MAY 28, 2021: “So Take The Best Parts Of Me” …

… locked away without the keys, and know that I’m forever by your side.

“The Brighter Side Of Grey” ~ Five Finger Death Punch

… that moment you realize yet again that your child’s creative talent puts even your best work to shame, and all you can do is sigh, because “with all that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right”.

She is my gift to this world.

They both are. My legacies. My everything. The Brighter Sides of ALL my beautiful greys. Have I ever told any of you that I am THE luckiest queen on this Earth?

… BELOW …

Her “Principles of Design” series freshman project. She was asked to use “random bits and pieces” on a 4×7 surface to present her personal interpretations of design concepts such as “Unity”, “Emphasis”, “Symmetry”, “Contrast”, “Rhythm & Movement”, and “Asymmetrically Balanced”. Each of these “bits” of cardstock and paper were individually hand-cut and arranged …

MARCH 30, 2021: “Because Hope Is A Good Thing” …

The Shawshank Redemption was Zack’s favorite movie of all times. To him, it screamed “hope” in every circumstance, and despite the obviously tragic ending, trust me when I tell you that he tried not to literally lose his mind and fall apart the way he did. Ironically, we watched it together for probably the twentieth time the weekend before he died and he cried the whole way through it. Looking back, I know in my heart that as he was watching it for the very last time he knew he wasn’t going to be able to hang on much longer and all that all the “hope” he tried so hard to find in doing so was fast coming to a screeching halt. We’d talked incessantly about what he was feeling in his heart and mind, and towards the end he just kept saying it felt like he was trapped inside a prison. Five nights later, he was gone.

In here is where it makes the most sense … you need it so you don’t forget … that there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone … that there’s something inside that they can’t get to … they can’t touch … it’s yours … hope.”

Having done a little investigating, I was able to have a conversation with one of the first responders at the scene the morning of August 23rd, and he was kind enough to answer some of questions I needed answers to. He said that when they found him, the car was still running, and there was opera music playing inside so loud that they could hear it through the windows. I JUST KNOW THAT WHAT HE WAS LISTENING TO AT THE END WAS HIS FAVORITE MUSICIAL MASTERPIECE OF ALL – Mozart’s “The Marriage Of Figaro” – the one from his favorite scene in the movie …

Here’s the thing …

There are so many questions I will never have answers to, and even more things I will never understand. Only God and Zack know what was going through his mind in those dark hours. Even if it’s true that I will see him again in another place and time, and even if I do get to meet God one day. there is still no assurance that ponderings such as these will be part of the beautiful conversations to be had, much less will I even know that I pondered them at all. In “the opera scene”, Red said …

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. I like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.

Likewise, I have no idea what Zack was really thinking about or “listening to” in the very last seconds of his life, but I’d like to think …

He was thinking about something so beautiful it just couldn’t be expressed in words, despite how his heart was aching, and it was the Light at the end of the very dark tunnel that had been his life on Earth that WAS the last bit of “hope” he was clinging to.

As par for our course, there are some things He will reveal to me only if and when I am ready to hear them, and so many other things that aren’t meant for me to understand at all. Guess what? THAT’S OKAY! I have the truly blind faith in my mind’s eye to guide me as I’m crossing over and that is all the “hope” I’ll ever need. Indeed it’s a VERY good thing!

MARCH 10, 2021: “My Grey-Aversary” …

On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon one year ago today, “the music wheel of destiny” stopped my world, and my heart, and sent me straight into the breakdown lane of one of the busiest expressways in Dallas so that I could literally cry my fucking eyes out. It was as if Zack were singing these most beautifully haunting words himself to me, my daughter, and my son in a message straight from “The Brighter Side Of Grey“, where in our hearts we KNOW he finally is. If you haven’t ever heard this song yet, I cannot urge you enough to do so, especially if you are at odds with yourself over the “legacy” you are going to be leaving behind for your own children and loved ones.

Today I will celebrate!

Today I will be thankful!

Today I’ll stay grey, just like the sky in Dallas as I write this, because if I’ve learned anything in my “fifty-ONE-derful” years, it’s that life really ISN’T a game, it’s a song. and I intend to enjoy every single chord until I reach The Brighter Side of every fucked up, twisted moment of my insanely beautiful life.

COVID literally crashed our 5FDP concert last year, Gia still hasn’t read the letter he wrote before he left. She knows the song exists, but isn’t allowed to listen to it until she can first hear Ivan singing it to her live. THAT will be the night she gets the words he wrote “in case he was gone tomorrow”. Make it a powerful day, and PLEASE listen to this song. It may just change the trajectory of your legacy and how you look at “grey”.

MARCH 8, 2021: “The Fortress Behind These Walls” …

A dear friend of mine posted this today on his social media and it really hit me hard:

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response. Your “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself” conditioning is a survival tactic. You needed it to shield your heart from the abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you. From the parent who was absent and abandoned you by choice. From the parent who was never home from working three jobs to feed and house you. From the lovers who offered sexual intimacy but never offered a safe haven that honored your heart. From the friendships and family who ALWAYS took more than they ever gave. From all the situations when someone told you “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when shit got real. Leaving you to handle your part and their part, too. From all the lies and all the betrayals. You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people. Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A TRUST ISSUE! You learned: “If I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me – OR – “when they drop the ball … because they will ALWAYS drop the ball EVENTUALLY, right?” You may even have been intentionally taught this protection strategy by generations of hurt ancestors who came before you. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST HEARTBREAK! So, you don’t trust ANYONE. And you don’t trust YOURSELF either. ESPECIALLY to choose people. To trust is to hope. To trust is to be vulnerable. “Never again,” you vow. But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be … in truth it’s your wounded, scarred, broken heart behind a protective brick wall. Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either. Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲! The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.

{Talon Harris with credit to “Inspired Jamila”}

Yes, I am a queen. Yes, I am healed, risen and SOARING after an entire lifetime of “walls”. Yes, I am thankful for EVERY thing, person, and situation that broke me, because I wouldn’t have had anything to “ascend from” had I not come from all these ashes. I would never have known how to recognize OR receive true, unconditional love, grace, acceptance and kindness from the very few people who have ever offered it to me.

But HERE’S why his post upset me ….

“The fortress” in this post? He was my husband! He’s still my son! She was my daughter! SHE WAS ME! “A fortress” is what so many kids are becoming, even as I write this, and I’m sickened to say that because there are certain parenting and lifestyle choice boundaries that are just not okay to cross, I have to sit silently and helplessly as so many parents I know literally decimate their beautiful children right in front of my eyes!

SELFISH, TOXIC, ABUSIVE PARENTS:

Wake the fuck up and get your shit together! GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS! PROTECT THEM! CHERISH THEM! VALIDATE THEM! HEAR THEM! CONSIDER THEM FIRST IN EVERY SINGLE CHOICE YOU MAKE FOR “YOU”! Worse yet, stop letting the people who hurt YOU continue to hurt your children! By failing to heal yourself and find a way to have healthy relationships after ones that have broken you apart, you only perpetuate that cycle of “victimized brokenness” by handing it down to your innocently jaded children!

In the meantime, I’ll just keep PRAYING that someday I don’t “get that call” that a child I once knew swallowed a bullet because their SELFISH parents “deserved the life they deserved” and I have to show up at their funeral. But mostly, I’ll be praying that somehow they’ll rise above their “life behind fortress walls” and be able to stand in front of a mirror one day and say …

“I AM WORTHY of having support. I AM WORTHY of having true partnership. I AM WORTHY of love. I AM WORTHY of having my heart held. I AM WORTHY to be adored. I AM WORTHY to be cherished. I AM WORTHY to have someone say, “You rest – I got this”, and actually fucking deliver on that promise. I don’t have to earn it! I don’t have to prove it! I don’t have to bargain for it! I don’t have to beg for it! I AM WORTHY!”

FEBRUARY 12, 2021: “Do You Need Help?” …

HELP!

I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. Did someone turn the lights out, or is it just another dark cloud in my head? ‘Cause I’m cut deep. My heart won’t beat. Deep down low it’s killing me. If I wanna scratch out yesterday, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! ‘Cause I’m drowning in myself. It’s sinking in. I can’t pretend that I ain’t been through hell. I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. They’re preying on my weakness. Believe it. I’m thinking to myself: “No, not again!”, and I won’t keep listening when temptation’s creeping in. If I wanna make it another day, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! {Papa Roach}

JANUARY 9, 2021: “Drinking Straw Parasites” …

AND NOW …

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:

Just thought I’d share this lovely PSA for your reading enjoyment! Are YOU letting parasites drink from YOUR straws?

GOOD GRIEF, I truly hope not! As for me, I stopped handing out my straws so freely a few years ago. It wasn’t immediate, of course, but rather, quite the arduous and painful process. Setting boundaries was extremely difficult, because I’M AN EMPATH, and despite what some may choose to believe, I don’t take pleasure from either hurting people or seeing them hurt. So, the “Hi everyone, IT’S ME CAT! Here you go, take one of my straws” days are OVER! There was a time not too long ago that I didn’t even realize how valuable my straws were, so I’d hand them out to practically anyone.

That was then!

This is now!

These days it seems I’ve become an absolute raving biotch, and in some regards I suppose it’s true. It just depends on who’s watching me “hoard my straws”! I’ve said it before … and I’ll say it again …

I’M AN ACTUAL QUEEN,

AND QUEENS DON’T TAKE EVEN NOMINAL AMOUNTS OF SHIT FROM ANYONE!

These days, I’ll only “really give” what I actually get, because my time, effort, attention and energy are some of the most precious commodities a VERY LUCKY human being could possibly get! My “straws” are reserved for ONLY other kings and queens and that’s just how it is.

“HI EVERYONE, IT’S ME, CAT! I’M THE NICEST DAMN BIOTCH YOU’LL EVER WANNA KNOW AND MY STRAWS ARE EFFING PRICELESS!”

Now then, please do enjoy this all too fitting drinking straw parasite serenade from perhaps my favorite “don’t you DARE take shit from ANYONE” sponsors of all … the one … the only … THE GHOST … THE IVAN!

DECEMBER 18, 2020: “128,000 Ripples” …

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

It’s been 498 days since Fate started spinning the wheel for our family and 484 days since the king fell off his throne, yet here I am STANDING STRONG with this tiara on my head, but more so than that …

I’M MAKING WAVES!

SO CAN YOU!

PLEASE! If you are reading this and have also been to HELL and back and are still alive to to tell about it … TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t let YOUR own “Survival Resume” have been in vain. You just never know who’s listening and watching or how far your ripples will reach into the ocean! LET YOUR OWN SURVIVAL STORY BE THE REASON SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISION TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND STICK AROUND!

NOVEMBER 24, 2020: “And They Shall Rise Up”…

They made me a mom.

They made me strong.

They made me REFUSE to give up on myself under any circumstances!

They make me DETERMINED with every single breathe that I’m lucky enough to take to be a Light in all their darkness.

You see, “Phoenixes can only make phoenixes”, so they have no ther choice but to rise up and and fly.

And that, my friends, is just the way it is!

RISE UP

I was hoping for an indication. I was seeking higher elevation. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I’ve been shaken wakin’ in the night light. I’ve been breakin’, hiding from the spotlight. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. The more I stray, the less I fear, and the more I reach, the more I fade away. The darkness right in front of me. Oh it’s calling out and I won’t walk away! I would always open up the door. Always looking up at higher floors. Want to see it all. Give me more. Rise, rise up! I was always up for the making changes. Walking down the street and meeting strangers. Flipping through my life turning pages. Rise, rise up! Like a prayer that only needs a reason. Like a hunter waiting for the season. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I was there, but I was always leaving. I believe it, that I was never breathing. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I’m bursting like the 4th of July, so color me and blow me away! I’m broken in the prime of my life, so embrace it and leave me to stray! {Imagine Dragons}

NOVEMBER 23, 2020: “One Light Burning” …

ONE LIGHT BURNING

All alone in the dark. No walls, no windows. Trying hard to define Heaven from hell. Standing out in the rain with just one shadow. Nothing to see or believe beyond myself. See my life going by each moment I am alive. I keep reaching out, holding on, hoping somewhere in my life there’s one light burning. I feel it like my heart beating inside. Somewhere in my life, there’s one light burning. All alone with my fears. No words are spoken. A story yet to be told locked in my mind. Hope is somewhere ahead shining brightly, but the past is always following close behind. Somewhere in my life, t here’s one light burning leading the way. {Richie Sambora}

If you’re reading this …

… PLEASE REMEMBER …

It doesn’t HAVE to be the dark of night to get out there, Light ’em up and be that “One Light Burning”!

It’s Monday, November 23, 2020! So many kids are home this week with parents and families who are desperately thinking “WHAT THE HELL” – especially where this whole “holiday season 2020 COVID style” is concerned. Yah, it’s really kinda DARK outside, EVEN in the daytime!

Let me encourage you to to THIS …

While you’re out and about living life today, SMILE AT SOMEONE! Be kind to EVERYONE! Hold a door open. Pay for someone’s lunch. HELP where you can (smiles are FREE). Say “have a good day” (and really mean it) to a complete and total stranger and see how truly good and hopeful it makes you feel! Do it for them, do it for you, do it in tribute to loved ones you’ve lost who would WANT you to have learned to value humanity and cherish “the living” with their crossing. DO IT BECAUSE ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Especially because, as we all surely know, NO ONE MAKES IT OUT OF HERE ALIVE! So many people, including our loved ones, do lose the hope they need to keep their feet on this foreboding and shaky ground we call planet Earth! YOU know that I KNOW this all too well! For those of us left behind in the wake of a loved one’s lost battle with the darkness, WE OWE IT TO THEM TO LIGHT THE WAY FOR THE OTHERS!

Listen! Just because you can’t see a burning flame in the daylight, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel a burning flame in the daylight. A flame is a flame regardless of its timing, circumstances or surroundings … IT GIVES WARMTH! So, get out there and make it a powerful Monday everyone …

Chin Up!

Knuckles Out!

LIGHT ‘EM UP!

ONE LIGHT BURNING!

NOVEMBER 12, 2020: “Black Roses”

BLACK ROSE

I saw you in the garden – I wanted you so much. I really thought that you were different, oh I couldn’t get enough. I tried to save you from yourself – I felt every high and low. But the lows have drowned the highs away, now there’s no where else to go. Black rose your thorns are cutting into me for the last time. Black rose I watched your petals wilt away. I couldn’t bring you back to life! You were always where The Sun could never go. I never wanted you to have to be alone. But I couldn’t find a way to help you grow … Black Rose. You never tell me how you feel, and your moods they always change. I really tried to make it real, but you never had the faith. I tried to give you something good to take the pain away. I tried to make you understand – you don’t have to be this way …” {Trapt}

… that moment you’re so proud of yourself when “that one song from your past” cues up as your driving down the road, only this time it doesn’t make you cry. God has been so good to me in all the ways He’s helped me find closure and peace with the MANY black roses from my past … not the LEAST of which was ME! Trust me when I tell you that I wasn’t ALWAYS so upbeat, “Light-Filled” and optimistic. If you’ve read any of the chapters from the beginning of this Diary, YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT! There was a very dark time in my life when I was the blackest rose of them all! Such is life, right? We live, and we learn, then we move on!

Trapt is one of my all-time favorite bands by the way, and Black Rose truly is one of the “songs of my life”. If you’ve never heard it before, take a listen … IT’S SOOOOO PRETTY! But hey, if you do, I want you to tell me something PLEASE :: Can you say that when you get to the “at 3:23” guitar rift that it doesn’t send chills up your spine? I CANNOT! It’s actually one of the most beloved instrumental rifts I’ve ever heard and treasure, because it just makes me feel SOME KIND OF WAY! It’s never too far from my heart, no matter what kind of mood I’m in. Truth be told, I’ve probably “backed up and replayed” it 50 times in a row just so I could “feel something” (many of which times were to make myself cry when I couldn’t). Meanwhile, thank you God for the roses of my life – EVEN the black ones!

NOVEMBER 1, 2020: “Crossing Over” …

CROSSING OVER

All perched alone he sits there broken. An eldered man with storm clouds setting in his eyes. He counts the sands of time – remembering day’s gone by. It seemed like yesterday before it washed away. Hey, don’t wait for me there – just find your own way. Hey, don’t wait for me there – ’cause I’ll be there soon enough. The widow’s life ticks out like clockwork. A thousand tears she’s cried a hundred time’s before. But now that he is gone, she’s ready to move on. It all just fell away – it seems like yesterday. {Five Finger Death Punch}

Some days I rise with all the words I need to say just pouring out of my soul, and often it’s because of a dream. Like today, which would have been our 10th wedding anniversary. It’s been just over a year of bittersweet healing on this road I never planned to travel, and though I knew it was fast approaching, I also knew it would be a major turning point in my final ascent out of the darkness and into The Light. So, with that, let me tell you how my beautifully shattered life works

To begin, indeed I dreamt last night, but not before closing my eyes to the sound of the Halloween shenanigans of my daughter and her crew. (PS) Did I ever tell you that the one design flaw with Williamson Manor is that her theatre room and living area are directly above the master? Yup! They are! As it turns out, however, it’s not a flaw at all! Believe it or not, especially in this last 438 days, those echoes of stomping, laughing and chaos into the wee hours of so many nights are a lullaby to me. It’s why he built this home “from the ground up” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing she’s here, and happy, safe and whole, is one of the truths that comforts me the most. But damnit, I’ve digressed!

Where was I? Oh yes … my dream! I was front row center at a Five Finger Death Punch show, but instead of a mainstream concert venue, it was a very intimate gathering where Ivan was singing to me:

The widow’s life ticks out like clockwork … a thousand tears she’s cried a hundred times before. But now that he is gone, she’s ready to move on …

As he was singing he reached out his hand and a tear rolled down his cheek. But it wasn’t Ivan’s face! It was Zack’s face, on Ivan’s body, holding that legendary, spike-encrusted mic stand in one hand while reaching out the other to me like a muse. It was the most beautiful insanity imaginable! In the dream, I was thinking, “This means something. What does this mean?” Then I woke up and I knew.

In order to fully appreciate where I’m going with this, you must understand that I am led solely by intuition and feelings. Call me spiritualist. Call me a “good witch”. Call me whatever the hell you want. It’s my truth just the same and it’s never gonna change!

In every thing there is a meaning, in every moment a message, and something means everything, even if it’s nothing!

This is what I believe! Am I crazy? Out of touch? Insane? Delusional? Perhaps! But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, and let me tell you why: What if I’m RIGHT? What if it’s true? What if the Cosmos really is trying to speak to me. What if it really is him “communicating with us” through the fog and the crows and the lights in our bathroom? That, my friends, is the “crazy” blind faith that costs me nothing but gains me everything. Sooner or later I too will cross over, and either I’m right or I am wrong. Meanwhile, directly after waking this morning from that most ethereal dream, this was at the foot of my bed. It’s nothing, really. Nothing at all. Just one of the girls’ bracelets that either Good Cat or Bad Cat must have found and deposited at the exact spot my foot was supposed to hit the ground. “C’mon Cat, it’s just a bracelet.” Well duh, I already know that! But why did it show up in the endless twist of “F8” this way? Hmmmm. I think I kinda know …

IN CLOSING …

Ten years ago I kissed a frog who turned into a king. Five years ago today that same king turned me into a princess. Last night I had a dream, then woke up “on the edge of eternity”, at which point I was then was reminded of the pure and endless joy he brought into my life that I get to keep until it’s my time to touch The Brighter Side Of Grey. In the meantime, today marks the day. It’s time for me to move on, whatever that actually means, and I’ve asked God to show me what’s next. Sufficed to say, my heart is completely open to anything and everything … but this is the beautiful picture of the me I’m always going to be … thanks to him …

Happy Anniversary Williamson!

