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

Monday, November 2, 2015


So last week I had the pleasure of finding a Facebook post of "cardboard confessions" of domestic violence survivors detailing some of their struggles. They were touching, shocking, and brave.

I was able to contact the wonderful photographer and then all of these amazing people who participated. The post went viral in one day, reaching millions of people. I decided that this is exactly what this blog is meant to highlight. The horrible things that happen to innocent people...and the recovery process.

I asked if I could use their photos and stories and a few agreed. Keep an eye out as I will soon post all of their photos (of those who agreed to participate)...and then I will be doing a weekly showcase on each of them a chance to further explain their story and recovery.

These are amazing men and women. Strong and badass men and women. It takes a lot to do what they are doing...but it's about time we broke the silence once and for all.

For all those who plan on leaving hateful comments...don't bother as they will be deleted. Don't waste your time...go educate yourselves instead. These things a part of the solution instead of the problem!

I will also have the photographers information on the following posts. Beautiful photos and talented woman! Looking forward to see her next project which is rumored to focus on PTSD. Which any of my readers knows...I will be on like white on rice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Be the key. Not the prison guard.

"Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else's prison."

I read that quote today and my heart ached for a moment. I posted on Facebook less than a week ago about how speaking out about your past is a blessing for other people. I said I would never stop telling the stories from my past because the possibility of the stories helping others...far outweigh the negativity.

I can't count the number of times I've been told to "stop seeking attention" or to "keep private information private." It's gotten really old and there have been times I have really considered taking down the blog. I get sick of being mocked and being an easy target.

Lately anyone who follows the page has probably noticed I haven't posted at all. Part of that is being crazy busy. Work, school, baby, wedding, moving...we are stretched thin. But the other part of that is exhaustion. Negativity drains a person.

I find myself re-reading posts thirty times and then not posting them because I think about what some ignorant person is going to say about it.

That stops now. Negativity? Bring it on. The quote I posted really says it all. I needed to read that. For the 200 people saying nasty things...there may be 2 that you help. You may provide comfort and understanding to 1 person who was feeling lost alone and confused.

By far it's worth it.

If you are one being negative...I encourage you to stop. I encourage you to use all that negative energy for something good instead. Build somebody up instead of hiding behind your own insecurities.

Maybe something horrible has happened to you. Put it out there. Allow yourself to heal, allow yourself to connect to others experiencing it, allow yourself to become the support to someone else who needs it.

If we had more people speaking out...we would have more people healing.

I will say it again..."YOUR story may be the key that unlocks someone else's PRISON."

Don't be a skeptic. Be in recovery.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Presence...not presents

I'm sure this post will make more enemies than usual...but it needs to be said.

I got an email this morning from a family member who offered a savings bond for Emmalynne. This family member typically has no interest in being involved in my life...let alone my life with Nick or munchkin. This family member has made no effort to care about us or the life we are building. There is a long history between myself and my father's side of the I can't say that it shocks me there is so much distance.

But back on track. My first reaction was to agree to this savings bond as it would do so much for little one in the future. It would be great to have that money sitting for her as she heads off to college or buys her first house. But there is absolutely no way. I don't want our daughter to have a big fat check of guilt money. I want her to have family. I would prefer a million times over for her to struggle through college (or for us to struggle helping her) than have her live comfortably with money from someone who couldn't care less about her.

I want to be clear that this goes for everyone in our lives. Friends, family...everyone. If you don't want to be present in our child's life...we don't want your presents.

Maybe that sounds ungrateful or like I'm a spoiled brat. But I never want our child to learn that love is expressed through money or gifts. It is expressed through involvement and through actions. It is unconditional. NO matter what.

It is NOT expressed through savings bonds, checks, or expensive gifts.

And on another note...there are two children in this household. No matter the biological status, legal status, etc of them. They are both our children. Whether it be biological, step, adopted, foster...the children in this home will be treated equally. No excuses, no "buts" about it. If you have no interest in building a relationship with don't need to be involved with Emma. And that's the end of that.

Now after being so negative...I do want to mention how awesome most of my family has been with this. My family asks about both kids all the time. They want to be actively involved and they have been since day 1. We are blessed to have people that love our children. We are lucky to be in a family that has multiple step/adopted/equally loved kids running around.

