It was confrontational and she was so desperately trying to “grow” past that. She felt threatened and really didn’t understand the other’s motivation. All she wanted was a simple life, a little peace and happiness this time around. So much of her life was coming together . . . finally. She had been truly happy and content for weeks now. It seemed she was realizing all of her dreams.

The 9-to-5 was the best it had ever been. She was making good money, didn’t mind the job and actually liked the people. Some she might even count as friends. It was summer. The glorious landscape and temperate climate almost made her forget the bone-chilling cold she wrestled with just a few months earlier. After years, she was finally settling into the house she’d bought, making it a home. She’d found an outlet for that which she held most dear . . . expression through her art. It was enough to share it and feel on occasion that it touched or was appreciated by another. She felt free to develop her craft, try new things, nurture her muse and express herself without fearing condemnation or taunting.

She was surprised to find she was for the first time in her life connecting with women. Associations with men had never been a problem. What few friends she’d had, had always been men. Friendships with the fairer sex always eluded her. Yet she now found herself on good terms with several females and even felt a soul connection with a few. She might go so far as to say she had a best female friend . . . a woman that understood her particular brand of crazy and suffered or had suffered much as she did . . . a woman she could talk to and that talked to her. Funny, that they still had not met in real life.

The most wondrous thing in her life was her lover. She basked in the radiance of a man that loved her without condition; taught her without demeaning; supported her without pushing; and safeguarded her without smothering. He touched her in ways she hadn’t dared to hope for. More each day, she felt herself grow closer to him. Much to her own surprise, she was experiencing love without pain, expectation, struggle or doubt. He was the first to satisfy her so completely . . . physically, emotionally and spiritually.

She’d reached a truce of sorts in the lifelong battle with her bipolar nemesis. She knew that was owing to a lot of hard work on her part, but also she gave due credit to the beautiful, calm energy the amazing man in her life shared with her, that and his acceptance without judgment. She thanked whatever entity or entities there may exist in the universe for being blessed with a man both authentic and sensitive; moreover, he was not another drama queen. One in a relationship is enough and she more than filled that bill. There had been no “hard crashes” since he had become part of her daily life. When she felt the monster trying to pull her down, she now had the tools and support to resist the descent down into the well.

She recently stumbled across a brand of spiritualism that made sense to her. A path she was comfortable following and natural for her. She could feel herself blossoming under this new dogma. Of course, as was her way in these things, she dined ala cart . . . never able to invest herself 100% in anyone else’s credo. She was even making in-roads with her “Christian-phobia,” the result of a less than ideal experience with that brand of religiosity as a child. At least she was making an attempt not to throw the baby out with the bath water. She was confident she was doing well in terms of the condition of her soul. Sure, she had a long way to go, but somewhere in the past year, she had turned a corner.

She’d attained a certain sense of grace . . . found peace within herself . . . was enjoying and living in the moment. No, everything was not perfect. Life just hadn’t sent any waves big enough to do more than gently rock the boat. She felt no danger of being capsized or even taking on water for that matter. She must admit the skies were clear with a breeze strong enough to sail through a glorious world of discovery and sharing, catalyst enough to be interesting and exhilarating. She was not trapped in a dead calm, stagnation threatening; but she was not overwhelmed by high seas either. A favorable wind filled her sails. She was making good headway and maybe even just a little reveling in the miracle of it all.

Now this challenge thrown at her from a totally unexpected direction. Yes, she still had a long way to go. Her first response was from the old, emotional, hypervigilant, defense tapes. It was not her way to let go so direct an assualt, ergo the “growing edge.” Her emotions ran the gammet, but she gave vent through the expression of her art. That creation was not a pretty thing, but it was truly what had been inside her for an instant. Still, she had not fired back as she would have at another time, in a different frame of mind. Instead she used her tools and drew on those that support her. This time she had the power to make a choice not to be a victim, not to have another dictate the state of her emotions, not to be pulled back to the old, destructive ways she so despised.

She drew in a deep cleansing breathe, grimaced and let it go.

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