Day 12 → Something I Never Get Compliments On

30 Days Of Truth

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on

Let me preface this by saying that there are possibly 3 dishes that I can cook well, one of which never fails to get compliments, beyond that…I never get compliments on my cooking.

Now do not misunderstand, I can cook.  If you call following a recipe to the letter cooking.  But the kitchen is just not my territory.  I enjoy baking to a degree, and make some pretty good Christmas cookies, but honestly I am not at home in the kitchen at all.  The only appliance I am an expert at using in the kitchen is the coffee pot.  I make good coffee.  But face it that is not hard to accomplish.  When it comes to cooking, I can burn water.

I do not exaggerate this really.  Once when I was making chili, even the ex had to take a swipe at me.  A little history…for whatever reason one day when he started to make his chili, he ended up using black beans.  I think we were trying to make the chili more South Beach Diet friendly if I recall correctly.  So he used seasoned black beans rather than chili beans.  It totally changed the flavoring and made his nice recipe a lot better….Okay back to the story at hand.  I called the firehouse to ask him how to make that chili because I wanted to make it for dinner.  After giving me the list of ingredients, before hanging up, he said he would put his unit on stand-by since I was going to be cooking.  VERY funny, Chef Piere, though probably not a bad idea all things considered.  After that, anytime I was cooking I put that status up on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, requesting whatever unit was on duty to be on standby while I was in the kitchen.

I am proud to say that this chili recipe has been improved upon by ME.  Oh and the kitchen is still in tact, but I’m sure if it ever catches on fire somehow I will have been involved, attempting to cook something.  I changed the type of tomatoes used in it and it tastes even better.  It IS good, meaty chili, but not spicy, just slightly sweet.  I love it. Everyone that has had it loves it.  It is one of the requested dishes in the Diva Den.  But beyond this very simple, tasty recipe, no one ever compliments me on my cooking.  And honestly? I’m okay with that! (when you cannot cook, no one asks you too!)

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Advertisements

Day 11 → Something People Seem To Compliment Me On The Most

30 Days of Truth

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on

Without a doubt it would be my eyes.  Long ago I received compliments on my eyes and I learned to play up that feature.  Many have told me that they can read me clearly in my eyes no matter what is coming out of my mouth, my eyes will give me away.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 10 → Someone I Need To Let Go, Or Wish I Didn’t Know

30 Days of Truth

Day 10 – Someone You Need To Let Go, Or Wish You Didn’t Know

I’ve been thinking on this post for well over a week now, trying to determine if I have a ‘need to let go’ issue or a ‘wish I didn’t know’ issue.  I am really a firm believer that everyone that comes and goes in our lives is there, however briefly, for a reason.  We may not see it or understand until long after we can look back, if there ever is an enlightening time, but everyone serves a purpose.  Garth Brooks wrote a great song, The Dance, that often over many years, rings true to me again and again.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance

During the course of this year I have often thought about those words as I have worked through the pain of my divorce.  23 years is a long time, in fact fully one half of my life.  I spent one half of my life married to the man that was Prince Charming to me.  My love for him is still there, I doubt it will ever not be the case.  I loved him unconditionally, staying even when he gave me reason to file for a divorce, and other times when it just got so hard and so painful to be married to him through his 17 surgeries and the asshole he was throughout, because I loved him that much.  I believed in him and he was the center of my world.  The hardest thing to face for me was that my love and devotion was one sided, that only one of us really meant “for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part”.

I’ve never not taken ownership of the issues that I myself had, once I was able to see them.  With medical help I was diagnosed with what is a simple chemical imbalance and medicate that problem with a great, antipsychotic drug that balances out the serotonin.  It took missing my meds for 2 days for me to SEE for myself just how that imbalance was impacting my emotions, taking them to the extremes.  It is too late to do anything about the past, but for the future I am able to be ‘normal’.  In that two day span I saw crystal clear what I must have been like, not all of the time, but on those occasions when for whatever reason I’d be off balance and hit overload.  I’ve also began to seriously wonder if I wasn’t ADD as well, as I’d obsess about things at times, which I also no longer do to such abnormal extremes.

Over the past few weeks I’ve regretted the way things ended between me and hubby.  Oh I joke around here and there now calling him Lord Voldemort, He who shall not be named, and of late Grumpy Dwarf.  But it is now in fun, not out of a mean spirit.  I never really had a malicious intent toward him, just a lot of raw pain I struggled to over come.  I won’t say my heart is healed, as it is not.  My intentions for 23 years were always to make him happy, and to love him no matter what.  It was hard to be tossed out of his life and see him move on so fast to something or someone else, whatever the case may be.  By the time he told me he wanted out, he was already ‘moving on’ with his life, I was just facing it for the first time.  His present, of being a single man and going out and being free of me, was still my future.  His mind and heart had left me behind and started new, while mine was just standing up after the storm, chest deep in debris from the shock and realization that it was over.  Throughout these past months he has turned completely away, blocked me from contacting him and even has a very angry, hateful attitude toward me.  He never was able to understand why I was so upset and angry at him throughout the months prior to our divorce, he never grasped that he was months, even years (according to him) ahead of me in the acceptance phase.  I don’t know exactly how he expected me to react, maybe he thought I’d be sending him flowers and wishing him well, when instead I lashed out at times in hurt.  I made threats at times regarding the house and other parts of the divorce settlement, but never carried through on them.  When the time came I kept my word, signed the papers, and walked away.  All in all I think I handled things very well for someone that was so deeply in love and so devoted, after being handed my heart in a thousand pieces and rejected.

I’ll forever regret that things did not turn out the way I had dreamed, that we’d grow old together.  I regret that loving him with everything in me was not enough.  I regret that while I was very much in love and happy, he was not.  I also regret that he is angry and not willing to even attempt to be civil for the sake of our kids.  I do not regret that for 23 years I was able to share my life with my Prince Charming, to be his lover, to find my strength in him, to turn to him when I needed reassurance or help, or find security when I was afraid.  I will always have a spot in my heart for him.

Recently someone asked me to really think hard, IF Pete ever wanted to put things back together again, would I be willing to try.  I thought on that, a long time.  Even with the help of the medication to bring me in line, even though I love him still and always will, the answer is no.  It is him that I need/needed to let go.  I knew when I came up on this topic that my friend’s question was in perfect timing. And I went through a mental and emotional process over the past week of doing just that, letting ‘him’ go.

I also came to the realization that in time, I MIGHT allow myself to love someone like that again.  But it will be slow in coming about.  I deserve someone that will love me with the same intensity that I love, that will love unconditionally, that will see me as a blessing in their life, and see how fortunate they are to have me.  Just the way I felt about Pete, I deserved that in return.  Next time, IF there is a next time, I will not stay in a relationship with anyone that does not match me in opening up their heart and soul to me, the way I did for Pete, the way he never was able to for me.  We all bring baggage along in life, and that is fine.  But don’t hide it, put it out there so we both know what we are getting into.  Talk, share, and be open about what is tolerable and not tolerable.  But if you want to take my love, you better be giving just as much back and giving first, or it won’t be yours to have.

So..it is Pete, Lord Voldemort, He who shall not be named, Grumpy Dwarf etc, that I need to let go.  There is the door, good luck and don’t let it hit  you in your cute, tiny little ass.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 09 – Someone I Didn’t Want To Let Go, But Just Drifted

30 Days Of Truth

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

The first time I met them was in the airport.  They came off of a flight from San Diego,  accompanied by their temporary foster parents.  I teared up when I first saw them, knowing how scary this must be for them.  A few months prior their daddy had put them on a flight out to San Diego from Norfolk, not even knowing if he’d ever see them again.  They flew away to the other side of the country leaving behind all that was familiar including their beloved Nanny.   When they slipped out of the house that morning their mother didn’t know they had left.  She had pretty much cracked down the middle mentally and they were not safe there with her while daddy was at sea.  Her antics and lack of ability to care for the 4 little darlings resulted in them losing their babies, the state of California, who had control since the nightmare started there, ordered the kids returned to state custody.  Intent was to place them all for adoption and we knew no one was going to take 4 kids, ages 2, 4, 5, and 8.

My ex-husband had been raised in foster care until he was 7 years old.  When I first mentioned my cousin’s children to him, he told me no way, we were not taking one of the kids.  My cousin’s sister had hoped a few family members would be able to care for a child or two and at least get them all in one city.   Pete has a tough shell around his heart but there are cracks there, and his memories of foster care got to him.  He decided we’d just take all 4 kids for a few years until my cousin would be state side and able to make arrangements to get his kids back.

That was how we became the Brady Bunch of sorts.  That November night in the airport waiting area we became foster parents to these 4 kids.  I had received a folder on each child, complete with photos and medical history, and anything my cousin could think of to describe the kids.  I suspect the nanny, an angel if ever there was one walking this earth, supplied much of the information.  I would consult her several times in the coming year.  I did my homework,  read the materials over and over, but nothing prepared me for seeing those 4, scared little faces, uprooted for the umpteenth time, clinging to their temporary parents.  My first insight to their fragile state was on the way home.  The 8yo asked me how long they were staying with us, and I said at least a year.  He asked if that was longer than 30 days.  Then again when we got home, and the girls, 5 and 6, discovered that their daddy had brought  me their bedroom furniture and clothes and they were jumping up and down clapping about their things being there. They insisted on calling us mom and dad rather than aunt Marti and uncle Pete, and if that made them feel more stable we were fine with it.

That night my family was there to help welcome them, we had a big feast of pizza, it was complete chaos, and then after they were tucked in for the night and the house was quiet and I was laying next to Pete in bed and said “what have we done”.  I was just as scared as the kids.  He wrapped around me and said “it’s not so bad, 14 people left and went home, only 4 are up there”.

Two weeks after their arrival, Pete came home one afternoon, and the 2yo spoke his first words (the social workers and other foster parents said he couldn’t talk), “oh, dats ome” (oh dads home).  I cried again.  I did a lot of that for the first few months.  Like the day Pete had to break the 5yo baby’s heart.  She asked when she was going to get to see her mommy again.  She had been told somewhere along the way that mommy was very sick and in the hospital.  No one had told her she’d never see her again.  Pete had to tell her that day that she was not going to see mommy again, and she sat in his lap for 2 hours and sobbed her heart out.  Tough old dad held her and cried along with her.  I spent an hour curled up in her bed that night repeating the tears until she finally cried herself to sleep.  Life is just a bitch sometimes, and to all the wrong damn people!

For Christmas my sister found an ornament, after searching everywhere, that had 8 snowmen on it and had it personalized.  Me, Pete, our 2 kids, and our 4 babies names, one per snow man.  I hung it on the tree, and later noticed the 8yo boy standing there just looking at it for the longest time.  Then I heard him whisper “wow, we really are a family now”.  No one told me I needed to stock up on tissues for this adventure, another boo-hoo moment.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, being parents to 6 kids is not easy, especially when you go from 2 to 6 over night.  2, 4, 5, 8, 15 and 21.  We had our hands full.  But we did the best we could to make it fun.  Hubby home schooled the 8yo to get him up to speed, and rather than the 5yo going to kindergarten we held her back a year to give her time to adjust to her new life without her mom.  I changed my hours at work to 3 days, so I had 4 straight days with the kids.  We had fun days each week, like crazy hair day when we’d wear our hair in wacky styles.  Or pajama day when we stayed in our jammies all day because we could.  We had dessert first nights on Friday, if you didn’t eat all of your dessert you didn’t get dinner.  Needless to say it wasn’t long and we quit making dinner at all, it become dessert for dinner night and was a huge hit.  Friday was also movie night, oh Friday mornings we always made what their dad called, Wild Turkey Surprise (and I called Turkey Poop Pancakes), chocolate chip pancakes.  The kids totally loved all the ‘special’ days we could come up with, it gave them fun and we all looked forward to them.  And Pete and I found our inner child again.

The kids became Bengal fans (hard to avoid living with us), and were a huge part of our life for a year before dad divorced mom, got the nanny to join him in Virginia and was able to get his kids back.  We stayed in touch at first frequently.  They came to see us for Christmas that next year and then again in the summer.  I stayed in touch with the nanny often at first but over time life went on and little by little we lost contact.  We’re on each other’s Facebook and so I get to see how the kids are doing.  I never intended them drift away, they took a big piece of my heart back to their daddy’s when they left.

