The Pill Mill……….

When I was younger, I was appalled at how many pills my mother took.  She was extremely ill, emphysema, cancer, osteoporosis.  She died at 59, after the doctors mistook an ovarian cyst to be scar tissue.  I wish I had known then what I now know.  Mary Lou had every symptom of Ovarian cancer, the extreme bloating, constipation, pain and upset stomach.  When the doctor came in to the waiting room, I had to be held back by my siblings-the jerk never listened to her, I was there when he did an exam after her complaining: he felt her stomach and abdomen-she was fully clothed, why bother right? I was there when he told her she was “fine, absolutely fine.”

What shocked me, after her death, was the bottles and bottles of Ativan-she took 4 a day, and I thought that to be too much, too addicting, too sedating.  Now?  I take Ativan daily.  As a prn.  Ironically, the first time I ever took one was the day of her funeral.  Surrounded by friends, I fell asleep on the couch-and didn’t wake up until the following morning.  What addict is going to turn that away?  It was easier to let the melodic pull of oblivion take me away, to dreamless sleep and few cares, if any.

Today I take 200 mg. of Zoloft, 2 mg. Suboxyne for opiate addiction (down from 8 mg. and let me tell you, it was rough, really rough to taper) and one Trazadone for sleep.   My husband thinks this appalling, but I have fought hard to maintain an appearance of normality-in an increasingly abnormal world.

I can tell you that as a nurse, EMT and hospice worker, I could not get into the Suboxyne program soon enough.  I was in a dirty city, walking the streets of dilapidated houses, children in various stages of undress, and very scary men, who gathered on street corners to deal their goods, help a friend in “need.”  I asked a few of them, but as white on rice as I look?  They didn’t touch me with a ten foot pole.  Looking back, I think they thought me a cop.

I was working as a private duty nurse, and volunteering at a local hospice.  I was starting to face withdrawal from OxyContin, and I didn’t want to be the girl who steals patient’s pills.  My cousin by marriage (not a normal person in that family) ran a methadone clinic, and rehab.  I had attended that rehab until our fearless leader Tony called me out on missing a class, in front of the entire room.  When you quit drinking you are wired out of your mind, so many emotions coming from one heart-it’s maddening and exciting at the same time.  I told him off, asked why he allowed drinkers and cokeheads to use in our meetings (was this even remotely fair to the others who were serious about recovery?) and slammed out the door.  He wasn’t going to use me as an example when people were slumped in their chairs, or re-dusting the entire room, like the energizer bunny on crack.

Anyway, back to Scott.  I called him from my  locked car that very day.  I told him where I was, and I asked if I could come to the methadone clinic to talk to him.  He shut me down, but two minutes later?  I heard a commercial about Suboxyne: it has served me well, saved my career and, most likely, my life.  My advice to anyone starting the program?  Start at a really low milligram, that way you won’t have to detox every time you take a step down.  I ended up calling my girlfriend one morning, I literally couldn’t move, I was that weak.

“I can’t take it.  Would you please take me to the doctor?”

The good doctor had taken me off, cold turkey.  We had argued about my use of cannabis, and I stormed out-only to return a week later, begging for mercy.  And, thankfully, that is exactly what I was given.

What I would like to say is, don’t let anyone convince you to go off of any medication you may be taking for your mental health, especially if the plan is working.  Do I like having to take meds on a daily basis?  NO.  But one day, perhaps, the stigma will stop.  No  matter, because I have come to the point where I just don’t care what others think.

It’s not their body.  It’s not their mind.  It’s none of their business.

I Want to go to Mars

Yes, I am well aware of the fact that I used this song in a previous blog this week. I am so enamored of this woman, and it appears as if she wrote the words for all of us, and none of us at the very same time. What I do know is that she knows the pain of betrayal, and possibly the pain of rejection, loneliness and addiction.

So, this is part two of my testimony. There will be an ending, as with all things-but I haven’t written it yet as my life has just begun to unfold. When you accept Christ, you die to this world. I wish I knew that as a child, banished to the kingdom of naught. It is more than enough that I know this now.

I write this blog in order to come alongside my brothers and sisters, the words written by the Holy Spirit and all glory going to God-my writing has taken on a life of its own-I am just the vessel in which He uses to communicate His message of hope and goodwill to all of His children.

“People” have never, ever understood me. Until I read Ezekiel I had no clue that the reason I didn’t fit in was because I was literally not a part of the game called life-I had no interest in popularity, no interest in money, not one iota of interest in what others find interesting. And although there have been times of extreme emotional pain? Each day in bed, each bout of depression and each earth shattering scenario has made me the person I am today-and I like her. I like her very much.

As a matter of fact? It wasn’t until very recently, and due to my salvation that I realized that God doesn’t make junk. My mother had some mental health issues related to her own upbringing. As a young child, I recognized the importance of pleasing her-and I did everything humanly possible to make her realize my profound love for her. I cleaned the house and took care of her Saturday hangovers. Oh, the joy I felt when she called me her little angel! That all changed when I reached the age of 11 and wanted my own friends, my own life.

“Only whores play street hockey,” she said to me one morning as I was placing her Tylenol and coffee on the side of the bed.

I didn’t understand. My heart crumbled into a million pieces and I had to do a double take-this wasn’t the mother I knew and why in the world would she call me a whore? The answers lay in her own insecurities, her need for control and her Borderline Personality Disorder-not officially diagnosed, but I know it wasn’t Narcissism because later in her life she changed, dramatically, and I knew we were loved.

My relationship with her in my formative years was indescribable. I remember picking her Tiger Lillys, telling her I loved her, begging her to love me-but as I grew her resentment of me took on a life of its own. She verbally abused me on a daily basis, then wondered aloud why I had no self esteem. This is when the shameful voices began, so ingrained that I distinctly remember the day that they stopped.

It was a few years after I got sober. I sat down at my computer early one morning, and instinctively knew that something had changed. But what? I called out to Jesus and asked Him, what is happening, am I losing my mind?

No. I was regaining perspective. Gone were the taunting, cruel and unusual whispers of persecution.

You’re a piece of shit. You can’t do anything right. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Lose some weight you pig, why can’t you touch anything without it turning to crap? Nobody loves you, why would they? You don’t deserve love, no whore does.

It was constant and I drank to get rid of the ghosts. I drank to feel something but less than, to quiet the rage and the thoughts that led me to weeks in bed at a time-depression so severe I often thought of offing myself-I just didn’t have the courage.

A few years ago I went to a doctor’s appointment-a specialist. I had been measured at 4’11” my entire life. When the nurse called out 5’1″ I thought she was talking to someone other than myself.

“Umm, can you take that again? I hardly think I’ve grown two inches in the past year,” I laughed.

She did take it again and with the same result.

It finally hit me like a ton of bricks. The shame, self loathing and mocking voices had kept me hunched over. As I grew in my recovery and healing, I stood straight for the first time in 50 years. My self loathing had been so horrific that I had literally crippled myself.

In tomorrow’s blog I will address my rebirth as a born again and how Jesus took me by the hand and taught me the greatest lesson I have learned.

Keep hope alive, dear ones. God is real and true and loyal and He wants you to know that above the din and darkness of this world? There is nothing but love awaiting you.

The Hurdy Gurdy Man

A little birdy told me that this song was written about MK Ultra. Thanks LP.

I have had it. Literally as done as done could be. Triggered by the information coming at me from every angle-but now is not the time to look away. Now is the time to fight evil, with every ounce of my being I deplore these vipers. I want justice and if my discernment is worth a hill of beans? I know it will be delivered by an extremely angry God.

I have nothing left to give, not even to my beloved fur babies. I have reached my quota of ignorant, selfish and deceitful people. Chances are? If you come at me with mocking, hatred or even stupidity?

