Chapter One

Where I begin my memoir.

Ultimately, the biggest challenge of my journey has been learning to accept the truth of people, exactly how they are and not how I want them to be. It's only been in the past few years I've been able to access information that's enabled me to gain the courage and confidence needed to look at this truth straight in the eye without flinching. Consequently, I lost everyone dear to me, all my blood kin, my circles, my home. Time after time I've forged on ahead alone, navigating foreign territory, learning to read the maps through signals and codes, stumbling through the dark with no night vision.

It was only a few years ago when I believed that losing my sons would kill me. I had no idea I could endure. For nearly four decades since I was a teenager, my focus was on my children, my identity was being their mother. And then one day something slapped me so hard I started spinning and spinning, down, drowning, gasping, my lungs filled and I sunk to the very bottom of a very deep and dark pit. And when I called out to my people for help, no one came.

Just recently I completed another leg of this journey that I would have thought impossible and insurmountable even months before: I picked myself up once again and followed the summons to drive 3,500 miles across this extraordinary country of mine to resettled back in the American West where I belong. Dollar by dollar I raised the funds, day after day for eight months held the space sacred for myself that the summons had been real and that somehow I would make it. And then I did, I made it. As the day grew closer the hurricane season threatened; I managed to drive the southern route in between Florence and Michael. The lovely place I stayed in Pensacola impassable just days before and after.

Yes, it was me who scoffed at the concept of EAT PRAY LOVE, it was me who rolled my eyes and shrugged, it was Me Of Little Faith. Now I have, at least, the benefit of some hindsight as comfort though comfort is a relative term these days as all we know as humans is being turned inside out and upside down.

I miss my sons with a pain that's fierce; only rarely do I let it surface. I've determined it's like a cross to bear - not in a martyr sense but in a way more matter-of-fact - we all have crosses to bear, yours as heavy as mine. We the sensitives, the empaths, the healers have had to soldier up for what lies ahead and much of what's required is cutting a lot of losses, purging the sorrow of what could have been and embracing the terrifying unknown as if we relish it. Bring it on I now proclaim. Resisting proved futile.

“You may choose to look the other way
but you can never again say that you did not know.”

Josh and Chris,
Coming up from under a decade of stupefying grief the first thing I realize is that I’ve raised sons who bully their mother.

The guns shenanigans, the explosive outbursts, attacks and threats, cornering, ambushing me, stealing my money, cars, destroying property, forging my signature, stonewalling, lying, just all the deceit in general such as where in hollow halls of hell is my guitar.

Lots and lots of things
went really really wrong.

We’re careless people, mine and those of your fathers’, we don’t care for much of anything, know little of caring for each other properly.

Generations slip, fall, get pushed over the edge and plunge into despair and addiction, suicide; we’ve been shot, beaten, poisoned and murdered, we literally drank the Kool-Aid.

We suck the souls right out of our children, mine, yours, to the bone and to the quick. No one is favored, no one is spared. We are a clusterfuck of Cluster B personalities.

Whatever it is your reality affords you, whatever story it is you’ve chosen to settle on, here is mine for future reference, should you find yourself with gaping holes in yours.

We’re a family ruled by fear, gut-wrenching fear, passed down again and again the sins of the fathers on the sons.

Snaky vile men have preyed on our young, snatching them up behind their mothers’ backs.

They are men enraged, disenfranchised, alienated and treacherous. They orchestrate strategies with military precision. They’ve decimated entire families, swallowing them whole, without chewing. They are insatiable, blood-thirsty, Machiavellian and monstrous.  They truly are the boogey-men under your bed and hiding in your closet. They aren’t in your imagination, they’re members of your family.

And there they are, down the hallway waiting, listening to you breathe.

“In the social Darwinian sense, a parent who tries to eat or destroy its young is not the kind of individual genetic until to have its pool succeed long term.”

So ends this Davis line, my brother dead from despair, as desperate for parental validation at fifty three as he was as an infant and toddler when his brain was forming all its opinions about the world.

His eyes stayed trained on his hospital room door and then the crushing blow that killed him when the mother finally walks through alone.

What kind of a man opts out of attending his son’s passing. What kind of a man abandons his wife of sixty years to face the sad and sorry business alone.

Those who maimed you also brutalized me, broken bones, blackmail, isolation, depravation, cigarette burns, brain washing, rape, abduction; only recently has my bald spot finally healed.

These men, your fathers and mine, are members of families, one generation after another, of psychopaths, sociopaths, sadists, sexual deviants and all their flying monkeys and other sorts of minions and enablers.

Our chances were slim all of us, you two brothers and me and mine. That we’re alive is something. All the things we remember happening aren’t even the ones that caused the greatest trauma, the abuse and neglect inflicted on us before we even left the house for school.

But I fully expected both of you to have chosen differently than you have. I didn’t see this coming. I have proof of your ability to know and choose right from wrong and to treat others with empathy and compassion. I raised you.

But it appears as though you’ve chosen instead to sink into disorders and behaviors that are not only lethally destructive to families, but are socially annihilating as well. And from a medical and psychiatric point of view, adult children who cannot learn to think back in time reflectively and with empathy, have brains that simply don’t work properly.

I raised you in houses with beautiful artwork and painted walls and floors and archways, with books and music from the best and most thoughtful thinkers of our time, with flowers and dogs and whole, handmade foods. I created grace and beauty from nothing – no topsoil, no central heating, no laundry, no child support, no network of friends and family, under extreme conditions of poverty and isolation, under extreme anxiety and duress.

Lots and lots of things went really really wrong.

But I was your raw flame and your live wire. The glue.

I can afford and would appreciate reciprocal relationships. However, should that not be attainable the no-contact rule will continue indefinitely. Should you choose to engage in adult behavior instead, my door is always open. Please be advised that I expect full financial restitution, including all other debts you owe me, as well as these specifically:

     Little house: $5,000
     Chevrolet: $2,500
     Guitar: $2,500

In addition, the return of all other property of mine.

Highest regards,


Beginning in the 1970s and continuing through 2011, the following agencies, organizations and individuals were notified by me of instances of abuse and neglect.

Multnomah County Justice Court
Children’s Services, Multnomah County

Sisters Public Schools
Deschutes County
Bend Pediatric Clinic

Highland Park Public Schools
Private Counselor
Trammell Crow Company

Children’s Protective Services – Baker County
Alexandria Agency – Ontario, Oregon
Baker Public Schools

Lane County Health and Welfare
Toni Tortorilla, private counselor

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