Finding Fukue: “I want to find you”

Hello my dear friends,

As the first day of December presents itself to us, we usually find ourselves thinking of our loved ones as Christmas brings together our loved ones. We think of our loved ones who are still here and those who have passed on. Then there are the ones who continue to think about those loved ones who somehow disappeared from our lives. Those loved ones who made such a difference in our young lives or a huge difference in a short amount of time. For some reason or another, those loved ones somehow disappeared from our lives leaving us confused, sad and missing them a lot. Do you have anyone who you still think about? I do. I have a few people in mind. I think of my friend Amy. I’ve tried to find her on Facebook using two of her last names. She got married twice. I’m hoping she still lives in New Jersey as I lost touch with her when my son was around 2 years old, but we certainly had a kindred spirit and we had a lot in common. Unfortunately, she got into drugs and made bad choices in life as she didn’t choose the best boyfriends or husbands in her early 20’s. I could have sworn I saw her one day taking a smoke break at a corner with her coworker. She looked skinnier, had shallow cheeks and looked worn down. I should have stopped. I just wasn’t sure it was her and I continued driving. My search continues and always will for her. However, I will make an effort to get in contact with my friends who I haven’t been in touch with more starting this month and the year approaching. I want to be more in contact with them then I have been before.

Here’s to all you who are still searching for people of your past. May your search bring you peace, happiness and a connection that has been missing in your great big journey in life. It’s amazing how having a little piece of your past heal and close a gaping hole of uncertainty.

Enjoy this beautiful story. I know I cried when I watched it, it was so beautiful, sentimental and I was cheering for her to find her kindred spirit.

Video credit: CBC Docs

This post is dedicated to my old childhood friends, Martin (who lives in Switzerland with his lovely wife and kids), David my bestfriend from Brazil who is the namesake of my son’s middle name (who lives in the UK with his beautiful wife and kids), Andrea, Misty and Joe (another childhood friend who I plan to reconnect with soon, our mothers were bestfriends).

Oh oh, there’s that cat again

cat

I’m sitting here listening to some lofi hip hop music as I walk around my home in fuzzy socks. The day is cool the air is crisp. I have just finished up cleaning up my kitchen. These past few days I’ve been busy cooking and making homemade meals for my son and I. My son is away for the afternoon spending time with a friend to study. I love it when my son still asks me for inspiration for projects. Recently, he needed an idea for a restaurant for his business class and I suggested a tea room. I spoke about how he used to go with his grandmother and I to several in New Jersey and what he remembered from them. My son and I had a good discussion of the menu, decor and space. After a day he came back with a power point page with an impressive future project.

I grab a jacket and open my front door to go outside. I wonder if I got mail from yesterday. I’m barely stepping down on my front step when I almost crush my neighbor’s cat. There’s that cat again!

“Well, hello there!”, I say as I smile and clutch my jacket closer to me. The cat just meows and starts to twist its body against my leg and looks up at me with its big eyes.

“Of course, you’d make your visit more often this month…How have you been? Do you want milk? Where’s your mama?” I pick up the cat, give it a gentle hug and put it down again and walk towards my mailbox. Usually the cat follows me to my short walk to the mailbox, but not today. I glance back and the cat is licking itself and decides to lay on the top step as it continues to watch me. A stack of bills and advertisements lay waiting for me in my mailbox.

As I head towards my door, my neighbor crosses the yard. She is a tall, thick woman with curly brown hair. Her cheeks are flushed and she is a little out of breath. She stops and puts her hands to her hips as she scans the yard with her big brown eyes. Her eyes squint and suddenly stop at a particular feline laying there on my front step basking in the sun. The cat’s eyes are closed as it takes in the warmth of the sun. The cat does not care who is looking for it.

Welcome to my life. My neighbor is comfort and her cat is grief.

“Oh, I’m so sorry! Grief keeps escaping. I try to keep him inside, but he always escapes. He really likes you.” My neighbor feels embarrassed, but I love my neighbor. She’s been so sweet over the course of the years in so many situations, something as small as her cat escaping to visit me isn’t a huge deal. I’ve learned to deal with it. Her cat, grief, is a few years old now. The cat suddenly noticing its owner is nearby, gets up and hunches its back and lets out a long yawn.

“No worries. Do come in and have some tea.” I hold open the door for her. Comfort picks up her cat and walks in. Grief quietly lets out an escaped meow of being disturbed from basking in the afternoon sun.  I fill up a pot with water to start heating up and we sit down.

“How have you been? It’s November. I know this month is always hard for you.”

“I’ve been ok. Five years now. A lot has happened in 5 years,’ I answer as I get out 2 teacups and put them on the counter. Grief is kneading its paws on top of my sofa before settling down and listening to our conversation.

“And this little guy loves to come over. We hang out. I don’t have any pets so it’s nice to have him over. Remember, five years ago when you first brought him over to show me him? He was so tiny and delicate. He was so fragile. We just stared at him and wondered what he’d be like as he got older. Then when he was about 2 years old, he was all over the place. Sporadic cat he was! I had to try different things to try to distract him or to keep him calm, but it’s just the process of his growth, you know? You have to adapt.”

“You’re a lot calmer now, aren’t you?” I say in a slight baby tone as I pet grief’s head. I feel the vibrations of contentment coming from the cat’s body.

“I’m glad you’re doing fine. I remember grief was born the day your mom passed away.”

“Yes. Bittersweet day. Death and life. At first, having grief come over a lot was a constant reminder of my mom. I’d see your cat staring in at me from outside on my window wanting to come in. Being so busy, I’d let your cat stay outside because I couldn’t deal with him at the time. As time passed on, I made time to pet your cat and bond with him. Over time, your cat and I had an unspoken deal of communication. Seeing your cat didn’t bother me as much and I didn’t feel guilty for ignoring your cat. I’ve learned that when you make time to bond with things, it changes your perspective over time. It can be beautiful.”

I finish up making tea for two and hand my neighbor her cup. My neighbor takes a sip and looks at me.

“I love our tea time together. I’m glad we’ve been doing this lately. Thanks for inviting me in.”

“My pleasure. I love having you over. You mentioned that November is a hard month for me. It was at first. Especially the first year. I’ve learned to enjoy Thanksgiving and not remember it as the day my life changed. I celebrate my mom’s life all year long, not just the day she passed away. I’ve learned to appreciate and be thankful on Thanksgiving day for the things I do have. I really want it to be a day for having fun, relaxing, cooking and spending time with my son. My mom would’ve wanted it that way. One day, if I’m lucky, I’ll get a new family and spend it with them.”

The sun is setting and it’s getting darker outside. The music continues to fill the room with its lofi beats as a backdrop as shadows begin to grow outside. I live on a hill so I begin to see the twinkling lights of the homes as they welcome in the night. My neighbor and I talk and laugh about things happening in our lives late into the evening.

Before I know it, I’m laying in bed under my comforter reading a book. I place the book on my nightstand and reach up to turn off my light. It was another good day. With everything going on right now, everything’s going to be alright.

Click.

Answering random questions!

Hello loves!

So, I haven’t done these random questions in a hot minute so I felt it was time to do another one. Because you know, some of my new subscribers don’t know me too well yet, unless they read all my blogs. I haven’t read any of them yet, so my answers will be on the spot.

1. What would be harder for you to tell someone you love them or that you don’t love them back?

Me: Oh my goodness! Definitely telling someone that I love them. It’s even hilarious if a guy knows that I like him. My little heart beats a million times as I panic and think, “Omg,omg, OMG he knows I like him!” But whatever.

2. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying?

Me: Of course. There are ways to still give mouth to mouth using a barrier and still save a life.

3. What would be the hardest thing to give up on?

Me: Sugar. Hands down sugar.

4. What makes you bored?

Me: People that talk about philosophy all day long. To be or not to be? TO BE, OK?! Now let’s go and buy pizza because I don’t have time or patience for this shizz. I used to like philosophy, but the older I get, the wiser you become and you don’t have time to think about life. You know life and you just want to live it. AMIRITE?!

5. What is your favorite four legged creature and why?

Me: Wait, this isn’t a fair question! I can’t choose! Dogs, I guess. I know it’s a boring answer, but it’s true. They are so sweet and loyal.

6. Do you like spicy foods and why?

Me: A big fat no. I’m Brazilian. Our foods are not spicy, therefore, my pallet is not used to feeling like I’m eating fire. There isn’t anything comforting to me to have my mouth burn up and my nose run. It’s just a taste preference. Nothing wrong with liking spicy foods, I just don’t like it. Don’t like Thai food either.

7. Are you old fashioned?

Me: In some ways, yes. I’m very independent and a leader, but it’s nice also to feel like a lady and have someone open your car door etc. It doesn’t bother me if a guy tells the waiter my order along with his or if I tell my order to the waiter. Do guys still walk their dates to their doors anymore? Just curious.

8. Something or someone you miss the most from childhood.

Me: Family vacations down in Brazil. My mom and I were great friends with a Swiss family and their son and I were like brother and sister since the age of 4. To this day, we are still friends. He’s married now, but he’s remained a loyal friend to me. We’d vacation with them many times. Just the carefree, lazy and warm nights by the beach chatting the night away as the Brazilian music softly swirled in the night winds. There is something about Brazilian nights by the beach that is unlike anything on earth. Truly special.

9. Are you happy with life so far right now?

Me: Yes, I am. I am glad I am getting justice. Last month, I got a letter stating the perpetrator got denied parole by the parole board members. So, he’ll be in jail for another 14 months. A Parole board committee will look at a person’s behavior while in jail as well as his other criminal offenses. Something must’ve sparked them to deny him parole.

10. You can have one of the following two things: trust/love.

Me: Trust. I’ve experienced love only to have it broken with trust issues. So, I’d prefer trust over love because with trust, love can develop. I give people my trust, but they end up breaking it. People can’t keep their word. Is giving your word not an honor anymore? Even for the smallest thing people say they will do, they don’t do it. That’s where trust comes in. If you can’t keep your word for something simple, why would I trust you with my heart? In the heat of a moment, trust is furthest from their minds. I respect someone who when given a situation/temptation that would break my trust, that they would step back and ask themselves, wait. Would this cause her to mistrust me or will this only make her trust me more? Find me a man who I can trust easily and I’ll have found the man of my dreams.

