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…

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Chapter 5 Time

Being with my father made so much sense to me now. I was talking with my mom just over the weekend and she said something that was so profound to me. She told me that I have always been different. I am not the type of person that fits into a cookie cutter box. She said the word weird in there too. Haha but that is actually a fair statement to have to be honest. I know I am different and occasionally weird. I hear that from some of my closest friends. Some actually come out and say that I am weird and some use the term funny. But the one thing she said that really hit home was that she didn’t have the time to give me to nurture that part of me. Being with my dad I was essentially the only child.

My father had my two brothers from a previous marriage.They were pretty much adults when I came to live my dad. I didn’t see them much, but that was something that was out of our control as far as sibling control goes. I guess the point that I am trying to express is that my father had the time to give me. Although, My step mom was the one I spent most of my time with along with my grandparents. I love my Grandparents. Granny and Granddaddy. They all had time for me, and they did nurture those things about me that are ” weird.”

I don’t know how to be a “normal,” human who does things that are expected of them. I am not that person. I have always known in my heart that I am meant for so much more. I wasn’t given the gifts that I was just to let them fade away into world of “Hopes and Dreams.” I am not afraid to do the things that are outside the box. So many of us don’t reach what we are really meant to do. Most people do what the world expects them to do. I do what I am instructed to do by my creator. In an other words I listen to my heart. Or as my mom said over the weekend that I go the beat of my own drum and I take that as a compliment. So many times my mom has said how she wished she would have done what she  dreamed of. During the course of this last year alone, I have had so many questions about life, and what my real purpose is. I am one of the lucky ones that knows what I am meant to do. I just have to do the work to accomplish that. I am blessed to have the opportunity to make that happen. I have thought many times over if things hadn’t turned out the way they had, would I still have this same revelation. Probably but I wouldn’t execute it because I was defining my life based on what the world wants me to do. You know the routine.

  • Get up and look presentable for the world
  • Make the coffee
  • Go to work and make a small difference in the world
  • Secretly hate the job you have
  • Remind yourself to be grateful you have a job
  • Pay bills
  • Secretly die inside wishing you had done something different in your life

Yes, that was a low of lowest of lows of what some people deal with everything. I can hear the same things said when I bring something like that up, because people tell me all the time that not everyone has the luxury of writing a book like I do. Or whatever else they have said. Or the other half who tell me how blessed I am and how it inspires them to do something they have always dreamed of doing. Well Let me tell you something.I used to be that person who struggled with paying my bills on time, working dead-end jobs, or working really good jobs and something happens, being a single mom for a little while. I know the struggle but my dreams haven’t changed and it’s because with my father I was given the attention I needed to hold on to what I have wanted to do all my life. That is to write. That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle to accomplish those same things as the next person. I don’t judge people because its not my job to do that, and furthermore I don’t know what they are going through. They may have some things that they are going through just like me. You just don’t know what people are going through is all I am saying.

While with my father, he and my step mom bought me my first journal. I have written in a journal but it was a notebook and I would end up using it for something else. So before we went on vacation in Jamaica, I was given that journal. That was the start of the actual life story being put into paper. I was encouraged to write about everything and anything, and what a better way than in Jamaica. I still have that journal, and all the memories of going to Jamaica. Y’all let me tell you if you haven’t gone there GOOOO!!

I had so much fun there. I was afraid of the ocean. I am way too small of a human and that is poop ton of water. NO thank you! I still don’t like the big bodies of water. My dad did take me swimming in the ocean. I didn’t get far in the water because I was too scared. I am okay with that. I respect the ocean. Haha. I enjoyed writing about the canoe ride my step mom and went on. It was so beautiful but I was humbled that day. We had made a pit stop along the river. There was a swing on a tree there. So I sat on the swing just so I could admire the clarity of the water that was beneath my feet. That was until I was so far in my own mind about all the stories I had going in my mind about the water. It was so beautiful as it covered my entire body I felt one with the water in that moment. I felt the sand between my toes and how warm the water was. I came up for air and got out of the water. I had fallen in and now soaking wet.

I had bad luck with water where ever there was water. Side story here. Almost all ( minus one) the field trips I had in Texas that involved I fell in somehow. I was accident prone when it came to water. We were on a field trip to the space/science museum in I think Ft. Worth and there was this huge landscape of water but you could walk on the sidewalk thingy’s ( I don’t know what they are called) and I was proud of myself that I hadn’t fallen in. My step mom was there on that trip, she even warned me not to run like the other kids because I would fall in. I didn’t listen. This game of tag was awesome!! But I fell in!! I was covered in this weird green and white sludge stuff from all the plants that were growing there. Oh and WET!! I was used to the embarrassment of being wet during the rest of the past field trips, but not this one. Mystic mom asked the staff there if they had something I could wear instead. Guess what they did. A beat up old NASA jumpsuit. I had to undress there and put that on without shoes. I was grateful that she did that, but now I had a new thing for everyone to talk about. The electric light show was next on the itinerary. I was paranoid the whole time that I was going to get shocked because I was wet. Insert your favorite eye rolling emoji here because what did I know. That is why we were there right?! To learn these things from the professionals! Ok back to our regular scheduled program.

My step mom made the same face when I came out of the water! Haha oops. We boarded the sugar cane stalk made raft and continued forward, and out of no where on both sides of the river, children and women came running to the raft to sell their self made things to make some money. I didn’t understand. I asked my step mom why they were dressed in basically rags and shirts with holes. She told me that they were very poor and they are trying to make some money. While this was all happening the raft operator was yelling at these kids to get away, and pushing them.

I was given a Jamaican 100 bill. I gave it to a little girl who had wanted to sell a raft made of sticks.She gave me flower she just picked from the side of river as a thank you. Who knows if it actually helped but I was given the chance to think if I wanted to give it up or not. I chose to give it to them. It was so heartbreaking to me. Homeless here in the US is bad but it looks totally different there in another country. Homeless and less fortunate all have one thing in common. They need help. I want to be that help for that family.

I was told later on that in Jamaica that you are either rich or poor. There is no in-between for them. And so many of their people are poor end, but they are a happy humble people. They touched my heart more than they will ever know. I was going to save that 100 bill as a keepsake. Even though at the time it was worth four dollars in the US. To me I did the right thing. I have always gave when I could even when I couldn’t.

It is for those moments I am grateful that I was given the chance to give. I am often criticized for being a bleeding heart but that is who I am. That is something that won’t change about me. #notsorry My father and step mother I think were proud of me. I am not sure but I am proud of myself. I hadn’t seen anything like ever since that time.

So time, because that is what I am talking about here. The time that my father and step mom gave to me was not ever wasted. I learned a lot of things about who I was in those moments, and because of the time given I was able to really grow. Time is still an issue for me. I see time in a whole new way these days. Well maybe not new but in a fresh way that I try not to waste it. Time is the only asset we really have on this planet. Why waste it on things that are out of our control, or on things that don’t make our souls happy, or on things that we have no business being in? That is how I see time. I see it as I have one go at this thing, I was blessed with new ways to see this blessing and doing the things that mean something to me and serve others. Life is to have a deeper purpose than your every day-to-day task lists. Leave room to live! Leave room to experience things. I can’t wait for those things to come my way. I love that I know in my heart that they will happen for me because of my hope, faith and love of my dreams. I am practicing everyday to experience small pieces of my dreams come to life.

My writings to you are a gift. Not only for you but me too. It really all started with that one journal. The first of so many. I give it all to God. He made this season in my life at that point a place for me to grow. That is why everything happened the way it did. I am so happy to hear that mom over this last weekend said what she did. I feel like that was the first time that she really acknowledged in a positive way who I am. I feel that part of her is really happy that I am who I am and she’s unashamed of me, more over that she is no longer feeling shame for not being able to provide that to me as a child. Which is huge to me, because that is the last thing I want my mom to feel. Her seasons with me weren’t easy life lessons, and my father had seasons of teaching me in new ways to grow. Both were equally important.

At the end of my time in Texas my father showed me part of his shame that he carried. He and my step mom were getting a divorce. He blamed me for it, and that I would be moving back with my mom. Before I moved back with mom he showed me an ugly side of him that I haven’t ever seen. He threw their divorce/ custody court papers in my face. Like I knew what all that lingo meant?! I sat there crying as he slaughter my moms very existence and how I am just like her. I just ruin things. I think I may have been triggered or something because I just couldn’t hear anymore awful things about my mom. I just yelled that I wanted to kill myself. I felt that I was the biggest mistake to my parents. It was because of me they hate each other, and why their lives are so hard.

So my dad went into his room and came back with a small revolver in tow. He handed to me and said then do it. Just pull the trigger Kristal. I looked at the gun and then him. So many new questions are going through my head. I don’t know who to believe anymore. I don’t know who to trust. One thing is clear my dad was crazy thinking this was a good idea to hand me a gun. I don’t even know how to use it much less kill myself with it. I thought he was crazy at this moment. I went to my room and died a little inside and probably had a panic attack.

He later apologized for his actions and believe it or not that was not traumatizing for me as much as you think it would. What was traumatizing was the crappy things said about my mom. I knew at that moment that they both had put me in the middle of their crap. I vowed from that moment forward I would never put my kids through such a thing when I had kids. Secondly, I would be moving back to New Mexico with my mom. She is now married to a great man at this point in her life. Maybe things would be different now. I would be starting middle school after that summer. We said our goodbyes and I was sad and happy. I knew that might be the last time I would see my step mom. She means so much to me. I unconditionally loved that woman and I would see my dad soon.

I was back on the road to New Mexico with my sister and my mom. A new chapter begins.