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Looking at my Past

Ever since I heard that my ex was living back in Boulder in the Ponderosa trailer park, I felt like I was tempting fate by my excursions into the university town.  I told myself that I had been in and out of that town for over a year and had seen only one person from the old circle and they hadn’t seen me, and that when I saw Julie who used to run the NBC in NoBo she didn’t even recognize me, so why should I worry about the ex?  I should know better.  You think I’d know better.

My husband and I drove out to Boulder because I really do love the view of the mountains and I have basically been cooped up in the house for the past week.  We hadn’t even been on Broadway more than five minutes and as we’re driving past the gas station north of Violet, I see him.  His stature is unmistakable, the way he carries himself while walking, hell, I’d even venture saying his aura is unmistakable.  As we drove past him, I looked him in the eyes, knowing that if he recognized me and saw me turn my head in avoidance, I knew that that would give him this sense of him having power over me still, all these years later.  I have come too damn far in my life since then to give him an inkling of power over me again so I refused to avert my eyes.  He saw me.  I know he saw me.  It almost seemed as if there was that flicker of recognition as the look on his face shifted just an iota, his smile suddenly wasn’t as big; it was very interesting to see someone’s mood shift so suddenly and so visibly, at least it was visible to someone who once studied every little thing about him.

But while I felt my heart stop for a moment as I looked into the face of my abuser, I felt a new feeling beginning to take root within me, and the only word I can ascribe to this new feeling is “empowered”.   I feel like I can finally shut the book on that part of my past.  I left my ex a broken mess, a shell of a person that I had once been, just barely holding my own head up because I felt so beat down, so defeated.  And today, not even a decade later, I am worlds above what I was before.  I have regained my self-esteem and it continues to grow stronger every day.  I have picked up the pieces of my broken life and I have forged them into this new life, stronger and better than before.  I am no longer that weak girl desperate for someone to love her.  I am now a strong woman who has weathered storm after storm and still is standing.  I know my worth.  I know that I am loved and loved by many.  While I still have my battles, I know that I will survive because of where I have been already.

“It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll;

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.” (Invictus, W. E. Henley)


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A Request

Over on my Facebook account I have posted positive things about the Me too hashtag.  I know that not everyone is comfortable with sharing their experiences so when a friend of mine contacted me and asked if I would be willing to share their’s anonymously, I agreed to. 


With their permission, I share their experience on my blog for easier sharing capability:

Remember #Metoo doesn’t mean it happened just once…..


12 yrs old             #Metoo – My 7th grade science teacher constantly made comments                                           about our low cut shirts – and about being pretty


14 yrs old          #Metoo  –  I was not allowed to walk a block to work and back and could                                not go out in our front yard because my married neighbor was hitting on                              me and told me he wanted to kiss me – nothing was said to him.


15 yrs old             #Metoo – My adopted father chastised me for wearing a one-piece                                           bathing suit in front of him because of how it made him “feel” knowing                                 he wasn’t my real father – same man who felt me up using the excuse                                     my room was dark and he wanted to know if I was cold and needed                                       covered up.


16 yrs old             #Metoo – My first time drinking at a party – I don’t remember anything                                 except not Knowing where my clothes were when I woke up the next                                     morning with a guy next to me who wasn’t even at the party when I                                       passed out….the prank calls after that were the worst, and the                                                  comments people made under their breath. I found out I wasn’t the only                                girl he did this to. No one told me that was called rape.


17 yrs old             #Metoo – My boss (a job I got through though the school) like to grab my                                hips when I  was leaning over filing and “squeeze” though rubbing                                          himself on me. He also tried to kiss me – I slapped him – I was chastised                                saying he was just playing.


17 yrs old             #Metoo – My boyfriend’s dad kept grabbing my shoulders and rubbing                                  me, drunk begging his son to switch girlfriends with him – just for the                                    night. I couldn’t be alone around him – no adult told him to stop.


20 yrs old             #Metoo – New job – coworker constantly cat calling and making sexual                                  remarks – I didn’t want to lose my job complaining – finally told and                                      management wanted to put us both in the same room to let us have it                                    out –  he was finally fired after he followed me home.


24 yrs old             #Metoo – I went to bed and woke up with my boyfriend’s best friend all                                 over me –  I jumped up screaming – I pressed charges – his parents                                         hired an expensive lawyer –  he only received probation. He started                                         rumors I was a swinger.


24 yrs old             #Metoo – I was at my boyfriend’s work Christmas Party – his bosses                                        drunk brother wanted to keep talking to me about his wife’s pussy – he                                  kept following me around – I had to hide from him and sneak to our                                      hotel room – he kept trying to figure out where our room was after that                                – I didn’t come out the rest of the night.


39 yrs old             #Metoo – New job, my supervisor – would tell me to wear something                                       sexy the next time we had to meet. When I stood up to him he withheld                                 perinate information I  needed for the next corporate meeting – making                                me look unprepared and stupid  in front of our corporate team – he kept                                reminding me he had my address and could come to my house if I gave                                  him trouble.


I was questioned by someone very close to me once….They said it seemed awful “funny” how I seemed

to have all these issues with guys, saying it really made them wonder……….



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Stoner-ramble: Jehovah’s Witnesses

I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  For those that understand the lingo: I’m a third generation born in.  This means that my generation is the third generation to be JWs and I was born “into” the religion.  I didn’t know much of anything else for a long time.  I had a superiority complex, something I’ve discovered is quite common with those of the religion.  When you’re in a group that calls itself “The Truth” and claims to have “The Truth” and that we, meaning Jehovah’s Witnesses, are the only ones to have “The Truth” it is kind of inevitable that you’re going to encounter a major superiority complex.  One of my memories from early childhood is when I was in about the 2nd grade, maybe 3rd.  It was around Christmas time and I was, once again, in a new school (my mother and step-father moved quite often, I have only attended the same school once and only for 2 years, every other year I was in a new school), and my classmates were asking what I wanted for Christmas.  As I remember this experience from my youth, I cringe.  I feel embarrassed for the young girl I was because my answer isolated me from all of my classmates.  You see, you’re taught as a Jehovah’s Witness to take every opportunity to witness to those around you.  Spread the Word, speak of Jehovah’s greatness.  I proceeded to inform my classmates that Santa was fake, that celebrating Christmas was akin to worshiping Satan and that real Christians didn’t celebrate holidays and birthdays.  Yeah, going to a new school was a good way for me to “hit the rewind button”… too bad it took me until my early preteen years to learn to just shut up about the beliefs because the kids were only going to make fun of me and make my life hell for the entire year.  I hated school for that reason, but I always loved to learn.  I found that learning was what set me apart from them, that was the only way I could get any kind of recognition was through my lessons at school.  Unfortunately that didn’t endear me to my classmates either because I ended up being “teacher’s pet”.

I stopped being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses when I was 16.  I was disfellowshipped for those that understand that.  For others… I was excommunicated and am shunned by the Jehovah’s Witness community including my family.  While I do have some contact with my family, it is strained and kept to an extreme minimum… their wish, not mine.  They would say it’s not their wish but the way that it has to be because I choose to not return to the religion and my being disfellowshipped is a punishment.  The shunning, in my opinion, is emotional blackmail.  If I want anything to do with my Jehovah’s Witness family, I have to go about proving my repentance for my actions of my youth that got me disfellowshipped and getting reinstated… which is not a simple thing, remember… actions speak louder than words.  You have to attend the meetings, you still cannot associate with anyone because you’re still a spiritual leper, you have to live your life just as you did as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses before.  There is nothing unreasonable about how one goes about getting reinstated.  But I do not wish to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I was baptized because I felt pressure from people in my family (while I must insert here that members of my family claim that I only got baptized because a friend was getting baptized, a friend that I was no longer very close to so that argument on their part actually holds no water), but I had planned on “fading”, just riding it out until my 18th birthday when I could move out on my own and begin my own life.  Things didn’t work out that way; everything changed when my grandfather died.  But… I do not believe in god.  I have become an agnostic atheist as I’ve grown older.  I have a love of learning about religions, I find it very fascinating and intriguing.  I just do not believe in any kind of higher power. But because I am disfellowshipped I am to be shunned, I am to have close to no contact with my own family, my own parents.  Like I said, emotional blackmail.

In recent years I have gotten fed up with how I’ve been treated by my JW family.  I handled being shunned and ignored by them from the time I was 16 until I was in my mid-30s just fine.  It bugged me but I shrugged it off.  They had their life, I had mine.  That all changed when one family member decided to indirectly attack me on my niece’s Facebook post back in 2011, trying to “throw mud” at me about something they didn’t have any information about, just had heard a couple things, they didn’t have the whole story.  But because I was no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, because I had battled drug addiction, homelessness, had been engaged in illegal activity in my past, this family member decided to pull up something from my past that had occurred before the majority of these above issues and use it to make me look bad and irresponsible and that any advice I could give was bad.  This during a time when I was trying to get my life back on track (which I was successful in doing and have maintained stability since then), after I had left an abusive relationship that left me disabled, this family member felt the need to drag up something that had happened years before, something that had nearly killed me inside to the point that I had been suicidal, all because I was no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This family member has never once apologized for what they said.  This same family member I found out later had a habit of going onto my Facebook wall and checking out my Instagram account and telling the rest of the family of all the things that I was doing, causing problems between me and my mother, one of the only people in the family that really would speak to me.  I’ve heard conflicting stories since then that this individual in my family was never stalking my Facebook page while I’ve been told by others that the person did stalk my page.  I cannot say one way or another but I do know that my Jehovah’s Witness family raised hell with my JW mother and JW sister for coming to my house when my daughter who none of us had seen in nearly 10 years came to see me.  And then I found out that my JW family wanted my JW mom and JW sister to take my daughter and her at the time boyfriend (now husband) all the way out to their place, well over an hour’s drive from my home.  The family that had no time for my children at all when they were little wanted to take my time with my daughter who I had not seen in almost a decade away from me.  And then they wanted to berate my mother and sister for being at my home to see my daughter, their granddaughter and niece.  And they wonder why I became vocal about my feelings about their religion?  Because everything they do is dictated by their religion.  Because being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is more than belonging to a religion, it’s a way of life.

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Rambling mind: Injustice

You cannot cry out against injustice and demand things change if you do nothing to show you want that change.

Boycotting was once how we forced change against injustice. No one wants to boycott because “it doesn’t do anything”.
We once marched across cities to show solidarity against injustice. Today we are ridiculed and attacked if we march.
We once held court on a soapbox in the public park, speaking to our neighbors about injustices we have seen and how things must change. Today those people are ignored or sent to jail for disturbing the peace (not to mention at times assaulted by those sworn to protect us).

We have become indifferent to injustice. We have decided to stay in our little bubbles we live in while ignoring the plight of our neighbors, assuming that if they can’t succeed or be as well of as others, then they’re lazy. Quick to judge and slow to accept the reality of the situation that envelops the entire world and even slower to move to action.

And the saddest thing of this is that we have no one to blame for this but our own selves. We put others under a microscope to judge them for how they live, but we put blinders on our own eyes when we look at our own selves

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*this is a post from my Facebook account.* IMG_20170709_085112775.jpg


So, when I was at the Mother Cabrini Shrine I stopped into the chapel. I have often found going to a church and reflecting on things helps center me and lately I’ve been feeling like I needed a major recentering session. I think I was right.

It wouldn’t be right for me to sit and write about what I thought about while sitting there in the pew staring up at this image of The Sacred Heart of Jesus (I believe that’s the proper name for this type of image of Christ, his heartexposed in a way) but I can tell you that I was able to walk out feeling a little less chaotic in my head.

When I made the trek up the steps to the statue, I did a lot of thinking. Oh yeah, that trek is definitely made to make you reflect. Along the way are the Stations of the Cross (though one was missing) with depictions of Christ’s walk to Golgotha and I found it fitting that sometimes the steps were difficult to walk, my legs tired and ached a bit. But I kept on, because I was going to make the trek to the top. As I’m walking up these steps, that cynical part of me is explaining to me why the steps are the way they are… they’re a sort of imitation of Christ’s on His way to be crucified. Then the other part of my brain pipes in with the fact that “Well, if these steps are supposed to make us reflect on Christ and the Passion of the Christ, making us reflect on what He went through, maybe I should be reflecting on way I’m making this trek myself. Maybe I should be thinking about why this is so important to me. Maybe I should be looking at the lesson I need to learn for my own life, atheist or not.”

And that I did.

On the way back down after making it to the summit, taking a breather and getting a few pictures, I realized that the descent was less taxing than the ascent. Kind of like when you push yourself toward a goal. It can be hard, it can be tiring, it can hurt, it can make you want to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Enough! I’m done! I can’t do it anymore!”, but once you make it to your goal, it’s not so hard anymore. You realize how much you’ve gone through and how much more you’ve grown because of your experience.


“I know from experience that you should never give up on yourself or others, no matter what.” – George Foreman

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I set my mind to being positive.  I am actively trying to stop being so negative about things in my own personal life.  And it’s odd….  it seems like a bunch of my friends are on the same wavelength of putting positive vibes out, of replacing the negative with positivity, almost like some kind of awakening amongst us.

I had so many reasons to be negative yesterday.  My husband is the regional supervisor for the company he works for and there’s been an issue in the past month of payroll being delivered to him on time (it’s sent from out of state).  The company has been working on alleviating this problem and had even started getting things ready to set up where payroll for this region is handled here, but a certain delivery service that I will not name delivered all of the necessary equipment to the completely wrong address and as far as I know (not being an employee) it still has not been located.  The week after that screw up, the same delivery service delivered payroll to the wrong address again.  Then this past week for some reason payroll was delivered a day late but due to a problem with the bank, no one has been able to cash their paychecks.  My husband was so stressed out yesterday that his bad mood was affecting me.  But I kept my positive attitude and by the end of the day, while problems still had arisen and new problems arose with an employee, my husband was smiling and laughing with me, enjoying the moment.

I received a message from a friend during the night that I saw this morning where she told me that she wished she had my experience with people.  I had to smile at it, it reinforced the realization that people look to me for advice and I guess in some ways, a role model.  I told it that it simply took time.  But I wonder if it really does take just time to learn how to deal with people that are jealous, envious, hateful, etc of you.  I look at examples around me, and I see people older than me that act worse than a toddler throwing a temper tantrum over something superficial, something that they probably won’t even remember next week.  Why?  This is the examples we are giving the next generation while telling them to stop being so fragile.  A tad bit hypocritical I think.   Probably why I want to “combat” that with positive energy, to give positive examples for the generation below us.