|Credit: Strdel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images NYTimes.com|
Beyond the tragedy of the event, I was drawn to this woman’s will to live. Prior to the horror in Boston, I had just begun to examine and try to understand my own dark past. The bombing naturally shook me and the experience only unearthed other buried wounds. By coincidence, a chemical imbalance in my hormones gave way to irrational mode swings, nearly pushing me over the edge.
This was evident when I had a brief emotional “breakdown” on the last day of a leadership academy I was attending in North Carolina. For five days I was immersed with other LGBT leaders from across the country at a retreat located in a rural part of a beautiful state. I had a feeling I was in a special place when I drove up the dirt road to the retreat center and I was overcome by an intoxicating aroma that filled the moist southern air. A blend of honeysuckle, pine pollen, and brush fires, ignited my senses. During my short stay I shared a small cabin with four other fierce and fabulous women. Each night we would stay up late, very, very late. It was during these special moments surrounded by other women that I felt safe. As we talked, shared stories, and teased each other, it occurred to me that I never had experienced these unique moments before as a girl, teenager, or woman.
In the riveting 1982 horror film Poltergeist, written and produced by Steven Spielberg, a home is invaded my ghosts that abduct the youngest daughter and terrorize the rest of the family. I’ve been fascinated by this movie since I first saw it when I was probably 15. The pool scene with the mother, played by JoBeth Williams, still gives my chills. Apparently real human skeletons were used to film this horrifying scene. At the core of this movie is that the subdivision, Cuesta Verde, where the family’s home was built, was once a cemetery. And while the headstones were moved during the development, the bodies were left in place. For me, these past weeks have been like living in Cuesta Verde, with dark events visiting with greater frequency. I hope I have the resolve to face my fears and my demons without slipping back into the dark pools of my past.
Don’t look back!