GailForceWinds Jan 2016

Suzanne was an only child, adopted at only a few weeks old. This was no secret, she always knew from the time she was a small child. Her mom would tell her beautiful stories, while she sat in her bed, of how she and daddy waited so long to get her, and how special she was.
She used to feel special, but that was a long time ago. Things were simpler back then, when she was four or five. Mom and Dad seemed happy, and Suzanne did not feel any different being adopted. She was the one kid in the small neighborhood that was an only child. Every other house had five, six, seven kids. Suzanne never knew what it was like to live in a house with other siblings. She was happy with the way things were.

Then the storms in the house began. By the age of five things started falling apart at home. Dad was always sick it seemed. Mom was always upset, crying or yelling or both. It seemed to always be toward Dad, a quiet man. He never fought back, he just sat and took it. She was never be sure what came first, her dad’s sickness or her mother’s madness. She just knew things were not right.

Her mother’s anger and frustration caused her to lash out at out at Suzanne as well. She was filled with fear and embarrassment at a young age. Her relationship with her mom was strained to say the least. From being “special” she suddenly could do nothing right, always being compared to a cousin or the neighbors’ kids.

Now 10 years old she hid in her room a lot, it seemed safer there. But she could not stop the sounds from downstairs. Her mother’s voice booming throughout the neighborhood. How embarrassing! She has to face her friends, doesn’t her mother realize everyone can hear her?
Her father became very ill. He was drinking a lot, falling down and passing out, sometimes on the front lawn. Embarrassment was something Suzanne was becoming very familiar with. He was a gentle man, there was no fear of abuse. But her mother’s emotional abuse was far worse. She was always screaming and crying. There were the nights he didn’t come home for hours, and Suzanne and her mother would wait, hoping he would be coming home, alive.
At 12 years old, her father went away to a hospital, a mental ward of some kind. Shock treatments, pills and therapy. He was always making leather belts while he was there, and that continued long after he got home.

Her father was gone for months. Suzanne stayed with her Grandmother very often. She was an old Italian woman who spoke broken English and always had a tale of woe. Her mother would come get her after a visit to the “hospital”. There wasn’t much time for Suzanne then, the focus was on her father. She drifted through the Catholic school system easily. She was a bright girl, but had to grow up fast, too fast.

What does she tell her friends? Mom said don’t tell anyone anything, ever. No personal information! That’s when she learned how to lie. Over the years she became very very good at it. Hiding things and lying, that’s what you were supposed to do, right?
Her father finally came home, a new man. He had stopped drinking and seemed stronger than ever. Her mother’s ranting and raving did not seem to bother him a bit. He just shrugged it off and went on with what he was doing. But Suzanne could not shrug it off, it killed her spirit a little more every day.

Suzanne was no beauty growing up. She was the ugly duckling among the swans. And she was very aware of it. "Pleasing plump" her mom would say, as she made the big, heavy, fat laden dinners every night. Donuts and crumb cake were breakfast. Always on one diet or another, but nothing worked. Food was an escape for her, and all too available.

She was the fat girl, crazy hair that her mother cut, glasses, buck teeth, which eventually turned her mouth into a sore, metal mess, and of course the Catholic uniform she wore day after day. The other girls her age were all thin and pretty pre-teens. Suzanne was none of that. She went through childhood embarrassed over her family and her looks. Friends were few for her back then. It wouldn't be until much later, when the braces came off, the contacts went in, and the weight became somewhat normal, that her beauty started to shine through. But that didn't matter in Suzanne's mind, she was still the fat ugly kid inside. She would carry that with her for years.
The time for graduation from Catholic School finally came. Instead of joy, all she could feel was fear - fear of embarrassment. Would her father show up drunk? God only knew what would happen. But the night came and went. Dad was on his best behavior, mom was quiet for a change. No carrying on tonight, no-no, she had to put an act on for everyone. No one could ever know how dysfunctional our family was. So the show went on, the good Catholic family, happily ever after. Suzanne was just glad to get out of there without a scene. But now what?
The thought of High School was as scary to Suzanne as a trip to Mars! She was sheltered in Catholic School for eight years, uniforms and nuns, no dating, smoking or drugs. Was she in for a surprise! It started the summer before High School, when she met some kids that went to a “real” middle school. They were no stranger to smoking, boys or drugs. They seemed so grown up, and they went out with boys! Suzanne was going to be just like them.

