Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Funeral of a "Hell Raiser"

As I mentioned before, my older sis was a hell raiser intent on leaving nothing standing once she had "left the building"...smoking embers and shocked faces were all that could be seen after a visit from her.

She said what she wanted to say, to anyone, including our Mother...and didnt care what happened after that. What strings she cut...what hearts she broke mattered not at all.

Throughout my entire life I knew Tammy as a consummate liar. I guess she would be considered a pathological liar considering that is someone who has an overwhelming urge to lie...even when there is no need too. We generally lie to either not hurt someones feelings or to cover up some wrong that we did...she lied "just because"...without cause without reason. I have forgotten how many times I stood there while she told a story of some event in our lives...most often an event that happened to ME...and she would not only make herself the "hero, victim, victor" whatever...she would exaggerate until the story was unrecognizable. She did that since we were very young. You could never trust what came out of her mouth...all that you could trust was that it was probably not the truth.

That was something that held true for ALL of her life...at least the part of her life I was a part of.

She made it a habit of acquiring things that were not necessarily hers...but in which the real owner should have taken better care of if he/she didnt want to lose that item...obviously they didnt deserve it since they left said item where it was easily obtained by an innocent passerby...whatever. She bragged about stealing from stores etc...quite often while she was in the store. Loudly proclaiming about the time she took such and such right under their noses...and they were all so stupid they didnt even know. Nobody ever challenged her about these loud rants...Im not sure why. Maybe they figured she was a drunk red neck and best to ignore her....if only.

While I worked at Kmart for a spell I happened to know that her and her little gang of pot heads made it a habit to steal from Kmart whenever they could...I asked her please to not at least do it while I was at work...putting me and my job at risk. She never listened of course and I was eventually forced to leave that job...circumstances of which would make another post by itself. (will think about that)

Her house was constantly over run with pot smoking, beer drinking, half naked women or lecherous men who eyed her little girls more than once. Her daughters claimed numerous times that this or that man touched them or opened the bathroom door while they were in there etc...but she never believed them...or called them sluts out to "take her man". Eventually the older one left...never to return. She lived in the same town up until her mother died...married even...but never spoke to her again. The younger daughter and littlest son was still there at the time of her death. Her older boy was long gone by that time...suffering his own mental problems brought about from his crazy abused childhood.

Her house was a cave of darkness in which Harley Davidson was the decor of choice. No matter how bright the day was outside her house was kept in perpetual twilight. Always requiring lights to be on if you wanted to see what you were doing. Her bedroom itself was a shrine to all things HD and black with bits of red were the only colors allowed. Even her clothes were basic black (HD logos everywhere), any color was rarely ever to be seen .

The reason I repeated all of this is to remind you of what I knew of MY sister....the one I grew up with...the one I despaired of...the one that pushed me away...only to draw me back when and if she needed me. The one that alienated everyone and everything around her...including her own children. The one that only seemed to hate, scream, and lie her way through life.
So my Mother rushes to Wyoming to attend her funeral with my little sis. She arrives the day of and has to hunt for the new address as my sis had moved several times around town through the years. Imagine Moms surprise to pull up into a driveway of a brand new double wide trailer. My sis had only ever lived in dumps for most of her adult life.

When they knocked on the door and it was answered by a young teenager that they instantly recognized but of who nearly broke my Mothers heart all over again for it was my youngest niece...my sis's youngest daughter...who looked exactly like my sister did at her age. My Mom hadnt seen her since she was a little girl. My niece did not seem happy to see her Grandmother all though in the past she had been a favorite to spend the night with her.

Everyone entered the house and my Mother looked around wondering if she was actually in the right house. This house was bright and breezy. Pretty decor and flowers etc were in abundance. It was pristine in appearance and not a single Harley Davidson icon could be seen anywhere...not even the color black.

Mother asked permission to look around and the new husband (of whom she had heard of but never met) showed her the house. On the walls were pics of all of us...my sis had never kept pics on her walls ever except of her kids when they were born. Mom was especially surprised to see a pic of me considering I had been "disowned" several years previously. A walk down the hall and the kids rooms had nice bedroom sets and toys...something unheard of in their younger days. Mostly castoffs and broken things were all they had to play with as my sis couldnt be bothered to buy them things...they usually ended up with things that came by way of stealing.

At the back of the house was Tammy's room. Here it was still pure Tammy. Windows were black as usual...heavily curtained and enforcing the cave like feel of the place. The walls and every surface had some sort of HD item as well as pot symbols and skulls etc. The rest of the house was a study in opposites...but here in her room the old Tammy shone through.

My Mother and younger sis just kept staring at each other with similar thoughts running through their heads...what the heck was going on?

Later that day when attending the funeral my Mother was prepared to see the usual gathering of pot heads and thieves giving their final farewells to a "gang member"....so imagine her surprise when people she didnt recognize stood up and talked about a woman who was "honest and giving"....who "told the truth no matter what"...who would "do anything for anyone"....and who "made their lives so much better for having known her".

My Mother and sis were left with their mouths literally hanging open...who the HELL was this person everyone was talking about? No way could this be the same Tammy we all "knew and loved"....something had to be wrong cause this wasnt making any sense.

After the funeral Mom had a chance to speak with some of these strangers and they all had similar stories to tell...my sis had helped them either emotionally (listening and advising on problems), financially (loaning money then not accepting it back) and just being a friend.

You would have thought this would have made my Mom happy to know that Tammy had apparently made peace with herself after all these years and finally learned to reach out to people...but in fact my Mother was furious. She was so incredibly angry she felt absolutely horrified to be at my sisters funeral with such bitterness and anger in her heart...but really...WHO WAS THIS PERSON THEY WERE ADMIRING AND CRYING OVER?!!!

My Mom felt cheated...she felt humiliated...she felt as if my sister had pulled one last "fast one" on all of us...and especially her. My sister obviously had changed in some ways...how or why we will never know....but no matter how much she had changed...she still couldnt reach out to her own Mother to try and bridge the gap that had been built. My Mother was left with the memory of a rebellious child that could never be hugged...shown care for...or even loved...without it being thrown back in our faces.

Who was this lady everyone knew and loved...and missed...who had touched them in some way...a positive way....but of whom we knew nothing about...had never got to know...and now never would?

To this day my Mother talks about that funeral and all the stories people were telling about my sister...stories that would have been impossible to believe if she hadnt heard them with her own ears...but one thing held true....everyone there considered us...her family....as her enemies. She never spoke of us...except to bad talk us or accuse us of cheating her in some way.

I will never understand my sister...the person she was, the one we knew...or the one she became that everyone else knew but not us.

I miss her either way....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sis...You Made it So Hard to Love You

My oldest sister passed away some years back. While I was here in Bahrain of course. It was merely by chance that I even knew of her passing as she still lived in the town I grew up in...as well as one of my childhood friends. It was this friend who sent me an email full of condolences over the recent death of my sister...a death I had no idea about. Considering that my Mother had not called me herself to tell me my sister had passed...I assumed she was unaware of it as well.

You might wonder how it is my sister, her daughter, could pass away without either of us even knowing (along with my other sis and brother etc)...easy enough to explain...she disowned the lot of us some years before she died.

Me specifically....but everyone else by association.

Her name was Tammy Lynn and she was 5 years older than me. She was Harley Davidson girl..never wore a bra and rarely panties...and didnt care who knew it. Her house was kept shrouded with heavy curtains...her room was decorated in Harley Davidson items...and was kept dark with both its decor and by the windows being covered. She smoked pot excessively, drank alcohol daily and abused her kids hourly. Her favorite color was black...except when it came to people, then she was a pure racist. Ironic considering the rest of us females in the family have taken rather a shine to darker skinned men.

Tomorrow is her bday and she would be 46 years old. She died 5 years ago with only 2 of her 4 children around her as she had alienated the 2 older ones at that point. They would have nothing to do with her. I imagine it was only a matter of time before the younger ones came of age and headed for the horizon as well.

Her life from the moment of her birth, breach that nearly killed her as well as my Mother, was filled with pain and some kind of inner torment that she seemingly could never be free from. She was so full of anger and hate for things and people that she constantly drove those nearest to her away. Quite often they came back ...only to be driven away again at some point. Eventually even the most die hard of her friends eventually left her for good. Her demons were a busy lot.

I grew up with an older sis that blazed a trail of destruction where ever she went. She continually failed in school, caused so many troubles with teachers and other students that my father eventually pulled her out in the 8th grade. (she would get her GED years later). She became sexually active at the age of 15 and became pregnant almost immediately. She married (by force if I understand as my father threatened to kill the guy if she didnt) this much older boyfriend and set about destroying that relationship right from the start. As soon as she turned 18 she separated then divorced him but never let him forget what a dismal failure he was as a father to their two children.

The fact that she burned so many bridges before I even got to cross them meant most of the time there werent any left standing that I could cross. My parents forbid me dating, going to parties, joining clubs, working part time and even driving merely because my sister had caused such havoc in each of those activities long before I could even start on them. I had a dismal childhood for many reasons merely because I was a middle child...and second in line after a hell raiser.

She constantly wreaked havoc in my life since I was old enough to understand her malicious streak. She would constantly break things, steal things, fail to do chores etc....and blame it on me. She would steal any boy that ever showed a glimmer of interest in me (and believe me their werent many...my sister was considered a beauty...I was a tomboy with red hair and freckles...no contest) then throw them away once they had forgotten they even liked me. She stabbed me in the back so many times Im surprised I dont spurt water when I drink...I have lost count of the many times she had me crying over her failure to see that I loved her...but she would throw it back in my face...again and again....as she did with all of us...her family.

My Mother and her were so much alike in many ways it was scary. If you pointed this out to either of them they got upset and declared themselves NOTHING like the other. I do believe it was why they clashed so often...it was like looking in the mirror and seeing the worst of yourself manifested. However, my Mother had a sweeter side that dominated her personality...my sister was rarely sweet and never willingly showed emotion unless is was anger and hate.

The interesting thing between the two of us is that we were raised in the same house...by the same parents. We suffered the same (all though my mother claims I suffered more at my fathers hands simply because my sister escaped at 15...that left only me to bear the brunt)...and yet we turned out as different as night and day. People were, and still are, surprised to learn that we were sisters. We looked nothing alike. Had extremely opposite personalities and characteristics...and generally viewed the world from different colored lenses....but she was my sister and I loved her despite her constant attack at my heart strings...trying to cut them once and for all...why...I dont know....I imagine I will never know.

When I got the email that my sister had died (btw NEVER send such heart stopping soul crushing news via email...just so you know) and realized that I would have to tell my Mother...it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. To pick up the phone and call Mom and tell her that not only had one of her children passed away....but it was her most difficult child...the one she cried over the most...the one she suffered from the most...the one she loved but could never find a stable relationship with not based on anger and hate...and now never would.

As I paused to gather my strength while my Mother waited patiently for me to tell her the "bad news"...I imagined what her first words would be once I had spoken.

"Mom...I dont know how to tell you this. Its so hard for me to do," I breathed out shuddering. She told me just to tell her...it was the only way to do it.

I took a deep breath and forced out the words...."Mom, Tammy passed away...she's dead."

For a moment I heard nothing...knowing my Mothers health problems etc I feared the worst...but was completely shocked when Mom spoke...for she said something that was nothing like what I expected...

"Tammy ...Tammy...you can finally rest now, Your demons are gone," she whispered out across the phone lines...more to herself...possibly forgetting I was there for a moment.

We realized from the obit in the papers that Tammy's funeral was only 2 days away...so my Mom and younger sis had to act fast and prepare to go attend it...even though they hadnt been informed by my sis's current husband or even any of her children....my Mom was going and that was that. Any broken relationship they may have had in life...came to an end upon death...her death.

The hardest thing about my sister's death, besides realizing she and I could never repair what had been broken now...was the fact that I had to suffer my grief alone. My husband, being the ass that he was, shouted at me for crying for her...claiming that as Muslims we werent allowed to feel sorrow over kafirs deaths...and that considering the life she lead she was most likely in Hell already!!!

He was such a bastard in those broken hearted days of mine. Of course I didnt believe him but it tore me up anyways to hear such heartless words coming from him. He wouldnt even hug me or console me in anyway...and so I suffered...quietly and alone. It was torture and I dont wish that sort of pain on anyone.

I have two boxes of pics of my life and all those who have been in it. One box is with me and the other happens to be with my daughter in Texas (she will be bringing it back to me next week...at least she better)...so I searched the box I had looking for a pic of my sis to put here...but there was only one...and its not a very flattering one at that...so I wont put it. Just so you get a picture of her...when she was young people likened her to a Tatum Oneal/Sally Fields type girl. She had the two dimples and strategically placed birth mark as well with perfectly flared hair and a white flashy smile...when she chose to use it.

She had a hard life with many abusive men scattered throughout. She suffered a severe car accident in which both her legs, among other things, were broken and she had a long haul recovery. She suffered heart problems later on which apparently eventually put her in a wheel chair in her late 30's...none of this we knew as she wouldnt allow anyone to tell us. Im not sure why her husband or children...or even any of the few friends she had...would keep such secrets for her. Some secrets just shouldnt be kept...my Mom could have been there with her...taking care of her....and basically she couldnt run away as she was prone to doing. They would have had to face each other whether she liked it or not...which is maybe why she didnt want Mom to know.

Anyhow, despite all the pain and heartbreak my sister created in our lives...we miss her terribly. Those who believe in God insist that a sinful soul as hers would find God hard pressed in allowing her access to Heaven and all its delights...I, for one, believe God forgives those with mental illness as unable to control their actions etc. She obviously suffered from some form of mental illness...whether it be bi-polar...depression...whatever.

She was a troubled soul that could never find peace in life...I hope she found peace in death.

Happy birthday sis...I miss you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is it a coincidence or what?

I currently have a house full of teenage boys staying for a few days. These are friends my family have grown up with and everyone has remained great pals since they were all toddlers.

I was talking with them earlier and realized that all of these boys (except the one in the red shorts) has a Bahraini father and a foreign mother. The mothers range far and wide in the countries they hail from....USA, Ireland, Finland, Columbia plus the girls (some sisters to these and others) that use to hang out in my house when my daughters were here have mothers that come from such places as Philippines, Peru, England and Canada.

We are a mixed bunch with different lives and different backgrounds all up to one point in time...the point in which we all came to Bahrain newly married to our Bahraini husbands. (ok some were married before they came here but you get the point).

Everyone of of these children (mine included as well as the girls not shown) come from torn families and abusive fathers. All of them. Not one of these children has a father that is not abusive to either them or their mother (some very abusive), or a father that was either secretly married already or secretly married at some point in his marriage to their mother. These fathers have cheated on their wives, abused them, held them hostage in marriages the women did not want to be in but could not get out of due to child custody and divorce laws. These fathers have made these children miserable and unable to trust for the most part...except their own mothers and each other.

There is something else I find interesting, if not sad, when it comes to these children...and so many others like them that have Arab fathers. While the marriage is still legal the father will rant and rave at his wife that these are HIS children. They will remain his children and no law or govt will change that. He will keep her tied up and bound by her love for her children and most of the time he is well aware that she will not leave without them...and uses that to his advantage. His children are HIS children...end of story. Heres the funny thing though, for those few women that actually manage to gain custody of their children and obtain a divorce....suddenly the very same fathers that fought back so ardently....the same father that laid claim to HIS children and vowed they would never know another father or life without him etc...are suddenly nowhere to be found..so much so that now the mothers have to fight in courts to get even the smallest amount of child support for these same children HE couldnt or wouldnt give up before the divorce...such hypocrisy...such dismal failures as men...as husbands...as fathers.

They have all been virtually abandoned by these same fathers that made their lives a living hell by abusing their mothers...sometimes them as well and demanded the marriage stay intact if the mother wanted to remain with her children...these very same fathers quickly jumped ship when custody was given to the mother and now most of them cant be found or make rare appearances...either to create more drama in the household or apparently overcome with the urge to play Daddy for a moment.

People tell me I generalize Bahraini men too much...that not ALL of them are abusive and controlling and use their children to keep reluctant wives hostage. Well, from my personal experience and from the lives I see around me I cant help but assume that...I can only form opinions of the men I come into contact with and so far...most of the Bahraini men I personally know are incredibly bad examples put forth for the Bahraini nationality as a whole.

Of course not all Bahraini men are like that...thank God all of them are not like that...I do know a couple that have wonderful qualities and are admirable fathers and husbands...unfortunately none of those men are the fathers of any of these children.

Most of the mothers I know that have previously been married are adamant they will never marry again...at least that is how they feel after coming out of a battle that took much of their lives (in years) and occasionally blood was shed, bones were broken. Hearts are not easily mended and trust is a hard commodity to hand out when it has been crushed so thoroughly by one entrusted with it. These mothers might very well stay single for the remainder of their lives...which means these children will likely never know a true father figure they can learn from. A father figure that will teach them that NOT all Bahraini men are like the ones they suffered from. Step fathers in this society are hardly ever given the chance to become father figures....generally speaking the children already have fathers, such as they are, so step fathers as almost an unknown concept here.

I personally cannot imagine myself marrying again simply because my entire life has been subject to the whims of abusive controlling men...needless to say Im somewhat hesitant and extremely wary of coming up unlucky for a third time in my life...better to remain single and focus on my children having a better quality of life then they previously enjoyed. Most of the mothers I have known have had similar thoughts.

My children have no men in their lives for the most part. Brothers of my best friend occasionally make an appearance as well as one of her cousins of whom I wrote a post about before as being one of the BEST Muslim men I have ever known hands down. He is a wonderful caring man...but he has his family, his children. Even though he helps us a great deal...he has a busy life and doesnt spend more than a passing moment with us as he's coming and going...there is also the one man who reached out a generous and caring hand for my daughter of who I mentioned in a previous post as well. Both of those men are exemplary and the women in their lives are definitely lucky to have found them.

As much as I shy away from the idea of a man in MY life....I do wish they had one in theirs. A man that would show my boys what it means to be a real man. A man that would show them how to treat women with respect and honor...and man that would show them how to love and protect without letting jealousy and suspicion rule their lives. I wish there was a man in my daughters lives that would teach them that men are not only for abusing and controlling. That men are not only for criticism and judgement...for name calling and slandering. I wish there was a man in their lives to teach them that men are essentially good...they were just very unlucky in the drama that is life.

Thats one of the reasons I dont care much for segregation because due to segregation in this country my daughters cant just "hang out" with a man they arent related to. There really is no way to allow them to learn that not all men are like what they are use to. In their futures the only men they will be able to learn from will be their potential future husbands...and possibly father in laws...maybe brother in laws...but in this country even that might not give them what they need as far as a true father figure of leadership...and of course by the time they are married to these men...chances are they might realize then that they once again fell into the hands of a less then honorable man.

I know this all sounds confusing and scattered but I really didnt give this post much thought from the time I had all the kids together for the pic and sat at the laptop to write it. I just felt the need to get something down. I may revise it in even after I hit publish.

So much pain in the minds of the children in that pic...as well as the ones not shown. Makes you sad to know that it didnt have to be like that.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Out of the Pan...into the Fire!!!...pt 3

(I have no idea what neighborhood this is but its similar to the ones I rode through)

So as soon as the cops were around the corner I hopped on my bike, giving my BMX rashed out backside a yelp of surprise and headed for just about the only place I could think of...boyfriends house!!

Only problem with that is that I had only ever been to his house twice, once with Moms permission (long before she came to loath him as many moms do) and once without Moms permission (his mom knew though...does that count?) Which meant that I had a general idea where his house was...when sitting in a car driving from school...on a bike at night coming from unfamiliar surroundings meant I was "driving blind" and taking my best guess.

It would take a whole other post to give you some idea of what I went through over the next two hours while I searched for his house, kept a look out for the police and desperately needing to go to the bathroom but figuring with my luck I would get caught with my pants down..literally. I rode on.

Through a rather hit and miss affair it finally dawned on me that I had found his neighborhood quite by chance as I recognized a few landmarks...I got excited and apprehensive at the same time knowing that the moment I seen him I would feel both instantly safe and absolutely terrified. Once I knocked on his door his mother would have no choice but to let my parents know where I was...its what parents do (or should...right?).

It was around 2 a.m. when I finally came upon his house...right on the freakin corner with street lights all lit up...I realized I had been back and forth twice already...somehow missing it while lost in my fear and nervousness. Now that I had arrived I was feeling uncertain and sure that it was absolutely the wrong thing to do to drag him into this...but I needed someone on MY side and at the moment I felt completely alone...on a deserted street at night with father back home lost in his crazy...mom looking for me I know but scared herself...and the cops possibly well aware now of who they dropped off and would no doubt have gone back to check on me. I needed to get off the street.

And did I mention I had to pee?!!! That was pretty much the deciding factor when it all came down to it.

Rather than go knock on his door bold as brass however, I went around to the side to his bedroom window and did my reenactment of Romeo and Juliet...except in this case Juliet was on the outside wanting in. I tossed some small stones against his window and couldnt believe the whole neighborhood didnt wake up from the crashing sound stones on glass made. I quickly ducked back down in the bushes expecting doors and windows to fly open at any moment...but all was silent.

His window was out of my reach so I couldnt just tap on it...and I seriously thought I would end up breaking it as my nervous hands didnt give me much control over the rocks I was throwing. I stood there on that moonlighted night wondering what I should do next.

I wandered back up to the front of the house contemplating knocking on the door and all that would occur after that....then I heard some noises that had me diving under some contents stowed on the porch. As I wiggled my tired butt under some chairs and gathered some things around me in an effort to hide me the noises grew louder...

Even though I was wanting my Mother at that moment more than anything...the sound of her voice along with my older sisters coming slowly down the street in her car with the windows down in lively discussion as to where HIS house was ....inexplicably had me diving for cover. To this day I dont know why I hid...but hide I did and had a foots eye view of what transpired next.

Up til then I had no idea that my sister even knew where his house was and so was surprised to see them there even though I had just spent the last few hours seriously wanting my mother. Now that she was just down on the street...I felt the need to hide...but still wondered how sis knew where his house was...and for some reason...rather upset that she did. It was somehow a relief to me that I had thought to hide my bike in the bushes so at least they wouldnt be able to see it and know I was there...somewhere...if not in the house.

As they pulled up to the curb and the engine died I could hear them plainly arguing as the whether this was house since obviously I wasnt here because all the lights were off. I squeezed myself further back in my hidey hole and held my breath as best I could. For once in my life I was rather relieved that I was only 5'3"...made hiding so much easier...sigh.

They sat in the car for 15 minutes debating whether to knock on the door or not. Waiting for signs that I was in fact in there...or maybe thinking I hadnt found my way here or hadnt even thought to come here. Meanwhile I was battling with mosquitoes that had found me and wondering if my need of a bathroom was ever going to be obtained. And still I wondered why I continued to hide.

Eventually they drove away talking about searching the surrounding neighborhoods more thoroughly. I scooted out and immediately banged on the door...before I did anything else...I needed the bathroom NOW!! If that meant waking them up then I was waking them up.

His father came to the door. Great!! He was a huge man that said very little and liked to drink in his past life. Apparently he had been up watching tv in the dark...and did not act in the least surprised or upset to see me standing on his porch at 2:30 in the morning. He opened the door wider and invited me in...the house was dark and silent (gulp) and only the tv flickering gave any idea that someone was home.

The father called out to my boyfriend that he had a "female guest", I wanted to giggle at that considering my true position in boyfriends life...and wondered how often guests, female or otherwise, showed up unannounced in the middle of the night? I might point out that arriving unannounced in the middle of the night affords you some information about someone you might ordinarily not know...such as...boyfriend apparently slept in the nude...since nude is how he stumbled out of his room all bleary eyed and completely sure his father was confused about something.

One wide eyed look at me left a flurry of emotions scurrying across his face. Happiness at seeing me....fear over what brought me there (knowing full well what my mother thought of him) and sudden realization that he was VERY cold...for obvious reasons. He dived back into his room and came back out within seconds with some pj bottoms on. My red face was still burning though and would continue to do so for quite sometime..."it" was the first one I had ever seen...not related to me or on tv...if you know what I mean.

He rushed over and hugged me and I felt safe at once...even though I knew full well he couldnt really do anything...for that moment I felt like all my troubles meant nothing...I realized I had been somewhat holding my breath up til that point as I now felt it rush out in deep felt relief.

His mother came out of the bedroom tying on her robe and wondering what all the noise was. One look at me and she knew "shit" had been going on at my house that night...if only she knew. I had approximately 5 minutes to give a rushed rundown of what my evening had consisted of before we heard a knock on the door...my that was fast.

At the door stood two city cops and my mom and sis. The cops had hands on guns (again) but at least they were still holstered. Suddenly the night became very tense indeed and everyone seemed on edge and completely careful about movement and speech tones. I hated the fact that I had drawn this family into my drama...but desperate times call for irrational actions...sometimes...sigh.

Discussions ensued in which my "rights" were hashed over...in that since I was only 17 I had NO right to decide for myself where I chose to be at that time...my mother had the right to take me home...end of discussion. I remained quiet up till then but eventually felt compelled to step out on the porch and face my mother with the fact of my fathers insanity...and how me going home was the LAST thing I wanted to do.

I could see by the look on her face she didnt want me to say anything but I couldnt hold back. I was scared to death to go home...especially after my midnight ride and getting the cops involved. I knew on top of everything else that had happened...my father would hold that against me.

"Mom, dont you understand...Dad believes I tried to poison him for Gods sake. How can I go home when he thinks that?"

She tried to make light of it and explained to me (but really for the cops benefit) that he had calmed down and didnt mean it...and had promised not to mention this night again.

Yeah...like I believe that!!!

The cops explained that I could either go home...or go to a childrens shelter over night until something could be decided about me. I didnt like the sound of that either...as much as I didnt want to go home...I wanted my Mom. I decided to go home....with the absolute resolution that if I could ride my bike into town once...I could damn well do it again if I needed too. Apparently Mom realized this too as she told my sis to keep the bike at her house when we left her there later....sigh!!!

After it was all hashed out we left with a warning from the cops that they would "check on me" to make sure all was well. My boyfriend had barely said a word up til then...sort of gave me an idea that he wasnt the sort to speak up (something I would learn very well later on)...his mother was against letting me go but what could she do? Off we went.

The car ride home was very quiet. Mom didnt know what to say to make me feel safe. She knew what we were going back too...knew the potential for violence that awaited us..even with the threat of cops showing up at anytime. As I have posted about previously...my father didnt care much for cops and didnt mind letting them know it.

We arrived home with heavy hearts and heavier feet. Entering that house that night was hands down one of the bravest things I had ever done in my life up to that point. I was on pins and needles and ready to fly into the night at the least provocation..,.with or without the bike.

My father spoke to my mom...asked her what happened...but didnt speak to me...or even look at me. From that night until I left for the Air Force about 5 weeks later he did not utter so much as one word to me...and avoided me as much as possible. On the one hand I was relieved to be off his radar so to speak...on the other hand I KNEW my father and didnt expect it to last as long as it did...consequently I was constantly on high alert around him. I couldnt relax or let my guard down even for a moment...it was an exhausting 5 weeks.

By the time my instructor arrived at my house June 21, 1986 to take me to Salt Lake City for my departure for San Antonia Texas for boot camp...I was literally an emotional mess. Anticipating violence is almost as bad as actually being a victim of it...you dont believe me...ask anyone who has been there. If I didnt know better, KNOWING my father and the way he was...I would say that was EXACTLY how he wanted me to feel. Payback for the night of drama. Wouldnt have put it past him for a moment.

Before I left my mother and younger sis hugged me and wished me well. The look in my mothers eyes was one I have never forgotten to this day. A mix of emotions that ranged from happiness that I was finally "escaping" and sadness that her child was leaving...and knowing my feelings for that house...most likely would not be back...at least not for good. My father told her to stop crying and just let me leave. Always the tyrant.

I left my mother and sis that day...watching their reflections recede in the side view mirror...feeling like I was abandoning them to the Monster...leaving them without protection or hope. I was running away...but they had to stay.

If I were to explain my feelings that day it would be along the lines of...prisoners held against their will for years...suffering and abused in ways unimaginable...then one day ONE of the prisoners has a chance to escape...but is torn between running towards freedom...and staying back to offer support. Misery loves company as they say. Most of the time the other prisoners will encourage you to RUN...run and dont look back...dont worry about us...we will be fine...save YOURSELF and come back for us.

I was running...I was saving myself...but would I come back and save the others? On that day I truly had no idea if I would be able to rescue those "left behind"...I wasnt sure if I was capable of rescuing myself...even though I was leaving home...I knew I wasnt emotionally fit for the "outside world." Something that has held true for most of my life....as many of my posts here would attest too.

Leaving my mother and sis that day was and is still one of the worst memories I have of my youth. Its something my mother and I discuss alot. She admits she felt abandoned by me that day but also felt relieved I was getting away. She was proud that I had found my escape...but wanted to snatch me back and keep me with her.

Funny enough...little did I know that I was leaving one Monster behind...but another one waited for me up ahead....and I didnt stand a chance against that one either.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Out of the Pan...into the Fire!!!...pt 2

*sorry for the late post...life suddenly requires me to be on the GOOO constantly this past week...hate when that happens. Also I searched for an adequate pic for this post but didnt find what I wanted..so no pic...get over it already.

So there I was...tooling down the highway way after dark on my BMX bike not caring in the least that my immediate safety was in potential danger...but knowing full well that my safety back home was in serious doubt. Better the devil we know as they say...so on I rode...until suddenly out of the dark a police whoop whoop!! and flashing lights lit up the sky.

My adrenalin, which had waned somewhat with each mile that I thrust behind me...suddenly was on high octane once again. Nobody likes to see the police under ordinary circumstances...obviously this wasnt in the least ordinary.

I couldnt help but notice when they approached me that both had their hands situated in such a way that gunning me down should I prove to be a pain wouldnt be a problem (gulp!). I decided it would be prudent not to make any sudden moves...not easy to do when my heart was pounding literally out of my chest. Ouch!

At this point I might point out that my brain was full speed ahead searching for a reason which would require me to be out on the highway at night. To just breezily say I was out for a ride didnt quite sound legit to my ears...the ears of cops I figure are even a little more picky. Funny enough...it never occurred to me that just being out for a ride at night wasnt against the law in and of itself...but what did I know...I was a kid.

My mind was racing even while I considered running off into the dark...I was already mentally doing the zig zag run in order to make myself a harder target to hit...funny how cops make you feel guilty even when you havent done anything. Of course theres always the possibility that I DID do something...it is the cops mind you...I watch the news like everyone else. Innocent "suspects" get shot full of holes as often as hardened criminals right? Better just to stand there and keep my hands in plain sight...sigh.

Anyhow, one cop talked to me while the other cop searched the surrounding dark for my accomplices (bike gang?) or possibly for contraband I might have thrown out there when they arrived. About the only thing he was likely to find out there was my wayward heart that was violently shoved from my chest at the sound of the whoop whoop!!

It seems my appearance surprised them for several reasons. The report they received stated that a MAN was seen riding a bike...I was hardly a man and barely 17. Now they were even more interested to know why I was out on the highway at night...I had to come up with something fast...*think think*....aha!!! I had it.

"Im going to visit my sister. She lives in town," I stated sincerely. (if not slightly wobbly).

My sis did live in town but obviously had no idea I was on the way....on my bike no less.

The cop asked for her name and number and went back to the car. The other cop just kept looking at me then scanning the highway and roadside. Im guessing he was thinking NOBODY rides a bike on the highway at night unless they are up to no good...or running to something..or from something. He seemed like the sort that would find out one way or the other. I made sure I kept my bike between me and Officer Monk.

Other cop came back and said nobody was answering the phone at my sis's house. Thank God! I was rather happy for a change that my sis wasnt there to answer her phone...her all night party behavior sometimes paid off. Go Sis!!!

The cops must have decided I was the mythical "innocent until proven guilty" party and decided the best thing to do was take me the rest of the way into town. One of them lifted my bike into the trunk and the other bundled me into the back seat. The sound of the squad car door banging shut...and the fact that there was no handles and plenty of wire mesh etc made me cognizant of the fact that I might be innocent...but I was still "caught".

So I made small talk in an effort to convince them that I was as in no way smart enough to commit a crime...then stupid enough to make my get away on a bike on a major highway at night...wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt no less.

I babbled and tripped over my tongue on the most inane of topics...but I couldnt seem to shut up. I felt compelled to fill the silence with idiotic banter. I figured by the end of the car ride they might lock me up for causing them audio pain listening to my prattle. I still couldnt stop.

Suddenly I remembered I was going into the military soon...so I threw that out there in hopes that some camaraderie might be established. See Boys...Im almost one of you!!! More babbling and prattling...sigh. They didnt appear to be impressed. I had that affect on people back then.

It only took about 10 minutes to reach my sisters house. Apparently I rode my bike around 14 miles that night. Not bad considering it was a BMX with a very uncomfortable seat. I had a serious case of BMX rash by that time...owie!!!

Thankfully still when we arrived sis wasnt there. One of her stoner boyfriends came tripping out of the house before we were even completely stopped. I figured he was doing something illegal in there because he was never one eager to dash out and meet the cops..they usually had the opportunity to make his acquaintance after a lengthy "jog" through neighborhoods and parking lots.

It was a tense few moments while the boyfriend considered the fact that his girlfriends sis had arrived out of the blue with cops no less and was he about to go to jail (for whatever he was doing at that moment in the house of course)? and I figure the cops could read his situation and were considering whether what he was doing in the house was worth their time to investigate...or should they just take my word for it that all was kosher and be on their way....and I was wondering if I was literally going to see a shoot out up live and personal because I happened to know exactly what stoner boyfriend did with his spare time...and could guess what was going on in the house.

Things could get even more interesting before the night was done...however...the cops brought all that creative thinking to a halt when they called it a night and with one more warning to stay off the highways PERIOD while on my bike...they left....but with a few thoughtful looks thrown back over their shoulders before reaching their car...1 or 2 for me...5 or 10 for stoner boyfriend.

Realizing he wasnt in the clear just yet he was doing his best impression of complete innocence...but the hazy look in his eyes and slight swaying back and forth sort of ruined the whole effect.

With one final look back at the both of us...they slammed their doors and were gone.

Both of us gave simultaneous sighs of relief...for different reasons Im sure.

Boyfriend looked at me and said..."your sister isnt here".

Hey gee thanks...nice to see you too stoner-in-law...whatever.

