Tag Archives: sexual abuse

I feel change a comin’

I should be in my bed working on sleeping right now. I have a lot to do tomorrow, most of it having to do with the upcoming photo shoot. I’ve decided to really embrace it, especially since I can do a couple of different sets of photos at a time. I need to make sure that there is enough product to see me through August. That means I’m going to have to invest more money to make more money. Right now, I’m just tired. It all seems like an enormous deal when it really isn’t.

I’ve been thinking about moving out of the state for the last week. Granted, I’ve actually been thinking about it more on than off for over a year. Then, I realized that I don’t want to leave this city. I love it. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love the city to which I’m considering moving, because I have a feeling that I might (if I can get over my fear of snakes). But this will always be home. It doesn’t matter what relatives are alive or dead, this is home for me.

The real reason I’ve been thinking more favorably about moving is that I’ve changed. I’m trying really hard to wrap my head around it, but I think I’ve moved over to about a 3 on the Kinsey Scale. That means I’m more heterosexual than homosexual. I don’t know exactly how or when that happened, but it has. I’m not straight, just more interested in men. The area I would move to has a thriving tech industry that’s growing. With them comes an overflow of men. The thing is, everyone I know in the area knows me as a female-focused bi woman or as a lesbian. They’d get a bit of a shock were they to experience me as I am now. Do I really want to deal with that drama? No! I’m sick of drama. In fact, I’m going to be exorcising this blog of all the drama in the form of a couple of tags and categories because I want to reclaim my blog as my own. I feel that it’s been sullied by being viewed by TEWSNBN, who I’d like to go away now and come back in a couple of years. Better yet, don’t come back here. Let my lawyer deal with his lawyer if he just has to. Stupid move, but it’s his choice. I want to get back to being open about who I am, what’s going on with my life and feeling OK about writing the same. Right now, I feel somewhat violated.

The other thing about the area I’m considering is that it’s in the real South. There is most definitely something to be said about southern gentlemen. I’ve met a number of them. With few exceptions, they treat women a lot better than those in the North. I’m tired of being treated like crap because I’m not het. It is very painful to have someone you trust spew venomous words at you because he can’t take being told “No” because I am not into men. On the surface, this makes no sense. The South is the Bible Belt and I’m only going to get more abuse from the men down there when I reveal that I am not straight. Maybe. Maybe not. The people moving into the area aren’t necessarily of the Bible Belt variety. But if they aren’t, aren’t they the ones I’d be running from up here? I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers yet. I just know that I’ve had enough abuse of the emotional and sexual varieties to last three lifetimes. That isn’t hyperbole. I wish it was. That’s why this book is so important for me. I can think of a couple of different ways to write it, but I need to do some other things before I even begin to think about it. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about it, but at least I know that there are other priorities and this needs to sit on the shelf for a few months. I’ll make my notes and come back to them when I can.

Someone told me that I have a life to live. Yeah, I guess they’re right. I’m going to bed and watch whatever is on my DVR as I fall asleep. It’s a damn shame I can’t travel back in time. I would do it in a hot minute. Oh well.

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Writing about abuse

There is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now. It is about my history of being an abuse victim and then an abuse survivor. Wash, rinse, repeat. Without a doubt, the majority of the abuse I’ve experienced is emotional. However, a great deal of the emotional abuse is tied to sexual abuse. I sat up in bed after watching programs on the DVR that needed to be erased and told myself, “I’m going to do it.” I tried and I couldn’t. You see, it isn’t enough that I write about my own experiences. I have to include the statistics and other data because that’s what one does when one is a finder of fact. It’s second nature. However, when I began searching for the stats I used to know by heart, I found that my insides began to throb. I felt as if there were some tumor growing in the center of my rib cage as I read. Finally, I had to accept that, at least for now, I can’t do it. That isn’t to say I won’t be able to do it tomorrow or the next day or next week. I just can’t do it now because I’m too close to last week’s events surrounding Glenn and reading old journals that definitely portrayed him as an abuser. Granted, his method was emotional, but it was definitely abusive. He plans to continue, but I’m not a teenager or a 20-something or even a 30-something. I, very literally, have a spine of titanium. I forget that a lot of times because I’ve been conditioned by experience to believe consciously or unconsciously that the abuse–be it emotional or sexual–was somehow my fault and that I am wrong to fight back. The part about it being wrong to fight back is something I lay squarely at the feet of my mother and her family. For them, perception was/is everything. You didn’t complain. You quietly endured whatever and whoever befell you like a proper lady. I had to learn that I had a right to defend myself. I still have to actively remember to remember that fact when it shouldn’t even be a question.

