NOVEMBER 24, 2022: “With Love, From Your Cave-People!” …

When I saw this Heraclitus quote recently, one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands immediately came to mind, so, I thought I’d pair them together in honor of the 36th anniversary of its release this week:

Strangers In A Strange Land

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of my bittersweet and beautiful lifetime, it’s that the only thing that never changes is the fact that everything changes. Yet, the mere contradiction in the constant “inconsistency” of our existence is something we can all be thankful for. Do me a favor and close your eyes for three seconds, then open them:

ONE one hundred …

… TWO one hundred …

… THREE one hundred!

Well? Did you do it? GOOD! In case you didn’t know, every shred of every thing about not just your life, but the entirety of the world as we know it just changed. While you were busy counting, and even if nothing about you or your surroundings seems different, IT IS! Meanwhile, the wisest of us know that the ability to adapt to constant change is the one true key to survival. Just thing about your ancestors, God rest their souls:

One hundred years have gone and men again they came that way to find the answer to the mystery. They found his body lying where it fell on that day, preserved in time for all to see. What became of the man that started? All are gone and their souls departed. Left me here in this place so all alone.

{“Strangers In A Strange Land” … by Iron Maiden}

As overwhelming as this whole “living” gig can seem, and especially given that sometimes it really can feel as though you’re walking solo through a frozen tundra – NO! You are never all alone! JUST LOOK INSIDE A MIRROR! You are them! They are you! You’re the living embodiment of the quarters they kept and all of the changes they had to weather so that you could be standing upright in this brave new world. They’re beside you and behind you every step of the way, whispering:

Hey, you got this! You’re one of ours and we’ve already carved the path for you.

Likewise, never forget that you, too, will be the zephyr in someone’s sky. So, be mindful of those footsteps you’ll be leaving behind and whether you’re succumbing to or overcoming the ever-present changes in humanity.

Look, I’m no scientist and certainly no expert on the power of our DNA, but I do know that somewhere in the history of mankind was the very first of “me and mine” and “you and yours”. I’m a woman who stands firmly and proudly upon the mountain of untold trials, errors, lessons, and survival of the countless of my people who came before me. I’m the living, breathing, warrior QUEEN that they produced. Is there really “true royalty” in my bloodline? Who knows? WHO CARES? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a piece of paper or public opinion that made me who I am today … it’s all those beloved “cave-people” of mine who set me up for success, NOT FAILURE, so, imma make sure that I represent them well and not let any of their sacrifices or wisdom that’s hard-wired in me have been in vain.

For the record, although on the surface, the song seems dark and sad, for me, it became the road map to the flip side of its lyrics:

But now it seems to me that NOTHING’S lost and ALL is gained. Sometimes things ARE what they seem. They heard me calling, rescued me, and set me free in this place, but NEVER lost and alone.

I’ll wrap this up now with one of my favorite quotes by Mariam-Rose Ungenmerr-Baumann, the beloved Aboriginal activist, faithfully devout Christian, and artist:

When we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors from wounds that run deep in our family. When we heal our ancestors, we heal the world from wounds that run deep in humanity.

(Mariam Rose)

Carry on, now, all you cavepeople and have a HAPPY and THANKFUL Thanksgiving!

• Jason Archer @archinorn

NOVEMBER 17, 2022: “Something To Believe In” …

How many of you knew that today is “World Philosophy Day“, the international day proclaimed by UNESCO to be celebrated on the third Thursday of every November? Lol! You’re so welcome for this random nugget that you probably could have lived without knowing for the rest of your life!

Meanwhile, of the questions I see most often on the writing forums I frequent is, “What is the purpose and goal of philosophy”? I believe the ultimate goal of philosophy is to help us identify what we really “think, feel, and believe” about humanity, then EMBODY IT! Don’t just say the philosophical word or quote you’ve studied, appreciated, then memorized. Walk it. Talk it. Live it. Breath it. Emulate it. Stand for it. Own it. Embrace it. EMBODY IT!

In being honest, though, despite the fact that over the years there have been many different philosophies I’ve studied, appreciated, and aligned with, I believe that we should each seek out and endeavor towards our own unique set of “thinks, feels, and believes”, and not just find some someone else’s to strictly adhere to.

Don’t get me wrong, I do suppose that in many ways, the study of other peoples’ philosophies has its merits, but too often, and especially these days, free thinking seems to be a dying art, because everyone is so fixated with “labelism” and the sense of identity they feel by belonging to a specific mindset or group:

Oh, yes, I’m a Platonist, or Aristotelian, or Stoic, or Epicurean, or a Skeptic!

Oh, really? That’s awesome! ISN’T IT GOOD TO BE YOU? It looks like you’re in the cool club now because you’ve read some ancient words and found “something” you believe in! But, umm, hi! What do you think? What do you say? What do you feel? Do you have ANY original thoughts or synapses of your own? Or, instead, are you a 6 billionth edition mimic of some dead guy’s novel concept that you read in a textbook or on some social media post that just happened to appear on your feed?

As for me? As I said, I have both studied and appreciated a little bit of all the many schools of philosophy, and guess what, people? I’ve found mindset platforms I align with in almost every one of them – some of which blatantly oppose and contradict themselves. My personal philosophy is MINE and sometimes it can often change with the season. I call my school of thought, “Life According To Cat”, and I am here to tell you that, frankly, some my ideologies may actually be quite ridiculous. But they’re mine, and mine alone, and not only do I not shove them down peoples’ throats, I’m also wise enough to know that some of the things I do, say, think, and believe may be categorically WRONG! I’m very rigid about some things, and very open-minded about others, and sometimes those varied paradoxes can happen within the same five minutes!

I’m “THE FIRST OF ME” and “THE LAST OF ME”. The multi-dimensional and fascinating world between my ears is something even I don’t always understand, but I just go with it anyway, because I’m ME, and I CAN, and as long as I’m not burdening anyone with the “philosophy” I embody, then it’s Jean-Claude Van DAMN none of anyone else’s business what “school of thought” is in session for me each day. I have no want to be labeled or categorized, nor do I need group to belong to at all. I belong to MY group: “Real Cat, Party Of One!” Anyone who’s ever tried to put me in a group or box has usually ended up with that same box right up their ass!

So adamant, am I, that human beings learn to think for themselves, that I even deter my own children from adhering to my philosophical ideologies and beliefs. I don’t WANT them to be just like me, think just like me, or believe just like me. They’re my children – not my puppets, extensions, or mockingbirds. If I’ve done my job well by the time they’ve left my nest, they’ll be “where I ended and THEY begin”, not Xerox’s of dear ole mom. Parents who raise their kids that way are GROSS! Oh, yah, that’s just ONE of my RIGID “Real Cat” philosophies. Parents should allow their children to be who they were meant to be – NOT who they WANT them to be. But that’s another answer for another day.

I’m not gonna lie, folks, it has taken me a very long time to arrive at the answer to that, “what is the purpose and goal of philosophy” question that began this Diary entry, and in doing so I found something else to believe in short of my belief that the truest value in philosophy is only achieved when it’s taught us to find our own, which is this …

No matter how many enlightening books I read or dead guys’ words I’ve studied, I will faithfully continue to sit down with myself and have the same long, heartfelt and often heated conversations with me about all the things I believe that I’ve been having all along. More so than that, I’ll keep being thankful to have even reached such a place wherein I’ve been blessed to have the ample experiences I’ve had, good, bad, or indifferent, such that I can truly “walk, talk, live, breathe, emulate, stand for, own, embrace, and EMBODY” all the somewhat nonsensical things I do, not the least of which is the God I’ve never once lost faith in despite the fact that I could have long ago.

SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

I lost all faith in my God, in His religion, too. I told the angels they could sing their songs to someone new. I lost all trust in my friends. I watched my heart turn to stone. I thought that I was left to walk this wicked world alone. Tonight, I’ll dust myself off. Tonight, I’ll suck my gut in. I’ll face the night and I’ll pretend I got something to believe in. And I had lost touch with reason. I watched life criticize the truth. I’ve been waiting for a miracle. I know you have, too. Though I know I won’t win – I’ll take this one on the chin – we’ll raise a toast and I’ll pretend I got something to believe in. If I don’t believe in Jesus, how can I believe The Pope? If I don’t believe in heroin, how can I believe in dope? If there’s nothing but survival, how can I believe in sin? In a world that gives you nothing, I need something – something to believe in. {Bon Jovi}

NOVEMBER 16, 2022: “The Hampton Inn, Peanut Butter Cups & Something REALLY Beautiful!” …

Dearest ME,

Will you know if it’s happiness you see? Will you feel a different side of me? And if you let it go, would you come back to haunt me? Are you doing the best that you can? We can wait here for tomorrow, or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful.

Can you see The Light still needs to shine inside of you through the windows you can’t find? Will you let me go? I’m tired of hiding. I’m trying to find my way. We can wait here for tomorrow, or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful.

All you need is a chance to believe.

{Words Adapted by The Real Cat Williamson}

~ Me

Well, yeah, Me. The Light still does shine inside of me … and no, I will never let you go. We’re The REAL Cat Williamson … “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR;”. WE GOT THIS!

NOVEMBER 12, 2022: “It Felt Like Today That It’s Time To Start Moving On” …

I’m alright, thanks for asking.”

No, it didn’t kill me. It only make me stronger. I really would rather capsize than chase an old horizon, because the old one’s are behind me, and looking back at them will never allow me to continue growing forward and cross over.

I cannot tell you how thankful I was for the multitude of texts, phone calls, and messages I received after posting this live video moment of real “real”. It meant more to me than anyone could know. It wasn’t until I picked up my phone during a respite on the floor of his closet and saw all the supportive messages that I realized how much I really do “need people” after all. In being honest, at this stage in my life, sometimes I think I don’t. I went to sleep literally “feeling” the love and vibes that had been flowing my way tugging at my soul strings throughout the process all day.

Meanwhile, yes, I really did “punch today in the face”, so, wearing this shirt out tonight was epic! Wait! What’s that you say? “Cat, what does that even MEAN?” Oh, yah! “Punching today in the face” is a “Wheelchair Dad thing. I won’t go much into it, as I really want you to just click on the link and find out what it means for yourself. Sufficed to say, though, Dan and Andrea Kotter and their six beautiful babies who I recently stumbled across have managed to truly “punctuate” and inspire me in a profound way. I cannot tell you how proud I was to ROCK this hoodie while out with my family last night after all was said and done. I’m even prouder of the fact that I even went out in the first place. There was time in my life when treading water with such heavy emotions would have not only drowned me, but found me locked inside my room for the days and even weeks to follow.

Truth being told, while I’d always heard that going through and finally letting go of your deceased loved one’s belongings was one of the, if not the hardest part of the whole grief process, it wasn’t until I was sitting on the floor of “the king’s closet” that I realized just how true it really is. It was like he’d just just died all over again, except that parting with his things made the reality more real. No, he’s never coming home again.

My kids felt this “second death”, too, in a way, so, having them so close to my heart all day added even more diamonds to my tiara. The one “at my six” in the picture above? She’s the girl who’s stolen my son’s heart once and for all. Trust me when I say that she has his six, too, and getting go watch all the ways that she was there for him, not just today, but as usual, made my triumph in this even sweeter.

Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this was that years ago when it was time for me to let go of The Blaze Of Glory’s things, it was Zack who was there with me physically and emotionally. God, Himself, knows that at that juncture I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. Just look at me know, though, with all this strength both the kings of my heart helped me find, “power and gracing” my way through it all like the true and living queen they left behind.

Just pick one thing, honey … the one thing that reminds you of him the most … and give it a place of honor …

… which is exactly why the do-rag you see hanging on the little cabinet in the video is also the first thing you see in this Diary entry. Of Ghosts, And Kings, And Three“. It looks like it’s time for me to really start moving on, which is why I’m dropping both of these most powerful songs of my life in this entry.

NOVEMBER 11, 2022: “The Wrong Side Of Heaven” …

It’s Veteran’s Day, again, and a highly annoying question I was recently asked on Quora just rushed to the forefront of my mind:

What’s the most sensitive way to express skepticism towards a war veteran’s stories from battle?

My answer was as raw, unfiltered, and as scathing as I think I’ve ever gotten. Fair warning and full disclosure: If you have a weak stomach when it comes to blood and carnage, this Diary entry is not for you:

Umm, so, let me ask you a question, “Anonymous”. When’s the last time you witnessed someone’s head getting blown off two feet in front of you? When’s the last time you had to pick someone’s arms and legs off your own face? When’s the last time you had to throw an M26A1 into a village full of women, children, and babies, then “watch a young girl cry and her mother scream” knowing full damn fucking well it was you who’d be making those angels fly away? When’s the last time you hid in a trench while LITERAL hell on fucking Earth was airborne over your back and all you could do was pray to GOD that you’ll get to see your family’s faces again?

Unless or until you can get back to me with the firm date and time that you had to participate in any of the living nightmares listed above in the name of your god and your country and tell me how you “just got over it”, I think you should go wash your brain out with either a bucket of soap and water or some battery acid.

I mean, seriously? I’ve never been in the military nor an actual war, but I have watched my own child die in my arms, watched the first true love of my life hit a brick wall on his Harley going 90 with no helmet (to which my immediate response was to actually attempt to put his brains back into his head to no avail), and I also live with the daily knowledge that the second true love of my life, my late husband, blew his own fucking brains out in a dirt lot just a block away from our home that I still live in but can’t move away from until our daughter graduates from high school, because I’m trying desperately to keep things stable for her to the best of my human ability despite the fact that I have to drive the FUCK by “the spot” sometimes multiple times a day.

I also bear the honor of being related to a retired brigadier general, and have spent time in the company of many other combat veterans I’ve been in PTSD group therapies with over the years. As such, I’ve “heard stories” that I’ll both never get to unhear or forget. As it turns out, NOT dying with your boots on is of one of the cruelest ironies of all and can keep a soldier “dead alive” in a mental prison on the exact “Wrong Side Of Heaven” forever.

My point being this: Who the fuck are you to question the validity of a war veteran’s “stories”? PTSD is a bastard fucking demon like no other on the face of this Earth, and if, as I suspect, you haven’t ever tried it, I cannot NOT recommend it enough. Maybe then you’ll know better than to write unacceptable, bullshit questions like this ever again.

Fuck you, ya Jean-Claude Van DAMN little mega douche.

(PS) I hope this answer wasn’t too “insensitive” for you!

{The Real Cat Williamson On Quora}

THE WRONG SIDE OF HEAVEN

I spoke to God today and She said that She’s ashamed. What have I become? What have I done? I spoke to the devil today and he swears he’s not to blame. And I understood, ’cause I feel the same. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. The wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. I heard from God today and She sounded just like me. What have I done and who have I become? I saw the devil today and he looked a lot like me. I looked away. I turned away. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. I’m not defending. Downward descending. Falling further and further away. Getting closer every day. I’m getting closer every day to the end, to the end, the end, the end. I’m getting closer every day. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell.{Five Finger Death Punch}

X

NOVEMBER 7, 2022: “Type ‘O’, Here We Are Again!” …

That’s right, folks … “O” here we really are again. I’ve fallen UP in the fog once more as the great alchemy of music stepped in with its magic when I least expected it to wrap me in the most beautiful “grey high” blanket of rhapsody I never saw coming.

So, I’ve cancelled all my plans for the day, decided to just schlub in the castle in one of the king’s favorite yummy grey sweaters, and put on a pot of soup so can just bask in the blissful solitude of my “Nothing. Everything. ALL OF IT!” divinely appointed existence.

The songs that my son sends to me to tell me how he’s feeling are the diary of HIS perfection and they’re one of my most precious things in my life.

As I’ve already told my him, I love him more than words can say, and knowing that I’m his “Nettie” is amongst one of my utmost diamond encrusted treasures in this world. Today, as always, I’m thanking GOD for the literal hell that both he and his sister and I have all walked through and SURVIVED together, because without it, I’d have never be able to see the miracle I see through all this fog.

NOVEMBER 4, 2022: “My Diamond Encrusted Tiaras” …

I’ve long said that I’m an actual queen, because I truly am. But if history has taught me anything, it’s that a queen is only as powerful as the legacy she leaves, not the tiara that adorns her head. My children are my tiara, regardless of whether you can see it. Likewise, are they every “FL colorless” diamond that encrusts it. They’re the echo of my voice that will surely linger on as my utmost contribution to this world.

Take for instance this email I got today amidst an actual storm that was brewing in the atmosphere about something Gia had written to recognize and nominate one of her favorite teachers for an “Honored” teaching award:

Mike Rock is a counselor for students with learning disabilities or other struggles in their studies. For example, I have ADHD, and I get this class to get extra support with my schoolwork. Since the very beginning, Mr. Rock has gone above and beyond to help students in his class. Every class, he stands outside his door and greets each student personally, and asks how their day has been going, and tells them how happy he is that they are doing well, or that they are there that day. And always with a bright smile and kind voice, too. He is beyond patient, always remaining calm and kind even through the multitude of meltdowns and anger-outbursts that students have thrown at him because of their frustrations. He is deeply concerned with the wellbeing of his students. He remembers things that they say, be it a concert they are excited to go to, or that they have a loved one struggling. He doesn’t just stop at helping his students with their schoolwork. He is a teacher as much as he is a trusted friend. He talks with us about struggles we have and shows interest in the things we enjoy. One particular action stands out. On Friday, November 4th, there was a threat for severe weather in our area. School let out early, and as I was walking to leave the building, I caught Mr. Rock. He greeted me with a warm “Hello Gia!” (My nickname) and a smile. We were making small talk as we left, and I was talking about how my dad was picking me up, since I didn’t drive to school because my dad didn’t want me driving in the heavy rain. I complained about how despite my dad telling me that morning to bring an umbrella, I didn’t, and it was raining in sheets. As I was about to go out into the rain, he pulls out his umbrella and tells me he is going to walk me out to my dad. The umbrella is only big enough for one person, so I refused, saying “thank you so much! But you don’t have to do that. He is parked kind of far away!”. He insisted, so I let him (I really didn’t want to get soaked in the rain anyway. It was cold and windy. The entire way to my dad’s car, he held the umbrella over me while he got rained on. Out of his way, and in the pouring rain, he still made sure I got to my dad’s car safe and dry. When I got to the car, Mr. Rock told me to be safe, and I told him the same. My dad drove off. Mr. Rock’s car was in the opposite direction that I needed to go. This isn’t the only time that Mr. Rock has gone out of his way to be kind and considerate. He regularly supplies his classroom with students’ favorite candies, mints, and even fidget toys. All on his own, and without being asked. One time, he was gifted a box of expensive chocolate from the Ukraine from a friend. He took the box of chocolate and shared it with us. (It is a very small class. There’s only about 10 students). Teachers like Mr. Rock are few and far between. He brightens our days and is someone we can always count on to have a kind word to say, or just a positive, friendly attitude. He is truly an amazing teacher (He has single handedly raised student’s grades with his tutoring, support, and encouragement), and an admirable and good person. I know he deserves to be recognized.

My Mona Lisa couldn’t stop making me smile if she tried! She’s lifting others with her “beautiful infection”, and like her brother, never ceases to amaze me. If only you knew what she’s really been through, you, too, would fail to understand why she’s not a jaded teenager just looking for an excuse to become a toxic adult. She makes me proud every day, and it’s moments like these that are why.

There is no lie in her words about “Mr. Rock”. If only I could properly credit not just him, but the many other teachers and mentors that have supported and led her through the proverbial storm she’s been walking through since losing her dad and having to go through high school without him. Each one is a beacon of hope and a restoration of faith in humanity to not just her, but this widowed, single mom, as well. I literally cried my eyes out at the thought of this man walking my kid to the car with his umbrella over her head while he was getting soaked.

Gia, my princess, when the time finally comes for you to start reading this Diary, know that you truly are everything I hope to be when I grow up. No, you’re not perfect … you’re just a flesh and blood mortal like the rest of us. Besides, “perfection” would be boring, anyway. Still, sometimes I wonder if you really are from another planet, because the last time I checked, there seems to be a shortage of kids like you running around on this one. Lol, and you think that I’m the real Wonder Woman? That’s funny, because I actually think it’s you!

If, as we both suspect, Dad really is watching all of this as you live out this dream he had for your life, surely he was beaming with pride today, too, as you “lit a fire” with your impeccable words. Please listen to this song again, because it was the first thing that came to my mind after I got the email from your school today. I love you, “Three”! ~ Mama

NOVEMBER 1, 2022: “In The Avant Garden” …

Zachariah,

In my lifetime, I have had either the unfortunate or very fortunate (depending on how you look at it) privilege of discovering just how many different ways there are to die, both literally and figuratively. Through it all, though, getting to love you and be loved by you taught me this one most powerful thing …

Indeed, there are many ways a person can die, but there’s only one way a person can live … with unbridled, unwavering, and truly unconditional love. If my love alone could have saved you, you would surely have lived forever, as those are the ways I loved you. I still forgive you for leaving us the way you did to wander in this garden without you, and no matter how awful this world may ever seem to be, the story of “me” will always be extraordinarily beautiful because you were in it.

A Chinese Proverb that I’ve grown to love says:

It is better to be a warrior in a garden then a gardener at war.

With that, it is my truest prayer that as you’re looking down on me now and then through your supernova telescope in stars, that you’re proud of the warrior queen I’ve become as I tend to this garden we started together alone.

As I’m sure you already know, I’m God’s actual favorite daughter, and perhaps my greatest victory in this life has been in accepting and embracing my divinely appointed purpose of punctuating this seemingly Godforsaken world with as much of the Light I can find and wield.

I’m learning how to pick my battles much better day by day, because if loving you and getting to be a part of your story taught me anything, it’s that peace is always better than war … especially when it comes to the wars we fight from within. It still breaks my heart when I think of all the ways you suffered here having never truly found your own peace within. Pray GOD that you finally have now.

Just because you won’t be here for the full bounty of what my heart had to give you, it doesn’t mean it’s still not there. There are an infinite number of universes out there where I can and do still walk with you, talk with you, laugh with you, and am held by you in the ever-growing gardens of my mind.

While it’s no big secret that loving you changed my life forever, losing you has done the same, because it was all the love you poured into me that helped me find all this power and grace. These abundant gifts you left behind are mine to keep until the day I move on to the brighter side of grey and leave it all behind for my babies. I will love you eternally, Zachariah.

~ Catherine

The Frog & The Butterfly
~ November 1, 2010 ~

“The Frog & The Butterfly”

OCTOBER 31, 2022: “The Arsonist’s Lullaby” …

• Jason Archer @archinorn

The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.

{Sigmund Freud}

Indeed, dear ole Mr. Freud nailed that one right on the head! Might I add, though, that we should never try to outrun our own dark shadow, because that’s where our demons live. Believe it or not, sometimes we actually need those little fuckers around, for without them our egos truly would be the dark and tragic end of us. HELLO? Haven’t you ever watched Star Wars? Never mind. I’ve digressed.

Okay, where was I? Our demons are there to balance us; to challenge, humanize, and perfect us … not to be cast out to the abyss. They keep us honest, keep us real, and keep us on our toes. Those nasty little dark siders that ride around on our shoulders are there as a point of reference for the light and dark.

So, with that, I’m just thinking that what we really need to do is just tame them, train them, leash them, and maybe even give them a little space to do what they need to do from time to time in order to bring our souls full circle.

I thought it ended when I knew love’s perfect ache, but my peace has always depended on all the ashes in my wake.

The only way you can really fly is with the power and grace of a phoenix rising from its own ashes. If that means you have to become the arsonist who sets fire to the safety of your oh so sweetly delusional lullaby, so be it. You’ll be alright … I PROMISE!

In the meantime, HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all you beautifully imperfect twisted ones like me out there who have truly made peace with your “little pets”. Tonight of all nights, be sure to let them trick OR treat, depending on their mood. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, ya know what I’m sayin’?

ARSONIST’S LULLABYE

When I was a child, I heard voices. Some would sing and some would scream. You soon find you have few choices. I learned the voices died with me. When I was a child, I’d sit for hours staring into open flame. Something in it had a power. Could barely tear my eyes away. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. When I was 16, my senses fooled me. Thought gasoline was on my clothes. I knew that something would always rule me. I knew the scent was mine alone. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. When I was a man, I thought it ended when I knew love’s perfect ache, but my peace has always depended on all the ashes in my wake. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. {Hozier}

~ The Phoenix Art Project ~

OCTOBER 24, 2022: “Dodging The Devil’s Boomerang” …

Does someone really suffer when we wish bad for them?

{“The Quora Question“}

NO! NO THEY DON’T! The only person who suffers when we wish bad for others is the “wisher”, not the “other”. Regardless of the crime that reduces a victim to thoughts of retribution, by speaking ill will over another into the Universe you join the factions of pathetic people who drink from the same cup from which the poison they’re serving first came.

There’s an unspoken kismet law about malice, which is that once you receive it, you either rise above it or become it. In my opinion, malevolence is a “karmic boomerang”, in that once it’s tossed out into the wind, it always finds it’s way back to the sender and never misses its chance to return a favor.

Although the people who refuse to give in to their own darkness appear to be weak and cowardly, in reality it’s the evil things that walk amongst us that are the truly feeble. Even a toddler can than throw a stones at someone, but it takes an immense amount of strength, courage, and resilience to just stand there and let them hit you.

If, as I suspect, the reason we exist here is to choose between The Light and the dark, don’t be a fool and repay evil with evil. Vengeance is the Lord’s, and only the Lord’s alone, and you ARE NOT “The Punisher“! Besides, getting hit in the face with a boomerang can’t be all that fun, ya know what I’m sayin’?

Don’t get me wrong, I have been that “karmic boomeranger” in days gone by. There was a time in my life when I all but drove to New Orleans in the wee hours of the night to get an actual West African voodoo doll in which to stick my pins of vengeance into those who have wronged me or mine. And Jean-Claude Van DAMN, don’t even get me started when it comes to those who have brought harm to my kids … up to and including other kids! Taming the momma animal in me has been a work in progress over the years, but thankfully I’ve slayed that beast and sent it back down to hell where it belongs.

These days, I don’t dare spend my precious energy on the “THINGS” that will surely face the cosmic dragons they’ve unleashed unto themselves before it’s all said and done. Instead, I opt only to focus on the positive things and people in my atmosphere and not let all the devils I’ve had to dance with unleash the devil inside of me.

THE DEVIL INSIDE

Make me believe I’m human. Make me believe I’m not the voice in my mind. I don’t believe all the wrong I’ve done is forgiven. Make me believe I’m living. Make me believe I’m not the face that I hide. I don’t believe another day I can breathe so forsaken. Can you see my disease? Cannot hide what’s inside. I’m moving paralyzed and living hypnotized, hit right between the eyes, living with the Devil inside. I’m moving paralyzed and living hypnotized, hit right between the eyes. Living with the Devil inside. Can you see my disease? Meet the Devil inside of me. Is this the fate I’ve been given? I hear it calling in the dead of the night. I don’t believe I can ever be free of this hell that lives inside of me. Can you see my disease? Cannot hide what’s inside. I’m moving paralyzed and living hypnotized, hit right between the eyes, living with the Devil inside. {Like A Storm}

OCTOBER 15, 2022: “The Man, The Myth, The Legend!” …

I can’t recall when a morning news story ever made me so fucking happy. I literally cried tears of joy for this man and his family when I heard these words from his mouth:

So, I made them a deal today, and I’m gonna stick to it. After this year, I am going to make one more Five Finger Death Punch album and then I am retiring from heavy metal.

{Five Finger Death Punch On YouTube}

The Alchemistwill be leaving the building. The FUCKER I love the most who has inspired so many of us to dig deep into our souls and unearth the sobering reality of our own tragic truths, turn ourselves inside out, make peace with our demons, and find our “power and grace“, is dimming the lights.

A dear friend and highly intuitive Death Punch sister I was talking to this morning said that lately she’d been sensing a sort of “death” with him. In fact, we’d both been feeling that something’s been a little bit off in his world, though not necessarily in a bad way, but neither of us could put our finger on it. Well, there we have it! As it turns out, the death she’d been sensing was a metaphor for an ending. The “death” of this chapter of his beautifully dirty, poetic life, and the birth of an entirely new one.

It’s “phoenixry” at it’s finest!

As I’ve been scouring through this news today, I read, “Well, let’s just hope that the next 5FDP album will come as late as possible”. Yah, yah, I get it. We’re gonna miss him. But I couldn’t disagree more. For as much as I have come to love, respect, and adore him, not as a “rock star”, but a human fucking being, it’s only right to let him go in peace without a fight.

Nothing would make me happier then to never see his face again, be it on a stage or social media where we’ve all relished being a part of his “family” if that meant he was riding off into the sunset and sanctuary of his truly personal life and endeavors. No man is more deserving of the next rebirth that will surely come from fading the bright lights that have both propelled and devoured him, into the quieter lights of his real family’s hearts and eyes. After all the tiny pieces of his broken, risen, but probably exhausted phoenix soul that he’s literally bled out to the masses, no man has earned the right to finally rest his wings and fly back home to the ones he fought so hard to keep living for. C’mon, people! Those bright lights almost fucking blinded him, and I know for a fact that he’s given the actual shirt off his back to some of us. Also? Let’s face it. Not everyone has been so grateful for his contributions to both the arts and humanity. So, he’s damned if he does and damned if he don’t. Still, the vultures have picked at his living carcass enough, don’t ya think?

