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.





Love, living and death…

9 03 2013

I have spent my life caring for people who were at the end of theirs.  I have held their hand while they were passing and once even held them in my arms as the life left their body.  Once you have actually witnessed it, there really isn’t a question; you know that they are just not in that body anymore.  It’s only a wax shell.  For me death isn’t frightening, It isn’t beautiful, it just is.

When your dealing with death, People you don’t even know think that it’s their job to pass on their perspective of the meaning of life and what you should be doing with your’s.  This last week we have kind of lost our sense of humor.   I have refused to live medicated, but I do know what works for me, and going to church isn’t it.

I don’t know how it will be when it comes my time to stare death in the face, but I do know how hard it is watching those I love do it.  I sometimes wonder why I chose a life doing it.

Part of what allows me to go on doing it is my belief system. One of the things that I KNOW is true, is that if you change your beliefs, you change your life.  When it comes to death and dying I cling with teeth to the ones I have.  A few things I have experienced have influenced those beliefs.

Not the least of which is my beloved Aunt. When She Lost the love her life, She went right on having coffee with her every morning.  She would pour them both a cup; set them on the table by the chairs they always sat in, and talk to her about her life.

It was not long after her death that Bunny started finding hearts in the cup.  Every day she would make the coffee and day after day there would be the heart.  My aunt took tons of pictures and showed them to everyone who would listen.

I myself witnessed those hearts; some were clear, strong, and boldly centered and others were lacy around the edges or seem to curl sweetly around the side, but there were clearly recognizable hearts in those cups.

She was going to write a book and publish all those shots so people would know that love lives on even after you lose someone, and I truly believe it does.

When Bunny herself passed, She had been told she had cancer and only had a short time to live so I had been going up every day I had off to see her.  That last day as I drove into Portland it was covered over in a rainbows.

I had never seen more than two in the sky in all my life, but on this day they were everywhere;  Hundreds of them!  One came arching down from the sky and touched the front of my car!  I was so excited thinking that I would be blessed with good fortune and rushed to tell her what I had seen but she was gone.

Every fiber of my being believes it was her way of kissing me goodbye.  I think of her often and when I do I wrap my arms around her and give her a big squeeze and feel loved, just as I always did when she shared this earth with me.

I got the biggest complement of my whole life last night. “you are the only person I know that doesn’t add stress to my life.”   Wow, I couldn’t have thought of a better goal if I spent months trying.

I am no longer the seeker of truth that I was then.  To quote billy…”if you get the answer you’re looking for, hang up”.   For me this conversation is over.





…sincerely SB.

21 01 2013

For the last few months I have been caught up in the drama of having a family member close to dying and emotionally I have divorced myself from everything else.

I only realized how divorced I have been in the last couple of days after the death of a fellow DID Blogger.  Sara was one of the first bloggers I followed when I joined WordPress and yet for the last few months I haven’t check her blog at all.

Some like Crazy in the Coconut, Vwoop Vwoop, and Depressed Moose are so prolific that they are always at the top of my page when I get in a mood to read but somehow I missed her most recent posts, and now she is gone.

There is an extreme bias against the mentally ill.  Those who don’t have DID, don’t know what its like to lose control of who you are and how you present to others, but we do.  

Sara wrote that people with DID commit Suicide more often than even people with severe depression and I believe this is true.  It is hard for anyone to live with our mistakes, but if your basic belief system is in place, you attempt to live close to those beliefs.   When you don’t have that protection your resulting actions will reflect that as well.

With me I have extreme conflicts between the one who believes all her power and worth is wrapped up in her sexuality, and the one who is very religious.   People who claim that we are all tempted and don’t all give into that temptation, don’t even live on the same planet as we do.

The difference is you have the advantage of that belief system when you make those decisions.  We bear responsibility for actions of parts of ourselves that don’t share our basic belief system and morals.  Often they don’t share our memories or history either.

I have had encounters with people who knew me that I didn’t know.  People who would have expectations that I would do things that the current occupant couldn’t imagine doing, and found offensive.  When that is normal for you the shame is something you carry with you always.

The outside world can’t imagine that any part of us really doesn’t know what the rest of us knows.  Internally it is just as hard for us to understand what is going on, and to deny that we have responsibility for all that we do.  

They call what we do “Dissociation” which implies that some part of it is voluntary, or an action we took intentionally to distance ourselves from pain.   That’s wrong!  It is brain damage, just like that caused by a stroke and nothing we did or didn’t do gave us this disorder.  Those that caused the trauma did.  We need that knowledge in our heart and mind.

The external world judges us when we are not as capable as they think we should be, but there is some part of us that buys into the fact that we have done this to ourselves and totally strips us of any of the protection we should have.

Would you judge someone harshly who stumbles on crutches after a car accident?  We tend to take on some culpability for our own condition as if we had been the driver but if you have DID you were not driving!  You were a small child and no part of you is guilty for you having this disorder.

It’s our internal score keeper that needs  re-educated so that our system has something to fight back with when the outside world condemns us.  My heart breaks that Sara didn’t have that protection.  We all need it.

If you are young and have DID please try to realize that it gets so much better with time.   Surround yourself with a positive support system and give yourself that time.   It does get better.   Just like a stroke victim you will heal and can retrain your brain to function in ways that make you more capable, and that make this life more livable.

Sara, I hope you now have the peace, love and understanding that you were denied in this life.   Thank you for sharing yourself with us.








%d bloggers like this: