Sunday, December 30, 2012

Perfection in marriage is possible, but not what most people think.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, or I regularly text you, then you know that I got engaged recently. I had lots of great comments/ congrats on my upcoming wedding. I did, however, receive one that was a bit odd. My ex-husband said to me "Btw, congratulations. I hope this one works better for you. I hope you have the perfect marriage you've always wanted" I thought about his statement quite a bit, and wondered how I should take it. I simply told him thanks when he said it, but it still made me wonder if he was being sincere. In thinking about it, I thought about what made our marriage bad, and how I have changed.

He is stubborn, as am I, but that in and of itself doesn't make for an imperfect/ bad relationship. Everett is equally as stubborn, if not more at times. Our relationship is the perfect relationship for me because even though we don't always agree and sometimes even argue (the horror), we never say things out of anger to hurt the other. We realize that we are not always going to agree or even say things that we should, but we have never argued without trying to solve the issue. We may argue a while but then we will discuss how we can compromise, or what needs to be done to prevent that particular fight again. We love each other.

Does that mean he no longer does anything to get under my skin or drive me crazy? No, it doesn't, it just means that we deal with it. I do things that annoy him, and make him angry, and we deal with it. That is the difference in a perfect relationship and a visually perfect relationship. If a couple never disagree or fight, then someone's needs are not being met somewhere. Everyone is different, and some days some things bother people that don't bother them other days. Sweeping it under the rug doesn't change anything, it just buries problems.

It isn't easy to deal with things as they come, but we make an effort to change things and deal with them as they need to be dealt with. We also try not to advertise when we have an issue. I am as guilty of that with Chris as any issue we had. He hated that, and I have tried to learn from it. Chris had lots of faults that I couldn't live with, but I think this is one that made him crazy. In my soul searching after our marriage fell apart, I realized that about this, at least, he was right. As an ex-wife, I would like to blame him for all the troubles in our marriage, but we both had faults. The difference in that marriage and the one I will be entering into very soon, is that this time, I am older, I know better, and our love is stronger than Chris and I ever had.

I know that I have to continue to be willing to work on issues as time goes on. I know that people sometimes begin to take advantage of the fact their partner is around. I have learned that life is too short for that. I also have to speak up when I feel taken advantage of in my new life. I don't really foresee that happening, but it does happen when people are together for a while. I also have to keep my temper in check. Having a bad day doesn't mean that Everett is to blame, and I need to learn to communicate what I need when I have one of those days. I am really bad about that. I just get cranky instead of saying "I need a hug, or a break" or whatever it may be.

I also know that Everett is my soul mate (uggg I really hate that phrase, but can't think of how else to say it). I know that he truly loves me and he is my true love. I know now that I never really loved Chris and he never loved me. I loved what he represented to me, and what I expected from him. He loved having someone there for him, and whatever else, but it wasn't really me. He and I never really knew each other. He tells everyone, convincingly I might add, that I am vindictive, but I really am not, I was incredibly mean to him, and whether or not he deserved it, he got to know a very bitter person. He still takes shots at me, and the only reason it hurts is that he doesn't really know me. He hates me. I learned from that too. I have shown Everett the real me. Who I am, who I want to be, and my hopes and dreams. The cool thing is, Everett doesn't get caught up in the superficial things, he loves me no matter what. Sometimes he looks at me like I have lost my mind, but he loves me anyway.

So, we can have a perfect marriage if we communicate. We will not always agree, but in perfect marriages you work on it, you love each other, and you know that the anger and fights will not last forever.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Believing something doesn't make it true. But as a Hippie Phoenix Fairy, I will rise above!

I have recently been accused of being vindictive. Cynical, maybe, vindictive, not at all. I had a discussion with someone who believes they know me in which they said that I was vindictive. They accused me of wanting my son to get close to my boyfriend and forget his father. As much as this person wants to believe that it true it is not.

I do want Reid and Everett to be close. I want Reid to have close relationships with lots of people, including his father. I disagree wholeheartedly with many things his father says and does, but I would never try to discourage their relationship. The main reason is that I don't want Reid to grow up to resent me for making the choices he should be making. I want him to make decisions based on his experiences, not mine.

Another reason I wouldn't do that is well, I just don't care enough about his father to make that sort of effort. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him dead, hurt or otherwise incapacitated, but in general do not care. I was, in this person's defense, once vindictive where Chris was concerned. I cared then, and wanted him to hurt as badly as I did. I am over that.

I have grown as a person. I have sincerely gotten in touch with my inner hippie, and love her! I have also gotten in touch with the wishful, child-like expectations of the world part of me, and she continues to get hurt, but I love her. I have also become the phoenix. I have risen from the ashes of my past, and am becoming a whole new person. God gave me a new life when I was saved, and my environment has taught me that like the Phoenix, I can rise above the crumpled, scared, angry person I used to be.

Before throwing accusations my way, please ensure that they are true. This person says he is a good "reader" of people, well, I want to laugh at him. So many of the people who he trusts, would throw him under the bus in a second. They see through him, and his delusions. I kind of feel sorry for the guy, but like my ex-husband, I just don't care enough about him for that.

The Hippie Phoenix Fairy flies away!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why I won't talk about the shooting

I know that the events of Friday were tragic, and ALL the people involved need our prayers. I do not want to minimize the tragedy in any way. I want to remind everyone at ATMS in 1992 of the events the day Tricia Mounce was killed. We were tragically changed from that day forward. Willis Gravely walked into the school and fatally stabbed a wonderful young girl. She was his ex-girlfriend and he was a few years older. We were traumatized. The last thing we wanted was our faces plastered on the local media channels. (I remember Cheryl flipping off the News2 camera man). We wanted to be left alone to heal with our school family and friends. We wanted our moms and dads to make it alright. We wanted to go to school and not live in fear that a crazed individual would show up and kill someone.

I don't remember all of the details leading up to the killing, but I seem to remember that the school knew he was a threat and the administration (Ms. Smitherman and Mr. Upchurch) moved Tricia into ISS or the office so she could be securely monitored. They thought he was no longer a threat and moved her back into her regular classroom. Unfortunately, they were wrong. He came into the school, walked into Ms. Pugh's class, and stabbed Tricia. He then left the school and called the police on himself.

From what I understand he died of cancer while in prison, and I do not mourn his death. I am not glad when anyone dies, but I am not mournful of his. I mourn the innocent lives lost Friday in Connecticut, just as I mourn the lives lost at Columbine, and the movie theater in Colorado, Virginia Tech and every other public or school shooting in my lifetime. I mourn the loss of innocent lives from drunk drivers, stupidity, and evil. I do, however, want to give the families and friends room to grieve without me compounding that grief by constantly putting the faces of the lost lives on my Facebook page, supporting the news stories and sensationalism, or by asking how they feel. I know how they feel. They are traumatized, they are heartbroken, and they are mourning the loss of friends and family members. I choose to leave them to grieve in peace and pray for their peace and comfort in Christ.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Becoming a happy hippie :)

I have undergone a good bit of life changes lately. In the last year and a half my dysfunctional marriage ended, I have lost jobs (dang economy) and I have forged new relationships, but I have also discovered someone who was always there, just hidden somewhere. Who did I discover? I discovered me. Or at least begun to explore the version of me that I wanted to be.

I have always been a think for yourself kind of person, but in my quest to bring the world peace, I sometimes sacrifice who I am to make others happy. I am learning that life is a balance and sometimes it is really OK to make yourself happy.

This began my realization that I am a hippie. Not a free love pot smoking hippie, but a peace love and happiness sort of hippie. I want to bring people peace, teach love and tolerance, and to see the people I love happy. I believe that we all have our place in this world and that everyone deserves love and happiness, and that no one has the right to take that from another person. But that is for another blog post altogether.

I have also learned to accept the things I cannot change and make the changes in my life that I can. I am having a horrible time with cars right now, but I cannot do anything about that today. I CAN continue to work hard, save money, manage money well, and purchase a car in the future. I guess this is God's way of answering my serenity prayer. I am gaining wisdom and peace not sweating the stuff I cannot change. I am changing the things I can, and letting the rest sort itself out.

I was recently in court with the ex-husband and at one point he said "I know how she is and once she starts she will never let up". My response was "you don't know me at all". I realized that this statement was more true than it had ever been before. I have changed drastically since we split up and certainly  since we were married. I am different. I am happy, learning not to be upset by things out of my control and controlling the things I can like my temper, my emotions and my reactions to bad situations. He knows the woman he met, maybe even the one he was married to, but he doesn't know me.

Even the pain has changed. I still have nightmares, but the waking hours are much better. The pain from my marriage and from it ending has finally stopped. He cannot hurt me and the past no longer hurts like it did. That in and of itself is a remarkable feeling. I hope he can say the same thing about me.

I am not who I will be, but I am not who I was. I am heading in the direction I want to go and though the road is difficult, I am learning every day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fighting this again

For those of you who do not know, I have an eating disorder. I have Binge eating disorder. While to many who don't fight this daily, it seems funny, let me tell you, it is far from funny. I have an addiction to chocolate. Not the cute chocolate addiction for those who love chocolate, I am a chocolate lover, but this is far worse. At the time of diagnosis I was eating 4 candy bars 2 chocolate cream filled doughnuts and a giant chocolate chip cookie every day, on top of regular meals, and sometimes Fudge Rounds. If there was a birthday party there was no substituting the cake/ ice cream, there was just adding it to my diet. I knew I had a problem when I threw a box of Fudge Rounds at Chris in K-Mart at 2 am because he said we had plenty of chocolate at home and I didn't need them. This is problem eating. I looked forward to only my daily Chocolate intake. It is a symptom of far worse depression, and I learned very quickly I had to get a handle on it. For almost 10 years now I have. I am currently losing my grip. I was very careful to monitor chocolate intake, and limit myself. I even went weeks at a time with little to no chocolate. That is changing very fast.

I recently changed therapists and my diagnosis has changed. I am now officially diagnosed as major depression with PTSD. Prior to the change I was officially diagnosed with non-specific depression, and my last therapist was considering the latest diagnosis before she left the outpatient facility I was attending. When she left I changed facilities, and got a new diagnosis, which I was not looking forward to having.

Many readers know the last year or so has been hell for me. I caught my ex-husband in yet another online fling which led to the separation and ultimately divorce. It was the best thing I could do considering all the hell I went through during our marriage with the online flings, feelings of inadequacies, etc. Maybe they were my fault maybe they were his, that is not to be decided here. Suffice it to say our marriage was rarely good due to things we both did wrong. I have learned from those wrongs I committed and brought those lessons into my current relationship. I also lost a job I dearly loved due to budget cuts, lost another due to qualification changes, and am losing the one I have due to lack of student attendance. These students never showed up once, so it really isn't my fault, but DANG can't a girl catch a break. I also lost my car and my home (luckily it was a rental) and now live with my parents and drive my dad's car. THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I WANTED.

Some things have gone well, such as I am deeply in love with my boyfriend, but if I don't stop telling him why I am such a piece of crap, I will probably eventually push him away. My son is thriving in his new school environment, and I am dealing with my issues. That brings me to what I am fighting.

I have noticed lately that I am finding every excuse under the sun to eat chocolate. I don't feel satisfied til I do and then I feel guilty once I do. That is the problem with binge eating disorder. There is a strong sense of shame once the eating commences again. Great!

I went to Overeaters Anonymous before, and may need to find a group again. The problem I am having with this is that I am finding every excuse as to why the meetings are not the right fit. Can't be away from the kid, may interfere with a job should I get one, less time with the boyfriend, late, Sunday, too far to drive, you know excuses. This is not a fight I feel I can fight again, but I also cannot afford to gain 60 pounds like before. I have recently lost 11 pounds and have about 50-60 to go, but I am not going to get there gorging myself on chocolate. I also don't want to go the opposite direction and wind up wit anorexia.

Right now I need prayer and guidance. I need strength to do what needs to be done and I need a break. On that note, I did notice that I did not crave chocolate this past weekend. I was relaxed and happy for a change. All that changed yesterday when I got back to reality and realized that I had lost my job AGAIN. This is going to be a tough battle and a long road. One never stops being addicted, one simply learns to deal with addiction and make better choices, the addiction can always come back and the battle begins again. It is an on-going war. Pray for me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Change your mind! Ok, I will.

I have been struggling with what it means to be me lately. I do not like most of what I see. So, in the words of the poster in the youth room growing up Baby Philosophy: If something stinks, change it. I don't know why I remember that poster so clearly, but I do. I don't like the direction my career is going, I mean I like my position currently, but it is only a few hours a week. I need more.

I don't like my physical appearance, so it is time to change that too. I don't have as much issue with what or how much I eat, it is the lack of activity. I am going to begin exercising more and getting out and being more active.

Failing at goals always seems to haunt me, so I am going to chunk the goals into manageable pieces. For instance, I want to lose 60 pounds. That WILL NOT happen overnight. I am going to break that down into the fact that by June 1st my goal is 20 pounds. I will reset the goal once June 1st hits to incorporate the next 20, or if it is too much to expect 20 by June 1st it may be that my next goal is only 15 pounds.

Another goal of mine is to deal with the scars a little better. Internal scars are the worst. Only you know they are there and trying to articulate what they are is almost impossible. People may know what has caused the emotional scars, but to truly understand the effects, I think is impossible. The scars are there for a reason and I want them to eventually be reminders of where I never want to be again, but I want the pain to be lessened.

I don't know where I am headed, but I can't continue to stay still. I don't like who I am, and I know that isn't good. So here is a list of my current goals followed by a soundtrack for the post!

1. Have a better relationship with God.
2. Weed out those who only bring me down.
3. Have a better self-image
4. Further my education.
5. Lose weight to better achieve #3.
6. Listen to those who love me and understand that no matter what I do some will not.
7. Be more active (even if it isn't weight loss related, just do more!)

And now for the playlist (it's short):

And a bonus video of a song I cannot get out of my head:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I suppose I can be hurt by inaccurate accusations

I attended the funeral for my son's great grandmother yesterday. I was trying to show support for my son, and well got slapped in the face for it. I was accused of saying something that I did not say, and the things I did say got twisted. See people "overheard" a conversation and assumed it was directed at my ex-husband. Well, what I said about "Big ole" tears was not related to HIM at all. It was related to a mutual friend of the person I was speaking to. I have said many times that the reason Chris is being so difficult is because he IS hurting and sad. I have also said grief doesn't give someone the license to be mean to another person, but NEVER that the hurt was fake. I will admit on several occasions I have said he is superficial, which he is, but he hurts too, and that is almost NEVER superficial with him.

Other things were said that I apparently said, and well, they were condensed and put into someone elses words and what I actually said got twisted. I would never disrespect a person's grief or time of grief in that way. I answered some questions about why he was mad and clarified some of the things he has said to me, but NEVER once said he didn't take care of Reid. What I did say was I was doing my best to take care of him and that he had issue with certain things that were out of my control. I cited examples of what I had done, but never said he did anything. When asked about the child support thing, I did answer that he thought he didn't have to pay because of 50/50 time, but I keep getting Reid when it isn't his time, then when I have plans I get accused of not wanting my child with me. I have cited that Reid can be with me anytime, because there is NOTHING I do that he cannot be present. I don't need time to go to the movies/ out partying/ etc. without my son.

Nonetheless, I should have acted dumb, and said "I have no idea why he is mad" and I should have answered the question about the other friend differently. If I had known my words would get so twisted, I would have.

What hurts the most is that some people have NOTHING better to do than to cause drama at a funeral. People need to get a life. If they heard part of the conversation and thought I said those things, why not confront ME? Why wait and take it to someone who is hurting? I guess some people don't think they need to do the right thing, they feel the need for the DRAMATIC.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Confessions: I can't be hurt by accusations

Let me preface this by saying if you are going to use any of the information here to hurt me or run your mouth to someone who may not know, STOP READING now. But this is a public blog, you say? Yes, it is, but there are people in my life who will not have access to it, and I would like to protect them and keep it as information they do not know. (Grandmothers for instance, who are too old to deal with it, so keep it to yourself).

After my post yesterday, Chris threatened to expose me for the mistakes I have made. If any of you are perfect STOP READING NOW. I have never met anyone who has never made a mistake, so if it changes how you feel about me, well, you were never a true friend to begin with. I will go accusation by accusation and explain what I can.

Accusation 1. I am a total bitch/ psychopath. Yeah, maybe a bitch, but psychopath, NO! I do have issues with anger management, but I am dealing with them. If I were a psychopath, I would have become a serial killer by now. I would have killed those who enraged me. I have no literal skeletons anywhere. I could not take the life of another. I do see a therapist, but my diagnosis is PTSD and chronic depressive state with anxiety disorder.

Accusation 2. I am mentally unstable. Well, that is a half-truth. Chris' assumption is that I am bipolar, but my therapist says that I'm not. Who do you think is more qualified to make that diagnosis? See diagnosis above, bipolar disorder has never been discussed. I was afraid of that being the diagnosis years ago, but the psychologist I was seeing assured me that this was not the case. The PTSD is a direct result of being in an emotionally/ psychologically/ sexually abusive relationship with Chris. The sexual abuse was NOT aggressive rape, but sexual manipulation, which lends to the psychological abuse, and the emotional abuse was a part of that too. I had the power to get out a long time ago, and didn't. That is my fault. The chronic depressive state/ anxiety disorder is also linked to the PTSD. I am working on this in therapy and currently on medication. So, sure, I am mentally ill, but I recognize it and am getting treatment.

Accusation 3. I was dating my boyfriend before I separated from Chris. Well, you see that is impossible. I did not meet him until 10 days AFTER Chris finally moved out. FYI he was asked to leave 13 days before he finally left, he just wouldn't go. You are welcome to check phone/ computer records. I really don't mind. You will see the first contact by phone/ computer was not until 16 days after Chris moved out. So, I don't see how I was dating someone I had never spoken to before then. I met him one Friday, no numbers were exchanged, he asked me to return the following Friday, I did, we exchanged numbers that night, and my life drastically improved after that.

Accusation 4. I have had nasty fights with my family. Yep, were they all someone's fault other than mine? NOPE. Were they all my fault? NOPE. Are we family and worked things out? YEP. Is it anyone's business but my family? NOPE. Is it the reason Reid is in therapy? Partially. He has always exhibited high anxiety, which increased after the separation and again after family fights. Would he be in therapy without the fights? YEP.

Accusation 5. I am a criminal. HMMMMM another half truth. This is the one I am least proud of. I have had a couple of arrests. Did they ALL result in conviction, NOPE. Do they hinder my job search, YEP. Were they all in direct response to something CHRIS said or did? YEP. Were they my fault. Well, to some extent. I made the decisions to say or do things that resulted in arrests, but with the PTSD/ Anxiety/ Anger management troubles, I was under a great deal of stress, and reacted in ways I normally wouldn't. So, I am not perfect. I have never spent more than one night in jail and no charges could have ever resulted in ACTUAL jail time. They were all the lowest class of misdemeanors and it isn't even possible to serve jail time with no more arrests then I have.

Accusation 6. I have spent time in a mental institution. NOPE. I went to Charter Pines after the first time Chris cheated on me to find someone to talk to. I had no insurance, and wasn't sure what to do. They wanted me to stay OVERNIGHT for observation because I was so distraught. They released me without an overnight stay when I agreed NOT to go home to CHRIS. They suggested I see a therapist in my area and gave me a list of places to call with sliding fee scales. They also suggested a REEVALUATION of my MARRIAGE. HMMMMM, sounds like even then I should have left him. Oh well.

So now you know all my dirty little secrets. Does it change who I am inside? NOPE. Does it shape what my goals are? YEP. Comments are welcome, but remember I have exposed my innermost secrets, be gentle.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Am I wrong? A single mother's questions.

I was going to save this for when he isn't grieving, but I am so angry right now, that I must get some things off my chest.

First, what gives a parent a right to seek child support? My ex husband thinks I am not entitled to child support because we share custody. Well, sort of share. I have Reid Monday night through Thursday night except when Chris has something better to do. Since February 2 Chris has not gotten his son for one reason or another on 4 separate occasions. Twice it was for drill, except for the fact one of those drills he did not attend. I should say that the weekend he didn't attend drill as scheduled, he got his son and immediately took him to a friend's house where he spent the whole weekend, and Chris was at home. I also got medicaid on him so he would have health coverage. I don't have a full time job and am doing the best I can with him. He buys shoes twice a year. Otherwise it falls on me to do most everything. Chris has gotten him to school late repeatedly (every Monday in January). But insists Reid is getting his education. When I call him on the tardiness, he argues that he is so far away. He is the one who set this schedule.

Second, he is now bragging that he made president's list at school. Well wtf else does he have to do? He doesn't have Reid on school nights, doesn't have a job and lives at mommy's house. I realize I too live with mom, but I at least have a desire to move. I can't right now. Most of that is because he never helps with stuff for Reid. I made dean's list while he was deployed. I worked full time, went to school and took care of our son full time. He was cheating on me and getting hurt playing soccer. Does he want a cookie for not having a job, kid, or other things to worry about and being able to study?

When he moved out he was still coming over 2 nights a week to watch Reid while I worked, using my power, water, internet, and watching my television. I was still paying his phone bill because it was attached to mine. He was paying the directv because it was automatic draft. BTW that was 118 a month when he moved his phone lines off my bill it dropped 125 a month, so the way I see it he was getting $7 a month plus eating my food, etc. I kept Reid every night until May when I first asked for child support. Then he suddenly had an interest in keeping him more than just the nights Tyler was there.

In a year's time he paid me a whopping $200 for things for Reid. Since this go 'round with child support he has begun paying me half of the expenses I have had for Reid such as clothing, scouts, baseball, glasses, etc. Great parenting.

Reid is 9 and has been up all night (til 730 am), til 1am on school nights, not fed by 3pm, slept til almost 430 once, all since being with his dad. Break out parent of the year award!

Am I wrong to ask for a little help? I have Reid at school on time, take him to doctor's appointments, baseball practice, scouts, and a host of other parental activities. He might show up at baseball if it doesn't interfere with his schedule. No, I don't need a pat on the back, I just want to say I am a parent I act as such. I get called out for not coming to Reid's practices when they are on Chris' "time". Who would want to be within 100 yards of him if it isn't necessary.

He is grieving right now because of the loss of his grandmother, but does this give him the right to behave this way? I really don't think so. He is now coming down on me for wanting to support my son and come to the funeral. My son needs support, I am the parent he typically relies on for support. He knows his dad is more of a friend than a parent. The funny thing is when Chris blows him off to drink, go to the movies, or pretend he has drill, Reid doesn't care as long as it isn't a Tyler weekend.

When I make plans for the weekend and Chris changes and wants Reid to stay I get accused of not wanting him with me if I have plans. I am usually able to add Reid to plans, but Chris thinks I am saying I don't want Reid there. Nope, I am just saying I cannot go on Chris' schedule.

Am I wrong for the way I feel? Am I wrong for not stopping Child Support Enforcement from seeking child support for me? Are these the actions of a good father? Constructive responses welcome. No name calling (me or him) please.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I got very sad news this morning. My son's great-grandmother, Nell Swanson, took her final breath this morning. My son loves so many people unconditionally, and with all his heart, that not only did my heart break because, well, it is sad to lose someone you care about, but it is even harder to see your child in pain.

Who was "Maw-Maw Freck"? She was a Christian woman who loved her family and God and had very hard times in her life, but made the best of them. She was a mother of 6 and while some of the youngest of those six were still living at home she became a widow. I have heard her mention her sense of loss even after all these years when she speaks of Marshall, but I never remembering hearing her complain about becoming a young widow.

I know her parents died young, she never had a drivers license, and she worked in the local mill. She had a small two bedroom house, and how the heck she made it work with six kids, or produced six kids, I will never know.

She smiled and laughed and joked about being grumpy, and I suppose on many occasions she was. She loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beyond. Was she perfect? Not anymore than you and me. But she was who she was. She was loved, adored, respected, and probably at times, disliked (moms are like that).

I think she would be very satisfied with passing on Easter. She loved God and going to church. Heck, she loved going anywhere. I used to laugh that for her not to have a car or license she sure was gone a lot. People would stop by just to see if she wanted to go somewhere with them, they were happy to take her shopping, or to appointments, or wherever she needed to go.

RIP Maw-Maw Freck. I will remember you fondly for the rest of my life.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Summers with Martin: A tribute to Martin Dickerson

My heart is saddened by the news of the death of an old friend. I do not have confirmation, but, it seems he may have taken his own life, or done something that caused his own death. Hearing the news brought back many memories of Martin, all of them surrounded by summer and my swimming pool. My sister was dating Ron, Martin's friend. They would come over and swim, eat our food, and just hang out.

I was not always excited that Ron was coming over, but Martin made it a little more bearable. I never had a crush on him, but it meant someone closer to my own age, and Martin made me feel like I was part of the group. I remember listening to Beatles songs and Martin doing the CHUH CHUH in Hello, Goodbye or singing I am the Walrus. I don't know why those memories are there, but they are.

I also remember Ron and Martin waking my dad when they were jumping off the top deck into the pool, and if you knew me when I had a pool, you know it was only 4 feet deep. I remember enjoying summers with someone to talk to and hang out with. I also remember having "boyfriends" that were jealous that I would spend days swimming with "other guys". Sometimes Jon and David Peele would come, as would Marcus. Primarily, it was Ron and Martin. I cannot think of one without remembering the other, and summers wouldn't have been the same without them.

I also remember Martin being happy and smiling ALL the time. It makes me sad to think that one of two things is true: Either that smile was fake and hiding a great deal of pain, or something happened to take that smile away. As I said before, there was never a crush, he just wasn't my type, but I remember he had a great smile. I think more than anything I am saddened that I will never again see that smile, or hear that laugh. We haven't been in touch in years, and I am saddened by that as well.

Losing touch with Martin brings me to a request, please find the people that give you your smile. Tell them they are meaningful parts of your life. Tell people you love them, even if it is only a friendship. Don't lose anyone else without them knowing they are important in your life or in your history. RIP Martin. I will always remember you fondly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WARNING: This one is a bit opinionated

I have sat back and watched enough stupidity. I want to vent a minute, I apologize if I offend anyone, but opinions are sometimes offensive. I don't really want to start a debate, I just want to put my view out there.

First, it is incredibly sad and tragic that a singer the magnitude of Whitney Houston died recently. That being said, is anyone incredibly shocked? She had struggled with addiction for years, and it appears that the addiction got the best of her both in life and in death. I don't know nor do I care what the details of her death are, I just know that she lead a very difficult life living with addiction, and this must have contributed to her body's final battle. I do not believe that we should be callous to those who battle addiction, I am just not shocked when it overtakes someone. I think it is time to truly lay her to rest and remember the contributions she made to the music industry. It is difficult to grieve with someone constantly bringing up a loss and I imagine her family feels this as well. Let them grieve and come to terms with her passing without making it a public forum.

Second, I have noticed much debate about abortion and birth control. I will not touch on birth control as it is a personal choice, and for some a religious choice. I would like to say that in the arena of abortion I do believe it is a sin and it is murder. I also believe that this is a PERSONAL belief and is likely fueled by my own struggle with infertility. I do understand that sometimes there is a medical necessity, and this is not the area of which I am referring. I mean those who use it as birth control. I don't think I am qualified to make decisions for other people and believe that whatever their sins they will pay for them, not me. People have to make the decision they believe is best for them and their families, and I am not one to tell them they can't. I don't think making it illegal will stop it. Look at drug use, murder and any other crime. Making something a crime does not prevent it per se.

Third, homosexual marriage. Who cares who marries who? I don't really know if homosexuality is a sin or not, but again, if it is, it is not one I will answer for. I believe the marriage debate is a religious one and therefore, does not belong in a political arena. The marriage debate is very religiously charged, and if we make this illegal, I feel it is the government dictating religious belief. While marriage has traditionally been male/ female, haven't the heterosexuals screwed it up enough? Can the homosexual population really do that much to screw up marriage in ways heterosexual couples haven't already done? Heterosexuals cheat, abuse, lie, walk away, and in general don't take the vows seriously. I don't mean the general population, I just mean the general break up of marriages. I myself am guilty of some of these in my own failed marriage. What are we afraid of? They will do it better than we did? That is ludicrous. They are human too, there will be marriages that last, and those that do not. I say do not make it illegal, make it harder to divorce, obtain a marriage certificate, etc. for ALL who apply. Marriage is traditionally a religious matter, and the government needs to step away from this debate. Someone with power needs to understand that preventing marriage between ANY two people creates a scenario that denies one or more people a right, which is not allowable under the constitution. Like it or not, that is the truth!

I again apologize if I offended anyone, but it is my opinion. Many people offend me on a daily basis with their opinions, so I guess I have to say take it for what it is, the opinion of one person.

God bless!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fighting your battles

Everyone has their own inner battles to fight. Some of them are short lived others take years. I am currently fighting my own demons and my own battles. Some of the battles I am fighting are related to health issues, yet others are inner demons.

How do we learn to fight? I believe it is something from within ourselves, but sometimes we need help. We are put on the Earth to live not simply survive, but what does that really mean? We need to learn to enjoy life even in the midst of a battle. This I have had the most trouble with lately.

I have made grave mistakes in the past and they have returned to bite me recently. I am struggling with people defining me by one or two moments in my past. Can we really judge a person by individual moments? God does not want us to judge one another to begin with, but we as humans do this repeatedly. I try not to be guilty of this, but I suppose on occasion I am. I am really having a hard time with people doing this to me right now. I did not get a job because of individual moments in my past. This has really hurt me and made me become greatly discouraged.

While these moments do not define who I am, mistakes do change us for either the good or bad, and mold who we are. I have become a stronger person because of a myriad of mistakes in my past, but my mistakes do not define me as a person. What about the positives that have also molded me as a person? Shouldn't they out weigh the bad? Why don't they?

Society as a whole define people because of mistakes, poor choices, and other negatives, and rarely do the positives out weigh them. Take any famous person who has made past mistakes, they become defined by the bad. I noticed that in a story about John Edwards the other day that the reporter reminded viewers that he had a mistress. While this was a poor choice, it had nothing to do with the current story. No one will want to hire Manny Ramirez because he used steroids. He may have really gotten clean, but he will forever be defined as a liability for his mistake. Is this fair?

Some will say that these people had the opportunity to make better choices and didn't and trusting them is not easy. So many times people repeatedly fail us that giving people a second or third chance is very scary and we choose not to do so. I can certainly understand this. Sometimes people run out of chances. John Edwards made other mistakes in his political career so much that even if he were able to run for an office he would not likely receive enough votes. Manny made many mistakes as a player that makes him a liability and hiring him would be a great risk. But what about the average person who made mistakes, or who had a string of bad luck. How can we define them by one or two moments in their lives?

God gives us repeated chances. He never gives up on us. I just wish society could be a little more forgiving and a little less critical.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blog Day 4 Diet Day 1

By the time I finish writing this I will have blogged all of four times! Oooohhhh 4. But today is the first day of my IC diet. I have done pretty ok. I have been preparing for this for a little while and cutting back on the caffeine in hopes that I could avoid the headaches. I think it has worked. I did fine with the lack of caffeine it is the lack of sweets that is getting to me today. I really want something sweet. I did eat some vanilla ice cream, but I love my chocolate.

I had peanut butter on white bread and tortilla chips for lunch, which is pretty typical for me anyway. I made chicken with couscous and zucchini and yellow peppers for dinner. I flavored everything I could with garlic, since it is one of the few seasonings I can have. It was pretty good. No one really complained, although my sister made rice for those who wouldn't eat the couscous (more for me!).

The key to this diet will be to make sure I flavor everything really well. I am still in pain today, but my bladder will not be rid of all the triggers over night. I am going to do this until I can feel good for a few days then start adding back the not great foods and finally slowly add back the CAUTION foods. I think I can do the diet because it isn't forever, and it will help me be more conscious of the foods I eat. Maybe I won't eat as many of the caution foods together after this. One day down!

For anyone reading my blog, my friend Carl has declared the first Thursday of each month as Comment Day. Go comment on your friends blogs, or friends of friends, etc. Happy Reading!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grow up!

This is where my ranting and venting takes place. I am sick of seeing people who talk about family, but the constantly leave parts of that family out.

This is not a personal occurrence, rather something I have seen time and again. I see people posting on Facebook about family and standing by each other, etc. yet when someone in the family is struggling, they offer no assistance. I have seen one person talk constantly about her family, her best friend (who is male) and other people, but rarely mentions her husband. His grandmother was recently in the hospital and she rated NO mention, however, her male friend's business got daily posts. She used to post about snuggling her hubby everyday, now acts as though he doesn't exist. Maybe this is because they are having problems, etc. but shouldn't a prayer request be sent out for his family. I sent out a prayer request for the family and I am not even part of the family. I used to be and let me say, there are MANY reasons not to want to associate with some of the family members, but be human, pray for each other.

She is not the only one I have seen do this. I have seen 30+ year old women argue like teenagers on FB and they are sisters. I have seen multiple family members stab each other in the back and broadcast it on Facebook. GROW UP.

There was even an issue where family members did not notify another about a death in the family. REALLY!? There are a few people I would rather not communicate with, but I would not keep that kind of info from someone, no matter how I felt about them!

I do not get along with all of my family members, but that is private. I have my fair share of family issues, but if one of my family members needed me I wouldn't turn my back on them. I would do what I could to help, even if it was simply a prayer. Am I alone in feeling this way? Isn't that what family should be?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Loving you through it

I was listening to the radio today and something struck me. I was listening to "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" by Martina McBride and I got to thinking about what we're meant to be.
He said, "I know that you’re afraid and I am, too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you"

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
Isn't this what we should all do for each other. As Christians we are meant to be Christ-like. Isn't this His promise to us? He loves us through it. We should love each other through the difficult times in life rather than kicking each other when we are down.

So many times I see people struggling and I hear people complaining about how they are handling it. If they can improve something, shouldn't we help them? Now, I know that not all people are going to be open to change or suggestions, but isn't that when we should just be there for them? Sometimes I just need someone to dry my eyes or hold my hand and love me through it. I am lucky to have found people to do this for me, but not everyone does. Some people gloat others just laugh. Where have we gone so wrong that we cannot help each other through the hard times rather than compounding it?

God doesn't promise that everyday will be sunshine and roses, but He does promise to always be there for us. Is it so hard for us to do this for each other? You don't have to be a Christian to be a good person, nor does being a Christian make you a good person, rather loving each other through it makes you a good person. There is nothing to gain by loving someone other than love. There are no material gains, but what your heart gains is priceless. I am not perfect, and don't always follow this advice myself, but New Year's Resolutions aside, I am going to try to love others and not kick them when they are down.

God Bless,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New starts IC will not rule my life.

Starting new is not easy. God gives us the tools to renew ourselves, but we have to take the time to do it. Some things are definitely not easy, but they become necessary with each passing day.

I have interstitial cystitis. For those of you reading who are not familiar it is like a bladder infection that will not go away. The major difference is that the lining of the bladder is deteriorating causing pain and infection like symptoms. Some people may remain symptom free for long periods of time then experience a flair. Lifestyle contributes to the flair such as food, drink and smoking. I am in the midst of an awful flair. I think it was triggered by eating some of the most wonderful juicy oranges I have ever had. How can something so good for you cause so much pain? Chocolate can also be a trigger food, as well as soda (especially diet).

So what do I do now? I have to go on a diet. Not a complete lifestyle change as is necessary to lose weight, rather an actual diet. The idea is to eliminate all known trigger foods, all possible trigger foods, and eat ONLY foods that are known to be bladder friendly. This should be easy as there are a great deal of food on the okay list. The issue I am having with this is the flavoring. I love herbs and spices, fruit and sweets. Most of these items are on the CAUTION (or eat at your own risk) category. CRAP. I am dealing with how to eat these new bladder friendly foods while giving up all the things I like. I don't have to give them up permanently, just until the flair is over.

I will then be able to start adding foods back one at the time starting with the sometimes okay category and then eventually the CAUTION list. I don't want to start on the first day of the new year, because resolutions do not work. I don't wanna start on the second, because Monday's suck. So I am either going to start Tuesday or Wednesday. I have already begun somewhat cutting most all of the diet soda out of my diet. I occasionally have diet soda, but I have gone several days with none and only 2 glasses today.

I know no one will likely read this, and if you do feel free to comment. I just need to get this off my chest so that I can clear my head and start my new diet.