OCTOBER 20, 2021: “The Bucket List Item I Never Knew I Needed” …

Yesterday afternoon, one of my “life partners” of sorts, who has now become a dear friend, called me up and basically insisted that I “find myself a cocktail dress, slap on some make up, and get to downtown Dallas” for a once in a lifetime chance to see an actual living masterpiece, Andrea Bocelli. As I had adamantly planned not to see any post pandemic concerts until it could be Ivan Moody and Five Finger Death Punch, I almost backed out after I’d already agreed to go, because I didn’t want to break the deal I’d made with myself to hold out for Death Punch with both the kids so that hopefully they’d finally get to hear “The Brighter Side Of Grey” live on stage.

In being honest, even as much as I love all genres of music, opera has never really been my thing – but – it was Zack’s, and seeing Bocelli in concert had long been on his Bucket List before he left. Knowing him the way that I did, if he were still alive, we’d have had front row center seats at any cost, because that’s how much he loved Andrea Bocelli. Meanwhile, I did decide to go after all – not for me but more so to honor one of his dreams. I’M SO GLAD I DIDN’T BAIL!

I cried most of the night, all but lost it at Amazing Grace, and I’ll never be the same again after this night. Of note, when Andrea and his daughter sang Ave Maria, my friend turned me and said, “Cat, Zack is here right now. Can’t explain it. I just know it and feel it in my soul. I believe in my heart of hearts that she was right.

Let’s face it – not many people will ever have the chance to see a true “living masterpiece” in concert, and I am firmly convinced that I was very much supposed to be at that performance. Hearing Andrea Bocelli tonight was no different to me than if I had been given the chance to sit down beside Leonardo DaVinci while he was giving birth to the Mona Lisa.

Once again, I am blessed beyond words, thankful beyond thankfulness, and forever changed for the better. How could I have possibly known that within the course of less than 36 hours I’d be adding then scratching off an item from my own Bucket List that I never even knew was meant to be on it? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I truly am God’s own favorite daughter and the luckiest queen on the face of this entire planet.

OCTOBER 18, 2021: “Our Battle Symphony” …

To My Son, And My Daughter, And Myself:

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

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

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

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

I love all three of you! Myself included!

~ Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEAR YOUNGER ME

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

OCTOBER 11, 2021: “Let ‘Em Go” …

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

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

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

LET IT GO

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

OCTOBER 10, 2021: “That Music Thing” …

When my son was just a teenager, he began sending me songs, often in the wee hours of the morning hours, to let me know what he was feeling inside. Up until that point, because of the trauma he’d experienced in our home as a child, he’d kept his feelings buried and was wholly unable to verbally communicate the depth of his broken emotions.

The first song he ever sent was at age 16, not long after I’d moved out of our family home for the third and final time, just days before I had my nervous breakdown. The song was “Remember Everything” by Five Finger Death Punch. Up until the moment I got that “text heard ’round the world” at 3 o’clock in the morning, I’d never even heard of 5FDP, who of course are now my favorite band.

Lol. And as usual, I’ve digressed yet again …

I’m not gonna lie – that was a ROUGH night for me. If you’ve ever listened to that song, then you probably understand why. Nevertheless, sending me that poignant and cryptic musical message at 3 o’clock in the morning was probably one of the best ways he could have possibly described to me exactly “what he was feeling” in the midst of all the chaos that had become his heart and mind.

Mom, I love you, but I need you to know – I REMEMBER EVERYTHING!

Needless to say, it was an extremely pivotal moment in our all lives during a massive season of change, but hearing those words as they swept through my ears and washed over my own broken heart and mind was a literal five finger death punch through soul. It reminded me of all the things I didn’t do right by him as a mother and all the ways I failed him. It was devastating, but necessary, because as most of us know all too painfully well, sometimes the truth has to hurt us before it can effectively incite change.

Thereafter, if became “a thing” with us, and even to this day all these years later, he continues to let me know what’s going on in his head and heart with his random musical messages. Although some of the songs and their messages have been heavier than others, and some have been mind-numbingly ethereal, others have just been pure and simple love songs to let me know I’m still his best momma.

Over the years, “that music thing” has morphed into so much more than just “me and him” communicating with each other. These days, it’s about “me and me” as well. I communicate with myself daily through music! Singing “me” love songs is one of my favorite mental wealth hacks. It has now become a powerful way to not only love myself back to life UNCONDITIONALLY, but keep myself loved back to life eternally.

“When The Seasons Change” is one of my life songs, of course by 5FDP, and as such, has made an appearance in this Diary more than a couple of times. It has truly been applicable to all the most important people, places, and seasons of my life, so, yes, I belt it out loud to myself all the time. Sometimes I have to tweak the words to my “love songs” to make them more applicable to me, as in the case below. Lol, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, life here in my Queendom moves to a rhythm of it’s very own, but hey, it’s all good. A queen’s gotta do what a queen’s gotta do … especially when the seasons are changing!

WHEN THE SEASONS CHANGE

There’s a light in ME that tears me down to nothing. There’s an angel in MY eyes. There’s a hope inside THAT I CAN MAKE IT BETTER – I see right through MY disguise. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring ME down. There’s a hope in ME that I will die for something. Was there fire in MY eyes? All this pain inside – Will it be this way forever? I can run but I can’t hide. When the seasons change … and I’M in for colder weather – look for ME on the divide … {Five Finger Death Punch}

OCTOBER 8, 2021: “At Home In The Queendom” …

Hi everyone, it’s me – CAT!

So, take a wild guess what the best thing I possess is? If you guessed, “Free reign over the truly divine peace in my soul and the most beautiful Queendom a mortal woman could possibly reign over”, you would be correct!

I mean, don’t get me wrong – GOD owns my soul, and Jesus paid for it’s salvation, but the Holy Spirit brought the kingdom to dwell here right inside my body, which makes ME the safest fortress I’ve ever had, ever will have, and the LUCKIEST queen in the history of mankind! As it turns out, it was me, and only ever me, who my soul was meant to return to. It just took a hot minute to figure it out.

I’M MY TRUE HOME.

