And we’re back to forgiveness… 

It’s so stinking hard!! I found it easier to forgive when it was my choice. Now I am in a place where I am given this free will of making the choice to do the right thing. 

I wish I could be less cryptic and less vague about it because I know that so many of you would totally understand where I am coming from. 

Recently, I was heartbroken by someone I had a close relationship with. The words that were spoken to me were so devastating that it served my ties within my heart. What grew there was resentment. That is something I DONT WANT THERE. What’s just as bad is there is another person who is enabling this heartbroke-ness further. Which breaks my heart even more. The feelings that overwhelm me feel impossible to get passed. The whole situation feels faked and forced. On everyone’s part. 

I don’t like visiting the once was Wall. It’s a now empty place that deserves good soil now. Good growth not weeds of destruction. At the same time it’s also a place where I also need to build and grow myself to not allow people who are close to me to hurt me. I am not a punching bag anymore. I am not a person who deserves dirty feet all over my like a welcome mat. At the same time that gives me no right to hold someone by the throat in judgment. They are not my prisoners. 

So that goes back to choices. I feel resentment but I know these people and care for them deeply. What they’re doing is not okay but doesn’t change that I need to practice forgiveness. And in this case I have to practice and forgive a lot throughout the day or even moments in the day. It will get easier boo boo. 

I finally admitted yesterday to God that I have these feelings and I don’t want them. They are stealing my joy. They are stealing my smile. They are killing me slowly. I know now what is bothering me. I was heartbroken and felt betrayed. I invested a lot into these relationships and now I have to allow that bridge to finish burning and allow the ashes to become a place of nourishment. 

I have to practice love just as much as I do forgiveness. God is working throughout me and all around me. Just as He is working throughout them. I know who I am in Christ and I am not fighting flesh and blood. 

So how did I come to this place of enlightenment? Well the Holy Spirit of course. I was driving around and I like to think of the Holy Spirit just riding around with me. We had a conversation about what was going on and of course the guidence that came from that conversation was pretty clear. 


Yup that’s correct. My phone dinged and on my notifications was the Daily verse. Isn’t He amazing and faithful! So I recited this verse in first person and repeated it. Over and over and over. I need to. Right now I have to lean on Him and not my flesh. My flesh wants things my heart doesn’t. I have to do this for them just as I do for myself. I was held accountable for the way I was feeling and I was reminded of the love that I have and that He has for me. 

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to be upset. Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is to release people from the prison you may have put people in. Forgiveness is an act of love and compassion. Forgiveness is what we ask of from Him. And He is so faithful to us even when we don’t deserve it. 

So I am done playing in his field of expertise. I don’t like it. I am not the judge. I will not fall anymore into this folly and just live. 

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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 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 6 First Love

I am officially with my mom, her new husband and my little brother. My sister is now doing her own thing. This was the summer that I really experienced all the hype of those hormones that all the adults in my life were talking about. I mean sure I was emotionally but as far as boys went I was not interested. That was until this tall boy on a bike rode passed my house. Who was that?

That was it for me. He was all that I thought about from that moment. I didn’t even know his name and yet I have seen him ride passed my house on his bike several times. I have never wanted a bike so bad in my life! Oh and how I wished my brother had a different babysitter than me! I must know this boy. I watched out my window everyday to see if he would pass by, and he did. I finally grew a pair and saw that he was coming and I went outside with my brother. I needed a reason to be outside.

Thankfully my brother was eager to go outside! I happen to step right outside as he was passing my house. He stops abruptly and turns back towards my house. I have major butterflies happening right now. I think I need to pee. Oh MY Gosh. He is very cute. I might be in trouble. He stops and the first things he says is ” Hey are you new here?” Oh yes I am very new here. I tell him that I just moved back from Texas. I tell him my name and he finally tells me his. Joe.

There was this connection between us. I can’t speak for him but it was there for me. From that day on he was over at the house everyday, and I didn’t care because I was with him, and my brother. I broke rules to be with Joe. I had impure thoughts about Joe. Now before you make this something it isn’t. It wasn’t like that for me. Sex was furthest from my mine but my first kiss on the other hand. I envisioned that being with him. The first time I ever snuck out was to be with him.I don’t remember who we were with but I just wanted to be with him.

The way he held my hand and even the way he was proud that I was his girl made me feel good. Boys are dangerous. Haha. I say that kind heartedly because he was the first boyfriend that I ever had. I will never forget the way he claimed me to be his. We were together one afternoon and he pulls me into his tall body and lifts my chin and says ” You know you are my girl forever right?!” Talk about a smooth talker that one. He had my heart from that moment on.  We both started middle school that year and school was about to start. What would that mean for me and him? I had so many questions about his feelings? Did he feel the same for me? Did he talk about me? Did he think about me? Did he still want me when we start school?

First day of school we went our separate ways but not too far apart from each other. We were always there for each other but he was definitely the ladies man and well-known for that. I don’t think I saw that side of him. He always treated me like a lady. He enjoyed flirting, I mean we were young for crying out loud! I was occasionally jealous but it wasn’t something that consumed me. He would date other girls in school and it was nice to talk about him with the others, but I can tell you that non of them would express the same feelings as I had with him or even be treated the same way. He would be kind of like stuck up with the other girls, but he was not like that with me. Even if he wanted to he never did. Joe cared for me. I was his girl. Although I don’t think anyone knew that about me and Joe.

I mostly hung around my girls in school but one day this new boy came into my life. Jeremy was his name. He was sweet boy. He wrote me love letters all the time he even asked me out in a sweet letter. Of course I said yes. He brought me a new stuffed animal everyday. It was the cutest thing ever I felt like I was special. I didn’t know how to have anyone except Joe. But everyday I saw Jeremy I was in awe that boys actually treat young ladies like this. Middle school can be a crazy time for all of us kids. I was torn with my friends telling one thing, Jeremy being so incredibly sweet but that I am hurting someone else because they were in love with him, then there was Joe. My sweetheart who was dating one of my best friends.

I finally gave into peer pressure and let Jeremy go. I didn’t want to but I did. I didn’t like know that I was hurting someone else’s happiness for my own. Although, Jeremy was amazing to me. He brought me something everyday. I still have one of the stuffed animals he gave me but thinking about now, receiving gifts wasn’t something I was always comfortable with but I cherished them. The night that I broke up with Jeremy, my heart was broken. He didn’t want to be a part and I didn’t either but I didn’t like someone else hurting. He ended up going out with that other girl and I spent time to myself for sometime. I thought I always had Joe.

Joe ended up calling me one night and asked me to go the baseball fields near where we lived. I said sure and had permission to go. We met up in the middle because by this time I had moved into my new place in ” Barbie Town,” and we just talked like we always did. Once we got there he told me all his dreams of what he wanted to do when we graduated high school. As he ran around the bases of the field I tried to catch him. We were as his mom calls us Sweethearts. I got on his back and we fell to the ground and we laughed so hard. We just laid on our backs looking at the stars holding hands, he rolled over and just looked at me. We proclaimed our love for each other but in my heart I knew I would never get the guy kind of thing. I just knew that guy loved me, and Jeremy was my puppy love experience. It lessened the blow of losing such a great guy. I mean no one meets their soul mate at that age. IF you did congratulations.

Since that time Joe and hung out a lot. I think he liked having me around but didn’t really commit to me kind of thing although we were accused of that a lot. People thought we were having sex and doing all that sort of thing. I am sure he wanted to but not with me. He sure liked to tell everyone I was his. It made me happy but maybe I wanted more. I am not sure. I mean I have never done anything with a boy but one day at the horse stables I went over to help him out. He had some friends with him and they dared him to kiss me and we just looked at them like they were crazy. He walked over to me and pulled me into his arms and gave me that Joe look. He lifted me onto the bars of the ramp and he kissed me. Oh my! I have not experienced that feeling ever down below but wowza. We just looked at each other while his friends laughed making fun of us. ” yeah sure you guys are just friends” we were. Even after that I never thought of sex. Boys at that age that is all they think about. haha me on the other hand didn’t cross my mind. I didn’t plan on using my body that way for a very long time. Like marriage 

He made me feel so cherished. That is how my dad told me what a boyfriend should treat me like. My mom, I don’t think worried about me being sexually active. I didn’t give her reason too. I didn’t exactly share my body. Summer was soon coming and I inquired new friends. Let’s be honest I have known many people but not very many were close to me. I felt used most of the time. I had some close friends who I could tell everything too. I was lucky to have such cool girlfriends, but boys complicate those relationships at times. Joe was always asked about and if we were a thing. The same answer always came out of my mouth. No we aren’t a thing, yes I will give you his number, yes I know where he lives. Yes I guess we can go see if he is home. It was weird after a while.  I mean we are talking about a guy who claimed me as his but didn’t want me like that. Boys… I like to think that he honored me and didn’t see me in that way, but the connection was there. Or was on my end. Jeremy was happy with that other girl and I was ok with being alone.

