Monday, December 12, 2016
A house is a structure of walls, a home is what lives inside those walls. I was looking for something special when I bought my house. I eventually wanted to turn it into a home with laughter inside of it and love growing in it each and every day. I had a long way to go considering that I had grown up in a home where the attitude was to persuade the people who entered that we were great people that had everything together. BUNK. My parents had a hard time allowing people to see the truth. They assumed that if people saw what we were struggling with then they would think poorly of us. We rarely remained friends with people for too long because we couldn't let anyone in. My parents hadn't cultivated a relationship where there was much in common other than remaining alive for the day and where those people chose to rest their heads after said day. The address was what made them victim to the same environment each and every day. I swore to myself I would not create such a place for me to rest at the end of each long day and call it a "HOME". MORE LIKE A HELL HOLE IF YOU ASK ME. There's nothing worse than being a victim to a place where no one believes in the power of working things out. I started out with just one kitty cat in my new place so there wasn't an abundance of life running around, and since I didn't have much furniture there wasn't much to piss on & destroy while I was at work. My cat hadn't been neutered and was still able to mark his territory. He didn't like it too much that I wasn't home much. Little did he know that was my life from here on out. As a stylist there's never much time at home at all. You're always meeting the need of someone else above your own. I am an extreme people person and desire to make people feel good and most importantly feel like they can open up and talk any thing through. It's special to do someone's hair and all the while talk life and work it through to another level of intimacy in the community. But....when I came home there was something that I wanted. Something I wanted to discover, to be a part of and maybe that was family, maybe it was that I really needed a roommate or even that I needed to be able to be home without any expectation of my own about what it should be or feel like. The minute you get in your head that you need something money is bound to be spent, maybe not in large lump sums, but spent. I wasn't strong enough to fight the urge to walk around the local Walmart at the other end of town, after work late at night and gather up whatever I thought I needed to make things work at home for me. I started to rack up debt on my credit card that I had and soon it became my go to piece to swipe out of my purse to cover the needs I had. I was always aware just how much I was putting on credit and every time I used it, it hurt inside where no one else could see. It never kept me from using it. I can remember buying shoes for the gym on it and swiping the $165 for the white Nike shocks that I thought I so needed to be cool and uber workouty at my gym later that week. I ended up paying 7 times what I paid for them originally when it was all said and done 5 years later when I wanted to pay my credit card off and never again own one. Yes, you saw it correctly. In a total of 5 years I had managed to rack up debt that had accumulated to $10,000 at 30% interest each pay period. The interest kept growing as the total had not been added to. I was racking up debt to the tune of $250 a month. Some people don't pay that for a car payment. I was sunk. Or it felt like it. I was putting things on my credit card that I did not need to survive yet I continued to purchase them anyway. This is the time in my life that I wish I had saved that money and just learned to understand not all feelings needed to be acted on, rather I should have tried to fill that void with giving back instead of finding more trouble for myself. I began to feel connected to the spending, as if it was a part of me. I needed to go back into counseling to figure out what exactly was my issue with my choices. I naturally paid cash for my counseling visits and asked her what could make a girl like me, that was so head strong, struggle to make the right choices when I could see the outcome so clearly in my head??? I wanted the rational side of things to be stronger than the emotional side of things. I wanted to act in a way that allowed me to be in control of my choices. I wanted to behave in a way where men and money were not my go to. I would eventually beat the battle of the debt and men but it wouldn't be for a few more years. I would learn in the end to control my spending and to not act on every urge I had just because my age was telling me I had interest to buy things. I value now not purchasing everything I see or pick up. At the time it was par for the course to learn my behavior was coming from a side of me that had not been mentored or developed to see all the choices and all the consequences. I am grateful for the hardships I was going through because they have made me the women I am today. I just wish I would have been able to discover her before the consequence of $1500 payments a month on my debt became my reality......
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I had learned to work harder but not smarter. I was unable to gather the intensity I had in my personality to understand I did not need to work harder. I needed to work smarter. The same remains true today as I run my own business and love doing so. I enjoy the time I get to spend with my clients and I love to do hair. I always have. I just needed to learn the lesson that I was going to have to work much much much more intentionally NOT to just work. I needed to also include in my growing up process that I had to learn not to spend. The spending was what was continually causing me to need to work. YOU can laugh but that's our society today as a whole. We want things so we buy them and then we become victims to not having large sums of money saved to retire on. Now why is it so hard to turn off the desire to buy? That's easy enough to answer. It is what our faith is based on. When we are on a tough journey especially in our 20's we are trying to define ourselves through work and things. It is difficult to turn all of that off to worship a Christ we have never seen. I am not giving myself any excuses. I am just totally aware of what was happening to me back then. I was having a difficult time learning how important it was not to "want" things. I wish I could have applied the same innocent fear of running out of money to myself at an older age. I knew better when I first moved out. I had nothing to compare it to. The minute I stepped outside of my parents rule I had to learn that I had to come with the money to survive. So I didn't NEED so much then. I just needed the basics. I can actually survive on less. I am more content on less. I was coming into an age where those innocent feelings were no longer what was the strongest. In my experience by the time I bought my house I had 3 years under my belt to see I hadn't run out of money and I was always able to work harder and make more. I haven't run out since. I was always able to catch my buying habits with cash. If there is one lesson I could teach my younger self it would be to save half of what I actually spent. I would go back and reason with her and explain to her that even though she felt something, it would have been better to figure out another way to acquire the things I wanted without spending so much money. I am not angry that I was that kind of young woman back then. I am not bitter over the money I have spent even when I shouldn't have. I am not embarrassed about the things I did incorrectly. I am accepting of those things and I have chosen to live differently now. I am very much aware there was so much learning on my end that hadn't happened yet. It was going to take me a few years before I realized my spending was linked to the lessons I wasn't taught as a child or teenager. I was still trying to find out whether or not those "things" really mattered at all. As you will learn spending money is easier than NOT spending money. WHY? I mean if we are really in control of what we are doing then why is it much harder to go without? Here pivots a huge changing point in my life where I learned I was not at a place to go without. I racked up debt on a credit card because not having "things" in my life was more important to me than paying for it with cash. I needed to learn a hard lesson that the only thing I ever truly needed was Jesus.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
I had started out the first couple years of my life not using anything but cash....cold hard cash. When I had moved into the apartment in our nearby town I put a couch set and coffee table on layaway where they allowed me to make $19 payments on them until I had paid it in full. I mean let that sink in a bit. I made payments while sitting on the floor or just using my bed as a way to have a table. I realized early on that everything in a house makes sense when a family is in the HOME. I was just one person always working and didn't really have time to invest yet in having people over. I had paid everything off, and moved my furniture in to my apartment just a few short months later and it was perfect. SO what happened when I bought my house? I guess you could say the age old tale of "everyone's doing it" set in. I was 21 years old with the rest of my life ahead of me. I mean what could possibly go wrong? I wasn't married yet, I didn't even have a roommate to live with, I wasn't sharing any responsibilities. I was handling it all on my own. I had no idea the thought process would change as I got older and expected myself to have things I hadn't actually earned yet. The undertone of "things" in our lives is hard to fight when you have nothing left to hold onto. I didn't have the family strength behind me pushing me to be better, if anything I had the grumbling of when is she going to fail and run home to beg to be taken back. WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER. I have learned so much over the years about what "DEBT" is and what it isn't. It mirror images where your relationship with the Lord really is. It has taken on many faces throughout the years but one thing remains true. If you allow it in your life it will change everything. If you accept the challenge to face your wants and needs with money you will be a happier person in the end. EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND IS A DECISION YOU MADE, IT DOES NOTHING WITHOUT YOUR SAY SO. I moved into the cutest neighborhood around town. I have an eye for what is and what is to come. I can see the surrounding elements and know it will be the prime location. I chose wisely. 15 years later where I live is almost impossible to buy into. It's the prime location. I wanted my place to look like how I felt inside. I wanted my sanctuary to be the kind of place anyone could come into and feel like they were welcome. I let people's perception of me get in the way of making the best decisions for my life. I decided to put things on a credit card instead of paying CASH. I had to go down this road to understand what types of changes can happen when you decide to spend money you do not have for items you don't necessarily need. Like a new pair of Nike's, a blanket or wicker hamper set. You laugh but spending $100's here and there adds up and at the end of a month you don't have enough money to pay the bills and the debt on the credit card. I wasn't good at managing what I was making. I thought I could just earn more money and pay it off in the long run. It's not far off from what most people think like today. I wasn't unaware that earlier in my life when I was just starting out I was much more in control of what I really needed versus what I wanted. I was careful in the beginning and now I hadn't become careless as to how much I wanted and why. It's the intention to always be in control of what you're spending and what you're making because you care to control your appetite for greed. I wasn't walking with God in a tangible way. I was more interested in controlling things my own way, hoping my age and relationships in the future could help undo anything I had not been in control of. How stupid. I mean come on, let's get real here. I was hoping to become a woman who would be in control of her debt while also being the woman who had made the decisions about accumulating the debt and then miraculously find my new, in control self????? It's not that silly considering that isn't that what we all do when we throw caution to the wind? Or what we're really saying is the debt is not ours to control, to payback, to accept, to manage, or to wipe out. Then who's responsibility is it? See I was learning a very valuable lesson at a young age. If it was so easy to just not put things on a credit card it would be the same as cutting the card up and not allowing it to exist in your purse to begin with. It would be wiser to say save the money first then see if the desire or more importantly the need is still there when the time comes you're able to purchase it. At the age of 21 you're not interested in patience or waiting to see if that desire is selfish or greedy. It's a time in your life where it is extremely hard to be in control and wanting for nothing. I am grateful to have gone through so many different facets of money in the 3 decades I've been alive, and I'll go through more until my last breath. The story doesn't end there. It was a long 2 years of buying what ever I wanted and doing exactly what I wanted while slowly climbing the debt ladder to my credit card limit line. Some of you do not know where the limit is and the card will allow you to believe you have a "LIMIT" that is preset for your life existence. No. The limit is a lie. It will devour you. While you try to pay down what you've already spent and bought that is long gone and used up, your new day desires and requirements will continue to nag at you. You will need to be in control of your money over night while paying back years of unwarranted spending. It doesn't get easier until you decide to turn off the lie.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I can see it in my head now.....the moment when I realized there was a new condo development going in on one of the main drags near my hometown. It was a road I knew well and I wanted so badly to live in a location that wasn't over top of the salon anymore. People think it is great when you're in a service industry to be so close to your workplace but I was finding it can also lead to more issues with boundaries. You're always expected to work if you're that close. There's no separation from your job and it was time for another change in my life. I was good at talking to my father if my timing was right.(What I really mean is when my mother wasn't in the same room) I approached him about helping me try my hand at home ownership, remember this is the same man who didn't want me to move into an apartment. I was desperate for a sounding board to help me with direction. I hadn't saved enough money but I did own my car and it was worth $40,000 so they let me check out one of their smaller models on the ground floor of the development. I fell in love. I instantly knew it was a great place for me to live and I just lucked out that one of the corner units was available. I started to dream big and just had to work harder at moving on with my life now that Luis wasn't around to influence me in any way. I guess I sort of always knew I was a mover and a shaker. I mean I always need something to be focusing on or doing to feel like I'm worth something. It doesn't really matter to me what I'm doing as long as it is something to reach for. It never fails with me if it isn't a boy it's a project. I had my parents help on this one oddly enough, they lent me money to get started with my house and I needed it. This was one of those moments where God allows people into your life to help take you to your next level of your life journey. It wasn't so much that my parents "wanted" this for me but they didn't stand in my way. It was refreshing to say the least. I've had a lot of people share with me that I was always the type who seemed likely to move away from home. I don't seem to fit the mindset of the people around me. I never thought about leaving just putting distance between me and the obscene amount of control. I wanted to serve my hometown. I never wanted to leave and give up. I was and am a stone's throw away and yet it can be like I am 50 states away. I found out very quickly I had nothing in common with the family I was born into. I mean how does that happen? I had a feeling it was because our identity was in portraying a picture we hadn't actually drawn. We were so into making it look like everything was okay that it became overwhelming to let anything real come in. We still don't know how to deal with insecurities. I was finding out that although I loved projects, it didn't keep me from finding new levels of my own insecurities. I had more layers to uncover in myself and learn to develop new ways of dealing with fears and how to approach them. I didn't have the help from my parents because neither one of them knew what it was like to buy a home all by yourself. I think back now and the jealousy and almost bizarre disconnection my mother had to me since the day I signed the papers gives me a keen insight to how hard life must have been for her. Every step I was taking she had no idea what it was like or what it felt like and that left an even bigger hole between us. It seemed the gap was getting bigger between my parents and I and there was no turning back.
Monday, October 31, 2016
After Luis, what was there for me? I had just spent the last 2 years of my life trying to stay out of trouble with my job, parents, church, and boyfriend. I wasn't exactly hitting the goal I had for myself to be "AWESOME". On some level I was doing great. I just wasn't getting the pat on the back that I was. There was no getting around the issue of growing up and having to try my hand at not picking the right boyfriends, or doing everything there is to please your parents(there was no pleasing them). How about being perfect at cutting hair? I wasn't half bad actually. I managed to make enough people happy all the time that cutting hair was the easiest thing I did. Imagine.........right now standing behind a chair, a client coming in and you needing to make all their dreams come true by cutting on a round surface all in half an hour. Yes. That was the easiest thing in my life. Hmmmmm. I was missing something. Yes. A NEW GOAL. I always had in my mind goals to meet like, losing weight. No I lie. It was not to gain weight, while I was still trying to figure out how the heck you get this bulge off. Oh gosh, how did I get out of bed each day? There were other goals like to own a home, start my own salon... LOL Like I said I look back now and I was doing a pretty good job despite not having others around me be goal oriented. I was reaching for the surrealism. I was looking at tomorrow with rosy colored glasses. No I mean it, I really had rosy colored glasses. I needed more direction for my goal. It needed to be about finding the best "me". The goal of "me". Doesn't that sound nice? It isn't that easy to start or finish, I tell you. I really thought I had started to figure out that goal when I was dating. I started to feel differently about myself. You know what I'm talking about. Like I had something. I mean really something. I started to feel more alive and more able to push through anything because someone was there for me at the end of the day. Not always literally there but more in essence. I wasn't worthless. No not at all, it's just until I had a boyfriend I didn't feel like I was valuable. I felt not important. I didn't feel like I was made for something amazing based on what my family life had been like. I mean I had already pushed through the humdrum of the school years and picked my career even though my own mother didn't think I had it in me. I had then found a job and started to earn a fantastic income but not one person would tell me anything positive based on what I was accomplishing. I then began a journey to slough off the extra chub and no one even refilled my water bottle. (just a joke) What the heck world???? I then finally get some feed back from a boy that I'm not invisible and I can have what I want and it's all smoke and mirrors. Was it all for nothing to have a goal to be attractive (feel attractive) and get a boyfriend? No. I just didn't have it in the right frame of mind. I was still trying to fill all the gaps from my childhood with my young adult years and to explain it in laymen's terms they needed 2 different sets of understanding and valuable data to work synergistically. I was trying to grow without the right information in my brain. It's a little like growing a garden without all the nutrition in the soil. Oh you'll grow some things, but mostly weeds. I just needed the right nutrition for myself before I started filling in all the gaps with all the wrong goals. Life was a bitch. Excuse my honesty. My twenties belong in a novel. It's much better when read over a period of hours rather than lived one painful minute after painful minute over a period of ten years. Now there isn't enough money in the world to have me relive them. Isn't that the truth though. Once we've gone through something there isn't many of us who've had such an easy peezy ride. It's the reality of life. Living it once was E. nough. I am not complaining or venting. Rather a sharing of what the Goal of "me" has looked like over time. I managed to get through the break up with Luis relatively unharmed for the moment. More bruised. I now needed to focus on the future me. This girl needs a new goal. Sounds like a good time to buy a house.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
When it comes to different cultures I am hooked. I love to hear and smell all the different kinds of music and foods that other cultures have. I was exposed to so much after high school that opened up a whole new door of possibilities for me. I wasn't even aware that I was into other cultures until beauty school came around. I am so taken by the slants of the eyes or the way the bone structure is set up. I loved seeing the differences among the similarities. I was pulled in right away when I left work in a small structured town to a huge melting pot of different cultures at the gym. It was as soon as you walked in you were overwhelmed by the intense modge-podge of ethnic backgrounds. I was in love. The only way to describe it is like a kid in a candy store. I wasn't particularly attracted to any one type. I liked it all. I have always been sensitive to seeing everything all at one time as if my sense of sight is like an X-men super power. I desired the intensity one look at a time. Have you ever been that real with yourself that you can describe what goes on in that noggin? I mean really comprehend what comes over the human body that allows us to develop an understanding of who we are at the core of our thoughts. I am enthralled by the younger version of me, (which really was held back for so long) finding out what I liked and didn't like about different types of ethnic backgrounds came late in my life. God forbid I had been taught anything outside of going to school and church. I was thrown into fending for myself at such a young age that whether I liked it or not my ability to have too much to choose from just offered up more fun for "ME". I am 35 now and when I look back at how innocent my thoughts were at the age of 21 I also see how easily I was set up to fail. Not because any one person, my parents or mentors had control over me. No, because I wasn't taught to love myself in a healthy way. Above all else, to keep myself healthy so that I could take that healthy vibrant woman to everyone I met. Life isn't about control. It's about connection. To connect to the mind & body, then to learn to make decisions based on learning the best of those things. Sure I would have made mistakes and I did. It wouldn't have come out of spite or ignorance. (That's the whole key right there) You can fight me all you want on the subject, but my mission now is to offer up what I've experienced in my life time about 6 months ahead of schedule for someone like my step son, who is about to go through similar situations. Now he has someone he can honestly say has offered up some sort of concept of what he is about to face as his body grows, he develops sexually, he is learning his interests etc.. I don't just wait til the situation arises, I offer up a gentle awareness for him so he doesn't step into something that would force him to be secretive or ashamed. I want him to know he isn't alone. I want him to know there's a process to everything and a reason for fighting the urge to live in secret or shame. To come up out of that undertone of our society and to work against the confusion. The only way to truly learn about yourself is to make a mistake but to also have the opportunity to have someone talk you through it. Have open communication for learning purposes. I love the conversations I have with this young vibrant boy, who any minute now will be walking the young teen years with me. I know what it was like not knowing how to handle all the changes in my body or my mind. I will always offer up my experience first so he knows there's someone out there who cares about how he may or may not feel. It's life changing when you spend time being introspective for the sole purpose of sharing what you've learned with others. My life has changed into a proactive plan as opposed to a reactive plan. I want to be intentional to think before I do. You might sit there and think as adults we all do that or you feel bad for me that I do not. Hello! Our entire country is in need of proactive thought, so there's no way more of us are thinking before we are doing. No no....We need an over haul in families to see the value of a human being the minute they are born. The human being is valuable to us all. Not just the immediate family structure. We need to be taught everything has an outcome. So when we are making decisions, it has long term affects that can come to haunt us in the future..... I saw the world with rose colored glasses and enjoyed the growth of my twenties. I look back on that decade with delight. It wasn't always a delight to go through it but it's entirety is beautiful. I am seeing my thirties in a similar light. Each day isn't easy to accomplish every goal you've set, or to be intentional to do all that is on your to do list. I just hope that as I look back on my thirties one day I'll have the same satisfaction I do over my 20's. I'm only half way through. Stay tuned.
Friday, October 21, 2016
SPELL THAT IS...... Under a new spell... the wonderlust of a new fling or boyfriend always helped me to get over the old one. You ever have that feeling in your gut that you'll never move on or forget the old guy??!!! It's natural to believe that when someone isn't desiring you or calling you or texting you that somehow on some weird mental level that you're NOT good enough. Not true at all, but it comes in the form of what society says is normal for relationships. "Society" doesn't know squat about relationships considering they do not worship the Lord most High. For the sake of my life story though you're going to have to go with me on this one. Women are constantly trying to find themselves through someone else's wanting them. I never felt better when the last guy was on my mind and I found myself having a new crush on someone else. It helped ease the pain that I was never going to find someone that would understand me completely. Nevermind the fact that each time I was picking out the guy I was forgetting "THEY" were not picking me out. When you let that sink in that we are picking people out by the outermost layer of their being and have no idea what they carry inside their hearts. Much like picking fruit at the grocery store. You have the fruit that seems to be the best pick to your eye, but when you open it up at home it is rotten. The times that I pick the "offbeat" looking fruit it is when it is the tastiest or nicest inside. I have always been linked to the things that are the most attractive. I have a high standard of angles. It is why the Beauty Industry intrigued me so much. We are set up on angles and color to attract the most beautiful of clientele. It is what we do best in our industry that brings people coming back for more. The more you refine the angle, the more beautiful the woman or man becomes. Much of what we do in relationships to bring someone in, is in the outermost layer of who we are. By the time you get to the core you realize there isn't much there to keep it going. I didn't care when I was young, I wanted what I wanted. You do eventually grow out of that wretched phase if you care to, but just imagine I was going in for the most gorgeous of fruits. They were all rotten. I loved to look across the room and wait til my eyes would fall on what I thought was the most attractive person in the room. Most of the time it was me, but I had little interest in dating myself. I loved the cat and mouse game and can see just how much of what I called relationships was really about what I could control and liked. I mean I just loved the chase. It is a rush that is all it's own. There is no describing it's draw unless you compare it to a drug. It was my drug of choice at the time. I thought it much safer than the pharmaceutical drugs everyone said to stay away from. I mean it did no harm. No words were shared back and forth, no one even knew unless eye contact was made, then the person was left in their own minds and of course I was planning my next move in mine. How could anything bad happen from that? I mean unless the other guy felt the same way or understood what he wanted no harm no foul right? I loved being consumed in my thoughts about the next guy. The next possible love interest.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
That is the question. I mean how much can one work on themselves before they are serving others??? How can I be a Christian woman and be about myself when I am asked to serve others and tell people about Jesus, not to mention keep a family running right alongside my salon where I serve other's vanity all day long......whhhhewwww...where's my sanity??? Ha! I laugh. It isn't always vanity when you care about the vessel you're in. There's a line of course. You may or may not cross it along the way, but the point isn't to care about yourself above others, but to take care of yourself so you can love others. It's really quite simple you see. It's like a car. You must put gas in it to leave the drive way much like eating well to run your body well. You must put windshield wiper fluid in to lubricate the wipers and to wash away impurities, much like drinking water for your body. You must not let it get too hot or run down, it needs rest and to cool every once in awhile much like a body who needs rest and sleep and time to themselves to recharge. You must put oil in the car or it will seize up no matter HOW MUCH GAS YOU HAVE IN IT! All of this so you can get in the car and run errands and pick up other people and take them where they have to go as well. My point is in all things the original material or vessel must be maintained to lend any kind of help or service to another person. THAT INCLUDES US. Humans are no different. We need to maintain our own vessel to be of any help to another person. The whole purpose of parenting is to teach children to see themselves as valuable beings and to invest time and love into them to want to capitalize on what we are mentoring in them. The start is just the beginning. The birthplace and family is the percolating point right before the brewing process. It's simple. Yet the most important part. It would be natural for someone to put time and effort into keeping themselves whole and maintain accountability and responsibility for their whole self if it had been taught. It would be normal and second nature to ask direct questions on how to be better and to get better if it was a natural thing to do in the home where it all began. It wouldn't be out of sorts to see the food and water that we drink and the sleep we allow our bodies to get to be out of sorts when you consider the beginning of the person allotted time for such things and taught the person why based on experience and desire to be their best. So we go back to the question....Vanity or Sanity? You can't tell me you feel your best when you put yourself last and put off good nourishment and sleep and health. I am human and haven't found that to be ever true. You need to make that your top priority and continue it everyday and become proactive and not reactive to all things in life. To think through the simplest of things in a human's life that allows for such simplicity to enter in is the best way in life. We all have 24 hours a day and we don't need to be teeth whitening or at the gym for hours to create our best self. No, not on any level. To spend exuberant amounts of time doing something that will only need to be done again and maintained is pointless. You have to weigh out the consequences. Life isn't so hard, it only seems that way when we become an age where things don't seem to make sense or fit anymore. Our childhood allows for all things to matter and all things to be valuable until we grasp fully where we fit in and how we are here to add to it. When that doesn't happen, and we aren't fully grasping our faith or our purpose, things seem catawampus. We can come out of that chaos and realize there is a purpose to being whole in ourselves and our walk with our bodies needs to be understood that the more you take care of it, the more you are able to use it to bless others and your family. The more you do for your body the easier it is to tell others and share your story with them because they can see it is working and how it is making you feel. They are going to want some of that. The more you are intentional with your body the more you are going to get back. There's also the possibility the more you can give. You are going to be able to wake up everyday and understand the value of a human being and how it impacts the world. The next person to cross your path should see this radiating from your being and want it. It's God's gift to us in this world to see the whole picture when you take care of the body you're in. It isn't about lust or wanting people to lust after you because of how you look. A rational person doesn't sense lust as a good choice. It's fleeting and not totally fulfilling. What's the purpose in life when everything is just a mockery and not in addition to? Why would we continue on a path that doesn't lead us to any kind of health or wellness while helping others to do the opposite of or worse to follow in our footsteps? What kind of world would we be living in that completely wastes a human's life down to mediocrity. Ours if we're not careful. We need to learn that valuing ourselves over any one else only allows us to be of greater aid to anyone else. Of course we can serve and take care of and lend help to, but not indefinitely running on fumes. Like the car analogy said you can not run a car without gas or oil. You can however run a car on no windshield wiper fluid. You're bound to run into a mud puddle the minute you don't have any of course.... Life is a beautiful thing. It's entangled and intertwined with the beginning. There's a sole purpose to everyone's life and it isn't to waste away to nothing or to become so engrossed with yourself that you can't see anyone else but yourself. You know there's so much to say as I sit here tapping away at the keys. My life of course was playing rewind or better yet erase the past. No one should want to erase the past. Build on and explore the future should be a person's thought. As the years went by in my twenties I realized it was necessary to go through all these things to be a stronger more spiritually grounded woman in society. I have come to love my beginning. Now it's about my future.
