WILDLIFE TRADE, POACHING, AND IT’S CONNECTION TO OTHER CRIMES

I like to read different news stories that come up through out the day. I have certain topics that I’m passionate about besides Mental Health, Abuse, and Addiction.

One topic I am interested in is Endangered Species. My father has always loved birds and has had a vast knowledge of them. All of it self taught. He applied for and received a license from the Government to breed birds that were either on the cusp of being endangered or already listed as endangered. He had remarkable success in increasing the numbers of species that even some of the largest zoos couldn’t. He would then donate them to the zoos with the best breeding programs and reputations. He would personally bring them there to inspect where they would be living. My father passed this passion for wildlife down to me.

I also read about poachers and the wildlife trade. It’s slow going when it comes to monitoring and changing the way things are. There are not enough resources and the people living in these areas are scared to say the least.

There is a widely held belief that most poachers are locals desperate for money. There are some that fit this criteria but as the business grows so has the ingenuity of the poachers and their networks. They’ve become more militarized and connected to transnational organized-crime syndicates. One U.S. government official had this to say about the poaching networks “they are the most hard-core criminals that exist today. They are the same people who trade in humans, drugs and weapons”.

I thought I had a firm opinion on this subject but it isn’t as clear cut as I thought. Poaching and the Wildlife trade are linked to other crimes that we just can’t ignore.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human Trafficking is defined as “Sex trafficking in which a commercial (money) sex act is induced by force, fraud, coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. Also “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, debt, bondage, or slavery.

A victim does not need to be physically transported from one location to another for it to be trafficking.

The United Nations came up with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children (Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime).

There were countries that just refused to participate. When I first skimmed over the list I wasn’t too surprised. When I went back over it and found some of these places are the top vacation spots for people in the U.S. I was angry.

Here is the list of countries refusing to participate in stopping Human Trafficking

  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Tonga
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Comoros
  • Republic of Congo
  • Fiji
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Yemen

For those that do participate there is a Tier System that you are rated on. Tier 3 is the lowest. It says you do not meet the standards and don’t care. Believe me Tier 1 isn’t anything to celebrate either. All Tier 1 suggests is that you meet the minimum standards for eliminating Trafficking and trying harder than the others.

Here are the TIER 3 PLACES:

  • RUSSIA
  • ALGERIA
  • SYRIA
  • IRAN
  • UZBEKISTAN
  • TURKMENISTAN
  • VENEZUELA

The total number of IDENTIFIED VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR 2015 was 78,823 men, women, and children.

This number ONLY reflects those that were identified. Unfortunately it is estimated to be much, much higher. Human Traffickers prey after the weak, impoverished, and vulnerable. People without families to report them missing or families so poor they think they are sending their child to have a better life. In reality they are sending their child into a short life of sex work or hard labor. The mentally incapacitated are also at risk. Other countries sometimes see these people as bad luck and they are forced to live on the outskirts of society. This is where they fall victim to traffickers who use them for hard labor.

Most of these places are the same areas that show up for Wildlife Trafficking. Russia being one of the largest. I’ll put my 2 cents in here. Putin’s abhorrent pictures of himself with his hunting rifle and dead animals that were maybe killed by him or maybe “tranquilized for veterinary care”( before being mounted on his wall) is enough for me to understand what the U.N. is up against.

There is also the problem of trying to change a country’s cultural belief system that they’ve passed on for hundreds of years. If you were told a cat’s gallbladder would work better than any type of Viagra and was like the Fountain of Youth from the time you could walk and so were all of your surrounding friends and neighbors, wouldn’t you believe it? If you knew the information had come from your great great grandparents and their friends and neighbors would that sway you? It’s difficult because we don’t live there. We have our own customs and rituals that I’m sure they find odd. We also still test on quite a few animals. We also hunt for sport. We aren’t completely innocent. We’ve hunted certain species into near extinction. Not for food to sustain your family, but to show off your virility.

Wildlife Trade and Trafficking is a $15 to 23 Billion dollar a year industry. It’s extremely hard to get people to give up that kind of revenue. It’s the kind worth killing for and they have. Park Rangers in Africa have to face poachers who are armed with military grade weapons. The Rangers have to use what they can to protect themselves and the animals. There isn’t enough funding or Rangers to properly do the job. The Park Rangers have a connection with the their land and the animals. They put their lives on the line. In the last decade more than 1,000 Park Rangers were killed doing their job.

WEAPONS

Wildlife Trade and Trafficking has been linked to weapons dealing. The U.N. secretary general issued a report connecting Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and elephant poaching. The State Department considers wildlife trafficking as an “acute security threat”.

CONCLUSION

How do we protect the people living in areas surrounding these animals? How do we protect the impoverished, vulnerable, and weak from falling prey to Human Traffickers? How do we stop the weapons from being traded? I really don’t have any answers. I do know that there is a huge genre of tourism for men who want to spend time with an underage child in another country. I remember a news program doing an undercover story on it. It might have been 60 minutes. It was I believe a Heart Surgeon paying to go to Thailand for the purpose of staying at a resort that catered to his tastes. Pre-pubescent boys. The news crew had everything on film and confronted him when he landed back in the U.S. He didn’t say much. I remember being upset because the police were not involved. Probably because the crime had taken place in another country. We need to find ways to stop people like this from taking these “vacations”. He was one of thousands that belonged to a “special” group. The News show caught up with him a year later. He was taking another trip.

It’s frustrating when you feel helpless. It isn’t a feeling I like at all.

These Falcons rescued in Pakistan are worth around $9,700 each.

 

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FAMILY, LAUGHTER, AND SOME VOMIT.

It’s almost Halloween. I don’t like to get my nephews too much candy. When I was in a store the other day I noticed a game played with a certain name brand jelly bean. When you flick the spinner it will stop on a color of jelly bean. Take Brown for instance, it will be either Chocolate or Canned Dog Food. The White one was either Coconut or Spoiled Milk. I also bought my sister a gift set for her hair because I had been to the place where I use my license to get a discount on the Salon Brand Name products. Her hair wasn’t exactly great last time I had seen her but I didn’t say anything. I’m done doing her hair and a month and half later instead of her calling me to do the roots she buys a $3 box color and ruins her hair. She now has about 2 inches of white and light pink roots with some grey. Not what she was going for. My mouth stays shut.

She called me while my nephews played the jelly bean game with their friends. Hearing their laughter, hearing them say how much they love me, was the happiest I’ve been in a long time. A few minutes later my sister starts to dry heave. Just the smell of the spoiled milk one was getting to her. She had to hang up fast. The kids handled it fine. The adult, not so much. lol

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (I DIDN’T THINK I QUALIFIED)

I’m going to tell this story even if some of you have heard it before. Why? I recently realized that I have been looking at everything all wrong.

For most of my life I thought “Domestic Violence” was violence between a husband and wife, a boyfriend and girlfriend living together, or partners living together (same sex). I always thought my situation didn’t apply. It was no big deal. Domestic Violence was usually between two people in a “normal” relationship. Nothing about my “relationships” was normal.

I was happy to see that the Department of Justice has come a long way on the definition of Domestic Abuse. It has helped me in a profound way.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Domestic Abuse: a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

I met J when I was 16/17 years old. We were friends for a period, we would have sex when he wasn’t in a relationship and I wasn’t with someone else, then we were best friends for the most part with occasional sex. I started drinking at 16/17 and was an alcoholic by 18. J was older than I was by 6 years. He had been an alcoholic since he was 16. I know at one point he had used IV drugs I’m just not sure exactly what. There had been so many odd stories about what he had shot up that I didn’t know what to believe. He would give me a different story depending on the mood he was in.

I had been bullied, humiliated, and ostracized from 1st Grade until well it never really did stop it just changed. I had extremely low self esteem, no self respect, I had no idea how to feel about my body except hatred. I always felt like I never belonged anywhere and there was a constant buzzing in my head that reinforced this feeling of dread. But I would get to J’s house, have my first few drinks and it would go away. I would feel normal for the first time in my life. (I would learn at the age of 36/37 that I was Bipolar and had probably been so since the age of 12)

I thought it was acceptable for J to make jokes about my weight. I didn’t say anything when he made elephant noises as I entered the living room of his apartment. There would be about 30 people there laughing. Once in awhile I would tell him to “F*ck Off” but that was about it. He would usually find me later on and hug me. He would say “You know I’m only joking. I love you.”

He wasn’t the only one. The other guys that hung around there felt they could do it to. I would eventually reach a point where someone was going to get hurt. I was sick of it. But I wasn’t sick of drinking and by that time years had gone by. I didn’t know anything else.