I will END you.

The truth is reaching critical levels. The repugnant MSM is causing hysteria, the kind that you’d expect at the end of tribulation-not to be confused with the panic one sees in empty toilet paper and hand sanitizer aisles. That’s right-we have no bread on our shelves and they are charging $24 for a regular bag of cat food. The walking Zombies of the Apocalypse of me-me-me are out and about, wearing masks, thinking only of themselves. Wait until they learn the truth.

Awhile back, while on the 8kun channel, I saw a post by Q intimating that 99% of the world would be hospitalized if they knew the truth: only now do I believe it. These people are sick, and they want a way out of taking any responsibility nor ridicule for their crimes against humanity.Who am I kidding, right? I believe that anger is fear unleashed, and while God has taken the spirit of fear away, my anxiety is through the roof. Do you know what it’s like to be this angry, this wounded? I pray not.

You see, my heart bleeds daily-for the underdog, the abused, the bullied. For some time I thought it a sin to be angry or even miffed; I allowed people to perceive my kindness as weakness and I pushed it down, you know-love your enemies.

Spiritual warfare calls for intensity, and pushing down rage is akin to pushing down grief-it will come back up and kill you in the process. Nope, not this girl. I can finally take comfort in the notion that my enemies will be given the full wrath of God. I can no longer afford the pity-or the idiot compassion.

I wrote the following blog last evening, but the “powers that be” shut down my computer, and I didn’t have the strength to fight back.

Now, all bets are off. Just three years ago my life lay in ruins. No family. No friends. I had just relapsed, over the gaslighting dished out by the most evil woman I know. Yet miraculously, I had Jesus and it is because of my beloved Lord and Savior that I survived that period in time. What doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger-mess with me and you’ll get burned and badly at that. Fair warning.

The upcoming days will be revealing, revolting and yes, retribution is at hand. To those of you who wish to do harm or delight in the terror and chaos they knowingly create? I have news: the end won’t be for everyone.

Jesus is Coming, Jesus is COMING!”, I found myself screaming at the stranger beside me at the gas pumps at Walmart. He nodded his head, smiled and ran like Pistorius towards the market. I jumped in my jeep.

WHAT. THE. FUCK. JUST. HAPPENED?, read the thought cloud above me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I cared what he thought. As a matter of fact, for a moment I resented him for not throwing caution to the wind and raising his hands to the heavens. But that’s just me.

Earlier in the morning I had called Lynn, my closest friend, to tell her the exact same thing. As soon as she picked up the phone I yelled my delight: I am full to the brim, overflowing with joy. I feel it, I know it. He’s coming. He’s so close, I’m so happy…..

You get the drift.

I want to be comforting, but I want to be honest. You deserve nothing but the truth after the decades of lies, lawlessness and brainwashing at the hands of the people you trusted. They were playing a game, all the while amassing vast wealth and, tragically, the blood of our children.

Waking up was the most painful experience of my life and I did it alone, but I did it with Jesus. It became so harrowing at one point that I asked for mercy, as if I even broached the subject with anyone? I was silenced, rejected or treated as if I was mentally ill.

It was the fucking pits.

Tomorrow’s blog will be what I wanted today’s to be-one of hope and comfort.

Dark to a light so bright it’ll knock your mother loving socks off.

The Still, Small Voice

If I could give you one word to the wise when it comes to getting sober, it would be this-

Every day you don’t take a drink or pick up is a miracle.

And where do miracles come from?  God, of course.  Jesus.  Just writing His name soothes my soul.  I’m not preaching, I am stating fact.  If there is anything you need to be a success, it is your relationship with your Lord and Savior.  You may balk, thinking what does she know?

I know everything about the disease of addiction, and I acquired the knowledge during a 12 year journey of recovery.  When first sober, after a stint that resulted in me in hospital, with a cop at my door.  I thought there was no hope, not a sliver of a chance that I could climb out of the pit of despair I had found myself laying in-the bottom, for me.  I had attempted to slit my wrists, and I did a crappy job of it-but I also threatened my husband with a knife over a bottle of wine.  I don’t remember doing this, but I sobered up just as he was telling the social worker, and I cried out-

“Why, why are you lying???”

Thing is?  He wasn’t.

I spent the night, escorted to the potty by a cop, and whatever they gave me knocked me out cold for twenty four hours.  I awoke to the sound of my husband pulling out of the driveway, on his way to work.

I called my boss, sat down and cried.

I was absolutely frightened out of my skull.  I searched the cupboards and found a big jug of wine.  I stood there, on the kitchen chair, and stared at this bottle of poison.  To this day, I believe that I would have taken a drink if it hadn’t been for one thing:  Jesus was carrying me.

I put down the jug.  Too tired to fight with myself, I ascended the stairs and crawled back into bed.  I slept a lot in the very beginning.  Sleep was my only safe space, and my body was working overtime at ridding itself of the toxins accumulated over my drinking career.  I lost fifty pounds, without trying.  I later found out that I should have entered a rehab facility, as I had gone cold turkey.  The withdrawal from alcohol had put my father in a coma some thirty years before.  The irony has never escaped me.

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There were horrible mood swings and a backlog of grief.  I absolutely hated the people that could have a drink and enjoy a night out.  For years I felt as if I was truly missing out.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t miss anything else-the hangovers, the guilt, the drink and dial-but I wanted, more than anything else in the world at that time, to be a normal person.

And that was it, wasn’t it?  The incredible self involvement us addicts are guilty of while using.

Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

The biggest slap in the face was realizing that not only did I put alcohol before my husband and family, but I put it before Abba.  Somewhere along the line, I forgot the nature of my sins.  I never stopped praying, but I was incredibly selfish and I regret that now.

So, my advice is this-

Take one minute at a time, and take each moment with God, not alone.

Without Him we are powerless.

With Him we are fearless.

There is hope, love, a future.  You are not a horrible person, and as it turns out?  Most alcoholics and drug addicts are incredibly compassionate and sensitive.  We don’t understand the lack of love in the world, it hits us harder than the average bear.  I was 56 years old before I realized that there was evil in this world.  I had no sense of boundaries, as often happens with children of alcoholics.  I truly thought that we were put on this earth to help and care for one another-it was a slap in the face to learn otherwise.

Two years ago I made a covenant between God and myself.  I promised Him I would never take a drink again.  I never promised anything to anyone, because I always fell short, always screwed things up.  So you can imagine I was pretty serious when I made this pact.

The miracle happened when I lost all desire to ever take a drink or drug again.

There is no shame in addiction.  None whatsoever.  It means that you leaned on a crutch like anyone and everyone else.  Food, gambling, smoking, drinking-gluttony is gluttony, anyway you look at it.  But it doesn’t matter in the end.  What matters is discovering what your personal kryptonite is-and then addressing the murderous pain it has caused you.  When you successfully process your grief, you won’t need a drink or a drug.

Stay strong.  Be a badass.  He has you~

 

 

Slap Me With the Splintered Ruler

 

Good Saturday morning to y’all.  I need you to know that I only have a laptop on the weekends, as mine took a crapola last week.  Of course, my husband offered to take me to Best Buy this weekend, but I am not ready.  Very interesting…a week ago I felt like someone took my nubby-How Will I Ever Exist?  I won’t be able to write, go on Twatter, see the REAL news.  Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, had much greater plans.  Goosebumps….

Let’s just say that I had been way too preoccupied with the web, and with my addictive personality?  I had cut down on pc time, but still carried the computer with me, room to room.  True confession time:  I took it to the bathroom with me.  Don’t judge me, that room is the only room in the house with a door!  Sometimes a girl needs to breathe.  So, while my husband, friends and support network were extremely concerned (I have to say, my brother was probably ready to send for the men in white coats-haha!) Wouldn’t that be special?  My sister tried to have me committed to a facility the night I tried to take my own life-wise, you are saying to yourselves.  I just covered my ears until the social worker on duty promised me there would be no psychiatric institutions.  The very next morning they released me, gave me an Atarax (boy, if I could get my hands on some of those babies-but nah, just the drug addict in me) which allowed me to sleep my entire first day of sobriety away….giving my man time to drain the booze, and anything expensive was given to the neighbors. 

When I awoke that stormy October afternoon, back in 2007?  I went directly for the booze cupboard, searching for something-anything alcoholic-to my surprise I found a jug of white wine.  I sat that baby on the table and we had a talk, until Jesus intervened.

My precious child, when?  When will you say enough?  How much more of this life will you waste?

That did it.  I put the jug back where it belonged and waited it out.  This would be the beginning of years of cravings, big and small.  Relapses.  Drinking upstate without my husband’s knowledge-at the beautiful cabin we are gifted access to from time to time-I knew that was a big bowl of WRONG, yet I couldn’t, or wouldn’t give that once a year libation up-and one day, I thought of all of the miracles that Jesus had performed for me, personal triumphs, freedom from cancer, the very fact that I was alive and breathing spoke volumes to me.

What if I made a covenant with God?  What if in exchange for all He has done, I put away the thought of ever drinking alcohol again, and prayed for Him to give me the strength to do so.

That conversation took place a year ago.

Not.  One.   Craving.

 

I could not give up on the worldwide web, the loss was profound…and if I can tell you anything about myself, I can tell you that I am highly adaptable to almost any situation.  They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, and that is why I said “No thanks,” when Dwain offered to buy me a lap top.  I am perfectly content writing on the weekends, and once I am convinced my internet addiction is tamed?  Only then will I purchase new equipment.

It turns out?  I have a life to live.  I cannot fathom the chunks of time I wasted, sitting in my hidy hole, reading every bit of the Great Awakening news I could find… I went down Rabbit Holes no person in their right mind would want to travel.  And again, once I got the monkey off of my back?  I began getting things done.  Actually working on the farmhouse, baking, cooking, finding me again.

My husband drove out to New Hampshire for a business trip last week.  And so it was, on Monday evening, the house quiet, no music, no television-that I found a picture of me and my father.

“Wow.  I always hated this picture of myself.  Not so much anymore, huh dad?  Umm…it’s/been/hard…”  The words tumbled from my mouth, and before I knew it, I was crying-my body wracked with emotional pain, I sensed something huge was in the air.

Jesus spoke to me again.

Child, it is time to let go of your shame.

Was I hearing Abba correctly?  Why, I didn’t realize I still carried it with me, the deep seated self loathing.  It took some time, but everything came together, as if a giant piece of the puzzle had been found.  I turned the pain into gratitude, as I remembered why I had such shame to begin with.

As a child, I knew shame.  My mother would go for days without speaking to me, and for the life of me, I truly never knew what provoked her ire.  I stopped a moment to think about what deep shame could do to a child in her formative years.  Eventually, I would buy her a card or pick her flowers.  I came across one such card in my mother’s bible just a while back.

Mom, I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry, and I love you very much.

Your daughter,

Michele

In school I suffered total shame because of my weight.  The kids were cruel, and the taunting was so persistent?  It took me well into my thirties before I could jog or walk past a group of teens.  No matter that I had lost the weight, I still felt the shame.

In High School, considered a jock and oddball, (Varsity Crew Coxswain) I began to realize that this wasn’t going to resolve itself, but I had no idea where to begin.  At Villanova, my shame came from not having or being enough.  Surrounded by incredibly wealthy and beautiful people, I made up a story about being a Jontue model.  Unfortunately, people not only believed me, they spread the word.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with a famous model, right?  In college I learned to reinvent myself, and the only person I was hurting was me.  Why wasn’t I enough?

After college, my drinking career became legend in some parts of King of Prussia.  I began seeking attention (love) through a series of promiscuous love affairs-and the reputation stuck.  I began doing cocaine as a way to lift my spirits and self esteem; what could possibly go wrong?

The day I found myself on the doorstep of my rented home, due to losing an eight ball of coke.  I had given my brother a birthday party, and while I had my back turned, one of my nearest and dearest friends (I had only invited people we were very close to) had lifted the bag I had hidden, way in the back of my closet, under a stack of love letters.  I had promised Ted, my landlord, that I would sell it all that night.  There are no words to express my horror at finding I had been robbed.  I had no money to give him, and that didn’t sit well, not at all.

Ted sold drugs for the Gambino crime family.

I went on the run.  My room mate and best friend, Mel, beside me-we drove away like bats out of hell, and didn’t look back, not once.

So, with my worsening alcoholism and drug addiction, there were reasons to be ashamed.  And as I sat in my bedroom, weeping between the litter boxes, I asked myself this question:

What is there to be ashamed of now?  Why do you feel unworthy?  Why do you punish yourself for simply existing?

Let me light my lamp, says the tiny star; and never debate whether it will dispel the darkness.

– Rabindranath Tagore

May you shed your shame like the cloak of darkness it has become.

You are special, unique and loved-let your freak flag fly, baby~

 

What’s In Store

Would I lie to you?

Typical week for me so far-run through every gamut of emotion from pure joy after Sunday’s service, a spirit of forgiveness and then? Cold acceptance of the way things are and will be from here on out.

Once you know the truth? You simply can’t go back to the hive mentality. You know the truth, lost sleep over the children and basically have grown your ass up and chosen ostracism and stigma as your daily bread; because the truth is more important than anything else. Your experience of this awakening has changed you, yes, but more importantly? You now know you have a voice and can throw all caution to the wind, be a badass-it just doesn’t matter what the naysayers think. They lack a certain fortitude, the courage to stand alone even if it means losing everything.

Everything.

The truth tellers, the voices of silenced minions who know the pain of being the Scapegoat, the oddball-we have something to say to all of you in “the club.” Our experience and hours of research count for much, as does our integrity and quest to be at peace at the end of the day-knowing we have done our best, raised awareness and hopefully loved like there were razors in it.

Due to my lack of access to a computer, I want to share a few videos updating you on current events. A bit of a collage so to speak. If you are awake and you feel isolation or pain at the hands of the ignorant, please join a group or go to qmap.pub for support. You can’t shut down or isolate-you need people and your loved ones need you.

Be blessed my friends. Be blessed.

News you can use.

Here’s a great series by my girl Amazing Polly for those who feel persecuted by friends and family members, society in general actually. She pulled me out of more than a few bad hair days.

Start here. Thirty two other episodes follow-good stuff.

Mad as a Hatter

The stigma of dementia saddens me, as those who suffer are the lovliest of lovlies.

Good evening. I don’t know how your week is going, but mine has been harrowing with a 90% chance of persecution and 100% chance of marital strife. That is all behind me now, but if you ever wonder how you became so strong, so tough? The answer is God allowed you to become what you were always meant to be-and that is-tough as nails.

As a victim of Narcissistic Abuse, I can tell you there isn’t a “crazy” cell in my body, sanity wise that is. Narcissists use projection to drive you to your limits, both emotionally and physically. My case was no different, but the anger that permeates my very soul slips out now and again-last night it erupted. Here’s how it began~

“You have anger issues. I mean it, Michele, you need to work on your anger.”

After I put back the pieces (my head had spontaneously combusted) and calmed down enough to grab a drink, it happened again. I finally gave up and went to bed. Why was I angry? Let’s just say that addicts have a way of pushing everything unpleasant to the bottomless pit of despair. We make our gravest mistakes by believing that a bottle of gin or a bag of coke will allow us to forget; my personal experience attests to the fact that you cannot run from grief. Everything you ran from will only intensify. By the time you get good and sober? A mountain of lament lay at your feet, and before you deal with anything you must address the pain.

It is my belief that all addicts are running from something. In my case? Years and years of bullying, emotional abuse and neglect-I simply couldn’t handle the truth which was no one can hurt and manipulate like blood. I consider it a miracle I found my way to the truth of the matter. Narcissists are good at projection (take a look at the DNC) and what they try and pin on you is a mere reflection of the rot that lie inside their souls.

In my family, my narc would wonder out loud at the fact that I was telling the God’s honest truth, which made me feel untruthful. Fact was? She has lied about everything under the sun, but mostly about me. Despite frequent and persistent attacks and accusations, God led me to the reality that I was not mentally ill. I had PTSD because of my abuse, which led to depression and anxiety of the nightmare variety.

So, after getting into it with Dwain-he came home three hours early, whilst I was cleaning. For the life of him he couldn’t understand why after a day of sweaty drudgery I wasn’t greeting him at the door in crotch less panties and chocolate pasties.

There. I said it.

My point being? I know what it’s like to be labeled a mental case when I know with every cell of my being that I am, unfortunately, saner than sane. I spent so many years just trying to breathe that I took life as it was dealt-nothing left over to create, become or dream. And then I met Jesus.

Having run a Dementia Unit for years, and then my own home health care business-I have a pretty healthy awareness of this population. First, may I say that my parents died far too young to develop the disease, as did my grandparents with the exception of my father’s mother who lived well into her nineties and remained as sharp as a tack. However, I do know what it is like to have your family member treat you as a stranger. The crippling feeling that your beloved doesn’t see you, let alone remember you. The terrifying feeling that all of your memories, your cherished time together-they are lost to you-forever.

Years ago my father was in hospital for pancreatitis. A severe alcoholic, daddy went into delirium tremens from alcohol withdrawal. He then slipped into a coma, my poor mother left alone to pay the bills and raise three children. Each and every day she would say, “You simply must go see your father. He’s your father.” I didn’t have the words to explain my terror, my flat out inability to see my best friend and biggest supporter hurting-in any way.

It turned out that my fears were nothing compared to what transpired with my first visit, after dad had come out of the coma. He was learning to walk, to say the ABC’s and speak again. His hair had gone white, he was terribly thin.

“Hello daddy, how are you feeling today? I’m so sorry I am only coming now…”

I was interrupted by his question: “Aren’t you the gal married to the Korean doctor?”

I explained that I was his daughter, his blood. I shared a few of our inside jokes, tried to get through to him in some way. His next words shook me core-

“I’m sorry, kiddo, I don’t know who you are.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would it help you to know that dementia patients are much happier in general? They live in the moment, no worries, no fear. I enjoyed my time with these brave men and women, so much so that when I had to retire due to Chronic Lyme? A piece of my heart went with the loss. I simply adored my residents and clients. I took each death personally, especially my favorite ever client, Marta.

Marta was my best friend’s mother. She alone inspired me spiritually, creatively and emotionally-I was the benefactor, I was the lucky one. We liked to go on outings, she loved the Llamas at a local farm-we visited often. You see, Marta loved her animals-to the point of hurting for them, just like me, just like her daughter. When with her I felt understood, truly loved for myself and nothing else.

One day I picked up a stuffed Llama at a local gift store. Now, Marta thought her stuffed animals were real. She had this really big teddy bear, and if I was talking when I entered the room, she would SHHH me-the teddy was napping, don’t wake him.

She loved the stuffed Llama, even took him to bed with her. I often saw her cooing to, and comforting the little brown toy. So innocent, so pure, so what I had been missing my entire life. Her last stage of the disease was spent in a nursing home. To this very day I wish I had visited her more. The news of her death stung like poison.

And so it was, after my brawl with my husband, did I enter my bedroom to see-and not for the first time-that little stuffed Llama named Marta, head to the side in sympathy. I hung my head and cried like a child.