My Dream Life

I told a psychologist about four or five years ago that I do not dream anymore, and if I do, I don’t remember them.  I can say that the state of my dream life hasn’t changed much.

Last night I had a dream and I remember it mostly.  The dream did not come to any conclusion because I was woken up by a ‘charlie horse.’

At first I thought it was a fun but weird dream. I had not thought of a hint or perhaps myself talking to me, until I was driving down highway 5, going home from running my dear youngest child to her appointment.   Something, I’m thankful I won’t be doing much longer.  She is getting the Subaru, and I am getting a PT Cruiser.  A beautiful blue PT Cruiser.  I will post a picture when I actually have it.  Not that this information has anything to do with my dream, but I am so impressed with this car.  It’s probably the lowest mileage car I’ve ever owned.

Anyway, back to my dream.  It was interesting.  I’d gotten a job as a nanny.  A job I would never take in real life, not now.  I’ve raised my kids, and I want and need a break.  I became a nanny to maybe an 18 month or so toddler, who was behind developmentally.

The baby was behind in her growth because her parents were not caring for her properly.  She should have been walking, or at least trying.  She should be sitting up, and babbling away.  She was all smiles, but she did not make any attempt to roll over, play with her feet, get up, walk, or babble.  This child who should be at the very beginning of taking her place in the family and figuring out how to get things done to her satisfaction was still pretty much a smiling but helpless infant.  It was my job to bring her up to speed developmentally, and to protect her.  I have no  idea who she needed protection from except maybe her parents.

I was about to pick this beautiful baby up.  I just so wanted to hold her.  She was just irresistible.  But, then I love babies. There are two stages in (my) a child’s life that are my favorite.  The baby stage, and the grown up stage.  LOL.  LOL When *MY* kids are in the grown up stage.  They get to walk through their hard stuff, and I get to cheer them o when they come out the other side.  I have learned over the years that I can never really stop being mom, but  being friend as well, can be introduced with care.  I probably made the that particular transition best with my youngest.  But, then… I really never had a chance with my oldest, she was stolen from me years, and years ago.  [And a note to my mother, if she happens to be reading this: Yes, she has survived this, but it doesn’t mean that she is “okay” — and it sure as hell proved that you were NOT right.]

On my way home this morning, it dawned on me that maybe my dream was a message to me.  Maybe it was a sort of instruction.

Back in 1993 or so, I was in some really, really heavy therapy.  The goal then was more about my kids.  How could I make myself healthier so that I’d see danger coming before my family was hurt.  To do this, I had to, I felt, educate myself about everything and anything that comes into the sphere of  childhood sexual assault (or in short form, “molest”)

It was during this time that I discovered just what Domestic Violence was and that I was living with it every single day and had lived with it almost all of my childhood.  I basically learned the names of, and definitions of a whole set of messy things that exist in the world, and in my world.  I was in my early 30’s when all this information came into my consciousness.  I look back now, and it seems as if I were cramming for a final. Probably from the school of hard knocks.

Eventually, I learned about art therapy. I thought I’d give it a try.  I enjoyed coloring before it was ‘cool’ for meditations.  I made collages.  Sometimes I made collages of things I enjoyed and sometimes I tried to explore a specific theme.  But, no matter what I was doing the bottomline was a very targeted goal.   What experiences, what people, what culture — the who, what and why of what I am deep down inside is what I was trying to work out.  Why was my little girl a target, what weakness did I show that allowed   anyone to take advantage of who we were.

Some of my questions were answered and some were not. Lucky for me, the brain never quits. I am a curious person who likes to learn. I want to know what goes on in the world, especially in my little world.

While in the art therapy mode, I did a LOT of journaling. I mostly used the ‘free thought association’ (I think, its been a long time since I’ve used this language).  Occasionally, I’d get an image in my mind and I’d draw it and/or color it.  I’d put it aside or in my note book.

