Saturday, October 6, 2018

Pauline (My Celebration Of Life Speech) One Year Later

Last year I went to "Pauline's Celebration Of Life" event at the Unitarian church and brought this speech about Pauline even though I didn't know if I would be reading it.

In my life, especially when there have been events in my life that I have been invited to speak or sing there are times I have been forgotten. (as in they completely forget that I am on the program.)Whether it has been intentional or not, it doesn't matter.(by mistake probably. It especially sucks when I've spent a month for people who have asked me to sing, or when I've prepared comments over time and then since I'm at the end of the program, they have forgotten I'm singing, or speaking. This has happened at least 2 or 3 times in my life. It has been bizarre.) It has been painful for me when it has happened, especially with my past, where I was pretty much forgotten there too. The truth is in my old family I was pretty much told to sit down and shut up and anything I ever said was ignored and treated as if what I said didn't matter. (my new family thank God is nothing like this...and we've been married 28 years) 

Whats funny is that when I left my old family and people really paid attention to what I said it freaked me out. For years when people really paid attention to what I had to say I would freeze. I wasn't used to being listened to. Thankfully I don't freeze anymore.

I have found my voice. I'll never lose it again.

I called Pauline's son about Pauline's celebration Of Life.

Pauline's son told me that he probably would have people come up and talk about what they remembered about Pauline. 

I really wanted to tell everyone what I knew about her and how much I loved her. I was a bit afraid that the same thing would happen to me at her "celebration of life. That in my grief I would be passed over and forgotten somehow I would feel even worse.  

I just wanted to tell everyone what an incredible person she was.

I got to the church (miracle that they got me to go to a church for this, let alone Pauline (she was athiest/agnostic. (This was a Unitarian church)

The pastor got up to speak.

The pastor called a few people up to speak, and then after everyone had spoken, the pastor suddenly announced my name. 

I froze. 

Did he really announce my name?

I looked at her son...he looked at me motioning.

I almost started crying. I wasn't forgotten. I cannot thank him enough for this. 

I got up, went up to the pulpit, and this is what I said:

"I’m afraid I would go on and on if I didn’t write this down.

Pauline and I met around music, online- I didn’t even live nearby. I lived in Lewiston Idaho

She was the moderator of a guitar group

I met her because of her letting people come to her house from all over the country come to her house for a guitar gathering(I thought she was nuts to let people she didn’t know do that) But I flew into Seattle with my husband and met at her house.

There are people I will remember forever because of her get together, including people I still know online.

I thought she was very formal (and classy) when I met her. Then she said something naughty and I thought... I could be friends with this lady.

My husband started going back and forth to Seattle from Lewiston for work and after a while I kept bugging him to just get a place there so he wouldn’t have to go back and forth, which he agreed to.

Suddenly I only lived 15 minutes away from her, and we would see each other at least once a week.

We would go food shopping together.

Later on after hearing about her parking... one time at Top foods she told me that a lady had gotten on her about the way she parked and Pauline told her “To go to hell”

I can still hear the fire in her voice when she told me about it. That woman could be SPICY when she wanted to be .

I can see her getting that “I am a classy lady” look in her eyes when she said “GO TO HELL” She knew just when to lay it on.

I ended up driving her shopping after that.

Her eyesight was going, which was agonizing to watch her go through.

However her sense of style cracked me up.

She had stickers that she put over parts of her glasses where her eyes were having problems to help her see better.

It was quite comical.

The thing about Pauline,,,

I know there were times when she would say “Heidi”, sometimes repeating herself several times after I had told her that something was really bothering me or I was getting worked up and she would just “say it like it was” in her rational way, and I would be like “Yeah, ok” and then we would discuss whatever it was… she just had a way of calming the storm, you know? I mean we got into some pretty big discussions, but the way she said “Heidi” Like “it’s going to be ok” really got me. She was also my “go to’ person when I had questions about things. She just was very wise. I really miss talking to her about things that are going on. I mean, I  REALLY miss that.

There also were things she and I have talked about... things that I don’t think I’ll repeat here.

I’ve recorded her voice, but I couldn’t play most of the things we talked about here. I found ONE entry that I sent to Eric (her son)  that wasn’t naughty.

One time we were on a trip to Portland and we were being naughty…

My phone recorded somehow on a friends answering service by mistake and suddenly the phone rang- it was that friend calling to say, do you realize you must have butt dialed...I was horrified...,its like they were listening in to a couple of ol bitty’s cackling like a couple of witches

I was a dance teacher for a while..I taught some of the  dancing in her house with me...I will always treasure that she did that with me.

