FIVE GENERATIONS OF PAIN, Intro

Why This?

The family history isn’t agony for me. It’s figuring out what the hell happened to all those people. It’s about my aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, people I know well and mostly love. I already know they’re suffering. The question is “Why?”

Those of us who were hurt were shuttled off to the side by the rest of the family. They shook their heads over us, saying, “Well you know, she/he has some problems.” And that’s all they do, so it keeps happening, generation after generation. We got hurt, and we got blamed. My cousin Pat was a good guy who didn’t deserve the beatings his father gave him, the shame and humiliation my uncle dished out. My niece Cody deserves a better life than what she’s left with by an abusive father and grandfather and she deserves more now than shoulder shrugs about how she is doing. My aunt Nancy should have been happy, rather than 4 marriages.

So it isn’t agony for me, but I do feel very angry about how they’ve been dumped by the family, rather than supported and loved. When the going got tough, they ran. I guess what I’m doing is documenting that the we who were hurt are the good guys. The perpetrators are the really bad guys. The ones who abandoned the wounded, they aren’t much better.

 

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FIVE GENERATIONS OF PAIN, Generations One and Two

GENERATION ONE

Maternal Side:

Great Grampa Bishop
He was probably born shortly after the Civil War ended. He refused to allow my Gramma to attend high school in 1913 (?) Iowa. She moved to town to stay with a relative, work a job, and go to high school anyway. She was a beer smart, ambitious and tough young woman who refused to be denied. Apparently losing the approval of her father was very difficult, so Gramma saved money from her job. She paid for all her personal needs, food and something for her relative. In addition to all that, she put together enough money to buy her father a Model T car. It was very likely a bid to win back his love and show that there was value in a young woman going to school at the dawn of 20th century. He took the car – but not her. It must have been crushing. Gramma married an abusive man.

GENERATION TWO

Maternal Side:
Grampa Wade
He used an ultimatum to get Gramma to marry him. He was superstitious and would not marry in 1920. He told Gramma it was bad luck to marry in a leap year. She either had to marry him in 1919 or it probably wouldn’t happen.
It turned out that marrying him any time was bad luck. Grampa was violent. He beat livestock and he beat his son. They had 3 children -1- Rita, 2-mom, 3- Wes. He may have beat Gramma and the daughters, I don’t know. It’s very likely he was emotionally abusive simply through the fear of his violent outbursts, if nothing else. He died of complications related to being gassed and wounded in World War I.

Paternal Side:
Grampa H
He was very violent physically and verbally. He had 4 children -1- dad, 2- Betty, 3- Larry, 4- Nancy. Grampa physically beat Larry and probably dad, but boy as much as Larry. Dad tried to be the good kid. He also beat livestock. I don’t know how grampa treated his daughters, but like my other grampa, his violence would have been very frightening. Grampa often berated and belittled his sons. His wife died of cancer in 1960 when I was 7. I barely remember her. I was 5 at the time. Her youngest was 17. Mom often said that if Gramma had lived things would have been better because she was a moderating force on grampa. I wonder about that because grampa was treating his sons very badly when she was alive. That may have been wishful thinking on her part. He died in 1984 at 80 years old of emphysema.

FIVE GENERATIONS OF PAIN, Generation Three

Maternal Side:

Rita
I don’t know if Rita’s husband was abusive. I know both their daughters married abusive men. Rita was not healthy due to a childhood fever. She seemed to feel a rivalry with mom and at least some of it played out through her daughters and she let mom know about it. The girls usually had something special to do at family gatherings, such as sing a song, recite a poem, etc. I don’t remember doing anything like that. I do remember their pretty matching dresses. Died of cancer in 2016.

Mom
Mom spanked rarely, but was very impatient, struggled with depression, eating and anger. Mom had a very shoot fuse and sharp tongue. She was dad’s guardian and taught that our focus was taking care of “poor dad.” We were to do whatever we could to ease his burden and the worst thing we could ever do was disappoint him. The biggest taboo was his cars. We should never, never hurt any vehicle, cars and pickups especially. She died of cancer in 2010.

Wes
Wes had a great deal of anger that frightened me. I never saw him express it, but it seethed just below the surface, even as he was smiling and friendly. Even when he was a little boy when Gramma took him to town to shop, she had to put him on a leash so he wouldn’t run away. He had 4 children with his first wife, 3 girls and a boy. Wes exhibited the same violent behavior as his father, beating livestock and children. He married 4 times, divorced 3. He was not faithful to his first wife and they divorced after 20+/- years. He quickly married and divorced 2 different women. He married Connie, who appeared to be an alcoholic, about 1985. She died early in the 21st century and he has not married again. Wes beat the hell out of cars. He could destroy them quickly by driving them so abusively. He destroyed mechanical parts and interior and exterior parts.
Paternal Side
Dad
He struggled with depression, drinking, eating, and child abuse. Dad had minimal self-esteem. He continued to work as a farmer with his father until he was about 40 years old. All that time Grampa continued his verbal cruelty. Dad did not strike his children as a method of discipline but he did beat livestock. He use his emotional struggles to be very manipulative of those around him. He was extremely needy and very passive. He died of cancer at age 70 in 1999.

Betty
She seemed to have a good marriage, bearing 5 children with one or two miscarriages. There were 5 boys and one girl. The girl has had ongoing struggles, the nature of which I’m unsure. Betty died of cancer at around 70 years of age.

Larry
His life was a struggle from beginning to end. He became an alcoholic, overeater, and unfaithful husband plus a poor parent. He married 3 times and had 6 children with his first wife, 4 boys and 2 girls. When they divorced he deliberately took a low paying job to reduce the amount of child support he paid. Of course his children knew that. Larry was nice and he was fun as an uncle, but terrible at relationships. He took out his anger on cars. To my knowledge he blew up the engines on 6 cars. He drove the hell out of them. Larry married and divorces before he married for the 3rd and last time, to Jan. He died in his mid 60s if a variety of health causes.

Nancy
She was significantly younger than her siblings, 12 years younger than Larry. The first 3 were only 5 years apart. Nancy married 4 times, divorced 3. She had 2 daughters with her 1st husband. She was not married long to her 2nd husband. Husband #3 was also husband #4, with a divorce between marriages. He was 15-20 years older and domineering. Nancy has been his widow since mid 1990s. Nancy has always be needy and insecure, wanton someone to take care of her. She didn’t seem to have any substance abuse problems, just emotional.

FIVE GENERATIONS OF PAIN, Generation Four

This is my generation and it is more difficult because there are people I’ve known since they were children. I’ll begin with the children of the oldest of my aunts and uncles, Rita, mom’s sister.

Rita and Ray, 2 daughters

Donna

She was always very pretty and very much in her little sister’s shadow. Bev had a very high IQ and Rita liked to point that out frequently, including in the presence of her daughters. Rita was telling us that Bev would go to college at Simpson University, a very highly regarded private liberal arts school in a Des Moines suburb. (They lived in Des Moines.) I asked her about Donna, whom I always liked better. With a dismissive wave of her hand, Rita said, “Oh, she can go to a state school.” That had to hurt.

Donna lacked self-esteem, for clear reasons. I was told that she was picked on by black children on the school bus because she had long, blonde hair. That sounds a little fishy to me, but that’s all I have to go on about that. Donna attended public high school and I believe Bev did too, but she went to special classes for advanced students.

I don’t think Donna went to college, or maybe for a year, but she did not graduate. A man named Bob proposed to her and gave her an ultimatum, “Marry me now or marry me never.” Donna chose now and regretted it for the rest of her life. Bob was very abusive, at least emotionally. Donna had 3 children with him- Tammy, Michelle and Jim. Donna chose to stay married to him until Jim reached 18 as a way of protecting Jim. I don’t know just what Bob did regarding the children, but apparently it wasn’t good.

Donna never remarried. It seems like she dedicated herself to her children and to her mother, to whom she was always available. The joy that she’d once had was gone from her life, except occasional glimmers.

Bev

She was 2 years younger than Donna, and the unquestioned star of the entire family. From what Rita said in the process of bragging about her, Bev was actually an arrogant brat in school and she wasn’t a lot better at home. Rita wouldn’t let her be alone in her room with her boyfriend, Danny, and Bev did not care to be told what to do. She sat on Danny’s lap in the living room with everyone around and made out constantly. It was a power struggle between mother and daughter and neither gave in. Bev did get her undergraduate degree and might have graduated summa. I’m not sure.

