In Court Again. Case No: 50-2020-CO-00643-AXXX-NB

I am getting so good at this uh- ‘law’ stuff. I’ve got a good bit of law lingo now under my belt. Defendant (that’s me, Suzanne H. Gero), judge, police officer, courtroom, plaintiff (who am I kidding – I don’t know what this means), bailiff (also a word I ‘think’ I know but like “tarmac’- what actually is the bailiff and a tarmac? I know what they are associated with but if you tested me with close but not actual examples or pictures of the previously mentioned words, I don’t know if I would get these correct. Like, where does the tarmac start and end? It is somewhere at an airport, but can it be the area around a plane NOT at an airport? Is it associated with the aircraft per se or the airport? I actually have googled searched this word because it drives me bananas to hear the word used in the news and not know the accurate definition. And still confused on that one. Please email the clearest definition of tarmac. The interwebs are lacking in clarity. Or maybe that’s me. Any who.

Back to today’s Pre-Trial Hearing before the County Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida – Criminal Division:

In the State of Florida vs. Defendant: Suzanne H Gero, after a tedious three minutes of interrogation by Judge Frank S Castor, in which answers were sought to the confuddlement of ‘what happened?’, ‘how long was the improper confinement?’, and ‘did you realize your dog was missing?’…

…the facts given to this grueling courtroom drama were as follows:

My dog got out while we were moving out of a condo and ran 600 feet to the beach.

The duration of the entire incident (in my head, I wanted to add “in question” but kept my answers short and direct for fear of laughing and mocking the absurdity in which I found myself today) was 20-25 minutes.

Yes, we all realized Amber was missing. At about minute 15, I walked 15 feet to Carlin Park, called out to park joggers “Has anyone seen a white shepherd?”, and was told, “Yeah, the lifeguards have her at the beach.” 600 feet – 15 feet from our door making her 585 feet away.

Lifeguards had called Animal Care and Control to scan her, found her microchipped and called me as I walked- I mean trudged, the taxing, laborious, and punishing distance between me and my bitch – /biCH/ noun. 1. a female dog, wolf, fox or otter. You know, in judicial preceedings, it is important, no, vital, to uses precise language or jargon.

Since the alleged incident on December 31, 2019, I have been to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League on 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409, to vaccinate and license canine felon Amber (This is probably not the accurate use of aforementioned criminal vocab but I am using poetic ‘license’ here in conjunction with and due to the nature of the crime – lack of ‘license’.)

I have also traveled to the Division of Animal Care and Control, Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety, 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33411-3306 to obtain a License and Rabies Vaccination Certificate… though not for Breeding.

Tertiary, (that’s defined as ‘third in order or level’) I rode my yellow beach cruiser to the Courthouse, North Branch, 3188 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 TWICE to schedule a court date.

I don’t really know, all they told me was that I was suppose to do this next “In order to avoid to avoid additional citations that will increase in fines ranging up to $750.00 dollars or more not including court cost.” County Ordinance 98-22: Chapter 4 Section 10.

Wait, hold up here just a minute… I just re-typed what was mailed to me in a correspondence on 01/16/2020. On one hand, the middle of the sentence asserts ‘fines ranging up to…’ (cash amount) followed by the phrase ‘or more’. So, which is it compliance po-po? Is there a cap on the fines I could potentially face as an offending party as stated by ‘up to’ OR (dun,dun, duuun) is there ‘or more’ amount in the punitive aspect of the law here? People, I think, I have stumbled onto grounds for dismissal. (Sadly, I am writing this post-dismissal of said Case No: 50-2020-CO-000643-AXXX-NB. We will never know if the conundrum uncovered here in legal documents would have been successfully litigated by me, proceeding pro se litigant, which in modern law means to argue on one’s behalf in a legal proceeding as a defendant or plaintiff in civil cases or as a defendant in criminal cases, mine being the later as this is a criminal case. I think I would have prevailed!)

