For June 2, 2017, my graduate, & youngest girl…

May 20, 2017

Diane—

So in less than two weeks you will be a high school graduate.  I am hoping that your little graduation present gets here in time.
I’m writing this letter for you so that you can get the little ‘bump’ you need to send you out into the world and make it big—but make it big in your way and in the process making YOUR dreams come true.
I bought a CD for you today.  There are two songs there that are the reason why I bought what I bought.  There are two songs that are my personal gift and message for you.

My Wish

 I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you wanna go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.
But more than anything, more than anything

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

     Suppose it could be said better-but, when you are in doubt just remember that at least your mom is cheering you on.  I realize that I have made a lot of mistakes.  I’ve realized that being a mom to one child doesn’t make you good mom to all kids.  My weaknesses with my oldest were sometimes still my weakness, and sometimes by the time I got to you, I had a whole new set of weaknesses.  No matter how poorly I have said, “I love you.”  Know that I always have, & that my dreams for you were always big, even if I couldn’t provide you with a great jumping off pad.
There will be times when I still have to be a ‘mom’.  Unfortunately, that is just the rules for engagement between you and I.  But, I am hoping that we can always talk about any problems we have and work them out.    The thing that I am really best at and can still do for you, is to be your cheerleader.    And I always will be that.   And I want all the same things for you as I ever wanted for the other three:

  1. Be Happy. Be Healthy.  3. Follow your Dreams. 4. Don’t hurt others.

That last one is the hardest one for me.  That’s the one I choke on.  It’s the only one that can ever get between you and I.  It’s really important to me because so many people have worked so hard hurt those around me.  I’ve lived the fall out; I’ve seen the emotional devastation.   That is where I draw my line in the sand.

But, having said that I cannot imagine you hurting someone on purpose, for the sake of fun or anything else.  You are a really good person. The one kid who actually turned out the way I hoped all my kids would.  I see a happy life for you.  That is not to say you won’t hit bumps.    Sometimes those bumps really hurt.  Sometimes the days will get really dark.  It’s just how life goes sometimes.  Light a candle, say a prayer, take some really deep breaths, take a long bath, listen to music, paint, and call your mom.

One thing to remember is even when you feel really, really alone, the truth is that you are not.  You have friends and family who love you and want the best for you.  Even if all they can give you is a hug, and probably that’s all you’d need anyhow to be able to get out there and face the world again.

“Stand”

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you’ve lost your fight
But you’ll be alright, you’ll be alright

‘Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend, ’til you break
‘Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand…

You come from a LONG LINE of really tough people.  Not perfect people….just really tough people. People who have faced all kinds of situations—starvation, witch hunts, wild bears, wars, homelessness, extreme cold, rape, molest, abuse.  Each one not only survived but succeeded in some way, or else YOU would not be on this earth today.  Each of us alive today on this earth can believe this because it’s true!  And, it is all the more of a reason to celebrate YOU!
You have been handed the gift of life.  Each person in your life is a gift.  Maybe there will be times when you can’t see it, but EVERYONE who crosses your path will share something with you, even if all it is ‘just’ a smile.  It might be a small or a great gift: wisdom, fact, love, a hug, a meal, a theory, maybe someday a child.   Never take it for granted.  There might be a billion of us here on earth, but there is only one me and only one you!!  That makes us special. It makes being your mom special!

Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.  Thank you for the GIFT of being YOU!!
I do LOVE YOU!!!  & I always will!!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The Time I Almost Killed Myself…

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
~Carpenters, 1971

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Two weeks ago, give or take a day, I had a really a no good, really bad day.  For that day and the next I struggled with life and death, and the importance of my life as it intersects with other lives.  The short version of the story is that a lot of pain that I try very hard to ignore on a day to day basis hit me all at once.  I described it later, like a stack pancakes, one on top of another, until the stack became so big that it just fell apart.

At the base of the pain, one might call the biggest and heaviest pancake was the pain that came from a perceived rejection of my want to help my (mentally challenged) son.  In my mind, I had to choose one over the other:  my partner or my son.  I told my friends that if I wanted a really real divorce all I had to do was invite my son to stay on this property again.  That is STILL the reality that I contend with.  The truth is though, that this was not at the base, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The pancake stack was probably leaning, and someone threw this big, heavy pancake on the stack—and what we got was this big emotional train wreck.

My son, is currently 26 years old, and has a laundry list of diagnoses now.   Bipolar with psychosis which by definition includes depression and mania, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (not long ago referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism), PTSD, borderline personality disorder …..But wait, there’s more…. (Learning disabilities galore also are on the list)

And it is certainly no laughing matter.  He’ll probably need professional help the rest of his life.  And there is no amount of denial or turning one’s back on him that will change what he is, who he is, and what he needs.  Keeping this mind, knowing that I DID bring this kid into the world, there is absolutely NO chance in hell, that I will EVER turn my back on him.

One of his older sisters flat out told me I needed to “cut him loose.”  A judgement made from a person who can very easily distance herself from someone she perceives as a “looser”.  In her mother’s mind however, there is a difference between a ‘looser’ and someone with a condition that came built in with the package.  One never ‘cuts loose’ their children, if they can help it.  To be able to “cut loose” even a grown child, the emotional price tag has to become bigger than the perceived ‘worth’ of the child.  There has to be some mighty painful situations come up to force a good mother to let go of even ‘grown’ children.

