Some days you have to put aside your worries and head out on an adventure. My sister and I chose to go somewhere a few hours away to see an old Railroad Bridge. We had a blasts singing along to our collection of Classic Disney at the top of our lungs as we drove along the way. It started out a little cloudy and rainy but as the day progressed we got to enjoy some sunshine. We found our bridge but as with any adventure it’s the journey there that’s the most rewarding.
We had a great time that day (February 7th, 2020) and made some awesome memories…just on a trip to see a an old bridge! Adventure comes in all kinds of packages, you don’t have to travel far to go somewhere fun.
If you find yourself full of life’s blahs find a way to go with your favorite person on an adventure, even if it’s not a new place, the fun you have along the way will be new and refreshing.
As always I retain my full copyright to all blog posts, all blog post contents and all blog images/photographs.
As many of you already know, I am a new author. My first fiction book was called Chloe, which I self published. In hindsight, I wish that I would have made it longer and edited it better. The temptation to go back and redo or fix those imperfections is strong but I remember why I chose to publish it when I did. I had been working on it off and on for quite some time, often blank slating it and starting over from the beginning once I spotted errors. I’d be 15,000 words into it and find it less than perfect and just hit delete. I hit that button at least twenty times before I decided that I had to persevere through the process and just edit what went wrong. Once I made that decision, I learned that I could keep going with what I’d written, that I could do the edits and tweaking of the story without having to completely start over. So, my first book is less than perfect and not as well written as I had hoped to accomplish however I learned that I could write a book. I learned to trust the process.
Life can be much like writing a book for the first time. You start out unsure in your steps and go through experiences that shape you into who you are. Sometimes you look at your life and you want a do over. You wish you could ‘blank slate’ it and rewrite your life from the beginning. We all have things that we have gone through that we wish that we could forget or rather, never have experienced in the first place. Often, these things are situations that caused you gut wrenching grief maybe it came about through your own actions or maybe it was something that was done to you. Whatever “it” is that makes you feel this way, you have to trust the process and get through it because with life you don’t get a complete do over. You can’t change the past, or how you coped with the past when you were living it. You can only look at your present and focus on what you can control. You can change how you think and how you react to current situations in order to not repeat past imperfections.
As I sit here drinking my morning coffee I think about the experiences that have shaped me in life. I realize that most of those situations made me the strong person that I am today. Do I wish that I hadn’t of had to go through some of them? Yes, but I also know that I wouldn’t be where I am today in life if I hadn’t of been in those situations. My life is far from perfect and some days, just like everyone else…the struggles real. However, no matter the difficulty, I hold onto the fact that I’m blessed with a wonderful family and am getting the opportunity to start a new career in writing. There’s always reasons as to why we are trying something different but the outcome is that we grow through the process, editing as we go. Does that mean that we don’t look back and wish we had done something different? We will always look in hindsight and see imperfections.
Currently, I’m working on writing two different books. Each time that I sit down to write I have to make a decision as to which one to focus on. I find that my life is much like writing a book. I’ve discovered how outlining my books chapter by chapter helps me to stay focused. It’s the same thing in life, I plan each day carefully trying to ‘write’ in every event I want to do or chore that needs done. But just like the shift in characters interacting in a book you’re writing, sometimes you have to edit your outline, or chapter accordingly. Just like editing the outline of your book, you have things in life, situations that arise that aren’t scheduled on your daily calendar where you have to rearrange your day to get through it. It’s how you respond to any situation that arises that is important. Will you always react perfectly? No, because mistakes happen, emotions can be turbulent depending on the situation that arises, which can cause you to over react or not be able to react right away. You can’t control every situation that rolls your way and you can’t expect yourself to know how to get through something you’ve never experienced before. All you can do is look forward and edit as you go on what you can change along the way. There’s always going to be imperfections; it’s how you choose to see them that matters as you keep walking forward. Maybe choosing to let yesterday’s imperfections and situations be where they are and simply live today in the confidence and strength that yesterday helped shape.
I don’t know if my next book will be perfect but I will certainly try for perfection. A book is easy to edit before your hit the publish button after that, well the book with all it’s perfections and imperfections becomes yesterdays creations. I can edit what happens in my life today as long as it’s something that I have the power to change. For those things that will crop up that are the repercussions of others actions, I can only put one foot forward and deal with the ripple effects of the choices that others make that effect me in some way, whether good or bad.
The purplish haze of the Twilight sky illuminates the trail as I walk. My ratty, faded green converse carrying me forward, my body sunken within my faded red hoody. Today was supposed to be about dreaming a better future and yet, I couldn’t help but feel the shadow of the past still winding around me like vines pulling me back. Was I going forward or was I going back? It’s hard to say when you’re walking on a path shrouded by trees. It’s hard to see what lies beyond them or what lay behind them. I am Nowhere.
Twilight is supposed to be a magical time where one can go from one realm to another which I obstinately believed until I realized that this place was all that could exist. My imagination had somehow fled from where it once thrived and hummed with possibilities to that place where only broken pieces of oneself lie. As the colorful sky gives way to the sun in its brightness, I still feel stranded between Night and Day. Does Day seek solace in the darkness of Night or does Night take refuge in the shadows of Day?
I can’t help but wonder where I fit in, am I part of Day or Night? Or could I simply be mixed into Twilight where my feet go forward yet part of me still lives on the path behind? Maybe I am Twilight on the verge of discovering who I am or who I was, never quite blending into what Day or Night expects, but simply living somewhere in between. It’s an oddly comfortable, yet disenchanted place to exist. It is where I live.
Life hasn’t always been this way for me. I used to have hopes and dreams that led me into Day and sustained me during Night. Then one moment it all changes, all the brightly colored possibilities dancing in front of me dimmed and I felt darkness swallow me. I remember that day…the day I found out that one of my best friend’s killed herself. I awakened that morning as I had all the other mornings accepting the promise that Day brings…but in came Darkness, its long vicious claws sinking into me, gripping me, bleeding me inside.
I went to her funeral with all our friends and her family gathered round. Her family and Pastor talked about how great she’d been when she was a young child growing up. No one wanted to talk about her as she had been. I’d saved her a seat like I’d always done since she was always late… The gleaming white box with the wreath of flowers on top of it stood silently in front of us all. I sat with Darkness clenching my throat wanting to yell at everyone that she was a loyal friend, a talented artist… She’d just told me, a week ago, how she was looking forward to the New Year and said it was going to be great. I’d thought she was talking about a new major and then that she’d be traveling in the Summer with her boyfriend to some far off place…not in a white shiny box with a wreath of flowers laying on top of it.
Looking at the funeral flyer detailing her life with her picture smiling out from it was all it took for me to finally dare let the Darkness that choked me, finally cry out loud. My friend put their arms around me but all I could see was the empty seat on the other side of me. Grief shook my body as my mind comprehended that she would really not be joining me today, part of me had already figured that out, with the white box standing disconsolately in front of me, but the other part had held on to a sliver of hope that dared be there that it was all some sort of mistake.
At the grave site, I stood in the back as her family said their good-byes. Her little sister tossed a small stuffed toy in the air…her older sister silently stood and cried. Then she blew a kiss at…the white box where the body of my friend lay shrouded by Darkness. I fell apart seeing her blow that kiss as she turned and walked away. How could she be gone? She was supposed to be…here. Her mom and dad walked by and asked me if I knew why she did it. Then I remembered my friend had told me that she’d killed herself. All I could do was cry and shake my head no. One of our teachers that had come to say good bye to her, put his arm around my shoulder and steered me away from them. “It’s not her fault” he said, “She didn’t know.” But her mom’s words hit me like a sledgehammer—“Why not? Why doesn’t she know? She was her best friend!”
Somehow, I got in my friend’s car and she drove me home. I stumbled inside and collapsed on my bed. I curled up tucking my head on my knees and I cried until I could cry no more. It was I who should have died. I was the one that had no family, no one to leave behind…She had family, she had everything. I was expendable. If I would have died, no one but a few friends would’ve cried for me and then they would have gone on with their lives with just a moment of sadness instead of a lifetime of grief like she had abandoned her family to…and me. She was family to me. She was my best friend.
It should have been me that died that December Day. But I didn’t. I lived and Life somehow just kept plunging forward yet somehow my feet still wandered the same path as Day faded into Night and Darkness kept me bound within Grief’s relentless gaze. I used to make plans each New Year and try my best to carry one through. I was young then, full of hopes and dreams…but then Darkness came and stole my breath, with Grief pounding constantly with every heartbeat.
I felt an unforgiving, treacherous anger at times that she had chosen to die and not let me die instead. I was angry that she threw away everyone in her life, her family, her friends…me. Furious at myself that I didn’t know she was planning to do such an awful deed…She’d never in all the time I’d known her, ever been optimistic about Christmas or the New year to come…it was a clue as to what she was planning…when she’d told me that she was going to do something awesome in the New Year, that she was going to have the best Summer ever…I’d missed the obvious most important thing…if I’d had of realized then what she was going to do maybe today she’d be alive, laughing, smiling…instead of dead in a box.
She’d bought a gun and shot herself in the parking lot of a large retail store just before Christmas. I was told that she didn’t die alone that she had died on the way to the hospital in the ambulance. She died with strangers trying to keep her alive…when everyone she left behind…should have been the ones there keeping the gun out of her hands. I should’ve known. I should’ve been there. These are things that probably every survivor of a loved one that committed suicide thinks. I wonder though, do any of them ever feel like it should’ve been them dying?
I felt this way for a long time which is maybe why I never knew where the path in front of me could go…what would happen if I looked beyond the despair of Darkness, if I dared step out of Grief’s onerous burden? She died and I cannot change that. But I lived and I can choose what to do with the life that I have within me. A breath that waits for me to take it.
Inhaling the air into my lungs, I forgive her for dying, for abandoning all behind…for her not giving me the chance to at least say good-bye. I feel Grief begin to recede allowing my heart to sigh in relief. As Day shone brighter, I realized that I could face it, with its many colors, accepting that the path that Night had brought where Darkness had overwhelmed, did not have to keep my feet from going forward. The trail promised of things to come, of possibilities…that it was leading me to Somewhere.
This year I’m going to forgive and embrace the promise of the new day. To live and not just survive. I am now Somewhere– a place where dreams can dance, where hopes can take wing and soar into…well I guess that is the question with not knowing exactly where Somewhere will lead but when the Night does come it keeps Darkness from swallowing me with it’s lovely moon shining bright up the sky.
As most are aware that follow my blog, I’ve been very vocal about the County Jail Guards who raped and tormented me for approximately 258 days when I was incarcerated back in 2001 awaiting my trial. The media had long made sure that I was convicted many months before my trial ever came about. The hype, the hysteria they created is what led the Predator Jail Guards into believing that they could get away with anything in that jail because –who would believe me or any other inmate in there?
Though I’ve been out of that jail for quite some time now, I still wake up in the dark listening for the quiet snip of the Pod door , the sound of their shoes on the floor, the jingle of keys on their belt loops as they roamed the tiers looking into cells, carefully choosing each victim… I hold my breath much like I did then when I was there until..I realize that I’m home in my room and they are not here. I will never forget the terror, the fear crawling through my body gripping me so tight that I could not utter a sound…as they made their rounds. I will never forget their hands, their mouths, their invasion of my body as they raped me.
There are days and nights that I struggle and wish I could forget what the County Jail Guards did to me. There are times that I wish I could close my eyes and wake up in Heaven, safe and free from them forever. But in those times, I now gain strength, for what once nearly caused me to take my own life, those feelings of helplessness, of despair, of fear—brought on by the horrible times I had to endure being subjected to abuse and sexual assault over and over again by those Predators wearing a shiny badge in that jail..now forms a barrier in my mind, my heart, my emotions, my soul. A resistance, a resilience within me that says ‘I WILL STAND AGAINST YOU’.
Those Predators wearing their shiny County badges are a shame, a blight on the others that wear those Badges and do good with it. The Predators taint the image, the reason for the existence of the Badge in the first place. The County where this happened which many of you that know my story already know, is tainted, corrupt due to the Predators that they knowingly allow to wear the Badges…Badges meant to uphold the law, to keep the peace…Badges that were not created for monsters to wear. Yet why does the County allow the Predators to continue wearing those Badges?
I reported the rape and abuse that happened to me back when I was in the County Jail in 2001. I had a rape exam and it showed I’d been raped yet it was covered up by Corrupt Badges.
Predator Jail Guards who have many times stalked and harassed me ever since…Why would they continue this vile behavior, year after year, month after month, day after day? Well, since when does anything a Predator does ever make sense?
I’ve reported their stalking to those who are supposed to deal with people in a government agency that abuse their position of power. Yet nothing is done.
I’ve reported even recently in the past few weeks what the County Jail Guards did to me in that jail and that they have stalking tendencies still…to the County Prosecutor’s Office, to the Attorney General’s Office, to the Governor’s Office….and yet no one ever gets back to me to deal with the issues.
Why don’t they address the issue of the Predator Jail Guards? That County knows that they have a problem in that jail. Recently like within couple years ago they held a County Jail Guard Deputy accountable for sexual misconduct, he ejaculated on a female inmate… but that was only after the inmate reported the sexual misconduct in another State and was lucky enough to have the evidence on her body at the time to do so. The inmate that reported that crime against her was lucky indeed to have found the right Badge to report it to. A badge not Corrupted. Yet the Deputy, the County Jail Guard that did the crime… still got a light sentence. Another case in the County where a County Jail Guard physically assaulted inmates…yet he got a light sentence due to his long time service because…boys will be boys so to speak, he was just being a bully. Since when is being a bully okay? Yeah he got inmates to say he was a good guy that just had a bullying problem…but I wonder, what convinced those inmates to write and testify on his behalf?
Corrupt Predators allowed to get away with abuse… Oh hey, it’s okay, Mr. Predator, you’ve worked here for years, we got your back….seems to be the County’s answer to addressing issues of County Predator Jail Guards abusing their position of Authority over inmates…Since when is physical assault and sexual assault something deemed okay? Is it because it happened to an inmate?
No matter what a person is accused of or convicted of –they do not deserve to be physically or sexually assaulted. An inmate locked up in County Jail should not be viewed as “less” than human. They are very human and regardless of whether you like them or not, they have family, they have friends, they have ties within their communities…just like you do. And they have feelings just like you do. How would you feel if you were physically assaulted and/or raped? Are you more human than those who are locked up in a jail cell?
The Predator’s stalking and harassment is hard to prove…and even if it was easy…the County is likely to continue to ignore it…because to address it would cause them to have to deal with all the issues that come along with it. There are too many County Jail Guard Predators and to address them all….would mean, 1.) admitting you have a problem, 2.) You have to hold them accountable to the full extent of the law…not give them just a slap on the wrist saying…oh you bad boy…, 3.) They’d have to compensate the victims…meaning treating the inmate like the human they are and doing what they do for other victims of crimes.
Just because an inmate is in a jail and is sexually and/or physically assaulted doesn’t mean that the Perpetrators, the Predator’s wearing the Badge that did the crime against them should get away with it. A crime is a crime even if you wear a Badge while you do the crime.
I recently read a Washington Law that extended the time frame for an Adult to report a sexual assault from 10 years to 20 years. An inmate is in a very vulnerable situation when they are incarcerated. They are among the most vulnerable in society. When Corrupt Government allows Corrupt people to keep wearing a Badge and to keep abusing their position of power in their jobs to physically and or sexually assault an inmate they are just as much to blame as the Predators they are allowing to get away with the crimes.
I reported the sexual assault that happened to me when I was in that jail…back in 2001. And it was covered up. Now that I’m braver, stronger and out of necessity (due to the Stalking tendencies of some of the Predators), I have began to speak out against what happened to me in that jail…I am still reporting it by speaking out and it is still being ignored. Why? Since when did I become less human than you? I am no longer an inmate in that jail. I’ve not been what you’d call a ‘repeat offender’…
I want what you would want if you were in my situation—to be free of the Stalking and to have the Predators that perpetrated the crimes of sexual assault against me held accountable. Yeah It’s been almost 19 years since they sexually assaulted me (there is proof, a Hospital doctor rape exam report; and the fact that the County sent the County Sheriff to investigate instead of a different Police Agency like it should of been). To hold the County Jail Guards accountable for their crimes and those who covered for them is what should happen.
If you are a lawyer and practice law in the State of Washington, would you help me file a Civil Suit against the County? The case falls under State Law but because these are County Jail Guards working in a Government Agency, abusing their positions of power…it could also fall under Federal Jurisdiction. The only way the Stalking, the Harassment will stop is to hold the Predator Jail Guards accountable…and due to the Washington State Law that extends the time frame for an Adult Sexual Assault Victim to report a crime up to 20 years…Couldn’t I? Wouldn’t you?
So, money is an issue but if you are an Attorney and you are willing to help me anyways please let me know. You can contact me through my email firstname.lastname@example.org
I really need someone on my side… Please read my blog post called “Brianna Kenzie Living Outloud” and “Kinship” to get a better understanding as to what happened to me legally. And read blog post “In the Silence of the Night” to get a better understanding as to the sexual assault(s) that happened to me when I was in the County Jail.
I do hope that the fact that I’m speaking out against the sexual assault that happened to me, that it will help others who have been sexually or physically assaulted find their voice and break the silence of abuse no matter what their circumstances were or are. It is the first step towards finding healing and strength to overcome what has happened.
As always, I could use your prayers in this matter. I could also use your prayers regarding my finances as well. I am a struggling Writer trying to make a living…and the struggle is real! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.
This year I’m looking forward to publishing more books and in finishing my Freelance Writing Course. As I’ve come to realize, being a Writer can be an awesome, creative experience however, the down side is that it’s a very unpredictable career path. I was so excited to publish my first book called Chloe in December 2019 but then so disappointed when the book sales I’d dreamed of didn’t happen. I want to make money to pay my bills and to live life with the things I need that are important to me. I don’t have to be rich to be happy. I just want to be successful and have a stable, good income. As a new Author, I want my books to sell not just for the monetary aspect of it but because I want people to read and enjoy the stories that I craft. When the major disappointment hit that my book wasn’t selling like I had hoped that it would I had to remember why I wrote the book in the first place. I had to go back to the beginning: I love the freedom of the creative process that writing gives. You open your computer up and have a blank canvas in front of you. It gives the opportunity to have freedom of expression, of creativity and the ability to create something beautiful.
My book may not be selling the way that I had hoped and the disappointment may at times weigh me down, but I will never regret the process of it. It’s out there just waiting for someone to choose it, a beautiful creation, though I’m sure far from perfect, just waiting to be discovered. That’s how I feel when I’m searching for a good book to read, I sift through the topics and take hold of what seems to call to me at the time. I love reading as much as I love writing, seeing a new canvas of beauty and inspiration or of action and suspense, each one a well crafted story always makes me feel like I discovered treasure. I hope that someone discovers my book and my future books that I will write. I hope to inspire those seeking written treasures.
If you’re a new writer like me, hang in there, someone is always looking for treasures. The key is to keep writing and dreaming because someone will choose your well crafted treasure.
I’m so excited to announce that I’ve finally published my first book!!! It has been a long journey from deciding to write the book to overcoming the fear of it not being ‘good enough’ to pushing through and arriving with a book that I feel confident and excited about.
My book can be found on smashwords.com in multiple Ebook formats including Kindle and barnesandnoble.com in Nook book format. Another easy way to find it is to go to walmart.com. If you do not have an Ebook Reader of any kind you can download the Walmart Ebook App(the App is free) and read my book (and many other peoples books that way). The quickest way to find my ebook on these sites since I am one of like millions of authors is to simply put: Chloe by Brianna Kenzie in the search area.
My Ebook Chloe is only $2.99.
The paperback version of my book can be found on the barnesandnoble.com website for $7.99.
My book is about:
Sadie Jane has worked hard to overcome her past and make something of herself. One quiet morning the life that she’s built will turn upside down when she is summoned to court and walks out the ‘mother’ of a spunky 4 yr-old child named Chloe. A little girl that nobody wants because she has been labeled as an ‘Other’, a child too young to shift into her animal form who has no Shifter Community ties. Now with the support of her family, Sadie must figure out how to be a mom in the midst of political turmoil protesting Shifter rights. Soon however, Sadie and her family cannot imagine their lives without little Chloe. But tragedy strikes when Chloe becomes one of several missing Shifters. Sadie’s faith in God is shaken to the core. Will Sadie and her family ever be whole again? Will the Shifter and Human Communities be able to put aside their differences and help Sadie find her little girl?
On December 24th, 2019 my sister and I went downtown to hand out blueberry candy canes. We gave them to bus drivers, customer service transit workers, shoppers and to some homeless folks.
Going downtown to hand out candy canes is a Christmas Time tradition that I love to do. People are so busy with shopping, worrying during the holiday season that I think they forget to see the blessings that they already have been given. The holiday seems to become more about money and gifts or a lack of money to buy gifts…worry and stress written all over their faces. Sometimes a candy cane can make them pause long enough to see how simple it is to give the gift of smile to someone. A gesture of kindness can do many things…no money required.
For some, Christmas is a lonely, sad time. They have no family to fill their house, no tree and no gifts to unwrap. They navigate the Holiday season watching everyone else hustling about to buy gifts for loved ones. It can be painful for them reminding them of everything that they don’t have. Sometimes giving a candy cane can lesson the pain of being alone and forgotten by family and others. The act of giving shows that person that you care for them even if you don’t know their name. It can lighten the sadness in their heart and allow a smile to creep in.
For the Homeless, those who have no where to go, those who have no family, those who have been forgotten or abandoned by their families…Christmas time can be brutal. Too many times people walk by them and pretend that they don’t see them, too afraid to make eye contact, too afraid that they will be asked for help in some way. This makes the person they are ignoring feel invisible, worthless, less than… It’s a horrible feeling to be invisible. To be never seen for the person you are, never valued… A kind gesture, a hot cup of coffee, or a candy cane with simple eye contact and a smile can help a person feel seen, valued and important.
Handing out candy canes, sharing smiles and sometimes having conversations with those taking the candy canes means a lot to me. Those smiles that I get when they reach out to take the candy canes are treasures to me. A smile given to others can brighten their hearts but to be a giver of a smile is a blessing that God has given me.