Getting into the Rhythm even when you dont have Rhythm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#MovingOn

Be the woman that you want others to have in their life….. Damn… what a statement to myself. This is a huge thing for me. I always feel that I am undeserving of great things in life. I still have this fear that the other shoe will drop if I step outside of my safe box. That is the dumb for me to do!! I missing out on so much life. I have spent too time much dreaming and staying in my own prison when I am not meant to be there.

God healed me from all these things, and He often reminds me that I am not alone and that I am here for a greater purpose. I need to stop interfering in his job. Recently, I was able to go on a road trip with some great people. I learned a lot about the women I went on this trip with but I learned the most from myself. I learned that life is possible and the things that I want to do are POSSIBLE!

I can’t focus on the things that I can’t change and focus on the things that matter to me and work my ass off to get them. I need to stop working my ass off for people that don’t really care. I know that I am here to help others but first I need to help myself through this season. Sure things get wonky but God has been there for me every step of the way. I have selfishly put everyone before myself yet again, and I got wrapped into something that wasn’t meant for me to go through at all because I got in the way. So I forgive myself on  not allowing myself to really start life…. in this season.

I tried to explain where I am coming from to my family over the weekend and they looked at my like I was nuts… But I feel like through my time in recovery I went from being a infant into an adolescent and then into my life as an adult. I can’t explain the way my brain processed what I meant in that moment: Other than I had a new awakening. I realized that what “normal” people go through and know what they are suppose to do in this life… or what they want to do. I never had that moment until it was kinda forced onto me… because obviously I wasn’t ” Getting” it when it was presented to me before. The fact is… I need to get started on something important in life… More than what I have been doing.

Let me get this out of the way, even though I have been feeling lazy in life, I really haven’t. While most people were going to school, living a single life, figuring out life in a “hands on” kind of way, I was raising babies, getting married and figuring all that out, getting divorced and going through a custody battle way before most people my age graduated with their first degree. I was living a life that some are just doing now. So things are flipped for me, I am almost done with raising babies. My oldest will be graduating high school next year, the next will be a year behind her, and 3 years after that.. so I get to live a much different way than some of the people in my age group. To be honest my hat goes off to them, They did things the way I wish I could of. But its all about choices… because trying to go to school with a child and really no help is almost impossible.Some have done it and high five to you. It wasn’t in my cards. My hands on training in life was different. I know that I want to go back to school even though I will be that old person in class I don’t care… I want to finish school damnit. I want to do a lot of things in this life I want to be able to impact someones life for the better. I want to be able to say that through the work that God sets out for me that people are enriched.

I want to be able to experience going to different places in the world and experiences cultures. I want to be able to say that I have done this with people who are like minded. I want to be able to have real friends and not to be afraid of using my voice to speak life and to make boundaries, or to rid of the people or things that have no business being in my life. I don’t want to continue to compare my life to others, because just like me they and myself don’t know the real story behind the closed doors of others. I can however take a page from their book and learn something from them but not compare successes.

That is by far, the hardest lessons to act on, But when He tells you to move, you better move. When He says speak you speak. When He gives any commandment do it. We all hesitate to do these things because there is a real feeling of fear and rejection. I know that is what I feel when I am presented with these things myself. The times that I didn’t act there were things that happened that I certainly didn’t like. One of those ” A ha” moments came to me over the last few weeks and it was amazing to see things from a new fresh way. I was doing things for people that wouldn’t even think to do things like that for me. My business was suffering because I was thinking that I didn’t deserve to be a self sufficient business owner. Or people in my life are actually wanting to be a part of it and I shut them out because I overly trusted the wrong people in my life. I was believing lies that weren’t true.

I was watching others grow and I was there wishing that I possessed those skills to tell the wrong people in my life to piss off but in a much nicer way, but it also turns out that you sometimes need to be rough with others to remove them out of your life. The point is that I needed to move out of the complacent place in my life. Its time to move. The momentary emotions will pass but there is something bigger waiting for me past this moment. Its not my job to stay in one place. That is one thing that I love about myself, is that I accept the movement forward. I am still working on the emotional part. I know that we are not to stay in one place in our lives, we are called to do things and its our duty to live in that. I know that this moment for me is the hardest lesson is to not be fearful when saying goodbye to certain people in my life. God is making room for others to come in, not only for me to pour into them but for them to pour into me. God is my biggest fan… I do things for Him.

Right now, what does that look like for me? Well that means that I need to move forward. Allow the people that are not to be in my life at the moment to leave and make their exit. Allow myself to feel excited about the next move. Allow myself to put pen to paper make my plan and make it happen with His guidance. Allow myself to be hated or disliked, because we all know that is something that I have been getting used to lately in this season. I am living proof that no one has died from being unpopular or lied about etc. I am still here and standing because I leaned on His understanding and kept my faith through it all. To allow myself to accept the blessing that have come and yet to come.  Blessings look much different than what we assume blessings are at times. That has been my experience. Allow myself to smile. Allow myself to not solve everyones problems. Allow myself to have fun and not be so uptight. Allow myself to take a small moment for myself. Allow myself to just be in the moment. Allow myself to be coachable but not gullible. Allow myself to be humble but not a doormat. Allow myself a life worth living and see and experience things. Allow myself to accept successes in life. Allow myself to let things go and grow in a new way. Allow myself to love all of me, and work my ass off for the right and wise reasons.

Life is really short… and even though struggle with some things in life that others around me may not doesn’t mean that I am not deserving of some good. We all do, it just looks different to all of us. I am done with this phase and really grateful that I am walking out of this season wiser. I am going to let my freak flag fly…. haha and I accept that you may not accept me for me but I accept me.

Its time I walk out of my own shadow. Who is coming with me? I would like to hear your stories and feedback.

 

Sometimes Sorry is Enough

Sorry … Sometimes its a strong word, and sometimes its the weakest word. It all depends on the ears that are hearing those words. Sometimes saying sorry is all we can say. Saying sorry is sometimes the last thing you want to say. Hearing sorry is the only thing you want to hear or its the furthest from your mind.

So lately, there has been a lot of things going on in my life. To make this a little easier without throwing actual situations out there that could potentially hurt someones feelings. Lets just say there is a season change in my life, and its a hard winter for me.  You’ve been through worse Kristal. The good news is that I know that things will turn out the way they are supposed to, this is an adjustment period, this to shall pass, God is totally involved, I have fleshy moments, I have made mistakes, I am doing all that I can to not lose whats important to me. Which is my family.

God is working in my life in such a way that I have no choice but to lean on Him. Trust me I am glad too, because I know that I can’t do this alone. I feel alone at times because I don’t know where to go when its time. Meaning, I am trying to rush the situation because its uncomfortable. I’m working in my flesh. I am learning and practicing. This situation isn’t easy at all. I see whats happening and I am helpless to stop it. I have to force myself to step back because that is what is asked of me. I have to step back for myself as well, because the fire is just way to hot. This situation is happening for a reason. Cliche or not it is happening because things need to change. I feel that when we don’t listen to the guidance we are given, God either way is going to create and use the situation because the change needs to happen, and for a greater purpose than the actual “Right Now,” situation. Whatever is happening now is for a greater purpose for later on. 

Trust me, in my human mind it feels like everything around me is on fire and no matter where I turn I could get burned or is burning. That is for everyone that is involved. Everything is so delicate right now that the smallest things turn into huge flames. I am trying so hard. I don’t know how to handle the situation and I am not doing a very good job at it. I can admit that. I was told to stay out of it and yet I am still in it. I want to do right by everyone and I realized that I can not. So I lean on God and I want to pray but I feel that I have no where that is my own to do that with. In another words Kristal likes having her time with Jesus in private and in a special place. 

 The frustration wants to be invited in and I am making mistakes and can’t fix them. Sorry is just not enough in this moment. That is the feeling I have in my heart. It’s not enough and I wish it were. 

So how do I fix it from here? How do handle the emotional side of things? I feel that I can’t. It needs to come from upper management. #JesusTakeTheWheelMoment I know that it needs to come from Him and I need to get out-of-the-way. I need to get on my knees and just let it all out, but I still feel this guilt. This shame storm that was darted at me, and I am trying so hard to not allow it into my heart. I will fight for my life in that way because I know my worth in God’s eyes. I know that I will be fine out of this but going through the mountain isn’t easy for anyone. God knew that I was ready for this. God knows what He is doing.

