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Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Case of Mixed Emotions ... Like Seeing Your Ex Driving Over a Cliff in Your New Ferrari - Part 1

On Friday, January 26, 2018, I had a wonderful opportunity. For many, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event, while for others it's a weekly occurrence.

I was given the chance to tell my story in an interview with the Number One Shock Jock of Blog Talk Radio, Brian "The Hammer" Jackson. 

My Story.

The very act of opening myself up like that, for others to view the ugliness that exists, was a bit unnerving. I can't tell you how many times I was considering backing out. I got a migraine. I vomited a couple of times, just from nerves.

But I'm not about quitting.

Other than trying to tell my mother and being called a liar, to my husband having a few notes that I had written, (because he had read somewhere that for some abuse victims it helped to remember and deal with the horrible instances of abuse that people blocked when put in that situation) and privately with a therapist never really going into much detail, I'd never spoken another word.

Back in the '60's and '70's, abuse wasn't discussed. It wasn't a topic for discussion among polite society. People didn't talk about things the way they talk about them these days. There was a certain degree of shame and it was easier to just close the door on it. Sweep it under the rug. Turn your back on it.

It's easy to ignore something so ugly. Or is it?

My father passed away when I was 4 years old. My mother was distraught. She attended to the arrangements all by herself. We weren't allowed to go to the funeral. My sister and I were too young.

My earliest memory from this is not the loss of my father, but my doll.

Her name was Pokey-dee-dee. She was a tiny doll, with a windup key on her back. She was a soft, stuffed doll, with little white fuzzy pajamas on. She had a sweet little face. I would wind her up and her head would move in an adorable way, while sweet music played from her music box. She comforted me when I was afraid.

I really needed my doll.

My mother searched for her everywhere, but couldn't find her. So she pulled me aside and explained that Daddy took her with him to heaven to fix her. I asked her when he was coming back. She told me that I would see them both later when I was in heaven. I decided one day I would have to make a trip there, to see my Daddy and get my doll back.

Then, the step monster came into my life. I was 6.

He claimed to love my mother and us. My mother was very happy with him. My sister and I were miserable.

On Saturdays, my mother would go to the grocery store. She would take either my sister or I with her. We would beg to go, because we didn't want to remain with him.

While she was gone, he would beat us. His favorite thing was to grab us by our wrists and kick us in the abdomen with his knee. Then leave us to lay in the fetal position, crying for our mother. I say "us" and "our" because some years later, my sister confirmed that she got the same treatment.

I figured out that if I would just hide, I could avoid the beatings.

When it was my turn to go to the store with my mother, I told her I didn't want to go. My sister got to go and was thrilled, for obvious reasons.

I stayed gone. If I heard him come looking for me, I hid. Under my bed, inside the closet, under a cardboard box on the lawn. Behind the apricot trees on our property. Under his old Ford truck.

I was 11. A hot day in June, just after my birthday. I was getting a drink from the garden hose outside when he snatched me up and pulled me into the house.

Only this time, it was different. He didn't kick me, or hit me.

His breath was rank, and it sickened me. The smell of brandy, cigarettes and un-brushed teeth caused my stomach to reel. He put his hands on me as he forced his mouth on me, making me taste it. He grabbed my hand and forced it onto his erection. I tried to pull away from him, but he slapped me. Then he resumed, while his hands intruded me further. He had pulled my shorts and panties down and was touching me when my mother's car pulled up.

He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me against the wall. He said that he would kill me if I told.

I believed him.

Although I was frightened, I attempted to tell my mother. She called me a liar.

I never spoke about it again. The abuse continued. And it was so much worse, because I told. Bruises were a norm, because I was labelled early on as a tomboy (not a lie). I played hard, but I never was in fights.

Several months later, the step-monster was at a bar for his anniversary with my mother. The retelling of it was, he got up to put more money in the jukebox when he collapsed.

My mother was distraught. I was elated.

I stood by his grave site and pressed a handkerchief to my face, to conceal my happiness. When it came time to toss in dirt, I tossed a rock in instead.

I would have liked to confront him as an adult. I would have loved to slap him across the face and ask him what gave him the unabashed gall to violate a little girl. What gave him the right to steal my innocence?

I had so much anger as a young teen, watching the shiny new Ferrari of my innocent youth crash to the cliffs below with my Pokey-dee-dee in the passenger seat (because I didn't believe in heaven anymore). There were no apologies, not that I would accept them anyway.

I kept my head down from there on in. School was all that mattered. Boys were cute, but I didn't have time, and they didn't show much interest in me anyway. I was, after all, an ugly, dirty girl that nobody would want anyhow.

As it goes, I fell for the first guy that showed me any real attention. I was 16.

He bought me expensive gifts, took me out to nice restaurants and to movies that I had wanted to see but couldn't afford to on my meager allowance.

But, everything has a price. Though I had voiced my objections, I laid there pinned under him whilst he exacted his fee for services rendered. He enjoyed himself immensely. For me, it was just painful and disgusting.

It was shortly afterwards that I discovered I was pregnant.

The landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) was decided years before. But in the late summer of 1977, it was still a very much heated debate. I heard the whispering of complete strangers telling me what I should and should not do with my body. All bets were on me choosing abortion. I was such a studious kid. And anyway, why on earth would anyone want anything to do with a shy, pudgy, ugly girl that always had her nose in a book?

I didn't want to marry him, but I didn't want to abort my child, either. The thought of having a little baby who I could love unconditionally and give her everything I didn't have, and, in turn, to have that little baby love me was a thought that healed my heart some. I would love and protect her, and I would hurt anyone that even looked at her the wrong way.

My mother said that if I wanted to keep my baby, I would have to get married. Those were my choices. Marry and have my baby, or abort and continue on with my life. Next thing I knew, I was standing in a chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada exchanging vows with my rapist.

Stay tuned for Part 2 ...

You can hear the rebroadcast of the interview with Brian "The Hammer" Jackson by clicking on this link.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Savage Beauty by Casey L. Bond - Cover Reveal!!!

Title: Savage Beauty
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: Once upon a time, a beautiful queen was cursed by a dark faery. That curse, inherited by twin princesses, Aura and Luna, binds their lives in the strangest of ways. At an early age, the girls were more than sisters. They were the strongest of allies until a combination of jealousy, anger and dark magic tore their relationship to shreds.

Aura took everything from Luna: her home, her family, and her love by murdering the prince who’d chosen her instead of Aura. 

Luna wants revenge, but she’s running out of time. She must sever the magical bond tying her life to Aura’s before their eighteenth birthday or be bound to her forever. In desperation, she seeks help from a dark fae prince, but the price is steep – a piece of her soul.

Fate is a real witch. Luna was willing to give up anything to stop her sister, until Prince Phillip of Grithim, the brother of the only man she’s ever loved, falls into her life. Neither of them can fight their attraction, despite their guilt. 

With Aura hell-bent on destroying everything she holds dear, Luna must decide whether she wants revenge or Phillip. She can’t have both, and in the end, this may be a battle both sisters lose. 

**Savage Beauty is a fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty... with fae witches. :)
Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: