Sunday, July 27, 2014


Over the last three years my life has become a nightmare. I feel sick every single day, I am in some sort of pain 24/7 be that physical, emotional and even spiritual at times. Every day my existing symptoms seem to get worse and new ones are popping up at an alarming rate. 

As I write this I am suffering from a flare up of my pain symptoms along with horrible insomnia and an obnoxious case of nausea. It never seems to end and always comes in groupings of multiple issues all at once. I am at wits end! On top of all of it I am falling into another depression.....

I feel lonelier than I have in a very long time! I used to think some of my friends were right, that I ostracize myself and have become anti-social by choice but I have realized that that reasoning is completely off base. It's an excuse that my "friends" have come up with to make themselves feel better about abandoning me! I know that sounds harsh but I can't find a gentler way to put it......more importantly I refuse to accept excuses anymore! If someone truly wanted to be my friend they would make time for me, they would text me, they would call me.....Now, I realize that people have lives, jobs, kids and such but even when I was working 60-70 hours a week in retail, managing a household, taking care of my kids and squeezing in some time with the husband I still managed to make time for my friends who have always been very important to me! I would drop everything if someone needed me and I guess I just expected that people would pay it forward. There are a few people who have made the effort and to those people I am eternally grateful! However, if you have to ask me if you are one of those people then I'd say the answer should be pretty obvious! These very special people are my nearest and dearest friends and I know that even with their tremendously busy daily lives they would drop anything and everything to be here for me if I needed them. They, most definitely, already KNOW who they are because I have told them and made a point to keep them in my life! Over the last few months I have been removing myself from contact with those that have proven themselves to be less than "friendworthy". I do not judge these people nor do I feel any anger or resentment towards them! I have just gotten to a point in my life where I need to be selfish and put ME first. I am needing to surround myself with friends that truly WANT to be there for me through my darkest times......not just when all seems well or when it's convenient for them or when acting like they care makes them feel good about themselves.....I need a real support system and that is what my focus is now, finding kindred spirits that understand my struggles and want to help in any way they can simply because they truly care about me! 

I want to take the time to reiterate that I have some very special people in my life who I know would do just about anything for me (and I for them) even if it's just sending a simple text message asking how I'm doing and, more importantly, actually wanting to hear the answer whether it's good or bad! To those people, and you know who you are, I love you and could never get through any of this without you!!! I will value our friendship in this life and in whatever comes after!
I started writing this a few days ago but in light of today's tragic loss of Robin Williams to suicide I feel getting my thoughts and feelings out there is even more important. I have been lost in the darkness more times than I'd like to admit over the last three years. There were, and still are, many nights spent awake and in pain, physically and emotionally, when the thought of just ending it all has crossed my mind.....the only difference between me and the millions of people who have lost their battles with depression is that I made the decision NOT to act on those thoughts and feelings! How easily it could've gone the other way.......and if I am being honest the ONLY thing that kept me from taking that one last drastic action on those lonely nights is the knowledge of what it would do to my husband and children. My husbands father committed suicide when Brian was just 18 years old and, although I didn't know the family at the time, I have firsthand knowledge of what his actions put the family through. What it still puts them through to this day! I will not do to my boys what was done to my amazing husband and his sister all those years ago and I will not make my husband live through that kind of pain ever again! I guess in a way I am lucky to have the understanding that I has made me more aware of what something like that really does to a family and that awareness has made me want to fight my inner demons instead of giving in to them. That said, I know all too well how easy it would be to give in. How easy it would be to find justifications for that action. How easy it is to say "they'll all be better off without me...". There are many nights I've cried myself to sleep begging for death to take me in my slumber because the physical pain is just to great!
These years have been hard and it seems to be getting harder every day but I have learned something about myself as well......I have learned that I am a fighter, I am a survivor and I am much stronger than I EVER gave myself credit for! I have made the conscious decision to see this through no matter where it takes me or how hard it gets. If I do eventually lose the battle it will be because my body gave up NOT because my spirit did! So many have given up and it grieves my heart....I just pray that Robin and all the other souls have finally found the peace they could never find in this life! And if anyone reading this right now is considering opting out please someone, ask for help....there is nothing to be ashamed of! There are people out there who care about you and need you in their lives. I know things seem helpless now but I promise there is help, hope and love out there for you......just ask for it and you'll be surprised by what you find!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


My body writhes in agony
And no one seems to care
I pray for some acknowledgement
But very few are there

I cry on social media
Just looking for compassion
But most people only care about
Celebs and the latest fashions

No one really understands
The reasons for my pain
Some doctors even seem to think
I am simply going insane

All I truly want right now
Is a real diagnosis
Someone to say that this is real
And not just some psychosis

All the hope and optimism is 
Slipping through my fingers
I feel the fear overtaking me
And the anxiety just lingers

I wish I had a magic wand
To make this disappear
The chronic pain, anxiety
And most of all the fear

I beg for understanding
From my friends and family
I am not a hypochondriac 
How can I make them see

Some days are better than others
But regardless I am sick
Some days I can't do anything
It's not a lie or a trick

Just because I don't look ill
Doesn't make it nonexistent 
I assure you it's inside of me
And terribly persistent

So when you see me looking well
And trying to be included
Don't assume that I am better
Or that I was just deluded

I have a few close family and friends
That come by or call on the phone
I thank God everyday for them
Because without them I'd be utterly alone

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Justice for WM3? If Only....

In August of 2011, after 18 years and 78 days inside prison walls, the trio of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley Jr, known as the West Memphis Three, were released after taking what is called an Alford Plea. This rare type of deal basically boils down to a glorified "no contest" plea while being legally allowed to maintain your innocence and, most importantly, allows for an immediate release from custody based on time served. I was not surprised by this development, as many were I've been told, because had I been in a similar position I would've taken the deal in a heartbeat. That said, this deal was not justice. The fact that these three men, who I believe to be innocent, had to stand in a courtroom and plead "guilty" to three counts of first degree murder each in order to obtain their freedom is disgusting and a slap in the face to everyone that believes in true justice and liberty. This is not how the system is supposed to work! 

Let's go over the basics of the case in the simplest possible terms. In May of 1993 the bodies of three 8 year old boys were found in a canal near their West Memphis, Arkansas neighborhood. They had gone out riding bikes the night before and never returned. Christopher Byers, Michael Moore and Stevie Branch had been brutally murdered. They appeared to have been beaten, cut, scratched, bitten and one boy had been nearly castrated. All three victims had been stripped naked, hog-tied with their own shoelaces and thrown into the water. The two bikes they had been seen riding the night before were also in the canal and their clothes had been stuck into the muddy bottom with sticks. It was an obvious attempt to conceal a horrific crime. I can't even begin to imagine what those poor police officers were feeling as they plucked those tiny bodies out of the water one by one. I have seen the crime scene photos and those images have been seared into my memory. I will have those pictures in my mind until the day I die, as I imagine they are forever in the minds of all who have ever seen them! Almost immediately following the discovery of the bodies rumors started flying around the small town and it didn't take long for "Satanic Panic", as the FBI called it, to set in even though the killings had no ritualistic connotations whatsoever. Local law enforcement clung to this theory and began looking for anyone that fit their definition of possible suspects. They very quickly zeroed in on Damien Echols. Why? Because he dressed primarily in black, listened to heavy metal music and had an interest in the occult. They manipulated a mentally retarded Jesse into giving a false confession after 12 hours of interrogation that incriminated himself, Damien and Jason. They accused Jason simply because of his association with their primary target, Damien. This is when the case took a dark turn and went from trying to find the killer(s) of three innocent little boys to a modern day witch hunt. 

Damien was a "goth kid" before it was cool. During the early to mid 90's the gothic subculture had been catapulted into the mainstream culture with the introduction of bands like shock rocker Marilyn Manson, White Zombie and many others. I myself found kindred spirits in this group and spent a decent chunk of my early teens as a "goth". It was really nothing more than a fashion choice. I was not a "Satanist" although I, like Damien, took an interest in all things Wicca for a period of time. I, like Damien, had and have a love for heavy metal music, horror movies and Stephen King novels. None of these things are illegal! None of these things signify that one is unstable! None of them make someone a killer! All of the supposed evidence of guilt submitted during Damien and Jason's trial in 1994 was simply evidence of teenage boys being teenage boys in the early 1990's, nothing more! There was NO physical evidence linking any of the three young men to the crime scene and each of the accused had multiple alibi witnesses for the time that the murders took place but no one cared. As far as this small town, nestled in the heart of the Bible Belt, was concerned they had their murderers and no one was gonna tell them any different! Every "expert witness" the prosecution put on the stand had credentials that were questionable at best and it has since come out that many of the prosecutions witnesses claim to have been threatened or coersed into testifying against Damien. One such "witness" recanted her testimony in 2007 claiming that the police  "scared her to death" and gave her immunity from her own legal troubles if she would help get information on and from Damien and Jason. Another "witness" who testified that Jason confessed his involvement in the murders to him while they were in a juvenile detention center together has since said he flat out lied on the stand to gain immunity from his own legal issues. I could go into a lot more detail regarding the original trial and it's many glaring errors, including the allegations of juror misconduct, but as I am trying to keep this as simple as possible I won't. If you are interested in those details I would urge you to go online at, watch the Paradise Lost documentaries or read Mara Leveritt's book Devil's Knot.

So what really happened on that spring evening in 1993? Honestly, and sadly, we will probably never know. The state has taken the position that the case is closed and therefore they have no intention of reopening it or investigating other potential suspects. However I believe that the simple fact is this, if the state truly believed that Damien, Jason and Jesse were guilty of these murders they would never have agreed to any deal that would remove Damien from death row much less allow all three to walk free but that's exactly what they did. They know they were wrong but in order to save face (and prevent a multimillion dollar law suit) they cut the deal! I have my own theory on what really happened that night and without pointing fingers or accusing anyone specific here it is:
Stevie, Christopher and Michael headed out on their bikes around 3:30pm with the understanding they had to return by 4:30pm as Stevie's mother had to leave for work by 5pm. They obviously lost track of time and did not come home as scheduled. Stevie's stepfather took his mom to work around 5pm then returned to look for the boys. By this time the parents of all three children and other members of the community were searching the general area. I believe that someone involved in the search and personally invested in at least one of the children found them playing somewhere in the neighborhood and got angry that they had not returned home when they'd been instructed to. This person probably scared the boys with their anger and the kids subsequently took off on the bikes. The angry searcher most likely followed them into the woods, known as Robin Hood Hills, and caught up with them by the canal. At this point the perpetrator is furious and probably struck one of the children in his/her anger. This would have terrified the other two boys and I assume they would've tried to run and hide but as we know 8 year olds wouldn't get very far when scared. I believe the aggressor did not intend to kill the boys when he/she entered the woods that night but that in his/her anger the situation got out of hand and the first death was accidental. This left the perpetrator with two options: turn themself in or eliminate any witnesses and cover up the crime. Obviously, and tragically, they chose the latter! The manner in which the bodies were found, bound and hidden, and the manner in which the bikes and clothes were found, also hidden, points to a desperate attempt to cover up a killing of unspeakable proportions. I believe that this person then, after cleaning themselves up, returned to the search effort with no one the wiser. I believe that this person is still walking the streets and has allowed three innocent men to take the fall for a crime they didn't commit for over 21 years. I want to reiterate that I do not believe that this was necessarily a premeditated murder. As I said before, I believe the first death to be accidental due to extreme rage and the other two victims were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and could not remain alive as they bore witness to the beating that caused the first victims death. A criminal profiler hired by the defense, after reviewing the case file, called this a "personal cause homicide" meaning that the perpetrator had a personal connection to one or all of the victims. Neither Damien, Jason or Jesse had ANY connection to any of the victims or their families other than living in the same town. Before you ask, I do have my own personal theory as to who the killer is but I will not divulge that information as I do not want to open myself up to potential lawsuits or, more importantly, do to someone else what has been done to the WM3 by making assumptions and unmerited accusations.

As a parent of two young boys I understand that this case hits us where it hurts. I understand that emotions run high and tempers flare when discussing the brutal murders of innocent children but does that give us the right to rush to judgement? Does it give us the right to condemn someone to death with no evidence to back it up? No it does not! This case was obviously botched on almost all levels. The community, the police and the media rushed to judgement based on nothing more than what Damien looked like and that he was the "weird kid" in town. They judged Jason on nothing more than the friends he kept. They took advantage of Jesse's limited mental faculties and got him to say things that weren't true and didn't even mesh with the facts of the case. Everything law enforcement did was wrong! Evidence was lost, persons of interest weren't questioned, neighborhoods weren't canvassed and unrelated items were used as trial evidence.....wrong, wrong, WRONG! 

I pray that one day someone that knows what really happened that night will find the courage to come forward. That they will find the strength to fight through their fear and help clear the names of three innocent men. I pray that someday the real killer will come to justice and that everyone will finally know that our guys have been innocent all along. Because until that day true justice will never been known...

(Disclaimer: I am not a member of the press, a member of law enforcement or directly affiliated with any entity or organization. I am just an avid WM3 supporter and have been since 1994.)