Dogs. Just dogs.

So, the situation here is different. I thought I would explain my living circumstances/environment for anyone who cares!

My host friend Melissa has eight dogs. I’ve been trying to find the right words for their way of life and I think I finally landed on Pet Hotel. They’re permanent residents at a pet hotel.

6 of the tenants were last-chance rescues. All of them have bite records. They’re unpredictable with other dogs. They’re great dogs but they aren’t adoptable. She has had many of these dogs for years. In fact, one of them came from me/Good Karma.

Each of those 6 dogs has their own run in an indoor climate-controlled attached garage. There are “shifts” in place for feeding, let-outs, cleaning the pens, replacing bedding no matter what, etc. They have to be let out one at a time for play because they are unpredictable with one another. They’re all large strong dogs who are teddy bears as long as they are separated.

Shadow, one of the hotel residents. He loves to fetch. Beautiful guy. He’s probably 60 pounds?

There are two more “hotel” residents. They live inside the house and get along great, but they can’t mingle with others. So they spend their time together, but separately from everyone else. All of the dogs seem content and know their routines. They’re happy and clean. And there’s a system that makes it all manageable. Well, on paper. It’s a lot of physical work that won’t be manageable for me.

Jack, an indoor hotel resident. He’s so cute and fun and I love him!

Then, add my seven and that’s 15 dogs if you’re counting. My seven are basically the only open reign mixing and mingling dogs, so they aren’t affected. I simply put them in my room in crates while the other dogs are getting their free time.

It’s no award winner, but it’s a very rare photo that actually contains all 7 of my dogs in one frame. Dinnertime!

So, it sounds hectic. And it is, but really the whole thing is so incredibly organized that it never feels like there are that many dogs.

My dogs are all physically “off”. Their moods seem great, but Walter is slipping on his back legs again and dragging his back end sometimes. Cass is nursing an eye injury likely inflicted by playing with Donovan. Bella is now barking in the middle of the night to wake me up for no reason. Donovan has COMPLETELY regressed to puppyhood and quite honestly he’s awful. Lol I adore this dog but he’s young and strong and needs parents who are the same. He is a different dog here. It’s only been a week so I’m holding out hope that he will settle down.

Omg whose dog is this

My dogs are quite comfortable here and seem to be taking it in stride. They’ve been so good through the flight, the long drive, a new house to learn. I’m a lucky dog momma.

My Cass, Baby Faye, and Rosie. Not a care in the world!

No such thing as recovery

It’s been a tough week for me. Being a guest in someone’s home is tough. You don’t want to intrude. But you’re 52 years old and have 7 dogs.

I had whittled down my possessions again, and except for clothes and toiletries, everything lives in suitcases now. It’s not easy to move into someone’s home and life. Trying to take up as little space as possible. Mentally beating myself up a lot right now, and feeling like a huge loser.

I’ve been really sick. 99% sure it’s covid. I’ve been sick for several weeks and nobody has really known how sick except a couple of friends. It’s hanging on and it’s pretty extreme and it’s most likely covid. I know enough people with extensive experience to know when it’s dangerous, and it’s kicking my ass but I don’t feel I need a hospital. Hospitals here in the area are at full capacity anyway and are asking those with symptoms to stay home unless they are unable to breathe. I can breathe so I’m okay.

I haven’t been able to take care of myself because my roomie is gone a lot traveling for work and personal reasons, which leaves me in charge of 15 dogs and 5 cats. It’s not what it sounds like; her 8 dogs are somewhat more of forever boarding cases, and not really family-type pets. They require twice daily physical needs met like food, water, and cleaning up. Then you try to squeeze in some emotional and social time for them too, but they can’t be together so you spend time with one dog at a time. Tending to the dogs means several trips up and down steps that are difficult to navigate 12 times twice a day. I knew she needed help with the dogs but I wasn’t prepared for her being gone a lot so quickly after I arrived.

The one benefit I am getting from being back in the US so far is the conveniences. I placed orders for recurring dog food delivery today and I ordered a couple of pairs of jeans. All will be delivered to the house ASAP and I don’t have to stress about finding dog food or going without clothes I need.

Holidays, all of these changes, sickness, among other things have me feeling pretty blue. Physically besides the covid, my RA and spinal pain are off the charts. Just off the charts. I need to get some medical and mental attention soon, and I need to make some choices for my own health and well being.

What a mess life is. Nothing is as I thought it would be. Nothing is as it should be. I’m just tumbling through some sort of existence that doesn’t allow me to sleep or rest, doesn’t connect me with circumstances that just allow me to heal and recover or even take care of myself when I’m really sick. I need to find my way and I need to fix this. All of it. Mental pain, emotional pain, physical pain, loss of direction and control, loss of hope in the future, loss of hope in general, homelessness, joblessness. A new location again. And the fucking holidays begin again.

Fuck.

Homecoming

As I woke up I realized I was in more pain than I could describe. I couldn’t move. My spine and my hips were fused into some painful twist and couldn’t stretch out. I was rocking side to side, back and forth. I could hear and feel every tiny pebble on the road beneath. Every slight turn, my body painfully bracing to adjust and compensate. And it all came back to me. I was 52 years old, traveling with all my worldly possessions, my dogs, and myself. Sleeping in the back of a cargo van.

Fuck. How the fuck did I end up right here, right now? How did I end up homeless, in the back of a van, depressed, lost, and with zero direction in my life?

I can’t even begin to describe my feelings. I can only say I’m really, really going through a lot. Things I didn’t expect/have never considered have hit me. Reality hits me.

The dogs are adjusting well. Me, not as easily. It’s great to be in a place where conveniences exist again. Where I can understand and communicate more easily. Where I have more options and more connections. But I also have to adjust and accept what’s been lost. Moving here was giving up the last piece of independence I had; my own place. I’ve had my own place since I was 18. I have to look towards a future I’m not prepared for. I have to seek what I need and know it when I find it. I have to start again.

Fuck.

Melissa my host friend is a super talented vegan cook.
So I’ll be eating like this 😁
Making friends
Comfy

My last night in the Dominican Republic

Tomorrow is the day. The day I have been anxiously waiting for. The day I get to leave this experience behind me where it belongs.

I’m having a mix of emotions that are hard to describe. And it’s a pretty big swing from 1-100. No in-between. Intense excitement, pain, anticipation, dread, confidence, fear, sadness, hopefulness, hopelessness. strength, fragility, proud, terrified. I feel it all.

My brain is scrolling through the lists: did I remember this, handle that, pay the other, get the dogs’ paperwork, put my passport in an easy place (after only one panic attack when I misplaced it and found it packed in a duffel bag). Is everything, and I mean everything, packed. My dogs are nervous and worried, I’m nervous and scared, and so it goes. The feelings don’t magically go away when I land, either. Landing in the US is not an ending to the emotional turmoil, it’s just the beginning of a different kind of emotional turmoil.

Here’s the thing. I think I can safely say that there is never going to be a day when Michael’s death doesn’t completely fuck me up in every way. No, I’m not in some deep state of “grief”; I simply won’t ever be complete without him. I’m working SO HARD to make something of what’s left of my life, and I hope that whatever I make of it will lead me to a happier “place”, but I will never, ever NOT miss him and I’ll never be okay with him being gone.

Realizing this isn’t upsetting. I truly believe that unless I acknowledge this and learn to walk with it, I’ll end up spiraling down. It’s okay to accept your reality. It’s also okay to say that your reality sucks. It’s honest and it’s true and it’s authentic.

For many months I have felt that there is a dark presence here; a black energy. There are many murders and suicides here on the North Coast. I haven’t talked about it in any sort of serious manner except with one friend in the DR, but for several months, serious suicidal thoughts took me over. I had a plan. I wanted to die. I felt stuck here in a place where I wasn’t safe. I felt that I couldn’t get out of this situation because of Covid and the flight situation and the number of dogs I have. After looking into every possible option, a private flight was the only way to get off the island right now. My mental health was/is poor enough that while others may think it’s ridiculous, it really was and is necessary to get myself closer to decent medical care for my RA and mental health resources. Luckily I have a loving circle of friends that pooled together and pitched in, getting me within $3500 of my goal. I had to borrow that, but there was no question. I need to get out of here.

This adventure has torn me apart. It’s taken so much from me and dragged me to rock bottom. Yes, there have been many good times, beautiful memories, and poignant lessons. But there is no doubt; this is not my place, my life, or my desire. I don’t fit here, and beyond that it’s a dark place for me.

I was robbed in my home while I slept a few feet away. I lost my vehicle and walked away from my house and my job at once. I then found a house all my own for the first time since I was divorced from husband #1. Later, I was sexually assaulted in my new home. The entire time, we are on lockdown because of covid ranging anywhere from borders being shut down and curfews that are still in place. For months, we couldn’t even go to the beach. So home is where everyone stayed. This threw me into a situation of so much isolation that it wasn’t healthy. And that’s when the darkness set in.

Some people say I’m strong but what is strong really? Is not killing yourself “strong”? I would say the only thing that got me through the past few weeks has been knowing I’m almost out of here. The business of readying for a huge international move on my own has occupied my mind and kept me from going under.

So, tomorrow one of my dearest friends Angela (who runs the horse rescue) is coming over in the morning with her big truck. Paola is coming with her because I’m renting Paola’s car. We will load up both vehicles with dogs, crates, and bags. Then we will drive to the airport, to a special terminal for private flights. I won’t have to deal with TSA and dragging the dogs through an airport. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Angela. She is my sister. For many months, we couldn’t understand each other because she spoke no English and I spoke almost no Spanish. But somehow, we got through to each other and formed a deep bond that we can’t explain. Saying goodbye to her will be very hard.

I’ll take my flight on a little prop plane, and I’ll land in Florida. There, my friend Melissa who is opening her home to me and the dogs will be waiting to load up my things into a fully stocked transport van, and she will accompany me for the 30-hour road trip home. As I write this, she’s on the road to come and get me.

After arriving “home”, the real shit begins. The recovery. Decompression. Gratitude. Not gonna lie. It’s scary.

So the next time I write, I’ll be back on US soil. I picked a lovely time to return, right? Why not plan to arrive in the middle of more political unrest and as the second wave of COVID begins? It makes perfect sense and falls right in line with the rest of my life.

Wish me luck for an uneventful trip, and let’s hope that as I lift off I can feel some of this black energy leaving me.

Edge of Seventeen

That’s how old I was when I made my move and started taking care of myself. I had an abusive, alcoholic mother and I would do almost anything to get the hell away from her.

I was the youngest of five kids, BUT the only natural child of my father’s. My dad met my mom when she had my siblings, and he married her and adopted them. There were never words like half-brothers or half-sisters. We were a family and I didn’t understand it to be anything different. Until one time in my late adolescent years. My sister Linda, 9 years older than me, had a boyfriend over to the house. When I walked into the living room, she told him I was her half-sister. I’ll never forget it. It devastated me. Throughout our years together, Linda would make comments about me being spoiled or my dad loving me best because I was his daughter. These comments continued until my dad died and even afterwards. When I was young it made me feel awful because she insisted on singling me out from my other siblings who shared a father, and when I was older it made me angry because it just wasn’t true. I may have been treated differently growing up because I was dramatically younger, but it had nothing to do with my DNA. And as an adult, I may have been closest to my dad, but that’s because I put effort into having a relationship with him.

Anyway, my mother had a mental illness that had gone undiscovered for many years. As my siblings grew into teenagers, real trouble started with them. REAL trouble. My brother being arrested, sisters running away, dropping out of school, just a lot more trouble than typical teens. And my mom started drinking.

Gradually, one by one the siblings left at young ages, leaving me the only child left in the house with a raging alcoholic for a mother. By the time I reached the age of 13, she was checked out. My (at the time) emotionally unavailable father was all I had. When I got my first-ever period, I had to go to my dad. Typical teen angst or issues, I was on my own.

My mom was pretty cruel to my dad. She didn’t love him. She cheated on him, emotionally and verbally abused him, and was just cruel in general. Her dislike for him bled over into me and I was told many, many times that my mom regretted having me and she should have stopped while she was ahead. I was cursed at, beaten bloody with belts to the point my high school counselor intervened and called the police when he saw me at school with welts on my body. I was woken up in the middle of the nights when they would fight, and my mom would tell me to get in the car and we would drive to her boyfriends house where I would try to sleep on the couch while my mom and her boyfriend would retreat to the bedroom. My childhood is really an entire book.

All of this led to me getting out as soon as I could. I got pregnant at 17, got pregnant again at 18 (same daddy), and married at 19. My parents helped us out in the early years of our marriage, but I have been on my own and taken care of my shit ever since then. It’s been a badge of honor for me, something to be proud of, that I was able to overcome the abuse I suffered. I have always been fiercely independent because those I leaned on let me down. These lessons continued into adulthood even up to today.

