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

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

I’ve given a lot of thought to the thought of “you” since the day he entered my world, and as the years have passed, I must say I’ve been a little anxious, because it’s kind of scary the way that “some” (not all) little girls are being raised these days. Actually, it’s a crying shame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

{“How To Talk To Girls“}

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

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

If, indeed, you are “the one” (as we all truly believe and only only time will tell), know that none of us could be any prouder of the REAL princess he has seemingly found in you. Of course, there will always be bumps along this road. We are all only human, after all. Please just know that I will always be “for you”, not “against you”, because NO, my son isn’t always “right”, and NO, he doesn’t quite know all the best ways to “talk to girls”.

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS

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

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

“The Day Of The Brown Grasshopper”

ME:

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

GIA:

Umm, the locust kind.

ME:

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

GIA:

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

… 60 seconds later …

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

ME:

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

GIA:

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

ME:

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

GIA (smacking her head):

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

ME:

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

GIA:

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

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

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

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

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

In case you didn’t know, I am a true “royalist” at heart, always have been, and always will be, and her passing today finds me in bittersweet, tender tears.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{Alter Bridge}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi everyone! It’s me, CAT!

Hot Mess Express – Party Of ONE!

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

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

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

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

… BUT …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ REAL Cat 🖤

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

Well?

HAVE YOU?

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

Meanwhile, I am here to tell you that even the strongest phoenixes and all God’s favorite children cry their ACTUAL fucking eyes out and “silent scream”, and yes, I still do so from time to time. These days, however, it’s more so for the sake of my kids, because as every mother knows, I am only ever as strong as my weakest child, so, when they’re going through it, I’m going through it, so much so that I can barely even breathe when I see either of my children suffering, so sometimes, “silent screaming” it is, because letting them see me falling apart when they need me to be strong for them just isn’t an option.

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

“Jesus wept.”

That’s right, people. I just quoted The Bible and dropped an eff bomb in one hell of an oxymoron of a post. I suppose it’s part of my charm, and nope, I’m NOT fucking proud of it, but rest assured that I’ll deal with those repercussions later.

In the meantime …

Jean-Claude Van Damn NOPE, this “human BEING” thing ain’t for the faint of heart. If you woke up on the top side of the ground today despite any circumstances that are trying to bury you six feet under, you, too, are STRONGER than you may know! If you need a day to be alone, TAKE A DAY TO BE ALONE, the just grab that pillow and SCREAM!

And remember …

Don’t you dare think for a single minute that you really are “alone inside your room” while you’re screaming into that pillow. While you’re screaming, God is saying:

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

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

Wow! Look at me mixing up two of my favorite songs in one Diary entry! Yah, I’m kinda kookie like that. Good GRIEF, how I love my life! For the record, while I may not personally have anything to scream into my own pillow about today while I’m alone here inside my castle, I’m always mindful of the fact that there are so many others who are suffering in this life, and often in solitude and silence. I feel it. I do. My heart truly aches and is with all of you who are screaming today. You are NOT alone!

A DAY TO BE ALONE

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

AUGUST 31, 2022: “I’m Inside Out” …

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

LET’S TALK!

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

Meanwhile …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I win!

You lose!

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

I’M STILL HERE!

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

There’s no denying it … YOU NEVER HAD CONTROL! So, you can wipe them away, all those silly fuckin’ grins, ’cause I’m so DONE listening to your mother fucking’ side!

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

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

~ Queen Catherine

INSIDE OUT

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

AUGUST 24, 2022: “I Hope You Know” …

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

In the meantime …

Dear Dad,

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

Cathy

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

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

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

Mrs. Williamson, we did locate your husband in his car this morning with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. I am so sorry to inform you that he is, in fact, deceased.

… at which point I fell to the ground with a guttural wail that I’m told could be heard throughout the hospital.

{“Only Light Can Kill The Darkness“}

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

For the record, I don’t think God was laughing that day or that He laughs on any of the days we spend facing the wrath of His angels. In fact, I’m certain that He was on that hospital floor wailing with me and holding me tight as every shred of what I’d come to believe as truth turned out to be the devil’s lie. God DID give me wings, but it was MY job to learn to fly. I had to face not just Zack’s, but my own “devil in the mirror” before I could ascend to the sky.

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

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

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

THANKS FOR ASKING

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

AUGUST 22, 2022: “The UNPOPULAR Invisible Monster!” …

~ the Bug ~
{by Gia “Khaos” Embach}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Zack’s Last Audible Read ~

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

How Do You Fight an Invisible Enemy?

YOU GIVE IT A FACE!

(Written By Gia Embach)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve fallen IN LOVE

with NOT falling apart!

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

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

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

Always … Keep … FIGHTING!

AUGUST 19, 2022: “All I Know” …

The new album dropped at midnight, its mind blowing, and stuck on this ONE song, though … “All I Know” … because it’s the one that “struck me” after the album hit my server at midnight.

Meanwhile, while we were on a live fan chat with him last night, Ivan was telling us that the whistling we hear at the intro just “came to him” while night while he was up in his cabin in Wyoming. He said he’d been laying in bed and he heard whistling outside of his window so he just woke up and started to write.

The fucked up thing is that Zack used to whistle and hum all the time, to the point that it was actually “cute/funny/ANNOYING” and Gia and I would always laugh at him for it.

I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence, but just before I heard Ivan talking about that at 3am, I’d already been fixated on that ONE song and had been listening to it over and over. It was the creepiest, most ethereal, and magical kind of alchemy that only “The GREATEST Alchemist” and “The Great Alchemist” could have performed! “From Zack’s soul, to God’s ears, to Ivan’s mouth” then POOF! “A seemingly magical process of transformation” through the creation of the hauntingly beautiful whistle at the beginning of a song that echoed to me just like the many other voices who I believe are all desperately trying to send me their messages:

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

{“Times Like These“}

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

ALL I KNOW

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

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

Memories.

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

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

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

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

That was then.

THIS IS NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

JULY 25, 2022: “The Nowhere Kids” …

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

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

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

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

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

JULY 18, 2022: “Mama’s Song” …

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

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

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

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

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

… “Mama”❣️

MAMA’S SONG

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

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

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

Meanwhile …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway …

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

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

Anyway …

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

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

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

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

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

It’s times like these I wanna fade away.

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

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

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

But let me ask you this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUNE 19, 2022: “Lifetime” …

Zachariah,

I called to say hello, but then remembered that you can’t pick up the phone. I miss the way your voice always used to take all the pain away. The thought is still unimaginable that I saw your face that very last time and didn’t even know it.

Now, we’re all walking around in a haze. Yes, there are many colors, but mostly every shade of grey, and although you did absolutely show us the way whenever we were lost and alone, you never really showed us to let you go. That, we’ve had to figure out on our own.

Never again will I look into the only eyes that ever knew me, but then again, only God knows whether that’s really true. For now, I’ll just keep looking into my own eyes instead and seeing myself through those lenses of yours that helped me rise to my own reflection and finally find my “beautiful”.

Sometimes I physically feel that bullet that ran through you running straight through me, which is always a bittersweet and tragic reminder of how fragile our human souls can be. Even so, you added so many things to all our lives that we didn’t even know were missing, and for that reason alone and even despite all the FUCKED UP things you did in the wake of your insanity, we’ll keeping leaving that part out and ALWAYS celebrating you on Father’s Day as the one who showed us all what being a father was really about.

You were the one that we weren’t supposed to lose. We thought we’d have you for a lifetime. So, now who do I talk to when I want to talk to you? Oh, that’s right, I’ll just keep on talking to you, because even though you’re already on the brighter side of all this grey, I get to have you with me for the rest of my lifetime.

{Words adapted from “Lifetime” by Three Days Grace}

~ Catherine

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

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

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

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

HE WAS RIGHT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Mothers:

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

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

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

MONSTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But guess what?

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

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

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

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

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

THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

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

MAY 8, 2008: “One Son’s Angel” …

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

FEBRUARY 16, 2022:

Dear Mr. Witherspoon,

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

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

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

~ Real Cat

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

MAY 8, 2022:

Zachariah,

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

We love you.

~ Us

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

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

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

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

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

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

“The Staircase”

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

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

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

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

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

I AM A PERFECT MISTAKE!