11. Have you ever been in love?

Me: Like truly in love? No. I’ve said this many times, but I’m saving being “in love” with the person I will marry. I’ve loved before, of course, but I believe the “in love” feeling should be for your soulmate. They deserve your whole heart. I don’t want my future husband to feel like sloppy seconds. I don’t want him to say to me, “Well, you’ve been in love several times already. How am I so special to you?”. I want him to feel like the most special person on earth and the only one who truly captured my heart. People invest their heart so fast in a person they just met that they end up having a broken heart because they gave their heart away way too fast to a cheap person. There is nothing wrong with being “in love” several times. People are different. I’m just saying this is my way of thinking and I’m sticking to it. Call me stubborn.

12. Tell me about someone you really admire?

Me: It’s kind of funny because I’m currently single, but there is this young 20 something couple on Instagram I follow. I follow the husband and the wife. I admire their mature and wise marriage advice. For a couple that young, I’m so impressed by their advice on marriage. They are just the cutest and their baby is cuteness overload. They are writing a book about their dating life and how they prepared for marriage. Their names are Jeremy and Audrey Roloff: beating50percent.com I learn new things from them everyday.

13. Any cooking adventures?

Me: I’m determined to make homemade mac and cheese. I’ve never made it before, so I might do that today.

14. Current feeling status?

Me: I’m not stressed out with uncertainty as I was 1 1/2 months ago. I am on the verge of feeling burned out by my job, but I’ve decided sometime next year I’ll find something else. I’ll be getting injections in my lower back to help with the inflammation next week. My knee situation has really made me not able to do much. I’m usually such an active person. Hopefully soon I’ll be doing many fun things once again.

Peace out everyone! Talk to you soon. I still need to check all my notifications so give me time to stop by your page & answer comments.

xoxo

Why does he keep showing up? His name is…


Photo credit: Google

I’ve been sitting on my couch staring out into the wilderness outside imagining what life must’ve been like when Colorado was being explored by pioneers. The trees are slowly and gently changing colors and it’s as if nature is showcasing it’s last scene before the curtain call. The sounds of birds are heard as they chirp happily whilst flying around and dodging the colored leaves that fall to their fate to the splendor of the ground; its final resting place.

I go into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea and once again curl up on the couch looking outside. It is quiet. Too quiet. My teacup is surrounded by both hands as I blow to cool the steaming tea. Autumn is here once again and I love it. Nothing beats wearing warm fuzzy socks, hair up in a messy bun and curled up on the couch.

I hear a knock on the door. Who could it be? Why now? Do people not ring doorbells anymore? Or call? I’m scared. I don’t like strangers coming to my door. I put my cup of tea down and tip toe to my window. Socks or not, I feel stealth as if a jaguar hunting its prey. I look out my window briefly to see who it is. I quickly retreat back after I see who it is. I release a long sigh. Him again?

I open the door.

“Hey” he says.
“Hey” is all I can reply with a downcast look on my face.
“Can I come in?”
“I guess so. Why are you here? You seem to show up when I really don’t want you to show up. This isn’t a good time.”
“I just came to see how you were doing…”
“You know perfectly well how I’m doing, this is exactly why you’re here. But come on in. Do you want anything to drink?”
“Yeah, sure. Do you have coffee? I like mine black”, he says as he walks around and takes in everything in my home. I’m secretly hoping this isn’t a long visit. I’m already plotting to see how I can get rid of him. He’s annoying af.
“So, where’s your friend? You guys are always hanging out together.”
“Oh him? He almost came, but I felt like I’d come instead…alone.”
“Good”, I replied. His friend is more annoying and both of them together is a nightmare.

Too lazy to really heat up a pot of fresh water, I instead took out a cup from the cupboard and put tap water in it. I put it in the microwave to heat up for 2 minutes. After making small talk with my visitor, I added instant coffee and handed it to him. We both walked to the living room and sat down. He looked across the room at me which felt like forever. I couldn’t tell if he was totally relaxed or just waiting to see what I would say next. I can play that game too.

I look at him for a long time without saying anything. We both know what each other is thinking. I break the silence.

“I’ve been going through a lot. I have a lot on my plate right now. ”

“I know”, he says as he takes a sip of his coffee.

“Wait, are you reading my tweets on Twitter?” I ask innocently. Of course, he’s reading my tweets.

“Ok, ok. You got me. I do read your tweets. That’s why I’m here. To see how you really are. ”

“Well, to be perfectly honest, I have to deal with you. You and I know what’s going on between us. How are we going to deal with this? I told you I don’t want you in my life, but you keep showing up. This month has been bad too. Especially the past 2 weeks. ”

“Geez. What about me don’t you like?”

“Are you serious?”, I sarcastically ask. “I don’t like how you make me feel. You make me feel confused. You’re the reason I stay up late at night. You’re the reason why I want to be left alone to think things over…and over.  There’s going to be a lot of life changes in the coming year and you’re not making it any easier.”

“I know what you need. You need a plan. Maybe that will help?”

“That’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m thinking of my backup plans. With my knee in pain, I’m not sure if my current job is a good fit anymore. Maybe I should stick to an office type of job. I have to start looking for another apt when my lease ends in December. Do I buy a home here in Colorado or move out of State after 4 years?”

“I’m sorry”, he quietly says. “I know I’ve been coming around a lot lately, but this is the first time you’ve let me in to actually talk to you.”

“I just don’t know how to deal with you sometimes. You’ll always be a part of my life and I knew especially this year, you’d come around a lot.”

“Listen, all I can say is ask advice from people who are much older than you. Wiser, if you will. See what they have to say.” He gets up to walk towards the window and stares out into the courtyard taking the last sips of his coffee. After a minute, he turns around and puts his coffee cup down on the table.

“Do you mind if I come back again Thursday?” he softly asks.

“Yeah, I actually do mind. I’ll be busy and I have a doctor’s appointment that day. I really, really don’t want any visitors, especially you. I just want to come home and rest and go from there.” It feels good to say that to him. He’s heard this many times before and sometimes he listens, other times he comes anyways.

I walk him to the door. We don’t hug. There are no cheek kisses either. I feel the chill in the air and admire the blue sky above. He turns around and walks away and disappears around the corner.

His name is “uncertainty”.

He’s not a real person, of course. He’s a feeling. The feeling of uncertainty.

Sometimes we all need to train our minds to keep out negative thoughts or as in this case, we need to deal with it and find out the reason why these feelings come often. To replace or do something that will help with feelings of uncertainty is a process. Everyone wants consistency and when life throws a fast one on you, it can make you feel unbalanced and a bit stressed.

 

Worries and back pain…

Dear friends,

I’m still alive! Nice to see you all. Even my new subscribers. I see you and welcome. Thanks for following even though there’s cobwebs on my last post. I need to come here more often. Which brings me to ask you guys about something. One of the things that has stopped me from posting as much as I want is that I need to find an easy but very good video editing software. I used to use “Movie maker” and I loved it. Then the big bosses decided to not include them in new laptops. I used to edit all my videos on there because it was easy to snip, edit and do all kinds of things on Movie maker. I know there is a new version of it, but it’s really weird. I’m looking for a video editing software that is easy to use. I want to post it on my Vimeo channel because the clarity is better. I miss making videos and want to practice camera angles and sweeping cinematic scenes with my camera. Editing takes forever, but I can always make time because it’s relaxing in a strange way. Please let me know on the comment area below. I’m curious to know what you guys use.

My son is finishing up his first week of being a Senior. He’s very involved in several clubs and is a Link Crew member. Link Crew members are handpicked students who are mentors for Freshmen that year. My son had to apply and answer some questions of why he should be a Link Crew member. There are 500 Freshmen this year at his school! His school is huge and I remember his first day as a Freshman. I am entering a phase of life that many parents of Seniors are at. This is my only child and it’s all new to me and a bit emotional too. Have I really come to the end of my child’s school years? I made it this far… on my own. As a single mom. Soon before December, I’ll be filling out Financial Aid forms and talking more about colleges. 4 years flew by fast. We came to Colorado in the middle of his 8th grade year. There are going to be so many milestones this year, it’s almost dizzying to my mind. Getting his driver’s permit is happening one of these weekends and soon I’ll be teaching him how to drive. One minute I’m looking into my newborn’s little pink face only a few hours old and I’m telling him I’m going to raise him as best as I can and the next here I am suddenly a mother of a Senior boy. In my mind I’m already making a list of things he’ll need for college and how his room will be the coolest dorm room ever.

Lately, I’ve had back issues. I had an xray 3 weeks ago and my doctor said it looked normal, just the usual wear and tear as we age. However, he did look up at me and said, “I did find something odd though.” Huh. Wut. Really? Now??? Sigh. I had a long day and I was tired. Please don’t tell me I’m morphing into some wild creature. He continued to say that he found that my bone density was above average. He said usually bone density gets weaker and thinner, but mine was above average and asked if I was eating a lot of veggies and fruits. I confessed, I wasn’t… BUT. I am taking my vitamins! Especially my Vitamin D gummy ones. He said to take one instead of two. That was positive news. It was just weird how he got all dramatic and suspenseful about my bone density. I am getting an MRI next week to see more details of why my lower right back hurts which is affecting my foot and leg. It’s not sciatica which I had last year and got taken care of after 4 months of physical therapy. Wish me luck. I just want something to improve it because I’m starting to get worried. And I tend to worry a lot. I hate worrying and need to find things to occupy my mind before it gets out of hand and I end up in a panic attack. Lol.

I’ll be back. Let me know what editing software you guys use. I just need ideas and reviews of editing software so I can continue making videos and posting them on here.

Later love bugs! xoxo

This song is so dreamy. I listen to it when I’m getting for work and when I’m driving back home as I decompress. This song is so calming to the ears and I love the vibe.

The Sentence Part 3

judge-hammer
Credit: Google

Dear friends,

Sorry for keeping you in suspense. I’ll tell you exactly why it’s taken me some time to write part 3. I got the official notice of his sentence on May 31st. The sentence gave mixed emotions as you’ll read later on. The other reason is that after I heard about the sentence I decided it was time to start a new chapter in my life. A chapter where there wasn’t any phone calls from prosecutors, detectives or anyone else regarding the case. I felt a huge sense of relief and I could finally shake the stress away and live my life in a happier circumstance. My sense of happiness came and it felt beautiful. I’m a happy person to begin with, but this was a relieved sense of happiness which brought along its friends, peace and tranquility. I wanted to spend time alone without blogging to gather my thoughts, digest the sentence and just begin living my life.

