You think you have time.

“The sad thing is, you think you have time.”

The reality is that we don’t know if we actually will have time to do whatever it is we are putting off till later. I know that my opinions on certain things means that alot of people don’t want to hear what I have to say about anything, and that’s ok. But if you don’t hear anything else that I have to say, please truly hear this:
Next year, next month, next week, tomorrow, the next hour, minute or even second are not ever guaranteed. If you are with someone who doesn’t appreciate you or treat you right, walk away now…don’t put it off hoping that they will change eventually. You deserve better now.
If you have someone amazing in your life, make sure to tell them every day how much you love them. Treat every kiss like it’s your last. Slow dance in the kitchen. Be real, raw and vulnerable….make love every chance you get. Do not go to bed angry. Be with someone that you can be unapologetically you around.

Take chances. Figure out who you are, and be the best version of you that you can. Be the kind of friend that you would want your friends to be. Apologize when you’re wrong. Forgive, but don’t ever forget. Do not leave things unsaid, good or bad. Be honest and faithful.

Love like tomorrow won’t come, because one day it won’t….

Hidden truths of a narcissist

For years you’ve looked at me. Your brown eyes, seemingly genuine, are filled with lies…but you are an expert at keeping them hidden. You seek out girls like me. Girls who have been hurt, lied to, cheated on and taken advantage of. Girls who are just begging for someone to love them. And in those moments of vulnerability, there you are. Ready to swoop in and save us from the people who want to hurt us.

What we can’t see, through your dimples and smooth talking, is that it is your intention to take advantage of all the hurt we’ve been through. You give us this false sense of hope, say you love us, say you will never hurt us, but none of it is true…you’re just a smooth talker.

I never understood what gaslighting was, until I was able to take a step back and see the entire picture. All those times that you tried to convince me that I was remembering things wrong…telling me that you were never unfaithful, even though you’d admitted to it long ago…you went out of your way to make me doubt my own memory, and to make me question if things were really as bad as I thought. Well, they were.

You try so hard to make sure the world around you doesn’t see the real you, and when your relationships fail it is never your fault. How could it be? You’re so amazing.

That is true though…you are pretty damn amazing. You are an amazing liar…an amazing cheater…you have an amazing sense of entitlement, which I can assure you you’ve never earned.

I am so happy that I finally realized all of this, and didn’t let you steal anything else from me.  The four years we were together were more than enough for me.  But now I’m free…you will never hurt me again.

A letter to a best friend

It is so easy to remove someone from your life these days…and I should know, because I have probably unfollowed, unfriended, blocked and deleted more people than anyone I know over the last 4 years, and in every instance I was doing what I thought was best for me and my boys and that was all that mattered to me. Of course there have been many people who have walked out of our lives also. Sometimes they couldn’t deal with the broken state our lives were in. Our grief was just too much for some people. I get it, trust me…I mean, our grief has been too much for us too. But, we don’t get to close a computer screen and make it go away. It is raw and painful, and will destroy everything and everyone in it’s path. Those who chose to walk away, that was probably for the best too.

But sometimes life throws a curveball, and all of a sudden the people who have stood by you through it all decide that they have had enough. They feel like they are no longer obligated to continue a relationship. After four years they feel like their loyalty to your husband isn’t a factor anymore, especially since you are in a new relationship. And yeah, sometimes it hurts, but you move forward because that is what you need to do. New relationships take work and dedication to flourish, even in the best of circumstances, so you throw yourself in at full force. There are other things that come along…failing health means that you are losing the things that define you. And then, while you try and process the things that are happening, you realize that you may have unknowingly destroyed the relationships that matter the most with the people you love the most.

So here I am, aware that there is an issue, and trying so hard to fix it even though I don’t know for certain what the issue is. Text messages, facebook messages, phone calls….they all remain unanswered. I could just throw my hands up in the air and say I give up. I could pretend not to care. If it was someone else maybe I wouldn’t care. But it isn’t someone else. It’s you. This post may just make you angrier, but I don’t know how else to reach you. You know me well enough to know that not knowing for sure what is happening has kicked my anxiety into high gear. The not knowing really sucks. I could hit unfollow, unfriend, block, whatever just so that I could keep moving forward. But I am not going to do that. We have been friends for almost 20 years. I love you and your family just as much as I love my own children. Moving on is not an option. Every moment we’ve shared is a reason that I can’t just walk away. Our relationship, the kids relationships….those are real. They matter. I am sorry if something I did made you feel otherwise.

It isn’t real, right?

One of the first scenes in catch and release, one that I really never paid much mind to, really hit me now that I am in her shoes. It’s during the gathering after the service…everyone around her is hugging and touching her, and she gets visibly more and more uncomfortable, and rushes out of the room to get away from everyone. I got to a point during Nathan’s service where I couldn’t deal with another person touching me, so I scooped up Lucas and just sat down to nurse in a chair around the corner, just to keep people away. I was so overwhelmed and still in denial, and it seemed like every hug or touch was making it even more real. I didn’t want to be real…it couldn’t be real…

Even now, I feel like I am still waiting for him to walk through the door and wake me up from this nightmare. I don’t remember much from the early days, but one thing I do remember is trying to convince myself that everyone was wrong. He wasn’t really gone. But of course, he was gone….and there I was…all alone…left to raise our babies in this crazy world.

At the age of 29 I’d been a grieving mom for 4 years, and now I was a widow.

I still sit and wonder sometimes about what I have done in this lifetime to deserve all that I’ve been through, but I haven’t figured it out yet…

Mrs. Lefon

The first time I met you I knew almost instantly that you would have a big impact on my life. As I walked past your classroom, there was was a boy in your class that yelled something at me. I cannot remember what he said, but it was enough to cause me to tell him to go screw himself. I made it a few feet down the hall before you stuck your head out the door and asked me to return. You asked me my name and I hesitated at first, knowing that I was probably in trouble for what I said. You brought me into your classroom and called the boy to the front of the room where I was standing. You made him apologize to me, and then you told him that it was not ok to talk to women like I that. I was in complete shock because no one had ever even acknowledged the situation when I was being harassed like that. It was you who made me realize that I would always speak out about harassment, assault and rape.

I got to know you well over the next few years in school. I got to have you as a teacher a couple times, and you really helped me find my love for cooking. The first time I cooked a thanksgiving turkey, it was an assignment from you and it turned out perfect. I learned so much from you, and it not only made me a better cook, but it also made me a better person.

In the years since school, we stayed in touch, and you continued to be an inspiration as well as a huge part of my support system. You were always up front with your opinions and feelings about things, but you never judged or condemned me. You always encouraged me to go after what I want and never settle for second place. And most of all, you always believed in me.

To say that I was saddened when I learned that you passed away, would be a huge understatement. My heart, once again, has been broken. Knowing that I will never get to see or talk to you again is devastating….

I will miss you, not just as my teacher….I will miss you as my inspiration, my support, my confidante…and most importantly….I will miss you as my friend. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my family.

I will love and miss you, always.

My Story

I wrote this out several months ago, to share specifically with one person. I never intended on it going any farther than that, but I feel like it’s important that it does. This is not an account of my entire past experiences….this is one incident that accounted for just a tiny amount of time in my life….what seemed like hours at the time was surely only minutes, though I never thought it would end. A moment that I should have been able to have a say in. A moment that I should have been able to have as a positive, and probably awkward, memory. But instead, I remember it as the night I had my innocence stolen from me.

He was the older brother of a guy I liked. I was 14 and a virgin. The farthest I’d ever gone was getting fingered in a car. I was there for a party. He had been trying to flirt with me all night, and was getting pretty pissed that I was giving my attention to his brother. He was at least 21 at the time.

I went inside to go to the bathroom, when I came back out he was standing in his bedroom doorway. He asked me to come in his room, I told him no. I started to go back outside and he stepped in front of me and blocked the hallway. When I tried to get past him he grabbed my hair and pulled me He threw me down on the floor and already had his penis out before I knew what was happening. I tried to yell, so he tried to put it in my mouth to shut me up. When I wouldn’t open my mouth he sat me up and slammed my head into his dresser. Over and over until I opened my mouth. He kept me against the dresser, and slammed so hard into my mouth that he made my throat bleed. When i would gag, he just did it harder. And once he was tired of that he turned me onto my stomach…He got in front of me and put it in my mouth again, got behind me and I tried to keep my hands in his way…I kicked…I screamed…it didn’t matter…He got what he wanted. He slammed my head into the floor every time he pushed inside me, and was so rough that I lost enough blood that I almost passed out.

At one point he acted like he was going to put a knife inside me. He hit me…he left me bloody on the floor and then walked away like nothing happened. There was only one bathroom in that house…I heard people walk back and forth past his room. I don’t know how many people heard me scream, but nobody did anything. I walked down the road clothes torn, bloody and beaten until my friends mom picked me up. Not a single person that drove by stopped to see if I needed help.

And before anyone asks, no…I did not report it. What was the point? Even the people that were there didn’t do anything to stop it…There were at least 30 people in that house that saw me. Not a single person even acknowledged me. There were at least another 30 outside. I walked straight through them and no one did a single fucking thing. They didn’t ask why I had blood dripping down my thighs…they didn’t ask why my clothes were torn and bloody…hell, no one even questioned why I was walking down the road in the dark. Nobody cared about what had just happened to me, and all I wanted to do was forget.

But we never really forget, do we? I remember the way he tasted…the way he smelled…I remember how it felt to gag when he was inside my mouth…i remember that I felt like I was being ripped open…I remember the way the blood felt as it ran down my legs…I remember the way that it smelled. And most of all, I remember walking out of that house, but it was almost like I wasn’t in my body….like I was watching myself from somewhere else.

I’ve seen him a handful of times since then, and each time leads to days of panic and anxiety attacks….he found me once on Facebook and messaged me, telling me that he missed me and that we needed another night together. The guy I was dating at the time laughed and said that he must have enjoyed himself if he wanted more.

It’s been more than 18 years, and I still see his face when I close my eyes. Not every night, like I used to….but even one night is one too many.

Capture Your Grief 2018-Day 1 Sunrise

This project is going to be very different this year than it has in the past. I am getting a late start (as usual), though this picture was taken on the 1st of October, in Virginia.

Each year, day one is sunrise. And each year I know I will not be awake to see the sunrise, and this year was no different in that aspect. But the love I feel when I see this picture is infinite and unconditional. This year I am using this project to talk about Bryce and Keiran as I always do, but it is also about Nathan…and about the beginning of the next novel in the story of my life.

At the beginning of this new novel, is an amazing man. He took this picture for me. And when I look at it, I can see the beauty that he sees in the world. The same beauty that he sees in me, as well as in my little family. Here’s to new beginnings!