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

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

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

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

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

{“So Far Away“}

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

God Himself knows how much I do truly love myself now, PERFECT MISTAKES AND ALL, and not a day passes that I don’t still stand in the mirror and literally see my husband, my God, my angels, my ancestors, and even a few of my demons standing right behind me whispering, “You got this, Catherine! You’re our reason! You’re our gift, our scion, our message, and our voice!” They’re the pirates who came before me and zephyrs in my sky who forged this path and built this mountain for me to stand tall and upright upon as they push me forward into this perpetual state of punctuation and magic that I’ve become as I navigate this sea of madness. In the meantime, as I continue to soar through these fleeting golden years of mine,

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

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

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

NO QUARTER

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

FEBRUARY 24, 2022: “A Message To The Moon” …

… because some cryptic tales really aren’t all that cryptic after all:

Dear Moon,

I will run alone tonight without you by my side. I guess you had a place you had to get to. I knew your eyes. I knew inside the walls you hid behind, and we saw the truth inside the real you. Because I knew you were lost when you’d run away into the same black holes and black mistakes. It’s taking all our will just to run alone. When are you coming home?

Even if the sky does fall … even if they take it all … I know there’s no pain that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us. And when all the fires were burning … when everything was overturning … there was no thing that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us.

One day the Earth will open wide, and I’ll follow you inside, ’cause the only hell I’ve known is without you. Some day when galaxies collide, we’ll be lost on different skies, then I’ll send my rocket ship to find you.

And though the Sun grew cold for you along the way and the stars didn’t align to light our way … and though you fell away and crashed back down below … I’ll always search the skies for you, and I’ll follow … I’ll be in your afterglow … and until I go back Home.

I love you, and I miss you, and even though I’m NOT really lost without you, I’m really AM lost HERE without you.

~ Sun

{Words Adapted from “Die For You” by Starset}

FEBRUARY 14, 2022: “Supernova Telescopes” …

Valentine’s Day 2022.

It’s my third one without him, yet despite the sobering fact that his physical being is no longer here, I have never felt closer to every infinite piece of who and what he was and all that he left behind. My God, I couldn’t even make myself cry today if I wanted to, because the unbelievably beautiful truth is that I have never felt more loved and connected to every single part of not just him, but this Universe as well:

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

{“The Tragic Truth Revisited“}

Sometimes it worries me that some of you may think my relationship with Death tends to make me seem somewhat pessimistic, morbid, and macabre, but rest assured that even as much as I clearly and loudly speak the truths I’ve come to believe about dying, in no way do I find it nefarious, gruesome, or horrifying. To me, not only is Death a peaceful release from the pain and heartache that often comes with our mere existence and survival in humanity, but it is indeed still trulynothing at all“. Although of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish his physical body was still here with me, his essence, soul, and spirit are literally everywhere around me:

He’s out there. I hear him calling from behind the star fields. I feel him radiating energy like eternal northern lights. I see him watching over me across the sky. Overcoming, projected on my eyes eternally. I find him in the night. Far from the Sun where no one knows. He’s watching from his telescope as he travels the distance in my eyes … Interstellar … light years from me. Like a Supernova … we’ll fuse when we collide … awaking in The Light of all the stars aligned.

{“Telescope” … by Starset}

With that, now let me just say this to any and all of my loved ones who are now or ever will be reading this in the future …

When that bittersweet day comes that I have finally crossed over to the brighter side of all this grey, rest assured knowing that I will be that zephyr blowing gently over your shoulder, just as Zack is now the ever-present breeze I feel blowing over mine. PLEASE don’t get me wrong, though … I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, ’cause umm, there’s still so much left for me to do here with all these little pebbles in my hand.

Nevertheless, always remember that my last singular blip on this life’s radar will never truly be my last, as I, too, will travel the distance in your eyes … Interstellar … light years from you. Like a Supernova, we’ll fuse when we collide again, awaking in the Light of all the stars aligned. You see, love really is the one thing that transcends time and space, and I know this with every shred of my being. Even though I can’t still see Him, I feel the unyielding love and presence of the Supernova of all Supernovas … God … the one Who is always watching over me across the sky through the greatest telescope of all.

Happy Valentine’s Day you beautiful people!

(from “God’s Favorite Daughter” … Real Cat)

JANUARY 24, 2022: “Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Know When To SHUT UP!” …

Have you ever wondered how to spot the most truly intelligent person in the room? Well, I’ll tell ya! In my personal experience, the most intelligent people in any space are usually the ones who don’t have much to say. In fact, studies have shown that the more introverted a person is, the higher their IQ seems to be. A true intellect in a room full of people is typically just listening, digesting, and formulating their own carefully thought and not impulsive answers to any and every question that could possibly be pondered, and depending on the crowd, they may still not say a word, opting instead to keep their pearls of wisdom to themselves rather than throwing them before all the swine.

MY POINT BEING …

Be careful of all the bullshit you’re slinging in front of those super quiet “sleeper cell” geniuses. You never know if they’re just sitting back, sizing you up, silently calling you out on your idiocy, and laughing their own really “smart asses” off as they watch not only you hang yourself with the snake oil that you’re peddling, but all the other “not so know it all dumbasses” who are actually buying what you’re selling.

Trust me when I tell you that what I’m saying is true. Not only was I married to a “sleeper cell genius”, but I’ve given birth to two. Zack Williamson’s IQ was 147, and although they haven’t been tested, I know that both my kids are somewhere in that realm as well! I couldn’t so much as pass a cat-sized TURD of bullshit past Zack, lest I end up eating it, and my kids are the same damn way.

I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN telling you, people. Watch out for those quiet ones that don’t have much to say! When they finally do decide to engage with you in a conversation, they’ll drop a smart bomb on ya the size of the Atlantic Ocean that you’ll never see coming and won’t even have to say the words “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” to make SHUT YOU THE FUCK UP and walk away in shame! Just thought I’d share!

JANUARY 6, 2022: “The Tragic Truth Revisited” …

Today marks an incredibly powerful day in the Five Finger Death Punch family with the release of the official “Tragic Truth” video:

We wrote “Tragic Truth” in 2011 for the “American Capitalist” album, but it simply wasn’t finished by the manufacturing deadline. Since the song was very important to us, we didn’t want to wait and hold it until the following album, so it was added as a bonus track to the digital edition.

Consequently, it never really got the attention we intended for it and a lot of our fans are not even aware of its existence. It’s been a conversation for years to somehow circle back to this song, and we felt right now, on Ivan’s birthday, and two months from his 4th sober anniversary it is probably as good of an occasion as it can be to release this music video; as it is a visual journal of our story …

The battle with addiction … the pain … the chaos … life and even death. A celebration of a victory, Ivan’s rebirth into a new life. It is also a message for those who are battling addiction right now: you are more than your addiction, and you are never alone. Seek help, fight back, it’s never too late… Ivan came back from the dead, literally. He was so far gone, if he can do it – you can do it. Let this be a testament to that.

So, with that said, Happy Birthday Ivan! Congratulations on your new lease on life. And thank YOU to all the fans who stood by us all these years, supported us, supported him, and have been the catalyst of his recovery.

{Five Finger Death Punch YouTube}

As for me? Of the now 466 entries published in this Diary, “The Cosmic, NOT Tragic Truth” is one of my personal favorites. The cryptic role it played in my healing from and making peace with Zack’s suicide literally defies conception:

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

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

{“The Cosmic, NOT Tragic Truth“}

After seeing it the first time tonight, I kept watching it over and over. The more I watched, the more my heart ached, and I know exactly why I kept watching it. It’s a catharsis that I needed, and PS, IT’S ALLOWED! I was emotionally cutting myself because there are clearly some feelings about the last months of Zack’s life that I’ve still yet to fully bleed out.

I cannot tell you how many times in the last 870 days I’ve had random flashes of the MANY times I saw Zack literally holding his head in his hands the way that Ivan does in the video. He was desperately trying to quiet all the voices that were screaming inside it and shake off the demons that were devouring him. I kept asking him what was wrong, or if his head hurt, or if his ears hurt, and for God’s sake why was he covering his ears that way. His response was always the same:

They keep screaming at me, Catherine. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE THEM STOP!

