This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Her Voice

When there is always a lot, it can be rare to find quiet moments. I found one this evening. The lights off, sounds of life around me but not near me. It was tranquil and I wanted to stay there. To not have to do anything, but just be. It was calming for a while, but then I looked for your voice. I tried as hard as I could to remember what you sounded like when you spoke, when you laughed. I can picture it. When we played cards in the basement at the lake. That was a week before your voice would be lost to the world forever.

It was a voice that loved me. A voice that called to me and corrected me, but also comforted me. A voice that so often carried me from dark places, most of them inside myself. When I needed you, you were there, until he ended it. How many times did we sit on the top step and talk about life? Too many to count. I looked up to you. I knew that you had grown and healed in ways that I deeply longed for but never felt I deserved. You wanted that for me too. You wanted to teach me because you saw things in me that I did not see in myself. You would be proud of me and not for my degrees or accomplishments, which keep coming, but for the woman I have become. For the ways I have still found some healing, even without you, and the healing I want to bring to the world, just like you did.

I do not think a day will come when I don’t look for you in some way. It’s like the world is not right, because you should be here. I should be able to pickup the phone, to call you and hear your voice. Instead, sometimes the only place I find you is here in the pain of having lost you.


Normalize Grief

28 years yesterday. July 18, 1994 is frozen in time no matter how much time passes. It stays the same. Everything that I remember I remember in vivid technicolor. There are black gaps in time that I don’t remember anything. I only remember about five minutes of one of the interrogations, of which there were at least two that lasted many hours. I remember my routine. Go to Safeway in the Cranbrook mall as soon as I wake up and purchase any newspaper that had any information, walk to Ron and Paula’s house and stay in their basement as late as possible watching movies, then go home to put the Crow on repeat until I passed out on the couch. Sometimes I only watched it once, but usually I watched it twice. “It can’t rain all the time.”

I was prepared for yesterday to be a hard day. I only broke down and cried twice, so I was very impressed with myself. I forgot about today. Yesterday is technically the day they were taken from us, but 28 years ago today is the day I was woken up by a call from my dad to find out if I was alive, because there was a fire and they found a woman’s body where I lived and they could not identify it. It was either her or me. 28 years ago today is when we drove to the townhouse and I saw what remained. The day I was questioned by police for the first time by myself, at 16 years of age, and that small windowless room is where I learned that the people closest to me had been intentionally killed and not as a result of an accident, which is what I assumed. That is the only five minutes I remember from being questioned. I broke down so hard that the officer left the room with the stenographer and I was alone. Completely alone.

Gabor Mate is a trauma therapist. I resonate with his description of trauma and how it is not the event itself that is the most damaging and causes trauma, it is being alone in the event. This is why community matters. It is why we need each other. We will not heal, we will not be whole, we will not have a healthy society until we understand and live out community for every single person on this planet.

So, for those of us who have experienced trauma, we do our best to heal, to be healthy and live the best life we can with what we carry. There is no getting over it. I will NEVER get over it. I will carry it. My counselor said the phrase “normalize grief” and that was a balm to my soul. That’s exactly what my best friend and I were talking about yesterday. How we will always have this as a part of us. Those of us who have experienced trauma – especially multiple traumas – perhaps need to understand that it is normal for us to have these days, to have triggers, to have pain that resides within our soul. That’s ok as long as it is not dictating our lives. The loss was so great that it is impossible to live without the pain, but it is possible to live with the pain and still thrive. I carry all the good parts of them and all the good memories but I have to carry the pain as well. They are inseparable, and that’s ok. They are worth carrying both. I can not be healthy if I don’t carry both. You can not numb pain without numbing joy. You either feel, or your don’t.

There have been so many changes this last year and I am learning so much about myself. One very important lesson I have been learning and practicing is that I will make my decisions based on what I want (and what my values are) and not what is expected of me. I will decide for me, what is normal. Carrying grief is part of my normal. It’s ok that sometimes I’m not ok. In those moments I reach out for those that love me and are connected to me. Especially people who are connected to my pain, like Jonathan and Paula, Joyce Doug and Rick, who have all survived with me.

Survivors guilt is real but I survived for a reason. I may not know exactly that reason but in honor of Susan, Josiah and David, I will live my very best life. She loved me fiercely and she would be proud of me. Taking one day at a time and doing the best that is possible for me.

They Can’t Make You Lose Your Value

I saw a video once of a guy who took out a $50 bill and he offered it to someone to see if they wanted it. Of course they did. He crumpled it up and offered it again and it was still wanted. He threw it on the ground and stomped on it then verified again that the offer would still be accepted. Of course the person would still take it because it’s still $50.

These past few weeks there have been a few different instances that were very frustrating and I said to my friend, “they are devaluing me” and he said, “no, that’s impossible. They can’t make you lose your value.” That hit me. I thought about it and I rephrased “they are not recognizing my value” and that was a more accurate statement. Just because someone doesn’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

It’s the same as the $50 dollar bill. Even if someone didn’t want it, it is still $50. Those who recognize the value when they see it will benefit from it. Those who don’t, will ultimately miss out on all that you bring. The most important thing is that we don’t miss the value of ourselves. If we don’t see our value then we will not act in a way that cherishes it. Knowing our value will change our entire lives. We will look at ourselves differently in the mirror, carry ourselves differently, and not settle for anything less than we deserve. We live in a world that constantly tells us we are less than. Find the people who remind you of who you really are under all the labels and judgments of the world that weigh us down and that we need to throw off and burn. Find people that see your worth and hold them close. You have infinite value.

The Second Hearing

I’m on the couch.
I’ll be here for the rest of the night.
I slept for a little while, which is good because I kept feeling like I needed to but it wouldn’t come. I woke up confused. I feel like I have been on that machine from The Dark Crystal that sucks the life out of you. I have no energy; physically or emotionally.

Today was the second parole board hearing and it feels like it literally took everything in me to be there. He was denied everything he asked for, which is the outcome we would have hoped for, but there is no celebrating. There is nothing joyous about this process. None of us should have to be here. It does not feel good that I am relieved someone has to stay in a cage. Life is not meant to be like this.  It was hard to see him again and awful to hear his voice. To hear his lies, and the way he manipulates things.
It’s not even just about today but the time you spend to write your statement, the anxiety as each day gets closer and you know he could still defer and part of you hopes he does but even if we go ahead we will be back here again so it doesn’t matter anymore if it’s deferred or not. This is life now where we have to go through this.

To struggle between gasps and sobs to get through the words on the paper, and today was even harder because I watched someone who could not be closer to my heart chose to do the same. The protector in me cried out behind the screen with no video or mic because it hurt that he too hurts so deeply with this loss. To watch him struggle for the words and vocalize his loss was even worse than vocalizing my own. There is so much pain it feels like I can’t feel. I just feel numb. Like it’s too much and it is all jammed because everything is trying to get through at once and it can’t. So I lay here and wait. Slowly it will come. The unfreezing and melting back into life. A life that gets interrupted and has to stop because these things really happened and we have to go through this process. I wish he was remorseful. I wish he would take accountability. It would change everything, but here we are, and it means we have to fight. It is now our responsibility to make sure people don’t get fooled by his charming and believable facade. I know the story he tells, which seems to make sense, but I also know what never made it to the courtroom, which unravels his innocence story.  He’s not suffered a miscarriage of justice and I will fight for as long as it takes because they are worth fighting for. This is their truth, only they never survived to tell it, and I did. Fighting is exhausting.
I will never give up.

Here is the second victim statement I read to the board today:

To the CSC and Parole Board of Canada,

              I want to start with an acknowledgment of how hard these statements are to write. Your whole life must stop because you are going to reconnect with a level of pain that is debilitating, in order to write them. You have to disconnect with that pain most of the time so you can function in life, but it never goes away. My whole life stopped when Dean killed Susan and the babies and it has continued to have many more stops and starts as you pass anniversaries, visit the grave, have happy or sad moments when she’s not there, watch trial proceedings, talk with officers of the court and police, write victim statements and watch and participate in parole hearings.

              At the last hearing, Dean’s lawyer said that victim statements should not count towards Dean’s release as it is only a question of risk. I understand his perspective, but he is wrong. I currently work with men who have committed grave harm, including murder. My work gives me hope and faith in humanity and has demonstrated that change is possible even in the darkest of circumstances. One key factor exhibited by the men that I work with, who have changed their lives, is the acknowledgment of the harm that they caused. They all take full responsibility for their actions and have developed empathy for the people that they hurt, both physically and emotionally. Victim statements are an opportunity for the victims to express their pain, fears, and desires and we are valid. It is an important part of healing for us to do these things, but this also provides an opportunity for offenders to get a greater understanding of the pain they have caused. Not all offenders will take this opportunity, and in Dean’s case, I see no evidence that he has. Society is at risk when an offender will not take responsibility for what they have done.

              Parole hearings also give that opportunity to take responsibility for your actions and in the last hearing we saw Dean make excuses, dodge, and minimize his behavior before and during his incarceration in addition to never admitting he committed these murders. The court found him guilty, but there is so much information that never even made it to the court room which confirms that Dean planned and orchestrated the killing of his wife and infant children. To continue to claim his innocence enables the façade that Dean created long ago and could be the person he wants to be, but not who he really is. As long as he denies what he has done, he will be a risk to society.

              The question before the board then is how best to navigate that risk. It would be inhumane to say that he should be locked away for the rest of his natural life. That would be to hold the belief that people can not and will not ever change. It dehumanizes someone and I do not ever want to be in a place that dehumanizes. That is how murders happen. People become objects. People do not change on their own. We were created for community and in community we have the opportunity for change. We have to be influenced by positive people and resources. These are severely lacking in our prison system currently. Dean is asking for UTA’s and ETA’s for personal development. I can not give a recommendation to the board if these should be approved or not because I don’t have enough information. I understand that he has a right to privacy but that limits my ability to make a recommendation since I don’t know what kind of personal development he is looking for. Some programs are well run and effective. Others are not.

Dean has, so far, continued to have personal relationships with people who are prohibitive to him ever finding full freedom because they enable his façade. People who misrepresent who they are and their relationship with Dean in the media and enable his self-centred behavior. People who have told him since long ago that he is entitled to whatever he wants. You can not reform your mind from criminal thinking if you surround yourself with people who also have criminal thinking. This gives me concern, especially regarding a UTA.

The previous board also saw no evidence of change in Dean and his ongoing struggle with deception and manipulation. He’s very good at image management. He’s become a champion of human rights in the prison by advocating for kettles, meetings and board games. It’s not that the people experiencing incarcerations don’t need or deserve these things (they definitely do!) but he knows how to position himself to get power and favor. He’s good at the slight of hand where he wants you to look at the good things he’s doing while he robs with the other. He’s smart enough to have convinced The Innocence Project and Innocence Canada to pickup his plight. They read court documents and police files while listening to his version of events without talking to anyone who was there and knows the other side. The parts that he doesn’t want to tell like pushing Susan into the wall. He spent their money on electronics rather than food, so Susan had to go to the food bank to feed them. They don’t know the steps she was taking to leave because she was afraid. So much more than that but all of it are things he doesn’t want anyone to know. That is part of the Dean that he hides.

He was surrounded by rejection and abandonment growing up. At this point, showing the real Dean is a significant risk because who could ever love him? He doesn’t understand that he deserved love back then and still does. We are all better than the worst thing we have ever done – even murdering my precious Susan and their innocent babies. As I stated previously, a victim statement allows victims to also express their desires. It is my desire that Dean takes responsibility for what he has done and finds true healing and freedom. Until he does that, he will always be a risk to those who know what happened and anyone who now dares to get close to him or not give him what he wants. This reality has to be weighed carefully against his requests and I trust the boards decision.

My First Victim Statement

I wish victim statements were not a thing. I wish I was not an officially registered victim of a crime. I can wish until the cows come home but it changes nothing. Today I wrote my second victim statement because my offender is going to the parole board again and I decided to honor my story by publishing my first victim statement here. Writing a victim statement is a gut wrenching process to put it mildly. I am thinking of all the victims who have to do this process and I am with you.

To the CSC and Parole Board of Canada,

              In July of 1994 I was 15 years of age and living with the Roberts family while my mother was away for an extended period of time. I had known Susan Roberts since she was in high school. She adopted me as her little sister. She supported me, affirmed me and loved me like an older sister would do. She had three beautiful children. That July, Dean Christopher Roberts took all of that way.

I lost the strongest and most positive person in my life. I had a difficult childhood and I struggled with self esteem and suicidal thoughts. Susan Roberts was a light in my life from the day I met her. She was my own personal cheerleader. I knew that no matter what I did, she would always be there for me, to love me and encourage me to move forward. At an incredibly vulnerable time in my life, Dean took away the biggest support I had. I told her things I had never told anyone else before. I trusted her and felt unconditional love in return. When she was gone I was left reeling. I felt empty and alone. It was a dark place that got darker. I didn’t sleep, I barely ate. Every morning I walked to the Safeway to look at the newspapers to learn any new information. The faces of people closest to me were often on the news. I felt hollow. I felt like I was a walking zombie and in a constant state of shock. I felt hopeless and more alone than I had every felt in my life. It was one thing to be alone before I met Susan, but to have someone who loved you, made you feel special and that you were worth something; to know what that felt like and then have that ripped away was like two opposing forces literally pulling at each side of your heart until it tears in two. I was at the bottom of a pit that had no end, no light and no escape.

As Susan’s husband, I trusted Dean. He appeared to be a loving and caring husband and father. He welcomed me to their home and lives. He made us laugh, he changed diapers and Susan loved him deeply. To realize that the man who covenanted to love and protect her, was the one who ended her life and the lives of their two sons while leaving Susan’s son to die in the fire, was a knife that cut to the very core of my soul. It did not seem fathomable that this man who we knew to be gentle and compassionate could commit such atrocities. I could not reconcile these two opposing forces in my young mind, and I know many adults could not either.

We rallied to his defense because this could not be true. As the hearings began and evidence unfolded, the pieces slowly came together that highlighted the path which lead to the conclusion that the man we knew did not exist. Hidden beneath this carefully constructed image was someone known only to few, someone who was capable of lies, plotting and destroying the people who loved him the most in the world.

All trust I ever had was broken. I never could have believed he did this, and yet he did. He fooled almost the entire community so this was not a case of the naivety of youth. This gut wrenching betrayal has stayed with me and brought into my life a mistrust for people. If I was so wrong before, could I be wrong again? I have been afraid of people at times. I have been afraid that people would hurt me physically and emotionally, which has negatively impacted many personal relationships. There are layers to the pain and loss that go deeper than I know exist. This is more than just a loss, there is betrayal, fear anxiety, insecurity and agony.

I miss Susan and the babies every single day of my life. The pain that came from their loss will never go away. It faded some with time, to allow me to continue with life but it will never ever leave. I still cry because I miss them. I have been robbed of Susan being in my life and celebrating all the high moments, but even more important, she would have been there with me through the lows, to encourage and love me. I think of the babies and how old they would be, what grades they would have gotten, what passions they would have pursued. I was robbed of the opportunity to love and support them as they grew through life. I babysat them, fed them, played with them and wanted to be a better person for them to look up to.

I also lost Jonathan. Though he physically survived he has been scarred in ways that will never heal. Had Susan been alive I would have been able to watch him grow in the safety and security of his mother’s care. She chose for him to be born, even though the circumstances were not ideal. Her love for him was fierce. He went to live with another family that had awkward relationships and I lost a closeness and connectedness that we should have had. He was so special to me and how Susan adored him. I was only 15 years old and I knew no one would ever give him to me but he was the person left who tied me the closest to her. He has never known a love that should have been, because Dean took that from us.

Dean was a master of puppets in his own show. He orchestrated the murders in such a way that had he not been trapped in an elaborate plan from the police and confessed, he could likely have gotten away with these crimes with no penalty. He was not remorseful after. He did not care that I brought him his ring that I found, which was a gift from Susan. He had a plan and carried out that plan with forethought, precision and accuracy. Thankfully he was outsmarted and exposed.

Is it possible for someone who so callously premeditated these killings to be rehabilitated? Is it ever possible to change? There are no certain answers to those questions, but what I have is the evidence that shows that Dean Roberts knows how to deceive people. He knows how to pretend and to say what you want to hear. He knows how to play by the rules so you think he is a rule abider. The only way to ever know if he has changed, is to release him to the public and see if he ever kills again. That test is a fail from the outset because the risk to society is not worth the chance. Someone else’s life is not worth hoping that he has learned his lesson from killing three people. I do not believe it is safe for the community if he should be released from prison. He only cares about himself – he always has, but he knows how to disguise this with socially acceptable behaviours.

His biological father has told my mother that Dean will get out of jail and will come and find me. At his trial in Nelson I stared him down when he was brought to the courthouse and when he left, which he complained to the judge about. I testified against him to help him be convicted. I am not afraid of him, but I do think he may want to harm me or those closest to me. Because of this, I ask that he not be allowed to contact me or my relatives nor reside in the same area that I do. In the unfortunate event that he be granted release, I request that he not be allowed to reside or travel in the areas of Cranbrook or Nelson.

He has not ever taken responsibility for his actions, yet he did murder three innocent and beautiful people in a vicious manner without regard for anyone or anything. He was determined to live a new life without them as demonstrated by the fact that he tried to poison them and when that didn’t work, he resorted to physical violence. Insurance money was of greater importance to him than human lives. I was there after dinner when they were sick. I thought it was the stomach flu and even still I felt awful for them to be so sick and in pain. I helped clean up and take care of them. He had many opportunities for a conscience to overrule his plan, for some kind of empathy to stop him and yet there was none. He is incredibly intelligent, but intelligence devoid of feeling and compassion gives us this cold and calculating killer.

Can you really expect someone as cold and callous as a man who planned the death of his wife and children to be a valuable contributor to our society? How can I feel safe – how can I feel that anyone is safe if he is not in prison? Why are we putting other people’s lives at risk? Does he have a right to be out of jail? Didn’t they have a right to live? This wasn’t a crime of passion where he needs to learn better anger management. He got what he wanted, and what he wanted was his wife and children dead but he shouldn’t get to be free. He will always place a greater value to what he wants, than anything or anyone else in his life. I am not safe if he is free, and neither is anyone else.

Don’t Save the Best For Last

I am going through the miracles of Jesus in the order that they happened. It’s bringing them to life in a new way. They are not individual stories but this journey of Jesus’ power and compassion. That really hit me today as I realized that miracle number 7 is the miracle Jesus did for Lazarus. Bringing someone back from the dead is seriously significant. It’s always been awe inspiring for me, but I am sure the Carman song, ‘Lazarus Come Forth’ is a contributor. I was a child when that came out and the music reached into my soul and told me that anything is possible.

So today I realize that this miracle is the 7th one but I know there are 37 miracles of Jesus and I thought, wait, Jesus what are you doing?? This is one of your best miracles – you have 30 more to go, don’t give up the goods yet – you always save the best for last! Everyone knows that. Sigh. Jesus isn’t everyone. He didn’t do things the way we think they should and that includes, especially, his miracles. The most important thing that is hard for our minds to grasp is that His miracles were not a show. We encounter performers all day every day, and we are sometimes performers ourselves. Jesus wasn’t performing. He was living his life, doing what he was supposed to do and encountering hurt and needy people on the way. When he encountered them, he healed them. It was about him and the individual. Of course, he knew that others would be radically changed by his work in that one person but that doesn’t change that the work was about that person and not about a performance.

I felt like He was saying directly to me, come and see the work I want to do in you, the work I had started long ago, and I am being faithful until it is complete, and you come home. His work in my life is nothing short of a miracle. It is definitely the dead being brought back to life. It is definitely learning how to see and walk. It is definitely finding health and wholeness. All the miracles that Jesus did in each of these people are the same ones He is doing in me, every single day.

Where I Fit

Everything looks easy from the outside. We can look at someone in an awful job and wonder, ‘Why don’t they quit?’ or an abusive relationship and ask, ‘Why don’t they leave?’ The negative aspects are clear to us and they seem to be enough that it is logical that they should make a change. What we miss is that even when the negatives outweigh the positives there is a fit that has happened which is very hard to release. We are like cookie dough pressed into a mold. There is a lot that holds us in, even if it hurts us. Stepping out of the mold, is stepping into a void. At least in the mold I know how I fit and I am familiar with my surroundings. If I step out, there are no parameters. How will I know my shape and my place? What if I fall flat? What if all that waits for me outside this mold is a new one that’s worse?

And we stay in our place.

Many movies have scenes where someone has to take a step of faith onto an invisible platform that they are told is there. I am sure it’s in one of the Indiana Jones movies but I know I have seen it more than just there. It’s the best description of people who make big changes. There are no guarantees in life at all but if you don’t change you get familiar with the routine and it’s likely to remain the same. When you step onto the platform and out of the mold you have to admit that there are no guarantees. That is usually too much for most people.

An interesting thing happened to me. I was in the town where I grew up. Lots of good and bad things happened there. I haven’t been there for years and I have now spent more of my life not living there, than living there, but when I needed to get somewhere I could just get in my car and drive there. I could not articulate how to get there at all but I knew by instinct all the right turns. So going back is ingrained into the DNA of our being. If we knew it once we can easily know it again. This makes not only stepping out hard but staying out hard too.

Some people step out and fall flat so others use that as evidence to never step out. This reminds me of Brene Brown quoting Theodore Rosevelt about getting into the ring (if you don’t know the quote please google it because it’s amazing). I have never been someone on the sidelines. It’s just not who I am, but that doesn’t mean these steps are not scary or easy. I have fallen flat but I get back up and keep trying.

If we refuse to give up we will find a new place where we fit. It takes time and effort. It’s trial and error but you will get there. It’s uncomfortable until it’s comfortable, and it is quite possible to be better. You will never know until you take the step.

26 years

She was just here yesterday. I swear she was.

It feels like she was, but I know that’s only in my mind. The calendar says it’s been 26 years but I’m sure it was just yesterday. I can see her. I see her smile and her laugh, I see her frustration and her tears. She had them all. We’re in the living room while she changes diapers. One baby first and then she wrestles the second to the floor and changes him too. She’s in the kitchen cooking diner while I sit at the table and we talk. Shes folding laundry, while we talk. She’s outside on the top stoop of the stairs to the house having a cigarette and picking at the bumps on her arm while we talk. We talked a lot.

We talked about the boy I was dating, our families, her life struggles, my life struggles, and we talked about being abused. She was doing her best to work through the journey that is healing. She had a book beside her bed. The one he lit on fire. I have that book now. It stays beside my bed. It is slightly burned. She got half way through. She underlined and wrote notes in it. They are her words that I have now. The closest I can come to having a conversation with her again. When life is hard I need her the most and when she was alive that’s when she would consistently show up.