I don’t mind you hanging with us as long as you feel it’s necessary, but hey – don’t wait for me here. I’ll be there soon enough.

OCTOBER 30, 2020: “A Better Version Of Me” …

PEOPLE WHO TAKE SELFIES ARE NARCISSITIC AND VAIN!

~ By The Former Mislead & Completely MISINFORMED “Not So REAL” Cat Williamson

Yes, these are the words I used to say about “selfies”! Upon further deliberation, however, I have since changed that narrative to something more like this:

Selfies, self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-LOVE are okay in appropriate doses, if not a necessary evil.

Here’s the deal …

If I don’t love me, 100% unconditionally, and value, see and treat myself as the QUEEN I KNOW I AM, why on EARTH would anyone else? We treat others as we wish to be treated, right? Well, today I’m treating myself with the utmost of appreciation and importance. I am literally my own biggest fan these days! Well, me and the Big Guy that is … and HE DOES NOT MAKE TRASH! If He adores and values me above all things …

SO SHOULD I!

Look … I’m the one who “gets” to spend the most time with me of all, so, isn’t it a damn good thing that I’ve finally reached this place in my journey? Hell – if I had to be stuck with that “old me” I DESPISED for the next fifty effing years? NO THANK YOU — I’LL PASS! She was her own worst enemy, not a fan of me at all, and didn’t deserve to wear the crowns that once adorned her jacked up little head, because she didn’t believe she deserved them!

Hi everyone, it’s The Real Cat Williamson! I am Fifty-ONE-Derful years old and fearfully and wonderfully made!

~ By The New & Improved “Better Version Of Me” REAL Cat Williamson

Now then …

Excuse the mess – I didn’t see you from behind. I caught a glimpse, but the reflection’s only mine. It’s almost like I’m paralyzed and locked outside myself. I don’t need to concede, because I won’t be someone else! I am not perfect and I don’t claim to be, and if that’s what you wanted, well then I’m so sorry! How about a better version of the way that I am? How about a better version that makes me understand? How about a better version of the way that I am? The way I look … the way I speak … HOW ‘BOUT A BETTER VERSION OF ME? Excuse the wall I put it up from time to time. A silver shade, and the design is all mine. It’s just a maze that everyday I seem to be stuck in. It never seems to fade away but I pray for the day it ends. {“Better Version” by Shinedown}

To call it one of my favorites would not do it any justice. It’s so much more than just a song to me – it’s an entire way of life! I will never forget the first time I heard it. I was at the gym in the middle of a workout with the King who insisted that I already was the best version of “me” whatsoever. As I listened to the words, they ripped me to shreds in a hundred different ways. It was good, and bad, and beautiful, and awful, and absolutely AMAZING all the same! After that, I would listen to daily, sometimes over and over and over, until it actually became one of the processes that completely rewired my broken self-image and head. Truth be told, if I wasn’t pretty much out of space on my body to ink out any further mantras in as dignified a way as I have thus far (if there is such a thing, lol), I would have every word of this most empowering song tattooed in its entirety onto my body! You’ve heard it said before, “we are what we do, say and think”. I’m FINALLY the BEST fucking version of “me” that ever was and ever will be. Thank, You, GOD!

I want to challenge ALL OF YOU to post a selfie very soon. Because … YOU ARE PERFECT … and it’s OKAY to love YOU … as long as you’re doing it from a truly humble place and always keepin’ it real!

OCTOBER 28, 2020: “Because Jekyll NEVER Hides” …

In order to love who you are, you CANNOT hate the choices you have made. LET THAT SHIT GO!

WORDS TO LIVE BY.

Words to die by.

Words that just NEEDED to be strung together!

Whatever sins from your past are holding you back from rising so far above yourself that even you can’t stop your ascent … LET THEM DIE WHEN YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES THIS NIGHT! No one is perfect. We’ve ALL fucked up! Some of us more than others. Guess what? That’s what grace is for, and you deserve better than the guilt, shame and self-degradation causes from EVERYTHING you refuse to release yourself from.

OCTOBER 20, 2020: “Peace, Love, Light Aaaand” …

I struggled as to whether or not I should bother to respond to this bullshit message, but have decided to let you know …

It is now clear that you know nothing about my heart, so I’ll fill you in on a not so little secret: I am an empath who absorbs other people’s feelings and burdens as my own, especially those who are close to me. As such, I have spent the entire last seven months of COVID worrying for my friends, family and strangers, feeling helpless that I can’t just ZAP everyone’s lives into blissful perfection. I have shed countless tears, prayed daily for others, and done everything in my power to be “a Light” in the darkness, DESPITE the fact that 427 days ago the love of my life blew his fucking brains out and DEVASTATED me and mine in unspeakable ways that most people don’t and will never know (but YOU do). I am now a widow who has also “struggled”, with not only COVID, but countless other thoughts, burdens and stresses that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, all the while having still managed to at least TRY to think outside of myself and be thoughtful and mindful of others. I too have been near “a cliff”, and though it may not be as steep as yours, it is real just the same.

I was at a stop light when I saw your post and misinterpreted “your situation”. I’d honed in on the fact that you might have to sit in a 2-hour line to get a Chromebook for your son, which evidently was not the case. My first thought was about the like-new Chromebook that Gia had been trying to sell, so, I either texted or called you immediately. For the record, my intention was NEVER to sell it to you, and I apologize if that’s what you thought. Gia doesn’t need $100 and neither do I. My only thought at that moment was, “Oh no! A 2-hour line for a Chromebook? Maybe I could just bring her Gia’s.” ZERO was I “disregarding” either that situation or any situation you and yours have been dealing with as of late. I was JUST trying to help you be less stressed out.

Keep in mind that the weekend prior, I had made a gift bag to “ding dong ditch” your porch with on your birthday, but when I went to your page that day to write on your wall, I saw you on a getaway with your family and decided to hold off. Time passed and I had neither heard from or seen much of you on Facebook, so I tried to find out what was going on. I texted you two or three times. No response! I even thought about going to your house, but instead messaged your husband because I was worried that something was wrong. Then I got your text and realized that yet again (for the second time in 20 plus years) I’d, been, “GHOSTED”! And why is that? Because my well-intended message to you “kind of came across as disregarding your situation when you were already struggling”. Neither my words, thoughts or intended deeds were good enough and had to be punished!

When I got your text, I all but lost it and beat myself up pretty good! “OMG! What did I do? I hurt her feelings? Made her feel disregarded? What could I have done better? What could I have SAID better?” I felt like a terrible friend and awful person! Did you ever stop to consider that perhaps I did have good intentions and was just trying to help, but because I too am struggling, your assumption that I was “disregarding your situation” was WRONG? Short of that, could you have possibly shown some grace and cut me some slack for failing to regard “your situation” in the manner that you would have preferred? Yah, not so much!

Let me tell you about my “situation”. I had to actually run away to get my broken head, heart and feelings together after coming pretty damn close to falling off my own cliff! What you did to me was beyond unfair, if not cruel, and started cracking my heart in a brand new place. By the time my own birthday came and went and most of my “friends” forgot me, I think I was pretty much done … with all of this! I just survived an entire LIFETIME of walking on fucking eggshells in “relationship gauntlets” where the people I loved and trusted refused to extend grace for my MANY human failures and would punish me with silent treatments or “washing their hands of me”. The irony here is that ALL I’VE EVER WANTED is for “my people” to be happy, feel cared for, and NEVER have to wonder what they mean to me. The problem is that I’m not a mind reader, soooo … all I’ve ever been able to do is the best that I can do, which evidently isn’t good enough people like YOU!

I’m sorry I hurt your feelings and made you feel “disregarded”. If you knew me at all, you’d know that’s NOT how I roll. If this is “friendship”? No thanks, I’ll pass! And I especially don’t need “friends” who profess to be Christian followers of Jesus yet treat others this way. No grace? No compassion? NO THANK YOU! I’d rather be ALONE with my heart in the exact right place than “in the world” with people like you who could take me or fucking leave me. True friendships should neither be conditional nor contingent upon perfect behavior and impossibly high standards, up to and including “mind reading”. Walking on your eggshells doesn’t work for me anymore!

So, with that …

this is me …

GHOSTING YOU!

I was a damn good friend to you, and don’t you ever forget it! Or, DO. I don’t give a fuck! I did my very best to support all your endeavors and “situations” and have never been too busy to remember you, regardless of my struggles, and trust me, I’ve had some! I am fifty fucking ONE-derful years old now “friend”, and since you too forgot me on September 17th, I opened the candle I got when I didn’t forget you on August 8th and burned it for myself, alone, on my birthday! I deserve so much better than “I can take her or leave her”, or, “I’ll just punish her because she wasn’t clairvoyant enough to know the exact right thing to do for my situation. QUEENS DON’T TAKE SCRAPS FROM ANYONE, sooo, have a nice life, but LOSE MY FUCKING NUMBER! As a human being, I will always love you, but otherwise, you are DEAD to me!

Damn that felt good!

OCTOBER 5, 2020: “Name” …

NAME

The time has come to break the silence. To tell truth behind the rage. The years of living in denial. The time has come to turn the page. But it’s hard to forgive. Even harder to forget. I am a son without a father. He gave his name and walked away. I am a man, now a father. And I swear my son … oh … will never know that pain. I was a child, I was abandoned. To young to fight to have a say. Oh God, what seemed so heavy handed made me the man I am today. It’s so hard to forgive. Even harder to forget. I am a son without a father. He gave me his name then walked away. I am a man, now a father. And I swear my son … oh … will never know that pain. I will … I will… be the space between the shadows. I will … I will … be the light inside the sorrow. {Scott Stapp}

The time really has come to break the silence. Although, by this point one can clearly see that I have long been relentlessly breaking silences all the while.

SECRETS MAKE ME SICK NO LONGER!

