I have finally hit 50 followers! I just wanted to dedicate this to all of you awesome readers that follow my journey, read my story, and leave your comments.
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I’d be getting into. I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I knew exactly what my platform was going to be. Writing has always been a great outlet for me, and it’s something I love to do!
I started to write a book back when I was in high school, but kind of just let it go to the way side. I’ve decided I wanted to get back into creative writing and work on publishing chapters of a new book! I already published a prologue for it, if you are interested in reading it I have left the link at the bottom of this article. I think it will be a fun journey and a great way to challenge myself while also pursuing a long-standing dream of mine.
Anyway, THANK YOU for your follow, your friendship, and your support! 50 followers may not sound like much, but this blog has turned into way more than I ever could have dreamed!
I have always been a mildly jealous person. Not that I am in a rage when I see someone with something I don’t have myself, but I am the type of person to let little things hurt me.
And the one thing that probably makes me the most jealous and hurt is when I see others rave about how much they love that their mom is their best friend.
You say you love your mom, but I can’t relate.
I have had a lot of outreach from my blog’s readers. I often hear how others have really connected to what I write about my mom, so I wanted to write one for them- For those that feel the same hurt that I do. For those that have had their own pain and find it comforting to know that they are not alone. For those that relate to this title before even reading the article… This one is in honor of you. (Thank you for reaching out to me, telling me your own stories, and sending love. I hope that never stops!)
I was 7 years old when I was taken from my mom by DCFS, and I actually do have a lot of great memories of my mom from before then. Maybe I exaggerate how awesome those memories really are, simply because I have yearned for more time with her ever since I could understand what even happened. I remember her tickling me while snuggled up on the couch. I remember how good her pepper gravy tasted. I remember how beautiful she was as I looked down on her from the top bunk of our bunkbed.
There were times I would lay with my face in my pillow crying, just so my sisters wouldn’t hear me. I never googled my name because the one time I did I was terrified to see a nasty methed-out mugshot of my mom. I was mailing letters to my mom while she was in prison, whereas some of my friends didn’t even know how to address a letter or buy a stamp. I changed the TV channel every time I saw a CrimeStoppers commercial come on, just in case her picture would pop up under the WANTED list. These are things that I’m sure the average kid doesn’t have to deal with, but they shaped me into the girl that grew up angry and jealous of everyone else that brags on how awesome their mom was. You may love your mom, but my mom has hurt me more than any person on this earth. I do not feel sorry for how blunt I can be about the pain that she has caused. I do not feel like I have to sugarcoat the emotional and mental hurt that she has brought to my life. So when you say you love your mom, I can’t relate.
You may think, “… But she’s your family, you should love your family no matter what!” Here’s what I have to say to that: Would someone that truly loved you do that to you? No, seriously. Yeah, I get that family is important. My family is truly one of my highest priorities, but someone that can cause you that much heartache is not family. She could look me dead in my eye, tell me she was done with the drugs, then walk down the street to a buddy’s house for a hit after I drove away. So when you say you love your mom, I can’t relate.
I remember one of my high school best friends would bring a perfectly folded and packed suitcase with her to every basketball tournament. To this day, I still remember standing there watching as she opened it up and took the beautifully arranged items out. Something as simple as that made me wish that I had my mom do that for me. There are so many small things moms do that get overlooked, but there are people like me that notice every single one of them. To those of you that have that amazing relationship with your mom, I hope this post makes you realize your love for her even more. I hope this gives you the urge to go hug her and thank her for nurturing and loving you the way a real mother should. You are living a life so many others can only dream of. Never waste a moment to tell her how much she means to you!
Whether we want to believe it or not, love can make us give up bits and pieces of who we are and give them to the person whom we love.
Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not.
