Closure

I’ve been tossing around adding an entry to this blog for quite a bit, but haven’t felt the usual surge of emotion that usually inspires me.

I decided earlier today to re-post an older entry and then take a nap (which I half did…I posted…I didn’t nap).  And then…I just kept thinking about what’s been going on.  In my head and in my life.

Last week was rough. Like REALLY rough (insert needed emotion!).

I  say this a lot, but if anyone knows me knows…that I have dealt with loss.  Grief.

I still do.  The pain is real.  My other half is amazing when it comes to understanding and caring for me during me “down” times.  I try to keep it real, but the rest of the family is pretty protected from my spiral.  I try to be fully there for them when they do their spiral.  Which for the youngest, it has happened more recently lately.  I think it’s just the time of year.

Anyhow, I got stuck in some memories.  Some pretty bad ones.  It involved a boyfriend who I adored, Matthew, who passed from leukemia.  His last days, as you can expect, were extremely hard.

So F-ing hard.

There’s many layers to that.  Not only for the obvious reasons…of him dying. But (as I have written about before, yes, I know), there were so many other situations that were happening at the same time.  There were some of his family members who treated me unjustly.  In so, so many ways.  From being denied a last good-bye…to items in the home…to the obituary (and so on…).

For whatever reason, though, I was catapulted to just before that.  The week before that. For really one of the first times.  I haven’t talked much about the before.

The week before….this poor man’s chest was filling up with fluid,  he needed chest tubes.  First one lung…then the other.  Then he needed a home nurse to drain them.  I stepped in to help (I then realized nursing would never be my career… maybe it would be different if I wasn’t in an intimate situation with my patient?).  Judging by my struggle to not pass out, it worked out okay that the hospital staff were the ones that tended to that task.  But when going back to the ER, he looked at me.  I am not sure why I forgot that look.  And I forgot that moment.  Until last week.

“I don’t want to do this any more”.

He looked at me and said this.  He was done fighting.

That moment was front and center last week.  Like it was yesterday.

And I got the very last look from him…a bit later,  when the doctor told him he was being intubated and put on life support before being transported to Boston. It was just us. Because I was there…not just at the end…not when it was convenient…but because I was there every second I could be.

I’m still not sure why I was treated so badly right after that moment…I welcome the family to reach out to me to explain.

But, now looking back, I did get the goodbye I needed.

Closure? I think so.

 

 

 

Live Pee Or Die #PB4WEGO

Well.

Who woulda known that my little ole license plate would stir up such a buzz??!!

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But here we are.  It’s just about two weeks after I received my letter from the Supervisor at the Division of Motor Vehicles of New Hampshire…the Live Free or Die state (insert eye roll).

I was on my way out the door to go to work on a Friday afternoon in my usual hurried fashion.  Mail was on the kitchen table…as it is typically is…dropped off by one of the two kids that still reside full time in the home (one is away going to a local university, one lives not too far from my home with his wife and child).  There was a letter from the DMV on the table.  If anyone has been to my home…they know I am not really on top of opening my mail.  I do most everything on-line, and I am doing my best to go completely paperless, but…there is usually a stack of mail on the far corner of the table in addition to random magazines and sales flyers.  This letter stood out, though.  DMV? I just got my license renewed last month…my registration is good until November…I haven’t gotten any tickets (knocking on wood as I type this)…I grabbed it and opened it as I was yelling good-bye again to the kids and trying not to trip over the dogs.

I sat in my car and read this letter.  Then I read it again. And again.

Oh, Hells No!  Uh-uh. Nope.

I read it again at every stop sign and stop light on the three mile drive to work.

I got to the restaurant and showed my dear boyfriend the letter, I was in disbelief (He’s the executive chef, I am the bartender)!!  I carried the letter into my bar area and read it again…and I talked about it with just about every patron and co-worker throughout the night (after I executed orders in a timely fashion lol…and my apologies to those that were my sounding board that night…I was like a broken record!).

My vanity plate was being recalled and I had to surrender my PB4WEGO plates to the local DMV within ten days. …because it included sexual or excretory (that’s a new word I have added to my vocabulary) acts or functions.  For real??!!  Peeing is now somehow offensive!  Especially when you are telling your child that so you don’t have to stop at the gas station two miles down the road…a phrase I said commonly starting 25 years ago and on…hence the plate I got 15 years ago (when NH expanded license plates to 7 characters).

It was a few hours into the weekend at this point, so I had to wait until Monday morning to call the DMV and get some answers.  I talked to a few nice ladies there who let me know that my letter was one of many that were sent and sorry, but I had to turn in my plates.

Nope.

I then (after voicing my feelings on this decision) asked how to appeal this letter.  I was advised to write a letter to the supervisor of the bureau of registration at the DMV and was given the email so they could get it right to him.  I though a bit about how to word what I wanted to say.  I thought about saying the “P” stood for something else, but out principal…I wanted to stand my ground that it DID stand for “pee”…and please go now so I don’t have to stop later!  Nothing offensive about that.  I thought about using the argument “everyone does it”.  But, let’s face it.  There’s a lot of things people do all the time that we don’t want to talk about or put on a plate.  Moving on from that subject…

I decided to just ask to keep my plate.  Because it’s not offensive and it’s my right.

I received a letter from the supervisor the following day and was informed that it was in with the legal department and my registration would remain valid during this time while a decision was being reached.

I felt this recall was so absurd and uncalled for.  After a few days with no word I contacted the local newspaper and asked if they were interested in hearing about the story.  They were.  And evidently a lot more were than I ever anticipated!  Holy Smokes!  It has blown up all over the media!  Since then, the governor heard about it in a roundabout way, if not directly seeing all over social media, and decided to make a phone call to the DMV.  After that, it was decided I could keep my plates!  Thanks, Gov’nah!

So, after the governor stepped in and the decision was made, the media blew up a bit more.  A lot more.  I’ve done interviews with so many radio stations, newspapers and news stations, I can’t even keep track of who I have spoken to!  It’s all pretty surreal.

After what I believe are the last interviews this morning that I will give on this subject, Inside Edition and CNN (ya, I know!!), I started to read some of the comments on the various publications.  All through this process over the past few weeks, I have had nothing but support.  From friends, family and strangers alike.  It’s been fun chatting with people I am just meeting and being exposed to new TV and radio stations.  I have definitely been feeling the love and positive energy around me (thank you!).  I also didn’t realize how much I hate being filmed and I discovered new anxieties that I never knew I had!!  Thanks to my guy for talking me off a cliff before a few of the interviews! Also, we both decided that we are thankful we are not celebrities!!

As I was reading through some of the comments, it was disheartening to read so many negative people out there who are ridiculing the whole situation and poking fun at how much media this story has gotten.  Then poking at the governor because he has more pressing things to deal with.

In the grand scheme of things, a license plate is not a big deal.  I, of all people, know this.  Life is much bigger than that and there are far more serious issues out there to find solutions for (I said to my guy just yesterday that I wished this publicity was for a greater cause).  It wasn’t just about a license plate, though.  It was the about a right.  It was about the government coming to me and taking something that was mine, that I paid for legally, and snatching it away from me.  For no reason.  They passed some law and somehow I fit into that category and now something that I own, that has been the cause of so many innocent laughs and genuine smiles, is being deemed offensive or vulgar and now I can’t have it.

I wasn’t going to let that happen.

And even if the governor didn’t step in, I hope that I would have had the same outcome.

So, all of you that have messaged me, called me, interviewed me, shared my story…thank you.  Thanks for getting my little story out there and making it big and helping me keep my vanity plate.  And helping me keep my rights.

And to the haters and pessimists and political ranters, lighten up.  And go pee…

Live pee or die ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterness…

 

Most of my writings here on momdotcalm.com, I feel, have been about grief.  Even if that was never the purpose of starting this blog.  Through my writings I have come to understand grief and have come to terms that it will always be with me.  It is a part of me.  It is not front and center.  It is not all I think or talk about.  It is real and the love I have for others that have passed is a real part of my heart.  I am comfortable with the way my heart has healed over these scars and I am doing life with a man that has his own scars.  It works for us and helps us understand each other and have a healthy respect for our losses.  Amen.

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What has come to light recently is the bitterness, that I usually have a good hold on,  is still there.  And I want to be rid of it.  It’s helping no one.  And the main subject (among others) that is the primary object of my bitterness has not stopped with consistent selfish actions and derogatory remarks to me.  I then fire back and this does no one any good.  I usually have that tug-of-war rope down and move along with life, happily.  But it doesn’t take much for me to grab that rope that I keep in reach and  the battle begins again.

I want to bury that rope…maybe plant some flowers there.

Last Friday was my youngest son’s father’s, step-ish father to the older three, would-be-birthday. He’ll be gone 6 years this coming September.  I took the night off of work and was happily cooking dinner for the whole clan that was coming together to do some reminiscing and a balloon send off.  I was doing remarkably well for what is usually a very tough day for me.  I kept saying how at peace I was.  Baseball for the 8 year old was cancelled due to rain and I was even more at ease and able to cook a nice stew for the crew!! A sense of calm and not feeling rushed.

Now my daughter had her High School Prom the next day after this dinner, so our weeks prior were kinda crazy with shopping, alterations, jewelry selecting, nails, etc. (cha-ching!).  She had asked me to bring her to get her 2nd an 3rd holes pierced in her ears in the days prior to this relaxing night.  I said no, too much going on and I didn’t think it was a good idea.  I finally agreed that if she wanted to ask her Dad, so be it, but I wasn’t.  Inevitably, she got him to say yes, but it was to be on this Friday that we were already busy.  Whatever, have her home early enough to enjoy her brothers (one just home from college that day!) and the balloon send off.

This quiet in the house I was experiencing was like figure skating…on very thin ice.  I knew that just below the surface was a lot of pain, anguish and grief…bitterness.  I was feeling the true peace, but I was cautious with every skate, that the ice was fragile.  I was doing a fine job.

And then the text.  “If you don’t have baseball tonight, why don’t you just take her to get her ears pierced?”

Seems a simple question that would warrant a simple answer?

Nope.

It bubbled every angry moment I have ever had toward this person.  Bitterness in the most extreme and truest form.  Ice cracked and I started drowning in all these negative emotions.  It took me about an hour to pull myself out onto solid ground, but not without a lot of harsh words and me realizing this person will never have an appreciation for me always being here for these kids, doing 99% vs. 1%.  Him saying to me “Get over yourself” was the  put-down-the-rope moment.

My instinct is to itemize all the reasons for bitterness, but my mind stops me out of respect for my kids…and him… I will not.  It’ll do no good.  Nor the others I hold onto pieces of bitterness towards.

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Instead I am going to try and work on this pessimistic emotion that does nothing but hurt me…and those close to me.  It does nothing to the person I am holding bitterness towards.  They walk free regardless of how I feel.

I know this person’s family and friends are very protective of him and will be angry for me voicing anything remotely negative.  But it is what it is, the truth hurts sometimes.

Bitterness does, too.

And…in addition to that, it’s none of my business what others opinions are of me.  I’m doing the best I can here.

For myself…and those I love, I am trying to get rid of the bitterness and forgive.  Most of the time I do it well, but other times I don’t.

I’ll start shopping for the flowers that will be over that buried tug-of-war rope.  Until then, work in progress…

My Cherry on Top <3

Why do I blog…when do I blog…what do I blog…???

There’s no definitive answer for those questions.

I first started to write at the direction of a friend who thought that, as a single and involved Mom, I may have some insight and tips and tricks to share to maybe help others in their daily life.  My first posts were more recipe driven…cooking is a passion of mine, so that’s no surprise.  There will be more of those in the future…I’m sure.

Life went on and I soon after realized how therapeutic it was to sit and write about what was on my mind and in my heart.  It felt good.  I, over the years, have had a lot of hurt.  People deal with their hurts differently.  I talk.  I write.  I quickly learned that it heals me.  It helps me process what’s on my mind, what I am going through.  Blogging became a journal of mine, whether it was read or not.  It was for me.

It is scary, sometimes, hitting “post”.  I talk about some sensitive issues and sometimes disclose not only my own baggage, but that of others’ as well.  After the initial panic sets in wondering how my thoughts and words will be received…and after the alerts slow down as to who has read and liked…or read and not liked my post, the calm sets in.  The reason for me using this platform.

What I wasn’t expecting was the secondary outcome of me doing this type of journaling.  I have been written to and approached on a regular basis with regard to how my blog has helped someone. It astounds me every time.  When I was writing the cancerdotcalm blog, I knew that it was helping people.  It was helping keep friends and family, and even those I didn’t know that were going through the same struggle, informed of what was going on with my then boyfriend and his journey battling leukemia. Everyone wanted to be tuned in and be updated.  With this blog though, I have been repeatedly and pleasantly surprised with the kind words of folks who keep reading momdotcalm.com.  How I have helped and inspired them.  Whether dealing with grief, a domestic issue or just as a parent trying to keep it together.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have also been greeted with the hate mail, and even a house visit, with disapproval for what I have written about. My opinion?  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.  Please keep scrolling by and don’t visit my site.  You do you, I’ll do me.

And the positive feedback keeps blowing my mind every time.  I write for me.  And if my writing and purging my thoughts and feelings, whatever the random topic is, affects even one person to be inspired or feel like they are not alone…then that’s a great big cherry on top.

Thank you for reading and your messages. ❤

cherry

God Bless My Broken Road

I sit today to write with a burning question in my heart.  I write not because I have the answers and I want to share my knowledge…but because I don’t.

I have been abused.  I have been emotionally abused.  I have been verbally abused. I have been physically abused.  I have been sexually abused.

I have not been abused by strangers, but men I chose to be with…and chose to stay with.

That’s a hard pill for me to swallow.

I am talking about it…and I encourage others too, as well.

Recent happenings have had the dust kicked up and has me self-reflecting, more than usual anyway.  My first husband, father to my oldest child, was arrested last week…for domestic assault, no less…and highlighted in the local news pages.  This man has been MIA for over a decade.  And even then it was a one-time encounter after many years of no contact.  He abandoned his child, physically and financially.

His arrest, and him surfacing, has me recounting the details of our past history.  My son has no recall of any events while we were married (Thank God) being that he was just over a year old when we separated.  And when I say separated…I mean that there was the final and scary act of violence.  Leaving me with some haunting memories that I haven’t visited in quite some time.  There were a few violent encounters in our relationship…the last one involving a lot of bruising, weapons, police lights at our house in the middle of the night and restraining orders…not unlike my last relationship finale.

This has me asking…how the hell…why the hell…have I had myself in relationships with people like this!!??  I find myself to be somewhat intelligent.  Emotionally grounded.  Rational.  And I wasn’t stuck.  I read a lot of articles of women who are afraid to leave.  That wasn’t me.  I was NOT afraid…I was pissed off and hurt (Well, in the moment of violence…I was afraid…but when the dust settled and I was no longer being dominated…I held my ground!).  I demanded a solution.  For them to fix the problem.

And they agreed.  I have been to more couples counseling than I would care to have…and seen people go to on their own.  Regardless of the help that was being sought…the result has been the same.

The cycle of violence that’s published on the internet is a real thing.  Even if I don’t have the answer as to how I got into those relationships yet, I understand why I stayed.  For a time anyway.  The honeymoon phase.  I remember in one relationship that was going through the intense and rocky phase…that I would just wish for it to blow-up and for the fall-out to happen so we could get to the point where he would be sorry and doting.  Totally messed up.  However, I know I am not alone.  At least I don’t think I am.

I can thankfully say that I am now in a non-violent nor abusive in any manner relationship.  It’s not perfect, nor should it be.  Two personalities coming together is bound to have some conflict and growing pains, but it’s calm and respectful and loving.  Hallelujah.

I speak openly in my relationship about my past and my hurts and questions about my decisions.  I am still trying to sift through how I got into the situations I was in…but if not for anything…I am glad my path was the way it was (I was reminded of this over the past few days by both my oldest child and my boyfriend).  I have four beautiful children (and the wisdom gained) that are the result of my road traveled.

So, while I haven’t answered my question as to why I chose some men like I did (please note…not all were abusive…my longest relationship to date, albeit high conflict at the end with husband number two, was not abusive)…I know this was the journey I was meant to have.  And I am more than okay with the family that was the product of that journey.

God bless this broken road.

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I urge those in these types of relationships to speak up, get help and get out.  Just get out.  In my experience…it gets no better.  Progressively, it gets worse.  I am lucky enough to be here to talk about it and no further damage or injury was experienced. Speak up.  Get out. ❤

 

 

 

My balance…

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I’ve been itching to blog for a few weeks now.  I have had plenty of opportunity, however, I usually need to be spontaneously inspired and I sit and I don’t stop writing until I hit “publish”.  Sometimes it takes all of 15 minutes to blog a thought.  Sometimes hours.  It is usually sparked by something I am feeling passionately about…grief or happiness being the usual suspects (talk about one end of the spectrum to the other!).

Today brings us here by way of both…as I came across this memory this morning.

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Posted on Facebook 3 years ago:

Wendy Lee Auger is feeling grateful.
November 17, 2015 at 2:35 PM · Sanbornton ·
I believe Life is 10% what happens to you… And 90% what you make of it. 10% of me is pretty broken and hurting… But 90% is feeling pretty good, content and fulfilled. That’s not a bad ratio….

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It got me thinking about how I came to be able to focus on the positives.  Even during my negatives.  I know it’s a choice, but it really comes natural for me.  Like that’s how I’m wired.  It then brought me to look at my upbringing, what molded me and my sisters.  The four of us girls are really different in a lot of ways…but we are very similar in this department.  Three out of four of us have had significant losses (all of us struggles and bumps) over the past few years.  Me losing the father/father-figure to my kids from liver failure six years ago…and my next boyfriend to cancer three years later, one sister losing her husband in a car crash five years ago…and one sister losing her son to an overdose just shy of two years ago.  That’s some serious crap right there in our little family.  And you know what?  We all mourn/ed and we all grieve.  And we all will.  And we live.  We find joy in our life.  We all have done it in our own time…in our own way…and we are all working through it still.  But we do it.

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So, if there’s one thing (know there are many) I can thank my parents for…it’s instilling in us ladies to pick ourselves up and keep moving.  Not necessarily by dealing with death…but by any adversity.  I don’t recall any wise words or lessons taught with regard to this, but clearly there’s something there in each of us that made us this way.  Don’t sit there and dwell on what’s not right…what happened to you…or why your life sucks.  Feel it, deal with it and then figure out how to take the next step.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there’s no looking back or that the pain shouldn’t be felt or visited.  My feeling is that it is a natural and healthy progression of grief to continue to feel it.  Let it be there, but eventually keep it tucked in your pocket so you can move through your days with laughter, smiles and happy tears…and take it back out when it’s time.  Yes, here and there it jumps right out at you with no warning sending you into a grief attack (that’s what I call them), however, I think if you eventually get to that 90%/10% or so ratio…you are doing better than okay in my book.

I am very blessed to have a great man in my life who is understanding when that optimum balance I strive for gets knocked off kilter.  Or that he is just seeing my 10% up close and personal.  A few weeks ago, I was getting in my own head about our relationship…Corey and I are closing in on being together for a year now.  I was doing the typical analyzing thing I do.  I started thinking of how differently we now view each other, and in which ways we still see each other the same.  It’s interesting to me as we worked together for six years prior to our fateful trivia meet up as co-worker friends…leave as something much more night.

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“What about me is the most surprising thing to you after getting to know me more, moving in together and becoming part of my family?” I asked…well, I texted it…that’s how we roll.

My thoughts ran wild before I received his response.  I figured it would be something like that I struggle with organization…or that I sleep with my socks on…or that I always have candles lit/music on…or that I suck as a housekeeper (I knew he would never ever say that to me…but I figured it may cross his mind!!).

Nope.  That wasn’t his answer.

“That you still hold on to so much pain”.

I was mind blown.  In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. But when I read that…I was really shocked.  The grief and pain are such a normal feeling for me, I rarely realize they are even there.  I was sad for the answer (albeit slightly relieved my housekeeping skills didn’t take the cake!), but the more I have thought about it…the more I get it.  He is on the inside now.  He doesn’t just see me at the grocery store, or serving a dinner or a beverage at work…or spying my dance-jam in the new Corolla at the red light.  He see’s me waking up on the “angelversaries”.  The birthdays.  The random days in-between.  He sees me after I filled the paperwork out for school and sports when on the “father” line is deceased.  He now lives with the pain by proxy.  My 10%.

So folks, here’s a few things.

I  wanna say thank you to my parents for whatever, however, you instilled it in us girls to keep trucking on and finding our joy.  Sisters…keep rocking on with your bad selves through all the adversity and what’s handed to you, you’ve got this.  To all of you reading this in your journey of pain and grief…getting it in your pocket will be attainable, please trust me on this.

And finally to my guy, Corey.  Thank you for being you…and letting me be me.  Disorganized me, socks on at night me, lighting candles and singing off-key me, messy me.  And in pain me…sometimes.  Happy me…most times.

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Time to Heal…My Own Way.

Healing is a process.  It doesn’t look the same for any two people.  There are “stages” that are outlined for how people usually deal with loss…and I agree with that.  But it’s not an even flow from one to the next.  And sometimes you get stuck in a stage.

I feel like that I am genuinely happy…but even still, I am stuck in the anger.  I am very angry about the closing, and content, of my last relationship.  Not with every waking breath, but it’s there.  I can easily feel pleasure and I smile almost all the time.  That doesn’t mean that right under the surface I am not enraged.

At the risk of pissing off a few people…I am choosing to write about it.  I am getting more and more angry as the days go by instead of it dissipating.  While I am settling into a very amazing new relationship, I am still reeling about the former one.  It’s not keeping me from enjoying one ounce of romance and excitement…but in those quiet moments…I slip to where I just came from.

The letter came in the mail this week dictating to me the outcome of the hearing from the County House of Corrections from last month…the last incident.   The sentence he should have served is suspended with two years good behavior, but the fact that there’s Domestic Violence charges read loud and clear to me and just resonates.  It has snapped me into a bad place.

Shhhhh…..

Right?  I am not supposed to talk about it?

I am supposed to move on and heal…but just don’t say out loud what happened.  It’s not fair to him.  He was wronged growing up.  He’s not a monster.

Guess what?  I think differently.

I think I let a man into my life hesitantly.  One who gave, gave, gave.  “Too good to be true” is what I kept saying about the way my needs were tended to.  Of course, the immaturity here and there and what I considered obnoxiousness at times were smoothed over with the constant doting…for me and the family.  I always worried, though, about the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Sadly, I was correct.

I gave him me.  An already wounded me.  And the biggest part of me.  My family.

My family was treated well by him.  No denying that.   I gave him this family that has been through a ton.  Kids that have lost their father figure.  A little boy that lost his one and only father.  That looked to this guy as his potential Step-Dad.  The only living Dad he would have.  I gave him that.

I am so unbelievably angry that he was so careless with this gift.  That because he had a crappy upbringing, he used that to excuse his violent outbursts.  He used that to excuse laying his hands on me.  Slamming me into the dashboard of his truck. He used that to excuse biting…yes, biting me…like an animal in a fit of rage.  I am still marked from that incident…from over a year and a half ago.

Shhhhh…

It’s not fair to speak of these things.  It’s not fair to him.  He’s not a monster.

Guess what?  I still think differently.

If those things were okay to do to me at the time, I feel they are okay to speak of today.

Why the hell do people think it’s better for me to keep it quiet to protect him?  Protect his feelings.  His honor.  Where the hell were you at two a.m. when he was in a rage and I was doing everything I could to de-escalate a situation that I had no idea how the outcome would be…fearing the worse.   The last one ultimately damaging a lot of people.

Just SHHHHHH!

Right?  I should just be silent and deal with it quietly?  We don’t want to embarrass anyone?

I am not trying to piss anyone off, but I am the one that is pissed off now.  Pissed off and hurt.  Pissed off and trying to heal…

I speak in hopes to heal some of this resentment.  I refuse to purse my lips to protect those that were so careless with me and mine.  I speak to let some of you that are stuck in a shitty situation, whether like the one I speak of or something different…that although there’s this process to go through…and sometimes you get stuck in for a bit…there’s another side to that life.  A decent one. A happy one.

I am holding tight to the hope that this is another step in my healing and I release some of this hostility by opening up more.  I honestly hope that the person that caused me this anger is finding their own way of healing to help them get healthy so they don’t do this to another family, and themselves, again.  I hope his family finds their way to forgiving him for doing and me for sharing.  I hope that if you are reading and you relate and you hurt…you find your path to safety and mending.

Bring on the next stage…