Snow is falling here on a darkened, hushed Sunday, and my computer is like a warm crackling fire that I gaze into. I can remember a time when I said I would never have one of those things in my home. But the Ferris wheel of life just keeps turning and there are different thoughts at different stages.
I am now sixty years-old and disabled. Domestic violence ended my former life and left me in a closed-in world. I have been Free and Safe now for ten years, and only in the last six have I managed to create a world for me.
A church that came here to bring lunches once a month gifted me with a retiring computer. I was scared to death of it at first. For a week I left it running, sure that if I turned it off, I would never get it back on again. It was slow learning and for the most part, I taught myself, being one of those hands-on learners.
I believe that overcoming tough times and growing older can be made much sweeter if you keep your brain active. The building I live in is subsidized housing for those with mental health concerns. Every day I see the results of boredom and lack of initiative. The mind atrophies if not stimulated. People withdraw into themselves and forget the world around them.
An even greater miracle is my writing. On the very day, I met my abuser Redbook Magazine told me they wanted one of my stories if I did a bit of polishing. I chose the wrong path and never even responded to that letter. I had been a successful writer for some time and just pitched it away.
With my computer came new courage and ease of participating in the writing world. My successes were long in coming, but little by little I had work accepted here and there. . . poetry magazines, Small Press. Then I began submitting to higher lever literary publications and gained some success.
In addition to my writing, I would post my work on Poetry Sites. Here I met a 'family' who accepted me as I am, and many of them had similar health problems. Now, instead of being all along, I had people to talk to and interact with. We are stuck with our relatives, but the friends we choose are dearest to our hearts, especially those of us with troubled childhoods and less than ideal parents. To be able to communicate with someone who truly knows how you feel is such a comfort.