During that summer though I was feeling a little left out. All my friends were starting to date older boys and I couldn’t get a date to save my life. I have often wondered why? Why was I in a rush or was I? I was just feeling left out or the third wheel. Or the ugly boy in the group would try stuff with me. Hmm No! Oh that’s it I wasn’t approachable. I was called a prude a lot. I was okay with that. I had nothing to prove. Older boys were always around my friends and I don’t think I liked how they talked or even thought they were entitled to grope. Gross. But I did meet a nice older young man and my parents approved me to be with him. He was marriage material for sure. He was a lot like Joe and a giver like Jeremy. I hit the jackpot with him. His name is Chris. He was good to me. He honored me a lot like how Joe did. He protected me. He was 17 and I was 13. He never tried anything with me.

That summer my virginity was taken from me and I was shamed for it. I later found out that one of my best friends liked my boyfriend. She liked him so much that she paid for another young man to have sex with me. It was NOT consensual. I have not ever felt so dirty in my life. Not only that I felt ruined. I was alone even more so now. I have turned fun me to don’t even look at me, don’t touch me, and don’t talk to me. I was not me anymore. I came home that afternoon and showered. I just wanted to wash it all away like it didn’t happen. This so-called friend ran to my boyfriend spinning lies. My sister asked me if I was okay and I broke down and just cried. She made me tell my mom. I hated telling my mom. She made me talk to the police, do a rape kit and lastly I had to go to school with this ass hat the following year. My whole world has changed once again.

My boyfriend called and he was hurt, he was scared and the guy who raped me was one of his best friends. He kept telling me there is something called Saying NO Kristal!! Like I didn’t try in his eyes. he broke up with me. I just wanted comfort not shame. I got shame and a lot of it. I was once again a loner. That is how it felt anyway. The guy’s girlfriend and friends would throw soda at me when I would walk home. I don’t think my mom knew all that I was going through at that time. I felt like everything that happened to me was my fault. Like I had asked for all of this. That shame turned into rebellion against my mom. I had to survive Hight school the next year. Who was I going to hang around? Who can I trust that is a girl? I met my best friend Tab that eight grade year. She’s still my best friend to this day!! We did everything together. After awhile the whole rape case went nowhere and all those clothes they took from me I threw away. I gave up having girlfriends, and I really hung out with my two best guy buddies. I realized at that moment boys weren’t worth it to me and I was really not wanting sex. NOPE!!! Closed for business…. it was robbed and now closed for sure.

The reason why I brought up my first love. I think that it was one of the most important parts of this age for me. When I came back home with my mom. There was a lot of change and there was hope that all would be well when I came back. There was a lot that went well and were happy moments. But for me as a young woman, finding your first love is something you don’t forget. Through the boys I have dated and hung around they showed me something. Jeremy was a kind young man. I feel he just wanted to pour his heart into his relationships. He was super attentive and attractive. I gave him up because I felt it was the right thing to do for someone else. I learned my first experience with puppy love with Jeremy. He is a successful man who I think enjoys his job and having drop dead gorgeous women on his arm. We haven’t talked in many years. Chris and I never talked after that summer. I tried to get back with him but I was grounded and couldn’t meet him to talk. I have no idea what he is up to but I am sure he is doing just fine. The guy who raped me… well I choose to forgive him. I have no idea what he’s doing and don’t care to know. I just know that I made a choice to move on with my life and not allow what happened to me to define me. The girls that threw soda’s at me, well I am friends with most of them. Women are stronger together than competing with each other. Guys come and go. So do friends. I have chosen to let all that go and redeem my life. For a long time that event of that summer scared me for a long time. Finally, there is Joe. Joe is living what looks like a fulfilled life. He has done a lot of great things in his life thus far. He showed me what it was like to be cherished. To know what it felt like to be honored. I am not sure what he felt on his end. I can only tell you what actions he bestowed onto me. He will always have that one piece of my heart. He impacted my life is such a great way. He has overcome many things in his life that are respectable. His momma is an amazing woman and raised him right. His father was hard on him but he knows his story and it is not for me to tell. I can only tell you what my first love was like. He was a man of respect, a great sense of humor , he was a young man who had big dreams running around in the middle of night on a wet baseball field, who dreamed of a life outside of this small town, to take pride in something that was his. In those moments with Joe I was his and he knew it. I am not sure if he ever knew how I felt. We were kids. I just know that he is living out his dreams and making things happen. I would love to hear what your first love was like. I know that mine was great. His Mom still would refer to us as sweethearts. He is happy and doing well y’all.

