinning

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*

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!” ?


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.