I dug a grave today.

OreoI dug a grave today.

A week ago, I was happy. At peace. I was writing again, back up to 5,000 words a day. After the trauma of last year, I was just starting to feel like myself again. I’d get my chocolate and coffee and classical music and write away. I’d go to rape recovery therapy once a week, down from 3x a week.

I was healing. I was peaceful. I was inspired.

I dug a grave today.

Last Friday, I had just made some chocolate chip cookies. I was ahead of schedule on my novel. My husband finally got some work after six weeks of nothing. Our geriatric dog was hanging in there and continued to bring us joy.

Then, the phone rang. The way the guy on the other end spoke to me, I thought it was a sales call or inquiring about health insurance, yet again, from that single query 10 months ago, or some ancient creditor. I wouldn’t give him any personal information until he told me the nature of the call and who he was, but he wouldn’t tell me anything except his name: Travis. Then Travis said my husband’s name and asked if I knew him. I told him he was asking for very personal information without giving me a thing and not to call me again. I hung up.

Then I Googled the number.

It was from a hospital in Santa Rosa, a town 2 hours away.

My husband had been admitted to ICU after suffering a bad accident and being medivac’d via helicopter to this hospital. They said they didn’t think he would die, but that the injuries were very serious. I profusely apologized to Travis for my rudeness and started to go into shock as they told me about multiple skull fractures, brain bleeds, multiple pelvis fractures to where he wouldn’t walk again for at least three months.

I hung up. Had a panic attack. I planned to drive down to be with him. I hoped he’d still be alive when I got there.

Next. I made a horrible mistake. Because of it,

I dug a grave today.

I called one of my husband’s local relatives to see if they could watch Oreo, our geriatric dog, and Shadow, the cat, while I went to tend to my husband. I told them what had happened. She said I was in no shape to drive, so they would drive me. Two hours. I was in rather a dissociative state, as I haven’t fully recovered from the rape and subsequent trauma of last year, and I’d just been hit again.

I could’ve driven, though. I was getting in my car, as I thought they were coming to tend to Oreo & Shadow. I wanted to drive. It would’ve given my mind something to do other than picture all the ways my husband might die over the next two hours. I wanted to drive.

They insisted. I relented.

We got to the hospital, after much ado, nausea, and misogynistic orders from the uncle, and I saw my husband. He didn’t look as bad as I had feared, and I was relieved he was not only alive but expected to make a full recovery. The relatives said hello to my husband for about 2 minutes, then they left me there. Alone with my injured husband. Without transportation or a plan. I just stupidly assumed they’d be coming back to visit with my husband every few days at least, as it was a miracle he was alive…but with the brain injury could slip into a coma or death at any moment. I assumed that their eagerness to help meant they’d be there for us through this horror. I assumed that since my family was 2,000 miles away that I could count on them in this crisis.

Stupid assumptions.

I stayed by my husband’s side for the next week, reporting back to his relatives as he progressed and we got more info. They came down again and brought me a change of clothes and some things. They arranged to pick up my husband’s truck and tools from the job site, which my husband was quite concerned about when he was conscious. They “cared” for our four-legged children.

I offered to call a pet sitter twice.

They said it wasn’t necessary. Because I listened,

I dug a grave today.

After my husband was out of ICU, I got a hotel with points and traveled two and from with bus vouchers the hospital gave me. I walked to Starbucks and to the Salvation Army to get him some clothes, since they had cut his off of him. The time came, way sooner than I expected, for my husband to be discharged, and I was thrilled! But…no way home! Two hours away. Rural 1955. No way to rent a car and deliver it somewhere in our county. Mass transit would be two buses and a taxi, not feasible for a man in a wheelchair and me with 3 bags and more medical equipment to carry.

The only option was for said relatives to come pick us up again.

They had insisted on driving me down and then they left me there. What did they think would happen? They said they’d come. I asked how my dog Oreo was, and I got an email reply berating me for having the audacity to ask about my geriatric dog.

Wasn’t it enough they were willing to drive 4 hr RT 3x?
Wasn’t it enough they drove every day to “care” for the animals (12 mile round trip)?
Wasn’t it enough they were ready at a moment’s notice?
Wasn’t it enough they arranged the truck pickup?

I had the audacity to ask about my geriatric dog’s well-being.

The utter nerve of me to care about my son’s well-being enough to ask. Inconceivable.

I should’ve known something was wrong then.
In fact, I did know, which is why I asked.
Three times.
Because the first two times were ignored.

I should’ve called the pet sitter like my mind had told me to, but I was too worried of hurting the relatives’ feelings.
Because I didn’t listen to myself, again,

I dug a grave today.

After being berated via email and told to keep silent on the way  home, I told them not to worry about the ride. We’d find a way. As readers of this blog, you well know that I will not fucking tolerate misogynistic abusive bullshit anymore, from anyone, anytime. I also have pretty fucking low tolerance for people who berate me and tell me how to act.

We found a way. The only way. A $240 cab ride.


When I got home, my injured husband struggled to get up the stairs into the house because I couldn’t lift him by myself in the wheelchair, and I ran to check on my baby boy. My buddy buddy boy.

