Finally I can speak about it… It’s time to Rise UP!!!

I can finally talk about something that is close to my heart, that has affected so many people. I am finally going to open up about a very sensitive subject. I will talk about my story then go from there. Buckle up buttercups.

Like so many young women in my age group, and maybe its still a thing, but I wanted to wait to have sex until marriage. At the age of thirteen that was stolen from me by a young man I was going to end up going to school with. I can tell you all the things that I lost that day, my virtue was taken from me, my friends turned there back on me, I was quickly isolated, and I lost my boyfriend at the time. I was made fun of a lot and I was isolated and forced to find different group of friends. That event that happened in my life doesn’t hurt me anymore, because I have been healed and restored from that time. God was able to turn that bad situation into a good one.

So lets fast forward to present day. I now have kids of my own, and the danger of predators is on a whole new level. The world that all kids live in is a fast moving one. There is social media that has brought on a whole different disconnect and connect to people. From my experience there are a lot of kids that are not really into the connection of face to face interaction with other people. Especially new people. It is easier to connect to someone in what they think is a safer place over social media or other media as long as its not face to face in the moment. Talking on the phone is also taboo to them unless its their friends. My teens think that I am “Old School,” and that all of those things are old people ways. No one talks on the phone anymore, no one does weird old people stuff like that anymore. Nevertheless, I have tried to get my kids to be smarter about this day and age of things. Like don’t send “Nudes,” ever because those will never go away. Don’t be forced to do things are not wanting or ready to do. Make safe choices when you are away from home, and don’t ever feel that you can’t reach out when things go bad. That’s just to name a few. Now keep in mind that I am a young mom, and the age difference between me and my oldest is 17 years. That isnt really anything. I am aware that kids will do whatever they want in the moment it happens. We all want to believe that our children are going to use the tools that we have given them and make good choices in the moment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

So I am one of those parents that goes through my kids phones and rooms and whatnot. One day some time ago I went through my daughters phone, upon going through her phone I discovered a very disturbing text on her phone. It was through Snapchat, I didnt want to confront her while we were celebrating a holiday with family. I wanted to wait until we got home to ask some very hard questions. Unfortunately, she opened the message right after I did and other family members saw that message as well. Which started a very hard discussion openly. I sent her away after giving her a hug and letting her know that we will be talking about this when we got home. From that moment on there was a changing in our lives.

A grown man asked my daughter to send nudes to let him know that she was safe, and a picture photo of a grown couple working out with a caption saying ” this could be us but I would get a boner.” Now ask yourself what would you do? Where would you start? What would you ask your child? How would you feel? I will tell you exactly what I did, and what I felt, what I asked, and what my journey has been since then.

This has been a journey I have been on for quite some time now. When I saw these, I was in shock. Composed on the outside but shocked. Like was I really seeing what I was in that moment. YES I was!! This was happening to my child. This is happening this is really happening. What am I going to do and say to her? There was a plethora of feelings and way more questions than answers at that moment. But the one thing that was constant that I have to do something. So after a very hard discussion with my daughter and reading all the messages for nearly two years, of grooming, my mind was firm on what I was going to do. I comforted my daughter as much I can. I asked her if she was ever going to say anything to anyone about this and she told me NO. I’m sure so many of you are asking yourself, ” Kristal you just said that you are a parent that goes through your Childrens things, and this has been happening for nearly two years.” Yes that is true 100% but my daughter wasn’t living with me at the time. She was living with her side of the family. To whom were very close to her abuser. The very same people who blamed her, called her a liar, and eventually kicked her out of the house, and she came to live with me. But that is getting ahead of the story.

She saved their conversation over Snapchat for that time, the only thing that isn’t saved are the videos that come through. In another words, the Snapchat video are meant to not be seen again once they have been played, there are times when you can see the video again, but its only once more. And That’s it folks. Now, to disclose another tidbit about this man. This man had been a part of her life for a long long long time. He was the best friends of her family on that side. He was also in law enforcement. I will say right here and now, That I support police and all law enforcement. One “bad apple,” doesn’t overshadow the great works that law enforcement does everyday. You don’t have to like my opinion and I respect that. So what he had done was use her bad living situation as his way in. He used his authority status to build a deeper relationship with her. Hence grooming her, he had her isolated in a relationship via social media. He would visit her and her family on that side, and even help them out by helping buy food and pay for their rent. He would counsel her when her home life on that side got physical or mentally overwhelming or abusive. As their “relationship” grew he would say things like ” Just ask your parents how good of a man I am, I will always be there for you.” Or He would say ” Just remember that I love you, and you do have a cute butt, have a great day” So things like that, it went on and on, he would send memes that were relatable to the things or characters that my daughter liked. Overall, he was waiting for her to give him permission to “Be” with her. I asked hard questions like, Is this consensual? How does this make you feel? Her response was this, Its doesn’t make me feel good, I feel awkward when he sends things like that Mom thats why I started saving the messages because it feels wrong, and I cant tell anyone at my house because they are close friends with him, they will take his side. And he is a cop mom. That’s why I changed the subject or not talk for a bit to him.” Talk about heartbreak. She was completely alone. Then she disclosed that he also befriended her friends. I later found out that he also befriended another family member of mine. They were the same age as my daughter at the time.

She trusted this man at first. She would consider him an Uncle to her. That is how she identified him. He had no familiar ties with her what so ever. But lets face it, that is what Sexual predators do. They become a part of their lives intimately, groom them, create a trust between them, isolate them in some fashion.

So here I am with this information, now what to do with it. Here’s what I knew then.

  • He is a police officer
  • He is grooming my daughter
  • He is sending inappropriate messages to my daughter
  • He lives in my area
  • He is extremely close to her family on that side
  • She is isolated and will not have support on that side of the family
  • He has no intentions of stopping
  • She needs help, needs a voice to help her, I need to be that voice.
  • I need a plan of action

The next steps had to very careful and delicate. I had to reach out to someone I trusted and I needed courage. I reached out to someone that I trust with my life. They reached out to someone they trusted, and I said nothing to no one else. I met with a Detective the next day, and told the whole story of all that I knew at that point. I then called the department where this man worked and talked to his boss’s boss. I went as high as I could to tell them what was happening. That day I had a State Policeman who specializes in this realm and his boss sitting in my kitchen. There was a point where, I saw the disbelief on his bosses face and what looked to be confusion. I was asked what my intentions were for speaking about this. My answer was this. If he isn’t doing anything wrong then the investigation would show that, but if he is then I am bringing awareness to the situation and bringing it out of the dark and into light. People like him are sick, but I am not doing this for him, I am doing this for my daughter, and her friend. If he is doing this to her he is doing it to others. This is much bigger than just my daughter. If he is doing something this is for the victims of his past, present and future. No matter what, it needed to bring awareness.

Someone needed to be the voice. I learned that some of the laws for such an event like this are very gray. There are a lot of loopholes. He would eventually would “resign,” from his job, which set off another set of events for my daughter and her departure from that side of the family to live with me. He was not to talk to her, and yet he still did and in a group message with her parents on that side of that family. The last thing he told my daughter was this. ” If you want to talk to me, you will have to say ‘In regards to the family,’ and when you turn 18 we will resume our relationship.” She didn’t respond. My blood boiled.

Nothing was done at that point in regards to the texts because there is a huge gray area pertaining to such things via media like that. Soon thereafter, someone else came forward about him and regarding physical touch. Molestation. My daughter came forward as well. He touched her too. Keep in mind that a lot of victims do not come forward or it takes a lot of time for them to come forward. There is a lot of work that has to happen in order for anyone to feel safe to open up about it.

So, he would soon be arrested very publicly. There was even a live fb feed of his arrest. I did all that I needed to do to ensure that my daughter wouldn’t see it, but her step mother called to let her know that he was just arrested. Now she falls a part even more. I will get to that in a moment. In the moment of watching this story, our story on the 6 o’ clock news was a tough pill to swallow. No one tells you what it feels and looks like on the other end of things. No one can tell you what to expect. No one. It was the talk of the town, and I cant tell you how many people I came across that just wanted to talk to me about this case and couldn’t say anything or even let on that I was involved. I had to put on a very convincing mask and learn to have none committal answers. Very few people knew what actually happened or was happening. There still is some misinformation that surrounds what actually happened.