So the moral of this story…. Just be happy. Choose to forgive people who have hurt you and move on. Find good people in your life that will be your humans. Remember that we all are flawed and give a little grace and love! Love each other and Love yourself. Remember the good times just don’t unpack there all the time. Give all the glory to God.

Chapter 3 Wait… I have a Dad too?

So by the time that I was five years old. I have experienced so much already. There was a moment in my moms daily life with that she decided that it was time that my dad start being in my life too. My mom had this moment of recognition when my sister left for her dads again. She said that I was standing there at the door as usual and I guess I told that I must have a dad that loves me.

This actually broke my mom’s heart. She recalls the moments as tears are filling her eyes. She did a very selfless act and tracked my father down.  She had to go through many of people that have hurt my mom because of my dad. As she tells me more about the story I see a woman who has been deeply hurt and has kept those things to herself. She tells me that even though she would have rather raise me alone than to share me with my father.

I didn’t know the full extent of why she felt this way about my dad. I was young my mind isn’t going to understand adult issues. I know more now and it is so much more than what I expected. I will say this though. You have to love someone so much to hate them as much as my parents hated each other.

So back to the selfless act that my mother did. She tracked my father down and arranged a visit. I would soon be on a plane flying to the big D! Dallas. What a wondrous place.

You know for a young child who just discovered that she actually had a father I was more in awe that I had a step mother. Man was I lucky girl that summer. So many new things happened to me that I may have been on an overload of information.

I mean I flew in a plane for the first time. My mom bought me gum for the flight, she packed me things to do, and made sure that I had my name badge draped over my neck. Thinking about it from as a mom now, I will be honest, me sending my young child on a plane alone would be F-ing scary. That is putting a lot of trust into many people to take care of your child. Blind trust= faith on a whole other level! I earned my wings. You know the plastic wings that they hand to all children who fly. I always sat in first class. I remember just enjoying peanuts looking at all the clouds. I actually thought that the clouds would actually feel like pillows and hold me up. I later shared this thought with my sister and she ruined that for me . Haha, she told me that I was stupid for believing such fairy tales. That if I were to ever touch or sit in a cloud that I would fall to my certain death.  ( you see what I mean by not having a tribe to keep me accountable) Even though she was right, I still wouldn’t back down from what I thought.

Flying then was a true fun experience. All kinds of people, all around all the time. Coming and going. I now am one of those many people who are going to and fro. I was lucky that this was happening. Although, I didn’t know it at the time. I was just excited that I had a dad waiting for me on the other side.

I came out of the terminal with the tall lady holding my hand and she securely handed me over to my father. He held me tightly, I savored this moment. I was being held. Just think about that…. being held. Can you feel the security and the affection that person holds for you. You are wrapped in their arms and the whole world is quiet for those moments. Think about how many times a day we don’t hold each other. Well for me as a child I craved those things. I craved being held and cuddled with. To be kissed. I didn’t have that with my mom. That was something that she wasn’t raised with. I often think how many times in her life she just needed to be held and shown that she was loved with a simple gesture. That thought alone brings tears to my eyes.

He let go of me and pulled his wife close to him and I met my step mother. We clicked immediately. She presented me with a gift. A wind up ceramic clown. I still have that clown. It is very special to me. It went pretty much everywhere I went that summer. I got to spend a lot of time with them both, and so many others from that side of family. That summer I spent a lot of time in the pools, eating the most delicious ham sandwiches, riding in a Model T Ford truck, playing with my cousin Amanda in the Ft. Worth heat, having carmel popcorn with my Granddad and learning how to sew with my Granny, and lastly crying all the way to Wichita Falls to visit Granny Burt.

So many hugs and so much affection. So many gifts. I belonged with these people. You know things made sense to me. The way they spoke me, or corrected me, I felt secure. My dad was a funny guy. He played with me. He showered me with simple things like just holding me until I fell asleep. My step mom painted my toes, she made jokes about how men were pigs and ladies are ladies. The voice she said it in made me laugh every time. We would take showers together and we were two hams, singing as loud as we could. She showed me how to take care of myself by loving myself. I would switch back and forth between everyone for all this love, but I was never far my dad. I would soon have to return back to my mom.  I wish I could stay here with them.

Little did I know all the complications that were going to come from these moments with my dad. Not only for myself but for my mom too. When I came home I was full of life and couldn’t shut up about all the things that I did that summer. Things were so different between the two houses. HUGE!!! Even though my mom was supportive of my experiences, she would be waiting for the other shoe to fall with my dad. I am sure that it was a constant worry for my mom now that I spent time with him

I would eventually talk about my dad all the time. I didn’t know that I was causing my mom stress and anxiety. Maybe jealousy and feeling like I was an ungrateful child. Then visitations seem to be a regular thing now and my mom was getting a little more frustrated with the topic of my dad. I started really acting out. But not only just because my dad was in the picture but I started trying to figure out why my parents acted the way they did with me and how it was confusing to me. Who was I? Who were they? Who were they to me?

