Folly of Man – The Cost of Us to Everything Else

These are all species of Wolf that have become extinct thanks to man and man alone from the 19th century to date:

1876 – The Falkland Islands wolf became extinct.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands_wolf

1889 – The last Hokkaido wolf dies from poisoning campaign.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokkaido_wolf

1905 – The last known Honshū wolf of Japan dies in Nara Prefecture.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_wolf

1911 – The last Newfoundland wolf was shot.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newfoundland_wolf

1925 – The Kenai Peninsula wolf was driven to extinction.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenai_Peninsula_wolf

1935 – The Mogollon mountain wolf and the Southern Rocky Mountains wolf were hunted to extinction.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogollon_mountain_wolf

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Rocky_Mountain_wolf

1940 – The Cascade mountain wolf was hunted to extinction.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_mountain_wolf

1942 – The Texas wolf was purposefully driven to extinction.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_wolf

1952 – The Bernard’s wolf was hunted to extinction.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard%27s_wolf

And man has more to fear from wolf that wolf does of man? Give me a break. Because they look better stuffed in our homes than in the wild? Or because they MIGHT look at few of millions upon millions of livestock wrong?
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Over 200,000,000 animals are killed EACH YEAR in the US ALONE. Most of those 200 MILLION animals killed were NOT HONORED nor THEIR LIFE RESPECTED. Large portions of the animals are wasted; guts left discarded in streams.
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Out of all those 200 MILLION kills, VERY FEW were OUT OF NECESSITY. The hunters did not need food or clothing. MOST of those 200 MILLION kills were out of PURE HUMAN ARROGANCE and GREED. Most of those 200 MILLION kills were one sided murders done for boasting and bragging rights; to make the hunters feel competent when they can’t even make use of the life they just took.
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Most of those hunters are hypocritical bigots who claim the animals they kill are “beautiful” creatures. If the animal is so beautiful; LET THAT BEAUTY LIVE. If you have no need for the meat, no need for the dozens of things the ENTIRE animal could provide; then YOU HAVE NO RIGHT as well as no need to kill them.
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In this digital age, the population has easy, quick access to food, clothing. There is NO excuse for “trophy” hunts which boil down to pure selfish arrogance.
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If you do not NEED the animal to fill a NECESSITY, then you don’t need to take it’s life, it’s beauty from it. Your “trophy” has it’s own society, it’s own family, it’s own LIFE. What’s a “sport” to you is a LIFE to them, and a life; any life; should be worth far more than some humans toxic ego.
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The ultimate hypocrisy is claiming it’s a “god given right” to slaughter animals when in your own damn prayers and “sacred” book you’re supposed to LOVE -ALL- gods creatures and creations. You’re supposed to RESPECT EXISTENCE outside your own needs.
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JUST HOW LONG DO WE EXPECT THERE TO BE ENOUGH ANIMALS TO SATISFY OUR KILLER NATURE? Humans are supposed to have the highest intelligence of all animals.
SO WHEN EXACTLY DO WE START SHOWING IT? Both in the world, to the world, and for the world…because it won’t be long before we leave a barren husk and only able to see the animals that once were by showing our children’s children their pointless carcasses on the walls. Try being proud of yourself then.
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“Perhaps it starts with how hunting is labeled. When hunting is called “sport,” it becomes wrapped in the same benign mantle as our familiar, non-lethal games of athletic activity and physical competition. You could almost forget that firearms hunting involves killing and the use of a piece of equipment that confers a totally one-sided advantage. “Sport,” on the other hand, by its very design and philosophy, insists that teams and individuals be equipped identically and abide by the same rules on a level playing field.

Where is the “sport” when a hunter has a high-powered firearm and no fear of what an animal might do to him? We instinctively acknowledge that mismatch by treating bow-and-arrow hunting as more “sporting” than hunting with a gun. (Bullfighting seems more sporting still: at least the matador, unlike a hunter, is putting his body on the line. And bull riding even more so: here, the rider, not the animal, is the one likely to be hurt.) If, as some hunters assert, it’s really about the skills of tracking and being out in the natural world, then shooting with a camera should satisfy as much as with a gun.

Under scrutiny, firearms hunting becomes less about sport than power — the power to kill animals in the name of recreation. (I exclude hunting for the purposes of food gathering, or culling.) With movies and video games in mind, critics often say that along with any tightening of gun laws we must examine the larger issue of violence in American culture. Fair enough; in so doing, perhaps we’d see that just as Hollywood offers up violence as entertainment, hunting offers up violence as diversion.”

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/05/15/hunting-guns-garry-emmons
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“Unless you are reading this in the African wilderness or lord-knows-where Kentucky, there is no need for you to hunt. Animal products food, clothes, SUV interiors are brought to us by someone else in the form of Kroger and Calvin Klein. We do not need to fend for ourselves. Therefore, hunting becomes “sport.” “Sport” implies a couple of things to me: That it requires skill, is competitive, and fun. Flirting is a sport. Basketball is a sport. Hunting is not, because it fails on all three counts.

Patronizing eyebrows raise and smirk, “hunting takes a lot of skill,” as if that means anything significant. I would like to point out that walking in stilettos is a skill. Add some icy patches, a boyfriend that walks really fast and three Rolling Rocks and it”s almost impossible to carry off unless you are skilled. Girls start practicing at age 6, raiding mom”s closet and dressing up. Models get taught how to walk. But no one expects a badge for being able to do it just because it took effort and talent to learn how. And things that require skill don”t rest on a higher plane than an undevelopable ability like, oh, giving birth, because the latter doesn”t require practice.

Hunting is not competitive. As I write this column, a moose is hovering above me. His massive neck is firmly attached to a wooden plaque. Now, it”s not really a sport unless there”s a chance either guy could win. With a nose the size of my skull and eyes the size of my fist, the moose carcass could easily kill me if there was an unfortunate tremor that would dislodge him from the wall and send him careening toward my head. A moose could kill me if he was running and I didn”t get out of the way in time a moose could kill me if he was walking and I couldn”t get my car out of the way in time. The only way I could kill the moose is with a gun. Add that I”m wearing camouflage and I”ve destroyed parts of his habitat so he”s easier to find. And that I”m at a gamepark where he”s fenced in. Oh and that the moose doesn”t get to shoot back.”

http://www.michigandaily.com/content/hunting-wasteful-cruel-and-definitely-not-sport
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“Although it was a crucial part of humans’ survival 100,000 years ago, hunting is now nothing more than a violent form of recreation that the vast majority of hunters do not need for subsistence.(1) Hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk.(2,3)

Less than 5 percent of the U.S. population (13.7 million people) hunts, yet hunting is permitted in many wildlife refuges, national forests, and state parks and on other public lands.(40 Almost 40 percent of hunters slaughter and maim millions of animals on public land every year, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many animals illegally.(5,6)

•Pain and Suffering
Many animals endure prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured but not killed by hunters. A study of 80 radio-collared white-tailed deer found that of the 22 deer who had been shot with “traditional archery equipment,” 11 were wounded but not recovered by hunters.(7) Twenty percent of foxes who have been wounded by hunters are shot again. Just 10 percent manage to escape, but “starvation is a likely fate” for them, according to one veterinarian.(8) A South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks biologist estimates that more than 3 million wounded ducks go “unretrieved” every year.(9) A British study of deer hunting found that 11 percent of deer who’d been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying.(10)

Hunting disrupts migration and hibernation patterns and destroys families. For animals such as wolves, who mate for life and live in close-knit family units, hunting can devastate entire communities. The stress that hunted animals suffer—caused by fear and the inescapable loud noises and other commotion that hunters create—also severely compromises their normal eating habits, making it hard for them to store the fat and energy that they need in order to survive the winter.

•Nature Takes Care of Its Own
The delicate balance of ecosystems ensures their survival—if they are left unaltered. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace—including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong. Elephant poaching is believed to have increased the number of tuskless animals in Africa, and in Canada, hunting has caused bighorn sheep’s horn size to fall by 25 percent in the last 40 years. Nature magazine reports that “the effect on the populations’ genetics is probably deeper.”(11)”
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References: 1) National Research Council, “Science and the Endangered Species Act” (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1995) 21.
2) Grant Holloway, “Cloning to Revive Extinct Species,” CNN.com, 28 May 2002.
3) Canadian Museum of Nature, “Great Auk,” 2008.
4) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation” (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 2012) 22.
5) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 28.
6) Illinois Department of Natural Resources, “How the Program Works,” accessed 25 July 2013.
7) Stephen S. Ditchkoff et al., “Wounding Rates of White-Tailed Deer With Traditional Archery Equipment,” Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (1998).
8) D.J. Renny, “Merits and Demerits of Different Methods of Culling British Wild Mammals: A Veterinary Surgeon’s Perspective,” Proceedings of a Symposium on the Welfare of British Wild Mammals (London: 2002).
9) Spencer Vaa, “Reducing Wounding Losses,” South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, accessed 25 July 2013.
10) E.L. Bradshaw and P. Bateson, “Welfare Implications of Culling Red Deer (Cervus Elaphus),” Animal Welfare 9 (2000): 3–24.
11) John Whitfield, “Sheep Horns Downsized by Hunters’ Taste for Trophies,” Nature 426 (2003): 595.

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Dreams, Visions and Journeys

A strange wavering flame. My ears ram forward; I pull air into my lungs and hold hold my breath. The silence isn’t silent here. Like the vapors off the ground on a sweltering desert day, it flickers in my vision but when I look it goes away. A heavy unease pounding in my head and I feel it in ever fiber of my being and I know from nape of neck to dip of tail; my fur is standing on end. Silver-coated opal pales; muted here in this strange place and I can hear the click of claws from paws to ground even though it does not feel solid. Nothing is right with this place. It is nothing like the Void and there is no peace here; no black wall of silence where you are alone with your thoughts and Self in-between waking and dreaming. This place is down much farther; past the clawed grip of dream-sleep where you can not wake yourself up.

The sense of vertigo is almost overwhelming. The floors match the walls which match the sky; all a uniformed sickly orange, reds and yellows; resembling flame desperate to remain lit but squeezed forever between panes of glass; caught on the brink of going out but even it is not allowed to rest. I don’t remember coming here and i don’t know how to leave but the scent of this place is much like the rest of it and tainted somehow; muted. It seems when I move those walls of flame move with me for their long seeking fingers stretch but in ways fire never could. It almost seems to be running uphill when I move even though there is no sense of elevation or alteration to the flat sleekness of this seemingly glass fire-wall. When I still my paws the flames right themselves and slither endlessly upwards seeking a sky and air it will never reach.

Indeed, the air itself here is stale, and as I flare lupine nostrils to pull in more of its scent, I am awarded with a blunt staleness; like the edge of asphyxia; a creature begging for strangulation. Snorting and shaking massive skull, any attempt to remove it’s flavor from my senses is in vain. I realize now that this is not a place; it is not a somewhere or a something or a hole in the Veil. This place is somehow alive and living; a piece of something else but of what? What could the purpose of a place like this be? Could I even call it a place at all?

I know not how long I wandered in aimless and directionless contemplation but when I looked up, there was a vague outline of what appeared to be trees taking shape out of the confined expanse of this imprisoned fire. I stopped for a moment as those trees and the forest they seemed to birth before me took on more shape and definition and even though I had stopped moving, the sensation of continued propulsion washed around me. Limbs and leaves and lichen and moss; boulders and bushes and the soft melody of a stream. All was tinted by the kiss of fires color yet itself did not seem to be on fire. The definitions and differences of this made me lose my balance; a queasiness that was disorienting at best. It seemed forever but it was only moments; the length of time for my Self to exhale twice. The staleness of the fire-walls was being replaced by the scents of living things; things not in the glass and living and breathing much as I was. I noticed then that the fire-wall had no ceiling; just a seemingly endless expanse of nothingness, but even that nothingness seemed to churn and swirl; the perpetual motion of something trapped. My unease was far from settled.

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The trees began to become more solid as I walked among them but there was still a…wrongness about them that I could neither pinpoint nor name. They looked like trees; though what kind I am not sure…they had rough bark that overlapped itself and resembled large stretched and pointed ovals. Each oval of wood was dry looking and coarse, with many groves and cracks and was of a pale grayish brown. The branches started much higher up than trees I am used to because most of them I could safely walk under without having to bow my muzzle much at all. There was a loam of rich moist dark green moss flecked with spots of crimson. I could only assume this existed because those high branches interwove with those of the trees near them that made a canopy that was only willing to allow small shafts of yellow-white light down through their embraces. The leaves were a very dark green; almost black and about the size of my paw. They had very visible veins running haphazard throughout them that had a soft crimson color; almost like blood. But no matter how solid they looked; there was just…something very wrong with them; with the whole “forest” itself.

There were no sounds of life anywhere. No chattering squirrels or scurrying mice or buzzing insects or singing birds. There was no scent of prey or any kind; no musky scent of deer or moose or earthy scent of rabbit or dried mud smell from boar. There was no dandruff of downy feathers or the thick perfume of fox. But…there was a heavy scent of fear; of hunter; of haunted. It wasn’t the hunter scent that follows those whose right it is to hunt prey; like the wolf or the lynx or the cougar or bear. But it wasn’t man-scent either. Lifting my muzzle high with a vast and stretching inhale; I could taste it but still not place it. It had the undertone of sweat and chemical like man-scent does; but there was also a sickness; a scent of rot; a sent of hot winds even though there was no wind at all…and the scent…of a chaotic evil. It smelled like the desperation of the fire caught in those strange glass panels and it carried an echo of something I can only describe as screaming…dying things.

I caught the scent-sound; ears swiveling trying to catch a trail…but there wasn’t one. I came to a stop; fur rising once again from nape of neck to base of tail. I came to understand that scent-smell…was coming from everywhere and everything.

—-

I was being followed. I’m not sure how I know that, but I do. There was no moaning from the bracken or twigs and no signs that anything else living wandered here. But I knew. Ears pinned back on moonkissed silver-opal pelt; each footfall accompanied by a search from mismatched ghosted eyes. I saw nothing. All I could smell was the wrongness here and all I could hear was the deafening silence; the lack of wind or motion beyond my own. That tight interwoven embrace from the tree branches above ensured there was no sense of time nor direction and the slivers of light let in were so few and so pale that it could have just as easily been moonlight as it could have been sunlight. Keeping tails cocked upwards slightly kept them from rustling the loam flooring and every time I stopped; I could feel a presence…and a pressure across the whole of my back and shoulders; like some giant invisible thing had massive hands upon me pushing me down. Nothing seemed to work here the way it should and one pace away looked exactly like where I would stop if I was to lope along for an hour.

Feeling the weight upon me once more; but this time as it pushed downward, the force was much stronger and when I cast a glance over my shoulder, I was met with the fire-like refraction of light off eyes. Startled; my back-end buckled and almost pushed me into a sitting position but I squirmed painfully against it and broke free. The silence itself became an environmental pressure…pushing down on me from every side; every angle, and as it did so, the trunks of the trees started turning black. Cracks began to form among them and I could see the fire sleeping inside them; the same fire from the fire-walls. Shying back and closing my eyes tightly against something I felt coming; everything exploded apart. I was trapped in a powerful whirlwind of fragments of trees, loam and that oppressive pressure. I pulled in upon myself, tails tucking, ears flat and back. I could feel those strange stretched oval-like pieces of bark slice through fur that was in a frenzy from wind. I could feel each small bit cut through my fur and slice deeply across my flesh. It was as if a thousand hands assaulted me with slicing knives, but never stabbing. As bearded muzzle parted to howl a scream, marking of eyes flashed brilliantly as my voice pushed through the chaos. The lament of ages; the voice of a thousand tears; harboring the memory of every wolf alive and dead offered the only sound of existence.

Everything suddenly reversed and pulled away; sucking in upon itself in the center of this…place like it imploded into a vicious vacuum. For a moment; just beyond the gathering fragments, just beyond it’s chaos, I could just barely see a lone tree; a Weeping Willow of massive size, sitting alone on a softly crested hill. A backdrop of a billion stars; more than I had ever seen, gave the tree a stark silhouette. As soon as it appeared, it was gone, and as the last pieces of that lifelessness was consumed before me, the fire was released and once more I was within those glassed, walled-up walls of flame. Once again, it moved as I moved, and the cycle began again.

Wolves are NOT dogs

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WOLVES are NOT dogs!
They do not belong as pets!

http://m.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99jul/9907dogs.htm

http://m.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99jul/9907dogs2.htm

http://m.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99jul/9907dogs3.htm

No one should ever “own” a wolf.
Have I raised rescues? Yes.
Have I worked hands on with wolves? Yes.
Have I helped in wolf and wolf-dog education seminars? Yes.
Wolves have been my world for over 15 years. I have shared my life with them, but never “owned” them. And I continue fighting for wolves however possible.

Phenotype: http://www.saintfrancissanctuary.org/forms/ID%20Guide.pdf
WolfDog Phenotyping and Debunking: http://wolfdogeducation.com/

http://windstoneeditions.com/the-windstone-forum/topic/is-your-wolf-dog-really-a-wolf-dog-how-to-tell/

If you think I’m just opinionated; how about listening to Wolf Haven International’s stance on wolfdog owing/breeding/selling then?
http://www.wolfhaven.org/conservation/wolves/wolfdogs/

Wolf / Dog genetic link information.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2540737/Dogs-closely-related-wolves-evolved-common-ancestor-34-000-years-ago.html

http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dogs-not-as-close-kin-to-wolves-as-thought-140116.htm

http://m.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0117/Did-dogs-really-evolve-from-wolves-New-evidence-suggests-otherwise

“Of more interest, though, is the fact that the three dog genomes formed a sister group to the wolves, rather than clustering under one of them. That finding suggests that dogs share a common ancestor with wolves, rather than having been domesticated from them.”

Laws by state concerning “pet” wolf-dogs: http://www.laketahoewolfrescue.com/Sanctuaries,-Rescues-&-Wolf-laws-for-each-State.html

Most states require an annual license that costs upwards of $100 as well as home checks to ensure a minimum of at least 1 acre of land that has no less than a 7-foot fence all around that is built with buried posts to prevent digging under. Owners need to have hands-on experience and wolf behavioral and social education.

Wolf and wolf-dog information:
http://www.wayeh.com/aboutsleddogs/wolves.htm

http://texx-wolf-tails.m.webs.com/site/mobile?dm_path=%2Fwolfdogscomparison.htm&fw_sig_session_key=2d43d01009a684868b2e1b1da18f8b5688b2832545424d95bbd12178209abcb1-40427665&fw_sig_access_token=c450ff1b0bde3310c2a5325b9392069a969771b2&fw_sig=331f0c6781659e687dc65a28a5d867df&fw_sig_tier=1&fw_sig_api_key=522b0eedffc137c934fc7268582d53a1&fw_sig_potential_abuse=1&fw_sig_url=http://texx-wolf-tails.webs.com/&fw_sig_time=1391237215453&fw_sig_permission_level=0&fw_sig_site=40427665&fw_sig_premium=1&fw_sig_social=1&fw_sig_is_admin=0&fw_sig_permissions=none&fw_sig_locale=en-US&fb_sig_network=fw#0130

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110619194058AAVv6fd

http://www.wildsentry.org/Hybrids.htm

If you’re determined to “own” what should be wild; the best way would be to contact a wolf rescue or sanctuary.
So called “breeders” of hybrids are almost always FAKE and little more than PUPPY MILLS.

http://www.laketahoewolfrescue.com/Sanctuaries,-Rescues-&-Wolf-laws-for-each-State.html

Use the above as a start if you absolutely have to.

It’s not a dog. It’s not a child. But it is one less wolf in the wild due to humans selfish need to own and possess.

I will NEVER condone or support people who want to “buy” a wolf. There are hundreds of hybrids who cannot be in the wild who could use a proper home. That’s a RESCUE. Ignoring they exist and need help because you want a wolf pup upsets me beyond explanation.

I’ve dedicated my life to wolves and I’ve never had the desire to acquire my own wolf. That’s respect and that’s love. That’s honoring what the wolf really is.

Hybrids need rescued thanks to humans inhumane actions. Most are the result of people who “love” wolves but have no idea what their behavior and needs are like in real life. It’s thanks to human irresponsibility that hybrids have the stigma of being dangerous beasts because some just had to have one and realized it wasn’t Balto and abandoned them or from the overflow of disreputable “breeders.”

Hybrids need help from those who know wolves because human intervention need an animal that cannot be wild but is not a squeezable lover-dog.

If you cannot like wolves and respect their need to stay wild, as they are; then you’ve no business with hybrids or wolves.

http://wolfpark.org/animals/hybrids/sloan-poster/

http://wolfpark.org/animals/hybrids/

Make use of those links and the information I gave you. I will not discuss this anymore.

More wolfdog information on properly seeking and understanding hybrids if you absolutely must look into it:
http://www.missionwolf.org/page/wolf-dog-care/

http://www.missionwolf.org/page/wolf-dog-options/

http://www2.fiu.edu/~milesk/behavior.htm

http://realwolfdogs.tumblr.com/roughguidetowolfdogcontent

http://m.dogbreedinfo.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dogbreedinfo.com%2Fwolfhybred.htm#2669

http://m.dogbreedinfo.com/site/dogbreedinfo/purebreds?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dogbreedinfo.com%2Ftopdog.htm#2838

http://m.texx-wolf-tails.com/site/mobile?dm_path=%2Fwolfdogbreeders.htm&fw_sig_access_token=d9e47d85c99a919b3697556ad13e3786e0303180&fw_sig_session_key=6dc5b4f46d1a39ae08012bcf0dc45ef4dd3ff80a8431525c81ae35960e31a4ec-40427665&fw_sig_permissions=none&fw_sig_tier=1&fw_sig_site=40427665&fw_sig_partner=webs&fw_sig_api_key=522b0eedffc137c934fc7268582d53a1&fw_sig=823df00684c23e94eafa5ee3de2b17cd&fw_sig_time=1413318608274&fw_sig_social=1&fw_sig_potential_abuse=1&fw_sig_url=http://www.texx-wolf-tails.com/&fw_sig_permission_level=0&fw_sig_locale=en-US&fw_sig_is_admin=0&fw_sig_premium=1&fb_sig_network=fw#2100

I WILL NOT debate an origin story. Wolves deserve to be saved and known for WHAT -THEY ARE-; not for what came from the thousands of years ago.

•*•Furthermore; the constant stating that dogs and wolves are the same DAMAGES wolfdog views and helps peoples expectations that wolves are like dogs and therefor should be pets. Wolves are VERY different from mans in and over breed watered down familial relations (dogs.) if people keep seeing them as the same; which they are not; people will continue to treat them as dogs and further hurt the reports toons and lives of both real wolves and hybrids.

The DNA ladder of dog and wolf IS NOT the point here and I’d like everyone to remember and respect that.

****••••****

Wolves do not make good pets. They are not dogs. They do not do or learn tricks. Their instincts can not be controlled or altered to satisfy man. Wolves have completely different mannerisms and behavior; such as the digging of dens, easily jumping over 5 and 6 foot fences, needing a pack mentality and structure, scent marking territory and many other traits.

The wolf should not be put in common with the pit bull situation because even if a person really loves wolves, treating them like a dog will end in disaster, for the person and the animal.

They are not pets, period.

Hugs and love and cuddles is more likely to get you bit. If you don’t know and understand wolf social structure and hierarchy the wolf will own you and that’s when incidents happen that get the wolf KILLED because people don’t know wolves.

If people understood wolves and their intimate behaviors and instincts, they wouldn’t be in the crosshairs all over the country. People can’t even respect them in the wild and yet are selfish enough to think they can understand them in their homes?

A wolf is a wolf is a wolf and the wolf deserves to be wild and loved for what they are and not for what we want them to be. And if you can’t respect them at a distance for what they are, you don’t deserve to try to take one for your own.

 

 

Wolf Awareness

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“…reintroduction has failed because of us. Humans failed the animals. This year alone, people legally shot and trapped 769 wolves – close to half the entire “recovered” population of the Northern Rockies. As a matter of the health and safety of wolves, this can only be considered a terrible, unconscionable outcome. It’s not just that long-studied wolves in Yellowstone were killed, though that’s bad enough – but throughout their entire range, they have been subjected to pain and suffering for no good reason, traumatized by the killing of family members, and turned upside down with the radical disruption of their pack structures.

There was praise and excitement about wolf reintroduction, and an abundance of science has now proved their beneficial ecological impacts. But no matter how well intentioned, that’s not enough. These poor creatures are suffering because we didn’t take the long-term into account and perhaps had too much faith in our fellow man.”

•••WHAT WOLVES FACE

http://www.predatordefense.org/wolves.htm

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/sorry_but_wolf_slaughter_is_not_american/

Green Bay Newspaper Takes Anti-Wolf Hysteria and DNR Propaganda to New Low

http://prospect.org/article/wolves-slaughter

http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2013/03/wolves-in-peril.html

http://greateryellowstone.org/issues/wildlife/Feature.php?id=38#.VDrFntm9LCQ

http://earthjustice.org/features/a-friend-of-wolves-for-decades

http://earthjustice.org/blog/2014-february/danger-to-wolves-mounts-in-idaho-across-u-s

http://www.defenders.org/gray-wolf/threats

http://www.defenders.org/the-war-on-wolves/delisting-disaster

***Washington’s Stevens County Urges Citizens to Kill Endangered Wolves
– See more at: http://www.cascwild.org/washingtons-stevens-county-urges-citizens-to-kill-endangered-wolves/#sthash.Zhv9wAVm.dpuf

•••PETITIONS TO HELP SAVE WOLVES LIVES:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/making-wolf-hunting-illegal

https://www.change.org/p/save-the-wolves-4

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/259/009/937/

http://www.defenders.org/the-war-on-wolves/idahos-war-wolves

http://lifenetnature.org/index.php/projects/united-states-projects/campaign-for-yellowstone-s-wolves/

http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-americas-wolves

http://www.keepwolvesprotected.com/media/petition-drive-repeal-michigan-wolf-hunting-law-underway

https://www.change.org/p/office-of-the-minnesota-governor-stop-wolf-hunting-trapping-in-mn

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_the_killing_of_wolves_to_protect_Mountain_and_Woodland_Caribou_in_British_Columbia/?sRVBmbb

https://act.actionsprout.com/facebook/tab/16477459734/5036?app_data=%7B%22organization_id%22%3A%22628%22%2C%22referring_action_id%22%3A%225036%22%2C%22fb_referrer_uid%22%3A%221002964368%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22feed%22%7D#/organization/action/pre

•••GET THE FACTS ON LIVESTOCK LOSSES:

MYTH: Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.

TRUTH: Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report.

MYTH: Coyotes, wolves, bears, and mountain lions kill lots of sheep.

TRUTH: Four percent (4%) of the U.S. total sheep inventory are killed each year by carnivores such as coyotes and dogs, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) see data below. Even in Western states, native carnivores kill few sheep. Far more sheep die from health problems, lambing complications, and erratic weather.

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=priorities_wildlife_war_wildlife_livestock_losses

•••EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS ABOUT THE VITAL (but little known) BENEFITS OF HAVING A HEALTHY WOLF POPULATION!

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2011/04/protect-wolves-climate-change

https://www.wildlifemanagementinstitute.org/PDF/11-Social%20and%20Ecological….pdf

http://wyoming.sierraclub.org/ECOLOGICAL%20BENEFITS%20OF%20WOLVES.pdf

http://www.missionwolf.org/page/trophic-cascade/

http://m.missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/wolves-delisted-before-fully-recovered-now-being-slaughtered-without-good/article_9b442260-4d8d-11e4-894b-8fdc10e605d7.html?mobile_touch=true

http://www.wolfcountry.net/information/WolfEndangered.html

http://www.livingwithwolves.org/index.html

Why?

Beautiful art (c) Morteque on DeviantArt.com
When was it; exactly, when we forgot how to hope? How to love and lose and fight? In centuries past we admire and elevate those who gave all to honor their values and things beyond themselves. But when exactly, did it go from action to admiration to numbness? When did we switch from taking action to just aggravated inaction? Why did the sacrifices of those of old become nothing more than stories? What happened to the drive to do things so far beyond self to seem impossible? What muted the rallying cry into selfish bigotry? We are more than willing to give voice like wailing infants against imagined slights from hundreds of years gone, blind to the changes that have come and gone since then…turning sacrifice and action into excuses for bloodshed?

We act like the wicked of ages past are fresh burns on our skin yet ignore the salves that have been put upon them to soothe. We would rather use injustices not committed upon us directly for actions against others directly even when none today were alive to even experience those wrongs. Yet we hold onto them tightly like some twisted security blanket. Is it really that hard to find a new direction to go? Is it that hard to move beyond? Have we really found it so much easier to use our ancestors as hypocritical abuses instead of enlightened inspirations? Is that how we honor their sacrifices and learn from their lessons?

No wonder there is so much wrong in this world. We keep the fires of old wounds burning instead of putting out those fires to begin anew. We’d rather have a wildfire raging than admit that we’d rather hold onto hate instead of embrace changes. How selfish. How dishonorable. How so very, very sad.

There will always be turbulence but we make the choice to say in it instead of fly beyond it.

It’s well past time for us to change our minds.

Plunge

IMG_2548.JPG

 

{The distant horizon bled rain upon mountaintops I had yet to touch. I watched from a height that tugged on my fur, seeking to pull me over the edge. I rotated my ears, myself amoung the droplets in that moment, tumbling, shattering upon servaces they couldnt possibly avoid; yet their deaths so praised by the Goodly Green. Fleating, instantinous. Almost invisable. Many would focus instead on the silver reflections dancing arcoss cobalt waves so far below. I’m sure it was beautiful, but I couldnt bring myself to care. Those silver shards illuminating the waves were but illusion. There, then gone. A lure into the darkness below with a sliver of a kiss touching the rolling waves. It was a beckoning abyss dressed in a mirage so brilliant that most only admired the surface. I saw beyond that. To far. I often wished to see the simple, the beautiful lures and lies. Feathers beat under me. I had smelled her dander some time ago. A mother falcon waking to that which was her day; the dark bringing to her the hunt which would ensure her eggs survived another night. Pain rippled cross my shoulders as feathering flared out to sides, slivers of silver and violet etching a mockery of wings. The glow from them gave a ghost an ambiance I really couldnt feel. Closing my eyes I let that tugging lure pull me over the edge, rocks slipping like the distant rain; a casscade of earth to earth to water to ground. For a moment, those rocks could fly…and it what that feeling I embraced as I fell forward, taking Falcons lesson and slimming the fold to my wings. Maybe it was the rush…maybe it was that instant alone that truly offered life, the slicing dip of wingtips into that moonlit lie before vanishing into the storm, ever falling, rising, and falling again.}

 
PERSONAL – DO NOT REUSE

 

Just One More Moment

“I could feel it; like snakes slithering over the skin as the wind passed right through me. The eerie silence that comes when there doesn’t exist even thought to Ones Self. I could feel it in my bones; even as a fire burned around me. The loss of conception of dreams for better days.