I’m not gonna lie, but the words in those moments and the helpless looks upon his face may haunt me for the rest of my life.

As for me? Although I’m not an alcoholic, I have suffered and am in recovery from both an addiction “creature” of my own and a complicated mental illness. For that reason, I made the personal decision to lead a sober life and had my last drop of alcohol on March 26th last year at 4:40pm. Lol, yes, I know that was the date and time because I have proof via a credit card charge from “The Shot Lady” in Nashville, Tennessee. My decision was made in support of not just Ivan’s “SOBER AS FUCK” journey and platform, but anyone else who is fighting that fight, not the least of which is someone who is closely related to me who has yet to recognize his many tragic truths.

If you haven’t heard this song yet, I’m telling you – YOU SHOULD! Especially if you or someone you love has ever struggled with addiction or mental illness. Always remember that not everyone survives the “tragic truth” of their journey, so we must truly celebrate the lives of every phoenix who does and support them in their flight. The wings we fly with were forged in a fire that not everyone makes it out of alive and we had to actually die first to live.

NOVEMBER 26, 2021: “The Zephyr In Their Sky!” …

Although I have had the awful displeasure of watching a short handful of the human souls I’ve been the most connected dying right before my eyes, not the least of which was my daughter, perhaps the saddest and most painful moment of my life was the day my two surviving children had to watch their own mother having an actual nervous breakdown and being hauled off to a psych ward over a thousand miles from home:

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

{“Speaking Of Faith And Crowns“}

Even now, as resilient as I’ve truly become, when I flash back to “the day on the driveway” and remember everything they had to see, it breaks my heart all over again knowing how their hearts got broken going through that kind of trauma. No child should ever have to witness such a thing!

All that being said, and regardless of how horrifying so many of the moments in all our lives have been, I wouldn’t change a single step of this dance we’ve been sashaying through together. Through it all, I can only hope that they’ll have learned that the pain has been a gift, death is nothing at all, and that win, lose, or draw, they’re gonna be okay BECAUSE THEY GOT ME FOR A MOTHER!

I’m an epic masterpiece of magnanimous proportion, and after I’ve made it to The Brighter Side Of Grey, both they and their kids are gonna look back at this painting I’ve been faithfully working on and say,

DAMN! She was OUR mother!” She was nothing short of magic, because despite her many circumstances, she rose up like a phoenix to spread her light, her love, her truths, and her warmth from the fire that burned in her soul.

Then, I’ll be that beautiful warm breeze that lands softly on on their shoulders and whispers hope into their ears, and every ray of light that sparkles in their eyes as they bask in the legacy I’m leaving behind. I’ll be their “Crazy Grandma Cat” whose higher purpose was to come here and change everything for our bloodline.

Oh, don’t you worry my friends, despite the seemingly macabre tone of this entry, I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. Although it is true that I’m fully prepared for what I know is coming next, I’m in love with my existence in this space and still have so much to do and see. I’m just thinking wide out loud right now, because this song I’ve loved since I was not quite 30 years old found it’s way to the cue on my stereo this morning. Back then, it was just a song to me with a upbeat mood and vibrant tone, and never in a million years would I have thunk that I’d be the ray of light in those words, but here I am lighting it all up from my very own little piece of Heaven from here until eternity. I am SUCH a lucky woman, and I cannot say it enough. I am power, and grace, and a divinely appointed apostrophe punctuating peoples’ lives with my glow. I will never be ashamed of all the pain that I have carried – it’s what forged me into the steel fortress that I am.

RAY OF LIGHT

Zephyr in the sky at night – I wonder – do my tears of mourning sink beneath the Sun? She’s got herself a universe gone quickly. For the call of thunder threatens everyone. And I feel like I just got home. And I feel. And I feel like I just got home. And I feel. Faster than the speed of light – she’s flying – trying to remember where it all began. She’s got herself a little piece of Heaven, waiting for the time when Earth shall be as one. And I feel like I just got home. And I feel. And I feel like I just got home. And I feel. Quicker than a ray of light. Quicker than a ray of light. Quicker than a ray of light – then gone – for Someone else will be there. {Madonna}

NOVEMBER 12, 2021: “Like I Am” …

“The Cheeseburger & Tears Text”

At this point in my life, I have become a staunch proponent of leaving the past in the past, because looking in the rearview mirror can do much more harm than good if you haven’t reached that threshold yet where even beautiful memories can level you. That being said, I am also wise enough to know that sometimes you really do have to look backwards in order to keep moving forward. Not only is studying the past the best way to either repeat or not repeat certain cycles, mistakes, triumphs and even people, it can also be where the most authentic looks at ourselves can be found.

For example, the famous “Cheeseburger & Tears” text between Christian and Zack from November 12, 1996, that I recently saw on his phone again. Trust me when I tell you that everything in my soul wanted to burst into tears when I saw it, but then something prolific just washed right over my heart and stopped the tears that were filling my eyes literally dead in their tracks. It was a poignant look at myself through another person’s eyes and words:

I have my own major flaws that your mom doesn’t talk about because she always thinks the best of everyone.

Indeed, it’s true. I really do always think the best of everyone. Well, at least I try to that is. It’s both a major character flaw and a major character perk, depending on “what” or who is on the receiving end of my seemingly bottomless pit of forgiveness. Even now with my boundaries as firmly BOUND and in place as possible, my heart is as ever more marshmallow than steel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a fortress I truly am, especially when it comes to “peopling“, and as a living queen, I accept nothing less than everything.

At the end of the day, though, as I was sitting with Zack’s phone in my hand trying to decide whether to cry or smile, it was the latter of the two that won the prize. This “Cheeseburger & Tears” text reminded me once again of not just who I am, but that I was truly and unconditionally loved just like I am, which as we all know is one of the many reasons I’m still sitting here at all with the insurmountable and unconditional love I now have for myself.

Inasmuch as I’ve come to adore Rascal Flatts over the years, of course they were the background music for our many road trip adventures. With that, I cannot tell you how many times this song must have cued up, at which point we’d always lock hands (if they weren’t already locked) and I’d get the “three squeeze I love you“. So, today as I’m listening to it, I’m tweaking the words and singing it to him out loud:

Lying here without you, I know you watch me sleep. The dawn is closing in with every breath I breathe. I can feel the change – the change you made in me. And now I truly see all the things you saw in me. When you said that I was one of a kind. Baby, I couldn’t see it, but you believed that I’m so strong and true. I promise you – I’ll always be this kind of girl, because loved me like I am.

Okay, and just for the record, NOW I’m actually crying my eyes out. Good grief. It’s okay. They’re happy tears, not sad ones. Well, maybe just a little sad. Okay, I’m done.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021: “Sorry For Now” …

My Dearest Butterfly:

Today is our anniversary, and I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you back on the ground there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. After a while you may forget, but just in case the memories cross your mind. You couldn’t know this when I left under the fire angry eyes. I never wanted to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. Yeah, I’ll keep telling Him to pump the bass up. I’ll try to call home when everyone is wide awake. Wish I could switch the time zones – so we can pick the bass up. But you’re passed out by every time I am awake. Best things come to those who wait and it’s time to get pumped on any road you take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to for you to come to where I had to go away.

My Dearest Frog:

I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you up there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. I want you to know that I already understand. I already understand. After a while I’ll WON’T forget, but just in case the memories cross my mind. You couldn’t know this when you left under the fire of everyone’s very angry eyes. I never wanted you to have to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. There will be a day that they will understand. They will understand. Yeah, keep telling Him to pump the bass up. We always try to reach you where you already are. Switch your time zones – so we can pick the bass up. I just passed out by the time you wake up. Best things come to those who wait, and I promise I’ll be pumped on any road I take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to go to where you went away.

I want you to know that I really do promise to be everything I loved most about you, and all the very best things you brought out in me. In between our first hello and our last goodbye was so much love it was unfathomable. You were ours, and only ever ours – and we belonged to YOU! For those reasons, and too many more to count, you will remain the last reigning king of my heart even despite the sickened darkness your demons brought into our lives. I love you Zachariah. Happy Anniversary.

