Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The True Story of My Life #6 (Hostage Situation)

It was July 4, 1997. A BBQ was scheduled for that afternoon at my parent's house. But I was sleeping soundly. It was only 5 a.m. or so in the morning.

I lived in the house I owned with my best friend, Monica Allen, and other good friend, Shirina Edwin (now Shirina Grimaldi). Shirina had a room to herself and Monica and I shared a room with bunkbeds.

I heard some commotion in the next room but it didn't wake me until Monica shook me by my shoulders. "Wake up!!" she said, "There's a man in the house." Not that we never had friends over that were guys, but I could tell by the panic in her voice something was wrong and then I heard the male voice. I bolted out of bed. I heard his voice coming from the kitchen which was separated from our room by a short hall. He would block our exit if we tried to run down the hall. We were stuck in the room. I looked around quickly, angry with myself that I'd put a large dresser in front of the window and the other window was similarly blocked. There was no place to go so I grabbed Monica and yanked her into the closet, behind a thick rack of clothes and we waited there, knees literally shaking. I hoped that Shirina wouldn't tell him we were there and that he wouldn't find us.

But he already had a gun on Shirina. He had kicked the side door in and showed Shirina his gun, telling her not to move. He had a full face-mask on, latex gloves, dark clothing, and seemed to know what he was doing. He directed Shirina down the hall with a gun at her back, asking her if anyone else was home. She said yes. Then they were in the room, and he kept asking where we were and Shirina yelled, "You guys, you have to come out."

I remember we didn't come out at first because we were only wearing nightshirts and our underwear, with legs exposed, but he yelled at us to come out so we did, slowly, and after we were inching out from behind the door, Shirina said abruptly, "Put some pants on!" and he said we could pants on. So we did.

Then he motioned for Shirina to join us in the closet. It was tiny little walk-in. I was 5'5" and 105-110 lbs, all muscle from cross-country running; Monica was 5'3" with a similiar build and weight, and Shirina was 5'11" and over 200 lbs. Shirina had been in the Marines when she was younger, until she had an honorable discharge after she broke her back, so I thought maybe she would know how to wrestle this guy down, if needed.

He started going through drawers, keeping an eye on us, with the gun out, and putting pantyhose and socks into his pockets. He asked where the duct tape was. He also gathered together all of our drivers' licenses and ID, and car keys. He said he was going to take us for a little ride somewhere. Then he said he wanted a knife and he made us come out of the closet, and herded us down the hall into the kitchen where he took out a large chopping knife from a drawer. He herded us back into the bedroom closet.

He told us we were going to "get dressed" and asked us to put on the sexiest clothing we owned, but dictated I was to dress all in white, and Monica was to dress in only black. He didn't tell Shirina to change. We didn't have "sexy" clothing as we all adhered to a modest style and were very conservative. So he picked out a white silk nightshirt I had and paired it with a white skirt, and he had a like outfit for Monica. I said I didn't want anyone to watch while we changed and he said okay.

I thought he was going to take us out to a remote location where there might be a gang and we would be raped and killed. I felt we had to do something. I looked at my roommates in the closet, whose legs I could feel shaking and who were white. One was murmering prayers silently. After they were both looking at me, I mouthed, so he couldn't hear, "Do you think we can take him?" I made a hand motion to indicate what I meant. I thought if we were all in agreement, the 3 of us might be able to do something, and who knew what Shirina might have up her sleeve. But they just looked at me, eyes wider than before, and shook their heads, mouthing "NO." emphatically. My heart sank a little. This guy was telling us he was going to "finish the job" and take us somewhere...he was going through our underwear and asking why we didn't have anything sexier, and now he was going through our CDs, upset by our music selection. I had just survived a major car accident where the driver died and I should have been paralyzed from the waist down, if not dead. I asked God, "Did you save me from that, to die like this?" and I got this intuitive feeling that the answer was no, that we were going to be okay. I asked God if I was going to die, and while I didn't hear a voice from heaven, I had a feeling we were not going to die. And just then I had an idea from stories in the Bible: in the Bible, especially Old Testament, before the battle, the musicians went out first and played. I always wondered about that. I thought perhaps there is something to it and if I could just play my guitar and see what happened...

Right then the guy said, "All you guys have is 'God' music". I seized the chance to become his "friend" and get him to see us as real people. "Yeah..." I said, "That's all we have...what kind of music do YOU like?" and he responded with some names of artists he liked. I asked him if he played any musical instruments and he said no, and so I told him I had a guitar and could play some of the songs he liked for him. I also told him I'd written some original songs I could play and that I had a good voice and had won some awards. He was interested. I told him we'd have to get my guitar out of the livingroom. So he herded us into the livingroom. I didn't want to walk around in the outfit he'd chosen for me, or draw any attention to myself, but I felt it was more important to appear calm, cooperative, friendly, and to try to draw him in.

There were no phone jacks in the bedrooms, just the kitchen and livingroom, and we didn't dare try to call. He had already taken the phones off the hook already, and I was disappointed to see I had closed all the blinds in the room. I had closed the blinds to keep people from seeing in, and yet now, the birds were beginning to sing, it was early morning and you could feel the sun warming the house. It was going to be a beautiful day and no one outside knew what was going on in our house. I could hear some of the kids playing outside.

--to be continued--

We're All Drama Queens

see the end of my last post. I added to it and may add some more later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The True Story of My Life #5 (Family History)

Where did I come from?

On my father's side, there is a long line-up of teachers and professors, and musicians. My father's grandfather taught violin at the George Washington University in Virginia (W. Virginia?) with only an 8th grade education, he was so good.

My father's father was a forest ranger for a time, and then a high school teacher for History and Art, and track coach. He and my Dad shared a love for History and exchanged books and jokes. My father was skipped ahead 1 or 2 grades after he was tested and his I.Q. was in the highly gifted/almost genius range. I've known my father to be able to do anything he put his mind to. He can build buildings and do all the electrical work himself; He plays music by ear and has directed choirs and written music; and when he was younger he painted, what I hear, were beautiful murals on walls. He once tested extremely high in spatial/analytical skills for a job with Willamette Industries and was told no one had tested higher or turned in the results so fast. He had an interest in psychology, architecture, and archeology, as well as theology, but when he became a christian, at age 18, he went to a Lutheran Seminary. He was promptly, I think, kicked out for being a practical joker. He also did very well at track, holding records in Soap Lake for decades, and that was when he didn't practice and was only in it because his Dad was a coach; he smoked weed when he was out of sight. His Dad, my grandpa, served during WWII and never spoke of it. He always had a dog he loved, and liked living close to nature in a cabin, and had a trout pond and did a lot of fishing. His first wife was my biological grandmother, who was a former student of his class and very bright, but thought he was taking her into the big city instead of the woods, and his second wife is the grandma I know best: Rosella Parra (?), whose family is Mexican-American and has been in the U.S. a long time. My grandfather's third wife was Malaysian and he met her as a pen pal. Grandpa Garrett used to say, "I like my women the way I like my coffee--hot and black."

On both sides of my family there is an interest in animals. My father doesn't hunt and is always observing things with binoculars. On my mother's side, the men in the family tend towards carpentry, farming, contracting, and business. Her father was valedictorian of his class, and went into business with two of his brothers, planting fruit orchards in Wenatchee, Washington. My mother's father's father had a degree in agriculture from a University. My mother's mother dropped out of University after meeting my grandfather. Her father was a contractor from Luxembourg and he spoke Luxembourgish in the home. Her mother was mainly Scottish and loved to play piano and dance and be social. She warned my grandmother, "Don't ever marry a german!" as her husband didn't talk much. My mother's mother's mother was a bit artistic and sentimental. She wrote songs and had a pet refugee at her home--people in the area would bring their injured animals and birds to her and she nursed them back to health. My grandmother, my mother's mother, also wrote poetry, mainly comical satire. My grandmother was drop dead gorgeous when she was younger, frequently being stopped on the street and asked if she was a movie star. She wore fresh flowers in her platinum-golden blond hair which was double thick and fell to her waist, and she had "gams" other women envied. She wore red lipstick and little other make-up.

Everyone, on both sides of my family, is pretty religious. Mainly conservative Christian and a couple of Catholic believers. There were no divorces until recently, and then only one, and it was because of an abuse situation. No one really has had experience with the justice system, or the law, or lawyers. No one ever really needed it, except for business. So in a sense, my family is comprised of church-going people who are not very worldly or in tune with the politics of courts and class. We are a trustworthy lot, in general, and I think have believed everyone else must think as we do, and abides by certain morals and standards. Most of the people in my family have no qualms with conformity, and will do whatever is required to fit in or appear "appropriate". This makes it difficult for them to understand me, and their lack of insight about how hostile or deceitful others can be, makes it difficult to believe anything is ever as bad as it is, or that what happened to me hasn't usually been my fault. In our family, we tend to trust others with licenses, badges, degrees, and other credentials. We're all do-it-yourself entrepreunerial types, but I know my family has far too much faith in the system, as I did, until I was in the middle of it firsthand.

Ancestors? I'm told we're related to some Garrett family in England that once had a castle, to several Civil War officers, George Washington through my father and Abe Lincoln through my mother, Lady Godiva, and I can't remember who else now. There is a little Native American heritage, and on my father's side, the Cherokee we are descended from are from a group who disobeyed the order to march down the Trail of Tears, and ran off to make a living, in hiding, in the hills of West Virginia.

Forgot to write a bit about my mom, and brother, and what they're like and what they do and how we're different, but I'll come back to this post. This and the last post aren't really good writing, I don't think. Too choppy and disjointed, with a grocery list flavor. I was sort of cramming in stuff without winding into it as usual. Maybe it's because I wrote out framework for chapters...instead of just going with the flow and writing what comes to mind next. It's less fluid when I try to adhere to structure, I think...but as for timeline, I meant to go from talking about buying my house and working in a business, back to my childhood. The hook was in the hostage situation hint. I figured I could cram in childhood crap first ...I want to add my teen years, but I think it's time for hostage situation--this is what people want. They always want to know every detail about being held hostage. I'm the drama queen? or are we all drama queens? men too.

Totally tangental, I was thinking queen, and then king, and then about the FBI situation too, when it first began and how they took me to Burger King, and how I was just there a week ago, with a "friend", getting some grub for everyone at the house. We were talking about the FBI thing and he joked he was undercover and had a bug or ear on him and at the speaker menu he turned to me, asked me what I wanted, and then said, "And what does the FBI want?" I said promptly: "Crowns." There was silence and I repeated, "Paper crowns..." and laughed and he said, to himself, "paper crowns..."

Kinda true, huh! I'd like to have a photo of me with a paper crown that says "666" on it, and then a team of FBI people behind me with Burger King crowns on, holding up certificates of acheivement.

We're all drama queens.

The True Story of My Life #4 (When I Was A Girl)

My father called me "ornry". Or is it "onry"? He said it with a smile. I asked question after question and wore my parents out. I actually remember a time when I was asking my Dad about the grass. I must have been about 3 years old. I remember asking why it was green. He would give an explanation and my response was "why"? I really wanted to know.

When I was about 4 years old, I was the flower girl at my aunt's wedding. A gentleman to the wedding party bent over to smile at me and say, "What a sweet little girl!" and I responded with, "Mr., did you know there is a pimple on your nose?...righhht there." to which, my father says, the man turned red and stood upright.

I was the same age when I ran to my parents, in the coffeehall after church service, "Lisa hit me!" My parents asked what I did to her first. I said, ferociously, "I BITE her!"

Of course, these are the stories my father likes to remember and tells me about. I must have been sweet sometimes too.

My old friend Shirina's favorite childhood picture of me is the one where I'm at my 6th birthday party and my mother made me a paper crown for my head with the number 6 all the way around it; the camera only captures an angle with three of those sixes: 666. "The Beast!" Shirina shrieked, doubling over in hysterics.

My favorite photo when I was young, is of me in my Bluebird uniform, a little plaid jumper with a button up shirt. I have my nose in the air, and a look of utter self-satisfaction with my lips firmly pressed together. I look like the perfect snob, and far too young to be so self-assured--I'm 7 years old.

When I was a girl, I liked to draw, sing, dress my brother up in girl clothes and paint his nails, play with the puppies, make mud pies and bridges and elaborate tunnels and roads, swim, ride my bike over dirt hills, and explore abandoned houses. I once swindled an elderly neighbor out of his money, but I felt guilty and told him I wasn't really doing a fundraiser, and gave him his money back with an apology. I never told my parents and he kept it a secret. He had been the first person to live on the road out there, a pioneer, and told me some stories.

When I was a little older, I did some serious fundraising for the "jump-rope-a-thon" and got so many sponsors I won the ultimate award: a nylon bell-bottomed sweatsuit I never wore.

I earned some legitimate money by creating a "book order form" modeled after Scholastic Books' book order forms, and sold ideas for original stories on the bus when I was in the 3rd grade. I passed it around and kids could check a box for a book of fiction with a theme already, or a book about them, which I would write, complete with drawings. A lot of kids wanted the book about themselves. They paid me in quarters and dollar bills until my mother asked me where I was getting the money and put a stop to it. Moooom! OTHER kids sell suckers! I tried to argue.

I held a lemonade stand outside our house but writing and selling my original stories was far more profitable.

My first crush was B.J. Moos. I thought he was cool because he was in 1st grade and I was in kindergarten and he had a BeeGee's lunchpail. I gave him some candy hearts for Valentine's Day and he threw me a chocolate egg around Easter. He broke up with me after I defended myself from the boys playing tag-and-capture with a mighty wand of lipgloss. It was bubblegum flavor and John got a taste of it.

I played soccer every recess, on an all-boys team, in the first grade. I loved soccer, until someone convinced me I should hang out with girls instead, and I traded soccer for parading around the playground chanting: "We want GIRLS--NO BOYS ALLOWED! We want GIRLS--NO BOYS ALLOWED!" I remember I heard lots of dirty jokes in the first grade. How did these kids know them? I tried to justify my position and knowledge of sexual matters by arguing "babies come from the BELLY-button." I remember wondering, to myself, how they came out and thought maybe the mouth??? It seemed to be the largest outlet. A rational thought, I knew.

In the second grade, I was fond of twirling on bars and doing backflips off of them. I got a taste of being a leader when other girls asked me to teach them what I knew. I would teach them some tricks and then they'd turn on me, mad because I knew more, or because I was bossy. I decided I didn't like being a leader. I also got some practice in the imaginative arts by pretending to be a nurse at the jungle gym. Kids came to me with their "owies" and I would "heal" them or "fix" them by applying pressure on a different limb until their focus was on something besides the part that had hurt. They'd jump up exclaiming, "It works! It works!" That was my little nurse station. I also ran away from school in the 2nd grade. I didn't want to be there so I took off and when a school teacher spotted me on the sidewalk, walking home, she asked me where I was going. I lied, saying my mom sent a note to have me home, and she let me go. Then I hightailed it across the street, down into the neighborhood and brush, where I thought no one would find me as I made my way home. The police found me I think, and boy was I in trouble. It was a scene out of "Malcolm in the Middle".

When I got into books there was no turning back. My Dad would come home to find me reading, and reading in my room all summer, and say, "Why don't you play outside?" I started carrying a book around on the playground, wandering around with my nose in a book, or sitting under a tree, and I found other bookworm friends, who would hide their novels behind the math books we held upright to conceal our treasure, thinking the teacher had no clue. But it wasn't until 5th grade that my math began to slide.

I could do figures quickly. I was the math champ of sorts for times tables in 3rd grade and then placed at top of my class in the highest math classes and of course, always reading classes. My 3rd grade teacher really pushed and advocated for me to be tested for intelligence, by someone independent, and told my parents she believed I was gifted, but because I never completed homework, I was not admitted to the TAG program. I was never tested. She said she thought so from many things including drawing details, but especially from a play I wrote, complete with sound effects and music. She asked, "What does "dum-dum-dum-dum-dum mean Cameo?" I think she thought I was writing a weird "dumb dumb dumb..." line but it was for the little jingle we use for mysterious anticipation (DUM-da-DUM-DUM-Duuuuuuum!) Anyway. I loved that teacher. Mrs. Rosenow. She was the first teacher I had who said on the first day that she wanted her students to be "creative" or use their "creativity". I remember perking up at that.

Unfortunately, she may have been the last to see any promise in me for awhile, academically. My next teacher was terrible. I wrote a bunch of original patriotic poems, inspired by statements he had on his classroom walls, by our forefathers, and when I let him read them he said I couldn't have written them, that they were too good, and that I plaigerized and it was a crime. I tried to convince him they were really mine, and then he made a concession after he said, "Well, I guess you mispelled this word, so maybe they're yours." At that time, my best friend and saving grace from the class was Katie Fallon. Katie Fallon was interesting. She was in TAG. No one would ever argue she wasn't smart. She liked to talk about God and philosophy under the trees on recess, and we discussed books. She was reading those mature woolly mammoth and cavepeople books though. Her Dad was a doctor-surgeon and her mother was a nurse. She loved the movie "Airplane", which I thought was stupid. She told me how her mom threatened to divorce her Dad if he didn't agree to remodel the house and get rid of the shag carpeting on the walls. Katie worked very hard. She had lots of chores and did ballet. I was jealous of the ballet. I wanted so badly to be in dance! Katie said I would be good at modern or jazz but my parents envisioned a future in nightclubs with a dancing background so I never had lessons but tried to content myself with piano instead.

Then there was 5th grade, when I officially heard girls didn't need to know math. So I figured the geometry I was learning was a bunch of B.S. and I'd never need to use it. I was actually the fastest one at figures up until then, making it a game to finish my homework in record time, accurately. I stopped doing any math and they moved me into the next lower class, where I lost all interest, finding learning to tell time too big of a step down from geometry. The math was lost forever. One problem I always encountered with math was boredom. If the teacher didn't move really fast, I would tune out or zone out, learning the equation quickly and then losing interest while questions were asked and then missing the next piece because I was day-dreaming. Sometimes I just stared at the board and tried to find alternate methods of doing the math, and sometimes did. This whole attitude is what led to my, years later, being in a college pre-algebra math class (after I'd had 2 years in high school), asking the teacher why zero didn't follow the pattern for fractions and couldn't be divided. I was told I was getting into "black holes" and should talk to someone in Calculus. The Calculus I never made it to because I was missing the fundamentals. I still like mathematic theory though, or stories about math people.

After 5th grade, my mother decided to try her hand at homeschooling. It was nice to be so near the fridge, but I hated it because I missed talking in class, and passing notes in class, and being social. So, for 7th grade, we were placed in a private Christian school, Moses Lake Christian School.

In my free time, in addition to other activities listed, I played often with our neighbors, The Springers. They had a house behind my house with a large field and I helped them change sprinklers. We used to snake through the tall grass on our bellies, playing a form of tag; run through the cornfields; slide around and swim in the ditches; make forts and spy on eachother; design barbie clothes; slide on the slip-n-slide; and I remember inventing a lot of games where I was the Queen of Egypt and everyone else was my slave, feeding me grapes and fanning me with grass plumes, as I lounged on a soft mattress of chickweed and dried wheatgrass.

The horses (ours and theirs) put me in my place, bucking me off, running me through the apple tree, and stepping on my toes. I always rode bareback, and hoisted myself on without supervision. Yeehaw!

The other thing I loved, was a treehouse my father built for me and my brother. I loved that treehouse and this is where I sang my songs and did a lot of daydreaming and watched the sunset. I had my alone time in the treehouse. Once, I had a slumber party there, singing my friends to sleep. My parents allowed us to sleep out there once, until someone pooped outside and they knew it wasn't the dogs.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The True Story of My Life #3 (A Giver, Not A Taker)

I went to New Song Church, in NE Portland, from 1994-1997 or almost 1998. I started bringing kids to church in 1995, after my car accident. After I bought my house in St. John's, not only did I become very involved in church, I was involved in my community. And, they were wonderful to me.

During this time, kids gave me their school photographs, and notes, and flowers, and other small surprises, and invited me to meet their parents at their homes. Older neighbors gave me fruit and vegetables from their gardens, and asked if I would consider being their "driver" if they took a cross-country trip in their "old age". One neighbor, young like me and a fellow investor, Matt, found out I wanted a chalkboard for my house, with a frame, so people could do "chalk art" in the livingroom, and he surprised me one day with a huge school-sized standing black chalkboard, framed in oak. "My mom's a teacher", he said bashfully. Another neighbor gave me her "lucky 4-leaf clover" that she had been saving for over 10 years, in her moves across the country; she gave this to me after she found out about my and my roommates being held hostage.

Meanwhile, at CTR, everyone bought me mochas and caramel macchiatos and others offered to help me find a good computer for home use.

I was practicing the exercise of being honest and told the CEO, Ed, at CTR I couldn't tell people "he's not here" when I knew he was. I told him I'd say, "He's unavailable right now". He got a slow smile on his face, eyebrows raised, but was okay with that and later asked me if I would babysit his kids--an honor to be entrusted with.

It seemed the world was a wonderful, beautiful place. I loved people, and everything about my life. I had a great reputation, many friends (mainly from church), a good job, good credit, and plenty of potential. It seemed my worst enemies were the occasional woman who seemed jealous of me because of the way I looked, and nothing more. But I hardly noticed even that. CTR was the business world, and a world of adults who didn't know how naive I was (I don't think). I was hit on by a married man at work, who later was somewhat peeved when I cooled my friendly demeanor in response, and I remember blushing and being shocked when a secretary came over to the desk with the girls and pointed out that the pistol of a tropical flower, sitting on the counter, looked just like a man's private part. I took my Dad to the company Christmas party. It was 1997.

Random violence and insult is far easier to absorb, forgive, adapt to, and understand, than intentional damage from someone who has gained an inordinate measure of trust and respect. Some people gain our trust by close proximity and time, and friendships that develop from this, and others gain our trust, perhaps more easily, by virtue of their positions, which we respect and admire.

I was raised to trust authority and law enforcement and clergy. These people held us together and were in the business of helping others.

My entire childhood, and teen years, that trust was never violated. No one in my family violated my trust and I was safe. My family wasn't perfect, but it wasn't so bad either, and it was stable. I also never experienced a violation of trust by anyone in clergy, and we visited many churches and I knew pastors of all types and went to church camp, only to come back with the firm belief that these people wanted to help others understand themselves and God, or spiritual things. My family was also never involved with lawyers for any reason (we didn't even have divorces in our extended family), and certaintly not police.

As a little girl, I was excited to see a police car drive past and my parents encouraged me to wave at the officers. I pulled an imaginary chain from the ceiling when we saw a trucker, and wanted him to honk too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

True Story of My Life #2 (St. John's Neighborhood)

I purchased my first house, in 1996, and prior to the hostage situation, I set about getting to know all the neighbors on my block. Within 2 months, I knew everyone and was on friendly terms, and I got to know people beyond my block as well. Kids were drawn to me, especially late middle school and jr. high kids, and they would, on their own, visit me at my house. I talked to them like they were adults, and didn't condescend.

There was Alex, who lived next door, and was 13. His girlfriend, Colette, lived in low-income apartments not far from my house, behind St. John's park. Colette's best friend, Miracle, lived a few blocks away. Then there was a boy, Cody, about 10 or 11 who picked roses for me from his garden and left them at my door, with a note, and taught me how to plant succulents directly into the ground. These were the main kids who hung out at my house. I ended up taking them with me, after talking to their parents and securing permission, to church about twice a week, and I also took them out one-on-one and in groups to coffeeshops and bought small things for them. I listened to their dreams and tried to encourage them in what they wanted to do: I guess I was a kind of mentor. After a year, so many kids wanted to hang out with me and go to church with me, I couldn't take them all at once in my car and the church considered buying me a van. No one asked me to do it, the relationships developed naturally.

In the meantime, I also got to know my adult neighbors, one across from me, Max, was a Master Gardener. I would go over to his house and admire his vines and goldfish pond and he sent me home with fresh produce. When he had a stroke, I was the only one, besides his son and best friend, a fellow neighbor, who came to visit him in the hospital, the nurses told me. I took my guitar and played for him while he was unable to speak, and one nurse seemed shocked I paid any attention to him when he was only my "neighbor"; she began to cry and said she didn't know many people who would do that for a neighbor. I sat by his bed and held his hand, and he couldn't talk but he squeezed my hand. Then he died, and I was fairly depressed about it for awhile.

There was also the elderly "cat lady". Every neighborhood, well, in certain parts of town, has a "cat lady". I tried not to breathe through my nose while I was in her house. She had at least 20 cats, and most of them stayed indoors. They were all fed and happy, but the odor I could hardly bear.

There was one guy about my age, who owned a house behind me and he wanted to date for awhile but I wasn't very interested so we remained friends and kept a neighborhood watch of sorts.

At this time, after I had my house, I contacted social services about being a foster parent. After I was working at the computer company, I figured I could use a bedroom for a child and spoke at length, with several people, about the process. I would have even adopted, and there wasn't a problem, they said, with my being a single potential mother. But when I thought about it, I realized if I were a foster parent, I'd want to be at home, as any kind of mother, and it wasn't possible at that time in my life, to stay at home and earn an income too. They would be in a daycare, and daycare would raise them and have more influence than I would. So I decided not to, in the end, even though my friends and especially my best friend, was supportive.

Also, at this time in my life, I decided to "abstain" from seeking after material things. While on the East Coast, as a nanny, I was surrounded by money. I even became a vicarious snob, as I remember the first thought that crossed my mind when I came back to Oregon and was leaving the Portland, Oregon airport, after having been surrounded by brand new Mercedes, and imported cars on the East Coast, was: "Look at all the junky old American cars on the road!" I had learned the etiquette, to some degree, and codes, of the rich, and the fashion and style sense as well, and even while I despised the attitudes I observed over there, even as the nanny, the same attitudes were rubbing off on me. So after I bought my house, I also decided not to go to the mall and buy the best clothing for myself. I decided to shop only at thrift stores, and not to read fashion magazines, and focus on other things in life. I also got rid of my television. My entire focus was interior, and with what was happening in my local neighborhood.

I tried to do some volunteer work, of my own initiation, and was able to do more after I quit my computer company job and used my $40,000 for volunteer work. I'll get into that later.

Basically, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life yet. I wanted to work on myself, and set many goals for myself, and I worked on relationships and that was my primary focus. I felt it was more important "who you are" than "what you do (for work)". I tried to be a better person. One of my goals, which I worked at, was being a better listener. I was a talker, not a listener, and I disciplined myself to let someone else talk, and to listen so that I remembered our conversation later. I also had as a goal, to discipline myself not to lie, even for white lies. This took a lot of time to improve upon, because one unconsciously lies quite a lot, I think, just naturally, "I love your hair!" , "Ummm...I'm late because there was really bad traffic (not because I forgot to look at the clock)"... I found the more I excused my actions, or felt I could lie to cover my actions, the more my actions were unaccounted for. If I tried to have a principle not to lie to defend myself, I worked harder not to get into trouble and make stupid mistakes to begin with. But any improvement in trying not to lie, came after months and months of trying to retrain my mind and habits. Later in life, I realized, it is "okay" to lie for important reasons, when it's not just to excuse your own actions but perhaps to protect someone from danger, etc. I have learned not to see in black-and-white so much. Sometimes, lies don't hurt other people. And omissions, sometimes don't matter. But often, even omissions do make a difference.

I had plenty of opportunity to date but I didn't meet anyone I really interested in. I missed being around intellectual people, but didn't realize this. I probably should have been in college from the first, but didn't realize this and couldn't afford it, as my parents made too money for me to qualify for loans, and I didn't want to go into major debt, which is why I pretty much waited until I had "independent status" when I was 24, to go back to college full-time. I'd had scholarship offers to private universities when I was in high school (a cross-country offer from a Lewis & Clark coach) but I screwed up my knee my senior year.

At any rate, I wanted to be a virgin when I was married, and figured if one thing eventually leads to another, I'll just make sure I never do the first thing to begin with. I figured I would kiss someone after we were more serious, not just dating. I didn't kiss anyone except an old high school boyfriend (occasionally, and then quit) for about 6 years, from age 18-24. It wasn't that I didn't want to do more. But, after awhile, even though I wanted to be married and have kids and had a sex drive, because I never met anyone, I began to wonder if I was to just be devoted to God. I had decided, at that time in my life, if I were married, I would have as many children as were given (a more catholic than protestant idea), and when I was single, I wondered why Protestants didn't have anything for people who just wanted to devote themselves to God. I considered being a protestant "nun" of my own volition, an idea which influenced me when I was directed to a monastery a couple years later, and began to consider conversion to the Catholic faith.

At this time, I was writing a lot of music. I got my first guitar after the car accident, and used it as therapy to strengthen my arms and fingers. I composed and wrote lyrics and sang myself back from the sadness of losing a friend. I had lost my dream to go to Nashville and become a professional singer. I couldn't do it after what happened. It didn't feel right. So I became a closet singer, and then later only sang at church. I also painted, using oils. My friends and choir director at church called me: "the consummate artist". I certaintly enjoyed the arts, but didn't realize how these inclinations made me a minority in some ways, until maybe even in the last couple of years.

I'm an artist, but I'm also, at heart, an extrovert and love people. I always have, since I was a child. In high school, I was smart, but I preferred spending time developing relationships to schoolwork. Because I could get by with decent grades by doing absolutely no work or reading at all, and just remember clips from verbal lectures, I was lazy. I didn't like rote and surface paperwork either. I didn't want to write a 2 page paper because it didn't allow me to do the research and get into the depth I craved. I wanted to write the 20 page paper, and have months to prepare and follow different lines of thought and examine options. When I later showed signs of "intelligence" and ability to handle complicated and advanced scholastics, I think some people wondered where in the world I'd been hiding my brain as there was no evidence of what I could do before; yet, I know, there had never been enough challenge for me either so I didn't acheive until I was given a chance and challenge to rise to the occasion.

I took AP classes in high school, but my greatest acheivements were probably extracurricular: in cross-country, track, singing the National Anthem, getting the lead in plays (which fell through because I was flakey then), being on Student Council, all kinds of committees, and being appreciated by being voted Homecoming Queen and Prom princess by peers, I hoped, for my friendly attitude and not the way I looked.

The singular thing, aside from artistic sentiments, that I feel has set me apart and made it difficult for many to understand, is my values and principles. It is my entire foundation, and for me to give up doing the right thing, regardless of consequences, is like asking me to betray myself and who God made me to be. I am extremely determined and stubborn, and I know this can be good and bad. So far, while everything has fallen apart around me, and my reputation is completely destroyed, without good reason...I still respect myself for the choices I've made and have no regrets. I could have been smarter, yes. I'm wiser now and know the world is not always kind, yes. But I am happy with myself for holding up, under all kinds of intimidation, threat, and attack, for being, basically, true to myself and the truth. Like it or not. Integrity is important to me and if I betray myself, and the voice I was given for articulating things I've witnessed, and the brain I was given for remembering facts and conversations, and the intuition I was given for making discoveries I was shocked to make, I couldn't live with myself.

Do I feel superior? Only to those who I know have lied about me or about the truth. Innately superior? No. Am I a saint? Obviously not. But I know that the way I am now, and some of the problems I have in trusting certain groups of people now, and damages, are the result of having harassed and provoked so much, I eventually reacted. If anyone knew how innocent I was, trusting, and naive, and then what was done to me to provoke me to that point, they would be shocked. As I've never outlined and told the story of who I was all my life, and how my character and reputation were maligned by even illegal methods, I feel it's time to lay out the facts and events of what has led up to where I am now.

I am doing this for my son. And, for anyone else who has been victimized and harassed relentlessly by people who are hostile to anyone who dares uncover dirt and then dares to threaten they may speak of it one day, publicly.

Why would anyone write an entire front page article about me? Because they were instructed in how to defame me, to get one defamatory version about me out in public to discredit me, for fear the public might believe me when they heard the truth from my own lips, about what happened, and then continued to happen.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The True Story of My Life #1

I'm going to fill the timeline in, but want to get started with background information first. I have maintained my problems began with involvement with the Mt. Angel Monastery/Seminary in Benedict, Oregon. Prior to my meeting some monks there, I had zero problems with anyone, or known "enemies" and my reputation was solid.

I was 24 or 25 years old. For my age, I was somewhat sheltered and extremely naive. In general, people had always been good to me.

I had excellent work references and was constantly head-hunted, for business ventures, companies, and nanny work, and I was at church almost 70% of my free time. After I was a nanny on the East Coast, I went into nanny work on the West Coast, with the DelBalzo's (1995-1996), and then worked for a computer company called CTR, out of Portland, Oregon (1996-1997). CTR did networking and was a full solutions computer company and had about 100 employees. I loved this job because it was something different from nanny work and my private time was respected more. I enjoyed some of professional boundaries of business and the respect I gained.

At CTR, I was the front desk receptionist. I have fond memories of the people there and managed to secure the trust of many employees, who came to me on breaks to gossip and share private secrets, which, they knew, I would share with no one else. And I didn't. I did some sales assistant work and after one year, I was offered a very good sales position, by Bruce Melkonian, with a salary, training, and commissions on top of the salary. While the offer was generous and I knew I'd be good it, I considered the offer carefully. My main concern was that I wanted to go back to college and get into something a little more socially oriented, like social work, teaching, or activism--I knew one can make a difference in people's lives in business, but wanted something different, I thought, and I was worried that once I started on the business track, I would keep climbing and never get off the ladder. Money seemed irrelevant at that time in my life. Money, to me, was a means for going to college to take a job that earned nothing but made me feel like I was making a difference. Before I quit, when other executives quit ahead of me, they tried to head-hunt me, offering me positions with higher pay and rank at their next place of business. I turned down all offers. I was loyal to CTR until I quit to go back to college.

In the space between my auto accident in 1995, and taking the nanny position with the DelBalzo's, less than 3 months after my neck was broken (while I was still in a neck brace), I was extremely active in a church in Northwest Portland called New Song. The Pastor was Pastor Richard Probasco. I volunteered my time to sing in the choir and do solos, to be on staff for jr. high and high school students (my supervisor was Eric Knox), went to Bible studies during the week, and regular formal church at least 3 times a week (2 Sunday morning services back to back for choir, Sunday evening services, and mid-week services with youth). You could say I become quite religious and devoted after my car accident, having felt God gave me another chance at life.

I received very little from the insurance companies, from the accident. I should have hired a lawyer. I received $50,000 total when Mike's insurance company and my own insurance company decided to combine funds to give me $50,000. My medical bills were almost $40,000 but I wrote to the hospitals, asking if they would accept less, given the amount I received from insurance, and the fact that I was told I'll need another reconstructive neck surgery 10-20 years from the date of the accident. I managed, by the kindnesses of doctors and hospitals who reduced their fees, to walk away with about $20,000. I decided to invest in real estate. I was 21 years old. I wanted to buy a fixer upper and resell it to make some money. I had never owned credit cards (still haven't, to this day) but was able to use my payments to utility companies as evidence for good credit, and with a well-written argument to a lender, secured my first loan. There was no co-signer and I did it on my own.

I chose a cute 1920s bungalow in St. John's, Oregon. The neighborhood wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible, and there was some movement in investing out in that area, with potential for appreciation. The house was made like a rock. The best materials were used and it's foundation, floorings, and built-ins were solid. The chimney needed repair (there was a fireplace) and after this was done, I bought the house. I repainted, took out the carpeting and found intricately laid oak floors which I had refinished, and I added creative touches to the house. I also had a bedroom added to the basement, sealed the basement floor and walls myself, and then 2 years later, sold the house, making $20,000 profit. I walked away with $40,000, excellent credit, and plans to invest again and go to college, or do social work and maybe live abroad as a missionary or doing humanitarian work.

The house had 3 bedrooms and I rented two out to friends. While the basement room was being done, I shared a bedroom with my best friend (bunkbeds). It was on Independence Day that I was held hostage, with my 2 roommates, a situation I'm certain I'd be questioned about about as a figment of my imagination now, had there not been 2 other witnesses present.

It was July 4, 2007. The hostage situation happened on July 4, 2007. I don't remember if I was still working for the Del Balzo's or already working at CTR. It happened over one year after the auto accident, at the house I'd purchased with accident money.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

No, I don't think simply because one toy is also going off on it's own, it means something is "happening" at my aunt's house. But it does show, 1., I didn't imagine it, and 2., if I didn't imagine that, what else have I NOT imagined? and finally, 3, it does cause concern for me because if what was happening with me and my son is true and real, it is possible it could happen again. That is why I made a big deal out of it.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Often. I should not be punished for reacting to or retelling what is true.

Perhaps I don't have enough hard evidence to prove exactly what was going on. But no one has evidence to the contrary either, that what I say is false. If anything, there is more evidence to back what I say than not. It's only that the truth is stranger than fiction and difficult for others to believe.

Update: Son's Toy Goes Off at Night, at Aunt's House/Want Protection For My Son

Update: my son's toy, at my aunt's house, has recently been going off on it's own, at night. Which is interesting. Why always at night? At our house, it was at night, and during Christmas break, i the middle of the night even, and early the next morning of Christmas. After that, during the night. Does someone have a day job? or some group? I know the severe twitching that my son and I experienced was only at nighttime and lasted sometimes almost all night. Why nighttime? Did someone know I am usually online at night and this is when someone was trying to hack? but I know the "jolts" and the pain I and my son experienced were during the day too. I would have to look back and see if most of it was on the weekend. When my phone calls, made outbound from a landline on a corded phone, were redirected to numbers/organizations different from what I had called, it was always at night.

I am serious. I want someone to protect my son.

I believe there are people who don't want me to keep writing and tell my story about what really has happened to me. Perhaps someone is targeting my son again, apart from me, knowing I will know something is going on, to intimidate me to quit writing. At this point, I need to get the truth and the story out, for my son's sake.

I need protection for my son. I was not the threat to his safety. I know a lot of people don't understand or believe that yet, but please give me the benefit of a doubt and make sure my son and aunt's family has protection until I get my story out. I am fine, and so far, I'm not having any symptoms return and have a safe place to live. I'm down a no-exit cul'd'sac type area which makes it hard for people to drive by unnoticed. I am more concerned about areas that are more remote, such as my aunt's house, and areas where there is a busy road which allows for a lot of traffic to pass by the house. I still don't know how/why/what is going on, but I hope someone is getting some ideas.

Please protect my son until doubt about me is erased.

Timeline of Events 1993-2008

to be continued. I will write out the basic outline, and then fill in details with facts, people's names, and events afterwards. Compare and contrast, when needed, to the Willamette Week's version of events. I was defamed. And then it got worse. And by that time, no one believed what was happening except a few direct witnesses.

Toy Went Off In Canada, In My Son's Room

Even when we were in Canada, there was one night, at a family's home, that both I and my son awoke to the same pain we had felt at our house. It wasn't the constant chronic pain, but we experienced a few more mild "jolts" with all the same symptoms and my son woke up from it, crying and sucking his thumb. I had to use the bathroom as usual. At the same time, on that same night, one of the toys in the room we were in, was playing music on it's own. It was a little kitchenette toy.

Son's Toys Playing On Their Own At My Aunt's House: It Was Not My "Imagination" or "Delusion"

My aunt sent an email to my mother, which was passed onto me. She told my mother I (Cameo) was right, that my son's toy train had started periodically playing music on its own, without anyone touching the button. It's doing this at her house now, where he is.

I did not only report my son's toy train going off by itself at our house. His other toy, a toolbench, played by itself too, when it was in the same corner the toy train was in when it played on its own.

I also, at that time, had my phone calls to a particular number, going to completely different numbers for organizations I had not dialed for.

This was when I also noticed the hacking on my computers.

I am told my son has started having temper tantrums at my aunt's house. Sometimes, his reaction to pain looked like a temper tantrum. My grandfather saw one, that lasted for over a half hour, and agreed it was clear it wasn't behavioral, but from pain. My son's stomach seemed to hurt him and he would arch his back and scream and cry. At the same time, I was usually feeling the burning in my stomach or severe pain myself.

The CPS worker told my aunt my son's temper tantrums are common in children who have been removed from their families: it is a sign of distress and trauma.

I have to, as a mother who knows what was happening back at our house was real, and being too familiar with the pain and odd things that were going on (different toys going off on their own) and my phone calls being redirected and my computer hacked and experiencing pain, be concerned about my son's current safety.

One toy, his toy train, is going off on it's own at my aunt's house. The computer tech I spoke with said someone could do this and manipulate this by a very powerful pulse. He said it's possible to make battery operated toys go off on their own only with a strong pulse.

One would think an entire household could "feel" something happening if something was happening. But is it possible to send a pulse in a more targeted fashion? For example, my son's toys, 2 different ones, only went off when they were in a particular corner of a room.

I want someone to look after my aunt's family and provide protection. I do not believe they, or my son are necessarily safe. I want protection for my son. My aunt's family is the best possible caregiver, but they are unaware of what I and my son have been through.

I need someone to listen to me and look out for them and watch over the house. I hope someone gets this message.

Why Symptoms Are Not From Narcotics

I don't really have the heart to write about funny anecdotes or NFTNs right now. There will be time for that later. But I am hoping and praying the right person will come across my blog and contact me and be able to help or offer inside information or offer to be a witness on my behalf, to the situations I've been through. In this little post, I am going to write about my prescription use of narcotics, and how I've not been addicted or taken too much and why it wasn't the problem. I'll make it short.

I've never used illegal drugs or tried them prior to, or during the time of what I believe was possible radiation exposure. I have only had experience with prescription narcotics, low-level, for documented pain and I've always weaned myself from their use when the pain subsided.

There is absolutely zero chance my symptoms were from narcotic use. I took the pain medication as prescribed, except for once or twice, when I tried taking more to see if it helped the pain. I never got "high" or did it for a thrill. I've had three times of major injury where I was put on narcotics: car accident in 1995, car accident in 2004, and after traumatic childbirth in 2006. I weaned myself from narcotics (5 mg. Percocet) in 1995, and from 10 mg. Oxycontin in 2004, and from 10 mg. Percocet in 2008. I know how to taper, and the only thing I notice when tapering properly is a little aches and pains (normal aches and pains). I have never experienced twitching, or jerking, or "kicking", or sweating, or anything severe.

This last time I was on narcotics, it was off and on for a year, and I had periods of 6 months taking narcotics with zero symptoms, at the same level as when I began having weird "symptoms" which I know were not from narcotics. There was no "build-up" of toxins because I was made to go entirely off of them periodically.

And I was still taking prescription narcotics, as prescribed, when I went to Canada, and the symptoms went away. When I tapered off, I still had no weird symptoms. Narcotics were not the source of the "symptoms".

I don't crave narcotics and never have, now or then, nor am I tempted to find some to take. I don't have pain anymore that is severe and take only Advil and Tylenol. In the past, I asked ER for narcotic relief (Demerol) because it was the only thing I found that helped the pain of my migraines and I'd never found anything else to relieve or abort migraines. I was never "drug-seeking". I was pain-relief seeking. When I was in Canada, they tried DHE on me and it worked on my migraine. I now have Migranol which I'm looking foward to trying and hope it works as well as DHE in an IV. I also tried a newer triptan when I was offered samples from a Canadian walk-in. In the past, Immitrex and other triptans didn't help at all. But I tried Axert. It aborted my migraines within a half hour, and it stayed away for a day, but I had to take another tablet the next morning as it came back. I would say Axert was somewhat effective. I don't know why it would work when Immitrex didn't, but it at least helps.

Mental illness worsens with stress, it doesn't improve. If my symptoms were from mental illness, they would have become worse as my levels of stress increased, and my stress increased dramatically and yet I had total resolution of the "symptoms".

I don't know who or what would do this to me and my son, but I am still concerned for our safety. This is why I am going to write seriously about some things I've been through and when the problems began, to help someone understand that it is very possible I made the wrong people angry enough to do something so hideous and unthinkable.

Friday, February 22, 2008

U.S. Customs Border Patrol Officer's Offer to Witness My Being "Framed": Copy of Letter to Attorney

Mr. xxxxx(Attorney--name omitted),

I have a U.S. Customs supervisor willing to vouch for me on at least one recent matter. If I say to you, "Mr. xxxx, I was framed by Canadian customs..." does that make me mentally ill, a government conspirarist, or...? or is it possible that what I say is true? Isn't it at least possible, that my perceptions and judgments are sound, and that I have actually been targeted and defamed for some time? You're right, this case with CPS is a mess. My entire LIFE is a mess. And yet, I seem to be almost the only one who knows that I've never exaggerated the truth, or misrepresented the truth, and that I've tried in vain to find someone who will believe me and help me, and take my word for it, that many strange and bad things have happened, and I haven't "asked for it". Please see incident described below. It actually happened, and I have a witness, and yet if I just speak of it without a witness, no one would believe someone attempted to frame me (in a sense). This has been happening over and over and now my son is taken from me, not because of the truth, but because all the defamation has spun out of control. I am completely vulnerable now, as anyone thinks they can say anything about me, and be assured it is THEY who will be believed, not me. I need someone to help me get my credibility and reputation back, and I'm sorry if "radiation" sounds crazy...It happened. Period. And constant exposure can cause mood swings, severe ones, and other problems.

From: cameocares@live.comTo: (name omitted) @cbp.dhs.govSubject: Reminder For Mr. (name omitted): Your Offer To Be Contacted As Witness To EventsDate: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 15:16:41 -0800
.ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P
.ExternalClass EC_body.hmmessage

To Mr. (name omitted)
CBP Supervisor
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
100 Peace Portal DriveBlaine, WA 98230
360-332-8511 (tel)
360-332-8006 (fax)

Hello Mr. (name omitted),

I am sending this email as a reminder/refresher as to a situation that happened a few days ago. Canadian Customs threatened to arrest me and forced me to sign a statement that I was removing my application to enter Canada when I only went to them to ask them how to get my car back, and was NOT asking or trying to enter Canada. You gave me your card and said I could use your name. I haven't yet contacted the right people or written my letter to clear things up, but I wanted to send this to you so you don't forget about me in the meantime. My son was taken from me while I was in Canada, and I've been working retaining an attorney for custody issues has taken priority. My name is Cameo Garrett. DOB: (omitted). I was wearing grey slacks, black heels, and a long beige wool coat on the day I came into the U.S. Customs, Feb. 16, 2008. I currently live in (omitted), WA. My email address is this one, and my phone number is (omitted).

You are welcome to contact me at any time, for any reason. I am deeply grateful that you were there and overheard what was going on at Customs, and that you stepped up to offer your name as witness on my behalf. You didn't have to, and like you said, you see hundreds or thousands of people through Customs every week. If you had not overheard and offered your name, it would be my word against theirs.

If you don't remember who I am, or want more details, keep reading: They said I was illegally "in Canada" because I was in their Customs station and that "now" if I ever tried to enter Canada again I would be deported for life.

I was only trying to find out where my car was and how a friend could drive in to pick it up and if I could go with him by getting permission from them first. I told them I wasn't trying to enter Canada that day but my friend said he could take me the next day if I made arrangements with Canada. I was accused of trying to get into Canada simply by being in their station, and I was also harassed about why I had been living in Blaine rather than a prior residence in Wenatchee. They made me stand at their counter for 20 minutes and called immigration, telling me "there is a problem here" and repeatedly telling me they were thinking of arresting me. One officer in particular was the harasser, the other two were obviously sympathetic to me and looked sorry for what was happening. The ID number of the harasser was: 10046 or 10036. He was over 6 feet tall with light brown hair and blue eyes, caucasian.

He told me U.S. Customs was wrong to send me over there and that I was lying and knew better. I went back to U.S. Customs, angry they had sent me over there and put me in danger of arrest, and then you (name omitted) came over and said it was okay for people to go over there and ask questions, even if they had been removed before and not allowed to enter Canada for a year. You let me know that you had overheard, in U.S. Customs, before I ever went to Canada Customs, that I was NOT attempting to enter Canada, but only trying to find out how someone else could get my car back or how to get special permission to go in for my car. I showed you the form they made me sign, which is an "Allowed to Leave Canada" form. It states:

"To Cameo Garrett,Pursuant to Paragrah 42(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, I am allowing you to withdraw your application to enter Canada and to leave Canada without delay." Date signed: Feb. 16, 2008 I hereby voluntarily withdraw my application to enter Canada and agree to leave Canada without delay. (my signature follows this typed statement)."

I TOLD Canadian Customs that I was not applying to enter Canada and didn't want to sign something that made it sound like I was doing something I wasn't doing, and they threatened to arrest me again. So I signed it, and was upset because it makes me look like I was trying to do something I should have known better than to do, and lacked sound judgment (because I had been removed from Canada only a week earlier and told I could not go back for 1 year, unless I had permission from a Consulate). After the form was signed, they allowed me to leave. Halfway across the lawn, someone came running after me, the same guy (10046 or 10036), because he had given me someone else's birth certificate in addition to my own birth certificate. I gave him the birth certificate belonging to a man in the U.S...

What happened to me while I was in Canada was unbelievable and even RCMP officers were questioning what was going on--perplexed why there was such severe treatment of me when I'm not a criminal or under warrant. The immigration officer there, M. Russ Radi, even ordered jail guards to refuse me the right to call for a private attorney prior, when I made my request all day on a Monday which was the first day offices were open. The guards told me they had to follow his orders, and yet his order was illegal; I have the right, according to Canadian law, to make a phone call to a lawyer and try to reach one by phone. Radi didn't want me to obtain private counsel prior to the immigration hearing--he wanted me to go with a court-appointed lawyer last minute, and the results were disastrous. Radi also had my 2 year old son removed from me and shipped back to the U.S. when he knew I was legally in Canada and had done nothing wrong, and that my son should have remained with me unless extradition proceedings took place. I saw a lawyer in Canada, in Oliver, who advised me I was in Canada legally. In the end, I was handcuffed into a "dog crate" in a van and then dumped at the border. Thank you so much. This isn't a short "reminder" but I hope to stay in your mind well enough until I write my letter and send it to the Canada Customs/Consulate.

Sincerely, Cameo Garrett

Copy of Email to Expert For Measurement of Radiation Exposure

Against all advice, but with only the fleeting hope someone will believe me, and will attempt to contact me, I am including here a copy of my email to an expert in radiation/nuclear technology. It includes a list of the symptoms I experienced, symptoms which have completely resolved and began to go away after I went to Canada. It took at least one full week for the stomach burning and aches to go away. The diarrhea still lasted for weeks, but I regained my period while in Canada. My stress levels in Canada were higher because I was in unknown territory with my son, and then my stress levels even higher when I was jailed in Canada and my son removed from me and yet all the symptoms were gone. They did not worsen with increased stress, as symptoms of a "mental illness" should and this is because these symptoms were real and actual physical symptoms I have some objective evidence for. See email below:

My family and I believe I was subjected to radiation from either a tower near my residence or from some sort of sophisticated microwave frequency. I did not come up with this idea on my own, but became aware of the possiblity after I spoke with a reputable computer expert (who also has a degree in robotics) who has done work for both local police and the FBI. I and my son had been suffering from inexplicable and very severe pain and other health symptoms, and at the same time I was having security problems with my computer. I tried getting new computers and was told someone had to hacking through wifi or bluetooth, because it happened before I was ever online. I would try out a brand new laptop and before I went online, had problems. A computer guy said to try desktop without wifi and when I still had someone hacking on, with 2 different desktops, I went to him to find out how this was even possible. He said the only way it was possible would be through sophisticated microwave frequency, by sending a "pulse". I asked him, if this was true and was happening, could it also explain our health problems and he said if we were getting that kind of level of radiation, yes. My and my son's symptoms were extremely painful and bizarre and we both experienced them. They were as follows:

1. constant diarrhea
2. severe twitching which would last all night (the worst symptoms were at night) and my son and I would twitch at the same time, in sync, not randomly
3. a burn mark on my son's leg where leg meets hip. It was never red. One day there was a round leathery and slightly darker patch of skin and the next day it peeled off whole, like a sunburn would. My son is 22 months old and was never around anything hot and the spot was seen by a doctor who said it wasn't eczema or psoriasis and nothing he could identify
4. severe blistering, ulcers, in my mouth on my upper and lower gums, 3 or 4 at a time (no other health condition to explain this)
5. the most severe fatigue I've ever known
6. Extremely deep aching pain in my bone through my spine, pelvis, and back. I thought I had bone cancer. I had some achiness that radiated down the front of my thighs to my knees and my son rubbed his own legs and would cry
7. severe intestinal burning
8. twice I had pieces of flesh/tissue which came from my body into the toilet and were not bloody but blanched off-white and were a quarter or more in size (second time observed by a nurse who said she saw the tissue asked if I was pregnant but I wasn't and there was zero chance of pregnancy/miscarriage)
9. loss of menstrual period (for me)
10. hair loss from head and non-growth of other body hair (under arms, a hair or two under chin which I usually had to pluck)
11. bloodwork that matches the bloodwork of someone undergoing chemotherapy: showed low WBC, and potassium, alkaline phosphate, and glucose--all in the abnormally low range
12. increase in pain in pelvis, spine, back and legs and stomach when administered DHE through an IV for migraine (3 things were in the IV but the DHE magnified and brought out an intensity in the pain which I cannot explain but there must be a scientific reason)
13. Severe bronchitis for me and my son (croup like respiratory problems and then severe bronchitis) occuring about 4 days after leaving site of believed exposure, where we experienced the symptoms for at least 4 months with growing intensity
14. nausea and loss of appetite for me and my son
15. very severe mood swings and confusion
16. pain so bad in my spine I couldn't stand more than 10 minutes and felt my spine was collapsing when I sat--felt too weak
17. warped/bubbled fingernails and (toenail on my son) with no dietary explanation (we eat organic food and are health nuts and drink bottled water)
18. unexplained constant bruising on arms and legs (about 8 at one time, from nickel size to baseball size)

In addition to the constant pain, both I and my son experienced sudden "jolts" of energy which caused an immediate pressure in my head, and then a crackling feeling or sound as the pressure lessened (my brow would become tight, the head pressure was so great), then almost immediate dizziness and passing out/blacking out followed by extreme stomach cramp and immediate urge to have a bowel movement. A bowel movement was unavoidable after the jolt. I had to try to gain balance and breathe, and make it to the bathroom. Then for at least a half hour to 45 minutes, I felt like I was dying. After 45 minutes the worst of the feeling/symptoms were gone, but one day, before I took my son and left, I had the jolt (and noticed my son was reacting to something too, but would be more lethargic or would scream and hold his head when it seemed to affect him and wake him from sleep) at least 3 times and each time grew weaker and couldn't even think straight. I almost felt I couldn't remember things, short term or recall important things. I had to call ER and they documented my normally low BP of about 70/90 was up to 100/145 and my heartbeat was irregular. That was the other things, I sometimes felt almost seizures or heart palpitations and problems.

The ER didn't know why I was coming in with severe pain and then had symptoms relieved within an hour or so at the hospital and thought it was "somatic" but it wasn't. I didn't come up with the radiation theory...I've had severe political/legal problems with powerful individuals and ever since I've had repeated car vandalisms, property damages and theft, stalking, and harassment as well as mail disturbances and hacking on my computers.

I went to the computer tech for answers about how to block someone from getting onto my computer and ruining things and preventing me from using the computer, and he was the first one to tell me the only way it was possible was through radio frequency or sophisticated microwave frequency. I sstarted looking at symptoms of radiation and I and my son matched those symptoms.

Now, because it sounds wild and unbelievable, Child Protective Services has taken my son from me and is saying I'm schitzophrenic. I've never been diagnosed with mental health illness in my life and my own family has looked at the criteria for schitzophrenia and knows I'm NOT. MY son was never at risk, authorities simpy believe the radiation is not true, even though there is some objective evidence of my symptoms. My family knows me well enough, as do my friends, to believe I should be tested for radiation exposure. I read it can be tested through fingernails even up to several weeks of exposure and last exposure was about 3-4 weeks ago. I am so convinced, I am willing to have a tooth pulled to have it tested and prove I'm not nuts and get my son back. I am also willing to give biopsies. I don't know who can do the testing but I am desperate for help and my family will pay for the testing, and they're not weirdos--they're real estate agents and investors. We are stable, grounded people who believe something very unlikely and horrible has happened and we need proving it. We will pay for the cost. We just need to find out who will do the testing, and make sure it's top-notch or will hold up in court, and because it may be time-sensitive, I'm anxious to do this as soon as possible. I would really appreciate any help. If you or someone from your school or lab or someone you know can do this, I will be on a plane ASAP.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dance: For The Woman and Her Daughter from Costa Rica

I danced last night, in a local tavern with a tiny dance floor. But they were playing good rap/hip hop now and then. I didn't care what anyone thought, but other people, after enough drinks, did get onto the floor. Some guy was commenting about my "Shakira" moves and I was trying to hear the music and feel it. I noticed a woman at the bar, who stood out a little. Everyone there was wearing casual clothing, and not of the most expensive brand, but this woman had short highlighted hair, manicured nails, a rust-colored shearling vest with a grey fur collar, bronze silk turtleneck, trousers, and cute shoes. She had dinner and was drinking white wine. I noticed she was watching me dance with interest and a sometimes far-away expression. I came up to the bar for my own drink, which was water, and she approached me. She said she was watching me because I had reminded her of her daughter, who loves to dance, and shehad to give me a hug and embraced me warmly. This woman was about 50-60 years old, beautiful, and beautiful to the touch--all fur, shearling, and thick silk. The warm colors offset her brown-amber eyes, which seemed so sad. She said thank you (to me!) for being free to dance, and she told me to keep dancing, no matter what anyone thinks. I asked her where she was from and she said she's from Costa Rica. She and her daughter love dancing with a passion and just finished a trip to Cancun, Mexico. She told me she is sad for her daughter sometimes, because her daughter is going to a University in Canada, and the other women are so straight and more uptight and don't want to dance like her daughter does. She tells her daughter to dance anyway.

This woman told me she was going through a difficult time too, and didn't tell me her problems, and she wasn't at all intoxicated, but she found, in me, a kindred spirit. I will never forget her, or that night. It is the first time I've been out dancing since I became pregnant with my son. After he was born, I slept by his side every night. Last night, I danced, not with other men, but just on my own, in a group on the floor, even though I am sad...and I could feel the music. I know my spirit is strong and my son is strong. Most people may not understand me, but a few do, even in passing. To be read by a stranger is a curious thing. How did she know?

We always have a choice to be free.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Bear

Happy Valentine's Day Oliver. I thought about you all night and couldn't sleep. I hear, Granny and Grandpa said you seemed quieter and more subdued than usual. It breaks my heart and I want to see you now, and will come as soon as I can. I'm working on some things to get you back right now, and I'm trying to do what will be best for the long-term. I love you so much it hurts but I know, and it sounds like, we're both strong. I'm so proud of you. I am sooo proud of you. The worst part is that I comprehend what's going on, and you don't know why I've disappeared and you cannot even articulate how you feel and what you want and need right now. I am told you said "McDonald's" the other day when you were driven past a fast food joint. This was our special play place, even in Canada...I took you twice a week and climbed after you in the play structures and bought you french fries. I know you're thinking about me. Don't worry honey because it will be okay. You will understand everything when you're older but it doesn't make a difference now. I hope you can be strong and heal from this. We are survivors. You have always been strong, and I know you suffered with me, with the pains for months, and you were brave. At least I got you away from that. I don't regret leaving, and would do the same thing all over again, but wish we'd left and I'd known what was going on, earlier.

I told you on Christmas and New Year's (which we decorated for) that the next holiday was Valentine's Day. I had planned to decorate and make some things for you. And, I told you, "You get CHOCOLATE on Valentine's Day!" and you perked up and gave a laugh. I hope someone gives you chocolate today. I love you. You are my one true love.

Your mama

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Explanation for What Was Happening

I am smart and sane. I know past blog entries sound nuts and know how "radiation" and "tazer" allegations sound. I'm not an idiot. Obviously. If I wanted to blow everything off as the symptoms of a narcotic addiction, I could have my son back, who was taken from me as, I'm told, a result of my blog (so much for "free" speech). I knew if I kept quiet I could keep up an appearance, and I knew writing would make me sound nuts. I know I can deny it all now. Or pass it off as something else, which I've been tempted to do. And, of course, if it's not "narcotic addiction" or strange reactions to medications, of course I know it then sounds mental and psychotic. I'm fully aware that it sounds, on the face of it, like "paranoid schitzophrenia". Which, by the way, is the best possible defense against any allegation or complaint by me of wrongdoing and illegal activities by others. And, if I so persist in stating what was happening was/is true, of course then I appear to actually be firmly convinced and unshaken in my belief that such incredible events or pangs were taking place, which is then evidence (or should be, of course) of a "grave disability" to the extreme. Oh, if only I were not so damn smart. My intelligence, I've noticed, and ability to articulate and convince people of many of my arguments, has been used against me, and it is implied that I have only passed myself off for sane because of this intelligence.

If SO intelligent, though, why would I shoot myself in the foot? Ahhh...the perplexing combination of high-minded morality and intelligence. My firm convictions and spiritual persuasions; values and philosophies, so strangely held with super-human martyr-like audacity, seem in keeping with schitzophrenia, no?

I will tell you why I am not suffering from narcotic addiction, or paranoid schitzophrenia, and why I am more convinced than ever of my original discovery and insights. If it is to my own detriment, so be it, because it is the truth and I'm sane enough to know the truth, and while intelligent to know how to "save myself", I will not. Because someone besides me should be held accountable for what has been happening and I will die firm in my conviction, and I have means to prove what I have been talking about.

I never should have quit writing. It was bad advice. And if only someone could have prevented me from writing until I saw the psychiatrist and was on psych meds, someone could claim my sudden "sanity" now and disappearance of all pain symptoms that we had before, is the result of a cure.

Cure indeed.

It wasn't narcotics because I left the area with my son and was still taking narcotics but the pain was gone almost immediately. All the symptoms disappeared and I regained my period. It wasn't mental because mental illnesses worsen under stress and my stress levels went up 200% when we left. I took my son across the Canadian border (legally) with $100 in my pocket and nowhere to go. Then other events transpired which were even more stressful than that. And yet the pain was gone almost immediately with a few residual side effects. One thing I noticed, after 2 weeks away, was that my fingernails were growing out and the healthy nail coming in was totally different from the severely warped nail that was growing out. Even my son had warped nails, which was especially noticeable on his big toe on the left foot. I noticed our nails were returning to normal and yet there was no difference in diet. I did a little research and found evidence of radiation is found in fingernails, or can be measured. I still have evidence on my own person but don't have the money to test for it and prove it. I need a lawyer and even a lawyer is going to think it sounds crazy, but it's true.

I had my hair permed and my son's hair was cut, but I saved clips from each of us and stored clips in different locations. Some back at my old house before we left, and others after we left. There is a chance it may be measured in hair but I don't know for sure.

If my pain symptoms were somatic and the result of mental illness, my son wouldn't have had the same symptoms, and when my stress level increased, the symptoms wouldn't have gone away.

After the first or second day in Canada, I still had severe residual pain in the lining of my stomach--a very bad burning feeling. I ended up at a Canadian hospital with one of my regular migraines (on schedule) and they gave me an IV with 3 things in it: ____, DHE, and something else. Someone tried to claim I went to ER on overdose of pills or something but that wasn't true. I called the ambulance for migraine and that should be documented on the ER call. When they put the IV in, the first thing they added didn't affect my body at all. Then the nurse told me she was putting in the "DHE". I've never had DHE before. When the DHE went in, all of the horrible pain symptoms flared up. My entire stomach was burning, the pain radiating down my thighs burned, and my spine and back were 10 times worse. The ache/burning was terrible and I asked them to stop the IV. I told her it was burning. She said that wasn't a normal symptom of DHE. The first thing they put in didn't affect my body at all, but the DHE interacted with whatever state my body was left in, after what I believe was severe radiation. Somehow, it seems whatever damage was done to my body with the radiation was heightened, or the pain of it was heightened, for some reason, by DHE. And yet the DHE instantly almost killed my migraine headache. They added the last, 3rd ingredient to the IV and I felt nothing again--no change except the still-heightened pain aroused by the DHE.

Once my migraine was gone I realized it was the first time I've ever had instant migraine abortion with zero sedating after-effects. No one, in my 10 years of migraines in the U.S., had ever tried DHE and it WORKS for me. I didn't even have to sleep it off. But I was wondering about the pain interaction with DHE, why would DHE bring out the pain symptoms???

I went to the bathroom in the ER. I looked into the toilet before I went and nothing was there, which may be crass to mention, but I am defending my position here, and need to include facts. So I only urinated, and then when I got off and was about to flush, noticed a quarter-sized piece of flesh/tissue in the toilet that was off-white in color, and another nickel-sized piece of tissue/flesh as well. There was zero blood. Just off-white tissue that had come out of my body. I left it in the toilet and told the nurse to have a look. She said she noticed it and asked me if I was pregnant. I told her, truthfully, there was zero chance of pregnancy as I've not had sex since I was pregnant. But there was off-white tissue in the toilet from my body and my entire intestinal lining, pelvis, back, thighs, and spine, were on fire.

Someone needs to shirk off the duty to consider the most likely and possible and start believing in the horrible and the almost-impossible. Because without an advocate who believes me and can put 2 and 2 together, who has a scientific background and knows something about radiation and effects, and without the money to test for possibilities, I lose my son.

I have angered, as someone I will not forget put it, "some big people". I am reasonable. Someone needs to listen to my reason and believe me.

Sacrifice of Issac

I just published 6 latent comments without reading them. I will respond to each when possible, but at this time, I'm back online. I shouldn't have quit writing, but actually followed orders to quit. What has happened?

I will say this: I used to think I would write a "book" one day. Last time I told someone even half of what has happened, they said it'd better be a trilogy. Then, today someone said just one small incident I was describing sounded like something out of a Stephen King novel. I think that's aptly put. Steven King.

I'm 33. I remember anticipating this year of my life, as events unfolded and my problems worsened, as I angered more people, and lost every shred of fear of what anyone could do to me: I was finally free and unfettered, and yet...I knew I would be punished for it. "33 is the year of the crucifixion" I told someone on my birthday. They asked what I meant by that and I laughed and said I've gone through every station of the way of the cross except the actual hanging. I hadn't felt the nails in my hand but what came before was bad enough. Now, I bear the marks of the nails. Or, I'm still hanging, and the only thing saving me and not saving me is that I'm not afraid to die.

I'm not afraid to die for the truth, for principles, for what I believe in, what I write, or what I say. My hope is hope in itself, that my only chance of resurrection is to accept the death of what I was before, to be raised to something greater. How this will happen is beyond me. I have hoped for so long that the truth would be revealed in various circumstances I've been through, when I've been accused of making things up, or imagining things. And faith availed nothing. Yet I cannot lose hope as long as I live and breathe. I am chastised for not conforming and allowing things to happen to me or others without accountability, but should I give up my voice, and lose my integrity, I couldn't live with myself. One must be able to live with themselves before they can live with others.

Some would say that is precisely why one should conform, and yet if the conformity is not genuine, how does the saying go? "(One could) gain the whole world and yet lose his soul..." I cannot give up who I am and my voice, and I cannot give up the truth, for any man or woman. I am obligated to God alone. And when it comes down to even family, and even down to my son, my only begotten son, the joy of my life and my reason for living, if there is a choice to be made, what shall I choose?

If I am asked to recant my existence and God-given purpose and my calling, or lose my son...What kind of choice is that? Recant the truth or lose your son. If I recant the truth now, and submit and conform, I am told I have a chance to take my son back. The son I slept with every night and held and rocked; played with and teased; loved with everything in my being. How could I choose my own integrity over my only son? My son is made a barter, and leverage, and taken from me, has inflicted the worst wounds conceivable. I suffer and my heart breaks, but I had to ask myself what is more important and what is best in the long-term.

I saw Joan of Arc with Milla Jovavich a few days ago. At the stake, she was told to sign a document to recant her visions, and then told this would be what saves her. They burned her anyway. I would feel the fire before the flames ever burned.

As a human being and a devoted mother who has told everyone her first love is her son, my natural instinct is to turn upon myself and deny everything and recant and conform myself as I know I could, to be acceptable and pleasing. For the sake of my son. But what of the truth? And if my son has me now, he is happier, and yet what will he know and learn of me when he is older? What role model do I wish to be for my son and what kind of man do I hope he will one day be? I have always wanted my son to grow into his own person, and yet I do hope he finds courage and strength from my example. Be brave and strong my dear child, because one day you will read this and know I loved you more than my own life and yet not more than the Truth or God. We are called to love ourselves and to love one another, but the first and foremost commandment is to Love the Lord Your God With All Your Heart and if He is the Truth and the Truth shall set you free, I cannot and will not deny what has happened to me or been happening to me AND to my son.

I have come to new conclusions and have better evidence now of what was happening, but although most will never believe or understand and I'm well enough to know this, I cannot sacrifice integrity for anything, not even for the temporal gain of my son. I love you Oliver. I love you more than my own life. But I must listen to my conscience and I pray in the end my choices will serve us well.