Friday, October 24, 2014

Fake Dad

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Last night I discovered something very interesting. My fake dad, Tim, called my domination business phone number, which is called the Den of Serpents. He didn't say anything in the message. There was just a second of silence and then I heard the sound of the phone hanging up. At first I wasn't sure who called me because the phone didn't read the number out loud so I called it back twice. He didn't answer it. I considered leaving him a "Hail Satan", message, but my friends all were against the idea, so I didn't leave him a message. Instead, I turned my big lug of a computer on, logged on to the email address that belongs to the Den of Serpents, and had my computer read the number out loud. Sure enough, it was Tim, my fake dad.

How he got the number is beyond me. He must be talking to my mom again. My mom and Tim used to live together. They got married when I was six or seven years old. I thought that Mom divorced him but, the last time I spoke with Tim, he informed me that they were still married, which is why she hasn't married her newest boyfriend yet.

Anyway, my fake dad is a real creep. I don't mean he's creepy because he's attracted to my mom, though that is reason enough for him to be considered a creep. No, I mean, he is a serious, SERIOUS, MAJOR CREEP! Tim is the kind of creep that thinks that it's okay to pull a gun on somebody. Nope, no exaggeration, he actually did pull a gun on someone. And that someone was my mother Jennifer.

It was New Years Day of either 2004 or 2005. I'm pretty positive it was the beginning of 2004, when the year was no more than eight or ten hours old. An infant year, Chrissie says. I was dead asleep in my room with the door locked. My mother's boyfriend at the time, Chris, had a very obnoxious son named Andrew, and they were both spending the night over at my house. I locked my bedroom door before I went to bed so that if Andrew dared try to enter my bedroom he'd be stopped in his tracks by the protective lock on my door. Doors weren't respected in my household ever. Nobody ever knocked. They always just barged right in, unless you locked the door, of course.

Anyway, while I slept soundly in my bedroom, feeling confident that I would not be disturbed by anyone, my mom and her boyfriend slept in their bedroom downstairs, sharing the bed as if my mom wasn't married to Tim at all. The guest bedroom was unfurnished I sure as hell wasn't going to allow Andrew to sleep in my room with me, even if he was willing to sleep on the floor, so he was stuck sleeping on the cold, uncomfortable, too small to really stretch out on all the way leather couch downstairs in the living room.

Tim and my mom had had a fight the night before so he was sleeping at his friend Brian's house at the driving range where he and Brian worked. Well, Tim decided to get up nice and early in the morning and take a drive up to Port Ludlow where his adulterous wife slept in his big, roomy white pickup truck who I liked to call Moses. It wasn't just him and Moses, though, on that cold, grey morning. They also had the company of a nice, powerful, loaded gun.

Being the stupid person that my mother is, she didn't bother to change the locks or take the key away from Tim to avoid any catastrophic events. So, when Tim arrived at the house, he simply got out of his truck with his gun, walked right up to our front door, and boldly shoved the key in the lock. I'm pretty sure that Chris's truck was parked in the driveway instead of hidden in the woods or parked somewhere else so at this point he knew that he wasn't going to find the spot where he normally slept empty and waiting for him when he arrived.

I don't remember what I was dreaming about or if I was even dreaming at all. The only thing I remember was being awakened by an enormous commotion going on downstairs. I heard Tim shouting, "Fuck you, fuck you! You little cunt!"

I heard the chimes of the Christmas bells clanging as the front door to the house either opened to let someone out or closed shut to give Tim the privacy to continue terrorizing his prey. As terrified as I was, I was drawn to the commotion. I knew that some major shit was going to go down and trouble always reeled me in. I was a glutton for trouble and drama, though this kind of drama seemed a bit over the top even for me, especially at the early hour of the morning.

I didn't open or unlock my bedroom door. I just knelt down on the floor and put my ear to the gap of the door by the floor so I could hear what was going on downstairs.

"What do you want Tim?" Chris was asking, a high note of panic in his usually deep, calm voice.

"I want her dead!" Tim hissed through clenched teeth.

"She's MY wife! I want you dead, too!"

"Andrew, Andrew," Chris said in a low voice. His voice had lowered considerably since he had last spoken so it lead me to believe that he was desperately trying hard to stay calm and collected for the sake of his nine or ten year old son.

"Andrew, don't look up. This is just a dream, a very, very bad dream. Keep your head down."

"Tim, get out of here," Jennifer said in a muffled voice. I wondered if he was choking her or something.

Suddenly, I heard rapid footsteps and the sounds of bodies flailing and colliding near the front door near the stairs leading up to my room.

"Tim, leave now! I'm calling the police."

"Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you," he growled.

Holiday things that were hanging up all around fell to the ground. I heard other things fall to the ground but I wasn't sure what they were.

Eventually the struggle ended and I heard the front door slam shut and the bells jingle loudly as the door slammed forcefully shut. I remember feeling bad for the poor bells that were meant to jingle for happy, festive occasions but were instead forced to clang and clatter in distress as their little nook, the door, was forcefully thrown about like a shit on a stormy sea.

I heard the sound of Moses' engine starting up and then Tim forcefully slamming on the gas peddle. The engine roared and groaned painfully as poor Moses was jerked into drive and then made to lurch forward into motion so that Tim could leave the crime scene before any cops showed up.

"Are you okay?" Chris asked quietly from somewhere close to the stairs leading up to my room and the den.

"Yeah, I'm fine," my mother said. I was surprised how calm her voice sounded. I was expecting it to sound more traumatized and shaken up than it sounded.

"I just can't believe that he put a gun to my head and pulled it on you."

"Yeah, I know," Chris said, his voice full of raw emotion. He sounded pretty traumatized.

There was a brief few seconds of silence and then I heard them start kissing. By this time, Tim and his truck Moses were long gone. I wondered where Tim was going to go next, if he was going to run off and try to hide out like the people on America's Most Wanted. I wondered how long it would take for him to get caught. And I silently cursed him for not having shot the gun and killed my mother. He had been so close to shooting her and he had her exactly where he wanted her. What stopped him? I silently called him a coward and then I hoped that he would get caught quicker and have to spend time in jail. I was absolutely furious that he hadn't killed her when he so easily could have. I wasn't at all angry, though, that he pulled a gun on my mom and I wasn't really that surprised that he pulled a gun on her and Chris. They really did have it coming, though my mom did more so than Chris did. Who knows if my mom really told Chris the truth of what was going on? He might have been oblivious to a lot of things since my mom is never honest about anything. Every word that comes out of her mouth is a lie.

As soon as I heard them kissing I didn't want to listen anymore. I was so disgusted and outraged that my mother had the breath in her to kiss him. All I wanted was for her to be lying in a pool of her own blood, gasping for breath, but knowing deep down that there was no chance of survival for her. Every time I heard her kissing Chris it totally made me go ballistic with rage inside. So I got up, walked over to my sound proof drum studio, which was way back deep in my bedroom, put in one of the CD's that my real dad had recently burned for me, skipped to the loudest song on it, and cranked up the stereo to almost full blast and let the music calm me. I wasn't fond of loud music, and I'm still not to this day, but I needed it to be loud that day to drown all the angry emotions and thoughts that surged through my entire body.

Eventually I heard knocking at my door. My mom wanted to talk to me. Turning down my stereo, I got up, walked over to the main part of my bedroom, unlocked the door, and opened it.

"It's time for breakfast," she said, still as calm as if nothing had happened. The little slut didn't even bother to ask me if I was okay and what I had heard.

We ate mostly in silence. Whatever mess had been made during the incident had all been cleaned up, probably to spare Andrew the sight of it? After all, Chris had told his son that it was all just a bad dream so he had to keep up that story and, to do so; he had to clean up the scene of the incident.

After breakfast, we drove to the nearest police station where my mom told the police that Tim had pulled a gun on her and Chris. When the police asked if they could come over to see the scene of where it happened, my mom said, "It's all been cleaned up. To spare the kids, you know."

Yeah right, to spare the kids, I thought bitterly. She still hadn't even bothered to ask me if I was okay. Chris hadn't asked his own son if he was okay either as far as I knew, though he spoke more gently to him than my mom spoke to me. If I hadn't actually heard the confrontation that had taken place downstairs that morning I would not have believed my mom about what had happened, with the whole scene being cleaned up and all. But I had had actually heard it with my own ears so, for once, she actually was speaking the truth about something.

Once Andrew asked what was going on and I told him, trying to soothe him, "Don't worry about it Andrew, it'll be fine."

"Ashlee, you're going to be such a good babysitter being so comforting like you are," Chris told me.

"Well, I won't be babysitting anytime soon," I told him. I wasn't sure if he was trying to hint to me that he was going to try to get my mom to force me to watch his bratty son while my mother and he banged away in the bedroom and went on fancy dates or what but I was bound and determined to make it clear to him that that wasn't going to happen at all! I was absolutely positive that I was NOT going to watch that boy, no matter how much my mother spanked and punished me. It was so not going to work.

Mom eventually called Grandmama and told her what happened. Grandmama came over right away and asked me if I was all right. She was the first person who actually cared how I was feeling and I was grateful that at least SOMEBODY cared about what my thoughts were. I made sure to keep the thought of wishing that he had killed my mother to myself, though. I was sure that wasn't going to earn me any brownie points and I had had enough excitement and drama for that day.

We went to the indoor swimming pool at the Port Ludlow Beach Club. When I say we I mean my mom, grandma, and me. I'm not sure where Chris and Andrew were. I guess Chris wanted some quality alone time with his son to make sure that he wasn't overly traumatized. At that time, Chris was in the middle of trying to win full custody of Andrew and he was probably pissing his pants about what happened and was trying to do everything he could to bribe Andrew into not telling his mother what happened at our house.

"So, what happened exactly?" Grandma asked as we sat in the hot tub, trying to relax our stiff, tense muscles after such a hellish start to the New Year.

"Well, Tim barged into the house with his key, then went to the bedroom and opened the door and found Chris and I sleeping together," my mom began.

"Then we went into the living room and he pulled a gun on us while we were trying to get to the phone to call the cops. He put the gun to my head and showed me the chamber so that I would see that it was loaded. It had six bullets in it. He then tried to go upstairs and then I proceeded to block him."

"Why was he trying to go upstairs?" I asked my mom.

"Do you think he was planning on killing Ashlee?" Grandmama asked.

"No, I don't really think he would have killed Ashlee," my mom said.

"But I wasn't going to let him upstairs. I don't know what he was up to but he didn't get up there. Finally he left and we filed the police report. They've caught him and he said that he got the gun from Brian. He was arrested a little while ago."

My mother spoke so nonchalantly, like she was talking about the weather. It really irritated me. So I got up and jumped into the indoor pool where I began aggressively slapping the water with both of my arms and hands, determined to swim as far away from her as I could and as fast as I could. I did not want to hear her horrible voice any longer. As I swam, I wondered why Tim was trying to go upstairs. The thought of him killing me sent chills up and down my spine.

Eventually my grandma left and one of Andrew's older cousins named Conner came over. Conner and I got along pretty well. He asked me if I wanted to watch a movie with him but I said I didn't want to. He tried to talk to me but I didn't want to talk to anybody. I just wanted to be alone in my room with my thoughts. So, when they put in a movie, I got up and quietly walked out of the den and took a nice, warm bath in my bathroom where I could be alone to process what happened and cry. Now that Tim had actually gone to Jail I felt sad, though I didn't really understand why. People who pull guns on people are supposed to be arrested. But I still couldn't help feeling sorry for him. He really had been put through the ringer by my mother. He had been dealing with multiple affairs on her part for some time. Finally, he just snapped. That's what I thought back then anyway. Now I think he's a total creep who should have had the balls to leave my mother before it reached that point of him being angry enough to pull a gun on her.

