A For A Different Kind Of Therapy…(SHOT!)

11182720_10153748071728496_3882568604493266364_oToday is the start of THE third as well as MY third Grand Viduta Stage Race. My friends Chelsea and Colleen have also both done it every year and our goal is to be the first (maybe only if our plan to knock out the other contenders works) (just kidding) to the 10-year jacket. And if there is NOT a 10-year jacket we will make them ourselves. WE LOVE THIS RACE, is what I’m saying.

Three days of running all over our mountain. Huntsville has more than one mountain, but this one (Monte Sano) has two different groups managing areas – the state park and the land trust – so there’s the biggest collection of trails and therefore the mountain we run on the most. Most of these trails we know mostly in ONE direction (because of how they are run for whatever race we are training for) but this race does a great job of making us go the OTHER direction on most of them. Running the opposite direction on a road doesn’t disorient you but running the opposite direction on the trail? You’ll be like, “WHERE IN THE HELL AM I?” because everything looks different.

It’s also currently very green and everything also looks different for that reason. Of course, this is also why this will be my last long trail run until October. I don’t like the green stuff. It usually contains poison ivy (of which I’m highly allergic) and snakes (of which I’m deathly afraid if they’re poisonous). This is like the party at the end of the school year, the last time we’ll all be together in one place until Fall.

Because it’s three exhausting days, I have opted to always just try to have fun and not stress about PRs or time goals. It’s nice to have a group because you can kinda hold each other up when one of you is feeling down and – luckily – we tend to alternate those moments. Until the last day when we’re all just delirious and tired and taking selfies with Powerbars at the aid stations. It’s so fun.

I was telling Colleen Wednesday night, this weekend I have two cups. One representing my physical energy and one representing my emotional energy. This weekend as I drain the one representing my physical energy, I’ll be refilling the one representing my emotional energy. Three mornings in a row of seeing the faces of some of my favorite people first thing, running through the woods with my friends, soaking up the energy of Spring and playing in the mud.

See you on the other side!

It IS Just Like On TV!

I feel like we need to get together for coffee for this one because I feel like you’re going to read it and be like, “Nope. There’s no way. It’s too perfect.” It’s going to read like a movie script. If we were sitting at the table you’d see the sincerity in my story and you’d believe me. But seriously…I HAD A BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT YESTERDAY IN THERAPY.

I know. Therapy again, Kim? Really?

OH! New idea. Everyone get out your favorite bottle of liquor when you read my blog now and you HAVE to do a shot every time I say “Therapist” or “Therapy.” Go ahead, I’ll wait for you to get it.

What? You don’t want to do shots at 7am on a Thursday? BORING.

BUT SERIOUSLY. I started out by telling my therapist (SHOT!) all of the good things I had been implementing in the last week. Reformatting the way I handle my daily To Do lists, stopping wearing a watch, saying “No.” All of these things that we’ve work to together and how they’ve been helping me. I thought maybe I should bring up the crying thing but I decided not to before the session even started. I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT HOW I WAS WINNING AT THERAPY!

But somehow I started crying again over something seemingly innocuous so then, kinda laughing, I told her the story of yesterday and well, basically she was like, We need to get to the bottom of this. And we did and it wasn’t even that difficult. I’m not a complex person, guys. I’m pretty easy to figure out. But I like to make things complicated so I blamed the crying on exhaustion and stress and that it was something about the HOUSE and I kinda felt dumb but…

BUT! You know what? It’s that last little bit that I dismissed. Because somehow the way I presented that too her pushed her to push me and Y’ALL. THERE WAS MY BREAKTHROUGH. I do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES want to feel dumb EVER EVER EVER. If you ever make me feel dumb, I bristle and emote and all of the other defense mechanisms to push that away.

AND DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY?

Of course you do.

IT WAS MY DAD’S FAULT!

Okay. I’m joking. We don’t blame. And you all know I would never blame him for anything because – as far as Dads go – he was pretty superb. BUT. Intelligence and good grades were VERY important to him and when he did get angry, the angry words he would use did knock at my intelligence. So, you know, as kids those things make wounds that scab over and in order to survive you kinda just let them sit there, you don’t pick at the scab but HOLY SHIT Y’ALL, WE PICKED AT THAT SCAB. It was ugly. I ugly cried the ugliest of all cries in all the land. It was EPIC and AMAZING and I kinda wanted a cigarette afterwards.

DO NOT MAKE ME FEEL DUMB, YO. IT WILL GET REAL, FAST.

But it was really cool. And we don’t do it to “blame” because we are grownups and our actions are our own actions. But now I know there is this raw wound I just yanked a scab off of and I have to try to help it heal but I also have to know that area will always be sensitive. If I feel that trigger again, I’ll know where it is coming from and instead of crying obscenely and embarrassingly and blaming exhaustion and stress, I can talk to the younger Kim who sustained the injury to begin with. I can remind her that we are smart and not dumb and that – even if this person thinks we’re dumb – it has no bearing on who we are deep down inside. I can nurture her and take care of her. ISN’T THAT THE GREATEST IMAGE IN THE WORLD? My Therapist (SHOT!) talked about holding the younger version of herself, consoling her and then saying, “Grownup me can handle this for you…” and I just adore that idea so much. Younger Kim would really appreciate Adult Kim just holding her and loving her. I JUST ADORE IT.

I kinda want someone to make me feel dumb again so I can try it out.

DAILY CHALLENGE: Make Kim feel dumb and see if she cries! GO!

(DO NOT DO THIS. I REPEAT. DO NOT DO THIS.)

Thanks for listening, guys. I’m really trying not to make this Kim’s Therapy (SHOT!) Corner but, you know. There’s no use in fighting it.

Happy and Fragile

I cried at work yesterday.

And it was as embarrassing as it sounds.

It wasn’t even over something good like missing my Dad. I wasn’t even having a bad day! I swear!

Basically someone very sweet and kind pointing out something I kinda already knew about posting about aggravations with my house on Facebook while selling my house and the combination of it being

A) Something that made me feel dumb because I should have kinda known it already and
B) Something about SELLING MY HOUSE: Currently the thing that makes me the most stressed right now

it all just hit a trigger point. I felt the tears IMMEDIATELY and tried to hide my face in work but I had to talk and it was so obvious and she felt so terrible and I kinda wanted to jump out of the window into the CVS parking lot below.

SO EMBARRASSED.

But y’all. Obviously that was SUCH a trigger. Even now, thinking about it, I’m having to fight back tears.

And then, because of this, I went and viewed my Facebook page as someone NOT friends of me would see it and changed the privacy on all of my public posts. I should have done this AGES I go. I know people stalk people on Facebook, I’m certain if we get any serious buyers they’d do that. I just hadn’t really thought about THAT as it relates to my assortment of public posts. (For the record, my coworker’s comment had nothing to do with that kind of stuff, it was just related to selling my house and things I post on Facebook so it got me thinking.)

So I went to make them back to private and that SUCKS because if I make a post public, it’s because my friends are sharing it out. It means my words about some issues (usually social justice) were so good that someone wanted to share it so I made it public. So I had to take time to change all of those to private just in case someone who wants to buy my house is NOT a friend of the LGBT community. And before the Target bathroom fiasco, I was confident none of my posts would offend anyone because we had an OUTPOURING of love here when gay marriage was legalized.

But now half of my feed is boycotting Target and half of my public posts are Trans advocacy posts and well, which do I want more, to sell my house or to make sure strangers know I support the Trans community.

And the answer to THAT is depressing too.

But really, it’s selling my house that’s depressing. Because I can not keep it clean. Everyone is trying but jeepers, we are just DAMN BUSY.

But also? I’m sad my friends are boycotting Target.

I don’t know. I’m really in a good place. That’s the other frustrating thing. This week has felt good. YESTERDAY felt good. Those tears anger me even more because I feel like they say, “Mentally unstable!” when truth-be-told, I’m the most stable I’ve been in months. I AM FINE. I PROMISE.

