my wish on this Mother’s Day…

memories of harsh words I regret are here once more

as I packed all my things and slammed the door

already fragile barely speaking to one another

completely destroyed us not hearing each other

devastated by your drinking I was merely a teen

why couldn’t you choose me instead of being stuck in between

it was this time of year Mother’s Day Weekend

you came home for three days but I wouldn’t bend

I was left on my own to figure things out

“what the fuck is wrong with you” were the cruel words I’d shout

how could I have known the plan for your life

only five years you had left and we lived them in strife

we had mended some though it was never quite the same

a constant battle of frustration guilt and even shame

the morning I got the call “your mom has just died”

I could’ve laid down right beside you as I sunk to the floor and cried

it had to be a bad dream this lady whom I was just getting to know

in all of her misery and struggles her love for me continued to grow

I knew your best was all you could give

because of you I was learning to live

it has been an amazing road with three sons of my own

on this day alone for the first time since they are pretty well grown

with lives they have all created we share a bond unique and true

built on the love you once offered that still carries me through

I think of you often mom you are implanted in my heart

how blessed I am that you gave me my beautiful glorious start

mom I always loved you I really need you to know

I cherish every memory when I think of you I glow

If only I had one more chance  just to say

would you hold me in your arms and take this pain away

I miss you more than ever your daughter with an empty space

letting your spirit go so I can get to a better place

I think you’d be proud of the lady I’ve grown to be

over bumps detours and struggles the rocky road I am set free

our small town’s huge celebration is forming in the warm sun

the beating of the drums fire trucks floats horses the rodeo such fun

more difficult to hold than the day you went to heaven

even when you were born

my heart on this day is still completely torn 

untying my guilt I have carried for so long as I listen to the sound

a new chapter in my life my feet firmly on the ground

uncomfortable in my aloneness deeply wanting to share in this day

with the Man that I love is all that I can say

to set the new tone for this time of year

toasting your life and lift you up by celebrating in cheer

 

 

 

fear is just a lie…

The tears choked back her words, but she managed to get them out. Through the sorrow and pain from a deep, past hurt, she spoke as if thirty years were just yesterday. I sat in absolute silence as I heard my own sadness spewing from her lips. Reminded me again that I am never alone in this life. Whatever my problems, there are always those who have had some of them too.

With her final thoughts through tear soaked cheeks, she gave a deep sigh and thanked everyone for listening and holding her heart. From across the table, I looked deep into her eyes and gave a genuine soft smile full of compassion that said how much I understood. Her grief prompted what came from me next.

The topic was perfection, one of my least favorite subjects to look at because there is truth revealed. The all-consuming state of being that stole my ability to just be me. It robbed me of a higher self-esteem I once possessed as it birthed the fear that would direct my lack of confidence from that day forward.

Inside, my little (baby girl) was tucked deep away where she felt safe and hidden from the world. Inevitably, big was growing up right along with that fear while perfectionism was consuming her life. The deep voice over her shoulder, the constant procession of his cruel words stymied her from rising up to her potential. How long does a person exert such power over another?

As long as I allow it…

Fast forward to my next thirty years, “Why is fear your default place to go to with me?”, he asked me one day. I could not come up with the answer, but it gave me such great pain and anguish from childhood that I chose to look at that. How can you understand me when I can’t even understand myself, I soon would discover. Fear is the go to familiar hiding place that won’t allow judgement to seep in if I remain quiet. I can be invisible if I don’t go to the finish line where no one will tell me, I could have done better.

That is fucked up…

The ironies of three states of being, contradictions in a sense…

fear + perfection = paralysis

FEAR: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

PERFECTION: 1. The condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. 2.The action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.

PARALYSIS: the loss of the ability to move (and sometimes to feel anything) in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison, or injury.

awareness + acceptance + action

AWARENESS: knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

ACCEPTANCE: the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.

ACTION: the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

 

Construction underway…

I find it amazing, the core of deceptions that have been taking up space rent free for most of my life without my consent. Yet until now, my eyes have been shut to their existence. Through love and concern, honesty and caring, support and encouragement, that fear is beginning to dissipate. In bringing it to light, my protective glasses removed, at last I embrace you, in order to rid myself of your lies and deceit.

Truth is my friend…

Underneath it all is this incredible human being, capable of all things she chooses. She has legs to stand upon, a spine to keep her straight, the ability to conquer what comes before her, confidence and courage that dictates authenticity, a heart that is filled with honor, a soul abound with mercy and grace, and an abundance of love that carries her through everything.