Wherever I am …

Wherever I go …

I’m the safest place I can be!

I promise I’m not bragging, but it’s a pretty spectacular Queendom in which I reign. Alone, not lonely. Just me and my two best friends, “Jesus and ME”. Yup, I’m a Jesus freak with a divine soul that’s on FIRE, and I wouldn’t want to be any other way. Gotta tell ya … it’s pretty frigging awesome being God’s actual favorite daughter!

OCTOBER 3, 2021: “I Cannot Say Enough!” …

Dear God:

Hi, it’s me again! Just a quick note on this beautiful October morning to say …

Thank you.

For everything.

No, but seriously …

FOR EVERYTHING!

I’m not quite sure why You felt that I deserved to have so much, but, You did, and, I do, and I cannot say enough what a thankful queen I truly am.

I LOVE YOU.

~ “Your Favorite Daughter”

(PS) Damn You’re a talented artist! These two? MAGNIFIQUE! They really are my “power and grace”. Okay, I’m done now!

OCTOBER 3, 2021: “A Very Special Message” …

So, I have a very special message for all of you from both the dearly departed and very much loved Chester Bennington, who, too, shared the same fate as my husband – AND – from God Himself. It’s pretty easy to decipher – so – here it goes …

When you feel you’re alone – cut off from this cruel world – your instincts telling you to run. Listen to your heart. Those angel voices. They’ll see you to you – they’ll be your guide back home. When life leaves us blind – LOVE KEEPS US KIND. It keeps us kind. When you suffered it all, and your spirit is breaking. You’re growing desperate from the fight – REMEMBER YOUR LOVED – and you always will be. This melody will always bring you right back home. When life leaves us blind – LOVE KEEPS US KIND. It keeps us kind.

{Chester Bennington … Linkin’ Park}

And now a message from ME. It’s also pretty easy to decipher – so – here it goes:

Chin Up!

Knuckles Out!

Don’t let all the darkness in this world snuff out your beautiful light and make you lose faith in the power of kindness and love.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021: “Heavy” …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear God:

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

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

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

HEAVY

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

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021: “As They Are” …

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

I WAS BLESSED WITH THREE BABIES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 12, 2021: “Who’s They?” …

The “Quora Question”:

Are humans supposed to be normal or abnormal?

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

WHO’S “THEY”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CRAZY

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

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021: “Maneaters!” …

STOP THE “MAN-EATING”!

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

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

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

Here’s the deal folks …

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

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

AUGUST 22, 2021: “Everywhere” …

Zachariah …

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

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

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

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

Us

AUGUST 11, 2021: “When Angels Fall” …

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

“7 years ago” today …

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

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

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

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

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

{Author Unknown}

WHEN ANGELS FALL

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

JULY 31, 2021: “Padded Rooms” …

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

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

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

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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

Much love to you all …

“Crazy Cat”

JULY 29, 2021: “He Will Be Remembered” …

This is probably one of my FAVORITE “1 Year Ago” memories so far!


Mom, is it okay if I wear one of Dad’s shirts”?


I’m not quite sure if any sentence in the history of my life has ever impacted me as much as this one. As I’ve mentioned before, there are less than two handfuls of people who know what Gia really went through with Zack’s suicide and preceding insanity. The mere fact that she has been able to make peace with not only his death, but the actual demon that was living in his mind that hurt us both beyond fathom in the end is literally mind-numbing. At this point in the process, she has forgiven him for everything, talks about him incessantly, and still correlates him to every best part of her life and childhood.

My “Mona Lisa” is an enigma, and everything I aspire to be when I grow up. I am SUCH a lucky woman to have been chosen to be her mother, and I just cannot say it enough.

JULY 26, 2021: “The Divine Apostrophe” …

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

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

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

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

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

{“Whatever It Takes” … Imagine Dragons}

“She” is me!

“She” can be YOU!

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

We are all created from perfection.

We are ALL divinely inspired.

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

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

JULY 18, 2021: “MY Little Girl!” …

“SWEET SIXTEEN”

Many cheers to a highly successful weekend of celebrating the beautiful enigma I am blessed to call my daughter! Most people have no idea the REAL battles this girl has risen above, nor the infinite and astounding amounts of grace and forgiveness she has shown SO many people that truly don’t deserve it. Someone recently asked me that age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”? My answer was INSTANT and easy …

I want to be more like my daughter!

This often SHIT world we get to live in is SUCH a better place with her in it, and I cannot say it enough. She’s got a personality like me (she’s careful who she lets in), so anyone worthy enough to be in the glow of her halo is one truly lucky human soul. I love you Gloria Catherine. You are EVERY flawless stone in my jewel encrusted crown. I thank God every single day for picking ME to be your momma. No, I probably didn’t deserve her, but here I am rocking the “HAPPY SWEET SIXTEEN TO MY PRINCESS!” And remember …

You’re beautiful, baby, from the outside in. Chase your dreams, but always know the road that’ll lead you home again. Go on, take on this whole world, but to me you know you’ll always be MY little girl!

{Tim McGraw}

JULY 7, 2021: “Nothing” …

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

Claim it!

Own it!

BE IT!

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

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

JULY 6, 2021: “You’re My Best Friend” …

TO MY VERY BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD (ME!):

Ooh, you make me live. Whatever this world can’t give to me. It’s you – you’re all I see. Ooh, you make me live now, honey. Ooh, you make me live. Oh, you’re the best friend that I ever had. I’ve been with you such a long time! You’re my sunshine and I want you to know that my feelings are true. I really love you! Oh, you’re my best friend! Ooh, you make me live. Ooh, I’ve been wandering ’round. Still come back to you. In rain or shine, you’ve stood by me girl. I’m happy at home. You’re my best friend! Ooh, you make me live. Whenever this world is cruel to me, I got you to help me forgive. Ooh, you make me live now, honey. Ooh, you make me live. Oh, you’re the first one when things turn out bad. You know I’ll never be lonely. You’re my only one, and I love the things – I really love the things that you do! Oh, you’re my best friend! {Queen}

Yes, IT’S TRUE! “Me and me” are thick like THIEVES and we’re staying in this game for the very, very, VERY long haul!

