Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cleaning Out Your Closet- In Public

I think what sat so badly with the case mentioned in the previous post, was the complete irreverence the mother had. She talked of the possibility of aborting her child as if she were deciding what pair of heels to wear to the bar. Even people that aren't governed by a strong sense of right & wrong can usually be coralled by thoughts of embarassment. A mother that secretly wished that she did know so that she could have made another choice- I wouldn't expect her to want the world to know just how little she thinks of her living breathing daughter. The insignificance of this young woman's life compared to the opportunity to maybe cash in on 10 million. It's daunting to see someone not even care just how badly they are perceived by those around them.

The fact that this creature is now forced to care for her daughter as part of her plea agreement, well it was a way to get a confession. Leaving the girl in her mother's care, I worry for her emotional well-being. So much resentment already exists within them both, forcing them together each day hardly seems fair to the daughter.

One of the many things running through my mind on loop.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Small Doses

Wrongful death. That's a phrase we hear every single day on the job. People die that shouldn't have to, it's a constant part of the life cycle. A baby is born, someone dies in their sleep. Another baby is brought into this life as an elderly person succumbs to illness. A child takes its first breaths while another child takes its' last in a split second car crash. It cycles, painfully when it hits close to home, but the cycle is a constant.

Wrongful life. It's a term I've thought of frequently but I guess never in a million years did I think that I'd be handed a case that it applies to- at least in the minds of a few. I didn't think I'd speak the words "wrongful life" outloud to Eames on any occasion. Families are complicated and sometimes even dysfunctional disasters, I'm a product of that, as is my brother. Tucked away in one of the deepest, smallest corners of my mind, I know that my dad really wished we were never born. Not just because he told us so, but because I could feel it. His eyes burned with hate and resentment most of the time and even sober he was never very good at hiding his emotions. I knew. I'm sure that my brother knew as well.

Last week we worked on a case that involved a young teen with spina bifida. She was confined to a wheel chair but I think she really dealt with her physical limitations very well. She really had a good attitude and I got the impression that as long as she felt loved and supported, she would probably accomplish the goals that she set for herself. Her mother, a money hungry lush drunk alcoholic was trying to sue the Ob/Gyn that cared for her during this pregnancy. The gist was that if they had run the proper tests then she would have known about the likelihood of her daughters' condition and could have chosen to have an abortion.

Her daughter knew about the lawsuit and understood all to well what was being not only implied, but publicly aired. I know how awful it is to suspect a parent regrets having you and even moreso when you finally accept that what you've feared is in fact real. But to have it discussed over dinner in passing, listening to your mother focus on the financial windfall she sees in the future because she couldn't choose to kill you inutero... This was one that even I had to detatch a bit from. I couldn't let my mind fully understand the strength of the words being tossed around- not while looking at a 100 pound girl in a chair trying so hard not to be a burden to anyone.

If I let myself really get it, I would have completely lost it. It is awful enough just knowing that some parents devalue their children in private, but to have the calculating, heartless ability to make your feelings known to the media...

That takes a touch of evil in my opinion.

Even now, I can only touch this topic in small doses.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Interesting

What the bartender saw the night Imette St. Guillen was drinking at the Falls.
By Chris Faherty

I know it sounds cliché, but it was just like any other Friday night at the Falls. I was in the weeds by eleven. It was wall-to-wall by midnight. At quarter after three, I was splitting the tips with Rebecca, the other bartender. By 3:45, I’d closed in on the finish line—the organization of a small mountain of credit-card slips—when I decided to take a bathroom break. The bar was close to empty, but en route, I noticed one of the last patrons: She was sitting alone at the far end of the twenty-foot oak bar, very erect in her chair. I remember thinking how strange it was to see a dainty little girl sitting alone at the bar, talking to no one. But I had a routine, business to finish. The last chore was in the basement. At around 4 a.m., as I was counting my drop in the office below, the girl, like any other patron at closing time, was asked to leave and escorted out by the doorman. Later that day, the dead body of Imette St. Guillen was found in an abandoned field in East New York.

I met Darryl Littlejohn three months ago, when he was hired as a doorman. But I didn’t know him by that name; I knew him only as “B.” I was outside grabbing a quick smoke, sparking up some conversation with Kwan, our regular bouncer, who introduced us. I asked the obvious question: What does B stand for?


Continued...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Words Yet To Be Spoken

I know that it seems crazy insane for me to EVER see my mother and Nicole Wallace in one another. I do realize how, oh, probably evil it sounds on my part to even think such a thing. The correlation comes from The Nicole File. There is a wealth of information within those pages that has yet to even be discussed. Things that seem unnecessary and irrelevant to the case. Things that just further define who Nicole is- her mentality, her pathology. It's no secret that I've been over and over it all a multitude of times. Partly because that's what a profiler does and partly to try and anticipate the next move. Then, a good deal of time has been spent just lost in the details, understanding a little too well what she has been through. It's not just that I can visualize it but that I've watched similar things happen to my mother.

See, this is really one of those blatantly frightening moments where, yes- I DO identify with a perp and I sort of understand some of the downward spiral. I understand her and get her better than I would most other women.

