God Bless the Child…

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Beloved,

I have been totally absent from WordPress as of late.  The truth is, I have been totally absent from life as of late.  And for the love of God, I honestly started  this blog to inspire people and help them find healing!  That’s what my vision was. And  so lo and behold, would you look at what’s happened?  It’s been all about me.  It’s been YOU that have constantly encouraged and inspired me.  It’s like this:

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees (bastards…ooops!) and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.  -Luke 5:17-19

You see, that’s me…the sick one; the paralyzed one.  I’ve got some pretty phenomenal, devoted friends (like you) who have been carrying my mat for a while now.  While I am so thankful to have that kind of love in my life, I am starting to feel kind of shitty and ashamed.  I don’t want anyone to have to carry my mat anymore.  I really don’t.  I want to be able to carry my own and I want to carry yours, for a change.

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I’m having a rough time right now.  Not surprised, are ya?  It’s the same song I’ve been singing for a little while now…  My circumstances have been hard to bear, but Sunday evening, something happened that truly devastated me to the core, something I’ll write about later.    This week our cell phones were shut off, my power was shut off, and my car has been grounded with nary a drop of gasoline in it.  I got my food stamps this week, so Praise God, we have food to eat, but mind you, I feel like insane white trash every time I swipe that card.  I’m so embarrassed.  Today, I had to borrow a large sum of money from one of my oldest and dearest friends to get “one” of the medications that I’m out of.  And while I’m bitching about everything else, I might as well tell you that I’ve run out of clean underwear and have been going commando for two solid days.  

Now while all of that was the gospel truth, I have to be honest with you.  I don’t want you feeling sorry for me, friend.  What you absolutely have to know if that Ava Elizabeth Wisdom is by no means a victim.  A victim is an innocent person who bad things just happen to.  The victim doesn’t choose to be a victim…it’s out of the realm of their control.

I am not a victim by any stretch of the imagination.  Granted, my childhood sucked ass, like countless other people’s have, but I have to be real with you and confess that I’ve made far to many bad choices in my lifetime.  Most of those choices were made out of pain I didn’t understand and a secret, yet overwhelming desperation to be loved…but there came a time in my life where I knew right from wrong and chose wrong anyway.  

I guess you could say I have always been an experiential learner.  I used to never listen to wise counsel.  I was a rebel to the core, always hiding behind my furious, unbridled anger.  I was hellbent to feel something real…even it was only agonizing emotional pain.  

As a kid I had been violently ignored, ridiculed, and rejected by someone whose affection, approval, and attention I now realize I needed as much as I needed food and water at the time.  However, and I am truly ashamed to report this now, “I think I was pretty successful at making him pay the price for the years of hurt I endured.”  Mind you, I swear to God that I didn’t ever want to hurt him the way he hurt me (or my mom)… not then and not now could I live with myself if I ever (knowingly) hurt that man.  But I will say, I tore his ass up pretty good when I came barreling into my teenage years like a meth-induced bat out of Hades.    Holy God Almighty!  I was the worst, most impossible teenager in the entire world.  Historically, I don’t think anyone in all of North America could have ever compared to me.  Come to think of it, I don’t imagine South America or Africa could have held a candle to me either.

Now in my defense, I do believe want to go on record here and say that I wholeheartedly subscribe to the epistemological theory of tabula rasa.  Notwithstanding, of course, the powerful role that genetics play in our lives.  I do think that we are products of both nature and nurture.  But riddle me this, Batman…

Journey with me for just a minute to the land of make-believe.  Let’s pretend a child is born with a fully-functioning brain (God knows I was not!).  No pathology exists in this child’s brain…  Grandpa wasn’t an alcoholic and didn’t wasn’t out chasin’ women in the honky-tonks, Mom wasn’t bipolar, schizophrenic, nor did she have a history of panic attacks, or the slightest trace of Borderline Personality Disorder…  Daddy hadn’t done  any time in the pen for cooking up bathtub crank either … No family history of pedophilia, and no one’s great-great-great-great grandmother worked a whore in a brothel.  You hear me?  This kid’s brain is legit.  There are no genetic defects.  So, fundamentally, we’re talking about  a quintessential, genetic apotheosis here… (we’re still pretending)

So suppose that  a child is born with this remarkable brain and that she has no genetic predispositions to anything other than

1) Prolific beauty

2)Wicked intelligence…and

3) The disposition of Mother Teresa (mixed with a the slightest bit of my modern-day charisma and savoir faire-Just kidding!).  

Imagine, that someone had this perfect brain.  Now let’s shift gears a bit, shall we?

Imagine that, even though this darling creature is genetically perfect in every way, her mother becomes unhappy with the progression of her potty training and decides to glue her hands to a wall…and beat her…almost to the edge of death (we’re not pretending anymore).

So what about that?  And while we know that there is most likely no chance of the existence of the aforementioned brain that I dreamed up just now, genetically speaking, we do know  FOR CERTAIN that recently, 23-year Elizabeth Escalona, beat her baby girl so severely that there wasn’t a spot on her tiny little body that wasn’t bruised or bleeding.  She pulverized her little girl until the child entered a coma.  Mind you, this didn’t happen in Liechtenstein, Mozambique, or in the South Sandwich Islands that lie off the coast of  freaking Antarctica.  No.  It happened about 30 miles from my home in Dallas, Texas.

I TRUST God to provide SOME sort of healing to this beautiful, precious little girl…  But come on.  How will her little, human heart ever understand or make sense of the fact that her own mother hurt her like this.  

Friends I am very verbose.  As you may have noted by now, I am never at a loss for words.  But what happened to this little girl…  Well, I’ve got the words to talk about what happened…  It’s just that for once I am using what little self-discipline I possess to not write about this more than I have already.  Truly, I want you to know that I have played this scenario out in my head, far too many times.  I am a very visual person and I am also wildly analytic.  

All things considered, let’s just say that my mind has considered all things in regards to this little girl’s case.  I am aghast.  I am veritably horrified and afraid to let my children walk out of my front door.  What kind of depraved world do we live in, people?  What mind could even contrive such an atrocity.  Moreover, what monstrous soul could carry a thing like this out.  

Here’s the thing.  “Glue doesn’t dry instantly.”  It would have taken more than a minute for the glue to dry.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.  If you choose to follow my haunting, gruesome train of thought then I’ll let you go there without any help from me.  I’m just saying, the mother didn’t just snap.  Too much time elapsed to say this wasn’t premeditated, at least in some minute way.

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Now, back to the notion of tabula rasa.  You should know that I do think genetic factors play a substantial role into the development of a human being but I emphatically lean way more toward the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate.  I believe that children-being perfect, innocent gifts from God-are born with a relatively blank state.  It’s also worth mentioning that I was a Psychology major in college.  I’ve studied this issue to no end and hold firm to my beliefs.

Children come to us as these magnificent, blank canvases.  I love that about them.  Children captivate me.  I love them more than life itself.  Their pure, unfettered view of the world and their simple, but sometimes magical expressions of faith rock me to my core.  And have you ever noticed that a child will never debate you on the existence of God?  Never.  They’re wired to believe in what they can’t see nor even begin to understand.  Of course, I think kids are incredibly connected with supernatural things…and the Divine.  They just believe…   It’s magical to witness the faith of a child.  

With that, I don’t mind shifting my gears a bit and letting you know that I’m mad as hell right now.  I’ve been mad as hell for days.  Perhaps, you haven’t sensed my anger up to now… But don’t be fooled.  My lips have been clinched for days and I’m ready to fight.  I’m not kidding, I’m really angry and really on edge right now. I’m sick and freakin’ tired of the maladies that exist in our fallen world and I’m even more tired of the effect that they have on our children.  And at the risk of sounding like a crybaby pee-pee pants, I’m really pissed off about the things that happened to me when I was a child.  It wasn’t fair.  And I still have to fight tooth and nail every day to maintain my sanity and to give my kids any kind of normal life.  I’m bitter about that.  I just feel like things are coming into perspective for me and I am starting to see things for what they are.  

I’m not going to write about this now (I will later) but I got into a bar fight on Sunday.  I’ve never done something like this.  Something happened…something I can’t talk about now.  Long story short, this big ol’ , manly gal, who truly looked like Beth, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife was bullying me.  I was devastated about something that had just happened and she was there to make a complete fool of me and capitalize on my pain.  Now, I’m not a big girl by any stretch of the imagination.  And yes, I was wearing an argyle sweater, some skinny jeans, a cute little headband, and some gold metallic ballerina flats…  It was a biker bar and I suppose I stuck out like a sore thumb, particularly as tears were streaming down my face.  So Big Mama got up in my grill.  I mean, y’all, she really got up in my grill.  

NOTE TO SELF: Think before you engage in hand-to-hand combat! 

She was cursing at me and then I guess she shoved me really hard in my chest.  After she made contact with me… After she put her damn hands on me, it was over.  I was like a Pitbull on PCP with a side of bath salts.  It took several men to break up the brawl.  It’s like all my fury just showed up all at once.  I was told her face was messed up after the incident.  I mean, I didn’t break her nose or anything like that, but I did put a pretty good smack-down on the old broad which was, I think, was a complete shocker to everyone who looked on. Mind you, I hadn’t had a single sip of alcohol.  As a matter of fact, I had just got up from a little nap.  But when she hit me,  I felt like an untamed beast.  I am super lucky because 1) I didn’t have so much as a scratch on me, and 2) I was merely thrown out of the bar and the police weren’t called.  I would have definitely gone to jail if the police had been called.  God was really looking out for me…  Lesson learned, Ava.  

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On a softer less Hell’s Angels-like note, the picture below is me at my 2nd birthday party.  In this picture you can tell I was blissfully happy.  I was living out my little slice of Camelot but I didn’t know it at the time.  All the world was as it should have been for me.  You can’t fake a smile like that!   Who could have known that my perfect little world was about to change forever?  Who could have predicted that the Utopian bubble that I had been flourishing in was going to rupture in less than one year?

Friend, take a second to study my little face.  I was so innocent.  I was so pure.  In overwhelming contrast of how I am today, I was very quiet.  I was also very dainty and delicate.  I was shy and incredibly modest.  Not so much like the career stripper I’d later become.  I guess I always did know how to work a crowd at a birthday party!

   

Nowadays, there are people I know who’d swear that I actually possess a pair of testicles.  I can neither confirm nor deny these suspicions.  What I can say though is that “if I did“, you can bet that they’d be mammoth in size.

I want to make jokes and laugh the heartache away but the truth is, I grieve for the little girl in the picture above…as if she weren’t me at all.  She’s so far gone now, but I remember her.  I remember that she wanted to actually be Wonder Woman.  I remember that when her sisters took a nap-every day-that she would run game with her mom, pretending to be napping too…  In reality she’d quietly go into her room, close the door behind her, and go straight to the bottom drawer of her nightstand.  That bottom drawer contained an exorbitant amount of the most amazing make-up you’d ever bear witness to.  

It was with that make-up that she… “I” would daily transform myself into a beautiful, enchanting princess who had a life like the one I once knew.  A life before the isolation.  Sometimes I would pretend to be a lovely, graceful ballerina.  I would open the top to my cardboard music box and then emulate the little, plastic ballerina by spinning.  I’d spin around and around and around…  I don’t really remember where it was I would go in my head when I was little.  I just know that it was a place where I was happy.  It was a place where I was loved the way my grandmother and grandfather had loved me before my mom got remarried…back when my life was perfect…  Back when my dresses were adorned with like, 500 gazillion  jingle bells that were carefully sewn in just for me… Back when I was the center of my grandparent’s world and nothing else mattered.  

You see, my mom wasn’t able to take care of me when she first had me.  I suppose she was really young and she had  a lot of past hurts and traumas that she had to work through.   So, I lived with my grandparents.  I was the center of their entire existence.  And they were the center of mine…  

My biological father had split when his tenacious sperm cell burrowed its way into my mother’s unprotected egg.    Men tend to fall asleep after they blow their load (it’s actually called the refractory period) and I suspect that my biological dad could have dozed off during the early stages of my meiosis.  But of this I’m certain: the chromosomes hadn’t even had time to split and migrate to opposite ends of the nuclear envelope when that dude jetted and threw us the deuces and all but yelled out, “Peace out, biatches!!” People, I’m talking, the dude left the state to avoid being my dad.  

I wonder if he knew then that he was throwing me to the wolves.  If he had have known, would he have given a rat’s ass?  Nah.  Probably not.  He was a famous DJ in the Dallas area at the time; a hippie with a cult-like following of women.  I think my mother was outside of her damn mind getting involved with him!  He was a wealthy kid from a conservative, VERY Catholic family.  I guess they wouldn’t have mixed well with us.  

My grandaddy was a deacon in the Southern Baptist Church and my grandmother thought that people who raised their hands during worship were loco (I was raised thinking the term  Charismatic mean demonic or something).  She could have never gotten jiggy with confessionals, Hail Mary’s, and incense burning of any sort.  

And as far as I was concerned, the Virgin Mary was the coolest, most honorable chick on the planet.  It’s not like God would have ever chosen me to bear His only Son.  But dude, Mary was certainly all that.  I can’t wait to meet her when I come home to Heaven… But she was just a human.  I’m not going to pray to her.  Yeah, so I guess our families weren’t meant to blend.

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So back to my tabula rasa hoopla and ballyhoo…  I said all “that” so that I can reemphasize that I BELIEVE that  “I” was born a blank slate… a pure-white empty canvas.  I experienced things in my childhood that even those closest to me don’t know today.  But for fuck’s sake….WHY?  Why did these things happen to me when I was just a sweet, trusting, open-hearted little girl.  I’m so mad!  And I’m not feeling sorry for myself because the little girl who I’m defending doesn’t in any way feel like me.  I don’t know where she ended and I began.  

Now you’ve experiencing a lot of unfocused, overly emotional, senseless rambling up until this point.  Hang with me.  If you blew through this post praying that it would end, “That’s OK”.  If you don’t hear anything, hear the rest of this, please.

ALL of the unholy shit that I experienced is NOTHING compared to what some of these other children are going through RIGHT now.  My childhood was marred and maimed by pain, rejection, and abandonment.  However, the reality that I must face is that my life was a freakin’ Marti Gras compared to some of these babies out there in the world right now.  And don’t think they’re far away from you.  The child next door to you could be going through hell right now and you might never know it.

Oh my God!  I want to scream!  I want to kick the living shit out of that mean and nasty bar whore again and I want to scream at the top of my lungs!

I know I can’t go back and save myself, but oh God, I CAN do something for them.  I can help a hurting child today.  It’s so easy to do.  

So (at long last) I end by saying, “God bless the child…”  God bless the child who is suffering in silence.  God bless the child who is alone; that invisible little soul.  God bless the child who is injured or molested by the hands that are supposed to love and protect her.  God bless the child who cries alone in the dark.  God bless the child who is terrified and completely overcome with fear.  God bless the child who doesn’t have enough food to eat.  God bless the child who is cold tonight.  And God bless the child who is only 8-years old and is feeling the weight of being the protector and head of his household because his dad left!  God bless the child…  

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You know, I think to myself, even Adolf Hitler was a baby at one time.  I don’t care what anyone says, he was not born with a bloodthirsty aptitude and a desire to kill millions of innocent people.  I will argue that with anyone all day long.  

What if his early years were different somehow?  Mind you, I’m not saying that he wasn’t a monster as an adult.  There is this invisible line when your childhood ends and your adulthood beings.  That age is different for each and every one of us I suppose.  I think it’s the moment that you consciously accept who you are and what’s happened to you…to the child you once were.  That’s healthy.  But NEVER is it healthy to just accept your circumstances like a punk bitch and say, “It is what it is.  This is just the card that life dealt me.”  Hell no.  That’s not what you do.  You FIGHT…. you FIGHT to get back what was unfairly taken from you.

Look, I’ve come to realize that as much as I hurt for the little girl who was once me…there’s not a damn thing I can do to change the past.  I can’t build a time machine and travel back through the years and stop anything that happened nor can I protect myself,  my sisters, or my Mom.  I would have already done that if it were possible.  

But even though I’m getting old I have learned something profound.  Some would say my epiphanies have come too late in life.  After all, in my head I believe that I am on the cusp of menopause.  Plus, not that long ago I literally had to pull a coarse, gray whisker from my face…  

Anyway, in all seriousness, here’s the message of my heart: While I can’t go back and heal my own heart… And while I can’t go back and save the innocent little girl that I was once was, I can still find complete healing and experience total reformation with the help of my Lord and Savior.  Do you know how?  By loving kids today…  By loving all of them emphatically, like my very life depends on it.  I suppose in a way it does.

I have a particular calling and some crazy gift with emotionally disturbed, broken teenagers.  I can affect so much change in their lives.  I know because I’ve done it.  But I’ve been so depressed and out of touch that I haven’t done it lately.  I’m changing that tomorrow….

What’s YOUR calling when it comes to children?  Your calling may be with boys… or maybe just with girls…  You may identify best with a particular age group.  But please listen to me… I literally beg each and every one of you to find just one child… Find just one child and pour out your love into one of their darling little lives.  

If you’re a man, PLEASE hear me.  I believe that the obvious demise in the state of our nation has everything to do with the breakdown of the traditional, American family.  In Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” I remember vaguely that he said that love was spelled like this: T-I-M-E.   How do we expect a large majority of our fatherless children to lead anyone or anything when they simply have no leaders in their lives to model?  And don’t any of you overzealous single mom’s get up in my grill and start telling me that your kids are fine without a dad.  Bullshit.  I’m tough as nails and I love my kids with a burning, fervent passion.  I have tried to be everything to my boys.  But there is one thing I cannot seem to be: their DAD.

As males and females we each bring unique attributes to the table when it comes to parenting our children.  But we are different.  God did not create a woman to raise her children alone.  Conversely, God didn’t create a man to raise his children alone either.  We need each other   More than anything, our kids need us.  

If you’re like me, you can’t change your circumstances.  I’d LOVE for a knight to ride up on a white horse and save me from the world.  Well, no such knight nor anyone clad in anything that remotely resembles any kind of armor or even aluminum foil has come to call.  Granted, I sleep with a box fan on, so I wouldn’t hear if he came at night.  But there’d at least be traces of horse dung or something.  Right?  He’d leave me a note?   Aye, aye, aye…. I joke, but the truth is, he’s never come.  And I can’t bank on the fact that he ever will.

But about these kids….DO SOMETHING.  Please.  Pray…give it to God.  Ask Him to bring a child into your life that needs you…  Who knows, friend… just the tiniest effort on your part may change their world forever and ever and ever.  It’s easy to love your own children.  But I dare you to branch out and find a child who you didn’t know existed.  Pour out some of that love you have…  I PROMISE you that, even though, you may change a life, YOUR life will be the life that is transformed.

All my love,

Ava

PS….To Arlene, I’m sorry if the curse words burned your eyes.  To Diane, I know you get it…  Now talk to Arlene for me!  LOL!


