Busy few weeks and some crappy real life stuff.

I am going to put this all out there at once. It’s crazy and bipolar and makes my heart and brain hurt, but it’s all life. And everyone is dealing with something.

First of all, beginning of May two of my kids and their spouses and Ken and I were able to meet down in SE Ohio at Hocking Hills for a couple days of awesome hiking, campfires, grilling, hot-tubbing and fun. That was great.

IMG_3197Nice Smartwool socks.

IMG_3223IMG_3285Such a great weekend!

Then, Memorial weekend. A lot of the family was able to make it to north Michigan to help my dad put the docks and boats into the lake. It was a great family weekend. Also, Aaron was able to bring Zeek and we took Ellie up for their first lake experience. That was a lot of fun.

IMG_3385IMG_3391IMG_3404My mom’s second great-grandson, Gavyn. Ellie loved him.

So, the weekend was fine.

Real life crap. Minor….a raccoon killed three of my chickens in the last two days. We live trapped it last night. That was the biggest effin’ raccoon I have ever seen. It probably weighed 40 pounds and it dug about 10 pounds of dirt into the trap with it while trying to escape. I drove it far away and released it this morning. In the never-ending fog of rain and mosquitoes.

Real life crap, major.  My parents asked to come over to talk to us one night. They told me that my brother, 53 years old, with prior “improper touching” arrest (nice euphemism) for abuse of his daughter and a neighbor girl 17 years ago, has now been caught with child porn on his computer and is going to prison for at least 10 years. Actual sentence is 12-13 years. This guy (my brother) had an excellent up-bringing. My sister and I shared that and our parents were very churchy, but otherwise fantastic parents. He is married, has two married children and two beautiful grandsons. This caused me to think that he was probably at a point in his life where his past was past and the best part of his life was coming up.

Wrong. So, after the initial shock and a lot of suffering on behalf of my parents (who probably won’t live to see their son out of prison) and, of course, the pain caused to his wife, children and grandchildren, NOT to mention whatever evil has actually been done to any children that no one knows of…..I am glad he is going to prison. Actually, he is glad, too. He said he belongs there.

So…I didn’t want to blog it at first, but I don’t like secrets. And this is not exactly something that will be kept secret, no matter what. So, that’s what’s been on my mind for the past three weeks.

A lot of good and some really bad.

And that’s life in a nutshell.

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65 Responses to Busy few weeks and some crappy real life stuff.

  1. Glad you had the good weekends (Ellie is BIG!! Does Orion mess with her anymore, lol.).

    Glad you got the coon out of the area.

    As to the other – well, everyone has someone in their family … and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

  2. Emmy says:

    Oh good heavens Lauri, that is beyond awful for your family. I am so sorry. I think as Vox peeps we’ve all known each other long enough that we share everything we need to and we’re all so close. You have our support, no doubt.

    On another note, what stunning photos. It looks like a tropical forest! And the waterfall, so amazing.

    • Lauri says:

      It’s a really great place to hike, Emmy! So completely different from the rest of Ohio! (I mean, it’s nice, but it’s not so canyon-y or tropical and mossy!

      Yeah, I don’t feel like my brother’s problems are anything to hide. It’s almost as bad as it gets, but without my awesome parents he probably would have been a murderer, so there’s that. 😛

      • Emmy says:

        Absolutely right. His behavior is no doubt some type of pathology and nothing to do with any of you. Except the pain he’s causing, at least he seemed to recognize that.

        The photos remind me of some Andean cloud forest!

  3. tom says:

    ((((hugs)))) That’s horrible news to hear about your brother–and that your parents have to live with that on their minds. He does belong in prison, but still, you wish it could just never have happened in he first place. A lot of people love you, and we send the best of whatever we can your way. Lovin’ you.. t

  4. marsboo says:

    More good then bad…that is a plus. Yes,your brother is a selfish
    SOB. My brother in law who did the same finally died. Either way, the hurt they caused is inexcusable. I am sorry. But as everyone knows, there is always one in a family.dammit you are brave in sharing,and it will help you heal in the long run. But your mom and dad…there are no words. 😦

    • Lauri says:

      So true, Mar. Selfish is one of the huge words. His children…how are they supposed to incorporate that into their lives? Pleah.

      I’m glad your BIL has left the planet. Sounds cruel, but really….these kind of people…..need to leave.

  5. crankypants says:

    *hugs* That is awful. Some people’s wiring is just messed up and it’s a sickness no perfect upbringing could have prevented. Not to justify anything but it’s probably why he’s glad he’s going away.
    But I’m glad your kids and husband and critters (besides the chickens :() are okay. I was afraid there was something bad there. Well raccoons are evil buggers and I’m glad you at least got that big monster out of your way.

    • Lauri says:

      Thanks, cranks. That is how we are “explaining” it to ourselves. Some wiring gone bad in the brain.
      And in so many ways he is/was/always has been such a great person. Always helping others. As my dad said “If he was a rotten SOB all the time, it wouldn’t be so hard to take.”

      We set the live trap up again tonight in case there are more evil buggers out there.

  6. Redscylla says:

    Man, life just has a way of sucker punching you. As Cranky says a good upbringing and a good family just can’t prevent certain wiring problems. Hugs to you and family.

    • Lauri says:

      So true, Redz. My mom said that she thought things like this were only in families with abuse. Well, we certainly learned otherwise. It’s good that the rest of the family is all in “support” his family mode.

  7. It’s horrible for your family to have to deal with your brother’s arrest and imprisonment: but remember, in the end it’s all on him. It’s difficult, I know, but sometimes in order to survive crap like that, you have to emotionally divorce yourself from that person.

    The trip to Ohio looks fun! I keep forgetting that Ohio and other parts of the Midwest were once frontier, and there are still many wild places there. (I’ve been working with fifth graders in US geography. It’s been fun rediscovering facts about our country!) Glad you had a good time with family.

    You were nicer to that raccoon that I would have been. Big raccoons are especially scary; I probably would have handed it over to our local animal control, though I know they euthanize raccoons rather than release them back into the wild. 😦

    • Lauri says:

      I couldn’t kill the nasty bugger. And I even worried that it was a mama with babies to feed, but geez o pete, I couldn’t let it keep killing chickens!

      Yes, as my daughter keeps reminding me when I plunge into the depths of despair, he has it coming (prison) and there is no one to blame but him. Selfish bastard.

  8. e2thec says:

    Trip sounds great, but a forty pound raccoon!!!I didn’t know they got anywhere near that big, and, like HG, I don’t know that I’d have been as merciful as you were.

    As for your brother, I don’t know that *anything* can be done about pedophiles except putting them in places where they have no access to kids. I feel bad for your folks and you and extended family, and especially for everyone your brother harmed. Unfortunately, a lot of religious people are REALLY naive when it comes to pedophiles – am all too aware of this, due to circumstances I won’t detail here. But I’m relieved to hear that he’s been sentenced.

    • Lauri says:

      It’s such a weird thing, and the rest of us have a hard time wrapping our heads around it. (thank goodness for that!)
      But, I am feeling good myself…just feeling bad for his family…but we will all be there to support them.

  9. HUGE hugs to you for what you and your family have been through.

    I’m grateful that you’re having good times, too. Those photos are fantastic!

    Moar hugs.

  10. I am sure your family is not the only one to suffer such heart break, Sad around.

    • Lauri says:

      Thanks, FD. It’s sadly very common. Nice if someone could come up with a drug for it.
      I would recommend castration, but no one listens to me.

      • e2thec says:

        IUnfortunately, castration (chemical or physical) seems to be largely ineffective. It seems that many who’ve undergone chemical castration continue to abuse, so…

        I can’t even begin to understand what drives people to pedophilia.

