DECEMBER 9, 2021: “The Sea Of Madness” …

Who is making the world so crazy some times? Why is it so?

{“The Quora Question”}

HUMAN BEINGS ARE WHO MAKE THE WORLD CRAZY! Why is that so? Read these poignant and powerful lyrics to one of my favorite songs of all times by one of my favorite bands of all times:

Out in the street somebody’s crying. Out in the night the fires burn. Maybe tonight somebody’s crying – reached the point of no return. Oh, my eyes they see but I can’t believe. Oh, my heart is heavy as I turn my back and leave. Like the eagle and the dove, fly so high on wings above when all you see can only bring you sadness. Like a river we will flow. On towards the sea we go when all you do can only bring you sadness out on the sea of madness. Somewhere I hear a voice that’s calling. Out in the dark there burns a dream. You got to hope when you are falling to find the world that you have seen. Oh, my eyes they see but I can’t believe. Oh, my heart is heavy as I turn my back and leave. It’s madness! The sun don’t shine out the sea of madness. There ain’t no wind to fill your sails. Madness!

It’s the darkest, most twisted and tragic truth of all. This world we live in can indeed drive even the best us to literal insanity. The best that we can do is just “the best that we can do” while trying to keep our mind and not our eyes focused on what lies beyond the vail.

Let’s be honest people – humanity is not for the faint of heart, and only the strongest survive it unscathed with their heart and soul in the one cohesive unit from whence they first began. Don’t get me wrong, the hope is still very much here, it’s just this fucking WORLD and all the people in it that destroy our vision of eternity and desecrate our spirit.

I keep my mind’s eye focused on The Cross to keep from drowning in the sea of madness. These days I see myself as an actual risen phoenix ever soaring above it all. My gravity defying steel wings may be invisible, but trust me when I say they’re behind me. I’m forged of fire and Light, and power and grace, all of which are impermeable and infinite.

As and aside, I find it no coincidence that the day I saw this question posed on Quora, I’d had just spent the morning drive to school with my daughter listening to this song, because that’s how my beautiful life works. I was explaining to her how when I was just about her age and first stumbled upon this song, every time I’d listen to it I would literally close my eyes and imagine that I was an albatross flying high above the water. But then she quickly stopped me and said:

No, momma, you are not an albatross. You’re something much better than an albatross.

Little did she know that not two minutes after she got out of the car, I had to pull into a parking lot near her school to contemplate the magnitude of what she’d said. Based upon the fact that after she’d spoke those beautiful words I was immediately flooded with emotions, I knew I needed to stop somewhere and sit with my thoughts so that perhaps they’d come full circle. So, I googled the word “albatross” and this is something I found:

If you describe something or someone as an albatross around your neck, you mean that they cause you great problems from which you cannot escape, or they prevent you from doing what you want to do.

Wow! Just WOW! When I think of all those years gone by that I pictured myself as that spectacular bird just soaring across that ocean, I am actually astonished. Up until today, it was a correlation that I was proud of, but how could I have been so wrong? Although an albatross is indeed a formidable creature, it’s life isn’t exactly the stuff of fantastical dream. Sure, they can ride the wind for hours on end with neither rest nor flap of wing and can go years without ever touching solid ground, but they’re also very lonely, are constantly in a state of survival, and never really find a stable place to call home.

Truth being told, I suppose I was an albatross for way too many years to count, so perhaps that’s why I never realized that such a connotation about myself was negative. Even more truth being told, in so many ways I used to be the albatross around my own neck. Until I found a better set of wings, I am the one who prevented me from doing all of the things I wanted to do. But that was then, this is now, and good GRIEF was my daughter ever right when she said I was “something much better than an albatross”. I’m a fucking risen QUEEN, my wings are now made of FIRE, and although as my “phoenixing above all this madness” does keep me afloat more so than not, my metaphorical feet are always on the ground now at the place where I call home: ME.

NOVEMBER 25, 2021: “The Gauntlet” …

… because sometimes you have to choose to protect your own “mental wealth” over showing up at the obligatory NOT so “family meal” for the sake of everyone else’s feelings or “doing the right thing”. Is it selfish? Umm … YAH! Guess what people?

BEING SELFISH IS ALLOWED!

The holidays are meant for going home and spending time with family, but let’s face it, not everyone has a family to go home to – OR – whereas their “family” might physically exist, it’s just not a safe place to go back to.

THAT BEING SAID …

We all have a home when our “home” is where we are! My true HOME is with ME, and here there is no medieval gauntlet to run through. No toxicity. No hatred. No judgment. No guilt. No shame. No yelling. No screaming. No anxiety. No nausea. No cringing. No crying. No suffering! NO HAVING TO TAKE YOURSELF OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM TO BE MEDICATED AFTER HAVING A PANIC ATTACK AT “FAMILY DINNER”!

It took me fifty something years to finally figure out that there are no rules to this game, so stop playing by everyone ELSE’S rules if they make you physically ILL!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this beautiful American holiday, especially the “alone but NOT lonely” like me. For the record, I am so beyond thankful that I have arrived at this place in life where I can choose to allow myself every bit of the power, grace, and unconditionally safe love I want to receive from this cosmos. If, like me, “going home” literally feels like walking on not just eggshells, but razor blades, nails, glass, quicksand, land mines AND eggshells … then just chose YOU and STAY “HOME“! Your family is YOU and the ONE parent who will NEVER forsake you … God. These days when I sing this song, it’s HIM who I am singing it to.

HOME

I’m staring out into the night, trying to hide the pain. I’m going to the place where love and feeling good don’t ever cost a thing and the pain you feel’s a different kind of pain. Well, I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me. I’m not running from, no, I think you got me all wrong. I don’t regret this life I chose for me, but these places and these faces are getting old. So I’m going home, well I’m going home. The miles are getting longer it seems, the closer I get to you. I’ve not always been the best man or friend for you, but your love remains true and I don’t know why. You always seem to give me another try. So I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me. I’m not running from, no, I think you got me all wrong. I don’t regret this life I chose for me, but these places and these faces are getting old. Be careful what you wish for ’cause you just might get it all. You just might get it all and then some you don’t want. Be careful what you wish for ’cause you just might get it all. You just might get it all, yeah. Oh, well I’m going home, back to the place where I belong and where your love has always been enough for me. {Daughtry}

NOVEMBER 17, 2021: “It’s GOOD To Be Alive” …

… because for every time I, myself, was my very own worst enemy, “hammer in hand” and all, having to just sit back now and watch helplessly as one of the very few human beings I’ve ever truly loved wields that same familiar hammer is all but fucking devouring me! That Godforsaken mallet has been smashing the hearts, minds, and souls of everyone whose ever touched it for only GOD knows how long. In the meantime …

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. As for me and mine? It’s SO GOOD to be alive!

TO BE ALIVE

I know you don’t believe it like I believe it. Oh no, it’s not your fault – you sit alone inside a room – wait for the world to come to you. They never do. It must be something that you can’t let go. It hurts that you won’t let me know. Every time you want to, any time I touch you, I can’t help to be myself. I hold on to this moment – any time is right to be alive. And then in conversation, I love the way you mention, “nothing’s ever gone your way” with a hammer in your hand. You spell out a master plan. You never learn. It must be somebody holding your heart. Something that tears us apart. Every time you want to, any time I touch you, I can’t help to be myself. I hold on to this moment – any time is right to be alive. And I don’t think that it’s right to let love pass by. Any time of life, it’s good to be alive. {Def Leppard}

OCTOBER 31, 2021: “Good GOODBYE!” …

No, but seriously …

I’m on a wicked house cleaning tangent these days, ’cause even us Lights in the dark have their limits. I mean, c’mon, I may be a queen, but I’m only a mortal one, so, Jean-Claude Van DAMN thank you …

BOUNDARIES!

They’re what’s for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner, and for midnight frigging snacks. I wasted far too many years and far too much of my precious energy not understanding that the people who were meant to be in my life would only be sticking around if I say so.

I am power, grace, and beauty forever rising, and though I will always love human beings with warm blood running through their veins, holding space in my almost bottomless heart for those who can’t hold the same space for me is just not in my wheelhouse. As you may have heard me say in the past if you’ve been paying enough attention in here, I have had to the devil himself for crimes against me and mine that should NEVER have been forgiven. My point being that at this juncture on my journey, although I may often and even quickly extend grace and forgiveness to the sometimes undeserving masses, I don’t really spend much time waiting around for people to change. I have no time for toxic human wastelands and the negative energy that emits from their bubble.

Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT! I am THE nicest BITCH you’ll ever wanna know, but these drinking straws of mine are PRICELESS. So, if you really, REALLY want one of ’em, you best bring your A-Game for me, ’cause momma ain’t playin’ around no MO! I’m in this to WIN it, and lions don’t associate with sheep. Unless, of course, they’re having them for dinner! But hey, THAT’S a different story for another day!

(“Drinking Straw Parasites“)

I gotta big ole shiny Queendom I’m runnin’ over here with just enough people in it who do hold space for me/ So, I no longer accept scraps, bullshit, or anything less than what I bring to the table from anyone. For those truly unfortunates people who don’t end up making the cut? Well, I’m sorry, but I’m NOT sorry ’boutcha. The happiest, smiliest, nicest bitch EVER landlord is here, and the rent is way past due. So, say goodbye and hit the road … pack it up and disappear! You better have some place to go, ’cause you can’t come back around here.

GOOD GOOBYE!

OCTOBER 28, 2021: “Peopling” …

Look, it’s not as though I’m that hard to get along with, it’s just that I’m very particular about who and what I allow into my strange little bubble, and even more particular about the strings I allow to attach to my soul. For those who get it right, being “too close” to me is a veritable rabbit hole trip to wonderland! For those who don’t, umm, maybe not so much, because more so than not, I’ve usually already left the party before I get there. It still doesn’t change the fact that if and when I’m truly comfortable with someone, I literally NEVER shut up the fuck up. If you know, you know. If you don’t, you don’t. Sorry ’boutcha!

Am I proud of this either fatal or God given flaw and it’s accompanying elusiveness, silent exits, and “door slams“? Maybe. Maybe not. You see, at this point I’m not even remotely interested in trying to understand the often “difficult” way I am. As I’ve oft said before, some things just aren’t meant to be understood, and my “you don’t ever wanna get too close to me” personality is one of them. What I do know by now is that, indeed, I am the consummate INFJ “slammer”:

INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judgment. The INFJ is believed to be the rarest of all types, making up only 1-2 percent of the U.S. population — which explains why this personality type frequently feels isolated and misunderstood.

{“What Is the INFJ Door Slam, and Why Do INFJs Do It? … by Introvert Dear}

Keep in mind that no one ever gets the same me twice. Once I’ve decided that something isn’t working, although I may peacefully coexist in the same atmosphere with them, the “me” that comes after I’ve realized I’m too close to something that isn’t in my wheelhouse usually doesn’t come with emotion. As you can imagine, this tends to make me seem like a cold, heartless, “untrusting” bitch, and it definitely hasn’t won me any popularity contests. I’m anything but your ordinary run of the mill kinda human being, I’m tellin’ ya, and that’s just the way that it is.

Trust me when I say that my dance card is never full, and hell NO I’m not that girl who is inundated with girls’ nights out or invitations to pretty much anything. Rather, I’m that girl who teases the masses with the chance of touching my soul, but when they try to get too close and I’m simply not feeling their energy, I slap there fucking hand away and run for the hills! It is what it is, I am who I am, and I’m pretty damn fucking okay with it. On the rare occasion that I do get included in a social gathering with people I feel connected to, I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN frigging delightful! “Peopling” either brings out the best in me or nothing at all, and I have ZERO interest in the surface level of anything. I’d much rather be “alone, but not lonely” than in an ocean chock full of way too many fish who aren’t really transmitting to my motherboard.

Hi everyone, it’s me, Cat! While I can indeed be overly sensitive, at least I’m in touch with my feelings and allow myself to have them. I suppose I am rather difficult to get to know, because yes I do have WICKED high expectations, but umm, have you met me? I’m a queen, and not only can queens not be friends with everyone, why would they want to anyway? So, with that, congratu-fucking-lations to anyone who’s had the privilege and honor of knowing me, and even more so to the few who ever will. My uber-selective inner sanctum is one of THE best places to GET to be. At the end of the day, although the light from my halo is loving, warm and endearing, it will burn your fucking eyes out if you’re not strong enough to stand near it. Please ONLY bring your A-game … I’ll settle for NOTHING less … I’ll see right your bullshit AND throw it back in your face, ’cause (PS) not only am I not afraid to be alone, I rather much enjoy it. To know me is to love me, but ONLY if you’re lucky!

{“I’m A Freak Of The World“}

So, step right up and enjoy the Real Cat freak show, my friends, or don’t, ’cause either way, I’m good. I no longer feel the need to apologize for my, err, “uniqueness”, and fucking embrace my very private world and the intuition that shrouds and protects it. There’s the door all you “people”, so, unless we’re gonna do this “peopling” thing for REAL, you might want to run as far away from that door as possible, lest it hit you in the face!

The bottom line is this …

The only “people” who have ever been able to decipher the secret language of my soul are those very few who knew how to read it before I even spoke a word. Kinda like that time I fell head over heels in love with a man whose very first meaningful conversation with me started with, Catherine? Can I ask you a question? Do you even OWN a hairbrush??” That’s the REAL stuff that brings out the best in me. No blowing smoke up my ass necessary, just, “Wow, you look like shit!”

It seems that more and more these days, people are merely staring at and sizing each other up with their eyes and not their naked souls. BEHOLD! It’s the grand illusion of dress up and pretend where no one is ever really what they seem, and umm, I’m so not down with living a life of farce anymore. Trust me when I say that this Cat ain’t going backwards! God Himself knows it even took me more than four decades to learn how to crack my own code.

At the end of the day, only genuine connection makes me feel at home in unfamiliar places, and now that I’ve realized that my most genuine connection is right here with me, I’ll be hangin’ here in my Queendom unless or until someone can ignite my fire with a spark from theirs. Until then, imma stay up here on the mountain and just watch all the “peopling” going on down below and thanking God that I don’t have to do it anymore. If I’ve learned anything whatsoever in my “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-Be-True” years, it’s that nothing feels as lonely as being in a room full of people you know you don’t belong with. Been there, done that, and I’m done!

Catherine? Can I ask you a question? Do you even OWN a hairbrush?

TOO CLOSE

Checking out so soon? How long you been planning this? Is it something that I missed? I really thought that I was breaking through to you. Did you run out of room? You said that you would take the risk, and now you can’t handle it? You took what you can get and now you’re through. I can tell by the look on your face that it’s time for you to make an escape. It’s my mistake. I never listened when you said, “Don’t ever get too close, too close, too close to me. You don’t want to get too close, too close, too close to me. Don’t ever get too close, too close, too close to me. I had to find out – find out for myself. I always knew I’d be the one to take the hit, but I guess I just can’t resist all the mystery surrounding you. I’m so confused. There are just too many twists. I’ll never get away from it. I should’ve known you were too good to be true. I can tell by the look on your face that it’s time for you to make an escape. Why do you keep me at a distance? Why are you always so resistant? Don’t want to wonder any longer – wonder when you’ll say, “Don’t never get too close, too close, too close for me. I guess I’ll have to find out – find out for myself. {Trapt}

OCTOBER 24, 2021: “God’s Favorite Daughter” …

I’m Cat Williamson. The REAL Cat Williamson, not the fake one! I’m the Queen of the world who has crossed over to the upside of everything, yet the most wretched but not Godforsaken woman in all the land.

Look at me!

Yes, look at me! I really AM just like the Sun. I’ll burn out your eyes, get under your skin, then blow out your eardrums with my words. I speak the TRUTH, damnit! So, love me or hate me, ’cause I literally just don’t care. Nothing about me is anyone else’s concern unless I allow it to be, just as NOTHING anyone thinks about me is any of mine. I’m the FIRST of me and the last of me, ’cause there’s never gonna be another one LIKE me, and I’m STILL the luckiest woman on this planet!

I am small. I am big. I’m an oxymoron. I’m an apostrophe. I am perfect. I am FLAWED! I’m a pebble skipped across a pond that’s valueless and valued both at once. I truly am power, grace, and beauty rising“. I have the world’s biggest ego and the confidence of a lioness, yet I’m humbled by my absolute insignificance.

If I’ve learned anything of value in my “fifty-TWO-good-to-be-true” years on this Earth, it’s that once a person has seen themselves through God’s eyes before a mirror, not only will their soul never be the same again, but they’ll never see this world and the people living in it the same way again, either. I’m so thankful for what I see when I stand before a mirror now. I SEE HIM!

I’m God’s ACTUAL

Favorite Daughter!

So, too, are youGod’s favorite child“, by the way, but not until you take ownership of that crown He adorned your head with and wear it proudly with power and grace.

WHO I AM …

Look at me, I am the Sun – I’ll blind your eyes, the only one. Look at me, when night sings blues – I’m the only one, yes I’m your muse. Look at me, make no mistake – Fashioned with earth, molded with clay. I’ll tell you how I face the day – LIVE LIFE, RAISE HELL, LEFT NOTHING UNDONE. Who I am? Who am I to you? You know, dammit, I SPEAK THE TRUTH TO YOU! Who I am? Who am I to you? Why can’t I be who I am? Look at me – I’m not like you. I’m number one, not number two. Look at me – a pride and joy. I came to win. I came to destroy! Look at me. Look in my eyes. Heart of a lion. I’ll fight till I die! Life’s too short to expect less. Even when I fall, I get up swinging. Who I am, who am I to you? You know, dammit, I SPEAK THE TRUTH TO YOU! Who I am? Who am I to you? Why can’t I be who I am? Who I am? Who am I to me? You know, dammit, I SPEAK THE TRUTH! You see ho I am! Who am I to me? I just wanna be who I am. {Scott Stapp}

OCTOBER 18, 2021: “Our Battle Symphony” …

To My Son, 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 from Linkin Park’s “Battle Symphony”}

Okay, that’s all for now. Oh, wait, except for this: Phoenixes don’t fall – WE RISE – and we always stick together, even when we’re flying solo! I love all THREE of you!

~ 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:

ME. It was ME who ruined something I loved!

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”.

{The Real Cat Williamson On Quora}

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 we don’t know when that last spin is coming. Life’s too short to let anything or anyone club you down to the ground and steal your fucking light, so just … say … NO!

NEVER feel bad for not feeling bad when the people, places, and even memories don’t make the final cut. You’re allowed to be happy, at peace, and free from the deadweight of all those toxic and sometimes parasite infested fronds. The past is only a point of reference, my friends … not a place to hang pictures and call home. 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. I say GET TO PRUNING! While you’re busy trimming that tree, 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 without 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 the only response you could think to send him 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 NOT the “piece of shit” they always say you are! 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 just way too fucking heavy for anyone to have to carry on their shoulders all alone. He 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 BULLSHIT 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? That was the day I was struggling between the two names we’d picked 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. You already know that “he is his mother’s son”, and I suppose that’s the reason You gave him to me in the first place. 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 about “how they were dealing with the fact that their children didn’t turn out as they’d hoped”. It was perplexing and after reading the various insights, I had to take a moment and pause. So, I asked myself that question, and here is where I landed:

I have had three babies.

One of them is already in Heaven, which of course is not what I’d “hoped” for her. Although I was only blessed with her physical presence for a literal handful of fleeting hours (“handful” meaning that she literally fit in the palm of my hand), there have been moments that I’ve actually thanked God for getting her out of this wretched mortal world the rest of us are shackled too sooner rather than later. Let’s be honest folks – regardless of the hope, joy, beauty and laughter there truly are to be found in this temporary Earthly home, “humanity” is not for the faint of heart and it takes an immense amount of courage, faith, and suffering to survive it.

So, yes, I’m thankful she never had to endure the gauntlet of simply existing. I know where she is now. She’s safe, loved, and treasured beyond comprehension by a Love even greater than mine, and for that I am truly grateful. I 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 suffering he knew here on Earth.

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

Due in part to the extreme dysfunction of my own childhood, wherein my parents (who were also raised in dysfunction) perpetuated the “works and deeds” system of parenting cyclically bequeathed them, 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. Their lives are their lives, and the only human beings 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.

I believe with every shred of my being that the moment these kids became a part of my blood and bones, my job as the mother who was blessed enough to be blessed by their presence on my path was to relearn and reteach “life” according to their own unique terms and being and to prepare them for flight on their own unique paths – not mine!

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 forced or 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 demand it. They ‘re people, not machines, with thoughts and feelings of their own. The best that 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 best in all they do, that they grow from their mistakes, learn from all of mine, and treat themselves and others kindly. Neither of them is perfect, and each has had some challenges courtesy of their own dysfunctional childhood and me. 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 separately.

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 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 now able to truly make peace with and embrace other people’s dark side if that’s what I need to do.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … Zachariah went zero dark hour in the months before he left. It’s the sobering, tragic truth. 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?” …

Are humans supposed to be normal or abnormal?

{The “Quora Question“}

Umm, hi! So, I believe that 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.

{“Who’s They” … by Daughtry}

In my journey, it’s God who’s “they”. It’s God who 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 creation:

… lest you remember that although not a single one of them damn peoples’ nasty, misperceived opinions of you matters, YOUR SELF-REFLECTION DOES! In being honest and taking this even a step further, for me, personally, it’s only my self-reflection through God’s eyes that matters to me. But hey, you know what? My faith journey is my faith journey, and although I do so wish you ALL well on your own faith journeys, that’s a totally different Diary entry for another day. In the meantime, you just do whatever it takes to make friends with that person you see standing in the mirror, because like it or not, that beautiful creature looking back at you is your ride or die from this day ’til eternity! How you feel and what you think of YOU is EVERYTHING …

{“The Stranger In The Mirror“}

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”: To EACH – His OWN! So, if you don’t like the standards and norms that “he” owns, maybe you should spend a little more time worrying about why you even care in the first place and a little more time worrying about the standards and norms that YOU OWN!

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 don’t 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.

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 choose to live a life of joy, hope, and gratitude for all that was, is, and ever may or may not be. It’s my “Crazy Grandma Catblind faith theory that keeps my eyes on the prize, as I truly believe that one of the worst things that can become a human soul is not embracing the reality that we … are going … TO DIE! Those of us who are lucky enough to finally reach this crossroad always live like we are dying, because guess what folks? WE ARE!

Leave no stone unturned and waste no time worrying about the inevitable. There’s 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 saying we should be jumping up and down with joy, like, “Whoop! Imma be takin’ a dirt nap one day!” I’m saying that with a little faith and a compass set to eternity, there is an immense amount of freedom and comfort in knowing that the best part of all of this is yet to come.

The Wager

But, Cat, there’s a pretty good chance that all this crazy ‘God’ stuff isn’t real.

But let me ask you this: WHAT IF IT IS? Are you really willing to hedge that big of a bet with your soul and have your all your hopes and dreams just end in the heart of a graveyard?

True freedom is understanding that some things just aren’t meant to be understood, because they’re NOT, and that having blind faith in all the things we can’t know isn’t as scary it seems. Even if we’re wrong about the things we deaf, dumb, and BLINDLY believe, we’re still “halfway right”. As far as I’m concerned, “halfway right” is still a 50/50 odd, and I will gladly bet on it.

{“The Freedom“}

As for me? Indeed, I’ve been called “crazy” by far too many people for far too many reasons to list. Lol. At this point, I all but embrace it! Being called “crazy” for not being afraid to die? 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.

“Us v. Them”

Umm, HELLO? It’s not a fucking competition. 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 life – even despite your own self. 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 that 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, 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 from one of the most stigmatic, complicated, and difficult to treat mental illnesses in “the book“. (Yes, there’s really a book.) Other than my faith, my children, and knowing fully what my purpose is in life, my “insanity survival” is one of my most epic and treasured medals of war!

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 a little bit “offness” in your life right now, please rest assured that:

Take a look around. JUST LOOK AROUND!

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Why did they never mention what’s real and in between?

{“Just Livin’ The Dream“}

Statistics say that one of those “normal” people standing right beside you may very well be struggling with a textbook insanity of their own. Never forget that mental illness doesn’t always look like insanity, either, which is what makes it such an unpopular monster. So often it’s invisible and just hiding in solitary behind a “look how happy I am” smile.

Please just GET HELP for whatever is trying to drown you. There is a Light at the end of your Darkness, but once you make it out of either a proverbial or actual padded room, don’t you dare be ashamed for one fucking second! Just because not everyone is brave enough to talk about the fucked up places they’ve been, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been there! As a matter of fact, if ever you get in a tangle with a mega-douche who has the nerve to say, “Wow, you’re just a whack-a-doodle, aren’t you?”, or worse yet, hold your mental illness over your head, this should be your response:

Why, yes! Yes, I am a Jean-Claude Van DAMN fucking whack-a-doodle! Thanks for noticing! I’m alright!

Oh, and one last thing … as per the quote below … I really do feel bad for anyone who’s never gone bat shit actual fuckin’ crazy. What’s the point of living if you haven’t survived a really deep dive into your own broken mind and soul and made face to face contact, if not “friends” with your inner demons?

MUCH love to you all!