Bev was also very pretty and popular in school. She married Danny in a very fancy, very expensive wedding. That was in the 1970s when big, expensive weddings were rare. Sometime after that Bev was raped by a stranger who was never caught and prosecuted. I don’t know much more than that about that crime. After a few years of marriage the secret began to come out that Danny was abusive. The final straw was a motorcycle ride in which he said he wanted to have a wreck and kill them both. She divorced him and her behavior changed a great deal.

I think she had no skills for dealing with adversity. She became cold and hard. She even looked different, very plastic. After several years she married an M.D. named Benny and it was pretty well known that what she found attractive about him was his money. That marriage has endured and she had a daughter, Amanda, when she was about 40. Benny has proven to be a decent man and does not challenge Bev for the limelight of the family. To the best of my knowledge, daughter Amanda is doing well and Bev and Benny have learned to care for each other.

Mom and dad, 4 daughters, 2 sons

Kay is the oldest, born in 1950. She seemed to struggle from the day she was born. Her vision was compromised by astigmatism and she had what was known as a “lazy eye.” Her eyes did not track together quite right and that has been a life long problem. I believe Kay is on the autism spectrum too. That would explain her social and physical awkwardness, inappropriate voice modulation and difficulty with relationships.

Kay was molested by dad, though I don’t know the duration or frequency. It always seemed to me that mom and dad didn’t seem to like her much. Early in the marriage mom was unfaithful and I’ve always wondered if dad doubts his parentage. Somehow Kay seemed to bear the brunt of something. Kay wasn’t good at protecting herself emotionally or socially. She was very easily hurt, wearing her emotions on her sleeve. She desperately wanted to be popular and was quite obvious about it. She tried to find a way to fit into the family, but it never seemed to happen. Jim was the oldest boy, I was athletic as was Terry. We were all hard workers, except Kay. She was none of those things.

Throughout grade school Kay was teased for being overweight. In high school she got very good grades and participated in activities like Chorus, Drama, Debate and Declamation. A classmate named Nikki befriended Kay. Nikki was pretty, popular and very kind. Kay was so surprised that Nikki was her friend. I recall her saying, “I can’t believe someone like Nikki would be my friend!”

Kay was also desperate for a boyfriend, but did not succeed. She was very careful about her appearance, spending a lot of time on hair, make up, clothing, etc. It seems that in her senior year she gave up trying to do the right thing. She bleached her medium brown hair platinum blonde. (That was big in the 1960s.) Her makeup got heavier and she began hanging out with a gaggle of younger boys, sophomores I think. Kay began regularly sporting big, ugly hickeys on her neck. In our town, that was a sign of a trashy girl. She defied every parental rule they made about curfew, places she could go and so forth. Mom and dad didn’t support her extra curricular activities so she began staying in town so she could go to rehearsals.

In the 1960s in our hometown of 2,000 no one locked their cars. In fact, we left keys in the ignition and one in the trunk. Everyone did. I was a freshman and Jim was a junior and we drove into town to school together. Usually after school there were a few errands to run before we got home so we parked the car on the street and went into the stores. When we came out the car was gone because Kay had taken it to go joy riding with her boyfriends. She let them drive the car. (Remember that it was a great sin to damage dad’s cars.) Jim learned to take the keys out of the car. Kay tried to use some excuse to get me into town with the car so she could have it.

One winter Saturday mom allowed me to bring the car in. I picked up Kay up, she  drove the car to pick up her boyfriends and let them drive. I sat in the back. They drove out of town into a hayfield with a light coating of snow that made it slippery. They were laughing. I was worried. Kay sat in the middle of the front, getting attention from boys on both sides The boy driving spun the car around till suddenly it began spouting steam. They stopped doing that and drove back to town. Soon they were all gone and I was driving home. (It turned out that a radiator hose had come lose. No damage and the cold weather kept the car from overheating.)

In February or March of her senior year, 1967, while Kay was at her place in town, she cut her wrists. She told the medical people and the sheriff that she wanted to go to the state mental hospital. Since she was 18, that’s what happened. When the family was informed, it was very difficult. In the 60s, “asylums” were a strange and remote thing that was the subject of scary movies. Kay was there for two months I think. She met Erv there. That was the second biggest detriment of her life. An abusive father was first.

Erv has a low IQ, maybe 75? He’s also an alcoholic, son of a very abusive father, has a lot of anger and is a resentlful asshole. I detest him because he was very, very bad for Kay. After graduating high school, moving out and working at job, Kay became pregnant in 1969, by Erv. They married and Kay bore Bobby in 1969. Erv is verbally abusive, berating Kay and blaming her for everything that is not right with his life. He is hugely resentful and feels that his life should magically be better. He’s terrible at managing money, spending it carelessly and chiefly on himself.

Kay’s already low self-esteem mostly vanished with Erv. Her weight went up and down extensively, mostly up. She attended psychotherapy off and on, switching therapists randomly. She went to Al-Anon meetings, took college and vocational school classes, held jobs and did other things without a real goal in mind. Kay’s mental struggles continued. She made at least two more attempts on her life, one with meds. She doctor shopped and had a large array of prescription meds to make her feel better, counter side effects, etc.

Kay is 66 years old as of this writing and I haven’t spoken to her since 2011. I am told by other relatives who do speak with her regularly, that she often does not track well with reality and is usually confused, sometimes makes statements and accusations that have no basis in reality. She has alienated many relatives, but regularly calls brother Jim and cousin Gary. Jim had to tell her that if she called only to make unkind and untrue complaints about relatives, she should stop calling. Jim has to remind her sometimes that she needs to change the subject, but he says that she does fairly well.

Kay did her best to parent Bobby, but it often appeared that she looked at him as a servant to run and fetch for her. She sat in her chair, saying, “Bobby, get that for me. . . Bobby, do this for me.” Erv was physically and verbally abusive to Bobby, but Kay was unable to defend him. She couldn’t even defend herself.

Jim, born in 1951, was the Number One Son, and clearly mom and dad’s favorite throughout their lifetimes. He had a mean streak that lasted until he became a father in 1991. He was driven throughout his lifetime too, and money was his focus and organizing theme. He was willing to work for it and he did, every moment he could. What anyone else wanted took a back seat to Jim’s work and accumulation of money. He worked for neighboring farmers. Jim was arrogant, cruel to Kay, and quick to home in on and exploit vulnerabilities. He has a loud voice and used it to belittle and domineer. Us siblings didn’t really like him. He was also very vain about his appearance, especially hair and clothing. He’s worn a mustache ever since he could grown one.

When I began college in 1971 Jim was single and finishing technical school for aircraft mechanics. He immediately began asking me to set him up on dates. He was girl hungry, but had no intention of “getting serious.” He just wanted sex. I once set him up with Cheryl. They married about 1978.

Jim was a lousy husband, though a good provider because his love of money had not changed. He was a serial philanderer, and had children with 2 other women, one of whom was his little sister’s sister in law. After the birth of Trevor, his and Cheryl’s only child, he became a decent person. Fatherhood made him humble, something I never expected from him. I like him now, and so do the other sibs. He’s become kind and thoughtful. It’s a shocking, but oh so welcome, turn around.

In addition, Jim has “gotten religion.” He and Cheryl are quite active in their church and have gone on mission trips, including one to the Czech Republic. With both parents deceased, he’s become the family leader.

Deb. I’m next in line, born 1953. Kay, Jim and I were born 3 years and 3 months apart. I always had a weight problem too. Dad began molesting me when I was very small. I was a good enough student getting Bs and Cs, occasional As. I couldn’t get math, but I enjoyed any kind of drawing and reading. Most of all, I was very good at sports from the beginning. I loved playing anything and was usually the first girl picked, even picked before all the boys. Recess was the highlight of my day because I got to play stuff. (I still love playing stuff.)

I feel like I’ve been angry all my life. I remember it being about how limits were imposed on me that boys didn’t have. It was just that there were no sports for girls, but that they were there for boys and I couldn’t play. Girls were not allowed to play boys sports then. It wasn’t even considered.

I got to play softball in the summer on an organized team against other organized teams beginning when I was 12. Mom was good at getting me to games because she understood how much I loved it. Also I was the best on every team I played on. When I was an 8th grader Mr. Brown, a teacher, put together a basketball team and we got to play 5 games against other schools. It was a thrill, even though mom had to adjust my uniform because it wasn’t big enough. That was just another instance of me being ashamed of my weight. In my junior and senior years, 1970-71, my high school started a girls’ track team. I was a thrower and good at it. I wanted to be a runner because fat girls were throwers, but I wasn’t good enough to be a runner.

