Category Archives: faith
I have a lot to say to you and I need to do it in the way I do best, words on paper. This is not for you, but this is for me and for our kids. Writing this to you may bring you some sense of closure and reflection too, and if it does that is great, but that is not my main intention. I’m not writing this to anger you. I’m not writing this to reminisce on our time together though it may feel like that at times while reading this. I need to release all the resentment I have towards you and that may feel like hate at times, and perhaps right now it is a bit of hate. I hope writing this will close off all this and I can finally put you to rest like I finally put my dad to rest. This might not make any sense to you and it doesn’t need too. Perhaps you will not read this all the way through and that is perfectly fine too. All I know is, I need to say these things, and I am going to say them.
When we decided to get together we were young. I came to you partly broken. I had been abused as a child, and I had been abused from a previous marriage. I thought I had scrutinized your personality so well that I would be safe with giving you my heart and giving you my bullets. For some time, I guess I was safe. You were a funny, charming, military man who seemed to have goals and dreams to have a good life in the future, and I was a funny, futuristic, creative girl who also aspired of turning her life around and building something for her future. I saw my dad in you, and my dad was the best man I had ever known, and how could I go wrong with that I had thought? I never thought you would damage me in the ways that you did over the decades that I had invested in you. In those first few years I never envisioned that I would have put my dreams on hold to build you up while I grew older not attaining any of my aspirations. I never thought in those first years that I would have given up complete control over my life to raise our children while you lived a bachelor life drinking with your friends leaving me home alone over and over. I know you view things differently and you have excuses about babysitters, and you want to use excuses about money. Those do not matter now. You invalidated my feelings for decades. When I tried to explain to you how those many nights made me feel jealous, insecure, lonely, and unimportant to you, you invalidated me over and over. Years of this emotional abuse made me into someone I didn’t recognize Armin.
Then I ended up sick with my back tumor and still you continued to invalidate my feelings and you continued your behavior of drinking and going out with your friends. You may never admit to emotionally abusing me, and you may never admit publicly to the control you took over my life for the 19 years we spent together but we both know the truth. We both know I rolled over for you to go on your fishing trips, drinking escapades, and weekend camping trips while you complained about me buying $5 coffee or buying desserts at the grocery stores, or complaining if I bought an outfit once in a while for myself. We both know that you never put me seeing my family on the priority list, but we were sure seeing your family once a year or once every two years. We both know when I finally stood up and wanted to put my goals on the table you didn’t even want to discuss them. Those words still echo in my ears like a siren going off through town warning us for a tornado. “You can’t even clean my house the way I like what makes you think you can go back to school?”
I still wonder to myself, what kind of person says that to his wife, when she tells him she is contemplating suicide and needs more in life? Have you even reflected on that?
I have also reflected on the day you and I sat in the Pasat at my mum’s, in her driveway, when you told me you wanted to marry me and take care of me. Remember that day? You had drove over from Chicago to visit Courtney while we were separated. Remember why we separated? You were out all the time drinking with your friends and we were fighting over YOU invalidating my feelings. I was standing up for myself and you didn’t think I had a justification for that. I did have justification for fighting you then. I’m not saying I handled that time in the proper way. I’m not perfect. I shouldn’t have thrown things. I shouldn’t have shouted the way I shouted, but you brought that crazy out. That is what YOU need to see. Your narcissistic abuse brought that crazy out in me. Make no mistake about it Armin, that is exactly WHAT IT WAS! NARCISSISTIC ABUSE! The projection, the invalidation, the gas lighting, and the stonewalling was narcissistic abuse. I left though, like any normal person should have done in that situation. The mistake was believing you when you came to Ohio. The mistake was taking you back and believing that you would have kept up your end of the bargain the second time.
You showed up in Ohio and you used your charm in the driveway at my mums telling me that you wanted to marry me and take care of me. It was a load of bullshit that I bought into. You never kept your end of the bargain Armin. It was that same year while I was planning out wedding you were laid out night after night drinking, leaving me home alone again, wondering who you were with and what you were doing. Again, when I questioned you, you would invalidate my feelings and tell me that I was crazy. Then, long behold you come home with another woman’s pants on! I still married your dumbass. I was the dumbass, and we had a second child. The two things I do not regret with you are our children, but they have paid a high price. I will get to them later in this revolution I’m having. Regarding Erica’s pants, you again invalidated my feelings again for months as I walked around paranoid about you cheating. The most hilarious thing as I reflect on our time together is that you ACCUSED ME OF CHEATING and TALKING TO MEN ONLINE the entire time you were pulling this bullshit ON ME!
