Addict · Addiction · Bloggess · death · Family · hopeless · Life · Life story · love · Recovery · Uncategorized

Death….

I come from a place of darkness, trapped in my insanity for so long. I smiled at you with a look of death hidden beneath my eyes; a death that was felt deep into my soul. The fire was gone. Had it ever been lit? Those choices that I made at a very young age would lead me down a road I never knew existed- it was called my life; the life that I chose. Gratefully I came to the end of the road one day and someone showed me a new way to live.

It has been seven days and a wake up since I got the call. It was my late night to work, I run a youth group and it was barely 6:00 pm on a Thursday, I still had an hour to go until I could leave. An hour to smile, to keep the youth I work with engaged, on task creating yearly action plans and mapping out goals; I even intrigued them enough to take on writing a small grant themselves with my tutelage. All the while knowing there was a dead body in a room that had been sitting most of the day.

I have witnessed more than my fair share of death. Some would even say I may have been the cause or catalyst to a few, but I know that was addiction and their choices. Sure I gave them the first one, maybe even at times the last one- at least one that I know of. I didn’t know then what I know now. I played a part in so many lives that I ran through for so many years and yes, I still play a part. The reasons why we continue to do the work, so we can continue to identify the issues. I always say, as long as I am not doing an issue I will always be OK. That part is true; but sometimes I still do not want to feel. So much lately I have not wanted to feel- yet I am so happy I get to.

As soon as the last parent drove away with their child that Thursday night I was in my car. I knew the paramedics had come and gone, there was still emergency services there- the Firemen. Everyone was standing in the drive as I flew in and parked the car at the neighbors, there were so many cars everywhere. I knew the neighborhood would be glued to the windows watching in the darkness curious. My friend, my best friend; it was her house. She had called me. We had just spent the most beautiful weekend away at the ocean and had only been home a few days and this. Reality was back of what life is like.thumbnail

Julie was walking around arranging things, I joked on how clean the house was. I knew this mattered at this moment. The moment so many people were walking in and out, looking through the house, asking so many questions. I am sure all the questions had been asked a million times by the time I arrived. It was almost time for a million more. The coroner had not even arrived yet. The call had been made by 3:00 pm, it was now at least 8:00 pm and the coroner had not even arrived yet. He had probably been dead since at least 10:00 am. The facts are not out yet, the autopsy results are not in, and the time of death had not been called. I knew the how he died. So did Julie, she was just not willing to say and it was not my place to assist at that moment.

My assistance was just to be there. To hold the woman who at one time disliked me. To be there for her, it was her son who was in my friend’s house; he had only been there 10 days. I had only spoke to him a few times, through the walls of the rooms as I made my way through the house. Jacob had cleaned the house so immaculate. Jacob. His name was Jacob. I will not tell his story, although I know it. I will not tell Loretta’s story, although I know it. I will tell mine.

The coroner finally showed, it was our turn. Our house was the third on the list for pick-ups that night and by the time they left there were even more bodies to gather. This was our turn, it was Jacob’s turn. The questions started all over again. Now his family were giving the history, the present was obvious. More time was given with the body, the goodbyes before the morgue. That time seemed to drag on forever. Julie made jokes with me in the living room. I knew this was her way of dealing with the insanity of the moment in her home. All I could do was listen, a few times I said shhhh Julie, not so loud.

Finally the moment came, the moment I had missed with all the death that I left in my wake. The moment they struggled to bring his body out of the room to the stretcher. Jacob was already wrapped in the plastic zip-up bag, it was white. I imagine his toe tag was on under there as well for identification. There were a lot of bodies that night for a Thursday we were informed. He was wrapped in a white sheet around the plastic bag, for the purpose of lifting and grip. That was so apparent- Jacob was 31. Then came the fitted burgundy cloth that covered the body over so the neighbors glued to their windows with the lights off while they watched could not see. The coordinating commands. Turn, lower, on three, lift. One side first to set the wheels and ensure he was steady before she lifted the other side- go. Set the wheels. Roll out, step one, step two, set. I closed the screen door behind them. Loretta asked me to close up the bedroom, she couldn’t go back in- I did. I gathered her things and put them by the door. She was tired. Her tears I had wiped, I had held her, comforted her. What else could I have done?

Today I have to get to school. I teach. I teach a variety of things to help our youth make better choices and I have to get to class so I must go. This week has been rough, these past seven days have been rough. The flood of memories from death have not stopped. I am so grateful I have chosen to live.

The Chicken Lady thumbnail (1)

Addict · Addiction · adoption · Bloggess · Childhood · Family · Life · Life story · love · Mother · Recovery · Uncategorized

Nothing But LOVE….

When I was young, so long ago, I was hardened by love, the misconception of what it was, and what it looked like. I was hurt many times by those who claimed to love me and even those who I thought were supposed to love me the most at a very young age- family. I had lost the ability to trust anyone.

Of course the skills that I had learned, the coping skills, surviving skills, and so on would harden me. I numbed myself and shut down my heart and my spirit, putting in and losing the ability to stop for anything or anyone, not even my children. I didn’t know that is what was happening at the time; I still at that point thought I was having fun. I’m getting ahead of myself….

At the age of 20, I had stopped for a moment and come up for air, I would do that on occasion. It might look like I had my shit together, maybe a job, a smile. It was all an illusion, a mask I wore well, just one of them, for a very long time. I’d had my first child, almost making it to the altar, and even learned another lesson before I even made it there with his father. My ability to show love was gone and I know that now. I can’t even imagine what it looked like back then. I would be unable to show love for another 20 plus years, true love. That was my part.

The sweetest man entered my life back then, he loved me. He loved my son and me. He wanted nothing but to love us, together. I could not even fathom that, certainly didn’t trust that, and honestly didn’t even understand it. I was pregnant with his child and he knew. What would that look like? It was time to run and running is what I was good at.

I created another lie, I was good at lying, that’s what we do. This lie would last me 20 years. I gave birth to his son, having told him long before that I had lost his child. Using that loss as just one of the reasons to never see him again. The hole in my spirit was just a little larger and would continue to grow due to my own choices.

Today is that young mans birthday, October 30, his name is Alex, and he found me on Facebook several years ago. He had some questions, that is all he wanted from me, answers of which I gave him. It’s absolutely amazing how my HP works, I had found his father just a few months earlier. Being open to the process and willing, I was able to let that secret go that I had held onto for over 20yrs. I am a Bio-Mom, that is all.

Albert I love you! After many years your only question to me when I told you I had given birth to your son was, “are you ok” and “do you need a hug?” Boy did I. I will always love you for that! Today I know what love is honey and I have nothing but love for you!

That young man wanted nothing but answers, then he left our lives going back to his own, and I am ever so grateful to have been alive to give him those answers.

The Chicken Lady67187599_10156729123094926_8665854504098332672_n

Addict · Addiction · Bloggess · dating · dating life · Life · Life story · love · Recovery · single · Uncategorized

The Ridiculous Life of Dating: Swiping Left or Right….

I have the cutest little nook in the back with the chickens now. There is the small mosaic green coffee table and the two red farmhouse chairs that I love to relax on that have traveled with me to three different homes, however will stay at this one when I leave as a gift as I no longer require their use- yes I am already planning my next move. No one sits on the other red chair anymore, it’s just me with my feet perched up while the chickens mill around under me. Well sometimes the roommate sits there too, but our lives are so full it is rarely that we sit together anywhere. I have a spot I can write at that looks out the window to the chickens; it’s a bit un-comfy since the chair I sit at is really just a stool. I prefer just to write in bed with my laptop up on a rather large pillow with the window open just listening to the chickens while Hermes that fat cat stares their way, I don’t need much.

This brings me to companionship. Do I need it, do I really need it? Yes- I do. My companions for now are those chickens, my friends, the cat and the Fellowship that I love so much. I lost my dog Snoopy a while ago but don’t want to get into that right now, for now we are just going to talk about dating. The ominous life of dating at 50. It is very funny I find so hold on and grab some coffee.

I am not sure if I am ready for dating yet? It seems to be very complicated or very easy- whichever way you look at it. Do I swipe left or right? Actually, apparently, I don’t even need to swipe at all. It just comes my way- the offers. Abundant is the word I will use. The propositions have come from everywhere; Florida, Costa Rica- oh Florida will come here by the way and I should really give it a try, Costa Rica just wants to offer me time in paradise where he lives for a week or two. Kentucky wants to fly here to get to know me better; although we actually have met in person I am not ready to know him any better over dinner just yet-yet.

Dinner, I have gone to dinner with a friend. An old friend who was willing to just let it be a dinner with friends- even though years ago that was not his intention. He appreciated the shutdown I gave him when I said I was having coffee with someone back then, he didn’t understand it- he thought it was just coffee. It wasn’t just coffee, but it has become that. He let me know he valued that in a woman and always remembered that about me. So when he appeared there in Southern California with dinner I became willing. Willing for something new and that is to say yes more often. Yes!

Well yes- maybe. It is still mainly no. No to every Tom, Dick and Harry in my inbox. No to the married man we all know. That was a surprise! You never know who is thinking what about you? Did he really think I would say yes to just a weekend getaway no one would know about? I guess he did, that is how much he knew me. I am not her. She, many years ago, would have went. She would have chosen to escape this life and those feelings months ago when the offer was made- even if it was just for a moment. I am not her! I thought we were friends?  I wonder what your friend would have thought about that?

So back to the swiping. I have a dating coach. She has been in retirement for several years, but graciously made her presence again. She suggested Bumble, Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Cream Cheese and Bagels, or was it Coffee and Bagels? I said yes to a month; Biker Planet, sure why not- just one month there too. Facebook even came out with a dating app and it was as if they knew I would be dating again. That was a funny. I am very funny in my own little head to some- even if that some is only me. I make me laugh and smile better than anyone, it just took me a minute to get back there. I am there again and have been for some time.

Let’s chat about Coffee and Bagels, I am pretty sure I was the cream cheese. I think they are a bit elitist? Most from the bay area of the state of California where I reside. If I say yes, we can hang out and even hit the Apple party in November or was it Google? This wonderful app even gave me pointers on how and when to respond. Not too fast now, wait a day or two and the reasons why behind the push notifications. Let’s not forget when to make the first move and to check in and why. Very handsome men in all the apps I have seen, in the past few months I have seen plenty. Biker Planet- Wow. Now I am not too superficial whatsoever, but really. First of all let’s live in reality, I attempt to on a daily basis. All I will say about that app is it was a waste of my time that I will never be able to regain.

Facebook dating has been the most amusing. It was as if it happened overnight and the hounds were released. I can take a pretty picture, but do you see me? Do you know what I am like? No one really knows deep down what I am like- I myself am still learning all the deepest secrets my heart and mind have locked away. The years of torture I endured at my own hands will be the reasons I move out of love. I shed a tear just then while clacking that out; it is wonderful to feel.

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So with the Facebook dating eventually came the people we may know in common, that was only a matter of time I am sure- those Fellowship people. I deleted Facebook dating too within the week. I don’t need Facebook to help me figure out who to date next. I have my friends all over the place making suggestions and offers- people they may know. They deserve the love I have and the very best; how sweet they think that is me. Some of those offers are not bad either, I am just not ready yet.