Every Christmas that ornament is carefully unpacked and I hang it in a visible spot.  Every time I see it I pray for the kids, and for the nanny, Crystal, now their mom.  Yes their fairy tale had a great ending, daddy married the nanny and she rocks!

Me, Pete, our daughter and our 4 'babies'

Day 08 → Someone Who Made My Life Hell, Or Treated Me Like Shit

30 Days Of Truth

Day 08 → Someone Who Made Your Life Hell, Or Treated You Like Shit

This one has taken some time to ponder, and I’m still not able to narrow this down all that well to just one individual.  Certainly plenty of people have treated me like shit from the 1st hubby that had a tendency to black out and become violent when he drank, to the 2nd hubby that announced after 23yrs of marriage that he wanted a divorce.  He thinks otherwise but where I come from when you stand by and support someone through years of surgeries (about 17 total) and the pain and sleep deprivation moods that went with that, not to mention being the lone income for the family or the major bread winner most of the time, to suddenly bail IS treating someone that loved you like shit.  Okay and yes, life was a living hell through all of that, but I chose to stay knowing sooner or later it would improve.

In fact that is the conclusion I have arrived at after days of pondering this particular subject:  We make our own life hell by the choices we make.  When I married the first hubby, I discovered he  had an alcohol problem that resulted in some severe mood swings, paranoia, and violence when he drank.  I CHOSE to stay there for several years and put up with it.  Yes his drinking and resulting behavior is HIS own fault, but I am the fool that stuck it out for so long in that hell.  I made the choice so therefore I made my own life hell.  Same with the 2nd husband and his medical issues.  They were not his fault, and to some degree his moods on the narcotics, intense pain and lack of sleep cannot be totally blamed on him.  I made the conscious decision to live in that hell for years until we got him fixed, that hell was my own choosing and I could have packed up and left at any time.  But I stayed.  I have learned that marriage vows, should  I ever be dumb enough to take them again, will be rewritten.  To hell with this crap of  “for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health”, I experienced all of that for 23 years and did not bail and for what?  One relationship closer to owning 10 cats, that’s what!  BUT I did chose  that life and to continue to love someone that was less than deserving of my love.   That is an incredible woman if I do say so myself.

I have moved on, and began a new life.  The men that are a now permitted  into my life are on  probation for life.  One screw up and out of the picture they go.  I won’t be treated badly again but one time by any man, at which point he is FINISHED.  I am special, a unique, outstanding, good hearted, giving, loving, compassionate woman.  Call it a princess complex if you want too, I don’t care, I am a great catch and if I grace your life with my presence you damn well better be ready to treat me like the incredible and amazing woman that I am!  No, I don’t have a big ego, I have a lot of male friends (no not ones trying to get in my skirt) that have known me a while, that told me how awesome I am, what a treasure I would be for any man, and what a fool he was that let me go.  They know of my temper, know what I did, said etc over the years, know my imperfections and character flaws, and still think I’m all class and wonder.  From now on this girl is choosing happiness over hell.

So, yes, someone has made my life hell….that someone was me by the choices I made and the resulting consequences, and the length of time I was willing to live with said results until I ( or another) removed myself from the existence in that Hades.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 07 → Someone Who Has Made My Life Worth Living For

30 Days Of Truths

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for

I have been pondering this particular topic for days, trying to think who the one person in my life is that makes it worth living for, and this has been a difficult process.  The options are endless from my parents, siblings, kids, friends, even the ex husband.   Everyone that comes across my path in my life makes it worth living.

We are each a unique vessel sailing the sea of life.  Every ship we pass as we navigate impacts us in some way.  Some pull up along side and dock with us at various islands of experience, and others simply pass us in the water.  Some are beautiful sailing vessels, or yachts, bringing good to us.  Others are like pirate ships  with ill intent and bring pain and darkness to our journey, temporarily robbing us of our happiness.  But each ship offers something, shaping who we are today.  We have no way to measure the good in life without the bad, until we have been to the bottom of the barrel we have no clue how really high and wonderful the top can be.

There is only so much we have control over in life, and mostly that is how we react to each and every situation.  We determine how we will respond to everything, sometimes consciously and other times through conditioning, but ultimately the choice of response and what we will take away or leave behind is our own.

So, the one person that makes my life worth living for….is ME!!!  No one else, regardless of how wonderful or awful, can make the determination that life is awesome, or no longer worth living, but me, myself and I.  While many of the storms that blow up on the seas I sail are out of control, as are the beautiful sunrises and sunsets,  I can control how I will face and deal with each event.   Everything is a learning experience, sometimes I will hurt and cry, other times smile or laugh, and how I determine to see my life determines that value or worth of every person, place and thing that I encounter.

I make my life worth living for!

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 06 → Something I Hope I Never Have To Do

30 Days Of Truth

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do

Without hesitation the one thing that I hope I never have to do is bury one of my children.  To me that by far would have to be the worst kind of pain any parent could endure.

Being pregnant was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever known.   Feeling them moving inside of me and knowing that I was carrying about within me a life, fully dependent on me for survival, was beyond words.  I knew the personalities of each child before they were born.  I knew Michael was laid back and easy going like me, almost boardering on sheer laziness.  I knew Liesl was going to be like her daddy, unable to sit still and full of energy.  I was very in tune to their movements and activities.  Michael was a night owl in the womb, most active when I was sleeping…well trying too.  Liesl was far more active when I was  active, and seemed to be more restful when I was asleep.  That is how they are even now, he is 3rd shift and prefers to be up at night, she is a sleeper at night and all energy all day like her father.

I knew them before anyone else, as they grew and developed before birth, and no one knows them like their parents do as kids grow up.  They are our pride and joy, pain and heart ache, and nothing can ever replace them.

Kids are supposed to grow up, get married or not, have kids of their own or not, but they are supposed to live long and healthy lives and it is us that depart first, at least as it should be.   I’ve seen friends bury their children and cannot begin to imagine their pain.

To me, losing a child at any age, would by far be the one thing I hope I never have to do.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 05 → Something I Hope To Do In My Life

When I was growing up my parents took us camping, a lot.  It was the least expensive way to cart 4 kids on a cop’s salary, all over the country to see things they thought were important, or just for fun I suppose.  I think if we counted it all up, we’ve been in just about 40 of the 50 states in this great country, and seen a lot of very neat things and places.  Being the oldest I think I likely appreciated some of it more than my siblings, though even I got a little tired of sight seeing sometimes.  I’m sure many can pride themselves on all the places they have traveled around the world, and  honestly I  think that is great.  There are a few places I would like to see, like Germany and Scotland, but right here in our own country there are so many wonderful places  to visit.

Sometime before I am too old to go traveling about the land,  I would like to go back and see some of the places I saw as a child through my now adult eyes.  This time to read,  learn and really take in the history and science associated with many locations.  The list is lengthy but here are just a few places I wish to return too:

Bardstown Kentucky and My Old Kentucky Home, The Stephen Foster Musical

Old Mans Cave and Mammoth Cave

Natural Bridge

Niagra Falls

Gettysburg

Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands

I could go on and on but those are a few that stand out in my memory.  I can do without the camping part, my idea of pitching a tent is Holiday Inn Express now.  I have fond memories of growing up spending our summers in a pop up camper, making pies over an open fire, dad playing the guitar and singing….and who knows, maybe just one trip with the siblings back to one of those places  just for kicks.  But only one night gang, I don’t do creepy crawly stuff anymore.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 04 → Something I Have To Forgive Someone For

30 Truths

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for

I have learned over my lifetime a very important lesson regarding forgiveness. When we chose to forgive someone,  it isn’t about them.  You are not doing it for them, you do it for YOU!  What you carry around with you takes root in the heart and soul and grows, sometimes rapidly and at other times slowly, but it will grow.  Good things germinate and bring forth beauty and kindness that shines forth from inside of us.  Negative things sprout ugliness that is always visible from the inside outward and make us less than attractive to others.  Bitterness, hatred, envy, jealousy, all are bad seeds and grow like weeds within our heart and mind. If we sow and fertilize them daily,  they will take over and choke out our good traits.  When we forgive it is like weeding our heart’s garden so that our love for others and life are seen, our good qualities and the things that draw others to us.  But those dark weeds are stubborn and often we have to go back and tend to the soil again and again to keep them out.

When my ex announced he wanted a divorce, I turned immediately to a woman I had always counted as a special friend.  She and I had one of those friendships that could hit rough pavement now and then.  We’re both strong personalities and stubborn as mules.  We both love deeply and passionately, and we also feel hurt and lash out in passion.  Some called us Thelma & Louise when we teamed up because if we were on the same side of something, heaven help those that were not with us.  I wish I could say we always acted maturely but like the movie characters we are known to go over board at times.  The trouble with us is that there is also always an undercurrent between us that I honestly do not understand.  I’ve always felt there is something about me that grates on this friend.  Some say it is jealousy, I’ve wondered that at times myself but at the same time just don’t really know why she would be jealous.

My friend is a stronger personality outwardly than I am, she is Louise all over.  Louise enjoys the spot light, she is the life of the party wherever she goes.  She often says that no one is a stranger to her, just a friend she hasn’t met yet.  She embraces a wilder side to life and it suits her very well.  She is sexy from head to toe, pretty, and has more spunk than women half her age.  She is married to a great guy, has great kids, is a stay at home mom, is creative, funny, and to know her is to love her.  I cannot imagine that there would be anything in anyone for which she’d have reason to be jealous.

I wish I could put my finger on what it is but without a doubt every so often something I do or say, or maybe don’t do or say, will set her off and suddenly I am her mortal enemy.  Often the things she then says about me behind my back are very unkind and often only shades of the truth with a royal twist on them aimed at driving people away from me.  I just don’t understand it and likely never will.

My divorce was far from an ugly one.  Oh my attitude toward my husband at the time was ugly, I was in a lot of pain and really was less than kind but I already dealt with all that in other blogs and asked him to read those.  But the divorce itself was simple, we didn’t fight over things other than a few heated discussions.  It was done through a dissolution, took 30 days, no lawyers, fairly cut and dry.  Unfortunately Louise was painting a much different picture to people that made them believe they were going to be dragged into some big ugly court battle that simply was  not taking place.  She frankly stuck herself in the middle of something that she should not have that only made things worse when Pete and I were struggling to work things out without a fight.  Much gasoline was poured on our little fire, in fact, from her and others that meant well but should have steered clear until the dust settled.

Anyway, early on in my saga I pulled myself out of the pit of depression with a little help and decided to focus on those things I could change.  Pete wasn’t changing his mind, he wanted out.  So I opted to focus on my future and find the silver lining in the storm clouds around me.  My life had become a hurricane of emotions and I opted to seek the eye where things were calm.  I simply wanted to survive it all with as little damage as possible so I began to look at the positives like my new home and living arrangements, my new freedoms, my new job, and I found myself able to be happy about those things despite my heart breaking.  I blogged about it all, sharing my thoughts and perspectives on things.  Louise suddenly blind sided me by dropping me from her Facebook, Twitter etc. leaving me stunned.  When I inquired about it she told me my blogs were too arrogant and full of ego, and she felt I was painting a picture about my happiness that simply was not the case.  On top of losing my husband, home, and all that encompassed, I lost my friend and I was completely puzzled.

Louise went on to tell folks that I have written shitty things in my blogs about her, yet I would challenge anyone to show me those blogs.  I have expressed confusion but never said shitty things about her in blogs, on Facebook or Twitter.  Certainly if she or anyone else can find these particular blogs I will happily double check them and if I was being shitty I will apologize.  But I don’t believe they exist, they never have.  I don’t believe Louise can begin to understand where I was, know that kind of  pain I endured and still deal with in all of this.  I pray she never knows what it would be like to have her ‘favorite’ man exit her life for good, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

So it is Louise I need to forgive.

I forgive her for taking sides in ‘fight’ she had no dog in and only pieces of the story, and certainly only seemed concerned about one side of it and that wasn’t mine.

I forgive her for telling friends and prospective friends that if they involved themselves with me that my ex would bring them to court to testify (I spoke to the ex who seemed as perplexed as me as to that story).

I forgive  her for turning her back on me and referring to me as her ‘bad former friend’.

