The Juniper Berries of Pain

The juniper berry is more like a small pine cone than a fruit. In fact, the juniper berry is not a fruit at all, but rather a type of bitter/citrus tasting spice.

The berries have anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for relieving pain and inflammation related to rheumatism and arthritis.

Healing is very much like a bitter tonic. It isn’t that pleasant most of the time.

Our family was close, yet somehow distant. It seemed we lived a contradiction. Nothing was ever normal. One plus one would never equal two. I would happily be playing with my brother when Daddy would enter with that loving look in his eye. Always hoping for kindness, I would go to him.

He would hold me gently and tell me he loved me. I was to him his most precious possession. Daddy would never hurt you, he would say. “If I ever have, please forgive Daddy. I love you. I need you. You make my life worth living.

30-year old manuscript of prisoner by no crime of my own

Thirty years ago I was looking for my freedom. Trying to express through words what I longed to be free from: decades of my father’s abuse.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow looking back and seeing just how long this journey has been. Today, I am who I am as a result of the work of sorrow, the pain and suffering it has taken to move on. I no longer live in the territory of a life lived in secret denial.

The most common culinary use of the juniper berry is as a spice used to flavor gin. A gin and tonic can most certainly offer momentary relief from stress and bring a slight smile to your face.

Healing brings even more!

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