I started asking questions. It was like the pandoras box of things that I was to young to really understand what their points of view were. I did gather one thing, they hated each other.

My mom decided to transfer all of us kids to a different school district. A much nicer school system I might add. I for the most part fit in with those children. They were a lot like me as far as witty, smart and just well rounded of awesome. I am biased though, I really liked all the kids there and the teachers.

My previous school wasn’t so nice. Kids there had a different set of codes to live by. It was survive or die. Roughing it out kinda of thing. School of eat or be eaten. haha Even the teachers were so unhappy there it felt like. They didn’t as attentive to students. For instance I was telling my second grade teacher about my mom and nothing happened. I am not saying that I wanted my mom to get into trouble, but we were learning about ” good touch bad touch, and ‘if anyone is hurting you at home, we are here to help’ or ‘ Stop child abuse.”  with a toll free number to call. So really I was just taking my education that was just taught to me in class to reach out to someone. But at this new school I wasn’t going to say anything. I just might make some friends. Which I did, it helped that I had a cousin who was going to the same school.

What made me kind of uncomfortable was that I was not as smart as these other kids. I struggled, and this was too much for my mom. That is what my perception is anyway. I learned how to spell Knock after my first time encountering vocab night with my mom. Haha Oh my gosh the stories about vocab nights. My mom was something else when it came to education. She made it very intimidating to ask for help. Anyway I am getting off track a little bit.

So I had this math teacher. Ms. Davis. Man she was a great teacher. Intimating at times only because I didn’t understand the operations that she was teaching. She observed a lot. That also made me weary. She asked me to stay behind in class. I was actually scared. All my class mates left to go to lunch and I was stuck here with her. I wonder what she is wanting from me.  So many thoughts were running through my mind. This whole situation is making nervous.

She asks me to sit down, and she asked me if something was wrong. Well that is a loaded question. I didn’t know what to say. Then she asked me why I was behind in math and turning in my homework. These were hard questions for me. I was a little defensive. I didn’t want to say that night before my mom got mad at me because she didn’t understand why they were teaching pre-algerba to a third grader. Needless to say I hadn’t turned in my homework because I don’t get and can’t ask for help at home. Then she hit me the what she really wanted to know.She asked me if I was being abused at home, and not to be afraid of saying anything. That I was safe.

Well this is a moment of discernment for me. Do I trust that this teacher is really going to help me or is she going to be like the last teacher who caused more of an issue for me? Those questions were tossed in my head for too long, because the subsequent statements of encouragement helped me in my choice. I decided to talk about it. After telling her my life story with my mom, she comforted my the best way she could. She empathized with me the best she could. She gave me affirmations that it was a good thing for me to have told her. She also told me that she had a feeling that something was happening at home.

Later on that day, I was talking to two other people in the office about what I told my teacher, and I just told them everything that happened. That mom was so pissed at me because I didn’t make it back to her boyfriends house when she asked me to, so she left me there and went home. Which was in the next town over. About 30 minutes away. You would think that I would be used to her leaving me but it was something that never felt good. When she drove all the way back to get me and she was furious with me. She made a lot of blind threats with the exception of being grounded. She took away dinner from me as well. I know now that she was pissed but then I just thought that she meant what she said. I mean its not like my mom and I had a solid foundation of trust. So in that office I was singing like a canary. I just thought WOW someone is actually listening to me. I didn’t know it was CPS!!! oopsie my bad.

I went to the library to wait for someone to pick my up, and when I saw my mom. She was mad and I didn’t know what about. That is when I found out that those people I talked to called my mom and told her that she was being investigated for child abuse. This was F-ing confusing to me. Who do I trust??? Who am I? I mean think about it…. I get in worse trouble when I am being honest, but nothing happens when I lie? Who, what, where how am I do be??? Who Am I Really?? For crying out loud there is no winning. I am just not worth this trouble, because that seems to be all that I am at this point in my life. I am confused as to what is right and wrong.

I was honest with CPS about everything I said to them. I am a great story teller, so maybe I made the impression that I wasn’t suppose to? I don’t know, I just know that my mom blames me if she loses her job for my “false” story to these people. I mean I told them EVERYTHING!! Then she lays it on me…. KRISTAL YOU ARE MOVING WITH YOUR FATHER. I CANT HANDLE YOU ANYMORE. I AM AFRAID I MIGHT JUST KILL YOU.

