“My father was, and is, an alcoholic. When I was growing up, he was an abusive alcoholic. He gave out wounds like gifts. He used words to cut us open, and then he threatened us with salt.
I lived in hypervigilance, and I learned that being alone, quiet, and invisible was the safest state of being. I was like a bottle—filled up with the wounds my father gave me as his bottles emptied.
Under the constant stress and constant abuse, I withered. I tried to stick with it, even though I felt my patience, my calm, my self-confidence, and my happiness eroding.
I wanted to try to help my father because he was my father. Because it was sad. Because he was sad. Because he was an addict. Because he made such terrible choices. Because I was trying to show compassion. But I had stopped showing compassion to myself.
I wanted to prove that I was healed enough to offer him compassion. I had wanted to stop being a person who was wounded, and who received help, and instead become a person who was healed and helping others.
But these two roles are not distinct. And sometimes they can be filled by the same person. It is possible to be both wounded, and healing, and healer, and giver, and receiver, all at the same time.”
“I got both of them from local shelters. When I got her in 2006, the staff told me she was a shepherd husky. I go to the dog park, I’m meeting people with shepherd husky mixes, and they look nothing like her. I get in my car, I’m driving, I look in the rearview mirror, I see these eyes and I’m like, I’ve got a wolf in my car. Then, when she was 10-months old, there was a shepherd breeder and trainer in the dog park, and at the end of the lesson, the trainer came up to me and asked, ‘What kind of dog is that?’ And I’m thinking, Shepherd husky. You should know, you are a breeder. She said, ‘That’s a wolf.’”