All These Things: Surviving A Lifetime of Demons
Tasha Boldt is a Third Eye Blind fan that many of our readers may recognize from her participation in Facebook fan groups, specifically Third Eye Blind’s Bonfire, where she often participates in conversations and sometimes posts art work inspired by Third Eye Blind songs.
Taking time to scratch below the surface, there is a much deeper and darker story behind what we see in those Facebook posts.
In the last month or so, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know more about Tasha, her background, and her journey with Third Eye Blind. I appreciate Tasha’s openness in discussing her life, which has not been an easy one by far. Nothing I am about to write will be easy to read as Tasha’s life has been filled with monsters and demons, trauma that she has spent her whole life working through. All the trigger warnings that exist? Yeah, take those into account right now. She’s been through it all. In the end, though, Tasha’s story is a beautiful story because she has so bravely stood against those demons time and time again. She is a survivor and one of the strongest people I have spoken with in a long time. Without further ado…
Tasha caught my attention one day on a Facebook thread. She has posted about her struggle with cancer. I contacted her about sharing her story with Lifestyle, not knowing what all that would entail. A cancer fight is hard enough, but learning what else she has battled in her life and how Third Eye Blind had helped her through was both heart breaking and inspiring.
She began to tell me her story, starting at a point 24 years ago. Tasha was 19 years old, mother to a 2 month old baby boy, and about to marry her high school sweetheart, Phil. This was going to be the start of a new, beautiful family - something Tasha had never had before. Rather, Tasha’s childhood was unfathomable. At the age of three, her mother and grandfather entered into a devil’s deal. He would pay her mother to have her stay over with him where she was raped repeatedly. This abuse continued for years. By the age of 10, her grandfather began to profit from the abuse as well by hosting sex parties where his friends would pay to rape her, too. At 14, she met Phil. By 15 she was taken in by his family and saved from the abuse. “I met him the summer before freshman year, just 14. We met surfing. His family knew what was going on so they took me in so I wouldn’t have to go into the system.”
"Huck it off but everything and come up smiling, I want to get weightless" - Weightless
Surfing was something that Phil and Tasha had bonded over. She had been surfing since the age of 7. “I discovered surfing at 7. One of my mom’s husbands who I call Daddy, his name was Scotty, he got me a surf board at 7 and I remember I was so sad because I wanted a Barbie but I got a surf board instead - but it was the best gift ever because I remember when I started learning how to surf; I remember paddling out on the water and being out there alone, and no one in the world could hurt me out there. It was the only place that no one else could hurt me, no one else could come near me, and it was what I call my church.” Tasha and Phil would surf together every morning. She was on her high school Surf Team. They were even Champion Surfers together.
"The God of Wine comes crashing through, The headlights of a car that took you farther, Than you thought you'd ever want to go, We can't get back again" - God of Wine
Two weeks out from their wedding, Phil was on his way home from band practice when he was struck by a drunk driver. He died. Suddenly, her world was upside down. “My life took a huge unexpected turn! Here I was, alone, with our son to raise, with no clue how… So I got married a year later to a man I didn’t love. I needed to make sure we weren’t on the streets!” Tasha’s life went from being full and beautiful, a life with a vision, to one of survival once again and several years later she found herself desperate to escape it. “In 1997, I was done. I felt like I had died with Phil. That’s all I wanted was to die and be with him. So one day I made that decision, to end it. I had the radio on, not paying much attention to what was playing. I needed to drown out the demons in my head. So I took my then-husband’s shot gun and went into my bedroom closet, finger on the trigger. Then, I heard the voice of an angel. It was Stephan’s. Motorcycle Drive By was on and all I heard was, “I’ve never been so alone and I’ve never been so alive….” I put the gun down and cried for I don’t know how long. The next day, I ran out and bought the CD! When I played it, I felt the most amazing feeling of hope! And God of Wine - all I can say is WOW!”
I want someone to know me , Maybe tell me who I am, 'Cause I've faced down my demons - Darkness
After that, Third Eye Blind became a constant in Tasha’s life, helping her to come to terms with traumas in her past and also to face many more that life would bring her. In addition to Phil’s death and her own near-suicide, she has lost a best friend and a cousin to suicide. She has been through divorce, further sexual abuses, and is now battling cancer. Third Eye Blind has been with her through it all, though. “They saved my life, but most of all, they save my sanity every day! They help me fight,” she said. “Having a connection with Third Eye Blind, oh my gosh. I can’t even tell you how many times they’ve saved my sanity and my life. Everything in my life is connected to them. I mean, relationships. You know, suicides close to me and deaths and happiness and joy, celebration and surfing and, you know, being a punk rocker - all those things are just - I love them. They are so celebrated in the music and that’s why I’m so connected. You know, and Wounded, that one just - it’s gets me. And all the new stuff - Shipboard Cook and Dopamine and Back to Zero - Jesus! You know, all of them. I’m connected. It’s in my blood. I feel like Third Eye Blind runs through my veins, for the past 20 years.”
Well I never claimed to understand what happens after dark, But my fingers catch sparks at the thought of touching you, When you're wounded
Something special that Tasha and I realized is that she shares a birthday with my daughter - July 16th. While I was getting ready to head to Tahoe with my girls to see the show, Tasha was at home worried about how her birthday would go. Growing up her birthdays were always an occasion to dread. “As a child, my mom sent me away to her dad’s (my monster) and every birthday he would make a cake and smash it, take any presents that I got, then would have his own “party with me.” Then my best friend killed herself in front of me on my birthday 13 years ago.” Additionally, her original birthday plans had been canceled. However, her 3 sons were planning to come see her and I was so happy to speak with Tasha on Monday to find out how well her birthday went. For the first time since Christmas, she had all her boys with her. They had pizza and enjoyed some Third Eye Blind together. She posted an update with this all on Facebook, saying also, “Thank God I wore waterproof makeup lol!! My middle son gave me a beautiful painting he did when he was little! They all told me how proud they are of me!! Got tons of hugs! But only a few pictures! Too busy soaking it all up outside the screen!! Love you guys! Thank you for all the birthday wishes and thank you 3EB for bringing my family back together!!”
Tasha has been resting up this week so that she can enjoy the San Diego show on Summer Gods Tour this Friday. She is currently fighting Stage 4 Brain Stem Cancer and knows she’ll need her strength to enjoy the show. Opting out of conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation that are toxic and would have bankrupted her, Tasha began a treatment regiment of Rick Simpson cannabis oil. However, event that can come at a high price point. As of last year, she could not afford to continue and is currently saving money to resume treatments. “Because I am on disability now due to cancer, I have shit insurance and don’t get me started on county and mental health facilities… I use to make a lot of money before cancer so being poor now don’t help. I worked so hard to get where I was. I feel robbed sometimes. I can never go do that job again, even if I do beat the cancer. But I am taking this time to do my art again, something I put away for too long.”
Tasha’s art is also an integral part of why she’ll be at the San Diego show this week. “I’ve seen them 19 times, always nose bleeds, but on July 21 one of my besties (and a huge fan) bought us 4th row pit! She is trying to help me fulfill my #1 bucket list thing and that’s to meet them and say thank you and give them a painting I painted for them! I can’t play music, but I’m an artist!”
I go out the way that I feel, You think I'm just a fiend, I'm just a chemical in your head, I'm just that Dopamine - Dopmaine
Even if Tasha doesn’t get to meet the guys, she’s excited about the show. “The music always brings me back to life!! Line me up that dopamine!” It’s been beautiful seeing the positive outlook that Tasha carries given all she’s been through. “I have so many things to live for and be thankful for, and despite all the horrible things humans have done to me, I refuse to be cold and not let others in. All I want is to love others and others to do the same for us that feel so unlovable. I don’t believe in a god, but I do believe in the power of love because I know love can and will heal all wounds! And I have to believe in something bigger than me, being a recovering alcoholic and addict! Because all these things are yours… That song speaks to me so much!!!”
Knowing this story will be read by the boys, Tasha had one last thing to say - “Thank you so much for this chance for them to hear how truly grateful I am for their beautiful talents!! I owe them soo much!!!! Love, your biggest fan, Tasha”