I built you up. I supported ANY decision you ever fucking made. I was LOYAL TO YOU with all your fucking bullshit. I tolerated your womanizing, flirtatious friends and I’m a great fucking mum IN SPITE of the fucking life I have had from being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and live with a physical disability…and when I made the decision to finally leave your emotionally abusive ass…
You wanted to kick me out of the town home when I told you I wanted to divorce you knowing I had spent the last 19 years building your credit up while mine went nowhere, and you fought over paying me minimum child support and I’m on limited income with disability. I wasn’t even asking for alimony. You knew I couldn’t rent anywhere due to my credit, but you were willing to push me out of the town home if I had let you. What kind of person does this to someone they claimed to love for 19 years? What kind of person does this to the mother of their children? Have you reflected on this at all? I have. I have reflected a lot over these past few months. I am not trying to keep your kids from you. I’m trying to stay civil IN SPITE OF ALL this anger I have inside for your fucking ass…I honestly wish I didn’t need child support from your ass. I don’t want anything from you to be quite honest but unfortunately, I need it for the kids. I wish I didn’t have to look at your face ever again. Life doesn’t work that way, and well I’m stuck with you until Kylie is 18.
You have NO IDEA Armin…you have no fucking idea!
I am trying to be whole. I am trying to heal. I am trying to be an example for my two beautiful daughters’. I will be whole, and I will heal. I am an example for our daughters to be. I have shown them not to tolerate abuse, and I’ve been an example that even when things are difficult in life to not give up. I have also been an example that as a woman, when they are grown, they can work hard to be who they want, and no man can break them completely. Our children have paid a high price in many ways though from you as well. Our children, who, by the way need to heal from damage with your bullshit too. Let’s discuss them now…
You were not only a tyrant towards me with your verbal abuse, but you were a tyrant towards them. Not only did you feel the need to try to control every aspect of my life through emotional manipulation, but you used the same tactics on them. You still attempt to use these tactics now but thank God you only get to attempt to use these tactics part time now instead of being in our home using them nonstop. Again, you will not readily admit to any of this and you will make excuses about your behavior and that doesn’t even matter to me anymore. Everyone can think you are this charming and fantastic father in the outside world, but I KNOW the truth. Our kids know the truth about who you really are under pressure. We know how you are when you do not get your way.
The kids and I will always remember the times you called them idiots, yelled curse words at them simply because you didn’t get your way. I know right now you want to go defensive and try to turn something around on me and try to bring up a time I would have cursed at Courtney in my anger. The difference between you and I is I used curse words in anger at the situation. I never used curse words aimed at her and the one time I did I addressed it immediately and corrected my parenting. Let’s take a trip back to 7th avenue when you were downstairs with Courtney yelling at her, “Are you fucking stupid or something?” I was upstairs, and I yelled downstairs and said, “This isn’t your mum and dads house and you will NOT speak to her like that. Your dad may talk to Eric like that, but YOU WILL NOT SPEAK TO HER LIKE THAT!” You never even apologized to her for that. Those moments happened over and over for her, and she was only 8 years old then. I could write out so many moments for her it is pathetic, but I won’t. I’m happy she will never have to live through that shit ever again. I’m sorry it took me so long to leave your ass. I’m glad Kylie only received a limited amount of abuse. I should have done better as a mum and left when she was a baby actually.
You told me once before you moved out of the town home that I would never find someone who would do what you do for me…you said I would never find another you…I have reflected on that over these past few months too…
You were right Armin. I will not find another like you who will do what you did for me. I will not be with another man who verbally beats me down, who invalidates my feelings, who doesn’t support me going to school to better my life financially. I will not be with a man who controls me. I will not be with a man who verbally abuses my children. I will not be with a man who lays out all night with friends while I’m home lonely and depressed wondering what is wrong with me. I will not be with a man who doesn’t lift me up. I will not be with a man who doesn’t see my potential. I will not be with a man who doesn’t allow me to express my creative side. I will not be with a man who doesn’t work with me as a partner in the goals I have for my life and the life I see with him by my side. I will not be with a man who doesn’t bring peace to my life. You were right. I will not find another man like you. I will find a man who loves me for who I am and I will love him the way I tried to love you and when I do it will crush you seeing me and our children loving him and him loving us in peace and harmony because the fact of the matter is you are broken, and you have been broken since age 4. I hope you find a way to repair your damage. It isn’t my place to do that. It isn’t our children’s’ place to do that. Stop expecting us to. We’re moving on.
For a week I worried about presenting my autobiographical speech for my communications class. I had to prepare a speech that fell between three to five minutes. My first initial concern was, how could I have prepared my story of 36 years in under five minutes! My second concern was that majority of my classmates were fifteen years younger than me. My final concern was how was I going to share my story, a very dark story, filled with missteps and trauma with a youth on looking from a perspective I imagined was a huge difference to my own life.
Today I had to present my story to my classmates. My heart was racing; my face I could feel began to blush, palms sweaty, and my voice trembling I stood up there and gave it my best shot. I focused on my breathing and trying to appear loose. Little things were making the anxiety worse like the clicker for my slide show was not cooperating fully. The content making me feel uneasy as well.
Someone had said, “Maybe you shouldn’t share some of your story.” Referring to my past drug addiction and perhaps some of the trauma I went through growing up. I contemplated this myself as I went over the speech several days. I spent days refining it, cutting things away from it, adding material that was brighter. In the final draft however I kept the drug addiction, the information about my mother being mentally ill, and I kept the information in it about my disability.
I mean why should I choose to omit these things when they belong to me? Yes, they belonged to me. So much so, that if these things did not exist I would be a completely different woman today. Quite frankly, I am proud of who I am today. Do I enjoy having a dark past? Does anyone? No, but you have to own your mistakes in order to prevent repeating them. I acknowledge what I have done wrong in my past and I do not plan to repeat them ever.
I stood there, looking at the crowd of my fellow students, feeling my heart in my throat. I took a deep breath and I began from the beginning. Each section I arrived at I’d glance over my classmates, hoping they would be preoccupied with some electronic device so I could feel at more ease with the next section. To my amazement every eye was glued to me. Some were even leaning into the desk as if they were leaning into my story wanting to hear it all, word for word, what I had gone through, what I had conquered in my life thus far. This increased my anxiety.
Fleeting thoughts running through my mind, “they are judging me; they are so young, can they even begin to understand what events I am sharing…” I was trying so hard to push those thoughts aside so I could get through to the end.
Then, something happened. I locked eyes with a few classmates. Something in their facial expression told me they were not judging at all. They were curious, almost mesmerized by my words of defeat, hurt, loss, agony, joy, success, and hope. Standing up there suddenly felt different. I was still anxious but I felt acceptance from the crowd.
Five minutes is not a long time, but when you are standing in front of crowd feeling naked as you share your life history, those five minutes feel like forever. In the moment I locked eyes with a few classmates it changed. Three minutes passed by so quickly and before I knew it I was ending the speech.
The claps I received felt like at any moment it would turn into a standing ovation from the entire room. It filled me with accomplishment, confidence, and acceptance.
The class sat and listened to about five more speeches and class was over. I was approached by a few students in amazement. They said, “They were so touched, and inspired by what I shared.” I said, “Thank you so much” and walked on out of class.
Then one student called out my name, “Rachel!” I stopped in the hall. Her eyes were glossy and on the brink of shedding tears as she reached out to put her hand on my arm. “Your story was so inspiring Rachel, you have greatness in you. Wisdom came out as you presented your story perfectly. You inspired me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I related to what you were saying up there. I see you reaching your goal to graduate and you will be an honor student I see in the future” wiping tears from her eyes as she shared some more of her story with me.
She shared with me her history with an abusive past. She talked about how her journey to where she is now wasn’t the easiest either. We shared thoughts about courage, strength and a desire for independence.
She said to me again, “Rachel, I am so glad you shared your story and I got to be lucky enough to hear you give it so gracefully.” I reached and hugged her I was so overwhelmed with warm feelings for this woman. I did not think I gave it gracefully. I thought I was a wreck standing up there trying to speak to the room. Anxiously, I was throwing most of my flaws into the wind of that small communications room, giving out bullets that could be used to harm me later.
