Little Orange Pills.

I shake the prescription bottle, the little orange pills clang around in the neon yellow plastic holder. The sound of it gives me relief, and even though the feeling leaves me a little embarrassed, I’m actually really glad I found a doctor who is finally listening to me.

The sun is shining through my bedroom window, and it’s pretty because the fall leaves give this burst of color against the blue sky, sometimes with this stark contrast, other times more gentle, and during the sunset there are times the layering of colors are almost seamless and I love it. I think of God when I look at things like that, taking out those quiet moments to pay attention to something with intention, with warmth. I think of God when I look at a lot of things in that way, but along side this gentle rush of joy, my heart is sick and filled with anxiety. Just like it has been every morning, for the last three years.

Back to the neon yellow prescription bottle, still sitting in my hand.If you turn it to the left, the label reads clonazepam.

Klonopin. My new best friend.

How many are left? Twenty or so. A sigh escapes my lips, as I fill the glass with cool water, and drop one of the tablets into my mouth, swallowing it down hard and fast with a deep breath. Leaning up against the bathroom counter, the pill sliding down my throat and landing in the base of my stomach as I stare myself in the eye. Most days, I don’t recognize the woman looking back at me. She’s pale. Her skin is dry, and the eyes are heavy from the med’s, sleepless nights, and let’s face it, the pain. I’m embarrassed, ashamed and I miss the woman I once was. It’s been over ten years since I took anything for my panic disorder, and if you asked me three years ago, if this is where I’d be, I’d laugh.

I’ve learned to be a little less judgemental since then.

Let me just say, I didn’t wake up this morning thinking to myself, ” I can’t wait to share my weaknesses! yay!” Not at all, I actually hate this right now, my heart is rebellious, I’m angry at my feelings and I want to slam this laptop closed, and go lose myself in my art work, but I made you a promise. I promised I would share it all, and these fragile and unsteady days are the hardest to write. Because it’s not just the fucked up story, this is me, exposing the lies I tell everyday. The little ones, that are so damn big, like… “I’m good, how are you?” or “I’m fine.” The small lies, that eat you up inside, chewing away at your heart, because after a while, that’s all you’re really saying, and in the end no one knows the truth.

This is me, saying, yeah I’m a mess a lot lately, and that’s just not something most people feel very good about admitting. At least not continuously. They may for a moment, to someone they trust, but it’s certainly not looked up upon in our society to admit the wallowing.To recognize, the coming apart at the seams and how after tragedy, it can take years to heal. People just don’t go around talking about it like that, it’s just too unbecoming to be honest about the despair. Society, even our friends, family, television and sadly even the church at times, urge us to hurry up and move on. To find the light of day, be positive and find the strength to rebuild. And as much as I agree with that, I also feel strongly, that before that can truly happen, we all need and deserve the time it takes, and it’s different for each of us, to process. To become aware of oneself, and internally work out what we’ve been through, whatever that may be. But, because it’s not considered attractive in any sense, to lurch around in one’s own suffering, many of us are left alone to do this. For many reasons. And because of these shitty reasons (fear of judgement, shame, crappy morals from a dysfunctional upbringing, religious reasons, anxiety, the fear of appearing weak and the list goes on…) it can take a really long time to reconcile within. It’s like, we’re allowed to stumble, but we’re not allowed to fall. And if we fall, we’re pressured to climb back up, as fast as we can, screaming love in the face of adversity, revived, hopeful and running toward a future that is waiting with open arms. But here’s the thing….

As I lean up against that bathroom counter, taking deep slow breaths and waiting patiently for the medicine to work…I’m still frightened of my future, of what it holds, just as much as I have hope for it. The hope and the fear are equal parts. And even though, I pray often and keep an open communication with God, I still hurt.

I still hurt, and that’s okay.

I guess what I’m saying is, give yourself, and the people you love, the freedom to be in pain, let them hurt. Give yourself, and others the time they need, to process. Of course it’s important to edify, to speak life and to support someone. But, there’s something to be said, about patient silence. Just sitting with someone. If your words are needed, you’ll feel it. Prayer, is prayer for a reason, and one of the beautiful things about it, is if someone isn’t ready to do it WITH you, you can totally do it behind their back. Choose to meet them where they are, and put down your own agenda. We can be SO selfish with our agenda’s can’t we? and they can really hurt those closest to us. Don’t be the kind of person that your friends or family cross of their list, when they’re in crisis. And don’t be territorial with your support in their life, that’s messy, gross and unbecoming. And nothing like a friend, in the way God intended friendship to be. In the way love intended friendship to be. So, with that being said…

I still hurt. I still cry at least once a day, but I laugh too, and I’m not ready to run screaming in the face of adversity yet, I’m tired, and I want to take my little orange pills, talk and write my story, and create things, paint, draw and eat. Rest and sleep. Pray and go for walks. Learn how to live once more, before I get all up in life’s face again.

Ernest Hemingway says beautiful things that I really like, so here’s one that made me smile.

“Forget your personal tragedy.We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.” ~Ernest Hemingway

God bless each of you, on your own personal journeys..brothers and sisters xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Granny.

“You little bitch. You stupid little bitch. Get the fuck in the house. You know where I want you. You get your lying little ass to the table! And don’t you MOVE until I get there.” The weight of her hand on my shoulder, squeezing so hard I can feel her fake nails digging into my skin through my sweater, and it hurts. “You better get your fucking ass moving.”  The voice was solid and commanding, like a drone reverberating over iron. 

Like a long, cold, hiss… loaded with threat. Sending shivers up my little spine, and my small body would freeze up. 

It was coming, and there was nothing I could do to stop itThe helplessness of a child lost in a hideous and malicious adult playing field. Abandoned. 

I could hear her voice, even before we knocked on the door. That all too familiar shrill, the undertone of her raspy growl, all those  years of smoking pack after pack, of cigarettes. The voice, that I’m embarrassed to admit, still finds me in my sleep, and I wake up crying in a daze of a familiar hell.

           Trigger Warning : In this post I will diving into a very dark part of my past, and begin sharing my experience of satanic ritual abuse. I would like to take a moment and gently remind you that some of things you’ll be reading can be very powerful and deeply disturbing, to some.  Due to the nature of this post, and the ones following it, please be aware that if you yourself, are a survivor of abuse, in any form, reading my story may have the ability to create “triggers” which can lead to“flashbacks”. Flashbacks are defined as “a sudden and disturbing vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological, spiritual or physical trauma.” Flashbacks have a been a part of my life for a long time, and I understand just how debilitating they can be, and so for that reason, I ask that you proceed with caution, if you feel that a trigger is imminent, due to the nature of my story. With that being said, moving on…

Even though I was only four years old, I can still remember the walk up that drive way. The weather’s always damp and cold in my memory, the kind of weather that gets stuck in your bones, that chill you get over the surface of your skin, when it’s been raining all day, and you find yourself shivering for hours, unable to get warm. Maybe, some kind of fore boding added in my kiddo mind, because I know for certain, I visited that house many times and in all the different seasons we’re so blessed to have here in Canada. Anyways, it wasn’t the normal things you’d remember, not the flowers or bushes that I’m sure she had lining the walkway, nor the dog barking or any other normal perspective one would have as they are about to enter one’s house. Especially a family home. A place most people would feel safe. What I remember, is the feeling. The sudden anxiety that I had done something wrong. That heavy feeling, that kids can understand, that you get right before you get in trouble. Except, with Granny, I was never sure what I had done. Only this pit in my stomach, the fear coming in panicked waves, and this uncertainty of myself. This abrupt self-consciousness and harsh self examination. I wasn’t good enough to be here. I wasn’t good enough. My head hung low, the palms of my four year old hands are sweaty as I reach towards my mother’s. Her long red fingernails, and how tall she seemed to me then, all four foot eleven of her.

The knock on the door. My tummy in knots. The little heart beating faster. 

If my Mom was the one dropping me off, Granny made sure to be herself, no holding back. No smile, no nonsense. Right to business. I can’t really remember what she was like with any of my other family. The ones who never knew. She could of been a bouquet of stinking plastic roses for all I know, because I can’t remember one good thing about that woman. Who’s still alive by the way, both her daughters die of cancer before the age of fifty, but not her. After smoking a pack a day all her life, being one evil bitch, and contracting blood poisoning in her 80’s, you’d think the broad would croak already. But no. Go figure. Anyways. 

And so the front door would open, and there she’d be, standing there in her sheer robe, and I mean sheer robe, nipples exposed and everything else you wouldn’t dream of seeing on your Grandmother. Cigarette in hand, a scoff dripping from her tight lipped mouth. Disgusted with us. Her short hair and lanky body, bending to support the hand on her hip, peering at us through the slits of her suspicious eyes.

“Get the fuck in the house.” And immediately, as she walked in with obedience, my Mom would let go of my hand. The vibe changing instantly, and I knew why. And I also knew, I was alone now. Mommy was no longer my Mommy, not here anyways. Everyone belonged to Granny, even her, and that role trumped me, her daughter, every time. And so, I’d take off my little pink rain boots, the blond hair falling over my eyes, those super blunt 80’s bangs. And even in her hate for me, I wanted to hug Granny, and even though I knew better, I had tried a few times before. Only to be met with a rigid body, severe backlash and a hard,

“Don’t fucking touch me, you lying little bitch.”

So, it didn’t take long for me to let go of the hugs I would never receive, unless someone “who didn’t know” was watching. And I got used to the “table” routine. The same talk we had every time I visited. Within five minutes of that front door opening, that’s where I’d be sitting, waiting. Waiting for her to come meet me there, and take the worst verbal beating I’ve experienced. Over and over, and over again. Most of the time, the berating would take so long, I’d have to go pee. Only a couple times, did I ever ask to go. Because she would never let me. She would force me to hold it in, she took pleasure in watching me squirm and fuss, and if I had an accident, it was bad news. But we’ll talk about that another time. And so came the words, and the prays of spit. The yelling, the screaming. Her face lunged into mine, and the hate that came with it. Often, her words would end with her jabbing her fingernail into my shoulder, going something along the lines of this-

“You stupid, finger jab, fucking little bitch.”  Finger jab, then a loud sigh.“You know, if your father knew what a little cunt you were, he’d leave you for good. Finger jab. You’re lucky to have us, you know. Because I bet you spent the last two weeks playing your little lying games, and making everyone believe what a good little girl you are. Finger jab. But I know the truth, we all know the truth about you. You’re just a worthless piece of shit. You mean nothing. Look at you, finger jab, you’re just an ugly, lying little thief. Finger jab. And don’t even get me started on how you manipulate everyone around you, trying to make us think you’ve changed. You’ll never change, finger jab, you’ll always just be the stupid little lying bitch you are. Finger jab. Don’t you ever forget it.” And at four years old, I would sit there silently, soaking up every word, and believing them. Responding internally, with that childlike acceptance every little one has in their heart. To secure the truth in their mind when they hear it. And Grandma’s don’t lie. Daddy’s don’t lie. Mommy’s don’t lie. Right?

And so, she would go on in this way for hours, and sometimes I peed my pants, sometimes I didn’t. And when I didn’t it was a blessing. Running to the bathroom, holding the crotch of my pants and hitting the toilet with a kind of victory that’s hard to explain. This happened to me for years, along with the sexual, ritualistic and satanic abuse.  So, to the one’s who have walked with me throughout my life, for the ones curious about why I’ve been driven to hate myself all these years…

Well…

I was trained to.

 

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places…”~ Ernest Hemmingway

 

 

 

 

There’s Something You Should Know About Me.

Something beautiful happened the night before last.The beauty of it was equal in measure to the roughness of the heart ache it caused, and I cannot write about anything else today.

It might seem like I’m jumping all over the place here, but bare with me, we’ve been through a lot the last few years, and to fully understand my story, there are some bases we need to cover, in love, before moving on. Such is the nature of a tale needed to be told, and I am truthfully grateful for your patience and understanding, as I dig and sort, and express this life, I myself, am often times, overwhelmed by. So, moving on…

Last week, my son, who is a precious five years old, asked me a question.

“Mommy, do I have a brother and sister in heaven?” Just like that, as it so often goes with these strikingly honest children of ours.

We were walking home from school, fall leaves crunching beneath our shoes, that perfectly romantic smell of smoked wood in the air, you know the kind, and the sun was bright that day, as it often is this time of year. His little hand was wrapped in mine with the kind of purity only a parent can understand, and as the words passed over those plump cherub lips of his, they pierced my heart like a frenzy of tiny golden arrows. Enveloped in love, but the sharpness of it, was painful none the less. You see, in the past three years, we have lost two children. Both of them lost to us through miscarriage. The first was early, our daughter I’m convinced she was a girl, and you’ll know why later, and as much as losing her, rocked my world, and shook the foundation I stood on, the second was all together different and has forever changed me. 

As a person, as a mother and as woman.

 We lost our son, Asher, at four and a half months pregnant, my water broke in my living room, in front of my son and husband, I pray still to this day, that my son doesn’t remember that in the same way I do, and that in his little three year old mind, that memory is shaped with much gentler place to land than what I was left with.  I gave birth to Asher right there on my living room floor, still born, and as I write this, even through all the blood, tears, excruciating pain, shock and terrible grief, the one thing I remember above all else, was how beautiful that little boy was. How precious, and tiny, and perfect he looked. Even in death. But, for months and months afterward, in all honesty, I felt I had died right along with him. So, almost two years later, to hear these words fall from the lips of my son, was sort of unexpected for me, but only because I had put it away to survive, and he hadn’t.

And so, I could feel the weight of his curiosity, the thoughts running through the purity of his mind and for a moment, I was frozen in these memories, and had to force myself to speak.

“Yeah baby,” coming forth in a gentle breath, “Yeah you do.”

The second I said it, doubt abruptly slapped my face, and I asked myself, should I have lied? Surely he could remember me having been pregnant. He was almost four years old when we lost Asher. He had once rested his cheek upon my belly, traced his fingers across the roundness of it, and left behind kisses tied along with sweet words of love.  And now, looking down at the sweetness of his face, how his eyes searched my face for answers, I knew, I could not lie. It was time to talk about it, and not for me, but for him. Because he deserved that, and we always promised ourselves, as long as it was appropriate for his little heart, we would never lie to our son. Ever.

And so, I told him the story. Of how Mommy and Daddy had wanted so badly for him to have a sibling, but that Mommy had been sick and hadn’t known it. And the kind of sickness Mommy had, made it hard for her body to carry a baby for our family, and that God let Mommy hold them for just a little while, inside, before taking them back home to heaven, to live with Him there. And you know, this little five year old boy of mine, looked up at me, and was quiet for awhile, as we walked slowly beneath that fall sky, until stopping, and saying,

” I understand Mommy, but I wish they could come back. Because I care Mommy, about that. I care about my brother and sister in heaven.” My heart sank in my chest, this poor little boy had experienced so much death, right along beside us, including the death of my mother and grandmother during those two years as well, and it took everything I had to hide the tears behind my sunglasses, before crouching down in front of him saying,

“Baby, I am so proud of you. For the love you have in your heart. You have been so brave, and so kind. And Mommy is so sorry little one, that your brother and sister are in heaven, instead of here with us. And I am so proud of you, of the kind of big brother you would have been, and are. And know, that they are always watching over you, and know how much you love them.” And I held him there on the sidewalk, and he wrapped his little arms around me. The most precious of gifts.  And we stayed there for a little while, with the wind rustling through our hair, and the birds singing in the trees, on that beautiful fall afternoon.

Now before I continue my story, there is something you should know about me. This is not something I tell people, nor do I advertise this in any way. I don’t use titles, or box myself, but I suppose if I had to choose the best way to explain myself,  would be to say, I am a seer. I dream, dreams that come true. I dream dreams. of things that are happening to other people in real life, some I know, some I don’t. I have visions, in prayer, or out of prayer, they don’t have to go hand in hand. I hear God’s voice, and we converse. I have seen and spoken to Jesus, and have no doubt that I will continue to do so. I sense and see demons, and other dark things across the veil, and have had plenty of run ins with them, and the enemy we call satan. These gifts are God given, and this is my normal, every day life, and will continue to be until I die. I don’t tell you this for any other reason than, to help you understand parts of this story. I doesn’t bother me, if you believe me or not, that’s the least of my concerns, because I didn’t come here to convince you, I came, to tell you a story, and my story is what I’ll tell. So with that all being said,

Later that evening, after we had brushed his teeth, and read him his bedtime story, my husband and I curled up into his bed with him, like we do every night. I’m telling you, this kid goes to bed feeling loved, I can tell you that much. Not a night goes by, that he isn’t held, lifted up and spoken life into, by the both of us. Not a night goes by, without him being told how wonderful, special, talented, kind, and loved he is. We tell our son, every single day, how happy and grateful we are to have him in our lives. And so, as we all curled up together, getting super cozy in the multitude of soft blankets and pillows, our son turns to us and says,

“Mommy, I want to pray tonight. I want to pray for Aryanna, and Asher. My brother and sister in heaven.” My heart broke, hearing the two beautiful names, names we had chosen in full excited hearts. Names, I had chosen from the same place my prayers are born. Names, that now felt memorialized, and as beautiful as they are, it still hurts just as much to hear them, as it  feels good to say them. My children. One here in my arms, and the other two, distant, but so close, just like all the other things seen, but unseen, in the spirit. That any other seer or prophetic child of God would understand.

And so, he prayed. And this is what he said.

“Heavenly Father, and Jesus in heaven. Please take care of Aryanna my sister in heaven. And of my brother in heaven too. Play with them Jesus, and tell Aryanna I want to make a sign for her, of her name in sparkles, just like she likes.”  And I swear, in that very moment, in the spirit, I heard a little girl laugh. I heard Aryanna laughing, and the smile passing over my son’s face as he thought and spoke about her in that moment. The spirit, and the natural weaving together, and I felt, all three of my children, together in his room that night. I felt I might explode in a tidal wave of love, grief and all the things in between. 

I’m not sure if you can imagine what that felt like for me, for our son, or for my husband, because he felt it too. And I held that inside me, with all the strength I had, as I kissed my sons forehead goodnight. Praising his courage, sweetness and faith. His love for them. And I walked to my bedroom, and fell into my husbands lap, weeping. I wept there for a long time, and while I wept, this strength filled the room. And I could feel it from the bottom of my toes, to the top of my head, my heart beating faster. And I knew it was Jesus, because I know how He feels. And as I wept, the visions started coming. Pictures flowing through my minds eye, powerful, but also smooth, and gentle, in a way they hadn’t been before. And as the tears came and came, I saw in the heavens, my babies, and it was the cleanest cry, I have ever wept. The details, of what Jesus showed and showered over me that night, are for my family alone. A gift, of which I am eternally grateful. But I can say this, my children, our children, my sons brother and sister, will live the most beautiful life in heaven, and there is no doubt in my heart, that they watch over us and cheer us on as we rise to walk the path less traveled. That beautifully narrow road.

And to the ladies out there, who relate to the pain of losing a child, and there are many. To the men, the fathers, who have held those ladies, and sat silent in the grief. Know you are not alone and on the nights you feel that grief tugging sharp at the heart, imagine, each of us, around the world, human to human, life to life, breath to breath, united in the great weave of life. Or at least, that’s what I do. With the heart of God intertwined throughout.

I love you Aryanna. I love you Asher. Until we meet again my loves.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

 

 

This Weary Tattooed Body.

I wanted to write something this last week, but I found myself drawing for the first time in over two years, and it felt so good that I just couldn’t take a break to post a new blog. My hands were moving freely, unlike the stiffness I had become so used too. And for four days, I did hardly anything, but play around with my pencils, getting my hands dirty, pushing graphite over stark white paper and spilling my imagination across the torn out page of my sketchbook.

If you draw, paint, or create anything with your hands really, you know what I mean when I say, I had gotten used to stiffness. Where movements that once felt natural, have now become tense and strained. The fingers and wrist are rigid, pushing back against you and leaving little room to create the thing you have swirling around in your mind. It’s frustrating as hell. But, this time, it wasn’t like that, and it felt amazing.  It felt amazing because, in all honesty, my body, mind and heart haven’t allowed for that kind of thing lately. Life’s been harsh and sharp, and some of the most authentic parts of myself had fallen asleep. Laying dormant beneath the ash and rubble of a life once lived, and now only endured.

So when the pencil hit the paper, and things were happening the way I wanted them too, I couldn’t put it down. For the first time, in over two years, I felt a part of myself alive and breathing again. Rubbing my fingers into the grey powder, the metallic smell lingering. Pencil shavings filling my ashtray, smudging line after line, until the shapes began to come to life, impelling the weight to lift from my shoulders, and wander away to the place it belongs. In God’s hands.

It gave me hope. And it validated, that I was still here. That I was alive, and somewhere in this weary tattooed body, I was in there.

So, day after day, in my joggers and baggy t-shirts, one cup of coffee after another, cigarette after cigarette, I created a piece of art that I am proud of. Too some, it may not seem like that big a deal, but to me, it’s everything right now. It’s a piece of tangible evidence that I am not dead. That I’m still rooted in my body and that I can still create something beautiful. That I can DO SOMETHING. That, I still have a loud and passionate soul, willing to expose itself, vulnerable or not, to my fellow-man. To my creator and Father, who shaped these gifts within me.

At the end of the day, it had made it known, that it wasn’t too late for me. As depressing at that sounds, I was tip toeing on that ledge of deep despair, and now I had some hope back in my life. And I think that’s the beauty of creating something, it confirms our authenticity, mirroring our own mystery and showing us a piece of ourselves we may have lost or simply forgotten was there. It is a form of expression that can untangle our own inner web of chaos, simply because of the release that can happen there. Taking down the guard, to liberating something beautiful and unique from within, in turn, maybe even smoothing over those jagged parts that have become so raw. It gives the creator a chance to look at oneself, and perhaps decide, that they still have something to offer, even under the suffocating soot and residue of things past by. Things past by, but at times, and often for myself, relived everyday.

At the end of this post, are a few shots of the piece I was working on all week, if you wanna check it out.

As I said earlier, I needed a break from telling my story. The beginning of the week was rough, and after a few sleepless nights, waking up in tears, I decided I needed help. So, on Tuesday, I found myself sitting in the doctor’s office, mid panic attack, covered in tears, emotional and weak as hell. It took a lot of courage on my part, to expose and vulnerabilize myself to a man I had never met. I’ve never been one to trust doctors, and asking him for anxiety medication was hard. I was embarrassed it had gotten this bad, and I was really nervous about the whole thing. Talking about cancer screening was even worse, and it left a kind of pit in the bottom of my stomach. I’m not looking forward to those appointments, at all. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Moms death, that she was a young 48 years old, and I’ve unknowingly taken on a deep fear, that the same thing will happen will to me. I’ve even caught myself counting how many years I’d have left with my son, if I died at the same age. Just like my Mother, and her sister, who also died of cancer before the age of 50. I have to stop myself when my mind goes there, sometimes violently, because in all honesty, I’m terrified. And so, these are the thoughts that wake me in the night, my pillow case drenched in tears. Amongst other terrors from within. The old fears, and the new, swirling around my subconscious, creating a circus act of horror I’d do anything to escape. And so, the doctor’s office and the newness that came with it.

I promised I was going to walk you through each and every detail, the details of a fight to save my own life.

To rise to the place I belong.

The fight to tell the truth about what happened to me.

The reality, that on all scientific counts, I should die of cancer within 20 years, and the way that I have chosen to deal with that.

To not only heal, but to overcome in a way, that the story of my life represents a truth I would die for. The truth that, not only can each of us survive absolutely anything, but that God can take the cruelty and suffering each of us has endured, conquer it in all His strength, and wrap them up into stepping stones towards a life that would baffle the enemy. Stealing away his efforts to destroy us, and instead, building a house of truth over his lies. A house, a life, that represents what trust in God looks like. Free, and beautiful, and overflowing with gardens of abundance. Loved.

I believe God can do that in my life and I believe He already has. Even in the tears, through the panic attacks and the sleepless nights. Through the death, and in the worry. The dark, and back to the light, through prayer, where I always reunite with my authentic self. Because that’s where Jesus is.

And so, tomorrow, I’ll go back to the place I was before, and continue telling my story. Until then, I thank you for being my friend and for reading.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it also full of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller 

 

 

Getting used to my pencils again.

Getting used to my pencils again.

Coming together.

Coming together.

Hit it with some graphic overlay and editing, and voila!

Hit it with some graphic overlay and editing, and voila!

 

She Was In There.

I cried all night, the day I published my last post.

It was September first, and one year prior, to that very day, was the day I lost my Mom to cancer. It happened at Elizabeth Bruyere, the palliative care building located in a beautiful area of downtown and  my husband, myself and my son, were the only family left to visit that day.

Somewhere, deep inside my gut, I knew she was going to die that day. I knew, in the same way, I knew it would rain. How you taste that cool breeze in the air, and even though the sky is bright blue and the sun is beaming down on the flesh of your shoulder, that coolness running over your bare skin, tells you the truth. I knew it in the same way as this, and I tried to put it away, but could not. And when my Grandpa left  that afternoon, shuffling away, with those sad, heavy shoulders of his, I knew I would be the one to call later, and have to tell them him truth. That she had died.  And I was right.

She had been in a morphine sleep haze for two days now. The little machine laying at her side, the tubes pumping a never-ending supply into her veins. The tumors in her cervix had grown so large, that she was now unable to relieve herself, and go to the washroom.  They had spent hours trying to insert a catheter two days before, but the tumor was just to big. There was nothing more they could do, and we had nothing to offer her, but the small comfort of our presence.

The doctor informed us that because they could not successfully help her relieve herself, that this would cause the urine to back up into her kidneys, and that she would eventually pass of kidney failure.  It was a peaceful way to die, they said.

“We recommend you say your goodbye’s and do your best to make your peace with this.” The nurses were kind and understanding.

There was so much to say, I didn’t have the words. I still had so many questions, so much anger within. And the contrast between my love for her, and my hate, was almost too much to bear. You see, during the Spring that had just passed, I had come to learn a dark truth. One that, stole away all the seeming  innocence of our relationship and the morsels of trust that had been left. Not that there were many.

She had known what they had done to me, the abuse I suffered. And she had not only turned her back, no, she had not only turned her face away. She had once..

It’s been almost an hour since I typed those last three words. Every time, I  begin to finish that sentence my mind goes blank and I find myself staring at the screen. Repeating it over and over again in my head. She had once….participated. She had once….participated. She had once…participated. I’m stuck here, and it hurts. A lot. I can hardly remember what I began this post with, because just having this thought run through me, is enough to bring me to my knees in tears. I love my mother. And, I hate my mother. It has made my grieving process a terrible and confusing thing, and every single day, my heart wails in pain at how much I wish things could be different. That I could say goodbye to my mom in peace, without the constant tug of war between these two opposing feelings. How my heart contradicts itself equally on both sides, is disconcerting, even though I understand it. 

Moving on. 

She had not only turned her face away, she had once…participated. That memory resurfacing itself just four months before I got the phone call. And so as I sat there at her bedside, with the sound of the beeping machine, of it pushing the drug into her veins, I knew this. The crayons in my son’s hand dragging over the white paper on his lap and the soft weight of my husbands strong hand tracing the lines of my back, I knew.  The smell of food wafting through the halls, the elevator opening and closing again. And as I listened to the sound of my mothers breath, so strained and forceful, I knew what she had done. Cringing internally at the phlegm rising up and down her throat from all those years of smoking and rattling within. That terrible sound. My internal chaos and pain, for the now, and the then, mixed with the soundtrack of this all too painful reality, that my mother was dying.

When my Grandmother was in her final days, the nurses had taught us how to remove the extra phlegm that had spilled into her mouth,

(gross, I know, but I wouldn’t tell you unless I had too)  

…with large kind of que-tips, teaching us to remove the stuff not only because it was needed, but because a person could choke this way.  The thought of my grandmother choking to death scared the shit out of me, but they reassured me how normal this was, and that it happened to almost everyone in those final days. Normal or not, it still scared the shit out of me.

So when my mom began to choke, I knew this was why. It was such a terrible sound. My heart falling to the pit of my stomach, and I ran out into the hallway for a nurse. The attending nurse grabbed this kind of large glass jug, with measuring cup units in red print up along the side of it and followed me into the room. She began to lift my mother’s head in her hands, at the same time asking me,

“Do you want to stay for this?” Breaking me out of my own haze of disbelief and plugging me back into life. I look down at my son, only five years old.

“No, no I won’t stay.” And she gets to work as the three of us head towards the hallway, and into the elevator. It felt like I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes in those fifteen minutes. My hands shaking, my heart screaming, the sound of my mother choking like that. The walk back to the elevator was entirely surreal, the bell ringing as the doors opened on my mother’s floor. The slow walk down the hallway, turning the corner with the thudding of my own heart, and Landon’s little five-year old hand in mine. My husbands strong, warm hand in my other, and I see her. I see the nurse standing in the hallway, and she’s crying. She’s shaking, and she’s crying and she looks up to see me there.

“It was horrible,” she wails, “It was so horrible.”

And all I can do is look at her, because I don’t know what she’s saying to me. And she’s still crying, as she lifts her hand to her mouth, and this look of shock comes over her face. And she says to me,

“Oh my goodness, you’re her daughter! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry. Your mother has just passed away, I couldn’t clear her airway, and she asphyxiated. She could not breathe. I’m so sorry.” And that was it. As I turned my head towards her room, the tears rimming my eyes with heat, she was in there. Still and lifeless, and gone.  I held her hand and played with her hair until her skin started to get cold, and with that, I kissed her forehead and said my last goodbye.

I love you Mom.

“Someday, you’re going to look back on this moment of your life, as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

My Hands Are Still.

By the time we reached the apartment, I had become subdued. Things had gone from acute chaos, to an eery silence in a matter of minutes. Closing the door behind me, and my heart rate began to slow down. The shaking of my hands, to a shameful stillness.
A cold ice water had washed over me, and the not so distant past, was beginning to become a foul memory. A grim nightmare, I just would not admit, I had been a part of.
Isn’t that what we do? pretend it didn’t happen just so we can look ourselves in the mirror again. Trying to suffocate the heavy day dreaming, the imagery of suicide, of blowing your head off, covering your eyes to the flash of drowning guilt, to the crippling self hate. Cutting that piece out you, even though it has nowhere to go. Carrying the rotten flesh in your hands, until it poisons you. This pussing wound of truth. Covering your nose to avoid the stench of your own reality.
The shrill echo of the ambulance was now a dull ache in my ears, and I felt dirty. Even though I wasn’t, I could swear I was covered in his blood. My hands dripping with the red syrup, and all I wanted to do was shower. Curl up into a tiny ball at the bottom of the tub, and never ever wake up again. I deserved to die. I knew that.
“Here Ang, clean this.” Tyler’s deep voice jarring me out of my self loathing pity party. He’s handing me the hatchet. The silver gleam of it catching my eye, the dry crusted blood sending a numbing over my heart. Death in my eyes. I feel nothing. I’ve gone away to some other place and I don’t know where I am. Taking it in my hand, I walk to the bathroom. Flipping on the florescent light and lean over the ceramic sink. All I can hear is my heart beating, a slow and rhythmic pace. Pulling in a deep and painful breath as I turn the faucet, watching the cool water flow out with a quick splash. The hatched is heavy when I pick it up, scraping against the cheap countertop and I realize, yet again, that my hands aren’t shaking. Sixteen years old, washing a stranger’s blood from a weapon, and my hands are still. I hate myself. Any normal person would be at the station right now. Turning themselves in, hands up, with tears running down their face.
Not me.
I’m the piece of shit covering her tracks, a guiltless asshole destroying evidence.

Avoiding the sharpest part of the blade, I run my fingers over the red crust. Rubbing the pads of my fingers over the blood and slimes up slightly as it makes contact with the water. My fingers slipping every so often as I scramble to get it off. I feel like I’m going to vomit, but I don’t. Just stare at the swirls of pink water flowing down the silver drain pipe. A tender piece of a man’s soul washing away into oblivion. The look in his eyes, flashing through my mind, and I consider slashing my wrists open with the very weapon that almost killed him. My eyelids are a movie screen playing the worst of all horror movies. One I can’t escape. Because this isn’t a fucking movie. This is my life. His life. Our lives. Tyler and She are in the bedroom smoking weed, having left me with this cathartic chore.
One, that will leave my fingerprints for the police to dust and collect. Hindsights a bitch, but in my dazed robotic state, it had never occurred to me that wiping the axe down, would have been a good idea.

 

Gnats of the Soul.

Cigarette after cigarette, and I sit here, staring at this lap top screen.
All things, buried, have come to the surface of my own earth, and I can no longer contain any of it.
My memories are setting up little houses on the plains of my flesh, the emotions surrounding them, fueling their little cars, my pain, the water nourishing their tiny gardens. My past has come alive, and encamped upon me.
My anger, the ammunition that drives their drunken parties. These crazed tiny men, crawling out of my pores, eating at my skin. Pulling at my hair. The only eviction notice is the release.
Picking them off one by one with my words, killing them with truth. Squashing the life out of them with my tattooed fingers, swiping them from my limbs, like an avalanche of the hand. My own sweat is poison, flushing them out with the quickening of my own heart beat. Little screams as they waste away, and I smile.
This might sound like some kind of intense and strange metaphor, and maybe it is, but it’s how I feel. As if, the things on my insides, which no longer belong, are now on the outside. Dispersed across myself,  with nowhere to go, only to sit, and settle on the surface. This kind of thing, takes on a life of its own. One you can’t always control. Maybe, one you shouldn’t even try to control. Because you’ve been doing that long enough. Is it dangerous to give freedom to such a thing? to allow this evolution to take place? maybe. Or I can admit, full heartedly, that I welcome it. At least it’s on the outside, and not churning within, making me sick to myself. I can name these little men, because they are so pathetically small now. Shame, guilt, and wreckage. No longer the grim giant, of whom’s foot, I lived under. Now, they only crawl over me. Like gnats of the soul.
So let them come. Let them build their little cities. Their shrines dedicated to my own self loathing, because it’s a city built on sand, and I have my own waves to call on. Big cool waves of truth. God’s own power to wash me clean. There’s no cavern to lead them within, only roads to travel the grounds of my body. Let them travel, because every path leads back to the same place. A mouth to devour them. A flame to burn them.
So let them come. Let them march and cry out their lies. Their ropes cannot contain me, their weapons are like sting’s from a thistle. Irritating, but meaningless.
They unknowingly fuel my own needs, reminding of the things that have passed. Giving me the words I need, the righteous rage to move forth and destroy them. As they build, I build.. and for that, I’m grateful. Because you see, I know what they do not know. The thing that they’re too dumb, deaf and blind to see. That God, uses everything to my greater good. Even if it’s an evil thing. That evil, is still His pawn. And so, it’s also mine.
And so I say again, come gnats. Come and perch on me, run wild upon me and I will use you. Your little mountains of trash and accusations are my stepping stone to an honest freedom.

His Ghosts Have A Face.

Writing has been hard this week. I find myself pushing through a junk yard of memories, getting lost in the inter twinning of trash and old things that have been pushed aside. Trying to articulate moments, describe circumstances, and all the while, finding myself caught up the emotions of it. Staring off at the ground, as I re-live nightmares, past hurts pushing through like whispers, and I’m involved with an inner conversation. Only realizing, a half hour later, I have yet to type a single word.

I keep re-living the same two nights. Like a black and white movie reel stuck on repeat, pictures flashing across the inside of my skull. A red pounding heart, swelling with each plot climax. Two nights, over and over again. The night we smashed ourselves into committing this obscenely shameful act, and the night I was raped by two boys from a neighbouring high school. My first sexual experience, and I was thirteen years old.

It’s hard to tie them together with the right strings, but they are both defined by one element. Violation. A thief breaking in, tearing open your chest and spitting out the fire, that is your light. Replacing it with his own excrement, and leaving you on the ground, destroyed. The only difference between them, is that on one of these nights I was the one left on the ground, and the next, I was the thief.

I willingly stepped into those shoes, and became the abuser.

All the while, I was validating the robberies by imagining myself as this vigilante rape victim, only to turn into the monster I hated most. That’s some fucked up irony.

And so, this is what haunts me every time I sit down to write. Ricocheting between the two memories, unable to move. Two black boulders planted in my mind, woven into the walls of my brain. Back and forth. This is my BIGGEST shame. This is the thing I cling to in the dark and shove under my pillow. The thing I hide. Ignore. Avoid and run from. The thing that laughs at me. That hisses and mocks me, when the people in my life tell me, I’m good and worthy. When they tell me, I’m honourable for writing these memoirs, and all the while, this voice inside, tells me all I’m doing is letting out a big secret. The secret, that…I’m bad.

I have done to someone else, the very thing that destroyed me.

I didn’t rape him, but I may as well have.

I left this man bleeding in the street. To DIE.

There is a person out there in the world, who has thick scars  running along  his face to remind him of his weakness. To remind him, that he was attacked in the middle of the night, on the street, from behind, and left to bleed to death on the sidewalk. Every morning when he wakes up to shave, or shower, those memories stare back at him. Maybe they laugh at him, like mine do. Or maybe, they fill him with rage, with sadness, with despair. Maybe he can’t stand the sight of his own face anymore. Maybe he’s okay, and well and happy. I wouldn’t know.

So, just as I sit and cry. Just as I’m haunted, so is he. Just as I get hit square in the face with flashbacks, and want to crawl out my own skin, so does he. As my ghosts lurk in the shadows, taunting me, so do his. Except his ghosts have a face…my face. The faces of the girls I was with that night. And so as I sit to continue my story, this is what whips my back. This is what pulls me into staring at the floor as tears fall down my face.

I can’t stop thinking about him.

And even though, most days I don’t feel this way,that I know I’m forgiven, and worthy, and beautiful, even though I know the truth, because I know Jesus, I still have these moments. Where, all of the above pains, are a reality. It may have been over ten years since this happened, but consequences are still being lived out to this day. And it’s during these times I have to remind myself, I’m still here. And if I’m still here, than Jesus is still with me. And if He’s with me, then all this can have a beautiful purpose, and with that, there’s no arguing with God.

I’ll most likely write a new memoir post in the next day or two, I just felt really strongly about getting through this, and sharing with you, all that I have. I couldn’t have kept going, without it.

God bless you, and thank you for taking this journey with me, for accepting me, for lifting me up in all the ways that you do. I couldn’t do it with out you. I’ll always keep going, if you keep with me<3

 

The Kind Of Shoes You Burn.

We had been sitting there, smoking cigarettes. I guess, trying to ease into the thought, that we were going to go back out there again. Catching our bearings in some sort of way. Bracing ourselves. Even if we didn’t want to admit it to each other.

“Can I come with you? I’ve never seen anything like this before. I wanna be there.” Looking over at the little bird standing next to me. Let out a sigh that’s  tarnished with judgement and shake my head. Her curls, well not so much curls, more like frizzy waves of mousey blond hair,  are pulled back in a tight ponytail and her t-shirt is ridiculously oversized. She’s waiting for my answer, looking at me with this half-smile.

” Are you serious?” What kind of person asks to tag along in a robbery. The same kind of person who slits their wrists and decides to slap you in the face, that’s who. I’ve never really liked her, but I’m immediately aware of the hypocrisy held in that thought, and shoot my self down with a kind of personal disgust. ” Yeah, I guess, if you want to.” The whole thing is a sick mess anyways.

When I’m walking down the street a short time later, this disturbing sense will come over me, and I’ll feel like we’re in some kind of sick “show and tell” time. Like you used to have in school, except this isn’t in school. It’s the middle of the night, and you’re  scouring the streets looking for someone to rob. It’s a messed up feeling, walking around in the dark, waiting to cross paths with someone who feels “right” to rob. How does a person pick? Just typing out that question makes my stomach turn, at the same time,  I can’t help but remember what it felt like. It’s a heavy feeling. It’s lonely. Cold and dark. It also, awakens an animal that lives inside you. One that you didn’t even know existed, until you travelled in those shoes. The kind of shoes you burn, when you swear to walk a cleaner road. And so, the question had to be asked, how does one pick?

For me, it was always a man. Always.

It made it easier if he hit on me. If he approached me, in a sexual gesture, it was probably going to happen. Whisky breath and hands. And part of me, could justify it. That was my little green light. This quiet rage would push itself through my chest, and that was it. It was just, easier that way. At least that’s how had been up until now. Tonight, I wouldn’t do the picking. She, would pick. And, the moment  she runs across the street, taking deep strides to catch up behind him, and reaching down into her pants to pull out that frightening silver hatchet, I’ll feel it deep in my gut. This cold ice brick of regret.

You know how people always say, ” When I woke up this morning, I would have never thought his was going to happen.”

Ya, no shit.

Red Vinyl.

Again, another old post to continuing getting all my new readers up to speed with the story! This entry is titled “Garbage and Hamburger Grease”. As I said before, I’m going to be putting up new Memoir posts on Saturdays from now on, so if you are waiting for a new one, it will come out then. Another huge thank you to all the amazing people who have taken the time to keep up with and read my work. God bless each and every one you!!

Garbage and Hamburger Grease.

The city has a sinister feel at night time. Out come the blinking lights and diner signs. The screeching and growling of buses, the bass of heavy hip hop reverberating through the air,escaping from the windows of nearby traffic. The cackling chatter of the public, mixed with gossip, ringing cell phones and drunk passersby. The homeless chants of sparing change. Downtown smells like exhaust fumes and vomit. Liquor and cigarette smoke. Garbage and hamburger grease. The occasional blast of pot smoke, and the aroma of peculating coffee squeezing through the cafe doors, as people bustle in and out in a rush.

As I’m walking, I’m relieved to have a few people at my side. Tyler and one of his boys, and of course, loyal as she was from the get go,She.

She is walking next to me, talking through her constant smile. Story after story. She unknowingly skips when she walks, not a full blown skip, but almost this youthful hyper glide. You imagine her feet to barely touch the spit covered sidewalk, and she reminds you of a ten year old girl who’s just come back from a field trip. It’s almost refreshing, until you remember what’s really happening. You remember, you have no bed to sleep in tonight, or enough money in your pockets for a hotel room. That you’ve left your home, as much as it was evil, and these streets are now your play/battle ground. The boys walking behind you, whispering in fast hushed tones, hustle, hustle hustle.

Red meets up with us a few minutes later, she’s come out to slum it. A break from her sheltered suburban life. I’m deeply aggravated with that, and only shake my head at her for even being here. Fine, tag along sweetheart.

I’ve been disconnected all day, and insultingly quiet. Finding relief in She’s banter. I’m totally aware that something messed up is going to go down tonight, and so are the boys. We’re all thinking, planning and processing. Often, taking a second, to look up at each other and give the stare of settled awareness. The unspoken, yep…this is it. You ready? look. Tyler and I did this all the time, barely ever really needing to ask or explain anything to each other. We had that weird twin thing, reading each others mannerisms and facial expressions. Two peas in a pod. Two sardines in a stinking can. Two master manipulators praying on She’s ignorance and trust. We should have been ashamed of ourselves, we should have made her go home. Instead we all decided to hit an all night diner and do a dine and dash. We planned to have a feast of our favorite meals and figure out the rest later. I had only done one other dine and dash in my life, but at this point who gave a shit. The diner looks like a  1950’s hamburger joint and is open twenty-four hours. It’s packed with late night bar hoppers and a mirage of other downtown hanger outs. The booth we sit in is cushioned with red vinyl and the table looks like something right out of Leave it to Beaver. Music plays loudly in the background as She looks over the menu like a kid in Disneyland. Ordering Milkshakes and desserts. I opt for a coffee and  a light dinner, my stomach isn’t working with me tonight. All I can think about is, what comes next. After we bail on our bill, and the night turns to the early hours of the morning. I think about hours earlier, walking away from the Y for the last time. How the director told me, if I left with Tyler, I wouldn’t be aloud to return, under no circumstances. I tell her, it’s my only option, and she turns her back to me. I’m swirling my spoon in the coffee and staring into the creamy hot liquid. I hate myself. The others at our table, gorging themselves, laughing and acting like a bunch of dumb kids at dinner for a birthday party. Except Tyler. He’s staring at me from across the table. Nudging my foot with his. Watching me stare off into oblivion. He gives me the come sit next to me look, and I sigh, knowing some kinda filthy scheme is about to drop from his lips. He puts his arm around me, leans his forehead on mine, and out it comes. The black, dripping tar hanging from his mouth. The sentence that catapults the disturbing play of my immediate life…

Hey babe..

I stop breathing.

Have you ever jacked someone?

I choke on it, closing my eyes, feeling the warmth of his forehead on mine.

Fuck.

Thirty minutes.

To read the post that follows this one, simply click the link as follows~ This next entry is pretty intense. It was hard for me to write because it was the first time I had committed a robbery…I’m so blessed to have made it through, and to be given the opportunity to change, to grow, and to live. Thank you God, for your forgiveness and grace. http://thisbeatingheart.com/2011/11/21/imminent-madness/