An Unusual Christmas Wish

If I had one wish it would be to have more time. Not time in a day or time for getting things done but time that I didn’t get; that was lost. My life is a lot like a blank slate in many ways since I lost my mother so young. My memory of her is a tangled mess of broken pieces that are faded and unclear sprinkled with a few bright moments that are so brilliant they illuminate the absolute desperation of the wet hard road of my childhood. The floor didn’t just fall out from under me the house caved in on my head as well and just as I dug up out of the rubble my darling sister died. Fucking time again. It managed to lasso me with my back turned. She was gone and what might have been was miles back on that bloody fucking road again. So it’s time that I would wish for, memories that were never stored, logged, booked, banked.

…..And my solution is that the next twenty years of my life are going to be dramatically different from the last twenty years. I’m going to write more, paint and listen to music every chance I get. I will spend quality time with my kids and do everything in my power to never become my parents. I vow to enjoy the scenery and not take things so seriously. I’m going to try to learn to appreciate my gifts and life skills and while this road has been brutal; left me jaded, torn, run-down and left for dead, it’s also taught me to survive and then how to succeed. So it’s not about everything that I remembered; that I hate about my past and what I lost. The answer is in how to change the future; survive; succeed.


Lost Girl

When I was fourteen years old my mother said to me, “Kristi, I’m done raising kids.” She rented me an apartment and moved in with her boyfriend which was forty-five minutes away from me. I admit I was both terrified and thrilled because in my mind my house was going to be party central. Luckily for me just down the hall there was a group of three twenty-something guys who were nice enough to truly look out for me. Yeah well, they also let me smoke pot any time I wanted but they saved me from a lot of bad things and made sure I got to school most days. Fast forward to three years later. My mom decided she didn’t want to rent the apartment for me so I could finish high school so she told me to find a place to live. We didn’t exactly have a great relationship because I’m sure I was a normal teenager and I was pissed that she had taken off on me. Anyway, I dug up my father and he found a condo that we could live in. He bought me a little car that I could drive forty minutes each way to school every day and I moved in. I was there a total of eight days and the phone rang one evening about 7:30 pm. My mom was dead. I was seventeen. To say that there were things left undone and words left unsaid is a gross understatement of epic proportions. I cannot ever express the regret I have about leaving things the way I did. People always say, “If I could just have five more minutes…” but that would never work because those five minutes wouldn’t be enough because how would you leave them? How could you leave them?

After the death of my mother I stayed in bed for six months. Literally. My father attempted to help by getting me counseling but it was a total waste of time because the counselor was an idiot. We also took the, “someone died, let’s take a trip” vacation, which was fun but weird and sad. Of course, I paid for the trip with my inheritance. I also bought a car. In fact, we both did, dad and I. When we returned from Mexico my father bought a house so I could start college and he could commute back and forth to Kansas City from Minnesota. He had started seeing a woman pretty seriously around this time and was spending a lot of time with her which was fine because I wasn’t used to seeing him anyway. He finally came to me and told me that he was moving to Kansas City for good and if I wanted to come along he would pay for me to attend the University of Kansas. I was in a serious relationship and had been for nearly two years but it was tumultuous and had been for quite some time so Kansas City was a no-brainer for me. I packed my things and headed south. Dad had re-married and they bought a house that we all moved into. None of us were used to living together or even really knew each other. I suddenly had four brand new brothers and a stepmom and I was twenty-one years old. I had been living on my own since I was fourteen years old so to suddenly be thrown back into a home with rules and limitations was a bit of a wrench-to-the-head. My stepmother expected me to act and behave like her children did and when I didn’t conform to her standard, she hated me. She hated that my father didn’t discipline me for things that she didn’t like. She finally told me that she didn’t care about me or my poor dead mother. That was the point when I turned loose of any hope of ever having a relationship with her.

That first fall I lived with Dad and her, I enrolled at KU and I gave them my tuition statement. Apparently though, the agreement had changed. They declined to pay. I spent that year working and saving money and learning how to get loans. Then the following summer I went to my dad without any previous discussion and let him know that in one week I would be leaving for the summer and in the fall I would not be back. I graduated with honors from KU four years later without taking one red cent from them. That was my fuck you and my thank you to them.

Currently I have no relationship with my father and that’s totally by choice. The relationship we used to have was phone calls, seeing each other at family gatherings and seeing each other if I bring my kids to see him. We live thirty-minutes apart, not 500 miles.  He has never taken the initiative to seek me out or spend time with me unless he needs a ride to the airport. At this point in my life I have no plans of ever re-establishing a relationship with my father because I fear it would always be on his terms and I’m not prepared to go the distance of fighting it out and being a belligerent child in order to get my way. I am prepared however, to just walk away.

The Stonewall Effect

The soundtrack of my childhood is a beautiful and bitter goulash of Presley, Franklin, Ross, violence and hatred. The blood spatter that stained our stairway walls never washed off because no one bothered to address it in between beatings. It’s unclear to me still if anyone ever knew the stains were so prominent or if I just noticed them as my hair was being ripped out at the scalp.

The seventies weren’t as beautiful as GQ and Playboy make them out to be on account of my functionally alcoholic parents. The true romance of growing up in the fifties and sixties was that bourbon was actually served with every meal including holidays unless it was a Sunday in which case copious amounts of wine and brandy were in every glass. There were drinks at every meal; near applause when the ice jingled like tiny bells into the first glass and screaming when the first knuckles berthed onto skin. It was liquor that afforded me a sickness I never wanted and a big screen to watch and learn several generations try and fail, laugh and cry, sin and be victims. I knew from a very early age the person I never wanted to be and I always felt a secret bit of kept joy that I escaped my own demise. It’s as though I’ve escaped a lifetime that passed me by on a train. I did not wave and but also I did not fully appreciate the gravity or significance of my fictional deposition. What I did do was survive.

The one thing I never planned on was that it would take me so long to learn how to make good choices. Not like having ordered the best plate on the menu or feeling as though you found a really great pair of jeans. After decades of watching the women I love being treated like professional whores it would seem like a high school diploma and the University of Kansas might have cured me of needing something just short of a rape kit.

So my New Year’s resolution in July is to spend the last six months of 2014 escaping regret that I don’t absolutely have to pay for. I’m not afraid of the future but rather the past. My alcoholic father likes to brag that Stonewall Jackson is a distant and historically important relative to this family which is probably total crap with the exception that according to namesake, we are inherent bullshitters.

No Regrets

I don’t want leave this world with regret. It’s sort of like getting hit in the head with a baseball over and over because you don’t get out of the way of the bat. I don’t need to get hit again.



Rachael Christine

Rachael Christine

Intervention tonight is about heroin addiction.  The addict described heroin as her best friend – her only friend. Heroin is always faithful. She said it always makes her feel better and it brings instant relief.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that heroin can cause death.

I am here to report that heroin does cause death. I lost my sister to heroin 8/10/12.

Nothing is more expensive than regret.  Nothing pounds into your body harder than knowing you can’t take it back.  Nothing.


Addiction Speaks…Read Carefully

Hello, I am your disease

“I Hate meetings…I Hate higher powers…I Hate anyone who has a program.

To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am the disease of addiction.

I Am cunning, baffling, and powerful.

That’s Me.

I have killed millions and I am pleased.

I love to catch you with the element of surprise.

I love pretending I am your friend and lover.

I have given you comfort, haven’t I?

Wasn’t I there when you were lonely?

When you wanted to die, didn’t you call on me? I was there.

I love to make you hurt.

I love to make you cry.

Better yet, I love to make you so numb you can neither hurt nor cry.

When you can’t feel anything at all, this is true gratification.

And all that I ask from you is long-term suffering.

I’ve been there for you, always.

When things were going right in your life, you invited me.

You said you didn’t deserve these good things, and I was the only one who would agree with you.

Together we were able to destroy all the good things in your life.

People don’t take me seriously.

They take strokes seriously, heart attacks, even diabetes, they take seriously.


Without my help these things would not be possible.

I am such a hated disease, and yet I do not come uninvited.

You choose to have me.

So many have chosen me over reality and peace.

More than you hate me, I hate all of you who have a 12 step program.

Your program, your meeting, your higher power, all of these things weaken me, and I can’t function in the manner I am accustomed to.

Now I must lie here quietly.

You don’t see me but I am growing bigger than ever.

When you only exist, I may live.

When you live I may only exist, but I am here.

And until we meet again, if we meet again, I wish you death and suffering.”

~Unknown Author

Rachael 8/10/12

Addiction Kills

Rachael Christine Schlingmann 9/21/88 – 8/10/12

Ten days ago that phone call came.  The one that you receive which delivers information your brain cannot register.  My sister was dead.  She died of a catastrophic heroin overdose which only means she ingested too much heroin for her body to handle at one time.

I haven’t spoken to my friends about it because they were all present for the last traumatic death in my life.  They were all lucky enough to watch, front row, when my mother was killed and I decided then that I would never grieve publicly again.  I don’t want to see the sad faces, I don’t want anyone to cry for me or to pity me, I don’t want my Facebook page to be on fire with condolences.  I sincerely appreciate that people care about my well-being.

I knew my sister was an addict.  It’s impossible to explain the helplessness I felt when I watched the priest close the lid of the casket for the last time.  As we stood graveside and they lowered her casket into the grave I felt such sadness.  It was not supposed to work out this way.  This was not the plan.

It was gray and almost rainy.

Rachael Schlingmann Memorial Fund

I love you sister.

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