Why am I writing this? Well I’m moving this week, back to the US and in with a friend. And I’m really sad about it. In exploring my thoughts, I think what’s happening is grief. Grief for a life I worked so hard for and lost, yes – but also, grief for my independence. In just a few days, I will be living in someone else’s home that they worked for. Their decor, their colors. Their neighborhood. Their HOME. For the FIRST time in my life, I don’t have a home. I don’t have my own place that I can make my own. At the age of 52, I am starting from scratch and am the furthest thing from independent I can think of. And it takes me back to those years suffering at the hand of my mother. Where I had no control, no means to take care of myself. Those years that I swore that NEVER again would I be stuck ANYWHERE because I would ALWAYS be able to take care of myself.

Moving here was SO HARD. It took ALL of my courage and trust and hope. I don’t feel ready to do this again. I don’t feel ready or strong enough to start again.

And it’s sad. And I miss him and all that we shared. That’s all.

Lisa

He lived before he died

Grief is a strange word. The dictionary defines grief: “deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death”. Society defines it differently, with a bunch of bullshit stages (don’t get me started on how the 5 stages of grief are for the DYING not the living) that have a nice a tidy timeline and end date. To say someone is grieving for years would be implying that they’re not coping very well.

Then, there’s mourning. The dictionary defines mourning as “the expression of deep sorrow for someone who has died”. Now, in my mind mourning is the period of time, however long, where you are devastated. Sobbing. Perhaps not able to control your emotions as much. The early stages of life after death. At least in my mind anyway.

Why am I talking about this? Because for me, grief is forever. I will ALWAYS be a grieving wife, a Rememberer. I will always be the one left behind, serving my life sentence until either I see him again as I believe I will, or until I am in complete blackness, lacking a consciousness and therefore unable to feel this pain any longer.

Part of my path has been walking with my grief, letting it become my companion. Making room for it and accommodating it. Acknowledging it and actually being grateful for it because every single day it proves to me that I was gifted with the most beautiful, whole, all-encompassing, pure love.

But, he deserves more.

Michael deserves to be more than my dead husband. He deserves to be my husband. My happy, joyful, silly, funny, dorky, protective, devoted husband. He isn’t a dead man. He’s an amazing man who isn’t here any more. He deserves to be remembered for his life, not his death. While his death and those final weeks will always be a part of me and etched into my soul, what will really always define me is the love I shared with this amazing, selfless man. I’m working on replacing sad memories with happy ones, and remembering him for who we was – not how he died. I’m working hard to pull up those memories from BEFORE he got sick, and replacing them in my mind’s movie so that I can remember him with joy and not sorrow. All he ever wanted was for me to be happy, and he would be devastated to know that I felt sad when I think of him.

I’ll always grieve. I’ll always walk with the sadness and the heaviness of losing him. But I am also making room for the love and the happiness we shared, and his wishes for me to keep going and find happiness. Easier said than done, but I truly do look for the beauty in each day. I am appreciating the people I love more and more as I come in and out of the widow’s fog. I’m looking towards fun and meaningful ways to serve the rest of my life sentence. And I will make an effort every day to recall a great memory of the man who lived for me. Everything he did, everything he was, everything he wanted, was for me. He deserves that. He lived before he died, and he made a difference. He changed my life and brought out the best version of me. He taught me so much and most of all, he helped me to see my own worth.

He deserves to be remembered for that. Not for cancer.

~ Lisa

Time Stands Still

As I count down my time in the DR, it is CREEPING slowly towards my finish line. At the same time it’s moving pretty quick as I tie up loose ends. Leaving a country makes a move MUCH MUCH bigger than anything you can imagine. There’s no going back for anything you forgot. No multiple trips or trucks.

As I reflect on this time, it really is reaching a finish line of some sort of hellish punishing nightmare that feels more like a challenge and a test of my willingness and ability to live than anything else. It felt like an adventure of some sorts, but more like an adventure of pain, torture, and solitary confinement. A test of fortitude. A series of challenges including robbery and sexual assault. A series of people thrown at me to test how much cruelty and betrayal I could sustain. I’m tired. I’ll literally need recovery time to get over all I have experienced here.

