Not My Proudest Moment

I like to believe that I’m an incredibly tolerant individual, especially when I’m dealing with a person that don’t know me or my story … the past few days completely destroyed my belief in myself!

On Friday, July 13, my daughter and I officially became homeless. We went to a shelter to buy us some time for our potential home to be completed and us time to get some money toward our security deposit and first months rent.

Years ago, I suffered with PTSD, and recently the stress of everything has caused a relapse. I am aware of the physical deterioration of my health, the psychological stuff, I have learned to cope … or so I thought.

The shelter where we stayed required that we attend their nightly chapel sessions, which I was okay with as I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt and this would fill one void. However, our entire stay there was full of chaos and conflict, even during church services. My daughter and I did a great job coping with the constant stress, but last night I began to feel myself losing sight of my coping skills.

I asked a staff member if I could get Caitlin to someone that I could trust so that first thing in the morning I could see my doctor. I was told that leaving would not be tolerated and I must stay until after Monday morning classes.

During my Monday morning I was handed a list of churches that I should probably considering attending. I explained that I have a church family that I trust and love and I would not be interested in changing churches. Staff asked for the name of the church and wrote it down, then informed me that I should still consider their list of churches as they are the ones that donate to the shelter’s cause.

Although their services are Christian based I did not feel that it was appropriate for them to dictate where I worship.

Then, my daughter and I missed dinner because we weren’t back at 5PM, and we missed our 6PM curfew because my daughter had a doctor’s appointment. I had explained this at the classes and was told that I need to schedule all future appointments around the shelters schedule. In a week I will be returning to work, but they prefer that I miss work to get my daughter to the doctor so that it doesn’t interfere with their schedule.

When we returned at 6:30 tonight I gave staff a note showing what time we got to the doctor’s office, what time we left and we were allowed 30 minutes to return! As we were being patted down, scanned with a metal detector and our belongings searched the staff member asked what book my daughter had. It happened to be Harry Potter.

She was told she could not have that book while at the shelter. She immediately defended the fact that she has been reading that since we arrived. It didn’t matter, it would have to be locked up with all of the cellphones, medicines, cigarettes and lighters.

My daughter and I have always coped with stress by reading fictional books. This is our mini mental vacation. I wasn’t surprised when my daughter tossed the book on the desk and ran from the room, but my response did surprise me.

“This agency needs to have some empathy for those in this situation! She is 15, she is going through the worst time in her life. She copes by reading FICTION, she knows that it is FICTION, she is taking a mental vacation and watching a boy coming from nothing and turning his FICTIONAL world on its ear, making that boy a success! If you can’t respect a person’s prized coping skill then you have no business working in this field!”

It may seem stupid, my daughter and I left the shelter over a freaking book! That is not why we left, it was because that was just another symbol of our dignity stripped from us because I’m too poor to pay rent in a community that was clearly too rich for my blood.

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Ungifting the Gifts to my Children

As I watch my children stumbling through this crazy thing called life, it has occured to me that I have been a very poor role model. For that reason, I am ungifting the parent I have been, to become the parent that I should be.

I’ve lived my life with poor boundaries, causing pain that could have been avoided. I have experienced my fair share of atonement for my sins in this lifetime. I’ve also taken on karma that should have been meant for others sins. All of this has lead to mountains of wisdom about me and changes that I need to make.

So, here I am, robbing my children of who I was and begging them to watch me grow and see who I become between know and the end of my life. Please, don’t follow my past, but watch me become someone that I can love … and then build on that to make our pasts worth a hundred fold the wisdom we have gained.

Facing the Facts of Bullying

So I have seen a couple of articles discussing the possibility of fining parents of children that bully others; you can check out one such article here.

With this on the virtual table I’d like to tell my story. Rewind back to December 8, 1989 … my 16th birthday; and what a memorable one it was. The local school district had just adopted an ordinance stating if a person was involved in a fist fight on school grounds they would be cited for disorderly conduct. Of course, me being the rebel that I was I had to test the concept.

Fists flew in the cafetorium, a teacher grabbed me from behind, and I was unaware of who or what had a hold of me, I clocked her upside the head. The other student and I were removed to the office to await the arrival of police. The citation floored me as the officer handed it over, shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Happy Birthday.”

The court date drew near and I was so nervous that I was sick to my stomach, but I played tough girl and kept it together. The courtroom was an ominous place to be I thought as I tried to hide my fear. Police officers were everywhere, and the teacher that I had unknowlingly punched was there too.

I guess, for court proceedings it was fairly normal, but at the time I had nothing to compare it to, nor did I want anything to compare it to!

I was called to stand before the judge, as my parents remained seated behind me. Questions were asked of me by the judge, honestly, I don’t even remember what was said, I only remember the mousy voice that stumbled over my lips where normally an obnoxious voice was sure to be heard.

The judge determined that I was guilty and fined me $300. I didn’t bat an eye, I just thought, no big deal, one more bill for Mom and Dad to pay.

From behind me I heard my father’s booming voice, “Judge, I’m Laura’s father. May I address the court?”

Permission was granted and the truth of our circumstances escaped into the court room that was jam packed with nosy bodies looking to see what the first offense in the school district would bring.

“Your Honor,” Dad said, “I am retired, I am on a fixed income, and Laura does not have a job. I feel as if I am being punished for her wrong doing and I just think the consequences should be Laura’s, not mine.”

My knees weakened, my heart raced, I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to face the consequences of … of … of my own behavior!?

It was to be so. The judge ordered me to work with Bucks County Youth Aid Panel, where I was required to write an essay detailing what wisdom I had gained from my experience, and community service to pay off my fines.

Ho, hum, community service, so I pick up some trash along the road and call it good. NO! This was different, I was made to work in the janitorial department of the local township building, which also housed the police department. Here I got to know police, I got to joke with them, and learn that even they are human and their job is to protect us … in some cases they are protecting us from ourselves.

What did I gain? Respect, both self respect, and respect for others. Consequences for my behavior, and that was a life changer.

Some parents don’t want their children to face consequences in these matters, if that’s the case, by all means, let the parent be fined. However, kids learn best with consequences that they must pay by themselves.

“If he’s treating you, like I treated you”…

Beautiful, very well written.

Eye Will Not Cry

sadd

~

You don’t look older…
You just look so sad…

Like the troubles you carry…
Are the worst that you’ve had…

That sparkle in your eyes…
Is duller than I recall…

The glint of diamonds…
Is hardly there at all…

And I know that it’s been…
Such a very long time…

Since we were together…
And everything was fine…

In the haze of that summer…
In the midst of the madness…

You’ve clearly moved on…
Yet inherited a sadness…

That drapes over your face…
Like a thin white veil…

And sits on your shoulders…
That appear gaunt and frail…

While the smile you paint…
On your soft, pretty face…

Can’t cover up your pain…
Or even begin to chase…

Those dark demons away…
That now reside in your head…

Who have stolen your identity…
Causing tears to be shed…

And there’s nothing I can say…
There’s nothing much I can…

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Thinking

I’ve been thinking really hard about some tough decisions. I’m tired of being unhappy, tired of fighting when I have no fight left to give. I’m tired of hearing through the grapevine about things that I should know first hand, or that I would prefer not to know.

My life is in turmoil, and I sort of have control over that. Dare I say that I’m letting myself down, and along the way disappointing those that I love most.

Where do I begin? Where is this road going to take me? What have I got to lose? So many questions that only I can answer, but often times I’m afraid of the answers that are within me.

As I try to find my authentic self I’ve come to realize that the one that professes love for me secretly hates me, the real me. What’s left to this life? Dare I step out?

Help, or not.

Have you ever imagined a man having a bird? I hear that saying often, “He’s gonna have a bird!” Yet, I have never seen it, but somethings are about to change. If my husband really does have a bird, I promise to video tape it to prove it is possible.

What’s he going to have a bird about? Well, I did something without discussing it with him, and here it is: GoFundMe. Yes, I started a whoa is me page, because I’m not in a position to borrow money at the moment, so I’m requesting donations to make my life a touch easier.

Maybe I’m desperate, maybe I’m a dreamer, but certainly, I could use some help. So, feel free to check out my GoFundMe page and see why my husband is going to have a bird.

Going Once, Going Twice, A Broken Heart … GONE to the lady in tears

Yesterday I received a startling phone call. My pulmonologist would like me to have an Echo Cardio Gram to see if the pulmonary embolism that I had eight years ago caused damage to my heart. When the cardiologist’s office called they told me that my appointment was listed as urgent. This freaked me out … a lot. Then, I got to thinking about it:

Did you ever think about how you will pass on? What will be your demise? I have, I’ve thought of a million ways for the end to come; mostly it is something wild and crazy. You know? Like sliding into your grave with a smile on your face saying, “Damn, that was one hell of a ride!” But, for the past 18 hours it has been a bit different.

What if I die from a broken heart? Both figuratively and literally. What if it is my emotions that take me? My habit of loving too hard, or for too long; what if that is my demise? Would I still enjoy the ride? Or would I wonder why no one could love me as deeply as I love them?

At first thought I believe that I should rebuild my titanium wall, to protect me from the pain induced by a lifetime of loveless relationships. Yet, that would make it seem like I don’t care and one of my greatest features and worst characteristics is that I care too much. I’m not going to change that, because if I did, it would be my past molding me. My history of suffering would break through every fiber of my being and tear me into oblivion.

I would rather die from a broken heart than to be unable to love myself enough to love others. So, if that’s what happens, if my heart gives out before I’m ready to stop loving you should know one thing: