The Letter & The Lighthouse

His irrational and unpredictable rages which initially brought me to my knees subsequently became my morning cup of coffee.  My new normal if you will.

The Letter And The Lighthouse

By Kacie Brockman

Roughly 5 years ago I came to be captivated by lighthouses. There was nothing in my youth or past experiences that would explain my fascination with them. I began thinking about their absolute magnificence and significance. I also became highly aware of each time I would see one and how it eerily connected to some type of experience I was having at the time.

On occasion, I’m able to create a deep well of thought or emotion around what typically for others is a very simple concept which is what I did with lighthouses.  I began to visualize how many ships, how many sailors, captains or crewmen were petrified, frozen in fear during the darkness of night and trying to do everything they could just to survive as the violent waves of a ferocious storm relentlessly tossed their ship about. Perhaps it was during those panic-stricken moments when they thought all hope was lost, that they saw a light. They saw the light from the lighthouse, which would ultimately guide them safely back to shore.

In 2013 I desperately began searching for rescue. I didn’t know what to do as my ship was being tossed about in a violent and abusive relationship. His irrational and unpredictable rages which initially brought me to my knees subsequently became my morning cup of coffee.  My new normal if you will.

Interesting that I should still be able to recall that, as it was over 6 years ago and according to many a story I’d simply invented. Periodically I still recoil at the fact  that I was told, “We never saw anything that would indicate that you were ever abused.” His perpetual insistence that “No one would believe you anyway,” was right on point because he was always right. I can still hear the echoes of his voice asking me, “Dontcha think?” He repeated this personalized mantra again and again until it became embedded in my psyche not only for the next 5 years, but even now. Because according to him, I just never did…think.

Back to the lighthouse.  I would notice it in various elements of my life and then provide it with a meaning or relevance to parallel experiences. Thus last night’s realization having pierced me so deeply, I again remembered the lighthouse and it’s invariant association.

In 2014, I believed my family was my without question, my lighthouse. I certainly assumed, if  I got up out of that house and really left him for good that I would have their love and support.   I imagined that once they knew the entire truth, that I would be safe. Sadly, imaginations are precisely that, imaginations.

For various reasons, of which I can only speculate, the tables were turned against me at every crossroad. I somehow came to be at fault for everything. I was at fault for taking him back to the home. I was at fault for leaving him. I was at fault for not planning it out the exit out of the marriage better. I experienced a car accident and was clean and sober at the time.  I was not at fault according to CHP or 3 Witnesses. Nevertheless, when I arrived back home, I was indeed found to be at fault. I was at fault for not putting the washer lid down, the shower curtain back the way it was supposed to be, or for not closing the garage door.  I was at fault for stuttering and being confused and lost and afraid.  Though I had intermittently used drugs for a time right before the separation and right after, which I had independently come forward and confessed, that became the sole focus for nearly everyone.   For some, the fact that I acknowledged my role in the ensuing chaos made all the difference.  For others, the false accusations and storylines ensued and grew more elaborate by the hour. E-mails I still have provided such a distortion of events and theories kindled and brought ablaze to profoundly illusory statements. I suspect the reason for which was deep hostility harbored by both mother and my older sibling. Those grievances were indeed justified, as I had certainly brought with me enormous discontent and chaos into their already troubled lives. Yet the manner in which these resentments were expressed was vindictive and vengeful. Ultimately the culmination of everyone’s dysfunctional attempts to rationalize or repair resulted in a hellish nightmare from which not a single one of us could escape.

I made a difficult discovery last night.  As I was going through some of my belongings boxed away in my garage I found a letter unopened. A letter I had written to my family at a critical point of our family’s ultimate collapse. I had hand-delivered it to my mother. It had never been opened. It had never been read. It might have changed the course of everything had any one of my family been privy to that communication. Regardless, she held onto it only to be found after 6 more years of suffering endured by all. I imagine she must have felt reassured in knowing that no one would ever read those words.

The letter contains the desperate words of a  woman left with very few options. Each sentence a plea begging for someone to save her child. Every word was mine. And each one breathed my soul as I petitioned and implored my family for help.

By design or by default, these words will, in fact, be given attention to. They will be read. They will be known. If not by her, then by God, by everyone else. Too many instances she has been given, to do the right thing. Too many times she chose not to.  My love is no longer a harbor for her sins. My silence no longer provides a refuge for her secrets.

The truth comes out in the end people. Whether you like it or not. Mine sure did.  Most truths I came clean with independently, others, I got my hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar. And when it did, my mother was sure to tell everyone, every time. So in effect, perhaps the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.

However hard you try to hide it… the truth always comes out. I guarantee you, it is best to not lie. If you have lied or have been deceptive in an area of your life,  come clean before it’s too late. And if you’re looking for a sign?

This is it.

By choosing to remain trapped in a lie, you just might want to be prepared to get caught and face consequences much steeper than had you provided the truth.  And trust me, time always, ALWAYS delivers the truth.

With the blink of an eye, they will put you in the ground. They will weep at your funeral to intercept any compassion and empathy for themselves. To describe the level of sheer disconnection the narcissist is able to achieve, allow me to provide an example. When I returned from a 72-hour hold in February  2014, just a week before I wrote this letter, my mother said to me, “I hope you enjoyed your nice little vacation.” Three weeks later I was arrested for attempted murder with a blood alcohol content of .397, a nearly fatal absorption level for which I was initially hospitalized. Roughly one week after my arrest she hosted a slumber party in her home and posted it on social media.

At this time an impossibility remains for me not to speculate on how circumstances might have been different if someone, if anyone had simply opened…

The letter or the lighthouse.