But I’m alive. I survived. I’m getting out before this place kills me, which I wasn’t always sure I would be able to do. There were times when I really thought I would end up dying here, either the victim of a crime or death by suicide. There were SO MANY people who tried to ruin me or take me down. And while some of them succeeded in the short term, I’m getting out. And I’m proud of that.

This country has cost me money, a sense of security, my mental and physical health, my stability, my trust in human beings, and my peace. I don’t know what’s next but I do know that the other thing this country has given me is the knowledge that there’s no reason to be afraid. Fear doesn’t change anything except it weakens you. And I can’t afford to be weak. I must always, always be on my toes. I must always strap on the armor and be as strong as I can while I serve this life sentence. I can’t let my shields down and I can’t slack on protecting myself and my energy. It’s exhausting but I can’t show vulnerability or cracks in my shield. I don’t think I’ll be able to really let anyone in ever again. I hope I’m wrong.

And the countdown continues. Less than 2 weeks until I can begin my mental and physical recovery on US soil. Let’s just hope that my country is in a more positive place politically when I get there. I hope I am not going home to riots or violence, although I suspect I might have to. I hope I can return to a country that I’m proud of, a country that is rebuilding and recovering from its own trauma.

Keep marching onward.

Lisa

Life After Death

Here I am, a little more than 2 years after losing my spirit partner and the love of my life. According to other widows I follow online, this is just another phase and really, grief never ends. It morphs and changes and becomes less shocking, but in the widow world grief is really just coping with loss which of course never ends. It doesn’t necessarily mean sorrow. It’s just walking with your loss.

As I prepare to move countries in the middle of a pandemic and start fresh in another place I’ve never been and live with a roommate for the first time ever and give up the independence of having my own place to live, the sadness and the PTSD are in overdrive. I’m in a very raw place with it all, having extremely vivid dreams about him that are so clear they are almost cruel. So I think it’s safe to say that stress magnifies grief.

I also can tell you that for me at least, the more time goes on the worse it feels in a sense. While I’m not breaking down as often or sobbing at the grocery store (ok sometimes I sob at the grocery store), the depth of pain and loss and loneliness and missing him only gets more intense as more time passes. It makes sense; the longer you go without seeing or hearing from someone, the more you miss them. And the more you miss them (in my case at least), the less you care about other things. So maybe that’s why I don’t cry or break down as much; because emotionally I’ve reached a level of numb that just keeps me in auto-pilot mode.

Now that time has placed some distance between myself and my loss, I think of the future with very little hope. I think about dying alone. I think about and dread milestones, holidays, and birthdays. I don’t really care about my health and I SURE don’t care about longevity. I find immense joy in my dogs and not much else. I think of living alone with a chronic pain condition that is worsening, and no partner to help. I think of living without someone to love me and without someone to love.

There are some positives that have come from this too. It’s not all bad. The strongest positive I can see is the ability to WALK AWAY. If I’m not feeling respected or valued, I’m gone. This is an incredibly freeing, albeit lonely, process that has left me with a very small but very kind inner circle.

My private plane leaves in 18 days! I’m a little stressed because I still am not able to pay for it completely. But things tend to work out one way or another.

Peace.

~ Lisa

Chapter 3

I’ve changed the name of the blog to Chapter 3 now. Chapter One was the nightmare that was the death and immediate aftermath. Chapter Two was the nightmare that became my life in the Dominican Republic. Chapter 3 is now; leaving the DR, and settling back in the US in the near future. Hopefully without the descriptive word “nightmare”. But one can never get too confident.

I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll share more of my DR experiences. But I thought I’d put it into a nutshell for those of you who are catching up. In the span of 16 months, I have:

  • Been home invaded and had my car stolen while I slept just a few feet away
  • Lost/ Sold my home in MN because my renters screwed me over
  • Walked away from the job and the free house I came here for, losing my entire rescue in the process.
  • Lost my “circle” in the process of walking away from aforementioned job
  • Been sexually assaulted in my home by a service worker here to install internet
  • Taken on a foster puppy that has never left, leaving me with seven dogs, one of whom is said foster puppy that is a lot to handle.
  • Met a new group of friends who shunned me because I posted anti-racism things. (#blm)
  • Deteriorated rapidly with my RA symptoms and condition
  • Been taken advantage of to the tune of thousands of dollars, both here in the DR and by my supposed friend in MN.
  • Isolated for 7+ months now with ZERO human interaction except trips to the store.
  • Tried to date one guy who ended up being a stalker
  • Lost my best friend in MN (see reference to being taken advantage of above)
  • Lost my sanity

The sanity one has been a process, but I have literally found myself in a scary and unhealthy place when I decided if I don’t get out of here, I won’t live much longer. I just can’t do it anymore. There’s no safety, no companionship, no support system, no decent health care, no security, and no happiness here for me. It becomes a daily challenge to find something worth living for. It always comes back to my dogs. I’m here for them.

