JUNE 16, 2020: “Day 300, And, Death Is STILL Nothing At All” …

Death

Death Is Nothing At All

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JUNE 9, 2020: “Everything” …

Last night while I was in my closet “thinking about thinking about” tackling “Zack’s stuff” (which, PS, is all still either hanging or sitting completely untouched and exactly as it was the last time he walked out of this house at 8:00pm on August 22, 2019), I stumbled upon the little box of trinkets my son has given me over the years, not the least of which is the Godiva Chocolate box itself! You see, it was empty when he secretly pulled it out of the trashat age ten, only to put a handwritten love note from him to me inside it. My favorite thing, however, is the Circa 1999 “Valentine’s Day stick” that he wrapped in a napkin a few years before that at age seven.

With this, I was joyfully and HOPEFULLY reminded of all the wonderful gifts this boy has brought to my life over the years, not the least of which is the only unconditional love from a human I’d ever known prior to Zack, and then, of course, the inspiration to LIVE, fight and change a very broken and toxic family cycle. No matter what “things” I have or never have, or “have had and lost”, I am woman who is still blessed with literally EVERYTHING! Perhaps the best part of finding this little box of goodies last night, especially in light of what I was attempting to do in that closet in the first place, is that finding the “little box of trinkets” literally STOPPED me from “thinking about thinking about” falling apart in the midst of all Zack’s “stuff”. I’m serious people, THIS is how my life works. It’s all good. It’s all God. It’s exactly as it needs to be. Just sayin’ …

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JUNE 8, 2020: “Imma Little Bit Off Today” …

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Last night while the unsuspecting world was either peacefully sleeping or maybe even wresting with the Devil, something cool happened in the subculture I live in called “Knucklehead” – the official video release for one of my other favorite songs, “A Little Bit Off”. I just woke up to Christmas in June and couldn’t be any more stoked! PICTURE IT: An almost “fifty ONE-derful”, seemingly “normal” woman sitting in bed singing along to a ridiculous music video, swaying back and forth and waving her fist in the air! THAT. SO. HAPPENED!

IMG_2912If you haven’t figured it out by now, much like the leader of this crazy Pride I’m in, I too am an “oxymoron”, and in being honest, my Knucklehead card is one of the most powerful things I own. “THE REAL CAT WILLIAMSON”: Loves “people”. Hates “humanity”. Loves “Light”. Hates “dark”. Loves “love”. Hates “hate”. Loves being “broken”. Loves “being whole”. LOVES JESUS! Loves Five Finger Death Punch! And yup, there are MANY days I just wake up feeling “a little bit off”, and guess what? THAT’S OKAY! I spent nearly an entire lifetime being ashamed of the train wreck I’ve emerged from BUT NOW I FUCKING EMBRACE IT! Leave it to this gang of creatively genius, beautifully DISASTROUS “oxymoronical” MANIACS to help me finally figure out that not only is it okay for me to be a jacked up effing mess some times, it’s also okay for me to yell, scream and holler it ANY DAMN TIME I WANT! So, with that, make it a great day everyone! Here’s to hoping YOU can embrace your “little bit off” days too!

… {PS} …

If you really want to know more about me and what goes on inside my crazy little head? Listen to the words of this song! Then if you really, REALLY want to know what goes on inside my crazy little head? The Charlie “The Engine” drums at :55, 1:39 and 2:30 manifest actual metal butterflies inside my heart that give me flipping chill bumps. No, really!

THIS IS ME: “A Little Bit Off!”

Would you have me ANY other way?

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JUNE 6, 2020: “Into The Lion’s Den” …

lEOIt took me a minute to find the perfect words to memorialize a HUGE turning point in my life, especially given the magnitude of this decision and how it will ultimately and most definitely change the course of my life going forward. I’m goin’ in people …

INTO THE LION’S DEN!

By now you must know that there have been very few men in my life that have positively affected my journey. LESS THAN TWO HANDFULS! I’m a half a century old, and I’m not gonna lie, my experience with most men thus far as been dismal to say the least. As I’m sure you also know by now, my husband Zack has been the most influential man of my existence since walking into my life eleven years ago. But did you also know there’s been ANOTHER male presence in the background for the last five years that’s been running a pretty close second? 

Sean Whalen isn’t for everyone, and neither is his “Lions Den” coaching group. I’m not gonna lie, the guy is kinda severe! He’s famous for telling it exactly the way it is with VERY little sugar-coating for the truths that no one really wants to hear about themself, and he’s even more famous for ripping people brand assholes with the bullshit that comes from their own mouth. For me, however, his mentoring style, which is very much like that of my husband’s, with errrr, perhaps, a little more of a “kick”, lol, has thus far proven to be one the best parts of my journey. Perhaps the greatest irony in this whole thing is that when I first stumbled across one of Sean’s post five years ago (the one referenced in the video below), Zack kept saying:

“Just join The Den honey. Do it. I’m serious. Yah, maybe his delivery is a little rough around the edges, but his mindset is fucking genius. The reason his messages keep pissing you off is because they are deflecting things you don’t like about yourself right to you. He’s making you mad because what he’s saying is right and YOU CAN’T FUCKING STAND IT! You spend more on your coffee every day than it will cost you to officially join, so what are you waiting for? JUST DO IT!”

In my mind, however, “leading me” was my husband’s job, which, by the way, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, he did effectively and WELL! In fact, it wasn’t until Zack that I respected any man enough to let them lead me, so why the hell would I pay THIS Sean guy when I got free “coaching and mentoring” from my husband?

So, with that, I’ve decided to just let a short string of messages in  conjunction with the intro video I was required to make upon entrance to “The Den” speak to this turning point in my life on their own …

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JUNE 5, 2020: “Good Morning Vietnam!” …

I’ll do everything in my power to keep this as short as possible, but can’t make any promises. So, let me go back to the very first glimpse of the rabbit hole I almost fell in after an entire week of being chastised, reprimanded, scolded, and all but BURNED ALIVE ON A CROSS for voicing my opinions, feelings, views and support for the personal “bandwagon” I have jumped on amidst what I truly believe is “Atlas Falling“.

Let it be known that of all the punches I’ve taken the last few days, the worst was a comment by a now “former friend” who calls herself a Christian: “Wow, so glad to finally see you!” (Nope, it wasn’t a compliment.) Really? You “see me”? Tell me oh faithful and God-fearing woman exactly what you see? You SEE nothing! You KNOW nothing! Nothing of me, my heart, or my intentions. You heard me say “I love oranges”, then took it upon yourself to assume I don’t also love apples and pears! Who the FUCK are you to judge me by picking only the lines that best suit your “schooling” on my beliefs? Meanwhile …

Last night, 6/4/2020, around 5:53PM, THIS happened …

… which then led to THIS, also last night, around 8:00PM …

… and THEN THIS, around 8:21PM …  

… at which point I felt a little better and was able to fall asleep in peace. But alas, that victory was short-lived, because THEN I woke up to this …

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This particular Facebook “memory” could not have come at a worse time. I mean, seriously? I had just recovered from almost falling backwards less than eight hours prior, so I should have been all set, right? Yah, not so much. And let me tell you why …

I mentioned in an earlier post that it was Mother’s Day 2019 that was the beginning of his descent, but truth be told? It was more so THIS day, June 5, 2014, six long years ago, that truly earmarked the onset of his unravelling, which night still haunts me to this day! After we got home from our long-awaited day out, I’d been getting ready for bed I only to find him waiting in that bed in a state of transcendental being that I’d never really seen. He was so deep in thought, lost somewhere inside his own mind that only God will ever know where he’d gone, but this much I can tell you: “Where he went” must have been pretty dark. I could see it through the glaze in his eyes. He was so far away in a place that must have been so painful that he never even realized I was sitting right beside him. “Baby? Hello? Hello? Is everything okay? Where were you just now?” I had to physically push his arm to manage his attention. Much to my chagrin, however, when he turned his head to look at me there were tears rolling down his face. It’s one of the most heart-breaking visuals I have still yet to release from my own mind with an accompanying monologue I can still hear him saying in answer to my question:

“Catherine, I don’t think I ever realized ‘what I never had’ growing up until now. What she never gave me. What she never did for me, but she DID do for all of them. Going through all of this with you has been a blessing and a curse. She threw me away. They all did. Every one of them. It’s as though I just don’t exist. I wasn’t good enough for her. For them. They never wanted me. I’m nothing.”