The trial was 3 hours long and I sat up there answering all the questions being catapulted towards me. If you’ve ever had to sit as a witness for a crime and be asked all kinds of questions, it’s mentally exhausting. Photographs were shown on the screen for everyone in the courtroom to see. I hated that he had to look at me the entire time. The whole situation was surreal. One minute I’m living my life in Colorado and the next thing I know I’m sitting in a courtroom testifying against someone who violated me many years ago. How did I get here? Nevertheless, I’m glad he’s been in jail for close to 2 years.

After I was done testifying, I got down from my seat and walked out from the courtroom. I felt bad I couldn’t shake the hand or hug my Prosecuter because she still had to argue my case after I left. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted I spent the next 6 hours just relaxing and taking small naps. My son was able to hang out with his friends at a local mall. He later told me he had a lot of fun and laughed a lot with his friends.

Now all I needed to do was just wait for the verdict and sentence.

We were escorted by 2 Detectives dressed in suits and stereotypical jackets to the airport. Just as when they picked us up, we felt like were being whisked away in a special ops movie scene in an undercover police car. We hopped on the plane and listened to the chatter of fellow passengers. One passenger said he was from Manitou Springs, which is a mountain town literally 15 minutes from where we live. It felt nice to be among fellow Coloradans.

It took 2 days for the jury to deliberate. I once was a juror, so I knew exactly what they were going through and the process of it. Believe me, with 12 different personalities, it’s hard to come up with the same verdict or agree. There may be one juror who is so stubborn or another who is very undecided.

My Victim’s Advocate later called me on May 31s and told me the news. Because he had been sitting in jail for 2 years, this gave me him credit towards any jail time. He was found guilty of three counts. Basically, he’s eligible for parole now. Yes, you heard that right. It doesn’t mean he’s free right now. He’s still in State prison as we speak, but being eligle for parole can take weeks or up to a year. They have to put in consideration his behavior whilst in prison the past 2 years.

Dealing with him getting out of jail so soon only brought a lot of fear to me because I felt as if he might come after me and try to hunt me down for revenge. I didn’t want to constantly live my life looking behind my back. I later found out he has a Nazi tattoo on his head, so I’m not sure how active he is about that lifestyle.  I had this fear and I expressed my fear to my Victim’s Advocate and in my Victim’s Statement I gave to the judge. The judge read the letter and made sure he was not to contact me. Ever.  I’m not sure if these fears were because I had just relived a traumatic experience through testifying or something else. My Victim’s Advocate talked a long time with me regarding my fears and what she has seen with former clients the past 20 years she has worked on cases like mine. Either way, whenever he is released from jail, I will be immediately notified by letter and through my Victim’s Advocate. I pray to God I will not panic for a few seconds and only remain strong as I have been and will be.

I knew in order to live a fulfilling life without fear (fear is normal and I’m only human) and as normal as anyone else, I had to change my way of thinking. Doing little things like getting the Ring.com doorbell which video tapes anyone who comes near your door will relieve me of any stress. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m going to keep living life and having fun. Another reason why I blog is so that my son will always have something to read regarding my life after it’s my time to go (of old age). I have no intention of ever stopping blogging. I love writing too much.

I do want to say that with this experience, if you know anyone who has gone through a similar experience, let them know they will get through it. They are survivors. They are warriors and have fought a tough war and will come out of it victorious like me. Yes, it’s a very tough battle to go through, the whole court process, the emotional stress and feelings of loneliness, but it will only make a person that much stronger for whatever life has prepared for the future. I’m thankful that I have a strong faith and I couldn’t have gone through this without God.

When I was writing my final victim’s impact statement to be given to the judge to read in court for sentencing day, I listened to this song below. I was having problems in how to start one, so once I heard this song, I knew exactly what I had to write. So this particular music means a lot to me. It  captures my spirit and my soul.

xoxo

Video credit: ThePrimeCronus

Testifying in court Part 2

Hello dear friends,

I wrote this May 31st. Thank you for coming along and reading this. Writing about this has helped me a lot and has been therapeutic in so many ways.

In February during one of the phone calls with my Victim’s Advocate, I was told it was going to be a possibility that I would have to travel to New Jersey to testify depending on how the perpetrator plead. I’m glad she told me back then because this gave me time to marinate in my mind of coming face to face with him. After all these years. She told me to wait a few weeks and she would have the official trial date and to start telling my job that I would be gone for a few days.

March came and I got the call I was dreading. I was to go to New Jersey. So many emotions came and I knew I was going to have to do something extremely tough. My prosecutor and I would then have to have several calls (conference calls with a Detective present) regarding what kind of questions she would ask me and how to prepare to be asked by the Defense lawyer. I had forgotten that 17 years ago I had given a statement that was recorded by an officer. Before that, I was given a copy of my statement. It took me 2 days to read it because I read the first 4 sentences and I had to put it down because there were things I had forgotten about since that night. Reading my testimony was tough, but it had to be done. A time later, I had to LISTEN to the audio tape and hear myself speak. The older me had to listen to a scared and emotionally drained younger me explaining to the office what happened. This was upsetting, but I needed to hear the audio of myself from 17 year ago.

April came and this was it. I knew as soon as April 1st came that it was a big month. It was a time to be brave. I got special permission to bring along my son. I had the Prosecutor write a letter to my job explaining why I had to leave and not to penalize my absense and my son also got a letter to be given to his counselor allowing him to miss a few days of school. A week before trial, we got our plane tickets and hotel. Everything was top secret and there was a reason as not to disclose where we were staying.

Our flight was incredibly bumpy and it was quite a flight after 4 years of not flying. When we arrived, we were met by a car with 2 detectives to pick us up. I had the detective’s phone number ahead of time so they knew we were there. Just like a special ops scene from a movie, they rushed over to us, quickly got out, put our bags in the trunk, opened the doors for us to quickly get in and we literally sped off to our hotel. One of the detectives checked us in and we freshened up before we went out to dinner to finally meet my Victim’s Advocate. During dinner she explained the process of the trial and answered any questions I had. The time was mostly to get to know each other and mentally prepare. I found this incredibly helpful because I was nervous. It was also great to be back in New Jersey and eat the food. I even saw a man at the place wearing a Colorado shirt!

The day before trial, I finally met the Prosecutor who had been taking my case for the past 2 years. I met my family friend who was one of the witnesses. We were never allowed to discuss the case with each other, only things not related to court. It was nice to see her again as she was one of my mom’s close friend. She had driven all the way from Ohio to come testify as a witness. We went to the courthouse and even saw the court we’d be at. I saw where I would be testifying and where I would be seated. I also saw where he would be seated as well in reference to where I would be. This also helped me to be more prepared instead of just going on trial day and everything being new. The rest of the day I took time to rest and take a long nap. I was tired from flying and getting used to the normal oxygen at sea level. I live 6,000 feet above sea level in Colorado where the air is thinner, so my body was getting used to the increase in oxygen. My son took time to meet up with old friends and he loved it.

The day came for trial. I was so sick to my stomach I thought I was going to throw up. I didn’t eat breakfast in fear I was going to hurl. I just had a drink from a store. We sat in a room until it was time to testify. My heart was racing. I kept taking deep breaths to calm myself. I was feeling ok, but a bit shaky on my feet. Finally, we were told they were ready for us. As I was walking down the hallway, I saw a lady who said my name and quickly hugged me. She quietly said, “You got this! It’s going to be ok. You got this!” I suddenly realized it was my old neighbor from that time. She looked more or less the same. She and her husband were the sweetest neighbors. Just seeing her again brought tears to my eyes. I walked into court and had to immediately go to swear in. By then my voice was shaky and there were huge tears running down my eyes. Even the lady swearing me in looked like she was about to cry. I didn’t see him yet. I didn’t want to, but I felt his presence there. I saw the jurors and took my seat up front.

I looked at all the jurors. Each one. I was going have to open up about a traumatic experience from such a long time ago.

I prayed silently. Dear God. I need your help. This is going to be tough.

My prosecutor stood up and asked me the first question. I took a deep breath and so began the 3 hours of testifying.

To be continued…

The phone call from the past that turned my life upside down. PART 1


Photo credit: Google

Dear friends,

I’m not sure how to write these blog posts, but they must be done because you all here on WordPress know me better than any other social media subscribers or followers. WordPress is my happy place and it is here where I feel safe with my words & have cohesive thoughts. What I’m about to write happened and has consumed most of my life the past 2 years. I want this to be more of a post of encouragement and I want you all not to feel sorry for me, but rather celebrate that I am a survivor and to encourage those who are going through the same thing.

I remember like it was yesterday. I was at my former job during the summer of 2016 with my coworkers at a park and all our clients. My phone rang, but I ignored it as I didn’t know who from New Jersey would be calling me. I later listened to the message when I had finished work. The message was from a detective who needed me to call him back immediately. He gave me no reason. By this time, it was late in NJ and I was able to leave a message stating I had gotten the message and that I was returning the phone call. I didn’t hear back from the detective for 2 days. During those 2 days, I was going through my mind of what and why a NJ detective would be calling me. Was it concerning a former client I had in NJ? Was it a relative?

Two days later the detective called me. He told me why he was calling. I remember exactly where I was once again and I had clients. I was able to step outside as my coworkers took over. One piece of advice, when it concerns serious phone calls, make sure you can talk to that person after work or set up a time and place where you can handle the news. I didn’t do that. The detective told me good news, but it also flooded my mind with terrible memories. My mind was of mixed emotions. He said, “We got a hit.” I asked what he meant by that. He said that the perpetrator who assaulted me 17 years ago was finally identified from a DNA mouth swab as he came out of jail which matched the sexual assault kit DNA procedure I had to do at the hospital the night of the attack. My mind was numb and after speaking to the detective I turned back to look at my clients who were happily eating their lunch. My life was going to change. I wanted to hide and make sense of what I heard and what I was about to go through. But instead, I walked back into the Wendy’s and acted like it was just another normal phone call I had to take. I’ve been in many plays growing up and I didn’t realize that for the next 2 years, I’d have to delve into my acting skills while at work since most of the important phone calls were done during that time due to the time difference from Colorado and New Jersey.

My case had turned into a cold case all these 17 years. it turned out the perpetrator had been a neighbor of mine from across the street and had come into my house at night and attacked me while I was home alone with my 4 month old son. He had grabbed me in a choke hold and covered my eyes so I would not see him as he dragged me down the hallway. I was never able to see his face. The only witness of this crime was my son who was only 4 months old at that time and he cried when he sensed I was struggling against the attacker. Thankfully, my son calmed himself down. I won’t go into further details, but it was very traumatic for me. 911 was called and there were about 7 police cars outside my house and I had to repeat my story 7 times to the officers. I was so frustrated doing this, but I later found out why I had to do this. This was a way to see if I was telling the truth. I was telling the truth and it’s something we as victims have to put up when we are telling the truth and people think we are making it up. I had just experienced something horrible in what I thought was a safe place (my home) and the last thing I needed to feel was that no one believed me.

