Life

An Open Letter to Donald Trump, Congress, SCOTUS, and DOJ

Hell yeah. Amazing read. I could not agree more, and this blog moved me. Brava!

Rachel Murphy Azzara

Dear Esteemed Leaders and Mr. Trump,

As 2016 draws to a close, the rest of the world looks on at our great country with combined feelings of ridicule, fear and, glee, for those who desire our demise and see opportunity in our chaos. Americans have been called the ‘best and the brightest’, and the good news is that we still are. 74 million Americans voted to reject Donald Trump as President. 66 million of these votes were for Secretary Clinton. Yet, it seems our Electoral College system, which Trump himself called a disaster, failed…but, not without help.

The GOP spent years cultivating an anti-intellectual constituency and provided a fertile environment for Trump to play his con game. He preyed on the uneducated and the desperate, appealing to the basic instinct to blame, hate and divide, and found an audience well-primed to believe the lies of a demagogue and to be…

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Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, Tips and Hints, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 2 – The Nightmare

You may THINK you are safe in your own home, but you are NOT.  Let me repeat.  YOU ARE NOT.  This is the take-away that I want readers to have.  At any time, anyone can make a simple phone call and destroy your life.  No warning……

In my last blog post The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1 I shared with you the BEFORE.  The WHY.  This is Part 2.  This is what can happen with one phone call.  What can happen when threats against you are not taken seriously by ANYONE.  This is what can happen when anyone in your house is an online gamer.  This is what can happen when obsession turns to rage.

NOVEMBER 2014

I said that there was finally blessed silence, and after almost a year of harassment he had finally left us alone.  I also said that I had never been more wrong about anything in my life.

APRIL 2015

Saturday April 11, 2015 @DemonTheLord picks up right where he left off in November.  Five months later, and out of the blue he again spends most of the day harassing and threatening my daughter by phone and internet.  Again she tells him off, and to leave her alone…………  After an entire day of harassment, he asks her one question.  “How are your parents doing in Shady Shores?”.  Then silence.

911

A few hours later, around 5-6pm, this monster makes an anonymous call using VOIP from a random Google voice number to our local police departments non-emergency line.  This monster, whom I have the entire recording of, told an operator that he was a resident at OUR address, had MURDERED his mother (ME) and brother who were lying on the kitchen floor, had strapped a BOMB to his sister, and IDENTIFIED his sister by name as my daughter.  

Between 6-8pm, WITHOUT US EVEN KNOWING, my ENTIRE privately gated neighborhood was evacuated by 25+ law enforcement officials.  The city cut the street lamps, emergency vehicles broke our front gate, and blocked anyone from coming inside.  All neighbors were told to turn off all inside and outside lights at their homes before leaving the neighborhood.  Kids were pulled out of bed in their PJ’s and stuffed into cars and evacuated in the dark so the knife, gun, and bomb wielding murderer in my home could be taken down without anyone else dying. 

swat

What were we doing you may ask?  We were in the process of selling our home to move, and had been packing boxes all day.  We had been eating dinner, with ice cream for dessert and watching X-Men before going to bed.

That’s what we were doing while 25+ FULLY ARMED SWAT team members, police officers from 2 different cities, fire department officials, and Sherriff’s deputies were outside surrounding our home. They spent 1-2 hours in the ditches, behind vehicles, under neighbor’s bushes, in the woods behind our house with sniper rifles trained on all of our windows assessing the danger from the armed murderer and supposed bomb in my house. 

I got a phone call at 9pm from an unknown number.  My phone was on silent, and charging in the bedroom so I did not see the missed call until 9:10pm or so.  The Sheriff’s Department had called my real estate agent who is also a long-time friend of ours (because of the for sale sign in our yard) to get my phone number.  They left a message that said basically “This is the Sheriff’s Department calling, please call us back.”  This was upsetting because I was worried something had happened to our daughter, but there were no details in the message, nothing.  THIS WAS THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ONE CALL TO SEE IF THEY COULD REACH ANYONE INSIDE OF THE HOME.  Remember, just “can you call us”, no other details.  I called the number back and was hit with a 9 option automated system.  I just started pressing buttons trying to reach someone.  I finally was able to get through to a live person, told them who I was, and that I was calling them back.  I was upset, and asking them is my daughter ok, did she get into a car accident?  Is this about my daughter?  They said no accident reports, and they weren’t sure why I was called.  They tried to transfer me around but nobody could tell me why they called me.  This took all of 5 minutes before I hung up, and called my daughter.  SO, THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CALLS ME, I CALL BACK, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY I WAS CALLED.  Meanwhile they are still surrounding our house.  Why didn’t they know to ask me if there was a murderer in my house, was I ok, did I need help? 