I found him lying on the cold stone floor, shivering in a pool of his own urine surrounded by days of feces. In shock.
Unable to move. Traumatized.

I trusted them.

So I dug a grave today.

I wailed and cursed and apologized to Oreo. I went down, clothes soaked in urine, to help my husband into the house. He was ever more distraught by my agony, and he was trying to tug his wheelchair in behind him. I ripped off my urine-soaked shirt and stood there in my bra, pleading with my husband to let me help, telling him what I found.

After getting my husband upstairs and sitting safely in his wheelchair, I ran a hot bath for Oreo, doing what I could to clean him and warm him up. I wrapped him in two blankets and put a heater on him, then sat with my dying dog. My husband with his fresh brain injury couldn’t even process all of this on top of dealing with his limited mobility and narrow focus ability. He was in a dissociative state, too. Too much trauma. Too much betrayal. Too much to process.

I sat alone with my dying dog.

Dying because they couldn’t even take basic care of him.
Because they told me not to call a pet sitter, and I listed.
Because I trusted them.

Come to think of it, another one of our doghters died in their “care” 18 months ago. Now I wonder how much their “care” had to do with her death, too. Not a coincidence, methinks.

No. Not at all.

Terrified, not knowing what to do next, fearing Oreo was suffering from exposure, for he was left without a heater on for days in freezing temperatures at night. Nothing. Who knows how long he was on the floor in that state. I made an appt. with a vet and took him there, so scared to leave my newly injured husband home alone, for he had already gotten out of his wheelchair trying to do too much too soon, and took Oreo to the vet. I made my husband promise on everything he loved about me not to try to go downstairs on his own until I got home. I couldn’t lose him, too.

The vet said there was really no hope for Oreo. We might be able to give him a few more days or weeks after a lot of tests and hospitalization and maybe surgery, but only weeks. It was time, and it had come sooner than necessary because of the neglect.

I made that decision and watched him die, telling him how much I loved him and how sorry I was that I left him with those people over and over and over again. A nice vet tech with dreds put Oreo’s lifeless body in my trunk. On the way home, I spoke with a friend who was sympathetic about my seemingly unending traumas and soothed my shame over them, then told me that the man who sexually assaulted me in 2011 would be getting into Dragon*Con this year, the largest convention in the country.

Yep. Rapists get rewarded.

I dug a grave today.

My husband is in a wheelchair. My dog is dead. We have no possibility for income for 6 months. We have a mountain of medical bills. And that tea-drinking douchebag is a celebrity. The auctioneer who raped me is dancing and laughing and fucking his way through life, free to rape and rape again.

I dug a grave today.

Fuck you, life.

When I got home from the vet I check on my husband, who was sad but all right. Then, I dug a grave. My husband watched from the upper balcony as I plunged the square shovel into the softened dirt over and over until it was big enough for my buddy buddy boy. I laid Oreo’s body in the ground, tucking him in tight, and covering him with cold, moist dirt. All over my hands, under my fingernails, smudged on my face, soaking through my clothes.

Yep. I dug a grave today.

My only thought is how much I envy Oreo. No more pain. No more doubt. No more injustice. No more cruelty.

Just peace.

I dug a grave today.
I only wish it had been my own.

~ by omgrey on January 25, 2013.

28 Responses to “I dug a grave today.”

  1. That’s horrible. I’m so sorry.

  2. I’m devastated after reading your latest post. You have been through so much and to have had family members betray you in such an awful way just makes me sick. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so very sorry. You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank you, Renee. It makes me sick, too. Furious.

      My ability to trust has been so shaken these past few years, and I find that no matter how little trust I offer, it’s still too much.

      Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. xo

  3. I’m wondering if your “tea-drinking douchebag” rapist and mine are the same person….

  4. I thought about hitting the Like this button… but, how can I like this? I am horrified! I have not been on your site in months. I have been out of work for 5 years and do not always have access to the Internet like I used to. But, that is nothing compared to your loss.

    I have experienced some horrific things in my life of 60 years… but, no matter how close some of my pain is to your it is not the same and never will be… other than the feeling of utter hopelessness and desire to just close me eyes… for good.

    I will not pander or placate you. I respect you and at this time I am still crying in outrage as much as in sorrow. You are one of the first Steampunkers I found on the web and I have always delighted in reading your site and posts.

    I can no longer comment but to say, I am so sorry for your pain… and, as trite as it may sound now… I will most definitely pray for you and your hubby and household. God bless you richly and fully Olivia… I must go and find some tissues now…

    • Thank you so much for your kind, touching words. This is such a deeply genuine reply. I really appreciate it.

      It’s definitely been a rough few years. I’m starting to wonder if someone put a voodoo curse on me.

      Yet, I am so grateful for my amazing husband. For as I learn to trust less and less, I realize how very rare it is to find a trustworthy person. I’ve come to realize that if you can find *one* person you can count on to be there and not let you down (or if they do to own it and apologize sincerely for it), to love you unconditionally and accept that love from you, to face fears and insecurities together, to never abandon or forsake you, to truly trust, then you’re fucking lucky.

