About Me

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Born in Santa Monica, California, I was raised in the small bedroom community of Sunkist Park that borders Culver City, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. I attended Venice High School, West LA Community College and California Institute of the Arts. My studies included English, English Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, Choir, Classical Voice, Shakespeare, Musical Theater, Television and Film Acting and Art History. In 1980, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1982 I married Kurt Wolf in Corvallis, Oregon. During the course of our long journey together, I have remained devoted to not only my husband, but to my friends and family, and the arts. What defines me most is my passion for expression through art. I’m an avid reader, writer and poet.I also enjoy painting and photography. Additionally, some folks consider me a pretty good cook.

Email Susie Rosso Wolf

If you have any questions about "New Prairie Woman", "Saving Susie", my "Phoetry", Montana, or writing in general, please email me directly at: GrumpySusie@msn.com — Looking forward to hearing from you. I hope you enjoy "New Prairie Woman". ~ Susie

Monday, April 4, 2011

01.E02 Chapter One, Excerpt Two

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf

Chapter One, Con't

Within my bruised ego the words I and Me bounced around my head like popcorn popping in an air popper.  “I can’t believe he made the conscious decision to put me out on the curb like trash to be picked up by the city trucks.”  Or, “How can he do this to me? He knows this is killing me but he doesn’t care. He’s enjoying this punishment that he has decided that I deserve.” This self-talk was maddening, destructive and useless behavior. Killing myself over the loss of my nephew, I was sick to my stomach all the time and it was interfering with my marriage because I was too depressed to function. I became antisocial and uninterested in visiting with my friends and neighbors. I withdrew from our normal routine of attending parties given by Kurt’s employers and our friends, going out to dinner, driving up to Frasier Park to practice target shooting and to enjoy the day 4 wheeling in our 4x4 truck. I was missing out on trips to Pyramid Lake in our boat and shopping trips with my friends: Diane, Georgia, Margo, Linda, Stella, and my dear friend & neighbor, Jo. Rather than spending quality time with my girlfriends, I drove them to the brink of insanity with endless complaining about Brenda and Robert; how they both had wounded me, wounded us, actually. After several more months of Brenda’s psychological warfare over the phone, using her creative manipulation with words that tossed all blame to her son for this cruel abandonment, I decided to write a letter to Brenda and Robert telling them I no longer wanted anything to do with them. I simply had to release these two people from my life, so that I could go on living.
It was my dear friend Georgia who helped me to write the letter. We talked for hours about the perfect words that would drive home the truth, how they both had hurt me. Georgia was an educated woman with a history of allowing people she loved to walk all over her. She had suffered so much in her life; the pain of divorce, surviving breast cancer and an unfortunate rebound relationship. Georgia knew how difficult it was to pick up the pieces, to heal from the heartache and the uprising within one’s soul that causes self-questioning and doubt. The constant fury of your inner voice asking “What did I do? Why did they hurt me like this after everything we have done for them through the years?” Georgia related to the pain of my situation after surviving years of her own pain. She had resorted to self-help books and seminars to help her through her agony and she shared many of the methods with me, and encouraged me to truly let them go.
The eight page letter stuffed into an envelope fell from my fingers as I dropped it into the mail box. The moment I released it into the slot I felt relief. As I drove back to the house from the post office I called Georgia from my cell phone. I remember screaming into the phone “I did it, I finally did it! I will never have to deal with these people ever again and now I can move on with my life! Thanks you so much for helping me, Georgia! You are a great friend to support me in this, to guide me to this feeling of freedom!”
“That’s what friends are for, Susie. I know it was painful for you but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. You just had to let them go, honey. Now you are in control of your life and they can never hurt you again.”
“I know G., you are so wise, so right about this. And it feels so good. Thanks for helping to liberate me from the pain those two have caused. It’s inhumane, when you sit down to think about it.”
“Yup, it is. That’s exactly what it is, inhumane, and now you have learned to close the door on anyone who inflicts this kind of brutal mental torture. Nobody has the right to walk all over you, making you feel like you’re worthless. That kind of disconnection from a close family member is the worst kind of cruelty. And frankly Susie, you’re better off without them. They were sucking the life out of you.”