When Nicole spun her tale about not being able to conceive while married to Gavin, it was the truth. She knew that I'd dig up her medical history at least in part anyway. She knew I would find enough to piece things together. When her daughter was nearly 2 she was diagnosed with a gynecological cancer- something curable in the long run that likely was the gradual result of "misspent youth". The treatment would be successful but draining on her. She would have been weaker physically and just taking care of normal everyday things- like her daughter had to have been very hard. She had a boyfriend back then but we've never found his real name. If he used an alias in the first place then he probably wasn't the best guy around. We also know the kind of people that Nicole attracts. Her daughters death was during her treatment time. That only helps to feed my belief that she didn't kill her, but a fed up, put-upon, raging boyfriend did and Nicole was too drained to stop him. She knew no one would believe her so she had to bury her child and of course figured out the best spot in the country to do so.

She knows my mothers' history. I'm sure she managed to pull her medical records and identified with what this complete stranger went through. Dan Croyden was such an easy mark. Maybe he wasn't violent but he was completely self-absorbed before walking out on his cancer-stricken wife and young kids. Killing him, that was probably almost too easy for Nicole. She saw the man that bailed out on her in this guy and no doubt she thought she was doing his now ex-wife a favor. The fact that she could toss him my way- well that was just an extra bonus for her. She knew I'd look at this guy's history and see my father. Then I'd listen to his pompous arrogance and hear my father. It was brilliant on her part to kill so many birds with one stone.

A stroke of genius really.

I'm not sure why Nicole hooked up with Evan Chappel. Maybe it was a fluke, maybe she was obituary surfing and saw that he was newly widowed with a young daughter. I do believe that once she was confronted with the truth about her daughter (when I say truth, I mean someone knew the child existed & then died) I don't think that she could just stuff it all down again. It was too much and even one single other person knowing, well, that made it suddenly very real. Gwen was maybe a little older than her own child would have been and she knew that this was likely her last crack at some sort of motherhood. The fact that Gwen was at risk for gynecological cancer once she hit puberty, that made Nicole even more protective of her. In her mind it was making up for what she couldn't prevent years earlier. She had every intention of being in this child's life. Probably in part because she knew firsthand the tough road ahead of Gwen in a few years.

These are some of the things that spin in my head all at once. All of the similarities- my mother's illness, Nicole's illness, neither could protect their children. My father, Nicole's boyfriend, Dan Croyden- they're all pretty much the same despicable man but presented a bit differently on the outside. I watched my mother struggle to get well while her supposed biggest supporter was only dead weight. I can imagine Nicole in that same situation.

It doesn't change things, not ultimately. She killed several people before having a child & she has killed several since. Nothing cancels out the damage that has already been done. It does make me see her as a person though, someone that has been through hell herself & not only by her own misdeeds.

Serial killer. A nice, neat label. Beneath it always lies a complicated, painful mess.

A Few Things Preventing Me From Sleeping

Why are people so willing to put complete faith, trust and belief in the unseen?

Why is the need to believe in something bigger than us so great that in many cases common sense goes right out the window?

Why do religious zealots believe that shunning, killing and judging is what "God' wants them to do, yet they at the same time say that "God" is the only true judge. Isn't that a complete contradiction- actions versus words?

Why must we believe in our own faith so firmly that it imposes on or cancels out the same faith of a different individual?

Why do we shred each other over the things that make us unique?

Why do we judge each other so harshly when we're all flawed?

Friday, March 24, 2006

PriceLess

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Walls Fall Down

When I was around 8 or 9 my mother was diagnosed with some serious medical problems. She needed surgery & then spent the better part of a year undergoing various kinds of treatment. Before that, I knew my mom was different. At least I believed so because I was too young to really understand the show people put on for the sake of others. I was sure that ours was the only screwed up family in the neighborhood. Now I remember back & things pop into my head that make me believe many families were just as messed up. When she got sick my brother & I knew it was serious but we also knew she would eventually be ok. I don't think that anything could have prepared me for actually watching her struggle to get better. So many days she was too exhausted & too physically depleted to even get up & down the stairs. Many times she was admitted to the hospital for more intensive treatment & so that someone could keep a close eye on her condition.

Up until that point in my life, I knew that our homelife was dicey. I knew that she & my father fought horribly & I understood as much as a kid with no other experience to draw from can, that dad treated her pretty badly. Mom was the anchor for my brother & I. She did everything for us. Took on all of the parental responsibilities and seemed happy to do so. Even on her worst days she never, ever made us feel like a burden of any kind. When she first got sick she tried so hard to keep up with us & to keep all of our lives running just as they had before. it was just impossible to do that though. I look back now & realize what a bundle of energy she was to juggle us, work, the house and all the extra stuff without complaining. our lives sort of came to a halt as did hers for awhile.

Her focus on family & mini escapes couldn't continue because she was just too sick. Her thirst for books & knowledge was lost and replaced with a need for sleep. Instead of comforting herself, lost in the pages of a good read she had no choice but to rest. Her only respite became sleep & dreams were her most frequent distraction.

She slowed down physically & mental illness flooded her. She spent years keeping it at bay, fighting for every bit of control over it but once her defenses had to drop, there it was.

My brother & I watched mom fight to regain her physical health but the Schizophrenia was impossible to deny. I mean it was impossible. As her body got stronger so did her delusions. To see part of her healing while another part seemed to break a bit more each day was so painful.

She could save her body but the whole process cost her something almost more valuable, her mind.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Entitlement

Money. Greed. Financial Gain.

Nothing brings out a persons' inner snake quite like dollar signs. Let me correct that. Nothing brings out an inner snake faster half of the time. I swear half the country is truly guided by cash. Not morality. Not a sense of doing the right thing for the sake of it being the right thing. Not respect. not the good old Golden Rule. Certainly not love.

True intention, true character & true motivations are revealed once money is involved.

I've seen it even in my own family. Someone dies & family members slink out of the woodwork looking for what they feel their "entitled to".

Entitled???

i just do not get the overwhelming sense of obligatory entitlement that so many people have. If I haven't worked for it, I really don't want it. Seriously. When my father died there was a really small stash of money left behind. It's existence shocked the hell out of me because right up until his death he played hard & his vices propelled his actions. That money was left to my brother & I. It felt wrong to take it for many reasons. I felt like I'd- oh I don't know, knocked off a safe in a Bodega or something. The amount was irrelevant, I felt like I was holding dirty money.

How a person ends up believing that another mans mini-fortune is something that they're entitled to just escapes me.

It's About Time...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Suddenly Remember Each Time We've Met

The sweater. My mother's cream colored sweater with small pearl buttons. I keep seeing it in my dreams. She may be wearing it, or Alex even. Nicole has stood before me in it more than once. It's a comfort thing to me. Every single time it appears it is intended to try and cancel out some of the turmoil that came before it. It was a gift to my mom from my grandmother & she loved it. I realize now that it was a comfort to her as well. It would be draped over the back of her chair at the library, it kept her warm while getting us to school on chilly mornings. It was the first thing that she grabbed after a fight with my father. She would swaddle herself in the fabric and now I know, in those darkest moments, she probably needed my grandmother but was far too proud to admit it. She saw no escape for herself other than to wrap herself tightly while trying to disappear from view.

The sweater was like her security blanket. It made her feel better or it made her body trick her mind into believing so.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lesser of The Evils~ Whatever That May Be

I'm waiting to hear back from my mother's doctor. After her recent break they've tried lowering her meds back down a bit. The thinking was to stabilize her and then try to get her back to the lower dosage. Last night she had a setback. The problem is nothing appeared to trigger it. She was alone in her room and basically just collapsed mentally all over again. She slept last night and woke this morning in the same fragile state. They opted to pump her full of those damn drugs again and she'll be down for the day. I'm not sure what the next step is. Keeping the meds elevated leaves her really lethargic at best. But does she need a higher dose. Is it better for her to be unaware of her inner demons? I just don't know what to even hope for. Whatever is in her best interest is best. Escaping her inner torture is a blessing I'm sure. I know that. But what quality of life is that- not that a mental break every few weeks is better. It's beginning to feel like a lose/lose situation. She has been slipping away from me for most of my life. I've watched it, seen the gradual mental decomposition and it... Hurts, but she has always known me. An increase at this point means she won't always communicate or even realize I'm in the room. If she does realize I'm there she may not know who I am.

The lesser of the evils...For her. How do I know what that even is?

All the thinking, trying to figure out what is really best has made me really look at my mom's life overall. I could say upping meds so that she is lethargic if not catatonic is lousy, but is it better than her moment by moment reality when she is clear and alert? No one but her can really answer that. Clear headed but haunted or spacey and at peace? I think it's one of those situations where you think you know what you'd rather but when presented with the situation for real, your mind could change.

When I think about her relationship with my father... I wonder if she just couldn't handle him. Did she start backslidding mentally because it was better, easier than staying in the present. Was it easier to get lost in her own psychosis than it was to really admit how lousy her life with her husband was? Even when I was a kid and they'd fight, I knew what he did was wrong. I blamed her for him leaving, but I also thought he treated her badly. He was always so self- important & self absorbed. Every conversation was turned into something about himself. He had a way of doing that and it drove everyone nuts. You always felt like he was superior, not because he really was, but because he needed to believe he was. His own arrogance led him to believe that he could say whatever the hell he liked to anyone at all- but if they responded, well. How dare they. How dare anyone say anything negative about him.

A fine example of a man who could dish it but couldn't handle getting back what he brought on himself.

In many ways they were polar opposites. Mom wanted peace and calm while dad thrived on chaos and drama. Two radically different sets of needs trying to coexist in a merged world. I can to this day remember mom trying to talk to him and feeling... Less than him. Or that's how she believed he saw her. One night not long before he left us I heard them fighting. I didn't understand it very much then. Now as a grown man it kills me. She was asking for the simplest of things. Emotional support. She felt doomed in his presence. He wanted particular things accomplished then slammed her when she tried to do them. The gist was if you can't be supportive then at the very least, stop dragging me down.

"If you love me why do you take so much pleasure in insulting me just for kicks?"

I can still hear her saying that. How did he respond to her request to back off and stop being so hurtful? By slinging more insults. Pushing more buttons. Belittling her for things undone and insulting anything accomplished. Hitting raw nerves one at a time until she finally snapped and punched him.

I can still see the big, pompous, self-important man on the living room floor choking my mother while I watched from the next room. Mangling the body of the woman who was half his size. Sealing the deal, showing her exactly what type of dirt beneath his shoes he thought her to be. She was good enough to carry his children, cook his meals, cater to his insane extended family, but how dare she- How dare she ask that he treat her with the same respect that she instinctively tried to give him. The nerve of her to initiate a conversation where she simply asked to be treated with a little bit of kindness. A reminder that she needed to feel supported and held up by someone & as her husband, shouldn't he be the one to want to do that?

My father left that night after finally letting mom go. He was gone for a few hours and I'm sure she prayed he would drive his sorry, drunken ass into a telephone pole. She was oblivious to me even being there. She was just lost in her own thoughts. I lost count of how many times I heard her tell herself outloud that she hated him.

"I hate him. I hate him. I hate him."

It was almost like a chant.

The next morning she was withdrawn from everything. Bruised and slow moving. She looked defeated physically but emotionally I think he did choke some of the life from her. That was a clear turning point in her sickness. If she stayed lost in her own head, if she withdrew into her own deluded world- well maybe those delusions were better than reality. Maybe in her delusions she fits in. Maybe the people that live in her head, maybe they treat her with kindness. Maybe she is treated like a human being there & maybe she believed that no one on the outside, no one in the real world would ever treat her well for very long. So she retreats back into her own created safety zone.

All she wanted was to have a husband that adored her and instead I think he truly broke her.

...

The universe has a funny way of making me sleep. A convienently timed 2 day migraine which has kept me in a darkened room since yesterday morning. Somehow, I suspect that if I'd have had to work, my head would have been just fine.

More later.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Visions

I took a walk around
the crazed side of my mind
and had to cringe at
all the memories I thought
I'd left behind.

Faces of people who left
me alone and sad
and the childhood of
happiness I barely remember
I had.

The ghosts that I had
forgotten and have now disturbed
flood my sight to replay a version
of Hell I once left, only
now to return.


It seems like nearly every waking, breathing moment of this week has triggered stuff that I'd rather not think about. I've worked a few doubles because well, I might as well. I'm sure not sleeping so if I'm going to be up I might as well convince myself that there is a good reason for it. The extra pay is irrelevant at this point. I'd do it for free if it meant I find some sort of peace steadiness at 3am.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Whole Existence Is Flawed

Nicole will haunt me for the rest of my life, that much I've already accepted. It doesn't matter where I am, what I'm doing or who I may be with. She's going to come back a zillion times over. The connection between her and my mother is that neither of them were able to protect their kids. I believe both wanted to, but ultimately it was impossible. I don't know exactly what happened with Nicole but my mom, she was too focused on trying to stay focused. She had to put so much energy into trying to keep things together that situations right in front of her were often unoticed.

I also know what it feels like to have slipped thru the cracks growing up. Something is obviously wrong, someone is hurting you & yet no one notices. Your own mother, for whatever reason doesn't put a stop to it and anyone on the outside with even an incling just turns their head.

When I decided to confront Nicole about her father's abuse, even the very first time, I knew that I might be getting in over my head. The fact that she never threw those questions right back at me is amazing. She knows, just as I know with her. She knows that there was too much emotion fueling my words, too much personal understanding. She just, for whatever reason chose not to fire back at me.

Maybe that in itself was a "singular touch of grace."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rewind. Rewatch. Reconsider.

I stayed late last night. I went into an empty office and reviewed some of Nicole's interrogation footage. I've watched it all more times than you can imagine, memorizing every gesture, every intonation in her voice trying to get a grasp on her weak spots. Not the likely ones but the real ones that only show when you take the time to review a tape. The things that a single eye blink can cause you to miss when sitting face to face. So last night I really had an overpowering need to watch her again when confronted about her daughter. She didn't play the part of grieving mother, looking for sympathy. She didn't work to cover her ass very hard & she was not thinking on her feet, not for Nicole anyway. I mean somewhere in the back of her head she had to have prepared for what she would say should this ever hit the light of day. That's what killers do, they concoct stories. That's what she does. But this, it was different. The pure rage in her eyes when I accused her of killing her daughter, the way she shrieked at me like an animal. That wasn't guilt talking, not murderous guilt anyway. She was appalled & outraged to be accused of such a thing and while watching her, none of her usual telltale ticks were there. She didn't kill her child. She knows who did & likely couldn't stop them. I think that guilt crushes her. Just the way she told me to stop talking about her, the way she insisted on it- I was touching something sacred to her, something far too painful for her to handle if her attorney hadn't walked in.