Walk  beside me…

The road gets narrow, sometimes the path is long, but keep looking ahead, forever onward uncovering and discovering every blessing along the way.

nothing changes if nothing changes…

 

How often I have heard this, expression I guess it would be called, and used to think what does that really mean. It caused me pause and many moments of contemplated thoughts. It seems like a fairly short and simple statement to grasp. However, one would need to be willing to change in order to understand and appreciate the value in these words.

Long ago when my life was a living hell, full of chaos and uncertainty, my attitude was all about change. If only he would adjust to my ways, life would work better. Why can’t she see my point of view and do things better. I expected the world around me to make all the sacrifices so I would be more comfortable. How well that worked out for me.

It all came down to choices I soon came to find out. You mean I can choose to live this way or that? These weren’t the lessons I was taught. I observed and learned from my first teacher to accept everything as it was. Changing things was not an option, enduring them was the only choice. What a grand way to start a life with these amazing broken tools.

Off into the small world I grew up in, I learned to isolate early on. It was safer to stay inside my four walls of comfort where no one could reach me. I needed be invisible so I could remain the same. The only thing changing was the natural process of me growing up, while my insides became more confused.

The small town I grew up in wasn’t very different from when I was a young girl to the time I graduated high school. I was content but as much as I thought I wanted to break out, I was afraid to leave. One day my best friend and I thought that a change would do us good. So we took a leap, packed our things and moved 50 miles away to the closest city. One with a shopping mall, fast food on every corner and a freeway.

Feeling quite mature and somewhat more free, we discovered there was more to life than working at a fast food chain, cruising the loop of our tiny little town on the weekends, sunbathing at our favorite swimming hole and hanging out with the guys because there was nothing better to do. Content yet bored, there had to be something better than this.

We both found new adventures waiting for us as we parted ways geographically, but remained best friends even still.  That would never change. Both of us got married within a few short years, one month apart. Added together we had five sons between us. While she stayed happily married and in the same home with her wonderful, little flourishing family, I was in a constant state of change. Oh the roller coaster this man took me on. What other choice did I have? I was stuck.

By the time we made a circle in all the different small cities over a period of six years, I found myself right back where it all began. The familiar smell of the pine trees, clean air, majestic mountains and now two stop lights, I was back home. A place I never wanted to return. Happiness was this place in my rearview mirror, for a brief moment in time.

Come to find out later, all this moving around was merely us running from ourselves, me escaping me, but everywhere we went, there we were, he was and I was dying inside. Back in my what once was my safe haven, I began to hide out once again. This is my life. Deal with it, and that I did. Miserable and breaking, angry and unsatisfied, I found ways to survive.

My sons became my only source for joy and a means to escape from the turmoil residing within. My focus completely on them while I waited for their dad to change so I might feel anything other than hopeless. obsessed with his comings and goings, the frequencies were happening more often now. His drinking consumed him and I was losing myself as I sunk deeper into the darkness of despair.

My best friend’s home was my only means of refuge, but it was now two and almost a half hours away. That required a skillful way of scraping enough gas money together to load up my three joys and run away, at least for a weekend. The ease I felt just being there. In the presence of what I could only imagine normal might look like. The tension I carried seldom allowed me to relax. The five little boys with all their energy, exhausted me, but my frustrations and tears were understood here.

Dread set in every mile I drove to return to that place I now called home again. What other choice did I have? I felt trapped, unloved by this man I chose to marry. After all, if he truly did love me, he would change. The play was a continuance of my childhood just with different actors now. I was destined for this life that contained people who were consumed by the drink.

A martyr was born. She was always in there, but now she had blossomed and played her role well. Forced to come out of the background when my oldest son started school, I actually made a few friends. How refreshing and at the same time, foreign to be in the company of some positive energy. Soon I couldn’t get enough and found ways to be around it more.

I wanted to be like these seemingly happy people, so I soaked up what I could and held on tight. Not knowing what or how it happened, but I felt a little spark inside that shifted something. I think it was the possibility of thriving instead of surviving. Maybe there is a way. For the first time, I began to hope.

Six homes, a one year separation, multiple disappointments, constant let downs, agony, defeat, his DUI and arrest, a brief period of homelessness, fearful and hopeless, many years later, ten to be exact, I came to a crossroad. I realized it had been me all along that needed to make a change if I wanted anything to actually be different. I chose life, but what did that look like?

I had only ever known misery and it was a demented, familiar comfort. I was petrified as I walked in the door. A room full of strangers in a make shift church, but in a strange way I felt at rest. “You didn’t cause it, you can’t control and you will never cure it.” I was hooked and relieved. Those three little “C’s” gave me the freedom I had longed for my entire life. Those that were consumed by their addictions weren’t going to change unless they wanted to. I was soon going to find out that no matter what I did, I was just not that powerful.

As long as I continue to do what I have always done,

I will continue to get what I have always gotten

growth

Nothing changes if nothing changes…

 TBC…

 

 

 

 

 

it only takes a few words…

best friend

The sun came up after a rare, peaceful night’s sleep. Exhausted from traveling, yet somehow more filled up. Then a simple gesture comes through, one little touch, my best friend reaches out into my heart she did creep;

“I’m thinking about you today.

I wish I could do something to help, but only time will.” 

A tear springs to my eye reminding me to feel.

Why am I struggling so? God help me heal!

I have come so far from the place I once clung to. By now I would have sought out in another to numb and distract me until time moved me on and I could start anew.

God has shown me the ways to care about me, not rely on the world to cover my wounds, but to look up and find refuge in all that I see.

These days remind me still that I am the same girl, wanting love and protection the need to be filled.

For a brief period of time in the grand scheme of things, I was blessed to have had a glimpse of what it might bring. 

His actions on my mind how they still ring out, like a song to my heart, console and bring comfort his words they do shout;

“It’s handled kitty…”

loved kitty

Those three simple words I came to trust and depend on, in essence when spoken from his lips, never let me down.

Having been starved for love since being a little girl, the craving for more brought me to a place I thought I’d never feel.

It surely felt like God’s hands were right in there, delivering His blessing through the flesh of a savior.

Choices I have made I can finally see, the rungs on the ladder got out of order because of me.

“I didn’t ask you to put me there.”

Ladder-to-heaven

“I did that all on my own.”

It has taken this time for clarity to erase some of the confusion that had fogged my vision and took me to a horizontal position.

Sometimes I think I see God’s plan, His vision and design, at least a small portion of what He has in mind.

I am so grateful you graced my life and entered my heart, not a note of regret nor an ounce of remorse, only fond memories play a part. 

memory

 

possibilities…

peace

As I walked in the side door, he stood there at the drinking fountain. There was a long pause as he looked up at me, water still pouring out, a smile emerged from his face, “You always look so peaceful”, were the kind, gentle words he uttered. “I do?” Slowly I made my way down the cold and quiet, yet serene hallway. The grin never left his lips. “Thank you”, I said and found I could not stop smiling back.

