Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

I Took Back My Power From the Rapist June 9, 2013

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape

It’s strange how J mimics my own life in some ways. I wish it wasn’t so.

She saw her rapist at the grocery store.

The same grocery store where I saw mine.

Years ago, as a very young and wild teen, I was gang raped by “friends”. Long story….I know I wrote about it already, but I don’t feel like searching for it to create a link. Maybe later.

A year later, I moved on. I made all new friends, cut my ties with that so-called group of friends (all of them, not just the ones who raped me). I literally moved on to a new boyfriend (who became my husband) in a new town. The first town is about a 35 minute drive to the town I moved to. I grew up, married, had kids, and became a teacher. My life moved forward, but my soul did not. Just as I did with the molestation I endured as a child, I covered it up and pretended it didn’t happen. If I don’t think about it, it can’t hurt me, right? Or so I thought.

One year, one of my students happened to be this weird little dude I will call Paul. I taught fourth grade, and some little boys having a crush on me was the norm; it goes with the territory. After a week or so, they usually get over it and fall for a more appropriate love interest, like the cute blonde with freckles who sits next to them in class. Paul, however, persisted to fawn over me all year. Like I said, a weird little dude. I met his mother several times during conferences and we laughed together over his strange infatuation with me.

At the end of the year we had a big awards ceremony. The day before, Paul gave me a strange smile and said,”My dad is coming to awards tomorrow.” I was slightly shocked,  as Paul’s dad had not attended any events that year. In fact, Paul NEVER talked about his dad, so I assumed he was a very un-involved parent. Then Paul said, “My dad knows you.” He giggled and ran off.

I truly didn’t think anything of it until the next day. I was standing in my classroom when Paul’s dad, my old friend and rapist, stood in my doorway. Time stood still as our eyes met. The world around me faded away and all I could see where those eyes in the darkness. I was unable to blink or breath until he smirked and turned away. He told his son he would see him at the ceremony and then he was gone. When I was able to move again, I looked at Paul, who stood there, staring at me, with that same smirk. Like he knew.

Somehow I got through that day. I pulled Paul’s records and realized I lived one street over from my former friend. We lived one street apart and I never knew until that day.

But he knew. He knew the whole time that I was Paul’s teacher.

That summer I saw him again. This time at the grocery store. I left my groceries in the cart and walked out.

It began to eat away at me. I couldn’t sleep without nightmares. I began spending most of my waking hours doing the “What If” game. What if I had pressed charges. What  if I called him out in front of his wife. What if…

Finally I realized this was very counter-productive for me. I had to take my life back. I could not run from this anymore. A few days later, in the same grocery store, I saw him. I followed him. When he saw me, the blood drained from his face. I was angry and I did not look away. I would not back down. I took back my power when I looked him in the eyes and loudly said, “Fancy meeting you here. Does you wife  know you are a rapist? Does she know how you gave an under-aged girl drugs until she passed out, so you and your sick friends could rape her?” I saw true fear in his eyes for the first time. In that moment, I got my power back. He and his fear no longer controlled me.

Life is funny. That was years ago, and I have not had a chance encounter with him since. He still lives one street away, but it no longer haunts me. In fact, I hadn’t thought about him and those events in a long time.

I wonder how long it will be until J gets her power back.

 

 

Life is So Hard and He Said Hello June 3, 2013

WHY? WHY? WHY? Why does life have to be so hard for her? Why does she feel so much pain all the time? I don’t understand how these things keep happening to her, when she is such a good, decent person.

J had a terrible weekend. She has been cycling badly for days now. Her psychiatrist is out-of-town, and she will not see anyone else. Then Sunday, she went to the grocery store. Guess who she ran into? Yep, the rapist. AND HE SAID HELLO LIKE IT WAS ANY NORMAL DAY. She said she felt like vomiting.

Today her work called me. J had a seizure and the ambulance took her to the emergency room.

Turns out it was not a real epileptic seizure, but a pseudo-seizure brought on by stress. I’m sure it felt real enough to her.

Stress is a terrible, horrible monster. Trust me, I know.

 

Life Goes On June 1, 2013

TRIGGER WARNINGS

She refused to do anything about the rape. After that day, she didn’t want to talk about it. J is  much like me in her ability to bury things deep inside. It kills me to see her do that, because I know what burying secrets does to you. The secrets come out at night and haunt your dreams. They creep up randomly in the middle of the day and make you unable to breathe. Secrets that you keep buried eat away at your soul, swallowing it bit by bit. Trust me, I know.

But burying secrets is a way to survive and keep living. It is a coping skill; a bad one, but a coping skill nonetheless. I was once gang raped by a group of guys who I thought were my friends. I was drunk and high on drugs, so the next morning I buried it away. After all, I put myself in that position. It was my fault. Those were the thoughts I had at the time, so I pretended it didn’t happen. Even when I saw them later in the week, I pretended nothing was different. Inside, I felt dead. I continued doing drugs and drinking heavily for a few more years. I attempted suicide several times. When I wasn’t attempting suicide, I lived as recklessly as I could. Dying seemed better than living.  I was in a bad place for a long time. It was years before I could grieve and even admit to myself that I was raped.

I worry so much about J. She carries so many wounds and she is not tough like I am. She feels every little jab deep in her heart. She is so trusting, yet she keeps getting hurt. J is a good, loyal person with a heart of gold.  She trusted that when she said no, he would listen. It wasn’t a playful, ambiguous no. She was crying. She meant it.

My anger is still boiling. She begged me not to tell anyone, not even her dad or sister. So I have another secret that I must carry, because when I make a promise I keep it. I do not know what will happen if I run into him somewhere. In this small town, it is bound to happen. I know where he works. I could easily find out where he lives. I lay in bed at night and dream up scenarios of what I would do to  him if I could. I will not share with you what my twisted mind concocts because it frightens me to think I can even  dream of such terrible things. But she is my baby, no matter her age. She is handicapped mentally and he took advantage of that. To me, that is more inhumane than the horrors my mind creates.

I am here, drinking my coffee and beginning my day. J spent the night with a friend and is planning her best friend’s wedding. The birds are chirping and the sun is rising. Life goes on.

 

No Means No May 27, 2013

She was raped. That son of a bitch raped her last night. I am boiling with fury and probably shouldn’t be allowed to blog right now but I have to let it out somehow or I will hunt him down and cut off his dick. If you are offended by my language then please don’t read this post. I am seriously trying to keep from going after him. I do not need to go to jail, because then who would she have? Her dad, who lives in la-la land? Or her sister, who gets angry every time J’s bipolar/anxiety prevents her from being “normal”?

I have always joked that if someone raped either of my daughters I would take him in a house and nail his dick to the windowsill. I would then set the house on fire and hand him a knife and tell him, “You get to choose. My daughter did not.” I thought I was joking. Now I know I was not. I want to inflict terrible pain on him. I want to see him beg for mercy. How could that son of a bitch do that to her? She is already so fragile….years of work probably undone because he wanted to get off.

To think, this was a “nice boy” whom I knew and LIKED!!! It wasn’t one of the losers she found on the dating sites (nothing against dating sites, but J is known for picking losers and it never turns out well); this was a “local” guy who seemed very earnest and straight-forward. My heart is broken for her. She will not press charges because they will never stick. And I agree; they will not stick.

J told him no. Forcefully. Repeatedly. But she did not fight. She did not scream for help. She kept saying no and crying but did not stop him. My guess is because of her incredibly low self-esteem she just let him finish. She was so hurt and confused when she told me. My poor baby.

No means no.

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Update on the Family May 26, 2013

Happy Sunday morning! It is early morning here as I sit on the porch and drink my second cup of coffee. It’s a “linger and take small sips” kinda morning. The sun is shining but there is a cool crispness in the air. I hear the crow of the neighborhood rooster in the distance. He seems to insist for you to get up and start the day. A morning dove calls her lonely song out and other birds chirp “good mornings”.

I love that it is never quiet in the early morning hours. The sounds of nature put me at ease.

I haven’t done an update on my life in a while, so….

I’ve dealt with much anxiety in the past month, mostly over things of my own doing. <Heavy sigh.> Will I ever be able to stop making my own life hard? On a better note, school is out in 2 weeks and I will be home for a little while. I’m excited to have time to get a few things done for me. I’m no longer waiting for Hubs to do things, because it never happens. So, I will do it myself.

I’m not a church goer, so I will spend my day doing all those things that don’t get done during the workweek. Also, I don’t think I shared some wonderful news: my daughter S and her partner E just bought a house! It’s a cute old  house in the historic section of town. We are busy helping them move this weekend. It fills my heart with joy to see her so happy taking this step. To think she is only 24! She is so traditional in everything she does (except of course she happens to be gay.) I hope the wanderlust that plagues me never gets into her heart.

I also have exciting news about J (my daughter who has an eating disorder, bipolar, and anxiety issues). SHE STARTED BACK TO COLLAGE! She took the steps she needed to do to get financial aid and sign up for the courses she needs. The classes are online and she started this week. She has made an “A” on every assignment so far! I am so proud of her for doing this. She’s dealt with some strong anxiety in the process, but she did it.

My heart is full of pride and happiness for both of my girls.

 

 

The Crooked Tree May 25, 2013

Once, deep in a beautiful green forest, a teeny tiny tree seed fell onto the rich soil of the forest floor. Now, in this forest, many seeds fell onto the forest floor, but most were quickly eaten by the hungry birds that lived among the trees. This particular seed, however, was so tiny, so incredibly small, that it was overlooked by the birds. After a few days the seed began to sprout.

Now, you must know that all the seeds that were not eaten by the hungry birds began to sprout. Soon, the rabbits of the forest smelled the new sprouts. The rabbits came out of their little rabbit homes and gathered around to eat the fresh tender sprouts. The teeny tiny seed had sprouted into a teeny tiny sprout and was overlooked by the hungry rabbits.

The teeny tiny sprout felt very fortunate. As he looked around,  he saw only a few other sprouts still standing. He was so happy, he did a little wiggle in the wind. The other sprouts laughed at him and called him a baby. The teeny tiny sprout was so embarrassed he turned red all the way to the top of his teeny tiny leaf.

All of the sprouts growing on the forest floor were watched over by the ancients. The ancients were the top trees of the forest. They had the tallest, straightest trunks you could imagine! Their beautiful branches stretched far and wide, casting deep shadows across the forest floor. Only a little sunlight filtered down through their thick branches. The ancients knew the sprouts needed sunlight to grow, and that only the strongest and smartest sprouts would survive. It was the way of the forest.

Time passed and the sprouts continued to grow. Most sprouts grew tall and straight, with their heads lifting higher and higher towards the few rays of sunlight that filtered down through the ancients. They had beautiful straight bodies filled with perfect little leaves. Their bark was strong and turning a rich brown. A few sprouts began to wither and die because they could not reach the much-needed rays of sun. The teeny tiny sprout grew, but he was a lot smaller than the other sprouts. He was not near a sun ray, and it was hard for him to  make new leaves. His trunk was thin. It made him sad to see some of the other sprouts begin to die, and he worried that he, too would die.

The taller sprouts called him names and told him it was just a matter of time until he died like the other weaklings. Teeny tiny sprout tried to ignore their taunts, but it was hard. He was determined to grow and survive! He spent hours and hours thinking about his problem and how he could solve it. He gazed up at the ancients and wondered how they survived. How he longed to become an ancient so he could watch over the little seedlings of the forest! As he was peering up, he noticed something unusual about several of the  ancients. The bottom of their long, towering trunks were thick and straight. But as he looked up toward the very top of their bodies, he noticed that most, if not all, were bent and crooked. It was hard to see because the ancients were so crowded together and their long branches were interwoven. He wondered why they grew this way. Suddenly, he understood!

From that day forward, teeny tiny sprout stopped worrying about being tall and straight. He leaned his teeny tiny body towards any bit of sunlight he could reach. He began to grow, but he was bent in odd places. The other sprouts told him he looked ridiculous. Teeny tiny sprout tried to explain to them what he discovered about the ancients, but they just covered their ears with bark and refused to listen.

All the sprouts who survived became small tree-lets. Some of the tree-lets were tall and straight because they were lucky enough to stand in a beam of sunlight. Teeny tiny tree-let continued to grow, but he was bent in so many places he was still very low to the ground. But he had beautiful leaves, and his truck was a rich brown. The other tree-lets continued to make fun of him, but he no longer cared. He knew he was different, but he was happy and that was all that mattered.

Late one afternoon, all sunlight disappeared as dark clouds gathered high above the heads of the ancients. The ancients locked limbs to protect the young tree-lets, because they knew the dangers of the storm. Before long, thunder rumbled and rain pelted the forest floor. The tree-lets loved the rain and began drinking it in as fast as it fell. After several minutes, the tree-lets were full of rain and could hold no more. But the rain came down even harder and the roots of the tree-lets could fill the soil washing away. This worried teeny tiny tree, so he tried to squeeze his roots more tightly into the ground.

As the rain continued to pound the forest floor, the ancients started to wave around wildly. The wind was a fierce beast who beat them upon their heads and tossed them around. One ancient, born many, many years before, was snapped in half. Wind didn’t even care and kept pounding at the forest. On the forest floor, the tall, straight tree-lets were tossed around as well. It was hard to hang onto the wet slippery soil when the wind pulled them back and forth. Several tree-lets were ripped from the soil and tossed to the wind, never to be seen again. Teeny tiny tree-let hugged his bent trunk close to the forest floor. He did not stand as tall as the other tree-lets, so he was able to hug closer to the ground. He hung on with all his might.

An hour later the storm passed. The forest dripped with rain and the sun shone again. It was sad to see the ancient who fell, but that was the way of the forest. As teeny tiny tree-let looked around, he realized many other tree-lets were gone. Only three remained, including himself. He was very sad the others were gone, even if they had treated him badly. He knew it was the way of the forest, but it still saddened his heart.

Years passed and teeny tiny tree-let grew into a tree. He had a strong, straight trunk, but the top of his body was bent because he continued to grow in the direction of the sun. He became known as crooked tree instead of teeny tiny tree. The other two tree-lets also became trees, but they were not as strong as crooked tree. They were tall and they were straight, but their trunks were thin and weak.

Another fierce storm came, and this time both of the other trees were snapped. Their thin straight trunks could not survive the howling wind. Crooked tree wrapped his crooked treetop around the legs of an ancient and managed to survive. He was sad to see the others go and mourned their loss.

Suddenly, crooked tree heard the booming voice of an ancient. The ancient explained that only the strongest and smartest survived because it was the way of the forest. He told crooked tree he was the only one who was smart enough to follow the sun, even if it meant being crooked. Crooked tree tremble with pride at these words. He knew he would one day join the ancients at the top of the forest.

Morning Moon Shine

 

Gypsy is Home With Paint in Her Hair April 1, 2013

Since I am off work for an entire, glorious, much-needed week, I am giving the gypsy some free rein. Well, as much free rein as I can since I have no money to travel.

So, Small Town me is in the back seat. That’s right, she is no longer in the driver’s seat…for at least a week! I dusted off my paint brushes and turned gypsy loose. My arms, hands, and shoulder length brown hair are streaked with hues of yellow, green and blue. I move between the back porch and my studio, both dogs trailing behind me. I am at my happiest when creating something. I’ve already thrown away two pieces (I’m a little rusty) but I don’t even care! I completed one piece using my wood burning kit and I love it. It’s for my camper. Another piece, seen below, is very vivid and fun. I had a great time painting it and I plan to actually hang this one up in my house! That is something I seldom do for some reason.

I sold another cell phone cover on Society 6! It was created from one of my photographs. It makes me happy to know someone will use something I created. 🙂

I’m trying hard to keep gypsy in control because I need that release right now. Things are not doing well with J. She’s been having cramps and female problems for the past month. They think she might have a cyst and she is taking this very badly. J is an emotional wreck, wanting to talk and dwell over every pain. This is something I just cannot do right now! Don’t get me wrong; I am sympathetic. I had problems when I was younger and had a hysterectomy when I was only 25. It’s just that I need a break, but when I tried to explain that to her she became offended. She has always tried to control things, especially ME. Control is one of her issues. She is trying her hardest to pull me in, but I can’t do it. Not right now. So, I keep my distance.

She just got home from another appointment. She walked in and said accusingly, ” I tried to call you.” Just her tone set me on edge, so without thinking I retorted, “And I didn’t answer.” She glared at me and stomped off. I yelled after her and asked what the doctor said, but she replied, “Never mind now. That’s why I called. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” And with that, she went to her room and firmly shut the door.

Heavy sigh. Sometimes I cannot win. All I know is I cannot make her happy. It is not my job to make her (or anyone else) happy. So I will go back outside to the porch and turn gypsy loose on that next canvas…

random days 009

 

 

Gypsy Vs. Small Town Me March 30, 2013

I am so restless. I itch to make things happen, and yet I do nothing. Is it because I am scared? Is it because I am just a lazy dreamer? Is it because I don’t know how to start? I don’t really know.

Am I destined to live my life with this restless spirit, or is there some way I can live this life I have and satisfy my desire to wander? It is like I am two people in one: one reliable person who is the wife and mother living in Small Town, USA. This person baked cookies, made homemade jelly, coached softball, and taught all the neighborhood kids how to create awesome science projects. She desired a house with a big yard and traditional furnishings. She is the good wife, daughter, and mother. The other person inside of me is a gypsy. She doesn’t care about social norms; she lives by her own set of rules. She believes in the spiritual goodness found in nature. Her one desire is to wander the earth to see all there is to see. Her life is found in a traveling caravan. She creates beautiful things just for the sake of beauty.

I know we all have different parts of our personalities, but mine seem to be constantly waging war with one another because they are polar opposites. The older I get, the more Gypsy me tries to take over. It’s like I have been what society expects me to be for as long as I could, and now I feel restless and rebellious to let the ‘real’ me take over. I want to see things, do things, have experiences that Small Town me could never do. Some times I am disgusted by what I allowed myself to become, because it is not the me I hold in my heart.

So, do I just walk away from this life? How do you walk away from a family that  you love? YOU DON’T! So how do you find a peaceful way to allow the Gypsy me to be satisfied without harming the people and life I led? I feel selfish just THINKING these thoughts; I lived my life putting my family before me. I have much to be thankful for; please know I am not complaining nor do I take what I have for granted. I just know this restlessness is not going away…it is growing stronger day by day.

flower5

 

Trying Not to Fall Into the Abyss March 24, 2013

I’m trying. I really am. Every day when I wake up and look in the mirror, I tell myself all those positive things the therapists and self-help books tell you to say: “You are a valuable person. It’s okay to not be perfect because no one is.  You have empathy and talent. You are worthwhile. There are people who love you just as you are, faults and all. You are lovable.” Sometimes I even believe a small part of what I say, but mostly I look into my eyes and see a nothing person. But I promise, I am trying to find reasons to be alive.

I see everything as though I am peering through a thick, black fog. The haze is so real I can taste it. It leaves a heavy metallic taste on my tongue. My eyes feel gritty from trying to see beyond the haze, so I often just close them. When I am home, I try to sleep, but dozing is the best I can do. My mind is filled with every demon from my past chasing me into a corner. I fight the urge to just surrender. Giving up, surrendering, seems so alluring and easy, and yet I still fight. Something in me makes me keep fighting.

I think it would be better now, but life circumstances are conspiring against my healing. My dog, who is one of my huge reasons for living, is back in the emergency hospital with seizures again. I ache for him. Another financial problem reared up to cause even more stress. And then, of course, there is J, who is herself teetering on the edge of mania gone wild.

I can almost see the edge of the cloud, but my fingertips are tired; they ache to let go and just let my body and soul fall into the abyss.

Life circumstances are hard right now, and that is not helping.

 

It’s Coming March 14, 2013

It’s coming. I can feel it, breathing down my neck. It’s not here yet, but it is close. When I gaze in the mirror, I can feel it hovering just out of view. When I walk down a long hall and turn the corner, I can almost catch a glimpse. As I stare into my own eyes, I feel it staring back, right there behind the dark brown flecks of my irises. Just the thought is wearing me down.

There is nothing I can do. It will come, it will stay as long as it wants, and it will leave just as abruptly as it came. It will tear me apart if it wants, and leave me in tiny little pieces that I can never, ever make fit perfectly again. I will fake it for as long as I can so that no one else can see the turmoil it brings. I will fake normal so no one will know my secret. But I know, and IT knows.

How long is my uninvited and unwanted guest going to stay?  Will I make it? Will my life be so interrupted that nothing is ever the same again? Only it knows.

I hate depression.