The Third Line
In the tree hangs a cat, quite canny, with tinsel streams from his fanny!
How do you grieve the death of a child, who still walks among us? How can you explain to people that the little girl you so carefully nurtured no longer exists? Why are people so quick to assume that I must’ve done something horrible to create such a sick person? It takes a village to raise a child; however, it takes a sick family in a sick community to raise a monster.
I read infant development books. I went to parenting school. I attended parent-infant involvement classes. I understood that my parents were poor role models, and I wanted to do better. My daughter was enrolled in swimming lessons and competed on the swim team. She played T-ball. I gave her violin lessons and horseback riding lessons. I even saw to it that my daughter went to college.
Maybe, I never really knew my daughter. Maybe, she was born with psychopathy. I believe my siblings have psychopathy. All I know is that my adult child is lost, vindictive and violent. All my dreams of seeing my daughter make a difference in this world are shattered. All my hopes of having grandchildren to play with and to watch grow have been taken away.
Everything I have been taught to do by professionals and at Al-Anon meetings (to encourage my daughter to seek treatment) has been undermined by my siblings. I had to kick my daughter and the grand kids out of my home, after she tried to kill my dog in front of the children and beat me up (in the process). After finally ending up in jail for beating and strangling her husband, my daughter gets bailed out by my brother. After ending up with no friends or a place to stay because she has been abusive to everyone around her, my sister gives her a place to stay.
My grandchildren are now safe in a children’s home – but until she is convicted on domestic assault charges, my daughter still controls who is allowed to have contact with the kids. My siblings have accused me of exaggerating, lying and abandoning my adult child. I fear for the safety of my son-in-law and grandchildren. I fear for my own safety.
I have no daughter. All the sane and loving members of my family have passed away. CPS will probably be placing my grandchildren in foster care – as my home is not suitable for children and I do not have the funds to bring it up to foster-care standards. Also, there is no telling what the monster has told CPS about me.
Damn it! I am sad. I am grieving so many losses . . . and I feel so alone.
Call to 9-1-1
Dispatcher: Nine-One-One, what’s your emergency?
Caller: Please, send an ambulance and an officer! I think my mother’s caretaker is dead and my mom might be hurt.
Dispatcher: Okay, Ma’am, try to stay calm. Where are you at? What’s the address?
Caller: I’m at . . . ah . . . at my mom’s place. It’s . . . ah . . . it’s at 6913 Coyote Trail. We’re outside the city limits.
Dispatcher: Okay, six-nine-one-three Coyote Trail, Luna County. Is that correct?
Caller: Yes, sixty-nine thirteen Coyote, please hurry!
Dispatcher: Sheriff’s deputies are on the way, Ma’am. What’s your name?
Caller: Anita. My name is Anita.
Dispatcher: Okay, Anita. What’s your mother’s name?
Caller: Paula. My mom’s name is – oh, God, hurry – Paula Hess. I’m at her home.
Dispatcher: How is she hurt?
Caller: Ah . . . I don’t know, but she’s covered in blood. She’s . . . ah . . . she has blood all over her. I can’t see where she’s hurt. Mom has Alzheimer’s, and I think she might be in shock.
Dispatcher: Have your mother lay down and keep her warm. We’re dispatching an ambulance right now.
Caller: Oh, thank God. Thank you! Thank you.
Dispatcher: What is the name of your mom’s caretaker?
Caller: Huh? Who’s name?
Dispatcher: Your mother’s caretaker – what is her name?
Caller: Oh . . . ah . . . Beth. We call her Ms. Beth – Beth Cushman. (Voice shaking) Where are the police?
Dispatcher: Anita, they’re on their way with the ambulance. Please, try to stay calm. Are you sure Ms. Beth is dead?
Caller (Sobbing): Jesus! Yes! She’s dead! Her throat is cut and her eyes won’t close. There’s blood everywhere!
Dispatcher: There’s blood everywhere?
Caller: Beth is just lying next to Mom’s bed. The covers are soaked with blood. Her head isn’t right. Her hair is caked with blood. My God, what the hell happened here?!
Dispatcher: Calm down. Is anyone else there with you?
Caller: No. We live out in the middle of nowhere. It’s just Mom, me and poor Ms. Beth.
Dispatcher: Okay, Anita, do you think your mother can walk?
Caller: What? I think so . . . yes, Mom managed to let me in the house when I got here.
Dispatcher: Anita, I need you and your mother to walk out of the house and wait at the end of your driveway – where the deputies will see you - okay?
Caller: Okay. I’m getting mom up . . . and we’re heading out the door, now.
Dispatcher: Don’t let anyone else inside the house. Do you understand?
Caller: Okay . . .
Dispatcher: . . . and stay on the line with me, until the Sheriff’s officers get there.
Killing My Wild
The wild in me has been tranquilized and caged. Between the beatings, the wild paced back and forth, looking through the steel bars for a way out. After this last whipping, however, my wild was cut up, left bleeding, and has decided to “lay it down”. She has retreated to a corner, is licking her wounds and is trying to heal in the “safety” of an enclosure.
I lay in shock. With each heart-wrenching crisis, I told myself that “this has to be the last of the bad luck” - that “things can only get better from here.” I am now afraid. I fear another hit and that my spirit will die from a final blow. God, save my wild . . . please.
Who is Rikki Sage? "Rikki" was a nickname my father gave me when I was a toddler. He named me this, after the character in Kipling's story, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi". "Sage" represents the gift of acquired wisdom that comes with age.
Rikki Sage is just an old mongoose!
The Masks I’ve Worn
(The Mask My Siblings Put on Me)
The Mask of the Scapegoat - I am perceived as the one responsible for the majority of trouble and shame within the family. I am deemed as a manipulator, deceiver and as being mentally unstable. My role was to take on the responsibilities for the wrongdoing of the others, even at the cost of losing my soul.
The upside-down cross represents their belief in “my un-holiness”.
The eyes on the mask are mirrors. They reveal that the Scapegoat Mask is actually a reflection of the darkness within those, who gave me this facade.
(The Mask I Now Choose to Wear)
The Mask of Who I Am - I am coming home to myself and learning to live by being who I truly am.
The leaves represent the peace and therapeutic reflection I find in nature.
The butterflies represent the gift of incredible freedom I’ve experienced, after cutting all ties to toxic family and “letting them go”.
Thankfulness from my lips for the revelation of truth , the salvation of my soul and the opportunity to rebuild my life - and for the “jewels of tears”, which are the key to recovery.
Tired Enough to Start Over
I am weary -
Tired of trying.
Tired of crying.
I am weary -
Of offering apologies
For fault mythologies.
I am weary -
Of baffling reflection.
Tired of rejection.
I’m tired of fighting
Confusing gas lighting.
I’m tired with no hope -
The family’s Scapegoat.
What’s it like to be loved?
Have insightful believers?
Just can’t rise above
I’ve left the insanity,
Changed my phone.
Let go of inanity.
They’re on their own!
Easter Hare in grass that has thickened.
His egg hiding ever so quickened.
I asked the spring rabbit,
“Why this annual habit?”
“Folks will know I had sex with a chicken!”
Life Hurts Like Hell
My daughter called me in tears, she and my grandchildren had lost their last home and were going to have to go to a homeless shelter. She apologized for “being so mean to me” and asked me for gas money so that she and the kids could come live with me. Even though I was ill equipped to provide a safe home for the children as my home is a small (unfinished) cabin in the desert wilderness, I immediately said, "Yes!" (I had not heard from my daughter in over eight months and believed that I would never see my grandchildren, again.)
My beloved dog, Buckwheat, demonstrated quite a bit of patience with the kids for the two days that they stayed in my cabin. I bought an extra bed so that all of us would not have to sleep in the same room on the floor mattresses placed in the back room. I did everything I could to help. I was happy to have a family, again, and was on my BEST BEHAVIOR.
While putting sheets on the new bed, Buckwheat went to rest on my mattress in the back room and the kids piled on the bed with him, while my daughter watched. The next thing I heard was my daughter screaming, "Oh, my God!" (I found out later that Buckwheat had snapped at the middle child, leaving a red mark on the forehead. It is my thought that my grandson must have sat on the dog’s injured leg.)
I then heard Buckwheat yelping as my daughter then kicked the dog’s ribs and hip. She then tried to beat him to death in front of the kids. He escaped into the kitchen, where she caught and grabbed him around the throat with both hands, squeezing as hard as possible, and lifting him off of the floor. Buckwheat started to pass out. (My right wrist is broken) so I threw my upper body across my daughter’s forearms to force her to let go of the dog's throat. She screamed, "Get off of me!" Then she let go with one of her hands, grabbing my upper left arm in an effort to pull me off of her arms. This caused her to lose her other grip on Buckwheat. The dog then ran out the back door, now without a collar.
She pursued the dog out the back door. Running, Buckwheat ducked under the barbed-wire fence and dashed out into the desert.
My daughter then demanded to know "where the hell [her] cell or [my] cell phone was" – she was going to call the police and have them euthanize the dog. I insisted that I didn't know where either phone was. My daughter found her own phone, dialed 9-1-1, and reported "a vicious dog attack".
Buckwheat returned through the back door and I attempted to hide him in another room - but my daughter spotted us, pushed me down on the floor and grabbed the dog's throat, again, in an effort to strangle him. Buckwheat managed to squirm out of her grip and ran. My daughter started to give chase, but I grabbed her thigh (with my left hand) in an effort to stop her. She turned around and screamed. "How dare you grab me!" She then dug her fingers into my upper right arm and twisted it, viciously.
Finally, three Sheriff's cars and an ambulance arrived. Candace took the kids and met them in the front yard. I hid in the back room with the dog, until one of the Sheriff's officers called me out to assure me that Buckwheat would not be killed.
I didn’t press charges - but did demand that they LEAVE. I had to change my phone number to stop the threatening calls. I AM DEVASTED.
My grandchildren are now in the custody of their paternal grandparents (who are amazing people) in Texas. My daughter now lives two hours away from them with a friend.
How dare you imply that I tried to take financial advantage of my mother’s home in her last years!
How dare you accuse me of more-or-less stealing from her!
Why was it so damned important that I not be told how much money was in Mom’s money market account? I told you that you could have it, regardless of the will. Did you think I would “demand a share”?
Unlike, you – my sociopathic siblings – I TRULY LOVED MOM. I actually wailed and sobbed when one of you “texted” me about her passing. As with the death of Dad, I never saw a tear drop from the other of you. My heart is broken. I don’t give a shit about money.
Now, Mom can’t be hurt by the actions I must take to protect myself from your lack of empathy, scapegoating and cruel judgement of me. I am cutting the toxic ties – don’t ever darken my life, again.
It is time for me to grieve, heal, and take another path . . .