Isn’t it funny how some things are taboo? We just don’t talk about them, and they cease to exist. Or be problematic. Or even possibilities.




Except that isn’t true. Bad things still happened. Or already happened.

So nothing gets better, but it might get worse.

I am going to spill my personal ‘beans’ right here because if I don’t, I’m not sure what will become of me. I have been knocked down a few times lately, and it’s harder to get back up. It”s not that I want sympathy, but I think people ought to be aware that others have a lot of crap they’re hauling around in their hearts or twisted little minds. I know, because I am one of them. I don’t want allowances, or special treatment. I just want to be heard on some level. I don’t know what I need.

My whole life. My whole. Entire. Life. I have sought pain. In some way. Some of my first memories are when I discovered that I could push paper or cardboard beneath my fingernails and make them hurt. It fascinated me. Always.

I’d discovered that I could make my gums hurt and bleed, and no one would notice because it was inside my mouth. I was in maybe kindergarten when I discovered this new distraction.

These were just the beginnings of the tortures I concocted that never left visible marks but could give me the satisfaction(?!) of pain.

I was about three when my grandmother intruded into my bed and ‘showed me things’ that I never should have known. Touching me and doing things that were supposed to be our ‘secret’ because I was her special girl. Mommy was in China. For about a month.


So there has been a lifetime of secrets.

One was that I used to keep a couple of oleander leaves dried and capsulized for my personal use in case a day just got to be too much. I’d read how those were deadly, and almost impossible to trace until it was too late. I kept those in my purse with me or in my pocket always from about the time I was 12 until just about the same time my grandchildren were born. Life seemed better then. But still… tenuous. You never know when something would just be too much. Two little gel caps in a dark blue plastic clip. Always there.

But we can’t talk about it because someone might decide that you really are suicidal and then you get all messed up, hauled off, medicated, coaxed and more lies down the throat, and forced to be someone you just aren’t so everyone else can be comfortable. And what’s the fairness in that?

We can’t all be Pollyanna.

Funny. most of the time I want to live forever so I can be there with my grandchildren. And then sometimes, it’s not enough. And the real reason I’m still around is because I am ashamed of my mess in the home. I would be mortified to have anyone go through me stuff and think, “My god, this woman was insane.”

I am sane. Just maybe not in the same way.

You know, we all have secrets. Some of them are fun secrets. Some of them are shame.

I have more shameful secrets than not.

I was molested from the age of three.

I was molested by another woman when I was 12. Then when I was 13. And I thought, “There must be something wrong with me.”

And I came to hate myself. It was my fault.

Then I was raped as a teenager. I’d lied to Mom and Dad about where I was and couldn’t tell them. And didn’t want to anyway, because again, it was my fault. I still believe that, because I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been with people I shouldn’t have been with. So there.

Then there was the employer who forced me to ‘do more than I wanted” when I was 19 and alone with him in his business. I was ashamed. I should have been able to get out from that. But I failed. Again. There was something wrong with me.

Then there was the attempted rape. Then there was the potential employer who ripped off my dress. I don’t even remember what happened after that. I just remember running out of the offices clutching my ripped clothing and screaming. I have absolutely no recollection of what came later.

Then turn the page, and I meet my love, my husband. I suppose we’ve had the typical number of ups and downs. I continue to disappoint myself in ways I’d never imagined possible. And yet, I’m living proof. ha-ha. That’s funny. Living proof. When I have wished a thousand deaths on myself.

I was carpooling with a woman for a while (as a married adult woman) when I was doing a bit of traveling to Fresno and back. She was a lesbian, married to a man, and had a child. We drove together for quite a few times, and then, she grabbed me and kissed me on the mouth. And I thought again: “Something is very wrong with me.”

Something is wrong with me, but I don’t think it can be fixed. It will be wrong until the end. I am not actively seeking the end. So please don’t get all tied up into a knot.

I know a man who used to come into my business and joke about my breasts because at the time I was wearing a body protection plastic thing like a turtle due to a spinal fracture. He knocked on my casing and it was funny. But later, he came in and made some comment and actually touched my breast. I told him not to do that. He laughed. The next time he came in, he touched my breast and I pulled out my pocket knife and said, tough it again and I will stab you. He stepped back and laughed. I stared at him. And he said, “Are you serious?”

I am not making this up. Yes, in my small town. People I know and see. Someone whose wife was a friend of mine at the time. And people think they know you. They think they know what you are dealing with.

As an older adult, one of my final insults was when a trusted person (male) was treating me for something and put his thumb in a place it should not have been. I mean like REALLY shouldn’t have been. In the V. Don’t ask, I don’t want to explain, for one, and for two, I don’t really want that person to get into trouble. Why? I don’t know. I guess because on some level, I still believe it’s my fault. I did something wrong.

I think the hardest thing, is that part of me just wants to be the little three year old kid, who gets to sit on Mommy’s lap or Daddy… and have them hug me and tell me they love me, and that I wasn’t naughty, and that they will always love me.

And that’s never going to happen because they’re gone.

I have lived a weird life. Trying to prove I am more than I am. I don’t know what. I don’t know how to be me. I was encouraged to do all the things Mom wanted me to do when I was a shy little kid.

Make friends. (I was painfully, throw up shy)

Play with others. (I wanted to be alone)

Perform for people. (I’d get sick when I had to, but still I had to)

I just wanted to





Make music.

And have one good friend.

And you know what?

I play, read, write, draw, make music.

But it’s never good enough or right enough or whatever. It’s seen, I think, as a waste of time. Selfish.

I am an abysmal housekeeper and an indifferent friend. I am passionate. But not about the right things. I am obsessed. But with weirdo things. I can’t focus. I go off on rants and rages and passions and freaky things. But it’s all just noise. There is no silence.

I do have my faith. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe we are created to be in cahoots (fellowship) with God and other humans. But I am so broken. A frightening parody of a woman. Physically, emotionally, mentally… like a hurricane came through the tossed it all up in the air, and all the pieces are just sort of massed in a pile of debris.

So I write. I guess.

And make music.

And art.

I love these things. And I am relatively happy while doing them. Especially playing music at church. That is the one thing … the one time… when I think, “This is what I SHOULD be doing. This is where I belong.”

Except even then, I wonder. Sometimes. Some other times, it is a perfect shelter from all the rest of life. I feel as though I am loved there. And I feel understood. In the music.

And sometimes, I share moments with people who can tolerate my bitterness. And disappointment. I don’t know where to go from here. I do not want to taint those around me with my poison. Because that is what I am. I am the poison. That keeps on giving.

For now. This is all there is.

Forgive me.


Published by Mary Blyth Jones

A free press is one of the most important factors in maintaining a civil and prosperous community. In an era where there is a plethora of information from a million random, (often questionable), sources, it is important to have at least one source that takes verification seriously. My goal is to present the news as it occurs, and based on facts. I make every effort to keep my own emotions and opinions separate from the news. Coalinga Press is a nonprofit endeavor. It was created as part of imaginarium: Institute of Fine Arts, a local 501 (c) (3) nonprofit. I teach music and art both online and in person. I am a proud grandmother of 8 amazing kiddos ranging in age from 16 - 0. I love traveling, playing the piano and guitar, kicking back at the ocean and being lazy.

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