Back to the timeline of MY LIFE/ GOD’S BELLY LAUGH, the first time at the Clerk of the Courts office to schedule hearing date, the attendant/ receptionist could not pull up the citation. She said, “Check back in a week or two.” Second trip on bike to courthouse, I remembered to leave my hot pink tazer at home because first trip left me hiding my tazer in the cup holder of my bicycle under a Publix receipt when they would not allow me entrance into government building with the hot pink tazer. People, it was a simple mistake we all could have made. Also on this second trip to the Clerk of the Courts on 2/11/2020, I was able to secure a Pre-Trial Hearing at 10:00 AM 2/20/2020.

I keep thinking there is a lot to be unpacked here about 20/20. Like a life lesson hidden here on ‘Hindsight is 2020’ or maybe ‘2020 Vision’ or ‘Have Your Eyes Checked?’ (I can revisit this later.)

Today’s events unfolded as follows: Hubbie woke me up as he prepared for work. I made myself a concoction of Zipfizz and water. I signed onto Spotify to see today’s bible reading as outlined in The Bible Recap podcast and to listen to Contemporary Christian music. I read the prescribed chapters in Leviticus 22-23… and because in Leviticus 23:33 it describes the Festival of Booths or Sukkot, I wondered if some Jews still live outside in little shelters for seven days today. Sure enough, some do. As seen on YouTube. Which led to watching another YouTube video about the close proximity of the three faith groups that occupy The Old City section in Jerusalem. Then I googled a current map of the Old City section of Jerusalem to see the close proximity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims living in that 1 square mile today. Some say ‘Squirrel!’… I say curious and slightly distractible researcher.

I closely watched the time because I know my shortcomings of being late or altogether forgetting about an event or my expected appearance at an event that I had previously spoken about less that 4 hours prior. At 9:15 AM, 2/20/2020, I considered, “What does one wear to Court to represent their dog and self?” I immediately threw out the idea of wearing my most common apparel for my lower half, shorts, and grabbed the pants I wore to Bible Study last night. There I had donned a pink V-neck t-shirt and flip flops matching my pants. I found flip flops to be irreverent (true and actual thoughts) of my destination so I changed my top and put on closed-toed mauve pointy toe flats. Just the facts. I then removed the hot pink tazer from my purse. At 9:21 AM, I departed my designated parking spot. I arrived at the Courthouse two minutes later. I successfully navigated security (sans weapon/s) and entered the courtroom at 9:27. There was small talk with a police officer inside the courtroom who I am assuming is the bailiff. He, as do I, found the reason for my day in court, amusing and rather odd.

At 9:43, the judge entered the courtroom and someone actually said, “Court is now in session.” I wasn’t looking up to see who. At 9:44, I was escorted to the area in between the attorney’s desks and in front of the judge where a music stand and a microphone was positioned by a uniformed policeman AKA Bailiff. Looking back, I should have sung.

The judge then stated that there were three Counts against me. That is when the shiz got real. The judge just said, I, Suzanne Gero, had 3 Counts against me. (Is that anything close to baseball? Three strikes and you are out. I don’t know.) Also, I never read the fine print on the Notice of Hearing that reads: “For Criminal Charges: Failure to Appear will result in a Bond Forfeiture of own recognizance (O.R.) and a Capias/ Warrant being issued for your arrest. until NOW upon typing this. Also, what the heck kinda mess have I ended up in? And what is Bond Forfeiture of own recognizance (O.R.)? Not sure what a bond is except a savings bond which I don’t have. To forfeit is to not show up for a soccer game. That doesn’t apply here at all. and ‘my own recognizance’ – folks, I got nothing. No idea what any of this means but a few more words past something called Capias (I have seen a capybara at the zoo – large member of the rodent family – probably not related.) it says warrant for your arrest. That sounds bad and scary.

Another day in the life of Suzanne on The Truman Show. This is a reference to a Jim Carey movie in which he lives his life as the central character on a reality show in a world of actors thinking his life is real but actually there is a false sky, his wife auditioned for the role, and everything is scripted.

Today I am trying to get to the moment where I touch the screen at the edge of the movie lot and realize my life is also one big prank. Specifically, the last decade. 2010-2020. This is other-level crazy. It’s all because our dog got out for a few minutes while my family was busy moving boxes. The time wasted in government man hours over this foolishness is preposterous… as well as all-together HYSTERICAL.

On a related side-note, I spent part of my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, in a courtroom. That is right folks. You read it here. In the also preposterous court case in which I was a defendant being charged with abandonment of a child, I often searched for hidden cameras and microphones on the people involved in the case/actors. It has to be a reality show I am living. It makes no sense to sit shoulder-to- shoulder with men in orange jumpsuits and shackles, guarded by 2 policemen, half-clothed shorts and camisole wearing mommas, meth addicts, etc. and NONE of them were married. So on November 21, 2017, to the Department of Children and Family staffers, lawyers, bailiff, and guardium ad litem, I boldly asked the room, before the judge arrived, “Did anyone bring us flowers because it is our 25th wedding anniversary today?” Silence. Yes, I actually asked this out loud in the courtroom.

One time, I went to court with a stack two foot high of the 20+ books I owned on parenting kids from hard places, items not usually found in the homes of child abandoners to give reasonable doubt to the baffoons arguing against us. But I never found the court case of child abandonment wholly laughable. It was terrifying. The only way I made it through without being committed to a mental facility was prayer, reciting Scriptures in and on the way to court, and being just a little bit humored by every hand grenade Satan has lobbed my way. After all, crazy is my coping skill. And it is the name of this site.

And once again, back to the Court case of 2/20/2020. The judge asked a few other questions like, “Does your dog routinely get out?” Simple answer. No, Sir. And closing comments said by judge to courtroom staff and me, “I don’t get it. Usually these cases are when a dog regularly bothers joggers or runs away a lot… DISMISSED.”

I left after receiving a Court Event Form that has the START TIME: 9:44 AM and the END TIME: 9:47 AM. And that was all before the NOTICE OF HEARING TIME 10:00 AM.

DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN?

Yes, I am a Gero and this totally just happened. Story of my life Chapter 851.

Valentines 2020

It just so happens that the holiday to celebrate the love of me and my husband of 27 years falls on a Friday.

Great night for restaurants and business catering to a date night vibe but horrible for a woman with complex post traumatic stress disorder who has to transport the reason why she has C-PTSD on Fridays. Fridays at 1:00 pm because my husband is teaching at the local middle school, I am forced to drive to the weekday home of our adopted son, High Ridge Family Center, and pick him up for the weekend.

Friday is NOT anticipated with joy and end-of-the-work-week relief. At our home, it is dreaded. It is like driving to a prison, picking up a deranged homicidal teenager and bringing him for any number of crimes to be committed against you. WAIT… That is exactly what I have to do every weekend.

I tried to get through my morning without thinking about my lunch date with horror. But with distractions of Christian music, prepped for the day’s battle by spending over an hour in His Word, and a task of decorating a cake for the 1950’s themed Sock Hop themed auction of the gluten kind, my body still knows the day, the upcoming hour.

I am incredibly tense. My hands shake. But today, the worst symptom of my trauma-inflicted condition is the invisible hands choking the air I try to find. It seems like there should be oxygen to satisfy my need to breathe. What I need to properly operate the brain I would like to use today is in short supply in my part of the universe. I just want air.

As I drive to pick up my son, I dig out my hot pink tazer from the bottom of my purse and make the little red light of safety glow. I drive with the weapon poised in my grip in case I am attacked physically. More than likely, I will not exchange a word with my son. I enter the facility for “struggling” teens in Palm Beach County, I will sign out the med bottles andI will walk out with my child. Age 15 now. My son since age 7.

Eight years. 1000’s of lies, thefts, and manipulated circumstances that make sane people lose their minds.

