Esther Tela Free speaks

You woke me up

All these things that I have done

Its hard to look back and see the progress when you are in the midst of a change.

April 29, 2016 I was taken to the Adventist hospital in the midst of liver, kidney and respiratory failure. They couldn’t take me which I find really ironic when I pass their billboards that tout how wonderful their ER is. Instead I ended up at Kaiser in Clackamas county. I should have stayed in Portland, and I will regret the fact that I had no say in my treatment or where I was taken and that once again my ex-husaband made a decision that will have repurcussions to my dying day.

That isn’t the focus of this post though. The focus of this post is to remind myself how far I’ve come from then. See, when I was taken into the hospital I weighed 335 pounds. All my life I had been called fat. People would yell ‘fat ass’ out the window of their car when I would walk down the street.. On the phish (that band from vermont that some of you might know) newsgroup rec.music.phish (newsgroups were the precursor to Facebook groups I suppose). But the difference is there was absolutely no moderation what-so-ever. It was the wild wild west of communities and I was a pretty well – known poster as I had either a job where I could be online all day, or I wasn’t working so I spent almost all day, every day online posting about Phish. I somehow gained a troll (i would find out later that it was a large group of people acting as one signle troll) who would write stories about me eating people. And make fun of the fact that my health had deteriorated into me needing a wheelchair just to go to a live music concert. The bullying continued into my 30s until I eventually had to leave that internet community that I had thought was accepting of all people but would actually be one of the most creul and unforgiving communities I’ve ever encountered on the internet and I’ve been part of an online community or two, or three for over 22 years now.

I digress.

Now, I’m 100 lbs down. Yup. I’m outing my weight on the internet. I weigh 235 pounds. And I wear a size 12 in some clothes and in others I wear a 3x depending on the manufacturer of the item. How on earth is anyone supposed to feel normal wearing such an array of different sizes? Epecially in a society that places so much value on that damn number. How is anyone who is self-conscious in any way supposed to live with themselves and their weight when our clothing manufacturers won’t even give us a regular size. Now guys clothing is measured in inches. You know the waist size. You know the length and that is the way it is no matter who makes the clothes. Talk about a punch to the face. To me it seems as just another way to control us.

I digress again.

I decided a few months ago to let someone move in as a roommate. I let him stay for free for a few months. I wanted to see how we got along. I wanted to open myself up to a new person. Well that fell apart the other day. I no longer felt safe with him in the house and had to run. I had to walk down the block, call for a Lyft and go pick up my car that had been impounded when I suffered multiple anxiety attacks and memory issues relating to the PTSD and anxiety that I can now trace back to my early childhood. That brings me to mom. A mom Who decided to tell me that because i pushed away this roommate, that meant I had no friends. Never mind the 15 messages on messenger that I recieved when I let people know I had to create a whole new fb profile. It’s amazing what the internet does to people. For people like me, it can destroy them with just one sentence. For others, like zev for one, or Bee for another, and even darryl yes, I know you are all behind things. I know there are others involved too, but that won’t last forever. Karma is a real thing. A very. real. thing. And you’d better get ready to face YOUR demons because I’m facing mine right now, every single day when I wake up and I hurt. When I sit for 15 minutes and can barely move after that 15 minutes because the stiffness is so bad.

I have digressed again.

Honestly I guess I’ve lost focus on what this entry was supposed to be about. I guess it’s about freedom. The freedom to be who I want without my mom telling me that I have no friends. When I disappeared a few weeks ago due to some circumstances almost completely out of my own control, I was found with one shoe and sock and a bare foot on the corner of Division Street. The police found me, put me in an AMR ambulance (mind you this is the 2nd or 3rd time these wonderful folks have, oh wait, it may even be the 4th time that they have come to my rescue when it’s been a life-threatening situation). See, I suffer from, wait again, I don’t like to use the word suffer. I have anxiety (and PTSD) and Im despartaley trying to control it without relying on medications.

There we go. It’s out now. I have PTSD from an alcoholic father and a controlling mother who wants nothing but to dangle my strings in life like the puppets in a kids theater. It’s from the bullying that began in 3rd grade that continues to this day when I went to the Coldplay concert and I realized that SOMEHOW, some of these people KNEW that popcorn was a trigger. Somehow they KNEW the things that triggered me to have a panic attack. I may never know how that was the case. I will just continue to look down at the love button that some of you may have recieved if you were at that Concert. From what I have been able to glean, not everyone got one of those buttons.

She told me this morning, after I had called her to let her know I was safe. She told me I hard pushed away the only friends I had. Because I didn’t let this man, a person I did NOT feel comfortable with, stay living in my home. She didn’t believe me that I had been able to procure my car from the impound lot. She just sounded pissed. After being missing for a few days, maybe even a week total, Then reappearing. Then disappearing again, she was pissed. WTF mom. What. Is. Wrong. With. You. You didn’t teach me how to handle my emotions. You came from the school of push those emotions deep deep inside and dont let anyone see you cry. Not ever. There’s no crying in baseball afterall.