Here are some of the things I remember. Paul threw me into a dumpster. Paul shoved me quite a few times and twisted my arm behind my back. The weird thing was I wasn’t afraid of Paul. He had teardrop tattoos under one eye and looked like the actor Daniel Sunjata. I’m probably the only one who even knows who that is. Paul had also been to prison for 5 years or more I believe it was in Florida. He was attractive and I honestly thought I could change him. A guy who usually dated strippers but was now with a 220 pound bleach blond alcoholic. I admit I didn’t want to see things. If one more person told me “but you have such a pretty face” I was jumping off the nearest bridge. Paul was there for one reason. Money.

There was another guy that was always around R. One night R tried to have sex with me and I refused. He slapped me hard across the face. He was well over 300 pounds and 6′ 2″. That left a mark. Things like that happened often. I expected them to. I was usually the only woman drinking with a bunch of older men.

I didn’t expect it from J. Not to the point that it got. I don’t remember so much from that time period. It bothers me. I can’t help it. Maybe it’s part of being Bipolar. You go through all the painful events of your life like it’s a movie but I know there are parts that have been edited. I never asked to be Bipolar. I went to Doctors. Many Doctors who kept missing the diagnosis. I continued drinking until I was 36/37. Sometimes when you’re diagnosed late in the illness there isn’t much for the Doctors to do. I didn’t ask for Conversion Disorder either.

Trauma is different for everyone. My brain had enough. It wouldn’t let me remember some of the more traumatic things that had happened. Instead it would manifest in physical ways while under stress. I will start to stutter and my hands will tremor whenever I feel threatened, overwhelmed, or scared.

I’m embarrassed by this in public. If I know I am having a bad day I stay home. I stay home a lot.

The very last thing I remember at J’s is all of the usual sitting around his huge oak table  with the heavy oak chairs to match. In a flash everyone was gone. I don’t know why we yelling at each other or why he was mad. I remember he was kicking me out at one point and I told him I couldn’t drive. I had my back to him when he picked up the heavy chair with the roller ball wheels on it and brought it down on the back of my head. He then picked me up by my hair and dragged me over near the stove. That’s where he sat on me. He pinned my arms down with his knees. He punched me in the face at least 4 times. What stays with me the most is the feeling of drowning. Blood going down the back of my throat, my nose itself swollen shut. I couldn’t get any air and I was panicking. I thought “This is your own fault. You deserve this.” He pulled me back up and over to the door of the apartment. He opened the door and shoved me down the flight of stairs. It was raining hard that night. He got his car and put me in it. I was in and out of consciousness. I threatened him with my brother at one point and he laughed. I remember him saying “No one is going to believe you”. He drove me to my parent’s house. When my father looked at me then at J he was speechless for a second. J was ready. He told him I had fallen down the stairs because I was too drunk. I kept trying to tell him it wasn’t true. Eventually my dad yelled at J and told him to never come back. My dad said to me “no one can believe you because you are a drunk and a liar”. He left me standing there covered in blood from head to toe. I watched it drip on the floor for what seemed like hours until my mom came down to clean me up.

About an hour later my mom received a phone call from my brother wanting to know what happened. J had called him saying he was sorry, he hadn’t meant for things to get so out of hand, he just wanted to make sure I was ok and that my brother was good with him. Pretty sure that’s an admission. I guess my brother was ok with him because he continued to buy pot off of him. Did this hurt? Yup. A few years later someone else heard him bragging about it. He said he was like “Mike Tyson”. Did that bother me? Yup. A few days ago I found out that my best friend has hung out with J and his girlfriend. Does this bother me? More than anyone will ever know.

I stutter, have nightmares, and can’t even remember huge chunks of time because I was an undiagnosed Bipolar 16 year old girl who used alcohol to numb the pain. I caused so much more pain. I have no friends, my mom has passed, and my family ignores me. Sometimes there is more to “Domestic Abuse” than you think. You can’t get past the pain or what you do remember. You’re locked in. A cruel joke. Mental Health and Addiction plays a part too. I wouldn’t wish my Bipolar Disorder on anyone or Conversion Disorder.

I really just want everyone to know that you do not have to have a conventional relationship with someone for there to be abuse. J was 11 years of my life that I’ll never get back. I never recognized it for what it was. I took everything that everyone dished out because I thought I deserved it. I’m not the only one. 0-go-purple-to-support-domestic-violence-awareness-month

 

WHY DO I THINK I’M AN ATHEIST?

I’m not doing this to offend anyone I’m trying to understand myself. It’s odd that someone from a Religious Organization just started following my Blog and I haven’t even posted this yet. lol I had an epiphany of sorts. I’ll let you in on it later. First I will tell you that my family is Catholic. I think. I know that on my brother’s dog tags from the Army he’s listed as Roman Catholic. My mother has a Bible that has been passed down in her family and 2 sets of Rosary Beads. I know I was Baptized and my Uncle Anthony is my Godfather (sounds very mafia) and my Auntie Barbara was my Godmother (she passed away 7 years ago). I never made Communion or anything like that.

I have studied different religious beliefs out of curiosity. I’ve studied how different cultures have their own versions of Hell and it’s origins. Fascinating stuff. I’ve read some material on The Vatican but it was mostly about documents that they have with specific teachings or thoughts that they didn’t want known to the public because it would decrease the amount of money coming in. It may have been a conspiracy theory but the Scientist doing the research had found legitimate documents that were verified by experts.

Other than those few things and what I’ve picked up here and there I wanted to know more accurate information. For my own reasons.

CATHOLOCISM

The Word of God should include the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is the inspired, error free, and revealed word of God.

BAPTISM~ the rite of becoming Catholic is necessary for salvation whether it is done by water or blood. ( I don’t think they use blood anymore )

TEN COMMANDMENTS~ provide a moral compass or an ethical standard to live by.

HOLY TRINITY~ embraces the belief that God is made up of 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

PENANCE/CONFESSION~ a spiritual healing of a baptized person where there is a confessing of their sins and then a penance.

I’m pulling a few relevant passages to help explain where I’m going with this.

New Testament Scriptures: Mk 7:20-23~ “And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, theft, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

1Co 6:9-11~ “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Mat 6:14-15~ “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

SOME OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THAT ARE RELEVANT TO ME MAYBE

3. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.

5. Honor thy father and mother.

6. You shall not murder. Hating someone violates God’s law by attitude and intent so it counts.

7. Adultery

8. Stealing

9. Bearing false witness. (lying)

10. You shall not covet. (wanting what belongs to another, envy)

SO WHAT’S MY EPIPHANY?

For some reason we are constantly asked about our Religious affiliation on various forms and applications. I personally believe it isn’t anyone’s business. I know you can’t be discriminated against because of your Religion but once they know people will keep it in the back of their minds. It’s the same with disclosing a Mental Illness, Addiction, or Sexual Preference.

Every single time I am asked what my Religion is I answer “Atheist”. Every single time the person asking says “Really? Are you sure? You probably just think you are.” I get really exhausted with this. I have to go through it every time I have my stents changed which is every 4 to 5 months or any time I have a medical emergency. I’m at the point where I want to make stuff up. Nurse asks “What Religion are you affiliated with?” I answer “My Master Lord of The Flies”. Of course they would send me directly to the Psychiatric floor so I won’t.

I love Religious artifacts and paintings. Some of them are stunning. I can appreciate the beauty of old churches and the statues surrounding them. It’s everything else I have a hard time with.

If I believed in God along with all of the rules or how you should live to be received in Heaven I would not be going there upon my death. I would never see my mom again. This is what bothers me the most. It rips me apart. There is no way around it. There is no penance to get me there. I would rather believe it doesn’t exist. The other thing is my belief in Science and Evolution.

I don’t want responses about how I can be saved or what church I could go to.

I’ll start small. I can’t forgive a few things. I’ll never be able to. I have hurt my Mother and Father beyond what any other parents would forgive. I have taken what some would consider a life. I have tried several times to take my own life. I have taken part in adultery. I have stolen small things like office supplies from work years ago, some hair color, nothing too big that I remember. I am an envious person. I won’t make excuses for anything that I have done. I was drunk for most of the big ones or because of my drinking there were consequences. When you are Bipolar and undiagnosed it doesn’t help. I can link 3 things that are part of Bipolar behavior. It isn’t an excuse. I’m sure I’ve done things I don’t want to remember.

I’ve never had any need or desire to go to Church or practice a Religion. My parents left it up to us. I can’t believe in anything that would keep me from my mom, that would consider effeminate, homosexuals, and drunkards as vile. I know thoughts have evolved some but only in a few places. There are still too many that think this way.

It’s all too much for me. It also might have something to do with J. He was a Born Again Christian. This left a bad taste in my mouth and some anger at him. He would quote passages and then interpret them to suit his needs. It pissed me off.

The final biggest thing is when I look at Gorillas and compare them to humans. If that isn’t enough to convince someone of Evolution I don’t know what is. I find it to be one of the most fascinating subjects.

Like I said I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m trying to work out some stuff in my own head. I think I have.1979209_903471546381316_2376864659380596718_o

 

 

FOR MY DAD~ PIGEONS CAN BE BEAUTIFUL

Everyone has an opinion about pigeons. Most see these birds as filthy flying rats. My father has had pigeons almost his entire life. It started as a hobby when he was 8 years old. It was a way to escape from an overcrowded house and dealing with reality of how poor they were. He kept homing pigeons. There were men who would meet and race these pigeons for money. Eventually my father would enter that world. He now has Fancy Pigeons. Some of them are beautiful. It even surprises me how pretty they are. I’m not fond of caging anything meant to fly. My father knows this. But he has done so much for Wildlife Groups nationally and locally. Whenever someone finds an injured bird no matter what it is my father receives a phone call. He has increased the numbers of a species that would no longer exist. He doesn’t see how awesome that is. He only made it to the 8th grade! I’m proud of him. I love him. This is for him.14492462_1291734967525663_8066096441388699421_n

LOVE AND HATE~HOW THIN IS THE LINE?

W and I walked up a long dark staircase. I was a little nervous. I had never been there but she had. We were going to a guy’s house to hang out. His name was J. W knocked on the door and it opened like he had been waiting his entire life for us. To him we must have looked like fish or the freshest meat to come his way in years. We were 16/17, both blond, both had jobs, she had green eyes I have blue, the only difference was in our size. She was thin and I wasn’t. For some reason it didn’t seem to matter for awhile.

J was a gentleman, polite, and charming. He was around 6′ tall with a slim to medium build that would get heavier as the years went by. His hair was his pride and joy. You have to remember it was the early 90’s when we met. His hair was halfway down his back. It was shiny and chocolate brown. He spent more time on his hair than I did on mine. He also spent more time in the mirror. He had a weird instinct about people. He knew what they wanted. If he could provide it for them and gain an ally or money all the better for him. I don’t think there was one person in his circle that wasn’t there by his design. This included me.

When J and I first became friends I was attracted to him. I was young and never had anyone flirt with me. He knew this. He called me all the time and we fell into a routine. I took him to the laundry mat on Wednesdays and the market on Thursdays. We spent a lot of time alone together. I knew he always had a different girl every week. I ignored it. Sometimes he did more than flirt and I would think that there was more to our relationship.

One year J threw me a birthday party. I can’t remember how old I was turning. I know it wasn’t 21 yet. For some reason 18 sticks in my head. When I walked in there was a gigantic banner with “Happy Birthday Daner!”, there were balloons everywhere, and food. It didn’t end there. J had the entire football team from that town’s High School show up at my party. Just the Seniors really. One of them was probably my age and the Quarterback. He was friendly, attentive, kind, and handsome. There were so many people there I was overwhelmed. It was the first time I didn’t want to hide from my own Birthday Party. J made sure everyone knew it was my party and they were my guest. I’m not sure what he told people or what he threatened them with but it was my best Birthday ever.

That was the problem. J would be like that for a few months and WHAM! The next thing you know you’re on his shit list for something you didn’t even do. Or he’s just bored with you and feels like creating drama. Drama was his favorite. If he found out any type of dirt on someone he would wait for just the right time to use it. If W and I were having too much fun and he wasn’t getting enough attention he would try to sabotage us.

W and I always told each other that when we first had sex we would tell each other. I thought someone was her first. J knew from the guy that he wasn’t. J decided after I had a few drinks and before W arrived to say to me “Do you really think W is as good of a friend to you as you are to her?” my answer was “yes, why?”. He said “Because P wasn’t her first. She’s been lying to you the entire time. Doesn’t it make you think what else she’s lying about?”. Was I hurt that she felt she couldn’t tell me? Of course I was. I thought we told each other everything. If I hadn’t been drinking and if J hadn’t kept running his mouth I probably would’ve let it go. By the time W arrived I was worked up into a frenzy. It was an ambush as soon as she walked in the door. The one thing I remember is the smirk on J’s face.

We were sick of it after awhile. W and I decided one night as a joke but also because people kept trying to test our friendship to make a statement. W made a large sign saying “W loves D and no one else. D loves W and no one else.” She then hung it on the refrigerator. It caused quite a bit of emotion. Some were confused, some were excited because they thought we had decided to come out as lesbians, and others were pissed. Eventually “someone” set it on fire.

J was good at the punish and reward system. Sucker punch you with public humiliation and an hour later tell you he had to do it because he loved you so much and he didn’t want anyone else to hurt you. Blame you for something that was stolen while you weren’t there and then when you get out of the shower, wrapped in a towel he surprises you by coming into the bathroom to tell you how beautiful you look just like that. No make up, wet hair, and vulnerable. He then holds you for what feels like forever and says ” I love you”.

There was a time when I didn’t want to drink but went to J’s one night. I was drinking soda and I could tell J wasn’t happy. I went to the bathroom. When I came back and took a large gulp of soda there was rum in it. I looked across the table at him smirking. I kept drinking.

J and I would often just sit and watch movies together. We talked about everything. The only time we fought was when we were drinking which was daily at some point. There were times when just looking at him made me want to smash his face in. Then I would find myself defending him to someone and getting in a fight.

There was a guy who lived upstairs from J. He was very attractive, had a good job, I knew some of his brothers, but he was less than intelligent. Some of the things he would say made me laugh so hard I would have to leave the room. He did smoke large amounts of pot. If ever there was a case of what pot might do to the brain he would be it. He took W to a Carnival one time. She was worried about getting a sunburn because she has fair skin. He said “Don’t worry. When we’re on the rides the sun can’t get you because the wind blows it away”. I can’t tell you how many times I watched him spray himself in the face with something because he was trying to smell it. He had a theory about windshields and the sun also but I can’t remember it. He was also in a band that did pretty well. I bring him up because I heard him in J’s kitchen one night talking to a girl. The girl was saying what a bitch I am and that I’m mean. The guy from upstairs said “Don’t be fooled by what J tells you. D is one of greatest people I’ve ever met. She would give a friend the shirt off her back. She’s a beautiful girl inside and out she just doesn’t know it because of J”. First I didn’t know he could speak like that. Second I started to cry. I couldn’t let them know I was awake so I tried holding my breath to stop the crying.

I knew something had to change. Subconsciously I knew it wouldn’t unless the situation was forced. It was. With violence.

I have not98bc5ba62d6a0496d7318b8c786de35e seen or talked to J in about 16 years. I’ve seen pictures of him. W has a friend from when she was a toddler that she has maintained her friendship with. W runs hot and cold with her. She isn’t fond of many of her friend’s choices specifically because she has a child to consider. This friend knew J when we did but was married at the time. Now she isn’t and is dating J. I don’t care who he dates. What I do care about is the fact that W has been to his house recently and he’s been to her house. I asked her yesterday if she had any pictures of us from back then. She said no but knew who did. I asked her how she knew and she confessed that she had been there recently.

I don’t know why I detest the thought of him having pictures of me from over 20 years ago but it does. He’s the type to sit around drinking with his buddies and laughing at the “good old times”. Which to me means laughing at my expense. I’m not paranoid. I know this person well. I know how he thinks. We could communicate without speaking most times. That makes me ill also. I was at that low of a level of humanity I was thinking like a narcissistic sociopath. I went along with things he did to people knowing it was something I would never normally do. But as long as he was focused on someone else he was leaving me alone.

I take full responsibility for all of the things I did. Whether I was drunk or had an undiagnosed mental illness. I still feel guilt and that word I hate, shame. It never goes away. I also feel an anger that scares me sometimes. I hate that the only way I can express it is with tears. Why can’t I be like Jason Statham and do a roundhouse kick upside someone’s head? I know, because I would get arrested. And I’m not as flexible as Jason Statham. I can still dream.

THERE IS NO BEAUTY IN PAIN AND TRAUMA (Not For Me)

I’ve talked about this more than I probably should have. I obviously have unresolved feelings I have to work out. I understand that. I’ve been watching Dave Navarro on Ink Master and I know his music from earlier years.

Dave Navarro and his friend put together a documentary style film “Mourning Son”. Dave’s mother was murdered by her ex-boyfriend when he was 15. In the film you see how this changes Dave. He also visits the man that was convicted for the crime in prison.

