Forgiveness After Pain

I’ve been struggling to come up with new content lately, I won’t lie. I was sitting at work one day and the urge to write about this suddenly came to me. I immediately flipped to the very back of my work notebook to jot down some thoughts on what forgiveness after pain means to me.

Forgiveness is hard. Whether you are the one in the wrong or you were the one that the wrong was done upon, deciding that you are going to move on is hard. It’s not easy saying that the pain you were feeling is simply… in the past.

I have thought a lot about the ideal of forgiveness. It can be freeing and bring a lot of relief. I like to think that, for the most part, I’m pretty good at doing it. After digging deeper into the situations of genuine forgiveness that I have personally experienced, I came up with a few points to remember when it comes to forgiveness after someone has caused you pain. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions.

To “forgive and forget” is foolish. I heard that phrase a lot as a kid. I believed in it for a long time. But let’s be honest. It is foolish to forgive someone and then tell yourself there is no chance that it’ll happen again. I’m not saying hold grudges. You can let go of the pain, but still be conscious of what they have done to you in the past. There is nothing wrong with be cautious with your heart. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Forgiveness does not necessitate that you set yourself up for more pain in the future.

Sometimes forgiveness requires distance. You can forgive someone and completely move past a heartbreak without allowing them back into your life. Some people are just plain negative, and some people will always have toxic tendencies – no matter how many chances you hand out. Sometimes the best way to heal is to conclude the relationship altogether.

Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you dismiss their actions as acceptable. It just means you’ve let go of the resentment. There is a reason we all feel pain. Your feelings are always valid. Sometimes they may be exaggerated, but they are always valid.

Sharing My Story & Creating a Following Along the Way

I woke up to a very cool WordPress notification on my phone!

I HIT 100 FOLLOWERS!

I have always loved writing. English classes were my favorite, I loved writing essays and doing research. I took Journalism classes in college. Even though I love writing so much, making it a career seems unfeasible due to the fact that I live in a rural area where making good money from writing would be next to impossible. So I decided to start this blog. I did not know anyone who blogged personally and I definitely didn’t know any popular bloggers… so trying this out was something I started with no idea how it worked or where it would lead. I just knew I wanted to share my story with others in hopes that my words would help someone else with similar experiences. Growing up with a drug-addicted mother and a father I didn’t even know the name of, I felt so alone. As I started talking more about what I experienced as a kid, I realized I had a unique talent of offering advice and sharing my perspective to those that were like me. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I realized that maybe I was the light of hope and understanding for someone else, like I had always wanted someone to be for me.

I am thankful that this site has allowed me to share my story with both friends and strangers. I have received so much encouragement and love from my readers, and that makes it all so meaningful. I knew from the moment that I could gather my own opinions on my situation that I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone, so that someone like me wouldn’t feel the loneliness and desperation that I felt on my very worst days. I hope this blog has brought hope and comfort to those that have struggled with similar circumstances. I hope this blog has shed light on the problem with drug addiction we face within our families, communities, and world.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support. It means more to me than I could ever express in writing. đź–¤

You are not your parent’s mistakes

You are not your parent’s mistakes. You are not responsible to carry their burden.

I have always struggled with this. Living in a small town community, nearly everyone knows your business, baggage and all. The thing about me, though, was that I was so very different that most of the other kids in my high school. When I say that I was from a small town, what I mean is that I graduated from high school with a class of 54. There were only two students in the entire high school that identified as something other than white. When I say there was no diversity, I mean NONE. Zilch.

So to feel like the outsider when most everyone was all so alike, was like carrying a bowling ball in my backpack hoping no one would notice.

I was ashamed of my mom. She was using meth and was in and out of prisons all throughout the state. And I felt like it was written all over my forehead, as if someone could see her mistakes when they looked at me. I felt nervous if someone looked at me for more than a few seconds.

They probably know that I’m the kid of a drug addict.

So my confidence went on the decline. I didn’t give people the benefit of the doubt – I just assumed that everyone could tell what I came from. I thought my mom’s choices defined me, and that held me down for a very long time.

I grew up, moved on, and came to understand that the person she became was not going to be the person that I would become. I wanted different, and I was in the position to do so. My aunt and uncle took me in, taught me right from wrong, supported me, and loved me as their own. All I had to do was believe in myself as much as they believed in me.

It’s hard to distance yourself from something that feels like a part of you. I will always feel the void where my mom doesn’t exist. I will always feel a tingle of embarrassment when someone tells me that they know who my mom is. I came from her. I exist because of her. 

And to decide that those things don’t matter is very hard to do.

I am not my mom’s lapse in judgement. I do not have to carry the weight of her misguidance on my shoulders. I am not her.

I am strong-willed and brave. I have a brilliant mind. I am a force to be reckoned with. I am happiness and power, rolled up as one.  I am nature. I am beautiful. I am hard-working and resilient. I am me.

There is so much that am, and it has nothing to do with my mother.

