The Hospital & PTSD

I never knew America could ruin my emotional well-being to such a degree. I live in fear when it comes to my children, and I’m sick and tired of the northeast – New Jersey and Pennsylvania – and the surrounding states.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s beautiful out here, but that applies only to the land. I’m hesitant to say that about the people I have to deal with, and definitely not a shred of the politics. I am also sick and tired of the west coast as well – places like California and Colorado – who with all their people of Holier-Than-Thou concepts and laws have corporations as dirty as the Drug Cartels.

Actually, I think the Drug Cartels may still be more upstanding than these corporations. And they have better healthcare and benefits than we do by about a thousand times…

*deep breath*

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My Birthday Gift

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This year, in celebration of Closet Souls Chronicles that I was working on, as well as fulfilling my outdoor geek, my dear husband gifted this in its entirety on my birthday. Everything you see in the pictures were in the Maxpedition THERMITE™ VERSIPACK® pack.

I had wanted to post this a while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to take pictures until this morning.

Thanks, Love. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to use it on a trail soon. I might need a Darth Vader mask though lest the pollen strangles me.


Much Love, Dear.

❤ ❤ ❤

“Break Me into Pieces” Chapter 3

No, it was a threat. More than that, it was a promise.


This is it, the last intallment of the memoir — “Break Me into Pieces.”

I had not expected this thing to turn into a novella. This section is about 9,000 words, and that brings the whole story together to just under 30,000 words. I feel like I’ve written about ten times that, to be honest, because this journey has been absolutely draining.

But it is finished. And I have to say I’ll probably never venture into this again. I’ll stick with fiction, thanks.

There were more tears being dripped onto my keyboard on this last segment than the second one, believe it or not, because I had to face the questions that had been sealed in desperation.

My most humble thanks and gratitude to those who have helped me on this journey – whether it’s by being there for me, reading what I wrote, sharing it with others, or just a simple email and/or comment that passed on sympathy and love.

So, without further ado, “Break Me into Pieces”.


Much, much love — Lavender Wynter

“Break Me into Pieces” Chapter 2

This isn’t about the facts, I reminded myself. It’s about how the facts are interpreted.

Hi Folks,

I am sticking my foot outside my Cave of Everlasting Silence to bring you the second installment (out of three) of the memoir — “Break Me into Pieces.”

I hope all of you didn’t find the first installment too tedious to wade through. This one is longer at over 12,000 words, but the whole story really was about the interaction between DYFS and myself.

We won’t talk about my annoying habit of being overly wordy.


So, without further ado, “Break Me into Pieces”.

The last installment will hopefully get posted on the 22nd.

*Crosses fingers*

Last, BUT NOT LEAST, I just wanted to thank those of you who have read the story. Some of you even passed it on. Others have emailed with very kind words.

You have my most humble thanks and gratitude for helping me on this journey.


Much, much love — Lavender Wynter

The Person I Cannot Live Without

A few days ago, I came by a “365 days of writing prompts” on WordPress. There are a lot of people already doing this, and have already accomplished an entire year’s worth of writing just based off each day’s special prompt.

It is difficult for me to put aside that much time in my life at the current moment to do such a thing, but there are some topics on there that I thought would make for good blog content.

Additionally, my husband reads this along with my other blogs, so I can say that 90% of the things on here are written specifically for him. I hope he feels special knowing that I want to share about him.

So today, I’m going answer the prompt “Who is the most important person in your life – and how would your day-to-day existence be different without them?”

The answer to that is very simple – MY HUSBAND.

While I am a hopeless romantic on the inside in my own way, this isn’t just some simple question prompt for me because on September 11, 2001, my husband could have been one of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center…

… and Lavender Wynter would not be here today.


Not in this capacity, anyway. I wouldn’t be here in southern New Jersey, a (over-worked) mother to two children, and aspiring to be a good (possibly published one day) writer.

My depression would have taken a severe turn for the worse instead of better. I would probably still be in China, working at jobs that were slowly killing me inside, and I would have given up permanently on writing because I didn’t have support for it at home.


My husband was (still is) my best friend. I was a college student in Houston, Texas with no friends or family around, and the shy and super introverted me suffering from extreme homesickness reached out on IRC one day after ghosting for weeks, and my husband was one of many who answered.

And we connected from moment one as friends. He had been in the Air Force, and was out-processing when I met him online, so he has seen a vast part of the world. While I have lived in three countries by that point, I hadn’t seen as much as he has. He spent most of his time bouncing through Europe and the uglier parts of Middle East and some parts of Asia while I stayed pretty much only in Asia (all the comfy sides) but had the opportunity to see many different countries. We had stories to share, lessons to learn from one another, and above all else…

He found a way into my inner sanctum despite how hard I fought against him at the very beginning and showed me the beautiful places in the world (read internet) with people who would accept me for who I am. That’s how I come to be in the company of an awesome array of geeks ranging from abstract & non-abstract digital artists to computer programmers, security network guru(s), and some people who even have a direct role to play in how the internet became what it is today.

Got a computer question or problem… I knew where to go and who to ask. *laugh*

He inspired critical thinking to a whole new level for me. He didn’t just challenge me inside the box, he challenged me to move outside the boundaries. He dared me to achieve, to climb upwards, aim for the stars, to walk forwards, and never look back if there was nothing to be accomplished by doing so.

I have to honestly say that the ridiculously expensive education my parents paid for me served next to no purpose in my life in comparison. My now-husband-then-best-friend was the wind under my wings, and he was the reason I went from being academically suspended from college for having a low GPA to graduating cum laude with two degrees.

That took a mega-ton of work, I might add, which was one of the frequent components of my depression – I constantly felt like I was being overwhelmed and drowning.

They say laughter is good for the soul (and one of the best medicines), and he could make me laugh for hours at a stretch until everything hurt and tears were streaming down my face… and he refused to have mercy.

*laugh* Ah, the memories.

He was the most powerful anti-depressant pill I can have, and as wonderful as that is, I knew it wasn’t a permanent solution. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be there whenever my world ups and flips itself upside down. It’s unrealistic and wrong to have someone play that kind of role in that kind of capacity permanently. I must stand on my own feet. We all do.

He taught me that if and when he couldn’t be there to pick up my SOS call, I needed to learn how to fend for myself. He stuck by me as I trial-and-error three years worth of things that will help me when I’m in a depressed funk and how to get myself out of it.

Three years because there’s no way of knowing if something will work unless one’s done it repeatedly for an extended period with the same results – it either worked more times than it didn’t, or it didn’t work at all.

I learned I loved the outdoors – anything trail related, as long as it had plant life and water and not a soul to be found in proximity (a part of me permanently craves solitude). Sometimes, it was extremely difficult to find the motivation – depression drains me of all energy, so that’s one of the hardest hurdles. Some days, it took him an hour (sometimes more) of constantly pushing and shoving to get me out the door – using nothing but a telephone, no less, as we were separated by 3000 miles.

By threat of withholding night time chat if I don’t do it… *chuckles*.

Writing became my favorite and most inspirational past time. I started writing stories starring myself as the original character with him in it, and we would tag-team via email on grand adventures filled with crazy antics, wit, and humor that was sometimes stupidly funny, and other times wanting to figure out a way to smack the other person with over 3000 miles between us. We crafted worlds and dealt with real life annoying people with fictional ones with cruel and unusual methods as the theme (it was rather therapeutic, I admit). We taunted one another, role played knights (in slightly tarnished armor, he described) and elves (I was a huge elven fan).

He taught me how to eat well – what foods helped my moods, and what foods didn’t. He taught me how to work with ankle and body weights and helped me drop from 150+lbs to 130 over the course of six months with enough muscle tone to make me a formidable foe in a game of wrestling. I gave up elevators for good and used stairs as long as my knees allowed it. He helped me build my self-image. He showed me a place I could feel good about myself so that I knew how I could get there.

Yes, I did, indeed, make him sweat and work for the win. *GRIN*

He pushed me to the top of the world all the while sliding to the bottom of his as his life fell apart on him and disintegrated in an unveiled web of half-truths and sordid lies. That, however, is not my story to tell.

I did the only thing I could do – caught my best friend on his way down and stood behind him to help the same way he helped me through all those years. And he drove to Houston, Texas from Mobile, Alabama one Fall day, intent on seeing me again – and giving me a surprise.

We saw each other for the second time in over four years, and he gave me a titanium ring to signify the foundation and strength of our friendship, to hold in remembrance that I was one of the few who didn’t stab him in the back.

The first time we met, I flew into New Jersey to attend an impromptu social gathering hosted by him (the harebrained idea suggested by me for shits-and-giggles one crazy night on an IRC channel where his agreement caught me by surprise hard enough I literally fell out of my chair… and then proceeded to squeal in glee for about thirty minutes after that) at his place over the course of one March week – my spring break. The people in attendance that week were a friend from Toronto, Canada, a fellow geek from New Jersey whom my husband knew, a fellow geek who lived in Washington D.C. who I had a crush on for a couple of weeks at the age of 19, and yours truly flying in from Houston, TX.

We have stayed close friends all these years (13 and counting).

I know, many of you are probably cringing and saying just how dangerous I played it, and if it was 2010 and onwards, I would agree. The world was different back then. Technology wasn’t what it is today, and so it did take brains to be online and active in the capacity we were (not saying that online stalkers and tricksters are stupid people, but technology has made it easier for people to use the internet instead of harder. GUI interfaces truly are a bane). This was a public gathering known by many people. Phone numbers and addresses were made known for safety reasons (we actually had a discussion on how to call 911 over state and international borders). International by both chance and design, we watched each other’s backs online. Extending that to offline and “in real life” was the standard back then, not the exception.

Shows just how far we’ve fallen as a society.

So, if my husband hadn’t decided he wanted to fix the North World Trade Center Tower satellite on the night of September 10, 2001 instead of the morning of September 11, 2001, my world would have been very different, and he knows that as well as I do. Maybe one day I’ll share that story of his, huh?

So one night, through the hurt and the tears, he asked if I was willing to wait for him so he could meet me at higher (better) ground than where he was.

I told him I’ll wait for him, but there was no way in hell I was going to stand on the side and watch him climb all by himself. I got in. We waded out of the muck together.

After all, he did that for me first for so many years.


He proposed. I moved to New Jersey, put my “Green Card” application through the system and got myself adjusted to the status of a Permanent Resident before we got married a couple of years later.

Wait, what? Three words – Green Card Lottery. I’ll save that for another post, hm?

And here we are.


I still have bad (depression) days. Those are unavoidable with the challenges I now face as a mother, but there are still more good days than bad, until the incident with DYFS last year in March which I’m taking steps to heal from.


Dear Husband, I love you.


So, who’s the most important person in your life? And why? Have you told him/her?


Yours Truly, Lavender Wynter

“Break Me into Pieces” Chapter 1

“Just in case we have to take your children away…” — CP&P/DYFS worker.

Dear People of All Walks of Life,

It is I, Lavender Wynter, with the first installment (out of three) of my memoir — “Break Me into Pieces.”

A year ago today, I was horribly hurt and beaten apart by an event in my life that involved CP&P (Child Protection and Permanency). They were formerly known as DYFS (Department of Youth and Family Services) in the state of New Jersey, or DCF (Department of Children and Families) in other states.

No parent, good or bad, ever wants to hear the quote above…

… and thus became the beginning of my emotional nightmare. I still haven’t completely healed, and it has worsen my struggles with depression and insomnia. Writing this forced me to face the events to find closure, and hopefully, to begin the healing process.

So, without further ado, “Break Me into Pieces”.

The next two installments will hopefully follow weekly after today.

Stay safe, and hang in there. Winter may actually end early this year and spring might just be around the corner.

Much, much love — Lavender Wynter