So? After seeing that post this morning? I … just … COULDN’T! Six years ago tonight, around 9 o’clock pm, is when the earthly King who led me to all the best parts of myself that I needed to “become” started down the path to his fate. Despite everything he was battling inside and the next five beautiful years of joy he both experienced and brought to us, “that place” he went when he was sitting in that bed? He never really came back from it! 

IMG_2841There I was, just laying in bed this morning, unable to face the empty spot beside me where the most influential human man I’ve ever known once ruled the entirety of my being, so I turned the other way to avoid looking in that direction. Instead, however, I was fixated on the wall where the light seeping through the blinds that shroud the windows was trying desperately to reach me. I was somewhat paralyzed and too numb to even cry …

… until I picked up my phone yet again and saw THIS …

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… and ultimately THIS profound conclusion: 

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!

I’m STILL a fortress. I’m STILL a queen. I’m STILL the strongest bitch I’ve ever met with the GREATEST King of all that has never and will NEVER fail me! As par for the course, He’s already got this whole “Atlas is falling” thing figured the HELL OUT, and not just for me … FOR ALL OF US … even Zack! If I so much as “think about thinking about” letting this CASTLE I’ve become crumble, He bombards me with signs and love notes from His heart and reminds me that I am never gonna be all alone. Even as I write this, there are people I don’t know, places I’ve never been, and moments yet to be had being woven by the Master’s hands into the tapestry of my life!

“Help me … ’cause I can’t do this on my own!”

This morning He answered my cry with the most beautiful Molotov cocktail I’ve ever seen through a picture and the words of a stranger: “You fukin go kick ass today!!!!” So, with that, “I’m going back in” with everything He’s given me for the battlefield, including “words and validations” from total strangers, and everything IS gonna be okay!

HEAVEN HELP ME

“When I can’t find the words. When I can barely breathe. I’m falling on my knees. Heaven help me. Heaven help me. When I can’t feel You near, and I can’t hear You speak. I’m falling on my knees. Heaven help me. Heaven help me. Help me. Help me. ‘Cause I can’t walk this road alone, and I can’t do this on my own. Tell me. Tell me. I just need to hear You say that everything will be okay. When I don’t understand. When I don’t think I can. I know You have a plan, so Heaven help me. Heaven help me. Help me. Help me. ‘Cause I can’t walk this road alone, and I can’t do this on my own. Tell me. Tell me. ‘Cause I just need to hear You say that everything will be okay. Help me believe it. When I can’t see it. Help me to know it. When I can’t hold it …” ~ Zach Williams

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MAY 30, 2020: “Overwhelmed With Overwhelmingness” …

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MAY 24, 2020: “Reopening A Gift” …

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“Hold me now I need to feel relief. Like I never wanted anything. I suppose I‘ll let this go and find a reason I’ll hold on to. I’m so ashamed of defeat. And I’m out of reason to believe in me. I’m out of trying to get by.  I’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all.  I can‘t face myself when I wake up and look inside a mirror. I’m so ashamed of that thing. I suppose I‘ll let it go ’til I have something more to say for me. I’m so afraid of defeat. And I‘m out of reason to believe in me. I‘m out of trying to defyI’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all. Hold me now I need to feel complete. Like I matter to The One I need. I’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all. Now I’m ashamed of this …” ~ Seether

Today is the fifteen year anniversary of the release of one of the most impactful songs of my life, Seether’s “The Gift”. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I actually heard it for the first time though, Monday, April 21, 2008, just a year ahead of the nervous breakdown I’d been trying SO hard to avoid when the Circadian that had been my life finally crashed into the wall.

I remember it vividly. I’d been out running errands and was approaching the house in which I dwelled that was certainly not a home when it availed itself on my cue. From that first solemn chord, the forlonging guitar began cutting me like a knife as I pulled into the garage. I couldn’t shut my car off and was compelled to sit and listen as the words began to play. Then, out of nowhere, a barrage of tears washed over me, literally and metaphorically. I was so numb and paralyzed in the moment that I couldn’t even lift my arms to wipe my eyes. I could neither breathe nor feel my fingertips as the music began manifesting a truly physical aching inside my heart.

When it was over, I just sat there trying to gather myself before having to walk back inside the lie that had become my life. Before I knew it, my son and daughter appeared in the doorway. He was holding her in his arms as they both smiled and waved to greet me, completely oblivious to the sobering reality that I was secretly dying.

That night, after everyone was asleep, I sat down at my computer to write a letter to God in this “Diary Of My Perfection”, which was then merely an outlet for my very private hell. The words to the song said everything that needed to be said at that moment, and thus my entry, “APRIL 21, 2008: I’m A Gift. I’m A curse.

Here I am, fifteen years to the day that one of the most beautiful “gifts” I never knew I needed became a part of the tapestry of my beautifully woven life. It took a lot of truly blind faith, time, accountability, honesty, self-discovery, and patience, forgiveness and grace for and with myself to be sitting in this chair writing this, and not a second goes by that I don’t remember how lucky I am to simply be alive!

When I listen to this song now my emotions are a paradox, as on one hand I can smile as I look back and realize how far I’ve come, but on the other, I am sadly reminded of a night just weeks before he left that my beautiful husband also listened to this song while we were driving home from “somewhere” and silent tears began falling from his eyes. It rips my fucking heart out when I think of how helpless and hopeless it felt to watch him dying right in front of me and even more so that he was never able to see what a gift to this world he truly was.

If I had one wish for anyone reading this and struggling to find “The Gift”, it’s that that they listen to this song in a very quiet place and really sit with all the chords and words as you let them break you down. The answer is inside you, I promise that it is, so challenge yourself to find it. Your weakness is your strength. Being broken makes you whole. THE PAIN THAT YOU FEEL IS THE GIFT! Do the work, take your time, CRY OUT TO JESUS and find your way back “home”.

And by the way, it’s okay to feel sadness and grief for the things that have died inside of you, and it’s certainly okay to cry. Now that I think of it? It’s such a blessing that one of my favorite verses of the Bible also happens to be the shortest: JOHN 11:35: Jesus wept. So, yes – GO AHEAD AND CRY … AS OFTEN AS YOU NEED TO! GET MAD! SCREAM LOUD! Do what you must to let yourself “feeleverything that’s hurt you so can finally let it go! Then someday when it’s time for you to sit back and marvel at what you’ve survived? Listen to this song again and maybe, like me, you’ll find that ONLY these words remain …

“… now I feel relief … I’ll hold on … I do belong here and I’m well … I’m living right …  I can face myself when I wake up and look inside a mirror … I let it go … I have something more to say for me …I believe in me … I defy … now I feel complete … like I matter to The One I need … now I’m THIS … I’M THE GIFT!” 

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MAY 17, 2020: “There Was Jesus” …

"There Was Jesus"
~ by Gia Embach ~

THERE WAS JESUS

Every time I tried to make it on my own. Every time I tried to stand and start to fall. And all those lonely roads that I have travelled on. There was Jesus.

