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"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or erased...it can only be accepted."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Don't be one of "those" people

I hear it ALL the time.

"Stop complaining."

"We all have struggles."

Etc.

But those who read this blog and respond in that way...are clearly completely missing the point. I'm not complaining...I'm talking about things that happened. Sometimes I feel badly about those things, and sometimes I feel strong and ready to take on the world.

I can promise however...one thing that I don't want is sympathy from anyone.

I don't need the sympathy. Kids who are still stuck in the kind of situation I was in...they deserve sympathy. Not to mention someone to speak up for them and help them.

So don't be one of the people who wastes their own time mocking me and this page. If you don't like it or don't agree with it...simply stop reading it.

If it helps you or helps bring up some perspective...then please keep reading.

It really is that simple.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Stopped being a kid the moment the strip turned pink..."

A massive pet peeve of mine is when people call me "kid" or other terms regarding my young age. Drives me flipping insane. Yesterday was my birthday...and maybe that's why it seems to be so stuck in my head. There have been some things that I've wanted to post about for weeks, and I've been holding back. After a few glasses of wine tonight, it seems a little bit easier for the words to roll off my fingers.

Now I swear I'm going to get back to the "kid" thing. It's one thing when one of my mom's friends calls me that, or a family member who has thirty years on me. It's another thing when someone my own age, or slightly older throws it at me. Makes me insane.


"Kid."

Webster defines a kid as: "a young person." (Clever definition I know). And I realize that in many ways, I am a kid. I'm ok with that, and I enjoy the fact that at 24 (as of yesterday) I am still young and successful.

As a 24 year old...I pretty much have it made.
Life is amazing.

But here's my issue. I'm not a kid. I'm not sure I ever really was.

My mom and I used to be obsessed with Gilmore Girls (ok let's be honest, we still are). And in one episode Lorelei (the woman who became a teen mom) says "I stopped being a kid the moment the strip turned pink."

That comment always stuck with me for some reason. Because I wanted to pinpoint the moment that I stopped being a kid.

To be honest...I find that difficult.

There have been some memories lately that have been stuck in my head and haunting me to no end. I'm not sure exactly what threw them in my face, but they've been stuck there, and I'm not sure how to get rid of them. Considering this blog is the one thing that seems to calm me down...it only seems fitting that I finally get them off my back.

When did I stop being a kid?

It's so hard to say, as sometimes I feel like in my father's house...I was born an adult. There was no real childhood.

I remember taking care of my toddler brother on my own when I was my future step daughter's age. Barely 12, and during the summer I took care of him alone. My father would go to work, leave me with the baby, and with a list that I was expected to take care of. Housework, cooking, yardwork, the whole nine yards. Meanwhile I wasn't even old enough to take care of myself alone...let alone a household/another child.

At 11, one of my chores was to ride my bike to the grocery store and get groceries. Most of the time I was given cash and a list of what to get...but there was the occasion where I waited until my father fell asleep and I would sneak money out of his dresser drawer. I still remember the three divider spots in that drawer. One spot for his socks (that I washed and rematched), one for random crap...receipts, ear plugs, junk, and one for his bottles of pills, baggies of drugs, and random free flowing cash. (PS I don't know why I remember the ear plugs...I just do).

Long before my brothers existed though...I remember other things. Nights of cooking dinner, babysitting myself, and mornings of making my dad's coffee, getting myself ready for school, and putting myself on the bus hours before he even got out of bed. I would set my own alarm, get up, feed myself, make his coffee, get ready for school, and leave before he even appeared. I specifically remember this in Kirtland, meaning I couldn't have been older than 8-9 years old.

It's strange how as a child...you tie memories to households. That's the only way I can report dates these days...all depends on what house we lived in at the time. The memories include a house, and then I can usually narrow it down to a year or two, as he rarely lived the same place for long.

So back to the original post. I could pinpoint a few times where I stopped being a kid.

But there is one specific event/time period that pinpoints to me the time when I stopped being a kid.

One night is stuck in my head. I can still see it if I think about it. 
Everything about it. 

My father and I were staying in a hotel. The hotel had a pool, and my dad had taken me to it for the evening. I was doing laps, while he sat with one of my newborn siblings on the side of the pool. I was on swim team at the time, so I just kept doing laps as he went in and out of the pool area on his phone. My sibling sat in a car carrier next to his chair.

