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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. 



Sunday, November 16, 2014

One of those weeks

It's been one of those weeks. Where everything starts to kind of pile up...and that just leads to anxiety and panic. I've been kind of a mess...but leave it to me to not show it. Instead of trying to talk about it and get it out...I spend my energy trying to cover it up and deal with it. It's stupid.

Sometimes it's hard to voice how the panic feels. It's random and exhausting. Occasionally it happens in the car, because I see something that reminds me of my father. Black Mitsubishi Gallants from the early 2000's for instance. Other times it shows up in the middle of a conference call, or in the middle of a test. Those are my favorite (please note the sarcasm). When I'm trying to function in a higher stress situation, and my entire body decides to overwhelm itself all at once.

It really is strange to me, given that my life is better now that it ever has been. I have this amazing man by my side, a beautiful home, a little girl that means the world to me, an education, a good job, and opportunities all over the place.

But it's strange. Lately I've noticed my exhaustion levels being a lot higher, my stress getting overwhelming faster than it usually does, my body getting sick a lot...I'm clearly not taking care of myself like I should be.

I need to focus on taking time for myself. Whether it be to write, or to spend time confronting my issues. The more I try to put them aside and ignore them...the more they're going to manifest themselves in ways that make everything worse. Which is clearly what they're currently doing.

I don't want to be "that girl" who spends excessive amounts of time having to calm herself down because something stupid set off the flashbacks or nightmares. I don't want to be the girl that people walk on eggshells around because she gets upset too easily. I don't want to be the girl who has to walk out of the room when her friends dance with their dads at their weddings. But for now I am that girl. I hope that one day I'll cope a little better, and that maybe my nerves won't be quite as raw as they are now.

Two of my girlfriends and I have a group chat, and we were talking the other day during one of my freak-outs. I was worried about bills, about hours in the day, about getting a new job, about losing weight, about my grades, about my relationships...basically I was worried about everything I could possibly worry about. I was talking about getting a second job to try and supplement some income, when my friends finally yelled at me. And I have to say...the "quiet one" out of the three of us...really let me have it.

I'm doing it again. I'm putting everything on myself, and making myself crazy. I'm not sleeping, I'm not taking care of myself (as stated above), and I'm creating this fake deadline where I have to make everything work at all times.

I expect myself to be perfect. When no one else does.

I make myself think that I'm responsible for everything in this household and in our lives...when in reality I have a partner that sleeps next to me at night. I have an amazing man that is not only willing to help me...but wants to help me. He wants to be my backup and wants to help me build this life.

I need to listen to my friends. I need to listen to my inner self saying SLOW DOWN and get a grip.

Because the fact is...
I don't have to be perfect damn it.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

It's no shocker that my father was not a good role model, or a good example of what a man should be in my life. Luckily, I grew up surrounded by amazing men who pushed me to be a better person. They were examples of what unconditional love really was. Some pushed me in my schoolwork...and demanded the best when it came to my studies. Others involved me in their daily lives with their own children...treating me as though I was one of their own. And others watched from a distance...making it clear that they would be there if I ever needed them. These men were my uncles...my mom's two brothers, and her sister's husband.

These men are amazing husbands, loving fathers, and more specifically (the reason for today's post) they are also veterans. At one point in their lives, they signed themselves over to this country and agreed to do all they could to protect everyone in it. These men are heroes.

There's another hero in my life as well. One who continues to shock me every day with his bravery and love. My Nick has given so much not only to me, but to the rest of this country. I've always honored and respected our veterans and our active duty members...but I didn't realize just how much some of them have gone through until I met him.

He has seen things unimaginable, he has lost people he loved, and he has helped save others. He has protected this country, and has made sacrifices bigger than any that I could ever understand. On top of it, he gained a band of brothers that truly act like family. I've been lucky to meet these men multiple times...and I love them now like they are my big brothers.

My point being Happy Veteran's Day to the men who taught me what a "real man" is. The men who treat women with respect, who love their families, and who show bravery on a daily basis.

First, all of my USMC "big brothers" from Fallujah 10 years ago


Family- USMC, USMC, USMC, and USAF

And by far my favorite- my Nick 

 And just for entertainment purposes...how lucky I am to finally have him home safely...and hopefully for good.

(Side note- please educate yourselves on the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day...and then act accordingly. Memorial Day is for those that have been lost, not those who are still here with us.)


Hug a veteran today. Heaven knows they deserve at least that. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Tell me your stories

I talk about starting over a lot. And this blog is a lot about new beginnings and learning to overcome the things in your past.

Yet when I started this blog...I was still kind of afraid in a way. I started it on the premise of being anonymous...because I was afraid of what people would say if they truly knew what I had been through. I was afraid of being judged and of putting myself in a position for others to hurt me.

But then I realized that I was in a better position to help people if I came out and talked about what had happened in my life in the open. There was no reason to hide the things that had happened...and by letting myself feel ashamed of my past...I was going against everything I taught other people. I was just inhibiting my own recovery, and my ability to help others going through the same things.

Even as time has gone on...I've been careful about the things that I say and about truly putting my face out there. After the article went out two years ago...it threw me for a loop how many people recognized me on the street. It made me a little uncomfortable.

But two years ago I was still learning. My father was still alive. I still felt like there was something I needed to hide.

I'm not hiding anymore, and I encourage others to join me. There is no reason to be ashamed or hide your past. Especially in situations that were caused by others around you. (Thanks to Joe Alven for taking the new blog pictures for me last week!)


So whatever you've got...put it out there. I want to hear stories about my readers. What brought you to this blog, what kind of hell have you been through, and what have you learned from it? Even better, I want to hear from everyone that is GLAD they went through what they did. 

Be strong. Be brave. Say what you mean.
And don't hide from your experiences. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Project Unbreakable

I saw something today that struck me. It made me want to write for hours, just hole up in a room and write everything down that I could possible think of. I found an article talking about Project Unbreakable. Now I have nothing to do with it...and just stumbled upon it today...but it seems to be everything that I've been working towards. Everything I've wanted to push out in the world.

Project Unbreakable encourages abuse survivors (specifically rape/sexual assault survivors) to talk about their situations and their experiences. It shocks people into realizing just how sick the abuse is. How victims blame themselves for years, and are too terrified or embarrassed to speak out about it. It's a common theme...victims stay victims  because they can't bring themselves to break out of the shell of shame and tell someone.

It needs to stop. This project needs to take over the world. Because why should WE feel bad about our abuse? Why should WE be the ones to keep quiet? Why should WE keep our mouths shut just to make the people around us comfortable? Why should we PROTECT the people that attacked us?

My grandmother told me about a year ago that I was damaging my father's memory. She told me that I needed to stop talking about all of the things that had happened because it upset HER and it upset other members of our family. She told me to stop because he was dead...and it wasn't honoring his memory.

And I kind of did. I watched what I said. I stopped talking to her, because I realized I would never be able to get through to her. She would never understand or accept the things that my father did. It would always be my fault, and I would always be the "liar" creating drama.

But you know what? SCREW THAT. I will not be quiet for the comfort of others or to protect his memory. Quite frankly, he doesn't deserve to have his memory protected. He made choices. He hurt people. He could have tried to redeem himself and make amends, but he chose not to. And I will not stop talking about it because he's dead. His death doesn't give him a free pass for all the things he did while he was alive.

I'm not sorry that the things I say hurt other people. Some think that I should be...but I'm not. I'm sorry my feelings are too much for you to handle...but I'm not sorry for talking about it.

So much more I want to say, with no time to say it. Other than I'm behind this whole "Project Unbreakable" thing 100%.

Monday, September 29, 2014

You can let go now

I'm a bad blogger. Seriously...I go on posting binges and then don't post anything for months.

Anyways, big things have happened since I last posted...as per usual. The biggest thing was the anniversary of my father's death about a week ago. On its own, it's already a difficult day...but this year I finally got the courage for it to be something more.

I have been holding onto my father's ashes for a long time. Over a year actually. And I haven't been able to strike up the courage to do anything about it. There has been a box sitting in my house that contained my father...and it brought mixed emotions. Sometimes on a bad day I would see it and be angry. A few times I contemplated just "getting rid" of it (and therefore him). Other days I couldn't imagine ever finally letting him go. Anyone else sensing a bit of unresolved anger/ separation anxiety?

A few times I planned a specific time that I would do it. I went out of my way to set aside time, and take the box to a special place. And then I would chicken out like nobody's business. Back in the car the box would go, and I would take him back home and put him on a shelf. A day later I would feel ashamed at my inability to confront the situation.

On the two year anniversary of his death...I planned to do it again. I was going to go to a waterfall he showed me as a kid, and finally let him go. Sure enough the day came, my girlfriend came over to go with me...and I contently sat on the couch avoiding the topic. It wasn't until she got up, said "get ready we're going"...that I actually realized it was something I had to do.

We drove out there, hiked to the falls, and I sat down on the rocks and just started thinking. I expected tears. I expected anxiety. But yet there really wasn't any. I was calm...in almost an eerie way.  I got up, took the box, and waded into the water. I tossed his ashes into the water and watched them disappear into the air and down the river.

I didn't cry. I didn't panic. I just let it go.

I'm thankful for a friend who pushed me knowing I needed it. And I'm grateful God came through to give me the courage.

My father isn't gone, he's still around me. But he's not in my face anymore...and neither is that guilt I put on myself.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From gremlins and strip clubs to serenity and wisdom

Today is a big day...for multiple reasons. I had this whole post planned because this is officially the 100th post for the blog! I had thoughts for dramatic stories, and life experiences. At least until I realized what else today is.

Today is the day my little sister starts (well started already) high school. My baby sister...started high school. That sounds so strange to say. To me she is still stuck permanently at 5. Drawing on my face and trying to kiss my old boyfriends.

I worry a lot about her, and get stressed because I never get to see her. The reality of it is we are a decade apart...and in two very different stages in life. I am raising a family, going to school myself, working full time...and she is a normal teenager. She's in marching band, baton, and a very busy kid. Things never seem to line up and it's frustrating. Makes me feel terrible.

But the fact is I worry. I worry about so many things...from that she will be me at that age...or that she won't. That probably didn't make sense. Part of me wants her to be me...the stubborn-school-oriented girl that took college classes still in high school. I want her to succeed and be able to stand up for herself. At the same time, I want her to have more confidence and more social awareness than I did. I want her to have friends, but not fall into the wrong crowd.

The biggest thing...is I want her to be smart about the issues that come along with your father being an idiot. When there is no dad, or there was a bad one...young girls tend to lose it. They fight for male attention...from anyone that will give it to them. And when you're in a high school like the one she is in (that I also went to)...that attention is readily available.

Anyways...it's a big day. My little sister is starting high school. The beginning of a new era for her. Meanwhile this blog hits 100 posts, after being up for almost 3 years already (whoa).

Other big things are on the horizon too. I'm coming close to graduation, the second anniversary of my father's death is next month...it's crazy how quickly time passes.

