Thursday, February 23, 2017

The good, the bad, and the evil, Locked DOWN!

There has to be some kind of balance in life. That is the beauty of the design.

How can we know joy if we have never known sorrow?
How can we appreciate peace if we have never fought battles?

Another design wonder is the human brain.

I don't mind that I can't remember much more than bits and pieces of life under the cruel reign of stepdad.
Eventually, when the violence began, I literally went into shut-down mode. Then later, the memory would simply disappear!
It's so hard to explain, and I'm having a hard time right now trying to realize how long I retained the memory of an event before it disappeared.
Oh, it makes my head hurt...
I would later find out it was a mechanism of self defense and self preservation designed by my brain. It was how I was able to endure.
Excellent! Right??

Well, sort of yes, and kind of no.

My youth may not have been ideal, but that's not to say there weren't good times too, but you see, the brain doesn't know the difference between excitement of something good, or the stress of something bad.
There is no difference of extreme. There is only extreme.
Good, or bad, too bad! It all goes on lock-down! What remains are fragments.

That's the good and the bad. Where's the evil? Hang on, I'm getting to it.

Stepdad didn't want to work. He didn't like to work, it was too hard. What he did work at was to build this public facade that he was this great guy! We were a family of active members of our church. After my parents purchased a camper, we became the go-to family for taking youth groups camping, and on other church related travels.
Of course, we also just travelled as a family.
As a result, we went on multiple trips to Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Mexico, Arizona and the places in between. Then we went camping every Labor Day, or whenever my parents decided to just up and go camping, at the Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan. Beautiful!
Those are the times I would dearly love to remember! Alas, I got so excited that we were leaving out of the house, that soon, most of those memories went on lockdown.

Stepdad was so good at his disguise, it made it impossible to let anyone ever know about what realy went on at home.
As a matter of fact, he always kept his cool in public, but when he got home, that was another story. For example,
I once found out the source of one of his hissy fit rampages he had at home came from a boy that simply took a pass from reading out loud in Sunday school class that morning.
Perfectly disguised, an evil monster in the skin of a servant of God.
The scales there were way off balance!

The problem is, once that lock-down mode is activated, there's NO turning it off!

So, here I live my life, with all of my memories in broken fragments; the good, the bad and the evil!

Sunday, February 19, 2017


If you grew up knowing that there's no such thing as monsters, turn you eyes away now...

Monsters are real! They lurk in the dark when the night air is so quiet you can practically hear your own heart beat. You just never know when they will come for you!

I am more than afraid of the dark, I'm petrified of it!

This account is witnessed by my mother:
In an orphanage in the 1940's a monster came for young girls in the still of the night. Scooped up while they slept, subdued by strong arm, never to be seen again. This monster is called the Boogeyman. The Boogeyman is real.

Just a couple accounts of mine:
A monster lived in our house. He was called A&&hole and tyrant and maniac. He tried to get my mom to sign over her house to him. When she didn't, he said he would blow it up one day, with everyone still in it! Nice, a**hole...
This will tie into another entry much later.

He outright told me he would sneak in my room and stand there just to watch me sleep in the middle of the night.
But, WHY?? And, why would he tell me these things?? He then went on and said more things to me that instantly made me want to run and vomit. I HATE being 'special'!

Monsters also came in the form of teenagers disguised as brother's friends.

When it's dark, the monsters WILL jump out and get you! They could be just around the corner, you just never know....

When you think you're alone, and it's all dark and quiet, you have to make a run for it! Run as fast as you can, and yell loudly to scare the monsters away!
Why do I always hesitate before running past that hall corner? Then take a long leap onto the bed so the monsters underneath don't grab your legs!
They're not under there now, right?
I don't know...
I'm too scared to look!

So, always sleep with the lights ON and the radio playing and PRAY that it helps keeps you safe!
I would NEVER feel safe in that house, EVER again!

Friday, February 17, 2017

The sound of silence

It goes like this:
"Turn it down! It's too loud!"

~"No it's not! It's not that loud. It can never really be too loud!"

I can't seem to function without the radio on, or the CD player going, or something playing in my headphones.
Nikki doesn't like it when I get my music playing very loud.
Shouldn't that be the other way around?

Like so many millions of people, to me, music is everything!

Growing up was very difficult.
Ok, it was steeped in violence. My life began with my first witness of violence at age 2.
I sat at the top of the stairs screaming and crying as I watched my then, 15 year old sister being hit, thrown down stairs, then dragged up two flights of stairs by her hair. The man that rented a room in our house simply didn't want her to leave the house.
Obviously, she moved out shortly after that.

That was just the beginning...

Some years later, my mom married a so-called 'really nice guy'.
Yeah, so nice that the night of their wedding they argued so much, so loud, with things flying, and it ended with him smashing their whole wedding cake on the floor!
All of us kids, meaning myself, my siblings and his 3 kids too, listened in horror from the top of those stairs.

Later, when all was quiet, a couple of us came down to peek around the corner, to the bottom of the stairs to find my mom on her knees sobbing quietly while she picked up broken pieces of glass amongst the entire smashed cake.

Step dad ruled by violence. The belt was always the preferred method.
At first, I was too little to be punished by belt, but it didn't protect me from witnessing so many horrific lashings endured by my brothers!

The best thing I could do is go hide! Go hide and grab a radio to try to drown out the sounds of the leather smacking on bare skin, and the screams and cries that followed. I felt so much fear and absolute terror welling up in my throat, my chest and stomach that I felt like I wanted to puke!
I would hide in my room. Hide in my closet. Hide in any corner of the house to always try to be unseen!
Better yet, don't go in the house at all! I spent a lot of time outside. Even in the dead of winter I would stay outside until I could no longer feel my fingers or toes and frost bite had begun.
Whenever trying to go in the house,
I would cautiously peek in the door to see if he was around, then make a mad dash to my room. Ahhh! Right to my little radio! I could listen to music, and everything, for the moment, would be OK!

Then I got older.
I managed to pretty much escape the vengeance of a good whipping, but open hand, back hand, closed hand hitting, and choke holds were reserved just for me. I was 'special' in his eyes.

Time goes by and the raging violence, yelling, screaming and things flying across rooms were a constant occurrence.

Only at night, when everyone went to bed, it got quiet. It was so quiet that I could hear my brother playing his Pink Floyd albums through the wall, and I knew, for that moment, everything would be alright.

I discovered I loved to sing along with the songs I heard. It seemed to make things so much better! I joined choir in elementary school, and have been singing and thinking about music ever since!
It's not that I'm a good singer, oh, far from it! I can hit all the notes just fine, but the quality? ... errrr...not so much.. Ahh, that doesn't stop me from belting out along with my favorite songs anyway!

I was in middle school when we learned this song called "The Sound of Silence" and it really hit home! I practiced, and practiced until that song seemed to be permanently engrained in my brain. I sang it in the shower, when I was passing classes in school, when I spent time outside, everywhere, all the time.

The night we had the concert where that song was included seemed to be magical! The whole evening was peaceful and quiet!
For that moment, I knew everything would be alright.

Fast forward through so many years, sooo..many..years.. That song and that evening had long been forgotten.
One night, I went to bed with my radio playing as usual, when I was awaken by a familiar tune I hadn't heard or thought about in ages! Still half asleep, I quietly sang along. Every word, every note, all still there!
The band Disturbed did a cover of The Sound of Silence and it was played on the radio!
Then I fell back asleep, my eyes wet with tears because I knew, at that moment, everything IS alright!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Recovery Blues...

So, I pretty much missed December & most of January.
Many years ago, I suffered an unfortunate back injury. As a result, I leaned heavily on doctor prescribed pain medication. I had been on them from day one in order to attempt return to 'normal' day to day life.

After all this time, I randomly developed a rare allergy to this medication that resulted in me having many seizures.
At first, I didn't tell anybody what was happening, because I thought it would just go away.(yea right) They didn't.(duh) Then they got worse. (Yea, DUH!)
After waaaay too many 'episodes' & some close calls behind the wheel, yeaaa, I'm an idiot, I stopped cold turkey (bad call) per doctor's orders.
Oh, & got driving privileges suspended, too.(good call)

Fast forward to the missing of a month & a half...

Have you ever seen those movies where a junkie gets admitted into rehab & goes through wicked & excruciatingly painful withdrawals?
YUP! That was me, full speed ahead to wicked rehab.
I just didn't know it...yet...
"Just stop taking the meds!" they said. "Right now!" they said.
"Ok.. Done!" I said
It never even dawned on me that it could be a very painful ordeal! Really??? Yes...Really!
Anyway, why would it? It's not like I was addicted to heroine!

But OOHHHH.....
The misery, the anguish, the vomiting, the profuse sweating & chills that followed was almost as unbearable as ALL of the agonizing return of pain from the back injury, as well as my debilitating headaches! It ALL came rushing back, all at once!!
If ever there is a time that you literally just want to die, it would be then!

I took many sleeping pills to try to 'sleep it off', countless Tylenol, ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin & aspirin to try to get any relief, but no, no relief would come.
In my mind, I'm scrambling to figure out a way to justifiably get into a medically induced coma for just a couple weeks...

Day after day, week after week, bad days, then worse days, then days where I'd slip & take some forbidden meds, but I'd feel better! Oops...
Birthdays, Christmas & New Year came & went. Trying to make this time nice for everyone else was so hard!
When will this be over already??

That's a stupid question.

The answer is, never!

Sure, I have energy now, & I can do things around the house & even cook a bit, but there's a cost! It's not just about the pain. Sure, I'll live with (more) pain as my constant companion, but what damage was done to my brain in this whole ordeal?
I've since noticed problems with speech. At times, my inability to put a sentence together is incredibly frustrating! Words get jumbled & come out completely backwards, it's sooo weird!!! Just writing this is such a difficult task!
I am also a recovered alcoholic. I already battle daily 'cravings', but now they scream, "Gimmmeeee!!!" louder than ever!!
So the stupid question of when this is going to be over? Yup, NEVER!

However, I DO have my family!
Without their constant care & support, my outcome would have been dramatically different!
So, I thank you for your support, literally, yes, I mean physically holding me up at times!
I thank you for your dedication, your patience, your confidence & your strength when I have none.
I love you so, so much, you can't even know!!

I do know this endeavor is FAR from over!
I just wish instead of damaging my brain, it would've opened up some part of it, unlocking an amazing talent like becoming a guitar, or piano virtuoso!!

Oh well, at least my sense of humor is intact... Phew! Ha ha ha ha ha!!