Two images come to mind now.  Both of them were done in black and white.  There was no color.  Both seemed to be associated with the same situation.  One was a black monster with many arms.  It was black with a beak.  Today, I’d say it was a squid with an octopus head, a very black squidopus.  hehe.  My artwork is on a 4th grade level.  For me the ‘monster’ came out pretty well.  The message I took away was that  I felt there were many arms around me.  I’ve never really understood it, but thought it would mean something eventually.

The second image was drawn after some very physical therapy.  My father was dead already, I could not ask him questions.  My mother had basically booted me out of the family.  I was angry that I had been treated so poorly as a child.  In the therapy, I put a t-shirt on a chair and screamed obscenities at it will I punched it.  A safe way to have a temper tantrum.  I worked myself into exhaustion, and laid down on the couch.  I was very relaxed, and I have never believed I was asleep. I had a dream– I was in my white crib, looking around my bedroom.  I remembered what the curtains looked like.  In this ‘dream’ or probably in the ‘memory’ I was big enough to stand in the crib.  I later asked my mother about the details of my room. She confirmed for me that I had remembered right.

Sometime later, I had a similar ‘dream’ or ‘memory’ — and then drew a picture of it.
There was a helpless baby, all swaddled up tightly.  The baby was wiggling and could not break free of it’s cocoon of flannel.   There was a feeling that the baby was not liking what was happening to her.  Something wet and warm kept hitting her face.  It made her feel as if she might be smothering, and yet, all she could do was squiggle in her fortress of flannel.  In the dream stood a man that I identified as an uncle.  My then husband, not in the dream, and not even in the house while this was going on, decided that I had my uncle confused with my father.  I knew I had not confused anyone.  But as a young, young person there is a chance that maybe I wasn’t ready to see my father in that place.

I have interpreted this already.  In the past I have interpreted it in two different ways.   If it is a memory, then I as a baby did not understand what was going on.  I am sure that while I could not name fear, I certainly felt it.  I questioned if what had happened was a form of sexual assault.  Or maybe just a little boy experimenting.  I may never know.  What I do know is that it was a very uncomfortable experience for me.

Fast forward to last nights dream whose dream theme was similar to that explained above.  A baby, a helpless baby.  Only this time, I was there to work on making things better.  In light of the past work I have done, including some work that I am doing now in a PTSD group, and in individual therapy – I have come to the conclusion that those dream memories from the past are connected to last nights dream.

I knew last night, in the dream that I was going to have to take up the baby, and help her learn to sit up, and stay sitting.  I’d probably have to put her feet in her hands to help her realize she had some toes to play with.  She needed to learn to crawl, to become curious enough to want to climb, and to take her first steps.

Maybe, once I have supported the baby enough, and she feels safe enough, and realizes that exploring life can be a fun and happy thing, maybe then she will share with me what is inside her.  So, now it is time to talk to this baby at her level, on her terms, with quietness, confidence, and a loving tone. Maybe I just need to lead the baby down her path and protect her from all the things she was/is afraid of.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

The End of a Story

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Yup, I sure look like trouble in this shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I grew up hearing my mother tell me what hell on wheels I was as a toddler. Her hope was that I would have children that behaved even worse than I did so that I would get pay back. I never once took it as a joke. Not once. It dawned on me this afternoon that was my mother’s way of letting me know that she was angry about something. It also crossed my mind today that I have raised three kids, all of them were toddlers once and not one of them ever behaved in such a way that I would ever say something like that to them. Never. Toddlers are so easy to care for. IF they are doing something that they should not be doing, you get their attention with something else and they are good. Puppies are on the same wavelength, you use the same techniques with them. So, long story short…I don’t have the details, but now I know that I hit the nail on the head almost 30 years ago. I’m not crazy, I didn’t make it up, I did not lie, and I’m not telling stories. Mom perpetuated the same thoughts and actions when she ‘handled’ my oldest daughters situation. The story finally makes sense, I can close that chapter of my life… I can stop working the puzzles. But, first, I need to cry. a lot.

Friend:  YOU are a fantastic woman….!!!!!
Peggy Rowe thanks
Friend:  I don’t know why mom’s did that sort of thing….
Peggy Rowe:  some monsters are too big to face alone. That generation of women were utterly on their own in every way. Society told them to keep it quiet and not talk about it. They were doing what they were told to do.
I guess this pic of me might make someone think, that maybe I was one tough hombre back then, "hold it right there, sir, what is it you said?" "oh, well then, GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY" :)

I guess this pic of me might make someone think, that maybe I was one tough hombre back then, “hold it right there, sir, what is it you said?” “oh, well then, GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY” 🙂

This week’s ‘homework’. 2/6/2017
(Women w/ PTSD; a Seeking Safety group/class)

For the last couple of weeks, I have been using a lot of self-talk.
I have been sending myself messages.
They have been messages of self-acceptance.
I have been in conversation with a little girl who lives within.
Over the years she has shrieked and shrieked…
She has had tantrums, one after another.
This little girl has been afraid of the dark and heavy footsteps.
She could not look at the light that she saw under the door.
She made it really hard for me to sleep.
She was afraid to close her eyes.
One good thing: She’s got an insatiable curiosity.
She wants to know everything just because there is everything to know.
It is really that simple. She’s a very simple child.
The sun shone down on her almost every day.
Most days she knew it.
This conversation that I’ve had with myself has been one of affirmation, love, & joy.
I spoke with what I hoped has been a soothing & comforting voice.
I told her that I was so glad to have her in my life.
I told myself that whatever it was, it wasn’t my fault.
I let her know that I am a good girl and a good person.
That everyone is allowed to make mistakes.
That is what makes me human.
I told my girl that it was ok to be afraid of the dark.
I promised to always leave on a light.
I told her I understood why she was afraid of the footsteps.
I pictured myself holding that little girl tight.
That is what she really wanted.
I promised to hold her through the night.
I let her know that closing her eyes is something safe.
I told me that I understood that she needed a mother.
I knew that I meant a real mother.
I let her know that I could be one.
I gave me a ‘mommy’, one that wasn’t angry;
A mom who knew what to expect from a little girl.
I told her I could see she needed a mom that wasn’t quite so harsh,
and who would protect her from the man in the dark.
I told my girl, that from now on, I was going to take care of me.
I explained that her real mom is busy fighting off monsters.
I explained that my ‘supposed to be” mom really was the best she could be.
I tried to show tenderness as I promised her that I was healthy enough to take care of me.
All of me.
I promised the little girl that we would go out for walks, and enjoy each day.
I promised her that we would go out and play, and turn over rocks and look for new things.
I promised her that we’d still go out and build snow men, and play in the rain.
I even remembered to say we’d splash in mud puddles, and make mud pies.
I promised to remember and love every single piece of me.
I told her that no matter how tough things got that I would hold her as long as I was alive.
The little girl smiled, she closed her eyes.
I was witness to a most peaceful sleep.
The little girl snuggles into herself and seems to breathe in warmth & comfort.
She says, “I’ve needed you for a long, long time. I wondered where you went. I really, really missed you. I’m happy that you came back. You came back. Thank you, for coming back for me. “

1-12-2017 Homework done for the Women’s Group

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My family in the living room during Christmas, in Newark, CA:
L to R- Alvin C. Rowe, my little sister, Pam, my mother, Pat, myself.  In the very front, my Uncle Tom Coop.  In the back L to R: My grandfather, Earl Coop, Peggy Coop (Uncle Tom’s then wife), Lorine Coop (my grandmother).  I was about 14 or so when this pic was taken.  I’m not supposed to post pics of my mom.  But, I’ve kind of reached the point, where I just don’t care what she wants.
She really was never THERE anyway….

Group is for Women with PTSD-{Post Traumatic Stress Disorder})

DO NOT read this if you are squeamish or have emotional problems that you can not deal with. IF you read this and it hits home, I suggest you call your therapist, or at least a very, very good, supportive friend.

What to do:
Make a list of things you’ve never told anyone, but want to be able to talk about.  

  • I want to know what dad and uncle Tom were fighting about when I was so very little.  What was so important that Uncle Tom thought he had to fight for me.  What did dad do to me?  When I asked Uncle Tom what is was, he could not answer me.  He had told me about his bar brawls, and other things.  But could not tell me what dad did to me.   I have the tendency to think the worst.  I have no one to talk to about this.  My uncle Tom is deceased.  He was on his last legs when he told me this.  I did not insist on him telling me the rest of the story because he was sick, and I am a respectful person.  He was obviously not comfortable going any farther than he did.  My grandparents probably knew about it, and they are gone.  My mother won’t speak to me because I am the child from hell.  I’ll tell ya, she didn’t know what a REAL child from hell is… I was a really good kid!!  I’m not tooting my horn to be full of myself, I was just a good kid.  The only person in the family to talk to is my sister.  I don’t consider this an option. She’s almost 3 years younger than I am.  My reality was not her reality.  We were treated differently.  She was favored.  I’d like to say that I remember that part all wrong, but my uncle also told me that he and my grandparents would sit around the dinner table and talk about it.  They were very concerned about me.  I asked him why they didn’t do something.  He said they were afraid they’d be cut off from us kids.  OF course, they could never help then.  Believe me—they made the all the difference for me.  They made the difference between life and death, they were the light in my very dark world.
  • I like to tell someone how when Scott asked me to sleep with his sister that it felt like a huge fist going into my gut.  It broke my heart. I really did not know why at the time that it broke my heart.  I just really knew how bad it made me feel. I was really hurt. Deep down hurt, even a betrayed kind of feeling. Today, I know that he was not really hearing me.  What was a ‘confession’ made in complete and utter despair, where I honestly thought I was a ‘crazy’ person—TODAY, I know there was no empathy there.  The only thing he got out of the situation was probably ‘turned on’.  Just writing this makes me sick to my stomach still.  Thirty years after this conversation with him, and another 40 years after the incident actually happened.  While trying to talk to him, I was ‘admitting’ to something that I had no words for yet.  I did not really know what I had done wrong, I just knew that something had happened, and it made me feel really, really horrible.  I know NOW that I was molested by a slightly older girl. The fact that I was 10 years old and had the thought to say no, and then to give in, I think that is what made me feel like I was the one to blame.  I was a passive child who never thought to tell her parents about what happened. Truth be told, I probably figured I’d get a really good spanking. But, I do not remember thinking it through in anyway.  I don’t know if I did or not.  At some point or points, I took 100% blame for it even though I was younger, and not even the aggressor. I still have not begun to even realize all the damage this did to my childhood, or to me as a young & middle aged adult.  When the person came to visit me in Ohio, I still was feeling horrible about it.  I admitted to my then mother in law what had happened.  She really reacted poorly.  She said that whole situation was SICK, SICK, SICK.  Between the reactions from mother and son, I went back underground with it.  It was obviously nothing that was safe to talk to anyone about ever.  I did not try to talk about to anyone again until after my child was ‘molested’.  It was still nothing that anyone wanted to hear.  So, I have kept mostly all thoughts to myself in regards to this situation.  So it takes me such a long time to realize things like, I’ve struggled my whole life with my sexuality.  As I learned a new word it became a new struggle.  Am I lesbian? Am I bi?  Was I in anyway in the wrong? Why is it so hard for people to talk about?  Of course, I realize now (at 55) the crux of my problem with Scott.  He had no empathy.  Of course, I felt so safe in the home I grew up in that I could not face my parents.  That part is easy to see now that I look back.

probably not done with this homework yet….

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.

More Thoughts about Trump as a President, Man, Molester & Thief.

One thing that came to me today. The argument that there have been Presidents that were as ‘not perfect’ as Trump is not perfect today. Really, I get to rob a bank and get a get out of jail card for free because there was a bank robber there before me?? Or maybe the people on the other side of the isle see me, and then I’m caught, and I’m in trouble anyhow?

You know, so much of this has to do with consciousness. I was in my late 20s and early 30’s when Clinton was in office. I had two kids-one of them had behavior issues. I was going through a nasty divorce with custody issues. I had just put my step-father in jail for hurting my oldest child. I was just learning about domestic violence in all of its forms. I was going to college and pulling in good grades. My ex was not helping with child support unless the state pulled him into court and threatened him. I was a single mom for 10 years, raising 2-4 kids (depending on the time frame.) Clinton passed welfare to work, and I didn’t get to finish the higher degree I wanted which bounced between Psychology, CIS (computers), or a mix of the two. I worked two to three part time jobs at a time to keep the bills paid.

