Chapter 12 Just One of Those Days…

Today was just one of those days where nothing and everything just seems not together. I would normally call these days ” character building,” days but I don’t think that would suit today. There wasn’t really anything to really build except … maybe.. Not to take things so serious all the time. Maybe even to take a page out of my own book and not make it about me but rather that something or someone is in need of what I am going through in the moment.

So I have been having nightmares the last couple of nights. I know now that is a way for the enemy to try to get a foothold on something, But somewhere in that dream there was a nugget of hope and a way out. I will spare you the details of the dream but it was in a movie theater, with  old wooden floors and I was talking to someone then went to the bathroom, then it went off into something else. That was the nugget. So I know that it has something to do with getting rid of something. So I will do my part in getting rid of that whatever it is, but here is where I know that I am struggling a little bit.

I can normally hear where I am supposed to go, but since I haven’t been sleeping well the enemy uses that to create confusion. Father doesn’t do confusion. Enemy …0 Father … a boat load more numbers… Kristal actually and finally seeing discernment A++. Good Job Kristal… any who… So when I woke this morning, it was chaos from the get go. Not once did I think to just have a quick ” Hey Father, Good morning, Thank you for waking me up today, I love you and this day is yours, what would you like me to do with it? Oh and by the way I am having these crazy dreams, Holy Spirit do you think you can help me out with that?” But NOOOOOO I choose to moan about not feeling well and crawling into back into my bed and sleeping another three hours.

I was really grateful to wake up less icky than the previous time I woke up. I was ready to start the day. It was late I was rueful about that but I was up and moving… ish. I do my usual, tend to the dogs, start the coffee, look in the fridge and not get anything to eat but grab the creamer for that coffee. Priorties you know! I Look at the massive pile of things on my kitchen table, roll my eyes, get my coffee fixed up and back to my bedroom I go. I am trying to find all these excuses to not do anything with my day except when I need to. I know I have appointments and meetings today but I can procrastinate… Right??

Once I was perched on my bed I started to fidget with my nose, figured now would be a good time to tighten my nose ring… wait… there is something wrong…. The top part is there …. where is the post that goes inside my nose!?? I couldn’t feel it… I started going through mental talks of ” DON’T Suck up through your nose…. DON’T you do it!!” Mindfulness is super helpful…. BTW’s… So I blow my nose instead of sucking up my clogged nose… Sure enough there is the post in the tissue! Panic… and relief all at the same time.

As excited I am to find the post, but there is one problem… How the heck is this going back in? My fat phalanges can’t fit in my tiny nostril? I like to think that I am creative… I need tape as a third hand … then I can find this tiny hole on the inside of my nose… yeah .. totally makes sense. I dig through my room and find that super crazy double-sided tape… “This will work.” I told myself confidently as I am holding the post the opposite end in my nose. I really don’t want it to close. This actually means something to me and I really like the piercing. So I sit in front of my magnifying mirror and started to get to work. I was so determined to get this back in on my own. The next thing I know… My phone is blowing up. It’s all my awesome Ysisters with work … I thought for sure that I can tell them what’s going on, maybe they will have some words of wisdom. Nope instead it turned into how we can market this incident, and I loved it. I couldn’t stop laughing, my nose is starting to hurt. So my best friend with all her wisdom was kind enough to tell me the things I need to do in the future. My husband is now texting me, and I am hyper focused on getting this in. I ask about his day and he got a lot accomplished.

I throw in the towel after a good twenty miuntes of hard work. I have to make a thirty minute trip to have the professionals take over. I felt like a total noob! My bestie and hubs got a good giggle. I think… okay maybe annoyed. As I embark on my journey to a nearby city… I am talking with Father. I know that He has a plan for today and realize that it’s not about me today. Not that I am saying that I am the focus any other day, but I was thanking Him for allowing me the opportunity to get out of the house and be out doing stuff. I also know that whatever this is about isn’t going to be about me and that I am going to touch a life today. Even if it’s because I am getting my nose ring put back in. I laughed to myself thinking how silly this all was. I did have other plans to NOT do anything with my day. I am grateful that didn’t happen.

I enjoyed the drive and when I arrived and waited my turn for the professional to fix my issue at hand. Once it was my turn… I was explaining what I didn’t accomplish and the only thing I did manage to do was cause swelling on my nose. Mind you I have a Ear, Nose and Throat appointment in a couple of hours from this moment. He attempts to put it in , and while we were talking about life in general, he breaks the post. Good thing he is prepared and has backups. So he put the new one in, and the jewel doesn’t fit. I laughed again.. because I see what the enemy is trying to do, but I won’t allow such negative vibes.This was just meant to happen. So we come up with a plan, get new jewelry, and finally he gets it in. He also made the post the same color as my jewel. I am one happy camper. Oh and it pretty much is Kristal proof. It doesn’t need to be tightened. It is snapped into place. I will have to go to him to get new jewelry and I am happy about that.

So here is the cool part. As we were talking he started opening up to me about his kids and what he is going through. I listened as he told me what one of his kids is putting them through. He was telling me the stress that he and his family is going through and what his child is going through. Thinking about it now I could have prayed over him, but I didn’t think of it then. I think that maybe he just needed someone to listen. Sometimes that is all that people need. I was happy to do that and give him some new tools to work with. Like tracking … Haha and how easy it is to do through the phones. The look and relief on his face it almost looked like hope to me. I felt accomplished.

I didn’t make it back in time for my meeting and I felt bad for that because I forgot to tell that wonderful person that once again we have to reschedule. The way I see it though… Father has perfect timing in everything. I was able to make it home to get my things for my appointment and talk to another friend who just needed someone to listen. My husband met up with me for my appointment. We shared a few laughs about our day then it was my turn to go back into the room. As I walked in I was intimated by all the tools laying out. I did wonder if those were all going to used on me. As I was talking with the nurse the doctor came in and smiled, she didn’t even look back ” We’re not done yet.” “Yes I know, I just heard that it was intimating.” He beamed looking at me and it made me that much more nervous but kind of excited as well. My blood pressure was elevated because of it all.

As my husband talks about what his experiences with all these tools, he put me at ease. The doc came in and he looked excited. haha. Kind of threw me for a loop, but I rather have a doctor with a sense of humor. He took a look inside my nose and it was the same thing I have heard most of my life. I’m clogged and my nose looks unhappy, and my ears are clogged as well. I explained to him the last time my ears were cleaned I was like 12 while in Dallas. And when they were done it looked like a core sample. He laughed. He made me smell the numbing agent and I asked if I was going to throw up. He said “No, but you would be my first if you did.” So I huffed the whatever it was, that is a new sensation. I suggest you get it done, just to say you did it. Then it hit me right in the back of the throat! GROSS!! I gagged a little. All he could say ” Oh. You tasted it!” Yeahhhh!! That is what I meant by ” Am I going to throw up!” It passed after a few moment and breathing felt weird or lack there of. So while we were waiting for my nose to get numb he started checking out my ears.

He got his little vacuum thing going, I started talking because I am nervous. I was telling him that before I got it done the last time I had pretty good hearing but when they were done, I had super sonic hearing. The last thing I heard was maybe I was the secret member of the Avengers. This guy is funny is what I thought of as I hear the non movement of what wax isn’t coming out. He also made a comment about me maybe using Q-tips to clean my ears. I simply said, ” I don’t use them to clean my ears but to scratch my ears.” ” Better than a key.” he quipped. Touche Doc… So now I have to deal with my ears again. That will be nice to have them be like normal people ears. My canals are that of a small animal. He took core samples from my face as well, and I was on my way after I got a laundry of To-Do’s and some samples. I was excited to get those samples!! A full size of one of those samples is $200.00 because the insurance doesn’t cover it. Thanks big pharma… Not Cool.

Came home after a nice dinner, played some cards with my family. Picked up one of my kiddos from a sporting event and it was a blessing. The whole day was a great day. I got to meet new faces, spend time with my favorite peeps, got to get organized for the next day, and talk with my Ysisters. I feel that I may have impacted some people today and spoke life into them. I realize that Father had better plans for me than laying in bed watching Netflix. I am so grateful for that. I would have missed out on a great day. I got to talk to some people who I haven’t talked to in a long while and that feels amazing. I like that I am finally starting feel better about making new friends, sustaining my current friends, getting out of my house and talking to strangers. Something I wouldn’t have done a year ago! Things I am still learning is to talk to Father in times that I know are going to be impactful to see where He wants me to go with the conversation.

Once I am done here, I will sit down and have a conversation with all of Them again. We can choose to speak life into people or death. I rather speak into life into people even though they may not feel that way towards me, because we don’t know what they are going through. Besides, I am in a much better place to know what to breathe in or not to,as far as words go that is. I couldn’t have done that without all the people who Father has sent into my life to speak life into me and help do Fathers work through them. For that I am grateful and wish to do the same to others. Lastly, tighten your nose ring. Love each other, Laugh a little, speak life into your fellow-man. Thanks again guys.

Chapter 11 Divine Wardrobe Change Pt. 1

Have you ever watched a movie and there is that climatic part where the main character has everything around falling a part then bam something good starts happening and their life is great again? I never used to like those parts of movies. I would actually get so pissed that I would rant about it. Movie ruined for everyone haha. I did this because I wondered if that moment would ever happen to me. I have seen it done in a real world setting with real people but never me.  I was jealous of these people.

I wondered what it would feel like to have that moment of total nothingness to happen. Something so tragic would happen and my life would change dramatically. I had gone through so much in my years… When was my number going to get called? I was holding that ticket for a long time… the waiting was a killer.. almost anyway. I still won’t talk about all the moments that lead to my number being called finally. Not that I am not encouraged to talk about them, because I am. I am afraid of going through another set of judgments that I am not sure I am ready for.

One of them is just so unbelievable to me that I still hold on to it thinking I am protecting that person, but I am not protecting that person in the right way, and I am not trusting in Father to handle it for me. I will continue to work on that. But here is what I can tell you and willing to tell you at this moment.

When my number was finally called there were defining moments that I see now that were my path. I prayed harder than ever. Let’s tackle the first one. That was my Granddaddy’s passing. I know that I have talked about him before and this moment. It was so hard for me that he was gone. When I found out about his passing was so fast. One call was my dad telling me they are moving him to hospice then moments later was he is gone. I was absolutely crushed. This was during a community event that my husband and I were at with all the kids. It was around Halloween so everyone was in their costumes and having a good time. I didn’t want to ruin their fun but at the same time I didn’t know how to handle putting away my pain and leaving on the mask.

Everyone was very understanding. I had called my brother later that night and we made our plans to head out the next morning. I still went to work and got all of those affairs taken care of and left. I made many prayers before picking up my brother. I was really hoping that a fight wouldn’t happen over their things. Now that Granddad only had us left in the family. Just my brothers, myself, my dad, my uncle and cousin. That was it as far as the last of the family line goes. We were it. Like I said I really was hoping there wasn’t going to be drama.

My brother and I enjoyed the drive out. I spent the whole time burning my right arm out of the window. The more we headed East the worse the heat came in October. But we laughed, and had good conversations on the way there. I was kicked out of the driving eventually. I hadn’t really slept apparently that made my brother nervous. It was kind of funny to see an almost seven-foot man squished up to drive in the explore. Haha.

Granddad in previous visits and conversations wanted one thing. He wanted his family together one last time in that house. He got his wish. We were all there one last time. When we got there. My dad and my step mom already got the rooms situation under control. They took their room, Uncle would have his room, I would have my grandparents room, and my brothers would have the living room, and cousin was sleeping at a hotel. I was little hesitate to take my grandparents room at first, but I accepted. With a little cleaning and quick change of the sheets I was getting settled.

There we all sat together. Just the four of us. Although my brother and I stopped on our way in to get some light beers. It was totally possible that we may want one later. We all hung out and just talked. Talked about the plans that were ahead of us. It seems so surreal. No one except my step mom sat in granddad chair. I sat in the recliner most of the time just enjoying just being there with some of my favorite people. We order some pizza and watched the Dallas/ Redskins game. Dallas lost. I was not that happy considering my brother is a Packers fan. It didn’t matter who was playing against the Cowboys as long as they lost. Which we did.He sure did rub it in my face. I wasn’t shocked at our loss but still when you’ve been a fan all your life, there is some sort of loyalty. Ok let’s be honest a lot of NFL Fans or any fan of any sport we are loyal until death. I was still very peeved but I was having a blast listening to the banter of my family.

I was happy that Granddad was getting his wish. I just wished he was there to be a part of it. Granddad was always my soft spot in my heart. No one had known what granddad had told me. They also didn’t know that all what we had encounter that last three years would lead us to where we were at that very moment. Including my brothers and myself talking to our father. That was a huge feat in itself. There was a lot of hope and resentment there. Confusing at it was that is what we all felt for our father. When I first talked to my father after almost 13 years of not talking at all, there we sat just a year before having the coming to Jesus talk with each other. I let my dad know everything on how I was feeling and he did the same. We were able to really get that junk out in the open and clear those skeletons from that closet. They were stinking up the joint anyway. Point being we both missed each other and it was long over due. I was able to talk to my brothers about the encounter and they were able to make those choices themselves about our dad.

So to be sitting in that house with my Nolen family was pretty awesome. However there was some major tension between my dad and uncle. I could feel it. We all could feel the many things that weren’t being said. Oh how it would come out. To me it was kinda funny how things happened.

It was after the showing of Granddad. After the several times I had to explain who I was to other family and friends of Granddad’s I just wanted my time with my Grandfather. I just wanted to be in the moment with him. I didn’t want to let him go… plain and simple. After people started to leave I finally got my moment with Grandfather. My dad and step mom were gracious enough to tell people that I needed some time alone. I just talked to him as if he were there… Like all the way there. How much I love him, to see all the people that love and care for him, and to give Granny a huge hug and kisses from me. How I missed him so much. How I didn’t get to be there for him or talk to him before he passed. Mainly I just cried and wanted to be with him. Not dead but with him. I am going to miss him but I also knew that he couldn’t wait to see Granny. He loved Granny and missed her more than what we could ever understand.

We were separate cars and the four of us went to eat. Even though I was the only one hungry. They obliged me anyway but that is when Dad was explaining that my Uncle was telling tall tales at the showing. My brother and I just looked at each other. We were finding out all kinds of nasty things that Uncle was doing. It was actually disappointing to hear. My Uncle couldn’t even wait until my Granddad was in the ground before trying to take all that he could because he felt entitled to. Now I don’t base my opinions based on what others say, I have to see things for myself. Anyway we get to the house after a quick stop at the liquor store just because it said Koch’s. Haha I love our sense of humor. Our other brother was with Uncle and our cousin. So he missed out on some good grub and laughter but at the same side of that token we missed the beginning of a funny ha ha that was sure to be my Grandparents doing… Or Father’s haha. We were all locked out of the house. There my brother and I started drinking making jokes. There was way too many chief’s in the kitchen.

My uncle is pissed. Talking about what each window costs, My brother saying there is always a way in. My oldest brother tags a long with my other brother talking a big game about how no house in Texas can withstand two ABQ boys. My Uncle still wanting to control the situation and now saying crappy things to my dad. My step mom getting involved to calm the situation which then lead to uncle saying awful things to her. Which is a huge no no… I am standing there on my way to my second beer. Dad and Uncle are arguing full-blown now. Step mom and me are just watching the train wreck happen. I was still giggling because it is not always fun to be right but when I am seeing this was just too funny.

I was laughing watching the truth and lies collide in words. Everyone trying to get a word in edgewise. My brothers finally get us in. I stayed outside because the arguing ended up inside. I was proud that my dad was sticking up for himself, and I felt bad for my uncle. Not bad in the sense that he was getting bombarded but because at this point they were trying to explain to him that these moments were about family, Not about guns, money, assists, the house, the furniture, the jewelry but FAMILY. He was willing to throw all of us away for his half of everything. At this point he is walking to and from the house throwing his stuff into his car. I wasn’t going to get sucked into it all…. I didn’t acknowledge the small jabs of insults that were directed at me or the others. I and the others just ignored what was happening as much as we could. At the same time we didn’t need anyone going to the hospital for high blood pressure. We just needed to get through a couple more days. We can do this.

We all took turns to trying to appeal to his softer side but the resented was strong with that one. He even got mad at me for forgiving my dad.  There was just too much resentment for me to take on and I left it in the arms of God or someone blindly. There was just too much. I finally just wanted to enjoy my family and all its glory. Drinking and snacking, laughing and making jokes. We even were able to go through some of their things. It was pretty awesome to see my Grandfathers letters to Granny while we was in WWII. Pretty cool huh.  And it turns out that it is a Nolen thing for us to pose for pictures with our butts sticking out. They are pretty nice butts … hahaha. Sounded weird but I was blessed with a nice ass. #BBB Big Bubble Butt haha..

Well we were able to calm the storm and Uncle was calm to start enjoying his self again. There we all were. The last of the Nolen’s. Dad, Uncle and us kids. Still the only girl. Haha

We had a great service for Granddad. It was beautiful. He lays next to my Granny in Texas. He had a military send off and it was just wonderful. We stayed until they put him in the ground. The others left but we stayed.I made inappropriate comments to our limo driver because all sad situations like that I cope with humor. I didn’t feel bad one single bit. The following day was harder. I had to go and get back to my job. I wanted to stay and help them go through the house. I knew exactly what I wanted and that is what I ended up with. I wanted two blankets that were made, and one of their bibles. I got Granny’s bible. and some odd and ends of books that I wanted.

They my dad, brothers went out another time to do stuff with the house. I opted not to go because my uncle and dad were once again fighting and they both stuck me in the middle. I had nothing to do with what happens with the house or the will and how I got involved in that whole mess is still beyond me. I haven’t talked to my Uncle since that all happened. It didn’t help that he was telling everyone in my tiny town that I was mentally ill and I attempted suicide. When he had no idea what was really going on. I have forgiven him but I choose not to have that sort of drama in my life and I stay out of that sort of thing. I rather have my father than things. My uncle wasn’t very nice. Nevertheless he is still family and I will love him regardless.

This was a difficult time for all of us, but it has been nearly two years and some change since his passing. My dad and uncle are still at odds and that is their business. So the next thing that followed was something that happened to one of my children. This is one subject that is so incredibly hard for me to talk about. I won’t publish it here as to what happened. But the event happened shortly after Granddad passed, it was the blow that broke the camels back. My back.

It broke my heart in such a way that I was traumatized again but this time I had no idea that it actually happened. I just saw the torment that my child was going through and how the event it would eventually eat its way through the entire family. One by one. For me I ran away to work. I drove myself so far into work that I didn’t have time to think of anything else. That tore through what was left of my marriage. I ended up doing and saying things that I am not proud of to my husband as a way to reach out for help. Wow saying it on a public thing like this is a lot of vulnerability. I made some huge mistakes.

I am not mad about it all. To me it is a story that I will tell because I feel that it is important to tell. The night that everything happened there was a supernatural war raging all around me. The signs were there, the voices were there… it was all there. The Holy Spirit was there in full force as was the kingdom of darkness… then there was little ol me stuck in the middle.

For many weeks before all that was told to me by the Holy Spirit was ” Wait.” I was holding on to whatever I had left in me to do regular stuff like shower. Even there I was attacked. The darkness would taunt me,” Let me in… Let me in… Just say it and we’re in.” It was constant especially when I was tired or running on zero sleep, the more stressed I got, the more I became inconsolable, the more I resented my husband. The more I blamed him and his ex-wife for why my kids had moved out. You name it the kingdom of darkness was there just trying to push me over the edge, But I held on to what little sanity I had left. My husband I split the next after Christmas. I knew that I was close to doing something that may be the end of our marriage. The big D. I pleaded with all my heart to him that I was going to do something and I wasn’t sure if I could stop myself. He tried so hard to hold on to me. He kept telling me to guard my heart, but I don’t think he knew that was long gone. Over the course of that year I had been depleted of everything. There was absolutely nothing left… I was an empty shell that was headed straight to the depths of darkness that I thought I deserved. He deserved so much better than me. I was going to die that weekend anyway and the attacks kept coming. I allowed it all to happen. He never really knew how much I loved him up to that point. He was the one that saved me. Twice that day as a matter of fact.

I don’t think he knew that at the time or if he even knows now. To be honest I don’t think I even knew how much I love him. He keeps asking me when I am going to write about him, I keep telling him in due time. There will be a lot to talk about there, because marriage is one of those things that is special to me. But my marriage to him as taken a whole different path than the one we were on. I don’t like blasting my marriage out there but it was something that I prayed about on whether to talk about it or not. I was encouraged to talk about it. because neither one of us is “Perfect.”

Moving past the time I was in treatment, to the months following. I knew that there was something that was urging me to look past the obvious. Look passed the depression and the rest of that fruit. To look into the supernatural of things. Y’all the look on my face when I was guided that way… I was like ” Uhmmm really?!” Yeah really. I just knew there was something much deeper than what was going on. It was time for a change of clothes, because I was about to walk out of my grave-clothes.

 

It’s time to walk out….

Chapter 10 Adult choices so young..

There isn’t a whole lot to talk about when it comes to my high school years. I was a normal as I could be kids. I spent most of my time in Texas during those years, but came back after a huge falling out with my dad. I choose to come back and the last thing my dad told me were, ” you’re going to end up pregnant and alone. You will accomplish nothing there, but you are just so like your mother. You betrayed me to be with her. I disown you and never want to see you again.”

Yes that’s right. At 17 that is what my dad told me. I realized at that moment that I don’t hate my dad but feel bad for my dad. He still held on to so much hurt against my mom. So what happened?? My dad was gone a lot of the time. I was really independent. I made sure to get to school on time, get good grades, maintain friendship and feed myself. But I was home alone all that time while he was away. My mom and step dad actually had to bring all my things from my house in NM. I think this is what actually triggered my dad. My mom and step dad bought me groceries, pots and pans, and all the other things that I may have needed. My dad I think felt less of a provider by them actually doing that kind gesture. My mom and step dad were literally trying to help me not so much my dad. My dad at this point has never had to raise any of us kids on his own before. So I think this was the blow.

I had just turned 17. In Texas, at the time you were considered emancipated from your parents but still couldn’t do things as if you were 18. My dad, was seeing a woman who was not his type at all. They met on the internet and she came to visit him. He tried so hard to make her stay as comfy as possible but I could tell he wasn’t into her. Anyway, that Monday morning, I was getting ready for school. It was super early in the morning. I had already had my own routine going. I had my radio going and I was about to start doing my makeup and hair. Dad walked back to my side of the apartment and asked me to turn down my radio. I gave his sass. He was never home and I treated our place as if it were mine, Not his. So by him telling me to turn it down I was not having it. I told him, as I was complying with his request, that this is how it normally is every morning. The next thing I know he has lifted me and has me up against the wall. My feet were off the ground and we are nose to nose! I just screamed. I didn’t know what else to do. My dad has NEVER done such a thing. EVER!!!

The onslaught on rage and anger came over my dad. He was telling me that everything bad that happened to him was because of me. I countered with, It was his fault not mine. He blamed me again for his divorce with my step mom and the break up of his last girlfriend was my fault and how embarrassed he was of the gal that spent the weekend with us. All of which I told him that it was his doing not mine and that I didn’t make his choices he did. Has he over reacted to everything that morning. I was still locked in my bathroom. Finally, he told me that he was taking me to school. I was literally in my Pj’s and all out of sorts. He drove like a crazy person to school almost hitting a couple of people on the road that morning. Then gave me a running start to get out of the truck and peeled out. Everyone was looking at me. My boyfriend at the time was there, he knew something was wrong. I was escorted to the office and I had to explain everything to my counselor she handed me her makeup bag and told me to finish looking presentable. I did what I could with what little I had. I finished my dad and went home. I stayed in other places than going home. Eventually, I put myself into a home in downtown Ft. Worth. To make a point to my dad. He told the people there that I threatened to kill him with a butter knife. I had remembered what my mom had told me about how I would start knowing who my parents were. She was right.

I finished my seven days at the shelter and went home and I was given choices, I could stay with my dad, I could move back with my mom, or I can move in with my friend Eric. I chose to move back home with my mom. I knew if I stayed with my dad things would eventually fall a part again, and if I move with Eric I may not stay strong enough to finish school and really be a responsible adult, so I went with door number 3 and move back home. I knew that I was in a good place to excel with my mom. I was more grown than the last time I was there. I can start  new … again.

That meant that once again that I was starting over again…. and leaving people I cared about back in Texas. I was leaving Texas again. Texas is my home. Damn. Once again I was packing all my crap into a trailer and driving back to New Mexico. That was the last time I would see my dad. I didn’t care either. I knew that I would always love him and would forgive him for this…again. But I was not going to be hurt or disappointed by him again.

So when I started my days there at my high school. It was just so easy for me to go see all my old friends. It was like I never left but I was still different from them still but I was welcomed anyway. Skip forward to the summer of senior year. I was going to turn 18 soon and my mom begged me not to move out until I finished school. A month later I told her that I was pregnant. I moved out shortly after that. She told me that I didn’t have to but I needed too. I didn’t want her to raise my child because I was young. My baby’s father and I were friends and nothing more. We had sex and it was unprotected. This was my doing and I needed to ” Man up,” and take responsibility. I was scared to death but excited. I mourned my life to some extent. I was giving up my senior fun year. I was losing a lot of things that I could be doing, but I am going to be a mom.

Little did I know how much my life was going to change. I gave birth to a baby girl in April of 2001 and I would graduate high school with a six-week old baby. I remember nights falling asleep in my books while nursing her.  Her father telling me that he was moving out because he wanted to have a baby with our neighbor at the time. I was okay with that because we were friends nothing more. He also told me he wanted nothing to do with our daughter and signed a piece of paper saying that. He also just had triplet boys 18 months before our daughter was born. Their mother and I choose to stay in contact just in case they were to ever meet one day. That we would choose to teach our children of their siblings. I choose to move on with my life and started dating.

I was also young and made some choices that were very juvenile with my daughter. I wanted to party and be a mom. I couldn’t do both, but I thought I could. My daughter spent some time with her father and I was getting married soon and would be moving from the tiny town we were living in. Life happened in 3….2…..1…BOOM!

I was served with a restraining order and my daughter was taken from me just like that. Over a fraudulent claim of domestic abuse. I had a lot of choice words for that man. But I was about to embark on a crash course of a custody battle for the next 5 years of my life. Guess who was hurting the most in all of this…. My daughter. Then eventually my oldest son, then my youngest, my marriage, me.

Every week I had to spend more than hour in personal mediation, that costs an arm and leg, at least once of month we were in court, huge amounts of money for retainers for lawyers. The more emotional I got the worse the hammer came down on me. He eventually married this woman who was abusing my child, and there was nothing I could about it. Everything was falling a part. So fast.  I was married and a baby boy on his way and I was being forced to live my mom during the times I had my daughter. I very much disliked his wife. I have known her since high school, and I didn’t like her then either. He didn’t like her either but she was there and he liked having her there. He didn’t really live alone. My relationship with his parents was now in shambles and I didn’t trust any of them. Eventually, all of this destroyed my mental wellness. I ended up with postpartum depression, my marriage was falling a part, I was isolated from family, my husband was showing signs of being controlling, he too was abusing me, and he was a weekend alcoholic. Great!! I won the lottery of bad luck it felt like. I reached out for help and no one was listening to me. So I helped myself, postpartum transformed into angoraphobia and not really allowing my son to go outside in the country, and OCD. It was the way that I handled a lot of what was going on. It finally became everything that I was.

Things between my husband and I are in limbo. I eventually asked for a divorce, little did I know that he was seeing my sister and my daughters step mom behind my back. I wouldn’t learn of this until later years. Once I was done going through my self destruction phase, He and I got back together to attempt to make things work. I would get pregnant again. He wasn’t happy about anything. More than once he would beat me, the last time he did he was sober and did it in front of my daughter and my son. I was pregnant when he did it too. He would eventually tell me that he had a credible source who told him that I was not pregnant with his child but someone he called ” Sancho.” He denied our youngest son for almost three years. In that time he would also tell me that I was worthless and I didn’t deserve my children. I should just kill myself. He threw a knife at me while I was 8 months pregnant. I seriously thought about it. This was the first memory that my son remembers of me. I was sticking up for myself against his father I took that knife and stuck it in the wall and said no. Then his father struck me down onto the bathroom floor and there I laid. It sucks that is what my son remembers of those times. Is all the abuse and then his mom is gone.

I asked nothing from my ex-husband but only to be a good man and treat me good. That wasn’t happening. He had nothing to do with our new baby, and eventually he called him an abomination. We ended up leaving, and I couldn’t take my oldest son because of our divorce decree. My ex-husband would eventually help my daughters father in custody which ended up with me giving her up to them to save her from anymore hurt.

There is a bible story that it reminded me of this sort of situation… 1 Kings 3… A wise ruling. IT was this story in the Bible that got me through this moments in my life. I don’t want my children cut in two. This would surly bring them death in a worse way. I love my children with all that I am and I had to put them on the altar for God. It was the hardest thing in my life. But I also knew that my daughter would eventually come home to me. One way or another. I will never forget what I said to them the day of the adoption. Her father and his father tried to comfort me as I just signed over my rights to a woman who had ruined my life a few times at this point. I told them ‘ Get off me! You may have won this battle, But one day our daughter is going to want the truth. I know she won’t hate me at the end of this!” I walked away with all the energy I could muster at that point. I hated them. I hated myself for what I did but I knew at that moment it was the right thing to do even though other people didn’t know.

I was publicly shamed for it over and over. Little did those people know that they were only hearing her side of the story. Not mine and not my daughters. I had no need to explain myself. I took comfort that I did the right thing because I had prayed about it. I knew that I didn’t have to explain myself anymore to anyone else. Little did those people who judged me didn’t know that she was having an affair with my ex-husband for almost 6 years. When I finally confronted the whole situation with her. She told that she did have the affair and how sorry she was. I asked if her husband knew, my daughters father, she said yes, that I was the only who didn’t know. She kept saying sorry disingenuously and I told her that the apology goes to my kids because not once but twice it was split because of her actions. She later that year posted about me in a passive way on Fb and I finally fought back.

For a long time I wouldn’t dare think to cross them just in case I get to see my daughter I didn’t want to ruin that relationship by sticking up for myself. That day I had enough of bad mom bashing. After all the years I didn’t talk crap about these people, I didn’t disrespect them, I was at their mercy. I allowed them to say bad things about me and allowed people to believe them. That day was different. I flat-out said that I would tell our daughter the truth. Their response was that if I did that I would NEVER see her again. My daughter ended up calling me moments later. She wanted to know. I asked her to take some time to really think if she wanted to hear the truth. She took some time and I told her everything. Right down to every bad choice that I had held shame for. EVERYTHING!!!  I didn’t blame her step mom, dad or myself solely. It was all of our doing as well as the influence of her former step dad. It was all of us who have made her life complicated. I apologized a lot to her and knowing that my sorry’s weren’t enough to take the pain away. But what I did what done out of love for her and thought at the moment that I was doing the right thing.

After telling her all that had happened throughout her life, pieces of her life started to fit better. She was able to make sense of what was truth and what was lies. They were telling her that I was going to abort her because she was worthless before she was born, they were telling her that I gave her up because she was a pain in ass and that I didn’t want her. I mean the list goes on and on of all the crappy things that were said to her but still she held her head high and she went on her own survival mode. Her grandmother and I finally were able to work together for the betterment of my daughter. I may not have been there everyday of her life, and I have missed out on a lot of her achievements, but the moments that I did have with her I made sure that she knew how much she is loved, missed and that the teachable moments are impactful.

She now lives with me and I will help her undo all the damage that we did to her. But for once she feels like she means something to herself, and to others. She has a long road but I know that I am here with her through it all. Her grandmother and grandfather love her so very much, but they need to enjoy retirement and allow me to finish raising her. They are so loving towards my daughter and I am grateful that we were able to work together to raise such an awesome young woman.

As far as her step mom and father go. I have forgiven them. Sometimes its a lot over time of forgiving them. I still won’t talk crap about them but rather that they seek the help that they need, to seek a life that they love, that they learn to love and practice love,and to pour into others with life, I also hope that find where they are happy and less hatful towards the one person who just wanted to be loved and accepted. I pray that one day they learn to forgive themselves and who ever has caused them pain. I pray that one day there will be peace. I pray that one day they can see what a beautiful lady our daughter is but for now I am glad there is a pause in this relationship for all of them. God is working on them and that is all that I can ask for.

In all of this Father was there to help us all through. One day my daughters story is going to touch someones life. What my daughter went through was not in vain, and their story is going to matter to someone else. It was that passage that has impacted my life to make one of the hardest choices in life. Children are so precious. I know that Father loves me the  same ( A lot more) as I love my children. God had a plan the whole time, I just need a little bit of faith. I still don’t hate her step mom or dad and I won’t. It’s just not my thing.

I was wanting to go further into detail of what she’s gone through. I opted not to because there is way too much and I don’t want people to think of her step mom and dad are bad people. We don’t know the extent of their path, what we do know that we are not fighting flesh and blood but rather the demons that had taken residency within their home. We know that a young girl of 15 soon to be 16 took 10 second of courage and faith to make a choice that was best for her.I had the audience of the Holy Spirit and the knowing that Father has a plan. I just had to listen and get out-of-the-way.

When we bring things to light, the enemy can’t use them to hurt us anymore and when the enemy tries we can discern and get the guidance from The Holy Spirit. Just gotta have faith. Now my daughter has the chance for real healing and to live instead of survive. Gotta break the cycle. I am proud of her. It’s funny it has come full circle…. It started with me making adult choices as a young adult to my daughter making different adult choices now.

 

Much love…

Chapter 9 Here’s to you…

For those of you who know someone or you yourself are suffering from mental illness of some kind. These words are for you. Well all of this is for all of you who read.

After enduring all that I have in my life, some of which that I haven’t even begun to talk about it… YET… So lets start with packing up to go to a treatment retreat. That is what I am going to call it or summer camp .. in the winter.

The night before I was so scared, mad, upset, accepting, stubborn, sad some more, shame, guilt, hatred, rage, depression and the rest of all the emotions that you can go through. It was like I was packing to go to a summer camp that my parents are making me go to and I didn’t want. I felt bad for what I had put my kids through, my brother and my mom and lastly my husband. I felt like a huge mistake. I felt bad for what I did to my employees and my job. I mean it was a lot all at once. Too many emotions all at once and I was not in a place to detach from it all. I mean if I had I wouldn’t be going to a ” summer camp.”

When I got there, I was welcomed and yet I just wanted to run away. I knew I needed help and I was being forced to confront all these things. Things as in being alone with all my shit. Plain and simple. I said my goodbyes and it was harder than ever. I clung to my husband just hoping he wouldn’t leave me. But it was time. I walked away and it was so hard. At this point ( a few days after attempting) I couldn’t talk to anyone, or walk out of my house. I even turned off my phone days before. I just couldn’t cope with anything. I couldn’t even be left alone for more than 10 minutes at a time before every bad thing in The Wall contained came crashing down. Every brick of shame, every guilty thing, all the things I have said and done would come full force into my mind. As a result I was really jacked. Panic attacks full force!

So for me, to be in a place where I didn’t have anyone safe to cling to, and I am to trust them fully. That’s crazy. It took all I had to put on my strong face. That seemed to go on a little smoothly than I would have liked, but I was also in survival mode to the max. I hadn’t slept in a few days. I was tired but there was no way that I was going to start sleeping right away. Sleep was a treat for me at this point. I rather be awake and active than have nightmares. I was told that I would meet with all the doctors and therapist in the coming day or two but to try to get settled in and sleep. Once they searched everything in my bag, and took all the things that I could kill myself with I was left alone. FINALLY. The staff was really nice and supportive. They all knew my name without even knowing me yet.

My room was really a small house. The bathroom was pretty nice. I was expecting something more like a hospital bathroom. But It felt like home for now. I just couldn’t have all my stuff the way I wanted, and that was something I struggled with the whole time actually. The room had a great view of tall mountains, and old wooden floors. I had a space that was all mine. I shared the room with others but we weren’t cramped and respected each others space. I stayed as far to back of the room as possible. I had a large desk all to myself. I loved that!! It was in front of a huge window where I could look at the wonderful views. I was unpacking when I was told that everyone had already had dinner but they are waiting for me to eat so they can close the kitchen. Y’all!! We had a chef. I walked in and they all introduced themselves and I ate quickly and alone. The food was pretty good. Eventually the chef knew exactly how I liked my eggs every morning! Fresh food, and very healthy yummy food. Anyway, they made it feel like home as much as they could for the residents there. My camp mates. I will not talk about them or what we did but I will say they are pretty awesome people. We were a community that is for sure.

I still wasn’t really sleeping I was very happy to hear that I was going to be talking to the psychiatrist that morning. I was looking forward to maybe getting some medication to sleep and calm my internal self. Not permanently but for the time being. So I had basically 90 minutes to tell my life story to this person, and just like that I was given a diagnoses. I felt a glimmer of hope. I also was given my schedule of what my days would look like and I was to see my therapist that same day. I felt great that she also prescribed me with meds. I was looking forward to sleeping that night.

So what was my diagnoses. Well, I wasn’t told the whole thing at first. I was told that I have PTSD, Depression with suicide ideation and two others that I didn’t really pay attention too. That was until I saw them on paperwork that was being sent to my work. That is when I saw Borderline Personality Disorder. I lost my crap! Internally, that is. To me when I read that, I needed to see the psychiatrist right then. I called my husband and he tried to calm me down. Even though I was enjoying my newly found community I wanted out of there. I no longer trusted. At this point there was a defcon 1 situation going on in my mind and in that office. haha looking back at it now, they were trying to help me understand what I was going through. Little did I know that I was showing that I was actually having an episode of BPD right then and there. I didn’t see that then, but in all fairness I rejected that part of my diagnoses from that moment.

So let me explain myself a little. When I saw this term BPD I have associated it with like multiple personalities. That is so not it at all. BPD is a result of trauma in my case. It was a result of coping with life, and always being in survival mode all my life. I feel emotions longer and deeper than a healthier mental person. I don’t know who I really am without these symptoms of survival. I have defined my life based on what I have done in my life. Work, accomplishments, kids, spouse, family. Everyone in my life was my personality, everything I did was my personality. I didn’t have my own identity that was truly mine. Then to complicate it even more having BPD I would tend to detach from all emotions to think and asses my situation better to survive. BPD doesn’t allow room for boundaries to be made because there is the huge fear of rejection and abandonment, hence why I overworked myself, tried to be everything everyone ever wanted. Because who would want this jacked up mess of a woman. RIGHT?! And because this a very real thing, people who have this condition get depressed because they have no idea who they are or where they fit. They don’t always know their purpose.They get into bad toxic relationships. I mean everything goes wrong with small amounts of good that happen. That has been my experience. It is a complicated condition. Those that are diagnosed with it hold a lot of shame and guilt for everything and everyone. Someone with BPD can take up to 10 years in order to recover fully. In women that statistic is 60/ 40… 60% of women will recover fully whereas 40% have ended up committing suicide because of it.

The people who take care of people like myself are great people who have great hearts. It’s not easy for the people around me to notice when I am in a mood. BPD patients also have a lot of zoning out stuff. We live in our heads a lot. I do anyway. Not as much as before. People close to me are able to bring me out of the zone. I feel a lot of guilt for the people who take care of me, there are days I feel bad for myself. I just want to be better and it is a long road ahead of me to get there. I am learning patience and its worth it because I am worth it.

Imagine a situation where you accidentally bump into someone at the store. Healthy people just say sorry and move on. People with BPD over think the whole thing. They feel so deeply sorry and sad that they didn’t pay attention, then they feel that they need to over apologize, then go through an array of other emotions. Before it’s all said and done  a day has passed and two panic attacks later than can move on and realized that it wasn’t a bad thing. This is a, at times a moment to moment, day-to-day, hour by hour thing. Learning to feel and accept an emotional response is hard. Allowing myself to cry just because I had a flashback is hard. Allowing myself to feel joy is harder, because I feel that I don’t deserve all that joy at that moment, then that whole cycle starts again. Its exhausting. PERIOD. To actually talk to someone about feelings is hard when you have spent all your life detaching from emotional stressors. That includes the good too.

So what works… well we are all different. Some people with BPD are really hard to handle when they don’t talk openly or honestly about whats in their head. All BPD patients have had similar traumas but we are all different. That is why it is so complicated to have a pinpoint plan of action to help that person. We all respond differently to treatment courses. There isn’t a pill on this planet that can treat this condition. So for those of you who think that… please don’t. It is completely up to the person to take action to get the help they need. Forcing pills down their throat to most is just confirming to that person that they are not worth the work. Forcing them to do anything is not a good thing. That is my opinion. When it was forced to me, I bailed and rejected, detached, burned that bridge and walked away. This condition is right at the heart of this person. Rewiring is what needs to happen.

So for me, I finally decided to take another look at BPD. With an open heart and mind. I had already treated most of my issues. Oh yeah! I was also diagnosed with OCD and extreme agoraphobia. Haha squirrel moment. I am still working on my OCD, somethings are very hard to break when you have done them for a long time. Just saying. The depression is gone. I have to practice some things when I am triggered but that is all part of the recovery process. Plain and simple. I have tools that I can use for that other stuff.

Those other issues are just fruit from a bad root. That root for me is BPD. Tackle that root and I will continue to have good soil to grow. So when I chose to read my condition I finally accepted that I have this issue. BPD doesn’t define who I am as a person. I do the work in order to get better. I can’t wait to see who I really am when I am done with all of this. So I do work that is called DBT ( Dialectical behavior Therapy) Basically, you learn who you are. You are being rewired to who your real identity really is. You learn new ways to cope, learn ways to feel the emotions and process them in a healthy way, figuring out what you really like and don’t. Setting boundaries, learning what your true morals and ethics are. I mean the list goes on and on. There are days where I get so frustrated and want to take it out on something, and that is usually myself. Learning to communicate in a way that is less aggressive to myself and others. Learning grace for myself and others. being mindful. It’s all in practice. As much as I would like to be better now, I know that I am not. I have to rewire all the lies that I believed and work on the ones that are true.

I know that I can’t work outside the home because I know that I will dominate in ways that are unhealthy for me. I will put all that I know into that job and overwork myself and start that cycle again. I am mindful enough to know that. I recognize that I would even make up lies to convince others that I am okay enough to work outside the home just so I can feel something that I have known. I am fortunate enough that I have an opportunity to live out my dreams right now. I wouldn’t have said that a year ago. I had to overcome people telling me that I needed to go back to work. I had to overcome their judgments. It’s really hard to do when you feel everything and detaching is not an option. Besides it’s not their life its mine. That was a hard thing to say at first.

Sometimes day-to-day stuff can be just too much. But everyday I have the opportunity to live not survive. I have to fight for my life everyday but everyday it gets that much more easier to handle. I know what is important to me. I know that life happens and I can’t run detach from my issues. I have to be present in them not in the past, not in the future. I have to be in the right now. I also know that I can’t do this alone. I know that I have voice and its ok for me to use it. It’s ok for me to vulnerable and its ok to show that without feeling shame for it. Not everyone is going to like me, and I have no business knowing what they feel about me when it’s behind my back. Its ok for me to feel the way that I do, and I know that its ok for me to tell people NO.

Everyday is a new day, a new problem, a new solution, a new way of seeing who I am, a new way to live, a new day to be who I am meant to be. To the people who help take care of BPD patients, family, spouses, kids, parents, anyone there is hope. Don’t give up on that person but don’t live their life either. Don’t stop living because they don’t know how to yet. Create your own boundaries but don’t sink into every fiber of who they are. You are meant to live just as much as they are. They just don’t know it yet. It is not your responsibility to ensure that they get the help, you are there to support and love. But they have to be the ones to do the work not you. Try not to take what they say personally because they are fighting a deeper fight within themselves. and yes most BPD folks fear that you will leave them, sometimes they just need to hear that they are worth it. Even if they don’t believe yet. They will eventually see the mirror in new eyes if they want to and ready to. Be kind, full of grace, assertiveness and love. That is all we all really want anyway. It’s a complicated condition and there is a lot of work to be done. There is a way out.

I had the great experience of deliverance to help me know who I am in Gods eyes. That gives me something to hold on to but that is my experience. I can’t say the same for so many others. I know how hard it is to be on the side of BPD but I refuse to be defined by it. BPD is not who I am. I am a great person. I have a big heart. I am an introvert with great social skills for the most. It’s a work in progress. I am a good mom. I am beautiful. I am funny, I am caring and loving. I am cherished, I am loved, I am worth it, I am loved by my creator, I am so many other things. I am falling in love with who I am little by little.

I am reversing all the lies that I once believed. I am learning what people really see in me and that is inspirational and empowering. I am seeing how I can affect my life in a positive way and how I impact others. I see that I am worth it to myself. I am happy. I am not perfect and I don’t want to be. I am me and I have a lot to offer to myself and others. I have a long road of me but I am enjoying the journey.

To those of you who have a mental illness, hold on. You are worth it, you are loved even if you don’t believe it yet, there is hope, make a commitment to yourself to do the work everyday, give yourself a lot of grace, you are not a mistake, its ok to make mistakes. You can do this. Reach out… you can even reach out to me. I will gladly be there to listen without saying anything… unless you want me too.

Kris

Chapter 8 

So I have been reading The Shack by WM Paul Young. You know what?! I haven’t cried so many tears of joy at one time in almost nine months. This read brings me in a place that is treasured and cherished to me. I want to share part of it with you. 

I had mentioned in my last post about the questions of why God allows things to happen. I want to touch on that a little more. Here’s the reason why. Clarification. 

So many of us blame God first. Guilty! I know I have. I can’t speak for everyone in this world but I can speak for me. I mostly had this phase in my teen years. I really thought that he was to blame. God equals good in my eyes so why does the bad happen? 

Well, to those of you who don’t know there is evil in this world. It’s all over the place. And sometimes it resides in us. I know it resided in me and in all my hurts. And the lies that I believed are what made The Wall in my life. Every red brick was a lie that I believed from evil. 

I am going to be blunt because I don’t know any other way to say these next few things. ( that’s a lie because it’s not a few things. Haha) but it comes from a place of love in my heart. I have been dancing around this subject for a few posts now but now is the time. 

My Father doesn’t create the tragic things that happen in life. He does use it as way to give it purpose of Love. In one way or another Love comes out of it. Let that sink in for a second. 

This was a hard thing for me to swallow when I first heard this. I even gave the look of ” This person is cray cray boo boo.” And even looking around to see if anyone else agrees. It didn’t come. If they did agree they weren’t going to tell me. 

When I was first introduced to Jesus,heaven and hell I was a young child. I remember asking my Grandpa O what would happen if I did anything wrong. Mind you, when I asked this I was holding a old King James Verison of the good book. It had pictures in the book of Revelations. It looked horrific that is why I asked. As we stood in the kitchen as he was gathering the garbage he told me that I would burn in hell for all eternity  Two words…. life changing!! I didn’t want to burn in hell for all eternity!!  I really wanted to learn everything in The Bible so that I wouldn’t ever go to that bad place. 

Then there was my Granny and GrandDaddy their version was a lot less absolute. They spoke of Jesus as Love. I didn’t understand that either. I was confused. 

About this time in my life I started to experience things I really didn’t understand. The supernatural. Far fetched?! No not really. I had my first premonition through a dream as child. It involved my mom and her friend going out to a bar and her friends boyfriend trying to kill them. I told my mom about my dream. I was very specific on the details and like so many other moms she told me kindly that it was a dream. She added that I had nothing to worry about. I trusted her words and thought nothing of it. That was until she woke me up in the middle of the night asking me how did I know. She made me tell her friend the next morning. My mom told me that I was crazy. Haha, I am sure she meant that as a term of endearment. Or shock. I don’t know. Maybe it scared her. 

So I continue to talk about this I will use terms that I have used to describe what I saw or experienced. The dark is what I would describe things. I found it odd that as I grew older these feelings, sightings or seeing people’s thoughts were strong.  I always felt in my heart they were curses. Not gifts as so many others called them. They weren’t gifts. They were exhausting and tolling on me. People asking me to talk to the dead like it was nothing was very taxing. I hated that I could see what was in people’s minds and they didn’t appreciate it either. Getting dates wasn’t easy back then. 

In my twenties I tried so hard to turn them off. All of it. And it ate at me. It was hurting me. Nightmares, the awful things people say and do to others, or being taken advantage of by the dead. So weird right. I often told myself that if I used it for good then I can do good. Not without some sort of consequence of course. I started to discover that a lot of people in my family have these things in one form or another. That includes my mom. Her stories are things out of scary movies. Not like mine are any better but it seems so normal for us. 

My Father was never far behind in these quests. Y’all have to understand I didn’t have friends growing up in my super young years. I had my Father and Jesus. I talked to them like I would any other person in my life. I hungered to know them but I knew I was never alone. I hated when the darkness came. When they were around I knew I was safe.  As a child, I didn’t know it was them but here is how I knew them. 

I was guided on what to say when a man was trying to kidnap me one morning to school. I was directed to go to a neighbors house in hopes that someone would open the door. They were there throughout everything in my life. I just didn’t KNOW them the way I know them now. I just knew to trust that voice and not the other voice from the darkness. 

The dark voice was not ever up to any good. It would disguise itself to be good but wasn’t. But the darkness I knew well. But the light was never far behind. I sought out the light. I needed it. 

The darkness came into life before I was even born. The darkness is what I knew first before my Father. The darkness has been using people’s hurts to take up residency in their lives. They tell you lies and we’re humans; It’s so easy for us to believe the bad than the good. 

The more hurt we are the more we believe the lies. Generally speaking that is. We are all different. I have believed all those lies and at some point even embraced them. Hence my huge brick wall. 

There was a turning point for me in my relationship with my Father. I started asking the hard questions. Why did God make his only son die for us? Why am I raised catholic? Do these prayers and holy water really hold any real power? Is kneeling every five minutes in mass really impacting my life? Is it really showing my faithfulness to God? And why do I have to go through conformation to get married? And why do I have to marry a catholic man? Same went with my dad when we talked about church. He raised me a Baptist. Polar opposites in the way faith is practiced and equally exhausting. I remember telling both of them I wasn’t going to be a part of it. My mom didn’t like my choice and neither did my dad but they understood where I was coming from. 

I didn’t feel that doing rituals or pretending was the way to God’s heart. That was my thinking at 15 and 16 years old. I mean, I had already seen the dark side of things all around me and in the news. I wanted to believe that there wasn’t a hell to go to but that I was living in hell on this planet and I had to find God in this world. Talk about confusion right?! I was totally confused. I’m sure reading this you’re confused haha. 

So what did I do? Well, let me tell you. I hung on to what I knew in my heart of God and fought as much as I could against the darkness. 

I had this helpless feeling that the darkness was stronger than me but I held on. My dad gave me all my bibles I have today. But he had given me a bible that was passed down to him from GrandDaddy. It was special to me. He gave it to me after I went to a church lock in and I was saved. I got so close to God in those moments. He was life. And I clung to him in a very codependent way. He was my air when the darkness wanted to suffocate me. And I think my dad knew that. I hungered for God. I hungered to feel loved and wanted. God did that for me. My Father still does. 

I depended on Father for everything. I knew I was going to be okay one way or another. I hoped for more but didn’t know what that would look like. And I was still searching for love. 

In all the hurts that I have ever encountered He was there but I didn’t know it like I do now. 

For instance I didn’t understand why he wasn’t there when that man pulled my panties down to get his pleasure. That was a hurt that was deep. How could God allow someone to do that to a child? I got my answer. I was presented a vision. 

I’m not sure if I do it justice by saying it was a vision, but, as if I were there all over again. I was that small child standing toward the wall reading that book and Jesus was there. He asked me to turn around and to look at that man. To see that he was sick and it was beyond my understanding how sick he was. That there was nothing I could have done to change him. I forgave that man for doing what he did to me and grateful he didn’t do more to hurt me. And just like that Jesus picked him up and asked me to leave the room. I choose to forgive and give Jesus that hurt. 

The very first time I saw Jesus’ face he was behind my mom. She was choking me over the same stupid vent on the floor. I was reliving another hurt. As she’s choking me I don’t feel pain or fear like before. Jesus said ” Kristal look at your mom. She how sad she is. See how scared she is. This isn’t your mom right now. She is in pain. Forgive your mom. She’s going through things that you don’t understand.” I cried  because He was right. I no longer saw rage or anger in my mom. I saw her hurts and her own pain. I saw how sad she was. I saw how the darkness was in her too and in those moments rage it really wasn’t my mom. Not in those eyes. 

I am crying even writing this because He was so tender with my mom. He would pick her up at the very moment she would stop hurting me. And he would take her to her room. He was there the whole time y’all. I knew that for sure now because he was actually showing me. He was the one to be there to stop her. That is what I believe. Jesus helped me see. God knows how much I love my momma. 

To get out of the darkness of my own fears and stress I had to see things with new eyes. He showed me that choosing to forgive the people that have caused me hurts made a huge difference in my own life and recovery. 

I knew at that moment that Father was there the whole time and He wasn’t the one who caused these events in my life but that he was there to help me through it all. Telling me That my story matters. That these things in my life are going to help someone else at his perfect timing that only he knows. He can use the hurts and events for good. Glory be to Him. 

He has shown me love in all these hurts I’ve have. He has shown me when I get out of his way things happen. He has shown me that the love I have for him I will stand alone because people have a hard understanding things they don’t know. I am humbled by the love he has for all of his children. 

He has shown me who I am within him. He helped me save my little child self from a very dark place. He holds that young Kristal’s hand as she grows up to be a woman. She has a lot to learn about who she really is. 

I talk to Father like I would my own parents, my friends or like my children. Without scolding though 😉. When I attempted suicide He was there too. 

I have debated on when to dive into this topic. In fact I avoided it. I knew I wasn’t going to win that argument with Father because He knows what’s best. All my close friends know where I stand when it comes to God. In the most impossible situations I will turn to him first. I won’t rely on my own thoughts on most things. I talk to Father throughout my day. I have annoyed people with my talks of Jesus. 

I know how fantastic this all sounds but it’s the truth. When I am sad I ask for Him to hold me and He does. When I am happy I know he is too. I have a duty to live this life to the fullest because Jesus died so that I could.

 The love that washes over me is unfathomable. I don’t even know how to describe it. For the first time in my life I know Love. But that is for another day. 

Chapter 7 The Wall

There comes a time during the moments of change. Almost all self-help or personal development books, the journey leads to a place to overcome. I know that I have been to this place many times. I call this the wall.

The wall is a place for me that has huge signs of DO NOT ENTER! DANGER DANGER! That wall is a place of things that I don’t want to encounter ever again. I have lied to myself over and over that I don’t need to ever look over that wall ever again. Much less break it wide open all over again. F that noise. That was my exact thoughts about The Wall.

Envision the great brick wall that seems so tall and wide. That is where I kept all my shame and guilt. All the burning desires of anything that I thought was wrong and bad. Every bad thought I have ever had, every bad thing I have ever said. You name it, it went there. To me it was massive. Every bad thing that ever happen to me that I blamed myself for, went in there. So to me when the books told me to confront the things in my past that were holding me back, I envisioned me looking up at this huge brick wall then looking down in despair. I made a choice to try to go around it. I refused to revisit that place ever again. I did this for many years.

So there is a moment for me when I built this wall. I was fifteen. I had already experienced my virtue taken from me and now feeling alone. There were many guys that have ” tried,” to get in my pants as a result of this news in the tiny town I lived in. I started my freshman year that year and I met a young man my age. I didn’t think of sex like my peers did, I could care less really. He was a virgin it made it safe for me. He was scared but curious and I didn’t care. We ended up having sex, and I ended up pregnant right before summer vacation. Oh lucky me.

Sex was awkward for me to be honest. All I could think about was hurry up I feel gross. I really didn’t want to have sex. I was like reliving the trauma all over again. In fact I would stop and push him off me. I hate it. The whole darn thing. So when I got pregnant talk about a shocker. I was with my Dad and I happened to have been bucked off my horse that summer during a poker ride, and ended up needing to go to the doctor. Little did I know that my dad suspected so much more when he took me. I was sleeping more than normal. I was sleeping in the car which I never have done in my life. Showers were painful. I did tell my dad that as well. I could tell my dad anything.

So when the doctor came in she told me the news,”you hurt your back and you’re pregnant. Do you want to tell your father or would you like me too?” Whoa!  That is a lot to take in. I told her to tell my father for me and I walked out. I walked past my dad and said she wants to talk to you, and I waited in the truck. I was trying to process everything that was just told me and what was going to be told to my father. OH MY GOD!!! He is going to be so disappointed in me. He’s walking to the car…. Keep it together Kristal.

He hops into the car, and as happy as he could. “My baby is having a baby.” I lost it! I start crying and saying sorry over and over. Like it was going to change my fate in any way. He then has this bright idea that he needs to tell my mom. That was the first time I ever cursed at my dad. “Are you F-ing crazy?! She will kill us both!!” He laughed it off like I was joking! This man is insane. What the heck am I going to do, and my dad is to kind to me to tell me what he is really thinking. I am a royal screw up. A+ for me on this. In all fairness though it’s not like I was educated in real life situations to handle such things. Sure I passed health class with an A but how do I talk to my parents about this sort of thing. My sister was the one who was experienced in this arena of life, and I am not telling her crap anymore. I vowed at this point that I would not do the same thing with my kids. I would make it a safe place to ask for the things that they need in these situations before there is a baby on the way.

So I am thinking of everything and anything all at the same time, and I just want to eat my emotions. Pizza it is. I make my dad take me to pizza hut in Hillsboro OR. I sat there quietly, and my dad is encouraging me to talk. I am just sick about the whole thing. The guy in the matter was the last thing on my mind. I was overwhelmed, full of pizza and exhausted. My dad comforted me a lot that night but kept telling me that he needed to tell my mom. I yelled at him not to, and beg him not to. That I would tell her myself.

Little did I know that back home, there were problems on the home front. My step dad accused my mom of cheating on him, and they have been fighting. There were in a midst of a separation. The crap had hit the fan back home. I had no idea what I was literally flying back too. Which by the way, flying a four-hour flight while preggers sucks!! I threw up the whole time. I even had to throw up in the little bags behind the seat while taking off. It was so humiliating. When I arrived in New Mexico I was welcomed as usual but my mom wasn’t there. She always is there to get me from the airport.

I raced to the bathroom and threw up again. This made everyone suspicious of me. I have never done that. EVER!! So once I was cleaned we went to Olive Garden as usual and my step dad was wearing his sunglasses still. I was confused. I looked at my boyfriend and my brother. Neither of them knew haha but I knew something was wrong. My guilt comes rushing to my face! Did my dad tell on me?! My step starts to cry while at the table. Now I am confused. Now mind you I had no idea whats been happening while I was with my dad. Then my step dad laid it out for me. It was the hardest thing for me to hear.

“Kristal your mom and I are getting a divorce.” Oh my gosh NOOO. “I have this suspicion that she has been cheating on me.” hahaha that’s a joke. I did giggle because that was outrageous claim against my mom. She maybe a lot of things but a cheater. NOOOOPE try again. So he tells me the whole story of what he suspects of my mom. I explained to him why those were all false. Anyway that was not good enough to him but I see now that I was a teenager with no real life experience with this sort of thing… YET. They still don’t know that I am pregnant. Maybe I should have stayed with my dad. This is not going to end well. So part of the tradition of picking me up we either go shopping or to a movie. I opted for a movie because then no one had to talk. We can sit silently in our guilt and joys. My step dad and I had a lot on our minds and my brother and boyfriend know nothing. Super. So my step dad picks the movie. He picks ” A Perfect Murder.” I remember looking at my brother then my step dad as tears rolls down his face as the movie plays. Now I am concerned. He walked out and after I gathered my thoughts and my own feelings I had the rest of us follow. I felt bad for the man. There was no way my mom would ever do anything  like that to him. She actually loves this dude. He has is facts all wrong and he was on the bad end of my mom. Then there is me and my bundle of news to deal with. I knew that I couldn’t wait very long to tell my mom. Otherwise, she would be even more upset that I didn’t trust her enough to tell her right away, even though she has her own issues to tend too.

We get home I call my sister right away and talk to her about it, she told me the same thing. I needed to tell mom, but they were arguing in the dining room. I went out there to make sure my brother wasn’t in the room while they were arguing. My step dad had told my mom about what we did at some point. The next morning I was laying on the couch sick a dog and tired, and there stood my mom. She always had this look about her when she had something on her mind. I knew right then she knew. She asked me if I was up for shopping. Like I will turn that down. ” Are you feeling good enough to go shopping with me today?” she said so tenderly. I felt calm enough to tell her once we were in the car. It was just me and her. We rarely had me and her time. So I knew she knew for sure. I sat in the car, and she was backing out of the garage. ” So how far along are you?” I am stunned. Ok we are going to talk about it right now right now. I tell her that I only had found out a few days ago. To which she said that I was not going to keep it and a lecture that I am happy to never have to go through again. She then realized that I needed the How To instructions to sex. Always have condoms, don’t share my body, and the dreaded birth control talk. She asked if my boyfriend knew and I said no. She told me I had to tell him before she calls his mom. OOOOh crap a doodles, she’s calling his MOM!! Better her than me I suppose.

Later on that night, I was called to her room. She had just gotten off the phone with his mom and they both agreed that I was to get an abortion. There was no negations. Now this is where the wall is built-in a day. That choice they made for me was against everything I have ever believed. I was killing a baby that God had given me. I was committing murder and premeditated at that. There was a date and time already. There was no talking about it anymore. I was so upset. I didn’t even get to really make the choice on my own. I see where my mom was coming from. We were young and had our whole lives to have children. Which is all understandable. I get that logic but my relationship with God might change. What if he hates me for this. I am a failure at this too. They all agreed except me. I finally accepted the day before we went.

I remember the sonogram before the procedure, seeing that baby in there. Hearing its heartbeat. I remember it all. I remember being sedated and telling them no as they sucked the baby out of me. That is what it felt like anyway. They told me it was too late and to get up and get dressed. I threw up and sat in the recovery room with other women who hung their heads low. I walked out aware of everything and we went out to eat. It was the first thing I was able to eat in like a month. The after effects of that drug made me feel happy. I wish it could have lasted a lot longer than that day, because that night I felt a darkness over me and it stayed for a long time. I haven’t been able to talk about it until this last year. There were so many unanswered questions for me. I needed to know that I was going to be okay at the end of all of this and no one could tell me. I reached out for help but the therapist wanted me to talk about it. There is that wall again. That stupid tall brick wall.

I stare at the wall, as the therapist is asking me to talk to my dead baby. What would you say to that. I just stared at that brick wall that I couldn’t get over. So I left. I left that mans office and didn’t look back. I was ok. I can get past this. I know that I can. The last thing the therapist kept getting at was forgiveness. That is a strong word for me at that point. How can I forgive this? How can I forgive my boyfriend? How can I forgive my mom? How can I forgive myself? How can God forgive me? So many questions. So many choices had to be made for my future and yet there was this large darkness that had overwhelmed me once more. Maybe it was always waiting in the wings. Maybe God was punishing me.