The yet. I will be ready one day; just not yet. I don’t know when? Waiting for me is all I will be doing for a while and for someone who I find intriguing to ask me out this time. What does my life look like right now?  Work- work on many levels. The internal work, the work- work and the financial work to get me where I want to be one day. As I clack this out I have a grant proposal I am writing simultaneously for my organization on another doc- I am the lead writer now. A little too late and that is OK as well. Also a grant I am researching for a private organization because I have begun freelance writing. I am capable of many things.

The most important thing I have written lately is my resume and my Statement of Qualifications; not my dating profile- although dangit that looks pretty good and I am not giving up there. I have interviewed, have practiced my interview and am even interviewing again this week. I am hopeful. I am hopeful on many levels. I will just keep going and growing. I have made it to fifty, my children are all off on their own and the young child is soaring at this very moment in college with her own independence; an independence I am learning to embrace myself. The dreams I am making happen and will never stop conjuring up. I am loving the new horizons; no matter what. So as I intended to continue on with this dating adventure and quite possibly discuss San Antonio I will have to save that for next time. Maybe when I return? Now the house has just filled with love as so many faces have mingled in for a meal while the music plays in the background. I am present today- so I must go.

The Chicken Lady Coffemeetsbagel_logo18

Addict · Addiction · Bloggess · Family · Life · Life story · love · Recovery

God’s Will….

It is a beautiful cloudy morning, the chickens have been fed, the kid- the 18 year old gorgeous Autistic gift of mine- is sleeping in the bed we are sharing until this week when I return her off to college for the year comes and the cat has been loved on. I drank the coffee and spoke to the voluptuous spirit that I live with. Life is beyond good.

I have been processing so much lately- thank God I do that with others. I should have processed that text message first with others, I didn’t.  If I had it never would have been sent. The why I sent it no longer matters, the day I sent it- September 11th did. I just wanted to not go another moment without someone knowing that I loved them with everything I had and I wanted to wish them the best in life. Not to leave a word unsaid- just in case. I want to be able to go on and not turn back and I will. I wanted nothing in return, just to be able to be in their presence with no ill will- no weird stuff in the air. See we run in these circles and chances are high we will constantly see each other. That was the “why” just so you know. Nothing more.

It wasn’t time yet, it was time for me though and that my friends is not God’s will -that was Christine’s will. More than likely why it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped and had expected? Ah- expectations. The only one I had was to hold his hand one last time and look into his eyes to say I loved you and good-bye. I didn’t even try. I do still love you and always will. I have no resentments, I have nothing left for you; nothing but love for what once was and some of the most beautiful memories of my life.

I knew I should have walked away when I got there. That cold stare behind the glasses- I knew.  I am so thankful I stayed though. As much as it hurt, it was the clarity I needed one last time. Kind of like a drug I guess? Tough to let go but you know when you’re done you’re done.

I get to go on and learn from what I did wrong, there was so much. I will do better next time. Not with him. There will be someone one day. I will bear my soul again, share that part of me I never want to share with anyone. If you don’t love, it’s because that voice doesn’t let you love. If you don’t enjoy your life, it’s because that voice doesn’t let you enjoy it – Don Miguel Ruiz. I will love. I will enjoy my life. I am so full of love and life!

I get to do some healing work, some inner work. I get to not dwell in the past- I get to live for tomorrow. I get to close that chapter of the book I no longer wish to read. I get to not pick it up again, not even to look at. I get to surrender it all and let it go.

I return to God’s will for my life though in amazement of the past three years and know none of that was God’s will for me. That was all Christine’s will, every bit of it! What a lesson learned. The moments I scoured through his Facebook page, watched his timeline, read what he wrote, grabbed that ticket to Sturgis and even when I asked him to coffee. That was all me. None of it happened by chance, none of it happened with God, it happened because I wanted it to. Maybe I forced it to? So in the end it should come as no surprise that it didn’t work. If it was meant to it still would be- no matter what- regardless of the “whats.”

