Teaser Tuesday

The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own has been professionally edited and will be published this year. To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you some Tuesdays. I hope my story helps you find your story!

Chapter 17 – Murder | A Flip Book

“You’re breaking generational curses. That’s why this doesn’t come easy for you. You’re who your bloodline has been waiting for.”

Redmond and I continued our work through the years, and I began to piece the story together. As if writing one of those small books where you put together a different picture, slightly different than the last, and then thumb through it to make an entire story. That’s exactly what I did with my memories.

One evening in my old Craftsman home, I grabbed a bottle of wine and began the journey of putting it all together — everything my body and mind had discovered to this point. I brought it to Redmond in our next appointment and read through it with him.

He said, “Jodie, that’s remarkable what you’ve just done that. It’s very smart of you to put it all together in the timeline as it happened.”

After forty painstaking years, this is the sequential events of the day we murdered.

The month was June of ‘68. I was three, but not for long. I’d turn four the following month. My father and I were driving down a lonely, local interstate highway in a four-door sedan. The car was a silvery blue, with black interior. I learned later from my mother that this was my grandmother’s car but that is no part of my memory. Dad was preoccupied, but he was enjoying the lit cigarette pinched between his fingers.

It was a sunny day, and I was happy to be with him. He was my world. It didn’t matter what he did. He was the power. He took a left off the highway and drove slowly up to an unfamiliar building. He took me out of the car and sat me in a white plastic chair, my little legs extending beyond my summer dress. He disappeared. I looked around, taking in my environment. It seemed something I had learned how to do, to try and keep myself alert, away from harm. Across the highway was a hill topped with railroad tracks. My brother’s toy train made me wonder what a real train flying past might sound like. I was lost in this moment of childish wonder, until I felt a woman with soft, small hands reach out and take my own, ripping me from my thoughts. This moment is one I will guard for eternity.

She was a blonde woman, dainty, pretty, and petite. She tried to speak with me, but my father interrupted abruptly, grabbed my arm, and moved me away from her. I remember wanting her to stay. I pranced on my tip toes to keep up with Dad as he dragged me down the concrete sidewalk past the windows and doors. He was angry and I couldn’t afford any indifference to his need, only compliance. He opened a door to a room with no sunlight. He picked me up by one arm, swatted me, and sternly told me to stay put.

. . .


Teaser Tuesday

The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own has been professionally edited and will be published this year. To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you each Tuesday.

Chapter 1 – He Called Him Cholla

“You and I will always be unfinished business.”


They were in love. My Dad and him. Or, at least, he with my father.
Craig was Dad’s best friend. As a child, I knew Craig better than I knew my own mother. Who knew if my Dad ever loved him or my mom, but I know Craig adored my father.
In my fifties, Craig was put into a nursing facility with early signs of dementia. I’d been to see Craig a few years earlier and he told me he was starting to be forgetful, so this came as no surprise. His nephew and wife were given the task of cleaning out his home and preparing it for sale. In his garage, under some heavy clutter and a toolbox, they found a letter. That letter was from me. I’d written to Craig years earlier asking him to help me close the murder case and return the buried woman to her family. 
They emailed me and wanted to meet. I agreed. We met for several, long hours. It was difficult for all of us. His nephew bore a strong resemblance to Craig, which made my entire being uneasy.  I quivered trying to rid myself of the panic attacks.
His eyes wore the same color as his uncle’s but gave a warm depth of understanding. The light from his uncle’s eye twinkled with delight when he was allowed to love us, as he called it. The only depth in Craig was a bend towards deviance.

A few days later, I received a call from his nephew’s wife. She told me they had found a personal photo album that Craig had kept. The contents were a meticulous gathering of everything that mattered most to him. They’d found slews of other albums comprised only of landscape and nature photography, but this album was different. Very different. It held the most important people and moments of Craig’s life – most prominently featuring my father. She told me that she could see their friendship was more than platonic. She was sure I’d find the evidence I needed to recover their secret bond.  

Jewels, Gems & Gunpowder

I would love to hear from you! Sharing Saturday with you.

A Jewel: I wrote earlier this week about learning to throw caution to the wind and proving myself to be a risk taker. The jewel I’ll add to that is that I do use caution when taking risks. Both can work together. So, cauitously I do throw caution to the wind! Think about that for a minute.

A Gem: I am not a religious person. As a matter of fact, I despise religion. I am a follower of the Jesus as He is written about in the New Testament. That is my creed. I am affiliated with no religious organization. I simply write about my experience and how faith is the force that sets me apart.