There’s a song I’ve always loved and have listened to for years by another band, Cold. The poignant words are clearly written from the perspective of a weary musician:

Whatever you became, blame it on my fame. Always away from you … sold my life for a song. Whatever you feel, I take it on my stage. I sing to the world for you … and I’m always alone.

{“Whatever You Became” by Cold”}

These days, I think about him when I hear this song. I say to myself, “Damnit, Ivan, we love you! We ALL mother fucking LOVE you! But haven’t you’ve spent way more than your fair share of all of your power and grace on us? Just free yourself and go home.”

This life we’re living really is just a blip, and yes, the lights will go down. Do everything within your power to ensure that when your door closes for the very last time you leave your light on for the people you’ve left behind and not just a darkened void. It’s how you’ll become “nothing, everything, and ALL of it” and leave this place better than you found it.

{“The Grey High“}

Well, guess what, Fucker? I’m saying “job well done”! While I realize this process isn’t going to happen overnight and we’ll still have some good times to share with you, know that when the last of those lights on your stage go down, the one you’ll have left behind for all of us will keep on burning bright through that void.

Those of us who’ve been paying attention know that aside from your family, there are still many gifts and contributions you’re working on leaving behind for the cause you’re so fucking passionate about. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll even find a true and proper queen to ride off into that sunset with. You deserve that, too, my friend, and I’m praying that you’ll find her!

~ The Phoenix Rests ~
(A “Midjourney” Creation By @archinorn)

OCTOBER 15, 2022: “We’re Not So Different” …

Despite the fact that I was raised Roman Catholic, I was fortunate enough to eventually become a sold-out and crazy, “deaf, dumb, and blind faith believer” in God the Father, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. That being said, I’m also somewhat of an omnist in that I believe that all the different faiths and creeds point to a singular, transcendent being that unites us all, all of which are known by different names, but in my case said “being” is called by THE aforementioned name of “God”.

The great Lao Tzu was a brilliant Chinese philosopher and writer, was widely known to be a good and kind man, and a fierce proponent of the natural order of things, freedom from social norms, spontaneity, and the underlying unity of this Universe. Although Taoism, which he fathered, doesn’t acknowledge the God I believe in (or any “god” or omnipotence outside of this Cosmos), there are a great many of his ancient teachings that I personally adhere to and align with.

You see, that’s what makes each of our unique spiritualities, beliefs, and paths so incredibly fucking beautiful … and powerful! If you search deep and wide enough and truly desire internal peace and alignment with this Universe, you will likely find a little nugget of your soul’s song in every soul’s song.

Yup, we’re all different! There ain’t no doubt about it! But then again, we’re really not so different. We all have something to bring to the table, and unless or until we come to terms with that collective reality, the great divide that is burgeoning between us will be our ultimate downfall and demise. We have to learn to think for ourselves, together, but separately, and sometimes even look inside the odd little boxes we don’t want to look in that we find down all those scary, dark corridors and blind corners.

I truly wish I could have met you, Lao Tzu, and truly believe that you would have loved my own “Nothing. Everything. ALL OF IT!” mantra. Here’s hoping I’ve made you proud by holding your age-old belief that when we do, say, think, or give of ourselves, we should do so from ONLY a place of the true love and conviction of our soul, expecting not one single thing in return. Oh, and wise sage, indeed I heard you when you said:

Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.

No. I shall not seek. I shall not expect. I shall be present. I shall welcome ALL things!

For the record, Master Tzu, I do so hope that I’ll get to sit down and have Lucky Charms with you some day in another space and time. From what I can tell, you’re my kinda people!

NOT SO DIFFERENT

There’s a panic in the air – lead you down a dark corridor, round a blind corner. Beware! Why do you stare? You got a bad feeling? Heavy heart beating so scared. What’s really going on behind the scenes, through the back streets, down the alleyways that nobody sees? Through the heart of what divides, whenever I look into your eyes, we don’t need the space between. We’re close enough to see we’re not so different now. We’re not so different. We are almost there, and this is the beginning as long as you are willing to dare. We’ve been everywhere looking for some meaning – looking for a reason to care. What’s really going on behind the scenes, through the back streets, down the alleyways that nobody sees. Through the heart of what divides, whenever I look into your eyes, we don’t need the space between. We’re close enough to see – we’re not so different now. We’re not so different now. {Trapt}

OCTOBER 5, 2022: “Resting In A Castle Of Glass” …

Zachariah,

Today is the fourth bittersweet birthday that we don’t get to celebrate with you, and as of about twenty minutes ago, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write in tribute to you today. As I was sitting here staring blankly at my screen though, my eyes began wandering around at all the pictures on my desk, and I spotted this precious one of you. That’s when I closed my eyes and had this vision …

It was me looking at that the sweet, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy at around age 10. I was holding him in my arms like I did so many times in our journey together, and especially in the months before you left when I would hold you like an actual baby as you would cry. Your little head was resting on my chest so perfectly still and calm, and when I looked down at your face, you were smiling.

What is it, Zack? What on Earth are you smiling about?

Then, you looked up at me and whispered the most powerful words I could have imagined hearing on this bittersweet day without you:

Catherine, I’m okay. I’m finally resting.

I want you to know how deeply sorry I am that the people who were supposed to protect you from the demons that devoured your mind failed you so fucking miserably. It is my truest prayer that you did make it Home safely, that you’re very much alright, and that your soul is in the peaceful, loving care of the greatest Parent of them all.

I’ve always loved this song, listen to often, and always think of you when I do. Only this time I’m tweaking the words “my way”, as if you were singing them to me:

I know you’re down at the river bend after fighting the fight ’til the fighting end. You’ve washed the poison from off your skin, and now you’re finally whole again. I always think of you flying up on silver wings, far past the black where the sirens ring, warming yourself in a nova’s glow and rising above your nightmare below. You’re no longer a crack in this castle of glass, and never forget that you were so much to see. I know that you’re Home in a binding dream through all of the secrets that we both have seen. I, too, have washed this sorrow from off of my skin, and yes, I, too, am finally whole again. So, until that day comes when I can see you again, I’ll keep looking for your light as it slips through the cracks in this castle of glass in which I still live. As for now, though, there is still so much more for me to see. Happy Birthday Zachariah. I love you. ~ Me

As soon as Gia gets home from school, we’ll be heading down to the pier to skip a few rocks over the water before we go have our annual Red Robin burgers in your honor. Though you’re not here to physically reciprocate the love I have always and will always feel for you, that love will never be wasted. In the meantime, please just keep watching us through your telescope.

~ Catherine ❤️

~ Zachariah Lucas Williamson ~

OCTOBER 1, 2022: “Old MacHOOVER Had A Farm” …

e, i, e, i, EWWWW!

… and on that farm he had some BULLSHIT

e, i, e, i, NO!

I see you’ve got me blocked for some reason. I’d love to know more about that.

Lol! I BET you would!

I was just strollin’ through my calendar, and uh, you probably realize, but it was on this specific date on 1995 when you and I met …

Umm? NO, I didn’t realize!

Crazy, isn’t it? Oh my gosh! 1995. It’s been a minute.

YAH think?

The irony in this actual bottle of douche using the word “crazy” in a sentence is how in the aftermath of the nightmare he put me through, he tried convincing everyone, including me, that I was effing “crazy”.

Meanwhile, guess who’s still calling who after 23 fucking years, still keeping our “special dates” on his calendar, and still thinking of ME when he sees a a drop dead gorgeous woman on social media. Although, I must admit that he was dead-on, tiny balls accurate in that correlation, ’cause, umm, for a “fifty-THREE-it’s-SO-good-to-be-ME” year old biotch, I STILL look pretty good. Hey, MacHeebieJeebie?

HOW DO YA LIKE ME NOW?

If you don’t know what “hoovering” is, it’s a narcissist’s strategy to manipulate IT’S (not “their”) victim and either keep them or suck them back in as “supply“. They use this emotionally abusive tactic when they realize their victim is trying to untangle themselves from their toxic web and get the FUCK away.

For those of you concerned that my Diary entries about him are somehow playing with fire, if MacNumNuts had any sincere interest in me aside from his pathetic desperation, he’d have likely read them by now. Clearly, he has not, because not only does his self-grandiosity and delusion make any attempts at sincerity impossible, if he had read anything about himself here, he’d most likely have slithered back under his rock.

So, with that, I’m MacMOOVING right along now. For the record, the reason I’m publishing this gem today and not back on April 22nd when the voicemail was sent is because I only recently found both these gems in my blocked contact trash. As I’ve said before, I only ever go digging through the garbage hunting for things that are truly worth my time and attention for repurposing into treasures.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022: “Eyes Wired Shut” …

Perhaps the most beautiful things in this life are all the things that we can’t actually see. Take God’s “artwork“, for instance. To me, He is THE master artist of all infinity, and it’s all the things He keeps hidden from me that are just so intrinsically breathtaking to look at despite the fact that my eyes can’t see them. Yes, I know this sounds like some kinda bullshit, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

Although I’m admittedly not a huge fan of “peopling“, I’m still in daily awe of this masterpiece I get to be a part of even though no one really knows or sees me in it. My divinely appointed soul is a part of every delicate and mysterious brush stroke, and while you can’t really see it, it’s there, and it’s magic! And YOU! You, TOO! Never forget that all of those things about you that you don’t think anyone notices ARE a part of this story. Besides, who doesn’t appreciate a good mystery anyway, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe we should all just keep our proverbial eyes wired shut so that we stop being so worried about whether we’re doing enough, being enough, or even being “seen” at all. Oh, WE’RE IN THIS, my friends! Trust me, our unseen vibrations and fingerprints are IN THIS TO WIN IT! We just have to stop wasting precious time on all the lies that make us “sane” and always trying to make everything so fucking right. We need to make it back to ourselves, no one else, and the creation that unveils itself in that process is a thing to behold like no other priceless work of art ever made. Make it a powerful week, trying just looking with your eyes shut, and paint your canvas well.

EYES WIRED SHUT

I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again the pills that make me. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again the chance – the want to change. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again standing all alone. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again. Eyes wired shut, running through my brain. Pulling back the skin. It happens, we’re getting older. Eyes wired shut, running through my brain. It’s all the same, but in the end, it keeps me coming. I’ve blown away, I’ve blown away again the fear of failing. I’ve blown away, I’ve blown away again the lies that make me sane. I’ve blown away the chance to make it right. I want to be. I want to see. I want to make it back to me! It’s time to face the way – a chance to talk and make some change. To make myself to think that things were better. {Edgewater}

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022: “Life’s Been Good To Me” …

I know, I know! Yet another love letter to myself. Still, its kinda crazy how fitting and relatable both the words above and the words below are to me. Despite some appearances, life truly has been good to me so far. So, I’m not writing anything else today, but this

“Fifty-THREE-

It’s-GOOD-To-Be-Me!

“Fifty-THREE-It’s-SO-Good-To-Be-ME”

Why, yes. Yes, it is! It’s so Jean-Claude Van DAMN good to be me! With that, here’s to everything and nothing that has made me who I am today, and what will hopefully be yet another 365 beautiful trips around the equally beautiful Sun!

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022: “How To Talk To THE Girl” …

For The Girl Who Seems To Have Stolen My Son’s Heart:

I’ve given a lot of thought to the thought of “you” since the day he entered my world, and as the years have passed, I must say I’ve been a little anxious, because it’s kind of scary the way that some little girls are being raised these days. Actually, it’s a crying shame.

I’ve prayed incessantly for the moment I would be at peace with the thought of no longer being the number one woman in his life, and yes, “you” have always been at the forefront of my MOST important prayers:

Please, God, PLEASE! Please let her momma be raising someone precious and perfect for my son. No, I’m not asking for her to BE perfect. Just let her be the perfect one for HIM.

Some years ago I found this excerpt from prayer some man wrote to God about his own sons, and I’d been keeping it tucked safely in the “drafts” file of this Diary for the day he’d finally found someone who I believe was worthy of sharing it with. It had something to do with Princess Katherine, who as you know just became The Princess Of Whales:

And so I pray … for a princess that realizes she is the daughter of the King of Heaven and Earth … for a Princess clothed in humility and grace (rather than the latest must-have fashions and trends) … for a princess with hands that will get dirty for the sake of serving others and with feet willing to walk the extra mile (rather than one that demands manicures and pedicures by age seven) … for a princess whose “adornment” is not merely outward (arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel), but rather, let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is “very precious in the sight of God.” {1 Peter 3:3-5} … for a princess who loves unconditionally and forever, and doesn’t run out when her prince falls off his royal horse and isn’t as charming as she dreamed (because it WILL happen). Amen.

It wasn’t that long ago when I wrote these words in this Diary after first hearing this powerful song that I love:

Now, fast forward to “here we are” fifteen long years later, and I’m sitting here literally praying that he’s finally learning how to talk to girls, because God Himself knows he didn’t always have the best examples of that. When Zack came along, he literally flipped the game board of our lives upside down for the better, “talking to girls” took on a whole different meaning, and Christian finally had a good example.

{“How To Talk To Girls“}

Meanwhile, it looks like even I still have some work to do in the “talking to THE girl” department. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to turn off the radio when this song hits my cue, because all I can think about is how much it kills me that no man ever taught my son how to talk to girls until his stepdad came along. It kills me even more that he after the way he left us, he may have undone all those “man lessons” he spent so much time teaching Christian.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALEXANDRA! Happy birthday to us BOTH! Yes, we all love you and care about you very much. Yes, I do believe with everything in my heart that you are the princess that was meant for my son. Yes, your momma did raise someone precious.

If, indeed, you are “the one”, none of us could be prouder of the true princess he’s seemingly found in you. Of course there will always be bumps on this road. We’re only human, after all. Please just know that I will always be for you, never against you, because NO, my son isn’t always “right”, and NO, he doesn’t quite know all the best ways to talk to girls.

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS

Yeah, I remember yes or no, or how to ask her to prom. Then it was a pickup line … somethin’ you’d say inside a bar. Quick on the draw, good at the game, but the game just changed, ’cause I got this ring and I’m on one knee, and now I’m drawin’ a blank. ‘Cause this angel hangs on every word I say. She’s gettin’ so much more from me than my last name … everything … and I can’t hide it. She’s got me at a loss for words. I guess I’m still learnin’ how to talk to girls. And I remember two pink lines … ready or not … she’s on her way. Yeah, she got her momma’s eyes. Well, I hope she don’t act like me. You know they say you pay for your raisin’. I’m tryin’ to raise her. But what do you say when you can’t tell her no? Well, I can’t even think about down the road. What about sixteen? What about God? What about big dreams? And oh my God, what about boys? The bad ones? Will she find out her momma has one? Damn! {Brantley Gilbert}

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022: “The Day Of The Brown Grasshopper!” …

“The Day Of The Brown Grasshopper”

ME:

Gia, guess what? I caught a grasshopper today! Hey, so, what kind of grasshoppers are brown?

GIA:

Umm, the locust kind.

ME:

Wait! You mean they have such a thing as locust grasshoppers?

GIA:

No, momma! And if by “they” you mean GOD, no, GOD doesn’t have such a thing as “locust grasshoppers”. He does have LOCUSTS, which LOOK like grasshoppers, but are brown. Lemme see the video you made first before I say for sure, because knowing you, you probably made a silly video.

… 60 seconds later …

Congratulations, momma! You caught yourself one hell of a beautiful LOCUST!

ME:

Wait! Like, the plaguey ones that ate all the corn?

GIA:

Lol. Yes mom, the plaguey ones that ate all the corn. You’re so pretty! You do know that Dad was probably laughing while you were making friends with your ‘lil brown grasshopper, right?

ME:

Yah, yah! But, umm, so should I put some corn out for it later or something?

GIA (smacking her head):

Yes, mom, you do that. Go get yourself a tiny bowl and make him some tiny corn. I love you. And remember, “Whatsoever is done unto the least of my creation, so, too, shall be done unto thee”.

ME:

Yes! God’s gonna lift me up of the ground and put me in the proverbial shrubs of life!

GIA:

No, mom. God’s gonna just KEEP taking care of you the way He ALWAYS has, the same way you take care of everyone … INCLUDING all His bugs and critters!

… and, with that, THIS is how “the day of the brown grasshopper” made me cry, and once again reminded me that I must be doing something right, ’cause my kid really does think the world of me … “you’re so pretty” and all!

“Bye everyone, it’s me, CAT! I’m the REAL Cat Williamson, resident brown grasshopper catcher and expert, lover of all things big and small, and God’s actual favorite daughter!”

SEPTEMBER 8, 2022: “The Assignment Is Over” …

~ Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor ~
April 21, 1926 – September 8, 2022

In case you didn’t know, I’m a “royalist” at heart, always have been, and always will be, and Her Majesty’s passing today finds me in bittersweet tears.

Indeed, there have been and still are many critics of the monarchy over the years, but if you have ever taken a deeper look behind the veil that is The Windsor Dynasty, you will find relatable human people that are THE living embodiment of “SURVIVAL – at ALL costs – under EVERY circumstance”.

Her Majesty was THE benchmark standard of loyalty, honor, and duty, and so, too, was her late, beloved prince, The Duke Of Edinburgh, who was one of the less than a handful of “famous people” who I would have truly liked to have gotten a chance to sit down and have one of those “Lucky Charms moments” with.

~ The Crown ~
Season 1 • Episode 1 • “Wolferton Splash”

Her Majesty and The Duke both very much understood “the job”, but how many of us can truly say the same? Life in a gilded cage isn’t for the faint of heart, this I know too well, and while I don’t rule over an actual kingdom, I am a mother and have been a wife, in which regard I am THE very axis upon which my own own little “dynasty” spins. As such, I have taken my job as “queen of their hearts” very seriously, and yes, I, too, have understood the assignment and what it means to “SURVIVE – at ALL costs – under EVERY circumstance” with the power and grace of a risen queen.

Likewise have I also very much appreciated what it mean to be the often unsung hero that MY beloved Prince Phillip always was, always in the background sacrificing his own wants and dreams to ensure that her reign looked effortless and that she was supported.

I could wax on poetically with my thoughts on this today, but I will now be getting back to the TV. “Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT, an American “royalist” far across the pond in Dallas, Texas, USA, who will be glued to the screen as this story avails in both bittersweet and joyful tears. And by the way, how fortuitous is it that my daughter is home sick with me today so that she can watch this historical, live coverage with me as well? She, of all people, knows exactly how I feel about the history of this remarkable family and why it is so important for us all to understand and appreciate it. Of course, I am not happy that she isn’t feeling well, but of all the days for her to be home with me, today is the perfect day.

Farewell, Godspeed, and goodbye. You have lived, and you have changed all our lives.

{Alter Bridge}

Surely your handsome Prince awaits you in the GREATEST kingdom of all. You were loved by many and your legacy of strength and fortitude will live on forever.

Well done, Your Majesty! “May flights of angels sing you to your rest.”

SEPTEMBER 7, 2022: “When You Wish Upon A Star” …

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star as dreamers do, like a bolt out of the blue, Fate steps in and sees you through …

and when you wish upon a star, you MIGHT even end up with an epic amount of “MOM GUILT”, two Benadryls, then the sweetest validation ever from your Mona Lisa daughter that despite your many failings, you’re still doing a “magical” job!

Yes, my friends, it was on THIS day exactly five years ago that my lovely daughter ever so lovingly reminded me of that time I lost her at fucking DISNEYWORLD! Yah! I’m THAT mom, and guess what? YOU’RE READING MY BLOG!

Yes, it is true that my husband had to medicate me with Benadryl to get me to calm down … but hey … at LEAST in her report she spun it in a TOTALLY less “EPIC MOM FAIL” way!

Hi everyone! It’s me, CAT!

Hot Mess Express – Party Of ONE!

Imma find that report she actually wrote which I only recently found while we were cleaning out my office and upload it into this Diary entry later! In the meantime, does anyone out there want “Aunt Cat” to take their small children to Disney?

Dear God in HEAVEN, how I literally adore my life … EPIC “mom fails” and all … and especially my two beautiful children who somehow seem to think that I’m an “100/10 perfect momma” despite my own damn self and MANY bungles. Something in my heart tells me that if either of them had it to do all over again and were actually offered the chance to “pick a mom … ANY mom”, they still woulda picked ME out of a lineup! That’s something, right? I’m sticking with YES, it is!

SEPTEMBER 4, 2022: “The Day Of The S & H Greenstamps Tattoo” …

It’s no longer a big secret that I had a twisted and dysfunctional childhood, and also no secret that some of my mental pictures aren’t so homespun and stellar …

… BUT …

… I very much DO also have some precious and beautiful memories seared so deeply into the skin of all my days gone by that they’re a virtual tattoo inside my mind.

It’s raining, grey, and what some might consider miserable here in Dallas this afternoon, but as I walked into the kitchen just now and saw my favorite “Mindset Is Everything” coffee mug sitting on the table amidst a pile of skeletons and spookiness I’m about to HAUNT The Williamson Manor with, I literally snapped back in time to the MANY “Sundays” with my mom and HER coffee cup sitting around our often very rainy, New England kitchen table.

You see, Sundays were ALWAYS our “Green Stamp” days, and I fondly remember the countless hours she would spend with us at our tiny wooden table as she’d bust out all the stamps she’d collected for that week and let me and my sister help her put them in her books. We’d sit around that table drawing circles in “the catalog” around all the treasures we were saving for while having our little mother daughter chit chats about life.

For God’s sake, I even smelled the giant pot of scratch made Italian “gravy” that was ALWAYS simmering in the background while we were stamping our fingers to the bone, and how as all this was happening on those cozy afternoons, there was the best anxiety EVER simmering in my gut because I knew that soon my beloved Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins would all be coming over for our weekly “family dinnuh”!

Jean-Claude Van DAMN I’m so proud to be turning “Fifty-THREE-It’s-SO-Good-To-Be-ME” next week, and while I do so adore all you young ones out there, grab a pen and paper and take NOTES from ALL of s “OMG, they’re like, SO old” ones, ’cause we know EXACTLY how to keep on keepin’ it REAL!

Meanwhile, as I’m writing this, my girls are upstairs all hunkered down in their fluffy pajamas and blankets as the storms are moving in while I’m downstairs just doing the mom thing. I’m overwhelmed with joy and an abundance of gratitude that I not only do I get to live this ethereal existence, but that my heart has been broken and put back together well enough to know that even when I’m not sifting through the ashes of my life, there is still so much beauty to be found in them that it just shows up during the storms like a ray of light shining through my soul. I am blessed.

… and THIS, my friends, is yet another “Grey HIGH” moment from my virtually tattooed heart and love-filled Williamson Castle to yours. Oh, and (PS) … there’s something that I’ll hope you’ll remember …

All you get to keep is all you’ve shared.

{“The Brighter Side Of Grey” … by Five Finger Death Punch}

~ REAL Cat 🖤

SEPTEMBER 1, 2022: “A Day To Be Alone!” …

Well, HAVE you?

Been there! Done that! Guilty as frigging charged! Ironically, it was my kids’ father who first sent me this song years ago during our final dissolution in what I suppose was an attempt to validate my then very broken feelings. Nevertheless, the bittersweet words did then and still do deeply resonate. I very much remember the many days and nights when “all I had were screams inside, but somehow they came out in a smile” and I would literally hide inside my bedroom and scream into a pillow.

Meanwhile, I am here to tell you that even the strongest phoenixes and most favorite of God’s favorite children cry their ACTUAL fucking eyes out and “silent scream” into their pillows. ME! ME! ME! I do it! These days, it’s more so for the sake of my kids that I either “pillow scream” or “panic chair” in private:

You know, honey, you do that, too … the crying in your chair in private thing! Did you think I didn’t know that’s what you do when you run back into our room? You let yourself fall apart so you can keep it all together for us. It’s one of my favorite things about you. You remind me of Leigh Anne so much.

{“Blindsided With Rhapsody“}

As as every mother knows, I’m only ever as strong as my weakest child. When they’re going through it, I’m going through it, so, sometimes, “silent screaming” is the best thing I can do, because letting them see me fall apart when they need me to be strong just isn’t an option.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If it was good enough for God’s Son, it’s good enough for us, and why John 11:35 is my favorite verse:

“Jesus wept.”

That’s right, people. I just quoted scripture and dropped an eff bomb in one HELL of an oxymoronical post. It’s part of my charm, and nope, I’m NOT fucking proud of it. Rest assured that I’ll deal with those consequences later.

In the meantime …

Jean-Claude Van DAMN, this “human BEING” ain’t for the faint of heart! If you woke up on the top side of the soil today despite anything that’s trying to bury you, you’re STRONGER than you know. If you need a day to be alone, TAKE A DAY TO BE ALONE. Just grab that pillow and SCREAM!

And remember …

Don’t you dare think that you really are “alone inside your room” when you’re alone inside your room. While you’re holding your breathe so that no one can hear your screams, God is screaming for you:

I won’t let you down when the seasons change. I won’t go down … I’ll fight through your pain. I’ll be there right by your side.

{“When The Seasons Change” … by Five Finger Death Punch}

Wow! Look at me mixing up two of my favorite songs in one entry! Yah, I’m kinda kookie like that. Good GRIEF, how I love my life! For the record, while I may not personally have anything to scream into my own pillow about today while I’m alone here inside my castle, I’m always mindful that there are others in this world who are suffering in silence. I feel it. I do. My heart truly aches for all who are screaming today, and no, you are NOT alone!

A DAY TO BE ALONE

She said, “I wonder when it’ll be my day? ‘Cause I’m not too far from breaking down. All I’ve got are screams inside, but somehow they come out in a smile, and I’m wondering if I’ll always feel this way. This way.” Tell me about those nights you stayed awake. Tell me about those days you hated me. Tell me how you’d rather die alone than being stuck here with me. And maybe you’ve fallen down, and maybe you just took the long way home, but baby you could never love you like me. And one day this will fade away. In the mirror you’ll see a smiling face, and standing next to you will always be me. Yeah me. One day you’re gonna see things my way. You gave me so much room that I can’t breathe. When all I’ve got are pictures to view, it was nothing before and I started with you, and for some reason it’s supposed to be that way. That way. If I could shrink it down and put it in your hands. We made it hurt so much. I can’t forget the past. Just tell me what to say, show me what to do, then I could forgive me and I would forgive you. {One Less Reason}

AUGUST 31, 2022: “I’m Inside Out” …

Okay, SO, in the aftermath of last night’s Five Finger DEATH PUNCH to my face …

LET’S TALK!

To begin, what are the chances that after having made my “Inside Out” post yesterday that THE song they’d come out to WAS “Inside Out”? Was it coincidence? Was it “F8“? Hmm. Imma have to go with the latter!

Meanwhile …

While he didn’t even singThe Brighter Side Of Grey” in this set like we’d all hoped would happen so that we could finally give Gia the letter Zack wrote her in the months before he left in what is now clear contemplation of his suicide, here’s what DID happen at the show …

Ivan very clearly acknowledged us several times throughout the night, to the point where the lady behind us said, “Wow, they must actually know Ivan or something”. He would fist bump his heart then “throw it back to us”, and he waved at us a couple of times, too.

He kept throwing random water bottles out into the crowd, but then he threw one specifically our way and motioned for Christian to catch! Lol. Ask me if I drank the water that was left in it after IVAN had drank from that bottle, too. Umm, that would be a YUP … so if Ivan has any weird diseases or anything, let me ASSURE YOU that now I do, too!

THEN, after the last song, “The Bleeding”, was over, the arena lights went on and he was laughing that all had to be QUIET because of the city ordinances and said, “that sucks ass”. But THEN he walked back over and pointed directly to ME again after having already done it from the platform he was standing on. So, the kids were saying, “Mom, Ivan’s talking to you”, at which point I looked up and he pointed and motioned for me to walk towards him.

THEN, I headed through the pit towards the edge of the stage where he was waiting for me, he motioned for me to give him the banner I’d made for him that was still in my hands and the security guard handed it up to him. He signed it, “I love you”, then told me he’d been trying to make sure I knew that HE knew we were there but that the lights were making it hard for him to make eye contact.

THEN, he handed the sign back down and SAID, “I love you woman”, stood up, walked away without signing ANYONE else’s stuff, and disappeared to the back of the stage.

Yah. I’m like a kid on Christmas day this week. It was the MOST ethereal moment of my life. He made an actual spectacle out of me and my kids and it was NOT not fucking amazeballs!

All that being said, and as far as not getting to hear “The Brighter Side Of Grey” and finally give Gia “the letter”? Well, I’m just taking that as a sign from The Cosmos that it’s still not time for her to either hear that song or read Zack’s bittersweet “in case I’m gone tomorrow” words. When it’s time … it will be time … and not one single second before. Trust me when I tell you that she WILL not hear that precious, life-changing gift of a ballad until the day she gets to hear Ivan singing it in person. I’m at total peace with that plan going forward.

Next stop? I’m driving back to Tennessee on November 17th to join a fellow “suicide widow” Knucklehead friend of mine who was going to be attending the show in Knoxville all alone until I Bogarted her party and invited my own damn self to go with her! God Himself knows how much I love Tennessee, loved driving back and forth to Tennessee, and love, love, LOVE a good SOLO road trip!

THEN? I’m taking the kids to Vegas for my Christian’s BIG 30TH BIRTHDAY WEEK where we’ll all catch the Five Finger Death Punch December 17th show with Brantley Gilbert.

All in all it’s a good life! I got what I want … I can’t complain! I am living the good life … a toast to you now … it’s all SHAM PAIN!

Hmm. Let’s see, is there anything ELSE? Oh, yah, I think there kinda is …

Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT! I’m a “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-Be-True” going on “fifty-THREE-It’s-Good-To-Be-ME” next week year old heavy metal band groupie FREAK!

… that time my daughter and I were in a Five Finger Death Punch promo video!

AUGUST 30, 2022: “Dear Pain & Suffering” …

To My Dearest Pain, Suffering, Agony, Regret, Misery, Defeat, and Sadness:

It’s been just over three years since the love of my life stopped not just his own world, but all of ours as well, in the most egregious, abysmal, and literally psychotic course of events that any of us could have possibly foreseen or imagined. With all of that in mind, I have an extra special message for all of you:

I win!

You lose!

In case you haven’t noticed by now, despite all heaping piles of BULLSHIT every one of you mother fuckers dumped upon my shoulders and how hard you all tried to break my spirit, my heart, and steal my beautiful soul

I’M STILL HERE!

Sure, I mostly do stand “alone”, but guess what? I’m NEVER lonely, ’cause the one thing you couldn’t take from me is ME! The last time I checked, I’M STILL STANDING UPRIGHT, I’m STILL God’s favorite daughter, and even IF my body leaves this place tomorrow, it’s heading somewhere NONE of you will be.

If I’ve learned anything in this last fifty something years, it’s that the only person who ever had the power to destroy me was ME, and the only person who was ever meant to save me was ME. In many ways, I’ve been both my own Judas and my own Jesus, so nope … there’s NO denying it … YOU NEVER HAD CONTROL! So, you can wipe them away, all those silly fuckin’ grins, ’cause I’m so DONE listening to your mother fucking’ side!

Oh, and one more thing. Be sure and tell your little friend Irony that they can go and SUCK IT, ’cause the very things that were intended to blind me from The Light, burn my fucking wings off, and turn me inside out, ONLY helped me see better, fly stronger, and turn me into an actualrisen from ashes” QUEEN!

So, with that, I’ve really gotta run. I have the concert of my lifetime awaiting me and mine in just a few hours this beautiful night and I’m not letting ANY of you douches kill my buzz. Actually, and now that I think of it? It looks like I made the entire lot of you my little bitch!

~ Queen Catherine

INSIDE OUT

Take it, I don’t need it. I don’t wanna hear your mother fuckin’ side. You can love it, or you can leave it, because nothing I say and nothing I feel is right. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t understand. While I’m sitting up here dying, you’re just holding out your hand. And even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have explained, ’cause you don’t know the difference between violence and pain. There’s no denying it, you’ve never had control! I stand alone. Guess I knew it all along. Yes, I knew that you were wrong, how you left when I was down. I want you to say it was never really me. You just turned and walked away! How you turned me inside out! Inside out! I’m not a dog. I’m not a slave. It doesn’t matter how much money I get paid. I give a shit. I never did. So, you can wipe it away, that silly fuckin’ grin! If I wrote it down for you, could you ever see it clear? Or would it go straight through your soul and come right out your ear? If I slowed it down for you, would you think me insincere? Cause in the end I’ll never bend, I’ll never shed a tear! There’s no denying it, I’ve always had control. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 24, 2022: “I Hope You Know” …

Evidently, “Someone” needed me to hear this today, so He sent the memo through a very dear friend of mine on Instagram of all freaking places. Although I’m fairly certain that my dad got the text I sent him and I haven’t yet gotten a response, at LEAST I’m no longer “blocked” from his phone, so I‘m gonna call that PROGRESS!

In the meantime …

Dear Dad,

If for some strange reason you actually happen to see this, I hope you know you don’t have to say you’re sorry. You don’t have to live with the heartache you keep, ’cause I don’t need no apologies. I really have tried writing you out to get some closure, but the more the years go by, I’d rather not live with got cold shoulders, ’cause the more I realize as I keep getting older is that it’s never too late to turn it all around. So, don’t you beat yourself into the ground. I know you’ve tried your best. I know you struggle. The cards that you got dealt surely did give you trouble. Now, I see the you in me, and guess what? I SEE DOUBLE! But guess what else? We really CAN still turn it all around. We don’t have to change the story, but you don’t have to carry the weight that you keep, ’cause I don’t need no apologies. Please don’t turn your back on me, because I really do still love you.

Cathy

{Papa Roach’s Words Adapted By The Real Cat Williamson}

AUGUST 23,2022: “I’m Alright, Thanks For Asking.” …

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Three years ago this hour, the police chief of my town walked into the hospital where my broken daughter was laying to tell me they’d found my husband dead in his car courtesy of the hollow point he’d put in his own head.

No, I don’t think God was laughing that day or that He laughs on any of the days we spend facing the wrath of His angels. In fact, I’m certain that He was on that hospital floor wailing with me and holding me tight as every shred of what I’d come to believe as truth turned out to be the devil’s lie. God DID give me wings, but it was MY job to learn to fly. I had to face not just Zack’s, but my own “devil in the mirror” before I could ascend to the sky.

Yes, the end IS coming, and no, I don’t think I mind. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … as hard as this “living” thing can be, I have no intention of dying unless and until HE says it’s my time. In the meantime, imma stick around here as long as I’m allowed as the UNBREAKABLE risen QUEEN I was born to be.

As for the devil? Come for me mother fucker! In case you haven’t noticed, my soul is already spoken for, and PS, you’re NOT not the one who gets it! That’s not a challenge … IT’S FACT!

Wow! I guess that wasn’t too graceful, now was it? If you’ve been around this Diary long enough you know damn good and well that sometimes I’m Heaven, sometimes I’m hell, and sometimes I really can’t tell which is which. Through it all, though, I always did know it would come to this, my “roll, roll, roll … I’m movin’ ahead”. THIS living queen who “rolls” as God’s favorite daughter is NOT gonna sleep ’til she’s dead! I’ve got punctuating to do and phoenixes to raise, so, I have no other choice but to be alright.

THANKS FOR ASKING

‘Cause I’m alright. Thanks for asking. There’s a million things I’d love to say, but you don’t wanna hear. Yeah, it’s alright. I don’t need your blessings. I’d rather face the wrath of angels than the devil in the mirror. I don’t think God is listening. She told us to follow, but left us behind. I’ve never seen an angel, but I know the Devil, and he told me I’m fine. “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” That’s what everyone keeps telling me. I’d rather capsize than chase an old horizon. Throw me back into the deadest of seas. I know that God is laughing. She gave us our wings, but never taught us to fly. They say the end is coming, and if that’s true, well, I don’t think I mind. Heaven or hell? I can’t tell which is which. I always knew it would come to this. Roll, roll, roll … I’m movin’ ahead. Roll, roll, roll … guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 22, 2022: “The VERY Unpopular Monster!” …

~ the Bug ~
{by Gia “Khaos” Embach}

In keeping with the metamorphosis of my journey, this day memorializes two profound occasions in my life. You see, not only is this my 500TH DIARY ENTRY, but it’s the three year anniversary of my husband’s suicide at “just before midnight” on August 22, 2019.

With that, it seems only fitting that I pay tribute to one of my very few muses, Franz Kafka, the surrealistic writer from Prague whose inspired work left a tail on the fire of his words that it still burns bright in me a century later.

Much like my husband, Kafka left this world tragically unaware of how powerful his legacy would be, much less that he would eventually be regarded as one of the most prolific literary figures of the 20th-century. He only ever published a hand full of his work while he was alive because he didn’t believe it worthy. It was his dear friend, Max Brod, who as the executor of his estate blatantly disregarded the directive that his unfinished works be destroyed and published them. Be it not for the fact that Brod betrayed a dying man’s final wishes, the trajectory and longevity of Kafka’s legacy may not have been fully realized.

To say something is “Kafkaesque” is to infer that something is absurd and surreal, if not nightmarish and disorienting, all of which words in so many ways define my own seemingly absurd and surreal existence. Meanwhile, I could wax on poetically about everything “Kafka”, but perhaps the words that I believe sum him up the best are these:

Franz Kafka is regarded as one of the greatest literary figures in recent history. He is known for his uniquely dark, disorienting, and surreal writing style, a style and quality so particular to him, that anything that resembles it has come to be known and referred to as “Kafkaesque”.

{“What Is Kafkaesque?” ~ The Philosophy Of Franz Kafka” … The Pursuit Of Wonder”}

Most people will never know what really happened in our home in the months before Zack’s suicide. To say that unfathomable insanity, if not purely demonic evil besieged us would not give credence to the monster that took up residency in his mind and all but devoured my daughter as well during its reign of unholy terror. She ended up hitting a major wall in the wake of everything that happened two weeks before her sophomore year end, so much so that the school decided to release her earlier and excuse her from final exams so that we could tend to her fragile mental health.

In lieu of finals, her literature teacher had asked her to write a personal memoir without fully knowing why the school had negated her exams. Upon becoming aware that writing a memoir might be the worst possible thing for her under the circumstances, she opted to have her write an essay about her favorite book by her favorite author instead.

~ Zack’s Last Audible Read ~

Unbeknownst to me, Gia had read “The Metamorphosis” several times since Zack’s suicide, having done so because not only was she aware that Kafka was my favorite writer, she knew that it was the last book Zack had listened to nineteen days before he left. She was trying desperately to make sense out of her parents. Again unbeknownst to me, she wrote her essay about “the invisible monster”:

How Do You Fight an Invisible Enemy?

YOU GIVE IT A FACE!

(Written By Gia Embach)

Since the beginning of time or existence itself, for living things big or small, life is marked with a common anguish: To live is to suffer. Over time, however, as humanity has specifically thrust itself into problems of its own device, it’s tried desperately to put incomprehensible ideas or situations into a box so as to minimize the pain and anxiety that fester in the face of the unknown or difficult.

Anguish was arguably never more prevalent than throughout the duration of World War I. The largest, bloodiest, most destructive war the world had yet seen, with such horrors as to reduce the social order and beliefs to rubble in a similar manner to the physical world around people all over the world. During the uneasy postwar years, this society of confused and angry people confided in Czech-born writer Franz Kafka.

His stories almost always depict characters who are in eerie situations they can neither comprehend nor escape from. While this idea of using the imagination to comprehend the uncomfortable and incomprehensible world of emotions and psychology was precious to those living during the postwar years, his message still rings true today, as people still find the comprehension of the human mind to be incredibly difficult and laborious. Through allegorical works of literature and art, artists and writers allow others, and themselves, to understand feelings and situations that would otherwise be terrifying or unfathomable to bring comfort that stems from a shared discomfort.

The Metamorphosis begins with Gregor Samsa awaking in his bed only to find himself transformed into a large cockroach or other bug-like vermin. Gregor becomes increasingly dreary after looking out the window to all the rain and darkness and decides to give in to the pull of sleep calling to him. His new body, however, won’t let him lay comfortably, so he tries desperately to fling himself on his side to rest, only to fall on his armored back, forced to look at his grotesque abdomen and thin, scrambling legs. His mind then drifts to the dread he feels for his stressful job, the importance of sleep, so he begins focusing on the mundane issues in his life that still take precedence over his terrifying condition. His family worriedly knock on his door attempting to converse with him and wondering what the matter is, as Gregor has always been a dutiful worker and had never missed a day of work in his life. Gregor comes to find that he is unable to communicate with human speech and struggles to converse with his worried family on the other side of the wooden door which he soon finds he is unable to open, only doing so after great difficulty.

Emerging from his room, his family and the Chief Clerc are shocked by his appearance and he is soundly scolded by the Chief Clerk. Gregor retreats to his room, injuring himself in the process, and remains isolated inside. He comes to find that his little sister, Grete, attentively looks after him, bringing him fresh food that is unappealing to Gregor despite his hunger. The next morning, he is brought rotting food which he devours ravenously. From his room, Gregor overhears his family’s troubles. His guilt and shame only grow as he listens to his family try to figure out how they will make enough money to support each other, as Gregor is unable to provide for them now. Overwhelmed with sadness and guilt, he returns to his isolation for a few weeks, and Grete slowly but surely becomes less caring for Gregor, and increasingly upset and impatient at her brother’s need for care. When he finally gets enough courage to leave his room, his sister finds him in the kitchen, disturbed. A month later, his mother offers to take the furniture out of his room, so he can crawl more comfortably in his room, however Gregor wishes to hold on to the furniture, keeping himself connected to his humanity, to the familiarity of the Gregor before he woke up that fateful morning as a giant bug. Gregor eventually puts himself upside down on his ceiling, above a painting in his room, the sight of which causes his mother to faint, and his father returns home to find Gregor outside his room once again, only to pelt him with apples, seriously injuring him as he flees back to his room. Gregor takes another month to heal. His family has become exhausted from working and decide to house some loggers for extra income. Later, as Gregor is drawn out by the beautiful sound of a violin, the sight of him disgusts the loggers, causing them to leave without paying rent, so his once gentle and compassionate sister now states that the bug is not really Gregor and has ruined their lives. Returning to his room, he thinks fondly of his family before he dies. His body is found, and his family carries on happily without him as they discuss their plans for the future.

Although there are many interpretations of this eerie tale, I believe it is an allegory for depression and the damage it causes to not only the one who suffers from it, but also those around them. The first time I read it, I was immediately fond of Gregor. In him, I found that sense of comfort that I had mentioned before. Comparing his experience with depression to mine allowed me to feel less alone. Like me, even simple tasks for him such as getting out of bed or talking became excruciatingly difficult and it exhausted him to venture from the safety of the safe, cold comfort and isolation of his room Thinking that someone who was alive over 100 years ago had the same exact feelings that I’ve had made me feel less ashamed of my illness.

In another mirror of my mind, Gregor’s mind drifts to his worries and anxieties about the future and all the little things that could go wrong. Been there! Done that! No matter how long you have depression or how “well” you handle it, there are always things on your mind. They’re like an invisible bag of rocks dragging behind your feet that make your legs tire quickly and your entire body feel incredibly heavy. Each time Gregor tried to reach out and become himself again, he was treated with disgust, disdain, and impatience, reminding him time and again why he had hidden himself away in the first place. To those living in a world outside of a disease festering inside one’s brain, there are no rocks and no issues, there’s just laziness and distraction. “They’re not trying enough” or “They’re being dramatic”.

Grete, who at first gave Gregor aid with love, soon drifted away. When you suffer from depression, it can be hard for others to love and care for you, so when you are living as a creature you yourself can hardly look at without disgust, how COULD you accept any help? Depression tells you that you aren’t worth it and you don’t deserve it. If your symptoms themselves don’t push people away, you will. Giving yourself excuses to be alone, hoping that if you sabotage the good things enough, you might begin to feel like your feelings are valid, but that is a rare thing to come to believe. Then, just like Gregor, you soon find that reaching out only gets you hurt again, and you fully realize all that you no longer have. At this point, a person with depression will respond in a variety of ways. Some seethe with a burning anger, others protect themselves with an icy numbness, and others drown themselves in tears. In other cases, like Gregor, he simply allows himself to fade away. He felt ashamed, guilty, impossible to deal with. The harsh words of others twisting the steel blade he had dug into his chest deeper. He thinks of those who shunned him with love, understanding that nobody could love a monster. He thinks of them and dies, utterly and completely alone.

The Metamorphosis was the last thing my father read before he lost his battle with his own invisible enemy … his “bug”. While literature like Kafka’s does indeed offer comfort, nothing can cover the harsh and bitter reality of mental illness. Only the luckiest ones, and these warriors are far and few between, survive the battle against the hidden enemy. Many, like Gregor and my father, slowly fade away, isolating themselves until death to keep those they love from the harm they know they cause.

The truth of the matter is this: human beings are far from being able to comprehend the human mind in its best form and are further still from understanding a mind that is damaged. However, through people like Kafka, who cut these incredible issues into tiny, more manageable pieces, we can all come to understand it a little better. Those who suffer, can come to understand their suffering. Those who don’t share that same, complex kind of pain, come to understand it. When people understand something so horrible and terrifying, it slowly falls apart as it’s being chipped away like a block of marble until something beautiful and heroic remains.

In closing, I feel it is imperative to appreciate the gift that art can give to humanity: the ability to comprehend the incomprehensible, the ability to look at ourselves as works in progress rather than vermin, and the ability to unite people of all walks of life together in an often-forgotten fact. Once we strip away our flesh and everything of this Earth, each of us has a soul that is broken, and each of our souls, whether we acknowledge it or not, has a burning desire to be loved. That fact can only be nurtured and accepted through people like Kafka who aren’t afraid to brave the nightmares of existing, people who shine lights in darkness so others can see light.

Of all the things she could have written about, and this despite the fact that she had been excused from writing a personal memoir, in many ways she did write a personal memoir. Can you FEEL the ABSURDITY? Can you FATHOM the SURREALNESS? Can you appreciate this cosmic kick in the face of that elusive demon bug that has infested the minds of too many Gregors to count?

FUCK YOU “popular monster”! You may have obliterated, disintegrated, and annihilated my husband, but you will NOT feast upon another carcass in my divinely punctuated halo if takes my very last breath to keep you under foot. I’ve FOUND my way out of your web you fucking LIAR and miserable CHEATER.

I’ve fallen IN LOVE

with NOT falling apart!

HAPPY 500TH DIARY ENTRY TO ME! May you rest eternally Zachariah and Franz, two of the few mortal men who were able to reach the depths of my soul. You may be gone, but you’ll never be forgotten, nor the countless ways you both inspired my metamorphosis.

Last, but not least, THANK YOU from my bursting heart to my Mona Lisa daughter for helping me finally find the words I’d long been searching for to honor my favorite beetle.

If you or someone you love is battling an “invisible monster”, PLEASE reach out for help! The “SAMHSA National Helpline” is a FREEE, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Always … Keep … FIGHTING!

AUGUST 19, 2022: “The Great Alchemy” …

The new album dropped at midnight and it’s mind blowing, but I got stuck on this one particular song, “All I Know”. Meanwhile, while we were on a live chat with him in the wee hours of the morning, Ivan was saying that the whistling we hear at the intro just came to him one night while he was at his cabin in Wyoming. He said he’d been laying in bed, heard whistling outside of his window, then just woke up and started writing.

Now, here’s where this “Death Punch” Diary entry may throw some of you for a loop, ’cause I’m about to go somewhere some of you want nothing to do with. Those who know me best know that I fiercely believe in the higher power that’s running this whole “greatest show on Earth” gig who I by the name of God. As far as I’m concerned, creation itself is a musical composition straight from His hand, and the humans He has specifically chosen to make music of every kind are His tuning forks:

“But now bring me a musician.” Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. [2 Kings 3:15 NKJV]

Here’s the deal, folks: Zack used to whistle and hum all the fucking time, so, before I heard Ivan talking about it, I’d already been captured by that whistling and listening to the song over and over. It was one of the most ethereal moments I’ve ever experienced in my life. “From Zack’s soul, to God’s ears, to Ivan’s mouth”, then POOF! “A seemingly magical process of transformation” through the creation of the hauntingly beautiful whistle at the beginning of a song that echoed to me just like the many other voices from my past that I believe are trying to send me messages:

Somehow, the haunting intro to this song with its echoes of what seem like my ancestors calling to me, channeled me back to either the wild, wild west or some ancient arena in Spain where kill or be killed was the fucking assignment, much like it is today during “times like these” when we’re all just fighting not only to survive, but fighting for the will to survive.

{“Times Like These“}

Much like my “Brighter Side Of Grey” moment back in March of 2020, I believe that Zack needed me to take note of the powerful message in this song, so he had God use Ivan’s whistling to do it. That’s right folks, love it or hate it, and as impossible as it may seem for some people to conceptualize, as far as I’m concerned, Ivan is not just some heavy metal rock star with a colorful past, present, and future, whose job is to jump around on stages worldwide and entertain the masses. His purpose here is so much fucking bigger than perhaps even he will ever be able to fully conceptualize. He’s a “universal elixir” and tuning fork that God is using to perpetuate His greatest alchemy of all … MUSIC!

Have I ever told any of you that I’m the luckiest human woman alive? Have I told you that I’m God’s actual favorite daughter? Have I told you how thankful I am to be sitting in all these truths and realities that are truly “all I know”, many of which I don’t even really understand, AND THAT’S OKAY? Well, if not, I’m telling you right now. Yes, I am. I am God’s favorite daughter and His divine apostrophe!

ALL I KNOW

I don’t think that I’m crazy. Yeah, but how would I know, when the voices remind me that it’s all just for show. Well, I thought I had answers, but the questions have changed. It’s so hard to feel anything when I’ve only known pain. Pain. You can cast me out and dig my hole. Spit on my grave. Curse my soul. You can hold me down and not let go, but the devil you fear is all I know. And the road that’s less traveled, well, it’s all that I’ve known. Every time I look backwards, there’s still so far to go. If I’m born to be broken … cold, bloody, and numb … tell me, why am I running? What am I running from? From? As I sit here in silence, all alone in myself … who the hell would believe me? Better yet, who would I tell? I can’t tell. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 11, 2022: “The Silent Pieces Of My Memories” …

Memories.

They can shatter you into literal pieces, or under the right circumstances, can build you into a living mosaic masterpiece, the likes of which no one has ever seen. Take, for instance, this “Facebook Memory” that popped onto my feed just after midnight from August 11, 2014, wherein I made poignant post in response to having heard someone use the words “selfish” and “suicide” in the same sentence:

“… how selfish of someone who has everything in the world to commit suicide”. Just read that complete and total bullshit and it’s so beyond infuriating. It’s called depression people, and it knows no boundaries! As if someone actually wakes up one morning and says “Okay, I’m feeling kind of selfish today so I think I’ll just asphyxiate myself”. Been there, done that. It means a human being is in SO much unbearably excruciating pain, sometimes both mentally AND physically, that the only escape they see or “feel” from the noose around their own heart is sleep. It’s the ultimate end to the many broken voices in their mind. Don’t judge. Instead, be on your knees thanking your God that you’ve never been in such a deafeningly silent place. Seriously? And by the way, someone please define “everything”. If someone has “everything” they must not become depressed?

As you can see, it didn’t sit well with me to hear such careless words tossed into the wind. If only I’d known what was coming for me and mine just five years and 11 days later. It’s as though the Universe was already preparing me for the shattered pieces of a life I never imagined I’d have to walk through, especially after having survived my OWN suicide attempt in November 2006, back when the only words I could ever really manage to SILENTLY scream out to God were such as these:

I’m here again, a thousand miles away from you. A broken mess … just scattered pieces of who I am. I tried so hard. Thought I could do this on my own.

That was then.

THIS IS NOW!

I’m so beyond thankful that I’ve grown to this place where all the memories and scattered pieces of my shattered life no longer haunt the dark chasms in my mind. You see, it was in those very chasms and in my darkest hours that I was able to find my way back Home to my truly blind faith and rightful place as “God’s favorite daughter“. These days, my heart SINGS in a much different kind of silence:

Then I saw Your face … I knew I was finally Yours. I found everything I thought I lost before. You called my name … I came to you in pieces so You could make me whole. I’d come undone … but You made sense of who I am … like puzzle pieces in Your eye.

I’ve said it many times before, but let me say it again. I’d give anything if I could just “zap” all this power and grace that I wield in my divinely punctuated soul to every single person who is now or ever has been shattered in the silence of painful memories, not the least of which was my beautiful husband who left be behind in his shards. All of this pain has been a gift, because without out it I would never have gotten to know how beautiful the brighter side of the darkness can truly be.

Thank you, once again, to one of my favorite lifetime bands, “Red“. This bittersweet song has made more than a few appearances here in this Diary thus far, and I’m thankful for the ways that the meaning of its powerful words have evolved within me over the years. Oh, don’t get me wrong … it’s still a major tearjerker. Only, these days those tears come from a place of hope, faith, and healing that I can barely put into my own words.

Meanwhile, I’m still standing strong amidst a lifetime of “shards and pieces” that I suppose should have actually killed me by now, but instead have only helped me find God’s face and voice within myself. I will never be broken and alone in silent darkness again.

JULY 25, 2022: “The Nowhere Kids” …

I’m sorry in advance that I’m not sorry for what I’m about to say, but I’ve come up with a theory …

The relationship a human being either has – or doesn’t have – with their biological mother from birth sets the tone for the entire rest of their life. Short of that, every single thing a child hears (or doesn’t hear), experiences (or doesn’t experience) has a physiological influence on their potential future mindsets, perceptions, and overall mental “wealth”.

Trust me when I say that I personally know from whence I speak, ’cause in case any of you missed the memo, I was married to a “nowhere kid” whose less than abysmal mother “THING” abandoned and left him behind to literally disintegrate before our eyes and ROT in his own remains.

Birthday to age five is when the majority of the human brain is hard-wired, and birthday to age seven is when all of the most crucial tent poles and milestones of a child’s life occurs. This is why I fiercely believe that childhood toxicity, abuse, neglect, and abandonment – especially by a “mother THING” – are amongst the most egregious crimes against humanity.

Parents who abuse, abandon, or neglect their children are the bane of mankind’s existence – and they’re gross – and thank you JESUS that Karma truly IS a bitch. I desperately need to believe that such crimes WILL NOT be overlooked by this Cosmos or it’s God.

JULY 18, 2022: “Mama’s Song” …

… that moment it’s the day of her 17th birthday and you spot the little wooden spoon that only she and you will ever understand, which spoon rests atop a special little box with the two precious pictures she pinned at age 13 before you even knew what “pinning” was.

Meanwhile, the first thing that comes to your mind as you’re clutching said wooden spoon and the “dream gown” pictures to your heart is the her walking down the aisle towards her future one day as this song is playing in the background. Then you smile from ear to ear because you know with every shred of both your beating hearts that you have taught her to do the right things, so, come hell or high waters, your baby’s gonna be alright. She’s a battle born warrior QUEEN just like her Mama whose fierce diamond heart adorns your crown and even on her worst day eclipses your own shadow in every best possible way.

Then the second thing you see, which brings a river of tears to your eyes, is yet another one of “those pictures of them” walking hand in hand down down “their pier”, because God Himself knows how much it’s going to kill you when it’s “that moment of her going wedding day” and he’s not going to physically be there to walk her down the aisle towards her future. But then again, he will be, and Dear GOD, how have we survived all these days and months without him? Oh, that’s right, it’s all that divinely punctuated power and grace of yours, the likes of which have helped you lead her towards her own destiny no matter which road or “aisle” she takes. Now, where was I going with this again? Oh, yes …

So, here we are again with another year in the books, standing at the precipice of “that day that’s fast approaching” when I’m gonna have let her take off and fly. She’s made my heart sing louder with each year I’ve watched her grow forward, and if only every mother could be so blessed to be leaving such a magnificent legacy behind one day, oh, what a wonderful world this would be! In my heart of hearts, I’ve known long well that I absolutely am doing my utmost to make sure she’ll have everything shes need to make it through this crazy life.

I love you, my “Mona Lisa“, and I do only want the best for you, no matter what you decide that will look like. May you never cease to remember that at the end of every day it’s you who is the answer to all your faithful prayers as you continue to rise in your own power and grace, lighting fires with your words, and punctuating this world with an apostrophe of your own. For the record, I really do hope that if for some absurd reason I ever decide to grow up, I can be more like you.

… “Mama”

❣️

MAMA’S SONG

Mama, you taught me to do the right things, so now you have to let your baby fly. You’ve given me everything that I will need to make it through this crazy thing called life. And I know you watched me grow up and only want what’s best for me and I think I found the answer to your prayers. And he is good, so good. He treats your little girl like a real man should. He is good, so good. He makes promises he keeps. No, he’s never gonna leave. So, don’t you worry about me. Don’t you worry about me. Mama, there’s no way you’ll ever lose me. Giving me away is not goodbye. As you watch me walk down to my future, I hope tears of joy are in your eyes. ‘Cause he is good, so good. And he treats your little girl like a real man should. He is good, so good. He makes promises he keeps. No, he’s never gonna leave. So, don’t you worry about me. Don’t you worry about me. And when I watch my baby grow up, I’ll only want what’s best for her, and I hope she’ll find the answer to my prayers … and that she’ll say … He is good, so good. And he treats your little girl like a real man should. He is good, so good. He makes promises he keeps. No, he’s never gonna leave. So, don’t you worry about me. Don’t you worry about me. Mama, don’t you worry about me. Don’t you worry about me. {Carrie Underwood}

JULY 9, 2022: “Superman Has LEFT The Building” …

Indeed, it is true that Superman has really left the building. But guess what, people? The Wonder Woman he left behind is still doing A-OK! Yes, I know, this video is SUPER long, but I PROMISE that it’s well worth watching!

Meanwhile …

I seriously DO love my incredibly absurd but insanely beautiful life, up to and including every single jacked up and twisted thing that has not happened “to” me, but “for” me!

Exactly how many girls do you know who can legitimately say they had a real life superhero step off of an elevator and help her save her own life? Yup! I CAN! Jean-Claude Van DAMN, I’m one hell of a lucky woman. As it turns out, though, it wasn’t actually Superman who carried me in his arms to get me where I am today. It was MY own divinely punctuated strength, power, and grace that carried me here today.

Superman did, however, help me find all those gifts I already had hiding within me. As it turned out, he had someplace else he needed to be, like maybe “stuck at the five and dime”, but NOT before making sure I had this cape and crown of my own. He must have gotten stuck at the five and dime.

JULY 11, 2022: “It’s Times Like These” …

Although it dropped a few days ago and I’d already given it a couple spins, because I’ve been preoccupied and unable to really dig into it the way I prefer when any new Death Punch drops, it wasn’t until today while answering a Quora question about mental illness that I really sat down and dug:

It’s nights like this, under a harvest moon. It came too fast and it’s gone too soon. A wilted rose and a frozen tomb. A memory for the wind.

Anyway …

Does anybody notice that the sky is falling? Are we all just happy in the rain? Am I the only one who hears the sirens calling? Am I the only one who feels the pain?

I read all the pages from the left to right. I took one in the morning and one at night. The fire still burns, but it’s cold inside. It’s all that I can do.

Anyway …

No one wants to talk about the end is coming. Pointing fingers, handing out the blame. If I gave you answers to all your questions, could you change, or would you stay the same?

It’s times like these when the sorrow shadows all the laughter.

It’s times like these when the hurt goes on and on forever. It’s times like these I wanna fade away.

It’s times like these when left is right and forward’s backwards.

It’s times like these when days and nights just roll together.

It’s times like these I wanna fade away.

{“Times Like These” by Five Finger Death Punch}

WOW! Just WOW! How the fuck does he manage to do this? Just like clockwork and always right on cue, that FUCKER I love so very much managed to find an unexpressed storm of thoughts in my head that I didn’t even know existed and pull them out of me for reckoning.

Trust me, I get it. I totally fucking do! I’ve had a front row seat to the SHIT SHOW for the majority of my life and know exactly how it feels to want to fade away. Been there. Done that. I’ve got the proverbial straight jacket and yet the softest, most tender, stitched together, steel-encrusted heart to prove it, not to mention the unfortunate privilege of having to watch the dying soul of a person I loved literally fade away.

But let me ask you this

If you could have all the answers to your questions, would you really change or would you stay the same? And what if I told you that the truth of the matter is that some questions just aren’t meant to be answered? What if our “assignment” is to simply roll with all these fucking punches, win, lose, or draw, and go screeching into the bull pen more like Ferdinand the flower smeller than Bodacious with his reign of destruction and terror?

But Cat, how the FUCK did you hear this song and end up standing at a bullfight?

Somehow, the haunting intro to this song with its echoes of what seem like my ancestors calling to me, channeled me back to either the wild, wild west or some ancient arena in Spain where kill or be killed was the fucking assignment, much like it is today during “times like these” when we’re all just fighting not only to survive, but fighting for the will to survive.

The late, great French philosopher, Albert Camus, who is one of my favorite “absurdists“, once said these most powerful words:

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Well, I am here to tell you he was dead on giant BULL BALLS accurate! Happiness is what we make of it, even in the midst of falling skies. Pray GOD we all make it to the finish line in one piece with the power and grace of a Ferdinand and as many roses that we can possibly gather, wilted as some of them may be, and not like a Bodacious standing before a frozen tomb full of regret, disdain, and misery.

As and aside, I think I’m finally beginning to understand why I’m obsessed with grey skies and stormy weather. They’re a constant reminder that even though the sky falls from time to time, as if to scream at me in rage and provocation, at the end of the day I’m always gonna be okay, because it’s times like these that made me who I am.

Left, right, forwards, backwards, inside or fucking OUT, the fact of the matter is that these SHIT STORMS are gonna keep coming. So, I’ll just keep myself buckled up for the most epic ride of my life while I’m hunting for roses and laughing as often I can. I’ll make my own happiness on my own fucking terms while screaming back at the falling sky, “Guess what, Bodacious? I’m still here riding! You lose! I WIN!”

JUNE 15, 2022: “Anything BUT Ordinary” …

It seems to me that some people will do just about anything to avoid being considered “ordinary”, when the truth is that being “ordinary” is actually EXTRAORDINARY! I mean, c’mon, people …

JUST IMAGINE

Imagine seeing the world through your own eyes and not someone else’s? Imagine living inside your own skin’s design and not being ashamed to wear it loud, proud, and exquisitely everywhere you go?

Imagine not giving one single FUCK how people see you and finally untangling yourself from the web that’s enmeshed, suffocated, and muted you all the while and kept you from living inside your own story and not the one you were expected to live in?

Imagine an existence that you don’t need to put on display? Imagine owning the most authentic version of yourself and not having to pretend to be someone you’re not?

Imagine living without the pressure that comes along with farce, pretense, and jumping through hoops just to get everyone’s attention, then waking up one morning, taking a good, hard, honest look in the mirror, and asking yourself this most important question:

Wait! What’s so wrong with being your true, authentic, “ordinary” self without any farce, pretense, or jumping through hoops to get everyone’s attention?

CAN YOU? Can you imagine it? Imagine walking happily along as just another face in the crowd with your “ordinary” head held way up high because you’ve finally figured out that you don’t have to prove a damn single thing to any person ever, except that is, yourself and the God you serve?

Look, I’m not saying that I don’t care about life in general or the many beautiful people in it, because the truth being told, I VERY MUCH DO! It’s just that at this point in the game, being nothing (which makes me EVERYTHING) is my favorite thing to be.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the only opinion that really matters to me at all is God’s, and my own, and, of course, my children. I am so much more than my labels or identities, and so much more than the box that those labels and identifies formerly kept me in. I am of myself, for myself, and with myself until the end, and ordinary is just amazing.

Besides? Who can ever have power over a person who doesn’t really give a fuck what people think about them anyway? Keep your power. Hold your head high. TAKE HOLD OF YOUR ORDINARY and be anything BUT!

ORDINARY

Whose eyes am I behind? I don’t recognize anything that I see. Whose skin is this design? I don’t want this to be the way that you see me. I don’t understand anything anymore, and this web that I’m tied up is taking me right up these walls that I climb up to get to your story – It’s anything but ordinary. And when the world is on its knees with me, it’s fine. And when I come to the rescue, I get nothing but left behind. Everybody seems to be getting what they need. Where’s mine? ‘Cause you’re what I need so very but I’m anything but ordinary. Can you save me from this world of mine before I get myself arrested with these expectations? You are the one, look what you’ve done! What have you done? This is not some kind of joke. You’re just a kid. You weren’t ready for what you did, no! And when the world is on its knees with me, it’s fine. And when I come to the rescue, I do it for you time after time. Everybody seems to be getting what they need. Where’s mine? ‘Cause you’re what I need so very but I’m anything but ordinary. I think I’m trying to save the world for you. You’ve been saving me, too. We could just stay and save each other. I’m anything but ordinary. I’m anything but ordinary. {Train}

MAY 21, 2022: “I’m Writing This In Case I’m Gone Tomorrow” …

… because some memories are so much better than others, ESPECIALLY ones like these that remind you yet again that although the MOST beautiful season you shared with him is over, the many powerful and life-changing words of affirmation he wrote across your heart are not.

THIS, my friends, is how I became a queen, and THESE are the brighter sides of even my darkest of greys that help me leave out all the rest of the actual heaping piles of bullshit he left behind in his insanity.

He loved me. He believed in me. He always saw the very best in me. He supported everything I ever did, said, thought, or wanted. He said I could be ANYTHING I dreamt of because I wasn’t cut from the same cloth as anyone else he’d ever met, and guess what, people?

HE WAS RIGHT!

I’m proud of myself right now for seeing this “memory” today and not shedding a single tear. Rather, all I could do is smile with pride, because after all was said and done, and although at first I couldn’t see the me he saw on those days he’d FORCE me to look at myself in a mirror and try to see myself through his eyes, I see her loud and fucking clear these days not only every time I HAPPILY look into a mirror, but even more so when I look at my kids. They are my legacy. They are the reason he fought so hard for me to make peace with my own reflection.

In my heart, I think he always knew he wouldn’t be here with me until the end, which is why he was hell bent on preparing to LITERALLY rise above his ashes. God knew it, too, so maybe that’s why God sent him to me in the first place, just as maybe I was meant to be HIS “crowning achievement”. The day he died, I became his legacy, and so on the circle goes …

Hi everyone! It’s me, the REAL Cat Williamson, and I’m writing this to my kids just in case I’m gone tomorrow. Always remember that your mama was the badass phoenix QUEEN he left behind to handle things in his place in all her power, grace, and glory, and ALWAYS remember to be this IMPECCABLE with all your words. Someday they may actually save someone’s life.

MAY 15, 2022: “Mother THINGS And Monsters” …

Okay, so let’s clarify this whole “mother THING” dealio once and for all!

While there are probably a fair amount of people who feel this way but aren’t as willing to openly admit it, I personally believe there should be NO mercy, grace, or forgiveness whatsoever for “mother THINGS” that (not “who”) mindfully and willfully either cause or allow grave harm to a child of their own womb.

Judge not others lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1-3)

Yet, are the THINGS that are capable of inflicting grave harm upon their children even “human” at all and therefore subject to God’s disdain of judging or wishing them actual hell?

I really can forgive anyone for just about anything, and as God is my witness, I HAVE! But I’ll just keeping taking people on a case-by-case basis. The Devil’s Own really do walk among us, but I’m not even sure they’re “people”. They’re a different kind of breed “thing” altogether. I’m not quite sure I’ll ever get to the point that I stop avidly praying that God really DOES sort us all out in the end. I’m just a mortal human, not a god or Jesus Christ, so I’ll just keeping asking for “forgiveness” for not being too excited about the idea of “mercy for the merciless”.

(“They Walk Amongst Us” … from The Diary Of My Perfection}

Just to be clear, I’m not simply talking about selfish, inattentive, ill-prepared, immature, or narcissistic moms who are truly oblivious to the damage they cause their children. Been there, done that, and trust me when I say that we are a collective wrecking ball crew to our own. I may be sanctimonious at times, but I’m not even gonna deny my own regrettable crimes against my children.

I wear the hearts of two children on my sleeve who are still navigating the wreckage my former tragic mothering and weak mental health caused them, so any shame or guilt I’ve suffered for not having done better sooner is well-deserved. Have they forgiven me? Yes. Have I forgiven myself? Yes. Have they forgotten? Absolutely NOPE, nor shall they ever, and nor shall I. If they have to remember everything, then why should I be afforded the luxury of “I FUCKED UP MY KIDS AMNESIA”?

That being said, if, like me, you have fucked up your kids but are able to acknowledge, account, and atone for it, indeed I believe there is mercy and grace to be found. Owning up to my parenting flubs and “remembering everything” with them is what keeps me growing forward as a stronger, wiser, and healthier mom who is determined to break the generations of cyclically egregious parenting on my tree. Let’s face it, people, you can’t fix something you don’t think is broken, and that includes ourselves. De-NILE was for little baby Moses, my friends, and in a basket I am not.

Meanwhile, I am talking about the seriously life-altering and mind-bending crimes against at the hands of “mothers” that NO CHILD deserves to suffer through. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Throwing their babies in the trash or just leaving them out in the freezing fucking cold on a curb or even a doorstep.
  • Murdering them, drowning them, choking them, setting fire to them, burying them alive, locking them in closets, caging, or chaining them like a rabid fucking animal, starving, burning them, or “sticking stuff” in places where stuff isn’t supposed to be stuck in them until they are grown ass adults who consent!
  • Coat-hanger SLAUGHTERING or letting a medically sanctioned hired hitman SHANK them in late term utero right through their already formed little skulls, beating hearts, seeing eyes, hearing ears, and feeling spinal cords. (YUP! I just went there!)

None of these horrors are forgivable to me, and even a crocodile mommy instinctually knows better than to intentionally torment a life she bears in such detestable ways.

Look, there’s NO such thing as a perfect mom, because after all, most of us are only human. But sooner or later, even the worst of us wrecking ball mommies can grow up, take a sobering look at the body count on the battlefield of our children’s lives and the failed flights we caused, APOLOGIZE, move on, then just do fucking BETTER!

It is my avid prayer that these THINGS will eventually be dealt with accordingly and made to pay for their crimes against the humanity they made and BROKE! I can’t imagine that God will take such travesties lightly, as when He blessed women with a womb, it would seem that He did so with the intention of populating the world, NOT destroying it. I literally have no sympathy whatsoever for “things” posing as “people” that deliberately and intentionally violate, traumatize, or cause harm to actual human beings without remorse.

I’ll never forget the day in 2016 when my secretly crumbling husband, whose own mother THING discarded him, heard it for the first time while we were driving. The stoic tears that fell from his eyes in that moment still haunt me. After that, he would play it often and always said it made him think about that “thing” that gave birth to him.

Now, I’m not saying that every child of a mother THING grows up to be a monster, but the truth is many do. I’m also not saying that my husband was a monster, but in the end there was a monster living inside his head that he felt he had to stop from hurting us any further, and thus the bullet to his head.

Dear Mothers:

Remember … WE CREATED THEM! All they are is pieces of what we are. We’re their Sun, their Moon, their Earth, their stars, and the actual air they breathe. We make them. We can break them. Be mindful of the power that you wield!

If YOU are a mother THING that is reading this, here’s hoping that the fate you meet is far greater than anything you ever did to one of your own. Also? YOU’RE GROSS!

More than that, if you are THE CHILD of a mother THING who is reading this, YOU DIDN’T FUCKING DESERVE THAT! Just because everyone isn’t as openly angry at the THING that was supposed to love you more than her own life itself as I am, it doesn’t mean you aren’t thought of, cared for, prayed over, and deeply loved by more of us than you will ever know. Don’t you DARE let yourself be defined by the monster that brought into this world or think for one minute that God didn’t see it ALL!

MONSTER

Under the knife I surrendered. The innocence yours to consume. You cut it away and you filled me up with hate. Into the silence you sent me. Into the fire consumed. You thought I’d forget, but it’s always in my head. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? The monster you made me? This is the world you’ve created. The product of what I’ve become. My soul and my youth? Seems it’s all for you to use. If I could take back the moment I’d let you get under my skin. Relent or resist? Seems the monster always wins. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? From the monster you made me? My heart’s an artifice, a decoy soul. I lift you up and then I let you go. I’ve made an art of digging shallow holes. I’ll drop the darkness in and watch it grow. Who knew the emptiness could be so cold? I’ve lost the parts of me that make me whole. I am the darkness. I’m a monster. {Starset}

MAY 11, 2022: “The SON Will Shine Again” …

After a downright harrowing weekend of watching my daughter hit a pretty big emotional wall, having her home safe with me for a couple of extra days as we worked her through a process, then finally having to take her back to school, I’d been doing everything within my mommy powers not to text her during the day to just make sure she was okay. She had enough on her plate just walking onto the campus in the first place, and she, like me, all but dreads even “wanted” text messages when she’s trying to get out of her own head.

Meanwhile, I get this “is she okay” text from her ride or die bestie who didn’t even know she was already back at school. Knowing my child like I know her, although she probably very much “needed” to see her friends today, she was probably doing her best to avoid seeing her friends today to protect them from her perceived burden of struggling emotions. Learning to lean a support system is hard enough when your adult, much less when you’re a teenage girl whose “tribe” has somehow managed to band together from an array of equally struggling and burdened yolks. But hey, that’s another story for a different day, right?

Despite the brief moment of panic after receiving the text from Five (“Five”, by the way, because she’s like my “fifth child”), how blessed are we both that she finally has friends like this in her atmosphere who care for her so much so that they’ll even resort to reaching out to her dear ole mom when they notice that she’s gone missing? God Himself knows that it wasn’t always this way for her. Indeed there was a time, not too long ago, when she could have been missing for a week or two on end and not one of her putrid “frenemies” would have cared, much less have taken the time to go looking for her.

After having all but begged her to go find her people as she was getting out of the car today and not isolate herself the way we both tend to do only to be alerted to the sobering fact that she was indeed MIA, all I could do was literally hit my knees at the foot of the panic chair in my room and beg God to cover her with His love and protection as she navigates her internal storm.

It’s 95 degrees here in Dallas, today, not a single cloud anywhere in the sky, and because I was so focused on her all weekend long, I was thankfully focused on a barrage of neglected chores. I say thankfully because, for me, keeping busy on a day like this is just … BETTER! Meanwhile, there I was just standing and the kitchen counter sorting out the trash from her perch when one of my favorite songs of this lifetime cycled up to the cue.

This sweet song that I first heard over 25 years ago has gotten me through SO many dark days of my own, ever the consummate “light in the dark”, so much so that my words fail to properly express it. So, what are the chances that my “music wheel of destiny” would magically spin it up to me this morning as though God Himself knew I would need to hear it when I saw my Mona Lisa’s “smile” fall to the floor?

I won’t go into details about the black clouds looming in her sky right now, because not only is it just too overwhelming and tender at the moment, it’s not my place to share the intimate details of her private mental health journey. Sufficed to say, though, I’m in a pure power and grace momma bear survival mode for BOTH my kids’ sake these days, have been for many months now, and will be until both their suns rise again.

But guess what?

I once knew a girl who had lost everything. The story goes but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance awaited reality, ’cause she found a new beginning. You see, that girl was me.

I know her sun will shine again before her dreams fade away. I’ll just remember there’s a Savior who will brighten up her day. I know the sun will shine again … on her.

{Words Adapted from “The Sun Will Shine Again” by David & The Giants}

Yes, I’m a roller coaster of raw emotion today, but thank you GOD that I’ve survived so storms of my own that I know now more than ever that I have to keep my own oxygen mask on tighter than ever so that I can catch my babies when they’re falling.

This parenting gig ain’t for the faint of heart, my friends, and especially as a relatively new widowed and single mom who on the surface appears to have no partner to weather the stormy seas with. The truth is, though, that I very much do have a partner in my parenthood and I am never all alone. This precious paper smiley face falling to the floor is proof positive that I have learned to trust and lean on my Father, Who indeed is greater than this storm. I know her Sun will shine again, and so will mine keep shining. After all, I’m still God’s favorite daughter, and now that I think of it, so is she.

THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

I hear you say you’re going through  a big ordeal. Complications  … your heart is breaking … you can’t see through. Time goes by. You don’t know why you can’t find the clue. Seem s the night is always darkest before the morning light. Life  is filled with fire and rain and winds of change. Seems as though the things we know are misunderstood. But  the trying of our faith is working for the good, ’cause we learn to trust our Father Who is greater than the storm. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I once knew a man who had lost everything. The story goes, but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance waits reality, ’cause he found a new beginning. You see, that man was me. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or stranded in the rain. Close your eyes now. Wake up and proclaim! I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior … He’ll brighten up your day! I know The Son will shine again on you. {David & The Giants}

MAY 8, 2022: “One Son’s Angel” …

~ Evelyn Pansy Williamson ~
(One Son’s Angel)

FEBRUARY 16, 2022:

Dear Mr. Witherspoon,

Someday when I get the chance to properly put it down in words, I’m going to explain how much your music meant to my late husband. The first time I ever saw the man (who was our “rock”) cry was when he played me Angel’s Son, then explained why. His “mother” threw him away when he was born, then the only woman who ever loved or cared for him in his lifetime before me was his Grandma. When she died literally right in front of him at age 13, I’m certain that’s when he stopped living and growing and was only “dead alive” until we lost him to suicide 910 days ago this moment actually.

A few years ago, we were in downtown Ft Worth on a surprise weekend getaway for ME – eating at this FINE restaurant near a window that looked down to a square where he had NO idea you were playing. It was one of THE happiest moments of his twisted existence, and the pure joy on his face that night is still seared into my memories. Thank GOD for that, too, because those truly JOY moments for him were fleeting.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share. I’m blogging “Angel’s Son” in honor of his Grandma on Mother’s Day – I’ll send it to you then. Hope this very long message wasn’t too annoying. Your music means a lot to me because it meant so much to him. You’re a king, my friend.

~ Real Cat

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

MAY 8, 2022:

Zachariah,

Life is changing … but I am going on without you. Rearranging, yeah. I’m being strong standing on my own. You were fighting every day. So hard to hide the pain. I know you never said goodbye. I had so much left to say. One last song given to an angel’s son. As soon as you were gone. As soon as you were gone.

We love you.

~ Us

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

And so, with that, I suppose I’ve conveyed what finally needed to be conveyed about “the angel” and her otherwise motherless son. I cannot tell you how many times he told me over the years, “Catherine, I wish you could have known her”. Ah, but what that silly boy never realized is that I very much did know her. Every tear that fell from his eyes during the many times he would talk about her told me everything his many words and many silences could never say, as well did the tears he cried whenever he would listen to this song.

As with every Mother’s Day I’ve since had to or will ever spend without him, today is so twisted and bittersweet. On one hand, I am privileged to celebrate not just the gift of my motherhood, but the gifts of my mother beautiful Mother and angel Grandmother as well, it was on this day in May 2019 when he started coming apart at the seams. For that reason, this day will always be a rollercoaster of deep joy and intense sadness for me.

He had just gone up to say goodbye to Gia before heading off to work that morning. As he made it to that last step on the way back down, he just stopped there dead in his tracks and started sobbing, much like the day at the kitchen window a few months before. When I asked him what was wrong, the words he spoke were all but paralyzing:

That whore that gave birth to me just threw me the fuck away. My own mother didn’t want me. She never did. She never will. I really AM a Zack Of Shit!

It’s a moment that haunts me still as though I were seeing him standing there and hearing the abysmal, scathing truth in those words as they fell from his mouth for the first time every time I’m sitting in the chair in my office where I was that Godforsaken Mother’s Day morning.

“The Staircase”

There he stood at the end of that beautiful staircase I love to hate so much, the “rock” of our world and the king of our hearts, just slipping down the cold, black hole that “mother THING” that buried him alive in on the day she left him behind like a piece of garbage on the street. Virtually every day and night for the months that followed until he left, he suffered, cried, ached, and sobbed, sometimes in the fetal position, for not just her, but the entire lot of them. All Gia and I could do was helplessly watch him dying out loud right before our eyes as he battled the actual demon that moved into his mind and destroyed not just him, but my daughter and me as well.

That angel on Earth beautiful Grandmother of his truly was the first and only other woman who ever really loved him other than me and my daughter. For that we will forever be thankful that not only did she exist, but that she was one of the few bright stars in his sky.

Today, in both their honors, we will not only take flowers to her grave for the first but certainly not last time, but we will also take some of the ashes the rest of his “family” couldn’t be bothered to come get and take home to bury in the ground at her grave where they truly belong.

APRIL 24, 2022: “My Perfectly Mistaken Quarters” …

… ’cause when it’s a 4:30am covert meeting of a phoenix, sage, and PIRATE and his faithful crew, this shit just hits a little bit harder. Jean-Claude Van DAMN he’s so right …

I AM A “PERFECT MISTAKE”!

It’s taken all the people in the history of my timeline, and the masterful compilation of their comings and goings, hunting and gathering, scavenging and foraging, falling and rising, destroying and building, sinking and swimming, killing and conquering, lying and truth telling, silence and screaming, plus some perfectly imperfect genetic coding to create this glorious fucking STORM that I am.

I’ve known long well that I’m a jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster. It was my equally jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster husband who would physically hold me in the mirror when I couldn’t see my own reflection and force me to say these words out loud:

I love you Catherine Williamson! Not just some of you – ALL of you!

My husband found me (or did I find him?) when I was at my rock bottom worst in every possible mental and physical way:

For 16 years I have searched for my own reflection in another person’s eyes but could never find it. I looked into the mirror and felt ugly. I felt dirty, empty and invisible. I see the way people look at me but have never really understood it. What the hell could anyone possibly see? There’s nothing here. I’m hollow. “Lights, smoke, and illusion!” Please, please, please Henrik, hear what I am saying. Last July, when it was finally time for the doctors to take the bandages off my chest and stomach, I came home and couldn’t even walk past a mirror, much less look inside one. I knew then that my destruction was finally complete, but just didn’t know how to reckon myself with the reality. That’s when I decided to not EVER search for my missing reflection again, whether in a mirror or through the eyes of another! I just gave up. Two full days passed before I was finally able to take my shirt off and I couldn’t actually look at myself for weeks. When the day finally came, I just stood there and cried. I touched my scars, held my stomach, dropped down to my bathroom floor and cried for so many hours you can’t begin to imagine. I thought my life was over, which was par for the entire course, and I knew from that day on I would NEVER “show myself” to another living soul, whether physically or emotionally. When I was done crying, and God I remember this like it was yesterday, I stood up, wiped away my tears, straightened my shoulders and began to devise a plan that would allow me to continue the “grand illusion”. I got dressed, got in the car and had Him drive me to a little shop across town that carried prosthetic implants I could stuff inside my bra to disguise my mutilated chest. I walked back out of that shop a whole and “perfect” woman again. Got back home, pulled into the driveway and never looked back. I have played the game very well I might add with the cards I’ve been dealt in a manner that would cause no one I love to suffer.

{“So Far Away“}

It was his unconditional love for me just the way I was that chased away the clouds of “imperfection” that had once loomed over my head. Slowly, but surely, I became less afraid to surrender “all of me” to not just my love for him, but the love I’d always needed for myself.

God Himself knows how much I do truly love myself now, PERFECT MISTAKES AND ALL, and not a day passes that I don’t still stand in the mirror and literally see my husband, my God, my angels, my ancestors, and even a few of my demons standing right behind me whispering:

You’ve got this, Catherine! You’re our reason! You’re our gift! You’re our scion, our message, and our voice!

They’re the pirates who came before me and zephyrs in my sky who forged this path and built this mountain for me to stand tall on as they push me forward into the perpetual state of punctuation and magic that I’ve become as I navigate this sea of madness. In the meantime, as I continue to soar through these fleeting golden years of mine,

I’ll be wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I’ll choose the path where no-one goes. I’ll hold no quarter, no quarter, oh!

{Words Adapted from “No Quarters” by Led Zeppelin}

I love you dearly, Ivan FUCKING Moody, my kindred soul and friend. I cannot tell you how long I’ve waited for the perfect time, space, and words to blog out this special song. It was one of his favorites and I listen to it often. He truly believed he was a pirate in another life, and the first time I ever heard him say it, I thought he was just being silly. He wasn’t. Every single time that man stared out across an ocean amid our many adventures, he insisted that he’d been out there before. The funny thing is that while searching for the missing pieces of himself that he’d never known anything about because of his abysmal childhood, the Ancestry report we fetched really did seem to point in that direction. Meanwhile, here I am, just swabbing the deck of my proverbial ship, and I cannot thank you enough. Your words of wisdom and the magic in your alchemy never cease to amaze me. I truly hope that they’re blowing through the sails of some other jacked up pirates’ sails, too.

NO QUARTER

Close the door, put out the light. No, I won’t be home tonight. The snow falls hard and don’t you know? The winds of Thor are blowing cold. I’m wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I choose the path where no-one goes. I hold no quarter, no quarter, oh! Walking side-by-side with death. The devil mocks my every step, ooh. The snow drives back the foot that’s slow. The dogs of doom are howling more. I carry news that must get through to build a dream for me and you, oh, oh, oh. This path I choose where no one goes … I hold no quarter, oh. {Led Zeppelin}

APRIL 6, 2022: “What Would Elsa Do?” …

Long and potentially arduous story KINDA short, but then again, maybe not REALLY that short:

As Elsa from that “Frozen” movie once said over, and over, and over again … “Let ’em go! Let’ em go! Let all those driveway bullshitters GO!” Okay, so maybe that’s not how the song song really goes, but you HAVE to get my drift! NO THING and NO ONE is ever worth making yourself physically ill and literally “inflamed and swollen”!

If you are the one emitting the noxious, toxic fume that’s making the people around you physically ill, “inflamed and swollen”: DON’T BE A TOXIC WASTELAND! There’s a “Real Cat” name for you here in this Diary, and umm, do you really want to be thought of as a “Drinking Straw Parasite“?

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, but not until you go ahead and listen to this oh so cliche’ freakin’ Disney princess song about why you need to just LET GO of the toxins in your life. Whether you’re ingesting them or emitting them … LET ‘EM GO!