It was a mistake!

25 11 2013

It’s almost my moms birthday.  I have been looking over my old post trying to find some to send my mother to share the bond I feel with her one more time, and I found this. It was originally posted on  Jul 4, 2012 .  One of my first posts here and long ago lost in all I have written.

I had to post it again.  I don’t know that anyone but me would find it funny but it’s always worth sharing a laugh.   More than that it’s a wave at an old friend.  You are loved and missed and I am so sure you know that, as I can see you active in the lives of your baby girls.   Hugs and smooches my friend.

with love,

Sincerely, SB

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I tried to bury the household pet turtle and it kicked off a late night of lying on the bed with our feet kicked up like school girls having a sleep over; chatting and laughing.  It was a mistake that my sister-in-law thought that she would never have made!

To start with the water smelled funny and had a suspicious film on it that I hadn’t seen before. Then I fed him twice and he hadn’t even lifted his head. In our family, I am the one that takes care of those kind of things so I went out back and dug him a hole.

I picked up the bowl and headed out, and it wasn’t until I had poured out almost all the water that he suddenly sprang to life!  And to think we were that close to having room for a cat!

Valerie has decided that we have to restrict his T.V. time due to the fact that he has either watched to many Geico commercials and was beginning to immitate the oppossum or we foiled a planned escape using the methods that he had learned watching finding Nemo.  Either way she was sure that the T.V. was a bad influence on him.

As long as we were on the subject of death and dying, (and if you think that’s a tad morbid you don’t know my sister-in-law) we spent awhile laughing over the coffin that she had picked out.  It was Purple!   She “found one much cheeper at Cosco but she couldn’t get it in the color she wanted” so we’re going to get it and completely cover it in faux purple gems and right across the face of it we’re putting Live, Love and Laugh.  Like her it will be an original!

Valerie fights hard for every moment she has here and is giving me lessons close up and hands on that it’s not really what happens to us, but our attitude about it that determines our level of happiness in this life.  Over that, we have complete control.

You have to find the roses; the thorns will always find you.

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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.





I have been stuck

9 03 2013

in what I thought was a place of nothing; no pain or feeling or need.  I have been angry at myself feeling it was just total lack of motivation.  A pitiful excuse of a life wasted.  I keep finding myself crying and feeling how stupid it is; I AM, for doing it.  I have no reason to be sad. I quip that we are all dying, everybody dies.

Part of me feels that it is a gift.  Death puts an end to this terminal pain we are sentenced to at birth.  I try to make myself stop typing her name.  Stop making everything in my life revolve around her.  She is gone!  It is done, over, I can move on: I can’t.

Val used to hate how people would make those who died into saints.  It is OK to speak ill of the dead, she would say. “If they were an asshole in life they are no better than what they were because they are dead.”  When I speak of her I can feel me doing that.  Sticking her up on that pedestal that she hated.  She was human and she was flawed, and I miss her.

There were a few times she told me she didn’t want me to stay.  She said I know you did this for others and it was OK, but they weren’t me.  “This will hurt too much, You should go”.  You don’t know me, I would tell her, I don’t think of death the way you all do.  I will be fine.

I feel guilty because my family wants me back.  I have truly missed them.  I honestly grieve the time I have missed with that precious new baby girl, and the equally beloved older grandchildren as well.

I feel guilty for every day of progress I haven’t made.  For as many days as God has granted me that I have wasted.  For all the beautiful moments and gifts that I refuse to notice while I am stuck here depressed.

I have felt that guilt weighing me down just adding to the pain I already carry and yet deny.

Val was right it is different.  The pain I felt when I lost my Aunt, Father, and Mother to Cancer, was different, then the pain I feel for her.  I miss her in a much more personal way. It is major denial to say she isn’t gone from my life because she is still in my heart.  There is nothing new she can give me from there.

It doesn’t seem right that I haven’t wanted to live the life God gave me and I am still here:  Yet she loved living and she is gone.  I need her to tell me its OK to move forward without her, that she won’t feel that I loved her less if I do.

Val loved life.  She was never like me.  Cancer robbed her of years that she wanted to spend with her children.  She still had things she wanted to do and see.

Cancer even robbed her of so much of the enjoyment she should have had of the years Chemo gave her.  It was an endurance contest and in the end it beat her.  She was tired and ready to let go.

I thought I was at peace with her passing.  That I shouldn’t feel pain.  This place of denial is the nothing that I have been stuck in.  I have refused to just feel the loss and pain.   I have feared posting anything like this as I really didn’t want to add anything to the pain of others but I realize now that it wouldn’t.

Pain expressed isn’t added to the pain in the world, it was already there.  If others read this and feel pain, it is only pain they already have and have found no way to express either.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if we cry.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if I do nothing for a while and grieve.  Letting it hurt may be the only way I have of letting go.   Perhaps it honors us both that I should do so.





very old gal reviving old dream

27 01 2013

When I was a kid we would get the Sears Catalog.  They used to call it the wish book and that’s what I used it for… dreaming and wishing.  I used to dream of biking across the US and would spend countless hours planning that trip and figuring out where I would go and what I would need to take with me.   It seemed like everything I would ever need was right in that catalog and it made the idea of the trip real for me.

Then I started having kids and my Aunt told me to kiss that dream goodbye…”Honey if you haven’t done it by the time your 20 you never will.”  For years I never thought of it again.

I was divorced and most of my kids grown when the dream started building up in me again.  The boys had left home and I was wondering how I would transition my life to not having them to raise anymore.  My Daughter was 17 when her and I started talking about taking that trip together.  I was only 42 and the dream still felt like a possibility then.  We would leave in the early fall after she graduated high school.

Sass died and for a while I was afraid that the grief would kill my Mother.  I changed that plan and July 1st of 2001 I headed back to Oregon to be with her.  In October my Daughter had joined us and by the following spring was pregnant with her first child.  I remarried and just that and being a grandma was enough that I had no other dreams for a while.

Life constantly throws change and challenges at us.  Divorcing again has opened up a new world of possibilities.  I moved here with no notice at all and brought little of consequence with me, but the reason I came is coming to a close and again I am faced with the question of what I want to do with the time I have been blessed with.

Out of no-where I find myself talking with someone who as done this over 20 times and is planning a 6,000 mile sponsored bicycle ride, Jacksonville to Long Beach, CA and up the west coast to Coos Bay, OR and then retracing the entire route back to Jacksonville.  He is 65 years old!

I saw the movie “School of life” last night, and now it’s on my to do list.  In case you haven’t seen it (you should); the Teacher asked his students, “How much time do we have left?”, and they all look at the clock.  He says, “Not enough.  That’s how much time we have–not enough.”  

Every time I wanted to change I have.  That’s the thing, when your ready, you just do it.   I’m ready, so that’s my ‘what’s next’.  My family thinks I’m crazy…so glad that they aren’t wrong.   Gubette we’re off  on another adventure!  Any one know of a way to take a cat on a cross country bike ride.





…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.





Please forgive me …

28 12 2012
for not being able to share the happy moments we had over the holidays.  There are some moments when we are able to laugh but I have sat here for 2 days now trying to share Christmas dinner with you and just can’t.  I only feel the sadness and just don’t have it in me to be able to pull anything else up right now.
Valerie hasn’t eaten anything in 5 full days now and has radically reduced the amount that she drinks and smokes as well.  Her body is shutting down.  For my Dad and Bunny it was about 3 weeks from the time they stopped eating till they died.  For both the last few days were in a coma state.
I managed to get her to her Dr appointment yesterday and they gave her fluids and steroids to boost her up.  She has another appointment for Monday but the way he shook his head I could see he doesn’t feel we should be doing this … he thinks we should just let her go.  Bob was totally freaking out when it looked like she wasn’t going to the Dr.   I feel judged by him but we are not ready!
The Doctor wants her on Hospice but Val refuses hospice services.  She says she still wants to fight this, but when we try to push her to do what she needs to to stay alive, she swears that she just can’t.  I feel stuck unable to feel or function really.  No tears or crying just nothing.
Part of me is shutting down too because if I feel anything its angry.  She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore.  She doesn’t want me getting up with her,  She says it’s not good for me not to sleep through out the night.  I cook and she says nothing tastes right.  I am throwing out her tea and refreshing only to have her barely sip when she gets it.   I will drive anywhere to get her anything that she wants and she doesn’t eat or drink it when she gets it.

We are all sleeping a lot.   She didn’t want to die and ruin the holidays.  She has no obtainable goals left.  This isn’t going to be an easy Month.

“She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore”.   Wow… that was a light bulb moment …I need to actively do things to feel useful but what she needs is just me…not anything but the emotional support of loving her and being here.
She just wants me to hold her hand and be here and really that is the hardest job of all.
It is incredible to me how just the act of writing helps.  The second I got that I realized that I don’t feel helpless or angry anymore. To love, is to be happy with.  Love is the only thing that really does help.  I hate it when I forget that and react to my own insecurities and hurt feelings.
So today we start again and just hope to get it right.




Imitation of life…

26 11 2012

The movie was on this week and is one of Val’s favorites.  We watched it together.  It’s about a Black girl who looks white and hates the way people treat her because of her race enough to leave her Mother and everyone she loves behind and try to live life as a white girl.

I am guilty of this as well.

I realized how public this forum was and went about cropping anything from it that might point to the fact that I am mentally ill.  I want to be “NORMAL”.  This is one of those rare times in my life that I actually think I could pass and people wouldn’t suspect that I am anything but who I represent myself to be.

There is an extreme bias against the mentally ill.  I have seen their fear when they looked at me and felt sick inside.  They had no way of knowing what it took for me to even be in public and how much more afraid of them I was, then they ever could be of me.

I have felt so good lately. That peace has had me wanting to let go of everything that hasn’t contributed to it.  I want more than anything to exist every day within the same stress as everyone else without fear of losing control of who I am and how I present to others.

I am guilty of deleting anything that makes me look less than normal.  Having DID seems too conspicuous and I am uncomfortable openly living with it.

So uncomfortable that I deleted a whole blog that was meant to help others understand DID better and see it for what I truly feel it is, a developmentally based normal reaction to repeated trauma.  Like the lead character in the in Imitation of life, I eventually became ashamed of the fact that I tried to hide who I am.

This is the time of year for giving Thanks and I have so much to be Thankful for.  My apologies are being left here with my gratitude for these months of peace.   Till we meet again…sincerely SB.








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