Happy New Year To Us….

Happy New Year To Us….

Another year gone and a new one started. Same as every year; takes a few weeks to automatically write 2017 on our checks instead of 2016. Resolutions made; some will be kept and some ~ not so much. Another year added to our age and if there are still children in the house, another year closer to their tweens, high school or leaving the nest. Some of us may lose an aging parent, a job, become engaged, marry or even  or divorce. The year is a bit over one week old so essentially a blank slate.

Anyone who reads my posts surely must recall what I’m looking forward to. My seven months overdue Botox for Migraine injections which I’m thrilled to say I received on January 2 and already booked my 3 month appointment. Now I’m counting down the days till January 31 when I have the vision in my right eye corrected with a simple laser treatment. That still won’t restore my near vision and I can’t make an appointment for my left eye until the right one is done. I also can’t make an appointment for a refraction (eyeglass fitting) until both eyes are done. Whenever I have the refraction done I’m getting measured for contact lenses because losing my near vision overnight isn’t working out too well for me. I haven’t knit or read a book since the winter of 2015-2016 ~ one year ago. I’m up to the highest strength of cheater glasses so hope this can be finished up as soon as possible. But I have the January 31 appointment so I’m trying to stay positive. It’s progress albeit it small.

My biggest dilemma of this year actually came on Christmas night but it took until January 1 for me to process it and decide how to move forward.  My best friend’s (since I moved to Maine) ex-husband with whom she maitained a good relationship  was killed in a single car accident the morning of December 20. He was a bit pompous and a womanizer which is why they divorced many years age, sharing custody of their only son. However he was an excellent physician who was in charge of the local ER for 18  years. He went on to implement new programs for the rural community, started a health center in an extremely rural area then went to work overseas with Doctors Without Borders where he worked on missions in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Sri Lanka and the Congo. He risked his life volunteering to care for Ebola patients in West Africa four times. I learned about the accident approximately 2 hours after it happened but waited till the afternoon to call her even though I knew afternoons were not the ideal time to speak to her. My friend drinks. She doesn’t talk about it nor does she stagger  or fall. She always has a Nalgene bottle with her sipping  water. However around noon she replaces the water with white wine and unless you talk to her you’d never know. When I had a legal matter my attorney spoke to her around 3pm and she spoke jibberish. At first I made an excuse for her but then I told him the truth. We had an understanding that if she was called to testify it would be early morning. Whenever my phone rang in the afternoon and I saw it was her number I wouldn’t answer. I simply cannot tolerate talking to someone who is drunk.  They make no sense at all and I find it beyond irritating. When I called her that afternoon as soon as she answered I knew she’d been drinking. She said “Hey he’s dead, what can you do? That’s life.” She assured me she was fine and didn’t need anything. I called her twice more in the next few days; the first time it went to voicemail and the second time I reached her on Christmas Eve morning.  Again, she was calm but in the years I’ve known her she never was a very emotional or demonstrative person.  I told her to please let me know when the memorial service was and we left it at that. On Christmas night  my daughter was driving home from the 6pm church service when her phone rang.  It was my friend. She demanded to know what was wrong with me. My daughter was confused and said “Well she can’t see very well”.  My friend went on and on about how she was dealing with a traumatic event in her family and couldn’t deal with “your mother’s stuff”.  My poor daughter was dumbfounded as she was sitting in the great room both times I was able to reach my friend. She had no idea what she was talking about. Being a rural area, there are dead cell spots every mile or so and the connection kept getting lost. My friend called back several times even more irate because of the dropped calls. The next time their call dropped she called back and was particularly nasty telling my daughter “I’ve had enough. Don’t ever call me again.” My daughter came in the house and asked if I had talked to my friend and I told her not since the  day before and asked why. When she told me I was shocked. I couldn’t figure out what I could have possibly said when we spoke that could have caused her to react like this a day later. To say I was upset is an understatement because I felt like a little girl again. Getting into trouble but not knowing what for. It really troubled me for nearly the entire week, causing insomnia and angst. I contemplated calling her and asking what I did to upset her. Then I thought I should call and apologize ~ but for what?  On January 1, 2017, I had my first clarity and told myself no. That I’d simply had enough. I am tired of being someone’s “punching bag” just because they’re mentally ill,  jealous or drunk. It started with physical abuse before I even began kindergarten and I am still allowing people to do it. So I blocked her number on both my phone and my daughter’s and haven’t lost any more sleep nor thought about it.10205960966445531

