without realizing or planning it…i have planted little, ticking, time bombs all around me…both online and in real life. no, i am not talking about literal bombs that destroy physically. i am talking about figurative bombs that trigger emotionally.

this morning, i was texting with j**s and i received a facebook notification. it told me that i had a memory from two years ago. normally, i don’t click and look, but for some reason i did today. i clicked and found a photo that i had taken two years ago today.


i am guessing most people would not have given it a second thought, but me, i can’t stop thinking about it. these little bombs come in the form of photos, texts, emails, music, quotes, symbols, numbers, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, surroundings, and activities.

they trigger me emotionally and take me right back to that place, person, or thing. i remember exactly where i was and what i was thinking, feeling, and doing. i remember every little detail of every little thing. once i am triggered, i have a hard time turning it all off.

i had traveled to gillette, wyoming for a second, third, and fourth date. i got this room at a nice hotel for $45 on priceline. i remember calling and letting my date know that i had arrived. then i scurried madly around my room trying to get ready.

this whole thing was brand new to me…driving at all…(since I really didn’t do too much of that when i was with my ex) being out and about independently (since i had been with my ex for almost 10 years)…and dating…it had been at least 10 years since i had dated anyone.

at the time, i was much heavier. i was weak and in pretty poor health. i couldn’t walk even 1/10 of a mile without stopping and everytime i went up a flight of stairs…i was left doubled over, while huffing and puffing. my date, a nurse was terrified for me.

no one had expected anything of me in years and apparently, i expected nothing from myself as well. the previous 8 years or so…i lived with my ex and self soothed with food, while blowing up like a blimp, getting more and more unhealthy…waiting to die.

by the time my date arrived, i was exhausted, sweating profusely, and breathless. i was quite the prize!! thinking back, i don’t even know how i got this woman to go out with me in the first place or why after seeing me on the first date, she invited me for more.

there was a knock on my door. my stomach flip-flopped and my heart felt like it may explode. i opened the door and in bounded an exuberant, firey soul…she embraced me with a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. she was excited to see me. i was shocked.

she was wearing a poncho and jeans with some kind of lace-up moccasins. when we hugged, i smelled patchouli and something spicy. an obvious beauty with long brown hair and smoldering brown eyes. i stood there on sensory overload, absorbing her energy.

she came to take me back to her place. i wasn’t wearing shoes but had socks on. i had two pairs of slip-on vans on the floor, but i was a little shaky. she asked me which pair i wanted i went back and forth a few times. she picked up the black pair and slid them on my feet.

she drove us over to her place where her son was waiting. we got there and sat down to watch a “hunger games” movie. i don’t remember which one because i fell asleep within minutes and snored the whole time. i woke up when fingers ran through my hair.

she took me back to my hotel and we sat comfortably on the couch. her legs were over my lap and i rubbed her ankle, while she showed me the video of her best friend’s wedding. (***and oh my god…in this very moment…2024 of 03.11.2018…i have just come to a realization.***) i remember doing exactly what i had done on our first date, what i had done on the phone once that i regret, and what i did at our brunch together. i kept telling her something like, “you know, you can go now. you do not have to stay here on my account.” fuck…i am a douchebag and an asshole!! and now, i absolutely don’t know why, but she kissed me with her lips that tasted like coconut chapstick. i did not deserve that.

and with that brand new revelation, this ticking, time bomb has exploded, and left my mind working overtime and my heart with a new hole in it…



on a note unrelated to anything…

…that i’ve posted here…

(this is from a few days ago now)

i don’t want to to speak too soon and jinx anything or count my chickens before they’ve hatched.

i will say that today has been extraordinary. yes, it’s been a terrifying and thrilling rollercoaster ride.

i was pressed to the back of my seat, feet flat on the ground, and holding onto real objects to keep me grounded.

i’ve been thinking for days examining my thoughts, feelings, emotions, moods, intentions, body language, wants, needs.

today, i utilized my self-evident truths and chose to do things differently, but, not in a “george costanza,” kind of way.

two nights ago, i wrote my truths on index cards. i laid the cards out and arranged according to patterns i saw.

