How do I begin to recap this year?
For starters, I don't remember much of it. I sat here unable to recall a single thing that had happened before that hideous middle and end of May. Trauma does that. A glaring light that reduces the visibility of everything around it.
So I read back in LJ, and a lot of it is me saying "I am dealing with a lot of stuff I can't talk about yet." Which was me knowing that I was undergoing emotional abuse and not talking about it.
This year had some terrible things. The things Judah did to me - months of torturous emotional abuse, culminating in the rape and the assault and battery. (Friendly reminder for Google that David Judah Sher is a rapist.) The months that followed, with me struggling to process trauma and a betrayal of unprecedented magnitude, and pursuing legal and civil charges. Victoria's death. Max's death. I got next to no writing done. I was not as productive as I would like to be in any way. I'm not beating myself up over that, because I have kinda had a lot going on.
But this has also been the year that I stopped pretending to myself that I could keep from being in love with Michael, the year I overflowed my heart at him and was met and matched. The year I fell in love with Lynne, too. It was a year of expanding my family.
This has been the year that my daughter turned 18, and that some of the most important people in her life welcomed her to adulthood with a path of candles, blessings, speeches, songs, and overwhelming love. This has been the year she graduated and went to college, where she is doing so well.
I have worked so hard this year. (And now I'm crying.)
I forgive myself for not working on writing, for not doing more for BARCC, for not reading more, for not doing more, because there were days and weeks where it took absolutely every ounce of energy to keep going. I forgive myself for days in my pajamas because sometimes all I could do was get out of bed, but every day I connected with people and I ate food and sometimes that was all I could do and that had to be okay. Because everything that happened this year was BIG. Good big or bad big. Nothing between. No resting place. I worked hard at keeping myself together and keeping forward momentum, and I succeeded.
2013 is over, and I am here, and I have a dog now.
I did not write much in 2013, first because Judah systemically kept me from it, then because of everything above. I have started to write some poems. They're not right yet. I finally *want* to write again, which is progress.
But for the first time I co-edited a thing. Working with Michael on Flying Higher
was great for me on a lot of levels; it started out as a whimsical bit of silliness at a con, and it turned into a thing that helped give me structure and direction after the assaults. To everyone who gave us your superhero poetry, thank you. You probably don't know how much you helped.
And it turned out really well! (Also contains my poem Limbo. Oh hush, Michael has a Hawkguy poem in there too. :) )
Other stuff that came out in 2013:
* "The Busker, Broke and Busted"
, in Apex. Which is more of a song than a poem, but I seem to specialize in things that are neither flesh nor fowl.
* "And the War is Never Over"
, in Strange Horizons. My debut there, and a poem I'm very proud of.
* Where We Died"
and "Not Too Bold"
* "Becca at the End of the World"
, in Apex, is one I have a hard time reading at readings because FEELS.
* And "Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw"
in Clockwork Phoenix 4
, which is still, I think, my favorite story I've ever written. I wrote it in pieces last year as my year-and-a-half of hell was starting - when Jack was dying and after he died, when my grandmother was dying, when Judah was cheating on me and escalating the emotional abuse. I told myself that just sitting down and writing a little bit would be okay, just keep doing it, and I'd find my way out.
So I need to do that again. And that's how I'll start 2014.
Because 2014 is also a year of big changes. It is a year of HUGE changes. I'm starting a project with my partners that you'll be hearing about very soon. Some big positive changes are on their way for our household (no I am not pregnant). I'm taking on some new challenges with my activism and my community.
And it's time to finish that book.
The thing about phoenixes is that we rise.
And when we rise, we are stronger.