Monday, September 19, 2016
I know without a doubt that I'd get a lot of arguing on this one from many different groups of people. I challenge you to hear me out on this subject. It is my life mantra that you can not give anything you do not have, yet I see the people around me struggling to do just that. It wasn't long in my childhood that I realised we didn't work on all four cylinders if you will. There wasn't an undertone of "team" in the house that each person born into the current family was one more valuable team member. First, our job as a team is to pull together and understand we have one more person here to feed, bathe, and cuddle with so that they feel loved. Once that part of the life is underway, we are to instill value in them. They are to become the best human being they can possibly be. I don't see parenting being viewed as a gift of life that allows you to instill value in someone else while also doing so for Yourself. I see it as a more obligational status more than anything. For me the depth of knowing "yourself" comes from a place called the beginning. What type of beginning did you have? What was taught to you about your existence and how it impacted the family? When do you recall that being alive brought more prosperity to the whole team? Did you learn that everything you do for yourself and for others can be the deciding factor between success or failure? Once again, I stress that everything comes from your beginning. You can not be feeling valuable just because you're alive. It is to be given to you each day by your parents. You are to be taught value from the smallest parts of yourself. By learning about your body and your brain. By taking on more responsibilities and handling them well. By seeing things through you are building value and learning the value of being responsible and building on that. Sounds like a no brainer but I can't sit here and tell you 3 people who really have ever said those exact words to me about their parents and what they call their childhood. If you're one of the few who have had it, kudos to you and your families for they are no doubt reaping the benefits for living in a way that is valuable and places value on others. It can be done. It can be learned if it wasn't taught to you in your childhood. I wanted so badly to understand what my value was as a young child but the more I sit and think on what it was that I did as a child the more I remember the repetitiveness that was school and church. I don't remember much in between there. I know it's mainly because of what I was experiencing at home but we weren't alone on that matter at all. I've heard it said that you send your kid to school 8 hours a day and only an hour to church on Sundays. How are we going to catch what the brain is developing on if we don't spend time investing in the children. Isn't having children a choice to bring life into the world. "TO INVEST" in them? Once again with sadness, I sit here and wonder what most parents think makes them good parents and what their job is as a parent? I find most parents act as glorified babysitters. Just making sure the human doesn't die til the end of the day. Reality is that this behavior has it's drawbacks and this is what happens when we bypass the essential state of knowing our own value. It has been my experience that once we have gone so far feeling like a burden or like our single existence has no bearing on making the world a better place then do not make the choices to help the world around us by taking care of ourselves completely. We have to see that our whole body, choices, finances, emotions, thoughts, words, spirituality make an impact on the world around us. WHY? Because we are valuable. If we don't start from a state of awareness that we are valuable then the latter happens and we feel insignificant and worthless. Many times in my life when I thought those feelings were being lifted away, I was filling the voids with things or people (mainly cute boys). It allowed me to stave off the feelings of not being enough for a short while. Only problem was the bandaid only kept away those feelings while I was taking care of an immediate need. I wasn't coming from a place of total value in my whole body and understanding that my value came from the moment my conception had begun. God had placed value in me even though my family had not been able to mentor that in me. It wasn't unusual for me to be in deep thought with God about the value he placed on each person's life. If he had done that and it hadn't been mentored in me to be seen and felt on a daily basis then what is a person's recourse for not having what they need to survive? Change. It meant starting with myself. So that my whole self mattered I had to start over. I was surrounded by people who weren't living by that mantra of self, so it was a painful slow process to uncover things deep in my childhood. My whole approach to life to not be in secret didn't seem to be in the water supply around town so I seemed to be different than the people I was around. It did hurt on some level but the more I lived life the more I realized no one was without some dirty little secret. They just weren't as bent on dealing with it as I was. I wanted the easy life, ya know. HA! Some pipe dream that was. I have had just the opposite. Struggle after struggle after struggle. At the same time not a hair out of place. I was so blessed even from the beginning that no matter what has been thrown at me, I see the value in myself and that is what allows me to face even the most disastrous of issues in my life. If we had been taught the value of "Ourselves" from a young age we would have the ability to stand up more quickly and take the responsibility of our consequences. I know we will never be without challenges as humans and this isn't about bypassing anything in this life. It's about facing this life. Period.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Funny hearing this word come from a hairstylist and have it not be a well-known hair product company. No, this time I'm talking about the social group that had started in my church that I went to growing up. When they started the group, it met on Sunday nights and was centered around bringing in people from the local community after graduating High School til mid 30's. It was an unusual surrounding and was themed after a low key jazzy coffee house. It was the complete opposite of anything I had ever seen before (or been around) and I really looked forward to going and catching up with old friends and making new ones. I started to reconnect to some of the guys from youth group before we all had graduated. It was nice. Familiar faces and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Really for me, I wanted to see if there was going to be anything different to dating in a church group. I wanted to see if I hung around people who wanted God in their lives then things must work out differently. I was on a new revelation (pun intended) that people were people and the real difference comes in when "we", meaning ourselves, get it. I was so boy crazy and trying to figure out "Was I pretty, was I likeable"? Could I fit into this group of people who had a tendency to be a little "Law crazy" (that's church speak for legalism). I wanted to find people who wouldn't hide what they were going through and be open and honest about what was going on in their lives. I don't have much to hide other than when I'm asked to get in a bathing suit then that's a different story. I wasn't finding many people choosing to be the way I was. I seemed to be the most outgoing and most talkative in the group. I had to break through somehow and find new friends to hang out with. I met this older girl we'll call "Bossy" for short. I must have pinged her hormonal radar because every fifteen minutes she would remind me to stop staring at boys or to stop flirting. I just let it roll off my shoulders. I was on my own and I didn't need her telling me what to do. I didn't much like people telling me what to do and usually I would look directly back at them and think "If I tell them what to do are they going to like it"? How about we start a true friendship that allows feedback or criticism to be applicable. I just heard nag nag nag. I wanted an opportunity to live life. Every time I turned around someone was trying to slow me down, turn me around, or make me do something their way. I made mental notes in my head not to do this in my future when it came to the people in my life. Not to tell them what to do but to go through it myself and share my experience. I was growing through this whole process although it seemed to drag on. My 20's were an incredible roller coaster ride. I didn't even know at the time how many lessons I would learn. When you think about your 20's, are they inspirational?? Yes...I have to say yes, mine were. I had a very introspective year when I left Luis behind and moving on wasn't that easy. I had my fair share of panic attacks and anxiety stricken car rides, not to mention songs that were forever ruined because of the memories that shared the same head space. I was learning through seeking out different avenues of relationships that all relationships are the same. They are built on what? A "foundation" which was really dependant on where you had come from and how much you took the time to be better than that. A rocky or immature foundation doesn't want the whole person, it wants a piece of the pie if you will. Meaning it wants company, stature, sex, control, money, security, basically whatever you can get from another person without putting much into it yourself. This tactic works great for the passive aggressive legalistic bunch I was finding at church. It wasn't truly impressive if you asked me to be part of a group that was hiding the same exact thing you would find in a nightclub. We struggled the same as other people. Sad, we thought that finding Faith at a young age would somehow bypass Satan in our lives. Nope. I learned to understand the only difference about a Christian woman and a Non-Christian woman was where she was Sunday mornings between the hours of 9-12. You laugh but it was completely true. We should be much more quick on the draw to admit our shortcomings, seek out a plan to be better, and to mend whatever relationship we were stressing at the time. What I was experiencing though was just more secrets. The year I remember most was the year 6 Nexus babies were born out of wedlock from the group. Golly, who was going to address the panty droppers of the group????? Um, did we not have enough scripture over the year to warn against such things???? Oh, it wouldn't have mattered. We had missed the whole reason for understanding who Christ was and what was the purpose of putting our trust in him. We hadn't been focusing on what mattered most. OURSELVES.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
I was tired of everyone's lies. I knew better than to believe the outside deception everyone had been putting on around me. I was in a seriously sticky situation and I had put myself there believing the lies of the devil. I had sought out this man since the moment I laid eyes on him and he did the same thing to me. Which at the time I wasn't picking up coherently that it was because both of our opposing "spirits" caught each other's attention. It really is a strong connection. I remember the way I was continually drawn to him and it really was the same way he was with me. Then there was the drug addiction which you could never tell what mood it would put him in. Let's face it, I liked the challenge. I wanted to be the winner. I wanted to let him know that he was NOT in charge and he was never going to win this game called life. I have always known my own strength and personality are intense and, on some subconscious level, I knew my spirit was strong as well. I have always wanted to be some kind of leader. There's this want or desire to be used in some way to slay evil. You can shake your head or read in disbelief, but I'm totally serious when I mean I will stand up to drama and evil all day long. What made this relationship so challenging was that I really wanted it. I hadn't chosen much of the relationships that had been giving me a hard time, but this one I did. I can honestly tell you I can not name one person in my life at that time that had a relationship that I would have wanted to emulate. Not one. So everywhere I looked it appeared I was better off. I mean break it down so you understand what I mean. I was young...check. I was in a great career.....check. I was living on my own with a new car.....check. I was working on my body image and weight issues......check. I liked myself and who I was trying to become......check. I had Faith and it was growing through this process.....check. I had a boyfriend (every young girls dream)despite the fact that he was abusive which was a drawback or glitch......check. I figured I had so much going on that the one thing that was keeping me from getting ahead right now was the one thing I could change. It wasn't that easy. You do not control other people therefore you can't be so sure that things will end in a way that is leaving everyone in one piece. That's no exaggeration when you are in a toxic relationship with a drug addict. The one thing I could rely on was the work week. It's what gave me my peace of mind. I could get the time with the clients that I wanted and I could push myself to be better at the things I could control. I wanted my life to be good. I wanted my life to be fulfilling. I wasn't quite on that path just yet. I was going to be better, somehow someway. I knew counseling was going to be my best bet. It was amazing to me how each time I was there I learned more and more about why I made the choices that I did. Even if those choices meant hurting myself. I know how to pick myself back up. What I didn't learn was how to be proactive in this category instead of reactive which was what I kept running into by making these mistakes in my life. Luis had a sweet friend from his homeland of Puerto Rico. His name was Gabriel. He was likeable enough. Sweet and funny. Definitely a sweeter spirit than Luis. I always knew he liked me but now is about the time he and I started to hang