Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If someone you love hurts you, cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

Have you ever gone to sleep late and then had to get up only a few hours later? Disturbed. No sleep. Voices. I don’t trust anyone. I Your mind then feels fuzzy all day, like you’re high on some type of drug, but you’re not really. And your head continues to hurt even though you’ve already taken more than the maximum amount suggested on the bottle of Tylenol. That’s how I’m feeling today. Incomplete. Pain. 1 2 3 4 Insomnia. Stress. Battles in our own minds.
I stayed up until 4am finishing a writing project that has taken me longer than expected to get done. Everyone around me has more confidence in what I’m doing than I do, I think I can, but I just don’t believe. I feel stressed to get it done before everyone around me starts calling me nothing but a total loser. Which I already feel like, they don’t need to help me out any there. I don’t think they would call me a loser as much as I would just feel like one. I feel like if I don’t get this done and get it done right, I will always remain a nobody, and will always feel like I’m nothing but a drain on society. I’ve felt that way about my life for years. So now this is my one chance, my five minutes of fame, my moment; I just have to see if I’m able to grab hold. I’m working hard as hell to get beyond my past and become more. Damn! At 40 years old can that be done? Grief. Frightened. Agitated. Worried. Insanity. Dread.

I mailed my life story today to Hawk Publishing in Tulsa. I don’t know if my writing is good enough to get published, but as a friend once said, I’ll never know unless I try. I know I’ve got a story to tell, but then I think maybe everybody does. Each of us in our life experience our own traumas and private hells, it’s the support and how we are able to handle the bad days that make us who we are when we get older. I didn’t start getting the help I needed until it was too late and my thinking was no longer clear. When your life becomes that way it’s hard to recognize the need to get help from some other source. But if you don’t you will forever stay locked into a dreadful life filled with many days of total agony. Writing about my life was my way of freeing those types of feelings that I was having. My thoughts still sometimes drift towards suicide, but I’ve learned how to recognize those patterns before they become so severe that I re-act on one of my many bizarre thoughts. LIFE is a BITCH!! But until the good Lord calls me home I’ll be here tomorrow waiting on God to hand me my next big struggle to overcome.

Guess I better get some sleep now…Have a nice life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The finally stab in the heart...Why I don't like the police.

By the end of November shortly after my 18 birthday, snow had begun to fall, making the highways slick. I had to call in one day and I missed my first day of work at the Nowata Hays House due to the snow covering the roads. The next day I slowly made my way to work determined not to lose any more money, after that I would be off for the next two days. I told Mom if the snow started again I would stay at Uncle Jack's house who lived in town not from the Hays House. I also let her know I would be late getting home that night because I was going to give a friend a ride home after work.

I worked until 11:00pm, but I hung around an extra few minutes, waiting on a co-worker to get off. Her car was in the shop and she had asked me earlier in the week, if I could give her a ride. When she finally walked out, I started the car and looked down at my watch which showed it was 11:10 pm when I backed out and we headed north toward Kansas.

She lived between South Coffeyville and Childers; two very small towns near the Kansas, Oklahoma border. I figured after dropping her off I could cut through the back roads, go straight several miles, turn back towards Childers only grocery store, then about eight more miles I would be home. By the time we went past Delaware, snow had begun to fall very heavy. The closer we got towards Kansas the harder it was coming down. Eventually I had to slow down to only 35 miles an hour to keep from sliding off into the ditch.

Several miles past another small town, she had me turn right and we drove several more miles down dirt roads. We pulled into her driveway and the clock showed it was a little after midnight. She thanked me for the ride and we said bye. I backed out and continued on east down the back roads. I had cut through before, but I wasn't sure the road I was on went through all the way. It had always been daylight and no snow on the ground when I drove it before.

After driving for sometime the snow began to lighten and I drove faster, determined to quickly get home. Somewhere I had missed a turn and became lost. I had no idea where I was at or even what direction I was going. I had made several turns and drove long distances without seeing any other cars or houses. I felt I was almost going in circles after I went past a small bridge that looked familiar, so I decided to turn a different direction when I came to a T in the road. Just as I rounded a corner, I slid on a heavy patch of snow and landed in a ditch. I spun my tires trying to get out, but I was stuck deep. I put my car in reverse and tried again with no luck.

I got out of the car and saw my car was buried so deep I couldn't see but one of the back tires. I looked around and couldn't see lights in any direction, so I got back in the car to stay warm. After about 15 minutes, I shut the car off and waited. I leaned my head back on the headrest and closed my eyes, figuring I was there for the night. The car quickly became cold and I started the engine; it was 12:34 am.

As the car began to warm, I noticed lights coming from down the road. I quickly turned on my emergency lights and waited. When the car got near, I saw it was a highway patrolman. He pulled along side me, and I rolled down my window. I told him I was stuck and couldn't get out.

"I can't get a tow truck out here this late, but I can give you a ride somewhere if you want?” he said with a big smile and motioned me over to his car.

"Sure", I said getting out of my car and locking it. He moved a clipboard and some other papers from the passenger’s seat and I got in.

"What are you doing out here so late?"

"I was giving a friend a ride home, I got lost, and then I slid off in the ditch."

"That's not good. Well, my name is Mike. What's yours?"


"Where do you want me to take you?"

"The closest place would probably be in Nowata at my Uncle's house."

“Okay. I need to stop by my house for a minute, and then we'll go. If that's okay with you?"

"Sure. You're driving,” I said smiling.

I thought to myself how nice looking of guy he was. He had short brown hair, mustache, and hazel eyes, with a muscular build and weighed around 250 lbs and was at least 6'4" tall. He didn't look too much older than me, maybe mid 20’s, overall a very nice looking guy. To top it all off he was a police officer, someone I should feel very safe around.
He drove for a while as we talked about the snow. He made several turns down dirt roads, and then pulled up to gate. He opened it and we drove down a long dirt road through heavy tree's, up to a tailor house.

"Come on in and warm up."

He opened the door and we went in. Inside there wasn't much furniture or anything else, but it was clean, which was always important to me. Straight in against one wall was a large sofa, with a small coffee table at the end. In front room near the door, sat a small TV on a stand. To the right of the door there was a small kitchen. To the left, past the TV was a hallway that I could see led to the bathroom, then to a bedroom at the end of the hall.

"Have a seat", he said then stepped into the kitchen and came back with two opened beers. He handed me one and took a long drink of his own. He sat down on the sofa and we began talking about where I worked and what I did. When we were about finished with the beers he stood, "I'll be back in a moment. I've got to change then we'll get going".

He finished off the rest of his beer and sat it down. I leaned back on the sofa. I was so tired and sleepy I barely kept my eyes open. I took a couple more drinks, finishing off the beer and sat it down near his. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. It had to be after 1:00am. I was so tired that I kept yawning over and over again. Finally, I gave in and closed my eyes.

I was startled awake by Mike shaking my arm, "it's really late, if you want to stay the night you can".

"I'm not really sure I should", I said between yawns.

"It's okay, I'm one of the good guys. I'll get you a blanket and pillow and you can crash for the night on my sofa. In the morning we'll get someone out here and get your car out."

I finally agreed and took the pillow and blanket, then quickly fell asleep. During the night I woke up twice and felt as if someone was staring at me, but I tried to convince myself I was safe and went back to sleep. He awoke me around 8:00am the next morning and we drove back to my car. He said he had found a chain and could pull it out. He hooked the chain to the front bumper of my car and then to the back of a large black Chevy truck that he owned. With one quick pull, it came right out.

"Thank you so much", I said holding out my hand.

"You're welcome. Anytime", he said shaking my hand. "If you're off for the next couple of days, would you want to spend some time with me? We could get a couple beers and talk for awhile at my place, if you want?"

"Why not. Sounds like fun. But I've got to go back to Nowata and call my Mom and let her know I'm okay. Then, I can meet you later."

"Alright, here's my number, call me around 6:00pm tonight and we'll meet,” he said smiling a big trusting smile.

I took the piece of paper, smiled, and thanked him again. "One more thing, how do I get back to the road leading to Nowata?"

"Follow me and I'll show you."

I got in my car and followed him down several different dirt roads, until we came out on the highway, near the Kansas border. He waved his hand out the window at me and I waved back, and then I drove off in the direction of Nowata. When I got to my Uncle's house, I called mom at school and told her I had slid off in the ditch, but I was okay and was going to stay in town for the next couple of days.

I cleaned up at my Uncle's house and changed clothes. I thought about Mike over and over in my head. I thought he was a really great guy and very good looking. He seemed sweet and very nice, the kind my father would really hate. My father had told me while growing up; I had better never bring home a cop or a black man, because both are nothing but trash. So, of course I had to do the opposite of what ever he wanted, but more important Mike seemed interested in me.

I waited until 6:05pm and called, but got nothing but his answering machine. I left a message that if he wanted to still meet, he could call me at home and I left my Uncle's number. My confidence was low and I really didn't think he would ever call me back, but around 6:40pm he called saying he wanted to meet me at the corner store in Delaware. I knew where it was at and told him I would meet him around 7:00.

He was already there in his truck when I pulled up and said I could follow him back to his place. We pulled up to his place and he grabbed a case of beer from the back of his truck and carried it inside. We sat around talking about various things and drinking the beer. I had never drank more than a couple of beer's at a time and had never been drunk, but I drank it to try and please him. I wanted him to really like me; I thought maybe he was the knight I had been always looking for.

It was 6-point beer from Kansas and it didn't take many for me to begin feeling the effects. When I would finish one, he would quickly bring me another one. By midnight, I was completely wasted and could barely stand; it was the first time I had ever gotten drunk. I keep talking about how I couldn't feel my nose and my face felt numb. I stumbled several times trying to make it to the bathroom and had an even more difficult time trying to pull my pants up and down to use the toilet.

When I came the bathroom on my thrid trip, Mike was standing in the hall by the door, smiling. He grabbed my hand and said, "let's go lay down on my bed".

"Sure, it's closer anyway", I said slurring my words.

"Here", he said handing me another beer.

I took it and drank a few sips before I sat it down on the table by his bed. I noticed an alarm clock on a night table; it said 12:34pm. He said he was going in the kitchen and would be back in a minute. I laid back on the bed and looked at the ceiling. My head was spinning so fast, I just closed my eyes.

I was awakened by him on top of me. My shirt was open and my bra was pulled up. My shoes were off and my pants and underwear were gone. I moaned the words stop and tried to push him back but he slammed me down hard on the bed. When I continued to resist he punched me in the face three or 4 times until I cried out loudly. He put his hand over my mouth and continued. When I tried again to fight back, he slapped me hard across the face and grabbed my arms. I tasted a small amount of blood where one of my teeth had hit my lip. He sat on my chest and held me down, then cuffed both of my hands to a rope and then tied the rope to the bedposts above my head. He began squeezing my breast hard and then he forced me to suck on his penis. He entered me vaginally for a time that seemed forever, all the while he talked about how tight I was and how good it felt.

After a long time he pulled out and entered me anally. When I screamed out in pain and begged him to stop he just pushed in harder. Tears streamed down my face and I finally had to go somewhere else. I tried to look around the room, but when I looked on the walls I only saw was a couple pictures of him in his uniform and a post of a naked woman. When I closed my eyes all I could see were officers in uniforms. It made me want to throw up.

"You're a big girl, you can take it, and I know this is what you want".

I was overweight, but he still outweighed me by at least 35 pounds and was much stronger. I begged him to stop, but the more I begged the harder he did it. I finally just laid there and let him do anything he wanted to do. It was well over an hour before he was finished doing other ' weird' things to me, if I tried to resist he would slap or punch me hard on various parts of my body.

When he finally finished, he laid down in the bed beside me and put his arm over my side. He laid there for several minutes before he un-cuffed me and gave me a kiss. I didn't know what to think. Were all men like this? Is this what sex really was? I quickly got up and ran to the bathroom and threw up. When I was done he led me back to his bed where I let the beer take over and I passed out. Again as I attempted to sleep it off, I felt him having sex with me, but I refused to acknowledge that he was even there. I didn't wake back up until it had begun to get light out.

"Hey", he said poking me in the side, "let's get in the shower together."

"Go ahead", I mumbled.

"No, come on", he said pulling me up out of the bed.

We had sex again in the shower, and then he made sure I washed really well. I was hurting so bad and my head was pounding, so I asked him if he had anything for pain. He went to his kitchen and brought me back two pills and an open bottle of beer.

"I don't know if I want another beer", I said holding up my hand.

"It's alright it'll help with the hangover. Take these pills and you'll feel much better in just a little while".

I took both pills and drank a little of the beer.

"I'll be right back", he said then walked back to his bedroom.

I wanted to get up and leave right then and there, but I felt like shit. I could barely move and my entire body ached, so I just sat there and closed my eyes.

"Let's go, are you ready?" he said shaking me. I saw he was fully dressed in his uniform, sweating really hard.

"You must have fallen asleep", he said standing there smiling. "Sorry, but I've got to go to work, I'll see you later".

We walked outside and he said good-bye. Everything was in a haze, so I didn't say a word. I got in my car and followed him back out to the highway, then he headed toward Kansas and I headed back to my Uncles place in Nowata. I began questioning my mind...Was it just a dream? Was it okay what he just did? I wasn't sure but I knew it wasn't my ideal of fun. The pills he had given me were taking effect and I was feeling very little pain, but everything was in a haze. I had never felt that way before, but I knew it felt better than feeling pain.

I drove to my Uncle's house weaving back and forth across the road. During the drive another car had to honk his horn at me because I had drifted too far over into his lane. Somehow I made it back to my Uncles house without wrecking, but he was gone to work when I got there. I still had a key so I opened the door and let myself in. I went to the bathroom and filled the tub with very hot water. My head was still hurting some so I looked in my Uncles' medicine chest for some aspirin. All he had was prescription medicine. I read all the labels and only recognized one of the bottles. It was a bottle of valiums and figured it would work for pain.

Dustin had taken the same type of pills when he first was out of the hospital, so I thought they would be safe enough to take. The bottle was completely full so I opened it and took two. I turned off the water and sat down in the tub, letting the water overflow onto the floor, but I didn't care. I couldn't get the images out of my mind. I closed my eyes and laid my head back. I thought about telling someone, but how could I tell the police? He was the police. Who would I tell? Maybe that's just what men do? And there was nothing wrong with what he did. It was his word against mine. They would say I was lying.

Besides, I couldn't remember much. I sat there thinking until the water had become cold. The valium had taken effect and I went to lay down and sleep. When I awoke, it was dark out. I felt hung over and my body ached. My lip stung and I looked in the mirror and saw it was badly swollen. I had huge bruises on my upper, inner arms and thighs. My wrists were red and hurt, but I ignored it and went on as if nothing ever happened. It was easy. I had had a lifetime practice of ignoring my past experiences. It's what men did, I reasoned. I never heard from him again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Addiction Rules your Life

Yes I am addicted to marijuana and have been for 21 years. I have used it off and on (mostly on) since the age of eighteen. I continued to steadily smoke until the age of 23 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt I had to give my unborn child the best possible start in life, so I quit that very day I left the Doctors office. I was still clean when had my second child and stayed that way up until he was two years old.Stress and pressures from friends was the reason I gave for returning to smoking weed. Plus at the time I was living with someone who was addicted and said he would never quit. He changed the old saying to ‘they can take away my weed when they pry it from my cold dead hands’. It was true, as many times as I asked him to quit, he just wouldn’t. He said it was the only thing that keeps him sane, and I almost had to agree with him again. When he didn’t have any, he was a complete asshole, quick to anger, ready to start a fight over the simplest of things. The bad arguments (the ones when the police were usually called by some neighbor), happened because he wanted to spend more money than we could afford to spend. Of course I only told the cops we were fighting about money, because I have learned you just don’t dare mention it was about drugs. If you admitted it was about the drugs the next question out of the officer’s mouth is “are there any drugs in the house?”I want to yell at him “don’t be such a dumbass, why do you think we were fighting in the first place officer? If we had some weed we would be high, laying down in bed, watching old reruns on TV and munching on some delightful tasting high calorie food. We wouldn’t be fighting.”
Instead I have learned to be polite, and answer with an honest looking no. “Sorry officer we were just yelling about money, he left and everything is fine.” ……..The words “FOR NOW!!!!” screamed so loud in my brain, that it made my head hurt.

The real problem… The last ounce he bought wasn’t any good, so he quickly smoked it, trying to achieve a high of some sort and only became angry that he didn’t feel anything after smoking several joints back to back. The dealer is not like Wal-Mart where if you don’t like it you can return it; when you buy bad drugs there is no one to complain to, so you’re stuck with whatever you get. A drug addict won’t just wait until another payday; they have to have more, and will do whatever it takes to get it.“It’s my money; I can spend it any way I want!” he yelled at me after I told him he couldn’t have half of the light bill money to get a sack. “Fuck you bitch!” he said grabbing the money from my purse and began walking away.“I need the bill paid so we don’t get the electric shut off. I don’t want the boys going without”. That hit him hard, it always did. I used the boys often, hoping that somehow that would help him to change into the type of person I thought he should be.

He was a hard working man, who went to work everyday, until the day he got laid off. He received unemployment, which barely paid the bills, so he felt he had to find a way to maintain the drug habit.Then came the talking me into it part, “Don’t worry about things, I’ll just sell to people I know. I’ll buy enough weed that I can sell some and make the money back plus a little extra. Just trust me.” So the weed selling began, but there were no real profits, because basically we smoked it up. I was under stress and the weed occupied our time together. We spent more time in search of weed or smoking weed than we did spending time with the boys. If a fight started over anything, we would just go smoke more weed. Before long we were smoking just as much weed as we were selling and even began growing a few plants for our own personal use. I was so afraid that someone was going to find out and I didn’t want to take the chance of losing my boys. I couldn’t take it any more and wanted to stop, but had no idea how to stop what had become a big part of life. It became a viscous cycle that I felt I could never get out of.Finally a move and a new job started, but the weed habit is still going strong.The weed habit began to be a real problem for me after I was caught several times in possession of marijuana. It was always for a very small amount; half joint one time, two roaches another time, and the last one was for a piece about this ___ long. I swear to God Oklahoma’s laws on weed sure need to change. But then there are times like now when I wish with all my heart that I could quit. I’m almost 40, so I’ve been smoking a long time and I’m always thinking about quitting for several reasons. One my health, I’m overweight and I know it’s from a lot of the junk food that I eat because the weed makes food taste better which makes me so damn fucking hungry all the time. (Hold on, got the munchies.)On the other side I like weed because it still helps me to relax and take my mind off things. I feel like I can think better while on weed, or at least I believe it makes my mind more creative. I tend to talk a lot more and be more social when I’m high.When I’m not high, I’m laid back and withdrawn and feel like I want to spend most of day in bed sleeping the day away. It’s like I just don’t want to face the world.So guess until the right time comes I’m left stuck somewhere in-between here and there.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My life growing up.

A cool breeze of air rushed across my face and sent chills over my entire body. Winter was coming soon. I had hated winters at that house. At times, it was unbearable. I awoke many mornings able to see my breath in the air. The older the house got, the colder it got inside. We only paid $25.00 a month for rent, so the landlord never made any repairs. If there were any repairs to be made, my father would make a whole-hearted attempt, but it was often lacking in completeness. He had attempted several times to repair the roof over two added on bedrooms that had been built on before we moved in. The one that was mine began leaking so severe that eventually my father gave up and let it leak.

My bed and things were moved up onto the original bedrooms flooring, near my sister's bed. My father bought four large pieces of plywood and nailed it to several 2'x8's that separated the two bedrooms. As the rain continued to fall inside the room, it rotted away the floor, causing it to sag in the middle. One night during a heavy downpour, it finally gave way and came crashing down.

When it did, my sister and I felt the floor in our part of the room drop a little near where it was blocked off. The next heavy rain it began dripping water near the foot of my sister's bed. We placed a bowl under the leak to catch most of the water. Within a year, the bowl had been replaced with buckets, pans and anything else we could find that held water.

When the buckets neared the top, day or night we were to empty them down the toilet or into the bathtub. My sister couldn't lift the bigger buckets, so it was left up to me to empty them; which at times needed emptied 2 or 3 times during a bad storm. We had to re-arrange our beds several times to stay dry as new leaks started. It finally got to a point where we were moved as far away as possible, but water would still splash onto the corners of our beds. At first we made a good effort at trying to keep the floor dry, but year after year, it became more and more of a losing battle. The floor beneath the leaking began rotting and sagged heavily when walking in the area. When I complained about it, I was told I needed to empty the buckets more and not let them overflow.

At the age of 13 and on the 3rd day of steady rain and being completely exhausted from empting the buckets of water all day and night, I gave up and let the rain pour in. I covered my head to block out the noise and to stay dry. When the buckets began to overflow, I ignored them and tried to sleep, but I was quickly awaken by the shouts of my father telling me to get up and empty the big bucket that was under the main leak. As I stumbled out of bed, over to the bucket, my left foot stepped in the middle of the floor where it sagged. It was an area I had avoided stepping in; now I knew why. My left foot went through the floor up to my knee and the bucket of water splashed across the floor. My father, watching, shouted at my sister to get up and help clean up the mess I had made, and then he walked off and went back to his dry, warm bed. After pulling several splinters from my leg, I helped my sister clean up the water as more was steadily coming in. We put the bucket under another big leak and just let the rain run through the hole my foot had made. I didn’t blame my parents, I blamed myself. I felt it was my fault that things were the way they were.

Year after year, the rain continued to make the holes bigger and bigger. In the winter, I could feel the brisk air coming in and blowing across my nose as I would attempt to sleep. With the holes in the floor, roof, and only plywood as walls, it was near impossible to sleep. Many mornings I awoke to see my breath hanging heavily in the air. My sister would often be asleep on the bathroom floor near the small stove that heated the bathroom trying to stay warm. My father would begin whipping her and shouting at her not to do it because she was going to catch herself on fire. As cold as I got, I stayed in my own bed, freezing and wet, to avoid being hit or getting yelled at.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I want to throw up now.

In the fall of 1976, my father decided to build us a place to play away from the house. He choose a place about half way up the driveway and off to the side of the road about 300 feet into the woods. My father used a chainsaw to cut down several small three to four inch around trees, and then he stacked them on top of one another to form a small square log cabin. I wanted to help as much as possible, but I found I was more in the way, than helpful. Sometimes, I would go with him and my brothers and watch him work on it, but mainly I just waited at the house until he had it finished. It was almost wintertime when he finally completed putting on the roof. There was a small window looking toward the direction of the house, and a small front door, made from some of the smaller limbs that had been removed from the tree's he had cut down. It was shaped like a square box approx. 8'x8' and about 6 feet to the ceiling with a dirt floor. There were gapes and holes all the way around that let the cold wind blow through, so my father brought up a large stack of newspapers and showed me how to poke them into all the cracks and spaces to help keep the cold out. While I finished stuffing the holes with newspaper, he cut down a large tree and then cut off two large chunks from the end to use as chairs; the rest he cut into firewood for the house. My older brother Richard, who was 11 at the time, helped him load up the truck with the firewood, and then we all drove back to the house. By the time we unloaded all the wood from the truck, it was getting dark out, so I had to wait until the next day to finish my new playhouse.

The next morning I got up very early and gathered up the few toy dishes I had, my doll, two old towels and an old sheet that Mom had given to me. I wrapped up all the things in the sheet, and then I threw them over my shoulder and walked up the road to the little cabin. I was so excited when I saw it in the morning light and quickly began decorating it in my own way. I stuffed more newspapers into the holes then used one old towel to cover the window. I drug the log stumps my father had cut down inside and used one for a chair and the other for a table. I spread the sheet out over the table, across my chair and then I let the rest cover the floor like a rug. I found 4 smaller logs and put them on the corners of the sheet to keep it flat and in place. I took off my shoes and sat them near the door. I used the other towel as a tablecloth, and then began setting up my dishes on the table. I sat my doll on the floor near the table and pretended to have a cup of tea with her.

I heard a noise outside of the cabin and stepped out to see my father standing near the door.
"It's time for breakfast, you better come get something to eat," he said smiling and rubbing his hand on the top of my head. I left my things where they were and walked back to the house. When I got back everyone was eating the biscuits and gravy that mom had made. It was Saturday and mom was going to town to do some shopping. Usually, going to town was one of my favorite things to do, but today I wanted to go back to the cabin and play. I convinced mom to let me stay home with dad, who was working on his truck. Everyone else loaded into the suburban van with mom to drive the 25 miles to town. I went to the kitchen and took a couple of biscuits that were left over and put them in a sandwich bag. Then I made myself a glass of grape kool-aid and headed back towards the cabin with a few more toys and a pillow to lay down with. As I walked outside past my father I heard him cuss at the truck. He looked up at me and asked where I was going.

"To play at the cabin."
"Okay. Just be careful", he said then went back to working on the truck.
"I will", I shouted back happily, and then I quickly skipped away.

Within minutes I was at the cabin. I opened the door and saw the sheet was all messed up. One of the towels I had over the window was missing and my doll was knocked over. I had remembered leaving her sitting up near the table. Since her eyes opened and shut when she laid down, I thought to myself she must have gotten sleepy and laid down; after all she couldn't very well sleep with her eyes open. I talked aloud and told her I was sorry that I had forgotten to lay her down last night, but it had gotten to be too late. I promised I wouldn't let it happen again and offered her a biscuit and a 'cup of tea'. I sipped at the kool-aid as if it were very hot tea, then I asked her how her day had been.

From outside of the cabin, I heard a noise. I sat my 'tea" carefully down, then began to get up to see what the noise was when I was startled by a knock on the door. I looked up and saw my father standing there.

"Come in", I said as he opened the door and walked in.
"You've fixed it up real nice in here", he said rubbing my shoulders and looking around.
I just smiled and said, "thank you".
"Can I play house with you?"
"Sure", I said excited, then handed him my doll's 'cup of tea'.
"Thank you. Do you mind if I get comfortable?” he asked and then sat down on the sheet in the middle of the floor. "I see you've got a pillow", he said reaching for it. He put it under his head and laid down and stretched out. "Come here beside me", he said motioning me over with his hands.

I stretched out on the floor beside him and he wrapped his arms around me. Hugging me he said, "I hope you like your new house my wife. I built it just for you."

"Thank you my husband, I love it," I said playing along and giggling at the idea.
We talked for a few minutes about the things we would buy if we ever got rich. Then he yawned real big and stretched his arms out. "I think it's time for bed, my wife." He turned and kissed me then said goodnight. He pretended to fall asleep and began snoring, so I did the same thing. After a few minutes he grabbed a hold of my hand and put it between his legs. I hesitated and pulled quickly away.

"It's okay, we're just pretending", he said, and then he put my hand back where it was.
He began squeezing my hand, making it squeeze him. He began whispering in my ear that he loved me and that when we got rich, he would buy me anything I wanted. He removed his hand and I quickly moved mine. I went to get up, but he grabbed my hand again. This time, his pants were unzipped.

"It's okay. We're just pretending. You're not in any trouble. This is just what real husbands and wives do. It's okay. Here, I'll show you."

I was still laying on the sheet and looking up at the ceiling when he pulled down my pants. He licked his finger and put it inside of me. I was so frightened, that I pretended to be asleep. He grabbed my left hand placed it around his penis. He continued to fondle me as he held my hand in place and went up and down. His other arm was around my shoulders, holding me very close. After a few minutes, he began squeezing my hand harder and I felt it get wet. He finally stopped, then turned and kissed me on the cheek. I sat up and wiped my hand on the sheet as he zipped up his pants. He drank the rest of the kool-aid, and then turned to leave.

"Thank you for the lovely evening", he said smiling and kissed me again and gave me a big hug. "Now, this is our secret, you can't tell anyone about it, okay?" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill. "If you promise to not tell anyone, you can have it", he said as he dangled it in the air in front of me.

I didn't know what to say, I just reached out and took the dollar bill.
"Have fun. I'll see you at the house later. Be careful. I love you", he said waving bye to me, and then he disappeared into the woods back towards the house.

After I was sure he was gone, I began looking for something to lock the door. I was happy I had the dollar, but I also felt angry and I didn't understand why. All I knew was I didn't want anyone in "my house" again. I took the pillowcase off my pillow and used it to tie the door securely shut, and then I sat in a corner silently thinking about what I would spend the dollar on. Every now and then I got up and looked out the window towards the house, but mainly I just sat there real quiet listening for mom to return. After several hours had passed, I finally heard a car at the gate. My heart pounded instantaneously and I began to shake nervously, unsure what I should do. I moved from the corner and hurriedly untied the pillowcase and walked towards the road. I looked up the road and saw it was mom coming, so I stepped out in the middle of the road. I began to relax and smiled real big when mom stopped. When I got in the car, my brothers and sister began showing me what they had got at the store. I became jealous when I was told I didn't get anything, because I didn't go, so I showed them the dollar I was given.

"Why did Dad give you that?” Richard asked.

Not knowing what to really say, I thought quickly and said, "Because I helped dad out".
We then pulled in front of the house and my brother immediately jumped out and asked dad, "Did you give Tayla a dollar for helping you?”
Dad's eyes opened wide, as he looked up from the truck at me. "Yes! I gave your sister a dollar for helping me with the truck", he said in an annoyed angered voice.
"See, I told you", I piped up quickly; determined to be one up on my brother.
"Get the car unloaded kids. Let's go!” Mom shouted towards us.

Pushing what had happened aside. I began carrying the packages into the house. I wanted to say something, but what would I say? I had just agreed with Dad, in front of everyone that he had given me the dollar for helping him with the truck. I felt if I said something different now, they would think I was lying. I was about to turn 10 years old and didn't understand it myself. He had said it was our secret and I couldn't tell anyone. Besides, we were just pretending, right? I pushed it all to the back of my mind and left it there.

I didn't return to the cabin until almost a month later when everyone, including my father, went to town. I told Mom I didn’t feel good and wanted to stay home alone even though they were going to be gone for several hours. I watched shows on T.V. that I usually wouldn’t be allowed to watch and then I played the stereo as loud as possible. Becoming bored I decided to return to the cabin and get my doll that I had left there almost a month before. I had been too frightened to return before, but now that I knew everyone would be gone for awhile I felt safe enough to return.

When I walked inside, I saw everything was a big mess. The sheet was dirty, nasty smelling and laid crumpled in a corner. The chair and table logs were knocked over, most of the newspapers were missing or laid scattered on the floor and my toy dishes were all broken and smashed. Looking around, I finally found my doll under some newspapers and the pillow. Her hair was pulled out on one side and there was a hole cut out from between her legs, and it smelled really bad. I walked outside with my once favorite doll in my hands and angrily through it down on the ground near a bush.

I hated the cabin, I wanted it gone. I began pushing the sides and trying to pull out some of the smaller logs. I had managed to tear the door off when it suddenly all came crashing down. It was now nothing more than a pile of old logs. I removed a lighter that I had hidden and picking up a piece of newspaper, I lit it and then shoved it under the pile of logs. Within minutes the stack of logs was blazing. I stood there watching the flames. The grass around the cabin tried to catch on fire, but I quickly put it out and continued to watch until there was nothing but a small flame left and a few remaining pieces of wood. It gave me a feeling of being in control of what was happening and I enjoyed it very much. It was the first fire I would set. It gave such a cleansing effect; everything was then fresh and new. The satisfaction that I felt afterwards is unlike anything I have every experienced. For the next few weeks, I reviewed the images in my mind several times, causing me to smile and feel good when I thought about what I had done.
Weeks later my father asked what happened to the cabin. I pretended as if I didn't know what happened. He finally concluded that lighten must have struck it and caught it on fire. Secretly, I smiled to myself; it was my secret and no one else’s.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let the Pain End

He began beating me kicking punching and other means. I eventually blacked out. When I awoke I found myself bleeding from the mouth and head and nose. He left me tied there. The security guard found me not too long after I awoke. It hurt to move. My collar bone, nose, 2 ribs, and wrist was broken. Plus I had cuts and bruises and a concussion in my head and had to get 7 stitches in the back of my head.

It wasn't much of a contest. He then slapped me and took off his tie. He tied my hands with it. He then took a handkerchief out of his pocket and stuffed it in my mouth. As I still continued to struggle he removed his belt and put it around my neck and then proceeded to use it as a weapon. He pulled it tight enough to cut my air off so then I would stopped fighting him. I was not willing to lose my life over it. He then proceeded to rape me. When he was done he fixed himself up and proceeded to drive me home - or so I thought. But instead he pulled off the road again and told me that it was so good the first time he wanted some more. Perhaps he thought I would consent that time, but once again I pleaded with him not to do it. He once again tied my hands and put the belt around my throat although I did not try to fight him the second time. He used the belt just in case I did fight so he would be able to "persuade" me to cooperate. When he was finished for the second time he told me that if I told anyone he would find my younger sister and do the same thing to her. That terrified me more than anything he could have done to me. He finally drove me home and dropped me off telling me he hoped he could see me again soon.

The World is an Ugly, Ugly Place

Daddy told me I was an evil child and needed to be cleansed. I believed him. For 10 years I believed him! A part of me will always believe him.

If there is no report- there was never a crime.

I pretended to be a sleep.
I soon learned to control my crying so that it would be over sooner. I tried so hard to make myself feel clean but it never worked. I could feel him on me, smell his breath and feel the pain. I always felt filthy. I have nightmares, emotional mood swings, and so much anger.
I went home, drank a lot of milk, because I thought he peed in my mouth and brushed my teeth for an hour. The next few weeks he began to give me drinks and when I was drunk he would take me outside and forced me to do oral sex with him. I vomited sometimes I had tears in my eyes all the time, but I listened to him and his instructionsI lost my ability to breathe. Then I realized I was probably going to die and suddenly I was ok with it. Suddenly I realized that the world is an ugly, ugly place, and this is my chance to leave it, so why don't I just relax and go with it? I had accepted death

Social rejection is more frightening than the seemingly remote possiblity of death.

Long after the offenses are over & in the past, we who have been violated in childhood by sexual abuse carry with us an internal monologue that goes on discouraging us & tearing us down as we attempt to reconstruct & heal in our recovery.

He had made me on other occasions watch porno movies while sitting on his lap. He would come into my room at night naked shining flashlights in my eyes while I slept.
Searching my entire body up and down, pulling off my covers and smelling my breasts. Smelling my hair, touching my hands. This was not a fatherly kind of affection and even I knew that.

I’m attracted to reckless situations, entertained by violent fantasies, plagued by constant self doubt.

What drives people to suicide?

Biology of SuicideWednesday April 29

All Things Considered
What drives people to suicide? NPR's Michelle Trudeau reports that in laboratories around the country, neuro-scientists are trying to find out. They're studying the brains of people who've committed suicide and comparing them with people who died suddenly. People who commit suicide appear to have different brain chemistry than others.

You can read the transcript:

NOAH ADAMS, HOST: Every year, 30,000 Americans kill themselves. More than half of these people are clinically depressed, but that doesn't explain why they commit suicide. Eighty percent of all people suffering from depression never try to take their own lives. So, researchers want to know what distinguishes the two groups biologically. As part of our series on the end of life, NPR's Michelle Trudeau visited a suicide research lab in New York City.

MICHELLE TRUDEAU, NPR REPORTER: For the team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, trying to predict suicide begins every morning around 5:30 a.m. at the fax machine in the home of neuropathologist Andrew Dworck (ph). A single page arrives from the medical examiner of New York City -- a list of about a dozen names, of people who died suddenly during the previous 24 hours.

ANDREW DWORCK, NEUROPATHOLOGIST, THE NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE: And usually around 6:30 in the morning, I take a look at the list. And usually from the information I get on the list, I can figure out who is likely to be a candidate for inclusion in our study.

TRUDEAU: The list contains clues as to which persons may have committee suicide -- age, sex, time and place of death. In New York City for example, many suicides are by hanging or jumping from heights. Dworck will eliminate cases caused by drug overdose, because drugs would confuse the study of brain chemistry. Also needed for comparison purposes: people who died suddenly but not by suicide.

DWORCK: OK, so then we have, the next case is a 27-year-old, died suddenly of apparently natural causes. So, that's a case that we could use.

TRUDEAU: Although it's barely sunrise, Dworck has to work fast now, for the autopsies by the medical examiner will begin at 8:00 a.m. And before those begin, Dworck needs to get permission from the families of the victims, to take some brain tissue during the autopsy for his team's research. Families usually agree, says Dworck.

DWORCK: Sometimes people are even quite enthusiastic about it, especially with suicide cases. They say, "oh, yes, we're glad that people are doing research on suicide and we hope that this will help" and so on.

TRUDEAU: During the autopsy, half of the brain of the victim is removed and rushed back to the lab of team member Dr. Victoria Aranga (ph).

VICTORIA ARANGA, DOCTOR, RESEARCHER,THE NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE: The brain arrives and this is the top of the brain. This is the bottom of the brain...
TRUDEAU: The brain is immediately flash-frozen so that they cells aren't damaged.

And then cut into thin, thin slices. Looks kind of like meat slicer in a butcher shop.
ARANGA: It is exactly that, but very fine, very finely calibrated.
TRUDEAU: So that each slice of brain is paper thin, then gently glided onto a frozen glass slide by Aranga's lab assistant.

ARANGA: Very nice Manuella (ph), beautiful. There are no wrinkles. There are no rips. It's totally intact. I will be able to study every aspect of that brain once we do the experiment.
TRUDEAU: That experiment seems daunting: to search for some biological mark or trace amongst the billions of nerve cells, circuits, and cables in the brains of suicide victims that's not in the brains of people who've died of natural causes. But at least the team knows in which direction to head. Previous research has uncovered clues implicating a brain chemical called serotonin. Now, the job of serotonin is to regulate our moods. Many studies have shown that if a person's serotonin system is malfunctioning, then that person is apt to be more aggressive and impulsive, and also could be at higher risk for depression. So, our serotonin system is the brake on our reckless tendencies.

ARANGA: What we really think that is happening in suicide is that the person is unable to inhibit the desire to go ahead and kill himself or herself.

TRUDEAU: After a decade of work studying over 175 brains, the research group in New York has found that the serotonin braking system is defective in many suicide victims. Their brains are anatomically different than the brains of people who have died of natural causes. Specifically, Aranga has discovered a malfunction in the area of the brain right above the eyes called the pre-frontal cortex, the place where executive decisions are made dictating what feelings we will act upon and what feelings we will inhibit.

TRUDEAU: Another team member, neuroscientist Mark Underwood (ph), is looking at a different part of the brains of suicide victims, at the back, an area called the brain stem. Enlisting the power of the computer, Underwood counts the number of serotonin nerve cells. There too, the serotonin system looks faulty.

MARK UNDERWOOD, NEUROSCIENTIST, NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE: We have found hat there are approximately 30 percent more of these serotonin neurons in the suicide victims than in the controls. To find more neurons would suggest something very fundamental, such that you may in fact be born with your biological risk for suicide behavior.
TRUDEAU: That's because you're born will all the neurons you'll ever have, and not only are there more serotonin neurons in the brain stem than there should be, but, Underwood adds, they're smaller, and they don't work right.

In another part of the building, the head of the research team, psychiatrist John Mann (ph) sits in front of his computer.

JOHN MANN, PSYCHIATRIST, DIRECTOR, BRAIN CHEMISTRY RESEARCH, NEW YORK PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE: Just give me a second here while I find the file with the pictures.
TRUDEAU: Vivid colored pictures of brains pop up on the screen with the click of a mouse. These are images of the brains of living patients, because Mann wants to see if the faulty serotonin system can be detected in patients who may be suicidal, before it's too late.
MANN: So, this restraint mechanism, which seems to be at fault in completed suicides, may be detectable, by these kinds of imaging techniques, in live patients before they actually act on those thoughts.

TRUDEAU: And there does seem to be something detectable in these PET-scan pictures. Depressed patients who have tried to kill themselves seem to have lower serotonin activity than depressed patients who have never attempted suicide. The serotonin system that governs impulsive self-destructive behaviors is defective.

MANN: In other words, what we've identified are chemical transmitters in the brain that regulate, or seem to be associated with, serious suicidal behavior.

TRUDEAU: Many of these same patients, intent on trying to kill themselves, frequently can have trouble controlling other strong impulses Mann has found, turning their assault outward, being more aggressive verbally and physically toward others.

MANN: So, suicide really is an outcome of a combination of feelings and stressors that make a person feel like committing suicide, and the individual's particular propensity for acting on those feelings.

TRUDEAU: So, these researchers are narrowing in on a number of features that characterize suicide attempters and victims. But being able to reliably predict who will act on the impulse to commit suicide, and who will control that impulse, is still a scientific frontier. There's so many individual differences -- age, gender, psychological profile, genetic background, but these researchers are uncovering common biological threads that link victims of suicide, so that eventually, predicting suicides may be more reliable, and preventing suicides may be possible. Michelle, Trudeau, NPR News.

NOAH ADAMS: That report, part of our series on the End of Life: Exploring Death in America, which will continue on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED and other NPR programs in the months ahead. For more reading, visit our website at www.npr.org.