“Yes, I know G., I’ve really changed from this experience. It’s not easy to feel so low about yourself. To be made to feel as though you don’t matter. It’s been very hard to cope with the notion of being tossed aside. And I know I’ll never truly know why he did this and why she has been so strange and sneaky. I’ll just never know why this happened.”
“Well you don’t have to cope with it any longer. You’ve said your peace in that letter and now you can start living again. And you don’t need to know why he did what he did because it’s over now. Why don’t you come by my place and we’ll go to lunch or see a movie or something?”
“I think I’ll pass for now, I just want to go home and take a good long swim.”
And so I swam for hours in the pool, trying to rid myself of the words embedded into my brain, the words that were typed on the pages of that letter. Those words haunted me for several days as I couldn’t help but wonder what their reaction was when they read the words that said to them, “You do not have the right to hurt us. And I will not allow you to continue to hurt us. Therefore, you will never hear from us again and do not attempt to contact us. Please, just leave us alone.”
As time created distance between the pain and the day I dropped that letter into the box I gradually released Brenda and Robert from my consciousness. Life was bubbling over with joy once again, as I spent my days working part time in a floral shop in Simi Valley, tending to my gardens and animals while squeezing in visits with our friends and neighbors. Our carefree life was back on track as I let go of the suffering they inflicted. Each time a thought of them crept in, I shoved it out quickly by changing my focus, distracting myself with other thoughts, tasks, or by listening to music. Actually, music played a tremendous role in my recovery. I listened to music from early in the morning to late at night. Different styles of music too, as long as it was done well I listened to it. I enjoyed the sounds from every era of music as the sound from our outdoor speakers billowed across the lawns, the pool, the rose garden, the veggie garden, the front yard, the side yard and tree groves then down the block of our Sherwood Forest neighborhood. Music, my husband, and good friends like Georgia kept me going while I was reminded that life was worth living, even without Robert.
There was a time in my life when he meant the world to me. When we all lived together in the old Rosso house in Culver City, back in the day when his mother and father weren’t around much. They had divorced when Robert was just four years old. Brenda remarried, moved to Azusa and my brother joined the Navy. Robert was being raised by Brenda and her new husband Ron. Father wanted to keep a close connection with his grandson so he and I would drive out to Azusa to pick him up and bring him to the old house on Bray Street for long visits. The three of us were deeply bonded, along with the rest of the family. We all loved this sweet, cute, cuddly little boy with the darling smile and bright personality. He had an amazing sense of humor for such a young boy and his sweet nature was endearing. With big brown eyes and a full head of curly yellow hair. We were all in love with him and would do anything for him.
 Our special relationship was established soon after he was born. I was his first official baby sitter when I was in high school. Although we were very close during his first few years, it was when he was a teenager and heading into manhood when he we relied on each other for mutual friendship and support. During that period in his life he confided in me about everything. Everything…I was an ear in the middle of the night when he couldn’t sleep. His mother had left her husband Ron and was living with a boyfriend back east at the time so Brother and Kurt and I all lived in the old house after Father had passed on. Lacking a strong parental foundation in the home, I attempted to prove to Robert that he wasn’t alone. I prepared meals for him and did his laundry and kept the house clean and comfortable for all of us. He was enthusiastic about my garden in the back yard and spent time with me out there while I tended the plants and soil. I remember how peaceful he was when I would work the soil and harvest my vegetables or plant new seeds or build a new trellis. He sat and watched and talked and let off steam. He confided in me, all of his secrets and concerns. About his life, and about his parents.
I was someone who would listen to his troubles and to his dreams; someone other than his shady friends. I was a family member who would look out for him. He had always dreamed of attending the police academy to become a cop, but he had dropped out of high school and didn’t have the confidence to mend his lack of education. He was working at a local grocery store, bringing in a good wage for a young man, earning enough to make his car payments and to buy the things he wanted and needed. But truthfully, he was floundering without solid goals for his future. During our many late night discussions and pig out sessions, I tried to persuade him to go back to school or to get his GED certificate. I tried to help Robert but it wasn’t easy for me, having been through several years of making my own mistakes; I too, was in need of guidance. Making mistakes was my specialty and keeping my mouth shut and my opinions to myself was my greatest weakness, which unfortunately, only occurred to me, later in my life.

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