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Friday, March 30, 2012

My Story

So when you do not know where to start it's best to start at the beginning. The very beginning. This is my story. The story of how I know God exists and kept me alive. It may read like a crazy mess but I assure the timeline is accurate to the best of my knowledge. It is not pretty. But once I started to type, it just flowed. Along with the tears. But the more I am able to share the less hold the past has on me. I am still healing from all it. It may never be a long forgotten memory but maybe just maybe someday I can tell it without my eyes being clouded with tears. Or the fear of remembering that girl who was so lost for so long and only wanted a Mom.

I was born in March of 1978. To two loving parents who had been through a lot themselves. The past, it affects us all and all those around us. I believe based on what I have been told from various sources that my Mom had more than just depression problems. Back in '78 they did not know much about any of it. Not compared to what we know now. Maybe Mom had some of her own demons she couldn't shake. I don't know. But I do know she did have what we now call Postpartum Depression. Did they call it that then? I don't know. So, Daddy hired a nurse to help her out and me. Some months later she convinced everyone she was fine. This after 2 previous attempts to take her life. Daddy had no idea that all was not as it seemed. So, he let the nurse go. Not long there after he came home from his graveyard shift to find her dead by her on hand in the garage with carbon monoxide and me in my crib. I am unsure if someone called him from work of if he just came home when his shift was over. He told me that every door between the garage and my room was shut. To some they wouldn't see what I now see. That was her last thought. Protect me. I believe that an angel whispered to her and she shut my door and all other doors she could. I could've died that day. But I didn't.

I say that was God looking over me and knowing my path and how important it would be. So there I was a tiny baby with no mother and a Daddy who all the sudden was my one and only. Oh he had plenty of support. There was some ugliness and I don't really feel I can go into that. Let's just leave it at some people decided to play the blame game. Daddy needed more support to defeat that than I think he really got. He became a drunk. Never did he once abuse me. I was always safe and taken care of. But I recall several times it seemed like he was in a bad way. Even as a kid I knew he was deeply troubled but I couldn't help him. With God we made it through. Daddy didn't go to church but I did. I believe God is always watching and helping us, even when we do not realize it.

Daddy had been married, I believe they were married, to my Mom's little sister, my Aunt. They split when I was about 8, I believe. I remember it always seemed volatile and I never knew why. I was in the middle and words from all sides were being slung around. It was an ugly violent time. Daddy drank more and more. He would sometimes throw things around and break them. I never once was scared that would be turned on me. I somehow sensed I was protected.

When I was about 10 Daddy married Step Mom 2. She seemed for all the world like a God send. Little did either of us know she couldn't live up to that at all. Not a year after they were married she started to subtly take pot shots with words at me. Always criticizing this or that. Hardly ever nice words. Slowly splitting me and Daddy from each other and making her kids more important. By Jr High she was saying things like, "I hope someday you turn out just like your Mom."  I was so dumbfounded. I had no idea what to say or do. A few times she even slapped me and I found myself literally thanking her for doing so. It's crazy to me that I did so. Then she played her ultimate hand. She convinced my Daddy I was sick like my Mom had been. Slowly things I owned would disappear or be moved and I'd look crazy cause I couldn't find it. She made it seem like I was depressed and that I was going to kill myself. She hid knives in my in my bed and no dose in my backpack. She convinced a psychiatrist I was nuts and slept walked. So I ended up on some strong sleep medicine. I spent a week in a mental hospital before they sent me home. Saying I was fine. That was not enough for her. We would have arguments that I never won. I was isolated and being told how stupid I was. How useless I was. That someday I'd have rotten ungrateful brats just like me. Eventually she convinced Daddy I had to be sent away. So I was sent to our pastor's house.

