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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blessings in disguise - Unclogging my well

I've been pretty selective about the things I write in THIS blog, mostly because this is where many of my "critics" come to see what I've got to say "this time."

A part of me is sorry that people have come to view me that way, because that's not the person I am - but it's the person that I've become to a select few.

This used to bother me - about a year ago.

Today, I see it as a blessing in disguise.

Today, I am at perfect peace with every part of that situation.

Let me rewind a bit to seven years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 5 days ago - the day that my brother died.

That day ROCKED MY WORLD and changed every single part of me in ways that I can't even begin to explain - not for the better, I assure you.  The faith that I had become renewed in, was shaken.  The comfortable trust that I'd learned, had been shattered and the walls I'd once taken down were back up higher than ever.  On top of it all, my teenager was making life incredibly difficult for all of us and putting a huge strain on my marriage.  I was a shell of my former self.  I was a sad, nervous, emotional wreck.  I began to not care about the things I did, how I acted or how people viewed me.

Enter new friend.
Although I was never opposed to making new friends, I am not a "good in groups" kinda gal.  I never really traveled in one circle of friends.  All of my friends are from different circles, mostly knowing each other in passing - but not really hanging out with each other.  That was all OK with me.  This friend was extra kind to me.  She took me in as a friend, sheltered me and made me feel comfortable during a really difficult time in my life.  As our friendship grew, I began to trust and develop a closeness to her.  I continue to be grateful for that caring and concern at a time when I really needed it.  Through her I met other people and began to "hang out" in a group of friends.  I enjoyed this.  We all had a lot of fun together.  We were together more often than not as all of the children were all doing the same activities together.  It was nice.  Until it stopped being nice.  When it stopped being nice, it got very not nice.  It didn't start with this particular friend - but the loss of this friendship as a result another as well as the trickle down that occurred, hurt me.  The others walking away didn't bother me.  The thought that this friend, who I set apart from the rest, would so easily take things at face value, and forget our foundation hurt me.  She hurt me.  There was no truth that could be told.  Her mind was made up.  Even if she didn't say so.  That made me sad for a long time.  I learned that she was one of the 25% - someone who liked me, but could be persuaded not to.

If that other human is reading this it's fine if you want to gloat.
You opened my eyes and I am now at perfect peace with the entire situation.  Thank you.

I have no regrets. Only blessings.

This past Sunday, while switching channels I came upon Joel Olsteen.  I don't normally watch the television preachers, but if I do it would be Joel Olsteen or TD Jakes.  They have a way of speaking that catches me and holds my attention.

In this particular sermon, Joel Olsteen spoke of an "emotional well" that that God gives us all that is full of love, hope, happiness and goodness, and how we should protect this well.

He further went on to say that -
In our lives 25% of the people we are surrounded by don't like us and will never like us no matter what.  25% of the people don't like us, but can be persuaded to like us.  25% of the people like us but can be persuaded to not like us, and finally 25% of the people will like us unconditionally.
Knowing that, we should build a wall around our "well" to protect us from anyone (the 75%) looking to "throw rocks" into and clog our well from receiving the happiness and joy and goodness.

Every time someone throws a rock into our well, they are blocking us from the goodness and the happiness & the hope and the LOVE.  How true that is.

If it's too much work - if it's too hard - if you have to change yourself to fit into someone else's perfect little mold... It's not the relationship for you. Those who love you will love all of you for who you are.

This blog may seem as if it's a stone being thrown into another's well, but it's quite the opposite actually.  I have forgiven that situation and all involved in it.  I wish them peace.

The purpose of this blog was to help another, and I hope that I have.

I am INCREDIBLY thankful for my blessings in disguise.

My well is clear.  My wall of protection is UP.  I am thankful.  The only people allowed in my life are those who want to be here.  Those who like / love me without having to be convinced.

I will never let anyone clog my well again.

How about you?  What clogs your well?

Thank you for reading my blog!


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A wish for my brother the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day

Today would have been my brother's 46th birthday.

I know this very specifically.  Not just because he was my brother, but because he was 2 years, 11 months and 13 days younger than me :)

It was our joke - I wasn't 3 years older.  No, no, nooooo....
2 years, 11 months and 13 days
Get it right!  :)

My favorite picture of me  & my bro - Back in the day :)
Yeah, I know... he looks thrilled :)
Now he's immortally 38 years, 11 months & 13 day's old, and that matters.  (I just picked up on that numeric irony.)

It matters, because I've kept on aging.

It matters, because I'm still here and he's not.

It matters, because his birthday - today, September 9th, is the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.

It matters, because suicide is what took my brother from me.

It matters, because even though he and I weren't speaking at the time of his death - I will never, ever, ever have another opportunity to try to talk sense into his thick skull.  I will never have another argument with him. We will never cave in and forgive each other - then laugh like idiots and hug it out.

It matters, because the relationship we once had is gone forever.

It matters, because my girls will never remember their Uncle Eric.

It matters because my son's Godfather didn't get to see him graduate boot camp or continue in the Navy, or whatever the next important mark in his life will be.

It matters.

It may not seem like it should matter to you, but it all matters.  It should matter.

To me it matters most of all, because HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO!

It matters, because he suffered in silence.

It matters, because all of us are left behind to wonder why.  Why now? We never knew what was going on in his head.  He didn't show any signs (this time) that anyone picked up on.  It's probably why he never took my calls.  He knew I'd know.  He knew that I'd see through his bull shit and call him out.  He knew I'd step in, step up and find a way to help him, but he just couldn't handle it anymore.

It matters, because my brother - and every other person suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts - just wanted the pain to stop.

His pain stopped.
...And then it passed on to the rest of us left behind.

Some may say I didn't care, because I was tough on him.  Yes, I was very tough on him.  He needed me to be. Sometimes he thanked me for being so tough on him.  It got him through our childhood, through the Navy and through some really difficult situations I won't discuss in this blog.

He was my brother.  He was the person who I plotted with when we were younger, the one who beat me in tickle fights and made me laugh until chocolate milk came out my nose.  He was smart and cute and funny.  He had a heart of gold. He's the one, that although struggling with depression - made it through 3 previous attempts at taking his own life and continued on to become a functioning adult, until that day.

He was my brother, and I loved him.

In my heart I always knew my brother loved & missed me.  Sometimes it's hard to say - "I'm sorry.  I was wrong."  Even if the other person says it first.

Tomorrow, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Don't be a statistic - Suicide Victim or Suicide Survivor.

Educate yourself.  Know the signs.  Help save a life!

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
S.A.V.E. Suicide & Depression Voices of Education:

If you are someone who is struggling - It's OK to have a bad day.
It's NOT OK to have several bad days that turn into weeks, months, years. Please reach out!

In my heart, I believe that as much pain as my brother had and as much as he wanted it to stop - I don't believe he thought he'd really pull it off.
...and now it's too late.

It IS OK to reach out for help.  The taboos of the past are behind you.
Your friends, family - whom ever... Trust me, they would rather hear you say "HELP ME, PLEASE", than pick out your casket.

Of this, I'm sure.

Someone DOES love you.  Someone WILL miss you.  
Reach out...Someone WILL grab your hand.
...Even if it's a total stranger.

Life is good.  Every single second.  No one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.

Love you all!



In loving memory of my brother, Eric, on what would have been his 46th birthday.

I will always love you, Eric.  Gone, but forever in my heart!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Bitch Biting, Back Stabbing Biotches...

Wow, that got your attention, didn't it???

Ohhhh I can almost hear the clickity click clacks of the keyboard now...

If you got all uptight and paranoid from the title of my blog, you don't belong here.

I've never been one to deny my "reality show" addiction.  The Real Housewives shows... my dirty little pleasure.  Almost all of them.  OC, NJ, Beverly Hills - Love them!

I watch for the mindless entertainment factor. The twisted "reality" that is edited and spun to create the dramatic scenes you get to watch. The things that people, like me, get all sucked in to - sort of like soap operas.

Mostly pretend, with a twist of "reality" spun in and the topics they intentionally or unintentionally convey.

Much of the time, the topics hit home - just like entertainment should be - thought provoking.

I was watching one of my Real Housewives addictions the other night and the rest of it this morning. There's always someone starting some sort of trouble with the other ones and, of course these episodes were no exception. One of the women, Lizzy, was stirring the trouble pot.  Somehow, this ONE woman managed to speak so much crap to the other women, that 3 of the 4 other women jumped right onto her bandwagon of drama and anger against this ONE other woman, Tamra, who pretty much didn't do anything.  No - she's no saint - but she didn't deserve the crucifixion she received either...

This is Lizzy

Were the things that Lizzy was saying actually things that were said by Tamra?

Well, yes... sort of.
There were definitely (many) word twists, intentionally blurred time lines, statements were delivered out of context then re-stated in a way to make the others upset, angry and hurt by the things Tamra had allegedly "said".

It was actually amazing to watch this ONE woman drop small pieces of truth, but not the entire story - just enough to get everyone's hackles up - but no enough for the REAL story to be told.

All because Tamra didn't go to her birthday party.  Can I get an eye roll here??

Stirring up that trouble pot good and hard.

I wanted to jump into TV Land and say "Hey, Hey....  Ummmm, I've been watching and that's NOT at ALL how it at went down."

Of course I can't do that, but I can be shocked and amazed that ONE person could be so manipulative and believe her own bullshit to such a degree that the others to believed her too.  Bravo.  (Get the pun there?  lol)

I felt sorry that Tamra was being "taken down" by Lizzy.  (Get that pun too??  If you watch RHOC you'll get it)

To a degree I related to how Tamra must have felt.
If someone is your really good friend, and someone else tells them something negative you supposedly said or did - you'd expect that friend to know better and if they didn't know better, you'd expect them to come to you to discuss it.  You wouldn't expect friendship ending decisions, when you never even did anything to the friend that's turned their back on you.

It was sad to watch.

Of the 4 woman spoken to in this episode, only ONE friend, Heather, came to Tamra with an open mind to discuss the situation.  Only ONE of the women knew better and trusted in her friendship.

THAT is what friends are supposed to do.

ONE friend trusted in her friendship.

The others were content to feed on the anger and drama.

It amazes me how many woman are more content to jump on the drama and anger band wagon than actually work out a friendship that's supposed to be important to them.  It seems they'd rather get sucked into, and believe, the nonsense rather than come to you with an open mind to save the friendship.  That's not friendship.

If someone is your true friend - the friendship comes first.  Not the drama.

I think that's why the Real Housewives issue hit so close to home.  I could watch it playing out on a TV screen and think WOW - that's how it works.

I feel extremely fortunate to no longer have this kind of silliness in my life.  I'm confident that the friendships that I maintain in my life, at this stage of the game, are genuine. Anyone who's wanted to continue a friendship with me still has one.  Those are the friendships that will always matter.

Yeah, I still feel pretty sorry for Tamra on RHOC.

But again, that's what TV drama is all about... the good story.

I'm sure they'll work it out by next season.

Thank you for reading my blog!!


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