Damn! When I think of where I’d be by now had I figured all this out WAY back at the very beginning of the story, I kinda want to shake “the old me” and say …

Hey bitch! You ARE okay! You’re gonna BE okay! I won’t let you down when the seasons change. So, CHIN UP! KNUCKLES OUT! Dry your pretty eyes, ’cause we got this!”

On second thought, NAH! I LIVE WITH NO REGRETS! Not a single one EVER! Nothing can be gained if nothing is ever lost. It’s all just a part of the experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.

If you are reading this now, I wish you well! When you close your eyes tonight, please do not fall asleep before first making a solemn pact with YOU to start treating YOU like “you’re own best friend”! Let’s face it – it’s kinda rough out there folks. This world can be a shitty place to wander around in all alone. There are cruel people AND circumstances waiting around every corner to break your effing back.

DON’T LET “YOU” DOWN!

“You and you” are gonna be okay, but you just HAVE to stick together. Let nothing and NO ONE come between “you and you”! YOU GOT THIS! I promise.

MAY 30, 2021: “No Matter How Long It Took” …

“Joe’s Farm”
~ Piedmont, New Hampshire ~
Courtesy Of Bill Hower (A “Virtual Stranger”)

… Somehow He Found A Way!

On this day, twenty-three years ago, I woke up not only in celebration of the first true love of my life’s 35th birthday, but even more so of the fact that it was on that day that he’d decided to take my then six year old son to a very special lunch and ask his permission to marry me. Little did I know that just as the clock struck midnight, one of the most beautiful souls to have ever crossed my path would be leaving this place in the Blaze Of Glory he truly was.

But here’s the deal …

Death is still nothing at all! At this point in my journey, I can’t even make myself cry tears of sorrow and grief for the many beautiful gifts I’ve had but lost. Now, does that mean I never cry? Of course not! I am only human after all. My tears these days are shed in an abundance of gratitude for everything I have “gotten to have” but lost. All too often, I literally fall to my knees and thank God profusely for the magnanimous ways He’s always “showing me” just how much He loves me. I get signs from random places, cryptic messages when I least expect them, messages in the fog, and even “letters and pictures” from virtual strangers (like the one of “Joe’s Farm” above).

Dearest Mine …

I am writing to say how much I care for you and to say how much I want you to know me better. When you awoke this morning, I exploded a brilliant sunrise through your window hoping to get your attention, but you rushed off without even noticing. Later, I noticed you were walking with some friends, so I bathed you in warm sunshine and perfumed the air with nature’s sweet scent, and still, you didn’t notice me. As you passed by, I shouted to you in a thunderstorm and painted a beautiful rainbow in the sky and you didn’t even look. In the evening, I spilled moonlight onto your face and sent a cool breeze to rest you. As you slept, I watched over you and shared your thoughts, but you were unaware that I was so near. I have chosen you and hope you will talk to me soon. Until then I will remain near.

I am your friend and love you very much.

Jesus

{Author Unknown}

… to which my response is:

Dearest Mine …

I am writing YOU to say I know how much You care, and to thank You for letting me know YOU! When I awoke this morning, You exploded a brilliant sunrise through my window yet again, and YES you have my attention! Today, as always, I will bask in the warmth of Your Sunshine and the air I still “get to breathe” that You’ve perfumed with Your intoxicating scent. Each time You pass by, I cry out to You from my heart with joy for all those thunderstorms, paintings, and rainbows You’ve sent me. Tonight, as You watch me sleep, please continue to share Your thoughts. I choose YOU, and thank you for all the gifts, and signs, and messages. I AM AWARE AND WILL REMAIN NEAR.

I am your child and I love YOU very much as well!

Catherine

It’s Saturday, May 29, 2021. I’m both a miracle and a QUEEN to have laid the two kings of my heart to rest at such a relatively young age. Yet, here I am, very much alive, mostly sane, and filled with an abundance of Light, magic and gratitude for the precious time I “got to have” with them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRK MITCHELL BOONE! I loved you so. Always have. Always will. Today I could only smile as I cherished and celebrated the beautiful season of my life with you, one of the many masterpieces sent to me by The Master Artist of all. Knowing Him the way I do, I’ll see you BOTH on The Brighter Side Of Grey.

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

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

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

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

She is my gift to this world.

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

… BELOW …

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

APRIL 27, 2021: “A Spoonful Of Wisdom From The Maestro” …

Congratulations on the recent Oscar to “The Maestro”, Sir Anthony Hopkins. Not only does he call the Wales home (where as it turned out, my husband discovered the majority of his genetic roots), but he’s also one of the stars of one of TOP 10 favorite movies of all times. I’m not gonna tell you what it is just yet – because honestly, that’s a blog that I’ve still yet to process after many failed attempts. Sufficed to say, I have left a cryptic hint for you in the picture atop this post. IF YOU KNOW – YOU KNOW! If you don’t, you don’t.

You should know that I did not watch the Oscars this year. Never have. NEVER WILL. I have as much interest in the dressed up and bedazzled pomp and circumstance of “celebrating celebrities” as I do getting run over by a truck. Which is not to say I am not appreciative of the truly talented people who have brought true creative artistry into this world via screen and stage. Of course I’m a fan of “that”. But as far as the idolization of mortal human beings? Nope. Not so much. FACT: We all bleed red, nothing more, nothing less, and regardless of how many accolades any of us achieve in our respective lifetimes, we are all going to end as the mere dust from which we were formed – “trophies or no trophies”.

You see, I have long believed that it’s not “who we are” – it’s “what we do” to make this world a better place than we found it, and trust me when I tell you, although there are obviously many celebrities “WHO” truly seem to be so much larger than life, many of them are living farces. Rather than using the massive platforms of their celebrity reach for the betterment of humanity, to the contrary, they squander if not abuse the responsibility that comes with that age-old adage: “To whom much is given, much is expected”.

Then we have the true humanitarians, some of whom happen to be celebrities. Anthony Hopkins is just that. Is he an amazing artist? Umm, DUH! Does he happen to co-star in one of my favorite movies? Umm, YAH! Is that why I am writing this entry in The Diary about him today? Umm, NOPE! Take heed of The Maestro’s most powerful words of a lifetime …

Let go the people who are not prepared to love you. This is the hardest thing you will have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having hard conversations with people who don’t want change.

Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it’s a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.

When you begin to fight for a life with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to follow you in this place. This doesn’t mean you need to change what you are, it means you should let go of the people who aren’t ready to accompany you.

If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don’t do yourself a favor by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you. That’s what makes it so special when you meet people who reciprocate love. You will know how precious you are.

The more time you spend trying to make yourself loved by someone who is unable to, the more time you waste depriving yourself of the possibility of this connection to someone else. There are billions of people on this planet and many of them will meet with you at your level of interest and commitment. The more you stay involved with people who use you as a pillow, a background option or a therapist for emotional healing, the longer you stay away from the community you want.

Maybe if you stop showing up, you won’t be wanted. Maybe if you stop trying, the relationship will end. Maybe if you stop texting your phone will stay dark for weeks. That doesn’t mean you ruined the relationship, it means the only thing holding it back was the energy that only you gave to keep it. This is not love, it’s attachment. It’s wanting to give a chance to those who don’t deserve it. You deserve so much, there are people who should not be in your life.

The most valuable thing you have in your life is your time and energy, and both are limited. When you give your time and energy, it will define your existence. When you realize this, you begin to understand why you are so anxious when you spend time with people, in activities, places or situations that don’t suit you and shouldn’t be around you, your energy is stolen. You will begin to realize that the most important thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you is to protect your energy more fiercely than anything else. Make your life a safe haven, in which only ′′compatible′′ people are allowed.

You are not responsible for saving anyone. You are not responsible for convincing them to improve. It’s not your work to exist for people and give your life to them! If you feel bad, if you feel compelled, you will be the root of all your problems, fearing that they will not return the favours you have granted. It’s your only obligation to realize that you are the love of your destiny and accept the love you deserve.

Decide that you deserve true friendship, commitment, true and complete love with healthy and prosperous people. Then wait and see how much everything begins to change. Don’t waste time with people who are not worth it. Change will give you the love, the esteem, happiness and the protection you deserve.

{Sir Anthony Hopkins}

It’s as though I spoke these words myself. For the record, there is no song to accompany this post as is par for the course with my entries. His words are enough! If you hadn’t heard them before, I truly hope you will take them as deeply into your heart as they obviously came from his.

DROP THE MIC!

APRIL 26, 2021: “Down With The Fallen” …

Yes, my friends … I too have been in this place many times in my life: “Tired eyes barely open”, and crippled by countless promises broken. I have seen my share of fallen empires, and cried out to God on my hands and knees:

Umm, HELLO? Are You there? I can’t hear You. I can’t feel You. No, wait! I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING AT ALL! I’ve lost my way YET again and don’t know what is real! WOULD YOU TALK TO ME PLEASE! Say anything. Anything whatsoever. Please just Light the way and show me where to go now, ‘CAUSE I’M DOWN WITH THE FALLEN AGAIN!

The answer I was searching for didn’t come easy to me because I WAS ONLY SEARCHING IN THE DARK! It wasn’t until I just let go and stopped looking for the answer that it came to me once and for all. Truth be told, turns out the answer had been there all the while, but I wasn’t seeing it because I wasn’t thinking like a blind man and was searching for it with my eyes, not my heart.

Listen, I know that none of this is easy. If you are alive, you are eons ahead in the game. Even if you’re only crawling – AT LEAST YOU’RE MOVING! Don’t give up. Keep looking for the Light, but don’t look for it with your eyes. Trust me – I KNOW THIS! You can only find the Light in the dark. Once you’ve learned to drive your spaceship through this Cosmos as blind as a bat in a box, not only will you find out that fear is only an illusion, but you were NEVER driving it alone!

PERSPECTIVE.

IT’S EVERYTHING!

And so are you my ghost rider friend! Now, get out there and MAN THAT SHIP like the cosmonaut you really are!

DOWN WITH THE FALLEN

Tired eyes, barely open. Crippled by a promise broken. I have seen an empire falling. Hopeless, can You hear me calling? Turn away from all that I know, burning this bridge behind me. Light the way and I’ll follow where You go. Can You tell me what is real? ‘Cause I’ve lost my way again. Can You tell me how to feel? ‘Cause I don’t feel anything now that I’m down here again. I’m down with the fallen again. Searching through the darkness below for a Light in seas of shadows far from You. But I could never abdicate. I’ll fight forever. Turn away from all that I know, burning this bridge behind me. Light the way and I’ll follow where You go. Can You tell me what is real? ‘Cause I’ve lost my way again. Can You tell me how to feel? ‘Cause I don’t feel anything now that I’m down here again. I’m down with the fallen again. I will not run. I will not fall. I will not bury it. This is war. {Starset}

APRIL 9, 2021: “Farewell My Prince” …

“The Duke Of Edinburgh”
(June 10, 1921 ~ April 9, 2021)

Prince Phillip was, still is, and will always be one of my favorite human beings. I have read about and studied his life incessantly, and although I’m not actual “royalty”, I have long felt a kindred pull to his spirit.

Countless hearts are broken and grieving his death today, as were those my initial reactions. But then I remembered who he was, what he accomplished, what a truly remarkable Phoenix he was, and the many ways his life intersected mine, Zachariah’s, and my son’s.

Was he perfect? NOPE! Not even close! WHO AMONGST IS? But someone once asked me that age old question: “If you could talk to ANY public figure, who would it be?”, and my answer was instantaneous: “There are only two: Ivan Moody and The Duke Of Edinburgh”. Now, that’s quite a divergent spectrum, right? But once again I’ve digressed …

Many people criticize, and assault the monarchy and it’s autocratic rule, but I do not. They are mortal human beings, just like all of us, each with their own “story” and unknown personal struggles. Prince Phillip lived his entire life like a blackbird in a gilded cage doing a job that no one in their right mind would ever sign up for.

Farewell, Godspeed, and Goodbye My Prince.

You will live on in infamy! Today, as always, I celebrate your life well-lived, so many jobs well done, and all the ways your your life touched mine. Here’s hoping you’ve FINALLY made it to The Moon and that one day I will get to sit and chat with you on The Brighter Side Of Grey.

APRIL 8, 2021: “How Do Ya Like Me NOW?” …

A friend posted this yesterday, and at first glance I LOVED IT, because in so many ways it’s true! Upon further consideration, however, this is where I landed …

Indeed there are those who “knew me a year ago” yet have no idea who I’ve become, but truth being told, there is a better than not chance it’s because I don’t WANT them to know me at all! Why is that you ask? I’ve either outgrown them, seen right through them, or GHOSTED them in my illustrious “growth dust” because they don’t DESERVE to know who I’ve become (with the exception of what they can read or hear online, which is usually either blatantly or cryptically about them. I have decluttered, detoxified, and “de-trashified” my very private bubble by 99.9% to less than couple of handfuls of people left who will ever “GET” to know me.

It’s terrible, I know it. But you see, queens don’t accept scraps, leftovers, and fake ass “less than” BULLSHIT from anyone. I’d rather be alone but not lonelyhere in my tower of hard-earned wisdom for the entire rest of my life on Earth then waste my fleeting, PRECIOUS life breath, energy and effort on anything less than EVERYTHING. To truly know me and my heart is to love me, and many have lost the high honor and privilege of access to my inner sanctum. They’re the “Umm, kinda really sucks to be you – SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA” flock of sheep I smugly laugh about and mock who will NEVER be allowed a re-introduction.

Damn, I’m such a biotch!

Sorry, NOT sorry, and I cannot say it enough! For those of you you who have been following my journey, here’s hoping you’ve learned to appreciate the “NICEST bitch you’ll ever know” I am, and more so than that, come to understand that it takes a hell of a lot of effort (OR a lack thereof) to end up on the cutting room floor of my life. I have fully forgiven every person who has forsaken me, but as gracious, empathetic and caring as I am – I’M NOBODY’S REVOLVING DOOR!

Here is something really REAL about me right now: Each night when I pray, I pray for every person, known or unknown, who hasn’t yet found their crown.

Dear God, please help those who haven’t yet discovered their true self-worth and value to finally open their eyes. I know You don’t make trash, but SO many of them think that’s what they are, so they don’t have the wings they need to fly the HELL away from people that don’t deserve them!

Yes, it’s true – I pray these words to Him every night. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and no matter when or how you arrived at this place where you don’t think you deserve the best of EVERYTHING, let me know share the “Real Cat” spin on the words to one of my favorite songs:

I’m NOT sorry for the demon I’ve become. You should be sorry for the angel you are not. I apologize for the cruel things that I did, but I don’t regret one single word I said. Just walk away, make it easy on yourself. Just walk away – please release YOURSELF from this hell. Just walk away, there’s just nothing left to feel. Forgive me if I ever told you that I cared. Are you now sorry that I NEVER shall be there? Please forgive me for laughing when you fall. I’m so sorry, but I clearly NEVER cared at all. Just walk away, make it easy on yourself. Just walk away, there’s just nothing that I feel. Just walk away, make it easy on us both. Just walk away, there was never any hope. Just walk away, you already know the deal! Just walk away and accept that ALL OF THIS is real. {Five Finger Death Punch}

MARCH 31, 2021: “Broken” …

In case you need to hear this right now …

It’s okay to let yourself feel the cuts, bruises, and painful jagged edges from being “broken”. Let them be your greatest GIFT! More so than that, don’t EVER let anyone (including yourself) make you feel bad for “feeling bad” or “feel bad” because someone may be feeling “worse”!

Trauma comparison” is not only gross and unacceptable, but it perpetuates trauma itself. Guess what? IT’S NOT A CONTEST! “Broken” is subjective, and assuming that another person’s pain and suffering is somehow worse than yours is not only highly assumptive, but one of THE cruelest self-tortures of all! IT BELITTLES YOU! IT INVALIDATES YOU! IT SAYS “YOU” ARE NOT WORTHY OF COMPASSION!

Believing that someone else’s trauma is bigger or worse than yours is unfair to both people, because while you are wondering how they survived theirs, they may be wondering how you survived yours! It can also lead you down a self-sabotaging rabbit hole of “trauma shame”, guilt, and self-loathing. Worst yet, believing that “what you’ve gone through” isn’t as bad as what someone else has can gravely hinder or negate the external help and support you need, thus keeping you locked inside a prison with what’s literally eating you alive. Trust me – THIS I KNOW! Have you read anything I’ve written? Do you know the story of my king? For years we both suffered in our respective former lives. Me? I spent a lifetime being chastised and told that I should just get over myself because nothing was ever really so bad …

You’re SO lucky Catherine. Just look at all you have! Beautiful children. A beautiful husband. A beautiful home with SO many beautiful things in it! And oh, yah, YOU’RE JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. Why don’t you stop feeling sorry for yourself and just start being more grateful?

... and HIM? OMG! Don’t EVEN get me started! No one gave a FUCK about “his feelings” of abandonment and being thrown away by his mother! Literally – NO FUCKS WERE GIVEN! Through it all, he’d somehow managed to convince himself there was nothing wrong with his childhood, and didja see how all that ended?

Allow yourself the healthy space and time you need to convalesce your wounds, but don’t wallow in them too long. “How long is too long?” We move about our cabins in our own personal way, because each person’s “reality” is based upon their own unique point of view, the different life experiences they’ve had, the values instilled in them from a very young age, and how they may be feeling at any particular time. EVERYONE FEELS THINGS DIFFERENTLY!

But know this …

Once you’re done grieving the “you” who you were before “what ever it was” happened to you, you have to move on and overcome! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MOVE ON AND OVERCOME! I saw an amazing quote posted by a friend of mine on social media that speaks to this so well:

Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before the trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore … there’s a new you trying to be born. Breathe life into that person.

