In My Head

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Lately, I am sure you all know  I have had a million things going on and  a million crazy thoughts going through my head. It has been a struggle for me lately to maintain one train of thought and complete any task at hand.  This past month has been full of highs and lows and left me pretty emotional.

I have realized my  number one  and scratched it off the  top of my bucket list. My first two books have come  out and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for finally making my childhood dream of being a paid and published writer come true. Granted, it is  still new and if I were doing it for the money alone, I would surely be considered a starving artist for many years to come. It has been interesting to see how supportive  so many people have been and a little disappointing to see how many people you think will be there for you in these good times and help you celebrate, just stand by quietly. Still,  the good has outweighed the bad and people I might not have otherwise known or met have written to me about  my stories. That feels wonderful. Seeing my books for sale on such huge names  like  Barnes and Noble  and amazon has been truly mind blowing in an otherwise heart wrenching time.

Along with conquering my biggest dream, my biggest fear was realized too as I am in the middle of a breast cancer scare. It has all moved very quickly, despite the feeling that time has screeched to a halt. About three weeks ago, I woke up with a pain in my breast, with some redness and swelling. Certain times  during the month this happens to all of us, and should have been no concern, but something told me  based on my calendar that this lump should not be there at  that time. I scheduled an appointment with my ob/gyn  since I was needing some tests  done for my PCOS and diabetes screenings anyway and had him check the  area.  I really thought he would tell me that I was over reacting and that it was nothing, so I was  devastated when he sent me to the  hospital for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech asked me a lot of questions and tried to reassure me that most forms of breast cancer to not present with pain ; that it was probably a clogged milk duct despite that I hadn’t breastfed in years. During the scan, her nose wrinkled and her eyes narrowed as she watched the lump appear on the screen. It was indeed in/ near a duct but it  contained no liquid , it was “mushy”  or a solid mass.  The radiologist suggested I go straight over and get a mammogram to see  if they could see more definitively what this lump was. During the exam  I was asked about  breast trauma and discharge, things I hadn’t experienced.  Again, there was a spot that was not a cyst and was not a clogged duct. I was reassured about  how many benign solid masses can form and grow in breast tissues and  that I was probably fine, but that the radiologist suggested that I  get a biopsy to check for cancerous  cells. The C word, they finally said it out loud.

I went back to my gynecologist to get him to schedule a biopsy for me and he suggested seeing a surgeon  first to see what he thought about the mass. That was the next step. The surgeon,could not feel the mass after the swelling had gone down and didn’t have advanced enough equipment to accurately assess the mass he found by ultrasound. He tried to take measurements but he couldn’t keep still on the  spot.I thought this was promising that maybe , it was in fact, a clogged duct and it had worked itself out. Again, I was sent back to the hospital, for a more accurate reading and a fine needle aspiration biopsy.

Yesterday, was B day, biopsy day, and I went in with a strange sense of calmness. I hoped that they would find  no mass there and that I could go home worry free.  I was not afraid of the procedure, but the  waiting that followed scared me to death. I watched the screen as the source  of my fear  showed itself again. The mass had not changed size or shape despite the fact that I could only sometimes feel it now . The tech, named Angel, (That’s a good sign , right?” )  marked the spot with a marker and went to get the  available radiologist to come and  perform the biopsy. He was thorough in explaining the procedure and as  he watched the scan of my breast on the screen he explained the different types of growths  this could be inside of me. He talked about papilomas and fibrodema’s  and  then settled into  ductal carcinoma’s and other cancers. Again with this C word.

He proceed t o show me the tools he would use to pull out pieces of this offensive little growth and I just zoned out watching him  pull several giant needles out. I focused  on his name badge. Dr. Parker. I thought of Spiderman. The thought went through my head and  escaped out of my mouth before I could  stop it. Haha, sure enough his name was  NOT Peter Parker, but still I laughed thinking of Spiderman  doing my biopsy.  He numbed the area around the marker splotch and  then stuck a needle in to numb the inside of my breast surrounding the mass. I couldn’t feel any of this but I watched as my breast shook on the ultrasound screen . He shoved , forcefully to break through all of the  tough tissue in the  breast and  I felt nothing  but pressure. I imagined those jail movies  where you get shanked  in the cell, and this is what I imagined as I watched the force in and out of my breast.  Finally the fat needle that they insert another needle into was in and I could see it moving through the layers on the screen.  He informed me  that when I heard this awful clicking sound. the needle inside would  thrust outward and  grab a piece  of  tissue for sample.  This would happen atleast five times. Each time the  click startled me as I watched it go through the mass. He then told me they would insert a clip inside my boob  so that they could always see where the biopsy site was and  know where the mass is for future  references.  They cleaned the blood off of me and bandaged me  and I was off to get dressed with a bleeding, numb  breast. When I came back they had me sit and wait for an ice pack and while I was alone I looked at the  samples  they had taken. They looked like  little  threads or  worms floating in water/ saline?  whatever it is they  float them in .Some sank and some floated, I wondered what that meant. They all looked alike, was that a good sign? Can you see cancer? I had no idea, I simply sat freaking myself out .Soon enough , I got my discharge instructions and was on my way to meet my husband in the lobby.

The surgeon had  scheduled  my appointment for July 1st  to discuss my results, but as I left they  told me  results should be in within 48 hours unless the samples needed to be sent out to be further examined. So now I sit, wondering if they call ( or don’t call)  by Friday if that means they found something and it had to be shipped off or if everything is normal so they are just waiting for my appointment.  Yeah,  that’s not slightly cruel to do to someone all ready so scared that they search the internet looking for similar masses as theirs and give them self panic attacks reading the results under them. Yes, literal  debilitating panic  attacks.

Most days I am told to not worry, not stress, not be scared, and I know that this is amazing advice and appreciate it, but some days I just want to sit and  let my self be scared. How can I  face reality if everyday I pretend it isn’t there? Sometimes I want to cry and be held. Some days I want to shout and say fuck you to the possibilities  before me. Some days  I think what if I die? What if I have to have surgeries  that change the way I feel about myself? What if I have to leave my husband and kids  behind? What  if something happens to him and my kids are alone?  think that is pretty normal and I let myelf do it for about 10 minutes a day while I wait. Then, I  get up and  go do something amazing with my family and make awesome memories together.

I have had so much support from so many sources, strangers, friends, and family alike. Again,  I’ve been hurt by a few that haven’t really been there, and by a few that suggested that I was lying and  that this was just a cry for attention, but for the most part my support system has been top notch. I posted  snippets of my journey  on facebook whenever I needed to vent and never dreams of the outpouring of love that followed.  Not a day goes by these past  few weeks that I haven’t gotten encouraging posts or messages or someone checking up on me. I’ve tried many times to express my gratitude to these people , but it never seems like enough, because I would have been crazy without them in my life.

That being said, there are a few other things in my head , occupying space. My heart condition has gotten worse and  recently, I have had no will to stick to my diet. I know the dangers and I am getting back on top of things, but it hasn’t been as easy as it was when I was feeling  better and better. I’ve hit my first plateau and it sucks, but I am ready to break through and  get things under control again.

Aside from health, some of you know that recently, I have had issues  with someone  causing some problems in my personal  life. I know  some of you have gotten messages and friend requests  from many fake profiles  with some rumor mill garbage meant to start trouble . This has been going on for  six months now  in varying  degrees of  seriousness. Please, all I ask  is that you let me know  of the harassment and before you react to. spread rumors, or  judge me based on what some bitter person  says  about me, my husband, and now my children , remember the ME that you know. Base your decisions on how I have interacted with you, been there for you, and treated you throughout the years instead of on someone’s warped , ugly idea of a prank. The effects  go deeper than you can imagine.  Also, if you wonder if what you hear is true,  ask me. I would know  better than a fake profile . If you can base your opinion of my family on a story someone told you, then you probably don’t belong in my life anyway.  just think about that before you assume  what you hear  is accurate.

All in all,  it has been a  crazy  few months. Someone told me that I am going through these  huge battles  because it is  another step in uncovering who I am and what is  important to me. I love that idea and I have to agree. I have learned so much about myself, about  others, about who I want to be and what is important. I have a new level of intimacy with my husband  and a much deeper  closeness with my kids and family. I’ve given up things I have outgrown and refocused on what I really want in life. I learned life is short and to pick my battles,  forgive , even if you will never forget,  and  find what makes you happy, even when you are a crazy mess on the inside. Another friend taught me that it is ok to feel all of my feelings while I am in the moment, but not to unpack and live there , dwelling in the negative. I love that.  I have received  so many pearls of wisdom and so many personal stories of struggles through  cancer and cancer scares. So many people have shared their experiences with me and I am so grateful! I was hesitant to reach out  to anyone, considered keeping it all in and  to myself until I  knew what was going on. I’ve done that before and you usually lose yourself and others in that process. I wanted to take a chance and allow others to step up and  be strong with me and for me  and I am so glad I did.

Just wanted to offer a little  insight to what has been going on inside my head lately, in case  I haven’t had a long talk with you or answered each comment personally. I have tried to when I am on, but  when I go to an appointment and come back and there are  thirty comments, I do read them all and then do a group comment. Please, know  that you are appreciated and I will keep you updated as soon as I know something!

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Wake Up Call

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Every once in a while  something happens that just changes you. it’s like life grabs you by the shoulders and  just shakes you until you finally wake up and open your eyes. I can remember most of times really well- the day I got married, the birth of my children the day Jakson was diagnosed with autism,  the day I realized that I was losing myself and everything I loved about my life, and last Tuesday.

Let me back up a few days to the  previous Tuesday. I was in severe  pain for the umpteenth time in the past six months and it had gotten so bad I couldn’t stand. My regular doctor was booked and my ob/gyn was off for the day. My husband had convinced me, against my better judgment, to go to the emergency room.  The ER  was  slow, hardly any patients at all. Still, the places me in the sub-waiting room after a few questions and a urine test. I sat, in pain, for an hour and then they said “oops, we forgot to get your blood work done”  and pulled me out into the hallway and  drew blood. This type of visit was foreign  to me, getting blood  drawn in a hallway?  I knew immediately that I was going to get no help from this visit as I  slunk back into my waiting room chair.  Sure enough, a half an hour later as I sat rocking back and forth in my seat, writhing in pain the nurse walked in and told me  that  my blood and urine tests were both  normal, yet still gave me an antibiotic???? and  sent me home.  I cried the entire ride home and  my husband was furious.

I got an appointment with my ob/gyn two days later. I went in, still in pain, and mentioned to him that my family doctor had  wanted to check my gallbladder (again) , kidneys ( again), and  also mentioned ovarian cysts. I told him after watching  My Big, Fat , Fabulous Life that I had researched PCOS and took a test online to check my symptoms and htat I had  all but two of them. He, without  any testing yet,  assured me that he had already noted in my file that he thought that I definitely had PCOS due to my irregular or non existent ovulating /cycles since my teen years, trouble conceiving my last son, miscarriages, and uncontrollable weight gain despite diet and exercise. I added that some  more undesirable symptoms had reared their head lately as well.  He ordered an ultrasound and massive amounts of blood work. (Ten  big vials in two days had left me feeling drained) . The ultrasound confirmed  several cysts where the  pain was located, but he assured me after concerns about my family history that he did not feel that any of the cysts were dangerous.  He prescribed me  Metformin for my insulin resistance to help me lose weight, along with my Provera to maintain cycles and reassured me that the pain would continue and if it got bad enough to call and he would  give me meds for that as well. I left with determination to get healthy and  peace of mind.

The piece of mind didn’t last long .Monday afternoon the  nurse called my home phone and  asked me to come in the following day to discuss my results with the doctor. She couldn’t tell me over the phone. It’s always bad news when they can not tell you over the phone and they say the doctor needs to discuss things with you. I panicked. I cried. I broke down and  felt defeated. Everyone told me  I was over reacting and expecting the worst. I searched about  the blood tests to see if they could predict cancer. That had to be it. Then I thought no, that couldn’t be it. I researched the  test he  added on at the  end of my appointment called the CRP test. Before I read too much about the  results, it was time for my appointment.

They took my blood pressure and  it was through  the roof, despite it being normal two days earlier. My weight had already dropped four pounds  since  last week. The doctor assured me that my blood  pressure was up because, if he  knew me, I was nervous. He was right about that. I sat on that table, that same damn  table that my doctor and I had  laughed over  when I found out I was  pregnant two out of the  three times, the same table  where we cried together and he hugged me when I had a miscarriage, when I lost my sons twin to vanishing twin syndrome, the place  where he assured me everything was going to be alright just a few days ago. His smile disappeared.  He told me  he had called me in because my test results were so unbelievable  that I needed to see them. He told me that the CRP tested  the levels of inflammation in my body and this more specific test he held in his hands tested  the inflammation in my heart. Normal was a one and high was a three. My tests showed that I was at seventeen.  He told me that his father was ninety four  and was at a two. He told me he had never seen a score as high as mine for inflammation around a heart at 80  years old, let alone at 34. My doctor said that if my life didn’t change drastically that I would have a heart attack and most likely be dead  by forty.  Once again we both teared up. He told me that right now  I was okay and that I had already  started correcting this by changing my diet and exercising. He also told me that I was  back in the  full blown diabetic range and that as of today I was only allowed to eat veggies and meat.  He gave me  prescription strength fish oil to lower the inflammation and help my heart. I vowed in that room to change my life and that is just what I  am  doing.

In the past two weeks, I have lost 14 lbs and have so much more energy. I’m taking nearly ten pills a day, everyday, probably for the rest of my life, but  I have started sleeping again, which I hadn’t done well in years. I can exercise without falling over.  I wake up ready to go and I dance again. I smile and feel more patient and happier in general. I have never felt more motivated  to be healthy in my life.  There are still days  where the pain is severe, but I work through them instead of stressing and worrying myself  sick, literally.

I have been thinking about this almost everyday this week. What if… what if  my doctor didn’t mention that if it wasn’t kidney or gall stones it could be a cyst? What if… I didn’t get hook on Whitney’s journey on that tv show I love and learn what PCOS was? What if I didn’t take that quiz? What if  I didn’t mention it to my doctor and get the  diagnosis and the blood work? One thing, like living with pain in my lower abdomen led me to know that my life was in danger and that I was having serious problems. One tv show, changed my  life. Two doctors saved my life.  Now, it is  up to me  to fix my life. And I will,  one step at a time.

Pieces Of Me

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There  is  a  popular meme  on the internet that once you are parent you are supposed to  let yourself go and deprive yourself  of everything  you once knew, because your children come first, that once you have  children , your life is no longer your own it is to be  put behind you to make sure your children’s wants and needs are met.  It says  when you see  a woman  with no makeup on, her hair in a ponytail,  and  running  around in sweats or pajamas and sitting at home on a Saturday night, it is because she puts her kids first and is a great mom.  That is such  a beautiful idea  in theory, it is also  a giant load of crap.  Before you lynch me  or send out the bad mom  award, hear me out.

I was  that mom and in certain ways, I still am, to a point.  I spent my days cleaning and caring for children, I spent my evenings entertaining them, bathing them, and giving them awesome  bedtime rituals.  I spent paychecks  on  bills,  food,  and things my kids  needed, HAD to have ,  and places they MUST go.  I have owned one pair of jeans  and shoes , so that my kids could have 20 new outfits for school that they would never wear before they grew out of .  I have  gone without makeup or getting my hair done,  so that my kids could have  that hot new  game  or toy that they NEEDED it or they would just die, just to see  it broken into pieces  or laying never played with in a toy box  because they had so much  stuff , they didn’t even remember it was there. I’ve stayed home on my anniversary, so that I  could afford to take my kids on an awesome  vacation.  Do I resent any of these things? Absolutely not, I love seeing my children happy and  thought I  was doing what it took make them happy. It was my choice. They were just kids being kids and I was enjoying seeing them be little and excited  and  staring up at me  like I was the best mom ever because I could do those things for them.  Do I regret it?  Some of it, yes.  I never wanted to teach my children that to  be happy you  have to get what you want, have the best or the most,  or to have it at the expense  of  someone else.  I wanted to show them that  I would always be there when they needed me.  I just wasn’t doing it in the right  way.  I blame myself,  but I also  attribute it  to the way society sees  mothers. ( Both parents to me , but in societies  eye, mostly mothers.)

Take that meme  I previous  mentioned,  When I see  a woman   looking worn out  and like she just doesn’t have time to  care for herself anymore, I don’t assume she’s a great mom, I do assume she is  stressed and needs a break to refresh.   When did taking time for yourself  become  neglect to your kids?  It is neglect to yourself.  If  you neglect your kids, someone comes and takes them away. If you neglect your job, you are fired. If you neglect your husband , he files for divorce and  finds someone that does find time for him.  Why then,  is it acceptable to neglect yourself?  Where does it say that  being a mom and  a wife  means  not loving yourself anymore?  I  was guilty of this  for a very long time and fall back into that routine sometimes in smaller ways still .

When I was that mom that gave ,gave , gave , with no expectations  of anything in return , that is  exactly what I got. That behavior was expected of me.  It was assumed I was happy and that seeing the smile on my families  face   was  fulfilling enough , because I never said otherwise .  While it was, indeed,  fulfilling  to see my loved ones happy, it wasn’t the only thing I wanted in my life.  Even the thought made me feel guilty,  even as I type this I  (kind of)  worry about  how this sounds out loud and how I will be reprimanded and hope before I am finished it will be  more clearly explained.  My kids  didn’t appreciate me  as much as they do now. They thought it was just part of who I was supposed to  be , to keep them happy and be their playmate.  My husband thought I was content to  be his wife and their mother, he didn’t realize  until I was worn out and defeated  what I had let go of to be this  “perfect”  woman.  The only thing that devoting all of my  time and  energy into  others and  not caring for myself got me ,  was  exhausted,  low self esteem, and angry.

The last one  I know shakes people up. Angry at her kids. her husband? What is wrong with her?  I wasn’t angry at them. I was angry at myself for not caring enough about me or for not demanding more  for myself. I ended up  feeling boring, undesirable, depending on my husband and  children for my happiness, which is not fair to any one involved. I had to change things or I would lose  my happy little life, but worse, I would lose myself completely.

I was not considering running  off and having an affair  or a midlife crisis and I did  not radically change who I was. I was happy with who  and where I was .  I just  missed me. I missed the pieces  of  me  that I lost along the way.  I missed taking an hour to write , like I am right now.  I missed shopping and  looking nice in a  new outfit or  sliding into a sexy pair of heels, that I didn’t necessarily need to buy, but did anyway.  I missed getting my hair or nails done and my eyebrows waxed  and feeling put together when I saw my husband at the end of the day. I missed lingerie instead  of pajamas.  I craved  time more than anything- time to exercise , time to have a family day,  time to have a date night with the man that I loved, and time to dance!

The first thing I did differently was dye my hair and paint my nails. I am still cheap about this and will  usually do both at home to save money,   but once in a while that salon  day feels  so good .  I put on real clothes. Nothing with elastic or that could be mistaken for my husbands shirt.  I  put on something girly and  showed myself off.  I made sure I felt pretty and  good about myself.  That is  something basic. That is not , neglecting your children. If I take my boys for a haircut, I don’t consider it a splurge, it is  something that needs to be done. My husband takes 20 minutes to shave  his head and face  everyday,  that is not a splurge, so why should  maintenance  and looking put together be so wrong  to do for myself?

Another thing I found that I missed was something  so little, it is probably silly to mention, but it is something that makes me ,  ME  ,  and that I lost along the way .  I missed turning on the radio, to my station or putting on a CD  I like like   and dancing  while I cook and clean.  I remember  how good it felt to listen to music  and just relax into it.  I remember when I used to do this  Daniel would come up behind me and watch  from across the room and when he caught me I would  blush  and he would hug me from behind and kiss my neck  while I  kept cooking. I remember  when I stopped doing that and just rushed around   trying to get everything ready on time  and to not snap at anyone in the process, he just sat and  watched tv  and tuned  me out .

The first time I sat down to write again ,  my kids asked me to stop and  play video  games . I told them I would  play Uno  with them later, but right now I was doing something for myself.  I told them that brothers  are  best friends and that they should play together.  They  played  well together  for the entire hour.  Why had I waited so long? As I said  above,  it wasn’t my family’s fault , It was mine. I  thought that a good mom  had to constantly put everyone  above herself.

My kids didn’t know me.  They knew a martyr and a maid  someone that forgot what it was like to love their  life . When I stopped to joke  with them, tell them stories, tell them what I am interested in and what we have in common,   they  really got to know me again and  we are much closer.  They didn’t know their father.  They knew he was a man  that worked swing shift, slept strange hours , and was cranky because  when he wasn’t working or sleeping or helping around the house,  he  wasn’t getting to spend time  playing and laughing with  his family. He was missing  the person  he married and the fun  that we all used to have together.

It is pretty simple. If you burn yourself out trying to seem  perfect and putting everyone else first  you  lose  the person you are.  The person  everyone  around you loves, the person that was all ready perfect to them .  Not being perfect and not putting my   husband or my kids  first ALL of the  time , saved my family and saved  me.  The first time  we went to the store and I over looked the  toys  and candy  and  bought myself a shirt, my kids looked disappointed, but they didn’t look neglected . Same thing the first time  Daddy and I went to the movies without them.   When we went on vacation  alone for a weekend, they didn’t  waste away , they had fun  with  Grandma.  If I go out with the girls and they  spend the day with dad , they know I haven’t left them forever.  If dinner isn’t on the table  at six o’clock,  they know they will not starve .  When I look nice, they tell me I am pretty. They don’t wonder why I had time to  put on makeup when they didn’t have their favorite shirt clean this morning.  When I  tell them to go play with each other, that Daddy and I are going to watch a scary  movie, they don’t think I don’t love them anymore. They don’t notice when the floor hasn’t been vacuumed that day and they  aren’t going to die   if they help out and do chores. Last but not least,   and this is the one I hear is the most neglectful,  if I go  to the  bar and have a few drinks with my husband and our friends, they do not think that I have  chosen alcohol and partying  over them.  They DO know , however, that I am going to have something awesome  planned in the  near future to do with them.   Being an well groomed, well dressed adult woman, with friends, and  a husband,  a hobby, a career,  and interests  outside of your children, does not make you an absent or neglectful parent. Neglecting your children and ONLY caring about these  things makes you  a neglectful  parent.  Buying yourself shoes over  another toy that   doesn’t get played with doesn’t make you a bad  person . My kids appreciate  everything they get and everything I do so much  more now  that they don’t get everything they want.  Now, stopping to get a snow cone , is  a treat I am thanked for, not another chore every time  we drive by. Our family has thrived  and it is not because any one  of us  comes first in importance. all the time but because we are  all important and strive to show every person  in the family that  they  are cared for  because of who they are, not what they can do for us.

Another thing I want to stress,  before I wrap this up  is that there is a difference between loving and caring for your kids  and making your whole world  revolve around them . If you give up your sense of self  for anyone  for decades, when they are gone and  living their lives, you are left an empty shell.  You  have  a broken relationship  with yourself and possibly  with your spouse.  It is a  balancing act for sure  and your family life  is  a huge  part of your life and  very important. Your relationship with your spouse on a private level is   just as important and  we usually forget this, but yes,  the way we treat ourselves  is just as important, after all,  we are teaching our children  how to treat themselves as well.

Finding A Home

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I spent a long time  not loving myself and being ashamed to be who I am  because  of what others might think of me .  I tried to blend and  found  some  friendships that were meaningful, but not all together honest.  I still felt like nobody, other than my husband, really knew me- and he had  only recently been exposed to the deepest realms of my soul . This year , I finally embraced myself and sharing myself with others.  After years of being afraid of what would happen if I ever let others all the way in , the unthinkable happened.  I found others like me, others that were accepting  of the  uniqueness that made me , ME . I found a home.

In the midst of finding myself and living authentically I lost friends, outgrew relationships that I have  had  for  nearly my whole life, even lost some family, but what I found outweighed the loss by more than any scale could measure.  I found out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life .  I  found  out that being myself even in a crowd where I am standing alone in my beliefs was more important than fitting in and  even more importantly I found  that if those people  ask me to be  someone other than who I am, they are not the  right people to be standing  with at all . I found  out who was really FOR me ,and who I could forge that emotional connection with  because THAT  was what I needed  from my  friendships, I needed to be real and  raw and see who was still around.

What I found in some friendships I all ready had  was that  people were only interested in me  when I had something to offer them or when it  was convenient for them . I found gossiping and guessing as to what they didn’t know about me instead of taking a genuine interest and finding out and accepting.  There were a few  tried and true friends in there though. Some from childhood that had always expected and accepted my unusual outlook on life  in general and loved me for it. I grew  closer to those  people even though  distance  kept us apart. Even now,  we don’t speak as often as I would like  just due to life  keeping us apart, but we take the time to touch  base even just for an I miss you or a quick update.  I thought if I shared  my deepest secrets with them they would run and  some did, but those that stayed gave  me the strength to allow new people  into my “real”  life  and  be more that surface friends. Those people, along with my husband,  are my  friends for life and my foundation.

I took the next step then, which I hadn’t really done much  in  the 10 previous  years that I lived in Georgia and I sought out people  that I could relate to .  In the past I had just been friends with my husband’s  coworkers and  their spouses or  people  I had worked with, and some of those people turned into great friends, but slowly as jobs change and you move around  things drift apart and most of them have become  people I know on facebook , but not so much in my real life.  This time I actively looked for people that I had things in common with, people that believed in  many of the same things as me or people with different interesting ideas that were open minded to other  things as well.  Those things were important to me because  I certainly am not one to live within the  stereotypes of what  my life , my marriage, and my parenting should be.

I thought I would be  alone.  It seemed the walls  were closing in around me  and  my horizons , instead  of  broadening  were being narrowed  and I was losing myself in my everyday  life.  What I found  then, changed me .  I found a family- a crazy dysfunctional family, but  I wouldn’t have them any other way.  I found my tribe of weirdos as the meme I posted  several weeks ago said .  Some of these people , I felt instantly  at home  with  years ago when we meant  and I wasn’t at home with myself to be  completely me with them until recently.  They stood by me through things others ran from. They comforted me  at my worst accepted me when I was unable to accept myself and that allowed me to  open up and they are a huge part of my world now.  Others  of these  people  , I connected  with and was able to express myself  and went from strangers to friends overnight . Others still,  rubbed me the wrong way at times and still do, but they accept me  as I am  and I accept them and at the end of the day the pettiness of our  disagreements don’t matter to me. The fact that we can  taunt each other  and  complain  and  blow off steam and then come together  moments later  as a united front  when the universe throws  sadness or hard times at us reaffirms what I said  earlier. These people are not simply  friends, they are a family because that is what family does, they fight to the death  over things that don’t matter and then realize it later  and   kiss and  make up . The stand together in happy time and  join in laughter and stand even closer and taller   when life gets hard and you know you can count on that.  Just like family,  we all live in separate places,  but together  each of us  feels at home.

It has been a very long time since I felt that way. I’ve  never been one to trust people  easily. I don’t share my secrets with many and I allow even fewer to get close to my husband and children, so when I do, it means something  to me .  There are blood relatives that I don’t consider family and I don’t use  the term lightly.  Family , to me ,  means   more than two people  raising  children and  the people that they are genetically bonded to . Family   is belonging  and acceptance  and loving on so many different levels .This part of my family  has their own special place and I have completely different relationships with each of them  and I love that.

The difference this has  made in my life  is exciting. I don’t feel the need to conform to be liked.  I don’t sit in the corner afraid to be seen  or what people will think of me if they  do see me .  I love myself  and it has allowed others to love me . Being yourself might get you  ridiculed  by some, it might get you disowned by a few , but one thing it will always  do is help you find  where you belong. The people  you can  be yourself  with  are your home.

Six Things I Learned About Life, Love, and Myself

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This year has been a year  of self discovery and self improvement. I’ve learned so much about  myself, about  people, and  about  love.  What good is learning if we don’t pass this onto others…

1) Not being your true self pleases  strangers and people that don’t care about you, but pushes away those who fell in love with you for who you really are.    People I thought were my friends were more interested  in   molding me into  who they wanted me to be  or ridiculing me for who I am.I lost a lot of them this year.  I really thought that  everyone wanted me to be someone else and  almost fell into that trap. I started questioning myself, asking for others opinions  before I would make the smallest of choices, and faking it.  One day I was called out on this  as I watched the adoration  drain from my husbands face  as I asked  him for the umpteenth time what I should wear,  how I should  cut my hair, what color it should be… blah blah blah…  He told me missed that  confident girl that didn’t give  a crap what people thought and took chances. I missed her too.  I cut off all of my hair  dyed it bright red like it used to be .  I stopped hiding under  my “fat” clothes. I started taking care of myself. I started talking to the friends that wanted nothing more from me  but my  quirky personality,  sassy  sense of humor, and zest for crazy  things in life.  I found that the people  who didn’t accept me as I was ,  stuck around in the sidelines to see what I was up to, but backed off drastically.  I get it. I am an acquired taste-  interesting enough to keep tabs on  but clearly too controversial  to be involved with. Ya know, what? I like that about me. So does Daniel. So do my real friends. So do my kids. That is all that really matters-  being yourself  and finding those that  love you FOR that, not in spite  of it.

2)  Love isn’t something  you can demand, owe someone,   or win through an ultimatum and you don’t own people.

Most of us  think in the mindset- this is my spouse  there for he belongs to me.  No one really belongs to anyone.  They give themselves to us  simply because they give us their love. That , if you are lucky, is a permanent gift. However, if you take that for granted, that gift can always be revoked.  You can’t  force someone to love you- and why would you want to? That is not real.  You can hold on as tight as you want,  place  hundreds  of rules on what someone can and can’t do, but in the end they will do what they  want to do. Love your spouse in a way that all they want is to make you happy, but don’t demand that they live their life in a way that  doesn’t make them happy in order to  do so. Love can not  be  caged and still be true. Love   is giving someone the freedom to be, to explore, to LIVE  and still always want to come back to you or have you by their side as they  journey. Love is finding  the  person compliments you, not completes you. You are complete on your own, your significant other simply enhances your life  by being in it.   Depend on them for everything and / or  hold on too tight  and you will crush that love.

3) Jealousy is a feeling , not an action. Jealousy is  not because of someone else, it is internal.

People have a few different views on jealousy. Some say  being jealous means you love someone. Some like it if  their spouses  fly into a jealous rage because they  think it means they care or are so passionate that they can’t contain their love. Some still say jealousy is a bad thing. It means you lack trust.   I, admittedly, used to be EXTREMELY jealous. I still can be. What I learned about jealousy this year  is  this: Jealousy  is neither good or bad, our response to it is.  Jealousy is  perfectly normal. It means we have an insecurity inside of us. It can be anything from our self esteem, our fear of losing  someone  we care for,  or our inner yearning for the life that we don’t have but so desperately want.  We often feel bad  for feeling jealous or  get enraged by it and blame someone  for making us feel that way.  Neither are healthy.  First and foremost, no one  can MAKE you feel anything.  If your spouse is flirting it up  with  some attractive person in a bar you feel insecure. You are angry. You are scared. They don’t make you feel that way, you just do.  It may be  harmless.  It may be more .  That is the fear.  Do you need to be afraid, insecure, or angry… well, that depends on your situation. The jealousy isn’t the issue though, the problems in your relationship with  your significant other and  with your self  are what needs to be dealt with.  If you are in a solid  relationship,  and know your  fears are irrational,  allow yourself to feel this jealousy  because it is a genuine emotion. Just don’t let it make you crazy. Feel it, let it pass, and move on. If you can not move on, then you know their is  a bigger  problem that needs to be addressed. Don’t let something as silly as jealousy rule you or worse yet make you be seen as a looney on the 5 o’clock news. Don’t encourage others to believe that rage and anger= love when it come to jealousy. It is NOT cute. If jealousy stirs  in you to be more affectionate to your spouse, that may be  cute because  you realize maybe you have been taking them for granted. Clawing  a woman’s eyes out in a bar, not so  cute. It may be your first reaction, but stop and  consider a few things. 1. Your spouse is  grown, responsible, and in love with you. He/she  can handle the  situation if given the chance and know better than to do something that will hurt or disrespect your relationship. 2. If they don’t – you don’t need to question their intentions, you need to question  why you are in that relationship. 3. You KNOW  your partner and they know you. Daniel and I  are both  flirty people .  We do it all the time  and don’t even realize it. Sometimes I used to get jealous about this and then I stopped  for a second and realized  something. Does any of MY  flirting mean that I love  him any less?  Does any of my flirting mean I would ever cheat on him?  Does any of my  flirting mean that I don’t respect him? Does he get jealous when I flirt ? The answer to all of these is no.  He doesn’t get jealous or atleast act on  his jealousy if he does, because he knows that I am  completely devoted to him with all of my heart and soul. We also know that we are obviously not trying to deceive each other if we  are together when this happens which leads to  …

4) Being open and honest is the  only way  to thrive as a couple.

Lies, no matter how  small , come between  people. Enough of them will tear you apart entirely.  One thing I  notice  between couples  is that they feel the need  to pretend that they have magical blinders on and/or that  everyone else in the world  has suddenly become  unattractive. Why?  I used to be very guilty of this.  I thought it was cute  when I would  catch Daniel checking out some passerby’s   butt and he would try not to let me  catch him.  I kept telling him, it is ok to be attracted  to  someone else . Looking  isn’t a bad thing. He’d deny it   for the most part and I would laugh.  Then in return I would NEVER  tell Daniel  if someone was attractive to me . I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings. Why would this  hurt his feelings? It’s not like finding  Channing Tatum and  his  fabulous  backside  attractive  made me want or love  him any less. It was  maybe, two years ago that I got comfortable with this  and do you know what?  When I got comfortable being open  about such things so did he. We laughed over  stupid celebrity crushes. We never worried that one of us was doing something that made the other feel bad.We allowed  each other to be human. What happened next was crazy. We felt  like we could  open  up about other things- everything-   our dreams, our secrets, our pasts, our fantasies, all the  things  that no one  knew , or would understand. Our intimacy deepened once  we both knew  nothing we could share would change our  feelings. We knew  there was one place that we would not be judged , with each other.

5) Double  standards  are  everywhere,  most people  only see them when the are on the victimized side, but they apply everywhere.

I sit back now, as opposed to immediately jumping on a lot of debates as I have in the past because most people  resort to nothing more than, “It’s not fair, my side is being oppressed” .There  are very few instances  in which anyone is not offended, which is what most people  mean when they say  oppressed, because truly most of us do not know how it feels to be oppressed.                                                                                                                                     

Being offended ,  is like breathing to me . There is always going to be  something said or written that offends someone.  I could probably be offended  easily 30 times a day   just by going on facebook and so could  just about anyone  if  they let it bother them. I hear “this is America, we have freedom of speech” everyday. This is true.  We have freedom of speech,  that is how I am writing this and how I am probably  offending 300 people that think my  views   in this piece  alone are ridiculous and flirting after marriage should be outlawed.I will probably offend 300 more  in what is too come.  The thing is  freedom of speech is still there… we are doing it. There are also consequences  for speaking your truth. For me it has been the loss of friendships, pissing off people daily, and hearing the rumor mill spout of suggestions of things they know nothing about.  That being said, say what you  want and deal with the outcome.

Next, I hear about how  one group is better than another  and how  everyone hates each other.  Get a clue… no one  is better than anyone  else based on a group they are in,how much money they make,  what race they are, their religion, or sexual orientation. Your behavior in that group dictates  how people  see you in my eyes. Here is where I use MY freedom  of speech   to  probably irritate the  hell out of most people reading this.  I’ll go in the order I listed them..making more money than  someone   makes you  monetarily  wealthy,  not rich.  What you do with that wealth  and  how you treat those around you  make you rich , loving and being loved  makes you  the richest  person  around. Homeless people and people  on welfare are not worthless people, they are struggling people. I see everyday  these people  being clumped into a group  of beggars and  drug addicts looking for hand outs. In some cases that may be true, but in most cases, these  are people in need. It is ironic to me that the ones  judging them are often the ones begging others  not to  judge them. Instead of giving these people grief or shaming them by  associating them with others  who ARE   money grubbers-  offer them  a job,  a fresh set of clothes  for an interview,  a helping hand,  a meal… anything that says something about the person YOU are  and  not the people  you assume them to be. Let them prove you wrong. Every race, religion,  and sexual orientation  has people   that are  bad and good, those that  do wrong and those that are so  kind and generous  they inspire others.  As for  race, why hate?  Seriously, are any of you going to tell me that you have NEVER met a person  of a different race that was an amazing person. Some one  different that  you that has  shown you kindness? Doesn’t that  mean in and of itself  that the problems aren’t due to race? It is  due to fear and closed minds, to stereo types believed and stereo types  succumbed to.  Religion is the one that usually  gets me  in trouble. I have the utmost respect for  people  and their  beliefs.  I don’t think  that there  is one road  to follow  to be a good person and I think that  most religions  have good and  bad points as well as good and bad  people.  I  feel like ALL religions are oppressed  because everyone feels  so strongly about their own.  Here is the thing, I know people  from  many different religions and was  raised in a place where you  were free to be whatever  religion you choose  and  no one was going to give you crap about it.  I like that.  I know live in a place  where  it is mostly one religion and  everyone looks at you like you are bad  or  like they need to save you if  you don’t belong to a church .  It is sweet, but at the same time,   to some one that  doesn’t want it or  believes  differently it  is  oppressive. There is that word again…it is thrown around a lot.  Christians  are oppressed  if they  aren’t led in prayer  in schools  or  government buildings. All other religions are oppressed because they never have been welcomed in these places.  This country was founded  on religious  freedom and  whether everyone feels  welcome or everyone  feels oppressed we all have the right to  have our religion. Just like  freedom  of speech , the freedom is there… it just doesn’t  mean that your  religion is going to be  embraced everywhere you go. For example, no one can  stop you from  closing your eyes and praying to whomever you so choose,  everyone else just isn’t required to do it with you in the same way.  NO one can take God away from you because  God  is a part of you. That being said,  if you don’t want to BE  oppressed , don’t oppress others.  Consider how you feel about not being able to have a group prayer in school each morning when  someone tells you that they are a different  religion  and  look down upon them and tell them they are wrong and try to convert them.  It is the same thing. I have never seen a  Unitarian Universalist, a pagan,  a wiccan,  a buddhist,  a naturalist… the list goes on  come to my town  and get to pray  openly  without judgment and they are all very peaceful religions as well but I have seen them criticized just as harshly as  Christians  are in other places in this country.  They don’t expect you to change your beliefs and  join them… so what are they hurting?  Most recently, I see  people  of the same faith attacking each other because they don’t  all believe the same  way.  Seriously?  Why must we  all believe the same? All people experience things differently, interpret things differently. Are we now  so narrow  that even  being the same religion  isn’t close enough , we now have to walk the exact same path   to the afterlife or whatever we believe.  All churches preach differently,  have different standards. Some are  stricter and some  are  very liberal, some are  down right crazy to me, but hey, to each their own.  If they were all allike, why not have one massive church  per town and everyone in that  religion go to it? Because,  individuality is  still important. We all want our choices  and  should  be free to make them  without harassment  or being told they are wrong or having to  prove the worth of their beliefs.  Onward though, as I could  go on about this forever, and  no one would ever  agree to live and let live and  always  have the feeling they are being condemned or  that everyone else is  wrong and  don’t deserve  a point of view.  Sexual orientation,  another thing that doesn’t hurt anyone , but everyone  gets insane about. I have never had to explain to anyone why I love my husband or why I felt I deserved to marry him  because we are consenting adults. Why should it be different for anyone else? Case closed.. or atleast  it should be. Marriage aside though,  what about  everyone else? Sex is  so pigeonholed as to what is  right and  wrong, good  and bad   that it  goes far beyond  gay and straight.  Consenting adults, ( I stress this so antagonistic people  aren’t comparing  this to rape child molestation, bestiality, or any other actual  illegal, depraved  acts.)  should be able to be  free to  have  whatever type of sexual relationships they desire.What kind of world do we live in  where  it is more accepting for people  to cheat and lie and sneak around  and people  don’t blink an eye, but if  a couple has a threesome  or is  polyamorous  or even if they  get off on the  occasional act of bondage they are treated like freaks?  What about the swingers ,  the bisexuals , the asexual how are they doing anything worse than  a wife  lying and going to a seedy motel with a strange man is ?    Why can she keep her  job and her kids  after doing that, but   the other groups  , in some states,  may lose everything for it?  Does  the way  you have sex  change the person that you are?  I think people  would  be  amazed to find  out how “deviant”  there neighbors, friends,  family, and church  members  can be  and still what wonderful people they are. I know people  in everyone of these lifestyles  and  many more that I haven’t mention and   they are the same people they always  were  before I knew.  You know  who HAVE changed… the people lying to each other. The people  cheating behind the others backs.  The people asking their friends and family to  cover for them. The people  who are actually hurting others.. the people that  we  shake hands with every day  and say it’s ok.  Why can we do that so easily and  be so harsh  on  others?  Double standards.  Everywhere. Fear of what we don’t know  or understand.  Our beliefs transferred on to others. I  have fallen into this trap  time and again myself,  and don’t hold others to a higher standard… I try to  be kind  and accepting, to  keep my mind open and  let everyone live their lives happily. Even those who don’t agree with  everything I have  written, because you see , there is a difference  between  liking how people  live or their views  and simply allowing them to live their lives  peacefully. That  is my goal and I don’t always  meet it.  because….

6)  I am a work in progress. I always will be. We all are and  I make mistakes. I hurt people. I close my mind  when I feel attacked. I slip,  I  fall, hell, sometimes I crash and burn and get up and  start all over.  However, I always keep trying to improve myself and be a better person than I was  yesterday . That is all I can do. 

Happy Holidays and Other Annoying Acts of Kindness

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     The true meaning  of  the holiday season as a whole (this encompasses all holidays  from November  to January in which people are jolly and jubilant) is kindness and appreciation in my eyes. I am sure, everyone   has other meanings as we all do , but first and foremost- love, appreciate and kindness. I don’t think anyone will dispute that. ( I could be wrong though)
There are so many reasons people are appreciative during the holidays. For some its family, religion, and traditions. For others it is nature, romance, and fun with the kids. Lastly, for some it is about the presents.
The common theme that I see is appreciation. The kids appreciate Santa and the toys and all of the desserts and family time. The workaholics enjoy a few days off to focus on family. The Christians appreciate the significance of this day in their religion. The pagans appreciate mature and the Yule holidays upon them to celebrate in their way. Newlyweds and new parents appreciate all the firsts of the season. Some appreciate the chance to start a new year full of promise. Elderly and their families appreciate one more chance to make memories because it could be their last. Parents appreciate seeing their traditions passed on from their kids to their grandchildren. People appreciate that in the busy world we live in, these are the times of year where we gather as a family. We appreciate those red and green and blue envelopes sitting in our mailboxes when we open them because it means we were thought of. We appreciate the feast on our tables that our families prepared for us. For some of us it is the only chance we get to gather around a table together. We all appreciate our own beliefs and traditions, our own holidays.
I’ll admit that rant ran a little long, but it is only to illustrate my point further by pointing out the beauty and magic of the holidays and the true spirit of things. The beauty comes from different reasons for different individuals. That being said, it makes me sad every year to see the heated arguments and mean spirited bickering about something as simple as words. Happy Holidays. Merry X-mas! Keep Christ in Christmas ( of course I fully support Christians keeping Christ in Christmas) Its the following part of the comments on the post that I find nauseating. I have read year after year publicly shaming people for saying happy holidays, Merry X-mas, and not celebrating Christmas in a good Christian fashion to the point where the comments below that post ( or handmade statuses ) are if you say these things delete me, unfriend me, never speak to me again, don’t put it on facebook , don’t send me a card… the list goes on. Really? Does this seem completely UN-Christ or Christmas like , unspiritual, Un-friendly, or Ungrateful to anyone else?
I am a woman who stands behind the statement that actions speak louder than words. The action of unfriending and blocking someone for word choice or just wishing you well is appalling. The action of saying happy holiday seems kind. It encompasses saying happy thanksgiving , merry Christmas if that is your belief, happy Hannakah, joyous kwanza, Blessed Yule, Happy new year, and any other holiday I omitted because everyone doesn’t know what holiday you celebrate but they want it to be a joyous one. It doesn’t seem offensive. Before you get offended by this stop to think, does this person know what holidays I celebrate? Do they think maybe they won’t see me throughout the entire holiday season and they are trying to include November through January’s holidays? Do I really think they are trying to disrespect my beliefs or mean me harm in anyway? OR… are they just extending a greeting, an act of kindness in a way differently than I would choose to? No harm intended.
As for X-mas, I understand that Christians feel like this disrespects Jesus. I don’t quite get what the x stands for myself, but it in no way offends me. I , myself, use ( a cross) +-mas on occasion and I will explain why. First , a cross makes more sense in reference to Christ(mas) and seems a little more appropriate. Mostly, I, and probably most others use it simply because we are trying to extend the thoughtfulness of a Christmas card to over a hundred people because it would hurt our hearts to make anyone feel left out by not receiving one. We are doing this , probably, with 4 screaming (possibly special needs) children hanging on us. We are doing that with a husband, family, job, home, parents, friends, church, social life, Christmas shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning as well as Christmas parties , plays, school events, stocking stuffing, and Doctor’s, therapists, illness, birthdays, tragedies, depression, grieving, and /or paying bills. Simply put some people have a lot more on their plate than others, but everyone has a full plate and despite that they are trying to extend an act of thoughtfulness and let you know you are thought of . Unless you have very malicious friends, I doubt they are attempting to disrespect you in any way, it is probably a time issue. If not, you may just need to reevaluate your friendships if you think they would do that. I have had a friend tell me that if I didn’t have the time to spell out Christmas in my busy life then we needn’t be friends and I am a bad person. Who sounds like the one with the holiday spirit in that scenario, the one writing out Christmas cards to the people important to them or the person complaining that their efforts aren’t good enough? In this situation, I must ask ,just as the little bracelets on her wrist say, WWJD? Would he demonize me for making a cross and turn his back on me or would he smile at my thoughtfulness? Your answer says a lot about your beliefs so think carefully. Again, the point is appreciation for the friendship and love put into taking the time to send you the hope for a merry Christmas. Isn’t that really what Jesus or whichever religious or spiritual leader or higher power you believe in would really care about. In the mean time, by all means, keep sending out pictures on facebook telling me that if I don’t like a pic of Jesus , I am going to hell or better yet that if I like a pic Jesus will do me a “fave” in 30 seconds. That doesn’t mock religion at all.(insert sarcasm) Sometime, people, in defending their beliefs (in all religions, not just Christianity that just happens to be the posts that people got most hostile over last year) go against the very thing that their beliefs are based on. God , religion, Jesus, and spirituality are about love not about spreading anger. It is seeing the best in things and living with joy in your heart.
My point is that no matter your spiritual or religious choices or lack thereof, fighting and pettiness over this is just sad. Be glad you are loved enough by so many to hear these words. Christmas is certainly not meant to come between friends or end friendships over a greeting meant to bring others joy. Actually, it IS a season of caring about others and spending your days and nights focusing on what is important in life, giving and not worrying about what you are receiving in return.
This holiday season ( and the rest of the year) focus on the kindnesses that are extended to you more instead of degrading the person for attempting to bring you joy . This relates to all aspects of life. It is the same as I posted about myself weeks ago. I focused so much on my husband not sending me the love letter I desired and thought of as the ideal romantic gesture, that I over looked all of the short I love you’s on napkin rings and the thousands of other gestures he shows me everyday. Never criticize kindness because it may stop being offered to you if you do. Appreciate it and return it in YOUR special way. Be an example. Actions speak louder than words chosen so remember to stop, calm down, and ….
HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY! ( no matter which ones you are choosing to celebrate)

******Before my southern friends get mad at me, I realize that nearly everyone down here celebrates Christmas (not so where I am from) and that it does not apply as much, but if I say happy holidays to you, it simply means happy thanksgiving, merry Christmas and I hope you have an amazing New year and in no way means that I am trying to disrespect your beliefs in any way ❤

A Chance Encounter

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I saw you today.  I always wondered what I would do when I saw you face to face.  It had tormented  me  all year.  I’d  play scenarios in my head of how I would  respond to the sight of you, your smile, your words.  I wondered if I would  be calm, feel sick, or cause a scene; if I could control my emotions  or if I would  lose my mind once and  for all.

I saw you today and our eyes locked.  You appeared so innocent , like  a kid shopping with their mother, but I know better.  I don’t know if you recognized me at first  but when our eyes locked and mine  turned to fire, I know you remembered  what you did.  My eyes  screamed at you for  trying to ruin my life,  for being the one that nearly broke me.  My mind raced  with all the things I wanted to say to you, but before words came out you blinked , smirked and hurried away from me.  Part of me wanted to chase you or trip you or pummel you until the rage left me .The other part wanted to just let you go because you aren’t worth it.  The fact was you didn’t break me. I surely bent to the point where I thought I would break, but  I never broke, I grew stronger and  I am a better person for all you put me through.

I saw you today  and I kept my cool. I refused to let you  know how badly you hurt me and how  scared I am inside sometimes because of you.  I wanted you to see a strong woman that can conquer anything, that can forgive , and that doesn’t have to resort to your tactics. 

I saw you today and  instead  of beating you to a pulp, instead of blaming you for everything  that hurts me inside, I almost wanted to  smile and thank you for helping me see just how strong I am showing me what is really important to me . I want to thank you for opening my eyes to all the evils  out there  looking to  steal my  joy. Because of you,  I am aware of  everything I have to lose  and everything  I love about myself , but  had forgotten.  Thank you for  showing me what heartache is  and for showing me that  in the end true love  does conquer all. 

I saw you today and  I survived.  I didn’t crumble and  die like I thought I would. I didn’t fall to pieces. I saw you today and  I left feeling whole  again.