I could not understand how someone who supposedly loved me could not understand my dilemma.  In order to keep the man around that I loved, I had to “CHOOSE” to not help my son (again).  I felt about as misunderstood as a person could feel.  I felt let down, as if the world’s biggest rug had been torn out from under me.  The one person in the world that I had chosen to throw all my trust into (after deciding he was pretty healthy-emotionally) basically let me know my son was not going to live on his property.

He let me know by showing his anger.  He doesn’t stomp around the house. He just makes the household know by the way he carries himself, and with this huge frown that shows he is very unhappy.  His body language, his lack of conversation, it is all made quite clear.  And it’s not like I didn’t know what was wrong. I did.  I didn’t need his “passive aggressive” messages.

But he sent them anyway….

The more I tried to figure out what to do for my son, without letting him come back to this property, the more this ‘partner’ of mine sent out the signals that he was pushed out of shape.  Over and over again—as my son’s situation led to him becoming more mentally unstable, so it pushed me more and more into a feeling of helplessness.  I had no realistic way to help him except to listen to him and try to help ground him.  Even that wasn’t working very well.  I told my son he could not come and live on this property; else I’d be divorced for real.  He asked me if it was really that bad.  I could only answer him honestly.  “Yes, it is really that bad.”

On the heels of this, came, the news that my 2nd eldest daughter would not be attending my 18 year old’s high school graduation.  Take into account, that this 2nd eldest daughter is adopted.  Her own biological mother did not show up at her graduation.  I did.  She has made it clear over the years how much that meant to her.  I simply could not fathom how she could not show up at her younger sister’s graduation considering how important her own was to her.

My two oldest daughters do not speak to me.  Each has their own reasons.  To be honest, I don’t see the reason in either of their stories.  They are both in their own way and for their own individual reasons laying an awful lot of blame onto me for things that may or may not be going right in their own life.  And so they have the right to treat me like shit.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to give into whatever it is.  It’s just what they think they want from me.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to change a thing I do in my life.  Not for them.  Not anymore.

That Saturday morning, my “partner” and I had had a major argument.  He offered to leave.  I told him to just go then.  I have to say here and now, that living under his cover of anger is too much for me to take.  I have informed him more than once that we need professional help.  If I don’t leave this time, I sure will leave another time, if he continues to ‘rule his roost’ in this manner.

Nevertheless, feeling that perhaps the 2nd eldest was staying away from the graduation so that she’d not have to confront her feelings about our non-communication, and in essence making her little sister pay for anger that she feels towards me, I offered to not go to the graduation so that she would go.

Almost instantaneously, though it may seem silly to those who read this, I felt absolutely the failure and unneeded, unworthy, and unloved.  I was suddenly moving, at least in my mind in slow motion.  I felt like I’d been run over by a Mack Truck.   My reality at that moment, suddenly, and too my great surprise, IN MY FACE:

1 Mother: Not speaking to me
2 of 4 Children: Not speaking to me
1 adult (mentally challenged) child: In need, I cannot help.
1 partner, whom I considered the love of my life: Offering to leave, and obviously angry.
1 child, who I’d just offered to not go to her graduation, a once in a lifetime ceremony, and rightfully should be the happiest time of her life at least for now.  I gave that up.
= It all came to be ONE MASSIVE FAILURE in my mind.

If anyone knows me, they know that I have worked very hard to be where I am in this life.  There has been nothing come without struggle in one form or another.  Either I literally worked hard physically (as in providing for my family as a single mother), or literally trying to learn enough about people, psychology, and myself to FORCE myself to be the best that I can be: to be a very good person, who takes everyone’s feelings into account, to give without the need to receive.  I have lived it: “The children always come first.”  I did not and do not want to be accused of ever abusing another person…. Well except perhaps a rapist or molester.

Everyone always came first. I wonder now, if anyone even considers what I might want or need when they make their final determinations about me and who I am, and why they think they are so damn angry with me.

Consider my EGO-growing from a little girl to a young woman:

I am a daughter
I am a granddaughter
I am a mother
I am a wife
I am a domestic engineer
I am a worker
I am a volunteer
I am a writer
I am a student
I am a gardener
I am a genealogist
I am a photographer
I am a lover of music

These are written in the order of priority in my life, at least to a certain point.

I have noticed the past couple of years that my boundaries and priorities are changing. It is my understanding that this is a natural outgrowth of a woman who is coming face to face with the ageing processes.  She feels her body beginning to fall apart.  She is losing her physical strength and endurance.   She is coming to terms with mortality and the time limits of life come screeching to the consciousness.  In my case, the thought that I am actually pushing 60 years of age, is just mind bending.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d live to see the age that I am let alone anything beyond it.  And while I am grateful for every day that I live, I also know beyond a shadow of doubt that my days are now most certainly limited.

And so over the past year or so, my priorities have changed:

I am a lover of music
I am a photographer
I am a genealogist
I am a gardener
I am a student
I am a writer
I am a volunteer
I am a worker (no longer realistic)
I am a wife (Retired?!)
I am a mother (Retired?!)
I am a granddaughter (no longer realistic)
I am a daughter  (no longer realistic)

But these turn overs in priorities do not come painlessly.  They do send ripples out on what can often times be perceived by others and myself as a very calm sea of needs, wants, desires, —and demands from those all around me.    I hope their children never treat them the way they have treated me.  They are blind if they truly do not see, just how hurt I really am.

So, that Saturday morning, feeling like I had been run over by the world’s largest vehicle, I determined to have my very own last supper, and to go by the local ER and ask for my pacemaker to be turned off so that when I found the wall of snow that I was determined to find, I could plow into it, and die quickly.  I had no desire for my pacemaker to keep me alive while the 911 crew raced to save my life.  I was going to drive out of state in a quiet and determined manner.  I had a plan, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

This is how seriously I felt my failures.  That I just wasn’t worth the air that I breathed. There was nothing left to give.  I suddenly had no reason to live.  It was time to just go away, disappear—eventually, it would be taken for granted that I was dead.  That is how far up a mountain I was willing to go.

But, I realized that if I asked for my pacer to be turned off that I’d more than likely be put into a 72 hour hold.  I had no reason to let anyone force me to want to live.  So, I chose not to ask for my pacer to be turned off.

I began my long drive. And even in my dark mood some things about me are truly consistent.  “I always wanted to see if I could find that little town, maybe today is the day,” and so I took of the exit to Anluf.  I wound under I-5 and wondered at the scenery.  How in the world had I missed this road!  It is my curiosity that feeds me and keeps me utterly alive.  I have always, as long as I can remember, wanted to see it all, feel it all, hear it all, taste it all, know it all.  Suddenly, as I realized I was on part of the Applegate Trail, I began to form photos in my mind.  I also began conversations with my ‘partner’ about encouraging him to take this drive with this camera.  But, it was also a good bye conversation: Find yourself a good woman, enjoy and celebrate life, but tell her that I have dibs in heaven.  After a little drive I ended up in Venetta, and first thing I saw was an FCR office.  One of my kids works for that company, or at least did.  I thought perhaps she should transfer there; she’d be closer to the big city, and lots of fun things to do.  I got myself a chocolate, chocolate, chocolate blizzard.  I bought paper, envelopes and stamps.  I wrote two letters: one letter to the man that I thought was my beloved.  To him, I put down in words my conversation with his perception.  One letter to my youngest, letting her know that I loved her so much, and that I knew she was going to be ok.  That I was glad that she was growing up to be a really good person.  I ate my blizzard, I wrote, stuffed, stamped, and mailed the notes.

I headed towards the driveway and took notice of a sign that pointed to Eugene going one way, and to Florence going the other way.  I was very much away from my original plan of ‘visiting’ my great grandfather in Springfield, my great great grandparents in Eugene and the rest of the family in Silverton at Miller’s cemetery.  I’d already had a conversation with my father.  I’d let him know that I’d see him really soon.  It was and still is hard not to see it as a reunion, when the time really comes.  I turned away from my plan and towards Florence.  I decided that it would be ok to see one last sunset from the beach.  In my own quiet way, I was throwing myself a good bye party.

Where I made my mistake, and it’s one I will not make again.  Is that I called Clyde to just let him know that I was ok.  Except that I was not ok. During the conversation he let me know that my youngest was worried about me. I had not given my plan away, at least not blatantly, until now.  Without any forethought to it at all, I told him to tell her that my dad died when I was 21 years old, and my sister was 18 at the time.  The message was that we both survived it and are doing ok.  His response almost sounded unreal, “wait, what are you thinking? What are you going to do?”  I told him I loved him, I hung up, and I turned off the phone.  (My battery was getting very low, and I had no charger, and I did not want to be deterred from my goal)

Either way, from that moment on, no matter how badly I did not want to face the next day I knew that my kid now knew what I wanted to do, and I could not live with her “knowing” this.  Looking back on it, I really don’t why this bothered me so much.  But, it did.

You know, it’s two weeks later, and I still am rather flat feeling about the whole mess.  I do not feel like a successful person, I am fairly sure that soon I’ll be looking for my own space, and will begin to end my life—spend the last days, weeks, month, or years on my own terms.  No matter how much I love someone, there is nothing left in me that says, “I must change him.”  It is just not happening.  If you love someone, you love them as they are.  If one cannot accept his/her other as they are, then it’s just time to move on.  It boils down to, “to thine self be true…”

I got to Florence.  I found a battery charger.  I found a road along a jetty where I could watch the sunset.   I watched a bird literally surf the water.  I saw at least two seals.  I saw a small fish jump.  Florence has a great radio station. The sound is just high quality.  I wallowed in the music, I wallowed in the sea breeze, I absorbed the flight of the seagulls, I took photos with my eyes of the clouds that were breaking up the light from the golden setting sun.  The tide was raising, and I noted that the water was coming closer to me.

What do I do to make you love me?
What do I have to do to be heard?
What do I do when lighting strikes me?
Sorry seems to be the hardest word…..   ~Elton John

It was getting dark and it was time for me to get somewhere.  I thought maybe a room.  I could always kill myself tomorrow.

I turned my key, and the engine did not respond.
I was in Florence, but don’t ask me what road I am on!
I turned my key – now, who do I call for help?

I called Clyde.  I told him my predicament.
The long story short, he drove three hours to jump the car
and then he chaperoned me into town, offered me a room.
And that I took.

I absolutely tried to make the best of the situation.
I invited him into the shower where he let me know how attractive I am to him.
Where his soft and loving words turned almost instantly into another pancake-
“I can’t wait for you to lose weight, so that I can ”   -You know… do this, or do that.
We got clean with hotel provided toiletries.
He made love the best he could.  I knew he was tired.
We went to sleep on a huge kingsized bed.
I was not and had not been sleeping well.
Tears kept interrupting my sleep.  No matter how much I wanted to be with him the truth was in those moments, it was terribly painful to be there, knowing that separation was probably inevitable.  I ended moving to a chair in the room, to cry, trying not to wake him.

I tried to contain the tears, and to keep them quiet.  But the pain was really, really big.  And somewhere in there I turned to a little girl….  Who was just fighting to stay alive, who just did not want to be trampled by someone else’s anger…

No matter who they were and who they are…  I’m tired of dealing with all the anger.

He woke and came to me.  He tried to comfort me.  By this time, I could tell him how specifically I was feeling pressured, and I let it all out except the remark made in the shower…. I realized that I had again attached myself to people who were going away, I missed my friends who were not really gone.. yet.

While my children hurt me, and it had become quite obvious that I needed to stop the bleeding on an emotional level, the biggest hurt that I  am still not sure is recoverable is the hurt of lack of understanding, along with lack of love and support once he decided to show his anger.  It still really hurts. I can wake up tomorrow, and swallow it, and pretend it never happened.

Except that it did

I agreed to go home the next morning.  Every mile was a fight.  I had absolutely NO interest in going home.

My plan at the moment, is to go on, at least until my youngest is graduated.  Her plan is to live with her dad. He is closer to the college and jobs.  I think that is a smart way for her to go.  I cannot in good conscious discourage her from that choice.  She graduates in two weeks.

Nine school days left.

Then the wait for her to move.  Helping her move… and coming back to a house where I get to pretend everything is ok, until the next time he gets angry, and I can’t live with it.

I have reminded him that we need professional help.

He has not answered me.  I think that he disagrees.

With no kids to keep me tethered to a certain place,

It’s about guaranteed that the next time I leave,

It will be for good.

 

 

 

 

 

Kids…

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I was stuck on a mountain top about maybe three weeks ago.  I was stuck for 2.5 days. While coming down off the mountain there were a lot of people assisting–it’s amazing how many there were.  I got messages from a sheriff, who informed me that he’d been talking to two of my kids.  Two of them sent me messages of love.

Unfortunately, I have decided that those kids don’t have a clue what love is.  They know what control is.  They know how to say what should be said at the particular moment.  But, they have no clue what real love is.  Which I find weird.  My oldest got up at my wedding and read 1 Corinthians 4-13.  Not that said child would accept this as a definition, but her mother would and since the mother is writing this that’s all that matters:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Now, having defined what I might refer to as a definition of “perfect love” or at least something to strive for.

When I got home from the mountain–there were two things that I heard right away.  My 26 year old son made arrangements for his drug dealer to move in, take over payments, and this guaranteed a roof over his head.  He told at least one of his sisters that they could “visit”.  That takes some nerve considering that we were not even declared dead yet, and were missing all of 2.5 days.  Don’t consider me dead until I’ve been missing at least a week, I know how to survive.

The other story I came home to was that my oldest, 33 years old, had decided that she was the oldest next of kin to my (ex) husband and that she would be handling all the affairs (his and mine).  She obviously totally missed the fact that her father has three living sisters, a brother, and a living mother.  She also missed the fact that she was NEVER our intended or even our chosen person for handling our affairs–else we would have told her where the OFFICIAL paperwork was.  There were so many assumptions on her part, including the fact that she said any court would turn over the paperwork that we had filed….  Anyway, she informed the younger two kids that they would be paying her rent.  This story came over across from the two youngest and the story came across the exact same way from both kids.  When you get a story being told the exact same way by two different people, then you can figure it’s true.  At least that is what I figure.

I told this story at my women’s group, and on my facebook, and to a lot of other people.  Everyone one that I trust my true feelings with all reacted the same: “Well you know the truth about how they feel about you now.  It sounds like you need to take care of business.”  Only one of the older children was smart enough to keep her mouth shut.  My adopted child–is the brightest and most honest of the three oldest.

But, you know, it was my youngest who was waiting by the door when I got home.  It was her who filed the missing person’s reports, it was her who coordinated everything.  It was her who took it all in, and listened.  Not only was she at the door when we got home, but it was obvious that she had been in tears— there had been lot’s and lot’s of tears.  She didn’t make deals with any others out in the world, she simply did her best to keep things together to help the authorities— I told her yesterday, that if I should die tomorrow, I know she’s going to be ok.  No matter how young she wants to play her cards (she’s 18 and not quite out of high school), the truth is that she can survive rough times without me now.  That is a comforting thought for me.  Though a mom is never done…. for all intents and purposes, it means I did my job, and I did it well.   She managed to personify what I call love… she kept hopes up that mom was returning, she helped to lay out the groundwork needed to help authorities find me.  She gave it all she had, and she didn’t care about who was going to get what.

I’m not sure I can blame my older two for who they have become. The youngest of those two (the 26 year old) has had very little time with his biological father, and yet, he is his father all over again.  They both are just their biological father reincarnations–yup, yup, the guy who asked me to sleep with his sister.  I can see they can’t help the genetic mess they inherited, but I can also draw the line.  This is where I get off….

Two days after coming home off the mountain, I informed my son that his ‘father’ (adopted) was going to be his payee.  That is all I said. I did not explain anything, I did not go on…I simply said it as if it were a matter of fact, because it was.  I certainly did not expect the temper tantrum that we all got.  And I will be honest, so much was going on with this particular kid that I’m not sure I’ve teased it all right but, I got onto Facebook to see the remark:  “If I’m going to be treated like an animal, I’m going to act like an animal.”  Immediately, I took that as a threat.  No one was treating him like an animal.  The kid asked no questions, not even “what will change if dad is my payee?”  Next thing I know a friend of his is coming to me letting me know that he threatened to burn our house down.  Really? We could have died up on that mountain and you are supposedly glad we are home, but you are going to burn our house down?  It might not be worth much to anyone else, but for me it’s home!!  Maybe I could have ignored it, had he not already started a fire in our home (in a closet) a few years back.  I confronted him about that threat, which of course he denied.  I told him he needed to just leave the property.  Then came, of course, “mom go to the doctor with me so I can figure out what the threat was, how was I manipulating? ”  It’s all DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, get a book and read it.  I divorced your biological father over this crap, and I’m not going there again.  Figure it out, I’m not going to the doctor with you.

The son was moved out in less than a week.  But the next day after his friend told me of the threat, the friends car had a screw driver or something punched through is oil filter, and three belts were broke in that same day.  The son denied it, and then turned around and admitted it to his step-mother.  What I do not know is did he do it because his friend ‘snitched’ over threatening the burn the house down, or did he do it because he didn’t want the friend to “snitch” about what happened to the Jeep.  Either way—it’s nuts.

This 26 year old son, decided that we would die unless he went out and searched for me, NOW.  This 26 year old son is a non-licensed FELON who has NEVER had permission to drive anything of mine, or his father’s.   And yet the neighbor saw him and his friend drive the Jeep off the property.  When it was brought back we did not know it, but they had done major damage to it.

It just got out of the shop yesterday.  The bill came to $1800.00.  The rear end had a LOT of metal in it, and the spider gears were missing multiple teeth.  The bulk of the charges were from rebuilding that.  The transmission was full of water and the note on the bill says that happens when a vehicle has sat in water for  a couple of days.  And even though the transmission has been flushed and new fluids put in, it does not go into first gear on it’s own.  It now needs to go to a transmission shop, which will likely cost another 2K.  One child, two days=4K of damage.

The truth of the matter was that in about two more days we probably could have driven our car off that mountain.  We were never in any real danger.  We both know about ourselves and our bodies   We both are quite aware that we are survivors and what our two oldest children voiced and did was totally uncalled for, and inappropriate.

The guys (son and friend) still have not yet told us the truth about the Jeep. Their story is that they got into a pothole in Myrtle Creek and that it was so deep that the Jeep had to be winched out.  Right?!  You have a bridge to sell me too, right?

Parents might look stupid to all you young people out there.  But, the stupidity, usually is more like a “blind love.”  More than likely no one in the world is going to forgive you more than your parents will.   You can do some really stupid stuff–if no one else will forgive you, usually your parents will.  But, just a piece of advice, don’t take it for granted just in case.

But, parents are human too.  Their patience does wear out.  Some parents wear out before others….some are very, very long suffering.  Where ever it is that I fell on the continuum, the bottom line is that I have drawn my lines in the sand with my kids.
The oldest two biological kids are just shit out of luck.  I’m done being patient.

I’m tired of the violence, I’m tired of the manipulation, I’m tired of the baiting. I’m tired of the games that I never took as ‘games’.   I’m tired of dealing with all the ‘red flags’.  I’m living my life, and I’m spending their inheritance.  I promise you two, that no matter how much is left when I die—there will be NONE left for you.

And yes, every single house payment we make is money in the bank for the youngest. But, she was there!    She will never get an interest rate as low as the one we have now. It will be my honor to hand it down to someone who will respect the land itself and what it meant to us.

My adopted one—I’m no mind reader. I have no idea what she wants from me.  I’m really dangerously close to saying the same thing to her.  I’m tired of kids thinking they can ask anything thing they want of me, and expect it.  I’m tired of being bullied by all of them. I’m just tired.

And I’m sick of being sorry about being tired.  Therefore, no more apologies.  I am a good person, hell, I’m a GREAT person.  I am generous, warm, thoughtful, empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate.  But from now on, I am #1 with me!

Clyde let me know that he’s known me for 13 or 14 years now and has never known me to be manipulative.  I’m honest, I have patience, I’m a survivor, I love to laugh…  I’m doing what I do best from here on out.  I would have loved to included you kids. But at this point, I don’t feel like you are even in my sphere of greatness.  Sorry, but you do not measure up.  And you know, only YOU can fix that.

“Float like a ButterflySting Like a Bee.”  –Muhammad Ali

So, the message is,  that parents run out of gas.  They get tired. They do reach the point where your shit just doesn’t cut it anymore.  If you do not want your words coming back to bite you in the ass, then consider not saying them at all.

Congratulations, Viki

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You have all the rights, privileges, and consequences along
with all the peril and ill health of being just as
mentally unhealthy as your biological father.

I wish you all the luck in the world
You are going to need it,

YOU have become a MONSTER
YOU ARE YOUR FATHER
YOU ARE
SCOTT NEAL MILLER!!!

3/19/2017
You are 100% disowned
and DISINHERITED
We’ll have an attorney help us to draw up the
paperwork, and the attorney will be the executor
You and your brother will have control of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Thank you for finally showing YOUR TRUE COLORS


(p.s. Just in case you are getting a wee bit emotionally high on the idea that you have hurt me, remember that I have been surrounded by sick people all my life, and that I have landed on my feet and VERY mentally healthy.  I can put this in it’s place and move on with a good conscious, and not one iota of bitterness.  I feel sorry for what you have….)

P.S.S: Just so you know…how did I know you went to California??
It was very simple–I asked myself: “What would Scott Miller do?”

What being stuck in the snow does for one’s sense of humor…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

To Whom It May Concern,

My husband and I had the bad luck of having to stay in our car and ‘survive’ in the snow atop a mountain this week.  This ‘survival’ mode only lasted for two and a half days.

We arrived Sunday afternoon to only around 2-3 inches of snow after changing our flat tire.  Our low riding 4×4 Subaru Outback Legacy ™ got caught on a very small snow drift.  We used our poor dog’s blanket to try and get traction and get out, but alas our Subaru ™ was unable to use the Bratz ™ blanket.

We were unable to even dig our car out using simple Snapple bottles ™ where the bottom had been cut off in order to dig our way out.  I promise, I kid you not!!!

We decided to make ourselves comfortable and stay the first night.  We’d passed trucks coming from the other direction, we were sure we were safe.  Soon, the snow began to fall!  It just went on and on and on.  It continued to fall even more.  The next morning we were probably buried in a foot of snow.  At this point, we became acutely aware that we were probably in trouble.

I remembered that we had told our friend, a manager at Burger King ™ in the nearby town of Canyonville, Oregon that we were going to take photos at South Umpqua Falls and so I wasn’t much worried at all.  Well, at least for a while.  I was glad that I had even made sure to pack the extra ketchup packet from our food and stash it away in my pocket.  Burger King ™ uses Heinz™ brand you know!!

Well, that next day under a foot of snow. We had to figure out how to survive.  It’s sad but it’s true, that I learned the hard way that Eberhard’s ™ Ice Cream buckets are not only good for storing away dry dog food for long trips, but they also make very good toilets!  I have to admit that Kirkland paper towels make excellent toilet paper in a pinch.

We were soon thirsty and realized we’d be drinking melted snow. So we cut the bottoms out of an Aquafina water bottle.  The bottle became a very good snow scooper for letting the snow melt in (leave the lid on, turn upside down and it will stand in your drink stand), hence providing refreshing and life giving (no name brand, generic) water.

After our first night in the forest, I have to admit that my stomach began to feel a little pained. I started to be concerned about what we would eat.  I knew my husband had a small, two shot American Arms™ 410/45 Long Colt Derringer on his body, and so I prayed for a bunny to hop by. Then I remembered we had no way to start a fire, and so, I realized that more than likely lunch would be the Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice dog food so highly recommended by our dogs vets over at DCLVS in Roseburg, Oregon.   So, defeated, and emotional eaters, we began to consume very small samples of the food.  We drank a lot of the generic water.

The first full day out there we tore up the upholstery on our front seats.  One seat provided us a bag in which to place both of our feet.  I have an inherited foot condition that makes it quite painful to walk.  That condition along with arthritis in my feet, and bad circulation kept my feet pretty cold.  So, my life partner told me to take off my wet socks, and place my feet in the upholstered bag with his so that he could transfer heat from his feet to mine.  I’ll tell you, there is no brand name for that kind of love!

The other front seat upholstery was cut open and placed over our legs like a blanket.  Atop of that was a liner bought to protect the car from our dog, Jake and all the hair he loses during his daily activities.  These along with our jackets (Bear Ridge ™ and REI ™)  made perfect layers and we only needed to run the engine full of gas from our local 76 ™ station in Tricity, Oregon every three or  four hours.  BTW, we did fill up before we left!

The first full day turned into the 2nd night, and probably another foot of snow fell.  We could barely get our car door open to dispose of bodily fluids, or to scoop new snow cones for drinking.  Egads!  By now, we really, really knew we were in trouble.   I spied the ketchup placed in the middle console and realized that it had a pal from Kentucky Fried Chicken™ a small container of Honey Mustard.  I asked my husband which he preferred and I shared with him the idea of a true gourmet dinner.  Fine dining at its best.  He refused my offer, I really don’t know why.  We ate more plain Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice chow and drank lot’s and lot’s of generic (God freely given complete with dirt) water.  That day I also looked at a friend’s book that I needed to return, “Roberts Rules” copyright 1923, it looked like fire fodder to me.  But, alas, I remembered again, we had no matches! I was sad indeed.

The 2nd full day came and we were up with the sunrise.  Just like the day before we were having very deep and realistic conversations about if we were going to die. We were trying to figure out just how in the world, we could get someone’s attention. As with the day before, every time we started the engine we turned on our Duro ™ cell phone, and dialed 911, to no avail.  At the same time, we turned on our Vastfire ™ GPS, and pinged the minimum of four satellites each time.

I began to talk about how sad I would be if I died and my mother got the last word in our little tiff.  My husband offered very kindly to walk to find a soul who might remedy our situation.  He’d offered at least twice before.  The problem was now; I didn’t feel the need to disapprove of this very scary proposition.  I was facing being alone possibly in the dark; you know a whole other night.  I didn’t like that! After all, the night has always been a very scary place to be for me!

Since I had just approved of him walking away from me he decided to leave before I had a change of disposition.  It was early morn when he doubled up the Kirkland ™ paper towels, and placed them atop his head, sandwiched under a Dixie™ paper plate.  As he composed his hat to protect his head from the rain (yes, I said rain), I used a Bic ™ pen to write our names, health issues, and ages to help our eventual helpers to help us, the ones in need!  We just happened to have clips bought from Staples™ to pin those plates to the trees—  “Help Please, Clyde & Peggy Snyder, Heart Problems, HBP, Diabetic, 55, & 53!”

He emptied his camera case of its precious equipment, and he opened his package of doggie doo doo plastic bags—inside one of them we placed important cargo, three handfuls of Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice.  Inside the camera case it went, along with the plates, clips, earphones (ear warmth—ok, ok, noise reduction) and the GPS.  He affixed a black plastic bag from Nick’s in Tricity (where the Snapple ™ & a 2 liter Pepsi ™ came from of course!) atop his head!

Alas the man kissed me! He promised he’d come back.  He left down road, I could not look back.  Being the emotional eater that I am, I started to look for breakfast… I spied that damn Kirkland ™ dog food and I tried not to puke.  My hand went for the bucket, and I grabbed quite a few, and I wondered how in the world I could make the crap go down oh, so smooth. I remembered the Heinz ™ ketchup and I grabbed it right up.  I slashed it open with a steak knife, and I dipped my first bite!  OMG, Glorious dog food. Kirkland ™, the BEST!!!

That was about 9ish in the morning the time that the man left me.  So, I’d consumed that damned dog food by a good 9:30—o’ clock.  I wrapped myself up in my foot bag, my blanket, and my dog liner for warmth. I used the car seat insulation for a pillow of course.  I folded up the Department of BLM, Oregon State Map ™, it was plastic coated and provided some insulation between my head and the window back west. I stared out the window and watched snow melt on down.  I noticed that the melting ice created a kaleidoscope of beauty of greys and white.  I thanked God for sharing his art with me.  I studied the artwork for hours it seemed….suddenly I was waking from a long winter’s sleep, but it was only 11 in the morning and I was too cold to sleep.

I turned on the engine; I still have ½ a tank. I ran it only for 10 minutes so that I could try and make it last at least a week.  Being the emotional eater than I am, I was convinced that I was starving….and I put in my hand.  Oh, glorious dog food, I tried not to puke I dipped it in honey mustard, and found out it was sad seconds to the ketchup. Just sayin’.

I had nothing more to do. My job it seemed was to survive so that I could live and see my man tomorrow. I didn’t want anymore of that Kirkland ™ lamb and rice!  All wrapped up again, I looked outside; I saw a little bent over man.  His bones were made of limbs of a tree, he wore a snow sombero, snow cape, and snow pants. I was pretty sure by this time I was getting a little delirious- I got out the Bic ™ pen and paper wrote down the time, my activities, and the time since my man left.  My little tree all wrapped up in snow clothes talked me to sleep and stayed with me for at least two hours. I turned on the engine at 2:30, I turned it off at 2:55.  At 3:00 I noted it had been about 6 hours, I prayed that I’d see or hear

Someone, anyone, in less than an hour.

At 3:15 – I noted two crosses on the window, God holding us in his arms, leaving us in his Grace, sending his message that we were indeed safe.  I looked again, and there the crosses still stood, a husband and wife, arms intertwined facing the world.  Thank you God for sending the message.  I am still alive and I will live… I just need patience…

I wanted to stay in this world.

I settled back down, and I wrapped myself up.  I told myself that soon, I was sure I’d see a real person.  Soon my eyes were closed, there was really nothing else to do….I felt the cold air hit my pretty warm face.

I told myself… that I was worth the fight.

I honored myself a beautiful woman, loved with delight.

I remembered that #shepersisted—and I knew that I, too, was at least that good.

The thoughts swirled and swirled inside my head, and when I heard that beautiful young man….

“Clyde… Is that you..??”  “Clyde….am I mad??”

“No ma’am, I’m Ryan, I work for the United States Forest Department”

Oh MY GOD! I’d just seen my first ANGEL!!

This angel, handsome was he, he checked my fuel and assured me I could run my engine freely.  Instructions were to keep warm and wait, he had sent off for help, I only needed patience for perhaps, 2 hours.  Best of all he’d seen my wonderful husband and HE WAS OKAY.

The very first tears fell… happy was I.  But, it didn’t take long for me to mop up my mess, I still had at least 2 hours to wait.  I checked the time at least every 15 minutes it seemed, I looked at the Kirkland™ Lamb & Rice and promised not to eat it! And I was pretty much done with that dirty damned bucket!

Pretty much two hours later, along came two more very handsome angels named Ken and Kehoe, Jr. I have to admit my eyes were on fire, I met so many young, handsome angels—I simply could not believe my luck, surely I was in HEAVAN.  I will never forget how hard they worked to force the little vehicle down the path.  At the bottom was Ryan’s Forest Ranger partner to drive me on by, to an ambulance for checking vitals.  The men there too, delighted mine visions—Tiller paramedics will never be forgotten.  We passed so many people; I could not believe what I saw.  Trucks and trucks from the Douglas County Sherriff, and Search and Rescue, too. We stopped a couple of times so my chariot driver to speak to a few, the men outside were full of smiles—I was really happy too.  My driver offered me nibbles of carrots, peppers, and broccoli, but I thought it was his lunch, and he looked so perfect and healthy, surely he worked hard, and needed nourishment…I could not take his lunch.  How did all these parents do it, raise so many perfectly shaped men?!  Oh I could barely take it, they were all very sweet, considerate young men. Might I say here and now, that I take it all back, there are out there, somewhere, quite a few REALLY GOOD MEN.

Next stop we met Kehoe, Sr. and a nice lady with a cookie and coffee.  I don’t like coffee and yet it turned out that it was manna from heaven!!  I was dropped off at the ambulance, my husband was there, my blood sugars were perfect, I remembered the name of YOUR F****** PRESIDENT!  My heart rate was a little fast, we discussed our options, and I said I want to go home and take my medicine.

Jerry came by and we got in to his truck.  He took us both home, back to Tricity…to my babies, my heaven.  We showered; we shaved, brushed our teeth—called his mother.  Called my sister.  Posted to Facebook—one little message.  Laid down in the most comfortable bed on earth, held my man, thanked him profusely, and said thank heavens.

I’m warm, I am dry, I’m fed, and I’m happy.  I know who I am, what I need, what I can share, what I love…  My kids, my husband, my family, my friends, those beautiful angels who showed up by the dozens…  I am thankful to all, and offer to share my bear hugs from Jesus…
I was released March 10, 2017—from a hell created by myself and reborn new, beautiful, and sweet.

I hope you never have to live through such days, but if you do….just focus on what is really important to you.  I promise you’ll make it and come out more beautiful too!!!

Dear Costco—what do you think?? My poor dog is missing some food from his bowl! Do you send out coupons that Jake might appreciate?  I hope you don’t mind indulging his master’s silly old wife!!

Sincerely, Peggy A. Rowe-Snyder

The Cost of being “famous”

One last thought for today. Kind of interesting, I guess….. Our street goes into a cross street and they make a “T” where they come together. We were turning onto our street, bringing the car home. The guy who was on our street, watched us turn on, and then made a U turn in the “T” and followed us and went by really slow past our drive way. He went up the road, turned around and went by again, looking…. on the phone… I can just imagine it….”Dude, I found where those people stuck on the mountain lives….” Geez! And I think this why? I walked into a store yesterday in south Roseburg. (Southgate) Cashier looks at me…. and then loudly (and remember I’m 1/2 deaf, so if I say it’s loud)…. “How’d you like it up there on that mountain top? Bet you were scared shitless!! God sure had his hand on you didn’t he?” He never waited for an answer… he ASSUMED he knew…. Bet, I wasn’t scared shitless!!! Not most the time anyhow. LOL

ACEs Study — Old News is New to Me!

January 4, 2017

Reading a book about the ACEs study from the late 90’s. I’m sure it made headlines. I guess I was too busy to notice. I’ve read the first two chapters. I am sure that I am, along with many others, living proof of the damage that ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ can affect an adult’s life. Took the ACEs test, and got a score of 6. Recognized the test as one my newest therapist gave me two weeks ago. I wonder now if she gave me the same score as I gave myself. I can tell you, it won’t be any lower on her scale. Amazing what science knows these days about how life experiences can affect your health. If I were not so tired, I’d read two more chapters tonight!

January 5, 2017

Read more in that book about the ACEs study today. Took the test with Clyde…he got a 7. 0 is considered ‘normal’. My two older girls got a 4 and my boy is a 7, and my youngest is at least a 2 or 3. Of course, my taking the test for the kids, gives me a ballpark idea..which I already had, and it depended on me being 100% honest about choices I’ve made in the past….where I put myself and my kids. Not necessarily in the best places. Like most parents I did the best I could at the time, and can look back and just want to kick my own self in the butt. But, had the thought while reading through this stuff on how one or two people in a child’s life can make so much difference in how the children are affected. I just knew I was adopted, and yet I look so much like my father, that he could have never disowned me if he wanted to. That was how disconnected I felt as a child from my parents. The place that I felt 100% wanted and loved was when I was with my grandparents (Earl & Lorine Coop). In my mind, they saved my life. Clyde has special people in his life that he feels the same way about. My kids will probably have some special attachments like that, though I am sad to say none of them had grandparents that they could count on. That is the saddest part of their lives for me. That they did not know the love of a grandparent. There are millions of such people out there. Clyde’s special people was a boy scout leader, and a parent of a friend. Good people make so much difference in a child’s life. If ever you wonder what is the point– then remember that is one of the points. Anyone can be good to a child, and that good can make all the difference. It takes only a smile, a hug, a kind word, empathy, understanding.