I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. (Psalm 77:1-2) ............................................ A journal chronicling my struggle as a woman, to find my way out of an abusive relationship, and to find myself again.

My Photo
Location: Georgia, United States

Monday, June 21, 2004


A little poem from sweet Bert and now I'm mushier than ever inside. I am out of pain medication, and I don't care. Well, I care some, because I hurt, but the only way to get more pain meds is to go to the pain clinic the new doc wants me to go to, and I've had to put it off forever because I had no way to get there, which of course the new doc could not understand. Now I know there's a service for people on Medicare and Medicaid that will take people to doctors' appointments, but ya know, it would be nice if someone had told me that, instead of finding out purely by accident. Also, you have to give them four days notice, (that's on top of the new wait for an appointment) and I honestly can't see that far into the future.

Yes, I know I am suicidal. Yes, I know how easy it is to slip right over that edge, and no, I am not acting to prevent it. It's a scary place to be, but I don't have strength to move beyond or around it. If I slip -- whoops! -- I slip, and who's to say that's a bad thing?

The thing about having lived much of my life in mental hospitals is that I've known, sometimes intimately, those who have slipped.
And I know the torment they were in, and I know they are now at peace. And I envy them. After all, isn't Sylvia Plath a hero?

I think of Sammy mostly. I wish I could find the poem I wrote about him. Maybe I'll look again tomorrow. Tomorrow......

I should get myself to hospital, but I despise that degrading
experience. Still, still, after all these years, they treat mental patients the same. Like dogs. In fact, once I waited so
long that I got so hungry I just up and left. Yep, walked right out of the cubicle, right through the swinging doors, the front door, went home and did a bit of burning, a bit of cutting, and had a snack. You sit in the ER for hours and hours and hours, alone, ignored, while someone, somewhere decides your fate. State or private? Is she faking it, or truly in pain? (Oh, sure, there's just this huge clamoring mass of humanity just praying to be let into the gulag. Yeah. We all fake it.) Oh, and not to forget, a really sadistic person could put me in the locked room with the leather restraints, as further punishment for being depressed.

If Dr. C wasn't on vacation, I'd call him, and he would make it so I wouldn't have to suffer the indignity of ER. But he is not here. And I am afraid of the long night ahead.

Friday, June 18, 2004


If people bring so much courage to this world, the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those who will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. -- Ernest Hemingway



Oily black
it covers you
like the coating you wore at birth.
With your first anguished cry
it seals your destiny.

A quirk of fate,
you are singled out
a chosen one
in an exclusive society.

A living thing, with tentacles that clutch
your throat.
It hurts to speak,
to breathe.

It deforms you
and lays bare
the ugliness inside
and out.
You are a leper
and only fellow lepers understand.

It is a pit
as deep as hell
as dark as any cavern.
Its sides are steep
and slippery,
and if somebody threw you
a rope
You would hang yourself
trying to escape.

It is a facile liar
Yet it is truth
slightly skewed.
It converts you slowly
until you cry out,
I believe! I believe!
Your tears are your
baptismal waters.

It is a hue
of purest black.
It sucks the color
from your eyes

and you see
as if at midnight -
only shapes and shadows.

It is a rapist,
taking from you
that which is unseen;
stealing your trust
in an orderly world.

It is God
and you worship at its feet,
fervently praying
for surcease, for mercy.
It is the passion
of the martyrs.

It is your garden
carefully tended
weeded and hoed,
and still it yields
only wormy fruits;
a stunted harvest.

It is pain
without a name.
Looking back, it is all you see
and looking forward
all you anticipate.

It is a cancer
of the soul
a malignancy
of the mind.
It eats away
at the core of who
you are.
Knowing there's no cure
you only hope
for remission
and if not that,
a quick
and easy death.
KZC 02/1998


I missed a third (?) drum circle tonight. Julianne keeps telling me to ask someone for a ride, but the only two people I know to ask are Melanie and Blue, and they hardly ever go. Oh well. Didn’t really want to go show off my chipped tooth anyway. I will be sad to miss the potluck this weekend, though.

I think I will anyway. Will is something I seem to be totally lacking these days. I am so far down in that damn hole, that I’m not sure if I really care if I ever get out. Too much bad is happening, and while I really am normally a glass-half-full kind of person, and often cheerful in the face of really bad events, I am only human, and a few words of “you choose this way to be, so choose differently” isn’t truly helpful right now. Not that I know what is. Maybe someone to love?

I am beginning to feel what I call skin-hunger. I am not the sort of person who shows physical affection easily, except with my kids, and maybe not as often as I should, or should have with them, but I do have a need to be touched now and again. I also have a need to be reassured, to be cared for, and to be loved. A weakness in me? I know lots of single women; how do they handle it?

I absolutely hate waking up in the morning, and I wish it wasn’t summer and that the girls were in school. I do my best to go back to sleep and back to sleep until there’s just no way I can sleep anymore. So I wake up late in the afternoon. Which would be okay if they weren’t here when I get up, and didn’t have to know. I don’t like my moods affecting them.

I’ve thought about suicide a few times today. I wonder if those thoughts will get stronger? I should probably seek help, but I’m too tired to make the effort. Yeah, I know. Choice.

Choice. I can choose, if I want, to tell Dale to take a hike, right now, today. I can choose to go to the shop in Helen that has my jewelry and get it back and take it back to the co-op, where it sells well, because it seems it is not selling here. I can choose to sing and dance and Pollyanna my way through this. Well, damn me, I’m not choosing those things. So sue me. I’m depressed, and I think if you were walking a mile in my shoes right now, you would be, too, choice or no choice.

Don’t people know that telling a severely depressed person that it’s their choice to feel better is an accusation of failure and weakness? I feel like a failure, and weak, as it is. Now I get to feel shame, too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004



It's taken me a couple of weeks to kind of gather my thoughts and such, but I wanted to let you know that I lost my baby on June 3rd. I was 19 weeks along, but was able to deliver him and his heart kept beating for 4 hours. He just didn't have any lung tissue for them to work with. I wrote a poem that I thought I would share with you.

Also, just so you know....my doctor does know what happened and told David and I how we would go about fixing it the next time. I have an incompetent cervix which means that I can only hold so much weight throughout any pregnancy. They will put a stitch in my cervix next time between 12-16 weeks will watch me closely, will probably put me on bed rest toward the 7th month, and when they determine through ultrasounds that the baby is far enough along and the lungs are developed enough, they will unstitch me (probably somewhere between 32-36 weeks)and I will have to be ready to deliver at any moment after that. Good news for me is that I will probably never have to go full-term. Bad news is that I will now be considered mid to high risk.

Ezekiel "Zeke" Thomas Woodward
June 3, 2003
11.4 oz
9 1/2 inches

My son was born today
21 weeks too soon
His body was so small
Yet each detail was so perfect and amazing

His hands, his fingers,
His feet, his toes
The nails were already formed
And, he had my little nose

His body was shaped like his daddy
His little legs were long
his ears shaped to perfection
And his eyebrows had their place too

And, yes, Zeke was definitely my little boy
No doubt God made him whole
His little heart kept beating
4 hours long

His name means "God Strengthens"
But his little lungs....
They were just not that strong
So, God took my little fighter man home

I will never understand
Why I lost my son today
But, I thank God for my perfect boy
Who, I know, I'll hold again in Glory someday.

Mom -- Jamie Lyn Woodward

Ezekiel 1: 28b - 2:2 "This was the appearance of the likeness of the
glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the
voice of one speaking. He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your
feet and I will speak to you," As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and
raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me."

This was the passage that made me pick his name in the first place and
then became all the more fitting when I thought of little Zeke's life
during the 4 hours his heart kept beating. It speaks of when Ezekiel
was called by God after he had seen his amazing vision. While Zeke may
not have seen this vision, he soon got to experience the real thing and
his calling was to meet the Lord face to face immediately.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


I am very sleepy, and not feeling well, so this will be short.

Dale is home, and the inner peace is gone. He is being very nice, as I knew he would be, but his anger still simmers just below the surface, although I think he would deny it. He is trying to find a way to get to Tracy's tomorrow so he can spend the night there and be at Laurelwood for evaluation for the day program early Monday morning. I hope so much that he is accepted. It would mean he will be gone most days from 7:30 AM to late afternoon, and that would be very nice.

So often these past few months I have been waking myself up, moaning loudly and feeling very disturbed. I don't know what that's about, but it happened again last night a few times and I realized that it didn't happen at all while Dale was gone. I sure would like to understand it.

We (Dale, Emily and I) went down to the swimming hole today. I really wanted to swim; get some exercise that wouldn't put pressure on my bad foot, but the water was so much colder than I expected for this time of year. Emily managed to get herself completely wet, but it was just too cold for me. Oh well. We'll try again after we have some days of hot weather. I think part of it was that there was so much runoff from the mountains from the thunderstorms today.

I sat on the front porch and watched and listened to the storm. The thunder was awesome; reverberated in my bones, and for some reason I enjoyed it. It reminded me of sitting in the glider on my grandmother's front porch during big storms. It always felt so cozy there, seeing the power of the storm and knowing I was safe.

Also, it was definitely a firefly evening. They were out in huge numbers, like little fairy lights everywhere. I still love them. I told Emily tonight that they made me believe there must be a loving influence in nature, to have given us such a wonder. She said there was certainly a more pragmatic reason for their beauty. "Well, what about butterflies?" I asked. "They don't have to be so beautiful. They could as easily be huge, ugly, creepy creatures. "Well," she asked, "then how do you explain the huge,ugly, creepy creatures?" I don't have an answer to that, but it didn't dim my enjoyment of the lovely lightening bugs.

I sent an email to Sandy Riggin, the author of Forbidden Memories tonight. I hope she writes back. I would love to meet this amazing woman, although I still have the unshakeable feeling that I already have.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Katie's Story, Part I

www.katies-story.blogspot.com/Comments welcomed.


Bert brought lemons! Abby is happy. Bert called this evening and said he and Elaine were in Cleveland, and he was stopping at Ingles and wondered if we'd still like to have some lemons for Abby's lemonade. I said yes, and a little while later he showed up at the door with a huge sack of lemons. Ah, Bert. What a good man he is. I still feel warm inside thinking about it.

Something bad happened last night, and I'm upset, angry and sad about it. I was eating an eggroll, and suddenly one of my front teeth broke. And not even the one with the cavity that I've been worried about, but one of my two very front teeth. It's a small piece off the bottom of it, very jagged and ugly. I've always said if I lost my teeth, I'd never go out and socialize again. It also clinches my decision to resign from PCG. Dammit, why did this have to happen now? I take such good care of my teeth, and this one didn't even have a cavity. Rats! It's embarrassing. I told Bert I am now officially poor white trash. At least it feels that way, and I look the part. Even when Dale's money comes, how in the world can I justify using a couple grand of it to get my teeth fixed? Maybe I'll get them pulled and get dentures. Depends on how expensive it is. I guess for most people it's inevitable anyway, and I wouldn't have to worry anymore about surprises like this.

The other bad thing is that the spin cycle on the washer no longer works. That's not so bad, because if I just let the load of clothes sit overnight, most of the excess water will drain off, and I can put them in the dryer. Still, it was another thing I was hoping would wait. I knew my washer didn't have much time left. It's ten years old, and has certainly held up well considering all the use it's gotten. But still, I didn't need one more headache.

Okay, now to the book. I'm almost done with Forbidden Memories. It is very strange. I know that I know the author from somewhere. Her picture is on the back, and I know her face. She talks in the book about going from the hospital to the psych hospital across the street, and she was living in N Georgia at the time, so I'm assuming she went to Laurelwood. I was in and out of there in the same time period, so maybe that's where I know her from. I wonder if she'd remember me, too? Her email address is in the back of the book, and I want to write to her, but don't quite know yet why, or what I'd have to say. It's just that our stories are so similar, and she lives so near me. She's a practicing therapist, and I wonder where she practices?

There's a lot in the book I identify with. She says, "....if someone were in a bad mood -- I must have done something to put them in that bad mood; if someone were angry -- I must have done something to have angered them; if someone yelled at me -- I must have done something to deserve being yelled at." Then, "I basically let people treat me however they wanted to and I took it without question or defense. I didn't realize that people acted like they did, not to hurt me, but to meet their own needs." Now there's a thought I've never entertained. I'm hoping I can remember that and not take things so personally; even try to understand the need, if I can.

In talking about a request she made of her partner, she said her partner "turned the conversation around to make it look as if I was doing something to her rather than asking for something for myself." Oh, boy, do I know that dynamic well!

I'm still not sure that things happen for a reason, but it is strange that this book happened to pop into my life now. I wasn't searching it out. I haven't read books about abuse or "healing" in a very long time. I also don't understand why such long-ago stuff is on my mind so much right now. God, doesn't it ever go away?

Another thing the author, Sandy Riggin, talks about is the fact that she could have thoughts about childhood abuse, but never feelings about it, and she desperately wanted to have those feelings, and she felt that without that, she would never heal. I feel the same way. I look back on the things that happened to me, and I just can't identify with the person those things were done to. Like it was someone else, even though I know it was me. But it really is too late for me to be doing any feeling on the subject. I'll never be able to afford a therapist like her, and there is just no safe place anymore. It really stinks that I was almost at a place once where I might have been able to do it, when Laurelwood changed its policy because of the changes in the health "care" system. It's dangerous to let people have such strong emotions if you know you've got to send them home in 3-4 days, so the subject of childhood abuse became taboo there.

I felt better today than yesterday, and that's a good thing. Just wish I knew where I was going.

Talked to Dale and his therapist today. I am so very nervous about his coming home. I still don't know yet when that's going to be. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday.

Also talked to someone with juvenile court about getting Emily into OTP (outdoor training program). He said it might be exactly what happens this time. That would be a very good thing for all concerned, I think, even though she'd hate me for it. But she doesn't exactly like me right now, so it won't make much difference to me, but it might make a world of difference for her. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I got a book from the library today. It's called Forbidden Memories. I saw it on the rack, and I knew it was on my 'to read' list, so I picked it up. Much to my surprise, when I began
to read tonight, I saw that the book was signed, and the author is a woman in Sautee. I must have friends who know her. I haven't even started to read; I got involved with something else -- my own story. I stated it a few years ago, got to a place I couldn't get past, and put it down. Anyway, it's not a pretty story. Neither is Forbidden Memories, apparently.

I think I'm about to get sucked back into something I thought I had managed to put away. Things have been gathering around me, though, to let me know that it won't be like that. Put away does not mean gone. And now, this book. I'm going to have to share mine, I guess, just to get the initial reaction. You'll love me or hate me. Maybe it's time to find out.


Sunday, June 06, 2004


I got a call from the police station early this morning, to go get the paperwork done to have Emily's information put into the computer as a runaway. I had only been asleep a few hours, so that was unpleasant. I also had a 'complaint' made against her, so she would be back in the court system as an 'unruly child' when she did get home. I feel like a real meanie doing that, but darn it, this must stop.

Emily did come home, on her own, at about 11:30. She looked a bit bedraggled, and she said she was sorry. "For what?", I asked.
"For going to "Ali's." "You weren't at Ali's", I said. She didn't have much more to say, and I didn't ask any questions. If she wants to talk, I'll listen, but for now, I don't even want to know. I haven't told her I made a complaint against her. I'm afraid to; afraid she really will run away.

I'm very worried about tomorrow. I'm going to call City Hall and ask if they'll give me just a couple of more days to get the water bill paid, but they can be such hard-asses sometimes. I wonder if their lives have always been so easy.

I wonder about lots of things. I know I put myself into this situation again -- with Dale, that is, not City Hall or Emily -- but I don't know how I could have lived with myself if I'd just let him be homeless after he had the accident. Besides, we were getting along fine at the time, which of course we always do when we're not living together. Things were okay financially, too, which of course was because he was working and contributing to the grocery bill, etc. Only right, of course, since I am the mother of his kids. And even after the accident, it was okay, because we had some stuff to sell, like my car, the stereo, etc, so we had a bit of extra income for a while. Then we ran out of things to sell, and it started getting bad. I'm a fantastic penny-pincher, but even I don't know how to make a penny scream that hard. I never believed the government would take his disability case right down to the wire, the two-year deadline they give themselves to give a person a court date.

Well, July will be two years, so hopefully this will be resolved soon. Thing is, when you're living on SSI, TANF and food stamps, if you get a windfall like a big back-pay check, they expect you to live on it, and they cancel all of your benefits until the back pay is all gone. No sense letting you use that money to get a bit ahead! So no matter what, Dale has to leave as soon as he gets his money, so that the girls and I don't lose all of our benefits.

Damn me for ever getting sick.


Saturday, June 05, 2004


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.


I am so angry! Emily had been out walking a few times today, and was gone for a short while before coming home again at around 10:30. At 11:15, she asked if she could go for a short walk -- "10 minutes" -- and I said yes, but she had to come home and change the litter box, and not tell me she was too tired to do it. She said okay. Helen is always busy on Saturday nights, and it's a very safe place, so I don't worry for her. 10 minutes didn't seem like enough time to go too far or get in any trouble. Well, 10 minutes turned into over 2 hours, and I called the police. Then Emily called (at 1:30) and told me she was at Ali's house. Ali is a friend, and I know her parents, so after telling Emily she was going to be very, very grounded when she got home, I stopped being worried for a few minutes. Then I called the police station to tell them she was okay and I was told an officer had seen her just a few minutes previous, and would go out and see if he could find her.

Ali lives in Cleveland, so if the officer had just seen Emily, there's no way she'd have had time to get to Ali's house. So I called Ali and asked her if Emily was there. I could tell I had woken her up, and she said no, Emily was not there. So, I called back to the station and told them that. They said they would continue to look for her, and an officer came to take a report. He said she couldn't be classified as a runaway yet, just as a missing person, a BOLO. Oh, I hope they find her, and the adults she is probably with, and take the whole lot of them off to jail.

I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do with her, but I'm not about to put up with this kind of stuff again from her. I want her to experience some serious consequences this time.

Yes, I am worried, but mostly right now I am angry. Of seven children, she is the only one who has given me this sort of trouble. I don't like cops at my house, and I don't like a child who thinks she can do as she pleases and never have to face it.

Talked to Dale today. He was on his sweetest behavior, because he wants very much for me to let him come home. I almost hate it worse when he's nice, because it shakes my resolve something fierce. After we talked, I told Emily that he promised he'd be nice when he came home, and she said, "Mom, he's been promising that for 35 years." Boink.

I am NOT a happy camper.

I imagine I'll have my water turned off on Monday.

I am very glad that Abby is in Gainesville, having a good time with her sisters, and not having to deal with more crap from the two Musketeers.

Ain't life grand?


Friday, June 04, 2004


I hope I can get this written before my computer screws up on me. We're having problems, and the resident computer whiz isn't currently in residence.

I talked to Jo this morning, which was very nice. She is a wise woman, in many ways. I hope someday someone will say the same about me, but it sure won't be anytime soon! One thing she said has stuck with me today, and that is that great rage comes from a feeling of great vulnerability. It makes perfect, scary sense. I talked to Zada tonight, and we talked about a former 'boyfriend' of hers who recently contacted me by IM, out of the blue. He is a guy she dated once or twice and then dropped, and he just would not let go, and even stalked her for a while. I didn't know that I'm not the first person he's contacted looking for her again. This brief relationship was over 14 years ago, and he hasn't given up! We also talked about her marriage troubles. Her husband is nothing like Dale, but they have some of the same troubles with communication. Like me, she often makes the choice to shut up or back down rather than get into a drawn-out argument, which is easier than standing her ground and ending up exhausted and still always in the wrong. He has agreed to go for marriage counseling this summer. I hope 1) that they can save the marriage and 2) if not, she makes a quick and irrevocable break. Apparently she learned more from me than I intended.

Another thing I've been thinking of is something Dr. Connell said to me when I was trying to leave Dale a few years ago. I was so torn, not knowing if what I was doing was right for me, for him, or for the girls. I just knew I wasn't "getting over" the affair, and I was terribly unhappy. "I don't know what's right!" I said. Dr. Connell said, "No, but you know what is wrong." I feel the same way now. I DO know what is wrong, but is not letting Dale come home the right thing to do?

Then again, I talked to him yesterday evening, and I really did want to talk. I told him he had to face that there is a real problem here, and he said it wasn't "the time or place" and that it was wrong for me to be "attacking" him and "being mean" to him while he was in the hospital. I really had to bite my tongue on that one. After the affair, and before I left him, I went into L'wood, feeling suicidal. It inconvenienced everyone at the time. Dale told me that I could not come home. I was already devastated, and that certainly didn't help any. I begged, I pleaded, I screamed and cried. I bashed my head on the wall and wished for death. He would not even take calls from me after he told me that.

I don't remember exactly how it got resolved, but it did, and I was so pathetically grateful to be 'allowed' to go home. I probably would've licked his boots if he'd asked. Actually, I know I would have. In any case, if he had not allowed me to come home, I would have been homeless. I don't know what he felt then, but I know that he sounded and acted utterly cold-hearted. I doubt that he felt the turmoil I am feeling. So why is it, that even thinking back on all that, this decision is not easy?

I also talked to Dale's social worker today. I asked him if what I said to him would be confidential, and he said it would unless I told him something he was required by law to report. I told him I would appreciate a heads-up before Dale was released, and that even though he has never hit us, it didn't mean he had never done something to endanger our lives. He said he would pass that on to the doctor, and that "he would take this very seriously." He promised to make sure I was notified before Dale was sent home. That gives me some breathing room, anyway. I do not want the experience of having him just show up at the door.

Now, the most important thing. A place is being held for me at the women's shelter, and I can go on a moment's notice if I need to. That's a comfort to me, but not necessarily to the girls. And it is only a comfort to me because I know we'd be safe from a rampage. I DO NOT want to leave my apartment, knowing that he'd be settled right in. I do not trust him. He is a very vindictive person. Besides, this apartment is MINE.

I also talked to someone from the housing authority yesterday, and she said since I am the head of household, I can have him taken off the lease and get the locks changed. I can do it Monday, if I go to the office in Toccoa, or I can wait and do it next Thursday, when she'll be here in Helen. I'm going to ask Jo if there's any way I can get someone to take me to Toccoa Monday, because I'm quite sure Dale will be released by next Thursday.

I wonder if I should call Riverwood tomorrow and tell them to just tell him he can't come home? Maybe, having nowhere to send him, they'll keep him long enough for me to get the lease and the locks changed. And maybe he can have his rampage there, show his true colors, be kept a little longer, and be made to face himself. Maybe.

I still don't know if this is RIGHT!!!!


Wednesday, June 02, 2004


What a day! Dale went to the hospital today. He had a big blowup with the girls this morning. One part of it was that he kept laughing at them, in that snide way of his, and they asked him to stop and he wouldn't. He called Emily a "bitch." Then this afternoon, he had another argument with the neighbors. He was so angry!

Finally I asked him to go to the store with me, and we sat outside and talked. I wanted to talk in a public place. I told him he needed to get help, and that he needed to talk to someone at Laurelwood, the mental health facility attached to the medical center in Gainesville. I told him that if he didn't call and talk to someone, I'd do it for him. It was scary, but I just couldn't bear to have him here one more day.

