Hey there… It’s been awhile.

It’s been awhile since I have written. It tends to happen when something big happens in life. In my life that is. I have to process things and spend a lot of time with Jesus. It’s a process of what ifs and why’s and then a lot of forgiveness. So what have I been up to since the last time I have written you ask?

After the sentencing hearing, I had spend a lot in time in prayer. Seeking answers and actual direction of where I am to go next with the knowledge that I have gotten. This new fresh wave of information of how fallen the world really is. How there is so many broken people in this world. Just because I am Christian doesn’t mean that I am perfect or anything, it means that I rely on Jesus to walk me through my issues. I have plenty of things that need to be worked on too. That included the brokenness that I had that day I walked out of that court house. But there was something great that happened in all that processing work, I forgave. I didn’t lean on my own understanding of the situation, but instead trust God that he is working it out for the good. I also started working on bringing some awareness of the dangers our children face in this fast world that we all live in. I had to let go of some controlling things about me trying to protect and reel in that passion a little. I can’t come guns a blazin on a soap box. That isn’t good ya know. I had to take personal inventory of where I was emotionally, mentally, spiritually and whether I am taking care of myself too in all this.

I leaned on the Word, Church and my church family, my friends and family through that time. My passion for bringing awareness won’t ever stop, I just needed to find a better approach to bring awareness. I want to help educate parents and be a soundboard of support. The same way so many others were there for me.

Another thing that happened while I have been absent was a great Bible study by Beth Moore, The Patriarchs. Wow, talk about being filled. I have a hunger as it is already for the Word but to go into such depth was so good. I have the most wonderful opportunity to meet new women at the study and get to know them. I’m so incredibly grateful for those moments and the moments to come with these ladies. They are my tribe. Not to mention the new friendships that I have been so blessed to have currently. I mean seriously awesome Women. They have been so there for me in a real honest way and so welcoming and some have been so impactful in my life and didn’t even know it. So here is a small shout out to some of those women. Dee, Tara, Ramie, Julie, Melanie, Lanessa and Lindsay. You ladies inspire me, motivate me, edify me, teach me, pray with me and for me, support me. I respect you and admire you and love watching all the great things that God has done for you, and all the great works you’ve done and called to do. Seriously amazing women. I’m super grateful that God chose y’all to do life with in some way or another.

Of course I’m still very much going through a difficult season but I try not to focus on all the negative, instead I focus on the work that He is doing within me. The stretch and squeeze to be a better person. I welcome these moments because I know that he is with me and walking with me through this very tough time. There is nothing easy about this walk, but I seek His face in these times. I have faced fear so many times since August, and it still doesn’t feel easy doing it. Because each time I have faced fear it has come in a new way. I know that God is working this out for my good however that looks like. He knows what is best for me and I don’t dare take that from him. Instead, I welcome the teaching moment. For instance, talking in open court was so scary, and allowing the words come out of my mouth was so incredibly hard. Or watching my daughter falling a part and feeling incredibly helpless in those moments and not knowing where to go with those emotions for myself. Or watching a close friend of mine being arrested and watching relationships fall completely a part and being judged myself alone for being a friend to this person. Or only having $40 to put food on the table. Or being blamed for things I have no part in whatsoever. Not once did I blame someone for what I was going through. Instead, I opened my Bible, my life manual. I literally searched high and low for comfort and instruction. I got it too. I trust God in all areas of my life. And I mean everything. Even through my tears of doubt, sadness, frustration, helplessness, I mean you name it. I have encountered every stinking emotion through this season, and still do at times. But the one thing that was given to me every time, was that I was not to be afraid. He was doing a great big pruning in my life and still doing so. I mean I have questioned myself on every bad thing I have ever done right down to stealing my favorite candy bar when I was six years old. And when I was praying about stuff and I am pretty sure I didn’t leave room to listen a few times, but He always finds a way to get to you doesn’t he? He will leave the 99 to find you boo boo. “Trust God and do good,” was a great reminder as I watching Joyce Meyers on the YouTube. So simple and yet so profound. And that was an answer I needed to hear right in that moment.

The one thing I can say is this, through all parts of my life and all seasons, I will always rely on Him.

I have been diving into the new book by Christine Caine called Unexpected. And let me tell you …. this book is so right on. She talks about #EmbracingTheUnexpected. Because of course the unexpected is coming!

She talks about her own story and the overcoming of hardships in her life, and there are other people in the book that share their stories of how God has been sooo in the middle of the pain, chaos, sadness, I mean you name it. Fear, I mean the list goes on and on of all the crazy emotional roads we can go on, but more importantly how God was totally in the middle and working things out for their good. Anticipating the unexpected and trusting in God in all of it, really releases a new kind of management in the situation. We dont have to rely on ourselves to get through the situation. We have to do work of course through those moments but God does all the heavy lifting. What is super amazing is that He knew it was coming and knows the end result. The victory is already won, the path was already made straight, He knew all the players and how it was going to turn out. You’re job is to hold on tight, scoot close, press into, TRUST HIM as he stands with you, walks with you, and delivers you out of the situation. Even when you encounter a situation that is NOT Gods doing He WILL give you an exit out of the situation, and still use that situation for something great and good. HOW wonderful is HE!! I mean seriously. He is AWESOME!

There are so many times that I wish I could share in detail of what I am going through so that maybe someone would understand how He has gotten me through so much and still does. Like I keep telling myself this season will be over soon, It’s coming to end and then something else happens. Now I just giggle and accept and dig in and on the days that its not so easy to giggle I seek Him first. I used to be afraid to ask for God’s mercy, but he knows my heart better than I do. He knows exactly what I can handle, and He makes me strong in my weaknesses. He has a purpose for me and my life. He knows what I am doing, and He knows where I am going.

I have been blessed in that a couple of years ago, before my deliverance was complete, I asked Him to show me a glimpse of what my future was. I will never forget what He showed me that day. But I did, but not in the way that you may think.

Genesis 12:1-3 is where God was telling Abram (Abraham) of a promise. He told Abram that he would become a great nation. That is the short end of it. Even through all that Abraham gone through there were times where fear was very much there too. At times there were moments that they would forget that God has given them their promise when in the midst of the chaos, then they would remember and have an Oh yeah moment.

This is so relatable to me because I have been blessed in that God showed me my promise and I forgotten that when I was knee deep in yuckiness in this season. And the more I got to know Gods Word I felt more at ease because He already showed me where I was going to be, but I still have to go through things. I have learn what He wants me to learn. I still have to trust in Him in all ways good and bad and all things in between. There are even things that I have had to accept radically and trust that it was the right thing. I have had to learn that I don’t need to take everything on personally, that some journeys are for that other person to go through and its not my place to fix it. Or when I was called to help someone I was scared to help. Learning balance and making that active in my life. To fully step into my calling and declare it. He didn’t ask for my qualifications, He asked me to trust.

For instance, I am a writer. I know that I have a lot of work I need to do to be a better one, but I was called to write. I can’t tell you how many times that writing has come up in my life. The first real writing I started doing was when I was twelve on a vacation to Jamaica. I have been writing since. Not only that, I talk all the time. I have to be mindful to not talk so much. My first words were shut up, so from the very beginning I was different and meant to be so. I am not sure how God is going to use that but I know he will. #KristalTalksTooMuch I was called to be this way. I am more comfortable in my skin today than I have ever been. That’s because of Him and trusting. But I wasn’t given these gifts to stay quiet about them. I haven’t been comfortable talking about myself as a writer until recent times. There is a reason for that. I was afraid of being judged and rejected. And through this season I have been rejected a lot and judged, but God was there for me and made me strong. He showed me that I am stronger with Him and in fact that I don’t always have to be liked to be accepted because my anchor isn’t in their opinions and rejections. My anchor is in Christ.

I choose not to doubt myself anymore. I choose to believe. I choose to move forward and not stay stuck like the enemy wants me too. I choose to believe that God is going to use my uniqueness for good because He is good. I choose to believe that God loves all of me. I choose Him.

May you experience the Love of Christ, then you’ll be made complete with all the fullness of Life” Ephesians 3:19

He is life. He is love. He is I Am.

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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.

My Christmas Card 2017

Merry Christmas everyone. We are just 9 days and some change away from 2018. I know! I can’t believe it either. I feel like the year started with a new beginning of a year of change. Yes the year of change. The year of growth. I know for me it has felt that way. My 2017 year started with quite a wake up call for me as a mother. I was given a load to carry and to see it through. That was my assignment. It was the start of many hard loads to carry. I knew I had to speak up for the one for the many. Due to its nature I can’t yet speak about it. But it is definitely something that I will tackle when I am told that I can. It was a situation where I was on the outside looking in, like ” This happens to other people, and now I know what other people feel like.” It was scary at first, but I overcame the fear of opening my mouth and saying something about it. I look forward to sharing that experience with you all in the future.

Then my daughter and step daughter came to live with us full time. We went from being an empty nest to having company. It was an exciting time for everyone. We were all getting to know each other and how things work in my house. Rules, boundaries, limitations and expectations. For awhile it worked like well oiled machine. Everyone knew what they needed to do and when. Then a quick shift happened. And that is when the new assignment came… survive! Hahaha. I have three teens and two pre-teens. I am a full believer in it takes a village to raise kids. If I had to go through this alone I might end up back in rehab. I’m joking. There are some moments where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I have learned a lot from my two teen daughters. Adolescents are toddlers with hormones. I mean that with all sincerity in my heart, but dang!! I learned that I really have to rely on Him all the time, otherwise, things might have gotten worse. But He doesn’t give us more than what we can carry right?! (John 16:12 NIV) He is pretty mindful of what you can carry, and He is able to help you grow through the rough stuff because He walks with us in all situations. I had referenced to the book of Proverbs a lot. To ensure that I am doing all that I can and I am being a good mom regardless how many times I was told otherwise. Which was a lot!! But I stayed within my faith first, and worked through it in confidence that I was doing the wise thing. I was super unpopular within these four walls, but in my heart I was okay with that. Teens in this day and age have a lot of new things thrown at them; much different than even seventeen short years ago. I so badly want to talk about everything that has happened, but what I can tell you is, It was a lot of darts at my back, my home, my kids right down to the dogs. It is a lot calmer, but nowhere close to being calm or peaceful. Having teen daughters so close in age is HARD!!! Like you need to be expert level in parenting. Especially since both girls have grown worlds a part. There is a lot of people affected, and we all have to work together in our own to make something work. I trust in my faith that we will work through it and we will survive. It takes a lot of work to keep the peace. A lot of letting go of certain things, and a large village. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of separation, but I feel that is temporary. God is working in everyone in their own ways. I learned to talk to others about what’s going on. Community is so important. I learned not to “Throw in the towel.” thanks Mom I learned how to step back when and where I needed too. Not an easy lesson to learn. I also had to learn was am I doing this for myself or for them. Was I wanting credit for knowing everything or was I maybe insulting the other adults in the same situation as me? It made realize that I need to really put myself in check at times, and allow somethings to happen. This has been the biggest part of my year, focused on the kids. I am blessed to have all my children, and my step children … even if they don’t know it, they were an answered prayer. So thank you Lord. Regardless of what they are going through I love them, and want nothing but the best for them.

Then I went to New Orleans for a few days, and was gone for about a week. It was a lot of fun, and which I then start noticing a new trend of things. Like my eyes were starting to open to a new light. I realized how much fun a road trip is across a thousand miles. Almost getting the Zika in Arkansas, the skeeters there are HUGE!! I was tired and I just shouted that in the middle of an empty convenient store. The poor clerk couldn’t stop laughing. It was also the middle of the night. In parts of Louisiana they farm their corn in sideways. It’s always wet, which is nice. I don’t mind that. That’s just some memories. I really wanted to go to Duck Commander and didn’t get to this time, but maybe next time. I also realized that my friend Kateri and I really didn’t sleep a whole lot. Haha. But I learned that I want to get to know so many people, I want to forge strong friends with others that I look up to, gals who are liked minded, I want to make memories with some new friends that I have been too afraid to tell them, ” hey I want to be your friend, want to hang out sometime?” That has been happening lately, and it feels good. This was a turning point for me in this year, when I came back from New Orleans there was a fast lane of life headed my way and I had no idea.