They call and ask about the kids. They ask us to stop by, or they do their best to attend functions like ice skating lessons and karate class. They are present.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cleaning house

I haven't been fair to myself lately...or to anyone else in my life. I have gotten unbelievably caught up in the stressful things and people around me...instead of all the amazing things that are happening.

I need to write more. I know it. I think of all these things I want to say...and then instead of sitting down and getting them out...I stuff them. I get irritable and then lose my mind.

This past weekend I cleaned the house for over 15 hours over two days. I hauled my pregnant behind into every nook and cranny and fixed everything I could find. I decorated, organized, swept, dusted, scrubbed, steam cleaned...all of it. It's quite possible you could eat off any surface in the house...hell you could probably conduct a surgical procedure with how sterile every surface is.

And I have to say...I felt like a badass when I finished. I felt like things in my life were finally under control. It's amazing how just getting everything situated inside...made all of the other things in life seem easier to handle. Hell, I even washed the inside and outside of my car.

No matter where I look in my house or car...things are under control. Suddenly it seems easier to get everything else under control.

I feel like sometimes I forget that calming myself and getting my nerves under control can be something so simple Starting at the bottom. Cleaning was tiring...but not "hard." And it changed so much going on in my head.

This next year is going to be amazing. I spend so much time stressing over every little thing that I don't realize how "freak-out" excited I should be. I plan a vacation...and I countdown to it for months. I get more and more excited as it gets closer.

Next year I am having a baby girl. I am getting married. Not to mention a few other little changes that will be happening that haven't quite been finalized. This next going to be completely amazing. But instead of counting down in excitement...I am panicking more and more. I am wondering how the heck we are going to afford it we are going to work out we are going to get along while we are both's all worry.

Until now. I'm starting my countdown, I'm starting my excitement. I'm focusing on positive things...because I refuse to accept that anything going on should be stressing me out.

Everything is amazing. I could not be happier with the man I get to spend the rest of my life with. Our little girl is healthy...and is going to be the cutest thing in the world (just look at her daddy). Our wedding is planned...and it's going to be perfect even when things fall apart (which they are bound to do). I have good friends here for me. Life is good.

And my house is clean.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day got a new meaning this year

Clearly Father's Day is not an easy day for me. Never has been and since he died it's only gotten worse. In the last few years it has gotten a bit easier as I have been able to celebrate my other half and the awesome father that he is.

But this year it got a new meaning. One I never thought would be possible. This year...I got to make my other half a father again.

The girl who was told she wouldn't have children...the eternal having a baby. January 13th, 2016...exactly 5 years to the day after I had my first devastating pregnancy loss.

I was sure I would never have a child unless through adoption. But God had other plans. Other amazing and beautiful plans.

So Happy Father's Day (and happy early birthday) to a man who is about to be a daddy to 2. Thanks for giving me a reason to celebrate this day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The path of least pain

And in today's episode of vague crap because I can't be any more specific...

It's always worth the risk when you know that you did the right thing.

Even when the outcome hurts like hell.

Although I suppose hurt is better than not knowing.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The black sheep

There is a large family gathering this weekend that I was unable to attend down south. My little sister was able to go, and it's nice to hear from her all the time she is getting with our family.'s not at the same time.

I used to have the life that she currently does. I got along great with my father's family...and I felt like the golden child. Poofy dresses, adoring grandmother...I could do no wrong. And then it all changed.

I distanced myself from my father for my own good. I slowly had to cut people out because I couldn't stand the criticism anymore. Trying to live up to someone's standards and failing miserably is an extremely tiring game to play.

And now my sister is one of the golden children. She gets the good grades, she's beautiful, and she's a really sweet kid. But I worry that one day she will get cut out like I did. Sure...there is definitely some jealousy involved...because I do miss being so adored. But more so I'm scared for her. Scared that she will do something or say something that will irritate the wrong person...and get her thrown into the downward spiral that I got thrown into.

It hurts...and it's confusing.

I have had an ongoing argument with myself for the last few months over who to invite to the wedding and who not to. I want my family there, I want to try and extend this olive branch for the 4 millionth time. But I'm also afraid that it will get snapped in half...again. I'm afraid of letting down my guard. And I'm afraid of letting go how much some people have hurt me.

I'm not afraid to say it. I want a sincere apology. I want certain people to feel horribly for how I've been treated. But that's something I know I will never get. I'm not sure I can be the bigger person and accept that.

I could sit here and speak only negativity regarding the whole situation (like I have so far)...but I won't. Yes...I am the "black sheep" of the family. I'm the kid that messed up over and over again. The kid who dropped out of college for a failing marriage. The kid who cut people out of her life unapologetically instead of "respecting" elders who treated her horribly. I'm the kid who spoke out against horrible things going on in her life instead sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it like our prestigious little family was supposed to do.

But I love who I am and why I've made the choices I have. I've learned who people really are. I made mistakes, and learned how to fix them. I made horrible choices...and paid for them. I continuously broke down, figured out how to build myself up, just to fall apart all over again. I speak out against the disaster that was my life in an abusive home.

I'm content with where I am. I have one family that couldn't be better to me. They have never judged, they have loved unconditionally, and they have listened to me when I needed a safe place. I have an amazing family that I'm building at home. A loving man, a beautiful step daughter, the perfect home...and a crazy life.

And yet there is still a hole where other family members sit that I can't seem to figure out. I don't know whether to patch it up...or try to refill it with relationships that have been nothing but toxic up until this point.

At what point does family stop being considered family...and at what point do you just stop trying?

College, drinks, and drugs

I recently had a group of students contact me via the blog email address requesting that I use a graphic that they created.

I was skeptical at first...until I looked at it.

Take a look for yourself...and help educate others. College can be an amazing can also be the gateway to serious problems down the line.

The best way to avoid becoming another statistic is to learn about it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The advice I will never give my sister

I have had fifteen million ideas for blog posts in the recent days. Not that any of them have come even close to fruition. I actually had a BRILLIANT post in my head while I was trying to fall asleep two nights ago and I realized it was something that I had to write about.

Then I fell asleep...
...and completely forgot it the next day. 

So then I had a new idea. A post about my (no-so) little sister. 

My sister is about a decade younger than I am...and it has made seeing each other a real challenge. Especially after our father died there always seemed to be a real disconnect. I was trying to take care of myself and provide for my household...while she was enjoying school and twirling baton. It's been a hard gap to successfully bridge. 

She recently turned 15 (which is completely insane to me)...and we got together for brunch. Sunday brunch once every month/two months sometimes seems like the only way to see each other. Even when we have days planned...things always seem to come up at the last minute (typically on my part). But about a week ago we got together and ate, and then just hung out for a bit sitting in her driveway as I went to drop her off. 

Rarely does she ask too many questions about our father, and I can't blame her. The saying "ignorance is bliss" was said for a rings true quite frequently. Especially in stressful situations...and times when things are's better to not know. It's better to not have specifics, and sometimes it's better to pretend like what you don't know isn't there. After all, isn't there the whole saying about "what they don't know can't hurt them"? usual I reminded her during our conversation that if there's anything she ever wants to know...I will tell her. I will be honest, and I will explain anything that she wants to better understand. However I also warned her that there may be things that she will later wish she didn't know...and to tread carefully. 

She was quiet for a moment clearly thinking hard about something and it made me nervous. I didn't want to have to give upsetting information. I didn't want to shatter the good ideas she had about our father.

But what she asked surprised me. 

No dirty details.

No hard questions.

Just one simple request: to take her to the waterfall she had seen in my pictures, where I spread his ashes last year. The waterfall that I grew up traveling to with him.

I thought about trying to schedule a time soon that I could take her...when I realized that it was a Sunday...that neither of us had plans...and considering it's an Ohio was a lovely day. So I sent her inside for boots and junky clothes.

The next two hours were awesome. We climbed up and down massive cliffs. We tromped around in the river and (I) got soaked. We took pictures, sat on ledges, and just sat around. 

It was a gorgeous day. A day to reconnect, and remember why I really do love being the big sister.

 All we were doing that day was chasing a waterfall. But to us it seemed to be a lot more. 

A waterfall that has seen a lot of history...

And unlike any other girl from the 80's or 90's...
I will never tell my little sister to stop chasing waterfalls.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pretty much you need to read this...immediately

A friend posted this the other day...and I have a hard time putting into words just how awesome it is. And I'm not sure she even realizes how awesome.

