Stalker!?! You tell me…. ??

Why is that I can write, on here… for nearly a year… all of this horrible stuff about myself, my life and my family and what I am going through right now & I hear absolutely nothing from the people who I actually know & are, obviously, reading this….. However, the minute I post something positive happening for me and the girls, we have an insane week of people, both near and far, coming out of the woodwork trying.. in no uncertain terms.. to ruin our forward progression!?!??

Why?? That I cannot answer… I will never know why certain people continue to try and bring us down.. however, that which I can answer is The Who, what, when … and most importantly HOW I am going to handle it this time!!?

So, let’s start with Monday.. Monday morning.. I put my pride aside and, for my daughters, I invited my mother to come celebrate Christmas Eve at our new home since the family cancelled the annual tradition of gathering because of the chaos that broke out on Easter this year, at which point.. she informed me that “someone” told her about this blog and my book & demanded that I make a public apology and say that the whole thing is a lie. When I attempted to tell her that, in fact, the man she has living in her basement (now indefinitely) had raped me and it’s the root cause of why he started the fight on Easter and why he’s keeping the kids away from me… her response… and I “shit you not” (to take one of my mother’s favorite quotes) was to say… and I quote, “stephanie, how many people have you slept with?” As if… my (consensual) sexual history could/would determine whether or not I had been or deserved to be raped… I can’t say I’m surprised by this response.. at all.. in fact.. it’s exactly how the mother responded when she finds out in the fictional version of the book.. the one I wrote before the publishers asked me to turn it into a memoir.

The only thing worse than being sexually assaulted is the blow that comes from victim blaming and shaming.. especially by family… I wish I could say that predicting her response made it sting less.. but, I’d be lying & I made a promise when my eldest was in my belly to NEVER lie… never lie to my family and never lie to my children.. I grew up in so many lies and hush, hushes that I made a vow to my children to raise them in honesty and I have kept that promise and they know that!

But… my mother.. accusing me of lying.. and/or directly insinuating that I asked for it.. . It hurts.. very badly. It is this dismissal of my abuse, when I was little, that caused me to turn my childhood trauma into repeated sexual misconduct throughout my entire adolescence.. when my mother brushed my molestation under the rug.. she told me that I deserved it.. In fact… when she blamed me for putting myself in that position in the first place.. she told me that I was asking for it to begin with.. I always thought that it was innuendo that I was receiving from her & perhaps she didn’t ever mean to convey those messages.. but.. Monday.. fucking Monday.. she told me that is exactly what she thinks of me..

She thinks I do deserve this type of abuse?? In fact, I probably asked for it.. well, fuck her.. she’s dead to me.. and considering how much we’ve moved forward in her absence this year.. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us with her gone forever.. (or at least until she is no longer under the mental control and manipulation of the monster in her basement) only great things….. Of this, I am sure)

So, the only silver lining in this horrible … no gut wrenching moment with my mother… I finally came up with the title for my memoir

Dirty. Little. Whore.

The true story about what it’s like growing up to be a young woman in America .. how you are responsible for everything that happens to your body.. including when you are molested as a child.. causing you to become super promiscuous & then, truly taking the blame, shame and consequences when you are raped as an adult b/c.. well, when you are a slut.. you are asking for it.. am I right??

Annnnywayyyy… on to the next day… because when it rains.. it fucking pours in my life…

… because of this blog and the ONE picture I posted of my new view.. someone from my past.. obviously associated with my old landlord.. figured out where we were moving and called our new landlord to try and start that same old lie she told after we moved out… now, many of you may not know the whole story b/c at the time.. I had a PICC line in my arm and wound vac on my leg and I was so sick and tired from being forced to move So fast for absolutely No reason.. that I didn’t bother to fight the many rumors that were spiraling after our move… but, to make a long story short.. our old landlord was so obsessed with us and psychotic that she was doing everything in her power to make us look like bad people.. I mean, perhaps she was just trying NOT to look like an asshole for kicking out a sick, single mother who had paid her rent (over 1.3k a month) on time … every single month for NO reason!?! But.. the lengths she went to were INSANE!!

This woman… took all the trash bags we had loaded and put into the garage (yes.. we had to leave them in the garage b/c we had LESS than 14 days to move out of a 3 story townhome completely by ourselves) but, she took the garbage bags out of the garage.. carried them up 3 flights of stairs and dumped them all over the house just to post pictures of the house trashed & make us look bad!? The amount of extra work she gave herself just to save face.. well, it was scary to be honest.. not only that.. she started showing up at my daughters schools, randomly volunteering even though her son was a toddler and my daughters were in HS and MS.. walking around and whispering in parents ears and pointing to my daughters.. right in front of them.. making them feel scared and bullied.. by an adult.. at their own schools!?!

So… now that (more than 3 years later) she is resurfacing and trying, once again to make us look bad & prevent us from moving on.. from moving up in the world.. the girls are terrified. It may be time for a restraining order.. b/c this is crazy!!!

I’m just so grateful that our new landlord is giving us the chance to Prove that we are not the people/tenants that this woman is claiming we are, which will be easy b/c we are not… our townhome home was perfectly clean for 3 years… we had neighbors over all the time & we paid rent each and every month exactly on time!! In fact, I have an email from our old landlord written less than 30 days before she kicked us out, stating that we were “great tenants for the last 3 years.. she had never had better tenants than us” and then out of absolutely no where… probably based on rumors she had heard from my ex boyfriend and his friends.. she decided to find loopholes in the lease to quickly kick us out with no place to go and less than 14 days to do so!!

Well…

Whether our haters can accept it or not… our lives are getting better and better.. this has been an amazing year for us.. my eldest daughter graduated HS and began college.. my little one is working now and making nearly 800 bucks a month @15 years old!! And… I finished a mother-fucking BOOK… a book that helped me to heal and start to move forward again.. a book that a publisher actually wants to buy!! And… all of the aforementioned actually gave me the courage to take an amazing opportunity to move… even though the move seemed impossible with no men in our lives.. no male friends.. no family.. just me and the girls… but, guess what.. we did it.. we fucking moved to a bigger.. better home.. on a beautiful property with a family that has given us the perfect ending for this amazing year… so.. to all you haters reading this post.. suck it!! Seriously.. suck on your jealousy & bite your hate all you want.. 2018 was an amazing year for us & 2019 is going to be even better!! We’ve done all these amazing things with no support and now that I have broke my silence and started to move forward.. I can let people into my life and my heart again.. so, if we did all of this on our own.. I can only imagine what we can do with some family and friends and maybe even a partner by my side 😉

No more drama in my life… as Mary J Says so wisely… 2019 is going to be the very best year of our lives b/c one by one.. we are leaving all the bad behind & moving forward and moving up and no matter what you do… you can’t stop us … the girls deserve the best & without you holding me back and holding me down.. I am finally able to start giving it to them again..

Goodnight… Goodbye &

Namaste … 😉

New horizon…

5:37pm

Well folks… here is a picture of the sunset taken from my new bedroom window and if a picture is ordinarily worth 1,000 words.. anyone who knows me and the journey which has brought me here, knows this particular picture… this window and this view is worth more words than could possibly be written in one short blog post.

I could and perhaps will, someday, write an entire book about my journey to the west, the stunning view I had when we first moved and how we lost it and in the process almost lost everything, including my actual and literal life. I could write an entire book about the importance of gratitude and how, even when times are the darkest, there is always something worth gratitude because no matter how bad things seem at any given moment, there is always someone else that has it 100 times worse.

However, what I really want to write about right now.. during this super short moving break.. laying on my soon-to-be bedroom floor…. hidden within this sunset is the hope I feel gazing to the new horizon. These next few days, possibly even weeks are going to be very hard.. a single mom and two teenage girls… moving all by ourselves… but, hey.. we’ve done this before and last time, I was fighting a blood infection with a PICC line in my arm, fighting with my family because they were forced to help us financially due to the extreme conditions under which we were moving and I didn’t die then… so, I’m almost certain it won’t kill me this time either.

Actually, let me take that back… a part of me will die during this move… the part that must pass along, never to return is the piece of me that’s broken and stuck… I will no longer be stuck… I am currently in motion…. I am literally moving… little by little.. more and more each day and as the broken piece dies… my true self is being reborn, coming back to life and I can almost see her there.. on the other side of that horizon…

I will say goodnight now because it’s time to go get the little one from work and from there… well, I’m sure you can guess.. little attention is afforded anything but her once she gets home from a ‘hard day at work’ flipping pizzas, especially in the excitement of our adventurous days of moving.

So, I will say goodnight and tomorrow.. when I come back… I wil be more of me and less broken… as my physical self becomes tired, achy and sore.. my spiritual self is awaking once again… and it’s so nice to see her for I truly feared she was gone for good.

So… wish me a good nights sleep, the sweetest of dreams and to awaken even more energetic and productive tomorrow.

As I fall asleep tonight, I will be singing the lyrics of a song which my grandmother had the entire family memorize and sing one whacky Christmas Eve…

“Yes we can…

we can do anything…

we can do anything we believe”

Goodnight!! +)

The BIG CLEAN

2:02pm

In just 3 short hours, I have tackled donating a truck full of clothes, books and DVDs to a local second-hand shop. I cleaned out my truck and broke the seats down to fit more small furniture, dropped the little one off at work & began the BIG CLEAN.

The BIG CLEAN is that therapeutic method of cleaning which involves throwing away all which is unnecessary whilst packing. I say this method of cleaning is therapeutic because, for me, nothing feels better than letting go. Aside from moving into a bigger house, nicer neighborhood with a huge yard, the number one thing I’m excited about this move is this very process of letting go, moving forward and never looking back.

As I stated earlier today, this house has had us stuck for the last 3 years. When we moved in here, we were under the impression that it would be temporary and we would only be here for a few months max. So, we never settled here. We never took the family photos out of the boxes and hung on the walls. We never even unpacked our good dishes & have used paper and plastic. We have been stuck in this perpetual pause on our life. We’ve been waiting to move, with no where to go.

Now, we have been given this amazing opportunity to move into a house that will feel like a real home, surrounded by people that care about us. Considering the year we have had with our family and their absence, the timing couldn’t be better for this unexpected break in luck and adoption into a new “family’.

Grateful is a word I over-use and probably over-feel as well because I do try to remain constantly grateful for many things big and small. So, grateful is certainly not a big enough word to express how fortunate I feel that for the first time in 3 plus years that once again, my family is back in forward motion.

Elated, ecstatic and eternally appreciative slightly touch upon my current emotions… but, barely.

I hope my joy continues and spreads from my heart to my words, directly from me to you via reading upon our journey. By the way, I’m still writing from the old house. I am curious to see the difference and promise that even if it is mid-trip, I will write a post from there later… even if it’s a short one.

Well… back to. The BIG CLEAN… wish me luck…. again

TtySooooon -)

Just keeping MOVING!!

10:47am

“Just keep moving” is a life motto that has fueled most of my life & for the first 35 years of it, I did just that. When things were good, I would shake my ass and dance along with the music which composed my life. When things were bad, I would march along and forge a new path. If I became sad or anxious, I would run away my troubles.

However, 3 years ago I moved into a home, which we later discovered someone had recently died in and we became stuck. Stuck is not strong enough a word for what has happened to us in this home. This home, which I am sitting in whilst writing, hopefully my last meaningful post composed here, is a beacon of un-hope. The energy of this place is toxic. Thoughts become so stifled here, I may have to finish and edit this very post later from our new home, but I wanted.. no, needed to start it here. Perhaps as a test and proof of the difference between thoughts processed here and words formed there.

So, let us see… today is the first official day of moving all the small stuff. Both of my kids are working today and I am determined to prove to them and the rest of my family just how much I am capable of and how determined I am to do this thing. So, wish me luck… here I go. I can’t wait to come back later and report my success =)

Peace and namaste +)

Decided to only share the “true” chapters as I work on turning the fictional version into a memoir ;)

Chapter 10

Flabbergasted 1994

I was in shock. My mother didn’t spank us; She would proudly say to her new-age hippy friends. No, she didn’t ‘spank’ us, but when she lost her mind, which was too often, she would beat the shit out of us.

One time, I missed my softball game because I was swimming in a river with my friends. We went on a long adventure walk and discovered a river that no one knew about. It was the most exciting thing and a true treasure in our otherwise citified neighborhood. We were all pretty poor. So, aside from the few times we snuck into the local hotel pool, we didn’t get many opportunities to swim. So, when we discovered this random river after a long, hot walk, we had to take advantage of it and swim.

We were having so much fun, swinging from the rope tied to the tree jumping into the river and having the kind of adventure that defined childhoods, we simply lost track of time. When my mom drove by the field to pick me up after my softball game, she realized I wasn’t there and became worried. This was pre-cell phone era. So, she had no way of figuring out where I had been all day. All she could do was drive around and look for me, which she did for hours. In her defense, I’m sure she was worried when she couldn’t find me in the usual places I’d be on a long summer day. I’m sure she thought the worst had happened.

However, what happened when I finally strolled home sunburnt with a huge smile on my face was unexplainable, inexcusable and unforgivable. She didn’t spank me. She took me down into the basement and smacked me across the face so hard, I fell to the ground. Then, she crawled on top of me and grabbed me by the neck and pounded my head on the ground repeatedly screaming, “You scared the shit out of me… don’t you… ever… ever… ever… do that again!” Each time she said the word ‘ever’ my head would be bounced on the concrete floor.

I got the message loud and clear. Don’t ever go back to the river. Oh, yeah and my mom was a complete lunatic. In the face of possibly losing her child, she decided to regain control by attempting to kill me herself.

I spent the rest of that summer in a deep depression, wishing she had succeeded.

Forgive and Forget

You know how the saying goes, “I forgive, but I don’t forget.”

Makes sense.. you let things go from your heart, but you remember the people that hurt you and keep your guard up in the future. Smart.

However, my mom lives by the opposite sayings in many of life situations.

For example, when I was 14 years old and had just started my first serious relationship, my friends were missing me.

Me-“Mom, Jennifer says we haven’t hung out since I started dating Greg, but Greg wants to come over tonight. Should I tell him no and have a sleepover with my friends?”

Mom-“Honey, Friends come and go, but boys last forever”

I lost a lot of friends that summer and over the years of adolescence ditching them for my boyfriends.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that all other moms in the ENTIRE world, told their daughters the exact opposite… it really goes, “Boys come and go, but FRIENDS last forever!”

So… back to forgiving and forgetting… not that she consciously does this.. but, I’m almost certain that my mom Never forgives, but Always forgets!!

This unconscious life motto leaves her heart hardened and confused. She’s always mad at someone, but never remembers who or why… which, then lead to explosive family gatherings after she’s had too much to drink. She lashes out on the wrong person about the wrong things and wakes up the next day as if it never happened.

How do you deal with someone that never forgives… but, constantly forgets??

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!! =)

For now… I’ll take it, like I do many of my troubles and laugh at the irony.

Forgetting and never forgiving seems much more difficult for her than me.

So, maybe I shouldn’t complain?

To Fiction or Not to Fiction??

What is love if you get it secondhand?

Is it a fact or merely a detail?

I am more comfortable in fiction than in nonfiction. In fiction, you get to decide what is real and not real, what is true and not true, which details are facts and which are mere detail. In fiction, I am the discerning eye, the single source of truth. But when I tried to write about my mother, all my stories were flat. I couldn’t move her into fictional language, it seemed. Indeed, my journals about the days of adolescence are full of details about the weather and the feeling that a chasm had opened up in me. I was trying in those early days to pin something down, to assemble a body of details that might give me some hint or clue of how to go on. I also felt that I had no right to feel that way, so sad about her behavior towards me. after all the hateful things I’d thought about her or been subjected to by her hands.

The thing that kept me from writing well about her, about abuse, in fiction was that I lack genuine, human feeling for my mother. Or, no, that’s not true exactly. What I lacked was empathy for her. I was so interested in my own feelings about her that I couldn’t leave room for her feelings or for what she wanted out of life. I couldn’t leave a space for her to be a person. I think, ultimately, other people aren’t real to us until they’re suffering or gone. That’s when the imagination begins to work, trying to sort things out, trying to get them right, to understand them. I can’t write fiction because I haven’t yet mastered my own feelings. I can’t write fiction because I have not yet come to understand her or what her life had meant to her. I am solipsistic and righteous in my anger, my fear, my sadness. However, I missed all of the eerie symmetries between us—her trauma, my trauma, her rape, my rape, her anger, my anger. It’s not that I am ready to forgive her really. But I am trying to extend to her the same grace that my children extended to me. That’s one of the beautiful things about writing, the way we learn about others and what that tells us about ourselves.

Brandon Taylor …. thank you for helping me understand this dilemma of fiction vs memoir and come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to write any fiction until these issues with my past are carefully and fully dissected, discerned & organized!