What happened in all that time from August to present has me even know in awe of this year and all that I have endured. Both good and bad. We were blessed with getting a new truck after a long time of not knowing if we could. We were blessed with that gift and that payment. Haha but now we have a reliable mode of transportation. I was sad to see buttons go ( my old ford) but it was time. Now we have Peter, the new white truck. I am taking better care of myself. I am looking fear in the face and telling it to kindly move because it is hindering my journey. I am going back to church, which is a blessing in itself. I am putting myself out there, and accepting when a door closes on something not to go back to it. It’s closed and it has served its purpose. I am getting better at saying what I mean when I say it. I hope to learn more about my gifts that were given to me. I was reminded of my purpose, which is to write, and write some more. Learn more, experience more, take care of myself in order to take care of others, love, be compassionate, be assertive, discernment and really getting my life back. It was highjacked for a little bit. But man to end this year like this is a blessing. I know that I went through this to learn these things and so much more. I am a better person for it. I mean I am really taking care of myself in a new fresh way. I am losing weight, both physically and in all areas in my life that I needed to lose some weight. I mean I inspire myself sometimes, ” Good job Kristal for treating yourself good today.” I am becoming disciplined in a new way. I know that all that I have gone through good and bad was setting me up for something in the future. I really believe that. Life is so much more than the enemy darts coming your way. (Matthew 6:25 NIV) I know I am taken care of. Love yourself that way you can love others the same way … Would you treat someone the way you treat yourself? (Matthew 22:39 NIV) I know I wouldn’t treat anyone they way I have treated myself lately…. So I take care of me first, and I don’t feel selfish for it. Because I know I am in a much better place to help others when the time is right.

This year has been a good one. I am able to see the joy in all of it. I look forward to what 2018 brings. No matter what, it starts with me and where I am going in this journey. I look forward to writing myself a letter on my anniversary thats coming up, and I cant wait to read it in a years time. But first Jesus’ birthday shindig first.

Regardless of all the “bad things,” that happened this year, it was a great season. I grew up a little bit more, became more mature in my walk. Learned so much. Weeding your theoretical garden of life is a must. If its a weed,pull it. It might hurt but your garden will appreciate you doing it. You’ll be able to grow something new in that good soil, because you made some room. Love yourself everyday. Forgive often, maybe a lot. But live!! Not just survive to the next moment. I rather have a floaty in flood waters than nothing at all.

Kristal xx

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Getting into the Rhythm even when you dont have Rhythm

Last Sunday durning my church service, My pastor was teaching about the Rhythm of Christmas. I felt it was interesting when he was teaching this in the following perpestive. I wasn’t sure how the music lesson was going to tie into Jesus. I loved the whole thing. I learned that I may never be a drummer, and I would be that one band member that would always be a little off. I used to play in Orchestra our conductor kept our time along with our foot, but I am not sure that it was really a proper etiquette in orchestra; I’m not really sure, moving. Orchestra I understand, but if I were to learn to play the drums I would have to have mass amounts of practice and lessons. Over and over until I got it and it was second nature. Which makes total sense when we apply it to everyday in our lives. Eureka I got it!!

I am one of those musically inclined people, if you want to call it that, I am that person that can hear it and play it to hear a mistake or something is off. I also learned that not everyone has that gift, just like I don’t posses the gift of being a drummer the keeper of time. So keep this in mind as I go through this moment. On a side not I am in constant reminder of the anchor… I need the anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) Jesus is my anchor and reminder to go at his pace, or to slow down and stay grounded with Him.

After church and getting my daily bread, I look back on my notes and the scriptures and I try to apply it to my life. Like really apply it. In this case, how do I stay in sync with God and how can I use the reference to music to understand and apply it.

Here’s my take. When I LISTEN to music, I am able to HEAR the conversation between instruments and media used to create the SOUND. Then I am able to COMPREHENDED what the singer or artist ( If there is one) is interpreting for us to be able to hear what the conversation is all about. Maybe its weird but that is how I hear music. When its a song that touches me, its because I am able to hear the entire conversation of the song and it touches my heart. You know the mood, the feelings, the story. Or I am able to take on my own interpretation of what the song is trying to say. In another words, I am digging in deeper and hearing all the sounds of the story being told.

Have you ever been in a mood that you couldn’t quite put your finger on, and you’re searching for a song to match what you’re feeling and you just can’t find that song? Yeah me too. Sometimes I feel that we can get that way in our lives. Nothing seems to sync up just right and we search and search to feed that moment. To satisfy that hunger. To make sense of what’s happening right? Bear with me. God has a reason for this, and sometimes He is moving the band around, but it is still playing great music, even if we can’t hear it like He does. God calls us to have a relationship with Him and Jesus is the heartbeat. ” He started the heartbeat of Jesus.” Y’all, when my Pastor said this, he put his hand to his chest , Thump thump…. thump thump…Je-sus Je-sus …. Je-sus Je-sus… That made so much sense to me. The gift that God gave me was redemption through Jesus. My thump thump… Talk about mind blown. God is love. Love is God. We often refer to the heart as love. Jesus equals your thump thump. I know right! I know that not everyone will see what I mean here, but this is how it made sense to me.

So my heart calls me for a purpose. So many of us, don’t listen to music the way I do. I know I am not alone, but my perception may not be like others. But we still are all a part of the same band bro. I am just not the drummer. Each of us have a different role to play and a different purpose. So how do we get our lives in sync or rhythm with Him? Well, its a choice I think. I know that I chose to listen to what He is calling me to do. I know that I am to write. That is all I know. I have to listen closely to what I am being guided to do. Even though it scares me, I may be lead by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV) I may not see the results right away, or hear the music playing at the moment, But I LISTEN to what I am being instructed to do by SOUND so I am able to COMPREHEND what I am to do next and know that the music is going to be awesome. We all have a purpose to fulfill. I know that when I was called to write I had no idea what or how everything was going to work. It turns out that me Knowing isn’t my current instrument to play, my instrument is to be obedient and write. Do the work to practice everyday, some days are harder than others, but I am practicing until its my second nature. Just like so many other things in my life at the moment as you may have read yesterday. I need to do the hard work to get where I need to be in accordance to what His will is.

So the last thing I wrote in my notes was this ” How can you get better Rhythm?” Well, I made the choice to change, to allow Him to do what He needs to do. There is a reason for me to have the purpose in this life because it’s going to matter to someone else that He puts in my path. We get out of sync because of sin and to align with God its going to take a lot of practice. I dont have the exact words that my Pastor used but I feel that I am pretty close. I dont know about you but I certainly dont like going through a hard time alone, I rather have a partner, brother, sister right next to me, and Jesus is right there beside me too, even if I can see Him. I know that He will never leave me as long as I reach for His hand.

My previous blog post, is a glimpse into what I am doing to stay in sync, its hard work, and its a lot of practice but by the grace of God, the support from Jesus,and guidance from the Holy Spirit, My journey doesn’t look so overwhelming. And just like any relationship there’s a lot of work and practice there too. It’s hard for us humans to really understand God’s love for us. Like we can’t even fathom the love He gives us and or many of us don’t even know what that would even look like. but maybe that is for another post later. Nevertheless, He wants a relationship with us. If you could text Him everyday like you would your best friend, would you and what would you tell him? That is what He is wanting. He loves you right where you are today, and who you are today. He is the most trustworthy friend you’ll ever have. He is the dad you can tell EVERYTHING too, and will still love you at the end of the day. So what part of the band is He calling you towards? Are you willing to take His hand and walk with Him through this process, even if its scary? Are you ready to start? Well I encourage you to pray on it ( have a conversation with Him) and I will do the same. We aren’t perfect beings, I am perfectly imperfect made by Him and He loves me faithfully, even when I let him down by my shortcomings but I will continue to the work and practice.

Thank you for reading today. Please feel free to comment, like and share. Please subscribe and don’t miss a beat with me!

Lastly, here is a funny picture of my American Bulldog Tucker. He just turned 4!!

Catch Up Kristal

I catch myself starting my stories off the same way, but today I choose a different way to approach the subject at hand. I have new things to talk to you about and I am not going to shy away like I have been. I will approach this with kindness and grace because we all deserve kindness and grace. The darkness can be the most cold unforgiving place ever! There is not one person on this planet that has not visited that place at least once in their life.

 

I need this for myself right now. I need to able to give myself what I give everyone around me. Recently, I was betrayed by a few people so very close to my heart, and instead of feeling all those fleshy moments of feeling anger and disappointment and staying here giving it power. I have learned that people are not like me and I am not like them. I’m so tired of feeling the way I do towards people. I give grace and always will. I will always find the time to make a choice to forgive, but just as important to know when to let go and not look back.

So, I have to try to find my daily empowerment in all that I do. That includes when I am hurt to find that joy when all the shit hits the fan. I am so done with this season and at the same time I am grateful for the season because I know at the end I am going to see a blessing and get to know me a lot better.

I am learning what my true self-worth really looks like, to have a voice and actually use it. I know that I am worth love, respect and joy just like so many others in my life. I am so grateful that I can say no and not really feel bad anymore. I am not afraid to hear the truth and know my part in things.

I don’t like when people think its okay to hurt others. I will always have a hard time with that. I too feel just as sad when it happens to me, but I am so tired of accepting that its okay for them to do it to me. I almost feel like I have minimized what they have done to me or my family. I have asked myself a thousand times… ” Why is this relationship important to you? Why do you keep holding on?” and sometimes I know that the relationship isn’t a good one to be in and yet I allow the craptastic things to continue. So that is completely on me.

I was a naive young woman who felt that nobody liked her, and I don’t believe that shit anymore. I am okay with people leaving my life now because why would I force them to stay when they clearly don’t want to be there. I am not just talking about past romantic relationships I am also talking about friends, job, etc. I have fought for people to stay in my life and I sit here writing this and I am shaking my head… Why would you do that silly woman! I know better now. I am unafraid, I am healed, I am not crazy, I am awesome, I encourage, I empower, I am a freaking WARRIOR!

I have been through so much in my life and I wasn’t afraid to stand for things that I believe in. So where the hell did start allowing crappy people in my life to control me or tell me whats best for me when clearly they don’t know me? can we say run on sentence?  Just in the last few days I have been betrayed and my privacy violated, and I sat there, mad, and upset and almost immediately I chose to forgive, but I am still knee-deep in the situation. Then I got a phone call this morning and it was one of those phone calls that makes you lose your crap, because you know you’re being a target.  But get this…I know I have a target on my back!! I am doing things that makes me unpopular( doing things that aren’t considered normal 9-5 things) and things that others are too afraid of to do… SO yeah I am going to have that target on my back, and I know that I am strong enough to stand and take it in the flesh and surrender it to God. I know what whatever is trying to attack is because God is working hard and the enemy knows they are about to be evicted. #SorryNotSorry #TeamJesus #AlreadyDefeatedTheEnemy

I know that the people who come into my life are there for a reason, I can discern better if they are there for good or bad, or misunderstood, need to be introduced to God, or whatever the case may be… I know that I need to surrender control and surrender the unnecessary hoarding that I have of people. I am not Jesus and I can’t save people anymore than the next person. I can just influence the goodness and teach how to be wise in some cases. I need to stop allowing myself to keeping people that don’t need to be in my life anymore.  Wash your hands Kristal, its okay and they will be okay because they belong to God not you. I am so tired of being hurt, and I am so tired of thinking of things that I need to do to fix my situation. 10 seconds of courage to say goodbye and many blessings your way. #MovingOn

I am so tired of having the target on my back, but I am able to know that I am loved and furthermore I am good within myself to know I am safe. I am strong enough to say no more, and Not today satan. I know that I am worth it. I know that I am enough. I know that I am not fighting flesh and blood. I know that one day I will successful. I am no longer afraid.

So how does this all tie in? Well, there are many phases in life and I am behind the curve, if there is one. I’m catching up to what others already know. I am done with allowing the bad in and ready to fully allow the blessing in!!

 

Chapter 10 Adult choices so young..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Much love…

Chapter 9 Here’s to you…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kris