I had seen this man for some time now in the building, but never really had a conversation with him outside the rooms. Still hanging my lace teddy on his compliment, I walked through the door to my room that held the source where I found that peace and comfort he spoke of.
As I settled in, the door opened and closed, one by one the chairs began to fill up. I had my back to the empty one next to me for a moment and suddenly I heard a familiar voice ask if this seat was taken. “Only by…” I stopped mid sentence, I didn’t finish my thought and he sat down. The meeting was starting and my mind was racing. Did he belong in here? Anyone is welcome to qualify themselves to attend, but still I wondered. Is he another meeting hopper here to pick up on someone? God, not him too.
Sitting there, listening to the preamble begin, first the welcome, then the steps, traditions and obstacles, followed by announcements, introductions and seventh tradition. Now I know his name and he knows mine. My mind drifted back to a few years before where a similar situation occurred, minus the drinking fountain encounter and the tender moment, something was familiar just with a different actor this time.
Back then the scene was me alone, already in the room,  wondering if I was the only one showing up that night.  When suddenly a man my age entered and immediately took the seat next to me. Two more ladies showed up and we began just as we did on this night. After the closing, this man asked me where I had been hiding. I thought, if we weren’t at a recovery meeting, this would have been a weak pickup line. I politely answered and two nights later we found ourselves back in the same room, only this time he had brought a friend. Afterwards, he tried to introduce me to this other man, but I immediately let him know he and I had already known each other for a long time. Before I knew it, I was being swept away to dinner to spend a very pleasant evening with these two wonderful men.  Life was becoming fun again.
By the end of that evening, phone numbers were exchanged between this new man I had just met two days prior and by the end of the week, we had gone on our first date. Within a week’s time, we had become inseparable, introduced our children to each other and vowed we were “going to do this differently than either of us had in the past”. What we meant by that was, we won’t rush into anything. We will take the time to get to know each other. Until our humanness got the best of us and the marathon sex began. I think we lasted almost two months, but to this day we have remained friends.
“Would you like to share tonight?” I heard the words and was nudged on my arm by this new man sitting next to me, “your turn”. Quickly I was brought back to the present moment, “yes,  hi my name is…”. I can’t recall the topic that night or even what I spoke about, but when I was finished, he was next. As he spoke, I heard more than words coming from his mouth. There was wisdom and a surety in his voice that was refreshing to hear. I thought to myself, now this is a man who is working it and walking it, not faking it and talking it. All my preconceived notions of his motives and intentions disappeared.
He stayed on this side of the wall for the long haul. His dedication to recovering himself was very attractive. He was getting it and it showed. I saw him more often as he became a grateful, faithful member who warmed a chair weekly and shared his heart. I found myself looking forward to not only hearing what he had to say, but seeing him across the room.
At some point, the flirting began, but we didn’t take it beyond that. Could this truly be a divine connection? Is this actually how a healthy relationship is formed? I had no idea and I was starting to think neither did he, but the attraction certainly was there. This man was not coming at me, sexually charged or playing any games to fuck with my head. Week after week it was apparent he was showing up, same as I to dig deeper into the process of healing and healthy choices.
He was offered the phone list, which also contained email addresses. It started with an email. “I hope you don’t mind, I just wanted to say hi.” My heart raced. He took the time and effort to reach out and connect with me. “I didn’t want to use your phone number without first asking you if I could call you.” I was hooked. It had been a long time since a gentleman had stood in front of me.
The emails while he was at work quickly transitioned into regular daily texts. “You make my day float by.” “I love to soak up that peace and serenity you have.” They went on from there. We were now getting to know each other on a personal level outside the place where we share ESH, pain and the like with others. Were we establishing a friendship? Maybe this is what Mr. Dreamy, as I so affectionately called that last one, were wanting to try but failed at.
This was all strange to me because I only ever knew what it was like to jump right in and be in a relationship. He had me at, “You always look so peaceful” and I was willing to wait this time to see what we could really be.
There was a big speaker/potluck meeting coming up and we both wondered if the other was attending. For whatever reason, we didn’t make a plan to go together, but instead committed to going. This taking it slow arrangement, though it was unspoken, seemed to work for us. However, I was becoming impatient, as my old behavior would dictate. We saw each other and immediately hugged, because that’s what everyone in the rooms do.
The night went on as we listened to the shares of the presenters tell their stories of what it was like before recovery, how their lives have changed and what life is like today. I almost felt like I was back in high school, waiting for the cute boy I had my eye on, ask me to dance so I could go home, dream of him and write his name all over my binder at school.
Well, there was no dancing this night and it was quickly winding up, while I had hoped we might make a coffee date to end the evening with. The large crowd soon thinned out and we found ourselves outside with a few lingering bodies. It was in that instance I realized this man is more timid than I imagined as he approached to hug me goodnight, I thought, “that’s it?”
He got in his truck and I in mine. I saw he had a friend with him to take home and I did too. There I was, sitting in my truck wondering what to do. I decided I had nothing to lose and maybe something to gain, so I shot him a text, “coffee after we drop our obligations home?” Without a hesitation his immediate reply came, “I’ll pick you up in thirty.” Now I really did feel like a school girl again.
Just short of kicking my gal pal out of my truck at the bottom of her driveway, I raced home to freshen up, just as I saw his headlights pull up. By now it was ten o’clock and I couldn’t have been more excited. Was this finally our first date? I had no idea what to expect and I didn’t care. Here it was again, fun to be had.
We kept up the pretense of getting that coffee and then went for a drive. Talking for hours as he continued to drive across the county line and back again. By now it was midnight and we stopped in one of our small towns to walk around. Gratefully we found one open bathroom and as we got to the door, he insisted on checking the stalls to be certain no one was in there. I got the green light and while I was in there, I couldn’t help but think how amazing he was and how safe I felt.
He opened the door for me and we climbed back into his truck once more. “Where to now” I asked. “I don’t know, but I don’t want to take you home yet”, he said, and we drove into the night. We had stopped for gas and before we knew it, the clock struck three a.m. Regretfully he announced he was meeting his daughter early for breakfast and should probably get some rest. A walk to the door, a big hug goodnight and there it was, a warm soft kiss. Walking up the stairs to my room I thought once again, is this what healthy looks like? I’m sure I don’t know, but I had hoped to find out.
healthy relationship
TBC…