DECEMBER 28, 2021: “Looking Through My Eyes” …

“Apparently” my Lock Screen is an extraction from a personal inscription from one of my favorite people in this entire world. It makes me so happy every time I see it to know that not only have I made friends with a ROCK STAR, said rock star correlates ME to “power and grace”! It’s the ULTIMATE compliment, because the last time I checked there are almost 8 billion people on this Earth, and not everyone has “power and grace”!

“Apparently” my Home Screen is very organized, purposeful, and practical. PS, there are only twelve other app buttons on the next page over. Yup, I’m a Virgo who “apparently” can’t stand clutter or chaos of any proportion. This is how my house looks, too, by the way. VERY neat, orderly, OCD, and “ahhhhh”.

“Apparently” my Insta Exploration is pretty much ALWAYS in the greys, the forests, the woods, and the cookies. Welcome to all the places I really want to go and the sugar I’m either proudly or not proudly addicted to!

“Apparently” I have no interest in “Pinterest”! Lol, there are enough random thoughts and ideas running around this crazy little head of mine during the waking hours, and sometimes even while I sleep, so if I need to be reminded of the many things I “like” or have an interest in, I just say my prayers, tuck myself in to bed, fall asleep, and BOOM there it all is in my dreams!

“Apparently” I listened to The Brighter Side Of Grey again last night. WOW! Isn’t THAT a shocker! Umm, in case you didn’t know this, I listen to it at least once a day, and it’s usually the last thing I hear every night after I’ve written in this Diary, which in keeping with the song, and in case you didn’t know, is an extremely long love note and legacy to my kids, and THEIR kids, and even THEIR kids and THEIR kids. It’s the song of my life, and by the way, if you haven’t ever heard it yet, you need to at least once before you cross over.

“Apparently” I don’t keep a lot of pictures on my phone. Again, I DON’T LIKE CLUTTER! Unlike the countless people I’ve known who keep literally hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures stored on their phone. You see, once I’ve sent the pictures I’ve taken to the people or places they need to go, I delete them. It’s par for the course with another disorder I’ve coined that runs in tangent with my “OCD”. It’s my “ECD”, or “Electronic Clutter Dysfunction”, ’cause NOPE, I can’t have any “virtual” clutter floating around my atmosphere either. Wait! Did I just digress again? Wow! GO FIGURE! Umm, have ya read the other four hundred sixty-something entries in this Diary? Anyway, and as I was saying, I’m one of those silly people who’s doing everything I can to live IN all my moments now and not behind a camera as I watch everyone else LIVING in them.

I’m not gonna lie, folks, this fun little “InstaVibe” game was not only fun, but also very telling. Seeing this “Cat’s eye” view of my overall “vibe” in life was not too awful or wretched! Looking through my eyes at the way my mind spends energy just reminded me that I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN amazing woman. It’s no wonder that I’m my own best friend, ‘cuz I freaking LOVE all the things that I “like”.

Goodnight everyone, and might I suggest that you, too, take a look at your “vibe” through your own eyes! You may just discover that YOU are an incredibly amazing person, also! Just sayin’.

LOOK THROUGH MY EYES

There are things in life you’ll learn and, oh, in time you’ll see. ‘Cause out there somewhere it’s all waiting, if you keep believing. So don’t run, don’t hide, it will be all right. You’ll see, trust me, I’ll be there watching over you. Just take a look through my eyes. There’s a better place somewhere out there. Ooh, just take a look through my eyes (Look through my eyes). Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find. If you look through my eyes. There will be times on this journey. All you see is darkness, but out there somewhere daylight finds you if you keep believing. So don’t run, don’t hide, it will be all right, you’ll see. Trust me, I’ll be there watching over you. Just take a look through my eyes. If you look through my eyes, all the things that you can change. There’s a meaning in everything, and you will find all you need. There’s so much to understand. Take a look through my eyes. There’s a better place somewhere out there. {Phil Collins}

DECEMBER 18, 2021: “The Panic Chair That Lit The Darkness” …

Wait! WHAT? “The Panic Chair That Lit The Darkness”? Before you watch the Instagram video below, go back and refer to this Diary entry I wrote last year and “the panic chair” situation will all make sense:

If you’ve ever seen The Blind Side, you know exactly what I’m talking about. (PS. It’s one of the top 10 favorite movies of my life!) It was that moment in the movie right after she finds out Michael had never had a bed of his own and became overwhelmed with emotions that she didn’t want him to see, at which point she had to go to her room, sit quietly in her chair, and just “allow herself to cry for a minute”. For all all her seemingly endless and stoic strength, even she realized the importance of “allowing herself” whatever self-care was necessary to enable her to take care of her family. The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize I was “doing this chair thing” until he began noticing that whenever I was “flooding” with emotions I would disappear back into our room then reappear a few minutes later. One night when we were watching the movie for like, the umteenth time in our decade together, he finally pointed it out: “You know honey, you do that too — the sitting in a chair thing!

{“Blindsided With Rhapsody” … October 11, 2020}

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021: “I Know” …

Today is one of those days when my own words wouldn’t do a bit of justice to the message I’m urgently trying to convey. Except, that is, to say that the best day of my life so far really was that day I finally understood that there are some things I will never need to understand and even more things I don’t care to “know”. Once I stopped trying to figure all this stuff out and trying to outthink all the things I cannot possibly ever fathom, I became as deaf, dumb, and blind as a bat, but as wise as the wisest sage. “All I know” is “what I know“. The rest of the details I’m just leaving up to Him.

Where do I begin with what to say? I’ve played this conversation in my head so many times. I’m certainly not claiming to know everything, but what I do will save your life. I know, I know that God is able. I know, I know that He still reigns. I know, I know that Love has found a way. No matter what it is you’re going through – even if you think you’re far beyond where hope can see. I know there is a hand that’s reaching out for you – because He did the same for me. I know, I know that God is able. I know, I know that He still reigns. I know, I know that Love has found a way. It wasn’t that long ago when my own world fell apart, and everything inside of me said to let go … I found myself crying out to the One who knows my heart … and holding tight to the few things that I know. I know …

{“I Know” ~ Mercy Me}

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021: “A Love Note To My Body!” …

DEAR “ME”:

Today is your birthday – “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-True” – so, what better way to celebrate the insanely beautiful life you still get to live than to read this “love letter” to the body you still get to occupy despite your best attempts to ever so passively, yet ever so aggressively murder it for too many years to count?

When you saw this woman’s words posted on social media recently, they leveled you in the most bittersweet ways. Since that day, you’ve read them to yourself over and over and over again, and knowing you the way I do, I suspect you’ll continue to do so for the remainder of your journey here on Earth. They’re impeccable and powerful to us both!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU once again, thank you JESUS, and Amen! Indeed, you ARE “The REAL Cat Williamson” … a Warrior, Motivator, Survivor, and CREATURE SLAYING QUEEN!

~ Love, “ME”

To anyone reading this, yes, this is one of those songs that has impacted my life in such a profound way that it’s earned a repost in my Diary. Only this time I’ve changed up the words:

Never again! Never give in! Never give in! I wouldn’t have wished that on just anyone, but she seemed to share my impulse. I wouldn’t have taken that from just anyone, but she seemed to like the result. So, I connected the dots and I told her when to stop. I chose to keep on going rather and NOT be something that I’m not. We were creatures of habit. We couldn’t live without it. We didn’t have to answer to anyone. We were chasing the rabbit, like creatures of habit, and no one else knew where we were coming from. And everything has changed, ’cause I didn’t fucking run away. There’s no need to panic, ’cause it’s no longer tragic.

