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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."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

3 words

A few years ago I posted about the three words that shook me to the core: my dad died.

I posted about that over and over again because I was so struck by how large of an impact those words had on my life.

But today there are three new words that have impacted my life more than I knew was possible.

"Love you too."

Words that I heard from my bonus daughter for the first time on Thanksgiving this year. I have told her for years that I love her, with no expectation of a response or an "I love you too."

But after four years it has finally happened. "Love you too." Every time we have put her to bed or dropped her off...I've gotten "love you too."

And until you are a bonus parent...until you spend time, tears, and endless love on a child you didn't help create...you don't understand how much those three little words mean.

They mean the world. The absolute world.

Guys...it really doesn't get better than this.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Count us out

I have been holding back for weeks. Call it me trying to be positive...call it being way too busy..call it avoiding the things I know need to be said. I'm sick of waiting. The biggest hurdle I face with this blog is saying the things I'm afraid will hurt someone. But my current struggle...is why I care who it hurts. If I'm posting it...it's typically because people have made very distinct choices to hurt me...so why do I care if my response bothers them?

Lets start with my wedding. It was 6 months ago. 6 months of very silly conversation, more than amazing progress with my step daughter, and 6 months of a marriage that I couldn't be prouder to be a part of.

Here's the thing. I have family that hates their spouse. I have family that disguises their hate in some disgusting veil of happiness and money. Everything is fine because they are rich...and financially stable. They live in this life that isn't real...it's all fabricated with cash and happy smiles.

I don't work in that world. I love my marriage. That involves chasing a teenager to bed...because she has a swim meet in the morning. My marriage involves a screaming toddler that my husband happily puts to bed after a week of pushing himself too far...because he knows I need a 60 second break. My marriage is real. It isn't always fun. It's Friday and I haven't really had a quality time with my husband for over a week...and to be perfectly honest, that only happened because of the holiday. Our life is stressful. No part of it is perfect...and I refuse to pretend that it is.

I see these stupid Christmas cards we get every year about how "all is great." I see kids that made honor roll, and parents that have these perfect jobs that make everything easy for their lifestyle. But as these cards come up...just remember...they are bullshit.

That's right. Bullshit.

If you can't admit that your family is ass backwards, weird, and never perfect...you are lying. You need to level yourself.

I spent a lot of time trying to "keep up" with that side of my family...and I refuse to continue.

When confronted, I was told that they "felt sorry" for me. I wasn't quite sure how to respond...sorry for what? I mean other than my father being a quite literal waste of space...life is really good!

They couldn't be bothered with either of my children...or my wedding. While the wedding was the least of my worries and just a stupid party...my kids aren't. If you can't be bothered to speak to them...want pictures of them...or care AT ALL about their lives...you don't need to be around us. Ever. And please note that when I talk about children...I'm not just talking about Emma. I have two children now...and if you only acknowledge one...please feel free to leave your bags at the door. You aren't welcome here.

I keep getting pulled back to this election as I write this. Stick with me here.

I read online (as I'm not welcome on Facebook anymore), that one of my cousins was "inconsolable" after this election. Another one was "in tears" because he couldn't handle the results. And as much as I want to nicely pat their back and say "there there" my only response is that they need to a- grow a pair, and b- try serving this country.

I get that I haven't served. I don't for a second pretend that I have or that I understand what those that did went through. But what I do understand is that things in life aren't handed to you...and that sometimes you have to look beyond your hurt feelings to understand that there is bigger in this world.

While my cousins at 20+ years old need safe spaces because of election results...I begged for a safe space at 12 when my heroin high father threatened to kill me. As my 20 some cousins protest against police officers that save lives...I begged them for help at 13 as I hid in a basement next to my father's cocaine stash.

I'm done with the privilege. I'm done with the negative light that my father's entire family casts on my life. I'm done with lies. Constant and hurtful lies. Lies about how my grandmother couldn't travel to my wedding...yet she flew to see my cousins hours away just a week beforehand. Lies about how family gives a flying crap about my life...but can only be bothered to send a gift certificate every few years. Certificates that I have piling up in a drawer near my bed...the last two years of which I donated to a charity because I couldn't stand spending money from someone who honestly couldn't care less about our lives.

I am a wife now. A mother. To two beautiful children. A biological and a bonus.

If you don't want a life with them...you don't want a life with me.

And on that same note...if you want to accuse me of being a terrible person based on political affiliation...count me out. I have voiced my opinions...quite loudly. You can dislike/hate them all you want...but the day you judge me is the day that I step out.

I won't do that nonsense. I come from my mother's family. A family that loves unconditionally...and knows better than to make hurtful comments towards anyone. They embrace differences, and also understand a commitment to God and country. They love no matter what. They have loved me, my husband, and both of my children to a level that I admire. It doesn't matter who you are or what you think...they just love you.

But yet...there has been so much hate, especially involving this election cycle. Words have been said that can't be taken back...and honestly it's pathetic. Personally attacking someone doesn't make you right...it makes you cruel. End of story.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

So at this point I have a choice. I have a choice to choose love. I have a choice to choose people around my children that love them regardless. I have a choice to keep the friends that care and truly love my husband and family. I have a choice to ignore the hateful and truly ignorant comments and emails coming from those I previously considered "family."

I have a choice to "let go and let God."

So I'm letting go. Too busy for my wedding? Too busy to care about BOTH of my children? Too spoiled to realize there are different points of view? Too stubborn to care that you may be wrong and forcing hateful comments on the wrong person?

Doesn't matter...I'm out.

I have an absolutely beautiful family. A husband that I could have never imagined. Two children that amaze me daily. And an amazing amount of people that love them just as much as I do.

I will never again fight for someone to be in my life. I will never let my children feel like I did...and they too will never fight that fight.

If you don't want to be here...please excuse yourself now. There is no room in all this love for your negativity. I have a family that is beautiful and happy...any nasty energy needs to get far away from us. If you have that negative energy...if you are anyone I have mentioned above...count us out. It's time for you to leave...and stop following this page.

I'm done. I don't want you here, or in our lives. I don't trust you around our children.

I want very few things for our kids: unconditional love, unconditional support, and unconditional safety.

Those are three things I only got from one parent. Things that I would give my life to make sure my children have.

So if you're reading this I want you to remember...if it's love...support...or safety...there are NO conditions. NONE. EVER.

If you have conditions...you can find the door yourself. We don't do that here. Children here grow up knowing they are safe and loved. Regardless of what they choose to do/believe/say.

I have ranted a lot tonight and I know that. Probably hard to swap back and forth...but this is about six months worth of thoughts bubbling up when I finally had half a second to sit down and clear it all.

I need to come back...because people suck, and I'm not afraid to say that. If you don't like it...leave.

Because to be real...we are stupid happy...and if you don't want to be a part of it...at this point it's your loss.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Before you mourn...evaluate

Here's the deal. 

People I know are dropping like flies. 

People I went to school with...
there's a new obituary every damn day.

This is a disease we need to address.

This is something we can't keep ignoring or writing off.

But here is what is going to really get people pissed off (or at least the ones that it pertains to).


If you are on Facebook mourning the loss of someone that overdosed...

STOP USING.

Reach out, even to me. I will help you find the assistance and support you...whatever you need.

But don't you dare mourn over someone and then be the obituary the next day.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Two years ago

My post two years ago included "Just found this quote from one of my old blogs...and it came at a really good time...things to always have:

"Patience for the grieving process,
loyalty to those who are there for me,
hope for the future,
faith in the bigger picture,
trust in myself to make the right decisions,
and most importantly…
love for myself regardless of the outcome."

I felt I needed to follow up.

I had patience...and I found peace.
I was loyal to those there for me at the time...and now I have a network there for me when I need it.
I had hope...and life is so much better than I imagined it could be.
I had faith...and I provided with my own family.
I trusted in myself...and ended up with a degree and a career.

But the loving myself? Still working on it.

Guess what...you don't have to be perfect. I'm still accepting that fact.

I love my life...but it takes some time to accept that loving life can stop equal working on yourself.

It doesn't mean you have it all together <3

Friday, July 29, 2016

Concrete Angel

Had Pandora running today and heard the song "Concrete Angel." For anyone that hasn't heard it...don't listen to it in public. I've heard it many times...but every time it brings tears to my eyes. Truly makes my heart hurt.

But today it was quiet and I was focused on something else and I really HEARD the lyrics. It hurt me even more.

The song talks about a little girl hiding her bruises when she goes to school. Being quiet and pulling away but despite questioning the situation...no one says anything. It talks about a child crying in the middle of the night...but the neighbors ignoring the noise and going to bed.

I want to say this once. Very clearly and loudly. 

Don't be that person. 

A lot of you are reading that and going "oh of course I would say something," "no one would ignore that," "that's what teachers/doctors/etc are for."

STOP IT. 
You are the problem.

If you see something, hear something, realize something is off...it is YOUR JOB to do something.

I was that child. I went to school praying to God someone would notice that things weren't quite right. Every time my father screamed at me in front of my friends' parents, or his friends...I would PRAY that one of them would do something. Silently I would beg them to call the police, step in...do SOMETHING. 

My mother fought for me for years. Countless custody battles, lawyers, court dates. But it was her word against his. The court doesn't listen to children...and I sure as hell wasn't going to keep fighting a losing battle. It would have made life so much more dangerous behind closed doors.

I wasn't stupid...and I was terrified. 
I was in survival mode.

So let me say this again...

Fucking say something. If you're offended by that language please know I don't give a damn.

I am SO sick of people leaving these kids to fend for themselves. I glared at a man and made a small scene in Walmart just two weeks ago because I watched him smack his small child in the back of the head. Earlier this week we were at the fair, and watched parents pull their little girl out of the car as pot smoke billowed out of the doors. I took their license plate number and reported them to that county's CPS.

Teachers- if a kid pulls away, seems scared, gets into trouble for strange reasons, seems overly attached to you, etc...PAY ATTENTION. The child might not have marks...doesn't mean they aren't living in hell at home.

Parents- watch your children's friends. Watch their interactions with their parents. Look for strange fears, or children that have strange reactions.

And if you see something...DO something. 
There is no excuse.

You are an adult. You are capable of helping that child. 

And no excuse that you make up in your own mind makes you any less responsible. It won't make you feel any better when something bad happens to that child.

I still remember days in school that I wish someone had questioned me
I wanted to tell.
I wanted someone to trust
But I was too afraid to do it myself. 

I remember specific incidents...looking at adults with wide eyes while my father stood there...PRAYING that one of them would see the terror in my eyes and would pull me aside.

They never did. But you can be damn sure I remember every moment.

I also remember the one teacher that did ask questions. She was willing to report what she saw...and she was willing to put her own comfort on the line for my safety.

Be that teacher. 
Be that parent. 
Be that PERSON.

You have choices. That sweet child doesn't.

Friday, June 17, 2016

To my kids

Listen you little buggers...by the time you read this (if I let you)...there will be a few of you (if I have anything to say about it at least).

I read something today on Facebook about a dad that took pictures of his daughter using drugs and tried to get her arrested. There were SO many comments condemning him for what he did. Saying that he should have tried to help her, and talk to her, and blah blah blah. So much hatred for a father trying to save his daughter in the only way he knew how.

So here's the deal- I am not your friend. I'm not your pal, buddy, or girlfriend. I am your mother. I am going to piss you off more than you have any idea. And I'm going to do it because I love you, and believe it or not...I know better than you do. (Now don't worry...you'll realize that one day...probably around 25 years old). Just ask your grandmother...I thought I knew it all once too...and then my life imploded in my face.

If I have to do something like get you arrested because I think it's the only way to save you? I will do it. Because in this scary world it's likely you will be safer sitting in jail than on the streets making bad decisions. I hope we raise you better than that of course...but I'm no stranger to what addiction can do to a person.

I just want you to remember...even when you hate my guts...I love you. So does your dad. We would quite literally take any pain away from you if we could. We would jump in front of a car for you, wrestle a bear, take on anyone that tried to harm you.

But we aren't too naive to think that some demons will still get to you. Despite our best efforts, it's a terrible statistic that at least one of our beautiful babies will eventually get in over their heads. And when it happens, we will still be here trying to help you.

You aren't going to like it. You are going to hate us some days. You will do things intentionally to make us mad. But we will never stop loving you, or fighting for you to get back on the right road.

As I read that article about the father my heart broke a little bit. Emmalynne is 5 months old right now next to my desk asleep. The thought of losing her, or any of our kids...is beyond devastating. It's something I can't (and won't) try to wrap my mind around. So you can be damn sure that the day we think you are a danger to yourself...we will do what we have to to keep you safe. Because our lives are about you...and our lives are contingent on you being healthy and safe.

That man lost his daughter despite his best efforts. And although I'm sure it is no consolation to him...at least he did all that he could. He made her mad...he refused to be her friend...and he tried his damndest to keep her safe.

This world is scary. I'm afraid to see what it will look like when you all grow up. But know that your safety will always be right at home with parents that would do anything to ensure your future success and happiness.

Especially when it translates to being strict and "mean." 
Tough love baby. You'll like us again one day. 
Probably when you have your own kids. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Piece by piece

Before you start reading...listen to this song:


Every single time I hear it I think of the last time I saw my father...when I met him in the airport in Tampa. I remember walking away from him that day to go to my flight and I refused to cry in front of him. He yelled "I love you" right as I approached a corner, and I fell to the ground the second I was out of his sight. I cried harder in that moment than I had in years.



I had no idea it would be the last time I ever saw him. I had no idea just how bad things were going to get. But I did know that he hadn't changed. I knew for sure that the love he preached was conditional. It had to be earned, not freely given as a parent's love is supposed to be. That day I realized he would never be the dad I wanted him to be...and that to heal myself I had to cut ties. I had to walk away for good.

Shortly after that visit, he really lost it. His drug use got worse. His actions turned more violent. His tendencies to stalk girlfriends escalated. His legal struggles took a turn for the more dangerous. He became a true monster, not the man that made swings for me in the backyard.

But something beautiful came from that visit. A new me was born that day. The "recovering" part of the skeptic came through. That day I stopped trying to be who he wanted me to be...and started being the person that I wanted to be.

I am so blessed that my daughter will never know that pain. She will never have to pick herself up from that kind of hurt. Because her daddy loves her...unconditionally. 


Oh and I should add...he loves me too. 

The recovering skeptic took a leap guys...we are officially one family that will never show our children anything but support and love. Because they deserve nothing less. 


Recovery never "ends" but piece by piece it gets a lot easier.