I just returned from four days in New York City with my husband. I booked this trip months ago. As my regular readers probably know, I celebrated five years of sobriety on August 1st. This trip was about celebrating that milestone.

Back in March, my therapist went to NYC for a training. While she was there, she took pictures of the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park and the Fearless Girl taking on the Bull of Wall Street. Those pictures were the start of my need to go to NYC. 

I love Alice in Wonderland. The story is about a girl who gets lost. She finds herself in a world that does not make sense; a world that can be, at times, frightening and lonely. At the end, Alice finds her true self and escapes from this world of nonsenese and fear. I have always identified so much with Alice. I cry every time I watch the movie. It is real for me. 

On my first day in NYC, I set out on a mission to find Alice. We walked through most of Central Park. When we finally got to the statue, I was elated. I actually teared up a little 😳 I feel such a connection with this fictional character that to me, she is not fictional at all; she is a representation of my younger self. 

Alice is so very courageous.

During our trip, we also went to the Museum of Sex. Now, as my regular readers may know, I tend to fall into that “oversexed” catagory of sexual abuse survivors. I like sex. Good sex. And lots of it. The Museum of Sex was fascinating! I liked seeing the history of sex, vibrators, and porn and how they have evolved over the past 150 years. I think it made my husband feel a little awkward and embarrassed, but I thought it was cool. 

Thank god vibrators don’t look like that anymore!

On Saturday, we went to the 9/11 Memorial. Wow. There are no words. On September 11, 2001, I was walking into my 8th grade social studies class as the first plane crashed into the World Trade Centers. Our whole day was spent watching the news. The hardest part was watching the people jump out of the burning buildings to their death. 

At the memorial, I worked hard to fight back tears. There were several parts that I moved through quickly or skipped all together because it was too emotional. The voicemails of victims saying goodbye to their loved ones were probably the most difficult. 

After the 9/11 Memorial, we walked down to Wall Street. I needed to see the Fearless Girl. Her bravery is even more fierce in person. Seeing the statue filled me with an overwhelming appreciation for the little girl that I used to be… for her fearlessness. 

After seeing the Fearless Girl on Wall Street, my husband and I walked to Brooklyn. Yes. You read that right. We walked from Wall Street to Brooklyn. That was a long fucking walk! The bridge was cool, but also very crowded. We ate pizza in Brooklyn at Ignazio’s and then took a subway to Coney Island.

Coney Island was very neat! I didn’t budget for Coney Island though, and I often get motion sick now since having my daughter, so we didn’t ride anything. They did have some really awesome art work though:

On Sunday, we went to the Bronx Zoo. The journey by subway into the Bronx was heartbreaking. The devastating poverty and drug epedimic was evident even from the train as we rode through borough. When I looked at the scenery, when I saw the addicts on the streets, I couldn’t help but think of my own history with drugs. I am so very fortunate to be where I am today. I am forever grateful for the people who supported me through those days. 

After the zoo, we met up with some of my husband’s friends in Greenwich Village. We ate at John’s Pizzaria of Bleecker Street. It’s been around since 1929!!!! I also had a strawberry shortcake cupcake from Molly’s Cupcakes. It was seriously the best cupcake I’ve ever had in my life.

On Monday, it rained all day. We slept in. Packed up our things, and checked out of the hotel. We spent the day wandering Grand Central Station since it was indoors. I had amazing banana pudding from Magnolia’s Bakery. When the rain slowed down, we went to the Museum of Natural History. This was incredible! We didn’t have nearly enough time to see everything before we had to catch our flight, but I did see the dinosaur bones. 

The picture above is of a stegosaurus. When I took this picture, I had no flashbacks, no unwanted pain or sensations, and no trauma memories. This is HUGE. I have a specific trauma memory associated with a toy stegosaurus. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t even look at one without going into a flashback. I’m doing so much better now! 

Overall, my trip was really good. My husband and I did get in one fight… which led to him leaving me in the middle of Queens at 10:30pm 😮😡 I made it back to my hotel safely though and we talked things out. 

On the trip back, I got stopped by TSA. The lady had to pat me down and wipe me with this weird cloth thing. I did not enjoy that experience at all. It made me incredibly uncomfortable to be standing in the middle of the airport while some lady I don’t know rubs and pats her hands along my butt and inner thighs. 

Coming back home has been hard. Going back to work was tough. I miss New York City. I miss the people, the transportation, and the sights. I miss alone time with my husband. And I miss not having responsibilities. 

This week I have Thai Massage, therapy, and yoga teacher training. I am looking forward to all of those things. I’m hoping for growth and peace over these next four or five days.