Monday, December 29, 2008

As Oscar Would Say, "I Love Trash."

"Only you could top me, on the craziest ex-boyfriend scale."
This statement came from my friend, Gail.
After my latest mental breakdown she was the one friend I knew I could call and she would get it. She is never shocked by anything I tell her (and can often match me on this) and can find humor in the blackest of hours.
Many of us joke about having a freak magnet. I am afraid that all joking aside, Prick, has proved that I really had one on full force, when I met him.
One of the terrors I had experienced after he assaulted me, was clearing out his belongings that he started squirreling away in my home. It was one of the reasons I had confronted him that fateful night. I made it clear to him in the weeks before that I would not allow him to live with me as long as he was drinking and not working full time. He was failing miserably in both of those departments. I honestly was relieved because I wanted out even before this moment. I felt he was giving me more reasons to leave what was becoming a disaster of a relationship. So,it was a shock in the week before the breakup that he had seemed to have more belongings in my home. He stated that he was looking for an apartment but would just keep things safe at my house until he signed a lease. My gut told me this was crap but I didn't know how to call him on it. The day I finally asked him to leave was the day he disregarded every one of my boundaries. He was drinking, he wasn't working, he was not looking for an apartment, he had imposed himself on my family that morning and the last straw...he had his mail forwarded to my address.
Well, we know how my confrontation went.
While Prick was in jail, I began packing up what I thought was a few of his belongings. What actually transpired was me unearthing boxes and bags of clothes, books, photos, letters, papers, his keyboard. You name it. He had shit packed everywhere. I was sickened to see how blatantly he blew his way into my home. I was sickened that I had been emotionally so beaten down that I couldn't see it happening. The last straw was when we exchanged personal belongings through our legal counsel. It was when he sent me a handwritten list that I realized how far this man went. He had, unbeknown to me, used my attic crawl space as a storage unit. Every single item that this man owned was shoved in my attic. I don't even store shit up there! My best friend's husband took the liberty of clearing the stuff out. It took us two cars and a truck to haul his crap to the police station, where a third party would retrieve the items. I was completely creeped out by the whole ordeal. Needless to say, I had every lock changed and spent the next few weeks cleaning and rearranging my furniture, trying to shake off that invaded feel.
It has been over a year and a half now. I still occasionally stumble across something that the asshole left behind. It may be something as simple as a phone number scribbled on the back of a seldom used notepad or something as tangible as a photo of his younger daughter stuck in between the pages of one of my Al Anon books. Each time I stumble across an item like this, it brings back that metallic taste in my mouth that is actually my stomach up heaving a little.
I have cleaned out my house completely enough that I was finally feeling that every bit of Prick has been removed. All I can say is that my house is my sanctuary. It has been very important to me to retrieve that feeling of peace inside my home.
Recently, I had some minor water damage to some ceiling tiles in my kitchen. It occurred when I had some water seep through the bathroom floor and in to the kitchen ceiling below it. I realized that the tub and shower needed to be re caulked and that was where the water was coming from. Since I have had a few days off this past week, I decided it was a good time to re caulk my tub and shower. It proved to be the solution and the water problem stopped. Since the caulking, I had noticed there were some water stains left on the ceiling tiles in the kitchen. I plan to eventually replace the lighting and ceiling in the entire kitchen at a future date. I decided to just touch up the tiles with white paint instead of replacing them while I am waiting to renovate.
I got up on a step stool to carefully lift each stained tile out of it's grate. After bringing them down, I would touch up the small spots with paint and replace the tile. I saved the largest tile for last. It was the one over my refrigerator. I gently pushed up the tile to slide it out of the grate and it felt heavy. I began thinking it was saturated with water and I would have to replace it, after all. As I slid it towards me, a rush of plastic came spilling out, crashing to the floor. DVDs. I stood on the stool with my arm still upholding the tile and stared in shock. Porn. Lots of porn.
"Shit," was all I could muster.
I stepped down and examined the stash. Sure enough the asshole even put his initials on each DVD.
That was when I reached for the phone and called Gail. I told her the Christmas Porn Fairy paid me a visit and left me a stash in my kitchen ceiling. Which of course led to the question, "who the hell keeps porn in a kitchen ceiling???"
All I could ask her back is, "what the hell else is stashed in my house?"
I felt like that http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071186/ Bad Ronald movie, had come to life in my own home. I can't tell you how creeped out I felt~ again. Almost a year and a half later, even with the dude in jail, here I am, feeling like he was still hovering over me in the very same kitchen where the assault began. How ironic that I was standing in the same spot where his first blow hit me.
I hung up with Gail after she made me laugh a bit. We joked that it must be the Porn Fairy invading my crib for Kwanzaa. I at least felt a little better as I began to completely remove each and every tile. When I had only open space above me, I grabbed a flashlight and examined every square inch, whispering, "Poooorn Faaairy. Come out,come out ,wherever you are." It turned up empty except for some dust. I swept out the dust and replaced the newly painted tiles.
So, what to do with the porn? Well Prozac has flat lined me enough to know I would have zero enjoyment of ever viewing that crap. My nephew is too young... maybe eBay? Can I mail his porn to him in jail? How about to his new girlfriend? Oooooh, his parents! His priest! Seriously, I was just trying to find humor where I really wanted to throw up. I took each disc out and put it through my shredder. Then I ripped off the paper labels and did the same with them. I threw it all in a bag with kitty litter and called it a day. As I stood at the dumpster, my neighbor walked up and yelled to let him help me, with that. I watched with smug satisfaction as the lid of the dumpster slammed down.
Throwing out the trash just took on a whole new meaning.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, Good Grief.

One of my favorite Charlie Brown isms. Good grief. Charles Schulz was the king of good grief. What was actually his own personal feelings of hopelessness, presented in a cartoon form, made him millions. Pure genius.
I am currently convinced I have Black Lung disease after scraping what seems like the entire state of Pennsylvania's worth of mud off of the horses.The weather has turned unseasonable warm again and we have had more torrential rain. The reason I hate Pennsylvania's winters has resurfaced. Mud. Lots and lots of mud.
Romeo has the typical old-horse, winter coat. It is long and slightly curled. A perfect catch-all for mud, small branches and bramble. He comes in every night looking like a bad B movie monster. He smells like one,too. The only way to describe what a dirty horse smells like is this: 1200 pounds of wet dog. Blech.
Veritas, on the other hand, finds it beneath him to dirty his handsome self. When he goes out, he finds a less muddy spot and does a small, wussy roll that just slightly soils his sides. Romeo picks the muddiest spot and scrapes both sides head-to-toe. When he is done even his face and forelock are covered. For the life of me I cannot comprehend how this makes him feel better in the winter. I get the whole summer/fly thing, but winter...?
So, enough bitching about mud. I am still coasting along in my state of numbness. I guess I am OK with it. I'm too numb to care one way or the other. I did have another talk with the doctor. I am going to persevere through this and stay on the lesser dose of the Prozac. I figure at some point my brain fog will lift and I will either be my old self or back to the deer in headlights. Either way, I want to give it the old college try. I can always up the dose if it seems like it gets to be too much. I just want to try and deal with my head while Prick is safely behind bars. This has been the first time I have not had the legal issues and his physical presence to muddy up my emotions. *snort* I obviously have mud on the brain. Thanks, Romie.
So, I function, I laugh with friends. It's all good. Good grief, Charlie Brown.
Even in writing all of this, I know this is text book grief. It'll pass. I just wish I could speed up time and have all of the answers. Where is that Lucy with her five cent psychiatric booth? Then life would be so much easier, wouldn't it? Or, at least, a little funnier.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It Looks Like Christmas


Romeo and Sydney are finally out and enjoying their hay.
It's been a long haul this time with Romeo. We had a couple more setbacks that included IV fluids and prayers. He (knock on wood) seems to be coming out of the woods.
As for me...
It had to happen eventually. Depression.
Oh, I've had it from time to time. Those days you feel cranky or sad, wishing you could stay in bed, but you don't. This time is different. It is that big gaping hole of nothing that bothers me the most. I'm not mad or sad. Just nothing. I get up and do what I have to do, feeling nothing.
I knew I was in trouble last week when I went to my mom's best friend's viewing. After crying the entire weekend after she had passed away, I finally flat lined again. Not one tear. Numb.
Argh.
We had more snow this Saturday. It was a dry powdery snow that lightly dusts glitter over everything. I took the opportunity of having a Saturday night free and went shopping. My family and friends have all agreed to not exchange gifts this year. Although I am relieved that the stress of gift giving has been alleviated, it has left me with that feeling of no purpose for the holiday.
I decided that I needed to decorate to the max to force the Christmas spirit in to me. I bought new lights and new ornaments for my tree. Even though it is a tiny three foot artificial tree, I put five strings of colored lights on the sucker. You could land an airplane by it's light. I put extra lights around my windows. It makes a warm glow that I always used to love.
I stood outside in the falling snow, inspecting the lights in the window. I never heard my neighbor and his dog approach until he spoke, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." I patted his German Shepard, brushing the glittered snow off his coat and thanked him. It still didn't feel like it to me. I mean, it's snowing for the third time,for God's sake! How much more Christmas do you want?
I had one more trick up my sleeve. I popped in a DVD of The Snowman. The part where he is flying to the song, Walking in the Air makes me cry every time. It is my no-fail Christmas fuzzy.
Nothing.
I am so desperate for any kind of fuzziness that I even watched a special on Andy Williams Christmas shows on PBS. Who doesn't cry to Andy Williams singing, Oh,Holy Night??? Apparently me.
I am praying it's just a stage. I went to the DVC this morning to drop off some supplies for the women. They need everything and are so grateful for whatever you bring. One young mother had her 6 week old daughter with her. I held her little baby who was wrapped up like a little Glow Worm, while her mom went through the bag of toiletries I had brought. This alone usually sets me off in tears. A baby so young and a mother so desperate to escape her abuser that she lives in a dingy old house, hidden away from everyone. Grateful, that someone thought to bring her deodorant and Tampax.
I handed back her baby and gave them a hug. I got in to my car and saw it was snowing again. I drove through West Chester that is decorated for the holiday and knew that I was still feeling dead inside. What the hell happened?
What if I am becoming like Ebeneezer Scrooge? Bitter and alone? Christmas is just another day that you wake up and go through the motions?
So, there you have it. The question is this: What is better? Crying your eyes out or feeling nothing at all?
Time to up the Prozac.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Are You Gellin' ?

The helliday is barreling down fast. For once I actually don't feel too stressed about it. Work is insanely busy but the extra money has made it worthwhile. I managed to pay off all of my credit cards and the rest went to the vet for Romeo's bill and extra hay that we needed while they were stall bound.
Romeo really had a tough time last week. Although the stitches were healing well he developed laminitis in his front feet. This probably happened because he was rocking his weight forward and on to his front feet. On top of that, the massive doses of antibiotics started screwing with his whole system. He developed an abscess in his right front hoof. What makes it trickier is that it is located right beside his coffin bone. Horse people know that the adage, "no hoof, no horse" comes along the aptly named coffin bone. If this bone is compromised in any way it becomes a death sentence. Every morning I take his therapeutic wrap off and carefully clean and examine where the pinhole on the bottom of his hoof is located. I have been saying a lot of prayers as I re-wrap the hoof that could still prove to be his downfall. I did find a gel-type hoof boot that gives extra cushion. It was cute to watch him walk with his front feet encased in gel. That Dr. Scholls comercial comes to mind. Romeo~ he's gellin'.
Because of the massive doses of antibiotics we had to have an IV of fluids last week. Everything goes right through the poor boy's stomach. I found a horse equivalent of Pepto Bismol with pro-biotics and he finally started to have some solid poop. On the brighter note: the stitches came out and the wound looks great. I keep focusing on how well he healed from that. Romeo is like the cat with nine lives. He just keeps coming back.
I know I have said it before but I love our vet. He has been awesome through this and I am so grateful we found him.
Because of my insane schedule I haven't ridden 'Tas much. There are lights in the ring but I am too exhausted after standing for ten hours at work to try and ride after. I miss the younger me who never dreamed of it being too hot,too cold or worse~ too tired to ride.
I had a lesson on Sunday morning and then told Ryan I will have to wait until the new year to schedule any more lessons. Every weekend in December, something is up. He will continue to ride Veritas for me so at least he will stay in shape and in a good mind set.
So, the family comes to my crib for the helliday. Yay! I am happy. I haven't entertained in my home for awhile and this is the first holiday at my house for a couple years.
Well, I am running late so I am off to get ready for work. I hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the turkey day. Please send some White Light to Romeo.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Face It

The sun has finally returned. After almost two weeks of clouds and rain I was beginning to feel mildewed as well as depressed.
Romeo had a massive injury on Sunday. He came in for evening feed with a gaping wound and blood everywhere. He cut the back part of his upper pastern of his right hind leg. It took the vet an hour just to stitch him up. At one point the blood was spurting out like a bad cartoon. Luckily it was only skin and blood vessels. No tendons or ligaments. So, they are both stall bound for ten days and we are keeping our fingers crossed that there is no infection or tearing of the stitches.
I spent all day yesterday driving around looking for pelleted horse bedding. Seems Canada is the main supplier and a lot of supply houses cut back when the gas prices were so high. Now there is a shortage. I really don't want to switch to shavings because they would stick to Romeo's bandage. I absolutely hate straw but I may have to break down and purchase some. It is so ridiculously high and Syd likes to eat straw. Personally, I love peat moss as a bedding but my aunt refuses. She just can't stand the smell.
Damned Canadians. I want my pellets back!
Saturday night my best friend had a party for her husband's 40th birthday. All of our closest friends were there. Two of my friends are going through their own bad break ups. I was sad to see my one oldest and dearest friend look so empty.
"Prozac" she told me.
Ahhhh, I know it well. That first initial flat-lining. I assured her it eventually goes away but truthfully,I am not so sure.
I think I am back to my "normal" self ~and yes, I purposely own those quotes~ but I know I am not really my same old self. For one thing,I don't freak out over everything like I used to. I rarely cry anymore and I just have absolutely zero love interest besides horses. Is that Prozac or self preservation?
My aunt kept telling me she was glad that I could stay so calm during Romeo's ordeal. I was trying to think back to all of this past year's crisis, my panic attacks out of nowhere, and my meltdowns. Does Prozac really help? I was calm with Romeo because I had to be. When it comes down to it I know what is the right thing to do and when. Prozac or not, I would of done the same thing. If I could get through euthanizing both Gwen and Merlin, what was a few stitches?
I called my doctor yesterday and asked if we could start weaning me off the Prozac? She pointed out that I was still having panic attacks. I argued that was the exact point. If I am having them anyway, why flat line everything else? Truthfully, they have lessened since Prick was sentenced. I know there is no scientific basis for this, but I really think my panic attacks are a build up of whatever got flat lined in the first place. I want to start sweating the small stuff again. Isn't it the small stuff that matters? If I don't feel the need to deal with small stuff where does it go? I mean, it's still there, whether you deal with it or not. Isn't it better to just get it over with as it happens rather than wake up one day with an explosion and a complete break down?
I know, there is no answer. I just keep thinking of my friend's expression. I am just so afraid that is what other people see on my own face.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Happy Now?

This is actually a blog I wrote in 2006 from another blog site. I'm just lazy. Have a happy Halloween!
Are You Happy,Now?
How can it be Halloween already? These past couple of months have really been flying. My past blogs where often more stories that usually centered around my ex and my new found single life. I often wonder if I lost my blog mojo by being a little less bitter. I am trying to think back to remember any sad Halloween incidents that would make good reading but alas,I have none.
I was painfully shy as a kid so I do remember not wanting to trick or treat in neighborhoods where I didn't know who was answering the door. This kept my loot on the smaller scale compared to my more daring, older siblings. I also was the kind of kid who couldn't understand why I had to walk in the dark and cold night begging for candy when we had a huge bowl right here in our very own house.
I have fond memories of all the prep at school which included pumpkin carving and making decorations. My one sort of sad memory was a boy that I knew through all twelve years of school and who was one of my best buds. He also happened to be a Jehovah's Witness. He would sit aside from the class during holiday festivities,not being allowed to partake by his religion. I know many schools now observe a harvest holiday as opposed to the traditional Halloween I knew as a child which had included dressing up in costume and eating way too much candy.
This boy and I walked to school together every day and I always saved candy for him after the holiday.The next several days he, his sister and I would eat candy corn,chocolate bars and other assorted Halloween junk on our way to school. It's a wonder any of us have teeth left from that generation!
In those twelve years of walking to school together, we never discussed his family's religious beliefs or how he felt sitting out of Halloween and Christmas activities at school. Now as an adult, I realize how cool children are when they don't know how to be prejudiced or judgemental.
So, I hope everyone has a fun holiday in whatever way you observe it. I for one, am handing out goodies to the kids in the neighborhood and plan to eat way too much myself.
The song of the day is one I was whining that I didn't know how to post this time last year.Please indulge me by clicking on the link to hear the song.
It is a Halloween song that also happens to be one of the funniest break up songs I have heard. You have to love a song that includes the line, "I was amazed to think that you could take the candy with you too." I LMAO every time I hear it. I warn you it is a catchy tune that will stick in your head all day!

Song of the Day: Click here to watch "Are-You-Happy-Now-78"

Lyrics: Are You Happy Now?
You took the toaster when you went
You never paid your half the rent
You took the spices from the rack
But you don't have to put them back
Cause in your haste on Halloween
You left your camera on the bed
Where we played roles in black and white
You left a roll of black and white
I set the timer and thought of you
And put the lens up to my head
I took a photograph for you
What comes out gray is really red
Are you happy now?
I smashed your pumpkin on the floor
The candle flickered at my feet
As goblins flew across the room
The children peered into the room
A cowboy shivered on the porch
As Cinderella checked her watch
A hobo waited in the street
An angel whispered, trick-or-treat
But what was I supposed to do
But to sit there in the dark?
I was amazed to think that you
Could take the candy with you too
Are you happy now?
I've sat all night and now it's dawn
And I cannot believe my eyes
There's garbage strewn across the lawn
Where we once stared up at the sky
And streams of paper fill the tree
That hovered over you and me
Shaving cream covers the car
That we picked up in Baltimore
Though I know it's hard to tell
I hope that what's-his-name treats you well
I still maintain that he's a bum
But it's your money - have some fun
And are you happy now?
You always asked why I had not Written you a verse or two
Since that's the one thing I regret
I dedicate this one for you
Are you happy now?
~ Richard Shindell

Peace All

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sign o' the Times

Life is coasting along. My only recent complaint has been the feeling that life is somehow stalled and going nowhere. The past year I have often found myself staring off in to space, wishing God would send me a sign that life is moving in some kind of positive direction. It's not that I am feeling bad per se. Just stuck in a bottomless sea, in an endless paddle and not getting anywhere. The endless feeling of numbness has taken over me again. I hate that feeling more than feeling pain or sorrow. It is just so empty.
We have had heavy rains and high winds on Saturday. The good thing is it dropped the ragweed and other dust down. For the first time in weeks I made it through the day without wanting to rip my eyeballs out from the itching. The bad part was the rain washed out part of the flooring in the aisle at the barn. I walked in to check Sydney and Romeo after work on Saturday. The water was rushing down the aisle, in between the two stalls. Syd had her head over the stall door, snorting in protest. The topper? Two huge frogs were hopping around in their new found stream. I spent most of Sunday morning trying to dry out the mess. My uncle laid down more stone dust where the water left tiny fissures. I sopped up the water with wood pellets and took what seemed like a ton of wet bedding out of the stalls.
In spite of the protest my back and shoulders were already showing, I rode Veritas on Sunday for a couple hours. We spend an hour in the ring and then an hour out around the fields. I finally got the nerve to canter him in the ring. His stride is absolutely huge! I am used to years of riding gaited horses who have a more upright shoulder. This produces a rocking horse canter that is a slower, more up and down motion. Veritas has the typical long, downward and forward gait of the sloping shoulder found in warmbloods. I have no problem with a canter like his on the trail where it is open and I don't feel like I have to rein him in. When you ride a huge stride like his in the ring it feels much faster than what it really is and the corners of the ring feel too tight. Part of it is lack of collection. I am still working his back and hindquarters to help him gain strength. It takes a long time to really ask for collection. I think this is where most young horses and their trainers start to end up with discipline problems. Training too hard and too fast before they are physically able to move to a next level. European trainers seem to understand how long the dressage process takes. Almost every American dressage barn I have dealt with has the typical hard, artificial gaits demanded too soon. It is why I am in business. These horses are usually sore as hell and grumpy to boot. I massage a lot in eventer barns.
So, long story short. We cantered and we both survived. But I had answered my own question. Are we ready to do this? The answer is: no. He is still too weak in his overall collection for cantering in the confines of the ring. I am patient and willing to wait.

Patience. Something that I have often lacked in every other aspect of my life. The good thing about Veritas is all I have is time. I have no goals other than to enjoy riding him. For the first time I found this has extended elsewhere in my life. I felt that the whole situation with Prick had put my life on hold. I worked seven days a week, I took care of horses and was running around everywhere. The one thing that seemed certain was that I have had no clue as to what the hell I was doing. I felt like there was no way to make plans or have goals. Even my vacations were centered around court dates and hearings. Every conversation with friends the inevitable question of, "what's going on with the Ex?" would put me right back in the uncertainty of what was my life.
Sunday night I met my two best girlfriends in West Chester. It is a college town and the business establishments reflect that. It is also where all of my recent court proceedings have been.
We chose a pub that was one block from the courthouse. There is limited parking so we walked up the two blocks to the pub. The Phillies were playing that night so the bar area was fairly busy for a Sunday night. We got a booth and spent the next few hours eating and making each other laugh. We even sat at the bar for a bit and had a drink. I had forgotten how nice just sitting in a quiet pub with friends could be.
When we left the pub still chattering away, it occurred to me that we made it through a whole night without the Prick question. Because quite simply, there is nothing else to discuss. I felt a warmth inside that has been missing for what seems like an eternity. As we giggled and talked while we made the walk back to the parking lot, we passed the courthouse.
West Chester is really a beautiful town. They filmed parts of the movie Marley and Me right where we were strolling along.I am actually there quite frequently since the Domestic Violence Center is located in the borough. I have friends who live in the historical row homes located on the tree lined,brick paved, side streets that surround the university. Even though I am in this town so frequently, I think it was the first time I really noticed how pretty it was or how lucky I am to live so close to it.
When we got to the front of the courthouse my one friend stopped to adjust her shoe. While we waited, I looked up through the trees that lined along the bricked pavement and gazed up at the courthouse in the spotlights. It was the first time I had noticed it. Funny, every meeting with the District Attorney or hearing I attended, I had walked right past it, in broad daylight. I suppose in my numbed state, I never took notice. A statue of the Roman goddess, Veritas.
I'm not certain if this was the sign I was praying for or what it exactly means. I am just grateful that my fog is finally lifting enough to question it and to finally start seeing things again.
As we continued to walk, I was certain I felt an internal humming of my motor finally starting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let's Just Go Out and Ride,Talk About the Things We Try

I am actually sleepy in a good way. I have finally kicked the crappy lung thing. I just spent the day sneezing from ragweed and crystal clear weather. When it is dry,clear and breezy outside, the ragweed seems to affect me the worst. I just took some Benedryl and I am feeling a good sleep coming.
I know I need to knock off the last blog. I never want to be one of those deleters, but I do regret spewing so much anger. I'll leave it as a reminder that I am human and get pissed. Good friends,pets and equine loving got me back on track.
Veritas has been getting stronger and more supple every day. I can really feel him rounding up and his back is much softer. What I love about him is his light mouth. I never have to keep a death grip on him and can trail ride him on the buckle. Love that!
Best of all, is he now recognizes my car. He is usually by the gate waiting for me by the time I get a halter to lead him to the barn. At the risk of sounding like a dorky Sally Fields~ he likes me. He really likes me. I suspect that it is actually his love of animal crackers that I keep in my pockets and the fact that I know his favorite scritchy spots. It is incredibly therapeutic to ride a horse that always seems happy. I love that he is lazy. We both enjoy my habit of getting out of the saddle and just hanging out. I sit while Tas grazes and we watch hawks soar over the cornfields, listen to the wind rustle the drying stalks, and the falling leaves.

Fuzzy Ear!


Being lazy and watching the world go by

How can I possibly stay mad at the world when it is so damned beautiful?

Here is another song Ryan makes me ride to. Today, it fit Veritas and I perfectly. That Ryan, he is pretty damned smart in his song choices.

Click here to watch "Beautiful-12-29"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just because I like the word. Piss-Ant.

Well, not what I was expecting. After a delay yesterday because a file was misplaced, Prick was finally sentenced today. Six months consecutive of the four months he is serving now.
Not only did no one from the DA's office call me this morning, we found out from a friend who works at the courthouse. She called my best friend to have her break the news to me. I was in the middle of a haircut when she called. I have no memory of finishing the cut.
Later I called my friend back. She was trying to force me to see the positive.
"His sentencing includes him being on Parole and he will have to report to a Domestic Violence PO Caseworker.It also specifies that it include a 16 week program for Domestic Violence and attending AA meetings every day for 90 days.So, it's all good. AA, everyday." I could hear that perky tone that makes me insane. We all know that tone. It's when someone knows something sucks but doesn't want you to know it.
I hate to admit this. I freaked on her. Who are we kidding,here? This asshole has been in AA for at least 22 years. He went to a fucking meeting the afternoon he beat the crap out of me. I am so disgusted with him hiding behind AA. If I said it once, I will say it again... Alcoholics don't beat up women. Assholes do. Is there an Assholes Anonymous??? How about the court mandates that? I was his fifth arrest for Domestic Violence. Every arrest mandated DV counseling. Excuse me, IT ISN'T WORKING!
OK, so the court is mandating he check in with a DV Probation Officer. What man goes in for a meeting with his PO and says, "hey, I slugged my partner today, she pissed me off. Then I stalked all of my ex girlfriends here in PA and in Nebraska. Why? Meh. I had time on my hands at my piss-ant, minimum wage job that I have hours of unsupervised telephone and computer access.They deserve it."
Hmmmm,I don't think that is quite what he would say.
After five separate arrests and three Protection From Abuse Orders and three parole violations, can someone please tell me why I should be happy with six months?
I have known my best friend since age 15. It was the first time I think I really wigged on her and I feel awful. I called her later and apologised for shooting the messenger but I am still hurt that she just doesn't get it.She doesn't understand that I'm not pissed off for me. I'm pissed off for every woman who has been beaten down by first her partner and then the judicial system. Once again, I am left with the knowledge that most women already know at the Domestic Violence Center. People will tell you that going to court is the right thing to do. What we all know is that it doesn't make much of a difference. They walk off free in a matter of months and we feel our freedom of Inner Peace is taken away again. It is not until that man finally kills someone and then everyone will shake their fists demanding to know why his past record didn't keep him in jail.
*sigh*
Rant over. Life goes on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You´re Like a Rocket Through Me

I am finally starting to feel physically better after my bout of what felt like walking pneumonia. I have forced myself to sleep in this past couple weeks. I think my usual lack of sleep is what gets me in trouble both physically and mentally. Even though I have still been waking at my ridiculously early time, I get up and feed the cats and come back to bed to sleep another couple hours instead of racing to each barn to ride or clean stalls.

I did ride Veritas for two hours yesterday. Since I had the whole day off I had plenty of time to be relaxed about it.One hour in the ring and an hour just ambling along the fields. The weather has turned warm again. 75 degrees and not a single cloud to be found in the sky. We had a brief cold snap that turned the leaves but it was brief enough that a lot of wildflowers are still holding on.

With the help of the trainer I have been working Veritas with, we finally found a solution to my breathing (or lack of) problems while riding. It seems I don't breathe deep enough, making my upper body stiff and causing the fatigue. While I was cooling off 'Tas, Ryan went in to my car and started flipping through my tapes to see what music I listen to. Unbeknown to me he bought a tiny MP3 player (my first!) and loaded some music to help me keep focused on rhythm and momentum. 'Tas tends to be incredibly lazy, which is good for me mentally. I never worry he will run off with me but it is a lot of work to keep him moving forward. When I am thinking too much I forget to breathe so, viola`, music is the answer. Ryan pointed out that I have strange taste in music and laughed at my primitive cassette tapes and tape/Cd hookup in my car, but he found a good mix of what he feels has good rhythm for us both. It's funny because he makes me sing to keep breathing. I'll be damned, it works. No more racing heart or passing out while riding. Veritas immediately rounded out and moves forward much better.

So the song we have used to keep 'Tas moving forward is Mew's "Special".Thanks to my online friend Spyrick at CNet, it was on one of my Cd's that Ryan found in my car.

I am trying to keep as busy as possible doing fun things this week. Prick's final sentencing is this wednesday morning. I have been numb. I'm not sure what to feel at this point. I just want closure and to be able to move on. I have just started getting back out again and just pray he won't be released while I am still just starting to spread my wings again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Till the whippoorwill of freedom zapped me right between the eyes

I did an amazing thing this morning. I actually slept in late.
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who wakes up ridiculously early, whether they have to or not. It is one of the reasons I have so many sunrise photos while I am on vacation. Normally I am wide awake at 5:30 AM. This morning I slept in until 8:30.
Since my encounter with the treadmill, I have been battling a case of bronchitis that just won't go away. I am certain I picked up germs while I sat in the waiting room where I went for blood work. People were hacking and wheezing all over the place. Note to self: in order to stay healthy, never visit a doctors office.
I am so mad because the weather has been perfect for riding. I have been so tired that I come home every night from work and fall asleep almost immediately.
I did have off work on Saturday. The town where my salon is located does a community day every year on the first Saturday of October. They close off the whole boulevard where we are located. My boss finally gave up trying to make us work around the chaos of the day.
It was the perfect opportunity for one of my oldest (in the longest sense) barn friends and I to head up to Zerns Farmers Market in Gilbertsville. Since I always work on Friday and Saturdays I rarely get up there to enjoy what a true rural Pennsylvania Farmers Market is all about. The main reason I make the trek is for the baked goods. Apple fritters, sticky buns, elephant ears, along with pot pies, pasties, chow chow...oh yum! I bought apple butter, fudge and other assorted jarred fruits. Hot apple cider. Yumyumyum. Lots of fruit and veggies. I am currently addicted to brussel sprouts, so I stocked up.
While making the rounds along the inside part of the market,My friend and I were making each other laugh at our personal commentary of the strangeness of the rural folk. I know we stand out up there. For one thing we both have all of our teeth. The other is that I am freakishly tall compared to most rural women. The fact that I was wearing boots made this even more apparent. At one point, while I was in a leather booth (now, that sounded rather kinky) I had a rather short, rotund man exclaim, "wow, yeeer taaall." My friend kept repeating that whenever someone would give us a strange look. So, when I encountered a tiny Vietnamese man who was standing outside of his booth, I was prepared to think the worst when the man pointed to my chest and said something I could not understand. I turned to my friend and said, "Jesus, did he just make a comment about my breasts?"
My friend was livid. "What did you just say?" she just oozed venom.
"She sick. In her chest. Need tea and pack for chest." I looked behind him and saw he had a tea and healing herbs booth. Apparently I am freakishly tall and scream "I'm sick!" I actually thought I looked OK, but I guess he either took a chance of faking it for a sale or he just had that gift of knowing sick girls when he saw 'em.
He took me by the arm and led me in. I ended up dropping 50 dollars in teas and herbs, including a chest poultice of eucalyptus and something else that smells like dead skunk. I have to say it has helped me finally start coughing up whatever Philly plague I seemed to have breathed in and it helped me sleep a full ten hours,cough free. I am determined to stay off antibiotics. The last time I was on them was 7 years ago when I broke my foot and got a bone infection. I threw up the entire ten days I was on them. I prefer to smell like skunk than to vomit.
As the man's wife rang up my purchases she said in plainer English, "you will find freedom soon."
Huh?
"Things are turning for you. It is why you are so sick this year. It clears everything out, spiritually and physically. My husband. He knows these things.You will find freedom,soon. You gave it away and now it comes back."
Now, my friend who was with me is not a believer in anything remotely spiritual. Her comment to me as we left was about the freak magnet we swear was implanted in me at birth. For once, I was silently glad I had it. The funny thing is, we were at an Amish/Mennonite market. Yet, I meet up with the lone Vietnamese couple in a sea of holy protestant-ness who hit home as to what I am longing for but don't know how to achieve.
We continued our day with the flea market outside and I bought some Halloween decorations and some pumpkins. I bought one more cup of hot cider and we headed home with my car filled with goodies,reeking of Amish baked goods and fresh fruit.
So, I am sitting here drinking a tea mixture that is slowly opening up my airways and hopefully my heart.
Freedom. I'd leave to find the answer on the road.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Breathless

I know I write this often. I don't want to go to work,today. I had a hands-on hair cutting class both Sunday and Monday. It was actually very good. The stylist who taught the class was from the Redken team and was a lot of fun.He looked just like Elvis Costello and was incredibly enthusiastic in a soft spoken way. I actually felt relaxed around him and longed to work in a salon enviroment with stylists like him. It did help make me feel revitalized as a hair stylist so it was worth losing a weekend for. But~ I am still grumpy that my weekend was shot as far as any riding in this picture perfect weather.
I also had to have a stress test done yesterday.I had to laugh when my doctor told me I needed to get one after I was complaining of being short of breath and experiencing chest pain.I was blaming allergies. I need a test to tell me that I am stressed? C'mon now. I can tell you the answer to that.
Anyhoo, in spite of my many jokes this past year,apparently my heart is not broken after all. I just have what is commonly known as Mitral Valve Prolapse. It makes an irregular heartbeat. Since I have that, compounded by panic attacks...ummmm...my chest hurts. My own solution was to buy a more comfortable bra on my way home from the doctor.
Now my doctor will move me on to pulmonary tests. I wouldn't be shocked that I may have some form of asthma at this point in life. 23 years of breathing in chemicals and hairspray,plus living outside of Philly, could not have helped my lungs. Of eight levels on the treadmill I barely made it to the third. I was humiliated. I can lift a 50 pound bale of hay with one arm,ride a 1200 pound horse, but can barely make it up two flights of steps. The overly enthusiastic nurse was yelling, "C'mon! Even old ladies can get to level four!"
If I wasn't so out of breath I would of slugged her a good one. Instead I wished her a painful bunion on her feet that were encased in fuchsia colored Croc shoes. That was about all I could see while I was hyperventilating were those horrid Croc shoes.
I guess my trip to climb Mount Everest will have to wait...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Derailed

Another gap in the blogging. Life is coasting along. Some good,some bad. I just keep trying to focus on what I can control and release whatever I can't. Some days that is easier said than done.
The weather has finally changed to feel more like fall. Temps in the mid 70s during the day and cooler at night. I actually put a blanket on my bed and woke this morning with my cat Kenni under the covers. She is such a ham. Nothing beats waking up with a giggle and Kenni managed to make me do just that.
I decided to not ride this morning. I have no clean clothes for the rest of the week and my house has suffered from neglect with all of the nice weather keeping me at the barn. Of course I shouldn't be here at the computer, but...
I received several emails from Prick's sister. I always loved her and she has been amazingly supportive towards me since the whole ordeal with her brother began. She shared with me that her father wrote a letter to the judge asking for a thorough mental health evaluation along with Prick's original full sentence of two years. He disclosed some details that should help in my request for a stiffer sentence. I know how hard it is for them as family to see what has become of Prick. Recently I have encountered things in my own family that make me feel so helpless. No one wants to see their loved ones hurt. But, I finally realized that what is even worse is seeing their loved ones doing the hurting to others. I am just glad that his parents are finally at that point to say it is no longer acceptable to enable someone who is hurting other people and that protecting him is actually worse for him in the long run.
There still is no date set for the next hearing. I feel like so much of my life is just spent waiting. Waiting for court dates,waiting for test results, waiting for phone calls. Waiting for my life to get back on track. I have a feeling this train is never going to smoothly ride the rails ever again. The only time I feel a slightly smooth ride is when I am in the presence of the horses. *please God, don't let me jinx this*

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor of Love

Labor Day. The day that symbolizes the end of the season. In spite of the depression I had been feeling recently I finally managed to take one of my biggest steps forward in healing this year. It took me a couple weeks past the year mark of losing Gwen. The hardest part of this past year was the onset of panic attacks that come from nowhere. Even though I understood why I developed them after the assault, it didn't make it any easier that I had no way of predicting what would set them off. I could be in my car, standing in Target or the supermarket seemingly stress free and out of no where I felt like I would die in an instant. The worst for me were the ones I suffered in the barn or when I tried to ride again. I rode several clients or friends horses since I lost Gwen but I could not for the life of me get back out on the trail where there were open fields. I hyperventilated even thinking about it. I took to exercising their horses in the safety of the ring. I made excuses of time constraints and being too out of sorts to do much more.
This past weekend here in Pennsylvania is the exact reason why I love where I live. Crystal clear, blue skies, soft warm breezes and low humidity. The countryside is covered with tall cornfields, lush hay fields and wildflowers galore. Picture perfect in so many ways. I can't imagine a life where there are no change of seasons. As sad as I am that the days are shorter, the perfect oncoming fall weather makes my heart sing whenever I come upon another gorgeous view as I drive along the wooded hillsides and rolling open fields.
Then today a funny thing happened. Dru came up to the ring and opened the gate and told me I should take Veritas out on the trail. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't pre-planned the worst case scenario in my mind before hand. Maybe it was the fact that the day felt so perfect or that in the ring, Veritas was so soft in my hands as we rode in perfect cadence.
Dru is the kind of friend who is my tough love. She knows when it is time to kick the bird out of the nest. Her timing was perfect. The other boarders must of all been out early in the day. There wasn't a soul around. It just felt right.
I let Veritas pick the pace and where he wanted to go which was a nice amble through the 150 acre field next door. The grass was tall and softly bending with the late afternoon breeze. Every time the breeze rolled up over a hill the smell was warm and sweet.It is the smell that makes you tingle because it makes you so happy. Tas would lift his nose up like a dog,sniffing it in and then releasing a big sigh. Every so often he would reach out and nibble a branch off a tree or squeak a stalk of grass up in to his mouth, never breaking stride in his slow, even walk. After a half hour of walking along the edge of the field it hit me why I love this horse so much. He is the equine version of me. He honest to God, loves the earth as much as I do.
After we got back to the barn and I turned him back out in to his pasture, Veritas hung at the gate with me for several minutes. He lowered his head so I could scratch his ears and nibbled my boot laces. The sun was starting to set so he was washed in that warm glow of the late sunshine that makes a horse's coat glisten. It wasn't until he walked away that I realised I was crying. For the first time in forever it didn't hurt. They just were tears.
For once I wasn't lamenting the end of summer. I know I just had a change of seasons and I am so grateful for the love of a great equine to help get me there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No, Really. I am Happy.