Indeed, there are so many truths behind the rage, insanity, and broken-hearted despair that devoured not only my beautiful husband, but so many countless others that have walked this Earth “abandoned”.

He was a man without a mother. She gave him life then walked away.

SO DID THEY ALL! His “brothers”. His “father”. His “sister”. Every single one of them abandoned him! It’s been 411 days since he left, by the way, and even his ashes were abandoned! They could neither be bothered with him in life or death! It’s been hard to forgive, although never will I forget, but indeed I have forgiven ALL OF THEM FOR WHAT THEY DID TO HIM! And for the record, that was the kind of forgiveness that was for me, NOT for them!

So, with that, I must unfortunately only say this …

I am girl without a father. “He gave his name and walked away.” But I am a woman, now a mother, and I swear on my soul – my kids will never know that pain!

I will … I WILL … be the space between the shadows.

I will … I WILL … be the light inside the sorrow.

I WILL! I WILL!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACHARIAH LUCAS WILLIAMSON!

You may have been your family’s trash, but you were ALWAYS our greatest treasure!

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020: “The Dark Knight Of LIGHT” …

This morning I intersected with another mom who has also buried a child, which turned out to be fascinating! By now I hope you realize that my intention with this Diary is never to make you sad. “Sad” just isn’t for me, and although like anyone else, I have had more than my fair share of “sad”, I have chosen to walk a road wherein I do not to dwell in … or on … “sad” for too long.

With that, my intention now and as always is to remind you yet again that within each one of us is the propensity to EARN our very own “invisible cloak” just like that beautiful, flowy black one my favorite “not REALLY a superhero SUPERHERO” dons! You KNOW who I’m talking about … RIGHT?

Batman!

Just Batman.

Always, EVER, BATMAN!

We are ALL SUPERHEROES my friends … some of us just don’t know it! I mean, let’s be honest … NO parent should EVER have to bury a child. It’s just not natural. None of us should have to bury anyone! But having done so myself, then lived, survived, RISEN and THRIVED to tell about it? I’m here to tell you that although I didn’t quite realize it at the time, my tiny angel’s death was the catalyst to all the best and most endearing parts of what my human spirit could truly withstand and become.

I’m a living, breathing “Dark Knight Of LIGHT” who’s found the strength, courage and determination to rise above the demons, challenges, conflicts and chaos I’ve internalized at different points that tried to take me down, which for the record, is exactly what makes Batman so relatable to me. He’s the only superhero of the historic thousands whose secret identity IS his mask. Whereas, Clark Kent and Peter Parker “wear the masks” of Superman and Spider-Man? Bruce Wayne is the mask for his true identity, “Batman”. He’s a mortal super human hiding in plain site, with a list a mile long of perfectly matched villains that took him to the rails against personal weaknesses that eventually became his strengths. Two-Face challenged the duality of his personality and the two different paths Fate offered. Poison Ivy challenged his struggle with lust and temptation. Scarecrow challenged his struggle with fear. The Riddler challenged the power of his mind. And Joker? Fuhgettabout it! The greatest fictional anarchist of all times held Batman for ransom against his longing for justice and order.

So, with that, I end with this …

How awesome is it that a cosmic collision with another “grieving mom” not only made me smile, but also reminded of how effing proud I am of the cloak I wear that no one sees!

The “Dark Knight Of Light” … That’s me … AND you!

Never forget to remind yourself that YOU’RE a bad ass superhero who has triumphed over SO many things – regardless of whether anyone’s ever noticed or acknowledged it! We gotta keep shining our OWN Lights over our OWN heads … because … it’s the right thing to do and we’re allowed to!

… and besides …

The God I serve doesn’t make anything less than “super-humans”. It’s our job to find the hero hiding within ourselves, lest we become the antithesis of all we truly stand for. THAT’S why He has to let us fall — so we can learn to pick ourselves back up!

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: “When Real Was Just 3 Doors Down” …

THIS credit is LONG overdue!

AUGUST 24, 2020: “The First Year In Focus” …

I did it people!

I SURVIVED!

Thank you SO much for all of the love and support! I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on!

AUGUST 10, 2020: “A Tree For All Seasons” …

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DEAR CAT:

Let me remind you of the words to that song he would sing to you:

“There’s a light in you that tears me down to nothing. There’s an angel in your eyes. There’s a hope inside that you can make it better. You see right through my disguise. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. I won’t let you down when the seasons change. I won’t go down. I’ll fight through the pain. I’ll be there right by your side. I’ll never let them bring you down when the seasons change. There’s a hope in me that I will die for something. Was the fire in my eyes? All this pain inside. Will it be this way forever? I can run but I can’t hide. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. When the seasons change and we’re in for colder weather look for me on The Divide. {Five Finger Death Punch}

You see? None of this is about you.

It has NEVER been about you.

IT’S ABOUT THEM!

Not just your babies …

… all the lives you’ll have touched before your time is done … if only for a season.

Your greatest treasure and greatest triumph are in knowing just how insignificant you really are in the bigger scheme of things.

Your “valuelessness” is your greatest value!

Your “powerlessness” is your greatest power!

YOU ARE REACHING NIRVANA!

You are EVERYTHING!

Because you are NOTHING!

You’re NOTHING but a pebble, to be dropped into your ocean, making ripples and waves of outward change for everyone whose path you cross on your journey.

Your purpose is to keep working the roots of this new and healthy family tree you’re now growing — free from the black toxicity that suffocated and broke all the branches of the tree that we came from.

KEEP CHANGING THE STORY!

THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU!

Your children’s children may never get to meet you, their “Crazy Grandma Cat“, but your legacy will live on through them! HIS legacy will live on through all of you!

Keep working.

Keep sowing.  

You’re doing a good job.

… and (PS) …

I love you! We got this! I WON’T LET YOU DOWN AS THE SEASONS CHANGE!

~ Me

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AUGUST 8, 2020: “As The Darkness Settled In” …

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WAS IT FATE? OR DESTINY?

AUGUST 8, 2019. It started out as a beautiful day for our family. We all woke up to a beautiful sky. Ate breakfast together. Worked out as a family, then split up for the afternoon so Zack could go to his therapist and Gia and I could go run errands on our own. He seemed happy. We were both working SO hard to keep his head above the water, and I, ever the eternal optimist, was counting on the fact that everything was going to be okay and we were going to get him out of the darkness he’d been succumbing to. Little did I know how the darkness was truly settling in around us as Fate was spinning the wheel …

At just after 2pm, while the rest of the world was just turnin’ and burnin’ and Gia and I were out shopping, playing, and getting ready for our “double date” with the boys, the love of my life and one of the MOST beautiful souls I’ve ever known (and might possibly EVER will have known) was standing at the Cabella’s counter just a few parking lots away buying the Springfield handgun he used to shoot himself in the head just 14 days later.

!!! PLEASE !!!

Wherever you are …

Whatever you are doing …

Take a good look around you NOW!

One of those “happy, smiling faces” you see either standing right beside you or faded into some crowd may be the face of a human being who is silently dying inside.

ESPECIALLY NOW DURING THESE TURBULENT TIMES!

Current studies show that social isolation, anxiety, fear of contagion, uncertainty, chronic stress, and economic difficulties have led to the development and/or or exacerbation of depression, anxiety, substance use and other mental illnesses. Given that stress-related psychiatric conditions including mood and substance use disorders are associated with suicidal behavior, IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT SUICIDE RATES HAVE SKYROCKETED!

!!! PAY ATTENTION !!!

Eyes wide open!

Take nothing and no one for granted …

NOT EVEN THE “HAPPY FACES” YOU SEE!

Be mindful always!

You just never know!

For the record, this post wasn’t meant to make you sad. It was meant to make you MINDFUL of others … and more so that everything isn’t always what it seems. I am going to do everything I can to stay peaceful, joyful, and hopeful today and keep my feet on the ground, BECAUSE … I CAN! While “August 8, 2019” is indeed a huge part of “my story”, it doesn’t mean I can’t let it play out for the better. This fucked up, fate-filled day in will NOT have been in vain and will not define me as a victim. I am choosing to do something else with it. I am choosing to spin it as “Destiny” … NOT “FATE”!

I am passionate about raising awareness of “mental health mindfulness” and this one blog post that I wrote last September is one of my most clicked, read, and shared pieces so far. That’s a good thing! Please share it if you can so that perhaps more people will remember to be mindful of this other “mask” problem in our world right now.

AUGUST 5, 2020: “Open Up Your Eyes” …

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Yesterday morning I woke up to another one of those magical music moments I have come to love and cherish wherein my son, Christian, communicates what he’s feeling by simply texting me a song. As I’ve said, his music messages are one of my greatest treasures, and ironically, Zack would often do the very same thing, which of course I treasured just as much. But once again I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, today my own eyes are open wide and I’m beyond thankful that my beautiful King FINALLY found the peace he could never find.

But as they laid him in the ground, her heart would sing with out a sound :: For the first time you can open your eyes, and see the world without your sorrow when no one knows the pain you left behind …“.

I can only imagine what it was like for him that night, “August 22, 2019, “just before midnight, in that split second after he pulled the trigger and his eyes closed for the very last time.

WHAT did he see when at last he opened them?

HE SAW JESUS!

I JUST KNOW IT!

God had His hand on my husband’s beautiful head at all times, even while he was roaming this Earth like the motherless and forsaken “trash can boy” he always saw when he looked into a mirror. I am still the most blessed woman I have ever known to have roamed this Earth as well. How is that even possible? Because God has had His hand on MY head at all times as well, be it during my greatest triumphs and joys or darkest tragedies and traumas. And too, this …

MARK 2:17 :: When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Make it a good day everyone and always keep the faith! Remember, “this is our temporary home“, nothing more, nothing less. The best part of all of this is still yet to come!

