Hello! Where Were You?

Hello! Where have you been?

That’s a question that I have asked myself many times the past seven months. Just like most people, my life changed dramatically during the quarantine, the unrest in the spring, and the continuing effects of the pandemic. One of the biggest questions (and there were many) I had asked myself during this time was, why did I stop writing? For over five years, writing has been my link to sanity, and connection; a critical part of my healing journey.

I write under a pen name, which at the beginning was to protect me, my family, and my perpetrators. That was the safest way I could share my story. My kids always said my pen name and my real name were the worst kept secrets, especially when my books began to sell and I was doing more and more local speaking. I love my pen name-Alexis is very much who I am. I don’t hide behind the name, I love that name~it wasn’t a random choice; there is great meaning behind it for me. I believe when quarantine hit our family and all the implications of what could happen to my husband if he caught COVID that fear led me to a full stop. I didn’t want anything to do with Alexis or writing.

That period of time was quite difficult. All the tools and distractions I used to manage my PTSD was suddenly gone. The stress of not knowing how to learn new tools as well as the hypervigilance of paying attention to the unfolding science took its toll. My extreme extraverted self needed to find a way to hunker down, settle in, and get some help. Apparently, my writing needed a quarantine too.  

I live in the Twin Cities, MN. In the spring, after the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and unrest, I knew that I had to learn what it meant to be anti-racist. I have 14 nieces and nephews who are multi-racial. I thought I had it figured out, but I didn’t.

Between COVID and the unrest this Spring, I have had many uncomfortable conversations with people who are close to me. I have always been a person who gave others the space to be just who they were, without much judgment. That no longer serves me in this changing world. So what do I do with that information? I’m not sure! It’s a many-layered challenge and not something that comes with an easy answer. 

Then, despite my diligence-I got COVID-19! I was very sick for one month and then it took another couple of weeks to actually begin to feel like the illness was behind me and I could trust I was getting better. 

So a lot has happened existentially and physically to me in the last seven months. But where was I? Well, I believe I was right here. At least in spirit. 

I am very involved in a non-profit organization called EmpowerSurvivors.  http://www.empowersurvivors.net/ EmpowerSurvivors is a peer-led support organization for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Since the pandemic and ensuing quarantine guidelines, we began to offer on-line support. Which has been fabulous. Because now, through Zoom survivors from all over the U.S. and the world can participate in peer-led support groups and classes. It’s been wonderful!

I’ve also been writing. Well, that comment is a bit of a stretch. I have a story in my head that has its first lines and the very last line with no middle. To me, that is fascinating as I know the story will unfurl and find a way to my blog for all of you to read.

I have also been learning new ways to cope. Not being able to hug, touch hands, and hang out with my friends and kids has been lonely and excruciating. It’s been quite a challenge, but this week, I could tell that things are starting to come together on the self-care end and I’m in more of an acceptance mode.  Just in time for winter to hit MN.

I knew this morning that I was ready to come back to the wonderful WordPress community. I knew that when my fingers were itching to get back to the keyboard, and words were bursting out of me that I am ready to write again.

Where was I? Well, all over the place inside~figuring out where I stand and what is important and how I will move forward as a person in this world. I will continue to use my voice and write about mental health, particularly living with PTSD, and as always there will be a  little bit of poetry sprinkled in along the way.

Thanks for all your fabulous support for the past five years. Without the wonderful community here, I would not have had the courage to come back and say, Hello!

 

 

45 thoughts on “Hello! Where Were You?

  1. Awe, thank you so much! Your support is always so thoughtful. I’m grateful for the long time WordPress connections that we form on here. Hoping that you and yours stay healthy as we navigate these strange and often scary times. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis, what a ride you’ve had these past few months. So glad to hear that you are feeling better, hopefully with no more lingering COVID symptoms. Such challenging times, we all have work to do just holding each other up. I can’t imagine what its like for those with PTSD to navigate these times, as its been challenging for me and friends who don’t have PTSD. I honor your strength and resolve. Many many blessings to you for all that you do. May you move forward gently and with grace as you move back into the writing world once again. Welcome back!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Ali. Its nice to connect again. Yes, its been a time for radical change for many for sure. I an starting to catch up on blogs the past few days. I always enjoy your poems. They absolutely give me a boost-and an exhale ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back. It sounds like you have been evolving yourself. I am sorry that you had COVID19 and I am so glad to hear that you are ok. I too have been educating myself on racism and how to be an antiracist. We can learn to listen and communicate differently with time and effort.
    Thanks for taking action to help others and yourself even though it sounds like a very difficult journey. You are making a difference. Take care.
    If you need a boost I hope my poems can add lift to your day.
    Ali

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank You! ❤️
    I was glad to see that you were still writing. I love that you found a way to keep at it, just to keep your writing muscles flexed.
    Im so sorry to hear you and your partner had Covid! You’re right, it does suck! Im glad you are both doing okay!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back! You are definitely not alone. I think we’ve all been struggling to keep up normal routines through this. I ended up creating a whole “I don’t know what to write, so I’m just going to post randomness” series to keep going. But, even still, I know I’ve been writing less frequently. Covid sucks. We had it in April, and definitely felt sick for like three weeks and had weeks afterward where we were just still not ourselves. (My Partner more than I. It does seem true men get it worse on average.) Glad to have you back and glad that, for all it sucked, you also had a comparatively mild covid case.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh Linda, I have tears of happiness reading this. I have missed you-I’ve thought of you often and you have also been in my prayers.
    It was so weird to be disconnected from a community and people that have meant so much to me for so many years.
    I think I just couldn’t figure out how to live my life-everything seemed so triggering. So I get how this messed with your PTSD too.

    New laptops are not as easy as seem for me either.
    Hmmmmm-an age thing 🤣At least it is for me.

    Maybe we can find some sort of right now normal. Im can tell-with connection again, Im going to sleep a lot better tonight. ❤️❤️❤️❤️😃❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s good to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear that you caught COVID, but I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’m also glad that, from the sound of things, you have been doing a lot of internal work.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SUPER HAPPY that you are back! I was concerned about you. I prayed for you, because I was so worried.

    This has been the craziest year! On top of everything else, my ancient Windows 7 laptop recently bit the dust and all day long, I have been trying to figure out Windows 10. Which is why there was such a long time lag between me liking your post, and writing this comment. Augh!

    Covid-19 has been messing with my PTSD, too. I haven’t done much posting, either. One reason being that I really don’t know how to put it into words.

    I am so sorry you got covid-19, but super happy that you are doing better. A couple of my relatives also got covid-19, which really terrified me, but they are doing well now, too.

    I just want the world to be NORMAL again! I know that’s not likely to happen any time soon. But YAAAAAAAAAAAAY you are BACK, and that is making me feel a lot better! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so glad you’re better and have returned. Reading your words are so inspiring and inspiration is always a must-have for all of us. As always, thank you for sharing. Sending virtual hugs to a fellow survivor who is writing about something I continue to struggle with.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Welcome back!! I’m so glad you are feeling better and writing again. 2020 is a year that most of us want to forget, but I’m glad you haven’t forgot us or your writings. 🙂 Hello to you too!

    Liked by 2 people

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