You and your children were murdered in 1998, it's 2005 but I still have hardly dealt with it at all.
Its much easier for me to pretend it didn't happen. When you live in another city you hardly see a person, so it doesn't feel that different. I still sometimes see someone walking towards me and wonder for a second if it is you, but I don't do it as much as I used to. A few months ago I was thinking about our 10 year high school reunion, I thought about the people I would want to see, and you were one of them, I thought for the briefest moment about how old your son must be now, but then I remembered.
The thing that comes up the strongest when I think about you is anger. The thing that makes me the most mad is why the fuck didn't anyone tell me! What did you say to people to make them think that I wasn't worthy of being at your funeral? I realize this might be unfair, when your daughter and grandchildren or best friend are killed, maybe a high school friend can slip your mind, but I feel I had the right to know and be there! I feel like I am some outcast, that people in your life felt I was someone who does not have the right to grieve your death. That is so unfair! The reason I didn't want to be your friend anymore was because I cared so much! I couldn't watch you self destruct like that. Watching you hurt yourself felt like It was me being hurt. You stealing Kathy's boyfriends was just a convenient excuse. I meant it when I said I wanted to be your friend again. I thought everything was fine between us. No I didn't call, but neither did you. I intended to. Your phone number was on my refridgerator. I still have an article I clipped about Hedda Nussbaum. I wanted you to see how crazy you looked staying with this man who beat you.
And the other reason why I am angry? Well, because your dead! I swear to god Andi I have never seen any one be so blind to the consequenses of their actions! You and I were so much alike. 2 little nymphos. I related to you in a way I related to no-one else. No one else seemed to understand how it was to be addicted. But I used condoms! And I even warned you! But remember when you still caught an std, what was it Clamidya? I remember worrying about you. I remember thinking (and saying) "There are much worse diseases than Clamydia"
I see you got pregnant again too. Obviously your little boy was a miracle, but doesn't seeing the consequence of having the one child (and STD) show you the importance of protecting yourself? And if you are being abused, why not at very least go on the pill? I just CANNOT fathom how you continued to make these same choices! And the men you were choosing. Ex-cons!? I remember hoping so much that your boy's father ended up being the security guard and not the guy in jail. It goes to show how just because someone appears to be a good member of the community, they an still be an abuser..
As an older, wiser woman, I see that there must have been alot more going on than I knew about. I imagine you were probably abused, so your perception was probably skewed, thing is I just saw you as being just like me, which begs the question, why did you end up where you are, and why did I end up where I am?
I think about this alot. I am not rich. I do not have a prestigious job or title. But my life could have gone in a much different direction. I see women with numerous kids, in poverty, who just look like they are going no-where. They make stupid choices that just keep them in the same position. They date stupid men. (like you did) they take poor care of their health (Im not saying you did that, but you could have PROTECTED your health) and they are terrible with money. And they don't like their lives.
I guess what I am saying is the reason you ended up where you are and the reason I ended up where I am was choices and accountability. God, it sounds like I am blaming you for being murdered, but it didn't have to happen! You could have stopped it! Please don't feel like I am dishonoring your memory, instead I am trying to make what happend to you not be in vain. I am trying to learn from it (and you know, what happened to you REALLY did teach me ALOT!)
One way you touched my life was to see that those things that sound like big horror stories do happen. Before, the thought that a man who grabs your wrist or shoves you lightly (so minor) in an arguement may one day murder you sounded so extreme. By learning from your example I have learned about red-flags and have gotten much better at recognizing and avoiding people who are, or will become abusers (since they usually don't hit you as a warning at the resturaunt on your first date!) I am not perfect at recognizing them, or protecting myself from them immediately, but I am getting better at it.
I have also learned to trust my intuition more. It sucks to say I knew you would get an STD and I knew you would be killed. Not in so many words, but my gut knew. I have learned in my own life to listen to my intuition when it comes to the choices I make. I have usually realized it the HARD way (as in...realized I SHOULD HAVE listened to my gut) but at least I am getting better at it. I wish so much I could tell you how I have changed sexually. I havent had sex for a year! I have slipped up and made some mistakes (if you read websites in the afterlife you can see this!) but I have decided I don't want to comprimise anymore. Sex should be only pleasurable. It shouldn't make you feel lonely, or sleazy (well it should a little, but only in a good way ;) ) and it should NEVER make you feel unloveable. I wonder if I talked to you about this today if you would see how awesome this is. I wonder how our lives would be if we spoke today.
I wish I could talk to you. I wonder what you would say to me. I wonder if being murdered taught you anything. I wonder if there was anything I could have done differently. What would I have done differently? Well for one I would be in better touch with Kathy, Drea and your Mom. I would have worked with them behind your back to help you. Maybe I would have still ended our friendship, to keep myself safe. You certianly werent a good influence on me. By dating men who beat you and not protecting your health it was like saying "this is an okay path to take" maybe it was self-preservation that made me end it.
One thing I would have done differently is right after the day you called me and told me you were trying to change, and you agreed that it was wrong to take Kathy's boyfriends, I would immediately try to be part of each others lives. I learned the hard way that "meaning to call" is not as good as calling. And I should have still given you the car, even though I ended our friendship. Long story but my neighbors boss took it and never paid me for it, and I intended to solve that but didn't get around to it. I suppose again, it was a convenient excuse to keep from dealing with something so hard.
I probably, knowing what I know now, would not have left your life in the first place. I would have wanted to, but I know now that isolation from family and friends is one of the ways people get into and stay in abusive relationships. AHHHHHHHHHHH I am still mad. I am glad that I changed your name and your friends names, because if they or your mom saw it they would probably hate me for sounding so mean. But I am just saying how I feel. I am learning from writing this blog that getting the feelings out makes them less powerful. I don't want to feel any anger towards you. I want to feel just grief. But what I feel is anger. Its there. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away.
I really don't know what to do in terms of you. Do I have to grieve your death? Maybe I will bring it up with my therapist. So many people have left me in my life, I guess I feel so mad at you because you are just another person to leave me, but you had a choice. You didn't have to keep being so stupid! Maybe I will revisit this. I don't know. It would feel better if I could talk to you. But maybe you would just be a brick wall.
I wonder if I should go to the reunion. Maybe I need to make peace with Drea. She was there for you and I wasn't. Maybe she hates me for leaving you. Same with your mom. I don't want to bring up old wounds with them, especially if they feel that way. but I just don't know what to do. Yes, I am definately going to talk about this with my therapist.
I hope you and your babies have peace.
mood: angry, blessed, concerned