horror isn’t always fiction

Growing up, I have always been told a story about how my mom abducted me and my big brother. She took off to Texas with another man and took us with them. The police couldn’t find us and no one knew if we were safe for a few days. My mom called my dad to tell him we were in Dallas, but she might have to take me to the hospital because I was sick. She later changed her mind. I was in and out of the hospital my first two years of life due to severe dairy allergies, so a hospital trip was common. My uncle and Grandma went to Texas to get us. We had been badly abused.

This story comes from my dad’s side. It sounded too much like a movie plot to be true. I’ve always been bothered by this, but no one will talk about it. It’s too painful for my dad and my mom just refuses to give me any answers about anything.

Tonight, I found the truth. I found court records, while looking for my parents divorce decree.

Read through these pages. You will see the answers she has refused me all these years.

Here is the story of the parental abduction of me and my brother:

ken

My stepdad, Kenneth Shank, existed and I loved him. He committed suicide on August 16, 2006. Every concrete memory I had of him was lost in my divorce. They were in a special box that belonged to my ex husband where we kept things like that safe. I haven’t seen them in years. All I have is a driver’s license picture now.

He loved AC/DC and we bonded over the band. I had met him a few times during visitations as a teenager, but when my biological mom signed us away to my real mom, the visits stopped. When I turned 18, the first thing I did was contact them. Ken and I grew close. He was a great role model, loved by many. He was a career custodian at the former St Joseph’s Hospital in Hot Springs. He did his job with love too. He knew his job was important and he was passionate about it. He would tell me stories of the joy and pain he witnessed in the hallways there. Some moments never leave you.

We went on vacation to Blanchard Springs and the Buffalo River that summer. Even when the car started overheating, it was still such a fun adventure. I remember going to the lake and getting a severe sunburn all over my body. Ken showed up late at night when I got home and brought me a sunburn survival kit. It helped ease the misery.

Ken volunteered at the Oasis, handing out food to the less fortunate. He gave his time and his energy to help others. I remember about two weeks before his death, I went up there. He was taking me to buy new shoes because I was 19, had no car, and walking to work just to be on my feet all through my shift. There was a man there who was having a hard time mentally and Ken had stepped aside to talk with him after the food service was over. That man left with a happier demeanor. Then we went shoe shopping.

He was going through a lot with his boys but he never let his personal battles prioritize over someone else’s.

I never knew he was struggling that way. He was always so happy and gave the world such joy.

He called me Rocker and I called him Pops. He knew I had the best dad anyone could have had and he never tried to force the father figure on me. It came naturally, but it was different than I expected. I was angry with my parents at the time and Ken would always remind me of how much they loved me. He would say things about tomorrow not being promised and encouraged me to mend things as soon as I was ready. Little did I know that tomorrow really wasn’t promised.

On the evening of August 15, 2006, I was at work at No Clothes downtown Hot Springs. He called me there. We were busy so I rushed him off the phone. He called again two more times. I told him I would call him after work. I was so exhausted after walking home from my shift that I went to sleep.

The very next phone call I received was the call from my grandmother, telling me that he had shot himself in his bathtub.

home

I was released from the hospital yesterday.  I learned so much about my condition while I was in there.  I learned what I need to do to get better and how to do it.  A lot of self love is involved.  That’s what’s missing in my life. 

I don’t have much to write tonight. I’m tired.  I journaled during my entire stay, so eventually I’ll type it all out for a blog post to share with y’all. 

Thank you for the positive thoughts and prayers sent to me this week. I definitely needed them. 

published and hospitalized

One of my blog posts was published on The Mighty. That’s exciting for me. I’m also going acute inpatient for suicidal urges and self harming. I am going in today.  I’ll be back soon.  I’m sure I’ll do some writing while I’m there, so maybe I’ll return with a masterpiece lol!  

plath and paxil

I’ve read it more times than I can count.  Each time I open the front cover, I can’t turn away from the pages.  This time was no different.  I didn’t stop reading until the book ended.  Esther Greenwood’s​transformation from wallflower to woman with no fucks to give always makes me feel better about myself​.   The shit she battled was horrible, but I love the courage that her demons gave her.   This book also reminds me to thank science because untrained assholes performing shock therapy isn’t the treatment trend for people like me anymore!  

Every time I read it, I have the urge to get I am. I am. I am. tattooed on me 😂😂😂

acceptance

I’ve spent 11 years running from my diagnosis. I’ve tried to conceal my truth, hoping I could will it away.  I didn’t want it.  My biological mother has it and she abandoned her children.  I’m nothing like her, so it’s not possible that I have borderline personality disorder.  

I’ve been seeing my current therapist for a little over a year now.  Let’s call him Wolverine, because he has a beard like a lumberjack and who wouldn’t want to be part of X-Men?!  Wolverine was aware of my previous diagnosis and my feelings about it on our first visit. He’s been very respectful and has not pushed it. I have tried to hold back, but the man is very good at calling me on my bullshit. Over the last few months, he’s brought up the word borderline.  Tonight, I had another episode.  My husband texted Wolverine (I giggle every time I type that out and if you’re reading this, at least I picked an awesome mutant for you!) We ended up on speakerphone. The conclusion is that if I want to get better, I can’t ignore it anymore.  I want to get better, so I am acknowledging my truth.  Wolverine and Josh, thank you for not leaving when I’ve tried to push you both far away.

My name is Erika and I live with BPD. 

home

That’s the view of Lake Ouachita from my campsite. I took an impromptu trip back home for Mother’s Day camping. I love it out here. The kids are gathering wood while I get the fire going.  I did the same with my dad out here many times when I was a child. 

Truth is, they’re playing in the water.  

We needed this. 


I needed this.