Dark Chapter

52 chapters/stories for my book…that’s how many I have written but the rape chapter is the hardest.

I started out being kind of namby-pamby about it. That’s the feedback I got from my mentor/auntie, an author I deeply respect. She said “Kathie, you have to remove the sugar coating and tell us what actually happened.”

It took many years, but I finally did what she asked, leaving out no disturbing detail. To that version, she responded with “Well, maybe not THAT detailed!”

So I am trying a completely different approach this time.

I am house-sitting for dear friends as I write this. I am in a situation I rarely put myself in…alone for days (and worse, nights) in an unfamiliar house, in a very remote setting. I did all the things that for me are normal when I am in any new place… checked out all conceivable exits…found the quickest routes away from the house, noticing fast exit dangers, like locked gates, stuff to trip over, etc.….discovered any weaknesses in normal security (windows, door locks) and tested how they all sound. And I found the best hiding places inside the house in case escape is not an option.

It’s a pain in the butt to be me.

The point of telling you this is that even though I have done a shitload of therapy and healing work on having been raped, one result remains the same. I live my life differently than most people.

Here’s the opening I wrote when my mentor requested a more “detailed version”, but I edited it in this draft to honor her feedback to not be THAT detailed….

If I do ever get this chapter on paper the way I want it, I will keep my original title.

What I want to know is would you want to read a story that starts like this???

“Being Raped”

Being Raped has to be the title of this chapter. The odd tense of the word “being” implies a current circumstance that captures the experience, as if describing a state of being rather than an action.

That’s why it’s perfect.

In an instant, an event like this can become the definition of WHO you are. There is a part of the act, the trauma, the experience that continues in your body, your psyche, your mind, and your heart…as if it is in fact, still happening right now, always in the present tense.

If you have been raped, the incident just goes on and on and on, granted less loudly with time. But for you, intrusion, in any form will shock your body right back awake, no matter how far into the back of your Secret’s Closet you’ve shoved that rape, hoping to keep it fast asleep.

This will be true for the rest of your life…no matter how much therapeutic work you do. No matter how deeply you are able to heal.

You will never not know the terror of being awakened with a knife at your throat.

You will never not remember the feeling of being held down in your own bed by two men.

And you will never forget the popping sound of a gun being fired, RIGHT BY YOUR HEAD, in the middle of this surprisingly quiet chaos… rousing the thought that though you may survive this knife, you still might end up getting shot!

All comments welcome! Thank you.

Chosen Perspectives Quest for WPC

Quest

I have been after a shot of this guy for it seems like years. He’s there, at the top of our power pole, most mornings, making that sound. Wakes me up. No idea what he could still be eating up there. You’d think the pole would be chewed down to nothing after all this time. If it’s carpenter ants he’s after, I’d happily wake up even earlier and invite him closer to feast on the swarm of those damn ants that are eating my house!

As much as I miss my flowering plum trees that hid part of the pole and where this beautiful guy used to hide between drummings, I am glad to be able to finally see him.

Ahh, for a better telephoto shot!

Check out the sounds at this link. My “Pileated alarm clock” is one of the very last sounds listed.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pileated_Woodpecker/sounds

Mirror/Selfie? for WPC

Mirror

This is about as close as I ever get to a “selfie”!

(seriously, who first coined that word???)

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Photographing my bugs as the late afternoon sun hits their terrarium.

Practicing re-blogging?

I keep coming across such delightful writers and wanted to pass them on…

https://othermary.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/my-toes-are-betraying-me/

Hysterical!

She’s Baaack! Papa Osprey’s Welcome Gift. And a Storm Brewing.

Wonderful photos for us bird lovers!

here i am

I just want to scoop her up and hug her!!

Now are those “re-blogs” or “pingbacks”?

I know, I know, take the dang wordpress class, right?

all this talk about hair………..

I posted about Hair in response to Marilyn Armstrong’s post  https://teepee12.com/2016/08/11/the-surface-report-today-we-are-shallow/

Then Karuna posted in response to mine

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/sixty-eight-years-of-hair/

Lots of comments back and forth (I don’t know how to share those) but here’s my latest response in response to Marilyn’s comment:

First, thank you🙂 It’s the thinning that’s so hard to deal with. I had a lot of hair for a long time. I think your hair looks GREAT.

And I respond:

These photos of my hair are NOT recent. I’ll have to post an updated photo so no one thinks I’m bitching about nothing! Although I guess it is all relative, eh?
sigh.

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just a warning to those who haven’t seen me in a while…

I’m losing ten to twelve of these hairballs a week now……..

 

(hmm, and I need a manicure…like I ever get those!)

In the meantime, enjoy my response to Karuna’s response.

 

Song Lyric Sunday/ANGER, even better!

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043

 

Nobody Else in the World But You

by Don Henley

You live in a house of mirrors
Reflecting your splendid isolation
You have so much of everything
Except for true consideration
The way you dance
The way you walk
The way you drive
The way you talk
The way you eat
The way you drink
The way you act
The way that you don’t think

It’s like there’s-
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

Hey now, did your momma teach you anything?
Some things still got to be respected
Is it a sign of the times, or is it just your callous heart?
How did you get so disconnected?

The way you push
The way you shove
The way you hate
The way you love
The lies you spin
The scenes you make
The grief you give
The space you take
It’s like there’s-

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

And now it’s time you did a little giving, baby
The world is not your plaything, no, no, no

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
It’s like there’s-nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed there are lots of other people here, too

Written by Don Henley, Stanley Lynch, Jai L. Winding • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Lyrics by GooglePlay

Song Lyric Sunday August 21, 2016

(WARNING! “R” rated for language! Mine, not necessarily the song choice)

OK, first things first. All the instructions are down below because I want to launch into my choice for this Sunday’s Song Lyrics theme, ANGER! Perfect in my life today!!

I have had the worst pissed off week I have had in ages. I fly fairly level these days in my life. But when someone really close to me dumps a shitload of their saved up garbage on my head with no warning, fury is the only natural response. Especially when it comes in an email disguised with a long-awaited, closeness-promoting title!

Oh eventually, I’ll get clear about what’s mine and what’s not, but right now, today? Here’s my song!!

Pump up your volume and sing along if there is someone you are mad at!

 

 

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043
Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that explores anger.  (I know anger is a secondary emotion, so maybe that isn’t the best word choice, but I think it’s broad enough we should be able to come up with something.)  

As always, you can go your own way and post a song that has nothing to do with the prompt.  We’re all here sharing our love of music and lyrics, and most of all, having a great time!

Also, if you would like to suggest a theme, I am open to suggestions.   Please either pop it in the comments or send me an email at redesp75@yahoo.com.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

Feel free to use the Song Lyric Sunday badge by copying it into your post or add it to your site to show you are participating.

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Trees-for Marilyn

I love trees. They have played such an important role in my life, starting at 5 years old when my new Dad bought a tree that was exactly same height as me so I could watch it grow all through my childhood.

I loved that tree…a Star Pine…and as it grew, I played in its shade, building miniature forts out of natural debris. When it quintupled its size, I climbed up in it to check out the view of the ocean over the top of our house or to just read a book where it was quiet. That tree was my secret hiding place during many childhood dramas (and traumas).

I seriously bond with trees. I was lucky enough to have made several trips to the Redwood Forest as a kid, where I met and still remember this one particular tree that I visited several more times in my life. It was not one of the tourist trees…this one was mine.

Not that you can actually own a tree……..

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk (where I am writing this right now) on a perfectly calm, sunny day. No wind, no rain storm, no earthquakes. Nothing. Perfectly peaceful.

I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Then, came the sound. Sickeningly familiar. I’ve heard it before, but thank god, only a few times in my life…like when the snow load on a tree is just too heavy. Craaack. From my desk I can see my two favorite trees, very mature Ornamental Flowering Plum trees, and I watched helplessly as a huge limb on one of them slowly cracked and slowly split apart. It slowly fell onto the “Baby Bird”. (That’s what we call the 57 T-Bird that lives at our house while her owner is abroad. We are trying to sell her.)

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What I can see from the window by my desk (board put there in a desperate attempt to hold the branch off the car)

I jumped up, ran out the back door, down the deck steps, and stopped short in the driveway as it hit me. What the hell was I going to do? Try to stop the several hundred pound limb from falling further???

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Can’t see it in this photo but there is another car buried under there, nose to nose with the T-Bird

As I stood there, visually assessing, that awful cracking sound continued…quieter, but in short staccato bursts. I didn’t know if the whole tree was about to collapse or what! I could see that heavy limb was miraculously being held very slightly up off the Thunderbird by all the smaller branches that already reached the ground surrounding the car…like a purple cage of twigs and leaves.

But the continued cracking was a warning. If that branch came the rest of the way down, the Baby Bird might well be crushed.

Now, I panicked.

I’m always complaining (mostly playfully) about having to live with six men, but today, I was wishing for even one of them to be available. This felt like a Guy Emergency! I broke two cardinal rules. I interrupted my son Michael at work and James, at band practice!!

I just texted them each the above photo. They both came. I don’t know what I thought they could do though. Super James is getting older (finally) and younger, muscle-man Michael was hampered by some newly broken ribs. They were not going to be able to lift that limb either.

I also sent out an SOS on our neighborhood group email asking for all available youth and muscle to come to my house ASAP. Several of them came immediately. I love my neighbors!! Still not enough to lift it and besides it was getting really unsafe by now.

The most urgent dilemma was getting the Baby Bird out from under that limb in case it finished giving way. The obvious thing to do was to back the car out from under the potentially crushing tree…impossible to open the driver’s door but the passenger door not impossible. Here’s the thing though. James stores the car with its battery disconnected. There was absolutely NO getting that hood up to reconnect the battery. Below you can see him buried in the tree trying to lift it.

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And even if we got it out, how much more of the tree would fall onto the Taurus, the car hidden nose to nose with the T-Bird??

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the Taurus

OK, so tow it out of there, right? And hope the huge limb doesn’t scratch the Baby Bird or crush the Taurus when the Baby stops holding up its weight.

Well, towing a 1957 Thunderbird is not easy. Those suckers are heavy!! But James got it out with his 4Runner and miraculously, the smaller branches continued to hold the heavy limb up off the Taurus, gently resting on the ground.

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The crisis with the cars was mostly averted, only purple streaks across their hoods and roofs. No scratches deep enough really to even damage the paint jobs. Amazing.

Then a potentially more serious problem showed up…

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Look closely at the above photo and you can see a wire pulled down by the limb….uh oh….

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I have been after the power company, the cable company and the phone company for years about the placement of their connections to my home, and a few years back the power company did finally come out. Not to change the location of their power pole, but to trim my trees just a bit…to keep their wire safe.

But now, to the left of this whole T-Bird vs Tree argument, there is a wire laying on the ground…and it goes all the way across the street to the main power pole for the whole neighborhood. My street is a long dead-end lane and there is rarely traffic on it except, of course, at this exact time of evening. Everyone is arriving home from work.

We are all standing around, no one 100% confident they know which kind of wire this is.

So I call the power company. I call the cable company. I even call the phone company although our landline is now through the cable. No one comes. They all say they will be there within 45 minutes. NO ONE SHOWS UP!! (Not for 36 hours!!!)

Finally, one knowledgeable (or just brave) neighbor pulls on the wire hard enough to lift up the slack that had lain on the street. Second crisis temporarily averted.

Except for the day and a half of no TV (only hard on the grandsons) and no internet for those adults in our house who work online, we (cars and all) survived the event just fine.

Now, the real trauma….

If you happen to follow the wonderful Marilyn Armstrong at Serendipity ( https://teepee12.com/ ), you know that she and her family had a horrific ‘nature tragedy” earlier this year, that terrorized her and nearly destroyed their trees. If you are not suseptable to nightmares, you can read about it here.

FIGHTING MONSTERS

What I am about to tell you in no way compares to what they went through but I bring up Marilyn because I think she might understand my recent loss better than most.

Though it is a long and complicated story about why, basically here’s what happened next.

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My beautiful trees are killed…

 

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I can’t write any more right now. All I can think of is the countless birds associated with those gorgeous trees. Hummer nests. Blue Jays. Flickers. Woodpeckers. Nuthatches. Chickadees. And whole flocks of beautiful House Finches whose colors matched the tree! It’s where the Crows waited each morning for me to feed them. Sometimes the crows would talk to the hummingbirds there. And even the cute but irritating squirrels would steal the crow food and leap off the corner of the deck into the safety of those plum trees.

Here’s a slideshow in Memoriam…………

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I’m almost glad I don’t have any pictures of them blanketed in their full Spring Pink Glory….just that partial one at the very top…

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This is my Therapy Room. If you had come to see me, you might have sat on this brown couch, positioned so you could look out that window…at my beautiful Flowering Plum Trees.

I guess I will be rearranging furniture soon.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Ghost

Ghost

via Daily Prompt: Ghost

My first time doing this prompt. Feedback welcome, especially if I did it wrong.

The prompt word Ghost instantly conjures a very specific thing for me.

A SONG!! Ghost by the Indigo Girls.

I used this song as a therapist many times when addressing co-dependency, symbiosis, failed relationships, etc.

I think most of us have one of these ghosts hanging around in our psyches.

Crank up the volume and read along with the lyrics. And don’t miss the perfectly fitting musicality of the song. Brilliant.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=7161