Saturday, January 12, 2019

YOU UNFILTERED - Resolutions vs Solutions continued ...




I know my last post, Resolutions and Solutions and How I Broke my Friggin’ Head, ended without resolution.
If you missed the first part, you can read it here - 
https://authoralmondieshampine.blogspot.com/2019/01/resolutions-and-solutions-and-how-i.html
I’d like to say that was kind of the point of it all for people to stop looking for external resolutions to things to provide themselves with a sense of purpose, but in all actuality, I was tired and my head hurt, because I broke it, just like the title of the post claims, duh. Part of the symptoms of cracking my skull is difficulty focusing, concentrating, staying on one subject, forgetting what the heck was already written, forgetting what the heck was intended to be written, and forgetting what the whole friggin’ point of the entire blog was meant to accomplish. – Oh, wait, that’s all symptoms I had before I broke my head. Hmmm.

I imagine all of you thought it was probably click bait anyway, because not once in that most recent blog did I even mention how I broke my head. I mentioned that Chyna, the female wrestler, was my rolemodel in my teen years, and we’d have real live wrestling sessions with tacs, chairs, ladders, and whatever other random objects we could find to fight our opponent with, before we realized that the majority of that stuff was staged, and they don’t actually slam chairs overtop of people’s heads as hard as they possibly can. In real life, you get knocked unconscious and swallow a couple teeth. I mentioned that my wresting name was Miss Triple Knipple. (No, I don’t have three of them – Inside story, people. Gutter. Head. Out.) I mentioned that there are items of clothing that wrestlers just simply don’t wear in order to avoid further injury – Oh, wait, I didn’t mention any of those things.

Okay, here’s the thing. I can’t actually tell you how I physically broke my head, because I don’t remember. Not an iota of a clue. Nothing. Nada. I just woke up 8 or 9 hours later, said ‘Ow’ in a much more profane way, turned my head, and then spent the next 23 hours yacking in a puke bucket. (Ha ha, I just looked up the definition for yacking, and it’s to talk at length about trivial or boring subjects if you’re looking in the non-urban dictionary. Point taken. Moving on)

Mentally, on the other hand, my head has been broken for quite some time, so for a good year or year-and-a-half, I have been mentally wracking my brain to try to come up with a fix, a solution. The more resolutions I made, the more broken I seemed. The more conditions I set forth, the more robotic I felt. The more I searched for meaning and purpose, the more I came up empty. Over time, gradually, bit by bit, everything I once enjoyed no longer felt satisfying. I stopped writing poems and lyrics to songs. I stopped singing at the top of my lungs and shattering lightbulbs. (That really happened – one of my proudest moments in life following watching Shrek and watching her voice make a bird explode). I stopped playing piano. Stopped listening to music. Stopped dancing. Stopped reading books, and ultimately, stopped writing. I even stopped jumping on the bed!

At first, I thought it was because I was finally growing up. I never wanted to grow up, because I’ve always seen adults and their lives as miserable and unhappy, but once I hit 33 or 34 – hold on, how old am I? WHAT?! 30-FRIGGIN’-6?! When the heck did that happen? Meh-heh-heh. You want to know when I realized that there’s an age-limit for miracles? It’s when I asked that my kids get older, but I stay the same age. And It Never Came True!

Anyway, once I hit 33 or 34, people stopped forgiving my behaviors based on my being young and stupid. People would say, “Grow up,” and I’d respond with, “I can’t grow up, 5 foot is my limit.” Or they’d say, “You need to start taking responsibility for your own actions”, and I’d quip, “You need to take responsibility for your Face, cuz it’s killing people. Bahaha.” “You’re a mother. You need to start behaving like one.” And I’d look around, and be like, “Crap, I thought they were just mini stalkers that followed me around everywhere. Where did I last leave those little buggers?” And I’d wait for them to laugh, but they’d just snarl at me and walk away instead.

Little did I know, I was being conditioned. We’re conditioned to seek people’s approval and praise right from the getgo. In our teens, when we want to be shown respect, we’re conditioned to having to earn that respect. As an adult, that respect comes in the conditioned form of accomplishments, and, ultimately, successes. We’re all categorized and stereotyped -not in colors, or race, or ethnicity, or size, or sexual orientation in the 21st century – but by our titles, our possessions, our financial status, how well-behaved our kids are, how well we carry ourselves and hold ourselves together and follow societal norms and social etiquette. All of this does is take us further and further away from who we REALLY are.

Our person isn’t just a dad or a mom or a worker or a spouse or any number of titles that we call people or that we ourselves are called, or that even we call ourselves. “So, who are you?” “Well, I’m a Mom.” “Holy crap, you were born a Mom?” These titles wind up defining us and they become the way we start defining ourselves. And that is why instead of embracing the aging process, we’re terrified of it, because with age comes change. Whether you’re the toddler that once pooped in his diapers now having to be the ‘big boy’ that goes on the potty. The highschooler whose bills are being cared for while being pressured into the adult life of coming up with a career so as to pay their own bills. The young adult facing adult disappointments they didn’t tell you about in highschool. Or the middle-aged adult stuck between wanting to stay young while being pressured to grow up. With each age, the titles we use to define ourselves change as well. We start asking, “Who am I going to be? Who do I want to be?”

Dude, you can change your job, change your clothes, change your hair, but that soul inside you is the same one you were born with. Even when your body dies, your soul lives on. Every soul unique, like a fingerprint. You made your mark on the world the moment you were born. Special, in your own way, and unlike any other, and it’s the most natural thing about you. Looking outward won’t give you answers. Being more like this person or that person will only lead you further away from what’s inside you, what’s truly yours and only yours, a possession none other can have.

Don’t let society, other people define you as a title that’s used for others’ purposes. Don’t continue to be conditioned to thinking that you have to prove your worth and your reason for existing. We were never meant to be programmed robots that just do as we’re told without independent thought or feeling.

Find who you truly are and embrace you, and if other people have a problem with it – such as those who want to keep you in a box, doing, saying, and acting the way they want you to – they can suck it, because they’re just using you as a means to defining themselves, because they’ve forgotten who they are, and go about the world like Pavlov’s conditioned dogs.

Put away that stimuli. Shut down your phone that gets you grabbing it as soon as you hear the ding. Shut down the TV that surrounds you with lights and colors and noise and sound and keeps you from hearing yourself think. Take time where you’re not surrounded by people, coworkers, family, kids that enforce that you live and do as your title expects. Take a walk away from chaos and enjoy some solitude. Sit in a dark room and pick your nose, for all I care. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what you do during that time of soul-searching. Just friggin’ do it. Strip away the inhibitions, the guards, the walls, the filters. Get naked. Open your mind, free your heart, and listen to your soul speak, because your soul knows exactly who you are and who you have always been. It knows what truly matters to you. It holds your happiness. Your joy. Your sense of peace. It maintains your innocence. Untainted, unstained, uncorrupt. The same way you were when you came into the world, untouched and unchanged by life.

Challenge yourself to be completely alone with yourself for half-an-hour every day for a set period of time. No distractions. Nothing to preoccupy your mind. 30 minutes without external stimuli. At first, it might seem like the longest half hour ever. Kicking your feet. Looking at your fingernails. Looking at you kicking your feet. And the craziest, weirdest, wildest, random thoughts will probably ramble around in your brain and you’ll be like, “What the heck? Why am I thinking about what size shoe an elephant would wear if they wore shoes? Hmm. Probably be like size 42 or something. Do they make size 42 shoes? I should get new shoes. Or maybe some elephant slippers to look at while I kick my feet. My feet hurt. I should soak them. I wonder what the difference between Epson salt and regular salt is. I should eat less salt.”

Before you know it, you’ll be laughing at yourself and your thoughts and creating your own inside stories, and that half an hour will pass in a flash, but it’ll be the most enjoyable half-hour you had all day, because it’ll be you unfiltered.

And once you find you and become soulmates again, maintain it, because that, my friends, is where your happiness resides. Right inside yours truly. (As in your soul. I’m not yours truly. I’m mine truly. For better and for worse. Through thick and thin. Good times and bad. For friggin’ eternity.)

Embrace your you! (I know, I’m really starting to sound like a shoe saleswoman, at this point).

Feel free to comment and share what works for you. Just keep it PG, people.

Diedre – author of Pizza Girl Chronicles – not yet released, because it needs illustrations and I can’t friggin’ draw.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Resolutions and Solutions ... and How I Broke My Head and Went AWOL

*Revised Edition - because my first one kept saying we release carbon MONoxide, not DIoxide - my bad

For those who follow me (Don’t be a jerk and point out that I don’t have any followers on this blog – I’m my very own personal 24/7self-sabotage jerk, thank you very much, and I follow myself. On that note, please feel free to follow me, pretty pretty please, tee hee 😊), you may have noticed that I’ve been AWOL for a while. Not just on my blog, but on all my social media accounts, my webpages, my business pages, my groups, and even the monthly newsletters I used to send out to the email subscriber list I spent a couple years tediously building up. As for my books – any new releases – hello, where’s the friggin’ books? Aren’t I supposed to be an author or something? Geez! And if I’m really being honest here, I’ve been AWOL from my own head and body for a while. (I think they call that Gone Wack, Out of Order, Thank you, please DON’T come again. Technical difficulties. Under maintenance. She didn’t just fly over the coo-coo’s nest, she flew right through it. Cray-cray.)

I’d prefer to call it what it is. Broken. No, seriously, I’ve fractured 4 friggin’ bones in the past 10 months, and literally, one of them is my head – which I am still currently recovering from. The migraines are a mother stickler. I’m also recovering from fractured ribs on my right side, not too long after recovering from fractured ribs on my left side. I’d love to say it’s because my altar ego is a professional championship boxer. Sadly, no. It’s because ONE of my altar egos likes to WRESTLE – either playfully with my children or to supplement me punching drunk, mean, angry people in the face during times when I’m supposed to be the only emotional one.

So I broke my ribs wrestling?

No! I broke my ribs because of the cheap, thick,-metal wire bra I purchased that I then thought was a good idea to wrestle in – not once, BUT TWICE! If it says $4.88, it’s NOT a steal. It’s torture! I’ve never been in so much physical pain for so many consecutive months (almost a year!) in my life! (That may not be accurate. I don’t actually remember all my years, but I do know that I’ve been through some really wild stuff. Like the Becoming a Single Parent times three – complications with love, woohoo, and MURDER [Yes, you cannot hear my voice, but I said it just like Shawn says it in the Psych series.) MMUUURRDERR!) post I was supposed to write back in August].

At this point, maybe you’re thinking, ‘Shiz, girl, don’t be apologizing. You take all the time you need to heal, and don’t you worry about havin’ to write blogs for people that ain’t followin’ you, anyway.”

First off, I’m not apologizing. Second, we already been through this followers-talk, and I do have followers, just not on my blog. I think I got two people who follow me on Amazon. BooYah. Third, what the heck do broken bones have to do with me being AWOL when all I need are my friggin’ phalanges to type a blog or status update with. Nothing. I wasn’t making excuses. I was just looking for some attention – maybe a bit of sympathy (or some pity followers, perhaps?) - before I got to my actual point.