When the life I built came crashing to the ground. When the friends I had were nowhere to be found. I couldn’t see it then, but I can see it now. There was Jesus.

In the waiting. In the searching. In the healing and the hurting. Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces. Every minute. Every moment. Where I’ve been and where I’m going. Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it. There was Jesus.

For this man who needs amazing kind of grace. For forgiveness at a price I couldn’t pay. I’m not perfect, so I thank God every day. There was Jesus.

In the waiting. In the searching. In the healing and the hurting. Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces. Every minute. Every moment. Where I’ve been and where I’m going. Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it. There was Jesus.

On the mountain. In the valleys. There was Jesus.

In the shadows of the alleys. There was Jesus.

In the fire and in the flood. There was Jesus.

Always is and always was.

No I never walk alone.

You are always there.

In the waiting. In the searching. In the healing and the hurting. Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces. Every minute. Every moment. Where I’ve been and where I’m going. Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it. There was Jesus.

 ~ Zach Williams & Dolly Parton

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MAY 15, 2020: “HEY DADS! Take Your Daughter’s To The Castle” …

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Okay people, I’ve been SHOOKEN by a “Ghost” again in ALL the most beautiful ways …

IvanYou see this guy? He’s Ivan Greening, some know him as Ivan Moody, but his people call him “The Ghost”. He’s the lead vocalist and MANIAC for the band of my life … and PLEASE say you already know this … Five Finger Death Punch. Ivan’s not quite your “traditional” man, and to some he may be downright scary. Not only is he a recovering alcoholic with a somewhat colorful rap sheet, he’s also covered from head to toe in an array of tattoos and his voice is as ominous as thunder. Most of the time he rages and screams, but sometimes he serenades us from the most tender depths of his soul. He’s the living embodiment of the word “oxymoron” and actually one of my heroes! King Ivan takes “Phoenix” to an entirely different level if you’ll look past the scars on his inked-up, fleshen sleeves. “What you see is what you get.” With this guy? Not so much! He’s a completely open book and a total mystery, as on one hand he seems to be telling us everything about himself, while on the other no one really knows him. That’s how I feel about myself by the way, but where in the HELL was I going with this? It seems I’ve run amuck with yet another of my digressions as my “thought chaos” leads me to somewhere.

Ah, yes, “the video”. Earlier this week he posted a clip of himself “TikTok-ing” with his daughter which immediately struck my heart in a brand new place I never knew was broken. It was one of the sweetest things I think I’ve ever seen, while also one of the saddest. You see, I am a daughter who cannot help but wonder, “What could have been if my larger than life dad had danced with me in the living room”?

HERE’S THE THING: He’s probably worth a gazillion bucks and has a cult-like following worldwide. But when the lights go down at his final show and he reaches the end of the road? What do you think that little girl of his will tell her own kids about her daddy? “Grandpa Ivan was a rock and roll star” or “Grandpa Ivan danced with me in the living room”? I’m fairly certain, as hopefully you are too, that it’s going to be the latter.

HEY DADS …

Now about that legacy you’ll be leaving behind … WHAT’S IT GONNA BE? You may not be perfect, because no one ever is, and there’s NO such “perfect parent”. But trust me when I tell you that it’s NEVER too late to change the ending of a story. This, my friends, is what us “knuckleheads” call “The Brighter Side Of Grey“, and I’m here to tell you IT’S EVERYTHING! Despite the mottled undertones here of the struggles with my father, I really want to end this now with a “brighter side” I’ve found.

My daughter had two dads to take her to the balls, which I find just amazing! My husband escorted her in many of those carriages while her real dad escorted her in others. Neither of them was perfect, and each of them hurt her in very complicated ways, but at the end of the day I just know in my heart that she’ll treasure her dancing days with both of them forever! She’s an incredibly lucky girl, but I’m an even luckier mom, so beyond thankful for the Princes who danced with Cinderella!

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MAY 12, 2020: “They’re Gonna Be” …

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Some days I seem to have endless words to say, while others find me trapped in the silence that often accompanies my waves. Take this morning for instance: She sent me this selfie she snapped while she was at her Dad’s playing in her make-up bag last night. When I saw it it took my breath away. How is that after all the mistakes I’ve made and the wrongs I could never make right that, she is this?

She is everything a mother could pray for her living legacy to be, and this world I am lucky enough to live in with her is such a better place with her in it. There aren’t that many people that know the magnitude of what she’s been through, but those who do find it no surprise that, “she is her mother’s daughter”. And please let me also include my very handsome first born in this regard, because well, he too is one of the strongest survivors I’ve ever known. Damn, just look at this people! I HAVE MADE SOME TRULY MAGNIFICENT “MASTERPIECES”!

So, with that, I’ll let these two pictures speak the volume of words I can’t possibly begin to quantify, with the exception of these words, because in this very moment, they’re exactly what I do need to say …

TO MY SON AND MY DAUGHTER:

YOU’RE GONNA BE …

“Six pounds and nine ounces lookin’ up at me like I have all the answers. I hope I have the ones you need. I’ve never really done this. Now I know what scared is. Sometimes I’ll protect you from everything that’s wrong. Other times I’ll let you just find out on your own. But that’s when you’ll be growin’, and the whole time I’ll be knowin’ …

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase. You’re gonna cry, but know that that’s okay. Sometimes life’s not fair, but if you hang in there? You’re gonna see that sometimes bad is good. We just have to believe things work out like they should. Life has no guarantees … but always loved by me … you’re gonna be.

I’m afraid you’ll have to suffer through some of my mistakes. Lord knows I’ll be trying, oh to give you what it takes. What it takes to know the difference between getting by and livin’. ‘Cause anything worth doing is worth doing all the way. Just know you’ll have to live with all the choices that you make. So make sure you’re always givin’ way more than you’re takin’.

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase. You’re gonna cry, but know that that’s okay. Sometimes life’s not fair, but if you just hang in there? You’re gonna see that sometimes bad is good. We just have to believe things work out like they should. Life has no guarantees … but always loved by me … you’re gonna be … someone’s everything. You’re gonna see just what you are to me.

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase. We just have to believe things work out like they should. Life has no guarantees … but always loved by me … you’re gonna be … always loved by me.”

~ Reba McEntire

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MAY 11, 2020: “When Someone Dies And You SMILE” …

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Yet another bittersweet day for me with the passing of one of my favorite comedic actors, Jerry Stiller. For those of you who know me well it’s no secret that one of his best known sitcoms, “The King  Of Queens“, is, was and probably always will be my favorite TV show! Williamson and I watched it every single night from the beginning of “us” to the end, and “Arthur” was one of his best impersonations. We all spoke fluent “King Of Queens” in our daily banter (as well as “My Cousin Vinny” and “Birdcage”) and Gia and I still do. Lol, Zack had always promised her that when he was old and if I was already gone he would move in with her family and be their “basement Arty”. 

It’s also no secret to those who know me that cooking is not my thing! Are there are some decent dishes I manage to pull off from time to time? Sure. No one has ever starved on my watch, but there’s not a person who I’ve cooked for who’s a stranger to my “interesting dinners”. I fondly remember an “episode” set at our table as if it were just last night: “The Night Of The Hot Pink Chicken!” It was the first meal I’d made for our brand new little family on the third night we were married. I’d marinated some chicken in raspberry dressing, which chicken ended up literally turning pink. As I set the plates down, Gia turned to him as discreetly as she could with her hand on her little forehead trying not to let me see the look of fear in her eyes. Then just as sweet as he could be with nothing but appreciation for the effort I’d made, he quickly came up with the perfect line: “Well, have a biscuit then. Some of them turned out PRETTY well!” From that night forward throughout the entirety of our decade together there were SO many times he would chime in with that line, his very favorite “Arthurism”, at every one of my mealtime flops! Every time he spoke those words I fell in love with him all over again!