Well now this is all happening, I called the school and got some resources in place for my daughter including a therapist. Keeping her involved in the community and building a life here. But lets face it. Once her school peers found out at her new school that was it. You have no idea what its like to watch your daughter, or child fall a part because she feels so much shame and guilt. She blamed herself. She was told by peers that she enjoyed being touched by older men and to just accept it. Kids can very cruel to someone at times. Hearing her cry over the phone because her peers said certain things. Or some of her family blaming her, that she should of kept her mouth shut or lie to make it all stop because this is all her fault. Now mind you, she didn’t say anything, she was going to live with this darkness the rest of her life. I said something initially, I made the choice to involve police, I made the choice to speak. Not her. She asked me point blank” Mom what did I do to deserve this? Do I dress in a way that makes me a target? Why did he do this to me?” I would build her back up. But it wouldn’t last because her self worth, self esteem, her hopes, her dreams, her life was torn down to nothing. To a point where she has selfed harmed, and even attempted suicide more times in the last 9 months, because there is a constant reminders all around her, there are triggers all around her. She will do good for a little bit then it comes crashing again. No one ever wants to talk about how things like this affect someone. I am not afraid to talk about it, this is a life sentence for those who are victimized. LIFE SENTENCE!!! This is something she will have to work through the rest of her life. Rest of herrrr life!! A sexual predator doesn’t care about how it hurts their victims, they are seeking their sick pleasures. They don’t have empathy for what they’ve done. NONE!! The impact this does to a victim is overwhelming. The hard work for the victim and their families is overwhelming. So why am I talking about it now?

His sentencing was yesterday, and he was facing 25 years in prison for what he did. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, and 16 years of probation. Let that sink in a little bit. How does that make you feel? How does that sit with you? How does that sit on your heart? How would that sit with you if it were your child or children?

And with good time up to 85% means that he will spend less than that in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. How does that make you feel about the protection of our children? A person who is in possession with a drug gets more time than someone who sexually assaulted your child. My fight for this didn’t end yesterday. The chapter of that event closed yesterday, but my fight has not stopped. Its just the beginning for me and as for my daughter, the fight is everyday. Everyday she will fight for her life. Everyday she will fight to have a happy, healthy life where she will know that she is loved, worth it, and enough. She will fight everyday to know she Who deserves great blessings and beautiful life and love. My heart broke yesterday but yesterday standing in front of the judge saying what I needed to say, and I almost felt that I stood alone in that moment. I know there were others who felt the same way I did, and would have said more than I did. I know I wasn’t alone in fighting for justice for not only my daughter but any others. I was empowered to say those things because I needed to be a voice. I will still be a voice and I will continue to make awareness to everyone I can. Its time we rise up.

If you are a parent reading this, I encourage you right now, to learn all that you can about social media and what your child is doing. This includes not only social media but gaming. I encourage you to ask those hard questions. I encourage you to get involved. I encourage you to speak out and up. If you are someone who has been victimized, I am so sorry, I know what you are going though, I will empower you to reach out and say something, your story matters. You don’t know how your story will reach others to help them and empower them to stand tall and keep fighting the good fight of healing and restoration. You are worth it and worthy of great things. I encourage everyone to read and research all that you can about this. Its real and it really happens. More than anything you’re not alone. You need to have support and you deserve it. We can turn victims into overcomers and survivors. We can make a difference. Feel free to reach out to me.

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Being the Woman I want to be … Progress Report

Although, by now most of you have known that I am going through this journey and sharing my experiences with you. I will hold myself accountable here, because I haven’t been consistent. I am working on being better on all the areas that need changing. That is one of them.

So a lot of life has happened for me, which has created an affect to change myself. I was an empty cup and I was pouring into things and people that I had no business doing. So I made the choice to focus on me and my future. I gave myself the permission to do so. I can’t tell you all the times that I would say to myself that I would be selfish if I focused on myself. I believed that for so long, I will tell you that is one of the biggest lies I did believed and it legitimately held me back. So what I have done since October…

First thing I did, was start making boundaries with the people closest to me. That meant family and friends alike. If time is your only real asset on this round ball before going to your forever place, then maybe we need to manage it wisely. I know that I want to accomplish some awesome things in my life and I know I can’t do that if I do everything for everyone else. Whatever “everything” looks like to you. To me that looks like this …” Kristal you’re at home and nothing better to do, lets just do something else with your time.” I wish that I could honestly tell you how busy stay at home moms are. The expectation is that You are home, so therefore you have the time to clean the house, take care of the food, laundry, make all sorts of calls (IDK), take care of the errands, take care of the dogs, and somewhere in there; in my case find time to write my book, blog, and my makeup business. Not to mention to do this with a stable mind and heart. In an other words that people assume since I am home that I have all this free time when I don’t. because that is just during the day when no one is home, then we everyone comes home, then its dinner, clean the kitchen again, and whatever else needs to be done. At the end of the day, I just want to be alone doing something that I want to do that is enjoyable, but there is no time. How many times working or at home do you feel this way? Seriously, ask yourself that. I know that for me my schedule is so packed that I rarely have time for myself. So that is the next thing I tackled… Time management.

