Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Normals

  It has been a long time since I have been here. Some times there are no words. Emotions can eclipse all forms of communication. Such has been this time in my life.

 It is a hard thing to realize you have been fooled. That you have been a fool is even more difficult to come to terms with.

 There are times when I am overwhelmed with a feeling that it has all been for nothing. Those times pass. I am in a state of flux. Torn between all that and what my soul is whispering to my spirit.

  I will tell you a secret, you were never meant to have read this. Not you. It was meant for those who were like me. The ones with broken bits inside that they can recognize in others yet not in themselves. The ones that weren't shiny and clean. Clean spirits, clean souls, clean thoughts.

  The normal ones who would cross the street before speaking to one such as ourselves. Staring, dry eyed, whispers behind raised hands. It was all a trick though. A child's masquerade. There are no normals. We are all here just pretending to be more than we are and hoping no one looks behind the curtain at the mess we have made of our own lives.

  There is no right car or house,  or mate or bank balance that will make you happy.
Be you. It's really what you are best at, promise.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Time of Mourning and a Time to Fight

   I never understood when other parents would speak poorly of their children, of their struggle to like and sometimes even love their own. I remember a very strong minded woman going on in detail about the failings of her adult daughter and my visceral reaction to her words. It was to me, as if she had committed the unpardonable sin of motherhood. She had somehow found a way to cause a rift with her child, her future in living breathing form. and I shook my head sympathetically while silently finding fault.  Fool. I was such a judgmental foolish soul.

  I simply could not relate. Now, sadly...mournfully I can. I have been so filled with grief and feelings of betrayal that I have wished fervently to strip away all trace of me from my child. To erase me from her. Not to hurt her, but rather to be at peace in this world. How could this have happened? How did we get here?

  A reporter asked me in earnest, why I kept pushing. My divorce was final, why did I not let it go. She said I was free. I am not the only one to be foolish in such things. However, I am sure that just like me, listening to a mother's raw honesty, speaking of a child who was severed from her, she simply had no context in which to frame the situation. It is inconceivable that a relationship would become so torn that I could no longer be mended.  To lie with impunity for their own gain. I would have not believed it possible. Not my child, not our family. Fool that I am.

   It is very simple really. My reasons for not quitting.  I did not lie. My now ex-husband abused me emotionally, financially and physically, systematically over 7 years and he has not stopped. To be called a liar when I finally say the truth...No I will not accept that. There is so much evidence that what I say is true that the only viable excuse for not holding him accountable is that Pierce County is willfully refusing to enforce the laws both local, state and federal, out of what appears to be a vendetta against me for having the gaul to state the obvious. Putting a name on a building and calling it a place of safety and protection does not make it so. And when that truth is pointed out, the clear violation of a messenger's civil rights, victim or no, is not legal. As I was recently reminded, there is a price to be paid. Everyone wants to think the problems are solved that all their hard work and money, their caring has been fruitful. I understand that. It is a worthy cause.  However, not addressing the issue of Deputies who refuse to enforce the law and Prosecutors who are equally unwilling to even look at evidence.... It has to be dealt with. I am not the only one. If you were to speak candidly to the advocates and counselors on the other side of that building, you would see that. Those people work hard and I believe some in the Sheriff's Department do to. However, when they choose to ignore Officer misconduct?  Where does that fit with the "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" campaign?

   Their own inaction underscore my words. Nothing has changed. They are merely placating the public.  And people like me, who speak out...that treatment hasn't changed either. I have been followed, threatened, left destitute and homeless. All because I refused to play nice. I was warned. I just really didn't believe the vengefulness would be so blatant. So systematic.

  Let me be clear, I don't want anyone to get in trouble, I want them to be trained. I want that building to be what is was supposed to be. I want the steady stream of victims who walk through their doors to matter. Is that so much to ask? And yes, I would like an apology. Not publicly, just an acknowledgement that the way I was treated was wrong.

   I tried to report illegal activities of both my then estranged husband and others and in response I was threatened by a Pierce County Sargent. Warned that my words would be taken seriously and it was a crime to make valse accusations. He said this as an opening salvo to a phone call he made to me. Where does that happen? I have been called every vile name imaginable and accused of many horrid things....however where is the proof? Where are the charges? What are my crimes? My phone has been searched, my computer as well and to what end? When was the last time you heard of a Domestic violence victim having their lives monitored by LE? Not to mention the side talks and taunting. Where does this happen? And why is it being allowed to continue? The truth will come out, all of it. The only way to be a better community is to to fix what is broken and to do that we have to admit it is most definitely damaged.

  When appearing before the court commissioner in an attempt to obtain a permanent Restraining Order on December 2, the commissioner's reasoning for not granting it was that my ex-husband had not done anything since the divorce was granted, two weeks earlier. He had broken it countless times before, but because he had laid low for two weeks...hey, he is no longer a threat. What asinine thinking is that? I get chastised for saying these things...for not softening my words. But let me be clear, this is my life and if my basic rights as a human being are continually violated I am not going to cow-tow to the people who are trampling on my civil liberties. If they can't uphold their sworn duties and have no respect for the laws and rights of those who come before them, they should not be surprised when they do not receive the respect they think a job title allows them.

  In court just the other day my ex-husband's attorney Mr. Rogge, stated that they had used a private detective to, in some way serval me. This seems to have broken the restraining order...but in this county those aren't worth the paper they are written on if the Sheriff's Department and the Prosecutor's Office refuse to enforce the laws they are supposed to uphold. By the way, I have never been interviewed by the Prosecutor's office, nor has my mother or step father who have all been witnesses to various abuses of both the ex-husband and Pierce County Sheriff Deputies and the issues with my daughter.

  It has been made very clear that not only does what happened to me not matter, but my continuing to seek justice and change have made me a target of Pierce County's many departments. First Sargent Villemosa (hope I got that spelling right) then Deputy Kreis and Deputy Wulik, then the female prosecutor at the Crystal Judson Center who refused, on the record, her words, to look at any evidence of spousal abuse that I put in front of her. She said this, while looking at the bruises left on my chest by my abuser's knees. Next, moving on to Judge Serko who intentionally made it impossible for me to hire an attorney and refused to allow me funds to do so. Let me remind you that my ex-husband's lawyer was paid well over $20,000 from MY portion of marital monies. My support was also deducted from that same stream of money, mine. I did not come to my marriage broke, nor did I fail to contribute to our finances during our marriage. I financially bailed my then, husband out multiple times. Now however, because I am disabled, I am labeled a gold digger and a liar. Not just any liar-no the worse kind a lowly thing that would try to use spousal abuse as a way to ... gain what? This is a no fault state, there is no benefit in a divorce court for such claims. My abuser going to jail would harm me financially and I would have lost my health benefits. I had nothing to gain by coming forward and so much to lose. All I wanted was to be safe. To be heard. To be believed. And it's the cruelest thing of all that the very people that are supposed to support and protect victims aren't.

  The Sheriff department has the photos of my bruises, my medical records have been offered up, text messages and e-mails of my abuser admitting the abuse and apologizing ... all ignored. Because I am not a good little girl who bows her head and crawls away, I am a pharaoh. Mocked, shunned and financially punished by a Superior Court Judge who doesn't even pretend to follow the rules of the court or the laws of our state. I am left homeless, penniless and now he is threatening to take my car as well. My ex-husband has two vehicles, much newer than mine and of course paid off, 2 houses all of our financial assets and many of mine that I came into the marriage with, ordered by the Judge. I have been awarded exactly nothing. Because I have no attorney, no advocate and no money to retain one. I am alone and overwhelmed.

  Where in the realm of the law does a marriage with assets over $900,000, in a 50/50 state that is no fault leave one of the parties penniless? Literally owing the other party money? Where is it acceptable for a person to come before Supreme Court Judge with no evidence of any debt, not one receipt or bill, simply their word and they are given their spouses private property to absorb those none existent debts? How after taking that property to cancel out debts does that party have no right to the property that caused the alleged bills?

  So, I paid for my ex-husband's attorney, I paid for my own support. I paid for all the "debt" and I received...nothing. My clothes and a red couch and best of all Edgar.

   I will scrap the money together to get the transcripts and place them here...maybe someone out there can explain the comments and judgements handed down from the Judge Serko and Judge Rumbaugh in this case, because they defy reason.

  I am not done. I could careless for the person I thought I married, that is long in the past. However the continue misuse of the system to further his, that will not do. To brand me a liar and worse, no. That is what drives me forward. I told the truth. I trusted the system and I have been punished for that.

  Now what of that adult who is also my child...we are broken in a way that I cannot see as fixable. Others tell me to give it time...but how?

  You see, the second time my abuser attacked me I left and went to my daughter's home. She and her husband had already talked to me about some inappropriate behaviors of my then husband. She worked for divorce lawyers, Lambino Martino (a law firm you may have heard of).  She spoke to Mr Martino and told him I would call. I did but couldn't get through the interview. All I could do was cry. I felt so....betrayed, stupid, foolish.. how could I end up there again? When you do not grow up experiencing makes it difficult to identify what it is. You do not know it. I stayed with my daughter for a few days, while my abuser texted his pleas for me to come home, his apologies and promises...My daughter had a plan, remove one half of the money from our bank account, which was in the 6 digits and stay with her and her husband. Her boss would represent me.

 I made it to the bank, a Wells Fargo in Olympia and wrote out a check, trembling the entire time. In my fear and trepidation I dropped a few zeros on the withdrawal slip, still it was enough for an attorney. The teller said I needed approval from the manager for the withdrawal, because it was not my branch. I was ushered to her desk. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes, knew I was powerless to stop them from rolling down. Hating myself for being so weak, so small I sat before her.  She was all business, insisted that she must call my husband before releasing any funds to me....from our account...with my name clearly on it, it felt as if I was once again trapped, less than. As if I were a wayward child and not a grown adult with valid I.D. and a bank account. The tears flowed freely then. I felt humiliated. Of course he said no. Then he asked to speak to me. There were more pleas to return home, I had to hang up. I fled to the silence of my car and bawled as my phone continually rang. After four calls I answered. His message was simple come home and so I went.

  My daughter was furious. She told me if I left him again I could not come back to her house. I had left twice before and she closed her door to me. Life went on, every time I made my own money, my husband insisted I hand it over or withheld money telling me to use my own. In short he kept me broke. I did not see it for what it was at the time. Whenever we went out he was generous, but that was the rub, it was always his choice and his control of the finances.

  In one way he changed when I returned. I did leave three more times, staying at the Wesley Inn on those occasions, relying on my own credit card, which I kept despite his insistence that I close the account.  As stingy as he became with me, the more generous he became with two of my children, my daughters. He instructed me that I was no longer allowed to give them money or even things without going through him first. He started seeing them without me. He cut me out of my own family, my own life. He took them looking for cars for my daughters and travel trailers for my son-in-law, big screen TVs and Apple laptops became plentiful. I was happy for my children. They were all struggling to start their own adult lives. I was grateful. Until he started planning vacations that I would not be invited to. Saying I wouldn't enjoy going. Meeting over lunches and dinners that I was not to attend. It was humiliating...the isolation. The powerlessness. The sting of knowing your daughters would go so willingly along....

  When that last horrible night/early morning happened I had no idea the side relationships and plans already in place.  I called my children, my reasons for living, the ones I trusted more than any soul on this earth, it never occurred to me that they knew already. That plans were being made and lies told to placate me, to delay me....I had no idea until I saw my daughter standing next to my estranged husband...I could not comprehend it. She had been texting me all day. Messages of love and support and also inquiries as to my plans and whereabouts...I was clueless.

  The fact that this is a heart wrenching repeat of my childhood is not lost on me. Again those that are supposed to be loyal and loving choose to discard me, to once again find me disposable to further their own gain. That it's being done by those that I loved most in this a grief I would not wish on anyone. The betrayal and the lies....tonight, in this moment I cannot see the possibility of reconciliation. A barrier has been put up so big that I, who tilt at windmills simply cannot imagine moving this one of stone. The one between us. I mourn the death of their loss, which is made all the worse for the studied intentionality of it.  8 years ago I had three children who gave my life meaning. Today, I have one. Loyal, kind hearted, I am so proud to be his mother. It doesn't take away the pain of the loses.

   I grieve. I grieve a loss of trust, the devastation of betrayal, I mourn the death of a false reality of a happy, loving family. I understand that mother's pain, the one I too shunned and blamed so long ago. Compassion. I am forever learning to be more compassionate.  A fool's quest is knowledge.

  I keep meaning to put up the texts and the other proof. I don't know why I can't so far. I suppose it will make it real. There is a deep humiliation and pain to know that those I love most do not return that love. There is something about your child's smile that heals and breathes life into a parent and as in all things, the other side of that is the haunting, gnawing ache from the loss of that magical balm.
Of all the things taken from me, those are the things I will forever mourn.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Whys

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Battle

  One of the hardest things, the battle I lose most often is the one I wage with myself. I try daily to live in a place of peace, to be kind and to wish harm on no one. Most days I am fine- then there are the days the battle is lost and I find myself, always in tears on the emotional battlefield angry with myself for falling into that pit of anger and hurt that leads me to push those I love away and to strike out at those that do me harm. It is not that I wish to wound them, I simply wish to be left alone, to be left in some semblance of peace. I wish nothing more than to hide.

  I would much rather spend the rest of my days in solitude than in battle. I grieve the pain that I have caused, intentionally or not. I shame myself over my own cross words. The thing I despise most about being different, being broken, is that my first response to any threat is always to take up my armor. I am ever in the warrior position, even as I desire only to be the peacemaker.  I try. I fail.

I do not have the skill set. I so envy those that do.

  I have been told that I am fearless. That I am brave. I am not. When I am frightened I take my cue from the puffer fish and balloon to my full height of 5'1" and my attitude, I am sure adds a few more inches as well. I make noise, push out. It is all that I know. I must change. I must learn to be softer, to stand back. How will I learn this?
  I sit here writing these words and I am filled with a great fear. I know I must grow past this and yet I am unsure that I can. The small voice within me, the one the warrior protects protests. "This is how I have survived. If I let go of this shield the world will swallow me whole. I can't"

  The thing I want least to do in this life, the one thing I will not pardon myself for is hurting others.  To be willfully unkind is a wicked thing.  I inadvertently brush up against other's feelings often. I am brisk and forward, I have no tact. I hear these things from others and I try to soak their words in. To make alterations in myself, but my tongue is quick and healing from sharp words is slow. I am at a loss. I must grow past my own limitations so that I am not here again, in tears, failing and cursing my own survival system.

  There must be some way to breach this dark place that I find myself continually rounding back to. But how? That small voice beseeches me "I stayed quiet so long. I kept it all in and now, I simply cannot" how can you ask that of me? There is a balance I must discover. I must master my own fear and my reaction to it. This is going to be hard, all good things are. I will fail. I will fall down. This is life, bad things are going to happen. I will learn to live in peace anyway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trading Time for Time

 I haven't been here for a while...Life, it happens to us all.

  We are all time traders of one kind or another. I realized this fact while writing all the words that have come before this post. It was a wonderfully flawed, strong soul who started me on this journey and it is he who has continued teaching me still- even as he is years now gone from us.

  I sat in a room for weeks that seemed like months- at other times as -minutes with that soul in his last times on this Earth within the confines of a body that ultimately failed him, as all of ours will. I was there only as a supporting role. I was an in-law, an out-law, one of many that were in attendance.

  I had no pent up hurts or slights held as if treasures tightly to my breast, no unresolved issues with this man who could no longer make amends. I had known him when, in those waning years, he had too much time and so he traded it for sorrows. That painful place where memories are open wounds that never truly heal. We had held hands as he cried over his own falsehoods, his short temper and long grudges. Ashes all.

  I listened as he poured out his failures, the ones that haunted him. This was a strong man, a force in all things. I sat while he bowed his head to hide his tears. I myself am strong in my own way, I too have held firm, but there is nothing in this life that prepared me for it- when a mighty one became humbled, sorrowful of his own nature and completely...filled with regret for his own sureties which he later realized were in error. He could name off dozens, they took up his hours and gave him nothing worthy in return.

  I cannot speak for the others who shared that soul's last days. I would never presume to. As for myself, he gave me a gift it would take me years to fully discover and though it cannot be insured or measured, it is the most treasured thing I own, and I do own it.

 Recently, I was honored to be included in a small private gathering, in the company of souls who were heading down that same path as had been traveled with that other man. Again, it was another Patriarch, one who had been massive in his presence and now his body had been abandoned by his knowing mind. Leaving his own family to become time traders.

  We all do it, we look back over things, some good -others not, to do so we must give up the present. We are linear on this plane. We are free to thumb through our past, we can linger over hurts or joys all that we choose to, for a price. Time is still going forward, whether we wish it to or not. Choose well.

  The day will come when our hourglass simply will no longer turn for us. Where ever we have chosen to allow our thoughts to meander, whatever time we have traded, will be etched in stone with a name and a date. We will be carried forward through others who will be trading their own hours in our memory. Be worthy.

 The cavern between that first great man and some who loved him was never transversed. It was not to be. I saw the pain it caused, but I could do nothing. He could not lay down his shield and they saw no choice but to leave with one more strike from a dying man who never laid the blow. Let it go.

  There is a great honor, a spiritual renewing, in helping another being in the twilight hours, when they are neither child nor adult, but a new being too heavy to carry and to helpless to leave. We must learn to see them for what they are and also to understand that this is a natural progression, one that we all must go through, not in regret for the ravages of disease or the rages of discourse but as a step toward something more. Have hope.

 It is a new kind of time trading. There is something healing in these precious moments of caring for one who can no longer do for themselves. Be open.

 Grace is found in these times, if we choose to acknowledge it. Hands that once wielded great power at last tremble without control. Eyes once judgmental, all knowing, are lost to things unseen. It may be too late for the apologies we all feel we are entitled to, the endearments we did not receive, kind words withheld, but we can free those very things from our own moorings. In holding those once capable hands, let go of any slights. Give your time and you will gain doubly.

  It is a very easy thing to say, but they do not know me, they do not recognize me and to walk away,  with no more resolutions gained. It misses the point. It is no longer about "them", it is about us, me, you. It is about watching over the watcher and comforting the once mighty. It heals us.

  In nurturing our those in our present we can release the bitter past. It does not mean that the suffering was less than or that you are giving in. It takes the greatest strength, when finally finding oneself with the whip in hand and deciding to let it drop. Righteous indignation is never right. It is a thinly veiled attempt to excuse one-selve's own behavior by laying the blame with another.

  I believe that God is within us all. We see this most clearly in the very young and again in the oldest among us. They are not our burden, they are our salvation. There is no greater trade of time than one that blesses both the giver and the receiver and by lovingly caring for one who has done you harm, as we all will do, you free yourself. Be Free.

  I send you love and as always, hope. Live in grace given and it will be received. This is your life. Bad things are going to happen. Live anyway. Love hard and hold fast. We all trade time. Trade wisely.

   I am asked many times how can I forgive, because I wish to be free. Because it is a gift I ask for everyday and I will never get what I refuse to give. Because I want to be more than a set of stories, blog posts and news clippings. Because I am trading time for time and it is good.

With great love to SP, DSP, JD, CM

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Salt and the Sweet

I am sitting here, either too early in the morning or too late at night, my cheeks aching from smiling too much...if there is such a thing. There have been many changes in my life in the last year, some painful and others wondrous. This latest one is by far, both the most surprising and rewarding. I really do not remember when I first noticed it. That thrill you get when something special happens, be it a unexpected, yet appreciated compliment or maybe an much treasured gift. Only, now it is not about things that happen to me, or for me, rather it is the sheer joy I feel in watching someone else fulfill their dreams. I have had the honor of witnessing several wonderful souls reach their goals of late and it is a glorious thing.

 I know that two years ago, or so, I would have been "happy as I could be for them", but I would be secretly comparing my life, my goals to theirs. I would be looking for ways to discount the value of their efforts in order to appease my own feeble ego. I no longer do that. I read a quote a bit ago and it really touched me. It convicted me and I could not deny my own image when I saw it reflected within the adage: "Your light will never shine brighter by blowing out another's." Oh, well...there I was...right there...Well I mean, I have vacationed in denial before, but somethings you just have to own.

  So, instead of seeing the place where the needle may have slipped, where the craftsmanship could have been slightly improved, I celebrated the confirmation of the possible. The beauty in the creation. If someone else could do it, then it could be done. If it could be done, then I could do it. And in the mean time, how cool was it that someone I had watched pour themselves out, struggle and stretch to grow into what they would need to be to achieve their goals, reached them.
I had the freedom of no excuses. Of owning my place and the power to change it. How amazing is that?

 My soul is made happiest now by doing things for other people. Whether it is a big thing or a small one, and it matters not, if they ever know I did it. It is the simple act of giving, of serving from one soul to another. I am in love.

  That is exactly what this is. I am hopelessly and unabashedly in love with the lightness and joy my soul feels when I let go of myself and concentrate on someone else. It is the most marvelous thing. It is a delirious, drunken, headiness that I can only compare to seeing my children's beautiful faces for the very first time. It is something spiritual. Something my soul is doing of it's own accord. I hope that you are well. Life is hard, bad things are going to happen. Hang in there, because there will always be good, if you cannot find it, be it. It is life's salt and sweet. And I try to always, always, remind myself, when given the choice, be kind. I have never regretted being kind. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


 In every circumstance there is a lesson. I find myself often asking no one in particular, why? And on most occasions of late, the answer has been the same. Silence.  Whoever it was that stated silence is golden, lied. Silence is a sharp knife on tender flesh. It is an endless, aching quest unfulfilled. A hunger unquenchable, a void too great to be breached.

  It is pain and sorrow too great to be spoken. Silence is a weapon cruelly turned on a beloveds soul.
It is an echo unanswered. A careless, wanton heart with a fickle beating. Muffled, intentionally, quieted to inflict a demon's desires on freshly formed love. A forced kiss from dry lips. Dust laid thick on words of adore.

 Silence is a mourning of all things lost. A sentinel, ever guarding dark things. It carries more grief than tears can measure. It will awaken you from the deepest of sleeps to bid you listen, forever listen. Waiting for a message that will not come. It demands your attention but gives nothing in return.

I have tried to parse it out...the what and the how of it. I plot out waypoints, looking for a star, some far off light to show where I have gone astray. I make attempts to understand, to give atonement, appeasement to this stranger who has taken up residence without invitation.

  Silence is not moved. It will be neither coddled nor bullied.  Eviction notices pile up at its door and still it persists. Accusing in its attitude, as if I were somehow the interloper. I can reason out any puzzle, pairing up things in their proper order, but I do not understand silence's game. I search endlessly through tomes and words left by those far wiser than I can ever hope to be. Yet I come away with nothing..

 There is no place named silence on any map that I have found. Rest assured, I have looked, in hopes of finding its secrets. What is to sit in this place so empty? Is it something I have lost? Was it never really there? Endlessly my fevered mind cries out for the why.

  Silence will not be banished by a crowd. No, it will sit patiently at your shoulder biding its time.
For silence is not ruled by any clock or timetable. Its schedule is its own and it will not be swayed from its coarse. You may put it off for a scant hour or two. Silence smiles slyly, nodding to itself secure in its knowledge that it will linger long after your last visitor has gone.

 Silence is its own cruel master and its demands are high. Silence has weight and measure, can be felt yet goes unseen. It slips in and out of a room at will.

  So, here I sit with my jagged edges that will not stay in place and a reckless heart too loyal for its own good and I wait. Silence and I will keep house until its purpose is clear. I am adept at waiting it is my strong suit and so I wrap myself in this cloak of nothingness and give my companion its due.

 Finally it whispers, a soft sound of a voice unused to it's own tone. "Be still and know", not every lesson is meant for me. I am merely a witness, a small bump on a long road that someone else is traveling. In this I find great comfort. Silence also holds grace and I am thankful