Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

The maid.

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

While sitting naked at the kitchen table in their hotel suite she shudders knowing that she heard him correctly.

"It's fine, the maid can come in."

She cast her eyes down at the plate on the table in front of her as a few second excuse to not make eye contact.

Quickly she succumbs to the fact that she wouldn't be allowed any clothes. Still, she searches for something to say that would save her some humiliation but also not land her in actual trouble. Punishment is heavy for attempts at negotiation and hardship is ideal to being in trouble.

Instantly, she becomes aware of the room's temperature and her body betrays her with gifts of hard nipples and goose bumps. She owns nothing in this world which includes her body, and her body will gladly help in her exposure for its Master. She has a lot of these 'out of body' experiences where her mind may hesitate, but she physically moves forward in the direction of what would be perceived as her opposite interest. In fact, the last time that this occurred was she was kicked out of the car in the rain forest and immediately walked into bushes of tropical nettle. For added humiliation, she often won't even realize that she's wet until her cunt is leaking down her legs. This time on the hotel chair is not any different or at all significant to the people in the room. Despite knowing this she is still visibly bothered but says nothing. Both time and experience have shown that this will be a fond memory, so why ruin it?

Even so... she loses her appetite and the salmon that looked so good a moment ago becomes cold. Master encourages her to eat and his other slave kindly offers to make her more comfortable by undressing too. Nudity is mandatory in her Master's home and she's been naked in front of a countless amount of people, both online and in person within multiple countries. Actually, when they met for the first time he had her remove her dress in the parking lot of the airport. So why did this time bother her so intensely? Her Master noticing her nerves asks her as much. After all, his pleasure is paramount and she is obeying the command. Conflicted and unable to come up with an answer she mumbles an 'I don't know'. On cue the maid turns on the vacuum and he laughs at the anxious slave girl jumping naked in her seat. Her shoulders hunch down in an attempt for her to look as small as she feels. Has clothing always connoted power and she just never cared?

He moves them out of the kitchen and into the bedroom. In doing so, she navigates around the maid and they make eye contact with one another. She blushes while noticing that the suite door is open, and therefore exposing her naked body to the rest of the hotel.

As instructed she gets into his bed on all fours with her face down-ass up. Flustered and sweating she listens to the characteristically calming sounds of him playing with his other girl and remembers her training to breath. She stays completely still in an effort to become dehumanized and solely an ass. He asks for the hairbrush and her stomach drops, now knowing that the maid's show is just starting. Indistinguishable cries resonate from the pillow matching the twitching protest her body is performing. The pain from the hairbrush is hard, abrupt, stingy, and lingers. He has been kind enough to beat her with an array of objects, and yet somehow this implement is one of the hardest to take. Panic intensifies due to her intense desire to perform well in front of housekeeping. One thump cracks down on her ass and she squirms buckling her knees in poor form. This is displeasing and he swings again, but harder which makes her scream out when the brush cracks against her skin. Racing inside she tries to lean into the pain and focus less on the sounds of the room being cleaned...then he hits her ass again. The ever desperate whining sounds leave her mouth in the form of 'pleases' and 'it hurts'. The intolerable noise she makes is met with a threat to have the maid take part in her beating if she continues.

What if the maid did help punish her? She would certainly deserve it. Maybe in the cleaning cart and underneath the stack of fresh towels there is a compartment with painful whipping elements to leave out in rooms. Necessarily if she were good at punishing bad girls then her Master would also want to sexually exploit the useful cleaning girl. Would the slave then have to finish cleaning the hotel rooms with a bruised ass while her Master has a threesome? She'd better clean the rooms naked and if it pleased him then shouldn't she beg for this arrangement for the rest of their stay?

A final hard blow breaks her stream of horny thoughts. By the time her ass is red and sore the cleaning is done and it's the three of them once again. The intensity of laying in his arms and looking into his eyes after a humiliating beating overwhelms her with adoration. After a moment of laying with him he sends her off to the store for groceries. Gleefully she walks out of the hotel room rubbing her tender ass and still in a daze. Looking up and down the long hallway she decides to use the order to avoid the maid.

Bet your pierogies I'm Polish!

Monday, August 12th, 2019

But first, I went to Minsk and the only pictures I took are of cats and the library.


I took a solo trip to the National Library of Belarus, thinking that I would get a good view from the city on the top level of that monstrosity. After purchasing a day pass library card and wondering around the few rows of book shelves that they have, I began to wonder how exactly one gets on top of the rhombicuboctahedron, spoiler - not from the library. I found this out by questioning the librarians who, angrily directed me towards the exit. The exit, which was heavily secured by a guard who yanked my library card from me. So, it turns out that the library only exists on the first few floors and the rest of the building (including the observation deck and restaurant) is separate. Well played, Minsk.


Hannah humored me by going with me to the Minsk Cat Museum, despite the smell of litter boxes six floors down from the entrance. We were worried the "museum" was going to be an old women charging an entrance fee to see her collection of 20 cats. Well, it's not a museum by any definition of the word, but its also not someone's house. The people who run it seem to take good care of the cats and its better than a shelter; however, it smelled acidic and the decoration was appalling. You have your choice between playing with cats in either a fully committed cat lady like room (complete with dusty unmatched furniture), or for some reason a harry potter themed room. Who am I to judge, maybe this is where the great harry potter fan fiction writers of the world gather for inspurration.

I armed this little guy in honor of Ignatius Reilly.


The internets always favorite - catinabox. Not sure where they dug up the reading material or cat jenga game.


This was the view from inside the museum and pussible exhibit.


Sup cat? I like your paws.



Oh right, this is the last picture I took in Minsk - he likes the cok.


On to Poland!1


I asked our first cab driver about the building below, he responded - "a gift from Stalin, do I need to say more?"



Kościół Świętego Krzyża or Holy Cross Church.
Sursum Corda - lift up your hearts.



The interior is less ornate then I've seen in most European churches. Throughout history this church has been bombed to shit and seen a handful of uprisings. I attempted to get a picture of the alter but a no picture rule is enforced.



Check out the sweet side car action. If I had a side car, I would keep a goose inside of it and then have a smaller side car for his bread storage.





I always imagined Europe would look like a fairy tale, but I never thought I would be living in one. Cringe over.


The long awaited for ice cream. Ice cream...which I would later come to regret.2


I was exploring by myself one day and ended up at the Warsaw Insurgents Cemetery. The park is beautiful to walk through, but I may be a little bias after finding my family name on one of the pillars. See, I told you I'm Polish. My last name isint at all common in the states, and outside of my immediate family of seven people, I never met another Cichocki.3




The monument is named the Fallen Unconquerable, and buried underneath are ashes from the victims of the Warsaw Uprising.


View from the back.


The next three pictures are from the Hala Mirowska market. I trust people who understand how to please my ocd with appropriately stacked eggs.




A teapot fit for a bear!


So, this is Warsaw's "fast train". I boarded it thinking that it was similar to a bullet train in Japan - see I'm even holding on. It's not though. The train is quicker than a buss and slower then the metro.




Serious cat doing serious cat business.


La Playa music bar in Warsaw. The only reason I'm leaving this shitty picture in the post, is so that I can remember the time that Master ordered me to grab this waitress and bring her over. So, I dragged her by her arm to our table, while explaining that we've been waiting and needed service. Master started listing drinks and then she abruptly blurted out, "I don't work here" (suspicious though, she was wearing the clubs tshirt and I saw her carrying a tray)...


Me touching the king. Check out the dumb instagram bitch angle I got going.


The E.Wedel Chocolate Lounge.


I didn't think she could get any cuter, then she got a tiny hat!



Pictures of people taking pictures.


Recently, I've been asked "what happened to the bad ass Nicole I knew" - well here I am! Sitting on a cigar smoking bear. Where the hell are you?




I love Poland.

