What horses taught me about healthy boundaries and connection

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In May 2018, I packed up a small suitcase, hopped into my trusty coupe, and merged onto I-95 Southbound for a solo road trip down the east coast.

Up until that point, traveling alone had been one of my biggest fears. As a sufferer of complex PTSD that left me watching my back every time I was out in public.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t taken that trip; if fear had won out over faith; if I had forever hidden myself away from experiencing the world, imprisoning myself to the memory of…

How to deal with the Trojan gift-giver

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Author’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1–800–656–4673.

Perhaps you’ve met him.

The stranger at the bar who buys you a drink — and throws a fit when you push away his groping hands and decline his invitation to come home with him.

Or your supervisor who offers you a promotion — and then revokes it when you turn down his inappropriate advances after office hours.

Maybe it’s the partner who buys you lavish gifts — expecting in exchange that you…

How the language we use can perpetuate stigma

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When he told me I’d “lost my mind,” I wouldn’t have been quick to disagree.

The last time someone called me “crazy”, I was indeed standing face-to-face with my inner madness. In yet another failed attempt at romantic love, years of traumatic memories had come crashing in over my head. I was lost in a savage sea of post-traumatic flashbacks, floundering like a panic-stricken child thrown overboard without a life jacket. …

“When we trust that we are the ocean, we are not afraid of the waves.” ― Tara Brach

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As a teen, I was an avid reader. I had two or three bookcases in my bedroom — together they spanned nearly an entire wall — and a pile of a few current reads that would sit in my designated hangout corner of the room.

I still have my childhood copy of Alan Watts’ book “The Wisdom of Insecurity”, a book that I first read as a high schooler. Nearly two decades later, the well-worn book is ridden with dog-eared pages that have allowed me to return to its most poignant passages again and again throughout the years.

The book…

It start’s with something feeling “off”

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Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1–800–656–4673.

Just a moment ago, all of me was all here. Now a piece of me is somewhere else, gone missing.

Sometimes I can pinpoint what caused it. Sometimes I can’t.

All I know is this: In the place of the whole, integrated woman I was a moment ago, there’s now a part of my soul that feels like the black and white photo of a little girl on a milk carton. …

Creative Nonfiction Writer. Musician. Holistic Wellness Nerd. Social Justice Advocate. Survivor.

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When I was a little girl I believed in three things: the power of prayer, the value of compassion, and my duty to service. So when my parents sprang the “eat your spinach because there are kids starving in Africa” argument, I felt a sense of compassion and duty surging through my veins. I went upstairs to my bedroom, kneeled on the hardwood floor, looked out the window, and began to pray.

“God,” I whispered, “It’s not fair that I have everything and those kids in Africa are suffering. It’s not fair and I want you to let me carry…

But it taught me to live well with the ones I have

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A few months back, a friend reached out to me confiding about some personal challenges he was facing. He was considering going into therapy, but as many do, he had reservations about the process. He knew I had been a long-time therapy client as a sexual trauma survivor, so when the time came to make the decision, he came to me.

“Did it work? Did it help?” he had asked. He confessed his biggest fear was that he would go to therapy, only to find that the therapist wasn’t able to solve his problems. He couldn’t bear that possibility —…

This year I looked to a Peruvian ritual to ring in the New Year.

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This year, I spent my New Year’s Eve in isolation. A possible COVID-19 exposure had turned into a fever, leading to a test, and culminating in a positive test result three days before New Year’s Eve. If I was to spend the holiday alone, I wanted it to be meaningful. New Year’s is a symbol of transition: it’s a time to release the past, to reground ourselves in our values and intentions, and to look ahead towards manifesting our future.

What better way to honor the holiday than to invite a new practice into my home that honors its essence…

Many survivors who speak out face a secondary trauma: the trauma of being disbelieved

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The other day I was out for a drive with a friend when an innocuous song came on the radio. “She’s really good,” said my driver. “She was doing well” — he added — “you heard her on the radio quite a bit for awhile.” I agreed that I enjoyed the woman’s sound, though I didn’t know the story behind why she had fallen out of radio play.

“When the #MeToo movement came around, she came forward about how her tour manager had assaulted her,” he began to explain. …

Social media is making everyone else’s lives look more perfect than reality, and it’s time to remember our shared humanity

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Sometimes people tell me that they are inspired by how “together” I seem to have it. They say they envy my composure. They admire the way that after all the adversity I’ve written about, I seem to cruise through life with so much light and positivity.

The other day a friend asked me something along the lines of how, of the two of us, it was he that wound up the one battling with darkness. I guess it was a compliment — he meant to say I’d come a long way — but as he spoke I felt my imposter…

Kala Farnham

Creative Nonfiction Writer. Poet. Songwriter. Holistic Wellness Nerd. Social Justice Advocate. Crisis Counselor. www.kalafarnham.com

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