Chapter 14: Hey we need to talk.

So we need to talk. Well, I guess I will talk and wait to see if you respond back. Yes, I am talking to all of you. There is a lot going on and I often find myself in a whirlwind of chaos. I really hate that… Like a lot. But as I work through those issues, there are some things that are on my heart lately that I feel I just need to say.

I know what it is like to be on the side of suicidal thoughts and ideation. I know that I have talked about what it is like for me and probably so many others that have gone through that situation. I find humor in the “survivor,” term with that. I didn’t survive my attempt in suicide. I was stopped from committing suicide. I was pissed about that as well when it happened I might add; and when I saw my doctor and he said ” so you survived,” I actually laughed because it was a choice. It was a choice that was made for me, and a choice I eventually made for myself. Yes you read that right…. a choice. Now granted if I was alone, which I was before I was stopped the first time, I would of gone through with my plan. It was still a choice, But since I wasn’t alone the second time that day, it was the choice of my husband to stop me. CHOICE.

I made a choice to live. I made a choice to listen to my husband. I made a choice to not do it that day. I made all those choices. My intention of leaving this world didn’t just vanish after I made that choice. It was always there like a nagging splinter in my mind. My heart was so incredibly broken, but I made a choice to live. I made a choice to continue to listen on how much I was selfish and it was not the time for a “Kristal Show.” But I can tell you those thirty some hours were so incredibly impossible after my last attempt. I couldn’t be left alone for more than ten minutes at time before I would freak the F out again. Constant awful feelings of shame and guilt came like darts and arrows from war from the enemy. ( think of the movie 300 and all the arrows that were shot at them, and it darkened the skies. That is how it felt, just me without a shield to protect me)

So, I was thinking … How all my actions have affected people all around me. What if I wasn’t caught and I died, how all of that would affect the people around me. Pretty heavy stuff. I can see why I never thought about it from their point of view before. I didnt want to trigger myself into all the shame and guilt again. Let me clarify, from their point of view from a healthier point of view. So if you don’t know, when a person is suicidal they think of all the shame and guilt. You have to understand from their point of view, from my point of view, I was doing my friends, family, co-workers all a favor by leaving this world because I WAS THE PROBLEM! For healthy people, they don’t quite understand that… LIKE AT ALL!!

The one thing that I hate hearing is the cliché saying of …. “IT’S A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM!” stop saying that to people. And if you are a person that was suicidal and this phrase worked for you, please contact me because I want to give you so much praise. That phrase still triggers me because it reminds me of how some people just don’t get it. To me this phrase means this… ” You’re going to kill yourself over something that means nothing.” Yeah I get it… But when a person has shame they BELIEVE THEY ARE THE PROBLEM… I was the problem for everyone around me… I was the solution to end all things because I was taking care of the end result for them to be happy!! I was giving them peace. That was my thinking and understand; and  nearly enough words to express that y’all. I really don’t like that phrase. It sounds so self-serving for the people saying it, like they are better than me. Because they seem to know more than me. When I was suicidal I was thinking that it was the most selfless thing I could do for all of them. I understand that I might offend some people but this is my story from my point of view.

On the flip side of that coin, I seen something I haven’t seen before. The after effects to people who had to live with the death of their love one and the people who have been affected with the person who attempted. Talk about an eye opener. I am really thankful I am in a place where I can withstand seeing that without being triggered. So this is what I have seen. Parents living with guilt and what if’s lingering. Spouses living with guilt and shame of what ifs and blame. Children growing up with confusion and blame that maybe it was their fault. Friends blaming themselves and feeling responsible for their death. The pastor who talked over their service feeling pained that maybe there was more that they could have done. The co-workers who try to comfort and get rejected. The coffee shop clerk being attacked verbally because that husband doesn’t know how to cope and was drinking the night before and doesn’t feel good. I see now that there are soooo many people affected than just the immediate people. ( Hence why its important to me to not judge people because I dont know what they are going through.)

No matter how it manifests, the one thing that is clear to me is they all become something they weren’t before. Sad, depressed, confused, isolated, irrational, lost, in need of answers themselves, blame consumes them, guilt and shame take over for them, feeling of abandonment and rejection, trust issues, traumatized. Their lives can be consumed by the death of their loved one. I feel that people feel the same with people who attempted. They still feel all those things but don’t talk about it with the person in fear it will trigger them. In a sense they lost the person they once knew and still mourn the loss even though they are living. They all share the anger and sadness and all the other emotions that come with all of that. I never saw that before.

The first people I think of is the people who I live with. What would their lives look like with me gone. I can see it so clearly. I can see exactly what I think would happen. My husband would turn to darker things because he would be the first to blame himself. The guilt would wash over him thinking it was his fault because the last things I ever said to him were that it was his fault. He would end up leaning on the kids to feel better but they would be the first ones to take the brunt of his emotions. He might even start drinking again after being sober for a long time. His family would come to help him and support him but he won’t ever show his true feelings because he feels that he is protecting himself by doing so. “Because that is what men do,” that is what he would say anyway. Then he would have to make all those calls to people and say the words “I have to tell you something, Kristal is dead. She killed herself Sunday.” My ex husband would be distraught and would want to blame someone, then he would have to tell my children what happened, and console them. My kids would then silently try understand that their mom is gone. They would be crushed and that’s being mild only because I can’t stand the thought of them in pain. Nor would I want them to ever feel that it was their fault or that I didn’t love them. Then the call to my mom and dad. I can’t even begin to think of how they would respond because I know they too would feel depression and blame. The call to all my siblings. I can see the anger and overwhelming sadness. Then the call to my boss to tell her what happened and for her to tell my employees what has happened, and how work would not be the same for them for a while. All my friends getting the call, and all the people who saw me everyday, all the people’s lives that I touched in some way, or my church family. THEY WOULD ALL BE AFFECTED! So would all the people that would come to console them or run into. Its a crazy ripple affect.

This isn’t an easy thing for me to write. I am literally in tears trying to get this out. Because the pain they would feel all because I thought I was the problem in their life. I am not crying because I am triggered. I am crying because for once I saw what the consequences would be on the other side of my suicide. I am sure that I am not as close as I think I am to predicting what would happen, but I know enough to know that they would be heartbroken and inconsolable. Their entire lives would change for a little while because of my death. I can tell you that from my point of view that this is something I was not thinking about that day I was attempting suicide. I thought I would be easing their burdens. But in fact I would only be adding to them even more so than simply opening my mouth and saying I need help. I realize now that even though I didn’t die and I made a choice to live, and that they to had a choice to go with me on this journey. It wasn’t easy on them and some days it’s not easy on anyone. But the point is I AM ALIVE!!! They are happier with me living than laying in the ground.

I don’t like crying…. its hard to type and see the screen. #justsaying … I know… bad timing for a sense of humor, but that is how I can get past things. I know how to be funny in times when people need it the most.

I need you to know that this post comes from a place of understanding and love. I realize so much more now. I was in such a dark place. It’s hard to see the light and to see that there is a way out. When you are there in that awful place, it seems like nothing that is good is believable. Then there is a small light, some people hold on to that little bit of light for dear life and others lose hope in that light and feel that they don’t deserve a way out. I was both those people. I held on to that light for a long long time, and I finally let it go. Then I made a choice and walked through the light… I will NEVER go back to that dark place. That dark place will never have me back because that dark place doesn’t deserve me. I am person who is loved, and deserves love. This person, me, deserves a good life of living and love. This person deserves to see what her Father created her to be, and all the people in my life deserve that from me as well.

To everyone, I am sorry for all that I have put you through. I know some days are harder than others but I am learning who I really am. I appreciate all of you for staying by my side. I know that it was hard and scary, but we are here now and doing good. I am still learning and healing. So thank you for your patience. I know that I am confusing at times and I dont know who I will become through this healing, but I do know I will be a person.

To anyone who is feeling suicidal please reach out. There are a lot of places and resources to get you the help. I know how that sounds, I was there and when people said that to me I dismissed it too. But I feel better and I know that I am better. It took me a long time to stop believing the lies my mind told me about getting help. Everyone’s journey is different I know. I just want to share mine so that maybe someone who is in the same place I was knows that there is a way out of the darkness, that doesn’t invlove dying.

I am just so glad that I can see now what everyone else was trying to tell me, and see what it would be on the flip side for others.

So many people go through this and there are people who are still healing after their love one passed. For that I am so sorry. I understand now. My heart is with you.

The one thing that is a constant in my life and recovery is listening. I wasn’t alone through all of this. I see that now. Thank you Father. Thank you everyone. I think there is only one more chapter after this one to write about before I can really start telling you other stories of my brighter side of life. I can’t write those until you know where I was.

 

 

 

Chapter 11 Divine Wardrobe Change Pt. 1

Have you ever watched a movie and there is that climatic part where the main character has everything around falling a part then bam something good starts happening and their life is great again? I never used to like those parts of movies. I would actually get so pissed that I would rant about it. Movie ruined for everyone haha. I did this because I wondered if that moment would ever happen to me. I have seen it done in a real world setting with real people but never me.  I was jealous of these people.

I wondered what it would feel like to have that moment of total nothingness to happen. Something so tragic would happen and my life would change dramatically. I had gone through so much in my years… When was my number going to get called? I was holding that ticket for a long time… the waiting was a killer.. almost anyway. I still won’t talk about all the moments that lead to my number being called finally. Not that I am not encouraged to talk about them, because I am. I am afraid of going through another set of judgments that I am not sure I am ready for.

One of them is just so unbelievable to me that I still hold on to it thinking I am protecting that person, but I am not protecting that person in the right way, and I am not trusting in Father to handle it for me. I will continue to work on that. But here is what I can tell you and willing to tell you at this moment.

When my number was finally called there were defining moments that I see now that were my path. I prayed harder than ever. Let’s tackle the first one. That was my Granddaddy’s passing. I know that I have talked about him before and this moment. It was so hard for me that he was gone. When I found out about his passing was so fast. One call was my dad telling me they are moving him to hospice then moments later was he is gone. I was absolutely crushed. This was during a community event that my husband and I were at with all the kids. It was around Halloween so everyone was in their costumes and having a good time. I didn’t want to ruin their fun but at the same time I didn’t know how to handle putting away my pain and leaving on the mask.

Everyone was very understanding. I had called my brother later that night and we made our plans to head out the next morning. I still went to work and got all of those affairs taken care of and left. I made many prayers before picking up my brother. I was really hoping that a fight wouldn’t happen over their things. Now that Granddad only had us left in the family. Just my brothers, myself, my dad, my uncle and cousin. That was it as far as the last of the family line goes. We were it. Like I said I really was hoping there wasn’t going to be drama.

My brother and I enjoyed the drive out. I spent the whole time burning my right arm out of the window. The more we headed East the worse the heat came in October. But we laughed, and had good conversations on the way there. I was kicked out of the driving eventually. I hadn’t really slept apparently that made my brother nervous. It was kind of funny to see an almost seven-foot man squished up to drive in the explore. Haha.

Granddad in previous visits and conversations wanted one thing. He wanted his family together one last time in that house. He got his wish. We were all there one last time. When we got there. My dad and my step mom already got the rooms situation under control. They took their room, Uncle would have his room, I would have my grandparents room, and my brothers would have the living room, and cousin was sleeping at a hotel. I was little hesitate to take my grandparents room at first, but I accepted. With a little cleaning and quick change of the sheets I was getting settled.

There we all sat together. Just the four of us. Although my brother and I stopped on our way in to get some light beers. It was totally possible that we may want one later. We all hung out and just talked. Talked about the plans that were ahead of us. It seems so surreal. No one except my step mom sat in granddad chair. I sat in the recliner most of the time just enjoying just being there with some of my favorite people. We order some pizza and watched the Dallas/ Redskins game. Dallas lost. I was not that happy considering my brother is a Packers fan. It didn’t matter who was playing against the Cowboys as long as they lost. Which we did.He sure did rub it in my face. I wasn’t shocked at our loss but still when you’ve been a fan all your life, there is some sort of loyalty. Ok let’s be honest a lot of NFL Fans or any fan of any sport we are loyal until death. I was still very peeved but I was having a blast listening to the banter of my family.

I was happy that Granddad was getting his wish. I just wished he was there to be a part of it. Granddad was always my soft spot in my heart. No one had known what granddad had told me. They also didn’t know that all what we had encounter that last three years would lead us to where we were at that very moment. Including my brothers and myself talking to our father. That was a huge feat in itself. There was a lot of hope and resentment there. Confusing at it was that is what we all felt for our father. When I first talked to my father after almost 13 years of not talking at all, there we sat just a year before having the coming to Jesus talk with each other. I let my dad know everything on how I was feeling and he did the same. We were able to really get that junk out in the open and clear those skeletons from that closet. They were stinking up the joint anyway. Point being we both missed each other and it was long over due. I was able to talk to my brothers about the encounter and they were able to make those choices themselves about our dad.

So to be sitting in that house with my Nolen family was pretty awesome. However there was some major tension between my dad and uncle. I could feel it. We all could feel the many things that weren’t being said. Oh how it would come out. To me it was kinda funny how things happened.

It was after the showing of Granddad. After the several times I had to explain who I was to other family and friends of Granddad’s I just wanted my time with my Grandfather. I just wanted to be in the moment with him. I didn’t want to let him go… plain and simple. After people started to leave I finally got my moment with Grandfather. My dad and step mom were gracious enough to tell people that I needed some time alone. I just talked to him as if he were there… Like all the way there. How much I love him, to see all the people that love and care for him, and to give Granny a huge hug and kisses from me. How I missed him so much. How I didn’t get to be there for him or talk to him before he passed. Mainly I just cried and wanted to be with him. Not dead but with him. I am going to miss him but I also knew that he couldn’t wait to see Granny. He loved Granny and missed her more than what we could ever understand.

We were separate cars and the four of us went to eat. Even though I was the only one hungry. They obliged me anyway but that is when Dad was explaining that my Uncle was telling tall tales at the showing. My brother and I just looked at each other. We were finding out all kinds of nasty things that Uncle was doing. It was actually disappointing to hear. My Uncle couldn’t even wait until my Granddad was in the ground before trying to take all that he could because he felt entitled to. Now I don’t base my opinions based on what others say, I have to see things for myself. Anyway we get to the house after a quick stop at the liquor store just because it said Koch’s. Haha I love our sense of humor. Our other brother was with Uncle and our cousin. So he missed out on some good grub and laughter but at the same side of that token we missed the beginning of a funny ha ha that was sure to be my Grandparents doing… Or Father’s haha. We were all locked out of the house. There my brother and I started drinking making jokes. There was way too many chief’s in the kitchen.

My uncle is pissed. Talking about what each window costs, My brother saying there is always a way in. My oldest brother tags a long with my other brother talking a big game about how no house in Texas can withstand two ABQ boys. My Uncle still wanting to control the situation and now saying crappy things to my dad. My step mom getting involved to calm the situation which then lead to uncle saying awful things to her. Which is a huge no no… I am standing there on my way to my second beer. Dad and Uncle are arguing full-blown now. Step mom and me are just watching the train wreck happen. I was still giggling because it is not always fun to be right but when I am seeing this was just too funny.

I was laughing watching the truth and lies collide in words. Everyone trying to get a word in edgewise. My brothers finally get us in. I stayed outside because the arguing ended up inside. I was proud that my dad was sticking up for himself, and I felt bad for my uncle. Not bad in the sense that he was getting bombarded but because at this point they were trying to explain to him that these moments were about family, Not about guns, money, assists, the house, the furniture, the jewelry but FAMILY. He was willing to throw all of us away for his half of everything. At this point he is walking to and from the house throwing his stuff into his car. I wasn’t going to get sucked into it all…. I didn’t acknowledge the small jabs of insults that were directed at me or the others. I and the others just ignored what was happening as much as we could. At the same time we didn’t need anyone going to the hospital for high blood pressure. We just needed to get through a couple more days. We can do this.

We all took turns to trying to appeal to his softer side but the resented was strong with that one. He even got mad at me for forgiving my dad.  There was just too much resentment for me to take on and I left it in the arms of God or someone blindly. There was just too much. I finally just wanted to enjoy my family and all its glory. Drinking and snacking, laughing and making jokes. We even were able to go through some of their things. It was pretty awesome to see my Grandfathers letters to Granny while we was in WWII. Pretty cool huh.  And it turns out that it is a Nolen thing for us to pose for pictures with our butts sticking out. They are pretty nice butts … hahaha. Sounded weird but I was blessed with a nice ass. #BBB Big Bubble Butt haha..