  1. The pictures in this post are not in chronological order, so if that bothers you then suck it because this is []
  2. Master, gave us the option between cake in a cafe or ice cream. We choose ice cream of poorer quality than we're used to. The quality was unbeknownst to us at the time of choosing and our choice was not quickly forgotten. Tough decisions out here. []
  3. My brothers and I have a long standing joke that when someone in our family does something stupid its because they have a case of the Cichockidous. I hope that the Cichockis on the pillar would be able to appreciate the joke. []

Checking in

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

I'm alive and well.1

Well, I think good as I can be after being enslaved for almost an entire year. To be completely honest, anyone who tells you this lifestyle is easy, isin't really doing it. Everything I thought I knew about the world (including "who I was") has been smashed and I'm looking forward to seeing what survives the breakage, if anything. I live(d) by the policy that anything worth doing is hard, and on my worst days that thought pushes me to walk through the fire to be a better slave and person.2

It's of course not all bad, nothing ever is! In the spirit of never taking myself too seriously, below are pictures of me hugging things from all over the world.


Ice cream cone in Kiev! I'm not allowed really allowed to eat ice cream3, which is hard because its my favorite. Master stopped at this great ice cream shop in Budapest and got two cones for him and Hannah. I walked next to them, watching while they stopped on almost every corner to snowball each others ice cream and moan about how good it was. Eventually, we circled the block and made it back to the ice cream store where Master kindly got me a cone. We walked out of the store and I got one lick in before this woman was chasing after us with his hat that I forgot in the store. I looked at the hat, then looked at my ice cream, then up at Master and I knew. I handed over the cone and he handed it to the trash can.


Lions in Warsaw! It's been a life long dream of mine to visit my brethren in Poland and it did not disappoint. My brothers and I would watch Rick Steve's Europe - Poland and make fun of our people. I cannot wait to go back, kind of shitty that I got a ticket for incorrectly using the metro but what a souvenir. Also, we finally found a good club.


Giant Bear in Minsk! Really not sure what the fuck is going on with the clubs in Minsk - the most advertised and supposed hottest club had a giant dirty stuffed bear in it. I was wearing a tail butt plug and the bouncer chased me in a circle trying to touch it. Also, the women's bathroom consisted of just a hole in the ground (because peeing with a butt plug and stockings is too easy). The adventure continues!


Ignác Darányi in Budapest! True, I'm not hugging him but the sentiment is there.4

That's all for now. Try to be good to each other.

  1. Sorry to disappoint everyone who thinks that I'm being held against my will in a cult. Now that I've addressed it, you'll have to find some other drama to entertain yourselves with. Or maybe this is being written by a robot composed of pale parts... []
  2. There is no such thing as a clean getaway. []
  3. Or any type of dairy. If you're like me and plagued with acne, then might I suggest no longer eating dairy or sweets. It's difficult to do (especially if no one is behind you with a whip), but eliminating those items from my diet has really cleared up my skin. []
  4. Liosh the waiter is also nearby and ready to judge you. []


Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Deep in the rain forest, below the canopy of trees, and past any human exploration, a wooden hut sits. From the outside, the hut looks like a puzzle a child smashed together. The logs composing the cabin are from different species of trees and none of the sides are even. The hut has four tall walls, making one large room with a fireplace opposite from the door. Three of the four walls have shelves from floor to ceiling, each shelf varying in both size and depth. Sitting the shelves are books, trunks, vases, jars, and pitchers. Most of the vessels are intact, but with a brown residue on the side. While the day passes, various tropical birds have come to perch on what would be the windows. The windows look like they are holes plied from the walls as an after thought, being without glass and uniform. A dug out ditch sits behind the structure, filling with rainwater that pours from the Costa Rican clouds.

Suddenly, the ground starts shaking which causes the birds to become excited, they each sing their unique song, making a kind of paradise choir. A happy six foot brown bear swings open the door, drops down his satchels of cocoa and coffee beans, which causes the top of layer of the days find to fall out and hit the ground hard. He ignores the beans bouncing on the floor like pebbles, and runs to greets the brightly colored birds that make up his window sill. His golden highlights shine in the sun against his brown fur, he slips off the dirty wet leaves that cover his paws, and then the straw hat. It's not just chocolate and coffee beans that he has, but containers full of berries, mushrooms, fruit, and seeds. He knows what each flock likes and passes out the food accordingly. While they peck on their snack, he opens a trunk and has a paw full of melted chocolate. After a long day for the bear, it's quite a happy scene in the bottom of the rain forest.

