Today…

The past few weeks have been exhausting, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am adapting to being by myself and almost drowning self re-discovery. I have not had a good nights sleep for nearly two weeks now due to a Rotator Cuff tear in my right arm. Bella decided to challenge herself at squirrel catching while attached to a leash that I let slack behind my back. (note to self… Let go of the leash next time!)

My life is easy for the most part, camping every day, fresh air and adventures. Moving from resort to resort, I never know what to expect. I never know what I am going to see or who I will meet at each new place. I never know what new insects I will discover from location to location. I never know when I am going to wake up after a rainy night to a leak in my home, or what might break next!

I am enjoying my “Gypsy Hippie Life.” I haven’t applied makeup in over a month, and I haven’t curled or straightened my hair in over a month. It’s been very freeing for me.

I have a couple of friends that worry about me being out here on my own. I will have to start making a list of questions that my friends ask me. My favorite one this week was, “what if there is an earthquake?” If my little trailer can stay in one piece, the way I drive! I think it will be just fine,” I joked, but to be honest, I don’t know. I will deal with it if it happens. I reassured her that people have been living like this for a very long time.

I sipped my coffee sitting at my picnic table, enjoying this picture-perfect sunny morning, a woman approached me, she was crying. “can I have a cigarette?” she asked as she wiped her tears “I can’t find mine.

I handed her my whole pack, “there are four in there, keep it,” I replied. I did not ask her if she was ok. I could see that she wasn’t. I asked her if she wanted to sit down for a minute. I lit a cigarette, and asked if she wanted some water or coffee.

She did not even answer; she just started crying again and told me that she fought with her boyfriend. She told me that he pulled her hair and that she hit him back, so he shoved her into the cabinets in their RV. One of the neighbors called security, and they had taken her boyfriend up to the front of the office. I am glad she told me that right away, I was concerned not only for her safety but my own as well.

She continued to cry and show me her red marks that were already bruising. She rambled on about other things, and she wasn’t talking to me, it was more like she was processing thoughts out loud. We smoked another cigarette in silence.

I wasn’t sure what to say, Bella must have sensed her distress, she leaned into her legs and laid at her feet. “I thought this time would be different,” she said with a look of self-blame and shame” I really thought he stopped using.” Without thinking, I blurted out, “did you, though? Or did you ignore the signs?”. I immediately felt bad for asking her that question, but I did and her answer let me off the hook. She said,” actually, yes… yes, I did notice, but I wanted to believe him,” she started crying again.

I know that demon, I know it too well.

She gathered her purse and the smokes I gave her and said, “thank you for listening, and thanks for the smokes.” I just smiled and said, “I hope you were listening to yourself… this time,” I replied wholeheartedly.

Her bother came to tow her RV out of the park, and she stopped by to thank me again. I smiled and said, “that’s what friends are for.” I doubt I will never see this woman again, but I will always remember her, and I wish her well.

I looked around the campsite at all the large and small RVs here, housing families ordered to shelter in place, and thought to myself… we’re all in this together. The family camping behind me was outside playing with their kids and little spotted dog. We gave each other “the wave” and a Happy Easter! The family across from me was sharing the Sunday Morning Church Service with the whole park over their outside speakers. A couple next to me were having Bloody Mary’s for Sunday Brunch and gave me a smile and a wave.

I poured myself another cup of coffee, picked up my book, and went back outside to sit in the sun and be in the moment and be grateful for the life I have right now.

Not-home for the holidays

Butterflies took flight as Bella soared through the overgrown wildflowers, on our walk in the field today. My heart overflowed with happiness to see her running off-leash. Don’t we all want to run free again? I felt nostalgic for the time my daughters believed in the Easter Bunny. I smiled at the memories of them dressed up and hunting Easter Eggs, laughing with them in the kitchen, and bantering over who will wash the dishes.
I won’t get to spend the holiday with my daughters this year. We have missed many holidays since the divorce, but we find time to get visits in. It was an adjustment for all of us, not being able to go home. I know we will find a way, even as our family is expanding and we are all living in eight to ten hours away from each other.
My oldest daughter just celebrated her 32nd birthday, and she and her three sisters group video chatted. I am finally getting used to using video chat. I did not like it for the longest time, my grandson changed my mind. He is three years old, and he loves to call and see Bella. I do enjoy seeing his sweet little face. However, it doesn’t compare to seeing my daughters or grandbaby in person and smelling their heads. Yes… I am that weird mom.

Happy Easter Everyone

Short story 1, Un-fuc*ing my mind 1, c-PTSD

Un-fuc*ing my mind Step 1: Just write

Product of environment and learning to adapt to surroundings. “I learned very young, a drink can fix almost anything.”‘.

I know why I am the way that I am. I know my traumas. I know my triggers. I have spent years trying to get over them. So how do I un-fuck my mind? How do I shed the fight or flight.. the want for revenge..the survival mode mentality? I want to get back to my innocence.. back to that little girl I once was carefree and hopeful, sitting on my swing in the back yard.. watching sunrises and birds sing.. and believing in love. I’m not sure, but I know what doesn’t work.

The love I have for my daughters is what kept me going. I would have gave up a long time ago. The bad part is, they had to grow up with a “broken parent” too.

I wish I would have tried harder to do better sooner… Two steps forward … one, two and three steps back. I fell. I fucked up. I am sorry.

I am trying harder now.  I know I am not the only one who has gone through horrible things in life. I know I am not the only one who has survived and gone on to have hope again. I decided to stay sober through this.. to lean into the pain. To feel it and push through it.

I did not plan for these demons to be a part of my journey. Its not the amazing adventures I planned on writing about when I started this blog. But it is becoming a huge part of my time alone. The pain creeps in. The world is facing a Pandemic. We have been told to shelter in place, something my soul has done for years… It has also housed a lot of trauma, and something has triggered it. I stopped drinking for health reasons, and because I am a horrible drunk. I make bad decisions when I drink. Moving forward sober has been great for the most part. I am enjoying living in my travel trailer, meeting new people and seeing new things. However, I am not enjoying having flash backs and nightmares of past traumas.

Poetry, poems, Bantering

He sang to me “she stopped drinking and ain’t no fun no more, her best pose was passed out, face down on the floor”

Hey boy, how can you be sure?

You haven’t seen me in awhile, ain’t felt the joy in my smile

If you think I was fun when I stumbled, You should see me run

Nope I don’t need the liquor, I don’t need the booze

Not trying to drown them memories, not trying to be a muse

I’m loving life and dancing, barefoot in the grass

I’m watching sunrises

you’re sing out of tune

a song to my drunken past

if you can’t see my new loving life pose

oh sweet darling… you can kiss my ass


Poetry, memory

I took a chance 

I took some time

To go away

And clear my mind

Trying to stay afloat

Don’t want to drown at sea

need to make it to the shore

Waves crashing down on me

But how do I keep

From drowning in a memory

Drowning in the inside

Crawling on the sand

 laying on the shore 

Still I can’t stand

Waves crashing down on me

I’m still drowning in a memory

Short story, Un-Fuc*ing my mind 5, c-PTSD

Whoa, so many memories flooding my mind. So many feelings going through me. It is a struggle just to write about, yet freeing at the same time. I wanted to drink today. I did not want to feel any of this. I wanted to delete the emotions that I just regurgitated into words on to a piece of paper. But, I didn’t, I didn’t set fire to my journal and I did not drink. I leaned into the pain. When it stung too much, I reached out to a friend for some help with my project. I find that I am having a very hard time writing out my memories. My emotions spring into overload. It stings, mostly I just feel vulnerable. I realize that I am purging on the inside now. I have already got rid of my belongings to move into this tiny home of mine. There is no room for all this shit I have buried inside my mind either. I need the space for new memories. I had no idea what I would write about when I started this journey. I started a blog and imagined that I would be writing all about all of my grand adventures and how pretty everything is.
I write in my journal every morning. I try to get rid of all the free radicals that flood my thoughts.

I decided to go ahead and publish some of it. It’s the ugly part of healing, c-PTSD ,the ugliness that still creeps into my mind and causes doubt anxiety and fear. Doubt about how I really feel, usually a drink would fix that. Pour a glass of wine and tell myself “shit happens, it’s the past and you’re fine.” I want to justify numbing the uncomfortable feeling this shit brings. I want to crack a joke about it and move on to writing something pretty. Obviously that doesn’t work, I’ve done that for years and yet, here you are. you fucking little demon back to haunt me. I I don’t want to keep having nightmares. I don’t want to be out here alone planning road trips and trying to ignore this fucked up past that keeps following me around. I don’t really want to deal with it either. I want to ignore it, something I learned to do at a very young age. Turn my ugly reality into something pretty in my mind. Find a distraction, ignore it and find something to help ease the pain. Today, I told myself “lean the fuck in”, So, I am putting it out there, as it comes. Messy and unorganized. These memories are coming in waves. Layers of waves that seem to break like glass on the shores of my mind. Pieces scattered everywhere.

I allowed myself some time to fall apart and cry. I waited until I felt better today, then decided to post what I have written. What the fuck do I have to lose? My mind? I hope so… parts of it anyway.

Short Story,Un-Fuc*ing my mind 4, c-PTSD

Standing in line for free food and wondering how I will feed my daughters next week…

Nothing humbles a soul like being in need and having someone help you. I had just started work, but would not get paid for another week. I spent all of my money to rent an apartment. Between utilities and needing to save for rent, we would run out of food. I dug up some change for gas and drove to a local food bank. Standing in line with my daughters, I looked at the faces of the people in line with me. I could tell some were homeless. I almost felt guilty for being there, but I was too busy feeling embarrassed that I was there. I remember thinking to myself, my kids deserve better than this. I started a job working four days a week at a local dental office.. I was making only enough to pay the bills, so sometimes I would have to ask the utility company for a payment extension. I picked up a second job a couple of nights a week as a cocktail waitress. With the tip money I was making, I did not have to stand in line for free food again. We did however still buy out clothes from the local Salvation Army. If I had a really good weekend in tips, I took the girls to Walmart for a new outfit.

I met a other single working moms at the playground of the apartment complex. We took turns watching each other’s kids when our schedules allowed. Finding someone to babysit was difficult a lot of the time. I had some help from my younger siblings from time to time. My mom let my younger sisters and brother come stay with me during the summer to help with the girls while I worked. I moved out of the apartment complex and rented a house. We had accumulated a couple of cats and dogs and were not allowed to keep them at the apartment. My three younger sisters and brother actually ended up living with me for a while when my mom went to jail for welfare fraud. Her ex-husband had turned her in for something out of spite. I wasn’t always on good terms with my mom. I still had issues about her walking out on us when I was ten years old, getting remarried,having more kids, and doing cocaine with me when I was 16.

I was twenty-five, working two jobs and had seven children to feed now. Not to mention the three dogs and I have lost track of how many cats think they live here now. I decided to quit my job at the dental office. I had learned to tend bar over the past year and was now working at a little dive bar comedy club a few blocks from home. The tips were good and I made more in tips working three nights than I did on my paycheck over a two-week pay period at the dental office.

My rent was never late. I worked my ass off to make sure the bills were paid and the kids were fed. I rented this house for a year. I was out pruning the rose bushes and two men approached me. They showed me identification to prove they worked for the Veterans affair. They were there to change the locks on the doors due to a foreclosed loan on the house. I showed them my rental agreement and all of my receipts for the rent I paid. I followed them down to the police department to file a report of fraud. The person I had been paying rent to the entire time, did not even own the house. It was a scam.

Short story, Un-fuc*ing my mind 3, c-PTSD

Un-fuc*ing my mind 3

The last time I was isolated, I lived in a potato field and my dog was electrocuted to death

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic I am sheltered in place in my travel trailer right now. I had planned to live in it for at least a year and travel. Travel has come to a halt for now. I am keeping myself busy enough. It could be worse for me. It has been worse for me.

Chuck and I found a place to rent down a mile-long dirt road in the same town our parents lived in. There was nothing down this dirt road but an old farm home a couple miles up the road one way, and a fish hatchery a couple miles down the road the other way. Surrounded by potato fields and foothills. I had just got asked to quit my job at Del Taco. I was four months along with our second daughter Melissa. My boss was worried that I spent more time throwing up at work then I did doing my job. Chuck had picked up a few under the table jobs here and there, but nothing permanent. The mobile home we were living in used propane for the heat and hot water. Of which we had neither since we could not afford to buy propane. I could warm water on the electric stove for dishes and baths for Dainelle. I applied for public assistance but the process was long. We spent three months with little to no income and I learned how to cook potatoes in the microwave.

I would wake up some mornings so cold that I could see my breath while I was still in bed. Poor little Dainelle would be so snugged up to me I was practically laying on top of her at times. We had no car. We walked everywhere. When we did have money from some odd job or illegal act I’m sure that Chuck came home from. We would walk a mile to catch the bus and go shopping. Walking a mile back with groceries. Most of the time I just shopped at the produce stand on the corner of the dirt road and main highway. I did laundry in the bathtub by hand. I remember my hands cracking and bleeding. It was rough, I always reminded myself that people lived like this and survived and so would we. Welfare finally came through and that helped so much. I was so damn sick of potatoes and grateful for them growing in the ground across the street at the same time. We had company from time to time, but it was I felt like I was so far away from civilization. No neighbors to wave to. No car to go anywhere. I had blown a head gasket in my 1971 Mercury Marquis four-door beast of a car. I loved that car.

Chuck picked up a part-time job, and that left me home alone with Dainelle. No phone to call anyone, and my hormones from pregnancy were starting to shift. I went through a period of feeling scared and depressed. I can’t blame it all on my hormones. The thought of bringing another child into the world when we were only 19 and could hardly take care of the daughter we had, or ourselves. It was rough living, but we had fun times too. We went on walks all the time just to get out of the house. There was no grass in the yard, everything was dirt. Weeds didn’t even grow in the yard. We had big bonfires and sat outside under the stars at night and told stories. My dad loaned us a car as my due date approached. Melissa was born in February a beautiful healthy little girl.

May came around and things were what they were. We were doing our best for a while and then that turned to shit when Chuck started using drugs again. I’m not so sure he ever stopped. I think it was just less and I looked the other way a lot because I had other things to worry about. So he and I were not exactly getting along very well. I would usually just be busy with the baby, Chuck spent a lot of time playing with Dainelle or tweaking on something outside. This was just another day, until it wasn’t. Dainelle came inside to get a drink of water and a sandwich. She was all muddy from sitting and making mud patties on the side of the house. Our dog Jet just laid there beside her while she played, always keeping a close watch of her. The mobile shook and I heard a loud bang. Then I heard Chuck yelling “NO !! NO!!!” I ran outside to see if he was ok.. “fuck! Jet is dead! my dog is dead!” he was carrying our dog in his arms and crying. Southern California Edison had been out spraying the transformers on the power lines on our road. Something happened that sent a surge of electricity straight to the mobile home. Because Jet was laying in the water and close enough to the mobile. Our Dog was dead. She died sitting in the same spot where my precious three-year-old baby girl Dainelle was just playing.