Well we were able to calm the storm and Uncle was calm to start enjoying his self again. There we all were. The last of the Nolen’s. Dad, Uncle and us kids. Still the only girl. Haha

We had a great service for Granddad. It was beautiful. He lays next to my Granny in Texas. He had a military send off and it was just wonderful. We stayed until they put him in the ground. The others left but we stayed.I made inappropriate comments to our limo driver because all sad situations like that I cope with humor. I didn’t feel bad one single bit. The following day was harder. I had to go and get back to my job. I wanted to stay and help them go through the house. I knew exactly what I wanted and that is what I ended up with. I wanted two blankets that were made, and one of their bibles. I got Granny’s bible. and some odd and ends of books that I wanted.

They my dad, brothers went out another time to do stuff with the house. I opted not to go because my uncle and dad were once again fighting and they both stuck me in the middle. I had nothing to do with what happens with the house or the will and how I got involved in that whole mess is still beyond me. I haven’t talked to my Uncle since that all happened. It didn’t help that he was telling everyone in my tiny town that I was mentally ill and I attempted suicide. When he had no idea what was really going on. I have forgiven him but I choose not to have that sort of drama in my life and I stay out of that sort of thing. I rather have my father than things. My uncle wasn’t very nice. Nevertheless he is still family and I will love him regardless.

This was a difficult time for all of us, but it has been nearly two years and some change since his passing. My dad and uncle are still at odds and that is their business. So the next thing that followed was something that happened to one of my children. This is one subject that is so incredibly hard for me to talk about. I won’t publish it here as to what happened. But the event happened shortly after Granddad passed, it was the blow that broke the camels back. My back.

It broke my heart in such a way that I was traumatized again but this time I had no idea that it actually happened. I just saw the torment that my child was going through and how the event it would eventually eat its way through the entire family. One by one. For me I ran away to work. I drove myself so far into work that I didn’t have time to think of anything else. That tore through what was left of my marriage. I ended up doing and saying things that I am not proud of to my husband as a way to reach out for help. Wow saying it on a public thing like this is a lot of vulnerability. I made some huge mistakes.

I am not mad about it all. To me it is a story that I will tell because I feel that it is important to tell. The night that everything happened there was a supernatural war raging all around me. The signs were there, the voices were there… it was all there. The Holy Spirit was there in full force as was the kingdom of darkness… then there was little ol me stuck in the middle.

For many weeks before all that was told to me by the Holy Spirit was ” Wait.” I was holding on to whatever I had left in me to do regular stuff like shower. Even there I was attacked. The darkness would taunt me,” Let me in… Let me in… Just say it and we’re in.” It was constant especially when I was tired or running on zero sleep, the more stressed I got, the more I became inconsolable, the more I resented my husband. The more I blamed him and his ex-wife for why my kids had moved out. You name it the kingdom of darkness was there just trying to push me over the edge, But I held on to what little sanity I had left. My husband I split the next after Christmas. I knew that I was close to doing something that may be the end of our marriage. The big D. I pleaded with all my heart to him that I was going to do something and I wasn’t sure if I could stop myself. He tried so hard to hold on to me. He kept telling me to guard my heart, but I don’t think he knew that was long gone. Over the course of that year I had been depleted of everything. There was absolutely nothing left… I was an empty shell that was headed straight to the depths of darkness that I thought I deserved. He deserved so much better than me. I was going to die that weekend anyway and the attacks kept coming. I allowed it all to happen. He never really knew how much I loved him up to that point. He was the one that saved me. Twice that day as a matter of fact.

I don’t think he knew that at the time or if he even knows now. To be honest I don’t think I even knew how much I love him. He keeps asking me when I am going to write about him, I keep telling him in due time. There will be a lot to talk about there, because marriage is one of those things that is special to me. But my marriage to him as taken a whole different path than the one we were on. I don’t like blasting my marriage out there but it was something that I prayed about on whether to talk about it or not. I was encouraged to talk about it. because neither one of us is “Perfect.”

Moving past the time I was in treatment, to the months following. I knew that there was something that was urging me to look past the obvious. Look passed the depression and the rest of that fruit. To look into the supernatural of things. Y’all the look on my face when I was guided that way… I was like ” Uhmmm really?!” Yeah really. I just knew there was something much deeper than what was going on. It was time for a change of clothes, because I was about to walk out of my grave-clothes.

 

It’s time to walk out….

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

Chapter 7 The Wall

There comes a time during the moments of change. Almost all self-help or personal development books, the journey leads to a place to overcome. I know that I have been to this place many times. I call this the wall.

The wall is a place for me that has huge signs of DO NOT ENTER! DANGER DANGER! That wall is a place of things that I don’t want to encounter ever again. I have lied to myself over and over that I don’t need to ever look over that wall ever again. Much less break it wide open all over again. F that noise. That was my exact thoughts about The Wall.

Envision the great brick wall that seems so tall and wide. That is where I kept all my shame and guilt. All the burning desires of anything that I thought was wrong and bad. Every bad thought I have ever had, every bad thing I have ever said. You name it, it went there. To me it was massive. Every bad thing that ever happen to me that I blamed myself for, went in there. So to me when the books told me to confront the things in my past that were holding me back, I envisioned me looking up at this huge brick wall then looking down in despair. I made a choice to try to go around it. I refused to revisit that place ever again. I did this for many years.

So there is a moment for me when I built this wall. I was fifteen. I had already experienced my virtue taken from me and now feeling alone. There were many guys that have ” tried,” to get in my pants as a result of this news in the tiny town I lived in. I started my freshman year that year and I met a young man my age. I didn’t think of sex like my peers did, I could care less really. He was a virgin it made it safe for me. He was scared but curious and I didn’t care. We ended up having sex, and I ended up pregnant right before summer vacation. Oh lucky me.

Sex was awkward for me to be honest. All I could think about was hurry up I feel gross. I really didn’t want to have sex. I was like reliving the trauma all over again. In fact I would stop and push him off me. I hate it. The whole darn thing. So when I got pregnant talk about a shocker. I was with my Dad and I happened to have been bucked off my horse that summer during a poker ride, and ended up needing to go to the doctor. Little did I know that my dad suspected so much more when he took me. I was sleeping more than normal. I was sleeping in the car which I never have done in my life. Showers were painful. I did tell my dad that as well. I could tell my dad anything.

So when the doctor came in she told me the news,”you hurt your back and you’re pregnant. Do you want to tell your father or would you like me too?” Whoa!  That is a lot to take in. I told her to tell my father for me and I walked out. I walked past my dad and said she wants to talk to you, and I waited in the truck. I was trying to process everything that was just told me and what was going to be told to my father. OH MY GOD!!! He is going to be so disappointed in me. He’s walking to the car…. Keep it together Kristal.

He hops into the car, and as happy as he could. “My baby is having a baby.” I lost it! I start crying and saying sorry over and over. Like it was going to change my fate in any way. He then has this bright idea that he needs to tell my mom. That was the first time I ever cursed at my dad. “Are you F-ing crazy?! She will kill us both!!” He laughed it off like I was joking! This man is insane. What the heck am I going to do, and my dad is to kind to me to tell me what he is really thinking. I am a royal screw up. A+ for me on this. In all fairness though it’s not like I was educated in real life situations to handle such things. Sure I passed health class with an A but how do I talk to my parents about this sort of thing. My sister was the one who was experienced in this arena of life, and I am not telling her crap anymore. I vowed at this point that I would not do the same thing with my kids. I would make it a safe place to ask for the things that they need in these situations before there is a baby on the way.

So I am thinking of everything and anything all at the same time, and I just want to eat my emotions. Pizza it is. I make my dad take me to pizza hut in Hillsboro OR. I sat there quietly, and my dad is encouraging me to talk. I am just sick about the whole thing. The guy in the matter was the last thing on my mind. I was overwhelmed, full of pizza and exhausted. My dad comforted me a lot that night but kept telling me that he needed to tell my mom. I yelled at him not to, and beg him not to. That I would tell her myself.

Little did I know that back home, there were problems on the home front. My step dad accused my mom of cheating on him, and they have been fighting. There were in a midst of a separation. The crap had hit the fan back home. I had no idea what I was literally flying back too. Which by the way, flying a four-hour flight while preggers sucks!! I threw up the whole time. I even had to throw up in the little bags behind the seat while taking off. It was so humiliating. When I arrived in New Mexico I was welcomed as usual but my mom wasn’t there. She always is there to get me from the airport.

I raced to the bathroom and threw up again. This made everyone suspicious of me. I have never done that. EVER!! So once I was cleaned we went to Olive Garden as usual and my step dad was wearing his sunglasses still. I was confused. I looked at my boyfriend and my brother. Neither of them knew haha but I knew something was wrong. My guilt comes rushing to my face! Did my dad tell on me?! My step starts to cry while at the table. Now I am confused. Now mind you I had no idea whats been happening while I was with my dad. Then my step dad laid it out for me. It was the hardest thing for me to hear.

“Kristal your mom and I are getting a divorce.” Oh my gosh NOOO. “I have this suspicion that she has been cheating on me.” hahaha that’s a joke. I did giggle because that was outrageous claim against my mom. She maybe a lot of things but a cheater. NOOOOPE try again. So he tells me the whole story of what he suspects of my mom. I explained to him why those were all false. Anyway that was not good enough to him but I see now that I was a teenager with no real life experience with this sort of thing… YET. They still don’t know that I am pregnant. Maybe I should have stayed with my dad. This is not going to end well. So part of the tradition of picking me up we either go shopping or to a movie. I opted for a movie because then no one had to talk. We can sit silently in our guilt and joys. My step dad and I had a lot on our minds and my brother and boyfriend know nothing. Super. So my step dad picks the movie. He picks ” A Perfect Murder.” I remember looking at my brother then my step dad as tears rolls down his face as the movie plays. Now I am concerned. He walked out and after I gathered my thoughts and my own feelings I had the rest of us follow. I felt bad for the man. There was no way my mom would ever do anything  like that to him. She actually loves this dude. He has is facts all wrong and he was on the bad end of my mom. Then there is me and my bundle of news to deal with. I knew that I couldn’t wait very long to tell my mom. Otherwise, she would be even more upset that I didn’t trust her enough to tell her right away, even though she has her own issues to tend too.

We get home I call my sister right away and talk to her about it, she told me the same thing. I needed to tell mom, but they were arguing in the dining room. I went out there to make sure my brother wasn’t in the room while they were arguing. My step dad had told my mom about what we did at some point. The next morning I was laying on the couch sick a dog and tired, and there stood my mom. She always had this look about her when she had something on her mind. I knew right then she knew. She asked me if I was up for shopping. Like I will turn that down. ” Are you feeling good enough to go shopping with me today?” she said so tenderly. I felt calm enough to tell her once we were in the car. It was just me and her. We rarely had me and her time. So I knew she knew for sure. I sat in the car, and she was backing out of the garage. ” So how far along are you?” I am stunned. Ok we are going to talk about it right now right now. I tell her that I only had found out a few days ago. To which she said that I was not going to keep it and a lecture that I am happy to never have to go through again. She then realized that I needed the How To instructions to sex. Always have condoms, don’t share my body, and the dreaded birth control talk. She asked if my boyfriend knew and I said no. She told me I had to tell him before she calls his mom. OOOOh crap a doodles, she’s calling his MOM!! Better her than me I suppose.

Later on that night, I was called to her room. She had just gotten off the phone with his mom and they both agreed that I was to get an abortion. There was no negations. Now this is where the wall is built-in a day. That choice they made for me was against everything I have ever believed. I was killing a baby that God had given me. I was committing murder and premeditated at that. There was a date and time already. There was no talking about it anymore. I was so upset. I didn’t even get to really make the choice on my own. I see where my mom was coming from. We were young and had our whole lives to have children. Which is all understandable. I get that logic but my relationship with God might change. What if he hates me for this. I am a failure at this too. They all agreed except me. I finally accepted the day before we went.