I was not their a month before he started working on me to groom me for his intended needs. He made sure I knew that if I ever said anything he'd have no trouble convincing people I was crazy and a liar. So at 14 I allowed him to touch me. I did not know what else to do. I just had no fight left in me whatsoever. So in turn for "behaving" I got to watch things like 90210 and make calls to my friends back home. The friends I was not allowed to say goodbye to. He only ever touched me all over and said nasty things. Sometimes if I forgot to lock the bathroom door he'd come in and watch. His wife worked nights so it was easy for him to get away with it. By the summer of that year I had been allowed back home. Only to be sent to a children's home at the start of the next school year.

There I found a little more of me. I had people willing to help me and that saw what was going on. But Step Mom 2 still managed to take jabs at me. I would say "Hey I got a 100 on a really hard essay test!" She'd say, "You were always good at school but a rotten child at home." That summer I got to go on a trip to Arkansas with a group from the home. The next summer I got to go to Washington DC. Step Mom 2 made sure to let me know how unfair it was that I was going. "What about your sister? What if your Dad gets sick?" I was smart enough by now to just say nothing. But I went and talked with my cottage parents and my case worker. They helped me understand what she was about. They slowly gave me my voice back. I didn't tell any of the adults about the pastor. But a few of the close friends I had made I told. That got me to seeing that I was not at fault.

By the time I left the children's home, at Daddy's request, I felt like I could and would survive whatever came next. What came next was more ugliness. More insults. During one argument I actually told Step Mom 2 what happened to me and she promptly told me it was what I deserved for being a rotten child. And to never tell my Daddy cause he didn't need to know. She yelled at me more. Called me stupid, a lot more. Told me every chance she got how rotten I was. I did all she ever asked of me. I rarely fought back.

I don't know how I made it through all that. It's for sure I didn't have even a basic faith anymore. Though I did often bawl and talk to God. I guess they were sort of prayers. And understanding that this was happening for a reason and when would it be over. I was forced at 16 to move out of my Daddy's house and in with an older step sister. It was ok but not ideal.

I soon found myself living at a friends house but that soon was over. By the time I was 17 I ended up living with my husband's family. Oh, neither of us knew it would get more serious. I was just a girlfriend who had been kicked out of her home. They took me in. That was my first taste of what family is all about. I start going to their church but it never felt right. Soon, I stopped doing even that. After we were married. I just didn't hear or feel God there. Not to say he wasn't there. I just knew I didn't belong.

Years past. In 2001 Sean was born. I was filled with dread. I just knew that I would die but the time he was a handful of moths old. I did not go out of my way at that time to be close to him. I remember once turning on a street into oncoming traffic and later wondering why I didn't die. Sean was 3 months old. Not anyone did anything or seemed to notice something was off. Of course, I didn't tell them about the oncoming traffic incident. I was basically waiting to die. I had also learned early on that whatever I felt had to be buried and never spoken of or people would hurt me. So I suffered in silence. Sean was a difficult baby and I was so over it. I was once again convinced to go back to church. At least for his sake. So, I did. Same religion, different church. I still did not feel God's presence. All I could think of from the moment I sat down was when is it time to go? It didn't matter if I went with what I thought was an open mind/heart. So eventually, we stopped going.

I prayed occasionally. But we never went back to church regularly til after Meghan was born. I allowed both Bridge and Sean to be baptized to please the family. I figured it made them happy and as long as I wasn't having to bring them up Catholic, I was fine. Meg was about 2 1/2 to 3 when we started coming to Reece Prairie. It wasn't long, a matter of weeks, before I felt we belonged. That at last I was hearing God. My life changed that day. Oh I was baptized at 12 by the pastor who would later abuse me. I had accepted Christ. I reaccepted Him again when I was in High School and cried rivers cause finally I felt His presence. It gave me strength to keep moving forward. Keep going a voice told me. So I did. Maybe I didn't always listen and obey but I kept going. Suddenly all of it was making sense to me. I was like, I am blessed. I am loved. God has been watching over me and protecting me my whole life. Like the poem says, sometimes He even carried me.