Finally the mother of the child came into the pool area, grabbed the carrier, and ran out of the place. My father jumped up and left me in the pool. I (confused) got up, wrapped in a towel, and ran towards the hotel room because I didn't understand what was going on and why everyone was yelling.

I sat in the hotel room shivering, waiting for someone to show up.

Less than 5 minutes later my father appeared at the sliding glass door with the carrier and the baby. Handed the screaming child to me, and came inside. I took the baby, and sat on the bed...still not having any idea what was going on.

(Turns out my father had stolen the newborn from the mother, and she had come back to try and safely get her child back).

As we're sitting there, he turns on the weather channel (he was obsessed), and he sits on the other bed. At that moment, the mom comes in the sliding glass door and tries to take the baby. I got yelled at to take the baby, and I went running to the back of the room. I held the baby and went back to the bathroom. I turned around for a second to try and figure out what was going on...and saw something that has been "flashbulbed" in my brain for years.

I watched my father get slapped, scratched, and punched. I then watched him attempt to choke a woman to the ground. 

At that point I broke from my frozen spot and ran to the bathroom with the baby. I sat on the floor for what seemed like hours trying to calm down a screaming infant. I can still remember the burn in my nose from the bleach they had used to clean the tub.

Years later I know that it had to have been 20 minutes at most...but at the time it felt like days until the police showed up. My father was knocking at the bathroom door and I couldn't bring myself to answer it. I was terrified, and still completely flustered.

 I was in a wet bathing suit holding a baby...in the middle of the night, in a bathroom, at a strange hotel...

...and I was in elementary school.

The police came, took the baby (at least for a little while, I do remember sleeping with the baby in my bed that night...so things get a little fuzzy after the bathroom door opened). And that's pretty much the last thing I remember. The next day was my last day of ___ grade. (Specific date left out on purpose).

For weeks/months (I honestly can't say I remember how long it was) my father and I lived in hotels.

A hotel in Wickliffe where I watched Crocodile Dundee for hours. There was a hotel in Eastlake where all I remember is the front sign. There was the hotel in Willoughby Hills (I think that's the city) where the above scene took place.

My mom tried to convince my father that all the hopping around wasn't good for me, but he didn't listen.

We finally settled in a house in Mentor on the Lake, where we lived for a year, before moving, moving again, and then finally moving to a house where we stayed until I was removed from the home.

A lot happened in those houses. There are memories I wish I could forget.

But the fact is...I stopped being a kid before I got the chance to be a kid.

Some will say that I'm making this up. Some will say that I'm exaggerating. 
And to them all I can really say is:

I'm glad you don't understand. 
Because I couldn't wish some of this shit on my worst enemy.

And for God's sake...make sure your own kid never has to worry about being a kid.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Be careful to not hit your own house with those stones you're throwing

It's funny, I wrote this post about a week ago, but hadn't had a chance to go through and proof read it due to life being...life. And then as if it was predicted, this week turned out to be a challenging one, complete with people really sucking. (Excuse me that I don't have any better way to currently put it...I need sleep).

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't talk about the things that have happened in the past. It opens me up to a lot of crap from people. Whether it's being called a liar, other names, or just being judged harshly for my life experiences. I worry that putting details out there just gives negative people more ammo to use against me. And about 50% of the time, it does backfire. But I don't write this for those people. I write it for me, and for the few people that it does help.

If I had a dime for every time someone said that I was making up these life experiences...I could quit my job and just write this blog full time. Hell, I could write it on my own private island. But I'm lucky to say that for the first time...it's starting to not bother me anymore. A year ago I would have spent days dwelling in the things that people say. Someone comparing me to my monster of a father would have torn me to pieces, and would have shaken the little bit of strength I had. Now...things are starting to roll off a lot faster. It stings to hear negative things...as I think it does for everyone. But perspective kicks in a lot faster.

"Those in glass houses are quite typically the first to throw stones." It's a twist on the common quote we've all heard, but it was the first thing my coworker said to me the other day when I was venting. And it's kind of perfect for what I was stressing about.

I needed to take a step back. Consider the source of the negativity and harsh words. Someone I used to look up to, and someone I thought was there to protect me. But clearly that wasn't the case...because words like that would never come from a place of love. 

No one is perfect, and no one knows everything about someone else. 

My life is massively out in the open, ready for judgment. But that's my own choosing. I chose to write for myself, and when it started to get the feedback it did...I chose to change it from anonymous to very open.

And despite shitty people...
I'm really glad I did.

Part of writing this blog was to encourage people to talk about the hard stuff. To stop being so damn afraid of WORDS from other people. And to stop hiding the horrible feelings that come when your life blows up in your face.

I have been called a liar. I have been called a narcissist. I have been called a horrible person, and a pathetic daughter. I've been told that I am a useless sister, a bad friend, and a selfish granddaughter. I have had people say that private life information should be kept private. I've been told that I shouldn't say the things that I do because it hurts other people.

But all of those people saying those things...are part of the problem.

Why shouldn't I talk about it? Because it makes THEM uncomfortable? Because THEY don't believe me? Because THEY don't want to read it?

All quick fixes. They don't have to read it.

There are some things that are still buried deep, that I can't put out there for the public to read. And it's not because of the impending judgment...but because I don't want to hurt family members who may not know what happened. It's taken a long time just to get to where I am now. I have no idea how long it will take to have the guts to put the rest of it out there. But it will happen some day.

"Those in glass houses are quite typically the first to throw stones."

I really need to remember that. And I need to watch my own glass house by not throwing any stones myself.

When things get to be too much, and that quote isn't working for me...there's one other thing that helps...


But worst case scenario...I just blog about it :)

Happy Friday loves

Monday, January 12, 2015

Oh you stubborn, big mouthed, Capricorn

I never check my horoscope...but I did today out of curiosity for my birthday week.

Funny considering I literally couldn't sleep last night because I kept having ideas for posts. This could be an interesting week!

Monday January 12th - Sunday January 18th
Warm up those digits, Capricorn. They could soon be furiously pounding out blog posts, tweets, or who knows…the next great American novel. On Monday, January 12, firestarter Mars moves into Pisces and your third house of communication. To say your words carry weight would be putting in mildly now. Whether writing, talking, texting or podcasting you can make a great impact on others — for better or for worse. If you have a media project or book idea, dive in! Five weeks from now you could have a tour de force to show to the world. Mars is the warrior planet and it lends its fierceness to wherever it’s transiting. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

If you give up I will be forced to kick you (metaphorically speaking)

There is a saying that I have always struggled with. A lot of people say it, and most of them truly believe it. I want to believe it...and I try to...but I definitely struggle with it to this day.

This too shall pass.

It's a very simple saying really...and a very basic concept. Something that a friend is currently going through is what reminded me of this saying. I wanted to send it to her...to help her keep in mind that whatever we're going through will one day be just a distant memory.

I remember sitting in absolute despair so many times in my life. Frustration, anger, hurt, and sometimes fury would consume me...and I would find myself working myself up to a point of no return. All I could think was "no way in hell this will ever get better"...and heaven forbid someone tell me that one day things would turn around. It was all I could do to keep from punching them in the mouth. 

But as much as I hate to admit being wrong...I was wrong. 

Things have turned around. Opportunities are literally around every corner if you pay enough attention. 

I don't fall for the "poor me I can't fix this" routine. I get SO frustrated with people who let themselves sit in a bad cycle because they're (quite frankly) just too lazy to do something about it. I don't have pity for those who choose not to help themselves.

That being said...it's amazing what can happen when you fight to pull yourself out of a situation. Things really do pass...and then turn around. 

I remember thinking once "well what else can happen...I'm officially at rock bottom." I was actually happy that I had hit bottom, because I figured the only way to go was up. (For the record I was totally wrong...but that is besides the point). 

Things did go up finally. Then up further. And then past any point of happiness I had ever had.

So to all those I love, and all those who read this blog (which are all one and the same)...
Always remember...this too shall pass.

And if it doesn't seem to be passing...hold on a little longer. My mom told me once to take something day by day...if that was too much then hour by hour...all the way down to minute by minute.

There is no shame in being overwhelmed, scared, or at rock bottom. Don't give up...I don't want to have to kick you.

Do what you can. Push just a little longer. And shoot me a message if you need help. 

That's kinda why I'm here...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New year...new family

I have to start this post with how relieved and thankful and happy I am.



I am a lucky girl. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams…and I’m not just saying that. There was a post recently about how I came *from ashes*. And it really couldn't be a better description. 

From the girl who thought no man would ever love her because she wasn't worthy…I was blessed with an honest-to-God Superman. A man who loves me for every stupid part of me. Whether my pants don’t fit right (just ask him about the pajama pants he thinks are “so cute” even though they look like floods). Whether my hair is sprayed across my face, and my skin is breaking out like it’s 2002. He loves me. No questions asked. No “buts”…no compromises. He just loves me.



Something life changing happened this year. And we’re only 3 days in. My Superman asked me to be his wife. Forever. For always. And no matter what. He asked me to be his wife, and his daughter’s step mom. An honor that I’m amazed I deserve.



I cry just thinking about the weight of the question he asked me on New Years Eve.
“Will you marry me?”

It’s so simple…but it’s not at the same time. Of course I will. 

He means the absolute world to me…and as my mom said…he “brings out the best in her and celebrates it” (PS-if that doesn’t make your heart twinge a little…you have no soul).

But it's not that easy. Because it isn't just him I'm saying yes to. It's his daughter too. It's my future step daughter...a child that will be loved as my own. It's the future family I'm saying yes to. All the kids we will someday have...the stresses and positives.

The days we love each other too much and the days we can barely look at each other. I'm saying yes to all of it. Happily...and wholeheartedly. Well...if I said yes...



I have been married. I have daddy issues. I have survived a massive amount of heartbreak and hell. Am I really ready for another marriage...or even the possibility of it? Am I ready for a child?

Who am I kidding? The life in front of me is ten times more amazing than anything I ever thought I could have.

And now…I have a man that will be my husband for the rest of my life. And I have a beautiful little girl asleep upstairs that will be my step daughter. 

Were you really doubting it...? 
Of course I said yes. I said yes...for every day for the rest of my life. 

We went to a winery for NYE with Nick’s best friend and his girlfriend. We ate way too much food, danced, and drank wine. It was a beautiful night. As the countdown neared, we danced away to Eric Clapton’s “Beautiful Tonight” (a song that made me cry as it reminded me of my dad). As the song ended I noticed Nick’s heart racing and hands shaking.

All of a sudden his best friend was behind the microphone saying words like “midnight” and “proposal”. I turned around to find Nick on one knee. My own knees betrayed me...and to keep from falling, I ended up slightly on the floor.



Now a reasonable person would respond with smiles and laughter. I responded with yelling “No you’re not!!!” and hysterically crying.

Luckily the lovely man has grown accustomed to ignoring my psycho-babble and proceeded to propose anyways.



And now there is a big old rock on my hand. And an extra skip to my step. 



I’m getting married. Not now. Not next year…but it’s in the plans.

Fact is we've waited long enough (insert obnoxious throwback here)



And I couldn’t be happier. Because I’m marrying MY Superman <3



(Little did he know a few months ago he would be truly stuck with me...after he caught the garter and I caught the bouquet)


And on one final note...I just want everyone to see the adorable show of dimples and the look of pure joy he had minutes after realizing he pulled it all off successfully. 


I'm getting married. To a man better than the one I had dreamed of. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

National Stalking Awareness Month

It’s officially 2015 and I’m already overwhelmed…as I don’t even know where to start with this post. I always say “so much has happened since my last post”…but it couldn't be truer than it is right now. I want to touch on something...and will try to elaborate on it more later this month...but...
               
     Let’s start with the most important thing. January is National Stalking Awareness Month.

And on that note...I’m about to say something that is going to make a lot of people angry.

If you are being stalked…don’t rely on the courts to take care of it. Laws are written vaguely. Judges suck sometimes. Victim’s advocates are typically a total joke. And aggressors typically act in ways that we don’t expect.

Let me be clear that you should ALWAYS SEEK LEGAL HELP. No matter what. No matter who is stalking or threatening you. Always seek assistance from someone. Loved ones…but mostly the authorities.

However.
I will suggest other options.

Learn to protect yourself. Buy a gun (yea yea yea go ahead…get your panties all in a bunch you “guns kill” people). But seriously…find a way to protect yourself. Never depend on someone else. Take your safety and your life into your own hands.

Surround yourself with support. Whether it be friends, neighbors, or family. Make sure you always have support, and people you can go to.

Give yourself the power. Never allow yourself to live in fear. It will cripple you and there’s simply no reason for that.

Find a group of people who have been through it. Try to find solace with them.

Stay strong no matter the circumstances. 

The day you give up is the day your aggressor wins.

I know this is cliché. But believe that karma wins in the end. Because the fact is…she does. Crazy biatch is impressive in that way. You will never know how or when she will do it. But she will take care of things.

Learn as much as you can to protect yourself. Stay as strong as possible.


And NEVER let your attacker win. They simply aren't worth your sanity.