I began college in 1971 and I went crazy at first. Dad’s abuse had been ongoing all this time and college was freedom from him. I drank A Lot. A Lot. I ate A Lot. I did some drugs, especially weed and speed. All that led me to requiring 5 years to get a B.S. in Education so I could be a teacher and coach.

The best thing was the last two years. It was heaven because I was always playing sports, 7 days per week. I had come to know the other jocks, as we were called then. I played on the basketball, field hockey, tennis. softball and volleyball teams. The only one I didn’t start on was volleyball.

Years passed. I taught school and struggled with anger, grief, lack of self-esteem, etc. I moved on to AMCD Jobs. (Any Moron Can Do.) I lost all control of my eating disorder, going over 300 pounds. Shame was huge. Weight went up and down. I moved to the Black Hills in 1987 and lived with mom and dad. I did more AMCD jobs. In 1988 I began a job with a residence for troubled adolescents. That’s when I learned that what had happened to me was wrong, a crime, and not my fault. I began psychotherapy in 1998. On the first meeting with her, Linda, my therapist, told me that if I continued with the process, I would feel as if the world fell on me. She was right.

In 1990 I told my sibs that dad had been molesting me. The shit hit the fan, the family fractured, Terry and Tammy said they wanted nothing to do with me, and I stopped having contact with them after Jill’s wedding in 1991.

I have PTSD, DID, ED and Depression. I went to a treatment facility in 2006 for my eating, had bariatric surgery in 2009, and maintain a steady weight. I struggle most with anxiety and depression. I have remained single all my life, lived along for the past 30 years, more or less, and have huge trouble trusting anyone.

Terry was born in 1958. He seemed to do well in school and life, though he married a very high maintenance woman. Terry was always calm, easy-going and didn’t raise his voice. He became the father of 2 children and his daughter became an extraordinarily beautiful dancer. I mean beautiful! Terry didn’t talk about things that often needed talking about. When I told my sibs about dad, Terry called me and said that the only reason he was speaking to me was because Jill had asked him too. That was so painful to hear.

Tammy was born in 1962 and pregnant in 1978. She was doing well in school and life until dad began molesting her when she was 12. Everything rapidly went to hell following that. Tammy quit sports, her grades went down, she starting hanging out with classmates in trouble, ignoring her curfew, and worst of all, damaging family cars. She was drinking, smoking weed, being promiscuous and possibly cutting and doing other drugs.

I think she looked at her pregnancy, at least in part, as an opportunity to escape dad. They let her marry the boy, named Jim, and start a home. Tammy’s first born was Cody, a cute little girl. Tammy was a good mother, even though they lived in a home paid for by Jim’s mother. The mother had serious mental health issues and was mean and dominating. She had been victimized cruelly by Jim’s dad, who was now so weak with emphysema  that he was not a threat. It was a very difficult situation. When Cody was a year old they moved to Denver, where Jim had a sister and our brother Jim lived. Jessie was born there, 2 years after Cody. In another year they moved to Spearfish, SD, and opened a motorcycle mechanic shop, Jim’s passion.

Mom and dad moved to Spearfish soon after and dad babysat the two little girls. I’ll write about that in the next generation.

Jim was not emotionally equipped to be a good father/husband and Tammy was not a faithful wife. They divorced and Tammy remarried shortly thereafter. The new spouse was 20+/- years older than Tammy. The marriage was very brief, followed by a divorce.

Tammy was very good at any job she took, rising toward the top quickly and receiving lots of praise from supervisors. When her success mounted she left that job and took another. It looked like she couldn’t cope with success.

Eventually Tammy learned to accept herself, success and met a man named Mike. They are married and seem contented with each other, a good match. Perhaps Tammy is happy now.

Jill is the baby, born in 1968. I was 15 when she was born and I was around a lot as she was growing up. I tried to protect her from dad, taking her with me to many places, especially summer softball games and weekend tournaments. Dad was still molesting me and then Tammy until she left. I think I was successful in that I believe Jill was not molested. Her life shows none of the signs of trauma. She’s generally done well, earning a bachelors degree in marketing, marrying a man she met in college. They were unable to have children and so adopted a boy. Then Jill became pregnant and they had a boy.

Because I spent so much time with her, Jill and I were especially close. When I disclosed about dad, she let me know through Terry that she didn’t want me to try to contact her. That was the last time we talked until mom’s death in 2010. She’s probably the most painful individual loss for me.

