…I don’t even know…

*I just found this in saved Drafts. 10/30/19. Apparently I wrote it last year.

I’ve been thinking about writing for awhile now. I know how cathartic it is to get stuff out of my head; be it by speech or by writing, but I’ve been putting it off for weeks now. There’s so much running through my mind that past few months and I feel like I don’t know where to start. My thoughts get scattered and I start pondering something and the next thing you know my mind is way off on something totally unrelated. I suppose this comes from living alone and the fact that I’m completely unsociable. I’ve always been a loner but I’ve worked outside my home my entire life up till now and work provided my link to being social. I don’t mind it one bit that I spend 75% of my time alone. I actually like it and prefer it that way. I’ve gotten accustomed to doing things alone and adventuring alone and I really enjoy it. I do have two cats now, hahaha, and that in itself is a complete story. I haven’t had cats since my girls were toddlers. I’ve always been a dog person. It hasn’t been easy for my heart since Freddy passed. I feel like I was completely unprepared for life without at least one dog. I truly miss him with every ounce of myself. And I really want to get another dog but it doesn’t feel right yet. I don’t want to replace Freddy, and Weeze is still alive and loved in Alaska with my niece, so it wouldn’t be right to get a dog. Those two were my life for so long. It’s hard to talk about them. So somehow I have a big cat and a kitten. Bella and Sparkle. I love them and they’re really all of the company I need here.

I turned 50 a few months back. Fifty! It blows my mind. I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near that age. I mean seriously no part of my psyche believes that I’ve been alive for half of a century. I wish that I didn’t even know because it makes me think too much when I contemplate my age. Like, what have I done with those fifty years? Why does it feel like I was just a kid last week and now I’m a grandma and living on my own? Truly mind boggling. I kind of wish that I could live my forties all over again to get myself better prepared for the next decade. If I’d have known then what I know now maybe I could’ve changed things and I’d be working as a nurse and being the success that I was starting to be before my spine crapped out. Now that its too late I’ve realized that I could’ve helped myself with physical therapy and what not. If I could go back and make the decision to not get surgery who knows what my life would be right now? It wouldn’t be this. But who knows, maybe it would’ve gotten even worse. I don’t dwell on it, I truly don’t. The thought enters my mind from time to time but doesn’t stick around. I have hundreds of things in my life that could get placed in that category of ‘What if…’ and I know by now that pondering them doesn’t do any good what so ever unless I use the experience for helping my future decisions.

So I’m here in my life right now. I’m not unhappy. I’m not happy either. I’m content. I get to see two of my grandbabies every day and I’m only 5 blocks from my oldest daughter and 4 miles away from my youngest. Since the day they were born they’ve been my focus and I still feel that way even though they’re both in their thirties now. I don’t meddle in their personal lives, I don’t give unsolicited advice or try to tell them what to do but I’m here, close, and somehow that makes me feel whole. I guess having children in my teens created some sort of bond that’s a little different than I had with my own parents who couldn’t wait for us kids to get out of their lives. I never wanted to be a parent that took anything from my kids. I prayed for just the opposite but things happened and here I am living off my oldest daughter and her husband, babysitting for pay. It shatters my soul to take money from my daughter. I feel so completely ashamed and that shame touches everything that I do every single day. I try to bury that feeling way back in the edges of my mind so it doesn’t torture me to death and I try to keep in the forefront that it’s only temporary. As my daughter says; “It’s only a season and it’ll pass”. Very wise and I’m completely grateful that I managed to raise such hugely beautiful women as my girls. They are truly remarkable in every single way.

I finally got approved for disability too. What a long drawn out nightmare that’s been as well as being completely shocking that this is what my life has become. No amount of preparation, no amount of wild thinking or anxiety could’ve ever prepared me for this reality. None. I could’ve guessed a thousand times in my past life what I would be doing at fifty years old and there is zero chance that I’d ever have guessed that being approved for disability would be a thing in my life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. I thought I was invincible. I’m pretty sure I’ve said it at least once but more likely many times that there was not one thing that could happen to me that would break me. I truly felt like my strength as a woman and as a person could get me thru any horror. And now I must humbly admit I was wrong. I was. My spine broke me. The pain stops me. The psychological aspect left me with the desire to end my own life at one point.

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…bamboozled…

I’ve been intending to come here and write for months now. A quick check of the last time I was here shows me that the last time I was here I wrote about losing Freddy. My heart still aches when I think about him. Weeze passed aw

ay this past May, almost exactly a year after Fred-boy. It makes my heart happy to think that they’re reunited somewhere beautiful and waiting for me. And as a matter of fact my niece just messaged me today and told me that she sent some of Weezie’s ashes to me. I should be receiving them any day now. I’m completely grateful that she’d do that for me. It’s a truly kind gesture. But that’s not what brings me here today. I have been praying for the Lord to show me how to cope with some major heartaches and betrayals that have been taking place in my life. Plain as day I finally heard Him say that I need to write. I can get lost in putting my thoughts into written words and more often than not once I’m done and go back and read what came out of my head I see things in a new light and things become more clear to me. So here I am. Doing what He told me to do.

Something is wrong within my beautiful little family. Something very black and ugly somehow got in and I’m having a difficult time understanding how to get rid of it or even make sense of it. I feel completely blindsided and unheard… and more than anything misunderstood. Have you ever had moments in your life where someone is telling you who they think you are, but it’s not accurate, and you try to explain to them how wrong they’re perceiving you… but their idea is so rock solid in their mind they won’t budge? Has that ever happened to you? It’s happening to me. By the two people who have gotten me at my very best in life. I’m a flawed woman. I’m a damaged woman and it’s just been in the last two years that the Lord honestly and truly showed me who I am. He showed me the way that He made me to be and showed me a million different reasons that I should love myself. Loving myself has, up until the last two years, been something completely foreign to me. But although I never loved my own self I do know how to love others. I can even admit to myself that I’m pretty good at giving love, showing others love and sacrificing myself for the good of others. My new found self love has given me permission to treat myself the exact same way. But that’s all new me. I have loved my two (now grown) daughters more than any other part of life. I truly gave them and showed them any and all of the very best parts of myself in the thirty-plus years I’ve been their mama. Granted this does not in any way mean that I knew what the heck I was doing as a mom, but I did do 75% of my mothering out of sheer blind love. That is the truth of my life. So when I say that I’ve given them the very best of me I mean that if there is anyone on this planet who has felt any goodness from me it would absolutely be them. And my grandchildren, whom I can’t even include in this because they’re too precious to me to even talk about in my ramblings. I have given my daughters all that I have. There is literally nothing left to give unless it would be my own darn life.

So the ugly blackness that has wrecked havoc in my family has come from these two young women whom I have given my best. And when a person gives everything and there’s nothing left to give what is a person to do? A series of events led to me getting angry. Me being angry isn’t necessarily the norm in life. I’m a pretty mellow and most of the time silly and goofy kind of optimistic woman. Everyone loses their temper at times, gets angry, mad, sad, glad… all of these emotions that we’re capable of as people. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve raised my voice, that kind of comes with the territory when you’ve raised children, and it won’t be the last time I’m sure. I am the mom but I am also human; I’m a woman trying to make my way in the world and do the best I can. So this anger that I displayed, it truly doesn’t matter if anyone else on earth thinks I had no reason to be angry. It doesn’t. Obviously I was upset. As I have every right to be. But the other part of the story is that five years ago I fell deeply in love. If my grown children would’ve been raised by two parents in a normal home life would be different now when they’re adult. My daughters were raised by divorced parents; sometimes at their dad’s house but most of the time by me. I was not only a single mom but a teenaged mother as well. I gave birth to my first daughter when I was 16, my second daughter a week before I turned 20. Those factors aren’t meant to be any sort of excuse or anything like that. They are simply facts of my life. So as I was raising my children I was also raising myself. My dad had died the year before I got pregnant, when I was 15. I moved out of my mom’s home when I was 16 and married their dad at 18. We divorced when I was 21. He is five years older than I and much of what I know about life I actually learned from him. He’s a good person. A good dad and when he isn’t involved with women who don’t want him to talk to me we are still good friends. I love him as family.

So I had a crazy kind of silly home life going on for my girls as a single mom. Looking back I was absolutely clueless about life and how to be a person nevertheless a mom, but we did ok. I loved my girls with every ounce of my being. I made mistakes, lots of mistakes, but I also did a lot of good things and I was a funny mom and adventurous and took them to Hawaii and Florida and tried to adventure and show them the world. I know they know that I love them. I do not think that they think I’m the perfect specimen of a mother but we don’t get to choose our parents and for being so young and dumb I think I did ok. Not great. But not horrible either. Both of my daughters are beautiful adults with great husbands and amazing children. They are far far better as women than I could’ve ever even hoped to be. And then we come to today…

So as I said…I became angry and raised my voice. Both of them think they know what I was angry about but it’s not actual. I’ve told them what made me angry and they won’t accept it. It’s crazy to me because who knows better about why I was upset than me? It’s weird. The response to my anger has been so horrible, so mean that it’s hard for me to fathom how my two little girls could’ve turned so cruel while I wasn’t looking. It’s mind boggling. I’ve been told that I’m selfish, trying to act like a martyr, psycho, crazy, doing drugs, living a gutter life and that my youngest daughter only loves me on the level of how a person loves another person knowing that they should. What a person needs to know is that I have always had a very close relationship with my girls. My youngest hasn’t always necessarily liked me but it hasn’t caused the dysfunction that is in place right now. They’re both under the impression that I’m being ridiculously crazy in such a way that I should act shamed. And here’s the God’s honest truth: and I love the Lord with everything that I am….He has truly changed my life in so many beautiful ways that I cry if I ponder it too much… so I don’t say it lightly when I say that I’m stating the God’s Honest Truth. My life today is so peaceful, pure, honest and good. I went thru a horrible health crisis five years ago and it’s taken all of this time to get any sort of normalcy back in my life. I exercise for my health. I have two cats and two birds and I finally have a good and healthy relationship with a man I’ve known since we were children. I’ve never done drugs with the exception of smoking weed in high school before I became pregnant. After I found that I was having a baby I’ve never touched it again. I haven’t drank since my early thirties (twenty years ago), I don’t even have close friends either. I just hang out at home with my love and my pets and once a day we go walking outside or at the gym so that we can keep our broken bodies moving. I used to spend numerous days a week with my grandchildren but now I’m not allowed to see them. My daughters don’t think that my man is worthy of my love or their love which is a horrible and judgey way to live life in my eyes. I don’t care what a person has or hasn’t done in life. If a person is being good, kind and loving to me then I’ll be good, kind and loving back. There is no part of me that thinks I am big enough or important enough to decide who gets to receive love in this world and who doesn’t. It’s pretty absurd and is even embarrassing to me that these two young women that I’ve bragged about as being so genuinely good are showing that I was wrong about them. It’s sad. It makes me feel like my love blinded me. I thought my children were accepting and loving. I thought that they wanted me to have happiness in my life the same way that I want them to. Apparently though I was very wrong. All of this ugly evil that is now in my little family stems from my love life, my 5 years and going love of the only person I’ve ever had in my life that has treated me with love and respect. I’ve never been so comfortable with another person in all of my life. We had a rough start like some couples do. We had to work things out and by the Grace of God we not only worked them out but came to understand each other on the deepest level. It’s truly amazing and one of the greatest blessings I’ve ever received in my life. I would of thought that the two people I’ve shown the greatest love and kindness to would grasp that and be overjoyed that I’m no longer struggling alone. I can’t even accept this knowing that they’re thinking and saying such horrible things about me. They’re telling my grandchildren that they can’t see me. It’s the ultimate betrayal to me. And the whole time they’re telling me that they can’t accept my man because at the beginning he hurt my feelings. It’s truly mind boggling. I want to say to them…”Are you telling me that only you two are allowed to hurt my feelings?” I mean is that what that means? How is being horribly mean to a person… attacking their character a good way to protest that someone else hurt their feelings? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s been two months now and I’ve tried talking about it but I get nowhere. It’s so painful. It’s completely more painful than anything my love life has brought about in my soul. My man has never attacked my character as a person. He’s done completely the opposite and has even adopted some of my own morals and values as his, and I have done the same. And here is where we are today. I don’t know what else to do. When I’ve come across people in life who haven’t liked me for whatever reason I’ve just moved on. I can’t let other people tell me who I am. The Lord tells me who I am. Period. I’ve spent 40+ years not liking who I was. Loving myself is new to me and it’s changed my entire life and how I see the world and what I will accept as treatment from others. It hurts to apply this to my daughters. I thought if anyone on earth knew the real me it would be them. But I also know that they’re adults with families of their own and they get to choose who they want to love and respect just the same as I get to for my life. It’s not pain-free, it just is. I’m grateful for the years I’ve had being the grandma. Nothing has brought me greater joy. Nothing. For that I thank the Lord. And I pray that He talk to my daughters for me. I know with no doubt that my two girls were gifts to me. Nothing could ever happen in life that would make me believe anything other than the Lord gave me those two girls and me to them for a devine reason. Maybe we won’t know the reason until we get to His mighty Kingdom. I don’t know. I just pray that He will open their hearts and eyes and to stop letting their ugly assumptions grow. All of my motherhood I’ve always thought that I wasn’t prepared for what came and this is still true. I didn’t prepare for this. I never knew that this sort of stuff would happen. I don’t know what to do. I only know to keep being the person the Lord has called me to be. Keep loving the beautiful aspects of my life. Keep praying.

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…my Fred-boy

Freddy. The day I had to let him go.

I don’t know where to start. Yesterday I had to let him go. I pondered it so many times in the past year and then changed my mind at the last minute. He’d have horrible days and I’d be certain that he was ready to go. Then he’d bounce right back and act like his old self, full of life and just happy to be alive. I never realized how large his presence was until his presence was gone. I can barely handle writing this right now. I am completely torn apart. I never wanted to be the one to decide when his last day would be. I didn’t want to make that call.

I was lying on my bed and I heard him at his water bowl sloppily drinking like he did. He came over to the bed and tried to jump up but couldn’t. That was one of the last physical feats he still did; jump up onto the bed. He loved being on my bed. He couldn’t on his last night so I picked him up. I didn’t know it was his last night, I thought we were just having our usual evening together. Almost as soon as he was up he started coughing. Suddenly he let out a howl…his body stiffened and I saw this his head was flung back. He kept howling and I was so panicked and I was talking to him “What’s going on, are you okay, are you okay?” And then it stopped and I thought he’d died. He was lying there so still. I put my head on his side and I heard his heart still beating. I didn’t know what had happened or what to do but I knew it was bad. He stayed still for a long time as I talked to him and petted him. He could no longer hear with his old ears but it was such a habit in my life to talk to him that I did it anyhow. He didn’t hear me, but I’m positive that he felt me. As I calmed down I realized he’d had a seizure. I know that when people have seizures they’re unaware during that 8is happening so I took comfort in that and while I was lying with him I tried to figure out our next move. I sent my daughters messages about what had taken place. One of my daughters called. While we were talking Freddy stood up. He suddenly got stiff and fell over onto me….that howl again. The howl was one I’d never heard from him in the entire 16 years he’s been with us. It sounded like pain. It broke my heart and I think that’s when I decided that we can’t keep doing this.

In the morning when I took him off the bed he staggered around. He ran into the wall then peed on the floor. I carried him outside, his most favorite place to be, and set him down. He acted like he had no idea what we were doing. He staggered back inside. My Fred-boy. One thing that I do know…he knew I’d help him no matter what. He knew. When we’d go walking, for all of his life, when he stepped on thorns or got hurt he’d sit down with his paw up and wait for me to come help him. He absolutely trusted me. We trusted each other. We were very close. I knew that I had to help him even if it meant that it rips my heart to shreds. I tried to just have a normal day hoping and praying that this wasn’t even happening. The kids came over. Freddy couldn’t hold his bladder. He just kept peeing on himself. I put a diaper on him and had my day with my two grandbabies. I couldn’t concentrate. I was watching him and his odd actions all day. I had known earlier in the week that something was wrong. I know his actions and routines as much as I know my own. The seizures brought it all home. I had to help him. I made the call. I told my daughters. I finished my duties as a grandma while trying to tell myself that this was no big deal.

When we were alone together I put his leash on him. He acted like his normal self and I started second guessing my decision. We walked up to the mailbox. He was so slow. He was coughing. He appeared to be getting no enjoyment out of it what so ever. This dog….he lived for walks. We’ve walked for 15 years together. I had always made it a priority in my day to take him and Weeze for a walk. He loved those walks. In his last days I’m certain that he still thought he had it in him to go walk. We tried but he was too worn out, too old. At the mailbox his back legs collapsed. He got back up and walked back, coughing the entire way. He’s always been so stubborn. My little Fred-boy good grief. Right until the end with the Veterinarian. Very stubborn and set in his ways. It only got more pronounced with age. I’m a pretty stubborn person myself so we truly understood each other. And that was his last walk except for the walk into the clinic with my beautiful and kind hearted, animal lover granddaughter who walked him in and we let him linger too long in the grass outside the door where all of the dogs go pee after exiting the Vet. His nose still worked. The only sense he still had. I’m glad that we let him do that.