I may not be very strong in my Faith. I may be a lot like a new believer. But I know that without God guiding me even when I did not know it that I would not be here. I could have died so many times but it was not His plan. I look back on all those years and know that I am tough. So now that I am a Mom to a Bipolar/ADHD/ODD child, I know that I can handle it. I can help Sean. We can go to church and I hope someday he and all my kids hear His voice and know what I know. That we are not nor have we ever been alone. That is the greatest knowledge ever. There is something greater than us. All we have to do is acknowledge that. If there was not a God, I do not see how I would have survived all that.  That is what I tell people who ask me why I believe. That looking back I can see where God was even when I knew Him not. Even when I doubted Him. He was always there patiently waiting for me to hear.

For those wondering, my Daddy now knows a good portion of this story. I do not know if he knows of the sexual abuse. I have never told him. I also know that as Step Mom 2 was close to dying she told him she was sorry for the way she treated me. She may have gone into detail, but Daddy was not clear on that point. Thanks to Step Mom 3, Daddy finally did brave sitting down with me and telling me of the night my Mom died. That is how I know those doors were shut. She also miscarried a baby before me. A sister. I also know she told Daddy that she did not want babies. Not that she couldn't have them but that she did not want any. I don't know a lot about my Mom or about her life as a child. I am sometimes compared to her in some way or other but that's all I hear. I keep waiting for someone to tell me something more. Even if the truth is ugly. I have not been brave enough to bother anyone with asking. I hope someday I can.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Will Not Be Defeated

I had planned to work on the next topic of The List. But all I can think about is sharing my story.

It started last Sunday in my Bible Study class and has not let loose. We were asked to share our story of our journey and belief in Christ. It may not have been worded exactly like that but that's what it is. Basically our testimony. It is not something we were told we had to do. That would really defeat the purpose.

Now, I'm rather new to accepting, is that the right word?, my faith and living it. After all I have been through it's easy to see how I lost my way. Lucky for me God never gives up on us. We each have our journey and our testimony. My story is not completely known by many I go to church with. This is not the church I attended all those years ago. I've only been attending this church for maybe 2 yrs. I feel this is where I belong. But anyways, on to my dilemma. I find am finding it hard to put into words my testimony, as it were.

I know, crazy, right? I mean I have outlined most of it here on my blog. Why then do I find writing something for my Bible Study Class and Church so hard? Is it because I am scared of their reactions? The fact that I sort of know them? I have told all in sundry via this blog my story. My BFF has known since forever or at lest the day we knew we were more than just friends. Few of my family members know. So why? Surely it would help someone. It is the reason I believe there is a God. In a world like we live in today that is saying a lot. Or at least I think so.

I have prayed for the right words to come. Days later I am still staring at a blank page with tear drops on it. Tears that signify how I still vividly recall those days. Those feelings. The utter fear that my life was doomed and I might as well have died with my Mom in 1978. The loneliness. And yet, hope and knowledge it did not stay that way and never will. That is something to grasp.

I cannot let this defeat me. I must find a way to tell my complete story with out getting the point lost. It's not like I have not told anyone ever.

Maybe I am struggling with it being called my testimony. To me, a testimony is something that a person very strong in their faith and wanting to share it does. That person, is not me. For all intents and purposes I am like a new believer. I was raised in church then walked away from it and God for years. Yet looking back I can see where He was always watching over me and protecting me, even from myself.

I am sure this reads like a hot mess. That's the way I feel all my thoughts on this are. A hot mess. But my story needs to be told. I feel compelled to keep sharing it and keep telling it to any and all that will listen. Sharing it has never been easy. Does it ever get easier? I don't know. The pain of the memories is nearly consuming me. Maybe because some in my life choose to forget it ever happened. Wonder why I say such awful things about people. Maybe my fear is Satan, yes I do believe he influences whether we know it or not, is trying to make me stop.

Whatever it is, I know I must do this. I will not be defeated. So, any positive thoughts or prayers from any or all of my readers would be nice.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

30 Topics ~ 5 Passions



~ The List ~ 

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for. 

