There's a vast difference between families that see their children and love them, and then there are our families where we're burdens. We're not seen, just seen through. We're one more problem to deal with. We're not seen as human beings. I'm still not seen as a human being. That's why what they do to us is allowable to them.
~ ~ ~
I don't know how it happens. You know, when I look back logically, I don't know how I ever had a sense of self. But I know I did and I know I never lost it. Part of it was keeping the Brownie uniform. I wore it every time I could. I slept in it. That was my armor, my symbol of wanting to protect myself. It was protecting what was me.
~ ~ ~
I've been so busy all my life looking so damned confident that nobody ever adopted me.
~ ~ ~
I have a problem with emotions. Not feeling them. It's been real helpful for me to see her to feel those emotions. Knowing that's where I'm going to be. I've put a lid on things for so long, I forgot what they feel like. But when I see her, I imagine what they must feel like for her, and that triggers the memory in me somewhere.
One of the patients I used to see in a special unit
is in hospice now. Before he came there, he was unhappy with the way he was being treated. He felt that people were always poking and prodding his body without being aware of him. Staff openly discussed other patients disrespectfully within his earshot. He complained they were not doing regular duties, like changing his colostomy bag.
Over several meetings, this patient and I formed
a strong bond. My intent was to be fully present with him and to mirror back what I was hearing.
In a short time, staff began to pay attention to
our relationship. Suddenly, every time I showed up, they would move into the room and do
the things that needed to be done. They were on alert. The patient told me that his treatment improved significantly.
I learned a lot from staff in hospice. Their care tends to be patient-centered and they work as a functioning team, not as individuals.
It is so important that the patient be understood as part of the treatment team. It is so important to be present and aware.
Addiction is a cunning, baffling, powerful disease. Addicts need guidance and help. Many people don't believe that it is hard to overcome. We don't want to be controlled by drugs and alcohol. We are criticized so badly by the ones we love that at times it's hard to ask for help when we are failing. All we feel is hopelessness, loneliness, low self-esteem. So we turn to people who understand our pain. Other addicts. There is just a feeling. It can be silent and never spoken, but the eyes tell it all.
~ ~ ~
Treating an addict means treating the wound that drags one's soul through dirt to chase a high, the wound that makes a person limp through hell. What is not clear is, how can someone who hasn't been there have an impact on another person
who is struggling with demons?
~ ~ ~
People go to clinics to get chemicals to help with chemical dependency, and so we breed another kind of addict -- the kind that has the ability to get his fixes in local clinics. Twenty years from now our communities will be flooded with a new brand of drug users. The only thing that will change is who has their hands in the pockets of the people who are sick and suffering.
It was the first visit in prison with my children. They were eight, nine and eleven. They came early in the morning and the day was full of laughter and lots of hugs and kisses. It was a nice day until it was time for them to leave. That’s when the atmosphere changed. As my husband and parents were saying goodbye, my youngest daughter said, “Come on, Mommy, let’s go.” I told her, “Mommy has to stay here.” She got louder, saying “No! Mommy, come on!” I told her, "Sweetie, you go with Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa. I’m going to stay here." In a panic, she ran to the officer standing by the exit, crying and loudly saying,
“Mr. policeman, can my mommy come home? Please, Mr. policeman, my mommy will be good!” The room got quiet, and other mothers visiting with their children were crying. At that moment, whether we knew each other or not, we all had a common bond as mothers, and they could feel my heartache. I sat in my chair weeping, watching my family walk out the door. All I could think was,
how am I going to say goodbye to my children
for the next 20 years?
~ ~ ~
“Prostitute” is a strong word to use against somebody, or yourself. The first thing you think of is a person who sells sexual favors for something she values -- money, drugs, whatever she feels she needs at the moment. I know the true meaning of the word because I used to be a prostitute. I had ways to avoid looking at myself, like thinking I’m having sex anyway so I might as well get paid for it, or I’m providing a service like any other working person. I thought, every man on earth is paying for it one way or another. But I was in denial. I became addicted to the control I had over these men and the lifestyle that came with fast money. Now I am more aware of distortions in my own thinking. The second definition of prostitution has nothing to do with sex. It is selling your abilities, talents or name to an undeserving cause. I have to be careful because now that I’m not selling my body, I might still become a prostitute – selling my talent to an undeserving cause. We may all think differently about what an undeserving cause is. But as women, we must discover and understand what our abilities are, what talents we possess, and what our names mean.
~ ~ ~
I got a new work assignment, cleaning in the administrative area. I was mopping up the sink in the officers' bathroom and I looked up. I was shocked. I hadn't seen my face in the mirror for three years. I had no idea I looked like that.
~ ~ ~
In this place. Wow. In this place.
At first I did not like it here. It's super cold in the wintertime and smoldering in the summer.
I need a break. A long break. But I cannot get a break from this place. There is no way out.
Strangely, it was so easy to get in here.
Still, I'm in this place, and it is getting better. Believe it or not, it is becoming a place of peace.
A place of understanding. A place of learning.
A place of purpose. But only if you want it.
A place full of the talented, the reliable.
Full of the beautiful, the spiritual,
But only if you can see it.
The Truth and Courage of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
I listened to all nine hours of testimony in the confirmation hearings. After Dr. Ford’s opening statement, I knew she was telling the truth. It was not her demeanor or her inability sometimes to hold back her emotions, but her descriptions of the assault and Kavanaugh’s state of mind. I knew because I committed sexual assaults when I was drunk. I was a drunk who had anger issues. I also had a quick temper. I said I wasn’t even there. I saw these things in him. He couldn't mask them.
As I listened, I could not help but think about my own offending. The victims of my crimes were innocent people who were attacked in their own homes by an angry, drunken fool who took his anger out on them without thought or regard. When I heard Dr. Ford describe how she felt 36 years later, I thought about what the women I attacked must have gone through for years, and the anxiety and fear other survivors must feel.
I knew before he said it that Kavanaugh was going to deny everything and portray himself as the victim. I waited for the anger, and there it was.
For decades I have wished for an opportunity to tell the victims of my crimes how deeply sorry I feel for the hurt and pain I brought into their lives. How terrible and dastardly, despicable and shameful I feel my actions were. I am grateful for one thing though, and that is that I feel this way. I have gotten to a place where I can admit my offending publicly, and I have these feelings of remorse and responsibility for what I have done. I believe that almost every sex offender, or any type of offender really, could get to a place where empathy would override the anger which drives these crimes. And if that happened, women of this world would feel safer.
I would respect this judge more if he had come clean and apologized to Dr. Ford for the pain she suffered at the hands of a drunken 17 year old. But as it is, this will hang over him for the rest of his life. He will never be able to get past it. He will never be free or forgiven. It will haunt him. I know because it haunts me. I had the opportunity to admit what I did and apologize for it at my sentencing, and I did not.
I have prayed many times that those I hurt will not suffer any more. I am deeply sorry for my actions. That is what really matters to me now. When I meet my Maker, He will know what is in my heart.
Dr. Ford displayed great courage by revealing all that she did on national television. It is a shame she has suffered for so long. I listened to her testimony carefully. I hung on every word. I believed every word. My wish for her is that she finds peace, vindication and justice. I hope she knows she inspired thousands of people -- victims and offenders alike, myself included. I hope that by being the first in my group to speak about what I have done and how I feel about it, that others will as well. It heals some things to admit what I did and take responsibility, and it honors those I wronged. I hope it is some justice.