S. O. S.

(Photo by Ian Turnell on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Summer of Strength

Not that we are building actual 6-pack 20-inch python muscles (no judgement if that is your actual jam), but rather more of overall mental/emotional/maybe a little physical strength. Time to flex and shape our post-COVID or COVID-normative muscles in general. Setting intention to do so by:

S  Setting smile goals
T  Tell ourselves we can do this
R  Rest and relax
E  Eat/Exercise well
N  Notice Priorities
G  Giggle
T  Track progress
H  Hold accountability

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme’s school year officially ended on Thursday, June 17th. I gave us the weekend to flex and stretch our commitment muscle before diving full in on Monday.

Is this an overly optimistic set-up so that I can get sucked into the muddy squish muck mire of depression when we inevitably fail to meet our goals? Possibly. But for today, I am all about it. Both SonHerisme and I have used the phrase, “Summer of Strength,” for the past few days to encourage each other to accomplish some little things like: getting onto the treadmill, finishing laundry, driving to the park for a bit of soccering, putting away the last few Christmas and Easter things (judgementors, I patronous thee), and putting more donation boxes into the car.

Summer of STRENGTH!

I am determined to continue to lower my inflammation, and to read more. SonHerisme wants to fine tune some soccering things (SV2 style!), and up his maths game. I would like to make a lovely something out of some sheets we will never be using as bed sheets. SonHerisme wants to build raised garden boxes with tops to add for winter for year-round greens. SonHerisme also wants to clear out his room and paint it black and white (he’s turning teenagery this summer as well!).

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme wants to grill steak all on his own, and make fried chicken all on his own(blech – do you boo). I would like to finish cleaning out the garage and paint it (on the inside).

Summer of Strength

Both of us want to go to a few minor league baseball games, spend some time up at the local State Park lake, NGADC it up, and drive out to the beach for at least a day.

We are very fortunate people to be able to even think about doing these things. *fingers crossed* We are able to do some of the things.

Of course, COVID times have sucked many patterned discipline limits away… but, I’ll take that over any horrific alternative any day. SonHerisme also has a phone call with MrexH in a few hours *sigh* which he does not want to do so the anxiety energy is high up in these here parts of the universe world.

Ready? Set? Go!

Send us strength to make it through the Summer of Strength… and to be strong enough to let the sadnesses and unworthinesses and griefs and all of that to just be. Sort of strong enough to be soft enough to be enough.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

(still wearing a mask on occasion, as needs must)

ps also, I have been… difficult to define this past week or so which is why I haven’t been here. koyc and ciao and I hope that you are well and near something beautiful like the ocean, a lake, river, canal, swimming pool, filled up tub, or maybe a clear glass of water. I hope it so very much for you!

Currently at 284 sent Weekly Progress Reports to MrexH regarding SonHerisme

We are safe, we are healthy, basic Maslow’s have been met (repeat on a drum beat until bedtime with extra cozy duvets for both of us please and thank you)




Hardly anyone phones me up.

This is NOT a plea for anyone to call me on the telephone.  I am horrible on the telephone.  Without physical conversation cues, I’m all flustered with silences, weird pauses, speaking over each other, dropping the phone and then explaining how the phone dropped, wandering mind, etc


Actually, even with physical conversation cues, I am quite awkward.




When my telephone buzzes (I rarely have the sound on because the noise is too jarring for me – and, yes ALL the ringtones are jarring to my sensitive ears, including harp, but thank you for the suggestion), and I do not recognize the incoming number, I do not answer the telephone.


There is always this lingering worry that it will be MrexH, or someone in his family, and they will be angry and horrid with me, MrexH might express his interest in murdering me again.  Or something awful has happened and a Police Officer, State Trooper, or even worse, my attorney, is contacting me with the bad news.  I am not ready for any of those things – again.


Or, it could be a telemarketer, and I do not want to speak with them either.


Last week, my telephone rang in the morning, with an incoming number that I do not know – however, this was a number for my city/state.  ALARM BELLS went off in my brain and I let the phone ring 4 times before I decided to bite the bullet of fear and answer the telephone.


It was the assistant from my attorney’s office.


As soon as I heard her voice, my stomach split in two and dropped into my legs.


The call was benign, as calls go.  But, it took me a while to calm down just from the stress of contact with my attorney’s office.  The office assistant is a lovely person, and has gone out of her way to be kind and welcoming to me.  It’s the whole idea of knowing why we have a relationship at all, that is upsetting.


