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.  

WW | Words of Wisdom | Glory in the Goal

Redeeming my past is a journey, not a destination. When I have memories return because I have allowed them free reign in my being now, it can be challenging.

Successful processing of traumatic memories allows you to say, “The traumatic event happened, it happened to me, and it is over now.

The complex ptsd workbook, arielle schwartz, pH.d, pAGE 108

Recalling the pain with the event can, most literally, take my breathe away.

They return at the most inappropriate times! It’s never a convenience but most often intrusive and unwanted. I suppose there is never a right time for them to return, is there?

I guess I’d like to believe that God can and should just step in, wave His magic wand, and everything disappears like magic. I’m healed.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

The problem is that in the disappearing act wouldn’t all those pieces of me disappear, too? I would never learn who I am. God knows what I need much better than I. He doesn’t want me on auto-pilot my whole life. He also doesn’t want me in the flight or fight zone forever, either.

What He does want is for my wholeness and restoration. For me to return to the place where He created me to be. He watched as my vulnerability was smashed time and time again.

God is a witness to the atrocities perpetuated against me and you!

He calls out to me each day reminding me that my hope is renewed every morning. I know I have a destiny using my pain as a stepping stone. I believe He created me to have a beautiful life – free and reaching for all that is good.

So, my notable achievements are in my daily journeys, in striving to move forward, forgetting the past as I can, and looking towards greater things.

That’s where my glory lives.


We all have them. Physical scars. Emotional scars. Spiritual scars. They represent having survived a harm that has been done, a damage inflicted, but they also represent a healing has occurred, don’t they? To have a scar is not so much about what you survived, as it is about how you have healed from an affliction, have regained your physical, emotional, or spiritual health and are moving on.

When a scar is emotional or spiritual, it cannot legitimately be called a scar if it has not healed. If you have a physical wound and it doesn’t heal, you would never call it a scar. You would also keep working to clean it of all infection, medicate it, treat it with care, and give it time so that it can heal. Yet, so often we neglect to give this same care, attention, and patience to wounds that exist in the heart and mind.

Scars are not about your ability to withstand pain and hardship, but your ability to heal despite the affliction. To forgive yourself and others, to continue on again, to have faith again, to love again. That’s where the true accomplishment lies.

B 🤍

Teaser Tuesday | Inciting Murder

The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My OwnIncest. Rape. Murder. Then, I Turned Four, is available in Audiobook, paperback and on Kindle (or ebook). To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you Tuesdays.

Chapter 12 | Inciting Murder 

You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” 

 – Toni Morrison from Song of Solomon 

. . .

Several months after that initial recall, I had my first flashback. Thinking of the flashback as a clue to the next piece of work — no matter how painful — I had to try to view it as a positive indication that I was ready now and willing to remember. These flashbacks would happen off and on through the years, unwelcomed, unexpected, and very unwanted. Once I opened the door, they kept returning – sometimes with a vengeance.  

This evening, I had my boyfriend stay over. He got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and when he opened the door to my bedroom to come back to bed, it startled me out of sleep. When I opened my eyes, I flew up in bed, moving against the wall, and cried out, “Are you Dad or Craig? Are you Dad or Craig?” I tried to focus, but all I was seeing was a man in the shadows coming toward me, a car door was opened behind him, and the headlights were shining on the spot they had been working.  

I was transported to that Saturday night in June: Dad and Craig had been working all day and I had fallen asleep in the back of the car. In the latter half of the day we were in a different car. This car was gold, had two doors, and black interior. They opened the door, and someone was climbing in the back. It scared me. Then, I could see that it was my dad. He crawled in and collapsed in the back seat with his head landing on my top of my legs. I was so small it was suffocating.   

This flashback had not only showed me that we had used two cars, but that it was very late at night by the time we arrived back home. It also confirmed that they had buried the body on my parents’ property in, what would later become, the family dumpsite.  