So, what was my thought behind the title of this post, “When Someone Dies And You SMILE”? Oooooh but let me tell you! While I was waiting for Gia to wake up this morning, anxious to share the news of “Arthur’s” passing, I just sat in bed thinking and smiling. That funny man brought SO much into our world … laughter, hilarity and true joy! Which man you ask? BOTH ARTHUR AND MY HUSBAND! I thought about crying, especially given the torrent of “first Mother’s Day without him” emotion I ran the gauntlet with yesterday, but honestly? I simply couldn’t. Instead I just sat there with my thoughts and countless memories cherishing the most beautiful ride of my life!

While I’m saddened by the loss, especially for his loved ones, I’m again encouraged that death is nothing at all. He was so much larger than the life he lived itself, just like the “King” of this very lucky Queen, and their legacies both I will treasure! Zack once said that if he could have met any particular actor it probably would have been Jerry Stiller. “I can only imagine what a riot it would be to shoot the shit with that guy!” Well, if God is the God I know in my soul He is, perhaps now he’ll get the chance! Godspeed Jerry. The comedic spirit and “crazy old man” you infused into the fabric of our lives will remain in our hearts and “Arthurisms” forever!

…”PS” …

IMG_1994Our hands down favorite KOQ episode was “Spicy Sausage & Peppers”! I cannot tell you how many times Williamson asked unsuspecting waitstaff who were taking his order at restaurants: “How’s your spicy sausage and peppers?” Most often they looked at him absolutely dumfounded, as if he were a actually crazy, but the ones who got the joke always got an extra tip from him! This clip is a go-to on any of my “down days”. I CANNOT watch it without laughing until my sides hurt, so ENJOY! As for me? I’ll be spending the entire rest of this night binge-watching The King Of Queens in tribute to both Jerry and my husband!

What We Leave Behind

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MAY 10, 2020: “Mother Love” …

While I am more than thankful to claim the highest honor of “mother” of two living children and one angel baby in Heaven, I am ever so mindful as I end this bittersweet day with the heart-breaking awareness that not every child “celebrated with their mother” today. As you’ve already read in the admonishment to “her”, on this day one year ago the abandonded and motherless man that I was also honored to call “mine” began his painful descent into the darkness she left him in that literally devoured him alive and indeed ended the most beautiful chapter of my life.

So, with that, if you are a mother who has truly abandoned her child, know that you have left them with an unfathomable wound that will never truly heal. If, on the other hand, you are a child whose “mother” abandonded you? Know that I, like so many mothers in who understood the magnitude of the job we were given to have children, am crying and praying for you tonight. It wasn’t your fault! You didn’t deserve it! YOU are a gift to this world! I’m so sorry that happened to you, from the depths of my soul I am, but remember this always PLEASE: Our Father in Heaven doesn’t make trash! So, “Chin Up! Knuckles Out!” You are loved and needed here.

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MAY 10, 2020: “To His Mother: WHY?” …

MomnTO “HIS MOTHER”:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your “son” stopped living the day he was born, but it was a year ago today that the hands of Fate threw the very last spin of the wheel that ultimately led to not only his demise, but the end of the most beautiful chapter of my life. Looking back now, I can honestly say that the very first hint of change in him was June 5, 2014, as that was truly the day the “rock” that was our Zachariah began crumbling inside himself. Slowly, subtly, yet ever so steadily, he began slipping down the black, dead hole that devoured him alive, but it wasn’t really until May 12th last year that he started coming apart at the seams. I remember that morning as if it were now, right down to exactly where he was standing, the look of angst upon his face, what he was saying, the tears falling from his eyes, what he was wearing, and even how he smelled. Sufficed to say though, indeed it was “Mother’s Day 2019” that earmarked the beginning of his end.

So, with that, today is bittersweet, as not a Mother’s Day had passed since he walked into my life eleven years ago that I wasn’t cherished, celebrated, and placed so high upon the pedestal he built for only me there are literally just no words. It was no secret to anyone that knew us well that your “son” was hell bent on making sure that I was abundantly aware of exactly what my role in all of their lives meant to him, especially on Mother’s Day! As I’ve also said before, when we first met, he appeared to be a solid rock. He’d told me about his past and how not just you, but his entire “blood family” abandoned and rejected him (for what reason only God knows). He was so matter of fact about the awful things you’d all done to him, which was always so perplexing to me because even I couldn’t wrap my own head around it all. It angered and outraged me to the core of my being to not only hear the stories of his maternal abandonment and fucked up beyond reason childhood, but to have watch, live and experience the abundance of bullshit his “family” did to and put him through which was unacceptable, gross and disgusting. As for those other “Williamsons” you spat upon this Earth who still live here in the city where their “brother” slipped right through the void? If any random stranger were to meet a single one of them and not know who they really are they’d be more than impressed with the charming personas they present. But his truth is the truth, he spoke it, I witnessed it, and God Himself was watching IT ALL! Congratulations dear “mother”! You made self-consumed narcissists who get all dressed up with the plastic smiles and shallow hearts only you could possibly be proud of!

On the surface he seemed to have made peace with it all as he moved on down the road. We met, fell in love, made our own little family, and he left you all behind in his dust. “Their loss, not mine”, he would say, and he couldn’t have been more right, as none of you were ever good enough to be graced by my husband’s presence. Trust me when I tell you that because of our professions we knew plenty of people who “know them”. The general consensus about your other Williamson children? You know, the ones you actually managed to want? Selfish, shallow and greedy social climbing, wanna-be’s in one of the greatest shows on Earth. Everything about his character was so far removed from and above all of theirs that no one that realized their connection could fathom it. Those were amongst the highest compliments he received, and he absolutely reveled in them. But I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, it was “every Mother’s Day” that hurt him the most, even more so than all the birthdays you forgot as he waited for you year after year, phone in hand, checking to see “if she’ll remember and just show up”. There is still much to say about my husband’s final descent and all the ways he was driven to insanity, not the least of how he hurt Gia.

In the meantime, all you REALLY need to know, “Mother” Of My Fallen King, is this:

It’s Mother’s Day 2020 and 264 days ago your “son” shot himself in the head with a Springfield handgun and a hollow point bullet at just before midnight on August 22, 2019. To him you were a stranger, and what a shame that you will never know what a truly amazing man you threw away and the priceless gift he was to this world (though unfortunately he never believed it).

Only God knows what was going through his mind in the very last moments of his life, and yes, “what that may have been” will break my heart forever. Alas, he’s at rest now, finally at peace after the “legacy of abandonment” you knowingly chose to burden him with. But here’s what I do know in concrete fact “was going through his mind” in the years I was lucky enough to give him the only real home he ever had and the only real love from a woman (other than his Grandma) he’d ever known …

Your “son” hurt us all with a broken mind and heart that were jaded beyond human comprehension. “He must have had mommy issues” is what some will surely say, and sadly? That was true! He wasn’t quite two when you left him behind, him, and only him, and not your “other babies”, because for what good reason he could never understand you just didn’t want him like the others! Then you never turned back to see the tears that burned through his heart every day for the rest of his life.

When your “son” was just a boy he had to sit with all his classmates making “macaroni Mother’s Days cards” that he never knew what to do with, so he would tear them all up and put them in the garbage as he was leaving the school grounds watching all the other kids being greeted by their mommies as he walked home to nothing all alone!

When your “son” was just a boy he would go to his friends’ birthdays while his heart physically ached because you apparently couldn’t remember the day he was born. It was October 5, 1982, in case you forgot!

When your “son” was just a boy Mother’s Day broke his heart into little tiny pieces that none of us who really loved him could ever put back together. He cried for you. Ached for you. Longed for you. Dreamt about you. He disappeared inside himself just waiting for you to want him!

Despite these words and my more than apparent anger, I have forgiven you and yours for all the ways you destroyed my beautiful husband. But never will I forget the last ten years watching him try so hard not to break because none of you gave a FUCK about “the Zack of shit”, your “son”, their “brother”. So, with that, happy Mother’s Day to you, “mother” of my fallen king. May you sleep well this and every Mother’s Day going forward that you’re able to enjoy the Williamsons you somehow managed to “mother”! Hold your hand over your chest now and breathe in what you feel … it’s the still beating heart of the one woman in this world that was supposed to love my husband forever.

Signed truly … “Daughter-In-Law”

Mother

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May 2, 2020: “There Will Be A Day” …

US

… WITH NO MORE TEARS.

“I try to hold on to this world with everything I have, but I feel the weight of what it brings and the hurt that tries to grab. The many trials that seem to never end. His word declares this truth … that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew. But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings, that there will be a place with no more suffering. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more … we’ll see Jesus face to face. But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always.

I know the journey seems so long. You feel you’re walking on your own. But there has never been a step where you’ve walked out all alone. Troubled soul don’t lose your heart, ’cause joy and peace He brings, and the beauty that’s in store outweighs the hurt of life’s sting. But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings … that there will be a place with no more suffering. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more … we’ll see Jesus face to face. But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always. 

I can’t wait until that day where the very One I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced. To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery. Oh this is why, this is why I sing. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more … we’ll see Jesus face to face. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more … we’ll see Jesus face to face.

There will be a day …

~ Jeremy Camp

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APRIL 26, 2020: “The Bench” …

"The Bench"
~ by Gia Embach~

“If you could sit on this bench and talk to ANYONE for one hour, who would it be and what would you say?”

I saw a post very similar to this on a social media feed earlier last week and it struck a chord in me so loud that my answer was instantaneous. I would sit down with “younger me” and THIS is what I’d say …

“Hey there young lady, it’s so nice to meet you. You don’t know me, and I don’t mean to scare you, but let me assure you that one day we’ll meet again. For reasons I can’t explain, and may sound a little insane, I actually do know a lot about you. Right now you’re feeling scared. You’re feeling lost, abandoned, and alone. You’ve been betrayed by people you thought you could trust and your glass heart has been shattered into pieces. You think no one can hear or see you anymore, and when you face yourself in the mirror each day you see nothing looking back but an abyss. Worst of all, you can’t see her yet, but there’s a dragon circling above you like a carcass. She’s gonna hold you for ransom inside her solitary cave, but YOU are going to slay her!

It’s a long, dark road that’s coming up ahead and some of the places it’s gonna take you are gonna suck. But listen to me, and listen good: Don’t you DARE change a thing that you’re about to do or even ONE of the decisions you’re gonna make! Life’s gonna burn the wings off your back that you don’t even know you have yet and some people who claim to love you are gonna leave you on the ground while you’re choking on their dust. But alas, your wings are eventually gonna heal and take you so high above the ashes you almost die in that even YOU won’t know how to stop them. Through it all, you’ll become a queen, a Light in peoples’ darkness, and a legacy your kids will be proud of. So, buckle up sister and hang on for dear life … I’ll be waiting for you on The Brighter Side Of Grey. In the meantime, there’s a song you haven’t heard yet because it hasn’t even been made, but let me put “us” in some words you’re gonna love as you STAND and sing it to the world …

STAND

“You felt like a candle in a hurricane. Just like a picture with a broken frame. Alone and helpless like you’d lost your fight, but you’were alright! You were alright! ‘Cause when push came to shove you tasted what you were made of. You almost bent ’til you broke ’cause it was all you could take. On your knees you looked up, decided you’d had enough. You got mad, you got strong, wiped your hands, shook it off – THEN YOU STOOD! Our life’s like a novel with the end ripped out. The edge of a canyon with only one way down. We’ll take what we’re given before it’s gone. We start holding on. We keep holding on. Everytime we get up and got back in the race one more small piece of us just keepings falling into place … ‘CAUSE WE STAND!” ~ Rascal Flatts

~ “Me & Julie” (Left & Right) … Circa 1974 ~

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APRIL 20, 2020: “… And Realize You’re Living In Your Golden Years” …

“Ed” (From “ashes to art”, Circa 1990.)

WASTED YEARS

“From the coast of gold, across the Seven Seas. I’m traveling on, far and wide.
But now it seems, I’m just a stranger to myself. And all the things I sometimes do, it isn’t me but someone else. I close my eyes and think of home. Another city goes by in the night. Ain’t it funny how it is? You never miss it ’til it’s gone away. And my heart is lying there and will be ’til my dying day. So, understand. Don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years. Face up, make your stand! And realize you’re living in the golden years. Too much time on my hands, I got you on my mind. Can’t ease this pain so easily. When you can’t find the words to say, it’s hard to make it through another day. And it makes me want to cry and throw my hands up to the sky. So, understand. Don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years. Face up, make your stand! And realize you’re living in the golden years.” ~ Iron Maiden

Last Friday while I was doing a live concert in my car I mentioned that I play a little game every morning wherein I just leave it to Destiny’s magical roulette wheel to see “which song” my cue is going to land on to find my groove for the day. It’s kind of the best game EVER and one of the little nuggets in my life that I enjoy the very most. So, this morning? Wow. Just wow. FIRST SONG UP? Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years”, and I just couldn’t …

I remember vividly that Saturday afternoon in June of 2008 as I settled into my seat on Flight 438 and listened to this song as we took off. Thirty-eight seemingly “wasted years” in my rearview mirror and ZERO idea how many more were yet to come. Little did I know that an actual angel would show up in the seat beside me and change the course of my life forever, but, he did, and here I am, “So Far Away” from the person I used to be who was then indeed “just a stranger to myself”.

That being said? Not a single one of the years laid behind me were wastednot a second, or minute, or hour. They were the best and worst parts of every single thing I’ve become and why I’m still alive to tell you about it. This morning as I listened to it I was inspired, yet again, to KEEP “facing up and making my stand” because YES I AM truly living in my Golden years! Have I ever told you what an incredibly blessed woman I truly am? Okay, well then, let me say it again: I AM A BLESSED WOMAN.

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APRIL 17, 2020: “When You Realize WHAT You Have Done” …

TeachThere comes a point in every parent’s life when all of a sudden it just hits them in the face, “WOW, this is how I’m doing.” A few nights ago this little 3am “quarantine conversation” happened with my beautiful, SPARTAN daughter, and indeed I was punched in the face with the reality that something I’m doing is RIGHT, and indeed my “legacy” is an enigma! Every mother’s child has that one special gift, DO NOT GET ME WRONG, but this child’s mother is in awe, and by the way: I MADE HER!

Good, strong leaders … the future “kings and queens” … are not accidents, they’re a CHOICE. A choice to dig our heels into the ground and lead by the best examples, not the least of which is “failure, loss, trauma and hardship are NOT excuses … they’re OPPORTUNITIES to rise up from the fallen ground and NOT become a victim”!

We can’t just tell them what they’re wings are made for then sit back and “hope for the best”. We have to actually show them! And if, like me, as an imperfect parent you somehow manage to break their wings while they’re learning how to fly? ACCOUNT to yourself, AND to them, APOLOGIZE for letting them down, then pick yourself up and try again … TOGETHER!

THIS VIDEO FROM MY YOUTUBE IS LONG, BUT WORTH WATCHING! Here’s to learning why the callouses on our feet can be a useful! And hey, future son-in-law, wherever in the world you are right now – YOU’RE WELCOME! Or, I’m sorry. Whichever is more applicable! 

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APRIL 14, 2020: “It Was Kinda Like A Storm” …

"Breat Free"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

BREAK FREE

“Help me – I’ve fallen further in myself. I’m stuck here again. And I can’t see that I’m not digging my way out – I’m digging my grave. I’ve become my own demise. Paralyzed inside my mind. Arms are weak from holding up this front. No escape and no surprises. Complicated compromises. Hold me down when what all I really want is just to break free. Break free. Break free from everything. Break free before it breaks me. There’s got to be another way to start again. Tell me how you can be the brightest star and light up the sky?  Well I can’t seem to even light up my own way and I’m burned out from trying. I’ve bcome what I despise. Paralyzed inside a lie. Arms are weak from holding back the flood. Sinking as the waters rise. Drink myself to sleep each night. I’m going under and all I really want is just to break free. Break free. Break free from everything. Break free before it breaks me. There’s got to be another way to start again.” ~ Like A Storm

By now I’m sure you’ve heard me say that I have suffered from, battled and overcome a mental illness. I’m not sure however that I’ve ever said which mental illness it was. “So, which mental illness was it?” DRUM ROLL PLEASE … wait for it … wait for it … wait for it: Hi! I’m Cat Williamson, f/k/a “Girl Interrupted“. I HAVE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (“BPD”). Well, I did that is. This month marks the seventh year of my recovery, and I’d like to tell you a little about it.

WHAT IS BPD? The National Institute Of Mental Health describes BPD as “an illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.”

WAS THIS ME?

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WHAT MAY HAVE CAUSED MY BPD? As with most mental illnesses, many doctors believe BPD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. I strongly believe that my diagnoses was indeed genetically and environmentally predisposed, especially inasmuch as I was exposed to many adverse childhood experiences (“ACES”) that may have triggered the development of my symptoms. Although I don’t recall being sexually or physically abused as a child, there were a vast number of instabilities that may have contributed to my illness.

I was ripped away from a closely interactive paternal family when my parents uprooted us from our home at a very young age. Keep in mind that because our family was somewhat enmeshed, my grandparents, aunts and uncles were “consistently present and close caregivers” at that time, such that the immediate, unexplained loss of them literally overnight was deeply traumatic to me. Likewise was the damage to my very impressionable psyche from both the inconsistent emotional and physical presences of my parents and different points in time due to issues of their own that were out of my control.

THIS REALLY HAPPENED?

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WHAT WERE SOME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS? Most adolescents and adults with BPD lack the healthy coping skills required to handle even minimal amounts of stress or emotional discomfort and therefore often present with these signs and symptoms:

    • Intense fear of abandonment or rejection;
    • Extremely unstable relationships;
    • Distorted self-imagery that influences moods, decisions and priorities;
    • Impulsive actions like reckless driving, binge eating, spending sprees, job instability, leaving relationships or unsafe sex;
    • Chronic feelings of boredom, restlessness and emptiness;
    • Suicidal thoughts or attempts while under stress;
    • Intense feelings of anger followed by extreme guilt and shame;
    • Self-harm and injury, such as cutting, drug or alcohol abuse;
    • Disassociating (“splitting“) that can last from a few minutes to hours.

DID I DO ANY OF THESE?

Check √ Check √ CHECK √

Someday I’ll revisit the somewhat comical story of how my diagnoses came about, but sufficed to say, when I first realized “what the HELL was wrong with me” I was shaken to the core! Not only did I have a mental illness, but it was one of the most stigmatic of all. Borderlines already think that “everything is wrong with them”, so having a label like that over my head? IT WAS KINDA LIKE A STORM! A dark and looming torrential fucking rain cloud pummeling me 24/7, complete with lightening bolt voices in my mind screaming “YOU’RE BAT SHIT FUCKING CRAZY”!

There is a very cruel woman in this world (who I believe is a narcissist) who after being made aware of my diagnoses took full advantage of having that information by bludgeoning and emotionally blackmailing me with it in an attempt to socially posture herself while I was in a weakened state. SHE WAS A NURSING STUDENT WHO CLAIMED TO HAVE STUDIED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY AT ONE POINT, someone I truly considered a friend and trusted with my precious vulnerability. She set out to destroy me by not only threatening to report me to the Texas Real Estate Commission to have my license stripped, but also to “expose me” to our small school community, which for the record, she did end up doing, and thus became my daughter’s descent into social ostracization, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts of her own after being surrounded by her classmates on the playground one day and asked, “Is it true that your mom is a sociopath who’s been in a mental hospital and is unsafe to be around children”? Yup. That happened. That really fucking happened! The “first do no harm” medical professional made good on her promise to level me with my “girl interrupted secret”.

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Meanwhile, here I am, nine post-diagnoses years later. I did the work, know who I am, where I’ve been, and exactly where I’m going. That part of my journey is but a distant memory, except to say that moving forward I have and will take any opportunity that avails itself to share my “little girl interrupted” secret, as in below when I did so in a very public forum recently. It’s the one thing I’ve published that I’m proudest of so far, because just as “saying the words out loud” to those closest to me was the most healing part of my journey, so too was “writing the words out loud”:

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“HOW CAN YOU COMFORT A FRIEND WITH BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER?”

Oh how I love and appreciate this question! Seriously, it means so much as a recovering Borderline to see these words out in the Cosmos in bold set black and white letters. It means you genuinely care and therefore desire to understand it, which for your average Borderline is more than half the battle! For me? The best thing anyone ever did to comfort me in my BPD darkness was to “look beyond the cover of my book” before casting unwarranted judgements, opinions or assumptions about who others thought I was: “Crazy, dramatic, histrionic, spoiled rotten Girl Interrupted Catherine.” And by that I mean this …
Obviously, as with any mental illness, there is no way to take a human brain apart and actually see the twists and turns that can “Molotov cocktail” a person into madness, but there is widely held belief that Borderline Personality Disorder tends to develop in a person with a history of: Emotional, physical or sexual abuse; Being exposed to long-term fear or distress as a child; Being abandonded or neglected (either physically or emotionally) by one or both parents; Growing up with another family member who had a serious mental health condition. [See Also the National Institute Of Mental Health’s overview in this regard.] In my case? Yup. My “childhood trauma resume” from cradle to this minute includes, but is not limited to: ALL OF THE ABOVE! Although I do not believe that any of my primary caregivers intentionally and knowingly harmed, abused or traumatized me in the ways they did, but the resulting fallout was and is still very real to me nonetheless.
I myself spent a lifetime (39 plus years) just trying to survive “me”, completely unaware of what the HELL was actually wrong with me, especially inasmuch as that “on the surface” at many junctures it did appear that my life was picture perfect. Even I sometimes told myself, “How dare you effing feel this way Catherine, you spoiled, crazy BRAT. You’re life is absolutely PERFECT”. I hated me for hating myself and being “so unappreciative” of what ultimately revealed itself to be a farce of an existence, and especially hated knowing that the emotional storm cloud that seemed to follow me everywhere was raining on my loved ones’ heads as well.
Most Borderlines truly hate themselves at their darkest, deepest core because of the words and judgements of clueless people who’ve never walked a day in their shoes. They are programmed to believe that they are weak, dramatic, histrionic, ungrateful human train wrecks whose accompanying chaos darkens even the brightest room. BORDERLINES BELIEVE THEY ARE A CANCER TO THE WORLD, as so often this is what they’ve been told. My point being this: The best way to comfort a friend with Borderline Personality Disorder is to simply “hear them”. Listen to them. Dig a little deeper and ask them: What did your eyes see? What did your ears hear? How did your heart feel when it was a child? Then say these words to them: “I’m sorry that happened to you. It wasn’t fair at all and I don’t think you’re a crazy, weak, spoiled rotten, histrionic train wreck of a human disaster. I’m sorry if no one ever told you that before.” Again, I am so thankful to see this question here and hopefully anyone reading my answer can find some value. “Girls Interrupted” are often just broken, yet powerful, very loving ANGELS that need their hidden scars and wounds acknowledged so their broken wings can finally get them off the ground. I know this all to well, because that was me: “Girl Interrupted”. I spent so much time avoiding the Sun that I DIDN’T THINK I DESERVED that I cannot even tell you. I’m just so glad I lived to tell about it and finally start using my wings! Have a good day, and again, THANK YOU FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION!

So, there you have it. I said the words out loud, but I’m not “girl interrupted” anymore! I’M A FUCKING MIRACLE … a STORM who finally “broke free”. My husband used to call me “The Borderline Whisperer”, because as I’ve walked with it and through it I’ve begun to recognize it in others all too well. In the last few years I’ve “had the conversation” with several people, most of whom have sought treatment and are now fighting their way out of themselves. HE WAS SO FUCKING PROUD ME … “HIS BEAUTIFUL DISASTER WIFE” … and everything he saw me go through to beat it. He was my NUMBER ONE supporter and NEVER ONCE threw it in my face, or mocked me, or made fun of me, or made me feel “less than” because I was sick. There is NO FUCKING WAY I’d be writing this write today if it wasn’t for that guy … I know it, he knows it … GOD KNOWS IT! He carried the torch that God Himself prepared that lead me out of the darkness and to The Light, and I know he’s smiling right now as he watches me go public. How bittersweet is the irony that he that couldn’t find his way out of the darkness? Nevertheless, I am no longer ashamed to “say the words”, because guess what? They do not define me! That “little secret” makes me sick no longer because it’s NOT a secret anymore! My name is Cat Williamson. I have Borderline Personality Disorder. But now I’m the “Girl Uninterupted”!

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY BE STRUGGLING WITH BPD:

Overview Of BPD

 Borderline Personality Disorder Test

Borderline Resources

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APRIL 13, 2020: “Because Kings DO Live On” …

IMG_0851THE HEART WILL GO ON

“Every night in my dreams I see you, I feel you. That is how I know you go on. Far across the distance and spaces between us you have come to show you go on. Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on. Once more you open the door and you’re here in my heart and my heart will go on and on. Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime and never let go ’til we’re gone. Love was when I loved you, one true time I’d hold to. In my life we’ll always go on. Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on. Once more you open the door and you’re here in my heart and my heart will go on and on. You’re here, there’s nothing I fear, and I know that my heart will go on. We’ll stay forever this way. You are safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on.”

~ Celine Dione

… that moment your memory is reminded once again that it was “6 years ago” you “remembered” … and how lucky are you to be the luckiest women you’ve ever known, because now you have not one king, but two living safely in your heart, and some women never find one at all …

 

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APRIL 7, 2020: “Who Cries For The King” …

"Who Cries For The King"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

WHO CRIES FOR THE KING?

And who cries for the King

With the rising Phoenix wings

As he flies on towards the Sun

While is own world comes undone

The hero he never meant to be

Bears every burden for you and me

The world he helped to find a voice

But did he really have a choice 

He wields the scepter and wears a crown

The ones he never can lay down

But in the endless hour’s night

He chokes back tears with every flight

Screams within, still holding on

As blood he spills before the dawn

For all his gifts he would return

To free the wings he had to earn

So who cries for the King

With the Rising Phoenix wings

As he flies on towards The Sun

While his own world comes undone

Please show him Light. Just say a prayer.

As his wings move through your air.

The words to every fucking song

Are the words that never were ever wrong

Who cries for the King?

~ Cat Williamson

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APRIL 2, 2020: “With Silver Bells And Cockle Shells” …

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This morning I was “daydreaming” again and making plans for a future I’m really not “planning” as much as I am “visualizing”. It’s this whole thing that Williamson taught me: “If you want it, SEE IT, THEN GO AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!”. Now, I’m sure some of you may be thinking, “Well, then why the hell didn’t he just SEE himself out his darkness?” Unfortunately, mental illness doesn’t always work that way, especially when a human mind ends up literally splitting in two. But I’ve digressed.

Zack and I always talked about “the little cottage in France” I want so badly, and indeed he vowed to make that happen before my time was done. So, he would make me visualize it: “Close your eyes Catherine. Tell me what you see. Tell me EVERYTHING you want at the cottage.” Then I would close my eyes and tell him:

“It will look like a fairy tale … small and cozy … surrounded by trees … covered in climbing ivy with a stone chimney up on top … SURROUNDED BY HYDRANGEAS, YELLOW ROSES, SILVER BELLS AND COCKLE SHELLS …”.

This morning while I was daydreaming? Once again I closed my eyes and “saw it”. My little cottage, that I’m going to have, with the climbing ivy, stone fireplace up top and surrounded by my favorite flowers. Then all was well and my day progressed.

Twenty minutes ago my doorbell rang. “Who in the world …?” When I opened the door my stomach hit the floor in the best possible way with that all too familiar adrenaline dump I’ve come to know so well during the worst and best moments of my life that consumes my soul then drains right out of my fingertips. It was his floristthe only one he EVER patroned … his “partner in crime” when it came to knowing exactly how to make me smile … with THIS arrangement … for me: “Good afternoon Cat. These are from Diane. She just wanted you to know we’re all thinking of you constantly.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Call it what you will my friends: Coincidence. Happenstance. Fortuity, fluke or chance. Dismiss it as just “a thing” if you will, but nope, not me, EVER! Never will I fail to heed the many signs of life that flourish in the darkness! To me, it’s Serendipity. My husband, my future AND GOD HIMSELF all screaming to me in living color! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am one blessed and lucky biotch! No, Zachariah, not a single one of your years in this realm were in vain. Every gift you gave me and every dream you dreamt is going to carry on. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be.

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MARCH 29, 2020: “If Atlas Falls” …

"If Atlas Falls"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

TO MY FOLLOWERS:

Please Share This!

Love Cat

ATLAS FALLS

“The push is always part of us, and gravity’s never a friend. Deciding on who we can trust and finding our way to crescendo to the unknown. We’ll never make it outside unless we unlock the past and release the future that we’ve left to die. For too long we’ve taken placebos, but the unknown is awakening. Don’t give up now! There’s already so much at stake! If Atlas falls, I’ll rise up and carry us all the way. 

No we can never look back. Return to the salt and the sea. The quiet is only a trial and I will not take the placebos ’cause the unknown is awakening. But I will crescendo. Don’t give up now! There’s already so much at stake. If Atlas falls, I’ll rise up and carry us all the way. It won’t hold me down … the weight of impossible days. I’ll stand tall. I’ll rise up and carry us all the way. Keep moving forward now. Keep your head above the clouds. I’m right with you. I will lift you. Just hold on.”

~ Shinedown

For more information about Shinedown’s collaboration with Direct Relief, please click here:

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MARCH 22, 2020: “The Worst Mental Illness To Have” …

Quora Question

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Quora Answer

The worst mental illness someone can have is any mental illness they are afraid to be honest about for fear of what will people think. So many broken people choose to live behind a mask, perhaps thinking it’s the only way they can protect either other people or even themselves from whatever dark, sad or broken things are lurking within them.