Needless to say, this posting has jumped all over the place. I started it because I’m going to try and lose another 50 lbs and today I downloaded an app to keep track of my calories. That’s how I lost the first 100 lbs. I found out how many calories I burn at the weight I’m at and then I ate less. I didn’t even excersize. I am doing bother now. It’s different now though because I have a goal. I want to tour with a band. I want to find a band that will take me on to help them in some way. Whether it’s to drive the van, or even just make some home cooked food while at the hotel. It may be a pipe dream, but it’s my dream. And i’m going to keep fighting to make that dream come true.

I started watching a youtube red documentary about Lindsay Sterling tonight. The dancing violinist. I had never heard of her before, well at least not that I can remember and she is someone that I admire greatly. She is fighting a food issue just as much as I am fighting one. (She’s also facing the death of her father which is something I dealt with at the age of 21) I have a tendency to eat my feelings. When I’m sad, I want pizza. When I’m happy, I want pizza. I would eat pizza for every meal of the day if I could. And trust me, I have before, for months at a time. That was how I got up to 335 pounds. I was stuck in a loveless marriage that had died right around the day before our wedding in 2004. Don’t get me wrong. We had grand times. But I had followed in my mother’s footsteps and found myself in an abusive relationship. I can’t go in depth into that part of my life until the divorce is final. I will get into that one day though. So keep an eye out on the blog. I finally got out of the marriage a few months ago and the moment I recieved that restraining order my life began down a path that I am happy to say is probably some of the best times I’ve ever had. I have hope that the next few days will cement a future. A future that I have been dreaming of. Some of that will require hard work. I used to walk almost every night. But I slacked off. Gained some weight and today I put myself back on that path to getting healthier. I really do love green beans! I really do love tofu. OMG a tofu scramble? Yes please! Scrambled cheesy eggs? Yup. Throw me that protein. I’ll eat it.

“it’s time” as the announcer before an MMA fight would say. It’s time for me to start the rest of my life. And I hope that includes you” I may have even prayed that it would include you.

Oh I forgot to mention one thing. I exist in pain. Chronic pain. It hits when I least expect it. No one’s ever been able to tell my why. I just have come to accept it. After 14+ years of controlling it with opiates, I have moved forward to handling it with alternative treatments. Yoga. A TENS unit. Just plain ole fashioned grit and determination. So if you know who I am, and see me walking down the street on your neighborhood (sometimes its a button that says I heart nerds, sometimes its a button with a smiley face and a bleeding head wound and sometimes it’s a “love” button) remember that what you do, in those moments when you pass a stranger can sometimes last a lifetime. That person who yelled ‘fat ass’ out the window at me in Birmingham, Michigan has permanently damaged me and I’m betting he is proud of that. I have faith though that Karma will bring everything into balance.

Change. The only thing that’s constant in life and in reality and I’m in the midst of a big one. Watch out world. This wily fox is on the hunt, on the prowl and is ready to take on the world. And I will gosh darnit. I will.

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October 10, 2017 Posted by | abuse, anxiety, Changes, Dreams, Internship, Memories, MOF, mom, pain, phish, reality, RMP, sickness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3rd inning in a mid-season game

So in May or so, I wandered into Volume Bomb, a guitar store down the street from my house. I passed it at least once a day and had never stopped since it opened a bit ago. I saw the guy smoking on the steps and he looked harmless, and I had an itch to get a guitar (this was before Grace, my gold top showed up in my life) and I was on the hunt. I walked in after parking on the street and made my way into the dark, hushed shop that would be the change in my life I had been looking for. I picked up a white Reverend and began to strum it a little and then hung it gently back up on its rack and started to gaze around the shop. I noticed some dark, funny pins, some great patches and t-shirts and of course the coveted Orange amplifiers that always make me wrinkle my nose with joy when I see them. I chatted up the owner and he just happend to mention that there was a recording studio connected to the shop and pointed at a door right next to his chair, hidden in the wall. That’s studio B he said. I casually asked if they were looking for interns. I had previously wanted to be an intern with a local record label but that hadn’t panned out. Nor had the job for Bandcamp that I had really wanted just a month or so prior. The bearded man informed me that I should email J, the head Engineer and ask him the same question. After a little bit more conversation and an exchange of emails, I headed home and wrote an email to J right away. I had a feeling this was the right choice and boy was I right.

All my life, I had wanted to be part of the music industry but never really knew it. I focused all my schooling and energy to being a healthcare worker. But now, physically, I cannot stand for what would be required to work in that field in the way that I would want. After leaving my husband and settling into a new life, an internship is exactly what I needed. And the best part; it’s a mile from my house!

I’ve now been interning for more then a couple of months and have been trusted with a key to the place and left alone at times. I have gained a lot of courage and I will always and forever be grateful to J and G for giving me a shot.

Today, I was offered a job to go on tour out east with a band. A band that has a pretty well known booking agent. And about 1000 people per show. I dont know exactly what job I would have been doing as I mentioned that I wanted to be support on the road and was rewarded with a ‘would you like to go on tour in October?’

