I've never done something like this before, but here I go, giving it a shot. Where to begin?

I am sad. I am always so sad. I live with my loving sister after leaving the "love of my life", in a slaughterhouse of misogyny. I was "madly" in love with this man even after knowing what he did to my youngest daughter. On one rainy day during a visit with her when she had moved away from AZ, the only home she'd known for 21 years. On this gloomy day, she sat me down and spoke a sentence that would crumble what was left of my world. "Mom, *** abused me sexually when I was very young...." I don't remember much of what she said after that. I DO know that my entire family, especially my children, were unhappy for me and the choice I had made to stay in a very abusive relationship, much of that while my three children lived with us under the same roof. She and *** were extremely close, hanging out a lot while he taught her how to paint, "mud", install drywall, float a concrete patio, and all sorts of other practical things. She would curl up on his chest when she was quite small. I thought it was adorable, but others in my family found it inappropriate. I didn't get a sense of that at all.  I thought it was showing her child-like love for her stepdad. Even bio-dad had no issues with her bond with ***.

So for a few months after hearing this incredibly devastating news from my baby girl when she was 24 years old, I lived with this man who denied everything....sorta. He didn't say yay or nay when I told him what she'd shared with me, and when I said, "So she's lying??" he would just shake his head and walk away. The day he finally admitted he HAD touched her inappropriately a couple of times I called my sister and asked her to meet me for coffee. I told her. She was livid and told me I was leaving him THAT DAY, and that if I did NOT do so, I was dead to her. AND she would tell the entire family what I had told her and I'd be dead to them too. I knew she would say exactly what she did say. I counted on it. I had to leave, but even after having the knowledge of my baby's truth if would be hard because I loved him.

Tweny years earlier, when we first started our speedy love process, he had started cheating. I would ask him where he'd been all night and I'd get beaten. Once, I had been told to STAY PUT on the couch while in my nightgown while he went to use the restroom during an argument. I dared to get up while he sat on the toilet, grabbed my purse and left the house. Of course he caught me, and when he did he smeared me with feces from the toilet paper he had in his hand. I still managed to get in the car, lock the doors, and escaped to my ex-husband's home where he lived with my children. Yes, I was one of THOSE mom's for a time, leaving the children for a couple of years with a kind-hearted recovering alcoholic/addict. I had had a nervous breakdown several months before this and left to "get well". Oh, and did I tell you? *** and I met in the psych ward we were both in for severe mental issues. Yeah, I know.....I've heard all the comments.

Most of our fights were about his cheating, his constant state of unemployment, his drunken rages, not taking his prescribed medications for his myriad of psychological maladies. Once when I found him with one of his girlfriends I took my entire bottle of MY prescribed antidepressants. He called an ambulance and I had my stomach pumped. Several fights would end with me being mucused (disgusting mucus filled spit). I was always slapped, kicked,  punched in the stomach (once after coming home after having rage that he hadn't picked me up, IN MY CAR, from the hospital after having an open hysterectomy, splitting open my surgical wound when he kicked me). I was arrested AND JAILED in the infamous Maricopa County Jail system a couple of times, once for criminal damage (I spun my tires on my own front lawn...it was his "baby" and he took great pride in the fact that it was the nicest, greenest lawn in the cul-de-sac we lived on in Phoenix, the middle of the desert) because I got a $400 water bill, and the other time for finding him at his girlfriend's house because he called 911 from inside her home saying I had threatened to kill them both, yelling and screaming at the front door, and trespassing because she said I refused to leave her property.  Interesting in that case, because a car drove past me as I was calmly walking AWAY from that house, smiled at the female driver, walked to my car, when she jumped out of her car, yelling "HANDS IN THE AIR. GLENDALE PD!" while hunched down behind her car door, gun drawn and pointed at me. Shortly afterwards six more police cruisers arrived, all holding me a gunpoint while they frisked me and searched my car. When I was booked, I hear the cops talking about me, saying I was a mental EX girlfriend who, in a jealous fueled rage threatened to kill my dear bf *** and the girl he was cheating with. Never. Happened. Lies, which he admitted to later. He just wanted me out of the way for a while so he could play house and doctor with this whore. Ah, the perfect couple. So even after this, I allowed him to return to my home when he begged me to let him. Oh, mental case me and mental case ***, to live happily ever after. What sick woman I am!

I won't bore you with the details of more beatings, strangulations, pillow smotherings I went through, and the name calling, emotionally scarring horrors I ALLOWED myself to endure. A lot of them in front of my children, or with them able to hear my screams. God forgive me. Please. They must have been horrified. Terrified.

Fast forward several years when my oldest had married and started her amazing family, my youngest had moved in with friends in a place she would feel safe and at peace, neither one of them able to hear my screams anymore. Except in their nightmares of the horrific trauma I allowed them to witness as they grew up. My son began missing his college classes, eventually dropping out. He stopped doing his absolutely two favorite activities he had hoped to make careers, playing semi-pro baseball and recording his music. All of my kids are extremely talented, but this guy was incredible! His voice, like an angel, would sing with me. We would harmonize songs I taught him. He would go to a pro studio and record. His baseball career would have soared if he'd kept playing. He just had to lose some weight and mature and he would have been picked up by important people. But he was a troubled boy. Diagnosed with ADHD at 3, I allowed him to be medicated. I didn't know what to do to make him more socially acceptable. He suffered with Tourette's with a grunt and facial tics that he was forever being teased about. He never found the acceptance from girls, his peers, his teammates...nobody. My poor boy was so troubled he would beat himself, punching himself in the stomach and calling himself a fat pig, leaving huge bruises that never went away. I cried every single day for my precious son. My heart.

Then he found raves. Ah, the "love" and "acceptance" he found at these underground parties. Ah, the relief he found with Ecstasy. Ahhhh the money he could make selling E, cocaine, and eventually....heroin. His habit was instataneous. He tried heroin and was hooked at first puff. He smoked it in a tin foil sheet. I knew all of this because he told me just about everything. Every day. I eventually had to "ask him nicely" (HA!) to leave my home due to the danger his drug dealing could bring to his little sister and me. I immediately called his father and begged him not to allow him to move in with him! Within 15 minutes, he was there on the curb picking up our son. At that point my ex-husband had already reconnected with his opiate and alcohol dependence. So now you had father and son addicts living together. The was no hope of survival for either of them in that situation. I just knew it. My son would start a fight with his dad so he could leave and go use. My ex would start a fight with our son so HE had an excuse to use. And no....they never, ever used together. It was truly sad for the elder to know his son had followed in his footsteps, in both good and bad ways. They were both athletically gifted, both suffered with ADHD, both affected by the disease of addiction. They were doomed.

A policeman arrived at my ex's door at about 5am one Saturday morning to blurt out that "your son died this morning of a drug overdose"". My guess is my ex was stunned. I will never forgive the Phoenix Violent Crimes division for the way they mismanaged this announcement. No crisis team was with this insensitive cop, no one but him, standing on a devastated dad's doorstep with the news his son was dead. Found on the front dirt lawn of some guy north of there. Found with a needle in his arm and a "shooting kit" next to him. Dead. Done. When my ex called me at 7am to ask if he could come over to give me the cash for our son's phone bill I thought it was odd. It was so early on a Saturday, but he should have left for work by that time. But he was an odd one, so I said yeah come over. When he arrived, he was a little quiet but the other person in the house (the abuser) was asleep so I figured my ex was just being respectful.

He went into my office and sat down, asking me to do the same. He then quietly pulled a business card out of his sock (where he kept everything of importance) and showed it to me. I instantly recognized the City of Phoenix seal, the rising of the mighty Phoenix bird resurrected from the flames for the hope of all who saw it. I said, "So where'd they take our son?"  I figured he'd been popped for possessing drugs for distribution or sale, and wondered which jail he was at. He had never been in trouble with the law before, but I had felt it was just a matter of time. When he asked me to look closer at the card, I then saw a handwritten phone number to the Maricopa County Coroner's Office. I screamed, I fell on the floor, then don't remember much after that. The next thing I knew, my naked "snake" arrived in the office with a hammer in his hand, wielding it like a weapon, to attack whomever was causing my terror. 

That was 7 years ago. My son's father died 5 years later, I know from a broken heart even though the death cert says it was from an accidental combination of prescription and over the counter medications. He was my best friend, especially now that all the kids were gone, and one we wouldn't see again until we, too, were in Heaven.

So now I sit at home with thoughts of gloom and doom. My girls live far away and they have my amazing grandchildren and wonderful spouses by their sides. I see them perhaps once or twice a year. We chat every week. Sometimes I avoid their calls.  Their messages with sit unanswered in my in box. I don't really know exactly why, except that some days I just can be their mom/grandma. Sometimes I am so bereft and empty as a black hole. Sometimes I want to die. To escape this world that has caused us all such grief.

Since I left the snake, I sit. Working from home has its benefits for someone like me. I get up, take my pills, sit at my desk all day in my nightie and robe. I get up from my desk and walk into the kitchen for a coke, my second of the day and I've only been up an hour. I then think of my children, my grandchildren, and the snake. Not necessarily in that order. I recently found out that after three years of separation, Mr Snake is moving home. To his home state. To be with a new/old love. He just found out they had a child together who is now an adult with children of her own. Grandpa. He says he doesn't know if he loves this woman, but since I will never be with him again, he's got nothing left for him here. He says Phoenix has been the worst thing that's ever "happened" to him. So he's leaving.

I sit with all this information about my oldest, molested the month before her 4th birthday by a babysitter's husband while the sitter ran to the market to buy rice for dinner. My son is dead after 21 years of hell on earth despite what I believe were my best attempts to build him up. My youngest, molested by the "love of my life", now trying to keep her mental health good with a natural lifestyle, living off the land with her baby and the Papa. The loss of the best friend I ever had, now at peace with our son. And the loss of the man who caused so much horror for 20 years. I am not a victim. I am a woman in agony. I don't live, I exist. I barely function. I take too many pills to get through the day, and even that isn't a joy-filled experience. I don't want to feel. I sleep a lot, sometimes entire weekends. In my nightie and robe all day every day. Showers are taken when I can't stand myself anymore. I am borderline agoraphobic. I sit in my home and chain smoke working a job that I once loved, but is no longer what I signed up for. Oh, so there's another loss.  How lovely.

I don't know why I typed this tonight. Maybe I just have no one who will speak with me about this anymore. You see, the horror affected everyone.  All of my losses are their losses, too. And no one likes to open up old wounds.  No one but me. The mama. The grammy. The employee. The person that types this is dead. She just hasn't fallen down yet.

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