Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Reclamation Projects

The Watchers

Uninvited and hovering
Spirits of the living dead
Fill air space
Drowning me in female shame
For this my body

In vain I cover my face
Hide from myself
And this present moment
Made mad by
Prying eyes and ears
Of a thousand intrusions
On this my body broken –
Now gasping for air

The feeling of being watched was more than a feeling when I was growing up. It was the norm. When I married and moved with D to our first home, I didn’t have a clue how much baggage I brought to our marriage.

Some of my baggage was easily dumped. No problem! Glad to be rid of it.

And yet…other things had taken root in me. Especially those intrusive, internalized, incessant monitors making sure I didn’t do anything a Good Girl wouldn’t do. Or worse, the feeling of being watched by intruders no matter what I was doing.

I don’t know how to talk about this publicly. I do, however, know many of us struggle with internal feelings and habits we never chose to internalize. Things we thought we could leave behind when we left home.

D and I have now renovated/reclaimed five major areas in our current home. Our bedroom is next, thanks to our leaking waterbed. It’s high time. In fact, I have the great leak to thank for prompting me to rethink what’s happening with Our Bedroom. Which, just to be clear, belongs to Us, not to Them.

Happy Monday, and Happy Reclamation Projects!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 August 2019
Found at

bleak building revisited

Who would have guessed this photo and my haiku would lead to bigtime self-reflection? For those who missed it, here’s the haiku–a comment on the photo above.

massive bleak building
harbors untold histories –
I quicken my pace

From the day I laid eyes on the photo, it freaked me out. I didn’t want to look at it; yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

It wasn’t just the building’s condition, it was its size. Looking at it, I felt small and helpless, as though I’d wandered into a nightmare that was closing in on me.

Yet the more I looked at the building, the less afraid I was. I noticed renovations on the adjoining building, clotheslines, and a carpet hanging over the balcony rail. Also how close neighbors were to each other.

When I wrote the last line of the haiku I wasn’t sure what I meant. Was I speeding up to get past the building, or was I quickening my pace to get closer? Perhaps to discover clues about the families who lived there, and what happened to bring about massive abandonment of these apartments.

I don’t have answers to any of that. Nor do I know in what city or country this bleak building stands. I do, however, know I’m drawn to it, especially at this time of my life.

These days I’m thinking about end of life issues. Not because I have a terminal disease, but because I’m terminal as the woman I now am. Figuratively as well as literally.

I don’t want to keep mopping up the now defunct quarters passed on to me by my parents and their parents. Especially quarters that served to reinforce ways I was shamed and blamed a thousand times over.

No way.

Yet some of this is still housed in my female body, soul and emotions. No, it doesn’t torment me now the way it did in the past. It does, however, come back to haunt me from time to time. Seeping up through the cracks. A looming presence that erupts when I freak out—as I fall over the cliff yet again into panic, anxiety, and the urge to fight back against anyone and everything.

I’ve spent years identifying and letting go of pieces of my past and my desire to change it. It’s been a life-changing reclamation project. A project that began in my childhood, despite what was beaten into me in a misguided effort to beat things out of me.

What would it be like to live as though that never happened? I’ll never know. Not in this life.

I do, however, know there were and are things no one can ever beat out of me. Things I love. Things that make me happy. Things that bring me joy and peace. Things that connect me to my Creator and to my family and neighbors. Things no one can beat out of me no matter how diligently or brutally they try.

I also know there are gems in that old building. They’re waiting for me to discover and own them. Treasures I don’t yet know belong to me. Parts of life envisioned for me by my Creator who knows and longs to give me my true name.

So yes, I’m quickening my pace as I move forward into unexplored territory and beyond.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 March 2017
Photo found at
WordPress Daily Prompt: Massive

old women’s visions


old women’s visions
sigh in abandoned forests
of dreams and regrets


Does this sound like a downer? I don’t intend it as a downer. The truth is simple: Read the rest of this entry »

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