{ Adapted from “Creatures” ~ by Shinedown}

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction of any sort, PLEASE pick up your sword and fight your way out of that darkness. Both you AND YOUR BODY deserve so much fucking better than “creatures” trying to destroy you.

AUGUST 28, 2021: “But What If I Stumble?” …

Someone recently asked me if I thought that I could go to Hell for all the cursing I do, which of course gave me some serious pause for thought, because, umm, oh good GRIEF have you met me? I’m a sailor without a ship total potty mouth kinda woman, and yes, I’m well aware of the fact that some of the truly well intended thoughts and messages I’ve spoken or written have been delivered out of both sides of my proverbial mouth.

The Bible says that anyone born again by the Holy Spirit is saved eternally (John 10:28), not temporarily. However, the Bible also strongly warns against apostasy, which can lead to doubt about “eternal security”. If, by command, we “can’t be unborn and lose our salvation”, why are we warned against apostasy? Well, first, you have to know what “apostasy” means.

Simply stated in the best “Jesus For Dummies” way that I know how, an apostate is someone who abandons their faith. The Bible makes many references to people who only “professed their faith”, but never never genuinely received Jesus. “Pretenders.” “Actors.” APOSTATES! In other words, “apostatizers” were never really “saved and born again” in the first place.

That being said, if as Christians we truly believed in our hearts the words we spoke when we professed our faith (and only God and us know whether that is true), we are commanded to “walk the walk and talk the talk”, because in the famous words of Billy Graham:

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle.

So, although true salvation is eternal and therefore can’t be undone, “Christians who curse” are definitely not optimal. As for me? I am an admittedly offending Christian who curses way too damn much. See? I just did it again! OMG! I know it. I’m ashamed of it. I APOLOGIZE FOR IT EVERY TIME! The words that sometimes come out of my mouth are DISGUSTING and not a good look or advertisement for the true and sincere profession of my own faith and salvation.

The bottom line here is this: Just because my salvation can’t be undone, neither I or anyone else shouldn’t use it as a “get out of Hell free card” for bad behavior. Doing so neither honors God, or me, or the rest of the believing world who are doing much better at this “walking the walk” game than I am. The “unbelieving world” is always watching “the believers” for evidence to justify their disbelief, and I don’t want to be the reason someone refuses to believe in something they cannot see. So, with that …

MY DEAREST JESUS:

What if I stumble? What if I fall? Is this one for the people? Is this one for the Lord? Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford? You can jumble them together – my conflict still remains. Holiness is callin’ in the midst of courting fame. ‘Cause I see the trust in their eyes though the sky is fallin’. They need Your love in their lives – compromise is callin’. What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl? What if I stumble, and what if I fall? What if I stumble? What if I fall? Oh Lord! You never turn in the heat of it all! What if I stumble? What if I fall? Father, please forgive me, for I cannot compose the fear that lives within me or the rate at which it grows. If struggle has a purpose on the narrow road You carved, why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar? Did they see the fear in my eyes? Are they so revealin’? This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I’m feelin’. What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl? What if I stumble, and what if I fall? What if I stumble? Everyone’s got to crawl when you know that you’re up against the wall – it’s about to fall! Everyone’s got to crawl when you know that … yeah. I hear You whispering my name. You said, “My love for you will never change.” What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?

I know! I know! I’M WORKING ON IT! I PROMISE! I don’t want to let You down, I don’t want to let myself down, and I desperately don’t want to be a big ole “Jesus hypocrite” billboard for Your cause. I wholeheartedly believe that the deeply abysmal guilt I feel every time I drop an eff bomb is Your Holy Spirit telling me STOP, so as with everything else in my often crooked life, I am ever a work in progress. Please forgive me, once again, even though I know You already have, but oh, em, gee, what am I gonna have to do with myself? Eat a bar of soap? Guess I’ll just keep trying. Really REALLY trying. I love you, Jesus! ~ C

FEBRUARY 19, 2021: “I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Hero” …

… ’cause, ummm…

… I KINDA ALREADY HAVE ONE!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ~ I’m the luckiest, most blessed, badass warrior QUEEN I’ve ever known. But I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it againIT’S NOT ME …

… IT’S THEM!

… at my left wing is The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit … at my right wing is the gang of REAL angels that fly behind me EVERYWHERE! Yes, I am sure that so many people think that I’m off my rocker CRAZY for believing what I believe, but here’s the deal — I DON’T CARE! I know what I knowI think what I think … I feel what I feel! THE FACT THAT I’M STILL STANDING IN THIS KINGDOM LIKE THE “SUPERHUMAN QUEEN” I TRULY AM IS LIVING PROOF!

I’ve got a hero! I’VE GOT A HERO LIVIN’ IN ME! I’m gonna fight for what’s right. Today I’m speaking my mind – and if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die. A hero’s not afraid to give his life.

HERO

I’m just a step away. I’m just a breath away. Losin’ my faith today – fallin’ off the edge today! I am just a man – not superhuman. I’M NOT SUPERHUMAN! Someone save me from the hate. It’s just another war. Just another family torn. FALLING FROM MY FAITH TODAY! Just a step from the edge. Just another day in the world we live. I need a hero to save me now! I need a hero! SAVE ME NOW! I need a hero to save my life. A hero’ll save me just in time! I’ve gotta fight today to live another day. Speakin’ my mind today. MY VOICE WILL BE HEART TODAY! I’ve gotta make a stand – but I am just a man. I’M NOT SUPERHUMAN! My voice will be heard today. It’s just another war. Just another family torn. MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD TODAY! It’s just another kill – the countdown begins to destroy ourselves. I need a hero to save me now. I need a hero! SAVE ME NOW! I need a hero to save my life. A hero’ll save me just in time! I need a hero to save my life. I need a hero just in time. Save me just in time. Who’s gonna fight for what’s right? Who’s gonna help us survive? We’re in the fight of our lives and we’re not ready to die! Who’s gonna fight for the weak? Who’s gonna make ’em believe? I’ve got a hero! I’VE GOT A HERO LIVIN’ IN ME! I’m gonna fight for what’s right. Today I’m speaking my mind – and if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die. A hero’s not afraid to give his life. {Skillet}

FEBRUARY 15, 2021: “Power, Grace, And Beauty Rising” …

WHO AM I?

I am me. I’m my very own best friend, and the one person in my life I know will never let me down. I’m the person I get to be with until I take my last breath and set my eyes upon the The Brighter Side Of Grey, and the only one I can count on when all my cards are down, come Hell or the highest of waters.

I’m the Queen Of The World who has crossed on over to the upside of just about everything, yet I’m the most wretched in all the land. Love me or hate me, I DON’T CARE, ’cause at least I know it’s true! I have the world’s biggest ego and the confidence of a lion, yet I’m humbled by the power of my insignificance. I am big. I am small. I’m a pebble skipped across the ocean. I’M A DIVINELY APPOINTED APOSTROPHE THAT PUNCTUATES THE WORLD WHO IS VALULESS AND VALUED BOTH THE SAME AND I AM GOD’S ACTUAL FAVORITE DAUGHTER!