        • Lauri says:

          I have heard that castration doesn’t help. So it’s not just about sex. Whatever it IS about, it is sure messed up. 😦

          • e2thec says:

            I think seriously messed-up wiring is part of it – I mean, all libido and desire for love is focused on children, not on consenting adults. So unless/until some reasonably effective way of “rewiring” is found, I honestly think pedophiles need to be separated from any/all potential contact w/children.

            Those who are truly pained by these desires often say they know they will never be able to stop, and that the impulses are extremely hard to control.

            While I don’t want anyone to send these people to a gulag, I just cannot think of any way that they can remain in society w/out irreparable harm to others. Surely there *has* to be something that’s doable, because I don’t think our justice and penal systems are equipped to deal with this.

  11. madtante says:

    That’s not bipolar, that’s the way life is if you’re leading is WELL. You are still going out, doing things and enjoying life. Then, there’s shitty stuff. Well, then again, this is me talking and I was totally effed up since childhood. I had a CRIMINALLY ABUSIVE (improper touching ain’t gonna cover it) childhood by multiple people and wasn’t rescued–though my mammy did what she could, by moving in basically next door to try to curb damage.


    I love the action shots and my favourite is the one where you’re (they’re) all on the trail. That’s a GREAT one! Also, the dogs on the dock are too cute.

    As to the coon, I’d kill the fucker but that’s me. They will always come back. I’m not sure if you got it away far enough — maybe. If it was a female at that size, she may have kits and taking her away killed them slowly. Just saying. You’ve probably drastically cut the population in the area one way or another. Killing her would do the same but you’d have to be able to do that. When something has killed my girls, I really don’t have a problem. I don’t kill for sport or fun but you kill my babies? I’m a scary ranch hillbilly.

    See who’s crazy? ::sigh::

    I’m sorry for you and your loved ones and I hope brother’s being locked away will free up some childhoods around him. Nobody deserves even a fraction of what I went through. I don’t know what causes that and I have more direct experience than most. In one case, I can tell you 100% the worst sexual predator I had to deal with was never sexually abused.

    • Lauri says:

      I shudder to think what you went through, Lily. And look at you. Talk about strong and loving life.
      Being that kind of crazy is a good thing!

      I’m not thinking about the raccoon possibly having babies. *fingers in ears* Lalalalalala.

      • madtante says:

        My way would’ve need up the same but when we get a BIG one, it’s usually a sow.

        • Lauri says:

          Guess who showed up last night in the FRONT yard (where raccoons are allowed) looking for catfood and birdseed? It was Little Mama, who raised six babies two years ago and ate out of my front yard trees and never harmed a chicken.
          I hurried out with food and she chowed down….so she has babies (third year in a row!!!).

          I suppose it was one of her hulking sons who gobbled up my chickens.

          I know feeding them makes it worse, but I am friends with this little scruffy girl. Can’t help it.

          • madtante says:

            Ever see ‘Grizzly Man?’ 8-p. I get it. Deer are extremely destructive and we’ve had HERDS (in the teens) here–still do but now lower, not pushing 20 at a time in the garden.

            I love venison but butchering a deer takes about 2 ppl to get it done in a few hours (by hand) and 1 runner (helper/ washer). It’s a pain and can’t just be done on a whim (for culling), so we let ’em stay–and complain.

            Spike lets some AHOLE neighbours have ours but they’re city transplants who didn’t grow up knowing you DONT take half a herd of wild animals. So, we have fewer.

  12. Laurie says:

    What a hard thing to have to tell people, Larui, I’m so sorry for the upheaval in your family. I hope the fact that he’s finally taking some accountability is helping. Sounds like you are doing the things that bring you joy in this midst of this, your kids, nature, dogs, etc in various combinations. So sorry for the little chick-ons, though.

    • Lauri says:

      My poor sister has a 10 year old, an 8 year old and a 5 year old. She is asking ME “What do I tell the kids?”
      I haven’t quite come up with anything other than “He broke the law.” yet. I mean, I told my kids about the first incident 17 years ago because, of course, I wanted them to be aware.
      I can’t even remember how I told them.
      I’ll have to ask them.

  13. jaklumen says:

    It’s crazy and bipolar

    I’m crazy and bipolar, so that’s right up my alley… oh wait.

    So…I didn’t want to blog it at first, but I don’t like secrets.

    They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, right?

    And this is not exactly something that will be kept secret, no matter what.

    Yep, stuff like this can’t stay in the dark. Why do I say this? Well, because it affected Cimmorene and I quite personally. Thankfully, no abuse was involved. I talked to an old family friend, and, well, the matter had leaked out before the investigation. I don’t feel I’m quite at liberty to say more; that would be Cimmy’s call at best (because it concerns her side of the family). But, things are better comparatively– I don’t think there’s any danger as the individual has been working hard on it. I’m sorry to hear that doesn’t seem to be the case for your brother, but at least he acknowledges the consequences, yeah?

    • Lauri says:

      I’m crazy and a bit bipolar, too! But, that’s in a good way for us.

      I do feel good having put it out here. It’s sickening, it’s ugly, but damn it, plenty of people (way too many) have to deal with stuff like this all the time, so it’s not something to hide from.

      He does acknowledge the consequences. He refused to allow a trial because he didn’t want to make any of his family have to testify.

      • jaklumen says:

        A bit like a festering splinter, maybe?

        That’s good news about your brother, I guess– I’ve read that criminal court trials are very traumatic for families and it’s good that he was willing to spare you and your family that.

  14. kimkiminy says:

    I’m glad you shared. Being a survivor of childhood incest at the hands of my father, I’m glad to see Bro is going to jail. I’ve heard, however, that there is no effective psychological treatment for pedophilism.

    • Lauri says:

      This has become very clear to us over the last 17 years. (that there is no real treatment). I wonder if any research has even been done? My god, it is SO widespread, you would think someone would be working on the brain chemicals involved or something. Ugh.

      I am SO sorry you were a victim, too. It is way too common, but I think it’s better to have it all out in the open.

      • e2thec says:

        i think the fact that it simply wasn’t talked about until the past few decades is one of the reasons that there’s been so little progress, with pharma research and also with any other approaches to management/treatment.

        May that change, and swiftly!

        • Lauri says:

          Yes, e. Please let it change.
          And we still have these idiot bishops (of course, I saw this on Facebook) saying “I didn’t know having sex with children was against the law.”) Urgh. I would do much better to just stay off of FB…..way too many idiots heard from.

          • e2thec says:

            I know (idiot bishops and all).

            I limit my interactions on FB to a handful of friends, and most of my feed has pics of bunnies and gps and other animals, which suits me just fine. I rarely see controversial stuff there, and go out of my way to avoid it. This past week, one of my fellow house bun peeps was in Morocco, and I really enjoyed all of the pics she posted. (Included some cool shots of camels.)

  15. stevebetz says:

    Glad for the hiking and the dog play — that always warms my heart. Sorry to hear that your family is going through that with your brother. I can’t imagine how your folks must feel.

    • Lauri says:

      I can’t either, Steve. But, when I to imagine it I feel pretty bad. They are as befuddled as the rest of us. And they didn’t do anything to deserve this.

  16. amyhftw says:

    Wow – that’s tough about your brother. I think it was on “This American Life” recently where a boy talked about how he recognized he was a pedophile and started going to a therapist and has taken efforts to not do any harm, but it’s always there. He just knows it won’t go away and doesn’t want to act on it because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Fascinating.

    The photos are gorgeous.

    • Lauri says:

      That is interesting, Amy. I wondered if there was anywhere that one could go and say “I feel this urge to do something wrong, how can you help me stop it.” It would take a heck of a lot of courage and you would have to be very determined to find the right person to help you. A couple of months ago my brother found a therapist who is wonderful. If he had been able to talk to this guy sooner he might not have fallen back into trouble.

  17. *big hug for the bad stuff* That’s awful. 😦 I know that doesn’t even begin to describe things, but still. Ugh…
    Glad you’ve had some fun though! Helps even things out a little bit. And Smartwool socks..gotta love them 😀

  18. ((((hugs)))) Love the pictures, sorry to hear about the hurt your family is going through!

  19. GOF says:

    That is a beautiful part of the world with the track leading up through the boulders. Spending time like this with family is the best part of life. I’m so sorry for you and your family about the other business. The abuse of children in any way is beyond my understanding.

    • Lauri says:

      We had such a great time that weekend!

      If my mind even tries to approach any understanding of the abuse of children I just have to back away. My brain cramps up and there is no getting my mind around it.

  20. i really appreciate and admire you for putting it all out there. the good, the bad, and the kinda ugly. takes courage to talk about your life this way. its true, we all go through and deal with what life throws our way. my prayers are with you and your family. Patricia.

  21. leendadll says:

    no words for the family situation
    a few hours ago i learned that we’ve upgraded from racoons – a coyote has been spotted running down my street. makes me very worried for my outdoor-at-night kitties (MeowMeow and Adam), especially since I had a weird feeling about a coyote being out last night – and now I know I was probably right. neighbors who saw the coyote also saw a single cat arm/paw in a yard a couple weeks ago. i can get MeowMeow in at night but Adam gets REALLY bitchy/noisy when he can’t get out.

    • Lauri says:

      AAAACK. A single cat paw in the yard. NOT good.
      That really is a worry. Our cats go out at night a lot of times, too. It’s impossible to keep them in. And I have had three (over almost 30 years) that have not come home. I wondered if it was coyotes, owls, even fur trappers (GAD)….I know that Darwin probably was killed by the neighbors cutting hay. He was seen over there early in the morning.

      Well….we do the best we can. They loved their lives every minute.

      • leendadll says:

        that’s pretty much the attitude i have to take too – love them all i can and pray they aren’t seen by the coyote. cars and mean people worry me enough… sucks to add “death by mauling” to the list

  22. msmouse7 says:

    Great hiking pictures. One cannot go wrong with SmartWool socks. I wear them in the winter with my Birkenstocks. Weird, I know.
    Darn raccoon, eating your babies.
    Wow, sorry to hear about your brother. That has got to be tough. I am glad he is in jail and cannot harm others. Unfortunately, he has already harmed people, including you and other family members. Stay strong; he is not you.
    Good grief, Ellie is getting big!

  23. Inga says:

    First off, how brave and sincere of you to write about your brother. You never know who you may have helped by sharing your experience. I’m so sorry you and your family have to go through this!

    What beautiful forest! Although it kinda looks like a bear’s going to come trundling out at any moment. Are there bears in that region? Everyone’s always carrying on about how dangerous Australia is, but seriously…YOU GUYS HAVE BEARS.

    • Lauri says:

      Thanks, Inga. I met my parents this morning for breakfast and it hurts so bad to see them struggling to adjust. My brother goes to prison this coming Tuesday so they are spending as much time with him as they can.
      Very difficult to deal with.

  24. doranyc says:

    Woah, dude. That is really heavy. I’m sorry to hear it (and that I’m just now checking in!). Justice is being served, finally, from what you’ve said I can’t tell if he served any time for what he did 17 years ago.

    Wonderful photos of your trip! ❤ That waterfall is something else!

    • Lauri says:

      He had five years probation and counseling 17 years ago.

      Yeah, it feels pretty bad right now, with his family spending their last few days with him.

      We’re all pretty much numb, I guess. We will all adjust.

  25. AuntieBellum says:

    Beautiful photos!

    😦 about your brother, though. No particular sympathy for *him* but lots for the family.

  26. SingingTuna says:

    Oh, geez…………..Lauri…………….((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))
    So much crummy. 😦
    But the non-crummy is super!! Gorgeous places hiked and wonderful family times. I hope you have lots and lots and lots more!!
    Orion is 142lbs?? That’s a whole person!!!!!!!

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