She lifted me up to a level at this moment I can’t describe in words. She said I moved her but yet here she was moving me. She was moving me closer towards determination. Closer to victory over all I had done wrong in my past. She was moving me closer to acceptance that I had in fact been a drug addict, an abused woman, a lost young lady feeling hopeless with the death of my dad, but that those things were OK because I am not the only one carrying scars from childhood, or young adulthood.
It was an amazing end to my school day. I am glad I didn’t cut away some of my dark past. Today I took responsibility for all of it. Today I didn’t hide behind a sheltered computer screen, BLOG post, or safer environment. I am glad that I was able to stand up in front of strangers today to finally own it all.
I am not ashamed of that. I am not ashamed of any of it anymore. Today proved to me that I am finally not ashamed of where I have been, or where I come from. Most importantly today proved to me that I am where I belong and my future is going to bright. I am so excited about my life, my entire life. It deserves to be celebrated.
It is a new year! I can hardly believe it is 2015 already. I will be 37 in one month. I never imagined I would be where I am today. I drive a school bus part time and I enrolled into community college. I started my first semester January 12th. I have a week in so far. It is challenging with being sick and disabled but I am one determined woman. It must be that thing called ambition driving me. I am going for my teaching degree.
I have come far in my life. I was reflecting back on my life and all I have been through and it really does amaze me. From a chaotic, traumatic childhood, a lost teenager, a drug abusing young woman, a disabled grown woman to a sober, wife, mother and a college student. It has been one long road to this point in my life. A road full of missteps, loss, sadness, trauma, delays, joy, corrections and triumphs. I think that makes me remarkable. Yes I am remarkable.
There are so many people I have lost through the years. I wish I could reach out to them and show them that I am finally on the road to healing completely. If only there was a staircase to heaven. I am working hard to achieve a dream I’ve had for quite sometime that before I let fear, and missteps prevent me from going for that dream. Not anymore. I am taking power back over my life and over my happiness.
I will always be a working disabled woman. I think I am finally reaching the point in my life of true acceptance. My disability and health problems were an excuse for a long time. I do not use that as an excuse anymore. Self pity is what I suffered from. It took me a long time not to be so angry about having a disability so young. I still get frustrated over it being more challenging for me to do things compared to a well person. Riding a bike, dancing to music, cleaning my house, getting out of bed, getting dressed, and doing things with my family. I am finally learning to pace myself with those things and if I can’t do it on my own to ask for help or try again later.
Some mornings I do not think I can make it through the day. Somehow I do it. Somehow I get dressed, go to work and go to class. At the end of each day I am amazed sometimes that I made it though. I like to think I get that from my dad, may he be resting in peace.
My dad. It was very emotional for me after my first day of classes. I cried briefly as I was leaving the campus. My dad would have been so happy for me and so proud of me. I often wonder can he be happy and proud where he is? Where ever that is…
There are a few things I have learned by becoming disabled and I honestly do not think I would have learned them otherwise.
One, people matter, the people you have in your circle matter a great deal. They can lift you up, or bring you down. They can make your shoulders heavy with weight or help you carry burdens you have. They can make you cry, or they can make you smile. They can make you angry, or they can make you happier. Everyone knows this of course but to practice having the positive ones around you is a lot harder to practice. I have learned how to do just that, surround myself with positive and discard the negative. You have to believe in your worth in order to be sure you discard the negative people and hold on to the right people.
Two, no one can survive alone and isolated away from human connections. It feels great to make someone smile. It feels great to know others might face the problems you face. It feels great to say I have some great friends in my life.
Lastly, love abundantly. Life ends for everyone but memories can last forever. You impact the world daily with every action and even when we are gone we can impact the world. It is best to leave a lasting, loving, positive impression in stories shared with those who loved you.
Going to college will hopefully leave a lasting impression on my daughters. I want them to be strong, independent women who will not allow anyone or anything hold them back from what they want to do or become. I also hope that I leave a lasting impression that you should never give up and quit without a hard fight.
I hope I live to see the day my two girls go off to college, or get married and have a family of their own but I have come to the realization that I might not. My dad died when my youngest brother was 13 years old. My dad was only fifty when he passed on. We never know when our time is coming but we know tomorrow is never promised. I try to make the most of today everyday. Even in all my pain, struggles and monkeys on my back I make the best of it because that is how I want to be remembered.
I want my children, family and friends to share stories about how strong I was, how loving and determined I was in my life.
This life of mine has not turned out like I dreamed as a very young child but this life I am living has nothing in it I would trade away. My life up to this point has made me who I am today. I am pretty impressed with who I am today and I believe many around me are too.
I have a long road ahead of me to get my teaching degree, I know. The difference between Rachel five years ago and the Rachel today is I am ready and excited for the challenge and the adventure. May God stay with me every step of the way and lead me where it is I am meant to be like he has my whole life thus far.
Some days I get this overwhelming feeling that I will not survive the day I am faced with. The feeling comes from struggling everyday with chronic illness, pain, loss, and insecurity in me.
Everyone around me, including my husband and children, never really get the internal person I am. The people that surround me see this strong, happy, enduring woman who lets her ambition drive her in everything she decides to take on. In reality though, there is this other woman who lives deep inside that rarely gets seen. This woman who lives deep inside is a scary one. I do not let her out very often for fear it will be used against me. Perhaps this is because my entire life things have been used as weapons against me. I have serious trust issues!
In all honesty I feel alone most days. It isn’t an alone that is repaired by having people around me either. It is hard to explain the loneliness I feel on a daily basis. To have success in conquering it I need to understand it and I do not. I find myself ignoring it most days by keeping busy. It is a temporary fix to a serious long term problem. Eventually I get to a point I can no longer ignore it and keep busy. It becomes so prevalent that is distracts me in many ways and it exhausts me. I eventually write as some way to alleviate it. Again I use a temporary fix to a long term problem. I know it is long term because I have dealt with this loneliness since I was a little girl. I have been a sick person my entire life and I believe this is where it originates. It escalated after I lost my dad at age eighteen. Every loss after that little by little it got bigger, and now with the loss of my lifelong friend, Andrew, it seems even larger than ever and makes me wonder what happens when it becomes so big I can no longer carry it around. It is a frightening to me because most of my life I have struggled with suicidal thoughts.
I have thought a lot about suicide lately. I haven’t thought about it as in I’m contemplating my final exit, but thinking about all those I have lost to suicide over the years. I also have been thinking on Robin Williams taking his life. I wonder if they felt the same way I feel with loneliness and eventually just decided to not fight anymore. What made them finally give up? Did they feel something else that I do not feel? Will I just end up like them one day? Will I be successful in this fight and be able to cope? When I think about Robin Williams, one of the most successful actors known, taking his life, I worry that if a man of that stature cannot handle things, what makes me think I will be any better. I am not financial set up like he was. I do not have a stage of the magnitude he had access too, to help him alleviate his worries. These are just some of the things I think on and not the darkest of them either.
Sometimes I find myself wanting to shut the entire world out. I find myself just wanting to be all alone so that I do not have to deal with anything outside my pain, illness and depression. My stuff is heavy enough without adding worldly things on top of it. It gets hard to work, parent, love, welcome, and interact.
Some are probably wondering if I have a relationship with God or a higher power. I do and maybe that is why I have made it as far as I have in my life conquering all the terrible events that have happened and demons that I carry. Maybe that relationship is the strength that keeps me going towards success against the suicidal thoughts and loneliness I feel. I would like to believe that I would never end my life on my own. I love life, I do. I love being a mother to my growing daughters. In the back of my mind I think about those who have actually taken their lives and think well they probably loved their kids too. They probably loved life too. What if I get where they were in their final moments? How do I prevent that? Can I prevent that?
I have questioned heaven since my dad passed in 1996. I wonder where it is he rests now. Is he just gone or is he really somewhere living a new life? Is it heaven? Has he any recollection of his life he left? Does he know I am here still? Does he see me? Does he live pain free and cured of all ailments? Can he hear me? Why can’t we communicate if these things existed? I would love it if it were all true, the story of heaven and angels silently flying around us, remembering who we were to them, but I have serious doubts that exists. I do not ask these questions just about my dad but everyone I have ever lost. I guess this is where faith comes into play. Faith is a very hard thing to understand. How do some people have such strong faith and others have little to none? Why do they differ so much? What is it about the person who has strong faith that lacks in the other? So many questions with no definite answer make spirituality and religion the most confusing thing I have ever seen.
