OCTOBER 18, 2021: “Our Battle Symphony” …

To My Son, And My Daughter, And Myself:

Once again, I’ve stolen – ahem – I mean “borrowed” someone else’s words to convey a message I need to convey. So, with that …

We’ve got a long way to go, and a long memory. We’ve been searching for an answer always just out of reach. Blood on the floor. Sirens repeat. We’ve been searching for the courage to face our enemies. When they turn down the lights, we’ll hear our battle symphony – all the world in front of us! If our armor breaks, we’ll fuse it back together. Battle symphony – lease, let’s not give up on ourselves. And our eyes are wide awake for our battle symphony. For our battle symphony. They say that we don’t belong. Say that we should retreat. That we’re marching to the rhythm of a lonesome defeat. But the sound of our voices puts the pain in reverse. No surrender, no illusions, and for better or worse … If we fall – get knocked down – pick ourselves up off the ground. When they turn down the lights, we’ll hear our battle symphony – all the world in front of us! If our armor breaks, we’ll just fuse it back together. Battle symphony. Please, let’s not give up on us. And my eyes are wide awake for our battle symphony.

{Words Adapted by Linkin Park’s “Battle Symphony”}

Okay, that’s all for now. Oh, wait, except for this: Phoenixes don’t fallWE RISE!

I love all three of you! Myself included!

~ Me

OCTOBER 15, 2021: “THIS Me & THAT Me” …

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m an avid “Quora” writer. As such, I recently saw this question posted, to which was my honest answer was THIS:

Once upon a time, I was a train wreck of a woman, mentally ill, with a victim mentality, MUCH too comfortable living in my own toxicity, and far too weak and scared to begin the painful and arduous process of pulling my own damn broken head out of my ass and fighting my way out of the FARCE of a life I was living.

Then something changed … I OPENED UP MY EYES AND TOOK A COLD, HARD LOOK IN THE MIRROR. The person I saw standing there was the girl who was too blame for the beginning of her self destruction. So, I decided to become the beginning of my self belief and QUEENDOM.

While I was “that me”, I ruined a lot of things I loved. I RUINED A LOT OF PEOPLE I LOVED! Way too many to count. Mostly though? I RUINED MYSELF! THEN I WOKE UP! Now I’m “this me”, who is MUCH much better, and although I’m extremely thankful for all the SHIT I put my own self through and all the pain and suffering I endured in the process, I wouldn’t want to be “that me” ever again, and never will.

Hi! My name is The REAL Cat Williamson. I’m a warrior, motivator, and a SURVIVOR! The biggest challenge I have survived is MYSELF. For the record, I’m not “bragging” about all the things and people I ruined. I’m just being honest. Brutal honesty about myself and WITH myself was the first step to becoming “this me”.

DEAR YOUNGER ME

Dear younger me: Where do I start? If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far, then you could be one step ahead of all the painful memories still running thru my head. I wonder how much different things would be. Dear younger me, dear younger me: I cannot decide. Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life, or do I go deep and try to change the choices that you’ll make, ’cause they’re choices that made me. Even though I love this crazy life, sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride dear younger me. Dear younger me: If I knew then what I know now, condemnation would’ve had no power. My joy, my pain, would’ve never been my worth. If I knew then what I know now, it would’ve not been hard to figure out what I would’ve changed if I had heard – “Dear younger me: It’s not your fault. You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross. Dear younger me: You are holy. You are righteous. You are one of the redeemed, set apart, a brand new heart – you are free indeed. Every mountain, every valley, thru each heartache you will see that every moment brings you closer to who you were meant to be, dear younger me. {Mercy Me}

OCTOBER 11, 2021: “Let ‘Em Go” …

Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO!

‘Cause, sometimes it’s just like that, and guess what? IT’S OKAY! Indeed it is true … “Your life is YOUR life”. You only get one spin around this globe each day my friends, and truth be told, none of us knows when our last spin around is coming. My point being: Life’s too short and precious to let anything or anyone club you down to the ground and steal your fucking light. Just, say, NO! Oh, and one more thing …

NEVER feel bad for “not feeling bad” when the people, places, and sometimes even memories don’t make the final cut. You are allowed to be happy, at peace, and free from the deadweight of all those toxic fronds. Besides, you can’t grow any new leaves without losing the dead ones first. Meanwhile, the garden of your life is patiently waiting for you, and has been all the while, so I say GET TO PRUNING! While you’re busy trimming things down, here’s another one of those songs you can sing to yourself as you’re practicing self love and care and letting some fallen leaves go …

LET IT GO

Wait it out ’til the light. Take a breathe, say good night, but don’t ever go away. Wait around to find the time. Only you can take what’s mine, but don’t ever go away. I’ll be waiting’. I need to let it go. Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. No more reasons to deny that I believed that you were mine. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO! A chance to change or stay the same. One night with out the blame that’ll never go away. Only you can make it right – to walk away and have no fight – but don’t ever go away. I’ll be waiting. I need to let it go. Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO! No more reasons to deny that I believed that you were mine. I NEED TO LET IT GO … {Cavo}

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021: “Heavy” …

… that moment he sends you yet another one of his cryptic music messages the day after suffering yet another “heavy” loss, and you’re only response after finally listening to the “heavy” song he sent you is this:

I just finally listened to this song. I’d never heard it before, believe it or not. I wanted to wait until I was in a calmer headspace from everything that happened this weekend. Now I’m crying.

Son, I know you don’t like your mind right now, but remember that all these “problems” are stacking up for something bigger than either of us will ever understand. They seem “unnecessary”, but believe it or not, they are very much “necessary”. I wish I could slow things down too sometimes, but we CAN’T let go. Chester said it best – “there’s comfort in the panic”. I know it’s fucking shitty when things don’t go the way we plan, but you will NEVER understand “the Light” until you’ve made peace with the panic in the dark.

I used to drive my OWN self crazy. Have you met me? I’M YOUR MOTHER! Nothing that you, me, or your sister have had to rise above WAS ever “about us”. Then again, it was. It’s an oxymoron, and it’s so fucking complicated, but then again, not so much. You’ll escape the gravity, just like I have, when you finally learn to stop overthinking the things that aren’t meant to be understood. Everything we go through is meant to change us. We can’t change this shitty ass world, Christian. We can only change ourselves. That’s when we become pebbles in our own little ocean of change.

All I ask of you is to do the best that you can, “just for today”, cut yourself some breaks, and stop giving yourself hell for no reason. You are MY son, no one else’s, and you are better than that monster that lives inside your head. Tell him to go fuck off. That’s what I did. I told that biotch dragon in my brain to go suck on a tailpipe. May she rest in peace. I love you kiddo.

… and just like that, I can’t help but feel that he is getting so close to bringing himself full circle that I hardly fucking stand it. He really is his mother’s son, and if anyone can rise above the mess we all kinda made for him, it’s him. He knows. HE KNOWS! He knows he’s carrying to much of everything on his shoulders. The guilt. The shame. The remorse. THE PAST! I will not rest until I see both of my kids made whole! This weight of this world is way too fucking heavy for anyone to have to carry on their shoulders, now he just needs to KNOW how to let it go.

Dear God:

Hi there, it’s me again, your favorite daughter EVER! I’m asking you please. JUST PLEASE! Please help him set down the piles of SHIT that are weighing him down, so he can start letting go of all the things that are out of his control and holding on to all the things that are. He’s right there on the cusp of every amazing thing You had planned for him in the first place. Please, I’m begging you. PLEASE.

Don’t you remember that day in the hospital? It was 29 years ago this December. That was the day I was struggling between the two names we’d picked out for him: “Wolfgang” or “Christian?” I went with “Christian”, even though at the time You and I weren’t quite on the same page. I mean, I knew that You were real, but I had NO idea who You really were, how much You truly loved me, or that You were already not only a part of my daily existence, but had long been working on my long-term survival plan.

Not a single day has passed since that day that I fell in love with You that I haven’t fully believed that someday he would grow into his beautiful name, and especially over these years of watching him struggle and toil. Of course, You already know that “he’s his mother’s son”, and I suppose that’s the reason You gave him to me and no other mother. Can’t it please just be time now? I love you, and I trust You, but I’m just getting so tired of watching him wander alone inside his own head the way that I used to do. Isn’t time for him to come home, “to himself”, and start living his life as an apostrophe? I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, but could probably do without having to lose another man I love to the darkness inside his own mind. Just sayin’.

HEAVY

I don’t like my mind right now – stacking up problems that are so unnecessary. Wish that I could slow things down – I wanna let go, but there’s comfort in the panic. And I drive myself crazy thinking everything’s about me. Yeah, I drive myself crazy, ’cause I can’t escape the gravity. I’m holding on. Why is everything so heavy? I’m holding on to so much more than I can carry. I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down. If I just let go, I’d be set free. Holding on … Why is everything so heavy? You say that I’m paranoid, but I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me. It’s not like I make the choice to let my mind stay so fucking messy. I know I’m not the center of the Universe, but you keep spinning ’round me just the same. I’m holding on … Why is everything so heavy? If I just let go, I’d be set free. {Linkin’ Park}

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021: “As They Are” …

I ran across a conversation amongst some parents on social media the other day, the subject being, “how they were dealing with the fact that their children didn’t turn out as they’d hoped”. It was perplexing, actually, and after reading the various insights, I had a moment for pause. So, I asked myself the same question. The thing is, I couldn’t really answer that question.

I WAS BLESSED WITH THREE BABIES.

One of them is with her Father in Heaven already, which of course is not what I’d “hoped” for her. Although I was only blessed with her physical presence for a handful of fleeting hours, there have been moments I’ve actually thanked God for getting her out of this sometimes wretched mortal world the rest of us are shackled to sooner rather than later. Let’s be honest folks – regardless of the hope, joy, beauty and laughter to be found in this temporary place we call home, “humanity” is not for the faint of heart, and it takes an immense amount of courage, faith, and even suffering to weather it.

So, yes, I’m thankful that she never had to endure the gauntlet of simply existing. I know where she is now. She is safe, loved, and treasured beyond comprehension by a Love even greater than mine, and for that I am ever grateful. I fully believe that when I myself get to the brighter side of all this grey, she’ll be there waiting for me right beside my husband, who too is eternally safe and free from the abundant suffering he knew here on Earth.

Then there are the two still with me. If I’ve learned anything in my journey thus far, it’s that as their mother, nothing is more important for their mental wealth and than my unconditional love and acceptance of them just as they are, and just as they aren’t.

Due in large part to the extreme dysfunction and toxicity of my childhood, wherein my parents (who were also raised in dysfunctional and toxic homes) perpetuated the “works and deeds” based system of parenting bequeathed to each of them cyclically, I spent the first 39 years of my life void of a reflection in the mirror. “Love, affection, praise, and reward” were earned, not freely given, and even the smallest perceived failure or disappointment in their eyes would often cost me everything.

I cannot tell you how many times they “washed their hands of me” over the years for screwing things up and falling short of their expectations. I was guilted and shamed for “not being good” too many times to count, which eventually cost me my sanity, and almost cost me my life. Meanwhile, here I am. I’ve made peace with my past, my present, and my future, and am fully connected back to that elusive younger me who was missing from the mirror all those years.

This is how I deal with the fact that my children aren’t turning out “as I’d hoped”: I DON’T, BECAUSE THEY ARE! Their mental health and happiness are all I ever hope for either of them. Their lives are their lives, and the only people they need to be accountable to when setting their personal achievement bars is THEMSELVES! No matter how high or low they set them, they will never be failures in my eyes. If they want to grow up and sell lemonade from a bus, so be it, as long as they’re selling the BEST damn lemonade they can possibly sell and they sleep peacefully at night after doing so.

My kids don’t owe me a single thing – not even love and respect. Do they love and respect me? Indeed, I think they do. Yet as oxymoronical as it seems, both love and respect are the consequence of free will and cannot be “commanded”. My babies are not “extensions of me” – they’re their own, autonomous beings. I want them to love and respect me because they want to love and respect me – not because I impose it. They are people, not machines. Their thoughts and feelings are their own. The best I can do is to keep freely giving what I “hope” to receive in return, regardless of their reciprocation.