I am NOTHING.

I am EVERYTHING.

I’m an oxymoron.

I am power, grace, and beauty rising.

(… and guess, what? SO ARE YOU!)

BEAUTY WILL RISE

It was the day the world went wrong. I screamed ’til my voice was gone and watched through the tears as everything came crashing down. Slowly panic turns to pain as we awake to what remains and sift through the ashes that are left. But buried deep beneath all our broken dreams we have this hope. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins. We will see Him with our own eyes. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise. For we know joy is coming in the morning. In the morning, beauty will rise. So take another breath for now, and let the tears come washing down. And if you can’t believe, I will believe for you. ‘Cause I have seen the signs of spring! Just watch and see! Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins. We will see Him with our own eyes. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise. For we know joy is coming in the morning. In the morning. I can hear it in the distance … and it’s not too far away. It’s the music and the laughter of a wedding and a feast. I can almost feel the hand of God reaching for my face to wipe the tears away and say, “It’s time to make everything new.” “Make it all new”. This is our hope. This is the promise. That it would take our breath away to see the beauty that’s been made out of the ashes. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

JANUARY 18, 2021: “Happy” …

… when you see this little dealio floating around on everyone’s social media and this is the first picture that comes to your mind …

Yes indeed, I really was “happy and content” every single moment of 2020. Happiness isn’t a state of mind, by the way, IT’S A CHOICE! Does that mean I never experience sadness, anger, or frustration? HELL NO! Of course I do! Just because I’m a Light in the frigging dark doesn’t mean I’m not human. But even at my saddest, maddest, or most “bent out of shapest”, I’m still always happy. Sounds twisted, right? Well, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

I choose JOY!

I choose RIDICULOUS!

I choose SILLY!

I choose OPTIMISM!

I. CHOOSE. HAPPY!

DECEMBER 31, 2020: “Burn It Down Black Sheep” …

Oh, wait!

I AM “THAT” AUNT OR UNCLE!

Okay, so, I have no nieces or nephews. Nevertheless, it’s true … I’M THAT “ONE”! The game board flipper. The disloyal, disgruntled employee who dared to rip the Venom suit off and burn my life down to the ground.

The Black Sheep!

Am I exactly where I want to be? Not even close! My detoxification process has been a bittersweet and often very lonely journey for my broken heart, mind and soul. In the beginning, it took every ounce of strength and conviction I didn’t have. Correction. I did have it, I just didn’t know it. Let’s just say it was dormant. Sleeping. Laying in wait like, umm, a sleeping dragon. But damn, did she wake up?

Holding fast to all these boundaries that now enthrall me never really gets easy, by the way, and if you too are “this person”, you know just what I’m saying. While I am certainly no doctor or mental health professional, what I have garnered in my lifelong, hands-on study of the cyclical nature of “family”, it’s that more so than not, it’s the empath who is usually the black sheep of each bloodline. Likewise do I strongly believe that the sometimes arduous task of being the proverbial game-changer is at least an honor, if not at best a cosmic calling. I recently read an intriguing article in this regard by an actual doctor:

Have you been the black sheep? The weirdo? The one cast out, judged, misunderstood or ridiculed by your family? Maybe, just maybe, instead of them being here to teach you, you are here to teach them. Instead of your family, friends, work place, and society trying to get you to fit into their mold, is it possible you are really here to break the mold altogether? Being an empath is an honor, a pre-ordained sacred role. And it is the way forward. Instead of ambling through life doubting your exquisite brilliance, can you instead stride in full brightness believing…knowing…you are the prototype for the next phase of human evolution? Can you embrace the risk of being different? Can you accept, with humility and confidence, your mission – however small or large – to contribute a higher vibration to the collective?

Michelle Robin, “Empaths Are Here For A Cosmic Purpose “:

COMMISSION ACCEPTED!

I have a crown on my head, a sword in my hand, and crystal clear sights on the future I want for my children. If my work is done well and my legacy lives on the way that I pray, neither my kids’ kids nor their kids’ kids will have to hear the tragic tales of the abuse, manipulation, emotional extortion, and endless human wastelands of mental health corrosion their “Crazy Grandma Cat” finally laid to rest. There’s an age old saying that goes something like this:

If you’re not sure who the black sheep of your family is, it’s probably you.

Author Unknown

I never had to wonder, because in my heart I’ve always known. It was me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

NOVEMBER 1, 2020: “Crossing Over” …

CROSSING OVER

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

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

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

My dream! I was front row center at a Five Finger Death Punch show, but instead of a traditional concert venue, it was an intimate gathering where Ivan was singing to me:

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

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

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

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

Am I bat-shit effing crazy? Perhaps I am. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, and let me tell you why: What if I’m RIGHT? What if it’s true? What if the Cosmos really is trying to speak to me? What if it really is Zack communicating with us through the fog and the crows and the lights in the bathroom? That, my friends, is the “crazy” blind faith that costs me nothing, but gains me everything. Sooner or later I too will cross over, and either I’m right or I am wrong. Meanwhile, just after waking from that most ethereal dream, this was right beside my bed. It’s nothing, really. Nothing at all. Just one of Gia’s bracelets that either Good Cat or Bad Cat must have found and deposited at the exact spot my foot hit the ground. “C’mon Cat, it’s just a bracelet.” Umm, ya think? But why did it show up in the endless twist of “F8 this way?

IN CLOSING …

Ten years ago today, I kissed a frog who turned into a king. Five years ago today, that king turned me into a princess. Today I woke up from a dream on the edge of literal “eternity”. With that, I was reminded again of the endless joy he brought to my life that I get to keep until it’s my time to see the brighter side of grey. There will never be a day that I’m not eternally grateful for the true love and immeasurable gifts he left me with, not the least of which is the fire he lit in my soul that will light my way through every darkness. Loving that man changed my life forever in every best possible way, so it’s no wonder that losing him has done the same.

Today is the day! It’s time for me to move on, whatever that actually means, and I’ve asked God to show me what’s next. Sufficed to say, my heart is completely open to anything and everything. So, now I’m just going to take a deep breath and hold it in for as long as I physically can, knowing full well that when I let it back out, I’ll be making all the space I’ll ever need for whatever in this world is coming next for me. Knowing me the way I do, and knowing GOD the way I do, chances are that it’s probably going to be something extremely wonderful and sublime. In the meantime, win, lose, or draw, this is the beautiful picture of the me that I’m always going to love the most, and “me” I’m always going to strive to be in my soul …

Happy Anniversary Williamson!

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

AUGUST 31, 2020: “The Cosmic, NOT Tragic Truth” …

It was a super early morning for us as we awoke to a 4:30am alarm for a 5:00am departure to her 5:30am practice. While Gia was getting ready, I popped on to Instagram only to find the picture above which quite literally hit me like a ton of bricks. You see, just before waking I’d been enjoying a blissfully enchanted slumber, during which my husband had conveyed an extremely powerful message to me in the MOST surreal of ways.

It was him, I just know it! I could smell his skin, sense his touch, and feel his breathe on my face. While I won’t go into detail, because believe it or not there are many things I’ll keep safely inside the most private places of my heart, in this fantasy he had been shadowing me as I moved from one house to another.