But the tears. I could not stop them. House. Trans Advocacy. Target.

I’m super sensitive and crying at the drop of a hat BUT I SWEAR I AM DOING GREAT. I mean, does that even make sense? I want to be like, “Don’t worry about me! You should have worried about me a month ago when I didn’t cry in front of anyone. Don’t worry about me now! I know I’m crying but I promise! I’m fine! I just wish I could sell my house and I wish people would see the Target Bathroom Drama through the eyes of people who love their Transgender neighbors. It’s painful. THAT IS WHY I’M CRYING. I promise! I’m actually happy!”

One thing is for sure. I need to go for a run this morning. So I don’t have time to wrap this up in a cohesive way. I guess this is maybe a Stream of Consciousness type of post. Thanks for hearing me out. Here’s to miles bringing some emotional stability. Here’s to happiness disguised in tears.

Flashbacks To Child Endangerment

Taking a break from therapy discussion and politics to share a funny story about my Dad. I KNOW. DON’T BE SHOCKED.

My Dad had shoulder issues. His shoulder would dislocate often. The legend goes that one night, when I was a baby, he woke up in the middle of the night and it was dislocated. He supposedly woke up my Mom and when she saw it, she puked. But they took me to my aunt’s and uncle’s and took him to the hospital where he ended up having surgery.

I know the truth is: His should dislocated a lot and he had surgery on it. Beyond that, the rest may be just for entertainment purposes.

SO. He was always very sensitive about his shoulder. He didn’t like to even dive in the pool and there were just random things he would avoid because of the motion of lifting his arm up over his head would either hurt or just concern him, I’m not sure which.

But his own shoulder concerns made him very paranoid about my children’s shoulders. Once I was swinging E around when he was little and Dad was like, “WOAH. DON’T DO THAT. HIS SHOULDER!”

He’s not had surgery on his, Dad. He’s okay.

This picture showed up in my “on this day” feed on Facebook. DAD WOULD NOT HAVE APPROVED.

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BUT! One time when I was visiting my Dad’s Dad, he (my Grandfather) picked up E by putting his hands over his ears and lifting. HE LIFTED MY SON UP BY HIS HEAD/NECK. I about had a heart attack but no one in the large group flinched. Turns out? That’s just something Grandpa did to every kid in the family. Everyone just accepted it. I was like, “Really, Dad? I swing my kid around once by his arms and you freak out by you will let your Dad pick up the same kid BY HIS HEAD?”

It still kinda cracks me up thinking about it. He just shrugged and was like, “Eh…you all turned out fine and he did it more than once to you guys.”

The Bravery Of Spreading Acceptance And Love.

Part 1: My Christian Friends

My Christian friends are having a hard time with life right now. So many of them are living the loving and inclusive life that Jesus lived. They just want to welcome anyone into their faith and they don’t want to be part of conversations about who is allowed in heaven or not because in their hearts, their God welcomes good people into Heaven and that’s all that matters. But these friends are listening to their Faith be equated with hate and ignorance and intolerance and all they know is that Jesus’ love has given them purpose and they have Faith in a God that is Good. They don’t want to debate verses in the bible. They just want to open their arms like Jesus did. They don’t know all of the answers, but they have Faith in love and in goodness and in kindness.

And they’re getting the shit kicked out of them every day.

Yet they continue to be the voice in lives like mine reminding those of us that have been persecuted, “Not all Christians…” They speak up and defend themselves when it is assumed that everyone of their same Faith thinks Gay Marriage isn’t right. They jokingly point out that they have complete Faith that the two men in their Church married and raising kids will have a better seat in heaven than they do because they don’t curse. They see the story about the Transgender Woman who committed suicide and they wish they could have met her. Not because they think her soul needed saving, but because they wish they could have shown them the love of Jesus.

These friends send me emails when I write about being worried that my Christians friends don’t think I’m going to heaven. They lovingly say, “If there is a heaven. You belong. No matter what.” They quietly remind us again and again, “Not all of us…” when we group Christians into categories representing judgement or hate. They keep fighting for their voices to be heard in hope that some day the word Christian is not so easily equated with bigotry or ignorance.

Part 2: My Smart Socially Liberal Friends In The Bible Belt

I have a lot of friends on my side of the aisle who are good with words and try to use those words to debate respectfully on Facebook when controversial subjects come up. I love seeing their activity on Facebook because, in a Red state, it’s nice to know that you have smart and kind people on your side who can intellectually and lovingly fight for your causes. Because a lot of times I’m too chicken to do it.

I’m really good at spending hours crafting the perfect status explaining why Transgender and Cisgender people should all be on the same side AGAINST the perverts and predators (since Trans people get targeted too) instead of waging the war against each other. I post on MY wall, my beliefs and my thoughts all the time. But if you post something contrary on your wall? I just don’t even try. In part because I am apathetic because I just believe there are some minds I can’t change.

But mostly I’m chicken.

But so many of my smarter friends will open discussions about the trials facing the LGBTQ community and I proudly read as they respectfully debate the points I wish I was smart enough and brave enough to debate. They speak for my people and they do it beautifully. It’s hard to defend the rights of LGBTQ people in the bible belt yet so many of my friends do time and time again and it just makes me proud.

And to my socially liberal friends who vote conservative because they are conservative in every other way, you impress me the most. It proves so many of these issues are bigger than politics. They’re human issues and if you proudly vote Republican because of economics or military policy, but you LOUDLY support the LGBTQ community? You are proving that. You are proving that human rights go beyond politics.

Part 3: My Undying Gratitude

It’s hard to be in either of the groups I mentioned. Whether you’re a loving and non-judging Christian who thinks Jesus loves everyone and all good people go to heaven regardless of Church attendance, or you’re a socially liberal person in a blue state in the Bible belt – Life is hard. It’s so easy to get discouraged because sometimes you just can’t win. You just can’t make someone see things the way you see them. You just can’t open hearts or minds to your side. No matter how kind you are or how respectful. No matter how logical your arguments are or no matter how full of love your voice is, you are still sometimes going to meet walls of hate or disagreement that will never budge. Some people are just going to always believe all religion is terrible. Some people are going to always believe Transgender Men and Women are faking or freaks. Some people are never going to think Christians can support Gay Marriage because of the Bible. Some people are never going to believe Gay Marriage should be allowed. (Usually because of the Bible.)

But know that I thank you, not for ME, but for the people reading your words. You might have a Facebook friend who has a child that is just slowly coming out as Transgender, and you don’t know it. Or maybe a coworker whose Sister was assigned the gender of Male at birth. Maybe your neighbor is gay. Or maybe that girl in that running group that you friended has a gay child. (Hi! *waves*) That friend sees your words debating rights, or maybe your words proclaiming the love of Jesus no matter your gender or sexual orientation, and that friend’s heart feels full. That friend will never tell you what your words did, but take it from me…they read your words.

Whether you’re trying to remind people about the all-encompassing love of Jesus, or you’re trying to defend Gay Marriage in the bible belt…your words are being read by people who need them. Please, keep writing. Many of us are too scared, or not good with words, and we need you to speak for us. I know it’s discouraging and sometimes you think, Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and live my life. But please don’t. There are Christians struggling to find church homes that will not judge their gay marriage or their Trans brother. There are Trans people in your community worried about coming out and your words remind them they have friends they can trust. Your words matter. Don’t be discouraged.

The political discourse in this country is filled with soundbites and rage. We need kind and respectful voices in the crowd. We need people who can arrive at, “We can agree to disagree,” but have gotten there without angering the other person. We need voices that are calm and ones willing to say, “I’ve never thought of it that way before.” We need people will to say, “I was wrong,” and most importantly of all, “I do not know.” But most importantly we need voices of love to counter the fear. “I love you. I respect you. I am not afraid of you.”

Thanks to all of you. I try to be brave and see opportunities where maybe I can share wisdom or insight but it’s hard because I’m a fragile little flower. So to you strong saplings who will to speak for your people even when you are surrounded by ancient Redwoods, Thank you.