There is nothing they can do or say that will keep me from being proud of them, and all I ever “ask” for is their very best in all they do, that they grow from their mistakes, learn from all of mine, and treat themselves and others kindly and with grace. Neither of them are perfect, and each has had some challenges courtesy of their own dysfunctional childhood and me, their dear old mom. It took me a minute to pull my head out of my own ass, get the help I needed to become WHOLE, and stop acting like the consummate victim. But I did, and they know it, and we are all in this thing together.

At the end of the day, my job as their mom will be a true success if they learn to see themselves in their mirrors as the impeccably flawed masterpieces they are – lemonade stands and all. My son is a KING in the making, and my daughter a warrior QUEEN just like me. All three of us are battle born SURVIVORS who’ve “gotten” to learn the hard way that nothing here matters without true and unconditional love and acceptance, which they will always have from their mom, and we ALL have from our God. I will always love them as they are – nothing more, nothing less …

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021: “With Love From My Dark Side” …

… because just as sure as this Marianne Williamson quote that has long been a favorite of mine is so very true, it only recently dawned on me that it applies to ourselves as well. So, I tweaked it up a bit, “Real Cat” style …

But why would we even want to embrace our “dark side”? I believe it’s our subconscious need for self-love, acceptance, and connection to our higher power. For me? That “higher power” is God. Look, even the brightest stars can’t shine without the black of night, so sometimes you have to go DEEP into the abyss to find out what you’re really made of and come back out carrying the torch for others.

Everybody’s got a dark side. Do you love me? Can you love mine?

I am so beyond thankful for the very small handful of people who have indeed been brave enough to love me unconditionally, even despite my very dark side, not the least of whom is God Himself. I’m even more thankful that I have reached a place in my journey where I too am able to truly make peace with and embrace other people’s dark side” if that is what I need to do. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … Zachariah Williamson went ZERO, DARK, HOUR in the months before he left. It’s the sobering, tragic truth, and the things he did to me and my daughter would literally blow your mind. Yes, I have truly forgiven him, and yes, I still feel love for him despite the devastating horror his “dark side” brought into our lives in the end.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2021: “Who’s They?” …

The “Quora Question”:

Are humans supposed to be normal or abnormal?

Umm, so I believe humans are “supposed” to be the most authentic version of “what and who they are”, whether that be “normal”, or “abnormal”. As and aside, I personally believe that both those words, “normal” and “abnormal”, are much too subjective to be used as a baseline for humanity. Who exactly sets the standard, and what exactly entitled them to do so?

WHO’S “THEY”?

They say we need to be a certain way to fit the mold, or so they say, but who’s they? How can we pretend to care and bend because we’re told we’re not okay? Who’s they? We can’t go wrong when we all stand tall and we sing the same song. We’ll find it hard not to get along. La da da da da da. La da da da da da. La da da da da da. We’ll find it hard not to sing along. {Daughtry}

In my journey, it’s God who’s “they”. He sets the standard for everything “human”, and even that is subjective, as the personal lens through which I see, understand, and relate to Him is based solely on my unique life experiences thus far. For as much as I believe my conscious is the mode through which God speaks directly to me, I haven’t yet had the chance to sit down and have a conversation with Him about everything He intended to be “standard” for His creation.

So, with that, I really don’t think there’s a viable answer to this question. What’s “normal” to some may be “abnormal” to others. Thus, the human experience, for which I say to “they” …

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021: “Isn’t That Crazy?” …

How often do you think about your death, or even death in general? Does it scare you? Consume you? Fill you with anguish and despair? That’s understandable, of course, but it’s not the way for me.

I can honestly say that I don’t spend much time thinking about death at all, and certainly not my own, because I have made the choice to just live in every moment. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Not even five minutes from now. For all I know, an airplane could come crashing through my window while I’m writing this and Jean Claude Van DAMN I’m outta here!

I have had to learn the very hard way that “Death Is Nothing At All“. Three nails, a crown, and a cross literally hammered that in for me. Sufficed to say, while I definitely do not fear it, I’m not exactly excited about it, because I still have so many things I want to do. But indeed, it’s inevitable, and I made peace with that a long time ago. If I don’t wake up tomorrow, and today was my last trip around the Sun, I leave here knowing I’ve done my best in every thing, and I’m ready, God forbid.