8. What are 5 passions you have

This topic could probably be looked at any number of ways but I  didn't get all deep. So in no particular order:

1) Good Make Up. Especially a fab lip color. You just cannot go wrong with good make up that looks good on you. By that I mean, you are wearing make up, it's not wearing you. And a fab lip color, I'm such a sucker for it. It just makes me feel awesome and confident. Even if all the make up I am wearing happens to be a lip gloss or polish or stain.

2) Reading. I love reading. I really only read romance novels, or as Hubs says, "smut books". They are just fun and reading is reading. I love everything about books. The looks, the smell, & the feel. Even if it's one I've read the story is new every time because there's always something you didn't "see" before.

3) My family & Friends. Family, As dysfunctional as we may have been and in some cases may still be, family is family and in the end it's who you are. They are you're blood. Like it or not you're forever bound. Friends, are essential. Even if you only have one. One good friend is better than a dozen of more false friends. Like you're family, good ones stick with you and eventually are like family. False ones, run for cover the minute the going gets tough. 

4) Girl Scouts. I love that my middle daughter is one and that my baby girl soon will be. I flirted with the idea for all of a week, maybe 2, of leaving GS for American Heritage Girls. I like the idea of AHG but I decided that me and our church teaching about our belief in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is enough. I love our church and we have lots of discussions about what they learn. In the end, I think that GS is what you make it. Our troop believes in God and we incorporate that. God is still a  part of GS and IF God is ever officially taken out of the GS Promise, I will probably leave. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. Juliette Gordon Low started it that way and it should always remain fresh and new but still hold onto the values that started it. Also, hand in hand with this is my love of being the Cookie Mom. Yeah, so I've only done it twice (the number of years B's been a GS) but I love it. I love helping the girls understand the process and encourage them to set girls. It is a crazy stressful time but always such a great experience.

5) NASCAR & Dallas Cowboys. How many of you just said "DUH"? I grew up watching racing with my Daddy and he even built a dirt track car when I was like 8 or 9. Dale Earnhardt Senior is my all time favorite. (I know, you said "DUH" again." and Dale Jr is my current and probably forever fav. ("DUH" again) I do like a handful of other drivers, like kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Grew up watching the Dallas Cowboys with my Daddy. I don't care if they're having a winning, losing, or otherwise season I always watch or listen to them and cheer them on. (Again with the "DUH", LOL)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Oh That First Job


Vlog Talk

So this week I am talking about my first job. Mostly because I don't know what the heck I'd do with a few more hours in my day. I'd like to say have definite time for me but it's likely I'd use it to do more chores or possibly sleep, even it it is overrated. Also, I've never ever bought anything from an infomercial. My kids even say so to each other when things come on they might like. Not unusual to hear one say, "Mom doesn't buy anything from the TV. REMEMBER!" I might even be one of the reasons they started putting those things in stores marked with the ever noticeable "As Seen On TV".

Anyways, on to my first job...




Friday, March 23, 2012

30 Topics ~ Dream Job


~ The List ~ 

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for. 


7. What is your dream job and why?

I don't know what job I've dreamed of doing. Really. Once I thought of being a teacher or a nurse but never really got any support for those thoughts early on. I was basically told I was too dumb to do it. I know that's not true. 

So, years later I am doing what I think is the most important job if not necessarily dream job. I am staying home taking care of house and kids. It's nice to know that if there's a problem at the school or a kid needing to stay home sick, I don't have to make it work. This is made easier by the fact I have a cell ph of my own and no longer worry that it will be cut off for not being able to pay the bill. That's important because I've always needed to be able to talk with Sean's teachers quickly and easily. Which meant my phones needed to be able to email. It was so much easier to talk with his teachers and not really interrupt the flow of leave a message with a person or machine. Especially early on when he was all over the place. Some never understood why I had to have such a ph but anyone with special needs type kids knows the importance of you being able to contact teachers or them you easily. Or why I didn't want to look for a job even though it could've helped us, I didn't think it would given day care costs and all. If I had a job when Sean was going through the worst of his troubles I probably would've lost it for all the taking off to get him to appointments or pick him up because the school called and said he had to go home. Employers do not like employees that cannot be there all the time reliably. 

But this is about dream jobs.

Recently, I applied for a day care job and basically got it. I haven't been able to start because the dang background check has not come back yet. There should not be anything on my background that would keep me from getting the job. The job I didn't know I wanted til I got and then sort of lost it. The one I was reluctant to apply for because Lord knows most people were not giving me the time of day much less a chance at a job. I love kids. I can think of nothing better than being able to work with little kids and see them learn and grow. Plus, I would not have to worry bout who would be watching my kids. My hours would be decent and I'd still have weekends. So what if I lose carefree summer days. Hubs chosen path pretty much allows him to work anytime, anywhere. There's lots of times he is gone on weekends but a job that has me home on weekends would not effect him. So, I pray every day and night that if it's meant to be that the background check will come back clean (as it should) and I can be officially hired and that my chance has not passed at this daycare. If it has or the dang background check never comes through, then I just keep trudging along til I'm shown where I am to go next.

If you're wondering what is the biggest job I ever dreamed of having...Well, this may be the first time I am sharing this so publicly. I used to think how awesome it'd be to work on radio as a Dj, or are they even called that anymore? Anyways, that's pretty much it. It's not anything I ever thought of pursing just something that for a moment in time seemed really cool to me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

30 Topics ~ Learning to Trust


~ The List ~ 

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for. 



What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

I am not sure I know exactly how to answer this one. I have had a few real tough experiences. I guess based on my life I'd have to say that the hardest thing I've experienced is learning how to depend on me. That morphed into learning to trust others. 

I don't know if that's exactly what was expected of this topic but it's what I'm writing from my soul. I've survived a mother who committed suicide, an alcoholic father (he's not now), a family at odds, mental/verbal abuse, sexual abuse, losing my self and nearly succumbing to that darkness, and to being a parent of a difficult child. It was all horrible. To say one was harder than another would be nearly impossible.

With such a difficult life from early on I grew up fast. I had to. It caused me to lock a lot of people out. I laid some nights in bed and just bawled. Praying that I would make it through. Wondering why, yes but still knowing it was for a reason. Maybe it didn't all go down like it was supposed to. But life is random. It's all a series of choices. Based on my early experiences, I just learned to close out everyone. I didn't have it in me to allow another to hurt me. To give them that chance. I made some reckless choices, by my standard, after my sexual abuse. Some took advantage. Most people were not willing to tough it out to get to know me. Those that did have never regretted it. Those that did helped me get back to me. Showed me that there were people worth trusting. Little by little those people taught me to trust. To trust them with my heart, my life, my secrets. 

Seems silly to say trust them with my secrets. But when you tell an adult that you still mistakenly believes loves you at least a little, that you have been sexually abused by the pastor of your church and they laugh in your face telling you it was what you deserved because you were an awful child. You pretty much learn to stop talking. To anyone. You do not talk about anything important. Sometimes, you don't even talk about the unimportant things. When that happens you are a shell of you. You are fake and people tend to think you're a bitch or stuck up. 

Learning to trust again was painfully slow. My best friend never really let go. Even though she did think I was a stuck up bitch. I couldn't even tell you when she became like a sister to me and knew all there was to know about me. It just happened. 

When I met Hubs, we just clicked. I trusted him to take care of me and know all my secrets. He didn't run screaming in horror. He kept holding on. Nights I'd wake screaming, he'd just hold me a little closer and not push me to talk about it. It was maybe a year or two after being married that I felt the past loosing it's grip on me. I wasn't gonna let it define me. I was still alive and I had a family who cared about me. So what if it was only in laws. They were there. 

Now, 15+ years later I have not only gotten back to me, I've learned trust people. To let people in. It's a damn good thing, too. After 3 pregnancies, each with their own issues, and Sean's mood and behavior issues, I cannot imagine getting through it without being able to trust anyone.