Cool. That was probably the best news I have heard! I didn’t get to say bye to anyone. She literally put on a plane the next day. haha Things changed for us both. I feel that she made a great choice.

I know I talk more about my mom from my early years. She was the one that was there. She was the one taking care of me. I feel that sometimes kids take things out on the parent that is actually there everyday. They take them for granted. That is my opinion. I am not saying that the things I am talking about define my mom. My mom is my mom. She gave me life. Very cliche I know but its the truth. Now that I know my dad, I feel that the grass is greener on the other side. That just shows that I didn’t know what was really there for me on that other side. Almost everyone has had those moments of thinking of the grass is greener, but that is because of something they are lacking, or things that were presented to be better with that person or people. Whatever it is. In my case it was my parents.

I mean I have only known my dad for a small amount of time. The time that I had with them was brief. That is not how life was going to be all the time. I didn’t know that. Before I left my mom, brother and sister my mom told me that I have put my dad on a pedestal and I would learn who he really was. Of course she was angry, hurt, feeling betrayed, sad, rage, disappointment and relief. This was new start for the two of us. This was another selfless act that my mom did and something she needed to do for her own sanity. I know I didn’t help her condition. I feel that my mom like so many others back then didn’t talk about depression, postpartum depression, or any mental illness. I mean a lot of people did NOT talk about that sort of thing. Unfortunately, that still is the case.

My mom was raising three kids on her own, with little to no help from our fathers. She was our soul provider. She took the brunt of everything that happened. The sad part is that  we didn’t know what was going on with mom. My mom was carrying the weight of her world and I was just focused on mine. I feel that she was suffering from all these things and said nothing. Just held it all inside. Then lashed out. She didn’t have an outlet maybe? I am not sure if there were real help or tools to help with such things.

I know for me what helped me through all of this up to this point was God. My dad had given me a bible. My Grandparents from both sides and my dad taught me things about God. He seemed totally trust worthy. I talked to him all the time when I younger. I would tell him how I felt like a curse. How I just wanted my mom to be happy. I wanted to see my dad. How I wanted to be loved and cherished. I wanted to be worthy of love. I would talk to him like he was my friend. He guided me. I would open my bible with no real understanding of His Word, but man I was hungry to know Him and I didn’t even know it. I really saw God as my friend.

 

Chapter 2: Divorce Rate of Shoes is High

As I move forward in this moments of my early childhood. I have had to reflect on some things over the weekend about my chapter 1. I was feeling so incredible vulnerable and naked. I had this moment of panic that EVERYONE was going to see this. Which is kind of funny because I am writing a book to where the public is going to read it at some point.

I felt a great overwhelming support from all my followers both new and continued. Not much about the past is ever really easy. There are moments of love and laughter. Good memories that have stuck. I just don’t want you all to think that I am stuck in the past because I am not stuck there. Thank goodness right. There are not many of us who would choose to go back to the past. I mean, sure we make jokes about things we would change. Thinking about it though. I see the grace of God that has been with me the whole time.

Grace and forgiveness. I think that is where I want to take us today.

So there was this one weekend my sister went to her dads. It was my baby brother, my mother and me. I was playing in my room when my mom entered the doorway. She told me to get my shoes on that we were going to the store to get ice. So I got up and started looking for my shoes. Well I was looking and would find one shoe but not the other. Find a separate shoe but not its partner. I mean looking back at it now I can kinda giggle. I mean who loses one shoe? Just one shoe of each pair of shoes I had. Leave it to me to accomplish this flawlessly.

My mom however at the time didn’t think it was such an accomplishment. I heard her footsteps coming to my room. I am starting to feel stressed and scared. She said ” let’s go,” which turned into ” where are your shoes?” to “you have a minute to find them or I am leaving without you!”speech. The absolute terror I had in my heart that my mom was leaving without me was so overwhelming that I just started crying. I tore through everything I had in my room. She came back in without my brother on her hip this time. The look in her eyes scared me. For the first time I am actually scared of my mom.

She pushed me so hard that I hit the back of my head on the wall as I fell. Then the assault that came after that, I was in shock! As she furiously hit me I was crawling to find my shoes which was only pissing her off even more. I was a moving too much but that didn’t stop her assault. It didn’t stop the rage that she had against me. I just wanted to please her and find those shoes so she would be happy again.

The hot tears running down my aching face. The stiffness I felt all over, but yet I am still tearing a part my room just proclaiming that I can’t find any of my shoes. She is yelling at me and I can’t hear anything she said until at the end. ” You better find a pair of shoes by the time I get back, OR else!” as she points her long finger at me. She and my brother walked passed my window, and they drove off. I cry even harder now. She left me. She left me because I am a bad child who has lost all her shoes.

As I write this out I am sitting her reliving this moment. But lets look at what is really happening here to all of us. There is stress, trauma, fear, rejection, shame, guilt, disappointment, sadness, breakdown of trust and abandonment. There is pain there at the time. Physical pain. My goodness my head hurts so bad, I am finally calming down. You know that cry that is so bad that at the end you can’t  get all your breathing under control and you make that noise. You know that noise. I feel my eyes getting heavy. I just want to sleep now. I hurt all over but I need to find those shoes. I am full of fear that I won’t find them by the time she gets home and she will hurt me again.

But my eyes are so heavy and there is no where else to look. I have found every shoe I own. I have them lined up neatly, but I don’t have their partners. Maybe she will be happy with what I did do. I just need to close my eyes. I hurt…* Car door slams shut* I don’t move from my bed I don’t feel so good. * front door opens and shuts*  She walks to my doorway. I am so scared but I can’t move. I have accepted my fate with my mom. She looks down at me and asked me if I had found my shoes. I told her no. The hot sting of tears are forming and running down my cheeks. She throws the bag of ice on my face, and tells me to put it away and that I am not to leave my room.

I just lay there and cry. She hates me. I must be a horrible person. I wait to hear her door close on the other end of the house. It is safe for me to go out there to put it away. I go back to my room and lay down. The whole thing plays over and over in my mind. I can’t stop crying. Over and over as it was playing I am just telling myself that I was just not a good kid and my mom doesn’t love me. I cried myself to sleep apparently because I woke up in fear when I heard my mom come to my room telling me dinner was ready. I think it was hard for my mom to look at me after that happened. I was covered in bruises and I was sporting a pretty impressive shiner.

Oh my goodness the pain is too much. My whole face and body hurt. I am unsure how to be around my mom. I suppose anyone would be after something like that. It was almost like I hit the save button on what not to do. I will say this, I have not lost a single pair of my shoes since then. I have been very diligent and mindful as to where I put my shoes. In fact I have developed a great habit, I will literally take off my shoes in front of the door, or in the middle of the room. Man it irritates everyone except me. I am totally laughing about it as I write this out. The frustration on everyone’s face is comical at times, but I know where my shoes are. Unless they are moved by someone then I am on the hunt.

My mom and have talked about this incident a few times and we don’t ever talk about the details of the abuse that happened that day. I see the pain she feels when she recalls the moment. I see the emotions that she goes through as we laugh and giggle about me losing one shoe to every pair of shoes that I owned.She ended up locating most of my shoes from all over town. School, neighbors houses, the babysitters.

I see that she has shame and remorse about what has happened. I know that she does know what she did and how it has shaped my life. But at the same time my child self doesn’t know what is going on in her path. My child mind tells me that my mom hates me and that I am no good.

I feel from this moment in my life as a child this incident was the crack in the vase,if you will. I feel like the first time you do something that is intoxicating you have made it ok to do it again. I can tell you every time that she beat me. The things she would say to me, and how that affected my daily life. I know the things that stress her out and not to do those things. Some of the things that happened were excessive punishments. To put it mildly. I remember the first black eye she gave me. That was the only time she ever said sorry to me. I feared those footsteps to the back of the house. Because I knew that they were coming for me. Every bad thing I ever did was going to be beaten out of me into submission.

There was this time that she just got done doing laundry and she would always have all our piles separated neatly. Shirts, pants, dresses, folded socks and underwear. She would ask us,my sister and me, to please put them away.Not me. nope nope nope. Almost everything I did was half done. Thinking about it now,I I did it because I wanted to. There wasn’t a hidden meaning to me not doing it, I just didn’t want to. That it was just too much work. In reality it really isn’t. She did the hard work. We can empathize when it comes to laundry. Anyway there was the first time that she asked me to bring her my dirty laundry.

I kind of panicked a little bit. I hadn’t picked up my dirty room nor my laundry but if I don’t produce that laundry basket I am going to get my ass handed to me….again. This was a weekly thing that we have done. It was a habit now, I do something bad, Kristal gets her ass handed to her. Oh Kristal didn’t do the dishes correctly like she wanted, Kristal gets her ass kicked again. Anyway, I hadn’t put away the clothes from last week away. To me here is the funny part, and this is something that I still do to some degree. The clothes that were left behind was one jacket that I needed hang, which was literally a foot away from the laundry basket. Two shirts and a few pair of leggings. Still folded, I stuffed them in-between all the dirty clothes. I casually put the laundry basket where it was to be and walked away.

I even had a very brief moment of second guessing. But NOOOOO I made a choice to hand over that laundry basket anyway. I went back into my room and moments later I heard those foot steps heading my way. I knew exactly why she was coming. SHE KNOWS!!! So she comes into my room and has the clothes. She asked me if they were clean. I lied. NOOOO mom they are dirty. She gave me that look of ” Oh no she didn’t!” commence the angry mom look. She asks me again, I lie again. Not a smart move. She walked over to the hanger and hung up the jacket yelling at me…” IS IT SOO HARD TO HANG THIS UP KRISTAL? ITS RIGHT HERE! LOOK KRISTAL! IS THAT SOOO FUCKING HARD?” Then she walks a few more feet to my shelves where I kept my clothes, and she put the leggings and shirts there and said the same thing.

I was calm and soft toned when she was yelling at me, that seemed to put the cherry on top for her current mood. She is really pissed. I am sitting on the ground watching her closely, she’s coming for me and it will be same and I was right. She grabs me by my hair and drags me to the same spot in the living room. Right over the heater vent closest to the kitchen. She would throw me there and choke me until I would pee in my pants or pass out. The rage that would come out of her was unreal.

In this case, I peed she got off me. Telling me the usual. I was worthless. How her job was more important than me, and how I can’t do simple things. I was stupid. Finally she would tell me to clean up the mess, and go to my room.

So lets talk about me as a child. I did not make things easy for my mom. Like ever. From the moment that I was born. I was independent from the get go. I came into this world when I was ready. That is what I joke to my mom about. I have always seen the world through different eyes than most people I know. I couldn’t ever conform into my moms ways and the way she wanted things. It wasn’t with the lack of trying but I felt that it wasn’t me. I mean, I would tell her the truth and she wouldn’t believe me. Its funny now because even now today she still won’t believe some things have happened. Maybe it was because the first time I went to school, I made up a very convincing story.

She was doing dishes,and she asked me about my day at school. I was in kindergarten mind you. I told her it was good until the principle hit my hands with a ruler. Oh my gosh that still makes me laugh. Who would think of something like that….. Yours truly… Kristal. She was furious, but it wasn’t at me. That felt good. I was getting positive attention. It was like a drug. That feeling wore off as soon as she said that she was going to my school to talk to the principle. Well crap. I knew I was in trouble and I think she sensed that I was lying but my story was so convincing, I still kept to my story, in fact I was adding to it. I don’t remember what I said but I am sure that it was good.

The next morning we are waiting to be seen by the principle. I was nervous as she was called in. I hear and the way she was talking to him that she was mad and really confused. They finally call me and there he sat with my mom. Thinking about now maybe wanted to be right I wasn’t lying but when he started drilling me with ” which ruler did use?” may have thrown me off. Even then I picked out the ruler and said that it wasn’t him that it was another teacher. I just kept the lie going even after walking the entire school to find a teacher that hit me with a ruler. We got back to his office and he just looked at me and said ” ready to tell the truth?” I guess so. Oh my gosh the look on my moms face after I told the truth. I know now she was embarrassed.

This was a kind of new thing for me. I was getting my mom alone when I did things like this. That is what I was thinking as she was yelling at me on the importance of not lying and how I won’t make friends if I lied and how embarrassed she was that she went in there thinking someone was hurting her child. Weird. That was weird to me because she hurt me?! Anyway I don’t remember what happened after that.

I just know that for my own accountability I did not make things easy for my mom. I was just in my own world. Things were amazing to me. Good and bad. They were things that I was seeing through my eyes and no one to talk to about these things. How was I to know when I didn’t have a balance to keep me accountable? 

I will share more stories of all the off the wall things I did that made total sense to me. But before I leave this I want to tell you something that means so much to me now.

At this point in my life, I have come to learn that any attention was a good thing for me. Not always the best choice of how I get it but I got it nonetheless. My mom was alone and so was I. But at this points I learned that The weekends were scary, and put your clean clothes away and finally don’t lose your shoes. Lastly, my mom showed me mercy that day that I lied. She made a choice to teach me a life lesson that really did stick and something I have told my own kids. Those words stuck with me. As I have grown up I have learned that forgivness wasn’t for my mom but for me. I made a choice to forgive my mom and show her grace because I didn’t know her path. I didn’t know the things she was going through as a single parent. I thought our family was normal. I didn’t know anything diffrent. My mom is a power house of a woman and I admire her.