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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Monday
Feb062012

Floating

In one second the whole world that I worked so hard to build up was knocked down.

Gone. All of it. The big stuff like our daily routine and, you know, the actual house and porch and our yard and the YMCA and the park we went to all the time. And the little stuff like the way the sun hit the front porch as it dropped below the horizon, the birds that danced outside my office window, that one squeaky stair... All gone.

Now, here in this new house, I don't feel like lifting a finger toward settling in, making it feel like home. Where should the dishes go? Where should we put this chair? It all feels so pointless, insignificant and stupid. I feel stupid. For caring about a rental home. For working so hard to fix it up and make it nice. I mean, yeah, our landlords reimbursed us for everything we fixed up, but in the end, it was just a rental. But it isn't about money. It's about the dream. All the time and effort expended toward making that house the best house we ever lived in, the only house that ever felt like home. I actually said that several times to Serge: This is the first house I've ever lived in since my childhood that feels like home. There was talk of maybe even buying it eventually.

After all that, my desire to do anything in this new house is at a solid zero-point-zero. I can't even bring myself to do the damn laundry. There are piles and piles of smoke damaged stuff in the basement that need to be washed in a special solution and I hate even going down there because it smells like house fire.

I know my attitude isn't fair to my kids, or even to Serge, but I'm just super pissed. I can't focus. Before, in the old house, purchasing a shower curtain would've been a fun affair. It would've shaped a day, a family event. Do we want to paint the bathroom? What color? What about rugs? It would've required a lot of deliberation, you know? Some googling and compromising. It's just how we are when we decide to purchase stuff for our house. We like to talk about it and discuss what we could do, what we might do and what we'll actually do. This time there was no discussion. I yanked one off the shelf and we put it up. I just don't care. Yeah, I know, cue the fucking violins because I don't have a desire to buy a shower curtain, at least everyone is okay. And I know that a million times over... and if everyone wasn't okay I would give anything to be dealing with my current situation but well, that makes me feel worse, I guess, that I should be responding differently.

I had this goal, you know? Move to Pennsylvania. Once that was done we put all our energy into making our house into the kind of place we wanted to be for a long time and, well, now I just don't give a shit. Don't even care about living In Pennsylvania anymore. In fact, this new house is so cold and drafty sometimes that I have now started to daydream about moving to a warm climate. Screw the snow. I don't ski anymore, what do I care?

I feel like I don't belong anywhere. Don't want to move back to Utah, not really happy where I am now - I'm just floating, drifting aimlessly, struggling through every day, no goals on the horizon to give the daily grind purpose.

Without goals: not a nice state of mind to linger within. Without goals there is no hope and without hope then what's the point?

Reader Comments (47)

I'm so sorry for everything you're going through, but as much as it sucks, I think it might be ... normal. The grieving, the trauma, and transition. You've been through a lot. I don't know that you should be responding any differently than you are. Which isn't to day it doesn't suck, of course.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

After what you have been through, perhaps some counseling might be helpful. If not, Florida is awesome. :o) Seriously though, if not counseling, maybe a support group for people who have lived through fires? That way you could at least speak with others in the same boat.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim Q

I've wondered how you're really dealing with everything. I think I'd feel much the same. Totally pissed. Royally screwed. All that work you did. It was a perfect house. I want to live in a house like that! And maybe you won't stay in your current rental past your lease. Maybe your "real" house is out there, waiting. Does that make sense? I once lived in a cool two story, modern condo but didn't fix it up the way I really wanted because I just knew that I wouldn't be there forever. Life changed and I had to move. I hope you find your dream house.
And don't feel too guilty about your less than enthused attitude. It won't last forever and sounds pretty reasonable to me. How has sweet Violet been with all the change?
Keep writing!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCristin

I understand what you're saying. I mean, I haven't had a giant life altering event to knock me off my axis or anything, but I'm off. I'm apathetic. I'm itchy. I want to go somewhere new. Where? Couldn't tell you. How? Don't know. I just have the urge to amble and ramble and stumble.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

You had a dream, a feeling of home, a plan and a goal - now that's all gone. You gotta grieve, girl. Part of that process is depression "why should I bother" and apathy "I don't give a shit" and all that. It's okay to feel this way. Don't try to force yourself to "get over it" or "be happy" or "count your blessings" and all that crap that people say because god forbid we be *sad.* Don't try to force yourself to love this rental, it's your rebound home. Abide in it until you feel like you can look forwards again. It will come eventually. But healing always takes time and until you are (healed that is), it's totally normal to feel off your game.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchaeogoddess

This is exactly how I feel these days. My son and I had to move back across the country and back in with my parents because the love of my life and father of my child has decided he wasn't happy with me any more. I just find it so impossible to get my ass in gear enough to give a damn.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterD

I completely agree with Julie, Monica. I think the way you're feeling right now, frustrating as it is, is entirely to be expected. Of course you feel lucky that you all survived, but that doesn't mean that it's wrong of you to mourn what was lost and be pissed as hell that all of your hard work went up in smoke and flames. Home improvement projects completely suck when you're in the wrong frame of mind. If you're not in the mood for it, you're just not. It's okay to phone it in. It's okay to fake it til you make it. I'm not saying you should wallow in it, but I do think you should cut yourself some slack. Incredibly scary and traumatic experiences like the one you had are not simply walked or shaken off. It takes time. Hang in there!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

sounds like you are going thru the 7 steps of dying..only the house died, not a person. Everything does suck now, but look at the bright side...is there one??? Go buy your favorite wine, drink the whole bottle throughout the day or all at once...things always look better with blinders on. This is all what I would do....you can take after me, if u dare;) Give yourself time to adjust...new surroundings, new life....it will get better. Promise. With or without wine;) But....PLEASE KEEP WRITING...you are the only person I have found that can put pen to paper (or keyboard to blog) about life, kids and moms in a way I wish I could!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermelanie

Your reaction to what you and your family went through as opposed to what your family could have gone through is totally expected. Your whole world (the only world you knew) was tipped on its axis. I bet it felt like it was so easy for the world you knew to be destroyed so quickly. It makes sense for anyone to come away from something like that a little shaky. Or a lot shaky. Something will snap you out of it. It may be soon but it could take a while and that is to be expected as well. There will be something one day that just does. The world will seem brighter than it was they day before and maybe it will be b/c you and Serge are back to "compromising" about an upgrade or b/c you find a new rental that will make you feel like you are home again. Whatever it is it will happen when you are ready for it. "We" (your online family) love you. Most of us have never met you and never will but we are all pulling for you. Just take one day at a time. That is all anyone can ask of you.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Time will dull the pain, just give it a chance ! It may take quite a while but soon enough I'll bet another older home will catch your eye and dreams.

Love your writing !

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUtah L

We had a fire at our house in July 2010. The side of the house, just beneath the roof, was hit by lightning at 7 pm on a Friday night...and it wasn't even raining in our neighborhood! (The rainstorm was north of us.) The current traveled through the metal mesh in our chimney plaster, hit a nail, and sent sparks into my daughters' bedroom closet, starting a fire there. We were incredibly lucky that (a) we were home; and (b) none of us were in that room. Firetrucks arrived in about 5 minutes, and the flames never broke into the attic/roof, which made the whole thing a "minor" house fire in the grand scheme of things. And yet--my girls' bedroom was totally ruined. We were able to salvage a few belongings, but most things were gone. The whole second floor was smoke damaged. The living room, below the girls' room, was water damaged and the plaster ceiling was destroyed. All of our linens/curtains/salvaged clothes had to be sent away to be cleaned. We had to move out for 7 weeks while the house was cleaned & repaired; we ended up living in one hotel room, all four of us, for 7 weeks. That is a long time to live together in a single room, with no kitchen, no matter how much my kids loved the cable TV. ;)
The whole situation was--surreal. I can remember standing outside the house with my girls (ages 6 and 9), watching smoke pour of their room, waiting for the fire trucks, and I just said over and over to them: "We are all okay. That is what matters. We are all okay." And that is so true. BUT--oh my god--the next few weeks & months were hard. So much hassle, paperwork, grief. The sudden realization of specific things that were gone, just when you thought you had worked through that. Trying to continue with work and playdates and "normal life" when we were so tired, so very frazzled. Trying to comfort the girls, giving them whatever we had left and leaving nothing for ourselves.
I held it together pretty well until we moved back into the house. Then I started having major anxiety attacks, and my oldest daughter struggled with anxiety as well. I could not stand to be in the house, it just did not feel like home. We saw a therapist and that really helped; she did some EMDR (trauma) therapy with me and I was able to process the incident a bit. But still--it wasn't until Christmas that I started to feel at home again. And then, the next summer, one of our neighbors bought a new firepit, and on beautiful summer evenings our house would suddenly fill with smoke and I would run through our whole house, making sure everything was okay, sometimes twice or three times! So crazy.
We salvaged the 2 solid wood bureaus from the girls' bedroom, both of which were family pieces. They were fully cleaned and refinished etc etc, but on humid summer days they still smell smoky. And I walk into the girls' bedroom and it all comes back. Sometimes I want to throw those bureaus out the window. But they are a reminder to me to live in the moment, to be grateful, to breathe and move forward.
All this to say: you are okay. You will be okay. But it will take time. And you will never be the same. Be kind to yourself. Get help if you need it. What happened to you? It sucked. Yes, you are alive and okay and grateful for that. But it still sucked. Recovery takes a long time. Hang in there.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatyinMA

You have experienced some of the biggest life challenges one can ever face in life in one year! They say the biggest impacts on your psyche are changing jobs, moving, and death. You had the death of your home! I can only send you good thoughts and let you know the only way i handle those feelings is to take one bite of the elephant everyday until you get through the process of your grief. Or just do nothing and give yourself the space to do it if you have that option. The only biggeee you haven't done is separate from a mate. So I just wish you all the best and you can take walks with the dogs in your gorgeous valley and feel better everyday. You are a badasss and that will eventually come back!!!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

You have experienced some of the biggest life challenges one can ever face in life in one year! They say the biggest impacts on your psyche are changing jobs, moving, and death. You had the death of your home! I can only send you good thoughts and let you know the only way i handle those feelings is to take one bite of the elephant everyday until you get through the process of your grief. Or just do nothing and give yourself the space to do it if you have that option. The only biggeee you haven't done is separate from a mate. So I just wish you all the best and you can take walks with the dogs in your gorgeous valley and feel better everyday. You are a badasss and that will eventually come back!!!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

Though I haven't been through a house fire of my own, I've been through a similar situation in the last 6 months and am glad to say that at least that feeling is starting to fade. I bought a home and furniture with much debate and excitement like you describe of yourself but with my fiance at the time. I ducked out of our relationship with nothing to show for all my hard work. No cozy couch I'd always had dreams about, none of the things I spent so much google time on, all my goals out the window. It's tough going through everyday knowing you kicked ass and worked hard for the things you have just to have them vanish. I don't know how I made it this far and it certainly hasn't gone away but it's been much better.

You have your amazing children and your loving husband to pull you through it. Make that your goal, I know it already is but at least you have them to make you smile and move on every day.

I'm sure some day you and I both can go into a furniture store excited again. I'm crossing my fingers for you and I.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina

you've just had a super horrifying and traumatic experience and it's still so recent, and so fresh in your mind. i'm sure everyone was doing their absolute best to try and comfort you, but every time i read "you should be thankful that it was "just" a fire, and you lost "just" your possesions...· i think FUCK THAT SHIT. that totally invalidates your pain! and you need to feel this pain and to grieve your losses in order to eventually get some kind of closure or acceptation of what happened and move on. you suffered a big tragedy, it doesn't have to be the worst tragedy in the whole universe for your pain to be valid. it's your life, and your pain, maybe you want to give yourself the time to come to terms with it in your own terms, and be a little kinder to yourself.
all the best.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranother monica

Years ago, while moving to San Francisco with EVERYTHING I owned as well as family heirlooms that my mother thought she should finally part with we were robbed. Not just a few things - but everything. We had unloaded the moving truck into the new apartment and that night, when we went back to the hotel for sleep, someone came in and just loaded everything up and took it away. My great grandmother's china, my mothers great great grandfather stick pin he wore at his wedding. You get the picture. To this day I am not a saver. Things can be taken from us so quickly. I went through a depression and perhaps you are too. Take time and don't expect too much of yourself. One day you will wake up and feel like hanging new curtains, perhaps painting a wall or even looking for a new place that you don't need to find in a NY minute and it will feel like home. Let yourself grieve and it will get better - I promise you.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Kelly

I hear you. My Mom died December 19th and I don't care about anything. I am just moving through the motions knowing that with time things get better. Keep on Truckin', Momma! We will get better. xoxox

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKK

Hi Monica -

I am sure what you are feeling is completely normal for such a traumatic event. All of us here would feel the same way if we lost all our valuables and the house we spent time working on. Trust me, I am an (!!!) obsessive-compulsive collector (!!) and I don't know what I would do if I came home to find all my things ruined! Hell, I even go crazy running around the house if I'm missing a sock from damn dryer!

Maybe if you take it day by day, and slowly start to rebuild your new home, you will get the energy you once had. You may have to force yourself for the first few times, but it will get better after that. You mentioned jogging at the gym in some of your other posts. Perhaps you can just run right out of your front door? I don't know what running does for the human soul biologically, but I do know it's about the only useful thing I do everyday. Just makes you feel better sometimes. You must have some long scenic roads where you are.

We love reading your posts, so please keep writing. You have so many readers and friends on Facebook that all enjoy what you write. You post, and let us write back to you now!

Bill

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill

I second what Kim Q said you guys should really move to Florida!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

A close friend of mine died of sudden cardiac arrest about a decade ago. He was only 31, and we were all devastated. I was talking with his widow, also a close friend, shortly after his death, and it was at the time of the Kursk submarine disaster. She said something to me along the lines of, "How can I think that my tragedy matters when there are things like the Kursk out there?" I'll say to you what I said to her then:

"There is no Olympics of suffering. It's not a competition. You get to feel the way you feel even if there are 'worse' things out there or 'bigger' tragedies. This is a tragedy to you and to us, and that's what matters. Don't diminish your own pain."

Or something like that. Take care.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I have been there - our little city was hit by a tornado and many, many homes and businesses were damaged. Around 100 homes were destroyed - mine included. Although I mourned the loss of my home and my "stuff", what I missed even more was that the tornado destroyed our way of life - our routine and stability. If the tornado didn't effect a person directly, it destroyed the business that they worked at, the Community Center or school where they brought their children, or took all the huge trees in the parks. I and my kids were lucky enough to live with one of my friends for six months while we built a new house. I didn't have time to have my breakdown until the day we moved into our new house. Once unpacked and left alone by all my helpers, I had to take the time and just sob. It DOES get better - I can promise you that. You just can't rush it - it is a mourning process.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn from St. Peter Mn

I think everyone has said it well, but I echo all that. That was completely traumatic and sucked to the high heavens and while a relief everyone was fine still a major upheaval. If you took this in stride and didn't feel anything THEN I would be worried...this reaction seems completely normal to me.

Maybe talking to someone would help, or maybe it is the passage of time or both. Maybe being close to your old town and house is too much, maybe a fresh start is in order. I think you guys will work through all that in time and in the meantime the day-to-day grind of two little kids is sucking any extra oomph out of you so just sort it out when you can.

Your doing a great job, you really are.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Monica, I'm so so sorry you have to go through all of this, that's so so unfair, you had put a lot of work in that house, I echo all of what it's already been said here and so agree with Julie and Cristine, you need to give you a time, and I mean what Cristine just said "maybe your "real" house is out there, waiting", and it's good that you're pissed off and you're talking about this, that's so normal, you've been saying about holiday plans some time ago, maybe that's the poiint to start a new, to get fresh perspective, and I don't mean China but some time off, a week, two, a weekend off, whatever, wherever to get off what happend to your family. I can imagine how you're tired of all of this, you see, now I'm pissed off too :) this bad carma will pass away, you're strong [i always saying such things to myself in shity time in my life, it helps], this fucking life always teaches something...