Kacie Brockman

Walking Barefoot

Life is our playground and our sandbox. So it’s about time I started playing and creating. How can you be afraid to play? How can you be afraid to create? Only if you’re waiting on somebody else’s opinion of how you play or what you decide to create do you actually accomplish, well, …nothing. Not a damn thing. For 49 years I’ve been waiting on someone else’s approval, pat on the back, good job, agreement, gold star etc. Not anymore. It’s no longer, “One day I’ll start that blog…One day I’ll write that book…”
No. Today, this day, is day one.
No more dreaming, no more wishing, no more talking. It’s Game Time.

I thought I could do this chronologically but that’s not going to happen. So then I thought my blog? My book? Well then, my rules. And here are the rules:

There are no more damn rules.

I followed them my whole life until life stopped me dead in my tracks and the very earth’s foundation began shifting like sand in an hourglass. Cognitive Dissonance became a very real construct in my scrambled world. My entire belief system was shaken (not stirred) to the core of my being.

Following the rules keeps you safe. I promise it does. But do you feel joy, contentment, fulfillment? Does following the rules make you happy?
That cookie cutter mold (Social Image) that you have spent your entire life creating, conforming, enhancing, or forcing yourself to be, is it really you? Do you even know?

When I say rules, I don’t mean the necessary law abiding rules of a civilized society, I mean the “rules”-the unspoken ones, the ones that if you don’t follow you are frowned upon, or not invited to someone’s wedding, or talked about behind your back, or excluded from a circle of friends perhaps.

I’m over it. I was recently told that I lacked a filter. I was honest about my feelings by simply allowing a physical response to an emotion of sorrow move up, out and away from me. Teardrops. I was very hurt and had yet to process the new and uncomfortable, no, downright painful information I had just been given. And right away I was perceived as being difficult, or not having the reaction or response that I should have had, and that there was just something different about me and something wrong about me. I didn’t used to lack a filter. I had tact and a courteous manner and I could fake a handshake and a gentle smile, but when you’re backed into a corner and you’ve jumped through all the hoops and you played all the games and you’ve danced all the dances, knowing all the choreography by heart, because at the deepest level of my being, EVERYTHING I did, everything I said, the friends that I surrounded myself with, EVERYTHING was to ensure at all cost never having to experience the following: judgment, abandonment, ostracization, exclusion, isolation-and rejection. Yet every single one of my deepest terrors still occurred. I manifested every single one. Everything I feared, everything I navigated my entire life so carefully around so that would never happen to me, well, it still happened.

So now what? Do I dance the dance again? Do I jump through hoops again? Do I fold my napkin properly across my lap? Do I tell you everything‘s fine when it’s not? Do I talk about the beautiful weather we’re having? Do we sweep all those nasty little dust bunnies of life’s experiences right under the carpet again?

Or…Can I be real finally?

I am unladylike. I am honest. I stay up too late and I sleep in too late. I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks…and it’s summer. I don’t always think things through. I don’t fill my gas tank until the red light has been on for a few days and I don’t pay my utility bills until the 48 hour notice. I pick up hitchhikers every once in a while and we talk about Jesus, the cosmos and the best taco truck in town. I drink out of the milk carton. The other day I flipped off a driver that passed dangerously on my right while I had my child in the car… and started using curse words my child’s never heard me use. He was impressed.

I am beginning to feel emotions that I have not felt since the age of 13.
At which age I learned to adapt and endure multiple traumas by inducing a numbed perception through self injury and subsequently alcoholism and drug addiction.

The first thing you get to experience in recovery is emotions. Feelings. For some that may seem a very simple concept but when you have existed for close to four decades dodging, swerving and leaping over them, it’s quite a challenging and difficult experience to acclimate yourself to.

Yet, Today I wear them openly. I cry too much, I laugh too loud, I wear clothes that don’t match, I’m too loud, I’m too lazy, I’m a whole lotta “too much” everything.

And you know why I think that is, because I did follow all the rules all the time all my life. And something shifted and the transition began about five years ago.

When you’re arrested for attempted murder… Life takes on a whole new meaning.

When the whole community really doesn’t know when, why, how, who, or where, well then they fill in the blanks themselves. And the story takes on a life of its own that isn’t remotely possible to break apart, even with the truth.

So I stepped back and I accepted that people believe what they want to believe. It’s much easier to construct, believe, pass along information however erroneous and untruthful, it’s much easier for people to swallow than the ugly monster called the truth.

So,I will never again take another breath for another human being to decide whether I was worthy enough to breathe.

I lack a filter, because I expressed an authentic human response to news that my new normal life that I had finally just adjusted to, was now being thrown up in the air and juggled around and landing in places I never expected. My heart and my mind, my sense of security, my sense of familial relationships, all of it felt like it was just thrown out the window and anything short of immediate readjustment, reacclimation, acceptance and overwhelming joy was unwelcome. Well it didn’t happen that way and so once again I was different from everyone else. I was (perceived/or real) the cold, unsupportive, selfish disfunctional / toxic black sheep of the family.

Humans feel. Humans hurt. Humans make mistakes…often. I am one of the messy humans so quadruple all of that.

I can’t be neat and tidy and proper anymore. Nope. I cannot live in such a fashion to make me suitable to invite to tea parties or luncheons or to meet your new fiancé. I am inappropriate and coarse. My clothes are wrinkled and your feathers will likely be ruffled.
White Trash? No. Low Class? Not even close. It’s called, walking barefoot through the soft, green meadows and shards of broken glass that together create this experience called life.
True compassion, understanding, and humanity that can only come from experiencing it all.

One More Thing:
I say “Fuck” a lot more these days…and not in a whisper.