My hard day is Father's Day obviously...but the range of emotions she discusses is spot on. She's clearly better adjusted than I I still struggle with seeing others happy with their parents. But this is certainly a must read for everyone.

Like I said the other day...this ladies and brave:

Pardon My Blonde: Mother's Day Minus Mother: As you all know, Mother’s Day is approaching. Since when is it almost the middle of April, let alone almost May? It may seem a little early ...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Apparently I'm going to grad school

It's officially my first semester out of school (in years)...and sure enough I can't wait to get back. I have been looking into MSW programs for months, as I've found that social work is quite clearly where I'm meant to be. And here we the application process. I found the program that I want to pursue and it's perfect. Online and from a great local school. But then the page in the application about the essay comes up. I joke about how easy it will be...I can write for days! But let's be honest here...I'm terrified. 

In this blog I can write whatever I want, and whatever I feel. I don't have to be politically or grammatically correct. This blog is my safe space. 

But now I have to write an essay about why I would be a good fit for the university, and why I want to pursue a career in social work. 

Funny thing? I didn't even know I wanted a career in social work until about 3 weeks ago...

A professor of mine last year asked the class why we decided to major in psychology. I didn't answer as it was an 8pm class and I was probably close to passing out (full time work/full time school/being a fiance/step mom is exhausting). But some people did...saying things like "I want to study behavior" or "I want to work with children in a school." My teacher waited for more answers until someone said "to help people."

I smiled, as I too wanted to help people. Before I could second the other student's professor cut in laughing. He said that the idea of studying psychology to "help people" was naive. That psychology wasn't about helping people...but about studying the brain.

It threw me off. Here I was in my last semester of my undergrad career...and some man (that I really didn't like as an instructor) was telling me that I was naive for wanting to help people.

Now I get his point, in a way. But the fact is...I was working on my degree so that I could better understand the brain. So I could better understand the reasoning behind mental disorders such as PTSD and depression. And so that I could help people overcome those disorders. The disorders I have struggled so hard with. 

But now I was being told that I was naive for that. And that I had no perspective. That I needed to rethink my degree.

As many of you know, I didn't rethink my degree. But I did rethink my career path. I still want to work with addicts, PTSD patients, kids, and adults. I want to work with everyone.

And I do now. 

I work with the people in my county. The place I grew up. I work with kids, and their try and steer them to a better life. Some days I go to work and I am frustrated by what I see. But for the first time in my life...I can do something about those things. For the first time, I don't have to stand idly by and pray to myself that someone will help the child. I am the person that can help the child.

I am the person I wish my younger self had had. 

Cycles of abuse/neglect/poverty have the opportunity to start over at any time. With every generation. 

And I get to help with that. I get to help people. And as naive as that may be...I could not be happier with it. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Counting blessings

In today's blue eyes. Because when you grow up with a lunatic for a parent...God needs to give you something positive to remember them by.

I've been asked if my blue eyes are contacts, or photo editing. 

They're not :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I'm not going to hide because of something that someone else did. I have nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be afraid of.

This article has been out for three years...meaning the blog has been public for that amount of time.

Three years ago was a big day for me. A day that I finally stopped hiding behind some stupid stigma of not being "allowed" to talk about what happened.

So here's to that article...even though that picture makes me look severely depressed.

It's not always easy. Talking about domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or anything else of that nature is hell.

Pure and is hell.

If done in public- your words are judged, you are considered weak, you are told that your words are inappropriate or unprofessional.

In the eyes of most of the world:

You are lesser of a person for talking about what happened.

You are seeking attention.

You are bringing others "into your personal business."

You are less of a person.

You are a "complainer."

You don't deserve to talk about it because "you don't know what real pain is."

You are unfit to: do your job, take care of children, have a relationship, etc.

You are less of person because you went through the things that you did...

When in reality:

You could truly make a difference.

You have potential.

You have extreme compassion and love.

You choose to use what hurt you to help others.

You are a better person because of what happened.

You are determined.

You are strong enough to speak out about what happened.

You are a better worker, parent, and spouse because of your past.

You are a better person. Because you know what NOT to be.

You may be the child of domestic violence. You may be the wife, husband, or sibling. If you've seen it, dealt with it, or experienced it in any have been affected by it. Don't be afraid to speak out about it, or seek help for it. There is no shame in needing or asking for help. There is no shame in being victimized.

Being victimized...does NOT make you a victim.

This world is full of creeps and dummies

I haven't in written in weeks...and I am a mess.

I am taking on way too much. The worries of finances, a new job, and all of the daily household needs. My insomnia seems to think this is an awesome time to pop back up and dance in my face. I mean most people can function on two hours of sleep right?

I went to the range yesterday to get myself in check. Just me and my gun. And honestly...I shot better than I ever have before. I hit bulls-eyes on targets that I would usually dance around. I was in tune with myself and my feelings. I was calm, collected, and "right on target" in so many ways.

But then I went today...and I couldn't have been more off. Sure, I hit center line for the most part. I was right where I needed to be...kind of. I hit dead center all over the target. Above the objective, below it...pretty much anywhere but where I wanted to be. Even Nick commented that he could see me anticipating the shot every single time. I was jumpy...I was over-sensitive...and hyper-aware of my surroundings. didn't go well.

I don't know what is with me lately. Quite frankly, I'm not sleeping. I'm having dreams of events that I haven't thought of in years. When I drive past somewhat unimportant places...I'm having flashbacks of memories that I'm not exactly fond of.

I'm frustrated...and I'm feeling victimized. Something that I'm not a fan of feeling. I am feeling like people are being hurtful for no honest reason. And that bothers me.

I just typed out an entire paragraph and deleted it because I'm censoring myself. Damn this blog being public. It's hard to keep yourself censored when you really want to let loose and be frustrated!

My lovely mother always taught me that life is hard, and that people suck. "This world is full of creeps and dummies." There are exceptions to those rules of course...but in reality it is your job in life to depend on yourself.

Be confident, be strong, and be dependent on yourself.

I need to focus on blessings right now, and remember that I don't know everything. All I can do when I feel like this is be myself.

Confident in myself and my abilities.

Strong against the constant fear and doubt that haunts me for no apparent reason.

Dependent on my own backbone...because even though it would be nice for someone to stand up for typically isn't going to happen.

I can do this...whatever "this" is.

Stick with me here, as there is a lot coming when I find the words to explain it all. This just happens to be one of those nights where my mind is moving much faster than my fingers...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm glad my parents got divorced

I know that someone is going to get all mad about this post and take it the wrong let me preface it by saying I am NOT condoning divorce...nor am I encouraging people to give up on marriage.

That being said...

Here's something you don't hear very often: I'm glad my parents got divorced.

Most kids dream for years of their divorced parents getting back together and having that happy little "family". They get a picture in their head of this perfect life...a picture that is essentially unobtainable.

I never have that thought as a kid. Sure, I wanted my mom to fall head over heels for some rich guy that would be my new dad...but I never wanted my parents to get back together. Had my father been a good person, it may have different. As it stands however, I'm amazingly thankful that my mom had the courage and excuse my language...but the "balls" to get the hell out of that marriage.

I got married at 19. Not one of my finer moments in life.

I got married to someone that I wasn't happy with. Someone that lied and cheated for the first 3 years of our relationship. But little miss daddy issues over here was still determined to marry him. Shockingly enough, after about a year and half...the relationship imploded and lead to one very messy divorce.

Here's where my original post comes through. Had I grown up in a situation where my mother had stayed married to a horrible man (and I'm not comparing my ex husband to my father)...I wouldn't have had the strength to walk around from a bad situation. Had I watched my mother put up with unhappiness for my entire life...I would have settled for my own situation.

I wish I could have stayed married...and I wish my parents could have as well. But the reality is that in this society...not every marriage is destined to work. People rush relationships, they settle because they don't think they can ever have better, and they don't use their best judgment.

My parents rushed (my bad), my ex and I rushed...and it ended in disaster.

The night I decided I needed a divorce (I still remember where I was sitting at that moment), I was scared to tell my mother that I had failed at the thing she had disapproved of so vocally. I was terrified of being judged, hearing "I told you so," and of being stereotyped as just another stupid teen (which I was clearly).

I texted her that night and simply asked "when did you know you needed to get divorced?" Honestly, I don't remember her answer. All I remember was her telling me that it was okay, and that it didn't make me less of a person. She made me feel supported and strong...and capable of taking on the world. She unintentionally reassured me that I could truly "start over" clearly she had been able to do it (with a child might I add).

I don't always make good decisions. I'm influenced too often by the scars left from my father. But I'm lucky enough to have an imperfect family. A mom willing to admit defeat and get out of a bad situation. People surrounding me who believe in second chances and forgiveness.

I learned from my mistakes and I watched my mother grow from hers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Family jackpots, cheeseball jars, and the zombie apocalypse

There have many days that I have gotten uncontrollably angry at the cards that life has dealt me. I have spent hours wondering why the hell the world threw so much crap at me at such a young age. I have blamed everyone...from God to the clerk at the grocery store for how hard my days were. I wondered nonstop why I got such a mess of a family, and why I was shoved into such a volatile situation at my father's house. I couldn't comprehend why authorities wouldn't get me out, and I searched for ways to get myself out of the situations I was in.

But for years I didn't realize something important. 

When it comes down to it...I actually lucked out. 

I spent the last weekend with my mom's side of the family. A group of people who are majorly respected in their day to day lives. Successful businessmen/women, lawyers, entrepreneurs, amazing parents...the whole package. A family that is raising new generations of amazing people. Aunt and uncles who lead by example, cousins who love each other deeply, and grandparents that stay married for 50 years...through a lot of hardship.

A group of people who are just as insane as they are respected.

I smiled harder this weekend than I have in ages. 
I laughed until I cried (quite literally). 

And I was reminded yet again...that despite the craziness of my father...despite the distrust many members of his family have left me with...and despite me taking a long time to realize it...

I hit the family jackpot.

So here's yet another thanks to my mom, my rock, the woman who never gave up on me...for giving me the BEST family in the world.

Oh...and thank you to my family...for reminding me how important cheeseball jars are during the zombie apocalypse. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Care packages

This will be a real quick post as it's something I've been meaning to write up for a few days but keep getting distracted.

In honor of after Valentine's Day sales...I'm going to the store to grab as much candy as I can afford along with cards, and anything else that looks appealing. I'm going to make a new round of care packages to send overseas.

I might have my military man home...but way too many people don't. And there are hundreds more men and women stuck in the middle of a desert that I imagine would enjoy some chocolate.

SO...the point of posting this is to reach the masses as quickly as possible. If you would like to donate things to send, write a letter, sign a card, anything...let me know please. You can email me, contact me here, Facebook, whatever. If you email- use

I'm looking to send them out some time next week...and already have some of the local high schoolers working on getting some letters to include.

Thanks all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream"

I thought the title was appropriate as lately I've been referred to as someone who  "writes like a 15 year old" "with no real problems."

I am a 24 year old girl trying to make her way in this world. 
I am a girl that has fought against a lot of hell and won.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and let shitty people get the best of me. I let negative comments bother me.

But then I remember that the first half of my life was hell because of someone who wanted to make me feel smaller. 

I promised myself early in this blog process that no one would ever make me feel small again.

I am in control of my life, my happiness, and my success.

I have overcome more than you know. I have beat the statistics.

I have succeeded.

And anyone who wants to tear that down...has their own issues that they need to deal with.

I'm chronically depressed. My PTSD keeps me awake at night.

But I'm better off than I could have hoped just 5 years ago. And I will gladly take that...because life gets better every day. 

Some people are a lot better off than I am, and I'm happy for them. Some are a lot worse...and I truly wish there was something I could do to help them.

But all I can currently do is explain that I was once there. I was supposed to grow up addicted to drugs, a mother of 3 at 21, and a high school drop out. I chose to throw those statistics out the window and be the exception to the rule.

You can too...or you can sit around and talk big game on the internet and insult won't be the first or last.

" 'Cuz I got a blank space baby...and I'll write your name"

If you don't like what you're reading...don't read it. 

If it helps you...remember I'm always here to help if you need it. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

One other thing

Do you have values or hobbies?