But then something happened. I wrote about it on my FB page, so sad that I couldn’t get out because I can’t get all my dogs on a plane, and my FB/ rescue friends rallied. These folks who I previously considered “rescue friends” proved themselves to be the true crew of people who cared and who had my back. They put together a GoFundMe to raise money to book a charter flight and get me out of here, and it has raised a little over $5000. I am so humbled and shocked and I’ve been so surprised by so many people that I thought really didn’t notice me much. I’m only a few thousand short of my goal and I’m borrowing that money if I can’t raise the rest. And that’s how the story has led to me getting off this hell island in just a few weeks.

I’ll be starting my US adventure with a friend who has very generously offered me a place to stay with my SEVEN dogs. I’m not sure what my end game is, but I have a soft place to land. It will probably take me a while to recover from this entire ordeal. I can’t believe all I have been through. But I am excited and grateful to have the chance to start over again. Again.

I’m not currently working. I was doing some freelance work but I gave that up because I found myself not enjoying it and life is too short.

I’ve learned so much. One of the biggest things I have learned and examined is the extent of my PTSD. The grief is always present, yes. But beyond losing my dad and my husband, the process of watching them die really impacted me. It’s hard enough to lose the two most important men in your life just months apart, but it’s just made more deep and complicated by the visions and the actions of them dying. Caring for and tending to their every need when they became helpless or incoherent. Those last comatose days. The middle of the night wailing, crying because they don’t want to die, unable to listen to reason and doing things that scare you to death. Losing them right before your eyes far before they are gone.

THAT fucks your head right up. So when people think I’m just stuck in grief, well to an extent I am. While I’m not walking around sobbing all the time, grief has become a monster that walks beside me. I’ve made friends with it. I know it’s there and it may not always stop me, but it’s ever present. And right beside that, the PTSD. The sights, the shapes, the sounds. The recall. The conversations. The good moments and the hard ones. The goodbyes.

I’ve learned that PTSD is to be respected just as much as grief. It’s not something you ever “get over”. You can learn to cope with the thoughts for the most part, but you still have those dreams that you can’t shake when you wake up. Or those middle of the night screams that make you sit up in bed even though they aren’t real. Or those fucking moments when you think you want to pick up the phone and text your husband or call your dad.

So…yes, I’m walking with grief every day and functional for the most part. BUT – I’m a more fragile version of myself. A braver, more honest version of myself. A FAR more self-aware version of myself. More than ever I assess what is important and what isn’t. What’s worth my time and my life and what isn’t. What I want to feel and what I don’t. Who I want in my life and who I don’t. It all leads to a more evolved (albeit darker and more fragile) me.

Until next time, Peace.

~ Lisa

It’s Been a While

Wow! It’s been a LOOOOONG time since I have blogged. I made the site private for a long time because I needed a break and I was receiving quite a bit of judgment about the things I was writing.

So much has changed. Too much to write, too much to catch up on.

I guess I can start by saying that after almost 18 months, I am leaving the Dominican Republic and heading back to the US. Yes, at the worst possible time – COVID and the elections. But I’m in trouble. My mental health is suffering so severely that it’s time to go. NOW.

Thankfully, I have an amazing core of friends who have helped support me in getting back home. I have seven dogs now (don’t ask) and my trip requires a private charter plane. And because of them, I am able to do it. I’ll be heading back soon.

Like I said, it’s too much to write in a single blog so I’ll probably be trickling stories in, but I can say this has hands down been the most difficult, enlightening, come-to-Jesus, eye-opening, painful, horrific, and educational experience I have ever had. I have learned so much about myself and what I want my life to be, and what I don’t want it to be, and where I do or don’t belong, and what I do or don’t need. I’m stronger in many ways and more fragile in others. I’m still learning things about myself every day.

More to come. I need to gather my thoughts before I start breaking them down. But I’m okay, I’m alive, and I’m heading to better things.

Peace.

~ Lisa