And we’re back to forgiveness… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Chapter 9 Here’s to you…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kris

Chapter 9 Love? What is that anyway?

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

The definition of Love

Love

Noun

1.An intense feeling of deep affection

2. A person or thing that one loves

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

Verb

  1. Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.