Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just too irritated!

I'm so irritated right now! I can't even concentrate on my story. And that makes me even MORE irritated, because - well, I happen to really like the way it's going so far. And while I'm on THAT subject, can I just issue a THANK YOU to all of you out there that keep stopping by every day to check and see if I've written more? Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. Knowing that you're interested enough to stop in and keep reading has been a great shot in the arm (or boost to the ego) and a very good incentive to put BICFOK (butt in chair, fingers on keyboard) lately.

My life is relatively calm right now. Except for my keyboard sticking (which is REALLY annoying!!), and crazy renters (which has, sadly, become the normal state of things), and a weird personal situation that I have no idea how to resolve (which really is my own damn fault, tyvm) things are going pretty well. My hours were cut back at CB, which was rough financially but good in other ways. I've been home a bit more with the kids, which is always a blessing. I've had more time to work on the new story, which is wonderful, because it's really had me in its clutches (if you hadn't noticed!). I've had time to polish that other book, which is great because then I can send it off and be done with it one way or another. I got a new job with a great opportunity for advancement, which is too wonderful for words. (Brief segue on the new job - serving in a cafe in our quaint little old town Fredericksburg, and that place is just too much fun! I am SO excited about working there, and hopefully getting the chance to advance there, so even though my hours away from home will increase, it will be a good thing!) All in all, MY life is pretty decent.

So tell me why everybody else's life has to crap out now.

I have a very close friend that is in the middle of stuff right now. She just found out she's going to have another baby. That's good, right? But her fiancee just left her (not because of the baby). On his way out, he roughed her up quite a bit. So now she's staying with us, and so is her 3 year old son. We LOVE these two people. She's like a little sister to me. I see so much of myself in her. I mean, I remember what it was like to have a kid young. I know what it's like to be in an abusive relationship. I can still feel the fear in the pit of my stomach of wondering how to support another child alone. (Before The Man came along, I was quite alone, and some days had no idea how I was going to make it all work with wee ones. It's a wonder he didn't turn and RUN in the opposite direction, now that I think about it!) This woman though, she's got her whole life ahead of her. She does. I know that, since I've been where she is, and I know things can and often do work out just fine. But I don't know how to help her see that. I want to help. And I am helping, I know that. But I just want to be able to hold her and tell her that it will all be ok. Yet, I don't think I would have believed anybody that told me that when I was pregnant and alone. I was terrified, angry, hurt, and not in any condition to hear someone tell me that things would one day be ok. So I watch her. And I hurt for her. And some days I even cry for her, safe in my bed wrapped in the arms of The Man, where she can't hear me. And I pray for her. I pray a lot. I pray that God gives her strength, and comfort. I pray that He holds her tight in His grasp. I pray that He gives her the peace that passes understanding. And if you're a praying person, I ask that you pray for her as well. She needs all the prayers that she can get.

I just don't get a man that would hit a woman. I don't understand a man that would raise his hand to a pregnant woman. I can't comprehend a man that would strike the woman that was carrying his child. And I really can not wrap my mind around a man that would walk away from a woman that adores him, and walk out on his child. These things baffle me. They irritate me. I just don't get it.

Another of my very dear friends is also going through it. His wife left him. Left him! Not only him, but also their 3 year old little boy. She just packed up and moved out. But not just out. She moved in with someone else. And this one has me scratching my head as well. My friend, he's not perfect. He has his flaws. I can see that. But geez, when you're married - that's supposed to be forever! It's right there in the vows - for richer or poorer, for better or worse, till death do you part. I know people get divorced. Heck, I've done it. It was literally a life-saving decision for me. But this woman just walked out on her husband, on her CHILD, for a new life. What kind of mother does that? What kind of woman can carry a baby inside of her very body, nurture that baby for nine months, endure the agonizing pain of childbirth, nurse that child, hold that baby, gaze into his eyes, smell the back of his neck, then just walk away? It makes me SO angry, just to think about it.

I see these two people every single day. I watch them, going through the motions. They are both holding it together remarkably well, considering. They are both strong people, and they both have kids to care for, so they are soldiering on. But when I look at them sometimes, I can see it, right there in their eyes, before they drop the veil and shutter their gazes. I see it.

Pain. Confusion. Disappointment. Loss.

And it breaks my heart.

Every day, it breaks my heart.

I want to wrap my arms around them both, just hold on to them, squeeze them tight, gather them close, make them feel safe, and secure, and wanted, and loved. I want them to know that life does in fact go on. I want to tell them that even when you are broken, even when you watch your heart walk out the door, when you feel devastated, when you have no idea how on earth you will ever survive the way your heart is exploding into teeny tiny little bits, there is an end.

Heartache only lasts for so long. I know this. I've lived it. I thought my heart would never heal. Even worse, I thought that once the pain stopped I would never again be able to feel. I was certain I would never be able to love anyone but my wonderful children. A part of me seemed to know that being shattered was like being Humpty Dumpty, and even if some master came along that knew how to put me back together, all of the pieces would never be found. But I was wrong. It took a long time, but I did get put back together.

And so will they.

I know that. I know that one day this will make them able to hurt for someone else, to be there for another person, the way I am trying to be there for both of them.

I just wish that they knew it too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

With a little help from my friends....

I had to leave the angst for a while. It was really starting to get to me. And all that dark tee time of the soul stuff? And the buried body? Just a little bit disturbing, even for me. I don't know where this woman is dragging me, but I almost think I need a bodyguard some days... This is a little bit lighter. And it's a very definite nod to some very special women, who, for reasons of National Sanity, shall remain nameless..... (I TOLD YOU I was going to put you in a book!)

I've never been one to make friends easily. The moving around I did as a kid made it very difficult to form lasting bonds with anyone. I was always "The New Girl", until I wasn't. But by that time, my mother had usually tired of the weather, the house, the job, or the man, and it was time to move on.

I learned to love books. And movies. Even soap operas. Those people were on every single day, no matter which city I found myself in at any given time. It was easy to keep track of them, and I never had to worry about if they'd be mad because I hadn't kept in touch. Of course, that made it difficult to borrow clothes from them. They didn't usually share. But it created a really rich life for me in my head, which was where I preferred to spend most of my time as a kid anyhow.

That all worked out pretty well for me for a while, until I realized that the people in books don't answer you back when you ask a question. And they can't hold you when you cry. And they NEVER help you actually bury the body.

So I had to find some new friends.

What I found instead was a sisterhood. A group of women that loved books as much as I did. They also loved talking about books as much as me. And they loved wine. And they were intelligent. And funny. And supportive. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced, and far beyond any of my expectations.

And those women? Well, all I know is that when I needed help, they didn't just offer to help me bury things.

They brought their own shovels.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A good man...

She seems to be feeling the tiniest bit mercenary today. But I understand. Or at least I think I do. She was devastated. She was abandoned. And now she's adored. But there is a day coming when that might not be enough...

I only ever wanted a good man.

Ok, that's not true exactly.

I wanted a man that was good. At everything.

I wanted a man that would notice when I changed my hair. I wanted a man that would tell me I was beautiful in the morning, before I even brushed my teeth. I wanted a man that would hold me close in the middle of the night when the demons from my past threatened the peace of my sleep. I wanted a man that would be kind and decent to my children.

I wanted a man that would LOVE me.

It's funny, in all of my dreaming about this good man, I thought a lot about what he would do for me, how he would feel about me, how much he would care about me. I don't think I ever expected to find him, really.

I think I did that on purpose. I created this checklist in my head of all of the traits that I was sure that no single man could possibly have. I wanted him tall, but not too tall. I wanted him to have a killer smile. I wanted him to hold doors and carry heavy things and never curse around me. I wanted him to want me with a longing and a fierceness that was so intense, so overpowering, it would never stop. I wanted him to feel about me the way I'd once felt about someone else.

I think part of it was self-protection. If I wanted all of that, and nobody could possibly be all of that, then I wouldn't ever fall in love again. I was safe. I could stay buried deep inside of myself, and never have to risk hurting again.

Then a very good man walked into my life.

He was everything I'd always dreamed of. And more. He was handsome, and kind, and chivalrous. He was gentle with animals and so loving with my kids. And he adored me. Totally worshiped me. It was charming.

Funny thing that.

In all of the years that I'd dreamed about that good man, one thing never occured to me. See, for all of those years, I'd buried myself deep inside of me. I'd hidden my heart from the world, from every single soul on earth except my children. I never wanted to feel the pain of abuse, the agony of watching the person I loved walk away from me. I'd made two very bad choices. One of them had almost killed my body. The other one had almost murdered my soul.

In all of the years that I'd dreamed about a good man, I'd forgotten about one thing.

If I didn't give him my heart, I'd never be able to love him back.

Did I even want to try?

Or was it enough just to live with his devotion?

Didn't I, for once in my life, deserve to be the one that was adored?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Moment

Ok, check it out. Another journal entry for those of you that keep showing up here every day. Maybe you weren't quite expecting this after some of the rest that you've read? And PLEASE don't forget to leave me a comment. Tell me what you think!!! (I know some of you are sneaking in, thinking I don't notice. Oh, but I do. I DO notice. And I just want to hear what you have to say...)

Someone recently asked me "If there was one thing you could do over again, one decision that you were allowed to make differently, one thing you could go back and change in your life, what would it be?"

I took a moment to pause and actually consider my answer.

There have been many things, many decisions, many moments, that have defined me. I can look back at my life and see many times where I could have chosen a different path, and that would have drastically changed my life. Some of those changes would have been for the better. Some would not have been so good.

But one? Just one moment?

Would I change the first time I said "I do"? Oh, that would have been an interesting one to undo. If I hadn't made that pledge, I would have saved myself years of heartache, broken bones, tragedy. That would be a good thing to change.

Would I change giving my whole heart away without getting anything in return? If I had only held onto my heart, I might have stayed whole. It would have saved me years of questioning myself, my choices, my very sanity.

Would I change letting myself love again? If I had only held back, kept those feelings from coming to fruition, it would have kept me safe. I would be lonely still, but my heart would never again have the chance to shatter.

Would I change a word I said or a deed I did? There are many that I've second guessed over the years - lies I've told that have come back to haunt me, people I've hurt that didn't deserve that pain.

Any of those would perhaps be a good start. If I could, I might consider making one of those changes.

But the change I'd like most to make if I could?

Really, that didn't take long at all for me to decide, though I never said it aloud to my friend. If I could have but one chance to do one thing a little bit different than I did it the first time, do you know what I'd do?

I'd bury that body a little bit deeper.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Another Kind of Love...

So this is my reward. I made a promise that I would work on that other story for a while this weekend. I did. And now I get to share another new page from the journal. As you may know, the journal is the jumping off point for each chapter. They are not necessarily in any order yet. But the chapters that follow these entries are strong. I've been tinkering with the entries in 1st and the actual chapters in 3rd. I haven't decided if I like it that way or not. We'll see. For now, just tell me if you're enjoying the journals...

There was a time that my life was my own. I can vaguely recall feeling free. Free to walk around the house in nothing but my tank top and panties. Free to stay up late reading books about far off places. Free to hop in my little car and drive for hours. Hours upon hours upon hours. Even pick up a hitchhiker. Without a destination in mind. Knowing that nobody, except maybe my boyfriend, would wonder where I was. Free.

It was exhilarating.

The day I learned I was going to be a Mom, all of that changed.

I knew that my life was no longer going to be my own. I knew that my midnight drives, the long hours that I spent searching for...something, I knew those times were over. I knew that I would need to sleep more, and that late nights with my dream men in books would be a thing of the past. I knew that my wardrobe of lovely summer dresses and luscious shoes would be replaced with jeans and t-shirts stained with snot and drool.

I knew the freedom was over.

I knew all of that the second time I learned I was going to be a mom as well. And I also knew it would be harder. My daughter? She was easy. Charming and wonderful, bright and smart. I knew it would be much more difficult the second time around.

What I didn't know? Oh, what I didn't know could fill an ocean.

I didn't know that the way my son gazed up at me while he nursed, the way he curled his fingers around mine, the way he smiled when I whispered into his ear.. I didn't know that those things would become my passion. I had no way of knowing that hearing him cry out in the middle of the night would stop my heart. Or that seeing his little face scrunched up from a bad dream, then relax into a grin at the sight, the mere sight, of me would rev my heart into overdrive.

I knew I would love my child. I knew that deep down in my bones from the first minute, the very first second, I knew of his existence.

But I didn't know that love would be so all consuming. I didn't know that love would swallow me whole, hold me hostage, threaten to make every other thing in my life mean nothing.

You see, I'd loved before. Or thought I had. And that love had almost destroyed me. It had ripped my heart from my chest as I stood there watching a piece of me lie mangled in the sand, near the beach where it was born. My heart was shattered. I thought it would never be able to love again, watching the man that I loved walk away from me, far away, into the arms of another. I stood there, wrapping my arms around myself, promising to love and to protect my child from ever having to feel that kind of pain - the pain of rejection. I hoped that my child would never love anyone as much as I'd loved that man, so that my baby would never have to feel the pain that wracked my body.

But that love was nothing compared to the love I felt every time I gazed into the eyes of my son.

That's how I knew I was in trouble. Once you love like that, and lose like that, you begin to harden yourself. I did that. I hardened myself. I built an enormous fortress around my heart, I walled in my soul. The only people allowed entrance were my children. They were the holders of the keys to my heart, the carriers of the lock to my soul.

And what I had done, that one little lie that I told all those years ago, was going to destroy them.

I could feel it already. I could feel the walls starting to crumble. I could feel my fortress eroding from the inside out.

All it had taken was an e-mail. One short message. Just a few words. "It has come to my attention that there are things we need to discuss. Call me."

It was starting. It would happen soon. And when it did, there would be nothing left of me or the life I'd worked so hard to build.

That's the way it is with love sometimes.

It can build you up, make you feel strong, convince you that you are invincible.

It can destroy you.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Power of Love

Back to the new story...
I think she's going to ask questions, then answer them herself. And each answer that she gives to a specific question will reveal a little bit more about herself. It will lead into the next chapter, if you will.

These have been really great jumping off points for me. The chapters that I've written to go with the few that I've posted here have been pretty cool.
It's just very difficult for me to write in 1st. I don't know that I'm all that comfortable actually being INSIDE of her head all the time. I don't know how you do it, Kris! This is rougher for me than anything else I've ever written.

How strong is love? I've always heard it was the most powerful force in the world. It's supposed to be able to heal people, and bring happiness, and all sorts of other wonderful things. But does it?

In my experience, the Power of Love is directly proportional to how that love is received, how it is nurtured, how it is cherished.

I've loved.

I loved so much, so strong, that I thought there was nothing that couldn't be done. With the force of my feelings, I should have been able to leap tall buildings and cure world hunger. I loved with the strength to move mountains. I loved with the depth to rival oceans.

I loved purely, with no expectations.

That was my mistake.

Giving love freely is wonderful. It was my way of saying "Hey, I'm here. You can have me. All of me. Every last piece and particle of my being is yours. I want you to have everything that I am." It was exhilarating. For a season.

I didn't love to be loved in return. There wasn't a price on my love, or an expectation. I didn't love with any strings.

The problem for me was that the love was not reciprocated. It was one sided. It was unrequited. My love, in all of its power and passion, all of its strength and purity, was never returned.

It was so strong that I was sure that it would be recognized. I was positive that one day, I would have all of that energy, that passion, that soul-wrenching beauty, directed back towards me.

When you love like I did, fiercely and forcefully and without reservations, it can be poetry in motion.

When you love like I did, it can almost kill you.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I'm taking a break from the internal monologues to tell you about our trip to MARGARITAVILLE last night. I'll pick up with more of the new story sometime next week. Stay tuned!

My husband doesn't like concerts. He enjoys music, he really does. But he's just not into concerts. So when he got me tickets to see JIMMY BUFFETT for Valentine's Day, I was shocked. In a strange twist that usually only happens in the movies, we both ended up buying tickets. We had quite a few tickets, and were able to bring some friends with us. I'm including some pics of the evening, for your enjoyment.

Me and my studly son, hanging out at the concert...

Michael and Hannah, looking for a lost shaker of salt. (WHAT SALT?!?)

Who's the man? Michael is the Man. Just ask him. :)

Steve and Mary Jo, enjoying a moment...

Michael, at the after-party at IHOP. He's seriously contemplating the menu at 2am.

Shane, before getting changed. After the concert, he displayed his ever-present chivalrous side when he escorted two rather inebriated co-eds back to their vehicle. One of them was falling down drunk. The other was royally ticked that they'd lost their car, and their boyfriends. My Hero made sure they found both the boyfriends and the car safely. Things like that are why he's my very favorite man in the entire world...

The music was great. The company was even better! And a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Reinventing The Truth

The more I think about this story, the more I like the idea of each chapter starting as a Journal entry. I don't know exactly how that will work yet, but I'm mulling it over. That serves a few purposes for me. First, it gives me a jumping off point for every chapter. I like that. Second, it gives you (the reader) a chance to peek inside her head. Still things to consider though. Let's just see how it goes...
Oh, and how do you like the title? For now, I really like it. It perfectly describes what she does. She reinvents the truth to serve her purpose. She's not exactly a heroine, is she?
You be the judge...

I expect people to act a certain way, and I'm generally astounded when they veer off the script that I've written for them in my head. I simply can not understand how people go so far off course. Those are the days that I reinvent the most.

If someone says "I'll think about it," that gets a reinvention. In my head, they are actually saying "Well, since you do know best, you just tell me which choice I should make, ok?" So I generally do.

If words such as "I'm just not sure" happen to pass their lips, that's usually reinvented as "I will, of course, bow to your expert knowledge on this one".

It's not something that I do maliciously. It's never intended as a mean thing. I just want people to stick with the script. I want my life to go exactly the way I want my life to go. It would be so much easier if people just played along. Then I wouldn't have to be constantly reinventing the truth.

Sometimes though, I even amaze myself with the lengths I will go to in order to make things go the way I want them to go.

For instance, I still am not sure how I reinvented "I love her and I'm going to marry her" into "This is something that I have to do, please try to understand, but you're the one I'm going to think about for the next 50 years."

Wishful thinking?

No, I don't think so.

Some days, I think the worst lies that I tell are to myself.

Dancing around the Truth

Char said keep going.
This is an internal monologue, something that won't ever make it into the book. But it reveals quite a bit about the character of my girl, don't you think?
This one seems to be slipping out in 1st, which I'm not all that comfortable with, especially since so much of her history shadows mine in very obvious ways. She's not me, though. She's full of darkness and regret over decisions she's made. She hasn't found her happily ever after. And I'm not sure if she will. But I do know that she's very strong. And she does what she thinks she has to do in order to protect the people that she loves. And really? That's just like me...

How many levels of Truth do you have in your life? How many layers of Reality do you allow to exist in your world at one time? Do they ever get out of hand? Does one part of your life, maybe a part that you stuck in a duct-taped box on the top shelf of your closet, ever threaten to jump off the shelf and insist that you pay attention NOW?

In my life, I have, probably much like most of you, done things of which I am not particularly proud. I have lied. I have kept the truth from people. I have danced around the truth in action, in word. While doing those things, I firmly believed it was the right thing to do.

I once told my brother, after yet another move to another new city that included another new dad, that everything was going to be ok. It wasn't. I knew that. My mom was nuts, and I knew that that city, that school, that house, that dad, wasn't going to last til the end of the year. But I held his hand while we walked into yet another first day of school, and I squeezed his fingers in mine, and I told him that it was going to be all right. I lied. I knew then that I was lying. But I did it anyway. I justified it by telling myself that he needed to hear those words to get through the day. I told myself it was ok to tell that lie, because he was young and scared and he needed me to reassure him. So I did it. I lied.

I once told my daughter, the beautiful girl that brought light and sunshine to my world and taught me to be a mom, that we would be just fine. My husband had left me, bruised and battered, on a small island far from family and friends. I held that baby close and whispered that we were going to be just fine. I knew it was a lie. Nothing was fine, and I had no idea how to make things fine. But I told her that anyway. She was just a baby, and she needed to hear soft words to help her sleep. So I did it. I lied.

Those weren't bad lies. They were necessary. They were the right words to say at the time, and I said them, in order to spare feelings or help boost someone's spirits. I'd say them again if I was ever in the same situation.

Does that make me a horrible person?

I never thought so. Until one of my lies, one of the ones that just slipped out of my mouth sitting on my couch one day, came back to haunt me.

It was such a simple little thing, not even a lie, really. Someone asked me a question. Instead of answering the question directly, I side-stepped. I answered it in a way that gave the person the answer he wanted to hear, without actually giving him an answer. It was the right thing to do. It was the best thing to do at the time.

Was that wrong?

I never thought so.

Until today.