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Category Archives: About Me

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I mentioned, in an earlier blog, that I am spending a lot of time remembering my childhood.  There are a number of reasons for it:  It is a part of what I am today; I am looking for connections between that horrific period and the kind of person I am, to determine if I deserved it (does anyone deserve the “hand they’re dealt”?); and, the ultimate answer to the question “why?” 

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My father was a horrible son-of-a-bitch (pardon my language).  It seemed he hated the world and everything in it, so when anything got in his way, he beat it.  What usually got in his way was his wife and kids.  I don’t know if he wanted a wife, but he, certainly, didn’t want kids.  I remember, when I must have been about three and a half years old, he was drunk and, in a rage (over something, probably, insignificant) and he picked up a 4″ x 4″ and struck me in the head with it.  That wasn’t enough, before I could turn to see if he was going to do it again, he did it again (much like a baseball player would swing for a homerun)!  He had, already, beaten me and the rest of my body was in terrible pain, but the pain caused by those blows to my skull, as you can imagine, surpassed any other.  My parents couldn’t take me to a hospital, of course, because my father would have been arrested.  He wouldn’t allow that!  He was extremely controlling of everything in his world, including my mother, who wanted to help me.

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I was left to heal, pretty much, on my own.  I’m still putting the pieces together (remembering), but that might have been the time my mother laid me somewhere (in my bed?) as if she was placing me in a coffin.  She had written me off as dead or dying and had no way to get help for me… there was no way around the devil, himself.  After what seemed, to me, like maybe days, I moved an arm or leg and gave her hope I could survive. 

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It was a very slow and painful recovery process.  When I was about 95% healed, he was agitated about something (like he couldn’t find his car keys) and directed an angry comment at me.  I had nothing to do with the cause of his anger (except existing, maybe), but replied, “Are you going to hurt me again?  Because, if you are, I want to get a helmet.”  He and my mother both knew why I said that.  My mother touched my head and I snapped, “Don’t touch that!  It still hurts!”  I saw, in my father’s eyes, the despair that he had actually picked up a piece of lumber and hit a child with it, but, I think it, quickly, gave way to recognizing that, at the time, it felt good to him and (in his mind) necessary.  They both wondered where I heard the word “helmet”. 

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While I was explaining to my mother why I needed a helmet and while my father looked for his keys (or whatever), I said “…When I saw God, He was not happy!!”  Both their mouths dropped open and my father collected himself enough to say, “You saw God?”  I shuttered at the thought of telling a man, who had no worries or cares about God existing, that there was a God, but I also recognized the fear he (suddenly) had that there might be One.  So, I said, “yes”.  They asked me to explain exactly what happened, what I saw, what God said.  I told them, in whatever words were available to an almost-four year old (however, smart) child.  I told them that I was in such terrible pain that I couldn’t stand it anymore… then, everything “went gone”.  Gone?  “Like in a [dark] closet.”.  When they asked where I had heard the word “helmet”, I said “Um, God, I guess.”      

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My father’s fear of God wore off all too quickly, but it may have left a mark.  About a year later, my mother sat me down and said she wanted to ask me something.  I think she was fearing for all our lives and didn’t know what to do.  (No matter what she tried to do, he made it clear — I assume — that he would “get to” her and us.)  I guess she had nothing to lose by asking an almost-five year old.  She said I seemed to have wisdom beyond my years, so she was posing the question “What does someone do when they are filled with such fear, despair, and hopelessness, and there’s no where to turn, nothing she can do – there doesn’t seem to be any solution?”

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I thought, briefly, and then said, “Well, can I tell you what God said?”  She, probably, skipped a breath and gripped her chair, but said “yes”.  I said, “Well, I’ve seen God five times now”… forgetting, in the moment, that that was my secret ~~oops!~~ …”and, the last time, I was in such pain.  I mean, I hurt sooo bad, I didn’t want to come back.  I didn’t want to hurt anymore, but there seems to be no stop here.  God was making me come back, though.  So, I looked at Him and I said, ‘Why can’t you stop it?  And why do I have to go back?’  He said, ‘[my name], the stars will not fall from the sky.”

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That said to me that no matter what I was feeling, or feared, no matter what I suffered, no matter how hopeless some things seem,,God had a plan and he would accomplish it, there would be peace on Earth and no suffering.  It left me with No Doubt.  

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I keep wondering if I deserve the terrible life I’ve had.  I think I’ve been a good person, all things considered.  I’m not saying I am flawless.  I have been remembering my childhood ~~ now that I have time to ~~ all the things I had to “forget” in order to survive (like, witnessing my father do something horrific and my having to pretend it didn’t happen, so he would not ~~ I dare say ~~ kill me).  I promised myself, someday, I would take the time to remember.  

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I live in a breaking-down mobile home with no (working) air conditioning.  I actually consider that a blessing, since I can’t afford to run it.  I have had no (working) stove for years — if food can’t be cooked in a toaster oven, I don’t buy it.  My car stalls.  I think it’s the spark plugs.  (The “check engine” light has been on for most of 7 years.  Back when it first came on, I had the problem checked ~~ “spark plug #1” showed up on the electronic diagnosis gadget.  I guess it’s finally giving out.)  The weeds in the yard are getting as tall as me.  I have never had a lawn mower (in the 8 years I’ve lived in a house with a yard).  I’ve been using a weed trimmer to “mow”.  That finally broke.  The part I need is cheap, but I can’t force myself to press the button to find out how much it’s going to cost to ship.  (Have you ever needed a $2 part and had to pay $7.95 to get it shipped?  Ugh!)  A few days ago, I replaced the vacuum cleaner – again.  This one may have set a record for lasting… Did it really last over a year?  I worry, every time I do laundry, that the spin cycle will shake this mobile home right off its block foundation.  I can see a corner block crumbling.  I can’t see most of the blocks.  What do I do if it does collapse?  I have no insurance.  The roof leaks ~~ it’s small and the least of my problems right now.  Possums have torn up the air ducts under the house, so, even if I get the air conditioner to work, I will need to get duct work done to use it.  I pray, every day, that God protects this house from all disasters ~~ including fire ~~ because some ceiling lights and wall electrical outlets have stopped working.  Mobile homes are notorious for fires due to faulty wiring.  My car’s air conditioner and windshield wipers haven’t worked in years.  I actually have to check weather reports before going to get groceries.  And, with the engine situation now, I’m afraid to get groceries — I’m afraid my car won’t start & I’ll be stuck with no (affordable) help and melting groceries.  There are more problems, of course, but why go on?    

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I continue to ask myself why people don’t just help each other and stop this economic nonsense. 

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I try to fix everything myself ~~ to save money and because I don’t trust repair people.  (One mechanic told me it would cost $210-220 ~~ plus parts! ~~ for replace that “spark plug #1” because the whole engine had to be lifted out of the car to get to it.  Is that right?  The research I’ve done, this past week, said replacing spark plugs isn’t difficult, but removing a part (I forget the name) would make them easier to get to.  None of the research (though limited) mentioned having to remove the engine.)  Right now, I can’t afford the parts, even if I researched “how-to” and made all these repairs myself.  And, I am very sick (with lupus) ~~ finding the strength of mind and body is so difficult.  

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So, why do I deserve this?  I guess I don’t think I do…. but, here I am.  I don’t think anyone should live like this.  More later.  I need to turn off my computer before it melts.     

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This has been very hard sharing my personal hell with you…. but I’m breaking down, too.

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Funny, I made a New Year’s Resolution to write here everyday. New Year’s is about the time I stopped writing here (drafts included). I will make the effort to change that and — well – write more often.

Peace.

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 One of my favorite memories about my friends is one that happened in the early 1970s.  Tom and Mike had made investments in a venture that was starting up.  When they told me about it, I convinced them it wasn’t a good idea.  I posed a few questions they didn’t have answers to.  They talked to the venture group to get answers and, subsequently, got their money back.   They were so grateful, then, that they did not invest that they wanted to reward me for my input.  They said I could have anything I wanted and offered sending me to Europe for a week, (or) fine jewelry, (or) a new wardrobe, (or) more!  I told them I didn’t want anything for helping and we went back and forth a while, “we want to do something”, “but I don’t want anything”.     Right as I had them convinced I really didn’t want anything, I thought (and said), “Wait a minute!  Yes, I do!”  I, clearly, remember the grateful and curious smiles on their faces.  🙂  🙂 There were a couple other friends there, so I said they would have to be involved — to which they replied they weren’t involved with the investment and did not owe me anything.  I told Mike and Tom they would have to convince the others to partake, as part of the deal, but the others quickly surrendered to it ~~ conditionally, of course ~~ without further coaxing.  

 

I said, “OK, this is what I want:  I want all of you to drink milk!”  They thought about it, a few seconds, then the moans and groans started.  Mike, sincerely, sweetly, and desperately said, “Wouldn’t you rather go to Europe?  A whole week!”  Tom said, “What woman gives up clothes?!?  We’ll buy you a car load!  Milk?”  

 

“Yes, milk, that’s what I want!”  And, after more discussion, we made a date for Friday night.  The guys would order pizza, I would supply the milk.  (I insisted.  I didn’t want any excuses.)  Milk goes great with pizza!   

 

The big night arrived.  (Boy, you’d think I had asked them to swim an ocean.)  It was hard for them to take those first swallows, but, eventually, they got in to it ~~ and enjoyed it.  One picked up the empty carton, looked in to it, and got a sad look on his face.  I said, “I’ve got more!  It’s in the fridge!”  Looks of delight everywhere!  🙂

 

We had such a wonderful evening!   One asked why I would turn down a week in Europe or fine jewelry to have “milk” with them.  I told them “What would Europe be without all of you?  Fashion comes and goes — I’d be stylish only for a few months.  Jewelry?  I’ve never been one for ‘bling’.  But your health?  That’s priceless!  I hope you’ll all drink milk, from time to time, in the future.  Here’s to Milk!”  We held up our glasses and toasted. 

 

My friends and I had to separate — whether it was because of job transfers and so forth — but I still love and miss them so much!  Those are the people I need to be with to feel complete in life.  I still think of them every day, so often.  They are the ones that got me through all my troubled times… just thinking about them and all the great times we had.  I live every day to be with them again.

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I suppose my objective ~~ for now ~~ is to tell you what I experienced, what I endured as a human being, an American, a woman ~~ with no immediate, specific intent on telling you how to change these conditions that all or many of us.  We should not need “laws” to make things better, we should just be decent human beings.
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In the mid-1970s, I was becoming addicted to prescribed narcotics.  The “economic crunch” caused severe hardships at work and I worked on commission.  I, eventually, stopped showing up for work [I wasn’t making a cent, why bother?], but even before that, paying the rent was nearly impossible.  
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It might have been the third time the rental agent pounded on the door for rent money (though he, usually, just locked me out before I came home from work), but I was in the shower this time.  Over the noise of the shower, I was hearing a man’s voice, I thought.  I knew I had locked the door, but wrapped a towel around me to investigate.  I was stunned to find the agent right outside the the bathroom door.  He walked a few steps towards the bedroom, then turned around, as I, quickly, stepped back in to bathroom and shut the door.  He screamed for me to “get out” there.  I cracked the door open, wearing a smile, besides the towel, and tried to talk to him nice.  He pushed the door in, grabbed me by the arm, and pushed me in to the living room.  He, then, tried to throw me out the door!  All the time he was ranting and screaming, red in the face, and as irate as I’ve ever seen anyone.   
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I could barely get a word in edgewise, as he told me to “get out” and I had “no more time to come up with the money”.  I was in tears by the and, literally, begging for sympathy.  He grabbed both my hands and twisted me to the floor, the towel barely staying around me.  In a last ditch effort for compassion, I told him I had been diagnosed with an illness and was on strong medication; I was having difficulty making money on my commissioned job.  Not an ounce of sympathy!  As he continued to yell, with an abundance of four-letter words, he told me I couldn’t make money as a prostitute!  And, with that, he grabbed me by one arm ~~ I used the other to grab my towel ~~ and he threw me outside!  He, with amazing speed, bolted the second lock on the door, to which only he had a key.  I cried, “You can’t do this.  Please!”  He put his face six inches from mine and screamed, “YES I CAN!”   Then, he ripped the towel off me!  I was horrified beyond words.      

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As he rushed down the stairwell, I (quickly) calculated my best option was to try and grab the towel from him, hoping he would let me keep it.  That failed.  There I was, naked in front of the apartment building!  He threw my towel in the back seat of his car and, as he opened his car door, looked back and smiled with such delight and satisfaction.       

A woman, across the street, saw what had happened.  She ran over with an old t-shirt of her husband’s.  She said it was all she had.  I thanked her for it.  By the time I had it over my head, she was halfway back to her house. 

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Then, like things couldn’t get worse, a car with three intoxicated young men drove by on an adjacent street.  I leaned forward, just a bit, hoping to cover my pubic hair and hoping they’d assume I had a swimsuit on under the shirt.  They hollered wildly.  And, though I believe, at least, one thought I looked naked, they drove on.  I was paralyzed with fear and prayed they wouldn’t come back.    

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Then, it poured rain!  I thought, “How could it get worse?? — and now it’s raining!!”   My car keys, purse, everything was locked in the apartment.  I had no place to go.  I was so alone.  Having nothing else to do, I decided to embrace the moment ~~ as ugly as it was.  I stood, in the hard, cold rain, as tall as I dared and took some breaths.  I couldn’t lift my eyes too high towards the Heavens (because I wondered what kind of a Good God could let that happen to me), but I wanted to see the dark clouds.  I looked all around at what felt like the lowest place on earth.  Photobucket

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As I was about to sit down on the steps, a neighbor came home.  As he was pulling in the parking lot, as I recall, he held up “the key”!  He had passed the agent and assumed the agent had been at my place and flagged him down.  I think the neighbor knew of one or more affairs that the agent had with woman in the apartments and held blackmailed him for the key each time I was locked out
                          

Though I recognize that agent and the owner of that apartment were not obligated to give me a place to live, free of rent, how can we create a world where it becomes impossible to live decent lives?  I’m a good person, the economy was bad — why did I have to suffer?  I don’t understand why people can’t just help each other and get off the treadmill of chasing dollars.   

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