That one nightmare


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That nightmare is back.

This time, it’s been altered to  someone texting me that Lexi has broken something but the texter is interrupted and can’t finish the text.

So, I’m receiving the same text over and over.

Hey, just thought you should

know Lexi will probably be okay

but she’s broken her…

And the texter doesn’t finish…can’t finish?  I’m not sure what the interruption is.  Just:

Hey, just thought you should

know Lexi will probably be okay

but she’s broken her…

In my dream, I grab my phone and start to text back and it comes through again while I’m typing:

Hey, just thought you should

know Lexi will probably be okay

but she’s broken her…

Over and over and over until I wake up sick to my stomach, panicked, and grab my phone in real life to see if it really was just a dream.  Confirm there’s no text….ahhhh…a brief flash of relief that it was just a bad dream.

Doze back off then:

Hey, just thought you should

know Lexi will probably be okay

but she’s broken her…

And repeat.

It’s bizarre how the body can’t tell the difference between nightmares and reality.  My body responds as if it’s all happening, even after I wake up, check my phone again, and decide to just get up for the day because I can’t take feeling that fear again.  But my body continues to react as if in crisis.  It reacts as though my child is in danger, hurting somewhere in this world, and I’m helpless to do a damn thing about it.

Fuck, I can’t even text her just to say, hey baby girl.. thinking of you…you ok? to reassure my terrorized brain that she’s just fine.

Well, I could text her but that only validates my nightmare further because there will never be grace enough to reply to a frantic momma plagued by the worst things a mother can imagine.

So, I sit and send her love out into the universe..hoping she feels it, begging  the void that she’s just peacefully, happily, sound asleep…safe, happy, and maybe, just maybe, just for a second in her sleep feels my heart wrapping its warm love and light around her, keeping her safe, making sure she feels all the love I never did. All the love I thought I showed her in her life, but apparently did it all wrong…hopefully, she feels it this way, now, even while she just sleeps…even if just for a brief moment in her subconscious.  Feels the infinite strength and safe surrounded in my love.

But my body is not to be assuaged. It continues to act as though it’s in battle-fight or flight mode…only flight and fight are both impossible. So it stays trapped in gut-churning, knees shaking, hands trembling terror incapable of convincing itself it was just a nightmare.

And I think to myself, okay, this is hell, but at least it wasn’t the one where she’s being gang raped in the room next to me and I can hear her screaming, momma…momma…MOMMMMMAAAA… but I can’t get to her.

At least it wasn’t that one.  Right?


me n lex babyme n lex carraige timeop to edit






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Nightmares by Raquel Kortizo

They’ve come for me again.

A prison camp by day

A torture chamber by night

hovering over my existence,

infiltrating my thoughts,

piercing my heart with raw fingers


tearing at the pieces of my brain

pulling and stretching the parameters of pain


As if I’m not helpless enough to stop the pain and misery during waking hours.

As if I’m not worthy of any peace whatsoever..


They broaden the definition of relentless.


Even felons of horrible crimes can serve their time and be released.  Yet, I who committed no crime nor have ever once inflicted any intentional or knowing injury upon any other creature.  Any. Other. Creature. Ever.

I, whose only method of fighting back my entire life was to walk away.  Incapable of actual battle, I walked away from every assault without raising a single fist.   Jesus, I rarely even raised my arms to protect myself from the blows.  My typical response to any type of assault was duck and cover-too scared to even lift my arms to ward off the blows, knowing if I didn’t just accept whatever came my way, it would only come back worse later.

Okay, so maybe the worst I ever did was run. Yes, a few times I didn’t walk away. I ran….  duck, cover, then walk or at worst, run…but I never fought back.  I never engaged in the warfare or returned assault or injury.  My worst return-fire was to run.

Regardless, I was sentenced to life.  And I can’t help in hindsight but to suppose the sentence was the harshest because I never fought back.  Perpetrators typically size up their victims first and choose the most defenseless – the one least likely to fight back- the most powerless of victims.  They’re irresistibly easy to conquer then destroy.

And once they’ve assessed that you’re too weak, scared, naive, ignorant, or insecure to even fight back, their power is truly limitless. They know you’re too harmlessly pathetic to even defend yourself.

Yes, pathetic.  Even most animals will attempt to fight back when backed in a corner and assaulted.  Not me.  Nope.  I crouch down, hang my head, squeeze my eyes shut tight, and wait for the fury to cease long enough to maybe try to run.  But still too stupid to run if they’ve first convinced me it’s my fault and my just dessert too.  Then, I just crouch down, take all the blows, wait for my punishment to be over…then apologize, beg forgiveness, and try even harder to be earn their love and try to be better enough to deserve a lighter punishment next time…knowing I’ll never attain perfection enough for the punishments to ever stop altogether…knowing I’ll always make another mistake somehow, but hoping I learned my lesson enough that time to figure out a way to be better each time.

A sentence thrust upon me without cause, without law, without a judge or jury, save my perpetrators themselves.  Hell, I didn’t even know I was on trial until after all was said and done.

Like a rapist being his own judge, witness, and jury of his own trial against his victim.

They sentenced me to life in hell, not even merciful enough to execute me outright, just a life term of endless, inescapable torture.

Betrayal from all angles, in every imaginable manner of betrayal.

They broaden the definition of betrayal.

Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Like hunting caged animals.

Like waging a war of morality and then bringing bombs and armies, knowing your opponent is only one person and will arrive armed only with words and truth…a clear conscience, an ignorance of the depth of your hatred, naive after everything to the extent of your evil.  All while your chosen “opponent” is totally unaware there even is a war at all.

Like pretending to love a wounded animal and giving it just enough time and space to believe for a moment it’s safe, just to make skinning and devouring it easier.

I say they’ve returned.


As if they ever left at all.

The nightmares never leave now.  Hell is my life now.

Hope is the only thing that still returns briefly…

just to mock me, then leave again.











Existential Chicken Noodle


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Digging through cabinets, I think chicken noodles, maybe?

“Yes, chicken noodles”, I answer myself.

I glance at my own hands, pulling the chicken from the freezer.  I think of my daddy’s hands.  There aren’t words in any language to define how much I suddenly want to make chicken noodles for him and my daughters. I think of a zillion times he cooked for me, how happy that made him, how he loved cooking.  …and how I’d so much loved cooking for my daughters too.

I wish I had counted every meal he made for me in my lifetime.  I couldn’t ever begin to count them.  Suddenly, I ferociously want a number…I want the exact fucking number!  I want the number and I want to race through the house screaming that number at the walls…






I’m angry at how easily I could count the times I cooked for him.  I’m not going to let myself stop and count those, though.  Not in my head, not on my fingers, not today…not ever. No.

…spilt milk and all…

Why did I not cook for him more? I angrily ask myself as I wash my hands. I need to tell him.  He needs to know these things.  He must know them.  It’d be too unfair if he never knew.  And my life overflows with futile, senseless, non-budging, disgusting unfairness already.

This simply cannot be one more.

I walk into the living room, lean against the entryway, and look directly where his chair always sat.  I can’t look in that spot and not see his gigantic grin, his unstoppable energy to do for others, how genuinely delighted he was when I was happy, how he beamed with pride at watching me succeed at a job or just watching me be a momma to his grandbabies.  He effortlessly defined joy.  And I don’t know where he went from me.  I don’t know how I’ve lost him from my soul.  Once upon a time, I was so much like him in that way…

I briefly wonder when was the precise moment I stopped being who I was and became who I am.  I ponder who it is I am today and how he would have hated seeing me be this.   I reflect on how his entire last 30 years were spent encouraging my happiness, supporting my struggles, lifting me up from the daily battles of physical handicaps, balancing my single-mother struggles, assisting me with impossible financial situations….

He had fought so tirelessly hard, yet so cheerfully, for me in all of it.  He would be devastated to see this – all of this… now.  Everything he’d devoted himself to – everything – up in existential smoke.  He’d dedicated so much of himself to not this. And, I realize I never once saw him devastated or beaten…not once.

Not. Even. Once.

I tearfully apologize to him. My heart spilling over with the ache of regret, missed chances, missed conversations, missed opportunities to cook for him, and the tragic lack of even one final I love you before there would never be another.  Ever.

I look back down at my hands.  Things like manicures and pretty fingers have become so senseless, yet I’m appalled at the rapid aging of my hands from just the past six years.  Are these even my hands?  I’ve not accomplished a fraction of what he did and my hands look hideous.   I hear him smiling saying, “Heyyyyy bay-bah…?  Let’s go get you a manicure!” with that confident excitement of an innocent child he always had when he knew he could fix something…make it better…bring joy and Band-Aids to someone he loved.

And he always loved me. Always.  So great big and so out loud that its absence is an indescribably painful emptiness.

I think of his hands and how aged they’d seemed the last we spoke…and how deeply it had bothered me I hadn’t had any lotion in my handbag that day to moisturize those loving, worn and wearier-than-I even-knew hands.

I tell him he deserved better from me; he deserved more somehow.

He deserved so fucking much better than that and far, far, FAR better than this.

I’m making chicken noodles on a cold and dreary day, Daddy.

I can’t wait to see your smile when I bring you a plate.

Call it Murder


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crucified . entrecieletterre.

Two things.  For nearly six years now, I’ve held onto two little shiny glimmers.

  1. Maybe love, truth, and maybe even kindness will end up winning if I stay strong, stay hopeful, and always remember the truth.
  2. If not #1, there’s no one in my world who would ever stand up and say to the guilty parties, “You did this.  You did this to her.  You knew it would destroy her.  You knew it was wrong to do.  You knew.  You knew.  YOU KNEW!  And you did it anyway.  And not out of love for your children, not out of any righteous stance or deserved punishment.  You did it out of sheer selfishness and bitter jealousy which you cultivated over her lifetime into a bottomless black well of vile hatred. You not only did this, but you’ve allowed two innocent children to carry the load of your filthy sick hatred and be its vessel of her destruction.

You knew and you did it anyway.    No one will say that.  NO one will stand up for what’s right.  The  perpetrator’s will be crying the loudest, milking up the glory of their destruction while simultaneously sopping up every shred of sympathy for themselves they can get their greedy little sick desperate hearts on.

I no longer care what their sad inner struggles are or were. I no longer have the sympathy and compassion for them that something awful made them this way.  I no longer care what demons they fight in their soulless existences.  Like murderers or rapists, they know what they’ve done is wrong.  They knew as they did it.  They knew every step of the way.  None of it was accidental or inadvertent.  They tell themselves what they’ve spent ix years convincing the rest of the world, that they did it for my children and odds are they’ve been telling their stories for so long now that their twisted sick minds actually believe their own lies at this point.

That used to make me feel sorry for their sickness – the level of mental illness which allows them to tell so many lies to so many people that they most likely truly forget they were even lying to begin with.   As frustrated as I was with the damage their lies caused me over my lifetime, I still felt compassion for what a sad existence that was – to be so desperately drenched in lies that you could no longer tell what truth was.  What a sorry and sad way to have to live.

I used to feel sorry for them that their selfishness and their bitter egos were so ginormous that they’d never be capable of love or genuine connection.  I used to tuck my children in at night and then actually pray for those vile monsters.  I actually felt guilty that I had so much love with and for my children…love they’d never ever be able to know or have.

I felt guilty that I could experience and have that and they never would. After everything they did to me, I still felt sorry for them…  I still wanted them to know love and joy and happiness.  I still cared about their happiness.

And they’ll say all sorts of things after I’m gone.  God (if He exists) alone knows what lengths they’ll go to after it’s finally over and their hatred has won the final game.  But, they’ll soak it up…every last fucking ounce they can get from it…they’ll soak it up.

My mother showing up at my dad’s funeral, after destroying his entire life, and sobbing like a wounded animal.  My ex cheating on me and beating me up, then crying in marriage counseling about how his dad hurt him and he didn’t want to be who he was….even as he continued being and doing exactly that.

All about them.

All about their bitter hatred. 

Just like a serial killer showing up to their victims’ funeral, crying….offering condolences to the family that really hurts. They’ll soak up every last second of what their victory over me can get them.  Bottomless pits of sheer selfish evil.

And no one will say a word to them.  No one will set the record straight or call them out on what they’ve done.  No one will stand up for me or my children.  No one.

No one will call it what it was.  Soul robbery.  Destroying another human being to try to have the only thing they don’t, can’t, and won’t ever have  because all that they already have is never enough.

Murder.  Murder via pathological narcissistic abuse.  Murder motivated by greed and selfishness. Murder via parental alienation.

It was murder.

And my children were their weapons of destruction.


Dear Savannah…


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Dear Savannah,

I need to write you a letter and I’m not even sure where to begin…

I wish with my whole heart that you’d allow me to just tell you these things… it’s difficult to write them out, much less write them all. And it was so important to me that you know every last sentiment and memory I hold in my heart about you.

But…. that’s not to be. So I’ll do my best here….

You and I have been through so very much… far more than you could remember (thank God!).

The color I always associated with you was yellow, a very specific shade of buttery yellow.

Yellow like a very certain sunrise, yellow like the lost hope of my youth, yellow like a butterfly surprise with sunlight illuminating its wispy wings. Soft like a love song but powerful like the sun itself.

You’ve said and done so many extraordinary things- we’ve shared so many amazing moments, it’s just impossible to write them all out and I can’t shake the sadness I feel when I think you may not know or remember every single one.

You were literally sheer light when you were born. You know my pregnancy with you was difficult and tenuous. The stroke I had when I was 3 weeks pregnant with you could have easily killed us both. But it didn’t! The doctors weren’t sure of the amount of damage the lack of oxygen might have done to you. They said it could cause anything from severe physical and mental disability to no effect at all. There were no guarantees. I don’t have words to explain the vastness of my fears for you, for me, for Lexi… obviously I can’t write here of them all…

Fast forward to the morning you were born. It was different than Lexi. I had had to choose your birthday because the doctors didn’t want to risk me going into labor and possibly having another stroke that might kill us both.

The morning of your birth, your dad drove me to the hospital as scheduled and they induced labor so you could be born in a set and safely planned environment.

I was petrified for your safety and well-being and for Lexi, just a sweet little barely-toddler, should anything happen to us that morning.

Dr. David had been our doctor since the day I had the stroke on June 4, 1998. Your grandmother( my mom) had been so furiously angry at my stroke and that I was pregnant by your dad again even though I’d left him, that I had invited her to your birth… my hope was that she would love you regardless of all of that if she got to watch you come into this world. My friend Cindy held one leg and your grandmother held the other as you came into this world.

I was so scared.

Dr. David was delivering you and suddenly her face had this astonished look and I freaked out… not sure if you were deformed or dead… and I yelled out “WHAT??!?” Dr. David said, all I see is light!

You literally come out of my body with a crown of light around your head, Savannah.

And you were healthy and “normal” and AMAZING!!! Actually, you were far, far beyond normal.

You were wicked smart and breathtakingly beautiful.. with the strength of a tiger but the tender sweetness of a kitten.

I still don’t know what that crown of light around your head the doctor saw was, but she told me she’s never seen anything like it in all her baby deliveries. And I thought of you like an angel sent to me and Lexi.

As you grew, you were challenging and brilliant in every sense of the word and intelligent so far beyond your years… way beyond what was even possible.

You were a mini-me and I was determined not to suppress that amazing individuality in you nor allow anyone else to shame it away or suppress it.

And every frustration I ever had to face to encourage that brilliant light in you was worth it.

I don’t have the words to describe how I see you. You are brilliance and sunlight. You are cuddles and extraordinary sweetness with the fiery strength of a lion with the intelligence of a rocket scientist with the wisdom of Socrates.

When you were around 4, you told me you knew you had chosen me for your momma before you were born because you wanted the best momma of all.

I just don’t have the words for your level of amazing. You’re so far beyond any of that.

Thank you for calling me last month when there were shootings in Las Vegas . That meant the world to me. You’ll never even know how much that meant.

Thank you for choosing to be my daughter. Thank you for your wicked funny sense of humor that saved me a zillion times in stressful moments I couldn’t tell you at the time.

You exceed the words brilliant and amazing but I have no other words right now.

I love you to infinity.

Dear Lexi 2… I


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I remember we moved in that house on Summit Avenue in October of 2007. You and I sat on the little front porch the day we moved in and you were so amazing!! You were in the 5th grade and you were so wise, so optimistic.
I felt horrible that I couldn’t afford something more elegant or fancy, but I was happy to finally have us in a good neighborhood inside your school district. Still, I felt like a failure because I wanted to be able to get us something so much nicer.

I wasn’t saying much on the porch. I was nervous because it was a bit expensive for my budget and also bc it wasn’t as nice as what I wanted for you heading into middle school…

But you… you just took my breath away. You said to me, momma this is the best house in the world!!! And I said, “is it Lexi?” And you said “yup momma it is.. it’s the best one of all because it’s OURS!!” It took all my strength not to cry. I was so deeply proud of the wise and beautiful person you were and literally amazed that I had raised such an incredible, thoughtful and encouraging child. No one in my life had ever validated my efforts or reassured me like that. I was speechless!

I’m sorry… when I think back to you being scared of the bedroom on the 2nd floor in that house. It was the nicest bedroom in the house and I was so proud to give it to you. I didn’t mind sleeping in a closet in the basement so we could live there, but I was somewhat frustrated that you didn’t like to sleep in your bedroom when I was in an actual closet. You and Savannah didn’t tell me you thought it was creepy until I bought us the house on Roosevelt. If I’d known you were that scared of it, I’d have let you sleep with me every night.

I think of that now and I wish I’d known. I really didn’t know until we’d already moved though.

I always invited you to sleep with me when you had bad dreams. I still remember the last time you came to sleep with me in the middle of the night after a nightmare in 7th grade. My mother had always yelled at me to go back to bed or slapped me for waking her when I had nightmares… which I did frequently as a child. So, I made sure you were never afraid to come to me if you had bad dreams.

Lexi, I swear on all that’s holy in this world and beyond that I literally tried every single day to be a wonderful momma for you. You deserved the most perfect momma possible! I wish I’d succeeded more at that in your eyes.

You were always the most amazing child any parent could hope for. Maybe you weren’t literally perfect, but you were as close as I could imagine a child to be.

I love you 143 million tuna melt sandwiches forever and always ❤️

(I pray you remember that I sent you a note to school one day reminding you of that!)

Lexi Blue of the Wild Geese


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Lexi Blue

Lexi-Blue Sky

you are the prettiest shade of blue
I’ve ever imagined.
You are billows of
blue cashmere and silvery grace
gently fluttering your beautiful wings
with the magic and sparkle
of a shimmery fairy.
A benevolent blue butterfly
of bold strength and
lavender tenderness.

Last week, I called you to beg if I could text you a photo.  I had taken a photo of the sky right that minute because its color was EXACTLY your shade of blue; the exact color I could never pinpoint before!  The exact color didn’t translate perfectly into the photo, but I was moved to tears seeing the sky YOUR color.  I was transported back in time to the first moment I saw and felt your color.  I was overcome with emotion and excitement.  Oh how desperately I wanted to share that moment, those memories, or at least the perfect example of your color with you.
I’m so sorry you wouldn’t answer my call or allow me to text you this phenomenon I experienced. 

I still remember the first moment I felt  you move inside my body. I was sitting in Guernsey Memorial Hospital in Cambridge, Ohio visiting my mother who was having some surgery. It was 1996.  I’m horrible with dates, but I️ believe it was late July-ish.<<<<<<<<<<<<
ly in the chair in that hospital room, I felt the strangest sensation out of the sheer blue,  like nothing I’d ever felt before.  It was like I had a tiny periwinkle blue butterfly fluttering softly deep down in the core of my very being. Little subtle graceful yet specific, movements I could only describe like a butterfly flapping its wings slowly…delicately.

Lexi blues<<<<<<<<<<<<
xplain to you how or why I knew it was blue.  From that moment for the rest of your life, up to and including today, the color I immediately associate with you is the deepest, prettiest, softest blue.  It's precise shade or name I've never found, but it's something like if you blended my favorite blue crayons(periwinkle and cornflower) from my cherished 64-box of crayons with the sharpener I'd had when I was in grade school.<<<<<<<<<<<<














didn’t say anything… at first,  because I thought it too soon for you to be moving enough for me to feel it yet, so I tried to tell myself it was just my imagination.  But I’d never felt anything like it, and i somehow instinctively knew it was you – you moving about and softly stretching out. Everything I'd read on your development (I lived with my What to Expect When You’re Expecting book by my side) said it was way too soon for that, but I knew it was you.  I just knew it.

I sat there just smiling inside, not outside though, I didn’t want to upset my mother…ok well, maybe I couldn’t help but allow a tiny sneaking smile at what we were sharing in that moment.  Otherwise, I was just in awe and intentional stillness. I️ didn’t want to move and risk startling you or maybe disrupt whatever you were doing. I didn’t know if moving would make you feel unsure, unsteady, or unsafe and I had no one to trust this with in that precious moment.

I was quite lonely at this point in my life, begging for my mother’s love and approval plus mind-blowing abuse tactics from your father.  I had no one to trust.  It took all my strength to assess and cope with the daily events of trying to balance keeping my sanity while desperately trying to balance two narcissist’s impossible demands.   My beloved cat, Porsche, was my very best friend and the being whom I talked to non-stop about you, your development, my fears and hopes, everything… But Porsche wasn’t in Ohio with me.didn’t want Darlene to mock me for being so silly.. since it was so early in my pregnancy with you..  You were only around 6 weeks gestation, after all and this was the most astounding and  tender moment I’d ever known, I didn’t want to give anyone the chance to belittle or disregard it.  I wanted more than anything to tell someone about this awesome, breathtaking moment, but I kept it to myself because it was our very first shared moment ever and I felt fiercely protective of it and preserving it in time meant meant keeping it safely between us.was always nervous visiting Darlene, so much so that I’d usually break out into hives on my way to Cambridge.  And this time was no exception.  I was a bundle of fear, nerves, and walking on eggshellsaving the hospital, I pondered it all.  I felt as though you knew I was scared and unsure and nervous and for the first time in my entire life, I didn’t feel all alone. It was is if you sensed my fear and fluttered about right that very moment to reassure me that you were there and we were in this together …and as long as we had each other, we would always be just fine.was smiling the whole time leaving the hospital, as if I had a glorious precious secret…  And my backbone grew a little bit from this with a determination to love and protect you from the confusing cruelty which I’d had with my mother and although on my own now, was still dealing with daily in my relationship with your dad.was unsure about recent events with your dad back in Memphis at the time – things hadn’t been going well. I was scared to death of my mother’s judgment, anger, and disappointment in me at my being pregnant with you and I had no idea what path our lives would take the rest of my pregnancy or after you were born.  I just knew that come what may, I would protect you with all the strength I never knew I even had in me before this moment we shared and I knew come what may we would move forth in this life. I️ knew I would make sure you always have a momma who loved you and that you’d never doubt that for a moment of your life.  I didn’t know how I’d be and show you what I’d never had or known, but I was determined I would find a way

My fears of life and the world ahead of us were overwhelming and crippling, but I knew in that moment that we would both learn together the true joy that unconditional love could bring.  I imagined you as a tiny, but fierce feathery blue angel, fluttering about like a teeny butterfly-fairy in my womb. Even so little, I realized it was you who gave me strength and grace – the very strength I’d never had and the very grace I’d never known before.

lexi blue butterfly wishes

Lexi-blue butterfly wishes


e brought to mind a poem I always loved by Mary Oliver. Wild Geese.<br the strangest, most wonderful and amazing feeling. For the first time in my entire 25 years, after a lifetime of uncertainty and confusion about what love without fear and pain really felt like, I knew, without a doubt, the cavernous infinite depth of what a mother’s love should be, would be, and somehow already was.   

Hit & Run aka conversation with a narcissist



From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ Every conversation or interaction you have with them seems to leave you confused and drained. You will be left with the burden of trying to figure out what they have said or basically what […]

via Part 2 – Any conversation or interaction with a Narcissist is like a ‘hit and run’ accident – you are left in shock, dazed, damaged and trying to figure out what just happened! — After Narcissistic Abuse

It’s that time

time out.jpeg

It’s Thanksgiving of 2017.

I thought I had something important to say.

I really believed I had poignant, important facts, memories, and experiences to share – maybe for my children, maybe for myself, maybe for others suffering, maybe for anyone interested in a cautionary tale life…?

Yet, I  get less and less able to express my thoughts, experiences, and emotions with every second that sweeps by.

I begged my daughter to talk to me last week. I’m compelled to tell someone who loved my dad anywhere nearly as much as i loved him, about the weird things around his death. And so my oldest daughter spoke to me for around 17 minutes last week, admitted I didn’t abuse her…then claimed I emotionally abused her because she felt “sometime after her 8th grade year that she couldn’t talk to me anymore”. She said she only told me what I wanted to hear, that we weren’t actually close anymore after sometime around that time frame.

Isn’t that a sign of the age? The teens who typically cease talking to their parents once they’ve reached an age where they don’t believe their parent “gets it” anymore?

I wouldn’t know. I was born into an “everything you say and everything you do will be held against you” home. If I even asked my mom questions about drugs or sex or friendships, even just out of sheer naïveté and curiosity, I’d be severely punished for asking and charged as guilty of something.. anything.. and god help me for the few things I actually did do as a teen- every one was seen as a capital crime and punished so harshly I’d often forget what I’d done long before the punishment was complete.

I didn’t want that for my daughter and I, but I did have to be her parent, not just her friend. Silly me, I tried to be both….

My mind goes back to the hundreds of heart to hearts we had from her 1st grade year to literally the week before this nightmare happened in her 9th grade…

So… those were all false? Just fake stuff she shared with me to “tell me what I wanted to hear? Meanwhile, I had agonized over every word she shared, I hurt over every struggle she expressed, I prayed relentlessly over every piece of advice or suggestion I offered her begging God to steer me right and do and say the perfect thing.

All for words she just made up? To tell me what I wanted to hear?

The overpriced luxurious bed and breakfast spontaneous escape I took her on in 9th grade when her boyfriend broke her heart for the 10th time? And she was beyond devastated.. That was all just what I wanted to hear? All lies??

Cut.. stab…slash… tear it wider…pour the salt in …right into my already gaping wound.

I listened to all of this silently, then took a deep breath and asked her directly, were we ever truly close, Lexi? Do you have a single fond or happy memory of me or our life together at all? When we lived in the house on Roosevelt when you were in the 8th grade and you told me I was your best friend, dedicated songs to me celebrating our close relationship, and we talked by the fireplace almost every single night? Was any of that true, Lexi? Do you recall anything good about me as your momma?

She replied, momma, I have a billion beautiful memories of you and us –  from when I was young and hung out with you every day before I started spending more time with my friends…. and I think about those times all the time!!! I even dedicate my yoga practice to you every day!

I was so confused and hurt at this point,  I didn’t trust my words or my thoughts even. It seemed like she was saying the entire relationship I thought we’d had was a lie, but only after a certain time frame- specifically the time frame when she started sharing more  and spending more time in general with her friends than with me.

But I just couldn’t be sure what the truth was. I was desperately and rapidly (because these conversations are limited and short) trying to process what parts were real, what parts weren’t, and what I could have possibly done to cause that shift. And I was petrified  that anything and everything I might say in reply or acknowledgement would be misconstrued or twisted around as yet another excuse to hang up on me and immediately shun me.

Here I am again in this all too familiar massive black hole of agony and confusion, desperate for love, desperate to know what I’ve done wrong, desperate to fix it! And I no longer trust my words, my thoughts, or my memories.
Gosh, this is remarkably and precisely like being in a relationship with a narcissist… uncanny similarities!

How could I have known?

Then, she said she loved me, wanted a relationship with me,  and that she didn’t care if I believed that or not because she’d forgiven herself.

I’ve never been given the opportunity to forgive her though. The only apology I’ve gotten was screamed hatefully to me with no admission of what the apology was even for…no discussion on what had even happened at all… and screamed as she simultaneously bawled hysterically for “how mean she’d been to her dad” after he intentionally, maliciously, and deceitfully stole our home

Meanwhile (back in our brief conversation), I was still trying to wrap my head around the “couldn’t talk openly to me anymore after 8th grade (ish)” statement…wracking my brain as to what I did.

As soon as she gave me the chance to speak at all, I seized the opportunity to admit and apologize for a regret I have from once when she (in around the 8th grade) bravely came to me with something about having sex for the first time with her on- again-off-again boyfriend at the time.  I could barely stop crying enough to tell her how I wish I’d handled that better.  I told her how brave and honest she had been to trust to come to her momma with that important and personal issue.  I told her the truth.  I didn’t handle it well because I was scared for her – scared out of my ever loving mind that she was contemplating having sex for the 1st time for all the wrong reasons, with a boy who was emotionally abusive and controlling, perhaps to keep him rather than because she was really ready for such a step.

I had wanted better for her than desperation.

I had been petrified for her. And I wish with all my heart I’d handled it better.  I didn’t punish her or yell at her for coming to me with this.  She wasn’t grounded or punished for sharing with me. I just tried to imply that she might not be ready..that she might not be doing it for the right reasons..that she might regret something that could never be taken back or undone.  It’s entirely possible that in my panic mode, I suggested these things in a passive-aggressive way rather than directly.  I wasn’t scared of Lexi back then like I a now, but I was scared that if I wasn’t careful in my choice of words and tone that she’d not trust me.  I was definitely scared that if I was too direct she might regret coming to me and stop feeling she could trust me.  And I was desperate to give solid parenting advice and action, while desperate to maintain her trust, so I went the round-about way of suggesting maybe she wasn’t ready…maybe she was doing this for the wrong reasons.

And I regret that.

I didn’t  handle it anywhere nearly as well as I wish I had.  I ache with regret over that. I was so deeply proud of her courage and trust to come to me.   So proud that I’d obviously created a trusting relationship with my daughter in spite of the fact that I’d never had one with my mother. And I wish I’d spent more time telling her that than being scared…but I didn’t. Fear and panic had taken over in that moment.

That said (and I could write a novel on that alone), I have to wonder when did wanting so desperately to be a perfect parent, wanting them to trust you yet still be the wise, intelligent voice of parenting reason, wanting so desperately to be so fucking perfect for your child that you try to create the utter trust of your child to come to you with anything…and desperately try not to lose that trust.

All the things my mother never even bothered to try.   She didn’t care if she was a “safe place” to come in raw honesty to.  She also didn’t care about my personal struggles or the hardships of being a teenager.  Those were either too ridiculous and childish for her to bother with or they were just another reason to proactively punish me to take me freedom to even make mistakes at all away before I could ever make them. If I’d come to my mother with such a thing, I’d have not seen the light of day until I was 18, much less seen any boys, friends, or had a boyfriend at all.  Every time I attempted to go to my mother with any choice I struggled with, her immediate reaction was to take away my freedom to choose at all.

After I pondered this for the next few days after our conversation that day, I wondered when exactly did it become “emotional abuse” to want so fucking much to be the perfect momma and not know how?  But to tear yourself apart trying to be both trusted friend and wise single parent? WHEN DID THAT BECOME “ABUSE” FOR FUCKS SAKE?

My oldest child actually believes she “had a childhood like mine”.  She actually said those exact words. That’s how truly clueless she is of abuse – either physical or emotional.

She has (well, had?) a terribly imperfect, wounded, fiercely abused momma who desperately wanted her daughter to have perfection in a parent, who agonized over every parental choice, who struggled to deny her child anything, who lived to see her daughter smile, who studied parenting books, sought the advice of friends and professionals to learn, who never once laid a hand on her in anger, who took her side even when she was wrong, who took her childhood struggles seriously, who wanted her to be as beautiful, successful, and confident as any human being could possibly be, who admitted and apologized when she was wrong and then tried to do better, who protected her with every ounce of strength she had, who encouraged her individuality, who encouraged her friendships and her romances, who did everything she knew to make her feel safe and loved and protected and encouraged and adored…

She has/had…a momma who “abused” her?!?

Seems to me that my biggest faults are imperfection…and trying so fucking hard to be what I never had.  Since, I loved and begged my mother for love until the age of 24 (when ironically, I stopped begging because I was then a mother who didn’t want her children to see her beg for love).

But because sometimes she was “afraid to tell me personal stuff after the age of 14 -15”, she considers herself “abused”.

I guess mothers who don’t try to be a safe place aren’t abusive because they weren’t setting that standard to begin with.

But mostly what I fully accepted after this conversation was that nothing I ever say will matter to her.  She doesn’t want to hear my experiences,  She doesn’t want to know the truth of anything about me or my life because it might “affect her relationship” with my abusers – her dad and my mother.

To the extent that she doesn’t even care to hear about the strange and inexplicable lies surrounding her Papa’s death.  And if the truth of her Papa (whom she adamantly, repeatedly  says “HE WAS MY DAD TOO!”) doesn’t even matter to her, then I realize literally nothing about me or my life ever will matter to her.

There aren’t words for when your own child whom you gave everything for, is very interested in lies abusers tell to use them against her momma, but has no interest in the truths of her mommas life because her relationship with the very people who destroyed her momma is that important, while her relationship with her own mother is entirely disposable.

Nothing I’ve experienced matters. I’m just the ragdoll beaten about and tossed aside because I’m not pretty anymore – and the raw truth of my life isn’t at all pleasant or pretty – but it’s important to keep her relationship with everyone except me beautiful, so those experiences are irrelevant…to the child who used lies about those very things to help those very people finish off my complete and final ultimate destruction.
What they said, to lie about me was important enough to throw her momma away for 5 years and still going…but she won’t hear a single thing that really did happen to me – what they actually have done to me, and subsequently, to her…  Because she doesn’t want to think badly of those people.  She can only handle and embrace believing bad things about her momma.

Not even what they did to her Papa.  Nothing that’s ever happened to me matters, unless it could be used to destroy me. Nothing they did to my dad matters either.  Funny, I had no interest whatsoever in ever telling my children or anyone else my whole story until my mother, my ex, and my children used horribly twisted truths and blatant lies to crucify every single thing about me, my life, and my character. It never mattered to me to tell every sordid detail until those people and my children chose to bury me alive in false accusations and hideous lies and rip from my life the only fucking thing that I had left that did matter to me…literally smash to pieces the only thing I ever felt confident that I did well in my entire life!!

But once they buried me in all that for five straight years, suddenly none of that is open for discussion. And I’m a DISGUSTING PERSON (according to Lexi, my oldest child) to even want the truth to be known, or discussed… I’m pathetic to even beg for all the truth to be told- all of it – not just the best parts, not just the bad parts, not even just the parts where I was wronged… all of it.

If you destroy someone with lies and cruelly punish them for 5 years straight based on those lies without trial or mercy or an ounce of compassion, then you don’t get to just shut down the entire narrative forever because you feel satisfied with the lies…. because YOU’RE at peace with all the lies you embraced and then used to destroy and shred another human being.

I imagine this is how an innocent person charged with a heinous crime might feel if they went to trial and weren’t allowed to speak at all. The jury listens to the prosecution, then… trial over. That’s all we need to hear folks. Testimony and evidence closed. Jury, make your decision now!

Likewise, maybe how a victim of a crime would feel if they weren’t allowed to speak in a trial but only their perpetrator was permitted to testify. Then the jury makes their decision based only on what the perpetrator says happened.. because if the victim speaks a word of the events, he/she is just “bad mouthing” the perpetrator and WE CAN’T ALLOW THAT “NEGATIVITY” TO INFLUENCE HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THE PERPETRATOR!

So, you.. over there with the cuts and bruises and the chronic PTSD flashbacks from hell, you just shut up! We, the judge and jury won’t accept your evidence, your experiences, your memories, your facts, or your feelings! WE REFUSE ADMISSION OF YOUR BITTER NEGATIVITY INTO OUR VERDICT! We WILL NOT PERMIT that trifling nonsense in this trial!

The heart and mind just don’t work that way- at least, my tortured, beaten down, PTSD ridden soul doesn’t work that way.

What I learned and unequivocally realized from this conversation was that mothers who don’t care if their child feels loved, is struggling, is hurting, feels safe to talk… are vitally important to granddaughters who treat their own mother and her every lifelong efforts to be a good mother like a useless commodity – the very mother who imperfectly  tried to be everything but that is considered “abusive” and expendable.

I shouldn’t have even tried to be better than my mother.  She thinks that was her life anyway..

If I hadn’t tried so hard, maybe she’d have turned out just like me – desperate for her mother’s love, instead of willing and eager to  throw her mother away.  Seems my mother clearly had it right.  As did my “my way or the highway” abusive,     pedophile, cheating ex.  Abuse, deny, restrict,never apologize, never admit being wrong …abuse harder, deny more, restrict further, never apologize, never admit being wrong…etc, etc..etc..

After everything I overcame in my life- before and during my time as a parent, I’m the one who tried to give her everything…far beyond myself..far beyond my experiences, my knowledge, my limits, my understanding even.  My jobs, where we lived, my friends, my boyfriends and dating were 95% based on what I thought would be best for her life, rarely did I make any decisions without first filtering it through what was best for her.  I may not have always made the perfect choices even then because I truly didn’t always know what was best, but I always thought of that first. My ex didn’t do that.  My mother surely never once did that for me and certainly not or for her.  They always out themselves and their happiness before anyone else.  I valued her feelings and her life so far beyond my own and, therefore,  and in her opinion, I’m also the only one who got it completely wrong….

(Irony so sharp and cunning, it slices you open and dumps a gallon of lemon juice right in the cuts…then laughs while you struggle and flail about.)

I shouldn’t have even tried.

Nothing of myself, my life, my experiences, my hard-earned knowledge, victories or defeats are of any import in this world.

And it’s Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving 2017.


So, I’ve  become acutely aware of the futility of my very existence – in its utter entirety.

There’s just nothing left to say when you finally see that nothing you have to say..nothing that happened to you..nothing you know..nothing you learned… is of any import anyway.

Everything happens for a reason she says to me – to the very person she treats like nothing about me, past, present, or future matters.

It’s frustrating to have so much to say and know it doesn’t even matter.

Nothing of my existence has mattered,,,,,

But at least everything that’s happened to me has all happened for a reason….right?

A mother who never loved me.

Physical, mental, emotional, and sexual child abuse.

2 teenage rapes.

2 violently abusive relationships.

A mother who says, Give it a year…you must like the abuse, when her 19 year old daughter begs to come home because her boyfriend has threatened her with a gun.

A mother who doesn’t care if her pregnant college student daughter has eaten in a two weeks.

Getting spit on when you’re nursing an infant because your boyfriend couldn’t keep his penis in his pants.

A massive stroke with a toddler at home when you’re a single mom…and they say you’ll never walk again.

My mother coming to the ICU where I’m literally near death and telling me,  “you deserve what you fucking get”.

Being raped at gunpoint in a baseball field one block away from your 2 beautiful toddler daughters.

My ex stealing the home I was paying for and leaving me and my 2 kids homeless because I refused to allow him to emotionally belittle and abuse our youngest child.

My daddy dying and my mother and my ex using that time of total vulnerability to pounce and destroy me.

My children throwing me away like trash because the very people who made my entire life a chronic fierce struggle for self-esteem and respect and basic consideration told  them I was worthless.  So, it must be true. Right?

Yeah,  Lexi….everything definitely happens for a reason.

It’s almost Thanksgiving 2017.

And I fully accept that I now know that which I didn’t ever want to accept as true before. The very thing I’ve fought all my life against accepting:

I’ve nothing of import or value to add to this world.