Forgiveness: The Unholy Trinity in my life…I should accept

After blogging for these oh so many months, it is sometimes really difficult for me to avoid just who I am and how I got to today. Many of the things that shape your life are unavoidable; you just weren’t given much of a choice in the matter. Likely the hardest thing is to forgive it – or them – because as a person, we expected better. So, given that others have the courage to delve into that path in ways that are beyond me, I’d like to relate where I’ve come from and undoubtly will lose some of you on that journey…But if honesty does that, what of lies?

Note: This is told in the shortest way possible –because it’s a book.

#1. I grew up in Tennessee until 10. My father was someone who always had that potential to do more, but got in his own way. And I know why to some degree. As the 9th out of 10 kids, in a family where his dad was a State Pen guard and his mother was a half-Cherokee, tough as leather on a 100 degree day caregiver, love was not in much supply. His dad was provoked into strange disciplining of the kids. The worse you did, the easier the punishment. Break a glass, get your ass beat.

At 14, my father finally stood up to grandpa (not William L. Clark, a different grandpa) in calling his own mother a bitch. My dad got more than a beating, it was a one-sided fight, but as the story went, he called out his dad, “Is that all you got, old man!” After that, it was all downhill.

My dad carried that into his marriages, 4 of them to be exact. My mother was wife #2 when they were both 20 and 21. I was born on a military base, but I should not have been. Whatever my mother saw in my dad, it turned pretty violent, pretty quickly. She as a fairly devout Catholic struggled to make a marriage work to a Christian Fundamentalist, that was neither Christian nor very fundamental in his life. My dad jumped from job to job, ran around with loose women and drank, did Columbia dancing dust and worked a bar, the 64 Club, that I became acquainted with.

When I was 9, my mother after a long night at work got a ride home from “Chuck Baker,” some employee of the same place. My dad was high and was mad at her for everything. So the beating commenced. It went on for an hour, I guess. I was scared to death, in the closet of my room, paralyzed with fear. Then my dad called me out, “—, come here!” I panicked…”—, come, here!” So I did.

What I saw was a mess. Aside from the kitchen, my mother was black and blue and wet all over. She did not look like mom. My dad had a knife, and he wanted me to kill him. My mother wanted me to kill him, in her eyes. He handed me the knife and asked me again. In a split second I could have done the entire world a favor…

After their divorce, the problems were just as bad…My dad OBSESSED like no other about my mom. He stalked her. He threatened me more than once if I did not ask the questions he wanted of her. So I lied to keep him happy. GOD became an obsession like no other..too. Between Revelations, John and Jesus I got so tired of listening as a 5th grader.

My mother left me behind. It got too much for her. So she moved North. I stayed in Tennessee for 6 weeks, until my dad couldn’t stand me around and the leverage I was to him, faded. My mother’s family, William L. Clark and Co., came to the rescue once again. But one did not care a lick.

#2. aunt, my mother’s only sister, is a damaged human being. She’s a perfectionist, that could not perfect a normal life. I do feel sorry for her biggest secret: the ones that destroy as a child. But she hates children. She couldn’t stand me at age 10-11. I was no picnic, after the last 18 months of my life had seen a dozen places to stay, threats, violence and even a night in a jail cell under, “for his protection.” Really?! While my dad roamed free…

My aunt took to harassing me with mocking my words, always suggesting I was stupid. She talked about my mother’s failure of a marriage as, “See, that what happens when you leave home.” My aunt has never left home on her own. Her dad William once got her an interview at US Steel just to see her sabotage herself by bringing another lady along to the Interview!!! That’s how she thinks…and it pisses me off to no end.

Once my mother and I could move to a 1-bedroom apt. across the street, we did. But my aunt was always chided me. He plays too much. He won’t work. He won’t do enough around here.

I got a paper route at 12. Mowed lawns all summer. Played baseball whenever I could. Wanted to go to instructional camps on the sport, but could not ever afford it. So I got a dishwashing job at age 16, two days after I became 16. I work 30 hours a week while going to school. Not good enough.

I scored in the 98% on the SAT Math section. I was in advance courses and accepted to Purdue. My English sucked though. But my actions were selfish according to her. She felt cheated…not enough attention.

I moved to college, nearly permanently. I would only come “home” to see my mom, who now lived back with her sister after both grandparents passed away. My mother owned a consignment shop for clothes, a good little business that I could only give some help to, but my aunt found ways to avoid the shop, doing only work behind the scenes… She only works with her relatives, namely my mother now, and has a flair for the DRAMA of any situation.

