Getting to know me: The End of Monster

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Monster was back in the trailer…it was early in the morning, so we all went back to bed. As I laid down, praying Monster would just go to sleep, I noticed my suitcase was sticking out a little from under the bed. I sat up to push it back, but heard that same eerie creak I would hear each night, Monster was out of bed and on the prowl. I hurriedly laid back down to act like I was already in a deep sleep. It was either act like I was asleep so he would leave me alone possibly, or be awake and  have one more nightmare to live through. I didn’t want him to see the suitcase, but I didn’t want him to touch me again either. Just pray, just pray is all I could tell myself to do…and there he was in my room…one last time.

He lightly shook me to see if I was awake. I didn’t move. I laid there as still as possible, praying the whole time “God please, please don’t let him hurt us anymore. Please don’t let him see our suitcases. Please don’t let Monster win.”  Monster stopped trying to wake me up and as he was leaving my room, he stubbed his toe on the suitcase. “This was it,” I thought” Monster was going to see the suitcase, figure out we were trying to leave and kill us.” My whole body was one giant river of sweat, my stomach sunk into the bed…This was it. It was all over…All he had to do was flip on the lights to see the suitcase. I was dreading the worst but by the grace of God, Monster stumbled into the hall, went to the bathroom checked his foot, then … went back to bed. God was hearing my prayers as He always does. God saved us.

As hard as it was to lay in that bed til morning, that is exactly what I did. I moved the suitcase back further under the bed, stayed in my room until I heard Monster leave to go see his parents. As I walked out into the hall, I saw that mom was already on the phone with the crisis center. She was writing down things on a piece of paper, she looked up at me and smiled…. this was really happening. I had the most odd feelings going through my head and body. Happiness, joy, elation, exhaustion, anxiety, fear and loss. Loss sounds funny I’m sure for you hear; but none the less, I was losing my possessions that I had left. We couldn’t take all our belongings to the shelter, they wouldn’t have room. I couldn’t take my dog. I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t want to leave those things, they were my world when I tried to forget my life. Now how would I forget my life without them? Mom told me to be ready with my suitcase, they would be there in 15 minutes. That was the longest and shortest 15 minutes of my life. Long because Monster could come back, shortest because how do you pack your life into one suitcase.

The knock on our door was like an angel coming to say “I am here to take you to a safe place!” , and they did. We walked out of that trailer, into the back of a station wagon. There was one man and two women in the car. It gets just a little fuzzy here in this memory of mine. I remember looking back at that trailer, relief fell over my body. I could finally rest, I could finally speak, I could finally be 13. The people took us to the shelter. It was a place for abused women and children to stay. No one knew where it was located. It’s like we were in hiding, that made me feel even better. The rules there were simple, ALL doors to the outside were to remain shut and double locked. There was no roaming the grounds, one kitchen for all to use and clean up. Mom and I had our own room with bunk beds a closet and bathroom. There was a crisis room in case one of the woman’s abusers did find the shelter, we would go in this room until police arrived.

We had to be interviewed upon arrival of the shelter. We sat in a room and were asked questions about our lives and how much abuse we had gone through. The room was warm and inviting. Comfortable couch to sit on, yet there was all this paperwork and questions. The more questions that were asked to my mom, the more she cried. The more she cried, the more I cried. I don’t think anyone can bear to see their mom cry and with everything we had gone through, it was going to be a long day of crying for us both. We sat in that room, on the comfy couch for what seemed like hours, documenting all Monster had done to mom. The counselors were so loving, gentle, and kind. They held us, prayed with us, loved on us… God sent us to the right place.

My interview was next and I couldn’t do it at first. They didn’t pressure me they waited and told me I could talk when I was ready. My mom had told them I had been  sexually abused as well, so they were anxious to get the process going so I could get set up with the proper counselor. What no one realized was I not only was ashamed and embarrassed but I didn’t want my mom to know everything. I didn’t want her to know all the details. I didn’t want her to feel worse than she already did. She didn’t need to know there were times he would be on the verge of an attack so I would ask him to just hurt me instead. That he would rape me, and tell me he loved me at the same time. She didn’t need to know that I was smart enough to worry about becoming pregnant by him, but he had a vasectomy. When I did have my interview it was one of the hardest, humiliating talks I had ever had. Little did I know they would be the beginning of my healing process.

As a child of sexual abuse Iwas robbed of so many innocents of life. I thought sex was horrible, ugly, disgusting, the thought of sex made me sick to my stomach. Since I asked Monster to take me instead of my mother, I had guilt that it was my fault… I did ask for it. Monster and other abusers also know that even children have a natural stimulation that happens during sex and they make you feel guilty for that as well. Since they can stimulate you, you must like it right? Therefore, you want it as bad as they do. So many times these thoughts went through my head, I felt ashamed of myself. I felt as though I committed adultery with Monster, against my mother.  Counseling soon taught me that I was the victim, I was the child, I was NOT in the wrong… Monster was. I was in counseling for several years…God restored me. He took a broken little girl and piece by piece put her back together, showing her the beauty she has always had living inside of her.

So what happened to Monster? Did he ever find us? Did he die in prison? Did he get everything he deserves? The answer is No, No and yes. Monster never found us. Mom got a divorce from him in 1985.She was married to him for 9 years. No, Monster never went to prison, jail or court for that matter. Between mom, me and my counselors it was decided the trauma of trial and reliving all the details in public would be more harm than good for me. Did Monster get everything he deserves…. my answer is yes I believe he did and will. As far as I know Monster is still alive and well. I have spotted him on occasion when I go back home to see my family. He even had the audacity to be one of the veterans that showed up at my paw paws funeral ( no one really figured it out but me, until he was already gone).

So how is it he is getting what he deserves? I know you all must be thinking I am crazy that he is getting what he deserves, yet he didn’t spend one minute in jail for what he did to me… but trust me and I will explain.  Through my journey and walk with Jesus Christ, I’ve learned that I needto live and love according to what Gods word says:

Matt. 22: 37 -39 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

When God revealed this to me, I didn’t know what to think. I was taken back and made to realize God loved me so much He created me, He created ALL THINGS. He created Monster too. This didn’t sit real well with me, then  before that had a chance to sink in, God revealed another part of his word:

Colossians 3:12-13  So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 

God, really?? This monster potentially could have ruined my life. Statistically, I should have become a prostitute, junkie, drug dealer, sexually promiscuous and now you want me to forgive him? All those things I had to endure? The pain, the hurt, the fear … God are you sure? I don’t think I can do all this! I am not strong enough to forgive and love this monster. This monster that tortured me for 9years of my life! Lord, no, no I can’t! I wrestled with the Lord on this for a very long time.

I was 13 when we left in 1985. In 2009, God showed me monster in a whole new perspective. I was studying a book by Rick Warren called ” The Purpose Driven Life” I was in the chapter about forgiveness when God showed me this broken, bruised, beaten down little boy. A boy with no voice, a boy with no chance to break a cycle of abuse. God showed me a little boy who grew up with no guidance, lots of anger and no chance to change what he was going to become. I was shown and reminded what part of me already knew. Monster had also been a victim of abuse. I don’t know his story, it doesn’t make what he did to me right, but it does change my perspective.

That day, I saw what God sees, a child in need of love and forgiveness. All that hate that I held on to, did nothing but prevent me from moving forward. All that hate had absolutely NO effect on monster, only me. That day I forgave and loved monster as God would have me do. I could not do that AT ALL on my own, it was through God’s mercy and grace that I could go to that place of forgiveness, of love. Do I want to ever be around Monster, tell him of my forgiveness?… absolutely not. Do I think God is a just God and Monster will have consequences for his sin? Absolutely I do… but I could care less. God has given me freedom, restoration, mercy, and grace. He has given me a life with a wonderful testimony of His promises and love. My journey isn’t even close to being over with, I can’t wait for God to reveal more and more of His great wisdom. I pray that I will choose the right way to live my life each day and know I have to take life day by day.

 

 

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Getting to Know Me: Part 4

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We left the movie theatre that day, Monster was being very nice to us both… you know that saying about the calm before the storm…You better believe it! Monster was not himself, he was still in a mean mood, but this day just seemed different. I can’t tell you what it was that made it different.  He, like I said, was still mean; still ready to pick a fight; still ready to hurt us. We walked around him like always, on eggshells.

Before I go much further, I need to explain our living conditions at this time. The trailer we lived in, yes trailer (it’s almost cliché’)…was a two bedroom, one bath, kitchen/dining area together,with a  living area and long hallway. The front door was connected to the living room, at the front of the trailer. The backdoor was down the long hall, across from the bathroom by the master bedroom.  My room was right next to the living room. The hallway was the only way to get to the master bedroom, bathroom, back door and my room. One long skinny trailer.  Roaches filled each crevasse (probably holding it together), the kitchen always had piles of dirty dishes, we lived in a devastating amount of filth. I don’t blame my mother for all of our dilemma in that trailer, or for basically any house we ever lived in. It was like a double-edged sword no matter what she did. If the house wasn’t clean enough, she got hit. If the house was dirty, she got hit. If it didn’t meet Monsters expectations of NAVAL  PERFECTION, Monster would tear it up, then make you redo the entire room. This particular form of abuse was one of the reasons Monster and mom got into the last fight we would ever see between the two of them for the rest of our lives.

