Volume 01 | June 15 2020
Ronda's POV
Two Truths, One Poem, and the Stories We Tell
Two Truths

“We can trust that the sun will rise again in the morning, as sure as it will set the evening before and after.”

When I begin to lose my sense of faith, I remember this.


“This, too, shall pass.”

Emotions are transient. In the moments when I was on my knees and my tears flooded the kitchen floor from the grief, sadness, and overwhelming emotional pain I felt in the midst of a PTSD episode, I would wonder how I would find the strength to stand again. Eventually, through the pain and tears, I found my way to remembering this truth, and thought, "My story will not end today."

One Poem
I fell off the boat and hit my head on the water's sharp edge
Buried beneath the ocean's wreckage, my words and thoughts left me bruised

Out from the shadows, the Wicked Witch came
She reached out her hand and saved my name

I could hardly breathe when her hand suffocated mine
Lifted up, my body surrendered to the air's dull knife 

I thought for sure she'd throw me back in
And hold me under until the salty water burned from within

Teasing me as her silent laughter ripped through my Soul

"Wake up. Or be killed," her bloody lips released
As the ship's broken parts tossed about from beneath

My limp body resisted as I pried my eyes open
My eyes locked with hers, and she released her grip

The free fall tore my breath away
I gasped for air, dying to be born again

A part of me died in the sea that day
And another part was born, and I called her Grace

The Stories We Tell
Choose Happy
“Choose happy.” That’s what many say, demand, request...

As if people can lay out every human emotion in front of them and place them in a cup. And then, for every life event, simply select the “happy” cup and drink it. And then with each sip, the death, sexual abuse, riots, racism, loss, and the grief that accompanies such events can be somehow “happ-ied” away.

Life does not, nor is it meant, to work that way.

Emotions are informative—they allow for expression and communication. Emotions can guide us to our truth—the one that lies within each of us.

Emotions that are expressed in a healthy way are akin to a beautiful light and an expression of one’s soul, no matter how “dark” or “ugly” or “unacceptable” we might have been taught the emotions are that fall outside of the boundaries of “happy.”

Emotions can also co-exist. I can feel the love and joy I experience each time I look into my loving pooch’s eyes, while also feeling the grief and sadness that accompany my experience of sexual abuse as a child and the livelihood frequently lost as a result of it. The latter experience comes with valid heartache, grief, pain, and unearned suffering. And under such circumstances, no one should expect me to “choose” happy. Nor is it possible to “choose happy” in the midst of a depressive episode, a panic attack, being subject to racism, or during the moments or timeframes of loss that take our breath away.

It requires courage to allow the full range of emotions to surface, including the anger, sadness, and fear—for it is through them that the light on the other side exists. Providing space for and allowing emotions to be expressed in the moments they are experienced can help to alleviate and deflate explosion of emotions down the road—for the individual, for the group, for the community, for society, for the world. 

Be kind. Be well. Be gentle.

With love and gratitude,
A Little C-PTSD Humor
Living with C-PTSD, PTSD, and other chronic physical and mental health conditions comes with a lot of challenges, and there is little humor to be found in the midst of the symptoms and flare-ups. Still, though, humor found in hindsight and day-to-day... it's often how I made it to the next moment.