He was there, but he wasn’t, I could see him, but I couldn’t, yet at every turn I’d made throughout the day his presence was lingering behind me in a haunting but not frightening way. At the end of it all, what had ’til then only been an eclipse of his presence turned into his physical body. There we both stood tightly embraced with our hands locked together when I asked this most profound question:

I know where you are … I believe it in my heart … but I just NEED to hear you say it. Am I right? Are you There now? WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN SOMEDAY?

I didn’t hear his voice, as he never spoke a word, but indeed he communicated in the silent and sacred “1-2-3 hand squeeze” language we had shared during our season together. His answer to my question was emphatic: “One squeeze for yes”, not “two squeezes for no”, right on cue to my prompt.

As this first year without him has all but flown by, I’ve made absolute peace with his suicide. The heartbreaking pain of his many tragic truths was so far beyond sobering that it still reduces me to tears when I sit with it.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: Unless or until you’ve born the cross of seeing a human being “dying out loudin the egregious way that he did, you couldn’t possibly understand the magnitude of relief I felt upon the release of his mortal shackles. He had held on for dear life as long as he possibly could until the day he died, but when the end of his darkness finally settled in, Fate stepped in with her final blow.

Still, let’s go back to how this morning with Gia even started. We’d backed out of the garage to find ourselves greeted by a bright orange moon on fire and ethereal setting in the field that meets the end of our driveway. We were in such connected tangent it was alarming but comforting at once! The intrinsic conversation that soon availed tapped directly into our understandings of “all of this”, yet far beyond our simply dimensioned minds have yet to fathom. “She knows” what “I know”, and “I know” what “she knows”, which is ALL either of us needs to know about anything at this point! It’s just – so – POWERFUL!

Keep in mind, too, that the first song that cued up when the engine started today was “Remember Everything“. That had to mean something, I just knew it! Exactly what, I wasn’t sure, but sufficed to say that neither of us can listen to that song now without being ever so painfully reminded of everything we remember about not just our own lives, but Zack’s and Christian’s as well. But here’s where it gets even more interesting …

After I’d dropped her off and was heading back home, “that other song” I love to hate so much found it’s way to my speakers …

The Tragic Truth.

Wait! What had just happened? IT DIDN’T MAKE ME CRY THIS TIME! Instead, I just smiled as I rolled on down the road with my gaze fixed hard into the sky from which I heard his voice serenading me with those tragically truthful words:

It’s the demons I’ve created for myself … the Tragic Truth … it’s hard for me to understand myself, so it has to be hard as hell for you.

All I can tell you is that my intersection with the Cosmos this morning was EVERYTHING to me. Even as I write this, I’m smiling yet again, because while on the surface it may appear that the demons that devoured him won, nothing could be farther from the truth.

The rare few of us who really knew him and were honored to both love and be loved by him know a “truth” that is much more beautiful than tragic: HE’S HOME NOW! I just know it. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more tears. No more aching for the “family” who abandoned the “Zack Of Shit”. NO MORE VOICES SCREAMING IN HIS HEAD!

I‘ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … my “circadian life” is so much bigger than I will ever fully know, and my adventure still isn’t over! All it took was this one cryptic message from The Cosmos to remind me, yet again, that I’m such an incredibly blessed woman. In case I’ve never said this, let me say it now: I wholeheartedly believe that I’m God’s favorite daughter, even despite the many circumstances in my life that seem to prove otherwise. For this I am eternally grateful.

APRIL 23, 2020: “The Nicest BITCH Ever!” …

Hugs

WARNING:

There are around seventeen eff-bombs in this salt-encrusted message from me, “the NICEST bitch you will ever know”, to “WHOM IT MAY CONCERN! Sorry, not sorry. Now, go grab some Lucky Charms and have a really nice fuckin’ day! This is me, “The REAL Cat Williamson”, take me or leave me …

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

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

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

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

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

Twenty minutes ago my doorbell rang. “Who in the world?” When I opened the door, my stomach hit the floor in the best possible way, with that all too familiar adrenaline dump I’ve come to know so well during the worst and best moments of my life. It was his florist! The only one he EVER patroned … his “partner in crime” when it came to knowing exactly how to make me smile … with this arrangement for ME:

Good afternoon Cat. These are from Diane. She just wanted you to know we’re all thinking of you constantly.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Dismiss it as just a fluke if you must, but nope, not me, NOT EVER! Never will I fail to heed the signs of life that flourish in the darkness! To me, it’s all serendipity! My husband, my fate, and even God Himself all screaming to me out loud! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am one blessed and very lucky queen! No, Zachariah, not a single one of your years in this realm were in vain. Every gift you gave and dream you dreamt is going to carry on, because that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

MARCH 10, 2020: “The Brighter Side Of Grey” …

img_8259

TO MY KIDS …

I’m writing this in case I’m gone tomorrow. I’m writing this in case I’ve moved along. There’s something that I hope you’ll remember: That life is not a game, it’s a song. So take the best parts of me, locked away without the keys, and know that I’m forever by your side. When the lights go down, know that I am never far away. When the Sun burns out, I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey. If you’re reading this, I know you’re feeling sorrow. If you’re hearing this, I know you’re probably scared. Just know that all the things you want are borrowed, and all you get to keep is all you’ve shared. So wipe away the tears for me, know that we’ve made history. Remember no one ever really dies.  When the lights go down, know that I am never far away. When the Sun burns out, I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey. {Five Finger Death Punch}

THIS PICTURE. One I sketched in my early 20’s using the literal ashes from both my father’s and His ashtrays. At the time, I had no idea the impact this or any of my 32 Sketches would have on me down the road, yet as I look at them now, I can’t help but notice that although I was in very dark place when they were born, something inside me was distantly hopeful. Still, this one. It begs the younger me to stay focused on the very bright future I couldn’t see through the fog I was in, yet was patiently calling to me all the while.

If you know me well, you know that grey is my favorite color, which is evident in my predominately “black and white” or “nothing but grey” artwork. What’s interesting about this one is how poignantly it reflects upon the mental illness I fought so hard to overcome for the better part of my life long before it was diagnosed. My disease imprisoned me in the dichotomy of black and white thinking and held me for ransom in the compartmentalized boxes of my mind where I stored all my pain and trauma. Before I put went into remission, I was unable to accept people, situations, emotions, or behaviors as anything other than “good or bad”, “right or wrong”, or “one way or the other”. MY ENTIRE WORLD WAS BLACK AND WHITE AND THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THE GREY! I had a defensive view of both the positive and negative qualities of myself and everyone else, and there was no way for my broken psyche to allow anything in between to exist in one cohesive space.

How did this happen? The general consensus is that my “splitting” was the result of severe emotional and psychological abuse from my childhood, and I do tend to agree. I was raised in a conditionally based system of reward, praise, affection and acceptance. If I was “good”, I was praised, affirmed and rewarded. If I was “bad”, I was admonished, punished and rejected. They “washed their hands” of me whenever I screwed up or simply failed to follow “the rules” and ZERO was the validation or consideration of my feelings. My mind would “split” as I desperately attempted to shield myself from the constant fear of being abandoned, betrayed or eviscerated by anyone who claimed to love me.