Sadly, ,I had to turn it down as I am traveling to the mid-west and driving my mother from Michigan to Florida at the same time tour is taking place. Perhaps though, this is just the first of many offers. I have nothing but an empty path in front of me with it heading in many directions. Which one Ill take, which one I’ll head down. I just don’t know.

The Oping was born today. An idea that popped into my head just yesterday. But it’s almost a toddler in just a short 24 hour span. I guess when I’m motivated, and find the right programs, I can finish something. And create something that didn’t exist before. Whether it will survive toddlerdom, is yet to be seen. Saturday is the big pitch to the players in the field, who will be letting me know if I”ve made a ball or strike.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Changes, Internship, The Oping, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clusterflies – Red

time to take a breather – it’s nice to make the brain work again. I’m not gonna lie. But things are starting to surface that are definitely difficult to think about. It seems as though every time there is a death, something new begins. And it seems as though change brings that about.

Staring at your walls, observing echoing footfalls…this one is for you

It was my birthday and I was turning 16. Maybe even 17. I had never had a boyfriend and I was dating Sam. He was the kindest most sweetest, most thoughtful boy I had ever met. He would set the tone for me for men, for sure, since my dad sucked.

Staring at your walls…this one is for you

He’s sleeping now. We are on totally different schedules, but that’s ok. I think he’s finally starting to get it. That there is nothing to be afraid of. It will all work out in the end the way it is supposed to. I explained my end goal the other day. I didn’t like the response I got when I told him. I was told recently that you can’t control what others do in reaciotn to you, you can only control your reaciton to them. I am really trying to put that into action every moment of my life.

So I ask you why, if I’m swimming by. Don’t you see anything that you’d like to try?

It’s still kind of fuzzy. The future. I have had a glimpse of the lighthouse’s beam and know where the rocks are but need to remember to trust myself.

Sam gave me a large, wrapped box for my birthday. I opened up the big box while sittin on the brick fireplace of my childhood home. I remember his blue eyes twinkling and the glint of the color of his hair is still a bright light in my memories. After I got the first layer of wrapping paper off the box, I realized there was another layer. It’s such a simple thing, wrapping a box, within a box, within a box. It has been over 3 decades since that present, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Things like that make a huge impact on people. I try to remember that myself. You never know when you just might make an indelible mark on another person.

From the bottom, from the top

I saw Sam at football practice and gave him a hug (I think?) And we drove away in the same direction. I had given him a mix-tape with some of my favorite songs on it. Everything from Wish you were here to sounds of silence. Sam and I pulled up at Woodward and Hickory Grove and I went one way and he went the other. He waved at me, and I can still see his big hand and glinting smile as he headed towards the mall with his little brother. Unbeknownst to me, that would be the last time I would see Sam. He would be tragically killed 15 minutes later when, not wearing his seatbelt, he ran a red light and was stuck by another car, killing him. I don’t know if this is true, but I was told by someone that that mix tape was found in the car after the accident. That might have been my first clue that music, is a little bit more then just a passing fancy.

Silent in the morning, suspended in the trees, lunchtime comes youve found your voice, it brings me to my knees.

 

 

 

March 16, 2017 Posted by | Memories, Stream of Consciousness, Trey | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stream of consciousness March 2017

Came back haunted..

Thats the best way to describe what’s going on with me. While I still retain a vast majority of my personality there is definitely a darker tinge that I can only recognize from earlier versions of myself. Seeing the path right in front of  me, there are still twists and turns and I am just hanging on for dear life. Some things can be explained. Other things can’t be. I’m flying by the seat of my pants.

I have very little memory of the days beyond thinking my life was over, seeing Ghost, and slowly starting to come back to life. In October I made the brave choice to go see Ghost and that was the first big mountain I climbed. I had a fantastic time. The staff at the Roseland were impeccable and treated me and the love with respect. The cane was a hint perhaps? It’s frustrating that without a visual aid, people just assume you are faking. I look forward to April and view what’s going on right now as a sort of a recharging station. I’m just Telafree 43.2.

The biggest trip the past few months has been the converging realities that are slowly starting to enmesh themselves in a different manifestation then I am used to. I have always believed in following signs, but have spent most of my life ignoring those signs and just doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Watching the right movies, buying the right clothes. I sought out love and received that. I would like to take that love and grow something with it. Something that will outlast us. I want to make Ralph and NJ proud of me.

After October and my achievement, I needed another goal. I have learned that I am a goal-oriented person. I need a point A and a point B. I can find my way there, that isn’t the problem. And of course it will not always be this way either. The one thing that isn’t temporary is life. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I’ve seen it with so many people. From grandpa to Sam, to me coming close the first time, my father, my grandmother, I think that’s all for right now, but that’s more then enough. I  have started helping a local charity and even if I only do one hours worth of work, it was worth it to me. What they are doing is important and whether this is a destination or just a stepping stone, I am down one path, but who knows where it will split off, and whether I’m going up, down, left or right.

 

 

 

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Stream of Consciousness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment