Drowning in the Shame

Drowning in the Shame

For several months, I have wanted to write out the secrets that I have carried since childhood, but each time I started to write about those years, I became fearful of judgment and deleted the text. I am ashamed of the sexual abuse that plagued my life from childhood into my teens. Sometimes, when the images come to mind I feel disgusted and cannot look at my reflection in the mirror. There are many women who can easily speak of those times. They have mastered control of the truth whereas I cringe and internalize my distress. I have been told that by letting go of these secrets I can embrace freedom from shame.

With learning the release date of the song, “The Age of Aquarius”, I can estimate that I was six-years-old when the ordeal of sexual abuse began. He was the teenage brother of my best friend. How he was able to repeatedly trickRaggy Ann me to enter his bedroom is still beyond my understanding. I did not resist, I did not cry, I did not tell. Close to the end of sixth grade, at age eleven, I knew if I said anything he would be in serious trouble. I started demanding money or else; candy sufficed for his lack of cash. Two months later a moving van pulled up in front of our house. That is when my mom informed my three brothers and me that we were moving to a new house across town. Two days later, I waved bye to my two best friends since kindergarten, never to see them or my abuser again.

The new house was built on an acre of land atop a hill. There were no other houses around. That following Monday, I entered into a new school with three months left to complete the sixth grade. The teacher had made a notation on my report card that was given out at the end of the school year, it read something like, Cynthia is a very bright child. She would have been considered a good student if she hadn’t been so belligerent. My mom never kept our report cards and this one, like the others, was thrown into the trash.

There was only a brief interlude between the sexual predators that would come to abuse me. The most horrific of all of was being raped by my older brother just after we moved into the new house. This brother would torment me by picking the lock on the bathroom door while I was showering. I would scream for him to get out, but he would stand there laughing. When he did leave he would take my clothes and towels with him so that I would have to come out of the bathroom naked.

Just turned 13 years old, 1973

I did not tell my mom because I thought she would blame me for his actions. I have carried this secret until right now, you are one of the few who now know.  I resisted, I cried, I told no one.

The sexual abuse began anew just after starting seventh grade. His name was Detective Bud Oliver of the Santa Barbara Police Department, assigned to the Juvenile Crime Division. It was a Sunday morning when, as a shortcut to the bowling alley, my friend and I ran across the freeway. By chance, Detective Oliver witnessed our crossing and came into the bowling alley looking for us. He took down our names and warned us of the dangers in what we had done.

The following week, l began Junior High School. A few days later, I recognized Detective Oliver sitting in an unmarked police car parked outside the school grounds. He called me by name waving for me to come over to the car. When I did he asked how I was doing. Often, he would wait for me after school. Slowly he gained my trust, buying me French fries or letting me drive around in the police car when he was on duty. It was not long before he took me to his apartment and the molestation began. He took pictures of me naked with a Polaroid camera making lewd remarks while smiling. This went on for six months during which time I would descend to the ranks of the “stoners.”

The stoners, also known as drug abusers, accepted me into their group. They introduced me to LSD, mushrooms, weed, speed, reds, keg parties, etc,  the worst was smoking cigarettes, which I still smoke forty-four years later. Of all that we had in common as a group one thing stood out, we did not have parents who cared. After being repeatedly cited for curfew violations, truancy, drug possession, my name became too well known in the court system for Detective Oliver. He phoned one night to say he was not going to be at the school anymore. He said that I should never tell anyone of our relationship. I remember crying when I hung up the phone.

Just afterward, the juvenile court system was threating to sever my parent’s parental rights declaring their lack of parental supervision was unacceptable. “She is becoming an incorrigible,” said the Jewish Judge. In response, my mother purchased two one-way tickets to Tel Aviv, Israel. I had no idea what was happening nor the inclination to ask, life was life, nothing mattered.

The man to my left Israel 1973 Ramat Gam Ezra's family_edited - Copywearing the hat in the photo was our guide in Israel and the newest pedophile to enter my life. Arriving in Israel did not change my mother’s lack of concern for my well-being. In fact, I was left to fend for myself for the following six months. While being molested from time to time by our guide, I was befriended by a Lebanese Arab man in his late twenties and his friend, a teenage American boy from Los Angeles.  I was earning money by running Lebanese hashish for the Arab and living with him and my fellow American. Occasionally, I would check to see if my mom was still alive. While in Israel I turned fourteen-years-old, finished reading the book Helter Skelter, watched the movie Dirty Harry starring Clint Eastwood three times and participated in my first threesome. What a shame.

Alive After Death

Alive After Death

I confess, my mother was abusive both verbally and physically from my first memory. At the same time, when I needed her to bail me out of trouble, she was there. It is a fact that she held disdain for my being born and because of her emotional neglect, I grew to hate her vigorously.

One time on Mother’s Day I gave her a card written in Spanish, a language she cannot read. She carried the card in her purse for several months and would pull it out to show people when I was present. She would hand them the card as she said, “Look at this card my daughter gave me on Mother’s Day. She knows I can’t read Spanish.” The expressions on their faces made me feel horrible.

Worse than that was what I did to my mom on April Fool’s Day. I was sixteen and had been drinking beer at my friend’s house. Sometime in the afternoon, my brilliant idea of a joke came to mind. I phoned my mom at “the shop”. The shop was an upholstery business my parents owned and worked together since I was three years old. When she answered the phone, I spoke in a serious and matter of fact way, “Is this Mrs. Pulver?” My mom replied, “Yes, it is, can I help you?” I followed with the question, “Are you the mother of Cynthia Pulver?” You could feel the dread when she confirmed that she was. I then repeated what I had heard on television many times.

“Mrs. Pulver, this is Nurse Morgan at Cottage Hospital. Your daughter, Cynthia, arrived by ambulance about an hour ago. She was involved in an automobile accident (pause).” “I am very sorry, Mrs. Pulver, we did everything we could, but she didn’t make it.”

My mom screamed to G-d, the sound of the phone receiver hitting the hard floor filled me with instant regret. “Mom, mom… it’s a joke, mom it’s me!” I could hear my dad’s stressed voice asking her what was wrong. “What happened?” he repeated. I glanced at my friend sitting in the chair; she was laughing. I wanted to hang up the phone, but I also wanted my mom to know it was a joke and I was sorry. My dad picked up the receiver and asked who I was. “Dad, it’s me,” I said. I cannot remember anything more about that day.

Often, in my teenage years, I told my mom, “One day you’re going to be old and dying. Don’t come knocking on my door because I won’t answer.” She was not old nor did she knock on my door, instead, she phoned. My mom died the day after Mother’s Day twenty-five years ago today. She died six weeks after her fifty-fourth birthday.

I needed to know why my mom was abusive to me as a child and critically mean to me when I was a teenager. When I asked her, she answered, “I did my best.” I did my best, she said, and I stood there looking at her dumbfounded. I turned my back and walked away with the word liar on my lips. She would die the following week.

My hate and anger toward my mom were left at the cemetery the day we buried her wrapped in white cloth as is a Jewish custom. My mom died without me saying I loved her and without a hug. My daughter was born and now carries my mom’s name proving her existence and death were not in vain.

Despite everything, my mom became alive after her death. I want to believe she knew that she would be forgiven and she knows I am sorry for what I did and for what I could not. 

Wish I Was a Superhero

Wish I Was a Superhero

I am always mindful of the egregious torture of the voiceless. Feeling overwhelmed, I cry for the ill-fated awaiting a painful death in the slaughterhouses across Asia. Their pleading eyes capture my empathy and compassion; I see their fear and feel their pain. My emotions sink into an abyss of horror where happiness is replaced with abject heartbreak. Cruelty (3)

Once seen forever to remember the atrocities that are now part of my conscience. I am inextricably linked to the depravity and there is no path of return to the life that was before. When I thought to have seen the worst, I discovered otherwise and, though, there are times I wish to turn away I cannot. The sentiments of morality are the sparks that fuel my fight to help end the agony and suffering brought about by evil minions of the devil. Cruelty 121

Where is the humanity in a society that tolerates such a vile industry as the Dog and Cat Meat Trade? What has happened to the souls of these heartless people who dismiss the outrage in the world community? I must question where the love of God goes when I cannot reason the degree of unspeakable brutality that thrives in these diseased societies that are populated with sadistic psychopaths. Please, Boycott South Korean and Chinese imports.

caged (4)“We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.” ~ Anonymous
#StopYulinForever #DogMeatBooklet #HelpNamiKim

The Greatness of You

The Greatness of You

It is true that the years do quickly pass. The year was 1980 when the loud ringing of the telephone woke me from a sound sleep, it was your brother calling.

Into this new year of 2017, I have carried you and our shared experiences. I play the memories over in my mind; the splash of the river water, the rumble of your motorcycle, the feel of your broad chest, and the squeeze of your hand around mine. I feel these memories as if they are at present, though, I am aware of how long it has been since the last time I saw your face, the last words we spoke, and I remember that night as I turned away from you to walk home, I felt you watching. When I turned back around, I saw you sitting on your motorcycle smiling at me and you said, “See Ya”.

You were a great boyfriend even if when we met you were twenty-four and I was seventeen. After my mother threw me out of the house you took me in and each morning you made sure I arrived at school on time. How I wish that had never ended, but my mom was furious when I did not return home, at least it took her two weeks to find out I was living with you. Though she threatened to call the police, I would have stayed with you if you had not told me to go back home.

Fortunately, I have an abundance of pictures of you, of us together. Years ago, I scanned them to my computer, to me they have become priceless. I do look at them every so often even though I know my thoughts will return to that early morning, the morning your brother called.1530342_218371838359668_226481080_n

The phone rang, I rolled over in my bed, picked up the receiver, and brought it to my ear. I heard someone sobbing, “Who is this, what’s the matter?” Your brother took a few seconds before he was able to say who he was, “sob…it’s… sob…it’s Keith, Mark’s brother.” He did not speak further and I thought there must be something wrong. “What is it, what is it?” I asked. “Mark’s dead, he’s dead,” without hesitation, I yelled into the phone, “that’s impossible I just saw him last night. What a sick joke, you asshole.” I  slammed the receiver down. Laying on my back, I stared at the blank ceiling wondering what if it was not a joke. My heart pounded against my chest in a quiet panic. Seconds later, the phone rang again, in the early morning on the day of your death your brother called. I let the phone ring, but it was apparent your brother wasn’t going to end his call. I picked up the receiver and silently took in the details of your apparent suicide.

You should have left me a note, wrote how much you loved me, that it was not my fault. In the memories I keep is the greatness of you. In memories, in dreams, and in my mind you are eternal. I still remember you sitting on your motorcycle that last night and I repeat to myself, “See Ya”.   R.I.P. My Love.

To See the Unseen

To See the Unseen

Entering the fourth year since my diagnosis with glaucoma, I told a friend that my visual loss was not so bad because unless someone pointed out what I could not see I am not aware of the fact. How shallow my thinking, I  learned today that visual loss no matter what is devastating. 

Over the last few months, my monitor displays colors that are distorted or static. Today, I was to complete my twenty-second video but the monitor took its last volt making that impossible.

Investigating what could be done to fix the problem, I discovered both the monitor and computer have an HDMI port. Having HDMI cables in the closet, I connected the two and was blown away by the sharp images displayed. In the background of photographs that I had viewed hundreds of times, I could see objects I had no idea were there. Overwhelmed, the photographs of my daughter and grandson brought me to tears. They were amazingly vivid, I touched the displayed image of my daughter; she was more beautiful than my vision had allowed me to know.

Thinking that my videos would probably also be different, I viewed all twenty-one of them. Afterward, the enormity was such that I could not deny glaucoma has a profound effect on my interpretation of reality. If someone asks me about glaucoma, I will answer that the loss of vision is far worse than one can ever imagine.

If you read to this point, please take heed. There are two ways to learn you have glaucoma, one is by an eye exam the other is when your optic nerves have become permanently damaged and then you schedule an appointment with an optometrist, but by then, it’s too late. >  www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes#1