Friday, October 2, 2009

I was looking in a *virtual* mirror

Some time ago, I stumbled upon the blog of a *survivor* (is that what they're still calling us?) ~ and as I read through her posts - I found myself wondering if I had somehow dissociated and assumed another web-address and was writing my feelings through the perspective of someone else ~ I don't mean that in the 'literal' sense.... I had no idea who this woman was and yet I felt what she felt, I have said the same things she said.

And then suddenly her writing stopped. She just stopped writing. And after I had read her final post, like the heroine in a book unable to be put down, I wondered what happened to her after she stopped writing. Then a few months later, I staggered upon another blog…yet another survivor of child abuse – and it felt familiar. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but this blog was written by the same woman, and I was thankful to have found the sequel.

I don’t remember who commented first, but I do think it was around the same time that we both realized that we shared more than just a history of child abuse, more than just a bitter distaste for Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, and containment. We feel the same pain and we use some of the same coping skills to deal with our pain. We both use humor to express pain we could not understand. There were some days when she would post EXACTLY what I felt on the same exact day. I felt connected to this woman I had never met.

Support and solidarity a near daily occurrence between the two of us as we cried together, drank together, and struggled together ~ we basked in brief moments of quietness and peace, and encouraged each other to get through another day. I looked forward to reading what she had to say~ She was someone I had never met, and yet she felt so ‘familiar’.

So many many days I thought to myself, "I would love to meet this woman in sit with her, to share with her, to see real life." But that seems so far fetched in the blog world. What are the chances...a million to one? We read, we comment, we 'connect' virtually to people who live 10's of thousands of miles away from us.

But sometimes 'fate' or whatever, takes a hand...
Late last week I found out about a last minute business trip I would be taking...and my destination was nearly in the same town where she lived. Who'd a thunk it? But it was real. And we made plans to meet, in person, not on-line.

And on Tuesday night, we met face to face, in person. And as we shared a late dinner, we connected in person, as we had through our writing. The conversation flowed as we laughed and cried and connected. There were no uncomfortable silences, no awkward moments. In fact, within an hour we were finishing each others sentences. I felt as though we had known each other for years.

Although we have known each other a short time, we have connected through shared experiences and she is a true close friend - a woman I will always be there for - a woman who will always be there for me. She *knows* me and still accepts me.

I am honored to call her my friend. She is kindhearded and strong. She is beautiful both inside and out. Her words of encouragement have given me the strength to get through another night. Her name is Lynn. She is amazing and she is real - I am proud to call her my friend. She is beautiful, and she is the real....behind the words... She is my friend.

I was so fearful of the business trip I had to take this week, but my knowing that I would have the opportunity to meet my "friend", have the chance to connect with another survivor I've shared so much with through writing, gave me something to look forward too...a reason to get on the plane.

We will see each other again, my friend...and until that time, I send you strength and encouragement...every minute of every day. What a blessing you are in my life. You make me feel less alone, you make me feel 'accepted' for me. You know ME, the 'real' Grace and you accept me...and I cherish you.

*raising wine glass to your beer bottle* Cheers, my friend! I am blessed to know you!


  1. Aw, Grace. {{{{{{you're sweet}}}}}}

    I so feel the same way. I was really quite astonished and excited to find your blog. I was beginning to wonder if I was just 'doing it all wrong' until I found you. Then I knew I wasn't doing it wrong, I was simply telling the gut wrenching truth and had finally found someone else, whose truth is so similar to mine, who dared to do the same. It's not always easy to do when there is fear that the truth might be distasteful to others. The shame monster awaits... and then I must gather up the nerve to shout the truth at it as well. I'm sure you know what I mean.

    I, too, have been taking comfort from that night. It stays with me. So do you. I had to claw my way out of the pit tonight. I'm glad I did it so I could make it over here to 'see' you.


  2. Grace,
    I am so happy that you two got to meet! It must have been "ethereal"! Really. I can't even imagine what it would be like to meet someone like me, who accepts me, likes me, is like me, etc, and knows about me. I cried when I read this. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Lynn, I wondered the same thing. Like you, I am "real" here, and as Shrek says, "Better out then in..."
    I am glad you clawed your way out of the pit too. I know how difficult it is. And I am always happy to see you, IRL or virtually.
    XO! ~ Grace

    I know, huh?
    I have read what you have written, your *true* self and your feelings and experiences. And I like you, and I accept you ~ and I know about you (at least what you've written and "told" me.) You are not alone.... ((((IVORY)))))
    ~ Grace