The first day waiting at the school bus, Suzanne was more nervous than she had ever been in her life. She felt awkward; the clothes her mother picked out were just horrible. After years of uniforms, she had no sense of style, and her mother bought clothes that looked like they came from a thrift shop. It was too late to do anything about it, the bus was coming and she had to get on.

She didn't know that first step on the bus would change her forever. The next four years would steal her innocence, opening up a different world which years later would only be a blur.
She floated through the first year only slightly touched by the devil. Cigarettes were her only vice. Not yet an addiction, just a way to fit in. Her art of lying served her well. She was good at hiding things from her parents. They were too wrapped up in their own misery to notice her. She escaped in her room and dreamed. Her dreams were of being part of them, the cool kids. Whatever it took, she would do. And so it began....
Four years flew by, much of it a blur for Suzanne. By sophomore year she was becoming a pro. A pro at being “cool”, smoking joints, drinking a keg in the woods with the older kids, dabbling with a pill here and there. The few times she threw up in a shoebox in her room didn’t stop her, but makes her cringe now. Her parents never caught on. Even the days she came home tripping on acid. Were they that stupid or that uninterested in her life? It didn’t matter, she lied good and did what she wanted. Including boys.

She met him at 16, he was a bit older, had his own house and grew his own weed. Doesn’t get cooler than that! And booze galore. Of course there was sex, but that wasn’t the relationship, the party was. Always looking for the next party, the next drink, the next joint, the next line of coke. So of course they got married! She had to get out of her parent’s house, what better way? Say “I do” just to get away, and the party could really take off. And it did, for years….
Suzanne couldn’t take the coke anymore, or the pot, or the drugs. It was too much for her, so she gave it up, one by one. But not the alcohol. That was her thing, and she wasn’t gonna stop, not for a few more years. So she drank and drank every night. Maintaining a job but hating her life. She realized at 25 that her husband was her best friend, party buddy, but not a lover. The thought of divorce was too scary. Nobody got divorced, right?

So at 25 she quit drinking, only to become obsessed with running and working out. That was the new addiction. She became distant from her husband even more. She worked out and he partied it up. She couldn’t be around it, or him. She just didn’t love him that way…. Hell, she didn’t even know what real love was. Would she every find out? She was determined to try. On to the divorce…

It was pretty painless, once her husband got over the realization that it was going to happen. They parted friends. He fell in love right away, and married again within a couple years. Suzanne wanted to have some fun, not ready to settle down. She never had the experience of dating before, or being wanted by different men. If there was any flirting during her marriage, she couldn’t act on it. So act on it she did! What a wild ride, three years and countless guys later, she started to play with the wine again…

It started slow, a glass here and there, months would go by without. Drinking wasn’t a problem, right? Oh how wrong she was. She’ll eventually find out later on, after much pain, self-hate and heartache. For now, it was easy to pretend everything was just great. Life was great, although lonely. She was worried about finding a man now. She was 30 for God sake, she should be married again. Well, be careful what you wish for! At 31 she met her next ex-husband.
It was a whirlwind romance, took off fast and ran fast. He drank, so she drank more. Still, not a problem. Everybody blacks out, right? He didn’t mind, he was just as bad at that time. Together they could not be stopped. They were the “good looking” couple, the entertainers, the hosts of every party and holiday. And Suzanne continued to drink, more and more. Always looking for the next party.

She worked hard, moved up in her career and did very well for herself, despite the drinking every night. She was young enough to handle it, but that would all change. She had a son, and didn’t drink while pregnant, a glass of wine here and there, nothing crazy. But the flood gates opened again after the baby was born. No sooner was she back from the hospital than the wine cork popped.

The next several years would be somewhat of a blur. The drinking was still manageable for a while, but soon the chaos would begin. Divorce, DUI’s, blackouts, bad men, drugs… Life was definitely unmanageable now. Things were out of control. The drinking became an everyday thing now, weekends were non-existent, only a drunken blur. Something had to be done, before she killed herself. She didn’t want to die, at least she thought not.
Time had somehow stopped one day. There was no day or night, just one long drunk, in and out of consciousness. Her son was older now, the men were gone, she was heartbroken, her only love was the bottles of wine she drank day after day. Without a license, for 10 years, it was easy to isolate. And isolate she did. Suzanne had a driver, who everyday knew to pull into the D&D; liquor store on the way home from work. She would call him on weekends, anytime of day, early morning, afternoon or night, whenever her wine was finished and the liquor store was open. She could never seem to buy enough.

She stated to sink into the dark hole. Was she losing her mind? She didn’t know what day it was or time it was, was it morning or night? Did it matter? As long as the bottle was not empty, it would be ok. But the pills for anxiety weren’t working anymore, she had to take more and more, and still the shaking would not stop. There was not enough booze or pills for Suzanne to calm her nerves when she wasn’t passed out. She didn’t sleep anymore, it was just a blackout state, over and over again.

One day Suzanne woke up in the emergency room, again, not the first time. She didn’t know what happened, but she knew she had to do something. Her hair was filled with dried blood. How’d she get there? Who called for help? How was she going to go to work? Her mind wandered as she lie there, now awake, wanting to get out!!! They finally released her, 18 stitches in her head, with no coat, no shoes, it was mid-January in Jersey. She got her driver to get her home, with the one stop on the way of course, D&D.; "Really," she thought. "Am I serious???" But Suzanne was very serious. She went back to her tower, her bedroom of isolation. How could she explain this? She couldn’t.

That’s when she picked up the phone, glass of wine in her hand, and made the call. This is where her next journey began….

Short Story
GailForceWinds Sep 2015

If you were my true love
Shouldn’t you care how I am doing
Call and see if I’m ok

You let weeks go by
Do you not think of me
Do you not care about me
Because you are in your own
Self-centered world

It should not be a chore
To call me
To see me
To feel me
To want to be with me

I’m not going to cry
Nor ask why
I’m almost too tired to say goodbye
And would you hear me anyway

You are already a memory
Sweet and sour
I’m done thinking of you
I will not waste another hour

GailForceWinds Aug 2015

A gun
Some pills
A knife
A bottle
Either will work
To put death in full throttle  

I’m all used up
No reason to live
I can’t feel anything
Nothing left to give

Take me away
To a place better than this
I’m ready for serenity
Sweet everlasting bliss

GailForceWinds Aug 2015

I rode out the storm
the sun shines brightly today
I can almost reach the rainbow
not so far away

GailForceWinds Aug 2015

If I end up alone
I’ll be ok
I can’t stay with you
Not one more day

I can’t live with the ghosts
Of your past and dead wife
I’ve tried to understand
But it cuts like a knife

I’ll never rate number one
Not even two
I can’t live with that
So I can’t live with you

Goodbye my love

GailForceWinds Aug 2015

Rainbows and unicorns
Kittens and bunnies
Four leaf clovers
Poo Bear and honey

In my world
Nothing is real
I see an elephant
Now a seal

I sit in my chair
And play with the air
Have I lost my mind
You’re much too kind

It’s time for my meds
To screw with my head
I’m not going far
Not leaving my bed

Rainbows and butterflies
Puppies and dragons
Monsters and vampires
Have I fallen off the wagon

This is my world
A room with restraints
Making things out of leather
Stroking canvas with paint

Everything is distorted
But that is ok
Life was too hard
Acting sane every day

GailForceWinds Aug 2015

Why fall in love
Disappointment again
I thought you were my lover
My soul mate, best friend

Betrayed so many times, it’s no surprise
Why didn’t I see the deception in your eyes

Are my expectations too high
Should I learn to accept
Take less than I deserve
None of my needs being met

I do have a choice
I can just walk away
Feeling lonely again
Like every other day

I think I’ll run….

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