Betty, dad’s sister. 1 girl, 4 boys

Gary, Steve, Marty, Richie– the boys, all seemed to do well in the course of their lives. They’re very kind and friendly men.

Sharon is the one daughter, second child born. She was very popular in high school, pretty, vivacious and energetic. Inexplicably to most of us, she went full on hippie near the end of her senior year of high school, 1969. She began dating a boy not well regarded and surprised us all by agreeing to marry him. It was a hippie wedding. Sharon was barefoot in a simple white dress, more like a sack cinched at the waist with a rope.

Sharon’s marriage didn’t last long. She moved to Philadelphia for art school and eventually to Boulder, CO, and became a serious artist, self-supporting. In the years she was in Philly and in stops between there and Boulder, I heard rumors that Sharon was involved in drug dealing or with important drug dealers. I don’t know if any of it was true.

Sharon was an excellent print maker. In the late 1990s she was the featured artist at the Uptown Art Fair. The Great Recession hit her hard, along with the entire art community. She lives in Colorado Springs and continues with her art, but also has a job to pay the bills the art doesn’t cover.

Sharon had periods of estrangement, or near estrangement from her family. She is still on the periphery. I wonder what happened to her in 1969 that caused such a change in her behavior and attitude? Did she develop a mental illness? Did something traumatic happen to her? I’ve also wondered if she is a lesbian. I never heard anything about her having a relationship with a man after her brief marriage.

Larry, dad’s brother. 4 boys, 2 girls.

Danny was the first, born in 1952. He and my brother Jim were very close friends, Danny seeming to idolize Jim, who was taller, dominating and brash. Danny was a nice kid, funny and so eager to please, but always struggling. Danny moved to Denver to work with and for Jim at his business. Jim was a working fool, Danny was not. Although Danny regularly tried Jim’s patience, Jim was possibly one of the best things to happen to Dan.

Dan married and had 2 or 3 children, but couldn’t keep his demons away. He became an alcoholic like his father and disappeared for many years. I think his siblings know where he is, but I’m not sure.

I think Dana was born in 1954. He was more serious than Dan and more successful at life initially. He married, worked hard and supported his wife as she completed her degree in pharmacy. I was teaching school near their home and visited a few times, often sharing bong hits with them. I don’t know what happened, but they divorced and I don’t know where Dana is now, perhaps the southeast US?

Dillon was born in 1958 and he and my brother Terry have been best pals throughout their lifetimes. Dillon became close to my entire family, almost like one of the family. It’s such a juxtaposition: While dad was so damaging to his daughters, except Jill, he and mom meant everything to Dillon. Dillon’s home life was so unhealthy, the stability in his uncle’s home was tremendously beneficial to him and his life has worked out the best of all his siblings. He married, fathered 3 children whom he still has contact with, and has been a good father and person.

Dawn and Denise, the two daughters, were born in the early 1960s. I didn’t know them well, but I do know that they have disappeared.

Dennis was the last child, born in the mid 1960s. His whereabouts are unknown. I believe he is gay, but I’m not sure.

Wes, mom’s brother. 3 girls and one boy.

Wanda was first, born in the mid 1960s. She seemed to do all right as a child, though always struggling with too much weight. She married and moved to Iowa in the same town her father had moved to after divorce number 3. I visited there in the mid 1990s. At that time Wanda’s weight had spiked and she was very unhappy with her marriage. I don’t know where she is now.

Jonna was just a couple years younger than Wanda. She seemed to be a happy kid, a tomboyish and playful. She also moved to Iowa and married a Mexican immigrant. I stayed with her when I was there in the 90s. Jonna had divorced her husband though she’d borne 3 daughters. He had expected to rule the home in the way of the macho male Mexican culture. Jonna would not have that, and she felt that perhaps he had not really loved her, but wanted the marriage to benefit his immigration status. Her daughters were delightful little girls.

Jonna was living with a man who seemed nice enough and she was satisfied with her life at the time. She is the one who told me about her father’s violence, beating her and her brother bloody. Jonna now lives in Missouri near her father who’s ailing from several health conditions. He’s in his 80s.

