JULY 8, 2011: “Where Do I Begin” …

~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

Dear Steven,

Well, hello there stranger! I hope this quick note finds you very well! As I was wrapping up the last of our wedding / real estate announcements, I had a final thought: I should send one to Steven! Please understand that this announcement is NOT a solicitation of real estate business from you, but rather, the icing on a cake that you played a huge part in baking.

You’re a very good counselor Steven, and although we probably should have spent more time together, I have come to believe over the last two years that somehow by the time I’d made it to your office many of the answers I was looking to you for were already right here inside of me if not punching me smack dab in the face. Timing was everything for that season of my life and after all I’d already been through and brought upon myself over the years I feel as though I was right there on the edge of my own breakthrough!

Although you may not have thought or believed it, as I was then, still am, and will probably ALWAYS be a bit stubborn in taking anyone else’s advice, which I know is one of my greatest downfalls, I did absolutely receive every word that you said to and somehow digested, processed and used them all as a means to building my new “toolbox” of coping, living and relational skills. Simply stated: Although I combatted you all the way I took everything you said and eventually put it into practice!

Zack and I are doing well, and you should know that we’re in a safe, secure and openly communicative partnership that I believe in my heart will stand the test of time. Three years later and he’s still yet to raise his voice to me, chastise, criticize, belittle or fail to support me in every little thing I think, say or do, and more so than that he still hasn’t thrown “me” in my face! He’s a good man with a rare and true heart of gold and I do not believe that he has that propensity in him at all. We get along very well and our marriage peaceful and fulfilling. I am still very much in love with him, as is he with me, and we are growing forward as a couple every day!

As for everyone else? “He” is still “Him”. Not much has changed there and unless I am totally missing something there are no “major breakthroughs” for Him thus (although I am still praying for that every night). Although I am very happy in my new life there is still and will always be a part of me that will not be completely at peace until the day that I see He is. I have a great deal of compassion for Him and have learned to be very patient where He is concerned to the best of my ability. He’s an imperfect human being, just as we all are, and I take each dealing with Him for what it is worth … very important. He may be an asshole sometimes but guess what? That man gave me a combined total of seventeen years of the best possible version of Himself he possibly could, along with three beautiful babies (yes even the “littlest one” that only stayed a few hours is and will always be the tiny, beautiful angel I carry on my shoulder). He is who He is and is either going to be okay one day or not. There is nothing I can do for Him any longer other than, as I said, keep on praying that one day He sees The Light.

As for the kids? Christian just graduated from Jesuit and got himself into SMU, Baylor, TCU and a few other really good schools. We’re still not sure where he’s going at this point, but he was just signed to a fun and crazy modeling contract with this big agency downtown and they are supposedly planning to make him a star! Lol, we’ll see about that! He’s a very good kid with a shattered heart just like his mom and therefore a bit rough around the edges at times. I have nothing but faith in him though and believe in my heart that somehow eventually he will have some “major breakthroughs” of his own and rise above himself to an incredible life. And Gia? She’s a tiny, rotten, amazingly wonderful complicated “beautiful disaster” as Zack has since renamed her … just like her mother! She’s a very short carbon copy of me, and well, um, wish me luck with all of that! We’re gonna have our hands full with her in all the best possible ways! I got this though, trust me! My daughter will not leave my nest without the proper tools in her toolbox as well and I refuse to have her end up at The Meadows like I did! Nope! Not gonna happen!

As for Me? As you can see I did finally go back to school and finished up those last few hours of school! I’ve got my Texas Real Estate license now alongside my husband I’m a locked and loaded producing agent here in Collin County! We’re both very excited with all the possibilities and looking forward to succeeding in this venture. I know I can do this and WILL! As you can also see I have also included with this letter my two “other business” cards! I finally got my hand-painted “trash to treasure” jeans business off the ground, just as I said I would, and that’s what I am doing in the background to help support my husband’s many efforts to make a “suitable and stellar life for us” in real estate!

See also my “Boot Camp” card! Yes sir, indeed, I’m still VERY MUCH a part of that Life Enrichment Boot Camp you sent me to in an ironic “last ditch effort” to help me. Imagine that! The one thing you thought wouldn’t work for me was the one thing that actually worked. Go figure! I’m just about to celebrate two years with the group, and Steven, I can’t thank you enough for sending me there above all the many other things you did to help me while I was thwarting you at every turn! LEBC has been a blessing and a gift to not only myself but to so many of the people I know and love. THAT’S WHERE I HAD MY MOMENT! Well, one of them, right? Lol. Lest we forget Jason’s Deli, France itself, Adoram and Henrik! But I’ve digressed. Lol. (See? Some things will NEVER change with me!) Boot Camp is where I started putting all my little broken pieces back together by ultimately realizing that in order to live a full and healthy productive adult life I first had to learn to “forgive” – not only those that have hurt me over the years but most importantly, myself. This is my mantra now: I am a human. I’ve been broken. I’m imperfect. Always was. Always will be. BUT IT’S OKAY … I’m forgiven! Now I have to keep rising above it!

Well that’s it then! Pat yourself on the back a bit! You may not have thought so but you did a good job, and I mean that from the bottom of my salvaged heart! Please wish me the best as I continue into my future and as well I shall wish you the same! Thank you for everything and I am SO beyond sorry that I almost drove you to the brink of your own insanity with mine! Please never doubt yourself in your profession. You are very good at what you do … it’s patients like ME that are your problem. Lol! Take care Steven …

Catherine (a/k/a “Hell On Wheels”)


I [could] see the time I’d wasted and my life [was] passing by. It [was] so hard to keep on living tryin’ to keep this dream alive. [Tried] to tell myself it was worth it, but the words never come out. ‘Cause I [wanted to] find the truth. So, tell me now? Where do I begin? I was lost at the edge of dying in a world so cold. Where do I begin? Now I’m alive I can see I’m ready to be on my own. One more step to take before it’s too late. I just wanna reach the end. So where do I begin? [Held] my breath and [kept] on searching for a life I hadn’t found ’cause I [wanted] to know the truth. So, tell me now? Where do I begin? All the regrets I’d kept inside (I’ll let them go). And all the things I never tried (I’ll let them go). I won’t rest until I see (the truth in me). I need it. {Sick Puppies}