What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

Therapy has opened up the door for healing. For that I am grateful however it also opens up triggers to all I had buried deep. I find myself getting lost in those triggers. In the midst of my everyday life I will all of a sudden be somewhere else. Back into the dark moment that I worked so hard to forget. It’s been incredibly difficult to work on my mental health. Frankly I haven’t ever felt as alone as I do on this journey.

A meltdown of emotions lead to my glitter cart being over turned. As soon as it happened I was no longer in the moment. I had gone back to being 20 years old. In the Rynearson apartments with the 50 something year old man I barely knew. I had just lost the kids to keith in the horrible custody battle. That 50 something year old snapped. Me being the target of his deranged state. A gun was to my head loaded. Pregnant me pleading for my life and pissing myself. Honestly I can’t remember what even created that snapped version of that man that day. I’ve always held onto a hobby. During those times I was making jewelry. Having more beads and jewelry making supplies than you can even imagine. Taking such pride in my stuff it was organized well and my heart attached to each bead I swear.

That day that 50 something man destroyed all of my belongings. He threw them out the door busting up everything with a bat. Neighbors saw. I cried. Him wailing about a gun me pissing myself in a corner it is all in my head. No help there was literally no one who cared what was happening to me. I remember calling and pleading with chuck and his family to save me that day. No one did. The next morning I gathered what I could and I walked away. The glitter cart turned over brought all this back to me as if it was happening in the moment.

So desperately I want to let go of all that weighs me. To be free from the sorrow of my past. Its binding me in sadness I can’t seem to escape.

Christmas Day my iPhone takes a turn and crashes. Unable to access my apple id I am forced with a blank slate phone for just a few days. Normally my entire family is blocked and can’t contact me in anyway. However I am on a blank slate. So today my mother gets a Merry Christmas in. I wish I could tell you I smiled…. But instead I felt so angry! Your on Facebook with each and every kid. You didn’t write them! You never do. Occasionally you state to them how your not on fb… Well they are so get on it. I do not make things easy anymore as I won’t let them in but there has not ever been a time that family couldn’t be there for the kids. They just chose that shit. My mother could write. She could Facebook. She could pick up the phone to call the kids. She could show up just to hug them… She does none of it. I stopped communicating because it was pretty much a constant let down. I’m almost certain she uses that as her I can’t be a grandma excuse. But literally it was just never a role she strived to be. The kids do not know her or enjoy her company. Allowing them to beg and wait for time with her their whole lives of course I made that shit harder for her.

Seeing that text from her it made my blood just boil. There was no Christmas or bday cards for the kids from her… Because nothing in return is given back. Well nothing more than a facebook thank you. She doesn’t get to take pictures to show the world she is an involved nana with a card sent. She doesn’t get any self gratification. At least that is how it seems in my head because otherwise why the fuck not be letting those kids know you love them?! It’s easier for me to think of her as selfish than to think it’s truly her lack of love for my kids.

That text was my trigger. I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car when it came in but quickly took me to another world. Sitting in the car with Rik after leaving my mothers home. Just telling them of my pregnancy with Allen. My mom stated abortion was the only option. Rik spent the car ride taking me back to Three Oaks telling me he disagreed but adoption was the only option. My mother wanted Allen dead before he was even born so why on Earth would I think she would move mountain’s to love him now? My Christmas was spent in such a sad ass state of mind because this trigger started a spiral in my head. From thinking of Allen’s pregnancy announcement and then to luke’s adoption that she refused to support.

From there I begin to compare myself to her. Hating every mistake ever made as a parent. By the Tuesday after Christmas I walked into therapy ready to unload all the new trigger baggage I picked up. It’s great to unload but it also gives me more of a sense of being alone. As I do not talk to anyone outside of that therapy room about any of this… I need to. I wish that in the very moment I am triggered I could speak it. So I don’t look like such a lost soul. So others see and know why I am not present. No one wants or needs to hear though. It’s all dark and sad I have down there pushed deep. Maybe once it is all out all the baggage will lift and I will be free?

Depression pretty much sucks. I’ve been sitting in the dark for weeks. I can’t get up. My chest is heavy.

I’ve struggled a lot lately. As the virus continues to negatively affect my family. Thanksgiving was full of tears. Hearing that the family the kids and I searched our whole lives to have. The Christmas celebrations we finally felt wanted at. It just wouldn’t be this year. Us already being in such a sad place then thought of how to make sure our gifts to each other really screamed we LOVE AND MISS YOU. Till moments later everyone else was agreeing to no gifts either. The kids felt that the gifts were then only a tradition because we were at grandpas and felt obligated and not a showing of love. The heartbreak broke through the house moments before the arrival of Marc’s parents.

It was truly the quietest Thanksgiving ever. I think the perceptions were just so different. Maybe others seen the kids as greedy wanting gifts… However quickly was it my kids to suggest a no spending gift exchange. Only to be told that would be hard…. I guess that was where our families differ. The kids and I we always have had very little yet given so much. It’s set in our bones to know how to give from the heart without costing us a financial burden as we never had the finances to spend. To think of not gifting those we loved blows us away because we have spent the whole pandemic gifting strangers. Why on earth cancel gifting those we love most.

Honestly maybe it’s the word gift. It carries the weight that it should be something monetary. It took me the entire weekend to shake all of my own thoughts. I was just as sad as the kids. No family, no gifts, and it to me seemed like no one was looking for an alternative just letting the virus win. I felt defeated.

When I chose no chemo it was simple. Tomorrow isn’t promised why on earth would I spend my time unable to be a mom. It was all I ever wanted in life and chemo would take that. It would take time from my only desire mom hood. So each day is a gift and I was never told I’d have tomorrow. Spending my days as a mom was my choice. So tomorrow isn’t promised but we will spend our time trying to make sure tomorrow comes? Okay, cool I avoided every contact with those I love didn’t get virus and something else took me tomorrow….. I mean that doesn’t seem logical to my opinion on life.

I’ll be careful I want as much time as I can get it’s so valuable. I am not however willing to just give up family which is what this entire year has felt. Marc’s grandpa won’t get younger while we avoid him. Of course I would never want him to get the virus or experience a shortened life. However dying alone seems far worse. I know I can withstand the cold. I can build a snow man in the front yard. Grandpa on the porch smiling just watching the kids. I’ve been at Christmas I know what lights him up and that is it! He loves seeing his family together and happy. He loves seeing them play games and interact. So that’s what I want to give him. Maybe we make poster signs for him. A caravan train with all the kids screaming Merry Christmas.

I guess when none of it was suggested. When so many lined up to say no gifts and likely won’t get together. The thoughts in my head consumed me. We are all so sad and this is why. We are letting this virus pull us apart. We are not growing in strength and finding creative ways to be together and safe. My children and I spoke over how everyone love language is not the same. So gifting may not always be the same in everyone’s mind. I explained that some are filled with fear right now.

The thought of the kids not having family for Christmas again… it haunted me enough to reach out to whatever family I was still speaking to of my own. My kids may now end up there. It’s pretty likely in fact. Although later I did get confirmation on we can go to marc’s grandpas it may have been to late. Already had I reacted. I was low and manic when everything transpired reacting in emotion.

It’s another very tight year and I am pulling off Christmas somehow without a single dollar from our budget. I’m emotionally and physically truly just exhausted. There isn’t a tree…. No way could I do gifts for everyone on my own and a tree and stand. So I went to the kids and said can we skip the tree and mom put that cost toward making sure we have a good Christmas. They of course never flinched to say yea. I decorated the pear tree and called it a day. 2nd time no tree… First was when I chose to leave the abuse and move forward with marc. There was not a single gift that year. This year there is 40 already… more in route. I did that. Totally on my own. My stress is out of this world but I promise my babies will have a good Christmas and somehow one way or another will have family around them. It’s what they deserve and I’ll be damned a virus take that from them.

This year has been the toughest ever. I wish that I could stop the damage this virus is doing but since I can’t…. Keep rolling with the punches and moving mountains for those babies of mine. Till my last breath they are my whole entire world.

The virus has seriously changed the world now. Myself, I was already struggling with socializing before it came into play. Now that it’s here and sticking around I find myself less and less engaged with anyone outside of my home and Marc’s family. Now don’t get me wrong I am still gifting the world with smiles and home made gifts. However it is all at a distance.

Even if I have a friend in town to give something I’ve made I will mail it. The post office was literally across the street from my friends home and I mailed it. It’s not fear of catching it’s more fear of speaking. What is there left to speak of? With anyone? It’s all so sad and negative. I can’t bring myself to engage in that stuff with anyone but Marc. I know he will love me regardless of my stance or opinion. Whatever needs people had from me before have really grown now. The self gain mind set is stronger in us all because we are all now living in survival mode.

I noticed myself straying onto my parents Facebooks. Just briefly as it truly makes me sick to my stomach now to know that they chose to not be in my kids lives. Me…. well whatever I push you away and well to be honest I’d never let you in. But the kids they reach and stretch and try. I see them message. They are on quite a few family members pages and never is anything ever said. I guess some being more active on Facebook than others. Yet I can’t fathom it. If I were them. To be a parent or a grandparent with the kind of access Facebook gives to be in my children or grandchildren’s lives. No way would I not be sitting there hanging on their every word.

Thinking of all that has really put me in a place where I am remembering everything I went through myself to be there for my kids. Meaning when keith won custody that one time…. I seen my own body as currency to him to see my kids. Cleaning up after him and his new gf was not above me just to be in the home in the presence of my children. Paying child support while they lived with me till I could figure out how to win the battle in court and have them back. It’s hard to imagine having it so easy to be there and not. When there is not a price I wouldn’t pay and haven’t to be there. I hope that I have given my kids enough that they don’t notice those who give no efforts.

Wish I could say I have a desire to go build friendships and relationships. Maybe over come some of the anxiety and be social again but I just don’t. Avoiding people seems so much easier. Giving them smiles without having any negative baggage is such easier work right? No pain there no one to leave and walk when things are not easy or simple. So I shall continue to use curbside with a smile and a gift/tip. Self checkout avoiding the cashiers and using my mask to hide out and dodge those who may know me shopping too. Mailing gifts to those friends still at arms length so you can let them have a smile without having to connect.. This is my life.

You’d think by now I would move on and let go of the pain right? But I haven’t…. Sitting on my face book is still that letter from my aunt. Calling me out for a facebook post I had made calling my father a drunk. Saying he failed me. How DARE I? That was the words she used how dare I speak the truth and say my exact feelings out loud for anyone to see. Instead I needed to be reminded by her that I was less than perfect. I in fact had cps remove my kids remember and I stole a wallet. So in fact I should bash myself.

I swear to you that letter haunts me. I can’t seem to delete it from my messenger to stop seeing it. I have went to write back and defend myself a million times. You mean the 17 year old child who had just had another premature baby and no car. The one who couldn’t work and be at the hospital caring and learning how to prepare for that premie? You mean the little girl who called her father begging and pleading for rides to the hospital help with groceries. I literally never asked for money ever. Only did I beg for help for my kids. In return my so called father told me that he already had to pay a child support burden for me and wouldn’t help me further.

However in the same year bailed out my step brother from his cps case with the mother of his kids. Housed, clothed, feed whole nine for those grandkids. Of course I only know this as any conversation we had was spent with him bashing the hell out of my step brother and how much he wish his wife would tell him to grow up. See my dad never became a better “father” he never stepped up to my brother and his kids…. He conformed to what his wife wanted. He was always good at that. Doing what a women wanted. I mean after all he put me on the streets at 15 with $20 bill in my hand because his gf wanted to slit my throat and he was being evicted. My aunt claims he grew up and learned and evlovled into this better father.. Proof being said brother and grandkids. Uh, have you heard him talk about his grand daughter becoming a “women”? Have you hung out at his home and ever seen him sober? I mean ever? He puts on a great show to benefit his needs. He however is still the exact same man he always was. His claims to he isn’t a dad because I vanished and didn’t show to his house. At some point every one gets tired of putting up with less than they deserve.

Was I a terrible young mom. Holy shit I mean really the most clueless ever. However I kept fighting. My kids can not ever tell you of a time I wasn’t there. Did I steal to provide? There was nothing and I mean nothing I wouldn’t have done or put myself through for my kids. When cps came poverty and being un educated those were my flaws. Never did I abuse or neglect my children. My aunt’s statement of such are false and misinformed. You see have you ever tried to be a girl scout leader? It’s a process! Including a pretty extensive background check. You can’t have been charged by cps and still become a leader…. However I was a leader for years. I also was a teacher aide at a school. I was never charged with anything against my kids or any others.

I married as a child. No one protected me. Rape was so prevalent in my child hood it was normal for me. My father absolutely isn’t a good man. HE never did right by me ever. The things he did, said, subjected me to he doesn’t deserve the title to father. It’s okay for me to say my feelings and what I went through because of the choices he made. I will too be subjected to my children’s opinions to how I raised them. My opinion doesn’t define him anymore than someone’s of me yet it does help to let out those feelings rather than hold them in.

Wanting to believe my aunt simply loves my father so much she can easily attack me is the only thing I can do. Reality is I do not know her. She doesn’t have love for me. She wasn’t interested to what happened just her version of the events and how I should tell them. Silencing myself won’t happen. It helps me to be raw and saw exactly how I feel to the events that played out to my life. I’ve already asked forgiveness for the mistakes I made while learning how to grow up. Thing is her version can never be more than a story as she never took the time to be there. She can say how I was as a mother yet she has no idea. She can say what I stole and why but again wasn’t there and has no idea. Stating a man is a better father now is easy when he has no child to raise….. Blaming the women he has kids with….Again the easy route. And yes you can cast stones easy to me but again I was a child a product of exactly how I was raised. You know I stole from your grandma…. who do you think taught me. It was my very father stealing from his mother and grandmother all the time. So yes the teen and young mom I was wasn’t much to be proud of. Surely my upbringing is to blame. 🙂

It’s funny how different my thought process is now from the time I was beginning this blog. I thought I was already defined and telling you all the things that made up me…. Now it’s clear what defined me yesterday doesn’t today and I chose my definition everyday as I grow. The changes are non stop and we bend and adapt as they come.

So my kids are doing virtual and now home always. It’s not much different as years prior since most did online or homeschool at some point and some were when the virus hit. However the virtual now is far more confusing. It’s a hot MESS! It’s the most stressful experience ever! I can’t wait for things to settle in this new normal.

I’ve had a few struggles that are new since the virus. One being death constantly on my mind. I find myself unable to sleep and asking unanswerable questions. It’s very dark feeling. Not death as in I want to die or wish this life would end just like this incredible sadness to how short life is. Thoughts of when and how. OR the pain that comes with age and how most of life ends in pain. We are born dying…. Staying on the 11th floor balcony had me picturing myself falling over the edge. What would that look like? Who would I be missed by? Then it spirals to how I prepare and make sure my kids will be okay. Unless they marry I won’t leave behind family to take care of them…The worries of if a child would pass before me…. like why is that even on my mind? The thoughts of death just creep in at the weirdest times. Triggers are more and more often sitting at dinner or eating a bowl of ice cream. What is the point of life at all? It seems cruel. I only know that I have to try and live more in the moment. What do I want to give to the world today…. A smile. I want to give a smile as often as I possibly can.

So with that mindset I walk into the store searching out the person that looks in need of a compliment. Your hair looks fabulous today! I’m shouting out my window to strangers your outfit rocks! I’ve been making resin trinkets and gifting everywhere. Mailing it to strangers and old friends. Passing it out when getting any curbside deliveries. I am trying to change the thoughts and no lie it’s hard! I want to focus on the positive but my entire life I spent programming myself to worry and catch the negatives before they happen. I prepare for the worst all the time. So it’s like putting a line through myself all over again and redefining me…. Because living while only thinking of death is literally no life. I’m sad just far to much.

I think that therapy is a dbl edge sword for me really. I keep checking in and then hatching up all this dark shit. Like uh take it back this is counter productive. I remember more now than I ever allowed myself before. I guess I have to rehatch it to wade through it and come out the other side but it’s feeling like I am drowning often. There is healing power saying things out loud though. I will give her that. Saying it when someone hears and believes you. I don’t regret the choice I have made to no longer have any contact with most of my blood family. Honestly can say that without their presence in my life I am more whole. Most people find it sad that I’ve made this choice to have zero contact but my mental health depends on it. My lowest lows stem from their incapability to love me how I need to be loved. I’d give just about anything to never be like any of them. Never do I want my kids to feel the pain of not being loved or wanted. Any glimpse of them in myself haunts me.

Here I am once again one of those nights I’ve spent worrying myself sick. My mind racing with all kinds of worst case scenarios in my head. I’ve come to now accept this is my nature to always be thinking of the what if and the worst case. Sometimes I feel like this trait of mine is simply the worst. It can’t be overcome and it hinders me. Then there are times where I know this is one of my flawed strengths. My worry keeps me ahead of the shitty hand life seems to like to deal out.

Therapy has been going well. Although when i started hatching up all of the memories I didn’t realize how much sleep I would lose. How hard it would be to work through the past and not just sit here in it sulking. I didn’t think of how the world would refuse to stand still while I worked on myself. That shit would continue to pile on while I brought all the old pain back in. Replacing the past pain with a positive thought is so much harder than I imagined it to be. I thought fixing myself would be easy. It’s me….. How can’t I fix the very thing I am? But the world hasn’t stopped. My brain still processes things in such a negative way… Always feel as though I am simply waiting and preparing for the next blow. My guard never comes down anymore.

I went back into being very distant. Sharing therapy doesn’t happen. I don’t discus my medications or my sessions. Tonight I found myself emailing rantings of my emotions…. I am emailing!!! I am not speaking I’m emailing….. I can’t speak the voice is completely gone. Even sitting here I am constantly having to force myself to keep typing. There is so much I would not ever be willing to share… A year ago I wanted to share everything be raw and open and just show it’s okay….Validate that fear of judgement should be abolished! Who am I kidding though! There is just no way to be raw and be accepted.

Facing reality that my children are becoming adults with the same baggage from not having their other parent or grandparent or family around as I myself carry. Them now deciding how they will allow blood to treat them. What boundaries they will draw and what relationships they will painfully cut ties with. Seeing them struggle through this has been such a truly gut wrenching experience for me. There has been so much going on with the kids that has nothing to do with me and is not something I can fix for them. I want so badly to be their voice.

For about a month or so now death has been on my mind frequent. Thinking of the how’s and when’s to my time ending. To how little I accomplished to how little my kids will have when I am gone. It’s clear I am facing the blues and lows of my depressive state. Sometimes I am screaming I’m so sad I can’t breathe save me!!! and sometimes I just think if I can make others smile today I will find mine again. It’s unnoticed when I cry myself to sleep. Or even if I don’t sleep…. I’ve lost 29 lbs… my hair all over the tub again. A reset is no where in sight.

Life just never seems to settle and stay the same for more than a brief moment. Tonight my mind has been racing wither to keep home my children or send them back to school. It’s such a hard conflicting choice. Some of my kids simply struggle with the online learning. They will absolutely be hindered by it. The school look will be so much different then anything the kids have ever known. Pretty much all of the fun has been sucked out of it. The decision is on my shoulders heavy.

A short while ago I got a message about a family member. One that caused me a great deal of pain and honestly it’s just been haunting me. The memories can’t stay out of my head. I’m not sleeping. I can’t keep the nightmares out. It’s just been a very difficult time for me emotionally. I’m closed up now. Not talking much to anyone about anything. I think that when the one closet to my heart broke my trust I just went right back into a ball. It’s difficult to be happy again.

Forever will I be a person that must work to be happy. That’s just what comes along with mental illness. It was just a bit easier when I had such confidence in his love for me. My confidence has been shook…. So I’m quieter about the stuff I’m going through.  Choosing that therapy is just the only safe place to speak. For now I secretly hope that the family just forgets me. Stops putting in reminder into my mind at all. I’m still working through my pain and they are such a biter reminder of it all of me.

Even more so when I think if they were on the other side of this keyboard it would be a different perception of the events. They would remind me of the twenty I stole from someone’s wallet and not the one that was put in my hand at 15 while I was left literally on the streets with a bag a bag of clothes. They will tell you of the conversation to my teen boyfriend I had bashing the jesus statues in their home and not remember that the second that grabbed me from the streets to bring me to that home …. it was only to tell me that I was going to foster care because no one wanted me…. The story they will have will be so very different. They somehow forget it was all while I was a child… The actions of a child are all because of how they were rasied!!! Tell me the stories from after I turned 25? Can you? Their verison is how I lost my kids to cps. Not that I had a premature baby with 3 toddlers at home. Not that I almost died my daughter almost died. Not that I had no car I walked all the way accross town to work everyday coming home to raising those babies on my own!!!!! They won’t say that I couldn’t be at work and at the hospital with my 26 week preemie. They will not say no one would give me a ride. The calls I made to them begging for work to buy groceries…. not money. Never will you hear how much I pleaded for support.. How I just simple didn’t have a clue because no one showed me… I was 13 hiding under a bed from the cops on my 3rd night of being alone in the home. How was I to know how to be the better parent…. They won’t say that I have 19 certificates printed from parenting classes that I did on my own. They claim I had my kids taken and charged…. Although I was a girl scout leader for most of my girls younger years… Cps stood on the stand when I gained custody of all my kids. Did you know you can’t be a gs leader and have a cps charge? Can’t work as a teacher aide nor in daycare either. I’ve done all those though. Cps only testified on my behalf… You see when that so called family made the call to have my kids taken instead of helping me…. I made the wise choice. I called my husband. I signed my kids over… Yes in the beginning it was hard to swallow… I was alone. I was scared. I left for 93 days. I was without them for 93 days. Still sending everything to care for all their needs. financially I had my babies. I came back and I moved mountains on my own. That was me they said was a remarkable mother! Oh how angry I am. That their story of my life is whatever they wanted to make it. They were never there to see any of it. To assume you know something…. to turn your back. My so called father deserves a second chance from me…. That is what they will tell you. How he turned into such a great husband and father and grandfather…. Uhhh again just what you see. You don’t hear how he speaks of those kids of his. Of their parenting and how much they took… he hated cps being in his life to save his grandkids. he just got to old for a new life… He was surely no gpa to my kids. He is and has been just simply a selfish drunk. He left me to the wolves to better his life not mine. The child support he was bothered to pay for me it’s the thing that makes his stomach turn. There is nothing he ever did to support me in life. No positive was ever brought to the table. I decided so long ago to take those who brought nothing positive in my life out of my life. Every time a tiny bit of it creeps back in all of the past haunts me. One message that’s all it took for me to spend days remembering every wrong I’ve ever felt in life. It’s consuming me.

I can’t stop thinking ” when grandma leaves you get in her bed if you want to make some money.” It’s ringing in my head. My family used every struggle I had as a pawn against me and I couldn’t even see it….. I thought he loved me it’s okay he tickles me…. I mean I told my parents if they were okay with it. If they wouldn’t do anything about it… I was the one wrong. Their wedding day is the most painful of my life. I would pretend it was worth it tho because they had each other forever now. Then the divorce made me feel my pain was worthless. Ugh how did I get in this low ass place again. Why can’t I stop thinking of them all. Forget the “family” just move forward with the life I deserve. I can’t even stop thinking.

There isn’t a moment where my brain isn’t thinking how can I bring in income. How can I barter a surplus of my families needs. Sitting in the car while Marc drives on some adventure my phone is in my hand focused on the side hustle. Multitasking is in my blood. Sitting watching some lifetime movie while letting ads play for swag bucks or for a game to win gift cards. Then using the gift cards to stretch as far as I can. Coupon codes for everything. Apps taking over my phone. The drive is in me to make sure my family succeeds without me being away. Having an autistic son who will always be home means this is my life. I look at the laundry soap I just couponed and think I could wash laundry for others for trades for change whatever they can afford. I see everything as an opportunity. I stop to pick up the penny in the parking lot every time. I save and hustle in every situation. There are 17 apps on my phone used to make money, gifts, and gift cards. I’ve learned to make meals from very little because I came from very little. My meal planning is based on sales and coupons. My kids wanted a membership I couldn’t afford I asked to give my time instead. It’s valuable and it worked just fine for me! It’s all about mindset!

So recently with everything going on and being cooped up inside I reached out to Cool Bank wanting to purchase their art supplies as a way to keep the kiddos busy. They so graciously responded telling me about their colored pencil set that would be perfect for my daughter. Hailey being quite the little artist. She really enjoys top of line art supplies.

When Cool Bank shipped us the colored pencils and sketch books Hailey’s eyes lite up. They were so bright and vibrant in color. They had a labeled lid showing each color and their name. Making it really easy to remember and find which color you may have used on your art work.