9:15pm  I go outside on my back patio to call my daughter.  I’m on the phone with her, and she’s telling me that she’s ok, but the monster had been harassing her all day again. 

handcuffs

9:20pm  That’s when all the yelling started.  My husband decides to walk outside, having been called by our real estate agent’s husband, Kris Saxon (who was a Bexar County Sheriff himself) that there were police headed to our house.  He walks out the door, surprises every law enforcement officer outside, and they start screaming at him to put his hands up, and get down on the ground.   My husband puts his phone on speaker, and drops it on the ground as he’s being handcuffed so our friends can hear everything that is happening.  I’m on the back patio still, on the phone with my daughter and I take off running through the house yelling into the phone that the police are here, they are doing something to your daddy in the front yard, and oh my God I think the swatting is happening.  I hang up on her and sprint out the front door only to be taken down by two officers with guns to my head as soon as I clear the doorway.  My brother came out after me and was taken down as well.

What followed was a living NIGHTMARE for me and my family that had everyone but my daughter, who was not at our home at the time thank God, on the ground on our front sidewalk, in handcuffs, with dozens of high powered weapons pointed at us, as everyone was yelling at us and searching our house room by room looking for this supposed murderer. I just can’t even begin to describe everything that happened.  Chaos.  Terrifying, helpless, absolute chaos.  Thank God we had put the dogs to bed for the night in their kennels just 10 minutes earlier or all three of them would have been shot. 

All three of us could have DIED that night if just ONE of these officers would have mistaken something we were doing inside our home as part of this “Swatting” call.  I’m not making this up…. This is what I was told by the Texas Ranger who was sent by his commanding officer in Austin who had been called when all of this started.  He said he was just there to pick up and remove dead bodies. Not a single officer that I spoke to had ever been on a real life swatting call like this. It took 2 hours to sort the mess out, and get everyone out of our home and neighborhood.  I don’t think I slept that night, and not one of my neighbors ever spoke to me again.      

Am I mad at any one of these officers for being here?  No.  Am I mad at the first female officer in November who didn’t “Flag” my house as being threatened?  Hell yes I am.  If she would have DONE HER JOB in November and “Flagged” our home as we asked, the severity of what happened on 4/11/15 would have been lessened.  The police would have still responded to the fake call, but they would have been forewarned that we were being threatened.  They would have done MORE to try and contact us to see if we were in danger BEFORE evacuating the neighborhood, and surrounding my house with snipers, and 25+ officers to come running out of ditches, from behind bushes, and behind my neighbor’s vehicles to put guns to our heads.  

gavel1

THERE ARE BASICALLY NO LAWS TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO INNOCENT CIVILIANS!  Professional gamers are the #1 target of “Swatting” in the US, not celebrities.  Google the word “Swatting” and watch the videos of these innocent people just playing games getting taken down by police while streaming live on the internet.  THAT’S the payoff for these psychopaths.  They watch live as the people they are harassing have this happen to them.  They are anonymous, and think it’s very funny.  INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED because of this terrifying trend in harassment.  

My daughter was streaming her games live when this happened to us, but she didn’t live with us….. he did not know that. Or did he?  He asked “How are your parents in Shady Shores?”.  Sounds to me like he knew she did not live there anymore, and decided to swat us instead.  I almost lost EVERYTHING that night, and am currently living with the aftermath, because that monster did not get what he wanted from my daughter.  I could have watched in horror my husband being gunned down in our front yard by snipers when he walked out the front door just because someone made a phone call.  A PHONE CALL.  No evidence, just one simple chilling phone call.  

Let that sink in for a minute.

If you have a gamer in your home that streams, go to your local police department and get your house flagged.  

If anyone has threatened you, or your gamer, GO TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE AND GET YOUR HOME FLAGGED, AND MAKE A REPORT.  

Make sure, ABSOLUTELY SURE, that a report is made.  

Do NOT let them ignore, or shame you into leaving without this being done.  

Copy and paste this link, and take this FBI article in with you that says to do this.  http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/september/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences  

If you are in Texas, use this web address http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx   Call, or write your Representatives, Senators, and anyone else who can help make laws to stop this from happening to you. 

I’m doing all of this and more while I sit here terrified and helpless, waiting for this to happen again, and knowing that I can’t stop it.  I periodically listen to the chilling, evil swatting call that was made to remind me that we are still not safe.

