01 December 2011

What Transpired Since June. The Power of Blogging. ~drops of jupiter for my little soul sister~

You may have read this post from last June.
Since then, much has transpired in my
story of Yancey.
You can read again or
 scan down to my
post of today,
 November 30, 2011.
I chose to post Yancey's story in one writing,
to keep it all together.
I think when you read what has 
transpired since June,
you will agree....
there is such power in blogging!
Yes, it is long.
But it is so very important to each one of us.
I thank you for reading on.....

Each summer I think of her.
The young girl, who was introduced to me by a friend.
When I met Yancey, she was 17.
17 and a mess.
Through no fault of her own
Although I was not that much older than Yancey,
she seemed years younger. Child-like.
She was the girl who flew through friends because.
Life had handed her a plate filled with sexual, physical, and emotional
abuse when she was little more than six years of age
and it had continued for her whole 17 years that she spent with her father.
Abuse from family members, strangers,
and yes even at times, friends.
When you have no boundaries, friends are hard to keep.
Unscrupulous people will prey on you
And although over a ten year period I hung in there
with Yancey, I have to admit.
At times,
She. wore. me. out.
I can't begin to remember how many times over those years
I was startled out of a dead sleep at 3am
to hear Yancey on the other end of the phone
begging for me to come get her.

I lived in north Georgia.
She was in Atlanta.
A good hours drive to get my girl,
who had become like a little sister.

You see, Yancey was a heroin addict.
 Since the age of 13, she had been using drugs
to try and stop the demons.
Three months on.
Six months off. Three months on...
Well, you get the idea.
When she was using I wouldn't hear from her.

I always knew it was a matter of time before ~

A. She called at 3am-ready to be done with it. Again.
B. It would be the morgue. As I was listed as her "next of Kin".

I cannot remember how many detox centers she went through
Or 30 day, 60 day, 120 day impatient programs she
committed herself to.
I do remember having conversations with the doctors
and counselors, that Yancey's demons were so
deep seeded, so full of family venom, and life shaping forces,
they were unsure of what the future could or would
hold for her.

Yancey had so many suicide attempts in her brief life,
that many programs just didn't want to deal with her.
That's right.
They felt this Human Being was so far gone,
she most certainly would not shine as an
outstanding graduate from their elite
Treatment Program.

In1993, Yancey was living with me~
staying clean, and working a job at a local
pizzeria in my little north Ga. town....

But, I knew it was only a matter of time
before Yancey would once again leave
in the middle of the night.
Hitch her way back to the big city,
because those demons that continued to spew such venom
in her mind and spirit just wouldn't ever quit.

And somehow, Yancey had to make them stop.

At the end of 1995 I found a place for her.
A place very far away from her demons.
A place that I would only provide a
on-way bus ticket.
And she accepted.

A one year program in the deep woods of Minnesota.
In fact, the little town bordered on Canada.
Within hours of arriving, she used her one
phone call to let me know she had arrived safe.
And she was ready to return.
You can bet Yancey was not a happy camper.
I held my ground.

I wrote her letters of love and encouragement.
She would write me back.
In LARGE print, how this was an awful place,
and I needed to send her a bus ticket home.
And so it went.

Until about 6 months later, Yancey had finally committed to
doing the therapy needed to understand that what happened
to her as a child, as a teenager,was wrong.
That those persons who preyed on her,
were hideous monsters.
That not every child has a sexual relationship with
their father and brother.
And their Mother consents to it.

The year went by fast for me.
And Yancey decided to stay in Mn. and enrolled
in the halfway house program offered to her.
I was over-joyed!
She stayed for the full year of that program, too!

In the meantime, I had taken a Equine position in south Florida.
Yancey and I kept in touch.
Eventually she moved back to Georgia.
She stayed clean.
She got a job.
She continued therapy.
She was enrolled in college at the age 27!
She was leading a good, healthy, happy life.

That same year I moved back to Georgia.
Montezuma !
(My Eat, Pray, Love year!)

Yancey and I spoke a couple times a month.
I always felt so much peace after our phone calls.
She was a grown lady now.
Not the 17 year old kid who needed rescuing.
How proud I was of her for all the
gut-wrenching work she had taken on
to conquer those demons.

