Odd, how much traffic this Blog gets and I rarely think about it. I have lost my passion for the past. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that’s because I have taken control of the present.

As Martha would say, “That’s a good thing.” Personally, as a general rule, I think Martha is full of BS but whatever…

I ate half a green pepper for lunch and it’s making a return visit. I wonder what Martha would do to send it on its way without a fuss?

Also how do you set the clocks on these Blogs?

B

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A reminder to myself and others that this Blogging event is happening soon.

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Be a part of Blogging history and Blog against abuse on September 27th 2007. Any form of abuse. See the BlogCatalog for details.

B

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies my love
To the night and the empty skies

Roberta Flack

The pain of my parents’ betrayal lies deep in my Psyche. It’s hard to talk about how deep the wounds my mother and father inflicted go but especially my mother because she was the supposed sane one. My father was certifiable, in and out of psychiatric wards from the age of 17 until his death at age 47.

My Mother didn’t “go crazy” until I started talking to her about how hurt and angry I felt about some o the things she did. Then she had a “nervous break down,” effectively shutting me down and protecting her status as the victim. It’s hard to write about it. It’s hard to think about it because I get so angry at her for manipulating me for so many years and for continuing to try to manipulate me now.

The closest I’ve come to actually talking about the ways my Mother abused and betrayed me is some abstract poetry that really doesn’t tell it all. It just hints at what happened and how I felt at that moment. None of my therapists have really wanted to hear about what my mother was up while Daddy was putting his filthy hands all over me.

That was secondary and she was not at fault. My father was the offending parent. Like Harry they aren’t listening to what the hell happened in that situation. They aren’t hearing what I am saying. This woman told me she wished I had died instead of her first born son. She told me this repeatedly for 17 years.

God damn-it, I’d rather had my father’s beatings and his hands in my panties than that refrain echoing in my head for 55 years. Why can’t these crazy therapists understand that?

Truth be told, I feared my mother more than I feared my father because there was no end to the torture she inflicted upon me and my brothers. Daddy was violent at times and he was crazy heavy-handed. Mother had good reason to say “Stop, you’ll kill her!” He could become that enraged and he drew blood on more occasions than I care to count but once he stopped hitting you he was done.

Mother’s psychological warfare never let up though. The guilt at not having been the child she wanted when I was born still haunts me even though intellectually I know that this was one of the most patently ridiculous guilt trips of all. There was nothing I could have done to alter being who and what I was at birth. Had she said this to me once or twice, I might have remembered it and felt grieved but this was a litany that I heard at least once a month for 17 years.

And then there is the complicity and her actual participation in the sexual abuse. Perhaps this poem expresses it best. I don’t think I can write about it without becoming overly emotional and giving our perverted lurkers too much gratuitous information. This is my first memory of the incest.

Complicit

Three…I am three years old and it is dusk
the last few moments of daylight cast feeble shadows
across the white counterpane of my bed;
the sky is glowing pink fading to gray and
I can smell newly mowed grass and the bitter green
of dandelions gone to seed, the sweet yellow roses
blooming on the porch trellis beneath my window
and the faint whiff of Daddy’s Pall Malls.
And I, fresh from a bath, wearing only cotton panties
smell like ivory soap and baking soda
dabbed on mosquito and chigger bites that still itch.
My hair is damp and your hands are harsh
brushing out the tangles, warning me
“Sit still! Don’t wiggle! Be quiet, you’ll wake up the baby!”

I have this memory now, I’ve brought it up
from the cellar where bad dreams and the sad tears
of little girls are kept when it’s too hard to remember.
I’ve claimed it now even though I’d rather push
it back to that time and place when I was only three
and freeze myself in that chair getting my hair brushed free
of snarls and your hands are impatient and tired.

It came to me in bits and pieces at inconvenient times
in inconvenient places as if it had a life of its own,
refusing to be denied, ignored. It came and insisted
that I recall every single moment, every single
assault on my senses, every single thought and emotion
that ran through my three year old mind that night.
It comes again and again insisting that I recall this information
And when it comes I am, for the duration, three again…

Listening to you walk wearily down the stairs,
the soft murmur of your voice and Daddy’s
deeper and louder, the thump of the screen door
and the heavy tread of his weight on the stairs.
The smell of oil and grease on his blue jeans,
stale cigarette smoke lingering in the fabric of his shirt.
The heat and humidity, sweat on his hands
when he rubs my back and whispers, “Turn over, Baby.
Give your Daddy a kiss goodnight.” The thumping of my heart
as I turn and give myself to his hands and meet
the vacant stare in your eyes as you stand,
watching from the doorway before you turn and walk away

Barbara Gavin-Lewellyn

B

Well they say the skys the limit
And to me thats really true
But my friend you have seen nothing
Just wait til I get through . . .

Because Im bad, Im bad-come on
(bad bad-really, really bad)
You know Im bad, Im bad-you know it
(bad bad-really, really bad)
You know Im bad, Im bad-come on, you know
(bad bad-really, really bad)
And the whole world has to answer right now
Just to tell you once again,
Whos bad . . .

Michael Jackson

I see someone has been googling Dr Israelstam again. What’s with that? It’s kind of creeping me out to get six hits on my pdoc. I think I know who it is and I don’t mind so much that he reads here. In fact, he’s more than welcome to read here. But geeze just book mark the Blog already.

Having all of this so/so information about who is reading your blog is kind of strange. Cool in a way but if you are the least bit paranoid it can get your antenna really quivering. I am more than the least bit paranoid On a scale of 1 ot 10 with 10 being so paranoid I would be dangerous if I had a gun and you were to walk up behind me and say boo, I am at least a 4 and maybe a 5. I don’t need any help in getting further up the scale, thank you very much.

Lots of good things going on in my life and lots of mixed blessings. #1 good thing. I am going to be a new Grammy. In fact, I sort of already am! My daughter who does foster care and has been waiting for 4 years to adopt a baby girl through the state has had a baby girl placed with her last weekend. She is 8 months old and her name is Trinity Rose. She came complete with a brother and a sister who may or may not be up for adoption as well. They have a different father than Trinity. In the meanwhile they are going to be in foster care with my daughter and son-in-law.

I am writing like a fiend and I am becoming something of a local “celebrity” or at least a known quantity. The Isthmus Daily Page must have me on a special alert thingie so that when I make a post on my Madison Blog they get notified and if it is Madisony enough and interesting enough they link to me. Dane 101 occasionally links to me as well. I am also writing at a site called Helium which is sort of like a contest thing. The short story I wrote for Gabe is #1 of 79. Wow!

This is a mixed blessing. I am having a hard time dealing with these successes. I feel like a fraud. I am sure someone is going to accuse me of plagiarism because I named the puppy in my story Yeller. I am scared to death that I will not be able to keep this up and my ability to write is really a fluke. It may disappear over night. I may not be able to write tomorrow. Gawd in heaven who ain’t help me.

I feel liked something bad is going to happen in my life. Some kind of doom is hanging over my head. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the sword to fall and cut off this happiness. I’m actually frightened by how well things are going in my life right now. Being this happy scares me. Something bad always happens to destroy it.

I remember journaling about that when I was dating Larry and damned if immediately after I started writing about those feelings the bad shit didn’t start happening. I now know that the vast majority of the shit was the Gremlins playing on my fears because they got at my journal and read about my insecurities but still… That bad fall I took at the Union wasn’t the Gremlins. Or was it? Was I pushed? I’m not certain. There were a lot of people there and they were crowding around us. I could have been…

I am juggling four Blogs and I may start another simply to put Gabe’s stories on. Good lord. Why have I taken on so much? Because I have so much to say I guess. I am going to try to get hold of the woman whose illustration on a card inspired the original story and see if she is interested in illustrating a book. I am going to write a children’s book. I’m scared to death but I believe I can do this.

My goal for my next session with Harry is to talk about why I feel like such a fraud when I am having this much success. Why am I so scared to be so happy and successful/productive?

B

Tuesdays are Harry the shrink days. Man, I dunno if I should stick with this guy. I was telling him about Jimmy losing his eye today and really getting into the emotions of the whole thing and he came in as an apologist for my fucking mother. I have the most godawful feeling that he’s going to be the next one pushing for reconciliation. That thought makes me want to puke.

He was going on about how holding on to these emotions wasn’t doing me any good. Well hell, I know that asshat. That’s why I’m sitting in your office abreacting. I need to express them. Once I do that then I can get on with my life. So let me express them and quit making excuses for the bitch who made my life hell.

I think I might need to dump this ex-Catholic priest who is into forgive and forget. Fuck that shit. That bitch has never said she is sorry and she won’t ever say she is sorry because she doesn’t believe she did a damn thing wrong. She will forever point the finger at someone else.

Harry ought to read this website about forgiveness. This quote is pertinent:

You cannot forgive someone until you have fully felt the pain he or she has caused you.

I can say I forgive her all I want but there are 17 years worth of daily abuse to overcome and according to Doctor Arndt and Dr Shriver (cousin to Maria Shriver married To “Governor Ahnold” of California–no kidding, he told us so.) who treated me when I was in that fancy schmancy 28 day treatment program for adult survivors of child abuse in Rogers Hospital over in Oconomowoc, there are sometimes when it just isn’t possible to come to a place where you can forgive. The sins are just too many and too big. You keep working towards that but… shit.

B

Eyes seeking the response of eyes
Bring out the stars, bring out the flowers,
Thus concentrating earth and skies
So none need be afraid of size.
All revelation has been ours.

Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. “All Revelation.”

My little brother was nine years old when he lost his eye. He lost it because of sheer neglect and the outright refusal of my parents to follow medical advice. He lost it because my father was in a paranoid deluded state of mind, quite likely manic as hell and my mother refused to stand up to him and put her children’s welfare first come hell or high water.

It began when my brothers were repairing boxcar pallets for my father at the Verona Grain Elevator. A nail-head Chuck was pounding on (or maybe trying to pull the nail out of the wood, I don’t remember) sheared off and struck Jimmy Dale in the eye. A simple accident that was no-body’s fault. It could have happened to anyone.

I don’t even have a recollection of hearing about him getting hurt. Did he run to Mother crying? I don’t know. Was he bleeding? I have no idea. But I can guess what might have happened if he did.

My parents did not take their children to doctors. I broke my arm near the elbow when I was roller skating once and my mother bound it up in a dishtowel until it healed. How do I know it was broken? A Doctor mentioned it when I had Xrays as an adult.

I walked to the Doctor on a broken leg without permission from my parents because it hurt so bad I knew something was seriously wrong. My Grandfather loaned me a cane. My mother was furious.

But this story is about Jimmy Dale and how he lost his eye. They didn’t take him to a Doctor right away. Grain Elevators are dirty environments. There is dust and chaff from the grain everywhere no matter how hard you try to keep it clean. The farmers bring it in with them on their clothes along with manure from the barn and animal hair from the cows they’ve been tending.

Jimmy got an infection in his injured eye. Still they didn’t take him to the doctor right away. Not until he could barely close his eye because it was so swollen and he was in so much pain. Then it was nearly too late.

They had to rush Jimmy to Hastings for emergency surgery on his eye and the prognosis was about 50/50 that he’d be able to see again. I remember waiting for him to come out of the operating room outside on the hospital lawn, sitting with my other brothers, trying to read a book and not being able to concentrate. I remember the three of us crying because we all tried to protect Jimmy Dale from everything and this time we failed. I remember Chuck cried hardest of all.

Then there were the long days of waiting until the bandages came off. Every day we would make the drive to see him. We kids couldn’t go up to see Jimmy Dale but we could stand on the lawn and yell hello up at his second story window. A few times they let him come down to the lobby to see us from a safe sterile distance.

We missed him very much. According to him, he liked being in the hospital and getting all that good attention. It was safe. I bet it was. The food was better. It probably was; my mother was a lousy cook and besides they gave him all the ice cream he wanted. He didn’t want to go home. I understand why.

But time marched on and eventually they declared him well enough to go home with instructions to change his dressings several times a day and keep the wound clean. He had some vision back and it was improving daily. Within less than a week my father wanted all of us out at the Grain Elevator, including Jimmy and Mother.

They fought about it. I remember the fight. The gist of Dad’s arguemnt was that Mother did the books and she was very far behind. She had to come back and get caught up and stay current or there would be hell to pay and they would lose the Elevator Gig–the family livelihood.

I remember getting involved in the fight and offering to stay home with Jimmy and tend to him. I could change his dressings and put the salve in his eye. I was, after all, almost 14 and had been minding the boys while my parents worked since I was 9.

No effing way that was going to happen my father roared. The only reason I wanted to stay in town was so I could run all over the place chasing boys. That was part of his paranoia. Part of the reason we all had to go to work with him everyday. So I wouldn’t be left to my own devices to chase boys.

Mother caved in! She took that child back into that ungodly filth place and the inevitable happened, he got another infection. Once again those monsters did not rush him to the doctors right away. They kept treating him with the salve that they were given when he left the hospital thinking that would cure it if they doubled up on it.

By the time they decided that they had to take him in the prognosis was so dismal that my parents were flat out told before he went into the operating room that he would not see out of the eye again and it was doubtful they could save it. But they tried.

Within two weeks the eye was essentially dying and had to be removed. All told, my Jimmy spent more than 6 weeks in the hospital that summer.  He got very attached to one of the nurses there.

My little brother was going to be blind in one eye for the rest of his life. All because my pathethetic excuse for a father was too paranoid to let his family be out of his sight and a big enough of a bully to get his way. All because my crazy Mother could not or would not stand up to my selfish father and tell him her children came first no matter what the consequences might have been.

But you know what, I don’t think the children ever came first with her. SHE came first. She would do whatever was expedient to avoid any serious conflict with my father that would cause HER problems and we children were always sacrificed for the cause. Over and over and over again.

Jimmy Dale may have paid the highest price of all of us.

B