While they feast, the discussion turns towards new food that the birds have scouted. The bear takes out a book made out of dried leaves and tube of mud that acts a pencil to map out where he can next scavenge. The birds land on his soft and wide shoulders to comment, "more to the left, straight from there, swim through that opening, be careful its high there." They scout the places for food and he scavenges to bring them back the good stuff. Since he is bigger than almost any of the animals that make up this part of the jungle, he can try various foods without getting dying. It's only been the case that a few times he got so sick that he couldn't leave the hut. Once because he ate a type of mushroom that made him ill, and unable to get back home. He spent a few days passed out next to a waterfall that sprayed his face while he lay covered in his own vomit. The other time was when he first discovered coffee beans. He spent the afternoon eating every bean he could find, and spent the next three days moaning at home, unable to move. The moaning was so loud that the monkeys eventually sent a few guys rub his belly.

The process of him trying new food as a guinea bear has created a trade economy within the lower layers of the forest. When the monkeys came to tend to his sickness, they introduced the bear to mapping with mud. He can climb banana trees just as good as them, but can carry three times the load on his back. The alligators helped him with his trench foot by teaching him how to make shoes out of leaves, and in turn they get more variance in their diet. The scariest and smallest of creatures have all come to the bear in need of help.

There are times when the animals come and he hasn't been home for days. During these times, the jungle is filled with search parties. He's always found, snoring and passed out alone in a cave, on a tree, or on a dirt bed, and once on the edge of a cliff. When he awakes, he has no memory of falling asleep or even being tired. In fact, he never feels tired but involuntarily slumbers. The bear wished this didn't happen to him, but nor he or anyone else knows another bear or how to get another one. In fact, no one even knows how he got to the jungle in the first place....

The adventure of Goosey boy.

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Once upon a time, a good goose named Goosey left his home in Germany to meet someone who could tell him how make golden eggs.

You see, he finished his bread before the end of Aesop's ill fated fable.

His first stop was a Hungarian shop, and with no such luck he continued on in search of his golden treasure.


Goosey made good friends who had stale bread and promised to help him along the way.


The locals laughed when they were asked about knowing of any such golden eggs.
"Budapest really isin't the place for your silly fabled eggs."


He was a sad goose when he returned home with his friends. They told him not to lose hope for Easter was close, and the flat Easter bunny would know where to find the best eggs.

At long last, he found a treasured egg rainbow...but something wasn't quite right. The eggs cracked and just like that he was back to his grand adventure.


Lovage croaked that everyone knows that Belgrade had the best geese. Surely there he should gander to find the golden prize.


A melancholy Goosey searched in Serbia without finding a way. He vowed to forget his quest and never mind these stupid eggs.


A most perfect wooden egg lay in wait for him at home! Goosey fell in love at first sight, and now he sits and holds his egg without any thought to a better day.


Contrasting Churches.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

With spending so much time in church during my youth, you'd think I would have seen a few notable places to worship.1

I hadn't seen a memorable church until traveling throughout Europe with Master's harem. Below is the best of the churches I've seen thus far and announced in the order in which I saw them.

St. Johann Nepomuk (Asam Church) in Munich, Germany



Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia (world's largest Orthodox church in Southeastern Europe)2





The Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral (Assumption Cathedral) in Cluj, Romania






If only the church he was holding had a smaller statue of him holding a smaller statue of the church...

Romanian wooden churches from the 18th and 17th centuries (respectively), also in Cluj3








Honestly, my favorite has been the wooden churches of Cluj. The lack of gold and statues was refreshing, and the depictions of holy events aren't at all pretentious. It may be the protestant in me but the simplicity is preferred. Exploring churches has become one of my favorite parts of traveling and no church has burned down upon my entrance.4

  1. Raised by a self proclaimed "christian mother", I was forced to go to church every Sunday and three times a week during holy week. In addition to that, I also had Sunday school after church, confirmation class (studyin my boy, Martin Luther's, small catechism) and youth group on weekends. Naturally, I became youth group president and was shortly thereafter accused of being the devil. All was not lost though, because I became very close with my longest and best friend, Bianca. Saturday nights were filled with partying and smoking weed to be up in time for church on Sunday. To quote her toast from the last time we drank together, "shots for pastor!" []
  2. I was excited to see this church at first but its so poorly over done. It's like they were overwhelmed by deciding they were going to be the biggest church, so then they covered everything in gold and poorly colored blocky paintings of Jesus. []
  3. Located at the Ethnographic Park Romulus Vuia. []
  4. This is a call back to when my grandma would take me to Catholic church service. She barely ever attended church, but when she did she would take the time to warn me about the possibility of her entrance causing the church to burn down. My earliest memory of this was when I was six, but she used that line almost every time we went. []

Lost Lovage.

Monday, June 10th, 2019

So, sometime ago my dad and uncle stood outside of my apartment and pounded while shouting about my grandma being in the hospital from falling. The apartment I rented in Chicago was built during the 20's. The walls are thick and I used to joke about how no one could hear a murder inside, but I could still hear their alarming screams. They were acting so erratic, but it wasn't inconceivable on that being their response if she fell. Both confirmed each others elaborate lies of how she had tripped going to get a book to read. Besides, what family members do you have that would lie about others you love being hurt (especially their own 80+ mother)? Turns out, the joke was on me and it was just a conspiracy by them in order execute their kidnapping plan (I didn't see it coming either..). My newly found mistrust came in a few different forms that day1.

Now a few months ago, a certain someone that I love came home and said he had sent away someone else that I love. I was hesitant to believe him at first because he seems to enjoy torturing me, but then we looked up the seven stages of grief together (due to my 'denial'). He told me I'd have to start then at baking bread because I'd need time to get it right and let me follow through with the task. He consoled me on how much it sucks to lose someone and allowed me to stay close while he napped. While we silently ate, I inspected his face and saw no sign of even the slightest smile. The hours went by - blocks built on each other and I crumbled into belief that I lost someone, yet again. I walked around the house in a daze of shock until sometime later I heard the familiar sound of a key in the door2.

Of course, these situations are different; however, they provoke the same feelings from me. Which is all it seems to be about anyways - provoking. Admittedly at 26, I don't know much about life so I'm unable to confirm if any of this actually matters. Right now, it does matter and I wonder if anyone else has lived through the cruelty of multiple joke losses.

In other news and to answer the question in the bulk of my emails, I'm alive and well!

I'm excited to share the last two months with you - until then.... I'm alive and well. Not enslaved against my will, in a cult, or brainwashed. Or maybe this is being written by a robot composed of pale parts.


Alive, well, still a dork, but now with a goose!


Other possible clever titles for this post were: dude wheres my grandma, title today gone tomorrow (see what I did there), taken 2: tookaning.

  1. I should probably celebrate this day every year, since I lost out on being able to celebrate so many peoples birthdays because of it. Maybe I'll bake a bitter cake and invite Liam Neeson. []
  2. This meant it could only be one person. Since for over two months I have not had keys to the door of the place that I live in. There are days I want to scream about how I had keys to my apartment, my car, the HR department, and my office. That being said, I also can't cut green onions or pick out celery root. []

Reviewing reviews

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

In my last post I reviewed the musician Gary Clark Jr., which sparked the following conversation:

mircea_popescu: aaahahaha this article of yours. say, you ever read zimbuzz ?
nicoleci: nah of course not
mircea_popescu: lemme fish it out for you.
mircea_popescu: read that article.
nicoleci: i did read this
nicoleci: we made fun of it
nicoleci: does mine sound like that?
mircea_popescu: a lot, yes.
nicoleci: jesus
mircea_popescu: for your own aedification : compare and contrast.
mircea_popescu: you know how to do that ?
nicoleci: i think so
mircea_popescu: do it as your next article then, lemme see.

Soo, here we go. I am starting with similarities and then the differences. Examples will be in the order of Kikky Badass by zimbuzz and then following from my post on Gary Clark Jr.

  • Album Announcements
  • The articles begin with arbitrary information by listing the details of when the album was released.

    Rapper and singer Kikky BadAss dropped her full-length release last Saturday at an exclusive launch at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Harare. The launch which was strictly by invite had all things glamorous as she launched her project “Queen of the South”

    Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, This Land, was released last month.

  • Comparison to established artists
  • Both I and 'zimbuzz' place emphasis on how the artist being reviewed is as talented as well established artists within the same genre. After comparing the reviews, this seems like a lazy attempt of appealing to the readers' possible interests.

    She gets help from friend Marcus Mafia, Shuver, Fucci and Jnr Brown, Like a bad ass she is, she proved to be wise beyond her years by standing head and shoulders (Or is it ass-tall) with the boys.

    At only 35, his music has the sound of a 1950's blues musician and can take a place next to both Buddy Guy and B.B. King. Gary Clark Jr. has entered into the league of legends

  • Creating history
  • Each article ends with similar claims in that the artist being reviewed will be notable for their future work.1

    When she released the much talked about video to Body Conversations, the sentiment was that she would need to prove herself more.
    This piece shows she is not a pushover and will remain a key figure in Zim Hip Hop for some time to come.

    At a time when the quality of music is dying, all is not lost as long as Gary Clark Jr. has a guitar.

    Another comparison is the obvious lack critical thought - shown by not listing any criticism of the artist. However, what stands out as the biggest similarity and possibly why the articles read so parallel, is that both lack any sort of narrative. The reviews read as a list rather than with any sort of structure.

    Moving on, I found minimal differences between the two reviews. The article on Kikky Badass goes into more detail about the her 'roots', collaborators, and how unique of an artist she is.2

    I was taking an eventful walk with Master around town; being schooled on almost every corner on the ways I could do better. I mentioned to him about how I had this review in my drafts folder and had not posted it because I was afraid of the feedback that I would receive. Long story short, two blocks later and I was crying on my knees for not realizing that, I often revert back to the unintelligent and easy way of doing things (among other reasons, of course). It's such an interesting life to not be afraid of kneeling on a busy city street corner while dressed as cheap as the common whore3, but to be afraid of criticism of bad writing. He was right then as he is right now. It's a much better existence to be called stupid on trilema than to merely exist as stupid.

    After all...
    mircea_popescu: TEH HUMILIATION INTENSIFIES!!!

    1. Reading it back this is type of cop out ending, because I didn't list anything substantive to back up the conclusion. []
    2. Unfortunately, if I had written a longer piece, I could see myself writing very similar things to these 'differences'. []
    3. This was before I was punished and had to walk around barefoot. []

    Gary Clark Jr.

    Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

    I'm currently listening to: Gary Clark Jr. - This Land, When I'm Gone.

    Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, This Land, was released last month. He has been crafting music for a decade, but if you are unfamiliar with this dynamic blues man then, I'd suggest clearing your night and starting with his previous album - The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.1

    At only 35, his music has the sound of a 1950's blues musician and can take a place next to both Buddy Guy and B.B. King. Gary Clark Jr. has entered into the league of legends by having released a trio of consistent and masterfully crafted albums. No gimmicks, no auto-tune, but timeless blues and soul. It's clear that he understands how to construct beautiful songs by selecting the correct melody, timing, and lyrics. The signature sound of his guitar produces a deep color that will have you rewinding the song in order to rehear the solos.2 Its more than worth your time to listen to the entirety of This Land, but Dirty Dishes Blues and The Guitar Man stand out as my favorites. At a time when the quality of music is dying, all is not lost as long as Gary Clark Jr. has a guitar.


    1. More specifically listen to the tracks - Can't sleep and Our Love. []
    2. If you prefer acoustic guitar then give Church a listen. []

    Clean Getaway.

    Thursday, March 14th, 2019

    Besides writing poor summaries, I have another terrible fault of pushing people away. It's something that I've been aware of since I was 13. Most of my struggle in relationships start when I really let myself become attached and happy. I've had periods in my life when I was better at handling attachment, but it takes a lot of work and awareness. When something traumatic happens (insert kidnapping), I tend to revert back to my old ways of pushing people away from fear of loss. It's not something I'm at all proud of. I tend to keep my distance from any real relationships out of fear of hurting that person and myself.