Well these are all questions that we ask about our Creator isn’t it? Why does God allow bad things to happen? He has to be testing me, right? How can He can forgive even the worst people? Well I may have answer for ya. I had all the same questions throughout many events in my life. Some you will get to know soon enough, but those questions above in these moments I have an answer for.

God, our Father, He allows situations to happen because he has bestowed us with a blessing to cross paths with someone else and our testimony is going to impact that person’s life. Or because we simply didn’t listen to his answer about something he said no to, so he allows us to go through these situations. Always remember that you’re never alone in your situation He already knows how its going to end, and He doesn’t walk you to your situations doorstep just to leave you to go on the journey alone. It’s all about faith that you know He is going to be there to help you through. And at the end of the journey the glory goes to God. Your story matters. You have to have the courage to open your mouth to speak it.

God didn’t leave me in my time of my abortion. I left me. I left everything behind that stupid wall. God was there all along He was waiting for me to take his hand so he can help me out, but I never took it. I went along a very dark path. Dark to me anyway. I acted out. I smoked weed, I had sex again, I drank a lot. I lied. I stopped caring. I was going to do what I wanted to do regardless who it was going to hurt. I went to parties and eventually I went back to my Dads. But God never left me. He walked right by me the whole time just waiting. Telling me softly to not do what I was about to do. Telling me that I was worth it, I shut him out. How can he forgive such an unforgivable sin. That is what I thought for a long time. So how did all these answers come to me.

There is a story that will come later but here is what I will tell you now. The day that I met Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and heard God once more is the day that all those answers came to me. I asked God for forgiveness for the abortion, and he said with a loud Yes. I was asked if I could forgive myself and I started crying. I said Yes. I felt Him hold me close to him. I was being hugged by my Father. I have not ever felt love like that. I learned right at that moment…. What love was. Unfiltered love. I just cried in that couch and cried. I have not ever felt something so pure in my life. I was told that I would one day meet that baby and he was safe. I know how why we go through the things we do. One way or another people come into our lives or we are called to serve Him in ways that we didn’t think were possible. Philippians 4:13 I know now what I am called to do for him. That is to tell you my story. He got me out of the darkness in such a way.

So I am writing this out today because I knew that this is part of the wall that I am knocking out of my life. This is the start of the hard stuff that is yet to be written about. So all week I knew I had to write this part out, and I was staring at that wall in minor defeat. But I knew that I can do this because this is my calling. I will no longer have this brick wall to stare at in defeat but to stare at this wall knowing it’s already been defeated and it is no longer there. I will walk through that shame and guilt with my head held high because my Father has already defeated the enemy and the victory has already been won. All you need is a little bit of faith and courage. I know that my story is going to reach who it is meant to reach. I say there is hope even if your faith is a small as a mustard seed. God can do a lot with that mustard seed. I love you all.

Chapter 9 Love? What is that anyway?

I will talk about this subject a lot. I am going to treat this chapter as if it were a journal entry. Love… So many of us, if not all of us seek love. So what is love. That is a question all of us seek in our hearts. There is such a stigma that comes with a woman when talks of love. Well darn it everyone wants and needs love. It’s what we think love is. So let me take you on a journey of what that looks like for me.

The definition of Love

Love

Noun

1.An intense feeling of deep affection

2. A person or thing that one loves

3.(in tennis,squash and some other sports) a score of zero

Verb

  1. Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to

So that is what the dictionary says. Thank you Bing and Siri for that help. Haha

To me that definition is very subjective. I know for me I, like most people have wanted a love that is so deep and true it would make the heavens rejoice. I always envisioned my very own prince charming. Not only did he have all the looks and that V that drives any sane woman crazy. Thick hair, strong jaw, strong shoulders and the most gorgeous arms that can hold any woman tight and to top it off can wear a great pair of jeans and plain white T-shirt. To me that was just physical stuff. I wanted that and the heart of gold as well. The man who knew how to treat people with the great empathy, respect and knew how to stand his ground. Who has great morals and ethics. Who was proud of me in all my flaws and goodness.A man that would take care of me in all ways the way that I would take care of him. A man who knew how to just love me unconditionally. Finally, good in bed. Of course there is so much more to all of that. I wanted a man that could talk to my heart and intrigue my mind.

As I grow older that all changes a little bit. But I noticed that as I do age there are many kinds of Love. I was wanting a movie or book love. So I thought.

So with me, even though I want to talk about something may or may not exist. There are loves that are very real. There is the love we have for our parents, siblings, other family members,our children,community, our pets, love for our church, friends, friends who are family,movies,books, activities, hobbies. I don’t hear many people talk about how they love themselves or the love they have for our Creator. We have love for them too.

All of those things and I am sure that I have missed some things and people that we love. So what is love to me? What is love to you?

Love to me is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are one. One is not higher than the other. They each bring different things to the table but its all love. Selfless and raw love. Everything done with the purpose of love. I didn’t that until I actually allowed them into my heart fully. That is the greatest gift that I was given a little over a year ago. The road was long and hard with great moments of life that I cherished. There were all those other moments that happened as well, but even then I always saw a brighter side to those situations. To me they are one and one love that is so perfect.

Then there is love of my children. Everything I have ever done for my kids was done out of love. I knew that I needed to stop the cycle that my own parents had tried to pass down to me. Not that they knew that was happening. I choose to love my kids almost to the point of smothering. Haha. I showed them the love I had always wanted from my parents. I love the crap out of all my kids! I hold them, I kiss them, I cuddle with them, I praise them, I correct them, I would do anything for them. I teach them the why we do things and why we don’t. I prank my kids, I play with my kids. I laugh with my kids, I cry with my kids, and I love watching them grow into the awesome humans they are. They are my world.

The love that I have for my parents is pretty awesome too. I love them both for who they are and all the things they don’t know about themselves. Mom always told me that one day I would learn who they are as people not as mom and dad. She was so right. I learned who they are and some of what they went through to attempt to raise me. Like I said before I wasn’t always easy. I wasn’t meant to be easy. I didn’t love one more than the other. I love them both for who they are and what they mean to me. My mom is one of my bestie, and so is my dad. I can tell them anything. They each give me words of wisdom and they each do it in love. I also love them for all the pain they went through. They are very much a part of my life and love. My mom is my rock and one woman who I love going on adventures on. We have a lot of fun together. I don’t think we would have had that kind of relationship if I hadn’t been me the whole time. My mom wasn’t the only teaching me things in life. For us its a two-way street and it feels great that we push each other in ways that at times makes us uncomfortable but we do it. I love my momma. My dad is kind of like my teacher. We talk about everything too. We love to talk about Jesus and life. He helps me see things from a different point of view and perspective that I may have overlooked. My dad loves me all of me. I definitely get his sense of humor. He and I even talk similar when we talk about life with others. Almost like a teacher would to students. Its wonderful. He knows my mind for the most part. My mom knows my heart for the most part, and together we all make a great team. I feel they raised a pretty awesome human. I think of them like immortals. I can’t see my life without them in it in some way. I felt the same way about my Granddaddy. That man had all of my heart. He and I were connected in such a way that only God knows. He is the man who made a great model of what my husband will be when I was a little girl. I loved him and still love him. Its been two years since he went home to Granny and Jesus. Now he gets to hang around the cool crowd. That makes me smile.

My friends and friends I have considered family…. There are no words for I how I love them. There are really only three people who I have let get close to me. That is just because of all my junk that I carried with me. Some were willing to stick with me through it all. I love them like I do my family. I would do all that I could for them.

Then there is everyone else. I have a lot of love that I want to share with people. I love people in such a way that I don’t judge what you are going through. I don’t even to pretend that I know what you are going through in life. I don’t have that kind of power. There is a lot of people out there that just need someone to let them know that they matter too. Maybe no one has ever said to them Hey I freaking love you. You are important too. But I am not Jesus y’all. I can’t fix this world. I can only do my part in just loving my neighbor, brother and sister. For instance when people say awful things to me, I don’t dare think with feelings or take it personal. I have no idea what that person is going through. I have no idea what pain or joy they have. I choose to respond in such a way that makes me question myself at times. Like, there are times that maybe I should have been pissed but I wasn’t. Forgive and move on. I know that I am different but there are people who feel that they need to tell me awful things they think about me. When really it may be them who is having these feelings about themselves.

Like some people have told me that I need to do something different from spend my time writing or working from home. I am not that person that fits into this world very easily or at all. Trust me and ask my parents. They tried to have me follow what the ” world” expects me to do. That is just not me. I was not put on this earth to do what the world expects me to do. I do what I am asked to do by my Father. What he says goes. Not the world. I have no idea if that makes to y’all but it makes sense to me.

Love is so important to all of us as humans. That is the one thing that we crave the most. It is the MOST WANTED, most desired. We all want to be loved. I am curious what love means to you. How has it impacted your life. Or the lack there of love?

I crave the deepest of intimacy from those close to me. I am so willing to share and I do crave to listen and be there in the most intimate times of people’s lives. If that is one thing I want it’s that sort of intimacy from another human. I don’t how to describe it … yet but when I do find the words I will share. I want a relationship with you all. I want to get to know you, and that is my expression of love to you all.