Monster came into my room that evening, to do his “military” inspection. As usual, my bed did not pass inspection so it was completely taken apart for me to remake. He wanted a quarter to bounce off the top of my bed to the floor. My sheets and bedding were not tucked tight enough for that particular event to happen. After I refinished making the bed, I went to get Monster and show him my bed was made properly. Before I had the chance to turn around, Monster had grabbed my hands to “play” mercy. Hopefully, those of you reading this know what the game of mercy is, but if you don’t, don’t worry I will do my best to explain. One opponent takes the others hands, intertwined with theirs and pushes the hands towards the other in order to bend their wrists back far enough for them to feel enough pain to say “mercy”.  Sounds pretty barbaric to me.  Mom came passed my room just in time to see that not only was Monster about to snap my wrists in two, that he was also forcing me on my bed at the same time. I will NEVER forget the words she spoke as she whipped past him ” I guess you get your kicks out of hurting little girls!” The fight was on!

Monster ran from my room to the living room after her. You will now understand why I explained my living conditions, I want you to see this in your mind’s eye. As they were in the living room, I was crawling on the floor from my room to the living room to make sure Monster didn’t kill her this time. She had never provoked him like this before. He was sure to kill her this time. All I could see is Monster over her on the floor, crouched over her hitting her over and over again. She yelled for me to call the police. She had never done this. I was NEVER allowed to call the police. This fight was different in so many ways. Mom was trying to fight back this time.

I ran down the hall to the master bedroom, I picked up the phone. Mom yelled at Monster to leave me alone. He was running down the hall to keep me from calling. He entered the room at a furious pace, doubled his fist and smashed the other end of the phone. I threw it down as if it were hot coals on my skin. He lifted his fist again, I was getting ready for the blow when I hear my mom say ” Come and get ME, you Son of a B##ch!” As he turned and ran after her down the hall, she yelled one last time to tell me to” get out of the house.” I ran from the master bedroom to the back door, we didn’t have steps, but the dog house was close to step on. As I was leaving out the back door, mom was leaving out the front door. Monster wouldn’t dare go outside and cause a scene, remember he was also a part-time police officer. I’m sure he didn’t want to tarnish that reputation! I hopped down off the dog house, crouched down and waited to hear what was going on next.

Mom was outside in the street. He was yelling at her to come back inside. Mom refused. She was waiting on the police this time. She wasn’t going through this again. When I heard all this, I realized I couldn’t do this again either. No matter what I wasn’t coming back. I didn’t want Monster to see that I was out of the house, I didn’t want him to find me. I crawled on the ground until I got to another trailer, where I stood up and ran for my life. I didn’t care if I had nothing else, mom was out of the house, so was I. My best friend lived in the trailer court and she knew some of my life. I knew I could trust her. I ran straight to her house. My hands hit furiously on her screen door, when her parents opened the door the girl they saw was in complete desperation.  I was covered in dirt and grass. I had no shoes on, pajamas on, faced streaked with tears and mud from crawling on the ground. I kept repeating “let me in,  he’s gonna kill her this time!” They let me in, rushed me to my friend’s room, where I proceeded to melt into her arms. I don’t know how long she stayed there, holding me on the side of her bed, telling me everything was going to be alright. I remember just feeling numb.I didn’t know if mom was alright, if she was dead yet or still outside and alive. I knew it was late, but time had just alluded me. I don’t know how much time had passed before the phone rang. Mom was okay and said I could stay the night with my friend. I was never more relieved in my life, except no one told me where Monster would be. Was he in jail? Did the police arrest him? Did my mom kill him? As long as mom was alright, I knew I could rest at my friends then meet up with mom the next day. So I thought.

The doorbell rang at my friend’s house…. I started screaming, I knew it was too good to be true. Mom was at the door… “Monster wanted us all together,” she said, “He wants us to drive him to work on the night shift.” What in the world is going on?? I know I was sleeping, I was pretty sure I was awake… yet how can this be? She is here telling me I have to go with them to drop Monster off to work , like nothing happened?? I thought mom had finally lost it. I could not imagine what would posses her to even get into the car with him now. She had done the ultimate betrayal, she had me call the cops. She had told me to leave. Why on earth do you think he would let us live after this?