Now those who know me already know I go AWOL from time to time, and that I really suck at consistency. There one moment. Gone the next. Routine to me is like commitment. Something I desperately want while being completely terrified of it. I think if I ever got married again, I’d have to use both my back door and my front door as entrances. (Don’t be perverted, people). That way, when I’m up for having a husband, it’d be the front door honey-I’m-home-what-you-got-cooking routine. When I’m not up for it, it’d be take-the-back-roads-home-sneak-through-the-back-door-enjoy-the-bachelor-mancave-Leave-Me-Alone routine. (Ha ha, if there’s guys reading this, I can see them contemplating it, shrugging their shoulders, saying, ‘Actually, that sounds just about perfect.’ So, just to be clear on things – I get the backdoor. The mancave is MINE, because that’s where both the bar and bed is. HE’D be cooking dinner, and I’D be sneaking upstairs in the middle of the night to grab whatever leftovers there are, and if there aren’t leftovers, I’D be leaving a note to tell him I’m not leaving my Bachelorette area of my house until I have something to friggin’ eat.)

But WHY do I go AWOL? Why does any person withdraw from life? From people? From stardom? Now that got me giggling. You know that name a star after someone? You pay for it and then they get a star in their name. Then you look at the sky on a beautiful cloudless night when all you can see are stars, and there’s like a MILLION, and you’re like ‘Where the frick am I amongst all those stars? Other than the major constellations and Saturn and the North star, all the rest just look the same. Where am I? WHO am I?” Yep! That’s the answer.

When I’m AWOL from life and people and the public world, I’m star-gazing. Trying to figure out my place in all those stars. Trying to figure out who I am, or what I am, or even trying to figure out if I’m a who or a what, or a witch. (Hee hee- I meant which). I know HOW I came to be, but I don’t know why! (Well, certain protection measures or lack thereof explain the why) But STILL! Purpose. Meaning. Significance. What’s the friggin’ point of my existence!!!???? What am I meant for??!! What am I supposed to achieve??!! What is my purpose??!!

If you could pinpoint the origin of unhappiness, it’s the above-stated. I know I am, by far, not the only one that obsesses over such questions from time to time. I’m also not the only one that withdraws away from people and things when I feel like I’m not up to par, and I can’t be what I THINK people expect from me, or expect me to be. We all have these misconceptions about other people. Like looking at a still-photograph of a smiling face and assuming that person is happy. We withdraw, because we don’t want to bring others – whom we assume to be happy – down with us. Or vice versa, we withdraw because we don’t want OTHERS who assume that we’re happy and well and successful, surviving, waking up, living the dream – to know how much we actually struggle. How much ALL of us struggle, because we keep being humbled by questions of our own significance and existence.

People aren’t NOT happy because they haven’t achieved X, Y, or Z. People aren’t NOT happy because they’re not as smart or not as successful or because they’re lacking what A, B, C has. The most successful people in the world can afford the biggest, brightest star out there in the night sky. They can say, ‘That’s me,” out of all the stars out there. And when other people envy them and congratulate them and respect them and say, “Wow. You shine brighter than the rest,” they gulp down the last of the remaining wine in their bottle, and say miserably, “It’s just a stupid star,” and then they withdraw away, feeling alone, misunderstood, unseen, unknown, and mostly … unhappy.

I’m happy it’s a new millennium. I’m happy for the millennials. I’m happy things are changing. Bit by bit. It will take several generations to overcome this type of conditioning that we’ve been subjected to where new conversations are limited to, “Who are you? What do you do? Which is your title? Why do you do what you do? What are your plans for the future? What do you hope to accomplish?” We’re practically asked from toddler-hood and beyond what our purpose for existing is, so we constantly question what our purpose for existence is. Trees sit in the ground for centuries. They grow taller and thicker, but they don’t GO anywhere. They don’t DO anything. They change with the seasons without having a say. It’s just what it is. They provide oxygen, which is what we need to live and breathe. But we also use them for our own purposes. We build things like houses with them, use them for paper, etc… etc… We deplete our planet of the very oxygen we need to survive, because we keep looking for a higher and bigger purpose for things, instead of recognizing that the only way that tree can live is if we provide the carbon dioxide that they need.

We would not survive without the existence of the plants that provide the oxygen we need, but those plants would not exist if we didn’t emit the carbon dioxide they need. The difference between us and them is they don’t sit there for a hundred years wondering what their purpose is, what their meaning is, what their significance is, and why they exist at all. Nor do they compete with eachother as to who can provide more oxygen, or build a stronger house, or make more paper.

We do exist for a reason, but that reason is so much simpler than we allow our minds to grasp. It’s so simple that we fight and say, “No, there HAS to be more than that.” We NEED to feel like we’re something, someone, like our life has meaning and we matter and we have this big purpose we’re supposed to fulfill, but we don’t know what it is – but we weren’t BORN that way. It’s not who we started off as. We didn’t shame ourselves everytime we had to poop, or everytime we drooled. We didn’t look at another baby and feel jealous because they were walking and we were still just sitting on our butt. We didn’t question our existence and our purpose and our significance. We just were.

I read a comment earlier where someone said we’re human BE-ings, not human DO-ings. I should find her name so she can get credit for what she said. Yeah, too lazy. I’m sure she probably stole that line from someone else anyway. But doesn’t that even make my point more? We, as humans, can’t even say something brilliant in a singular moment without wanting to copyright it, because it ticks us off everytime someone takes credit for something we said or did without us getting paid for it or getting something out of it.

And that is where I finally hammer in that final nail. (Because a nail serves no purpose unless it’s used to put all the wood together that came from a tree that just sits there and does nothing and serves no purpose otherwise to ultimately amount in something practical that serves a purpose for we mere human DO-ings). My 16-year-old son is getting a good 3-4 referrals a week from a Vice Principal that keeps harassing him to tell her what he wants to DO with his life. What his plans for the future are. To us, that’s normal. We think, ‘Well yeah, he has to have a plan. A goal. Something he wants that he can then turn into work so that he can spend the rest of his life paying bills. Welcome to adulthood, the real world, life as we know it.”

Yes, that’s life as WE know it. It is most definitely not the reason for why we exist. “What do you want to do with your life, son? WHO do you want to be?”

“I want to be the guy that spends his life working to pay for food and home and shelter, because I need that to survive, until I die.”

WHAT??!!  NOBODY WANTS THAT EXISTENCE! NOBODY WANTS TO EXIST JUST TO WORK AND PAY FOR THEIR OWN SURVIVAL! Trees don’t have to pay property taxes for where they’re rooted. They don’t have to pay for the soil, the sun, the rain. So we wind up, just naturally, providing the carbon dioxide for all these other things to live, and then we spend our lives just trying to survive. And that leads us to question what the purpose of our existence is, because IT’S ALL SO FRIGGIN’ UNNATURAL! It’s not right.

We keep questioning our purpose and significance, because we’re not living naturally. We keep asking who we’re meant to be or how we’re supposed to be or what we’re meant to do. Just be YOU! Naturally. Not who you tried to be, or who you made yourself. Not what you are and the things you do. Not where  you stand amongst millions of others. Just Do You! Find your natural being. And Be It! No more facades or public faces.

Stop questioning your purpose for existence, and just allow yourself to exist … as YOU! Not worker you, parent you, spouse you, friend you, public you. Compartmentalization of roles was the worst thing that the brilliant psychotherapists could come up with. It created people like me … with D.I.D.  (Sorry, that rhymed and I went with it).

Signing off. Hope this helps.

Diedre Mahoney

Monday, August 13, 2018

Becoming a Single Parent Times TWO and the complications of love & woo-hoo



A quick recap on where we left off: Pregnant at 18 … and single. Yep, that sums that up. 

Let’s rewind to a year before when I first met my soulmate and experienced love at first sight. I’d had three jobs -busing at Calvary Club, a cashier at P&C, and a telemarketer at Barrier Windows -my own efficiency apartment in an attic, and a red Le Mans that puked on me on my way home from work on Halloween, 5 days before my 18th birthday. I didn’t know much about cars then. Now I know that it was the alternator that went and I could have fixed it for a couple hundred bucks. Me knowing that now obviously changes nothing. I left it on the side of the road and started walking and never went back for it.
Not having a vehicle left me in a bad predicament of having two jobs that were 45 minutes away from where I lived and having no way to get to them. I didn’t care about losing the telemarketing job – Worst. Job. Ever! Cold-calling people made me want to kill myself. I mean, they’d literally tell me to go home and kill myself and I was too insecure to not let that stuff affect me. But I did have my first apartment that required I pay for it, and I never wanted to experience homelessness again after having no place to go one night and no car to sleep in and then having the woo-hoo stolen from me. Just the thought of possibly being back out on the streets would get me hyperventilating.
So I made the second-to-last decision that I absolutely did not want to make … which was to call my parents for help from a pay-phone (no cellies then) since I was 25 miles from home. I’d been living away from my parents for the most of three years at that point. (I’d moved in with my Grandma at 15, and my bio father at newly 16 before leaving home(s) for good). I DID NOT want to be back in their clutches. So throughout trying to finagle a way to get back home, they had me watching my little sister while they worked at the restaurant they’d just opened downstairs. And by little, I mean three-years-old.
I happened to be decked out in my PJ wear. A blue and white polka dot crop top and pigtails. And I swear, I didn’t turn my head two seconds before that little twerp was bounding down the stairs to the restaurant, which is exactly what me babysitting her was supposed to avoid. I hightailed it after her, even at nearly 18 afraid of getting in trouble by my parents, busted through the door, and found myself in the kitchen of the restaurant, my eyes scanning frantically for my sister, just to land on the sexiest man alive looking at me, instead. 

Again. NOT my soulmate, but very similar. If I had seen this guy first? … Come To Mama!!!
And right there in that moment, our eyes looking into eachother’s own, I fell in love with a dishwasher. (He was the dishwasher, if you didn’t catch that). These are the times where cliché’s work. Love at first sight. Head over heels. An explosion of fireworks in the … um … heart. Yeah. Being floored, as far as being frozen to the floor, unable to move. Unable to speak. Unable to look away. My sister -completely forgotten. The knowing. I HAVE TO HAVE HIM! And then the light-bulb moment.
“Hey, Mom, I was thinking. Do you need help at the restaurant? You know, until I can get another car or whatever? I can’t exactly get to my other jobs right now, and I have no way to get home, so I’m already going to be staying here until I can figure it out, so …”

STALKER RULES

Stalker Rule Number 1: Get a job where your obsession works.
Stalker Rule Number 2: Figure out where he lives.
Stalker Rule Number 3: Convince him to feel sorry for you and give you a ride to your apartment because living back with your parents is awful.
Stalker Rule Number 4: Casually invite him up to the apartment for a cup of coffee? … Food? … To help you with something? … Anything? …
Stalker Rule Number 4: Find out who his best friend is. Become friends with the best friend by playing pool with him and being nice to him. (If he falls in love with you and thinks you’re flirting with him, that’s just collateral damage).
Stalker Rule Number 5: Learn from the best friend that he’s having a party that your obsession is going to be at, so get invited to that party!
Stalker Rule Number 6: Act surprised when your obsession shows up, and tell him that his best friend invited you, and convince him it was all completely coincidental or meant-to-be.
Stalker Rule Number 7: At the party, become friends with ALL his friends.
Stalker Rule Number 8: Discreetly, via those friends, learn everything you possibly can about your obsession while paying more attention to his friends than him, so he won’t suspect.
Stalker Rule Number 9: Throw a party and invite all his friends. Don’t tell him about the party until he gives you a ride home and then sees all his friends there. Then ask him if he wants to come to the party since you got a keg and all his friends are there.
Stalker Rule Number 10: Wait until he’s drunk and passed out, and then curl up next to him, so he’ll wake up sober with you in his arms. Then act like you don’t know how you got there and smile and laugh and say, “I must have been really drunk.”
Stalker Rule Number 11: Cry to his friends (your new friends) about how he doesn’t want you until they get mad at him and confront him for not wanting you, and then have them declare that he must be gay for not wanting someone as sweet and nice as you until he’s forced to pay attention to you in order to prove that he’s not gay.
Stalker Rule Number 12: Get with another guy and act like you’re just friends when your obsession starts getting creeped out by your infatuation.
Stalker Rule Number 13: Leave him completely alone, get engaged, move to a completely different county, schedule your wedding a month away, get pregnant, get walked out on, move back to town, lose all your friends because they’re all partying downstairs while you’re sitting upstairs five months pregnant, all alone.

And that’s where we left off in Part I. My only visitor being the person whose name I named my sons, ‘because I liked the name’, I told people. It took following 13 stalker rules and one year later and being pregnant and abandoned for my soulmate to finally notice me. It was the first time we spent actual alone-time together talking, because he felt sorry for me, while all our friends were raising the roof just 13 stairs away. I took it as I figured it was. Appreciated the moment. Was grateful for his time and friendship, but I no longer felt attractive, and if he hadn’t wanted me when I was free and single, I figured he most definitely wouldn’t want me with a kid on the way.
But he showed up again.
And again.
So I finally asked him if he wanted to get some pizza and watch a movie next time he came over, and we set our first date!
It was magical! Every moment up until the last one. We ate pizza. We watched a movie. Okay, okay, I know that doesn’t sound so magical. I don’t even remember which movie we watched. That’s because I was too focused on the fact that he was next to me and I could feel his body heat from two feet away and I was thinking in my head the entire time, trying to figure out if he like liked me or if we were just two friends hanging out, because he felt bad for me. Then it got really awkward when the movie ended. You know, when two people start fidgeting and refer back to the movie they just watched and talk about the scenes they just watched and repeat the dialogue THEY JUST WATCHED just to make conversation.
Courtesy of the show, 'New Girl'

And then … he kissed me!
In my heart, it was glorious. In reality, I had a watermelon of a pregnant belly that was in between him and I and in the way. From the past year, I’d known he wasn’t the type of guy that would woo hoo a woman just in the name of woo-hooing, like most guys, but my insecurities caused me doubt. I knew that my heart wouldn’t be able to withstand the heartbreak if something happened and then he walked out, leaving me alone and still pregnant. You know, like the last guy did. There’s being used and then there’s being used while pregnant and that’s just evil. So I pulled away and asked him if me having a baby would change anything. He said Yes. I turned down any further intimacy. He left. I cried. He stopped visiting. Life goes on.
The father and I made one last go at making things work. I loved him. I really did. I wanted things to work. He hadn’t been love at first sight, but he had been a me-likey at first sight. We even got engaged again … while he was taking a poop. I swear. 

I really love this pic!
Apparently that’s the time he did his best thinking, so while taking a poo, he called me into the bathroom. I sat on the tub while holding my nose while he sat on the toilet with his pants down. “So, we’ve been getting along pretty good, don’t you think?”
“Uh huh.” Said nasally cause I was holding my nose.
“What do you think about putting that ring back on your finger?”
“If I say yes, can I leave? It stinks really bad in here.”
“Yup.”
“Okay, sure.”
Perhaps I'm NOT the only one
I know what you’re thinking. The most original proposal EVER. I bet I am the only friggin’ person in the world that can say I got proposed to in the moment that the guy was taking a dump while I had the heart of an undying romantic. Who could have imagined that we wouldn’t work out, even though they say third-time’s-a-charm?
I went into labor on the exact day I told the Doctor I would – not the due date they gave me. My pregnancy hadn’t been an easy one. From being sick all the time, not knowing which emotions were from my hormones and which ones were from external situations like having McDonalds run out of chocolate milkshake mix when all I wanted after work was a large fry and a chocolate milkshake, and I bawled my eyes out, right in front of them, and yelled at them for ruining my life and not making sure to have chocolate milk shake mix for me, or having my heart broken three times throughout the duration of the pregnancy. I’d wound up with abnormal cells in my cervix and they wanted to remove that portion of my cervix before it turned cancerous, but I risked it so that I could go full-term with my child without him falling out. I’d gotten really sick and had to be hospitalized after throwing up for 10 hours straight, but everytime I threw up, I peed, so it was just really embarrassing. So it followed suit that labor would be just as difficult and I would continue to refuse to listen to anything the Doctor’s told me, and have my baby in my own way.
I’d gotten proposed to on the pooper, so I wanted to be on the pooper while pushing that baby out and using gravity to assist me, and not lying in the bed like the Doctor’s wanted. I tried their way for 7 hours. My way worked better, even though everybody was yelling at me to get in the bed and stop walking around and crouching while in the midst of full-blown labor. Whatever. My baby boy came out healthy, howling, with a patch of red hair.
The father didn’t have red hair, but his brother did. It was bad enough convincing the father that I wasn’t naming his son after another man. Then to have the baby come out with hair the same color as his brother’s? OH BOY!!!
Wake the friggin' baby = certain guaranteed death
My baby also wound up with colic. I couldn’t breastfeed and he couldn’t tolerate formula, so he cried. And he cried. And he cried. 14-16 hours, my poor baby couldn’t sleep. He could only cry like he was in excruciating pain. I felt so helpless. We tried every different formula. There wasn’t much the Doctors could do. And then I wound up with THE worst case of Post-Partum Depression, but didn’t know what it was. We were a sight for sore eyes. My baby would be crying. I’d be crying. We’d just lay on the floor together alternating between crying, passing out in desperately needed sleep, waking up too quickly, and crying some more until we could pass out again.
The father threw up his hands and said, “I’m out.”
Since this is my story, it’s naturally going to be biased to make it look like I was perfect and everyone else was wrong and bad and mean and evil. Me the innocent victim. Them the monster. But in reality, there is no such thing as saint-like when a woman is pregnant. Those hormones are similar to a guy on steroids, experiencing the extremes of every emotion. So happy was euphoric. Sad was deep depression. Upset was like ice. And anger = pure evil. All he wanted was a meal and a clean house after a long day of work; to come home to the woman he loved, maybe get some woo-hoo, eat, go to bed. He DIDN’T want to come home to no meal, no groceries to make a meal, a pigsty house, a colicy baby and a post-partum depressed woman that felt NO love for him during that time. His side of the story, he’ll tell you I was aggressive. I’d throw plastic cups in the sink from across the room. I’d tip chairs. I’d write long letters that he couldn’t read. I’d use big words when trying to talk to him that he couldn’t understand. 

Typical argument 
Me: You're being ridiculous
Him: Stop using big words. You know I don't know what they mean!!!
Me: IT MEANS ASS. YOU'RE BEING AN ASS!
Him: THEN JUST SAY ASS! 

But the biggest grievance he’d tell you about is when he came bursting through the door, extremely upset and breathless and shaken, saying how he was just in a car accident and his life flashed before his eyes and he realized just how much he loved me, and my response was, “What Did You Do To My Car?!” in a barely-controlled shout. Not one of my best moments, but he’d woken the baby and woken me when I’d finally gotten the baby to sleep so that I could sleep. It was after that happened when he left for good.
Then he got engaged nearly three weeks later.
Got a house where they moved in together.
Got married.
And then, when my son was just three months old, they went after full custody.
But this isn’t a story about single-parenting woes. It is a story about how easy it is to BECOME a single parent, so let’s fast-forward to a year and a half later. 








Things were changing in the area we lived and the apartment complex we were renting. Apartments were being rented out to those who came to the United States to get work during the summer so that they could send money home to their families. Each apartment would have, on average, six tenants, so the six tenants that previously occupied the entire complex multiplied to at least 30, and it was no longer an environment I wanted to raise my son in.
The PennySaver was our go-to during that time when you could find jobs and apartment listings, which is how I wound up in Chadwicks, checking out apartments. The landlord showed me a house that he was going to tear down, so I asked him if I could rent it if I fixed it up. It needed a lot of fixing. Plumbing. Carpets. 20 different colored paints needed to be completely scraped off all the walls so that it could be repainted, but it was well worth it, because my son and I could have an entire house of our own for only $425 a month. I was back on again with working the multitude of jobs, which is something I’ve done my entire life. I either have no job or three jobs. That’s how I’ve wound up with 40 jobs to-date.
And all I had was my little car (my 6th one at that point),and myself, to perform the move. That’s when we used landline telephones and actual answering machines, so the phone and answering machine were the last things I packed up. Not knowing if the messages would save, I listened to all my messages before unplugging the answering machine and phone and bidding bye-bye to my home of the past two years.
It was both nostalgic and pleasant. It’d been me and my son, just the two of us, that year-and-a-half. I’d grieved the father for a year before I stopped mourning so much and could go most nights without dreaming of him. I’d learned how to be alone, how to do it on my own, how to occupy myself throughout all the silent hours and lonely nights. I wrote. Wrote in my journal. Wrote poems. Wrote stories. Wrote novels. I didn’t become a complete recluse. I attempted friendships. I attempted male relations. But they were all so young. I was the same age, but I didn’t feel the same age, because I was a mother first-and-foremost, and people my age didn’t want to have to deal with being chastised for swearing when they were JUST beginning to experience their freedom away from living at home with their parents. I was the party pooper. I had to be when it came to my son. I had to knock on my former-friends’ doors that I used to party with and ask them to turn their music down so it wouldn’t wake the baby.
I was ready to move on and move forward in my life. Start new.
Start fresh. Just like every rebirth I went through when younger. Wipe the slate clean. Redeem myself, my life, my choices, and make the most of it. Our first official night in our new home was a type of euphoria mixed with sadness. I played the music loud and sang my heart out and danced, since I could, because I no longer had to worry about the people living across the wall from me or under the floor from me. It was a freedom I’d yet experienced. I could run around naked and not care. Which I did. In fact, once getting my first house, the only time I wore clothes was to go to work. If my neighbors came-a-knockin’, well, they’d find me wrapped in just a sheet or blanket. I didn’t care. I was free. … Until my son got a bit older. Now I can hardly recall what naked feels like. Blah.
In the absence of me wearing my things, my son wore them. 
That's him getting 'ready for work like Mommy"
I unpacked my answering machine and phone and plugged them in, and then tested the phone to make sure it was working. I was surprised to see my answering machine blinking, since I’d listened to all the messages only hours before and it hadn’t been plugged in since. So I pressed the play button and got back to sweeping.
And I practically swept myself off my feet when I heard his voice. I careened toward the answering machine, throwing the broom, jumping over obstacles, skidding to a stop on my knees and getting some rug burn in the process. It was my soulmate! I hadn’t spoken to him or heard from him since that equally blissful-wretched evening of our first and last date when I was five months along, but I’d never forget that voice. My answering machine sucked, so I could hardly decipher what he was saying, but his number came in loud and clear, so I grabbed a random writing utensil (crayon, colored pencil, chalk) and a random writing recipient (napkin, blanket, my hand) and wrote it down.
My heart was in my throat. I couldn’t even figure out how his message had gotten on there when it hadn’t been on there the first time I listened through all my messages. And I hadn’t provided him with my new number. Of course, I looked at it as fate. Destiny. I called him back as soon as I was able to compose myself and calm my nerves. He told me he’d run into my Mom at the bar and she offered him my number and he decided to call it to see how I was doing. (My Mom would tell me that he walked up to her nervously, made some surface talk, casually asked about her daughter (me), and ‘he was so cute trying to ask for your number’). He hadn’t known that the father and I had separated a while back. Nor did he know that I moved. He invited me to attend a holiday party with him.
“Does this mean you’re finally ready?” I asked softly.
“I was ready, but you rejected me.”
“But you said me having a baby would change things. I wanted a relationship. Not a one-night fling.”
“That’s because having a kid does change things. I didn’t say I didn’t want to have a relationship with you because of the baby, but then you just got all cold and wouldn’t have anything to do with me, so I thought you didn’t want a relationship with me.”
Ah. Good ol’ miscommunication. The fact that I could have had a relationship with my soulmate for the past almost-two-years, but for one bit of miscommunicating sat sour in my stomach, but only briefly, because the very day that I’d journeyed on my brand-new life, intent on making it as good as I possibly could, I was talking to my soulmate and he wanted to be in a relationship with me. In my heart and mind, since he’s my soulmate and the man I fell in love with at first sight, that meant forever. I’d never be alone again, and I was just that beautifully blessed and lucky girl to have found her soulmate when people spend their lives looking.
And nothing made that more clear than meeting up again after so long apart (when you’re 19 & 20, two years feels like what a decade feels like to a person in their 30’s), looking into his eyes, and feeling like I was home. It was never romantic with fancy dinner dates, flowers, chocolates, love letters, and I’m sorry cards. But our love was pure and whole-hearted. We didn’t need any of those things to fall in love with each other or to maintain loving one another. It was all just completely natural, without doubt. I would love him forever. To this day, he is still my soulmate. To this day, I’ve never once doubted that. There has never been a moment that I have not known that I love him. Even when hating him, I loved him. But – there’s a reason I say my soulmate – not my one true love. It’s so very different. It’s without power or choice, and there’s absolutely no conditions surrounding it, whereas I’d thought several people were my one true love … until they weren’t anymore.
He was my addiction.
But alcohol became his.
And shortly into our relationship, he turned 21. That’s when his father decided to bond with his only son – through alcohol. The change didn’t even happen gradually, little by little. It was abrupt. The first time he went to hang out with his father, I was convinced he’d gotten into an accident or was in the hospital so I called as many of his family members and friends as I could, because he’d gone completely AWOL. And that is how it would go every time he went to his Dad’s. He began drinking more and more, and the more he drank, the more bitter he’d get, the more paranoid he’d get, the meaner he’d get, the louder he’d get – until they were all kicked out of their apartment.
He had a choice between moving in with his father, or moving in with me. I begged him to move in with me, and he did … for a
My son aspired to be just like us - since we
were both musicians as well!



month. He wasn’t happy being away from his friends and his partying life whereas I lived a pretty solitary life. He became depressed. Bitter. Angry. It wasn’t the happily-ever-after I thought it’d be. He liked me being in his world. He didn’t like being in my world. So he moved in with his Dad a month later, and my worst fears came into fruition. First, it’d be a day or two that I wouldn’t hear from him. Then, it’d be a week. A week turned to two weeks. I’d call and call and call. But more than anything, I’d cry.
And then he’d just show up and everything would feel right again. He wasn’t neglecting me out of not loving me. He wasn’t neglecting me out of not wanting to be with me. Rather, he was drinking so much with his father and friends that he’d lose track of time, lose track of the days. Even after two weeks, he’d swear up and down that he’d just seen or spoken to me two days ago. I’d try breaking up with him. And we’d fight. Oh, would we fight. But he was my addiction. My heart couldn’t fathom a life without him, without his love. So we’d break up during those two-week benders, and then be completely in love again the moment he would just randomly show up.
I was lonely. I was struggling financially. I was failing at being a single Mom while not actually being single, because the more I worked, the more childcare I had to pay. And my son couldn’t keep sitters, so I’d lose one job after another after another. I wanted a guy that would be there. That would help me take care of my family. That I could share my home, my nights, my life with. A guy that would care about my happiness, my survival. A person whom could figure out the simple math that if minimum wage is $5.15 an hour and childcare is $3.00 an hour, I could work a hundred hours a week and make less than two hundred bucks. My situation wasn’t just difficult. It was IMPOSSIBLE! Physically and financially. And my soulmate wasn’t the type of guy that could figure out that math. Nor could I hold him responsible, because it was my child, not his. I couldn’t expect him to help. But survival in its purest form meant I needed to do whatever it took to survive. Even if it meant scouting the territory, and searching for one whom could help.
I would leave messages for him. I would give him ultimatums. I would tell him that if he didn’t show up in the next couple days, I was going to set up a date with someone else. Then I’d leave messages telling him I set up a date with someone else and if he didn’t show up to stop me in the next few days, I’d be going on that date. He’d show up the night of the date or the night thereafter, raging about me cheating on him. Having no memory of the messages I’d left, no memory as to how much time had passed, no memory to the actual conversations we’d have when he was drinking. In the beginning, I never blamed him. I blamed his Dad. I blamed the alcohol. I knew his heart. I knew he loved me for life. I knew he loved deeply. But I needed to pay the bills for my child. Love wasn’t helping me do that.
So this is how it went for almost a year. Unhealthy, chaotic, destructive, heart-wrenching, and so so so many tears. But together again, all that stuff would just disappear and it’d just be him and I in the moment and nothing else mattered. Our love was extraordinary. It still is. The unbridled passion is unmatched by anything else I’ve ever experienced.
And with it, came my second greatest blessing. While amidst

going back and forth on leaving him or staying with him, and praying for answers, I wound up pregnant with my second child. Of course, believing in such things, I saw it as the answer to my prayers. I was meant to stay with him and tough it out and just figure out a way to survive. He didn’t take it as optimistically as I did. Due to the other dates I’d been on during our off-times, he didn’t believe the child was his, because he didn’t remember us ever messing up for me to be able to get pregnant.
For all you young ladies out there, don’t let a guy convince himself and you that the pulling-out method means there’s no possible chance of pregnancy. It doesn’t work that way. Abstinence is, by far, the 100 percent sure way, but any form or type of protection is the 2nd most effective. That doesn’t mean taking birth control your entire life, though, as even birth control has risks and side effects. Male protection comes with no side effects other than him whining about it. You tell him to suck it up and deal with it or he ain’t gettin’ woo-hoo, period.
With that said, I can also say that for me, I’ve never experienced regret, because I don’t know where I’d be or even who I’d be without my children, but for my children, I experienced A LOT of regret, because I couldn’t give them the perfect life I wanted to. I still can’t. The three of us have been through SO much together, just from being poor. Just from struggling to survive, and I have had to hate myself a million times for only being able to work with what I got, and not being able to give them EVERYTHING that they deserve. Everything that I wish I could give them, so they’ve always been lacking in all things that require money, because the only thing I could ever truly give them consistently was my love.
He calmed down after a time, especially when he realized he didn’t have a choice, because I was keeping the baby. And I vowed myself and my loyalty to him, my tolerance, my patience, and my commitment towards finding other ways to continue to survive that didn’t involve another person, because he promised that once I had the baby, we’d settle down into being a family, get a place together, and he’d be a father. Until then, he wanted to enjoy his life and freedom. While I was only 20 years old with my second on the way.
Preggers & getting ready for a singing gig - my sister to the right!
My pregnancy with my daughter was one of the most consistent happy times in my life. The hormones with her caused me to just be in this pleasant state of mind with a whole lot of energy. The world was wonderful. Everything was wonderful. That dogpoop on the sidewalk was so damn cute. Oh, that guy screaming at me looked like a little Oompa Loompa. Nothing phased me. Nothing got under my skin. I was pure bliss. So I’d begun tripling up on college classes while I worked a fulltime job waitressing at a pizza place. I sang professionally on weekends. And then I wrote and wrote and wrote. While continuing to raise my son. I was on fire. I was unstoppable. I had everything put together and everything was as perfect as perfect could be.
I counted down the months until we could finally be a family. True to my word, I let him do whatever he wanted and didn’t give him grief about it. A month before I was to have the baby, my job fired me. It didn’t make sense, because they told me to come back after I had the baby. Only later would I realize that they got rid of me before they would have to pay for maternity leave.
I went into labor with my daughter exactly on schedule. I called my soulmate first. And then spent the next three hours calling him while in the midst of labor. The contractions were getting really bad at that point, so I called my son’s father to come get him so I could go and have a baby. That was another half-hour. I threw my stuff in the car, drove to the hospital, and walked up to the counter happy as can be. I figured her father was sleeping, since I’d started labor at 5 in the morning. I’d left messages telling him where I’d be, which hospital I’d be at, etc…
“Can I help you?” the nurse at the counter asked.
“Yes, I am in labor.”
She chuckled at me. “Honey, if you were in labor, you wouldn’t be smiling.”
“No seriously, my water broke like 3 ½ hours ago.”
They got me in a bed, taking their sweet time, and finally got around to checking me. Thereafter, I got the craziest look from the nurse and people started running. “You’re in active labor. You’re ready to go. We need a doctor,” they yelled into the hall. Of course, I didn’t stay in the bed. I knew how my body worked and I wanted the baby out as fast as I could get her out, because that sh** hurts. I went straight to the toilet. Then when I felt ready, I returned to the bed, and it seemed like it only took three pushes thereafter. Maybe it was more than that. It could have been five. Those are some pretty intense times to be worrying about how many times I pushed. I was more worried that I was giving birth to more than just a baby, because it felt like I was pooing, even though it was sworn up and down that I was not. That’s a weird thing to be worrying about when my body’s being stretched and torn and cut and I got a baby on the way, but I guess I think about weird things during times of crisis or times of excruciating pain.

I swear my baby girl came out smiling. They say that’s impossible, but I will tell you that it’s not. She was smiling. But with my beautiful bundle nestled in my arms, my heart grew heavy, because my soulmate had missed the entire labor. He’d missed the first moments. He’d missed me screaming, “Does she have the butt chin?” the moment she came out. She was his spitting image. If I thought he was sexiest man alive, my daughter proves that he looks even better as a female.
I was in the hospital for three days recovering. Every person that walked in the room, I’d look up with a big smile on my face, thinking it was him. It wasn’t. My family came to see the baby. His family came to see the baby. Everyone came to see the baby, but not a single person had heard from him. Every hour that passed, my heart dropped lower and lower. And with every day that passed, I felt a piece of my soul dying. The part of me that hoped and believed and trusted and loved unconditionally. The part of me that believed in God and the power of prayer. The part of me that loved with the most innocent and purest core of my heart. When he finally showed up that third day, I could no longer be the eternally, unconditionally forgiving person. I knew deep in my heart that this was something I couldn’t forgive him for. Especially when he held her for five minutes, like a limp doll, while watching TV and refusing to look at her. When the nurse came in to have him sign the paternity papers and birth certificate, and he finally looked at our newborn daughter, he returned her to my arms, said, “It’s not mine,” and left. 

THAT’S how easy it is to become a single parent …. Times two!



Becoming a Single Parent Part 1

Next up - Becoming a Single Parent Part III and the complications of love, woo-hoo, and murder?
THE STAR THAT YOU MADE MINE
(a song I wrote to my babies and sang to them everynight before bed)
I won't let nobody step
on the star that you made mine, Lord
on the fire that grew within me
and then was born to become my world
I was lost behind the shadows
of this dark and lonely world
I didn't know which path to follow
until you came knocking at my door
You gave me life
You gave me love
You gave me this child from up above
And now no matter where I go from here
My Sweet Bradon will be there
When I am down
When my eyes cry
I have my sweet child to keep me alive
And now no matter where I go from here
My Sweet Jasmine will be there.
I won't let nobody step
on the star that you made mine, Lord
On this fire that grew within me
and then was born to become
My World. 

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