Community · Dayton · Divorce · Emotions · Friendship · Healing · Hope · Lacey · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Numb · Ohio · Spokane · Thanksgiving · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized · Washington

Story #18 – Thanksgiving

A still, quiet season – season of life full of constant changes that shape & mold. Shaping into an even stronger & more independent woman, full of views & thoughts of the surrounding world – constantly reflecting on the past & finding new ways of continual new beginnings. & this Thanksgiving season?

H e a l i n g

Yet, it has been so incredibly hard to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, the holiday season – my favorite time of year (besides fall of course). I find myself once again feeling numb; completely cold to the idea of even wanting to participate. & as I try to dig deep & find the reason why? It came to me today.

Thanksgiving was highly celebrated with Matthew & his family. & he left right before the holiday season began – left me to answer all the unanswered questions back in Ohio when it came to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family “Where’s Matthew at today?” The year prior being my first Thanksgiving back home in 6 years. We had moved back to Dayton the week prior in 2014. & we still managed to celebrate with his family the night before our trek across the country back to Ohio (Lacey pooped under all our chairs at the table during our Thanksgiving feast LOL).

The times we drove down to Carson City NV to celebrate with his grandparents – always talk about us hosting at some point. Something I have always dreamed of doing. If you know me – I absolutely love cooking – cooking for others especially. Creating a welcoming & safe environment. Blessing & loving my friends & family. I also find cooking to be therapeutic & relaxing. That – & I also can’t have gluten, dairy (I cheat on ice cream every once in a while & cheese), & red meat – so I cook more.

When you’re on one path & it suddenly dissipates in front of you – you feel lost. Confused. Left alone to deal with the aftermath. & to also start all over – from scratch.

I was walking down a path I dreamed of, but Matthew? He was walking down a completely different path. & when my path was suddenly gone – Thanksgiving 2015 approached. We had just decided we were divorcing, & I received a text from his mom (who I had a really good & close relationship with) as I was sitting at the table with my dad – wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving & to let me know she loved me, & was praying for Matthew & I. & I realized 2 things in that moment:

1. Matthew hadn’t told his parents yet about our decision to divorce (we had decided weeks prior).

2. I will never celebrate Thanksgiving with them again. I will never be able to host Thanksgiving for them. Matthew will never celebrate with my family – ever again – suddenly.

I ended up breaking the news about the impending divorce, & I immediately left my dad’s house shortly after in tears – skipped going to Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, didn’t even realize in the midst – that would be my last Thanksgiving with my sweet grandmother – who past suddenly a few weeks later.

The beginning of making new memories, of healing, of not being the victim – started last holiday season. I hosted a Friendsgiving brunch & crammed 10-15 people in my apartment. Followed with Thanksgiving with my dad, followed with dessert with my Aunt & Uncle (just missed my mom, who was depressed about her mom, my grandmother, not there anymore). I went home afterward feeling down. Feeling empty. Drained. Emotionless though. Numbness.

& even though its been incredibly difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year? As I was driving to my dear friend Emily’s parents’ house to join for their Thanksgiving celebration, I realized what I am most thankful for:

My community here – my friends that have most felt like family, coming along side & helping me heal tremendously. I am incredibly thankful for this season in my life. The past 7 months have been some of the best moments of my life. I have never felt so incredibly happy. Quite honestly? I don’t remember the last time I was this happy, this content. My heart feels rested in peace, my soul refreshed, my spirit calmed. Such a relaxing day. Yes, it felt weird not contributing any food (I always make pumpkin pie!), but I’m incredibly thankful for genuine community here. I am so thankful for the changes I’ve made for myself, for my growth, for my self-acceptance & self-love, body positivity & confidence – for finally finding me again, for being me – for not playing the victim – but demonstrated perseverance in the darkest moments of my life, always seeing the light & always moving forward. Always finding the good in the worst moments, the most depressing & draining times. When you feel you’re at your lowest point.

I felt that my last couple months in Dayton before suddenly deciding to move back to Spokane. I knew I had to do something – & with the most gracious & generous help from my dad – my decision to move back to Spokane came about. I had to remove myself from such a toxic environment; a city that was already weighed down in depressing & painful memories from childhood & more added to it – hindering me from really processing my time spent in Dayton, from genuine healing. & the lack of support there (besides my dad & step-mom, my sister, a couple friends)? Didn’t help.

& moving back to Spokane – where the journey of my young adulthood began back in 2008 – I truly feel at peace, feeling more me, notice personally my growth & changes – & I couldn’t have done it without the support of my community here – my family.

I am so incredibly thankful for community.

Will I choose to make Spokane my long-term home? I don’t know. That’s something that’s been on my mind constantly these days, as I feel ready to really move forward – either purchase a home, move back to Dayton feeling refreshed & be near my family again (especially my mom), or move elsewhere. Maybe go back to school, or buckle down & start working toward my long-term goal of opening up my own coffee shop – the idea of dating is slowly becoming more realistic & welcoming – though my fear of another huge heartbreak is there. But my community here? Has tremendously helped me work toward everything – process & healing.

To everyone here in Spokane – my community

Thank You

To continual new beginnings 🌻💛

Advertisements
Emotions · Healing · Health · Hope · Memories · Mother · New Memories · Numb · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized

Story #16 – Feeling Numb – Constantly Swirling

“When you’ve been sad for so long that when something bad happens you don’t cry, you just sit there and feel numb.” -anonymous

So incredibly, fucking numb. Numb to the point I’ve become unsocial, withdrawn, uninviting, secluded to myself. In hiding – mentally, emotionally. Physically? I’m there. Standing. Faking my smile that constantly receives compliments. Faking my niceness when I’m secretly screaming in my head “fuck you.” Feeling incredibly numb.

I simply don’t care – and that’s ok – for now.

This past week, sitting at a favorite coffee shop of mine, crocheting – waiting on a phone call from a friend – when my phone rang. I looked down & noticed it wasn’t my friend, but my sister. Eagerly answered, excited to hear from her. But I could tell – it wasn’t going to be a good phone call.

My sister proceeded with the reason why she called – my mom. If you remember my post from Mother’s Day – you’ll understand & remember the reasons why I don’t have the best relationship with my mom; how she disappeared from my life mentally but suddenly two years ago came back. An already sensitive subject.

Over the past few months, my mom has had these pressurizing headaches to the point it’s making her puke, daily. She has suffered from memory loss, blurred vision, loss of reflexes, body constantly in pain – all over. She finally went & got checked out two weeks ago where the doctor tested her reflexes & confirmed they are gone – believes she either suffered from a stroke & didn’t realize it or most likely – there’s a brain tumor. With how long the headaches have been going on for – he believes it to be a brain tumor & ordered a CT Scan to be done, which she goes in for this up coming Wednesday.

Numb. Feeling completely numb. So much has happened over the past two years. & when I heard the news about my mom? My first emotion – n u m b n e s s

I sat at the coffee bar – numb. Mind racing yet still. Heart feeling drained & heavy. But yet in response – numbness. My ability to socialize & my desires to do the things I love – shutdown suddenly. I find myself sleeping on my couch instead of my bed, motivation to do anything – suddenly gone. The desires to hang out with friends – suddenly gone. Feeling alone in my thoughts – honestly? It’s something I’m use to, but the heaviness of it currently is almost unbearable.

Distracted myself pretty well on Halloween. Kept busy the entire day filled with fun plans. The following day was difficult, back to work with my mom on my mind – constantly. & the next day? I finally called her.

We spent well over an hour on the phone. Lots of pausing, lots of silence. She went into detail whats been going on with her, describing it as something constantly pressing on her eyes, causing blurred vision. Her sense of directions – suddenly gone. Admitting to me what she believes is causing all these symptoms – brain tumor.

She proceeded with asking how I was doing, how were my animals doing, if I was enjoying work, making new friends – “are you truly happy living out there? Are you truly happy?” Explaining to her how happy I am, how I needed to get away & heal from the divorce & my grandmother passing away, toxic work environment, lack of community & always feeling alone – how depressed I was. & ever since moving back into a community that has done nothing but support & encourage me, taking me back in, expanding my community – truly happy.

I could sense a sense of peace – a silent sigh of relief over the phone. Silence.

“You know, I’ve always been a woman who believed in marriage unto the end. I still feel bad that things didn’t work out between your father & I – I apologize. But one thing I do know that I feel good about – I raised you & your sister well, to be good people. & you two have done just that & even more. I hope you know – that I always did my best.”

Instant tears. Fighting to hide the sounds of my sobbing from her. We continued to talk about the past – something we have never talked about before. Recognizing that her & I have divorce in common, & I immediately felt shame & guilt with mine, & she quickly responded “No honey! You have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not your fault. I love you & I am so proud of you.”

We continued to talk. & I could tell she was having trouble forming words. There was a moment she inquired for my address. Two months ago she got a birthday card for me, & she went to write a check to include in the envelope – but kept getting her numbers mixed up. & when I gave her my address over the phone – it was a 5 minute process.

I’m doing my best to remain hopeful, to remain optimistic. But thoughts of the past, of the present, & of the future constantly overwhelm me. The down whirled spiral started two years ago when Matthew up & left, followed by two months later my sweet grandmother (my mom’s mom) suddenly passed away from a heart attack in her home right before Christmas, followed by a sweet friend passed away in Spokane, followed by two weeks of severe strep-throat, followed by a toxic work environment that forced me to get a second job, followed by the lengthy process of divorce, followed by the constant battle of trying to make new friends in a community that I felt excluded from – living a life style that was not me, making me even more depressed – not having really anyone to help build me up & encourage me during a time where I needed it the most. Yes, I had friends that were great & brought me out of a dark time of my life. But community? No.

& as I begin to plan my move back to Spokane, my mom began to tell me then that she was experiencing health issues. She never went into detail, but did let me know. & I considered staying. I considered staying for her, along with finding out Matthew was also moving back to Spokane, along for someone else that unfortunately ended up breaking my heart – but I knew I had to move in order to heal from everything. I had to move to find people that I could surround myself with to help me heal, to offer encouragement, to support me – finally.

But sometimes now I can’t help but think – if I hadn’t gone through what I did go through my two years living back in Dayton – I would most likely be there, helping my mom through this time. & with that – I am completely numb. Full of anger, full of pain, yet completely numb.

& it’s also interesting too – friends I made in Dayton – my hometown – haven’t reached out since hearing the news (besides 2) – but the support & love I have here through this – even when I feel completely numb – overwhelming.

to continual new beginnings – remaining hopeful

Uncategorized

Story #14 Genuine Community

      ”Everybody is supposed to be apart of their own community.” -Jill Scott-

      I’m the kind of person that l o n g s for community, that l o n g s for genuine connection. Whether its family, friendship, dating. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t long for that? For deep connections & continual support – especially during the most trying times of one’s life?