Do I need to remind you I have serious trust issues? The circle of people who surrounds me closest knows the most about me, but still they do not have a complete picture of who Rachel really is. I am not sure they ever will. I have only had two people I can say knew me completely. Those two people are gone now. It isn’t that I don’t want my closest circle of friends to know all of me, I do! I just find myself struggling with allowing them to know my every thought because I have let people in who have burned me deeply. So that leaves me with thoughts I do not share with anyone at all. I hold them in and lock them away inside. So internally I struggle daily on my own with those secrets. Eventually I come here to my keys to release some of those secrets because most who read this blog do not know me from Jane next door. I am somewhat protected here. Even here I hold back because of the people who read this DO know who I am have used what I put here against me and it is very hurtful. I have no place to be completely open about WHOM I REALLY am inside.
The best example I can give you would be the loss of my friend Andrew. It never crossed my mind that I would go home to bury him. I always imagined he would out live me. I always thought he would just be there. I can’t share some of my feelings with anyone because some it would be hurtful maybe to others. Maybe it would be wrong to say it out loud or maybe it is wrong to feel it. Maybe I shouldn’t miss him as much as I do. Maybe if I say it out loud it will be a bullet used to shoot back at me. Just some things I see as complications that I am not ready to tackle so I hold it all close to myself. I also wonder what it all means. Why has losing him been such an impact on me internally? It makes me question so many things.
Another example is my struggle with sobriety. I cannot even release thoughts on that here out of fear it will be used against me.
Some are probably wondering why I do not just keep a private diary. The main reason is I want and need feedback about my thoughts. I need people to interact with me and tell me if I seem crazy or if I seem to normal. I also wonder if my thoughts are normal. Do others have these battles etc? It feels good knowing others struggle with the same sort of thoughts, and problems. It helps getting advice too on these subjects.
I think I worry too much. I worry about being sick. I worry about my health preventing me from being successful in college. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Will I have the support in my life to finish and not give up to quit once I start? I need peace. I want peace.
I am finding it harder to find peace. I use to be able to go out into nature and have peace. I do not seem to get that anymore. My constant worry and thoughts seem to always be there. They never seem to quiet. It has gotten so much worse since Drew has passed. I loved him and I have no one who would really understand what that means or why it is that way. I miss him every day and if I would say that out loud it would be used against me I know it. It might even get used against me being put here. I feel wrong for loving him and missing him and that is not fair to me. He is gone forever. There is no chance of me EVER hearing his voice, getting his advice, joking with him, or telling him how important of a friend he was to me. So this is just one thing I am alone with.
I do not write posts here very often. I am guarded with my thoughts because it can be used against me; it has been used against me. Yes, I have serious trust issues.
My demon says
He can’t wait for your arrival
There will be no survival
You’re like gasoline on an open wound
The anger fuels this rage
Locked within my cage
I never knew
You’d shadow me this way
My demon says
Just close my eyes
And just look at you
Gaze on the putrid man you were
Gaze on the putrid man you are
Won’t be long you’ll depart this life
Then I shall prevail
While blackness fills my eyes
And hatred supplies my soul
You’ll wither like the leaves in the fall
Yet you won’t wake in December
You won’t remember
I’ll finally be free
I never knew
My shadow would feed this craving
Letting out my ravings
The cycle is essential
Like crack cocaine to its whore
The hate for you feeds my greed
Of solemn sounds
In my head, in my dreams, all around
The pain lets me know I still live
As I prepare to see you in a burial place
Sweet bitterness it will give
As you lie there with no saving grace
Standing over you, my enemy
In dreams, and reality
Looking upon your pale face
Thinking about all your disgrace
It will be the last time I face you
Face your lies, severing all ties
Until death we part
I kept the scars layered on my heart
Though the bruises healed neatly
I’ll revel in the day you’re gone from the living
Taken to the dead discreetly
As no one will grieve your death
Easier they come, my breaths
No tears over your demise
My demon says
He can’t wait for your arrival
There will be no survival