For the record, I do not believe these traumas were visited on me purposely, but the trauma was real indeed, as was the effect it had on my damaged psyche. For years in the wake of not only my broken childhood, but as much so in the wake of my own self-inflicted destruction and imprisonment, I felt alone and voiceless, regardless of the people who “appeared” to be standing beside me. At this point it, is no longer a secret that I myself attempted suicide on November 8, 1996 and lived to tell about it. But I’ve digressed …

Them

Music of all genres has been an integral part of my mental wealth journey, but one of my favorite bands, Five Finger Death Punch, has been at the forefront. Their songs have not only helped identify some of my lost and broken feelings, but have also given my former “voiceless self” permission to either cry my feelings to the surface or YELL AND SCREAM THEM OUT LOUD! I’d pre-ordered their new album months ago and had been counting the days until it was released, so I was stoked to finally get to listen to it, starting from the beginning, as I headed out of the house today. Meanwhile, when THIS SONG cued up, I had to pull my car into the breakdown lane on the highway as the words began to cut me in all the most bittersweet ways. I couldn’t stop the tears, or the physical heartache, and I literally couldn’t breathe. It was one of the most cathartic, awful and beautiful moments of my life, as if he were singing it to me himself. To me. To her. To Christian. To the very few people he left behind that he truly loved and let into his very private world and who loved him just the same. Someday, when it’s time for her to read the letter he wrote but never gave her, I will let her hear the song. Knowing God the way I do, when she’s finally able to receive these most beautiful lyrics of both our lives, in conjunction with the most impeccable words a secretly dying father could possibly have written to his daughter, they will become as significant a part of her healing as they have been to mine.

HERE’S THE THING: Grey is not just a color to me – IT’S EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! It’s the grace I’ve received that is so undeserved, yet given to me anyway by The One who has never loved me with black and white conditions. He “takes the best parts of me and locks them away without the key” and I know He is never far away. He’s the Light that shines ahead of my journey and dilutes the blackness of the abyss into the most beautiful shades of grey. For more than four decades, I lived a black and white existence with no room for the forbearing grey I knew I needed but didn’t know how to connect with. As I look back at this picture now, I am filled with the most unbelievable solace you can imagine. It reminds me of just how far I’ve come, that it was always supposed to be this way, and there is always a “Brighter Side Of Grey”. I’m not gonna lie … it is now my final wish that when it’s time for me to move along, this is the last song I hear as they bid me farewell.

FEBRUARY 1, 2020: “Crazy Grandma Cat” …

img_8591

TO FIND OUT “WHAT HAPPENED” THE NIGHT BEFORE I MADE THIS VIDEO <<CLICK HERE>>!

DECEMBER 30, 2019: “Speaking Of Faith And Crowns” …

“Bubbikins”
{Season 3, Episode 4 ~ “The Crown”}

In keeping with my promise to myself and all of you, I’ve been working like a madwoman since Christmas morning uploading as many entries as possible before leaving for Ireland on Friday, starting with the day I was born. After being glued to my chair for 96 straight hours straight, with only four real breaks in between, I’d made it all the way to the entry where I revealed what really happened that Sunday in April of 2009 that finally pushed me over the edge to that lovely placed called “The Meadows”. It was the day of my nervous breakdown! It had been a long time since I’d read it, and transferring the words from the desktop “diary” I’d been keeping for years to this published blog version was jarring:

They literally had to peel my son from my body so that I could get into the car. He too was sobbing and I’d never seen him cry so much or so hard. And Gia? She looked so lost, like a little puppy that just wanted someone to pick her up and hold her.

{“Circadian“}

As I flashed back to that day and remembered everything that happened, it broke my heart into pieces all over again knowing how it broke their hearts into pieces having to live through such trauma, at which point I became so emotional that I had to call it a night and cry myself to sleep.

If you know me well, you know that I have long been fascinated with English history, the monarchy, and most specifically Prince Phillip, “The Duke Of Edinburgh“. If you know anything about him, his truly tragic childhood, or the lifetime of personal sacrifice and struggle upon becoming The Queen’s consort, you know that, like me, he is a true and living phoenix. I could wax poetic about the man. Actually, now that I think of it, when recently asked, If you could meet anyone and have conversation with them, who would it be?”, he was immediately one of the only two people who came to mind. Of course, that is unrealistic, but the sentiment still remains, because although “who he is” puts him so far out of my reach, I would have truly love to be able to just talk to him for a couple of hours during my lifetime. As and aside, one thing I can also tell you is that my husband’s life story and heart were so much like Prince Phillip’s that I often addressed him as “The Duke” in our home.

With that, there’s a show I’ve been watching called “The Crown” on Netflix that loosely depicts the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth. With everything that’s been consuming me lately I’ve missed quite a bit of it, so I decided to just binge for the night and pick up where I’d left off, at Season 3, Episode 4, “Bubbikins”.

Throughout the series, the viewers are led to an understanding of Prince Philip’s lifelong perception of abandonment by his mother, Princess Alice Of Battenburg. “Bubbikins”, however, reveals that the real reason she’d been absent from his childhood was that she’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia, committed to an array of psychiatric asylums, and subjected to a series of inhumane “treatments” for her mental illness, the worst of which was by Sigmund Freud, including a flashback of her being ripped away from him while being hauled off to one of those asylums.

Ultimately, however, we find Prince Phillip visiting his mother’s room at the palace after having read what he referred to as “a love letter” about her in the paper and having come to a shockingly different perspective about not only her past but “their past as well. He wanted to apologize to her:

{PRINCE PHILIP READING FROM THE PAPER TO HIS MOTHER} Princess Alice is that rarest of creatures – a member of the royal family that has suffered more than the rest of us, worked harder than the rest of us and created more good than the rest of us … she was consistently misunderstood, marginalized and underestimated … but instead of bitterness Princess Alice dedicated her life to charity work, public service and campaigning for social justice often at great personal risk. I owe you an apology. 

{PRINCESS ALICE} Whatever for?

My faithlessness.

If anyone owes anyone an apology we both know it’s the other way around … when we were forced to leave Greece I couldn’t cope. I needed care. I needed help.

That wasn’t help that they gave you, it was torture.

They tried their best.

No, the treatment they gave you was barbaric and your courage in rising above it was remarkable.

I didn’t do it alone. I couldn’t have. I had help every step of the way. Now Bubbikins you mentioned faithlessness. How is your faith?

Dormant.

That’s not good. Let this be a mother’s gift to her child. That one piece of advice: Find yourself a faith. It helps. No – not just helps. It’s everything.

OH MY FATHER HOW CAN I EVER REPAY YOU? You called in my Angels again, didn’t You? You love me, I know you do! What are the chances that THE next thing You needed me to see, hear and absorb last night after falling apart at this keyboard with reinstated guilt over everything I’ve put my kids through was EXACTLY what I needed to yet again remind me that in everything You have a purpose? While I’m certainly not insinuating that either I or my life are anything like Princess Alice’s, I know You had that entire series of events lined up JUST FOR ME! You were sending me a message:

HAVE FAITH MY CHILD. You’re going to be okay. They’re going to be okay. Someday they will understand.

To which my reply and the only way I can repay You is: I’m NOT doing this alone. I can’t. I have help every step of the way. So I’ll keep standing strong in my faith. It doesn’t just help – IT’S EVERYTHING! Make it a great day everyone, and if you ever get a chance to watch that episode on Netflix, DO! I promise you won’t regret it!