      When I moved back to Ohio right before Thanksgiving of 2014, I told my family that it was a temporary move. There were some family issues surfacing suddenly. My grandparents’ health were both rapidly declining & they had sole custody/power of attorney over my mom. For the longest time, I was actively trying to move to Portland – a city I had grown to love. My work transfer simply was not going through (everyone was wanting to move to Portland, I get it). But Matthew suggested “Why don’t we move to Ohio, spend some time with your family & help out with your mom, for about a year & move to Portland afterward?!” Moving back to Ohio was never a thought in my mind, but when Matthew suggested it – I became open to the idea, & agreed. But suddenly & not even a year later – he picked up & moved to Colorado – no notice, no warning. Was it part of his plan all along?

      I think so.

      I was left alone – alone in a community I had grown up in, been apart of for years. Already struggled with. A community I thought I could rely on for support & encouragement – for help. When in reality? The community turned out to be the exact opposite. I had never felt so alone in my life until Matthew left abruptly – & I was left to deal with the aftermath a l o n e. No one sincerely reached out to me, offered to help me financially (besides my dad, but that’s what dads are for – am I right? I can never thank him enough!) But in the beginning, I was left alone to literally fight to survive – to pay all the bills, to pay rent, to take care of our dogs, to remember to take care of myself – emotionally, physically, mentally. I remember my sweet friend Valerie (who lives in Colorado but grew up with in Ohio) – once she found out what happened, I was trying to nap but couldn’t stop crying. There was a knock on my door, & I opened the door to be greeted by a lady with an arrangement of flowers. I brought them inside to discover they were from her, & I instantly cried. Words simply cannot express how much that meant to me. I never once had flowers delivered to me like that & always wish that would happen to me. Community from afar.

      My best friend Soleil – I believe the same day – brought over a little bouquet of flowers in a mason jar for me – surprised me with them, which meant the world as well. Community near.

      But the majority of what I received from friends near, within the community I grew up in – from family – was judgment, lack of support, lack of encouragement. & instead the complete opposite. Someone who was already self-doubting herself, questioning her worth & value, wondering if she actually deserved to be left – the constant judgment & mistreatment I received from a “community” that I had grown up in – was shocking. & the events that took place shortly after Matthew left – my grandmother suddenly passing away from a heart attack right before Christmas, my mom coming back into my life from being absent over the past 16 years mentally & physically, from having to transition jobs because of poor treatment, lack of support & understanding of my situation – being forced to work two jobs that I found myself discontent in, from getting one of the worst cases of strep-throat that knocked me down for almost 2 weeks & receiving some of the worst messages via social media & snail mail, filled with judgment & condemnation – while I was trying to recover from strep-throat – all within 4 months

      a l o n e – I dealt with everything a l o n e

      I became so depressed. Because I long for genuine connections, genuine community.

      Beginning of summer 2016, I began to frequent this little district known as The Oregon District with a couple new friends I had recently made & my best friend. You would find me pretty much every weekend – every Friday & Saturday night – drinking. A lot. Which don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of local craft beers & supporting local breweries. I also love gin – but never once did I imagine myself as the girl who goes out drinking every weekend & gets home around 3-4am – intoxicated.

      I actually love The Oregon District – so many great local businesses & home to one of my favorite breweries, along with one of my favorite restaurants – the beautiful & historic brick road that divides both sides of the district. But the more I think about it & have time to process everything – the more I realize that that scene? Isn’t for me – it never was me. & yes, I do have great memories & have met some great people. But was there ever a moment when I made a genuine connection with someone who actively wanted to genuinely be my friend outside the district?

      No.

      Well, maybe one – but we aren’t going to get into that story anytime soon.

      The many times I was with my friends (now a divided group) that I felt so incredibly alone to the point of tears, but no one knew – because I’m good at masking. I’m good at building walls & guarding my heart (but when it comes to dating…) I even gave dating a chance back in Ohio thinking positively “Maybe I was suppose to be brought back here for a reason!” That was such an utter fail, a disaster. My heart broke so many fucking times – never again.

      I got to the point where I was so emotionally & mentally depressed – that I knew I had to do something. So my move to Spokane was so abrupt & decided. I had my emotional moments of moving out of Ohio. There was someone of interest that developed suddenly. I found out Matthew was moving back to Spokane as well. My mom mentioned she was having major heart issues, health wise. & my grandpa’s health kept rapidly declining. But when I addressed each situation accordingly – all doors shut abruptly, community down once again – & I began to realize that Dayton – was not the community I needed to be in to  heal from everything that had taken place when I originally moved back.

      Dayton was not the community I needed to heal & gain support. Dayton simply? Was not my community because I never once felt apart of the community – from continual judgment & mistreatment, from being taken advantage of, from being pushed aside & walked over, used, & so forth – I knew exactly what I needed.

      Moving to Spokane – where everything first began with Matthew – when things were actually good, genuine, personal. The moment I moved back – the community has been nothing but continual support & encouragement. I had an old coworker who once told me when I moved back, “You know, if you were still here when Matthew had decided to up & leave, you know we would have taken care of you. You know that right?”

      & every day – I am constantly reminded about my community here, their continual support, encouragement, love – sincere & genuine connections.

      Dayton simply – is not & was not the community I needed. To move forward to new beginnings. To heal & process the past couple years. I wish it could have been, being my hometown, where I was raised & grew up.

      But unfortunately?

      It’s not. It wasn’t. It never will be.

      & that’s ok. I’m ok with it 💛

      Until next time.

      Divorce · Emotions · Healing · Hope · July · Marriage · Memories · Sunflower · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized

      Story #10 – Slow to S P E A K

      “Before you say something, think how you’d feel if someone said it to you.” – anonymous-

      “If the words you spoke appeared on your skin would you still be b e a u t i f u l?” -anonymous-

      93D5FF02-F738-4915-A4A8-F0D3BCC08201

      One of my biggest frustrations since Matthew left – the constant down talk about how “I could have done better.” How he was plain stupid, not well-liked, etc. Why on earth, do you even get the slightest thought, that it’s ok to speak to me like that? Or to anyone?

      Very recently, I had a moment where it happened. In great company too. And one of my dear friends, who knew him before he snapped & changed, recognized the severity of the rudeness, but I held it together & let this gal speak. Her talking – minutes felt like hours. But yet – I bit my tongue & remained calmed. I let her speak her mind. I sat there, listened, took the brutal talk, brutal words, & listened. Agreeing with her. Because I didn’t want to get involved in an argument, from having a great evening with dear friends – my community. I wasn’t going to allow her painful words – affect & hurt me. But – I can’t seem to shake it.

      I’ve been battling with negative thoughts since – was I stupid? Naive? Could I have done better? What is wrong with me to receive such poor treatment? Constantly? Harsh & judgmental words? How suddenly quick she was to speak as well. I sat there in shock, hurt, fighting back tears. I felt so belittled, incredibly stupid. Incredibly low. And I have been since. A thought I haven’t really thought about it.

      Ever since Matthew left, I’ve had more people come forward to vocally voice their opinion on how they viewed him, how they disliked him, wandered why I was with him, why I – didn’t leave him. You know by whom? By those who only met & knew him – after things drastically changed between us. After something snapped. Because those people? Didn’t know him before he changed – they didn’t see the caring, gentle, & sweet spirit he was – the little things he use to do for me, like place bouquets of sunflowers on the dashboard of my car – while I was at work. The several times he brought me coffee also while at work, that one time he surprised me with tickets to my favorite band – mewithoutYou – twice! The several times he cooked me dinner, brought me breakfast in bed, told me how beautiful I was, how he really loved me unconditionally – and those who knew him before he changed suddenly – saw his love for me, & his sweet spirit, caring self. He was well-liked by others. My dad & him grew a close friendship tremendously – he even took my dad out to breakfast to ask for my hand in marriage. He was good – really good.

      I grieved over what was gone – his old self, the self I missed dearly – sometimes I still do. And for someone who has no clue what the past two years of my life have been like, the last few years with Matthew & what I dealt with when he snapped suddenly – to speak such harsh & hurtful words. “I thought he was stupid & I always wondered why the fuck you were with him. You could have done better. And then he really fucked up when he left you.” Well no fucking shit – he really fucked up & I hope & I assume that he realizes it. But even during the worst times with him – I remained hopeful, because I knew what he was capable of – because I experienced it, & so did everyone else.

      I ran into my roommate from college at work a few days ago – first time seeing her in exactly 6 years – literally. One of those moments where you both lean back, looking at each other, realizing you recognize one other – “Marcie?!” “Shannon?!” Shannon was my last roommate before I got married, & by far my favorite. We lived in a house together with 3 other girls, & then it was just us 2 until we both went on our separate ways, both engaged – she now has two adorable little boys, with her husband. And me? Alone. The look on her face when I told her, sudden heartbreak, sadness. “But Marcie! He loved you so much!” I know he did – but shortly after her & I parted ways? He didn’t – suddenly. Sadness. Pain. Devastation. She was experiencing those emotions for me – because she saw, & she knew – What Matthew was like before he – changed suddenly.

      I just want to encourage everyone – please, please THINK before you utter any words. You have absolutely no idea what the past 7 years of my life were like. You have not walked in my shoes. You have not experienced what I experienced & went through. To the next person that speaks to me in such a way – I will call you out on it. Right there. To your face. Because that type of treatment needs to be stopped – immediately.

      This week has already been rather emotional, full of self-reflecting, thinking, process, continual healing – & that conversation? Was the icing on the cake from everything else this week – & it’s only Thursday.

      I’m emotionally drained – when will I stop feeling this way? When will I stop crying? When will I find myself normal again? To not constantly be on the verge of tears? To not constantly randomly start crying? To not let my mind wander to the past? When will I feel like my normal self again? When will I be brought out of this – depression?

      & even though last weekend was a huge weekend in celebration toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future – continual healing finally taking place – I still have my moments, I still struggle, & I recognize it – & I am trying to figure out what to do – to help myself.

      I’m just being real. Raw. Honest. Authentic. Me – thoughts, process, healing – until next time.

      14F1818F-961C-40DE-BCEE-51D8A0CB0C8D“You should step into my shoes and walk a mile. Then maybe you’ll see how hard it is to hold back tears and fake smiles.” -anonymous-

      Anniversary · Divorce · Emotions · Friendship · Healing · Hope · July · Lavender · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Sage · Triggers · Uncategorized · Wedding

      Story #9 – 7.9.11

      “At last – my love has come along. My lonely days are over. And life is like a song.”