My mom, son and I all moved six months later to another home in a different town. I got a different job, my son grew up and life continued. The first years I wondered about my case. I didn’t hear anything from anyone. I felt like no one cared about it. I pushed it away in the back of my mind. It was still something I didn’t like talking about, obviously.

After the call, my life was then spent having long and sometimes short phone calls with my Victim’s Advocate, police in NJ, my prosecutor, detectives and others. Having a Victim’s Advocate was wonderful. She really helped me a lot in understanding what was happening and how the case was being handled. She would text me updates or call me regarding the latest court proceedings on his behalf because he was getting charged with a lot of things. Luckily, once the DNA was matched up with the person, he was arrested again and sent to jail. He’s been in there since then. Just having to relive the incident and go over the details was emotionally draining. I would end up in tears after phone calls and it affected my week. Luckily, I didn’t let it affect how I worked, but there were days I had to cry in the bathroom or wipe away tears so no one would know. No one really knew what I was going through except a few friends. How I missed my mom at this time. I just needed a hug from her. Just anything. One word. But she was not here. So I had to look into myself and remember all the things she taught me about overcoming hardships. I knew (and know), I’m brave and strong. I felt my inner strength slowly grow back during the past two years, but it took time and I was able to manage my emotions as a result. During this time, I also found out what true friends are all about. I also saw how heartless people could also be. I had a boyfriend  for 3 weeks (he might as well not even hold that title and just be someone I dated) and he knew what I was going through, but he decided to break up with me anyways. Instead of checking up on me to see how things were and being a good friend instead, he didn’t care. I was really struggling and he didn’t seem to care anymore. Some people are so selfish. He tried to reach out later on FB, but I don’t ever want to talk to him again. Not after that. Especially when I needed a good friend. Luckily, I leaned on my good friends who took care of me and made sure I was ok and lifted my spirits. This whole thing was a lot to go through. It’s not like tv. There are countless hours and legal things you have to do as a victim to a crime and the process is long. My days were not all doom and gloom. I made sure I lead a normal life despite everything that was going on and be the best mother I could to my son. We would go to the movies, hang out with friends and watch our favorite shows on tv like The Walking Dead, The Amazing Race and Ghost Adventures. My son knew what was going on, yet he did not know the details of the attack. He was my rock and continues to be. I’m his rock too.

One day my prosecutor said to me that there might be a possibility that I would have to go to court to testify, which meant flying back to New Jersey. When I heard that, it really affected me because I would have to come face to face with him again. After 17 years, I would have to look at him. I told her, I didn’t know if I could do that. It terrified me. She told me to wait a few more weeks until I got the official confirmation whether I had to go to NJ or not. Then the call came again…..

 

To be continued…..

What’s your social media audience like?

Hi everyone!

So this evening I was wondering about how each social media audience differs from one another. This is my observations from my personal social media audience and what I’ve gathered from observations. I’m sure your audience is different and behaves differently as well. Here is what I have gleaned from the past years from the social sites I’m on. Depending on the social platform, there is a generalization of the same mindset of the audience that each platform carries. I find this interesting as it also covers the age of the audience in that platform, hence demonstrating their behavior towards me.

WordPress:

WordPress is my baby. I’ve been on here for years and have put a lot of time writing down my feelings, researching interesting places and giving my opinions on movies. The audience from WordPress has been so sweet and supportive. There is a sense of community of fellow writers and artists on here that you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve seen it many times where some bloggers go on hiatus for months or even years, but are always welcomed back with open arms. On another platform such as Twitter, if someone doesn’t like what you say, it’s an immediate “unfollow”. Everything is instantaneous over there, whereas, here on WordPress, a fellow writer will be more forgiving and keep reading regardless. After all, we all want to express our opinions. We love to observe and glean one another’s writing style and try to assess the beautiful minds of each other. I find my WordPress audience hails from all over the world and we love to share our cultures, beliefs and passions on here. There is no rush on WordPress. Everyone is relaxed because we know it takes time to write down things. Therefore, it takes time to read all of it too. This is a basic understanding of every WordPress blogger. Of course, some thought provoking writings are shorter than others, but no less important than someone who has a mind running 900 miles an hour with thoughts and rants. There is somewhat of a deeper connection that I get from fellow bloggers on WordPress because more thought goes into writing or sharing photographs. We all have stories to tell and it takes much more time to do this. Overall, myWordPress audience is open, supportive and understanding.

Instagram:

I initially started Instagram because it was new and exciting. I couldn’t quite get into the whole Instagram hype after a while and don’t use it as much. I like the “stories”, but have never done one myself. I think I lost interest when Instagram changed a lot of features and started becoming more like Facebook. I don’t have a connection with my Instagram followers at all. I don’t communicate with them nor do I care to, except one and that’s only because she’s a fellow blogger and I adore her. I also had a bad experience of some guy wanting to date me from there. Luckily, we never met and I blocked him after he started calling me names. So Instagram is not my thing. In fact, I might just delete every post I’ve every posted on there and just get on there to watch and like posts I think are interesting. I don’t feel the need to post things about my life because I don’t feel like my followers care. Sorry Instagram, but you’re just not my type.

Facebook:

I first used Facebook using my legal name. It was hacked twice and it scared me. Eventually, my full name disappeared into the abyss of Facebook’s deleted profile junkyard. If that is even possible. I’ve typed in my name and it doesn’t show up anymore, but it did take over 3 years to disappear completely. So I made another account after a few years and it was only to be in communication with my niece and sister in Brazil. I have 2 accounts. I have a general account and a very private account that has 8 people on it. I’m not social at all on Facebook and go on Facebook twice a week to see what people are up to. My perception of my audience on Facebook has been mixed. I have relatives and “friends” on there, but when I post something, no one interacts with me about it. Nothing like, “That’s a cool place, what was it like?”. There’s a strange lack of interest or communication which I find odd. I love interacting, but I can only take one sided interaction for long before I completely shut down and refuse to post anything on my FB. So why bother? So I stopped and haven’t posted in a very, very long time. If it wasn’t for my sister or niece, I would have deleted my FB account a long time ago. But I enjoy seeing what my lovely niece is up to and writing to my sister. I’m terrible with messsenger too. It takes me forever to respond to someone. I just don’t like FB. I keep to myself quietly and just watch others from the sideline; I have no problem with that which is hard to believe since I am an extrovert.

MusicShake:

This social site is a place where I made short music bits. My audience here was the most interactive audience I have ever experienced and I would get a lot of feedback from them. My audience at MusicShake all were super friendly, supportive and extremely engaging. I do miss those days, but making music and remastering different instruments was taking too much of my time because I wanted my music to be perfect and it took away from my time spent on WordPress. I am proud of all my short music on there, especially the “Dance of the Fireflies”.

Pinterest:

Ok, here is an interesting audience. I don’t know anyone from Pinterest, but I do have a lot of interest from my audience. Especially, from my “male style” audience because I have several males who like my “male style”. I do have an eye for fashion and I suppose they want to see what females like. I get a lot of likes of mostly fashion choices and decor of the house. I would call my Pinterest audience an interactive but very quiet audience. There is no words exchanged or comments, but boy do they do love to “save” my pins! Once a month I go on Pinterest and pin my favorite things.

Twitter:

Twitter was my saving grace after I went on hiatus from WordPress. I needed an outlet, but nothing that would take time to write. Twitter was my answer. Before, I spent so much time on WordPress, I was hardly on Twitter. I didn’t like Twitter in the beginning because of the restrictions of how much I could write on it. It was ghastly to think I couldn’t express myself in long paragraphs, but in only 140 characters? Wtf. My Twitter audience is fast paced, very informed, extremely interactive with each other, friendly and wants things fast and now! The general Twitter audience is unforgiving, mean and demanding and I’m not talking about my followers either. For the most part, my followers are sweet, supportive and at times sarcastic. Overall, Twitter’s audience is a hodgepodge of all kinds of goodness and fun.

But WordPress has a special place in my heart because I’ve spent so many hours on here writing and reading other posts. This is my happy place because it is here where my thoughts come to life and where I can live vicariously through the adventures of my fellow bloggers.

xoxo

What’s your audience like on your social media platforms? The same? Very different?

*Originally written April 3, 2018

A controversial procedure to look beautiful!

“Snapchat Dysmorphia” the name of the latest trend sweeping the nation. Surgeons are being shown pictures from patients wanting “smoother skin”, “bigger eyes” and “fuller lips”.  They want to look exactly like their Snapchat picture, minus the ears, whiskers and flowers in the hair. Society has forced fed women (and men) that beauty has to be at a certain standard and with Snapchat, it’s only a simple click away. There are two types of people who want this. The first group just want the smooth skin look that erases any wrinkles and blemishes because we all know that society only allows blemish free people walking around. No blemishes or else you are practically a hideous beast and should be banished from all civilization. What was once only a privilege to celebrities for magazine covers is now available for the general public and it has created a monster as a result.

The second groups are those that actually want to look like an animal. The whimsical idea that people are willing to pay to look like their favorite animal filter. Here is a picture of 2 models painted as a Snapchat deer & dog, but take this simple act of makeup play to a whole different level and you’ve got people who think they’d look better by looking like an animal…uh…forever. Some are even willing to have flowers or butterflies sewn into their hair. This is what we’ve come to. Imagine your grandkids coming home to introduce their friends to grandmom or grandpa & they turn around from their chair to the gasp of said friend. By then your skin is wrinkly, you’ve got silver or white hair and that dog nose tattooed on your nose (probably with whiskers if you are a cat) is making you look more like a really bad case of a lab experiment gone wrong or a wrinkly brown band-aid across your nose. Your tattooed cat whiskers are not so straight anymore and look more like broken legs of a spider spread across your cheeks. Yeah. Not so cute anymore, IS IT?!!

Photo credit: Cosmopolitan

Don’t get me wrong, even moi plays around with Snapchat, I mean there I am up top with some weird camera thing in the middle of my chest, awesome ears & bigger than usual eyes, but I don’t feel the need to run to a surgeon and ask to look like my filters. That’s just next level crazy, but that’s none of my business. Sips tea…

So what’s next? Emoji face plastic surgeries? Nothing at this point would surprise me. I hope when I become a grandmom, I don’t have little emoji grandkids running around. I can only imagine family photos…