      I’m lucky in that way.
      Unlucky, it seems, in everything else.

      I wouldn’t trade one for the other, though. That’s for sure.

      I adore my husband, and as long as he’s alive, no matter how horrific things get, I know I can survive anything.

  5. Just what the f is he the Auctioneer of?! No celeb to us. Nor to over 97% of the rest of the population who never heard of Conventions. Let’s compare sometime. Email me. I have over 300 cursed exp.the last 25 yrs. No exaggeration.

    • These are two different people. The musician/Steampunk Celebrity and the benefit auctioneer. You’re right, they are nobodies to the bulk of the population. To me they’re perpetrators of sexual assault and rape, respectively. Any other description is meaningless.

  6. I felt my fam was cursed by this person over 90 years ago and can tell u how to get rid of it if u email me. No husband 25 years of no $. never been to europe. Never even been aunt godmother or bridesmaid. U have loving mom. I dont.15 young people i knew died by time i was 21. My cousins married 2 good men that worked in office right after i left. Man i loved married my friend. 1st car i bought with ALL my savings was totalled. 43 years old and i have never owned a new car. Lost a govt job where i could have had best benefits in country and retired at age 47. Much much more. I could go on.

  7. It’s times like this that I wish I knew what to say, but I don’t so i will just say, like many others, you are in my thoughts and from the bottom of my heart I hope things begin getting better for you and your husband.

  8. So sorry you and husband are going through such trauma, turmoil, and betrayal. The world may grow so dark and the light of a possible new day retreat beyond reach of tender hearts. Time will pass, painfully ebb and flow, and then from a small corner of your world renewal of strength emerges refocusing on those dear values grown stronger to guide sensitivity, joyfulness, and gratitude. My prayers are with you.

    • Thank you, Steven. The kindness in your words touch me. I’m sorry too, and I’m already more resilient after this past year of horror. My husband is my rock and I am his. We’ll get through this just fine.


  9. I don’t have any words, but I can listen if you need to talk.

    Keeping you in my thoughts.

    • Thank you, sweetie. I’m remarkably okay today. I miss my boy. Still, my husband is doing so much better than expected. The betrayal sits hard, and it won’t be something I can forget nor forgive.

      • It shouldn’t be. Sometimes, ‘turning the other cheek’ is condoning wrong doing. Forgiveness has no place here.

        I’m glad to hear your husband is doing well.

      • Agreed!! I just wrote something similar in the comments on the Commitmentphobe post.

        I’m starting to think that this “forgiveness” thing is way to normalize and excuse abuse.

        No more.

        Right now, my anger is protecting me. Had I been more trusting of myself and my gut, rather than so concerned about their feelings, a recurring theme for me, Oreo might still be alive. At the very least, he wouldn’t have suffered that horrific ordeal.

  10. it is indeed a viscious world and feeling like being dead is not unwarranted. except that there are other choices — like war. war against those relatives, war against the patriarchy and those who benefit. so while YOU have my sympathy and full support, please stop singing the praises of your man. he is male, and we cant defend ourselves in a war by singling out those ea of us choses to make an exception to the rule. i believe hitler had those who loved him too, eva braun perhaps, and it is ONLY history that has made him a villian. he was hero enough at the time — it’s all pespective. but please,please from the bottom of our hearts, love whom you want, but stop publicly praising members of the enemy camp.

    • Never.

      It seems you just compared my husband to Hitler.

      Not okay.

      I’m really so sorry that you don’t have even one person you can trust. I can understand why you’re so angry.

      I truly know how lucky I am to have my husband, because I trust him completely.

      I’m not in a war against an entire gender. I’m in a war against misogynists, abusers, and rapists. Granted, most of them are men, but I’ve met women who are as abusive and misogynistic.

      In fact, the one responsible for my dog was a woman. The one who publicly spoke out against me the loudest regarding my rape last year was a woman.

      Plus, I really don’t appreciate being told what to do on my own blog. If you’re so unhappy with my content, stop reading.

      I will not tolerate one more comment openly disparaging my husband.

      I’m quite serious.

      Be respectful or leave.

  11. […] that, but I’m doing okay! Even with my husband’s serious accident last month and the tragic, untimely loss of my sweet buddy boy, Oreo, I’m doing remarkably […]

  12. […] now, I’m isolated from further pain, as much as anyone can be. Until I heal completely, that’s how I’ll stay. I’ve come to realize that the […]

  13. Just offering my positive thoughts and kind wishes, I know you will Persevere and thrive, In time

    • Thank you so much!!

      It’s been three weeks already, believe it or not. I miss my boy.

      My husband is doing very well, though. So much better than expected.

      And we adopted a new boy who needed a good home. His name is Buster.

      I so appreciate your kindness.


  14. […] my husband was in a near-fatal accident. About two weeks after I wrote this, I came home to find my dog nearly dead because I trusted the wrong person, again. Those two traumatic events set me back a bit, but about a month after I wrote this poem, […]

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