8-11% of the population develop PTSD after a traumatic situation. This is the data but there is a ton of undocumented and undiagnosed cases. I happen to be in that special group. Not weaker, not less intelligent, not less anything other than maybe less resilient. Some can bounce back after some kind of hell called trauma.

I don’t bounce well.

I break . I broke. Shattered. And I will never be the same.

My life will never be same.

My husband’s and my kid’s lives will never be the same.

And this Valentine’s Day was affected by my brokenness and my circumstances. I picked up our son. I did not speak to him. I drove him to his father’s work. Our contact was about 17 minutes total. But that 17 minutes wrecked my day. I was struggling more today than other Fridays. No real idea of why. This Friday routine has been regular and less bothersome other days. Not today.

That’s PTSD. When and why a free-falling fear freak-out occurs is a mystery. Some Fridays I fare better. But not this February 14th. Maybe that’s it. Maybe the heightened love fest planned by Hallmark made me feel acutely more aware of the love loss my adopted kids feel toward me.

The resulting episode today was escalated by my feeling like a failure after hearing my husband’s complaint about leaving my location 15 minutes later than he would have liked. He wanted us to leave different starting points in order to arrive at the Vespa repair shop at close to the same time. In my rushed reconstruction of the decorative cake topper the cat toppled from the counter, the one that took me 5 hours to make, I had half the time to do the rest of the actual cake decorating. Close to the time I was asked to leave my home, I began the securing of my property. I put the padlocks on the fridge, the freezer, the pantry, and my bedroom door. The knives were removed from the kitchen and stored in the underwear drawer.

Normal, no??

Well, it is my normal.

Every Friday. Even on Valentine’s Day.

My husband was very frustrated after a long week of work and did not like the fact that he arrived 20 minutes ahead of me. And as soon as I heard the disappointment, the sound I never want anyone to feel toward me, I crumpled. I couldn’t get the traffic to cooperate. And I couldn’t get my heart to stop panicking. And I couldn’t get my heart to stop hurting, the squeezing I feel under acute stress.

When I finally connected with my husband, he had walked a good distance from the Vespa repair shop toward my oncoming route to pick him up. I was even later than I wanted because of the executive function shut down due to my free-falling fearful freak-out. I got off at the wrong exit. The ramp to Belvedere Road and the ramp to the airport were separated by about a football field. So to confirm my failure as a human once again, I couldn’t even exit the interstate properly. I sobbed and apologized as I tried to explain my anxiety attack and heart pains.

It was just too much today. All of it. Life. Breathing. Finding the oxygen.

Resentful of another day that involved his wife’s PTSD when he would rather do normal, he struggled to offer support and I struggled to find a foothold, a hand hold to climb out of my pit of despair. As I cried because of the pain of being misunderstood, I felt like the climb to get out of my hole involved a rope around my neck with a black baby grand piano tied to the end. I would have to crawl upwards by another route than the one with the support of my Valentine.

Surveying the pit, one side was steeper and without any places to get any help. So I visualized how I would get to a place of stability. It would be me and Jesus. That route seemed to have much more places to get a footing. It is the way I must go. Sometimes my husband is not resentful and reaches out a hand, a hug. Sometimes in his imperfection, in his humanity, he is not able to offer the support I most want.

I want to feel I didn’t disappoint him, anyone, again because I feel like a big disappointment.

I want to feel like I am capable of helping and making someone feel like they benefitted by being in relationship with me.

I want to feel like the way I am, WITH PTSD, isn’t what he hates. My Valentine.

I feel like a failure. I have been rejected too many times. So at the bottom of the pit, I experience rejection again. And my human form is resented.

I can’t separate the resentment my husband feels this Friday Feb 14 and what that says about my value. I can’t dodge those fiery darts.

But tomorrow is a new day. A chance to cope better. After sleep and being with my favorite woman’s soccer player, I hope tomorrow goes better.

Monday is coming. Praise God, Monday is coming. And my abuser/ adopted son returns to a program designed to help struggling teens. I will be safe then. Safe from the what-ifs that plague my mind and the constant breaches of security that play out in our home.

