Coral’s Healing Room at Coralsblog.com 505-269-9242 iwritetohealmyself@gmail.com I rise early. I go to bed early. If you need me, I will make myself available to you.

Three years later…I dedicate today’s blog to my Mom…I love you. I miss you. I hear you.

Today is December 3rd. Three years ago at 12:06pm, on this day, my Mom won her battle with stage four breast cancer, with metastasis to her liver, her lungs and her brain, and her heart stopped beating. My Mom was 66 years old. My Mom was a mother and a wife for just over 46 years and that is all she ever wanted to be…a wife and a Mom. My mom was a good wife and my mom was a good mom and my blog today is in honor of and in loving memory of my Mom, Sherry Marie Ricketts.

My soul struggles today. My heart aches with each heartbeat this morning. This gut-wrenching, life-leveling and completely inconsolable pain is upon me and I feel crushed by its weight this morning. My mom is dead and I can’t fucking take it. Three years and yet no time has passed at all. Today, right now…I am right back there.

5:21am and I awake, although I’ve not slept in two months, to my Dad calling down the hall for me. We need to change your mom again. No wait…that was a few days ago. On this morning I got up to let Tamara out, so she can get up the mountain and feed everyone. Tamara came down last night to be with me…to be with us. My Mom has been non-verbal and non-responsive for days now. Aging with every breath she takes…we cannot not know that my mom is going home soon.

Preparing her meds, I hear her gasping in the other room for breath. I can’t fucking take it anymore and I call hospice and she says she will be right there. One of the kindest souls I’ve ever known…an angel came and she said we were getting close. I asked her how close and she said hours to maybe a day. My mom had lost her gag reflex and time was short. Time was so short in fact that it was only a couple of hours between hospices last visit and my calling them back to help me. God damn it I needed someone to help me. My Mom, lying dead in our den, was not there to help me, and I collapsed and I wept and I fucking died in that den too. My dad and I died in that den and we did not know what to do. I had to call my little brother and tell him that mom just died and he died and almost wrecked his car on that day too. I had to call Tamara and I had to tell her that mom was gone. I broke. I wailed. I went completely silent. I went out to smoke, hoping she would be breathing when I came back in. She was not. We all died a little bit that day. We all had absolutely no fucking idea what we were about to be facing…we had no guidance anymore. We were babies, all of us, and we didn’t know what in the fuck to do without that lifeless woman lying there telling us…guiding us…helping us. My God! Please help us!!!

Three years ago and yet I am there now, with and without my mom. I am in the studio she built for me, in front of the fire she insisted that I have and I am without my mom. The cold of that cannot be warmed by this fire. My soul screams this morning and my heart aches for my mom. I just want my mom right now. This is not just another day to me. Maybe someday it will be and today is not that day. December 3, 2015…a million fucking lifetimes ago and right fucking now…1095 days ago…26,280 hours ago…1,576,800 minutes ago…Three years ago on this day, time changed…life changed…I changed…and today I honor the place in me that needs to honor my mom today. And so it is.

Sherry was my Mom…Shawn’s Mom…and countless other people’s mom when they needed her to be.Sherry was Fred’s wife. Sherry was a friend to so many of you…a confidant and a crusader for so many of you. We know her differently and ever the same. We love her differently and ever the same, don’t we? Many of you hurt today too, don’t you? I feel you and I want you to know that I love you. I feel you. I miss those fucking high heels 👠 clicking towards me too.

My mom always told me that I should write. “Sugar, you write so well. Why don’t you write a book? You tell your story so well Sugar, why don’t you be a stand up comedian? Sugar, how do you spell…? Sugar, you write and draw and paint so well…you are an artist and a poet…why don’t you write and illustrate your own book? Maybe a book of your animals at the Sanctuary? Sugar, you are going to write, aren’t you?” Yes Mom. I am going to write. I began writing soon after I realized that was the only thing that could possibly, maybe, save me, and that was a year ago when I started coralsblog I am painting again mom and two of my pieces are in a local art show tomorrow evening, at Effing Bar (coincidence? I think not). I never wanted to be a Mom and my mom didn’t understand it…and she knew it just the same. My mom knew who I wanted to be…who I would be…she bought me their books…Shakespeare…Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso…Michael Jackson…Wayne Dyer Mickey Mouse and Jesus…Shel Silverstein…Dr. Seuss…just to name a few. I don’t know it then and I am grateful to know it now…my mom knew who I was and she knew I was here to do great things…amazing and huge things. I don’t think either of us realized that she would have to die for me to do it. This blog would not exist if my mom were still alive and so I do what I do. For every negative, I offer three positives:

My mom is dead and I can’t call her on the phone.

1. Because my mom has left her body, she is my biggest fan and no longer my biggest critic. For this new relationship with the woman I call my mom, I am eternally thankful.

2. Because my story is my own and because I am allowed to tell it, I am thankful that my mom is supportive and encouraging from where she is, as she was unable to be supportive of my being public about what happened in our family while she was in her body. My mom is my inspiration for much of my story now and I am so grateful.

3. I am so thankful that I had 42 years with my mom. I am thankful for the woman strong enough to carry me in and humble enough to let me carry her out. For every breath I lose missing my mom, someone else never got the time to know their mom at all. For the things I take for granted, I am becoming aware and I am so blessed.

Today, I stand before you making a different choice than I did a year ago…two years ago…on this day. I will not stand at her grave and weep…she is not there…she does not sleep. I am here and I do not sleep either. A little tiny pig needs a ride to her forever home this morning. I had scheduled my first work day with the little co-operative that we’ve been dreaming up, purposely to be on December 3rd, to begin a new, to awaken anew on this morning. We sadly canceled yesterday due to inclement weather and bad roads. So, that freed us up to jump in our Jeep and four wheel up out of here to be of service for a little bit today…and I am so fucking thankful! “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Thank you Dr.Wayne Dyer. Up there with my mom this morning.,.please tell her I say hello and I love her Wayne. “Coral, you know I will.” And so it is.

I honor the woman who selflessly carried me in, a warrior in her womb and often a thorn in her side, this morning, knowing she would have to die for me to do my work. I honor the woman who was a warrior this morning. I honor the warrior in each of you this morning.

I love you mom. Today, in loving memory and honor of our mom, Tamara and I will be of service and be together. I will cry a lot. I will laugh a lot. I will appreciate your love and prayers and texts a lot. I love you.

We must go toward the love…(a message from Sherry and Coral)

Happy Sunday everyone! What a beautiful snow blanket we are covered in this morning! I love sitting cozy in front of the fire watching it snow and thinking of my Mom. I love living in the mountains, where I’ve always known would be my home and final resting place. I love being in love. As I learn what it means to be in love and how it feels to be in love…I love being in love more and more.

To be in love and I mean really in love, you have to bare your soul, don’t you? You have to bare witness to someone else’s soul too, don’t you? You have to really, really put yourself out there and to trust. You have to be naked in the fucking snow, so to speak, with icicles hanging off of you and you must trust that there is enough warmth within you to endure it. You have to be willing to do the hard work of loving first and risking not being loved in return. Sadly, this will happen to you. You will hurt and you will weep and you will want to not love anymore. And then you will love and someone will love you back and you will forget that you swore to never love again. Love scares the shit out of so many people. Love didn’t hurt us. Love never hurt us. Hurt people who didn’t know how to love us hurt us. Love did not hurt us. We, being hurt people ourselves, hurt people. Love did not do the damage that hurt people blame love for. Hurt people hurt people. (Lyric from one of my favorite songs…just escaped me which song and by whom…I apologize). We must know this so that we stopped blaming love and shying away from love. We must go toward the love. At all costs, we must go toward the love.

At the cemetery yesterday in bone chilling winds, my tears burned my face. The grass…the headstone…the whole fucking world was cold. My heart though…my heart was warm. As I drove off and pulled around to leave, there was a woman collapsed by a grave near my moms…sobbing and weeping and the shiver and tremor and pain ran through my very soul. My heart cracked and I sobbed for her. I sent her all of my love as I left her there to do what I have done so many times before…allow her to break and to pull herself back up in her time. I fucking loved that woman…right there…right then…I loved her through her enormous grief and I love her still and I do not even know her name. We do not have to know names and details that are none of our business anyway, do we? We do not. We can love another because we feel them so deeply that we cannot not know that we are them and they are us. Umbuntu. I am because you are. Do we not fall in love every day with pieces of our fractured selves that we cannot escape or heal…places that we don’t even recognize as our own when we see them in another? When I felt that woman sobbing on her knees on the very soil that I have soaked with my own tears so, so many times before…I did not need to know her name or for whom she cried. I only knew that I fucking loved her with all of my heart. We are here to love.

I woke this morning crying in my sleep, as the impending doom of December 3rd hit me in my heart center, my gut…my very fucking soul. Tomorrow at 12:06pm, three years ago…as I held my mothers hand, and she opened her eyes one last time, squeezed my hand and took her final breath…my Mom launched out of her body and soars above, around, within us all. I carried my mom home…just as my mom carried me in. My mom had a lifetime to look forward to in those tiny and yet unopened eyes and my time ran out as I placed my hands over her eyes and closed them one last time. Time does run out. We don’t do things because we don’t know how and so we just don’t. I can promise you this…I didn’t know how to lose my mom or how to follow that fucking hearse into those cemetery gates and to leave without her. I didn’t know how to do that and my mom wasn’t here to tell me how to do that and I did it. My mom left her body and then we had to leave her body there and what in the fuck is that?! Truly…who knows how to do that?! No one knows how to do that and so we do the best we can and we rely upon those who love us to help us to figure it out. That is love. Being in love is just that…being, in action…love…for someone…for yourself…be in love. You’ve only two choices…love or fear. We have been taught and programmed to fear…and yet we are love. I am. You are. We are love.

Sherry wants you to call your Mom…your Dad…your husband…your brother…your sister…your wife…your kids…your best friend…your grandparents…your neighbor…Sherry hates texting and she insists that you must call someone whom you say that you cannot live without. Not your husband in the next room. Give me a good honest reach here for someone that for whatever reason, you have been afraid to reach out to…afraid to call…call them now. My Mom and I are okay and we will always be okay. I’ve no regrets. Not a single one. My moms dying words to me, as were often her words in life to me, “Leave me alone.” And I did not leave her alone. Thank God that once again I did not listen to her!!! I did not leave her alone. I stayed by her side and I loved her home. You can do that too you know…what you want…what you need…you can do that too. If you want to call your mom…call her. If you are afraid to make that call, definitely make that call. I promise you that if you don’t make that call, you will run out of time to make that call and then you will wish you had made the fucking call. Your time will run out and your wishing you had done it will be for you to deal with in your grief. Don’t do that to you. Trust me…make the call. Hear her voice. Tell her thank you. Tell her you love her. One day there will be a phone with her number still in it that no longer connects to her. Her voice will begin to fade from your mind…your texts will have been lost in phone upgrades and you will be on your fucking knees wishing you could just talk to her one last time. I can’t. You can. Do me a favor and call her, okay?

Just keep swimming…

Good evening everyone. I have been pretty busy on this day and I am ready to read for a bit and go to bed. I had a doctors appointment this morning and one first thing in the morning tomorrow. I am feeling stronger and like I’ve begun to turn a corner. The work to get where I am going is not going to be easy. The trauma that all of this has triggered is pretty surreal and very painful, both physically and emotionally.

My Mom not being here and never returning is still unfathomable to me. As of late, I break down a little bit and sometimes a lot just trying to make peace with her physical absence. As her things make their way to their new homes, there are a couple of boxes for me that I just can’t bring myself to go pick up. I put time aside in my day to go to the cemetery tomorrow. I haven’t been is such a very long time. We will see what my heart allows.

I have lost a lot in my life, and nothing ever hurt me quite like losing my Mom is hurting me. I have never gone so far out of my way to find a place within myself to make it not so. I have never been so wrecked and unable to reassemble myself, so lost and unable to find myself, and so sad and inconsolable. I have never been so sick for so long and somehow missed her at every turn. I…my mind…knows better. My heart is deeply wounded though, to wake again today and to head to bed tonight without a conversation with my Mom.

I am blessed and there is no doubt about that. I have an amazing life. I have amazing people in my life. I have the most beautiful home in the mountains with the most amazing partner in the world. I love my life. Lately, as I go through what I must to live the life I’ve imagined, I must relive once more the things that most cannot imagine.

As we all walk each other home, let us not forget how we all carry something…we all hurt in some way that others may never know. Always be kind and you will always be right.

Good night everyone. I hope you rest and dream well. I love you.

All of my prayers for my MRI today to reveal the cause of my pain…

Good morning everyone! Still blogging along. I began blogging every day in December. I made a 365 commitment to myself, to blog every single day. I am so glad I did. Some days getting here is hard. Today, getting here is hard. I feel really scattered. The fatigue from the constant and unrelenting pain, coupled with the fatigue of no sleep is catching up to me a bit. I just want to be well.

I was browsing through Facebook yesterday and I saw some people that I don’t talk to anymore…people who don’t talk to me anymore. I’m not even sure who isn’t talking to who in some situations. I have been sitting with that and how odd it feels. Pictures of my Mom…of my family pop up and it all seems a million fucking years ago. Pictures of some of you…a million fucking years ago.

Seeing pictures of my Mom sitting next to me smiling…some days, on the best days, she still is. Maybe a hummingbird or a butterfly…maybe a flash of her face through my tears. Maybe her high heels clicking against the tile and maybe her eyes rolling as I speak. My minds eye and my heart seek her out. Some days screaming at the top of our fucking lungs. The primal cry…the primal pain of separation, being ripped umbilically and torn in two, as I stood over her casket. We do not know this pain, until we know this pain. Once we know this pain, the pain of losing the woman who carried us into this world…we are changed. No matter who you are, and however you lose your Mom, even if she gave you away…there is no separation like that of a child losing their Mom. I felt pain before. I hurt deeply before. I never hurt like I hurt the moment my Moms heart stopped beating. I knew…I could not, not know, in that very moment, that part of me died right there with her. Part of me stopped right then and right there…my heart, my life, my knowing…it all just fucking stopped. My Mom was ready to go and I understand that…I really, really do. I am glad she didn’t stay and suffer anymore. I will tell you this though, I still don’t know how to lose her. I still don’t know what the fuck to do without her. I have my MRI today and my Dad is coming to be with me. I am grateful and thankful and I know I will put my Mom in the bathroom, waiting in the other room, waiting in the car…because something in me can not bear for her to not be there too today too. I cannot explain it. I cannot say why it is so, only that it is so, at least for me, when I am feeling sick, I miss my Mom. I have been really sick and I am not getting well, anymore than my Mom will be in that waiting room when I go in and when I come out today. It is more than missing someone, it is as though this pain in my umbilicus is worsened by the severed connection and the complete disregard for me…the absence and the loss…Hurting in my belly button so much that I am nauseous, a lot, I cannot help but miss my Mom. I cannot not be aware of all that is no longer there…all that is broken there…all that has no answer or explanation there, in my tiny belly button.

I am not scared and yet I am feeling anxious. I am putting all of my prayers into finding the source of ALL of this pain in today’s imaging. I am praying that imagining is recorded as mine and handled with the utmost care and consideration for my fractured fucking psyche, from being handled by people who didn’t see me at all or care enough about me enough to be present. Maybe my body looks like every other fucking body that you see every day and maybe I can’t tolerate the pain enough for that “Handle With Care” tatty I’ve been meaning to get since my surgery. Or the “Fragile” or “Be Here Now” tattoos that you have inspired by your disregard and absence when you went inside me. Maybe being inside me isn’t a big deal at all to you…I think you really ought to know that anyone being inside of me, for any reason at all, is a big fucking deal. Oh wait, I did tell you that. I cried as I told you that, and you still didn’t fucking see me. You dropped me and let me shatter and you never looked back, did you? Not except to cover your ass, did you ever look back to check on me after everything you did and didn’t do to take care of me, your patient, under your care. Your ass…the one that I speak ambiguously and yet openly about, the one that shows, much more than your heart. As I struggle to get well, to find out what is wrong and to address the pain that you didn’t address, pain that your absence caused and keeps on causing…I notice your absence. Today, as I have to go have more imaging, I know you are not thinking about me and praying as hard as I am, that Tamara is or that my family and friends are that we find what is wrong today, so we can make it right again. Maybe you are…for different reasons, maybe not…either way, I am praying for you and for everyone who you put your hands on, that you be fucking mindful, mindful as fuck…that you fucking show up and be present, stay present…give two fucking shits, about the person whose life you have great potential to destroy in your absence inside of them. We do not need…people like me, with PTSD, do not need people like you making our already difficult lives more difficult, because you don’t rwally care about us.

In this moment, I bring my world to a slow and steady still. I breathe with intention to stay mindful and present. I pray for today’s imaging to be the imaging we need to clearly and without difficulty, to see what is causing the pain in my pelvic, posterior region and my post op umbilical and pain in my pubic area. I pray that this imaging is so clear and that treatment for it is so clear, that we can schedule immediately and without haste to get me well. I place my faith and my trust in my PCP to help me to make me better. I am not well. I pray, with all of my heart, to be well. If you are so inclined, please pray for me to be well.

Thank you for being here today. I love you and I hope you have a beautiful day. I am going to see a couple of clients before my MRI this afternoon. Please keep me in your heart and mind your prayers. I love you and thank you so much!

I get by With a little help from my friends…

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Good morning everyone! I am dragging a bit this morning, as I get my day started. I have really been missing my Mom a lot. Being sick, I  want my Mommy.  My Birthday is two weeks away today and I miss her so much more it seems. Losing your Mom is not for sissies. It will fuck with you from seemingly out of nowhere, as you scramble to stay afloat. Losing my Mom opened a flood of tears, held in for an entire lifetime, that now runs like an open water spicket.  There is no “right” time or place for these meltdowns. They come whenever they feel like it. There is no stopping the meltdowns either, at least not for me. Of all of the many Sherry Lessons, Sherry never taught me how to live without her. Of all of the people I have ever lost, losing my Mom has to be the break that opened the flood gates, the crack that almost sunk my boat and the pain unmatched by any other pain. Primal pain…so fucking primal that I feel it in my soul.

I got a package in the mail yesterday, which is fairly rare. I was not expecting it and so it was pretty exciting, just seeing the package. I opened it and inside was the most beautiful hand written letter and a mala that my friend created, with my Mom and I in mind. This mala was hand made with so much love and healing energy and positive intention. The moment I put hands on it, I felt it’s power. I felt all of the love. I definitely felt my Mom, and I so needed that last night. Receiving such a beautiful gift lifted my spirits and reminded me why I am here. Wearing this mala around my neck feels like it is helping to stabilize me and hold me tight as I navigate some really rough terrain.

It occurred to me that I wasn’t sure how to say thank you adequately, for such an amazing gift. I tried to share My thankful and I did…there is just a lot of thankful left that I have not expressed. This morning’s blog is to be about being in gratitude. This morning’s blog is dedicated to someone who is attempting to love me better.

I am still so touched and so inspired by this gift. I am honored and I am humbled. I feel full and capable, where I once was weak and losing ground. I did a LOT of research on Malas yesterday and I learned so much. Mostly what I learned is that someone saw me in need of something beautiful and amazing and full of love and light, and they answered the call and filled that need. Wouldn’t it be great if we all did that?

So, from the bottom of my heart, and with all of my love, I thank my friend, whom I won’t mention by name, as I’ve not asked for her permission, for loving me like a verb, for being the change. I needed a little jumpstart, a hand to pull me out a bit and a heart that only has the purest intention, to love me through all of this pain and being unwell. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am in the midst of something I’m not clear on how to navigate. I am in pain that I cannot seem to get out of. I am going to rise above it, with a little help from my friends!

I love and appreciate you. I really, really do, for sharing in this journey with me, for loving me like a verb. Have a beautiful day everyone. I love you!

Time to do some laundry…

Good morning everyone! Happy Monday! I hope you had a fabulous Mothers Day yesterday with your Moms.

I was in surreal space yesterday. Physically, my pain was horrible yesterday…toppping my pain chart. Every move was excruciating and it took everything in me to keep one foot in front of the other. This pain is pain I’ve never had and so prolonged that I am fatigued and exhausted and irritable. Everything just fucking hurts. I woke up this morning in a similar space and I feel a little defeated…a lot run down and mentally fucking racked and fatigued.

All of my efforts to stay positive and upbeat paid off, and yet inside, I feel like a crushed and shattered fucking mess. I know my Mom is gone. I know my Mom isn’t coming back here, and yet my heart constantly searches. My soul aches. Tears fell on the inside yesterday…a steady flow, all day, and into the night, on Mothers Day without my Mom.

I cannot really find a way to express this pain, other than through my words. I could never have imagined pain like this…despair and hopelessness like this. What do we do without our Moms? How do we go on without our Moms? When the coffee cup sitting next to ours on the table is full and our cup is in desperate need of refill…when conversation must be in our heads now, so we don’t look bat shit crazy in public, talking to our Moms. I’ve gotten over that…what other people think of me talking to my Mom in public…I don’t give a shit anymore. Talking to my Mom is more important than how it looks to people I don’t even fucking know.

Mothers Day ends it for me for a while. I have some reprieve for a while, from the holidays and my entire family’s Birthdays, one stacked on top of the other. I have some time to sit in some happy and come in out of this pain a bit.

I didn’t hear from my Dad yesterday. I guess it’s Mothers Day, not Fathers Day. I get that. I also get that, for the first time in 44 years on Mother’s Day, my Mom and my Dad have left the building. I really, really got that yesterday, and I wept.

I don’t know how to share my feelings about this, without coming across like a spoiled little brat. I just cannot wrap around everything I’ve ever known just being wiped the fuck out. My Mom had no choice…she had to go, and I do get that. I really, really do. My Dad though…I have never been so far away and absent and estranged from my father, who still has a choice, and doesn’t choose me anymore, doesn’t see me or reach out for me on these days anymore. So, for me, yesterday, was the hurt of a lot more than just missing my Mom…and today, it’s like an emotional hangover from a night of excessive binge drinking and doing shots of emotional trauma, only to wake up less settled than I went to sleep, more hurt than I know what to do with.

I gave my Dad away when he got remarried a couple of weeks ago. I set him free. I mean, he had already left…I just gave him my blessing. I meant it, I really did. I just haven’t mastered how to do that just yet, with my whole heart. Part of my little heart must still be hanging on. Part of me still wants to hold on to a part of him that doesn’t exist anymore. Part of me will always need my Daddy and I guess yesterday was one of those days…one of those hurts, too deep to rise above entirely.

And…that’s enough of that for today…that’s just where I go sometimes. I don’t want to go there and yet I find myself there, unable to get out, unable to rise above a pain so deep that it literally engulfs me and consumes me. Pain that sucks me in like a vacuum and spits me out like a battered and broken throw away, tossed into the heap with the others, who landed here with me.

Do you want out of that heap? I mean do you know that you don’t have to stay here in this pile of dirty, unseperated laundry? Dingy and dirty, stained and with skid marks, all lying on top of us and right next to us…spilling the stench onto us. Us spilling our stench onto them. We do not have to lie in this shit anymore. We can sort ourselves out, and we can get clean.

It really isn’t the getting clean is it? Isn’t it the sorting ourselves out and staying clean that slap us across our proverbial faces? I know, for me, staying out of the the pain…well some days, I just can’t.

So, with that, I am signing off. I hope you all have a wonderful day! I am off with Pranja for suture removal and her post op visit, and then to visit her best friend, the woman who saved her.

Pranja sure as hell isnt going to stay in this heap of unsorted and dirty fucking laundry that she landed in. I’m going to go with Pranja today and liberate myself from a pile that I obviously still need to do some sorting and cleaning and purging through.

Happy Monday everyone! Go sort some dirty laundry, shall we?

Addressing the naysayers….

Happy Friday everyone! What to do today? I used to count down to my weekends…happy hour began promptly as soon as I was off work. I would meet my Mom and we would have begin our weekend together, almost every Friday for many years. My Dad would join when he got off work and Shawn popped in a time or two. Mostly though, Friday happy hour was the time set aside for my Mom and I to catch up, to celebrate another work week behind us and to just be together.

I miss my Mom a lot today. I feel her absence and I yearn for her presence. I have had a rough week and happy hour sounds pretty fucking good to me right now. Only it really doesn’t sound good to me at all anymore. Over four years sober and my Mom is dead and my Dad is getting married tomorrow in Carlsbad. Happy hour would undoubtedly put me in the grave right next to her, as I am someone  who just keeps drinking. Alcoholism being a progressive disease and me and my insatiable appetite for more…a deadly combo indeed. So, with all of that being considered, I will not be in attendance at my Father’s wedding tomorrow, in Carlsbad.

I do want to address this, as I have been ridiculed for not showing up…I have people disappointed in me for not being in attendance. I’ll be real honest, fuck you. That’s about as clear as I can come with it. How dare you judge me and try to shame me into going to the one place in the world that is too painful for me to go…fuck you. There is only one place in this entire world that I have vowed not to go…Carlsbad, NM, where I was abused over an 18 year span, by a family member, by my Mother’s sister.

With a dead Mother and a Father getting married, that’s a potentially deadly combo for me. I am worried about my own health right now, my own sobriety right now, my own relationship and my own mental state right now, I made the only decision for me…I will not be in attendance at my Dads wedding.

Here is something to consider though…my Dad actually made the decision. My Dad decided to get married in the one place that I cannot go, knowing that it’s the one place I cannot go. We are not talking about a place that I will not go. We are talking about the only place in the world that Sam and I cannot go. My Dad had known this since we found out what happened to me in Carlsbad…this is nothing new to him.  My Dad made his decision to do what best serves him and his new bride, as he well should, right? My Dad should do what’s best for him…everyone says so…and I agree. Here’s something else, Coral is going to do what’s best for Coral too.

To my family members who have known what happened to me, for all of these years…who have known what your sister did to your sisters daughter, shame on you. Truly, shame on you, for doing absolutely nothing…and then, to have the audacity to pass judgement on me for not being in attendance…in my own literal and personal hell. Are you fucking serious? You want to school me? You want to reason with me? You want me to do what is “right”? Why didn’t you do what was “right”? Why didn’t you speak up? Why didn’t you protect the child from your sick and abusive sister? Do not tell me what is right. Do not tell me what to do when you did absolutely nothing to protect me. You have questions and I answered them. I have some questions for you too. Who sees a child so isolated and withdrawn, so sacred and sad and awkward…so hurt and torn and tortured, so drunk and mindless…and does absolutely nothing? What kind of “family” allows a child to be horrifically harmed, berated and made fun of, mocked and ridiculed and called a loser, and does nothing at all, for an entire fucking lifetime? Do not pass your judgement on me. Do not spew your ignorance and your hate and your disdain for yourself onto me anymore.

I come from sickness, where the most hurt of people, hurt people. I come from alcoholism that you wouldn’t believe unless you saw it with your own eyes. A whole bunch of hurt people, who have hurt people, stood by and watched people and small children be mortally wounded, and done nothing. I come from a long line of “shoulds and should nots”…a short line of doers and a complete absence of accountability for crimes against children. I suffice to say to you now that I am fucking done. You can take your judgment and your disappointment and all of your contempt for me and you can do whatever you wish to do with it…you just cannot leave it here with me anymore.

Whatever the physical or mental ailment that plagues me…all of the intrusive and PTSD provoking exams I am undergoing…the hard questions that I am making and the difficult phone calls…all of the fucking trauma, inflicted upon me by a lifetime of abuse and being scapegoated…I’m handling all of it, the best that I can and the only way that I know how. If you can’t help me right now, then at least do me a favor, stop harming me. Stop shaming me. Stop ridiculing and judging and mocking me…leave me the fuck alone. You never liked me anyway, so here’s your free pass, and there’s the door…Go.

Generation upon generation of sickness, alcoholism and abuse…sexual, physically, emotional and mental abuse. “Boys will be boys…” Have you ever heard that? I heard it my whole fucking life when my Moms Brothers picked on her relentlessly, until she cried and almost peed her pants…”Boys will be boys…”My Moms Grandad drove like a fucking asshole with my Mom screaming and crying and begging, in the back of his truck to stop…and he kept going until she flew out and he laughed at her….all covered in tears and dirt and her pretty little dress soiled and her hair all messed up…and we all laughed at that story my whole life. That is not funny…nothing about that is fucking funny. I cried inside every time I heard that story…I fucking hate that story! Why did everyone laugh at her and no one helped her? My Mom was hurt and abused, by her own family…by her own Brothers, being boys…fucking bullshit…being boys…Is that what boys do? Boys hurt and berated and mock and taunt and make girls cry? That’s how I learned it…and I’m here to call bullshit. Boys don’t hurt girls. Boys don’t hurt boys. Women don’t hurt girls.

My family…they have it wrong and they have had it wrong for a very long time. My family is a hurt people, licensed by their own pain, to hurt people. Did you know that if you, yourself are hurt badly enough, you get a free pass to hurt whomever you want, as badly as you want to? A free lifetime pass, for the pain inflicted upon you, to harm whomever you want. No annual fees and no interest…you fucking earned it…the right to do whatever the fuck you want, to whomever you want, whenever you want.

Hurt people, hurt people. I am a hurt people and I am here to revoke all of your free passes. Go ahead and hold them up, because I am coming around to collect all of them. These passes, every single one of them, revoked, deactivated and into the fire pit I have prepared. You do not have the right to hurt people because you are a hurt people. Your all access pass to me, and to my Mother and to my little Brother…DENIED!

I, Coral Dawn Ricketts, being of sound and somewhat tortured mind and badly battered and beaten body, do hereby proclaim my own independence from the abuse and torture of the scapegoat role that I have held in my family, for my entire lifetime. I revoke and disarm all privilege granted to harm me and I close down the ticket window to this event, the fucking freak show that you all created. I pull any and all props, including my little brother and my cousin from this fucking rubble and I insist upon safe passage for all three of us. All open tickets are now closed, and will not ever, under any circumstances, be reopened. By the power vested in me, by my higher power and my Mother, I dismantle and disable this dysfunctional family. I break apart all ties that bind me, all regret inflicted and projected upon me, and I release all shame, from myself, my little brother and my cousin. I open every single window and door…remove any and all obstructions to the light hat has been unable to enter. By the power vested in me, I invite the light…into every nook and cranny…into every dark corner and hiding place…I invite, with all of my heart, my light. And so it shall be.

I shall not pass this way again. I thought that maybe someday I would…Today though, my foucus is on my release from captivity. Coming out into the light is very hard on my eyes and this will take some adjusting, so please be patient with me, as I learn to navigate my world, Sam’s world, from the drivers seat.

I offer My forgiveness to everyone who has every harmed me, in any way. You know who you are…the ones who haven’t asked, the ones who will never ask…I forgive you just the same.

I offer my heartfelt apology to anyone I have harmed. With all that I have in me, I am so sorry if I have ever hurt you.

I offer my family, my entire family, up in prayer. I pray for God’s mercy, for his love and his light to shine down on all of us. We all carry something that we wish we didn’t carry and we have all done something that we wish we had not done. I pray for forgiveness for us all, redemption for us all. I pray for healing. I pray for my family of origin to be healed and to be made whole, by your love and light.

I pray for release of myself and my Mother and my little Brother of the ties that bind us to this pain…that we have known for our entire lifetime, that we may truly be free. I pray for my Father, to find his happiness, his wholeness and his authentic self, without the expectations, wants, needs and desires of someone else.

For us all, always and in all ways, I pray for our healing and for our release of things that no longer serve us. Yesterday I set the circus down, today I sever ties with all of the clowns and puppeteers…the cages and captivity…the dark tents and the back alleys of my life.

This is either my beginning or my end. Either way, it’s a beginning. So, whatever you need to do…that mammogram you know you need to get, the bloodwork and even the colonoscopy…what about that consult with a therapist, to help you sort through your overwhelming pile of hurt? What about a day trip with that handsome husband of yours…work can wait…work will be there…go kidnap him and take him to a long lunch or bail him out of work early today. What about your gorgeous wife? What don’t you go grab some flowers and make a dinner reservation, for her favorite place this evening? Why not?

As always, I write to heal myself and I send all ill feelings back to the universe, to be recycled for the greater good of us all. I ask for love and light to flood our hearts, to saturate our world. I mean no harm and I’m taking no shit.

I’ve absolutely no idea how to begin, where to begin, rebuilding my world. All I know is that I am in an awful lot of pain. Physical pain and emotional pain…the worst kind of pain…and I could really use your love today and your prayers today, as I exit a family that I was never welcomed into in the first place. The undeniable reality of that, is just a bit more than my broken little heart can handle, in these moments.