Seeing the Warrior (And Loving Her)

Warrior woman



Sometimes I feel as though I owe my blog an apology (and anyone who has ever read my words).   As I heal, slowly I step back and begin to read some of the darkest and saddest posts in my previous blog.  I guess I started this new blog as a way to put some distance between me and the toxic dumping ground where I put so much of my pain and my fury.

I decided to make my former blog private, not because of shame, but in some way to honor the healing that happened there.  When I go back and read it, it has meaning to me in an even more personal way now that I found a new path.   I have to tell you that sometimes when I read those parts of my history, I am leaning forward toward the monitor with a hand across my heart.  Not being dramatic; that’s really what I do when I feel something deeply beautiful or something deeply painful.

For the longest time I couldn’t read those posts.  The former blog started two weeks after my divorce, in a room full of boxes in a small fourth floor apartment I couldn’t afford in Toronto.  Just Diego and I, and too many cans of Heinz spaghetti.  God I was so lost… estranged from my Father who I worshiped my whole life.  My refuge at my Grandparents farm gone.  My extended family imploded and bickering loudly among themselves, and a sister who I failed to protect from the shrapnel, angry and distant from me.  And a mother who passively helped me when she chose to; and actively needed a daughter, but only when a personal financial crisis ensued.

I knew she was using me you know.  I’m really too smart to let anyone use me by accident.  I wanted a Mother so badly in my life that I allowed it.  For all my fury over what happened, there it is.  I own it because I let it happen, eyes wide open.  I guess I believed there was something in her that would click in and prompt her to be the Mom I always wanted, but never had.   Childlike hope.   That’s gone now.

But rather than dwelling in the divots and rocky road behind me, lately I have been looking at myself quite differently.  Instead of an inner dialogue that is filled with things like “this happened to me!” and “why did this happen?” I am looking at myself like someone else might see me.  Maybe, I mean if they knew the whole story.

You amazing, loving, creative, hardworking bad ass warrior…

So many things I will never write in public… you’ll have to trust me that my story was more than a physically abusive mother, an emotionally abusive father, a family in constant conflict, their divorce, miscarriages, endometriosis, infertility, my divorce, a string of passionate (but some messed up) post divorce dating adventures, a scare with cervical cancer… near financial ruin trying to rescue my mother, living in a rented room in Windsor with two dogs and no money, working crazy hours for crazy little money to afford immigration (and with not one but two landlords with clinical mental disorders).

Like I said… *cough*bad ass* cough.  But there are a couple other things that happened that I will never talk about.  I did talk about them with Dr. Deborah Duggan in Toronto for years.  They are tucked under my armor, and in some ways very much part of my armor and my drive to succeed.


Writers on deadline be like ... "Yeah... 1:00 a.m. Burger run makes sense..." Right? The Jack in the Box is freak central after midnight. Guess I'll pilfer the Halloween candy.

New hair cuts make me feel bad ass also. Even at 2:00 a.m. on a writing deadline. Thanks Jamie xx

For me there has been this profound shift this year.  Name me one single warrior that has no scars?  Name one single strong person who doesn’t have a story?  And rather than lament that the story happened, I am in some ways… grateful for my story.  I am not perfect but I am intelligent, resilient and kind.  And somehow in my story that creativity survived too.  That is a blessing.  So many creatives lose their muse when they are in pain.  Others are fed by it. I suppose it depends on how you want to carry it.

I absolutely love SIA. And when this song came out I listened to it four times in a row, while scheduling social posts.  And the lyrics sunk in.  I had that “YES!” moment where I could relate.  You can dwell on the pain and what happened… but that only victimizes yourself over and over again.  It allows your inner critic to flay you in the most tender places.

The second choice is to count those experiences like scars in a good way.  Rather than looking at the scars like they are something to hide, or some kind of imperfection, what if you kissed each single one of them… and showed yourself the REVERENCE YOU HAVE EARNED.  Because in the darkest days you always had two choices; one of them was to quit trying altogether.  You didn’t.    That makes you the most astonishing kind of warrior… one that loves life through thick and thin, and finds a way to keep climbing, improving and becoming the person YOU CAN BE PROUD OF.

And sometimes I hear compliments a little different these days.  Not often but… sometimes, I let them go in.  All the way in.  And it opens a window in the fortress where I have placed her in my heart.   And she smiles back at me from a room full of books, vanilla candles, furry animals and daisies.  And sometimes she dances… when I get it right.

Because weakness is the absence of tests of endurance in life, in love and in spirit.  And if you have been tested, you (not just me) … are the most exquisite kind of human being.  One with depth, strength, intelligence …  celebrate that.  It’s no small feat.  Celebrate what you are because of your journey, not what you are not, because you experienced pain.

You are a bad ass warrior.