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Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a Beautiful Mess my life is



What is it about spring that make people want to be in love? My best friend and I were chatting it up recently about thinking we were on the verge of something then watching it crumble right in front of us. Thankfully we can laugh about it at this point. Its such a beautiful mess. The hope and excitement of something new is always refreshing and I like to think I learn something from everyone I meet and in turn I like to think I'm sowing little seeds of myself in everyone's lives that I encounter.

It's so nice to have that deep rooted joy within myself that I don't just feel like my world is shattered when a relationship fails or circumstances such as getting laid off from my job. I still roll the windows down in my car, crank the radio up and sing my heart out as the sun warms my face. I still sit on my steps with a glass of sweet tea and wiggle my pink toe nails to the beat of red dirt music on a random evening. I still lie back in a tub full of overindulgent bubbles and glass of cheap wine and take in the aroma of jasmine and aloe as it softens my skin. I still turn on my best playlist, raise the windows, light my candles, and dance as I clean this little home that I share with the 2 greatest little blessings of my life. I still sit on my back deck by the fire pit and try to mimic the acoustic guitar instruction videos on YouTube until I get so frustrated I scream and throw my pick into the blueberry bushes. I still enjoy late night phone calls with my best friend as we sarcastically recap our most recent dating disasters and claim for the umpteenth time that we are done with men and vow to swear them off for a while. I still put on the long vintage silk gowns that once belonged to my great grandmother as I curl up in my bed with a good book wearing my hair piled on top of my head and reading glasses. I still twirl every time I put on a dress and pearls as I smile remembering the little ballerina in my jewelry box as a little girl.

You see joy is something you can never really lose. It's all in your perception. There will always be bad things going on and I say redundantly. This world will swallow you whole if you allow it. The thing to remember is there are just as many reasons to smile as there are to cry and its up to you what you focus on. I choose happiness. I choose to keep positive people in my life for this reason. I'm not saying I wont have bad days and random pity parties for myself. I'm simply saying that my joy outweighs those moments of weakness.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Don't give up on me


So after more than a few sleepless nights I, along with a glass of Rose' have decided to write. Well it's no surprise that I wear my heart on my sleeve. We all know that I fall easily once I meet someone possessing the qualities I seek in a partner. I give it all I am. It's who I am. I am the love I want to be in. I only want to feel the same things I extend. You see I've come to realize that we expect the same things from another that we ourselves are willing to offer so if expectations are our disappointments then I'm in a storm of endless pain. I say this because I would willingly give anything for someone I care about but I have yet to meet anyone as selfless as I am on an emotional level. 

This post is the aftermath of my blog post on March 8, 2014 "NEW FLAME". I really thought that this time would be different. After all there was the foundation of friendship established first. There was just a feeling of safety this time. I'm no stranger to long distance relationships. I don't mind them. I believe in quality over convenience. Apparently though he is not a fan of long distance relationships. He decided to opt out because I'm a little over 2 hours away. So there I was picking up pieces of my heart off the floor once again. I have nothing negative to say about this man. He was honest with me and I have to respect that.

I think what honestly hurts the most is that I was so willing to work at it. I was willing to put forth the effort and even let him know that if things progress that I was willing to move. So I naturally lie awake over analyzing the situation thinking to myself maybe he just wasn't feeling it and that was his out. I could come up with many reasons but the fact of the matter is I wasn't enough. I wasn't worth the effort. He didn't care enough to give this a chance. No matter what the reason is that made me inadequate of his affection the simple truth is he didn't feel the same way I did. He gave up on me. He walked away from me. I did everything I could do and it wasn't enough. I cant fault myself for anything in this situation other than not seeing the warning signs ahead of time. All I could see were the qualities he possessed and how they exceeded my standards.

I was so busy wanting him to want me that I didn't take a step back and really look at who he was. He claimed to be closed off from emotion and feeling but I remember him showing me the words he had written for the girl he was in love with. They were very heartfelt and emotional. Still I overlooked that excusing it with the fact that we were just now trying to see where we want this thing to go. On this same issue I know that I like to be adored and told sweet things but he never did this. I was so smothered by all the fake cliche lines and posed affection by creeps in the dating scene that I actually enjoyed the normality of my relationship with him. I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who is indifferent about me. So had I opened my eyes and accepted these signs that clearly break my #2 dating rule (I will not maintain an unequal relationship) then I would've kept this in the friend zone where it should clearly have remained. I care for him. I enjoy the conversations I share with him. Do I regret any of this? NO. I always say that I jump because I never want to grow old looking back on anything and wondering "What if?". I can easily revert back to a friendship with this man because I am emotionally mature. I have come so far from even last year when I would've cried for weeks and tossed my dignity to the curb and showed a roller coaster of emotion.

Well before I actually drove down to meet him I was getting messages on this social media site from men that I was clearly ignoring because my heart was set. There was one who had a pic with his little boy playing t-ball. As a mother I thought it was cute so I told him it was an adorable pic. He asked what I was doing. I didn't check my messages often so I replied after I was home from my trip. I told him what I had just done and he too is from the coast. He oddly asked me who the guy's name was. Sure enough they were friends. We laughed it off and I told him I would play matchmaker and introduce him to my best friend. Well they didn't quite hit it off but no biggie. He seemed like a good quality guy as well so that only ensured me that the man I was into was accompanied by great people as well. After things went south his friend and I discussed the situation and he lended an ear as a friend. I really appreciated that.

Clearly there was an initial attraction between the 2 of us and the only reason we didn't chat further was because I was seeing where things went between my fireman and I. His friend had integrity and didn't pursue me at all while we were talking. Now however the circumstances have changed and we are left with the question of whether its OK or not. Its an odd situation. Fireman made the decision to walk away. We weren't dating. He decided to let me go. However I understand "Bro Code" so I said just make sure there wont be any issues there and I'm willing to get to know you and see where this goes. We are just chatting and getting to know one another at the moment and he seems nice. HE doesn't mind the distance. HE knows what he's looking for and he has no reservations about complimenting me and trying to relate to me and determine compatibility.

You know its funny how timing works and how everything happens for a reason. This may not turn out to be anything but a dead end but there's a reason we met. I can't lie when I say that my heart still stings a little bit wishing things could have worked out between my fireman and I. I prayed and asked God to show me who he was and what this was and that is when he let me down. I pray for God's will to be done in my life no matter the pain I have to go through to get there. Lessons are learned through struggles and strength is achieved through endurance. Who knows what's ahead for me in my love life? All I know is that I will continue to dust myself off and get right back on the saddle because I will never get to my destination if I stop moving.

Stay tuned...






Monday, March 17, 2014

10 years of Misery


I was told at some point I need to face the things in my life that have caused me pain. I don't want to face them alone so I will take you with me as I recap. Instead of starting with the beginning I will just pick at random. I'm going to talk about my marriage to my ex husband Marc.

We met Thanksgiving night 2003 at a bar. My best friend Morgan had come into town to take me out after I had been sitting at home with my 11mos old son. We went to the bar to watch the egg bowl and have some drinks. I looked up and there was this intoxicated man who grabbed Morgan to dance and she quickly spun him around to me. We ended up chatting at the bar the rest of the night about likes/dislikes. We gave him a ride home and shared a kiss. Well to me he was the most handsome thing ever and I had never been with a man who treated me well so I didn't know what I should accept or not all I knew was I would stop at nothing to win him over. I pursued him and he wasn't very attentive. To be honest he seemed to use me more as an option.

Over the course of 6 months we became exclusive. It was a toxic relationship from the beginning. I had to pretty much babysit him because he was an alcoholic. He would talk so ugly to me but I made excuses for him. He adored Trent. He was really good to him and his family just took up with him as well. He would never show me affection and looking back I don't understand why I accepted it. He would even deny me to his friends and say ugly things behind my back.  I accepted it all until one night he was being ugly and broke up with me just so he could go out and do what he wanted to do. His father pulled me aside and said show him tough love. Let him go and he will come back. I did. This was about 3 years into the relationship. That night he was arrested on DUI charges and sent to prison for 3rd offense DUI. I had been praying and asking God to please help me. I asked that things get better or for him to give me a sign and the strength to walk away. I saw this as my sign.

 I moved on and tried to date a little and enjoyed being single for a while. After a year he was released from prison and he reached out to me and told me that he has decided to remain sober and he strengthened his walk with the Lord while incarcerated. I had lost my obsession with him but I was single and he loved Trent and so did his family. I started thinking maybe this was Gods plan all along to "make things better".  I took it as a sign. Well we discussed getting married shortly after this and we knew that if we wanted children I would need to give my body a break from the birth control I had been on. It takes women a while after long term use of depo to get pregnant. NOT ME! I got pregnant the next month.  Well his father hated me for "abandoning" his son when he needed me the most ...even though he was the one who told me to do so. So we decided to elope in Gulfshores because he was afraid to tell his father. We took Trent and we tied the knot September 5, 2007. Marcus Allen Helms II was born December 27, 2007.

Once our son was born it was like a light switch went off and Marc became the most negative and bitter person I had ever met. He seems to be angry all of the time and I didn't know why. He still never showed affection. He never told me he loved me. He never kissed me. He was very abusive verbally and emotionally to me. He knew he could hurt me further by taking things out on Trenton. Most of our arguments stemmed from this. He spanked him with a belt so hard once he left bruises and I was livid. We lived in the same neighborhood as his father so he would call him over to participate in arguments. They would team up and say hateful things and henpeck me until I would break. It was like entertainment for them. I kept praying and studying the word and going to church. I thought that divorce was saying I didn't have the faith that God could heal my marriage and my husband. I tried to find ways where I could improve and try to make things better.

We would separate and get back together and things may seem ok for about a week but eventually we were both so miserable it was showing physically. Trenton felt like he was walking on eggshells and so did I. I knew that as a mother is was my responsibility to protect my child. My parents began to loathe Marc because he was selfish with his finances and I would have to pay the majority of the bills so he could entertain his bass fishing hobby. The things Marc would say to me to hurt me was beyond comprehension. He would tell me that no one would love me and that not even my parents wanted me. He told me my father had a drug addiction because he had such a POS for a daughter. As I would cry he would get in my face and mock me and push his finger into my head. I would sometimes hide in my closet and cry there so he didn't know. I didn't want to go home everyday. I would find reasons to be away from home as much as possible.

Depression began to form but at the time I didn't realize it was depression. I only wanted to sleep when I was home. I thought it was my body's way of avoiding the abuse. If he wasn't abusing me it was silence and tension. Marc fell off the wagon and started drinking again and that is when started toying with physical abuse mainly shoving or not letting me walk away. There are more details and stories than I can possibly share on here. It could be a blog of its own to be honest. Eventually I realized that I had to make a decision and just face the wrath of God if it was the wrong decision. I hated giving up and walking away from my marriage. I felt like I was telling God he wasn't capable of healing it. I knew as a parent my children deserve a happy home and it was my responsibility to provide that. When Marc was arrested for drinking and driving with the boys and went to jail I knew then that I had to leave. So once he was back home I told him to move out. He begged and told me that it was probably just a phase I was going through and I would be back in a few weeks but I knew it was over for real.

 He left and I honestly feel like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders that day. It took me a while to really heal my self esteem from his abuse but I did. I had a friend assure me that divorce wasn't my original sin it was simply a consequence of marrying the wrong man. I may have gone through 10 years of emotional abuse at the hands of this man but he taught me something. He taught me how to reach inside of myself and muster up strength I didn't know I had to shield myself from such pain. He also showed me that I settled. I stayed because I wasn't aware of my worth. He showed me how I never want to be treated again. He didn't win. He will live with his misery and regret. He will know that his bitterness and negativity was passed down by his father and it cost him his family. I broke the cycle and I will raise his son in a happy home. My conquest is to marry a wonderful spiritual leader of our home who will be a positive example to these 2 boys. They will see what a marriage and family should really be. It is better that that come from a broken home than live in one. It is better for all of us.

I found a song that really describes who I am

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

INDIFFERENCE



“Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death.” -Kahlil Gibran



I was watching Hunger Games:Catching Fire yesterday and there was a scene where INDIFFERENCE was mentioned. The word sort of reached out and grabbed my shoulders. It stared into my eyes beckoning me to ironically acknowledge its true definition. I really pondered on it. Actually I lost sleep pondering the depth of its meaning. INDIFFERENCE. When you read the word what do you think of? Apathy? Impassivity? Dispassion?

When I think of indifference I think of torment. I've blogged about discovering my deep rooted desire to feel as if I am "ENOUGH". We all desire to be recognized, heard, even understood at least. Indifference doesn't allow this. Indifference knows our every secret. Indifference knows the deep desires of our hearts and mocks us. Indifference will torment the strongest of men. We have all met someone at some point in our lives that somehow touch us in a way that we are rendered helpless. Reciprocation of these feelings is ideal. We can stretch out our arms and free fall into the empty space we call infatuation. Its euphoric. Sometimes feelings are not reciprocated and we feel the sting of rejection. We tuck our tails and we walk away wondering why they couldn't see the perfection you foresee together. If we are lucky they will shed light on a reason whether it be the truth or a white lie to save our feelings we somehow have an understanding. It makes the rejection pill easier to swallow. Some say this rejection is the most painful of all. Sometimes the feelings are reciprocated and you both fall in love and one or the other changes their mind. Rejection is always an option at any given time. Some people claim this fear and risk is the most painful of all. I disagree. I find that indifference is the most painful feeling of all.

You see indifference takes on the form of "mixed signals", "leading someone on", "someone just settling for you", and "making you an option rather than a priority".  We feel like feelings have been reciprocated and we give it everything we've got. We are letting our guards down and opening up. We give our heart away to this person. When the dust settles in the euphoric paradise of our minds we start to notice that the other person doesn't quite look at us the same. We start to notice that they don't text or call unless we reach out first. We start to wonder if we are "bothering" this person. We start to over analyze and over think situations trying to figure out what we are doing wrong if anything. We ache to know what's going on in their head. We lie awake wondering if they are lying there thinking of us. We play out the scenarios and come up with answers "maybe they are just busy" or  "maybe they are just introverted and don't share their feelings openly". We begin to wonder if we possibly like this person more than they like us. We begin to wonder if we misread the entire situation to begin with.

When we begin to feel this way its possible that we read into situations completely wrong. We begin to create problems in our minds that may not even exist. This can cause us to respond to the other person in a negative way or we can simply push them away with our insecurities. Yes. I said INSECURITIES. Now let me clarify I didn't say we are INSECURE. The situation alone has left us insecure. We are insecure because the other person has not given us the security of knowing where we stand. They have not shared with us what they think about us and the situation as a whole and where or if they see it progressing. This is why communication is essential. When we ride the fence and refuse to acknowledge another person we are being INDIFFERENT. We are tormenting their mind. There is a battlefield of endless emotions going on in their head and we stand on the sidelines instead of clearing the minefield.