I am not…

Not going to engage in counseling that seeks to level the playing field of mom, dad and son to equal contributors to trauma in our home.

Not going to participate in Freddie’s twisted disordered reality that …

ASKS FOR POINTS instead if APOLOGIZING FOR PAIN.

Not going to care if he gets 5 million points or 5. Not going to point out what he knows he should do.

Not going to live with urine smells. Depends diapers it is. His bladder issues are behavioral issues. Want time stop peeing son? Stop lying.

Not going to be in a relationship with a self-centered liar. The lies are everyday multiple times a day. I speak with honesty. I expect the same from others. Deal breaker.. Lying.

Not going time trust Freddues words until they match the behaviors that  those match the truth.

Not going to worry that Freddie doesn’t attend church with me. He has access to read Gods word. He has denied believing in God first over 5 months. He has put himself in the situation at High Ridge and at home. He continues to make poor choices.

YOU GET WHAT YOU GOT WHEN YOU DO WHAT YOU DID.

Not going to engage with the abusive and the un-human act of setting poison or his urine on the counter and watching me drink and/ or setting cup of pure hell as a evil form of abuse in kitchen purposefully left to greatly disturb me… Me ,”Mom”.

Not going to be bothered that I act different to kids which have protected me and loved me without threats to my safety versus how I act to kids who violate my sense of security,

Not going to allow Mom to be used as a title from someobe who hurts me. I will be Mom to those who are not characterized by stealing and lying but ARE trustworthy.

Not going to stop being a great person.  I care more about others, gave up my old easy life  to adopt … To offer to neglected kids what their parents didn’t give them. Instead if working on their selves, they birth returned our family’s love and traumatized us.

Not going to.

Done.

No more.

I am going to continue to grow … In wisdom by studying God’s word, applying scripture and not being vengeful. I will continue to grow in courage and bravery as I face the evil realities in this present park world. I will grow in my mental health. By reading God’s word, listening to podcasts, attending CR, listening to my community of believers, going to therapist, prayer, and USE of coping skills, I will see victory daily. I will grow physically stronger by caring for this temporary tent my soul abides in. I will grow in creativity by using my giftings to reflect my Creator. I will grow in knowledge as I care about being equipped to help and bless others -learning Spanish to honor Latin people, studying and caring about racial reconciliation with people of color, praying for condo neighbors and opportunity to preach the Gospel.

So much more.

Just getting started.

Huge PTSD Trigger: Going To Court

PRIMARY TRIGGER: Anything that relates to danger: perceived or actual.

So that ‘s a lot of triggers for me because anything can become a threat when you have PTSD.

  • A log at Publix (a grocery store in the southern part of the US) -because the log reminds you of the fire and burning bodies you saw that just happened to be aflame as you drove by after picking up your daughter from church,
  • A raised voice from your family member – regardless of whether or not they’re just plain exhausted from the drama in your home because of our adopted kids trauma… Trauma drama. It’s real!,
  • A man walks into a room – (not the beginning of a joke) but it is so startling that you jump like you were held up at gunpoint. But the man is your husband and he is holding a banana,
  • A “look” – that last time you saw was right before your daughter shoved you and ran out the door, police came and you now dealt with Baker Act number ??? #losttrack.,
  • The same “look” – because you have zero idea what will set your child off sending her running in a bipolar rage, #tickingtimebomb,
  • Someone approaching from behind – because you have been attacked from behind. (The worst is being attacked from behind while driving yet being determined to get the other child in the car to his soccer game.) So you become particularly un-fond of any activity behind you,
  • Going to Civil Court for proceedings related to your daughter’s dependency case- because you have been falsely accused by DCF and failed by the justice system,
  • A drive down PGA Blvd. – because you are physically reminded that in that Starbucks plaza, your husband was driving through the parking lot with his chai tea during the botched sale of a vehicle, saw the silver truck with the doors open that ended in an active shooter situation and minutes later you were both evacuating a field with hundreds of scared soccer moms, soccer players, soccer siblings etc
  • Also on PGA Blvd, the former home of that girl who plotted a cyber bullying attack on your daughter so graphic and threatening that you reported it to the police – your daughter’s offense: Telling “friend” that she needed space from the drama but encouraged friend living off PGA that the girl “was going to do amazing things.”
  • I could go on…

