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?”

How Balanced is Your Checkbook?

Today, I came to the realization that I have been trying to balance my checkbook every single day. Not, my literal checkbook, but instead more like a book of good and bad deeds. I reconcile this book every single day in at least a dozen different ways. I am one of those ‘humans’ who have made some really bad choices. As you get older, you come to realize that most humans do this. They may not admit it, or even share knowledge of it. But, in most ways, most folks balance those checkbooks in some quiet way, in their own ways.

Now, that’s not to say that I’ve done drugs, had an abortion, or cheated on a spouse. But, that doesn’t make me 100% innocent of things that someone might say about me. All in all, I know I’m a pretty good gal. But, ya, I’ve done some stupid shit. I actually have friends who are not friends anymore because of some choices I have made. And I can tell you if they followed the tenants of their own faith they’d probably talk to me one of these days. Shit happens you know. I know it sounds like I’m taking the subject lightly, but I am not. Because I am a person who thinks all the time, I rarely turn it off. Mostly, I can’t turn it off. And I think about those friends and ponder how they are. I say a prayer for them, and I say a prayer for me. Part of my reconciliation ritual I suppose. I try to balance that checkbook.

Ex-family members—as in ex-husband, ex-step-father, you know the types someone in the family can actually CHOOSE to divorce and never speak to again. I still think of them, and wonder how they are, and say a prayer for them and for me. I say it for them because of the misunderstanding we might have had, or because of violence that they showed me and because they themselves faced some sort of violence in their life, that they just could not overcome. I say a prayer for me because of all the violence I thought about showing them and for the violence that I did show them in my effort to live through the experiences. Yes, indeed, that was my choice, and not very good ones at that. It’s actually hard to think about these things…rarely do I NOT shed a tear for these ex-family members. Because it’s easy to see that they might want the understanding that I might want if I were in their shoes. And because I’d love to reach out and try again, but even I get too scared to even go down that road.

The hardest part I have dealing with are the family members I can’t divorce. I can choose not to talk to them. Or, they can choose to not talk to me. But, the lack of communication doesn’t stop them from being family members, nor does it solve the issues that caused the problems. I have to say a prayer for them, and say a prayer for me. I find it a terribly sad day when it’s easier to not talk then to talk and resolve the issues at hand. It makes a person weary to realize that these things can go on for YEARS. In all honesty, from my perspective, there are no issues so large that they cannot be overcome, so long as both parties are willing to eventually let it go. How important is it that we are right? Would you love that person any less if they were right? Can’t we just chalk it up to experience and move on? It has been heartbreaking to realize some folks are incapable of that. Let me go and look at that checkbook…again. A prayer for them, and a prayer for me.

Some of those family members actually taught me by example how to make choices, and I am thankful for some of what they choose to share with me. And I am also thankful for what little discernment that I have to NOT always follow in their footsteps. The example of learning from an elder’s mistakes: I’ve lived my life trying hard to move forward in a simple, earnest, and honest way. Sometimes, much easier said than done. Learning to move on despite being your own best enemy, doing the best you can with what you’ve got: Another form of reconciliation. Dear Peggy, how is your checkbook?

I was telling a friend today about my musical past. The one where an instructor actually thought I could sing, and encouraged it. I told the friend that music is so elemental to me that one song can bring tears to my eyes, It can also lift my spirit, teach me a lesson, or help me to find the Spirit—one song, one therapy, another form of reconciliation, every single day. Writing, and thinking are two more forms. Sharing my history without getting too complicated, or sharing too much—a form of balancing one’s checkbook, Also, a passing on of the wisdom that was tendered along the way.

As I get older, I find that I am actually thinking about a legacy. Even a year ago, that was not something that I thought about. How do I leave a legacy of peace, calm, warmth, lovingness—my choices has not always led to these ends. My biggest hope is that in the end the good will outweigh the bad. If the scales of justice are used in judging me, will I come out at least even? In my private moments, I have to be honest; it could be a really close call. There have been times when I was certainly no angel.

Primum non nocere – Do No Harm

A song about Jabez’s prayer comes to mind:
“Oh, God Bless Me.
Please enlarge my ministry.
Let your hand always be with me.
Keep me from evil
Let me not cause harm, oh please my prayer…”
(source: Hilary F. Marckx)

To Whom It May Concern, and to no one in particular: How balanced is your checkbook?

Predators in Douglas County

16427801_10210536351020486_172102550160555410_nThis man is spending a lot of time in Myrtle Creek area right now and may even be living there. HE may work at TMS in Roseburg, Douglas, Oregon.  Please pass this on to locals.

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Name: GAMBRELL, RAYMOND MICHAEL
Address: UNDER DEER CREEK BRIDGE
ROSEBURG, OR 97470
Height: 509
Weight: 200
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
SMTs:
Pierced left ear
Scar, Chin SURGICAL SCAR
Scar, Hand, left
Scar, Knee, left
Scar, Forearm, left
Scar, Elbow, right
Scar, Forearm, right
Scar, Wrist, nonspecific BOTH – SURGERY
Age: 47
DOB: 11/25/1969
Race: W
Sex: M

Charges:
Conviction Date Offense Name
09/19/2003 AT SEX ABUSE 1-FEL

Targets: MINOR FEMALES

Methods of Offending: USED FAMILIARITY WITH THE VICTIM TO GAIN COMPLIANCE

Conditions & Restrictions: NO CONTACT WITH LISTED PEOPLE NO CONTACT WITH MINORS NO INTOXICATING BEVERAGES

Supervised By: DOUGLAS COUNTY COMM CORR, 541-957-8148

Keepin My Head Above Water

ALAS, LIFE REBOOTED!

Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:18 PM) You went through hell, and you are a figure I look up to when I need a hero. because while it may not have been the lesson you -intended- to depart, the one you’ve left me with, anyways, was that there’s just never an excuse to give up or back down when important thing are on the line.
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:22 PM)
“Do you know what my mother did, while she was going through school? LET ME TELL YOU A STORY….” I’d give them a *very* brief account of what I knew of the years after the divorce, and end with something along the lines of “…So unless you think what’s happening here measures up, quit bitching.”
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:24 PM)
And now you know that you are the person I point to when I need an example of someone who had shitty odds and beat them pretty much through sheer force of will, and the power of friendship…Yes, you should write an autobiography. Everyone should have the chance to have you as a hero.

How does one go from HERO to being the worst person in the world? Such is life, a fall from grace? I don’t know, but I’m going to take the advice from the child who gave it. I’m going to write it. It is as much her story, and her brothers story and a story about two other girls–and I am going to write it.

It’s probably going to be called: Keeping My Head Above Water.
Or maybe…. The Pedestals From Which I Fell…. Or maybe they will be chapters… “Life REBOOTED”,  The UNLIKELY Ctrl-Alt-Delete! Oh, Wait–“The Ultimate Ctrl-Alt-Delete” , “Going, Going, Gone!”  “It’s all a Crapshoot, Right?”

I’ve been on more than one pedastal, it’s a place that no one wants to be because it is inevitable that the person(s) who put you there figure out that you are human after all. Then there is a ton of fall out. It happens with spouses, kids, and friends… Even when you tell them you don’t want to be there, there you are. In their mind.

The Angel that NEVER Was…. The Rebel that Was Before She Ever Knew the Concept.  Rebel Without a Cause, Because, She HAS ONE (maybe even TWO!)

A person just trying to survive the moments she’s been in, including those that her own choices created! That is doing what all other humans do… living, loving, hating,
making mistakes, not making mistakes, whatever.. I just live.  And so, I will write….(again)

See you next time on, “As The Stomach Turns…”  and “In My Very Public Life…”