Aaaack. Summer is truly winding down quick. It was still dark when I woke up this morning and it was cool enough to need a sweat shirt.
Both Romeo and Sydney have scratches on their legs. It comes from constant exposure to the dew on the grass. I have been trying to make a more concerted effort to brush them every day and to medicate their legs before I turn them out. After owning Syd for a year, I can finally admit that she is one bitchy mare. Every time I try and gently remove the scurf from her legs, she aims to give me a nose job with a well placed kick. I finally gave up this morning and I am ashamed to admit I threatened the glue factory if she kept up her attitude. The worst part? I think I really meant it.
This is the time of year that I feel the weight of depression setting in. I guess I am a sun whore. I just can't get enough daylight. The waning days of summer give me a sense of dread that I can't shake off. I don't mind the cooler weather or the change of seasons. I just wish it would still stay light out until 9pm.
My long time coworker finally broke the news to my boss that she and her husband are adopting a baby in October. She plans to take a three month maternity leave and cut her hours down to three days a week. Although I am happy for her that she will finally have a baby, I was crushed that my request to go back to a four day week schedule is once again delayed, indefinitely. I will probably be working even more hours to accommodate her clients while she is on her leave. I keep trying to focus on the positives. I will be making much more money. Working more, means I have less time to think. It forces me out of bed every day. Ummmm, think how much more sociable you are when you work. It makes Joe happy. Where did that come from??? Hell with him. I'm not happy working. Period. Work sucks.
Once again, I am wondering where my real parents are. You know, the ones with a trust fund waiting for me. *sigh* I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. I will only come out to ride Veritas or to sit on the beach, staring at the sun over the ebbing sea.
I guess I better go get ready for work. Happyhappyhappy. Really. I am.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Folk Fest and Other Revivals

Yesterday was the one year mark since I lost Gwen. I have owned several horses over the years but losing Gwen and her brother Merlin four years before her have been the hardest. Maybe because they both were relatively young. Both were 15 and died from colic. No doubt there was some genetic weakness there,though the vet claimed it was just a horrible coincidence. Often I feel that everything in my life seems like a horrible coincidence.

Gene Shay, co-founder and host of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, defined folk music in an April 2003 interview by saying: "In the strictest sense, it's music that is rarely written for profit. It's music that has endured and been passed down by oral tradition. [...] Also, what distinguishes folk music is that it is participatory—you don't have to be a great musician to be a folk singer. [...] And finally, it brings a sense of community. It's the people's music."

I went to the Philadelphia Folk Festival this weekend. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of fun. I met some new people and reconnected with old friends. The cool thing about the Philly Folk Fest is the age range. Whole families come and unlike the type of fests that are more Grateful Dead type-oriented, the crowd is more pleasant and smells a lot better. I am thoroughly convinced that Dead Heads drop acid and smother themselves in that horrid patchouli to cover up the fact that their music is awful and the crowd smells like BO.
Sorry folks, but I could never even remotely like The Grateful Dead.
So, back to the Folk Fest.The weather was perfect! Not too hot and no rain. The fields were firm and you could sit on a blanket without your butt getting soggy. They had a great venue this year and I loved every artist that performed. Folk music is meant to be listened to with a crowd. The energy and Light that comes from the performers is meant to be spread around. This year was a true success in that message.By the end of the weekend I felt like my spirit was renewed and that I reconnected with my former self. I forgot what that felt like.
After the last performance I drove home from Schwenksville, under the light of a waning full moon that was a brilliant orange. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. It seemed like a perfect way to close what had ended up being a great weekend in spite of the anniversary it marked for me. I am so glad I went.
I am finally starting to breathe a little easier. I am surprised at how long it has taken me to really believe Prick is behind bars. I am finally starting to shake that stalked feeling that I didn't even know was there until it finally dissipated.
I took the next two days off work. I have to have some tests and blood work done and figured I could take the time before the back to school crush. If I am motivated enough tomorrow I may take a ride to the beach for the day. One last hurrah of the season.
Not much else is new. I am still riding Veritas and he is wonderful.He really is the kindest horse I have ridden. As out of shape and unbalanced as I am, he just saves me. Any other horse, I would have been tossed off or they would of stopped cold in their tracks and said,"lady,get OFF!" Veritas just trudges on and when we mesh it is perfection. I had him in a perfect cadence trot and when I brought him down to a half halt he let out this huge sigh. I could feel how proud he was that I got it right. How could I not love riding a horse like that?
I think I have found a trainer who is willing to deal with all of my neurosis and understands my anxiety issues.He is a Three Day Eventer himself but seems to understand the goals I want,which do not include cross country cowboying over jumps of death. I strictly want to study dressage and stay on the ground. I decided to wait until September to begin training. One, because the money issue and two,the weather will be cooler. As I get older, I seem intolerant of humidity~and of being broke.
So,I am off to get some blood drawn. What a fun way to spend a morning. I'll cheer it up by seeing my equine man and giving him a bath. He has been rather stinky with this hot weather.LOL.
Peace!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

*sigh*

Complete writers block.
I am on vacation with nothing to say. Not sure if that's good or bad.
Every time I start to relax and have some fun something pulls the rug out from me. When will I learn to take all the F-ing rugs out of my head and embrace bare floors??? Maybe I need new shoes.
When all else fails....
go watch a sunset.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

There's Got to be a Morning After

I had originally wrote this draft in August of 2008 but never posted it. So often things are too painful at the time for me to actually hit the post button. I am glad I write. It really helps a year and a half later for me to see how far I have come since writing this. Tonight is the interview with Rihanna about her assault from Chris Brown. The excerpts I have seen so far have brought up some of these memories. So, I am choosing to just post this without editing it. Sometimes it is better to see it the way it was the first time around.

Once again, it is more telling that there is a huge gap since my last entry. Usually, when I am on vacation, I'll write like a crazy woman. This is the first of anything besides an email or two. I haven't even written much in my journal. Most entries start with the word exhausted.

I had written before about the little house here in Ship Bottom that I am renting for the week. It is the same house that I had rented for Prick and I, a year ago. I ended up coming here alone after Prick's arrest for assaulting me. While he was in jail, I came to beach and found out my internal sentence had begun serving it's own jail time.

I know I have blabbed a lot about the legal aftermath between Prick and I. What I hadn't realized until I came and sat in this same tiny cottage by the Atlantic Ocean, is how very emotionally broken I had already become before the assault. I was so numb from the mind fuck, that I had no idea until his toxic energy was away from me, how much damage was already there.

So,I knew I had to come back to the same place again this year. The full circle of a shitty year. I should point out that as crappy as I have felt at times, this was an amazing year of healing. Thanks to the legal issues and the insurance hell in dealing with a lump in my breast, I grew a pair of balls along the way. When you are single and have little parental support, you either sink or swim. Like the ill-fated Poseidon, I went belly up and learned to crawl through the bottom to get to the top. (do you have that crappy Maureen McGovern theme song in your head now?)heehee. I love to do that. Get a crappy 70s song stuck in someone else's head.
So,irony that last year I picked the one borough in Long Beach Island that I never rented in before. Ship Bottom was aptly named after an overturned shipwreck washed up on it's beaches and a lone woman was rescued from the hull. I had no idea how the town got it's name until I came here alone, last year. I found a book about the island that explained all of it's history. Ship Bottom was a perfect place to come alone, overturned and wrecked.
Location,location,location. I am the third house from the beach and as I type I am watching a stormy sunrise outside.It stormed in the early hours and I know if my sister were here with me,she would be glued to the window watching the forks of lightening over the water and listening with electric glee at the wind howling and slamming against my house.
Mornings like this, I can see why so many boats have wrecked on LBI's shores. The water is white capped and wild. I can see that from here at my kitchen table. Location,location,location.
The weather this week has been outstanding. Last year it took me over four hours to drive what usually takes about two and a half. It was pouring rain outside and I was pouring tears the whole way. My boss called me just as I was driving over the causeway on to the island, to see how I was. All I could do was wail,"I should of worked today and came after hours...and there's LIGHTENING!!!!" I think he was so proud of himself that he finally got me to see his point of view of all work before any play. Personally, the crappy weather mirrored my internal storm.
It ended up raining two more of the days later in the week and I lost two days to court proceedings that I had to come home for. One of which was taking out the restraining order when I realized that changing my phone number would not be enough to keep Prick's poison away from me.
The first sunny day was so hot and the beach was full of green head flies. I sat in the air conditioned house,curled up in a fetal position after downing half a bottle of Vox to myself for lunch.
I had spent most of my relationship with Prick sober. Attending Al Anon meetings, while he was in an AA meeting. I felt that it was my right to finally get so stinking drunk after supporting someone who never could stay sober more than eight weeks.My drunken confessions came when my best friend called having no idea what had happened other than what I told her before leaving the shore. "I am going alone. I broke up with Prick," was all I had told her. She hated him almost immediately after I started dating him.I knew that even though she was making sympathetic noises she was glad I seemed to have finally broken it off for good. She knew there would be no way I would go away alone if I wasn't final in my decision.
Like most women in abusive relationships, I immediately took the defense and began withholding all info. Covering up for him was really my way of covering up for myself. It was when I was stinking drunk that I finally told my best friend what had really happened. I then said the worst thing a best friend can say.
"I guess you would be happy to say I told you so."
I could tell from the silence on the other end of the receiver that she had no such thoughts other than wanting her friend to stop letting someone hurt her anymore. I was immediately ashamed.
What an awful thing to say to the one person who has always been there for me. Prick was one of many bad relationships. Mich was the one person who could always help me find the humor in my bad choices after the fact. She was the one who had sat with me in the windowsill of our high school because my sophomoric teen crush of a senior boy had asked a junior to his prom. The said junior, was a track star. Even before Tanya Harding, it was Mich who offered the services of her dad's mafia family to break this girl's knee caps. The fact that Mich can't kill a fly made this incredibly funny. Our long term friendship was sealed.
I thought of how far we had come as she held my hand at Prick's arraignment. She accompanied me to the Domestic Violence Center and stayed with me in the halls of the court house for the four hours we had to wait for the temporary emergency restrain order. No wonder so many women don't take one out or follow through for the permanent one.
Most people who didn't know me very well were stunned when I went away by myself. My closest friendds and family knew it was what I needed. I had to have only my own voice screaming inside my head to figure out what the hell just happened to me. I needed to do it in the one place in the world I love more than a barn.
After the Vox and phone call I finally steeled myself up to examine the bruises that were on my back and thighs. Most were hidden in places that only myself and later Mich who was with my attorney when she photographed them the next day for evidence. The bruise on my hip and butt were the worst. Luckily, boy short, tankini bathing suits were in fashion last summer. There was enough material to cover the deep blood bruises. I sat on the beach nursing the pulled muscles in my neck and back. I could care less how awful I must of looked. I just knew how awful I felt. It would take two months for the deeper bruises to finally fade away. The day I saw that there was only a shadow left where they once were black and blue, gave me hope that my heart could also heal.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Centered

