I have a few books that have changed my life, and I cherish them, looking back to all my pen marks, highlights, and scribbled notes written on the side. My favorites are the ones completely brittle because I dropped them in the bath tub, and I think it gives them character, brings me back to the place in time I was learning a lesson I thought unimaginable. I think I love my little paper back self help books because it reminds me of myself, worn, dropped, smashed and torn, and yet, every word and line is memorized, my desire to be whole so intense that I constantly feel on the edge of greatness or madness, a fact that keeps me planted on my face, my knees to the floor.
This last book has just been read once, but my little highlighter ran out of ink if that tells you anything, a book that is pushing me, and the fact is, this is a scary chapter in my life.
It is no joke.
My dream of ignoring these issues would involve chocolate covered Xanex if they even exist, maybe tossed back with a couple of Blue Moon lagers, a key lime pie for just myself with a bottle of wine, or even worse, a dating addiction.
My mother says I collected men like little figurines for about a year, mainly because they had superhero nick names to be kept straight, and Divorcee teases I even acquired a prisoner collection, totally unfair, seeing as there was only one, who had two years earlier been in the slammer for a heroin addiction.
My argument that he was fully recovered, having fought and conquered a terrible drug addiction, a good person. I lost interest when I found out he was a terrible guitar player and an even worse singer.
“A man in Prison with no goals? How could that happen?” Insert sarcasm here.
This story would be sexier if he had been as great at guitar as he was with making things with erasers.
He taught me incredible things, like how to make life size boats out of tooth picks.
It is an art form.
Divorcee and mom saw right through me, knowing I was in so much pain the thought of being in a relationship made me want to physically hurl, a process I have been working on.
Now, instead of hurling, I gargle like I may puke into a napkin, then I breathe into a paper bag, for five minutes, with thirty second intervals. Okay, a little exaggeration, but I am a little pissed at Debbie Ford right now, the author of “Why Good People Do Bad Things.” This book is poking at me, asking me to write what I only want to avoid, but can’t. The writer in me is too bossy, not letting me sleep until my spirit is satisfied.
The book has changed my life but I want to address the chapter about what it means to be a “whistle blower.”
She brings up the three women who had the courage to take down Enron as her main example, and she says, “we hid part of our light, our ever-loving goodness, so that we could fit in and not have to suffer the consequences as a whole for the suffering done around us, in front of us.” I feel she is giving me the stare down through the book.
She asks if we have the courage to be fearless in our lives, or if we have decided to be a part of the walking numb, convincing ourselves we are good, while then laying it down thick with her end statement that… “all the good deeds in the world won’t wipe the damage that goes unattended in our own backyard…”
She really hit a nerve with me, because I want to be an Enron lady, to tend to my own yard, to be fearless.
And yet, what to do about my Stalker.
I have not written about him because I am ashamed.
I have not written about it because I am afraid.
It is a surreal thing to have a stalker in your life, mainly because it makes you feel as if you might be crazy, like maybe you didn’t see the car circle three times, the same color as his, while you were just washing dishes.
It is now a fearful act to accidentally look through your own windows, to check and recheck the garage doors, the locks. It is an energy that suffocates, the doorbell ringing, and every time, maybe for life, I put the children away in rooms, look through the peep hole, my heart pounding, relieved for that moment, until the next door bell occurrence.
Dead roses, letters left late into the night, the endless texts and emails and utter exhaustion from the toxic anger directed towards me, something I can’t get past, understand, or have closure no matter what route I take.
I have lived my life so long hiding, locking, looking over my shoulder, my heart dropping, an array of texts bringing him to every uninvited holiday, and just last Easter he got caught circling our Easter egg hunt, turning in the driveway to pretend as if he weren’t really stopping by a different home that far away.
I do not know this man.
I have heard stories of him loving children, and I have vague recollections of this, but they fade, and I do not know how the man I remember can be replaced by someone who has clearly no value for life, the human spirit, or truth.
I was certain I would not write in my blog about this, my feelings of fear and powerlessness have run rampant so long, but out of respect of other victims, people I love dearly, wishing no disrespect for the process they were and are experiencing. I seem to feel responsible for actions that do not belong to me, for those I love, out of the illusion if I can control my pain, I can control theirs.
So, I finally changed my phone number.
I also contacted a man of authority, a man who is of the light, who saw and believed me, all my monsters running from beneath my bed. I discovered this is not a crime of sickness as much as hatred, and I find no answers in this. When I closed this long revealing conversation with this man I trust, I left in peace, began a busy work week just to have my bathroom door pounding on at 2 a.m. in the morning.
“FIVE TEXTS! FIVE! he said loudly to be heard over my bath or because he was angry.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, so tired from a long night at work, a late night at Walmart, picking up Dance and Kindergarten Camp supplies.
“You left your phone at Walmart.”
He tossed me his, sleep walking to his room.
Then, it hit me. The five texts he received were for me, the very man I changed my phone to protect me from.
I was a little stunned, uncertain.
I dialed Walmart, anxious till someone picked up, a sweet cheerful voice saying she found my phone, proud like she were about to be given a little plaque with her picture on it.
“Maam.” I said this with power, a little too much, as a matter of fact.
“Do you understand you gave away the very number to a man who has been terrorizing me, for years, and that I just changed it?”
There was a long pause.
“Please leave that phone with a note only me with i.d. can pick it up, what questions did he ask, and what information did you give?”
“But, my goodness, I don’t really understand.”
Here it was, my shame, my sadness, my pain, and the reason I stay far away, the world just not allowed to know me, nor did I blame them, all for the sake of the one question I waited for her to ask.
“But, you don’t understand. I called your Daddy, honey.”
Oh, I understood perfectly.
I can not pretend to understand what it meant to be the women of Enron, Martin Luther King, and I wonder if they felt sick to their stomachs too, wondering if and what it might cost them.
It may hurt me or free me, but I know this for sure.
When I hit publish, I will have blown my very first whistle.

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