Metaphorical Gunpowder: Sometimes waiting to see the plan as God has written it can feel like I’m on a crazy train. Everyone else seems to know where they’re going, what they’re doing, and what their future will look like. Not so for me. I leave room for God to write the script of my life. As crazy as that sounds, I don’t know what my future holds, but I know it’s good.

Please comment below by leaving your jewel, a gem or something you keep yourself free from with metaphorical gunpowder.

All love!

The Way Out

My story is one with a beginning, but no end. It is a story that continues to evolve and change. With each season that passes, a new me rises from the ashes of my past.

As I heal from trauma and unlearn the patterns that were handed down from generation to generation, another facet of who I was always meant to be emerges. Instead of stuffing my problems and hiding them through substance use, I confront them and adjust my behavior. I walk in forgiveness toward myself and those who harmed me, knowing that many people got here the same way I did – because someone showed us a way to live that was contrary to a life of wellness lived to its fullest.

I didn’t grow up with big dreams. I grew up wondering, “How can I get through this day in tact … mentally and physically.

In addition to the trauma I grew up with, I also learned something else from my parents. I learned that the only way to deal with life was to stuff it deep down and keep moving. The way you did this was simple – drugs and alcohol.

It was this hopelessness and the constant nightmares of my past that led me deeper into my addictions.

But I found a way out … through hope and prayer and therapy and employing the use of dozens of healing modalities.

I go out into my new world afraid and unfamiliar with the surroundings, but I push through the fear and forge ahead. I face my trauma and refuse to be victimized by it any longer.

I have been able to overcome and find healing. I want to keep going and take others with me.

I plan to take what I have learned and show others the way out.

B ❤️

F N’ F (Fear Not Friday)

On the discussion of fear — Do you fear throwing caution to the wind?

If I had learned earlier in my life to do something without worrying about the risk or negative results I could have ended a lot of suffering in my life.

What do I mean?

I stayed in a bad marriage for 17 years. Me and my children were treated with disdain and abused daily. If I had learned the art of not being so cautious and afraid of everything, I would have left that terrible man much earlier. But, I stayed. I stayed because I was too afraid of the risk of leaving.

I have learned to take a lot of risk now in my life — something I wish I had learned the art of a long time ago. Risk is not a bad thing. Conversely, caution certainly can be.

Do you risk enough?

Choose the adventure and risk!

Listening to Emotions

I love being a mother but sometimes it is so overstimulating to my already taxed nervous system.

During one of my writing exercises today, there was a prompt to think and then write about what it would feel like to witness your own children go through the traumas and tribulations of your own childhood. To journal on all the feelings it brings up.

It was hard. Excruciating at some points. To subject my children (even via imagination) to the kind of treatment I received as I child feels almost too much to bear. Too cruel – for everyone involved.

But it helped. The growing anxiety in me and the sense of impending doom was almost immediately quelled after this exercise.

I never felt like I had a sense of safety as a child. I place of retreat. A place where I could go to and be untouched.

Today, I know that I need to pay attention to my inner emotions but sometimes feel afraid that I will never have enough time to accomplish this.

My body is telling me so much on a basis… cying out. It has held so much sadness. It has felt the weight of bodies 3 times as big as me. It has witnessed more than one person should. It has withstood beatings and traumas and hurts both physically, sexually and emotionally.

But it is here.

Maybe not in one piece. But that’s ok. For now. And maybe always too. Only time will tell.

B 🤍


We don’t often talk about the valor of being an abuse victim. But it’s an important silver lining that I think is good to remind ourselves of every once in a while.

We know that repeated exposure to trauma doesn’t actually make you stronger. But that doesn’t mean that we are left defenseless against what comes next.

Trauma doesn’t come with the assurance that it may not strike again but if we let it, it can help us foster the resiliency needed to get through it and the rest of life too. I would say that this is because those who’ve suffered have had more opportunity to develop their coping mechanisms more acutely.

Growth begins with healing from trauma—it is not a free pass to avoid suffering.

But we have the capacity to do far more than just heal. Given the right environment and mindset, we can change, using the trauma, the suffering and struggle that ensues, as an opportunity to reflect, to search for meaning in our lives, to ultimately become better versions of ourselves.


Is God Fair?

If I were sitting in an audience waiting for the play Life is Fair to begin, I’d most likely get up and walk out. Life isn’t fair. Is God?

I believe He is.

God didn’t hurt me, wicked people did. The Spirit of Religion was sent to kill, steal and destroy. Incest sits squarely in that realm.

When I married my first husband and he was just as evil, whose fault was that? Squarely, I’d say it was mine. Sure, all of my upbringing groomed me for bad, but I chose and I’ll own that.

Blaming doesn’t help anybody — least of all myself.

Isn’t the concept of fairness a moot point? If I hunt for it, will I find it. What if I don’t hunt for it and trust that God has my back?

There is one thing I am very sure of — what seems unfair in this life will be made right in eternity. That is not only my belief, it is where my hope springs from.

 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Job 2:1-2 (NIV)

Did you know that there are conversations happening all the time in the heavenly releam?

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

JOB 2:3 (NIV)

The God of angel armies is always by my side!

WWW | Wellness Words Wednesday | Denial vs. Emotions

The first weapon against abusive attacks when you are small is to find an area of your brain to place the bad — and, leave it there. While that is how God designed us to make it through those unsafe years, we have to change that pattern now to heal.

Denial leaves a thick impenetrable barrier between us and our emotions. Emotions were given to us for many reasons: to feel happiness, sadness, and everything in between; anger helps us know when there is a violation against our being and so on.

When you first begin to move out of denial and start living in your story, emotions are so raw and new they can feel exaggerated.

Feel them anyway!

Emotions are born to guide us. While we do not live a life dictated by our emotions, we certainly should use them.

Prodded on by hope I take each new day with fresh steps. Despair still rains a bit on me for the injustices I see in this world, but I do believe at the end of time God brings swift justice.

How to Trust (and look for God) when You’ve Been Hurt

Whether you’ve been a believer for 6 days or 60 years, you will continually be learning to trust God.

This is never a lesson learned. It is always a lesson being learned.

On this side of heaven, none of us will ever be able to say “I trust God” always and completely without fail. I realize that now and I’m starting to make peace with the process.

Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you and knowing He’s good, He has the power to help you, and He wants to help you. 

I used to have a habit of trusting only myself. I formed this habit through years of trusting people, getting hurt and finding out I couldn’t trust them. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. 

God doesn’t want us to worry or to feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. He’s called us to bring everything to Him in prayer, stop obsessing over the details, and trust Him with our lives. In what area can you trust God today?

B 🤍

Teaser Tuesday

The audiobook A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own is back with the audio editor. It will be available after final audit within two weeks. Several copies were already purchased and I apologize for the minor flaws that were included in the first publishing. If you purchased the audiobook and would like the newly edited edition, just let me know and I’ll send you a free code. This is such tedious work!

Thank you for supporting this book! The many purchases have been great and the reviews encouraging. A relatable story that brings validation to your world.

Chapter 3 – Indoctrination

“But I think I know so well the pain we children clutch to our chests, how it lasts our whole lifetime, with longings so large you can’t even weep. We hold it tight, we do, with each seizure of the beating heart: This is mine, this is mine, this is mine.” 

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

. . .

Today, I’ve learned that I don’t need this tool anymore, but I certainly did at one time. I’m grateful it was available to me. The images of body parts I couldn’t unsee, the smell of an old motel room that I couldn’t stop, the sound of a strange scream – experiences that were in a constant projectile made it impossible to tolerate more than simply getting through the it all. To sustain the memories then would have been a demand too tall for my little frame. Withholding it all from memory was my gift to survive. Contradiction was my gift to allow play. Disagreement with reality my gift so I could sleep. Oh, the truth still happened by every now and again, but at least for many uncalibrated moments, I got to breathe.

These tools handed down ultimately became weapons I would use against my father. I developed some of my own tools as well. I stayed constantly vigilant in my observation of him, memorizing the way he exerted control and manipulated others to get what he wanted. I was a soldier being indoctrinated for war. Mundane family projects became training opportunities for surviving the battleground of childhood.

. . .

Worthy Wisdom

I read once when you’re not meant to be in a certain place, career, relationship, or situation you’ll start receiving nods or messages that it’s time to leave. But if you fight it, God will make you so uncomfortable with yourself that you’ll be forced to part ways.

This was me for many years. Marred by trauma and unhealed childhood wounds, I never felt good in my skin or right in my shoes.I always feet this nagging sensation that something was off. A buzz of anxiety right below the surface. I had dreams, nightmares about certain people or choices I was making. I woke up in sweat. I felt constantly uneasy but I refused to address the thing I knew, just beyond my periphery, that I was ignoring or suppressing because I was too afraid of change.

I kept wanting God to save me. I wanted a grand sign. I never got one but I didn’t get many signs of over the years, every day of my life.

When I began to step into my own spiritual journey – everything in my life began to align.

People who were meant to be in my life stayed. Behaviors that I had tried so hard to control seemed to melt away. The trauma and anxiety and accompanying depression that had plagued me for years just seemed to drop off my shoulders.

And somewhere along this journey is when I discovered my power and my own spiritual gifts. It’s a beautiful thing; to be aligned with your highest self. To live in your purpose, do what you love, and create with passion.

B 🤍

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