After my bath, which really didn't relax me at all, I went into my bedroom and called Tim using my phone in my room. His cell phone was off and the call went straight to voice mail. I knew then that my mother wasn't lying. He really was in jail. I could feel it and the sadness in my heart weighed it down even more.

Without knocking on my bedroom door, my mother Jennifer barged in.

"What's wrong?" she asked as I bent down, acting like I was looking for something under the bed so that she wouldn't see me crying.

"Why aren't you talking to Conner and watching a movie with us?"

As if nothing awful and tragic hadn't just happened hours ago.

"I'm tired," I told her, trying not to sound all stuffy nosed like I was in the middle of a huge cry.

"I want to lie down a little."

"Okay," my mom said and she left, not bothering to close the door behind her. I quickly closed it and returned to my meltdown, grateful that my mom had just left me alone instead of interrogating me on why I was crying and making me feel terrible for crying. Like, how dare I cry after someone comes in my house with a gun and then doesn't even kill the one whom I hate the most in the whole wide world?!

Some time later, my mom went to court and got a restraining order against Tim for having pulled a gun on her, though she didn't press charges against him. A few weeks later, though, she got mad at Chris, broke up with him, and then started letting Tim come back to our house. Tim was very paranoid about getting caught with my mom at our house since he had the restraining order in place so he parked Moses at the Port Ludlow Marina instead of our driveway to avoid getting picked up by the cops.

Once, a cop came to our door and knocked on it. Tim jumped to his feet, all freaked out and ran to one of the closets in the house and hid in it like a frightened dog. It turned out that all the cop wanted from my mom was for her to take some kind of survey about something unimportant.

Eventually Mom went back to court and asked the judge to vacate the restraining order that she had won against Tim. I wasn't actually at that court hearing but my mother told me that the judge thought she was a real nut job for wanting to vacate the restraining order after what he had done.

"The judge said to me, 'He pulled a gun to your head! Are you sure you want to get back together with him?'"

My mother told this to me while laughing like this was some sort of joke. I was revolted by the way she told the story and blocked out the rest of what her terrible, stupid, slut face mouth said. But the judge did vacate the restraining order, not even bothering to take into account the fact that my mom had a minor living with her, which was me of course, so Tim got off foot loose and fancy free. Mom told Chris that she wanted to work it out with Tim after she got the restraining order vacated, and, like the judge, he was blown away by that.

"He pulled a gun to your head!" my mother told me that Chris said to her.

Pretty soon, it was like the whole thing never happened. It was not spoken about at all. Eventually, my mom got tired of Tim, fought with him, kicked him out, and let Chris and his bratty son move back in to our house. Then Tim moved back in after she and Chris broke up again and then the topic was brought up again, this time by the gunman himself.

"You wouldn't believe it Ashlee, but Chris actually peed his pants when I pulled the gun on him!" Tim said, then afterwards throwing his head back and howling with laughter.

"Yeah right Tim, whatever. He did not," I said.

"No Ashlee, he really, really did! There was a huge puddle of piss where he stood when I had that gun pointed at him! IT was awesome. I left the house and drove away laughing hysterically! IT was great!"

Never did he apologize to me for what he had done and never did I tell him that I wished he had killed my mother. I wondered, and still wonder to this day, what stopped him from pulling that trigger. What went through his head that caused him to chicken out? I guess I'll never know.

So, now the story is out there. This is what Tim gets for calling me. He is a for real creep and I will not allow him to intimidate me. It has been years since I have spoken with him. I don't know who he thinks he is or what kind of nerve he has for calling me up but I'm not going to quake with fear and cow down to him. If my mom put him up to calling me, which is what I think happened, well, he did call me, and this is the consequence he faces. This story of the crime he committed is now up on my blog for the whole world to read. Nothing frightens me about him anymore. If he knows what's best for him, he won't try to contact me again and mess with my precious family, whom I will call thousands of demons up from hell to help me protect if the situation calls for it.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Life Insurance, Part 1

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Sitting in my dorm room at Evergreen College, once again procrastinating doing my homework, wondering just how much longer I could get away with not doing my homework for my sixteen credit class. That was what I was doing one dark, extremely cold and rainy evening when my phone, which was sitting on my desk next to the stereo, began singing its cheerful, Grey Revolution ringtone. I sat on my bed, unmoving, taking in the sweet melody of the song, wondering who was calling me and whether it was in my best interest to get up and answer it or simply let the phone sing itself out before sending the caller to my voice mail. I was feeling extremely lazy, though I wasn't sure whether it was because of Bryan's ever potent and present spell of laziness that he kept cast on me at all times or whether the depression was worsening. I had been struggling with depression lately and it had been making all activities very difficult to accomplish. Homework lay scattered all about my desk, unfinished or simply not done at all. The garbage bag was almost overflowing with disgusting, smelly garbage because I had failed to take it out in weeks. My stomach rumbled with hunger, but I hadn't gotten up to eat in hours, maybe even longer. Perhaps it would do me some good to get up and answer the phone after all. Or, maybe it would make things worse. That's what I was evaluating as my phone continued to ring.

"I think you can get up and answer it," Nevaeh encouraged me.

"You're ass is so asleep it's dreaming. You need to stretch your muscles. You haven't gotten up in hours."

She was right, of course. Getting up was what I needed to do.

"If you don't want to talk to whoever's calling you, just hang up on them," chimed in Mary Meyers.

So I got up, stretched my arms way up, up, up, towards the ceiling, grunting as I did so because it felt so good to stretch. Then I picked up my phone, opened its lid, and said, "Hello?"

I made sure to sound cheerful. Sounding cheerful was a must, unless I wanted my mom to find a reason to somehow get me kicked out of my dorm and forced to move back home with her. Back then, I thought that she had the power to do that. I was unsure of everything.

"Hi precious Ashlee," Grandma Giovanna said in her phony cheerful voice.

"How's it going?"

"It's fine," I said and then I yawned loudly. The yawn was semi-fake and semi-legitimate. The hugeness and the loudness of it was fake, exaggerated, because I wanted to make her believe that she had caught me when I was right in the middle of working on a grueling, brain crushing essay but real because I was really tired, even though I hadn't worked on one single assignment in Satan knows how long. At least a few days.

The exaggerated yawn worked just the way I'd hoped it would.

"Are you working on a biggy?" Grandma asked.

"Sure am," I answered sluggishly, sure that she would take the sluggishness for tiredness from working hard rather than sluggishness from the depression that was hitting me so hard.

"Well, I'm sorry that I interrupted you," she said, genuinely apologetic. If there was one thing that my family valued besides money, it was education. They were hell bent on me getting a good education, though their motive for it was that they wanted to make sure that I got a high paying job so that they could continue to use me some more. I knew that as well as I knew my alphabet. They may have been able to fool me when I was young but they certainly couldn't fool me anymore.

"How about I call you back later. Or, better yet, why don't you call me back when you're finished with whatever you're working on?"

"It's okay," I told her, walking over to my bed and plopping down on it again with a heavy sigh.

"I was in need of a little break anyway. So, what's up?"

"Well, I want to ask you for a favor."

Surprise, surprise, I thought bitterly. It's always something with them.

"What do you need?" I asked, struggling to keep my voice at an even tone and not let any bitterness leak out.

"Well, I need you to come home this weekend and sign some papers for me."

"What for? What kind of papers do you need me to sign?"

I was certain that I was only going to get a half-truth explanation of what they wanted me to sign but I didn't care. I wasn't just going to meekly sign anything for them without an explanation from them first.

"Well, I took out a life insurance policy on you," Grandma Giovanna said, her voice as smooth as velvet.

"I need you to sign the papers allowing me to take one out on you. If you don't sign them, I won't be able to get the policy."

I wasn't really sure what, exactly, life insurance policies were for but I didn't like the sound of having to go home for the weekend. I was more upset by that more than the fact that she wanted me to sign papers for her. I absolutely LOATHED going home, even for just one day.

"Why did you take out a life insurance policy for me?" I asked her.

"Because I want to make sure that, god forbid, if something were to happen to you and you died I could arrange a decent funeral for you. This life insurance policy will insure that I can do that. I want to make sure that you have a proper burial and that everything is nice for you."

I'll be dead, I thought to myself.

What will I care about whether the funeral is decent or not? And, I don't even want to be buried; I want to be cremated just like my dad was. I want to be thrown off the Indianola dock along with his ashes so that we can float in the sea together and let the ocean take us whoever it wants to. The thought of dying didn't scare me much. I sort of saw some relief in it. And, the thought of floating in the sea and being thrown off the Indianola dock and spread all around the beach with my dad sounded really pleasant. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart to think about being that close to my dad. It had been a very long time since I had been that close to him. Way too long.

"I don't want to be buried," I told my grandma.

"I want to be cremated with my dad. Isn't getting cremated cheaper than getting buried anyway?"

"Well, yes, it is," she admitted.

"But I want to have a nice funeral ceremony for you, a nice ceremony that the whole family can enjoy as we say good-bye to you."

My grandma was always preparing for death. I used to think it was really morbid before I came to learn what she was really up to.

Not having the energy to argue with her about taking the life insurance policy out on me, I said, "Why do I have to go home to sign the papers? Can't you just mail them to me or send them to me via email so I can just sign them electronically and then send it back to you that way?"

"I need you to come home so we can take care of it in quick succession. If I mail you the papers it can get lost very easily. And the insurance company won't accept an electronic signature, they want you to sign very specific places in the paper documents that I have at home. If you don't want to come home I can come down and have you sign them there," she offered.

I didn't take any comfort in her offer. Just as much as I hated going home for the weekend, I hated it when she and my mom came down to visit me. Sure, I wasn't trapped with them when they came to visit me because I was in my own element in Olympia, in familiar territory. But, if they came down to Olympia, it still meant that I had to see them and that was what upset me more than anything. I just hated seeing them, even for an hour or two.

"No, don't come down," I said, not caring now whether she picked up on the bitterness in my voice.

"That doesn't work for me either."

I had another idea to offer her. I hated doing it because it wasn't a good idea to give her or anyone, for that matter, permission to do it but, hey, it was better than going home, wasn't it?

I said, "Okay, look, I have an idea. Why don't you just sign the papers for me using my signature and then send it off to the insurance. You know what my signature looks like; you've seen it plenty of times! Just go ahead and do that, okay?"

There was silence on the other line. The hopeless feeling returned to me as I realized that she wasn't going to take me up on the offer. She was afraid that I would accuse her of committing fraud, I was sure, because I had called them on it before when they had actually committed fraud when I hadn't given them permission to sign papers pertaining to me. I could tell that, even though I had given her verbal permission to sign the papers, that she was afraid that I would turn around and say that she committed fraud.

"I can leave a message on your answering machine giving you recorded permission to sign the documents pertaining to this life insurance policy," I offered, feeling the desperation beginning to grab hold of my chest and throat, squeezing them tighter and tighter, compressing them, grinding them together, crushing me mercilessly.

"I'll think about it," she answered.

We hung up a few minutes later and I sent her a message, giving her permission to sign the papers for me about the life insurance policy but making sure to add in the message that she didn't have permission to sign anything else pertaining me. I didn't like leaving her that message, giving her consent to sign such important documents, pretending like it was me who signed them, but I didn't know what else to do. Saying no to her was still too scary of a feat to tackle back then and I was too exhausted to even begin to pursue it.

A day or two passed and she called me again.

"I've thought a lot about your offer and I've decided I don't like the sound of it," she told me.

"I want you to come home and sign the papers. I'll be picking you up on Friday evening after I get off work. Bring your homework with you and books to read to occupy yourself when I'm busy."

Helplessly and hopelessly I agreed and hung up the phone, feeling completely void of any emotions and thoughts. Not even my imaginary friends could be heard by me. I'm not sure if they were talking to me, trying to reach me or if they, too, felt paralyzed with hopelessness and despair to speak like I was. All I knew was that I had a weekend of pure hell ahead of me.

Friday rolled around the corner and the evil woman came to pick me up at my dorm. Obediently, I got in the car with her like a fearful, abused dog. She drove me home, stopping at Dairy Queen to get me an ice cream cone to try and soften me up in preparation for signing the documents.

As soon as we got to her dark, cavelike condo on the basement level of the building, she ran in the kitchen and grabbed the documents. She was eager to get me to sign them before I had a chance to change my mind. She didn't want to waste any time.

I hadn't even taken off my coat and shoes and backpack before she shoved the pen in my hand and proceeded to show me where I needed to make my squiggly signature.

"Jesus!" I almost shouted at her.

"Won't you let me take off my damn coat and shoes and backpack?! For god's sake, I'm stuck here all freaking weekend, aren't I?"

"I wouldn't call it STUCK here," she said.

Well, I sure would, I thought angrily as I threw my backpack down on the floor, kicked off my shoes in a huff, ripped off my jacket and flung it on the back of the living room couch, which was almost as old as me, and stomped into the kitchen.

When I sat down on one of the bar stools, she gave me the pen once again and showed me where to sign it. I can't remember whether she read the document to me after she made me sign them. If she did, I didn't understand it because it wasn't written in a simple, easy to comprehend way.

I felt like I was signing my life away. There were like five or six places I had to sign on one page alone.

Once everything as signed, Grandma's voice softened considerably.

"Thank you Ashlee for doing this," she said, bending down to give me one of her filthy, slobbery kisses on my left cheek. She always tried to aim for the lips but I'd jerk my head out of the way before she got a chance most of the time. On the times when she caught me when I wasn't prepared to dodge her yucky kisses I'd immediately wipe it off with my sleeve and make a racket to let her know just how disgusted I was.

"Now, I want you to know something," she said, sitting down next to me on the other bar stool.

"Don't EVER let anybody else take out a life insurance policy on you. If anybody ever asks you to do that for them, it means that they are trying to take advantage of you or that they are thinking of murdering you so that they can get money for your death."

Hmmmm, I thought to myself as I sat on the bar stool listening to her lecture.

How come she thinks it's okay for me to let HER take out a life insurance policy on me but it's conveniently not okay for other people to do it? And, how come other people are taking advantage of me by taking one out on me but she, by some miracle, isn't trying to take advantage of me? It doesn't all add up, that's for damn sure.

"I love you Ashlee, very, very much," she suddenly said. I think she was starting to panic as she saw the wheels turning in my head, processing what I had just let her do. I think she realized too late that she had said too much and now I was asking myself why she could take out a life insurance policy for me and it would be okay but that it wasn't okay for anyone else to do so for some reason. I think she noticed that she couldn't fool me and that I knew she was up to something no good.

"I love you Ashlee," she repeated, leaning closer to me. I backed away, not wishing to have another one of her gross kisses rape and violate my skin.

"I'm taking a life insurance policy out on you because I love you and because I want the best for you. I'm looking out for you, not taking advantage of you. Unlike strangers in the world or your so-called friends, I have your best interest at heart. But anybody else who wants to take out a life insurance policy on you does NOT have your best interest at heart. I'm doing this to help you by providing a decent funeral for you as I explained to you over the phone. Other people who don't care about you the way I do have alternative motives. They just want the money for themselves. They wouldn't be using it for you like I intend to if something happened to you, God forbid."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Chrissie shouted.

When she shouted, I jumped a little. It was the first time I had been able to hear my friends talk in a very long time. Back then, when I was overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, I wouldn't be able to hear their delightful voices until I felt better. Try as they might to get my attention by yelling, poking me, walking on my head, or whatever else they could think of, I was completely unreachable.

"Oh, she can HEAR US AGAIN!" cried Nevaeh as she leaped up into my arms and gave me a huge bear hug.

"Oh Mommy, we love you so much! We'll get you through this weekend somehow. And, don't give up and despair yet because I think there is a loop hole, a way out of this whole, outrageous life insurance policy stunt your grandmother is trying to pull. I don't know what it is yet but we're doing some snooping around and we're not going to stop poking around until we see just what the loop hole is."

"Yeah, and Mommy!" Chrissie shouted.

"Your grandma is full of shit! She's not looking out for your best interest at all! She's a total fucker! Don't listen to her or let her brainwash you into thinking that she really cares about you because she doesn't! WE don't know what she's up to but we know it's something nobody but a low down, scum bag crook would think of."

"You don't think I've completely fucked up after I signed those papers?" I asked them, bewildered.

"No!" they all assured me.

"There is still something that she needs from you I think. Like we said, we don't know what it is but be patient and the truth will reveal itself somehow, somewhere, sometime!"

"Ashlee, I'm TALKING TO YOU!!!!" Giovanna shouted.

"Why aren't you answering me?"

"I know you love me," I said calmly.

"I know you're looking out for me."

Of course I didn't believe it for a second but I knew it would shut her up and we could move on to doing something else. My friends all gave me a thumbs-up for telling her what she wanted to hear. They, too, wanted her to shut the fuck up already. The sound of her voice was like nails screeching on a chalkboard. Her voice was only slightly more tolerable to listen to than Jennifer, my mother's voice.

The weekend dragged on miserably. By the time I got back to Olympia, my whole body felt like it had been rammed by a freight train. I had actually managed to get my homework done over my visit home. That was the only good thing I could think of for going home. I hated being there so much that doing homework to occupy my time was better than being with them. I knew that my teachers would all be happy to finally be receiving long past due assignments.

That night, I went to bed, grateful to be able to sleep in my own bed. For the entire weekend, I had been sleeping in my grandma's bed with her and she snored ceaselessly all night long. I asked repeatedly if I could sleep on the couch but she would deny every request, saying that sleeping in a real bed was better for my body and overall health than sleeping on the couch.

I was totally confused about why my grandma needed the life insurance policy so much. Well, wanted was more like it. She said that she needed it but really, she just wanted it. I tried to think about what she could be after but the more I thought about it the more exhausted I became so; finally I stopped thinking about it and tried to put it behind me. I wasn't sure if my imaginary friends were right about getting out of giving her what she wanted but, if I hadn't gotten out of it, all I could was let it go now. The past was the past and there was nothing that I could do about it now.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hospital Bill

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

We were all being lazy and carefree in our tiny little home yesterday evening. When I say we, I mean all of my imaginary demons, Amira, my beautiful daughter, and I. Chris, who also appreciates laziness and includes it in one of his five Satanic virtues in honoring the Devil, was summoned by Chrissie to go to the grocery store to get us some New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. Most of the time, we all go on outings together but yesterday all of us felt especially inclined to be lazy. It was like Bryan had cast a particularly powerful lazy spell upon us. Even Chrissie wanted to be lazy and she's usually the most hyper one out of all of them.

"Very well," Nevaeh said cheerfully from her perch on my left shoulder.

"It's a good idea to be lazy today. The Smm Smm cards need to rest. They are tired from working so much to make breast milk. The more we all help Mom rest the more rejuvenated the Smm Smm cards will be and the less formula dear Amira will have to eat."

We all agreed with Nevaeh and so off Chris went to fetch us our rich and creamy treat, along with olives, sauce, meat, and garlic bread for the spaghetti dinner that we would all be eating after we had ice cream.

Even Amira felt like being lazy. She lay in my lap, cooing and grabbing at my hair, not pulling it, just grabbing it and exploring the feel of it. I rubbed her nose and told her just how lucky I felt to have such a wonderful child and how happy I was that she was alive. She listened intently, not feeling the need to fuss, even though she had a wet diaper. Normally she fussed about wet diapers because she hated the feel of cooling urine against the bottom half of her body but Bryan's spell of laziness even reached her it seemed. Not even the wet diaper was cause for fussy time. She just lay there, enjoying her nose rub, fighting desperately to keep her eyes open but quickly losing the battle. Amira loved getting her nose rubbed. It is something that I've done to her from the day that she was born. In the background, quiet oldies music played to lighten up the room a bit.

Time went on and eventually, Chrissie's hunger for ice cream began to win out over the lazy spell.

"Where is Chris?" she yelled.

"I want ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!"

"He'll be back soon," I told her in a soothing voice.

And, sure enough, he was back within an hour and a half, arms full of goodies for all of us.

"Did you bring the ice cream Smm Smm?" Chrissie asked, jumping up and down in front of him and flapping her arms around like a bird flapping its wings in preparation for flight.

"I sure did," he said, smiling down at her.

"Is it Ben and Jerry's?"

"Yep."

He put all the groceries down with a sigh, tore off the hard to open tape that went all around the lid of the ice cream carton, and then handed it to me along with my spoon. I only have one spoon that I use. It's a big spoon, great for looking at my reflection in the back of it and telling myself how beautiful I am. Being vain was another Satanic virtue that my Dark, Unholy Lord encouraged me to practice on a regular basis. So, every time I was about to eat something, especially a decadent dessert such as the one that Chris handed me, I always took a moment to stare at my stunning reflection in the back of the spoon, marveling at how bright my face looked and how long and perfect my nose was and how dark and Satanic my brown eyes looked.

"Imagine how much more vain you'd be if you had full sight!" Mary Meyers said, dancing in the kitchen.

"I know it," I said with a laugh.

"Okay, okay, enough yapping already!" Hollered Chrissie.

"Open the damn lid to the ice cream already Mommy!"

So I did and it was perfect. The ice cream had thawed considerably while taking the long journey from Safeway to my house so it was just the right kind of softness but not too melty so that you would have to drink it like soup.

"MMMMMMMMM, I just LOVE these chocolate shavings!" Chrissie shouted as she took a huge, gluttonous mouthful of the rich, dark, creamy chocolate ice cream. I could hear her teeth crunching mercilessly on the nuts and chocolate shavings and it made me smile. I felt glad that Amira wasn't old enough for ice cream. I didn't want to share my precious treat. I wanted to be selfish and have it all to myself, with my imaginary friends taking imaginary bites whenever they were ready but not having it actually lessen the amount of ice cream in the little carton it came in.

Thank you Smm Smm," Nevaeh called to Chris. All of my friends say Smm Smm, too, in honor of my demon Smm Smm.

"Yeah, thank you Smm Smm," all the rest of them chimed in. Even Bryan said thank you to Chris and that was a rarity. In Bryan's mind, giving thanks was a righteous gesture and it often took too much effort for his lazy self to want to make.

"Wow, even Bryan said thank you," Chris said.

"He wanted ice cream, too," I told Chris.

"Thank you," I told Chris after my friends had finished yelling and applauding Chris for bringing us such a wonderful, heavenly treat.

"I'm glad you like it," he said.

"Hey, guess what we got in the mail today?"