So no huge post for today. Just the realization that my baby sister isn't a baby anymore...and that I've come a very long way since she was.

Here's a little recap of my favorite (and your favorite) posts from the last 3 years.

1. I have a Percocet problem- where I discuss my massive issues with Percocet. You'll understand more if you read it. "They are DYING left and right...dropping like flies..." 

2. RIP Daddy- gut wrenching to reread...even to this day. "All I could see was him handcuffed to a hospital bed...with no one there but a prison guard..."

3. The four hardest words I've ever had to say- coming to the realization that it was a matter of hours until my father died...and being halfway across the country and unable to stop it. "I'm sad I haven't gotten a chance to say goodbye..."

4. A restraining order is just a piece of paper- because no one will ever make me feel unsafe in my own home again. "My only defense was my ability to move faster and think smarter..."

5. Drugs and strip clubs- I use the shock factor to my advantage...you won't be disappointed. "I instantly called him and screamed..."

6. You hit rock bottom and all they give you is a jackhammer- so lots of song lyrics in this one which you can kind of scroll through...but the title is funny...and it has some good points. "Most times there's only so much you can do to change your situation...it all lies in the cards you were dealt. You have options...face it or avoid it..."

7. Eyewitness to a miracle- this day and experience came right when I was hitting my breaking point...and it still brings tears to my eyes to think about it. "He hugged me again because at this point my eyes were filling with tears right along with his..."

8. I'm Kat...and I'm a recovering addict- it's not what you think it is. That's all. "Just as they are responsible for their own lives and their own actions, only you are responsible for yours.."

9. The last time- the irony in this post is what makes it so good. When I wrote it I had no idea my father was in the hospital. He died a few days later, and little did I know while typing that it really would be the last time. "I've learned that one of the hardest things in life is watching someone you love self destruct and not being able to do anything about it. But maybe the harder part comes in realizing that you can't do anything to help."

10. Gremlins, knives, and government spies- because you have to end on a title like that. "Tiny little beings that would hide in the vents and watch him..."

And one other kind of recap. Then and now...it's amazing how far life has come.


Same beach. Three years apart. But such a different life...and a beautiful journey to go along with it.


One of my favorite pictures...because the few good things that came from my father...were the 3 littles that call me big sister.











My father...who gave me my blue eyes and love for all things musical. Not to mention the overwhelming inner drive to change lives...starting with my own.

Just for fun...it seems my shooting has improved. And because "I'm too busy badass to be a victim."

Learn to harness bad energy, use it for good. Take bad experiences and teach yourself that you can overcome anything...because you can...unless you give up. Prove negative people wrong every day. Prove your inner confidence right.

And always remember...you are the only person who can give up on yourself. Don't ever let it happen.

100 posts, 3 years, a marriage, a divorce, miscarriages, a restraining order, an arrest, prison, and a death. Yet somewhere while almost 25,000 people watched (read)...I made mistakes and learned lessons. I found a much better life. So here's to another 3 years, and another 100 posts...thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the hardest part

I need to stay off Facebook. If for no other reason that to avoid telling people just how ignorant, ridiculous, and downright obnoxious they are.

So because this is my safe space, please feel free to ignore this rant:

1- Girls...STOP IT with the half naked shots. Or the "hugs" from behind with your butts hanging out of your bathing suits. Half of you are mothers, and the other half might be years down the line. If you want to take a picture of you and your "girls" half naked...go for it. But don't put it all over the internet for your kids to see years later. Would you want to see your daughters with bathing suits all the way up their butts in a few years? Would you want your sons to bring that girl in the picture home? Have some class. Because any attention you muster by posting those pictures...is attention that is going to lead to more heartbreak. Not to mention you complaining in a few months that the guy you were talking to turned out to be an ass. Are we seeing a connection yet?!

2- If you don't know what you're talking about, or like to use propaganda to state an argument...please for the love of hell stop talking. I see enough of the "we're so oppressed" news ads...I don't need to see it from you too. You are a privileged, middle-class, white person. Quit complaining about every little thing and acting like the world is out to get you. It's not anymore about you than it is about me...and the world certainly doesn't care about ruining my life.

3- This one will piss people off. Guns...aren't causing what's going on in Ferguson...or Detroit...or Chicago. I know crazy right? CRIMINALS are causing these things. People doing things that are illegal or threatening or dangerous are causing these catastrophes. NOT law abiding citizens who have just as many rights to a gun as you do to run your mouth.

4- Here's another crazy idea. If you post a status on Facebook, or make a comment that is offensive to other people...but then get mad when they respond rudely...you're kind of missing the whole idea of logic. Have your opinions...if I don't like them (as seen above) I will block you from my newsfeed so I don't have to read it again (which I did). But don't go on like an ignorant jerk about how conservatives (or liberals) are horrible, and then use offensive words to do so! If you expect respect...start giving it.

Okay I feel better. I've been fighting some massive comment explosions that surely would have lead to the ending of friendships...not to mention my attempts at being polite.

Monday, August 18, 2014

MY life isn't supposed to fulfill YOUR expectations

As many of you know, my schooling is coming to a close in the next year (at least for this degree). Because of that...I've been looking at grad schools and programs that I can try and complete quickly.

Here's the thing...I had a bit of a breakdown on Saturday night (it may have been slightly wine induced to be honest). Nick and I went for a long walk after the wedding we went to, and we talked...a LOT. I was kind of losing it...the stress I've been putting on myself to be perfect was overwhelming...and I realized that a lot of what I'm doing is for OTHER people...not for myself.

Old habits die hard I suppose.

So while I'm sitting there freaking out, I finally said it out loud and caught Nick a bit off guard. I don't WANT to go to grad school. I want to jump into a career that I actually care about and get my hands dirty. If that means I don't make a lot of money, or if I decide to go back to school later...that's all fine. But right now...I've been kicking my own butt to get an education for 7 years. Yes there have been breaks, but it's been hanging over my head for a very long time. No part of me actually wants to go back right now.

Now Nick is always the one pushing me to go for it...and to knock out my schooling. When I don't want to do another semester, he talks about how he won't marry me until I finish. When schoolwork is making me nuts, he reminds me how we will both have awesome degrees soon. He is one of my biggest cheerleaders, as well as the swift kick in the ass when I need it.

But he asked me flat out, if I don't want to go...then why am I?

Well...to please other people.

I have this complex that if I don't "make up" for all the mistakes I made years ago...that people will never be proud. Now I'm more than fully aware that my mother is always proud of me, even when I'm messing things up. I know that my family supports and loves me. But there is just this doubting voice in the back of my head that no matter what I do...it's not going to be good enough.

Worst part? There is still one person in my family that makes me feel like crap about myself. On a regular basis. And although I'm not sure it's intentional...it's hurtful and it brings out every insecurity I have.

I already worry a lot. I worry about proving my father wrong, and proving my mom right. I worry that in the wake of a mom who is unbelievably successful...I may not go far enough. My lowly job helping addicts find employment, or seek treatment...or whatever it is I end up doing...might not be enough.

I'm not going to make much money doing what I want to do. It will be a high stress job with little to no thanks, and a massive failure rate. It will be frustrating...and it will have long strange hours. But it's all I want to do. I can't imagine sitting in an office the rest of my life just hoping I'm able to help someone from a distance. I want...I NEED to get face to face with people and do all I can to support them overcoming their addictions.

So as I'm standing there in the courtyard with Nick...crying and rambling on about how I don't want to go to grad school in the near future...he looks at me simply and just said "Then don't."

How simple those words sound when they're coming from someone else. And what a weight off knowing that the person (other than myself) that the decision will affect most directly...is okay with it. It won't disappoint him or upset him if I don't go. He wants to see me happy...and shocking...is still proud of me for the other things I want to do.

Maybe I'll go back some day. Maybe I won't. The fact is that by the time this degree is finished...I have already done more than a lot of people said I would. I've surpassed some expectations and fallen short of some others.

But newsflash...the only expectations that count for anything are the ones I set for myself.

I have another horrible habit of waiting for my life to start. Oh it'll start when: we get our new house, we have kids, we finish school, we get normal jobs, etc.

And what the hell am I waiting for? My life has not only started...it's gotten amazing. So I need to stop waiting for anything, and enjoy the time I have now.

My expectations at this point are simple:
-finish this degree
-love on my other half, all the time...make sure he always knows he's appreciated and loved
-be the best step mom I can be
-keep my work options open, and always be ready to switch career paths
-write, all the time

As Nick said...if I'm happy and proud of myself...the people that matter will be too.

I've got a lot to learn when it comes to doing what makes me happy instead of what I think will make other people happy. I have the guts to...but sometimes I convince myself that what I want...is what they want.

When in all reality...it rarely is.

There was a time that I did whatever I thought would make me happy...regardless of the consequences...and I can say as a divorcee by 21, it didn't always work out that well. Things are different now, and there's a lot more riding on the decisions that I'm making.

I'm still the same girl though.

If I'm going back to school, it needs to be for me...not because I'm trying to prove something to someone else. Those that love and care, will still be there without grad school.


Right now there's no rush...on anything. Things are happy, busy, and a little crazy. Just the way we like them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Did my father commit suicide?

I read an article today that I SWEAR had to have been about my father. Manic depressive older male with a family. Bipolar disorder, self medicated with drugs and alcohol. The article talked about how this man used humor to deal with his dark side. It talked about "needing" those dark feelings to be able to see the light in other situations.

It's funny though...they weren't talking about my dad. They were talking about Robin Williams.

My father was talented just like Robin. He was a people pleaser, he was a funny guy, he had more personality in his big toe than most people have in their entire bodies. He was outgoing and spontaneous. To the outside world he looked like an ideal father and friend...worked hard and played harder...loved his family more than the world.

But there was a much deeper disaster brewing under the surface. There was a very mentally ill man who harnessed his inner demons by using substances...anything to calm the voices and manic episodes.

And you know what...for that I can't blame him.

I blame him for not getting help...I blame him for not caring enough about his children to stop using...but do I really have the right to?

It occurred to me today after my blog yesterday (which went viral...thank you ALL)...that I preach understanding for those with mental illness. I encourage support and love and outreach to those that need help. I discourage shame, blame, and any other negative projections. I tell people to stop judging those things that they know nothing about.

But what am I doing? I don't have a drug addiction...and I don't have the severe mental illnesses that he did. Who am I to judge how he chose to fight them? I have no frame of reference, I have no right.

Maybe it's time for me to reevaluate a little bit. The abuse, of course I have a right to be mad about (as long as it isn't consuming me). The hell I went through, I could be mad...but I'd rather use it to better someone else's life...and hopefully reach out to those in need. Maybe I need to think a little harder about how I see my father, and how I judge his actions.

The reality is...Robin Williams killed himself outright. It was an intentional suicide.

But did my father?

For those that don't know...my father died in prison. After multiple suicide attempts, and always crying wolf to the guards...they started to ignore him in solitary. While he was there, his appendix burst, and his complaints were disregarded as just another attention attempt. He died of sepsis in the hospital a few days later.

But was it suicide? Most would say no...he died of a natural cause, and neglect from the prison staff. I'm not so sure I agree with that.

The definition of suicide is the action of killing oneself intentionally. Some use a gun, some use pills, some use another way. I would argue that my father's lifestyle was suicide. He intentionally wore his body out over the years, and behaved in ways that would lead to his demise.

He knew that, and he still did it...which could be argued as an intentional act. It may not have been instant as other suicides we usually see. But he still did things intentionally that lead to his death.

Robin Williams was 63...my father was only 56.

Between them...at least 7 children lost a father.

But this society refuses to talk about mental illness because it's something we should all just sweep under the rug right?

I mean hell...it's not cancer. It's not deadly or anything...

Right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mental illness isn't an illness

As usual...I had good intentions. I was going to take a little break from writing, and I was going to stay out of the whole Robin Williams news. But also as usual...I couldn't. I hit a breaking point and can't keep my mouth shut anymore.

I have heard some of the most ignorant statements in the last two days. Suicide is selfish. Suicide is the fault of loved ones. And my favorite mental illness isn't an illness. 



I've come to learn over my 23 years of life that ignorance must TRULY be bliss...considering so many choose to live there their entire lives. Mental illness isn't an illness. I keep repeating it because the statement itself is so distastefully obnoxious that I don't quite know how to wrap my mind around it. Mental ILLNESS isn't an ILLNESS. Um...

I've read articles, blog posts, and Facebook comments in the last two days that make me truly sad and even more so disappointed in this society. 

Let me be clear here. The shoes I decided to wear today...were a choice. Having chicken noodle soup instead of cooking last night...was a choice. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, addiction...are NOT.

I have diagnosed depression and anxiety. It's scary as hell sometimes, and it can be truly miserable...why would I CHOOSE to feel like that? Why would anyone?

The answer is simple...they wouldn't. Because it's not a choice. It is an illness, and something that many times can't be controlled on your own. Personally, I recommend treatment for anyone struggling with mental illness. Sometimes it may be minor, and it may feel like you have everything under control...

Until you don't. 

Depression is terrifying, and something that can't be described to the outside world in any way that actually does it justice. It is mind numbing, it is frustrating, and it is exhausting. Occasionally it doesn't affect you. Things are butterflies and rainbows...until all of a sudden this dark storm comes rolling in and there's nothing you can do about it. It hinders your ability to feel anything, but at the same time it's a kind of numb that is haunting. Everything feels wrong, and you don't know why. 

People that don't understand tell you to just "get over it," "take a pill." Or my favorite "count your blessings." 

I can't just "get over it." I didn't CHOOSE to feel this way...I can't CHOOSE not to. I can try to fight it, but I can't always beat it on my own. It may just have to pass on its own. In a few hours, a few days, or maybe a few months. 

Why should I depend on a pill just to get through the day? Why should I take a medication just to make you less uncomfortable? Maybe you're right...maybe I do need medication. For all you know...maybe I'm already on it. Maybe I take a pill every night so I can sleep, every morning so I can function...and I go to a psychologist twice a week. You don't know. So you have no right to judge, or tell me how to deal with my disorder. 

Count my blessings. It's funny. What you also don't know about me...is counting my blessings is how I haven't ended up completely losing my mind. I count them daily...and when negative thoughts overwhelm me...I focus on those blessings as hard as I can so I can push the hurt out. It doesn't always work...and it doesn't make me a bad person if I feel upset and don't know why. It also doesn't make me a bad person if the demons overwhelm me on occasion. 

I have been on medications, and I have chosen to take myself off of them. I know the major difference in day to day life when you go to treatment...when you seek help. It may seem like no one understands...but in reality there are so many people out there to help.

To the outside world...all of the people shaming those fighting a mental ILLNESS...

Stop. 

What do you gain by making those fighting feel like less of a person? Do you truly think that helps anything...other than your ego? If you don't understand it...don't judge it. And certainly don't put someone down because of your ignorance. 

The next time you feel the need to be negative...Google ways to help. If that's too much work, just keep your mouth shut...smile if you think you can manage. But don't be cruel. 

Suicide is a choice...and that I won't argue. But for some...it is the only choice they think they have left. The need to escape, and the exhaustion of fighting for so long gets to be too much. 

To be clear...it is not the only choice. There is always another option...and the chance for a much better life out of the shadows. 

Suicide is many things...a tragedy, heartbreaking, and something that must be fought against. But it isn't selfish. Someone fighting so hard to keep themselves going every day doesn't have the capability of being selfish. If they can't fight for themselves anymore...how can you expect them to fight for someone else?

What's selfish...is you judging them and putting them down instead of finding ways to fight with the survivors. 


And remember:

If you're not part of the solution...you're part of the problem.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy almost wedding day to my best friend of almost a decade

There is a post out right now "To My Ex-Best Friend On Her Wedding Day" that is really hitting home for me at the moment. I recently "broke up" (because I don't know what else to call it) with someone I'd been friends with for close to 10 years. We went through everything together. The death of both of our fathers, my marriage and divorce, multiple boyfriends, we even lived together for awhile.

She's getting married in two weeks...and I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to be part of the wedding. But again for lack of a better term, we "broke up". We've fought before. Many times actually. And many really ugly fights later...we worked it out. We put aside differences, or one of us would need the other and all would be essentially forgotten.

But not this time. This time there is no fixing the problem, there is no turning it around...it's just done. We have very different lives, very different views on people and the world. We've grown apart...and it got really ugly in the end. Horrible things have been said, and there's no going back. I lost not only a friend, but pretty much a sister.

It isn't something that you get over. Even when your spouting nasty words, and saying that you don't care...it's not true. Even when I had to break both of our hearts by dropping out of her wedding...it wasn't easy. It wasn't a decision that was taken lightly, or a decision that I was even sure of. I knew it had to be done, but it took gut wrenching messages and a lot of tears to follow through with it. Honestly, it's no one's business what happened but ours...and in ways we're both at fault...but it doesn't change how hard it is. I have doubted it many times since we stopped speaking...and as the day gets closer it seems to weigh heavier on my mind.

So here's my version...and it's a bit different than the original blogger. I won't be at my best friend's wedding, and I have to learn to be okay with that.

To my ex-best friend on her wedding day-

You hate me right now, and that's okay. I'm not a big fan of you either. We've fought like cats and dogs throughout the years...but only because we were more siblings than friends. We weren't supposed to get along all the time...and we sure as hell had some doozies. But we always fixed it.

We both know this time it can't be fixed. Nothing can take away the things that have been said, and nothing will change that I won't be there for your big day. But I'll be thinking about you. I'll be praying that you see all of the beautiful positives of the day, and not think about those who won't be there with you.

Days after when all the pictures start surfacing and when everyone's talking about how gorgeous you were...I'll be really sad. I'll think about how I wasn't there to fix your veil, or slip you a sip of wine in the back room when you got super nervous.

I imagine the sadness will get easier, and years from now when we see pictures of the last 9 years we will just smile and tell stories of the goofy friend we had in high school. On Father's Day I'll always miss my partner in misery. But it'll get easier...and won't actually ache when we think about the friend we had who became family.

I want the best for you, and for your future husband. I look forward to years from now seeing you at a reunion and seeing pictures of your beautiful family. I hope you two accomplish everything you've set out to accomplish...and I hope you always have a support system to back you up.

For all the things that have been going wrong in the last few months...I hope it all gets better. Clearly I'm not going to talk about it all...but you know what I mean. I'm sure things will calm down, and you will find a family balance that works for all of you.

I hope your day is beautiful. In every way. I hope the same for the rest of your life.

But lastly...please know that I'm sorry. I stand by my choices, as you stand by yours...but I'm sorry we couldn't find middle ground. I'm sorry if I hurt you, and I'm sorry if I said things that I shouldn't have.

Happy almost wedding day to my best friend of almost a decade.

PS- that almost word...sucks.

If you can't find the good...BE the good


Last September the women in my family went to Put in Bay for a weekend. This picture was taken on a beach my father used to take me to as a child. It was an emotional time for me as it had been about a year since his death...and it was the first time I'd been back to the island. My two little cousins have been more like little sisters to me as our family is so close...and they made the journey out with my mom and I. 


This past weekend we went to a local beach and recreated the picture out on the break wall in the middle of the lake. A place he used to take me by boat so I could jump off the lighthouse and swim. It's hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years since he died...but it's even harder to believe how far I've come since then. 


I struggle sometimes with not being able to have children. I find myself blaming myself and feeling sorry for myself. But lately I've realized that if I never have my own child...I may be okay with it. Maybe my job isn't to produce more kids for this world...maybe my job is to influence someone else's. Like the three below. Our family grows every day in different ways...and for now there are at least a few littles that look up to me and that I love unconditionally. 


It doesn't matter how we're related. They've stolen my heart, and they've wrapped me around their fingers. 

Love you girls <3

Monday, August 11, 2014

A better life for the little

As usual, my last post got me thinking a lot on a certain topic. In this case, it was on all of the things I want to do as a step mom...that are opposite of what my father did. I've been lucky...I learned about parenting in a unique way. I had an amazing role model in my mom...and then a terrible one in my father. I want to be everything she was, and everything he wasn't. There are certain things that I never want munchkin to worry about, things I never want her to question.

1. I never want her to wonder if we will be there for her. There were days that I would do something wrong...and I would honestly wonder whether or not my father would continue to love me afterwards. I wondered if he would back me up, or if I would be left to fend for myself. It was the worst feeling knowing that someone who was supposed to love you may or not be there for you to go to.

2. I want her to be brave...all the time. Something my mother always taught me was that you shouldn't be ashamed of being yourself. And not just in the way of showing your personality...but also when it comes to talking about things. She's a huge reason behind this blog. Learning to communicate about the things that bother you, and having the bravery to do it is so important for young girls.

3. I always want her to have a safe place...and a feeling that she can tell us anything. Along with number 1, I never want her to doubt that our home is a safe place for her. A place where she can express herself, learn, and always feel supported.

4. I want her to try things...to take chances...and to learn about everything she possibly can. Encouraging kids to do new things, and not be afraid of the world is huge in my book. My mom taught me to be cautious but not scared...and I'm so thankful I've been able to jump out of the box throughout my life. There are a million life experiences I wouldn't have had if I'd been too afraid to try.

5. I will strive to always provide a good role model for her. Not only in my day to day actions, but mostly in providing a healthy body image. My father used to encourage me to diet as a kid...and looking back I realize how twisted that was. Not only was I an insanely muscular and athletic girl...it gave me a horrible body image for the rest of my life. It has taken a long time for me to love myself again because the man in my life who was supposed to set an example...made me feel ugly and uncomfortable. Being "skinny" isn't what makes someone pretty or ugly...it's whether or not you are healthy. It's whether or not you love yourself. I hope she always knows that we believe she is beautiful, and that only she has control over her opinion of herself. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

6. I pray she is always a kid. I hope she makes mistakes, and doesn't always learn from them the first time (yes you read that right). I hope she doesn't have to feel the need to be an adult, or to be the strong one. She should feel protected, be happy, and enjoy her young life.

I want her to have everything I didn't, and all of the good that I did.

Why I let a 10 year old wear makeup...and other ways I manage to piss off the world

People love my life. No seriously...I don't say that in some fancy pants "I'm so awesome people love me" kind of way. I mean they love my life...as in they LOVE to talk about it. Now I'm sure a lot of that comes from the fact that I say what I mean, and I'm very open with everything going on in my life. There really aren't any secrets, and holy crap are people eager to throw stones when you point out your own downfalls and shortcomings.

Anyways...as those who know me are aware...I'm a psychology major putting herself through school by working as an insurance agent. I coach gymnastics and Mock Trial...and I also recently took on a new job. It's the favorite job I've had so far, and it doesn't pay. At least not in money. It does pay in hugs, smiles, and time with a really awesome kid. Lately...the new job I've picked up is step mom. Now, let's be clear first...I'm not officially anyone's step parent. Nick and I haven't made anything legal...but saying "I'm the girlfriend of a guy with a child" doesn't explain what our lives entail anymore.

But spending so much time with the little one lately has hit me hard on occasion. Doing things with her and watching her interact with Nick makes my days better. I find myself scolding or joking and sounding EXACTLY like my mother (mom you'd be proud)...and other times I find myself maybe being too strict or too nervous. And it's those times that I have to check myself...and make sure I push my father's thoughts out of my head.

We went to Cirque De Soleil last weekend and took the munchkin. I went with both of my parents as a child...and I remember the experiences and how different they were. When I went with my mom, we dressed up, she did my hair, and the whole night was like a fairy tale (it helped that we were traveling abroad at the time). If I remember correctly, I even got to wear little heels for the evening. When I went with my father, I wasn't allowed to do anything. Heaven forbid I put chapstick on in front of my father and he would have a massive conniption. I couldn't wear nail polish, and I just remember feeling inadequate when we got there. It wasn't a fun experience for me...I just remember it being stressful. Now, most of that had nothing to do with what I was wearing or how I looked...but just the overall feeling of stress and discomfort my father brought to my life.

So to get back to my original point...we took the munchkin with us to the show on Friday...and we all decided to dress up for it. She didn't have anything "fancy" with her...so I let her wear one of my small dresses (and yes...she fit into it really well...I don't want to talk about it)...I did her hair, and then she asked for makeup. Let's be honest, my first reaction was um NO you're ten. But then I remembered being her age. I wanted to wear makeup, and the answer at my father's house was absolutely not. My mom would let me experiment with it...but I would go nuts when he wasn't around. Metallic colors all over my face. I thought the more I put on...the better it looked. When in reality, I looked like a 12 year old prostitute...who didn't have a mirror.

I changed my mind. There were rules...where if daddy or I thought it was too much she had to take it off, etc...but I let her put it on. And a funny thing happened after I did my own makeup...she asked if I would do it for her. So I did. She sat up on our bed, and I ran brushes over her face (with little to no REAL makeup on them)...put a tiny bit of blush on her cheeks, and then brushed a tiny bit of mascara on her little lashes.

She ran around that night like a princess. You could tell she FELT pretty. She was actually better behaved than usual...a little more mature. She was being treated like an adult for the night...and she showed it. We let her drink pop (a rare thing at our house)...got candy for the show...did things that we wouldn't usually encourage. And she didn't disappoint. She didn't get crazy hyper and "sugar high"...instead she took everything in all night. Her eyes were double their normal size during the show...and she loved the walk through the city lights we took afterwards. We went home, she changed, washed her face, brushed her teeth, and was off to bed. She's always well behaved...but it was almost a different child that night. She looked, and behaved like a little adult.

The next day someone made a comment about how we shouldn't let a child wear makeup. How she was up "too late," etc. And honestly, the only words I could think of at the time were incredibly mature..."shove it". She had fun and got to pretend to be an adult. She can be a kid every day...but she got to play dress up for a night. She got special privileges, and she handled it exceptionally well. I see nothing wrong with that, and no one is going to change my opinion on the topic.

The title of this blog is all about how I do things that piss people off, how I really don't care, and why I do it. So let's see. I'm a conservative, pro-lifer, that owns a gun, says what she means, and doesn't apologize for any of it. I cut people out of my life without warning when they hurt me or those that I love. I speak out about anything I feel is wrong or unjust...and I don't care about who doesn't like it. I act quickly on things...sometimes too quickly...but I take the consequences in stride. Oh...and I let our ten year old wear makeup.

Who is anyone to tell me that's wrong?


Friday, August 8, 2014

To the addict I love...

To the addict I love, to the addict I’ve never met, to the young girl about to try drugs at a party, to the adult male who just wants a release from life, to anyone and everyone that has ever sought any kind of drug to escape the pressures of life…this is all meant for you.

Things I’m about to say may piss you off. You may think “who is this chick” “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about” or even “my life isn’t your business”. But PLEASE read to the end. Then feel free to do as you wish…whether it be mentally flick me off…or truly think about my words.

You are loved. If not by the people who should love you…by me. I love you, and I want you to have a better life. I want your possible children to have a better life…and I want you to look back on today years from now and think how things have improved so much.

You are not alone. And I mean that. Even though it feels like it…when all of the people you trusted walked out on you…you still aren’t alone. There are people who want to fight this fight with you, and want to help you succeed.

The high you achieve from using can never be equivalent to the high of taking control of your life, and fighting to make it better. Nothing can compare to that. The feeling of weightlessness and relief you get from using is only temporary…all of the scary things are going to come rushing back when you come down. And they will come back stronger, and more painful. The only way to keep them away is to keep using, or to no longer walk this Earth. Neither of which should be an option.

None of us are perfect. Even the people who act like they are…are likely fighting some extreme battles themselves. They may be good at hiding the fact that things are falling apart…but everyone is dealing with hell in their own way.

Pick a word. Something that makes you feel uplifted and strong. Remember that word no matter what. Maybe it’s something simple like “Fight” or maybe it’s your child’s name…the person that you would give your life for. And focus on that word when things feel like they’re caving in around you.

Understand that nothing lasts forever. Nothing. The hardships, the joys…even the high you get from using…it will end. Learn to ride the ups and downs…and learn to accept them as they are. Learn to embrace them.
Excuse the common saying…but remember that life is short. Too short. And sometime soon you’re going to desperately wish it would slow down…and that your days hadn’t passed so quickly. You’re going to wish that you could get back every second you spent high.

Learn all the time. No matter what is going on…use it to learn something. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Take everything that gets thrown at you, and find a way to turn it into a positive for yourself and your family. You will never regret that.

I said in a previous post to contact me…and I meant it. It’s what made me write this letter…as it was excessively on my mind. There is no embarrassment in addiction. It’s a disease…and a lot of people deal with it every day. There is help out there, but not if you don’t seek it. No one can make you get help if you don’t want it.

Get help for you. For your family. Hell, for your dog. Find a reason to get help…and take full advantage of it. Commit, and work hard. Reach out to people who lift you up, and not to the people who bring you down. Your addict friends…don’t want the best for you. Even though it may seem like it. Help yourself…and then try to go back and help them. Accept too that you may not be able to help everyone.


Don’t let that stop you from trying…I haven't. 

I have a Percocet problem

Ok so this isn't what you're thinking. This isn't some big apology/acknowledgement that I'm a drug addict...because I'm not. But the title is true...I do have a Percocet problem...

It all started with an interesting experience I had this week. I had some issues with a minor medical procedure...and ended up in huge amounts of pain. My doctor (as most doctor's would) prescribed me some hardcore painkillers to help me deal with it.

Now let me clarify...I'm a freak about painkillers. There are still some sitting in my cabinet from when I got my tonsils out approximately 3 years ago. I don't take them...and for good reason. Not only have I inherited massive amounts of addictive genes, but my father was disgustingly dependent on painkillers. He had a bad back...and used that as an excuse to stay high on painkillers whenever possible. So needless to say...I stay the hell away from any narcotics unless it is medically NECESSARY. (And by necessary I mean unbearable amounts of pain).

Anyways, the pain got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore...and I took one of the Percocet pills I was prescribed. Let me tell you...I completely understand the addiction to them now...

NOT NOT NOT!!! I'm sorry but taking one of those pills actually hindered my understanding of addiction because it was so horrible. It gave me a stomachache, a headache, and made me feel like a lunatic. My head was spinning, I got dizzy when I stood up, and it made me feel like I was drunk (without the fun part). It made me foggy, tired, and downright stupid. I felt like I was slurring my words...and it barely even helped the pain. And can we talk about the itching for a minute?! My skin was crawling...which apparently is just a common side effect of the drug. I have to admit, it dulled the pain enough to make it worth it...but I can't IMAGINE wanting to take it for the high. It was horrendous.

I understand addiction. Typically, I spend way too much of time reading articles, books, and taking classes on the subject. But physically...I can't imagine enjoying a high enough to put myself through all of that. There was nothing enjoyable about it. I felt like I was slowly killing myself...and like my heart was just going to give out on me.

The worst part...is people my age...people I went to school with...are taking these pills for entertainment purposes. They are abusing these drugs...until they can't get high off of them anymore. Then they move on to bigger ones. And when those stop working...they end up addicted to the high of heroin. They are DYING left and right...dropping like flies...just to chase this "euphoria" feeling. Basically the euphoria being the drunken high feeling I felt on the pill.

Why are we doing this? I can't bring myself to understand why as a population...so many of us are slowly killing ourselves just for this temporary "good" feeling (and I say good loosely). My father did it, people I went to high school with did it...and are continuing to.

Here's my question to you...anyone reading this:

What is it going to take? How much has to happen, and how many lives have to be ruined before you put it down and walk away? Who has to reach out to you to help? Because I will be that person, if you just tell me.

There are so many resources for help. There are so many people who want to see you alive. There are so many opportunities available for your life if you quit. No "high" is worth putting your life at risk.

Call me, email me, comment, Facebook me, Tweet me...whatever. Or contact someone else. Just take the first step and ask for help.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Steps in the right direction

Today's post is just a real quick acknowledgement of something awesome. A local mental health treatment center is now offering SAME DAY treatment for those suffering. Anyone who knows anything about addiction knows how important time is to success. The faster we can get people seen, and get them on a plan...the better chance we have at helping them come to a full recovery.

Too many people are told to wait months, and put on waiting lists...giving them time to jump right back into a detrimental lifestyle. At least now there is an option for those who have the sudden burst of strength to seek help.

http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20140801/same-day-access-to-mental-health-care-available-in-geauga-county

Nice job Geauga County!