The forecast for this weekend is…more snow. Okay, I shouldn’t complain – afterall, it’s winter. But I’ve spent one too many weekends shoveling out my car, while Hannah and Sam lounge about the garret, sleeping or playing. This makes me cranky.
Thankfully, since my last post, both Hannah and Sam have been healthy, enough that my only trip to the vet has been to pick up more prescription cat food. Hannah will have her annual exam in early April, at which time we’ll test her liver to be sure her enzymes are still in the normal range.
Of course, this blog, and my life with Hannah and Sam, has been a backdrop to a larger issue: healing from post-traumatic stress disorder. My cats have both taught me (and each other) a great deal. As I sit with them on the garret chaise in the evenings, Hannah to my right and Sam to my left, I’m grateful for their presence. Three’s good company.
A week ago, I published an essay, “My Deep Dark Secret,” in Salon about a particular (non-cat) aspect of my healing from PTSD. I submitted the piece on Tuesday, and by Thursday it was accepted, and by Friday evening it was the cover story. To be honest, at first I thought about withdrawing my manuscript, because I feared what people would think of the truth I wrote on the page, but then I was tired of hiding behind my shame. So I stopped hiding, and then everything changed.
Since the essay’s debut, I’ve received an overwhelming amount of emails, Tweets, and messages from people in response. A few sexual abuse survivors wrote to tell me they could relate, and that my essay gave them hope. I also heard from someone who runs writing workshops at a women’s prison in Florida, who said that many of the inmates had been sexually abused as girls, as I had, and that that led to a life that led to where they are today. She told me she was going to share my essay with them, to show them that healing is possible. I was so moved by that I just about cried.
Healing is possible. With time, acceptance, and the love of others, healing – whatever the kind of suffering or cause – happens.