If you think it is so ridiculous to be talking about God so much, for me, it took a bit- almost 11 years. I have never had such faith as I do right now. Leaping and landing wherever it takes me knowing I made the right choice. Nothing has ever felt so true, to bend like the reed and not break. To journey on and leave when I only wanted to stay. Walking away from a place where you are not valued nor heard will be the easiest hard thing you ever do! I know this because it is true for me.

Funny thing is it took some serious pain to find my God. To give up and hit my knees to take the pain away- to just let me sleep and cry no more. Just for today, just for tonight. The lady in my life who has the most beautiful spirit ever always says, have you prayed for them? Well through this I have. I finally became willing to pray for them all. Give them everything in life and more! Let them not waste another moment in anger and soften their hearts, OK soften his. I am so blessed! No matter what I am so blessed. That is the best gift and lesson of all. My spirit and my love are the gifts and I will never let anyone take them for granted.

The Chicken Lady

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Addict · Addiction · Bloggess · dogs · Family · Farmer · Life · Life story · love · Recovery

He Rescued Me….

It took me many years to understand what love is. Countless hours and many tears. Most of those tears were self inflicted with the choices I chose to endure for the interpretation of what I thought love was for so long. What I thought I deserved. What I thought I was worth. I was very sick in the disease of my addiction for many years to know any other way.

Gratefully that changed when I found a new way to live through the 12 step program that I actively participate in. I say actively because for me it takes a daily application of spiritual principles followed up with some traditions to live the way I do, lest I fall into the pit of despair – which is my old ways of thinking. In turn that brings up my old ways of speaking and reacting too, but I digress.

I haven’t really written anything in some time. If I write it is usually about life. My life. I tend not write about the same thing in a million different ways thinking to myself that it is something new. It’s not. Especially if the same people tend to read your material once written. It can turn out to be the same regurgitated rhetoric in some new shape or form, just another day. Writing in some ways is about healing. I hope to continue to write and I always hope to continue to heal.

Today was a hard day. I had to make a decision to put my first love in this new way of life down. My dog Snoopy. Sure I love the kids and yes I love myself, but the truth of the matter is I didn’t even know what love was until the age of 42. Hence the reason for the tattoo on my left shoulder as a subtle reminder.  Snoopy was a good dog. He was a rescue dog. He was our family dog and ultimately my dog.

Snoopy was a Beagle, my big fat Beagle. I spent countless hours and days scouring kennels all over Northern California from my cubicle for what would eventually be him. His given name was Tonka. We all showed up together and spent some time with him before making the decision to bring him home that day. I never knew how old he really was, maybe three or four? Irene quickly changed his name to Snoopy and he never answered to Tonka again.

The kennel gave me his folder and a few stories. Snoopy was a returnee to the them. Even after being micro-chipped. Apparently he escaped from his new owners and was found roaming the streets of Auburn before being taken to the kennel again. The new owners refused to pick him up and they said never answered their phone. How sad for Snoopy.

Snoopy never left me. He never ran from me. He loved me and he loved my home. I loved my home. It was safe I suppose for him? He had an entire back forty to markup daily. There was always something new, especially when I decided to bring home chickens.

They say, as a joke, get a plant. If you can keep the plant alive you may be ready for something else. Well if you want to know about unconditional love, get a dog. Get a rescue dog. Furthermore, get a Beagle. They are absolute emotionless dogs. His face always looked so somber. He was not a jumper and never really a barker unless food was involved. Actually that was a habit he picked up near the end. He was not too old to pick up new tricks.

Snoopy rescued me. He gave me something to care for. Someone to love. I loved him and he loved me right back with no expectations! I stayed in there until far after the end. It was so quick. They didn’t say it would be that quick. They did say it would be painless. He was in so much pain. I don’t think I will get another dog. I think I am done for a while. With so much I am done.

Yesterday I made a decision to let all my worldly possessions go. I didn’t mean this one too! I may let it all go, but I will keep this.

The Chicken Lady

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