Monday, June 27, 2011
I am gladly not today. I am not married. I have no plans on being married. I have a wonderful partner who I know y'all want to know about. Woooooooo weeeeeee...Is it a story to tell. I will one day. I know this. I am recording in my mind. I have been able to for the first time in my life been able to maintain a lower weight. I fluctuate by 10 lbs now not 30-50. That was my goal with this blog. See who I was. See where the problems came from. I thought for sure I would find it hidden deep within my childhood but, no, it was sitting right next to me. A relationship that had been long severed. I hung on for the sake of marriage. The idea of family. As I sacrificed myself to do so.
Now...Kids are great. We have our own place. Share custody 50\50. Living a lot differently now. No cable no internet. Not another minute of my life will be wasted watching another more exciting life on T.V. Not gonna happen.
Needing to write more often. Thinking of starting a poetry journal. Been a long time. As I go if I find that I have any sort of talent for it at all. I will post here. This ought to be fun. I miss pouring myself all over these pages. Regrouping. Not wanting to leave this blog. Eye are upon it. Trying to breakthrough the fears of what others think.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
rambling bambling scrap of crap but i will post this stupidity anyway because i wrote it , is the title.
Thoughts of greener grass always looming in my head..
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Friday, December 4, 2009
Do I dare say it here?...Do I trust this page any longer? Are there eyes judging my words and my actions as I write them down for others to see? Those questions have kept me at bay..Fear of what others think of me...I am here.I am writing. I am getting better all day long...heck I feel better. So much weight has been lifted from me. Not only the physical weight I have shed, which by the way, I am at 110 pounds lost. The emotional weight lifted from me due the the choices I have made in my life have been tremendous...ok so this is what is up.. I have to get it out or else my writing will not matter because it wont be about what I need to blog about and today I need to tell you what has happened to me in these months I have been gone... I read back a few posts today and wow how I can see how much I was struggling..
Is it fair to say you will be with someone forever? I think it was something I always wanted to hear but never ever believed...but to hear it was calming to me.. So many fears so much insecurity..so so sad and lonely... I found that I fed myself food to cover all the lonliness of my own marriage...15 years we had been together..seems like forever . Some may think you must stick it out becuae of the time together..I made the ultimate decision to not stick it out.. Not for lack of trying all these years...I tried over and over and found myself drowned in a pool of fat trying to feed a void that could not be filled...
I do not expect at this juncture in my life for anyone to make empty promises that I will blindly follow ...I am not that girl anylonger..I am full grown woman and have made the choice to file for a divorce which will be final on jan.5,2010
Am I afraid? oh yea! Quite often...Stepping out into the world unprotected is how I felt.. I know longer feel this way.. I do not necessarily feel liberated or empowered..What I did, I changed the face of our lives...All of our lives...I was not the only one in this picture...I knew that and I still had to do it... There was no other way.. Making the choice to end this realtionship was tough based on the amount of people I had to let go of in order to release my self from the hold I was in..Many faces are turned in astonishment and anger as I have stood my ground...No longer a doormat to be scrubbed against...this has been a tough one..many days and nights I reminded myself that what I was doing was not necessarily right for all of the people I have in my life but it was right for me...I am solid in my decision...We were no longer good for one another...found that we were entwined in co-dependancy like a root system wrapping around pipes...crushing them...causing irrepairable damage...I had to cut it loose to see if my tree would survive without needing to tap into the broken pipe for nourishment...I guess at this point it would depend on who you ask...I am here to tell you that I am ok and my tree is growing ...close to full bloom...I have found myslef in a way that I can not really explain ...or I could but I couldn't expect most to understand...for now we will leave it be...
I am happy in my life right now and although I have days of sadness and raging fear of financial strain. For the most part, my life is calm and relaxed...The children are adjusting rather quickly as I have tried very strongly to enforce it upon them the truth in why mom and dad are no longer in the same home together...We have made two homes for our children. It has taken them a while to come around which leaves me pinned to my seat in fear of really messing them up for life...Going back is not an option...Teaching them strength and endurance and resilience...Things get better with time...As long as you don't sweep the issues under the rug thinking they will go away... Yea my kids are gonna have it tough because I know that leaving issues to sit long enough they begin to stagnate and fester, never healing..knocking the scab off only to find it still hurts...looking for ways to cover it up.. Needing a Band-Aid ...an emotional bandage ,but what works? hmmm...how about food? uh no.
Thinking thinking thinking....still my eyes well with tears when I find myself afraid of what I have done to this "family unit". Will my kids be forever destroyed in their beliefs of love and marriage...Forever and ever..Should I be the one to break it to them, or have I already?..My beliefs have changes dramatically when it comes to the idea of love and marriage...a woman scorned...Is it my place to put this on them?...Did I stay for so long because of these words I am writing? I am afraid I did...Did I do more harm to myself and the rest of the family hanging on to something that I knew was something I could never completely undertake? Was I working hard as I could for the lot of us? I am afraid I did...
Here I am...Making decisions for myself, not having to worry about being brought down...not having to care for him before I cared for myself...not having to compensate for what was gone long ago...Taking it a step at a time..Wheening ourselves off of one another...hanging on to the co-dependancy has been one of our biggest probelms in this whole episode of my life...We are both getting better and at this point we are almost completely independant of one another....smart wnough to know that we will forever be working together as parents and raising our children without further breaking their spirits is a common goal of ours...I like that..I like that we, after so many years and the past few months full of anger and pain and sadness and desperation,are able to agree that this is no longer about us as a couple but our kids as needing stability and consistency... I like that I can talk to him about what to do next with our kids and not have to fight through all the jealousy and rage...Times are coming full circle...I am feeling whole...I am feeling resolved...I am feeling love....I am feeling loved...I am loving....I am smiling... : )
I will be back..I have missed this.. I have craved this but I also knew that if I had been here any sooner things would have come out I may have regretted... I am defiantly wanting to preserve this person I have found in myself...I am a new woman... I am growing emotionally daily...I am Paige Elizabeth Keaton...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Putting all of this out here for everyone to read is humbling for me in a way that I feel I am baring my soul at times. To the point that when I go back months and read my post I am still amazed at the amount of honesty I was able to give. So many times when I write I know what I am going to write about but don't have the words. I just start and not until I am finished and go back to proof it do I see the words for the first time. Where are they from? Who is writing this? I couldn't have or more so, I wouldn't have shared THAT much about myself. Feeling stripped naked for the world to read. Humbled. I mull over the words not sure whether or not I should actually post it or not. Press publish post is all I have to do. Just click it. Some days I can't. Some days I haven't. There are still a few I have left in the draft section or just deleted.
