I feel like I need to preface this post with a sort of notice, warning, disclaimer if you will. Needless to say I am having all the feels watching this series. Some of them are positive, like seeing Henza and some footage from after the murder last episode in which I remember who was there for me after the murder. But a lot of my feelings are negative, and a lot of those feelings are pointed at one of three parties. Paul, The Freemans, and John Galton. And for me, that’s okay, just part of my process.
Now there’s many people reading and watching this show that still hold positive feelings towards these people in some regards. I recognize that not everyone had the same negative experiences I had with these people, and Im actually happy about that because there was less suffering to go around. But the reality is for all three parties listed above, the negative experiences vastly outweigh the positive and I would be doing myself a disservice to pretend otherwise. Now some I had more positive experiences with than others, but for now I am somewhat swimming in a sea of negative emotions. The way I see it is the only way out of these feelings is through.
Some have even asked me to bring up the good times, to contrast the bad. To an extent, the people pleasing part of me is somewhat inspired to do so but I must say that this blog is for me to work through my feelings and memories of what happened and how they made me feel. If you are someone reading these posts, hurt by what I am saying I ask you consider refraining from reading. This is my space to process things and currently I am swallowed and absorbed by reliving some of the worst memories of my life to date. I cannot make everyone happy and I cannot muster feelings that I am not currently having. I have to be true to myself and my experience. I ask that anyone reading this respect that.
The reality was this episode was hard to watch, for good reason. I’ll be honest when I say I’ve been dreading this one, and the next one to come too for obvious reasons. I had an idea what to expect obviously because I lived through it but seeing these things displayed out and remembering the sheer exhaustion and terror of those days wasn’t fun. The meme shared below in fact describes about how I feel after watching episode 3.
Now I’ve already written another version of this post and I feel this fact is worth sharing because I am doing what I can to really think about what I am putting out in the world as I seek closure from what was undoubtedly the hardest point in my life. The previous version of this post included a lot of specifics on adjusting timelines in the story as I saw it necessary. Lots of clarification of events that for me happened almost 4 years ago. And as I read it and reread it I felt it didn’t fully resonate with who I am now as well as the type of person I want to become as my life matures and grows. Life is short, and what really matters I’m learning is our response to it.
So instead while I will likely clarify some things in this, it will hopefully take a very different tone. The reality is I had to force what I wrote before out of me, somewhat in a need to explain when it doesn’t completely matter in the grand scheme of things. People died, feelings were hurt and I was forced to start over with nothing but the help of my friends. That for me is what matters, because what I managed to do with that situation as a result was beautiful. The fine details that I brought up in my previous version of this post don’t do anything to change the end result of what happened as far as I am concerned. Now maybe eventually I’ll publish what I wrote before, as I saved it instead of deleting it, but for now I think its important to focus on the impact of what I saw and what it had on me now, nearly 4 years later.
I do want to touch on the dynamic that existed between John and Paul, which for me is what really led to the 6 months or so of terror we experienced before the murder happened, after seeing Paul with Henza’s ex wife that one day. For John, Paul was a tool, a robot of sorts to do all the physical labor on our property that he simply didn’t want to do himself. My chickens were mentioned in episode 2 but not the extent of what we had up there on that mountain. At our height we had over 100 chickens, 25 ducks, 30 something quail and like 5 rabbits. We had a small scale livestock farm which came with a lot of physical labor, that was done mostly by me. I loved my birds, but they also exhausted me and taught me that there is a such thing as too many animals for one person to care for.
At first Paul leaned on John for guidance, social, with business and with life in general. But the reality was due to his state of mind Paul was broken and spiraling out on alcohol and the drugs he sold at Anarchapulco 2018. The reality is he probably used more drugs than he sold and that absolutely had a huge effect on his view of the world. Combine that with increasing frustrations from what he thought were his only friends at the time (John, me and Henza) and it left him feeling pretty isolated and alone.
We kicked Paul out for good reason but the reality was we should have never let him move in to begin with. He didn’t help us in the ways he promised and what he brought was endless amounts of chaos and stress, compounded by the way John treated him which was often harsh at best. It’s no wonder we were associated with him in that way. Someone said to me often as a kid “you are the company you keep.” As a result of that dynamic, our lives descended further to absolute chaos.
The start of 2019 for me came with a sense of dread. We had no money and were trying to plan Anarchaforko on a fraction of what we had the year before. We considered it a labor of love and labored on despite the increasing threats from Paul, which to be clear were mostly aimed at John. Sometimes the messages would take a shift, Paul would tell me that he felt sorry for me and wanted to help me find someone new. He even wrote a post about that on Steemit. He’d say things like “they have been told to spare you Lily, because you are not to blame for this.” The beef there was personal, and Paul used terror tactics taught to him by the US military to draw out his perceived enemy, which was John.
As I’ve mentioned previously John could be very emotionally abusive, mostly as a result of a difficult childhood which will likely be expanded on in episodes to come. He could have his moments of positivity, but most of what those who lived with him in his adult life dealt with was his anger and his frustration. He was a complicated easily frustrated man and had a tendency to take his own shortcomings out on those around him. This was mostly me, but occasionally we’d end up with another friend around who’d get the brunt of some of this. For awhile, this was Paul and it ended in disaster.
My biggest regret was that I didn’t end the relationship with John and I. Putting it simply, had I had the strength to end it I would have not gone through what I did especially in that last year or so we were together. I didn’t personally cause the situation of that household other than living within it, which really was enabling a highly toxic situation to continue with my own labor. This is more or less my cross to bear with this situation, my biggest fault here that I think is important to own. Perhaps John would have even left Acapulco had we broke up, as he threatened many times. Looking back, that would have been for the best for all involved. Hindsight however is always 20/20 and in those days I was mostly just in survival mode.
We were very rarely “happy” together and it just got worse and worse through the years. People close to us knew the many times I tried to get the strength to leave, probably more than a dozen times in the years we were together. The relationship was a turbulent mess, full of lack of understanding and grace from John who had a hard time understanding those who didn’t mentally function in the same way that he did.
Combine that with the fact that I had very little self esteem when I started the relationship with him and you have a recipe for disaster. It took me too long to realize it was never going to work out. Not without a lot of therapy and owning of mistakes on both sides.
In the weeks before the murder, John spent a lot of time reflecting on his role in things. He couldn’t deny that there was a truth to what Paul was saying about how he treated those close to him. He apologized to me not only for allowing Paul into our house but for making the situation worse with his words, which cut deeper than knives I knew from personal experience. He also apologized to me for how he treated me, which at the time I took with a grain of salt because nothing really in our daily lives was changing. I was still miserable and the fear I lived in daily was a direct result of his inability to keep his mouth shut and he knew that. Our relationship dynamic did not improve even with these apologies and we both acknowledged that there might be too much damage done to the relationship for it to be able to be repaired in anyway.
I was still spending time at the house when the murder happened but often sleeping in a different room because we were still planning Anarchaforko together. The plan was more or less to break up after the event, which was something we’d talked about so many times before that it really didn’t even seem real. One of those, I’ll believe it when I see it situations. But I had moved most of my things out into a house down the street I was renting for 800 pesos a month, or rather a mud shack, but it was my mud shack and I eventually recovered those things which included some crochet supplies in the weeks following the murder. My only remaining possessions in John’s house were my electronics I was using to plan Anarchaforko and my dogs, all of which were stolen by the police when they ransacked the house in the days after the murder.
Seeing myself during the time of the Anarchaforko 2018 days has made me once again feel exhausted. My days then consisted of heavy farm work in the morning as soon as I woke up, followed by hours of last minute work and errands preparing for the event itself. The evenings during Anarchapulco 2018 were spent doing constant research during the time that was usually my bedtime. And the effect all that was having on my body combined with diet is evident by the state of my body and my skin during the interviews and footage from that time. I looked and felt like I was dying. The contrast between me then and me during my last interview which was taken last fall is SO obvious it hurts a little. But only a little, since Im in a much better state in life right now.
I’ll only take a second to touch on the things Lisa Freeman had to say about me. I have a lot of feelings but I think the biggest is disappointment. The fact is that there’s still no evidence to back up her claims and they seem to be more reinforced by the rantings of a crazy person (Paul) than by reality itself. One thing is for sure, and I hope this is clarified by future episodes, but Paul was the only one who received the warning she mentioned, as we were totally unaware of the threats he received until after the fork ended when we kicked him out.
The one good effect of watching this episode is it has made me highly reflective. As I look around my house now, considering what my daily life is like the contrast is hugely evident. I still spend a lot of time working but I have working situations that allow me to take a break when needed. I have only people in my life that treat me with respect and love. I have more freedom than I ever had in Acapulco if Im being honest.
My money is my own, my stuff is my own, and my home life is not descending into chaos or showing any signs of doing so. I have a healthy, abuse free relationship with Cabra that is in many ways the opposite of what I experienced before. I have financial freedom, that is control over my own money to do what I want with it, as well as freedom with my time. If I want to sit and crochet for a day, there’s no one there to make me feel bad or guilty for it. I have a life so happy that I don’t even use cannabis anymore, and don’t feel the need to start again. I get my thrills mostly from life itself and the only abusive relationship I am in happens to be with the trapeze at my gym, which leaves me with bruises and rug burn most every weekend.
I also have my family and friends from my former life back. In that relationship I basically abandoned both completely somewhat out of embarrassment if I’m being honest, although thats only part of it. I cut them all off one by one, or in mass the time I deleted my Facebook account back in 2012. So many people have told me they thought I died after I disappeared and honestly, I almost did, a few times in fact. I have gotten back in touch with so many good people over these last few years and have a strong personal community of people who I know have my back if all this docuseries stuff does go sideways for me, legally speaking. I keep hearing “If you end up in jail, we won’t let you sit there” and that feels incredible.
Then there’s all the new people I have gained in my life these last few years that have helped to reinforce this huge family I have built. I have friends who I can go to about anything. I have a circus family that has my back, literally speaking. I have people reaching out to me daily to tell me that the hard things I’ve experienced have inspired them. So for that I am grateful. This is all one big learning experience. Sure, if I could go back there’s some things I would have done differently but I can’t so its best that I make the best with the lifestyle I have now.
Anyway I will be honest to say I am dreading episode four, but without giving anything away, I expect episodes 5-6 to be my favorite, as they will likely include what I consider to be the real stars, people who are instrumental in having shaped me into the person I am today. Can’t wait for that.