I need to write so badly that I ache. I want to scream and shout and pound my fist into the wall because I so want to write but I can’t. I can’t because I’ve written so much about this one person and one subject that I’ll lose the little family that’s developed here even though I started this blog for myself and myself only. If people chose to take the ride with me, great. If they decided to by-pass it, oh well. Now, I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s sort of ridiculous, really. If I want an audience per se, I can go on over to my other blog and write something that will get attention and publicize it. I don’t do that here. This is the space I set up where extremely few people know who I am, leaving me free to write whatever the hell I want to write about. Well, right now, I need to write about abuse and I need to write about Glenn and I need to make what’s in my head real by putting it in writing. The only thing I want to know about Glenn is why he’s been so damn hostile ever since I came out to him 20 years ago. The string of homophobic hatred that came across my screen that fateful day was shocking and as deadly as ninja throwing stars. It was so shocking and damaging that I actually forgot about it until I read my journal entries. Asking him is pointless because he’s not talking to me. Even if he were, he’d never actually explain anything. He never has and he never will. It’s as though he believes he’s got some God-given right to do and say whatever he pleases and not explain or talk about it at all. And if you’re outside of his circle, you are fair game to be mistreated in any way that amuses him at the time. He did it to me for two years as I “chased” him, something to which I will readily admit. I was 16 at the time and he was Glenn.

I’m sorry, but I have to say this: that S.O.B. hurt me. I know that was his plan and that my pain gives him pleasure. He is a non-consensual sadist. That, too, was part of his tirade that day a decade ago. He’s like a domestic canine-wolf cross. You never know what behavior you’ll get. Will it be more wolf-like or more domestic canine? He can, and frequently is, quite cruel. He is also quite charming when he chooses to be. As a former mutual friend said, so I’ve read, he’s frequently overwhelmed and confused. This is true. His way of dealing is to run or strike before he feels he’s about to be struck (figuratively, that is) or both. Reading, he’s not someone I want to be with again. He’s got a domestic canine side that I loved dearly. Now, the only thing I experience is the rabid wolf. Mind you, I absolutely love and adore wolves and give most of my meager budget for charitable causes to efforts to save wolves and to the ASPCA. Therefore, in a sense, I’m libeling wolves. *looks west toward Michigan and beyond* Sorry guys!

I am trying to recover as quickly as possible from last week. I need to move on because I wasted an entire week on him that I really didn’t have to waste. To show how hurried I’ve been, I wrote a thousand word post, thought I’d uploaded it, didn’t see it hours later and went to look for it in “Drafts,” then realized I’d erased all of my drafts to create more space on my iPhone. I wanted to scream. I feel a lot of pressure to “get over it” even though I know it’s not that simple. I feel a pressure to just shut up about it already and I can’t. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just set up another blog where I am the only person who can see what I’ve written.

OK, I think I’m beginning to kind of understand what I’m feeling. Some of my thought pattern is the PTSD rearing its head. I have noticed that I feel as though I’m on the edge of a cliff about to fall off if I take one misstep. I also feel as though no one will like me if I say one more word about HIM. Honestly, I don’t want to write about HIM, but how do I not and still write about the pain I’m in? I can’t have it both ways–at least not here.

In trying to write about my experiences with abuse, I ran across a list of some of the effects of childhood sexual abuse on the site PANdora’s Box.

  • Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships.
  • Clinical findings of adult victims of sexual abuse include problems in interpersonal relationships associated with an underlying mistrust. Generally, adult victims of incest have a severely strained relationship with their parents that is marked by feelings of mistrust, fear, ambivalence, hatred, and betrayal. These feelings may extend to all family members.
  • Sexual victimization may profoundly interfere with and alter the development of attitudes toward self, sexuality, and trusting relationships during the critical early years of development.

That’s not the full list, but what’s there describes me. I have tried so hard to overcome the filth of my mother’s second husband since I was in my 20s. I’ve probably made a lot of progress, but right now, I feel as though I’ve failed myself and others. My head knows that I’ve made a great deal of progress and asks who these “others” are. I think the “others” are those who couldn’t get close to me because I was afraid. Those I did allow in were often abusive themselves and subsequently abused me. I have to fight to maintain self-esteem. It took me a lot of time to accept that I deserved better than HIM. Having done so, I’m afraid of slipping back because I have so many questions. I’ve never been good at accepting that there are questions about people for which I’ll never get answers. I’m the kind of person who absolutely must understand things of importance, especially when what I’m trying to understand is an emotion or act be it mine or someone else’s. I know a lot of people who hate the word “closure,” but it is what I truly do need. Otherwise, I am left with holes that are very dangerous because I will inevitably try to fill them with either another person or some idea I’ll settle on that may not be very complimentary to me.

OK, I’ve written nearly 1500 words. It’s time to end this. I’m at the same place I began. I have a knot in my chest and I want to scream.

God, HELP!!

I’ve read nearly all of my first journal begun one week after I’d contacted Glenn a full decade ago this past March 22. I began it as a woman absolutely giddy with happiness at being able to talk to the man she loved more than herself seven or nine years after he hung up on her when she came out to him in the wrong way, granted, but not deserving of a discussion at least, to; a woman barely hanging on to life, being purposely reckless in the hope Fate would relieve her of the agony of not knowing why he turned on her all of a sudden in mid-conversation, blamed her for even thinking that he’d had any interest, telling her he didn’t care whether she rejected or embraced her love for him because he wasn’t “going there,” saying that she had been “dyking around for a decade,” that she didn’t “want this dick and to run as fast and as far as she can.” Destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. I’d trusted him more than any PERSON on the planet, loved him more than ANY PERSON on the planet and had ultimately given more of myself to him than I had ANY PERSON on the planet. Destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. Even now, after reading 10 years later, hanging on to this reality by my fingernails to keep from sinking into The Pit once more even though someone(s) destroyed the woman who was then. I can’t have relationships no matter the gender of the other person because I can’t trust enough or give enough of myself. I was punished for loving women even though I loved him, assuming the words came from him. I’m not at all sure they did. The circumstances suggest the horror could easily have been from the hagbeast monster or his gay male business partner. If the latter, it was at his request. If the former, he probably didn’t know. We went from flirting to destruction after he went away from the screen for a few minutes. That sceptic cunt could have snuck in easily. Especially since whoever was on the other end of the IM wouldn’t speak to me via voice.

I’ve been struggling with anorexia for about a week now. I’d just worked up to eating a whole sandwich, but was drinking more liquids. Now, not only don’t I care, I don’t want to eat. I mean, I ACTIVELY don’t want to eat. I’m trying to get through this because of the girls. I can’t abandon them. The thing is, I don’t think I can do this by myself and I honestly don’t know who to call who won’t make me feel worse than I already do.

I had a terrible shock. I found a portion of a journal entry meant to be found after I’d properly suicided. It contained two phone numbers. One was Glenn’s cell and the other was for a former mutual friend. I called the one for Glenn, never anticipating that it would work. It did. I was so unnerved I couldn’t talk to him. So, in the course of three days I’ve reached him twice after well over 100 letters sent to the usual usernames owners of private mail servers set up. Over 100 letters he said he never received even though some were sent via the “Contact Us” form for his record company. Granted, for a year or more I haven’t used it because I didn’t get a confirmation of receipt from the server and assumed I’d been blocked. But I have also gotten really good at setting up disposable accounts, hoping that something would get through in some fashion.

I never want to leave my bed, but the girls need to eat and go potty. I feel as I did when I had agoraphobia. Anything and nearly everyone is dangerous outside of this room. There are so many ways to kill a person while leaving them with a beating heart. There are so many ways to die and still breathe. I have to focus on the girls. If not, I will die one way or the other. I can go inside myself and never come out. I am so close to that now that I have to work to just stay present.

How could Glenn/hagbeast/gay oh business partner do this to someone whose worst “crime” was loving someone and then determining that she loved those of her own gender more at one point? Had Glenn talked to me, I would have given in. Not to the phone sex, but to allowing him access to body, soul and heart. I would give up women for him. I would have then and I would now if he was willing to do the obvious and make us “us”–hagbeast included, if I just had to, as long as he committed.

This is not the first time I’ve tried to write this book. The first time was way before I was ready. The publisher read the mess I submitted and gently told me to get some therapy and try again later. I told her I couldn’t write it then because all I do is cry while I’m typing. I don’t think she believed me until she saw the mess of the first few chapters. I’d forgotten about that until reading the journals, too. Five or six therapists later and I’m still crying as I type.