out more while trying to keep away from our toxic friend. He was really sweet to me knowing how I was trying to change the way the relationship had taken a turn and knew going back to church to hang out was what I wanted right now. He would meet me at the local diner right on the edge of town on a Sunday night to sit with me and laugh about how our lives were turning out. I loved it. I was easy to sit with someone who knew the good and the bad about Luis and knew he was wrong for hurting me. Honestly, Luis would have killed him if he had ever told him he was hanging out with me. He just kept it to himself and continued to hide his crush he had on me. He would tell me about their childhoods and it gave me a glimpse into how terrible both of their beginnings really were. They barely made it through high school and didn't have parents to call their own. Of course, they had parents somewhere but there was no home or life to go back to. They were just roaming the earth however they wanted to and looking for anything to fill the void only God could. Heartbreaking. He would tell me they were around Catholicism, which meant they had heard of God but didn't practice anything seriously. OF COURSE NOT. YOU DON'T HAVE A FAMILY, WHY WOULD YOU JUST FOLLOW JESUS? They could have had missionaries or evangelists come into their lives and share the Gospel but it hadn't happened to them. Yet. I look back now and it was just the type of soft closure I needed to confirm that this wasn't just me who was seeing and knowing Luis was wrong for my life. We just didn't know how hard he was going to fight to keep me under his control. It wasn't long before Gabriel had a hit on one of his online dating sites for Puerto Rican girls in the US. He was moving to New York to be with what he called his soulmate. Why? Cause she likes your picture? I knew it felt wrong but there was no stopping this young man who literally had nothing to keep him here or nothing to call his own. What a bleak picture these young men had. I had at least the hope that God would allow the right person to come into my life because I WOULD acknowledge him. I didn't want any of us hurting but it seemed I had used up all my "Laura" on this one and had to ride out the consequences here at the end as I tried to close this chapter for good. Adios Amigo.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Counseling?????!!!!! There's your sign. Something was wrong if I was seeking counseling again. I had been there before for food issues and I was there again for boy issues. They're all linked together. Thank you family dysfunction. Well, no matter how you look at it I needed help because I found myself in another type of mess I knew God didn't intend for my life. I was facing the the same wall in my brain as to how to go about changing the choices I was making so no more drama came my way. (little did I know drama is everywhere, and if you're the one calling it out all the time that's all you'll see) It makes sense right? I mean everywhere I went I was asking questions either in my head or out loud to another person. I found very quickly my choices weren't so different than other people's choices, it's just that I was facing them out in the open. I really wanted to find out what the heck I kept running into in relationships that didn't allow me to face the issues as they came up. I found myself stalling like I had the brakes on. I wondered what was in my brain that was getting in the way of facing the issue right then and there. I really wanted to be healthy. I mean all the way around. Not just in food but in everything I was touching. I wasn't going to get any better if I stayed in this abusive relationship. Why was I finding all the wrong relationships now?? I felt all grown up to tell you the truth but I really was so young. 22 years old is hardly grown up. For starters I had been told what to do and when to do it by the adults that had surrounded me up until then. I had gone to High School and then went to beauty school, had gotten a job and been working it to the best of my ability. I had been alive for 2 decades and each decade been given a little more responsibility until I took on full responsibility at the age of 18. I had now been on my own for about 4 years when I realized I did so many things well but find decent relationships to be around. How is it possible to grow up into something that you haven't been taught to be? Is it possible? I don't find any rationality behind such a thought and based on my own experience it's highly unlikely to have it all given to you based on personality type. This isn't a stab at every human being on the planet who hasn't had the best of beginnings, but this is an eye opener for people who want to take a serious look at what's going on in their lives. Especially their relationships. I am going to tell you that even though I thought I had myself down pat totally under control, I didn't. I wished I had grasped that in the second decade of my life where I picked up on so much of the "Whole Family Tree" dysfunction that it had been feeding me or fueling me for the last 10 years of my life. What I mean by that is each decision I made came out of liking or disliking something they did. That doesn't give much value in the whole relationship category. Just because I was around didn't mean anyone was putting time or effort into me. I came away wondering what the point of all of it was other than obligation. So tell me how out of that environment I learned to give more in all the relationships I had managed to be in and also center myself around people who would do the same for me. I didn't. That's not to say that I wasn't making strides in the right direction of course. Not all was going to hell in a handbasket. It's just that if you want more out of life you're going to have to figure out what WAS put into your brain through parenting and relationships around you and go from there. Similar to going to school you're going to need to put yourself in a situation where you can add data to the brain and reprogram what is bad inside the brain. It's not hard it's just outside of the normal thinking. I thrive on not going with the crowd. I figure it's too easy when you get a whole group of people doing the same thing and they are all in agreement on it????? FISHY RIGHT? You can never get a large group of people all doing the same thing unless it speaks to their hearts. So how did we end up here where my heart was being broken, I had no one to relate to, I had family members who were so far from reality to talk about relationships. I wanted more out of my life and I wanted more to strive for then ducking this guy's fists. How do you go about telling another person what's going on in your life? You have to be willing to put the work in. You have to be willing to lay it all out whether you change anything or not and be accountable to the information and it's impact on you and the world around you. You have to be willing to go through questioning the status quo and how it's been done in the past. YOu have to be willing to answer for what you've done so far based on your abilities and be willing to say you're sorry to yourself first so you can then forgive others in the process. You have to be willing to show up on the good days when you think you don't need any help. You have to be willing to be better than you were yesterday even if the world around you doesn't hold up that same goal. You have to be willing to come out on top knowing why you do what you do and be willing to be the only person up there to high five with. You have to be willing to communicate even the smallest detail of your life so that you can allow all details to matter no matter how small they are. Why do we allow all that time growing up to go under our belts without any checking up on how well it set us up for life? I mean, had I gone into the counselor's office perfect......she'd of sent me on my way with an "A+" stamped to my forehead and said well done. I wasn't afraid of not being perfect. I was afraid nothing would change. I saw in my own parents' life that nothing changed the more time went on except for more laziness and negligence to be found in every room. I didn't want to end up feeling things out of negligence. I wanted to feel things because I had chosen them and was proud to explain why. I have no secrets. I have found them to not be useful in a human's life. I challenge people who come in and out of my life how the secrets of what they are going through is linked to the feeling you're not equipped to handle real life in real time. I find that if I give myself the opportunity to lay all things out on the table it is in that moment I uplift myself to believe I can take a handle on things and get a different result. Just because the people who came before me did not believe in their self worth coming straight from the Lord didn't mean I had to follow suit. It would then require that I did all things differently from there on out. Not the mistakes differently......No no....the cleanup.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Abuse is a funny thing. It isn't something you go around asking for. It also isn't something you go around inspecting on every person you meet either. The abuse I was facing was so different than the abuse I HHAADD been experiencing at home that it was so hard to kick. It wasn't going to be the last time I faced abuse but it was part of the journey to identifying what I had to do when it came into my life. I had first experienced a cold shouldered, "we're too busy" kind of love at home growing up. The kind of mundane "take what's left over from me" kind of things. My mother was surviving the day barely getting ready by the time my dad was coming home, to my father so worn out and beaten up at work that it was too hard to invest what little of himself he had left considering my mother's lackadaisical "who knows what she's pissed at today" mentality would chip away at what he had left. No biggie we all adjusted to that kind of lifestyle we didn't show at church on Sunday morning's. Oh no... we left that madness in the car with unpaid bills and a granola bar. Ha! (child obesity humor) I had honestly shown that abuse who's boss by getting the heck out of dodge and moving into another town with my own apartment and a car that would drive my chubby butt whenever I needed to get away from them. So why all the trouble now. It was different. I was being held and coddled and wanted all the while controlled and told what to do...........and last but not least beaten. I have to say it brought out a fury in me that had never hit my veins before. It made me firecrackin mad. I wanted to lash out but when the beatings began you do nothing but stare into the room as if "is this nightmare really happening"? Yes. I admit I gave in a little. It was such an intense rush to be in a fight where you could lash back at the person. If I had to do it all over again I would just call the police and be done with it. That is now, not then when I was learning for the first time NO ONE IS PREPARED FOR BATTLE IN A RELATIONSHIP. There is no default code in your brain to just "go with it" when all Hell is breaking loose around you. You have to be taught in ALL situations what to do or you're breaking that ground for yourself. I was there. I was in the mess and needed to figure out what does a person do when the person you love snaps and begins to be the abuser. Think about the fact that you love that person. The moment when all things are happening and you can't control them you NEVER could control them. It becomes the sick twisted game of "do not make them mad". UM impossible. You are never in control of another person as long as you live so never forget that. It isn't easy to understand when the guy you were dating and making plans of a life decides to start strangling you and beating you until you black out. It all stemmed from knowing too much. I knew that he did the drugs now and he couldn't hide it. My intense nature and spirit has been brewing into an all out "MODERN DAY DEMON SLAYER" for quite some time. I needed to go through the process in my own brain to collect the data I needed to understand what I was really dealing with. It isn't as simple as calling them up (texting nowadays)."Hey this new thing we got going on isn't really working for me, so I was thinking if we just call it quits here on a Monday maybe by the weekend you could line up a new broad for your punching bag.....(enter the corresponding emoji)" You don't need to be alarmed. It isn't the end of the world that we come upon people who steal your lunch money, your sanity, and the hairs upon your sweet head. No. We need to be understanding what we are dealing with. The wretched spirits that run amuck in this world get in and destroy thought. They take away and devour everything worth nurturing in a person. I wasn't going through anything for the first time ever in the world. Just the first time in MY world. I needed to gain ground with my own decisions. I needed more help and that's what I got. I needed to go back to the counseling. I couldn't tell my parents. They already fought over what we were going to keep a secret this week in the family tree. Honestly I wasn't getting anything but solid dysfunction no matter what direction I looked. I kept it a secret at work because let's face it what American do you know that lives in real time working on real issues with real accountability and a real plan of action. I can name none. I needed to sit in an office and talk it out with one other person so I could see my words come to life. I didn't know how to shake this guy and the feelings I seemingly still had for him. I look back now and shake my head when I think of how powerful lust is and how it can keep young people's head underwater. You will drown yourself in your own choices if you continue on the path I was on. I was waking up every day thinking to myself how did I get here. I let it in. I just didn't ask for the abuse by name like steak sauce at a restaurant (they only ever have ketchup handy). I didn't know that when we started dating that the abuse he had had as a child was going to come in like a wrecking ball and destroy every little bit of Hannah Montana I had left.
Friday, August 26, 2016
It's so lacking in our culture as a whole, how one person can change an entire town and it's way of thinking and doing. One of the most important attributes a person can have is "awareness" of their total body, mind, and soul. Where do you get it? Where do you take it? How do you cultivate it to become a tool in every day's journey? I was becoming aware of who I was even though things were subpar in my family and my boyfriend was clearly a crackhead (oh yeah, and abusive). Small hurdles you might say in a young girl's life! I didn't have a clue about my body from my parents because they avoided the mirror at all costs. I didn't know how to feed my body well, get enough nutrients in AND sustain energy. I was learning though there was something to this body thing. I mean going to the gym put a new stamp on awareness for me. I was standing in front of mirrors all day long but at the gym I got a glimpse of what EVERY part looked like whether I liked it or not. WAIT! Why didn't I like it? I had had no control over my body for so many years by the age of 12 I was a hopeless chubby cause. No one took any pity on me because let's face it, my outspoken parents (really just my father, my mother was more of the silent treatment) were self righteous chubbies themselves. No one was going to rescue the first born. Ugh. I was in the fast lane to change. I wasn't going to have my coffin door shut by a crane. I refused to give up on myself even if the rest of the crew had taken bets on how long I would last refusing the counsel of the God-Given-Parents. I know it was hard, but it wasn't impossible to fight for myself. I didn't like being alone but it didn't stop me from loving myself enough to glimpse into the mirror all the way to the floor so I could not just be "aware", but "accountable". I was going to be accountable to all the choices I had made up until that point no matter what. Even if it killed me. How much of our lives are run by the lack of awareness? I was gobbled up by all the insanity that was around me yet everyone continued on the path as if it's outcome was going to be different for them than anyone else who had gone ahead of them. I wasn't going to be broken over Luis and how he was treating me. I was allowing it. I wasn't sure just yet Why? I was having a hard time understanding my whole body. The more I became aware of the physical feeling I was getting by being around him, there was the unspoken mental feeling I was getting. I was becoming aware of what was going through my mind. I was locating the feelings that I didn't like how he was treating me or what he was putting our relationship through by the way he conducted himself in his own time. I wasn't ok with everything that was going on but couldn't find myself totally removing myself from it. WELL OF COURSE NOT. I hadn't seen anyone take control of out of control situations ever. I never fully witnessed an adult making the awareness move into accountability. Which in turn requires a person to take more action and take the steps to resolve the matter. It almost always involves more conversation. That's the hardest part of it all. Getting the right words into the air (minus swear words) to do what is right by both people. I didn't know how to address the guy who was beating me while I seemed to still find redeeming qualities about him??? It was all very confusing to me to be aware and yet not be able to choose the wisest outcome. BREAK UP. Permanently I wasn't there yet. I was just coming into my own brain capabilities when I knew I was going to run out of ideas on my own. I tried talking to my mother and father about it here and there but this was way over their head. They seemed to be oblivious to their own children's issues. Unless you were someone else's kid they didn't have the slightest idea on how to treat the issue. If it was on their own soil, you were doomed. It's always easier to help someone else's kid. You get to be the hero in their eyes. I was learning to think through how it was possible to help someone else's kid without sharing with them how you overcame it in your own life. How can you help a situation you have brewing right here in your own backyard? I was in the same situation all over town. I needed help in many ways to uncover truths about my body image, career, family issues.....the list goes on and on. I was becoming aware (there's that word again). I didn't have all the files in my brain ready to work in a way that I could pull any tool (lesson learned) out of my head and apply it when I needed it. I was only able at this point to think through what I should do versus what I actually ended up doing. I was so frustrated some days. Thank goodness for my work. I loved cutting hair and making people look and feel their best. I still do. I always loved being able to go to work and just put time and effort into someone else. It helped me so much to ask questions to other people to see how they were coping with life's ups and downs. THEY WEREN'T. Laugh all you want. I realized quickly when we talk about nothing it's because they really didn't know how to connect to the issues in the brain they just shut them out. They were living on coffee and caffeine for most of the day to end it with carbs and tv. I am not making light of what awareness can do to a person or what kind of emotions it can bring up because you feel overwhelmed. It's only a start. It's where you wake up and you know how to allow yourself to be better. It's all because we were designed to be different than just a drone walking through life blindly doing what our parents did, or our neighbors did. It's all about how each and every one of us is so special and unique and in God's big picture. I was becoming aware and I had to do something about it.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
I thought the next day when I woke up I wasn't going to be able to deal with the fact that Luis had opened up the spiritual realm in our relationship. There was no denying he had demons and he wanted them gone. I thought to myself who better than me to help shake them off? I mean I believed in what he was speaking of only on the other end of it. I wanted him to find Jesus. Whether or not we were together was irrelevant to me. I've GOT IT! I'll missionary date him and see how this pans out. He will either lose the demons and change or he'll leave because he's not going to be listening to some self righteous christian girl who was living her life any way she pleased. I just needed to see which came up first. Breakup or Makeup. I knew deep down in my heart things weren't going to pan out for me in this relationship. I was young and knew I needed more time to have boyfriends to develop an understanding of who I was and what I required to thrive in a relationship. More importantly I needed time to mature and grow up. I look back now and know the things I liked most were the troubled times because they force me to find a solution. I like finding solutions. I thrive on it. I am way past the point of denying what I am and how I act. Back then, my mind was still developing an understanding of what my strengths and weaknesses were. It's kind of like when you watch a movie about the X-men. You see them in their youth knowing they are different from others but not exactly sure how to use their skills. Transitioning. It's everything in life to realize what you can be when you put your mind to it. I was in a "manipulation" phase at this point in my life. I was going to get results. I just knew it. Oh, I got results alright. I can say without any hesitation I was NOT getting the results that I wanted. I was continually trying to find loopholes in dumping this guy clean off my plate. Things just kept getting worse and worse. My parents hated him. It was no wonder considering they hated themselves so they had nothing to give this guy. They were more afraid of having to deal with his issues and our own issues that they didn't want to have to give anything spiritually (let alone physically) to him. Emotions are such a funny thing. One minute you think you're in control of your life and the next minute you're allowing your emotions to outweigh the logistics of the situation. Here's what I mean by that. Take my situation for an example. I was a young Christian woman dating a non Christian guy who was clearly on drugs and didn't want to treat me the way I needed to be treated to grow into a woman of vigor and faith. I come from a family that also claims Christ and says that we are all about treating others differently because we know how to treat ourselves. BUNK. We didn't know a thing about treating ourselves well. We could have all come out of this very differently if we had all been involved differently. I could have learned a lot about growing up while my parents showed me how to be forgiving of other people to cultivate a healthier perspective in Luis's mind. This doesn't mean we would have stayed together but it does mean while we were in the relationship we would have been able to grow from the experience in a positive way instead of the life or death way that I was currently on. Now I look back on the situation and know that we had no clue what we were doing as a family, let alone when bringing new members to the pack. We had a rogue leader (my father) who answered to a crazy co-captain (my mother) and that was never going to produce a team mentality. In our house we knew the leadership was bad but we never talked about it. Luis was the first outsider that came in (not including my brother dating girls in the youth group which consisted of him holding their hands or writing in a notebook they passed back and forth weekly). We were never going to be able to help another person understand what we needed as people from him. We didn't have enough accountability as a group to develop into people who could help others become who God wanted them to be. Needless to say I wasn't working on this much rational thought back then. Oh no I was running on Emotions and what I could get out of helping this guy be better than he was. Oh and liking me because.....well...it felt good, and I liked that part.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Well maybe in New York City at midnight in central park!!! I was living in the twilight zone. I had sloughed off the control that was my family circus only to walk into a relationship that was going to actually kill me. I am truly surprised at how many people are unaware of the many young men and women who become abusive in their adult life due to how their childhood impacted them in a negative way. Yeah yeah yeah it sounds so easy that we all know very well there are abusive people out there but you don't hear people talking about it much. I believe that is because it has a direct correlation to their parents and what didn't go into their brains and lives- the inability to understand how to act when in a stressful situation and how to genuinely value another person. With that being said just how did I think I was going to get out of this situation that I had gotten myself into. It wasn't so long ago I was drawing the ever so vivid picture of how we met and it seemed ever so clear to me that there was a reason for us to meet in the first place. Consider the information on how each one of us wanted the other person so badly in our lives. Yes, but for totally different reasons that I can rationalize now but back then it was so he could meet my physical needs rather than spiritual needs, and well let's face it I am capable of reaching both needs by noon and get a mani pedi in before dinner. ha! I had to seriously distance myself from this psycho that I had just gotten done convincing he couldn't live without me. SERIOUSLY THIS COULD END BADLY. Did I have what it takes to take on a job where I had been the control factor while being the one controlled in the relationship???? It sounds tricky, I know, which is why I had to sleep on it. I had to make sure what I was about to go under was the "Laura Factor" of my total existence. I was about to do a magic trick never done before successfully by live women. If you have to try to trick the man you're sleeping with not to want you, good luck. You're having a tough year and I've been there. I didn't think he would catch on if I just tried to be extra busy. Right? I think that is a viable reason considering I was working on my career and I needed money to live on my own and to be earning credits towards owning my own salon one day. I just started to add time into my schedule in a way no one caught on. I just went in earlier and stayed later. I got very good at making it impossible for him to actually see me other than to face my boss who really didn't want him around and made it clear without saying a word. It helped me a great deal, so I continued to use her own insecurities for my own good. Who was she fooling, she didn't know what to do with him so she put up a huge wall and I used it. It seemed like the thing to do when you're trying to survive another day. Oh...Look a wall.(as I walk behind it) Laugh, poke fun, giggle if you need but it was ingenious in my book. I was using 2 druggies against each other because one wrote my checks and the other tried to check me into a wall. What's a young girl to do when that kinda crap shows up in her life at the ripe age of 21? Well it didn't keep me from dancing that's for sure. You might say that he caught onto me not having any time for him. He caught onto me not having any time to be left alone with him. I didn't know how long I could play the game with him before he would just come out and ask me what I was up to. He worked 3rd shift so he had to be an hour away from where I worked at 7pm every night, so I got extremely good at not being home around 5pm ever so he didn't have enough time to drive back wherever hell's portal had opened up and spit him out. He was so cunning and extremely smart when it came to his looks. I mean the boy just knew that the day God created him he gave him a body that just didn't quit. The minute he had my head in his hands and his lips pressed up against mine I was gone. I am not ashamed that my body requires a hot juicy piece of man on the other side to be making out with. I was angry that he would use my own flesh desire to get what he wanted out of me. A safe clean beautiful air conditioned or heated place to lay his nekkid ass down to have hot passionate sex. He didn't seem to mind not spending a ton of time with me as long as he could check into the sleeze motel every once in awhile. AHHHH haaa! I've got it. I'll just use him for sex which was ok with me (he was hot). I will bore him in no time and he'll leave and never come around anymore. Yes, my 21 year old self sounds shallow but take everything in stride. She was growing and learning. No one before me had anything to relate at the table so while I was living on my own, paying bills and school loans, going to the gym which no branch on my family tree had managed to master. I was buying groceries and putting myself to bed in time to wake up and do it all over again the next day. All the while living in one of the swankiest places in town right on the main drag. I was living the high life. So ok ok ok , my current snag was trying to kill me because I found out he did drugs, but I had that handled I was going to bore him, he would fall out of love and he was going to move on all the while I was working on my career and whala......New life. I could taste it. Or was that the blood from my lip he split when he caught up with me one night while I was sleeping? I hadn't factored in the highs and lows of drugs and how he still had a key to get in whenever he wanted to. He had obviously had too much to drink and came to see me even though he should have been at work. I woke up and he was angry. He had been all over the apartment and was just pacing the floor. I didn't know where this was going to lead honestly. Why the heck was he here??? It was 1am? I asked him what he was doing not at work and he began to cry and thrash and pin me up against furniture. I looked at him intensely. I knew back then I had an ability most people do not have. I can decipher what is real and what is not real. Let me put that in other words for you. I can tell what is demonic and what is lead by the spirit of the Lord the Holy Spirit. It doesn't seem to come up much out in modern day culture but it's making a comeback. I knew something was off and it wasn't adding up. I began to get very disturbed because I just really wanted to go to bed. I tried to calm him by laying beside him in the bed but he just kept getting up and walking around. So I met him halfway. I told him to just do whatever he wanted I was just going to lay down and try to get some sleep. I have always since I was young prayed continuosly when I am afraid or in a situation that I can not handle in my physical body. I do it often throughout the day as well. It must have worked because I dozed off and I remember vividly when I woke up again. I hit the cold metal of an object lying on the sheets. I reached out and grabbed it. It was a butcher knife from the kitchen. I didn't panic I'm too smart for that. I slowly let my eyes come to the moon light and street lights that were coming in from my bedroom window. There he was. Standing in the window looking out. I asked him"Luis.....what are you looking at"? I could see now and the bed was covered in knives of all sizes from my kitchen. I was trying to process did he get them for my protection or his? Either way I still would have liked to have been in on the decision to sleep beside my bagel cutter. I asked him again. It was as if he was frozen. I walked over to him and touched his shoulder ever so slightly. I said What are you looking at??? He said "Do you see him"? I looked out into the darkness different this time. I knew he was looking into the spiritual realm. I wasn't able to see. I didn't need to see, I knew. I said "NO, but I believe you". I knew in that moment the reason he couldn't shake me was because I was his only safety from being devoured by the demons. It was as if they didn't pass the windows and they waited for him on the other side. I will never forget that night as long as I live and breath air. I know my saviour reigns. Meanwhile, Luis didn't have a pot to piss in or it would have been in the bed that night.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
I didn't know at the time that my friends could see what was happening. I was changing my body so fast and so much that I couldn't keep up with it. I mean spiritually. See the "DEVIL" likes to fool you into believing that while I was getting physical change in my body that I was also getting the payoff of my Heavenly father to see my value. Wrong. I was trying to control what had been out of control since birth that I didn't even know who the real Laura was yet! I was getting results that I thought correlated to the real me. I was in a troubling transition and then also trying to be the person I wanted to be while not being her. You with me??? I had to understand who the real Laura was before I could enter into a relationship that added more responsibility to my plate. The reason I so wanted the relationship with Luis was because he fed a spiritual void where I felt lonely and unwanted. I had felt that for such a long time that when he entered in it appeared that things began to change and that I could control where it was headed. WRONG AGAIN. Like I said surviving the day doesn't count as thriving. I was 21 years old and had the greatest career with the not so greatest mind and body to be working it all together. The one thing I had going was I ate just enough food and drank enough water that I didn't die. Then Luis comes along and literally tried to kill me. Seriously, life what you're dealing me right now just isn't cool. He was so damn sexy I needed to gouge my eyes out to concentrate on just doing laundry. Have you ever stopped and thought about the fact that I was the girl who had come out of a home with a less than subtle marriage that was failing and surroundings that were so passive aggressive that I'm surprised my own hair hadn't fallen out. (hairstylist humor) I mean c'mon. I was a young girl with no one to talk openly about rough situations to because I didn't know ONE SINGLE PERSON WHO WANTED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Yes, I stress that at the end because that is what it is all about! How did I think he and I would be on a healthy path when everything that brought us together was unhealthy and deceptive????? I bought into what everyone buys into. The physical payout instead of the spiritual rationality. It seemed to me that his body joining my very existence was enough and, even though drama ensued, who cared really, I mean I was born into drama. It was just different drama. Well.... get to know me for any length of time and you'll find out my brain works many ways. I figured WHY NOT go through this situation to learn new drama and ways of dealing with it???? I mean I couldn't name 3 people that I wanted to trade lives with so what the heck let's do this. He didn't know that he was my current project. Why ruin what I had going on here? MY everyday life was an obstacle course to be the Excalibur. I was not going to be any ordinary sword to fight battles. Oh no sir. I was going to cut through the darkest of demons, but first I had to understand how to divide and conquer and that is what this is about. You can get choked up on the abuse and you can get choked up on the incredible sex (it was new and the only thing I really had to go on so of course it was great. It's how I felt), and you can get choked up on different cultures and you can get choked up on the fact he wasn't a Christian. I wouldn't let your mind stay there though. Let's get one thing straight before I go on. Are you familiar with what happens when you try to break up with the man beating you within inches of your life??? If not, listen up! The conversation with the psychopath you're sleeping with doesn't go like this "Hun, so I sense your not wanting to be with me anymore..." " No, I'm not loving the drug thing or beatings. Kinda not what I signed up for....." "cool, thanks for letting me know, I'm going to go ruin some other broads life now instead.....". UM....not so much. Instead you become a vicious game of cat and mouse and it begins to chip away at everything you hold sacred including sleep. You can't even lay your head to the pillow because you have no idea when you're going to hear the jingle of the keys in the door and then realizing that he is hovering over your body to see if you're really asleep. He would then check my cell phone to see who I'd been calling and where I'd been throughout the day. I had never seen anyone so paranoid. Remember I had grown up in a household where there was dysfunction, but there wasn't this overwhelming control thing, so this was all new to me. I didn't like it but I didn't know how to stand up for myself just yet. I wasn't completely alone. I had my conversations with Jesus. They weren't in depth about leaving Luis but they were in depth about being strong so he could get help. I still hadn't understood he wasn't going to treat me with respect when I didn't have any for myself. I needed to grow up yet and I was on this dangerous path that was going to not only test my physical body but my spiritual body as well. It was as soon as I asked him about the drugs that I knew his spirit was run by a dark force I could see in his eyes and I could feel on my skin. I wanted to let him see that he could run on the Holy Spirit like I was. The demons would manifest themselves with different intensity on a daily basis. If we were on the phone, he would go off on different tangents that I couldn't make sense of. It scared me to think his mind was gone and that I hadn't really seen it for the first couple of months that we were hanging out. I wondered how he had kept if from me up until I confronted him. I had so many questions that I couldn't actually get him to answer. I began to understand that I was the smarter person. I started to devise another plan. Instead of him wanting to stay with me I wanted him to NOT want to stay with me. So I began the new path.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
He knew that when I came to he had to convince me to be scared of him. I was. Not scared that he could kill me because when it comes right down to it people can kill people any hour of the day seven days a week 365 days a year. No, I was scared because it was entangled with my affection towards him and my desire to be loved by him that I wouldn't be able to disconnect the two. I mean c'mon we had already been making it work when he was on the drugs up until this point right?! WRONG! The bubble of deception that had been my life for the last few months was catching up to me. When you consider that nothing we were doing was what a real family would do; like seeing each other only on the weekends, then you understand that not being accountable to one another was an issue. I didn't know anyone who could verify who he was or what he was about. I didn't have anyone to call and ask what was going on in this guy's life. I mean, I knew a couple of his friends but I didn't have their cell phone numbers and we didn't have the kind of relationship where anyone could really vouch for who I was. I woke up shortly after I blacked out and he began to grab and push me around the whole apartment. The natural reaction is to allow the person harming you when you sleep with that person to see if it will stop on its own. When it didn't stop and it was continuing I began to fight back. I had pent up rage from the 3rd grade, mind you. Not to mention my parents could make a plastic doll want to cuss, I was going to let this guy know who he was messing with. I learned that lesson very quickly. I got the beating of my life. I was in a kind of pain I had never felt before. I was bruised of course, but I meant a spiritual blow like never before. I felt worthless. I felt so worthless. I knew it wasn't what God wanted. I didn't know what to do in that moment other than serve the immediate need to nurse the bruises. The inside bruise would have to wait. Not to mention NO ONE COULD KNOW ABOUT IT. What good could come from telling someone that my boyfriend beat me up when I confronted him on drugs. NO! NO! NO! I wasn't going there until I could figure out what was really going on. When those bags of drugs fell out of his wallet my whole life changed. I had learned how to survive chaos when I lived at home. I had learned to let people think everything was ok, when it wasn't ok, so I had that part handled. What I didn't have covered was how I was going to survive (literally) if this continued. I decided to control him in other ways and to counter initiate his love for me instead of the drug. I never said it was a good plan, but it was a start. The lesson that I have learned in this horrific scary time in my life is more important that any other part of my life. I didn't know it yet but this was going to be a long journey and I had just begun the tough part. I LEARNED TO MAKE HIM CRAVE ME. I wanted to replace the drug. I was going to replace the drug. I set out to stop his need to rely on drugs which all in all doesn't sound so bad. When you understand it is in place of him surrendering his life to Jesus and serving out his true purpose through Christ you will see how all plans devised to control someone will fail. Even if they are started in the best intentions to preserve the relationship. I meant well honestly, but I had to follow through on accountability for myself to see NOTHING can be true and right and Godly without full surrender to accountability. He needed to want to be better. He needed to want to love the Lord so he could love me. He needed to want to lose the drug habit and replace it with healthier options for stress and fear. At the time I don't think even I wanted all of that.
Monday, July 11, 2016
To say that my job was taking every last ounce of fun out of me was the understatement of the year for me. I had no idea how much other people relied on you to bring in money so they could begin to relax a bit before easing into retirement. I wanted so badly to love hair and to become successful at what I did. I really did want my own salon and to teach women and men of all ages that everyday it was up to them how great they could look!!! It's a win win situation when everyone in the world (or your world) knows how awesome they are when they walk in the door and when they walk right back out again. I just hadn't factored in that the atmosphere was extremely strong and working against me. Yes, yes, yes I knew the behaviors were similar to the ones I could find at home, I just didn't think they were going to fight against me. I mean why would they???? I made them money every day, happily and cheerfully. It's clear that just working or living near me does not make a "Better Betty"......no these were "Bitter Betty's" and they were here to stay. Part of me knew and always knew it was going to end the way it did....cold like a dead fish but in the mean time they were going to school me on everything I had no clue in because I didn't do them. DRUGS. Sadly Luis was a drug addict in disguise. He was so smooth around the edges it looked like someone had chiseled that boy right out of solid stone. He radiated a completely different type of light. Dark, Mysterious, and Dangerous. I know now why I was so drawn to him. He was the exact opposite of me. He was all the opposing forces but seemed to be what I wanted and what I liked. On the surface he kept himself so proper that I loved the end result. I had not factored in that the way to control something so pristine was to do it using drugs. I have lived much more since then with my eyes wide open because I know what to look for when people are presenting a perfect canvas without telling you how to achieve it. I didn't live with him full time ........errrrrrr scratch that he didn't live with me full time. I didn't know what he ate or drank or put in his body when I didn't see him on the weekdays. One night I was cleaning up a manicure station I had just done nails on a wonderful client of mine. He stopped in to see me before he went to work. He didn't seem to mind driving to see me all the way in Hershey when he worked an hour away. He always called me baby.....and not to mention he was sly and shy when he first would walk into a room. He wanted to take it all in I guess. He needed to see who was around and what everyone was up to before he would try to kiss me or ask me how my day was. He never stayed very long, I didn't know back then what I know now about our spirits and how much we do based on them being tempted or pushed. He left like a usual day but this time my boss's partner asked if she could talk to me before I left for the day. She blew smoke in the air as usual (it always smelled like an ashtray anywhere she went). She was hard and soft all at the same time ya know. She was so insecure and had to keep up the front for everyone else. She dare not look vulnerable or human to the rest of us or we'd take advantage of that. She didn't fool me! She was completely miserable everyday and only got along with people more miserable than she was. I'll never forget the words she said. They cut me like a knife. "Do you know he does drugs....."? WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???? I just looked at her like she had 2 heads. I mean c'mon what kind of person did she think I was???? Did she know what kind of woman I wanted to be! I'd NEVER DATE A DRUG ADDICT! HE NEVER EVEN ASKED ME TO DO DRUGS! I said how do you know that? You barely have any conversation with him so what makes you think you know????? She said tonight when he came to visit he had white powder on his nose where the nostril was....I called attention to it and he huffed it in and then wiped the rest off before he walked in to see you. I just stared blankly at her for a moment and thought, she called it to attention before I would have caught it and he didn't even do anything???? She said oh he knows I'm on to him for sure, because he just looked at me and stared me down like what was I going to do?? Tell you or let it go? That night changed my life forever. It kept ringing in my ear that he was on drugs and it scared me to death. I thought how could I have gone a year and not known that this guy does drugs and why hasn't he asked me to do them with him???? Does he hide them from me??? Should I ask him to his face or over the phone??? I mean you girls out there know what happens when the bad boys get caught face to face. Right? I didn't know for sure what would happen if I just waited til I saw him face to face??? I had known it was very difficult for me to confront people even though I was extremely outgoing. I figured people would grow into better versions of a human everyday they are alive....Right??? WRONG! I also have this habit of assuming people act like I do. Lol no! Not so much. I wanted to understand my emotions of fear a bit better before I jumped right down his throat so I gave it til I saw him on the weekend. I remember being so afraid that it was true so I went looking everywhere in his things to find drugs. That's just what I found. His pants had his wallet and some credit card receipts and, lo and behold, when I opened up his wallet 2 bags of white powder fell out. My jaw dropped to the floor like one of those kids movies where someone's getting in trouble!! I swear I stood there for what felt like minutes but was probably just a couple of seconds. I process very quickly. I didn't want drugs in my life no matter who had them or did them. I wanted purity in that category if you can even handle that knowing full well I am not a pure woman. I had made up my mind I was done. No questions asked. He either did drugs or sold drugs and there was no way I was allowing this to continue. I walked right into the bedroom where he was napping and grabbed his legs and pulled him directly off the bed. I'm pretty sure in that very second that my hands grabbed his legs he thought "reckoning day" was upon him. He stood so shocked at how I woke him and faced me. He saw me holding the white bags of powder and in that moment he looked me in the eye...I could see the light leave him....his eyes were as black as coal. He looked at me and said in this heinous voice "you shouldn't have done that"....and I said back as strongly as I could....NO YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE! I WANT YOU OUT! I could feel his hands come swiftly up my body to my neck and he pushed me way back into the closet and lifted me up onto the wall. He began to tell me it could have been different. I was losing breath as my eyes began to black out. He was going to kill me to keep his dirty little secret. The woman he loved so much meant nothing to him over those pathetic little bags of crack. Honestly there isn't enough to salt a potato in one of things, but I was going to die for 2 of them. And I would have if it had been God's will in that moment of my life. Too bad for me that I came to.