I forgive her for everything and anything mean, shitty, vindictive, half true, twisted, whatever it is she has done or said regardless of her intent, since this messy chapter of my life began, even the scathing hateful email sent to a prospective male (yep he told me)…for everything and anything…

I forgive you, Louise.  It is all that I can do, and continue to pray for you, that you will always be blessed with every good thing and a man that will continue to love you from the bottom of his heart, ALL your good and less than good parts, because that is true love.  And I know you love him that way too.

I miss you, Queenie, keep living well. I will still always count you as a friend.

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths

Day 03 → Something I Have To Forgive Myself For

Reaching up and grabbing the cord, I pull down the trap door that has the steps attached to the attic of my mind and heart.  Unfolding the steps I climb up slowly, into the dark hole above.  When I reach the top step I gently wave my arm above my head and locate the pull string to turn on the light.  Just like the cobweb filled, dusty top level of the house,  this attack contains memories, all boxed up, and stacked in rows.  Many contain happy thoughts and mental images of life for the past 47 years, and some contain things that are not so pleasant and others will be down right painful to open.  I scan the rows, fingers lightly running across the writing on the containers, bringing back snippets of days gone by.  I don’t linger over these, today I am searching for a particular one,  its contents difficult to face.  Finally I spot it, there  in the corner, away from all the other cartons.

I approach this particular trunk with much dread, as while the contents are usually few, they are not things that are happy, pretty or fun.  These are  things that fill me with regret, things waiting for me to face and let go of so that they can be placed in a different container for unpleasant memories somewhere else  in my mental  attic.  The lid creeks as I  lift it, and gently tip it back.   Light shines forth from the inside of this trunk, as facing its contents is the key to moving on in life as a better person.  But light can pierce into the darkness, and be painful to the eyes that have existed in the darkness for any period of time.  But today I am ready… Peering inside I see it, the one lone item.  It is that something I need to forgive myself for, just waiting there for me to face it head on.  I’ve not been ignoring it, I do struggle with it and examine it from time to time, but in the past I’ve always placed it back in the trunk, closed the lid and moved on.  Not today, today this needs to be faced.

For 24 years I was fortunate enough to be the significant other to a very special man, and for  just shy of 23 years I bore  his name as his wife.  They were not always happy years, our marriage road  the choppy  waters of life’s storms, some that were of our own making, but most came out of no where and caught us off guard.  Neither of us can claim to have been stellar sailors through those waves, we each fell  short time and time again.  But we weathered them and I always felt came through them better than we had been when the first dark  clouds had approached.  With each day and each crisis I loved him more, my heart embracing my Prince Charming.  Oh I knew he was not a true Prince, in fact in many ways he fell far short of the mark, but he was  mine and deep down to the core of my heart and soul I loved that man with every cell in me.  It did not matter that he was not perfect, he was Pete, my soul mate, my knight in shining armor, and the dents and tarnished areas, though  often what would  annoy me about him, were also things I truly loved about him.

I was far from the perfect wife, mom and woman.  In his eyes, at one time, he must have seen something in me that he wanted.  I remember one time waking up from a deep sleep to find him sitting next to the bed just watching me sleep.  I asked him what he was doing and he said just looking at me,  marveling that I was all his.  It is one of the most beautiful memories I have of him, a time when he looked past my faults and could see inside and see something and someone of value, someone he treasured.  I was someone that he wanted to spend his life with, have children with, and grow old next too.  I wonder how we got from those eyes  looking at me in wonder and love, to the eyes that looked at me before we entered the court room for our divorce, now filled with such hatred and disdain, that tore at my heart leaving fresh and painful wounds.

I am a woman that feels all emotions deeply. My love is deep, my happiness runs deep, my pain runs to my core, as does my anger.  I could  go from zero to 120 in a  split second, erupting like a volcano spewing destructive lava all over.  At times I even took pride in the fact that when I  was mad I went for the emotional and mental  jugular on the target of my outbursts.  I got angry over silly, small things to extremes  that  left folks around me scratching their heads as to why something so insignificant would make me SO upset,  and other things would not.   There was no pattern, no way to know what would  set  off  the dynamite  and bring forth a very ugly me.  For years my Prince would tell me that I needed to get a grip on my anger, but I didn’t listen.  Others around me helped me justify it, telling me that I was just  overly tired and stressed out.

