The rest of the story…

27 06 2013

Everyone who knows me knows that I have been raped, and knows very personally how damaged I have been by it.  Few know the other side, because it took a lot of digging for me to get it:  It was so that I had the answers that I needed, not for anyone else.

Now I have been sucked in to this story that I found and the wave of opinions that followed, and I think its worth the telling.

Over a decade ago I moved back to the town I was raped in.  It had been a long time since I had lived there and little was familiar anymore.  The bar where we hung out was there but repainted and under another name.

That lonely street it was on had become a business district so little else looked the same.  My daughter lived in a new apartment complex just a bit further up the street so that I had to drive right past it to see her.   The first few times I could barely drive past without being sick, but it wasn’t long till it began to be just a part of the neighborhood she lived in.

We were out together in her car one day and I had this over whelming need to go looking for where I had been raped.  I hadn’t thought about it at all in a long time but that day I was driven by the feeling it had to be done right then.

My Daughter looked at me a bit worried, but took me where I asked her to.  It was miles out that road and I had only been there that one night over a decade before.  Didn’t know if I could even find it.  Then I saw it in the distance and the knot in my stomach said that we had to turn back, that was all the further I could go.

A long time past without a thought about it, when again I felt this overwhelming need to be there.  Again I was with my Daughter.  This time it was late and we drove right up to where it was.

The business was closed and almost looked abandoned.  We got out and climbed though the fence and looked around.  I looked in a window and the bed where I was raped was still there just as it had been years before.  That seemed to be enough and I let it go.

The last time we went there I had been obsessed with thoughts all day that I had to go there and called my Daughter.  She said that she would go with me.  This time we went when the business would be open.  I wanted to see him.  To know how he was.

We walked in the door and the man at the counter was not familiar at all.  He was waiting on a customer, so I looked around the room till there was no one left but the two of us.  On the wall by the door were a bunch of pictures posted on a pin-up board and one of them was Doug.

Seeing that face was painful and I was glad when I could get a moment alone with the guy at the counter.  I asked for Doug and he said, “There is no one here by that name”.  I told him that was his picture there on the wall and he said “ohhh, yea he died a few years back just before I started working here.”

I thanked him and he went back to working and as I was leaving I had this need to have that picture.  I grabbed it off the board as I left.  I was crying as I got into the car and showed it to my Daughter.  “MOM, I can’t believe you stole that picture!”  I didn’t know why but I knew I needed it.

That night I scanned it and put it on my computer.  It brought up a whole ton of feelings I had long forgotten so I just spent the night processing them all.  The next morning I went to take the picture back and talk to the guy at the counter and see if he knew any thing more.

When I came in this time no one was there and the same man was behind the counter.   I told him what I did and apologized for taking the photo.   “I’m sure that you can keep it, it seems to mean more to you than it would to anyone here”.

I told him I needed to know what happened to him.  “He was good friends with the mechanic down the street and was married I think.”   Here is the guys card.  I’m sure he would be happy to meet a friend of Doug’s and talk to you if you wished.

This time I couldn’t let it go.  I called the number on the card, to speak to this man who knew Doug so well.  “It’s funny how you should call now”, he said, “Yesterday was his birthday”.   “He committed suicide 3 years ago.”  He gave me the number of Doug’s wife, and said if I would like to come by and talk I was welcome to do so anytime.

I hung up and called her number and gave her my name.  She knew that I had been a friend of Doug’s but she didn’t seem to know  much more about me.  She said she loved him very much but that “he seemed a haunted man”.  “It was hard to get him to leave his room, then finally one day he just ended his life and left her and her daughter to deal with the loss”.

It isn’t every guy that will carry a shit load of guilt for getting away with what he did.  I am positive that this one did.  I think HE was the driving force that kept bringing me back there.  I think he needed to work it through as well.

I know Doug didn’t just go on like nothing happened.  I wasn’t the only victim that night.  I wrote a few poems and processed the grief for a while and have pretty much left it at praying that he finally has peace.  I know that after this that I did.

Advertisements




We still don’t know how to deal with victims of Rape.

26 06 2013

This Morning I came across a picture of a child at Disney with the Headline “It happened to me: I was raped at Disney World and nobody cared”   IF you read the story the woman was not a child at the time and WASN’T RAPED AT DISNEY!

I had a very visceral reaction to the fact that they would post something so libelous.  The site routinely posts supposed first person accounts all the time under the subtitle of “It Happened To Me”.    I was extremely offended that anyone would do that!
What about free speech???  Doesn’t this person have a right to say what she feels happened no matter how inappropriate her blaming Disney was?  Yes she does and without the headline and photo the story was fine, but no one would care to read it.

The unfortunate fact is that I really feel that most people seeing that headline wouldn’t bother, yet that photo and headline will make an impression that will fuel their doubts about the safety of Disney World.

OK that was my first reaction but I have had days of reaction time now and can’t seem to let this go.  I am not the victim and I have no ties to Disney.   I am a rape survivor.  This person needs privately counseled in a way that helps her work through what happened, not further exploited.

In the post She is randomly assigning blame and it does nothing to help her situation.  It is clear from the account that she hasn’t sorted through her issues, and that nothing posted will bring about any real change in how people see victims.
As a society we often blame rape victims for their own predicament. I don’t want to imply that this woman was in any way guilty for what happened to her, nor for how she was treated afterword, but she is not getting what she needs from most of the posts people have left on that website.Now that I have spent some time there I hope that she never goes there at all.

There is a flood of posts that I think are just to flame people and keep some kind of interchange going between themselves and anyone they can engage to start a flame war with.

Wow…that people would out of boredom or some warped need of their own to be noticed say hurtful horrible damaging things just is beyond my comprehension.  It’s damaging beyond belief to someone in the mist of trying to sort through the blame and guilt they are dealing with after a rape.  I want to shake them and make them look at the damage they are doing and ask them if its really worth it!  Sadly I do believe that there are people that exist and can’t see beyond themselves to care about anyone else.

There is a camp of people out there that really are trying to change society’s view of victims.  Then we have those who would like to but just don’t know how.  The best place to learn is from those who make it their life’s work at the Rape Advocacy centers.

I really feel that this local Rape center needs to work with Disney so that if anyone has problems in the future, that they feel comfortable having them contact someone at the rape center FIRST, so that they get an advocate immediately to help them work through all the issues they will face.

The Rape Advocacy center in Orlando may have to do some major work to get Disney to trust them enough to do that but IT IS CRITICAL to the emotional welfare of these woman that they get that support.

Rape Victims are horrible at self avocation!  Most often their thinking is clouded by self-doubt and feelings of complicity.  It takes time to process those feelings and that compounds what happened.  They need support.

People’s attitudes about rape haven’t changed enough, and the person that’s been raped is in the best position to help change them, but NOT ALONE.

Very few people raped have been trained in how best to deal with people who are not supportive.  Advocates at these centers HAVE BEEN, and the more they are used and seen out in the community the more respect people will have for the victims.

If you have been Raped these centers are the best first contact you can have.  Call the hotline.  They even have a national toll free number who help you find the center near you.

Rape Crisis Hotline 1-888-956-RAPE (7273)

They will support you through the process.

They will help you figure out what to do next and know where to go in your area, to get you the help you need.  Just as important is the fact that budget cuts are a consistent threat and if victims don’t use the service it will cease to be an option in the future.





Who is to blame?

26 06 2013

This a repeated theme in my life lately and I am finding that people who have been traumatized are often not capable of figuring it out.  I am wondering what is the best way to help them process what happens so that this blanket of blame and guilt doesn’t impede their progress.

Also this whole process of assigning blame seems to be counter productive to me.  First off the first person EVERYONE wants to blame … including the victim themselves is often the victim.  That only compounds the damage from what has happened to them.

There is definitely a feeling that someone has to pay for what has been done … When a crime has been committed isn’t that the goal?  Look around lately and I am not sure getting the perpetrator off the street so that our streets are safe is even a possible outcome anymore.

We have to find a better way of dealing with crime.  What we do isn’t working.   What if we when ever you did something wrong we posted your picture on a community web page with the crimes you committed… so people knew to keep an eye on you.  Everyone everywhere would be responsible for keeping you honest instead of a prison system.

Really wasn’t this how we kept people in line before?  We all knew each other … EVERYONE knew everything about everyone and shamed them into behaving.

I would say yes but that wouldn’t work anymore.

When it did work we KNEW each other.  We knew everything…the good and the bad.  Yes you knew Toby stole, but we also knew it was because his parents were drunk all the time and ignored the fact that he was hungry.

We would make you really uncomfortable for a while … but all in all we basically would forgive you and let you go on living without the constant reminder that you screwed up, eventually.

Every human in the community you lived in really decided for themselves how long they would remember…and if it seemed too extreme there would always be those who would stand with you and keep you from bearing the weight of it alone.

We don’t know each other any more.  How do we resolve things now?

Maybe we should focus more on the positive and shine more light there.  When people do something good why doesn’t that make the news where others can acknowledge it openly?  Maybe that would encourage others to do something good as well.  Maybe just maybe this could change people’s programmed negativity.  It would make this world a bit brighter and easier to live in.





Change your thoughts to change your life.

22 06 2013

One of the effects of healing is that my world has opened up immensely.  Being wrapped in pain really keeps your focus at a pin point where it is impossible to know that there is a bigger ANYTHING then the pain you’re in.

I can see major mental shifts in my life and am a personal witness to the fact that the Universe responds to that shift.  Like the fact that the first time I knew that I would never let anyone hit me again: I didn’t have to learn how to defend myself, because it stopped being an issue.

2002 was the first time anyone snapped at me and I realized that I hadn’t done anything to cause it.  Wow.  What a concept.  It took years but that thought finally globalized into “if I am not guilty for every bad thing that’s happened to me, then I deserve good things to happen to me as well”.

The big story here is NOW THEY JUST DO.

Early on in my life I felt helpless to change anything.   Only now do I see that there are REAL effects in my life that have come from the mental changes in me.

Change your thoughts, change your life has been a life long chant for some people.  People who have made a living telling others that this was the way things work in this life and that you too can tap into it.  Can anyone just tap into it?  I finally believe WE CAN.

I am doing it and I want to scream out to those that are just behind me.  YOU CAN!  I am flailing about so you may not want to follow me but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so you can try some of the things that I know have worked.

You can change you focus.  Stop looking at the things that keep you down and look around.

Challenge your old ways of thinking in every way you can.   You are Blessed.  You have the internet at your finger tips!  Read as much as you can.

Seminars!  They are designed to tweak the way we’re thinking.   They can take time and money but for now at least there are still internet sites that offer them free.   Google TED talks and spend time checking out everything that interests you.

Keep track of how you’re doing.   Diary’s are great as they let you look back and see where you were and how far you have come but any kind of recording process will do it.  Use photos, graphs, charts, home movies, anything that makes sense with the goal you have, to chart your progress so that you can see it.

Find some way to be tangibly grateful for what you have.  Prayer is a wonderful way if you have a God to pray to, but anyone can give thanks directly to the things that gave up their lives, so that they could live.

There is a belief that thanking water before you drink it changes its molecular structure into something more nourishing to your body and they do have ways to see that change.

Thanking flowers for the beauty they add to your life has been shown to make measurable changes in how they grow.  There is power in your thoughts and releasing positive thoughts into your own environment will allow you to see it.

Your attention has the power to bring about what you focus on.  Keep perfecting your vision of what success looks like to you.  Add that to your newly expanded field of vision and you will get a lot closer to having it.

Everything needs attention and just the act giving something your’s does change it.   Those who have been here, help to keep me motivated in my own personal struggle to thrive:  Thank You for being one of them.





Confessions of a Grooveshark Junky…

13 06 2013

I though “Crimson and Clover”was the most beautiful song alive.  I would lay on the floor with a speaker on each side of my head, and listen in awe as the music shifted from one side to the other.  It was one of my first experiences with STEREO sound!  Most of my records were passed down by my parents and all mono till then.  I had a “stereo”, but you couldn’t experience that sound without a stereo record!

I have one real addiction in my old age, Grooveshark.  All my music is on cassettes.  I discovered that not everything is replaceable  when I went out looking for a new one to replace the stereo from my grandfather.   It had begun to eat my tapes.  You know you can’t buy a decent cassette player anymore!

Somewhere in a plastic grocery sack, in a box, in a storage unit, in California, is my cassette collection, complete with about 20 personal recordings of my own family, that will never be played again.  Oh well.  Such is life.  It was more heartbreaking then when I discovered I could no longer buy 126 film for my camera that was literally glued to my right hand till then.

Anyway I found myself alone for the first time in my life only about 5 years ago.  I left my husband.  I had my clothes and my computer, and a tiny apartment on the second floor of a converted building that was once a flour mill.

I borrowed camping gear from my kids till I could get some furniture.  I bought two bath towels and 2 knives, forks, and spoons from the open stock at Walmart.  I cooked in the same pot that I ate out of and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

I had 2 camp chairs so I could have company and that was it.  My apartment echoed for the whole first month because I had to save every last penny I earned to pay off the deposit that my landlord graciously let me move in without paying.

It was then that I discovered Grooveshark.  There were several versions of it but it took me no time at all to realize that laying on my stomach on the bare wood floor for hours picking out music wasn’t working for me, so Grooveshark was it.  I am up to 10 playlists to fit my every mood now, and this is what has made me the junky that I am.

I have all my favorites from when I first discovered music in my teens on one.  I have all the country that my mother loved and those old fifty’s tunes of my fathers that I grew up with on others.  I have my workout music, and my suicidal music, dish washing music some clasical, some jazz, 80’s hits, and a whole list of odd ball stuff I have collected that I can’t put a heading on.  Pat Metheny, Alanis Morissette, Dan Hicks, and Nils Molvaer couldn’t have less in common but their all on that list!

My best friend lived right next door and often brought me coffee in the mornings.  She would sit with me and listen and talk for hours some days and we made her up a list so we could play her favorites when she was there.

Tommie was just a few years older than I, and we didn’t listen to a lot of the same stuff, but she knew music.  You could say a few lines and she could tell you what the song was, what year it came out and who did it.  When she wasn’t around I would remember a few words and have to type them into Google, so that I could add it to one of my lists.  We spent a lot of our hours together just remembering all the music we ever loved and sharing it with each other.

When I wasn’t at work, back in that empty apartment it was all I had; just me and the music.  I would lay on that sleeping bag and crank it up.  In just a few seconds I would be whisked away.  With one song I would be 11 again, laying on the diving board enjoying the sun and the calm of my Aunts pool just getting a tan.  With another I would be crying out all the pain my heart was hanging on to with long choking sobs.  With others I would be heart to heart right next to my parents, both gone for years now.

For three years I lived in that apartment and I never got used to living alone.  I hated every minute when someone else wasn’t there, and it seemed like it would never end.  The music often went all night long.  One of my first acquisitions when I started buying things were a set of headphones so that I could crank it up without disturbing Alice downstairs.

One day I just decided I couldn’t do it anymore.  Living alone wasn’t for me and I went about changing my life, yet again.  Now here I am living in Florida, over 2000 miles away from my kids, my friend and everything I knew then.

Funny thing that playlist of my best friends picks has become my favorite list now; and it always takes me right back there to the two of us having coffee and Groovesharking music together.

This one is for you Tommie!  “It’s My Life”  Heart to Heart again.





Flashbacks

12 06 2013

window

It’s late on a Thursday night in 1991 when the ambulance brings me into the back entrance and they take me inside.   The sound of the door is heavy and metallic clanging shut behind us.  They show me to a small bare white room with only a sink, a toilet and a bare mattress.

I curl up on the mattress and can’t sleep the words sticking my haid wrong wrong wrong wrong head and scaring me.  stop stop stop stop malfunction lockup lockup lockup lockup lockup … long animal like screams coming from other rooms…terrify me.

He is there “please, please, please, don’t, send, a man, in here!” … I am under the sink and won’t come out and cry; He returns again and again so that is where I stay.

This and the screaming go on late into the night.  Several cycles of me sleeping intermittently between the visits where he seems as uncomfortable as I am with his presence there.  They keep tormenting us both by sending him in again and again.

Time passes and I can’t stand my teeth.  I am tormented as much by them as by the men they keep sending into my room.  They just stand inside the door.  Out, out outoutoutoutoutoutout!, I scream at him.  But they don’t move.  When I turn and face the wall quiet he finally leaves.

The next one is just a kid and looks as scared as I am and I feel sorry for him.  We just stay in our assigned places till the time has passed and he too is allowed to leave.

I scramble back to my mattress and try again to sleep.  Words words words words…the chanter guy comes back and mumbles over the top of them so that i don’t hear them any more.

It must be getting close to morning as the screaming is back.  Long wild monkey wails of grief and torment.  ”48 hour hold”.  I can do this,  but then it is the weekend and no one comes; NO ONE.

I am alone for how long;  I don’t know.  I sleep till I can sleep no more and drink water from the sink.  The lights are always on and I can’t tell the day from the night.  The screams come and go and I am left alone.

My teeth are making me crazy and no one has been here for a very long time.  It is quiet again.  I try the door and it opens.

I hadn’t seen anything when I came in.  The fear was shutting me down.  Now I look out and mine is the first door in a long hall next to the nurses station.  A small square room with windows on all sides with the one that has a pass through and a metal vented circle to speak through on my side.

A much larger room surrounds it  with lots of chairs and a TV up in the corner high up on the wall.

The floor is brown with a path of cream tiles going all around the outside of the room just one tile space from the walls.  No one is out and I think if I stay on the cream tiles it is safe.

I slip out the door and walk that safe path to the window and whisper to the nurse.  ”may I have a toothbrush please?”  She makes me repeat it and it is almost more than I can do.  The tired weighs down on me again and the need to go back to my room.

She can see that it is hard for me and steps out and presses one into my hands.  It is cheep, white, and wrapped in cellophane with a small envelope of pink powder.

Suddenly there are people moving everywhere, someone brings me a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk I forget to follow the path and let them lead me to a table where I can sit down to eat.

For the first time since I came I realize that I am hungry.   I have no idea how long its been since I have eaten.  I manage a thank you but other than that we don’t speak.  When I am done I ask to go back to my room.

Now there is a problem: The table is in the middle of the room.  I don’t remember leaving the white trail of tiles against the wall but am suddenly very anxious about it.  Just do it; there is no other way!

I take several big steps and get back to the wall and am breathing hard when I get there.  Now I can safely make my way around the room to the corner, turn, then to the first wall of the nurses station, turn, to the corner, turn, to the corner, turn, carefully retracing the path back to my room.

When I step inside I am unsure that this is the room I left.  Sink and toilet are in the same place but now there is a cot so that the mattress is up off the floor and there are crisp clean white sheets, a blanket and a pillow on it.

I went to the sink, wet the brush and poured the pink powder into my palm and rubbed the brush into it.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my teeth until they returned to their normal state of smoothness.

The sheets smell of bleach and it is such a comfort to slip between them that in moment I am sound asleep… but as I do I get it…They offered me nothing till I made some request.  I did something right and this was my reward.

Monday comes and the therapist has me brought to his office.  They have extended my 48 hour hold “my behavior is to bizarre, to return me to the general population”.  I cry as they take me back to my room.  It is clear they can keep me as long as I don’t conform to what they want from me.

I am assigned a psychiatrist.  He asks what medications they have given me in the past and I tell him that everyone wants to give me Lithium and that I hate it because it makes me feel drugged.  I tell him my Dr’s keep telling me its only a salt and CAN’T do that.

He says IF you need Lithium you feel nothing when you take it, but if a normal person takes Lithium they feel drugged.  Finally I feel heard.  I have found someone who listens and will work with me to fix this.

He is trying me on some medication.  I take it the first few times but don’t like it’s effects and begin to refuse to take it.  I get called back into his office and he says he will change it.

Now I am lucid in my mind but my body is stiff and robotic.  I feel the drool from the side of my mouth and can only imagine what I must look like.  I grieve for what I have become…this shell of a person that can’t function or interact with others in any tangible way.

I get it.  I feel angry and tricked.  I have a right to refuse but they can do worse.  I will do what ever he wants.  Get me off this and out of here.  I can’t be this anymore.

Once I start to co-operate I am off the locked ward and sharing a room with someone else.  My roommate tries to cut her wrist with a safety razor, I am thinking of ways to remove the blade from the plastic but say nothing.  She is an idiot.

I ask for something to draw on and am given a rather nice flip book of blank paper and some pencils.  I am beyond grateful for the gift.

Now I am required to go to group.  There are men in the group.  The first day they confront me about my behavior when I was first admitted.  I tell them I was afraid.  Of what?  I say “I don’t know”.

The groups facilitator is quiet a moment like he is thinking about that.  Then he says.  ”I believe that”.  ”I really believe that you don’t know” and he moves on to the next person.

Every day I take my drugs.  I go to meals, and to our exercise periods, and I go to group.  Other than that I lay on my bed and draw.  I think about my children and wonder what they know.

Some how I let it out that i have been raped in one of those groups.  I don’t even know when or how.  I just know that one day I am in a group with a guy who has been in them with me before and he is talking about “going down to the boulevard and picking them sweet young strawberries.”WP_003086

I ask him what he means, and he says he picks up underage girls that will trade sex for drugs.  I totally lose it then and think I will rip his hair out, I am screaming as they pull me from the room and He is saying “I ain’t the one who raped you bitch! “

That night I am dreaming that I am sitting on my bed and there are lots of pills on the night table.   I am sliding them off and taking them one at a time saying “I don’t want to go home”.  ”I don’t want to go home”, and taking another and another.

They don’t make me go to group anymore.

I have been in almost 2 months when I am called in for a long conference with the psychiatrist who has been prescribing my drugs.  He tells me they are thinking of letting me go home and I break down and cry.

He asks about the side effects of the drugs they have been giving me lately and I tell him that I don’t notice them anymore.  I feel good.  In fact that this is the first time anyone has given me anything that seemed like it really helped.  They give me one months supply of med’s and release me to go home.

For the first three days I am curled up on the couch when I am not asleep I pretend that I am so that I don’t have to deal with anyone, till I realize that no one will push me.  I can do what I can and rest when I must.

Finally I begin to do what I used to do.  I wake up and clean and help with homework and we learn what it is to be a family again.  In a short time I go back to work.  At first its clear they are watching me but before long they forget to do so and everything is normal again.

I have my life back and that is more than I ever hoped for just 2 short months ago.





“It’s the job that’s never started…

11 06 2013

as takes longest to finish”.  JRR Tolkien   Yesterday I started again.  Today I got up and worked out on my Total Gym.  Both times I could feel my body responding in positive ways.

I feel the determination build for me getting back to being healthy, but shortly after the first few days of built up determination pass find myself without the motivation I need to continue to fight my own unwillingness to do it anymore.

I though the magic was in my Total Gym.  It’s here, its set up and when I get on it, my body feels challenged. The memory of what I do is still there.  My workouts still feel smooth and I move through it without much thought, but then a morning comes where I just don’t get on it, and its done.

I had no end goal before.  I wanted my body strong and capable and healthy.  The last time my determination then was caused by the fact that I saw people my age loosing their ability to get around and giving in to it, and I had a limp.

I let myself get close to 250 lbs and my body wouldn’t carry that weight anymore.  I had problems climbing even just a few steps, having to pull with my arms as well to navigate them.  I had to fight back.

Several times I have hit that place, but my Mother has been there pushing me.  This was the first time I did it all on my own.  I saw myself losing my ability to walk and fought back, but I am not there now.

I am not at the fitness level I was when I got here but there are no real limitations to what I feel like I can do.  The older I get the more I have to work to keep my weight at a level that feels healthy.

I am not my size.  I only compete with myself.  The paint brush is in my hand, I have to create with it or this will be just another wasted canvas.  Normally when I start working out the pounds drop off but once I turned 50 that changed.  When I fought my way back the last time it was months before I lost a size: I felt physically better and more capable just the same.

How did I get there before?  I just did it.  I knew what I wanted and every day I started toward that goal again.  Some days I couldn’t do it, but they got fewer and fewer as time went on till the times I didn’t do it were rare occurrences, and I WAS DOING IT.

Just DO IT.  That is what it means.  Don’t think about doing it.  Jump in and start and do it till its done.  No more excuses.  No more depression.  No more thinking it over.  I KNOW it’s really what I want.  Its time to just do it, again.





Trip to do list.

9 06 2013

“There has been a growing amount of fear for my taking this trip building within my family.  There are a few that have tried to talk me out of it but they fall further from that goal then the ones who try to be supportive but show the strain of the stress of their fear.

My Granddaughter is one of those.  She is building anxiety that she will never see me again, to the point that at School her teacher sat her down and helped her figure out just how long it will take me to get across the country by bike.

She is only 10 and she loves me with an unfailing heart like no one else on this planet.  I can’t ignore her fears, so tomorrow I leave to fly back to Oregon.  It ate my budget but I am placing myself and my dreams in Gods hands and doing what I need to do for this child.”

If your here often you know that was months ago.   My going back to Oregon was a necessary thing but nothing went as I planned.  With in 3 days I was ill and stayed ill for most of the first month.   My croupy cough only ended when I came back to Florida.
Oregon has felt like home since the first day my feet touched that soil.  Somehow over the last 2 years that changed.   I spent time with those I love.  That was why I went and that’s what I did, but I felt stuck in a waiting game where my life would not restart till I left.
I am here now and getting my land legs back.  I am home.  Its time to get my butt back to work and do something with the life I have been given.  This is my home as well and I have missed it.  It’s nice to be back.
Sincerely, SB




I’m up early…

6 06 2013

and sitting by the window watching the fog lift on our back yard.  As I lay in bed for over an hour this morning going over what the day would bring, I was looking for that first glimpse of light that would signal it had arrived.  Finally, tired of waiting got up to find that it was here but obstructed by the haze.

I came to WordPress looking to make a separate life for myself from the world that I find myself in and the move was a good one.  I find I don’t just come here to write but to read and it’s become a place of inspiration and encouragement.  I have several blogs that I follow now and add more daily.   If you weed carefully through the sites that are clearly here for self promotion you find blooms of extraordinary value.

I forget sometimes that this identity crisis that I am going through is pretty normal for people my age, and way past expected for what I just did!   I have ended a long term relationship; my children have all moved on; I have moved clear across the country leaving loved ones, pets, and all my possessions behind; I am going through “the change” and I don’t have a job!

Top that off with the fact that I shaved my head and for so long didn’t recognize the person that I saw in the mirror and it’s no wonder at all that I felt a bit crazy!  I get wrapped up in the fact that my own stuff compounds it, but boy oh boy is this normal!

Daily exercise was something that took me years to incorporate into my life and I just seemed to let go of it when I got here.  I thought picking it back up when I was ready would be easy as I have so much time now to do it, but it has turned into more of a challenge then I thought.

It was kind of funny to experience that first day as it was several days coming, and just to finally get to it, I was having to yell at myself every minute like I was a small child not wanting to get ready for school.  “I don’t care that you don’t want to … YOU HAVE TO… just DO IT!”   The second day was easier and today before my eyes even opened I was feeling around for my ball to work out with.

I am still only doing a few exercises every morning but I know myself well enough to know I will do more and more as I feel my body getting stronger.  I do love working out.  I am surprised that I have to let my body discover that again and again.   Someday every part of me will know this and I won’t have to try so hard to keep at it.

Sometimes we think we need a closet full of shoes…when just one boot will do.

Speaking of time… I have a huge awareness of the fact that I have so much of it that I can really experience so many things that I have missed since I was a child.  Once I had children of my own it was easy to feel overwhelmed by all that had to be done each day, and not take a moment to really feel and enjoy just being alive.

I lived next to a church steeple once and it was the only clock I had at the time.  I loved hearing it chime.  While I was walking down town yesterday it turned 2 o’clock.  I was in the very center of town and could hear several Church clocks chiming at once.  I can’t tell you how blessed I felt just sitting there experiencing that moment.  I experienced total heartfelt joy just existing in that point and time.

Writing what I am grateful for was also on my to do list, and today that was mine.





Virtual Dating and other realities.

5 06 2013

There are some realities about caring for a family member that having a computer has made so much easier.  Shopping on line is one of them.  I have even shopped for a mate on line and it does have some advantages.

When your housebound it also gives you another option, virtual dating.  I was introduced to this option by someone from OKCupid who took me to Secondlife for virtual dating experiences.  I am over 50 years old and I am sure younger people have no problem with this, but for me this was a problem.

To start with navigation has to be learned.  I love my computer for many things but I have not spent much time playing RPG’s on it.  I was quickly able to figure things out well enough to walk from one point to another.  It took me longer to follow when someone could virtually pop from one place to another, and keeping them from getting bored while I fumbled around with the controls was even harder than learning navigation.

The first thing you do is make an Avatar or a virtual representation of yourself to use in your ‘Secondlife’ account.  Remember when your Mother told you that you could be anything you wanted to be?  Well, here you really can.  You can be young, thin, tall, blond, and you can make this virtual space as much your life as any you currently live.  You can choose a career, design your own stuff, even run a virtual business.

Shock and dismay here but you can even use REAL money to by virtual stuff.  I can see this being a generational issue but I am doing non virtual stuff to earn that money and spending it on Virtually NOTHING is still beyond my comprehension.

We had a few dates on secondlife but not successfully.  While these times did get to be enjoyable much of my time not wrapped in this new world of possibilities was spent deciding just how much I was willing to let my secondlife take up of my first one.

I put an end to the virtual dating a short time after trying it.  I have been around a while and have a history of making choices that put me virtually as much as possible in the world that I believe I am living.  I have refused to be medicated long-term for anything, and don’t often drink or use drugs as I feel doing so takes away from my ability to experience this existence.

I also wanted to be in a relationship with another human being in such a way that I could feel that I knew them.  I believe; that the only point of this life is to experience living it, that when I look into someones eyes I can know what they are feeling,   that we can actually share our true character with another human being, and that they are able to share theirs with us.  How would either of us know if anything that we were sharing in that virtual world had any validity at all?  If I couldn’t then what was the point?

My brother likes video games.  He has one game that virtually puts you behind the wheel of what ever car you want to drive on almost any racetrack in the world.  It is so perfect in its re-creation that there is reflection from the signage in the front end of the car as you go around the track.  In another game he rides a horse through the old west.  I have been on a horse; what you see on the screen is incredibly true to that experience!

We are blessed to live in an age of infinite possibilities.  It may be a true measure of my age in how resistant I have become to embracing all of them, but I have spent more than a little time lately thinking how much it will influence my ability to make what I consider “real” connections with people in the future, when so many others do.








%d bloggers like this: