Monday, August 11, 2014

I still suffer from depression, regardless of how happy I look.

Depression sucks. It sucks your soul out. It makes you crazy. It takes everything you know and love and makes it dark, sad and worthless. Depression is something that despite how happy you look or feel can hit you at any minute. You can go to bed elated and wake up wanting to die, It is vicious and non caring, it takes and takes but never gives.

I have potentially always had depression, but I was not diagnosed until 2012. I had been laid off from my job, my relationship with my mother was shit, my family was pretty much non existent and I had no idea what I was going to do from there. I was unable to do little more than lay in bed and stay in my pajamas all day. No matter what I wanted to do that day, no matter how many plans I made the night before I just couldn't get moving the next day.

The worst part? I never knew when it would hit.

In our society, Depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, addiction and the like are all swept under the rug. They are diseases that are to be kept hidden and to be ashamed of having. Very few is said about them and therefore most people do not have any idea how devastating they can be, especially depression.

Depression is all encompassing, It's suffocating, and all you see if the darkness that it delivers and all you want is a moment of peace. A moment front he voices that tell you that you aren't good enough, that everyone would be better off without you, that you don't matter and are insignificant.

When I heard about Robin Williams today I cried, I cried for his kids, I cried for his wife, I cried for him and I also cried for me. I was lucky, My husband (who was mearly my live in boyfriend at the time) pulled me out of my depression. When I cried and tried to explain why I was crying he asked me "How did I pull you out?". It was a question I couldn't really answer, I just knew that he had pulled me out. I also know that currently he is very understanding when I have a "depression day" as I like to call them. If only everyone had someone that could pull them out, If only everyone COULD be pulled out......

I was lucky, Mr Williams was not, Lots of people daily are not......and that just breaks my heart and makes me cry whenever I hear of one of us losing the fight.

Just remember, you never know how dark it is in someone else's mind, you never know what they are thinking, you never know how bad they feel or what struggles they are dealing with. Be Kind. Be Loving.

I had the chance multiple times to end it all, I have heard the voices telling em that I am not good enough, that I am not needed, that I am not wanted, that I am alone....... I was lucky enough to beat those voices and be happy for the first time in my life.

Just because I am finally happy does not mean that it doesn't still affect me, I still have "depression days", I still hear the voices, I still have trouble getting out of bed some days, and I still hurt daily inside. I still pretend I am OK and happy, even when I am not, because I don't want my husband or son to worry, but I still suffer daily..... and I always will.

RIP Mr Williams. You were an inspiration and a great man, you made generations laugh and feel. You will take a piece of each of us with you and I pray that you found the peace you were looking for.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sometimes you don't need a second chance, you just need a second family........

Family. This one word can elicit such a response for some people that they don't really know how to react to it. I am one of these people.......

It's no secret that I don't really speak to my mother, It's no secret that I don't know who my father is, and it is no secret that I have felt like an orphan since I was 8 years old and my grandma and grandpa Searles died. I lived with my mother and step father on and off, when I wasn't living with other family members (like my uncle or my cousin).

Until I was 8 I was secure in my family, there was my grandma, grandpa, mom, (the man I thought was my) dad, My brothers, a half brother (or what actually turned out later to be my step brother) and various other family members just like everyone else. December 19th, 1989 was the beginning of the end of that life for me, My grandmother had passed away almost exactly 2 months earlier and my grandfather gave up and followed closely behind. I watched him wither and die away at 8 years old, the man I was closest to, the greatest man I knew, my "dad" was gone. Within a short amount of time my mother left my father, who promised he would write and call and never did, when my mother had finally had enough of my heartbreak over the broken promises she finally told me that the man I had grown up believing was my father, was not in fact, my father. She didn't know who he was, she thought it was a man named Michael Callahan, or could have been someone named Larry. I have spent most of my life wondering who this man is, whether I looked like him, whether I had other brothers or sisters..... and then I learned that regardless of which man it was he was a deadbeat. Both of these men had children with other women, both of these men had abandoned their known children, what would they want with a child they didn't even know existed? And then came the day that my mother told me that she had found out that Michael had died a few years earlier, the answers I needed were buried, buried and gone, I would never know my father.

During my life I have allowed people into my life, people that I miss, people that I have had to let go of, people I have reconnected with and people that never deserved my loyalty or love. Most people that I had let into my life found ways to let me down, they found new and creative ways to hurt me, and I allowed them to do so. Just over three years ago I allowed a man into my life that finally showed me that I deserved better, I deserved to be treated with respect and to be treated like I mattered. I had allowed myself to be so beaten down and hurt and disrespected over the years that I felt like I didn't deserve much. I had allowed men to beat me, I had allowed them to cheat on me, I had allowed people to tell me I was worth less than others. Over the last few years I have been rebuilt from the ground up, I still have moments of weakness where I am insecure, but I am better. I honestly believe I deserve more, I believe that I deserve to be respected.

While I have put my biological family at a distance (due to the fact that I feel like I have been grossly mistreated by them), I have gained others in my "family" that I feel deserve to be here and deserve my loyalty. My wonderful fiancĂ© came with two great kids (Connor and Eva) whom I love, a wonderful mother and father (Gail and Ron) who are not only great parents,  but also wonderful grandparents to 11 grandchildren, 3 sisters and brothers- in- law (Becky/Matt, Lisa/ Josh and Sarah/Jim) as well as 8 nieces (Claire, Hailey, Laila, Emery, Josie, Addie, Maybelline and Natalie) whom I love so very much (they all make me laugh and I love that each of them is so smart, sweet and talented in their own ways) as well as other family members who have also welcomed my son and I with open arms. I have reunited with a family that I left behind when I found out my father was not my father and it is as if no time has passed when I am with them, I have gained a brother and sister in law (Juston and Rachel) who always have my back, as well as a generous cast of others. Thank you to each and every one of you, I appreciate you so very, very much.

I also have found people in unusual places that I have taken into my heart and would do anything for, one of these is a teacher. I found Jim when I went back to college, at first I was convinced that he was going to be a pain in the butt and a real hard-ass and we would never get along, however, this man also changed my life. He taught me more than just business techniques, he taught me self esteem, he taught me about "protecting my elephant", as well as teaching me that I was capable of more than I believed I was. I sincerely want to thank you for that Jim, I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

And finally, Chris, what can I say? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Gratitude is not even a big enough word for what I feel for what you have done for me. I was in such a dark spot when you found me, I was just very good at hiding it and you found exactly where I was hiding it and you fixed me. You are the only person who has ever been able to even attempt that and there are not words enough to show you how much I appreciate that.

as I have sat here writing this, tears fill my eyes, I know just how lucky I am. I have never felt such love or gratitude and it overwhelms me daily and I just wanted you to know. Thank you and I love you. Sometimes you don't need a second chance, sometimes you just need a second family and I've been lucky enough to find that in each and every one of you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

525,600 minutes.....

          I finally brought myself to watch the memorial episode of Glee last night, as expected I ugly-cried all the way through it. I think the toughest part of it for me was when Finn's mom was cleaning out his room. She said "How do parents go on when they lose a child? You know, when I would see that stuff on the news I would just change the channel cause it was just too horrible to think, how do they wake up every day? I mean, how, how do they breathe? But you do wake up, and for just a second, you forget, and then, oh, you remember and it's like getting that call again and again, every time. You don't get to stop waking up, you have to keep on being a parent even though you don't get to have a child anymore...." (and even as I type this, I can't stop bawling)
          It's funny because I have always felt the same way. Daily, I see news stories about parents losing their kids and I see mothers burying their children and I think..... " I couldn't do it. I wouldn't be able to do it. How do they stand there so strong and do this?" I have been told that I am strong, but I am not THAT strong.
          In March of 2012 we lost a wonderful friend named Teddy, how he died is not important, how he lived is..... Teddy was a warm, loving, sarcastic, fun guy. Teddy cared about people, he loved his friends, he loved his family, he loved his daughter and he loved his mother. Hearing of Teddy's death brought a lot of our lives to a screeching halt, we couldn't believe it, we couldn't wrap our minds around why he was gone. Even at the funeral, we could see him there in front of us but I believe a lot of us just kept waiting to hear him laugh at all of us for being so gullible......but, it never happened.
            Since that horrible day we have all started to move on as best as we could. Some of us have become closer to others. I have been blessed enough to become closer to Teddy's mom, Priscilla. I am blessed to know her, she is the strongest person I have ever met. Priscilla posted earlier today that her and her husband watched the memorial episode of Glee and that she broke down during the episode and it seemed interesting to me that the only people I could think of during the episode was Teddy and Priscilla. He knew how much his parents loved him, and I hope they knew how much he loved them back. Teddy loved all of us, he cared about us. Even if he would never say it aloud, he always showed it. There was never any doubt of his caring nature. I am a lucky person to have known Ted, and a better person for knowing his gracious, unbelievably strong mother.
           Last night I had horrible dreams about Keegan being gone, how much I missed him and cried for him in my dream/sleep. When I woke up he was curled up next to me holding his teddy bear, and I wanted to cry. Not everyone has the luxury of hugging their baby whenever they want, I do. I complain about him crawling in bed with me at night, but at the end of the day, I secretly love it. I love cuddling with him and I love waking up with him, he's my favorite, I am very lucky.

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

my home

I don't even know where to start......

I wrote a facebook status last night about Chad Rogers, For those of you who don't know he is the runner here in Liberty that has been missing since going for a run at roughly 8pm on 7/22/13. My fiance, Chris, and I were driving around doing some errands yesterdfay and I was continuing to keep updated with the facebook updates about Chad as the day went on, when I had seen the first update something struck me, it wasn't just that Chad lived here in Liberty, it was that I knew the face, I knew the smile, I just couldn't pinpoint it. It wasn't until I really got to researching and reading more updates and seeing more pictures that I realized this was an old classmate. Chad was about 2 years younger than me but I remember seeing him in school, we weren't good friends, didn't run with the same crowds, but we had taken classes together and we had smiled to each other in the crowded hallways.

I was 15 when I moved to Liberty, I was mad about being uprooted again and having to make all new friends and leaving my old friends behind. It was hard enough the last few times I moved to make friends. I am still convinced to this day that my mother just pulled out a map and said "we'll move here" and that is how the move to Liberty was originated. I was sullen and moody in the back of the car when we moved here, my last school in Lakewood Co was still fresh in my mind, it was difficult to make friends there because it was an environment where if you didn't have money, come from a good family or hadn't lived there forever then you were an outcast and no one wanted to be friendly with you. For months, I just existed and ate lunch by myself, I went home directly after school and had really no friends. Therefore, when I saw the high school from the off ramp of the highway into Liberty, I realized how huge it looked and how fancy it was (honestly, I thought it was a mall). It wasn't until a week later when my mother went to enroll me that I realized it was the high school I would be attending. I realized quickly on my first day that this was a school where most of the kids were from well off families and most of them had known each other since Kindergarten (if not before that). As I started to be worried that I wouldn't fit in, I started to notice that this wasn't like every other high school I had been to, there didn't appear to be really any well defined cliques, kids would smile at each other in the hall and there was constant conversations between multiple groups as I walked down the hallway. I even saw a couple cheerleaders help a handicapped girl when stuff fell out of her locker and she was having trouble picking it up. I saw kids that would have never been within meters of each other in my old school having actual conversations with each other in this school.

My first day I even had a a girl named Amy ask if I wanted to have lunch with her and her friends, I quickly said yes. Within days I was invited to these girls houses, I was hanging out with them in between classes and they even included me in other activities they would do. It wasn't long before I had many friends and knew almost everyone in each of my classes. I was grateful to not be alone anymore. I had spent many, many years (practically my whole life) moving from one school, house, and state to another, never really feeling like I was home, never really feeling like I was where I belonged. Never really feeling settled.

Until I came to Liberty.

In the 13 years since I have graduated high school I have stayed in contact with some friends, made friends with people that went to the same high school as me but I did not already hang out with, and have completely forgotten some had existed until I see them out and about and we stop and say hi to each other. Life gets in the way some times as we get older, what seemed important as a 16,17 or 18 year old is usually not so important at 28, 29, or 30. You go to college, obtain a career, make new friends, get married or even become a mother or father. You never really forget your past but you don't think about the things you did or the people you knew as much anymore. You occasionally get hit by a scene or a smell and have a pleasant memory of a friend, a time or even a teacher and you smile and fell warm and fuzzy for a minute and then you move on. We all move on and go about our lives and eventually high school just isn't that important anymore. Some of us move on to other cities and states, some of us stay put, some of us leave and then come back, either way life is never really the same.

As an adult I have seen the news stories where people are hurt, abducted, killed, raped, or even enslaved for years, we all have. We all become somewhat hard to the world and evil outside our bubbles, we become jaded and we start to believe that good doesn't exist in the multitudes that we remember from when we were kids. We no longer believe in happy endings, we no longer believe in miracles, we tend to lean more to the negative side while trying desperatley to remain positive (even if only for the sake of our children or families, somedays)

For two days one of our own has been missing, it is not something that happens daily so when it happens in your towen it is a shock. However, despite the bad things in the world and despite the circumstances that surround us, I have seen good. I have been witness to an amazing phenomenon. I have moved a lot in my life and I have lived in a lot of towns, but I have never seen what I have seen in the last two days in ANY place that I have ever lived. I see a community that is loving, caring, full of grace and kindness. I see people taking time from their important activitites and families to help another family look for a son/ husband and father that has been missing for two days. I have seen volunteers that search for hours on end, I have seen people volunteer to take care of those search and rescue groups, I have seen businesses/ corporations that have donated, supplies and food, even shuttle service to and from an airport. I have seen the unthinkable happen, I have seen strangers become angels and I have seen a community band together for the betterment of one family. I have prayed more in the last two days than I have in a long time. I pray for a happy ending, I pray for good news, I pray for a miracle. I pray for a mother and father to get their son back, I pray for a wife to get her husband back and, most importantly, I pray for a 13 month old son to get his daddy back. I am choosing hope. we all know the statistics, we all have heard the horror stories, we all know what could be awaiting us.....yet we still choose prayer, grace and hope. I think that says something. In my 32 years of life I have never seen something like I have seen in the past two days and it brings tears to my eyes even as I write this.

I will continue to pray for a miracle for this man who simply smiled at me daily in the hallway, a simple smile that made an outsider believe that this place was finally different, and a kindness that was carried throughout his peers and made us all better people. I am proud to say that Liberty, Missouri is my home and I would never want to be anywhere else. Chad, we are praying for a miracle, praying that as K-9 units, police and volunteers search for you that our Lord will give someone the sight to find you, pray that you get to come home soon and safe and pray that He is with you and that He has His arms around you and your family.

I didn't know it until now but Liberty is and always will be my home and I think I was always meant to end up here.

#findChad #bringChadhome

Monday, July 22, 2013

You can't get rid of me that easily.....

Today was definitely a test in patience. I learned today that I never really take the easy way out, I have had plenty of options to take the easy way out of many situations, I just never choose to. It seems like a cop out to me, I have watched so many people in my life take the easy way out, be lazy or just not do something because it was easier to not do it. Not me, I push and push and push until I either break through or get angry because I think I might have to give up.

I stayed with a man for 12 years when neither of us were really happy, because I believed it would work and it would change into what we both wanted, It didn't. I dated another guy for two years who was mean and just didn't want what I did because I thought he would eventually come around, he didn't. I let my mother constantly criticize me, talk down to me and treat me like I was lesser than my brothers for 31 years because I believed that was all I was worth, It wasn't. I let someone who I thought was my best friend boss me around for years and years because I thought I wasn't smart enough to make worthy decisions for myself, I was. My point is.... I don't give up easily but when I do finally give up on something it is because there is no point in holding on anymore and I really let it go. I've learned to not look back, I've spent too much of my life looking backwards. I allowed crappy people into my life, I allowed them to treat me badly, I allowed them to hurt me....

I spent the last 4 years praying, crying, changing, doing everything I could think of to be the girl I used to be. I used to be fun, I used to be positive, I used to be confident (at least to some extent) and most importantly I WAS STRONG. I was a tough cookie, It took a lot to break me and over the years I had allowed myself to become weak, to become a victim, to become dependent, to become needy, to become validated only by others instead of myself. 3 years ago I finally decided to do something about it and change who I was, it has been a long road and a tough road, but I want my son to see me as someone who never gave up. I want him to see a woman who fought against every adversity, who knocked down every wall in her way. I want him to see me at my best. I want him to see a woman who didn't need anyone else's validation. A mother he can be proud of and say "my mom never gave up, she made the best of everything she had and did, and that's why I am proud to be her son"

I want him to know that you can never be beaten unless you allow yourself to be beaten. I will not be beaten. I am finally in a good place in my life, I still have roadblocks placed in front of me daily and I have to fight past them, but I realize how blessed I am. I have surrounded myself with a small group of people who are good to me, they listen when I need to talk, they encourage my successes and support me even in my failures, They make me more aware of how good my life has become. I love them, I am thankful for them and I am happy I found them. Family is not always blood, more often than not it is the people you handpick to be in your life, they care for you even when they don't like the choices you've made and they are always there when you need them. I am very lucky to have the family that I have found, it is the family that I have always dreamed of and I am very blessed to have them and I am very blessed to finally know who I am and who I was always meant to be.

I am tough, I am worthy and I am still here. You can't get rid of me that easily.........

Monday, April 22, 2013

I've done everything I can to keep my mouth shut, but I just can't hold it any longer.

It's no secret that I have a spotty relationship with my mother, It's no secret that she didn't want me and only kept me because my grandfather made her (because she's clearly told me this little tidbit of info) and it's no secret (to most people that really have known me for years) that I am on my own in this world, a virtual orphan, if you will.

I have always tried to cut her some slack and believe that she wasn't purposely putting my brothers above me. I've always said "she wasn't a bad mom, she just had a hard time, she always did the best she could", I just can't say I believe that anymore. My mother has always bent over backwards for my brothers, when I dropped out of high school she told me to "get a job and pay rent, move out or go back", I went back. My brother dropped out and she still lets him live rent free with her (although he does help with food occasionally). When I had to come back and live with her after my separation, she charged me rent.......guess who has never paid rent. I don't believe Christmas is about gifts, but when she told me that she would have to buy gifts after Christmas because she didn't have money I assumed (stupid me!) that this applied to all of us, of course when my fiancee and I showed up we realized quickly that it just meant him and I. We noticed this while my baby brother was playing a brand new PS3 and opening another gift and my other brother was opening gifts for him and his girlfriend (no surprise that I felt like a total moron). There are multiple other occsions that I could point out, but really, what's the point? My mother denies that this is the case. She is adamant that she treats us all the same and that it is all in my head. She starts the pity party and tells me about how she knows I think she is a lousy mother (even though I've never said this to anyone, including her) and how she is going to run away to Alaska, Maryland, or whatever state she thinks of in the moment.

The latest favortism? My mother did not have a cell phone, I knew she could really use one for work and such, so I asked Chris if I could add a line to his account for her, he was hesitant but agreed. I told her before buying it that it was a 2 year contract and I could not afford to pick up her part of the bill so I needed to know that she was committed to the line and would make the payments. She assured me that she would. Now, less than a year later she can no longer afford the phone and has decided she is no longer paying for it ("but will pay me once she has some extra money"). I find out tonight that she has taken over my brother's girlfriends old phone line on his account (but is supposedly just paying this month and then he is gonna pay the whole month from now on) so that he does not get stuck having to pay the ETF......WHAT?!?!?! yet, I have to either pay an ETF or a monthly bill because she can't afford it? but she can afford to pay the bill this month?! well, what about the money you owe me?! how about paying me what you owe me before you pay my brother's phone bill?!?!?!?! Am I the only one who sees what is wrong with this picture?!

I am at a loss for words, as soon as I read that in my brother's text I just started crying...... I mean, I always suspected but in the last year it has become blatent..... I know I am alone now, It doesn't really surprise me.....I've always kind of known it..... guess I've never really wanted to admit it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

equal rights for all!

It is no surprise to people that know me that I am an open minded person that generally will speak her mind. Today, My friends, Gay marriage is being taken to the Supreme Court...... and this is a major issue..... why? you may ask......well, let's get real. It is 2013, I realize civil rights are still a pretty recent thing compared to the history of the world, or even our nation for that matter. However, I find it interesting that the same people that were yelling 40, 50, 60 years ago for freedom of blacks, women and other minority groups are some of the ones that are now yelling to keep a group of our fellow AMERICANS hindered from the same rights as the rest of us have. Has history taught us nothing? Segregation, hatred, and bullying are never the right answer.

Let's be honest, I know we all have heard some say "well, they can have civil unions, I don't mind if they are married as long as they don't CALL it marriage", but really? is the word really the issue? If the word is the real issue here then why don't all 50 states allow "civil unions" (personally, I hate that phrase, but whatever)? I don't know what leads people to believe they have ANY right to tell someone else what to do with their body, with their love and with their life. I'm not saying let's repeal laws against murder, rape, crimes against children, etc. I am just simply saying that you shouldn't have any say in who your neighbor loves or what they do with that love. If my neighbor is lesbian, gay, transgendered or transsexual then it has no bearing on how I live my day to day life, it does not automatically make them a bad person, it does not make them a murderer,  it does not make them a rapist and it certainly does not make them a child molester.

I know people who have said "How do I explain to my children when they see two boys or two girls kissing?" well, that is simple...... you tell them that these two people love each other and there is nothing wrong with being in love. "how do I explain to my child when they see a man in woman's clothing?" simple you don't make a big deal about it. My son knows multiple friends of mine that are gay or lesbian, he even has seen cross dressers. We don't make a big deal out of it, it is normal for people to be different in our lives. My 5 year old son's favorite color is pink and blue, I cringe when people make a big deal when he says he wants something that is pink.... they always look at him and say "really? are you sure you don't want blue or green?", don't pigeonhole my child! If he wants a pink balloon, you give him a pink balloon! it isn't that big of a deal. If he wants a doll opposed to a dump truck, then you give him the doll. I am raising my child to be himself, not to be a "man", he likes to dance to Kesha and Katy Perry, he likes to dress up his stuffed animals, he likes to play with his kitchen set. This will not make my child gay, and even if he ends up being gay I am still gonna love him just as much as I have since the day he was born.

I hope the Supreme Court allows gay marriage, I hope they allow all Americans the same rights the rest of us have, I hope there comes a day when no one is oppressed and we can all be who we are meant to be. I pray for a day where children are not hiding in a proverbial closet out of fear that their family, friends and parents (can you imagine) will disown them. I pray for understanding. I pray for equality.......

I saw a sign today that said "Marriage is a HUMAN right, not a heterosexual privilege" and I believe that says it all......

stay kind and loving, my friends.

oh and btw, to the people who want to throw Leviticus at me......you might want to read ALL of Leviticus and make sure you are abiding by all of those rules too cause I know many of you that are not living the life or abiding by the rules that you expect the rest of us to live and follow. Being a good christian means that you live with grace, not bigotry.