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Monday, November 26, 2007

TANGLED IN PSYCHO MODE


Two days ago, I had this magnificent idea for my latest blog. That was 2 whole days ago.... Yesterday was Sunday. It started out with me getting mad at Sean because I thought he was being hard on Liam upstairs. I yelled up there for Liam to come downstairs because in my head I wanted to save him from the fire breathing dragon upstairs making him cry. Then I yelled at Sean again for not getting the boys anything for breakfast when he had clearly done the right thing by sitting down in his chair and not saying one word to me. He was smart. He knew if he were to try to defend himself, I would have become the ultimate fire breathing dragon. So, to reward him for not arguing with me, I yelled at him some more.
By the time we pulled into the church parking lot, I was already feeling better. I made it through Sunday School with ease only to walk into the sanctuary and have this be the morning that Bob, our music director, decides to play mostly old hymns. Those old hymns really get me even when I'm not an emotional wreck of a pregnant woman. Everytime I hear one of those songs, it takes me back to the church I grew up in, and I can hear my mom singing them. But these were especially hard. I cried through the whole service. Every song, every word the pastor spoke. I'm a blubbering idiot and I am so sick of it!!!!!!
I'm sitting in the pew crying over these songs, all the while, trying to find another, more valid reason of why I was making myself look like a fool...
So what do I start thinking about? I start thinking of how dirty my house is, what needs to be done in the house before this baby gets here, how I wish someone would come over and clean my house. (Atleast then I could start from the top and work my way down, instead of starting from the bottom and having to work my way up to a clean house) Then I really start thinking of how cruel I have been to this wonderful wonderful man that I call my husband. He scrubbed my stove the other day!!!! How could I yell at him after that???
So that was yesterday. This morning I dropped the kids off at school and immediately started crying when they got out of the car. My mind just cannot stop wandering. Talia said she didn't want me to take her to school. I told her if she was embarrassed to have me drop her off, I would drop her off at the top of the street and she could walk down. WHAT????? This is the first time she has ever said that to me! She's not even out of elementary school yet. She jokes about how old I am. Yet none of this really bothers me. I cried because as I watched them walk away, all I could wonder was if I was doing enough for them. Am I giving them not only what they deserve, but what they need? Am I meeting their emotional needs? Am I forming these little creatures into little self-esteem pro's? Do they not only know how much I love them, but do they feel it? Alot of this has to do with bringing another baby into this world. I am so terrified they will feel left out or whatever else my crazy mind can conjure up at the moment. I've become terrified that we'll say good-bye in the morning and I'll get into a car accident on the way to work, and they will never have fully grasped that when I think about them, I can't wrap my brain around the appropriate words to tell them how much I love them. They don't make these words! There is nothing of this world that is tangible, that could explain to these babies how much I love them.
Wow, when is this going to stop??? I have to admit, I have had some really valid cries over the past week or two, but for the majority, I've started crying and honestly can't think of one reason. That's when a flood of 10,000 reasons come in your head.... I heard that this week, (week 10) my babies genitalia are forming.
I am positively convinced this is a girl. My emotions have been enough for 2 women lately!!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tangled Hurt


My whole life I grew up in church. I heard the same things over and over. It wasn't until 3 years ago, that I actually HEARD God!! It goes back to that saying that "you always find something when you are looking for it"
Sean and I were in the process of planning our wedding. In the process of deciding to become an enormous yours, mine, and ours, blended family. We told eachother that we had to be on the same page spiritually. He was Catholic, I Pentacostal. So we became Baptist. (You are supposed to laugh now.) But seriously, it wasn't about the denomination of the church. It was a private invitation every Sunday and Wednesday, just for us!!! The pastor was speaking directly and privately to our hearts. So that's what I meant by looking. Our lives and the lives of our children have become so much more meaningful. I am so thankful for our church family. I just ended a 9 week class on "Recovering from Life's Losses" which was a really great start for my recovery, which leads me to why some crazy girl is telling you all this in the first place....
I am the only girl in my family. I am the oldest. My family went to church every Sunday and had dinner together after. EVERY SUNDAY. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, brothers, cousins. We were very very close.

3 years ago, in a matter of seconds, my family changed forever.