"A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one"

I've been in a funk lately. Actually for almost a month. A month where everything has been seemingly perfect. No major heartbreaks, nothing but good news...there's no reason for me to feel iffy. Yet I have. I've had this dread feeling all the time, I've been exceedingly tired, and sleeping like complete crap. Almost every morning I wake up and my side of the bed is missing the sheets and has pillows thrown all over the floor. I spend most of the night checking the time and counting just how many hours of blissful sleep I'm missing out on for no apparent reason.

Granted I'm sure the mood swings can definitely be blamed on the not sleeping...but there's clearly a root issue that I'm missing. My life has never been this good. Engagement to the love of my life, a beautiful home, an awesome step daughter to be, a crazy dog, and recently an offer to take a job I couldn't be more excited about.

Yet I'm a walking disaster. One minute I'm high on happiness and the next I'm almost in tears because I can't find my car keys or I forgot to switch the laundry and my pants are wet.

*Disclaimer: I am not pregnant. As in...definitely don't even go there.*

This kind of stuff happens sometimes and the best explanation I've ever gotten from my old psychologist was that I will always battle depression and anxiety...and sometimes that means just pushing through it. She's offered meds, and I tried them years ago...but I hate the idea of stifling my feelings because I'm too lazy to deal with them. (Now let me be clear...I am NOT saying that people who take medication to help are lazy...because I have been at the point where I truly needed them in the past). But at this point in my life...I really don't NEED them. If I chose to take them and not just fight through the feelings, I would be taking the easy way out...and I never want to be that person. My dad was that person.

So I will continue to push through it until it stops or until it becomes unbearable. I will do that by remembering all of the amazing things happening around me, and pushing out negativity as much as possible.

I'm thankful for the amazing man that puts up with me sometimes not being myself. Even when the "funk" lasts for months at a time, and he feels helpless. He does everything he can to cheer me up...but also gives me a certain level of space that I  need. I couldn't ask for someone more understanding or patient. I'm blessed beyond belief. Knowing there is someone at home that doesn't judge and will never be mad at me for having crazy emotions is a major weight off my shoulders. I have someone who knows my past, and loves me for it...even through negativity. He celebrates the good and supports me through the bad.

I'm thankful that lately I've been able to cut some people out of my life. People that weren't good for me. People that were fake. And people who didn't deserve to be a part of my life in the first place. I'm thankful that even though it hurts to learn who they were...I have the opportunity to cut them out now before it got any worse. I'm glad that I finally have the backbone to get rid of the people who walk all over me.

I'm thankful that I'm planning a wedding the right way this time. With excitement from my family, and all of the goofy days with my girlfriends. I'm so happy that three of my best friends have agreed to be bridesmaids already, so I know that for the next two years of planning I will be able to turn to them in times of stress. I'm excited that I get to go dress shopping with my mom and that this time she will have something to celebrate at the reception. I'm relieved that my grandma will be at this wedding, and that this time she is excited to tell her friends her granddaughter is getting married. Everything about this wedding is different, and it's strange to be able to celebrate every moment. I love it.

I'm thankful for these funks because it gives me a reason to write, and a reason to think about all the things that are going well in my life.

Although I will admit, I'd be thrilled if the bad mood would wear off. Sleep and I want to get back together. 

In the meantime least when I am awake it's next to this handsome guy:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Don't be one of "those" people

I hear it ALL the time.

"Stop complaining."

"We all have struggles."


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

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

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

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

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

It really is that simple.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

To be honest...I find that difficult.

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

When did I stop being a kid?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...and I was in elementary school.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday loves

Monday, January 12, 2015

Oh you stubborn, big mouthed, Capricorn

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

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

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

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

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

This too shall pass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

National Stalking Awareness Month

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

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

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

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

I will suggest other options.

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

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

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

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

Stay strong no matter the circumstances. 

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

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

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

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

It's a new are not a tree

Welcome to 2015...where I will continue to not sugar coat a damn thing...and where I will say exactly what I think. Blog is going on 4 years...longer than my current relationship (which if you stay tuned may hold some interesting news).

That picture says it all. I really don't need to elaborate. As annoyed as I get with all of the "new year new me"'s only because most people forget their "new" selves within a month. 

Don't be that person. 

Don't like who you are...change. Don't like who you're with...pick someone else. Don't like where you are...move. 

You are not a tree. 

Happy New Year loves :)