The flashback freaked my boyfriend out so bad, he got dressed and walked out of my house at 3:00 a.m., leaving me scared and alone. No man would want to love me while I explored these dark waters. Maybe my mother was right when she told me, “Good thing God made you beautiful because after all you’ve been through no man is going to want to love you.” I was frightening for them and just too much. I did have my God and my children and that was enough. 

Sometime after the flashback, I knew I had to lodge a formal complaint with law enforcement. This was in 2005. I believed in myself enough to write the following letter:

. . . continued . . .

Mirror Mirror ~ How Do You See Yourself?

Introspection — what better way to start a week.

Question: How would you describe yourself right now?

The description I use for myself — to myself — determines how I am treated.

In the not too distant past, I viewed myself with the lowlifes, the users, the drinkers, those that abuse themselves and others. Not a pretty picture but I did it all the time. I’d go to work in my nice clothes, at my nice job, and then become a different creature after work.

Sometimes I meet a married guy and spend the evening with him. Sometimes I drink until 4 am and be late for work or show up on time severly hungover. Sometimes I’d just go home, open a bottle of wine, and cry in the bathtub for hours.

Not a very good picture of a good life, is it?

I was putting the value on my life — no one else was. The abusers had long since gone away — or had they? I saw my mother often until a few years ago. I cannot tell you how detrimental that was for me. The problem is, she doesn’t love herself or me.

If you think the message you tell yourself about who you are doesn’t matter, I beg to differ.

So, answer the question – How would you describe yourself right now?

I would encourage you to try to use this standard when loving on yourself:


Will I Ever Feel Whole Again?

There will be days that you do. And days that you don’t. But the good days will start to outnumber the bad.

I have come to believe that from suffering comes grace. And so when find acceptance in my suffering I am able to grow. Yes, it sounds like BS. It is still true.

All the greatest healing I’ve experienced in my life has come from an experience that the God placed in front of me and not something that I made happen. That’s the beauty of a spiritual path: when you surrender and allow God to do his thing, true healing is presented to you.

In every moment God is conspiring to bring you toward right-minded thinking and the energy of love. It’s your choice to lean toward love or lean toward fear.

God is with you in good days and bad but you get to choose your attitude and your willingness and openness for change and awe.

Many women say “no” to healing because they don’t want to go through the pain of uncovering buried feelings, fears, and memories. They choose to limp through life rather than pursue the arduous path of freedom from the past. 

Why does healing have to be so difficult? Isn’t it enough to have suffered through the trauma in the first place? Surely, God is able to miraculously take away the fear, the pain and the sadness. Yet most often he asks us to walk through grief and sorrow to get to the other side of healing. 

B 🤍

WW | Words of Wisdom | Letting Go . . . of . . . D E A T H

Suicide and death are such a common theme among incest survivors. You know why? It’s all murder, that’s why.

I only saw my father a handful of times after that. He had chosen deceit and the battle between us was on.

About six months before this illness, I’d dreamt that my father was milling about his house. The dream began with a man crawling in a downstairs window at my dad’s house. He stayed in the house a long time. The dream finished with my father walking away from the house with a limp. It was strange to me at the time but also something I couldn’t ignore.

I prayed about the dream. I knew that the man who crawled through my dad’s window was evil. It was like death had come in. I opened my bible and ironically read about a six-month period. Strange to me, but notable, I looked ahead on the calendar six months and made note of it. Almost to the day six months later, my father entered the hospital – fighting for his life.

When Dad returned home from the hospital – yep, he walked with a limp.

Was this odd dream a prophecy fulfilled?

From A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own, Chapter 8 – Prophecy

“Death has climbed in through our windows.”

jeremiah 9:21

Incest carries with it a death sentence. It’s design is to destroy. We are in a real battle of life and death. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I win that battle because He already fought and won it for me. And I believe, “that he understands and knows me . . . that he exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth. . .” Jeremiah 9:24.

Let him do the fighting for you. Let go and let God.

