Tag Archives: music

New day

It’s amazing what a lot of sleep and a fun-filled gab with your best friend/cousin/brother-in-queerness will do. This says it all:

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel . . .
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
[scat]
And I’m feelin’. . . good.

Yeah, baby! Nina Simone said everything I feel.

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Let ’em see me sweat

I am in PAIN! I finally made it back to my gym after a 2-1/2 week absence. It was kind of strange because I surpassed my personal bests on all of the equipment. I didn’t hurt then. In fact, I was a little disappointed because I didn’t feel the burn. I’m going to have to continue to find ways to push my body because I need that burn to know that my body is doing what it’s supposed to do: get stronger. It doesn’t matter if it’s cardio or strength, my body needs to improve. It’s improved already, actually. When I wasn’t eating, I noticed that my fatty areas were not as “fatty” as before. I could see more firmness. I also seem to be stronger.

OnX at Anytime Fitness using the leg press

OnX at Anytime Fitness takin’ care of business on the leg press.

There were a couple of things that were new experiences at the gym tonight. I actually sweated. I’m not used to that. Before, no matter how hard I worked, I didn’t sweat that much. Tonight, my heart rate got up to 155 sustained. That’s not too shabby. I also cycled farther than I usually do, 3.17 miles, and cycled for seven minutes more than normal (22 min). I have this thing about whole numbers, especially if there’s a song playing on my iPhone I’m digging as I peddle. For example, right now I’m listening to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. It’s kind of my anthem. If that was up while I was working out on the cycle or the rowing machine, I’d keep going until the song ended. If it happened to end when I was at, let’s say, 2.4 miles, I’d keep going until I hit 2.5 or 3.0 miles. I really get into my music as I work out. I’m actually looking for more hip-hop that I like to use as workout/anthemic music. I think that I’m going to get more Eminem and check out Jay-Z once I get some more available cash. Shh! Don’t tell my lawyer. 😀 Naah, he’s a sweetheart. I’ll pay him first. Right now I’m mixing hip-hop, some classic proto-hip-hop (i.e.. Ohio Players), select R&B (O’Jays and Keisha Cole) and electronica in the form of Portishead. Hey, it works, OK?

Before I forget, I wanted to recommend a set of earbuds that I love. They are made by a company called Skull Candy. I was about to reach the cash register at my local T.J. Maxx when I happened to see a rack of earbuds that looked interesting. I’d really detested the earbuds Apple includes with the iPhone, all iPods and possibly the iPad, although don’t quote me on the last. The Apple earbuds kept falling out of my ears when the new design was specifically supposed to take care of that. They took care of it alright. They made it worse!

I allowed a couple of people to get in line ahead of me because I was enthralled my these earbuds. I believe there were two models: the 50/50 earbuds with mic, (MSRP $49.95), and; the Ink’d 2 with mic (MSRP $19.95-$24.95) model. I purchased the Ink’d 2 model and I have never regretted it. The sound is like a really good mid-range stereo. I’d prefer a bit more bass, but that’s just me. The earbuds come with a hard case and three different sizes of rubber buds. I should also mention that both models come in many different colors. I stuck with basic black and chrome because that was the only color available at that time. The best selection is, of course, at the SkullCandy.com store. The company also offers free shipping on all purchases. Still, I’d compare pricing because there may be better deals out there. It is those earbuds and my iPhone that make my workout infinitely better than it would be without them. Almost everyone at the gym wears some kind of earphones or earbuds. I’m assuming that’s the case with other gyms.

The other thing that happened is that my shoulders hurt. That’s never happened before. I did 20 reps @ 20 lbs. on the pulldown, but that wasn’t challenging enough so I upped the weight to 40 lbs. and did 30 reps. I went from the rowing machine where I spent 23:15 min., burned 145 calories, achieved 51 strokes/minute at #5 resistance. I’m wondering if I worked my shoulders too hard. Doing that many reps on the pull down far surpassed my personal best. However, again, no burn.

The real surprise as far as my workout was the leg press. I did 100 reps @ 40 lbs. and didn’t even feel it. It’s time to increase the weight. Now, what did hurt was my right hip, which is the one with the prosthesis. I used it in addition to my left leg, something I usually don’t do quite as much. Afterwards, I realized that there’s going to come a time when I’m going to need a hip replacement. I’ve heard the recovery from that is easier than the recovery from a knee replacement.

I was on my way out when I saw a gentleman about to use a set of weights on a machine I’d never noticed. It turned out that it’s another type of leg press. We talked for a long time about exercise, our respective careers and our families. When he told me how old he was, I had to do a double-take. I’m well aware that black people age differently than whites, but even I was shocked. I never, ever would have clocked him for his age unless he’d told me. He also offered help and said that he hoped we’d meet again and told me a couple of times when he’s usually around. Fortunately, his hours and my hours overlap. Hmm, I think he was flirting. Best of all, he didn’t give a hot damn about my artificial leg. Yeah, Mama’s still got it. *smirk*

I went to the grocery store before heading to the gym. I had to get a few essentials since I am still fighting anorexia. I am trying to think of food as fuel for my body instead of looking at it as a useless necessity. Since I’m ambivalent about food, I’m trying to get things that I really like but are also somewhat healthy. I got home and made a turkey sandwich. Would you believe that I had to stand up in the kitchen to eat it because the Demonic Duo were poised to steal it at any cost? I learned the hard way that I have to watch them both even as I put one in her crate. I didn’t do that the other day and the youngest slipped in and stole a roast beef sandwich with scarce colby cheese (my favorite) off the table. She’s so little that she looks innocent. She isn’t. If anything, she’s the brains of the operation. Not that her partner in crime is dumb. Indeed, far from it. However, the youngest is sneakier while the older is more like a snatch-and-run thief.

At any rate, I did manage to eat all of the turkey sandwich and I think I had something earlier in the day, too. So, I’m getting better, but I know that I need to eat more. My metabolism is so screwed up it doesn’t know what to do. That’s the other thing that exercise is doing for me: my metabolism is increasing and getting more normal. I seem to get hungry when I exercise regularly. Maybe that’s my body saying that it needs more fuel. Whatever the case, I’ve lost two pounds. I know that a lot of it is water weight because I’ve been very conscious of my liquid intake since I am prone to dehydration.