DECEMBER 20, 2019: “We Survive With Hope” …

CONVERSATION WITH MY DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL PICK UP YESTERDAY:

GIA: Mom, would there be any way we could go to the store after I get out of group tonight and grab a few things so I can put some Christmas bags together for my Hope kids? If your tired I promise I will do all the work and I can even pay for it myself. All I need you to do is drive me to the store and I can take it from there.

ME (Heart MELTING): Umm, daughter? I think you just gave me the greatest Christmas gift I never knew I needed.

And just like that, not even broken wings can stop my little Phoenix from rising far above all the mire! After everything this child has been through (some of which most of you will NEVER know), she has her mother’s heart, soul, spirit and courage, only, just so much more – BETTER! I am an SUCH an incredibly lucky woman to get to be the one who claims the honor: “Look at what I’ve done and this Light I’ve created unto a very dark world.”

NOVEMBER 21, 2019: “No Apologies” …

IMG_1482
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~
Truth

No, but seriously … NO APOLOGIES WHATSOEVER for my “breakout verbal vomit” moment of truth here. As you can see with the creation of The Real Cat Williamson YouTube Channel, my many “secrets” will make me sick no longer. I’m gettin’ ready to get ready. I’m a beast! I’m a warrior! I’m a motivator! I’M A SURVIVOR! From this day forward, I’m GOING to be showing up and living a life of use to others! And oh, yah, by the way …

Dear Angelina Jolie:

THANK YOU for inspiring ME to “live a life of use to others”. I listen to your Jean Hershold Humanitarian Award acceptance speech every single day of my life now and have made my daughter listen to it as often as possible as well. Nothing will have meant ANYTHING if I leave this planet without having done just that, so that’s what I’m gonna do. You truly are one of my hero’s, and not because of “who you are” – because of “what you are”: A “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR!” just like me. It is my sincere hope that before my lifetime is over I will be able to thank you in person. ~ CAT WILLIAMSON: Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR;

Secrets

NO APOLOGIES

Holding your breath. Holding your tongue. You’re only holding yourself back. So much to say. So far to run out from the shadows you have cast. Girl the best days of your life have yet to come. It’s okay, it’s alright, to open up. You don’t owe anybody anything. Life is yours to live anyway you please. No apologies. No promise left for you to keep. You can be whoever you want to be. No apologies. Closing the door. Closing your eyes. You’re only closing yourself off. So much to see. So much to try. Don’t be afraid of what you want. Girl the best days of your life have yet to come. It’s okay, it’s alright, to open up. {Trapt}

NOVEMBER 9, 2019: “From The Ground Up” …

WHERE DO I BEGIN MY POST FOR TODAY?

How about 2,876days ago …

DECEMBER 25, 2011: You said, “I know you have not had many princess moments so far but I WILL change that this year. I want to build you a castle of stone and brick …”. 

AUGUST 31, 2017: The Frog I kissed who turned into a KING wrote the contract for the house of our dreams.

NOVEMBER 16, 2017: That same king sat in the builder’s office for six long hours, driving us all bananas over every intricate detail of how perfect he wanted this house for “his girls”, and specifically so Gia could have a place for her crew to crash throughout her high school years. A place they could all be comfortable, loved, accepted and at home, with no fear of judgement for simply being human. He wanted for her all he never had, and that was ALL he ever wanted.

7

AUGUST 22, 2019: The King fell down, but left his crown, because …

NOVEMBER 3, 2019: … the Princess and I made the decision to stay in this home he gave us until she graduates from high school. It’s what he would have wanted, and he has set us both up for nothing but success in the rest of our journey without him. We spoke at length about the pros and cons of “should we stay or should we go”, but at the end of the day, both firmly agreed that if he can still see us (and we believe he can) it would break his heart even more than it did to have to leave us behind in the first place to see us pack up and leave this all behind. He worked too damn hard to give us everything we have, and I’m not going to let it have been in vain.

NOVEMBER 9, 2019: As I’m writing this, there’s an upstairs filled with laughter! She’s having her first party, and there are a dozen happy teenagers here feeling comfortable, relaxed and at home, just how he always wanted it. THIS WAS HIS DREAM FOR HER! I thought about crying when this epiphany washed over me, but instead I could only smile. I too am feeling “comfortable, relaxed and at home”, with our daughter, in the castle that he built us, honoring his legacy and putting these shattered pieces together in all the most beautiful ways I can. I know he’s looking down right now and smiling from ear to ear as he absorbs all the laughter he can surely hear within these palace walls, hopefully taking comfort in seeing a very happy princess and an even more happy and grateful Queen.

5

Williamson, YOU DID IT! Your dream has come true despite your multitude of mistakes and all the ways that you hurt us. I will remain eternally grateful for and cherish all the things you have given me, and yes, you are STILL my hero.

NOVEMBER 1, 2011: “I Took Him There” …

IMG_2262

… because “THERE” is where HE wanted to go!

It’s no big secret to anyone who knows us that when Zack and I first got married at our friends’ home in Sachse, Texas, on November 1, 2010, not only were we broke, we were actually in arrears. My wedding gift to him? A beaten down, mentally challenged, badly disfigured “not quite employable” ME with over $30K in debt, a car I couldn’t afford, two kids, and a father who HATED him”. So, our “honeymoon” that night of our theatre room marriage was a trip through a drive-through and him carrying me over the threshold of our “palace”! It wasn’t until now, after a full year has passed, and due largely in part to the financial contributions of the only real “father” he’d ever known, Rick Scauzillo, that we were finally able to take our much deserved honeymoon.

When we first started talking about where we wanted to go, it was his idea to take me back to New England so that he could see that beloved place I was once lucky enough to call home. It meant the absolute world to me that not only did he want to take me there, but even more so that he absolutely loved it! We flew in to Boston and rented a car, then drove all the way to the tip of Maine and back down the coastline that eventually landed us in Providence. He truly “wanted to see it all and not leave anything out”, so that is what we did! Though we were still not off the ledge of “pretty much kinda broke” it was one of the richest times of our lives!

APRIL 24, 2009: “Second Chances” …

Second

DEAR GOD:

Can I please have a second chance?

My eyes are open wide and by the way, I made it through the day. I watch the world outside and by the way, I’m leaving out today. I just saw Haley’s comet, she waved, said, “Why are you always running in place”? Even the man in the moon disappeared somewhere in the stratosphere. Tell my mother, tell my father, I’ve done the best I can to make them realize this is my life. I hope they understand. I’m not angry, I’m just saying … Sometimes goodbye is a second chance. Please don’t cry one tear for me – I’m not afraid of what I have to say. This is my one and only voice so listen close it’s only for today. I just saw Haley’s comet, she waved and said, “Why you always running in place?” Even the man in the moon disappeared somewhere in the stratosphere. Tell my mother, tell my father, I’ve done the best I can to make them realize this is my life. I hope they understand. I’m not angry, I’m just saying … Sometimes goodbye is a second chance.”  {Shinedown}

Dear God:

Hi, it’s me again, Your lost sheep, Catherine. So they told me I should write You this letter, making “significant emotional statements” as if You were sitting right in front of me for 15 minutes. Irony of all ironies though and despite the fact that I sit here writing to You as broken and shattered as I could have possibly have ever imagined, I have never truly thought for a single minute that You weren’t somehow sitting directly beside me every second of every moment of my life. I know You are here. I can feel You in the wind and hear You constantly in the sounds of my children’s’ laughter. I actually even see You all around me in the beautiful things You have made for us and most especially when a butterfly dances past my eyes. Okay, so let me just follow along with this format they’ve given me and see where this can go.  Here is how I am really feeling: At this moment I am looking directly to You in search of some true closure and understanding. And, let this closure, if found, also be a new beginning …

So I resent You God for absolutely nothing and I think You know that I mean that. I fully believe that all of my punishments were not only earned, but more so than that, not cast down by You at all, but rather, self-punishments by my own dirty hands. I appreciate You for so many things they would be too hard to list here and I wouldn’t want to leave anything out. So how about, again, just the simple sound of my kids’ laughter. Their smiles. Their tears, their hugs. How about those two tiny little hands that grab my cheeks every morning and remind me of that I’m still alive. How about my parents, my sister and Hell, even for Him. Only You know how things are going to go for us, yet still I love Him and He did bring my beautiful children into this atmosphere. I appreciate all the beauty in this world that envelops me and even the not so pretty things that force me to concentrate on the others. Yes, God, I appreciate You more than You know. Oh, wait, You do know, right?

I thank you God for the two small miracles you placed in my path over this last twelve months: Henrik and Zack. May Your grace ever light the many roads they travel in order that the gifts of true kindness and compassion each have to offer this world may be abundantly acknowledged and accepted. They are my safe havens for once and for all … warm, safe places to land, be broken, vulnerable and heard. Never once have I known hearts so pure, except for those of my children, and never friendships as open, accepting, unconditional and trusting. You know God, that was really all I ever wanted … to be heard with out judgment, validated and accepted … for all that I am, flaws included.

I am so sorry God that I have refused to search for Your hand in all of these years. I know You’ve reached out many times but I just kept slapping Your hand away. I’m sorry for being so selfish, ego-centrical and pitiful. I’m sorry for being weak and lazy. I’m sorry for all the hatred, venom and toxic black poison that still runs inside my veins. I’m sorry for feeling sorry for myself all the time and sorry for being sorry. I’m sorry that I am stubborn not that very pliable. God, please listen to me … I’m sorry for haven taken a single one of the gifts that You have given me and pissed them all away. God, I am just fucking sorry. And for all of these things I would desperately like to make amends now.

I can’t actually say that I forgive You for anything as I do not at all believe that You have done anything wrong. As I said, I believe that my “punishments”, the guilt, shame, self-mutilation and torture, were not of YOUR hands at all – they were of my own. So then? I forgive you NOT! I do miss You though, and I mean that. It feels lonely and suffocating having severed myself completely from Your light.

So now I need to “say goodbye to the dream of how I wanted my life to be”. I want to try and let You do things Your way now. I can honestly say that I am not at all sure how I’m going to actually let that happen but I suppose these words are a start. Please hear me now. I am ready to be forgiven. Please show me the way. I want to let this go and just start over. I need a second chance now.

I love You, God … Catherine

MAY 30, 2008: “Away From The Sun” …

AWAY FROM THE SUN

It’s down to this: I’ve got to make this life make sense. Can anyone tell what I’ve done? I miss the life, I miss the colors of the world. Can anyone tell where I am? ‘Cause now again I’ve found myself so far down away from the sun that shines into the darkest place. I’m so far down, away from the sun again. I’m over this – I’m tired of living in the dark. Can anyone see me down here? The feeling’s gone – There’s nothing left to lift me up back into the world I know.  {3 Doors Down}

God? I need to talk to You. Or rather, I have some questions, so please just be perfectly honest. You’re not done with me, are You? Is my bright destiny just up ahead? Is it happening even as I write this? The future’s gonna be good, right? Things are gonna start getting better? Those two babies you sent need their mom to be okay so that I can help them reach their own destinies, so can’t You just wave Your magic wand?

Do You ever hear me crying, and if so, does it even bother You? And what ever happened to that “Sea Of Forgetfulness” I’ve heard so much about? The one where YOU forgive and WE forget then move on about our way. It’s just not working with all these ghosts inside my head. Can’t You just make them go away? That memory of me on the front bench of that old truck? The smell of the beer on his breath? Can’t You just erase it? Or how about that boy who hit the wall and cracked his skull open? I could definitely do without THAT one. And what about the day You dropped that tiny girl in the palm of my hands JUST so I could watch her suffocate? You know? That same tiny girl who TRIED to hold my hand, but couldn’t even grasp my finger. I’m NOT loving that. It’s not working for me at all! I get it, she’s gone. I was there, don’t You know? Help me understand why I had to give her back. It’s just not natural. That’s NOT how it’s supposed to go. MOMMIES AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BURY THEIR BABIES! It’s enough. I’VE HAD ENOUGH! Please can You take this away?

Am I still Your daughter, or did You forget me? Surely You remember how it felt to watch Your Son die? Well, I’m dying, too, and I’ve had ALL that I can handle. PLEASE won’t You help me? You’re God. You can fix anything! Are You mad at me? What did I do? Oh, wait, I think I know. Well, can’t You just forgive me for that now?

Well, then how about an angel? Can You send me another angel? Preferably one who’s more than two feet tall and older and wiser than 15? Someone I can talk to. Someone who will listen. Someone who wants to hear what I have to say. Someone to hold me and remind me that I’m alive. Someone who will look beyond my surface and find the broken little girl hiding inside my soul. Someone who doesn’t think I’m whining, or dramatic, ungrateful, and pathetic. Someone who doesn’t think I’m just a crazy fucking bitch, or that all the “things” I have should preclude me from feeling pain. Someone who’ll accept my broken heart and all my darkness and not hold “me” over my head. I NEED A HUG! Can You send me a hug? Or a kiss? Or a touch? Will anyone ever want to touch me?

My perfection is a grand illusion and I the master illusionist. YOU AND I BOTH KNOW IT’S TRUE! I’m wandering aimlessly here, God, behind the walls of my beautiful castle, with my hands pressed hard against the windows. I’m still looking for that sign, and I still believe there’s a chance. Hey, I’m leaving for France tomorrow. Maybe I can just leave some of my baggage there?

APRIL 8, 2008: “The Real Life” …

IMG_1471

Well, perhaps actually penning the words to a complete and total stranger was the just the pin prick my heart valves needed to effect the slow release of toxins from my system. I mean, so much of what I wrote to her was true, but then again, so much of it was a lie! Everything about her and what I could gather from her story showed me that somehow, somewhere, there is a light at the end of every tunnel. Could it be that my resurrection is much closer than I know? It truly feels as though I am getting a little closer to bridging that proverbial gap. My “surface level only” policy where relationships are concerned is fast becoming a sham and I desperately need to make the words therein my letter to her real. In the meantime, I’m still alive, though not-so-well here in my beautiful ivory tower as I continue my rule over a magical kingdom where everything appears to be perfect. “Queen Catherine The Perfect”; Perfect life, perfect family, perfect house, perfect car – perfectly happy, with all the perfect things that accompany my perfection. I’m the envy of every woman I know, covered in diamonds from head to toe, with a loving husband by my side at every turn (or so it seems). I play this perfect role so that my family remains happy and blissfully unscathed by the secrets in my past, and so the painful memories I have yet to leave behind don’t interfere with their lives in any way. Despite the seemingly perfect, bright and sunny existence I awaken to each morning, there’s a storm cloud hovering above that follows me everywhere I go. I’m beginning to think that maybe I haven’t cried enough these last 16 years and the “cloud” in my atmosphere is all those unshed tears. The storm is coming fast thoughI can feel it on my skin!  But will there be a rainbow afterwards?

It seems like only yesterday when a stranger took my innocence, and since that moment Fate has continued to rape me. It’s been just about a year since I entered that hospital, spirit broken, but body still somewhat whole. One week later I walked back out, leaving behind the last remnants of what once made me a woman. The physical scars that I wear now are now clear and tactile proof that I am nothing but an empty shell. These years were not imagined – they were real! At night sometimes I cry, grasping my pillow tightly so the precious baby girl sleeping beside me doesn’t hear. Then in morning I awake and prepare myself for the day that awaits and walk out of my bedroom an illusion. My children greet me with their glorious smiles, ignorant to my pain, and this is the way it is. Despite the seemingly outward perfection, my soul is hollow, and I feel alone, abandoned and sick, if not “a cancer” to the entirety of mankind. The mental camera in my head just can’t seem to help itself from constantly flipping back and forth through all the erosion, toxicity and filth inside my mind.

Each day that passes is drawing me closer to something spinning hopelessly out of control.  My day of reckoning is fast approaching, and may be just around the corner. I can feel the ripples just beneath my skin as my realities are boiling to the surface. The unrelenting knot in the pit of my stomach and heart is getting tighter with each day that passes and it’s getting harder for me to breath. I am shaking, anxious, and, oh yeah, a total fraud!  Just up ahead, I think can I can see the front of the proverbial bridge, but how can I make my legs actually move across it? If I actually make it across, what there will I find? Are there secrets about myself and even my “seemingly perfect childhood” that are still yet for me to discover? We shall see. Dearest Catherine, “Queen Of Perfection”, surely you can perfect this dance.

THE REAL LIFE

“I wanted to find somewhere to hide, and I opened up and left those fears inside. And I wanted to be anyone else, only to find that there was no one there but me. But I woke up to real life and I realized it’s not worth running from anymore. When there was nowhere left to hide I found out that nothing’s real here, but I wont stop now until I find a better part of me. I let those hard days get me down, and all the things I hate got in my way. I could have screamed without a sound, I found myself silenced by those things they say.  But I wont stop now until I find a better part of me that’s out there somewhere, and it cant be that far away. That’s where I’ll find myself, and I’ll find my way out. That’s where I’ll find out.”  – 3 Doors Down

MARCH 5, 1992: “Knives” …

KNIVES

Sitting in your room, this boredom overcomes you. It’s all you can do not to fall asleep. Searching for that certain piece of mind, you will find it … searching for what’s yours to keep, it’s yours to keep. And in my opinion, don’t be justified by what this world has to give you. And in my opinion, don’t be satisfied hate. Poor girl … she has no idea what it’s like to forgive. She cries at night with hatred inside her heart. If she could only see the pain he caused her soul maybe she would see it and see this pain right from the start.  If maybe things had gone your way then maybe you’re life wouldn’t be so sad. If only things were what they said, it’s not the rips that bleed, it’s the knives to blame. {The Leo Project}

I enjoyed working downtown and made many friends there, including some of the vendors who would come around each day peddling legal copy work. These “copy guys” would spend their days wooing us to get our business. Since the firm I worked for outsourced most of their copy work, we had very tight relationships with these people. One of those vendors, who I considered a friend, waited for me late one night after work in an empty parking garage connected to our building and changed my life forever and in such a profound way that it would take years for me to figure it out. Unfortunately, I chose not to tell anyone what happened that night, as you may have heard it said that women who are raped often block the experience from their minds in some desperate attempt at self preservation. That was me. I called in sick the following day, as well as the week that followed, but eventually had to go back to work.

Day after day this man would come through the office and even to my desk as if nothing had ever happened! Every minute of every day I was completely crumbling inside and my already unstable marriage was crumbling to the ground as well. If only I hadn’t befriended this man, or if only I hadn’t worked so late that night. Maybe I led him on in some way? Maybe I dressed inappropriately? I tried desperately to keep things together at home but had almost instantly become cold and distant towards Pete. And of course he had no idea what had happened to me at the time, but only knew that I had become completely unbearable to live with. Just a few weeks later though, while at a family reunion in New Mexico, I became pregnant with our first child and was able to change my focus. Inside, however, I internally combusting.

Six months into the pregnancy, I was in an accident on the North Dallas Tollway and went face first through my windshield. A hit and run driver that was attempting to cross three lanes of traffic clipped the front of my car and sent me spinning head-on into the wall. I was unconscious for a couple of hours and my cheeks and nasal cavity were virtually shattered. By the time the swelling had subsided enough for the reconstructive surgeon to completely assess the damage I was already eight months pregnant. I went through the reconstruction of my face only moderately sedated and with a blindfold over my eyes. Ironically, however, because of my bulging tummy on the day of the accident, the seatbelt was wrapped under rather than across it, so when I went over the steering wheel, the baby went with me, which the doctors tell me was the only reason he survived.

SUMMER OF 1979: “Under My Scars” …

We moved to Allen from Providence, Rhode Island, in 1979, back when Allen’s population was probably only five or six thousand. My mother, sister and I were three of only a handful of Hispanics when we arrived, which soon became one of the toxic roots of my deeply lacking self-esteem.

I will never forget the day when a gym teacher of mine, “Coach Spann”, made his way to the middle of the floor. As he reached for the mic to call us to attention, a very cruel girl all but leveled me in front of a gymnasium full of my peers during one of my deepest childhood traumas:

Look how Spic and Spann these floors are!

I remember the humiliation, like a million tiny needles stinging my leather brown hands and feet as if it were happening this instant. In my mind, it seemed as though everyone was laughing at me, and all I wanted was to crawl under a rock and die. The funny thing is, at the time I didn’t even know what it meant. “Spic? What’s a spic?” It wasn’t until the friend that was sitting beside me leaned in closely, as if to shelter me from the trauma that I didn’t even realize I was experiencing, and asked if I was okay. Why wouldn’t I be okay?

Well, a spic is a Mexican or wetback. She was making fun of you for being so dark.

I don’t remember how I finally made it from the gym floor to the bathroom, but do remember staring into the mirror and crying. It was on that day that I began to despise myself and the skin I lived in, and though I did manage to have a handful of truly good friends until graduating high school in 1987 (many of whom after almost 40 years are with me still today), that moment scarred me for years to come.

Thank God for my family back then. At home, I was “safe”, with a roof over my head and my Mom never more than a heartbeat away. Looking back, I can’t remember a moment that she missed. Not one single lunch, class party, field trip or game, and never a “latched door” for us to come home to. From what I could see at that point in my life and for many years to come, my mother would have torn out her own beating heart for the sake of those that she loved despite her outwardly gentle appearance.

Of course, then there was Julie, not only my sister, but one of my truest, lifelong friends. She’s been my rock, my sounding board and one of the only people in this world who has ever truly understood me. So close are we that over the years when I have heard people talking about their “sibling rivalries” I have always been perplexed. Julie is everything that I am not, and together, we make a whole person. She, too, over the years has suffered many of the same prejudices as I, only her much more so, because she has always been so much darker than me.  Through it all, though, we have always stuck together and never once in my life has she abandoned me!