No. Truer. TRUTH!

One day you’ll wake up and find yourself standing in front of a mirror with the Light that’s pouring through all those cracks shining like a halo around YOU! When that day comes, it is my greatest and truest wish that you will fall to your knees and thank GOD for having ever been broken, no matter how little or how much!

Keep the faith my friends. “Chin Up! Knuckles Out!” Though I may not personally “know” all of you, I do so love EVERY one of you! You, are, MY PEOPLE! MY broken “PHOENIX” people. Actually, now that I think of it, it’s only the “broken people” I truly understand. Together our shards are manifesting the MOST magnificent mosaic this cosmos will have known!

WHAT IF?

What if I told you it’s okay to be broken, scared and confused, because those scars and bruises are your medals of honor? Well, I’M TELLING YOU! Not only do I speak to you in “broken”, I speak to you from a place of LOVE! It just so happens that I personally know The Guy who wrote the language of “broken” in the red letters that fill the cracks in my soul with “Light” every single day! When I hear this song, I pretend it’s HIM singing it just to me …

BROKEN

Why are we overcome with fear? What if I told you that fear isn’t real. Why are we overcome with death? What if I told you my friends your doubt you could live without? There is a question I want to understand – Why can’t everyone tell the truth and learn to love again? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Yes I know. One more question … I know time is dear. Is what the world speaks of love really real? The answers not of this world but very clear. Look above to find love and you found eternal life. Street corner preachers you’ve heard before friendly advice just gets thrown out the door. There is a question that I want to understand – Why can’t everyone tell the truth and learn to love again? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Yes I know what it feels like to be broken and used, scared and confused. Yes I know. Yes I know. I’m broken! {Scott Stapp}

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

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

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

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

Here’s the thing …

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

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

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

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

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

MARCH 27, 2021: “Starving A Narcissist” …

… but even THEN it sometimes takes a hot minute to send them packing for their next kill!

In November of 1996, I “got to learn” the very hard way what really lied beneath the surface of the most narcissistic, evil man I’ve ever had the misfortune of crossing paths with …

… and his name was John.

Note that as I wrote “man”, I literally and not metaphorically laughed my fucking ass off! I’ve since been enlightened as to the true measure of a “man”, and “man” gives him way more credit than what his very SMALL affect truly is (and I do mean SMALL in every way). He’s a hoovering narcissist. Nothing more and nothing less.

Narcissists begin hoovering when they want something from you such as attention, validation, money or sex. But the deepest reason why narcissists hoover is because they are completely internally empty. They have a pathological fear of feeling insignificant, unlovable, alone or worthless, so they do whatever they can to fill this empty void and sustain their false self-image. Narcissists are fundamentally addicted to the attention of others. Without attention and control, they starve. When their reservoirs of narcissistic supply run out, they seek to prey off the old “meat” they managed to catch in the past – and that means you. This also means that they usually have many “backups” (e.g. other exes) to feed off when they begin to feel hungry again. Like predators, a narcissist knows how to manipulate the weaknesses of those they have preyed on before. They will try to entice you through random texts, apologies, declarations of undying love, and “repentant” gestures which try to convince you how much they have “changed” and “care” for you.

{Alethia Luna ~ “8 Signs You’re The Victim Of An Abusive Hoovering Narcissist“}

As par for the course the past 20 years, John never fully left my atmosphere since our near fateful departure. Not long after he and Angie leveled me to the point of almost no return, he showed up at my home to deliver a stack of Christmas presents and a little somethin’ else. Keep in mind that he was already engaged to Angie at the time, and although NOTHING happened between “us”, something indeed happened between “him and himself” right there on my bed! It was one of the most twisted things I’d ever witnessed in my life, which is saying a lot. After having admittedly driven my own self crazy and spending time in a couple of “facilities”, trust me when I tell you – I’VE WITNESSED SOME TWISTED SHIT!

At first he tried gaslighting it back to my insanity, but a friend hooked my phone up to a recording device so I could try to lure the truth out of him in what he thought was a private conversation, WHICH HE DID!i I then proceeded to take said recording to Angie’s family and play it for them out loud! Yup! That happened. That really fucking happened! Sounds far fetched, I know, but let me assure you that the people who helped me bust “Hoovery McNarcissit” at his very best game EVER are all still alive to tell about it!

Meanwhile, some years later, in the irony of all ironies, despite the fact that he had always chastised the “pompous, showy affluence” in the small town where I lived, guess which “pompous, showy, affluent town” John and his now ex-wife chose to build their home in? Ding, ding, ding, ding ding! OUR TOWN! In fact, they built said home in the subdivision that abutted the one where my parents still live today, which is across the street from where my ex-husband and I used to live. So, imagine my surprise years later when I walked a then baby Gia to the park across the street from my home, only to find John’s wife and daughter playing there as well! I’m not gonna lie, I have long since wondered whether there was really any “irony” with that at all. But I’ve digressed.

Very long and sordid tale short, they eventually began working out at the Lifetime Fitness Center that was our “gym home” (and is still mine), and we would see them there often. At a certain point, in being polite, formal introductions were made, and my husband (who’s physical presence over-powered him by at least a half a foot and a hundred pounds) had even shaken his hand once. But trust me when I tell you, Zack knew ALL about “John and Angie”, and every time he saw me politely engaging John’s cordial conversations, he literally wanted to slit his throat. Both Zack and Gia had always said he looked like an actual snake (and now that I think of it, he really kinda does), and whenever Gia sees him she shudders with physical chills. AND GET THIS: Despite the fact that Angie and John had parted ways, such that he had married the blonde girl I ran into at the park, she too became a member at that gym. So, I saw them both there all the fucking time. But in my mind, bygones were now bygones, sooo …

In his defense, I must admit that I brought his last round of bullshit on myself. Not because I’m weak – BECAUSE I’M FORGIVING! He’d reached out to me not too long after Zack died, and I’d even agreed to meet him for dinner because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he’d somehow changed. Said dinner didn’t end well, and perhaps someday I’ll tell you why. As for now, I’ll reveal how this drama finally played out by showing you! If you pay close attention to the dates and times, you will clearly see it! Texting. Double-texting. “Feigned concern”.