The dark threads of Nights dress lingered about the world giving deeper meaning to the darkest shadows and making things appear to move when there was no locomotion. The kind of night were you can feel the weight of the world upon you, and the sinking hollow knowledge that things are just not right. Cobalt shadows reached their fingers into the sky, giving way from the consuming blackness to muted pastel and azure colors that whispered of a waking sun. There was nothing laid out before me. Nothing laid out beside me. Nothing laid out behind me. Even though the pressure of their alterations to the winds were there, they could not be seen; and what could not be seen, did not exist.

Slowly; as the watercolor board of mornings hues spilled up from the horizon, their inky black shapes seemed to grow out of nothingness. Top to bottom. Bottom to top. But what was reveled was no picture perfect perfection ready for a photo or painting. The charcoal silhouettes of a landscapes creature features were nothing but despair. The twisting appendages of smoke lent the day a burnt haze and while fire slept in the things it ravished, it was no longer burning here. But it had feasted, and fed well for little remained to which did not bare the marks of its unforgiving teeth or the way the char intoxicated the air.

The irony of so much water so close by assaulted the senses. There, glittering in the heart of a semi-circle of embered trees; was quiet, silver liquid. Languid. Brittle. Basking in the ever narrowing and unimaginative colors of the coming dawn. The mineral rich tang of it’s freshwater scent began to overwhelm the nearer to its position, sunken in untold depths within the ground. Glass could only wish to be so perfect. This place was at once alien and yet familiar, but it was not a place called home.

~*~

The dark reigned here. It was not the fabric of the Mistress of Night that ruled here. It was not some transparent veil that would soon be lifting to grudgingly make way for the light of day and it’s ever boasted brilliance. This place felt heavy; heavy in the way that gravity not only screamed, but condemned. “You weren’t supposed to be here!” it would scream. “You’re not supposed to be here!” it would yell; and all the while expressing this in muted tones of silver grey making faces in the dark. Perhaps it was the melody of a memory imprinted upon this place; but whatever made the dark heavy; whatever made the dark cry, was something that had yet to leave.

Leech. That was the air. A selfish little brat who wanted to be noticed but was constantly overshadowed by the strict unwelcoming of this place. Pale lime light originated from the seams the darkness; rebellious, revealing, and as equally unwanted as the company of curious eyes. Slowly it whispered its secrets; hesitant at first but then like a dam broken, spread and gushed out without control and into oblivion and reckless abandon. But its tantrum revealed much before the waters of light stilled once more into that oppressive, looming dark. It bore its secrets and would pay a heavy price for its negligence to the order of mystery and sequestered stories.

Thrown about as randomly and haphazardly as marbles on a polished wood floor, were formations. Massive, looming gathering of gossiping stones and you got the quick and uncomfortable feeling of interrupting. Semi-circles, ribbons and wildness were the foundations to their patterns; understood from a different view but appreciated by any with an eye wise enough to see. Blanketed in the thick soup of shadows, their meetings were as private as something could get, and when that protective shell was shattered by some wayward light, all eyes even though there were no eyes, were upon the intruder. Like stumbling upon the meeting of the most influential minds of an Age; the grey tones like scowling eyes. But the leer was in truth that of a protective Matriarch; as was nestled in the center of their shapes, flickering glow of flame.”

**Character and writing is the legal property of S. McKean AKA ShaQuaVara and MAY NOT be reused, recreated, copied or redistributed in any fashion without prior WRITTEN and PROVABLE consent of this account holder. Any unauthorized reuse will be in violation of Copyright restrictions and may be punishable by law. Always ask the owner before using!**

Shadows and Light

I stood upon a foreign shore

It’s sand was like glass

I wondered what had happened here

But was to afraid to ask

There was no wind within this place

But there was a breeze nonetheless

It seemed to be coming from me

Emanating from my chest

My voice a hallowed whisper

Reminding me of my past

And as I looked around me 

I almost had to laugh

This place molded from my memories

Wrapped around my thoughts

In all the darkest reaches

And my weakest spots

On the grass fell Crimson rain

The sky screaming my name

And in a matter of moments

It had bled out my shame

In ruins soaked in vermillion dew

I stood in silence paying dues

Reminded slowly one by one

Of all the awful things I’d done

But just before it drown me

I thought I felt the sun

And the softest song of lightning

Slowing beginning to hum

Then the sun felt shyness

And covered on the run

The grey of cloud and shadow

Suddenly becoming one

I heard a familiar rumbling

Like hundreds of souls on the run

And I felt a smile beginning

As the storm took over the sun

Each bolt of light a beginning

Erasing the bloodied sum

And in its wake was color

Rewriting the story some

 
Suddenly in the rain

I knew what I had become

And in its cleansing reaches

A new story had begun

We all have Crimson shadows

That walk within our steps

But they do not need to lead us

Nor define our deepest depths

For in each of us is shadow

And the darkness that left it such

But the power to light it’s reason

Is in our very touch. 

Home

A weeping willow whispered, softly on the breeze
In a voice so very beautiful, it brought me to my knees

With every branch covered, in shining leaves like keys

I couldn’t help but wonder, what secrets they could release
I listened to the siren song, emitting from the tree

And felt the crystal moist of tears, I didn’t bid to be

As the tears fell on the ground, around blended knees

I watched in silent wonder, the magic I could see
Like a frosted window, first exposed to heat

The visage on the other side, suddenly came to me

Emerald grasses far and wide, and waving sheets of wheat

Flowers bejeweled in blues and heat, like awakened fire their petals seat
Violet mountains like rocky waves, touched the sky through clouded haze

Tundra stood sparse and tall, below a forests wild called

The foothills rolled like notes of song, into the fields bladed long

And around them slightly weaving, was sapphire river song 
I had always sought to find it, could feel the soul behind it

Knew the treasure of the Moons, one silver-grey the other pale blue

It called to me from trees and stream, the bellowing wail of mountains sing

I knew then like a lingering moan, I knew this place because it’s Home.

Finding Voice

***WARNING***

The following may contain subject matter that may be disturbing to some readers.

Please understand this is not a story and contains real events.

Any rude or insensitive comments will be reported and deleted.

I am sharing this in hopes that it may help someone else out there.

I don’t think there will ever be words in any language to properly explain how I feel now, and how I felt back then. Maybe that is why I have such a hard time trying to let it go with words. There just aren’t any. Even when you consider in the long run of things, whatever happened to you isn’t unique or even rare. How can it be then that nothing compares? That nothing even comes close? Is this all part of the pain of it? That no matter how affluent you are, a part of you will always remain trapped in those moments; unable to escape…again. All you wanted back then was to escape too. It’s a kind of vicious cycle no one should ever feel the bite of. But they do. You, and many others. Scars leave memories just as clearly as they leave marks. How are you ever supposed to not be yanked back to its creation…the things that occurred to leave that mark on your skin…and a twin so very much deeper…

I have felt the pull to release these things for a very long time. I know I am not alone in it but somehow knowing that there are others out there who know how I feel is not a comfort at all. It only adds to the sadness. The sickness. The revulsion. But is that at them or you? I don’t care what anyone says, you will always feel some manner of disgust with yourself; your fault or not. And likewise, you will feel that same stabbing to those who can relate. Is it a form of hate? What exactly is it that makes you internalize it all in the first place? You know doing so won’t help you, but you do it anyway. Hiding it. Who cares thousands of others have suffered too…yours has to be hidden. No one can know, and if they do, they can never know the full truth of it. Is it a conscious choice? Is choice even involved?

You’ll run more miles in your mind over it than you’ll walk in your lifetime. You exhaust yourself with it. Even when you try not to think about it, a part of you still knows. It’s not like a book that can be burned, the flames sending each word to an ember grave. This is knowledge you can never forget. It’ll always haunt you and color the way you see things from that point on. Bias? Fear? Why are those words not enough? You can shut yourself off from everyone…telling yourself that you are protecting them from what this has made you. Protecting them from having to share the weight of it. But you desperately want someone to share the burden. But how is that fair? It torments you in ways that defy words, yet you wish to put that knowledge; paint those pictures in someone elses mind. You know it will haunt them, and you damn them to the same fate, to a lesser degree. You know they can never un-know what you decide to tell them. So do you cut pieces out and let those fester and only share the basic idea? But how is that supposed to help you?

You know it’s something you’ll never get over. There is no such thing. Not with therapy. Not with medication. You’re just supposed to deal somehow. So what would it take to try and put those things into words? Could you find a way to make language work well enough to express as deeply as you need to? Will you burrow into everything you hate and fear; everything you know haunts you and taints every breath you take? Will you give that to someone else and hope they can bare it with you? Is that what friendship and release is supposed to be like? How can you call yourself someones friend when you ask them to hold onto something like this for you? How can you do that to them? They may offer with warm ears and honest shoulders, but you know no matter how strong they will try to be for you, that it will tear them apart. One way or the other you will cause them, and yourself pain. It’s not unlike ripping into your own chest and asking them to hold in your heart, lest it fall out and you become the nothing you’ve felt.

Can someone else truly hold your heart for you while you bleed out the poison of those events? Will it heal? Will they heal? Will your heart beat once again? Will it be lighter at the expense of someone else now seeing what you do when you close your eyes? But if you don’t let that go…will that poison stop your heart anyway? The sadness you carry. The pain. The guilt. The fear. Any one of those could be lethal. It’s just a matter of time…so do you shorten someone elses with nightmare and sorrow to give yourself a little bit longer being a little bit lighter?

I am a survivor. I have survived rape and molestation. I have made it out the other side of mental and physical abuse. I have see the deepest betrayal and have kept my sight. But surviving is such a heavy price to pay when every day you go through all I said above. Every time something reminds you of what happened; every hint or mood-swing or invisible trigger. Every time you see someone who may vaguely resemble your demons at the right angle, in the right light.

I am a survivor of the constant pain and suffering. Even on good days that knowledge taints you. You don’t even have to think about it. It’s just there. It becomes a part of you. Some can live with it. Some cannot. And those that cannot shouldn’t be blamed from the weight breaking them. Few can understand truly and deeply what this kind of baggage costs you.

I am a survivor of loneliness and fear.

I am a survivor of the hatred and pain. I know an evil few people could truly comprehend, and it doesn’t make me any better, or stronger than anyone else. I just am. I choose to live with the pain and day by day remember it has helped to make me who I am; for better or worse. Even if you believe everything happens for a reason, there is no justification for the things I, and others, have been through. Some things just are…and others are just pure evil. Evil…a word that has lost much of its meaning over time…but this specter sinks into your soul and you know what it used to represent. You know why such a word was created, and what it was meant to define.

I am a survivor of a life of fear. Abandonment.

I am a survivor of someone elses depravity and hollowness. But they will never get to keep that piece of me so long as I continue to breathe. They may have tried to break me, to use and take me; but right now their hands are empty and without me, because even for all my poor parts; I am a better soul than they ever were or will be. I am what they could never be.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to understand the gravity of what I am about to do. How hard it is going to be and how much I had to fight through, to do it. I need you to feel in yourself the struggle I went through as I wrote each word. And at the end…I do not what you to say you understand, because truthfully, no one but me ever can. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or pity me. I am not so broken that I failed to make it out the other side. I am here. Now. And I am finally freeing what has tainted me for so, so long. My story may not be long, or full of epic emotion and adventure. It is dark and sad; full of hurt. But I still stand. That is what I want you to remember.

Because you can too.

Growing up I never really knew what other people seemed to have. I always envied daughters of good men and wondered what that would be like. Not to fear your dad every time he came home. To look up to him as someone inspiring and just. Even though I never had that, I knew it existed out there, and it was that knowledge that helped me hold onto my belief in justice and honor. Loyalty and family. I didn’t have to have it to know it was real…but why I kept those values strong through so much baffles even me. I had no role model other than a Transformer from my favorite cartoon, and an older brother who did everything he could to protect me.

I was singled out and hated when I finally turned on my father at the age of 10. I felt even then that he was something I could not give in to. I could not let him break me even though Gods did he try. My memories of childhood were such as waking up on Easter morning, bleeding and sore without underwear and my mother later finding them in his toolbox in the garage. Of being picked up by the neck and slammed into a wall because he had come home in a worse mood than usual. I remember being so frightened I could barely breathe when it was dads time to play toothfairy.

I grew up listening to my mother telling us stories of the horror she had to endure at the hands of her own family. It took me decades to finally see that it was her own fear that blinded her to what was going on around her and to her children. She couldn’t see it again and couldn’t see it for what it was because of her own hollowness carved by disgust and despair. But I will never understand why she felt we, as small children needed to bare that burden with her. Stories of horrible beatings and torture…of finding out my half sister was a product of my own mothers brother raping her. Of how her own father tried to kill her and even managed to run over her with a car. Somehow…somehow knowing what she suffered made me think what I was going through was nothing to compare. But in our small town, I knew others knew. Even after I was kicked out of the house, I had to fight remnants of what I went through as others, elders even, would come offer me their help in exchange for being able to touch me or to lay with me. By then I knew better, but it also reminded me that I was never going to be free of it. Everyone I saw I asked myself if they knew what he had done to me.

It makes you feel isolated…adrift and wounded even when among so many others. Every helping hand became an invitation to evil and pain. It turned me inside myself and I hid there for a long, long time. I was afraid to call anything my own because I’d been told for so long that everything of mine was junk, trash, worthless. I remember him singling out my things…even my dog, for his anger and his lessons on why I should remain silent…because he could, and would hurt everything I loved, and there was no one there to stop him. Though my brother tried…and I loved him dearly for that. But eventually even that broke away and after awhile, it turned me into something with more faces to the world and none were my own. In school I went from being the one getting the beatings to the one giving them. Already that poison had begun to taint me before I even hit puberty. But I held on. There was an ideal I knew existed somewhere…where there was love and honor and safety. But I had no idea how to even begin looking for it. When most girls my age were believing in unicorns with all their might, I was believing in something just and right. I had to. And to this day I believe wholly that is why I survived those years. From 6 to 12, my father had abused and molested me.

What I never had before fell into my lap when I met my first and only boyfriend and now husband of over 15 years. He was no knight in shining armor though. He had his own demons to fight and his own haunted taint. But I don’t think he ever knew back then how deep mine went; but he saw it in me and something in him wanted to protect me…something strong enough he wanted to change his life to save me. And he did. He was the first man in my life that never had intentions of hurting me. That looked at me and saw me, not what he could do to me or get out of me, and I was awestruck. To me, he was a mythological creature. Something I had believed in but never seen or known. It wasn’t perfect…I had never known anything like being with someone and we had our fights and we had our moments when we wondered just what the hell we thought we were doing…but nothing pulled us apart. Even when my father had tried. We made it though separation and loss and distance and even restraining orders before I was kicked out at 17 with only what would fit in my car. I thought maybe finally that perfect family illusion that had been up for so long would shatter because of it, but in truth, it changed very little and even made a few things worse. I would get glares from people my father knew; cussed at or talked about when no one thought I could hear. It deepened an isolation I couldn’t break. Looking back, I am amazed my husband stayed with me all those years. Especially the first ones.

I didn’t know what dating was. I knew the concept and the idea of it…but not how to put it into practice. I barely knew how I was going to provide for myself. I only had this one man at my side and I put him through hell. I didn’t know how to interact with people and I was such a scared little thing. Even when he introduced me to his friends, friends who became my friends too…ones that saw me back then; the lost and broken thing trying so hard to appear strong and intact. They knew better but they helped me learn what friendship really meant. What hanging out was and sitting around laughing for no reason. What lip-syncing to music while being dorks with abandon meant. It was all an alien world to me and I watched it with fascination. I wanted so much to be a part of it and thanks to them, they began teaching me a different way of life. None of it was easy, but we were all in it together. It was something I knew only in dreams, and for the first time, even in a homeless state, we knew happiness. Friendship. Family. I knew then that family didn’t mean blood. These strange creatures I was introduced to had little, and all had things haunting them. I felt like I found something special, and I had. I was beginning to learn how to trust again. The concept that not everyone was going to hurt me or take something else from me became a foundation and from it we rose up, getting our own place and jobs and it seemed like I had finally found what I had been looking for since I was a little girl. And for awhile, I learned how to live…before it all came crashing down.

Years had passed, and we had survived at each others sides. We didn’t always like it, and there were times when we didn’t like each other very much either. But we never left each other. But there was a time when we grew apart when things kept getting worse and worse. Nothing ever seemed to work in our favor and there was a spiritual side of me that he couldn’t fill any longer. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t live in both worlds like I had, and it left a void. The things we had believed in together were separating as each of us grew into adults. His needs to function changed and I felt I stayed the same. I still believed in the same things, the magics and a world just out of reach of this one. But it wasn’t until he introduced me to online role-play and internet that I found people that believed like I did, and those who believed even wilder things; things I had never thought of or considered before or even heard of. I lost myself in that world and the stalemate between us grew more and more solid.

I found out from others I played with online that I had a talent for writing. I never thought anything special of it. I wasn’t in public school long enough to distinguish myself in any sort of way and I lived being told there was nothing special about me, so when so many others came to watch me play; I began to spend more time doing so. It was a text only kind of role-play and everyone said they had never seen anyone like me before. I began to become friends with some of them and even set times when we were to met and role-play together. It was something removed from the physical world I knew. The world that had taught me so much pain and suffering…so much fear and isolation…a world that had become so dull was suddenly sprouting with color, with variety and uniqueness. It became almost like an addiction. It was the only outlet I had ever found for the way I believed and the things I believed in to come to life. For the vivid dreams I always had to finally have a voice. I never knew such friendships could be born through screens around the world, with people I’d never physically met. And it was those very same bonds that later threatened to hang me.

I never hid the role-plays or the people I talked to and got to know through them. My husband knew of and even played with some of the same ones. It was no secret to hide or fear or be ashamed of. He knew my characters and who I played with most the time. I think back then he thought this would give to me what he couldn’t. An access to that other world I could see so clearly that he couldn’t become a part of. I think we both thought it was a good thing for me. We both knew I was different. A heart capable of loving more than one just as equally as another; a mind in this world and another…a spirit that roamed between the here and there. I could blame it on being a good part Native American or from being raised around the “hippies” of Colorado. But I knew it was more than that. The Native Elders I knew and would speak to when I could escape my family, saw something inside me too. I walked with the Wolf and ran with the Storm. I was both here and not; and that I believe, is what made me so damn good at role-playing and the writing it took to do so. I had instincts and intuitions no one else did. I could see and hear things few ever knew. I always dreamed in bright color and sound. There was something else about me…and I never thought that would attract horror to me. But I freely admit I was ignorant and naive. Even with all I had been through up to that point, I still trusted to much…believed to hard. The brightest lights draw the most eyes…but back then, I never saw it that way. And I continued not to see it until it was to late.

I had become good friends with a couple players on the other side of the country. We would set up times to met online and blow the rest of the players away with how we wrote; how real we made our interactions and characters become. I put my heart into it…and grew to confide in these two boys. One was the best friend of the other and both lived in the same city in Indiana. I grew to know them very well and there were times we would just met up online to talk. Not to role-play or pretend. It became real. I grew attached to one of them more than the other…very much so. I could talk to him about anything…even the things I couldn’t share with my husband. They knew of each other and the growing relationship. Hell, both he and my husband would tease me about it. I had grown a real affection for this boy and by the time things fell apart for us in Texas, he talked it over with them and decided to move to Indiana. By that point we had known these two for several years. My husband knew he offered me something he never could…a shoulder and heart for the things I could see that he couldn’t…for that side of me that lived in a place he couldn’t come…but this boy could. We were all cool with it and after the move, we often hung out with each other at their house or ours. This boy, his friend, me and my husband. We played Halo together and walked the streets of the town at night randomly tackling each other into other peoples lawns. We pulled each other out of the various fires in our lives many times. Helped each other through such things as parents splitting, personal losses and so much more. I could sit on the porch of a friends house alone and he would come out, sitting beside me. We didn’t have to speak. There was a connection between us that completed each other and made us better people and all our friends saw it too.

It never came to sex or such kinds of things between us. I loved him, yes. And I loved my husband. But if I am anything, I am loyal, and I already promised to have and to hold to another. But that didn’t stop us from being extremely close. I could talk to him about anything and everything. He took the stress off my husband about not being there for that other side of me. I never hid how I felt from my husband either so this was no soiled affair. It was a kinship, and a deep one. I have never in my life been so open with anyone in my life…and I never have been since. That was how much he meant to me. How much I trusted him. He knew things about me no one else did. He shared things with me few people could ever experience or understand. And we were both troubled, scarred souls. Between him and my husband I felt whole. None of who or what I was had to hide any longer. And we shared this unique bond for years…until that night.

Even after everything I had survived and suffered up to then, nothing could even compare to the pain that was headed my way. He taught me the biggest lesson and left the biggest scar on me then and now and that scar, that wound was called betrayal. Sometimes even now, I wish I hadn’t survived it.

One night I was home alone while my husband worked the night shift. Ironically perhaps, I was watching Law & Order when a message popped up on the laptop I held in my lap. This was by no means odd as we were both night creatures and often would chat or seek one another out online late at night. I knew things hadn’t been good for him at home lately and we often talked about the scars we gained from family. But this message was different…he had reached out to me saying he was done with the nightmares and was thinking of suicide. This time it was different. We had spoken about such things before, but this time there was something in the way he worded it that made me instantly alarmed, and scared, so I told him to come pick me up so we could talk about it and not to do anything stupid. He’d always have me…

After a short drive around, we decided to go back to his dad’s as he lived with him still in a small room in the basement. We were closer to his side of town anyway and we needed to talk. My heart was bleeding for him…he seemed so sad, so heavy. So we went downstairs and into his room. His brother and his girlfriend were watching the big-screen down there so we closed his room door. I knew these things weren’t easy to talk about in general and an audience would make it impossible. I trusted him with every fiber of my soul…and that night, he ripped it from me in the most brutal way possible.

He had turned on the TV he had in his little closet area and we sat on a mattress on the floor. We had been talking about what was going on…why he was feeling like his only option was to give up. I couldn’t help but think about all the times I had been there; all the things I suffered that almost pushed me over that edge. When I saw a tear run down his cheek as he stopped talking, my heart broke. I reached for him to wipe the tears away…and in that moment…the best friend I had ever known turned into the worst monster I had ever experienced. He grabbed my hand and looked right into my eyes as he lifted my shirt up, pulling it off and tossing it across the room…I think shock set in in that moment. Flashbacks to what I had already been through came unbidden and I struggled to get up and retrieve my shirt. As I was standing back up to put it back on, something hit me in the right kidney area. To this day I don’t know if it was a fist or a knee…but that didn’t matter. That area was already a bad spot having previously suffered kidney failure on that side. He knew that.