    I was two when my mom died from breast cancer. Thankfully, I don't remember anything from that time of of my life. My earliest memories revolve around me crying on the couch about missing her while my dad aggressively told me he'd, "take me to the hospital if I didn't stop". Coincidentally, the other earliest memory I have is of him crying about her and begging me not to tell anyone about his breakdowns. My brothers and father had a lot of anger about her death that they took out on me. I handled it by being sad a lot of the time and with a desperation to learn anything about her in order to understand myself. However, my dad wouldn't tell me many details about her, besides that she was a really good person and had a kind heart. I never asked him more about her because I thought it may be hurtful for me to press for more information. Secretly, I always wanted to know her favorite color or what made her happy or sad. My brothers and I also had a silent understanding to never discuss her death.

    After my mother, Nancy, died my grandmother moved in and raised my brothers and I. For a lot of years it was extremely stressful watching my grandma and my dad butt heads. My dad was afraid of losing anyone after my mom died and my grandmother wanted us to live. I had a lot of surreal moments as a child being in school on mother's day or on bring a parent to school day. Some of the moments consisted of me realizing that I was one of those kid's with a dead parent or is that what having a mom is really like. That being said, my grandmother was wonderful and did the best to make sure we had the knowledge we needed. She taught me to read, not to be afraid of life, and be independent. More than that though, she tried to preserve our childhood the best she could and after having the experience of raising her own four boys, was ready to go toe to toe with my dad's anger. After my grandmother saw how hard my dad was on my brothers and I, she became my greatest ally and friend. This continued to the required train rides to Pennsylvania that she took us on on to visit my mother's mom and brother.

    I loved riding the train with my brothers and grandma. We all woke up at 5AM to catch the earliest Amtrack train, which was next to a terrible smelling soap factory. I would arrange my stuffed animals on the seats, like they were riding the train with me and explained to them about the different cabins. Being in motion was always a safe feeling for me, my brothers and dad left me alone while we were on the way somewhere. My mom's brother, my Uncle Jeff, would met us at the train and take us to his and my other Grandmother Faye's house in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. My grandma would leave after a few days - leaving my brothers and I alone with my Grandma Faye and Uncle Jeff for about three weeks. This is when my nightmare started. My brothers had full authority to do whatever they wanted to me, which mostly consisted of calling me names and beating me up. For a long time, I could never understand why my Uncle Jeff and Grandma Faye didn't do anything to stop them. More than that, they both would pay special attention to my brothers by buying them lots of stuffed animals (which my brothers didn't really want) while not giving me anything or making fun of me with them. My Uncle Jeff would take them on lots of trips while leaving me alone to do nothing. I would cry when they hurt me and then get yelled at in the process.

    My dad married my step-mother when I was around 12. This was hard for me because my dad had my grandma move out and my new step-mom move in. I felt the pain of losing someone who provided so much safety for me. I had trouble adjusting to the new dynamic and felt isolated. My brothers were always together and my dad and step-mom were now always together. My step-mom did get my dad to stop yelling at us, which was a huge relief; however, his meanness and depression never ceased. I was about 13 when, my step-mother revealed to me that my mother chose not to have chemo therapy for her breast cancer because she was pregnant with me and necessarily affirming her death. Knowing this destroyed me for many many months. My father asked me not to blame myself because, "that's not what she or any woman would want". He also told me that my Grandma Faye and Uncle Jeff had a hard time seeing me because I looked and reminded them so much of my mom. To my dad's credit, I never told him what happened on those trips but as soon as he saw it, he stopped me from going there. I took on this survivors guilt of blaming myself for any pain my family had because I was the reason my mother died. My anxiety was out of control for a while to the point of me not being able to sleep and my teacher getting involved. Finally, I made living amends by telling myself that I would be very kind to everyone that I could, in order to justify being alive, and further than that, I would live for two people, my mother and I.

    This isin't meant to be a sad story for me. My mother gave me such a beautiful gift and perspective on the world. I have always considered myself fortunate for having experienced death and loss at such an early time in my life.

    Since my mother's death, life has granted me many other other people to lose, from good friends to now my entire family. All of this pain has caused me to start to again, anticipate the eventual separation from the people I care most about, and therefore, pushing them away before I really get hurt. It's no way to live and it's the furthermost thing from kind. No matter how much I try to avoid loss, life will always be uncontrollable. All lessons are cheap while we are alive. I know its worth attaching to others to spite that they may not always be there, just like I know that we can chose to see hard times as a destruction or a blessing. I chose to see them as a blessing and I hope you will chose to do the same.