And then one afternoon, as I sat at my desk in the office
of the Good Doc, eating lunch
and reading the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper
I saw this~

PTC Flight Ends in Disaster for 3  Summer 2000
Tuesday morning, investigators were closely examining the wreckage from the fatal plane crash at Falcon Field Saturday that claimed the lives of three  area residents.
They were looking for any clues of mechanical problems that could have occurred before the crash, said Phil Powell, an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board.
“There was quite a lot of displacement with the engine and propeller,” Powell said near the crash scene Saturday afternoon. But he saw nothing out of the ordinary, comparing the scene to other crashes he has investigated.
The plane, a 1967 Cessna 172 model, had taken off from the airstrip moments before crashing into a wooded area next to the runway, Powell said. The aircraft, which was rented from Peachtree Flight Center, came to rest near the Planterra Ridge golf course.
Witnesses saw the plane begin to spin after it took flight, Powell said. During the spin, the aircraft's nose aimed downward before the plane hit the ground nose-first, he added.
The force of the crash immediately killed the pilot, ********. of Atlanta, said Fayette County Coroner C.J. Mowell.
Both of the passengers, ******** of Atlanta and Yancey ***** of Tucker, were flown by helicopter to Atlanta-area hospitals, Mowell said. Senft died at Grady Hospital during surgery Saturday afternoon and Yancey ***** died Saturday evening at Atlanta Medical Center, the coroner added.
Emergency crews from Peachtree City's Fire and Rescue Department had difficulty extricating the passengers because the passenger compartment was severely compacted, Lohr said.
Despite those challenges, Yancey ***** was in flight after 34 minutes while **** was on his way after an hour, the chief said.

Yancey was taken off life support the next day.

How ironic the a person can put themselves
in harms way over and over for so many years.

How ironic that Yancey had tried to to take her own life so many times....

How ironic that she lost her life in a small plane crash,
when life was finally smiling back at her. And she was in love.....
He died also in the crash.

I remember feeling as if the wind had been knocked out of me.

Because the obit did not include her unusual middle
name, I called the funeral home.
The woman on the other end of the phone line was so calm. So kind.
I explained my reason for the call.

Was her middle name *****? I asked.
Yes, honey. It was.
Said the kind woman.

I didn't go to the funeral.
Instead I went to a Memorial that friends of
Yancey's and I did for her.
I just could not stand to look in the faces of the family
who had robbed that girl of her first 25 years.
Took away the little girl she was supposed to have been....

I think of Yancy all the time.
She spent holidays with me.
Got to pet her first horse.
See a foal being born.
Snuggle with my kitties and pups when she stayed with me.
And some times she irked the heck out of me, wandering the house
with headphones on so she could tune out me the world.
We grocery shopped.
Looked through fashion magazines.
We cooked.
We sat on my front porch.
We did normal stuff
She got to be normal, for the first time in her life.....

Yancey made a lasting impression on my life
of how a person can overcome such
atrocities committed by those who are supposed to
love us, and protect us.

How wonderful it is that Yancey had two awesome years of life well lived.
Free of demons.
Knowing God.

I think of you often Little Soul Sister.
Especially when I hear this song~
I hope you got to touch the Milky Way, sweet Yancey.

Make sure you watch this full screen.
How beautiful it is.

~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Anneewakee Treatment center
When Louis Poetter and nine employees of his Douglas County psychiatric center were arrested in 1986 for the sexual molestings of hundreds of young boys and girls, it was revealed that state authorities had allowed many suspected pedophiles to slip through the cracks since 1970.
Anneewakee is a part of Yancey's story.
If you live or lived in Ga. during the 1980's you most certainly know about this scandal.
It also made national headlines.
There is much available within the internet on the
Anneewakee Scandal.

November 30, 2011

I wrote about Yancey, my little soul sister last June!
Never in a million years did I have any inkling how much
email I would receive from writing that post.
402 emails flooded my inbox. As you imagine, I was quite overwhelmed.

I guess through search engines, survivors of the Anneewakee
scandal found the post about my sweet Yancey.
There are still so many lost souls from this heinous tragedy.
People who walk along side us each day feeling grief and pain
from a childhood stripped away from them.

This place, that was supposed to help "troubled youth",
involved using these children as forced laborers, and committing
sexual, physical, and emotional abuse was a part of that program.
Education was supposed to be provided at Anneewakee.
It was not.

Many of the emails that were sent to me had  no reply address, so I was unable to thank them
for reaching out. Most just wanted to tell "their story". So if you are one those email senders,
know just how much I treasure that you confided in me.

Many were letters thanking me for helping Yancey.
Please know that I have guarded Yancey as closely in death as I did in her short life.
But, one email touched my heart and my soul.
And I felt Yancey say, "Yes, it's OK. Tell!"

The following is the first email I received from this awesome girl!

Begin email 
I read your blog about Yancey. A beautiful and tragic story. I too went to Anneewakee and through some sort of unexpected fate have become time and history keeper of a group of survivors. I do not remember a girl named Yancey who went there. Do you know what years she attended? Do you feel comfortable divulging her proper first and last name (or even the middle name you mentioned in the blog)?

 We are a strong group (dispite being slightly damaged) and would like to offer up prayers/positive energy to ease her travels in the after life. Thank you for all you did for her. It looks as if in her last years she found peace. So many of us still struggle. If only there had been more people like you when we left ATC, we all would have peace. Thank you again,.X  
end of email

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
At the end of my original story about Yancey, I wrote that Anneewakee was part of Yancey's story. What I didn't say was that Yancey never attended Anneewakee herself. Her father was a psychiatrist there.
Because there were so many doctor's (do we even dare call them that?) who worked with the program,
 I have no qualms about writing this. 
 And after much investigating over the last few months, I found that he has died. There was no funeral for him.

 I know in my heart, that he did not cross through the same gates Yancey did when she left this World. 
He was not welcomed into that universe.
He was a monster. 
He experimented on her like a lab rat. And later used used those techniques on the victims of Anneewakee.
 He did things to six year old Yancey that no one should have survived. And continued until she had herself declared an emancipated minor. And legally changed her name to not be associated with him.
Yet, she did survive.
For years now I have been keeper of a box that Yancey left with me. Documents, letters, photographs,
 all things of an admission from a man who was supposed to be a father. Not a demon in a parental position.

A box full of things given to the judge at the time of her emancipation. And did the judge strip her father's license? No. Because years later, it came out, that judge also was somehow involved in Anneewakee. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Part of my email back to X

Even though Yancey was never a "student" at Anneewakee, is there any way her name could be added as one of those who suffered at the hands of those who preyed on all of you? It would mean a lot to me to have Yancey's name somewhere, in print, forever. 

As a survivor! 

Feel free to contact me again.

Best Regards and I wish you nothing but peace, my friend!

 xo, misha

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Email from X
Thank you so much contacting me. My heart is broken for your dear friend. I will approach my Anneewakee brothers and sisters about adding her name to our Survivors Roster. I am positive that there will be no problem with her name being listed with ours. It is an informal list and no one other than us will probably ever see it, but to us it is important to have our names all together in a list and I personally would be honored to add Yancey's name .  May I ask her father's name? We have several names of former ATC employees that are on our radar, which sadly includes obituary watch.We do not wish anyone's death, but some of us will find closure only in knowing that no other child will be hurt. Thank you for your beautiful words about Yancey and for all you did for her, X  
end of email

I really have felt the need to document everything that has come my way since June when I first wrote of Yancey. I asked permission of X and this was her response-

.......middle of email from X  Of course you can publish our emails. Many of the survivors, including myself feel forgotten, so I personally welcome the reminder to whomever will hear our story. end of email

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

.......Middle of my email to x- Stay in touch!. I will update about Yancey soon on the blog. I will be honest-when I found out her "so-called father" was dead, the song from the Wizard of Oz played in my head. "Ding-dong, the *%@% is DEAD!" 

Much grace and love being sent to you~

xo, misha

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Middle of email from X.....Do not feel guilt in the pleasure you have taken from this mans death. Knowing that he will hurt no other child is an allowed pleasure. At least in my mind. There is, I am convinced, a section of hell (or whatever place the evil spend eternity) where those involved in the ATC abuse will reside. 
I will certainly keep in touch.
 Fate brought us together and I never argue with fate. 
 Best regards, x

I cannot thank this brave woman enough!
Much of her writings that I did not share
brought me to tears.
We are a World that abhors any kind of 
child abuse.
But, so much of it happened long before 
it became "socially acceptable"
to speak about.
 This summer after writing about Yancey 
and having so many people contact me about
her and sharing there own stories,
my heart was so very heavy.
Heavy from feeling how much pain
so many souls carry each day,
yet trying to survive this world each day.