Upon graduation from Purdue, the only one who cared to show was my mother. My aunt had “foot issues” and did not show up. That was expected…

In 1997, I had worked as an Industrial Engineer for a year, but the money I took could not pay bills. I tried to get a 2nd job, but 60 hours in one place doesn’t get it. I got mad, went to a better paying, but horrible job for Navistar. After 3 weeks, I found I couldn’t stand my boss. So I quit.

I drug my ass “home” to hear the music. It took about a month. One night, I overheard my aunt, “When is he ever going to get anything right? He’s just stupid.” My mother did not defend me, “He’s like his father sometimes…”

My father in 1988 was convicted of the worst crime you’ll EVER read about. He spent 9 years in Ft. Leavenworth, since he went back to the Marines, and had remarried again and hurt his own stepdaughter in ways I don’t know about…but I know.

I joined the U.S. Navy about 3 weeks after that overheard conversation. It was a mistake. College educated as an enlisted bloat. The people are fine if you can handle your alcohol. I can’t…it makes me a far worse person than I really am. And I have the criminal record to prove that….see below.

On March 6, 1999, after boot camp, A-school, and an OCS application that got derailed due to my weight (I was put in a remedial gym class, even though I completed my PRT (Physical Readiness Test)with an outstanding), I got drunk and stupid. I tried to commit suicide.

My aunt is a person you would think is nice, unless you heard her talk away from you. It has rubbed off since I am talking about her. But that’s my choice…

#3. Another woman. For some reason I fell in love with her. After my honorable discharge due to alcohol rehabiliation failure, I managed to convince a warehouse to hire me as an Industrial Engineer. And I dried out on my own. 19 months I did not drink- without AA or BB or the AFL-CIO help. I actually began to do what I should, like make a difference at work. I joined a community organization…and meet another woman.

It took awhile for me — never been a ladie’s man, go figure, so I was afraid to come to it. I pretended to be confident, secure (like now) and tried humor often. She took notice. Not hanging all over me notice, but notice. But I was hooked.

After a few months, and quite a few emails, I thought she might like to go out with me. She rejected politely, but encouraged me in ways I just did not understand…Never have understood. I told her my own personal secrets–the drinking and suicide attempt –and she was supportive sort of… like a pat on the head for being a good boy.

Then I told her about my father. That did it. She gave me a book – Legacy of the Heart –about dealing with a bad childhood and forgiveness, and thus the reason I am writing.

Within 24 hours, the tone changed.

She threatened me with legal pursuit (mission accomplished) and bragged about her life. Calling herself a conceited bitch, that she could tell if a man was gay or straight, that I acted if I deserved her and that I was a child of God that she did not want to know…

I did not respond rationally…I was pitiful actually. I cried all the way to Kansas as I drove.

After that, I tried to apologize via email!!! Yep, I was apologizing for being a failed person, with secrets and things I’d rather forget every single day of my life. But I can’t and people that I barely know now, know it.

When the police came to my door that did it. I wrote the worst email in human existence that did not include a single threat in it. But it did include this line: “The gall and audacity of a self-righteous, self-centered poor-excuse-for-a-babymaker bitch…” I was drunk for the first time in 19 months…writing no less.

My best friend in the world of a decade got this letter, along with others. We’d met at Purdue and bounced around our lives like twenty-somethings typically do. He did not respond. I called him later — and he was worried, so worried he forgot to write, call or otherwise put two cups and attach them to a string.

A protective order was enforced. I never saw her again…until court.

I felt guilt like you can barely imagine. I OBSESSED over it all. I wrote volumes of “I’m sorry” sent to no one.

I moved away from the area – 100 miles away in another state- taking a job that I had talked to her about. (Soon to be important.) About a month after the final nail in the coffin, I got a warrant issued for my arrest for Invasion of Privacy due to that email sent to her and others. Funny, it was not mentioned at the hearing that enforced the Protective order.

So, I stress over that. For 3 months, I worked and avoided the State. I called the lawyer I had hired. He filed a motion to dismiss. Failed. I wanted to go to jail because I DESERVE it. I called her a bitch and ruined a friendship, because that is all it really was, after all.

For some fucking reason, I cared about her. Maybe she reminded me of my father not seen in 20 years or the better parts of whatever was my aunt. Had to be something. We shared a bunch of similiar interests, even the fucking LAW. (I took the LSAT and scored pretty well.)

In early spring, I finally turned myself in and was OR out. But I lost my job as a consultant because I was too scared to admit I was in the wheels of justice. (They had hired me to replace a foreign worker whose VISA ran out…)

After nearly 6 months, I wrote her again another silly, drunken apology. You can imagine how I pleaded.
I offered her things and money I did not have.

After another very long email to anyone I ever knew, I turned myself in. Big mistake. I spent 27 months behind bars – 3 for the Invasion and 24 for the new Stalking charge. I GOT WHAT I DESERVED.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim wrote a 9 1/2 page, single spaced statement to the court. She lied a lot.

She compared me to a rapist, a murderer, a robber and a child molester. She used the word Stalker 20 plus times. It was a good piece of fiction. According to her:

  1. I robbed her 93 year old grandmother in the state I moved to
  2. Broke into a U-lock
  3. Had 3 black men follow her around in beat up cars
  4. Use peanut oil to pick her lock
  5. Read her diary
  6. Watched her cook breakfast

And plenty more I don’t remember off hand. Course I never did those things–and was never charged, or saw a police report to any of that. By the way, she worked for a top security company that has a history tied to the Presidents. And she said they could not protect her. That my one year of Naval Service as a technician was a danger. (I’ve shot a gun twice – neither time in the U.S. Navy.)

Why I tell this? Because I no longer have any more chances. After Prison, I have applied to over 400+ jobs. No one wants a convict. I don’t want a convict.

I live at home with mom, using the library to post these blogs. My aunt is ever a thorn in my side. I avoid her like the plague, she does like wise.

I try to think positive thoughts…If there is a God, he knows.


THE OTHERS, I understand. You don’t need the drama. I wish you the best in your journeys.

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  • cooper  On June 20, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    That was an awful lot to take in.

    I’ve never been one for conventions.

    It sounds like a bitch of a life. As always, when confronted with people who have had it much harder than I, I find myself unable to comment. What can one who has never known true tragedy or disappointment write really?

    I have no knowledge of the kind of life you led, are leading. To comment on such would show only my ignorance and arrogance.

    You can be certain I’ll be back.

  • Bipolar Wellness Writer  On June 21, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Dear JayPee,
    I read this post earlier and just wanted to cry but I couldn’t write back until now.

    How brave you are to tell your story. It’s sounds like you’ve been through hell and back. And, of course, you must know that none of this is your fault.

    I only know you by your writing but what I’ve read is quite wonderful. You are kind, creative, talented, smart, sensitive, bold, you have a delightful sense of humor…shall I go on?

    If you can’t get hired doing “real jobs,” then why not try writing jobs? No one needs to know about your background. They can hire you because of your talent.

    There are gobs of jobs listed on places like and other freelancing sites. Or you can learn to write grants for non-profits. Or you can write about baseball for a local newspaper.

    While I don’t know anything about trying to get work with a prison record, I do know that in the writing world, talent transcends all.

    No matter what adversity people have in their lives, I truly do believe they can transcend them.

    Best thoughts coming your way from L.A.


  • JayPeeFreely  On June 21, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for both your comments.

    Susan: I have tried to get something going in writing. I applied to a Cubs job as a beat guy–never heard back.

    Tried a few other places (for writing), but it is a hard in the normal business. My background is not in that field, and they wonder, Why do you want to write?

    (I even sent a sample to the Cubs job…)

    So, I have been at a baseball book for like 14 months. By September, unless something amazing happens in baseball, I will be through with it. Then the hard part: finding someone that will publish it. Luckily in doing research, you find the small houses that do sports…

    Cooper: There is always someone with it worse…and I’ve seen that too. While awaiting my outcome, a guy came back to the cell block after getting 75 years in prison. So, he tried to stab to death this other guy. The guy beat him down, but he didn’t care.

    Another time: 5 black guys beat 1 white guy about as badly as I have seen. He actually wanted that — actually asked for it — and they gave it to him. He went to the hospital.

    On the day I was “moved” to the real joint, I saw him again, looking a bit different. He had all ready spent 10 years of his life locked up, from age 18. Now, he was going back to do 20 more.
    (He was a serial rapist…and gay. AND on more meds that 3 Hollywood fuckups put together.)

    I’m what I think is called an “almost”. See people do make it out of terrible things, by luck, by work, by meeting someone that cares. Right below that are the almosts. They get so far, maybe a college, or make it big for a moment, just to regress badly…

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