I’m not sure how I feel about her; I’m not angry but I’m not sad or upset. And I definitely don’t feel guilty which is a rather big step for me. I guess if I had to define my feelings I would say I’m done feeling guilty and done apologizing just to “please” someone else. I can’t guarantee I won’t feel guilty about something in the future, but right now I’m content to leave the past behind. Instead I’m enjoying the snow and …..

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looking ahead to getting my vison back.

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PTSD: Secrets, Lies and Closed Doors…

PTSD: Secrets, Lies and Closed Doors…

PTSD is brutal

Those of us who suffer from it often morphs into another person just to deal with the demons in our head. Some hide by purposely not disclosing anything about the incident(s) or events, even to spouses or significant others. Some lie when asked. I usually do. When people ask me about my childhood I answer with what they expect to hear ~ “it was good” when in reality it was a nightmare full of horrors. Many of us compartmentalize by locking the trauma behind a closed door. For many men and women who’ve been through war, the battles continue long after the guns go silent. Sadly, their pain is often compounded by a VA system that is rife with problems and at best, difficult to navigate. Often the wait time is 60 days if not longer. A person who served our country in war should not return home only to do battle with the government agency that is supposed to be their lifeline. Many have a revolving door of therapists which in my opinion prevents the formation of that important bond, the continuity which is an integral component in the healing process. I’ve spoken to veterans that have had to “prove” to the VA that their brains are somehow hardwired differently now after returning from war. Why? Who knows why some engage in battle and return unscathed by the sound of gunfire, bombs, and smell of death while others are profoundly affected.

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I’ve blogged in the past about the constant almost year-round gunfire in the Western Mountains of Maine. Coupled with the firecrackers/fireworks from late spring to November, someone could go bonkers, especially a war veteran who is triggered by the unexpected sound of gunfire. In my July 4, 2016, post called Caution! Major Whine Around The Corner… I ranted how the never-ending firecrackers and sound of gunshots disrupt our lives to the point where I’ve decided to list my house next spring.  Shortly after I posted that I had a chance conversation with a man I know slightly from living down the road. He used to wave at me and The Germs whenever we walked by.  We were at the dump of all places and I was still ranting about the incessant noise that emanates from our mountains. I learned he was a Vietnam veteran and suffers from PTSD. He told me he’d tried everything but because the gunshots and firecrackers are on any given day, there’s no way to avoid them. Knowing the noise was worse in the warmer months I asked if turning on the AC worked but he didn’t have one. We don’t really need them because of being in the mountains and the ones I’d brought with me when I moved didn’t fit my windows as I have casements. I did, however, buy one that would fit just to block the noise out. The next day we took one of our older ones down (he doesn’t have casement windows) and offered it to him. He was reluctant but after I explained it was just sitting there and really would help, he accepted it. For a military veteran, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be subjected to unexpected random noise like that. I read where many veterans with PTSD place signs in their yards:

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I’m not sure there’s a specific scientific reason, empirical evidence that can answer that question. And honestly, why should they have to prove themselves? PTSD has been accepted as a valid and legitimate medical diagnosis. Yet every day many veterans fight not only the demons in their head but the inane bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration, a government branch that was created to help our returning heroes, not treat them as second-class citizens. They gave their all; is this really the best America has to offer in return? 

 

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For more information about PTSD and veterans, please visit these sights:

Military With PTSD

The PTSD Help Network

War (What Is It Good For)  🎤🎤🎤

Edwin Starr

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To My Friend ~ Suicide Is NOT The Answer *Profanity*…

To My Friend ~ Suicide Is NOT The Answer *Profanity*…

There IS a way out of that mindset and I’m going to tell you about it but first you must place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.

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Which one do YOU choose?  Because I won’t lie, suicide is probably easier. Find a method, implement it, go to sleep ~ and die. No more battles, no more bullshit from therapists that overbook and overcharge. No more being a guinea pig for every new treatment modality Big Pharma cranks out. No more failed attempts to make your family understand that you’re in pain, your head is fucked up and you could use some support. No more angst because an employer denied your right under the ADA of 1990 and dumped you from a 17 year job. No more frustration from trying to get an idiotic bimbo at a government office to listen to you, do her fucking job and help you obtain justice for having your rights violated instead of taking the easy way out by convincing you it would be a long hard fight blah blah. Yep been there, done that. Collect your paycheck worthless clerk and get out of my face.

Because that’s what it often is ~ a lonely battle where no one seems to “get” it. Family doesn’t have time or energy for you when you’re in distress but oh boy! Don’t answer the phone when they call one day and they act as if you’ve drained their bank account and crashed their car. They just ooze the love. But ~ I don’t think it’s that they don’t love us but rather, they don’t understand. They expect us to be like them which we can’t do. The irony is, if they lived inside our head for a few days, they’d run and never look back.

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Yes killing ones self is probably akin to taking life’s low road. Do you know the road I speak of? The one that winds through dark tunnels and dense forests,  deprived of  light and warmth? It’s cold because of the lack of sun so you miss dew on a blade of grass, springs’ first crocus, a rabbit scampering away as he hears you approach. You miss all the moments both good and not so good of watching your child become their own person. One day your frustration at their attitude or laziness gives way and you see them almost as if for the first time; a productive adult that YOU molded. And though at times their apathy is annoying, they truly do love you. If you kill yourself you create a ripple effect that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. 

Because if you kill yourself, you’re also going to kill the people who love you. You’re going to kill the passion which drives you to do what you do so damn well. You’re going to allow the darkness to win and you’re stronger and braver than that.  If you kill yourself you’ll be giving in to the monsters of the dark who live to drag us into their world of darkness. We’ve both been there yet clawed our way out, sometimes by just a ragged nail or two. That says something ~ it says fuck you! I’m better and I’m more powerful than you. You might knock me down but I WILL get back up. Because I have a life and today is NOT your day to claim it.

In Sylvia Plath’s Unabridged Journal she wrote “I act and react, and suddenly I wonder, ‘Where is the girl that I was last year? Two years ago? What would she think of me now?”

We aren’t the same as we were last year or the year before. We’ve changed, taken steps both forward and backward. Some of the changes were society driven while others were by-products of mental health. Then there is the change because our employers tossed us aside like an old worn out sweater, to be replaced with a newer albeit less expensive one. And that my friend becomes you’re defining moment….do I let these steps, these changes, drag me to a place from which I can never return? Never open my eyes after a nights sleep? Never finish a project I’ve put my very essence into? Never see my child marry? Hold my first grandchild? Never make the difference and be the change I wanted to see happen?  

You are braver than you believe and you are stronger than you realize;  never, ever forget that. And know that although it may seem it now, you are NOT alone. Many of us have been sucked into the abyss, many have attempted suicide but thankfully were saved. Then many like my dear friend last April weren’t as fortunate and those of us who loved them will never fully  recover from their tragic deaths.

Yes there are choices but you must choose the right one. For to do otherwise would deny not only your loved ones (who like all families are  often a PIA) of sharing your life but it would deprive the world of the contributions you have to offer and the continuance of the good work you’ve started.

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Finally! Answers To My Visual Problem

Finally! Answers To My Visual Problem

I’m so daft I can’t find the post I did about not being able to see following eye surgery a tad over one year ago. Let me preface this post by saying the reason I don’t read and comment more on blogs I follow is I can barely read. I have cheater glasses in every room of my house because after my eye surgery last October I completely lost my ability to read or do anything close without glasses. If the &%$#* ophthalmologist had told me this in advance I never would have gone through with the surgery (which I just found out I didn’t need). I can’t use my iPad nor my iPhone unless I tell my buddy Siri what I want for the simple reason I can’t see. I have the font on my Mac so huge one would think I was 90. That’s a pain in itself because it’s so big that I have to continuously scroll right and left just to read a page. I think as some people hit their 40’s they gradually lose their near vision; finding themselves looking harder, squinting perhaps. With me it was instant. Bam!  As I wrote in the post I can’t find, the visual problems have worsened. The glasses the ophthalmologist RX for me in December never worked (progressive lenses). His snotty staff tried to say it was because I didn’t know how to “look out of” progressive lenses. Gee, I’ve been wearing them since 1989 as I needed them for distance and the middle area. Never wore them to knit, read, write on computer or cook. My efforts to get an appointment with the ophthalmologist fell on deaf ears because in March when I insisted on seeing him they booked me at the end of July. That didn’t sit well with me because I’ve been gong to him since he opened his practice here which is at least 10 years. Even though I told his staff I was falling over stones outside, dog toys inside, and a few times over parking bump thingys in parking lots they wouldn’t budge. Told them I could no longer drive or hike with my dogs, had increased headaches but they wouldn’t budge. If you read my original post you will recall that I took the RX glasses to his office along with a nicely worded letter listing everything that was happening. The secretary acted like I was an axe murderer when I asked that she sign a copy of the letter indicating she had received the glasses. Glad I recorded the whole encounter. That got me nowhere. Then I thought perhaps his staff (which I honestly never liked) didn’t tell him so I wrote a second letter and spent $19 to send it certified with restricted delivery. He signed for it and a few days later I received a handwritten note from the office manager saying if I didn’t pay for the glasses they would turn me over to a collection agency and by the way, they no longer wanted me as a patient. Like I would ever go back. Screw you lady.

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Meanwhile back at the farm I have to keep buying different numbered cheater glasses. I also see large halos around lights. On October 6 I fell extremely hard in my vet’s parking lot because I didn’t see an errant stone (this is the country so stones/rocks everywhere). That did it! While he was doing her acupuncture  I burst into tears. He told me about the multi practitioner eye center he goes to which like everything else is a two-hour drive one way. Yesterday was my appointment and before the doctor even dilated my eyes she could see the problem; my corneas are covered with scar tissue that developed from the surgery. If the original surgeon had just fit me in instead of making me wait an unrealistic four months the problem could have been fixed and I wouldn’t have had my quality of life go down the tubes. Now my biggest problem is that the new practice (a five floor building) can’t fit me in until December 2. A month so I guess that’s not to terribly bad. The procedure to fix my problem is simple and done with laser. Even the new doctor asked why the original doctor didn’t see me sooner which surprised me as they usually stick together. I was tempted to say because he’s an asshole but instead said “I don’t know”.

As for his office turning me over to collection go ahead.  I’m tired of people bullying me and I’ve kept phone bills that show all the times I’ve called him, receipts for all the visits to his optometry department plus documented my falls and everything else. So bring it on…

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Update on Luke Stribling, Puppy Killer…

Update on Luke Stribling, Puppy Killer…

Ever since I launched my petition something has bothered me  ~ the media discrepancies in some Florida outlets. It didn’t make sense (yes I’m one of THOSE people who needs an answer) that two media reports would give a completely different version than other media sources about a single event; the first time Luke Stribling took  his puppy Julian to a vet for a broken leg on June 12. Since I wrote the petition, it was extremely important that it be accurate. So I went back the other day to look at the two original  media articles and to my shock they had been changed. Gone was all the damning indictments against both the first veterinarian and animal services for allowing Luke to take an abused puppy home. If I hadn’t archived the original stories I would have thought I definitely lost my marbles. So I emailed each reporter to subtly ask why the change yet neither responded. Hmmmmm.

I contacted Orlando Animal Services to put in a records request under FOIA. They hit my in box the next day. Impressive! Then I reached out to the first veterinary practice and was finally able to connect with the practice manager. You see, the two media reports said that when Stribling brought his puppy in for a broken leg the treating vet became suspicious, did an MRI which revealed even more fractures. Both stories went on to say that the veterinary practice notified authorities but there was “insufficient evidence to seize the puppy” so little Julian went home with Stribling. Not sure if it was over zealous reporting, misinformation, or misconstruing information received but the first veterinary practice never became suspicious because the story Luke told was plausible; Julian caught his leg in the dock slot as he was being walked. They didn’t do an MRI and in fact the practice doesn’t even have an MRI machine. No additional fractures were found and they never called animal services. It bothered me that the two initial media reports gave such detailed yet erroneous information because  what they reported is the type of thing that can tarnish reputations. So I edited my petition today and explained why.

Sadly, everything that occurred when Stribling brought his dead puppy to the vet on June 26 is true. In fact, its even worse than reported.  Reading that poor baby’s necropsy report was difficult for I could actually visualize his last minutes of life and it was disturbing. Forget that I’m a nurse who’s seen more than my share of “gruesome”. Forget that I’m a volunteer disaster nurse with DHHS and have been activated to several equally gruesome disasters. Sitting in a chair reading that report brought tears to my eyes ~ a lot of them

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Even though I’ve survived brutality, I’ve never understood why people feel the need to inflict harm. Do they have mutated chromosomes? Or is their gene pool deficient? And how the hell did this pollutant of life, Stribling, manage to reach age 20 without anyone noticing his low frustration tolerance  or propensity for anger? Anger that in an innocent puppy’s case led to a violent death? Frustration and anger are related emotions, but they’re not identical. Some people are able to control anger or frustration and channel these feelings to nondestructive outlets. I get angry sometimes with automated phone systems that seem like an endless merry go round i.e. press this for that, press that for this only to wind up reaching the persons voice mail, leave a message and never get a callback. Frustrating and invokes anger. Yet I don’t throw the phone at the wall or scream when I finally reach a human. Well ~ there WAS that one time after I’d hung up that I threw the phone at the fireplace mantle but we’ll chalk that up to cabin fever as I was homebound. Alone with a broken leg in a wheelchair. In Maine where there’s still snow in April. I actually broke my leg in a terrible snowstorm on wait for it………….April 1!

But all joking aside, why did I toss a phone in an isolated event rooted in frustration while others, like several of the gunmen who committed mass murders, kill people?  Why does someone like Luke Stribling  exhibit a frightening lack of control because his little 7 1/2 pound puppy tinkled on the floor? Such a loss of control that  he punched, kicked and slapped Julian and till he eventually killed him. The necropsy report indicates the severity of the puppy’s injuries and that they’d been going on for some time. He lived in virtual fear of his owner yet no one noticed? No one saw that Luke had anger management issues? Well that is other than Luke’s friends who told investigators AFTER Julian’s death that Luke punched and kicked the puppy for tinkle accidents.

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And No One Spoke For Her…

And No One Spoke For Her…

**Update** I learned on October 26 that when imposing the 60 day sentence minus 17 days already served on the man who raped his own daughter multiple times, Judge John C. McKeon also allowed this incestuous rapist to serve the 43 days at HIS DISCRETION! The BEST thing that could happen to this 12 year old girl that NO ONE spoke for is to get as far away from Montana as possible and never look back. I pray she has a relative in another state because her mother, grandmother, court and Montana ALL failed her.

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As a survivor of horrific childhood abuse ~ physical, emotional and sexual,  I think I’m qualified to chime in on a recent case in Montana that makes me question if the system has evolved at all in the past 30 years. When I was a little girl children had no rights; we were like chattel. We “belonged” to our parents and therefore were not given the right to speak or defend ourselves. Even if by some miracle we were given the opportunity to do so, a few simple words from a parent would negate anything we said.

This particular case involved a 40-year-old man who raped a 12-year-old girl multiple times. The victim? His own daughter.

Her life will never be the same I guarantee. With counseling and a strong support system she *might*  move past it to lead a productive life but make no mistake  ~ “it” will never truly leave her. Instead, the insidious evil of her repeated rape will remain buried within her soul and without rhyme or reason will rear its ugliness when least expected. be594676b96285c1216c20e61941f49a

The district attorney, whom I commend, had an arrangement with the defense attorney for  the father to serve 25 years in prison. As this predator  (who admitted to raping his daughter (3) times) stood before the bench on October 4, 2016, he expected to be sentenced to 25 years. However District Judge John C. McKeon shocked everyone by imposing a sentence of 60 days with 17 days credit for time served.  This despicable,  abhorrent,  predatory creature masquerading as a man will serve 43 days for violating a child, HIS child, in one of the most egregious  ways possible.

As shocking as this is, the events surrounding this case become even more disturbing. The victim’s mother, who walked in on HER husband sexually abusing HER daughter, wrote the court in defense of her husband instead of her daughter. As he further justified the sentence, calling it “a just and proper decision”, Judge McKeon  cited statements from the victim’s mother and maternal grandmother, both of whom acknowledged the “horrible” nature of the crime while seeking leniency.

Judge John C. McKeon

“He needs help — not to spend 25 years locked up,” the victim’s mother wrote. His two sons need their father, she added, “even with very understandable restrictions.” She wrote that her husband “made a horrible choice” but a 25-year prison term was not the best punishment.”He needs help,” she wrote the court. “He has two sons that still love him and need their father in their lives, even with very understandable restrictions. I would like to see my children have an opportunity to heal the relationship with their father. Please give him the opportunity to work on fixing the relationships he destroyed. He is not a monster, just a man that really screwed up and has been paying in many ways.

The maternal grandmother wrote that the man’s “children, especially his sons, will be devastated if their Dad is no longer part of their lives.

Judge McKeon said the man’s family, friends, church, and employer had all voiced their support for him in court and that he weighed all these factors in handing down the sentence.

NO ONE SPOKE FOR THE VICTIM

Not her mother, maternal grandmother, social worker, an advocate for sexual abuse, a guidance counselor, church ~ no one!

Needless to say the community is outraged and a group called Justice 4 Montana started a petition  to Impeach Judge John McKeon which has over 99k signatures as of this evening.

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The petition names the father and shows his booking photo as do several media outlets. I however chose not to out of respect for the victim and must say I had to hunt for articles that did NOT give his name so that I could hyperlink. I also refuse to post a photo of a rapist. Interesting  article and video by People. ⬅︎

Reading about this travesty of justice took me back to a similar case  which ironically also happened in Montana. In 2007 a teacher at Billings High School, Stacey Dean Rambold, raped a 14-year-old freshman, Cherice Moralez over a 3 month period during the latter part of the year. Early in 2008 Cherice confided in someone from her church counseling group about the multiple rapes. One of her peers in the church group contacted Cherice’s  mother who notified police immediately. Despite coming from a loving and supportive family plus having a spunky  personality, Cherice began to deteriorate into the darkness as she became ostracized and bullied both at school and in the community. This beautiful girl who was just beginning to experience life, committed suicide on February 6, 2010, a few weeks shy of her 17th birthday.

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My heart aches for this poor girl.

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 The nightmare was far from over for Cherice’s family. Although  Rambold pled guilty,  District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings, Montana, sentenced the former high school teacher to 15 years in prison, with all but 31 days suspended, for sexual intercourse without consent. 31 DAYS in prison after suggesting the victim, Cherice, was equally responsible for the 2007 rape. Judge Baugh said that 14-year-old victim seemed “older than her chronological age.

Baugh said the victim looked older than her years and was “probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant,” according to the Montana attorney general’s office.

Judge G. Todd Baugh Billings MT
Judge G. Todd Baugh, Billings MT

 After public outcry, Rambold was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Randal Spaulding in September 2014.

In an ironic and callous twist in 2015,  now retired Judge G. Todd Baugh had the lifetime achievement award bestowed upon him by his local bar association.

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Retired Judge G. Todd Baugh, Billings MT

Both of these cases are extremely disturbing as are other cases where rapists are given a slap on the wrist (Brock Turner comes to mind). Violate and degrade a child or woman and receive a “sentence” equal to serving a month in jail for unpaid traffic tickets?

The victims are often forced to sit through hours of testimony,  called to the witness stand to be cross-examined, often by a male, and forced to recall the horrific details of their abuse. When will we stand up for the youngest and most vulnerable victims of these unspeakable crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice, or is justice dead and gone?

The U.S. judicial system has victimized the victims for years by subjecting them to the process of investigations, only to allow rapists and pedophiles to get off on an ubiquitous technicality.

Is this what the justice system has evolved into?

And remember in the first case, no one even spoke for her!