What the fuck is going on? Someone please, tell me. First, as I’m about to give up and give in to giving up on relationships, I hear and see my mother frantically trying to tell me NOT to forget about or give up on Glenn. She didn’t even like him! So, I ignore her until I realize I can’t blindside him and his kids. I NEVER intended to talk to him before mailing him a set of questions after getting well into writing a manuscript, but I wanted him to know what was coming. After ten years and a few phone messages as late as last year, he answers the phone. On a Sunday. Today, I call a 10-yr-old cell number I didn’t even know I had and he answers. I cannot hope where he is concerned. That’s especially true now that I’ve read how he or someone tried to blame me for essentially making any perceived interest up. I’ve got notes from conversations. I didn’t make anything up. And, if I made everything up, then how could he have been playing a joke? I did remember that that was part of the conversation I’d initially forgotten due to stress. It was remembered much later. It is a habit my brain learned as a child: bury the most destructive, painful memories deep inside where they can’t be found. That kept me sane and I do not exaggerate.

What does one do when one truly wants to die but can’t? Endure. What does one do when one can no longer endure? I’m frantically trying to determine who can raise my girls if it comes to that. I just can’t bear the thought of their pain after losing my mother so recently. I am in hell.

Commentary on BDSM and Mental Health

I was over at another WordPress.com blog, “You know You’re Borderline When . . .,” when I saw a section on the juncture between BDSM and borderline personality disorder. Borderline is something I’m learning about because I used to have a friend whose ex-wife was diagnosed with it and I try to keep up on what’s going on in the psychology community. It’s a good way of figuring out what therapist is going to work with me and what illusions/delusions she may be laboring under that I need to watch. After reading an article re-posted from another blog, I wasn’t completely convinced that Jaen really understood what BDSM is all about, so I wrote a rather long comment. I am reposting it here since I think I touched on some complex issues.

Like tinyfrogs, I don’t have a BPD diagnosis, although I do recognize certain behaviors that I’ve left behind. Instead, I’ve got major depression and a couple of anxiety disorders to deal with. Consequently, mental health issues are not at all unfamiliar to me. Also like tinyfrogs, I am a submissive/bottom. However, tinyfrogs, if I’m reading correctly, is a switch. That means she can take on either the submissive or dominant role. Me? I HATE being dominant. The only times I’ve enjoyed it somewhat were when I performed CBT. I must admit that it’s terribly fun stuff. *smirk*

I am a rape and incest survivor. I remember reading posts on Usenet back in the day that posit there are many sexual abuse survivors in the scene because we are used to being abused; we are re-enacting our abuse, and/or; we have low self-esteem and feel we deserve the physical pain. I can’t begin to tell you how I wanted to scream with each and every line. The authors just didn’t get it at all. There’s a teeny tiny scream in my head after reading some of your posts/comments too. It’s not your fault. I think you simply need to be educated.

I’ll go out on a very strong limb and admit there are, indeed, a number of female subs who have been sexually abused. However, I believe the context in which you and others have placed us–people re-enacting abuse–is just plain wrong. Most outsiders see BDSM scenes as subs/bottoms giving power to a Dom/Top. I understand why. It’s based on the way vanillas grok the roles because of the labels. However, the labels are misleading. Submissives are really the partner with the power. We *choose* whether to give our power to a Dom. Not only that, we can stop a scene AT ANY TIME if we are uncomfortable physically or emotionally. Safe words are wonderful things. They can be used to mean “slow things down” or “STOP NOW!!” A Dom who doesn’t respect safe words will usually get drummed out of the community because, as tinyfrogs said, they then become assailants and not Doms who take great care not to injure their possessions, the subs. If anything, many subs are spoiled rotten. Their partners adore and admire them, know them like the back of their hands, (although that closeness takes time to build), and understand how to push the right buttons to make a sub reach the pinnacle of their being.

I was introduced to BDSM through my first experience with the man who turned out to be the love of my life. We were just kids. He’d seen a few things in clubs in NYC and wanted to impress me with his prowess. It took me ten years, but I learned that there were really a great many people who liked some of the same things I did. I began reading the Usenet group alt.sex.bondage way before the general public knew there was an Internet. Let me tell ya, nerds are often the kinkiest people to ever walk the face of this earth. And engineers are GREAT partners. They love to build their own equipment. I’m salivating just thinking about it!

Enough of that.

Soon, I found the IRC channel #bondage and asked for an invitation since it was a closed group monitored by a bot that wouldn’t allow just anyone on the channel. It was nothing to sit on the channel and watch virtual scenes. Honestly, those beat out anything people think they’re doing with virtual sex now. I learned a great deal watching and participating in those scenes. In fact, that’s where I found my first and longest Master. He became the second love of my life, but was, I do believe, struggling with his own demons. It got so bad that he really should not have been playing at all, but I didn’t know how to tell him that. By asking for advice from a third person, all of our business got spread around and he caught a lot of flak he didn’t deserve. He was a pawn in a game of revenge played by a very twisted and bitter individual.

I am attracted to BDSM because of the power exchange. Trusting is an incredibly difficult thing for me to do. Even when it appears that I trust someone, I usually don’t trust them at all or only in a limited capacity. My therapist thinks that limited trust is actually good, but I doubt she thinks my strict limits are so healthy. BDSM is a safe place for me to open up and trust completely because of the peer pressure the Dom/Top faces should s/he mistreat me. If I tell one person of being mistreated, it will get around faster than a brush fire in Oklahoma.

The endorphin rush is also incredibly attractive. I get a high that lasts for hours after a good flogging just the way I like it. Imagine the greatest back massage you’ve ever had. Weren’t you loose and relaxed afterwards? Personally, my brain more or less stops working and I just smile a lot while cuddling up with my partner or, if at a play party, with whoever happens to be around and receptive. That’s why there is ALWAYS a quiet area at play parties. A scene can get into some very intimate and delicate territory even if it’s planned meticulously. We all have hidden buttons that can be pushed accidentally. Sometimes, in order to disarm them, a couple will purposely approach those buttons. It is the Dom’s job to know how far to go. A good one will sense when the sub is at his/her limit even if that sub asks to continue. I’ve had Doms safe word on ME because I was getting into territory that could have been emotionally too dangerous or wanted even more lashes than they felt comfortable administering. They were right to call safe word. They had a better, more objective, view of the overall scene than I did. It’s part of their responsibility to take care of me even when I insist on pushing forward.

BDSM requires a great deal of open communication. A good Dom won’t do anything with a new sub without having extensive communication with them. Their relationship may not even begin as Dom/sub (or slave). It may begin as two people who are seeing each other and getting to know both themselves and each other over a period of time. The goal may or may not be to find out if they’d make a good full-time BDSM couple or even part-time pair. If that was not the goal, but the couple sort of stumble into the scene in some other fashion, that’s fine too. Still, they really do have to deepen the level of communication and synergy as a couple in order to make the BDSM elements of their relationship work.

If I had to swear to my reasons for being attracted to BDSM, I’d say that it is because I get to control what happens to me when I had no control while I was being abused. Again, it’s that safe word thing. These days, at least from what I’m seeing across the Internet, which may or may not mirror society as a whole, people are doing incredibly stupid things (IMO) like playing without safe words. Um, no. And if a sub manages to get involved with someone who won’t respect safe word protocol, s/he should get the hell out of the relationship quick, fast and in a hurry. There are so many poseurs these days that finding someone online is dangerous. I can’t say that it’s impossible, but I’d be extremely careful. If the person plays within the local community, ask for references or find someone in the local BDSM group you can call on the QT to inquire about the prospective partner.

In closing, I do appreciate your attempts to understand this life I love but have been away from for years due to physical limitations that are now more or less nonexistent (thank God). I look forward to joining the local group in town and meeting new people. I’m trying to find a group for women only. I did belong to one, but it broke up due to dyke drama. I really hate it when that happens, but it’s unavoidable sometimes.

Jaen, would you mind a question? How did you happen to develop an interest in the juncture of BDSM and BPD? The reason I ask is that I have seen so many people try to attribute our kinkiness to some sort of pathology and, I must admit, I’m a bit wary. There are plenty of people who are perfectly emotionally healthy in the scene. I’d say most of them are completely emotionally healthy, but different. I understand a person’s desire to keep themselves away from kink, but I don’t believe it’s particularly helpful to draw spurious conclusions about the participants. I’m really hoping that’s not what you’re doing. Nevertheless, you’ve provided a space for me to consider the issues intellectually. That wasn’t necessarily your intent, but I do appreciate it anyway. *smirk*

Comments on this post are open.

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