INDIFFERENCE is probably most often not on purpose. If someone shares feelings with you whether you are shy, introverted, scared, feeling the same or not feeling the same way it is imperative that you express how you feel. You can write it in a letter, send a text, call, speak to them, or whatever means necessary but INDIFFERENCE is cruelty. Indifference is saying its not that I don't love you or hate you ....YOU SIMPLY HAVE NO MEANING TO ME WHATSOEVER. YOU BASICALLY ONLY EXIST BECAUSE YOU'RE MAKING YOURSELF PRESENT IN MY LIFE IN SOME FORM. We all know if there are people in our lives who genuinely care for us in some way. We assume that being friendly is enough because nothing has ever been discussed. It would be kind to clarify those situations. If you think you only want to be a friend to someone then make it tactfully clear. They may be lying awake night after night hoping you will turn your head and see them waiting patiently for you to simply acknowledge them. This will allow them the opportunity to deal with that rejection and move on. Sometimes people wait because they place you above all others. I vow to never purposely be INDIFFERENT. I will tell people how I feel about them. I will take chances. I will risk my heart fearlessly. I will love with all of my being. I will learn. I will grow. I will live life with no regrets. I will not grow old knowing there were chances I never took. I will grow old knowing that I held no one's heart captive due to INDIFFERENCE.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Flame


So I took a little a trip a couple of days ago to visit a friend that I met online a year ago. We have chatted about our lives for quite some time. We have both given and taken advice from one another when it came to other conquests. We read each other's blogs. We bond over our need to inflict witty sarcasm upon the world. Naturally I care for this man. Well during my visit we enjoyed hours of conversation face to face rather than screen to screen. It was very natural and I enjoyed the laughter and learning about who he really was. He showed me around his hometown and we went to a quaint little sushi restaurant for dinner. He is a fireman and he mentioned how he hadn't been on a fire call in a while and he was eager for the action of it all. Not even an hour later a call came over for just that. He asked if I wanted to go...UM LEMME THINK...HECK YES!!!

The house wasn't far from my hotel and he was the first person on the scene. I was awestruck by the flames and the heat on my face just from sitting in the truck with the window down. I watch him put on his gear and go into firefighter mode. He was so calm and strategic. As the other firemen arrived on the scene they just maneuvered in such a swift and professional manner. I just stared on in awe. I said a prayer for them and I watched them fearlessly contain this raging fire. It was consuming the home there was no doubt about that from the beginning but to watch how they contain everything and tactfully restore safety was so eye opening. It wasn't until I watched him enter the house that I felt my heart sink. It wasn't until that moment when the thought crossed my mind that this man I have chatted with for a year and gotten to know could possibly not walk out of that house. I quickly dismissed that thought and replaced it with the faith that God is protecting them to do what they were designed to do. The respect in my heart for this man grew to unmeasurable levels. He selflessly puts himself in danger to do his job. When I saw him walking back to the truck almost 3 hours later, all covered in soot and water all I wanted to do was pull him close but we had never crossed that line so I dismissed the notion. As we rode back to the station I watched them recap everything that had just happened and prepare the trucks for the next call. I studied their body language and facial expressions. You could tell this was their passion. This is what they know and love. I was so proud of him.

As a child have you ever or have you ever watched someone kick an anthill of carpenter ants? We cant know what they are thinking but what we can guarantee is that they immediately go into rebuild mode. They diligently carry grains of sand one by one and work as a team to restore order once again. We can learn so much from nature. If we stop and really think about how things work then we can discover life lessons within them. Every time I see an anthill I will think of this night where I watched the man I'm seemingly falling for and the firemen he works with restore order to what seemed like an overwhelming inferno.

 Every time I pray this man and his department will forever be included because just like the ants restore order within their little compound and firefighters/police officers restore order within their jurisdictions, God restores safety and order in our lives if we just call on him. We don't have to dial 911. God knows when someone has kicked our anthill or natural disasters have destroyed it. He is simply waiting for us to reach out and accept his mercy and restoration. He is just waiting to bless us. This blessing may very well be sending a hero into our lives to make us realize why it never worked out with anyone else. We just have to be willing to allow him to guide us and not let fear hold us back.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Daddy



The 6 anniversary of my father's death is in a couple of months. I don't talk about it much but not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I will tell anyone who says time heals grief that its a lie. You learn to cope but time is only a reminder of everything they're missing. I remember my daddy loved music as much as I did. I remember riding in his car as a child and him playing "Love Hurts" by Nazareth. He said "I think of your momma when I hear this song". I grew up feeling like I was a reminder of something he lost. I felt responsible for his addiction. I've never uttered those words before in my life. I remember him calling me from offshore telling me he had been reading his bible and he's ready to do right and when he got home he would prove it. Those demons were waiting on him when he hit the shore. People made him feel like they were his friends. They used him. The crazy thing is I can remember as far back as being 11 and picturing my father's funeral. I always knew I would speak at it. I never said anything about that because I thought it was just a natural fear due to his lifestyle.

When Trent was 3 Mom and Dad tried to rekindle that old flame but they realized it just wouldnt work. I felt relief that they were able to close that chapter instead of always wondering "what if".  It was during that time I really saw what the high did to my father and it gave me anxiety. Daddy and I got into an argument when I came to visit. He said I was a snob and thought I was better than everyone. I told him I was better than drug addicts and trash and if thats who he wanted to be around that Trenton and I would just stay in the hotel.  We pretended the fight never happened and moved on. A couple of years later he came to visit me and see Marcus who was only a couple of months old. He had this woman and her mother with him. They were all on methadone or Xanax and I was disgusted. I was rude to him. I felt uncomfortable. My uncle called me and I told him how I was feeling. He said "Baby its ok to tell him he is a burden right now." I didnt tell him but I felt it. I felt like my father was a burden. This haunts me to this day. It torments me. He had a disease called addiction. I was just another person who looked down on him instead of telling him that I loved him in spite of it all. I was just another reason for him to use. Sometimes I think he was tired. I think he knew there was a possibility that the next time would be his last time.

 Here I was angry that I didnt have what I thought was my father's love. I felt like I wasnt enough to make him quit. I remembered being really little and asking my grandparents to quit smoking and they quit cold turkey that day. I used to hear them tell the story saying "When Ashley asked us to quite we laid them down that day for her".  You never know what will stick out to a child. Well I associated the 2. I felt like I wasnt enough for my mother and I wasnt enough for my father. I didn't feel like I had the relationship with my grandparents that my friends had with their parents. I sought acceptance in everyone. I wanted to feel like I was enough. I wanted to feel like I wasnt so easy to walk away from. This played out in my relationships as an adult and still sometimes creeps up on me.

I remember pulling up to my father in law's and seeing my grandmother, my husband and the boys standing there and mamaw told me that daddy had died of a methadone overdose. I didnt cry right away. I knew that I had to make arrangements to get to Picayune/Slidell to be with my family. That night I wrote my fathers eulogy. It was the chance I had to tell him and others everything I felt. I have lost my copy of it but I really want to find it. People made copies so Im hoping one is out there. Because I dont remember exactly what I wrote but I remember the thoughts I have re-written my thoughts about his passing.

I knew this day would come at some point in my life
Maybe it was a premonition or maybe it was my way to mentally prepare
My father didn't see me often but I knew he loved me
My fear is that I don't know if he knew I loved him
The last time I saw him instead of wrapping my arms around him and telling him I cared
I treated him as if he were a burden
I judged him and made him feel unwelcome in my home
The thing is my father had a disease called addiction
He woke up daily battling this disease like anyone else
He felt shame, guilt, pain, stress, anxiety, and hopeless that he would ever be free from this demon
My father had a faith in God and I know this without any doubt
because of this I rest easy knowing Daddy is in heaven
He woke up that morning in the arms of his Lord and Savior
I like to think that Jesus welcomed him and wiped the tears from his eyes telling him there are no more tears
There is no more shame or guilt or pain or anxiety
You dont have to wake up and swallow a pill or fight for another breath
You don't have to fear anymore because you are home
Just like any disease Addiction claimed the life of my daddy 
I don't blame him anymore and Ive forgiven myself for the guilt Ive felt
I set our bridge on fire but I could not burn it down 
Until we meet again Daddy I love you to the moon and back