Father, today I come to you with the courage to ask you to protect those innocent victims that are being abused by the hands of the enemy. Stop that antagonistic spirit from harming the innocent. Thy kindgom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Homesick …

Even when you start to heal from your childhood and put the pieces of your life back together…it’s hard to not feel different. Outside of and apart from. I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere…not even in my own family. And maybe that’s where the feeling originates.

Even if you’re able to rebuild some of your family of origin or create a family of your own… you can still very much feel displaced.

One study conducted pointed to five common elements that they determined were needed to make a home feel like home. Those included: Privacy, comfort, ownership, security, and belonging.

Growing up, my home wasn’t a place of comfort or security. Instead, it was a place of chaos and hurt and pain and abuse.

The very question of “Who am I?” was one I have always struggled to answer. 

But slowly, I have taught myself to look inward. To seek comfort from the one person who can reliably give that to me – myself.

Wherever we are, we bring ourselves with us. And God. So the only place that home can be is really inside of ourselves. When no place feels like home, stop looking outside for a place, a thing, or a person to be our home; rather, search your soul, open your heart, tap into your power and to God, and find your way back to the home that is you.

B 🤍

Mirror Mirror ~ When the Mind Forgets

Introspection — what better way to start a week.

Question: Don’t I deserve to know myself fully?

Traumatic Amnesia

Amnesia is usually the result of physical damage to areas of the brain from injury, disease, or alcoholism. Psychologic factors may also cause amnesia; a shocking or unacceptable situation may be too painful to remember, and the situation is then retained only in the subconscious mind.

The technical term for this is repression. (See also dissociative disorders).
Rarely is the memory completely obliterated. When amnesia results from a single physical or psychologic incident, such as a concussion suffered in an accident or a severe emotional shock, the victim may forget only the incident itself; the victim may be unable to recall events occurring before or after the incident or the order of events may be confused, with recent events imputed to the past and past events to recent times. In another form, only certain isolated events are lost to memory.
Amnesia victims usually have a good chance of recovery if there is no irreparable brain damage. The recovery is often gradual, the memory slowly reclaiming isolated events while others are still missing. Psychotherapy may be necessary when the amnesia is due to a psychologic reaction.

Medical dictionary – emphasis added

Reading this makes my soul tarry. I’m so sadden by the time I spent lost in dissociative patterns, not remembering all the facts associated with my childhood. I simply could not. It was too terrorizing — too much for my psyche to take.

So, I left it behind. Until it gradually began returning to me. None of it was fully gone as glimpses of the decay caught my mind from time to time. I’d reason it away — until I couldn’t.

If you have breakthroughs — trust them. It’s your mind bringing you back now because you are safe.

Jewels, Gems & Gunpowder

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

A Jewel: I hold no contempt for my family of origin. I do not feel they are beneath me, worthless or deserve scorn. Living by them in childhood I knew something even then — they were prisoners to desires they could not control. They were defeated by purposes I don’t believe they understood.

Devices against good cannot see their way to safety.

I learned to be sure what I choose in life. Oh, that took me so many years. I had to shut the door to people who gave themselves over to bad choices over and over and over — those that had no outlook of good or positivity in their souls.

A Gem: I wish no harm to the people who harmed me. I can choose that and I do.

Metaphorical Gunpowder: God came to me when I was three. His love never left me in midst of great abuse and despair. His love is what I pursue. His love is what changes me. His grace is sufficient for all I need, all I’ve lived through, and whatever next steps I take.

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

All love!

Fear Not Friday | What Do I Carry in My Heart?

On the discussion of fear, I often wonder what I have hidden in the recesses of my heart.

A treacherous beginning in childhood left caverns of unknowns locked away in me and I’ve been searching for them ever since. They are hard to locate later in life.

Jesus had an interesting conversation about the “heart” of a man:

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them. ”
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?
19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” 

Mark 7: 14-19

So, I need not to be as concerned with what I’m taking into my body, but rather what “lives” with me — daily in my heart.

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