I remember the sonogram before the procedure, seeing that baby in there. Hearing its heartbeat. I remember it all. I remember being sedated and telling them no as they sucked the baby out of me. That is what it felt like anyway. They told me it was too late and to get up and get dressed. I threw up and sat in the recovery room with other women who hung their heads low. I walked out aware of everything and we went out to eat. It was the first thing I was able to eat in like a month. The after effects of that drug made me feel happy. I wish it could have lasted a lot longer than that day, because that night I felt a darkness over me and it stayed for a long time. I haven’t been able to talk about it until this last year. There were so many unanswered questions for me. I needed to know that I was going to be okay at the end of all of this and no one could tell me. I reached out for help but the therapist wanted me to talk about it. There is that wall again. That stupid tall brick wall.

I stare at the wall, as the therapist is asking me to talk to my dead baby. What would you say to that. I just stared at that brick wall that I couldn’t get over. So I left. I left that mans office and didn’t look back. I was ok. I can get past this. I know that I can. The last thing the therapist kept getting at was forgiveness. That is a strong word for me at that point. How can I forgive this? How can I forgive my boyfriend? How can I forgive my mom? How can I forgive myself? How can God forgive me? So many questions. So many choices had to be made for my future and yet there was this large darkness that had overwhelmed me once more. Maybe it was always waiting in the wings. Maybe God was punishing me.

Well these are all questions that we ask about our Creator isn’t it? Why does God allow bad things to happen? He has to be testing me, right? How can He can forgive even the worst people? Well I may have answer for ya. I had all the same questions throughout many events in my life. Some you will get to know soon enough, but those questions above in these moments I have an answer for.

God, our Father, He allows situations to happen because he has bestowed us with a blessing to cross paths with someone else and our testimony is going to impact that person’s life. Or because we simply didn’t listen to his answer about something he said no to, so he allows us to go through these situations. Always remember that you’re never alone in your situation He already knows how its going to end, and He doesn’t walk you to your situations doorstep just to leave you to go on the journey alone. It’s all about faith that you know He is going to be there to help you through. And at the end of the journey the glory goes to God. Your story matters. You have to have the courage to open your mouth to speak it.

God didn’t leave me in my time of my abortion. I left me. I left everything behind that stupid wall. God was there all along He was waiting for me to take his hand so he can help me out, but I never took it. I went along a very dark path. Dark to me anyway. I acted out. I smoked weed, I had sex again, I drank a lot. I lied. I stopped caring. I was going to do what I wanted to do regardless who it was going to hurt. I went to parties and eventually I went back to my Dads. But God never left me. He walked right by me the whole time just waiting. Telling me softly to not do what I was about to do. Telling me that I was worth it, I shut him out. How can he forgive such an unforgivable sin. That is what I thought for a long time. So how did all these answers come to me.

There is a story that will come later but here is what I will tell you now. The day that I met Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and heard God once more is the day that all those answers came to me. I asked God for forgiveness for the abortion, and he said with a loud Yes. I was asked if I could forgive myself and I started crying. I said Yes. I felt Him hold me close to him. I was being hugged by my Father. I have not ever felt love like that. I learned right at that moment…. What love was. Unfiltered love. I just cried in that couch and cried. I have not ever felt something so pure in my life. I was told that I would one day meet that baby and he was safe. I know how why we go through the things we do. One way or another people come into our lives or we are called to serve Him in ways that we didn’t think were possible. Philippians 4:13 I know now what I am called to do for him. That is to tell you my story. He got me out of the darkness in such a way.

So I am writing this out today because I knew that this is part of the wall that I am knocking out of my life. This is the start of the hard stuff that is yet to be written about. So all week I knew I had to write this part out, and I was staring at that wall in minor defeat. But I knew that I can do this because this is my calling. I will no longer have this brick wall to stare at in defeat but to stare at this wall knowing it’s already been defeated and it is no longer there. I will walk through that shame and guilt with my head held high because my Father has already defeated the enemy and the victory has already been won. All you need is a little bit of faith and courage. I know that my story is going to reach who it is meant to reach. I say there is hope even if your faith is a small as a mustard seed. God can do a lot with that mustard seed. I love you all.

Chapter 3 Wait… I have a Dad too?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Chapter 2: Divorce Rate of Shoes is High

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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