After the swatting the Corinth, Texas police department was kind enough to “flag” our house in case of future swatting calls.  We moved two weeks later.

PART 3 COMING SOON.

Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1

The monster who tried to kill me and my family is finally in Federal Prison.  October 13, 2016 was day one of his one year and one day sentence.  I’ve been unable to write about what he did, and how we got here, until the day he stepped foot in prison to pay for his crimes.

This is part one of three.  The before.  The how, what, and why.  I’ve chosen not to reveal the name of the monster who did this to us, or specifically where he is from.  Just the state that he lives in.  He wanted to be famous, in not revealing his name, even in writing this, I am denying him that.

seal_of_the_federal_bureau_of_prisons-svg

The Fall of @DemonTheLord

The FBI later told me that he sat, harassed, terrorized, planned and plotted in a dark, small room somewhere in Oklahoma.  Roughly 18 years old, with a twisted mind surrounded by computer monitors and computer equipment wrapped in an anonymous online name that gave him a sense of invincibility. He had two ridiculous obsessions.  To take over the internet and become its so-called king, and to have my daughter.

If your child plays online video games this is for you as they will become the #1 target for “swatting” in the United States. 

STATISTIC:  Between 2002 and 2006, the five swatters called 9-1-1 lines in more than 60 cities nationwide, impacting more than 100 victims, causing a disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders, and resulting in up to $250,000 in losses.  Source.  FBI.gov 

This is a true story. This is our story. This is my story. But it hasn’t ended yet. My hope is to inform others, to teach others, to warn others of what can happen to you and your family. What you thought could only happen to somebody else, or you probably didn’t even realize could happen to you…. You need to know.  I’m hoping by the end of our story you will understand what we are all up against, and how to protect your family as best you can.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  THE BACKGROUND

My daughter, who is 25 now, has played video games with her Dad and his friends since she was 8 years old.  Games like Halo, Rainbow 6, Call of Duty.  First person shooter games where you compete in battle campaigns solo, or with a team of players.  By the time she became so good at these games, beating her Dad and his friends all the time, Xbox released Xbox Live so she could now play with other gamers from around the world via the internet.  What a great idea, right?  She could now get even better by playing others just a good as she was.  Her “gamer tag” is how she, and other gamers, identify themselves online.  Just a fun code name so you do not have to use your real name online.  (Tip #1 NEVER use your real name as your gamer tag!)

My daughter became so good that when other gamers would see her sign in to play they would leave the game knowing that they could not beat her.  She later would use different names to sign in with so people would not realize it was her, and would play with her.  It seemed funny at the time that she was becoming so well known that people would avoid playing with her for fear of losing.  (Tip #2 The more well-known you are the more likely you are of becoming a target for “swatting”)

Years of gaming go by, and tons of people asking her to teach them how to play, or to let them watch her play and learn from her.  She decides to buy a web cam, one of those cute little round ones that would sit on top of your computer monitor.  This was before affordably prices laptops came with webcams included in the frame.  She then tapes the webcam to a headband so it faces her gaming screen, and then puts the live video feed online so people can watch her play.  It was so funny to see her sitting there, my cute little teenage girl, with this webcam on top of her head.  But hey, it worked and her friends loved it.  Now they could watch and learn and hear her talking to them while she played. 

pro-gamer-fr_

More years go by, and she found an internet based company that is dedicated to online gaming streamers who want to entertain their viewers like she had been doing already, but they could now make money doing it.  Thousands of dollars later she has a Star Trek like computer set up in her room, and she is a partner with this streaming company where subscribers pay $4.99 per month to watch her play, learn from her, chat with her, and discover new games and products she would tell them about.  She has thousands of online viewers, companies that sponsor her and send her merchandise to promote, and she travels the country as a female professional gamer to compete in tournaments, or be an ambassador to promote women in the gaming industry.

Cool, right?  Making money to play video games.  Who would have thought that would even be possible?  It’s a dream job.  Until you become so popular that you now have obsessive fans, and/or people who are threatened by your success.

I told her to shrug it off at first.  You have to have thick skin to be a female gamer.  A lot of men and boys in the gaming industry do NOT like female players.  At all.  They come together in groups to kick the girls offline, out of gaming sites, and off the internet completely.  Did you know that the male professional gamers for the most part will not allow female gamers on teams?  The women had to go out and make their own professional league, and my daughter was one of the first chosen to be in this league, and lead a team.  I’m so proud of her. 

pro-gaming-crowd

Now, my daughter has been harassed online pretty much from the beginning of online gaming.  Being a girl, and being pretty has helped and hurt her.  It’s not just gaming sites either.  Once you establish an online identity you tend to cross over social media platforms, and these harassers will follow you to every site you are on.  She has been told by a good number of these male gamers how they would like to kill her, and rape her. They have crashed her router with hundreds of men/boys hitting all at once on her screen telling her to go kill herself before they can find her and then either kill or rape her. Not necessarily in that order either.  They are very specific, and graphic, and have caused many of bad nights where she would be forced offline and just sit with me until the trauma had passed.  

Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014.      25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying by their cell phone, or on the Internet. 52% of young people report being cyber bullied. …

Are you outraged yet?  This is barely the beginning……  Imagine holding your shaking, traumatized, and scared daughter after she has been virtually raped online.  Here’s where you say why didn’t you just tell her to stop streaming video games?  Why did you let her continue if it’s that bad?  Well, by this time she is over 18, and a legal adult, BUT why should SHE be forced offline and to quit the career she has chosen because she’s a girl and being threatened.  Why should she be the one attacked, and now be told to run and hide like she did something wrong?  Why do men/boys in this industry get away with and think that it’s okay to do this to a female who DARES to enter their “club”? 

All of that aside, my daughter continued to develop her career, have the time of her life doing what she loves, travelling the country, and mentoring other female gamers at the beginning of their careers.   

Then she caught his attention somehow, somewhere, in some game, or through some post.     

threat

MADNESS

The harassment and threats started sometime in early 2013.   I cannot remember exactly as the months have run together in my mind, but it started for my daughter first.  My daughter had by this time moved out into her own home in another city close by us. When the harassment became too much for her I was finally informed, and then in October 2013 it started happening to me.  Seemingly innocent enough, boy meets girl online and says he likes her.  Girl tells him that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.  Then boy gets mad because she is not giving him what he wants. 

Hidden behind the online Twitter username @DemonTheLord he barraged her with requests to add him to all of her social media sites as a friend.  Sensing that something was not right in this situation my daughter repeatedly refused to interact with him.  She was used to fans, but he was aggressive and she did not want to interact with him.  He was in her streaming chat room, he was on her Twitter, he would not leave her alone.  He would tell her that he just wanted to talk to her because he liked her and thought she should be his girlfriend.  Finally, my daughter became more forceful and told him to leave her alone and do not contact her again.  She blocked him on her sites, she refused to answer any private messages that he still somehow was able to send.  He would then start to reach out to her friends, whom he did not even know, trying to get to her through them.  He was so thoroughly blocked from getting to her that I’m positive that is when his infatuation and obsession with her turned into anger and rage.

leave-us-alone

The rage took him from trying to interact with her online to obtaining her phone number somehow and calling, leaving messages, and texts to threaten her.  He was now demanding that if she paid him money he would leave her alone.  She told him no.  He then told her that if she added him as friend, and promoted him friend to her thousands of social media friends/followers to increase his number of friends online he would leave her alone.  Again, she said no.

Then starts the router “flooding” where she is hit so hard online that it cuts the internet off to our whole house.  Did you know people could do that?  I didn’t either.  Then he starts trying to hack into all of her social media sites…  She would get multiple warning messages each day of attempted hacking and to change her password to protect her account.  Keep in mind the phone calls, messages, and texts are still coming in during all of this. 

Then he goes after her financials.  Paypal, online banking sites.  It was a mess.  By this time she has asked me for help.  We barely blocked him on one site, and he was hacking into another.  This went on for weeks.  Then he somehow got my number.  We still do not know how this happened, but as a grown woman who has more information online that the daughter half my age, it apparently it wasn’t very hard for him to find out EVERYTHING about ME. 

I started getting phone calls and text messages from a different number each and every time asking me for my daughter’s information.  “Miss, I’m texting because I am with a very large gaming company that your daughter has bought merchandise from us, and we need to verify her address, and email information as a last step before we send out her merchandise.”, “Miss, I’m calling because I have a delivery coming for your daughter, please verify which bank the purchase was made from”.  You name it and he tried it.  I was so confused at first and would call my daughter to see if she really did have a package coming and she would FREAK OUT that it was him and to NEVER give any of her information to anyone.  I started to get a little scared then.

Then I get a text simply saying “tell your daughter that I am sorry, and that I had to”.  It had a short link to click on.  Once I clicked on it the link took me to a HUGE file sharing site where he had released not only my daughter’s name, and gaming alias, but MY name, address, phone number, social security number, previous addresses, maiden name……  EVERY POSSIBLE PERSONAL DETAIL ABOUT ME was now online and getting sent out to the internet for everyone to see.  He DOXXED us.   In case you do not realize this, doxxing is a CRIME. 

doxxing

dox  däks/  verb
gerund or present participle: doxxing
  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”

He said he was sorry, and he had to.  He was now using me, and my identity and location to blackmail my daughter to give into his demands.  I contacted the site trying to get my information down, to this day I have never received a response to my requests.

I think it’s important to mention at this point that my daughter has tried to spare her family any trouble from the social media, and gaming community since the beginning.  Here are just some of the things she has done, and has HAD to do to protect both herself, and her family.

·        She has NEVER used her real name online

·        She has NEVER linked her address, or phone number to any streaming or social sites

·        As her popularity increased she asked all of her family to NEVER interact with her on most of her social and streaming sites because it would lend clues to her actual identity, and put US in danger of the harassment that she endures

·        For security reasons she has purchased her own customizable modems so that she can change IP addresses as needed, and other technology to bounce her actual location to different spots around the world so her address can never be pinpointed

·        She moved away from home and we refused to change her address on her driver’s license because that information can be found online

Despite all of this he was still able to find me through her.  I was now a liability to her.  It was only a matter of time before he cracked all of her information too. 

NOVEMBER 2013

swatting

A few days later my daughter comes to visit me, and sits me down to tell me that he was hinting at “swatting” her as a punishment for still ignoring him.  Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and 911 response team to another person’s address, based on the false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage-taking or other alleged incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States and many other countries carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns and assault rifles.   See Wiki page here

She explained to me what “swatting” was because I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  She showed me You Tube videos of it happening to other online gamers.  I was now absolutely terrified.  She was only a little concerned about it because she did not really believe he would go through with it, but as I was still receiving increasingly nasty voicemails from this person I chose to take it as a 100% credible threat.  The one good thing about all of this was that my daughter no longer lived at home with us, but nobody outside of close friends and family knew that. 

I explained to my husband what was happening, and the implied threat we had received, and like my daughter he was not overly concerned.  “Swatting” happens to OTHER people, celebrities, not people like us.  I was so upset about it, and the danger to us and our animals, that he finally agreed to go with me to the police department to file a report about it.

This is the point where I felt as if I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  We went in to file our report of the harassment, and the threat of being “Swatted”.  My concerns were brushed off by the police officer we spoke to, and I quote “Things like that don’t happen here”.  Because I only had an anonymous gaming tag to give them for the person we were being harassed by there was NEVER a report filed on our behalf stating that we were in fear for our safety, nor was our request to “flag” our house as a possible “Swatting” location ever set up.   I left the police department crying and in despair that I was not being taken seriously.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING

Magically after the swatting threat was received all of the calls, texts, voicemails, etc just stopped.  I went from dealing with this harassment every single day to blessed silence.  I thought, we all did, that he had finally given up and moved on.  I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.

Part two will be coming in the following days.

 

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I’m also the proud mother of a beautiful 25 year old daughter who professionally video games for her career.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Miss Scarlett

Empty Nesting, Life, Tips and Hints

The Top Two Rules for Happiness in Paradise

There are so many things that go together to make a marriage work, but there also has to be those top things you do 24/7, 365 without fail.  Things that after time come naturally, and are so ingrained in your relationship that it changes your personality.  In our home “Paradise” as I call it, we have two rules, or guidelines, that we established 26 years ago that we live by.  They are ingrained, and just something that we do without thinking.

yelling

  1.  We NEVER yell, or raise our voices, at each other.  UNLESS, the house is on fire, or I need MSP (Mr. Sexy Pants, AKA: my husband) to kill a bug of some kind.

My Mother had a sign in our house growing up that said “Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire”, and it made an impression on me.  I can remember back to the exact day when MSP and I yelled at each other the last time….. it was 2005.  The house was not on fire, it was a rare, but bad argument, and it’s also been 11 years since it happened.  I remember it because it was so rare.

The higher the decibel of the argument does not increase the odds of your being right.   In fact, instead of having a conversation in a normal tone of voice to work out the issue at hand you have now made the entire situation into an screaming match.  Can you think better when someone is yelling at you?  Can you be rational when you are waiting for them to stop yelling so you can scream at them?  In my experience, the answer to both questions is a big NO.  There is no argument or problem that cannot be resolved at a normal tone of voice IF you really want to work it out.

cursing

2. We NEVER curse at each other in anger, or 99% of the time in our day to day lives.  Very rarely you will hear one of us do this just joking around, and it’s so rare it will stand out if you really know us.

In my opinion, again, when you curse at the one you love, it is a HUGE sign of disrespect.  I love my husband too much to ever want to disrespect, or demean him in any way.  When it’s done in anger is the worst.  Calling the one you love a bitch, or an asshole (or all the other great one’s out there) when you are trying to work something out is demeaning, disrespectful, and childish.  Again, I can remember the EXACT day, time, and where we were at, the last time MSP and I cursed at each other.  It was in 2005, during the same argument in which we were yelling at each other.  I still remember how hurt I was hearing those words.  The yelling was bad enough, but the words we said burned a hole through my heart.  No matter the outcome, neither of us won that day.  I think we inflicted more damage on each other trying to resolve our issue than any damage the issue had done before we even started speaking to each other.  Eleven years later I still regret every horrible thing I said and the way I said it.

 

broken-heart

 

No relationship is perfect, but these two rules, or guidelines, have helped us for the better part of 26 years and I wanted to share them.  Let me know what you think, and if you have any rules, or guidelines that have helped keep your marriage, or relationship strong.

Muah,

Jeanie

 

Life

Dancing With Butterflies

Today is the happiest day ever….. until tomorrow that is.

Today while mowing the lawn, and cleaning up our landscaping I had a magical moment.

Not magical because all of my laundry is done.  Not magical because not one of our 6 animals yakked, or defiled my house in any way.  Not magical because I received my shipment of recyclable coffee k-cups in the mail.

Nope, magical because one of my favorite songs came on my ipod, and at that same exact moment a flutter of butterflies took flight and we all danced together in the back yard.  Yup, even the dogs.

monarch-butterflies

I am a happy person by nature.  I find magic in so many things…..  Napping with all 6 of our animals like Snow White.  Baby birds taking a bath in our waterfall.  Hummingbirds playing in the flowers outside of my kitchen window.  Being able to turn Netflix on by myself without assistance.  It’s the little things.

I hope you are all happy today, and able to find the magic in your life that surrounds you.  Take a moment for yourself, and imagine that you too are dancing with butterflies.

Muah,

Jeanie

Life

The monster inside of me

 

I sat drinking my coffee this morning, a completely different person than the one I was just 24 hours before.  I went to wake up my husband, and realized that without him…….. without him I would not BE.

Supernova

(Courtesy of NASA)  Main sequence stars over eight solar masses are destined to die in a titanic explosion called a supernova. A supernova is not merely a bigger nova. In a nova, only the star’s surface explodes.

In a supernova, the star’s core collapses and then explodes.

SUPERNOVA

At 8am yesterday morning I set out on a 561 mile trip feeling as if I was going to be torn apart from the inside.  I felt exactly like a Supernova that would violently explode and collapse into a black hole of nothingness.   I was full of so much rage, vengeance, and pain that I do not even really remember my trip.

I drove through horrible rain, and terrible traffic for 561 miles while crying, having chest pains, heart palpitations, and feeling as if my head and/or heart may just explode at any minute.  All of this for one reason.  I had to face the monster that tried to murder my family.

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I drove to Beaumont, Texas for a sentencing hearing, and to come face to face with the MONSTER that harassed my daughter, and myself for a solid year.  Who terrorized my baby girl, and as his grand finale, tried to have us all murdered in our own home by “swatting” us.

rage held

For almost a year and a half I have carried all of this pain, fear, and rage inside of me.  I had to see him face to face.  I had to look in the eye, and speak to, the monster who wanted all of us dead.  I stood 10 feet away from him in front of a judge and rage/cried my way through my Victims Impact Statement. I stood there in MY MOST VIOLENT FORM, a mother who’s child was harmed, and wanted to tear him apart limb by limb.

love rage

Then in a moment it was over.  He was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in Federal Prison.  Court adjourned.

As a child I was afraid of many things, but I never hid from them.  If there was a monster in my closet I slept facing the closet so I would be ready when it came for me.  When there was a monster under my bed I did not hide under my blanket.  I kept my head out, and waited to defend myself.  The same process applies to this situation.  I needed to see the monster, and I made sure it happened.

This brings me to today.

My husband took the time to make sure I could do what I had to do, AND he was waiting to put me back together when I came home.  He knew I had to break myself into a million pieces so I could put myself back together and move on with my life.  HE put me back together.  So, I’m saying thank you.  Again.  For being my “safe place”, and the giver of strength when I’ve run out of my own.  For loving me even when I cannot love myself, and for keeping the monster inside of me from taking me away forever.

I love you MSP.

 

 

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The Reluctant, Hostile Hypocrite

THE TRUTH

The truth is I haven’t written a blog post since June 2nd because I’m just overwhelmed by the sadness, violence, danger, and evil in the world.  I’ve literally been speechless, and numb.  There is so much hurt, anger, pain, and unrest that I feel as if I am in the center of a tornado with all of this hate swirling deadly, endlessly, and closing in around me.

tornado

THE RELUCTANT, HOSTILE HYPOCRITE

For 20+ years I had very animated, and heated debates with my step-father on the subject of gun control.  He was a life-long, card carrying NRA member who worked as a security guard in his later years, and who had a CHL and a firearm he carried on his person at all times.  My stance on who, and who should not own a firearm is very radical, and always has been.  To say we clashed was an understatement.  We were never able to come to an agreement, or happy medium all the way up to losing him to cancer 2 years ago.  I really miss you Larry, and our loving battles over double chocolate vodka, and the beer you kept just for me in your fridge even though you didn’t drink.

ME AND LARRY

MY STANCE ON FIREARMS…. WHO CARES, RIGHT?

The point is I’m angry, and being forced against my will to become a hypocrite.  I have to concede my values, my beliefs, and everything I’ve stood for MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE and open myself up to the possibility of owning a firearm.  It makes me physically ill that this world has gotten so bad that I have to learn how to kill another human being to defend my life, my family, and my home.  Because make no mistake, that is what’s going to happen.  That’s the whole point, right?

Hypocrite

In my personal experience all of the 2nd Amendment people I have spoken to out there, who already own firearms, are not looking to warn an intruder/attacker off.  They are straight up going to shoot to kill.  For the most part they have no military/police training to hone their skills/instincts on how to handle a deadly situation.  They do not have the strict tactical knowledge that military and law enforcement officers receive that keeps them calmer and able to defend and protect.  Nope.  What they have is a few hours in a classroom and a piece of paper (maybe)…….  and now a gun.  Or multiple guns.

2ndAmendment

I DO NOT HAVE AN ANSWER

No one that I know of does either.  It’s like being caught in a rip tide.  Being drug out to sea as you helplessly try to swim to shore.  I see people swimming, but nobody is making it in.

So, I remain a House Cat in Paradise, sickened and angry over a hostile, and dangerous world full of violence and hate……. and probably reluctant hypocrites like me.

 

Empty Nesting

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You…. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You……. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend.

Being a mother is tough…. I mean TOUGH.  Being a mother to a little girl is a roller coaster ride.  There are exceptions out there I know, but for the most part I know I am not alone in my journey of up’s and down’s, love and hate, happy and sad, and good and bad days.

Twenty-four years ago I could not have imagined where I would be today, hell…. 5 or 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it, but here we are…… ta-da…. We are finally friends.  Here are the stages that we went through:

  • the cute 0-4 year old “Mommy is the best” stage,
  • then came the 5-11 year old “I’m my own little person” stage where Mommy cannot comb my hair, dress me in cute outfits, or tie my shoes for me anymore.  This was also the stage where Daddy’s little girl emerged in our house.
  • Then the 12-16 “Hormone stage” hit like a giant Tsunami and left a wake of tears, you don’t understand me’s, anger, and slamming doors in its wake.
  • 17-20 brought with it the “You are the person I hate the most in the world” stage because you are always wrong, have no idea how life works, and continue to not understand me at all.
  • Then came 21-24 and some mysterious magical switch has flipped and all of the sudden Mommy has brains again, and isn’t such a bad person anymore.

It’s such a relief to be able to stay in the same room together and not fight…..  To be able to have a conversation with each other and no one leaves the room crying.

HOW TO

Hey, babies do not come with step by step instruction booklets.  All the parenting books in the world will not prepare you for the “You are the person I hate most in the world” stage, and the sense of despair and failure that comes with it.  Despair because this beautiful child-woman is looking at you and saying horrible things to you; you can feel your heart break as you try to reason with them and yourself that everything is going to be alright, and failure because you can’t find the right words to make both of you feel better combined with the crippling “what did I do wrong” feeling that if you had been a better mother this wouldn’t be happening at all.

WHAT

My list of regrets is long, I mean long……. I could torture myself for years upon years every minute of the day with the “what could I have said or done’s” that would have made things easier or better for both of us.  I can’t even honestly say that if I had a “do over” that anything would be different because I am just as confused and mystified today as I was 24 years ago about being a mother, but as of right now I’m just glad we both made it to where we are today: alive and sane.

ME AND SJ img_2080

I sit here today comfortable in the knowledge that my daughter and I are friends….  That she loves me and I love her… That I raised a strong willed woman who could take over the world if she wanted to….. That she has a beautiful and amazing heart, will fight for what’s wrong in the world to make it a better place, and anyone who is lucky enough to be called her friend is in a pretty fortunate group of people.

I just look back at all the funny, happy, silly, crazy times we have had and hope it will be enough to not have me featured as the “worst mom in the world” on some reality TV show one day.  So, here’s to the good times ahead, and to mothers and daughters everywhere just taking it day by day and hoping for the best.

Remember to say “I love you” every single day, even if it’s through a closed door or at the top of your lungs as the other person walks away, because that is the one undeniable truth that will never change and the one absolute starting point for every new day.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

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The Glass is Half Full… Damn it!

The Glass Is Half Full…. Damn It!

I am an eternal optimist.  No Joke.  I look on the bright side of EVERYTHING, EVERYTIME, no matter what the situation.  It’s just how I am wired.

HALF FULL

In a world full of pessimists, glass half empties, and black clouds I continue to spread my special “fairy dust of optimism” wherever I go.  I see absolutely no point in always looking at what can go wrong.  It’s not even a conscious decision on my part, it is my constant view on the world.

OPTIMIST

It’s in my nature to automatically trust people until given a reason not to, and although I have been hurt by some of those people, I am happy to say that for the most part I have been right.  You don’t have to earn my trust, you get it on day one once I accept you into my inner circle.  Isn’t that a nice thought?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were just a few more people out there that thought like that?  I think so, but that’s just me.

All that being said, I should point out that once you do hurt me, I have the wonderful ability to completely, absolutely, irreversibly cut you out of my life FOREVER!  No looking back, no second thoughts, you are gone.  Extreme?  Some may think so, but I believe that my ability to disconnect from the bad in my life allows me the peace that I enjoy.

My motto is: “Why worry about something until it happens?  Because worrying about it will not change the outcome”.  See, I have just freed myself of hours, days, weeks, and months of stress by knowing that I have done what I need to do- all that I can do- and the rest is just in the waiting.

DONT WORRY

Now, if you are the opposite of me I accept that.  I am surrounded by people that I love every day of my life who are the total opposite of me.  My husband is an eternal pessimist, but we joke that the reason why we are so perfect for each other is that he is the Yin to my Yang.  LOL.  I am constantly trying to show him the bright side of any given situation, giving him hope and some peace to reduce the stress he is putting on himself.  I have been told that I am a very calming presence to be around, and I hope that’s true.  I know that it works in my house.

So, the next time you are faced with the opportunity to look on the bright side why not give it a try.  If you cannot find the bright side message me and maybe we can find it together.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life aka Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

Uncategorized

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer.

I’ve been asked before that if I could write a book on my life what would it be titled.  Simple.  I was raised by an egg timer.

It really explains so much about my personality when you think about it.  I am a born strategist.  Born of necessity because of critical time management skills learned so young…  I am painfully punctual.  These two personality traits are deeply rooted in my childhood thanks to my mother.

me and momma

To say that I am lazy is an understatement.  I know it, I accept it, but you may not realize this about me.  Bill Gates said this…..

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Well, the internet says that Bill Gates said this…. Who knows?

My sainted mother had the hardest time getting me to do anything in a timely manner, so she devised a plan that would forever change me.  She bought an egg timer.  Now this egg timer began to rule my life with an iron clock.  I had so many minutes to get out of bed, or when that egg timer went off she was coming in to dump ice water on my head.

I had so many minutes to finish drinking my water, or I would lose a privilege.  (Note:  I hated water as a child and still do as an adult.  I also suffered from kidney issues because of this.  The doctor wanted me to drink 6 to 8- 8 ounce glasses of water a day, and it was only upon threat of the egg timer that I would do so).

You name it and she clocked me.  Eating dinner, cleaning my room, doing the dishes….. I hated that thing.  Gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it, but it worked.  Well, I say it worked because I strategize everything.  I also am never late.  Invite me somewhere and find out.  🙂  I will be the one calling to find out where you are, you only have 5 minutes left……

God bless Momma for her alternative child rearing decision.  I very rarely failed to complete my tasks on time, always wondered about the “or else” if I didn’t beat the clock, but I still do not drink my water.

Muah,

Jeanie