My Girls

Today is dedicated to my girl gang. My tribe. My sisterhood of un-sisters. The women I need every minute of every day. The first texts I send each day, the first texts I send when life hits the fan. The place where my soul finds sanity & even better, a little insanity. I’m going to talk about 3 today but the truth is, my life is filled with amazing beautiful women.
Today was the birthday of one of the most beautiful women I know. She has been one of my best friends for only about 3-4 years at this point. You’ve read about her in the past. She is funny, wild, crazy, thoughtful & caring. She’s one of the people that makes my heart smile. When we make plans, I can only anticipate what kind of trouble we will get into. Nothing major, but why we are allowed into any Target store together is beyond me. I always expect to be stopped at the door & denied access. Lol. She brings out my wild side. I love & miss that side. (Believe it or not, I can actually be fun to be around.) I hope you had a Happy Birthday Chrissy. I can’t imagine doing this crazy life without you in my corner. I love you for every single little thing you are.


Saturday is the birthday of one of the other most beautiful women I know. This woman brings me strength in other ways. She builds my faith by refocusing my crazy back on Jesus in the midst of trials. She calls me to check in when we haven’t spoken in a while. She has a sweet kindness about her that fills a room, yet a mischievous streak as long as the earth is round. Michelle, I hope you have a Happy Birthday. I also can’t imagine doing life without you & I love you for every single thing you are.


Sadly, life isn’t always about Birthday cake and balloons. Sometimes we have to participate in things for the good of others. “Take one for the team” so to speak. These things may be no big deal to us at all. They may be inconvenient or out of our way, or maybe, it is something that may be hard physically or emotionally. The past few days have been difficult for me in this area. I volunteered to help a friend. I would never have sat back & ignored her need, but by stepping up, it threw me into places I was emotionally unprepared.

Since her story is not mine to tell, I cannot give details of the circumstances. It was however, an emotional situation. A “before/after” moment in her life. Leading up to that exact moment, she struggled with the strength to follow through. Via text I encouraged her as best as I could. I suggested she reach out to a friend to spend some time with. I knew I would be with her for 24 hours but she needed to be with others that also could love and support her. She reluctantly complied and met a friend for coffee.

I knew I needed to push her away from me for the weekend for a couple of reasons. She needed to see that there are others out there that love her as much as I do. She needed that unconditional acceptance. The reality of what she was about to do was really beginning to sink in with her and she was scared. I also had to push her away for myself. Because I could see what little emotional strength she had left, & knowing that I was going to be spending a solid 24 hours giving as much emotional strength as I could muster, I knew I didn’t have much in my reserve, because I rarely do. So to deal with her being on the shaky ground she was on concerned me. We made it through, with a lot of tears but we also managed to have some laughs.

When I returned from this excursion, people thanked me for being with her.

So.

Many.

Thank you’s.

I don’t know how to accept rejection, help, praise, or even thanks. Yeah, I know. That sounds crazy. Is this your first day here? Well, read backwards. You’ll see I’m one step away. I met with my therapist and mentioned how uncomfortable I was with being praised for doing what I feel any friend should do for another friend. (The appointment was already set. I didn’t need to rush for one after my crazy kicked in) She asked why it made me angry. I said because I think everyone should be more aware of people’s needs and if we all worked to meet others’ needs, maybe the world wouldn’t be so awful. She asked why it was so strong in me. Ugh. (Cue my tears) The follow up questions are always the worst. It’s because my whole life, the people that should have built my trust foundation were busy tearing it down. So I don’t feel like anyone will be there to meet my needs. So I don’t ask. And that reiterates my lack of trust so the cycle continues.


Apparently the way to fix this self preservation (aka destructive behavior) is to change my behavior. Seems a bit odd. I have trust issues because of broken trusts but to fix it, I have to trust people.

So, bear with me. I may be extra needy while I work through this. While I act like I can do everything on my own & I’m super woman, I am not. I have needs. Often times going unmet because I’m afraid of asking for help & getting rejected. But I am going to be working on this so…

To my girl gang-I love you all more than words.


Till the next time…Love the uglies, yours and theirs.

Worn Out & Broken Down

One of the things about behaving as if you have your life pulled together, is that the people around you begin to believe you just might. Then the only person left with the truth is-you. You are the one left feeling empty, alone, & isolated, because they see you smiling & participating & working & taking care of yourself in all the ways that we are supposed to: showering, bathing, brushing our teeth. 
They don’t realize that when the doors are shut & the lights are off, you’re left alone with those thoughts that never go away, the trauma that you continue to see over & over, the pain that keeps your heart raw, & the feeling that no one is there for you. And it’s not really that you’re faking during the day because brushing your teeth & showering & going to work & participating in social events are all things that are important & fulfilling & necessary to survive. BUT there is still this wounded side of you that is so beaten & broken that you wonder why you get up in the morning or what IS the purpose of your life? And until we find that answer, we question every morning. We question every interaction. We lack trust. We feel abandoned. And I would love to sit here & tell you that after almost 2 years of introspection & retrospection & seeking God & forcing myself to be with friends & Bible studies & social events, I would love to be able to tell you that looking upward towards the heavens, the answer is instantly right there…but it’s not. God doesn’t send us a text with our purpose or plan. He doesn’t email or call & leave a lovely voicemail. God doesn’t put out a holiday newsletter with what is up for us for the next year so we are left to our own devices, with the ultimate choice being our own (short of a divine interruption) to continue participating in all of these expected behaviors. Do they get us anywhere? As far as I can tell, only to tomorrow. Are we thriving & living a full life. I have no idea, but I don’t feel like I am.

Today is my 2 yr Divorce-iversary!!! Yay me! Life is going so well!!! I am fed up at my job, I haven’t had a date in decades, I spend every evening alone… GO TEAM SINGLE MATILDA!! I spent the day sitting at my desk crying.

I hate this time of year. From dec 20-feb 20, I just want to crawl in a hole. But work has me extra crazy. As much as I like my job, I’m really struggling in there. I have been for over a year so add that to this season & I feel like I’m losing my freaking mind. I try to keep myself optimistic & cheery but inside I’m sad, lonely, scared & crying. Well, today I’m outwardly crying. I don’t like being around myself when I feel like this so I try to minimize exposure for others & try to shut down as much as possible.


One of my friends asked me to seek out what God has to say about my emotional insanity. I argued with her & said it always comes back to me feeling like the child waiting for some attention & then being walked right by. I can stay optimistic for a while. A long freaking while. Months & months. I can play cheerleader for everyone around me & remind them of His plans, His timing, His love & goodness. But every time, I feel like I get overlooked. I don’t want to ask him AGAIN why he ignores me. Why my prayers disappear into an abyss. Why he lets me down. Why he allows me to hurt so deeply that I don’t feel like I will ever feel again. Why I can’t trust because of people he allowed in my life. I just want to be held & taken care of for once. No fighting, no struggles, no worrying about the next step. I’m tired of living in limbo over Dylan & wondering if he will always be wanting to kill me, will I have to watch over my back forever? I’m tired of watching Mark travel the world with the women he let in to break up our marriage. I’m tired of relationships with my sisters being superficial because I can’t trust them to take my safety seriously & not tell my parents what is going on in my life or where I live. I’m tired of not truly being able to trust anyone, even those I’m closest with, even myself. When is it my turn to feel safe and loved?

She then asked why I felt God has let me down. I prayed for Mark and Dylan for years & years. Way before things reached the point of no return. I believed in the power of prayer to heal my precious baby, to remove the baggage his birth mother had left him with. I prayed constantly for the man I loved to recover from depression & anger. Not only did he not heal them, he allowed them to destroy me. I’m left hoping people give two shits enough to spend time with me. I’m left questioning every single relationship because the people I thought would always be safe for me have been ripped away. I live everyday with a lack of security, a lack of love & a lack of trust. Plus that doesn’t even consider my wonderful parents, who would probably have rather aborted me but she was Catholic so they were stuck.

I don’t believe in myself enough to trust that anyone can handle my broken, or would care enough to try. I don’t like feeling unhinged, so I don’t. And then when the dam breaks, I am so unhinged I can’t get back together for a week. So I shut away because everyone expects me to be crazy & silly but that side is shut off & what’s left is negative & overwhelmed. Sometimes I am Thomas. I need proof, I need a miracle, I need a huge display that God is hearing me, is handling things & does actually care about what I’m going through. In case you are curious, today, I’m still waiting.

But surprisingly, I’m still optimistic enough & faithful enough to believe that there is a purpose, & that there is meaning & truth behind the trauma & devastation I have faced. And I believe that one of these days it will be revealed. So until then, I do feel forgotten & abandoned & alone. ALL of the time. But I have faith that one day I won’t.

Just Another Day

Today would have been me & Mark’s 20th anniversary.

Needless to say it did not hold the celebration I had long ago anticipated for us. He did send me a lovely text message that said “20th.. .sorry I didn’t get there.”

There are days when I look back at the 20+ years we spent together & I think of how I’m so lucky to be out of a dysfunctional relationship with that narcissistic man. There are other days when I look back & I think of the silly little girl that fell in love with that goofy boy who made me laugh all the time, protected me & defended me even as the dumb kids we were. How that naive 18 year old girl knew exactly who she was supposed to grow old with. I miss those moments.


I have truly loved two men in my life. Both of them are now gone.
Sure, I have cared about others, but I’ve only really given my heart away twice. As I lay here in a king size bed, filled with pillows & a giant stuffed Mickey Mouse, I wonder if I’ll ever love like I have in the past. I wonder if I will ever trust another that way, in a way that allowed my heart to be shattered. Twice. Will I ever trust myself to not pick the wrong guy? Will I ever ask another man to take on the freight train full of baggage that I feel I carry around behind me every day? Sure, I’m working through most of that, by the grace of God & with a lot of therapy. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not something that he would have to know about, understand, and be willing to deal with in some manner at some point. Will any man with his right mind be willing to take on the potential danger that being in a relationship with me could pose to himself? I mean, I do have a restraining order against my own son.

I don’t have any answers for any of these questions. I don’t even know if I care. Do I get lonely? Yes. But I’m not willing to settle. I feel like at this point in my life I have fought too damn hard just to survive to be willing to fall for the first guy that walks by and smiles at me. Anybody that wants to spend any quality time with me is going to have to be worthy of that time.  He will have big shoes to fill, a heart to handle with gentleness, luggage to help sort, laughs to provide, oh, and most importantly, he must love Jesus because Jesus is the only reason I still breathe.


So while Mark sits in his high-rise apartment in the big city, with his wealthy girlfriend/homewrecker, I spent the day with my church family and my roommate. I had a wonderful service at church, hung out with my baby buddy Huey, gave away a lot of hugs and smiles & received many more. I had lunch with people that have become family. It was long, it was delicious and we laughed until my sides hurt over inappropriate conversations. I watched cheesy Christmas movies & my roommate and I began to put up the tree. So my day was not filled with the celebration of a 20 year marriage with the man that I fell in love with at 18, but it was definitely still filled with love from the people in my life. And for that, I will be forever grateful.


This new chapter of my life has taught me where to find my strength, it has taught me that I am worthy, and it has challenged & rattled me deep into my core. There have been many many days in the last four years where I did not think I had the strength to go on. And I have proven to myself and to many others that I carry an immense amount of strength within me. And I know that I get that strength from my faith. But I also know that it requires me to tap into it. Even on my worst day when I don’t have the energy to shower or interact, I pat myself on the back and say “good job girlie, at least you’re still here.” I’m not the girl that walked away from her husband four years ago. I’m not the girl whose best friend shot himself in front of her two years ago. Not the girl whose son robbed her. I’m not the girl whose mother emotionally abused her for 40 years, I’m not the girl whose father never wanted her, I’m not the girl that was molested by her grandpa, I’m not the girl that feels abandoned all the time. Oh wait, that last one, yes, that I still do. But I’m still a newer, tougher, stronger, more in touch, more alive girl.

So chin up Buttercups. This story isn’t over yet.

The 35th Birthday

Today would have been Andrew’s birthday. I “celebrated” by going to work & having dinner with a friend. There were no balloons, no gifts, no cake. Not even a mention of it by anyone today except by me at dinner.

I have been what I referred to as a “wild card” this month. Mark’s birthday was earlier this month. Last Saturday was 18 months since Andrew died. And today was his birthday. There have been a lot of tears. I have been what I consider grouchy. And I have been loving & giving. I have gone to my room early many days because I just didn’t have anything left in me, not because I was tired.

I still wonder how the people left behind are supposed to carry on in life like everything is happy & lovely when we have such a gaping hole left in our hearts. Not that I am not happy. I have very happy times. I find humor in life. I give hugs. I love people. I enjoy experiences. But there is always that hole.

So Andrew, tell me. Is there life after death? Not your death, sweetheart. I know there is for those that have died. Up or down, our choice. But is there life after death for those of us left grieving? What exactly is the process?

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The process for me has been a bit bland. I have forced myself to work everyday. Well, most days. I shower. I brush my teeth. I eat. I go to church. I volunteer. I go out with friends. I do the normal stuff I have always done. It’s in between those times that I find myself pondering what the next step should be. Is this the process? Is this what everyone does? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare ask. I’m ashamed of my hiding. I’m embarrassed that I prefer to lock myself away at times than to speak to people. I am self condemning myself for still missing Andrew, being sad, lonely, wishing I had answers.

Answers. How I wish I had the answers. After 18 months, I still have no understanding as to why that night played out the way it did. I have no answers to the questions that have gone unanswered for a year & a half. If anything, I have more.

What have I learned throughout the torture? Lots of things. Do we really need to discuss that again? Fine. I will share one. It’s a recurring theme so don’t roll your eyes when you read it. It’s Love. It’s simple really. Unconditional, pure & genuine love. Don’t miss the mark by ignoring the brokenness of the people around you. We have the capacity to change our worlds just by giving our hearts away. I know that by trying to live my life with this type of love, I have changed my own life, for the better. I hope I have changed the lives of those around me for the better, as well.

Some of you have heard this story. But last week, a co-worker (a person that I feel is fairly unhappy in life. Is it just work related? I don’t know.) was at my desk talking about how I just strolled to my car in the rain. (Remember last Summer, I posted about playing in the rain?) So I mentioned that it’s just water. No need to get upset about it. She began to talk about an umbrella her parents had bought her years ago. It had her initials engraved in the handle. It had broken a while back & she was wishing she had gotten a new one. She had such a light in her eyes over this umbrella. She ran back to her desk & emailed me a picture of it. At my lunch that day, I got on Amazon & ordered the umbrella. When I got it this week, I went to work, left it on her desk with no note. She came running to my desk with the umbrella & tears in her eyes. She said I should not have done that, she knew it was expensive. She was awestruck that I would have done something like that. She went back to her desk & emailed me another thank you. I said I could tell it was special to her so I thought she needed to have a replacement. She said I have the most generous heart & that it has been so so long since someone had done anything that nice for her. I began to cry just as my boss, also a long time friend, came around to my desk. She asked what was wrong. I showed her the email & I said “That is just so sad. What is wrong with us?” I emailed my co-worker back explaining that I was in tears, because I had missed it. Because there are people in my life that feel unloved, uncared for & have no idea how valuable they really are. I told her that we all need to be generous with our hearts all the time with all people. My boss told me that the price of the umbrella was brought up. She told them that if I felt something was needed for someone, I would never look at the price. She said that they are all better people for having me in their lives. I cried some more.

I don’t give away umbrellas for the compliments or the credit. I give away umbrellas because that is what the heart needed. I give because I love. I love because God loves. I try to be aware & cognizant of the needs of people around me. If I can fill the heart or soul, I do. God provides the finances, the words, the opportunities. Sometimes that means I buy umbrellas. Or dinners. Or refrigerators. Or groceries. Sometimes that means I tell brutal truths, give hugs, send text messages of encouragement or bible verses. But I always, always, ALWAYS show love, grace and hope. My heart hurts for the hurting. I guess because I know how broken feels.

I’m not broken anymore. I am healed. With a few cracks. I am like an old house, with layers & layers of paint that have begun to be stripped away. I know that underneath all those layers, I am a beautiful, strong & sturdy home for broken hearts. I have an open door for anyone in need.

Happy Birthday, Andrew. Enjoy your red velvet cake. Jesus is the best baker. Your smile is missing in my day. The world is missing your heart. That giant, kind, loving, broken heart. Much love sweet friend.

For the rest of you lovelies, watch for opportunities to share your heart. It always returns two fold. At least. Love you all.

Soapboxing

In light of the numerous police shootings that have been happening, I must say, those men & women in uniform show tremendous strength day in & day out just putting on that blue. But, I would also say “strength” is a word that bears no weight in describing a police officer. I grew up with one dad on the fire department. I was exposed to civil service most of my life. I tend to have a great deal of respect for our first responders, their sacrifices. I have also seen the other side of them. I have been the person sitting in an interrogation room for hours while someone I loved was dying in the hospital, only to be lied to about the situation. I have an ex husband that was falsely accused thanks to a manipulative son playing the system. And the local department played right into his hands. This does not diminish the risk these men & women take every single day they get dressed & walk out the door. There are always a few bad apples.


There are people sharing story after story in my Facebook newsfeed about children with cancer, gun control, government ineptitude facing this election & lets not forget those cute dancing puppies or the goats that scream. Daily we face comments about how we need to hate or accept gender reassignment choices, gay marriages, black lives being snuffed out at the hands of police, police lives being snuffed out at the hands of black lives or the decisions our politicians are making. We are filled to our tear filled eye balls with stories about cancer stealing someone too soon, a woman choosing to take her own life rather than suffer the effects of her tumor, & pictures of children holding signs for us to “like” them to show support. Checking Facebook has become an emotionally exhausting process. I am either facing shame for agreeing / disagreeing with something or being tossed into the throes of sadness because another tragedy has happened.

In my humble opinion, we are looking at these stories from several miles away. We stand back where it becomes easy for us because we are judging. We are shaming. We are throwing blame around like monkey’s throw poo or babies throw food. The world, people, our friends, our families, our enemies need none of that. It all boils back down to one thing, what I stated in my original page. Love the uglies. See, if we were all loving the uglies, no matter what our personal opinions were, no matter the situation, so much would be different. Think this through…

How do you feel about yourself when you have committed a wrong doing against someone? This doesn’t have to be someone you love, we know when we are wrong. A little nibble of guilt begins to eat at us. What happens when we are forgiven for that wrong doing? Sure we may beat ourselves up for a little bit, but that forgiveness allows that guilt to eventually go away.

How do you feel when someone shows love or kindness? When someone goes out of their way to give you a hug? Or help you when you are feeling down?

There is an immeasurable change in our lives & hearts when we are shown grace, love, kindness & generosity. There is the same when we show it to others. See, the old phrase “what goes around comes around” usually refers to a negative behavior but it also applies to a positive one. When we show true, genuine love towards another person, we receive some back. Maybe not by that person. Don’t get lost here but that doesn’t matter in that moment.

As I scroll my Facebook feed, it also fills with repost after repost of positive sayings & uplifting encouragements. Some are trite overused cliches, not bad but a bit worn out. Some are peppy. Some are biblical. Some are filled with an underlying edge of bitterness or anger but outwardly demonstrate a push to survive a current burden.

I am left pondering though…do people feel these posts? You know. Do they wake up each morning with the mental mindset that “I don’t care if life hands me lemons, I will just make lemonade!” What happens when the day hands them the first lemon? As Tay-Tay says “Shake it off!”? Sure! And the second lemon of the day? Stand up a little straighter? Probably! Third lemon? Dig in the heels a bit? Maybe. Fourth lemon? Shoulders slouchy but moving forward. Fifth lemon? Throw your hands in the air & wave ’em like you just don’t care. Because at this point, you don’t.

Dang, now I really want some lemonade!

I mentioned this because many of us have days where it feels like everything we touch disintegrates into dust. We drop our coffee. Car runs out of gas. Late to work. Fight with a spouse. Kid fails a class. Traffic jams. Dinner burns. Dog runs away. Insomnia kicks in.


We need to respect the life of the person standing next to us. Maybe that was their day & they are barely holding it together. Showing an ounce of love to this person will propel them in a different direction. It won’t unfail their kid, but it will remind them that love exists.

Be the love the world needs to everyone in the world. So said Jesus, Ghandi & a bunch of other people that show up on my Facebook feed. And me.

Love you all bunches! Be a blessing to others. Love the uglies!

Life Choices

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We begin making choices about our lives at a very early age. To cry or not to cry. To play or not to play. What to play. Whether we are going to share with our friends or siblings. We don’t really recognize these as choices but nonetheless they are. We are being taught right from wrong with these early decisions, a lesson that we will carry with us for the remainder of our lives. Hopefully, regardless of how amazing or how crappy your parents were, you were given the best information to make you a decent member of society.

As we continue through this journey, we go to school. We have to decide do we make fun of others, stand up for others, or are we “the others” hiding in the corner praying we don’t get a swirlie in the toilet after class?

In high school, we must decide whether to go on to college, which college we want to attend, if we want to party like a rock star the night before exams, what to wear, what our dating styles will be, if we want to go to prom, and millions of others. Are we even smart enough to make choices like this in high school? Some of these stick with us for the rest of our lives! And I’m not sure about you but when it came to knowing about real life issues, in high school, I was as dumb as a brick. Well, not dumb, but definitely naïve.

When I look back at my life, I see so many opportunities that would have set my life on a completely different course if I had made a different choice. I also see that dang brick. While I have to own my choices, take responsibility for my decisions, there were also lessons I didn’t learn, or learned via observation that influenced these choices.

So when my life is not going in the direction I had hoped, what are my methods of moving past the hurdle? Do I drink enough alcohol to drown my sorrows? I’m not gonna lie. I have in the past. Many times. Do I turn to street drugs? Nope. Do I seek advice from friends I cherish? Usually. Do I eat my way through a pint of Graeters black cherry chip ice cream? If I’m lucky! I also spend time in prayer & turn to my bible to see what God has to say about my life.

I’m not saying I always know how to get past the muck. Sometimes, I get stuck in the muck. Sometimes I need a few days to cry, whine or feel sorry for myself. When I get like this, I prefer to be left alone. I may send my close friends some whiney poor baby texts so they can try to cheer me through to victory. I don’t like to post my mess all over my social media. I don’t like to whine about every little detail. I try to only be a cry baby about whatever the particular issue is that has me feeling down.

This is a technique that I have had to master through years and years and years of trial and error. I can’t allow everyone to see everything. Only what I’m willing to show. Fortunately for me, my amazing therapist reads this blog. I would bet my next session that she is shaking her head & throwing up her hands. (So sorry Josie! Lol!) While I appear to be completely together on the outside, my head gets a little messy at times.

But physically, I keep from doing overtly intentionally harmful things to myself. Sure, I do the ice cream thing. But I don’t usually eat the whole thing at once. Just a third. Typically. On a bad binge. Half. And what I do is on me.

So why do I feel that I have to fix what other people do when they choose bad things, like smoking, drinking, drugs, meaningless sex, eating disorders or abusive relationships? Would I hold them accountable for my mistakes? For my 10 pounds due to black cherry chip? Nope. Why am I holding myself accountable for the decisions of others? Because my heart hurts for them. I hate to see people I love making decisions that are completely self destructive. I get angry with them for not being more mindful of their choices. Don’t they care that smoking causes cancer? Don’t they care that abusive relationships create more pain? Don’t they care that my heart is breaking for them as they are drowning themselves in booze? Plus, if I happen to know what has them so hurt, I can promise you that my heart is truly hurting.  I can feel it in my heart.

I love my peeps so deeply and so fiercely that to watch them hurt causes my heart to hurt. But to watch them self destruct-UGH! I want to scream at them to pull themselves together! I do realize the insanity of this thought since I do not always have it together. However, few people know when I am at my wits end and I do not resort to seriously destructive behavior. And I take it to my confidants so they can lift me in prayer, cheer me up and pull me out of it. That’s why I love my peeps.

I want to be that peep for others. I think in many cases, I actually am. But when I am not, and I see someone start drinking, despite having a father that is an addict, I want to know what broke them & try to fix them. I can’t. I can only love them. I can pray for them. I can give them back to Jesus-figuratively, of course. I only have so much in my arsenal against brokenness.

So as much as I love someone, my love is only going to heal them so much. They have to make the decision to work on themselves for additional healing. They have to decide to seek the right choices. I cannot do that for them. For someone that has a deep love for others, this is the epitome of hell. For the people with the broken heart, they probably think at times I’m a complete arse. I do not hide the frustration well. But I try to recover quickly and remind them of my love for them.

So if you ever tell me you began smoking & I act like a complete arse, (you know who you are.) remember how much I love you & only want the absolute best for you. I see the beauty in you & don’t want to lose you earlier than I am supposed to, because my life would be a lot less awesome without you. Also, I am sorry for being a jerk.

Maybe before we start or restart something not so good for us, a bag of chips, casual sex or heroin, maybe we should take our pains to people we trust, get some professional help if needed, and look up. Take it to prayer. I don’t know what will fix the issue but I do know a case of beer & a carton of cancer sticks will not.

So please make healthier choices. I need you around. For a long time. Remember how much I love you. Have a lovely week.

Talk to you soon.

 

My Earliest of Years

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Remember when I mentioned previously that I had been through plenty of complications in this life that I qualified as a blog writing survivor? Well, OK, not in those exact words but close enough.

I was thinking maybe it’s time to discuss some of those things.

Let’s start with something deep & complex with lots of crazy woven into the history of my life. MY PARENTS.