She wanted me to stop by the office and pick up some hard copies from my divorce case, and decide if there was anything that I wanted to keep.

We set up a time for me to do that.

I drove into my little downtown, parked in the courthouse parking deck, and walked to my attorney’s office across the street.


By this time, my mind was completely blank and numb.  I have to go into this space of, “What would Oprah do right now?” and just keep moving forward.  Oprah would just jay-walk across that one-way street in front of the courthouse and all of those parked police vehicles, and be confident in her stride into her attorney’s office.  Or was it Dr. Phil’s office that she strode confidently into?  It was somewhere, and Dr. Phil was there, the cattle farmers lost their case against Oprah, and Dr. Phil got his own show as a side bonus!


I did the jay-walk thing, minus the confident stride, and plus twisting my hair into a giant knot on top of my head as I walked because it was ridiculously hot and humid – so also minus any of Oprah’s presence or finesse.


The paperwork consisted of a 5 inch thick stack.


It was too nervewracking for me to stay in the office and look through the daunting stack, so I said my, “thank-you”s, and skeedaddled out of there.


I felt more confident walking back to my car, because I had an impressive stack of papers to hold – like a comfort blankie.

More Linus than Oprah.

Out of that stack of papers, the only piece that seemed worth saving was the less than 1/4inch bound deposition of MrexH official transcript.

That transcript = $640

Just for the copy of the transcript.


This amount does not include the cost of my attorney’s time, SonHerisme attorney’s time, or my time, or my severe emotional strain, or the stupid (yet delicious) take-out tomato soup I stepped out to eat at our lunch break, OR my parking costs…



So. Much. F’in. Money.

Just gone.



The rest of the paperwork?

I shoved it into the chiminea at 10am and had myself a lil’ ol’ bonfahr



Sadly, no marshmallows were consumed.

This fiery episode sounds like it should have been cathartic.  It was not.  I did not feel anything other than now I did not have to file the remainder of the papers.


Do not panic if you are unable to reach me by telephone.  I have not disappeared, although some days I would like to do so.  I am only nervous and awkward and frightened and concerned.



I wish I could magic all of that away too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps.  Thank you, oh great tribe of friends, for sticking with me!





Que Sera, Sera



Standing outside of the karate studio, watching my niece’s belt test, after SonHerisme’s belt test, the thoughts that flew through my mind:

 If MrexH were to show up here and threaten to make a violent scene if I did not get into the car right then with him, what would I do?

If I went with him, would this be when he kills me?

If I somehow pulled away from him, would we survive whatever scene he would make?

How fast could those karate instructors get to their telephones to call 911?  Would the karate instructors use karate?

Would whatever was about to occur, ruin the emotional health of everyone present?

How would SonHerisme be?  Who would make sure he got home?


I became so eerily frightened, that I ended up pushing my way back into the over-filled karate studio, so that if MrexH did show up, I would not be able to hear him, so there would be no decision for me to make.

Que sera, sera…  Whatever will, be will be


Last night, I received two Facetime calls from MrexH’s former company’s Vice President.  How odd.  Probably mistakes.  While we were in professional communication during the initial crisis, once MrexH was arrested, we have had no professional reason to maintain contact.  With all of the legal issues surrounding MrexH, it is understandable that his former company (whom he was also threatening), needed to maintain distance from me.

With the unusual Facetime calls, my thoughts spiraled into:

 Is there any reason this VP would be at the workplace in the evening, and MrexH has gone there?

Does MrexH know where VP lives?

Since I did not answer the Facetime calls, if it is MrexH, is he going to show up at my home in an agitated state?  Is this the night that he is going to kill us?

I became so frightened, that I double checked all the locked doors, set the house alarm early, and left our future to fate.

Que sera, sera…  Whatever will be, will be


(spoiler alert– we were not murdered)


As I no longer have a therapist, (which might be an issue because, like, anxiety and such from this and that) during an update meeting with SonHerisme’s therapist, it did come up that one of the most difficult things about our situation, is the not knowing.

I do not know what is going on with MrexH.

I do not know if he is still interested in killing us.

I do not know if he has access to a vehicle.

I do not know if he comes into our town on passes from his facility.

I do not know if he is well or unwell.

I do not know what he is capable of.

I do not know anything.

Mental Illness can be very unpredictable – especially with MrexH’s history.

I just do not know how to hope/predict/plan/prepare etc.

So, I figure out ways to cope with moving through each day, hour, minute and onto the next (with a safety plan).  I go through all of the things this moment actually is –

we are safe in this moment,

we have a roof over our heads in this moment,

we are cared for in this moment,

we are clothed in this moment etc.

