Last Monday was my attempted murderers/my mother’s murderers birthday. I woke up, checked my phone, and saw the date. 1/22. “Hmm…” I thought, “this date signifies something related to my mom”. Shortly after I realized it was her (yes, the killer was a woman. Something that surprises folks) birthday. I did a quick google check because I couldn’t remember if she was 3 or 4 years older than me (Looking back, this was mistake number 1 I suppose, why the fuck does it matter how old she is?) and that’s when I saw it.
Her Prisoner Pen Pal Website
Immediately I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. This isn’t the first time she’s had one, I think it was back in 2013 I saw a news report on prisoners getting penpals and relationships through services such as these. I googled her name, and sure enough, there she was. When I saw it the first time I ran to the bathroom and threw up. This time was similar although I didn’t throw up right away, first I just sat there in shock as I read her words and looked through her two photos. Dressed in normal clothes, smiling. Just your average person… only she’s not. She is the one person responsible for my mom’s death and turning my world upside down.
In 2013 her penpal website said something like “I am a good person who did a bad thing, I am seeking forgiveness.” Those words will stick with me forever, just like her birthday, I can’t forget them if I tried. Seeking forgiveness from whom? Strangers? Definitely not me, she never asked for my forgiveness. This time it has no mention of her crime. It talks about her being long legged and sexy, I think. I screenshotted it but I can’t go back, not yet.
The other kicker was seeing that her release date can be as early as seven years from now. Since her sentencing in 2011, I have been living my life with the thought of her earliest release date being when I am in my 50’s. Shes only 3 or 4 years older than me (once again, I blacked that part out and can’t remember:(…) I’ve known her release was possible, but it has been distant enough to keep it on the back burner. Right away I realized that at her earliest release date, according to her site, I will be 37. The same age my mom was when she was killed (Which sent me on a downward spiral thinking about how I probably won’t live past 37, a whole other thing I’ll have to write about at some point). It was all too much. Instant panic, anxiety, PTSD… and that was my cue to run to the bathroom and puke. It is oddly comforting to be standing over the toilet puking and crying. Hello old friend, you’ve been here for me everytime I have this visceral reaction to the murderers face…
I found this website during a really tough time. I’ve been struggling with my mental health, and I have been talking about it quite a bit on social media (insert embarrassed emoticon here). For the first time since being diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia in 2007, I am looking forward to seeing the doctor. I want a therapist. I want help. I need it. I am afraid of what will happen if I *don’t* get it. That is a tough realization to have to come to terms with for me, but I have accepted it.
How did I end up here?
The question of my life. I moved at the end of August which changed everything. Went from living with two partners to 1, and of course, the other relationship suffered. We haven’t released podcasts and I haven’t been writing. I quit doing sex work online. All of those things aren’t necessarily a big deal, but so much of my identity has been wrapped around them. My 30th birthday was August 15, usually I have a huge meltdown around that time, but I couldn’t because of the move and my need to adjust to the changes.
In October my uncle passed away. K’s birthday (K is my primary partner, I forget there may be new readers here). My mom’s birthday, which always fucks me up for a while. Several expensive trips to the vet that we never financially recovered from. K’s dad was diagnosed with cancer on Thanksgiving and died a few days later at home (another thing I MUST write about, it was really healing and beautiful in a terribly tragic way). More expenses and adjustments, mentally and physically… surviving the holidays in December while grieving and being broke. It’s been quite an intense few months.
I was all ready for JANUARY- new year, new me… fresh energy. Instead, I am feeling eerily similar to how I felt the first year after my mom died. The intense grief and panic in my body. I feel like I can’t catch a breather, each time I stand up another rug is pulled from under me. I thrive when I have routine, consistency, plans- things I haven’t been able to make happen here yet. I also got a part-time job to try to help this financially unstable time we’re having, and of course, that is giving me massive anxiety.
Being reminded of my mother’s killer and seeing those photos was the straw that broke the camels back. I am so triggered. And I am tired. Mental illness is exhausting. But I am hopeful (the tiniest bit, not gonna lie).