Day 30 of sheltering at home left me with far too many bored kids to accomplish a thing! Cool Bank saved the day again when we realized how well they worked for wall art! Next thing I knew there was a dragon on the wall. Kids smiling and an entire day of peace and quiet for Mom! What a win!

I would absolutely recommend Cool Bank for all of your butting artist at home. They are a product living up to their reputation of an outstanding product. I can’t wait to see what else Hailey can create with these amazing art supplies.



Being in this world right now is pretty crazy right? Truth be told though I’ve been trapped many times and in far far worst circumstances. The biggest challenge for me is that being trapped now brings up so many of  those very harsh memories. It does however also make me very grateful for the time I am going through now.

I remember being just a teenager newly married in what would later be determined as the most abusive relationship of my life. Locked into that trailer with nothing. There wasn’t cable or Netflix. WiFi didn’t exist for me. Alone was all I really knew. My husband was never there. I did have the rats that crawled the walls of that nasty trailer. Sitting in tears at the table wishing I had food to put on it watching the rats run in the curtains was my entertainment. Not even an adult yet and that was my life.

The comet smell I spent my day inhaling. The man I was married to would just pour it everywhere swearing the bugs would eat it and then die. There wasn’t even a egg to be seen in the fridge. Counting 47 days once I was left there in that countryside trailer. No air conditioning no fan just me and the heat. The time I had left that solitude to find my so called husband was when he sold me to the highest bidder. One of the biggest regrets I have is not just staying for day 48….

There was a time when I was merely 15 living in Decatur a town I still am unable to drive through without shedding a tear I was left alone just 11 days there. My father staying with whatever girlfriend rated higher than me at the time. I can’t even remember her name just the stupid gold convertible she so proudly sported around. For those 11 days the food was so limited I remember having this 6 pack of frozen hashbrowns and I would cook one a day topping with those baco bites my paternal grandma had left for me. They were so crunchy those bacos. I just hated them but I would tell myself it was my meat for the day and I had to eat it. Day 9 I remember find every single penny and pop can in the house and making the mile walk to this corner store. Buying myself bread and taking it back to putter and grill it. The taste was so delicious! I stayed on the phone so much to prevent from going crazy lonely. Later the phone bill would be all my father remembered from the time. The heat in that house was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Just one fan and blazing summer days. It was such a lonely time for me. Eventually he would come back to tell me to leave the house he wasn’t going to pay for it. $20 and a new homeless adventure came next.

22 years old my ex husband just winning the kids, me again homeless. I broke into a friends garage sleeping in the basement. It’s winter now. I’m alone on a wet and cold mattress in a basement half flooded with water waist high. Just 24 hours there but I promise it felt like an eternity. Cats piled all over my body for warmth teeth chattering and feeling like I had no one in the world. Because in fact I didn’t.

See this being trapped story has been mine for as long as I can remember. So now being trapped in my home just plain feels like a luxury. Not once have I had to experience hunger pains. There was never a time I had to talk to myself and tell me to keep going…. My family is with me and no way would I ever dream of wanting to end that. I haven’t even counted this time. It doesn’t feel like the trapped I’ve been through. This feels like a luxury. A luxury that if I stay home my chances of being sick or my family getting sick is lowered.

My children are sad. They feel trapped and sad. Lonely and missing all their friends and extended family. But me I know how many luxuries they have. Peace of mind is knowing they won’t know the same pains I do. They are so rich in love and life. I find comfort in knowing in the toughest moments I have come far enough that I can make times like these easier for my children. What I have overcome has given me the tools to know how to survive.

It’s hard to believe that is moment this virus and the crisis the world is going through is one of the easiest times of trial in my life. It’s the first time I don’t feel alone. Support is all I have. I cut out all of the negative and everyone who was in my life and had only brought pain to the table. Those who loved me in an unhealthy way. Those who didn’t love me at all. They are gone now. I stood up for my mental health and I chose to not allow anyone in my life that wasn’t making a positive impact. I am so much stronger for it. My worries are far less. I don’t now think of the motives behind those who love me. They are pure and I am certain of it. I have a luxurious life that I am beyond grateful for.