You

Are

Not 

Your

Parent’s

Mistakes.

Even through addiction, there is still so much to be thankful for

I would like to consider myself an expert when it comes to experience as a victim of addiction. Not that I am the addict, but I am the victim of guilt, anger, embarrassment, and shame. All of these feelings I have experienced solely because of the addiction of someone else. I don’t always think that’s fair, but it is the way it is.

I have had amazing, soul-freeing days. Days where I flourished in love and joy. But I’ve also had dark, sinister days where I didn’t care if the sun ever rose again. And I am proud to say that the good days have always outweighed the bad.

Even though my life isn’t the way I want it to be sometimes.

Even though there is a gaping hole where the presence of my mother should be.

Even though I have so much anger and sorrow.

There is still so much to be thankful for.

My mom missed out on every prom I ever went to. Every basketball game I ever played. Every boy I ever cried over. And every tribulation I faced through pregnancy. Those are things that she will never get back, and that is a pain that she and I will have to bear for the rest of our lives.

But I’ll tell you what… I did have people there.

Even though my mom wasn’t in the bleachers at every basketball game, I had family and friends that were. Even though my mom didn’t help me unpack the car when I moved into my dorm room when I first went off to college, the man that raised me did. Even though my mom wasn’t there for nearly every single significant moment in my life, I had people there. 

I was never alone, and I always felt supported and loved. So even through addiction, there is still so much to be thankful for.

 

 

I’m Angry

I’m angry.

I’m not sure a part of me will ever be un-angry.

I think about how many years I have missed out with my mom and it makes me angry.

I think about how many times she has blamed me for her drug use, addiction, and relapse and it makes me angry. There are no words to give a heartbroken daughter that will provide her with comfort or normalcy. I will always be the girl that carries the baggage and burden of my mother on my shoulders. I will never escape this pain. It will not go away.

And that makes me angry.

I’m angry that I’ve always been expected to just accept things the way that they are. I’ve gone out of my way to keep the hope that one day she will take responsibility for the wreckage she has caused. But she never will, and that makes me angry.

Someday I will have to explain all of this to my daughter in a way that doesn’t make her hate my mom as much as I do. It has never been my goal to influence hate from others. I’m only telling my truth the way I have perceived it. Perhaps the way I see it is harsh, but that’s what anger will do to you.

I make no apology for trying to repair what she broke.

I make no apology for being blunt about how I feel.

I make no apology for finding an outlet for all of these feelings. Putting this pain into my writing is what helps me heal. It helps me make sense of my story. It helps me comfort others that feel the same way. And let me tell you, I am far from alone.

And the fact that my situation is far from rare makes me angry.

So today and tomorrow and the day after that, I will be angry.

Drug Courts & A Failed F*cking System

I wrote a few weeks back that my mom was getting out of jail and going to rehab. I was excited, but I tried hiding it. Part of me knew something was going to fall out. The thing about hope is that even though you can prepare yourself to be let down, you can’t prepare yourself enough to not feel the hurt of failed expectations.

She went to rehab for five days.

Five days.

Five. 

Days.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken, but how I feel is much more than just a heartbreak.

I am furious.

 

I am furious at the system. I am furious at our courts. I am furious at the people that turn a blind eye when they know that someone needs their help.

SHE COULD BE A MOTHER. She could have been our mother for YEARS now if someone would have taken even a SECOND to pay attention to what the hell was going on in our situation.

It all started in the early 2000’s. The first time she was arrested for possession and fighting. I would have been around five years old. So you arrest a young mother for fighting on the streets while high on who-knows-what, and you’re not going to do anything to make sure it doesn’t happen again? What about the second time? Third time? Fourth time?

Oh, right. THAT’S when we finally take the kids.

But she should have been provided the rehabilitation and help she so desperately needed WAAAAYYYY before it ever got that bad. It has been eighteen years since this all started and nothing has been done to help her. I am furious because in this country drug addicts can relapse and relapse and relapse and get locked up several times without getting any help! By now, we should all be aware that it is cheaper to rehabilitate addicts so they don’t relapse than it is to lock them up over and over and over again…

When did we stop caring about people? Or rather, why don’t we care more about people? It is unfortunate that many addicts’ stories are just like my mother’s. An endless cycle of drug addiction, arrest, lengthy prison sentence, release, and then it starts all over again. And again. And again.

I lost my mother because our court system is designed to allow addicts to fail. 

She was arrested this last time for possession of meth. She was sent to a rehabilitation facility for FIVE DAYS after a twenty year-long span of drug addiction. Do you want to know why? Because they release those that aren’t seen as a risk of relapsing. 

ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS???!

She has been an addict for twenty f*cking years and you’re gonna tell me that after FIVE DAYS in your facility, you think she isn’t going to go right back to the drugs?! WHAT. A. JOKE.

This is what I mean when I say that the system is designed to let people like her fail.

I am heartbroken. Outraged. Furious. Disgusted. Appalled.

If she would have gotten help the first time she was seen as having a problem, I could have a mom in my life right now. But instead I’m sitting here pissed off, writing a blog about how the government helped in making my life a living hell.

Mental Health Awareness Month

I’ve never talked about mental health on my blog before, but I figured it’s a great topic to talk about, and since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now!

When I think about words that describe myself, I first think about words like happy, energetic, motivated, determined, etc. But the truth is, there are more times than I’d like to admit where I feel the exact opposite of those. There are days I want to pull the blankets over my head and sleep the day away. There are days where I feel sad, have no energy, no motivation, and no patience.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million people) experience mental illness in a given year. Also, mood disorders, (including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder) are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults 18–44 years old.

So if so many people are affected by a mental illness, why do I feel so alone when we realize that I may be suffering, too?

When I look back on my life, my darkest time was definitely throughout my junior high school years. I remember talking to the school counselor a lot during my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years. It was the time in my life where I most struggled with the absence of my mom. I think it was when I first started to fully understand what had happened to me and began to realize that my life was much different that those of my classmates. I was angry a lot of the time. I grew up in a family of six siblings, and at this time I remember I would get in trouble a lot for hitting on them. I don’t consider myself a hostile person, but at that time I was looking for an outlet of my emotions that didn’t involve talking about or dealing with the severity of them. I resented my mom and the fact that she chose drugs over my sister and I, but my sister was years younger than I was and couldn’t fully understand what had happened. She was only 3 when DCFS took us from our mom. So I was dealing with all of those demons completely alone- even the person that I went through this with couldn’t help me.

It was my eighth grade year when I hit rock bottom. I had a bedroom in our basement, and my bed was one of those bunk beds that had a desk under it instead of a second mattress. I was sitting at that desk listening to some of Eminem’s darkest songs and thinking about how much I hated what I was going through. I got up and searches the medicine cabinet for any and all pills I could find.

I went back to my desk, laid the pills out, and started writing goodbye letters to my loved ones. Before I got through the last letter, I was bawling and starting to realize that this wasn’t something I could go through with. I imagined what my family would be like as they read these letters, and I realized I loved them WAY too much to put them through something like that.

I went to school the next day. During PE hour, I gave my best friend the letter I had wrote her the night before and explained to her what I was feeling. We cried together in the locker room and she took me to go get help from a teacher.

I’ll never forget that moment.

We grew apart in the following years, but I have treasured that moment of love and understanding for all of these years. She was the one that picked me up without judgement and led me to the help I needed. I love her for that to this very day.

Many years ago!!

There is no shame in getting the help you need. I recently read a post on Facebook that said something along the lines of hoping that one day getting help for mental health would be as normal as going to the doctor for an injury, and that getting released from school for mental health would be as normal as leaving for a tummy ache. What a world that would be. Let’s end the stigma against mental illness and help those suffering get the help they need.

There Might Be Hope!

There might be hope at the end of the tunnel, and I am so happy to share that news with all of you.

If you have read any of my posts prior to this, you already know that my mom is an addict. She has been in and out of prison my entire life due to her addiction to meth. She has been in jail for a few months now, because supposedly (I don’t know the details, I haven’t personally talked to my mom in months) she hit someone and got charged with battery (or something along those lines).

 

My sister still stays in contact with our mom, and she just told me yesterday that our mom is getting released because the entire story wasn’t true and they figured out that she wasn’t the one that hit someone (Again, all hearsay). Sooooo, here is where it gets good!

 

My sister said that our mom told her that she is checking herself into rehab once released and will be there for about 5-6 months!!!!!!!

 

Now I am definitely the type to get my hopes up about things like this, but I am trying not to. My mom has made us a lot of empty promises and has always returned to her old ways, so I am trying to keep my wits about this all so I don’t end up hurt. Buuuut, with this GREAT news, I have a few questions for some of you readers out there that have been through the rehabilitation process.

 

• How long does it usually take? I know everyone is different, but 5-6 months seems kind of short for someone that has been battling addiction for more than twenty years… I would hate for her to get out and relapse.

• Can you stay as long as you want/leave whenever you choose?

• Do you have to stay at the rehabilitation site while being treated? Or will she be able to go out on certain occasions? (I know every story and location is different, just trying to get a feel here.)

 

I have so many questions because my mother has never even so much as mentioned going to rehab before, so I think this could already be a really big step!!! Please keep her in your thoughts and pray it all works out for her. As for me, I’m going to try to hope for the best and expect the worst, in order to protect my heart. Please drop me a comment with advice on how to support someone going through rehab, or with any answers to the above questions. I want to be as informed as I can on this, so that I can support her in every way possible. I truly want to see her go through with and succeed in this journey! Oh how great would it be for my mom to be a grandma to my sweet baby girl!

The big 5-0

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!

-Xoxoxo, Chrissy-

❤️

Read Prologue here.

You say you love your mom, but I can’t relate

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!