I live in a small Colorado town where everyone is connected to everyone. If you do not know someone, they know a friend of yours. We have very little crime and most of it is minor stuff. That changed in November 2012. We had a thirteen year old boy disappear. He was a grade below my son. They were not friends but went to school together. So many of the kids hang out at the library after school and both the boys did. Dylan, his brother, and mother had moved away and Dylan was forced to come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad. He disappeared the day after he got here. He was supposed to hang out with friends and never showed up. Our community went into a stressed state. There were assumptions that Dylan might have run away to try to get back to his mom. We were all hoping that he was okay but we were also concerned about our kids. For a period of time, no one was letting there kids out of their sight alone. We didn’t know if he had been abducted (or worse) or had run away. Quickly fingers started pointing at the dad that he had done something to Dylan. I do not know either of the parents but it just saddened me to think that people were so fast to blame the dad. The parents accused each other. They ended up on Dr Phil. Eventually, this wasn’t mentioned dailly BUT it was in the back of our minds. I had such mixed feelings about it. I wanted it to be the dad because I hated the thought that we had a crazy in our town that took the kid BUT I also  didn’t want it to be the dad. How sad to live with killing your child. How sad to kill your child. The more time that passed, the more the accusations to the dad grew. I kept thinking how terrible it was if he were innocent. His life was ruined no matter what. If innocent, no one would ever believe that. If guilty, well, that is the unthinkable to me.

As time has passed, there have been many searches in the woods and at the dad’s place. Partial remains were found and his death was ruled a homicide. Occasionally, we would hear bits and pieces of the investigation but I never thought an arrest would be made. That changed today. Mark Redwine was arrested for the murder of his son. Maybe we can have some closure here in our small town. Evidence has now been released and it looks bad for the father. I hope they are right.

I wouldn’t want to be on this jury but I could be partial.  The thought of killing my child is so horrific that they would definitely have to prove it to me. My son was actually called in for the grand jury but was dismissed and didn’t know this was the case he was almost on. I just hope that this is the end of the story and the mom and brother can finally move on to their new normal.

#JusticeForDylan

Last weekend, I had a bad emotional breakdown. I had plans that went to hell and triggered this all. I was supposed to go work for a few hours and then meet a friend at the river  and play for a few hours. Earlier in the week, I had posted on Facebook that I wanted to play this weekend, either hike or paddle. This friend had said, sure. I was so excited to hang with him and get on the river. It was hot and muggy (for Durango) this past week and I had been looking forward to the cool water. When my alarm went off, I looked at my phone and had a text from my friend cancelling. I was bummed but not heartbroken until time passed. One of my feet was real sore so I didn’t feel that hiking was a wise move and you don’t play on the river alone. I asked my kids and they, of course, said no. I decided to just ride in with the kiddo and do my work when she was at her job. As we were driving in, I just lost it. I started sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. I sure hate when I get that way. For the most part, I am so happy now but when I cannot find ANYONE to go do something, I feel alone. I also have been so worried about the kiddo. She has been battling depression and suicidal thoughts for years. When I asked her the other day where she thought she would be in twenty years, she said dead. Well, that was NOT encouraging. She has no goals or dreams. I don’t know how to help her. She sees a doc occasionally. She is on meds but still has no oomph. I can barely get her out of her room except for work.  She has been through quite a few jobs in the past couple of years but for the most part has always been working. She lives with me and is supposed to pay a measly $300 in rent, her car payment, her car insurance, and her part of the cell phone, She is 22 and has chosen to not go to school at this time. Until last fall, she was having no problem covering her expenses but then her depression and anxiety got in the way and she lost a good job. She did a no call no show because she didn’t know how to deal with something going on there. Ever since then, she has been getting further and further behind in what she owes me. I won’t support her and  cannot support her. Due to her issues, I am starting to sink financially, too. She started a new job about six weeks ago and was told it would be 30 hours a week. With that, she would be able to cover her expenses AND catch up but they have not been giving er even close to that. Instead she has been working about ten hours a week. Not even enough to cover her bills, not including rent. I have been stressing about her mental health as well as my finances. I am trying so hard. I have a side job that is earning me $60-80 a week. It has helped a lot. I started this the same time she started her newest job. I have been telling her for weeks to talk to her boss about her hours but she wouldn’t do it. She hates confrontation. I try to  not let her know how much her situation stresses me out as I don’t want to push her over the edge. As I am sitting there crying, I am thinking to myself that I am pushing her with the breakdown which makes me feel worse. I have no one I can talk to about her situation. I cannot talk to the dad. We do not communicate at all. Everyone has so many words of advice but basically they do not understand her mental health.  I am feeling alone. I really wish I had a best friend here. Not having a man would be a lot more bearable. I dropped her off at work and pulled myself together for my PT job but was down all day. I did get some encouragement as she did finally talk to her boss and had about thirty hours this week. If she can keep this job, things will look up and she seems to like this one. I hope that things are looking up and we can turn things around. I am  hoping I can get out of this funk that I am in.

Today has been such a difficult day. My friend R told me that he was on the way to a trauma cleanup for work this morning. I asked if it was a suicide. We don’t have a lot of violent crime around here and have had several suicides this year already. I just had a gut feeling that was the situation this morning. It made me sad when he said yes. We were discussing how it is for him emotionally to clean up these sites and then I saw the article in the paper. Twenty two year old girl that graduated with my daughter shot herself last night. We have lost so many young people on our small community over the past ten years. I know there is a numbness there for many of us. This was the first suicide of one of our young ones though. We have lost a couple to cancer and horrible accidents but not by their own hands.

At first, my reaction was about our losing another young person but within minutes the suicide aspect hit me. My kiddo that graduated with her has struggled with depression for years. I actually live in an area where everyone has a gun. I wanted to get one when my ex moved out. We have bears and mountain lions around here. I live in the country and am not getting younger. I could be vulnerable. She came to me one day and told me  to not get a gun because she couldn’t trust herself with a gun in the house. Currently, she is doing well and is on her meds but she tends to quit taking them and I can tell within days. I also have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts off and on since I was fourteen. 2008 was the most recent for me and I was working on the plan. I never had the courage to go through with it. I am glad now. I am doing well now. I take my medication faithfully and am determined to not go down that path again.

I kept thinking about this poor girl and how lonely she must have felt. I kept thinking about how brave, yes brave, it was for her to pull that trigger. I kept thinking about how she felt before she did it. I kept thinking that it was so sad that she never reached out to anyone or if she did, that they didn’t hear her. I kept thinking about the mess she left behind- all the broken hearts, her friends and family. They will have to live the rest of their lives wondering if they could have stopped her.

I spent most of the day wondering how my kiddo was. I was wondering if she knew what happened to her classmate. How well she knew her. They had so many mutual friends. I couldn’t reach her. I was hoping that she wasn’t here at home an emotional mess or worse.

I thought about my friend whose daughter was also in this class. Her daughter died their freshman year. My friend is a teacher in the school. I wondered how she was going to take this and of course, her Facebook post broke my heart tonight. So many people I love are hurting tonight. Our small town has lost another young life. A vibrant life with so much ahead of her and this time it was her choice. That poor poor girl. I wish she had reached out for help.

I looked at my semi-colon tattoo so many times today. I am determined to not get to that point again. When I got home, my kiddo and I held each other so tightly. I begged her to promise to not to ever to this and to continue to be honest with me about this aspect of her life. I am not sure I could survive her doing this.

Sometimes I have to wonder about the ex-husband. He seriously believes that I have turned the kids against him when he does things like he did this weekend all the time. He lives about one hour from our son, who is a freshman in college. Our eldest lives about four hours from her brother- five from her dad. My son was in an opera at the school this weekend and the eldest decided to go watch her brothers performance. She contacted her dad and asked if he would like to join her. At first, he said that they would try to go the same night. They meaning him and his girlfriend WFB. They decided to go the night before our daughter.  When she tells me this, she says, of course, he chose her over me again. I am sure she didn’t want to see me. For my new readers, my eldest and WFB have had a rocky start and ex-h always insists that our daughter fix things. WFB even told him he had to choose between her and his family.

I know if I had been in his shoes, which I never would be. I would never choose anyone over my kids but hypothetically, if I were, I would tell new partner that my child lives five hours away and if that person didn’t want to join me n the night with my kid, then I would go without them. He rarely sees our kids. The son sees him because he has to. He can’t stand WFB either but ex-h is convinced that only the eldest has a problem with her. The middle kiddo doesn’t even respond too his phone calls or texts anymore. When I asked her why she threw the phone across the room when he called one day, they told me that they always feel bad about themself after talking to him. They are very upset with the WFB for treating the siblings the way she does.

I actually feel sorry for him. When we were married and for a short time after the divorce, I would try to help ease things with the kids. I eventually decided not to do so for the ones that were over eighteen and now all of them are. I no longer remind them to contact their dad for anything. I did remind them to contact his mother for her birthday. She shouldn’t pay for her son being an idiot. What blows my mind about WFB is that she is a mother. I am very curious about her and his relationships with her kids. I do think that he will regret his choices eventually. She is not good for his relationship with his kids. When our son graduated from high school last year, I made sure to let him know she was welcome at the party. She chose not to come. She has no desire to be part of my kids lives. If he wants to, he is either going to have to get rid of her OR go to things without her. Maybe he will see the light before it is too late. In the mean time, I am here to listen to the kids vent about their dad and they adore my ex-boyfriend and contact him for dad things. The love him and he loves them.

It is funny how some things will trigger me and remind me of how bad things had been. I was at work, walking up 12th Street and there were three cars at the intersection. The first one was turning left onto Main Ave. The traffic on Main doesn’t have a stop sign so it can be a long wait to turn left. The second vehicle was going straight and the third wanted to turn right. This is a small town with relatively little traffic but it has grown a lot over the years. I admit it has not been fun watching it grow over the thirty years I have been here but it goes with the territory. The guy in the third vehicle started screaming and cursing profanities and honking his horn. He couldn’t see that the first vehicle wanted to go left. He was being very impatient and letting himself get super stressed about such a minor thing. When the first car finally was able to turn (maybe ninety seconds), he squealed up to the second car and turned right very quickly and potentially dangerously while revving his engine. I immediately thought to myself how glad I was to not be with someone like that anymore. The ex-husband used to get such horrible road rage. There were times I was afraid that he might even get us shot or hurt. He would flip people off on the highways in the city, cut people off, tailgate on purpose if someone cut us off. You never know when someone might pull a gun. If I said anything to him, he would then yell at me. I was often very nervous in the car with him. The stress and tension in the car was always so bad from that moment on. It was bad for all of our health. Stress increases inflammation which increases pain, diabetes, and so many other health issues. He was slowly killing us all.

I will never put up with that from someone again. It was one of the many ways I was mentally abused and controlled by him. He had a nasty temper that I was afraid to set off. he never physically hurt me but I was scared of him and so were the kids. I wish I could say that he never laid a hand on them. He never beat them but kids should not be scared of their parents.

About the man in this story, I feel bad for him (and the ex). Life is too short to get so upset over such insignificant things. His blood pressure was up, I am sure. His behavior was bad for his health. Luckily, there was no one else in the car and I am sure I was the only one that heard his language. I was the only other one really affected and it made me feel grateful that I no longer have that kind of stress in my life.

I was in seventh grade when I first had a man show me that promises about love aren’t always kept. I was devastated to find out that my parents had been having problems, including him moving out for most of sixth grade, due to another woman. My sister was the one that had told me all this after she saw my dad with the other woman when she was with some of her friends. Understandably, she was very angry at our dad. She told me because she was so angry with him and, I think, wanted me to be too. If I remember correctly, she was angry at our mom for giving our dad another chance. I was hoping they would work things out. I couldn’t believe that my dad would do that to my mother.

As time went on, I have had a few men cheat on me and friends cheat on their partners or be cheated on by their partners. Unfortunately, it is so difficult to trust when you see so many that are not trustworthy. I want to love and trust someday again.

I did eventually find someone that I loved and trusted and I married him. Eventually, I quit trusting him as all the signs of him cheating were there by the time we split. I am not 100% sure he cheated but would be surprised to find out that he didn’t.

How do you learn to trust relationships? I do not want to be one of those women that suspects cheating at every turn but I also don’t want to be so stupidly naive again. I hope to meet someone at some time that I can love and trust. I just need to learn how to trust.

With my job, people always assume that I get yelled at all the time but I actually got yelled at more often sitting at the front desk of a doctor’s office. Today, I met my worst citizen so far on the streets. Most people are not happy when they get a ticket but also know that they deserve them. Most people will ask us to give them a break very nicely and some will actually come up, hold out their hand and actually say that they deserve it.  This guy today was awful. I wrote him a parking ticket for an expired registration. He came up as I was putting it on his car and asked what I was doing. I told him that I had just written him a ticket and what for. He immediately grabbed it out of my hand, threw it in his car and screamed that I wasn’t a Effin cop and I had no right to do that. We do it daily, per city council. He proceeded to drop the F-bomb to me over and over. If someone comes up and is nice, we will call in and ask if we can make it a warning. I was not about to do that since he was so hostile so I told him to have a nice day and continued on. A gentleman on the street was watching and listening. I could tell that he was horrified at what was happening. The guy continued to yell profanities at me until he couldn’t see me anymore. If I had ever felt threatened, I could have called the police for assistance. I called my supervisor and told her about him so she wouldn’t dismiss the ticket when he came in. It turned out that we booted his car a couple of months ago for several unpaid tickets for the same thing. We did have to call the police on him then. His file is not good with our department. I ran into the observing man a block later getting into his car and he asked if that was normal and how out of line the other guy was. It was nice to have someone tell me that but the jerk did not really bother me. I almost laughed at him as he was being so obnoxious. I also thought about telling him no thanks, you are not my type. Now, I look forward to giving him more tickets. He definitely did NOT intimidate me.

The photographer is a man that might find a place in my blog in the future. Who knows what the future holds but I met him at work, too. He had bought a parking pass but a mistake had been made and he was given the incorrect pass. Due to the mistake, he kept getting tickets. He would bring it in and it would get dismissed. He got several before it was discovered that he was given the wrong pass. Most people would have been angry at our department but he just laughed it off. When the mistake was realized, I was asked to go meet him and exchange the passes. He was so delightful. I apologized for the error and thanked him for his understanding. Since then, I have spoken to him occasionally. I stopped in to see him today as I was watching a car  in a loading zone. We have to watch for ten minutes to make sure there is no activity. I had the ticket all ready to print and I just had to wait my ten minutes. It was cold and it was right outside his store. I stepped in and told him what I was doing and how I was going to use his heat while I watched. We talked a bit and he proceeded to tell me that I am the ray of sunshine in his day every time he sees me. This affected my day more than the jerk did.

People like him and the observer are part of the reason that I love my job so much. The jerks are few and far between. Most people are awesome. Maybe it is where I live. Maybe it is because I smile and am nice to everyone. I don’t know why but it really doesn’t matter.