My hope in sharing Yancey with you 
and my new wonderful friend,
is that you will keep them in your thoughts.
Ending abuse begins with each one of us.

Thank you for sharing in my update about Yancey.
I am forever grateful to have been her friend.
I have been missing her so very much...

To X,
{A quote from one of X's many emails to me}
"Anneewakee has fallen, and those who caused us pain as children are dying, but unfortunately the pain lives on in our hearts. For some of us it was worse than others. Most of us are just trying to survive on a daily basis."

Thank you for trusting me with your story, X.
I admire you. You are a hero to me!
I wish you nothing but peace....
~ ~ ~ 

The first 22 comments are from the first post in June, 2011
Please feel free to comment now in December, 2011
I am sure that X would appreciate any kind words that should come her way!.


Jeni said...

No words can make it right, but I'm so very happy Yancey had such a wonderful friend in you.

Donna said...

Yancey was sooo lucky to have you in her life!
Big Hugs!

Kris said...

wow -- what a road -- what a story -- glad you have wrote it down -- I feel for you and that loss - super glad you have a wonderful view and love for her.. that says a lot about your kind soul you are!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Beautiful story, Misha. She was so lucky to have you as a soul sister. Love this song, and you're right. It's perfect. Hugs, Tammy

texwisgirl said...

wow. she made it thru all of those horrendous storms in her life to the sunshine. i hope she and her beloved are enjoying another life together now.

Marilyn said...

I can not even imagine living a life like your friend. God did give her you in his wisdom. Will listen to the song now. ♥♫

Snappy Di said...

Ugh.. molestation does awful things to a person for the rest of their life. I had a friend in grade school that was molested by her brothers. I saw her at our 35th high school reunion and she still acts and talks oddly in her 50's. She doesn't have addictions that I am aware of but it certainly affected her mentally. So sorry for the loss of your friend. SO very sorry.


Karen said...

She was so lucky to have an angel like you to help her ride the storm. Life is so unfair sometimes..

Beautiful post, Misha - you are such a kind soul.

Mary said...

I am running the gamut of emotions here. You are a true friend and I am so sorry for your loss. She is soaring high and free now.

Rural Revival said...

It just doesn't seem right or fair that after all the crosses she had to bear that this is the outcome. Two years. And while my soul weeps for your sweet soul sister and for the loss you have endured dear friend, I know that she has eternity with no pain, no hurt and that she will be there waiting for you and being there for you when you join just as you were for her. Those two years might be but a flash but they were far more than what she would have had without you.
I'm so sorry Misha. This must have been a painful post to write. I'm crying here just thinking about what it would feel like, I can't begin to imagine the real thing.

LYLASS (yep two..you know what it means)

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Such a tragic end to a sad but precious life. She was a very lucky girl to have had you befriend her and help her find her way. You never gave up on her. I always loved that song but after reading your story it will always have a different meaning to me. You're a special person Misha.
Maura X

Country Dreaming said...

What a tough time for both of you.
So sorry to hear of this.
God gave her the best Soul Sister she could of asked for.
Blessing to both of you.


Deb said...

Misha, you are a beautiful soul. I'm so glad that you were there for her. It takes a strong person to deal with someone elses addiction and it's a long, hard row to hoe. I'm glad you posted about this (for yourself).


Joycee said...

My heart cries for the thousands of Yanceys out there, her soul finally free from her Hell on Earth. If you had not been there to catch her falls, if you had not embraced her when no one else would, she surely would have lived in vain. God bless you for trying so hard to chase away the demons and give Yancey some good memories to carry along with her on the path. Drops of Jupiter has new meaning to me now.

Jeanette said...

I don't even have any words, Misha. Just know that you were the best friend you could be and made her life worthwhile.

ain't for city gals said...

Thank you for never giving up on Yancy..I think nohting makes me more angry than sexual abuse....I just can't imagine living her life.

Samantha said...

No words, Misha...that just broke my heart.
I'll celebrate the fact she had time to discover her real self.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

How blessed Yancy was to have you for a friend. She was crying for help and you HEARD her and more than that you HELPED!!

God Bless you! and thanks you for sharing her story. We know there are many more out there. Abuse takes many forms. Many hear us crying, but few help.

Billie in TX

Lana said...

Sweetest most hopeful words of the entire story... "Knowing God"...
You will see her again, and perhaps the Lord will allow HER to gratefully hand you your crown and reward.
Thank God for friends like you.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh Misha, such a sad, happy, sad story; it always amazes me God knows how strong we can be, even though it sucks us dry at the time. You're a good woman, Misha; Yancy was blessed to have you in her life.

Lynne said...

I "HAPPENED" on to you through Red Gate Farm. Talk about feeing kindred . . . Reading this felt like I was reading a sacred.ethereal.tender treasure.

Yancey and you WERE GOD.

Thrilled to have met you.
Love, Lynne

kpaints said...

Thank you for this post and sharing Yancy...

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh my gosh, this is just horrible! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for having a kind heart and caring about this little girl when no one else did.

Mary said...

I am still trying to wrap my head around how people can be so truly evil. I just don't understand it. This shook me to my core in June and it still haunts me. God bless you Misha!

Hartwood Roses said...

I remember your telling of this story in June, and it is even more touching with this new info. Yancy rose above her demons with your help, and she was on a good path. I pray that others in her situation can also find some sort of peace.

Gone Country said...

That is quite a story. I went through many emotions while reading it... sad, happy, mad. I think you should write a book about this... to shed light on the travesties of abuse that most of us can't even begin to imagine and to honor those who have survived and what they had to go through to get where they are today.

Thank you for your friendship to Yancey. She was a lucky girl to have you in her life and it's OK to miss her!

I once befriended a coworker that suffered from an eating disorder. We got her into several different programs to help her out but none of them broke through the cause of her eating disorder and she eventually died. Sometimes I still wonder if there was something else I could have done to help her overcome the control that food had over her.

God Bless You!

Deb said...

Good Morning Misha! You are right about the power of blogging and this is a very powerful story.

I would like to remind X and the other survivors of this tragedy that they are not "damaged" in the eyes of God:) I hope they find peace in this lifetime as Yancey did:)

TexWisGirl said...

God bless all of the victims of this abuse - brave survivors from such a traumatic past. God bless you for sharing this with us. :)

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Misha I cried as I'm sure everyone who read your post last summer did for poor Yancey and the children who went through this terrible atrocity. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and I pray they have all found some measure of peace since those terrible days. Thank you for sharing this story with us...we need to be aware that things like this do happen in the world and we need to stop being afraid to speak out about them. It's by reading stories like this that keep us alert to the dangers that are out there so we can protect our children and others who are vulnerable.
Maura X

Donna said...

I can't imagine the life of abuse. It is so common these days and thank God more people are speaking out!
Yancey was sooo lucky to have you in her life! What a blessing you were to her.
Big Hugs,

(I love your header)

Heart2Heart said...

WOW talk about a life coming full circle in an unexpected twist of fate. Thank you for sharing this story and for those that it will help and heal as they read it. May they find the knowledge of seeing how life can sometimes take unexpected turns and how sometimes the worst things in life can bring about good in unique ways. God is special like that.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Lynne said...

Misha . . .
Today, as I read your words and recounting the chapters of Yancey's life I was struck with an emotion much like what I felt when I was first meeting you . . .

I can not imagine Yancey's pain . . . the loss she experienced is unfathomable . . .
And the loss, sadness, hopefulness and then tragedy . . . you must feel/felt makes my heart ache . . .

No doubt . . . SOUL sisters for each and the other . . .

People will often say . . . "everything happens for a reason" . . . Personally, in my book there is NO REASON child abuse atrocities should ever exist. NOT EVER . . .
In my book, Yancey didn't go through what she endured because . . . "everything happens for a reason . . ."

God's Serendipity . . . bring us to one another . . .

You my dear . . . are a beautiful soul . . . and are loved . .
Love, Lynne

Cindy said...

I just read your post about Yancey. I am truly touched by your unselfish, unconditional love for this beautiful girl. She was truly blessed to have you in her life.
There are so many children who are handed this awful sentence of child abuse and suffer in silence. Thank you for taking care of her. God bless you..

Hobgoblin238 said...

What are the names on the annawaakee survivor list?

What are the names of the people that did the abuse?