When we got home, he went to the bedroom to make the call. I don't know what he said to the intake worker, but it was only a few minutes into the call that a cop showed up and banged on our door. I wasn't expecting that, and the girls knew nothing, so we were all a bit surprised, and they kept asking, "what's going on?" They were scared, dammit. Anyway, I got it pretty quickly that someone at L'wood had called the cops. Then two more showed up, and Dale came out of the bedroom and hung up the phone. He was crying and shaking. He told the cops he felt "suicidal and homicidal." I don't know if he meant he wanted to kill one of us or one of the neighbors, and I didn't ask. I did feel bad for him, but mostly I felt, and feel, tremendous relief. The cops called an ambulance and they took Dale away. I don't know if he actually was admitted to L'wood, because he didn't call, but I assume so.

I know this isn't a solution, and that he'll most likely be back in a few days, but the peace and quiet is very nice for now. I feel calm inside for the first time in months. The girls and I talked a lot, and they expressed no sadness for their Dad, only relief. That makes me sad, but there it is. What an awful situation we are in!

Emily went to church tonight, and Abby went to town with a friend. I think Morgan is sweet on her, even knowing she is gay, but she says he's a nuisance. I'm glad she went, though.

Why am I afraid of Dale? It is true, as he says, that he's never hit me. I have hit him, twice. The first time was when he admitted to the affair with Kathy; I punched him in the nose. It wasn't a thought, just an action. He doesn't hold that one against me. The second time was a few months ago; I just pummeled him with my fists. He says I hurt him, and maybe I did. I hate knowing that I am capable of violence. Is everyone, if pushed too hard? I'm pretty sure I could kill in self-defense. But premeditated murder? No, I know in my soul I am incapable of that. The thing is, I know that Dale is. I have heard him say so, and I have seen it in his eyes. He gets mad when I tell him that he frightens me, but I am frightened anyway. Jo (the counselor from the women's shelter) says I should trust my gut on that, but it's very hard. I know that Dale is capable of evil, and he would say the same, but that evil? I just don't know. What I do know is that his anger is way out of control, and constant.

This is long enough, too long, for one day.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004


It's 5:32AM. Went to bed, but couldn't sleep. My monkey mind is busy, busy. So many, many thoughts, but not one connected to another.

When I was really sick, a long time ago, a voice in my head was always asking, "What do you want, Katie?" Another, smaller voice always answered, "Sugar!" Even before that, often when making a list, of anything, the first thought that came, the first item to write,was Sugar! I still don't know why. What did that little voice want? A lollipop? A sweet comfort? An ice cream treat from the Mr. Softee man? In any case, I heard the little voice again tonight. I wish I understood. Sugar is a funny thing for a diabetic to want.

Oh, what DO I want? I'm reading a book, The Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland. There's a quote from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass: "through anger, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way." I wish I could have some assurance that I am picking my way towards something, some 'real' me. Otherwise, the "anger, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui" was and is just so much spent energy. I don't mind ending up as spent energy, but I would like to know I accomplished something, anything, before I end up that. I would like to know that I found an authentic person, and lived true to that.

I want quiet. No TV, constantly blaring murders and ugliness. I want music. I want to eat healthful things, but that is out of my reach just now. It's not a matter of choosing to forgo something in order to have the right food. It's a matter of simply having enough food to fill my families stomachs. I hate that. I blame Dale, maybe unreasonably so. When it was just Abby and me, we ate right. We had peace here. We talked and laughed until we ached. I slept soundly, alone in my bed. I wrapped myself in a blanket on cold nights and talked to the deer. I walked by the river. I worked on my art, which I have no inclination to do now. I keep thinking of my mill picture, waiting to be finished, and I wonder if I'll ever feel quiet enough inside to finish it. I miss my art classes.

Our car is dead. That is something that is finished. A cracked head; water in the oil. I think I will call Social Security tomorrow and ask about the status of Dale's application. I just don't see how we can go on this way much longer. Every day is just one more day of waiting, and I can't bear it any longer. Every day I think I can't stand it one more day, and every day ends as just 24 more hours of waiting, finished. I don't want to get out of bed anymore. It hurts too much. I wake up exhausted.

I've taken a Valium, (which I found out last week that Medicaid will no longer pay for) and feel it beginning to work. I'll go back to bed now, and sleep until I have to get up and wait some more.