My mom called me and said my dad had a heart attack and she was taking him to the VA. The next morning, my brother called me and said my mom was in Methodist Germantown and we needed to talk.... I left my dad's side and went to my mom where she informed me that she didn't want me to be mad at her, but on the way to the hospital the day before, she prayed that God would do something really bad to her because she knew that if my dad went into the hospital, he wasn't coming out until he was better and she couldn't make it on her own. So she had tried, as my brother sarcastically put it, "to have her morning medicine" and she busted a vein in her arm. My head started spinning. I couldn't comprehend what they were telling me. I knew things had changed over the last year or so. I couldn't put my finger on it. They had a very lucrative business called Rent My Husband for the previous 15 years, but the last 2, they had lost everything. I'm talkin, everything. They were doing really weird stuff, like asking constantly if they could come see the babies. (My kids were 5 and 1 1/2). Now before this, they were picture perfect grandparents. Inviting them over, making cookies, popping up with gifts, etc... but they had started asking me if they could come over and babysit overnight, and while they were there, mama would ask if she could buy a can of green beans from me. And they were each at different times, constantly in the bathroom saying they were sick. Things started not adding up. I have never done drugs and I was really nieve. I just thought they were really bad with money. It turns out that for 2 WEEKS before my dad had this heart attack (which turned out to be from him trying cocaine the weekend before for the first time), they had no electricity. And they later confessed, they were scared that if I found out, I wouldn't let the kids see them anymore, so they were buying as much time as possible. My parents had become Bonnie and Clyde.
It all started 5 years before that when my dad had back surgery. My mom says she had some neck problems and that's why she started taking my dad's pills....Well, slowly over that 5 years, it crept up on them. They needed it more and more. They would make up ailments and go to the doctor. When that resource ran out, because they had gone to sooooo many doctors in Memphis, they somehow got closer to the kid who lived across the street, who grew up with my brother, but had become lost in this chaotic world of addiction, and he turned them to dealers. So the pills were no longer enough. They started shooting up. That lasted about 6 months until my dad had the heart attack. They both went into seperate hospitals, the truth came out, and they each stayed for a month. They got out, got help to turn their electricity back on, and swore that they were better. I mean come on.... they lived in the youth pastors house next door to the church I grew up in my whole life! My parents were married there, I was married there, and finally 3 weeks after they moved back in, my mom's funeral was there.... And the same pianist that had played at their wedding 30 years prior, and my wedding, played for my mom, one last time.
This has devastated my family. The day my mom died, I lost my dad and brothers too.... My dad was overcome by grief, that instead of putting everything down, he became more addicted because of the guilt he felt. My brothers hated my dad for what they perceived HE had done. So a year after her death, my middle brother, (who I lovingly call my "midtown brother" because he wears a beard, has been known to pack up and travel Europe and Brazil for months at a time without any kind of plan, and says he thinks People create their own lives, and he's not sure if there is a God), decided to once again pack up and move to St. Louis where he became an AA poster child for a year. He, himself, delved into a world of drugs and alcohol to cope with mama's death. And my poor baby brother who was just a teenager living in the house while all this was going on, became an orphan.
During this year before my middle brother acknowledged that he had a problem, both my brothers decided that my dad did not need to live alone, so they all moved into a completely new house. For 6 months, they gave my dad money for the bills, until one day, the landlord came and said that she was trying to be caring, knowing my mom had past away, but that my father had not paid ANY rent in 6 months. That same day, the electricity was shut off again. Hence, why my brothers hate my dad. That's when my middle brother packed up and left. My dad packed up and went into rehab at the VA AGAIN, which left my baby brother homeless!
So, that was 2 years ago. Since then, my middle brother stayed clean for a year, thought he was strong enough to move home. Went straight to midtown and ofcourse, found out he wasn't strong enough. He moved in with me, my husband got him a job with the city where he works, and he stayed with me until I found a bag of cocaine on my kids bathroom floor, and I told him he had to leave. He didn't just leave. He moved to Virginia!!!! He is always RUNNING, just like my parents!
My poor baby brother is doing well, and we are starting to speak more than we ever have in our lives. (Before, he was my bratty little brother that got on my nerves.) Now he is 26, and doing well for himself.

I miss my dad so much. I decided almost 2 years ago that he was unhealthy for my family. I was afraid he was coming into my home and stealing. He has become so deceitful. So dishonest. I have been using what I think is tough love, but all I think it is, is a way to slowly kill my heart. He has had very very little contact with his family for 30 years. My mom's parents have been his parents since he met my mom when he was 17. My grandfather, for the last 3 years, has done nothing but enable him. With money, housing, you name it. This has done nothing but pull my grandparents apart and ruin them financially. I haven't been able to grieve over my mother because I worry about my father. I cannot get past the same emotions. Anger, sadness, pity, anger, sadness, pity... its a circle that I can't stop. I can't bring myself to call him because I don't want the open communication. It always leads to him asking if I can do something for him. My grandparents found out 2 weeks ago, that he ran up a $5,000 Home Depot account that is in my grandfathers name within the last couple of months. He knew they would find out!!!! His addiction is so overpowering that he didn't care. I wish he had other resources besides the VA. I wish he could could go into a facility somewhere out of town for atleast a year, so he could learn how to live life not only without drugs, but without my mother. So he could learn how to cope with his horrible childhood memories, his horrible memories of Vietnam, and learn how to be my dad again. Learn how to be a productive member of society. My heart physically hurts. I cry quietly in the bed next to my sleeping husband all the time. I couldn't sleep all night on Wednesday before Thanksgiving because I knew the Home Depot fiasco, was finally a deal breaker with my grandparents, and this was the first holiday that he wasn't welcome. I wondered all Thanksgiving day, what he was doing. If he had food to eat. If he was sitting in his house all alone crying and if he would end it all that day. I made him a plate and still couldn't muster up the courage to take it to him. I can't face that house. I can't face a conversation of lies and negativity. I want a relationship with my dad so bad. Am I wrong for wanting others to make contact with him. To help him, when I refuse? My brother has told me a thousand times that daddy is an entrepreneur. He is a genius, He is smart, and the last thing he wants, is for someone that he made, to try to tell him what to do. He knows what to do. You don't do drugs. He knows that. But when my mom died. everything changed. I can't even fully say the sentence in my head let alone out of my mouth, that my mom died from drugs. I keep replaying my dad's funeral in my head and it hasn't even happened. I am a 30 year old woman, yet the day my mom died, I felt 9.


I don't want to get a phone call that he is dead and all I do is regret this last 3 years like I already do. I just don't know where to begin. It hurts to know that they didn't love us enough to not start doing drugs. And they didn't start until I was 22!!!! I grew up in a house with my dad constantly PREACHING how bad drugs were. But they didn't think they were doing anything that bad at the start of this because the doctor prescribed it.
I truly think that in my every day life, I am handling this as any responsible 30 year old wife and mother should. I live my daily life. I go to work. I go to church. I love my husband and kids. But it never fails....every day on the same stretch of Sam Cooper when I am driving home from work, I cry. And I've gotten to where I can gauge it by exits. I only cry for about 3 exits, then I feel better and my mind wonders to something else. Then I get home, turning my full attention on my life until I crawl into bed at night. Only on the nights where my husband is so tired that he falls asleep before I, are the nights when I silently cry myself to sleep. If I have any alone time, my mind becomes NOT strong enough. I need to be able to talk about this. I need to be able to be in a loving christian enviroment to openly talk about this and confront this head on. I know I can't change my dad. But I also know that there is hope for him. If he could somehow get into an enviroment where he feels loved, appreciated, and heard, then he would let down his know-it-all attitude and realize that if he had the answers, he would have been better by now.

I know that my story isn't unlike hundreds of others, but for me it is personal. I didn't grow up around abuse, drugs, alcohol. I had literally 2 months to become an expert on how to save your parents from drugs, and I failed miserably. All the support groups are for parents whose kids fell into drugs. What do you do when your parents fall into drugs????

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tangled Up In Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I am so excited for some reason!!
Usually we have Thanksgiving at my grandparents, but it is still up in the air this year. I have this sense of "giving thanks" that doesn't seem to let me be bothered that we could potentially not carry on the tradition as every other year.
Because of the baby, I think I am preparing myself for starting new traditions and loving every minute of it. (I'm telling myself that anyway....don't know if I'm fully convinced). I could be upset really easily if I let the negativity in my head about my family. Holidays are not the same as they were growing up. My mom has been gone 3 years now, and nothing has been the same since. I am truly thankful to God for opening doors when others are closed! It has been the worst 3 years and the best 3 years of my life, all rolled into one.
I've been very sad to lose my mom, because I in-turn lost my dad. He is still here, just not a part of my life. I have a lot of guilt for that, but also think it is the healthiest route for my family at this time. I am the oldest of 3. I have 2 younger brothers that I love so much, I can't stand it! One has broken my heart 1,000 times but never to the point of dis-repair. He has yet again moved away and left me. My youngest brother has always been just that. My bratty little brother. Who, by the way, has ALMOST grown up into the person I always prayed he could be. He and I are becoming closer and closer. I guess by process of elimination we've started talking more and respecting eachother more. I miss my "family" so very much. I miss going to my mom's and drinking coffee with her. I miss her teaching me about life, recipes, and always thinking positive. I miss us gossiping about my brothers and their lives. I miss exchanging gifts with them. This year, my father and brother (who still speak), are going to my aunt's in St. Louis. I know it's pointless to even ask my middle brother if he is coming home for Thanksgiving. He's a free-spirit. Which in our world is code for "I don't have the money to come home and see people that are going to back me in a corner with questions of how I'm doing in Virginia".....
I do, however, have some amazing aunts, grandparents, and uncles that I will hopefully be spending time with that day. I'm sad because I have to work that day and I don't think I have ever worked a Thanksgiving before.... Really, not a big deal if I do all my cooking before-hand.
But like I said, God really opens doors where others close. I have Sean. Well, technically I have Sean. He will be hunting Thanksgiving morning. But atleast then, he won't mess up the tradition I have made with my babies of waking up to the wonderful aroma of turkey cooking, and homeade bread rising, while I pop the breakfast casserole in the oven and run to wake them up just in time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love that time of morning. We're still in pj's, the fire is going, and everything seems right with the world. It's a perfect day because it brings the same lovey dovey warmth of Christmas without the tremendous amounts of stress over gifts. For once, we are the gifts. Gifts to eachother. So, whatever this holiday season brings, I know that as long as I look for the good, I will always find it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tangled Offspring That We Weave







I'm not at the point yet where I am consumed by this baby. I guess it will come when I see the first ultrasound...
I am however consumed with the babies i already have!!
My oldest is Nytalia. She's 10. She is the most intelligent, beautifully sarcastic, spirit I know. Everything about her, reminds me of me. All the good, all the bad..... I can't even put into words how much I love this kid. She brightens my day. You'll hear a lot about her in upcoming blogs, but wanted to introduce her!!!
AND......
My youngest (so far) is Liam. Wow. What can I say about Liam??? He is the funniest, most mischievious, cutest kid EVER!! We call him an alien because sometimes I truly wonder what planet he is from!! He puts himself in some really crazy, outlandish, whimsical situations....
He goes through stages where he imitates Elvis for 2 weeks straight or read books like he's an opera singer.... Every now and then he will come out with a "what's up G?" and I have to tell him to cool it...
I am so proud and priveleged to be these kids mom! They have such a great relationship with their dad (who Liam calls his brown daddy), and we're constantly working on their stepdaddy relationship (who they call their redneck daddy)! Everything is a process. They have to build up trust and love. Blended families are extremely hard sometimes, but well worth it!
Sean has 3 children who are my wonderful step children, but it will take an extra bit of time to explain all that! I'll save that for another time!

Tangled Up In Smoke

So, the news has finally come out to everyone....almost. I promise I'm not keeping it a secret, I have just been trying to spare some feelings of a friend of mine that just had a miscarriage. But she found out, so its fair game now.
I've had to dig really deep into my closet, (not that I have maternity clothes) to try and find some black pants that fit for work.... That is the worst feeling in the world!!! I don't even have to have maternity pants yet because of the baby!! I have to have them because I came off every "make you skinny, make you sane" medicine I was on, and subsequentally started trying to eat everything in sight! It makes me sick to think I was one size for so many years and now its gone in about 15 Starbucks...(or, 1 month).
I might be exagerating a little on the Starbucks thing, but that's what it feels like!!! I have also quit smoking which is something that has plagued me for a really long time. We're talkin' teenage years ago. I feel so good to be free! Well, almost. I haven't stepped down the patches yet, or come off completely, but everytime i try to smoke one, i can't finish even half! I know there are so many ppl out there, disgusted that I would admit smoking, but there are so many women out there that hide it also.
Well, the point is this.... I have been on this really, really great journey with God lately. Over the past year, and my thoughts and ideas have been evolving. We have been really involved with our church, who in my opinion is the best church EVER! I have come to realize that if you are truly in it to change your mindset, your lifestyle, then you have to realize it is a process. It doesn't happen over night. It has taken me a while and I have a long long way to go in my walk.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tangled Web of O'Charley's

I think starting at the beginning is the only appropriate place. But through lessons learned, my beginning is not where you think. My beginning is today. I feel I have tons of time to explore all those situations that made me who I am today. And the thing is, I won't be this person tomorrow. So first things first. What is consuming my mind today?
The biggest, most important aspect of my life right at this very minute is something that as of yet, I haven't written into words.
Sean and I are expecting our first child together!!!
Just a side note to this whole blogging thing.... the first of many thoughts to come, just came into my head as I was writing that sentence, that with every sentence I write, I have explaining to do.....
I will control my urge to give you every aspect of background leading up to this point, but I will tell you the history of Beth and Sean.

On December 7th 2004, I met who would become the human form of something up to this point, I never believed in. I met my soul mate. At O'Charley's. Which makes you stop and think....
How many people have to say " I met my soul mate at Wal-Mart" or "I met my soul mate in prison".
If you want to get technical, I met him on Match.com
Yea. Wow. Take a deep breath. (not sure if I meant that for you, or for me)
Sometimes it is still hard to say or talk about.
Until I remember that since that day, we have not been apart from each other for more than a couple of days. And that was only once or twice.
So the word "soul mate" still perplexes me. But let me give you some idea of what a "soul mate" does....
I had been away from my starter husband (you'll hear more about him later) for 2 years when I met Sean. My divorce had been final for a year. I had dated some, but just enough to finally be able to tell what I wanted and didn't want.
Sean had been sending me message after message, but I couldn't respond because I didn't pay for the service. One day, the great folks at Match.com sent me an offer to have a free 7 day trial. I knew what I would do. I took the offer just long enough to give him my email address, then cancelled the service. He sent me an email, he gave me his number,(I'm not stupid! I didn't want some crazy lunatic to have my number!) and I called him. We talked from about 9pm until 4am. By that time, I knew I wanted to meet him. I was honest with him. I told him that I was attracted to what he told me, but I would not waste time talking to him if it turned out that I was not physically attracted to him. I have never been into "chatting" online.
So we met the next day at a neutral location. (I knew there were enough people at the restaurant that would call 911 if I needed it).
Without realizing it, we had a 3 hour lunch. And it seemed like the 100th lunch we had eaten together. It was the most natural, relaxed experience I had ever had. From that day forward, we spent every bit of free time we could, building this instant attraction into love.
October 2005, my girlfriend came over unexpectedly and handed me an envelope. In the envelope was a poem. It told me to go to the place we went on our first date. It was a little more specific than that, which let me know where to go. I followed about 8 more of these poems to various parts of the city, finally ending up at the exact O'Charley's we had met at.
But this time, about 30 friends and family members were waiting. When I arrived, he got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.
We eloped 5 months later on St. Patricks Day 2006.
I was going to try to write the next sentence and had to pause. My first instinct was to write, "and things have been great ever since." But HELLO! This is reality! Man, we have hit some of the craziest bumps! But what I can say is this....
These bumps for the most part, have been over life issues....kids, money,ex's.
These bumps however, have NOT been due to disrespect, lack of love, or meeting in such a crazy way.
I love this man with all my heart. I was so ready to tell whomever came into my life that I had 2 children, and I was not willing to have anymore. But now, almost 3 years later, I can't see going through life and not sharing this wonderful experience with someone I love and care about so much! So, that's it! We are having a baby! I have all the same feelings again. Nervousness, excitedness, impatience, wonderment.

Where to start.....

As I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now, I've caught myself wondering how deep I would allow this to become? How much of what is in my head would I reveal? What subjects would I put in the "taboo" section of my brain? I'm not quite sure of the answer just yet, just as I'm not quite sure where to begin....
There are so many facets of my life that need an escape from the inner workings of my brain. I've set some of them free, others have most likely become distorted from being couped up so long. There are things I'd love to talk about. My kids, my starter husband, my keeper husband, my parents, my childhood, my journey with God, my career(s)..... my life.
But what I've come to realize about everything and everyone is that when you write, you write in the moment. How you are perceiving the world and your thoughts about the world and its' comings and goings' are all relative. They are "in the moment". So, at the moment, I feel I will be compelled to write my feelings as they come. I can only hope that I have become wise enough to understand that once spoken in cyberspace, everything is fair game. Fair game of who reads it, fair game of who responds, fair game of opinions, fair game in being bold enough to stand behind my thoughts. Because after all, good or bad, hard or easy, private or not, this is my life. My hope from this venture is to gain a better understanding of myself, my thoughts, my life, my loves.