Pat is the lone son, born shortly after Jonna. He was close to Jonna and an excellent student, loving drama especially. He married, but divorced with no children. Looking back on it now, it’s so apparent he was gay. When Pat came out he had to go away because I sure his dad was enraged by that. Sometimes Jonna knew where he was, other times not. He was in the Southwest for a time, but the last Jonna knew Pat was in the San Francisco area. She believes he died in the AIDS crisis. He was so talented, it’s a heart-breaking story and a great loss for all us.

Karla is the youngest. I don’t know much about her. I believe she married and had a family, but that’s the extent of my information.

Nancy is the baby of dad’s siblings. 2 daughters.

Joanie is the eldest, born about 1965. I didn’t know her well, didn’t have much to do with her. She lives in St. Michael, MN, has two children, I think, still married to her only husband, and seems to have a good life. Her little sister thinks Joanie’s husband is lazy, but that’s all I know.

Lana is no more than 2 years younger. Lana has never married and seems to have some anger issues. She has a tight groups of friends, has done quite a bit of traveling with them, and seems to be financially secure.

FIVE GENERATIONS OF PAIN, Generation Five

Donna‘s Children, 2 daughters and one boy

Tammy is the oldest, a pretty blonde girl. When I last saw her, she was around 12 years old. Now she “has a lot of problems.” Sound familiar? Yeah. That’s all I know. She was a really fun and creative girl.

Michelle and Jim are doing well, I guess.

Bev‘s daughter.

To the best of my knowledge, Amanda is okay.

Kay‘s son.

Bob, born in 1969, has had plentiful support from my parents and siblings and seems to be doing well. I think the reason that he was treated differently is that his father was the perpetrator and he was never “one of us.” Also, his father’s abusiveness was always well known. Some how it was safer to acknowledge his father’s behavior than any of the others.

Jim‘s son Trevor, and Terry‘s children, Kristen and Cory, are well.

Tammy‘s daughters

Cody, born in 1979, was a delightful little girl and I spent quite a bit of time with her when she was under 10 years old. She was warm, friendly, and very eager to please. Then mom and dad began babysitting for her, but mom wasn’t always there. I don’t feel good about what her father may have done. When Cody hit the teens she began coming apart. She drank, broke rules at home, and cut herself. She continues to struggle, now in her 30s.

Jessie, born in 1981, seemed to have something wrong from the day she was born. She didn’t know how to have feelings, mostly being without them, watching others to mimic their reactions. She was explosively angry however, that emotion she demonstrated. As an adult, Jessie has been married and divorced and recently had a child with her boyfriend. She has been very successful at selling anything and everything. I think she’s become more proficient at behaving in acceptable ways and saying whatever works.

Jill‘s two sons.

I’ve heard nothing about them so apparently, they don’t “have problems.”

Betty‘s descendants seem to be well. Sharon has no children.

Larry‘s descendants? Unknown.

Wanda‘s and Jonna‘s children? Unknown. Pat did not have children.

Joan’s two children? Unknown.

Lana did not have children.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

My conclusion is that in my family, appearances override real people. Fuck them.

2016 Democratic National Convention

I’m enthralled, thrilled with how women are being featured, even lauded at the DNC. I have a deep and profound sense of satisfaction seeing them – the Democratic women in the House, and today in the Senate. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers with Ché Guervera, reminds me of the wise and courageous old Lakota Grandmothers. Amy Klobuchar exulting in the traffic jam in the women Senators bathroom. Barbara Mikaulski of Maryland, senior of the group, 4 feet, 11 inches of the toughest of the tough.

63 years I’ve waited to see this. A 102 year old woman cast a state’s votes for Hillary in the states roll call. One hundred two. That’s such a long wait. I wish Gramma could see this. She’d be so proud.

I am. I’m almost wordlessly grateful to the foremothers I’ve seen there, the ones that forged ahead in other areas, the ones who’ve died. It’s been such a long road. So many women suffered pain, humiliation, shame, sexual and physical assaults, medical malpractice (40th birthday hysterectomy, menopause hysteria), domination, denigration.

Now here we are. In just a few hours the Democrats will make Hillary Clinton their candidate for President of the United States of America. I’ll be crying with gratitude and joy.

GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!! 😂😆😍🤗😢👍👏👐💖💥🎶🌻🍸🏛🌅🌞🏁✔😃😄😁

After Orlando, Thoughts

I’ve heard some wonderful support last night and today and I feel better. I’ve had a big knot of something in my stomach since then. I’ve cried, sobbed, teared up, more times than I can count last night and today.

The Tony Awards was a very good thing. The support and love for us LBTG folks permeated every nanosecond of the show. James Corden, the host, began by telling us that we had the support of everyone there. I sobbed hard. God, I needed that.

Today Hillary Clinton sent a tweet saying that she, and millions of others, have our backs. I teared up, swallowed hard (I was in a public place), and felt the security of hearing, “We have your backs.” Yes.

My best friend sent an email saying she was worried about me and urging me to be careful. I needed that too, and teared up again.

The fact is, the Cold Hard Fact is, the fucking haters are a small minority. Millions do love Have Our Backs. Millions!

YOU HAVE MY BACK.

Orlando

I can’t do this. I can’t read about it. I can’t talk about this. I’m so massively enraged I can hardly contain myself. I want to smash things. I want to crush and break and shatter stuff.

I want to find every bottom dwelling, scum sucking, despicable, cocksucking, father fucking, teeny weenied . . . who has ever uttered the tiniest, faintest, most innocent inconsequential anti LBTG comment. Same for the things who clamor for lots of guns for every person everywhere.

I hate them with every atom of every cell of myself. H A T E.

Fucking Haters

I’m scared, very anxious about many things. I’m not doing well.

What’s wrong with the people who are just coming apart over transgender folks? Trans folks have always been here; they’ve always been using the bathroom congruent with their sexual understanding of themselves. This is nothing new. But there are people doing terrible things to their sister and brother human beings. The haters.

Trans people are no more danger to others than LBTG people. Remember the haters who said marriage for all would destroy straight marriage, endanger children, etc? Didn’t happen. The same is true for trans people.

I don’t understand how transgenderism works in the mind and heart of the individual. I’ve always been a woman and I love being a woman. The thought of being male is just creepy to me. But even if I don’t get it, why should I hate them? It doesn’t scare me that a biological man feels like he’s really a woman. Who cares?

What scares me personally about the haters is the mistakes they’re making. More than one woman has been verbally or physically attacked in a women’s restroom because some paranoid hater thought she wasn’t sufficiently female. A young woman with short hair, wearing basketball shorts and a baseball cap was thrown out of a woman’s restroom for appearing insufficiently feminine to a hater.

I am not very feminine in appearance. That’s me. That’s what I look like, have always looked like. It’s in my genes. My body and face aren’t real feminine. There have been a few occasions when a sales clerk has addressed me as “sir.” No big deal. But now I wonder, every time I enter a public bathroom, am I going to be assaulted verbally or physically? I feel like I need to plan and have a response ready. I’m wary of second glances I get from women in the restroom. All due to the fucking haters!

Even though I’ve done nothing wrong, even though I am a law-abiding, civic-minded, good and decent woman . . . I have this ongoing stress I must find a way to live with due to the haters.

Greta Garbo

She was my 4th dwarf hamster. They’re delightful little rodents, but their lives are too short, three years max. None of mine lived that long. Greta died sometime last night. She’d been deteriorating for 2-3 weeks.

The dying really sucks. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of watching each of them go downhill. I’m sick of trying to decide if it’s time to euthanize or wait. Gina Lollabridgida died of blood loss. She got a little scratch that just wouldn’t stop bleeding, though it only seeped. A tiny creature that probably only has 3 tablespoons of blood can’t afford any loss.

Anyway, I’m feeling sad and sobbed about her death this morning. After the tears I got dressed and left the house. I thought it would be best to be around people. I took the newspaper to read, drank tea, and noticed the families, children and interesting people. I’d made a good decision.

I had dismantled Greta’s cage and tubes, but I didn’t have the energy – or heart – to clean it all up and store it before I went out. When I returned home I still didn’t feel up to taking care of the hamster things so I just stowed it all away. I think there will come a time, likely after I move, that I’ll want another hamster. Then I’ll be eager to prepare by doing the cleaning and other prepreparations.

Today is a sad day. I’m reminded of Fuzzy, my very sweet and wonderful cat who died 2 years ago at 17 years old. I miss her and today I miss Hammy, Gina Lollabridgida, VeraWang and now Greta Garbo too. My life has been full of enormous, heart-rending losses. Sigh. I’ll be okay – soon.

In the meantime, thanks for everything Greta.