 

About Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

Greetings Beloved, I am a 41-year old single mother of two boys. I was a stripper for almost a decade and have lived the kind of life that parallels something you'd see in a movie. I not only partied like a rock star, I literally partied with rock stars. I stopped dancing in 2000 and began college when my oldest was 4. Shortly after turning my life back over to the Lord and beginning my academic career at the university, my precious mother, a former Fort Worth Police officer committed suicide. When I found her, she had been dead for 3 days. I did her hair, make-up, got her dressed, and had her nails filled for her viewing and funeral. In spite of my appearance and way with men, I have never been married. Rejection and abandonment have seemed to define me since conception when my biological father deserted my mother as soon as he found out she was carrying me. I am a recovering co-dependent with a heart so big that I have to be cautious so that I don't exhaust myself in focusing on and giving to others. I was a very angry child who grew up in a violent, dysfunctional home so I haven't always loved others from the depths of my heart. However, after the loss of my loved ones, I learned that time is fleeting and that you never know when you're going to see someone for the last time. So now, I am quick to love others and strive to maximize each second that I have with the ones I love. In spite of my sin and my struggles with men, drugs, and alcohol, my faith defines me. I could never deny Christ because at the times of my life when I had everything stripped away I could literally feel Him with me. I love to write and pray that this blog will inspire you and draw you closer to the heart of God. Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

6 responses »

  1. Ava~
    My heart goes out to you. I have been praying for you. No one can ever judge someone else’s heart or pain. Someone’s hangnail is just as important to them as the other guy’s cut off arm but I sooo GET how just little things in someone’s childhood can affect them for the rest of their lives. And you my friend, have done a heck of a lot to rise above yours. When I was younger my dad got a few DUI’s as he was up and coming in his business, having to wine and dine clients etc… My dad was my hero… but on the days that followed I was a total mess. My mom didn’t have any idea the damage she did to me by waking me up out of a dead sleep, and telling me at nine years old that I needed to babysit my little sister while she went and bailed my dad out of jail. And then at 11 years old once again… I was privvy to the same… I was alway worried… always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My mom also used me as someone to rescue her from having to deal with her own adult world… asking me to talk my dad out of going somehwere when he had been drinking too much. Imagine if I hadn’t been able to and he had driven and something had happened? I would have thought it was my fault when NOW I KNOW that my parent’s mistakes and choices were on them!!!! A little kid can’t control their parent’s actions etc… So hence; my comparism about the hang nail verses the amputated arm….. you see… I know it doesn’t compare to your story but it rocked my world. Even though I lived a pretty cushy life… no one knows what goes on behind the closed doors of the other guy and mine was never getting to be a kid… according to my therapist when I finally succumbed to going myself after years of working in a Psych Ward… I finally went for marriage counseling and found I wasn’t as together as I had thought… well, who are we fooling? I knew I barely had the proverbial glue to keep it together… but only you are privvy to my whole story… And that is what I want to touch on here. YOU are an amazing survivior. You will have glitches that the enemy tries to throw at you. He is a clever little worm, he is. And we both may fail and get sucked in… but each time… the trick is… to be one up on him and let The Lord’s voice (I know we both hear it when are making those idiotic choices we do)…
    The one thing I am sorry about is how even though I have pretty much protected my kids as they were growing up and did not “SHARE” all my pain like my mom did with tme… (I feel a form of child abuse as well) my kids did hear some fighting between my first husband and me and then my current husband when they were growing up and I agonize over it because even to this day when I was two… I remember a big old fasioned black phone falling on my mom’s foot and her crying and well, it must have traumatized me cuz I still remember it.
    Too bad that people like us.. have crystal clear memories… I would be telling a story to my Therapist and she would say the problem with me… is that I tell it like it happened yesterday, I remember everything so well…. again… my living in the past prob!
    But I guess my point is…. all that abuse that is such a horriific story… yours and that little innocent child above…. there are those ones that we don’t think about… the ones we think we are protecting… but our own children….if we are really honest… they know when we are sad… they know more than you think they do… we need to care about the Avas and the little girl whose mother beat her so badly in the photo above…but we also have to consider our own kids… if they hear us crying or even sobbing because of our own stupid choices… because I promise you, genetics doesn’t play a part in their perfect brains that are storing how they are feeling : that their world is out of control when we are. It is as simple as that. Our caring about child abuse must begin behind our own closed doors. My mom had no clue the damage she was doing on such a small scale.. it would seem, no brusises (oh sure I got my share of wooden spoonage and even cutting my own branches from a tree to get swatted. But I think she must have read about doing that somewhere lol… ) but for the most part I can say with assurance I was not beaten and my mom was a great mom but she made some mistakes, some real doozies!
    And in the same realm… we are probably good moms. We love our kids… but there are times when we make doozies of our own. Kids should not live in a bubble but they should not have to always be waiting for it to burst either. No matter if they are two or twelve….
    As for your talent for writing…there is a book in your story!!! Maybe even a movie!! Keep writing. You are one of the great ones! God is going to use you!
    For now, I am glad our prayers were answered and you seem to have come out the other side of the fence once again! The cream rises to the top.
    God bless you! I am praying for you, your kids, your finances and your happy ending. 😉

    • Dear Miss Cleo at the PSYCHIC FRIENDS NETWORK!!!! Sometimes our commonalities freak me out a little. What in the Sam Hill is going on here???

      When “I” was 9 years old I got picked up from school by my grandmother. Like you, we too had to make a pilgramage downtown to the city hoosegow where my ol’ Pappy was being held.

      My mother had spent the afternoon with a cocked automatic to her head. Mind you, she was a cop. My daddy had just lost his mind when my mom finally decided it was time to divorce. She said he held that gun to her head and made her pack a bunch of black trash bags full of our clothes. She said he said he was going to kill her and then take off with us. But she also said he said he was going to kill her and then kill himself.

      She somehow managed to escape out of my sister’s bedroom window. She ran screaming for help but our cowardly neighbors opted to just “stay out of it”. He caught up to her and literally dragged her up the hill to our house by her hair.

      SWAT came in an rescued my mom and my daddy was arrested. Now, in my daddy’s defense, he suffered an intensely tumultuous childhood. Then he was off to Vietman when he was just 17. He was a medic. His buddy, who was walking in front of him, stepped on a landmine. It killed some of his friends and almost killed my daddy. He won’t talk about the war at all, but I’ve been told that he literally flatlined twice in the evac helicopter.

      He lost most all of the underside of his left armpit, and his bicep. The wound was so hellaciously deep that they had to do a major skin graft from the top of his whole darn thigh just to have enough skin to cover the wound. I remember when I was a kid I used to get to “operate” on him by pulling deeply embedded schrapnel from his side and his back. He still has a lot of schrapnel in him today. It’ll never all come out. His injuries were helacious and he received the Purple Heart. He won’t tell “anyone” that though. Girl, he won’t even take the free tags for his license plates. He’s too proud.

      As I sit here writing to you things are making sense to me in regards to my dad like, I suppose, have never made sense until now. Shit Diane, he had no childhood. It was “cray”… He moved away from home when he was “really”, “really” young and then he was shipped off to Nam at about my oldest son’s age.

      I guess when he felt my mom was really going to leave him and take the only family he’s ever really had he had some sort of psychotic break. Wow… I’ve never thought about it like that before.

      So the gun incident happened in the 80’s, back when a spouse could choose whether or not to press charges. My mom didn’t press charges. And what was really creepy is that they tried to work it out for a really brief time. He had been out of the house forever (something I had literally prayed for for years). Then, after he almost killed her, she took him back. I vividly remember the night he returned home.

      He was walking down the hall in his underwear, turning off the lights. I was scared beyond anything I am able to explain. I was afraid of my daddy…and I was afraid to go to sleep.

      But damn, why’d the grown folk have to get me an early dismissal from school to go and see my dad locked up. I mean, it was told to me in no uncertain terms that he had tried his hardest to kill her that day… But that she was saved just in time by the SWAT team. Who the fuck puts that on a 9-year-old? I mean, God bless my precious grandmother. She and I had always had a very mature relationship. By that I mean, we talked about anything and everything. She never lied to me about anything. She wouldn’t. When I figured I had a different father I went straight to her and asked her. She told me the truth. She never lied.