“The Real CRAZY Cat Williamson”

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 power and 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 the girl who smiled when it rained, danced as 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 would have to rewrite her fairytale an infinite number of times, but never once did she cower at the thought of starting over. Deep in her heart, she believed that she was only ever sent here to master the art of diving deep into her own soul and embracing the love and magic that had been waiting to meet her there all along. She’d somehow always known that every ending was just a beginning and that even the most beautiful seasons had to change.

Each time the devil tried to steal the crown from her head, she’d adapt, survive, and emerge from her cocoon as the ungroundable Phoenix she was. She was a creation of Light that simply could not be dimmed … God’s very favorite daughter and divinely appointed 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 a darkness of your own, please let me to encourage you … PICK UP THE CROWN THAT ALL THE WORLD KICKED OFF YOUR HEAD AND PUT IT RIGHT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS! Not just for you, but for the others who are standing beside you. Even as you read this, your name is being mentioned in rooms behind closed doors that you haven’t even walked through yet, and the plans that are being drawn up by The Powers That Be are especially for you!

As for me?

Just like all the stars in the sky that punctuate this world with their halo, I will continue to beam through the infinite abyss that would love nothing better than to swallow me alive and keep reminding myself that my soul is ablaze with the mysterious and illustrious things that dying eyes desperately need to see to help them find their way back home.

We’re ALL created from perfection!

We’re ALL divinely inspired!

We’re ALL a product of the Light that the darkness wants to extinguish!

JULY 7, 2021: “Nothing” …

Hi everyone! It’s ‘me, CAT! 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!

{“Nothing” … by Papa Roach}

MARCH 15, 2021: “I’m Free” …

Thank you so much to anyone who takes the time out of their life to watch my videos or read this Diary. I know that I’m a little too much of everything at times and that my open, raw, and 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 and I’M SORRY!

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}

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 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 still standing strong with this beautiful tiara on my head. More so than that, I’M MAKING RIPPLES AND WAVES, and so can you!

If you are reading this right now, have also been to HELL and back, but 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 survival story be the reason someone else decides to fight and write their own!

MAY 24, 2020: “Reopening A Gift” …

IMG_E0855

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 when 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 so 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 to the place where your soul belongs … WITH YOU!

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! 

69558d69-7ecd-4849-a4e1-bba9d6e1c8cf

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

"Break Free"

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?

Check!

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 were 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?

Check √ Check √

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 lightning 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:

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 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. Your 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 too 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! “Hi everyone! My name is The REAL Cat Williamson, and I had borderline personality disorder! I once was the “Girl, Interrupted“, but now I’m a true and living QUEEN!

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}

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

Overview Of BPD

 “Borderline Personality Disorder Test

Borderline Resources

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019: “One Road Leads To Another” …

So, a friend of mine of 20 years urged me to get out and meet her at Choctaw in Durant last night. I spent all day going back and forth as to whether I was going or not and must have picked my phone up at least a dozen times throughout the course of the day and started texts that looked like, “Hey, I’m not sure I’m going to make it …”, but then kept deleting them and walked away from my phone.

Eventually, I made the decision to go for what I thought would be overnight, so I packed my bag, took Walter Williamson to my mom, then headed up 75 north. The quiet drive was nice and I hadn’t really cried yet all day, and I was planning on just trying not to. But right around the Highway 82 exit in Sherman I just about frigging lost it. Zack and I had this whole “Highway 82” thing that I won’t go in to right now, but let’s just say that if you’ve ever heard the song “Take Me There” by Rascal Flatts, that road was such a big part of his story, and thus our story too. So yes, it was a moment, and yes as I began remembering all the times we’d taken that exit for our Oklahoma adventures I was overcome with emotions. I swear I could feel the “one, two, three” squeeze (I-Love-You) that we would always share to quietly express the deep connection between us. EVERY single time we’d ever made that exit, he’d always squeeze my hand.

To say it was an out of body experience drifting through that venue without my husband would be an understatement, and since my friend didn’t arrive until after me, I was solo for 30 minutes. Several times I looked up and whispered, “Umm hello? You of all people KNOW how much I fucking hate this! What are you doing to me Williamson?” I kinda wanted to kick his ass, but not in a violent way. It was more so, “This is ANNOYING and it kinda really sucks and I wish I could punch you in the face”. It seemed like people were staring at me, which was probably all in my head, but it was just so extremely uncomfortable. I haven’t taken my wedding rings off by the way, and don’t foresee that happening any time in the near future. To be quite honest, I don’t know that I ever will. First of all, even though “death has parted us”, in my heart we are bonded for life, and also, I just don’t see how it’s possible that any other man on the face of this planet could possibly live with the immensely profound shadow that Zack has cast behind me eternally. No one will EVER be able to fill his shoes. Zero. Not that it’s a competition, and not that it’s even of relevance at this point because the thought of giving “all of me” to another man ever again makes me want to vomit. Aside from Christian and Gia there has been no other person who has had 100% of all I am. It was only him, and maybe it was only EVER supposed to be him, just as I was HIS “one and only everything”. I am so proud to say that I was Zack’s first love, and his last love, and everything in between! We were literally each other’s miracles and the answers to the prayers we’d both been praying since probably before we were even born. What are the chances that a love like ours could happen again for the third time in this life? I honestly just don’t know. My focus at this point is just me and my kids and my steadfast determination to take whatever steps are necessary to make some positive ripples in the human condition. I THINK I’VE DECIDED TO BECOME A LIFE COACH! It happened on the drive BACK from Oklahoma right around that good ole Highway 82 exit. It just hit me. Not like a ton of bricks, but a mountain of them. I’m GOING to get out there and start talking to anyone who will listen about all the things I’ve learned about “peopling” and “mental wealth” so that maybe, just maybe, all this pain I’ve been gifted can become someone’s else’s gift, too!