My biological parents were Seniors in high school when they began what we will call “dating” since I don’t know the exact details about their relationship.

My mother, Rita, was a transplant into this school her Junior year, I believe. My mom led me to believe that she was a bit wild, enjoyed herself at every opportunity. Since my grandparents were allegedly quite strict, I’m sure this resulted in many lies & much sneaking around.

My father, Randy, was also wild, though I doubt anyone would argue that point so we can just say it outright. He did drugs. Now, this was the early 70’s so things were much more laid back for some people during this time. But not my dad. His father, my grandfather, was also very strict. Not known, even today, for being affectionate, patient, compassionate, caring or loving towards anyone. I think he does love, but he is not going to tell us.

So my parents began “dating” sometime early in their Senior year. This is where it all gets fuzzy. Not because I’m on drugs but because neither really likes to discuss it, & both sides skip parts or tell different versions.

All I really know is, I was conceived.

In a Sunday School room.

On Christmas Eve.

I was born exactly 9 months to the day later. My dad says my mom was seeing several other guys around the same time. There wasn’t DNA testing back then, so the lab tests run to prove paternity were only blood types. So even at 43, he isn’t completely sure I belong to him. (Yes, I heard this in the not so distant past & hundreds of times over the years.) My mom does not completely differ here except the time line is less blurry & she seems to have no question about who she was “seeing” around my conception.

Now here you have 2 wild high school Seniors, pregnant, in the early 70’s, both having “experimented” with drugs at least prior to, possibly during, & probably after my life began. My father claims my mothers parents hated him. (HELLO!! Dad, did you miss the beginning of this story?!? Can you blame them?) But let’s remember that it takes two to tango.

Sometime while the parents of these two young, dumb kids were battling out the details of my life, my mom states that my dad’s pastor told her to have an abortion. What?!? He wanted me aborted? Dead? Never to exist?!  My mom states that she knew immediately I was going to save her life & she was always going to love me differently for that. Not more than my sisters, but with a different fondness. Not sure we see eye to eye there but that’s another day’s topic.

So Randy’s family shelled out some money to Rita’s family. I think I was worth $5000.00. So he could run. And run he did. All the way to Dallas. He gave up parental rights so I had no father at all. Oh don’t cry. He was still using drugs. He was drinking a lot. He was not father material. And Rita began seeing a new guy from their high school. Rick was a clean cut football player with 4 years promised to the US Army. He married Rita when I was 10 days shy of 2.

Rick was stationed in Panama for part of his time. That’s really the only place I remember ever hearing about. He was fortunate enough to escape Vietnam because by the time he was done with basic, the US was pulling out. Rick chose to adopt me. I don’t know how all of that went, I was a child. I don’t know if he was still enlisted or home or if I was 5 or 2 or 12. Just kidding. I was definitely not 12.

While Rick was gone, Rita & I spent time at her parents & his parents. We bounced back & forth. While at Rick’s parents, his father, my adopted grandfather, Louis, began sexually assaulting my mother. According to her, he threatened to kill her & me if she told anyone. (I’m barely 4 & my life has been threatened TWICE! Yikes!) So Rita kept that secret for quite a while. (Not so sure she’d appreciate it coming out now. But…this is my life story & it has a direct impact on me.)

Finally Rick returns to his little family. He gets a job with an uncle at a junk yard. Shut up. I ate. I had shelter. I had clothing. And a record player. I had a Sesame Street record. “Bert & Ernie Sing the Letter “L”” was one of the songs on it. I loved it. That song. Over. And over. And over. Rita said I would lay in the hallway & when the song was over I would gently flip the needle so it would just restart the song. “La-la-la-la-lightbulb, la-la-la-la-lamppost…” Yeah. I remember. 😊

By this point, I am 4, I can read. I can recite the alphabet frontwards & backwards. I start kindergarten. I had a brown dog named Linus. Just a mutt of a dog. I had friends next door. They were kinda strange, no very strange, when I look back. What were my parents thinking by letting me play with them?! Rita was pregnant & I was expecting a baby sister. One day, a man knocks on the door. He talks to my mom. When Rick comes home from work, he buries Linus in the backyard. That man at the door had hit him with his truck because he had gotten loose on the road. I remember sobbing at the window watching my dad bury my dog.

So… I think we will stop there for now. This is truly just my beginning. No wise words to part ways this time. Just a reminder that you are loved. Have a happy day & we will meet again soon.