Some days I feel like Peter. When Jesus asked him to come walk with him on the water. That moment of hesitation he had before taking that step onto the water. You know the trust factor. I know Jesus has me … my fleshy moments are saying that He doesn’t. All things that I have to talk to God about. You see I am answering my own questions as I write this out. I know that I am not the only person who is going through a season right now. I still need Jesus to hold my hand or to hold me while I just cry. ( He will do that you know) I am not graduated yet to walking on water. Or maybe it’s because I don’t trust myself to actually take the first step to get there. How can things change if I am not ready to walk on that water? Good question Kristal, why don’t you talk to Jesus about it?

I know I know I know… I almost feel that I am being disobedient by not getting out-of-the-way.  Because you are being a little poopy about the whole thing Kristal. I got this! I know what I need to do. I need to step out-of-the-way. And staying out of the way and allow things to happen the way God intended things to be and let Him clear up the mess that the enemy created.

 God is so faithful y’all. He loves us a lot.  He is so patient with me, and all of us. I am happy that I am reminded that I need to forgive often, be slow to speak and quick to listen, follow the wise, discern all the time, follow The Word, talk to Him often, ask for forgiveness and let love rule. Make good solid foundations and boundaries and lay all the good and the bad at His feet. He knows everyone’s heart and where they are going to go.

I have to remember that the battle is already won, I need to get out-of-the-way. Sorry may not be enough for all situations but the point is that I know I have made mistakes. I am sorry for those mistakes. I know that I don’t hold shame with those mistakes because that is exactly what they are. Mistakes. Whether or not that apology is accepted that is on that person that it is said to, but I know in my heart that I did all that I could at the time. It wasn’t done to be mean or malicious but to help. And to know and be mindful that not everyone wants or needs your help. I know that things will be fine and worked out the way they are meant to.

Sorry in many ways takes the pain off of someone. Just to hear those words, ” I’m Sorry,” can mean the world to someone. To take the accountability that you made that mistake and said sorry.  I know that for me its hard to accept the apology the first time because I am soooo in the moment of the pain. Deep down that sorry means everything to me. I know that I need to get passed my own self righteousness and be vulnerable in front of that person. This is something that I am learning to do more often. To trust that person not to hurt me anymore at that moment and accept them and their vulnerability. #GrowingPains

Sorry is very powerful, I suppose it depends on how you respond to it. I chose to be okay with my mistakes and chose to forgive myself and others. Learning to say sorry to the people who need to hear it from you. #RunOnSentencesAreInNow

I don’t know how this will help anyone but I do like that I was able to vent a little and work out my issue here. Words or even writing about somethings helps me a lot. Sure, I could journal it but I feel that it might help someone else. Maybe… or maybe it can just be this funny story how I had to rant about a Vague situation for me to get a dang clue. I mean crap a doodles…. The sign was there the whole time smacking me in the face and I am asking where is it!  Liiike hello!! I am only human… you are human…  and I need to commit to a blog post… I have a long draft list going on…

 

Be good to each other especially in times that are hard. You don’t know the struggle they are going through and they don’t know the struggle you are going through. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Love each other and forgive often. I know that my situation is in God’s hands. He knows my heart and the hearts of others. The battle is already won. Put God first and you’ll never be last.

Chapter 12 Just One of Those Days…

Today was just one of those days where nothing and everything just seems not together. I would normally call these days ” character building,” days but I don’t think that would suit today. There wasn’t really anything to really build except … maybe.. Not to take things so serious all the time. Maybe even to take a page out of my own book and not make it about me but rather that something or someone is in need of what I am going through in the moment.

So I have been having nightmares the last couple of nights. I know now that is a way for the enemy to try to get a foothold on something, But somewhere in that dream there was a nugget of hope and a way out. I will spare you the details of the dream but it was in a movie theater, with  old wooden floors and I was talking to someone then went to the bathroom, then it went off into something else. That was the nugget. So I know that it has something to do with getting rid of something. So I will do my part in getting rid of that whatever it is, but here is where I know that I am struggling a little bit.