And if he does arrive to murder us, I have no control over that.

Isn’t it always something odd, something seemingly benign at the time, which turns out to be the foreshadowing of tragedy?

Perhaps I read too much.


Que sera, sera…  Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera, sera

What will be, will be


Love, Ms Herisme xo

ps. Those of you having similar experiences, please know that I am fiercely holding you in prayers for safety, peace, and comfort

pps.  I love Doris Day!

Welcome to My House


Open up the champagne, pop!
It’s my house, come on, turn it up

 It’s okay to nod your head to Flo Rida


In speaking with a friend today, I realized that we all live in our own little houses of logic.


While our logic may seem natural, sound and accepted truths among our like-minded peoples, it can be supremely difficult when your house of logic is trashed to bits by people with different values, beliefs, logics.  Especially when those people are involved with deciding your, or children’s, safety and future (lawyers, social workers etc).


You can swing the doors to your house of logic wide open, offer the best snacks, drinks, entertainment, hospitality etc, and throw in swag bags to boot.

The hardest part is figuring out how to get

those people who are not willing to step inside your house of logic,

to just take that first step inside.

It feels like if you can entice them to get one foot over the threshold, they would totally see, understand, believe in, and champion your logic.


Unfortunately, lawyers, social workers, judges, therapists, etc are all paid handsomely to stay out of your house of logic. No matter how compelling it is to them personally, they will avoid going inside.  They are there to see the larger world around your house of logic, and make the best decisions they can, within the confines of the law and their professional ethics.

 Despite all of this,

I encourage you all to be brave

and continue to stack up all of the things you believe are important and true. 

Pile it all up in your house of logic. 

Especially if you are preparing for any legal custody/divorce battle(and it will be a battle – but that’s another post).  Let your trusted professionals guide you as to what they can use or not use to help you. Even when you do not believe them, TRUST THEM.

Keep your house of logic for you and as you need it to be.

Keep opening those wide doors

and providing the tasty enticements

until someone threads out the useful bits for you. 


I am rooting for you from over here in my little house of logic too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo




“Eyeballs” is a funny word to say.

Say, “eyeballs,” ten times in a row.

It IS weird to hear, isn’t it?

Now you will want to avoid saying, “eyeballs,” for at least a week.

Check this truth off of your bucket list.

 Goofball eyeballs

Recently I was invited to a friend’s home for a little get together (all ladies, with kids – don’t get too excited). When I arrived, it turned out that the party was mixed company, gender obvious-wise.  It also turned out that a few attendees were noticeably single, myself included.




This creep freaked me out.  Not because I might attract unwanted attention (middle aged, unemployed, and looking it over here), but more so because I just cannot even make eye contact in general with people that I do not know (unless they are children, or very very young adults, or very very old adults, or service industry people).


I am just that super uncomfortable.


I send my deep apologies to anyone and everyone who may encounter me and think that I am wholly not interested in recognizing you as another human needing human connection.

My soul recognizes and acknowledges you, but my eyeballs are not yet prepared.


Maybe trauma made my eyeballs goofy.


Thank you for your patience.


Love, Ms Herisme xo

‘Aint’ aint a word…


I have had many awesome work colleagues throughout the years.  Most of whom should be richly rewarded for having worked with me so gracefully (I put in ‘good karma’ points for all of you!).


One colleague in particular comes to mind these days.  She of humble infinite wisdom – although I believe she would accept the ‘humble’ part, I feel sure that she would ascribe her ‘wisdom’ to anything other than herself.  But, she IS so wise.  She knows what to say, and just when to say it.  Even if you do not want to hear it, she confidently speaks what you need to hear anyway, and in such a way that you are thankful to receive the message.


I have been fortunate to know one other person like this in my life.  They are both from an intersecting life place.  They both know each other.  They are both women .  Their similarities end about there.  One of them is very practical and pragmatic, the other is far more spiritual and mystical with her messages.


It is the practical woman who has been on my mind.


When I would bemoan some seemingly critical work decision/process/event etc to her, while trying to place my appropriate political chess pieces on the work board to best suit my group/employee/department, this woman would patiently listen to me.  And she really listened: eye contact, nodding, asking reflective questions.

At one of these moments, when I was seeking her advice,

she replied, “You know, aint none of us getting out of this one alive, so you go ahead and make the best decision you can today.”


That has been a truth bomb for me.


Aint none of us getting out of this one alive – do the best you can today


Which then leads me to thinking about what is happening with mass shootings, bombings, trolls, outrage memes, and the extreme ridicule of our political system.


I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of ideology supported after-life rewards.  I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of fear and hate.  I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of comfort with debasement due to anonymity.


Doesn’t it seem odd to you that in the thousands of years of modern human development, we continue to miss the mark in understanding and nurturing a way of communication beyond a fear-based disenfranchised model?


Or, perhaps, as humans, the “fight or flight” instinct is too strong for us to move beyond.


Don’t hate me – or, do hate me…  whatevs… Isn’t it alarming that here we sit with all of our insights into science, space, human emotion, power of love and positive thinking, and yet we continue to be subject to very base instincts?  I am not suggesting that becoming emotionless robots is the answer.  I am suggesting that having the ability to live by “aint none of us getting out of this one alive – do the best you can today” mentality is the complete opposite of shame and blame fear mongering, and I am wondering why we have not made more strides towards better understanding, better nurturing, better support, better respect, better acceptance and better love.


Can collective humans even do that? 


Does it truly begin by loving your family and friends?


Love, Ms Herisme xo


ps. I am well aware of the irony that I am not using my birth certificate name on this blog

Feet Bar

My sweet little bear is quickly becoming a sweet middle bear on his way to being a sweet big bear.

Through the precious months and years while he was learning to speak, he referred to himself as, “Momma, I you feet bar” = “Mommy, I am your sweet bear.”

So sweet.

So gentle.

So darling and delicious, just like all of our sweet babes.


And, like all of our sweet babies, he is growing up in this world, in this country, in this state, at this time in history.

All times in history have had their challenges, I am aware of that.  But, I am not handing over the walking talking embodiment of my heart and soul to those times.  I fought to bring this person into this world at this time.

Now is the time I dig deeper into the explanations of how and why others, and potentially he, will be treated very differently from others.  I have to explain about privilege and discrimination, hate and fear.


My son is mixed race.


I am not.  I am white, white, white, Northern European, pale fleshy white lady of whiteness.


When I was growing up, I prayed that I would wake up as a Native American with long glossy straight black hair, proud posture, magnificent history.  I prayed that I would wake up so Jewish that I could speak fluent Hebrew and dream about wearing a tight scarf on my head.  I prayed that I would wake up Italian, African American, Hungarian, Russian, really anything with deep rich cultural history, languages and traditions.


When I was growing up, my grandparents were very racist, classist and bigoted.


My father (their son-in-law), made it a high priority that we children all understood the evils of racism, classism, and discrimination of any kind.


I grew up believing that my generation was an enlightened one – one that believed, truly believed and lived the belief, that all HUMANS are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Yet, during my adult professional life, I have been professionally chastised for interviewing “those sorts of people,” for positions considered prominent and customer service oriented.  It took me hours to figure out that I was being told not to interview anyone who wasn’t white-skinned.  It took my perplexed confiding in a very patient dark-skinned woman, whom I admired, and her willingness to endure and enlighten my naïve altruistic soul.  Once she said the words, “You’re being told not to interview black people.  That is how Gayle operates.  She is a good businesswoman and knows that if you put a black person in those positions, we will lose business.  That’s the reality of this area and these customers. But, she isn’t allowed to say that you can’t hire black people, so she refers to us as ‘those people,’ which stops the lawsuits because that could mean anything”


This incident was in our country, not that long ago.




The recent publicized incidents in the national news, are horrid grim reminders that outside of my little bubble existence, racism and discrimination, are rampant.


Having lived in, and traveled to, a few places around the world, I have been witness to modern-day slavery as well as cultural/economic/racial/religious discrimination.  All of it is disgusting and horrific.  In my world of Montessori school, karate lessons, swimming at the lake, and square foot gardening with my beautiful, mixed-race, light brown-haired, white-skinned boy, it is so easy to pretend that none of this exists in my world.


The real horror is in recognizing that all of these things do exist in my world, and as an unengaged bystander, I am a huge part of the problem.


And so begins the discussions with Mr8, so that he is aware and engaged.  His buddies come in all colors, all religions, all genders…


We have to turn that learned

deep rooted fearful awful human evil lure to be



Compassion, Respect, Understanding, Empathy, Love.


Love, Ms. Herisme xo

I (don’t) Have Mail


My mailbox was broken


I am not sure what happened.  But, it looked like someone had to have parked and left their car in order to pull the entire top off of the mailbox, and throw it to the ground.


Kids being kids – right?  Driving on a rural road and smashing mailboxes.


Except, mine was the only mailbox destroyed on my street.


So, maybe a wacky neighbor or still some kids who were worried about getting caught, so they left before they could do any more damage.




Or, maybe it’s a sign from Mr exH that he is getting bolder and preparing to come back and murder us, as he said he would.


Or, maybe, it’s my friend’s estranged and mentally unstable husband, who I saw yesterday evening in a parking lot and refused to respond to with conversation, because he too is scary as hell right now.


This is my life.


Where I want to brush off the mailbox as the windy storm last night, kids, or wacky neighbors with bad behavior etc.  I cannot afford the luxury of ending my conversation about the mailbox there.


I want to.  I really truly very much wish that I could.


But, for now, I will sit in my house, listening alertly to every creak, with my alarm system on, doors and windows locked, driveway alert on (I have a long driveway, and the alert gives me time to peek out the window and call 911 if needed), and talk myself through all of the triggers the sad broken mailbox has effortlessly resurfaced.


The patrol officer thinks it might have been the storm.  But, even he was unsure how a storm could lift just the top of only MY mailbox off.


This is my life.


I’d rather be in Italy eating watermelon and picking out potential originating countries of tourists as they pass by. You?

Score, again, for disassociation!

Love, Ms Herisme xo

Fear is hard stuff


Fear is SO super hard.

Fear just doesn’t go away until it is truly heard.

 And sometimes, even heard, fear sticks around

and becomes louder and louder and louder

until it isn’t.

 psst… that is OKAY.

We exist in this strange culture and time which insists that anything below the measurement of “happiness,” or the pursuit thereof, is an anomaly to be feared/hated/shunned etc.

I doubt that at any other time in human history we humans have so uncompromisingly insisted that anything less than “happy,” somehow defines us as being wrong or flawed.

The truth is that life itself is a series of glorious, tedious, horrific, devastating, lovely, heartbreaking moments.

And that is OKAY.

 Yucky messy stuff happens. 

Mental illness obliterates a family, people lose all of their life savings in an investment gone awry, fires destroy lives, girls and boys are raped, drunk drivers kill people, MRSA takes over a body, cancer is diagnosed…  and there are many, many other fearful awful things that happen in our communities everyday.

There are also heaps of wonderful things that happen to us and in our communities everyday!  Those should be celebrated in your way.  Birthday parties, a nice glass of wine, a pat on the back, filling a gratitude jar, taking that vacation, etc.

Consider this – sometimes we spend so much effort squelching the very real fears that we all experience and have, all in the name of “happy,” because, “happy” = “successful,”  and we are desperate to be successful.

Which is true.  You do feel successful when you feel happy.

 However, success is not dependent on being happy.

Don’t make your definition of self success and acceptance, dependent on you being happy.  This is where I think we get twisted and mess up.  We equate having fears, doubts, bad experiences, horrific experiences, with personal failure.

I see you, community, doing hard things everyday, being successful at them, and going unrecognized for it.  These are not “happy” things you are all doing.

 You are sitting with your Grandmother and holding her hand while she dies.

 You are going to the courthouse with your friend to support her facing her abuser.

 You are getting up every day and feeding your family with meager foodstamp purchases.

You are taking your niece for a molestation exam at the pediatrician.

 You are calling the Sheriff’s office, again, to turn in new evidence that might be the key to keeping you alive.

 You are showing up on time to your oncologist appointment for biopsy/scan information.

 You are giving your children skills and confidence to not fall prey to another bully.

 You are taking your fatherless child to a Father’s Day activity, because he is desperate to participate, but where you know he will be ignored because all of those other Daddys are (rightly) taking care of their own children.

 (I do not wish for anyone to experience awfulness)

 While all of these things make you a successful person, none of them are “happy” or in the pursuit of happy.  You are afraid to do these things.  They may trigger your own serious anxieties because of your experiences.  Yet, you do them all because they are important and necessary to do.

Let’s not shun our fear, or pretend like life’s messinesses are anomalies.  Let’s embrace and support each other on how to show up, with solid resources, despite our fears.

Without the hard stuff, the messy stuff, the deepest darkest fears, we never will be able to embrace the tiny miracles happening around us everyday, and truly find our moments of happy.

It is okay to be afraid. 

Being afraid is normal. 

It’s okay to suffer difficulties. 

Difficulties are normal.

It’s okay to experiences successes.

I will cheer you on.

“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid”

You are courageous, especially when afraid.  You are loved.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo