About To Soften the Blow


To Soften the Blow begins with The Blow, my stepping out of the bathtub to find my father has just shot my mother with a shotgun across our dining room table, my going back into the school system without any counseling, and the principal that steps in and changes my life in twenty minutes’ time. Without understanding or knowing I had posttraumatic stress, I experienced one success and failure after another and was later brought to my knees in the midst of my divorce. Realizing my deplorable lack of communication skills, twenty years after the shooting, I could run from my past no longer. The Softening is the eleven-year process of healing the violent act of the shooting, and the paralyzing ordeal of my father returning home from jail on that very night.

Gandhi said, “The only demons are those running around in our own minds and that is where our battles must be fought.” I began to battle my demons, and, as a warrior replaced the victim in me, I came to understand the spiritual implications of violence.

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