Yesterday I came to this in the book:

July 18, 1994 her work was complete.

I am sure when she wrote those words she had no idea how soon that would happen.

So now I work on my journey without her and that’s become part of my journey. Living with grief and loss, fighting for justice, and knowing that she’s with me, but it’s not the same way.

Your Platform

Everyone has a platform. Some are small and some are gigantic. Some have been earned and some have been bequeathed. Your platform may encompass your children, friends, and family or, if you are the CEO of a large company, your platform may reach millions. What are we to do with our platforms?

in 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem. His intent was not to start a movement but to demonstrate what was in his heart. It took weeks for anyone to even notice, but being noticed wasn’t his goal. When it was noticed, there was serious blowback. There is no question that his actions have hindered his career and millions of dollars in contracts. He chose to honor himself and his values and it came at a cost.

I remember discussing this with a family member. He completely disagreed with Kaepernick and felt that he was doing this action at the wrong time and place, to which I asked what IS the right time and place? Even though Kaepernick didn’t intend to start the movement that he did, which added to ongoing movements in the US and now around the world, he used the platform he had to bring attention to human rights issues in his country.

This movement has exploded all over the world and people are demanding change. It is not creating dividing lines, these were already there, but it is exposing them.  The voices of the people who are tired of systemic racial discrimination of minorities are reaching those with large platforms and they are taking action. Platforms make a difference. People have been campaigning and lobbying for years for the Washington Redskins to change their name. They have now agreed to do so but, as my incredibly smart son pointed out, it is because sponsors (with large platforms and dollars) threatened to pull their contracts if they did not make the change.

The people used their platforms of various sizes to fight for change. The people with larger platforms are using theirs to leverage change. Strongholds are breaking down. I believe this is scripture being lived out: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms,” (1 Peter 4:10). Your platform is a gift, use it to serve others. Use it to fight for those who are suffering under injustice. Use it to elevate others from poverty. Use whatever you have in whatever ways you can, it makes a difference.

This morning I read that Kenny Stills, a wide receiver for the NFL’s Houston Texans was arrested along with other protestors who are demanding justice. The shirt he is wearing in his mug shot says it all:


I am very curious to see what will happen from here. There are large implications. If his charges get dismissed will the 87 other people who were arrested also have their charges dismissed? Will his arrest increase the pressure on the judiciaries and finally bring action in this case? How much blowback will Still’s get, because you know there will be.

Using your platform will cost you. It is worth the price.

I will leave you with a photo of Michael Collins on his platform. He’s there in the middle. His platform cost him his life but won Ireland the freedom she has now.  Erin go Bragh!

michael collins

Grace for her

Every day is a new day. Some are harder and some are better.

Even if my book were not to be published (which it will be) this is such an important process. I wrote in my last post about how helpful it is to get things from the inside out and that is so true. I can imagine my story in the skin of someone else and I can have empathy for her.

I hold myself to such a high standard that I have very little grace when I make mistakes or am struggling. I see all the ways I don’t measure up and unfurl them on banners in my mind. They cast doubt on my big dreams and ambitions. They threaten to undermine the truths I have worked so hard to uncover who I am.

When I look at people who have not experienced trauma I have no problem feeling compassion for them, and so much more for those who have lived events that shattered their security. I am one of those people. I have experienced multiple trauma but I find the grace jar empty when it comes time to pour it out for myself. Writing my story has put together a skeleton, muscle, tissue and tendon on a beautiful young girl. I can see why she would make all the mistakes she did and why some things are harder for her. I can see that the measurement I use for others is a balance unfairly tipped when it comes to myself.

She deserves just as much grace as given to others.

She deserves the same encouragement given to others.

She deserves the respect given to others.

She deserves as much love as given to others.

She deserves all those things from me first and then from others as well. And whether it feels like it or not, that’s the standard I am going to live by because she is worth it.

girl silhouette