“Ground control to Major Tom…”
*Walks in, trailing fingers over surfaces dusty from misuse*
“Ground control…this is Major Tom. I’m back.”
Well, this place is a mess. It’s been virtually self-sustaining for four years now; like all things, eventually it runs aground and needs some major repairs and facade work and sweat equity to get it back to its original glory. That time has come for SWT. I don’t know if you’re one of the original group that helped SWT go from a start up to what it’s become–and in the process, become a dear friend who has helped me through the hardest times of my life–or a new or potential customer. It doesn’t matter. Pull up a chair if you like…I’ve got some things to tell you.
First, I’m not giving up on SWT. I had never planned on neglecting it this long, either. The problem is, life doesn’t come with a guidebook, and when you’re a young widow with young children, it seems like that puts you even more outside the “norm” and in some ways, on the outside of society. People stand back, smiling nervously, hands in their pockets or checking their phones, looking for the first opportunity to get away from their own discomfort. Which is fine, it just means that you’ve gotten even less support than usual. Until just a few months ago, no one told me just how much of a process trauma like losing Dave really is. I was left to my own devices. I self-insulated, focused on keeping myself and my kids surviving (there was no thrive at this point) and we just moved forward in the day to day. Days turned into weeks into months, and then finally…years.
In 2019 I met an amazing man. We’ve been together since September 20 of that year. He has mental health issues, much like Dave did, and I felt myself begin to crawl out of my shell, because by helping him, I was learning to help myself, also. In August of 2020 I became a Reiki Practitioner, and by doing that felt a block of weight just lift off my heart. I actually enrolled in a school in September of 2020 and became a Licensed Massage Therapist in June of last year. Ironically, after thinking that my body was done, Dave was gone, and that chapter was over? I found out I was pregnant the day after Graduation from school in February, and we welcomed a beautiful little girl, baby #5, in October. I know that the term “rainbow baby” is typically reserved for families who conceive after miscarriage or infant loss, but our family had weathered a storm no less brutal in its intensity, although different in nature, and she came, and the clouds parted, and there was sunshine and happiness and joy again. Her name is ancient Hittite and means “To bring enlightenment” or “Illumination” and she has done just that. Cast light in the darkest corners of our grief and chased the shadows away. Her presence has brought healing and wholeness to all of us (she is absolutely adored by her siblings and doted on endlessly) that I had begun to give up hope we’d ever find.
My new partner in crime has challenged me, through his mental illness, our different cultures (southern vs. pacific northwest) and our very different pasts that brought us to this joined path, to step outside my comfort zone and challenges me, daily, to be the very best person I can be. I started this journey with Dave’s death, scared out of my mind at what all changes and challenges and discomforts that would entail–into a person who is proud of her personal evolution, who has discovered her inner strength, and is proud of not only who I am becoming, but the things that have brought me to this point. I miss my husband’s soul more than I can put into words; yet I’ve also come far enough that if I could go back in time (and be the person I was then) I’m not sure I would make the choice to do that.
Which brings me to SWT. I could not force myself to physically sit my butt in my chair, log in, and do anything more than troubleshoot problems with the purchase interface and respond to odd emails. To sit and force myself to put keystrokes on this page was admitting to myself with a deafening finality that Dave was gone, and he wasn’t coming back. Even writing this now, I feel the beginnings of PTSD creeping up on me: the tunnel vision, a slight roaring in my ears. I have been seeing an amazing therapist for a year now and she’s taught me how to identify the symptoms as I work *through* the triggers, and I’m doing so much better than I was, and here I am. Just as I’ve evolved personally over the years? I’ve read each and every email that everyone has sent to me, even if at the time I wasn’t capable of responding, and I’ve noticed a strong shift in the clientele that have visited this website. My clients don’t just want happier wives and marriages; they are now asking me how can they be better, happier husbands also. As I restart SWT, clear the cobwebs, and begin crafting my own mark on the legacy my hubby left me? I’ll be changing up some things. All the old files are still available. I’ll also be adding new here in the near future, that address couples, husbands, and even some files that reinforce positive self-image and appreciation of one’s partner, as these are two core issues that seem to consistently be at the center of marital disharmony. I hope to be offering custom files by late spring (it’s a software issue) and I will make an announcement as soon as I am able to do that.
In the meanwhile, I want to assure you that the site is very much loved and being cared for. You’ll notice changes in posts, in the appearance of the site itself, and how the interface is set up. I’ve also had issues with my payment processor, paypal, for almost as long as we’ve had the site. Emails with downloads not getting generated due to poor communication with the paypal site–the list is long and virtually all inclusive. Now that I am “back in the saddle” I have been shopping around for a better merchant processor and have decided on Host Merchant Services. As I get that figured out and the proper plugins/APIs installed & tested? SWT’s shopping cart will be temporarily down and purchases will not be able to be made. I hope that all of that will be resolved by this weekend, Monday at the very latest. We will be celebrating by having a huge sitewide sale just in time for valentine’s day! Thank you all for sticking with me, and holding space until I was able to find myself again and move into it. Words can’t express my gratitude and appreciation for each and every one of you, whether you’ve been here since 2016 or just logged on yesterday when google brought you here. I am so excited to work with you all again!
As I am getting all of this figured out, I would love to hear from you! Ideas, thoughts, requests. Send them all to mistresstrainher. Ciao, my dears!