MARCH 27, 2020

APRIL 5, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020

APRIL 12, 2020

APRIL 29, 2020

APRIL 30, 2020

MAY 10, 2020

MAY 24, 2020

JUNE 13, 2020

AUGUST 13 & 14, 2020

THE END!

Well, kind of! On Tuesday, February 16th, he texted me again. Then again. Then again.

To which my final response is this:

Unaffected. Unimpressed. Laughing my ass off yet again. This little man just doesn’t get it! With that, if you know this Diary at all, you know there’s a song for almost every chapter. Nope. Not this time. Music is my therapy. My happy place. MY EVERYTHING! All that remains for “this thing” that was once in my life are these five final words:

STARVE LITTLE NARCISSIST! STARVE!

MARCH 25, 2021: “86,400” …

PROJECT “FAMILY DINNER”?

SUCCESS!

This Cosmos and its Creator are so beyond good to me in every way, shape and form, and I cannot say it enough. This was the last thing I needed to rectify within my formerly “broken heart” so that when it’s my time to touch The Brighter Side Of Grey, I will do so with my soul completely healed and whole. From this point forward, it’s just a very GREY “86,400 seconds a day” for as many spins around the Sun I get to make just shining my Light in all this DARK.

TO ANYONE READING THIS WHO IS AT ODDS WITH YOURSELF OR “YOUR PEOPLE”:

It’s never to late to start again! Indeed it is true that forgiveness is for us, but the TRUEST power and grace are found in the forgiveness we extend to others.

“Hurt people” HURT people.

“Healed healed” HEAL people.

While no one REALLY knows what the end game here really is, I’m pretty dam sure that FORGIVENESS is the answer to the greatest cosmic mystery of all — “WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?” You will never understand how much NONE OF US really deserves to be forgiven for ANY of the shit we manage to do until you’ve had to learn about it the way I have. I am here to tell you it’s EVERYTHING! Wherever you are on this globe right now, take a good look around at everything you see. IT COULD ALL BE GONE TOMORROW! Choose your battles well, and spend those seconds wisely, so that if you have to leave tomorrow, you’ll leave in “PEACE” … not “PIECES”!

MARCH 22, 2021: “Life Up On Top Of The Bridge” …

IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS TO HEAR THIS …

You … are going … to be … OKAY! As long as there is still breathe in your lungs and you wake up again tomorrow morning, THERE’S STILL A CHANCE FOR YOU TO FIND THE LIGHT! The Moon does always fall. The Sun does always rise. I promise, promise, promise. All of which NOW reminds me of some THE MOST beautiful words I never knew I needed to hear until I heard them from a Swedish Flyboy on an American plane coming back from France

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

{Walt Whitman}

Chin up.

Knuckles out.

Keep the faith.

LIFE MUST GO ON

Sitting alone in the cold of the night. You’re trying to find what you need to survive. You’re so afraid you can’t go on. Left in the silence that tears at your heart. They only remind you how broken you are. You’ve lost your way. But hope is not gone, ’cause The Sun always sets, The Moon always falls. It feels like the end – just pay no mind at all. Keep rolling … rolling … Life must go on. Do you remember and long for the past? When love was eternal and joy seemed to last. Yesterday. Forever is gone. We have our misfortunes – the darkest of days. We must endure and keep strong. Just look to the morning … the promise awaits … and know that this life must go on. And the Sun always sets. The Moon always falls. It feels like the end – just pay no mind at all. Keep rolling … rolling … Life must go on. {Alter Bridge}

MARCH 15, 2021: “I’m Free” …

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

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

Dad, if you ever see this …

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Cathy

FREE

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

MARCH 13, 2021: “Desperado” …

Dear Dad: I’m pretty sure the text I sent this morning didn’t make it through, because the bubble on the screen was blue, which usually means “you’re blocked”. But I have it on good word that you do read some of my posts, so, “I’m writing this in case I’m gone tomorrow“.

I have heard you say the words “I never want to hear from you again” way too many times to count, and although it never gets easy hearing it, I understand if that is how you wish for it to be. I made peace with being on the losing end of the “I’m done with you” gauntlet engineered by your mother before I was even a thought. But I just want you to know that despite everything that’s ever been or that never has, and how I’ve now become the black sheep of this family, I do wish things could be different than they are.

Gia loves you too, and obviously so does Christian, but the cycle that keeps repeating itself in this family is no way for anyone to live, especially in the wake of devastation and loss my kids and I have suffered. Gia and I cannot allow ourselves in the presence of toxic places, energies, situations or people anymore. It’s a choice we’ve had to make for our mental health and survival. As for Christian, I’ve tried relentlessly to help him understand how things in this family work so that he too can rise above it once and for all, but at this point in the game, all I can do is pray that he finds a Light at the end of the lonely, darkened tunnel of regret we all built for him to travel. I pray every day that he doesn’t end up shooting HIMSELF in the head like my husband.

That being said, you should know that my son is a really good kid with a really big heart who tried desperately to gain your “approval”. The only reason he stays medicated and “disengaged” is because he’s broken. He’s humiliated, ashamed, and shattered into pieces because he just can’t ever seem to do anything good enough for you, and he can’t keep up with all the “conditions”. Every promise you ever made to him was broken. Every “gift” you ever gave him has been retracted. Don’t you remember how it made you feel when your own mother did those things to you? Welcome to your grandson, Dad. He’s history repeating itself, just like I used to be until I finally said ENOUGH!

I don’t wish any harm on you or for you to have to die all alone like the black rose in one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard. It’s tragic that there’s nothing left of this family, especially after all evil your own “mother” did to you. The one thing that’s always baffled me is why would you want to be like her? Her grudges? Her conditions? Her double-standards of bullshit? The way she “washed her hands of you” when you failed to follow the rules? The only thing I have ever wanted to “give” my own children is a different life than the one I had. It’s no secret that I’ve failed them both miserably at times and repeated some of the cycles that were handed down on this family tree, BUT THEN I WOKE UP! Do you remember that day? I “woke up” in an insane asylum a thousand miles from home after having my kids literally peeled off my body while being carted off to a nuthouse to finally make the decision to stop living a life of farce. I did that for them, not for me, and do not regret a single decision I’ve made since deciding to start all over. Not, a single, ONE.

For the record, I don’t care about all your money or any of your “stuff”. I need nothing from ANYONE and can take care of myself and my kids just fine. It’s just that Christian says that you’re very sad these days, and I hate to hear that about anyone. Life is too short, so you should try to make the most of what time you have left here, whether it’s one day or twenty years. You and mom both worked so hard all your lives, and now what is there to show for it? An empty house? Some cars? A bank account and a bunch of “stuff”? No thanks. I’ll pass. No one will care about “what” you had when you die, and God isn’t going to ask what kind of car you drove when you get there. He’s just going to ask, “How Did You Love” and did you believe in His Son.

Thirty-three years ago I stood on a stage and sang this song to you in an auditorium full of strangers. Hearing it still makes me cry as I ponder the opportunities we all missed “living”, and how we’ve foolishly taken each other for granted. All any of us ever wanted was you, Dad. Not your money – not your stuff. Just you. We wanted to be what made you feel like a king! But we’ve all fallen short, such that you can’t even bare to look at us, just as we are, nothing more, nothing less, and say: “THEY are my castle. THEY are my crown. Win lose or draw, fuck ups and failures, THEY are my family, and THEY are good enough!”

So, with that, I leave you with this. Whether or not you believe it, I hold no grudge against you, nor will I ever, and I forgive you for every single thing you either “did or didn’t do” right by this family. Trust me when I tell you, I’ve had more than my fair share of “did or didn’t do” moments and I have been anything but a perfect parent. If it is true that you have read any of my words, than surely you must know that I have long since accounted for and apologized to them both for the many ways I failed them and all the ways I could have done better. Your granddaughter and I have not only forgiven the best husband and father this world has ever known, but THE DEVIL HIMSELF for devouring his mind and breathing the monster into his head that hurt us so badly in the end. That being said, with the exception of a handful of people in this world who have come for me and mine, I live by the same grace and forgiveness that God has unconditionally shown me.

Now, does that mean that I don’t openly hope that the handful of people I’ve had to forgive for my sake and my sake alone for the disgustingly cruel acts of inhumanity against my husband and my children don’t sleep well at night? It sure as hell doesn’t, and I sure as hell DO wish nothing but the LEAST for them and theirs! I forgive them all, but hope they never stop seeing my husband’s beautiful face staring back when they look inside their empty mirrors, and I very much do pray they have NIGHTMARES when they close their eyes thinking of their “trash can boy Zack of shit” son and brother blowing his brains out alone in that car after a lifetime of abandonment, betrayal, and neglect. And that “first do no harm” blonde HOOKER nurse who knowingly, willingly, and “in her right mind-edly” set out to destroy me and my kids? Yah, I’ve forgiven her too, but here’s wishing her all “the rest” that only a see you next Tuesday like her deserves! But wow, I’ve digressed! You get the point. I can forgive anyone for pretty much anything, and with the exception of those sub-human “things” that destroyed my husband and tried to destroy my kids, I wish nothing but the best for everyone – including YOU!

The picture below is my favorite one of me, and the center of one the best things I’ve ever written, “Crossing Over“. You were in that picture too, but I cropped you out when I published it. It was the wrong thing to do, especially given that when I decided to “cross over”, I did so as queen. Well, good queens don’t hold grudges or burn people alive on a cross. They speak their mind, walk away, and let God handle all the details. That is what I’m doing now. For what it’s worth, no matter what does or doesn’t happen, or what words are left unsaid between us when it’s time for you to see The Brighter Side Of Grey, this is the picture of us I will always choose to remember. I’m leaving out all the rest. I love you Dad, and I’m truly sorry for anything I’ve done to hurt you. My war with you is over.

DESPERADO

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses? You’ve been out ridin’ fences for so long now. Oh, you’re a hard one. I know that you got your reasons. These things that are pleasin’ you can
hurt you somehow. Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds boy. She’ll beat you if she’s able. You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet. Now it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table, but you only want the ones that you can’t get. Desperado! Oh you ain’t gettin’ no younger. Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home. And freedom? Oh freedom. Well, that’s just some people talkin’. Your prison is walking through this world all alone. Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time? The sky won’t snow and the Sun won’t shine. It’s hard to tell the night time from the day. You’re losin’ all your highs and lows. Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away? Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses? Come down from your fences, open the gate. It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you. You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you). You better let somebody love you before it’s too late.
{The Eagles}

MARCH 12, 2021: “Still Undefeated!” …

… that moment you see certain words strung together that instantly send your heart, mind and soul back through a lifetime of beautiful memories that became your reason for surviving UNDEFEATED! If you’ve read my story or know a SINGLE thing about me, you know that I should probably not be able to breathe anymore.

Yes, I’ve buried a child.

Yes, I’ve buried a husband.

Yes, I’ve watched three of the people I loved most in this world dying LITERALLY in front of my eyes. But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … I truly am THE luckiest queen on the face of this planet, despite all the heartache and sorrow that should have buried me by now. Win, lose or draw, NOTHING can take these memories from me, NOTHING can take take my crown, and NOTHING can steal my blind faith in God, OR my joy, OR my Light, because death really IS nothing at all.

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

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

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

{Talon Harris with credit to “Inspired Jamila”}

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

But here’s why his post upset me

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

SELFISH, TOXIC, ABUSIVE PARENTS:

WAKE THE FUCK UP AND GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! Get your kids out of those toxic environments! Protect them! Cherish them! Validate them! Hear them! Consider them FIRST in every single decision you make! Worse yet, stop letting the people who hurt YOU continue to hurt your children! IT’S GROSS! By failing to heal yourself and find a way to have healthy relationships after ones that have broken you apart, you only perpetuate that cycle of “victimized brokenness” by handing it down to your innocently jaded children!

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

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