Wow, did I ever digress? Lol. Now I remember where I was going when I started to write this entry. So, let’s go back to the end of the night when we were sitting in Gilley’s listening to the band. Two guys walked up to check out our situation and asked to buy us drinks. I rolled my eyes SO far in the back of my head that I’m still not sure how I couldn’t read the signs on the wall behind me. I thought to myself,

Oh my good GOD, I really hate this! I LITERALY FUCKING HATE THIS! I don’t want this guy, that guy, or any guy EVER to buy me a drink EVER! I just want to go home, for my husband to be waiting for me when I get there, and for this to all not be real!

My poor friend was doing all that she could to protect me from this scenario. After all, her intention in getting me out was never to get someone to buy me a drink, only to get me out of my head. And I’m glad she did, because THIS is what led to my “Highway 82” life decision …

So the one guy asks about the drink, I was rolling my eyes, and my friend put her arms around me and turned to look at him and said these EXACT words: “Look, we sure do appreciate you but I’m going to kindly ask that you give us some space. Without going into details, my sweet friend here just lost her husband and I needed to get her out for the night which is the only reason we’re sitting here. This week is her birthday, it’s just not a good time for her, and I need you to leave us alone now.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that” he said then he turned to me. “Do you mind if I ask what happened?” Really? Umm, yes, I kinda do mind, but since he had the nerve to ask, I turned to look him straight in the eyes and shocked valued him with, “He shot himself in the head 23 days ago.” Then, I turned back around and rolled my eyes again, to which he then replied, after five or so awkward seconds of silence,

Oh wow. Just wow. How could he go and do that to you? Why would he go and do that to you? I just don’t GET IT! It was such a permanent solution to a temporary situation. It’s just so selfish when people go and kill themselves like that. Man, that’s just a shame. I’m so sorry for you darlin’. Really, I am. Well, try and have a good birthday night.

Then he left, and oh my GOD, thank you JESUS for that!

So, here’s what’s wrong with what that guy said: ALL OF IT! In being perfectly honest, for more than a good split second I really wanted to punch him in the face, like, violently punch him in the face, not the other kind of “funny way” I’d wanted to punch Zack in the face earlier that night. I wanted to scream at him,

NO! YOU’RE FUCKING WRONG! He didn’t DO THIS to me. He didn’t even DO THIS to himself! He was sick, and in pain, and had been seeing things, and hearing voices, and he’d literally come apart at the seams. He was suffering, and tormented, AND WAY TOO MANY THINGS YOU COULD EVER POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU NEVER WALKED IN HIS SHOES!” Selfish? HE WAS NOT! HE WAS LITERALLY SICK IN THE HEAD, and I refuse to let “selfish” be his legacy!

Yet, therein lies the problem. THE STIGMA! The misgiving. The untrue truths that so many have to speak just to make that fucking “the S word” easier to digest. Thus my “Highway 82 Life Coaching” decision! So many people just don’t get itTHEY SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND – because unless you’ve lived it, survived it, or have watched someone dying this way out loud? It’s “only been 24 days” since my husband died by suicide, and by no means am I professing to be an expert, but I know what I know, and frankly, I’ve BEEN down that dark road Zachariah never made it off of. I’m GOING to help people understand!

FEBRUARY 27, 2019: “No Reins” …

no reins

Ten years ago, in the midst of a mental health crisis and major crossroad, I got a job driving big Ford trucks from Dallas to the surrounding states as a “valet” for dealership trades. I spent so many days and nights alone on out the open road just driving, crying, laughing, and talking to myself and God. I’d stop in as many small towns as possible in the quietest corners of “anywhere but home” and find local cafes to just sit with some coffee and absorb as many “outside of my bubble” moments that I could. That job was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I swear that I wouldn’t be here right now if not for it.

Back then, I was a rocker who hadn’t heard of Rascal Flatts yet, and I fondly remember the day I was rolling down the I40 to Yukon, Oklahoma in a jacked up Ford F-550 when “No Reins” cued up to the radio. Meanwhile, there were horses actually running in the field beside the highway, with a crisp, blue sky in the background that all but took my breathe away and reduced me to some of the most cathartic tears I’ve ever cried. I believe with every fiber of my being that God set up that one singular moment in time up for me as the catalyst for the beginning of the “apostrophe” I’m still becoming.

Here I am, now, in what seems like a lifetime later, eternally thankful for the countless tears I shed in those trucks that allowed me to finally begin the bittersweet process of moving on stronger, wiser, and ALIVE, despite the many broken roads I’d been down and sometimes still have to travel.

These days when I hear this song, I get butterflies as I dream of all the possibilities for her future. Whereas in the lyrics she’s “learning how to let go”, which was clearly me back then, I can only pray that these words will apply to Gia as she blossoms for much brighter and hopeful reasons. I don’t ever want her to be in a position where she has to choose between “someone” or herself. I want her to be strong and wise enough to start with choosing herself first and let all the naturally beautiful things that follow be her reward.

Williamson and I are determined to build our girl into a mentally wealthy, confident and strong woman who will never have to wonder who she is and run away to save her own soul the way I did. She’ll live life on her terms like the true QUEEN she’s destined to be, “no reins” whatsoever, and I’ll fight for her to have that freedom until the day I’m gone and beyond.

Unless, of course, she finds a king of her own who is lucky enough to capture her mustang heart, run alongside her for the ride of both their lives, never stop loving her unconditionally, and cherish the beautiful imperfection she will surely bring to his world.

For the record, I have been praying for this boy, wherever in this world be may be, since the day that she was born. Actually, now that I think of it, I’ve been praying for both my kids’ spouses all my life. God has been so good to us in all things big and small, so I know that if Prince Charming is what’s meant to happen in her queendom, he will find her eventually “o’er field and fodder” and everything between. When that day finally comes, this crazy circle my life has been going in will be complete, and I’ll be a very happy momma!

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

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}

APRIL 1979: “Fallout Boy 1” …

Artwork by The Phoenix Collaborative

… and so it began, that the real story behind the fallout of my own life kind of started like this …

It was a gloomy Sunday afternoon in mid-April of 1979. My sister and I were two blissfully ignorant little girls playing in our front yard. Mom was in the house, more than likely preparing Sunday dinner, while my dad was elsewhere but presumably at my grandparents’ home just a few short miles across town having the standing “Sunday coffee” with his brothers. The next thing you know, he came barreling into our driveway at a screeching halt, engine running, driver’s door wide open, as he ran inside the house then came running right back out with a lead pipe in his hand, at which point he jumped back into the car and peeled out headed to “somewhere”.

The next thing you know, my mother came running out the front door while frantically directing me and my sister and me to hurry and get into her car, which we of course did without question, thence we were flying down the street at only God knows how many miles per hour headed to “somewhere” we weren’t sure of, but from what we could tell, we were headed in the direction of my grandparents.

Yup, that’s where we were headed, as were what appeared to be the entire fleet of Johnston, Rhode Island, police cars, firetrucks, and ambulances also headed in that same direction. Yup, that’s where they were going, too!

Upon arriving at my grandparents’ plat, she realized the chaos that had ensued, such that she had to park her car more than a block away, jump out of the car, and start running towards my grandparents. When we finally made it to their driveway, this is what I remember …

My father and all of his brothers were at fists literally beating each other half to death in my grandparents’ front yard while my Grandpa was standing in the middle of it all hollering for them to stop and trying desperately to pull them apart.

Meanwhile, there was Ida, inside their house but just behind the screen door, dawning the consummate Italian grandmother’s kitchen smock, a smirk upon her face, standing staunchly with her arms crossed and resting on her midsection.

My mother was screaming as the police, too, were trying to break the brothers apart. And of course, the many nosy neighbors who had all come out of their houses were standing amidst the breaks between all the emergency vehicles just watching it all go down.

Me and my sister? We just stood there watching everything, not at all realizing that life as we’d ever known it had just come to a bloody and embattled end.

By the time it was over, my father and his brothers had been separated into their own corners, and although I’m not 100% certain of this fact, I do believe that each of them had been arrested and taken to jail. Well, at least I know my father was.

My mother ended up bailing him out that night and the rest is but my “New England history”. Within a short couple of weeks our house went on the market and sold, then my parents packed themselves, me, my sister, our two Doberman’s, and what small amount of belongings they could fit into a very small U-Haul trailer that followed us down the road to “Goodbye Rhode Island … goodbye home … goodbye family … goodbye Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, church, school, teachers, friends … Goodbye EVERYTHING we had ever known … don’t know where the FUCK we’re actually going, but we’re DONE!”

And then? It was done, and all I can remember was driving for the next few days … and driving and driving and driving. I think the plan was to just keep going towards California, but my mother had family in Texas at the time who we stopped in to visit, rest, and reboot from the long haul.

So, we stopped in for what were only supposed to be “a couple of days”, and? We never left. Texas was our home now. Like it or not. Love it or leave it. This was the way it was. We’d run away from everything with the very first of the fallout kids to proceed the line of “fallouts” that would come …

FALLOUT

Another rebel runs against the grain. A loner is born. He’s filled with anguish but deep within he’s dying every day to find his way. He is lost. So consumed. Can you feel him somewhere in the fallout? He’s someone just like you who’s lost to find the truth. Can you hear him? From the fire he cries out for the answer to be shown as he dares to walk the fallout on his own. So frustrated. He walks the line alone. Courage sets him apart. He is so faithless. All he once embraced he now disowns. He let it go. All the while he still waits. Can you feel him somewhere in the fallout? He’s someone just like you who’s lost to find the truth. Can you hear him? From the fire he cries out for the answer to be shown as he dares to walk the fallout on his own. {Alter Bridge}