Time management is one of those things that is a never ending balance of work and fun. Things you have to do and things you want to do. Then allowing enough room for the things that come up unexpectedly.

This is a current, all ever so changing schedule for me. As you can see here, I am making the time to do better and setting myself up for success. I have a bad habit of not eating consistently hence the alarms to remind me to stop what I am doing to eat. Because I am taking the time to take care of myself and be the woman I want to be. My alarms go all the way to 8pm. After 8pm its my time to do what I want to do. For those of you who don’t know, I have ritualistic OCD this is hard thing to break. For me to start this, I had to go through a series of levels of thinking and action to get me to this point. To break OCD you have to go against everything you’ve done in the past and do the opposite. That a blog for a different day, haha. Nevertheless, I still wrote down all my goals for the next three, six, nine, and year goals. then with the three month goals I had to write out my weekly goals. I am sticking to one week at a time, Revisting that goal planning every Sunday when I prep my food for the week. Which in itself is a lot of time to consume. It is totally worth it. I am still working out the kinks to my time management because this is a change for others around me, they have a hard time with my changes too. It affects them too. A more assertive Kristal within her interpersonal circle is a shock to some, along with making time for herself and the things that are import to her are hard too. So then this brings me to my journey to weight loss.

So many years I have been wanting to lose the weight. I know I am among millions of woman who struggle with body image. There is a moment in every weight loss journey that starts with this moment of being scared which turns into change. I had mine recently. It is kind of a funny story to me, but the point of it all is I was scared. Over the last few years I have made choices to stop eating certain foods because of how it affects me physically. But with the combo job of not eating consistently, or eating the right portions or adding new healthy foods, along with stress that has been recent over the last 6 months, you do pack on the pounds not even meaning too. I was already obese but with my job at the time I was active, but the other things weren’t aligned. And plainly speaking… I wasn’t committed really deep down. Well, I have since stopped working at my most favorite job ever. (A career I am great at I might add) I have gained another 30 pounds. I have really been able to feel the weight for the first time. I am embarrassed to go out in public, finding clothes is a nightmare, I am really self loathing for the first time, but I refuse to allow myself to continue that trend anymore. I don’t want to accept whether I need to make choices based off of whether it is ” Fat people friendly,’ anymore. I haven’t got my hair cut in like nine months because I feel I am going to break her chair, so I save myself from that embarrassment. For instance, before my girlfriends and I went to New Orleans we all went out for a nail day, and low and behold I am sitting in the pedi chair, towards the end I adjusted myself and the chair made a loud crack noise in a quiet room ( of course the one moment where all the women stop talking) and everyone looked at me. I was mortified inside. I apologized to my tech, as she looked at me then looked around, and then back at me and said ” Don’t be sorry for anything. You’re fine, who cares.” And she looked around assuring me that I don’t need to care what others think. Then I broke one of my nails right before my manicure, because my tech was having a hard time pulling the cuff of my pants back down for me. So I helped her and broke my nail. It was a fiasco, but she took care of me.

But back to the doctor, I knew I had a UTI before we went to New Orleans but I thought I could manage it and get rid of it from home. Okay okay I didn’t want to go to the doctor because I didn’t have it in the budget. So I go to the doctor because I had flank pain, which only tells me that the infection is now in my kidneys. I am no doctor, but i know my body. I also know that I am a walking anomaly when it comes to health stuff. So in this case, the last time I had a UTI was when I pregnant with my oldest son, who is now fifteen years old. I don’t have pain when I go tinkle, or the other symptoms. I just knew that I had one. Anyway, I was at the doctor for nearly two hours, because my sample came back as “Normal,” and then the doctor wanted to insure that there wasn’t something sinister happening in my lady parts, which there wasn’t!! The doctors wasn’t listening to me because the science was telling her something else. It didn’t matter how many times I told her that its a UTI, we did slightly argue about it, but there I am in my paper dress, which isn’t big girl friendly, the whole thing isn’t fun to begin with. I would go into further details on how mortified I was at this point. There is always that moment of awkward conversation they try to do while preforming such procedures, sorry there isn’t more awkward then that moment. I would rather pose nude for an hour than do that once a year. Just saying. Moving on. I was glad I showered before I went. #AwkardDotCom

So then the doctor informs that she is going to get my sample cultured or something, but that I was perfectly fine. Two days later my results come back with having a UTI. But that isn’t what scared me, what scared me was my vitals. My blood pressure was not normal for me, and the nurse walked out fast so I couldn’t ask. I did get the information that I was looking for. I drew the line in the sand when it comes to my heart. I am too young to be this size in the first place but I need to take care of my heart and the body it supports. Right then and there I knew what I needed to commit to. Since then I have been eating clean, prepping my food, and exercising. I have experienced a lot of new things… like really feeling cruddy with detoxing from my old ways. Eating at the same time everyday really makes a difference. I am working through it, and not giving up on myself. Not to mention that the self talk has changed as well.

I am becoming more disciplined in doing it for me, not anyone else. I see the end game and there is tunnel vision, and once that happens there is no stopping it. So that is my moment of health change. And I am grateful for going to the Docs that day.

Next was going back to church. There is nothing like having a church family and friends. Bar none. I was scared to death to go back to church. The enemy is a clever thing, not that the enemy gets credit for that. #NotTodaySatan but for a year I haven’t gone because I didn’t understand a certain situation that happened with my Pastor and I. So i took it personally, and held onto the misunderstanding. Although, I knew that I needed to talk to my Pastor before I decided to go back or to another church. But the thing is that I love my church. Like really love my church, and didn’t really want to go anywhere else, but I wasn’t in a place to confront what was bothering me. God always has a plan, doesn’t he?! His plans and timing are ALWAYS PERFECT! That meeting finally happened, and it felt so good to have that conversation and get past it. Slowly, we move forward. With all things on the table and aired out. Then it was time to come to church. I opted not to go to the that first Sunday, to kind of let things settle for me personally, but that next Sunday, I was going regardless of what the enemy was throwing at me that morning. Telling me lies and it felt good to walk in through the doors, even though I was scared out of my mind. Everyone was welcoming and a lot of new faces. I sat in the back, like when I first started going so many years ago, and one lady to whom I adore, like so many others, she invited me to sit next to her. It was awesome to have such a welcoming back. I wanted to cry but man to have my cup filled for the week was amazing. I even had my daughter go to church with me the next time round. She was hesitant but even she received some nuggets of bread that day. #PraiseYouLord

Despite the many oppositions that are all around me and you, God is so much bigger than what those moments are. Those oppressors, those things that are major challenges that we all have in our life, when we trust in Him, the victory is already won, you just have to get out of His way and do the hard work. because that is what it is… hard work. and nothing worth having comes easy. This task that I am given isnt an easy one and I am more than happy to do the work to do what is asked of me when it comes to Him. He can turn any bad situation into a blessing if you are willing to see and listen. #GetIntoTheRhythm #GettingInSync #ActivePracticing #NBFLAPastorShawnisms

So to end this message and blog I hope you find the time for you. When you pour into yourself first then you can pour into others. When you take the time to listen to Him and fall back into His grace things become a little more manageable and easier to see the joy in all situations that you are going through. Take care of yourselves to be the better versions of you. Whatever that looks like to you!!

Love yourself!! And own who you are!! If you are starting or thinking of starting something that youve been wanting to do, I encourage you to take the steps to set yourself up for success. Lean on Him to help you through. Make boundaries, take the five seconds to build the courage for the first step, manage your time, and don’t settle. Love yourself and take care until next time.

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 4 You did what to your hair?

So now that I am living with my father and step mom, my life changed so much! I had All these new experiences, room, clothes, school, lack of friends… Just plain new everything. It can be overwhelming, but in my mind I had this. I can do anything. I was with my dad!

I had to adjust but I didn’t realize that I needed to do that. In my young mind I was with my dad and it was going to be like it was during the summers. I would get to do so many things! I mean I did get to do those things, but it wasn’t always easy street. Especially for them.

