A true story written in the form of letters to the men in her life. The author takes us on a journey filled with twists and turns through both dramatic and humorous events. She reveals the thoughts and feelings she has buried deep within her soul for decades.
The final chapter focusing on healing and recovery, includes sections on Alcoholism, Bipolar, Sexual Trauma/Abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Spirituality. Anyone who has experienced any type of personal trauma or difficult circumstances will find hope, encouragement and support for their own healing process.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
For many years I have worked as a volunteer mentor to people in various stages of recovery from sexual trauma/abuse, mental illness and alcoholism/drug addiction. One constant theme I hear from most of the people I help is that they feel no one really gets it, that no one really understands what they are going through. So I wrote this book to show people I may never get the chance to meet that there is someone who gets it and has found a way to heal and recover. I wanted to share the decades of hell that I have lived through and to share with them how I found help, hope and power when I was feeling helpless, suicidal and lost forever. I want them to know that they are not alone and that no matter how bad they may feel or how bad their situation may seem, there is a way out and up.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I took the major portion of the book from diaries, journals and old letters and then edited for clarity. I have been recording my thoughts and feelings since I was 5 years old, but I never shared these with anyone.
For the last chapter on healing and recovery, I combined my experiences with documented research and recovery methods.
Excerpts from Dear Men, What I really wanted to say…
From Chapter 1 – Childhood
My parents trusted you to take care of me and protect me while they went to work. You seemed like such a nice man. When I looked at you, I thought of a grandpa. Someone who I could crawl up in their lap and feel safe. Your eyes always twinkled. Your smile was so nice to look at. You always told such funny stories and made us laugh.
Why did you let her hurt me?
You and Anne picked us up from kindergarten school every day and helped us to practice our ABCs. You played with us outside in the yard on the swings and the bikes. I thought you really liked me. I thought you were my friend.
Why did you let her make me cry?
How could you let her treat me that way?
You just stood there and hid your face by looking away when Anne threw me up on the dining table in front of all the other children and stripped my clothes off. What did I do? I was laying there naked and shaking.
She called me a filthy little pig. She said I was dirty and disgusting, and other words I never even heard before. She said something about how no man would ever want to touch me, ever. What does that mean? She was so angry and so hateful to me. What did I do?
You didn’t even try to stop her when she pinched my arms and legs and I begged her to stop. I couldn’t stop crying because it hurt so much and that just made her madder. You didn’t say anything. I kept trying to look at you, but you wouldn’t see me?
What did I do wrong?
Do you know how scared and bad I felt? I can still see all those little faces around the table. Looking and staring at me. I thought they were my friends too. Maybe no one said anything because they were afraid she would turn on them and they would be next.
What did I do?
I never told my parents what happened when they came to pick me up. I was afraid that you all knew something I didn’t know and that they would be mad at me too.
I had bad dreams for a long, long time about that day, but I couldn’t tell anyone except my diary and my dollies. My dollies promised me they would never tell.
Why did you let her do that?
I was only 5 yrs. old. Maybe if I was 3 years old she wouldn’t hurt me.
I don’t know how I got here from my bed?
My back is pressed against the kitchen door. It’s all dark. I feel frozen. I can’t stop shaking. I’m looking out over the dining room and there are large pots and vases everywhere. Out of each one is a huge mean snake – all of them have red fiery eyes staring right at me. They are sticking out their long slimy forked tongues at me. I know they are going to eat me. I can’t move, I am so scared, from somewhere, I don’t know where, I hear myself screaming and screaming. I don’t know if I am screaming from the outside or the inside.
Then suddenly through the dark I see you running to me like a warrior in a battle. Each step you take closer to me – another and another snake disappears – I just know they are afraid of you, because they know you will tear them into millions of pieces.
As you scoop me up and hold me against your chest, putting your strong arms around my tiny little body. I know I am safe from all the snakes, all the monsters, all the things that could hurt me. Nothing can touch me now, here in this safe protected place.
I love so much Daddy. I love you Daddy for always and ever and ever.
Daddy you are my Hero!
Chapter 2 – Adolescence
Dear Randy and Brian,
You two were the best ‘stand-in’ brothers a girl could ever ask for. You were always showing up at just the right time and watching out for me.
Like the time my parents were gone, you drove up at the moment I was coming out of the front door with my Dad’s six shooter fully loaded, in my hand – hanging down at my side.
You both jumped out of the car and came up on either side of me. One of you grabbed the gun; I don’t remember which one and each of you picked me up on either side with an arm under my arms. My feet were dangling in mid-air and I was yelling and screaming about how angry I was at Shawn and how I had to make him pay! What a sight that must have been!
You took me in my bedroom and one of you stood against the door. You listened to me rant and rave and cry for hours. You stayed with me until I had calmed down and help me think it through.
You were my guardian angels that day – sent by God. It makes me shudder to think what might have happened if you hadn’t shown up when you did. I could have ruined my life and Shawn’s and others’ lives.
Wherever you are, I hope life has treated you well and that you are both blessed and happy.
Wow! My 17th birthday party made it into the paper! Isn’t that cool! I had no idea it would turn out to be so big. The newspaper reported that my party, “grew to over 300 people and that the Tucson Police Department’s helicopter was used to disperse the crowd” (Tucson Daily Citizen, 1974).
When my friends and I started planning it, we started out thinking maybe only 30 or 40 people would come. Then it kept getting bigger and bigger. We put out flyers all over town.
Of course, everyone calls me “George”, or “Crazy George”, but I think it’s funny that some people we gave the flyers to, think that it’s a party for some guy. Like the time when I was 15 and ditching school. The school called mom and said, “Your son is absent from school today”. I just thought that was hilarious!
You seem to be okay with my drinking. I guess you are relieved that I am not using drugs. You told me about some of the men you work with losing their kids to drugs and I could see the fear in your eyes. We have been through a lot together and I am really trying hard to stay away from drugs.
Anyway, the party was ‘kicking ass’, which means it was really fun. Willie had set up this cool sound system in his van that seemed to echo from all sides of the desert. We were dancing in the dirt and around the bonfire and yelling at the top of our lungs. It was so very cool. It felt so free. We were all having such a great time. That is until the police helicopters showed up and made everyone leave.
I didn’t know anything about one of the deputies being hit by a rock or denting his car until I read the article in the paper the next day.
That really is UNCOOL!
The only thing I remember is when the helicopter spotlight hit the center of the party, some of the guys dropped their jeans and were mooning the helicopter and I swear Dad, you could hear a couple of the officers laughing over the loud speaker. It was a pretty funny sight.
Chapter 3 – The Military Years
Val introduced me to you. She said you worked in the Comm. Squadron on base. You reminded me of a younger version of Bobby Kennedy. You both had the same hair and smile. Most of the time you were so serious, but once in awhile you could be funny when you let your walls down.
Val and Ron, and you and I had such a good time drinking beer and dancing in the E.M. Club on base. Remember the time Val and I dressed up in Saloon girl costumes for the Halloween Party. That was funny. We tried to do the Can-Can and we did okay for a time, but had to quit when all the beer was going to our heads.
The trip the four of us took to Deer Creek was incredible. We lay out on the rocks in the sun, played in the water, and had a really good time all day. It’s a shame the day had to come to an end so quickly.
The time you and I went up to the Cliffs to watch the sunset was a time I will never forget. We were standing on the edge, you picked me up around my waist and lifted me off the ground and I yelled, “Bobby don’t – I’m going to fall” and you laughed and said, “No you’re not” and set me down. Then you did it again, only this time I did fall. You climbed down pretty fast to see if I was okay and then you took me to the base hospital. It turned out my ankle wasn’t broken, just a bad sprain. They put me in a half-cast and gave me crutches. I know you said it was an accident. Still I can’t help but wonder about that. It was the way you laughed when we were up on that cliff that bothers me. It just didn’t sound like a normal laugh. It sounded really sadistic.
After awhile you started to get restless and you thought it would be a good idea for us to date other people once a month. You said that way we would never get tired or bored with each other. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t bored.
When I heard that from you I got really nervous. I didn’t want to be with anyone else. Then I got this crazy idea in my head that if I were pregnant with your child, you wouldn’t want to see anyone else. I seriously thought it was the only way to hold on to you. So I went to the Dispensary on base and saw an OB/GYN and planned out when to have sex with you so I could get pregnant.
I was so happy about having a baby and being a mom! I never counted on your reaction. You were so angry. You told me the base wasn’t big enough for the both of us and that one of us had to leave and it wasn’t going to be you.
I was really hurt. I felt so lost and rejected that I did what you wanted. I requested a discharge from the Air Force and went home to Phoenix. I was hoping that you would change your mind and contact me. You never did.
Guess What? Another record breaking moment in time, another first in history! Did you know that I am the first women in the Navy to be allowed to wear the Cracker Jack Uniform? Isn’t that so very cool? Wow!
Master Chief Brown went to Admiral Cox and received permission for me to wear a custom made Cracker Jack Uniform for 2 to 3 weeks. During this time I have to carry a clipboard and take a survey of both civilians and military personnel on their opinion of women in Cracker Jacks. I just love wearing this uniform. The survey turned out about fifty-fifty, but everyone said that I looked damn good in the uniform. I wish I could keep wearing it, but they did give me temporary recruiting duty in Phoenix and said I could wear it a couple of days over there. See you soon Dad. Love You.
Chapter 4 – Young Adulthood
I thought about going to truck driving school, but you were dead set against it since you had been a truck driver before you moved up to a Plant Supervisor with Chevron. You said, “No daughter of mine is ever going to be a truck driver! Those guys are dirty and nasty. You don’t belong around them.” Maybe I secretly wanted to find that truck driver that had attacked me and make him pay somehow.
So I decided to go to Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Deer Valley. It was on 19th avenue just north of Deer Valley Road. It was a small technical school and my roommate Lynn and I were the only females in the school. She was younger than me and really cool. I liked hanging out with her.
Of course, it was just like in the military, being outnumbered by the guys, they always gave us a bad time about everything. Like saying any motorcycle we worked on would probably never run again and stuff like that. Instead of getting all upset which is what they wanted to see, we just smiled and kept working. I don’t think they knew how to react to that. The only thing that bothered both of us is that they used to call us B & B (for boobs and butt). They were always saying that if they could take Lynn’s chest and my butt and put it on one body they would have the perfect woman. Ha Ha Ha – very funny!
One weekend, a group of us from the school went to a pig roast out near Rio Verde – that was my downfall. I should have stayed home that weekend. I started drinking again over Barry. I had fallen for this sweet talking’ guy from Louisiana that rode an old Knucklehead. The thing was he never told me he already had a girlfriend back home. That shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I was always so trusting, too trusting. Booze and guys don’t mix well for me. So I was drinking again and trying to stay in school, but losing my focus and motivation.
One weekend, Lynn, Jaime, and I all went for a ride up to Payson. Lynn rode on the back of Jaime’s bike and I was riding my purple Sportster with the pink star. We were only going to stop in Payson for a few beers and when we pulled up to the bar, the axle bolt on my front wheel fell off. Jaime fixed it with a bolt from the foot peg so I could get home, but he told me I would have to be really careful on the way home. He said it was just a temporary fix. We stayed in the bar for several hours shooting pool and going through several pitchers of beer and by the time we came out I forgot all about the foot peg bolt on the axle.
We started going down the mountains toward Phoenix and I was getting impatient with the traffic because I wanted to go faster. Then I got this great idea, or so it seemed at the time, that I could fly down the mountain if I stayed on the double yellow lines in the middle of the road. So I did. I left Jaime and Lynn in the dust and hit 90 to 95 in places where I could really open up the throttle. The adrenalin rush along with all the beer was making me feel like I was flying on cloud nine. I was invincible.
When I pulled up in the parking lot of Lynn and I’s apartment and put the kickstand down, the axle bolt – the temporary one that I was supposed to be careful with, just popped off. Oh Crap! I forgot all about it. I sat down on the curb and stared at the bike. I thought about what if the bolt came off while I was flying down that mountain and I shuddered. I sat there staring at that axle and bolt for the longest time. I couldn’t do this again. I had to get back to the meetings.
I dropped out of school, which I know you hated, Dad, but I felt that I had to do it. I didn’t get sober right away though, because guess what? I was drinking at Gary’s on Hatcher and here comes this big guy riding up on a White Harley. There he is a Knight on a white horse. His name was D.J. He was like a Mountain Man. I knew I would be safe with him.
Chapter 5 – Middle Age
Dear Jason L.,
I can’t seem to thank you enough for helping me get started at the Comedy Store Amateur nights. I wanted to try, but I didn’t really know how. I came week after week and watched all the comedians getting up on Sunday nights in the Original Room. Some were terrible, but some were really funny. You helped me write and practice my first set. Then I met Bobby L. and he was so encouraging – I was excited about getting up on stage.
On the night of my first performance ever, I remember sitting in the back of the room and waiting for Bobby to call my name. I had asked him specifically to let me go up early when the room was nearly empty so I could get used to holding the mic. He just said, “Do you trust me?” and I said that I did. The room kept filling up as comedian after comedian went up to perform. Then he called up the first Pro, a girl from San Diego. I was looking at Bobby and thinking what the hell are you doing? Sad to say she totally bombed and got barely a giggle on one joke. That is such a horrible feeling, I felt so bad for her.
Then all of a sudden Bobby calls me up, I could have strangled him at that moment. The room was packed and I had never performed any comedy before and I was so scared that I couldn’t stop my body from shaking. I managed a weak smile and grabbed the mic. As I started into my set, the audience laughed at everything I said. Someone told me later they thought the shaking was part of the character. It was only a three minute set, but it seemed like three hours. It went so well that I came off of that stage waltzing on air. That was the best natural high ever.
I continued coming to the Comedy Store almost every Sunday night and doing well every time. Then I started to get bored with that set and wanted to add in different things. You warned me not to try that. You said the way to go about adding new material is to do your set, the stuff you know that works and add in one or two jokes in the middle to see if they work. Of course, hard-headed stubborn me, didn’t listen. I had written this whole new set that I thought was really funny and when I took the stage this one night at the Comedy Store, I totally bombed. It was so humiliating and painful. I learned to listen and follow directions after that.
You helped me write several more sets and I had a solid five minutes. This was really cool for me. I was doing the open mic’s at Jennifer’s, Hallenbeck’s, and The Laugh Factory on Tuesday nights. After a while though the strains of single parenthood caught up with me and I wasn’t able to get out and perform as much as I wanted. I felt so guilty for leaving my daughter home alone at night. Even though she was a responsible teenager, I felt like I was supposed to be at home with her.
Thank you Jason for all of your help and encouragement. You proved to be a true friend.
Chapter 6 – Healing & Recovery
I spent years of my life wishing that the Fix-It Fairy would fly down and tap me on the head with her magic wand and make me normal. Or wishing that I could find her secret castle and I could hold her hostage until she would give me a magic potion to make me normal. Then, of course, I would be able to find my Knight-In-Shining Armor, my Prince Charming, who would sweep me off my feet so that we could ride away on his White Horse and live happily ever after.
After many heartbreaks and disappointments, I learned that neither the Fix-It Fairy, nor her secret castle, nor Prince Charming, existed. To expect a man to do what only God can do in my life is to set myself and him up for failure.
There is no man on earth who can make me happy 24/7, read my mind and know what I want each minute, jump at my beck and call, erase all the emotional wounds and scars left by others and cure me of alcoholism, PTSD and Bipolar. Not even my hero, my Dad.
Thank God I did not have to face all of my problems at once. If someone would have told me that: I was an alcoholic, an addict, a survivor of sexual abuse, had PTSD and Bipolar and that to have any type of functioning life I would have to accept and deal with all of this at one time – I probably would have been pushed over the edge that I came so close to, so many times.
For the better part of my adult life I chose to live in denial, because it was more comfortable than dealing with the stark reality of how broken and damaged I actually was on the inside.
Once a tornado has ripped through a town leaving damage and destruction in its wake, the cleanup begins one piece at a time. The healing process and long term recovery work the same way. The devastation has to be cleaned up and repaired one piece at a time.
As anyone who has ever worked on a restoration team after a crisis will tell you, once you begin picking up the wreckage it is common to find that large pieces of debris are intertwined – each affecting the other. The pieces must be removed carefully or more damage will result.
Since each area needing to be addressed in the recovery process affects the other, this chapter is divided into sections.
The first section deals with alcoholism and/or addiction. Any recovery from traumas or mental illness will be quickly undermined if an alcoholic or addict begins to drink or use again every time the process get uncomfortable.
The second section addresses Bi-polar. In many families, bipolar is passed down from generation to generation. It is not just something you wake up with, however the manifestation of the disorder can take years for the symptoms to appear.
The third section concerns Rape, Sexual Traumas and/or Abuse. The people in any victim’s life need to understand that one does not “just get over it.” The mental and emotional scars from such experiences run deep and last a lifetime.
The fourth section explains Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTS or PTSD). This is a condition that can be triggered at any time. Recovery is an ongoing lifelong process.
The final section speaks about Spiritual recovery. Not religion. Spirituality. There is a difference.
Georganne Bickle is the author of “Dear Men, What I really wanted to say…” (2014), “AFFIRMATIONS: For Every Area of Life” (2013), “A Good Brain Washing” (2012) and “Dear Men: A True Story” (2008).
She is a Native Phoenician and a veteran of the AZ Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy with Honorable Discharges from all three branches. Her heritage includes Italian, German, and Choctaw with current membership in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She graduated from Phoenix College with an Associate of Arts Degree in 2008 and Regent University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2012.
Her background includes over twenty years as a volunteer mentor with people in recovery, as well as current sobriety of more than nineteen years. Her public appearance experience includes speaking and conducting workshops for 12 Step Recovery Programs, Conferences on Domestic Violence, Professional Women’s Groups, other professional and private organizations. Additionally, Georganne performed stand-up comedy on the amateur circuit for a period of three years in a variety of venues in both the Los Angeles and Phoenix areas.
She has successfully learned to manage and/or overcome: PTSD, Bipolar, Military and Civilian Sexual Traumas and Alcoholism. Her past volunteer experience included coaching a T-Ball team and acting as a Girl Scout Co-Leader. Her current volunteer experience includes working with a variety of veteran and women’s organizations. She is a current member of a local church and WAVES National which is now transitioning into Military Women Across the Nation (MWAN).
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