I have an unbreakable bond with the God I know created me and what is waiting for me on “The Brighter Side Of Grey“. So, I blatantly choose to live a life of joy, hope, and gratitude for all that was, all that is, and all that may never be. It’s that “Crazy Grandma Catblind faith theory of mine that keeps my eyes on the prize! I truly believe that one of the worst things that can become a human soul is not embracing the sobering reality that we, are going, TO DIE! Those of us who are lucky enough to finally reach this crossroad understand that we must always

… because guess what folks? WE ARE! Leave no stone unturned and waste no time worrying about the inevitable. There’s literally no time like the present to start squeezing every ounce of everything you were meant to savor in this temporary life. Now, I’m not trying to tell you that we should all jump up and down with joy, like, “Whoopee! I’m gonna kick it”! I’m saying that with a little faith, and a compass set to eternity, the best part of all of this is yet to come. As for me? I’ve been called “crazy” by so many people, for so many reasons, at so many points in my life, at this point I embrace it! Being called “crazy” for not being afraid to die? Yah. I’ll wear that little badge with honor!

CRAZY

Why I would I spend my life longing for the day that it would end? Why would I spend my time pointing to another man? Isn’t that crazy? How can I find hope in dying, with promises unseen? How can I learn Your way is better than everything I’m taught to be? Isn’t that crazy? I have not been called to the wisdom of this world, but to a God who’s calling out to me. And even though the world may think I’m losing touch with reality, it would be crazy to choose this world over eternity. And if I boast, let me boast of filthy rags made clean. And if I glory, let me glory in my Savior’s suffering. Isn’t that crazy? And as I live this daily life, I trust you for everything, and I will only take a step when I feel You leading me. Isn’t that crazy? {Mercy Me}

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021: “Maneaters!” …

STOP THE “MAN-EATING”!

Yes, I am an ecumenical abuser, and 5,000% believe that what’s good for the goose is even better for the gander. Show me a perfect woman, anywhere, EVER, and I’ll tell you that Jesus’s mom, Mary, is already dead and gone!

Does anyone care to know how many men I was a train wreck DISASTER to before I pulled myself together and became so “mentally wealthy”? Not that I’m proud of it, but yup, IT’S THE SOBERING TRUTH! Some of my former toxic behaviors and mindsets were indeed the real problem in some of my past relationships. I’m no angel, never was, never will be, and ZERO am I a victim “because I’m a woman”.

We ALL can behave badly, regardless of our gender, so check yourself in the mirror before you marry yourself to the ass backwards idea that “ALL MEN” are worthless assholes.

Here’s the deal folks …

I have raised a son. I’ve been BLESSED to have been loved by and known a few TRULY good men. It’s a major trigger to me when I hear a woman cursing the name of “MAN”! Sorry. NOT SORRY! It’s GROSS, overdone, and toxic.

By the way girls, it’s not a competition: “Us v. Them”. It’s a collaboration! We all have power and value to bring to the table. Respect for each other’s roles (oh, SNAP, I said the “r” word) is first and foremost when setting up that table to foster ideal circumstances. And this concludes my five minutes of contribution to society for the day. Carry on now.

AUGUST 22, 2021: “Everywhere” …

Zachariah …

I don’t know exactly how to express what I am feeling right now, other than to just write these words of gratitude. Not a day goes by since you had to leave this place – two years ago this night – that we don’t see you, hear you, and feel you in every space we are, and I don’t think that will ever change. Even with all the things you broke, and the unspeakable ways you hurt us both in your literal insanity, I look around at “everywhere” and marvel at the life you left behind for us “from the ground up” from the broken pieces the people who were supposed to love you left you in.

It’s my truest prayer that you can still “see us” and you know we’re doing okay. No, better than okay. We’re not just QUEENS – we’re the ENIGMAS you loved back to lifeeven despite yourself. You’re in all our conversations, every one of our smiles, all the songs we sing, and the endless joy and laughter we embrace. The enormous light you left behind us has fully engulfed that last bit of your darkness, and now only “the brighter side” of your legacy lives on in every precious ounce of our grey.

It was an honor to call you ours, and only ever ours. It always was and always will be. Though you’re not physically “here” with us, you’re still everywhere, in everything, and I suppose that’s just the way it was supposed to be. You were one of our most beautiful seasons, but seasons must surely change. We love you. We miss you. We won’t ever forget you. We’ll just take you how we have you into the rest of our days on this Earth until we can see you again.

Today, we decided not to shed a tear. God knows we deserve better. Instead, we’re just leaving some of your ashes at the pier, then have Red Robin teriyaki burgers in your honor.

Us

AUGUST 11, 2021: “When Angels Fall” …

… and again with these Facebook “Memories” that either are or are not driving me insane!

“7 years ago” today …

… 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?

Little did I know what was lying in wait ahead of me just “5 years and 11 days later”.

If you’ve been following this Diary, you know that, yes, I have forgiven him for everything he did, which, PS, is more than anyone can fathom. As I’ve cryptically said before, and trust me when I reiterate, there is so much more that happened in his bat-shit fucking CRAZY psychosis than the world outside of our immediate family will ever know.

Short of that, NO, I still don’t think that suicide is selfish. You see, I too have been in that place and survived my own suicide attempt on November 8,1996. So, with that, I say this, and will hold steadfast to this thought eternally …

If you think that suicide is selfish, then you’ve obviously never been truly suicidal yourself. Even angels fall.

{Author Unknown}

WHEN ANGELS FALL

I tried try to face the fight within, but it’s over. I’m ready for the riot to begin and surrender. I walked the path that led me to the end. Remember. I’m caught beneath with nothing left to give forever. When angels fall with broken wings – I can’t give up, I can’t give in. When all is lost and daylight ends, I’ll carry you and we will live forever. Forever. Grey skies will chase the light away no longer. I fought the fight, now only dark remains. Forever. Divided I will stand, and I will let this end. When angels fall with broken wings – I can’t give up, I can’t give in. When all is lost and daylight ends, I’ll carry you and we will live forever. Forever. The Sun begins to rise and wash away the sky. The turning of the tide. Don’t leave it all behind! And I will never say goodbye – when angels fall. {Breaking Benjamin}

JULY 31, 2021: “Padded Rooms” …

Indeed it’s true – I really DID survive my own insanity, and one of THE most stigmatic, complicated, and difficult to treat mental illnesses in the book. (Yes, there is an actual book.) Other than my faith, my children, and knowing FULLY what my purpose in this life is, my “insanity survival” is one of my most treasured badges of honor!

Hi everyone! It’s me, Cat! Once upon a time, I lost my own damn mind – LITERALLY – not figuratively – and here I am to effing brag about it! How do ya like me now?

If you are struggling with “insanity” right now, please let me assure you:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Take a look around. Look left. Look right. Chances are that one of those “normal” people standing right beside you may be struggling with some insanity of their own. Mental illness doesn’t always LOOK like insanity. So often, it just hides behind a “Look how normal I am everyone!” smile. Don’t be ashamed – GET HELP! There is a Light at the end of your Darkness.

Much love to you all …

“Crazy Cat”

JULY 26, 2021: “The Divine Apostrophe” …

She had come to believe that the dark days of the past made her impossibly strong. It was years before she realized she was wrong. She was forged from steel at the onset of His design. “Strong” is what she was.Light” is who she’d be. The darkness merely forced her to prove it.

As she was pulled towards her destiny with a blind faith that swathed her in grace, her “should have been” broken soul remained unbroken. She never stopped believing in God and love, and refused to be a jaded victim. She was that girl who smiled every time it rained, danced after her life unraveled, and rejected the devil’s lie that life was not worth living. Then, right on cue, the vividly colored palette she’d been handed by The Master began morphing into the grey that infused her canvas.

She had to rewrite her fairytale ending an infinite number of times, but never once did she cower at the thought of starting over. Deep in her being, she’d somehow always known that endings were just beginnings, and even the most beautiful seasons had to change.

Each time the abyss tried to steal the crown from her head, she’d adapt, survive, and emerge from her cocoon the ungroundable Phoenix that she was. Indeed she was a creation of Light that simply could not be dimmed. God’s own divine apostrophe ….

I’m an apostrophe. I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see. I’m just a product of the system. A catastrophe, and yet a masterpiece, and yet I’m half diseased. And when I am deceased, at least I’ll go down to the grave and die happily. Leave the body and my soul to be a part of thee. I’ll do what it takes.

{“Whatever It Takes” … Imagine Dragons}

“She” is me!

“She” can be YOU!

If you are stumbling in the dark, please let me to encourage you. PICK UP THE CROWN THAT THE DARKNESS KICKED OFF YOUR HEAD AND PUT IT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS! Not just for you, but for the others who are standing beside you. They may need your light to see the way out of their own darkness!

We are all created from perfection.

We are ALL divinely inspired.

We are ALL a product of the Light this world wants to extinguish.

Find the faith that is buried beneath all your ashes and the Light you just can’t see right now will radiate from your soul. Before you know it, you’ll be punctuating this world with all the things mortal eyes can’t see.

JULY 7, 2021: “Nothing” …

I want you to know that YOU ARE AMAZING! I may not know you – but I do know this … you’re a freaking ROCK STAR!

Claim it!

Own it!

BE IT!

It’s not “you against them” – IT’S YOU AGAINST YOU! The Force is with you, because it’s INSIDE YOU, and it has been all the while. You just have to STAND UP AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR to find it. But remember:

Nothing’s ever gonna change if you don’t stand up and you don’t say nothing. Waiting on better days, but they won’t show up if you don’t do nothing. Deep down it hurts that I can’t do a thing. My eyes are bleeding, they’re glued to the screen. Headlines are monsters that everyone honors. Blink if it hurts you to see what I see. Both eyes have witnessed this catastrophe. Stand at the altar, swear me a promise. Don’t you surrender! NO! Put a needle in your coffin counting all your losses. You’re not safe! If you only gotta stand up, STAND UP! Face with the truth in the demons we see. Fist to the sky, tell me what you believe! Put down your weapons! Put down your weapons! If you’ve been kicked down, get back to your feet! No turning back now, no there’s no retreat! When they hear us running, they’ll know we’re coming. Don’t you surrender! NO! There’s no surrender! Stand up! Stand up! {Papa Roach}

MARCH 15, 2021: “I’m Free” …

Thank you so much to anyone who ever takes the time out of their life to watch my videos or reads this Diary. I know that I am a little “too much” of everything, and my open, raw, transparent vulnerability is NOT for the faint of heart. So be it, and I totally understand. There’s an ass for every seat, so if you don’t like what I have to say, just swipe past me. It’s all good. In the meantime, I really AM trying so hard to be a Light in all this “dark”, and every day I’m a work in my progress. I’m still not sure exactly where my journey is going to take me, and more so than that, whether there even IS a “final destination”. Knowing there is an “end” in sight would make my journey static, boring, and “why bother”, if that makes sense. I’m thinking my journey IS “the destination”, and was, therefore, never meant to be ended with a “period”, ONLY ever a “semi-colon”, because my story is never going to be over! Even when I’m gone, if I’ve played my cards well, the pebbles that I’ve dropped into the ocean that is my life will live through my children and any other lives my story touches.

This weekend has been another important “destination” in my journey, as I have finally put some much needed closure out into the Cosmos with a blog post to the father I’ve been warring with in silence for YEARS. It was something that should have happened a LONG time ago, lest I be the world biggest living hypocrite with my “Only Light Can Kill The Darkness” platform, yet not forgiving the “HURT people” who have hurt ME. This morning I feel lighter than I have in as long as I can remember, regardless of the fact that knowing my father the way I do, there is a fair enough chance that he will neither read my words OR accept them. But, I said them, nonetheless, because it was the right thing for me to do.

Dad, if you ever see this …

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Cathy

FREE

The sun was beating down inside the walls of stone and razor wire as we made our way across the prison yard. I felt my heart begin to race as we drew nearer to the place where they say that death is waiting in the dark. The slamming doors of iron echoed through the halls where despair holds life within its cruel claws. But then I met a man whose face seemed so strangely out of place. A blinding light of hope was shining in his eyes. And with repentance in his voice, he told me of his tragic choice that led him to this place where he must pay the price. But then his voice grew strong as he began to tell about The One he said had rescued him from Hell. He said I’m free, yeah, oh, I have been forgiven. God’s love has taken off my chains and given me these wings. And I am free, yeah, yeah, and the freedom I’ve been given is something that not even death can take away from me. Because I’m free. Jesus set me free. We said a prayer and said good-bye, and tears began to fill my eyes as I stepped back out into the blinding sun. And even as I drove away, I found that I could not escape the way he spoke of what the grace of God had done. I thought about how sin had sentenced us to die, and how God gave His only Son so you and I could say “I’m free, yeah, oh, I have been forgiven. God’s love has taken off my chains and given me these wings. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

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

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

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

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

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

THIS credit is LONG overdue!

MAY 24, 2020: “Reopening A Gift” …

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THE GIFT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Break Free"

BREAK FREE

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

I’m sure you’ve heard me say that I have suffered from, battled, and overcome a mental illness. I’m not sure, however, that I’ve ever said which one. “So, Cat, which mental illness was it?” DRUM ROLL PLEASE – wait for it – wait for it – wait for it:

Hi! I’m Cat Williamson, f/k/a “Girl, Interrupted“. I HAVE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (“BPD”). Well, I did that is. This month marks the seventh year of my recovery, and I’d like to tell you about it.

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

WAS THIS ME?

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

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

THIS REALLY HAPPENED?

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

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

DID I DO ANY OF THESE?

Check √ Check √ CHECK √

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

There is a very cruel woman in this world who used my mental illness to bludgeon and emotionally blackmail me in an attempt to socially posture herself while I was in a weakened state. She was a nursing student who claimed to have studied clinical psychology and someone I truly considered a friend, who after I was foolish enough to entrust with my precious vulnerabilities, set out to literally destroy me. Not only did she threaten to report me to the Texas Real Estate Commission in an attempt to have my license revoked, but she also “exposed me” to our very small school community. Thus became my daughter’s descent into social ostracization, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts of her own after being surrounded by her classmates on the playground one day and asked, “Is it true that your mom is a sociopath who’s been in a mental hospital and is unsafe to be around children”? Yes, that really fucking happened! The “first do no harm” medical professional leveled both me and my daughter with my “girl interrupted” secret.

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

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

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

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

My name is Cat Williamson.

I had Borderline Personality Disorder.

Now I’m the

“GIRL, UNINTERRUPTED”

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

Overview Of BPD

 “Borderline Personality Disorder Test

Borderline Resources

APRIL 1, 2009: “He Remembers – EVERYTHING” …

~ The Phoenix Collaborative ~

… that moment your son sends you a bittersweet cryptic text message at 3 o’clock in the morning, and although you’re glad that he’s finally telling you how he really feels about all the ways you’ve let him down … it’s a Five Finger DEATH PUNCH straight to your heart. What he doesn’t know is that my heart is breaking even more than his, because I have to live with the sobering, tragic truth that I’m the one who’s broken his.

Dear God:

Please. Help me. Help me help them. Please. Help me find a way to unbreak my own heart, so that I can stop breaking theirs. They … will remember … EVERYTHING.

REMEMBER EVERYTHING

Dear mother, I love you. I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough. Dear Father, forgive me, ’cause in your eyes, I just never added up. In my heart I know I failed you, but you left me here alone. If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? ‘Cause I remember everything. If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets? ‘Cause I remember everything. Dear brother, just don’t hate me for never standing by you, or being by your side. Dear sister, please don’t blame me. I only did what I thought was truly right. It’s a long and lonely road when you know you walk alone. If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? ‘Cause I remember everything. If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets? ‘Cause I remember everything. I feel like running away. I’m still so far from home. You say I’ll never change but what the fuck do you know? I’ll burn it all to the ground before I let you run. Please forgive me. I can’t forgive you now … It all went by so fast. I still can’t change the past. I always will remember – everything. If we could start again, would that change the end? We remember – everything. {Five Finger Death Punch}