      “You smiled, you smiled. Oh and then the spell was cast. And here we are in heaven. for you are mine. At last…” -Etta James- (song we had played while we kissed at the alter)

      6 years ago T O D A Y – 7.9.11 – a life long commitment that was made in front of family & friends, vows that were made, the hustle & bustle beforehand to prepare for this moment of my life, the excitement leading up to it, the pamper of myself, the magical moment where I became a bride, ready to unite with her groom, someone who I thought loved & cherished me unconditionally. The beauty of community surrounding us in support, the merging of two families from across the country. The love & promise between husband & wife.

      Today would have marked 6 years of marriage with whom I thought was my best friend, my life partner, my soul mate, my companion. Today marks first wedding anniversary – divorced, single, alone. I remember this day last year – I turned in our dissolution papers to the post office one last time. And when I arrived, standing in front of the gal, I realized what day it was, the oddness of turning those papers in one last time, that shortly led to the court date to finalize my divorce – a month later. I never imagined myself in this position. I had made a promise after all – quitting was not an option. Leaving, abandonment – was not an option. But it was to him. And I couldn’t change that. All the handwork I put into our marriage, because I cared & loved him unconditionally, but didn’t receive it back. Nothing matter.

      I remember our wedding day very clearly – in a little old chapel located on my high school campus (I know, weird right?! But an orphanage built in the early 1800s? Lots of great old historic buildings), sunflowers as my main flower (obviously), an ivory colored wedding dress, my closets friends by my side, my best friend, Soleil, as my maid-of-honor & my sister right next to her, my family & his. I wanted to get married back in Dayton OH, primarily because I wanted to give my mom the opportunity to attend – but she didn’t. In her state of mind, I had a feeling she wasn’t going to be there, but I had hope, & wanted to give her that chance.

      It was incredibly humid, no air-conditioning in the chapel. Matthew was so nervous, he consumed an entire container of altoids! I was so sweaty, I asked for a fan to be put directly underneath me, the cold breeze shooting up my dress (LOL), my relatively small heals were killing my feet – so I kicked them off & walked down the isle with my dad holding me lose -shoeless, peaks of the blue polish on my toes showing. But time stood still – a beautiful moment that I had dreamed of & prayed for, was coming true. Who knew, that everything would come crashing down & abruptly end a few years later? Because he simply didn’t want to be with me anymore? Because he decided to stop pursuing his faith that now has me questioning mine, because of what happened & all the incredible amounts of judgement I received from Christians, when it wasn’t even my fault in the first place? Everything – suddenly changed, the future erased, the path became unknown & unsteady, rocky, shaky. Alone. Afraid. Heartbroken. Emotionally & mentally destroyed.

      As today was approaching, & after finding out Matthew was back in Spokane – I began to worry, get down on myself, sad. How was I going to face today? What was I going to do to turn this day into a positive one full of new memories, new beginnings?

      I took the day off work. I was determined to make new memories, toward new beginnings for myself. I didn’t want to dread this day today & in the future, but to look back & remember the good memories I made.

      It started out with coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops, Vessel Roasters. I met with a new sweet friend, what a beautiful spirit she is! Her husband is a local musician, & such a talented one! And I met her at work, last month, when I was doing a carry-out for her & her adorable baby girl. We got talking & I put the connection together. We grabbed coffee this morning, & what a sweet blessing it was. I began talking about my divorce & everything. And after the conversation, I remembered thinking to myself “I wasn’t sad when I talked about it.” A new friendship blossomed.

      I drove & met with my friend Rashel, who I went to Moody Bible Institute with. Her friendship has been a huge encouragement to me. We always have some of the greatest conversations & times together. There was a U-Pick lavender festival that I wanted to check out & she wanted to go with me! We each brought some snacks, water, and a pair of socks (admission to the festival as a donation for a local organization). We picked bundles of lavender, while being serenaded by a harpist, laughing & taking photos. After we finished, we drove up to Green Bluff (all these local farms where you can pick produce) & went to a brewery & enjoyed a lavender IPA that was fantastic, followed by cherry picking. After we got back into town, I met up with another sweet long-time friend, Emily. What an incredible blessing she is & has been to me. “This is your night! I’m just here for ya, along for the ride.” Drove & picked her up, went & purchased a small bundle of sage, went out to eat at one of my favorite places – Ruins. Up the street in The Garland District that’s become a favorite place of mine to one of my favorite bars for drinks, Bon Bon. Sat, ate popcorn, had a couple drinks, knit/crocheted, all the laughter. Spontaneous sunset photo shoot in my neighborhood, & back to my apartment where we had a sage burning ceremony – cleansing all negative energy out of us. Outside, in the cool summer breeze, as the sun was setting. The smell of sweet sage, burning, cleansing my soul, my spirit – healing – toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future. And as Emily was covering me in sage – I thought to myself “I rid what this day use to mark, & start fresh, toward new beginnings for myself.” And after we finished, I felt free.

      The community here in Spokane – has been overwhelmingly incredible. The support, the encouragement, the genuine connections, the healing. Something I struggled with constantly back in Dayton when I was there over the past two years – my hometown. A time in my life where I really needed the support from community, but instead – received nothing. For the first several months of Matthew gone & I was struggling making ends meet for myself, I was alone, & dealt with nothing but negative energy, judgement, shame. All from a situation that I had no control over, that wasn’t from the root of my own personal problem, but his. I tried fitting into a “community” that was made apparent that I didn’t belong. I stopped caring for myself, out every weekend getting intoxicated, desperately wanted to fit in, to not feel alone, but in reality? I still felt incredibly alone. Yes, I made some new friends along the way, toward the very end of my time in Dayton, that I am incredibly thankful for – for I believe they helped bring me out of a dark & depressing time of my life. But over all? I was struggling. I was in a funk, a pattern of constantly being stuck, depressed. On repeat. And my abrupt decision to move back to Spokane, where it all started with Matthew, determined to make new memories in Spokane, a city I always had a love-hate relationship with – I knew it was time. To move back to a community I knew would have been there for me, to help me through my time of depression, my divorce. And the moment I returned – nothing by reassurance of that very fact – and today, proved it tremendously.

      B5474988-C6B7-4294-BB86-13163E911E3E

      My sweet friend Rashel – so incredibly thankful for her & her friendship over the past several years!

      Vessel Roasters w/ new sweet friend Nina – Big Barn Brewery & Cherry picking w/ Rashel!

      IMG_3742

      IMG_3686

      So incredibly thank for Emily & her sweet friendship, her encouragement, & her badass self – strong & independent.

      7.9.11 to 7.9.16 – complete healing – toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future – toward self-rediscovery, to being strong, independent, uniquely beautiful, to finding purpose in life & seeking new opportunities – to finally being free from pain, heart-ache, trauma – to complete healing.

      Thank you to all who reached out to me today – & to Nina, Rashel, & Emily especially.

      Until Next Time.

      Basset-Hound · Divorce · Emotions · Marriage · Memories · Patrick-Hound · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized

      Story #7 – An Ode – To Patrick Hound

      Oh Patrick Hound – your frito smelling self – them droopy eyes & them built-n-napkins (aka your ears). Tomorrow is your 13th Birthday. I hope you are still enjoying life & causing a whole lot of ruckus because damn – you certainly did when I had you. But you know what? It was worth it.

      5 years ago, Patrick Hound – my beloved basset-hound, came into my life. My ex-husband & I adopted him together. I grew up with basset-hounds, & recently before adopting Patrick, my best friend of 13 & 1/2 years had past away, suddenly (Maimie, my basset-hound back home in Ohio). She was the dog that could sense something was wrong & keep you company when you were down. She helped me get through a lot growing up when everything was happening with my mom. I clung to her constantly, & the last time I saw here, was the night before my wedding.

      Matthew & I had talked about wanting to adopt a dog, & no doubt, I wanted a basset-hound. Surprisingly, we came across Patrick on Craigslist – he looked identical to Maimie. The owners said he was roughly 6, but it turned out – he was turning 9. Patrick had been bounced around a lot – from home to home, to the basset rescue, back to home to home. I wanted to give him a forever home. The high anxiety he had, I believe came from having so many unstable environments, abandonment. We ended up adopting another dog to help with his anxiety, & that’s when my cocker spaniel Lacey came into the picture – one year later.

      Patrick’s anxiety went down tremendously. They became the best of friends. But Patrick still got into so much trouble – the times he would pull bags of produce off the counter top & consume the entire thing (minus the bag itself), the time he managed to open the refrigerator door & consume in 1 sitting a whole pizza, a package of hot dogs, a package of corn tortillas, & a package of deli lunch meat, the times he pulled the cast iron skillets off the stove top & licked them clean, the times he would eat my jalapeño peppers right off the plant, the times he jumped on my end table & snuck onto the bed at night – pushing me to the bottom of the bed while he took over my pillow, the time he broke my waffle maker (RIP waffle maker), the time he managed to open the oven door where I store Matthew’s birthday cake & he consumed the entire thing (no, the oven wasn’t on), or the times I would catch him literally standing – on top of the kitchen table. Patrick got into the worst trouble constantly, but he was the sweetest companion who reminded me so much of Maimie – it felt like I had her all over again.

      Shortly after Matthew left, Patrick’s anxiety sky-rocketed. He was constantly peeing in my apartment, constantly getting into even more trouble, & just constantly down – a change took place – abandonment, a change in the home environment. Patrick felt the abandonment – just like me.

      When Matthew asked if he could have him, I was heartbroken all over again. I didn’t want to give him up, but I knew Matthew & Patrick were extremely close – I knew Patrick would be happier. So I agreed. We decided to meet in St. Louis to pass him off. The road trip there was nerve-wrecking. I was about to see Matthew for the first time since he left, & I was about to give him Patrick – & never see him again. Patrick was such a great companion in the car. He stretched out in the back seat & slept the entire time. Or he would just look out the window. I stopped to take a break, & hid my snacks in the middle console – low & behold, he managed to open it & consume my entire unopened bags of my favorite trail mix & turkey jerky. Surprise, surprise. That’s the last time that sucker stole my food 🙂

      & when time came to pass him along to Matthew, my heart broke yet all over again. Crying, kissing his sweet snout, & smelling his frito-self – one last time.

      & the car ride back home? Incredibly lonely. Devastating. It felt like I lost both of my beloved basset-hounds – Maimie, my best friend who I clung to during some of the darkest moments of my childhood, & Patrick – who looked identical to Maimie & acted just like her, who also was my best friend & I also clung to during some of the darkest moments of my marriage.

      Happy 13th Birthday big bad – you are severely missed – always.

      So much change – in such a short period of time – process – it’s still difficult.

      IMG_2707

      When we first adopted Patrick – took him to a park to roam around – instant connection.

      IMG_1847

      IMG_2698

      Patrick & Lacey did everything together – they were always adventuring!

      IMG_2483-2

      When we first moved back to Ohio – we moved right before winter, slept on an air mattress for quite sometime, & Patrick was always super snuggly & kept me warm.

      IMG_1273

      Camping Trip for my birthday – September 2015 at Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio – our last little family trip together – forever.

      IMG_4830

      October 2015 – this little family hike was the last one. This hike held the most heartbreaking conversation with Matthew, & a few days later he announced he was leaving. This picture I absolutely love though – Patrick always loved adventuring & sniffing the surroundings around him.

      IMG_6130

      March 2016 – on our way to St Louis – after he consumed my snacks LOL

      IMG_6148

      This was our last walk together. We walked around a park in St Louis while we waited on Matthew. What a beautiful day it was to go for a walk – one last time.

      & this picture down below- is the last picture I have of Patrick. Matthew sent this to me shortly after we parted ways – I cried all the way home afterward – alone.

      Even though Patrick is a dog – he became a part of me, of our little family then. He was one of many firsts together, & he was a constant reminder of Maimie – my childhood best friend. A constant reminder.

      Healing – processing – memories – to new beginnings.

      Until next time.

       

      IMG_6164

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Divorce · Emotions · Marriage · Memories · Sunflower · Tattoos · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized

      Story #6 – 7 Years Tragically Over

      “Love is a dress that you made, long to hide your knees, love to say this to your face, ‘I’ll love you only.’ for your days and excitement, what will you keep for to wear? Someday drawing you different, may I be weaved in your hair?

      Love and some verses you hear, say what you can’t say, love to say this in your ear, ‘I’ll love you that way.’ from your changing contentments, what will you choose for to share? Someday drawing you different, may I be weaved in your hair?”

      Lyrics from Iron & Wine  (Love and Some Verses) – a band I loved once, a song I loved once. What beautiful lyrics. What beautiful meaning. What beautiful sound. And now? A song I never want to hear again, a band I never want to hear again – triggers. Most painful.

      July 9th, 2017 would have marked what would have been my 6th wedding anniversary. Instead? It will be first anniversary of officially divorced. I didn’t realize last year I was mailing the dissolution papers in to the courts on what would have been my 5th wedding anniversary – & just a few short days later? A court date was delivered to finalize it officially. Over in 5 mins – the past 7 years of my life.

      I met my ex-husband, Matthew, second day of my freshman year of college (Moody Bible Institute). Moved across country for school, he moved up from California. We instantly clicked. Became friends. & 3 months after we met – we began our dating journey. A year & a half later – he proposed to me up on Green Bluff at my favorite orchard, where you can cut bouquets of fresh flowers. A year later – July 9th, 2011 – we got married. Felt connected, felt loved & cherished, we were walking the same path together, doing life together, loving each other unconditionally. But what most people don’t know – something changed once we got married.

      He quickly began to distant himself from me. I became that nagging wife no husband likes & I hated myself as well – just to get his attention or to get him to complete important tasks done that he kept putting off. I remember my last semester at Moody, I was working full time, taking 18 credits, involved in ministry at the church we were attending, preparing for graduation, preparing a move, preparing adopting a dog, kept our home clean & laundry & cooked – while he worked part-time while taking 3 credits, preparing for graduation – distancing himself even more. I remember feeling overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, alone, & greatly unappreciated. & that continual pattern kept happening. I began to lose myself & who I was, because I was so caught up in trying to work so hard & take care of all responsibilities since I was alone in them.

      As time went on, things worsened. The relationship, the marriage – became toxic. Emotional abuse was evident. Mental abuse as well. Even physical at times. I was already feeling unappreciated, & was hammered with reminders – constantly. The times he got on me about my weight, the times he would tell me the outfit I was wearing was not flattering to him & ask me to change, the several times he chose his friends over me, the times he constantly criticize me on every little thing – standing behind me as I was cooking him dinner telling me what to do differently – no encouragement, no reminders of how beautiful I was, no appreciation. I got in my head that I deserved nothing but the worse treatment, that I had no value, no worth, & I needed to be skinny – my battle with food began. No one knew what was going on. I was ashamed & afraid to say anything. I was alone with my thoughts – thoughts that tormented me for a couple years.

      6 months of marriage counseling didn’t help. & within the second session, our counselor asked me to share with Matthew my past with my mom (see back in Story #4 post) – which was the first time I  talked to him about it – period. I remember sitting on the opposite end of the couch from him, in silence, crying, speechless. Afraid. Afraid to speak. Afraid to relive those memories. Afraid to be so deeply vulnerable to someone who hadn’t earned my trust with the way he viewed & little-valued me, unappreciative of me. But I managed to slur out a few words, that formed into sentences, that opened my heart completely. I told him everything, sobbing the entire time – the most vulnerable I ever became with him – only to have it slapped across my face a little over a year later.

      Shortly after we decided to move back to where I’m originally from – Dayton OH. November 2014, right before Thanksgiving. We decided maybe a fresh start elsewhere would help. Plus there was a lot of family situations happening that I felt compelled to help with. But once we moved back to Dayton – the distancing worsened. The emotional abuse intensified, the mental abuse slapped harder, & self-mental abuse slapped even harder. I went into denial. Pretended everything was ok. Swept it all under a rug. Then one day – a day I will never in my life forget.

      October 16th, 2015 – not even a year later after we moved back to Dayton. A week after my sweet nephew was born. A week after Matthew & I got into a fight, a heated discussion about separating, that being the next step. I asked him to decide what to do next, told him how I was ok with separating & that we would make it work, but that I simply could not keep on playing emotional games with him.

      October 16th, 2015 – a Friday night – shortly after 10pm. Matthew returned home from work (Apple Inc.), & asked if we could talk. I will never forget those words that followed, “I applied for a work transfer tonight, to Boulder, Colorado. I’m hoping to move there in 3 weeks.” My response – utter shock, my heart dropped, my face pale white, instantly began sweating – “Ok… may I ask why?” His response – “I want a fresh start with my life, because I’m not happy being married to you anymore.” I instantly began to cry. Instantly. Heartbroken. Felt like my heart was completely ripped out of my chest & slapped across my face. Self-mental abuse struck harder, immediately shifting blame on myself. Everything I put up with for those 4 years of marriage – our entire marriage really – everything I did for him, all for nothing. I never felt so low in my life. I was devastated. Matthew left & stayed with friends. Came back 2 days later & said plane ticket was officially purchased & moved all his stuff out immediately, left me to live in an apartment we had together, where he told me that he was leaving me. Left me with two dogs to take care of & one dog having severe anxiety issues. Left me with all the bills, left me to fight for health insurance, left me to fight for hours at a job I felt unappreciated at & alone, no friends really. Left me to face judgement at home alone – which I received a lot of. I was alone – for months. No time for myself. No time for anything. No one reaching out to me, & was afraid to ask for help or for support, for company, afraid of being a burden. Two months after he left, my grandmother passed away suddenly from a heart-attack in her home – 2 weeks before Christmas. I lost another friend as well, my mom who had been absent from my life over the past 15 years was suddenly back in my life, I came down with a severe case of strep-throat that put me out of work for almost 2 weeks, I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. I quickly found a full-time job. I stayed in the apartment because I had no money to move out – I was stuck for a year & a half there – sitting on the couch his parents gave us, constantly reminded of that conversation back on October 16th, 2015 – “I want a fresh start with my life because I’m not happy being married to you anymore.”

      We argued back & forth how long to stay separated for at first. He asked for 6 months. I asked for 3 months. He asked for 6 months to a year with the thought of going ahead & filing – I asked to file. I was done being in denial. I was done putting up with the constant bullshit, I was ready for new beginnings. But what I didn’t know? He would drag it out as long as he could – almost an entire year. Months of sending papers back & forth, him shoving them aside, while living his life & already seeing someone exclusively – while I dealt with judgement, depression, stress, self-mental abuse – asking myself “Am I really that awful to be with? Is anyone ever going to be with me now that I have all this baggage? Anyone willing to be with someone broken? When it wasn’t even their fault? Or was it my fault? Did I deserve it?” He took one dog, I kept the other. I had to drive in March of 2016 to St. Louis to pass off our basset hound. What a lonely trip back that was. Heartbroken all over again.

      And everything became official before a judge on August 24th, 2016 – one month before my 27th birthday. Matthew had to fly back to Dayton for court. I hated every minute of it. I felt alone. We walk in (he tried to hold my hand). The judge tried pressuring me to take alimony from him, but I refused. “But he makes “$10,000 more than you do a year!” I simply do not care – I am done, I want no ties to him. It was stated on record he abandoned the marriage – that’s on file. Court lasted 5 minutes – 5 minutes that ended 7 years – 7 years with someone who you thought you were spending the rest of your life with, who you thought was your best friend, your lover, your life partner. Something clicked in him that caused him to change & become so discontent, so angry, so distant. What happened to the man I once knew & fell in love with? The good in him? The love he had for others? The caring & sweet heart? Gentle spirit? Passion? What happened?

      Many of you unfortunately were quick to judge. Quick to pressure me to make it work. Quick to tell me how to live my life, what to do next. Quick to throw the Bible on me & offer prayers up. Quick to judge. Quick to blame me. Because you know it was completely my fault that Matthew just blind-sided me. I just want to encourage you – before you say anything, before you send that Facebook message, that Christian Christmas card condemning to hell for divorcing – think.

      And ever since then – ever since August 24th 2016 – it’s been about new beginnings, a brighter future, new hope. A new me – self-discovery, self-rediscovery – picking up the broken pieces & mend something together – to create hope & encouragement to others. To become more vulnerable & open, more genuine & real. To realize my worth & value, realize my beauty. Realize what I have to offer, what I deserve. & to not be afraid to connect again with my future life-partner, that I do long for & know that in timing, he will come along.

      IMG_4883

      Woodland Cemetery – Dayton OH – while Matthew was packing all his belongings, I attempted to go to work only to have a huge breakdown & was sent home. Stopped by my favorite local coffee shop & headed to a favorite spot of mine to reflect & try to process everything that was happening. A beautiful fall afternoon it was.

      IMG_4999

      One Month of being alone – realizing that honestly? It was a blessing in disguise. Already began feeling renewed, refreshed, & hopeful.

      IMG_9328

      August 24th, 2016 – dissolution was finalized in court – in 5 minutes, 7 years of my life was suddenly over. I drove immediately to my favorite coffee shop to debrief & a couple friends joined for support – huge thank you to David & Stephanie – new friends I had made recently then – I believe they were brought into my life for a reason, for they helped bring me out of a dark & depressing time of my life.

      And today – June 4th, 2017 – a new me, a refreshed me, a renewed me. Living back to where everything began. To start a new life & to make new memories, because it’s about me now – & it’s about damn time.

      To NEW Beginnings

      Until Next Time