Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sex ED

6 is how old I was when I started learning how to pleasure a man. "When we have visitors, if it's a man, you should sit on his lap and wiggle around...if you feel his thing getting hard you know you're doing it right." Me: "But I don't want to sit on a strangers lap." Teacher: "You'll do it because you're a woman and you want to make men happy." Me: "Why?" Teacher: "You want to make your parents proud don't you? Make Jesus happy with you?" "Men will give a lot of money to a girl that makes them happy. Then you can share it with your family." Whatever...I wasn't buying it...but I didn't want mom and dad to be angry with me so I went along. I tried my best to dance sexy, like they showed me, taking my clothes off slowly. None of it made much sense to me except I found it all very unappealing and boring as hell. 

I liked playing outside, climbing trees, learning. Mom gave me a high school equivalency test when I was 7 and I passed. Reading was my passion but it was hard to get my hands on anything interesting. They only wanted me to read the bible (which I'd already read 3 times from cover to cover) or I could read David Bergs "letters" which all sounded the same. I wanted to ride my bike, run and hike then settle down at the end of a long day and lose myself in a book...a real one like Treasure Island. Instead they wanted me to sit on a mans lap and wiggle. Dumb.

David Berg wrote a lot about the end of the world, he predicted it was going to happen 10 years from today..."Oh cool" I thought...I'll only be 17! I mean, who wants to be old in heaven! But I've got to stop reading, I hear my mom calling me inside, it's time for another lesson. I wish I didn't have to go. 

Monday, April 7, 2014


Right around age 5 we, our Family Care home, moved to Portugal and into the house David Berg had been using. He and his entourage had moved up the road a ways and we used to see him once in awhile out on walks. Anyways this house was huge, it had a grand staircase, a bunch of rooms, but what I remember most is that there was an actual stage to perform on with curtains and everything. There was even a trap door in the center for making a cool entrance, doing magic tricks etc. 

I remember exploring old castles, taking long walks on pebbled beaches, having a dog called "Peter Brown", and splitting my forehead open when I tripped and hit my head on a pipe. I bled so badly but couldn't cry, I sat there nodding that I was fine while blood streamed down my face. I was always the kid who acted all tough up it was no big deal...and then totally freaked out or cried my eyes out later. I'm still like that to this day. 

Often when we stayed in foreign countries we would have to re-cross the boarder every few months or so to renew our visa so we could legally stay longer. We took one of these trips into Spain and what I remember most was this one noisy market we went through, it was amazing, there were wild colors, exotic smells, cool hand made things, and gypsy's everywhere. I thought it was the greatest place on Earth, so much to see, do and look at...until I noticed a mother pinch her baby and another press a hot cup to their child's face to make them scream loudly attracting attention while the parents begged for money.

I started seeing things I hadn't noticed before children running around, dirty, looking lost, holding out hands for change. My parents gave us a small allowance back then and while my sisters immediately spent theirs....I kept every penny....saving it for a rainy day I guess. But seeing those kids all scrawny, with eyes large with hope...well they got every bit of what I had in my pocket. As much as I've tried to hold on to things in life, if I saw someone who wanted or needed it more....I gave it away. I didn't get much growing up, presents were scarce, but when I did..... like my first walkman (for example) a couple weeks later someone said "Oh that's cool, I wish I had one" and there went my walkman. Lol! As a full grown adult I actually made a new years resolution once to be more selfish. I try to put myself first once in awhile and sometimes I disgust myself by being a bit of a brat. Balance...I'm always looking for that balance between looking out for myself and letting go. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My brother Andrew

One thing about the Children of God is that there was a lot of free love, meaning everyone was encouraged to "love each other" have sex, make babies, etc. So when my mom got pregnant for the fourth time, she wasn't quite sure who the father was. She was quite positive it wasn't my dads...meaning it was down to 2 other men who lived in our little commune we called home. Now both these men had birthdays pretty close together, not only that but baby was due right between the two dates. I remember mommy telling me (at age 4 mind you) that she had prayed about it and asked God to have the baby born close to it's fathers birth date.  Even back then I was pretty sure that was abusing the power of prayer and not at all what the Almighty had in mind. But He must have had a sense of humor because my little baby brother was born 2 weeks early right on his daddy's birthday.

 All 3 of us girls were thrilled to have a baby brother. We played with him endlessly until everyone started getting sick with all those childhood diseases. Luckily he didn't catch any of them and right when everyone was getting healthy again, the little guy came down with a cold. My mom took him to the doctors office for something to help him sleep better at night....the doctors were on strike so she had to wait in the waiting room for over 3 hours with alot of other sick kids. He developed pneumonia. And one morning I walked into my parents room as usual  and Andrew wasn't in his crib. It was then I noticed mom and dad crying on the only baby brother had died in the night at 9 months old. That's when I decided at the wise age of 4 not to have I'd never be sad when they died or left me.

Ireland is very Catholic and no matter how my parents begged and pleaded...they could not find a single cemetery that would allow them to bury a non-catholic baby. One priest suggested the back yard...that's when I learned the words "Sanctimonious Jackass".  Late one night they climbed a wall with a tiny little coffin and buried my brother placing a small marker above his head. RIP little brother.

With so many sisters I always wanted a brother. As I grew older I never had much use for boyfriends but all my very best friends were guys. I think I might have been trying to find that brother I lost.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oceanside CA Ironman 2014- my first

I know I haven't done a good job keeping up with my promise to update daily. Sometimes there are things in life that become such a huge priority they cripple other efforts because there's just no energy left.

In my case it was heading out to my first ever half Ironman, I didn't feel 100% ready, I hadn't lost the weight I wanted to, I couldn't run like I needed to because of a problem with my achilles all my training ended up being on the elliptical for the run portion.

But ready or not I arrived in CA on Thursday the 27th.  I walked the beach, checked out Ironman village, picked up my packet which included swim cap and bib number. I also got my bags, where you put your gear. For example I would be in a wet suit for the swim and when I go to transition to the bike I would need my helmet, bike shorts, gloves, glasses, bike shirt, socks, shoes, and nutrition etc.

Bright and early, on March 29th I racked my bike, laid out my stuff and my bag with my bike clothes to change into after the swim...and I walking into the shoot and got ready to wade into freezing cold water.

Oceanside Ironman: Swim> 1.2 miles Time> 1 hour and 10 minutes

The water was 61 degrees, so freezing I couldn't think straight, when I first got in the water. I kept saying “Just keep swimming” in my head. I got kicked right on the bridge of my nose…that was fun. But I kept going and was really excited to finish my swim on time: 1 hour and 10 minutes. (I pretty much had to learn how to swim so I could do this, so it was a huge victory for me)

(I used a snorkel [you can use one during an Ironman] which was wonderful being so new to distance swimming. This can be great for a beginner like me because it helped me focus on proper swim technique and now that it is solid I can retire the snorkel. My next 70.3 [Lake Stevens Aug. 17/2014] I will do it without!)

I was so happy to be out of the water, I ran over to where my bike was waiting, but my bike bag was gone. The volunteers had stuck it somewhere with the 2,500 other bags...I had about 10 of them searching the truck for it and finally it was found. 13 minutes later I was able to get started on my ride.

Oceanside Ironman: Bike course, through camp Pendleton 56 miles> I did 45

I felt great on the first half of the bike ride, there were rolling hills but nothing I couldn't handle, I was guzzling Gatorade, and munching on snacks. I had trained for the bike portion by circling Mercer which is nice and hilly. Right before mile 30 I hit a mountain, and then an even bigger one that went straight up for almost 6 miles!

My chain came off about a 1/2 mile up the second mountain, I got it back on, but couldn't get going again so had to walk the bike to the top. I felt fine but I was going too slow. Eventually a van pulled up and I was told by a staffer that I'd made 45 miles or so but, while I hadn't missed the overall bike cut off, I'd missed a landmark cut off so would I please get in. He goes on to tell me that it was too bad because I'd only missed it by a few minutes and the next 10 miles was going to be all down hill and level and I would easily make the overall cut off . So I hauled off and punched him square in the jaw, jumped on my bike and took, I was good, I got in the darned van and my race was over.

In summary, I was in no way done, I had a run left in me I was just too slow. I'm looking forward to doing much better at Lake Stevens Aug. 17th. And sometime in June I'll be waiting to sign up for Oceanside California 2015...You didn't think I’d let that course beat me without giving it another shot?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Make my day...

Do you think there's someone out there who will care so much, that once in awhile, they'll spend their time thinking of ways to make my day? There are times in life I feel invincible and there are times I think I might shatter. I am a caretaker by I think sometimes I want to be taken care of....looked out for. I wish I had a friend who knew me well enough to come rescue me from myself every once in awhile when I need it most. Put my needs above their own plans and drag me away from my responsibilities....or maybe I just need to live closer to more friends. Lol! Right now I'm feeling very fun escape. Of course this is today...tomorrow I'm sure I'll feel on top of the world once again.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jesus was born in Ireland

My parents had another daughter, Angela. If you remember in an earlier blog I talked about how we lived in a "home" dubbed "Family Care" where all the teaching books and curriculum's, to home school the children in our cult, were created. The reason we made our own was to be sure everything learned was approved by our leader David Berg. We were kept separate from all other members of the group and were also fully supported. We had to move around a lot because our leadership were paranoid that the local authorities might be looking for us.

Our home was moved to Ireland. I remember the backyard was full of thorn bushes that I loved to hide in while playing "Tag" because no one was brave enough to deal with a few scratches and come get me. I remember Ireland was so green, florescent green rolling hills, deep green forests, and one of the first things we did was explore an old fort with canons pointing out to sea.

There were also some way cool neighbor kids that told me Jesus was born in Ireland, when I called them on their outrageous lie, they swore they could prove it to me be showing me the town of Bethlehem and the stable where he was born. So off I went, I was 4 by now, tearing off into the woods with a group of boys all taking turns holding my hand and pulling me along behind them. I know, dumb kid! We finally made it to a clearing with 3 dilapidated old farm buildings where a small sign proclaimed I was indeed in "Betlam. Jesus borned here" Learn something new everyday.

These same neighbor boys helped me carefully place cow manure into a tin pan, cover it with whipped cream, and pass a nice big healthy slice of a pretty convincing looking pie (I thought) to my poor mother....who I'm sure knew what I was up to the whole time...but she looked me straight in the eye as she slowly raised the spoon full of yuck to her mouth and I broke down, confessing all. Wow did I get a monster spanking.

Ireland is where both my sisters got mumps and so did the other kids in our home, so my parents made me sleep and play with them in the sick room....but I never got sick. I don't know if you've heard of this, but it seems it's much better for a child to catch things like mumps, chicken pox, etc. then an adult. Mom tried to help this process along by making me hang out with the sick kids, but besides the whooping cough when I was a baby, I never got another childhood disease. I think its my super power!!!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Counting beans and Nazi criminals

There are so many things things that happen in a lifetime, writing it all down would be a bit overwhelming. But there are a couple events that are totally random and worth mentioning, for example, in August of 1977 our little apartment was searched by the Italian police because Herbert Kappler, a war criminal, had apparently been smuggled out of his jail cell by his wife. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer weighing only 105lb making it relatively easy for her to pack him up in a suitcase and carry him our to her car assisted by the helpful carabinieri (guards). (Kappler was portrayed by Christopher Plummer in the 1983 TV movie The Scarlet and The Black)

Another interesting factoid is that my mom was really into the Montessori method of teaching. Everything was flash cards and all day long she flashed them in front of me, some were different species of birds, others were words (both English and Italian), or cards with nothing but several red dots all over them in random messes, then were cars make and model, house hold appliances, tools, electrical equipment, etc. all names and words called out loud and clear as they were flashed in front of my little nose.

This flashing started before I was born and I was the strangest little 2 year old in the park, calling out the names of each bird that landed in the trees, the flowers, as well as what wood was used on the little picket fence. And if I was near a street where I could see cars....well I'd get all excited and shout out the make and model...I was a weird little kid.

Sadly this is why I suck at spelling, because I learned to read by recognizing a word on sight, rather then sounding it out. I was a very fast reader both Italian and English. There is a tape out there somewhere that I last heard when I was 15, it has a recording of me reading the New York Times, then switching to the Italian News Paper of the day...I was 3 years old.

The math dots were the coolest thing, because it taught me how to count on sight, for example my mom would dump a bag of beans on the floor and I would glance down then yell out "271!" the stupid part was that I'd have to count all the dumb beans to prove I was right.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Afraid of the dark

My parents moved to Rome in 1975, settled in a small apartment, dad started doing his art and my mom began learning Italian. My older sister went to a daycare of sorts run by nuns, when a child got whooping cough they lined up the whole class, made everyone hug and kiss the sick child and sent them all home to their families....and that is how I caught whooping cough at 6 months and very nearly died. Apparently they believed childhood disease's eventually infect everyone so why not get it all over with at once.

When I was 1 year old I was sent to this same school with my older sister and when I cried to be with her I was locked in a small cabinet until I stopped. I quickly developed a fear of the dark and remember working very hard to be brave every time I had to let go of my sisters hand at school. Sometimes my little 1 year old will won...other times tears came streaming down my face and I knew I'd have to go to the box. At a year and a half we went on a field trip to the zoo,  this was an old style zoo where all the animals are in cages, very sad for the animals. It was getting dark and being so little I couldn't keep up with everyone when it was time to go. The nuns hurried all the children out and I saw the zoo keeper locking the big iron gates from the outside...that's when I realized I'd just been locked inside all by myself and at was dark. I ran to the gate and remember how cold the iron bars felt, I cried for everyone to come back, called my sisters name....nothing. All the animals were making a lot of noise, I remember thinking I needed to sit down somewhere safe, for some weird reason I picked the lion cage...he seemed the scariest of all with his loud roars so until this day I don't know why I plunked my little bottom down right in front his space....but I did. I stopped crying.

I felt like I sat there forever but it was probably only a couple of minutes before the zoo keeper unlocked the gates, he was talking and laughing with the nuns, my sister came running over to me bawling, she hugged me, told me she'd begged them not to do it and they had kept her from answering me. That night my older sister, all of 3 years old, told our parents everything that had happened at the zoo and that they'd been locking me in a closet.....and this is important .....I will always remember this....because it's the one time my parents rescued me....they got me out of that school.

Later, at the age of 5, I got tiered of being afraid of the dark. So at night I would sneak outside...walk as far as I dared to from my house and sit down on the grass and make peace with the night. I did this almost every evening for almost a month until I realized I was looking forward to my night excursion....and it hit me....I wasn't afraid anymore.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Don't worry, I'm alive!

So Saturday got off to an awful start, I yelled at my best friend for being late, and almost wreaked the car on my drive to the track. But after a hug, pep talk, and a run with good conversation I felt much better. My total work out ended right around the 8 hour mark and included running, swimming, biking and elliptical. Sunday I was sore and stiff...tried going for a bike ride around Mercer...but decided against it, enjoyed Starbucks instead and called it a rest day. Monday I was back at work, stumbling 80 year old with hemorrhoids had more grace then me that day....I could barely sit down but standing was harder so I settled for my yoga ball and almost broke my neck when it rolled suddenly sideways. But I did manage to waddle around the track Monday night for a good 4 miles and have kept up with my normal training routine since. I work, train, and sleep. This is my life until Oceanside Ironman in 5 weeks.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ironman panic

I’m 6 weeks out from my 1st half Ironman. I’m going to need to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and then run 13.1….and I am starting to panic!!! The bad thing about having a big event like this in March is that training should get started back in October….and it did….however the eating right part never really happened for me. I went on vacation in October ate and drank like it, then my birthday was in November and  being lucky enough to have good friends….I celebrated all month long, then there was Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years where I once again drank too much and ate yummy stuff. So all that to say….I didn't lose the weight I wanted to and am now feeling fat  and not in nearly good enough shape to rock a 70.3 mile event. Oh well. 

Tomorrow I need to pull off all 3 that means about 8/9 hours of solid workout...I'm pretty sure I'll be eating an entire cow by end of day...right before passing out....preferably in an ice bath so I can actually move on Sunday. 

I've been told by one or two people that I deliberately let the weight stack up on my bones to  keep men from looking at me and wanting me...I don't know if that's right or not but Wow...losing it is a pain. For whatever reason I haven't been able to get these pounds off and keep them off. But I've decided that this is the year it's gonna happen...this is the year I'll be able to look at myself in the mirror and think..."Damn I'm one hot sexy lady!!!" :) 

Step one...make it through tomorrow without dying. Step two...fuck step two...just get through tomorrow and then we'll talk.  I hope you all have a great weekend. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Family Care

The Children of God group had gotten started in the late 1960's and David Berg had most of his followers living in big communes, and anytime you get 40/50 or more horny 20 something year olds spending that much quality time're gonna end up with a lot of babies.  Side note: Cults will always promote having children because it's an easy way to gain followers. 

So there are all these hippies making love not war, kids are popping out like crazy....and David Berg decides these kids need an education. However he has already started to remove himself and "his people" from any kind of normal activities, such as having a job, going to school, attending church. As far as Berg is concerned everything has become corrupted by greed and dishonest living. This is when he starts referring to the USA as Babylon the Whore and encourages everyone to "Go into all the World and preach the gospel to every creature." Apparently America has become too corrupt  and cannot be saved…so everyone starts buying plane tickets and/or hopping on ships. Personally I think he just wanted to move everyone away from their loved ones and all that is familiar so they wouldn't be tempted to return to a normal healthy life.

David Berg decides that the children should be home schooled and he puts together a group of people with various skills, he gets a X-high school teacher (he had adopted an 11 year old girl, got a crush on her and made her one of his wives. He also rapped his boys…but that’s coming later), an artist (my dad), a photographer and editor (my first rapist), and others. This fabulous group of people were instructed to create curriculum's  work books that teach the 3 R’s, illustrate children’s books and readers, we even got a version of the History of the World….as told by David Berg of course (until this day I still get important world events screwed up because of him and his skewed view of the world) This group of people was called “Family Care”. We were fully supported, our location was kept secret which means we almost never saw anyone else from the COG and did our best to “blend in” with normal society.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Art on a barn

David Berg, believing he's a profit, predicts a future one world government led by the "Antichrist" who will arise and force everyone to get the mark of the beast 666. Christians will be persecuted and for a time evil will win. So my parents and their new hippy friends escape to northern MN, moving onto this farm,  where their plan is to hide out and live off the land. Brilliant.

My dad, who is an amazing artist, paints a massive picture of a half naked women on the side of their barn...I suppose he should have been trying his hand at farming....but after living a very sheltered life he's quite excited by this idea of freedom, breaking away from normal traditions, women burning their bra's and letting it all hang loose, free, and natural. etc. So being an artist he's off expressing himself on the side of a barn. Funny fact, this gorgeous mural was facing a highway and quite a few cars ended up in a ditch. 

In the meantime my mom is off coping with her first child (my older sister) and her worst memory of this time is dealing with an endless stream of cloth diapers which she has to wash by hand in stupid cold weather. She said they'd freeze on the clothes line and she'd take them down, stacking them like plates. 

I'm not sure which of the hippies thought it'd be a great idea to raise rabbits as a protein source...because anyone who knows anything about nutrition knows that Thumper isn't the best meal plan. But there they all were, digging potatoes out of frozen ground, catching bunnies, crying over having to kill them and in the on could actually do the dirty deed and they let them all go free. 

Much to my parents relief, my dad's artistic talent is discovered by David Berg (I'll explain what he wants him for in another post) When I say my dad was a good artist I'm not bragging. He had entered several art competitions, won most of them, and by the time he graduated high school, had offers from, among others,  New York Times (to do their political cartoons) and Walt Disney...drawing Thumper and his pal Bambi. How different my life could have been.....

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Where did I go?

Over the years I've taken the worst of my memories, written them down in random notebooks, and locked them away. Since the purpose was to evict the images from my mind, I left nothing out....they are gritty, horrible, sad and very detailed. They describe the way my skin crawled, how my small body tore, and the chaos of my thoughts and feelings. This last week I have been digging up my notebooks and reading them for the first time in years and have felt very overwhelmed by it all. So I apologize for my absence. As of today I commit to a new post every 48 hours...I don't want to lose my nerve or momentum. Also, since my past no longer defines who I am, I'll be telling you about my current life and journey to become an Ironman and the ups and downs in my quest to become physically fit and healthy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My parents were perfectly normal teenagers with perfectly normal lives. They were high school sweethearts that met in art class, fell in love, and got married a few years later. It was during the hippy era, make peace not war, when a couple came to their Baptist church one day singing and talking about the Lord and their mission was to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” -Mark 16:15
These young hippies happened to be new members of a very new cult called “The Children of God” led by David Berg. He preached that the christian community would be far better served if people stayed out of churches and instead took off to the 4 corners of the earth as missionaries. My parents loved this idea, of a life spent in service to others, and joined with the idea of making the world a better place by spreading the good word. Innocent beginnings.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My mothers death gave me a chance at own life. I promised myself that I wouldn't tell this story until I was able to tell it all. These are the memories of my life, my world, it's not pretty and it's not going to be a sweet story that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. There are moments in life that stand out like a billboard and you can try to scrub your memory but you won't ever come clean. There were good times that are worth remembering and I play them back to myself over and over and over. So much has happened that now at 38 I feel like an old soul. I warn you in advance that this is not a story you will want to believe. You will find yourself thinking that surly I must be exaggerating or adding details to make the events of my life seem more extream and sensational. I wish like hell you were right.
I was 7 the first time I was fucked by a man. He was in his 30's and he'd been messing around with my sister but by the time she was 9 he'd lost interest and had turned his atention towards me. Both my mother and my father gave their consent and helped me prepare for my "big night". I have promised myself I'd be honest and give every detail, becuase this is esencial to my healing process. If I were you....I'd exit this blog so I could go on pretending that no one actually does this kind of stuff in real life. This story will make you feel dirty and I'm sorry for that. It's my time to heal, my time to tell all and put the burden of these memories to rest.
This blog won't all be about my past, I have a life today that isn't perfect but it's rich and full of fun, true friends, and the kind of challenges that make life worth living. I hope you can stick with me.