They went from a couple’s life with no kids. They liked to enjoy their time together, which was really cool because it show me that they were stable with one another. It was a good balance for me. My dad is a very animated man especially when he is around my step mom. They really did know how to have fun!!

So the first hurdle was me actually going to school. That was a hard thing for me at first. Ok Ok like the first few months. They kids were mean to me, because I was very different from they were. These kids were for the most part well put together and very smart. I didn’t fit in from the get go, but really at this point I don’t fit in anywhere. Kids would make fun of what I wore, my hair, my shoes even my body! It was brutal while I was at school. Lucky for me I was in a good place in my mind.

Their words hurt as well as their actions but it didn’t affect me. I mean it really was child’s play compared to what I was used too. I was good with myself then. It’s not like I knew any different. I couldn’t wait to get home everyday not because they were dicks at school but because I had a purpose. I had chores. I had something to do and parents who encouraged me to do them. I still was a little turd when it came to doing them, but I did like the reward.

I would walk the dog every morning, then get ready for school. walk to school, try not to bark at the other students, walk home, walk the dog, have a snack, do my homework… I did take that last one as a suggestion more than anything. That is the one thing I feel that they struggled with the most with me. Doing homework. I think maybe that is a normal thing. Maybe?! I struggled academically that first year there.

I see now it was because of all the change and stresses that come with that. I had no real excuse of not doing my homework. A lot of the times I didn’t understand the work, and given my past with asking a parent was OUT OF THE QUESTION for me. My dad and step mom did offer their help but I also didn’t want to be shunned for being dumb either. She was a dental assistant and he was an Engineer. They knew stuff. I was more afraid of the rejection and judgement. I know that maybe they had a meeting with my teachers because eventually I was being pulled out of class for special education time. I thought it was fun, but I retained some but not a whole lot. Time was the issue.

So that summer my step mother took me to one of those tutor places. I was sooooooo scared to go but glad I did. It helped me so much the next year I didn’t need those sorts of classes and I had more confidence in asking for help, asking questions and doing my homework.Turns out I really did like school.

So I made my first friend before the school year ended. Her name was Shelby. I will never forget her. One day while at after lunch we were all out on the playground. I went to my normal place under the tree by myself. I had my baseball cards that I just gotten at the Texas Rangers game. ( Oh yes!! I did. It was a blast!! I even got to see Nolan Ryan!!) I was putting the collection into a binder and some kid started making fun of me…again.. and I barked at him. haha yes I barked. I didn’t know what else to do. So this girl named Shelby came to my defense and we were instant friends. That day I made a vow that I would be like her when new kids came to school. I did keep that promise to myself all the way through my senior year of high school. We played everyday. We spoke on the phone everyday. I even got to stay at her house!!! My first sleep over.

We did everything together. We went to Sixflags over Texas, the movies, to Janet Jackson concerts, Boyz to Men concert. She introduced me to her friends which became my friends later. It was so much fun having friends. I had a new purpose at school. I even met my first crush. His name is Chris R. Man I had it bad for this boy and he lived down the street from Shelby.

They both lived in these huge houses where the kids basically had their own wings, backyard pools, queen sized beds, their own phone lines. It was pretty cool. Life was getting pretty awesome. I had friends and I enjoyed life until…. I found my first pubic hair that is.

Six grade was hard!!! Oh my gosh! we learned about puberty early in the year and I was already growing boobs. You can imagine how I was feeling. I was not only tall but had chest nubbies! oh goodie!! NOT! I was now thinking ” Great. Just when things are going great I have to grow boobs.” I was so embarrassed. Anyway, I was soaking in the bathtub one evening because I was not allowed to go swimming because I had swimmers ear. So my step mom suggested that maybe if I take a bath it would ease the craving of wanting to be in the pool. She was so good to me. Well, while soaking I was humming a song and happening to look down and something caught my eye. I wondered what it was. It looked like a hair, so I did what normal people do and grab to throw it out of the tub. But NOOOO it was attached!!! Hmmm noo! No! NO!NO!

I quickly got up and emptied the tub wrapped my towel around myself and ran to my step mother in fear!! Luckily, she kicked my dad out of the room and I told her all the gory details. ( even though there wasn’t any bloodshed that day) I cried in arms and she started giggling. I was in shocked!!! Why is laughing? She peels me off of her and she puts her arms on my shoulders and she tells me that I am going through the change. I started bawling even harder. After some time calmed me down and I asked her NOT to tell my father. Of course she told him. He came in to tuck me in for bed and he said, so I heard that you are going through the change… That darn word! I started crying all over again. I was embarrassed. Now my dad knows!! UGH! why!!

He laughed it off and I did too… Kinda. The Change… I rolled my eyes and went to bed. It was one pubic hair and it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Good grief. Weeks passed and hair grew and I felt everyone knew at school what I was going through. I feel like I wore a marquis sign saying” I, Kristal, now have Pubic hair. I am going through ‘The Change'” in a constant loop.

One morning I was finishing getting ready for school, and I noticed that my bangs were a little too long. No problem right? Just cut them. I have done that before this wouldn’t be any different. Man, teach me for thinking that morning.

I start cutting. They aren’t coming out straight. So I cut some more. Still not straight. Next thing I know I have a razor in my hand and shaving cream in the other. HONK HONK!!! That is my ride to school!! Crap! I grab the nearest mad hatter hat I had and threw it on. I had art that morning, and it was a combined class that morning and Chris R. was there.

The art teacher asked me to remove my hat and I told her no thank you. She persisted and I politely declined her request which she accepted finally. Hats were allowed for girls but not boys. I knew my rights and that day I was going to use them to the fullest. Well Chris R. opened his mouth and said to everyone in class ” OOOOo someone got a bad haircut!” I leaped over all the students and started swinging at his direction. To which he started laughing which made me even more mad. She told me to go to the nurse and I told her I didn’t want to go. I did my work quietly in that class, then we went back to our normal classes. My teacher kept calling on me during mind math quiz. We had to give the answers to the math on the board without using paper to figure it out. I sucked at this sort of thing. I needed the paper. Not that day. I got every one those questions right. He knew then something was wrong. He made me go to the nurses office.

I sat there as my two teachers explained to the nurse that something wasn’t right and maybe I would talk to her about it. At this point I am shivering. I am so upset as she walks she grabs a thermometer and shoves it in my mouth. It beeps and it reads 95 degrees. I am dead…. yup dead inside at this day. I just want to go home and die. She takes my temp again, and its stays at 95. yup there is the phone to one of my parents. She calmly asks me what going on. I just broke down and started crying and I pulled off my hat. She said ” Okay who do I need to call?” I said my step mom. She handed me a blanket and I waited. She got all my work for that day and my bag. Next thing I see is my FATHER!!! I looked at her with the most evil look. She said that my step mom couldn’t come. Now I am mad!!!

My emotions were all over the place and of course my dad’s response is to laugh at me!! Super great day for my self-esteem! Not! ” Do I even want to know Kris?” I just shock my head at him No and rolled my eyes and walked to the truck. He took me home and wrapped me in a hot blanket and made me my favorite sandwich. I didn’t say one word to him or anyone until my step mom got home.

When she got home, she just gave me the look of “follow me,” to which I complied. She sat me at her vanity and she asked me to remove the hat. I sat there and I slowly peeled the hat off my head. It took all she had to not laugh. There I sat with a mangled , spiky, bald spot of hair. She just started laughing and then I did too. I mean it was bad…. I had a short hair cut to begin with and now I have fashioned a nice buzz cut look for bangs. She then grabbed some bandanas and they became my new fashion accessory until my hair grew out. It was much better than the crazy hats I was wearing. I told her I looked stupid with the headband. She took off the bandana and asked if my new hair cut was better. Touche. She told me that I could start a new thing at school. That didn’t help me feel better at that moment, but I did end making a bandana movement at school. All the girls were wearing bandanas in their hair.

That was my first experience with PMS, I got my first period five days after that moment!! Aren’t I lucky. I learned a lot from this moment.

PMS is a real thing. The phrase ” The Change,” scares all women and makes them cry. Fathers don’t always know how to handle young ladies when they do crazy things with their hair, Pubic hair is not fun when you don’t expect it, the boy you have a crush on is now dead to you when they make fun of your hair, and finally bandanas are a great Oopsie cover up when in need of one. I am fortunate to have had my father and step mom that day and through that moment of puberty. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. I have not cut my hair on my own since then. #Lessonlearned

 

I hope you enjoyed this experience as much as I did. I was considered a woman after going through it and I am not sure I liked that at the time. Made going swimming difficult. I love y’all. Talk soon.

 

Kris