Case in point: I just lost my husband to suicide on August 22, 2019. He had been diagnosed with severe, childhood abandonment-related depression a year prior. However, no one that thought they knew him had any idea what we had been dealing with at home, such that on August 23rd, when the news “hit the wall” on my Facebook page that he had taken his own life, everyone was shocked beyond belief. No one saw it coming. He wore a mask.

My husband was always the brightest light and happiest face in every room with a larger than life presence. His smile was infectious. But behind every one of his smiles, jokes and laughter, he was secretly dying inside. He believed for the longest time he could self-manifest his depression away by “faking it until he made it”, but sadly that was not to be. He drowned inside himself and the demons that had been circling his living carcass for a lifetime won.

I personally believe that mental illness is still such a stigmatic issue that people who are suffering in silence are less likely to be forthright about their situations and seek the help they need for fear that in doing so they will be seen as weak, crazy, ungrateful or just plain lazy.

“Mentally ill” are not two words people want to be associated with in conversation. I myself struggled with a debilitating mental illness of my own for many years, so I do have that very personal point of reference as well. I was ashamed of myself and so afraid to let people see what was really going on inside of me for fear of “what would people think”. So, I too hid it behind a mask with the biggest smile I could fake. Thankfully I survived to tell about it.

I’ve been writing incessantly about both my and my husband’s mental health journeys in “The Diary Of My Perfection” and specifically wrote a piece that I believe correlates to this topic in an entry entitled “Solitary: Life Behind A Mask” if anyone cares to read further on my perspective with this. It’s a commentary on The Joker movie, which I believe was a sobering eye-opener on this subject and really delves into what I am saying.

This is a great question, by the way, and an important one. Chances are that someone you know, and perhaps even someone very close to you, could be hiding behind a mask of their own and fighting a mental illness “in solitary”. In which case, it’s imperative that as a society we find a way to enable those who are living in such darkness to take off their masks and start walking towards a light. The more awareness we bring to this? The more lives will be saved!

To View The Original Quora Q&A Click HERE!

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MARCH 20, 2020: “Outlaws & Outsiders” …

FFDP

If you know me well you know that my history with musicality is, like me, “oxymoronical” at best. Movie soundtrack orchestrals to death metal and everything in between. Well, almost everything. There are some genres of “music” I just can’t. But I’ve digressed, again, as usual. Go figure. Five Finger Death Punch is one of my all time favorite bands. It’s a little rough around the edges folks, not gonna lie, and definitely not for the faint of heart. But behind every raging scream, pounding fist and stomping foot are the tears and still beating hearts of real life Phoenixes. Their brokeness. Darkness. Sadness. Rage. Regret. Vindication. Introspect, and yes, even the distant Lights of their Salvation (if you know where to really look for it deep beneath the surface). It sounds like “hate”, but it’s really “hurt”. It’s the very tragic truth and everything that comes after finding it! This morning I posted this on one of the private pages I follow:

Hello tribesmen. Hope you’re all faring well in this COVID operation. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here locked in my house with only my German Shepherd and my thoughts. When I posted this on my blog today, I went back to read it then closed my eyes and had THE best imaginary scenario about me and ALL OF YOU …

It’s two months from now. The pandemic has desecrated the earth. People are literally insane, like, real life “Walking Dead” martial law civilian chaos. But MY TRIBE is thousands of fed up, pissed off, “not right in the head” but actually VERY RIGHT IN THE HEAD, well-prepared, “life’s been priming us for this shit since the day we were born – how YOU doin” inked up, leather clad, metal in their faces, weapons-ready warriors and bullet-proof phoenixes that the world once thought were just a bunch of angry freaks, losers, weirdos and assholes grinding their axes for NOTHING! Then? We take over the world! It was THE best mini-movie I’ve ever watched in my mind! 

Let’s be ready to pick up our axes and start swinging, and this can be our fight song! Happy Friday everyone. Love all of you angry freaks and weirdos. No, really! 

So, here’s my vibe today: “Outlaws & Outsiders”! It’s this ridiculous life thing for me and yes it’s oh so beautiful! Some day I’m going to meet this band, I’m telling you right now. I’m extremely stubborn this way and when I put my mind to something, well, you can pretty much count on it happening. Ivan Greening (a/k/a “Ivan Moody’) is the leader of “The Pride” (a literal pack of animals) and although he too is EXTREMELY rough around the edges, he likens himself a Phoenix, which to me is beyond relatable and “human”.

If “Coronapocalypse 2020” is really coming for us all, trust me when I say that you’ll find me and both my kids living in this rogue society. Nothing like an army of once voiceless, broken, set aside, forgotten, hated, misunderstood, shame-filled “less thans” whose lives have been preparing them for “social distancing” from the moment they were born. The best way to survive if the end of the world is really coming is to go find all the other survivors waving their giant axes in the air. Because some of us once lived underneath a rock for this very reason. Just sayin’ …

OUTLAWS & OUTSIDERS

“Got a gypsy soul. I’m a rebel and rogue and I’m always on the run. With a fire inside, I ain’t ever gonna die. I’m a locked and loaded gun. When the matches strike and the gasoline lights, it’s only just begun. One thing I learned, is you can watch it all burn, but the flame ain’t ever done! Ooh … Raise ’em up a little higher, your lighters, outlaws and outsiders! Ooh … Some call me a renegade. The enemy. Throw your hands up if you feel the same. Whoa, living life at the edge. Just say what you wanna say, or walk away! I’ll stand tall when there’s hell to pay! Ain’t no power higher. We’re the outlaws and outsiders! Mm, yeah.

I was born in the dark with a fearless heart and a taste for the other side. I was a crazy-ass kid. All the shit I did. I’m amazed that I’m still alive. They thought I’d change with a little bit of age, but you know I never will. Takes too much time to walk a straight line and I don’t have time to kill. Ooh … Raise your fists up higher, you fighters, outlaws and outsiders! Ooh … Some call me a renegade. The enemy. Throw your hands up if you feel the same. Whoa, living life at the edge. Just say what you wanna say, or walk away. I’ll stand tall when there’s hell to pay! Ain’t no power higher. WE’RE THE OUTLAWS AND OUTSIDERS!

~ Cory Marks (with Ivan Moody, Travis Tritt & Mick Mars)

Knucklehead

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MARCH 18, 2020: “Just Living The Dream” …

6ff7a7bd-c566-4984-9047-585bac6ede2eLIVING THE DREAM

“Captain America, are you off to fight the bad guys? Hey, mighty Superman, can you save us from ourselves? Hey, Mr. Universe, can you lift us up above this? ‘Cause I’m just Iron Man, I’m a ghost within a shell. Take a look around. Just look around. They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Why did they never mention what’s real and in between? It seems the path we’re on was paved with blood and sorrow. No thought about tomorrow. Just part of the machine or so it seems. Yeah, so it seems. We’re all living the dream. We’re all living the dream. Hey there, Your Majesty, is there anyone above you? It must be lonely when you’re up there looking down. Hey, Lady Amnesty, there’s no one that can judge you. We’re all just broken toys beneath your crooked crown. Take a look around. Just look around. They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Why did they never mention what’s real and in between? It seems the path we’re on was paved with blood and sorrow. No thought about tomorrow. Just part of the machine or so it seems. Yeah, so it seems …” ~ Five Finger Death Punch

NOTE TO SELF:

Life is not a game my dear, it’s only just a song, so be mindful and intentional in all you do or say. If indeed you get to see the miracle of tomorrow, do everything you can to make it the most powerful “I’ve got another shot at this” kind of day ever! You’re sitting here writing this, which means you’re still alive, so keep “living the dream” well my little warrior Phoenix friend, taking NOTHING and NO ONE for granted.

(PS) YOU GOT THIS!

(Don’t forget Who’s driving the car.)

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