MAY 30, 2020: “The Pain Is A Gift” …

THE DANCE

Looking back on the memory of the dance we shared ‘neath the stars above, for a moment, all the world was right. How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye? And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end – the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance. Holding you, I held everything. For a moment, wasn’t I a king? But if I’d only known how the king would fall? Hey who’s to say? You know I might have changed it all. {Garth Brooks}

MARCH 16, 2020: “Because This Is MY Experience” …

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EXPERIENCE

Meet me at the crossroads. The edge of all my broken dreams. I feel like I’m missing something. Missing out. Missing me. An angel to my left, the devil to my right. It’s time that I made a choice. I can only do what I know feels right. It’s time that I let go. Experience. Experience it all. I found a risk worth taking. Right or wrong, it’s my line to cross. Experience. Experience it all. I found a life worth living. I want to feel alive. I want to do more than just survive. Swimming in the shallow water. They never let me get too deep. The tide will have to take me under. Pull me in. Set me free. An angel to my left, the devil to my right. It’s time that I made a choice. I can only do what I know feels right. It’s time that I let go. Experience. Experience it all. I found a life worth living. I want to feel alive. I want to do more than just survive. A dream is only a dream. A dream is only a dream until you make it real. A dream is only a dream unless it’s something you can feel. I want something I can feel. {Trapt}

I remember the first time I heard this song in 2013 and how much it inspired me. Zack and I had been married for a couple of years, but despite the fact that we were crazy in love and truly being each other’s “better half”, I was still getting comfortable with the healthier skin I was wearing and learning how to stretch it after years of fighting to keep my head above the water in the battle for my sanity. My feet were on the path but it was a daily battle. “An angel to my left. The devil to my right. It was time that I made a choice”. Did it take me a minute to finally put all the pieces of myself that I had finally found back together? You betcha! But guess what? That was then, and this is now …

FEBRUARY 8, 2020: “Making Waves” …

MAKE A WAVE

They say the beat of a butterfly’s wings can set off a storm a world away. What if they’re right and the smallest of things could power the strongest hurricane? What if it all begins inside? We’d hold the key that turns the tide. Just a pebble in the water can set the sea in motion. A simple act of kindness can stir the wildest ocean. If we show a little love. Heaven knows what we could change. So throw a pebble in the water and make a wave. The single choice to take us change. Have reached at your hand to someone in need? Don’t fool yourself and say you can’t. You never know what can grow from just one seed. So come with me and seize the day. This world may never be the same. Just a pebble in the water … can set the sea in motion. {Joe Jonas & Demi Lovato}

THIS.

I wanted to share my response to a Quora submission I made recently. My excitement is NOT about my pride over the staggering amount of “views, shares and comments”. It’s about the fact that SO many people from around the world ARE talking about it. You know? “IT”. That “subject” that used to be taboo and kept in the closet we hide things we don’t want anyone to know. MENTAL ILLNESS. The awareness is being spread and the stigma is being reduced one “real conversation” at a time!

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Hi everyone. What I want most is to respond to all of your overwhelmingly supportive and reflective comments individually and say “thank you”. Although I have indeed and will continue to read each and every one of them, because there are only so many hours in the day, time will not permit that. So let me just say this:

If there is a general consensus to be made here, it’s that this subject, “mental health”, and more so than that, what appears to be the very much declining mental health of a vast majority of the population, is something on all our minds these days, and rightfully so! Life isn’t as simple as it used to be, and I myself find it to be a rat race more than ever. Sadly, it does appear to be getting harder for even the strongest among us to just “exist”. Especially inasmuch as there is also that other general consensus if not “elephant in the room”, that the family system is truly breaking down. “To each his own” is not always be the best way, to which as a digression I say this: Whatever your “family” looks like (because, yes, the “modern family picture” has changed), embrace it! If you have a “tribe”, no matter what different walks of life you all arrived from, cherish it! Protect it with all you have! We all need each other folks! It is true … just look at this forum we’re all on. Look how this question brought us all together, like a tribe. Do you agree?

It is highly likely that there aren’t a lot of us on this thread who are educated “medical professionals” with either psychiatric or psychology degrees. From what I can see, we are all coming together in this way with our own very personal, real, and first-hand knowledge of this subject. Call it “mental health awareness”, or, if you’d rather, just call it, “a bunch of broken people banding together to try and find a way either out of our own darkness or to try and find a way to help someone else out of theirs! In some circumstances, a forum such as this may be the only resource a broken person has to try and find their way out of whatever living Hell they reside in. If you are on this site, chances are you are here because you just want to know things so that you can somehow help! Inquiring minds typically want to know and need to know for all the very right reasons. We can all learn from and feed off one another’s experiences so that we can then take “all this” out there onto our own streets and try to make a difference. Even a tiny little change in every one of our life cycles can make a difference!

In my mind, I am nothing more and nothing less than anyone else. Do my life experiences matter? They sure as Hell do! But in the big scheme of things, I am just so very small. My story? My husband’s story? YOUR stories? They’re but tiny blips on this infinite radar we call life. Small as I may be, I see myself as a pebble. I’m a pebble that has been dropped into an ocean! Everything I do, think or say is creating a ripple effect into a future that I myself may never actually see. We are all little pebbles my friends. Beautiful, tiny, pebbles with the power to change everything if we just open our hearts and minds to the “bigger than us” perspective and share it.

Thank you all for reading me. I have to be honest right now in saying that, yes, it has been exactly 171 days since the one true love of my life put a gun to his head and turned my world literally upside down. I have long since made it my purpose with whatever days I am lucky enough to have left here of my own to try to be the BEST damn pebble I can possibly be, because it’s the right thing to do, and also, my kids are watching! All of your words and thoughts here have truly strengthened my faith, hope and spirit, and I am grateful. Imagine that? Thousands of random strangers from thousands of different places just lifted me, a random stranger to them, even higher out of my darkest hour than I thought was possible. If you are on this forum because you are indeed an “inquiring mind that just wants to know and help”, you are a rock star, and a pebble, and my kind of vibe and TRIBE! We can all do this if we just stick together this way. We CAN make a difference. Much love to all of you. ROCK ON! Or is that “pebble on”? Hee!”

FEBRUARY 5, 2020: “The Worst Case Of Mental Illness I’ve Ever Seen” …

Quora Question
Quora Answer

My own husband, who I lost to suicide August 22, 2019. He was the Godsend game changer for me and my daughter, larger than life with a heart the size of an ocean, but had been discarded and abandoned by his mother like common garbage. She left him permanently at 18 months, and I suppose his father did the best he could with lack of parenting skills he had, but he was then and is still but a grown child himself. He was left alone most of the time from a very young age and his basic needs were never properly tended to. Eventually, even the father and his three adult siblings discarded him away as well.

We didn’t realize his ACS (Abandoned Child Syndrome) even existed until five years into our marriage, but once faced with the sobering truths of his traumatic childhood, every bit of strength and fortitude he’d managed to find and survive with in his life of solitude before finding us, the first and only real home and family he’d ever had, began slipping right out from under him. The abandonment issues that led to his mental illness were further complicated by the fact that for some unknown reason the mother was able to manage to have a maternal relationship with the older siblings she’d had with the same father, just not him. And again, his entire family abandoned him on the proverbial “curb of life”. Not just the mother, but neither the father or three older siblings could be bothered with him whatsoever. His two older brothers would often refer to him as the “Zack of shit”, and although he would laugh about in their presence, those words tortured and haunted him incessantly. This heartless, selfish, numbingly ice-cold and shallow brood of people literally broke his heart into pieces that could never be put back together.

There were demons living in the hole they burned into his soul we fought desperately to keep him from drowning in, but in the end, the demons won. The last months of his life it appeared that he was in the early stages of psychosis, if not schizophrenia. He’d been hearing voices, seeing things, missing “blocks of time”, and ultimately just vanished completely within himself. He said he couldn’t “feel anything” anymore, and honestly, we lost him months before he put that gun to his head. It was a living nightmare to witness and the worst kind of heartbreak to suffer. He died of a broken heart that led to his mental illness and suicide, but not before he hurt not only me but even more so our daughter very badly. The trauma that he bestowed upon her in his final psychosis and “separated from self” state of mind is beyond comprehension, barely fathomable, and one that may unfortunately take her own lifetime to heal and overcome.

I’ve been writing tirelessly about not only his, but my mental health journey as well, in “The Diary Of My Perfection”. I’d be honored if any of you would care to read, follow or share it, as it is now my mission to try and be a Light in other people’s darkness. Thank you for the kind words and vast support of this post. It means everything to me. I cannot let either his lost battle with mental illness or anyone else’s have been in vain.

To View The Original “Quora Q&A” Click HERE!

FEBRUARY 5, 2020: “Can Childhood Trauma Be Reversed?” …

Quora Question
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Quora Answer

Although I do believe it’s “possible” for childhood trauma to be reversed, I do not believe that the resulting residual or collateral damage can ever be truly reversed. Under optimal circumstances, and with a healthy support system, if a person can first revisit, acknowledge and accept the trauma itself, they can then attain the coping skills and mechanisms necessary to carry them through their adulthood “if and when” the trauma rears it’s head. “You can forgive, accept, acknowledge and even make peace with it ”, but, “you can never forget or erase it”. As an adult survivor of childhood trauma of my own, I speak from experience in this regard. It took me 40 years to overcome my childhood demons. Thankfully, however, I did.

Unfortunately, I also have first-hand experience on the flip side of this coin; that is, “irreversible childhood trauma”. My husband (who I recently lost to suicide this past August 22, 2019) suffered from extreme childhood trauma that sadly proved to be the death of him. He was larger than life with a heart the size of an ocean, but had been thrown away like garbage by his mother at birth. She abandoned him permanently at 18 months, and although his father did the best he could, he was and still is nothing but a child himself. He was left alone frequently from a very young age and his basic needs were never properly attended to.