OCTOBER 31, 2021: “… of Blood, Tears, Power & Grace” …

A wise man once said that a wise man once said:

You know, I’ve been asked a couple times why I always write “power and grace” and “love and respect” … It takes two things to make it in this world: Power and grace. Being powerful enough to project and to be assertive and stand for what you stand for, but have it be graceful at the same time, and having gratitude for those that, you know, come in contact with you, and so on and so forth. Love and respect, he said, was the second half of that, because to have power, you have to show those two things ~ love and respect. To have grace, you have to own both of those things ~ love and respect.

{Ivan Moody}

I think I’ve always known that I was the epitome of “Power & Grace“, it just took me a hot minute to figure it out. I’ve never been a fan of being defined by other peoples’ reflections, because God Himself knows that for far too long it was all the words, labels, and black and white BOXES people who never really knew me used to mangle and clip my wings. Thankfully, however, now that I’ve grown into my beautiful skin, I no longer give credence to anyone else’s reflection of me but my own. Yet, as I sit and ponder the magnitude of these two most powerful words, I fall back to these words from one of my favorite songs that I’ve now tweaked to apply and sing to myself the way that I always do:

It was all those days my world’s gone wrong. I’ve screamed until my voice was gone and watched through the tears as everything came crashing down. Slowly panic turned to pain as I awoke to what remained and sifted through the ashes that were left. But buried deep beneath all my broken dreams, I had this hope that out of these ashes beauty would rise and I would dance among the ruins and I would know the joy had come.

I took another breath until now and let the tears come washing down, and when I couldn’t believe, He believed for me and had the signs of spring for me to watch and see! Then I heard it in the distance! It wasn’t too far away! It was the music and the laughter of a wedding and a feast! I could almost feel the hand of God reaching for my face to wipe the tears away and say, “It’s time to make everything new”, and then He made it all new and took my breath away with the power, grace, and beauty that He made of me from out of the ashes.

{“Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman}

I am truly thankful to see myself through this person’s words, as he’s someone I’ve obviously grown to love and respect for reasons that most people simply wouldn’t understand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … he really doesput the phoenix in phoenix“. I mean, the man literally came back from the dead! He, like me, has been “woven in a black and white tapestry sewn with blood and tears”, and I will treasure both this book and his words to me forever.

As and aside, I am thoroughly enjoying “Dirty Poetry” and have been through it cover to cover seven times now. Just as I’d long suspected they’d be, having listened to the messages in his music and heard him speak to his fans, his words are a rabbit hole of his twisted thoughts and dreams. To me, he’s a modern day Kafka, who up until now was the only writer with whom I could truly relate. I’m not gonna lie, I never really thought that anyone could out-Kafkaesque the “Die Verwandlung” creeping through my mind, but damn he’s gone and done it! There are so many pieces of not just me living inside the pages of this book, but as well the pieces of the very few people I’ve truly loved in this world, not the least of which was my husband.

OCTOBER 28, 2021: “Peopling” …

Look, it’s not as though I’m that hard to get along with, it’s just that I’m very extremely particular about who I let into my bubble, and even more particular about the strings I allow to attach to my soul. For those who get it right, being “too close” to me is a veritable wonderland. For those who don’t, umm, maybe not so much, because more so than not, I’ve usually already left the party before I even get there. It still doesn’t change the fact that, INDEED IT IS TRUE, if and when I am truly comfortable with someone, I literally NEVER shut up the eff up!

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

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

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

Keep in mind that no one ever gets the same me twice. Once I’ve decided that something isn’t working, although I may coexist in the same world and sometimes even the same space with them, the “me” that comes after I’ve realized I’m too close to something that isn’t in my wheelhouse usually doesn’t come with emotion. As you can imagine, this tends to make me seem like a cold and emotionless bitch, and it definitely hasn’t won me any popularity contests.

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

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

{“I’m A Freak Of The World“}

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

The bottom line is this …

The only ones who have understand the secret language of my soul are those few who knew how to read it before I even spoke a word. You know, kinda like that time I fell head over heels in love with a man whose very first meaningful conversation with me started with, Umm, do you even own a hairbrush?” That’s the REAL connection stuff that brings out the best in me. NO surface level necessary, just, “Wow, you look like shit!”

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

At the end of the day, only genuine connection makes me feel at home in an unfamiliar places, and now that I’ve realized that my most genuine connection is right here with good ole me, I guess I’ll just be sticking close to “home” here in my ‘lil Queendom unless or until there’s anyone else out there who can ignite the energy of my fire with a spark from theirs. Until then, Imma stay up here on the mountain and just watch all the “peopling” going on down below and thanking God that I don’t have to do it. If I’ve learned anything whatsoever in my “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-Be-True” years, it’s that nothing feels as lonely as being in a room full of people that you don’t belong with. Been there. Done that. Peaceful solitude works best for me.

TOO CLOSE

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

OCTOBER 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 ME:

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

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

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

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

I love all THREE of you!

~ Me

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

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

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 5, 2021: “The Freedom” …

And yet another bittersweet “October 5th” is here. His birthday. At first, I was at a loss for what to write about this morning, but after having drafted another “Quora Answer” that I wasn’t sure when I wanted to post, it struck me that TODAY was the day …

What Does “True Freedom” Mean To You?

To me, true freedom is having made peace with not only his death, but death in general, because most assuredly I say to you: DEATH HAPPENS! No one’s getting out of here alive, and as hard as it is to live on this Earth without our loved ones who have moved on, being able to release them from the mortal shackles they wore (and yes, we ALL wear mortal shackles) is, perhaps, one of the kindest, bravest, and selfless things we can do, not only ourselves, but their dearly departed souls. When a person has reached a point in their life where they no longer suffer through the experience of death, living in the moment becomes second nature, because they live in constant awareness that “the present” is all that really matters.

True freedom is having arrived at place where your happiness and self-worth aren’t derived solely from achieving every pleasure, dream, or wish you’ve ever had, or having every “thing” you thought you needed. It’s closing your eyes at night then waking up the next morning with total clarity and peace in your heart, not always “needing more”, and fully capable of living in each moment as it is.

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

Last, but certainly not least, true FREEDOM is finally realizing that YOU are the only mortal person you can count on to survive this game with ’til the end, YOU are worthy of being your own best friend, biggest fan, and most loyal supporter, and YOU should be the greatest love story of your life! That’s when you’ve found your real home, by the way, and for the record, none of this “freedom”, or the peace of mind that comes with it, costs a single dime. Money is good to have, don’t get me wrong, but ZERO amounts of money can buy these freedoms for you. Only YOU can secure them for yourself.

I’m so thankful that I have achieved true freedom. I’ll close my eyes tonight knowing in my heart that I did the very best I could in everything I did, and that I’ve left no stone unturned. If I don’t wake up tomorrow? Imma be alright, ’cause I know what’s coming next and I’m not afraid. Now that I think of it? I think I’m starting to understand why I’m so fascinated by birds and anything with wings. Not only can they fly, but even more so than that, they always find the right place to call home. They’re beautiful, and free, and independent spirits, and anywhere they land can be their home. I guess in many ways I am like a bird. Sometimes I just watch them, because maybe I’m a little envious of all the ways they are free than I can only dream of. Then again, that’s probably how some people feel about me, so they watch me with envy, too, because I am free in all of the ways that they can only dream of. Maybe someday they will learn to just let go and GET HOME like me.

Happy Birthday and Godspeed Zachariah. Here’s hoping you are “Home” enjoying your eternal FREEDOM. I miss you, will always love you, and yes, you are still forgiven.

FREEDOM OF THE SEA

Standing on the shoreline, looking out to sea at oceans of Your hopes for me, just beyond my reach. I’ve been here on this island for way too many years, a prisoner of my comfort, a slave to my own fears. Doubt is saying, “got to stay”. Faith is saying, “sail away”! I know it’s safe here on the shore, but freedom is worth dying for. Liberation comes to those who hear the truth and sail with you. I’ll go where You are calling me. I’ll be what You meant me to be. I know the risk is real, but I wanna feel the freedom of the sea! With eyes to the horizon, mist against my face, I’ll leave behind this island in Your abounding grace. With Your word as my compass, I’ll chase my destiny. For I know the words of Your will can set my spirit free. Doubt is saying, “got to stay”, but I’m taking up the anchor! Faith is saying, “sail away”, and I’m heading for the deep! {Phillips, Craig & Dean}

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 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}

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}