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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."

Monday, December 22, 2014

Accept that you have daddy issues: it's not a bad thing...it just is

To the younger version of me:

You are loved. 

Despite what horrible words you may hear around you...you are loved. That will never change, no matter what you say, what you do, or how hard you push. 

No one is perfect. It's that simple. The people who love you...will make mistakes...just as you will. Do yourself a favor and learn that as quickly as possible. Also learn that there are always things going on beneath the surface that you don't see. You may never see them...but accept that they are there, and move on. Be understanding...to a fault. When you get mad at someone that you love remember that things can change in an instant. Before cutting someone out of your life...wonder how you would feel if they were gone tomorrow. Because as dad's death will tell you...you never know when someone will be gone forever. If you can't live with that thought...you are not ready to make such a life-altering decision.

Protect yourself. From yourself. Don't make things harder than they have to be. You don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be anything you don't feel like being. Do your best...and be happy with that. Don't spend unnecessary time trying to make others happy with you. Either they will be, or they won't. There's is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Boys are not going to fill a void. It's really that simple. You might think they will, and you might love getting the attention. But accept that you have daddy issues. It's not a bad thing...it just is. Be more cautious about the men in your life...because as a girl without a father...you will be influenced to give men more than you should. You will overlook their massive flaws, and accept things you shouldn't. Don't be that girl. Be the girl that you will grow up to be...one who thinks for herself, respects herself, and doesn't need a man to make her feel good or happy. Be happy on your own.

No matter how hard you push some people away...they will still be there when you get older. They will still love you unconditionally...and all that has happened in the past will be forgotten. But try not to take too long to learn that...because while you're pushing them away...they are missing you.

You can't get time back. You can get relationships back...friends...family...it can all come back to you. But time won't. Once it's gone...there is  no possible way to bring it back. You also can't get words back...so do your best to watch what you say. You never know when your outburst is going to hurt someone close to you irreparably.

Make your own decisions. I can't stress this one enough. Shut up the voices telling you different things...shove the devil and angel off your shoulders sometimes and think for yourself. Weigh options based on what you KNOW...not what you've been TOLD. I go back to earlier in this letter...remember that sometimes the things you KNOW...have other things going on beneath the surface. Always keep that in mind.

I know you think you know it all right now...and you have made decisions based on all that you think that you know. You are a crazy smart kid...but you still don't know it all. You will see that one day...and you will look back at yourself and WISH you'd had more information.

Family does not mean what you think it means. Family is not necessarily blood...it's the people who won't leave you behind. Unfortunately a lot of times...people who are blood will leave you. They will love you...but conditionally. You have to learn to decipher between family that you are born with, and the family that you choose for yourself. On that note...always know that is it OKAY to reject those who don't treat you the way they should. It doesn't mean that you don't love...it means that you love yourself.

I wish I could talk to you. 
I want to explain so many things. Explain why I have had to make decisions as an adult that may not make sense to you...and why I'm not the monster you have decided I am. Unfortunately in some situations it seems as though history is doomed to repeat itself...and I hate that there is no way for me to stop it. 

Our dad sucked. And that's not fair. 
He hurt people in different ways. He hurt the younger generation in a much different way than the older generation. But the fact is that everyone walked away from the situation hurt. Recovery from his choices has been going on for years...and it will only continue. I'd like to say that it gets easier...but it doesn't. The birthdays, the anniversaries, the weddings, the births of babies...that he will never be there for...they don't get easier. 

But a few things do get easier. 
Learning who will help you through those times. 
Dealing with the anger in constructive ways.
Letting down the walls between you and those who love you.

This world isn't what you think it is. Your relationships aren't what you think they are. 

I will never discredit your feelings...because I too have felt them. 
I know they are real...and I know that they can be overwhelming. 

But I will always encourage you to see the big picture...where things aren't as they seem. 

will tell you that those feelings will one day change. 

And the cool part about me saying that? 
I know. I lived it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's my job right?

Ever feel overwhelmed, responsible, and somewhat relieved all at the same time?

I have.

Sometimes people do things that don't make sense.

And sometimes they pull off the impossible.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Surprise!

One of my last posts was all about a secret...one that was finally revealed this weekend. As an early birthday surprise for my mom (who hates surprises)...I convinced her to come to Ohio for a speech contest that I had won.

But to put it simply...I lied. 

Instead I got to tell her on Saturday morning that I was graduating with my first real degree, with honors, and that I was starting the next degree process in the spring. 

She cried. I cried. My grandma cried. 
Basically the women of my family all bawled our eyes out all day.

I will be posting the video of her surprise even though she told me not to. Because honestly, her reaction when realizing what I was telling her...was absolutely priceless. Not "congratulations", or "I'm so proud"...but...

"I have to go shopping...I only brought jeans!!!"
(She ended up looking fabulous by the way...and got new shoes out of the deal)

Sunday was amazing. It was a whirlwind, and it flew by...but it was amazing. I finally did what I set out to do years ago, and I proved a lot of people wrong (including my self-doubt). Honestly...I kicked that degree's ass!

My mom, grandma, Nick, his family, the little ones, my best friends...the day was beautiful (and boring) in so many ways. I have the life I've always wanted. Complete with a lot of hard work...and a lot of amazing blessings.

The blessing of an amazing mom. Who is not only brilliant...but loving as well. A woman who supports me no matter how badly I mess up...and wants me to strive for the stars.

The two people who love me the most. And push me the hardest. The woman who made me who I am, and the man who influences who I will be.

Two badass and beautiful women who I look forward to becoming as I get older. As a wife, as a mother, as a professional, a friend, and a grandmother. If I become half of the woman that either one of them are...I will have a life far exceeding what I've hoped for.

Goofiness. Fun. Laughter. Love. And all of the other gross happy shit that went on yesterday. Because it was a day to celebrate and be proud. And to teach Nick how to take a picture without giving us a double chin.

And one more. 
Because a picture is worth a thousand words.


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

This has been my anthem today. And it has been one hell of a day. Emotional weekend followed by a massive kick to the face this morning. It's something that I won't go into too extensively...but the fact is I was attacked by people who should love me unconditionally. "Family" I believe they're supposed to be called. My biggest insecurities were thrown in my face, in a way that was not only inappropriate, but also just plain cruel.

Today I was compared to my father. 

And let's be honest. I lost my mind. I was so consumed with anger, hurt, and frustration that I completely lost my shit. Excuse my language...but I mean I truly lost it. To a point that I usually don't lose it. I have been dealing with a lot, and have been massively struggling to keep my head above water. But this weekend was the first time that I was able to kind of relax. To truly take a second and be proud of myself. 

And then this morning all hell broke loose.

I called my mother, crying my eyes out because I didn't know how to handle a situation that was thrown at me. I was almost to the point of hysterics because I was being compared to my father...and the thought of that made me physically ill. It took a second sound mind to remind me that people suck...and sometimes you have to just let them suck. We can't control them. 

It's funny, because Nick and I were having a conversation about a month ago with his daughter. She was having a hard time with bullies at school...and she didn't know how to make them stop. She was upset that people would target her and make her feel bad. So we taught her what we were taught...to take the power away from them. When you stop reacting...bullies lose their ability to control you...they lose their power.

So back to before...I was compared to my father. Given a situation...someone thought it was appropriate to say just how like him I was...but also how sad they were for me because it "wasn't my fault" as I had had to live with him and be influenced by him.

But after a few hours of thinking about it...processing it...and calming down...I realized something.

They were right. 

Dead on actually.

I am my father.

I am stubborn. I am determined. I love hard. I have gorgeous blue eyes that sparkle when I get stressed or upset about something. I am sometimes short tempered (see the freak out comment above). I love music...more than is probably normal. (Although that may be pure genetics...as after spending some time with my brother this weekend...I've discovered that he too dances in the grocery store). 

I am passionate. I am sometimes way too emotional. I love the outdoors and animals. Sunsets and James Taylor can calm me down in almost any situation. I want people to come to me with their problems, and I put just as much into my friends as I do my family. 

But the way that I'm most like my father? 

I'm not effing perfect.

I am not financially rich. But I am rich in love and happiness. I'm not completely mentally stable all the time. But I am trying my best to be the best person I can be. I have secrets that I keep to myself. But I do my best to be as genuine as possible. 

Sometimes I miss my dad. 
But I know I am surrounded by amazing people who love me more than life.

I came home today in tears...and overwhelmed beyond belief. But as I sit here and look around this beautiful house...and over at the man working hard on his degree at the table...my angry tears are replaced with truly happy ones. 

I got really mad at my father today. After all, the craziness in my life all stems from him. The uncertainty, the true stress, it all comes from the things he chose to do. But being completely honest here...now that I have calmed down...I'm truly thankful it all happened. 

Because I am like my father. But at the same time I'm not at all. 

Damn it...I love harder than he was capable of. I worry more about everyone else than I do myself...to a fault. I bust my ass to the point of making myself completely insane. I stress over little things...that don't deserve my time. I love on those who love on me...as much as I can. I cling to those same people...and try to build them up...because it makes me feel good to see them happy. 

And because of that I have true friendships that have spanned a lifetime. An amazing relationship with Superman...and a family who never makes me question if they are proud. I know in the back of my mind that my father finally has peace...and that is proud of the woman I have become, and the mother I am trying to be.

And one other thing. I have a mother who builds me up when I need it. And reminds me of one very simple and very good point:

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

This weekend was huge for me (see the next post)...and no one...I repeat NO ONE will ever be able to take that away from me. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I have a secret

Well let's be honest. I have lots of secrets.

But this one is a big one.

Colossal actually.

Massive.

This secret is pretty awesome. And a long time coming.

But I can't tell you.

Yet.

Stay tuned folks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The prettiest things come from ashes

I got overwhelmed a few minutes ago and my first reaction was to grab my computer and start writing. Now given I should be studying and my body is over exhausted...I almost didn't grab for my laptop. But I ignored my body for once...because this was something I needed to document.

I just got overwhelmed. I know it sounds like the start of a lot of other posts. But this was different. Very very different. I've been home alone this evening while Nick is at work...and things have been quiet. Usually I get pretty lonely...especially when I'm stressed (which we have both been this week). Tonight has been different. I was sitting here on the couch and I started crying. Obnoxiously crying actually. But for a totally new reason.

My life is perfect. I look around this house we have...and am completely overwhelmed with stupid levels of happiness and gratefulness. I am in love with the most amazing man I've ever met...even if he steals the covers and makes inappropriate jokes sometimes. I don't deserve how he treats me...and yet he is always there outdoing himself to make sure I have everything I could ever want. I spent my time after work Christmas shopping with his daughter for his presents. Then I came home to a beautiful home and obnoxious dog to start studying for my finals.

I came from ashes. Horrible, ugly, and charred ashes. My life was a mess for so long...and now it seems like this crazy distant memory. It doesn't feel like the same me...it seems like lifetimes ago. Like some strange dream I had...but never actually happened. The crappy depression I've fought for years...is finally starting to feel maintained if not gone. The anxiety still pops up, but not in the crippling way that it used to. I came from hell...and created a strange version of heaven.

I'm not the same girl whose father tried to kill her. I'm not the same girl who let "family" manipulate her for years. I'm not the same girl who sat in a ball in the bathtub sobbing hiding from her father. I'm not the same girl who took hostility out on the only people who wanted to help her. I'm not the same girl who was incapable of truly loving anyone else because she couldn't love herself.

There's a lot going on around me right now. The end of this year and the start of next spark major changes in my life. Everything is new and instead of being scared...I'm truly excited for the future.

I'm in love with Superman. I have amazing friends. Some to raise families with, some that are there for last minute pep talks, some who bring me coffee at work, and some who can make me laugh randomly. They are old friends, and new friends. I am indestructible with all of them on my side, and proud of it. I finally feel like I am accomplishing things that I set out to accomplish years ago.

I can truly say...I am finally the person that I've wanted to be. 

My best friend sent me this article the other day and it made me cry. Because I want to be the woman deserving of that letter one day. That's all I've really ever wanted when it comes to Nick and his little one. But when my best friend sent it...she sent a message telling me how I was already that woman. And it touched me in a way that I can't explain.

Jobs, schooling...it doesn't matter. Houses, cars...it's irrelevant. Being a good wife/girlfriend, daughter, sister, mom (or step mom), aunt, and friend does. It's really all that matters at this point. And I'm finally in a position to be just that. I love myself enough to be that person to everyone else.

I get scared saying this...as it typically means something is about to go wrong. And there's always SOMETHING I could find that could be "better"...BUT...I'm going to say it anyways...

My life is perfect.

It is messed up, complicated, busy, and straight weird. But it's so perfect. Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face kind of perfect. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm angry and I don't care what you think about it

That's it. I said it.

I'm angry. And I don't care what you think about it. 

I'm angry that life has dealt me crappy cards over and over again. I'm angry that my father is dead, and that there's nothing I can do to change it. I'm angry that the court systems didn't protect me as a child, and that adults in my life who were supposed to look for me, didn't. 

But most of all...I'm angry at myself. For something seemingly stupid and slightly out of my control. I'm angry that I didn't go to Florida to be at the hospital when my father died. I'm angry that the last time I saw him was in an airport, and that the visit ended with me in tears and him falling apart. 

I'm straight pissed off that I can't forgive him. I'm pissed that I can't be the person I encourage others to be...full of forgiveness and love for those that hurt me. I can forgive a lot of people...but when it comes to my father, and his mother...I can't bring myself to forgive. 

I'm holding a grudge. And that seems so petty and stupid to me that it frustrates me to no end. I want to shake myself and tell myself to "grow up" because any sane adult would get over it. 

I want to forgive. Hell...and what I would do to forget.

But here I am. Holding a grudge. Remembering every day different horrible things that happened over the years. Good memories sometimes being replaced by a popup memory of something bad that happened right after the good. Here I am, not only not forgetting...but not forgiving.

There's where I'm torn. I have the right to feel however the hell I want to...and typically I encourage feeling however you want to. They're feelings...not things you can control. But this seems like one of those cases where I should be trying to move on...and trying to put those things behind me. For my own sanity and mental health, I should be slowly letting go of the past...and moving forward.

Maybe that's part of the anger. I know that in theory I should forgive, and I shouldn't let old memories drag me down. At the same time though...is that ever truly going to happen? Do we ever truly let go and forgive those that hurt us? Especially someone that hurt me for so long...and so badly. Someone that hurt my family too, and destroyed any sense of childhood I was supposed to have. Maybe that's why I can't forgive him...and why I won't ever forget. 

What he did...made me who I am.

Quite frankly...being mad about what he did...is what pushes me to make myself better. It prompted this post. It makes me want my degree more and more. It makes me want to be the best counselor I can be. It makes me more dedicated to bettering my life, Nick's life, and our children's lives. So in theory it's all leading to bigger and better things.

But damn am I frustrated right now.