I’m sure I’ve bored everyone to death about my exercise experiences, but I’m rather proud of myself. In addition, it’s almost like I’m in a bubble when I’m on one of the machines and my earbuds are pumping out a really sick playlist. I’ve found that I can be more introspective while exercising. That helps me solve problems, be more creative and realize that I have feelings that I didn’t know I had. It actually gets pretty deep. I’m going to really try to get in more than two days a week. I want to do three days. When that happens, watch out world, my body will become a weapon of mass destruction that’s about to launch!

The Story of T & G

I’m feeling angry, hurt and mean this Sunday. Therefore, I revised this post with some visual aids. God(dess) will probably strike me dead for BEING that way.

I’m actually at a loss for words. It’s not that there aren’t enough; there are too many. I’ll start with the title and, perhaps, discuss its inspiration. BTW, for this post, and maybe for others, depending on how I feel, the bâtard is being named. I wish I knew the French words for “septic cunt” and “hagbeast” or even “hagfish” because I’d use them as well.

One, possibly two, people who read this blog know who I am in real life and that I am an aspiring online magazine publisher. I’ve been putting the building blocks in place to turn another blog I have into an online women’s magazine since last fall. My goal is to go live this year. I do have a more specific timetable, but that’s my other life and I don’t really want to talk much about it here.

My heart and soul are dying and my mind can’t hold me up on its own anymore. I can blame it on a week off my antidepressants and that would be partially accurate. However, the antidepressants only allow me to cope with real life and make better decisions (I hope). They don’t change what’s happened. Certainly, they don’t heal me in places I’m not totally sure anyone can, including me. My way of coping has always been sex, music or the written word. I was; I am; I will always be, a musician, even when my only instrument is my voice. I am and have always been, a writer, even without a pencil, paper or laptop. I have written countless stories in my head that never make it to paper because there’s no need. They were written by me for me.

I’ve been playing with an idea for the last few weeks that I’ve decided to follow through. I am going to write a book based on my truth about Glenn and me. It takes as long as it takes. What’s in it is in it. I don’t care who gets hurt as long as I can write the truth. I’ve got a lot of documentation in journals, letters, etc. I only wish I had a screen capture of his wifey-slime pretending to be him saying, “It was a joke” when referring to his supposed interest in becoming involved again after I’d poured my heart out to him. I think the only people who might understand how destroyed I was and still am are the readers here and my shrink. I’m not sure my shrink understands completely. Then again, she did understand that it was cruelty in the extreme, and one of her specialties is abuse, so I guess she must get something.

In the last two or three days I’ve gone from righteous anger to crumbling heap. I’m trying to get angry again so that it becomes a motivator for action. The problem is that when I’ve been angry I’ve also been the most hurt. I’m angry because of the things Glenn did that utterly and completely betrayed me for sport. I’m angry that he let that hagbeast be the one who was in on at least part of it with him, knowing that I detest her and have since I was 16-years-old and didn’t even know she was seeing him. I’m angry that we laid in bed together for 17 years and there was love. . . the love. He never professed love to me, but I most assuredly expressed mine to him. Even though I was sleeping with other people, there was no doubt that he was my heart. He brought me to life in a way no one ever had and no one has since. Sure, we’d get tired of each other at times, but in the end, even when I basically chased him for nearly two years, I believed it would be Glenn and me. I took “themeangirl” seriously, believe me. I watched them together and could read them and knew it would be a tough fight but that she would not be good for him in the end. Therefore, being angry with him also brings up the intense pain. The pain overcomes any benefit I could have received from the anger.

Photo of a toothed hagfish

This photo of a type of hagfish reminds me of stories told in some parts of the world about vaginas with teeth. That’s my image of the “hagbeast.”

The reason I was/am angry with Glenn is because he has yet to take any responsibility for anything. He’s a coward and what he and his hagbeast did was a twisted, sick thing. That’s not anger talking. That’s what I’d say if someone else told me that they’d been through what I have with him and the hagbeast. I have found ways to survive by running, closing myself off, crying myself to sleep and anything and everything else except drugs, although I have gotten drunk once or twice. OK, three times. Over the course of ten years, that’s not so bad. But it all has to end. I can’t do it anymore. I have things that need to be done in real life. The more I try to suppress what I feel about The Hagbeast, featuring GT as her apprentice, the sicker I will become. However, if I can write constructively and know that this is NOT my fault and that what was done was wrong, even though I already know that in my head, I have to believe I can heal.

I know that I’m no angel in this either. Hagbeast has had a ring through his nose for over 20 years. I don’t know if she knows that we were still sleeping together as late as four years after they were married and did so during her entire residency. However, I doubt things would have progressed as horribly as they did if he’d just not ignored me for two years and expected me to be in the same place when he decided to come back. I can understand him wanting to give his marriage a serious shot. I would have hated it, cried a lot, pleaded, bargained and did whatever I could. But in the end, I would have understood. This ain’t my first rodeo. But he just disappeared without a word. By the time he appeared again, he called me for phone sex. Ladies, I think you have some understanding of how . . . I don’t know . . . MIFFED I’d be about that. So I told him, “Sorry, but I am not currently sleeping with men.” He responded, “At all?!” “No. I am not having sex with men at all, nor getting them off online or on the phone.” *CLICK* He hung up on me. I was too pissed off then to regret what happened or realize how hurt he was–and he was definitely hurt–and that he’d loved me. Mom tried to tell me, but I learned to never trust anything unless he says it. He’d burned me too many times on that. Regardless, that’s when the foundations of my personal hell were laid. It took nine years and barely surviving a relative who tried to destroy me for me to come within hell’s reach. I needed Glenn again. He acted interested, but suspicious. I’d sensed someone else listening to us as he talked to me while driving down to Florida for a convention. I thought it was probably some male friend. Men are often jerks when they get together, so I just tried to pretend that I knew nothing.

By the time he arrived back home, he had a very special present waiting for him. First, a prelude.

I have loved Glenn my entire life minus 17 years. I loved him when I hated him and hated him when I’ve loved him. Hell, I love him NOW. However, when I found him and asked about resuming our involvement, I honestly thought the love had passed and that we could be good friends with benefits, meeting a few times a year to catch up on several levels, perhaps share a meal and go back to our own homes. I’d accepted, I thought, that he’d married someone else even if I detested her. Now, since she was such a hagbeast, I didn’t feel any guilt at all about shaking the chandelier with her husband. When Glenn opened up, we were great together. When he shut down, he was frustrating. He wasn’t all that happy about leaving me behind and he was lonely.

Image of a hagfish

Hagfish are real, slimy, disgusting but necessary. I apologize to any hagfish who were hurt by my bastardization of the name of your species.

I’ve loved him nearly as long as she theoretically had and I’d been the one to soothe him when she was being a right cold fish. He didn’t marry me because I’m his “Gregory.” That means that he didn’t love me quite as much as he did hagbeast just as I loved Glenn a little bit more than I loved Gregory. I also wasn’t going to make six figures coming out of training, thereby allowing him to set up his businesses without having to worry about his next meal. In addition, she was able-bodied. There’s nothing I can do about that, so she won. I don’t happen to think that being able-bodied should have been a criteria, but it was. What hurt so much is that anyone who has ever seen us together felt that they were in a room positively crackling with electricity. Given that, why does having an above-knee prosthesis on one leg make any difference? What difference does it make if I developed fibromyalgia? Apparently, a lot of difference. She’s better arm-candy, a better earner and doesn’t limp and spend much time as a patient in a hospital.

Well, as I said, by the time he got back from Florida and after talking to him a few times while he was down there, I decided to make a film of myself talking to him and telling him of this love that came rushing up from its hiding place out of my mind’s eye view. It was corny, I admit. The music in the background was Donny Hathaway singing his masterwork, A Song For You. But it fit.

Here are the lyrics.

A Song For You
Sung by Donny Hathaway

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

You taught me precious secrets of a true love witholding nothing
You came out in front when I was hiding
Now I’m so much better and if my words don’t come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for in my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song
Singing this song to you

A Song For You lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

You see, by that time, I’d been a journalist for three very busy years and had definitely gotten people’s attention. I was going a few places to conferences and such, talking to people active in black gay circles and in the Welcoming Congregation movement. Indeed, that’s how I made my bones. I covered the 2001 United Methodist Church General Conference. It was one thing after another. My adrenaline was pumping and I was taking pictures and conducting interviews with people I would never have been able to get next to otherwise. I was in heaven! I attended the First Annual National Black Lesbian Conference where I watched an organization being born. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful experience. I got mobbed by the women when they found out who I was.

The lyrics to A Song For You say:

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I really had lived my life on a stage of sorts. Mine was the digital and glossy paper stage. I’d written a lot of stories about a lot of people and organizations and they really were my life. To my great surprise, people knew who I was and appreciated my work. But I chose to sit on my office floor, with a cigarette (to keep me calm because I was scared to death) and told the absolute truth. I didn’t realize how much I still loved him when I contacted him and that these feelings came up almost the moment I began talking to him. I loved him regardless of his situation. We figured things out once and we could do it again.

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I apologized for the way I told him I was, for all intents and purposes, a lesbian. I should have been more sensitive to his feelings because we had such a long and storied history. I told him that he had me if he wanted me and that I wanted him. I opened up completely. I was totally vulnerable.

I didn’t hear from him for two days. I finally caught up with someone I thought was him but, as it turned out, it was the hagbeast. I asked if he liked the movie. The reply was “No.” I said something like “Oh.” Some other thing happened that I can’t remember except that it made me go cold inside and my stomach clench. That’s when I first got a clue it wasn’t Glenn. He’d never talked to me that way. I ran to my bedroom to phone him and tell him that his wife was online pretending to be him and saying whatever else she said besides “It was a joke.” There was no answer. It is only recently that I’ve accepted that this is what happened. I didn’t want to believe that the hagbeast had that much evil in her. Certainly, I didn’t want to believe that Glenn was complicit in her games. It led me to wonder if they plotted the entire thing and laughed at me while they did it. I picture them making love while making fun of me. Even now, the humiliation is such that I really and truly want to die. No kidding. No exaggeration. If someone shot me right now, I would thank them. The only reason I don’t do it myself is because of my girls. They need me. Even an empty shell of a person is better than what would await them at the local shelter. So I live.

I don’t know how I’m going to get through writing this, but I will. I doubt it will be ready for submission even next year. So, I’m looking at two years. I’ve got to keep myself alive for at least two years. OK.

As the watchful eye of Mother Earth is my witness, I just want to die and get it over with, but I can’t. My babies need me.

Shit.

Congratulations if you’ve managed to get this far! For your efforts, I want to reveal two photos I sent to Glenn yesterday and last night.

A picture of my arm showing severe self-inflicted burns on my arm

This is a photo I sent Glenn so that he can see that I was in so much agony there were no words. The only way I could express myself was to burn myself almost to the bone and cut. I did this after the “It was a joke” comment.

Photo of a paper plate with 3 bacon strips next to a paper plate with a stack of pancakes with a dinner knife connecting the two. There are assorted food items in the background.

This photo is filled with symbolism. Some of it would only be evident to someone who knows me. I sent this to him with a letter telling him that I’m writing our story.

Recovery: man v. manchild

I have considered writing about my recent activities for several days now. My problem was that I was too involved and too confused to make any sense. I couldn’t formulate my thoughts so that they made sense to me. How could I write something that would be understood by someone else? I have a large vocabulary, but I have feelings with no words to describe them. One would think I’d be able to find some word among so many thousands to say, “I feel X.” Even now, the words do not come easily. I am going to delve into my former lover’s, Glenn’s, behavior and my reactions as compared to a dear friend who happens to be male who confirmed what I’ve known in my heart for a long time and what I’ve only just realized.

I’ve noticed that I tend to write to Glenn when there’s some sort of “issue” in my present life that makes me sad. If I had to voice a reason, I’d say that it’s because he reminds me of happier times; he is someone who helped me at an absolutely critical time in my life that no one else could have handled, and; I just want him. When all is said and done, it’s the fact that I want him that is uppermost in my being. The other reasons are valid, but aren’t quite as important.

February is a tricky month this year. My mother’s birthday is on the 22nd and she died last year on the 27th. She had five days to be 86 years old. She’d been the matriarch of our family for nearly four years, but she’d never exercised the privilege that came with it. That was reserved for yours truly, who bore the full brunt of her need to be constantly honored. I am not that kind of person, which lead to many an argument. However, that is a topic for a different post. The most important thing to know about her in this one is that I missed my mother terribly, and; I’d finally hit the wall in my suppressed frustration with her estate and all of the stress it was causing because of her absolutely asinine decisions. I spent a half hour the other day screaming and yelling at the ceiling practically out of my mind with rage because she’d left me to clean up her mess–one that has very long-term consequences for me. I know she was sick even if she refused to acknowledge it and threatened me when I tried to get her help. I have extremely good reason to be furious with her even though I miss other things about her. I understand that it’s not unusual to carry both anger and longing for a recently deceased loved one. Thank Goddess for shrinks because I would have felt abnormal and incredibly guilty if I hadn’t been told my feelings are fairly normal.

For reasons I do not remember, I began to think about Glenn. I was, and am, so angry with him for what he did to me that I have to talk myself out of sending him nasty e-mail on a daily basis these days. Besides my mother’s pedophile second husband and the man I was seeing in undergrad who raped me, Glenn set up the cruelest, sickest, most twisted and most non-consensually sadistic episode I’ve ever experienced. It led to spending four days in an ICU bed because I tried to suicide after he’d left me in disbelief, humiliation, self-hatred and utter, utter despair; my mother losing her fucking mind and attacking me while in ICU necessitating her banishment from both the medical hospital and the psych hospital where I was sent; wanting little to do with men for the last decade, including my own family members, and; on those days when I do think of it, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, ugliness and shame. Glenn knows this and just doesn’t give a damn. He and that female he married who was in on the “joke” perpetrated the perfect mindfuck. That is their specialty. They thrived on mutual mindfucks when in college. She is an archetypical “mean girl” and he, like every bully and abuser, needs to feel in control and powerful. I’ve suspected for some time now that he has his own abuse issues that he doesn’t deal with well, if at all. He finds a person’s weakness and exploits it. With me, there were several things to exploit. The first was the fact that I’ve loved him for all but 17 years of my life, then; a birth defect that made one leg considerably shorter than the other, necessitating a prosthesis; other health issues like fibromyalgia, and, finally; my weight. (Oddly enough, we were lovers for 17 years, too. That’s just a coincidence with the numbers, I suppose.) He did the same thing before we first got together. It took me the better part of two years of enduring his shit before he made a decision that I was worth having, finally bedded me and began to treat me fairly well to very well.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

I admit to being a late-comer to Eminem. I liked some of his music, but tended to look at him askance due to the homophobia the character Slim Shady spouted and the vulgarity of his lyrics. The latter is a bit hypocritical because I have a mouth like a sailor when I’m angry and don’t feel like holding back. As time has gone on, I’ve come to appreciate Eminem more. I am especially fond of his 2010 CD Recovery which contains a track with Rihanna called Love The Way You Lie about an abusive and dysfunctional relationship. I wish I could sit her in a room and make her listen to that track a zillion times so she can come to her senses and give up on that messed up child, Chris Brown. I think of the young women who will emulate her and I am very concerned.

I feel as though the lyrics quoted above are words emanating from my psyche relative to Glenn. My feelings aren’t healthy at all. So many people have told me that he’s a little shit, but they also had something of a conflict of interest. I have tried to get him to tell me why he did what he did for a decade so that I can move on. I’d also hoped that whatever he said would help me stop feeling as though I’d done something to deserve it. I have been able to tease a few things out that I would bet the remainder of my life are true. First, regarding his marriage, I believe he didn’t choose me because I have a rare disability and no one really knows what my future holds. He’s a record producer, DJ and manager. He believes that he has to project a certain image. Right now, he’s like carved marble. Indeed, he’s much more attractive now than he was as a younger man. I’m not the right arm candy. I have a pronounced limp and I’m Rubenesque. I also can’t dance because I risk ending up on the floor. I think he finds me embarrassing. It really took going back in my memory, but we were rarely seen together with people who know him. The only time he took me out with his friends (as opposed to our mutual friends) when I went to see him was the night we had dinner in the city right before he told me he was marrying that puta. I had absolutely NO idea that was coming. I thought it was the exact opposite, in fact. I was rather blindsided, to say the least.

Secondly, that woman he married is a physician in a very high salaried specialty. Even if I’d graduated law school I wouldn’t make the kind of money she does. I would if I did personal injury, but that’s not what I wanted to do. Neither did I want to work for one of the big law firms with offices in the U.S. and other countries. I wanted to practice criminal and intellectual property. The latter gets a pretty penny, but not as much as the good doctor. His business was more than likely funded by her, at least at first. Now, had he stayed with me and married me, Daddy would have gotten him started by introducing him to the right people. I remembered telling him about Glenn, in fact. He wasn’t impressed. With his background, I understand. However, he also wasn’t going to let me live in relative poverty, so he’d have helped Glenn for my sake. Ironically, I refused to ask my family for help unless my back was against the wall. I wanted to do things on my own.

I have a dear friend from high school, David, who was run down by a driver while biking his way to work. When I first heard about it, I was out the door the next day and went to see him in ICU. He looked terrible. I could tell from what I saw approximately what his injuries were. It was a major miracle that he lived. This was confirmed by one of the floor nurses. Had he not already been in great shape, he would have died. I hadn’t seen David in about 12 to 15 years, but that didn’t matter. He was still my dear friend and I could help him. I’ve spent my entire life in the medical system and know more than a thing or two about it. I promised David that I would see him through rehab for as long as I am in town. Then, I first got some sort of bug that turned into bronchitis and aggravated the asthma with which I was just diagnosed about two years ago and the asthma aggravated the bronchitis. Fun times! After that, my mother’s estate struck again and, for reasons that are too detailed to explain, left me without transportation. The upshot is that I didn’t see David for two months, he couldn’t talk on the phone because he was on a ventilator and is only recently able to speak on the phone after being weaned from the vent.

David is an incredibly brave, resolute, kind and loving person who is, in turn, loved by many people. He was my secret crush in high school, in fact. He is handling the changes in his life better than anyone had any right to expect. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he is. It is so much harder for someone who has a traumatic disability than for someone born with one. I, for example, don’t know what it’s like to have two legs of the same length. Therefore, although I can imagine the things I would have done and would still do, I have no experiential knowledge to miss.

Today I was finally able to drive my vehicle without fearing getting stopped again. My attorney found a creative way around some probate law and, after last minute frustration with the BMV, I became street legal again. (YAY!!!) The first person I went to see was David. I was beyond happy with the progress he’d made. I’d been worried about him because I couldn’t make sure that everything was as it should be for him because, last I saw him, he wasn’t in a position to advocate for himself. Fortunately, our group of friends has stuck together even though many of us have not seen each other in *mumble* years. Our experiences forged life-long loyalties and bonds. I ended up in tears of both happiness for David and anguish for myself. Seeing David, I realized the man that Glenn isn’t. The contrast hit me over the head like a sledgehammer. I was in tears so that I had to leave the room, actually. Fifty percent were tears of joy and 50% were tears of heartbreak. Truth be told, if it wouldn’t have been bad for David, I would have sobbed huge sobs of heartbreak sitting beside his bed.

I needed a man’s opinion, so I told David about Glenn and what he’d done to me. He was nice and said that Glenn was an immature asshole and, no, I didn’t do anything to deserve what he did. He also said that I can’t worry about Glenn’s motives because there’s nothing I can do. He chose to do what he did and it was uncalled for. He further said that we love people and we can only hope that they love us in a similar fashion. If they don’t, then you have to worry about yourself. I got over Glenn marrying someone else a while ago in the sense that I didn’t want him full time and having someone else would be a good thing even though I do not like this puta all on her own. However, the reasons . . . I don’t have the words to describe how profoundly hurt I feel. The reason I know why he did it is because he began our relationship with issues about my disability. He’s the only person I’ve ever been with who placed so much emphasis on my physical limitations. I, in turn, put too much emphasis on the fact that he is one of the extremely few people who is an intellectual match. I’ve found more women who match me intellectually than I have men. I don’t know why.

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight
High off of love, drunk from my hate,
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me
She fucking hates me and I love it.

I know Glenn was, at best, confused when I told him so long ago that I wasn’t sleeping with men anymore. He didn’t know what to say, so he hung up on me. I’ve been trying to put myself in his place and I can understand why he’d feel as though there was some level of dishonesty in all the years we were together. There wasn’t. Plus, he and I had talked about the fact that I liked women. There is a big difference between theoretically liking women and actually doing something about it. I believe that a large part of what he did to me was revenge. After he got his revenge–and still gets it with each day–he simply couldn’t care less about me other than the fact that I feed his need to see me in pain. He loved me. It took me a very long time to realize that, but he did. His answer for the pain he felt was to hurt me back at least twice as badly. Revenge is a zero sum game. It is very tempting to play and does offer a measure of satisfaction. However, someone who can feel empathy isn’t going to find revenge ultimately fulfilling. By hurting me, he feels a sense of control. By leaving me dangling, he’s watching my pain and feeling powerful.

Glenn is not a man. A grown man would never have done this heinous thing to me, certainly not after 17 years of being lovers and more. A man would, at the very least, apologize after driving someone to commit suicide and damn near succeeding. I didn’t intend to live at all. I hated the fact that I was alive. I hated him. I hated myself. I hated the thought of trying and not succeeding again even more, so that was it. That wasn’t the end of the self-harm, but it was the end of the suicide attempts.

I’ve recently learned that Glenn has a son now, I’ll refer to him as “Oscar.” This is not good. There is no one in that household to teach him how to be a straight up man. If anything, Glenn will teach him how to be non-committal and talk around those issues girls and women rightly want to discuss. Oscar will probably grow up to be like some jocks I happened across in high school one afternoon. I was walking up one of the entrance ramps coming from somewhere, I think the backstage area of the auditorium. At the top of the ramp where it intersects the main first floor hallway, I saw these two jerks with letterman jackets teasing and physically abusing a developmentally disabled girl. I was furious! Needless to say, I made them stop and made sure that the girl was alright physically if not emotionally. I then reported their sorry asses to security. I can easily see Glenn doing that and teaching his kid the amorality that underlies such despicable behavior. Oscar’s sister, who’s name I’ve forgotten, will most definitely grow up to be one of the “mean girls.” She’s got her mother to emulate. That shit would never happen if those were my kids. It is impossible to teach a child empathy if the parents believe the only people who matter are them and theirs. It is impossible to teach kindness and courage if the parents are hiding their own cowardice and narcissism behind cruelty. Lord help anyone who becomes involved with them. A second generation of Thorntons down the tubes.

It’s clear to me now that I don’t want Glenn. I don’t respect him as a man because he’s not a man. He is a manchild. If he hasn’t grown up by now, he never will. I’m not going to be his emotional punching bag anymore. When I compare him to David, Glenn isn’t good enough to kiss his big toe. They are on two entirely different planes of maturity. A man takes care of his business, including cleaning up the messes he creates. Glenn won’t. His way of dealing is to NOT deal and find some reason that justifies his actions. No, that is not a man. It is a sad little boy in a $150 tank top. Writing that should lift a weight from my shoulders, but it doesn’t. I am completely and thoroughly disappointed in him and in myself. Why I’d be disappointed in him is obvious. I am disappointed in myself because I allowed my love to blind me. I was aware of his faults, but I made excuses for him. If not excuses, rationalizations. In this instance, Ocam’s Razor applies. The situation is exactly as it appears and Glenn is the person he has shown himself to be.

I will see him once again to be sure, but I think this is the end. I am in a great deal of emotional pain, but I will survive. It’s what I do.

Sick+Tired=Sick AND Tired

So many thoughts permeate my brain even though I’ve got a riproaring headache of a kind I seldom get. I really shouldn’t feel the headache given that I’ve taken my nightly pain meds. And yet I do.

I’ve been sick for just about three weeks now. I was diagnosed with borderline severe asthma about 18 months ago and bronchitis is hitting me with an unforgiving hammer. Thankfully, the asthma doesn’t seem to be related to my four-legged family. Even if it were, I’d just have to cope because they really are my family. We humans cannot be separated from our other human family members no matter how much we may wish we could. Why on earth should I feel any differently about the four-legged family? This bunch has helped me survive a hell of a lot more than my human relatives. The unconditional love I receive and try to return is simply amazing. I am alive because I could not bear the thought of my girls wondering what happened to me and asking themselves why I’m not coming back. I must live because I promised them a home for life. I have every intention of keeping that promise.

The six month “anniversary” of my mother’s death will be upon me in ten days. There is an enormous part of me that is walled off because I just can’t deal with the grief right now. I’ve only broken down once since Mom’s memorial service last March. Once! I know what kind of pain lies behind that wall and beyond my reach. It is a devastation that needs to pour on to this dry earth that is my consciousness. I know that I am not able to will it so. Nevertheless, please, for God’s sake, pour onto me like the Nile pours its nutrient-rich soil onto the surrounding delta, allowing plants to grow and feed a nation. The most important relationship I will ever have is over because the other half of the pair has died. There is no second chance to get it right in this lifetime. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I will do so in the next. My mother died not knowing whether I loved her. I understand why she would question my love because she really did do something nearly unforgivable. I never got a chance to tell her that I really and truly do forgive her. How do I make this right? I can’t.

I have found that I am becoming an adult at the ripe age of five decades. (I put it that way because I just can’t believe the actual number.) My mother infantilized me by never taking me seriously as an adult. I couldn’t possibly be right about anything in her mind. Unfortunately, I was right way too often for either of our tastes. I don’t know how to describe the financial mess she left. I am only scratching the surface. There’s a whole file cabinet filled with things I haven’t had the emotional energy to peruse. She needed a guardian badly. I tried to take some of the weight off but she lied to me about financial matters on a regular basis. It’s my fault. I just couldn’t stand seeing this woman who’d shrunk about five inches due to osteoporosis fold in on herself and plead, in the most desperate and quiet voice, not to wrest control from her. At that moment, she was the one infantilized. I hope and pray that I didn’t make her that way. I’m not sure I could forgive myself.

Still, my mother regularly threatened to throw me out of her house when I insisted on thinking and acting in a manner that suited me, an adult woman, and not a five-year-old child. I constantly had to watch what I said around her because, in her mind, anything short of kissing her ass was a lack of respect. So, because there was no way I could support myself on a disability check alone, I did what I had to do: anything short of ass-kissing, although it came within millimeters. She could be mean and spiteful. Indeed, truly hateful. She tried to tell me that my father tried to molest me when I know for an absolute fact that he would never, and did never, lay an inappropriate hand on me. No, that task fell to her second husband and she let it happen. That’s the thing that was unforgivable. She knew and she allowed it to go on due to her own pathology.

I feel guilty because there were times when I had to verbally smack my mother down. About every six months or so, she’d work my last nerve and I’d retreat to my bedroom–the only room with a lock on the door. She’d often follow me and call me names you’d call a whore in the street when she rolled a date. I don’t miss those arguments at all. In fact, I don’t miss the near-ass kissing either. It feels so good to be an adult for the first time in my life. I’m pretty sure that my maturation stopped around 35 years old. I feel like a 35-year-old most of the time. At other times, I feel like I’m a 30-year-old. I have more empathy now with transgender people. They look in the mirror every day and are astonished at the face looking back. This shell of a body that doesn’t work properly can’t be me. I am so completely disconnected from my physical self that I am a stranger. There’s a song I heard on, of all places, the daytime drama General Hospital. It’s called Stranger In My Skin and is sung by Christine Dente. I was lucky to find it on iTunes. It’s quite haunting, as though Evenescence had a hand in it.

Finally, I come to another sad end. For the first time since I was 16 years old, I don’t want Glenn. It is at once freeing and isolating. Loving him was so much a part of who I am. When he made the choice to marry someone else, then keep seeing me (with my blessing, I might add), and then doing something so vicious, cruel and inhumane to me I can’t even write it, he changed both of our lives forever. In reality, he changed our lives when he chose to marry Dr. H. Bitch instead of me even though I didn’t realize then what a profound affect it had on us both. He’s trapped, whether he wants to be or not, and; he and his wife inflicted a wound that has festered for approximately seven years. It was intended to be one of their mindfucks. Instead, it was no less than a mindRAPE! It was toxic, but it, too, became a part of me.

Removing Glenn from my emotional being leaves me with a hole I have no idea how to fill. As an adult, I can go out to bars (something I’m not really into) and enjoy the drag king/queen shows, meet people and socialize. I can even bring someone home now should I choose to do so. I’ve tried Match.com only to end up with some guy in Nigeria who claimed after a week that he was in love with me and could I please send him money so he and his son could eat because, see, he was over there in Africa building a road and, like, he’d stay up late to chat with me while his son slept in the other room and, so, somehow, he wasn’t getting paid enough by his employer and he was afraid because, like, he didn’t know how to feed himself and his son. Yeah, right! Keep movin’ buddy-boy! I just can’t wait to see my next phone bill because he sent a ton of international texts. OY!

The fact of the matter is this: Right now, at 5:35a Eastern, my body is in pain; I’m emotionally and physically exhausted; I am empty of any illusions about Glenn (really Faux Glenn) and why he and his wife did such a horrible thing that nearly cost me my life in the nuclear emotional fallout that followed; I both miss my mother and feel guilty because, for the first time in about 30 years, there is peace in this dwelling I’ve hated for so long.

I want to ask something I don’t think I’ve ever asked on this blog. I am in dire need of good energy. I don’t care if it’s in the form of a prayer or if you visualize fireworks. I really, really need positive energy to flow my way so that I can absorb it and be replenished.

I can’t write anymore. I am so very tired. I am going to sleep and hope like hell my body and mind begin to heal. Thank you for reading this rather long and rambling post. G’morning!

A Secret Uncovered

I’ve actually been too depressed to post. My plan had been to come back and tell the tale of how convoluted my feelings are because I turned Glenn loose and told him that, if he wanted me, he knew where to find me, but that I couldn’t carry this weight alone anymore. I am going to be in his neck of the woods the first weekend in October for a series of dog shows. That’s how we were able to continue after he married his presumptive current wife. Between visiting friends and dog shows, I was up and down the Boston to D.C. corridor. We’d arrange to meet whenever I was within a couple hundred miles.

Then tonight, out of the blue, something hit me square in the face. Although I thought I’d figured out most of what happened between us, there was still the lingering question of why. I had the basics right, but it goes even further. Glenn and his wife are evading taxes by claiming his business, which I’m very sure she funded, as a money-losing endeavor. She’s a doctor in a specialty that carries very high malpractice premiums. What better way to get at least some of that money back? I’m just pissed I didn’t see it sooner.

I am presenting a redacted version of the letter I wrote and e-mailed to Glenn. I am only redacting those parts that could reveal my identity, including some information about my father. In Daddy’s case, I’m not sure all of the people who could conceivably go to prison are dead yet. Actually, I’m hoping they aren’t. Whatever the case, I have to redact some of his information too. In addition, I’m taking a page from Daddy’s book. Namely, always have some leverage because it can keep you alive. I’m in no way spouting hyperbole. After Glenn gets my letter, I have no doubt that he will attempt, yet again, to threaten me. The first time was simply his imagination working overtime. This time, he’s got a reason.

My father would be very disappointed in me for taking this long to see what was right there in front of my face. You’re laundering that HUMAN bitch’s salary. Yep, that’s right. I have more respect for my four-legged bitches that I do for your necessary wife. In fact, the two of you need each other. You need her to fund [name of Glenn’s indy label] and she needs you to provide a faux tax shelter. I’ve always known that she was funding you, that’s not news. But being my father’s daughter, although I look like Mommy, I should have seen this in glaring neon yellow. Let me school you, HUMAN bitches, about who my father was.

Both had your minds on other things when the [metro area in which I live] mob wars broke out. You were on the east coast probably taking your PSATs and may not have even thought about [college where I did my freshman year and from which Glenn and his *spit* wife graduated] then. Suffice it to say, the government was deeply interested. Daddy was, by profession, an accountant. He graduated from a college that’s now part of [local university that is very highly ranked among universities and colleges] with a degree in Accounting. Mom never told me who paid for Daddy’s education, but I have my own ideas about that. None of us ever discussed what Daddy did once he became legit. He even had a way to do that, bless his heart. Yep, I am Daddy’s little love all the way. That’s why I’m bordering on being both pleased with my discovery AND pissed off that I missed it for so long.

When we were in kindergarten and 1st grade, this nation’s ghettos burned. But before that, in the early to just-barely-late 60s, segregation wasn’t a bad thing in many ways. Daddy started working for the Jewish mob as a teenager in the very early 40s. He was an only son, but I think he may not have contested the draft. There was a lot of money to be made if you had the right connections and he did. His first job was running numbers. The Jewish mob here had the numbers racket more or less sewn up. I won’t say what Daddy had to do to move through the ranks after he came back because there aren’t statutes of limitation on what are probably technically still open crimes. I don’t want Feds knocking on my door expecting the full run down. For one thing, I’m not certain I know the entire thing. In fact, I doubt that I do. Second, even though Daddy’s dead, there are others who aren’t. I told you that I see most things as grey. Now you may understand why.

I’m skipping a decade or so to get to the good part. So, as I said, Daddy worked for the Jewish mob run by [name of now-dead racketeer who ran the Jewish mob here]. I’m not sure the spelling is right, but it will do. You know how any fool over 30 who’s managed to sling drugs to little kids calls himself an “OG”? Ha! They don’t even know what an OG is! Daddy was what one would call an OG and, buried in some very dusty file that hasn’t been seen in 30 years, there’s probably the documentation to prove it. He had to do a stint in federal prison at some point, however, that mysteriously went away. I do know how, but, my lips are so glued shut. *gringiggle* (I’m sorry. I’m just way too tickled to FINALLY have everything make sense.) It’s only natural that, given his vocation at that time, that he’d spend a stint inside. In truth, I’m just glad that he made it out alive. He, on the other hand, was quite ashamed of the things he’d done. He would hate that I know about some of them. And since I could usually tell what was going to get Daddy maudlin, I kept my mouth shut for the ten years or so I had him after throwing off [my] mother’s deep and abiding pain from being married to him for almost twenty years. Actually, I think they may have been married almost exactly 20 years, but were separated when I was conceived. At any rate, she made sure that I was terrified of him. He didn’t help matters either, but he made all of that up to me and more. I have never had a better friend than my father. And, to be honest, I’m very proud of him. He was brilliant. Back to [now dead Jewish mob boss].

The club scene in [my metro area] was red hot. Daddy, as I said, had received the best education possible by graduating from what is now [local university mentioned above]. He had two specialties, only one of which is germane to this letter. He moved money around so that NO ONE except him knew where it was exactly, including and especially, the Feds. Aside from being an accountant, Daddy managed a club called [name of famed jazz/soul club]. [Geographically identifying information redacted along with some names]. Daddy did occasionally come around IF my mother allowed it. There was a barmaid I so wanted Daddy to marry even as a little girl, but she died of breast or ovarian cancer many years before Daddy and I got back in touch. I cried about Janice when I heard of her death. She was a sweetheart and smart. His common law wife was as dumb as a doorknob, but she [redacted a common statement in black communities concerning fair-skinned blacks] as the saying goes. In his mind, that made up for it. If you remember, Mommy was about [HUMAN bitch’s first name] color when it was said and done, but started out about a shade or two lighter-skinned and, without a doubt, no one’s dummy. Daddy was a “little” colorist because he hated being what is to me a dark milk chocolate. Since he grew up in a very segregated Alabama and was illegitimate to boot, I understand.

Aaah, this is something you’d like, Glenn, but you might just kick yourself for being short-sighted and, I don’t know, thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be on your arm because of my pronounced limp even though I could do things in bed because of that shorter leg that it’s more difficult for someone with two full-length legs to do. But, there were things that I can’t, and couldn’t, do too. It was and remains a trade-off. Whatever. Back to the story.

You see, because Daddy managed [name of club], he knew EVERYBODY in the world of black music. If they have not been damaged by a leaking roof, I have autographed pictures of The Temptations, The Four Tops (I think), Dionne Warwick and Nancy Wilson. I’ve already shared the story on one of my blogs about Daddy sending Carmen McRae, the jazz vocalist, to me as a present because I loved her music as a wee one. He did, though. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at home. However, it’s the only time Mommy has ever praised his parenting skills. She knew about Ms. McRae because she’s the one who answered the door. When I think of all the trim Daddy probably got, it puts you to shame, dear heart. I don’t mean that in a nasty way, honestly. I am simply using you as a point of reference. Daddy was smooooth in ways that only nature provides. Women just instinctively loved him. My mother had loved him since she was 13 years old. She married him when she was 21. Hmm, now you see where I get my penchant for long-term relationships. Had you stayed with me, Daddy would have helped you get started and taught you what you needed to know. I’d already told him about you. He was suspicious that you were going to break my heart. How right he was! You’d better be glad that Daddy died when I was 25, or that other specialty that I purposely didn’t mention is one with which you would have come up close and personal. The best thing is that neither of us would have seen it coming and Daddy would have been in the clear. Actually, he probably wouldn’t have done anything too lasting because that would have risked his relationship with me. However, if he’d been alive when you pretended to want to get back together until you or your surrogate told me online (which is why I know it wasn’t something you necessarily wanted) that it was all a joke, leading to my suicide attempt that came within a hair’s breadth of working, solving the murder of Jimmy Hoffa would have been easier than finding all of your body.

Right now, I don’t know who I’m more pissed off with: you, that HUMAN bitch you married or myself. This is so fucking obvious! You two are wedded forever because of mutual need. [Glenn’s indy label] needs to lose money, at least on paper, so that Dr. H. Bitch can offset her insurance premiums which are through the roof due to her specialty. I was the sacrificial lamb in all of this. I may be thoroughly and completely pissed off with both of you, but I’m not making any rash decisions except one which is literally a matter of survival. Within 24 hours, there will be too many people who know about what you’re doing to harm a hair on my head unless you REALLY want to go to prison, and I don’t mean for simply evading taxes. If anything at all happens to me from now until I am placed naturally in the grave, YOU will *BOTH* be under scrutiny that you can’t withstand. I’m so blessed to have a very prominent family on my mother’s side and a certain respect for the real OGs left in the world, of which there are few, on my father’s side. From what I’ve been told in the last two years, I’ve got protection I don’t even know about. Nevertheless, I do know where to start looking if need be.

Just to make it plain:

1) There will be no physical or emotional harm to me
2) There will be no physical or emotional harm to anyone close to me, including and *especially* my girls
3) I will tip the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation off if ANYTHING looks just a wee bit off
4) In case I should die or “disappear” before I get to the IRS and/or FBI, even if it looks like a suicide, God. Help. You.
5) Thank goodness for people on both sides of the legal fence

Can I get an amen?

What you have both done to me is beyond cruel, as my shrink put it today. And you, Mr. High-and-Mighty, telling me when I offered a kind gesture that you couldn’t be bought. Honey, everyone has their price and your wife seems to have known what yours was. Ya shoulda stayed with me, kiddo! For damn sure, you should have never, ever been cruel, or beyond cruel, to me. I’d done nothing to deserve it. And, I was *sick* you bastard! It just never crossed your mind that something else was going on because your view of humanity is so goddamned warped that I *had* to have another agenda. I pity you.

Random but Relevant

Carmen McRae-The Great American Songbook

Carmen McRae from her CD, The Great American Songbook

I was about to put my laptop on my nightstand when Ms. McRae began singing What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? and I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good. I thought that may be a clue to relate a short story about the great singer.

Music and nightclubs are in my blood bigtime. One day, I’ll be able to tell the whole story. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be until everyone who could go to prison is dead, which kind of sucks massively.

I was always a rather precocious child. At 4 years old I loved Carmen McRae when I heard her albums. (Young ‘uns, CDs were not always around. They are recent and vinyl does sound better in some ways, but that’s my opinion.) Well, through a set of circumstances not all that important, she, like most women, was crazy about my dad. Mommy and Daddy were separated, although I wasn’t sure what that meant. Daddy sent Ms. McRae to our house as a present for me while she was in town. The sucky part is that I wasn’t home. I was probably at nursery school or visiting my grandmother who, I might add, detested Daddy. Actually, it was only Mom’s three brothers who really liked him, that is, until someone needed something. Then, Daddy was great.

This is a great memory to go along with the autographed photos of The Temptations and either The Four Tops or The Supremes or both. I think I vaguely remember meeting the guy with the incredible bass/baritone from The Four Tops. Oh! I do remember having an autographed photo of Dionne Warrick, too. I’m hoping that all of those photos have been saved from water damage when our roof sprang a leak while I was in undergrad. My sofa is blocking the cubby and I barely have enough room to maneuver as it is. Moving that sofa is not feasible until I get the rest of the stuff out of there. It was all Mommy’s and may yet have discoveries to be made.

*OnX prays to the Lord above for another insurance policy buried in the file cabinets*

Anyway, my mother was fond of recalling the Carmen McRae story. She was impressed that Daddy had talked about me so much to this wonderful, celebrated woman I adored. I didn’t see my mother impressed with Daddy’s parenting skills until I was in my late teens through mid-20s when he died. I never told her, but he saved my life–the life she’d screwed up with her second husband, the pedophile/batterer. I can only imagine what he said to her when he I told him, which wasn’t until I was barely out of undergrad and Mom was driving me out of my tortured mind. When I did, he cried like a baby and I felt like crap. I told him because I wanted him to know me and what was going on. I needed support because I wasn’t exactly getting much at home. The reaction of those who are told is, I do believe, the biggest impediment to disclosure by the victims. They can’t become survivors unless they disclose.

There has not been a day that’s gone by since Daddy died in 1987 that I haven’t missed him terribly. He was one of my very, very best friends. I told him almost everything unless I knew he’d have apoplexy. Hmm, running into STFU territory now, so I’ll leave it at that.

I love you, Daddy. I don’t care what you did. No matter what you say, I will always, always love you for the man you were with me and the one you became. I especially liked teasing you when you were grumpy and making you smile. Save a seat for me because I plan to be right up there next to you one day listening to the Great Gig in the Sky. You died far too soon. There was so much I could have learned from you. I’m sorry I didn’t break free earlier. I will always regret letting Mommy make me afraid of you. Funny, I thought about putting her urn on the other side of my dresser, but you two would continually argue and add to the evil vibes already here. Somehow, I think you both prefer the arrangement I have for you.

Be well, Daddy, and be happy. You may have thought you were going elsewhere, but I know you’re in whatever passes for what we call “heaven.” Be nice to Mom. I tell her to be nice to you, too. Somehow, I think she’s probably still perturbed with you, but make your peace so that I don’t have to referee when I get up there. I’ll hug you until I make you give me one of your infamous belly laughs and take your baret off to kiss your incredibly cute bald head.

I could use your help in finding John. Can you whisper in his ear and tell him I’m looking for him? Alternatively, please tell me what last name he’s using. Otherwise, I’m going to have to make a whole lot of calls I don’t want to make to find him. Be proud of your son. I don’t care what Mom says. Yeah, you hurt her, but you did the right thing, too. Pat yourself on the back for once, ‘k?

Your little love,

Me