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I’m Distraught So I’ll Write

I’m Distraught So I’ll Write

I’ve been having a difficult time the past week or so whenever I attempted to do the next entry in my GDS Sasha’s blog ~ only because the time period I’ll be writing about was very difficult for me. Then out of the blue on Thursday a woman on Twitter reached out and asked if I was the person who used to have a Facebook page for my black dog named Callie. I was dumbstruck and sat down because it really caught me off guard. She said she put two and two together because she remembered I had a German Shepherd with a Facebook page as well, was passionate (ok crazed) about K9 deaths due to handler negligence so connected the dots.  All she wanted was some support because she was lost and floundering and oh God do I remember those feelings. She had been rejected by every animal organization she applied to for even the smallest of financial grants and said she recalled I wrote a two-part article called “My Dog Has Cancer ~ Now What?” Honestly? When I wrote in Callie’s Crusade I never thought anyone was reading it; it was more of a catharsis for me. Well, perhaps catharsis is an oxymoron for while I wanted to purge my emotions at the same time my writing kept Callie with me. Fortunately I still have all my paperwork from Callie’s illness and was easily able to pull up the articles she was looking for. When she gave me her email address I realized she lives in Florida. I asked if she had applied to Emma’s Foundation but she’d never heard of it. Emma’s was started by a wonderful women as a way of honoring her late dog who died from cancer. From the organizations humble beginnings it’s grown exponentially. They were located in Vermont and were one of the very few if not the only organizations that would assist animals in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine. There are several in New England that are only open to applicants from Massachusetts. As luck would have it the founder and president of Emma’s relocated to Florida in the beginning of 2016 and has had many successful fundraisers both there and in New England. Emma’s is now available to dogs from Florida so I gave the information to the woman. She was ecstatic when she emailed me on Friday to say a gentleman from Emma’s reached out to her that day shortly after she filled out the online application. I felt happy for her and  Maggie because I felt sure Emma’s would lend her a hand. Plus the founder has become a friend and she is just such a  kind and compassionate woman. Something this poor lady really needed. Maggie’s mom said she saw on Emma’s website that they were having a fundraiser today (Saturday) and did I think she and Maggie coud go as she didn’t live far from where it was being held. I emailed the founder and she happily said “Sure! Can’t wait to meet them”.

Today is a rainy day and I was just fiddling around writing about the El Faro tragedy for it sunk one year ago today.  I received an email around 11am from Maggie’s mom and  I expected it to say she was at the fundraiser. Instead, she was at the emergency vet because Maggie has a hemoabdomen (abdomen full of blood). She was so distraught! I responded by saying perhaps it was her spleen which would be the best diagnosis. But she replied that Maggie’s spleen ruptured in February and was surgically removed. Maggie was very weak and they’d given her a blood transfusion but at that point (3:55pm ET) they still didn’t know where the bleeding was coming from.

I wrote the usual things about trying to stay strong don’t worry about money now but focus on Maggie. Then she emailed the words I knew all too well “Help me I’m terrified“at which point I began crying and still havent fully relaxed. It’s the absolute worst place to be ~ a netherworld between the life or death of your faithful and much-loved companion. When the prognosis can change drastically in a matter of minutes. You’re cold and alone even if you’re surrounded by family. I  can’t quite describe it but it is horrible. My heart aches for her yet I’ve never met her or her Maggie. I emailed my friend (the founder of Emma’s) to update her because I knew the fundraiser was over at 4pm and thought ~ I don’t know. Maybe she could connect with Maggie’s mother.

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Every day it seems there’s another horrific case of animal abuse in the media. Puppies being raped, dogs and cats enduring horrific torture at the hands of psychopaths, family dogs being stolen and killed for “fun”. Yet I never become immune to it which is why for my own sanity I limit myself to unnecessary K9 deaths. occasionally something so egregious will hit me and I go off on a media blitz but for the most part I stick with working dogs. Their deaths due to carelessness upsets me yes but in a semi-detached way. whereas loosing a family dog to cancer sends an arrow right through my heart.

Today just sucks ~ I miss her so much

August 2016
August 2016

PS: As I was finishing she emailed to say Maggie is stable but they would like to keep her. She opted to take her home; a decision I agree with. I told her that since Maggie entered her life they’ve been making a memory book together. To keep making them hour by hour and never let that book close.