Rape Culture Internalized

If we ask for trigger warnings, we’re too sensitive. If we don’t laugh at rape jokes, we’re too serious. If we get raped we’re either “asking for it”,  lying about it, or “lucky to get the attention”. And if we, as women, rape someone then it’s invalidated because we’re just too weak to ever rape anyone. Right?

Welcome to rape culture. The world of sick one liners and serial predators doing 6 months for violating a woman in a way that she’ll remember forever. We live in a day in age where a man can rape you behind a dumpster while you’re unconscious and instead of being described as a rapist, the media will call him “a promising athlete with a bright future”; and of course they’ll mention how that future “is ruined now”. You know whose future they didn’t mention? The fucking victim’s!

American facts are this: If you’re rich, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a celebrity, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a promising athlete, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a woman, you aren’t a rapist. If you’re a husband or wife, you “can’t” be a rapist. If you’re a politician, a television star, a police officer, a judge, there’s no way you’re a rapist. If her skirt was short it wasn’t rape, if she was drunk it wasn’t rape, if she cried the whole time but didn’t say no, it wasn’t rape. If she said no halfway through, it wasn’t rape. If she comes forward after other victims have, she wasn’t raped. If she sleeps around, she can’t be raped. If he’s a boy, he can’t be raped. If you go to a prestigious school, you can’t be raped and you definitely aren’t a rapist. And as mentioned above, if she was unconscious but you’re white and privileged, it wasn’t rape. But if you’re black? Definitely rape. And no, I’m not being satirical or funny. I can show you case after case where judges, the media, and juries of our peers, treated the aforementioned statements as truth. Disgusting isn’t it?

We see it everyday and the sick part is that most of us are either numb to it or have heard it so much that we believe it. Have you ever wondered what a rape victim was wearing or how much she’d had to drink? Have you ever seen a survivor and thought she looked like “the type who would lie about it“? Do you agree that female students should be banned from wearing spaghetti straps while the quarterback is allowed to go shirtless? Do you believe that if women act in a certain way they can stop themselves from being raped? Do you think “it’s pointless” to make affirmative consent a part of our sexual education courses? Have you ever taken part in “slut shaming”?  If so then you are a part of rape culture. They fed you bullshit and you swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker. If that offends you then maybe you should ask yourself why, instead of getting offended about what a stranger said on the internet.

Why am I writing this? Let’s be honest, I’m all over the place, this isn’t my most polished piece, and the words aren’t intertwined in a powerful way that has the maximum amount of impact. But it’s important anyway. And it’s close to my heart. It is my heart because it is my story. I’ve been slut shamed and victim blamed. I’ve been cross examined in court by a man who didn’t believe me, despite the fact that I was 7 with damn near perfect recall. I’ve given depositions and I’ve had a rapist blame it on me. I’ve been objectified, sexualized, and silenced my whole fucking life. I’ve sat next to my male friends as they told rape jokes and made fun of women who require trigger warnings. I’ve had terrible things happen to me and thought “But what if no one believes me?” I’ve had my birth mother look at me and say “Well you know he only did it because of what you did”. “What I did” was nothing more than an excuse my mom’s boyfriend fed her for why he put his hands down my pants while I was sleeping. And for the record, I didn’t do “it”; a fact which I’d told her a year earlier when he’d said I had blown him and that’s what made him think it was okay. But I guess it was easier to continue to date and fuck the man if she chose not to believe me.

I’ve sat at a table of 10 women and contrary to popular statistics, listened as each one told their own sexual assault stories. Truth be told, I don’t know if I know one woman who hasn’t been sexually mistreated in one way or another; and that’s not even mentioning the countless men. And out of all of the ones I can think of, not one reported their rapist/abuser. Why is that? Mostly,they didn’t believe anyone would do anything about it and it was easier to live with without someone invalidating their trauma. Also, they didn’t want to be blamed or shamed for it. They didn’t want to be put through the judicial process all to have a judge put a 6 month sentence on their lifelong trauma. The world is a twisted place and I could go on for days but I truly don’t think that anything will change it until the people start to. And that can’t happen until we start recognizing all the ways our thinking has been slowly distorted over the years. Say these things to yourself over and over again if you have to: only rapists cause rape, men can and do get raped, a man or woman’s sexual history has nothing to do with their assaults, a rapist can be from any socioeconomic class, race, background, gender, or area; and the act of rape should offend you far more than the word itself. Do some research, educate yourself, and stop perpetuating rape culture. If you aren’t fighting against it or educating yourself about it then you just might be a part of the fucking problem.

Rape_Culture

by Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

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Ask Me Anything Monday

This is a little fun exercise I used to do last year that fell into obscurity between working and being pregnant. Soooo, I’m giving it a shot again. If you’re interested, ask away 🙂 

Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I promise to answer it as completely and honestly as I can! There are no rules or limitations. Let’s go! 
Much love,

Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

Innocence

At what point in life does innocence die?

The first time we hurt or the first time we cry?

Is it the gradual death of a million forced smiles,

that all eventually build up in their time?

Or is this loss just a thing that occurs,

Another part of life,

with no need for concern?

If that’s the case why can most of us tell,

when someone has crossed into the next realm?

What is it we see, that highlights the difference between innocence and aging?

Is it something under the surface that slowly changes?

Do we recognize that the illusions are fading?

Is it the damage that we’ve all taken,

or the inevitable consequence that comes with aging?

Is wisdom worth this innocence breaking?

And what is the opposite of this innocence?

It isn’t guilt,

just a loss of ignorance.

We become aware,

of all our surroundings.

The good, the bad, the ever outstanding.

Innocence is innocent because it’s ignorant,

with facts come pain,

and recognition of stimulus.

It’s not necessarily always a bad thing,

but once it’s acknowledged, it can’t be unseen.

That’s why that light disappears from our eyes,

To make enough room for the rest of our lives.

I don’t think innocence can be maintained,

Life’s too violent not to taint. 

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

A Letter to my Self-Centered Addict Mother

Dear mom,

I wanted to write you a thank you letter. A letter detailing all the ways in which you made me the person I am today. I was going to thank you for disappearing on crack binges for 3-9 days at a time. It taught me that I could survive anything, that I could stand on my own, and function under immense amounts of pressure whilst being suffocated by fear, disappointment, and anger. I was going to thank you for having shitty taste in men  because they taught me just how much pain and abuse a person could survive. They taught me how to take a hell of a beating and always get back up. They taught me what sick men look like and what red flags to look out for. I was going to thank you for always disappointing me and proving me wrong when I told people “Fuck you, she’s going to get it this time. She’s not going to relapse.” I wanted to thank you for this because it taught me to never put my faith in something as volatile and unpredictable as other human beings. It taught me that we are all fallible (even our parents) and people will always let you down. I know people in their 50’s still struggling to learn this lesson. I was going to thank you for always leaving me to pick up your slack and care for your children. It taught me to mother, to nurture, to protect, and how to have compassion for others. Even when they lash out at me because of damage or pain someone else caused. I was going to thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself and my own abilities than most people will ever have the opportunity to, and all by the time I was 14.

I was going to thank you, but now I’m not. It took many years for me to realize that my past did not “make me”. It is nothing but a series of events that I overcame. No one goes through everything I did and comes out clean on the other side; but, I am a functioning, sane, healthy human being today. I have successful, loving relationships. I am a good daughter, employee, partner, and person. I help other people whenever I can and I have experience in such a vast array of areas that I’m able to help many, many different kinds of people in a large number of situations. Dealing with you did teach me not to help people who won’t help themselves. But no, you did not make me. I simply am and this person I was born as just inherently had all the qualities I needed to survive the cards I was dealt. You did not give me my strength or my apparent never-ending ability to survive. It was however that ability that made me able to function at 8, 11, 13 years old when you disappeared for days on end because you were stuck chasing the next high. You constantly disappointing me didn’t grant me my resiliency. I always had it; you were just a constant way to exercise it. You didn’t give me my compassion, although you like to say you did. I was born a kind, loving, and empathetic person and it was these gifts that made me able to soothe your children’s fears when they hadn’t seen you in days and were starting to get scared. It was that love that made me able to not lash out when my little sister took her fear and anger at you out on me. It was that empathy that told me when it was time to mother them and time to let them be alone because they needed space. It was my drive to survive that never allowed me to quit or give up.