I can’t talk about that visit. I held him. He snuggled up to my left shoulder. He couldn’t hear me but I was telling him that he’s a good good boy when the vet put the medicine in his IV. Just like that he was gone. A piece of my heart just died with him. Good bye my friend. I love you so so much. I don’t know if I did the right thing. I just don’t know. He was there on my lap and then he was just gone. Sixteen years in my life. I don’t even know how to make decisions without considering what’s best for him. I truly don’t know how to just continue today. I pray that he forgives me for making that decision. I have talked to the Lord about it but I don’t have answers. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to decide when anythings life ends. I just had to do it for him. I had to help him. I didn’t know what that to do. He’d already lost his vision and his hearing. All he had left was his walks to smell stuff in the neighborhood. There was only the bed and me without his walks. I hate that I did this. I changed my mind the second he was gone but it was too late and I held him for a long time. He felt so relaxed. Part of his ageing had been arthritis and his body always felt so stiff. I felt his body so relaxed. I wanted to get up and leave with him and go for a long walk. I didn’t want to leave him there. I wanted him to be healthy again and I even felt regret that I’d gotten dogs in the first place because it hurts so damn much to say good-bye. I made sure that his heart was truly not beating anymore. It was kind of a silly move as the Dr had used his stethoscope and lately I could hear his heart banging inside of his chest when he was simply lying near me. But I had to make certain. I’d left him once before and went to Alaska and I had promised him I’d never do it again. I promised him a lot of stuff in his lifetime. He was my loyal friend. I never questioned his love for me. That’s the beauty of pets. I promised and I kept them. He deserved it all. We loved each other. We grew old together but his time was speeded up. I was turning fifty and he was already in his 90s. Somehow things had changed and I’d become younger than my dog. I love him so much. I’m having a hard time dealing with his absence today. I know it will get easier. I know it will hurt less one day. I will never ever remember him as anything other than amazing. I pray that I see him again one day. Even this…writing about him… I don’t want to trivialize his life. He was everything a great companion could possibly be. He was so intelligent. When he was younger I had to start spelling the word ‘walk’ when I used it in conversation. He soon figured it out though so I started saying “the thing” instead of walk. He figured that out too. He lived for those walks. He was in all of his glory then, walking around sniffing everything. He was, as I said before, stubborn haha…probably his most prominent personality trait. I didn’t argue with him. I let him have his way some of the time just because I could. He loved his stuffed animals and one Christmas when my youngest daughter brought him a present he immediately carried it out the dog door and came back in after a few minutes with his new “baby”. Later I saw in the back yard the remnants of his unwrapping it out there in his yard. Christmas wrapping paper and a bow. He loved children especially boys. He was never fond of toddlers except for our own, he loved the kids. But he’d see boys outside and run right to them and I’ll never forget the day we saw a group of children on one of our walks and they all knew him. I didn’t know the kids but somehow he did. He was beautiful and bright. Loyal as only dogs are. While I was in Alaska I used to think I felt him and Weeze on the bed even though they were still in Idaho. Last night was difficult sleeping without him. I hope I loved him enough. I’m pretty sure that I did. I truly hope that he knows everything… that the entire time I’ve lived in Idaho he was there. Always there. Watching as grandbabies came, mourning our loss of Weezie, helping me in my triumphs and failures and comforting me in my pain. He meant the world to me. I still can’t believe that he’s gone. I’ll be bringing his ashes home next week. I love you my friend. Until I see you again…..

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…not saying no…

It was September of 1983 when my dad died. I was 15 years old. We had been living back in Alaska for only 2 years then. I feel like he moved us back there just so he could die in Kodiak. He loved it there. Of course he didn’t know that he only had two more years to live, but it seems like that is how it happened anyhow. He died and we were left on our own. And that’s where this story starts. Always in my memory the beginning is the death of my dad. Even then I didn’t really feel as if my mom had it in her to keep us afloat. She’d never been a working woman. She deferred to my dad at all times. That’s how they were both raised, although my paternal grandma was a pretty tough and independent woman. My mom’s mom had passed when my mom was only 18. She had MS and had been bedridden for years before she died so my mom really had no idea what a wife does. I knew this then and I know it now when my mom is 80 years old. My dad was the backbone and my step-dad is her backbone now. They’ve been married for 28 years now and she worries constantly about what will become of her if he dies. She’s simply one of those women who defer to men. My sisters and I have never been like that. It’s odd actually and my mom never has and never will understand why we’re so independent and unwed.

After my dad died she was lost. I feel for her, I really do. It must’ve been tremendously scary for her although I was the only kid left at home. She worked three different jobs for awhile and we lived in an apartment for the first time in our lives. I’m not sure what transpired behind the scenes but suddenly we were moving to Oregon to stay in my uncles house. My mom was an only child but my dad was one of seven. He was the youngest and I was the youngest of his four. His oldest brother had been living with a woman who’d just passed away as well. Her name was Daisy and as far as I know I’d never met her. I do remember going on a couple road trips to Astoria with my parents though, before we moved back to Alaska, and visiting my uncle at their home. I don’t remember meeting Daisy though. So apparently she’d left the house to my uncle in her will. He didn’t live in it though. He lived in a small house out back that also had a wood working shed in it. He was planning on going back to Alaska and had invited my mom and I to stay in his house in Astoria while he was in Alaska. Coincidentally he also passed away while in Kodiak about two years after. Both he and my dad are in Alaska for all of eternity.

So my mom and I drove to Oregon. My cousin’s wife who was from Astoria as well but living in Alaska rode with us. I don’t remember how my older sister got there but she ended up living there as well eventually. I didn’t stay very long. A couple of months at most and that is part of this story. We moved into Daisy’s house and I actually got her bedroom. It was a little odd because the house still looked like she lived there. It seemed like she’d just left to go somewhere and never came back. I remember that in her room were numerous bottles of perfume lined up on a dresser. I tested them all out and only liked one of them; Chanel no. 5. Still to this day I only think of Daisy and that house whenever I smell that perfume. It’s nice and soft. It’s a good smell. I often would smell it randomly in that bedroom, especially in the middle of the night and I felt as if it were Daisy’s spirit hanging around. It wasn’t scary. I figured she just stayed close by because that was her home. It was nice there in Astoria. I started school at Knappa High School and oddly enough the girls there really liked me. I was surprised that the popular girls befriended me right away but I was shy and then I had the incident and felt very dirty and unlike them so I kind of floated away from them. Looking back now it’s truly sad that I didn’t get any advice or talk to anyone about what happened. Somehow I took the blame and figured I was a horrible and flawed kid and that’s why it happened. I know better now, but now I’m 49 years old. I was only 15 then and an immature teenager at that.

So my older sister had always been a little wild. I have two older sisters both of whom are pretty free-spirited. My older sister and my oldest sister both. This sister moved to Oregon after my mom and I got there. My oldest sister was living in Utah with the father of her babies. She only had two at the time but would have two more eventually. My older sister somehow ended up with a boyfriend across the Columbia River in Washington. She was living with him in Skomakaway. There was a ferry that took cars and people across the Columbia to the town where she lived. It seemed neat at the time that two states were connected by a river. It’s funny how now as an adult I live in a town that is separated from the next state over by a river too. Just a 2 minute drive over the bridge and you’re in another state.

So my sister asked me and my mom if I could visit her in Washington, across the river, for a weekend. It’s funny how I don’t recall how it all played out. I was not particularly close to my sister. She had a very “partying” type of lifestyle and I really wasn’t that kind of a teen. Maybe I was lonely or bored or something. I don’t really know. But I remember waiting for the ferry with my sister and she took me into a bar by the ferry dock. I’d never been in a bar until then. She wasn’t even old enough to be there herself, but there we were and I remember that she ordered a drink and asked me if I wanted one. I said no. I had drank alcohol in Kodiak but it was kind of a secret back then because my dad would’ve been so very angry if he’d known. But my dad was dead and we all went berserk it seems. So I sat there in the bar with my sister fretting about being there while being underaged but we left after only a couple of minutes and got on the ferry. For the life of me I can’t remember if my sister was driving or her boyfriend was or what. Somehow we arrived at the trailer that she shared with this guy. I don’t even remember his name. I do however remember the picture she showed me of him naked. He was very well hung and I guess my sister was quite pleased with herself for being with this particular man and she felt the need to show me his penis. I remember the picture more than him. His penis was long and bent and I told her that it looked like a spaghetti noodle. She thought that was hilarious and started calling him “noodle dick”. I was so shy then and had only been with one boy sexually. I wasn’t a virgin any longer but I was far from being sexually active. I had no clue about men or sex. My sister was a completely different story though. She was well versed in men and parties and sex and drugs.

So it was the first evening there and I came to find that this guy, her boyfriend, had growing rooms for marijuana in the trailer. Weed was not the same in 1983 as it is now. It was illegal and I was a little startled that my sister was living in such a way. If was obvious that this boyfriend of hers grew and sold it. I didn’t necessarily agree with what he was doing but I was only there for the weekend so I figured it wasn’t a big deal. They both decided that we’d get drinks and have a little party that night. I need to set it straight that I was very shy and immature then but I was not a complete angel. I had spent many nights in Kodiak drunk and partying with friends. I was not new to drinking or even to smoking weed. I wasn’t however on the same level as my sister and that’s where the evening started to go bad. We had a few drinks and watched TV and things were OK. Then someone called. I distinctly remember my sister talking on the phone by the window in the living room. I was curled up in the corner of a couch across from her and I heard her say “my sister is here”, then she said “yes she is very pretty.” When she hung up she said one of their friends was coming over with his brother. OK. The more the merrier. I was feeling a little buzzed up, drinking, feeling silly. I was all for it and that’s how I think I started blaming myself for what happened later. It wasn’t my fault. I know this with absolute certainty now. I didn’t then or for probably 20 years after. It’s taken a very long time to process this night and to see it in the right light. I was a kid. My life had just been turned upside down. I don’t blame my sister either. I love my sister and I know she has always loved me. I trusted her to keep me safe because she had always been my protector. We were both victims of circumstance. She was only just turning 19 herself.

So her friends arrived. His name was Greg. His name is Greg. If he is still alive he is well into his 70s by now. I think his brothers name was Charlie. His brother was much younger than he and much closer to my age but things happen as they happen and Charlie is just a slight memory of a skinny young man with curly black hair. Thinking back now I don’t even know where he went or when but he didn’t stay around long. Greg did. I didn’t know until much later that he was 41 years old. I didn’t know until he’d had his hands all over my body that he had a daughter my age. He was a dad. I can’t imagine how he did what he did with a clear conscience. As soon as he saw me he applauded my sister on being accurate that I was very pretty. I think I knew right then what was going to happen but maybe not, maybe that’s just in hindsight. I didn’t feel threatened at all and I’m sure that’s because I was intoxicated. Every bad decision ever made in my lifetime involved alcohol. I haven’t drank since my early thirties. Alcohol is not my friend. That night I was a little drunk already and I remember getting in Greg’s car and we drove a long way to a liquor store. Back then in Washington State you could buy alcohol from bars for take-out. I recall that no stores were open so he decided to go into a local bar to buy some sort of drinks. I waited outside in his car. It was a coastal town and we were parked on a Pier. The bar he went into was built on a Pier. I listened to the radio while he was inside. I distinctly remember hoping he would hurry because my little buzz was wearing off and I knew that I was extremely shy if I didn’t have alcohol in my little 115 lb body. I feel like he took a really long time, but I don’t really know. We drove back and it was becoming obvious to me that he was making moves on me. He was very handsome this older man. Very tan and tall with blonde hair and a muscular build. I was somewhat surprised that he found me attractive and I knew I’d kiss him if he wanted. That’s how my naive mind worked…fueled with alcohol and teenaged curiosity. So the night progressed. I remember hours of being naked with this man and doing things I’d never even knew people did. I remember being worried about getting pregnant and him showing me a small scar under his testicles that he explained was from having a vasectomy. I honestly didn’t even know what a vasectomy was then. He told me what it meant. I remember taking a break and drinking even more alcohol and he told me then about his daughter. He actually suggested that he introduce me to her and I could plan sleepovers with her so that he and I could secretly hook up. It’s so bizarre thinking about this today. How could he possibly think that was a good idea? How could he be thinking that he was doing anything normal or OK to be having sex with someone the same age as his own kid? And in that moment how did I think I was merely a willing participant? He was having his way with me. Period. I’d had maybe an hour of sexual experience in my life until that night. And even that small experience happened when I was drunk. In any case we kept at it. He kept at it all night. He talked about a job interview he had the next morning and how he wasn’t getting any sleep. We were all over that trailer and I have no clue how or why my sister didn’t know or didn’t stop me or him or do something. I’ve never asked. I’ve never talked to her about this night. Ever. I’ve only told a few people since it happened. I never told my mom and I know now that I should have. She would’ve called the police. I didn’t want anyone to know what happened then because I felt like I brought it on myself. I was a whore. I was a bad kid. I shouldn’t have let it happen. It was my fault and I didn’t tell my mom because I didn’t want her to know that I was drinking and that I got drunk that night. I was supposed to stay the entire weekend but I didn’t. I slept a bit. I think he got ready for his job interview. He and my sister’s boyfriend left the house together. My sister went somewhere too. I remember that my body hurt everywhere. I went into the bathroom and I saw that I had a huge hickey on my neck. It was like two inches long and purple. I knew my mom saw it later when she picked me up from the ferry. I wish she would’ve asked me about it. I was lying on the living room floor when I decided that something horrible had happened and I couldn’t be at my sisters place any longer. I called my mom and asked her to pick me up. Of course she said yes. My mom has always been a very kind soul. She has her flaws but she was very loving and gentle with us kids. When my sister returned I was packed and ready to go. Her boyfriend and Greg were still out job hunting or something. I knew that he had plans to come back and have me again that night. I knew that I needed to leave right away. My sister dropped me off at the ferry dock. My legs were so sore that it hurt to walk. I felt terrible and basically battered. When I walked onto the ferry I didn’t really know what to do because it was an auto ferry, not meant for people to cross without a vehicle. I remember the kind men working the ferry. Somehow they invited me into the wheelhouse and I sat in an operators seat the entire ride. I think it took about 30 minutes to ferry up the river a ways then to cross. Bless their hearts they were so nice to me. I imagine I must’ve seemed like something was wrong for them to be treating me so kindly. I had an opportunity to tell them what had just happened too but I didn’t. I kept quiet. I was ashamed of myself. When the boat pulled into the docking area I saw my mom’s car there waiting for me. I should’ve told her. I still haven’t told her to this day. She was so burdened by my dad’s death and we were all just struggling to survive. My dad would’ve found him and wanted to kill him. But my dad was dead. We were women on our own. I walked to my moms car and I could feel her watching me and I tried to walk normal and act like nothing hurt. I felt like I couldn’t put my legs together, it hurt to walk. I put my hair across my neck so she wouldn’t see the hickey and we drove home. I have no idea what I told her was the reason behind my coming home early. My mom knew how my sisters lived. I believe that she suspected that my sister was up to some sort of shenanigans that I didn’t approve of. I’m certain that she didn’t suspect that I’d been taken advantage of by a man only 4 years younger than her. She never asked about the hickey and I never told her.

I spent weeks worrying about being pregnant. I called my closest friend in Kodiak and told her what happened. Together we wondered about the legitimacy of vasectomies. When I went to school on Monday I felt so much shame within me. The kids at Knappa High School were so very different from Kodiak kids; they weren’t experienced partiers, they didn’t smoke weed and get drunk and screw old men on the weekends. Sitting in class with a group of the popular girls that had befriended me… I remember being asked about the hickey. One of the girls asked if I had a boyfriend. My face grew hot and I knew that I was blushing as I told her no. I was so very ashamed of myself that right then and there I kind of withdrew from those girls. I was flawed. I was not like them. They were good girls. They were cheerleaders and kept pestering me to be on the girls football team: the Powder Puffs. They were good kids. I was not like them. I let a man have sex with me for hours on end. They could never know. It was easier and better for me to just stop talking to them. And I did. I ignored them after that day. They didn’t stop trying to bring me back into their group. But I was from a family that moved every couple of years… I was experienced at making and then saying good-bye to friends. It did not bother me and besides that if they ever found out my secret I was sure they’d not want me as a friend anyhow. Walking home from school I decided to ask my mom if I could go back to Alaska. The kids in Kodiak were wild and crazy and most went without parental guidance. Life on a small island in Alaska was and still is vastly different than any other place on earth. I felt more comfortable with those kids. Somehow my mom arranged for me to go back and stay with my best friend, the one who knew about my night off sex and booze. Her parents agreed to let me stay with them. I think it was about three months later that my mom also returned and I lived with her once again. I was never the same though. I mistakenly imagined that Greg really liked me and spent months trying to figure out how I could get ahold of him. I wrote him many letters that never got sent because I had no clue how to get them to him. My sister had a falling out with her boyfriend by then and had also returned to Kodiak so she was no help in my pursuit and besides that I didn’t want to discuss the events of that night with her. I still think that part of the reason why I didn’t tell my mom was because of my love for my sister. I knew some of the blame lay on her. I knew then and I know now. I also know how our family worked after my dads death though and I know we were all struggling so I don’t feel anger towards her. She had only ever been a protector and every good memory from my childhood involves her. I forgave her for her part in the entire situation as soon as it happened. I’ve often wondered and even hoped that he thought about it. I hope that he had very deep regrets later. I hope he worried that I’d tell someone and he’d be in trouble. I hope that he admitted to himself that he was in the wrong. When I found myself at age 41 I realized just how large of an age difference there is between being a teen and being in your forties. It’s rather disgusting what he did.

I know now that I was not to blame. I understand that he should’ve been a good man and left me alone. Everybody in that home that night should’ve had the common sense to not give a young girl alcohol and weed. And even more important he should’ve known to keep his hands off of me. No matter that I was “pretty”. No matter that my sister lured him over by telling him that I was there. I was 15 years old! I no longer blame myself and I no longer think about this night over and over and wonder how I failed so miserably. I became a mom merely one year later. I became a teenaged mother and wife. I was very young and still never drank in front of my children. It wasn’t until I was a grandma many many years later that I drank some wine with my grown daughters for a couple of Christmas dinners. I would absolutely never encourage a 15 year old to get drunk or high. I would truly rather end my own life than to touch a 15 year old child inappropriately. It is this knowledge that helped me to see that the blame lay on this man Greg. His name was Greg Hess. This is the story that I never told. I’m not a victim now. I never saw myself as a victim so I’m not jumping on the bandwagon of women bashing men. I adore men. I have had many beautiful strong men in my life since then. I do not blame all men or hate men. I blame Greg. Period. I hope he has seen the error of his ways in these years that have passed. I pray to God he didn’t do the same thing to his daughter or to anyone else. I didn’t say No. I didn’t. But I shouldn’t of had to. I was only 15. Even more so I hold that Greg made things right with the Lord since then. I don’t think ill of the man. I do think he made a horrible decision that night. I do hope it was one bad decision that he never repeated ever again. And that is my story and I don’t want sympathy or revenge. I want it to be out in the open instead of locked inside my head. And now it is.

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…13 days…

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July 1968 * 6 days old Kodiak, Alaska

I’ve shared this picture before here but it seems so fitting for what’s on my mind today…so what the heck…I’m using it again. It’s the only picture I have of me as a baby. I was the fourth of four so of course there aren’t very many pictures. By the time a fourth comes along, and a third girl to boot, nobody cared about the new baby anymore. There aren’t many pictures. It’s been a family joke that the two oldest have thousands of baby pictures, girl and boy, my other sister and myself; not so much. Too funny.

I’ve really been think a lot lately because of my circumstances; the fact that I’m moving back to Idaho and that I’m basically living with a person who ignores me…all I do these days is go for walks and think too much. Typically thinking too much is a terrible thing for me but I’m different now, somehow. The Lord has truly changed me and I see my own value as a person and I do my best to embrace it and to not beat myself up over the actions of other people. I know that I am only in charge of one single soul…and that is mine, and others acting ugly towards me is not a sign of my ineptitude but rather their lack of understanding how to be compassionate or kind. It is what it is and if I had any power to control how others act this world would absolutely be more loving and beautiful than it is right now. I cherish peace. So I make my own. Me and the Lord, we do it together.

I mostly think about people when I’m over-thinking and I think about what makes people do the things they do or act the way they do. Usually I can understand and put myself in another’s shoes and empathize with them and even doing this I don’t always agree or disagree, but rather try to understand how a person came to be who they are. Sometimes I wonder if I do in fact have some sort of God-given gift for this because I do think it’s something that is innate in me and has been there since birth. The older I get the more I recognize situations in my life that I didn’t understand at the time but now have a lot more meaning. This is especially true of spiritual things in my life. I know that when I was a kid I always knew that someone was with me. We weren’t a particularly spiritual family but I did attend church with my friends and even as a child I knew that I loved Jesus, a lot. He was right up my alley back then and He still is today. I identify with Jesus quite a bit. I know that to some it sounds crazy, but He is more real to me than I am to my own self. I have never not cried when discussing his crucifixion. When I was a kid I could not even attempt to understand why anybody wanted Him harmed. I loved Him and I truly wanted to be like him lest without being crucified of course. Many times as a kid I imagined Him with me and I even talked to him and didn’t understand until later that what I was doing was actually praying. My entire life, even when I was not being a very good adult I’ve always had a very strong moral compass and I give all of the acknowledgement to Him. He taught me. I didn’t always listen, but He talked to me anyhow and He was there for me when I started to understand that being the person that I was being was not doing anyone any favors, especially myself. Slowly I changed and even today I slip up and do stuff that I’m ashamed to talk to Him about, but His love is constant and I love it so much that I truly try to do whatever I can to keep Him right there at my side being my conscience. I’ve always loved Him and in times I’ve felt that He has been the only one to love me back. He is everything to me and I’m glad that I can grasp that now and understand the glory of my life no matter how bitter it may seem at times.

That being said…I remember way back in my life. I truly do remember being 14 months old and I think I honestly remember just about every single day of my life since. I thought that everybody remembered life like this but I’ve only come across a handful of people that remember that far back. I’ve even read that scientifically nobody remembers anything before the age of five. I am here to say that it is not true. I remember the house my family lived in before we moved from New York to Florida and I was five when we moved. I can draw out the floor plans of that house and it is there that I have my very first memory of being alive and what I’ve been pondering in my days-long time period of silence and waiting to go back home. I’ve thought of that day millions of times in my life and that’s most likely why it has stayed so fresh all of these decades later; if it’s constantly there in your mind how could you possibly forget it? The same for every memory I think. I’ve always had loner tendencies and with that came my habit to over-think about anything that can be thought about and I believe this is why my memory of my childhood is still so fresh in my mind…simply because I’ve thought about every single thing so many darn times that I couldn’t forget no matter how much I wanted to. So I woke up and I knew that I’d been really sick. This is my very first memory and the one that every person in my family has confirmed took place when I was barely a year old.

I woke up on the couch and I remember that on the other side of the wall was the kitchen. The wall was a half-wall and when I woke up my mom was in the kitchen. It was just her and I and I came awake and somehow knew that she’d be pleased so I called her. My mom, bless her heart, she is nothing but goodness a million times over. She was such a loving and tender mom and I’m so fortunate to have been raised by her. She ran right into the living room and sat on the side of the couch. She was brushing the hair off of my forehead and although she didn’t say that she loved me very much I knew all of my life and still know that she did and does. She would put cold wet washcloths on my head anytime that I was sick and she did that on the day that I woke up. I really like that feeling and I still do it today to myself and my grandkids. It’s kind of “my thing” when anyone is sick and I even did it with patients in the hospital. So she did it then but it was my first experience with the washcloth and I remember that I liked it that she was there and she was  just touching me so very sweetly. I went back to sleep and when I woke up later everyone was home except for my dad. My brother came and sat on the couch and said that he had a present for me. He gave me a little truck with zoo animals in yellow cages in the back. I’ve already related this part of the story many times here I think. It’s a good little memory to pull up when I want to remember my brother as a kid. He passed away when he was 41 in a car accident in California. We’d never been close due to the twelve year age difference between us and as adults we had dramatically different lifestyles so I’ve always enjoyed this tender memory of him. I have many crazy brother stories as well…the silly things that kids do to torture each other and such but by the time I was five years old he was basically gone and on his own so after that we don’t have a heck of a lot of memories together. I was 29 when he passed.

Today when I was thinking about this memory I went off in a different direction. Rick was talking about how people blame God sometimes when bad things happen and that he never blamed the Lord for the surgery that left him disabled. And my first thought and my reply was: ” that’s because you actually saw Him when you died and that wouldn’t have happened without surgery.” Rick actually did die during his surgery. The surgeons accidently cut through three arteries in his stomach and he bled out and died. Real death. He was dead and they patched him up and gave him many liters of blood and got his heart pumping again and eventually got around to doing the spine surgery that they were there for in the first place. They kept in a medically induced coma for months and considered amputating his leg but they performed a fasciatomy instead so he still has his leg but his spine is wrecked. During this time he had an experience with the Lord. It is his story to tell so I will not go into details here, but I believe every word that he says about that time and he asked Him if he could come back so he wouldn’t have to leave his sons. He was granted that request by the Lord and today I don’t understand why he’s not making a greater attempt at using his second chance to have a better relationship with his sons, but again that is not MY story, that’s his story of his life so I just think my over-thinking thoughts and move on. But his mention of the surgery today made me think about the time I was 14 months old and very sick…this time that I was suddenly aware of my life and that I was alive. Apparently in the days before my recollection of life I’d stopped breathing and an ambulance was called and I was resuscitated and kept in the hospital for a few days. My parents did not get us kids immunized until the school district forced them to do it for us to attend school. They weren’t like parents today who play by all of the government’s rules. My dad didn’t trust doctors and so all of us kids very seldom ever saw the inside of a medical establishment. So I wasn’t immunized and I contracted chickenpox, mumps and measles all at the same time. That’s what they tell me at least, I have no clue if that is what a doctor said or if they just decided on their own, but there I was sick as a dog and my fever spiked and I stopped breathing and turned blue and my dad tried unsuccessfully to perform CPR while my mom called an ambulance and suddenly I was waking up on a couch and my life started. Honestly. Sounds really bizarre I know…but I remember what I remember and happenings before that day were much talked about in the days after I awakened and started being a kid.

Today I started wondering if maybe there was more to it than that…what if there was something spiritual happening? I’m not even sure what it is that I’m wondering about, but if I died and I had an out-of-body experience with the Lord, like Rick did…maybe it changed me somehow. What if that is the reason why I’ve felt Jesus walking with me my entire life? What if that’s the reason why I was so drawn to Him in Sunday School with my friends? Isn’t it possible that I was drawn to Him because I really did know Him? What if I went back when I died? What if it wasn’t my time…which I think is pretty evident by now seeing how I’ve been alive forty plus years since and have had children and grandchildren since that day. But I mean in a much more spiritual way…I was with Jesus right before I woke up. This moment on the couch has always been to me “day one” of my life. It’s where my story begins, everything after is still in my head and gets pondered over and over again. Lots and lots of memories stored inside my head from that age on…and one of the more meaningful ones is my feeling that someone has been by my side since that day. I have absolutely talked about this ‘person’ to everyone that I’ve ever had deep discussions with. My daughters know about him and my mom knows…it hasn’t been a secret but nobody ever suggested who it was until my oldest daughter came to my house with a Bible in 2010. I was in the midst of an insomnia nightmare and literally thought that I was going to die for lack of sleep. My doctor was trying everything he could but my heart rate would not go down and my body would not rest and every time I closed my eyes I’d hear a loud slamming noise and wake up and it damn near killed me. No joke. It was a terrible terrible time for me. My daughter brought over her Bible and read it to me and something just opened up in my heart right there in my backyard and she told me that it was Jesus that had been with me all of that time. It actually makes me cry right now as I’m writing this because I’m so humiliated that He saw me doing some of the things that I’d done in my life up til that day. That day she said something that struck a chord with me and I started attending a community church to learn more and the more I learned the more I recognized the Lord and the more concrete it became to me that He had indeed been right there thru every single thing…all of it. He helped me raise my daughters. How else could a naïve sixteen year old have a child and everything turn out okay? I had two babies before I ever saw twenty years of life…yet somehow everything turned out great and they are such amazing women today that there is absolutely no way I could take any credit for that. That was Him.

Today I am convinced that something happened way back there in New York in 1969. He did something when I went back. He taught me and then He gently lay me upon that couch and promised to stay with me even when I was scared and I felt Him the whole time. I forgot His name or His face but I didn’t forget how His love felt and I loved it so  much and just embraced it all of these years. My heart has always been very tender and sensitive. I have spent a lot of years hating myself for my inability to do to others the things that they’ve done to me. And don’t get me wrong, I have been very careless with others feelings in my life. I have caused much harm with other’s hearts intentionally and unintentionally. I had at least fifteen years of being wreckless with other’s hearts and today I deeply regret it and when I get in touch with people from my past to apologize my heart just soars when they accept my apology…and there are still some who have not forgiven me. I have made my amends though and I’ve asked the Lord to forgive me as well. It’s much easier for Him to forgive than it is for us and that is why I love Him so. I do my very best these days to be fair and honest and to treat others the way that the Lord has treated me. I’ve been a horrible person at times and I’ve turned my back on Him completely until His voice became so loud that I had no other choice than to change my behavior. I imagine Him there…screaming my name..Ada it’s me!! You can trust me!! It’s me, Jesus! Until I woke up and saw Him and wept and fell into His arms. I finally recognized Him and His attempts to save me from my own self. I’d become a product of my environment after he left me there on that couch. And His intention was for me to be something more than that. That’s why I didn’t stay there with Him as an innocent baby. He taught me His ways and left me there and the rest was up to me. Thank goodness I heard Him later…years later living in Idaho with my dogs.

My daughter helped me to see Him and to recognize Him and I will be forever grateful. Now I accept that He knows more than I do…hahahaha imagine that. And when I listen to Him he doesn’t remind me of every fault that I have or every bad behavior that has occurred in my life. He reminds me that for forty-nine years  He has been there waiting patiently for me to be His child again. And today I feel like it all came together in my mind. That day in New York…that was a very special day. That was the day He and I made a beautiful plan for me to be soft and to care and to love and even if I never got any of it back…He’d be there for me. He is beautiful and His love means more to me than anything. I’ve ever experienced here in my life. He gave me such a beautiful little family and He trusted me with those two girls and even when I was scared and hating myself He was there picking up the pieces and holding them while I healed. Good grief I’m not even sure where all of this is coming from. I’m so grateful for this life. I’m so thankful that I finally woke up. Literally.

And those two beautiful little girls that He trusted me with. My gosh, what an absolute Honor. The greatest blessing I’ve ever been given and far greater than anything that I deserve. Those two little girls who are now women are doing their best to bring me home where I can feel loved again. I’m so torn up with gratitude and thankfulness. I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it…all of my life…my messy heart and my need to try to rescue men and my failed attempts at creating a loving relationship with any male other than my dogs and God. My body hurts and I’m so lost and alone here in Alaska and I’ve put on a brave and smiley face and I’ve given it everything that I have. There is nothing left of me to give here. It’s been used up and I made zero impact on this man good or bad. I’ve felt so hopeless and I’ve been so focused on listening to the Lord and being who he’s calling me to be regardless of the circumstances and if I’m comfortable or happy or not. I’ve stayed so focused on just letting my heart be what it is…I’ve loved with every ounce of who I am. The same as I’ve done with these two girls the entire time they’ve been my children. The difference is that my two girls have been walking with Jesus as well. Crazy how that happens huh? And they love the way the He taught us back when I was wavering on the brink as a baby in New York. He taught us. Because I do believe there was a plan being formed and it was up to me to listen and to get us there and by the grace of God alone I’ve come to this place in my life where these two beautiful women are quite literally saving my life. Because of love. Because of the Lord’s love. And if that doesn’t move a soul then I don’t know what will. My life here in Alaska is done. I did my part. It is not up to me to make the best of Rick’s life now. That is completely up to him and I wish him the best. I wish him more than the best and even want his life to be more fantastic than he is even aiming for. I wish him well. I wish for him to open his eyes and his heart and to fully embrace what the Lord has to offer. It all comes back to us in the end. The love we give out…eventually it does come back. You may nor believe it or see it and it may seem like it’s taking forever, but trust me when I say that it will come back to you at the time when you need it most and it will heal you in ways that you didn’t even know that you needed healing. He has taught me very well. I am a child of God, the most High King. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

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…rugged and worn…

 

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Little Susitna River, Alaska (2016) picture by me 🙂

I don’t like Alaska. I try, I honestly do and even though technically I’m a “native” Alaskan by birth I am not an actual Native American. I would absolutely love to say that I am as native Americans are so beautiful with their tanned skin and dark hair. I’d love to be able to understand where I came from and the history of my family. I’m English/Scottish/Dutch by heritage standards I guess. But I was born in Alaska and my family left when I was one and returned when I was 13, so Alaska is really the only place that I’ve considered to be home since moving back as a teen. I left again in my early thirties with my daughters, who just happen to be part Native American no thanks to myself for that but instead, their dad. I had the intention of never returning because I’ve never truly liked it here. Yet in 2014 I found myself once again in Alaska and it’s been my safe haven so to speak while I recover and recoup and try to heal my broken spine. For this I am and I will be eternally grateful and as lame as it sounds today as I’m sitting here I am thankful that I haven’t become homeless, although it could’ve in all reality turned out that way. I have a warm home and bed and two birds that I love and food whenever I want it. I think that I have lost the love that I came here for…he seems gone, but then again nothing seems completely normal right now so it could just be me being weird again.

I only come here and write when my life is a little messed up. Of course I don’t have to figure things out when I’m happy and life is full of joy HaHa. Happiness can just be and doesn’t need explaining and absolutely doesn’t need to be explained to get it out of my head. My life isn’t the greatest right now. It’s not even particularly kind-of okay, but I’m trying to hang on and remember what I have back in Idaho and remember who I am when I’m not is such a weakened state of mind. I’m not a weak woman and I know it. I also know that I’ve probably let this spinal atrocity take over a part of me that I never even knew existed before. I never knew I’d fall and not be able to get back up. Up until my surgery I honestly thought that I was kind of invincible and now that I know that I’m not it’s consumed me and I pretty much spend every waking hour thinking about what I’ve lost and trying to figure out how I’m going to survive for another 50 years, God willing I get that much more time to try to get it right. I have kind of given in to my ailments and honestly that is NOT the woman I once was. I do many different things physically to become stronger. I have actually gotten in pretty good shape in the past year with the stretches and yoga and physical therapy that I do to try to get back to my former self. I’m so self aware these days…so in tune with how my body works and what it’s feeling and how to soothe it. That’s something to be proud of I suppose. Now if I could just do that with my mental self, I’d be great.

So like I said I don’t like Alaska. It’s beautiful over here on the mainland but not as beautiful as Kodiak, yet Kodiak is an island and far too secluded to be a place where I’d want to be. I just want to go back to the sun and real stores and to people who aren’t fighting winter by abusing drugs and killing people.  And although this is where I’ve spent the majority of my life I am not “Alaskan” like the other people who live here. I don’t want to be out trekking through the snow. I don’t like for it to be dark at noon. It’s very depressing here and that’s another reason why I need to get out soon. The longer I stay here with him and with the absolute disinterest he shows me or anything that I’m doing…the more depressed I become. I know that I can’t give in to it. I can’t just let it take me over and sleep all day, although I really so badly do want to just stay in bed all day. I wish that I could wake up and be done with this entire episode of my life. I wish I could be back in my life of not worrying about who loves me and being lied to and feeling inadequate when compared to another woman. And I still have to keep in mind that through out my life I have many times assumed certain things to be true based upon my own anxieties and insecurities, so just because I’m looking at a situation a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the actuality of the situation. I act to all of the world as if I very much love myself but it’s not completely true and this fact brings about a lot of self-abuse in my mind. It seems as if I’m constantly thinking that others feel towards me the way that I do. I feel like such a huge failure…so…I do understand that sometimes I project my own ideas into how others are acting towards me. But in my life right now it’s truly hard to tell what exactly is going on. I’m having a lot of anxiety and even more signs of depression and the combination work together to make a kind of self made prison. It’s getting harder and harder to escape from it these days. I’m not sure what to do. The things that I KNOW need to happen: 1) I need to be able to find something that helps me move around like a normal person without my body screaming out in pain, 2) I need to have an income and stop depending upon other people to take care of me and this will only happen if I…3) finally get approved for SSDI or I get better and can go back to work and 4) I need to get back to my family and the people who think like me, talk like me and love like me…the people who get me and who I get in return.

I had another procedure done on my neck last week and what at first seemed like a breakthrough has now turned into some kind of nightmare pain that nothing will take away. I’m stuck here on this Sunday waiting for it to be Monday so that I can call my Dr. and see if something has went wrong. It’s Daylight Savings Time and the clocks got pushed forward in the middle of the night so that adds to the weirdness of my day too as it does with darn near everyone, I’m sure. While I don’t feel well I tend to entertain myself with my phone and doing a lot of browsing on social media and such. I don’t even know why I keep doing this because I almost always get grouchy these days with the stuff that I read online. I wonder what’s happening in the world and why is everyone being so mean and hurtful? It seems like the world I knew as a kid and even just twenty years ago has just slipped away and turned into this hateful ugly place. I notice it most while I’m here in Alaska. Although I’m not living in my hometown I do keep up with the news and have a multitude of friends over there on the island. That town and those people…they helped me raise my daughters…I became an adult there in Kodiak and have always given that island credit for helping me to become a rational and responsible adult even though it was a very tough place to raise children on my own. The people there stepped up and helped me when I was in need, I have two ex-husbands over there and Rick and I met there as teens. I’ve always considered Kodiakans to be my people. I can’t grasp the negativity I feel from that place these days. They have their own social media pages and I joined ten years ago and have always enjoyed knowing what was going on and seeing the beauty of the island and those who choose to live there. Today I sit here disgusted at the moral low ground I see on a daily basis from that beautiful place. People calling each other names because of their political opinions, bashing each other personally when in fact what they are arguing about is something nobody can change no matter what they do. I’ve removed myself from their hate filled sites now just to give myself a little bit of peace of mind. The new President has brought about much hatred all over the world from people who claim that they don’t want to live in a world full of hatred…yet they’re the ones calling each other profanities and destroying property and just losing their freaking minds over the smallest things. The President doesn’t really have anything to do with Kodiak except that it seems as if the whole world is out of control right now and it maybe seems more prevalent to me when it comes to Kodiak because it is such a small and secluded town. I don’t like it.

A part of me feels as if I’m ill equipped to deal with the stuff going on up here in Alaska surrounding me. Not that I’m different or better or any crazy thing like that, but more-so I am just not on the same level of angry or mean that is going on here. I don’t do well with mind games and dishonesty. The Lord made me the way that I am and I actually went through a lot of struggle and a lot of years of working on myself deep inside to become the kind of person who is honest and loyal. I haven’t always been the way I am now. I have done a lot of terrible things in my past. I’ve lied and I’ve hurt people and I’ve caused some destruction with others feelings and hearts along the way. I did though start to focus on myself and made an outright attempt to right the wrongs in my personality and the way that I treat people and deal with the world. Ten or fifteen years later it’s just become natural to me to tell the truth and even when it’s a hurtful truth I’ve become accomplished at finding a kind and tactful way of presenting it. I don’t expect everyone to do this but I can use it as an example of how I’m not carrying the right armor to be here in this cold state with all of the things taking place that just stab at my heart and make me question if being a good and honest person is even a good idea anymore. I feel so alone here. I cannot find a single soul that is like me. I just try to keep my mind on home, Idaho, and my family and the happiness that they have in their hearts and in their lives. I try to bring up my grandbabies sweet happy faces when I’m feeling so upended. I feel myself being weird and I don’t even know how to stop it. I feel myself shutting down and putting up thick walls around myself…I hear myself talking and pretending that I’m just living my life but in reality that’s not what’s happening at all. Inside everything is screaming that I need to get away from here before this place destroys me. I don’t want to become bitter and dishonest and grumpy. I’m a laugher…I crave silliness and sunshine. I can’t handle the judging, the insults, the deception that comes from the people that I used to admire and to love. I’m not sure how things got so bad yet here they are. The world has turned ugly and nobody even seems to notice. I notice though and it stresses me out especially when it comes from a place that has until this year been the comfort zone of my life.

I replay scenes from my real life…my life before the surgeries and the pain and the wreckage took over. The smell of my backyard on a summer evening…the sound of the frogs that I could never find but always hear. My dogs wandering around wherever I went…moving the sprinklers around the lawn in the setting sun so that my grass stayed green. Imagine that: there was a time in my life when my problem was the lawn remaining green throughout the entire summer…keeping up with the Jones’. I constantly think about going to bed at night and the routine the dogs and I went through and then the safe knowledge that I was in my own bed in my own home and everything was right in the world. I want that back. I want to hear my grandsons come in the back door and bake them cookies and walk around looking for cool rocks and bugs. I so miss that I could walk out the back door and hop into my car and drive away…to anywhere and wherever. I had such an optimistic and bright view of the world and although many tragedies had taken place in my life I was still able to see the good and to be grateful for any little thing. I want that person back and yet that is the woman who can’t handle this body and this life and the harshness of Alaska and it’s people. I thought I was strong then and maybe I was but I’m just not now and honestly it pisses me off. I feel like I need a hand, a step up and darn break…and yet I know it’s not going to come from this place or these people or myself in these surroundings. It’s just so frustrating and I don’t know what to do so I just pray and ask the Lord to guide me and sometimes I imagine that even He is tired of me and my requests and my poor outlook on the future and life in general. I’ve felt Him leading me my entire life and yet today I feel as if I can’t feel Him or hear Him and I wonder what is going on in my world that the Lord seems so distant when He’s been my constant companion for forty-plus years. I need to get moving and get better so I can get up and do what needs to be done. I don’t belong here. It’s been an awful couple of days and I know that it shows in every aspect of who I am….my face, my attitude, my responses to people around me…the way I’m loving and being loved in return. Something is just not right in the world right now and I find myself right now again asking the Lord to take me home. My real home…to live with him and to be able to put all of this to rest. I just want to be…to live without physical and mental pain. No tricks. No lies. No deceptions or backstabbing. No anger or hatred. I want beauty and peace and to be with people who love me as I love them. Sounds like Heaven to me.

 

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…I don’t know…

 

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Hells Canyon Idaho/Washington border (2015)

You know how it is; you look at a picture and you can remember everything about that exact moment…the smell and sounds of your environment…how you were feeling and even what took place later on that same day. I do that with this picture of us, and this is just one of at least 500. I’m a big picture-taker. I pretty much document every single day of my life at least once a day but most of the time numerous times a day. I recently sent the pictures from my current phone to my PC and there were 17,000 pictures to move over. I’ve not even had this phone for a year yet. I think sometimes that I just really love life and the world and I never want to forget…anything, no matter how good or bad it is. This particular picture is a good memory and today it makes me sad but I love it. I enjoy remembering days in my life that were splendid. I’ve had so many and I feel extremely grateful for that. My life has been good. Beautiful. The last few years have not been so awesome, but it’ll come back eventually: my beautiful life.

I have so many things going on right now…my closest cousin, who is truly my cousins child which makes her my second cousin, is the only one in my family near my age. As I’ve said before my dad was the last of seven kids and I am the last of his four children so my closest cousin, Mel….her grandpa was my dad’s oldest brother. This is why we are two generations apart yet the same age…she is 47 and I am 48. When we were teens in Kodiak we spent a lot of time together as her dad(my cousin) and my dad were very close. They’d visit and her and I would hang out and run around and be teenagers together and I basically just truly love her. She’s the only member of my extended family that I know in person as a matter of fact. All of our other family lives on the east coast and I haven’t lived east of Utah since I was 13 years old. So, she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She was being treated for Bronchitis and it wouldn’t clear up and then they discovered cancerous lesions in her lungs, similar to skin cancer (carcinoma) but on the outside layer of her lungs. She’s been in the hospital for 11 days getting radiation. As a matter of fact her mom just sent me a text as I was writing this and said that Mel is going to go home today. That’s great news and I’m so happy that she is seeing an upturn as this has been an extremely hard time for her and I haven’t been being the cousin and friend that I should’ve been being…during this hospital stay or before. I get so caught up in my own issues and get so low that I just can’t bring myself to socialize. I hate trying to act normal or like I’m breezy and happy when every minute is just tortuous for me, physically and mentally. It’s selfish and I know it but I also know that I do so much in my life that is not even remotely selfish that I just let myself have this one. I let my anxiety and depression decide when I voluntarily go visit people. Probably not the right thing to do but I do it anyways. I’m tired of being strong. Just completely wiped out and am trying my best to just hang on and take life day by day.

Besides Mel being sick, and my own spinal diseases…my medical procedures….My oldest daughter is getting ready to have a baby any day now. This beautiful blessing of grandchildren is the most amazing and gracious thing the Lord has ever given me. I completely adore my grandchildren. She will be number five. The second granddaughter for me. I’d love to have ten or fifteen grandkids hahahaha, but I only have two children so I probably won’t get that many. I can probably count on still being fairly young when I become a great grandma. My oldest grandson is 11 now and in 20 years I’ll be 68…so….there is plenty of time left in my life to have grandbabies. I ridiculously love being a grandma and those children are without any doubt my most favorite people alive in the world today. I’ve been mentally preparing myself to leave Rick behind and go back to my family and that’s why I keep sitting down to write. It’s like I don’t want to actually go to the place in my heart that needs to write about this part of my life, so I just ramble on about everything else as well as nothing. I’ll miss the birth of my fifth grandbaby and this will be the first time that I haven’t been there. I watched my first two grandsons actually come into the world…oh my goodness I cried so much…such a beautiful experience. The youngest boy…well I was watching the big boys when he was born but we went in the room as soon as he was born…my two other grandsons and I so we got to all experience him in all of his newborn glory. He’s a great little toddler now. He’s the easiest child I’ve ever been near…so happy and easy to please. Then came my granddaughter, the first child of my youngest daughter. Amazing little silly-pants. I was in the waiting room when she was born. I didn’t get to experience her actual birth. I wouldn’t expect my daughters to do anything other than what makes them completely comfortable and happy in such a huge time in their lives, so I was ok waiting outside the room. She has brought much love and silliness into our family, good grief she is a beautiful kind hearted little love. And now there will be another baby girl and every time the phone rings I think it’s my girl calling to tell me she’s at the hospital. I wish I could be there.

I do know that when I leave here and leave “us” behind that I have to have it in my head that this is all real and there is no turning back. If I hold on to him even slightly I won’t be able to be present for my family, and if I’m going to be with them I want to be fully present the same as I used to be when my life was normal and happy. It’s tough right now because I’m here and he’s here and I feel as if he’s not taking it seriously; he’s thinking that I’m just being quiet or trying to punish him or whatever kind of thoughts go though his mind. I don’t know. I thought I knew him. That’s what’s so tough. In our pictures we’re happy and it looks legit. We have hundreds of pictures from the last two years and in every one of them we look happy. We look like we love each other. And although I have all of this other stuff going on in my life right now…this is what my mind is having a hard time with. Love is an important part of my life. Even more-so because I’m such a loner and I tend to not let people get close to me. When I let someone in, and as far into my heart that he is…it becomes a major thing in my life. And this has been major and ending it is huge and I hate it and I wish he’d make some sort of move to stop it. The day that he let her back into his life I lost him. It’s like when he heard her voice a switch got flipped and he took off into ugly land and hasn’t returned. I’ve talked and cried and thought and pondered and…everything I know to do trying to figure it out. He has issues from his past experiences and I’ve known that from day one. We worked for an entire year on getting him to a place in his own mind where he could relax and be happy and show kindness and love again. It all got erased when he talked to her on the phone. It’s very hurtful and I can’t believe that I’m even writing about it because it truly causes my heart to just ache and tears to spring up in my eyes and this is why I can’t stay.

The things that I’ve heard about her are not good. The things I hear from everyone, and I do truly mean every single person from out small hometown who knows her. Not one person has a good word to say about this woman. I’ve even given her the benefit of the doubt and tried to keep an open mind in regards to the kind of person that she is. I tried to tell myself that if he loved her there must’ve been something there that maybe other’s didn’t see. Now I understand that her being unable to relate to other people is what draws him to her. That and she presents herself as a victim in every circumstance in her life and apparently men really like this and like to be the super hero and save women. I don’t know though as he won’t really talk about it anymore. Not since the betrayal that took place. It doesn’t make any kind of sense to me…all I’ve heard about her from him is bad, horrible stuff. I’m not the kind of woman that likes to tear down other women. I have many times tried to understand why she is the way she is and when he has told me the horrible things I’ve tried to actually make excuses for her. I’m just dumb and compassionate that way…always so concerned with other people and trying to figure out why people do what they do. But this woman…she got him into serious trouble with the Dept. of Corrections by smoking and keeping weed in their apartment. He doesn’t smoke but she does and he is still paying for her actions today in his life with me. He used to leave their home and go sleep in his car. He still has the blanket that he bought for the car and I’ve heard the stories even from his own family members about how he’d drive up the mountain and sleep just to get away from her. She has four different children from who knows how many different men and one being his own cousin, yes they shared a girl (nice). I’ve heard about these young men hitting her and assaulting her and the crazy loud and chaotic household they all lived in during their five years of being together. He’s told me that he sometimes hated to even look at her and that everything from her coughing fits in the morning to her loud open-mouthed chewing pushed him to the brink every day. He told me that he explained to everyone that he ‘quote’ “Was just riding it until the wheels fell off” in regards to their marriage and the two of us often thanked the Lord for finally getting him out of a situation like that.

So then two years later while I’m out of town a text from her and then 30 minutes of video chatting and hours of messaging turns him into this ugly negative man who doesn’t seem to care if I stay or go. When I discovered his indiscretion, in the midst of it happening, I was beyond flipped out and I thought that we fixed it because by now I thought that we were an “us”. I thought our relationship was us and that it was beautiful and I even understood in a weird sort of psychological way how the entire thing happened. When we talked in the days between that happening and me coming back I felt as if we’d decided that he’d been an idiot and together we would work through it and although it completely tore at my heart I was willing to come back and be us again. And I did. And I’ve tried. And it hasn’t worked. She called again and messaged again and he lied about the phone calls, albeit he didn’t answer them yet he did lie about who he was not answering the phone to. There was another big fiasco and she kept calling and I started screaming and I told him to answer the fu**ing phone!!! So he did and he put her on speaker and he told her that he wasn’t leaving me and she went into a five minute long one sided dialog about what a victim she is and how he does so many things to her that aren’t right and how she believes that he and I were together before she walked out of their marriage which is not even close to being true as I was living in Idaho and he was here in Alaska. So she wasn’t going to stop talking but when she paused to get her breath I said her name and she flipped out and hung up. It was quite the morning…let me tell you. Not one of my most favorite moments in life. Later in the day we went for a drive and I asked him if he felt like he finally got some closure, because this was his unending excuse when it came to her…he needed real closure. So he said yeah, it’s closed. And proceeded to act as if I am not even here with him in this apartment anymore. I mean we interact but at about the level of room mates who aren’t friendly with each other much. And Since I returned and more so after the last phone call I’ve wandered around the apartment talking to myself and trying to convince my parakeet to be my best friend. Day after day he sits there messing with his phone doing God only knows what. I talk…nothing. I ask him a question…nothing. Sometimes throughout the days he interacts with me but usually not. And it started to get to me and my mind started wandering and it seemed as if he were sulking, like perhaps he was mad because I’d made him talk to her like that. He has continuously said that he doesn’t want to be mean to her. In my mind I’m thinking…why is it ok to be mean to me? I’m not the one being sneaky. I didn’t smoke weed and get him in trouble. I don’t make him go sleep in the car. I came back after he lied and betrayed me just to make his ex wife happy. And the worst part is that when I want him to understand this he gets really angry and either ignores me for days as a punishment or argues loudly with me about my inability to accept the past…or that I’m jealous of her…or that I’m thinking too much. Anything but…I’m sorry that I let you down. I’m sorry that I hurt you and what can I do to make it better. Somehow in his mind all of this is my fault and I should just let it go by the wayside and be happy. And you know what’s truly awful is that I would. I was trying to let it go. He doesn’t understand that his total switch in character is the reason why it’s still here. Haunting me. And by now I know that we can’t go back. He won’t react to me like he does to her because I refuse to be a victim. I have actually been the victim here and I still refuse to play that role. I guess he can go save her again and they can have their chaotic life together again.

I don’t want this. I need to do this. For myself, for my heart…so that I can heal and become the happy woman I was before I felt his love and lost it.

 

 

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