I went down and he grabbed me again by the arm, taking me back the few feet to the pad. I cannot describe the pain I was in…it was like getting the breath knocked out of you through your back. I could barely breathe. I don’t remember when I started crying. But I do remember when he pinned me down and took my own knife out of my pants pocket. He opened it. It was a very sharp police grade knife. Not something to be taken lightly. He began tracing the blade over my skin. I never did get my shirt back on. He whispered to me that no one could hear me down here and any noise I made didn’t matter. I thought of his brother and his girlfriend for a split second, but then all thought vanished. I couldn’t think. He kept telling me over and over again that this is what my husband wanted. He even said it while looking me dead in the eyes, holding my knife to my throat while he took off my clothes. Then my phone rang…

It was my husband. And with my knife to my throat I had to tell him everything was fine…I’d message him later…

I wish I could say I was brave in those moments. That I was thinking of strategy on how to survive, how to get away…but I’d be lying if I did. Everything to my deepest core just…shut down…going numb. I couldn’t even really feel anything physical at that point. I had retreated so deep within myself when the realization of what was happening hit me that I felt prisoner in my own body. Like I was watching through my own eyes but not in my own body. I don’t know if that was a survival thing or not…but it’s one of those sensations no word will fit. The coulda-shoulda-woulda’s are so damn easy after the fact. Like I could have screamed anyway. I should have tried punching, kicking, biting. I would have gotten to my knife first. Even if any of those situations were impossible, you still kick yourself over them…over the slightest chance to change how things went. I don’t even remember him taking off his clothes now. The next thing I remember was him holding my knife to my side, feeling the sharpness of it as I breathed. He was telling me to do something with my chest and his crotch that…was beyond degrading. And like a mindless drone, I did as he said. I learned early in life that doing what was asked was usually less painful in the long run than trying to argue or resist. There’s no word for how that makes you feel.

Once he got what he wanted from that, he moved and kneed me in the kidney again, putting me down as he keeled on top of me. All I could think of was the fear…and the awaiting the inevitable pain. And my husband. I apologized more to him in that moment than I have anyone else in my life, and yet not a word of it passed my lips. I didn’t think the nightmare could get any worse. I thought…I was so sure of what he was going to do next that what was actually done to me didn’t sink in fully…my mind couldn’t accept it. He didn’t rape me in the way most think of when hearing that word. Instead…he did something so much worse. After tracing the blade of my own knife along the inside of my thigh, he…began punching me in the vagina. Over and over and over again. There was a smile on his face. I don’t know how many times he punched until it finally happened. On the last punch, his fist up past his wrist was shoved inside me. I felt like I was being turned inside out and ripped open all at the same time…he moved his arm, rotating his fist; that same sick smile on his lips. And just as suddenly, he ripped his arm free of me and closed my knife against his hip. He threw my clothes at me and began dressing himself, setting my knife on the small desk next to the pad.

I don’t remember getting dressed. In fact the next thing I remember is sitting at the desk as he lit a bowl of marijuana, sitting with his back against the wall on the pad. He took a long hit then passed the bowl to me as if nothing had happened and we were just smoking together. I took a hit to steady myself and opened the messenger on his computer. My husband was at home and online so I sent him a message to please come get me. NOW.

I cried all the way home. I found out upon fleeing the house that his brother had blocked and locked the door. His girlfriend laughing the whole time. Even if I had made for the door there was no way I would have gotten through it…but that to this day, still doesn’t make me feel any better about not trying anyway. My husband knew something had happened but I didn’t talk the whole way home. I didn’t tell him until we were safe in our apartment; then I told him the only way I knew how at that moment. I could barely speak. All I got out was that he had raped me.

I struggled for a long time over that. What he did wasn’t the definition of rape after all. Could I ever say that’s what happened? I don’t know how many times I said no and begged him to stop during that ordeal, but still, it didn’t fit the common definition of rape. And I felt…Gods…how do I say how I felt..? I hated myself for ever letting someone get that close to me…to have ever trusted someone so much…I felt the fool for falling for such a ploy…even though until it happened, I had never thought him dishonest or brutal, deceptive…a monster. I kept my mouth shut. After all, how many people would understand the relationship we had? I should have expected it. I deserved it. I was a whore. Disloyal. I’d heard all these things before. There is no manual for how you are supposed to act in such a situation…or after. But so many people feel they have the right to pass judgment on the worst time of your life. But none of them will ever be as hard on you as you are on yourself.

I found out later that he had attacked four other girls after me, all to varying degrees. I knew one of them. The others I didn’t know…but that didn’t stop me from feeling responsible for each and every one of them.

A couple weeks after the incident, he had the nerve to email me, saying something about having a dream that told him to check on me. I couldn’t believe it…all I could reply with was “why”…? In his reply, he simply said “so you’ll never be able to forget me.” And he was right…I never have, nor ever will. Even now, decades later I have never forgotten him. I never have gotten over the anger of that night…nor how he was able to go on like nothing happened and I continued to suffer…in what universe does that seem right? Then again, how does others throwing insults and judgment at something they can only pretend to understand seem right either?

I lost much of my self that night. To this day I never have trusted anyone the way I did him. I buried a lot of what had made me unique, and I lost pieces of my soul along the way. The world turned to gray once more, robbed of color and rightness. Replaced with a cold burning hatred…more at myself than him…and I’ll never understand that. I kept and continue to keep everyone and everything at a distance and never let them see the things I showed him. I lost both light and life because of that night. For years I lived without being alive. In some ways I still am living like that. I don’t know how to reclaim the things I lost back then nor open the doors it sealed shut. He didn’t just rob me of that, but anyone else who would come to know me. They wouldn’t get to know those things about me, see the magic I saw or the dreams I weaved. I am still unsure how anyone is supposed to recover from something so awful…especially when you consider that I had survived molestation and abuse before only to later in life go through something so horrible at the hands of yet someone else I was supposed to be able to trust and love.

It damages you in ways few can know or understand. You see betrayal in every eye that looks your way. You think of how someone could hurt you as they walk by. You can’t help but think “what could he do to me”…and it infects every part of your life. You consider and think of such things even with the friends you make later in life. There’s always a sliver in the back of your mind warning you not to trust to much, share to much, give to much. If those you were supposed to be able to trust could put you through such hell…what could a stranger do?

You learn to live with everything at more than arms length…after all, arms length is to close. You don’t let people in. You limit yourself and cover things about you. You fear judgment and abandonment if anyone were to find out about what happened to you or the parts of you that drew in one who was capable of hurting you in such a way. Your personality and what makes you special; individual begins to become a liability. It’s something that can hurt you and by extension, hurt others. If they don’t know you, they cannot be hurt by you or the things that happen to you. I’m not saying any of it makes sense or is rational and I’m not saying everyone who experiences things like this will feel this way…but I do. And I have the awful knowledge that in this world…I am not alone in that.

So…those of you who have a family…one whom loves and cares for you; even if you argue or don’t see exactly eye to eye. Know you have something special, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Those of you who have someone who they can be so open and honest with and have never had that turned on you; count your blessings. But…even if you have these things, don’t assume no one out there has designs to harm you. Balance caution with honesty. And if you find someone truly loyal to you…someone you can trust with everything you are…never let them go and thank the Gods they are not a devil in disguise. Trust is never a thing to be given lightly. Remember that he built my trust over years before using it all to do what he did. I’m not saying everyone will be like that or have such designs, but don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re not out there.

And most of all…don’t judge. You, an outsider looking in will never be as hard on someone whose been there as they are on themselves. They don’t need you justifying what happened to them or false pity. If it’s something you cannot understand, don’t condemn those that can. We are all different…and it only adds to how long the pain remains bright. It will never fully go away…not if you’ve been through it and not if you love someone who has been there. But even if it feels like it has taken your light and life away…know it is survivable. Nothing about it will be easy. The fight isn’t over after the assault ends. If you’ve been there, the fight never ends. Those that cause this to others only truly win when you give up the fight.

So each day. Every breath. Every gaze you catch, every person you met. It will be there. Let it be there. Let it guide caution and wisdom. Let it make the life you chose to live safer. Be watchful. Be wise. And be there, if you can, for those who have nothing left. You could be the only thing that keeps the spark of the fight alive. They’re not worth any less for being the victim of such horror. If anything, if you can survive it? You’re worth more than you know.

Light and Life.

-SQV