He was waiting in the car, while she pried me from my friend’s room. I could not fathom what in the world would or could be going on to make her agree to drive him to work. I loved my mom and still do, that’s the only reason I agreed to go with her. She told me to just lie down in the back seat and act like everything was okay. So I did what I was told. Monster was in the front seat acting nice all the sudden. Showed me his hand, it was bleeding. He said he caught his hand on a nail at the trailer tonight. That was a lie! That was the hand that smashed the phone. That was the hand that hit mom, that was the hand that tortured me. I actually wanted me to feel sorry for him. I acted like I was asleep.

We dropped Monster off to work at 11:00 that night. I wasn’t to return until 7 the next morning…. it was going to be a night I could sleep. Praise God. When we dropped Monster off, mom told me to listen carefully because she had a plan. We were leaving Monster. She had the number to the crisis center, when we get home she is going to call them. We were going to leave this time for sure. No turning back, no second guessing. We got home and packed a small amount of things. Toiletries, clothes, things of this nature would be items we could use to just keep us going until we get on our feet. Monster would be gone on  an eight-hour shift, so we had plenty of time to pack what we felt we needed.

The excitement, joy and relief I felt was beyond comprehension. I packed my toothbrush, hairbrush, my red New Testament Bible, a few clothes and I was ready to go. Mom was on the phone with the crisis center, they would have room for us, we had a place to go. We would be safe, Monster couldn’t find us there. Mom had started packing and gathering her things as well. We were leaving first thing in the morning, the shelter for women could take us then. Sleep needed to occur soon for the both of us. We had had a long miserable night. We needed to get up early, call the shelter they would either come get us or we were supposed to drive there. I wasn’t quite clear on those details. We had just gotten to sleep when out of nowhere Monster called. He needed to come home early, he was sick. Mom and I were panic-stricken. She called the shelter, but they couldn’t come get us right then. If we didn’t get Monster soon, or if we didn’t leave soon, our plan to leave would die.

Mom had a back up plan. We unpacked some of our things that Monster would notice. I put back my toothbrush, so he wouldn’t notice and hid my suitcase under my bed. We were going to go get Monster, act as if everything was fine… you know like we always did, come home go back to bed. When we get up in the morning, we would call the shelter to come get us. We would have to wait for Monster to run an errand or go see his parents.  All we had to do was just keep it together for the rest of the night. Mom promised,the next day, the people from the shelter would come help us. I know mom and I didn’t see eye to eye all the time; however, this time really was different, this time she was stronger, this time her eyes were determined. This time she was ready to leave and strong enough to do so. This time really was different. Now we just had to get through til morning, praying all the while monster didn’t notice some of our things were packed away. Praying Monster wouldn’t see the suitcases under my bed. Praying” God please, help me!”

Monster was back in the trailer. Monster wasn’t really sick. Monster had no idea how his world was about to be out of his control… mom was finally the one to have the control. Se wasn’t going to let us live this way anymore. Live I guess is a bad term, it was more like survival

 

 

Getting to know me: Part 3

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Part 3 disclaimer: This may be a little too much for those of you that are close to me. It may be a little graphic for most of you, but this is what my life was.

Monster was back and there was nothing I could do. He promised mom he would leave me alone. He promised he would love her and never hurt her. Monster promised he would change. Monster lied.

Things were not the same between mom and me after she took Monster back. I still wanted to protect her, but hated that she put us back with him. I now was not only mad at Monster, but I stayed mad at mom. God really was the only one I could talk to and I got mad at Him too. I was a child full of rage now. I couldn’t understand why would she go back. I couldn’t understand why Monster wouldn’t just be my friend. I couldn’t understand why God let Monster come back. Did I do something wrong? Was it because I didn’t fight Monster off? So many questions, so much anger, this combination only fueled the raging hormones of becoming a pre-teen.

Monster just found more creative ways to be alone with me or touch me when mom wasn’t looking. Nights were spent listening to the creaks in the flooring to hear if he was coming in my room that night. I would pretend to be in deep sleep so Monster would not be able to wake me… sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Monster would threaten mom, I still wasn’t allowed to  run errands with her. She couldn’t deny what was going on, but she felt she had no where to turn. I think this was the point at which my mom, just stopped living in reality. She read books constantly, they were much easier to bear than her real life. She was trapped. He would kill us if she left, he was killing me with every touch, every rape, every word. Proof of her non reality world… Monster was happy I was getting older, maturing. His words were “Now that you are getting older, it won’t hurt so much.” Usually he didn’t leave any marks or was cautious enough to not go that far.  This time, he had made a mistake.After he was done with me, he made me bleed.  My mom just thought I had started my period. That’s what I mean by her non reality world. How in the world could she think that I started my period and not think it could be ANYTHING else?  Did it cross her mind, at all that he had just raped me again? And of course, I couldn’t tell her, Monster said he would kill her if I told her what really happened. So there we were, back in  my version of Hell.

As I got older and into my pre-teen years, I started to gain weight.I thought since mom was a bigger woman, if I was big, he wouldn’t want me anymore. It didn’t stop him, now it just gave him another weapon to wield and hurt me. My nicknames were “Battleship Bertha” and “BF Goodrich Blimp”. I was now called these wonderful names on a regular basis. But being a pre-teen, my mouth started opening and hate would spew. He would wield the names, I would come right back. It was to the point, what more could he do to me? Mom would tell me not to keep things going, to use my brain and not give him any reasons to hurt us. I would then smart back off at her. I was bursting at the seams. No one could possibly get what I was going through.  I wanted to die. That seemed the only way to get out of this. However, now that my life was God’s, I didn’t want Him to be mad at me if I killed my self. I did start praying to die, someway, some form or fashion. I begged God to just kill me. I realized after a while, God wasn’t going to do that. So then I prayed for courage to run away. God said no to that as well. Anger, hate, frustration, confusion these were the constants of my life now.

I wasn’t sure we would ever leave that trailer house, without him and still be alive. I believed God would save me, but I really didn’t know when. Then one day a movie came on television that would change the course of our lives forever… it was called “The Burning Bed.” It was a story of a battered wife, who was beaten down and left so many times but felt she could never escape. At the bottom of the screen during the entire movie was a crisis hotline number to call if you were in the same situation. Mom wrote down the number and kept it hidden until she thought the time was right. Mom and Monster were having another fight, Monster of course was winning. Mom got away from him, told me to grab my shoes and we were going to walk to his parents house and ask them for help. I guess she figured since it was broad daylight this time, we could get away without Monster making a big scene. She was wrong, we stepped up to Monster’s parents yard, when Monster came stretching around the corner. He was driving fast, reckless and had that look in his eye…this time I knew he would kill us. He slammed on the brakes right in front of us, pulled out his 357 Magnum to the window, then pointed the gun towards our heads. Told us if we took one more step towards the house, we would die right then and there. Mom put me behind her, told him we would go back and we did. Part of me wanted him to just do it, the other part didn’t want my mom to die.  On the way back to our house, mom promised she would leave him for sure this time….she just had to find the right time.

When we got home, Monster acted like nothing had happened at all. He was queerly quiet and cleaning his guns. Mom went in to talk to him. She told him she couldn’t do this anymore, please just let us leave. It was like Monster was in a daze or something, he then wanted to take us to see the movie ” Pinocchio.” While there, I thought my mom was giving in yet again, they were holding hands, something they NEVER did. I just knew she had backed out and was going to stay like always. Hope was starting to dim that night. I didn’t know how I could go on like this.

 

Getting to know me: Part 2

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I know that last blog was pretty heavy…but then again, so am I! Couldn’t help myself there Hehe.  To know me is to love me, I think that’s how the saying goes; that being said, to really know me, you must love me, if you must love me… I hope you continue to read about my life. If you know me at all, you know it has a happy ending 🙂

If, however, you didn’t read the first part of this blog… you know the one that says part 1… the only  things I can share with you are this….

  1. The second man my mother married is referred to as Monster.
  2. You really need to read PART 1..haha

Monster didn’t realize what a mistake he made by letting me go to church. I now had hope in something greater. I knew God would help me.

School for me, was a sort of break from the house of horrors. I couldn’t however, concentrate on work or homework. I decided one day, instead of worrying about something so trivial as homework, and getting in trouble all the time for not doing it,I just took other people’s papers. I was such a clever child, yet it would have been a little more clever to just have rewritten or copied the papers. Instead, in my great wisdom, I just replaced my name with the smartest kid in the class (sorry Jamie Painter)… my teacher would never figure that out, right?? WRONG!! Needless to say, I received quite a few paddlings in my elementary years. (Yes, back then it was just fine to actually paddle children at school). I know it was wrong to steal, I know I shouldn’t have, but give me a break… I was just a kid.

I received my first bible at school. Back then it, wasn’t a crime for The Gideon’s to leave New Testament bibles for all the kids to take home. I took mine home that night and from then on, I slept with it! I prayed each night for God to make Monster more like a real dad or if that couldn’t happen; I prayed for my real dad to find me and take me away. I didn’t know where my real dad was, but I just knew if he could he would take me away. Neither of those two things happened. Yet, God continued to give me hope and that was all I needed.

Monster’s explosive behavior started happening, more and more. Not only more frequently, but also got to be more violent for my mother. Monster never let up on her. Mom didn’t want to get another divorce, she already felt like a failure with my dad. To divorce Monster would be just one more black mark on her record. I sometimes think deep down, mom thought she deserved to be hit. At one point, mom did find out Monster had cheated on her. She was gone ironically enough, to a church retreat for the weekend. It was the longest weekend of my life. Monster had me to himself the whole weekend and still had time to cheat on her with another woman. Mom found out and made Monster leave. Finally, it was over. Monster was gone, it was just me and mom. I told her what Monster had done to me. We cried together.

What happened next, to this day is still unclear. Monster had been gone a few weeks, mom was doing… okay. There was a death on her side of the family, I believe my great-grandmother in California passed away. Mom and I went to my grandma’s house to stay with her and comfort her. I slept on the couch while mom was with grandma. I awoke to my mother sitting beside me with Monster standing beside her. I thought it was a nightmare. I sat straight up with sweat beads on my nose and forehead. Frantically, I tried to get off the couch, but mom grabbed me and settled me down. Monster was still beside her, I was awake…I was still in the nightmare. Mom said she needed him, she couldn’t do “this” alone. I wasn’t sure what “this” meant. I couldn’t understand what she was really saying to me… Monster was coming home? What about everything I told her? What about everything I still hadn’t told her? Mom assured me she had talked with Monster and he said he would NEVER hurt us ever again. That was the night I told my mom, I would hate her forever if she let Monster come home. The next day, Monster was back.

Getting to know me: Part 1

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Hello, My name is Michelle… I’m crazy. Hello, Michelle! My last spout of craziness was, hmm, about 20 seconds ago when I decided to tell you about me. Some may think this is narcissistic, I choose to think of it as therapy. I do have a disclaimer or 3 or 4… Parts of my life are funny, parts are sad, and some parts are not for children to read. If you don’t want to read something real, raw, uplifting, scary, and sometimes horrific, then don’t read this blog. Also, if you choose to read this blog, don’t blame me if you pee in your pants from laughter…(no dry-cleaning bills will be accepted here!) Okay I think that’s enough for now….so here we go!

I am an only child (explains the narcissism…LOL). I do have a half-brother and two half-sisters, we just didn’t grow up together. My parents got a divorce when I was four years old. I remember bits and pieces of that part of my life. I remember I loved my dad, but don’t remember him being around much. I remember being shoved into a dark closet, having bugs thrown on me telling me they (the bugs) were going to get me. To this day, if you see me running (trust me I NEVER RUN) start running too, cause some sorta stinging bug is chasing me…. and I will put you in harm’s way to save my sorry self!! Just being real here!

When mom left my dad, it was a traumatic night for us both… I had just been led around an old rusty trash barrel by one of my aunts. There was broken glass there, she was young, I was young, she didn’t like me at that time, so I ended up with stitches and my foot all gauzed up. We were at my grandparents house on dad’s side when dad called to tell mom he didn’t want to be married anymore. Mom was crying, I didn’t know why at the time. She picked me up with my bum foot and started out the door to go to her parents house. I remember the screen door hitting the house as if it were yesterday and right behind her was some of my aunts and uncles. One tried to take me out of mama’s arms. My grandmother was yelling at mom, I had never heard her ever yell at mom. Mom was wearing a halter top, one of the uncles came up and slapped her back so hard it left a hand print for several hours. I held tightly to mom, I was so afraid they would take me and I would never see her again. I couldn’t understand everything at the time. I wanted my mom and I wanted my dad. Mom walked what seemed like forever with me on her hip. She finally made it to some relatives house. They were nice, the man took me from mom, put me on the couch, propped up my foot and gave me chips and soda, put the t.v. on, then went to check on Momma. Momma called her parents and the nice people took us to Nanny and Papa’s  house. This is all I can remember of my parents together.

My mother grew up afraid of her father and doted on by her grandmother. She married young, divorced young, then remarried young. I was 4.  She didn’t have a chance to grow up to be what she wanted or even figure that out, whatever it may be. Her second marriage was to a man with a good job, ex-navy, part-time police officer, full-time abuser.  For the rest of this blog he will be called Monster.