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

Hang in there Monica. Not a long time ago you all escaped fire with little more but your lives. And while we are all grateful that you and your family are alright, it is still horrible to lose a house, even worse when it is a place you get attached to. I couldn't agree more with other posters who are wiser than I am, you need to mourn. A place is what you make it, and so many hopes, such a promise weaved into that place, no wonder it feels like floating now. Just hang in there, all of you. I wish you all lots of strength and lots of good will, may the following days and weeks be kind to you so that you can all heal. Wishing you all the best.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTanjaK

Hi, Your readers are bad-ass. Their comments ring so true, and I can tell how everyone cares so much for you, Monica. It will take time. It is so very sad that that LOVELY house of yours caught fire! I loved looking at those pictures of your incredible porch... I can't imagine how difficult it is to get through the grief. We're sending the very best wishes to you and the fam, and please realize that there probably will be some tough times ahead-- there's really now way around it--- you'll get through it.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I have a history of depression. Most days are good days but the bad days really suck. Let yourself have your good and bad days or even moments. I second the suggestions for therapy but I know you don't have insurance so the next best thing are your girlfriends! Seriously, my girlfriends have saved me thousands.

When times are the darkest it's easy to forget that you are loved and its okay to not feel it, just know that you are. We love you and your family Monica. Take care of yourself.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina

I'm another Florida girl...so I say move South. The weather has been so incredibly beautiful this winter. I enjoy making sun tea, taking walks around the lake, working in my garden, buying citrus from the side of the road. Start over. Now is the time. You are writers now....you can write from anywhere!

You will aways hold those memories dear of your time in that house. I remember seeing that video that you put on your site of the bar area that Serge made. It had pretty music playing on the record player....I loved that so much. I imagine you will mourn it for awhile but one day you will find a little house that makes you happy and life will come back. Promise.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

i'm sorry that you're having such a hard time.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterseparelli

You've got to get rid of the smoke smell. Call the dry cleaners and ask if they can wash the smoky stuff in the special solution. That would be money well-spent. Smells trigger memories. If you can't find a place to do it for you, bag it and take it all to the laundromat, use a bunch of machines and get rid of that smell.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky

No wonder, Monica. All the hard work you've put in, snatched away so randomly and suddenly. I have no words of wisdom. Just that, I feel for you.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexansra

i so feel you! the circumstances are always different, but the experience is the same and shit, it takes time to get over that experience! i'm there too - trying to move forward, get motivated, be inspired - but everything is gray. i see bright spots here and there and i know we will both be in the light again. i'm frustrated, disappointed + angry and i cannot wait until i have champagne problems again...
keep forging ahead - you are in my thoughts.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Sounds like a pretty normal reaction to me. Suck-y to go through...but normal. It must not seem like it, but someday it'll be better...

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

I have nothing too wise to say, but you have a friend here in Pennsylvania.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFriend in Pennsylvania

I agree with what Nicole said, there is no Oympics of suffering. Give yourself time and space and know that what you feel is valid. Find ways to validate yourself and your feelings, and don't apologize for it. I also agree with all of the above awesome comments.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

I read this on campus today and truly, it broke my heart a bit. I suspected you've been quiet about the emotional aftermath of this situation because...well, it's overwhelming, and hard to process. But, I also worried you might be feeling guilty or strange being open about how angry and frustrated you might feel. The thing is, I'm almost positive I would feel exactly how you're feeling--"What's the point?" "Why did we even move?" "What do I do now??" And I think you have every RIGHT to be pissed. This is grief. Grief is one of the hardest emotions there is, and the only good thing about it is that it eventually passes and fades.

This will pass, yes, but in the meantime-- you feel what you need to feel. Same for Serge and the kiddos. It's an infinitely complicated situation that you're in, and there is no "right" or "wrong" way to go about it. Just hang in there and take care of yourself as best you can. We are all here to listen and root for you.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Hun I think Lecia said it best. You have gone through so much upheaval. Also I think of that photo you had framed in your room. The one of the old farmhouse. How much love and energy you put into your home. That is an investment both physically and most importantly emotionally. You are grieving, I think talking to someone may help. One day you will be ready to find a home to call home again. You will be ready to love and invest that way again. But at the moment that would be like asking a woman to have sex at her husband's funeral. So be kind to yourself. We are all here cheering you on.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrummy mummy

Everything you're feeling is pretty normal, I am sure, and you are going through a grieving process.
You have to find a way to let all that play out, and get through it, as best you can.
Then you dream a new dream, and you will build that new life, in a new home. And it will be even better than before, I bet you. Don't be so hard on yourself. Thinking of you all.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA

I don't have any new wisdom to add. Take it one day at a time and be gentle with yourself. Like others have said, you are grieving. All you can do is move forward. You'll get through this stage and find a new normal. Kids have a way of forcing it :-)

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCetta

Having your house burn is a horrible thing. Even the thought of it strikes fear in my heart. Of course you are depressed. But at least you DIDN"T own it. You don't have to deal with the insurance company or the rebuilding it or razing it. You got to walk away from that mess. Yes, you lost a lot. But it's better that you were renting. Count yourself lucky there. It wouldn't be better if you owned it.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdonaleen

I think it is so important to feel all that you are feeling right now. Just face the shit and tell it to F off and one of these days in the future, you will give a shit and decide where you want to live and grow roots. Just give yourself a break right now and know that you have been through so much.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

I don't think anyone is going to judge you for what you're feeling. I think given the trauma you've gone through that it's all completely normal. Don't be so hard on yourself. At some point you'll feel a little something and it will completely natural... like spring blooming in your soul.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

All you can do is live it. Own it. As the soldiers say, "embrace the suck." These feelings are normal, sure, but they don't feel that way because it isn't normal for YOU. Any number of strangers or friends telling you it's all fine and dandy doesn't matter, because they (we) aren't living this with you. We didn't lose everything, and we didn't barely keep the most important things by snatching them out of the doorway of a burning room.
Very few people have lived what is now your reality, but many of us have felt the kind of apathy you describe. Myself, it happened just a bit after childbirth, and a lot after I was raped. I didn't give a shit anymore, and back then I didn't have a kid or a husband to pull myself up for. It got so bad that a friend had to remind me to shower because I smelled bad. But you know what? I needed that. I needed that time to grieve for what I'd lost, and then to be ragingly angry about it.

So, you live it. You allow your emotional self to have it's time, and then your higher or more conscious self - the mom, the wife, the positive, fun-loving woman self - will be there to build you back up. Kahlil Gibran said that “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self, so therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.” I trust fully in that quote, because it my life it is true.

My only suggestion is to write. You might not want to, you might be reminded of what you'd rather forget, but do it anyway...and don't do it for an audience. Not for Babble or for this blog or for Serge, but for YOU. Monica. Monica the traumatized woman who needs to let herself feel what happened. Getting it all out - every detail of the fire, ever aching time after that you've felt alone or scared or crazy - will be cathartic.

Perhaps one more suggestion...exercise? It sounds silly, but after I was raped I started doing Kundalini yoga. The oxygen high alone was amazing, but I felt so empowered and in control that it helped. I was doing something that was good for me, and in the midst of all the apathy and anger I really, really needed something positive. Something about moving your muscles, about finding the sore spots and pushing just a little further, is healing and recuperative.

Lastly know that you are loved...even by a stranger in a tiny central Pennsylvania town who reads from afar, you are loved. And that we need more of you around here, and would hate to see you go.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Acquaviva

What Lauren said. And also, the poster who mentioned EMDR. If you do get insurance or even if you don't investing in some therap (kind of like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first) with that modality would be huge. It isn't freudian lie on the couch for twenty years and tell me about your mother. It's amazing cutting edge stuff that helps quickly and fundamentally. You might check out the book Waking The Tiger by Peter Levine....Wishing you comfort & peace.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.

Here--If nothing else I think you'll find it very interesting. http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Tiger-Transform-Overwhelming-Experiences/dp/155643233X

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.

You are such an melodramatic whiner. You didn't lose your kids or husband, you all are healthy, strangers on the internet gave you money, which by the way you had no problems taking, and yet you keep on lamenting how hard you have it. Your navelgazing and narcisstic attitude are so lame, get a life, get a job, stop spaming your nonsense BS.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterN.Y. Dewller

N.Y.Dweller, ahh is that really necessary .. I don't think so.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Ghost U.K.

I've been worried about you and how you're holding up with something I can't imagine having to deal with. I can't add to the words of wisdom from your online fans. Just know that we are thinking of you and wish we could do more to support you in the challenging time. I agree with the advice to keep a journal. Given your writing talent and insight, down the road you might be able to make some lemonade out of these lemons. In the meantime, take it easy on yourself!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaffoula

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