Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You know your Sister is in trouble when . . .

. . .she say's "I love you Sis" and really means it, and then thanks you for sending the police to get her a week ago.

You also know what a complete tool her boyfriend is when she tells you that you, who happens to be 1200 miles away, are being, and have been way more help than the boyfriend who is there in Colorado. Understandably she no longer trusts the BF, especially since it was because of him that she was ready and determined to take her own life.

I wish I was joking. She's been suffering from folks blowing her off for years. Not listening to her, not taking her seriously, not thinking about how SHE feels. She was trying to have a heart to heart conversation with this man and he fell asleep on her. Right in the middle of the conversation. She decided she didn't want to kill him though she felt more than hurt enough. Well no, she wanted to, but it's not her style, so she decided it was time to kill herself.

I had to step in. If I'd been there I'd have gone and gotten her myself. But there was no way, even if I was willing to get on a plane, to get to her in time. So I had to ask for help to stop her. It was a hard thing to do, but better than the alternative.

I did it because yes, I love her, but also because I didn't want to see her have to suffer more after she'd managed to kill herself. Been there, done that to myself, and didn't want her to have to find out the truth up front and personal like.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a year in so many ways . . .

When I moved here last year, it was equal measures of frustration, desperation and forward thinking. In ways my move here was something more natural and organic than anything I've ever done before. Usually I was either fleeing away from something, or to something else, and it was always a case of following things "unseen" in many respects.

While there was an certain element of flight involved in this move, I was very torn about repeating my past mistakes. I needed to get out of where I was as soon as possible as I'd already been there far longer than I needed to be in the first place. Why? Because the place was as it existed, caustic, toxic and bloody unhealthy for me on so many levels. It was also a place of constant, deliberate turmoil that was something I was constantly forced to clean up after. Why was I forced to clean up? Because if I didn't I'd have been in even more trouble personally.

In the legal and factual definition of things, I'd been chronically homeless since 2004 when my late husband violated one of the restraining orders and I was forced to cram everything into storage and flee our townhouse in New England. While yes, I was staying with family, I had no legal presence there, and no protection from things they did. Well not so much they, as much as my sister-in-law. She was, and largely remains chronically under employed in a market space where she has the training and education to be thriving. Doing something she enjoys no less in stead of something she is suffering through. She refuses to pay her bills on time, and is a child from a background of abuse. She is incapable of maintaining any long term healthy relationships with people, and worse, she's such a slob that she makes Oscar Madison (Odd Couple) look like Felix Unger (Aslo from the Odd Couple) in terms of house keeping. It's honestly a wonder her place hasn't been condemed yet. Yes, that bad. She's also a violent control freak, expects people to do things her way or they suffer, and drives away people that get close to her. Worse? She's bipolar and often refuses to take her meds. I so couldn't keep staying there. She'd refuse to pay her bills, they'd mount up until whomever was going to take action that would have resulted in both of us being homesless, and I'd be forced to step in and save her butt. Poof, there went my savings AGAIN.

That's the short version.

I'd wanted to go home. Ah, but which home to goto? You see New England has always been home for me, and having been forced by my late husband to flee there was a big part of me that wanted to go there. Many, many years before that, before Earl, I'd been living in Colorado and I wanted, needed to go home to my mountains, I still do. The problem I kept running into was that on very limited resources I had to go somewhere, and quickly. Ellie's house was in foreclosure AGAIN and I was so not getting involved in that mess. I had family and friends in Colorado and Alaska that wanted me home in my mountains, family and friends in New England that wanted me there, my stuff was still in storage in Maine (where is has been since 2004) and there was no way I was going to be able to afford in the time alloted, to move me, and all my stuff back to CO. I was having NO luck finding a place to live in New England that I could afford, and was faced with the prospect of moving cross country with only what the Jumper could carry, and then having to go back at some point in the future to get the stuff out of storage. A costly option. Plus all the pressure. Folks wanting me to move for all their own reasons, folks wanting me to stay in Jersey, money problems and so much more.

Mind you I also have family in Ohio. A place I never imagined I'd find myself living. I mean really, and New England farm girl who caught a serious case of Rocky Mountain High, lving in Ohio? Kidding right? Well not so much it seems. I've been here a year now.

What did it for me? My family in Ohio wasn't pressuring me at all. Not in the least. "If there's anything we can do to help, let us know, and if you decide maybe that Ohio isn't so bad, we're not going to complain." That as they say was that. They helped more than they knew. They were supportive and never once pushed me to move here. The won the who's going to get Sam game by not playing.

In retrospect, especially given everything going on with my family and friends over the last year, they did me such a huge favor. My sister-in-law despite a last minute save that gave her an extra year in the house, is scrambling now to figure out what she's going to do. Seems the house was in fact foreclosed upon in MAY, and she has to be out next month. As in a few days from now. She's not even trying to do anything to save herself or her stuff. Which for her is exactly the way she has alwasy done everything. Living one crisis to the next expecting someone else to save her from herself. Regrettably this is probably going to come down to the Sheriff showing up and saying we don't care where you go, but you cannot stay here. Then they are going to see the place and put her in the hospital. It's way past a mess, it's a health hazard. I only wish I was joking.

Colorado. Oh my. The plan was I was going to move in with a friend and her boyfriend. Then save my money, find an affordable place, and work towards getting my stuff out of storage eventually. Well, drama and madness a year ago not withstanding, the friend has a different boyfriend, and is well still chronically homeless herself. Worse still? I was forced to coordinate an action from here, that landed her in a hospital as a danger to herself and others. 1200 miles away and I'm working with the local police to have her picked up and placed in protection custody. Mind you it's not her fault persay. In stark contrast with my Sister-in-law who isn't trying to get any help at all, and just lets things happen. My friend has been trying for years to get help and keeps getting blown off. I wish I was joking. The hospital she was in bascially pushed her away three time without trying to seriously help, and refused to even listen to her. She wouldn't on the otherhand listen to me when I said she sould NOT GO THERE ever again.

Thankfully, the local police took her to a totally different hospital and they HAVE BEEN listening to her, and I sense hope for a change. I hated having to have hger picked up, but she was in fact going to end her life if I'd not stepped in. So my choice was lose her completely to suicide, or have her hate me for getting her picked up by the police. I chose a hopefully long, healthy hate than having her die. Plus next time I head out to Colorado, be it a visit, or to move back there for a while, I don't want it to be to pay my last repects to someone so dear to me.

It struck me this morning, after having spent the day yesterday with family and friends, that I got really lucky in this move. I cannot afford to go running off to get directly involved in either the mess in Jersey or Colorado, which means I do what I can from here. There's a certain peace in NOT being the one to drop everything and run off to do for others. I don't say that to be mean, but given my own long history of helping others to the point where I'd hurt myself, and I wouldn't even consider the cost, it's nice to find myself doing something different.

I'm NOT the MOMMA!

Which for me is a huge step forward as odd as it sounds. So I'm kinda struck by this new place in my life. I have sepnt most of my life being the momma, bailing everyone out of everything no matter what, and never even thinking how much it was going to cost, or if I could manage it. I'd litterally have moved heaven and earth to produce miracles on demand. Now, well I cannot afford to drop everything, drive three days and sleep in my car to get things done in Colorado. Not unless someone is dying. Oh wait, not even then so much? But hey, I did still manage to keep her talking while I got the police to gently go pick her up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When the trigger is pulled . . .

Seriously though, it's often called having a trigger fire, whatever you wish to call it, the results aren't pleasant.

I was having a fairly productive and positive day. Managed to make it into the mall for another of those amazingly yummy protein smoothies today. One Friday no less. When the mall was full of kids after school. Worse still the store next door was having the launch of a new product with SERIOUS fanfare. I mean sirens, bells, loud speaker, cheering and more. Everytime they sold this new product. Which while I was there was couple times a minute.

Anyway, survived the noise, the everything, even survived getting lost on the way to the bathroom. I only wish I was kidding. Long hallway big enough to drive my care down opens into the veritable plaza of rooms. It was way over the top. Sitting rooms, vending machines, baby changing ROOMS, mall security and all the way in the back, finally, the ladies room. Stalls a plenty which was an amazing thing, but the sings where in a different room. (Eww?) So I'm walking out of the room with the stalls as another woman's coming in and she smiles and says it's like a maze. I smiled back and said "Thank you, then it's not just me!" Found my way to the room to wash up, and then managed to find my way out to the rest of the mall, and back to my car.

So, I figured that accomplished, with me slightly jumpy but otherwise okay I'd head over to the grocery store for some Boar's Head brand cold cuts and some other stuff and I'll be on my way. I sit in the parking lot for a few minutes mediating to ground and center, and then I'm on my way in. Things are going fine when I'm hit with a "Song Remembers When" moment that had me reduced to a sobbing wretch in the store. Pachabell's Canon in D Minor was playing and until it hit the trigger, I hadn't noticed.

This was the music I walked down the isle to way more than ten years ago. That memory was then a cascade trigger for a decade of flashbacks in seconds and I was toast. I mean toast. I'm standing there crying like I've lost my mind, holding on to the cart for dear life, praying the pain would stop and that the music would change or go away or something. So much pain. I heard a voice as from a distance saying "Ma'am are you okay? Ma'am?" while I'm standing there my eyes screwed shut crying like a loon.

Finally it was over and I looked toward the source of the voice and said I'm sorry, this was the song I walked down the isle to, and . . . and . . . I hurt. It was a long time ago and he hurt me so badly before he crawled off and died that I wanted to for a while. I still sometimes get caught in flashbacks. Just give me a minute and I'll be okayish. I'm healing but it takes time. She was nice, we talked for a bit, and then went our own way. I shortened my trip, checked out, and went to the car to compose myself more and come home.

It was just so hard. I haven't had a series of flashbacks like this in a while. Then again I limit my time in stores to the early morning when no one is around and they are quiet to prevent this kind of thing, so it's no wonder I've not had a serious flashback episode in a while.

Wow and I was going to write about Rosie the riviter here. Well the morrow is good enough to get to it I guess. It's a better post, funny even. So I'll get that written tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Sunday night was girls night out. We usually do Thursday or Friday, but because of a family crisis that needed my direct attention we did it last night. It actually turned out to be just my sister-in-law and I, which was nice. She said she wanted some time with me alone for a change. As is usually the case we got to talking about everything under the sun and then some. Our topic covered life, death, life and so much more, both in the physical world and beyond, it's what we do.

My sister-in-law thinks two of the best things to come our of her relationship with my brother are my namesake, and me. That touched me deeply, then again it's the simple things in life that get my heart going like a tilt-a-whirl anyway. Plus to be honest it's a very mutual feeling, two of the best things to come out of my brother's relationship with her, are her, and my namesake. One of the things we were talking about were how much our lives change over time, and how we deal with the things that come our way. Invariably when conversations like this get deep, and we start talking about history, there's really no way to avoid that mine is well outside of what many people have to deal with. Gender issues, domestic violence and rape, and so much more are things that have made my life somewhat less than a walk in the park.

Now my sister-in-law has known about my past since before we actually met for the first time in person. All of it. Though she still can't quite wrap her mind around me ever being a guy. Well you know, I can relate to that feeling, cause to be honest I have trouble too, and I was there. At one point she looked at me and asked me a question that pulled me up short, because at that moment I wasn't sure there was an easy answer.

It's been kinda rolling around inside me since last night, and while I gave her a long but clear yes, I felt like I was holding something back. This evening as I was working on something totally unrelated it hit me. Without question, Yes, I'm happier than I ever really thought was possible. Growing up as I did, dealing with the traumas (yes, traumas as in more than one) I had to face, I'd never imagined I'd be here where I am. Then with Earl and his folks and the traumas (yes, again, plural) there half the time I'm just amazed I'm even alive, let alone where I am.

Happy? Curiously enough, very, all things considered. Happier to be me than pretending to be someone else? Oh yes, yes, YES!!! Yeah, way happier. Like night and day happier.

And I own that now. It's mine. I've given myself permission to "wallow" in the happiness. I highly recommend it for everyone and anyone else.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My House . . .

A year I’ve been here now, behind doors that lock out the rest of the world and windows that let in the sun.

A year I’ve been walking from room to room now and again saying MY bathroom, MY Kitchen, My Bedroom, MY walk in closet, MY Living room, MY HOUSE!

I do this and I cry, because I still cannot quite believe it is all real.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

There's some hope for the boy after all!

Earl that is. We were having one of those little "coversations" that used to be fun, but of late has taken on a note of whining. Nothing worse than having a dead guy whining from the other side. Usually when I say something out loud, he feels it's fair game to comment on. Which was pretty much the way it has always been. The other day however I'd had a hard day, and Earl just got on my last nerve with his whining so I said:

"Well you know, time here, and time there, don't mean the same thing. There's nothing and no one stopping you from incarnating into another life, back in the 60's again, to a decent set of parents, live a quiet and fairly easy life and be in your 40s now, so that you can go to the Cheesecake Factory all you want. Nothing stopping you. So instead of mooping around the summerland sulking and refusing to grow up, why not do something else?"

I said more than that, and to be honest, I let some of my own anger speak to the way he handled his life, and the damage he did to me. Told him that I'd always love him (and I will) but I wasn't IN LOVE with him the way we were. This is nothing I'd not said to him before he died, I'd said it years before that, but I think he might have actually heard me this time and had it all connect inside himself. I ended the converstion with I don't care what you do, but go away and leave me be for a while if you are going to keep being such a miserable sot.

I came home and cried myself to sleep, again. In large part because of the day and what had happened in it, and because historically days like this are followed by several days of horrific nightmares that make sleep a joke.

That night however was different. I had a dream and like so many in the past, Earl was in it. This time however things were amazingly different. So much so that I'm still kinda shocked, and amazed. I won't bore you with the details, but three things stand out as really worth mentioning. One, was for a change it was a really good dream, and Earl was in it. Two was the fact that in the dream he was the one who was odd and having to explain himself, he was standing up for himself without being a complete Arse about it. And three He was the Earl I'd fallen in love with all those years ago. He was fun and funny, and when his eyes met mine I knew, I mean really KNEW how he felt, and felt about me. He actually admitted things, in public, about himself he'd never told anyone except me, and was stronger than he'd ever been, but way nicer. I'm actually proud of him for the way he behaved and dealt with reality and others in this dream.

Now, I should point out that dreams for me are more than just symbolic representations of people, places and events that are somewhat etheral in feeling. My dreams are solid, substantive, have plots and fully developed characters and people who if they are (or were) alive, are internally consistent to themselves in my dreams. For me, dreams are more like DVDs on a Star Trek Holodeck. Everything and everyone is real, solid, and is just like real life. When people grow in my dreams, it is usually, though not always reflective of growth they are going through in real life, or are about to go through. Unless of course it's a nightmare, and then, well it's every bit as real as say living the same evenets in real life.

Anyway, this one was wonderful, and has given me something I'd never imagined as possible in this lifetime. Some much wanted and needed closure. He admitted things in public, with other folks around that I'd hoped by taking the divorce into court, he'd have been forced to finally admit. He was honest, strong, and had the courage of his own convictions. He wasn't deep in the pit of despair known as suicidal depression. He was a nice guy. He was nice to me, defended me, stood up for once and defended me. And he gave me that look that spoke volumes. All the rest was icing on the cake compared to that look that had hooked me so long ago. He was once again the man I loved, and was in love with, and I never thought that would happen again.

So now, I'm hoping that one of these days we'll take a trip to Meridith, where we honeymooned oh so many years aog and help me take it back. Help me lift the stain of our last visit there when he was still alive. Help me reclaim the beauty of it and oh, I don't know, sit on the balcony over looking the lake and talk honestly for the first time in well over a decade. Have a quiet dinner at the Boathouse and split an order of "Almost Escargo" one night, go to the Cheesecake Factory, together, finally, and revel in the yummy goodness. Help me bring this decade long nightmare to something of a better conclusion. Breakfast at "Georges," shopping in Conway and Tilton. A trip up Mount Washington, Skee BALL!!! Oh my God a fall afternoon at Weir's Beach playing Skee ball! I want that, I need that, I'd love that! Finally take a dinner cruise on the "Mt. Washington" on the lake. A Foliage tour on the Hobo Railroad.

He's not a Psychopath anymore there in the summerland, he's equal parts of recovering from the knowledge of what he'd done, and trying to let go and grow.

I also figured out, and he admitted later, that he's lingering because he still loves me. My sister pointed out last night that I was litterally, factually the best person he'd ever had in his entire life, and some of the best times he'd ever had. Prior to that dream there's no way I could have heard that and even considered it, let alone believed it. But now? Well I've grown, healed some even, and can see that maybe more closure for both of us is possible. I've gotten past the may-december aspect of our relationship before, though admittedly when he was alive, it was only by a matter of months. I didn't let myself see then that spiritually he's so very much younger than I am, but that's okay, cause it means I can once again cut him some slack. But geeze, Mrs. Robinson I'd never expected to be.

I always kinda figured I'd out live him some, men don't usually live as long as we do, but I'd never quite figured it would be by this big a margin. So I'm willing to keep helping him heal and grow if he lets me do the same thing.

Never, ever in thousands of year would I have imagined I'd wind up being someone's spirit guide from THIS side of the divide. Oy vey!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Okay, I'm going to start with a disclaimer:

I grew up in New England, and spent endless time in places like Springfield, Hampton Beach, Portsmouth, Glouchester, Portland, Rye Beach, Nashua, Danbury, Lawrence, Andover, Manchester, New Milford, Brookline, Bethel, Reading and Roxbury Connecticut to name a few places near and dear to my heart. I remember fondly Danbury Fair BEFORE it was a Mall. The Big E in Springfield Mass, and an endless stream of country music. I have tastes outside out Country Music, like a deep and abiding love for Opera, for Classical Music as well to pick
just two. Tanglewood anyone? Pops at the clamshell on the Charles?

Music speaks to me, moves me, enriches my soul. Yes, even country.
Especially country what with being a born and bred country girl. I was
weened off Mother's milk (Not to be confused with Mudder's Milk) onto
homemade Cinnamon raisin bread and hot tea while 1050WHN spun good old
fashioned records of Johnny Cash, Crystal Gale, Glen Campbell, StarLand
Vocal band and John Denver. It's in my blood.

I still listen to it. I'm listening to it right now on b105.1 in the
"other" tristate area I've lived in.

And I've been thinking I'm imagining things of late. Country is still
telling stories, modern, American made "operettas" with a twang. Some
of it of late has been damn funny, and serious, talking about this
"brave new world" we live in. So as I'm listening today I hear once
again Phil Vassars new song that just has me marveling at what a
different world we live in.

The song moves too fast, the melody is slightly annoying, and the whole
flavor is way more pop that I like in my country. But, the refrain (the
bridge) is "That's just Bobby with an I." It caught my attention.

I've heard it a whole bunch of times now and nope, I'm not imagining
things. Phil is singing about a man's man who on the weekend lets his
hair down, and dresses in women's clothes. Advising the listener to
leave Bobbi be, he's not hurting anyone. Instead of asserting that
he might hurt you as you could have once expected a song to do, he says one
should be careful how much one drinks because Bobbi looks pretty good as
you consume more.

Wow. I mean really, just wow. The entire song is about a guy who likes
to cross dress and how it's okay. Just like that. Like breathing.
Like seeing the sunrise. Like leave him alone, he's not hurting you and
won't. Like Bobbi's okay and perfectly normal.

While I have so many technical issues with the song, I have to give Phil
two big heartfelt thumbs up for taking something and making it okay.
For "preaching" in the form of a coutnry song tolerance instead of hate!

Well damn! I'm all for letting folks be, live and let live, and this song is an unexpected step in that direction.