      Dude, I never got to be a kid. I ALWAYS had to babysit my kid sisters and take them everywhere. And all the gruesome details of our family’s violence were never once spared from me. My sisters weren’t allowed to know…but I was told everything. Shit.

      Oh, I’m going to have to stop myself because there’s so much I could say. But as I reflect on all this tonight, I have to wonder if I should have known so much. Why were my little sisters protected and I wasn’t? Granted, I wanted to be in the know at the time. I was really mature for my age and I could pretend to handle things remarkably well. But Diane, I was just in the 5th grade. Damn.

  2. I go between utter sadness and laughter; great concern and peace as I read your posts. The sadness and concern because I do see the little girl in your words and am not at all surprised by this story and I also see the sadness behind the smile and the great lengths you go to to hide what you are really feeling but are too strong and loving to do! I laugh because, well…you’re funny and I have great peace because I know God hears the cry of the righteous and He moves. He loves you Ava and while I will never know why some kids have to experience the horror of abuse while others get a pass, I do know that life is not a box of chocolates…it’s hard!!! I also know that you are a strong woman; that all of the weapons formed against you cannot prosper and if the devil could have taken you out, he would have already! I know there are better days ahead for you…I know it…I just know it.

    I never want you to feel judged by me or anyone else. Good grief, back in the day I was the queen of cuss so nothing burns my ears. I am continuously praying for you and the boys…for peace, protection and provision. I also pray for a complete release of those memories which hurt you and that you completely yield to Him, Ava. The answer is not found outside of you in a book or a song…He’s in you and HE IS THE ANSWER!!! I love you, am praying for you, am here for you and one day I will meet you and give you the greatest hug ever. I know it…I just know it! xoxoxoxoxo

    • Oh my love. I have never felt judged by you. Please don’t think that. No ma’am. You and me are on the cool. I know you love every part of me…even my junk. That’s what real friends do… they love their friends as a “whole person” and don’t compartmentalize their fault and flaws. And don’t you find that you kind of expect and demand unconditional love to those who you allow close to your heart? I do. Life is too short and we are too busy. Time is precious… I’ve decided that I’m tired of fooling with people who don’t love all of me.

      I had a very painful end to my relationship on Sunday, Arlene. He crossed the line in ways that my human mind could have never conceived. Right then and there I was done. I am finally done. The door is closed. I won’t let him back in.

      I don’t miss him right now… I’m too angry to miss him. But my heart is still aching over the blatant, sadistic, PUBLIC betrayal. I have been trying to battle his demons for him for over a year. His demons have whipped my ass. If he won’t fight them, why should I? After all, they’re not my demons.

      I’m really mad at myself though, Arlene. I’m so mad at myself for allowing this to happen. I’m so mad at myself for allowing this maniac to abuse me and take from me. It’s just not ok anymore.

      I love you, Arlene. I praise God that you are constantly interceding for me when I feel to weak to cry out. I miss talking to you. I’ve kind of withdrawn lately and isolated myself. And now, wouldn’t you know it, our iPhones are shut off. I might as well be living on the top of a mountain, somewhere in the Rockies or something. But then again, the quiet and lack of distractions have probably been a good thing.

      Well, I’ll talk to you soon, sister. I pray that all is well for you…

      All my love,
      Ava

  3. Hmmm Ava.. you never cease to amaze me. God knows you so much better than you could imagine. I really admire your openness. You are one in a million and you have been preserved for such a time as this. Take heart through the storm…you will surely come through. Every single thing you might have gone through or are going through, touches the heart of God more than it does you. You are dearly loved, Ava. Be strong in Him; don’t ever lose heart…

    • Sabina,

      I don’t deserve you. You don’t know how much you mean to me. Sometimes I feel broken and unloveable. But you, seem to see my heart… Thank you for the role that you play in my life.

      I think God loves us through other people. You make me feel closer to and loved by Him….especially when I feel like he’s far away.

      Thank you for believing in me and accepting me for who I am. Thank you for being my friend.

      All my love,
      Ava

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