Dear Ted: Survival Stories, as Told to a Stuffed Bear

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If you know anything of ESCAPING FED, you know I have fought pretty hard to survive for the past half dozen years. It has been brutal. It has been a war against a federal agent, a man, my country and – at times – myself.

In the early days of this war, I was given a manipulative gift by that man who would become my criminal offender. He bought a stuffed bear for me on the night before I planned to flee his region for the first time, going 1200 miles to get away from him and his stalking ways.

This stuffed bear was to be the first gift in a barrage that summer. Gift after gift made its way from Wisconsin and Illinois to Texas, where I attempted to start a new life. Eventually, that bear became a figurehead for my survival.

As I reported my offender to his employing agency, the U.S. Department of State, I was desperately trying to hold myself together. This particular federal agent criminal’s stress was intense upon my shoulders and psyche. He involved people from my past in his manipulations, in attempts to find me through people I trusted. So I learned quickly that even people I had known my whole life could bring Death right to my door.

Since I could confide in no one without risking my safety, I started creating little placards of pain. These placards were quickly forgotten, after a series of one-per-day for five weeks.

Tonight, six years later, I found the placards. They reek of my pain and desperation to survive, as much as they show my childlike vulnerabilities and exhaustion.

Each placard says something I held deep within as a secret. These things could not be said to people around me. Either people did not yet believe my plight or they thought I had lost my mind. Eventually, the circumstances would prove themselves true through my offender’s ongoing crimes. But until that time, I needed an outlet I could trust with my life that would not question my sanity.

Dear Ted | Roulez Magazine |

First, let’s behold the bear that is that dear Ted. This image of Ted is one taken the day after I reported my criminal offender to the feds in Washington D.C. I was too emotionally exhausted to leave my bed that day, on Friday, November 15, 2014. But I managed to take a snapshot with my breakfast, lunch and dinner – sugar straws. This started the intense documentation of all things in my life that became the film ESCAPING FED. Yes, it all began with whispers passed to a stuffed bear.

Now that you know him, you can learn of the secrets he holds so well that I had forgotten those secrets existed at all.

So I present that dark creative outlet for my pain and fear, my Dear Ted series of 2014. I am baring my soul in the hope that others can see that it is possible to survive against really tough odds. This was a dark period of time, but it certainly only got brighter from “here.”

Simply click on the images below.


About Author

Kimberly Toms is a freelance writer, filmmaker, habitual road tripper and lover of all things travel. Life as a digital marketing and eCommerce consultant has allowed for pursuit of these poorly paying arts and hobbies, while life beyond the office continually beckoned to "get yer ass back on the road and into the wilderness." The wilderness is most often where you can find her. Check out more of Kimberly's work: Roulez Media | Escaping Fed | A Documentary Film | Hero Film Festival & Awards | Find her on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | AdAge Amp | Pinterest

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