Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Write the Songs

There is a constant of songs in my head. It's why my blog is what it is. When life is handing me it's daily adventure I begin to hear the hum of a tune in my head to accompany the story. Sometimes a song gets stuck. Like the old vinyl days when the record skips in a groove. You hear the same line over and over.

I had a brief reprieve of numbness after the hearing. A glimmer that life is still on a smooth groove. Unfortunately the scratches are there in between this LP of life. Little pops and clicks with the occasional full scratch that catches the tune in an endless repetition of a line in a song.

What kind of world is this we're living in if you can never win? *

That was two blogs ago, that David Gray song. Usually, if I write out whatever song is stuck in my head, it will move itself along. This one got stuck in the groove on that line. Here I am, several blogs later, stuck in a groove.

I'm sure it is just the timing of everything that has thrown me full tilt back in to my state of numbness. I have had enough counseling to know why I put the wall up. It still sucks to know that internally I feel the need to put it up at all.

I'm sure he thought he was doing me a favor. It is what he does for a living. One would become immune to exactly what emotions are really behind what is on the pieces of paper in the file in front of them. Not everyone lives in my Kodachrome world where everything looks worse in black and white.

Prick has taken to writing letters while he is in jail. His parents, his ex wife, his daughter, his fellow AA acquaintances. I have known about this for years. My answer was always the same when someone would contact me, asking if I wanted to hear it? I would always say no.

One of the things they don't explain to you when you finally get the balls to take out a restraining order is that zero contact goes both ways. I knew the moment I signed that original copy of the PFA that I was also giving up my right to ever defend myself verbally to Prick's ramblings. Unlike Shoe-Man, I can never just pick up the phone and say, "what the fuck were you thinking?" The worst was when Prick began invading my blog sites writing such blatant lies or even worse~ taking things that I have said or done out of context and twisting them in to such a hateful way.

Shoe and I have come a long way in our ten years together. We can call each other on our bad behavior and can explain ourselves in a reasonable manner. Afterwards, we still can come out of it respecting each other. I never knew how rare of a gift that is, to move on and not have hate thrown back at you.

Two years later I still had to verbally go over the whole nightmare while sitting in a room full of men. I had to meet with the DAs office before the hearing. Post Traumatic Stress made me block out a lot of my relationship with Prick. If it wasn't for my diarrhea of the fingers that compels me to write, I'm sure most would be forgotten by now. Not always a bad thing, right? Even the assault itself I will never write or say what exactly transpired that night. Face it, we have all have had our share of knock down, over dramatized, unbelievably stupid fights with our partners. Usually you can laugh it off years later. I wish I could file that last night away in that file. Just an ugly but necessary break up. But the one thing you can never explain is how I would rather he have punched me than the the replay of the sound in my head, when Prick ripped my very soul right out of my body. The ugly scar it has left behind is something I can never explain to a room full of strangers. Shit, or even to my best friend. What makes that sound even worse is that it took him 17 days to finally complete the job of what he started that night on August 1st.

So, it is his job. I never asked if this is something that other inmates do. For some reason Prick has taken to writing his probation officer. For some reason I accepted the copy of the letter he wrote. Everything looks worse in black and white.

Kodachrome. Give us those nice bright colors.*

My girlfriend read it and said what I already knew. "you don't want to read this crap." I took the letter from her and stuck it in the folder with the other Prick ramblings and legal stuff.

There is a reason for everything. Even the sound of my soul getting sucked out of me, is in there for a reason. The good and the bad. I embrace that it makes me what I am. Somehow I have to believe it is for the better.

It was not the smartest of my moves. I chose to finally read the letter on the weekend anniversary of when I lost Gwen. There was nothing new in there. The usual~ place the blame on everything but what it really is. I can accept that. What I could not accept is what he didn't write. That he is so bent on being right, that I was such an awful person, that it is OK to take the life of my horse. There. I said it. The fucker killed my horse because I was fucked up enough to date him in the first place.

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
*



I never slept that night. My world will never be the same. I know that. I accept that. It doesn't stop me from wandering around my home, sleepless, clutching the strand of Gwen's tail that Dru had cut for me after the vet finally relieved her of her suffering and before my uncle buried her.

By 4am, I gave up. I read the letter one more time. I put it through the shredder and put the paper in a bag. I grabbed a few more supplies and I drove the two hours in the dark, to Long Beach Island. I watched the sun peek through the dark and over the ocean. I took numerous photos. I felt my inner peace break down a couple bricks that have been building back up. I finally took out the bag of shredded paper. It is someones job to have to read this stuff. I said a prayer of thanks that it is not mine. I thanked the Higher Powers that I do not have the last word to someone who will never deserve one. I walked out to the end of the jetty and watched the surf pound and swirl around the rocks. I emptied the contents of the letter in to the swirling of the ocean.

Kodachrome. Gives us those nice bright colors.*


* Lyrics from:
Simon & Garfunkel, Kodachrome
David Gray, My Oh My

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Could You Please Knock Me Off My Feet For a While?

At least The Sandman came at all. After yesterday's court hearing my best friend and I had lunch. We had a drink on top of the ativan my boss had given me the night before. I came home and finally slept for four hours straight. I think that was the first solid sleep in awhile. Prick made it easy for me and plead guilty. He usually does which makes me think in the back of my mind he really does want to stay in jail. I can't stand more than one rainy day inside the house, so jail is beyond my comprehension. Of course the one thing I have come to learn through the years that no matter what the outside location, it is in your own mind where freedom matters the most.
Romeo has taken a turn for the worst. The poor old guy has had a rough time with all of the rain. His weakened hoof walls had began to crumble with all of the torrential rains and mud. He developed another abcess a couple weeks ago. Shoe-Man came and drained it and packed the crevice with sugardine. I walked him back to his rig and I knew by his face.

"He's old, Ness."

*sigh*

I buried my face into his chest when he pulled me in for a hug. I breathed in that familiar scent of horses and leather. I felt nothing. When you have come this far there is not much else to feel.I told Shoe the same thing I always say when this time gets close at hand.

"I don't know what to do."


How many horses have I lost in the past decade? For the millionth time I wonder why I couldn't take up a hobby like tennis or golf?
My aunt Jan never calls me unless it is bad. I was trying to soak up the last rays of light at the lake when her panic call came in. Seems Romeo got down in his stall and couldn't get back up. As I drove to the farm I called the vet to have the private talk without my aunt Jan's presence. Tony was already there at the farm and was trying to decide if we should try and hoist him up with ropes. I drove through the winding roads and felt that familiar safety net wrapping it's way around me. I am numb. I glanced in to my rear view mirror and was certain the grim reaper was hunched down in the back seat, hiding under the cover of darkness of the waning daylight.I could feel his grin start to burn a hole in the back of my neck.
I parked my car behind the vet's rig. The lights were on in the barn and Blackie began winding herself around my feet the moment I stepped out of the car.
I stepped in to the barn and saw Romeo looking at me over his stall wall. He let out a huge nicker. Jan said the moment he heard my car he got up. Tony stood there with a handful of ropes that we obviously didn't need.
The vet spent the next hour digging out another abcess. This one is closer to the coffin bone. Jan stood by Romeos head with tears streaming down while I silently watched Tony work.
Afterwards I walked the vet back to his truck. I asked him if it's time? We both stood there and could see inside the lit barn, Romeo standing up with his ears forward and eating hay. Just the strange rocking back stance of his body to relieve his front laminitic feet being the only clue of the pain he was in.
Tony said it was more of a question of what we were willing to do to keep him going? The hard part is Romeo is owned by Jan. Technically it is her decision in the end. We decided to wait it out and see how this abcess drains. As always, somehow you do know when it is finally time and right now Romeo is still there and fighting.
I finally left Jan's when Sydney and Romeo seemed settled for the night. My heart was heavy at the thought of going home in such a state of numbness. I found myself driving down to see Veritas. The horses are turned out at night in the summer. As I hiked up the hill of his pasture I had no clue where I was walking to. It was dark enough that I couldn't make out any shapes of the horses. When I finally got to the top of the hill I saw a dark shape walking towards me. I didn't need my eyes to tell me it was Veritas. For the first time in this stressful day the tears started falling. I buried my face in his mane and glanced up and saw a shooting star.

The stars light a sky
On a galaxy of emptiness tonight
Though I'm happiest
When there's no reason for me to be

With no one's expectation to weigh heavy on my heart
And so much hope it sometimes tears me all apart
Won't you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
Could you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?

'Cause there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
A whole galaxy of emptiness tonight
A galaxy of emptiness tonight

The stars light a sky
On a gutter full of broken dreams tonight
Though I'm not content, that's the way it seems to be
Still, I've been fighting all week
Though I don't know what for
Hoping someone else, somewhere near knows the score
Won't you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
Could you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?

And there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
There's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
A whole galaxy of emptiness tonight

Monkey see, monkey do
I spent my whole life surrounded by people like you
With all that expectation to weigh heavy on your heart
But no ideas to later tear it all apart
Won't you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
Could you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?

'Cause there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
A whole wide galaxy of emptiness tonight
Beware the galaxy of emptiness tonight
'Cause there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
A whole wide galaxy of emptiness tonight
Yeah, there's a galaxy of emptiness
A whole wide galaxy of emptiness tonight
Beware the galaxy of emptiness tonight
(A galaxy of emptiness)
(A whole galaxy of stars)

~Galaxy Of Emptiness, Beth Orton

Sunday, August 9, 2009

If a picture Paints a Thousand Words

My week long vacation is winding it's way down. Normally this is the week I always rent a beach house in Long Beach Island. For the first time in years I didn't rent a place. I don't know how the summer flew past me so quickly. Now that I have had time to sit back and actually begin to breathe again I can see I stopped breathing the moment Prick got out of jail. I think in the back of my mind I knew that it would be the same this summer as it was the past two. Police reports and court dates. Now that the week is coming to a close I can reflect that this was probably the best thing to do. I spent the week cleaning out my closets, riding Veritas, writing and I even read three books in a row. I also started to transfer old blogs that I have written in other sites over to here. I saw friends just about every day. My fear of continually spiraling in to a depression if I am not working 7 days a week have proven to be wrong. I can honestly say I have not thought much about the past two years or the upcoming court date next week. I found some semblence of my old self coming back and it's been a really long time since I felt that for more than a few fleeting moments. The fact that I could extend it to almost an entire week seems like a fucking miracle.

One of the days was too humid and hot to ride. My boss was at the Jersey shore already and called to tell me that there was only a land breeze and a million green head flies. I decided instead of heading to the shore for the day, I would head up to the mountains. I forgot my camera's battery. The whole reason to head up there was to take photos. I hiked up to a peak and just sat. Before I knew it, two hours had passed before a voice startled me back in to the present. A group of photographers were setting up their cameras for the late afternoon and early dusk. One of the photographers had approached me to tell me he took a photo of me sitting there. He thought I looked peaceful. I had an internal giggle on that. God, if he only knew how long it has been since that look has been on my face. He asked if he could send me a copy? and I told him no thanks. I don't need to see it. I feel it with my heart.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Oh My


What on earth is going on in my heart?
Has it turned as cold as stone?
Seems these days I don't feel anything
Less it cuts me right down to the bone
What on earth is going on in my heart?*


Anniversaries. Those days that landmark something or another. For myself, August 1st is going in to it's 3rd year of anniversary hell. It should actually be a faded memory of the final assault Prick inflicted that night. No need to go back there, right? Apparently, Prick continues in his quest to try.
Just as it did two years ago, July seems to be the month his rage begins to eat away inside him. The stalking began and my world froze again.

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end
My oh my*


I wish it didn't happen again, but there it is. Another implosion within my family. When my father sat crying in his Lazy Boy chair, crying that his greatest fear was that he would have nothing but grief to leave to his children, I think I did all the right things. I assured him I would try and help him the best I could. I gave him cash to help pay for whatever mess his finances were becoming because of other family members. I spent an hour cleaning up dog shit all over the house. I took the dog for a walk and assured her that I would never abandon her. I held my dad's hand while he sat helplessly in his chair with tears running down his face. While he was crying I sat and stared down at my shoes. It wasn't until that moment I saw how swollen my ankles were from a busy week at the salon. Crap. I wondered if my feet would fit in to my barn boots and if I would have time to ride tonight?
I finally got in to my car and drove home. It was a half hour later and half way there, that I realized I didn't even have the radio on.
Aaaaah, here it comes again. I am truly numb. No tears. No panic. Nothing.

What on earth is going on in my head
You know I used to be so sure
You know I used to be so definite
Thought I knew what love was for
I look around these days and I'm not so sure*


The next day I packed everything I could think of. Clothes, makeup, shoes...gotta have my shoes. I was wearing towering platform Beverly Feldman shoes as I walked back and forth between my car and the parking lot of my development. It's a far walk, especially in 5" heels. It never occurred to me that this was a possibly dangerous thing to try and do. It was on my last trip back to my house that my neighbor stopped me with, "how the hell do you walk in those things?"
I looked down at my feet and saw blood coming from my pinkie toe. A beyond-blister mishap. It wasn't until that moment I felt it.
"I'm OK." I know that what I am really saying is~ I am OK because it is better to look good on the outside than to feel what is going on the inside.

It was two years ago this strange odyssey of my life began. My friends have stood by me through thick and thin. Even when I am shutting down they know when to bring me back to reality. After the initial assault I was numb. I was moving but had no idea how. It lasted for months. I hate that I have spiraled back down in to that well, drowning in cold numbness to whatever it is that is drowning me.

I finished packing my car and drove to my friends to hide from Prick who was once again on the prowl and ready to try and knock me off my fabulous shoes. My neighbors would care for the cats and rabbits. I told them I was taking a weekend vacation.


My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end*



When I went to court to have the PFA drawn, Prick had hired himself a lawyer. The man had obviously no idea of what legalities were entailed at a PFA hearing. My lawyer was patient in talking him through it. My best friend sat and held my hand as I tried to make as little eye contact where Prick sat down the hall, waiting. As his lawyer walked away my attorney and my friend began laughing. I sat there baffled until they both sputtered out, "where did he find that guy? What is up with those shoes?" I leaned forward and watched the man as he walked away. He was wearing two completely different shoes. I laughed for the first time in weeks. It was a genuine one,too.

My oh my you know I just can't win
I burn it down it comes right back again
What kinda world is this we're living in
where you never win
It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love these days
To keep your heart from freezing
To keep your spirit free*



I have never valued my time with Veritas more. It is the one time in my life that being numb doesn't work. If I don't pay attention or start to tune out, he just stops. My Light is his gas. For the millionth time in my life I ponder why that doesn't work for humans? By the time we leave the farm and cross over to the fields, the internal fog seems to lift. From his back I can see the wind wash over the grass, making it move like a green ocean. I see hawks glide silently across the sky and giant thunderheads form in the distance. Like those clouds, I want to feel that there is a powerful storm brewing in myself. It is just far away and waiting to come pouring down. For now, they just float silently, within sight, but not quite ready to release.

My oh my you know it just don't stop
It's in my mind I wanna tear it up
I've tried to fight it tried to turn it off
But it's not enough*



"Are you OK?"

I realized the death grip I had on my best friend's hand. She had come with me to court yesterday, just as she had two years ago.
I looked down at her hand in mine and saw that is so tiny in comparison to mine. I'm sure I was accidentally crushing it as the elevator in the courthouse opened on to our floor.
Without me even asking, she peeked down the hall and assured me Prick was not waiting outside the courtroom. I asked her who was? As she described them to me I knew that it was the detective and Prick's probation officer.

"They look like two nice guys sitting there... and Nessie,good news... their shoes match."

We both collapsed back against the wall in giggles. It took me a minute but we managed to compose ourselves and walked down the hall.

"Are you OK?"

This time the question was from Prick's probation officer. I looked down and saw my hands were shaking. I stole another glance down to his shoes. A perfect matching pair. I said a silent prayer of thanks and couldn't help but smile.

I knew I would be just fine.

It takes a lotta love
It takes a lotta love my friend
To keep your heart from freezing
To push on till the end
My oh my it just don't stop




* Lyrics~
My Oh My, David Gray