Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Life is so hard

Every single day of every single second we are always challenged with someone or something. But the most challenged "thing" that a single person will ever undergo is the relationship between a mother and daughter.

There are some mother's and daughter's that are so close. They possess a unique relationship that often other mother's and daughter's are either envious of or wonder what they ever did wrong while raising their own daughter.

Speaking only for myself, and only for me, I can only share my experiences of being a mother and raising a strong willed daughter. Once upon a time we used to be close, we had that unique relationship that was filled with love, empathy, sincerity, kindness, and friendship. The only thing is that as I continued with my struggles of trying to find my path as a single mother the more I found myself struggling with life which in turn lead to me struggling to continue as a mother to my daughters.

I will filled with remorse, anger, bitterness, hate, and it just wasn't going away anytime soon. There was this constant reminder from my parents of what they gave up in order for me to come home. There was always those little jabs from them telling me how they sacrificed their retirement so I could be home with them while they help me raise my two daughters.

Savi was acting out from the separation of her dad while living with me and my parents. The more I tried to get close to her the more she ran from me. She always ran to the arms of my mom and dad and no matter how hard I tried to understand her and what she was going through, no matter the countless attempts at holding her and loving her, she did everything in her power at the tender age of less than two, well, she was hell bent on not being around me. Sara on the other hand didn't want anyone but me. No matter how many times my parents tried to hold her and love her she would just wail at the thought of someone else holding her other then myself. I used to secretly joke with myself saying, "well, at least I have the love of one child even if the older one didn't want me" but it still cut me to the quick of my soul and made my heart bleed tears.

Collecting Child Support 

My dad was always the one trying to keep the peace between Rick and his daughters and myself. He was a strong advocate of letting fathers see their children no matter what occurred during the relationship. My mom was the absolute opposite. She became a fire breathing dragon rearing its ugly head roaring and stomping anything in its path when my dad mentioned anything about Rick seeing his daughters.

My dad was the one also to start the legal proceedings for me to collect child support from Rick. My mom of course was just adamant about me getting any money from Rick. In no time I learned that I was just causing the biggest rift in the family not just with my parents but of course my overly successful brother was there to pitch in his two cents as well. His words were just as hurtful as my oldest daughter never wanting me. I remember loathing words that spewed from my brothers mouth;

  • Failure
  • Screw-up
  • Worthless
  • Dumb parent
  • Spineless 

I was the winner of ruining my parents life. As the pressure got more intense it was right at that moment that I no longer wanted to be a parent. I just didn't want to deal with the pressures of my brother, my parents heartless jabs, the constant bickering back and forth, watching my parents attack each other because of me and Rick and the babies.

While so many others would see the light at the end of the tunnel of their struggles, there was no light. I was suddenly in the battle of my own life. My life was so dark, so cold, there was no amount of wood to burn that would warm me or the countless candles I could light in order to pretend that there was light somewhere in my life. For so many others that saw the warmth of the sun, my life was just dark.

I took my father advice and continued with the legal proceedings for child support and that was when Rick once again went on a rant. He began calling me and hanging up or calling me and threatening to take my babies from me. Each day I went to the mailbox there was always harsh written letters from Rick calling me every name in the book. He told me in the letters if I were to pursue this he would find me and kill me. My dad of course kept all those letters and demanded he be present on the day of the ruling for my child support amount.

After six months of filing papers, one continuance after another, delayed court dates, failure to appear by Rick, we were able to all join in the court room filled with other court cases and not a judge but a commissioner. Of course my dad's job was of a very high profile and of course the commissioner new my dad and no matter the amount of evidence he gave to the commissioner she just dismissed it telling my dad he had his hand in something that did not relate to him or that he was causing friction within her court room.

Yep, all the evidence was there, the pictures of me beaten black and blue, the countless hospital admissions, ambulance rides, permanent damage caused by him, the letters, the commissioner gave Rick visitation every other weekend from Friday night to Sunday afternoon and one day during the week. He was ordered to pay $185.00 a month for two kids. My dad of course shot up while the ruling was being read and wished to speak to the commissioner alone behind closed doors and she of course began brow-beating my dad speaking so directly he was embarrassed.

"Might I remind you Mr. Wright, I know what your income is, I know what you make a year, I know that your daughter is living with you, I know that you will of course financially help her so why would I want to give this man an order to pay an amount that is not suited for me?"

So not only did Rick get away with beating me, raping me, he now got away with child support. It was as if this man was invincible to being prosecuted. He seemed almost bullet proof. My dad was so pissed he just stormed out of the court room and there I was alone with Rick. The nasty looks I got from him right in front of the commissioner, the gestures of more beatings, and even if I brought it up right up at the second in front of the commissioner she told me I was out of order and if I spoke out one more time I would be held in contempt of court.

I was even labeled a "derelict" mother that didn't deserve her kids. I continued to get yelled at by the commissioner telling me if I acted out one more time I would lose my kids. She would grant sole and physical custody to Rick. She seemed to have no care what he did to me and what I knew he would do to the girls. All she cared about was Rick, poor Rick, poor alcoholic Rick.

Once our case was over she ordered me out of the court room telling me to never show up in her court ever again. As I exited the court room Rick came bounding after me telling me that I was a worthless mother, I was a horrible person and I would pay for this. He was beginning to corner when I saw a police officer making his way down the corridor. I began to scream and yell to stop hitting me and Rick immediately stopped.

The policeman came running over and what happened just floored me. He pulled Rick aside and asked him if he was okay. He began to lecture me on abuse and that it was a crime and if I continued to behave this way I would be arrested. Rick just stood there and laughed and laughed at what was happening to me. Once the officer left Rick got real close and told me..."your nightmare just began, I am not done with you yet."

Landing a new job

A few weeks had passed and I was able to land a job at a local grocery store as a checker. I always worked nights so I could be home with the babies during the day and my parents could watch them during the night. Everything seemed to be going okay for awhile but then one night when I got off work I went to my car to find it dented, spray painted with words I couldn't even mention here for fear of being thrown off of the internet. Along with those strong words and the dents was one dozen long stem black roses with a letter that said my life was like the roses, dead.

I ran inside to call the police and of course they never showed up. I waited and waited, I called my parents and told them what happened. My dad ordered me to wait until the police show up and demand that they take pictures. Rick even signed his name to the note. I was beginning to think that this is just what I needed to finally throw into the commissioners face that Rick was just not stable.

As the minutes ticked away to now what seemed like hours I called back the police and the 911 operator told me that they were very busy tonight and they will not be able to show up. I was so pissed, I just grabbed the flowers and tossed them into the car and began the drive home. In the rear view mirror I could see a set of lights coming at me so quickly. The closer the car got the more frightened I had become. I would change lanes to get away from this person behind me but they too also changed lanes continuing to get closer and closer to the back of my car.

Yep, you guess it, it was Rick and he was hell bent on pulling me over by trying to run me off the road. I was able to lose him and find my way home running stop signs and red lights praying that a police officer would pull me over so I can him arrested. But that didn't happen. Rick just continued to try to hit my car and when I finally reached my parents home he just disappeared like the thief in the night always does.

I knew right then and there that my nightmare of Rick was not over yet.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Family Struggles

Look, we all know that family struggles are very real. We are always told that family is the first people that you should turn to in time of need. They are supposed to have your back, take care of you, be there for you when you feel that life has just ripped the carpet from under your feet leaving one to dangle in struggles.

I remember waking up the very next day after going home with my two babies. I have never felt like more of an inconvenience not only to my family but to anyone around me. I remember opening my eyes and struggling with the acceptance that I had come home. So much of me just wanted to disappear in the open vast world never to be found.

As I looked around the room I saw Sara sleeping so peacefully. She was breathing so softly as if nothing ever happened to her world. She just lay there with her beautiful long eyelashes quivering as if she was dreaming. Her dark black hair all tossed about, those naturally red pout lips and alabaster skin always reminded me of the deep resemblance similar to Snow White.

As I laid there I wondered how do I fit into a life with a family that pretty much disowned me because I was with a man both my parents loathed so deep to now of all of a sudden taking up a huge massive space in their home. I knew I was invading their time, I mean, this was a time that my parents wanted for themselves, they did served their eighteen years of life to raising me, putting up with me, educating me and for what? To turn around and take up the majority of their space in their home that was supposed to be their home, their life.

My life was falling so fast so quick if I even tried to reach out to grab something to hold onto I couldn't because of the speed of light I was traveling down into this massive depression. My heart was heavy with guilt and I wondered whatever happened to that girl that never wanted to have kids, never wanted to be married? I never wanted to be that mom that was stuck raising kids because my life was my life and I had no problem being selfish or greedy about my life.

I went from being in control to now out of control. How did I get here, I was not supposed to be the woman that lived with a man who abused me, raped me, hurting me. How did I get to this depression so deep that there was no light at the end of the tunnel just this fast moving train going down this massive dark tunnel with no light to guide it. Who was I, I didn't even know who I was and if I didn't know who I was how would anyone else know who I was or what my life was?

I could hear my mom and dad down stairs moving about talking to each other. I got out of bed placing myself on the floor at the top of the stairs to listen to the conversation between each other.

I remember this conversation as if it just happened, as if I was once again sitting on the stairs at fifty five years old listening to them talk about me. There was so much anger, disappointment, hurt, frustration with the conversation between them both.

"So, what are we going to do with her now that she is here, is she going to work, are we going to get stuck babysitting for her, how is she going to support herself with two kids, no car, no means of any financial money saved." said my dad to my mom.

"I don't know," said my mom, "I just know that now all of our dreams have come to a halt. I guess our retirement plan is pushed to the back burner and we are going to have continue to work because I am NOT going to cut into our retirement money to raise those babies. So, I guess we will be forced to go back to work, isn't that just F***ING great."

"Well," continued my dad, "we know that Rick ruined the car that we bought her. He got so pissed off that we wouldn't fork the money out to fix his car. He was actually pissed that we bought her a car so just to be a dick, he drove the car without oil just to ruin it and damage it. So that's fifteen thousand dollars down the drain."

"So, does that mean that we have to buy her another car? Because if we don't, how is she going to get around, get a job, take the babies to see their doctors, we are being forced to go back to work, so what, she rides the bus.?"

As their conversation continued I sensed it wasn't going to end up well. I had now become the biggest loser to my parents. I remember that map of my life my mom so desperately wanted me to follow. Would my life really turn out better if I would of followed that map?

My brother's life turned out perfectly. He landed that job at the computer company and proved his worth. He proved to the company that he was a valuable asset and the company had no problem sending him abroad to other big countries to fix their computer related issues. He was given a huge expense account, he traveled first class always, he had the greatest life. By the time he was thirty, he was already working on his second passport because his first one was stamped so much from traveling to far off places such as China, Russia, South America, Germany, the list goes on and on.

He was pulling in a six figure income and living the fat life. He spent his money on all his toys such as his boat, his home, he cars, his clothes, blah, blah, blah, blah! And here I was at home suddenly taking up the space of my parents, forcing them to go back to work, taking away their retirement and their money and to boot, two kids in tow.

From the corner of my eye I could see Savi's door open and making her way towards me. She just stood there staring at me, looking at me with such evil in her eyes. I reached out to her and instead of her climbing into my lap and holding me which I needed so much she ran to her now bedroom to close the door behind her. Imagine, a fourteen month old knowing that she just didn't want me.

I remember jumping up from the ground making my way to her bedroom opening the door to find her trying to climb back into her crib. I reached for her and she began to scream, she wailed to let her go. Once I got her into the crib all she kept saying was "Dada, Dada, Dada" I tried to hold her and console her but she just kept pushing me away as if she was so angry at me.

My mom came into the room and Savi immediately raised her arms for my mom to hold her and my mom gladly picked her up.

"She doesn't want me, she doesn't want me to hold her," I told my mom. I could feel the tears filling my eyes the pain cut so deep it seemed to be just a deep black hole in my life.

"That's nonsense," my mom said sternly, "take your daughter, hold her."

When I was able to finally get her into my arms I was then struck with her hand directly to my face. Savi began to fight me, she began to pout and cry she was pulling away from me then reaching for my mom. It then dawned on me that she learned to hit me from watching Rick. She learned to hate me because of Rick.

"Come downstairs your father and I want to discuss our next move."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

And in one breath.....I was "Suddenly a Single Mom"

Driving home with my dad and two kids in tow with a loaded SUV had to be the longest most grueling ride ever. My dad never said a word to me he just kept his hands on the wheel while staring what appeared to be a just a blank look on his face.

As I watched the cars beside us passing by I watched some mothers looking beat down and worn out from the kids screaming in the cars while at the same time I then saw couples looking so happy and in love with their kids in the back seat. All I could think of was how my life resembled these cars just speeding by, that was my life now it was just speeding by me and I couldn't seem to find the brakes. I was filled with humiliation, embarrassment not just for me but for my family. I had now become one of the hundreds if not thousands so many people talk or read about I will be known now as a "battered woman" I remember feeling like I was just the biggest failure that life had ever created.

I wanted to find the smallest compartment in the car and just somehow put my body in there and just hide from the world. I never wanted to come out of that small compartment nope, I just wanted to hide so no one would point their fingers at me or talk about me. It was bad enough my dad wasn't speaking to me during the two hour drive home.

My two daughters slept the entire drive home and when we finally pulling into the drive way of my parents home my mom was in the garage folding clothes from the dryer. I just wanted to die. How did I get where I was, how did I allow my life to become such a mess and now with two kids in tow? My mind was racing with so many thoughts in my head, how do I find my place in this huge ugly world now, where do I fit in, do I even fit in? What was going to happen to the babies and Rick?

How was living with my parents who had been planning their retirement and traveling the world to suddenly putting a halt to their plans help me? Would they be filled with resentment, would they hate me, would they welcome me with open arms?

My dad parked the SUV climbed out still not saying a word to me he began to unload the car. I just sat watching and wondering if he would ever talk to me again. I watched him carry all my baby things placing them on the garage floor when suddenly his silence was broken.

"Don't just sit there, get off your ass and get out and help" his voice was ruff his tone was cold. I could feel my eyes beginning to swell with more tears. Just when I thought I couldn't cry any more, well the tears proved me wrong. They just began to fall one after another. My oldest daughter Savi was just so beautiful.

Savi was known for her deep green eyes her olive skin color as well as her contagious laughter. She was just as stubborn as Rick and she was determined to prove that she was a strong willful child.
She bolted awake confused to where she was and what was going on. All she kept repeating was wanting her dad, "Dada, Dada, where's Dada?"

Rick and Savi had an uncontrollable bond between father and daughter. No matter how many times I would pick her up she was determined to wiggle out of my arms then run to her dad who would coddle her and love her and she ate it up playing part very well of not wanting to be near me. No matter how many times I tried to love her and hold her she always wanted out of my arms. It hurt to the very core of my inner soul.

Sara my baby, my little tiny baby was my savior. She loved hearing my voice as well as being held by me. No matter how many times Rick would try to hold her she would scream and cry until I took her. It was so strange to me how one child wanted one over the other. Sara was always the easiest baby, I could just lay down to go sleep at night and BOOM! no cries, no wailing, nothing she just went to sleep. Savi was so much different then her. Savi fought her sleep every single night. She would sit in her crib crying and crying over and over never letting up never slowing down.

My dad continued to grab things out of the car and for some reason I couldn't look at my dad's face, I couldn't bring myself to look at him at all. My mom was the one that came up to me reaching out to hold me and that was when I just collapsed crying in her arms.

My dad quickly growled at us to stop this nonsense and help him out. My mom just ignored him continuing to hold me giving me that familiar hush sound whispering it would all be okay. But he was persistent on breaking us up and finally my mom gave in telling me to help him out.

"Where is the crib, where is Savi's crib?" my mom asked puzzled.

I remember my dad stopping short in his steps turning to glare at both us his face twisting in anger, pressing his lips together to stop himself from saying something so hateful huffing trying to find his words yet he failed.

"It's back at the apartment, where the hell do you think it is, you think I had time to take it apart or the tools to take it apart?"

"Daddy, I was just asking, was it really necessary to be so nasty?" My mom and dad had grown to call each other Mamma and Daddy which I always believed was just a little creepy but hey, it worked for them and soon my brother and I just got used to it.

"We need to make room for Dee and her babies, where do you want them to go, how do you want to set up, I want all this crap out of the garage so we can park the cars inside tonight."

"Daddy," my mom yelled glaring at him. "We can figure it out in a minute just relax dang."

I felt like the biggest inconvenience to my parents and if I ever felt like a problem well with my dads curt words and anger in his voice I knew I was now in their way of everything. I had jumped from what seemed like the biggest fire of my life to now in a blazing roar of flames.

I went to the back seat of the SUV taking Savi out of the car seat. Savi was so glad to see my mom she screamed with glee to see her running to her clinging to her leg yelling "Uppie, Uppie" Sara just continued to sit in her car seat not caring to much about anything.

"Dee," my dad began with his booming cold voice, "go take Don's old room you can stay there and Savi can have your old room. Sara can sleep with you. Start collecting things and take them where they belong."

My mom cupped my face in her hands looking at me so lovingly then smiling, "it's going to be okay, daddy will adjust, we all need to adjust but for now, its good having you home. How are you, are you okay?"

With the commotion of my dad, Savi screaming uppie, my mom trying to be consoling, I was just spinning with guilt, love, fear, everything seemed to taking hold of me and once again taking me down. I was exhausted from the three years of abuse from Rick, trying to make this man love me, I just seemed to be always running in a circle never stopping, never going anywhere just round and round.

"Come on, lets get you settled in. Your dad and I can go to the baby store down the street and purchase a crib for you. Is there anything you left behind, do the babies need anything, did you bring diapers, food, formula?" my mom asked me softly.

I glanced at the heap of baby things in the garage, I actually didn't know what I brought. I just threw so many things into trash bags as quickly as I could not really thinking very clearly.

"Never you mind about those things, we can go through it later," my mom said.

And in one breath, my life was about to change forever!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Dark Secret

Growing up as a young girl my mother often told me, "what is private is private, there is no need to bring anyone into your private life no matter what happens or who it happens to" 

Many years ago while my mom was growing up it was considered voodoo to ever talk about what happens behind closed doors each day. Appearance was everything, how one dressed, the car they drove, the job title they held, and the circle of friends they often socialized with. Many women worked really hard at giving off the appearance of having a great family. They had to show off their loving husband, their more than average children often bragging about having the greatest family life ever.

My mom was one of those people. We all had to appear put together followed by a loving family, a doting husband, and mother who could do it all. She worked, cleaned the home on weekends. did all the grocery shopping, and still cooked a hot meal each and every night gathered around the dinner table sharing about our day.

Little did anyone ever know, my father drank every night, my mom always went to bed alone leaving my father to drink himself into a deep slumber of sleep later waking himself up from a roaring thunderous clap of snoring. I swear my dad was the king of snoring. We, living in a three story home and I could still hear my dad each and every night as I slept on third level of the home. He sounded like a locomotive pulling out of the train station each and every night. I'm surprised he never sucked the curtains right off the wall.

Domestic violence is still one of those topics many wish to never talk about. Yet, our vast world of the "Internet" is flooded with stories of survivors, how to know if your living with an abuser, how to get out of domestic violence, how to protect yourself, know the signs, understand the red flags, the list goes on and on.

We can sit and read the more than hundreds if not thousands of web pages about survivors or watch them on television unfolding their story for the world to hear but I have learned a great value through all this. You will survive even when you think you never will. Oh, of course you will never the same person as you were before, but you will survive.

Just because you have survived this, you have become educated in the red flags, you know the signs, you understand what to look for, and often through some lucky twist of fate you even become a stronger person. I have wondered for many years if domestic violence is genetic? Can it flow through the blood lines and transfer the need to abuse to their own children?

Not only is the one abusing ill but the one being abused becomes ill also. Rick discarded me like the people when gathering their trash within their home then dumping it for the trash collectors to pick up. My parents spent a life time loving me, educating me on love, what real love is, trust, empathy, kindness and with one back hand from Rick, all those years of unconditional love and education was then gone.

You see, after Rick was arrested the guilt I felt for screaming, the crying, the begging to then punishing myself for being to loud. I was angry with myself wishing if I would of been a little more quite none of this would be happening. He would of been in the apartment with me which for some sick reason gave me peace, it gave me comfort that I never understood. I was confused with the differences of his love then his abuse.

I was instructed to go down to the police station and file a report on Rick so that he can be charged with domestic violence. Part of me wanted to charge over and sign the papers and then call my parents begging for their forgiveness followed by putting my baby up for adoption so I would never have to ever deal with him ever again.

But once I stepped foot into the police department I was flood with guilt. I walked over and told the police on duty I was not going to be pressing charges and I wanted him out of jail and released to me. of course that was followed with begging not to do that, with he will do this again, with stories of women who have died from being abused.

My mind just kept telling me over and over to shut up, they didn't understand my level of love that I had for this man, the urgency to prove to Rick my love, my devotion, my life time commitment that I had. I was determined to prove everyone wrong and that he was the man for me. He just needed to be understood, he needed that gentle loving soul that I knew had somewhere inside of my heart.

Well, five days after being out of jail, I went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My parents were there of course and of course Rick was charming as always. He was pleasant to be around. He proved to be a dedicated father.

The doctor told me not to have sex for at least seven to eight weeks so I can heal. Rick of course had a different agenda. Six weeks into our baby daughter, he took me and forced sex on me. I begged for him to stop, I continued to sob and through the sobs I was screaming how much it hurt but Rick didn't care. I tried to get away and yet he continued to shout how worthless I was, what a horrible mother I was, how fat and ugly I had become.

Once he was done and he climbed off of me, I remember hurting so badly. I just laid there while he took the baby from the room that watched everything just happen. I later got up and noticed a pool of blood on the sheets and when I stood up it then ran down my legs.

Eight weeks later I found out I was once again pregnant with my second daughter. She of course was a product of rape. I had planned on getting an abortion and just never telling Rick and that one day I had a neighbor take me down to planned parent hood to do the abortion, I felt her kick, I felt her flutter inside of me. That of course stopped me from doing something that I would of probably killed myself over.

Finally I had enough, I felt disposed, I felt alienated from my family, I never felt more alone and ugly in my life. I took my then fourteen month old baby and then new born just seven weeks old packed my things and called my parents to come get me.

It was over, three years of living in hell, three years of my life I lost. Three years that will forever be embedded into my memory as the darkest days of my life. As my dad loaded up the SUV and then drove away I didn't care about the hell hole I was living in. I didn't care if I ever saw Rick again.

I just left a note for him that read....

Dear Rick

Screw you, I'm done being your punching bag, I am done with your abuse, I am going to fight my way out of the hell hole you put me in and I that allowed myself to be there and for what? For you to hate me and never love me.

Good Bye.

And the story continues...........

Friday, November 18, 2016

Part Seven...Good vs Evil

We all have neighbors that pride themselves on being snoops. They love getting into every one's business always wanting to know why we think what we think and why we do what we do. These neighbors feel everything that everyone does is just as much their business even if it is a very private matter.

I was now going into my ninth month of pregnancy and still we had nothing for the baby that would be joining our lives. We didn't have a crib, clothing, nothing. I was still continuing to have faith in Rick that he would pull through and come home with things for the baby instead of bringing home beer or hard liquor.

Yet, with each passing day he was there to prove me wrong. He would come home with beer under his arm or holding a brown paper bag only to proceed in getting drunk. He was eager to start a fight all the time so I just sat and took it. I was as big as a house now tipping the scale at one hundred and eighty five pounds. Each doctor visit the medical assistant as well as my new doctor was amazed I didn't suffer from toxemia, high blood pressure, or any other medical related issues that goes with a pregnancy.

One fatal hot sticky afternoon Rick came home from work three hours early. I could tell right away he had been drinking by the way he staggered into the apartment.  I jumped up from the couch asking him why he was home so early and he recanted his horrible day. He was being blamed for stealing a huge bottle of Jack Daniels and was suspended until further notice. He was what seemed to be spewing smoke from his nostrils, his eyes glaring, his demeanor ugly which put me in defense immediately.

The odd thing was when he plopped down to the couch he then began to unravel his white cooking jacket from work twisting and turning then exposing a very large bottle of Jack Daniels. I quickly asked him where he got that and without warning he back handed my face. The stinging sensation hurt so badly I began to cry. That of course lead to more beatings. He wasn't going to stop, I begged and pleaded for him to stop reminding him I was pregnant and he seemed to not care.

"You have been nothing but a downer for me," Rick yelled taking his voice level from medium to now ragging high. "Because of you, I was never able to do what I really wanted to do. Do you know that I could easily go out and screw any woman I want. I get looks and glares all the time from other women but no, because of your fat ass, because you, the worst thing that ever crossed my path, now I am stuck having a stupid baby with you."  

Rick grabbed me throwing me to the ground so forcefully I could suddenly feel sharp pain in my stomach. I could feel my baby kicking everywhere. I was able to pull myself up and make a run for the bathroom wanting to close the door then locking it but Rick was quickly on my heels behind throwing his body into the now half way closed door that I was desperately trying to slam shut and lock. He forced his way in shoving the door in my direction hitting my stomach with the door handle. I began screaming for him to stop. I pleaded with him to stop. My stomach turned rock hard and I wasn't able to breath.

It seemed like the more I pleaded and begged for him to stop the worse it got for me. I climbed into the shower cowering in the corner Rick quickly joining me grabbing my head pounding it against the shower walls where he continued to scream and yell what a worthless person I was.

In the distance I could hear someone banging on the front door screaming muffled words I couldn't understand. Whoever it was just continued to bang over and over until Rick finally stopped.

"Great you fat ugly bitch, look at what you did, you caused someone to come over. That is just wonderful." Rick said with such hatred in his voice loathing me as a person. He bolted from the bathroom to the bedroom. As I climbed out of the shower I was in so much pain. My entire body hurt. I quickly lifted my shirt to see deep red marks on my stomach. I could sense the marks from him hitting me all over my face. I felt a warm watery substance dripping down my chin. When I went to wipe what I thought was saliva I learned it was blood. My lips were pulsating and in so much pain.

The banging didn't stop whoever it was just continued to bang on the door then shouting, "If someone doesn't answer this door then I'm calling the cops."

Rick began to pace over and over in the room. Each time what seemed as if he was going to make his way to the bathroom I just winced in fear that he was going to end up killing me. Minutes later the banging on the door stopped. I just stood in the bathroom crying over and over as I splashed my face with cold water trying to cool the hot stinging sensation from him beating me. My legs were unsteady and my body began to ache. My stomach was still hard as a rock and I now feared that something happened to my unborn child. I just clutched my pain riddled stomach holding it as if trying to calm my baby that still kept moving so swiftly.

Twenty minutes later we were greeted with another banging on the front door followed by a booming strong male voice. "Open up it's the San Fernando Police we had a report of domestic violence."

Rick bolted towards me grabbing me once again urging me with his foul smelling breath, his disgusting sweaty body and dripping sweaty forehead ordering me not to say a word and if I did he told me he would finish up the job. He turned to leave heading for the front door and when opened I could hear the police talking to him.

"There was a report from someone that you were beating a pregnant woman." sneered the officer to Rick.

"Beating a pregnant woman, really." Rick said trying to sound like it was insanity. "There is a woman pregnant next door, maybe they had the wrong apartment, nothing happening here."

I could hear Ricks voice go from trying to prove the officer wrong to then becoming defensively.

"Mind if we take a look around, is there someone here with you?"

I just continued to stay in the bathroom never moving, never taking a step, I was holding my breath trying to be so quite.

"Yeah, I mind if you come in, do you have a search warrant?" Rick said with his ugly tone to his voice.

"Well, just to inform you sir, I don't need a search warrant, but I am going to walk through the apartment so please step out of the way."

Both the female officer and male officer entered the tiny ugly one bedroom apartment. I could see through the cracks of the door frame and bedroom wall the big strong black officer standing in the small tiny living room gazing around. I watched him turn immediately to Rick.

"You always drink hard liquor this early in the afternoon, do you make that a habit of yours?" the black officer asked Rick.

I caught myself holding my breath even more as the female officer made her way to the bedroom taking the door then closing it to find me standing there.

"Reed, get back here, I found her." shouted the female officer. She lunged toward me gasping at my appearance.

"Oh my God. Reed call an ambulance now." demanded the tiny framed female officer.

I remember waving my hands in front of her trying to stop her from making a scene. I silently mouthed for her to stop begging once again. Then I couldn't hold it any longer, I just broke. I collapsed in her arms taking my silent sobbing to now screaming sobs. As I fell to the floor I was letting the female officer hover over me repeating over and over that it was going to be okay.

She jumped on her walkie-talkie calling for back up and an ambulance. I could hear in the next room the black officer reading Ricks miranda rights as he cuffed him then taking him out the front door.

"How far are you, when is your baby due?' I just continued to hold the female officer clutching her as I continued to sob not wanting to let go. I knew I was safe in her arms. I knew she wouldn't let Rick touch me anymore.

I remember her asking me if I wanted to press charges, I remember her facial expression glaring at me when I told her no, I told her I love him. I told her I would never press charges on him.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

And the months dragged on and on....

I remember very clearly when Rick came home and shared with me one of his good friends, Carlos, was working at a company in San Fernando Valley more specifically, Van Nuys. If you have never been to Van Nuys or in the neighborhood of San Fernando Valley trust me when I share with you, your not missing anything. Not a dang thing!!

I had been living in Long Beach, California for so many years and loved each and every day of it because I was three blocks from the beach, my parents were only thirty minutes away, my friends were here, my life was here.

Rick told me he wanted to uproot everything and move. Carlos's company was hiring and it paid much more than what he was currently making. Rick finally realized that he would never make that job promotion as a Sous Chef within the hotel. So many others were being promoted within the kitchen and yet he still remained in the same slot as a prep cook working the same shift the same hours each and every week.

One of the kitchen managers shared with me in secrecy, "well this is just between me and you but he has the worst attitude, he is demanding, he belittles so many here, and to be quite honest, he doesn't deserve to be advanced." 

I was now five months pregnant and just becoming a big as a house. Once starting out at one hundred and twenty pounds I was now tipping the scale at one hundred and ninety five pounds. My doctor was telling me in his directness, "your gaining to much weight to fast. You can actually cause so many problems with your pregnancy. You need to really watch what you eat."

My parents still refused to have any part of my life cross theirs and depression was now setting in so deeply. Rick was drinking more and more and soon he just stopped coming home for often days at a time leaving me with no transportation or money to do anything with. When Rick was home he often filled the fridge with more beer than food. He was now beginning to drink the hard stuff more frequently and becoming more abusive not physically but mentally and verbally.

Rick told me, "moving to Van Nuys can be a new beginning for us, it will give us more money and we can start a life of our own there. I think we should move and being that I make all the money now, I want to move." I was under strict care from my doctor telling me that I have had to many pregnancy scares advising me to halt all work and just rest now.

I felt not only myself but my life dwindling to just nothing and often just went with the flow just to keep the peace and hopefully stop him from verbally abusing me. To be honest, if a train came up and hit me dragging me for miles I would never feel it. I was just absolutely numb to any thoughts, feelings or care in the world now.

The Move to Van Nuys

Prior to moving Rick and I had taken a drive up to see his friend Carlos. Carlos was someone that seemed to have a kind face almost gentle like. While we were there Rick bolted out to the car to get something and that was when I was shocked at what happened. Carlos came to me and told me how he knows Rick better than anyone. He told me if I ever need help because of Rick all I had to do was come over and get him and he would put Rick in check and stop him from doing what he does. 

"Look, I know what he did to Joanne, I too knew Joanne and what he did to her was horrible." When I turned to see Carlos's face I could almost see a gentle kind man standing before me, his face sincere, his words so calming to hear possibly trying to be my Knight in Shining Armour. 

"I'm just telling you I also know Rick and what he is capable of doing and if you need help, just knock on the door and I would do what I can to help. You seem to be a very nice person and just between you and me and the fence post and only you and me, he doesn't deserve you." His kindness of course didn't last and soon those reassuring words would soon disappear once again leaving me feeling alone. 

I was flooded with humiliation, was I that obvious, was it that noticeable? I remember shaking my head slowly wishing to God I would just die, disappear from the face of the earth. What happened to me, where was that strong woman I once was, where did she go? 

On the day of the move it was proving to be the hottest summer ever. Rick was becoming more frustrated with the move scolding me over and over how my fat ass couldn't help. The promised help from many never showed up. That left Rick to move everything by himself. 

One of my most loved and treasured pieces of furniture was my grandmother's beautiful antique bedroom set that was given to me after her death. I had cared for it religiously and always valued what it meant to me. Rick of course had a different agenda with it. Once he pulled it out of the U-Haul he actually dragged it not caring what happened to it causing it scratch and become damaged. 

I was angry at him and yelled at him to be more careful and that was when in broad daylight he just lunged at me and slapped me right across my face demanding that I shut the hell up. Blaming me for  my fat ass and not being to help at all. Once the now damaged piece of furniture was in the apartment I looked over it and saw it went from beautiful to now ugly. 

Rick was greeted by a man named Joe and he quickly offered his strength to help. Before long between Joe and Rick, all our things were inside the new tiny ugly one bedroom apartment. I quickly began to unpack just going with the motions of moving in. I was not excited, I was not happy but happiness was non-existent in my life. Depression and anger had now lived inside of me and I had become accustomed to living and feeling that way. 

And in one breath, my life would forever change. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's That Time of Year Once Again

Vista Bridge

Marquam Bridge 

I  live approximately twelve point three miles from the massive ever so famous Columbia Gorge which separates Washington and Oregon. Oregon alone has over twenty bridges that will connect drivers so that they may reach their final destination.

I have always been in love with bridges. I love passing over them and looking down at the rippling waters below or looking out at the vast large cities taking in the depths of beauty that just continues to still keep me loving all bridges.

I learned rather quickly once I moved here that what I loved so much about every single bridge can and or will be multiple death traps for those seeking to end their lives.

During two thousand nine I become heavily involved with the local police department. I worked side-by-side with the suicide squad either trying to talk a jumper down and yet still those words often used or the countless begging and pleading never worked only to watch them jump to their death or, once a jumper was detained, I would conduct the interviews of the would be jumper asking him or her why.

From the ending of each year from October fifteenth to January eighth every single police unit within Oregon and Washington remain on high alert. Why? because that is when ninety percent of suicides will happen. I remember during two thousand ten I found myself in a screaming match with my captain of the local police force. He and I were exchanging some pretty strong words with each other arguing over what makes people jump bridges.

His theory was it was the change of both the season and the time. You see, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana are quite known for their long grueling winters. People in places such as Arizona, California, New Mexico and other sunshine states, they watch their flowers blooming in April the sun is shining and most people are diving into pools and enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Well for the people living in those four states within the Northwest we are still digging snow out of our driveways in April. Our temperatures change from mid October and will remain  in the thirty two degree freezing range followed by much snow fall until early April. It will begin to become dark here around three in the afternoon and remains dark until almost eight in the morning.

My argument was because of the poverty level followed by the jobless levels within both Oregon and Washington has plagued our very states. The people in which we have saved from jumping the multiple bridges here in Oregon desperately seeking to end their lives have shared with me some of the most saddest stories ever. While I was gaining a fat paycheck and having a home filled with food and warmth, a Christmas tree lite up rounded at the bottom of multiple scattered presents for family and friends, these suicide jumpers had nothing for their kids or their spouses.

One man in particular shared with me how he worked all year long but he was living from paycheck to paycheck. He has pawned a huge majority of his personal belongings just to keep the power on and feed his kids. His wife died of cancer and while grieving of his loss he just couldn't seem to find his way back to being a father again. His depression had taken a turn for the worst and the prescribed medication he was on no longer was working. His kids were suffering in school and often tormented by the used clothing he purchased at the second hand stores never able to buy his kids anything new.

Each and every day when I was finished with work I would see before me on street corners the homeless people standing with signs begging for food often quivering from the freezing temperatures. The homeless shelters now had a waiting list and often when one was lucky enough to gain a spot in the shelter they only had temporary staying time of maybe five days. After the fifth day they had to move out and seek shelter elsewhere so that the next ban of individuals on the wait list could have a spot for a warm meal and a warm blanket. They didn't care if they slept on the floors as long as they had a blanket to keep them warm.

Some people are very blessed with their lives. They have huge homes, fat bank accounts, they can grab any jacket for warmth that they wish. They have family near by to celebrate the seasons, they get to reach over the decorative table filled with luscious foods to fill their growling stomachs aching for the smell of the delicious turkey and stuffing then cranberry sauce.

Sometimes I wonder what people would do if they woke up one morning and "POOF" everything was gone. The fancy car was no longer in the driveway, their home was no longer warm and the bountiful of food once filling their cabinets was now gone as well. Their bank accounts once filled with thousands of dollars is now only filled with thousands of pennies. What would they do, what would they do?

Would they know how to be homeless, would they have family or friends to turn to in such a horrible crisis? Ninety nine percent of the homeless people have either lost contact with their family due to drugs or alcohol or they actually have no family. Those people that we often see standing or sitting on the street corners pushing or carrying their only possessions begging for money and often get, are they using it for drug money? Probably so.

But that doesn't excuse the blessed people that will have more than these people will ever see in their life time NOW! Once upon a time these individuals used to enjoy Christmas and Thanksgiving as a young child. They were able to grab a Christmas present and rip it open and squeal with delight of the shiny new present before them even if it was just one present.

Everyone has a story I don't care who you are or what you do for a living. Everyone's story can be a story of success or a story taking one from living within a home to now sleeping under the freeway passes.
Life can turn on a dime and everyone can lose everything they have within the blink of an eye. They can go to bed one night and wake up the next day and everything is gone I don't care how careful one is when relating to their finances or how they work and save their money.

Giving of one's self is the most precious gift that one can offer another. Would I go so far as to ask if you would ever want to sit down with a homeless person and just say hi or would you be to scared of being mugged or beat to then finding your wallet gone or your purse taken from you?

I am one of those people that now live on pennies each day, each week, each month. So let's take this honesty and be real honest. I live on six hundred a month and I have food stamps in which I feed my family. After paying out my bills and taking care of what I need to take care of I will then have a total of two hundred dollars for the month to live off. I have tried to find work for months with no success.

Christmas is the time for giving, it is the time to dig deep into your pockets and help the less fortunate. I for one will pay for a meal at Mc Donalds or come home and cook a huge turkey with all the fixings and then wrap it all up and take it out so that I may feed the homeless. I fear in giving them money not because I am broke but because I choose to not let them do drugs. Or I come home and get a blanket and take it back to the homeless person to shelter them from the cold. I will give what I can and give it to someone in the worst of dyer straights then myself.

When you see someone that is in need of food or a blanket please help them this Christmas season. You know that there will be a paycheck coming, you know that you will have a bed to climb into and blankets to pull over yourself for warmth.

You know that you will have a car that can take to and from multiple places. You know you will have that debt card to go and swipe and buy what you desire. But to many of the homeless people didn't have a choice but we do.

Please just give this season, it will make all the difference to someone in such a far cold and hungry place. It is a true blessing to give of yourself then always taking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Part Six...acceptance

Acceptance, it is the humanistic craving that we all seek. Would one go so far as to say that acceptance means more rules which then leads to conforming to those rule which then ultimately means acceptance equals conformist? I could feel myself being pulled in every single direction no matter where I turned. I was craving the acceptance of my pregnancy with my parents, with Rick and most of all, myself.

I never felt more alone in my life. I felt defeated, I felt as if I was in my own war battling the evil of what comes before me. I had now become my own worst enemy. The only hope I had was this little baby growing inside of me. Would this little baby be the missing link to my life? Would it create a welcoming feeling to both my parents as well as Rick?

I had finally told my mom and dad you should of seen the look on my mom's eyes. I could tell immediately that it was the worst news that any parent can hear. She begged me not to have this baby to have an abortion. She pleaded over and over reminding me through every sentence that I would be stuck with this asshole no matter what. My dad of course just stood there numb unsure what to say.

Every single effort to ease the discouraging painful words of my mom, I was cut off by the painful looks of my mother as she stood there be raiding me with her venom then glancing at my father, the blank stares so emotionless.

Then it finally came out, my mom spoke...

"You are just about the biggest disappointment that any parent would ever want."

I just remember standing there not sure what to say, no sure if she understood or even cared at the very depths of her hateful words. Feeling defeated of their final end of loving me, I just turned and gathered my things then headed for the door, climbed into my car and left.

"Well, how did it go, was daddy dear so accepting of your news?" asked Rick's with his always uncaring demeanor sarcasm.

I dropped my things on the floor not caring where they land. I turned to see Rick and with all my hurt, with all my pain, I had my moms very words slap me in my face. Yes, he was the biggest disappointment to any woman.

"Shut up Rick, just shut the hell up, I'm going to lay down and I don't want to be bothered. Just leave me the hell alone for a while."

I turned not caring what he thought, what he felt or what he was about to do to me. I could hear him behind me taking a leaping lunge in my direction and suddenly I just snapped. I turned to face him and I took my stance, I dug my feet into the ground then clenching both my fist. Anger was rippling through my veins. I could feel my eyes begin to bulge from my head as I stood there quivering in both anger and fear.

"Go ahead, hit me, isn't that what you do best?" I yelled so sharply. I could feel the veins in neck go from bulging to a pulsating throb.

"Hit, me, I know you want to so just do it and get it over with."I profoundly yelled.  As I stood there giving him direction to hit me I began to pick anything up in arms reach then throwing it across the room in what seemed to be the similar speed of a baseball pitcher watching it come in contact with the wall then shattering into both big and small pieces. When I ran out of things within reach I lunged for other things tossing them from side to side.

Rick tackled me grabbing me then clutching me tightly to stop me from destroying everything in the house. I began to sob uncontrollably. I began to melt in his arms, "why won't someone love me, why does everyone hate me, all I ever wanted was just to have you love me and all you want to do is hurt me and for what?"

I felt like a confined lioness in her cage pacing back and forth with only so much room to breath and move about. My world was crashing down on me at such a rapid speed and I was allowing it to take me down with it. I was tired of fighting the fight, I was ready to surrender to wave my white flag and allow death to finally take me.

"I promise things will be okay." said Rick in what seemed to be almost human like almost reassuring in a gentle loving voice.

I pulled away wondering if he understood those very words but yet, only time will tell won't they?

Monday, November 14, 2016

This is the reason

I was once told by someone I need to share my story. To be honest, the person standing before me instructing me open up to be forthcoming about my very personal dark and always daunting life I guess I gave them a look that was so apparent to them must of screamed, "ARE YOU NUTS" 

Opening up and sharing one's most darkest travels is a very personal decision. It is part of one's own life we often wish to carve out of our very own body, place it in a bottle and toss it out to sea to never feel that pain, humiliation, followed with embarrassment let alone admitting that you allowed this to happen.

But this friend of mine told me that what I went through could actually help another. She continued to tell me that if my story could touch just one life, just one person, I could maybe save one life, or save just one person.

Through my travels of finding myself once again, I learned rather quickly that one should never tell someone going through their own personal tragedy, "I know exactly what your going through" because in reality what may seem like a duplicate of our own personal lives it really isn't.

Plugging into the deepest coldest part of the ocean to find the bottle I tossed out to sea only to open it and face my story is the hardest thing to ever do. It means I must finally face my demons. Does that mean this is healing point in my life?

We all blog for a reason

Blogging has become the new way of reading about one's personal lives. There is the world traveler who made it their mission in life to reach out and touch the lives of so many in different foreign countries. We can witness their growth through their blogging as it unfolds telling the stories of the lives they have forever changed as it changes the person that started out traveling to now becoming a hero to so many under privileged countries.  

Then there is the man or woman who is this amazing cook. They have the gift of turning everyday simple spices, everyday meats thus creating a meal one wishes they knew how to cook. So they will sit and blog on just how to recreate that mouth watering pot roast, those mouths that hang open at the sides dishes and desserts.

There are mommy bloggers that blog about their pregnancy experience then child birthing. They want the world to know how two people so very much in love have created the greatest gift that ever be put upon them, their own child being brought into this world.

Then you have mommy bloggers that share their stories of horrific pain of never being able to produce a baby. They blog about their painful experience of in vitro-fertilization, the expenses, what they are willing to give up, what they sacrificed, the countless tears as each month that comes and goes, they find it did not take.

Then you have mommy bloggers that share how having a child with down syndrome has either made them a better person, it has challenged them to understand who they are the strength they never knew they ever had so deep down within their own hearts. Then there are the mommies who wonder why, why would God bless them with a child that is so challenged and so dependent upon their own parents. The guilt that is riddled with their own personal thoughts trying to recreate what they ate, what they drank and if that last cigarette really made such a difference?

There are thousands if not millions of stories planted each and every day about someone or something that has changed the lives of the person blogging. Often as a blogger we hope and pray that our story, our own story can at least tough the lives of just one person. And, if it does, we hope and pray that it will in fact make a difference.

I am not blogging about my personal tragedy of domestic violence to have someone feel sorry for me, I am not trying to portray myself as would-be pity girl or to have someone tell me, "your story is no different then someone else's life" because remember we can never say, "I know just how you feel" because in reality, we don't how the other person's life began, or the middle, or the end of their story. We dont know how it got started or why, we don't understand how one can take such a strong beautiful woman to then becoming like a cookies that crumbles leaving strewn out crumbs no matter where they walk or what they do, the crumbled cookie just follows them.

I think the most valuable blogging I will ever do is the one about my oldest daughter Savanna. One will never learn about their own strengths, their own vitality to life, what they possess as a person, or how strong one can really be when their life that once seemed filled with such possibilities is now filled with the raging fire breathing dragon of what lives within the one before us.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Part Five...The Sticks Says What!!

Fall was fast approaching and I continued to still try to find a way to have this man love me. I was finding myself aching from pain while riddled with exhaustion. I had developed dark ugly circles under my eyes and my appearance of which my mom always repeated to me how I was this natural beauty was now diminishing so quickly. 

My self-esteem had taken an all time low, I no longer laughed, I no longer sought out friends because I no longer knew how to be a friend to someone. I had managed to take the worst situation of my entire life and turn it into a fantasy while in public. I would hold his hand on que, kiss him on que, and hug him on que as if trying to make him appear the ultimate winner for any woman to have. 

I began noticing that with each morning I had woken up I was not feeling very well. I couldn't tell if it was just exhaustion or the flu. My parents were adjusting to me being with Rick and I had learned to cover up what he did to me very well. I had mastered the hidden talent of abuse. My father no longer brought up Ricks arrest record leaving me to feel I could finally inhale and exhale relief.  

We both were invited to their Thanksgiving dinner and Rick of course didn't want to go. But we both went anyways and trust me, my dad watched Rick like a hawk soaring high peering down at the field mouse scattering for shelter yet waiting as the mouse tires out from the frantic running then swoop down clutching his dinner with his talons then killing it. He never took his eyes off Rick and I often could feel my moms burning eyes radiating through my entire body. 

But I played the part very well. My dad mentioned to me that I was getting a little hippy. It seemed to him that I was gaining weight and directly asked me if I was pregnant. I was shocked at his direct question and quickly told him, "no, of course I'm not why would you think that?" 

After we all ate our dinner, cleaned up and enjoyed the plenitude of desserts every one said their good byes. I was the first to quickly exit the house yet that drawing question of me possibly being pregnant flooded my mind on the way home. 

Rick appeared to be quiet almost angry like and I made the mistake like always asking him if something was wrong. 

"I just don't like when people ignore me it just pisses me off when people ignore me. No one wanted to talk to me no matter how hard I tried to talk to them they seemed to all turn their backs to me almost as if I did something wrong."

The voices in my head had quickly decided to flood my mind, "well of course they ignored you, your an asshole, what, you expected them to respect you? They would rather treat the family dog better than you because they all know exactly who you really are." 

I didn't know what to say to his angry response so instead I just chose to act as if I didn't understand what he was saying. The night finally ended with us going to bed quietly and peacefully. 

"When Morning Came" 

My dads words of possibly being pregnant flooded my mind and I had feeling I was. As soon as Rick left for work I bolted down to the pharmacy on the corner grabbing a pregnancy test then rushing home. Once home I ripped open the box and peed on the stick. 

Within seconds it had turned from white to two lines of pink. My entire relationship with my exhusband we never once ever used protection and for the almost five years of being together I never once got pregnant. I didn't think I could ever have kids. During my early twenties I was constantly in and out of the emergency room from cyst forming on my ovaries. I had three doctors tell me I could never have kids due the poison breaking of the cyst causing me to go sterile. 

I secretly jumped for joy, I was overwhelmed with excitement. This would the crucial point of our relationship he would stop hitting me, he would pay attention to me, he would love me finally because I am carrying his baby. 

I decided to make a romantic dinner just for him. I wanted to surprise him, I wanted this to change our lives. Once dinner was made and the house cleaned and me with make up, I waited, and waited for him to come home. He of course never came home that night. 

I remember laying on the couch crying while holding my stomach then apologizing to this unborn baby for having such an asshole for a dad. I just kept crying which ultimately lead me crying myself to sleep. 

When morning came Rick finally came home without a care in the world to my swollen red eyes. He just looked at me and shook his head in disgust followed by a snicker of loathing. I bolted from the couch to the bathroom digging the pregnancy test out of the trash can filled with excitement I eagerly showed him. 

"I'm pregnant Rick, were going to have baby, our baby, we are going to be parents to a little bundle of joy. I'm so excited I finally get to give you something that is so special between both of us. I love you so much." 

The smile on my face soon melted off when I saw no emotion of life to his face. He just stood before me glaring at me with what seemed to be disgust. He made ugly facial expressions over and over then clearing his throat he finally spoke. 

"Well, isn't that just grand, so, what are you going to tell "Daddy Dear" now, You think they'll be excited?" Rick shoved me out of his way and entered the bedroom cleaning out the pockets of the same work pants he wore going to work yesterday. 

He turned to look at me then leaning on the dresser folding his arms in front of him, "Well, I guess that's one way to get to your parents pocketbook isn't it, have a friggen baby right, that's just friggen awesome. This is the last thing I need." 

"Rick, I love you, I love you so much, I wanted this to be good news, I'm excited why aren't you?" 

I could feel the lump in my throat get bigger and harder followed by panic and fear. Rick lunged grabbing both my arms and squeezing them with great pressure. 

"And just how are you planning on making this work with your asshole parents, you remember them, the parents that hate me, wish I would fall off the earth, disappear, how are you planning on making it work you stupid bitch?" 

Deep down inside I knew he was right. My parents were going to be more pissed at me than ever before. I had disappointed my parents before but this just takes the cake. 

"I don't know," I said with my loving voice, "but somehow, I will make this work, it has to work, it will work. I love you don't you understand that by now, I love you forever." 

Rick let loose the grip he had on me and shoved me out of the way collected some clothes and then left once again leaving me standing alone and now more frightened then I ever have been before. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Part Four...The Secret Box

Survival is part of our DNA. Finding that survival is a journey that one must take in order to know exactly what survival really is. I am not speaking of survival when changing a flat tire or coming short of exact change in the grocery store. The survival I am speaking of lives deep within our mind, our body, and our soul. One's own survival will kick in when one least expects it.

Part Four....The Secret Box 

Not long after learning how to keep Rick even tempered and almost livable I decided to do a deep cleaning of the house. I was instructed by Rick to never touch a box up in the closet. I was not to entertain the idea of opening the box, going near the box and if I moved it, well, I would pay the price for it. So, to not have anything happen to me or my face or body, I never touched it until that day.

Rick was gone at work or so he said he was at work I knew I had hours before he would be home. I clutched the box and positioned myself on the edge of the bed. In the back of my mind I always worried of him just coming home and finding the home unkempt, disorderly if you will so I always made it a point to have a picture perfect home.

I grabbed the sides of the box and shook it open and inside I found countless copies of arrest papers, protection orders from other women but the one arrest copies I was shocked to read. Rick was working at a local liquor store that had one of those money order machines. Him and another person that worked there a female, together had made countless money orders in domination's of five hundred dollars, eight hundred dollars, three hundred dollars, and both together, were cashing them at
many banks all over town.

I counted at least twenty five money orders cashed before he was finally caught at a Well Fargo Bank in Orange County. The teller that took the money order was already informed of missing money orders and when she compared the numbers on the money order to the ones that was stolen she immediately went to management which in turn lead to the police coming and arresting Rick.

What I saw at the bottom of the papers shocked me far worse than the arrest that was made for faulty money orders. The signature of my father! I felt a bone chilling fear shuffling through my body. I remember I gasped in shock! Oh my God, my dad was the one that put Rick away for two years. My mind quickly raced back to my dad asking me, "Is there anything you want to tell me?" he wasn't talking about my relationship with Rick, no, he was talking about him being arrested.

I began to shuffle through the other papers within the box in a complete panic seeing my dad's name on every single paper within the box. My head was racing my thoughts were so jumbled I didn't know what to think. It was suddenly so clear to me why Rick said "good thing he doesn't remember me" when in actuality he did remember him.

My entire body began to tremble, my stomach once again was feeling as if I was about to get sick. Guilt flooded my mind of both my parents who had now become so disassociated with me. From me talking to my mom and dad almost every day to now barely speaking to them at all, I felt a huge tidal wave of shame. I could feel the tears slowly begin to drop from my eyes what happened to me, how did I get there, when did I get there? How did I go from this high powered family filled with money and fame to now living a life with an abuser who threatened my very life if I ever tried to leave?

For each turning of pages of learning about Rick which were of course bad, I was still continuing trying to find ways to get this man to love me. For each beating I took, I knew it was something I would never do again, I would improve, I devoted myself to making this man happy. No matter the amount of tears that fell or the marks left on my person, I was sickly determined to get this man to love me and stop hitting me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Part Three...walking on egg shells

Often what we fear the most can leave us feeling as if we are walking on egg shells. It can create an insecurity within ourselves, the fear of something or someone that gives us the mental frame of walking on egg shells.

As we take our steps we can see the ground below covered in already broken egg shells. We carefully take our steps as to not break anymore. The weight of our legs can suddenly seem as if we are lugging around five hundred pound legs with each step that we take. Often we even tend to hold our breath as our toes take contact with the ground. We try to maneuver our steps to not break anything that is now shattered.

We can have beads of perspiration forming on our upper lip or trickling down from our forehead, our breathing can become rapid as you try to gain control. Yet, there is no control, the weight of your legs now seemingly is impossible and yet, we continue to crack the eggshells beneath our feet. With each sound of the shells cracking, it is now the fear of how not to break them any longer.

Living With the Secret....

Each time I looked at my reflection in the mirror there was always a new mark, a new bruise, but what was bigger than the marks and the bruising was now the hallowed out form of a body looking back at me. The reflection of myself was lifeless, the smile no longer existed. My green eyes had now changed to blood shot swollen eyes. Each move or step I took I would cringe in pain.

No matter what I did how I tried to treat Rick the way he demanded I seemed to fail. There was no sense of direction for me any longer. All I ever heard was his barking roaring voice in the back of my head....

"You EVER try to leave, it will be the last of you, do you hear me bitch, the last of you. Not even your parents will ever find you."

I was learning very rapidly that I had now become Rick's welcome mat. I felt like with each step he took from the outside world he would come home and take it out on me. His drinking had now become his total comfort from his bad days while working at the hotel. When someone got a job promotion from behind the line of the kitchen he would turn from anger to rage.

His barking demands is what kept him from getting that job promotion and I tried telling him that in a gentle loving way. I was shocked at myself each time I uttered the words "I love you" I didn't mean it but if I didn't say it the price to pay for that was far worse so I had learned to say I love you on Que. I learned to say it with a smile, I learned to lean in and kiss him when I told him. I learned when to stay away and with each learning step it was just another chip being taken from my mind, my voice, my body. Yes, I was being chipped, molded, and formed similar to a sculptor chipping away at what they longed to design.

The crazy thing is when we were out in public he was this doting loving man that women would watch with envy wishing their husbands or boyfriends would treat them the say way. He would surprise me with flowers while eating out, shower me with gifts while shopping. He would hold my hand followed by a gentle kiss on the lips. He never once ever told me that he loved though. That was the one sentence he never spoke.

Rick was beginning to lay down some serious rules for me to follow and if I did not follow them, well there would be another mark on my body.

1. On my days off I am to stay home, I am not to go any where unless I was with him
2. On the days I worked, I was to go to work and when my shift ended, I had to come right home
3. The friends I had was his choice, not mine
4. I was never allowed to talk to anyone about our personal life
5. If I wanted to talk to my parents he had to be in the room, I was not permitted to call my mom and dad when he was gone for fear I would say something to them
6. I was not allowed any money, he was in control of all the money. 
7. When I got my paycheck I was to turn it over to him
8. His clothes and socks, shoes, underwear, T-shirts all had to be folded a certain way. If they were not folded a certain way, he would tear everything apart yelling and belittling me calling me a retard raising his hand to my face as if he was going to strike growling and snarling for me do it again. 
9. The grocery shopping was done with him. If I wanted something I had to ask as if I was a four year old child. 
10. The worst of it all, the absolute worst of everything was I had to submit myself sexually even if I didn't want. He would force himself on to me telling me to utter words that would shame any woman. 

Rick had become really good at leaving marks on me. He made sure they were never noticeable to another person. If someone looked at me they would never know I was in a domestic violence relationship. No, these marks were on my arms which I covered with a long sleeve shirt or sweater no matter what the temperature was. I learned to wear turtle neck sweaters and of course, I no longer wore my skirts or dresses.

Over time Rick was always allowed to go out and do what he wanted and when he wanted. I had to stay home locked in the house and when he came home I was not permitted to ask where he was, if he was cheating me because if I dared to ask him anything it would be hell to pay for.

Once while Rick and myself were visiting my parents, my dad went from the kitchen to his bedroom with my mom following quickly behind him. Shortly after they left the room I heard my dad coming from their bedroom then calling me to their room asking to talk to me privately. I remember so clearly as if it were happening right now, right this very second as I share my story. Rick stood up and bolted across the room to me and got my face grabbing my head forcefully breathing his rotten breath down my face demanding that I not say a word to my parents about "us" of course I agreed not to say a word.

"Is there something you want to share with your mom and myself about you and Rick?"

There was this huge voice in my head screaming at me "Tell them, this is your ticket out, tell them dammit, what are you waiting for, they want to help you." 

I could feel my stomach quivering with fear, I felt as if I wanted to vomit, I could feel the sour feeling one gets in the back of their cheeks right before they get sick. I could feel my hands shaking. I must of looked like a deer caught in the headlights of car right before contact of both the deer and the car.

"I'm not sure what you mean mom and dad, what do you want me to tell you, everything is fine."

I remember my mom suddenly bolting up from the bed but my dad stopped her. I could see the fear in her eyes, I could see that she knew the truth, I could see that she was able to look right through me as if she could see the marks, she could see the bruising.

"If you ever need help, we are here to help you, we love you, and never be afraid to tell us if something is going on." my dad told me. He got up to hug me and I winced in pain from the bruising from either the current marks or the past marks that had begun to finally heal.  I had to fight back the tears, I had to fight back the guilt of lying to them. I had to fight the fight as if I never fought for something so hard.

"Thanks, but everything is great, everything is wonderful, I am the happiest I have ever been."

As I left my parents room Rick was standing next to the front door with his keys in hand then telling my parents we had to leave. I turned to tell my parents good bye and I could see the fear and concern in both my parents eyes and facial expressions. My mom especially, it was if she wanted to lunge out and grab me and hold me so tightly. She just sighed so deeply waved good bye.

Once in the car Rick drove off quickly then pulling into a dead end street where the back of his hand made contact with my face leaving me shocked and in pain. I hunched over crying asking why he did that.

"What did you say to your parents, what did you say you dumb bitch, you worthless bitch?"
"Nothing," I sobbed, "I told them we were happy, I told them everything was great." I sat there clenching my face while drool began to drip from my mouth as I clutched my face.

Rick grabbed the back of my hair pulling forcefully back then leaning in whispering to me,

"Good thing you did that, I mean I would hate to have you make me look bad in front of your fat ugly daddy dear, a dad that is a prosecuting deputy district attorney. Which by the way, he doesn't remember me. Good thing for you, that he doesn't, because I remember him."


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Part Two...How Life Continues

I am a true believer when it comes to searching for the crystal ball of life. I have often said, "I wish we could have someone walk up and tell us I have the "Crystal Ball of Life", would you care to see your future?" When I refer to being a true believer, I believe if we had a true glimpse into our very own future one hundred and ten percent of us would do things differently.

But life is in fact "Finding Your Path" we all have choices in life, what we do with those choices is a different story. For myself, and only for myself, I had proven time and time again to be a welcome mat for anyone that crossed my path. I could easily be railroaded into doing something I never wanted to do, people shamed me and I just took it. My self esteem was the lowest of all lows. Women and men alike often turn to anyone for approval when we cannot find approval within ourselves.

Explaining to my parents I was now facing a divorce after being married for six weeks, well I will say this, I never knew my mom she could cuss like that. My mom threw out "F" bombs as if she was the corporal of an all out world war. I have always told so many people, "you never want to piss off my mom, it's like dealing with all four ranks of the military at war all at once." 

Telling my parents I had met someone new was the last thing on my bucket list of life to be checked off. Now not only did I have one secret I had to keep to myself but I had to keep it a secret of what he did to me. My father was a firm believer that any man who hits a woman is a coward, he is not a man, he is in no sense any where near being a man.

I remember the next morning after the very first hit, I woke up to Rick being gone from the bed. I got up and tip-toed out to the living room thinking he might be there. It was a small one bedroom apartment he couldn't of gone far. But there was no Rick, there was no letter explaining where he was. I felt a flood of relief that he was gone. My inner voices were battling within my head I was so confused I felt lost, I felt alone riddled with shame but those voices continued yelling so loudly one telling me to run, get the hell out, the other telling me to love him, that your love will change him, to give a him a chance because he promised he wouldn't do it again.

When I entered the bathroom to brush my teeth that was when I was utterly shocked at the reflection looking back at me. The left side of my face was now turning black and blue from the direct hit given to me by the man that claimed he loved me. My heart just sank to my stomach, I had leaned in closer to get a better look and noticed that there were broken blood vessels to my cheek. I could feel my anger rising but then I could feel the raging anger being cooled at the thought of this man loving me.

As I tried to continue to brush my teeth just the motion of opening my mouth hurt so badly. I gently brushed my teeth and just went with the pain. When I was done, I gently wiped my mouth still feeling the stinging sensation like my skin was on fire. The apartment was so quiet I suddenly longed to be living alone, I suddenly wished I had my life back but looking around there was so much of Rick that filled this apartment in haunting way.

My thoughts and emotions were interrupted with a knock at the door. I couldn't answer it, I couldn't let someone see me like this. What would they think of me, what would they say. I just sat on the couch and waited for them to leave but they continued to knock, they continued to ring the small black doorbell on the front door.

"Special delivery, I have a letter for you." shouted the mans voice through the front door. I tip toed to the front door shouting back for him to just leave it I would get it later. I could hear him wedging it between the door and the door frame then listening to his foot steps walking away. When I thought he was gone I cracked open the door seeing the letter falling to the ground. I grabbed it and noticed it was addressed to me.

When I opened it I noticed it was a letter from a lady named Joanne.

Dear Diane, 

You don't know me but I found out that you are now living with Rick. I had a long term relationship with him and I wanted to let you know that he is not the man he claims to be. Whatever you do, do not show this letter to him or let him know I am writing to you. You will pay the price for him knowing I wrote to you. I wanted to let you know exactly what he did to me. You need to be aware of who this man really is. 

Two years ago I love the vision out of my right eye because of Rick. We got into a fight and he took the back to one of my high heels and threw it at my face which then hit my eye. My eye started bleeding and within a matter of a few hours, I could no longer see out of my eye. I have been legally declared blind in my left eye and my life has never been the same. 

This man has been to prison for robbery, for domestic violence, abuse, drugs, the list goes on and on. I have promised myself if I ever learn of Rick being with someone I would do all I could to inform his new girlfriend of what he did to me and urge her to break up and get out. At the bottom of this letter is my phone number. I will help you get out, I will help you move, I will help you with the police, I will do what I can you have my word. 


I remember sitting there first stunned then shocked at the letter. Who was this lady and how did she know who I was let alone get my address? I kept reading the letter over and over even more shocked that Rick had been to jail for robbery, domestic violence and drugs? I gasped at the thought of wondering who this man was that I now shared a bed with.

I remember my hands beginning to tremble as I held the mystery letter from a woman I never knew. I kept wondering if in fact the letter was true. The secrets this man was keeping, why, why would this man keep this from me? What else was there about this man I didn't know. How did this woman get my address? I was filled with so many questions that needed answers.

I remember just being numb once again. I had experienced so much numbness to my heart while growing up and now it has found me yet once again. I didn't know what to think but if I had any common sense, I would have ran, but instead for some reason, I felt I needed to stay. I felt that the mystical magical ways of love I had for him would tame his evil ways. Had I now become the lion tamer within the circus? Was Rick the roaring male lion sitting upon his perch his mane full of hair growling at me while showing his snarling gashing teeth and I before him with my whip snapping it yelling "HEAL YOU BEAST!" 

My thoughts of being the lion tamer was interrupted by the sound of keys to the front door. I flew into a panic while holding the letter. My breathing rapid, my fear kicked into high gear I shoved the letter between the cushions of the couch deeply buried so he could never find the letter. As Rick entered he suddenly became the stranger to me. He was no longer the man I had met while on break inside the hotel.

I was so taken back by the letter I had forgotten how my face looked I jumped up from the couch not trying to be so obvious I was now frightened for my life. Rick entered walking up to kiss my face then looked at me his eyes filled with sadness. He seemed to appear to be tenderhearted looking at me. He placed his hands on me then without warning, without any notice I couldn't believe what he said.

"You know, if you would have listened to me about that box, then you wouldn't have driven me to slap you. All you had to do was listen to me and you chose not to. Maybe next time you will."

His words were so cold, so matter of fact, I couldn't believe he was blaming me. It was as if I no longer had a voice. I began to back track to the box, that stupid box that caused this desperately thinking what I said, what was it that pissed him so badly? I couldn't think, my mind was tossing around first the fight, then the slap, now the letter, and information I had on him that I could never share.

"I know how to cover that up to make it look like nothing happened. Where is your make-up, I can teach you how to cover that up it super easy."

I remember gasping with shock that he knew that. Is that what he did to Joanne, did he teach her the same as well. How many other women did he do this too. I shivered in fear as he took my hand to the bathroom then taking out my foundation and dabbing it and covering it so well, it had appeared that nothing ever happened to my face.

When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I longer saw my face looking back at me. I never felt so alone in my life. How do I explain to my father a prosecuting deputy district attorney who spent more than thirty years putting criminals away about this man?

For that brief moment, I felt so alone.