I need to tell you a little story about how I got started in farming….
Back in 2006, due to some wrong decisions based off from my not-so-healthy mental health, I spent 60 days in the county jail for bouncing checks and writing a fraudulent check. It was what I thought was sincerely the lowest point in my life.
I was often placed in a cell, alone with my thoughts. Removed from everything that I had struggled with my whole life, things started to hit me where it hurts. A family that could actually care less about me, me the internal person who was shattered and just wanted people to back off.
People backed off alright. They backed right into family court and while I struggled with the worst time of my life, realizing that I was not healthy mentally, that I felt unwanted and unloved, crucified for making bad decisions in signing my name as people hammered on about money, money, money as they bleed me of every penny I made and then some…
I also kept getting kicked while I was done. My children were taken away and split. My ex husband taking the two boys and my own mother lying to the court saying I was homeless after the 60 days getting my daughter.
It’s probably a good thing I sat in a jail cell at the time as people’s true colors began shining through because I will express that I wanted to DIE! Sitting in jail, no privacy, in quarantine and monitored for even a simple shower, unable to even write a letter or call home and losing my kids and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do.
I died during those days. I broke into nothing but a shell, a shell that belonged no where and was treated like the scum of the earth in a court room not once but twice, not twice but three times. My heart was ripped from my chest and I died.
Until you’ve sat in that cell, alone with just thoughts, you have no idea how that will all break a person. I was no one. I had no interests. No faith. No life. No family. In one fell swoop, everything was gone.
Fast forward a bit. I’m home. Lost dazed and confused. No kids tearing through the house, needing to get ready for school or play dates. I started mental health counseling. I didn’t even know my own likes and dislikes. I worked as a painter, missed a lot of time for family court, and the rib kicks just kept coming.
For two years, I visited the court 87 times and went on trial. I was demonized for giving my kids chores like loading the dishwasher and not taking the McDonald’s because I wanted them to eat healthy and become responsible adults.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My world tilted all kinds of haywire. No kids. One hour a week visitation and then listening to them scream they wanted momma when the time was up. Losing my job and being told that I needed to avoid the chemicals.
Just who the hell had I become?!?!? I couldn’t answer that and still have a hard time with it most days. My therapist told me to get a camera. My doctor put me on injections and a new script for depression and anxiety.
Per the therapist, I began taking photos of things that sparked my interest. That is, when I was actually awake. I spent about 18 hours a day or more sleeping thanks to the MS shots. I just kept spiraling low and lower.
My photos began to take shape, themes started developing. I worked with the doc to get off the shots. I changed my diet. I started to exercise, rather unsuccessfully.
A few months down the road, I have 1,000’s of photos all about farms and livestock, cows mostly. I was taken to a small farm that had a couple of Jersey calves and I feel in love! They gave me one of those bull calves to raise.
We brought him home and I would sit for hours visiting with him. I would brush him daily and spoil him with treats. I was a different person when I was with him. I liked myself when I was. I was calm and patient. Relaxed and able to finally think without all the static of lifelong insults and slander.
Buck ,the steer, changed my life forever. That single steer became my driving force to get out of bed, to stay awake and to stay active. Belle came the following year, along with 3 other calves. She came as a rescue in horrible shape. Her and I bonded day one. As I watched her blossom with loving care that I gave her, I blossomed too. She became the reason I wanted to farm.
I built a legacy around what she gave to me. My legacy is to honor these animals for what they have the ability to do. I feel it’s my duty and my obligation to do what is morally right with their lifestyle and their care. This farm is the heart and soul of me… my growth, my so-called rehab, my passions, my heart and soul.
All of this is important to understanding me… the sympathetic one that never saw an once of sympathy. The one that opens the farm to anyone needing a safe place to collect their thoughts. The one that envisions and hopes she’s preventing suicide because she simply cares and understands.
This farm, from the smallest piglet to the largest cow, from the birds that sing to the dancing butterflies is a place of peace. A retreat of happiness and laughter, of unconditional love ❤️
To those struggling that might read this, there is no judgement here. I don’t care what you make, how you dress (just bring boots or junk sneakers), what kind of car you drive or the funds in the bank. I see us all as silent sufferers of too much in today’s society. If you ever need to chat or would just like a word of encouragement, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to schedule some retreat time for a pasture walk, nature sit, photography day just hit me up. I’ll be more than happy to assist!
Just please remember, you don’t have to share the issues but you can absorb the service available.