I also started my own business of working on computers to make a living I’ll tell you it was all I could do to keep my head above water. I knew about Lewinski, and I thought Clinton was a piss pour choice for President. I was happy he was impeached, and I thought HIllary should have left him. But that was not my call. What I felt at the time was appropriate I think. So, Bill Clinton was not perfect. And that means we should let Trump off the hooK?? I’m sorry that that is really poor logic and YOU need to take a critical thinking class (YES! I’ve taken one, necessary for the degree I do have.)

We have something called a social conscious. This is something that we Americans have all together…or something the whole world has together. I think the idea came about thanks to Jung. But, don’t quote me on that. Either way, the idea is that an idea has come into the minds of everyone, and everyone kind of acts on it together. What I am trying to say is that we as a society, no matter how we rationalize Mr. Trumps behavior… if we look away, turn our backs, or say there were other bad Presidents too (as if that made any of it ok!) … His BAD behavior is still bad behavior, and he’ll make a poor President because of it, and no matter what you say or do, you all know that I am right! You all choose to look the other way. And I hate to say it, but I know some who profess a love of God. That just kills me. Because often they preach good behavior for the good of society, their home, school. They then feel they have the right to judge the rest of us for all the things we have done wrong, and then they vote for Trump and make excuses for him. You simply can’t have it both ways. Life doesn’t work that way.

You can call my ideas sick. You can call me a liar. You can tell me that I am overreacting. But the truth is, you know that I’m not any of those things. All I am is a person who sees a truth, and I am pointing out to you, your hypocrisy I’m pointing out to you that you sold us down the river. That our country will not be better off by having a perpetrator for President, and a porn star for the first lady. Anyone who believes they will be good for us really needs to look deep inside themselves and question their motives, and their ethics. Because not okay, means NOT OKAY, no matter how you twist the truth!.

From Wikipedia in Regards to Trumps’ groping women below the belt: “Grabbing a woman’s vulva without consent is considered sexual assault in most jurisdictions in the United States. Many attorneys and media commentators characterized Trump’s statements as describing acts of sexual assault. Lisa Bloom, a sexual harassment expert and civil rights lawyer, stated: “Let’s be very clear, he is talking about sexual assault. He is talking about grabbing a woman’s genitals without her consent.” Trump and some of his supporters claimed that Trump was not saying he committed a sexual assault, or denied that groping is sexual assault. Journalist Emily Crockett says that this is further evidence of a trend to minimize sexual assaults against women.”

And this ok with who??? Obviously I agree with Ms. Crockett. How could so many
rationalize Mr. (ahem, no gentlemanly respect intended) Trump grabbing of
a woman below the belt let alone vote him in for President.  Our society
has a sickness, and it’s healing must begin NOW!

No Melania Trump, I will NOT accept Mr. Trump’s apology.
There is NO need for me to accept the word of any person
who is a perpetrator of sexual assault!

When a woman is grabbed between the legs this is the message they receive:

I am not honored
I am given no respect
I do not matter,
my needs are derelict

There is no comfort
Everybody could see
He really didn’t give a damn
of how painful it could be.

I am not a person
I have no need for warmth
Not even human
Else he’d left me alone-

I was no better than a something
To be used over and over again,
He called me his, “Empty headed plaything.”
All that time I thought I was loved.

I was not honored
I was given no respect
How many showers later
Did it take to drive away the dirt?

It didn’t matter
All the times I asked him to stop
Once was more than enough

How many tears will it take
before you know that it was wrong.

The major conclusion-
I was not loved.
He used and abused me
And threatened more of the above.

I was not a person-
He told me I could not think
I was incapable of choosing
All that was right for me.

I was not honored
I was given no respect
I did not matter,
my needs were derelict.

©11/14/2016 Peggy Ann Rowe, All Rights Reserved.