Without answering him I was on my bike and headed out again...I had a destination in mind for real this time...cops or no cops I was back on the move.

*to be continued

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Son the Graduate...Proud Momma Here!!!

I want to congratulate my son Adam who graduated high school today. He averaged 94% and has been an A student every one of his 12 years of school.
He is a wonderful son and a joy to mother...and Im soooo freakin proud of him.
Now for him to go to engineering school (his interest is airplanes) and to become something wonderful and brilliant...so he can take care of his mother in a fashion which she will definitely become accustomed too....lol.
Congratulations my little boy...you worked hard, suffered a lot but still came through with flying colors. I love you sonny.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Out of the Pan...into the Fire!!!...pt 1

(this is I-80 in Wyoming...not the one I rode my bike on but close enough)

Anyone that has read this blog for any length of time (thank you btw) will have realized by now that I came from a childhood home that, hindsight tells me, Im lucky to have escaped from with my life. No lie. Read this little adventure I had and tell me someone wasnt smiling on me that day (night).

My family lived on a farm of sorts the last two years I was in high school. It was situated about 17 miles outside of Rock Springs just off highway I-80. We were isolated and at the complete mercy of my insane father who kept us wondering on a moment by moment basis as to when his newest rampage would begin...and would we come out the other side with limbs and lives intact?

This farm had a tank in which we could haul clean water and fill it up to use in the house etc...or fill up with ordinary water for watering the animals or just day to day activities. For the longest time it was filled with sweet water so that we could drink directly from the tap in the house...as well as all other household needs.

Unknown to any of us the tank had formed a crack in one of its underground walls and therefore rainwater or whatever ground water there was had gotten into the well. My father knew this and had taken a sample to be analyzed to see if any impurities had gotten into the tank.

Apparently the answer was positive for impurities. Father did not bother to tell me this when I arrived home from school and went about my usual chores and preparing dinner. I also made a pot of coffee which was required to be made at all times in our house.

I had a feeling something was up though because he kept pacing around the house like a caged animal waiting for someone to get too close so he could lash out and strike...leaving torn skin and shredded nerves behind. I stayed well clear...I knew the potential for violence was never far away. Little did I know that the caged animal had me in his sights.

Finally my father stormed into the kitchen shoving some papers under my nose shouting about poisons and plots and how I was surely going to hell for trying to murder my own father...WTF!!! I desperately looked at the wall clock and realized my mother wouldnt be home for another hour or so. I was alone with a mad man.

A mad man who apparently thought I had tried to poison him though coffee made with tainted water. Water he didnt bother to tell me was tainted to begin with.

For the next half hour his anger and agitation grew more volatile with every new accusation of plotted murder and threats of sending me directly to hell. I was literally shaking in my shoes at this point. I had seen him go off on a wild rant before but this was something else entirely. Every few moments he would come charging back to me shoving the papers anew...spitting out numbers that were supposed to mean something to me about so much % of taint in the water...then he would start circling the house again. I would take that time to try and calm down and figure out my escape...for escape I knew was my only solution. He was on a true and straight course for violence...and the fact that he was whipping himself up into an ever greater frenzy left me feeling like I wouldnt live to see the sun come up much less my mother arriving home to calm things down.

I had to take action...no time like the present as they say.

I might mention that by this time my younger sister had arrived home from school and walked into a scene of impending domestic violence...she backed out into the driveway again without my father even realizing she was there. She knew how to lay low when it was called for. Of course this meant she was a witness to my get away.

The moment my father stalked off once again I was out the front door and taking my life into my hands in the only way I knew how...I grabbed my bike and hit the road. I might remind you that we lived off a major Wyoming highway....17 miles from town...and it was just reaching sunset.

I had nowhere to go...but I was damned if I was going to stay and willingly be hurt (or worse) by that man who had violence on his mind if there was something I could do about it.

I got on the highway and road like the hounds of hell were on my heels.

Some of you are probably thinking right now...how the hell could she even think about doing something like that? A long stretch of lonely highway...unknown potential predators behind the wheel of every car or semi that went by? Sun going down and miles between me and the next town. Believe me...not once did I even think about the dangers I was willingly riding into because the danger I was escaping held me in a grip of reckless abandon...better to escape the Monster I knew...then worry about the ones that might lay ahead of me.

Unknown to me...I would find out later...my mother had arrived home but obviously got a condensed and cleaned up version of what had been going on prior to my hitting the highway. Since my father didnt know my younger sister had been there...he assumed his story would be the only one that mattered. When sis told mom what Really happened...she called the police. Father apparently wasnt too worried about daughter on the highway at night...but mom was right on it!!!

However, once she called the police, father was all ears and full of fake concern. Remember he had already had a year in jail for accusations of killing my older sister (old post...cant link sorry) so he wasnt about to keep up his rampage when the cops were on the way...suddenly he was concerned father worried about his wayward daughter. Yeah...right

As well as waiting for the cops to show up my mother had gone down the road both ways thinking I hadnt gone very far...but by this time I was miles away headed for town. (wasnt sure what I was going to do when I got there...worry about that later)

Lucky for me (yeah lucky) I happened to be wearing a white tshirt...it had Mickey Mouse on it. Dont know why I remember that...but at least it showed up clear and bright on that dark stretch of highway...otherwise I could easily have been hit by any car or semi that went by. Unknown to me I had obviously been spotted by a few semi's that had gone by (nearly knocking me off the road anyhow with the blow back)...and someone thought it prudent to call the highway patrol. Whoever I was...I sure wasnt safe on the road at night on a bike.

Of course all this time my mother was freaking out back home...she also realized what bringing the police into it might do to our house...while the police were there father would be the epitome of domestic bliss...once they were gone...lets just say...you would hate to be us. When the cops arrived they gave a sanitized "teen upset so ran away" story as a cover. My mother was too scared to say what really had been going on. My father had that affect on us.

