Aten’s Night

So recently I was reading through an old novel I had written years ago. It’s one of those cheesy romance novels – set in Egypt. A mix of Indiana Jones, the Mummy, and Tomb Raider…with nursing and romance sprinkled throughout. I decided to throw it up on Amazon kindle to self-publish it under a psuedonym. I’m not going to do anything with it otherwise. But reading back through it, after having experienced abuse by my ex-boyfriend, things bothered me I had written. It now bothered me when the male character I once had admired in my novel grew jealous or angry. It bothered me when he would grab my heroine’s shoulders tightly. I now got pissed off – seeing it as the beginning of abusive tendencies which would only escalate further – the deeper they moved in their relationship. Arg. Did I really write this and think it okay? A good cheesy romance ruined for me because of my recent experience with my Blackhole. I will never ever be the same or see romance the same. I don’t want an angry man or someone who could lash out easily. I don’t want my shoulders to ever be grabbed tightly. I don’t want to ever be touched in anger – even if it doesn’t hurt me. I want a man who is strong enough to love me the right way, and touches me the right way. Who doesn’t mind my stubbornness and always treats me gently. I resolve in my next book to do better. Please check out “Aten’s Night” published under my pseudonym Skye Armstrong. I know I didn’t talk it up much, but really – check me out and enjoy the read. It is a great adventure even with my naive view of romance then. Thanks for your support! You can buy my book on



To all the other women out there who have ever acted crazy after you found out your man cheated – rest assured. Even the most brilliant minds have caved.

Recently, I’ve been on an Agatha Christie kick. Reading her books, watching her Poirot and Miss Marple on Netflix, and listening on Audio CD. Being as intrigued with her as I am – I recently listened to a biography on Agatha. Her brilliant mind, the woman who is labeled the greatest mystery writer of all time, and also a fellow redhead – lost it when her husband cheated on her.

I can understand this. I can relate to this – especially after having gotten out of an abusive relationship. And I felt a little better that a fellow redhead and such a brilliant mind as hers could fall prey to the bitter intoxication and helplessness under her husband’s neglect and infidelity. It gets even the best of us.

The weekend her husband admitted the affair and that he no longer loved her and wanted a divorce, Agatha went missing. He had left for a hot steamy weekend with Nancy Neale, a 10-year younger woman, when it had to be interrupted because police found Agatha’s car with no trace of her.

For eleven days Agatha was missing. Eleven days of casting suspicion on her husband. Agatha had even left a note for her house caretaker and also for her husband. The caretaker’s note was vague and unhelpful. However, her husband burned the note from Agatha. Whatever it said will forever be a mystery – maybe it listed his indiscretions or something equally heinous. (If only emails could be burned nowadays.) Still, no one had any idea where Agatha went. Maybe she hoped to ink out a bit of worry from her husband, rekindle his affection, maybe she wanted revenge and for the world to see the cheating chump he was, maybe she really just wanted to disappear for a few days, but whatever the reasons – no one could find her.

Until a man spotted her in a spa in the next town over. She had hunkered down under the last name of her husband’s mistress. Was it a breakdown or a carefully laid out revenge plan?

Whatever the case, she never talked about the dark time or explained her side. But I’m sure she learned something from it. I did. As we all know by now – we can’t control people. The bloke married the mistress. And Agatha went on to publish dozens of her famous novels (and later married an archaeologist). I was still encouraged though that even the best minds can break when stressed.

My Blackhole


Haines, Oregon

Haines, OR. By Becky Jarnes

Mt Helens, Oregon

Mt St Helens, Oregon by Becky Jarnes


Stars on Mt Hood, By Becky Jarnes

I have always been fascinated with the night sky. Taking my camera with me to remote locations, usually by myself, and trying to capture the sparkling pin lights hundreds to thousands of light-years away. And it seems whether in good times or bad—the sky has always been a reminder of my insignificance or the insignificance of my problems. But recently I haven’t been doing a great job on perspective. I’ve been really grateful to close friends and family lately who have been there and who continually have to tell me the same things over and over. I have been a broken record for the past few months, and my emotions are a mess.

I encountered my first blackhole this year. I fell in love with an abusive boyfriend. Of course he didn’t start out that way. He was charming, successful, outdoorsy, and won my trust. Actually—he worked really hard to earn my trust and he has many great attributes I love about him, but little by little his anger and bossiness turned to yelling, his yelling turned into verbal abuse and name calling. And finally—he got violent with me one night giving me bruises and physically hurting me. Can’t stubbornness be a good thing? I know some people close to me blame me for the physical abuse because I was being stubborn and not getting out of his car. The reason behind my redheaded stubbornness was because I was trying to talk about the girls he cheated on me with. Can anyone else out there relate to the pain of silent treatment? Especially when it pertains to the relationship? It hurts sometimes just as much as his yelling. I messed up by not moving out of his car and trying to make him talk about his indiscretions, but I didn’t deserve violence. I did not deserve to be hurt.

To all the people out there that knows what it feels like to be cheated on or abused: how did you make it through and recover? Do you ever stop crying? Especially when you still love the person? Do you ever understand what happened? Does your stomach stop feeling sick?
I fell into his blackhole.

And I feel like my spirit has been destroyed. My reactions to all of this have been embarrassing and would make someone who hasn’t ever been abused cringe. My self-respect is low. I have even begged for any scrap of friendship thrown my way from him. This is not me. How did I get so utterly debased?

What the world sees outside of his blackhole: he is a wonderful and talented kayaker. He helps war veterans and the disabled enjoy outdoor sports, he is a hard worker and is building his kayak business, he is on nonprofit boards, OR tourism board, and city councils, and I’m sure the list could go on. But they don’t know about what happens behind closed doors. About his dark nights with no stars or moon or hope of morning. And what makes it worse is I believe in him still and love him. It is just easier for him to move on to the next girl he cheated on me with rather than change. And they never change right? I’m told this, but really—do they?

I am going to counseling and trying to keep busy and involved in activities. But I still need a miracle where my blackhole is concerned and catch myself daydreaming about one often. But like my friend Jason said, “Sometimes we get the miracles we need even if it is not the miracle we want.”
Perhaps…my miracle is still being able to see the nightsky and hopefully the Northern Lights in 2015. In the meantime the only advice I can give is stay away from blackholes. Not only will you never fully understand them. You will never survive. Or at least be the same person once you get out. This is my recovery blog and hoping to get wisdom and support from others as well as be a refuge to anyone going through the same thing.

Sam Drevo by our tent on the Rogue river, Oregon.