Dearest Andrew-Month 6

Dear sweet sweet Andrew,

Today is the 6 month anniversary of your death. Seems odd to call it an anniversary. Those are typically joyful celebrations of marriage or other happy occasions. In our case, it marks the end of our chapters. The finality of it is hardly relayed in the word anniversary. Yes, every month, every year there will be more of them, but I am facing them alone. Without you. Seems unfair. Sometimes it makes me want to lash out & yell at you about how I hate that you have done this to me, how you abandoned me & left me wallowing in this messy hell I have no idea how to get out from. Then I stand up. Remind myself that all I truly have to do is continue to walk forward & eventually I will be past the tears, the guilt & the heartache I feel now.

So my ex & I have been getting along fairly well lately. I will save the deets for later. But I know your first question would have been “does he want you back?” No. He does not, nor I him. But it’s nice to find that place we once had many, many years ago. He said to me the other day that it is time to remove your picture from my phone background & start dating. I told him I wasn’t sure I was ready. He said I never will be if I keep ahold of you so tightly. I told him a quick story about my two besties teasing me at work one day as I was talking to a male co-worker. One asked if I had dinner plans. The other was trying to give him my phone number. He said “did you go out?” “NO!” I replied. “Why didn’t you ask him out?” “Because I’m old fashioned & I’m not doing that!” I answered. He just laughed & said I was silly. You used to say I was silly.

I explained to him that part of me feels guilty. I am here to make the choice to date again, not date again, go to work, see my family & friends. I feel guilty that you are gone & no longer have those choices. Why do I feel guilty? I wish I knew. Maybe because you were saving me from myself that night. Because I was at my breaking point & was ready to give up. Yet here I am & you are gone.

I also am fearful. What happens if I do go out? What if he tries to kiss me? What happens if I actually have fun? What happens if he asks me out again? What happens if we begin a relationship? What happens to YOU?!? Where will you be in those situations? Right now, I keep you very close, in my heart. What if someone else tries to kick you out because they want in there? Can you both reside there peacefully? What happens if I put my best effort in to making things work with a new guy but I just can’t do it? I will have hurt an innocent person by mixing him up in my crazy. What if I flip out with a panic attack?

Any, all or none of these scenarios are possible. Right now, none. No one is knocking at this girls door. Sometimes I think I’m ready. I have grown a lot. I have cried a lot. I have learned a lot. But I’m still nervous. So sweet Andrew, what do you think? To date or not to date, that is the question. Actually, I don’t think that is THE question. It’s just one of many.

So here I am. 6 months later. Still crying. Still missing. Still wondering. Still wishing. But also, now, curious. What does my future hold? Who does my future hold?

My darling Andrew, I wish the answers were you. I wish I could hear you call me silly girl. I miss your voice. I wish we could have gone fishing this summer. Oh how I loved making you bait my hook & then before you could get your pole back in the water, make you take my slimey new fish off & rebait my hook. I wish we had been able to go boating. I was so looking forward to that. And redoing your grandpa’s  motorcycle. We were going to have a fun summer. Now it’s almost over. It has been rainy & gloomy, like I have felt. I have done nothing worth mention. I have survived. I guess that’s good enough for now.

When I pray, I ask God to give you a big hug. I ask him to make sure you know how loved you are here. To make sure you know how much I love you. I know my prayers are working. I find a little more strength. A little more peace. A lot more laughter. I know God is standing with me through this. He must be, without Him, I would never have made it.

I love you dearly my sweet Andrew. I will see you again when I get to heaven. But if you are ever passing by, please stop and whisper in my ear “silly girl.”

Much love,

Matilda Grace

Roomie

I know that I’m a week behind. I apologize if this has kept you up nights wondering if I would continue. Have no worries, my loves, I am here & fine. Just got a bit behind schedule this week. So what should we talk about today? The current issues of life? My parents? My son? Frankly, the options are unlimited. I’m actually not going to discuss the current crazy situation in my life. I want to wait a few weeks until I see how it plays out. It’s a doozie.

Let’s instead discuss you. I keep prattling on & on about this thing I call life but I know very little about YOU. I know. You are wondering how on earth we could possibly discuss your life through this blog. I would venture to guess it will be easier than you think. No, I’m not psychic. I’m a Christian, remember? Not really compatible.

I am assuming there are almost 10 of you reading this because you know me & love me. (HI Mom! Hi Besties!! Hugs!) Now, obviously, I know these people fairly well. I could probably blog about their lives just as easily as I do my own. Heck, I could pick one person I know a day and blog a quick little post about their life & keep myself busy for several years. Maybe I will do just that. Better keep reading. One day, you might find yourself in my title. LOL! (my ornery side kicked in!)

The other people reading this, well, I don’t know your personal details. Nor will I. But I know you are reading my post so I can assume you are 1) curious about my life 2) you have no freaking clue or 3) something that you have read is resonating within you somewhere, somehow. Since I find my day to day life bland & uninteresting, those of you that said it is about curiosity, must be wondering about how I maintain a fairly decent level of intelligence, the ability to work full time & not drool on myself following the insanity I have shared thus far. Weeelllll…..don’t put too much weight into the lack of drool thing. 🙂 Just teasing. I only drool in my sleep. If you said you have no freaking idea why you keep reading this bunk, I would say you really fall into the third category. See? That wasn’t hard at all.

Now, why does what I’m posting resonate within you? Somewhere, somehow, for some reason, I am speaking to a part of you that needs to know that you are not alone in your fears, your feelings, your lack of hope, your hope for hope, your need to be freed of the past, and/or so many other thoughts that run through your mind leaving you to wonder if you are absolutely nuts or if anyone else thinks like you. Oh Hear Ye, Hear Ye! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! None of us are. We are one smile away from another human. We are one prayer away from God. We are one 911 phone call away from a First Responder. Does this keep us from feeling alone? Nope. But it does remind us that all of the people we pass by every day is a potential shoulder to cry on, or may need one themselves.

Ok, enough about you. Let me tell you a quick story about how I came to have a roommate. After Andrew died, one of my sister’s flew in from Florida to spend a week with me. My family was afraid for me to be alone, as they should have been. As she was preparing to leave, they were still freaking out (in the most loving of freak out ways) so I sent a text to my friend from church. She said she would come stay with me for a few weeks. She had NO IDEA why I needed someone. She just packed a bag & showed up. While she was here, I realized it was best for me to have HER around. Not just “someone,” but this specific someone. Now, I have mentioned before, I have amazing friends & family, so finding someone to stay with me for a few days, even weeks would not have been impossible. But to find one that I knew without a doubt was meant to live with me, that’s big. We get along spectacularly, we live our own lives, buy our own food, wash our own clothes & when we get time together we cherish it. It happens much less than people would think. This morning, we ran to Cracker Barrel for a spontaneous breakfast & we stopped to play in the toy sand box before we left. A few weeks ago, a strange bird had us trapped outside of our door. We were armed with open umbrellas huddled on the porch & we were laughing so hard, I almost wet my pants (TMI? Sorry). I bring this up to show you that is how quickly God swooped in & saved my life. I have no doubt in my mind that without this beautiful, bright, vibrant friend sensing my text meant something serious was going on, I WOULD be that girl with the drool. I would not have the smile on my face that I have. She is consistently with me enough to encourage, to support, to allow me to cry, to remind me of scripture, to bring me a glass of water or make a cup of tea or to watch Netflix or to stand in our bedroom doors having a quick chat before bed.

So I ask you this…Are You Alone? Why? Reach out. Send that text! I am not saying it erases everything. I still cry. I still ache. I still miss him so very very much. But even when I feel so isolated, I can’t bear the thought of spending another minute without him, I realize I can’t bear the thought of my life without this silly sand box, owl loving, smoothie drinking girl. I thank God every day that He knew who I needed that day. She has blessed me ever since.

We all need at least one person in our corner. To motivate us, make us pee our pants laughing or pick us up when we fall. If you don’t know who that is in your life, take a quick inventory. Odds are, you have more than one, I know I do. If you don’t, we need to have a serious talk. The best way to make friends, is to be a friend. So get out there & be friendly! Don’t be creepy about it, but make some dang friends.

Get up, love the uglies, make some friends. Challenge of the week: Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in at least 4 months. Put an end to that silence. Report back in.

And remember, in case no one tells you this week: I LOVE YOU! Have a blessed week!

How did I get here?

I suppose by now you are starting to understand a little bit about my background. I still look around at my life and ask myself “How did I get here??” What happened to me? So, to bring everyone up to speed on how I got “here” at this point in my life, I think I will quickly mention a few key points about myself. Maybe after I’m done, it will be more clear as to why I have been encouraged to create this blog. I genuinely hope that as I continue to draw these & other experiences out in more detail, people struggling with depression, anger or unforgiveness due to similar circumstances will begin to see how I continue to drag my butt out of bed each day. Maybe they will be given some hope, even some healing.

I was conceived on Christmas Eve, in a Sunday School room. My parents were never married, I wouldn’t even say they were in love. My biological father gave up his parental rights prior to my birth & moved halfway across the country. He came back when I was 10, & as long as it was convenient for him, I was his favorite hobby. If he had a date, or a family, well, he gets busy.

My mother married a man when I was almost 2 & he adopted me. He was a decent man, never made me feel as if I wasn’t his (unlike comments still being made by my biological father.). My mother is a borderline personality. If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself blessed. I will go more into this another day. Short version, she likes drama & is quite manipulative. My adopted father is co-dependent. I spent most of my life trying to please an unhappy mother & giving in to my father’s constant begging for peace.

In the 3rd grade, my friend’s brother molested me. I never told anyone this until high school & even now, just a select few. The summer between my 5th & 6th grade years, my adopted grandfather began molesting me. Yada, Yada, Yada… very little contact with him following this. Also, more in another post. But please hear me when I say, YES, these experiences impacted me greatly. However, allow me to SHOUT OUT from the rooftops, that I REFUSE to allow myself to be considered a victim. Sexual abuse is a horrible crime, & mine in comparison to many others was practically nothing. No, I’m not minimizing it, but others have gone through it on a much greater scale. I just will not allow those two disgusting men to take any more from me than they already have. I promise, we will discuss in greater depth another day.

I married a man at 21 that my mother loved. Yes, this was another attempt to please her. It didn’t work & I wanted to be dead. We divorced before our second anniversary & in 6 months I married “Mark.” We had dated previously, I was blindly in love & spent the next 16 years on an emotionally abusive roller coaster. I mentioned this relationship briefly in the Independence of a Simple Girl post. When he cheated on me, I left my husband, my son & my home. Long story, but it worked best for our son to remain in his home & I couldn’t afford it alone, so I left.

Mark & I tried having children of our own but I was unable to conceive. My lady parts were broken. After 7 years, we adopted a 4-year-old boy. I was over the moon crazy about this kid. Fast forward 12 years. “Dylan” became belligerent, manipulative, mean, dishonest & destructive. When I enforced the boundaries I had established for my home, his friends, robbed me, stole my laptop, TV, jewelry, numerous other items & then threatened my life. I had to get a restraining order that is in effect until he is 19.

The robbery happened on February 3, my best friend/boyfriend of 16 months shot himself with my brand new gun, first bullet ever fired from it, on February 20. I was there. I was under the influence of a full Xanax (remember, I usually only take half) & I had also had a drink. I was exhausted from no sleep in 17 days, being homeless because I couldn’t stay in my apartment after the robbery & Andrew had come to get me, taken me back to his place so I could sleep somewhere I felt safe in. We were discussing dinner plans, things we were going to do this summer, taking a quick trip to get away because my life had been so uprooted. He had 10 guns of his own, but mine was a revolver & he didn’t have one of those. He was playing with my gun. He asked me what I wanted for dinner. I flippantly said “whatever.” I turned around to dance to the music that was blaring. I heard the gun go off. I expected to see a hole in the wall. Instead, I saw his feet. He was on the ground. Bleeding. I called 911, I remember screaming that I loved him. That I needed him to stay with me. That I couldn’t do this alone. I begged God to make him ok. I prayed for him with all of my heart. The police came with the ambulance. I was trapped by an officer in his bedroom while they worked on him. I was put in the back of the cruiser & taken to the station for questioning. The next time I saw him was at his viewing.

That was almost 5 months ago. I cannot begin to describe the emptiness inside of me, because it is empty. Nothing is there to describe. I miss him more than words could ever say, more than the tears I still cry, & more than the minutes I lie awake every night. There is no word adequate enough to describe the physical pain I feel in my heart, the loneliness I feel from him leaving me, the fear I feel about trying to maneuver this life after all of this grief has turned me upside down. Wanna know how I keep going every day? Me too. I truly have no idea. I wish I had some wise words to walk you through your own pain. I don’t. I just know that each foot we put in front of the other will lead us to our future. A future I pray holds the happiness I have been missing for the last 40 years. A future I pray allows me to put Andrew’s memories on the front shelves of my mind, but the pain on the back, on top, where I can’t reach them to continue aching & crying over him every day. A future where the people I know that are also struggling to pull themselves out of bed each day, have finally reached a place of peace. A future where our worlds are no longer tilted & dangling us over the edge, but we walk safely within the confines of normalcy. Big dreams? Yes, I know. But I’m an eternal optimist because after 40 years of surviving, I have no other choice.

So again, why read my blog? No clue. But the above is true, honest and only the beginning.

Sending my love,

Matilda Grace