Last night I went to a holiday gathering. The only thing we all had in common is that we had taught (or, in some cases, still teach) at a particular middle school. But that single bond is a strong one. Some of the attendees  have been absent from those halls for several years (I am one of them), yet we return to this particular gathering every year like well-trained homing pigeons.

It’s unusual for a group of coworkers to form this kind of bond. But that’s because the conditions were unusual as well. It was an amazing school, yet, in many ways, it was the trenches. Our clientele needed so much from us that we were all full-time caregivers as well as teachers. Many of them came from violence and it was the only language that they spoke. It meant that we were also full-time law enforcement. We endured many changes of the guard with ever-changing rules and expectations. Some administrators were wonderful. Others, abusive. We became full-time counselors to our coworkers as well as our students. We had many tragedies stroke our students and our staff. We became family.

We bonded because we survived together.

We bonded because we all had a shared understanding.

We bonded because, on many days, that bond was the only thing keeping us sane.

Our relationships formed under great pressure and at great depths.

And that’s how diamonds are made.

And, as we all know,

Diamonds are forever.


In many ways, I feel the same way about you guys, my online community.

We have all survived.

We all speak a common language of love and loss.

We have all helped each other.

We have all been through the depths and the pressure.

And yet we won’t let the darkness quiet our voices or our spirits.

I like to think we shine like those diamonds, offering a beacon of hope.


As we enter in to the final days of the year, I am reflecting back on 2013. And feeling grateful for this community.  You offered me support when I saw my ex for the first time in years. You helped me process  my thinking when I was debating about leaving writing behind. You pumped me up with my latest endeavor. You celebrated with me when I married again. I had the pleasure of meeting some of you in the flesh, revealing the faces behind the stories. And, even more importantly, you supported each other, through comments and shares, offering hope and reassurance.

You guys are awesome.

I wish all of you the best as we close out the year. I hope you can celebrate the way you want – whether it be in a house full of people or tucked under the covers with a good book.

And, remember that you’re not alone.

We’re bonded.




Thank you for sharing!

9 thoughts on “Bonded

  1. Let's CUT the Crap! – Canada – I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!
    Let's CUT the Crap! says:

    Happy holidays and many, many more. 😉

  2. Jennifer – Albuquerque, New Mexico – First off, I am not very funny. Secondly, I am a full-blown geek; I like chess (it is my favorite game), I enjoyed writing research papers in college, I enjoyed statistics and any other kind of math. But, in my old age (47), I have learned to own my geekdom, it is uniquely mine. Third, I have manic-depressive illness which can make life a bit rocky sometimes, like when the medications are not strong enough to treat the illness, then it bites me in the ass…..hard. Most of the time, though, I ride the sine wave that are normal moods. It is an interesting disease to have though. You do a lot of self reflecting and exploration which can be rough, but you can see where you have made mistakes and you can take action to prevent that behavior in the future. Fourth, I have learned how not to settle for anything; bad medical care, toxic and angry people, bad food, bad relationships. I just will not settle anymore. I have already been there and done that. Fifth, I have learned over the years it is not cool to puke through your nose because you drank too much at a party or a bar. Sixth, I love to read everything from fiction to non-fiction to school textbooks. I do not remember learning to read. My mom says when I was about 3 or 4 years old, I picked up National Geographic and began to read it. Who knew? Seventh, and possibly last, I love music of all types except Rap. My favorite music to relax to is classical preferably of the Baroque period like Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven. I love going to the movies by myself. If you go on a Monday afternoon matinée, there is usually no one there so it is like having your own private theater. I am also a Nichiren Buddhist by way of spiritual belief. I am basically just a normal person who happens to be not funny :) .
    songtothesirens says:

    That was a wonderful post! I feel the same about my online “family”. They have seen me rant and rave (sometimes about frivolous things), they have read me writing about a failing marriage and ultimate divorce, and they have helped immensely in those dark moments when I thought I really had gone around the bend. Although, I do not comment on your blog very often, and you do not know me well, I read it almost daily. I have found great hope in your experience. Thank you for sharing it! I hope your Christmas is merry, and that your New Year is safe and happy 🙂

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for a wonderful post. I need you guys there are no support groups in my area and unless you have gone through divorce no one understands. If he would of died I would of gotten a ton of support but a divorce makes people avoid me like the plague. God Bless us everyone.

  4. misst2elleh – My blog, my rules. This blog belongs to me, hence it is my therapy pad. If you do not like what I post please do not comment cause I do not care, if you do not appreciate what I post, please do not come back cause I honestly do not care. If you are cool then enjoy it...
    misst2elleh says:

    Happy new year. A small note on your post, I totally agree to the online community belongingness feeling, I would like to add to that that the people in my online life come from different parts of the world and I don’t need to know their gender, age, religion nor political affiliations for me to relate in some ways to their stories. I wish the whole world can become that one day, a big open online community.

  5. Lisa,
    You were the first person in this online community to reach out and tell me it was going to be okay. I didn’t believe you at the time, and still struggle sometimes, but it’s getting better. I’m still in survival mode, but I know that I have support that I can reach out to. Because of blogging, I found you. Because you had the courage to write your story, I found a book by Vikki Stark that Amazon recommended when I bought your book. Because I took that recommendation, I found a great support group on FaceBook and we created a private group called the Healing Circle. I have not had the time to blog lately (new job), but I am forever grateful for you and this community of support! Congratulations on your new marriage. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    xoxo ~ Meg

    1. Oh, Meg, I am so happy for you:) What great news and I love the idea of the support group! You brought a huge grin to my face this morning. Best to you and keep up the great work! Lisa
      P.S. It actually won’t be okay – it will be better than okay:)

  6. momfawn – Visalia, CA – I am a sixty-something baby-boomer -- daughter, mother, wife (twice), grandmother, aunt, Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart -- retired and celebrating a life thoroughly lived.
    momfawn says:

    I love the communities of “imaginary friends” that have developed through blogging and Face Book. We support each other, grieve with each other, encourage and laugh with each other. And we grow. – Fawn

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