Abused kids, well we do one of two things as adults- we either continue the cycle or become extremely protective of children in general. Even Nicole can fall into that protector category. Killing may come easy but every murderer has some invisible line that for whatever reason, they just won't cross. Children are hers. I'm sure of it. That is why she did the right thing with Gwen & protected her. In her own mind, she has to. To correct what happened to her & to make up for not saving her own child. She tried to tell me about Gwen & then stopped realizing that I needed to figure it out for myself. This, this tragedy with her daughter is the same. I wouldn't believe it any other way. And really, who would? That's why she drove a few hundred miles & buried her. Who could she tell? no one would believe that someone who has done time for killing in the past would make an exception and NOT kill their now dead child. It looks like a no brainer. I'm sure no one else gave it a moments thought. I know when I first saw the report & even for months afterwards I didn't even toy with the notion that she didn't do it. Of course she did. It was brushed off as just another body to dispose of.

Now, it's different. Now I see it very clearly. Last night I saw it for myself in her demeanor, the way she carried herself. Now I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Distract. Deny.

Another night put to rest, thank God. The dreams last night- disturbing. Usually I avoid actively persuing sleep. I just try to let it catch me by surprise and I often wake with books & papers scattered around me. If I try to go to sleep I usually just lie awake full of anticipation. I know how bad the dreams are and lying in bed in active pursuit of the horror before my eyes, well, I don't do it that way. I just can't. I stay awake for as long as I can hold my head up & when a nitemare wakes me I return to the pile of books & papers. Distraction. It's the only way that i know how to make it thru some of the darkest hours. That's why I'm a fountain of frequently useless information. If I focus on learning something then I can't possibly be still ensnared in the nitemare.

Distract. Deny. Eventually a new day breaks.

Last night I was in a darkened room alone with Nicole. She was speaking, her mouth was moving but it was like watching a silent film. I heard nothing, couldn't even read her lips. It was all about the visual, this dream was. She was standing over me wearing a familiar cream colored sweater with little pearl buttons on it. I was staring at those buttons until I realized that I remembered seeing them before. When I looked up at Nicole's face she was no longer Nicole, but instead my mother at about Nicole's age. Still speaking silent whispers, still standing over me.

She was right there, but I couldn't understand her. Couldn't help. Couldn't reach her because touching her & speaking myself were both impossibilities in this dream. We were right in front of each other but communication was completely broken.

Nicole. My mother. In many ways they are the same to me. 2 people in this world that I'm pulled towards yet can't find any comfort in.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Mind's Eye Has Been Busy

A few people have commented about my being quieter than usual. I never really thought of myself as anything but quiet. A loner. Lost in my own head. I guess even for me, I haven't been as fast on my feet or something. I am distracted though, by a lot of things. Don't get me wrong, I AM paying attention to what's going on but I'm running on 2 tracks at once.

My mother is still not entirely back. I visited yesterday and she had a hard time staying awake because of her meds. I'm not sure what is harder, seeing her extremely agitated or zonked out. At least agitated she is capable of feeling something. It finally hit me the other day that I fear things triggering her memory but I think even moreso, I fear her reaction triggering mine.

I've had to question my own selfishness. I don't want her to be upset or to suffer in any way. Her own mental affliction is bad enough on a good day. But when she ventures into those dark spaces, I have to go with her either to take her hand & guide her back out or at the very least, to understand what is happening. Truth be told, I'm terrified of getting stuck there, right beside her. She gets upset about something that my father did 30 years ago & on one side of me I see an old woman with the fear of a child in her eyes. The other side of me stands that same woman, only in her 30's living the scenario while I watch as a fearful child.

Her flashbacks. My flashbacks.

Eventually, I will get stuck. It's destined to happen.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

...

The rage. A lot of it goes back to my father. The way that he treated my mother & us. I felt no anger towards him until I was in my late 20's. It took me that long to be strong enough to take a good, clear look at my family & to actually see them. The people they were rather than the people i wanted them to be. My father was a lying, cheating drunk that probably didn't have a single honest day in the last 20 years of his life. My brother is now his carbon copy. My mother, I just never know what the next week will bring. She might be lucid & even vibrant or I can walk in & find her drugged, looking pale & very much like the old woman that she is.

This past week my rage was triggered in several ways almost simultaneously. My own flashbacks, moms break & then my brother had to stir the pot. He called mom & talked to her late Thursday & just hearing his voice caused her to slip back again.

Just the sound of his voice & the little bit of ledge that she was clinging too disappeared. She spent Friday & half of today sedated again.

My father knocked my mother down mentally for years. He made her feel as though she was less- deserving, worthwhile,intelligent. She got away from him but not at all with her wits intact. To sit here knowing that the reason that she is struggling still is because of him- that kills me. It's as if he reaches out from his grave just to give her a good shove & knock her on her ass when she least expects it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

That Was Just A Dream, Just A Dream

"Accidents Bobby. They Happen in Every Family."

I woke to the sound of those words being whispered in my ear. I swear that I did. Spoken, clear as daybreak. I opened my eyes and saw no one. I got to my feet and began searching for her because I know I heard her voice. I'm sure of it. I looked in every room and of course I found no one. My door, still locked.

Completely alone.

The difference with this dream- I didn't wake in a panic. Instead I was calm, almost felt like I was moving in slow motion rather than my usual need to flee.

Relived it was just a dream...Disappointed it was only a dream...Relieved to be alone behind a locked door...Upset that I am indeed alone, behind the door.

Alone, behind a locked door. Seems an analogy for the way that I cut myself off from people alot of the time.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lost In The Lost.

I feel like I have finally crash landed this week. there is very little doubt in my mind that i am indeed sitting at rock bottom. And rock bottom- it's a really tight fit.

The emptiness remains but the silence isn't quiet as numbing as it was last night. but my week, where has it gone? I'm serious, where did it go? What did I do? I'm sure if pressed I could conjure up a bunch of answers to "What did I do?" but I'm not connected to much of anything. I typed that last sentence & paused to space out for a few minutes. I can't even stay connected to trying to put my thoughts somewhere.

Actually I do remember this afternoon. I was consummed with anger, no- rage. Pure rage. It scared me & I hate admitting that, but it did. I felt capable of really hurting someone just for the sake of hurting someone. A good reason to feel angry was replaced with that actual anger. That's fine, healthy even but it didn't take long to realize that the feelings were far bigger than I.

I felt like I could tear down a building with my bare hands. That kind of anger scares even me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Sound of loneliness is Deafening

You never really realize the impact that people make until after the fact. No matter how important they are & how grateful you may be, you never feel the entirety of it until it comes to a screeching halt. Not until the relationship ends do you see the full impression that was made on your soul. A deep indentation on your heart.

I feel lost and alone and it is all because one single solitary person is gone from my life. All the scurrying bodies in Midtown during rush hour might as well not be there because they cannot replace the physical existence of a life long friend.

I don't need to talk to people every day or even every week. But in my mind knowing that they are "there", somewhere going thru the motions of everyday life- it's a comfort.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the concept of "gone". You die and then you are gone from the earth in all tangible ways. We go from real and alive and full of potential to dead and gone in just a matter of breaths.

How can that be? How can it take so precious little to alter our existence and partially paralyze the emotional well being of those left behind?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Alex

Since several of you have emailed to ask I figured I would clear up the confusion. The person posting as Alex is NOT the same Alex that you guys spent 6 months interacting with. She has every intention of coming back in March. If you click the link to her old blog you'll go to a detective Eames but it's not the same one that you guys know & love. She never put a hiatus note up & so the *imposter* was able to aquire her old site url.

And I'm sure Alex will be none to thrilled when she realizes.

Running on E

I finally have a few minutes to attempt to write something & I can't even think now. I'm completely numb. My mother is doing a little bit better. She's not fully sedated & not very agitated either. Not better but somewhere in the middle of all of that so I guess that's ok. It means she's emerging from this rough patch at least. Thank God for that.

My friends wake is this evening & god how I hate those things. I'm so accustomed to dealing with death & seeing dead bodies at work that I'm just on autopilot. Put me in a funeral home with someone dressed up to resemble what they once were- a corpse that I cannot touch & suddenly it freaks me out. That's when it sinks in, the person is gone.

More later. I have to get going. I'm basically on my own this week. Eames has been upstate since Sunday visiting one of her brothers. It was her turn to take off a few days before they evaporate into thin air. Man how I hate looking across at that empty chair. One more bit of needed normalcy disrupted this week.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Taking Five

Sorry I dropped off the radar for a bit. The last two days have been a strategical nightmare for me. Forget about the stress & emotional end of it, just the logistics have been difficult. I went from canvassing Saturday night/Sunday morning to then driving up to check in on my mother. That right there is 3 hours round trip not counting the visit time. My friend finally did pass away yesterday morning so from Carmel Ridge I drove out to Queens to spend time with his family. I was able to take care of some of the small details for them so I at least feel like I've done something to help.

See? Constant motion, logistical nitemare.

Hopefully later I can sit for more than 3 minutes (preferably NOT in a vehicle) & actually unload.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Support, Sedation & Overtime

Thank you so much for the comments & emails of support. They always mean so much more than I can ever express. The fact that anyone even reads this thing, let alone comments still amazes me. I never take the comments for granted.

Seeing my mother this morning was rough but unfortunately, I've been thru this a lot. She is still very sedated & it is painful to see her like this. Thinking about how vibrant & alive she was last weekend just hurts. A few days, a few words. She's broken. It just, hurts. They'll try to ease her out a bit this week & it'll be very touch & go. It always is. I know that something can trigger these episodes & I also know that sometimes nothing obvious triggers it. It just never gets any easier to go thru. She's the only person in my adult life that I am responsible for. I don't have a wife & kids & all of the expenses to go with a family of my own so I try to pour everything that I can into caring for her. My job is such a huge part of my life but my mother- if I can only get ONE thing right in this world, i'd want it to be her care.

I need to get some sleep & then Eames & I have work tonight. All the detectives are alternating nights this weekend to canvass the old Bowrey area. Whoever tortured & killed that poor woman last weekend is still out free & we really are worried that this guy is just getting warmed up. Someone HAS to know something.

That story is HERE in case you aren't familiar with it. The whole city is really on edge.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Fear Beneath the Fear

I've been spared the ride upstate until morning. Dr. Scheemo left early & my mom is not going to be awake so there's no point in making the drive. I'll go early tomorrow instead & get there in time for his rounds.

That's the logical rational thing to do. My mother. Some- A lot of times, I'm not sure who the parent even is. she's not really the woman that I remember when I think back to the good memories so sometimes it's hard to connect her in that way. When she is lucid & doing well, she treats me like an equal. During the rough patches & especially when she's eased out of being heavily medicated she's like a child. Totally confused, doesn't really recognize me or she will, but she'll think I'm 8. I'm like 3 times her size & she'll scold me for something I probably did do at a young age. I choke when that happens because I know she is still mom. The woman that taught me to read and ride my bike. The one who gave a damn about us & sacrificed her own mental health in an attempt to be able to think on her feet. A plan that delayed her own help & may have cost her a productive life in the end.

"She's a lot like you."

Or am I a lot like her, in every sense. That is the thing that terrifies me. I've studied Schizophrenia until my eyes have nearly bled. I know the possibilities. the hereditary lines. the pathology. She wasn't diagnosed until well into her 30's. I know very well that I could be sitting EXACTLY where she sits at some point. I fear it and deny it and resist it and shove it as far away as possible- but I still know. I'm moody & emotional & I refuse to medicate myself just because of those things because- at least I'm feeling something.

But is that what my mother did? Did she just ignore, excuse, whatever until she completely broke?

There's no way of knowing really.

These past 5-6 however many years, I've talked to so many schizophrenics in the line of duty. I try so hard to relate & put them at ease & that almost seems to easy for me. Part of it comes from my own deep-rooted terror. What if I end up totally breaking, stuck pumped full of drugs and maybe on good days getting to breathe fresh air or spend an hour in art therapy. Will anyone take those few minutes with me, to try to get through or to appear to really care.

I fear in the deepest corner of my heart & in the pit of my soul that I'll end up somewhere far worse than Carmel Ridge just completely alone.


"She's A Lot like You"

I got a call from my mother's doctor at 6am. She isn't doing well at all. They aren't sure why but she had some sort of "break" during the night. They sedated her & she'll be down for the day. I'm going to have to take a drive up after work. The doctor said that she has seemed more agitated in the last two days then they've seen her in months.

I know what triggered it. The boy she read about the other day. I was so worried that this could happen. I know that she needs to get things out but I never know how much is too much. If i know she's struggling I'm careful about what I'll even bring her to read. I know she gets stuff from others so I can't keep every trigger away from her, but I try. This time, I knew... I knew there was a small chance but I just let it go. She has been okay & I thought she could handle it. I should have known better I just should have.

When she brought it up the other night I hoped that letting her talk & get it out would help, somehow prevent, something. Instead I handed her Pandora's Box & held the lid open for her. Now she's in a bed being pumped full of drugs.

Completely my fault. I have two things in this world that I need to do, go to work & keep my mother as ok & balanced as possible. This week I'm failing at both.

Her doctor made some comment about her coming out of this & he chased it with, "She's a lot like you.". Could anything scare me more?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shut Out or Shut Down

I'm not sure what exactly happened today. Either I shut people out until I realized I was pretty much alone and then shut down or else I felt repeatedly shut out until shutting down felt like a good escape.

Either way, the day was a series of dead ends, wasted hours and now Eames and I are left with more confusion than we started with this morning. That aside I'm a breathing paradox tonight. Every sentence that I type I can completely contradict before the next line. I need to sleep but I can't. I need a break but my mind is racing. I try to focus and find myself floating from one topic to another.

Glad I'm alone but wishing I wasn't. Completely enraged but once I realize that it switches to fear. I need to lay down but my head pounds even worse if I rest it on a pillow.

Complete. Fucking. Mess. Of. A Somewhat. Human. Being.

...

Innocent~ By Fuel

(Something Like Human)

Satan, you know where I lie
Gently I go into that good night
All our lives get complicated
Search for pleasures overrated
Never armed our souls
What the future would hold
When we were innocent
Angels, lend me your might
Forfeit all my lives to get just one right
All those colors long since faded
All our smiles are confiscated
Never were we told
What the future would hold
When we were innocent

This prayer is for me tonight
This far down that line and still ain't got it right

And while confessions not yet stated
Our next sin is contemplatd
Never did we know
What the future would hold

Or that we'd be bought and sold
When we were innocent


DOWNLOAD MP3 HERE

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Journey Into Madness Sadness

I spoke with my mother last night- a normal occurence. I always check in with her when I get home from work. This week she has been a bit clearer than I've seen her in awhile. I'm used to her illness kind of going in cycles. She has a rough patch & then slowly comes out of it & seems fine. Almost like she doesn't even belong in Carmel Ridge. Her lucid weeks are spent with her inhaling every bit of reading material that she can get her hands on. It's almost as if she makes up for the time she lost while being sedated or heavily medicated. No matter how much I bring her to read, the next week she'll have moved onto a pile of stuff that other patients or nurses have given to her.