You see, I’m the type of person to completely give myself away to the person that has captured my heart. A guaranteed ten times out of ten, I will put my lover’s needs, interests, and wants ahead of my own. That may be my biggest character flaw. I am so willing to go above and beyond for someone as an attempt to show them that I care. However, not everyone gives themselves away so freely. Others are much more rough, like rocks hanging onto a cliff as the wind blows against them. The wind can blow and blow, and some of those rocks will never release themselves to the ground below.
Sometimes the “ground” is scary. We don’t know what is going to happen once we let ourselves go. How far is the drop? How bad will it hurt?
I’ve always been quick to let myself fall. I see love as something you make; something you work at rather than coast through. When you coast, sometimes you forget the things that are really important and disregard how your actions are affecting those around you. I don’t believe love stays once you’re in it. I think it takes continuous reflection and change. I don’t think once you fall in love that you will always be in love, unless you are willing to give bits and pieces of yourself away.
I know itsoundsscary, but I see it differently.
Of course, trusting someone with the depths of your heart is frightening.
However, I have had the love that has shown me that it is not always that way.
I have had the love that makes me yearn for morning light so that he will awaken and we can start a new adventure. I have had the love where he knows the instant something is going to break my heart. I have had the love that not only fulfills me, but also betters me. I have had the love that makes complete silence not so lonely.
None of that amazing, lightning-fueled love would be possible without giving parts of myself away.
I’m not saying giving yourself away is all roses and butterflies, either.
I have had the love that makes me want to bury my face into a pillow and scream for hours straight. I have had the love that makes me lose all motivation to do anything with anyone. I have also had the love that leaves a horrible pain in my chest; so bad I can barely breathe.
None of that hurt makes me believe it all wasn’t worth it.
Yes, it’s hard to love. It’s hard to trust. It’s hard to rely on the hope that love will never end.
Sometimes love does end…
But if you love hard enough, sometimes it’s all worth it.
I think back on some of my happiest days. I see tents and bonfires and football games and roadtrips and lakes and sunsets. The list goes on and on…
I have had someincrediblememories due to the fact that I jumped on the horse and let myself love HARD. I’m not saying that everyone deserves a chance at your heart. All I’m saying is thatyoudeserve, YOU DESERVE, a chance to find crazy, beautiful love. Don’t let the idea of giving yourself to the wrong person take that chance away from you.
You deserve love where your partner completes you. I can think of so many instances where he was just better than me. I could be doing something as simple as cleaning out the fridge. He would come in and ask to do it instead, leaving me to wonder what I could have possibly been doing wrong while rearranging the fridge. And sure enough, there he was doing it just…better.For everything I couldn’t do, he was just better. And that completed me!
It’s strange that I think of rearranging a fridge as a monument of great love, but I do. Because even simple things like that bring a smile to my face as I reflect on the incredible love that I have experienced. I hope you are willing to give yourself away to someone that is better at rearranging the fridge than you are. Because you deserve the love that makes you appreciate a simple life😊
The only goal I have in writing such a deeply personal story is to spread awareness and share my story with others. Many times growing up I felt as though I was the only little girl with a mother in prison. Growing up, I found that like me, many other children were dealing with the same circumstances.
In fact, 1 out of every 28 children grows up with an incarcerated parent (Pew Research Center).
There are a few things we should acknowledge when reading that statistic.
Our parents’ actions do not determine our worth or capability of success. Looking back now, had the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services not intervened, who knows the person I would have become or what I would be doing. I can guarantee I would not be sitting in front of this computer sharing this with all of you. In any situation, whether it involve drug addiction or not, children can find themselves unhappy with who they are simply because of the opinions and interpretations of how other people view their parents. You do not have to lower your own standards because of what you think other people think about your family. It’s your decision and your decision only on who you want to become, the values you uphold, and the people you associate yourself with. Don’t like your alcoholic father? Don’t be one. Don’t like your addicted mother? Don’t be one. Use your experiences to be the person that you always wished you had.
There are a lot of families that are affected by drug addiction. We have to end our preconceived opinions about addiction. Not everyone’s background or home life allowed them the easy choice of avoiding illicit drugs, and if you’ve never seen them used, this probably doesn’t apply to you. Imagine growing up in a home where you see drug use happening everyday as if it is a daily occurrence. People are much more likely to engage in that lifestyle when that’s all they know. I’m not making excuses for addicts, I’m simply stating that we don’t know every addicts’ story. There are far too many people impacted by addiction for us to disregard the reasons as to how the addiction started and why it has not been fixed. I could have had a childhood with my mom had she gotten the help she needed. Now I understand that’s a pretty bold statement, considering that she could have been offered help, and just chose not to accept it. It is a two-way street. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Nonetheless, shouldn’t we at least try?
It would be ungrateful of me to leave out the special people that molded me into the person that I am today. I grew up in a family of nine, which included my aunt, uncle, their five children, my sister, and me. Every family has their share of ups and downs, but overall I like to believe that I was raised in a household of love, support, and good values.
Although my sister and I were not with the parents that gave birth to us, our aunt, great-grandma, and uncle did an outstanding job of taking us in and treating us with the same standards, commitment, and belonging as they did with their own children. Aunt Jodey and Uncle Sam, I am forever grateful for the home you always welcome us into and the belief you always showed in me. My aunt was always the one to advise me, help me go dress shopping, and get me ready for big events like proms and interviews. You got me in my first pair of heels and taught me what a polite young lady looks like. My uncle was my best friend, so-to-speak. We played catch out in the yard and watched football every Sunday. You introduced me to my love of sports and most importantly, set the example for what a father should be when mine walked out. Most people in our small town know my grandma as the woman that wears the big hats and drove the station wagon. I see her as much more. Grandma Elizabeth, you taught me so many lessons that I can’t even begin to explain. You wrote me letters nearly every single day I was away at basic training, and you always made sure Gabby and I had everything we needed. You are absolutely, without a doubt, the wisest person I know. Without the three of you, I would not be the person I am today and I believe that my world is a much better place with you in it.
I have never thought of my five cousins as anything other than my siblings. I’ve always considered every one of them as my sister and brother. You guys were never reluctant to share your life with two people that had a different story. None of you ever pressured me about my mother and all of you were always ready to listen to my frustrations, talk me out of my anger, and console me when I was upset. Rabecca, Victoria, Andrea, Samantha, and Joseph: I love you guys with my entire heart and I consider myself enormously blessed to have grown up with you guys. The bond we share is no different than that of those that share the same parents.
Gabby. When I was old enough to understand what happened to us, I always took you under my wing. I have always seen it as my duty to love you, support you, encourage you, and stand up for you, more-so than anyone else in my entire life. We walked through the storm and made it out together, strong as nails. I will always watch over you and push you to become the woman I know you can be. Thank you for being my motivation and the sole reason I chose forgiveness. You were always the compassionate one. Some may think you didn’t get bitter about our mother because you didn’t understand what was going on, but I disagree. I genuinely believe you were just a far more loving, forgiving person than I ever thought I could be. You taught me hope. You taught me the meaning of perception. You led me to forgiveness. You are my rock.
I wanted Part B to be the positive side of the story. I do believe it is, but what I want to end this series on how it relates to the words in which I chose to title these entries. “The Crazy Thing About Addiction.” Yes, it’s a messy and saddening story, and some parts I left out or didn’t tell in full detail, but that is not the route I wanted to take. I wanted to share my perception of the beauty in something that is the result of what has caused me the most pain in my life thus far. Just because something is negative, doesn’t mean that there cannot be beauty contained within it. I gained five siblings that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I gained the experience of a real father’s love. I gained countless relationships and friends that I probably never would have, had my life gone in a different direction. I gained empathy, passion, and motivation. But most importantly, I gained the liberating understanding of what it’s like to forgive someone wholeheartedly, and there are very few things that are more beautiful than that.
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