Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Muse

I think that I've had enough sorrow and heartache for one week. So, I'm ending the week on a positive note! Maybe this will become a regular Friday thing. 

This week my muse came from the beauty of spring in my yard, colored with the notes of sadness. 

I have to remember that even though there is sadness around me, the beauty of spring still abounds. The world is fresh and new. Life is an incredible journey  across mountains and through great divides. It is not something to be taken for granted. Life is too short for unhappiness. So - Have a Happy Weekend! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Hmm... relationships. Those things that either make us or break us emotionally. 
They're good, bad, in-between. And they can take a toll on us if not carefully tended. 
I've been thinking back a lot lately, not really sure why - but possibly just because it's my age, my kids ages, and my grandsons birthday coming up... I feel old - and I'm sorting through the memories, good and bad, in my mind. 
I've been spending a lot of time on other blogs, mostly because of SITS and trying to build my readership. Every now and then I come across one that has a very profound effect on me emotionally. It evokes a passionate memory that has lain dormant forever - probably something I didn't even realize I remembered. 
In this case - I stumbled across a little blog called He Loves Me, But... and as I sat reading this young womans words, and entire century of my life flooded back. The century in which I was with That Guy. We spent 11 years together. The first two were total bliss, we were young, and stupid, and really had no clue what we were doing, so it was all good. But I grew up, he didn't. But I stayed, and stayed, and stayed. 
At first our relationships "hard parts" started with small arguments that barely got off the ground before one of us had apologized and we'd make up and be all good. But, around year three, something changed. He started being more controlling - not allowing me to wear shorts out in public, having fits if my bra showed even a tiny bit under my tank top. Little things, that said - I'm insecure about you, and I don't want other guys to see your assets. By the end of the year, it was no makeup, no skirts, no dresses, no low cut tops, and never ever a bathing suit. 
I tolerated it, in the name of love and I moved on with the relationship. 
In year four, I got pregnant. Year four was also the first breakup. Before I found out I was pregnant, we broke up, and I left. Moving from our home in Tampa, back to my parents in Fort Myers, 150 miles south. For over a year we didn't speak, didn't see each other, were not even aware of the other. 
Then one day in late spring, when my baby was about 9 months old I saw his mother. She took one look at my daughter and knew. She told him. He came to see me. We talked about what had gone wrong in our lives, and we vowed to make it all better and raise our daughter together. We got back together and I moved back to Tampa with my kids. 
Year Five of our relationship was fairly smooth, we were reveling in our new found love and couldn't be bothered with trivial issues. But by year six things were back to the way the were before, only now things escalated to an all new level - I was sleeping with every single man I spoke to. I was sneaking out at night to screw around on him... I was doing all these things... and I never even knew it. Seriously... I put up with it because he was a good dad, and when we were good - hot damn we were GREAT. But the bad? Hoooboy... the bad was really, really bad. 
In year eight the screaming matches escalated, and I broke his jaw for slapping me. 
In year nine, I had a broken nose and chipped tooth. 
In year ten, I had a fillet knife held to my throat (blade side away) so hard it left a bruise like a thin chain. My seven year old daughter cried and begged her daddy not to hurt me. 
I left the next day, and never looked back. 

Often people ask me why I stayed. Why did I let this man control my life in such a way? When did I lose myself? HOW could I put up with it??

Well, I can answer all those questions and many more with just a few simple words. I had no sense of self-worth

In the ten years of our relationship he slowly and methodically conditioned me to believe that I didn't deserve any better than what I got. After all, if I was a better girlfriend, then he'd be a better boyfriend. It was my fault that I got hit. It was my fault I wasn't allowed to have a job, I might meet someone else. 
He lived in terror (although I didn't realize this for YEARS) of me finding someone who would treat me better, so he refused to allow me to have any contact with other people. Sure, we'd hang out with his friends - ONLY if they had a girlfriend/wife who could keep me occupied (read: babysit me) while he partied it up with the guys. 
If his friends said anything to him about the way he treated me he defended himself... saying they just had no idea what I was capable of. 
If his friends said anything to me about leaving him, or finding someone else, or concern for my well being - I got screamed at, or hit. Somehow, his friends wouldn't feel sorry for me, if I didn't make them... weird. Eventually, he stopped taking me around them - the heat got too bad, they knew he was abusing me, and they didn't like it. But I wouldn't admit it to them, or myself. 
I lost a lot of things in that relationship. Things I would give the world to get back. Things I never, ever should have given away to begin with. Starting with my power. I gave him control, out of the goodness of my heart. I did what I was asked, I catered to him like a mom, and I never, ever complained about anything. I conditioned him to take advantage of me. When he realized this, he started doing just that. It started small, and by the time I woke up, it had gotten really bad. I almost DIED. In the name of love
I woke up, I got out. I got my shit together and I made a new life for myself. 
I realized my own value, and the value of my contributions to any relationship. I relearned my own strength. I vowed to never again allow a man to control me. 
I vowed never again to get so ingrained in someone else that I lost sight of who I was. 
And you know what? It's working. I am a fearless woman. I have the ability to do anything I set my mind to. I am valuable, lovable, and enough. And nobody can take that away from me. Ever.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Heart - My Soul!

This, this beautiful chubby baby? This is my heart....
He is my soul, my life, my inspiration, and my muse!

This, my dear readers, is my precious grandson.
Words cannot express how much I LOVE this boy! 

Here, he is enjoying his first time on a swing... 

It turns out - the swing is much more fun with mommy! 
That's my beautiful daughter there with my boy in her lap! Gosh, how my heart leaps at the image - I miss them so!

His first trip to a real pool!
Again so much more fun with mommy!

I must say, I am so very proud of my beautiful daughter and her husband. They're doing the best than can to raise him... and that's all anyone can ask. They're young, and I'm sure they'll make mistakes along the way - heck don't we all?? But this baby - this baby is loved beyond measure! 

I love you JJ - your grandma's heart breaks with missing you! You are my heart, my soul, my love!!! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sadness and Grief

This morning I awoke to find that a former co-worker's husband committed suicide last night. From the sketchy details I got, she apparently tried to take the gun away from but was unable to. 
I am saddened greatly... not because I knew and liked him - I only met him once at their wedding. I am saddened because he leaves behind a beautiful young wife and son who loved him. I am saddened for the grief I know she feels today. I am saddened because her son will have to grow up without his father. I am saddened that he felt this was his only way out of whatever it was that was bothering him. 
Suicide is such an ugly thing. It's hateful, and its deceptively easy to do. Everything seems so out of control, that its easy to pick up the razor blade, pill bottle, or gun... it seems the only thing you can do. 
Suicide leaves those left behind wondering what happened... what could I have done differently to stop this. In this case, my friend did everything she knew to do - she called 911, she tried to get the gun away, and I'm sure she cried, begged, and pleaded with him to reconsider. She will unfortunately have to live with that image for the rest of her life - the one in which the man she chose to spend her life with decided he wasn't worth the life he was given... The one in which the father of her baby couldn't chase away the demons long enough to enjoy the rich and wonderful life they were building together... 
She's also left with guilt - guilt over not being able to do enough to help him, or stop him. 

Please remember, sometimes your friends or family are coping with things you don't know about. Sometimes, when the lights go out and they're all alone the demons come to play. Sometimes they can't just say no to the demons. They may not reach out, they might feel they're a lost cause, or they might just think you don't care. Reach out to someone today, just to say you love them, are thinking of them, are praying for them, or that you just want to see how they are. Keep tabs on those you love, let them know you love them, give them a hug - just because. 
Remember, you can make a difference in the life of someone you love, just by being there. 

Monday, April 26, 2010


See that...?
<----- Yeah, that... my computer... It stopped working night before last. Oh it worked, in the non-internet related capacity for sure - but otherwise it was a paperweight! Ya'll - we lost our internet in the storms!!! It was horrible! I woke up yesterday morning to find our cable line dangling from a tree precariously close to our car - and yes I was too danged upset to take pictures - also my batteries were dead because I took about 150 million pictures of flowers on the batteries on Saturday - so there was no juice left, and when you're busy trying to keep from being killed while fixing your internet, you just don't have the 15 minutes to spare to charge batteries... so there is no photo of our problem.
But to me it was a HUGE problem... I have two teenagers - who were totally disconnected for two days! Now, don't get me wrong, I feel real bad for all those folks in Mississippi and Alabama, I really do! I mean, I totally do not know what I'd do if I was faced witht he total devastation they have been dealt... it would be mind-blowing for sure.
For me, the storms took on a whole different meaning... they forced me to spend time with my kids... seriously! Since we're a very connected family - three laptops, two desktops, two wireless routers, cable interent, internet telephone, three Xbox game systems and the list goes on - we're techno-advanced around here... unfortunately that makes us totally incapable of interacting without our computers!
We spend hours with our kids playing games on the internet or across the xbox. We have role-play games we play with them via e-mail... and we spend countless amounts of time watching videos, movies or television via the computer and an HDMI cable. We are totally and completely integrated with our computers.
So Sunday was an interesting day around our house... After putting in a call to the cable company about our downed line, we had no clue what else to do.
We played poker, we had a live version of our role-play game, we cooked together, baked a cake, and discussed a lot of stuff. We spent the day listening to "Mom, Dad, What if?" Instead of Mom, Dad "I'm Bored". Not once did we hear the word "bored" and we were even told that they needed a break at one point - too much human interaction!
I love it - we spent the weekend reconnecting with our family and it was nice for a change... I'm thinking of "unplugging" more often!
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