"What?" I said, running my ice cold tongue over a smooth chocolate shaving before I clamped down on it with my teeth and savored the taste as it melted in my mouth and burrowed down in the grooves of my teeth. I loved it when chocolatey desserts burrowed down in the grooves of my teeth because it meant that I could still have a chocolatey taste in my mouth for a while after I had actually finished the treat.

"You got another bill from Providence St. Peter Hospital," Chris told me.

"Your mom stopped making payments on the payment plan for 150 dollars that she set up for the labor and delivery."

"She did?"

"Yep. She hasn't paid for two months in a row it looks like. Remember when we got one last month and it said that she owed 150 dollars for that month?"

"I remember getting something from Providence but I didn't understand that she didn't pay last month either. I guess it didn't process in my brain. So how much has she neglected to pay on the payment plan that she set up with them?"

"It says that she owes 300 dollars and that there is fifteen hundred dollars of the bill left over for her to pay," replied Chris.

I took another large bite of ice cream and chewed it thoughtfully, letting all the information sink in.

"You know what Smm Smm?" I said, sitting up straighter on my bed, feeling the waves of excitement begin to wash over me.

"What?"

"She must have stopped making payments on the bill right after I wrote her the letter that's on my Satanic blog now telling her that I wasn't going to talk to her anymore. That must have made her mad enough to stop paying it. Do you think that's what happened Smm Smm?"

"Yeah, I do. She's really, really mad about the letter and that you posted the message she left online for the whole world to hear, too."

"Oh, that's great!" I said and laughed out loud. Chris joined in and laughed with me, too. It gave me such gleeful satisfaction whenever I found out that I made my mother, Jennifer, mad. I used to fear her violent temper when I lived with her and would bend over backwards to avoid making her mad. But now that I'm finally free of her grip I really enjoy making her mad. If I could think of ideas every day about how to make her mad I would. Oh yes, sweet revenge, sweet revenge. Bet she really wishes she could slap me around or hit me in the face. Too bad she can't. Not unless she wants to be filmed doing it and have me write a story about it and post the incident and video on my blog so the whole world could see what my abuser looks like and to stop her cold. Oh, sweet humiliation, sweet humiliation. It will happen someday. She's so cocky I know she'll mess up and try to catch me. The day will come for the greatest humiliation of all time! The smile on my face could not possibly have gotten any larger or the muscles in my face would begin to tear.

"Why do you think she's not paying the bill besides that Smm Smm?" I asked Chris.

"Because she's trying to scare you into calling her," he said simply.

Yeah, earth to Ashlee, OF COURSE that's what she's doing! Why else would she not pay the bill. She is totally obsessed with my credit not getting ruined. That would ruin her perfect daughter's perfect reputation, wouldn't it? And she doesn't want that to reflect on her. That is why I strive to ruin the picture perfect Ashlee. I know it disgusts every fiber of her evil being and that pleases me to no end. Besides, I don't want to be perfect. I want to be as depraved as Satan wants me to be.

I felt kind of stupid not realizing that's what she was doing. There have been numerous occasions in the past where I would receive a huge, honking bill in the mail that my mom said she would pay but then stopped payment when I wouldn't talk to her. I would call her up because I was afraid of the consequences I would have if the bill didn't get payed. I knew that eventually the unpaid bill would go to collections and that I would get dinged on my credit and I wasn't sure what the consequences would look like once I had ruined credit. Would my doctor stop treating me if the bills didn't get paid? Would I be able to find a new place to move to if I ever decided that I needed or wanted to move? Were there any other repercussions I would face that never even occurred to me that would be worse than the ones I was afraid of facing?

Those fears would haunt me and, eventually, I would just break down and call her because the anxiety would eat away at me until it was unbearable. I would schmooze up to my mom, kiss her ass, tell her everything and anything that she wanted to hear to get her to start payment on the bills again. If I promised her something, such as being allowed to see the baby once things were cleared for me, I never actually intended to keep them. It was all just a big, huge game that both of us were playing. We were playing each other and, in this game, there would be no winners. It was a lose lose situation. Jennifer, my mom, would never see the baby even though I tricked her into believing that she would see her and even lying about having my own job to get her to pay up and she, in turn, would pay the bill while she believed in what I told her but would stop abruptly once her wishes weren't met and once she realized that I was playing her just as much as she was playing me. Then the whole process would begin again. I'd get scared, call her up, listen to what she was saying for a while to gather up enough information to make up a proposal that would appeal to her, she would like the proposal because it met her high standards and expectations of me, she would pay the bill for a while, I'd stop talking to her because at least the bill was getting paid again, I'd break my promises to her, she would again stop paying the bills, and the whole process would begin again. That is how my relationship has always been with my mother. She is too stupid to catch on to the fact that I wasn't ever really going to do what she expected of me and I, in turn, would tell her what she wanted to hear so that I could get my basic needs met, such as getting medical bills paid.

Now, why was I using my mother and doing it so guiltlessly? In her eyes, Jennifer believes that it's because I don't have a conscience, that I am ungrateful for the things that she does for me. She's even gone to lengths to tell people that I have bipolar disorder when she ran low of ideas to try to control me and found herself floundering, grabbing at nothing but air as she attempted to think of something else that she might be able to hold over my head. She thought that if she told everybody that I was bipolar that she would somehow manage to regain control over me. The truth is, I am getting back at her for all the years of mistreatment. I am not grateful to her. Sure, she provided me with shelter, clothing, food, and education during my childhood. But it is a very small offering compared to the monstrosity of abuse I endured while under her care. So, although I am not bipolar, she is right about me being ungrateful. What is there to be grateful for anyway when it comes to her?

I have also used her to pay the bills because she said that she would pay them. I had offered numerous times to get off of her insurance and apply for Medicare or Medicaid so that she wouldn't be responsible for the bills anymore. Her response was, "Ashlee, I want to pay your bills, especially the labor and delivery bill. I know that I haven't gotten to see Amira yet but I already love her and I know that you'll let me see her before she's up and running around. Besides, if you get off my insurance, you will have two hundred dollars deducted from your social security check. You don't really want that, do you?"

So far, everybody who I have talked to has told me that I won't have any deductions from my social security check if I get on my own insurance. I think that was just another one of her lies she told me, hoping that I would believe her so that she would still have something to hold over my head. She also told me that she was the only one who could remove me from her insurance. When I called the insurance company to confirm what she said, the person who I spoke to said that was true. When I called another time, though and spoke to a different person, they told me that I could still apply for Medicaid or Medicare and use them as my secondary insurance. Just because my mother was the only one who could remove me didn't mean that I couldn't apply for another insurance and have two insurance coverages. Phew! That was a huge relief to find that out.

Because she said that she would pay the bills for the labor and delivery, I refuse to pay the bill. If it goes to collections, so be it. I don't have enough money to pay for that sort of bill and she knows that. That is why she's trying to scare me into calling her again. She thrives off of contact with me because she thrives off of bringing me down, shooting down all my creative ideas, and making me second guess myself constantly.

This time, though, I am going to break the cycle. It's not going to work anymore. I am not going to let this huge bill make me panic and call her. Instead, I'm simply going to write the hospital a letter, telling them that I am unable to pay the bill. I am going to apply for charity care and I am going to write that none of the social workers who work at that creepy hospital ever told us about the option of applying for charity care once during our prolonged stay there. I'm also going to state that I never agreed to pay the bill and that I wasn't the one who set up that payment plan. My mother is the one who agreed to pay it and, if they want a payment from someone then they'd better call her and start mailing her the bills because I'm not paying it. I'm going to add that I am estranged from my psychotic family and that they're going to have to deal with them if they want the money badly enough. If they reject my request for charity care, the bill is going to go straight to collections unless my mom pays up. And, if it goes to collections, they aren't going to see a penny of it because I'm on social security and the collections agency won't be able to garnish my wages for medical bills that I can't afford. They can only garnish social security wages for unpaid student loans, taxes, and I think child support, though I'm not sure about the last one.

It was amazing and wonderful yesterday how little fear I felt once Chris delivered the news to me. Normally I would be tense with fear and tension and dreading the fact that I would have to talk to my mom again because back then, I felt like I had no other choice. It was like she was controlling me from far away. Even though she wasn't in my presence I still felt like she was and that terrified me. This time, though, I felt almost nothing. Sure, I don't like the idea of having ruined credit. But with the help of my imaginary friends and talking to Chris about my feelings, I decided that having ruined credit was a minuscule price to pay compared to talking to my abusive mom again.Sure, I will probably have difficulty renting a place to live, but eventually, I will find one. Satan will guide me to a place where landlords accept people with poor credit. I won't be the only one with bad credit in the world. Lots of people have poor credit and the numbers of people getting bad credit keep climbing as our economy continues to crumble like cookie pie crust. It's not the end of the world.

It took me years to finally reach this mental milestone. All of my imaginary demons are all clapping right now as I write this. Last night they had a huge party to celebrate this milestone of mine.

"See Mommy, Jennifer has NO control over you at all!" they all cried as they surrounded me, offering me various gifts of scented roses and candles.

"It is your life. Only YOU have the power to control it! We're SOOOOOOOO happy that you realize this now! It took you FOREVER but hey, better late than never."

I still have work to do. I've got to apply for Medicare now. Once I do that, Jennifer will have absolutely NOTHING to hold over my head ever again. I know what it feels like to be freed. I used to be on my Grandma Giovanna's phone plan for years but recently, I decided that I was ready to pay for my own phone and get off her phone plan since she constantly abused that power and held it over my head. So I got my own phone for only fifteen dollars and now, Giovanna has absolutely zilch she can hold over my head. When my new phone played the first musical notes of life as it turned on, I felt this amazing weight lift from my shoulders as I realized that Giovanna would never again have anything to hold over my head. Now, I've just got to get off of my mom's insurance and I'll be golden and she'll be a loser. Finally a game where there is a winner and a loser, the way a game should be. I'm the winner, she's the poor, sad, miserable, defeated loser, with no one but her equally evil mother and a boyfriend with no balls or guts to break free of her to complain to and lots of friends and coworkers questioning her about why she didn't own up to her agreement and pay that bill and why I loathe her so much.

"I bet she's going to be really mad when you apply for charity care because she's already paid so much into the bill," Chris said, laughing.

"I sure hope so. Maybe the bill collectors will start calling her house and harassing her for unpaid bills."

"They just might. And, once your relatives find out, she might not get any inheritance from your great-grandmother because she'll be really mad at your mom for treating you like that since she considers you this poor blind girl who has a very hard life."

"Oh, that'll be just great!" I yelled as I scooped up the last bit of ice cream into my gluttonous mouth.

I'm attaching the bill to this story for all to see. I'm also going to tell the relatives that I am still in contact with the injustice that my mother is doing. She used to be able to get away with manipulation and abuse while I silently and fearfully lived on, but not anymore. Mom, the jig is up. I am exposing you right here, right now, for the whole world to see just what a true scoundrel you truly are. Every time you pull a stunt like this to try and scare me, or any other stunt, I'm going to publicly expose you and write about it on my blog. I'm not going to contact you ever again and, it is probably in your best interest not to contact me either unless you want all your dirty laundry set out for the public. It isn't only you who I expose, I do it to everybody who deserves a good, strong dose of Satanic revenge for wronging me if they are stupid enough to do so. I sure hope that you enjoy having ruined credit, too. If I go down, I'm bringing you down right along with me. And the collections agency will think that your stuff is way more valuable for them to take than mine.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Mary Meyers is laughing in your face as the curtains close, darkness sets in, and the story comes to an end.