My blog has relieved me of a lot of guilt I have carried around for a long long time. Finding myself in a little bit of a panic when I hear about the next person to read my blog. Almost like a child revealing his artwork to adults for the first time. Feeling shy and timid wanting praise, not expecting it though. Getting better at receiving the compliments that come my way. Never having been very good at anything, mostly for lack of trying, this is new to me and finding the self worth and self esteem required to receive the compliments has been a task. Getting better at it though. Something in me feels as if I still do not deserve the compliments. Does that ever get easier. I feel like a putz.
Learned from my mother. I know it! I can remember the praise my mother would get for all of her talents and I can still see her bowing out with a sheepish smile like a Geisha. Knowing her work was absolutely amazing but not confident enough to take ownership of it. She could have been Martha Stewart if she had just gained the confidence she needed to own the craft she has. That is neither here nor there now. Just recognizing that for me is big. Figuring out how to change it will be huge. I am not there. Yet.
No matter what I will continue. For now I kinda just pretend you are not really out there looking. This is for me. This is for you. This is for my family. This is for my future.
This is from God.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I don't think a person can live a clean, happy and, full life having spent numerous amount of hours trying to protect it. At some point you have to realize that you are going to feel sadness so deep it feels as if it is cutting you to the bone. There will and have been points in my life that my heart has been so full of love for a person that I feel like I am free falling when I think about them. What about anger how it shrinks your heart into a tight ball and turns it dark and nasty and tense, very tense. Disappointment weighs heavy like a wet cloth on my heart and somehow I have to just know that this is a feeling. It is a God given feeling. Why do I run? Why do I medicate? Why do I not want to feel it? Why do I not trust that this feeling, whatever it is at the time, will subside. Nervous, Excited, Jealous, Proud. You take the good with the bad, you wait it out. All of them will simmer down and you can see that "guess what?" your heart is still beating.
Loss....greiving...pain that takes real work to make better. Does the heart die a little when you feel real pain like that? How much can it take? Do these emotions that we feel all day everyday take a toll on our physical heart? Can we die of a heartbreak? Can you miss someone so much that the heart never completely heals and left unattended just gives out? From emotion? I am asking? I am wondering....
Having had a friend of mine recently have a massive heart attack. She is young and although there is a history of heart disease in the family, the amount of loss she has experienced in her life outweighs all of that. Her tone as she speaks of them and how she misses her sister soo much makes me wonder. A life taken too soon. A life that she depended on for comfort and friendship. Trying not to think about the medical side of this because all of that, her doctors will do there best with. I see the pain in her eyes. I saw the tears well up in her eyes as she spoke of her. Trying her best to push them back and not feel that pain at the moment. Maybe just maybe that is what is needed to happen. Maybe her soul needs cleansing. Maybe those tears need out to release the pain and suffering in her heart that is fragile at this point.
My hope for her is that she can find health and happiness in her life. Personal happiness, the kind that no one around you can provide no matter how much they may want to. Getting caught up in sadness and grief builds like a hurricane in your body. It becoming stronger and stronger as you feed it exactly the right mixture of anger and fury. It has nowhere to go. Becoming stuck inside your being swelling and spinning causing panic. The tears may help. The tears allow the levy not to break. Releasing the pressure little by little until you find that the storm is gone. Be careful of the eye of the storm. Know that it is there and the dirty side of this emotional storm is yet to come. Making it through the storm is an accomplishment. This takes time and there is no limit for personal growth. Just be careful as to not follow the storm. Let it pass.
For you my friend....R U LISTENING?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Where do I begin? So many things...first on my mind is my daughter. She was placed in a drug treatment facility within the past month and things were looking good for her and a possible future until she flew the coop. So much anger and stress are attached to that sentence. Why, oh why, oh why. I don't want her to continue to do this damage to herself and our family. Such destructive and disruptive behavior. The amount of anger and resentment she has is too much for me to deal with at this moment. I have given soo much for this child and feel completely drained. I don't want to do it anymore. Do I have this choice? Can I say enough is enough? I am drawing a line. I am taking a stand. Due to this stand I am making there is a lot of friction between me and the family. Not believing what they are hearing. How could Paige do this, how could Paige say that? I don't care anymore. I don't care if they are mad about this. No more mad than I am that Karrissa took an opportunity that was granted her from friends of friends of mine that pulled strings to make this happen and happen quickly for that matter. She knew what would happen if she stepped off campus. She is no longer a child. Seventeen and counting for her. She should be able to make decisions that are beneficial to her instead of constantly tearing down that safe place people keep providing for her. Am I angry? Yes! Should I be? Yes!
There is a meeting of sorts this weekend.With the family to help her decide upon her future. Do I after all the family meetings that proceeded this one think it will do any good? No. I think there is smoke being blown certain places by a certain someone, is what I think. I feel like I know her better than anyone in this world. I feel as if I can predict what is going to happen in this situation. Am I causing her to break down and make the choices she does because I am expecting her to. I am not sure, This is a possibility.
How do I continue on? Is there no such thing as tough love anymore? I don't want to have to forever deal with this stress and pain and turmoil. The fear I have in my own home when she is there. I shouldn't have to be afraid in my own home. The home I love and have molded into my own personal space that suits all of those who dwell there. What a comfortable place to be. My soft spot to land. My 4 walls to hold all of the things I cherish. From the books to the children, I love it all, and don't want any of that threatened in any way.
I think I am allowed to be angry. I am angry and all wrapped up in fear. Fear of the stress involved and how it affects me on a personal and emotional level. Stress that makes me hungry. It makes me want to stay in the kitchen trying to figure out how to cover the unwanted emotion. That is probably why I am being so firm about this topic. I can't go back there. I am trying to help myself here. I spent so many years of my life pleasing everyone around me only to end up completely overwhelmed with emotions I didn't know how to handle other than to eat it away. I am almost at 100 lbs lost at this point and will not, can not, turn to food for comfort. No more!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Taking a step back right now. Back to where I was before. I knew the static would be too loud if I let outside forces in. I am not strong enough right now to handle all the noise. Settling back into the groove I was in before. Where I was comfy and cozy. Is it possible to come back. What happens to the knowledge and experiences you learned in a dificult time. Do they not somehow change you into something else, that just simply saying oh I am going to stop and step back into this place that was oh so good to me. Can that happen? I'm not so sure. Maybe just maybe looking around at my life and the constant mistakes I make trying to live it, I can work on the two steps forward one step back pace. I know that is not the ideal place to be in life. That one step back just may have taught me something about my life that I can learn from. Learning about myself is such a funny thing. I can evaluate you and your problems like nobodies business but left to figure myself out, well it seems to take a while. Trial and errror.
I am back I am feeling better. I think it is time to get back to my blog and clear some of this noise from my life. Smooth sailing for a while at least.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wrenching....squeezing....tearing....pumping to the point that my heart is so filled I am overwhelmed. I am filling with these emotions until ,as I sit at my desk and work, my eyes well and the tears begin to flow. Nothing else, no sobbing but the tears are turned on and they run down my face without any choice in the matter. I feel as if I am leaking. Once on can't control the amount or how long. Where are they coming from? I can not confirm. What are these tears attached to? What part of my soul needs cleansing that I am releasing this sadness from me? The answers don't come easy. The answer I don't want to know. The answer is sadder than the tears coming down.
A right of passage that I am entitled to, I think. I have been trapped in my own world of hurt for a long time. This has to be part of that healing process I am searching for. I accept it and welcome the comfort I feel knowing and seeing that I am becoming well. Being in touch with emotions is not something I have ever been able to say comes naturally. I am always the funny girl that makes light of all situations to the point that I never ever really got to experience many highs or lows in life. I became a genius at keeping things like this at bay.
So here I am feeling. Big time. Will I be able to accept them for what they are? Feelings.....That's it... overwhelming feelings. Not something that needs to be medicated with anything. No food should be able to make this better. That, for me, is so over. Never again will I live in that numb world I was in. I felt dead and no longer do. This blood pumping in me is telling me something. I need to be careful and aware of the risks in my future and no that the choices I make don't just affect me.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The past week or so of life has been a whirlwind. Took my daughter to rehab a week and a half ago. We are very grateful that she is at least safe.
Weds.... Karrissa rehab.
Thurs..... Brownies...oop..scratch that.. My dad has a heart attack.
Fri..... Spent entire day filling in for my mother(who was at the hospital) as Chairman of the Committee for a "Tea" she had been planning for 5 months straight.
Sat...... Found out the my father has to have open heart surgery. Scheduled for Monday morning. Was placed in ICU. Was also able to get my mother away long enough to enjoy the "Tea" she had labored on for so long.
Sun....Worked 8 hours in order to not lose any for being at the hospital when my father had his surgery.
Mon...... Paced and worried about my father being on a by-pass machine while they carefully worked on his heart. All went well and everyone rejoiced. The last time I saw my father was that day in ICU after the surgery. He had tubes coming from everywhere. Bubbling and blowing with a frenzy. Could not speak and was still pretty much under anesthesia. Since then he has been placed in a normal room but was not wanting company that late in the day.(after work)
Thurs....Dad released from the hospital...sent home...Yeah
Whew...I am pooped just writing it.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Too many questions...will she? can she? is she ready? do we have a choice? is this wasting every ones time? does she really care? where's Jeff? how much do the little ones know? what do i say to them? on and on in my head it goes, where it will end nobody knows.
Trying to maintain a positive attitude about the possibilities ahead. Not succeeding. If there is one person in this world that I feel like I know inside and out. Able to predict behavior and sense trouble and know the lies. It is with her. I have been witness to this constant display of self destructive behavior for her entire childhood. She hates me for this. The anger that comes shooting from her eyes and lately her mouth is so obviously directed at me, and I know it is because I know her. I call her out on any and all self-destructive behavior. She can't stand that I am able to get to her this way.
One has to understand that it is not necessarily that I intend on making her mad. I find it very hard to hold back. Not only can i connect with Karrissa about her emotional pain due to the fact that for 8 years I was a stay at home mom with her. All day, every day, trying to figure out how to do the right thing, and hardly ever succeeding at it. But, I also was her. I was that kid on drugs, hurting, feeling worthless, when not medicated. Using my body to try and receive love. Stealing and lying. Drinking and smoking. This behavior is pretty easy to predict. It is progressive. There are things that happen to all addicts. Just in that same way as a baby develops. People can pinpoint the age in which an infant will begin to blow bubbles. Why would it be so hard for me to predict the things that she would end up doing? So far I have been right.
I want to go back to the time before Jeff and I were married. It was close about a week in from the day. There was already tension in the air between my parents and Jeff. He liked to play cards over at a buddy's house. He, for whatever reason was there a lot and not with us at home. I would end up with Karrissa most of the time. I was busy preparing for the wedding and there was no time for me to be running around playing games. We were on a budget and doing a lot of the work ourselves.
This particular night I was home with my mother and we were making wedding mints. Pressing them carefully into there molds. Earlier that evening I received a phone call from this guy that I had been friends with prior to my relationship with Jeff. We did not talk as often, simply because I was in love and it wasn't with him. He actually lived at the house in which Jeff was always playing cards and I guess sought the opportunity to call. He did not like Jeff, calling him a jerk. Why wasn't he with you? Are you really marrying him? I understood he was upset with the fast pace Jeff and I were moving at. It was 6 months in and we were getting married. I think back now and know that this guy had feelings for me that I took as friends only. The way I look at it is this. Me and this guy spent loads of time together. Enough time for there to be a connection. There was not one. Other than friends. For me at least.
Ok I am totally off track.... back to the mint making. As we sat there on the floor in my mothers living room, in walks Karrissa and in her small little Minnie Mouse voice says " I didn't start that fire in there." My ears perked as I knew what I heard but needed clarification. She didn't have to say another word. Her eyes began to panic. Jumping up I ran as fast as I could to the back room that used to be mine. It was on fire. The bed, curtains, clothes. It had been burning what seems like a few minutes only. The house at this point was in a panic. Phone calls were being made to 911. I knew we were at least 15 minutes away from anyone actually getting there. I ran into the kitchen and in the sink was the bowl we were making mints with soaking in water. I took it and threw it onto the curtains. Next thing I remember is my father and I dragging the mattress out of the house through the door on fire. Within a few minutes we had it out ourselves.
Looking around at the mess that was left behind. My wedding dress was in this room along with tons of other decorations, things we had been working on. Oh and I was having a white wedding. White. The dress was not burned and being that is was wrapped in plastic did not suffer smoke damage either. Not so lucky with my shower gifts from my bachelorette party. All of the lingerie was burned. Karrisssa was ok and not injured in any way. Kids play with fire. Kids are inquisitive. We were all calmed down and trying to regroup. I called Jeff to let him know but could not reach him. So it was the next day I guess when returning her to him that my father told him about the incident and was somewhat shocked that Jeff had no reaction to this story he was telling. Just took Karrissa and said oh ok.
This incident became the beginning of a long and tumultuous relationship between the 3 of us. Would I, if I could go back today, change my decision to marry Jeff? No. I would still be here. Right here sitting at my desk documenting my behavior, his behavior, her behavior. This is the tip of the iceberg. My marital iceberg could sink the Titanic. I love my family and despite all we had gone through and still are going through today this will not change. My love stays true. Through all the flaws. Through all the character defects. Up, down, up down, up down. For whatever reason ,I can not explain it, I remain in love.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Close your eyes and imagine me trying my hardest to be a good person. New to this world I was trying to fit into. Regaining trust from family and friends. Drugs were no longer an option for me all I wanted was to live a normal life. Coming into my own, if you will. Happy and free to do as I chose for my future. I really wanted this,more than anything in this world. Family was so important to me and making sure I made decisions that would not interrupt this was crucial.
Making it for an entire year without any problems or relapses was something I was very proud of. I felt like I was on top of my game. When I met Jeff little did he know I was ready to be married and have my own family. From the moment we met, it was on. My attraction for him was undeniable. Wanting to spend all my time with him. Our relationship moved fast and furiously. We met on July 27,1995 I remember this date because I was in a narcotics anonymous meeting picking up my one year chip and he was in town visiting a mutual friend. Went to coffee that night with a group of people. I can't speak for him but I was interested. Within a month he had moved back to Brenham and I was seeing him more and more often. Finally we went on a date. I remember talking my head off. Nonstop. Probably nervous.
From that day on we were inseparable. I was so in love with this man. He was so caring and loving. We could laugh,I could be as silly as I wanted without feeling embarrassed and he seemed to think my quirky warped personality was ok. The chemistry was undeniable. When we had to go to work it was torture. Waiting for the minutes to pass until we could see each other again. Having never felt this comfortable around a man in my life I knew this was it. He was the man that I needed to marry. Living out the rest of my days on this earth with him was what I wanted to do.
He had a little more baggage than me. If that is at all possible. He had been married before and from that marriage came a child. She lived with her mother, and in another state at that. These things did not bother me in the least. He would talk to her on the phone and had made attempts to raise her at times finding it very hard to be a single dad. Working hours that were not flexible and sometimes long he was always forced to have her go back to her mother. He expressed to me his desire to raise her and asked if I would be willing to help. I knew nothing about his daughter other than the fact that she was 3. He spoke more about not wanting her to be with her mother as she was not in a good place there. Did not elaborate. My heart was open to it. How hard could it be?I was in love with him and would at that point do anything for him.
Within 3 months of dating we were engaged and I was all excited. My mother and I were planning the wedding. This was a good time for me. We were doing it all. From the food and decorations to the cakes. My mother was fabulous at planning parties and with her guidance and my elbow grease I knew we could make this event unforgettable. We were on a time crunch. The wedding was set for Feb.10,1996.
That Thanksgiving I was invited to go with Jeff to a family reunion to meet his parents who did not live in Texas. During this same road trip we were to leave Texas and head to Colorado where his daughter was living. She was coming to live with him. We were packing her things and this was it. We were going to be a family soon.
From that moment, the moment we picked her up I could tell something was wrong. This child was one of the most beautiful children I had ever laid my eyes on. She was of perfect size, had these big brown eyes with long dark eyelashes. Her hair was golden blond and was cut in a bob with big chunky bangs. Everything about her physically was perfect. She was bright, had a very good vocabulary for someone who had just turned 4. Loved her daddy. Was not the least bit concerned about leaving her mother behind. Not a second thought crossed her mind as we loaded her into that truck with all her toys and clothes and headed back to Texas. My instant family had formed in front of my eyes. I was ecstatic. I could do this. I would be a good mother and wife and help him take care of her. I had been left in the dark about a few details.
One of the first things I noticed about her was that she did not do well with being TOLD to do anything. She did it on her own time and daddy was A-OK with this. Not a problem with a little training, she is only 4 these things should be easy to adjust. My first feeling of being uncomfortable around her came on the road trip back. She wasn't really having much to do with me and was all about Daddy. That's ok. I completely understand that and was not even having thoughts of .....what....jealousy maybe. I wasn't, I mean, this is his baby. She however saw me as a threat right away and was able to, in all her toddlerness, make me fully aware that I was not welcome in her world. For example....and this happened a lot when she would crawl into his arms for a hug she would find me, where ever I was in the vicinity and she would stare at me directly in the eyes with this look. I can still see the look. It was piercing and purposeful. She wanted me to be jealous. I would try and ease her tension by changing the subject and move about but where ever I moved so did her glare. I would look back to find the same stare.A little unnerving as I had been around my nieces and had never seem them the least bit interested in anything but the hug they got. This was not just a hug. This was intimidation. Yes I am talking about a 4 year old.
On our first night in a motel together ,we were in New Mexico and Jeff and Karrissa slept in one bed and I slept in the other. I remember this part as clear as day and don't want to write it down but it is really the first truly disturbing thing I witnessed from her. We were all in the room getting wound down for the evening, I was in one bed and Jeff and Karrissa were on the other. Out of nowhere she tried to kiss Jeff. Full on the mouth kiss. I was shocked but not as shocked as Jeff was. It was an awkward moment and somewhere right there in that second I knew that she had seen too much in her life. It broke my heart. Cried myself to sleep. During the middle of the night I woke up and find her standing in front of me, staring at me. I kinda stirred and asked what it was that she needed. She grabbed the pillow my head was laying on and yank it out and took it with her back to their bed. It was no big deal just a little bizarre because it was around 3 in the morning.
The next day we made it to the family reunion and I quickly realized this child was spoiled rotten by everyone around her.This made for a very long weekend as all of these people were strangers to me, but Jeff had pretty much put her in my care for the weekend, so he could visit with family. I was a bit limited with what I could do so basically I was just a bodyguard all weekend following her around. When I did try and stop her from doing something that I didn't see fit I was ignored. On one occasion I tried to get her to come down from where she was and she looked me straight in the face and called me a hoochie.
At this time I really don't think I was upset by anything that was going on. I knew she had been tossed around too much in her short little life and was insecure. Being completely understanding of this I never found it necessary to bring it up.
Over the next 3 months Karrissa lived with Jeff in his apartment and I lived in my house. It would remain this way until the marriage. She had a babysitter during the day and we would often get reports of bad behavior. Nothing was ever done about it. She was such a cute kid and for the most part, having never been a mother, I just let a lot of it go as Jeff should be picking up the pieces. We were not married. Yet, and it really wasn't my place to discipline her.
I don't really know where I am going with this. It has taken me a week to write this one. I keep saving and going back to reread. Mostly through this time things were good. It did put a strain on our relationship but that was so minor. I fully expected it to be different once she arrived. Attention had to be redirected. It is what was right. Coming to this point in my life I am very weary about writing about it. I do think a lot of things happened though that I need to work through in order to see my future more clearly. I am going to do this. It sucks right now.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I am finding a theme throughout my blog. So far, what I see is that I write about me and my daily life, things that just pop up out of nowhere. Thoughts that swirl in my brain and come out in the form of "word vomit" in this room. The next is me trying to reach into my past and find things that can help me with my future. I have very much enjoyed this process as it has proved to be fruitful.
The third part of this blog, that has me held by the cajones daily, is my daughter. I have shared very little about her here, and that will change as she is about to enter the picture from my past. For today though it is bad, very bad for her and everyone around her. Mostly for her. Although we hurt seeing the destruction she will be the ultimate price payer for her actions. There is no "getting through" to her about her decisions.
Things are happening to her due to the drugs and alcohol she consumes that can never be erased and most people would never recover from. She is such a fragile soul and is continuing to build up these great walls around it. To the point that people that do not even know her are reaching out to try and help. Pulling strings that we don't have access to. Jeff and I are lost. We don't know what else to do. We are mad and sad all at the same time.
We have tried for soooo long now to help her recover from the wounds of her past. To see the actions she is taking against herself is solid proof to me that all the years of trying has done nothing. She has not been reached. She learned to manipulate people into thinking that she is OK and it is all playing a big game of catch up at this point. We are faced with a decision. To enable or not. The enormity of that word...enable. The damage it does by allowing her to continue on her way as if there is no problems. She has a bed and a meal and somehow we feel like better parents by not forcing her to make the right decision. Because we know she won't, she will walk away and then what happens to her. I can't think of the possible scenarios. It makes my head feel almost like I am swirling. Thoughts just madly spinning in and out and trying to sort the good from the bad, the positive from the negative. Where are our possibilities? What do we do? I know the right thing to do is not to enable her. Not allow her to use us for a crutch any longer. The sooner the better. The sooner we let go, the faster she hits the ground running, and the faster she falls.
The process of having her placed in a treatment facility is in full swing. It should not be long. Waiting on a bed to open up. Praying she will not change her mind before it actually happens. She needs the break. Maybe a moment to step back and look at her life and find closure in some of the trauma she had to endure. Most of me thinks she is not ready to be honest with herself or anyone else in this world. Scared to death of being judged by others she lies to make herself not seem at fault in any way. No matter what. In fact at this moment if her mouth is moving you can rest assured it is a lie. This has put a huge strain on my relationship with her lately. I can not handle the lies. I have been that person and know exactly what she is doing and why she is doing it. There was no one that could have talked to me when I was her age that would have done any good. I was on the run as she is. She has agreed to go to treatment. Mostly so she would be able to leave school. I think it has nothing to do with getting better in any way as it does an escape from a pretty hairy situation she has found herself in. She is ashamed and wants to run. This seems like a way out.
Through all of this I have not found it easy to maintain any sort of sanity. Hunger rears its ugly head and all the old lies start flowing in. I am desperately trying to hang on for dear life as once again my life seems too much to handle. No one seems to have the answers I desperately seek. Have they been through the same? Can they give me advice? Are there really any answers? Do we just have to wing it, and if I hear one more time that I need to go on Dr. Phil I am going to scream. What in the world could that man do for me and my family in this moment other than exploit us. Not the answer I am looking for but thanks. I think my life has been exploited enough.
I want....I need....I hope....I pray....I beg....I promise....
I don't like being depressed or angry but right now these are the feeling that overwhelm me. I seem to lash out with bitter words. My small children are asking me if I am OK. Trying to shield them as much as I can from all of this, I am fully aware that they can sense the tension. I mean hell you can look at my daughter and see that there is something wrong. Something different. My youngest are super sensitive to me and my moods. I am not the mom to come home and go straight to the bed and curl up in the dark. Not wanting to think about it anymore. Completely exhausted from the days events. They stand next to my bed and touch my hair making sure I am OK. Making sure that they still have there mom and knowing that something is so different. Coming in to checkon me making sure that I don't need anything and all I can mutter is give me a few minutes and I will be out. I gather myself up for the evening. The kitchen has been quiet. Cooking alone. No dancing no singing. Nothing to celebrate. Not today.
I realize I am deep in my head and need to step out for a minute to take a deep breath and relax. I have done all I can do for her. She is 17 and is making decisions all on her own. I can not continue to feel this drive to "save" her. That is where this relationship between the two of us started and that is where we are today. In fact I feel today as overwhelmed right now as I was in that first year of raising her.
So here I am...where to go from here.? I think I need to sit still for a while. Let this crazy storm pass. As long I keep my bearings about me,I think once it is passed and the calm is at least in sight,then I can assess the damage. This boat can't sink.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Not being like so many others in this world who don't have to over think the "right" decision to make. I am constantly tugging against the reasonable side of me and wanting to take the easy way out. It is in my blood. It is part of my past. I can be my own worst enemy,in fact I know that I am. Never being able to not over think situations. I can be very pessimistic. Things don't usually go the way I would like them to. I have learned to deal with that for the most part. Having said that, it doesn't mean I have to like it. I don't like it a lot of the times. I see others and somehow they seem like there life is happier than my life. Didn't make all the wrong choices. Didn't torture themselves for things outside of there control. Of course I am looking at there life in a picture. One glimpse that makes me think things like my house isn't as clean or they look like they have more wealth and health. The spiritual well being of others seems to be more intact than me. I fight that a lot.
Being a Christian is not the easiest thing to be for me. For me it carries a lot of weight. I am supposed to be this way or that. What if I am not those things. Do I still fit the bill? I don't pray as much or as well as others. I don't go to church as often as I should. If for my children only. In fact I have just about every excuse in this world as to why I couldn't make it this Sunday or that. Wanting to do the right thing is a lot easier than actually doing it. Why should there be guilt on my shoulders when I enter a church? I live a decent life. I love my family and take good care of them. Is there resentment? I have come to believe that church itself is not why I am the person I am. I have come to feel like I really don't like to go to church. Am I a heathen? That is the Baptist in me coming out. I would like to become more spiritual. I think it is a good thing to feel bonded and covered by God. How can I get that info without going to church? I know of no other way. It is the way I was raised. It is the beliefs of my parents and there parents.
Growing up in a Southern Baptist home I was told in no uncertain terms that you were not to drink, you were not to smoke, you were not to dance. I do all of those things and have a great time doing them. Although I still carry that message with me in the back of my head that I am doing something wrong. Does this guilt come from a place of me being a Christian or from me being a Baptist? I guess that is something I need to figure out.
All I do know is that I can't do this myself. My husband can't do it for me. All the kind words in the world don't make me capable of letting all of this go. I have to do it, but I can't do it alone. When I try I drag heavily along. Making the decision to hand it over i find hard. How much will I change? Will I become this different person that only wants to gush of God and the the greatness of it. Not sure about that. I have never been that person and parts of the character that God Himself gave me are nothing like that. Although I never leave it in His hands for long before becoming impatient and selfishly snatching it back.
Like I have said many times before. I am my own worst enemy. This seems like a good start at least. I feel like maybe I have opened up a bit. May the walls continue to crumble.
Friday, April 10, 2009
This is where I am left. How did I get here? Standing dumbfounded. Was my life just a cruel joke that I wasn't a part of? Did I miss something? Do I have no say so in the goings on around me? At that point being so alone and having to listen to the inner workings of my very complex brain I absolutely was at a loss. Had no answers. Had no excuses for what I had done to myself. Something had to give. It all started with me. There was no one to blame and even if I did place blame, it would not have changed the enormity of the situation.
Where could I find these answers I needed? This is not my forte' as you well can tell by now. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I have not been the best at changing myself. Advice to others I always had plenty of. Advice from others I always heard plenty of. Applying to my life for the betterment of me was the tricky part. How does one do that? I still do not know. All that I have changed thus far in my life has come from a place in me that only God can pull from. Coming here and pouring out all of this information becomes somewhat tricky and complicated. Very humbling. Who likes the feeling of vulnerability? Not exactly a comfortable place to be. I chose to air all of my dirty laundry on the Internet open for anyone to read, judge, draw opinions,come to conclusions about my life. Tired of caring what others think of me. This seems the perfect format for me to be brave enough to spill the beans.
So many fears remain. Will this last? Will I be able to follow through? Fears of more suffering, more heartache, more self-destruction. When reading over my post I am left thinking wow you sound depressed. That is not a word I would use to describe myself. Determined..yes. Skeptical...of course. Tired of the same result? absolutely.. This is why I am here.
Something in me for years has been calling me to write it all down. Write it down. I never would or never could. Lacking the confidence to put pen to paper. Thinking about it, I was never ready to put it all down. If I had done so before this very moment in my life it would have been all wrong. Completely gratuitous in every way.Things happen for a reason and looking at my life in this light has shed this shadow of understanding about the sickness and turmoil I was in, not the eternal party I thought I was having. So I have held off writing it down,fearing nothing would come from it. I was wrong. Using this format as a platform to stand on and scream my insecurities and failures has allowed me to morph into that woman that I knew I could be. Strong. Determined. Heard. For those in my life that are not used to that type of person. This may pose some problems. To be seen.
Continuing on in my journey I am going to start in my next post. Just a recap. Recently out of treatment and working towards becoming a functional member of society. I am looking at one year in. One year sober. Again my fathers birthday. July 27.1995. It was that day in particular that I was to meet my future husband. I promised myself to wait a year to get into a relationship and on the day of my one year anniversary with sobriety, I was to meet this man. Ironic?Destiny?Fate?hmmmm...I don't know but for whatever reason this happened it was certainly to be a test of who I was and what I stood for.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Do I have regrets? Absolutely. A few of the things that have come up in this process that I swore to get out in this room but have hesitated are...
1. Minnie- my grandmother who I adored all of my life. She lived with our family almost all of my life. Growing up, my time playing was spent in her room. Watched soaps and tennis with her. We played Yahtzee until I was a champ. She made all of my clothes for me when I was younger and didn't quite fit into the normal sizes that were available. Oh, how I loved that woman. Very talented in her craft. She was a tremendous seamstress. I loved going through all of her things. The bottles of perfume that I would wrap up and give to my parents for Christmas. Those bottles always ended back on her vanity the next time I looked. I have the fondest memories of her. Oh yeah every Sunday when the Chronicle came out there was a little paper in there for kids. It was called the MINI-PAGE. We loved that. She is Minnie and I am Paige. Love it.
One time....I was such an ass and having a party at my parents house. They were gone but Minnie was there. She of course did not agree and kept poking her head in the living room to check on things, looking out the back door at the pool. I am sure she was in a panic. Feeling responsible for these people in our home. I am not sure what led up to the conversation we had but she was standing in the living room not happy with me wanting them to leave. That was not going to happen and I was going to make sure of it. I screamed at her in front of others there, to "SHUT UP! and GO BACK TO HER ROOM!" She started crying and although it hurt me at the time I would not show it and tried to play it off. What was I thinking? This was my Minnie,I didn't treat her like this. I had been possessed by something. I had never ever seen her cry. Why did I do that? Then as time went by I never apologized to let her know that I was deeply sorry for hurting her. I hid under the shame like I did everything else. Even after I left rehab I didn't do it. I was so utterly ashamed of it I wasn't strong enough ,or so I thought, to admit to it. By this time Minnie had advanced Parkinson's and was in a nursing home. I rarely visited her and when I did there was no way to communicate with her. She died in 1996. Without ever a word from my mouth in apology. I hope she forgave me for that day. I regret that.
2. Elvis- I wish I would not have been there that day, sitting on the curb. I regret pushing him into doing hard drugs. He was just a kid. The money spent is not my regret. The regret is that when all was said and done this kid ended up in prison addicted to crack. He has spent the last 15 years in and out of prison. A lot of people got hurt during that time. I made it out, I was lucky. Elvis is not the only one from that group that has spent years in prison. I wish I wouldn't have been associated with that. Even if he had found it all on his own. That didn't happen. I showed him how to do it, where to do it, and lots of it.
3. My father- While all of this was going on in my selfish life my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I had no idea. One day my sister came looking for me and told me I needed to come to the hospital because Daddy had surgery. What?! I remember it being Halloween night because my baby niece was there dressed like a pumpkin. Very uncomfortable being there. Cut off jeans and dirty feet. Sitting there smelling like smoke. Probably stoned. I don't even think I had shoes on. I never wore them, so I bet I didn't. I was the black sheep. What do you say? I didn't say much, stayed for a short time and left never enquiring about his health again. He is a survivor. I regret not being able to be there for moral support for him and my mother. Having the added stress of a drug addicted daughter could not have helped matters at all.
4. School- The fact that at that very young age I was so talented in art. I could do just about anything that had to do with my hands. I would have loved to have gone to the Art Institute of Houston. That was my dream. Not taking the correct steps to achieve that goal is a regret. Not pushing myself. I would have been very good at whatever career I had chosen from that field. Here I sit at my desk. Punching the same buttons over and over. Wishing there was a financial way out of this so I could do something I love. Today? What would that be? Something involving food. Restaurant, catering, party planner. It takes money to make money.
5.Cindy- Not asking her to be in my wedding. She stood by me through all of my mess. Never faltered and for whatever reason I made the mistake of grouping her in with the people I needed to leave behind in my life . I know it hurt her feelings and I do regret that one. If I could do that over I would. She remains my closest friend and I know she is reading. I love you Cindy and am truly sorry.
6. Family Heirloom- I stole it. It was my grandmothers. I stole it. A Susan B. Anthony 1912 gold coin, in mint condition, that was set into a necklace. At the time it was worth a lot of money. My grandmother let me wear it for a long time while I was with Pete. When I moved to Austin I left it behind thinking I didn't want to get robbed. Once I moved to Austin and things got tough financially that piece was on my mind. I went into my parents home and took it while they were gone. Ironic. I robbed the exact piece I left to protect. Went back to Austin a sold it to a coin dealer for 300 dollars. It was worth a lot more. Directly drove to a drug dealers house and bought heroin. All the money was gone that night and so was the coin. I thought they didn't know. They knew. Duh. My parents knew as they confronted me on this during a family session in treatment. I hung my head in shame. This necklace was not mine to take and it hurt them badly to not have it any longer. It wasn't what it was worth. It was priceless to my father as it was his mothers. Regret for that will remain for me. I can't make that one better.
For now those are the things that sit on top. As others rise to the surface I will make sure to scrape them off into here. I feel like it will help me to get rid if it at least. Less emotional weight. This room is getting pretty heavy. Not feeling like such a train wreck any more I still have lots of work to do and lots of area to cover. That was just when I did drugs. 15 years have passed and I still until this past year lived with loads of baggage. Continuing to add it on. Things have happened in my life even since then that pale in comparison to normal. I do not know what normal is. What is normal? I hate that word. Having heard that all my life it was something that I wasn't but should be. Eat normal. Look normal. Act normal. Wtf.
Entering a whole new phase. We are about to step out of the pits of drug hell. Straight into what may seem like more than one person can handle. Marriage and children. Oh joy.
Monday, April 6, 2009
July 27, 1994 was the day I entered Central Texas Treatment Center in Georgetown, Texas. Although I didn't know or care at the time, this place was to save my life. Just the thought of being placed into an environment that was new, sent me over the edge with fear. So many questions. What kind of people will be there? Will they like me? Am I going to be able to do this? Can they see through me? My parents drove me to the facility with my bags packed. This was my fathers birthday. Happy birthday daddy. At the time it seemed a lousy gift to give but looking back it was probably the best gift anyone could have gotten. Putting your daughter in a drug treatment center on your birthday. Sounds sad, but it was an end to the road, a fork in which I was to make the ultimate decision on whether to head left or right. There was time...I had 90 days to try and make a difference in myself, before choosing.
Entering the facility was nerve racking. All the questions. What drug this, and how often that? Went through a battery of questionnaires. Assuming they were testing to see if I was crazy or not. Drug tested, searched and put in a room with 3 other woman. We had bunk beds. Other than the beds there was nothing else in the room. We shared a bathroom and each had our own little closet. This facility was Co-ed. Men were on one side of the unit and women in the other. We were allowed to eat, smoke and spend free time together. Under no circumstances were you allowed to be in a romantic relationship with anyone there. Male or female. If you were and if you were caught trying to form a romantic relationship you could be recycled. Meaning you get to start all over. You could stay in this place for up to a year if the staff felt like you weren't ready to get out. That was a shocker.
Mostly this place was ok. There were some staff members that had a military tone to them. Then again they were dealing with criminals. This is not a country club rehab. You have to have one foot in the penitentiary to even be considered for this place. So most people understood why all the rules.
My roommates were quite an eclectic group. The woman below me was an alcoholic. She never said a lot, was most likely in her mid to late 30's. Meek and mild. About 30 days in she left to go for a day out and I never saw her again. From what I heard she had come back and was drunk. Drank an entire bottle of Listerine. We all knew where she went from there. That baffled me. Listerine? Her bed was quickly replaced with a very young prostitute about to go to prison for drug addiction.
Another one of my roommates whom I had become very close with was a young mother of 4 who happened to be a heroin addict. She on one of her days out got pregnant. Once the facility found out she could no longer stay. She was off to prison. I remember being so angry at that time about that. She was so nonchalant about leaving. Knowing she would never stop using heroin. Rationalizing it even with her pregnancy. It doesn't hurt the baby. She seemed so normal. Could be your next door neighbor. Her bed was replaced with a crack dealing gangster.
The last lady was maybe 40 and she looked 65. Addicted to Meth. Her teeth were gone, skin was wrinkled. She was especially affected by the wrath of drugs. Again, a very nice woman that had basically thrown away her life to drugs. I did not want to be that person in 20 years.
I soon found out that only 1 out of every 10 people that enter treatment for drugs and alcohol actually make it. That astounded me. The odds were stacked heavily against me. There was work to be done and for the most part of the 30 days I had been there I was simply going through the motions. It may have been that statistic that freaked me out enough to get serious in there. I did not want to go to prison. Something inside of me knew that I could learn what I needed to in order to make it. I could be that 1 out of 10. Most of the people in there did not have the family support I did. Some had been in treatment 4 and 5 times.
What I found was that all it really requires of you is to be honest. That is not something I was used to. Lying is such a big part of drug addiction. You have to cover your tracks. Trying to keep people from knowing everything. Really don't even know you are lying at some point. Coming around to the idea of honesty was scary. Would I be judged? The things I've done. Still not getting it, really, I gave it a shot and when in group I started talking about my experiences. Others in the group basically came out and confronted me calling me a liar. It was all too far fetched for them. Some times you can't win for losing.
I did carry on and for the most part made it through this knowing I had to make changes in my life. I knew my old friends could no longer be in my life. How I was going to do this well I didn't really know that. The one huge mistake I made while in there was that I did get in a relationship with one of the guys there. I thought I was in love and it was so stupid. He had already been recycled once due to the same thing. It was lonely in there... what can I say. It filled a void. A void that needed to remain empty in order to completely heal. I didn't know.
In fact I hardly knew anything. Emotional well being was not something I had nurtured. Finding out in there that a person stops growing emotionally at the age in which they start using drugs. That meant I was 14 years old inside. It made perfect sense to me. I was in my twenties and the older I got the younger my friends were. Some of the people I had put myself around were as young as 16. I could relate to them. No longer comfortable around people of my same age. Immediately feeling like a loser. There was some catching up to do. I was on the right track. Taking in everything I could. Excited about recovering. I could see a future.
As soon as you let go of the fear and face the feelings that come with life. Not trying to medicate them, things start getting better fast. Hours and hours of therapy and hard work went into that 3 months. Family sessions. Ropes courses. Community service. Labor. They showed me how to live without hiding from myself. The sun was finally shining on me. Feeling reborn and ready to go out into the world.
Signed a contract between my parents, the treatment center and I that basically said I would be responsible, get a job, go to alcoholics anonymous meetings and be a productive member of society. I was released after 90 days. Moved into a guest house on my parents property, got a job cleaning houses and started going to meetings. Quickly filled all my time between work and meetings. The people in the meeting became my new friends. It takes dedication because I still lived in the town in which my drug using friends were. I was different though. I know longer wanted that life. I wanted more for myself. Emotionally well and maintaining it. Had ended the relationship from the rehab. I was trying hard. I was going to make it. That statistic stuck in my head and I was determined. The next year of my life was strictly me getting well and growing up.
This seems like a cakewalk for me. How could it have gone so smoothly? My weight throughout this year stayed the same. I had lost about 20 of the 60 I had gained. Not really trying. Other than being in a really good state of mind. Working out any difficulties that came my way. Nothing was too much. Was not married. Had no children. There was plenty of time for me to figure myself out. Deciding to follow the rules of sobriety,one of them being not to get into a relationship for a year. The guy from the rehab really didn't count. It was very elementary and short lived. I had chosen the right path.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Never being one to be told what to do I would skip out and go on binges every now and again. Staying for days at a time with people I barely knew doing speed. I would also get my hands on cocaine every now and again. I remember being super paranoid. I was living in my parents home and would do the drugs at night when every one was asleep. In this bedroom I lived in it was originally built for my grandmother. It is attached to the house through the kitchen, has its own restroom and door to the outside. So, I would stay in this room snorting coke, out of my mind. I would go from the peephole on the outside door thinking a car was coming up the driveway to lying on the floor looking under the door thinking my mom was coming through the kitchen. Back and forth , back and forth. This would go on forever. Making sure the blinds were all pulled. Hoping no one could see me. Freaked out someone was coming. Someone, anyone,no one. No one ever came. There was never any shadows under the door. There were no light coming up the drive. Something had happened to me. I was no longer the same person. Scared of my own shadow. The guilt and shame of being a drug user had caught up with me and this was all I could do. I was hiding. Hiding from who. Insanity began to creep in.
What happened next was that I was arrested again. For distribution of a controlled substance. This was not good. Likely that I was facing prison. Already had revoked my probation. Now this. Not even capable of doing much on my own any longer. I left it up to my lawyer and parents to handle this next mess I made. What came out of it was I was to be placed in a drug treatment center. Looking around at a few places nothing could be decided on. It was a choice I had . Treatment or one year in prison. hmmmm.... Well let me think..... Some of the places we went to were not going to work for me I told my parents I will do the time before I stay a year in this cult like environment. My poor parents, all that I put them through. The fear that there youngest daughter was about to spend time in a state penitentiary. Finally my lawyer found one that would take me. It had a 3month program, it was state run, but it had a waiting list. 3-4 months wait.
Immediately I stopped smoking pot but other drugs that washed out of your system in a few days I was doing up until about 3 days before being admitted. Not all the time. Growing a lot closer to my own family during this time we were able to heal a little. As much as I knew how to. Being emotionally stunted from the drugs is something that most people know nothing about. Neither did I. I was soon to learn.
One thing that happened during this time of me being home and being off a continuous feed of drugs is that my weight got out of control. I gained about 60 -70 pounds in less than a years time. I had begun the process all over with another source. People don't quite get as upset with you just because you are eating. They noticed and I got comments from my boyfriends family but for all I knew, and I didn't know much at the time, it was not a bad thing. I had replaced one addiction with another. Weaned myself off of drugs by using food. Ohhh. That makes me sick. I wish I could have or would have known. I didn't know.
I will stop here as I am about to enter rehab. This is the turning point in my life. Where I switched addictions again. Back to food. Documenting this part of my life took me a while to do. Glad to be done. Glad it is all in this room. Drugs for me are a thing of the past and bringing them up again has made me vulnerable at times. Trying to remember just the bad stuff is hard. Good times swirled through my head. The end result for me was tragic. I was a mess. Still not as strong of a person as I would like to be. Constantly having to give myself little pep talks to get through.