Home.

Things are happening; I have already started to pull out every box and crate stored in my garage; in order to sift through and keep only what’s truly necessary, I must touch each thing.

It’s almost comical…how all of the things I have nearly killed myself in order to hang on to for so long will soon be thrown out. These things turn out to mean nothing; and to serve no purpose at all…outside of painful reminders to me of a former identity that’s become a bitterly recalled ghost. Things are changing; big ideas are being rolled into balls and set into motion around me – and I have been called off the bench to get into the game. I intend to play like never before once I get on the field, believe me…

But Life is funny this way, isn’t it? At last, I have lost everything; I don’t mean that in a pitiful sense, either. I mean to emphasize how I have nothing to lose anymore – no child to set a good example for – nobody to financially support or look after – no career left – no social life or REAL friends nearby. I am finally unbound from the courts and the juvenile delinquent joke-of-a-system; I have no warrants out for my arrest, no news anchors left to stalk me from my front porch, no family (besides my brothers and theirs’, of course).

I have had no drive or motivation; I have been feeling essentially hopeless and as if my Life has been winding down to its final scenes, somehow. Things have been exceptionally dark and dreary here in my world – and any of my regular readers know how and why this has all come about; it’s almost just a natural result of the absolute deflation attached to Boo, and my former identity’s faith in her “recovery”. Either way, the word STAGNANT comes first to mind when I try to search for a fitting descriptive word…yes, I have been quite stagnant.

All that being said, I have recently become the (un)secret winner of the (un)secret lottery; and things are beginning to open up, for lack of a better term. I am now fully planning to make an enormous shift – like to a different continent and country – to a different time and equatorial zone – to a new beach and ocean with different animals and an unfamiliar salinity in the water…I am finally leaving this Gods-forsaken shit-hole of a “life” in my dust…and the actuality of the whole thing is beginning to sink in with me.

I have, at last, told some people that matter to me such as two of my brothers, my mother, and my former boss – a big step in the process. I have emotionally shut myself down to the negative reactions; and have perfected my responses to inevitable arguments; I guess the point is that it’s finally starting to move a teeny bit, all of it. And, for the first time in so fucking long, I have a curious level of hope…hope for my own days to come.

An unexpected and uncharted chance; at …something good and wholesome; something meaningful and fulfilling to the broken spirit I harbor…something like “home”.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Night Smoothies.

Sometimes it’s easy for me to lose sight of my blessings in life – because I often feel so very overwhelmed by so much bad; and that’s not cool…
“Home is where the Heart is.”
I have seen and heard this saying my entire life: my grandmother kept a little hand stitched pillow that sported it, my Papa used to say it – followed by a huge sigh of relief – every time he returned from having traveled abroad, I’ve received countless greeting cards donning the sentiment across a cabin-esque scene in the woods…yes, home is, indeed, where the heart is.
For all the years after I recovered from surgery and the shock of my former marriage and its ending, I had no home – despite never having been homeless. I was like the pity-pot anywhere I hung my hat for a while, like a patient who everyone thought to be too fragile to live at all. That was uncomfortable and altered the ways that I perceived the world around me, I’m sure.
I rushed through Physical Therapy and Reconstructive Skin Grafting in order to be able to live on my own with Boo finally – a piece of my timeline that is one, big blur of doctor’s offices, pharmacies and Staph Infections in my memory. When I was able to move out to a place of our own, it was located in the ghetto that I grew up in – an element that actually brought me comfort and a sense of comfort, somehow. Nobody else approved of my decision though, nobody felt like I was stable enough physically or psychologically to be doing the single mom thing in the Hood.
I didn’t give a fuck what anyone else thought – I was hungry to begin my own independent life’s new story at that point in time – I was excited to experience anything on my own and without the fear and dread that I had previously lived every moment inside of. Boo thrived as well, though admittedly it was a ‘round the clock’ job and brought on a whole new appreciation of single motherhood quite rapidly. I dove into Boo – to her class activities – to the PTA at her school – to her entire existence, anew. Those were the best years that Boo and I had together: the ones leading up to her eventual arrest and first court initiation into “treatment” for her increasing behavioral issues. A lot went on for both of us in growth and discovery – and I feel like I made the very best of as much of it as I could…I harbor little regret against that period of time, and will always treasure the memories of getting to be her Mom, as short-lived as it was. After she was gone, I became rapidly unstable and even suicidal/homicidal before ultimately finding my own way into legal trouble and serious mental relapse. It was after my release from jail for being found in repeated ‘Contempt of Court’, that I decided living alone wasn’t the best option for me any longer – and chose to do the roommate thing.
I went through slews of horribly strange and even dangerous situations for about three years before a longtime friend (Dice, my current roommate) said he had a room for rent in his home. Of course, I jumped on it and even forfeited the first, last and deposit I had invested in the apartment I was renting alone before coming here in order to be here – I knew it was a blessing at the time – and I still know it was a blessing, to date. It was.
Evenings like this one, which include BBQ, mashed potatoes, Vikings on the obnoxiously huge flat-screen in the man cave, real fruit smoothies for dessert, good conversation, kind weed, and a generally easy-going mood…well, to put it simply:
These are the times when I am so very grateful to have a home.
To have a place that I feel safe and secure.
To have a house mate that isn’t a psychopath or out of control asshole;
someone who puts up with CPTSD bullshit and accepts me as I am…
This is all shit that I can’t allow myself to ever take for granted, personally. It means too much.

Anni

It never goes very long without a reminder; a bottle to the forehead…a wake-up refresher course in “Domestic Captivity”; there are too many of us out there for it to ever stop being revisited, even by Survivors like me, who hasn’t felt a physical blow for a decade now. Today, I want to introduce my readers to someone “new” to my crew…although to call her “new” at this would be a lie – she is a front line soldier of 13 years in the War on Domestic Violence and Captivity. My new friend is, unfortunately, a veteran at receiving cruelty at the hands of the man she once trusted loved and married – in a blinded state of being. Anni, who has some strikingly similar history to mine, however, the thing is – Anni’s isn’t history as of yet…she still resides in Domestic Captivity from one day to the next – walking on egg shells from one step to the next – surviving on the most basic of things: HOPE.
When I see her appear in my comment s section, I am always washed over by relief that she has returned again, alive and engaged, to seek what little support for her grueling circumstances that she can get – no matter how minimal it may be from the blogosphere. I am always shaken to tear after reading her frank and totally honest posts about her life with her own Monster, just like The Ripper…eerily like The Ripper. These are the details surrounding Anni that terrify me for her ongoing survival – she remains in the grips of a man who I imagine as having The Ripper’s face – based on his characteristic traits and behaviors toward her. The patterns she describes are so identical to his leading up to the day he cut my throat, that it’s truly difficult for me to NOT take action of my own in this particular situation, as I genuinely fear he will eventually kill her, or at least try his damndest to. Anni and I are kindred souls, also…having been cosmically connected from day one, in addition to our similarities in experience; we are born of the same stock of Survivor, obviously. I don’t know her in real life…I have never seen her face or nursed her wounds…I have never stood in between her and her monster to protect her from being hurt anymore…but I would gladly do any of the above, if given the opportunity. I mean that.
I suppose the point behind my writing this post is because it is important for EVERYONE to know how REAL and ALIVE the Monsters are to those of us who are held captive by their grip over our very livelihood…from day to day. I feel that as a human being, a survivor of a sadistic and inhumane Terrorist Husband, but most importantly: as someone who gives a fuck about her outcome, it’s important for ALL OF US to help her keep her HOPE alive until she is safely away and doesn’t need it anymore. It could mean all the difference between whether she continues to get back up or stays on the floor, and that’s truth. Someone like Anni needs all of the support she can get right now…Just like Tee did before she finally got out and away to lasting safety. Tee says that she never could have made it a reality without her crew here as a means of support, and I believe her. Things may have gone much more smoothly for me had blogs been a thing back when I was in captivity…I think about this often.

TO MY AMAZINGLY SUPPORTIVE READERS:
MEET ANNI, go say hello to her and offer her whatever you have to offer her as a means of getting her through, if you’d be so kind…what goes around comes around…and she deserves to find some real support.

http://anni6290.wordpress.com/

Runaway Sanity: Statistical Stabwounds

…Stabwounds that cut too close to home…

 

 

Runaways have higher rates of depression, physical and sexual abuse, alcohol and drug problems, delinquency, school problems, and difficulties with peers than juveniles who do not run away.

Many runaways have been exposed to high levels of violence, either as victims or as witnesses.

Juveniles in substitute care (e.g., foster care, group homes) are more likely to run away than juveniles who live at home with a parent or guardian. The chances of juveniles in care running away are highest in the first few months after placement, and older juveniles are more likely to run away than younger juveniles.

Juveniles who run away from substitute care are more likely to run away repeatedly than juveniles who run away from home.

Although they are only a small proportion of the total number of runaways, those who run away from care consume a disproportionate amount of police time and effort.

Those who run away from care also tend to stay away longer and travel farther away than those who run away from home.

Very few runaways are homeless and living on the street. Most stay in relative safety at a friend or family members home. However, some runaways lack safe living arrangements and stay on the street, in the company of a predatory adult, or in another situation lacking responsible adult supervision. Police and policy makers are most concerned about this group of juveniles, commonly referred to as street kids, because of the potential for victimization and criminal activity.

The triggers underlying a runaway episode from foster care or a group home may be different from those underlying a runaway episode from home. When juveniles in care do not have strong emotional ties to their caretakers, they often find it easier to leave. The reasons they leave are:

  • return home or to their neighborhoods to spend time with friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, and family;
  • get attention or provoke a reaction, to confirm that caretakers care about them and they are wanted;
  • escape crowded facilities or to seek privacy;
  • protest inadequate service or attention from social workers;
  • protect themselves from bullying or sexual harassment by other residents;
  • escape abuse by staff;
  • resist imposed limits, particularly given that many juveniles in care come from homes with few limits.

Those living on the street face hazards that are self-imposed (substance use, consensual high-risk sexual activity), inflicted by others (victimization and exploitation), or driven by the need to obtain food, shelter, and money.

Juveniles living on the street develop survival strategies. Sometimes they access shelters or emergency care facilities; other times they are forced to settle for riskier arrangements such as staying with strangers who have apartments or living in abandoned buildings or on rooftops.

  • Juveniles may shoplift, panhandle, steal, threaten, or use violence to get money from others.
  •  Although there is no consensus on whether the practice is widespread, some juveniles also engage in survival sex, meaning they trade sex for food, shelter, drugs, or protection.
  • Sometimes, survival sex involves statutory rape, which has obvious implications for police. Some acts of survival sex are consensual; however, some runaways living on the street are exploited by predatory adults and become involved in prostitution, pornography, and drug dealing.
  • In addition to being a precursor to running away, juveniles are often victims of physical and sexual assault while they are living on the street.
  • Runaways living on the street jeopardize themselves by using drugs. Illegal drugs are very accessible to those on the street, who tend to use them both as social lubricants and to self-medicate.
  •  Large numbers of juveniles on the street also engage in unprotected sexual activity.
  • These behaviors, coupled with the harms inflicted by others, create serious physical and mental health issues. Physical illnesses result from poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and exposure to the elements.
  • Given their high levels of intravenous drug use, shared drug paraphernalia, and high-risk sexual behaviors, juveniles on the street are vulnerable to HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Finally, their stressful lives coupled with their troubled backgrounds make them susceptible to suicide, depression, and other mental illnesses.
  • Many runaways living on the street constantly fear victimization and struggle to meet their basic survival needs. Very little is known about the experiences of runaways who do not spend time on the street. In general, runaway experiences are not all bad. Some juveniles feel independent, autonomous, and free and are relieved to escape the pressures of family conflict and school. Being away from home often provides time to think and is useful for sorting out problems. Unfortunately, running away does not improve juveniles’ emotional lives nor does it address the issues that made them want to leave home.
  • The risks runaways face are endless: Malnutrition, psychological disorders, HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, robbery, and sexual and physical assault have all been found in high proportions among these young people. One study found the rates of major depression, conduct disorder, and post-traumatic stress was three times as high among runaway youth as their peers.
  • HIV may be 2 to 10 times more prevalent among runaway and homeless youth than for other adolescents.