So here I was, black highway stretched before me. Only the occasional billboard to light the way. The sky was clear but the moon wasnt that bright. I could just barely see the road well enough to stay on it...all though the lights of passing cars helped...but the horn that they sounded now and then scared the crap out of me every time. To this day Ive often wondered why not even one car or semi stopped for me...with honest intentions of help or...ahem...something else....I didnt even get one slow down and shout out the window. Im absolutely positive that wouldnt happen here in Bahrain if the situation were the same.

On I rode. My back was killing me...not to mention my ass. I had visions of never being able to sit properly again....but on I rode. I never once considered turning around and going back. Fear kept my adrenaline on high octane.

Eventually the highway patrol caught up with me. Not the ones my mother had spoken too actually but ones that had gotten several call outs from passing semi's that had spotted me in the dark. These ones did not know who I was at the moment.

For some reason these men in blue (or is it brown for the highway) decided to come up RIGHT THE FREAK BEHIND ME before turning their lights on and hitting the WHOOP WHOOP!! of the siren.

To tell you that my heart nearly flew out my mouth as I barely kept myself from flying off the side of the road into the ravine running along side the highway hardly describes it. When I realized the cops had found me...I wasnt in the least happy to see them. All I could think about is that they were going to take me back home...he would make up some crap story about me being a bad daughter...they would leave with severe warnings to "behave myself and keep of the highways".

So I did what any kid would do in my situation...I lied to the cops.

*to be continued

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Be Careful Washing Your Delicates!!!

For anyone that has ever visited the Middle East...or maybe just a predominately Muslim country....you will probably have seen bathrooms with these water hoses for washing up after. Most homes have them and quite a few commercial businesses etc will have them as well. They are a common enough commodity and used quite regularly by the native populations (not sure about the visitors etc).
Now one thing some people might not be aware of when using one of these thing is that the temperatures outside can decidedly affect the temps of the water you are about to wash your nether regions with...and that you have about 4 or 5 seconds of rather lukewarm liquid...before you are possibly scalded with some suddenly very hot water pointed directly at your most precious bits. It can be an extreme eye opener (not to mention scream inducer)..and peeing or anything else you were planning to do later in the day can be a very sensitive matter indeed.
One way around this is to not have your water tank on top of your house or building where the sun is busy boiling it all day long...easy if you own your home...not so easy if you rent etc.
Another option is to keep some tepid water handy in the bathroom just for such moments...nice if you dont have animals or small children that dont come along and spill it or play in it (or drink from it)...sigh!! If you place it up out of the way your likely to forget to bring it down BEFORE sitting down to take care of business...and then your left maneuvering yourself after the fact to get it while not...*ahem* ...dripping or something on your clothing. (dont laugh...it happens)
Anyhow, Summer is now fully upon us here in Bahrain...temps are in the high 35 to 37 degrees Celsius already...so that means the water is right up there in the too hot to handle during midday (no showers and dish washing for you wimps) (yes..that would be me) and seriously too hot for your nether regions to take without some serious repercussions.
Believe me...take my word on this...its not something you want to try out for yourself. Nuff said.
*I dont know why my paragraphs wont stay put. They are here when I type it out but disappear once its posted. Very frustraing. Grrr!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I LOOOOVE My Jeep..You Haters Can Bite Me!!!

This is my little red jeep I write about now and then...or my Red Hot Box as I lovingly refer to her on occasion...or even my "poor jeep" as she is forced to be called because red seems to attract the crazies when it comes to driving. Never seen so many drivers just lose their minds when she comes anywhere near them...and seemingly make a beeline right for her...the near misses are too numerous to count.

I bought her about 2 years ago brand new. It was my first ever purchase of anything of significance...first new car I have ever had...and first time I put myself in debt to own something...Whew!!! a lot of firsts with this girl.

From the moment I walked into the Daihatsu showroom and seen her sitting there all sparkly under the spotlight I knew she was going home with me. She called out to me and I answered with gleeful abandon. Its been a love affair every since.

In the two years Ive had her nothing has ever gone wrong or caused me hardship...other than the mindless idiots that are determined to take her from me with their constant need to validate their day by crashing into someone else...sigh!!! She has been in a few crashes...but none of them were her fault...she's very careful and ever mindful of safety first. The people at Daihatsu garage are always happy to bring her back to pristine condition. Right now she has some scrapes and bruising that need to be taken care of...but shes still beautiful to look at.

I smile every time I go and take her for a drive. She always seems happy to see me too...making zippy little engine noises and quick to answer my every command with accuracy and agility. Its an added plus that I can pretty much park her wherever I want...she fits right into the smallest of gaps....or up onto a sidewalk and over to the dirt area (shush..dont tell...but traffic is dreadful and sometimes you gotta do what you can to keep your sanity).

She is a dream and I highly recommend any potential car buyer to check out her sisters and take one home. You wont be disappointed. Her ability to just go and go on one tank of gas leaves you making bets as to just how much farther she will go even when her gas light has been on for "quite some time". (sorry girl...times are tough....money is low...mommy doesnt mean to make you drink from the bottom so often)

Now here is my beef. Nobody seems to consider her a bonafide jeep...they act as if she is just a jeep wannabe and has no right to even be so high off the ground and look all jeepy like. Ive lost count of the number of times people ask me when am I going to get a "real" jeep!!! Such blasphemy...Im always careful to reprimand them in front of her so her feelings are not hurt. I wouldnt trade her for the biggest baddest gas guzzling jeep on the market today...shes my baby...my comfort...my space for some solitude and my taste for adventure fullfilled.

In a world (my world) where so many things are tough and hard to get through...where bills pile up and friends become enemies over petty stuff...where families are separated and the net is slooooow...at least I have my little jeep to take me away from it all...we go for a cruise...windows down...cd's playing...no worries.


btw...as much as I love you daughter of mine...NO I will not send her to you in the states...I love you with all my heart...but thats just pushing it.