Joined Dec 20 2009
54 years old
The Xena Library
What is your favorite Conqueror story?
I think The Conqueror Series by LJ Maas
Who is your favorite character--Xena or Gabrielle?
Xena-all hail the Conqueror!
What stories have you read?
I'll update after I get this site off the ground!
All But the Heart by Apollo
Armageddon Tired of Conquering by Joanna
Destiny Conquered by Linda Crist (Texbard)
What stories do you plan to read?
Breaching Barriers by C Paradee
The Boar Hunt by Xenafyre
Soul Searching...read next
What Conqueror story would you recommend to new fans?
The Curse of the Conqueror by Enginer.
Imagine a Conqueror who can't find the big "O" (or even a little "o"), misunderstanding when her mother suggests she needsto find someone with good "oral skills". Enter the Bard. Too funny!
Do you have any suggestions for the site? Do you know of any stories that are missing?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I thought I'd be selfish and share one of my pieces of writing. Unfortunately, it's a true story.
Recently I was asked to tell mystory to the group. I asked my sponsor, “What should I talk about?” “Your Experience, Strength, and Hope” she answered. “Okay, how do I do that?” She replied, “Like the Big Book says…tell what it used to be like, what happened,and what it’s like now.” It was good advice then, so I imagine it’ll be good advice now. So…bank the fire, put the kiddies to bed, and take a walk with me. Hang on……
First, I should mention that around 2003, I suffered with near-total amnesia. I’ve got 60-70% of my memory back, but that still leaves an awful lot in the black hole. So my story will probably jump by years. I’ll explain the when and how a little further on. I will mention that I believe that the amnesia was a gift from God. I think you’ll see why soon.
After graduation, I told Grandma that I didn’t want to go to college right away. I said that I wanted to live life a little. She wasn’t thrilled with that, of course, but she went along with it. I understand that I lived with my friend Kim for awhile, but my story picks up after that. I had an apartment of my own, and worked managing a gas station. I started drinking at about 13. Mom bought my booze because she wanted a drinking buddy. Of course, I didn’t drink at Grandma’s, but I did sniff some glue to tide me over. Well, after I moved into my own apartment, I started drinking again. I would drink about 2 pints of Everclear (190 proof, 95% pure grain alcohol) over the course of a day, including at work. I was a functioning drunk, meaning that I won Shell’s Employee of the Year 3 years in a row while I was drinking on the job.
At some point, I began to work at a tile and marble shop as a secretary. I met a man there, Byron M. We dated, then he moved in with me. My folks weren’t thrilled with it, since he was a year older than my mom. Anyway, Byron treated me like a princess while we lived together. Then one day my Mom came over drunk. She told me, “He won’t marry you. He’s just using you.” Of course, Byron and I were drunk, too, so I told Mom, “Oh yeah, watch this” “Byron!” “Huh” “Let’s get married.” “Okay”. So we got married.
Problem was, he didn’t treat me like a princess after we got married. I don’t remember the first time he hit me, but I do remember the last. I never could predict what would set him off. I cooked steak instead of Hamburger Helper; I cooked Hamburger Helper instead of steak. I washed his dirty shorts; I didn’t wash his dirty shorts. The worst beatings were when we went out, and he saw another guy look at me. When we got home, he would pound my face while shouting, “I’ll make sure no one looks at your ugly face again.” Those usually resulted in broken bones. I wasn’t allowed to go to the doctor, so I learned to set my broken nose myself. Ribs you just use a large Ace bandage. Cheekbones you just leave alone.
I did say that I don’t remember the first time, but that I do remember the last. I have no clue as to why I didn’t leave him for so long. If I had, my baby would still be alive. Byron had said many times that he wanted children.So when I popped up pregnant, I could hardly wait to tell him. I didn’t get the reaction that I expected. I guess he was just telling me what he thought I wanted to hear. I was three months along when I finally told him. His reaction was to knock me to the ground and kick me in the belly until I miscarried. I called my father the next day, and while Byron was at work, Dad and I moved as much of my stuff as we could before Byron got home. I didn’t tell Dad what happened; I was ashamed that my silence caused the death of my child—his grandchild. Worse, over time I discovered that Byron broke something inside, so I was unable to get pregnant after that.
I moved to Irving, next door to Dory, a friend from work. I was hoping Byron wouldn’t be able to find me there. He had told me many times that if I tried to leave, he’d kill me. Dory and I became drinking buddies, then best friends. She had two sons, and one of them had Asperger Syndrome. Dory had decided, based on the doctor’s recommendation, to move to Rochester, MN and admit her son to the Mayo Clinic. Right about that time, Byron found me. I think the only reason he didn’t hurt me is because Dory was pacing around the yard with her .38. I got him to leave, then I asked Dory if I could go with them. She agreed, so we all moved to Rochester. I was hoping that 1100 miles would be far enough.
I moved to Rochester, MN in the summer of 1992. I didn’t get a divorce, thinking that the paperwork would help Byron find me. I got settled inand quickly found a job. Things soon became routine, except that being 1100 miles from Byron also meant that I was 1100 miles from Grandma and my parents. Everclear is apparently illegal in Minnesota, so I just doubled up on the vodka. It took a lot of booze to forget about my family and my baby.
The details are pretty spotty, but I know that not long after moving to Rochester I began suffering from severe depression. I know that I fought it since my teen years, but in Rochester it seemed I had no defenses. It wasn’t long before I began showing up at the hospital with yet another botched suicide attempt, wounds from “cutting”, or a broken hand from punching the wall. If it was a suicide attempt, I would be locked up in the “nut hut” (psych ward) for a couple of weeks, then they would turn me loose. I would do okay for 6 or 8 months, then it would start again.
Eventually, the episodes got closer together. Finally, in 2000, the doctors decided enough was enough. I’d had 9 suicide attempts in one year, and they had to move to more drastic measures. So I went through 25 ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments (they’re also known as “electro shock treatments”;). Now trust me here…if someone electrocutes you 25 times, you’ll do whatever they want! So that was the end of my suicide attempts. Unfortunately, I lost 35 years of memories. I didn’t know who I was, nor did I remember much else.
Okay. This has been pretty grim so far. But this is where my life started turning around. I believe that no matter how bad something is, God will find good in it. That’s what happened to me. It’s kinda like bad memories are like sores that you keep picking. If you pick at a sore enough, it will never heal. If you keep returning to a bad memory, it will never heal. I started getting basic memories back fairly quickly…name, birthday, how to read, basic stuff like that. But the memories of my past took a little longer. And things began to heal.
I didn’t quit drinking, though. That’s one thing that I apparently didn’t forget…how to drink. So for 2-3 years, I kept drinking. I was drinking because of my amnesia; I was drinking because I didn’t have a car; I was drinking because I didn’t have any soda in the fridge. Drunks don’t need a reason. Problem was, I couldn’t get drunk. No matter how hard I tried, and how much I drank, I couldn’t get drunk. And things continued to heal.
On December 13, 2004, Dory and I were walking to the liquor store. We reached the intersection just before the store, which was controlled by a 4 way signal light. I pushed the walk button and waited impatiently for the light to change (it was probably 10 degrees outside). Finally, the walk light came on and we began to cross. A white pickup made a right turn directly in front of me. The truck missed me…but the 24 foot cargo trailer it was dragging didn’t. The front of the trailer struck my left shoulder and the left side of my head. I fell, and the wheel rolled over my right leg, just above the ankle. All I can remember is that I couldn’t quit screaming.
Luckily, I lived in Rochester, MN, home of the Mayo Clinic. I was taken to the hospital, where they prepped me for emergency amputation below the knee. When they put me under, they explained that my leg would be gone when I woke up. What I didn’t know is that the Orthopedic Surgeon on call that day was an Orthopedic Surgeon for the Mayo Clinic. Dr T. decided to try and save my leg. He was successful.
I was left with a leg full of hardware, fairly constant pain, and the knowledge that it could have been much, much worse. If I had fallen differently, the wheel could have rolled over my head or chest. If any other surgeon was on call that day, I’d be walking with a stump. Now, this next sounds a little extreme, but bear with me. When I came out of the anesthesia, I was ranting to myself, “That crazy s.o.b could have killed me!” and other choice thoughts. Then I swear I heard a voice say, “Isn’t that what you wanted?” That stopped me cold. If I was so dedicated to the idea of waking up dead, why was I so outraged?
I was released after a week and went home with my crutches. I drank some more, but it was like I didn’t have the heart for it. I wore that cast for 3 months, then graduated to a cane. The doctor said he counted over 200 pieces of broken bone when he quit counting, and yet my leg was still attached to my knee. I could feel that things were changing, and I honestly didn’t know what to do.
Then my brother found me on the internet. We had never gotten along growing up,but we started talking every night. Finally, he invited me to move back south. He said he lived in a little town called Mena, AR. Folks were friendly, and practically no crime. Dad lived there too, and I hadn’t seen him in about 9 years. I decided to move. I hadn’t heard from Byron in over 12 years, so it should be safe.
That move was the single most intelligent decision I had made in 10 years or more. I got to have my Dad back in my life, the town was everything I had dreamed of, plus…there was a little boy. My brother had a one night stand and she turned up pregnant. She was going to have an abortion, but my brother talked her into having the baby, and he’d raise it. The mother hasn’t seen the baby since he was born, but me, my father, and my brother raised Joel. I love that little guy so much!
The only thing wrong with Mena was that it’s a dry county…NO BOOZE! The nearest place to get alcohol is in Oklahoma. I white knuckled it for 5 months. I wasn’t drinking, but I wasn’t doing anything else. I was pretty miserable. Then God stepped in again. I had joined an internet dating site, and was talking to a man who lives in Mount Ida, about 90 minutes away. He said he was coming to Mena for an AA meeting, and would I like to meet him there.
I did, and the guy was a loser. But I found something there. In the space of a couple of weeks, I had a bunch of new friends and the promise that if I wanted it, and worked for it, I could be sober and happy (both at the same time? no way!). They also re-introduced me to God. I had always known that God was there, but he had given me so many chances, and I had turned my back. It would take unmitigated gall to ask him for help again. Wouldn’t it?
Happily, the answer is no. My life today is nothing like the life I had just a few years ago. Right now, I’m respected in this town, I have my volunteer work that is so rewarding, I have more friends right now than I’ve had in my whole life. I’ve got a relationship with Dad, and I have Joel, who loves me without question. I also have my Higher Power to talk to anytime, anywhere, for any reason. I am loved. And that’s pretty cool.
I thought I was finished, and then I realized I forgot to tell you what happened to Byron. I had been sober about 9 months when the police came to tell me he was dead. They found his body behind a warehouse in Phoenix, and he’d been there a couple of days. His last known address was a homeless shelter. He owned nothing but the clothes on his back. He died of alcohol poisoning.
God made it possible for me to grieve for him. He did terrible things, but nobody deserves to die like that. Thank God I don’t have to die like that.