Mom tried to do her best to be a good wife, good mother, but it was never good enough for Monster. He was good though, he never left a visible scar. Since he was a police officer, he had every tool available for torture….guns, knives, night sticks etc… He used each one to keep us in our place; which was 2 steps behind him and to be silent, never to be heard. Life with Monster was like walking around a volcano, you never knew when it was going to blow up. When he did blow up, I never knew if this was the day he would kill my mom. Then I would be left all alone with Monster, I would be his next wife. Monster didn’t hit me much, he threatened me with all his tools. My abuse was much more personal. From the age of 4, I was his personal sexual slave. In every way you can imagine and some you can’t, I was his play thing, his fantasy girl. If it was possible, if it was not, monster tried it with me. Every chance he got to keep me with him, I was his. Monster promised as I got older it wouldn’t hurt as much. Monster said he loved me. Monster said he would give me whatever I wanted, but I had to keep this a secret or mom would be mad. Mom could never know or Monster would hurt her.

Monster always got whatever he wanted. For 9 years, Monster tried to destroy mom and me. We had guns pulled on us, not knowing if we would die that day or not. Somedays I don’t think either one of us cared, just get us out of there. Monster took a lot of medicine, I thought that could be a way out…If I took all his medicine, I could die. If I took all his medicine, I would leave my mom alone. I couldn’t do that. Monster let us go to church sometimes, that’s where my story changes.

Church was full of people who didn’t hurt you, but still said they loved you. They talked about everlasting love, hope and joy. These things were foreign to me. The preacher talked about Jesus and how much he loved us, he died on the cross for our sins. What is sin?? Was I sinning with Monster? Was I committing adultery with Monster? Was I betraying my mother? I was trying to help her not be beaten, I don’t want to hurt her. Was I going to Hell for all of this? Hell sounds like a horrible place, but how could it be worse than my daily life? Heaven, heaven sounds wonderful, I want to be in heaven… so how do I get there? I said the sinners prayer, I asked God to forgive me of my sins, thanked him for Jesus, his Son, dying on the cross for me and rising again on the third day. I was around 11 or 12.

I now had hope. My life was worth something now. I knew now when I did die, it was only a matter of time…. I would go to heaven and be free from pain, suffering and most of all, Monster.

Can we talk??

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Why yes, yes we can talk; however, some days I can barely think, let alone talk. Having these minor little things like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fybromyalgia, sometimes make it hard to get the right words to come out of my mouth. Let me tell you its more than a little frustrating to try to speak when the words just don’t want to come. On those kind of days, I just think it’s God’s polite way of saying… “Shut up Michelle!!” Now that’s some divine intervention right there!

It’s funny how life seems so random, yet as a follower of Jesus Christ, I know it’s far from random. God has a plan, He has a road map for me… now if I could only follow directions better, I’d have it made in the shade! How about you?  I find it funny also, that when something does happen, my mood at the time determines whether or not its a good thing or a bad thing. I am one of those people who if I am in a great mood, I can be so positive and find that silver lining every single time. Now if I’m in a bad mood, forget about it! There is no such thing as a silver lining! It’s all… “What did I do to deserve this?” “Why me?” “Why can’t I have a cookie and NOT gain 50lbs?”…Sound familiar? (well maybe not 50lbs, but might as well be, right?) Anyone else relate to this or is it just me?

So what “things” am I talking about? For me, these diseases could always be a bad thing. I mean really who wants to deal with a disease that has the potential to cripple, as well as a disease that no one can physically see that you are sick. Most people just think I’m some white chick trying to walk like Jimmy Walker off “Good Times”.  Just in case you’re wondering, it ain’t  pretty, and definitely not “DYN-O-MITE!” What’s the silver lining here you ask? I have been given the opportunity to look at things and people through a whole new perspective. I can identify with people who can’t do physically what they used to do. I can have empathy. I can connect with them, which in turn means I can relate to and share the gospel in a way I never could before.

Choice. There’s a word for you to ponder. I can choose to be … “oh poor pitiful me” (which I do occasionally… what?? I am human you know!) or I can choose to pray for guidance, not wallow in pity (all the time), and find that silver lining. We always have choices to make. I can choose to be positive and uplifting, which my family would very much appreciate, Or I can choose to be some grumpy, life sucks, the world owes me…NO ONE I know would put up with me that way!! And well they shouldn’t have to! Society today seems to be the latter. We live in a world of so much opportunity, yet we choose to whine and complain about everything! Life’s not fair, so what… suck it up and be thankful for what you do have.

I am thankful each and everyday for God, my husband, children, family, my church family. Thankful I have a job, a roof over my head, transportation to get me where I need to be. Thankful for the food on my table, that I live in the United States of America. I’m thankful that my conditions aren’t worse, that I can walk on my own (even if I do look like Jimmy Walker!). I can’t do it all on my own. I have a wonderful family and friends that are a great source of support. The one and only true support system is my relationship with God. If I don’t work on that relationship, if I don’t read my bible, pray and meditate on His word, that’s when I start to falter in my positivity.

I work with people everyday, bless my little heart(I know you were thinking it). I see how people treat others and how we respond, it’s all a choice. You can choose to smile, you can choose to grimace… think about how it makes you feel when someone returns your smile. Think about how it feels when you return their ugliness… my whole day is shot. I am ugly with everyone after that usually. I get my cranky pants on and can’t believe that person put me in a bad mood. Hmmm, they didn’t put me in a bad mood, I just choose to let them. We all are going to have good days, we are all gonna have bad days, what we do with what we have, is up to us. Do we choose to let God lead us and help us through or do we choose to muddle our way through and be miserable.My life is my life, it’s not always fun, or fair, or fantastic, but I try to make the best of it day by day.

Side Effects

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Warning: reading the following blog could result in several side effects; such as, spontaneous laughter,  you just might pee a little in your pants… so bladder control  or rather the lack of,  is a given. Loss of appetite (definitely not me), diarrhea of the mouth (wait THAT just might be me), total disregard of political correctness, dry humor, and maybe a thought or two about who you really are or who you are striving to be?

I know it’s been just a little bit since I last posted. I would give you excuses, but really I have none that are worthy to share. Since my last post( in JUNE??? wow), a few things have changed. I have had some “side effects.”  These side effects range from” AWESOME”  to “umm, okay now what?” and sometimes” ok What NOW?”  By the way, I’m not just talking medicine side effects, I’m talking how I live my life side effects.

The last blog of mine in JUNE (ack!), I was at a pretty desperate time and wrote some pretty raw, honest and seemingly hopelessness feelings. I want to share with you that so much in my life has changed in 6 months!! I saw another/different specialist (you know I loved that! NOT). I was thinking here we go again, no answers to my medical problems, just more money out of my pocket!! This doctor did all kinds of tests on me, I felt like a pin cushion and personal urine bank. But, the side effect of all those tests , was that we found some supplements that helped me feel better!! YAY!!*happy dance* (and yes I still do one)! Side effect of supplements… more pills to take..eh it’s worth it!!

Another side effect was, that since I am feeling better, I can do more things with my children. Even when they don’t want me to… for instance spontaneously dance the happy dance…. in public….where ever. What? I only have a short time to warp their sweet minds before they leave my nest! Seriously, we’ve been able to cook together, ride the 4 wheeler they got for Christmas, just go a little more than I had been.

I have been able to clean my house and not just keep up with the necessities. I never ,EVER, LIKE NEVER EVER, thought I would be happy to be able to clean my house! Actually, now that I think about it, I might need a psychological evaluation! I will never be cured, unless God decides that, but I have more good days, and use them to our advantage when I can.  Do I still get discouraged by this body of mine? Sure I do, but oh how God has been working on me!!

Which, of course, leads to my next side effect. This whole year, looking back, God has allowed me to be in  some pretty tough and ugly places. When I’ve been in those places, I’ve prayed more…..Side effect to praying more,  I’ve grown closer to my God. I’ve learned to pray better and deeper. To realize, God  answers my prayers, but He answers in His way. He answers them for my good,  for my best interest, for the plan HE has for ME! He has shown me to be thankful during long suffering, to be thankful in trials, to be thankful for those times I just want to give up! HE is always right there with me!

The side effect of being closer to God, has humbled me. Reminded me that I HAVE TO SURRENDER my WHOLE self to Him. No matter how many times it takes to get there, I have to keep pursuing God!! During this pursuit, He continues to bless me. Just this week, He blessed me by giving me precious time with my mom. Moms have a special kind of love with their children. I’ve missed that so very much. We don’t get to be together as often as I would like, or talk as much as I would like. .. … but this week for a brief moment in time, I had my mom. The mom I remember as a child, the mom that always dried my tears, that listened and heard me. The mom that I will love no matter what. He blessed me so much that day! He always knows what’s best for me. Thank you Lord for that.He has brought me through so much. He has grown me to be just a little more like Him. I’ve still got a LONG way to go, but He will continue to carve and shape me into what he wants me to be… day by day.

P.S. A wonderful friend prompted me to get back to my blogging…. Thank you sister, this helped me more than I’m sure it will others.

P.P.S. My daughter, my editor, is in San Diego and well, sorry for all the grammatical errors!