We went to a drum festival in Seattle. We danced around with the drummers. We did a lot of fun things together.

I would dress up as a fairy and go to a medieval festival, and she would always come with me, One time she even wore  a black pair of wings with lacy gloves...she even got  a cute pair of wings for her dog “Boop” to wear.

Every Christmas she would get me another angel to put in my house. Not because she liked that,  but because she knew I did.

Every day I see something, whether I am at the store, where I see aloe vera plants. For some reason every time I see an aloe vera plant now I get teary eyed. (she gave me a start years back and said “every kitchen needs and Aloe Vera plant”)  

From the Aloe vera plant now sitting in the kitchen windowsill (Its a big plant now) to a snake plant that I got on the day I helped her (along with her son and others) to pack up so she could go live with Eric her son (she asked me if I wanted anything and I didn’t, so she kept offering me stuff. I didn’t want anything but she said here, take the mask you and I got at the Halloween store putting it in my hand. I have its twin,we both bought one in different colors... and now they sit together on my fireplace mantel. (Now the book I have written called "Bart Befriends A Butterfly" features the two masks- the last picture of it is being done this week) 

Even after she ended up at her sons I would visit at least once a month, and I started giving her haircuts. I really treasured those moments (and appreciated Ashley and Eric being there to let me in so I could see her.)

The last time I saw her I had a feeling it was the last time I would see her, but I didn’t want to believe it. I just gave her a little massage in between cutting her hair, and she kept dozing off. I just felt a lot of love towards her. I said goodbye to her and hugged her a few extra times, hoping I would see her again.

For those of you who know my OLD family history, which was very abusive, having someone like her there was soothing.

She and I were two very different kinds of people.

I was very what she would call “wooey” and she was very matter of fact.

I like butterflies and she liked cold hard facts.

How we became friends I’ll never know, but we were close and we would talk about anything.

When I first met her I was religious, and then after some years and some bad experiences I was just spiritual.

She and I spoke about a near death experience I had at 16 and she always said she found it interesting... My experience was of an incomprehensible love that I have never felt here. It was just the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. It was all love, not judgement.

We always had a silly bet (way before she was sick) I would tease her and say “ Ok, so when you die either “Poof” everything will go black, or if you see a light, come back and tell me”
(since she considered herself an atheist/agnostic.) she would always say "maybe I will, maybe I won't!" and smile.

I just didn’t think being a jerk about the whole heaven or not mattered as honestly, people will find out in the end anyway.)

It was always a joke between us, and then she got sick. It wasn’t a joke anymore to me, though of course I never told her that. But I think she understood it.

July 16th I had a dream about Pauline- how happy it was very late at night, midnight or after...I turned to my husband in bed and told him about it , went back to sleep and then totally forgot about it…

Then that day when I went rollerblading there was a white butterfly that was periwinkle on the inside of its wings. It wouldn’t leave me alone when I sat down, It kept getting on my roller blades, on my back…on my hat, on my legs. it was so ethereal...just beautiful. I was laughing at how it just wouldn't’ leave me alone.

I actually asked a couple if the butterfly was on me before I got to my car to make sure that I didn’t move it out of its habitat. (It had jumped all over me that much, it almost felt like it was hiding sometimes but than it would pop up, like it was saying “haha!” or something, like now you see me, now you don’t kind of thing but it finally left and I went home.

I was in my house the same day and I turned around and felt like Pauline was much so that I said “Pauline?” out loud even when I was also saying out loud, she can’t be gone yet… no one has said she is, so I just went about my day but wondered about it.

I got the text message on Thursday saying she had died on Monday, the day I saw the butterfly that wouldn't leave me alone.  The night I had had that happy dream about her.

The day (Monday) Pauline and I  had decided on that being the day she could talk on the phone before she was so sick.

We hadn’t talked for a while, I hadn’t heard from her when I called...she had been so sick that she was sleeping all the time and I couldn’t catch her awake.

I just couldn’t believe I wouldn’t see her alive again, even though I felt it.

That’s the first thing that came tumbling out of my mouth

“I can’t believe I’ll never see her again”

I just sobbed in my husbands arms.

My husband Joe said “Heidi- remember that dream you had Monday that was so happy about Pauline?" And then I remembered... I think it was her way of coming back and telling me... she was ok.

The week I saw that butterfly (the official butterflies name is “little blue” by the way... I looked it up) I dyed my hair blue because of that.. I can just hear Pauline saying “ug, why all the fuss... Why would you do that for me? I would say Pauline I’m memorializing my hair for you. And if she were here, we would laugh. (I know I’m just weird.)

I also am working on a kids book. I have put the butterfly on the cover  of the book along with my main character. (They are friends :) ) And she is in at least 4 other books I am working on. If your church is ok with it I’ll give them to you in her name. (As of today the last picture for the book is going to be done this week.) Then off to publish!

She would probably just roll her eyes if she knew I did this.

I just miss her. It’s a little bit like seeing she and that butterfly,working on those books... and every day when I see my hair it reminds me of her.

Everybody looks at me and thinks that this is just Seahawks hair but its really for her. Pauline, its for YOU. It’s really for you.

And you know Pauline when you said “well all this otherworldly stuff could all be in your head?” (some of the things I told you in my life…OMG)  You said “maybe your just crazy?”smiling Well maybe I’ll admit it’s true...but only to you, and only when we meet again.

Because I believe we will."

Pauline in the green hat: (me with  the red blonde and black hair)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Will They Ever Believe Us? Women In Crisis (Ford, Snopes, and proof that when you fact check- no nude pictures of her or grandpa in the CIA even exist-links here)

I know I haven’t written in a while (I feel like I am writing a letter to an old friend) I have had a couple of losses over the last two years (My cat of 22 years last year, and the woman who was like a mother to me in July.)  It has been a couple of heartbreaking years for me, and I have retreated somewhat, coping however I could. (I actually have a project in the works...that's another reason... I will post it when I'm done with it...I'm excited to share it with you!)
But I can’t stay silent right now.
This has been a hard week for many of we women who have been through abuse (and those that identify as such or otherwise) I am triggered all over again.
When Trump ended up in power, it felt like it was a slap in the face to every woman in this country. I was shocked and disgusted and triggered by this...I felt like I had been betrayed.
Those familiar feelings are all coming back and I have had numerous PTSD attacks all over again...I thought I had moved past this.
To have Kavanaugh speak to women the way he did (Not to mention like every abuser I’ve ever known throwing the question a woman is asking right back in a woman’s face who is a woman of power ...feeling like he was trying to discredit her to when he was the one on trial not her) He spoke with such contempt that he brought up a rage in me that I haven’t felt since Trump came into power. I have dealt with men like this too often in my life... I KNOW men like this, and I cannot stuff these feelings down. I don't know what to do with it.
I want to scream from the rooftops... does ANYONE hear the pleas of centuries of women put down by men in power???
I want them to HEAR us damn it!
I have been beaten, groped, attacked, and grabbed at so many times I can’t even count, and I came out of it.
How many more times do we have to rise up and say ENOUGH till things CHANGE?
WHEN are we women going to stop being re-victimized like this when there are men like this out there, and men right behind them actually PROTECTING them?

Have you noticed how this seems to always happen when there is a male abuser? (Lindsey Graham I am looking at you)

Woman, at the least, we need to stand together instead of attacking each other- I almost wonder if this is by design (men getting us to turn against each other) Damn right it is!
I saw an incredible show of solidarity at the Women’s march in Seattle- I will never forget it- I have seen what happens when women pull together. We need to push like HELL for change. Because from what I have seen right hasn’t. It’s just going to get worse if we don’t do something about this “good ol boy” mentality of the so called “leaders” of our country..
This week as I went about my shopping for food, I just sensed this unspoken rage in women around me.
From a woman at the cash register checking out my food- I just mentioned what a hard week it was with everything going on, and she erupted into “I can’t believe this Kavanaugh guy on the stand! He’s obviously guilty!  All the screaming and crying...if a woman acted like this they would say she was too emotional for the job! And if he did what he did…” I got into it with her and by the time I walked out of there my heart was racing and I was just hit by the unfairness of it all.
To a woman who is the greeter at a store “ I just can’t believe they don’t kick him out” (Kavanaugh)
Which got me to thinking of the guy that handed me a screw in high school and tried to get me to say “I want to screw” in front of a bunch of guys..., to the guy who handed me a fireman with a “fire hose” giving  it to me as a “gift’ in front of everyone in ceramics class, all the guys snickering away.
To the football player in high school in that same class who sat down, told me to look down at his pants (he had red leather pants on, I guess to impress people... weirdo) I was like “what???” and he was like, I’m getting hard” I had no idea what he was talking about until I asked around with my girl friends.  so I was like “I don’t see anything” not knowing what the hell he was talking about.
Which got me to thinking about the time A guy tried to stick a drumstick up my vagina (even though I had rolled up pants on in 90 degree weather…)
To the guy that was a friends brother spying on me when I was in the shower and another day when his mother asked him to drive me home, him driving me to the potato farms instead (With me hugging the door)  and telling me that he wouldn’t drive me home unless I made out with him, me refusing and jumping out the door before he could stop me...home was more than a few miles away but there was no way in hell he was going to get his way. (He apologized and ended up driving me home, but I hugged the door all the way.) I told my friend later,(it was her brother) she didn’t believe me. 
I never told his mother though. I should have. Strangely it didn’t even occur to me to until today. I don’t know why. 

Would she have believed me either? Did he try that with anyone else? 
Did any women get raped because of him...did he try to get their consent too? I’ll never know. 

If I wouldn't have gotten out of that truck the way I did, I could have been a another victim. I’ll never know.

I’m glad I’ll never know.
I was so parents hadn’t taught me anything about sex, and this was in a small mormon town where none of us were educated unless it was by our friends, and I had pretty naive friends too. (I hadn’t had that health class yet either that taught us about male and female anatomy..) .my best friend from high school still laughs at the memory when the word penis was written on the chalkboard.
I immediately said pen-is (like a pen- (you know...the thing you write with) haha

I could go on and on but I’ve said enough and I don’t want to bore you.

Are other women re-living the stories I am with all of this going on around me? I’m betting there are. Old stories that they buried, the same as I did? 
Are many of us being triggered with all this “good ol boy” mentality swirling around us?
Do any of us realize that this is what is happening? (That we are being re-triggered, over and over again..are we re-triggered because there has been no validation or  closure? No justice.) 
Anybody see the cartoon on Lady Justice? Triggering? HELL yes. It makes me want to cry just looking at it.
WHAT are we going to do about this. Nothing?
And all the while as I’m talking to women the old stories of what happened to me play in my head.
I think this is why women everywhere I’m going look the way they do lately. I think we can’t help it.
This shit is triggering.
Maybe I am putting too much into it...but maybe I’m not.
This SO resonated after I posted online the above… someone named Lee  had this posted online after reading words a writer had written (Rebecca Hains)  who had written about Kavanaugh and how it feels like they are “ramming through this man” comparing it to the rape of women... trying to appoint an obviously unstable man to the status of “Justice"...the LAST place he should be.
Lee: " Absolutely accurate. This is the way the men choke the life out of every attempt women make to gain a place of equality alongside the “boys”.
They just raise the ante. 
They yell, threaten, name call, claim they are the victims, and, most importantly, stick together.
Women too often do not stand together when the volume amps up.
Men know this. They count on it. Pray it doesn’t happen this time.
For those who might not know, This pattern of upping the ante to resist women's rights actually has a name and has been studied. It's called "the change back response." It's used by abusers of all kinds and genders when their victim begins self-advocacy and resistance.

It's featured prominently in a book called "The Dance of Anger," in case anyone wants to read it.and based on the principles in the book (and my personal experience as a child abuse survivor), it's virtually guaranteed they will keep using these methods until women repeatedly stick together and prevail.
The cycle gets more brutal each time, though, so be prepared. You can do it, you just have to mean it like you've never meant it before. NEVER back down or you're doomed."

EDIT: A woman who is a greeter at a store who talked to me about Kavanaugh the week before did a 180- she now thinks Ford is lying. She told me that a person she knows showed her 'evidence" of Ford naked at a party"  I went home, researched it...the picture she told me about - its on It is FALSE. If she would have just researched it she would know this. I saw those pictures and when I researched it, it was obvious that it wasn't her. People come on!

She also told me that her Grandfather was a CIA operative and that Ford herself taught someone how to use a polygraph and pass...ALSO discounted on Snopes.

This happens SO many times when women come forward. They try to discount the woman in any way possible. Women who are victims are never believed, and if its a high profile man they are accusing, watch out! I am so sad because the just the week before, if I am remembering our conversation right, this lady said something about how so many times women are challenged on every front and men are believed...

She also told me that two other men came forward saying that "they" were the ones who raped Ford, not Kavanaugh. This was put out by Newsweek (and Fox news) Newsweek being the company that was sold for one dollar "in exchange for absorbing Newsweek's considerable financial liabilities" neither one of them are credible news sources.  It hasn't come up in any other story but newsweek
(story here on Newsweek being bought for $1)

I just want us to rise up out of all of this madness. These last few years seems like a bad dream and I want to believe that things can change for the better, not the worst. Please help me to believe in us. 

Because I am terrified at the alternative.