Triggers are the sights,smells, sounds, feelings, or thoughts that send the brain into FIGHT FLIGHT or FREEZE MODE. We were designed to survive and thrive. The response of the body’s parasympathetic system..is to release large amounts of protective chemicals into bloodstream or brain to ensure safety for the brain’s host. The senses pick up information from the environment and the properly functioning brain determines if the info is a real threat.

The PTSD brain often overreacts to sensory info. The PTSD brain reacts to surroundings like there is an imminent catastrophe at hand…. WAY TOO OFTEN.

And when survival mode kicks in, all manner of logical thinking is effectively shut down. By design, blood flow is re-routed to essential life-sustaining functions like hearing and sight, smells and perception. I find that wildly interesting. The heightened sense of hearing that makes one hypervigilant in a PTSD response-to-trigger is the same brilliant-by-design gift that saves our lives in dangerous situations. Being able to acutely hear an intruder or a mountain lion is wildly helpfulwhen under attack, not at a zoo. Thank you God. Brilliant design. Good on you God. (He is very wise.)

Buuuuut… If thou art triggered and not actually in danger, the state of hpervigilance is extremely exhausting and not so good for say, attending court or living in a house where trauma-driven children daily make very poor, sometimes, unsafe decisions that could hurt you or your other children. Years of living in a state of hypervigilance as you straddle the gap of protecting your other children and trying your hardest to love mentally unhealthy kida creates quite a challenge. For me, it was the perfect storm to spawn the hurricane of my PTSD.

AND NOW … Life with triggers that lead to executive functions of the brain shuttung down…

Sucks.

I found your parents…

Dear F and M-

I found them. And yes, your mom is alive. I honestly thought by this time … 14 years since she was pregnant with you F… And hearing of her health and weight issues – I did not expect her to be alive. And I REALLY didn’t expect them to live in walking distance from the courthouse where they so frequently didn’t bother to visit you. They had a reunification plan created by their own attorneys. And the state’s. The plan was monthly visits at a building close to the courthouse… And very close to their home.

They are not married but have stayed together. Maybe. They love each other the best they can or know how.

It is not a nice place to live. It isn’t a nice neighborhood. Your grandma’s house looks unliveable. Yet someone else, also in dire straits – a Hispanic man- lives in a tiny back section of the house requiring a blue tarpover top of the shack. So it must leak. I wonder if Nelda and Franki visit. I wonder how she is doing in that deplorable structure.

Your grandpa Arnel died 11 years ago at age 56. And you have 2 aunts and an uncle. One aunt lives in Ft. Lauderdale, one in the same neighborhood of Ft. Pierce as your mom and dad. And a young uncle, Stanley- 22- lives in Kansas.

After doing a driveby about 34 times and hoping to see the people who hurt you, neglected you, scarred the hearts of you both so severely that you won’t let me be your mom, I ended up at the beach near by. I opened my car door and a tiny girl’s sandal was abandoned right where I stepped. I held up the small shoe and wondered what you looked like Melinda, as a toddler. I wondered if I had raised you from ittle- bitty, would you still have rejected your adoptive family’s love and care? I grieved the loss of your childhood, not knowing you then, not protecting you then.

I was in Ft. Pierce during the summer of 2018, running from…

You, Freddie. You had recently begun to fill the role of trauma maker. You weren’t big, loud and frightening as your sister had been but sneaky, lying, scarier in a way I couldn’t be at home at home. So I would get up early, teach kids in China at 5 am, stay busy behind a computer screen with headphones for several hours and then leave.

Just go.

State parks. Beaches. Museums. Benches on sidewalks. Safe public places. Sometimes unsafe public places. Like above mentioned state parks but alone hours from home, no one are of where I was. THAT seemed safer than home. I was threatened and poisoned by you at home Freddie.

Yes, I know where your wounding and wounded parents live. It is all so very sad. Lots of trauma. And we now suffer from the effects of their neglect. They suffer from neglect as well. Your mom was also removed from her parent’s care by DCF. Records state your dad was thrown in a fire by family. I can’t make this stuff up.

And some would say I shouldn’t share your story.

But it in MY story too.

It’s mine to share in hopes that utter transparency drives people to love deeper with greater compassion.

For the hurt and neglected children.

For adoptive families.

You are so loved Freddie and Melinda.

By you heavenly Father.

By your adoptive mother.

I’ve found your Mom.

I am here.

I have boundaries now.

But I will never stop loving the two little humans that came into our hearts at age 5 and 6.

Ya’ll are now 14 and 15.

Wow!

I pray you find your way home one day.

I’ve Got A  Fail proof Plan to Avoid Rejection and Abandonment

Go to sleep at 5 pm when the family gets home from school and work.

Wake up at 4 am when no one is around and enjoy the quiet.

Do your life at opposite hours of the people in your life.

This is a legit way to avoid conflict. By avoiding humans, you can effectively avoid reactions, comments, disappointment, submitting to others agendas, and all manner of hurts. If they aren’t awake, they can’t rain on your parade.

One big problem: You are alone. Except… you weren’t meant to do life apart from others. Community is a saving grace. Family, of all sorts – biological, church, other women, friends, work, ministry, charity – are for your benefit.

Listen, IF God is good AND He created the institution of family at the time of creating this universe, THEN family – again, of all sorts, must be good.

Don’t get me wrong. Family can be bad. Really bad. There is sexual abuse inside the walls of your neighbors house. And sometimes there it is. Inside your spaces. The ones thst should be safe. I am angry that girls get used and even blamed for the gross sin of others.

But it ISN’T the construct of family that is bad.  It IS the destruction of family that’s destructive.  We were created in perfection and set in a family to be loved, protected, nurtured, and safe. And these should happen when a momma and daddy live out their God-given calling to steward the gift of their children well.

In the other sorts of families, like church families, you find older women mothering all kinds of daughters. Clean up in the kitchen after a church event and you will likely rub shoulders with some dear saints. Open up a conversation with them. And then just shut up. I say that in the most trying-to-be-helpful of ways. Lean in to hear their stories and wisdom. Ahh, family! Good, good stuff there.

Go, find your family. Go on. Get!

A Vicious Cycle Spin Class

I AM A FELON.. i think.

Pretty sure I have committed an unbeknownst-to-me FELONY.

The punishment I just received was surely not for a misdemeanor. I did somethin ‘ Baaaaaaaaaduh!

A sweet friend…. (going time have to rethink that there adjective preceeding friend) … said, “Let’s try a spin class.”

I said, “okay.” – stupid/stupid/stupid! Picture me banging my head against a metal gym locker.

I should have known when I had my feet clamped in to some apparatus that this was going to be “fun!” like when you have your nether regions checked by ob/gyn.

NOTE TO SELF: Feet secured or placed in any apparatus should scream “not fun, not fun, not fun!!! Run baby RUN!”

Also there is a lot of talk about TENSION. This orangy/red knob was pointed out to me as a means if increasing tension. If I had any inkling of what I was getting into, there most definitely would have been TENSION from the start but I had a reprieve of about 4 minutes.

A guy I had seen and talked with in step aerobics class came over time check my set up and give a few pointers.  He said, “The number one thing is to just keep spinning!” I honest to goodness looked at him andl said, “I got that. I am always spinning up here.  (motioning to head). Nod to my unstable mental health. Lol. I am a funny one.

Then he said, “and when we start doing push ups…” Interrupted by me with- “SAY WHAT???!!?! Pushups?”  He giggled under his breath and he us somewhere upwards of 65 years old. I am 47, in pretty decent shape, and as he spoke his warnings, a cold chill crept down my spine.

Class starts. Lights out. Except black lights, so I couldn’t see a darn thing. But in hindsight, I had my eyes closed trying to gulp in air for survival purposes during 95%of class so lights would have MOSTLY been superfluous.

There was some stretching while peddling. Then some comments screamed at me overtop of highly energetic music. I liked the music until I didn’t. Until I wanted to punch everyone in the jaw. They all seemed to pedal to the beat but as I stood up -as directed- one foot would come flying out of the stirrup. The tension on the bike’s pedals was either too low or too high to find the rhythm that the others had fallen into. I just kept falling. Off beat and pedals spinning “sans” my feet.

About the others and the lights. As per my torture for my bad behavior, I tried to look around and see if the faces of the others looked contorted. I started thinking pretty seriously about HELL at this point.

My bible study has taught me that there will be “burning and gnashing of teeth.” Check. Part of today’s spin class.  The heat was oppressive like no other time I could recollect. But it was coupled with me sweating away all my stored electrolytes, minerals, salt, water.. and my LIFE away! I was supposed to put my hand on my back but it felt like a greased pig at the county fair. Yes, I did grow up in a place and time where we chased greasy pigs at the fair.  Same feeling today.  Dripping sweat from EVERYWHERE. Gross.

I started thinking about how Diane’s spin class could bring many to Jesus. She could just do what she did today and then ask, “Now, do you want to spend eternity here.. In this heat.. In pain.. I imagine an evil laugh from her and getting confirmation that she is the bad guy coming in the end times.

PEOPLE. PEOPLE. PEOPLE. YOU DO NOT WANT TO SPEND FOREVER IN A VICIOUS CYCLE.

Completely serious folks.  This is heat was going through my head I was trying to get a look at people. And I can’t see faces. I am incredulous about doing this willingly.

This should be part of our Juvenile Justice program. Or for adults too. If I could mandate a punishment that really SUCKS (unless you choose to be here for exercise), I would pick THIS SPIN CLASS. This would totally suck more than community service. Oh, and teacher Diane controls the tension knob and they must complete exercises as directed. Mmhaha. (My evil laugh as I think about certain people who need consequences.)

But then my squirrel brain thought, “we had better have the guards also take class because the suckers in jail are going to be to fit and be able to run like.. Well we already established thus -was like being in… Hell.” Mark 9:48b, “and the fire never goes out.” Isaiah 66:24 says “the fire that burns.” Isaiah 66:16 (I see three 6’s in reference, … Mmm.. interesting!) says, “The Lord will punish the world by fire.” Just saying, there are clear correlations here.

I began thinking about the people who steal being sentenced to do 30 classes in 30 days. Like a 12 step intervention. But not 12 steps. If you counted each time you put your foot down, it was more like a 4,000 step program. I crack myself up.

There was also a lot of lying going on in said spin class. Like “just 3 more.. ” Code for “3 x 50!!!”

And the lie, screamed, “you guys are lookin’ great!!!” When the actual class members were teleported back in (replacing the droids I vaguely could make out in the dark doing push ups on handle bars to pulsing music) and pedalled in the inferno with me for the last few minutes, the lights came on… And we all looked like we had been abused, mugged, beaten up and held underwater AKA- drenched in sweat.” Honestly, no one looked great. LIES. MENTIRAS!

And that’s how I spent my Monday.

Silver Lining -I can chiise to view my time as a good set up for the week because it couldn’t get more tortuous.

Whatever I face this week could be viewed through the lens of my attendance at A Vicious Cycle Spin Class at Jupiter Fitness.

Thankful I made it through.

Still here.

ADDENDUM: After leaving this class, I had a blow out if my back tire in the fast lane on I-95 at 70 mph, car swerved uncontrollably across 3 lanes, semi- slowed down to let me get off road… Almost rolled car.. And I had the top down on VW Beetle convertible. And I chuckled at Satan, “Is that all you got Satan?” Cuz me and Jesus just did Spin class.