i took each pattern and made it into a paragraph. the paragraphs gave me a rough draft, a skeleton to flesh out.

it came easily, directly from the heart…a piece that clearly and accurately summed up everything, all of my truths.

it was accepted for publication on last night, but i chose not to talk about it, until it had been read…

today, i was scared, but confident in my resolve to be okay, to hold it together, to continue to carry on, thrive, and grow…

regardless of the outcome of releasing these truths and realizations to their intended, their inspiration.

it was more of a proclamation than anything else. it was crystal clear, not vague, cluttered, or messy.

i had to blow-up the box from the inside and put it back together again, one piece at a time…

…without gaps, glue, or fasteners and re-craft it…seamlessly and masterfully into a work of art. and, i did!!


for my friend who is going through some shit (nothing to do with me)…

j*****a feels like being quiet

she is retreating…

pulling away…

making her great escape…

she sees the light…

at the end of the tunnel…

she eyes her white flag…

sitting on the table…

near the door…

she is torn…

does she listen to her demons…

or, does she listen to her heart…

she picks up her flag…

she begins to pace…

she tries hard to hear her gut…

she scrambles to sort feelings out…

the question is…

will j*****a act…react…or do nothing…

will she take action…

take a chance and risk it all…

will she just react…

waving her flag, recoiling, running…

will she do nothing…

playing it safe and never changing…

at any rate, she’s debating…

she’s keeping her words to herself…

not because she’s unkind or stingy…

not at all, it’s entirely because…

she needs time to frame her answer…

as to not distress…

or hurt the questioner…

today, j*****a feels like being quiet…

emotional rescue…

my god, i love that song…for that matter i love the rolling stones. p***a and i used to play their albums on her record player. 

she introduced them to me and we used to talk about their songs in depth, while looking at fashion magazines.

i miss, p***a. she was my very best friend and my first girlfriend. she introduced me to cosmopolitan, vogue, and elle.

we’d lie on the floor and talk about models, clothes, shoes, shows, and designers. i loved fashion, the stones, and p***a.

as i think about it now. i think, “things were so easy then. i was with someone that i loved. i worked hard. and, i had money.”

i realized that my thoughts about that time period, were examples of “emotional truths.” they were highly romanticized. 

i then looked at that time period through a “factual truth” lens. and, i remembered and relived, the “factual truth.”

these things were all issues. i was underage and living in my parents house. i wasn’t out and was terrified of my parents.

they suspected something, they hated p***a, and forbid me to see her. i was threatened with homosexuals anonymous.

my dad promised, t*m l***e, that i would marry him. he was seven years older than me. i stood my ground and said, “no.”

p***a and i drifted apart. ironically, i moved out and into my own apartment, two weeks before, i was dumped.

so, my 🕵 gave me some homework recently…list five things that are symbolic of five, of my “emotional truths.”

i had a meltdown last night, because when i left her office on tuesday, i had all of the information that i needed. i understood.

but by last night, i still had all of the “pieces,” but had absolutely no idea of how they fit together, or even what they meant.

i was completely clueless, frustrated,  and embarrassed. today, we went over the differences between the two truths.

and i just sat there, looking at my therapist. i wasn’t understanding what on earth she wanted from me. i was frustrated.

she asked me what emotions were. i didn’t know. she asked me how i was feeling. and, i didn’t know that either.

she rummaged around in her desk and found a sheet full of “smiley faces,” representing different emotions/feelings.

she made me a copy and asked me to look at the faces, and read which ones corresponded to how i was feeling.

i scrutinized the faces, trying to understand and interpret them, and make connections that i could identify with.

as i looked, i got frustrated again. i don’t exactly know why, but i was just struggling to understand the differences, in the faces.

i was hard pressed and it took me quite awhile, but i eventually identified each one that i was, or had felt today…see below.

she looked at my notes from last session and came to the realization that, all of the familial drama, triggered my ptsd.

she told me that it pushed every button that i had and sent me straight into “amygdala highjack,” and no wonder…

i couldn’t think, feel, or understand. i was running purely on emotion, and not at all on logic. the following describes it:

“Under normal circumstances, you process information through your neocortex or “thinking brain” where logic occurs. The neocortex then routes the information to the amygdala, a small organ which lies deep in the center of your “emotional brain.” On occasion, there is a short circuit whereby the “thinking brain” is bypassed and signals are sent straight to the “emotional brain.” When this happens, you have an immediate, overwhelming emotional response disproportionate to the original event. The information is later relayed to higher brain regions that perform logic and decision-making processes, causing you to realize the inappropriateness of your original emotional response.” – by Neutrino 

i left therapy feeling frustrated, confused, silly, and kind of ridiculous…but hey, i’ve got a new worksheet to help me to identify emotions 😊.

my emotions throughout the day

the gift…

i made a gift that i put all of myself into. the gift filled my time, my imagination, and my heart. it made me happy to think about the person that it was going to and how it may or may not be used.

i spent three days. i used an old-timey ledger book and began by writing out all of my thoughts and ideas for the project. i focused on the person that the gift was going to. i listened to music.

as i created, i documented. i wrote everything of interest down. i took photos. i made simple animations. i made a playlist of all of the music that i listened to while creating. perhaps that matters to no one, but me… but, i will look back later and remember.

before deciding what to create, i meditated on that person. what i came up with was a deck of cards…a deck to do readings with. at the time, i had no idea if she was even capable or interested, in doing so, later i found out that she was.


in the beginning…ideas pouring out…


moving right along…gaining momentum…


entering the home stretch…


and there you have it…a labor of love…

as i thought about this person, my materials, and my overall vision for the project…ideas just flowed into my mind, one right after another. it wasn’t hard to know what to do. i can’t put it into words, i just felt it. one of my many gifts, is that of being a sensitive or intuitive. i am very good at reading people and energy, until self-doubt creeps in.

most of the time, i have absolutely no doubt in my gifts. it is only when i allow myself to become too close and emotions are involved that i even entertain doubt. in this project, i had absolutely no doubt. the person that i was making this deck of cards for has many gifts and skills of her own. when i thought of her, it’s what came to mind, quickly and easily.

when cards popped into my mind, i immediately thought of this deck. i have carried this deck with me in my backpack for the last two years and before that i carried it around in my car for the previous nine years. i bought this deck for myself the very first time that i ever went to montana. it was in 2006, with sarah…my mom spotted it and had me buy it.

the cards have been with me for the last eleven years. they’ve traveled with me through oregon, washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, colorado, utah, arizona, new mexico, nevada, and iowa. i never played with them. i used to take them out and just look at all of the dogs. they made me happy. they absorbed all of my good energy, travels, and history.

i thought about the characteristics of this person. i thought about what i wanted to relate to her. i thought most of all, i wanted her to see herself in these cards. i wanted them to be a reflection of her. that’s why i chose the materials, text, words, and phrases that i did. i wanted her to be able to read for others or herself, but to be able to be very specific.

i wanted her to see herself in these cards, the way that i saw her. i wanted her to be able to see herself and see the word/quality, right there smack dab in the middle of her own reflection…so that, she would have to confront the reality that she embodies so much more good, than bad…that she is more yin, than yang…and much more light, than dark.

i chose to utilize aluminum foil to accomplish the reflective element. the foil definitely gives a reflection, not crisp and clear, but ethereal and open ended. i decided that it would be up to her and her own sensitivity to interpret the reflection, along with the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card, thus making it very specific to only her.

i chose to utilize words and bits of text, as communication and conversation were always very important to both of us. we were both very avid readers and have a passion for books. we both were very verbose and possess a more than superior knowledge of vocabulary…both proper and slang. we both understood and utilized double and triple meanings quite often.

the gift was one of the most unique gifts that i have ever made. i put a lot of time, effort, good intent, great energy, and unconditional love into it. she knows that everything from the reflective quality, the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card means something, and she knows she’s the only one who will ever know exactly what they mean.

that all being said, this how the idea that i received broke down, when it came to the cards themselves:

the deck itself existed of 56 cards total. the standard 52 number and face cards. 2 wild cards. and, 2 advertisement cards. all cards were altered and embellished. all cards are meant to be used in conjunction with one another.

the suits and the qualities that they reflect/stand for:

hearts —> reflect/relate to feelings and emotions.

diamonds —> reflect/relate to worth and value.

clubs —> reflect/relate to domesticity and family.

spades —> reflect/relate to career and social.

the number cards of each suit and the words/phrases that they reflect/stand for:


     2 = happy – shihtzu

     3 = thankful – boston terrier

     4 = loves – miniature schnauzer

     5 = hopeful – old english sheepdog

     6 = wonderful – american cocker spaniel

     7 = curious – rottweiler

     8 = gracious – welsh corgi

     9 = accountability – chow chow

    10 = nurturing – siberian husky

     j = positive – jack russell terrier

     q = passionate – saluki

     k = compassion – border collie

     a = genuine – akita

diamonds —>

     2 = safe – labrador retriever

     3 = trusted – pomeranian

     4 = strong – papillon

     5 = smart – newfoundland

     6 = creative – japanese terrier

     7 = loyal – australian shepherd

     8 = courageous – afghan hound

     9 = solid – maltese

    10 = amazing – english cocker spaniel

     j = insight – bull terrier

     q = honorable – bouvier des flanders

     k = without fear – bulldog

     a = confidence – golden retriever

clubs —>

     2 = open – pug

     3 = fun – dachshund

     4 = supporter – german shepherd

     5 = help – poodle

     6 = mentor – basenji

     7 = advisor – st. bernard

     8 = productive – airedale terrier

     9 = comfort – shiba inu

    10 = empowering – lakeland terrier

     j = responsible – french bulldog

     q = diplomat – miniature pinscher

     k = control – shetland sheepdog

     a = commitment – irish setter

spades —>

     2 = beautiful – chihuahua

     3 = excited – dandie dinmount terrier

     4 = direct – basset hound

     5 = engaging – yorkshire terrier

     6 = focused – chinese crested

     7 = reasonable – boxer

     8 = pride – flat coated retriever

     9 = winner – cavalier king charles spaaniel

    10 = professional – dalmatian

     j = resspected – polish lowland sheepdog

     q = successful – bichon friese

     k = competitive – leonberger

     a = power – bernese mountain dog

the 2 wild cards and the 2 advertisement cards reflect/stand for:

wild cards —>

     1 = prepared and in control

     2 = calculating and composed

advertisement cards —>

     1 = extroverted and quick witted

     2 = zealous and vigilant

*** here’s the thing about the gift. i was told that it never arrived. so, i guess that the reason that i chose to write about it, is so that i can look back and see that i made something pretty unique. so, when i am much older and much greyer, i will know that i created something pretty meaningful and pretty extraordinary. so, in the end, i guess that i made the gift for myself…and, chose words that were a reflection of me…and, i saw the words in my own reflection…and, apparently they always were parts of me. i only wish that she would have received them, because i made them for her…when i told her about them on the phone…she was excited and happy…we went over every single detail of each meaning, of each card. and, i told her that if she didn’t want them, that she should take them to the roseman covered bridge, and toss them through the hole into the icy river below…and she asked, ” but why would i do that?”…i really don’t know why i said that, but it seemed apropos at the time, since that’s where she dropped her phone, and we had quite an adventure and history there…we will never know what became of…the gift.***


i have a lot of stuff going on in my life. i had the “one to one” conversation about, austin, yesterday with the ex. 

quite honestly, i have some things that i am going to say, but today is thanksgiving and not the time to waste on that business.

i will say that, i spent the last three days, feeling like shit, crying, and being angry…livid in fact.

i was broken, devastated, shocked, and hurt repeatedly. i tried to ease my pain, by going out into nature, hiking, shooting, creating, and just disengaging.

so, in order to be present and here for myself and my friends, i’m putting this aside for the moment.

without you…

without you, i wouldn’t have ever been able to accomplish the things that i have physically over the last six months.

you ignited a fire inside of me, that has pushed me and propelled me forward to help myself, save myself, find myself.

you forced me to see the true value of good health, my good health. your concern set this journey in motion.

without you, i would’ve never had the desire to choose myself. i wouldn’t have had the passion or heart to change.

thank you.

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