When I was a kid she'd get 3 newspapers every day. 2 obviously based in NYC but one was from upstate "where the winters are white and streets are lined with flowers once the weather warms". When I say upstate I mean, way up in the Adirondaks where the seasons are at full throttle. Now I can see that it was her daily escape. She wished for that normal life on a tree-lined street with a good husband & nice kids. Somehow she equated the idea of leaving the city as a way to maybe change what she already had, but for the better. One week every summer we would go up to Lake George where my grandparents had a cottage. Mom was always so happy to get away & dad, well he hated having to leave the city. His drinking buddies. His other women. There was always a lot of resentment coming from my father. Even before I was old enough to grasp what it was, I remember feeling it. My brother though, he never cut him a break ever. When i was maybe 5 or 6 I knew that dad didn't seem to like us much but it never really occured to me that it mattered because we had mom. Dad was always angry & loud so I just tried to stay out of his way. I don't even think I feared him at that age I was just already self-programed to cut out if he walked into the room and sat down.

The week before my 6th birthday we were returning from the Lake after what was a really explosive week. Dad was fighting with everyone & no one over everything & nothing. I couldn't wait to get home but the car ride back was just torture. It was dark by the time we were back in the city and my father had ranted most of the way home. As we hit the bridge my brother muttered, "Thank god.". Two simple words of relief. The nitemare was almost over. We'd be out of that car soon. My father, sensing the relief in my brother's voice, asked what he meant by the comment. I mean, it was self-explanatory really & a sentiment my mother & I both shared. I don't think my brother even managed to get a word out before my father pulled over to the side & started screaming at him. Running down the list of imagined things wrong with his son as he so often liked to do. He got out of the car & dragged my brother who was seated directly behind him out as well, dragging him over to the edge of the bridge. He was yelling something about throwing him over and my mother jumped out of the car screaming. I couldn't even look. That was the first moment that I remember realizing what my father was capable of. I was sure he was going to throw my brother & our mother both in the river. I was crunched in a ball on the floor behind the passengers seat hoping that he would simply forget about me. I was absolutely terrified for what seemed like hours. Eventually the door opened & my brother was literally thrown into the backseat but landed on top of me where he stayed the rest of the drive home. His face scared the hell out of me. Now I know that he went beyond terrified and probably had completely dissociated, luckily for him. But at the time I didn't understand. I also still believed that my mother was a safety net for us.

When I spoke with her last night she mentioned different things that she had read & finally she started to talk about the little boy whose father tossed him off the bridge last weekend. The conversation that I have dreaded all week- that I've half prayed would never come about. She was really upset when speaking of the boy and I knew that this was where her lines were blurring just a bit. This horrible thing gave her the chance to speak about what had happened with my brother without having to be direct & obvious. She projected a lot onto the little boy, things clearly she thought & felt for my brother but couldn't let herself say. If she showed fear to my father he reveled in it so she always had to take a smart approach. He wanted to scare her, panic her, provoke her & very rarely did she let him see it. I know he got her often but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing her fall apart. At least not until her illness completely overtook her. She told me last night that she had resisted taking meds when we were younger because she was afraid that she wouldn't be "sharp & alert" enough to protect us.

It was lose/lose though. It was him, not her. On her best days now at least she half believes that. He could have helped her and instead he tormented her & then terrified her children right in front of her.

Fear of Fear

(written last night but saved as a draft accidentally)

Fear, a chilling thrill,
Fear, a nightmare that kills.

The killer of sanity, breeding absurdity, the butchery of all rationality,
Fear is behind it all.

A state of mind beyond comprehension,
Fear.. a dark night sky of gargantuan expansion,
Dark? sometimes even painfully bright,
sinfully bright light,
piercing through shut eyes, inflicting torment....

Fear of disease...fear of the morbid state,
when the soul clings on to the mortal with much dilemma,
whether to leave or not, one doesn't know.

Fear of death, of parting from life, life so dear to those who love you,
Fear of that unearthly sight, of silent hearts, and silent nights.

Fear of silence, silence which brings the dead alive, silence feeding on your senses, siphoning out every ounce of composure...
Deathly silence, choking you, creeping into you like an evil serpent.

Fear of the evil, the ugly, the hideous..
Fear of encountering or being the unsightly being,
Fear of the abnormal, the unknown..
of uncertainty, and of a bleak past that threatens to return.

Fear of ridicule, of jeering faces and sardonic statements,

FEAR OF FACING ONE'S OWN FEARS..

It never ends, its eternal, its incessant...

Fight it with the sword of frienship.
Friendship? indeed yes..
befriend this supremely evil beast,
tell your mind, "Its just a state of mind, a grotesquely deformed version of reality"

But how will you face the fear of facing your fears?

The question remains a question...

Fragile Frame of Mind

There was a criminal justice student murdered here *STORY LINK* last weekend. Maybe you've seen something about her on the news, the case is getting national attention I think. It's the kind of case that will eat away at me even though it's not mine to solve. The woman was found with clear packing tape completely covering her face & that is an especially cruel form of torture. The general idea with something like that is that the perp/s forced her to watch what they did to her and she couldn't make a sound.

And pretty much anything that you can do to torture a person was inflicted on this woman.

I just cannot imagine the kind of evil that it takes to enable anyone to do something so heinious. I've been doing this for years but this sort of crime never, ever gets easier to handle- even at a distance.

Is it pure evil? I mean can hate even motivate a person to do these kinds of things? Is it more ambivalance & simply not having the ability or capacity to care about anything at all? I know the supposed textbook answers of course, but it never makes it easier to really process.