Fractured means broken; damaged in a sudden or violent way. That is a perfect description of how I currently feel.
This week I took a tumble. I was standing on the high back of a chair to reach a 7 foot shelf. I lost my balance and fell to the ground from about 4 feet in the air. It was not pretty and I knew I hurt myself the minute it happened. I was trying to do to much and declined an offer of help which led to this fall.
I drove myself to the IBJI immediate care and was told that my wrist was, in fact fractured. The Dr. that diagnosed the injury(a man that appeared older than me) gave me a pity look and said, “accidents happen…especially to older women….” He continued to talk, making me feel like a feeble old lady. He failed to grasp that this could very well have happened to him if he had fallen from the same height. He was in the room for all of 10 minutes and laughed as he left. I was so stunned, and still in shock, that I failed to ask questions. I was fitted for a brace and still had questions. The PT did not feel comfortable answering some of those questions so I had to return to the Drs office to meet with his PA in order to ask vital questions (pain relief, activity level, cautions, follow up, etc).
I went home feeling really depressed and overwhelmed. Well wishes, and offers to help were many. I responded as expected of me….”I am fine.” “It is just a small thing.” “It is a speed bump….a reminder to slow down and ask for help.” “Its ok…just glad it is not worse.” But I was not fine. I am not fine. I am sad. I am angry. I am depressed. I am getting older and that scares the hell out of me.
I am angry that a Dr. minimized my injury and blamed early onset menopause for the fact that I was injured. Why? I am an older woman. Has he seen my other medical charts? Does he know my overall health history and know when I started menopause or did he make an assumption based on face value? What does he know about menopause as a MALE orthopedic Dr.? He did not even ask for details as to how I was injured. He just made assumptions. The way he spoke to me made me feel far less intelligent than I am. That is infuriating!
I arrived home and resumed life as normal, responding to messages and laughing about my fate….all while falling apart inside.
I am being transparent about my struggles not for pity but in the hope that others will do the same. We say to ‘check on our happy friends” and that is hitting home for me in a very real way. I am always the strong one, the one that doesn’t need help, thus vulnerability is not in my wheelhouse. In this moment I am beating myself up for my stupidity and brazen lack of safety. I am mad at myself for not advocating for myself in a better way with medical staff. I am sad that I had to deal with not only this injury for 4 weeks, but the rehab and pain that is sure to follow. I am sad that I have, once again, been confronted with aging and the limitations of my physical body. I am frustrated that I can not do the things I had planned for the remainder of my break, nor in the upcoming weeks and probably have to make other lifestyle changes for a while.
Is this just a speed bump, a reminder to slow down, ask for help and advocate for myself more often? Yes. In my rational mind I know this, however, past trauma and C-PTSD rears its ugly head at any opportunity possible in my life. And these past 2 days have been very difficult. I fight to diminish my anxiety and the negative self talk that fills my head. I struggle to find ways to rest and quiet the negative noise. I am working to find the compassion and understanding for myself that I so often offer others…which it is no easy task. I am really hard on myself every day but in times like this? I go above and beyond!
My motto in running and life is #forwardisapace, thus I take this day, and every day, one step at a time…..even if that is a baby step wrapped in bubble wrap! I have a great therapist who offers practical advice (I just have to implement it!). I have the gift of a few more days of winter break to rest. I have medical insurance. I have people who love me and check on me. I am blessed and never take any of those blessings for granted!
Right now I am be fractured, broken and damaged, but I will make it through today (and every day after that)and call that a win! I might be down right now, but NEVER count me out!
Check on your strong friends.


It is a word to which I feel connected. It is a word that is all over my home and how I sign my emails and posts. It is a place and feeling I have been searching for for a long time.
It was not until the gift of the pandemic that I realized I have arrived into peace. It is a strange feeling.
When you live your life in hyper-vigilance and trauma for so long you forget when it feels like to really breathe, slowly and intentionally. I was talking to a friend the other day and said it is strange not to have to explain why I want to do nothing but knit or read. Why choosing to do nothing, or everything, in a day is liberating. Why sitting still feels so strange.
For years I killed myself in my home, as a mom and in my career. I was exhausted and made to believe that I was still not doing enough. “Why are you so tired?” (after teaching all day, driving kids all over, coaching, cooking dinner and doing other work) “What did you do all day?” (after keeping kids alive and out of the er, fed and happy all day plus house chores) “Why is (insert anything) not done yet?” (after doing all the things and fixing all the things and cooking all the things) I was conditioned to believe that I was not enough, I was not doing enough, and I was “lazy”. Yes, conditioned to believe those lies because I am a people pleaser (more on that trauma response later). I did not want to disappoint anyone. I did not want anyone to be angry with me so I killed myself….slowly and deliberately …. For the happiness of others.
What I failed to realize at the time is that I could NEVER make them happy.  The more I gave, the more they demanded. I had no boundaries.  Over the past 6 years, I have learned boundaries. I have learned balance. I have learned to honor myself.
It took a global pandemic to drive home the “slow down” message. I learned that slowing down to sit and knit, watch a whole movie, read a book or go for a long walk is ok. I am not “lazy” when I do those things. I am at peace. I do not have to be constantly moving. I do not have to give all of me in the name of the happiness of others. I do not have to explain my activity(or lack thereof) to anyone. I still want to make others happy (remember…people pleaser!) but I want to do it on my terms. It is not easy but I know what it feels like now to be at peace…..and I like it.


These kids.
My kids.
They have been though a lot as individuals and together.
They are the cause of my grey hair, my tears and my laugh lines.
They are the source of my pride and the origin of my insanity!
They build each other up more than they tear each other down.
They may be at different ages and stages of life, but watching them share space as they grow and mature fills up my momma heart.
I find peace in the fact that long after I am gone, they will still have each other….. and the memories of our times together.
I have, and always will be, their Kristine (mom)… whether they like it or not…. they can work that out in therapy!


Visual representations of times, places, people. Images can be real, imagined or manufactured. Images capture a single moment in time but not the context. While we spend time looking sometimes enviously at others photos of holiday and other family celebrations, we know not the daily struggles behind those smiles. Every picture tells a story. Sometimes the story is one we tell ourselves and sometimes it is a fairy tale others want us to believe.
This years holiday gifts in my family were those of photos. My children were gifted photos of childhoods long gone and gifted me with photos of who they are now. Each photo carried a story that was told as we turned the pages of the books and our lives. Memories were shared and new ones created together.
As I sat alone at the end of the night in the glow of the Christmas tree, I scrolled social media. I looked at the images that family and friends had posted. I saw more than the surface in many of those photos. In some I could see strained smiles and sad eyes. In some I could see body language that most would not recognize unless they had lived similar lives. I looked at the often highly curated settings of many photos and saw what many would miss. Most people would just hit the ‘like’ button and keep scrolling but not me. Perhaps it is because in the past I had been the one posting those “impression management” photos to cover for the inadequacies, deep pain and heartache I felt. Perhaps it is because some of those posting the photos had privately shared their struggles with me or because I just knew the reality of their lives.
We all want others to believe that our lives are perfect and without strife or struggle. We see the ‘picture’ that others present and think “why not me?’ or “what is wrong with me?” We step into that place of lack…that feeling that we are somehow inadequate….that feeling that somehow we are not and do not have enough.
STOP THAT! STOP right now!
Life is real and messy and imperfect…and so are we. Which is why I shared the stories behind the photos my kids had in front of them. I shared joyful, happy memories as well as pain-filled moments as we looked at the photos. I owned moments of grief and anger as well as moments when my heart overflowed with love and pride for each/all of them.
The more that we are authentic and real with one another, the more grace we offer each other, the kinder we are……the more love is created. Accept yourself for who you are and love the person looking back at you in the mirror. Accept one another, and yourself, for who they are and love the person…not the image. Every picture tells a story…own your truth and tell your story.


I have always been a morning person. Early bird catches the worm and all. I was never one to sleep the day away like my kids often do now. I do my best work in the morning and love to see the sunrise.
This time of year, my anxiety gets the better of my and I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia is my constant companion. I worry about so many things at the holidays, making lists in my head, replaying conversations, and catastrophizing all that can happen. It is always an issue but this time of year it gets worse.
I have worked long and hard to calm my anxious thoughts and behaviors, but sleep is one of the most difficult. For years I would lie awake waiting for my wasband to arrive home. He worked nights and often went out drinking after work. I never knew what his mood would be when he arrived home and often slept on the edge of the bed afraid to even breathe. Mornings I would tiptoe out of the room as not to wake him and incur his wrath. I would keep the kids as quiet as I could for the same reason. It was a difficult dance for all of us.
For years after I left, I still had trouble sleeping and would get out of bed feeling like I had been in a fist fight. Every muscle ached…especially my hands.
One evening, my therapist mentioned that I looked more tired than usual and asked me to talk about it. As I spoke, she watched me then she asked me to lie on the floor and show her my sleep position. I did as she asked, hopeful she could provide insight into my insomnia.
She asked me to talk about each part of my body and how I felt. What I realized was that every single part of me body was tense, my whole body was in a tight ball, my shoulders were by my ears, and my hands were in fists.
She told me that I was a resting fighter, always vigilant. That I was ready to defend myself in while I was resting. I was not, in fact, really ever sleeping. My body and brain would not allow me to let me let my guard down. Trauma is stored in the body and appears in many different forms unless it is healed.
It has taken intentional practice to release that trauma and vigilance, letting others into my life. The boundaries are firm, walls are high, guarded fiercely to protect myself and those I love. I am keenly aware of my body and its cues when it comes to sleep and other trauma responses. During the holidays, insomnia wants to not just visit but stay. So when the insomnia rears its head I can say hello and send it packing again, not allowing it to overstay its welcome.
Trauma takes many forms. With the help of others, we can identify as well as address the issues in order to find hope and healing. This is an ongoing process as healing is not linear. We are all in the process of becoming stronger humans. With some help, and some sleep, we can all find peace.