Personal

Finnish Fuckery

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I’m slowly settling in the middle of fucking nowhere, Finland far away from humans (see above photographic evidence). I’ve temporarily misplaced my creative jizz due to stress so I’m hoping the silence here will render the muse’s voice more than a mere echo. I managed to somewhat wrap A Gay-Ass Fairy Tale: Under the Veil and published it straight to Amazon and Smashwords. The novella was written for my daughters who questioned gender identity and certain neuro-typical constructs. The entire first chapter was a conversation I had with my youngest daughter. It was a fun break from horror. I rushed certain aspects of the manuscript and cover given the situation with Brian and being abroad but will revisit the work soon and tweak these elements until I’m somewhat satisfied. An updated version will be formatted for both print and digital copies. For now, it’s available only in digital format. It is largely meant for the LGBTQ community so, cishets who are prejudiced, take note, this isn’t for you. If you’re a conservative extremist, I’m probably not a good fit for you with regard to any content I create. I do get tired of you bigots emailing me to tell me I’m too vulgar and that you hate gays. Fuck right off, cunts. 😘

I have been slowly working on Azalea City (second book in the Clay Reynolds series after Bronze City), but the content is far darker than its predecessor and given certain real life situations, I have needed regular breaks from the writing. The subject matter needs a delicate but raw and honest approach. I’m walking that line carefully but without too much censoring. To break up this writing, I have been working on a contemporary romance. It’s not at all typical for the romance genre, and I’m having a lot of fun with this piece. I don’t plan to self-publish this manuscript. That’s all I’m comfortable with saying on that WIP for now. In addition to working on these novels, I’m working on claymation illustrations for a children’s dark fiction book, which has been more fun than should be allowed for something deemed work. I also have plans to release three horror shorts soon: Poker Night, Goodnight Beautiful, and a horror short companion for Under the Veil. Don’t hold me to that. I suck at deadlines and time management and writers are professional liars by trade. Goodnight Beautiful will likely be released first. You can find all of my short stories and most of my flash fiction on site. This type of content will always be free.

I do want to take this opportunity to once again inform those of you following my activism and abuse advocacy of the fact that I have retired from those pursuits (as of 2018 or 2019). I’m still getting a lot of emails to the website requesting help and assistance from abuse victims. I am deeply sorry for what you’re experiencing however, I’m no longer in a place to offer the assistance I gave in the past. I have had a lot to deal with in my personal life and haven’t been able to even answer these requests, and again, my sincere apologies there. I did read them. There were about forty pages of these emails. It was a bit overwhelming. Coral Anika Theil is an activist in the abuse community and you may want to check her out if this is something with which you are currently dealing. I have left all my posts on abuse available to those who need that content, simply check the archives. The most frequented of these posts are the Open Letter to Judge Gorsyca, The Custody Game (note: some links in the Custody Game are broken and probably throughout many posts on site. I’ll correct these issues as time permits), and The Link Between Religion and Abuse. There are other good ones such as, Don’t Censor your Inciting Incidents which focus more on healing. You can search for these on site and rabbit hole from there with the suggested related content at each post’s end.

Many of you follow me from social media. I will not be returning to Facebook or like social platforms in order to solely focus on fiction writing. My social media presence became something of a joke to me. I mean no disrespect to anyone who actually followed me for my words or friendship, but the stalking situations and the thirsty bois just got in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. The stalker situations were downright terrifying. I never intended to have a large social media following, especially in that influencer aspect. I do thank those of you who followed me on social media for being here now. Your support means so much to me. Also, a big thank you to all of you who have purchased my work. You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

Many of you have asked about me and the girls following Brian’s passing. We’re dealing, trying to adjust to life in Finland, and getting settled in our new place. Being from the South, the weather is a huge adjustment. Being an American in a country that actually gives a fuck about its citizens is also a huge adjustment. The language and cultural differences are mostly comical and amusing, occasionally frustrating. Somehow, I confused Finnish and Swedish and started accidentally learning Finnish because me. I’m working that out. The people here have been warm and welcoming. I owe a huge thank you to a certain crazy haired viking. Thank you so much for seeing me and Layla safely settled and for all your support and love.

I’ve been away for a bit, both emotionally and online. Know that I’m okay and am just busy writing. I miss you guys (except you stalky fucks. I don’t miss you one bit). I’m gonna fuck off now and get back to all things fiction. Later, dorks.

Life After Death

Most of those following me know that my life has been a real life version of A Series of Unfortunate Events. That’s Layla’s latest comparison of our life these last few years. Brian and I separated in 2016. That same year he told me he was dying and gave me his will and medical directive. The last four years have been harsh and painful. We wore smiles for those around us, especially the girls, though not convincingly, I don’t think. We made a lot of inappropriate death and dark humor jokes (okay that was actually just us and not the situation). Still, we made it work. Ish. Mostly Brian made it work. I didn’t believe he was dying. He always said I lived on a Piscean cloud where my reality was what I wanted in those times when it was just unbearable. We had him tested for every cancer and disease. Every test was negative. The final test was for his heart. The doctor’s office cancelled it the day before his first heart attack. So close. We were so close.

Brian never wavered in his knowing that he was in the final chapter. I didn’t realise how prepared he was to die until he was gone. I had spent the last year in Finland, unable to return stateside after a travel ban was issued by Finland. When Brian picked me up from Hartsfield-Jackson upon my return, he said, “Tag, you’re it. You got this, Kim. You can do this. I can go now.” He would die three weeks later.

Tag you’re it was a whole ass parenting mode for us with the girls. When one parent was stressed and ready to tap out, we did. The other parent was tagged while the stressed parent took a time out. It wasn’t meant to be permanent. I’m not sure I got this. I laughed, a manic sort of shaky laugh, at his words. Was this fucker serious? He was. I told him it didn’t work without him. I watched him spazz over every unfinished thing in his life for those three weeks. The kitchen sink needed to be sealed. The trim I hadn’t painted in the apartment the year before needed to be finished. I watched as he darted all over the apartment half mending things before moving onto other things. He did shots of Jack at 11 a.m., which at the time, I thought irresponsible. He even asked for frybread, which he hadn’t wanted to try once in our nearly fifteen years together. I begged him to consider moving away from Alpharetta. He only smiled. I said, “You’re never leaving Alpharetta are you”? He shook his head.

 

I’ve never witnessed anything more courageous than seeing a man know death was closing in and yet, he still managed to laugh, to joke, and to live. None of us were prepared. Though he’d been steadily trying to prepare me for the last four years, I didn’t believe it. He seemed too full of life to be nearing its end. That takes courage. Even the doctors said he was okay. How difficult that must have been to have that knowledge and yet put on a smile day every day. I never saw him cry or get angry about it. I can look back now and see that those emotions were there but channeled in various ways.

After Brian’s death, the vultures the girls and I had counted as friends and family descended, wanting our material possessions and money. Some gracious soul even reported me to CPS for child abuse. Two weeks after Brian’s death CPS arrived on a Sunday intending to arrest me and Layla. Ah, America. Another lovely being stole my daughter’s personal documents from our residence preventing us from obtaining her passport for a few months and making CPS hide and seek an exhilarating post traumatic boss level in this game of life. We left everything in Atlanta and ran. (Thanks, you fuck of a cunt.) Others demanded an autopsy because surely I had come from Finland and killed my husband. Surely. And surely, he wasn’t gay…. I mean…. “can you believe this shit” (this bitch wrote?) Believe it, bitch. Thanks, cunts. I saw a side of people I hadn’t expected. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Even the funeral home fucked us over. Brian’s death was a feeding frenzy for the most depraved people. Yes, I’m mad as fuck.

We’re safe now. After months of bullshit from others and being targets for greedy fucks, we’re safe. Now, some three months after Brian’s death, we can actually begin the grieving process. It still doesn’t seem real. I miss him so much. This is killing me. I look at Layla and I have no words of comfort to offer.

I don’t got this, Brian. I just don’t. But I’m trying. I am. I keep in touch with Larry. He’s awesome and I jokingly tell him he’s going to be my next gay husband. He took your favorite hat and your colognes. He really misses you. He was right there for me and Layla through everything. I know you wanted us to stay in Alpharetta but that didn’t work out thanks to the whole CPS thing. (You fucking soulless, heartless sewer scum…how the fuck can you do that to a child who just lost her father? Fuck but I wish you the worst life and death. I really fucking mean that. Just die impaled upon your loathsome, bottom feeding, cuntfuckery). Instead, we found a place far away from everyone. We cut out so many people from our lives. We’re now in Bear medicine. Appropriate don’t you think? Also, I finally went full Apple. You bastard. Layla went ice skating and has started sculpting with plans to work on a stop motion claymation project. She’s currently sculpting something that looks like an extra in Silent Hill. I’m fucking impressed. She kept your t-shirts and wore the Jason one to your viewing, which I encouraged because…your kid. Next week, she’s dying her hair black. I gave Ray the keyring she got you over a decade ago for Father’s Day. I kept the post it notes I wrote you that you saved, you sentimental fucker. I’ve been cooking way too much food. I hit a woman for talking shit about Layla. Bonus, I did it in your bedroom shoes. I bought a ridiculous amount of socks. I gave all the corporations calling about past due bills varying accounts of your absence such as: you were abducted by aliens, you will call them back upon reincarnation, you’re dead and mommy can’t come to the phone because she’s next door playing unicorn dress up with the neighbor’s spouse (done in my best kindergarten voice. It’s my favorite. So far). I got piss drunk one night and smoked a ton of pot for a month. (Don’t worry, I’m sober now.) One fine Saturday, I stared at a wall for seven straight hours. I gave away over fifteen thousand dollars to various people and causes (haha vultures…bet that hurts, lol).

We all have the same music play lists so just so you know, you’ve ruined music for all the Bowers women. Your mom and sisters, Chris, the family, they’ve protected and sheltered us. Raul was invaluable comic relief at what was the worst Christmas ever. Mom stole the neighbor’s rooster. Amy and Susan nearly took out a patriarchal twat waffle at the dump. The funeral home did and didn’t have your ashes so Amy and I drove back and forth to Atlanta to not retrieve them and retrieve them. We discovered that we can’t actually eat a whole suitcase of Krystal’s but we tried. I taught Mom Finnish curse words but she doesn’t know it. Amy and I pranked Mary Jo so good we almost felt bad (Layla recorded it on her phone). You would have been appropriately displeased. No one is exactly sure what to do with the ludicrously large portrait of you from the funeral home so we put it in the closet where it belongs. (That may or may not be appropriate but I know you’d appreciate it). That’s how we’re dealing. Or not.

Sorry about that side trip, guys. I meant to update everyone on what I’m doing and shit but fuck it. Writing seldom goes where you mean for it to go. The girls and I are trying to be positive and focus on a new beginning. We’re settling into this new place. Soon we’ll be back to something resembling normal for us. Until then, we’re going to focus on each other and healing.

We miss you, Brian. But we learned something from you. I’m probably not going to do shots of Jack at 11 a.m., but I am going to live in that spirit. Remember our deal, bitch. I’ll be waiting.  

P.S. Cosmo is still a dick but she misses you too. Willow is still eating cat food and only gives a shit about chicken and rice. Peace, queen. 

 

 

In Memory of a Great Man

Brian Bowers October 03, 1978-October 18, 2020

December 2019, my husband, Brian, had a widow maker. He had a 91% blockage in his main artery. According to his chart, he was without oxygen for 30 to 45 minutes. He was struggling with many issues as a result of this heart attack. Brian joked about having died and came back. I told him he respawned with a shitty lag.

Brian and I were together for 14 years. I found out Brian was gay five years into the marriage. I didn’t say anything. I waited two years for him to come out to me, and later, Ray and Layla. Brian and I maintained an open relationship but remained married. Not just for the kids but for us. Brian called our relationship a beautiful mess. He felt guilty over me. Felt he hurt us and said he ruined everything. I told him that was ridiculous, that our relationship had transcended the burdensome cishetero definition of love and marriage, that outdated, oppressive concept of ownership. Our love evolved. I told him we unlocked a new level.

We had a beautiful relationship. I wish that for everyone. That you find someone with whom you can share a pure love and pure intimacy. I’m lucky, we were all lucky, to have known him and to have had the chance to make so many amazing memories with him.

Brian suffered from depression because of domestic violence and hiding his sexuality. He hid his sexuality for many reasons. He was afraid friends and family may not accept his lifestyle (and some have proven this to be true). He was terrified that in Trump’s America someone might discover his secret and become violent. He worried Layla might be bullied by peers for having a gay father.

I spoke with Brian’s doctor on Friday. He believes Brian died from an oncoming heart attack. This was later confirmed by the ME who said Brian died peacefully in his sleep from a heart attack he didn’t even feel. Brian’s heart monitoring app showed erratic heart rates for many weeks.

Brian was all he encompassed in his characters in gaming. A healer, a fighter, cover when you needed it. Maybe he didn’t have the best dance moves but he still danced. He listened. He protected. He fought hard for women who were victims of domestic violence. He took on all the life bosses. He was always down to finish the fight.

I’ve been sitting here these last weeks trying to understand his death. His healthcare team missed so much. Why? I thought of all the ways this dream of a country let him down. He worked so hard but sacrificed healthcare because it was too expensive. Even with insurance. I keep thinking had there not been a childhood wrought with domestic violence, had US healthcare not been a fucking joke, and if Americans could stop dictating what’s right and wrong based on religion he might still be here.

Brian was a beautiful gay man. I hated watching him struggle with this, and though it may be late, with this post, he’ll be free of the chains that dictated his life choices. Had those choices been made in his best interests, it might have meant a more peaceful life for him. He wouldn’t have struggled with stress, depression, and fear.

People don’t belong in cages or boxes. No one should feel they have to sacrifice the way Brian did. These things killed Brian. For all of you wanting an update on cause of death, that’s your answer. Stress and depression took a toll on him. And it didn’t have to be that way.

His heart literally broke. He’s not going to respawn this time. Check on your loved ones. Be a little kinder. You never know what battle another fights.

Let people love. Please? Is that really so hard?

We’re supposed to take care of each other.

Brian wanted to come out. He was a great man and will be remembered for all the love he gave to us all. Like many of you, I can’t imagine playing this game without Brian, but he’d want us to finish the fight. With a dance.

It’ll be difficult but…

…we’ll make it.

Originally published on Facebook: November 1, 2020

 

Thank you to everyone who donated to The Trevor Project in Brian’s honor.