It has been awhile. Sometimes it is more telling to see big gaps in my journals or blogs than it is to see what I have written. I think I am afraid that if I write it it is there permanently and I can then never have the luxury of forgetting it.
Prick finally got himself busted for contacting me in spite of the restraining order. I am so grateful for the officer who took charge of the stalking issue. He really went all out to make sure I was informed and safe. The judge set bail ridiculously high, knowing full well there would be no way for him to post it. As of this posting he is still sitting in jail waiting for the hearing which is set for August first. Irony: that is the date he assaulted me last year.
I would like to say I am breathing easier since Prick's arrest but honestly a new set of anxiety has stepped in. Thoughts of, "what if he is even more pissed?" to thoughts of how he will be even more careful not to get caught next time. I don't believe for one second this will ever be over as long as he is out of jail. His past record proves that.
I am still waiting to hear from the District Attorney. Another anxiety is having to appear in court and possibly having to testify. It's bad enough he ignored the protection order but now I have to physically see him. I want to throw up every time I think about it.
I started blogging at CNet again. It feels weird. It is like I came back in the middle of a school year. I totally lost my groove,though friends I have made there are very supportive. I enjoy the banter there and can always get some giggles. Right now I need all the humour I can get.
We were hit with a scorching heat wave this past week. I haven't ridden in a week. I never thought I would say it was too hot to ride, but I have. Here it is a week later and I can't even fathom saddling the poor guy. I did end up finding a decent used County dressage saddle. It set me back a bit but I am thrilled to have a saddle that doesn't kill me. Veritas seems happy to have the freedom in his shoulders and even did a side pass! It was totally accidental on my part, but there it was,a perfect cross over of his front end. It reinforces that I need to find a trainer for us both. He is smart as hell and more advanced than I am. I think I could learn a lot with him.
Not much going on this blog. I just feel out of sorts. In the past writing had always help me feel centered.Riding had always helped me feel centered. Right now I am side lined watching the days count down until the hearing and not feeling very centered.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken. As typical, the Sandman only spent two hours with me last night. I finally gave up at 4:15 when the birds started their morning chorus. Right now I can see the sky slowly starting to lighten and the moon is still bright.
I have always been a morning person. No matter how late I fall asleep I automatically get up at the crack of dawn. The best time at the beach is watching the sun come up over the ocean or being at the farm and watching the sun come up over and through the trees.
I am debating whether I want to try and ride early or go back to bed and ride tomorrow morning. It is incredibly humid out. I should ride before it gets too hot but I did drink last night. I probably will feel like crap if I start sweating it out on two hours sleep. For Veritas sake, I should go back to bed. Another reason? It is official. I do not bend as well as I used to. Veritas is ,how should I say this? Fat. Between his massive size breed-wise, added to the fact that he has had little to no work since last year,has made his girth a whopping 48". I am borrowing Dru's Albion saddle since I sold my County last year when I was tight for cash. I regret selling it. It was an extra wide British size and they don't make them any more here in the States. I just assumed Gwen was my last large horse. Never in a million years would I think I would be riding a Dutch Warmblood who has the back the size of Rhode Island, like my Gwen.
I have ridden a few times since losing Gwen. One horse was a Tennessee Walker. Even though he was wide, he was smooth as silk. No posting and I rode with a cut back endurance saddle. There was not one bit of muscle strain riding him, reinforcing my love of gaited horses. That was how riding Gwen was. You could easily sit to her trot and not bounce. The other horses have been off the track Thoroughbreds who are skinny,narrow, string beans when they come off the track. Most were rather short,ranging in the 15 hands size. Veritas is 16.3 hands and still growing.
I had actually not ridden in months when I rode Veritas for the first time. I joked with friends afterwards that when I went to get on him, my opening thighs made a creaking noise like the stairs on The Munsters and a bunch of cobwebs gave way to some moths and bats. Not much thigh action goes on in any aspect of my life, so riding this huge horse did something to my thighs for the first time in all my years of riding. I am bruised and I pulled an adductor muscle on the inside of my thigh. I am a massage therapist so I know what I need to do. It needs to rest. Not easy when you are riding a Mack Truck with a trot that is as huge as his size and heart and using a saddle that doesn't fit either one of us. I just got my tax stimulus check. It should go in to my sadly depleted savings account.
Yesterday I found myself at the saddlery shop for the first time since losing Gwen. Since both Sydney and Romeo are retired and need minimal supplies I never go to the tack shop anymore. Most things I buy at the feed store. When I saw the tack shop's circular,wormers and fly spray were on sale for half price so I knew it was worth going there to stock up.
As soon as I opened the door the smell of leather gave me a warm fuzzy. It is one of the best smells on earth. I thought it might be emotionally hard to go back after losing Gwen but it wasn't at all. It was like coming home. I found myself wandering the saddle room looking and scoping out prices. The saddlery specialist came over to chat me up. I used to massage his horses so we are on a familiar basis. He seemed genuinely shocked that I had sold my County saddle. We both agreed the older ones were better made. He told me he was traveling to Britain in the fall and he would be on the lookout for any used,older Countys. I thought of the check in my savings and my bruised thighs. I told him to call me if any thing in an extra wide #4 ,17" Eventer saddle,turns up.
Meanwhile,I think I need to go back to bed and rest my thighs. Now there's a statement that doesn't sound right...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

She Was the First Song I Ever Sang

Tuesdays are my Mondays. Being a hairdresser means Saturday is a mandatory work day,therefore my weekend is Sunday and Monday. Now that I have that explanation presented I will now bitch that it is Tuesday. Even though I go in at 1:00 on Tuesdays, I hate the beginning of a work week.
I am a little extra cranky this morning from lack of sleep. The Sandman has been running around on me and has been coming in to my bed late every night. Being the overly forgiving kind, I always embrace him in to my bed whenever he stumbles in sighing in gratitude that he showed up at all.
Last night was one of those nights. I finally managed to drift off to sleep around 1AM when a banging at my door jolted me upright in a panic. As I stumbled down the stairs I heard a familiar sound from the other side of my steel door. It was the sound of a policeman's two-way radio. I opened the door to find two policeman and my neighbor standing there. I let them in and they began grilling me if I was alone,was I OK and if I had any kind of disturbance? They responded to my neighbors call that they heard a woman screaming.
"Mike, are you sure it's not the Boinkers?" I asked my neighbor. The Boinkers are the pet name several of us have given to the new couple that moved in a few doors down. They tend to have incredibly loud sex with their windows wide open. Living in a townhouse with a courtyard, let's just say their throes of passion their ecstasy becomes even more amplified while acoustically bouncing off the surrounding units.
It was funny the first night,mildly amusing the second night,by the third night in a row I was thinking,"are you fucking kidding me? What are they goats?" and proceeded to bitch to my lesbian couple neighbors about why I get little sleep.The only good thing about these prolific love makers was the fact that it never lasted past eight minutes or was initiated past one AM. After another night of porn sounds floating over to my open window and turning up the volume of an episode of Will and Grace, I questioned quantity over quality. I am yet to meet these neighbors face-to-face but I know they have a quickie every night. The thing is with the Boinkers, I am not sure if they don't realize how everyone can hear them or if they get off on everyone hearing them. My neighbors and I questioned each other if one of us should leave an anonymous note explaining the situation. Fact is, if they ever wanted to be invited to join our communal courtyard barbecues, they better shut their windows. How could we possibly be friends with someone when we are asking do you want cheese on that burger?~ and wow, you actually lasted longer than five minutes last night!*high five*
The problem was solved when we got record breaking temperatures in June and all of us where forced to put on our central air. With double paned windows and running compressors you don't hear much of anything.I had a quieter wait for the elusive Sandman.
We had wicked thunderstorms yesterday. The soaring temperatures plummeted down and last night we were left with temperatures that were in the low 70s and noticeably less humid. We could finally have our windows open again at night.
"Mike, are you sure it wasn't the Boinkers?" I asked.
"No,it was just a woman with short screams," he replied. My blood ran cold that the first person he thought of was me. I appreciate my neighbors look out for me. Yet, it is sickening to think I am one of those neighbors that everyone feels they have to look out for.
As the officer started writing out a report I went outside with Mike and the second policeman.Other neighbors were standing outside. This would be the third time officers were at my house in a week's time.I could just imagine what they were thinking about me and my choice of ex boyfriends.
I then heard it. It was a short burst of what sounded like a cry for help. I knew immediately what the sound was.
"It's a Canadian goose. It's probably crying because it's mate is injured or killed."
The officer was young. He looked like one of those guys who grew up in a middle class suburb that has a soccer league, a fenced in yard and a dog named Haley or Cody. (which always makes me feel sorry for human Codys. Whenever I say, "hey Cody,what's up?" I feel I should be tossing them a squeaky toy and exclaiming what a good boy they are.) This young suburban cop had probably no clue that Canadian geese mate for life. When their mate is injured or killed they will cry out like that for hours,if not for days. It is heart breaking to see and hear. The few times I have encountered this horror I am always amazed at the human-ess of their cry. They cry like humans but their mating for life doesn't always get replicated by humans in return.
The officer got on his two-way and reported that the woman in distress was coming from behind my development and to send back-up.
After 20 minutes the first officer came back and told me I was right. Apparently a fox or dog got a female while she was nesting. They found her torn up body across the road. I heard one of the Boinker's say,"you mean it's just a stupid goose? Can't someone go shoot it"
I knew then and there, there will never be an invite from me to join a barbecue. It was at the top of my throat to scream that at least geese stand by their mate,even in death. That's more than most humans seem capable of doing anymore. I never hated a neighbor more. I heard Mike mutter under his breath, " maybe someone should shoot them next time we have to hear them scream all night." I hugged him for that.
The show was over and everyone started wandering back in to their homes. I crawled back in to bed and curled up with my cat Kenni. She seems to have risen up in the pecking order since Sweet Pea's passing. She is incredibly sensitive and will make merring noises at me if I am distressed. I held her close while I heard the mournful cry of the goose. I knew sleep wouldn't come until his song was over.

Artist: The Who
Album: Who's Next
Title: The Song Is Over


The song is over
It's all behind me
I should have known it
She tried to find me

Our love is over
They're all ahead now
I've got to learn it
I've got to sing out

[chorus:]
I'll sing my song to the wide open spaces
I'll sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I'll sing my visions to the sky high mountains
I'll sing my song to the free, to the free
I'll sing my song to the wide open spaces
I'll sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I'll sing my visions to the sky high mountains
I'll sing my song to the free, to the free

When I walked in through the door
Thought it was me I was looking for
She was the first song I ever sang
But it stopped as soon as it began

Our love is over
It's all behind me
They're all ahead now
Can't hope to find me

[chorus]

This song is over
I'm left with only tears
I must remember
Even if it takes a million years

The song is over
The song is over

Searchin' for a note, pure and easy
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Joltin' Joe

As much as some things in life change there are so many others that remain a constant. Like my french coffee press. Every morning my routine is the same. I shuffle down the stairs, wading through cats and rabbits, heading right for the electric tea kettle to boil the water for the coffee press.
While waiting I am still half dozing,shelling out disgusting canned meat by products to the cats. Once I have the coffee brewed and in my mug, I sit by the window and watch the squirrels eat the peanuts I tossed out for them while the cats sit around me, licking the leftover disgusting meat by products, off their whiskers.
It hit me today that my french coffee press has been the center of my every day morning routine for 15 years. I love my press so much that it even goes with me on vacation. I cannot abide electric machine brewed coffee while I am in a residence. I don't know why it tastes OK to me if we are out in a restaurant or coffee house but at home~it has to be pressed. Part of the issue of brewed coffee is the strength. If I drink coffee it has to be strong and taste like coffee. Most people brew it too weak for me to enjoy.
I was introduced to the french press from a woman who owned the farmhouse I rented an apartment in. My apartment was my first independent residence after I had left my husband. It was the perfect place to begin a new life. I had my three horses boarded there and my apartment was the small servant quarters that was over the kitchen of the north wing of the house. My back windows looked out over the courtyard and barn and the side windows over the rolling pastures. From my front room I could watch the sun rise and from my bedroom I could watch the sun set. My whole apartment consisted of two tiny rooms and a bathroom. I shared the humongous kitchen with the family. What actually sold me on the apartment was the gorgeous hard wood floors,deep window sills and the bathroom. It had a huge, cast iron, claw foot tub. Perfection. I knew immediately I was home.
Part of my rent and board for the horses was reduced for doing barn work. The owner and I would wake at the crack of dawn. She would feed the horses,her husband turned them out and I would clean the stalls. We worked well as a team. At first I would sit in my room waiting for my Mister Coffee machine to brew my coffee. It took forever. After a week Nikki asked if I would prefer to use her bodum? She was a tea drinker in the morning but said she used the press for guests when she had dinner parties. Since I had never seen one before I was clueless on how it worked.As she showed me I saw that it was too simple. No filters to deal with. All you have to do is put the measured coffee grinds in to the glass carafe, pour boiled water over the grounds, wait three minutes and the plunge the screened handle down. What it produced was the best cup of coffee I had ever had. Why would anyone bother with messy filters,grimy hotplates and clumsy carafes? So the love affair began.
When I eventually moved on and rented a house on another farm, my first purchase for my new home was my own electric tea kettle and coffee press.
So,there you have it. Not much point to this blog other than I am reflecting on the fact that I have moved five different times,men have come and gone, and I now only own one crippled and unrideable horse, but my bodum and I still have each other.
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Easy, he is on my kitchen counter doing it the French way.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Life is a Beach

I think it is fair to say that another birthday sucked. You would think that by age 29...oh,you caught that? OK, 39? *sigh* Whatever. You would think by my mature (?) age I would be over the birthday thing.
Like most children of broken, alcoholic families my life has been filled with disappointments on any holiday. I can remember a Christmas day sitting alone watching cartoons until my father finally called and said I could open my presents. I called my best friend to come over so I could at least make fake squeaky noises of glee each time I opened a gift. I think I was 13 years old.
My sister can attest the birthday deal. If we wanted a party we had to be the initiators. Neither parent seemed to remember what day our birthday was even though my sister's was a few days before my mothers and I was two days after my dad. I just thought that was how everyone spent holidays or birthdays. If you want to have fun you have to be the one to initiate it. Parents were rarely, if ever, a part of it.
When I was in first grade I would attend a friend's birthday party.It is my first memory of the fact that my family was different. This girl was dressed in your typical 1975 outfit of a groovy, bright pink, mini dress with white,patent leather Mary Jane shoes. Even at age six I had shoe-envy. What stood out in my memory was how Brady Bunch the party was. Streamers and balloons, birthday napkins and plates,playing pin-the-tail (I asked for the cardboard donkey afterwards, which the mom complied) and best of all, a big store-bought cake covered with pink roses and her named spelled out. I was fascinated by that cake. The perfect lettering,the swirls of icing on the side. I didn't want them to cut it. To me, that was a present in itself and should be put back in the box and only to be admired.

Years later, my sister had her friends over for her teenage birthday (sorry Petey~ the year escapes me...I'm old now) Much to her horror our black Labrador had eaten half of her cake that our babysitter had made for the occasion. My dad thought nothing of cutting the half-eaten part off and serving what was left with candles on it. My thought now as an adult is, I'm surprised my father was even home to humiliate his daughters. Kudos that pop was actually home for a change. He must of been trying to hook up with the babysitter.

Ahhhh, Memory Lane. Let's all sing Morrissey's "Late Night, Maudlin Street" because the truth is, these memories are actually humorous to my sister and I. My brother barely speaks to the family so I'm not sure he shares the same coping skills that Petey and I do. I now always refer to any impending holidays as "the Hellidays" and birthdays as "that Sixteen Candles Day" in reference to the funny John Hughes view of teen birthday angst. If it can go wrong,it does. Now we just find humour in how bad they can suck. It would be a disappointment if they didn't.

So,yesterday was no exception. Last year, I had what I thought was a final break-up with Prick a week before my birthday. He had started drinking again and sent an email from my address to my friend who is Native American. It was a copy and pasted article about how other forms of supposed spirituality are gateways for Satan. When my friend confronted me I was shocked and horrified at this. Not only did I not endorse or believe one bit of the article,it made me sick to think of anyone having such intolerance. To know it was the man who was continually trying to change my spiritual beliefs and now imposing it on a friend who I respected so much...well, it was the last straw. So I thought.
As typical in abusive relationships,Prick was great at playing the sorry game. Having his sponsor from AA call me to talk about alcoholic psychosis to seeing a counselor to verbally apologizing to my friend and playing up to her abusive past that was so like his own. He knew exactly how to manipulate. By this point I was spiritually beaten down. His non stop phone calls,coming to my work, barrage of letters and flowers where all too much. I told myself that I would not cave in and enough was enough. But somehow I did cave.
On the day of my birthday he insisted on coming to my sister's house to celebrate my birthday. I really did not want him there. The only time I enjoy my birthday is when I am with my sister, so having him there was another invasion of the only functioning relationship I have in my dysfunctional family. But once again he called me a hundred times that day pleading. He kept telling me he needed to make up to me for all the days he ruined by his drinking. I finally conceded because deep down I knew that even if I said no he would show up anyway.

Growing up in a strict Methodist environment one learns that we don't let on anything is wrong,even to our family. Things are not talked about and God forbid! Do not even think of spoiling a happy occasion such as being unhappy on your birthday. My father would deny this but for some reason I was the one in the family who got this message growing up and even now struggle to not act it out. I envy my sister that she somehow escaped this self imposed guilt thing. She can easily tell people that they suck and ruined her birthday and please pass the cake. If she is scarred she can tell people she is and let's move on.
For years I denied even to myself that days like this send me in to an internal hell. It seems each year becomes another notch on the dysfunctional family tree. Prick proved that this was something he quite enjoyed. He not only showed up at my sister's but then proceeded to propose to me in front of my entire family. The diamond was huge. My first instinct was to scream no. But the decorum in me graciously accepted it and did all the Hollywood things like gush and say yes. I pretended it was my best birthday ever and somehow became engaged to a man who deep down hated me almost as much as I hated myself at that point.

One of the worst parts of being in that relationship was the feeling of losing myself and what I always felt was a strong sense of spirituality. My friends always told me I had the gift of intuition. I was one of the lucky people who could see things through feeling energy around me. I think everyone has it but whatever your external experiences are, dictate how you use it as an adult. I am still struggling to regain what I feel someone stole from me. No matter how other relationships in my past ended they were all left with a feeling of my Higher Self intact. This time I was shattered in to a million bits. Thank God I have great friends with really good glue. We are getting there.

The past few weeks were unsettling. I kept blaming the horse shows and missing Gwen (which is still true) but there was something else I couldn't articulate. It was just that gut feeling. I kept looking for signs but they weren't there. When I expressed this to my counselor at the Domestic Violence Center she was happy that I was at least feeling again. I spent the past year so traumatized I was virtually numb when it came to the feeling energy part. The only time I seem to have it is with animals but people put my wall right up. The last thing I could possibly want is feeling someone who I am terrified of. But there it was. I felt him. I knew something was amiss and he was either drinking or having some psychosis that I was picking up on.
It was one of the reasons I decided to do the beach trip. I thought removing myself from where I was and going to a place I always felt healing would jump my internal energy back on track. That was exactly how it felt. I drove home and knew I needed that.

The funny thing about our Higher Selves is that the put us on a healing path that we normally wouldn't take if we let our earthly selves have a say. Obviously I wouldn't have chosen the parents I have or the spouses or boyfriends I have had and the list could go on. Who doesn't want the easy path? Often I think to myself that I wish I was numb and dumb. Who needs to live a spiritual life? There are plenty of numb and dumb people who seem quite happy to me.
But when the a-ha moment comes and that feeling of whatever God is surrounds me for that moment, all the pain is worthwhile. It is what I keep trudging on and keep trying to achieve. That Inner peace.

This week found my mailbox full of affirmations that my birthday should be a happy day. Emails were sent,phone calls, all the nice things people do to tell you they love you. Deep down that little voice kept screaming,"BOUNDARIES!"

When I saw my counselor on Monday we scientifically chalked it up to my memory and finally processing Prick's violation last year that was giving me that feeling this birthday. It is uncomfortable, but processing it and finally feeling it are healing.
Ummm, OK. You say so. But deep down, I knew my Higher Self knew something my earth self was denying.
Confirmation came the night before my birthday. We have had a record breaking heatwave this June. All week the heat index hovered in the 100 degree mark. Tuesday night the break finally came in the form of a violent thunderstorm. I watched the sky get blacker and lightening fork across the sky as I drove home from work. The winds started gusting when I pulled in to my development. I contemplated not getting my mail since it looked like it would pour any second. My gut told me to get it tonight because I knew I wouldn't remember to get it before work the next morning.

I just made it in to my door when the storm hit. It was one of those storms where it sounds like the world is being hit with bombs. The power kept flickering. I sat on my sofa and watched the world tear around in heated fury,fighting the cooler air that was trying to take over. I started to sift through my mail. A card from Bev (thanks Bev!) a card from my exes mom (awww, she is so sweet) a card from my godson (he makes me smile) and then my blood ran cold. I knew the writing. Lord knows I had enough "I'm sorry" letters from Prick to have his writing burned in to my brain forever. I opened it and then called my best friend. All I could keep saying was "I knew it but denied it."
It's not just the fact that this is a direct violation of the zero contact ordered by the judge in Prick's sentencing or the obvious disregard of the protection Order I had served to him, it was what he wrote inside that made me have to hang up the phone with Mich to vomit.

"I saw you in LBI and your car parked at *** Street. I was so sad I couldn't sit my chair next to you. It hurts me down to my very marrow to know I can't hold you again."
My past blog of finding my Inner peace at the beach suddenly seems like a shallow lie. Once again, the man has invaded my very soul, stealing anything that has any spiritual value to me.

I called my lawyer and left a message. I never slept that night. I watched the clock turn to midnight and hugged my cat Kenni. It seemed like the best way to welcome another Sixteen Candles day. (BTW~ Thanks to Cindy for the 12:00 birthday greeting that did make me smile. YOU ROCK!)
My lawyer called me at 6AM. She told me to call the police. They came and took the card and envelope as evidence. All day at work I tried to juggle clients,birthday greetings and cake with my co-workers along with phone calls from the police,the District Attorney's office and a friend at the probation office. I was finally told at 5:00PM that a possible bench warrant would be issued some time the next day (meaning today)for Prick violating the terms of his probation.
Throughout the night I talked with family and friends making nice birthday talk. When another friend who knows my hatred of my birthday called me last night to wish me a happy day I finally told her what happened. She just kept whispering, "shit." My sentiments,exactly. I had to laugh when she exclaimed that we needed to start preparing now for next years infliction of hell.
Even my ex husband text ed a birthday greeting. Dog. Hrumph.
I finally lost it when Shoe-Man called. It was the first time I cried all day. I realized that with Prick I will never have the luxury of a pleasant birthday greeting from an ex. With him I will always feel like a piece of my soul got ripped out.
Before we hung up, Shoe-Man asked if I got any good birthday presents?
"I think I have a nice bench ordered," I told him.
"What kind of wood?" Shoe-Man asked.
I had to laugh. It is one of the many reasons why we are no longer a couple. Sweet guy, who just didn't get my jokes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

Now that I slept off another migraine I need to get back to happier things. Like the beach. This past weekend the temperatures here in eastern Pennsylvania crept up to 99 degrees. Factor in the humidity and it was stifling. I decided that no matter how high the gas prices are rising the rising temps out ruled my eco-logic and I needed a day at the beach.
I set off early at 7am. It was already feeling like a hot wet blanket with thick fog as I drove over the bridge in to New Jersey. By the time I hit Atlantic City the sun started to burn through the clouds. When I got off on the Long Beach Island exit the sun came out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. As I drove over the causeway I started to feel lighter. It is amazing how this is the one place that guarantees lifting me up no matter how dark my mood.
First I went to a small coffee shop and got a cup of tea. I sat outside for a half hour with my laptop but found myself staring out at the end of the lane towards the beach. The seagulls were swooping and chasing each other in what was obviously fun play. It is still pre-season at the Jersey Shore so there is little garbage and stray food to distract the seagulls. I always enjoy watching them in a more natural element before their love of Pringles and ice cream wrappers overcome them, turning them in to insane beach rats with wings.
I then drove over to the realtor who is handling my house rental for August. I wanted to put down the rest of my rental in cash.That was another justification of driving to the beach for one day. My realtor seemed shocked and ecstatic to have my full rent in cash. As I drove down towards the center of the island where there are changing rooms I could understand her elation. It seemed every other house had rental signs. A lot were by owners,meaning they were willing to rent for less and fore-go the realtor's cut. That is not a good sign for people who depend on rentals to keep their mortgage.
After getting changed in to my bathing suit I decided to go to the beach where I would be renting from in August. It is a much smaller block so there are less people even during the peak season. As expected it was practically empty except for a few small families.
I set my chair right up to the surf because the temperature was soaring. The sand was so hot I had to keep my flip flops on to just get down to the surf. I then began to read a book that someone had given me for Christmas. I had tried to start it a couple times but for some reason my brain couldn't handle reading much this past winter. For the first time in my life I struggled with the one thing that always gave me comfort which was escaping in to a good book.
Maybe it was the comforting sound of the surf driving the non stop anxiety chatter out of my head. Maybe it was the soothing feel of soft white sand that enveloped me while I lay on my blanket, maybe it was the breeze that drifted off the ocean,cooling my body as well as my over analyzing brain. Whatever it was, it clicked. I forgot everything that I left over the bridge and got lost in the book. Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards. The subtitle was; How a broken horse fixed a broken heart. It is the true story of a woman's journey of leaving an abusive marriage and finding love and healing through one particular horse.
Thank God, it was off season and no one was around me. I read the book straight through from front to back with tears streaming down the entire time. I felt Susan Richards was telling my story. Her words were mine. There is someone else out there who knows what I am about and how much pain and sorrow in life we have to face. That my love of horses are the reason I keep muddling through. No matter how many human disappointments I have encountered, my dreams of healing with horses has always shined through. Excuse the pun but it has been the only stabilizing thing I have ever had. It was so healing to read this book and finally understand why I am me.
I read the last sentence around 3 pm. I put the book down and just let the tears fall while staring at the ocean as it ebbed. For the first time in months I felt like I had an understanding of what I am supposed to do.
At 4:00 I packed my things up and headed for my car. While putting my chair in to the back of my car I saw something shiny from underneath the hatchback cover. I pulled it up and saw that it was Gwen's nameplate from her stall. I had taken it off the stall door when we put Sydney in to her stall. I must have tossed it in to the back of my car not even thinking in my grief. I held it for a moment watching the sun shine a ray of light on the reflection of the brass. Even here at the beach,hundreds of miles away, Gwen will always be with me. Not in the nameplate but as a part of my very soul.I know the love I had with her will always be healing me.
I got in to the car and headed home. I knew that I would get home in plenty of time to say goodnight to Sydney and Romeo. What better way to end the day? I still have a lot of love waiting to help me heal.
My car rolled over the causeway and I felt an envelope of peace surround me. That was worth the trip.