The issue here lies in that dark place between all these good attributes I have and the damage you caused. I can survive anything but I’m not so good at turning the “survival mode” off. Because of this I have struggled to slow down and truly enjoy my life my entire life. My ex boyfriend’s often wondered why I never showed happiness when I said I was happy. See I learned that happiness is fragile and a weakness. I learned that if you truly love something you keep it close to the chest and never let anyone know about it, for then they can tear it away and use it to destroy you. This isn’t good for relationships as I’m sure you can imagine. I have trust issues (big surprise there!). I’ve kept almost everyone at bay my entire life thus far. Very few have truly known me and the ones who do don’t generally understand how I’m still alive and not a psychotic mess of a woman. Even you asked me once “How do you do it? How do you go through all of this and survive?” I hadn’t given it much thought before you asked me and the only thing I could think to say was “I don’t know. I just go to bed at night, wake up in the morning, grit my teeth, and do it.” It was a crude explanation, but it was true. I don’t have a special method or way, just a very high tolerance for pain. People give up so easily, as you often did when you relapsed or dove into another pot of self pity and Bacardi. Well I simply never had that luxury. As a child and preteen if I didn’t pick up where you left off D and J wouldn’t have gotten fed, they would’ve missed school, CYF would’ve gotten involved, and we would’ve been split up. So I had to keep it together. When I finally ended up on my own at 14 if I didn’t go to work the bills didn’t get paid, I couldn’t get high and pretend to have a normal life, and I couldn’t keep going to school so again, CYF wouldn’t take notice to a 14 year old with no parents and my life would’ve been taken away.

I met a woman who saved my life because of your mistakes. She was actually your sponsor and when you disappeared again and I called her days later she came and got me and took me in. You’ve spent so much time since she became my “Mommy” being jealous that she had the more adoring name, that I spent more time with her, that I was closer to her. You were so preoccupied with trying to show that I was yours that you failed to recognize that she was exactly what I needed to heal from this world of shit without turning all the pain inwards and destroying myself. I’m sure it is incredibly painful to watch your child call another woman mommy but after all you’ve done and not done don’t you think you owed it to me to let me heal in whatever ways life offered me? This woman was and is the dose of unconditional love I needed. She was there when you were not. When I kicked, screamed, lied, and stole to push her away she pulled me in. When I had had my fill and couldn’t make one more adult decision at the tender age of 13 she swore to always fight for me and do what was best for me, even if it wasn’t what was best for her. And she kept that fucking promise. She refused child support from you that she really needed to raise me because she knew I would never trust her if she was getting paid to have me. She told me exactly how it was; no lies or games. She never sugarcoated or lied. She treated me as the mature child that I was. She let me exercise that freedom that I was used to when I needed to and gave me boundaries and rules where I needed them. When she asked how I was doing she actually listened to the answer without interruption and she didn’t follow it up by ignoring what I said and talking about her newest boyfriend. She talked to me about my life. Fuck, she taught me how to live it. She put me first, she protected me, she mothered me, she nurtured me, she valued me. That is why she is Mommy and you are mom.

Now I know you’re human and an addict. As an addict myself I now know how insidious this disease is. I could forgive you being an addict. What I have trouble with is all the times you should’ve protected me and failed to do so. YOU could’ve saved me a world of pain. Why couldn’t you defend me when your piece of shit husband was trying to convince me that I was stupid and useless and not worthy of the life I was given? Was that because of the drugs? Why did I get shipped off to Alabama away from my brother and sister because your husband was so abusive? Why did I have to leave when I was a good, loving child and he was a narcissist hell bent on breaking me because I wouldn’t roll over and die the way you did? Why didn’t you report me being molested until 6 months after you found out? I understand needing to be sure before you ruin another person’s life, but had you talked to me about it after I initially told you then the “absolute proof” you needed to report it would’ve been told to you a lot sooner than it was. I’ve heard you say it was all just too much to bear and you were in a lot of pain. I understand that. But how do you think your kids felt? WE’RE THE ONES IT HAPPENED TO! You’re supposed to protect US and deal with yourself later or at least at the same time but what you do not do is fall into a bottle or a crack pipe for 6 months while your kids get next to no therapy and everyone pretends like this horrible thing just didn’t happen. The kids are always supposed to come first. But you didn’t even try to talk to us about it outside of 2-3 times over that 6 month span and every time I’ve brought it up since you’ve always asked me not to talk about it because it hurts so much or you cry until it stops. I’m not a sociopath, I know it hurts you too. But you can’t put your own shit aside long enough to let your abused child talk to you about it? Jesus. I feel like the perfect sentence to describe our entire relationship is “What about me?” I mean really, who finds out their children were molested and then doesn’t ask about it again for months? If that were my child I would’ve gotten every single detail I could without further hurting my child as soon as possible. I would immediately report it and let the courts sort out the rest. Furthermore, who in their right mind starts writing their child’s abuser 13 years after the fact and doesn’t even let the child know? I walk in your house one day and there’s letters from that pedophile fuck on your table and you say nonchalantly “Oh yeah, I started writing David. He says he’s really happy you found a career and a man that you love. There’s a letter just for you if you want to look at it.” Now THAT is too much to bear! Did you even think about how much it would re-traumatize me to know my mother gave my molester personal information about my life without my knowledge or consent? Did you even stop for a second to say “Hmmm, it might not be normal to start a friendly correspondence with the man who permanently damaged my daughters and left one with severe PTSD”? You tried to tell me that it was a part of your amends process but being as I’ve been involved in a 12 step program for years I know that you aren’t supposed to make any amends if doing so will cause more harm than good. And I’m pretty sure once a man tries to fuck your kids anything you’ve done is forgiven. Plus none of that excuses the fact that you then tried to sideways guilt trip me into going to his next parole hearing and recanting everything so he didn’t have to spend the rest of his life in prison. You even said “He’s already been in for 15 years Ashley, That’s a really long time.” And when I said it was nothing in comparison to what he did to me you said, “He’s gotten three kinds of cancer and you know jail isn’t kind to child molesters.” The hint was in that sentence right there. “CHILD MOLESTERS.” When they do what he did they go down for a long time for a reason. They don’t deserve to live in our society. You were the one who told me if I testified when he wouldn’t plead guilty that he would never be able to hurt another little girl. And now you want to let him out because you feel bad?!?! Again, WHAT ABOUT YOUR KIDS? Had that guilt trip been successful I would’ve been coerced into undoing something that took everything my 8 year old mind had to do in the first place. When I told people that story I would’ve had to end it with “Oh yeah but I went to his parole hearing when I was 21 and recanted everything so he could get out because my mom felt bad.” Have you lost your fucking mind?! Out of all the things you’ve done I think that one takes the cake. It’s always been all about you and your men and how you feel. It will always be about you. I rarely speak to you now and when I do you always tell me about the new guy you’re with and how you want me to meet him. You always sing his praises. But you sang the rest of their praises too. And every time I’ve warned you about a new one because I have this sickly accurate intuition what do you do? Tell me all the reasons I’m wrong until I’m proven right and you come to me for pity. And I do feel bad for you. But I’m done with any men involved in your life.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t a letter. You’re never going to read it. I’m not so sure I’m going to post it. It’s pretty fucking personal. But who knows? Maybe I should. Maybe it’ll help heal this wallowing pit of resentment I have towards you. This is enough damage for ten lifetimes and it’s not even 1/2 of it. And the sad part is, you trained me to worry about you so much more than myself that somewhere deep inside me I’m worried if I do post it and you somehow find it that this, my deep seeded feelings about things you did to me, will hurt YOUR feelings. THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the kind of damage that is done being raised by the most self-centered person I’ve ever met. I’ve endured all this shit, survived everything. And for what? To still be worried about hurting my mom’s feelings with the truth. Well she damn sure never worried about mine, so maybe I will post it.

But to you mom, none of the good in me ever came from you. I choose to believe that I was just born this way. No child learns in a day how to survive things like this, yet all I remember is always knowing how to. I am empathetic where you only consider yourself. I am compassionate and giving where you’re always out for #1. I am protective of all children and would bend the earth over backwards and fuck it to keep them safe where you’ll risk them to keep your bills paid or your bed warm. I am strong and resilient and a fucking survivor. And I earned the right to call myself those things by myself. You don’t get to claim my good parts as coming from you when so much of what you did threatened to destroy me. It’s sad that in thinking about you saying that I’m “just like you” I can remember hearing the ego in your voice because you truly believe you made me like this. You gave me life and I do love you but I learned at a very young age that you are something to protect myself from. I don’t know what horrible thing happened to you to make you this way. I know you experienced a situation like mine at a young age and have had your fair share of pain but I just don’t believe that that excuses all you’ve done. I’m going to be a mother myself some day and writing shit like this raw, hot mess of a ramble is just one way of healing myself so that I never expose that innocent life to anything like what I’ve been through. My children will never go through what I did. Maybe all of this isn’t on you but at some turn or another you could’ve prevented a lot of it. No one can predict their kids being abused but you do have a choice about what to do after you find out. I could let the waiting slide, but never having a full conversation about it or putting us in long term counseling? That’s just not okay. And putting your own emotions before your kids and not talking to us about it much so you could save yourself some pain while we wallowed in agony? Again, not okay. My kids will never experience that. So that is one thing you did for me. You taught me what not to be and what to protect my children from. So…thanks for that.

Sincerely,

Your 1900th priority

Ask Me Anything Monday

It’s that time of the week again! Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I will answer it as completely and honestly as I can! Let’s go! 

Much love,

Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016 

 

Nerves Of Steel

I always took pride in having nerves of steel. Combine that with my iron will, and you have a woman dressed to kill. 

I’ve never had time to panic or fear. When the pressure’s on, you have to buck; take the problem and fucking deal. 

There are no breaks, no second chances. Life only gives us so many options. So we buckle our boots, do our dances, and find a way to make our own answers. 

I’ve seen some who crack under the pressure. They just weren’t built to take the heat. Luckily, I’m blessed to say, this isn’t how God chose to make me. 

I’ve been put in impossible situations, backed into corners with no way out. I’ve heard the doubt of any survival,  sometimes escaping my own mouth. 

But I’ve always found a way, I always find a way. It’s just ingrained into my DNA. Even on the days I wanted to give up, I learned each time, I’m not built that way. 

At times I’ll admit, I’ve grown angry. Tired of my own drive to survive. Annoyed with my persistence in the hardship, I just wanted a normal life. Cause being “the strong one” gets old sometimes, and while these are “good problems” to have, “taking the high road” gets harder each time. 

These things I’ve endured? They build up and seem impossible. Being “strong” does NOT automatically mean indestructible. What good is surviving if it renders you untouchable? 

I’m hard to get close to and damaged at best. I wear my heart, behind this bulletproof vest. My body’s a battlefield, my mind is a mess. I’ve got one foot on your throat, and one in the past. How do you heal, from so many memories like this?

My nerves of steel only go so deep. I’ve learned to package the pain, tightly and neat. I look fine on the surface, but don’t look underneath. I’m a little more damaged than even I can see. And the damage creeps out on my razor like tongue, and suddenly my words are used as a weapon. Something will happen, I’ll flash back to the past, and all of a sudden I’m reacting to that. I’m trying to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

I’ve grown so much, and healed even more, but there’s still some demons waging their wars. So I chip away a little each time, all in the intention to get better at life. I don’t want to be a walking flash back, making people pay for pain they didn’t cause. I refuse to be that person; even if, long ago I was. 

These strengths I possess have helped me survive; however, I’ve learned they come at a price. The more you endure, the more you “survive”? The more scars you wear for the rest of your life. So can nerves of steel help in that fight? Cause the hardest of battles are fought on the inside. 

I’ve always wondered, who I would be, if none of these things, ever happened to me….

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Feature image courtesy of http://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/helenka/collection/original-art/1411402/artwork/soulful/6847255

The Box With All the Answers

So it’s been about 3 days since I posted anything, which as you all know, isn’t normal for me. It has been a busy 3 days. The boyfriend and I needed to spend some quality time together and I met up with my biological mom to get something from her that I’ve wanted for years. As most of you know, I was abused as a child. I wrote about this in I Remember (The Nightmare). The man who did it is in jail for the rest of his life. The district attorney who represented myself and the state then is now Florida’s State Attorney. When I was a kid, for some reason or another that evades my memory, his office sent my mother copies of our testimonies in court from that day. I read these years ago but there seemed to be a lot missing. So, shortly about writing I Remember (The Nightmare) I asked her to request everything his office had on the case. It came and I picked it up from her on Saturday. I’ve spent the last few days reading through all of it. With the documents in a single stack it’s probably over a foot tall. There’s everything from the initial statement that my mother made to the Sheriffs, to everyone’s depositions (including counselors and doctors), to all the court transcripts, to my abuser’s appeal (which he lost, miserably). There’s so much information I didn’t know. For instance, he was officially charged with two counts of Attempted Capital Sexual Battery on a children under 16 and two counts of lewd, lascivious acts on a child under 12. However, he was found not guilty of two counts of Capital Sexual Battery, even though he was in fact guilty of it. In his appeal he stated that the jurors were sleeping during part of my testimony and that had they been awake they probably would’ve seen fit to charge him with the Capital Sexual Battery (and somehow that was supposed to prove he deserved a new trial even though he would’ve probably been found guilty of these things the second time around). So that pissed me off a little. But he was locked up forever regardless so I’m letting that go.

Along with that, I always kind of knew and heard of the fact that I drew pictures for my mother and a Child Protective Team member of what he had done to me to better explain what happened. However, what I drew I had long since forgotten. Well, two days into digging through this brown box of papers, I found them. And wow. Those of you who read A Clean Slate are probably aware that I’ve expressed feeling some guilt for not protecting myself and my sister better. You also know that I talked about not knowing what it is to feel compassion for myself and for the little girl that these things happened to. After seeing those pictures, I do now. The only thing I could say was “That poor baby. I feel so bad for her.” Just to be clear, yes, I was talking about myself. But that little girl that those things happened to has long since lived inside my mind, existing as me, but almost not. It’s as if we’re two separate people and I tucked her away to keep her safe. Who that little girl was went away after all of those things happened to her. And I just feel bad for her. I want to go back and protect her. It’s just such a sad story, it’s part of my story. If you read through these documents you would see that everyone in the house but myself and my sister was messed up on drugs (crack), there were a few warning signs that something was happening, and yet it was never found out until the day after my abuser moved out. He had told my mother that he exposed himself to me to “give me an anatomy lesson” because as a child I was curious what boys had because it wasn’t what I had. My curiosity was totally normal for a 5 year old; his “anatomy lesson” was not. Nor was the part of the story that he left out. So when he moved out my mother had come to me and told me that she “knew my secret”, I said “Really?”. She replied “Yeah, Daddy David told me”. She expected me to tell her about the anatomy lesson; I told her so much more. It was then 6 months before she reported it because my sister wouldn’t talk about it at all and she wanted to make sure that I was telling the truth. I was a 5 year old little girl who made up wild, imaginative stories all the time; although nothing like that. So she wasn’t sure and took awhile to report. I don’t know how I feel about this but I do agree it’s important to make sure you don’t ruin someone’s life without knowing what you’re reporting is the truth. It hurt my heart to see that my Uncle David (not my abuser) stated in his deposition that he thought something was happening to us but he couldn’t prove it. He said we weren’t eating or sleeping right, had started misbehaving more, and had crawled inside ourselves isolated and withdrawn. He said he wanted to kill David (the abuser) and that it made him sick. I’m happy to hear someone reacted as strongly as I feel. In a way, I wish I could thank him, but he died a few years ago so hopefully he hears it from above.

drawings of abuse

In the end, she did report it and 2-3 years later it finally made it to trial. My sister, mother, various doctors and counselors, my abuser and I all testified and were cross examined. My abuser’s lawyer kept trying to trip me up (pretty sick to do to an 8 year old if you ask me) and I kept sticking to my story. It was the truth and I told it. There are things that I remember now that I didn’t testify to at the time, for whatever reason; whether that be nerves, blocked memory, or something else, But he was sent away for the rest of his life regardless. And this box with all the answers shows all of that. It shows all the depositions and testimony that I remember having given but couldn’t remember the specifics of. There was a handful of times where reading this stuff turned a present yet blurry memory into a vivid flashback; but I expected that. There was also a lot of stuff that once I read, I could remember saying again. Memory is a fickle lover. So that is what I’ve been doing the last few days and as I get to the last 2-3 things in the box, all his brother’s depositions, I’m gaining a sense of closure. This has been a thing I’ve lived with for almost my entire life and I just feel like once I’ve read it all and know it all, it will be over. Completely over. And that’s a beautiful thing. So I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much, I’ve been a bit busy. However, by tonight this whole process that I felt/feel was so necessary, will be over.

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016