August 6, 1998
I have been busy and sick for the past week. Which is why I haven't had a chance to write journal entries, but I did have some significant things happen.

1) I actually had an argument with my husband last Saturday. I didn't wait until things felt unbearable - I actually confronted him with his need to place blame for everything that happens. We did a lot of finger pointing and some yelling. He didn't hit me (not that he ever has - it's just has been a fear of mine) and when he did turn away, he came back when I insisted he talk to me. We have agreed to start setting goals together for our family, and I got my husband to realize that we needed to break our goals into smaller, more achievable, steps.

2) One of my friends has told me that both my sites has helped her greatly. As much as it lifts my heart to know that my experiences has been helpful to so many of you who have written me, it is especially touching to hear it from someone who is close to me.

3) Another friend thanked me for sending him all the "corny" stuff through email, because it helps him to have a better outlook on life. I returned the favor and told him how his faith in me had really helped me when I was in college. Somehow, thanking him has made my soul feel so much the better.

August 13, 1998
I've been very busy lately. School starts for my children next week. I will go back to my daily therapy exercises. I found out that my morning walk route is 9/10 of a mile, and I plan to increase it next week. I would love to have a waist again. ;-)

I have done it again. I had another agrument with my husband without it getting out of control. He has been very good about this. Afterwards, he engages me in a normal conversation about something safe. It has helped greatly, especially since I know his natural tendency is to withdraw after conflicts.

August 14, 1998
A couple of days ago, I asked the ladies of LOTH to recommend sites for my Brave Heart award. The response was wonderful - in a few days my Brave Heart list should double its size.

This success has had a two-edged effect on me. On one hand, I am awed from the bravery of these people. It is infectious. A dear friend went ahead and reviewed a site for my because my computer was too slow to deal with the autoplay midis. It was probably one of the most horrifying description of abuse I have heard of, and that was just what my friend could read to me over the phone. She said she couldn't handle reading the whole - frankly, I was amazed she read as much of it as she did. She is a very timid person, yet she took on this duty, and asked if she could continue to help me - but asked to review a site only once in awhile. I agreed with her. After giving it much thought, I think I will only ask her to personally review a site once a month. If she decides she can handle more, than she can go and find sites on her own.

Which leads to the other edge - I, myself, have read things so nightmarish these past few days, that my soul screams at the evilness in this world. I am glad that most of these people are dead, so the temptation to end their abhorant lives is not placed before me. If I could, I would let my anger reach into their evil and cruel hearts and turn them into weak and shrivelled creatures - so weak that a single grasshopper landing on them would cause them pain intolerable. Then I would let them live, because death would be a blessing to them. I want them too helpless to harm another child. I want their tongues too twisted and dry to utter their evil words. I want the screams of a thousand demons to echo in their minds. I want them to hide from the rain and the sun. I want the wind to be able to lift and drop them - shattering their brittle bones. I want them to run from children, because the seeds from a dandlelion, blown away by the breath of a toddler, would give them horrible wounds. This would quiet the anger of my soul.

Actually, writing this punishment down has made me feel better. If I can come up with something this awful for these people, then God could surely come up with something even more suitable for these devils in human form. This thought gives me great peace.

We always have choices in this life. Some of us choose to inflict our pain onto others, and some of us choose to heal our pain and offer love. My goal is the second, but if I cannot keep myself from doing the first, I pray that I inflict the guilty and not the innocent.

August 18, 1998
My dear friend, who helps me to check out sites for the Brave Heart awards, wrote me two emails detailing some of the abuse she has suffered. She has asked for me to share this in my journal - an extremely brave act for a self-proclaimed coward. A few months ago, she would never even consider doing such a thing. I am amazed on how much she has come alive in the past weeks. I guess the truth does set you free . . .

Hello Lady Fribble,
My name is A. B. Normal. I understand what it means to have a family that is stranger than most. I was mentally abused by my mother. I consider it to be mild compared to what another family member was doing. My younger brother at the age of 3 yrs. was being to get verbally abusive towards me. By age 4 yrs. he was beating me, my mom called it rough-housing. I don't believe mom knew what was really going on. When he was 5 yrs, he was starting to sexually abuse me. When I told my mom she asked my brother and he denied it. I got grounded for lying! After that he quit for a few weeks then it got worse. When I started to go to school I was praying I could use that as a safe place. I couldn't be more wrong. I tried making friends but no one liked me. My life was a abusive cycle during my time at elementary school. I would go to school and have the teachers yell at me because I wanted to be creative. I made the lowest grade on a timed math test (2nd grade) the teacher hit me with the metal end of the fly swatter. At home I was hurt by my brother. When I began 3rd. grade my mom hired a cousin to babysit us. He had me touch his privates. He never touched me thankfully. By the time I started Jr. High my brother was recieving playboy magizine. My Uncle John got a subscrption for my dad as a joke. My dad never saw those magizines. My brother would have me pose like some of the girls and then touch me. Sometimes he got his friends to come over and they would also touch me. If I told them to stop he would beat me. Also he locked me in a closet for over 4 hours. I can't remember everything else he did.
Thanks for reading this.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Greetings Lady Fribble, thanks for listening.
In high school things began to look up. My brother's abuse was getting worse but I now had a bodygaurd. Chris was in the same math class as me and he noticed my left arm was badly swollen. After class he cornered me and asked what happened. I told him that my brother tried to break my arm because I accidentally bumped into him. Chris soon followed me home and stayed with me until my parents came home. My brother was getting upset that I was bringing someone home every day. He came up with a plan to see that it never happened again. He locked me in my room. There are these little hooks above my doors and you can push them into the door frames and the doors are locked. When my mom came home he told her that I shut the doors and there was a guy in my room and he heard strange sounds coming behind the doors. Truthfully nothing happened between me and Chris. Chris never touched me to give me a hug or even to pat my back in reassurance. I think he was afraid I would get frightened off. I never told him about the abuse but I don't think I needed to I think he could already tell something was wrong. Even when mom told me I could never have another friend come over that never stopped Chris. He would stay with me and we would talk in the front yard. I was a sophmore that year. As a jr. I never saw Chris. At home things were still looking bleak. I was failing my classes and got the label of retard. The abuse at school was dang near as bad as at home. Teachers calling me names. Students sexually harassing me and at lunch the peace I had was I would eat outside year round. I never talked to anyone. When you're a freak you are treated like hell. The next year I just turned 18 and I was going to a speech theripist she noticed that when she tried to give me a hug I flinched. She got suspicious and went to the counsillor's office and I was called in. I had never been so scared in my life as I was that day. Mainly the words "You are dead!!" kept echoing through my mind. I knew my brother was going to kill me. I told the cop what was going on. The next day the CPS showed up and we all were either going to have to go to councilling or they got custody of me. We chose coucilling it lasted for two sessions. My brother and I thought the guy was a total nut. In the middle of the second session we flipped him off and walked out. Now you have heard my story you can use this to help others. I guess as a side note I have never been able to cry for this person. One day perhaps I can cry again I don't know.
A. B. Normal

-=A. B. Normal=-

If you wish to send a comment to this young lady, email me, and I will forward it on to her.

August 21, 1998
I haven't quite met the goals I set for myself this week. But I did finish some things. I have been battling insomnia for awhile and I am starting to get some sleep again. My walking is going well and I'm planning to increase the distance I walk next week.

The next section in John Bradshaw's book deals with learning to love and accept yourself, followed by give yourself time and attention. I tried reading it earlier this week, but I'm not sure it sunk in. I think I will go back over it in the next few days.

To be honest, I have spent most of this week helping some of my friends with their problems. Which is fine, because I love them, and it makes me happy to see them become stronger and healthier people. I also love those friends of mine, who are there when I need them to help me. It's nice that we can switch places, and be there for each other.

It's been awhile, since I talked to my younger self here. I think I will make an appointment with myself to do that tomorrow.

August 24, 1998
My friend has found the courage to add more to her story: Hello again Lady Fribble, here's more.
I spent at least 12 years with my granddad. He would babysit me when I was first born so Mom and Grandmother could go to work. When I was about 5 my life changed for the worst. My brother was 3 and my granddad was really getting into the hard liquor now. He would yell at me and have me wash dishes and take out the trash. I also had to clean up after my brother and if Granddad needed another drink I would have to fill his glass. One time my granddad had a full bottle of some liqour at 8 a.m. by 11 a.m. he drained that bottle and two others he could barely walk. He told us to get into the car and I told him "No you're too drunk." He picked up a 2x4 and slapped the small of my back with it. That was the one time I ever went against him. He never hit me again though he drank more and he yelled at me louder. My brother started to get quite verbal and Grandma heard him tell me " Get your butt out of here!!!" Gramdma asked him where he heard that he replied " I didn't hear it I said it!!!" As the abuse progressed I quit talking. I never talked in school and the teachers didn't help much. They would ask me to answer a qustion and if I didn't speak up I was sent to the corner for disrupting class. I didn't have any friends and I was moved from three different schools. In fifth grade, a classmate came up to me and told me "I having a birthday party and you're not invited. I could care less. The one time I was invited to a birthday party was so I could be the entertainment. They would crack jokes about me and then laugh and I would join in. I knew that they were laughing at me but I wanted to belong somewhere. That was the only birthday party I ever went to. In Jr. High I was picked on for being different. My clothes were clean and nice but they were not name brands. At the Jr. High if you were not rich you weren't human. (I went to a church with the same beliefs.) I got into fights just to survive and was called a trouble maker. If anyone said Hi to me I would ignore them. My teachers couldn't break through my defences I had set up and so they called me hopeless, I was labeled as retarded. Now the teachers and the students had a label for me and my grades kept getting lower and lower. I was living in fear of my brother now. I couldn't figure out what was worse going to school or going home after school.
I think this covers most of my story,
A. B. Normal

August 30, 1998
Well, this month is almost over with, and I have hardly written anything in this journal. A. B. Normal has been doing better since she has written about her past. I had been suffering from insomnia for almost two weeks. Last Wednesday, I took a "vacation". Actually, it started Tuesday night. I couldn't sleep, so I started to read the first book of a trilogy I had bought, but hadn't read yet. Wednesday, I was so uncoordinated, that I went ahead, declared the day a bust, and read the other two books.

It was worth it. For the first time in several days, I actually slept deeply. It felt wonderful. My mind felt much clearer the next day. It was as if all the little things I have been worrying about for the past few months had finally been swept out of my head. I have been sleeping much better ever since. I did increase my walking distance last week and finally hit my physical limit. Strangely enough, it is my lower back that's giving the problem. Well, actually, it's not all that strange - my lower back has always given me problems. I can remember attending a school assembly in third grade, I was sitting on the gym floor and in pain the whole time. It was always like that, if I didn't have something to support my back, my lower back would be in pain. It got a little better as I got older. I sometimes wonder if it was because of the beatings I got when I was little. The saying, "What doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger" is a load of crap. Sure, a lot of people become stronger because they have ovecome their tribulations, but more people become worse, and are weakened in either body or character, or both. How many trees do you know have become stronger because they were hit by lightning, even if they did live through it?

Do you know that if you leave something lodge in a tree, the tree can grow around it? I've seen this. This doesn't kill the tree - at least at first. It takes several years. One very healthy looking tree on a golf course split in two, one day, after a strong gust hit it. Now the groundskeeper was confused. The wind wasn't really that strong, and the tree had looked very healthy. Looking through the damage, he found a golf club lodged in the wood. Several decades before the groundskeeper ever stepped onto that golf course, an angry golfer had thrown his club up into the tree and forgot about it. Over the years, the tree grew around the club until it was embedded in the wood. The club created a weak spot in the tree, which finally killed it.

Tribulation only makes you stronger if you conquer it and remove those twisted golf clubs from your limbs, before they cause you to break, when you should be bending.

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we found that we had very different experiences with the some of the Asian refugees that came over to the US in the 80s. My husband lived in an area that offered government support to these people, and I lived in an area that got mostly people who already had family there. Everyone of the refugees I knew, were some of the most honorable and hardworking people I had ever met. The ones my husband had met, by contrast, had absolutely no respect for life whatsoever. The stories he told were as horrifying as the stories I told were inspiring.

After we compared behaviors and opportunities and every other factor we could think of, we came up with a theory: Hardships either brings out the best in people, or they bring out the worst. Which depends on the people, themselves. The worst migrated towards the areas of opportunity, while the best went to places where they had family and a chance for an honorable life. Of course, I'm sure some of these exceptional people did go to areas like where my husband grew up, and did use the advantages that were offered to them in good faith - it's just a shame that they were outnumbered by those who were not so honorable.

Well, hopefully in September I will get my personal healing back on track...

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