Slolwaye wana…(Now I know)**Trigger warning for R***

********Beware, this could be triggering for some, I discuss topics related to my R**************************

There is good news….

I’m writing again. Manuscript writing!  Not just blog posts and lesson plans!! EEE..I’m so happy and thrilled to be back to being ME, that I want to dance!

Some of you are new to me and my life and my career, so you’ll have to strap in and hang on. For the rest of you, part of my recovery from the rape was finding and getting Bruce and writing the memoir, Red Steed and Little Orchid.(not published yet, still in the editing phases)  In many ways, writing RSLO, was the culmination of my healing to that point. I finished it, printed it, set it aside at the end of April and  took off with Cunksi and Bruce to play.

By May 5, 2015, he was gone. The quick details are that he unintentionally attacked and severely wounded me and for the safety of my daughter and everyone else, I had to put him to sleep. I say unintentional because I rescued him from people who left him outside chained to a post in the ground and beat him on that chain and starved him nearly to death. Dogs/animals can have PTSD too, and they can get triggered. He didn’t mean to hurt me. Which is what made my decision all the harder on me. But it was put up against the fact that if he had turned on Cunksi, he’d have killed her, and if that would have happened, I’d have thrown myself off a cliff.

I fell brokenhearted into my bed and pretty much stayed there until September. Part of it was that I was physically wounded. My hand was unusable and I was in great pain for months. He mangled my arm, wrist and hand. It was horrific. I had nightmares every night for months, (complex PTSD anyone?) had to endure excruciatingly painful Physical Therapy, and for the first time ever in my life, I was TERRIFIED of dogs, big or small.   In the darkest moments, I kept saying to myself, “It wasn’t Cunksi, it wasn’t Cunksi.

It’s getting easier for me to speak of, but I have to be careful because I still miss him so. It was such a juxtaposition. To have loved such an amazing animal and recovered him from the brink of death to have it turn out so tragically.  But I didn’t concentrate on that part. I concentrated on how much I loved him, who I had become with him and because of him.  Remember that “Team Mary” I talked about on my front page? Well, if it had not been for them, I would probably have been institutionalized. Between my Therapist friend and my Crisis therapist who team triaged me, along with my husband, and Cunksi, who had to dress me, help me eat, and do everyday things that I had never thought twice of before; I got through it. Not well, but I got through it. There were days when I was metaphorically belly crawling and dragging myself by my one good arm.

Tthe thing about losing Bruce was, I lost my emotional shit, everywhere, and for the first time in my whole life I didn’t give two fucks who saw me. After he was gone I’d go out to my car at Wal-Mart or Hyvee and break down in sobs, my head on the steering wheel because he was not in there waiting for me. I’d sob at night because he was not curled up beside my bed, or jumping his 90# self on me in the morning. Most of my days had been infused with the care and feeding of there was a gigantic gap once he was gone. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Or my time.

Bleh…it was soo horrible, it still makes me cringe. It took me a long time to not begin sobbing or feel that vacuous, breezy feeling in my gut or that giant hole ripped into my heart. But I’m glad I allowed myself to lose it when I needed to. (Now, if I could just do that with the humans I have lost in these last months.) The thing is, and what has gotten me through was knowing that in spirit time, we both served each other with what we needed for as long as we needed. I gave him more love in four months than he had known in 6 years of his life. In letting him go, I freed him to start his next journey, one that I believe is filled with love and no beatings or starvation. (from the people I took him from. I didn’t beat or starve him) And even though we only had four short months together (less really) we both got to live a lifetime together. Karma and Spirit time. While I mourned him, I mourned him fully, and even though the only person I was available to was Cunksi (of course I was, it was HER!!!!) it allowed me to do what I needed to so I could move on.  Like I said, I have to be careful because it’s still tender in my heart, but not devastating. And on this side of it, I see that I wouldn’t have made it through those short four months w/o his presence. It’s all in RSLO, you’ll all have to read it.

*****TRIGGER WARNING*****************

My point that I want to make is, I thought I had totally lost every ounce and idea of who I was pre-rape. This is going to sound odd, considering my past, but the rape absolutely shredded the ground I had so solidly built my world upon. Despite my childhood, I had a firm grip on my world, my reality, my power, it was something I was PROUD of. I worked REALLY hard to get there and to get my life the way I wanted it, loved it, etc.  I was Goddess Mary, ten feet tall and bulletproof.  But all that got knocked out of me when my rapist punched me in the face and slammed my head into a wall. In my post-rape mind, Tunkasila gave me Bruce, so when he died, I thought it was the cruelest joke, to have him ripped away from me.  But what I (eventually) saw was, I never actually changed, my view changed. I was suffering from what so many rape survivors suffer from. Extracting the “This happened TO me, Vs. “This is BECAUSE of me” or “This was caused BY me.” While I write it here easily, remember it took the therapists reminding me for MONTHS  to make it click again. (That is part of the PTSD. Our brains LITERALLY change.)

*******************End Trigger***********************************************************************

So now, as fall comes on, I’m happy to be feeling like ME again. Feisty, sassy, Goddess me who is aware that that piece of trash who took so many things from me on that day didn’t take what really mattered.  Parts of me are different now, but not in a bad way. In many ways, they are good. And that ground that got shredded to pieces?  New grass always grows.

As far as my hand, I’m out of the sling and the brace, I’m not in constant pain and I can use it. It is still weak, but it is now usable. I still have to do Physical Therapy.  My hand recovery is on a timeline, I have to get as MUCH of my function back as possible before the one year mark otherwise what function recovery has not returned, I will lose for good. So I am determined because I refuse to have a less than usable hand. The good news is that when I have to do the PT, I’m not brought to tears.  When I have to do the hot/cold water baths I don’t cry from the pain of it. {The recovery of that event is a story all in itself. Which WILL happen because it is in my recovery that I honestly learned the MOST about myself. So stay tuned.}

As far as my heart recovery, well, that line is not so clear anymore. It wasn’t until I was on this side of it, that I realized how much my demanding myself to get better and being upset with myself for not being okay, was actually hindering me and my heart, spirit, and soul.  I could have compassion for everyone around me to the moon and back but still expected myself to get up, gaping wounds and all and go on. I’m seeing that grey line a bit clearer these days and am happy to report that it takes nothing from who I am. Who I have become. Phew.

There is more good news. I have decided that I am ready to look for a new Service dog. The time has come.

I’ll talk more about these things later.

Take care of yourselves, be gentle with youselves, use resources if you need them. If you don’t know where to go, contact me, I’ll assist you.  Trust me, they don’t make you weak. Asking for help when you need it is the strongest, most self-caring gift you can give yourself and your spirit.

Sending you love, light, Peace and Turtles, MBB

bruceinaeyesIn Memory of Bruce Almighty Black Bonnet Feb 1, 2009- May 5, 2015


Lakota Winyan.
Cunksi’s Ina.