I can normally hear where I am supposed to go, but since I haven’t been sleeping well the enemy uses that to create confusion. Father doesn’t do confusion. Enemy …0 Father … a boat load more numbers… Kristal actually and finally seeing discernment A++. Good Job Kristal… any who… So when I woke this morning, it was chaos from the get go. Not once did I think to just have a quick ” Hey Father, Good morning, Thank you for waking me up today, I love you and this day is yours, what would you like me to do with it? Oh and by the way I am having these crazy dreams, Holy Spirit do you think you can help me out with that?” But NOOOOOO I choose to moan about not feeling well and crawling into back into my bed and sleeping another three hours.

I was really grateful to wake up less icky than the previous time I woke up. I was ready to start the day. It was late I was rueful about that but I was up and moving… ish. I do my usual, tend to the dogs, start the coffee, look in the fridge and not get anything to eat but grab the creamer for that coffee. Priorties you know! I Look at the massive pile of things on my kitchen table, roll my eyes, get my coffee fixed up and back to my bedroom I go. I am trying to find all these excuses to not do anything with my day except when I need to. I know I have appointments and meetings today but I can procrastinate… Right??

Once I was perched on my bed I started to fidget with my nose, figured now would be a good time to tighten my nose ring… wait… there is something wrong…. The top part is there …. where is the post that goes inside my nose!?? I couldn’t feel it… I started going through mental talks of ” DON’T Suck up through your nose…. DON’T you do it!!” Mindfulness is super helpful…. BTW’s… So I blow my nose instead of sucking up my clogged nose… Sure enough there is the post in the tissue! Panic… and relief all at the same time.

As excited I am to find the post, but there is one problem… How the heck is this going back in? My fat phalanges can’t fit in my tiny nostril? I like to think that I am creative… I need tape as a third hand … then I can find this tiny hole on the inside of my nose… yeah .. totally makes sense. I dig through my room and find that super crazy double-sided tape… “This will work.” I told myself confidently as I am holding the post the opposite end in my nose. I really don’t want it to close. This actually means something to me and I really like the piercing. So I sit in front of my magnifying mirror and started to get to work. I was so determined to get this back in on my own. The next thing I know… My phone is blowing up. It’s all my awesome Ysisters with work … I thought for sure that I can tell them what’s going on, maybe they will have some words of wisdom. Nope instead it turned into how we can market this incident, and I loved it. I couldn’t stop laughing, my nose is starting to hurt. So my best friend with all her wisdom was kind enough to tell me the things I need to do in the future. My husband is now texting me, and I am hyper focused on getting this in. I ask about his day and he got a lot accomplished.

I throw in the towel after a good twenty miuntes of hard work. I have to make a thirty minute trip to have the professionals take over. I felt like a total noob! My bestie and hubs got a good giggle. I think… okay maybe annoyed. As I embark on my journey to a nearby city… I am talking with Father. I know that He has a plan for today and realize that it’s not about me today. Not that I am saying that I am the focus any other day, but I was thanking Him for allowing me the opportunity to get out of the house and be out doing stuff. I also know that whatever this is about isn’t going to be about me and that I am going to touch a life today. Even if it’s because I am getting my nose ring put back in. I laughed to myself thinking how silly this all was. I did have other plans to NOT do anything with my day. I am grateful that didn’t happen.

I enjoyed the drive and when I arrived and waited my turn for the professional to fix my issue at hand. Once it was my turn… I was explaining what I didn’t accomplish and the only thing I did manage to do was cause swelling on my nose. Mind you I have a Ear, Nose and Throat appointment in a couple of hours from this moment. He attempts to put it in , and while we were talking about life in general, he breaks the post. Good thing he is prepared and has backups. So he put the new one in, and the jewel doesn’t fit. I laughed again.. because I see what the enemy is trying to do, but I won’t allow such negative vibes.This was just meant to happen. So we come up with a plan, get new jewelry, and finally he gets it in. He also made the post the same color as my jewel. I am one happy camper. Oh and it pretty much is Kristal proof. It doesn’t need to be tightened. It is snapped into place. I will have to go to him to get new jewelry and I am happy about that.

So here is the cool part. As we were talking he started opening up to me about his kids and what he is going through. I listened as he told me what one of his kids is putting them through. He was telling me the stress that he and his family is going through and what his child is going through. Thinking about it now I could have prayed over him, but I didn’t think of it then. I think that maybe he just needed someone to listen. Sometimes that is all that people need. I was happy to do that and give him some new tools to work with. Like tracking … Haha and how easy it is to do through the phones. The look and relief on his face it almost looked like hope to me. I felt accomplished.

I didn’t make it back in time for my meeting and I felt bad for that because I forgot to tell that wonderful person that once again we have to reschedule. The way I see it though… Father has perfect timing in everything. I was able to make it home to get my things for my appointment and talk to another friend who just needed someone to listen. My husband met up with me for my appointment. We shared a few laughs about our day then it was my turn to go back into the room. As I walked in I was intimated by all the tools laying out. I did wonder if those were all going to used on me. As I was talking with the nurse the doctor came in and smiled, she didn’t even look back ” We’re not done yet.” “Yes I know, I just heard that it was intimating.” He beamed looking at me and it made me that much more nervous but kind of excited as well. My blood pressure was elevated because of it all.

As my husband talks about what his experiences with all these tools, he put me at ease. The doc came in and he looked excited. haha. Kind of threw me for a loop, but I rather have a doctor with a sense of humor. He took a look inside my nose and it was the same thing I have heard most of my life. I’m clogged and my nose looks unhappy, and my ears are clogged as well. I explained to him the last time my ears were cleaned I was like 12 while in Dallas. And when they were done it looked like a core sample. He laughed. He made me smell the numbing agent and I asked if I was going to throw up. He said “No, but you would be my first if you did.” So I huffed the whatever it was, that is a new sensation. I suggest you get it done, just to say you did it. Then it hit me right in the back of the throat! GROSS!! I gagged a little. All he could say ” Oh. You tasted it!” Yeahhhh!! That is what I meant by ” Am I going to throw up!” It passed after a few moment and breathing felt weird or lack there of. So while we were waiting for my nose to get numb he started checking out my ears.

He got his little vacuum thing going, I started talking because I am nervous. I was telling him that before I got it done the last time I had pretty good hearing but when they were done, I had super sonic hearing. The last thing I heard was maybe I was the secret member of the Avengers. This guy is funny is what I thought of as I hear the non movement of what wax isn’t coming out. He also made a comment about me maybe using Q-tips to clean my ears. I simply said, ” I don’t use them to clean my ears but to scratch my ears.” ” Better than a key.” he quipped. Touche Doc… So now I have to deal with my ears again. That will be nice to have them be like normal people ears. My canals are that of a small animal. He took core samples from my face as well, and I was on my way after I got a laundry of To-Do’s and some samples. I was excited to get those samples!! A full size of one of those samples is $200.00 because the insurance doesn’t cover it. Thanks big pharma… Not Cool.

Came home after a nice dinner, played some cards with my family. Picked up one of my kiddos from a sporting event and it was a blessing. The whole day was a great day. I got to meet new faces, spend time with my favorite peeps, got to get organized for the next day, and talk with my Ysisters. I feel that I may have impacted some people today and spoke life into them. I realize that Father had better plans for me than laying in bed watching Netflix. I am so grateful for that. I would have missed out on a great day. I got to talk to some people who I haven’t talked to in a long while and that feels amazing. I like that I am finally starting feel better about making new friends, sustaining my current friends, getting out of my house and talking to strangers. Something I wouldn’t have done a year ago! Things I am still learning is to talk to Father in times that I know are going to be impactful to see where He wants me to go with the conversation.

Once I am done here, I will sit down and have a conversation with all of Them again. We can choose to speak life into people or death. I rather speak into life into people even though they may not feel that way towards me, because we don’t know what they are going through. Besides, I am in a much better place to know what to breathe in or not to,as far as words go that is. I couldn’t have done that without all the people who Father has sent into my life to speak life into me and help do Fathers work through them. For that I am grateful and wish to do the same to others. Lastly, tighten your nose ring. Love each other, Laugh a little, speak life into your fellow-man. Thanks again guys.

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