I also watched a lengthy interview with Dave Navarro and Todd Newman (Director). Mr. Navarro said he probably would’ve been a drug abuser regardless of his mother’s murder. He goes on to say that when you come through the pain and trauma there’s a beauty in it.

It’s how he sees it, it is his life and they are his feelings. When I watched the film footage there was a scene where he was tied to a chair by a woman wearing spiked heels. She appeared to be enjoying herself as she dug her spiked heel into his chest and inflicted various amounts of pain. He was dressed as half schoolgirl, half prostitute. Yes, he was. There was also footage of him shooting up and footage of his behavior as it became more erratic.

During the sex/fetish/masochism scene what I saw was a man with the emptiest eyes I’ve ever seen. Someone who wasn’t in the room, who was going through the movements so he didn’t have to think about anything else. I know he does enjoy doing suspension and I can understand that. It’s a traditional ceremony when done right releases endorphins. Having someone hurt, punish, or degrade you is a little different.

As his drug abuse progressed he would put needles in the same site over and over causing abscesses to form and get infected. His friends would tell him to be careful and he became more reckless as time went on.

This looked and sounded like a man who either wanted to die or was screaming for help and no one was hearing him. If they were hearing him they weren’t trying hard enough to get him help for one reason or another.

He talked about visiting his mother’s murderer in prison. It sounded like the experience was cathartic for him. He went in with a calm demeanor and left the same way. He’s a better person than I in many, many, ways.

FORGIVENES AND WHAT YOU TAKE AWAY

It’s obvious Dave Navarro could take a lot of positive stuff away from his experiences. I am not able to do that. I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that. I’m not left seeing the beauty in my trauma and pain. Unless you count the prettno-violence-against-womeny pink in my hair because I couldn’t get the blood out of it. I had such light blond hair that it stained. I would become dizzy and sick to my stomach every time I washed it. I still did it no matter how much it hurt. I am left with a small scar on my nose resembling a crescent moon. It’s from a skull ring. I like crescent moons.

What I am left with are nightmares like the one from last night. I’m pinned down by knees. I’m being punched in the face. I can’t breathe through my nose or mouth because of the blood. I feel paralyzed. It goes on forever. I hate this drowning feeling. Why doesn’t anyone hear me? A girl watches from another room. She does nothing. I’m choking. I’m thinking it will never end and also thinking this is what I asked for. I wake up crying with a sick feeling I can’t shake.

I didn’t drink because of this. My alcoholism started at 16/17 and brought me to some places that a young girl shouldn’t be spending time at. An undiagnosed Mental Illness also helped keep me there. I thought it was where I belonged. I didn’t deserve a better life, I didn’t deserve a life at all.

It’s hard to forgive someone who has bragged about beating you. It’s hard to let go when the person lives near you. It’s harder when you know the person suffered no consequences for his actions and is living his life just fine. As a matter of fact his life is better than yours. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

I can’t forgive and I can’t forget. What’s worse than that is I’m pretty sure that whatever is hidden in the deepest part of my brain has to do with him. If it does it’s better I never know. I’m not sure how I’ll react.

There is a regret I have. I wish he could see me now. After losing 135 pounds, having a flattering hair color, and some self respect it would at least make me feel better. This “man” who once told me I better not get pregnant because no one would ever notice. This “man” that encouraged other men to make elephant noises at me in front of over 50 people. The same “man” who would tell me he could possibly love me if I lost weight then beat me.

I’m lying. I would feel much better with a baseball bat or an extremely attractive, intimidating man with me when I saw him. Sorry, it’s how my brain works. At least I stopped daydreaming revenge fantasies. Progress.

There are so many people that can forgive another person for some of the most painful acts. Parents who forgive the men that murder their daughters. Any family that forgives someone who has murdered or harmed a loved one. I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. Is it part of my illness? Is it genetics? Is it because I’m Irish? Why do I have such a hard time with the concept of forgiveness?

When it comes to smaller incidents I can forgive. I forgive my brother for everything he’s done except for hitting on W at my mother’s funeral. I have issues with my sister but they usually go away. Wait. I have a problem with forgiving my niece for what she wrote to me. Telling me that I should’ve killed myself because everyone would be better off and that my mom would be rolling over in her grave if she could see what a loser I am is kind of bordering unforgiveable. Other than a few small things I mostly let stuff go. Ok, maybe not.