They were correct, I was often tired and under a lot of stress.  For years I  carried the financial weight of our family, while dealing with his medical issues that nearly killed him on 3 different occasions.  The pain and sleep deprivation,  combined with narcotics that made him a bear to tolerate.  We went through a period where we were charging our groceries on credit cards just to feed our kids, anyone around me could understand me being stressed out and angry.  SO many things year upon year that put much mental and emotional weight on me that were convenient excuses for my vicious moments.  But all the while Pete was telling me that I needed to get control of my temper.  He is not a great communicator, I’ve always known this about him, but if  ONLY I had given more attention to what he was saying.  He wasn’t able to put into words that I was ripping his heart apart at times, driving him away from me.  And I wasn’t able to see it.  After all he was one person with one view, and I had a lifetime of who I was, a family with 3 siblings with comparable tempers, and a host of folks telling me that I was  just stressed out.  Tempers are a given in my family, I always assumed it was the strong German blood lines with some Hungarian and Irish thrown in to add some sparks to our fires.  My sister and both brothers can match me notch for notch in the outbursts, it was all I knew from childhood  on!  But if  only I had listened.

In recent years I stepped across the lines and went beyond what my husband could forgive.  On 2 separate occasions he lost 2 friends.  One died around the time our marriage was  hanging by threads due to indiscretions of Pete’s, things that hurt me deeply and broke my trust in him.  One night I lashed out in anger,  going for his heart, and told him I wished he had died and was rotting in hell like his friend, Tim.  Tim died after suffering burns  when a grill blew up that he was lighting.  I drove a stake into Pete’s heart that time that he was unable to pull out.  Then a little over 2 years ago, a fellow fire fighter, coworker and friend,  perished fighting a fire, and that hit Pete harder than anything I had ever seen affect him.  On 2 different nights,  alcohol induced (a very bad mix with my temper),  while in a rage so intense I didn’t even recall saying it the one time, I made the mistake of  telling him that I wished it had been him, and not Brian, that had died that day.  In those moments I finally drove the knife so deep in his heart that Pete was no longer able to forgive me and love me.  For  the next year and a half he went through the motions, pretending to love me, trying to love me, and unable to do handle it.  What is sad is that during that time a friend made the comment that we were retarded in love with each other, the way he  looked at me and I at him, never could anyone have guessed Pete was putting on an award winning performance,  there was no longer any love there.  So good was his act that I didn’t see it,  in fact I had never been happier, never felt more adored and loved by him as I did during that time.

He told me in tears that he wanted out, on January 8th of this year.  Regardless of what others tell me, and there are many sharing information, that there was another woman near the end, the bottom line is me.  IF in fact he had someone else, which he still says is not the case, it is my fault,  I had killed what was there for me and if  he sought comfort and love else where I have no one to blame.  I have been to the doctor, learned I have a serotonin imbalance.  My brain releases more serotonin than needed, and the cells that should absorb it cannot take it all in, so the releasing cells re-uptake the excess, which they should not do, and this seems to be the root of the problem.   That is where  the intensity comes  in to play.  I take medication that is a re-uptake  inhibitor and that keeps the balance.  I am still angry, but can process the anger  now.  I’m relearning how to react to situations and people, and able to not get fixated on something and just blow off the steam until it is gone.  I’m in control now.

For so many years in his imperfect ways he tried to tell me.  I now give myself permission to forgive ME.  I forgive myself for not hearing him,  for not seeing that there really was a problem,  for not listening to the person closest to me instead of others.  I forgive myself for falling short of that woman he watched sleeping, the one he at one time adored.  I forgive myself for not being perfect  and not being able to be who he needed me to be. For being less  than the mom I could have been.  I forgive myself for not being the one he will grow old with because of my own stubbornness when at some point I could have fixed me.  And I forgive myself for any pain I brought to him, me and our children over all these years when I could have sought help and made things better. I forgive me for my part in what should  have been forever.

This has been a difficult thing to come too, but it is also freeing.  The trunk is now empty again.  It is painful, no doubt about it, facing and forgiving me.  But it is done.  I close the lid, walk to the steps,  reach up and turn off the light….

Click here for more information about the 30 Days of Truths