Unfortunately, he never even realized that his “Abandoned Child Syndrome” existed until five years into our marriage, but once he was faced with the sobering truths of his traumatic childhood, every bit of strength and fortitude he’d managed to muster and thus survive with in his “life of solitude” before finally finding us, the first and only real home and family he’d ever had, began to slip right out from under him. The abandonment issues that led to his mental illness were further complicated by the fact that not just his mother, but his entire family abandoned him; a father and three adult siblings who couldn’t be bothered with him whatsoever. The entirety of this selfish, heartless and cruel brood of human beings literally broke his heart into pieces that could never fully be put back together.

There were demons living inside of the hole the “mother” left inside his soul that he tried desperately to swim out of it. We both tried keeping him from drowning in it. In the end, the demons won. The last few months of his life it appeared as though he was in the early stages of psychosis, if not schizophrenia. He’d been hearing voices. Seeing things. Missing tremendous “blocks of time” and ultimately ended up disappearing inside himself. He said “he couldn’t feel anything anymore”, and honestly, we lost him months before he put that gun to his head. It was a living nightmare to watch and the worst kind of heartbreak to witness. I appreciate any of you who are reading this by the way. It’s tough to digest, much less conceive. But it’s the truth nonetheless. His “traumatic childhood” indeed broke his heart.

To View The Original “Quora Q&A” Click HERE!

JANUARY 29, 2020: “God Only Knows” …

This one’s for my fallen king. And my son. And my daughter. And myself. And anyone in my atmosphere who is now or has ever struggled just to keep your head above the water. It’s so hard to swim when the entire weight of the world seems to be resting upon your shoulders. This is I know too well! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If I can do this? YOU CAN DO THIS! So, with that: Chin up! Knuckles out! Head held high! Fight the good fight. Just. Keep. Breathing. And remember …

GOD ONLY KNOWS

Wide awake while the world is sound asleepin’. Too afraid of what might show up while you’re dreamin’. Nobody, nobody, nobody sees you. Nobody, nobody, nobody would believe you. Every day you try to pick up all the pieces. All the memories, they somehow never leave you. Nobody, nobody, nobody sees you. Nobody, nobody, nobody would believe you. God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows how it’s killing you. But there’s a kind of love that God only knows. God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows the real you. There’s a kind of love that God only knows. There’s a kind of love that. There’s a kind of love. You keep a cover over every single secret. So afraid if someone saw them they would leave. But somebody, somebody, somebody sees you. Somebody, somebody will never leave you. God only knows what you’ve been through .For the lonely, for the ashamed. The misunderstood, and the ones to blame. What if we could start over. We could start over. We could start over. Oh for the lonely, for the ashamed. {for King & Country}

JANUARY 18, 2020: “JUST. GET. UP!” …

getup

Someone out there needs to hear these words RIGHT NOW:

“I know you’re clinging to the light of day to tell you everything’s a-okay. A medication don’t do much. Yeah, it just numbs the brain. Guess you might say I’m a little intense. I’m on the bright side of being HELL BENT! So take it from me, you’re not the only one who can’t see straight. If you were ever in doubt, don’t sell yourself short, you might be bulletproof. It’s hard to move mountains when you’re paralyzed, but you gotta try. And I’m calling out … GET UP, GET UP, GET A MOVE ON!” ~ Brent Smith (Shinedown)

If I can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS! ‘Cause if it doesn’t kill you, it really DOES make you bulletproof! I promise. “I BELIEVE YOU CAN DO MUCH BETTER! Trust me!” Much love all of you. Now then: GO ON, GET UP, and isten to one of my favorite songs EVER! ~ Cat ❤️

DECEMBER 22, 2019: “How To Re-Traumatize A Widow” …

BoundariesI struggled this morning as to what if anything to say about “the very first social event without my husband” last night because honestly, I am just so overwhelmed and TRAUMATIZED all over again! So perhaps I’ll just lead with some friendly advice for anyone out there who unbeknownst to them struggles with “unhealthy boundaries” …

To begin, here is what Wikia.org says about “personal boundaries” (and please DO click on this link THIS VERY IMPORTANT LINK for more information when you are either extremely bored OR extremely ready to conduct a quick self-examination as to where you are on the boundaries spectrum):

Personal boundaries are an aspect of psychological boundaries and are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. “Personal boundaries” define you as an individual. They are statements of what you will or won’t do, what you like and don’t like … how close someone can get to you.

One last piece of advice I’d like to offer against what again I’m sure are seemingly innocent comments and remarks from well-intended people. I appreciate being told “I’m beautiful”. Truly, I do, and I’m not trying to sound like a bitch, but I am in fact aware of “how I look“. Okay, I agree, I not that unfortunate looking. I comfortable writing those words out loud here now in this space because only I know how long it finally took me to find my actual reflection in a mirror! It took a hell of a lot of work on behalf less than a handful of people to get me to finally “see me” the way other people see me on the outside. Eternal is the gratitude for my very first angel, “the Flyboy“. All of “this” started with him, then Zack picked up where he left off, and I will NEVER forget that day in his apartment he grabbed me by the arms and physically forced me in front of the mirror while he stood behind me repeating:

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! LOOK AT YOURSELF CATHERINE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! SAY IT! I’M NOT LETTING YOU GO UNTIL YOU SAY IT!”

And then I did, and here I am. Yes, I am beautiful. The irony here is the first time Zack ever saw me in January of 2009 my presentation was “yah, not so much”. If he were still here he’d be the first to admit that I looked like a freaking train wreck. I was in the worst shape of my life, hadn’t been sleeping, was physically disfigured in the most egregious way, and about five minutes away from my final nervous break down. He used to say, “Every time she showed up at the gym she looked kind of like a homeless person”.  So trust me when I tell you – our love story did NOT begin with “wow you’re just so beautiful”. He loved me as I was, scars and all, for the very first time in my life, and for that precious reason my fallen King’s mirror of not only my reflection but most importantly my soul will always be the standard by which I judge anyone’s regard for my “beauty”.

There is probably not a human being on the face of this planet that doesn’t appreciate verbal affirmation from others, and yes, compliments in the right dose are an integral part of how our confidence is assimilated. But over and over and over again? “You’re so pretty. You’re so beautiful. You are such an attractive person.” Okay, so tell me once and that’s it! Anything more is not only overkill, but more so the polar OPPOSITE of what has ever attracted me to a man. Observations, judgments and validations about “my surface” in my life before Zack were more than half of what made me sick in the very first place and nope I don’t care if someone thinks I’m beautiful (at least not on the outside). Quite frankly? THAT REPELS ME! Yes, this is a boundary issue with not only me but quite possibly many struggling people out there. Such an OLD cliche’ but true nonetheless: DON’T JUDGE THE BOOK BY IT’S COVER!

These things needed to be said, and now that I’ve said them, I feel much better. Guess I just needed to remind myself about the boundaries I’ve fought so hard to understand, respect and build in the first place. So, with that, I guess I’ll just have to find a way to be thankful for my re-traumitization last night. It was a lesson for sure, and now maybe a lesson for some of you as well. There is indeed a time and place for everything – EVEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT GRIEF! If you know someone has been through a trauma of any kind and you want to talk to them about it, just ask them first if they want to talk about it. They may want to. They may not. But the choice should be theirs, not yours.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019: “The Lion Of Lucerne” …

lucerne

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 …

At exactly 8am this morning we were supposed to be taking off on our flight to tour Switzerland for my 50th birthday. Lucerne was to be our first night, and our last, and one of the things I was most looking forward to sharing with him was ”the lion in the wall”. The very one that I myself stood before some 14 years prior while having the first of my many to follow “moments”. At that time, I too was trapped inside the dark and lonely prison of my own mind, a secluded chasm where I was alive but not quite living. So many of my realities back then were nothing more than lies and I but a walking farce. I vividly remember that day as the group I was with headed up this tree-lined path towards something magnanimous our guide was excited to show us. I was looking down at my schedule, not paying much attention, and almost ran in to the person standing in front of me when the group suddenly stopped and turned to look across the pond at “him”. My Lion.

The Lion of Lucerne is rock relief carved into the cliff face of a sandstone sculpted during the early part of the 19th century to commemorate the Swiss Guards who lost their lives in 1792 during the French Revolution. But as I paused to gaze upon him, I saw more than just a fallen soldier. It was in that very moment that I began feeling the plethora of emotions I’d been suppressing behind a fraudulent smile to protect not only myself, but my children especially, from the wreckage to come when I finally started letting it all go.

The Lion. Just look at him lying there slain inside that wall. A beast of many burdens, lifeless and alone with only the precious secrets he’d been carrying within his heart. Weak and weary. Tired and spent. Worn out, solemn and vacant. Life had its way with him and now he’s but a corpse of some unknown past he’d once lived, the demons that had devoured him and the countless private dreams he’d dreamt that never were to be. Despite his years of his perceived magnificence, he is, ”no longer”. Connecting with him in that one still moment screamed to me in ways and volumes that I have yet been able to fathom, but what I can tell you this. That was indeed the turning point when I truly began to “feel” the pain from the broken, jagged pieces that had been cutting me within all the while. Both my stomach and my heart were aching so badly that I literally couldn’t breathe. But to be very honest, it was without question one of THE most beautiful moments of my life.

The Lion is me. And he’s my husband. He is any and everyone who is now or has ever had the daunting task of wandering lost inside their own lonely head and heart just waiting for the day that they’re finally allowed to die. So, with that, as I finish this post, I think that I’ve made a decision: Someday, I will go on to Lucerne and offer some of his ashes to that pond beneath my Lion. It’s what I need to do.

img_9138

AUGUST 30, 2019: “Roses In The Grey” …

KISS FROM A ROSE

There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea. You became the light on the dark side of me. Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill. But did you know that when it snows my eyes become large and the Light that you shine can be seen? Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey. Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah. Now that your rose is in bloom, a Light hits the gloom on the grey. There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say. You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain. Baby, to me, you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny. Won’t you tell me, is that healthy, baby? And if I should fall, will it all go away? I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey. {Seal}

What most people don’t know is that Williamson either sent or brought me flowers literally once a week from the day we got married, November 1, 2010. Initially, they were just a simple bouquet, or a single rose, but as his many successes and accomplishments ensued, the weekly deliveries became “whatever he felt like sending” from his partner in the crime, Dream Petals Florist! He had already warned me a couple of months ago that I should be prepared for a house filled with “50 arrangements” the week before my birthday since we were supposed to be getting on a plane to Switzerland on my birthday.

Catherine, there will be SO many flowers in this house that you won’t be able to walk through the house.

So? I just counted, and you WON’T believe how many arrangements are in this house. Yup. THERE ARE 50! In the foyer, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms, in our bedroom. Everywhere. They’re EVERYWHERE! Thank you so much to everyone who unknowingly became cohorts in his “50 arrangements for my birthday girl” plan. I love all of you and feel surrounded by so many beautiful ironies today in the midst of all this grey.

And if I should fall, will it all go away?

No, my king, it shall never go away. I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey.

AUGUST 22, 2019 (Just Before “Quarter ‘Til Midnight”): “The Last Resort” …

~ A KING’S LAST WORDS ~
“I never should have been born … please forgive me”.

Cut my life into pieces … this is my last resort. Suffocation. No breathing. Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm bleeding. This is my last resort.

Cut my life into pieces. I’ve reached my last resort. Suffocation. No breathing. Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm, bleeding. Do you even care if I die bleeding? Would it be wrong? Would it be right? If I took my life tonight? Chances are that I might. Mutilation out of sight, and I’m contemplating suicide. ‘Cause I’m losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine. Losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine. I never realized I was spread too thin ’til it was too late and I was empty within. Hungry, feeding on chaos and living in sin. Downward spiral, where do I begin?

IT ALL STARTED WHEN I LOST MY MOTHER.

No love for myself and no love from another. Searching to find a lover on a higher level. Finding nothing but questions and devils. ‘Cause I’m losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine. Losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine. Nothing is alright. Nothing is fine. I’m running, and I’m cryin’.

I’m cryin’. I’m cryin’. I’m cryin’. I’m cryin’. I can’t go on living this way.

Cut my life into pieces. This is my last resort. Suffocation, no breathing. Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm, bleeding. Would it be wrong? Would it be right? If I took my life tonight? Chances are that I might. Mutilation out of sight, and I’m contemplating suicide.

{Papa Roach cover by Tommy Vext}

~ The Back Side Of “The Note” ~
… The Last Page From “The Springfield” …

AUGUST 22, 2019 (11:30pm): “Achilles Come Down!” …

~ The Phoenix Collaborative ~

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles come down!

Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof? You’re scaring us, and all of us (some of us) love you. Achilles, it’s not much but there’s proof. You crazy ass cosmonaut, remember your virtue. Redemption lies plainly in truth. Just humor us Achilles. Achilles come down! Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof?

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles come down!

Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof? The self is not so weightless, nor whole and unbroken. Remember the pact of our youth? Where you go I’m going, so jump and I’m jumping since there is no me without you. Soldier on Achilles. Achilles come down! Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof?

Loathe the way they light candles in Rome, but love the sweet air of the votives. Hurt and grieve but don’t suffer alone. Engage with the pain as a motive. Today of all days see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above.

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles jump now!

You are absent of cause or excuse. So self-indulgent and self-referential. No audience could ever want you. You crave the applause yet hate the attention, then miss it. Your act is a ruse. It is empty Achilles, so end it all now. It’s a pointless resistance for you.

Achilles – Achilles – just put down the bottle!

Don’t listen to what you’ve consumed. It’s chaos, confusion, and wholly unworthy of feeding, and it’s wholly untrue. You may feel no purpose, nor a point for existing. It’s all just conjecture and gloom. And there may not be meaning, so find one and seize it. Do not waste yourself on this roof.

Hear those bells ring deep in the soul chiming away for a moment. Feel your breath course frankly below. See life as a worthy opponent! Today of all days, see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above. Crowned by an overture bold and beyond. Ah, it’s more courageous to overcome!

You want the acclaim, the mother of mothers. (It’s not worth it Achilles.)

More poignant than fame or the taste of another. (Don’t listen Achilles.)

But be real and just jump you dense motherfucker. (You’re worth more Achilles.)

You will not be more than a rat in the gutter. (So much more than a rat.)

You want my opinion, my opinion you’ve got. (No one asked your opinion.)

You asked for my counsel, I gave you my thoughts. (No one asked for your thoughts.)

Be done with this now and get off the roof! Can you hear me Achilles? I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you. Achilles come down! Achilles come down! Throw yourself into the unknown with pace and a fury defiant. Clothe yourself in beauty untold and see life as a means to a triumph. Today of all days, see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above. Crowned by an overture bold and beyond. Ah, it’s more courageous to overcome!

{Gang Of Youths}

~ The Bristol “Suicide Statue” ~

AUGUST 22, 2019 (6:45pm): “The Last Goodbye” …

On this day, at exactly 6:45pm, he hugged me tight and kissed my forehead while I was standing in the bathroom near my make up table. I can still see it. Feel it. Smell it. Taste it. And I can still “hear” the last words he said:

Have fun and be careful. I love you Catherine Williamson.

This is the sobering truth.

DON’T take anyone, or anyone, or any moment for granted.

Please.

One hour from now, you’re entire world could look, taste, feel and “sound” very different.

Everything counts!

Just sayin’.

AUGUST 20, 2019: “The King Who Questioned Everything” …

IMG_0028He lives in darkness. There is no progress. He knows his demons – that lie within him. He has no vision. He has no sight. He hates perfection – it isn’t right. Who cares anymore, who’s there anymore? HE’S THE ME I WAS BEFORE HE HELPED ME BECOME WHO I AM HE QUESTIONS EVERYTHING! He lives behind a lie. He is so ashamed. He keeps insisting that he’s the one to blame. He cares no more. He can bare no more. He’ll say no more. He can’t give us anymore. HE QUESTIONS EVERYTHING. And we’re losing him.

MAY 21, 2019: “The Letter” …

"The God Of Thunder"
~ by Gia Embach ~

To Gia (my baby girl, my daughter and my princess),

I want you to know that I have been struggling with a lot of things here lately that have a lot to do with you but are by no means your fault nor have you done anything wrong, nor do you need to feel guilty or responsible for any of the things I’m telling or feeling. It is important for you to understand that you are not in any way shape or form responible for my happiness or well being nor should you make ANY significant life choice based upon how it will affect me or your mother unless it is something that is clearly stupid or hurtful to us or yourself. So if you see me upset or crying please don’t ever worry or wonder if you did something or if there is a problem with your mom and I.

I have come to some realizations with everything that has happened this past year with you, with boys, life changes and the stuff I found on your phone. I see now that you are not a little girl anymore and that my time with you is running out very quickly. It really caught me off guard and I’m really struggling with it because I always thought I had so much time left with you. Now that I realize you will be out of the house in 5 years and how little time that is there are so many things I want to talk to you about and tell you about to get you ready for the world and life without us to prepare you for what is to come. I’m trying to pace myself on these discussions because I want us to enjoy the time we have left and I don’t want you feel like there is always some heavy, serious or sad discussion that I’m always about to have with you. I know what a downer that can be and I’m sorry these things are uncomfortable but you know they are necessary and I am only doing this because I love you so much.

I didn’t really come in to your life until you were 4 and your mother and I got married  when you were 5 years old. It wasn’t until you were about 6 or 7 that we really loved each other and took on a father daughter bond. So I have really only been a true dad and parent to you for about 7 years or so and divide that in half because of split custody and it’s more like 3.5 or 4 years that I have actually had to spend with you as a father and much of that time has been spent trying to fill in the holes left by [Him]. It has hit me like a ton of bricks now that you are not a child technically that I have missed a lot of your childhood. This has left me feeling devastated for many reasons but mainly because its just not enough time with the only child I will ever have that I love more than anything on God’s green earth. I didn’t ever even really know for sure that you really really loved me and saw me as your real dad until you wrote me that card on Father’s day when you were 11 or 12 that you drew THOR on (I wish so much I was still your super hero). From the age of 11 till just before you were 13 as I really got to know you better as a person while you matured mentally and emotionally I fell head over heels in love with you as a daughter. I never thought I could love and care for a human being as much as I did then and I still do now. We have so much and in common because of things we have been through our lives. I feel like my love for you grows every day still. By the time I really understood this, this past year I realized you were drifting away and I had to find away to give you some space and start letting you go a little so you can eventually be your own person capable of making it on your own decisions without being dependant on me, your mother or anyone else for that matter. I have been inconsolable on many days since this all happened because I felt like I was losing you physically and emotionally. I could not understand why it was hurting so bad just to think of things being any different than they are now. Even you being distant from us while still here in the house gives me a knot in my stomach at times so the thought of you physically not being here for days and weeks on end was paralyzing to me. At first I thought maybe I was just leaning on you too much for emotional connection because of some kind of distance I was feeling from Mom but I started to think about your childhood and how much I missed when you were a baby and when you were [with Him] on his days even after I came around. I have been feeling unfullfilled as a parent and a father because I missed so many precious moments with you. Gia I would have given anything and I mean ANYTHING to hold you as a baby, look you in the eyes and know you were mine and only mine! That I was your everything and your whole world as a father. Your only super hero dad. I never got to change your diaper, feed you a bottle, help you walk or hear your first words. I will never get to share that with you or any other child and regret that so much. I thought maybe if your mother and I had a child together that maybe I would not feel this way but I realize that I would have only wanted that with you. I hate that I have had to and still have to share you with Pete. I know he was your first dad and that he will always have a part of your heart but it has always made me jealous and hurt knowing I will never have ALL of you which is not your fault. It’s so hard for me to accept that and I’m so sorry I was not able to be your 1 and only Dad from the start. I feel we both would be even closer and happier than we are now if that would have happened. I dream about that everyday now and it always makes me cry. Those were the cards we were dealt for some reason and I guess it was supposed to be this way. Regardless how much of your heart I have I want you to know that you are the only little girl that occupies my heart. You have and always will have all of me. I also want you to understand that I chose you and your mother Gia. I didn’t end up with you by default because you popped out of your mother. I chose to take you on as my daughter. Pete has an obligation to be your father, to love you and do certain things for you. He does not have much of a choice in that even though he does not do the best job at it. Gia I don’t need you in my life, I don’t have to be good to you, I don’t have to love you and I don’t have to care about you. I JUST WANT TO and I chose to. I was not forced to, obligated to nor was I expecting anything in return other than reciprocated love and affection from you. I am the only parent that specifically chose you to be mine and it’s important you know how powerful that is. I would not trade my time with you for anything!! I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have no real regrets about our life together other than the parts I had no control over.

I never considered having kids of my own because I was so content with you, I worried it would create resentment in you and I was so afraid I would not be able to handle the responsibility or that I would do to you or others the same thing my parents did to me(abandon, neglect and/or abuse) I never knew I would love being a father or at least YOUR father so much or that I would even be a good father. So far it has been the privelige of my life to call you my daughter and I have never been prouder to claim anything or anyone as my own despite ANY mistakes you have ever made or will ever make.

It’s been a sobering fact to realize than no one in my life has ever cared for me the way I care for you until you and your mom came along. My parents simply did not feel this way about me. I know that because they would not have done the things they did had the felt the way about me as I do about you. People make mistakes but a lifetime of neglect shows how they felt about me. This is why I have struggled with self worth and feeling like I don’t matter my whole life. I can’t have that with you. I will not allow you to ever live your life feeling like you are a piece of crap, a nothing or like you do not matter. I want you to know how loved and missed you are even now and also when you leave our home some day. I miss you every single day when you go to Pete’s and I will miss you every single day when you leave the house to go have your life. It’s just something happens when kids grow up I guess. I don’t want you to be sad about this FACT I want you to be happy knowing that even though your first dad was not able to be what you wanted and needed that THIS dad will always do his best to make you feel wanted and loved. You will always be my priority. That being said I am human and a broken human at that and I make mistake, little one and big ones. I am sure I will screw up between now and the rest of our life together and may at times do and say things that seem to contradict what I am saying here but it only because I am not perfect and just as flawed as anyone else but I will do my best and I will admit when I’m wrong or when I have screwed up then I do whatever it takes to fix it with you so we can move forward on good terms. I promise that to you and I hope you can remember all of this even if I’m not living up to my word and give me time to fix things if I do screw this up someday.

You told me your greatest fear was being vulnerable. Did you know that in studies showing vulnerability is quickest way to make someone like you and viewed as a sign of strength? It is our flaws, imperfections, insecurities and willingness to share those with others that bring us closer to the people we love. It’s true that it will backfire from time to time and people will take advantage of it which will hurt immensely and affect your ability to trust others but 9 times out of 10 it will go well. You just have to trust the right people to vulnerable with and we will talk about that more another time.

You have also expressed that you wish to change the world, have a close loving family and wish to be remembered. I assure you Gia if you stay true to your heart and continue to be the person I love so much that you will have these things. I will never forget you and no one who gets to know you will ever forget you either. I’m not just saying this because I’m your dad but you are one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. I know you are not perfect but you are smart, kind, beautiful and compassionate. I would not change anything about you other than the wounds that still hurt you to this day.

I have told you before but I will continue to reiterate until you really get it. You can tell me anything Gia!! Any problem you have even if you did something I told you not to do and I’m disappointed in you I’m still going to be kind to you and help you find a solution to your problem or just listen to you so you can get it off your chest and just feel better. A lot of girls/women do not tell there dad things going on with them, things they have done or problems they are dealing with because they are afraid of ruining their image of “daddy’s little angel” or “daddy’s princess” with their father or that he will think less of them, disown them or be infuriated. Gia I am telling you that I will never think less of you as a person. I know you are not perfect and I know you are going to screw up and do things at times that you are ashamed of and regret. WE ALL HAVE. I know what stuff I did and thought about from your age and on and you will not surprise me whatever it is that you get in to. I think you will make good decisions but if you ever get pregnant, addicted drugs, deal drugs, get raped, get an STD, steal, cheat, shank a biotch, kill someone, strip or even hook I AM STILL GOING TO LOVE YOU. I am also still going to help you anyway I can. I have scooped you off the floor before when things have happened and I will do it 1000 more times if I have to. I don’t think you will ever do most of those things but I really need you to understand that you will always be my daughter and I will always be there for you no matter what even when I know you are wrong at times. If I ever thought you were sitting in the dark somewhere going through something that you couldn’t handle all by yourself and you did not feel like you had anyone to help you it would BREAK my heart worse than any of those things listed above. Almost every horrible thing I went through in my life I dealt with on my own before your mom came along and it was a miserable lonely existence. Please don’t ever allow yourself to live like that EVER. I’m going to ask you to promise me that. If the walls are caving in around you, and they will before it’s all said and done, you have to call me or tell me or your mother.

I would only ask that before you ever make a decision about things you do with yourself, with boys, with other people or with alcohol/substances that you would ask yourself before hand, “what would my Dad think about this, what would my future kids think about this and would I be embarrassed or ashamed to tell someone I loved about this?? And if for some reason you make the wrong decision anyway that you have the courage to talk to me about it or get help if there is a problem associated with it.

I still have a lot to talk to you about on this stuff and I’m sorry this is so long but I had to let you know how I feel about you. I may not ever get to have another conversation about these things with you again because you just never know what will happen. People come in to this world and leave this world everyday and if you were going to know one thing about anything before I die it would be what is written on this paper. I want you to keep this paper and read it any time you feel bad or lonely or depressed and if I’m still around I hope you will call me or find me and let me pour my love and my strength in to you. If I’m already gone I hope you would remember me and call someone else you love to get help. Good night baby girl. Everyday is a new day and no matter how good or bad this day is the next day can always be better. Don’t ever forget these things.

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JANUARY 11, 2019: “In The Dying Light” …

Why does January 11th always have to be so fucking hard? Exactly one year ago today he was standing at the window in the kitchen of our beautiful castle looking out at everything he’d built … from NOTHING … absolutely NOTHING … after having spent a lifetime running from the pain from being thrown away by his mother. I was taking down Christmas decorations. I’ll never forget it – EVER. Especially because we were getting ready to take flowers to Gina’s grave for her birthday. I remember like it was yesterday … I walked in and saw him standing there with this cold, blank, lifeless stare and a single tear rolling down his cheek. I asked him what was wrong, and he turned to look at me. The look in his eyes leveled me – and I had an adrenaline dump right out the tips of my fingers.

Catherine, I can’t feel anything anymore.

I got so physically ill, because I knew just what he meant. In the months that followed, we fought desperately to keep his head above the water, but in the end, the demons hiding inside the hole she left in his heart literally swallowed him alive. In being honest, that was the day I lost him. From that point on he was merely “dead alive”, slowly headed towards the dying light.

DYING LIGHT

Here we go again, it’s coming on just like before. The same old sinking feeling pulls me down an endless hole. Oh the heavy lifting as I fret for what might be. If this is the beginning of the end then let me dream. In the eye of the storm from the moment we’re born. In the dying light, we learn to live when we give in to the silent waves that crash inside. In the dying light, we can begin to live again when we wake up to eternal life. Let this be an exercise in how to face your fears. Step into the realm of madness if you dare my dear. We are lost in the swarm from the moment we’re born. All that we need passes by until we concede and resign this mortal coil into the dying light. {Alter Bridge}

NOVEMBER 20, 2012: “The Little Bag” …

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What is something I’m thankful for?

Okay so I’m a bit of a neat freak. Some call it “OCD”. I can organize things, thoughts and even people RIGHT out of my life when necessary, which, by the way, is NOT something that I am proud of. To the contrary, I tend to compartmentalize things I don’t know what to do with into neat little piles of oblivion that rest either in my own mind or, as in the case of “the bag that was in a bag that was in a bag inside a bag”, has, at times, been my greatest downfall.

Sunday, I was on the highest shelf in my tiny, temporary closet rooting around looking for something. A few unzips into an old gym bag that I used to contain all the other bags I didn’t want to get rid of, yet didn’t know what else to do with and I was inside a smaller bag that belonged to Mitch. I had completely forgotten to remember that it had been inside my “bag of bags” for going on 13 years. Slipped my hand in to grab the first thing I saw and found myself giggling as I remembered the conversation we’d had about it on the day he had finally decided it was time for me to have some of space in his drawers and closets.

Baby, THIS right here is your new best friend! Why, you ask? Because she’s MY best friend! Why is THAT you ask? Because, when the hair looks good, Daddy is happy, and when Daddy is happy, you’ll be happy! She gets the center drawer right here … but you get ALL the rest!

It’s TOO damn bad that I can’t “type” the deep, drawn, sexy French-Cajun boy inflections that were his voice, and also TOO damn bad that I can’t “type” how he was standing there in the bathroom that morning holding that damned blow dryer in his hands! Mitch was all about “the stance” and there was just “that way that he stood” when he was talking about something that was important to him – kinda like, back leg straight, one hip up, other leg crooked out in front. Nah, words aren’t doing it justice. Anyhow, I digress. There are still pieces of his hair caught in the back of it, and the cord was STILL wrapped around the handle and tucked in “just this way”, because that’s how he always did it. OMG, he was so OCD! We were so much alike for so many reasons. There was something sweet and often unspoken about all the ways we understood one another.

So, this is what I am thankful for

I am thankful that I have grown, recovered, survived and “moved on” just enough so that I can now open some of my old bags of thoughts and laugh, not cry. Time truly can heal all wounds, and yes, there is a reason that God never lets us forget the memories He knows we’re gonna need and even sometimes smile and laugh about before it’s all said and done, no matter how much we beg and plead for Him to just “erase them all from our mind” when they hurt too much to remember!